Wayne hoping Colts can make his dream come true

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Wayne hoping Colts can make his dream come true

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Reggie Wayne has an emphatic message for his teammates. He's got bigger plans for this year's Indianapolis Colts.

Less than 12 months after taking less money to play for a team in major rebuilding mode and then leading it back to the playoffs as he had promised, Wayne has started concocting all sorts of grand possibilities in his mind.

``If all goes well, if my dreams are correct, I won't be playing in this (Pro Bowl) game. I have a bigger game to play in and my dreams normally come true,'' Wayne said with a chuckle after earning his sixth Pro Bowl selection. ``Let's hope that this one is headed in that direction.''

Wayne is no mentalist, just a good-natured optimist and a key reason Indianapolis (11-5) is hitting the road to face AFC North champion Baltimore (10-6) in a wild-card round game Sunday.

Clearly, the Colts needed Wayne's presence this season and not just because of his skills on the field.

He showed this young, unproven offense what it takes to excel in the NFL, how to stick around a while, and what it means to play this game with purpose and passion. The results have been nothing short of remarkable.

Quarterback Andrew Luck set NFL rookie records for most yards passing and most attempts in a season. He tied the NFL single-season mark for game-winning fourth-quarter drives, broke Peyton Manning's franchise rookie mark for completions, set a new Colts record for rushing TDs by a quarterback and presided over a historic turnaround.

Indy's rookies also combined for 3,108 yards rushing and receiving, the most of any team since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, according to STATS LLC.

And at age 34, Wayne gave no indication he was slowing down. The New Orleans native hauled in 106 receptions for 1,355 yards - the second-best marks of his career - and tied Marvin Harrison for the franchise's most 1,000-yard seasons (eight). He moved into the top 10 on the NFL's reception list (968), the top 15 in yards receiving (13,063) and broke the NFL record for most consecutive games with three or more catches (64), all while putting football into perspective for these rookies.

``Reggie really is the leader of the offense,'' Luck said. ``Everything he does helps us out. He sets a great example for all the young, new guys that are on the team - myself included -- and he is a lot of fun to throw the ball to.''

When it comes to work, though, Wayne is all business.

During the first week of training camp, he hung around after practice in the blazing sun to catch balls from the Jugs machine. He started by himself. Each day, though, the crowd increased and within days, seemingly every receiver on the team was waiting behind one of the NFL's top receivers.

That didn't change when the Colts returned to their team complex.

``You know his professionalism, I think that's big especially with the young group on that side of the ball,'' safety Antoine Bethea said when asked what Wayne's most important contribution has been. ``Just showing them how to be a professional, how to be a pro. ... You see him in the weight room, but you'd never know anything is wrong with him because he's out there every day on the practice field and you can count on him every Sunday.''

But it almost didn't work out.

Two days before Indy's miserable 2-14 season ended in 2011 and about to become an unrestricted free agent, Wayne packed up his locker, took down his nameplate and spoke somberly to reporters as if his career in Indy was about to end.

The Colts did send many of Wayne's longtime pals -- Joseph Addai, Gary Brackett, Dallas Clark and Manning -- packing in March. Jeff Saturday and Pierre Garcon, a receiver Wayne helped groom, signed free agent contracts with other teams, and most figured that with Indianapolis going young and trying to shed big-dollar contracts, Wayne would go somewhere else, too.

That's when new coach Chuck Pagano, who befriended Wayne when the two were at the University of Miami, made a personal request.

``Basically I told him, I said I don't want to do this without you,'' Pagano said. ``I said, `If we're going to get this thing done and move forward and get back to the winning ways that this organization and certainly our fans in the community are used to, we need you back. I want to do this with you. We all want you back.'''

Wayne had to weigh more lucrative offers from other teams with his passion for playing in front of the fans who chant ``Reg-gie, Reg-gie'' each week. Speculation focused on New England, Indy's bitter rival. Andre Johnson, a friend of Wayne's from the Hurricanes, said Wayne wanted to join him in Houston, too.

After reflecting on Pagano's words, Wayne turned down the extra money, re-signed with the Colts for three years and $17.5 million so he could help the franchise re-establish itself as a Super Bowl contender and made good on his word.

``This is the journey that all teams want to take,'' Wayne said. ``This is the approach that we wanted. We wanted to give ourselves a chance.''

He never imagined the twists and turns of this odyssey would go quite like this.

In April, Wayne's poster-sized photo replaced Peyton Manning's on the facade of Lucas Oil Stadium. On Sept. 26, Pagano began the first of three rounds of chemotherapy after being diagnosed with leukemia. On Oct. 7, wearing orange gloves to support his ailing coach and leukemia awareness, Wayne capped a 13-catch, 212-yard game by stretching the ball over the goal line with 35 seconds left to give Indy a 30-27 victory over Green Bay.

On Dec. 23, Wayne hauled in a 7-yard TD pass with 4:08 to break a 13-13 tie and give Indy its playoff-clinching victory.

And now, he has a vision to finish off this storybook season the right way.

``It's a good one, a good dream,'' Wayne said. ``I won't tell you the complete ending of it but it's a good one.''

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Trimble, Turgeon comment on guard's decision to return to Maryland

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Trimble, Turgeon comment on guard's decision to return to Maryland

Maryland guard Melo Trimble has withdrawn his name from the NBA Draft and will return to College Park for his junior season, the program confirmed officially after reports from CSN and others late Wednesday night.

After partaking in the NBA Combine in Chicago earlier this month, Trimble went through a series of workouts with teams but retained the opportunity to return to Maryland because he had not signed with an agent. 

“I am really excited to return for my junior season at Maryland,” Trimble said in a release from the school. “It’s truly special that I get to continue to play in front of my family, friends and our amazing fans. I’m looking forward to working out with my teammates this summer and I am excited for what we can accomplish.

"I learned a great deal through this experience and I am committed to working hard in getting better each day. I’m appreciative of all the support that I have received from Coach Turgeon, my family and my teammates throughout this process. I look forward to continuing my education and building upon the success that we have had at Maryland.”

MORE TERPS: FUTURE MARYLAND GUARD GETS INVITE TO TEAM USA CAMP

Trimble will be the lone returning starter from last season's Terrapins team that made the program's first Sweet 16 appearance since 2003. Rasheed Sulaimon and Jake Layman have both exhausted their eligibility. Robert Carter, Jr. and Diamond Stone both chose to forgo their remaining seasons of college eligibility and sign with agents prior to the NBA Draft.

With Trimble back, Maryland will shift from a team centered around big men to a guard-heavy team next season. Freshman point guard Anthony Cowan gives the team an opportunity to run lineups with multiple ball handlers on the floor at the same time -- which head coach Mark Turgeon has said in the past is an idea he likes. 

In addition, guard Dion Wiley returns from knee surgery, wing Jared Nickens is back, plus Jaylen Brantley and freshman Kevin Huerter. 

Turgeon commented on Trimble's return in a release Wednesday night.

“Melo informed me tonight that he has decided to return to Maryland for his junior season,” Turgeon said. “After gathering information throughout this process, I agree that this is the best decision for him.

"Melo is a very special person. He is a winner and his impact on our program has been immeasurable. Melo has an extremely bright future ahead of him both on and off the basketball court. We are excited that he will continue to pursue his degree and build upon his legacy in College Park.”

NL East: Barry Bonds wouldn't take picture with Dodgers star Pederson

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NL East: Barry Bonds wouldn't take picture with Dodgers star Pederson

Apparently being an MLB All-Star and home run derby runner-up is not enough for Marlins hitting coach Barry Bonds to take a picture with you.

That's according to Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson, a 2015 NL All-Star. He said he tried to take a picture with Bonds before a Marlins-Dodgers game last month and got rejected.

Ouch. Pederson described the interaction on Fox Sports Live and it sounds like he was pretty surprised by Bonds' reaction. Then again, who wouldn't be? It seems like a simple request.

Many athletes current and former take pictures with fans all the time and those are just fans. It would seem even more likely to get that picture if you are part of their fraternity as a pro ball player.

Here is Pederson describing the exchange on FS1:

[Via Sports Illustrated]

Orioles tie team record with 18 strikeouts in 4-3 loss

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Orioles tie team record with 18 strikeouts in 4-3 loss

Astros 4, Orioles 3 

Winner: Neshek (2-0)
Loser:    Wilson (2-3)   
Save: Gregerson 10 

WHAT WENT WRONG: The Orioles equaled their single game record for most strikeouts in a game, 18. They struck out 19 times in 13 innings on Tuesday night. 

WHAT WENT RIGHT: The Orioles came from behind to tie the score at 3 in a two-run sixth. Unfortunately, they gave the lead away in the bottom of the sixth when Tyler Wilson allowed a home run to Luis Valbuena, his second in as many nights. 

OOPS: The Orioles committed four errors, two by Manny Machado and two by Wilson, all in the first four innings. The last time the Orioles made four errors was on Sept. 30, 2015.

MACHADO ERRS: Machado made two errors for the fourth time in his career. 

MORE BAD STATS: The Orioles were just 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position and left 12 runners on base. 

LOSING: The Orioles are in the midst of their second three-game losing streak. 

SHAKE IT UP: Machado was put in the leadoff spot and Jonathan Schoop batted second for just the second time in his career. The move immediately paid off when they began the game with doubles. 

WIETERS HITS: Matt Wieters had two more hits. He’s had five consecutive multi-hit games—two three-hit games and three two-hit games. 

KIM DOUBLE: Hyun Soo Kim, who started for the first time in 11 days, had his first game with multiple extra-base hits. He had two doubles a single. It was his second three-hit game. 

THERE HE GOES: Joey Rickard, who didn’t start ran for Kim in the eighth inning and stole second. He has three of the Orioles’ eight stolen bases. 

UP NEXT: Kevin Gausman (0-1, 2.70) faces Lance McCullers (0-1, 5.91) on Thursday night in the final game of the three-game series.