Why was a ref pulled from the Saints game?

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Why was a ref pulled from the Saints game?

From Comcast SportsNetCHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- The NFL has removed a replacement official from the New Orleans-Carolina game because it discovered he's a Saints fan.Side judge Brian Stropolo has been replaced by an alternate, Tim Keese. The NFL made the decision Sunday morning just hours before kickoff."He was replaced because of the information that surfaced disclosing that he is a Saints fan," league spokesman Michael Signora said.The league will look further into the matter. It received several phone calls and emails about Stropolo, who is from New Orleans and posted several photos of himself in Saints gear tailgating at a preseason game on his Facebook page.Stropolo's Facebook page has since been taken down.Stropolo worked the Week 1 NFL opener, a nationally televised game between the Cowboys and the defending Super Bowl champion Giants.ESPN was first to report the news.Panthers general manager Marty Hurney declined comment on the situation, calling it "a league matter."The NFL locked out the regular officials in June after their contract expired. Negotiations with the NFL Referees Association broke down several times during the summer, including just before the season, and the league is using replacements for the first time since 2001.Back then, the lockout lasted for one week of the regular season before a settlement was reached. This is the second weekend the replacements are being used, and the NFL has drawn up a five-week schedule for using them if the labor dispute is not resolved.Last week, there was one major error by the replacement officials, when they awarded Seattle an extra timeout in the final minutes of a game at Arizona. The Cardinals held on to win and the crew's referee admitted the mistake after the game.

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Redskins place Doctson, four others on PUP list

Redskins place Doctson, four others on PUP list

RICHMOND—The Redskins have placed five players on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list as they get training camp started today.

The following players are on the PUP list:

  • TE Derek Carrier
  • WR Reggie Diggs
  • WR Josh Doctson
  • G Shawn Lauvao
  • LB Perry Riley Jr.

The inclusion of Carrier on PUP has long been anticipated. He suffered a torn ACL in a December game in Chicago. His recovery is on schedule but he still has some work to do before he will be able to get on the field.

The name that Redskins fans did not want to see on this list was that of Doctson, the team’s first-round draft pick this year. He missed most of the offseason program with an Achilles injury and apparently it is still an issue.

Riley was a starting inside linebacker last year until he suffered a broken foot and missed the last six games of the season. He was expected to be back for the offseason program but he was seen on the sideline wearing a boot on the injured foot.

Lauvao suffered foot and ankle injuries in Week 3 last year and missed the entire season. He was seen using a scooter to get around Redskins Park in January so it’s not surprising that he isn’t ready to go. Jay Gruden said yesterday he believed that Lauvao would be ready soon.

Diggs’ injury is not known; Gruden will add some clarity to his and the other injuries when he meets with the press before practice this afternoon.

In addition, the team put OLB Junior Galette on the Reserve/Non-Football Injury list. He tore an Achilles' tendon working out on his own on Sunday.

The move takes Galette off of the team’s 90-man roster. The PUP list players continue to count against the limit.

MORE REDSKINS: GRUDEN SAYS FOCUS IS ON FOOTBALL, NOT CONTRACTS, WITH KIRK COUSINS

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Nats Stock Watch: When will Bryce Harper break out his funk?

Nats Stock Watch: When will Bryce Harper break out his funk?

Each week this season, we’ll take the temperature of the Nationals roster to see which player's stock is rising or falling.  

Record: 2-4

Team slash: .240/.307/.410

Team ERA: 4.56

Runs per game: 4.1

 

STOCK UP

Trea Turner, 2B/CF: .320 AVG, 4 RBI, 4 XBH, 4 SB, 5 R

It’s going to be hard for Dusty Baker to keep Turner out of the lineup, isn’t it?

In a short period of time, the recently-promoted 23-year-old infield prospect has already shown he deserves to be the Nats’ leadoff man for the foreseeable future. In the last nine days alone, the speedster notched three triples (two away from tying the team lead), two doubles and five stolen bases. That’s the kind of production Washington has sorely missed atop the lineup.

When the Nats played at Progressive Field in Cleveland, an American League ballpark, they had the luxury of playing Turner in center field, putting Ben Revere in left and making Jayson Werth the designated hitter. But when they begin their upcoming series in San Francisco, they’ll lose the DH, essentially forcing Baker to choose between Turner and Revere.

Are the Nats ready to make Turner the everyday center fielder over Revere?

Wilson Ramos, C: .478 AVG, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 1.346 OPS

For those who thought Ramos might come back to earth after the all-star break, think again. The 28-year-old catcher’s career year rolled on with another big week, raising his average to .336 — second-best in the NL to teammate Daniel Murphy.

Ramos now leads all big-league catchers in average, RBI, OPS and is tied for the top spot in home runs. Not too shabby.  

 

STOCK DOWN

Bryce Harper, RF: .050 AVG, 7 K, .180 OPS

At what point does an extended slump simply become a down season? Because after nearly three months of under performance, that appears to be where the Nats are with the reigning NL MVP.  

It's hard to explain why Harper hasn't quite looked like himself for so long — have pitchers found a weakness in his swing? Is he dealing with an unknown injury? Something else entirely?—but the 23-year-old phenom hasn't given any indication that he's going to get out of his funk anytime soon. He has just seven hits in his last 54 at-bats and a paltry .491 OPS over that span, which has dropped his average below .238 for the first time this year. For context, he's never finished below .270 for a season. 

So how do the Nats handle this? They've already tried moving Harper to the cleanup spot, and later bumped him up to the two-hole. Neither move has worked so far. So it looks like all they can do is keep putting him in the lineup and hope that his bat can somehow reignite during the pennant race.   

Jonathan Papelbon, RP: 4 GP, 2.2 IP, 1-2, 6 ER, BS

It seems fairly obvious that the Nats might have second thoughts about their closer. That’ll happen after someone allows the game-winning runs to score in consecutive losses, as Papelbon did earlier this week.

But even if the Nats openly admit they have an issue at the back end of the bullpen, then what?  

Well, in a weird way, Papelbon’s struggles have actually come at a fortuitous time. With the Aug. 1 non-waiver trade deadline fast approaching, the Nats still have time to acquire an additional ninth-inning option. The problem is that the top arms that are available like New York Yankees setup man Andrew Miller or Kansas City Royals closer Wade Davis will cost prospects that the Nats are unlikely willing to part with. 

In the meantime, the club still needs Papelbon to rebound down the stretch — whether that's in the closer role or not. 

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Dylan Bundy's brilliant night ends with 3-1 loss

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Dylan Bundy's brilliant night ends with 3-1 loss

BALTIMORE---Dylan Bundy had a dreamlike five innings. Everything was working. 

Bundy, in just his third major league start, had the Oriole Park fans excited. He was retiring Colorado Rockies, seemingly at will, and through five, he had a perfect inning. 

No one came close to reaching base. 

In the sixth, the dream ended as the Colorado Rockies hit two home runs and instead of something wonderful, Bundy had a painful defeat. 

The Rockies’ 3-1 win before 20,234 on Wednesday night, was just the second time this season the Orioles have lost a series. 

“He was the reason we were in that game,” manager Buck Showalter said. 

While Bundy was perfect for five innings, the Orioles (58-42) could do little against Jon Gray (7-4). 

Bundy (3-3) retired the first 16 Rockies (49-52) before he walked Mark Reynolds. Nick Hundley ended the no-hitter and shutout with a home run to left, his fifth. 

After DJ LeMahieu grounded back to Bundy, David Dahl hit his first major league home run, and Colorado led 3-0. 

“Just two mistakes, changeups that were up in the zone and they were able to tag them for homers. Maybe just a little more focus or location a little bit better in the sixth inning and you get out of that with six innings pitched and no harm done,” Bundy said. 

Bundy was out of the game after 5 2/3 innings. He struck out a career-high eight batters, including seven of the first 12. 

Chris Davis had the first hit off Gray, and his first hit after 24 hitless at-bats when he dropped a bunt down against the shift to start the second. 

Matt Wieters thought he had given the Orioles a 1-0 lead when he hit a long drive to right. It was ruled foul, and the call withstood a crew chief challenge. 

It wasn’t the only call that went against the Orioles. Colorado’s Carlos Gonzalez reached base in the ninth on an overturned call.

"I thought it was a home run. i think everybody felt like it was a home run. I actually thought the guy was out at first, but they overturned that one, too. I was really surprised at that one. He didn't beat the play. At the very best, he tied the play, which is not beating the play,” Showalter said.

In the fourth, Gray hit Adam Jones with a pitch. Jones took third on Hyun Soo Kim’s single, and stayed there on Manny Machado’s short fly to left. Davis walked to load the bases. 

The bases stayed loaded as Mark Trumbo popped out to second nbd Jonathan Schoop flied to center. 

Wieters doubled to start the fifth, but he stayed there. 

Machado hit his 21st home run with one out in the sixth for the Orioles’ only run.

Gray, who gave up one run on five hits in seven innings was replaced by Adam Ottavino for the eighth. 

Jones led off with a single. Kim bounced into what was called a double play, but Showalter challenged the call. Kim was ruled safe, but Jones was called out. Machado struck out, and Boone Logan struck out Davis, who is now 1-for-27.

Carlos Estevez got Trumbo to fly out to left, stretching his hitless streak to 17 at-bats. He quickly retired Schoop and Wieters for his 10th save. 

Trumbo and Schoop have played in each of the Orioles’ first 100 games. But, Trumbo didn’t have an All-Star break, and he doesn’t deny being a bit weary. 

“Doing the best I can to stay fresh. Kind of trying to pick and choose some spots. It’s this time of year where there’s a decent amount of wear and tear. You just have to gut it out. That’s what you have to do every year. You feel fortunate to have the ability to play every game, but this is kind of the grind that they talk about,” Trumbo said. 

You know, we fought through it. It's hard to keep the pace that we were at. Our pitching's been better, and we've been in more games. That's why we have a lead in our division right now because we've had other parts of the game pick it up."

The Orioles have averaged three runs per game over the past 16, and Showalter knows the offense has been lagging.

“You know, we fought through it. It's hard to keep the pace that we were at. Our pitching's been better, and we've been in more games. That's why we have a lead in our division right now because we've had other parts of the game pick it up,” Showalter said. 

NOTE: Ubaldo Jimenez (5-9, 7.38) faces Kyle Gibson (3-6, 4.67) as the Orioles play a makeup game in Minnesota on Thursday night.