Melky Cabrera could be in big trouble with MLB

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Melky Cabrera could be in big trouble with MLB

From Comcast SportsNet
NEW YORK (AP) -- An associate of San Francisco Giants All-Star Melky Cabrera purchased a website and attempted to create evidence to support a claim that the outfielder inadvertently took the substance that caused a positive drug test, Major League Baseball said. Baseball officials uncovered the scheme as Cabrera prepared his case to challenge the test. Cabrera's grievance then was dropped, and MLB announced a 50-game suspension Wednesday. The New York Daily News first reported on the scheme Sunday. A team of six-to-seven investigators from MLB spent several weeks working to uncover the plan, a baseball official familiar with the probe told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because MLB didn't authorize anyone to discuss the matter publicly. It's the first such case MLB has had and officials hope that uncovering the scheme will discourage similar attempts. The person said baseball had referred the case to federal investigators. A second baseball official, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said additional discipline against Cabrera was unlikely. Cabrera, MVP of the All-Star game last month, tested positive for testosterone, MLB said. The person said Juan Nunez, who works with Cabrera's agents, purchased an existing website and attempted to alter it in a manner that would allow Cabrera to claim the positive test was caused by a substance obtained through the website. The News reported Nunez paid 10,000 for the website. "If you create a new website, you would know when the website was created," the baseball official said. "At least they were smart enough to buy an existing website." The baseball official said MLB investigators were able to use their forensic resources to trace the website back to Nunez. Cabrera is represented by brothers Sam and Seth Levinson of ACES, a sports management company based in Brooklyn. The Levinsons told the Daily News that Nunez was a "paid consultant" of their agency. "The MLBPA has clearly stated that ACES has no connection to the website or this matter and, as reported, Juan Nunez has taken full responsibility for his acts," Seth Levinson told The Associated Press. "There is nothing more we can add and we will allow our reputation in the industry for 27 years to speak for itself." The second baseball official said MLB intends to ask the Major League Baseball Players Association, which regulates agents, to follow up on the situation at ACES. Cabrera was enjoying the best season of his big league career, helping the Giants contend for a postseason berth. He was hitting .346 with 11 homers and 60 RBIs, but will miss the rest of the regular season and the start of the playoffs, if the Giants advance that far. A former member of the New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves and Kansas City Royals, Cabrera is eligible for free agency after the World Series. San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy declined to discuss the allegations against Cabrera before the Giants played the Padres in San Diego. He didn't defend his player's actions, either. "You can be world-class parents and your kids can go south or have some issues. We can't follow guys 247, and it comes down to choices. (Cabrera) is a grown man, he's a veteran," Bochy said. "These are unfortunate things and we'll continue to work at cleaning out baseball."

Venus Williams to play with Washington Kastles; Watch live on CSN

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USA TODAY Sports

Venus Williams to play with Washington Kastles; Watch live on CSN

Fresh off of her Wimbledon final performance, Venus Williams is set to make her first home appearance of the season for the Washington Kastles this week. 

Heading into the final week of their home schedule, the Kastles have announced that Williams will play in the contest against the Springfield Lasers on Tuesday, July 25. Already the organization has announced that the match that will take place at the Charles E. Smith Center in Foggy Bottom is sold-out. 

This will be the sixth appearance for the older Williams sister on the Kastles roster.

The seven-time major champion will be joined on Tuesday by 2017 Wimbledon semi-finalist Sam Querrey, Bruno Soares, Treat Huey, Anastasia Rodionova, and Madison Brengle.

The entire contest between the Kastles and Lasers will be broadcasted live on Comcast Mid-Atlantic and online through CSNMA's live player. Match play and coverage is set to begin at 7:00 p.m. ET.

So far the Kastles are 3-3 in World Team Tennis Standings heading into their Monday night match against the Philadelphia Freedoms. 

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Redskins' Jay Gruden ranked highest of all NFC East coaches by For The Win

Redskins' Jay Gruden ranked highest of all NFC East coaches by For The Win

Jay Gruden doesn't always get a lot of attention from national media, which should be considered something of a victory for the Redskins after all of the focus on his predecessor Mike Shanahan. 

But looking at Gruden's work over three years, he does deserve some recognition for taking the team from 4-12 his first season to consecutive winning records, including an NFC East title in 2015. 

Steven Ruiz, writing for USA TODAY's For The Win, gave the Redskins coach some love in a ranking of all 32 NFL head coaches. 

He slotted Gruden at No. 12, above all other NFC East coaches. 

Ruiz cites Gruden's unflappability amid personnell and front office changes, as well as his development of Kirk Cousins into a franchise quarterback in a very productive Redskins offense. 

MORE REDSKINS: Pair of Redskins rookies could start season on NFI list

Ruiz ranks Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett at No. 16, reasoning that it's not hard to succeed when you pair one of the best offensive lines in the league with superstar rookies Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott. 

New York's Ben McAddo and Philadelphia's Doug Pederson rank No. 21 and 26, respectively. 

Interestingly, two Redskins offensive coordinators who've since taken head coaching jobs – Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay – fall way behind at No. 29 and 30. Both coaches have been rumored draws for Cousins once he hits free agency in 2018. 

Going back to Gruden, he deserves credit beyond giving Cousins the starting QB job. He's become well-liked and respected by Washington's players despite dealing with big-personality additions like DeSean Jackson and Josh Norman.

After the Redskins finished his first season with a 4-12 record, the team rebounded to win the NFC East in 2015 and then narrowly missed the playoffs with an 8-7 record in 2016. 

If Cousins plays up to his one-year, $24 million franchise tag, Gruden has a chance to continue building his coaching reputation.