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."

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Allen is saying the Redskins want to keep Cousins but what is he doing?

Allen is saying the Redskins want to keep Cousins but what is he doing?

Redskins president Bruce Allen said that the organization doesn’t want to trade Kirk Cousins even though they don’t appear to want to do what it takes to keep him around in the long term.

Despite all the media buzz surrounding a potential Redskins trade of Cousins in 2017, Allen says that the team has firm plans to have Cousins behind center in Week 1.

“That’s why we franchised him,” Allen told CSN on Sunday at the NFL owners meetings in Arizona.

What about all the trade talk in the media?

"We haven't talked to anyone [about a trade]," he said.

So it sounds like you can take a Sharpie and put Cousins as the starting QB. Or maybe not.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 6.0

The period of time from around mid-February until the end of the draft is known around the league as the lying season. The words uttered by the people in Allen’s position are not always put out there in the interest of disseminating the truth. In fact, what is said by NFL executives and coaches is more often about subterfuge and trying to gain leverage than about painting an accurate picture.

The fact remains that trading Cousins could be the smart thing for the Redskins to do if they don’t believe they will be able to come to a long-term contract agreement with their quarterback. They would run a very real risk of losing him as a free agent in 2018 with the only compensation being a 2019 third-round compensatory draft pick.

According to Allen, the organization wants to get Cousins to sign a long-term contract.

“Our goal from the beginning was to sign him long term, July 15 is the league wide deadline to get that done so I’m hopeful and confident we’ll do it,” said Allen.

MORE REDSKINS: Need to Know: Year 3 huge for Preston Smith

It remains to be seen if the Redskins are going to put forth a contract offer that would make sense for the Cousins camp to consider. Cousins will make nearly $24 million fully guaranteed this year on the franchise tag and the Redskins would have to offer him about $28 million guaranteed on the transition tag to prevent him from becoming a free agent next year. Working off that, the Redskins’ offer needs to come up with around $52 million fully guaranteed in the first two years. In early March the team was reported to be offering around $20 million per year with unspecified guarantees. There is Grand Canyon of a gap between that offer and the reality of what it would take to get a deal done.

So the Redskins’ end game remains unclear. Allen says Cousins will be behind center in 2017 even though a trade might make more sense. The team president says he wants to get Cousins signed to a long-term deal but there hasn’t been a report of a contract offer that would even come close to getting that done.

The adage to keep in mind here is that you should not listen to what they say but watch what they do. Allen could be telling it like it is but the situation still bears watching.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Morning tip: Pressure lightens for Wizards' starting 5 to be great every time

Morning tip: Pressure lightens for Wizards' starting 5 to be great every time

LOS ANGELES -- During their previous five-game road trip, the Wizards were able to pull out four heart-stopping victories with two of them comebacks in overtime. That was two weeks go, and they've begun this one by upsetting the Clevlend Cavaliers on their home floor.

What set up that 127-115 win Saturday was what took place Friday in the first game of a back-to-back. They routed the Brooklyn Nets 129-108 in a game in which they never were threatened. No starter played more than 24 minutes. That made it easier for the reerves to step in.

"We really locked in, did our job, got the guys some extra minutes rest and it paid off," coach Scott Brooks said. 

This is how elite teams are able to develop their benches heading into the postseason. The Wizards (45-28) didn't have thier leading bench scorer, Bojan Bogdanovic, vs. Cleveland because of lower back stiffness the following night but that was OK.

Second-year forward Kelly Oubre filled that void by shooting 7 of 8 for 16 points and a team-high seven rebounds. Jason Smith continued to show three-point range and an ability to switch onto perimeter players. His play gives Brooks options in the middle behind Marcin Gortat. He can go to Smith or starter Markieff Morris with his smaller lineups or Ian Mahinmi who is a traditional big.

They Wizards have been able to win with Gortat, Morris and even Otto Porter not producing the type of offense now that they posted before the All-Star break. More than any other team in the NBA, all starting five for the Wizards have posted more double-digit scoring games than any other in the NBA. Gortat has stuggled the most and has seen his minutes reduced significantly.

"You don’t need everybody to play at a high level offensively. They just have to play at a high level energy and commitment, focusing on doing the things to help the team win. It’s not about  minutes," Brooks said. "I keep telling all of our guys, 'If you want minutes, you just play well. You get extra minutes. And if you play we’ll you’re still going to get some sub time.'

"We have a good bench and we’re going to use it. Ian has done a great job. Jason has done a good job. It’s not what March has done. He hasn’t played well but our guys have stepped up and played well but he’s going to bounce back."

The Wizards scored 40 points in the first quarter in Cleveland. John Wall set the tone by pushing the tempo even when they didn't have numbers in transition and still got uncontested layups.

Tuesday, it's a game at the L.A. Lakers in the first game of a back-to-back. They should put them away early, too.