Thumb injury keeps Bryce Harper out of game against Mets


Thumb injury keeps Bryce Harper out of game against Mets

Nationals manager Davey Johnson advised Bryce Harper to stay home rather than make the trip to Port St. Lucie for this afternoon’s Grapefruit League game against the New York Mets. So, the star left fielder nursing a swollen left thumb stayed behind. More from Johnson, via’s Joey Nowak: “I took him out after two…

Kris Letang suspended one game for Game 3 hit on Marcus Johansson


Kris Letang suspended one game for Game 3 hit on Marcus Johansson

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang wills erve a one-game suspension for his late, high hit on Capitals' forward Marcus Johansson in the first period of Game 3, the NHL announced on Tuesday afternoon.

As Johansson attempted to push the puck toward the Penguins' net, three players closed in on him.

As the puck scooted toward the boards, Letang led with his shoulders, leaving his feet and drilling Johansson in the head.

Letang was sent to the penalty box and Johansson was taken to the locker room, where he was cleared for a return. Johasson was not however, a participant in Capitals' practice on Tuesday morning.

Following Brooks Orpik's hit on Olli Maatta in Game 2, which garnered a three-game suspension, there was much debate as to what punishment Letang would receive. But after a hearing with the NHL on Tuesday morning, it was determined that Letang's hit was only worth a one-game suspension.

Justin Schultz is the likely candidate to dress in Letang's place. The Penguins were significantly worse without Letang during the regular season. The team went 2-8-1 in the 11 games he missed during the regular season. The team had a -10 goal differential in those 11 games and were just 4-for-30 on the power play without Letang.

Letang will miss Game 4, which takes place on Wednesday night at 8:15 p.m. ET in Pittsburgh.

Date officially announced for Maryland-Georgetown rematch in 2016


Date officially announced for Maryland-Georgetown rematch in 2016

It was known before Maryland renewed its rivalry with Georgetown in 2015 that there would be a sequel the following season in Washington, D.C. Reports recently said the same. Now, it is officially confirmed and a date has been set. 

The Terrapins will face the Hoyas on Nov. 15 at Verizon Center in D.C. as part of the 2016 Gavitt Tipoff Games, which pits Big Ten teams against Big East teams in matchups across the country.

Maryland won the inaugural Gavitt matchup between the two teams, 75-71, on Nov. 17, 2015 at XFINITY Center in College Park.

Referees on Dion Waiters' inbounds shove: 'Never seen before'

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Referees on Dion Waiters' inbounds shove: 'Never seen before'

If you went to bed Monday night before the final frantic seconds of Oklahoma City's Game 2 win over San Antonio then you missed a play nobody has ever seen before. That's not hyperbole, but rather what just about everyone from analyst Chris Webber in real time to the "Inside the NBA" crew following the game to the referees well after the fact.

That the referees reacted then and the day after as if Dion Waiters shoving Manu Ginobili while attempting to throw the ball inbounds compared to a UFO sighting is remarkable.

You can watch the entire sequence below, but here's an isolated look at the shove that changed the world.

Now, here's what the refs on the scene told a pool reporter following the Thunder's 98-97 win which evened the best-of-7 series 1-1.

On Tuesday afternoon, the The National Basketball Referees Association tweeted out the following statement.

Look, we get it, this play was rare if not a true unicorn. How to handle such a sequence isn't taught in official official's classes, cool. 

That doesn't mean go into deer-in-the-headlights mode. Go back and view the first clip above and note where the ref is positioned. If that guy can't see something squirrely happened then not sure what we're all doing here. 

Even if the "we've never seen this before" angle on the shove led to freezing in the moment, how about what Waiters did right after? Channeling Kris Kross with a jump isn't kosher for an inbounds passer in this situation.

Now, was Ginobili, as some have asserted, technically too close to the passer as the defender? Maybe, but that wasn't called either. If the refs whistle the play dead, discuss and call some sort of do-over because both were at fault, maybe that flies, but probably not. We've seen Ginobili's move thousands of times without a call. Apparently nobody has ever seen Waiters' infraction before. 

Here's a suggestion to those teaching the NBA referees on what should be the primary takeaway from this rarest of rare plays. Forget the shove or even the jump. Teach your refs how to think on their feet.