Pitcher banned 8 games for illegal substance

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Pitcher banned 8 games for illegal substance

From Comcast SportsNet
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Tampa Bay reliever Joel Peralta was suspended for eight games by Major League Baseball on Thursday for having pine tar on his glove. Peralta has appealed, and can continue to play until the process is complete. The Rays were at Washington on Thursday night. Peralta was ejected from Tuesday night's game in Washington after umpires found pine tar on his mitt. The incident led to a verbal spat between managers Joe Maddon of the Rays and Davey Johnson of the Nationals. "I just know that we're appealing right now so I've got to sit tight and see," Peralta said. "I'm allowed to pitch today and that's all I care about right now." Peralta, who pitched for the Nationals during the 2010 season, said his former teammates approached him before Wednesday's game and were supportive. He didn't suspect that they turned him in. "I knew it wasn't them," Peralta said. "I knew when they did it was not coming from the players. That made me feel good. I know they like me." He said he didn't know Johnson. "I don't know why he did it," Peralta said. "I would like to know, but I'm not gonna ask that." Maddon feels the suspension is excessive. "Of course it's too much, and of course it's unfair, but that's the way they came down with it and it's gonna be up to them to try and manipulate it," Maddon said. Johnson declined to comment on the suspension on Thursday afternoon. Peralta hopes to get the suspension reduced. "First time it's ever happened to me. I don't know what to think. I don't know what to expect," Peralta said. "It feels a little relief to know at least what it's gonna be." After Tuesday's game, Maddon denounced Johnson's actions as cowardly, bush and bogus. Johnson retorted that Maddon should "read the rule book" and that he was "a weird wuss." During the 1988 National League championship series, Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Jay Howell was suspended for three games after being caught with pine tar on his glove. The suspension was reduced by a game by appeal. In that series, Johnson was the manager of the Dodgers' opponent, the New York Mets.

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Jonathan Allen pick allows the Redskins more freedom the rest of the draft

Jonathan Allen pick allows the Redskins more freedom the rest of the draft

After taking Jonathan Allen in the first-round of the NFL draft, the Redskins not only found themselves with one of the top players in the draft. They found themselves with some freedom as they navigate their final nine picks of this draft.

Regardless of how much the Redskins may talk openly about just letting the draft come to them and taking the best available player regardless of need, they needed to come out of this draft with serious help on the defensive line they would be in trouble. A line that hasn’t been very good for a while lost its two best players in Chris Baker (free agency) and Ricky Jean Francois (released). Although they did bring in free agents Stacy McGee and Terrell McClain they still wouldn’t have felt comfortable going into the season with the linemen they had.

RELATED: Redskins land Jonathan Allen with top pick

They also came in looking for an edge rusher. That's still a need but Allen's ability to get after the quarterback from the inside will help if they can't land a player who can rush from the outside.

And Allen was their only real shot at getting that D-line upgrade in the first round. After they took him off the board with the 17th pick there were edge players taken during the remainder of the first round but no player who can play inside in a 3-4 defense and be effective against the run and rushing the passer.

What this does for the Redskins later today and tomorrow is allow them to do what they said they would do in the first place—take the best available player. They can go for a “luxury” pick like a running back if one is there. They don’t have to be concerned about the line if they look at getting an inside linebacker with an eye towards 2018, when Will Compton, Mason Foster, and Zach Brown. With a deep draft in the defensive backfield, if there is a safety or cornerback they want they can grab him, knowing that they line has not been neglected. If a wide receiver represents an upgrade over the depth that they have they can turn in the card on him.

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins not concerned about Allen's shoulders 

It also should be noted that there still is plenty of room to add another D-lineman or two. Besides losing Baker and Francois they have not re-signed Cullen Jenkins or Kedric Golston. More youth and energy added to the line would be welcome. One of those linemen should be a nose tackle, although with Allen in the house they now can slide McGee into the middle if they don't get a nose in the draft.

In short, the pressure is off. They can use their last nine picks to try to add some good players at any position or they can earmark some to move up the draft board to try to land some targeted players.

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: Revisiting defensive fails last time Wizards played in Atlanta

Morning tip: Revisiting defensive fails last time Wizards played in Atlanta

ATLANTA -- It seems like a copout when a team suggests that it's "team defense" that was at fault in a key playoff loss, but that was exactly the case in Game 4 for the Wizards. They had a road game in hand with a chance to go up 3-1 vs. the Atlanta Hawks.

Instead, they returned to D.C. tied 2-2 after a 111-101 loss on Monday at Phillips Arena. 

Dennis Schroder didn't score all 18 of his points in the second half, after going scoreless in the first 24 minutes with foul trouble, because John Wall was an open door. There were breakdowns everywhere, from Bradley Beal to Jason Smith to Markieff Morris to Kelly Oubre and others.

The Hawks shot 12 of 31 on threes for 38.7%. The reason Schroder, Kent Bazemore, Ersan Ilyasova and  Tim Hardaway knocked them down is because of they were given too much space when the Wizards went under screens and relied on the help to switch onto the shooters.

The evidence is ample and this is an area the Wizards will likely change or be much more aggressive in how they execute if they hope to close out tonight in Game 6:

The switches were late or they were too often indecisive on when to say when. That's a relatively easy fix for the Wizards, but it's those small details that'll determine whether this series ends tonight or goes to a Game 7 on Sunday.