Tribune News Service
Sports Budget for Monday, March 4, 2019
Updated at 11 p.m. EST (0400 UTC)
This budget is now available at http://www.TribuneNewsService.com, with direct links to stories and art. See details at the end of the budget.
^Get to know Joe Lunardi, Mr. Bracketology<
BKC-BRACKETOLOGY-SPORTSPLUS:MS — The godfather of NCAA Tournament projections is courtside, coolly checking the pings on his phone before saddling up for his ESPN broadcast duties.
He has just crafted his first in-season men's basketball bracket projection on this November evening, revealing to his legion of followers which 68 teams he predicts will fight it out for four tickets to Minneapolis in April.
This is serious stuff — "Who's in?!" Who's out?!" — as sports debates go, but Joe Lunardi is stressing more about St. Joseph's vs. Illinois-Chicago.
1450 by Marcus Fuller in Philadelphia. MOVED
^Tiger Woods withdraws from Arnold Palmer Invitational due to neck injury<
^GLF-ARNOLDPALMER-WOODS:OS—<Tiger Woods is withdrawing from the Arnold Palmer Invitational due to a neck injury, delivering a big blow to the Orlando tournament that surged in popularity when he played last year.
Woods announced his decision in two posts on his Twitter account Monday afternoon.
"Unfortunately due to a neck strain that I've had for a few weeks, I'm forced to withdraw from the API," Woods posted.
450 by Iliana Lim n Romero and Edgar Thompson. MOVED
^Giants CEO Larry Baer taking immediate leave of absence<
BBN-GIANTS-BAER:SJ — San Francisco Giants CEO Larry Baer will take a leave of absence beginning immediately.
Baer, 61, was involved in a public altercation with his wife Pam, 59, in San Francisco on Friday.
The Giants board of directors issued a statement Monday announcing that Baer has requested to take time away from the organization.
"The Board of Directors of San Francisco Baseball Associates is closely monitoring the matter involving Giants President and CEO Larry Baer," read the statement.
500 by Kerry Crowley in Scottsdale, Ariz. MOVED
^Red Wings greats on what made Ted Lindsay memorable across decades<
^HKN-REDWINGS-LINDSAY:DE—<Henrik Zetterberg has a picture he can't wait to show his son when he is older.
The photo commemorates Zetterberg's 1,000th game in the NHL, on April 9, 2017, a milestone that coincided with the Detroit Red Wings' last game at Joe Louis Arena.
Lindsay passed away at 93 years old on Monday morning. He played for the Wings from 1944-57 and returned for his final NHL season in 1964-65. Lindsay helped the Wings win the Stanley Cup in 1950, '52, '54 and '55.
1150 by Helene St. James. MOVED
^Peter Schmuck: There's no baseball strike on the horizon, no matter what you've been hearing<
^BBO-SCHMUCK-COLUMN:BZ—<It has been a long time since anyone in a major league uniform talked seriously about going on strike, and there's a reason for that.
The damage done to the sport during the 1994-95 work stoppage was so great that it forced the players and owners to pursue a full generation of labor peace, but that era of good feelings apparently is nearing an end.
Players are grumbling about the multiyear free-agent slowdown that has left many capable veterans sitting at home well into spring training.
800 by Peter Schmuck. MOVED
^Steve Hummer: Chipper Jones is lean and keen on the Braves<
BBN-HUMMER-COLUMN:AT — Chipper Jones had reported back to Braves spring training, his first since being minted as a Hall of Famer in July, and notably has reported in shape.
He's back to his playing weight (225) at the age of 46 — although playing is not an option. It's hard enough to get him out of the house to coach young Braves hitters for a couple weeks in spring or appraise a prospect here or there over the course of a season.
800 by Steve Hummer in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. MOVED
^Behind Jon Lester, Cubs rotation looks to rebound after 2018's inconsistencies<
^BBN-CUBS-ROTATION:TB—< After leading the majors in starting pitching during their championship season in 2016, the Cubs dropped to seventh in 2017 and 10th last season.
While it wasn't as much of a concern in 2018 as was the vanishing offense, the rotation depth was lacking due to the injury and inconsistency of Yu Darvish combined with Tyler Chatwood's lost season.
But Chatwood has been demoted to a still-to-be-determined role, Darvish insisted Sunday he has the "best stuff" of his career, and old Cole Hamels appears to be morphing back into young Cole Hamels in his first full season with the Cubs.
800 by Paul Sullivan in Mesa, Ariz. MOVED
^Setting things straight about any Twins interest in Craig Kimbrel or Dallas Keuchel<
^BBA-TWINS-FREEAGENCY:MS—<Twins fans have been beating the drum for their favorite team to sign either left-hander Dallas Keuchel, closer Craig Kimbrel or both.
I'm here to tell you to put down those drums.
After checking around over the weekend, it would take a major change of events for the Twins to sign either pitcher and bring him into a training camp that started three weeks ago.
Let's start with Keuchel.
600 by La Velle E. Neal III. MOVED
^Scouts agree: Yankees can break the single-season home run record they set last year<
BBA-YANKEES-HOMERUNS:ND — First Brett Gardner and then Aaron Judge on Sunday gave voice to what rival scouts and talent evaluators have said about the potential of the Yankees' 2019 offense much of the offseason and into the first week-plus of exhibition games.
Basically, look out.
"We're going to hit more this year," Gardner said Sunday after homering twice against the Tigers in a split-squad game.
The "more" is homers, of course.
650 by Erik Boland in Tampa, Fla. MOVED
^Tigers' Michael Fulmer on his fastball: It will come, don't worry<
BBA-TIGERS-FULMER:DE — He knew the questions were coming, so after every few pitches during Monday afternoon's spring training start, Michael Fulmer would walk back to the mound and check the radar gun readings on the scoreboard.
For the most part, he saw the same thing he did in his first Grapefruit League start, his fastball sitting between 89-91 mph. But once — maybe even twice — he saw 93.
"That's why I was looking today," Fulmer said. "I had to get some answers ready."
800 by Anthony Fenech in Lakeland, Fla. MOVED
^Marlins prospect Jordan Yamamoto showcasing arm, and tattoos, as he builds on impressive season<
BBN-MARLINS-YAMAMOTO:FL — Jordan Yamamoto's mom wasn't thrilled when he came home with a surprise after his first season of professional ball.
Back in his home state of Hawaii, the Miami Marlins pitching prospect — then with the Milwaukee Brewers organization — unveiled a tattoo on his bicep, which prompted a swift reaction from his mother.
"She punched me," Yamamoto recalls, laughing. "She never liked it."
600 by Wells Dusenbury in Jupiter, Fla. MOVED
^Kershaw might not pitch on Opening Day<
^BBN-DODGERS-KERSHAW:LA—<Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts acknowledged for the first time on Monday that ace Clayton Kershaw, who has been slowed this spring by shoulder inflammation, may not be ready for the March 28 season opener against Arizona.
Roberts named Kershaw as the opening-day starter on Feb. 19, the first day the Dodgers held full-squad workouts. The next day, the three-time National League Cy Young Award winner's shoulder flared up, and the left-hander stopped throwing for four days.
400 by Mike DiGiovanna in Phoenix. MOVED
^Padres lose Travis Jankowski to broken wrist<
BBN-PADRES-JANKOWSKI:SD — The Padres will be without outfielder Travis Jankowski for a significant amount of time after tests confirmed he broke his left wrist diving for a ball on Sunday.
Jankowski's ability to fill in late in games on defense at all three spots and on the bases is unmatched among the players remaining in their crowded outfield.
200 by Kevin Acee in Peoria, Ariz. MOVED
^Inside Colin Kaepernick and John Carlos' everlasting bond: 'Players change but the game stays the same'<
^FBN-KAEPERNICK-CARLOS:NY—<Nearly a half-century before Colin Kaepernick took a knee, John Carlos and Tommie Smith raised a fist.
The sight of two black American athletes, one a gold medalist and the other a bronze, standing on the podium with their heads bowed and their black leather glove encased fists in the air while the National anthem played at the Mexico City Olympics, became one of the most iconic images of the 1960s.
1250 by Wallace Matthews. MOVED
^Sam Mellinger: Eric Berry and the Chiefs should've been better for each other<
^FBN-MELLINGER-COLUMN:KC—<Eric Berry was drafted two general managers ago with Hall of Fame expectations. He grew into stardom before a torn knee and then an ankle sprain and then a form of cancer and most recently a torn Achilles took the luster off the career of an athlete who was once the most popular man in Kansas City.
Now, he is the most awkward fit in town, and perhaps the entire league.
Here we are, then, in the beginning of what will almost certainly be Eric Berry's last offseason with the Chiefs.
900 by Sam Mellinger. MOVED
^Larry Stone: Kyler Murray should thank fellow 'too-short QB' Russell Wilson for paving the way<
^FBN-STONE-COLUMN:SE—<Is he too short to be an elite NFL quarterback, or will his dynamic talent be enough to overcome the lingering prejudice against quarterbacks who stand under six-feet tall? Here's Mike Mayock weighing in:
"He's not typical and he's too short and all those things. However, to me, he's a winner. Doesn't matter where you plug him in. He finds a way to win. I think he's the kind of guy that might develop more than people think."
1200 by Larry Stone. MOVED
^Cowboys plan on placing another franchise tag on DeMarcus Lawrence<
^FBN-COWBOYS-LAWRENCE:FT—<The Dallas Cowboys plan to place the franchise tag on star defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, sources tell the Star-Telegram.
However, do not expect Lawrence to agree to the tag, to have shoulder surgery, or attend any of the OTAs or other offseason workouts until a long deal is agreed to.
The 2019 franchise tag of $20.5 million is the floor. Chicago Bears defensive end Khalil Mack's 6-year, $141 million contract that includes a $34 million signing bonus, $90 million guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $23.5 million is the ceiling.
350 by Clarence E. Hill Jr. MOVED
^Seahawks place franchise tag on Frank Clark but will keep working toward long-term deal<
^FBN-SEAHAWKS-CLARK:SE—<Seahawks coach Pete Carroll had said for months the team would not let defensive end Frank Clark, whose initial four-year rookie contract ran out after last season, get away.
And the team made sure of that — for at least the 2019 season, anyway — by placing the franchise tag on him Monday afternoon.
The Seahawks have been talking to Clark and his representatives for months and have been hoping to get a long-term deal done with the defensive end, who was set to become an unrestricted free agent on March 13.
450 by Alex Iniguez. MOVED
^Eagles and Isaac Seumalo agree to three-year contract extension<
^FBN-EAGLES-SEUMALO:PHI—<The Eagles continued their busy start to the month by agreeing to a three-year contract extension with offensive lineman Isaac Seumalo on Monday, locking up a player who could be part of the Eagles' starting offensive line for the foreseeable future.
Seumalo, 25, had one year remaining on his rookie contract after the team selected him in the third round of the 2016 draft. He's now under contract through 2022.
Seumalo finished last season as the team's starting left guard, a role he had actually lost to Stefen Wisniewski early in the 2017 season.
300 by Zach Berman. MOVED
^Giants have one more day to decide on Landon Collins' future with team<
^FBN-GIANTS-COLLINS:ND—<Landon Collins' future in football can go in any number of directions, but all of those various paths begin at the same point: With a decision by Giants general manager Dave Gettleman by 4 p.m. on Tuesday.
That's the deadline for the Giants if they wish to use the franchise tag on the pending free-agent safety, and it will set the course for Collins' immediate and long-term career.
500 by Tom Rock. MOVED
^Chiefs officially place franchise tag on defensive stalwart Dee Ford<
^FBN-CHIEFS-FORD:KC—<The Chiefs have officially placed the franchise tag on Dee Ford.
The widely anticipated move was finalized on Monday afternoon, a league source told The Star.
"He was at the top of his game," general manager Brett Veach said of Ford's 2018 season. "Really, when we drafted Dee (Ford) a few years ago, all those things that we envisioned for him, he kind of showed that he was that player."
Though the Chiefs intend to keep Ford through the 2019 season, their move to a 4-3 alignment could make Ford a top trade target.
350 by Brooke Pryor. MOVED
^The winners and losers from NFL scouting combine<
FBN-SCOUTING-COMBINE-WINNERS-LOSERS:AT — Mississippi wide receiver D.K. Metcalf stole the show at the NFL scouting combine.
First it was the pictures of his chiseled physique, which caused Raiders coach Jon Gruden to say he was "built like a house."
"A lot of people hit me up, 'what's your workout plan' and I'm like, I'm just training for the combine,' " Metcalf said after the pictures went viral on social media.
Then Metcalf, who left school after his redshirt sophomore season, ran the 40-yard dash in 4.33 seconds. He lifted 225 pounds 27 times on the bench press.
800 by D. Orlando Ledbetter in Indianapolis. MOVED
^Warriors intend to sign Andrew Bogut<
^BKN-WARRIORS-BOGUT:SJ—<The Warriors plan on signing a center that became an integral piece of their 2014-15 championship team. They intend to sign former Andrew Bogut for the remainder of the season once he receives a letter of release from the Sydney Kings of Australia's National Basketball League, according to Yahoo! Sports.
The Warriors have become interested in reuniting with Bogut "for a while," according to a team source, after playing four seasons for them (2012-2016). But the Warriors remained flexible on how they would fill out their 15th and final roster spot.
300 by Mark Medina. MOVED
^Dieter Kurtenbach: Why Andrew Bogut is the perfect pick-up for the Warriors<
BKN-KURTENBACH-COLUMN:SJ — The Warriors are poised to add another league MVP to play alongside Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry this season.
Though, I should clarify, it's the MVP of the National Basketball League.
The Warriors are engaged in negotiations to sign former Dub Andrew Bogut to a contract that will last the remainder of the season. The 7-foot Australian — who won a title with the Warriors in 2015 — will need to obtain a work visa and receive FIBA clearance to come back stateside.
1000 by Dieter Kurtenbach in Oakland, Calif. MOVED
^Heat's Goran Dragic remains sidelined by strained left calf<
^BKN-HEAT-DRAGIC:FL—<Goran Dragic was ruled out Monday for the Miami Heat's game against the Atlanta Hawks, held out for a second consecutive game due to what the team is listing as a strained left calf.
The Heat, however, did get center Hassan Whiteside back after he had missed the previous three games with a strained left calf, sustained in last Monday's loss to the visiting Phoenix Suns.
150 by Ira Winderman in Miami. MOVED
^David Murphy: Fair or not, the pressure is all on the Sixers' Brett Brown<
^BKN-MURPHY-COLUMN:PHI—<The biggest development in Sixersland this weekend wasn't the game. That's not an uncommon occurrence for this organization, even on a weekend where the defending NBA champs are in town. This time, it was the man at the top of the food chain making waves. Or, at least, raising an eyebrow or two.
Even if you did not get a chance to catch Josh Harris' comments to ESPN, you better believe coach Brett Brown did.
900 by David Murphy. MOVED
^Kristaps Porzingis' transition to Mavericks going well, says coach Rick Carlisle<
BKN-MAVS-PORZINGIS:ND — Kristaps Porzingis returned to New York for the first time since the blockbuster NBA trade deadline deal that sent him from the Knicks to the Mavericks. Although Porzingis is traveling with the Mavs and working out with their trainers and coaching staff as he continues his recovery from reconstructive knee surgery, the 7-3 forward adopted a low profile before the Mavs played the Nets Monday night at Barclays Center, declining to speak with reporters.
450 by Greg Logan in New York. MOVED
^Dwyane Wade outduels Vince Carter as Heat escape 114-113 against Hawks<
BKN-HAWKS-HEAT:FL — A week after losing to the Phoenix Suns, it was almost another Monday nightmare for the Miami Heat.
And then Dwyane Wade stepped up his play in a battle for the aged.
Sparking the Heat with seven consecutive fourth-quarter points, Wade helped settle the Heat in what turned into a 114-113 victory over the Atlanta Hawks at AmericanAirlines Arena.
"He's playing his best basketball of the season now," coach Erik Spoelstra said. "That's textbook Hall of Fame poise."
400 by Ira Winderman in Miami. MOVED
^Nets snap skid in big way with 39-point win over Mavericks<
BKN-MAVS-NETS:ND — On Saturday in Miami, Kenny Atkinson was in a quandary after watching his team fall apart for the third straight game against a losing team and seemingly lose touch with the midseason mojo that carried the Nets into surprising playoff contention. But whatever the Nets had lost, they found it again after lineup changes by Atkinson triggered a 127-88 blowout of the Mavericks on Monday night at Barclays Center.
550 by Greg Logan in New York. MOVED
TNS expects coverage from the following games:
New York at Sacramento, 10 p.m.
LA Clippers at LA Lakers, 10:30 p.m.
^Jeff Seidel: There was nothing Terrible about Ted Lindsay, except those deep scars<
^HKN-SEIDEL-COLUMN:DE—<The scars on Ted Lindsay's face told the story of Terrible Ted — one of the best to ever play in the NHL.
"Every one of those scars told a different story," said Bill Roose, the former Free Press sports writer who edited a book about Lindsay.
Lindsay, the Detroit Red Wings icon who died Monday morning at age 93, was a beloved superstar. Even after his playing days were done, he remained a part of the fabric of Hockeytown. Everybody seems to have a heart-felt story about Lindsay.
850 by Jeff Seidel. MOVED
^Rangers' trade of Mats Zuccarello was tough for Henrik Lundqvist, Mika Zibanejad<
HKN-RANGERS-ZUCCARELLO-TRADE:ND — The pain was etched right there on Henrik Lundqvist's face. No goalie's mask to hide it.
There were tears in his eyes and emotion in his voice. He tried to spit out some words to reporters the day after his pal, Mats Zuccarello, got traded by the rebuilding Rangers to Dallas on Feb. 23, but he quickly had to give up because he was choked up.
"Even though it was talked about for the longest time, it was shocking that it actually happened," Lundqvist said after practice Monday at MSG Training Center.
400 by Brian Heyman in Greenburgh, N.Y. MOVED
^Red Wings great left his mark on and off the ice<
^HKN-NHL-LESSONS:LA—<What we learned over the last week in the NHL.
850 by Helene Elliott. MOVED
^Josh Rosen is among former UCLA athletes back hitting the books<
^FBC-UCLA-ROSEN:LA—<Football or school? School or football?
For three years, Josh Rosen felt like he was being torn between two great loves.
"You can't put as much into one thing as you want," Rosen said, "and I felt like I was shortchanging football a little bit by giving school so much time."
That didn't stop the quarterback from starring in both endeavors during his time at UCLA, becoming the school's single-season passing leader in 2017 and a five-time member of the athletic director's honor roll.
1150 by Ben Bolch. MOVED
^Zion Williamson in final phase of recovery, his return to Duke is close<
BKC-DUKE-WILLIAMSON:RA — No. 4 Duke's time without national player of the year candidate Zion Williamson is nearing its end.
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said Monday that Williamson has entered the final phase of his recovery from a sprained knee, meaning his return to game action could come as soon as this week.
Krzyzewski did not rule out Williamson playing in Tuesday night's home finale against Wake Forest at 7 p.m.
"There's no decision," Krzyzewski said. "It is still day-to-day. But he's in phase four of the four-phase program."
400 by Steve Wiseman in Durham, N.C. MOVED
^'We're not the same team.' Kentucky's failure to force turnovers a big reason why<
^BKC-KENTUCKY-FORCETURNOVERS:LX—<Kentucky's opponents in the last month or so have been turning the ball over fewer times. Therefore, as logic would dictate, UK has been scoring fewer points off turnovers.
In the last seven games, opponents have averaged 8.4 turnovers. UK has averaged 10.9 points off those turnovers.
That's a dramatic change from the season's first 22 games when opponents averaged 14.7 turnovers, and Kentucky averaged 18.9 points off turnovers.
700 by Jerry Tipton. MOVED
TNS expects coverage from the following games featuring teams in the AP top 25:
No. 18 Kansas State at TCU, 9 p.m. EST
Texas at No. 8 Texas Tech, 9 p.m.
^Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany to step down in 2020<
^BIGTEN-DELANY:TB—<Jim Delany will be remembered for his moxie, his business savvy, his willingness to green-light a national football playoff and his questionable decision to let Rutgers and Maryland in the Big Ten.
Delany — who will step down as Big Ten commissioner in 2020, the conference announced Monday — added Nebraska and a Big Ten football championship game. He clashed with some schools and coaches, including Northwestern's Pat Fitzgerald, by adding Friday night football games. He took a shot at the SEC regarding academic standards for football signees.
650 by Teddy Greenstein. MOVED
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