Tribune News Service
Sports Budget for Saturday, August 24, 2019
Updated at 6 p.m. EDT (2200 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.
^Inside the Philadelphia basketball league for homeless men: 'It helps me to realize who I really am'<
BKO-HOMELESS-LEAGUE-SPORTSPLUS:PH — This basketball game began with a bucket, right off the tipoff, and then a matching bucket, and another bucket. Finally, somebody missed.
Every Wednesday this summer, in a little gym just off a courtyard in the back of the historic Church of the Advocate at Diamond and Gratz Streets in North Philadelphia, there's a men's hoops league, the quality more or less the same as most any community league in Philadelphia.
1350 by Mike Jensen in Philadelphia. MOVED
^UCF QB McKenzie Milton says he has 100% recovered from nerve damage<
FBC-UCF-MILTON:OS — UCF quarterback McKenzie Milton says he has fully recovered from nerve damage in his injured leg, sharing more updates on his remarkable recovery during an appearance on ESPN's College GameDay broadcast from Magic Kingdom on Saturday morning.
Milton suffered a catastrophic knee injury during UCF's 2018 regular-season finale at USF, damaging nerves and blood flow so severely that it nearly forced doctors to amputate his leg.
550 by Iliana Limon Romero, Matt Murschel and Brant Parsons in Orlando, Fla. MOVED
^MLB reinforces Players Weekend cap policy after Cubs go rogue<
BBN-CUBS-PLAYERSWEEKEND:TB — The all-black and all-white Players Weekend uniforms have been panned by players, managers, media and fans, including Cubs manger Joe Maddon, who politely called them "awkward" looking.
The Cubs even went rogue on Friday, letting their players all wear traditional blue hats, which MLB didn't like.
"The pitcher (Jon Lester) was supposed to wear a black hat and (position players) were supposed to wear white," Maddon said. "So they got together and figured (for) uniformity we'd all wear the same hat. A solidarity kind of a move."
Asked if MLB was giving teams some leeway, Maddon laughed.
400 by Paul Sullivan in Chicago. MOVED
^Padres rookie Tatis not planning to change his game<
BBN-PADRES-TATIS:SD — A fractured left thumb, on a head-first slide into second base, ended Fernando Tatis Jr.'s only Double-A campaign in July 2018. He missed 34 games earlier this year when he strained his hamstring attempting a yoga-like stretch at second base. Yet even with a stress reaction in his lower back likely ending his first big league season — and any hopes of winning NL Rookie of the Year honors — the Padres' 20-year-old shortstop has no plans to change his "Wild Horse" tendencies.
"No — absolutely not," Tatis said. "It (injuries) is part of it, but I'm not going to change nothing at all."
450 by Jeff Sanders in San Diego. MOVED
^Phillies send struggling pitcher Nick Pivetta to Triple-A Lehigh Valley again<
BBN-PHILLIES-PIVETTA:PH — Nick Pivetta emptied his locker Saturday afternoon at Marlins Park, stuffed his belongings into a red duffle bag and headed for the second time this season to the minor leagues.
The Phillies allowed themselves last winter to dream about Pivetta when they opted against upgrading their starting rotation, believing the right-hander with the powerful fastball would emerge.
Instead, Pivetta was optioned to Triple-A three weeks into the season and transitioned last month to the bullpen. And there he was Saturday afternoon, leaving the clubhouse with his bags after being optioned again to Triple-A.
400 by Matt Breen in Philadelphia. MOVED
TNS expects coverage from the following games:
Washington at Chicago Cubs, 2:20 p.m. EDT
NY Yankees at LA Dodgers, 4:05 p.m.
Philadelphia at Miami, 6:10 p.m.
Tampa Bay at Baltimore, 7:05 p.m.
LA Angels at Houston, 7:10 p.m.
Atlanta at NY Mets, 7:10 p.m.
Detroit at Minnesota, 7:10 p.m.
Kansas City at Cleveland, 7:10 p.m.
Texas at Chicago White Sox, 7:10 p.m.
Colorado at St. Louis, 7:15 p.m.
Boston at San Diego, 8:40 p.m.
San Francisco at Oakland, 9:07 p.m.
Toronto at Seattle, 9:10 p.m.
^Bob Ford: The lesson of Nick Foles: Backup quarterbacks don't matter until they do<
FBN-FORD-COLUMN:PH — There is no truth as universally accepted in the NFL as the one that dictates a championship team must have an elite quarterback mostly responsible for the winning.
On the flip side, nothing is more certain to derail the hopes for a Super Bowl as losing that franchise quarterback to injury during the season. Injuries happen, and having one happen to the quarterback is extremely bad luck, but that's pretty much the end, buddy.
950 by Bob Ford in Philadelphia. MOVED
^Omar Kelly: Dolphins coach Brian Flores made a rookie mistake by creating a distraction with Jay-Z playlist<
FBN-KELLY-COLUMN:FL — A Miami Dolphins rookie made a rookie mistake.
For most rookies this level of error in judgment, or poor execution would have gotten them called into Brian Flores' office, but in this instance the Dolphins' head coach can't exactly discipline himself.
But maybe Flores should.
Flores, the man who has consistently preached about putting the team ahead of self, and minimizing distractions, put his own agenda over the franchise's best interest this week.
700 by Omar Kelly in Miami Gardens, Fla. MOVED
^David Haugh: Bears can be great in 2019 if Mitch Trubisky is merely good<
FBN-HAUGH-COLUMN:TB — Every August tempts me to make a list of the most ridiculous NFL offseason lists, but then I would risk being exposed as a hypocrite.
I love every last list and look forward to the annual overanalysis. I like the way some debates become arguments that raise blood pressure and drive radio shows. Collectively, they mean nothing in the grand scheme of things but everything to the conversation in passionate sports cities like ours. The latest hubbub came this week courtesy of Pro Football Focus, the respected analytics website that had the audacity to rank Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky 26th at the position.
950 by David Haugh in Chicago. MOVED
^Bryce Miller: XFL, Browns, Nebraska football signal everything old is new again in 2019<
^FBO-MILLER-COLUMN:SD—<The XFL is back? First thought: Why? Second thought: The circus that lasted one season now expects to find traction it couldn't before at a time when the NFL extends tendrils in more places than ever. Meanwhile, the explosion of television and media options fracture our attention span unlike any time in human history.
That said, I'll quietly root for the Houston Roughnecks because the name is the best in the league and they were smart enough to bring back a version of an oil rig logo. If only we could also bring back Earl Campbell and Bum Phillips — and Bum's exquisitely oversized cowboy hat.
800 by Bryce Miller. MOVED
^Linebacker Paul Worrilow reportedly retires a day after he signed with Ravens<
FBN-RAVENS-WORRILOW:BZ — A day after he signed with the Ravens, veteran linebacker Paul Worrilow retired, according to an NFL Network report.
The news surprised Ravens coach John Harbaugh, who'd spoken to Worrilow on Friday night.
"He was great. He was all ready and excited to go," Harbaugh said after his team practiced Saturday morning. "So I was surprised. I assume he's trying to figure things out, work things out with what he wants to do, he and his family. Every person has the right to do that, so we'll just kind of see what he decides. We'll respect it, whatever it is."
200 by Childs Walker in Baltimore. MOVED
^Will Panthers audition quarterbacks? Coach Ron Rivera 'really good' with who they have<
FBN-PANTHERS-QBS:CH — The Carolina Panthers don't intend to audition other quarterbacks, despite starter Cam Newton's uncertain status for the Sept. 8 opener against the Los Angeles Rams, coach Ron Rivera said Saturday.
Newton suffered a left mid-foot sprain in the first quarter of Thursday's 10-3 preseason loss to the New England Patriots. Newton didn't participate in practice Saturday and is still wearing a protective boot, Rivera said. While backups Kyle Allen and Will Grier have been shaky this preseason, the team isn't looking for alternatives, based on Rivera's comments.
350 by Rick Bonnell in Charlotte, N.C. MOVED
^49ers bring back Chris Foerster in consultant role following addiction treatment<
FBN-49ERS-FOERSTER:SA — The 49ers have brought back Chris Foerster despite a troubled past.
Foerster, 57, has been a consultant with the 49ers starting in 2018, the team confirmed to The Bee Saturday, after getting professional help for drug and alcohol addiction following his 2017 resignation from the Miami Dolphins when a video surfaced of him snorting a white powdery substance.
Foerster was an offensive line coach at the time and served the same role for San Francisco in 2015. He reunited with coach Kyle Shanahan last year in a limited role after spending four seasons working on the same staff at Washington.
300 by Chris Biderman in Kansas City, Mo. MOVED
^10ish teams outside the top 10 that can actually make the College Football Playoff<
^FBC-CFP-CRASHERS:BZ—<Preseason rankings are meaningless in college football, considering how little they resemble the final poll when the dust settles. But what can we actually learn from them?
Since it began in 2014-15, the College Football Playoff has featured just five teams that started the season ranked outside the top 10 of the Associated Press Top 25 poll.
The list is made up of Clemson (preseason No. 12) and Oklahoma (No. 19) in 2015, Washington (No. 14) in 2016, Georgia (No. 15) in 2017 and Notre Dame (No. 12) in 2018.
1750 by C.J. Doon. MOVED
^Michael Cunningham: Heavy favorites at the top make college football predictable<
^FBC-CUNNINGHAM-COLUMN:AT—<Those who read my Weekly Predictions know that I don't like favorites. It goes back to my roots as a horseplayer at Churchill Downs. There is little joy in cashing a meager ticket after backing the popular choice. Anybody can do that. The excitement (and the profit) is in the unexpected.
My distaste for "chalk" is why college football often leaves me flat. There will be some good games here and there, perhaps an upset or two, but the ending is predictable. That's true for the College Football Playoff generally, and this year particularly.
There have been 20 CFP berths in five years. Five of those slots went to Alabama, four to Clemson and three to Oklahoma.
800 by Michael Cunningham. MOVED
^Sophomore quarterback Jake Haener leaves Washington one week before season opener<
FBC-WASHINGTON-HAENER:SE — Chris Petersen announced on Friday that while junior Jacob Eason had won Washington's starting quarterback job, sophomore Jake Haener would also play in the season opener against Eastern Washington.
"Jake Haener and Jacob Eason obviously two really good quarterbacks," Petersen said. "It was a tight competition, and you take it as long as you can and you've got to make a decision and roll with it. Jake Haener will play in that first game. He should, he deserves it and he will."
No, he won't.
Roughly 24 hours after Petersen delivered those words, Washington announced that Haener has left the program, effective immediately.
900 by Mike Vorel in Seattle. MOVED
TNS expects coverage from the following game featuring teams ranked in the AP top 25:
Miami at No. 8 Florida, 7 p.m. EDT
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