Connect with us

Sports

All-Star SS Ian Desmond to skip MLB season, cites social injustice, COVID-19

Published

on

June 30 (UPI) — Colorado Rockies shortstop Ian Desmond will sit out Major League Baseball’s season restart. The two-time All-Star cited concern about the coronavirus risk to his family and social injustice as his reasons.

Desmond announced his decision Monday on social media. The 11-year veteran hit .255 with 20 home runs and 65 RBIs in 140 games last season for the Rockies. He spent his first seven seasons with the Washington Nationals. He is signed through 2022.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has made this baseball season one that is a risk I am not comfortable taking,” Desmond wrote.

The 2020 MLB season was suspended during spring training in mid-March. The resumed campaign is scheduled to start on July 23 or 24.

“With a pregnant wife and four young children who have lots of questions about what’s going on in the world, home is where I need to be right now,” Desmond wrote.

“Home for my wife, Chelsey. Home to help. Home to guide. Home to answer my older three boys’ questions about coronavirus and civil rights and life. Home to be their dad.”

Desmond, 34, began his message with an explanation for why he has recently opened up about his “thoughts and experiences as a biracial man in America.” He also cited the May 25 death of George Floyd in police custody and discussed growing up in Sarasota, Fla.

He said he recently visited Little League fields in the area and found them to be in bad shape. Desmond wrote about how important youth baseball was for him as a child and how access to the game is limited for underprivileged children.

“Why can’t we support teaching the game to all kids — but especially those in underprivileged communities?” Desmond wrote. “Why aren’t accessible, affordable youth sports viewed as an essential opportunity to affect kids’ development, as opposed to money-making propositions and recruiting chances? It’s hard to wrap your head around it.”


Desmond said he will use some of his time off to help Sarasota Youth Baseball rebound so it can help more children. He will forfeit more than $400,000 of prorated salary by not playing in 2020. Desmond has an $8 million salary in 2021.

The star shortstop joined Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Mike Leake, Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman and pitcher Joe Ross in opting out of the resumed MLB season.



Source link

Sports

Coach Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool ‘deserved’ Champions League loss

Published

on

Nov. 26 (UPI) — Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said the Reds “deserved” their shutout loss to Italian Serie A foe Atalanta in the group stage of the 2020-2021 UEFA Champions League.

Atalanta beat Liverpool 2-0 on Wednesday at Anfield in Liverpool, England. The Reds must now beat Ajax in their next Champions League match to advance to the knockout stages.

“Rhythm, we didn’t have rhythm,” Klopp told reporters. “We made five changes and that obviously gives you a few problems with rhythm, but we usually get through a game.

“Atalanta was good — Atalanta fought, Atalanta defended well. That’s why we didn’t have a shot on target. My defense was completely fine apart from two situations. That’s how it is. Atalanta did well in those moments and we have to admit [that].

“It is a deserved defeat. I have said that a couple of times. It doesn’t sound nice, but it’s the truth. So congratulations to Atalanta.”

The Reds and Atalanta played a scoreless first half in the Group D match up before striker Josip Ilicic drew first blood in the 60th minute. Fellow striker Alejandro Gomez collected a pass on the left flank to spark the sequence.

The Atalanta forward then curled a pass toward the far post. The feed dropped down onto the foot of Illic, who darted through the box before he tapped a shot past Reds keeper Alisson.

Gomez also helped set up the final goal about five minutes later. The Atalanta striker received a pass at the top of the Liverpool box at the start of that play. He eyed the defense before he chipped a ball toward the far post.

Atalanta’s Hans Hateboer then put his head on the ball to send a pass to fellow winger Robin Gosens, who smacked a left-footed shot into the left side of the net to beat Alisson.

Liverpool battles Brighton in a Premier League game at 7:30 a.m. EST on Saturday in Brighton, England. The Reds then host Ajax in the Champions League group stage at 3 p.m. EST on Tuesday at Anfield.

“With all the challenges we face in this country on top of the normal challenges already, my concern and what I think about in the moment is not Ajax, sorry,” Klopp said.

“We go in a few hours to Brighton and play there. That’s the first thing we have to think about and when this game is over, then we start thinking about Ajax.”



Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

Fantasy football: Hunter Henry, Travis Kelce lead Week 12 tight end rankings

Published

on

Nov. 26 (UPI) — Hunter Henry, Travis Kelce, Darren Waller, T.J. Hockenson and Evan Engram lead my Week 12 fantasy football tight end rankings for 2020.

Rob Gronkowski, Eric Ebron, Austin Hooper, Mark Andrews and Jonnu Smith round out my Top 10 options at the position. Robert Tonyan and Trey Burton are among my favorite sleepers this week.

Monitor the status for each of your players’ games this week as the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact the NFL schedule and player availability. No teams have Week 12 byes, so you should have more options when it comes to finding good defensive matchups for tight ends.

Check out my weekly waiver wire article for candidates to add to your roster before your Week 12 matchup.

Here are some of my favorite players in this week’s Top 20 rankings:

TOP SHELF

Los Angeles Chargers tight end Hunter Henry has scored in two consecutive games as he heads into a Week 12 matchup against the Buffalo Bills. He is my top option at the position.

The Bills have allowed a league-high 642 yards and the sixth-most fantasy points per game to tight ends. Start Henry in your league, even if you aren’t required to start the position.

Darren Waller of the Las Vegas Raiders has scored in two of his last three games and has five scores on the season. He is my No. 3 tight end for Week 12 as he heads into a matchup against the Atlanta Falcons.

The Falcons have allowed the most fantasy points per game to tight ends this season. Start Waller in all leagues in Week 12.

SNEAKY PLAYS

New York Giants tight end Evan Engram lands at No. 5 in my Week 12 rankings. He should be started in all leagues that require starting a tight end.

The Giants pass catcher has just one score on the season, but has been targeted 32 times over his last four games. I expect Engram to continue to get looks in Week 12, when the Giants face a Cincinnati Bengals defense that has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points per game to tight ends.

I expect Engram to pull in at least six catches for 80 yards and a touchdown on Sunday in Cincinnati.

Cleveland Browns tight end Austin Hooper is my No. 8 option for Week 12. Hooper pulled in just three catches for 33 yards in Week 11, but I expect him to have much more impact this week.

He heads into a matchup against a Jacksonville Jaguars defense that has allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to tight ends.

Start Hooper in leagues that require starting a tight end and have at least 12 teams.

LONGSHOTS

Robert Tonyan of the Green Bay Packers scored his sixth touchdown of the season in Week 11 and has a great chance to reach the end zone again in Week 12.

The Packers face a Chicago Bears defense that is tied for allowing the ninth-most fantasy points per game to tight ends on Sunday in Green Bay, Wis. I expect Tonyan — my No. 11 option — to snag at least five catches for 50 yards and a score.

Indianapolis Colts tight end Trey Burton only has two scores this season, but I expect him to draw more red zone looks down the stretch.

Burton and the Colts face the Tennessee Titans in an import AFC South divisional matchup in Week 12. The Titans have allowed the eighth-most fantasy points per game to tight ends.

Burton has a great shot to secure at least three catches for 30 yards on Sunday in Indianapolis. He could end up as a Top 5 play if he gets into the end zone. Burton is my No. 15 option for Week 12 and can be used as a streamer in leagues that require starting tight ends.

Week 12 fantasy football tight end rankings

1. Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers at BUF

2. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs at TB

3. Darren Waller, Las Vegas Raiders at ATL

4. T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions vs. HOU

5. Evan Engram, New York Giants at CIN

6. Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. KC

7. Eric Ebron, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. BAL

8. Austin Hooper, Cleveland Browns at JAX

9. Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens at PIT

10. Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans at IND

11. Robert Tonyan, Green Bay Packers vs. CHI

12. Hayden Hurst, Atlanta Falcons vs. LV

13. Jimmy Graham, Chicago Bears at GB

14. Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins at NYJ

15. Trey Burton, Indianapolis Colts vs. TEN

16. Dalton Schultz, Dallas Cowboys vs. WAS

17. Noah Fant, Denver Broncos vs. NO

18. Jared Cook, New Orleans Saints at DEN

19. Logan Thomas, Washington Football Team at DAL

20. Irv Smith Jr. Minnesota Vikings vs. CAR

This week in the National Football League

Tennessee Titans’ Derrick Henry (C) breaks away from Baltimore Ravens’ Patrick Queen (L) on a 29-yard touchdown run to win the game 30-24 during overtime in Baltimore on Sunday. Photo by David Tulis/UPI | License Photo



Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

Fantasy football: Nick Chubb, Dalvin Cook lead Week 12 running back rankings

Published

on

Nov. 25 (UPI) — Nick Chubb, Dalvin Cook, Alvin Kamara, Mike Davis and Ezekiel Elliott top my Week 12 fantasy football running back rankings for 2020.

Derrick Henry, Chris Carson, Aaron Jones, Josh Jacobs and Kareem Hunt round out my Top 10 options for Week 12. Antonio Gibson, Jonathan Taylor and Giovani Bernard also are among my favorite starts this week at the running back position.

Monitor the status for each of your players’ games this week as the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact the NFL schedule and player availability. No teams have Week 12 byes, so you should have more options when it comes to finding good defensive matchups for your running backs.

Check out my weekly waiver wire article for candidates to add to your roster before your Week 12 matchup.

Here are some of my favorite players in this week’s rankings:

TOP SHELF

Nick Chubb has returned to fantasy football lineups as an elite running back option after his injury absence. The Cleveland Browns playmaker has posted at least 100 rushing yards in four of his last five appearances. He has back-to-back games with at least 100 rushing yards since he return to the Browns lineup.

Chubb is my top option for Week 12 as he heads into a matchup against a Jacksonville Jaguars defense that has allowed the seventh-most fantasy points per game to running backs.

Dalvin Cook has been the MVP of fantasy football so far this season. Cook leads all non-quarterbacks in fantasy points. He is my No. 2 running back for Week 12 due to a great matchup.

The Minnesota Vikings face the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. The Panthers have allowed the fifth-most rushing yards and seventh-most fantasy points per game to running backs. Never take Cook out of your lineup.

SNEAKY PLAYS

Washington Football Team running back Antonio Gibson can be used as an RB1 this week if you are in a league with at least 12 teams. Gibson is my No. 11 option.

Washington battles the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving. The Cowboys have allowed the second-most rushing yards and are tied for allowing the eighth-most fantasy points per game to running backs. Gibson should post at least 100 yards from scrimmage in this matchup.

Atlanta Falcons running back Todd Gurley is my No. 14 option. Gurley can be plugged into your RB1 or RB2 slot this week as he faces a Las Vegas Raiders defense that has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points per game to running backs.

I expect Gurley to run for at least 80 yards and score a touchdown in this Week 12 matchup.

LONGSHOTS

Jonathan Taylor of the Indianapolis Colts is my No. 19 running back for Week 12. Taylor has been very inconsistent so far in 2020, but had 114 yards from scrimmage on 26 touches last week.

I expect the Colts to keep feeding the rookie. He should have another productive performance on Sunday when he faces a Tennessee Titans defense that has allowed the fifth-most fantasy points per game to running backs.

Start Taylor at the RB2 or flex spot.

Giovani Bernard lands at No. 21 in my rankings and can be plugged into your RB2 or flex spot for Week 12. Bernard struggled to get going in Week 11, but should bounce back this week when he faces a New York Giants defense that is tied for allowing the ninth-most fantasy points per game to running backs.

The Giants have also struggled to defend pass-catching running backs and have allowed the second-most receiving yards to the position. I expect Bernard to gain at least 100 yards from scrimmage in Week 12.

Week 12 fantasy football running back rankings

1. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns at JAX

2. Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings vs. CAR

3. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints at DEN

4. Mike Davis, Carolina Panthers at MIN

5. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys vs. WAS

6. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans at IND

7. Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks at PHI

8. Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers vs. CHI

9. Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders at ATL

10. Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns at JAX

11. Antonio Gibson, Washington Football Team at DAL

12. Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles vs. SEA

13. James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. CLE

14. Todd Gurley, Atlanta Falcons vs. LV

15. James Conner, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. BAL

16. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs at TB

17. Raheem Mostert, San Francisco 49ers at LAR

18. Salvon Ahmed, Miami Dolphins at NYJ

19. Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts vs. TEN

20. Kenyan Drake, Arizona Cardinals at NE

21. Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals vs. NYG

22. Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens at PIT

23. Damien Harris, New England Patriots vs. ARI

24. Duke Johnson, Houston Texans at DET

25. Wayne Gallman, New York Giants at CIN

26. Kalen Ballage, Los Angeles Chargers at BUF

27. Melvin Gordon, Denver Broncos vs. NO

28. Ronald Jones, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. KC

29. Zack Moss, Buffalo Bills vs. LAC

30. Adrian Peterson, Detroit Lions vs. HOU

This week in the National Football League

Tennessee Titans’ Derrick Henry (C) breaks away from Baltimore Ravens’ Patrick Queen (L) on a 29-yard touchdown run to win the game 30-24 during overtime in Baltimore on Sunday. Photo by David Tulis/UPI | License Photo



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending