Former MLB pitcher and 1993 AL Cy Young winner Jack McDowell alleged in a radio appearance Friday morning that the White Sox had an illegal sign-stealing operation at old Comiskey Park in the late 1980s, and that Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa was the instigator of the scheme.Speaking to WFNZ-AM in Charlotte, where he serves as baseball coach for Queens University, McDowell said the White Sox had a camera zoomed in on opposing catchers and a light in an outfield Gatorade sign that could be controlled from the manager’s office and would presumably let hitters know which pitches were coming. McDowell, a three-time All-Star, pitched in parts of 12 MLB seasons with the White Sox, Yankees, Indians and Angels, compiling a career record of 127-87 with a 3.85 ERA and 27.8 bWAR. In his 1993 Cy Young season, McDowell went 22-10 with a 3.37 ERA and 4.4 bWAR. He’s been coaching at Queens since 2018.Listen to his full interview with WFNZ here. “I’m going to whistle-blow this thing now because I’m getting tired of this crap,” McDowell told the station.RIVERA: MLB must be consistent in sign-stealing punishmentsMcDowell then said that La Russa, who managed the White Sox from 1979 to 1986, was the one who had the system installed. McDowell debuted with Chicago in 1987, the season after La Russa left.Former MLB Pitcher Jack McDowell shared his thoughts on the @MacAttackWFNZ on the Astros cheating scandal, plus has a whistle-blower story of his own involving Tony La Russa…..@Buster_ESPN@Ken_Rosenthal @JeffPassan @JonHeyman @RealMichaelKay @Joelsherman1 pic.twitter.com/IHnGzm9zBW— WFNZ-AM/FM (@wfnz) January 17, 2020″He was also the head of the first team … with people doing steroids,” McDowell said, referencing La Russa’s decade-long stint as manager of the Oakland A’s, which included managing infamous steroid users Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire. “Yet he’s still in the game making half a million. No one’s gonna go after that.”La Russa worked the past two seasons in a front-office role with the Red Sox (who are also under investigation on allegations of illegal sign-stealing) after a stint in a similar role with the Diamondbacks. He was recently hired by the Angels as a senior adviser. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014 after a stellar managerial career that included three World Series titles — one with the A’s and two with the Cardinals.”This stuff’s getting old, where they target certain guys and let other people off the hook,” McDowell said. ” … Everybody who’s been around the game knows all this stuff.”McDowell’s comments on the ’80s White Sox came as he explained that illegal sign-stealing has been happening for decades, but that players, managers and MLB itself have collectively decided to look the other way, much like the steroid era.”Nobody wants to throw anybody under the bus,” he said.These allegations are the latest act in a sign-stealing drama that has enveloped MLB. Just this week, Astros mananger AJ Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow were each suspended for a year — and later fired — as punishment for Houston’s illegal sign-stealing in recent seasons. Fallout from the Astros’ case extended to the Red Sox, who parted ways with manager Alex Cora because of his involvement in Houston’s cheating as a bench coach during the 2017 season (and presumably for his yet-to-be announced role in the alleged misdeeds the Red Sox committed). Ripples also extended to New York, where the Mets and new manager Carlos Beltran ended their relationship before it really began after Beltran was named in MLB’s report on the Astros’ cheating for his actions as a player in 2017.
That left some online pros scratching their heads.We’re not sure what this means, Tom. https://t.co/ibm9gnu5X6— Sporting News (@sportingnews) January 30, 2020Is Brady walking away from football? Will he leave the Patriots when he becomes a free agent in March? Is he heading back to the field for a 21st season? Is he staying in Foxborough?Well unless your legs bend backwards its look like you’re hanging up the hat and calling it a day, you have enough jewels from all your superbowl rings to make a Thanos infinity gauntlet, so from all the fans of other teams, thank god the nightmare is over and enjoy your family.— Brett Rose (@9e76a351efa944f) January 31, 2020He’s walking into Gillette…Brady is staying home 😁🙏🏽— My Info (@ShadGT14) January 31, 2020FREE-AGENT QBs: Ranking the 2020 class, from Tannehill to Brady IS THIS ANOTHER BLUE VS. GOLD DEBATE? (Or, in honor of Brady’s alma mater, maize?)Are we seriously doing this again? pic.twitter.com/r9mKKbBuKE— Sporting News (@sportingnews) January 30, 2020Brady has long said he wants to play until he’s 45. He’ll be 43 when the 2020 season begins. But he’s coming off one of his worst statistical seasons in 2019 and a home playoff loss to the Titans — WHO ARE COACHED BY MIKE VRABEL, WHO USED TO CATCH TOUCHDOWNS FROM BRADY! (Sorry, the “He’s leaving the Patriots” crowd got me for a moment. The Titans seem to like Ryan Tannehill just fine under center.) When Tom Brady tweets, people on Twitter often lose their minds. TB12 decided to have fun with the masses the Thursday of Super Bowl week by posting this cryptic image of him walking in the tunnel at Gillette Stadium — and nothing else. SN showed Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey the tweet at the Super Bowl in South Florida. His call was decisive.I showed Jalen Ramsey the @TomBrady tweet and he didn’t have a hard time interpreting it pic.twitter.com/lRUbTkzcyH— Tadd Haislop (@TaddHaislop) January 31, 2020ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted that Brady’s picture is not related to his football future, but didn’t offer a different explanation.Am told that this tweet is not related to Tom Brady’s football future. Repeat, not related to his football future. But the speculation sure is fun. https://t.co/DmUcn5vCvK— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 31, 2020But on and on the speculation will go, until Brady stops laughing at us and makes an actual announcement.
MORE: Winners and losers from NBA trade deadlineThe craziest part of the play is Smart seeing a young cancer patient sitting behind the Hawks’ bench and contorting his body in order to avoid colliding with the fan.Marcus Smart just Derek Jeter’d this loose ball. pic.twitter.com/iv5pLekAzz— Taylor Snow (@taylorcsnow) February 8, 2020Here’s a closer look at just how close he came to hitting those kids and how he avoided it pic.twitter.com/pcyKtDnBkP— John Karalis 🇬🇷 (@RedsArmy_John) February 8, 2020″It was scary, I’m not gonna lie,” Smart said after the game (via John Karalis of MassLive.com). “Thank God for my hair. I probably would have had a concussion if I didn’t. I’m not gonna lie. The kid, I was trying to avoid the kid. He was a cancer patient and looks like he just had surgery on his head. So the last thing I wanted to do was hit him. So that’s kind of why I turned awkwardly. I was trying to maneuver myself away from him.”But I’m OK and he’s OK, so everybody’s all right. So that’s good.” Marcus Smart making a hustle play is not an unusual occurrence at a Celtics game. What he did Friday night at TD Garden was incredible, though, even by Smart standards.With Boston holding a three-point lead over Atlanta and less than 20 seconds remaining in regulation, Smart attempted to save a Celtics possession by diving past the first row of seats for a loose ball. He awkwardly tumbled to the ground, but he quickly bounced back up and escaped without a significant injury. Smart later jokingly tweeted that all of the spectators in the first row “need to put your helmets on and drink your beers fast.” He added that he was glad no one was hurt.Look. All y’all on the front row know by now that when I’m in y’all gonna need to put your helmets on and drink your beers fast.In all seriousness glad he’s ok and more happy he’s at the game supporting us! That means a lot! He’s one strong kid! 💪🏾☘️ https://t.co/MsDel81H14— marcus smart (@smart_MS3) February 8, 2020The 25-year-old guard also gave the kid his game jersey and arm band, per Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe.Oh, and Smart finished with nine points, six assists and five rebounds in a 112-107 win. His best play, of course, didn’t end up in the box score.
Seventeen players and two coaches will be inducted into the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame 2020 class on Dec. 8 during the 63rd NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the New York Hilton Midtown. A Heisman Trophy winner, a legendary FCS quarterback and a member of the famed “Pony Express” highlight the 2020 College Football Hall of Fame Class. Notable inductees include Nebraska quarterback Eric Crouch, who won the Heisman Trophy in 2001 and led the Huskers to an appearance in the BCS championship game, is part of the class. Late Alcorn State quarterback Steve McNair also made the list after passing for 5,377 yards and 47 touchdowns in 1994 to finish third in the Heisman Trophy voting. SMU running back Eric Dickerson — who rushed for 4,450 yards and 47 touchdowns with the Mustangs from 1979-82 — will join those two and 14 other players:2020 College Football Hall of Fame player inducteesLomas Brown — offensive tackle, Florida (1981-84)Keith Byars — running back, Ohio State (1982-85)Eric Crouch — quarterback, Nebraska (1998-2001)Eric Dickerson — running back, Southern Methodist (1979-82)Glenn Dorsey — defensive tackle, LSU (2004-07)Jumbo Elliott — offensive tackle, Michigan (1984-87)Jason Hanson — kicker, Washington State (1988-91)E.J. Henderson — linebacker, Maryland (1999-2002)E.J. Junior — defensive end, Alabama (1977-80)Steve McNair — quarterback, Alcorn State (1991-94)Cade McNown — quarterback, UCLA (1995-98)Leslie O’Neal — defensive tackle, Oklahoma State (1982-85)Anthony Poindexter — defensive back, Virginia (1995-98)David Pollack — defensive end, Georgia (2001-04)Bob Stein — defensive end, Minnesota (1966-68)Michael Westbrook — wide receiver, Colorado (1991-94)Elmo Wright — wide receiver, Houston (1968-70)Two coaches also will be inducted: Dick Sheridan, who compiled a 121-52-5 record at Furman and N.C. State from 1978-92, and Andy Talley, who finished 258-155-2 at St. Lawrence (N.Y.) and Villanova from 1979-2016.
MORE TOM BRADY:Other Hall of Fame QBs who changed teamsThe reason Brady hit free agency at age 42 was not because New England failed or refused to extend his contract. His first trip to the open NFL market was a deliberate effort on the part of the quarterback. When Brady restructured his contract with the Patriots last summer, he might not have known at the time he wanted to leave. But he knew he at least wanted the option.Brady’s extension, completed in August, gave New England an additional $5.5 million in cap space for 2019. That was the only positive for the Patriots. The deal included a provision that stated the team could not franchise or transition tag the QB in 2020. And while the contract included two additional years beyond 2019, those years would automatically void on the last day of the league year.The last day of the league year was Tuesday, the same day Brady informed the world he would play out the rest of his Hall of Fame career somewhere other than New England. That last point from Talib is important, because it might be the bottom line for Brady in his decision to leave New England. After all, even as the relationship between Brady and Belichick evidently deteriorated, and even as Brady aged into his early 40s on team-friendly contracts, the Patriots were winning division titles, AFC championships and a Super Bowl.Brady, a hardcore competitor whose entire career has been fueled by the chip his 2000 NFL Draft slide left on his shoulder — his new content company is named 199 Productions because he was selected No. 199 overall — just gave the football world a new reason to doubt him. Yeah, he may be the greatest quarterback of all time, but can he succeed without the benefit of a roster constructed and coached by Belichick?Everybody wants to know, and perhaps Brady is simply eager to provide the answer. Tom Brady announced on Tuesday he will not return to the Patriots in 2020, thus ending a partnership between the greatest quarterback of all time and the greatest NFL coach of all time, breaking up the most powerful dynasty the league has ever seen.The shocking nature of Brady’s departure from New England after 20 years makes it easy to forget the seeds for this move were planted long ago. (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/ed/89/tom-brady-020220-getty-ftr_12mwx6k0x3wza1b6w9vfhjma1i.jpg?t=130133280&w=500&quality=80 Brady’s departure leaves a $13.5 million dead cap hit on New England’s books for 2020. Reports indicated the Patriots were hoping to avoid that charge and convince Brady to return after testing free agency. According to the Boston Globe, New England “gave Tom a number. He didn’t want it.” According to NBC Sports Boston, though, “a tangible effort by the Patriots to keep Tom Brady in New England never happened. No negotiation. Just the intimation that it was on Brady to say what he wanted. For Brady, that stance spoke volumes.”New England’s approach — remember, his phone conversation with coach/general manager Bill Belichick a couple weeks ago reportedly did not go well and was strictly business — likely was the last straw for Brady.But it clearly wasn’t the only reason Brady wanted out. There was the restructured deal almost a year ago that allowed him to hit free agency. There was Brady putting his New England mansion up for sale (though he continuously downplayed the significance of that development).MORE: Remembering Brady’s final pass as a PatriotBrewing in the background all along was the souring work relationship between Brady and Belichick. Many suspect the root of their rift was the Jimmy Garoppolo trade fiasco of 2017.Belichick wanted Garoppolo, whom New England had picked in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft, to replace Brady as the starting quarterback once the older passer was finished. Keep in mind Brady had just turned 40. According to ESPN, Belichick “repeatedly offered Garoppolo four-year contract extensions, in the $17 million to $18 million range annually that would go higher if and when he succeeded Brady. Garoppolo and (agent Don) Yee rejected the offers out of hand, for reasons that remain unclear, and the Patriots knew they couldn’t make any promises to Garoppolo about the timing of a transition at quarterback without it getting back to Brady.”Team owner Robert Kraft reportedly was set on sticking with Brady as long as he wanted to start in New England, and Belichick was forced to play ball. From the ESPN article:”Two weeks before the Nov. 1 trading deadline, Belichick met with Kraft to discuss the quarterback situation. According to staffers, the meeting ran long, lasting half the day and pushing back Belichick’s other meetings. The office was buzzing. The meeting ended with a clear mandate to Belichick: trade Garoppolo because he would not be in the team’s long-term plans, and then, once again, find the best quarterback in the draft and develop him. Belichick was furious and demoralized, according to friends. But in the end, he did what he asks of his players and coaches: He did his job.”According to the report, Belichick took “pride” in seeing Garoppolo succeed with the 49ers, and that he dealt the QB to a team he thought would allow Garoppolo to flourish. That would explain why San Francisco had to give up just a second-round draft pick in the deal.There were other deep issues between Brady and Belichick. Later during the 2017 season, Belichick banned Brady’s trainer Alex Guerrero (also a close friend and business partner) from the team’s plane and sideline.When that happened, another friend of Brady told ESPN, “Tom changed. … That’s where a lot of these problems started.” Brady and Belichick reportedly also differed on Belichick’s no-nonsense coaching style. Former Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib thinks that ended up being a big reason Brady decided to leave.”If (Belichick is) treating everybody the same in the meeting room, he’s probably treating everybody the same around free agency time, as well,” Talib recently said on NFL Network. “I think Tom is gone. I think it’s a done deal, and Bill is going to be Bill. Them calls are going to be short and to the point.”We got a report that said (their call) didn’t go well. I had a call that didn’t go well with Bill before, so I can imagine what happened on that call. It’s kind of a chip on both of their shoulders that’s like, ‘I want to do this thing and see if I could do it without him.'”MORE: What if Mo Lewis never injured Drew Bledsoe? (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/5f/24/bill-belichick-011420-getty-ftrjpg_1k3cilrjwaifo1woqxoe69hlvx.jpg?t=-1525271577&w=500&quality=80
The Packers taking Jordan Love in the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday despite Aaron Rodgers still playing quarterback at an above-average level has drawn comparisons to when the franchise selected Rodgers in 2005 when Brett Favre was its starting quarterback.Favre would go 4-12 in Rodgers’ rookie year, throwing a league-high 29 interceptions in the process. Right away, then, Green Bay’s decision to look to the future appeared wise. MORE 2020 NFL DRAFT:Live grades | Pick tracker | Top 100 big boardRodgers is a different breed. He’s coming off a season in which he tossed 26 touchdowns to just four picks; he hasn’t thrown 10 interceptions in a season since 2010. His ability to avoid the turnovers that accompanied Favre’s whole career could boost his longevity at Lambeau beyond what Favre managed.So, the move to trade up for Love at No. 26 — at a time the 36-year-old Rodgers has gone public with his desire for the team to draft a receiver in the early rounds — might seem like more of a reach than what happened 15 years ago. Future-focused draft methodology for a contender is inherently controversial. It isn’t necessarily wrong, though.BENDER: Too soon for Pack to put pressure on RodgersGreen Bay doesn’t need to look far to see what happens when a team doesn’t have a good quarterback. Two of its three NFC North rivals have trotted out average quarterbacks, at best, for more than a decade. The Lions could be lumped into that category, too, depending on one’s view of Matthew Stafford. So rather than waiting until a draft in which they were forced to add a signal-caller, the Packers leapt at an opportunity to take someone they clearly admire. Love won’t be taking Rodgers’ job anytime soon. His role is to learn under a future Hall of Famer for a couple of years, and then take over or get traded for draft picks a la Jimmy Garoppolo should Rodgers still be productive. If he’s as good as the Packers think, annoying Rodgers and Packers fans in the short term would be worth the drama.MORE: Rodgers sees NFL mortality come into focus in loss to 49ersWhat does Green Bay see in Love? A potentially generational all-around passer who needs time to fine-tune his decision-making and accuracy. In other words, the kind of high-upside quarterback not always available at the back of the first round, where the Packers will likely be picking for the foreseeable future. “He’s got more talent than any other passer in this entire draft.”Let’s go to the tape on @jordan3love. 🎥#PackersDraft | #GoPackGo📺: #NFLDraft on ABC, ESPN + NFLN pic.twitter.com/7MAKHtXvbz— Green Bay Packers (@packers) April 24, 2020There is obviously a great deal of risk in selecting Love under these circumstances. The Utah State product needs tough skin to navigate media prodding and handle potentially cold treatment from Rodgers, who was iced by Favre when he joined the Packers. He also needs to be able to withstand a prolonged reserve role without stagnating.Green Bay’s front office is putting its reputation on the line. If Love flops, then its talent evaluators will forever be tagged as the ones who angered the best quarterback in franchise history for no reason. The best-case scenario, though, was apparently too sweet to pass up. To the Packers’ brass, it was worth the gamble. A possible franchise quarterback is always worth the gamble.
There was nothing to split them when they twice played the 18th again, both managing an opening birdie before Thomas missed a putt that would have given him the win.Having moved to the 10th, Thomas quickly found trouble off the tee and, forced to pitch out, handed the advantage to his rival. Morikawa duly seized the opportunity, collecting the par he needed to prevail at the third extra hole.The sweet taste of victory.A win at Jack’s Place gets @Collin_Morikawa a trophy and a milkshake. pic.twitter.com/BKmGoGFOAk— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) July 12, 2020Former world No. 1 Thomas had held a two-shot lead overnight after producing three bogey-free rounds at Muirfield Village. While Thomas dropped shots at the second and third in a shaky start to his Sunday, a run of four birdies around the turn had the current world No. 5 back on track for victory.An eagle at the 15th pushed Thomas three clear, yet he bogeyed two of his final three holes to sign for a score of 69, only enough to tie with Morikawa after the 23-year-old had risen up the leaderboard with his 66.Viktor Hovland (71) finished alone at 15 under, his hopes for a late charge dashed by a 1-over back nine. Chase Seiffert (67) was a further shot back. Collin Morikawa overcame Justin Thomas in a playoff to win the Workday Charity Open, his second title on the PGA Tour.In just his 24th start as a professional, Morikawa capitalized on a late collapse by Thomas to join his fellow American in a share for top spot after 72 holes. The pair were locked together at 19 under par.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A monthly survey report suggests that business conditions improved last month in nine Midwest and Plains states.The report issued Wednesday says the Mid-America Business Conditions Index rose to 55.2 in December from 54.1 in November. The October reading was 54.9.Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says the shortages of skilled workers are still holding back even stronger growth.The survey results are compiled into a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100. Survey organizers say any score above 50 suggests growth. A score below that suggests decline.The survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.
HAMBURG — “Catastrophic devastation” is how Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds describes the carnage from the second major flood along the Missouri River within a decade.“We’ve got towns that are shut down. We’ve got businesses that have been impacted. We’ve got individuals that are moving. We’ve got hospitals that are being shut down and the water supply,” Reynolds said. “Iowans are hearty and we’re tough and we know how to take care of ourselves, but after several times of this happening, it’s just ‘enough is enough.’”Reynolds toured flood-impacted areas of southwest Iowa Monday, with stops in Council Bluffs, Glenwood, Pacific Junction and Hamburg. While in Hamburg, Mayor Cathy Crain told Reynolds citizens fought valiantly, but water seeped through barriers and swamped all but the northern portion of the community.“We had to give up the fight. We’ve never done it before,” Crain said. “We go back from us to our father’s generation to our grandfather’s generation and we never gave it up, but had to today.”Flooding not only knocked out the city’s water plant, but also Hamburg’s City Hall, fire station and almost all the businesses in the community. The mayor said virtually all the equipment the city owned is gone.“We lost everything. We have no equipment…We don’t even have a lawnmower, but look like leather. O.K.? We’re tough. We’re going to be able to do this,” she said. “We have two pickups left and a skid loader.”Governor Reynolds met with officials from Hamburg and Fremont County inside an elementary school that’s now serving as a temporary city hall. Reynolds also got updates on other communities such as Percival, where floodwaters entered the community this afternoon. She also heard concerns about how this latest flooding incident will impact the local farming community. Fremont County Supervisor Dustin Sheldon said many residents were still recovering from the floods of 2011.“You’re going to lose a lot of farmers financially because they can’t recover from this. They’ve mortgaged farms, just now kind of getting back to where you can make a living again and here it happens again,” Sheldon said. “…What do we do?”Sheldon and other officials say it’s time for federal flood control policies to change. Others expressed anger that federal officials forced the city to remove fortifications to a levee which helped protect Hamburg during the 2011 flooding. The governor indicated she intends to review that levee issue.“To build something and then have them tell you, ‘You have to tear it down’ — I mean just the frustration. There seems to be no common sense,” Reynolds said. “There seems to be bureaucracy and red tape.”Reynolds said the state will come up with a plan to rebuild and recover.“We’ve got farmland that’s been impacted. We’ve got bridges that we have to replace. We’ve got secondary road system all across this state that’s being impacted by the flooding,” Reynolds said. “…We’ve got a long road ahead.”Interstate 29 has been closed in southwest Iowa due to flooding. Rivers in other parts of the state are elevated and ice jams have been reported in places like the Cedar Rivers in Cedar Falls and the Iowa River in Iowa Falls. There were sandbagging efforts in Iowa Falls Monday to protect the city’s water supply.
High water and swift currents on Iowa rivers are prompting the Department of Natural Resources to warn kayakers and canoers to find other options.River Programs outreach coordinator,Todd Robertson, says the conditions are dangerous especially for rookies and he has this advice.“Make sure you know how to control your boat properly, that you’re an efficient paddler. The best way to do that is to stay off of moving water and start practicing on flat water. Right now with the way rivers are, flat water and lakes are the safest place to be,” according to Roberston. Robertson says because the air temperatures have been well below normal, the water temperatures are cold. He says that could cause problems if you capsize because the shock of the cold may be disorienting. Robertson says the high water is sweeping a significant amount of extra material into the fast-moving current..“When you get a lot of rain, if you went and stood by the river and looked upstream you would see all this debris coming downstream,” Robertson says, “trees, tree limbs, things that have washed in off the bank, those things can be very hazardous for people.” Robertson says life jackets are a must for boaters, kayakers and canoers. He says according to Iowa law, adults do not have to wear a life jacket but there must be one onboard for each person. Children aged 12 and under are required to wear them at all times.