McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Sports Budget for Sunday, April 20, 2014

Updated at 11 p.m. EDT. (0300 UTC)

This budget is now available on MCT Direct at, with direct links to stories and art. See details at the end of the budget.

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 20, 2014 at 10:07 pm •  Published: April 20, 2014


McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Sports Budget for Sunday, April 20, 2014

Updated at 11 p.m. EDT. (0300 UTC)

This budget is now available on MCT Direct at, with direct links to stories and art. See details at the end of the budget.



^Johnny Manziel has swagger needed for a tough quarterback town<


Cleveland mercilessly chews up quarterbacks, boos them when they hit rock bottom and then practically discards them to the depths of Lake Erie. It takes a special type of mental toughness and fortitude for a player to believe he could become the face of the Browns and halt their pathetic streak of 20 starting quarterbacks since 1999.

Of the 256 prospects on the verge of being drafted next month, perhaps none is more polarizing than Manziel, a projected top-10 pick whose "Johnny Football" nickname was ingrained into pop culture during the 2012 season, when he became a star at Texas A&M and the first freshman in NCAA history to win the Heisman Trophy.

Concerns about his size, playing style and character cause many analysts to question whether he'll be able to succeed in the NFL. On the other hand, the playmaking ability he displayed during his two collegiate seasons is undeniable, and his attitude proved to drive his success.

1600 by Nate Ulrich. MOVED


^David J. Neal: NCAA ruling on meals is really food for thought<

^BKC-NEAL-COLUMN:MI_< Brother, can you spare a dime? Because Daddy Coach needs a new tray of hamburgers.

The NCAA Legislative Council's pronouncement Tuesday that Division I/Football Bowl Subdivision college athletes can receive "unlimited meals and snacks in conjunction with their athletics participation" told athletic departments living on thin margins, "You're going to have to sell more apples to bring home the bacon."

Allegedly, the NCAA was moving in this direction before University of Connecticut guard and Final Four Most Outstanding Player Shabazz Napier told national media at college basketball's grand showcase he sometimes went to bed "starving." Coincidence that in the ensuing reaction, the NCAA pushed this new outlook to the front of the line and quickly publicized it?

650 by David J. Neal in Miami. MOVED


^LA runners recall nightmare of Boston Marathon<


Jennifer Hartman and Renee Opell dug their fingernails into his arms as they froze a half-block from finishing the Boston Marathon.

Finally within sight of the finish after almost four blister-filled hours, Kerri McKay thought a car had backfired or fireworks were set off.

A block and a half beyond the finish, Julie Hardin heard a noise like a sonic boom.

2300 (with trims) by Nathan Fenno. MOVED



^Flyers rally, even series with Rangers<


Getting goals from two unlikely sources _ Jason Akeson and Luke Schenn _ the Flyers evened their opening-round playoff series Sunday afternoon, overcoming an early 2-0 deficit and jolting the New York Rangers, 4-2, at the Garden.

700 by Sam Carchidi. MOVED

^Sour playoff taste familiar to Blackhawks<


But now that they are down 2-0 to the Blues, it's starting to get real _ at least to Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville, who noticed the same disconcerted attitude among his players he saw last season when the Hawks trailed the Red Wings 3-1 in the Western Conference semifinals.

"It kind of reminds me of coming back here after Detroit, losing two games in that series," Quenneville said. "We felt the whole playoffs (last season) we hadn't had the appetite, the taste in our mouth where we were sour after a couple of games. ...

"Here we're down 2-0, and I think we've got the same taste."

450 by Chris Hine in Chicago. MOVED


^Rangers come up short in Game 2<


The Rangers didn't.

After surrendering an early two-goal lead, they failed to cash in on power plays and some point-blank shots on goaltender Ray Emery, and this best-of-seven series is tied at a game apiece.

550 by Steve Zipay in New York. MOVED

^Bob Ford: Emery battles and Flyers get even<


For the Flyers, who evened their opening-round series against the Rangers with a 4-2 win behind Emery on Sunday afternoon, they know he is going be in the middle of the net and he's going to make enough stops to give them a chance.

950 by Bob Ford in New York. MOVED

^Arthur Staple: Once again, Rangers give up advantage<


There is still only one way the Rangers play in the playoffs, one path that they take. And it's certainly not the easy way.

The Rangers have been to the postseason eight times in the last nine seasons and they've played 69 games over that span, more than every team in the traditional Eastern Conference except the Penguins, Bruins and this round's opponents, the Flyers.

600 by Arthur Staple. MOVED

^Bruins rough up Red Wings, win Game 2<


The Wings were run aground in Game 2, undone by gaffes, undermined by tempers and bad defense and an inept power play. The Wings left TD Garden on Sunday tarnished by a 4-1 loss that left the first-round series locked, 1-1.

700 by Helene St. James in Boston. MOVED

^Ducks must deal with boisterous Stars fans<


Monday night at Dallas is a different animal.

The Stars, trailing Anaheim, 2-0, in a Western Conference first-round series, haven't played a home playoff game since May 19, 2008, when they were eliminated by the Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference finals. "Desperate team, their fans are going to be pumped," former Stars and current Ducks defenseman Stephane Robidas said Sunday after his team practiced at American Airlines Arena.

600 by Lance Pugmire in Dallas. MOVED

^MacKinnon, Avs off to fast start<


It was Wednesday night, one day before the Avs were set to open the Western Conference quarterfinals against the Wild, and Giguere and MacKinnon dined while watching Game 1 of the Pittsburgh-Columbus and Montreal-Tampa Bay series.

"We watched hockey and Giggy gave me some good advice, like keeping it simple early on and patience," MacKinnon said.

850 by Michael Russo. MOVED

^Backes' availability not yet known after Seabrook hit<


The club held an optional practice Sunday, of which Backes obviously did not take part, and afterwards head coach Ken Hitchcock was asked about the captain's condition.

"All I know is he's upright...that's about it right now," Hitchcock said. "We don't have any further information and probably won't until late tomorrow."

500 by Jeremy Rutherford in St. Louis. MOVED

^Blackhawks' Brent Seabrook banned 3 games as tension mounts<


Seabrook was suspended for three games by the NHL for his hit on the Blues' David Backes in Game 2 on Saturday.

700 by Chris Kuc in Chicago. MOVED

^Sunday's games<

MCT expects coverage of the following hockey playoff games:

Los Angeles at San Jose, 10 p.m.


^NBA says Clippers' Chris Paul was fouled on critical play<


"Just prior to the ball going out of bounds, Paul was fouled by Green and Paul should have been granted two free throws," the NBA statement said. "Contact preceding out of bounds calls is not a reviewable matter."

300 by Broderick Turner. MOVED


^Spurs down cold-shooting Mavs in series opener<


Dallas picked the absolute worst time in a 90-85 loss in Game 1 of the best-of-seven first-round series Sunday afternoon at the AT&T Center.

300 by Dwain Price in San Antonio. MOVED

^William has a mentor in Garnett<


Williams can be a complex tangle of emotions on the court at times, a byproduct of competitive juices that burn so hot, he often shows his frustrations openly and outwardly when things aren't going well. One of the many reasons the Nets parted with three first-round picks to bring Garnett and Paul Pierce to Brooklyn was to help show Williams how to be a champion.

700 by Roderick Boone. MOVED

^Perhaps Game 2 isn't a must-win, but the Clippers need it nonetheless<


Maybe the Clippers could have won Game 1 if the officials had called Draymond Green for a foul on Chris Paul, as the NBA office on Sunday said should have happened Saturday.

But the fact is, the Clippers are down 0-1 in the best-of-seven series.

600 by Broderick Turner in Los Angeles. MOVED

^Depth making a difference for Thunder<


Beneath the basket stood guard Russell Westbrook, who stopped for a bit of trash talk. And Adams, a 7-footer from New Zealand, fired back.

"I couldn't hear you over the sound of the swishing," Adams said, pointing to the hoop.

600 by Michael Cohen in Oklahoma City. MOVED

^Grizzlies say they must be sharper, more aggressive<


"It was straight up, come at you," Joerger said, referring to the strategy that allowed the Thunder to dominate the first half.

Joerger called for time about 2 minutes into the game.

Nothing seemed to work as the Griz fell behind by 25 points just before halftime.

650 by Ronald Tillery in Oklahoma City. MOVED

^Greg Cote: Wade steps it up for Heat<


950 by Greg Cote in Miami. MOVED


^Wade, James get Heat off to strong start<


The poignant videos have been popular among the players to the point that they stare up at the video board during breaks rather than look down at coach Erik Spoelstra's clipboard.

The video department cued up Dwyane Wade's highlight video during the fourth quarter Sunday with the Heat leading the Charlotte Bobcats by 15 points. Wade wasn't really interested. He was getting ready to check back into the game and extend the lead of the Heat's eventual 99-88 victory on Sunday.

1000 by Joseph Goodman in Miami. MOVED



Also moving as:

^BKN-BOBCATS-HEAT:FL_<950 by Ira Winderman in Miami. MOVED

^Tom Sorensen: Jefferson presses on despite pain<


800 by Tom Sorensen in Miami. MOVED


^Neil Best: Raptors fans a small, passionate group<


Sure, the Raptors have had their occasional moments since arriving in 1995, mostly during the Vince Carter years and to a lesser extent with Chris Bosh. They even won a playoff series once _ beating the Knicks in 2001.

600 by Neil Best. MOVED

^Heat's James Jones scores big in series opener<


Forward James Jones would walk up to each player and ask the same question.

"What's your order?"

Until Sunday, his biggest role was writing down the post-game meal for his teammates. That changed when Jones scored 12 points in the Heat's 99-88 victory against the Charlotte Bobcats in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference first-round series.

650 by Shandel Richardson. MOVED


^Geoff Calkins: Allen deserves his shot at Durant<


Time to put Tony Allen back into the starting lineup. Time to unleash the Grindfather from the opening tip.

Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger wants the Grizzlies to come out with more force at the start of Monday night's Game 2 between Memphis and Oklahoma City. So, naturally, he's going to start the player who is force personified?

Well, no.

600 by Geoff Calkins in Oklahoma City. MOVED

^Harris steps up and delivers for Mavs<


Monta Ellis and Jose Calderon combined to shoot 7-for-23 from the field.

When San Antonio began daring Harris to take jump shots, he delivered with 19 points. After missing his first four shots, he hit eight of 12.

600 by Eddie Sefko in San Antonio. MOVED


^Tim Cowlishaw: Nowitzki struggles<


Maybe he felt it was necessary because while Duncan _ who turns 38 this week _ had just delivered a Game 1 message that he's anything but long gone, Nowitzki simply looked lost.

700 by Tim Cowlishaw in San Antonio. MOVED


^Spur escape with opening victory<


San Antonio, with an NBA-best 62 regular-season victories, certainly didn't expect to begin what is expected to a lengthy playoff run staring at an 81-71 deficit with 7:45 left.

600 by Brad Townsend in San Antonio. MOVED


^Dave Hyde: That's the Dwyane Wade the Heat need to have<


He delivered that trademark celebration so many times over so many years that, watching this scoreboard video of his career during a fourth-quarter time-out Sunday, Wade later chuckled and said, "I was pretty good."

650 by Dave Hyde in Miami. MOVED


^Sunday's games<

MCT expects coverage of the following basketball playoff games:

Washington at Chicago, 7 p.m.


^Replay leaves Marlins feeling safe at home<


Manager Mike Redmond was out of the dugout before Christian Yelich popped up from his slide. Hickox initially ruled him out on a Garrett Jones bases-loaded grounder to first. The speedy Yelich clearly slid in well ahead of Justin Smoak's throw. After a 2-minute, 20-second review, the call was overturned.

550 by Juan C. Rodriguez in Miami. MOVED

^Errors early cost Braves in 14-inning loss to Mets<


Curtis Granderson's sacrifice fly with one out in the 14th inning gave the Mets a 4-3 win against the Braves in a series finale at Citi Field that took more than 41/2 hours to complete.

850 by David O'Brien in New York. MOVED

^Yanks tip Rays in 12th, split series<

BBA-YANKEES-RAYS:ND _ Saturday night's unexpected pitcher was Sunday's unexpected hero.

Rookie infielder Dean Anna, who pitched in garbage time during a blowout loss Saturday, worked a bases-loaded walk in the 12th inning Sunday to help the Yankees earn a split of their four-game series against the Rays with a 5-1 victory in front of 26,462 at Tropicana Field.

650 by Erik Boland in St. Petersburg, Fla. MOVED

^Yordano Ventura struggles as Royals lose 8-3 to Twins<


He is still only 22, and on Sunday, fresh off his first big-league victory last week, he reminded observers of that reality. Ventura floundered for four innings in an 8-3 loss to Minnesota.

750 by Andy McCullough in Kansas City, Mo. MOVED



Also moving as:

^BBA-TWINS-ROYALS:MS_<650 by La Velle E. Neal III. MOVED


^White Sox offense roars back to life in 16-2 win<


Jordan Danks and Marcus Semien _ being counted on to fill Eaton's roles as he recovers from a strained left hamstring _ helped the Sox perk up in a 16-2 victory over the Rangers at Globe Life Park.

550 by Colleen Kane in Arlington, Texas. MOVED


^Murphy, Brantley lead Indians to 6-4 win over Toronto<


650 by Ryan Lewis in Cleveland. MOVED

^Reds hand Cubs another loss, plus a blueprint<


That remains a dream deferred following the Reds' 8-2 victory, which took nearly four hours.

The Reds pounded out 15 hits and did most of their damage with clutch two-out hitting out to dampen the spirits of 27,927 at Wrigley Field.

450 by Fred Mitchell in Chicago. MOVED

^Phillies turn on the power at Coors Field<


650 by Matt Gelb. MOVED

^Posey powers Giants past Padres<


700 by Alex Pavlovic in San Diego. MOVED

^A's beat Astros, run AL-best record to 13-5<


The Texas Rangers, the team that many believe is Oakland's chief rival for the A.L. West title, had won five consecutive games before getting mauled 16-2 Sunday by the White Sox.

Is this series a big deal? Well, it depends on who you ask.

700 by John Hickey in Oakland, Calif. MOVED

^Murphy, Brantley lead Indians to 6-4 win over Toronto<


650 by Ryan Lewis in Cleveland. MOVED

^Puig puts on a show as Dodgers beat Diamondbacks again, 4-1<


For the Los Angeles Dodgers themselves, Clayton Kershaw put on the best show. The stadium gates were not yet open when Kershaw completed the workout that put him in position to rejoin the Dodgers soon.

Josh Beckett and four relievers combined on a three-hitter Sunday, in the Dodgers' 4-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

1250 by Bill Shaikin in Los Angeles. MOVED

^Khris Davis' homer leads to Pirates' 3-2 loss against the Brewers in 14th<


That image will likely be the mass of bodies in shallow left field, Carlos Gomez and Travis Snider entangled in the middle of the vortex, in a benches-clearing fight.

800 by Bill Brink in Pittsburgh. MOVED

^Sunday's games<

MCT expects coverage of the following baseball games:

L.A. Angels at Detroit, 1:08 p.m.

Baltimore at Boston, 7:05 p.m.

St. Louis at Washington, 1:35 p.m.

^Dave Hyde: Yasiel Puig's story? It's told in different ways in every major league clubhouse<

^BBN-HYDE-COLUMN:FL_< Funny, the way we're numb to it all, numb to the everyday courage and drama and suffering.

"My story?" Miami Marlins shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria says.

He shrugs at his locker. It isn't much of one, he says. It's normal, he says. Simple.

But listen: He paid a smuggler to be human cargo out of Cuba. He left his family. He was driven by someone he didn't know to an isolated beach. He waded into the water to a 20-foot boat captained by someone he'd never met.

There were 13, maybe 14, in the boat. A couple of baseball players like himself, the rest just regular people he didn't know. They had no trouble. There were no authorities to evade.

800 by Dave Hyde in Miami. MOVED


^Mariners' losing skid hits 6<


The Mariners believe it will. They've said all the right things as the losing streak went from four to five and now six games with Sunday's 3-2 loss to the Miami Marlins at Globe Life Park.

"It's all right, we'll get out of this," said reliever Tom Wilhelmsen, who took the loss. "We are a much better team than this. There is no other way to feel either. We know what we have going here. It's just a bump in the road."

800 by Ryan Divish in Miami. MOVED


^Running backs in draft could be hurt as teams place less value on position <


"I don't like that," said the 5-foot-9, 207-pound Carey, who is projected to be a midround pick. "I feel like they think the running-back spot is going extinct for some reason."

800 by Terez A. Paylor. MOVED

^Bears need a safety net in NFL draft<


When you consider the possibilities, four positions emerge for the No. 14 pick: safety, defensive tackle, linebacker and cornerback.

That brings us back to safety. Alabama's Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Louisville's Calvin Pryor are widely considered the two best in a thin crop. Most believe there's a significant drop-off to the next group that includes Northern Illinois' Jimmie Ward, Washington State's Deone Bucannon and Florida State's Terrence Brooks. Ward and Bucannon could come off the board in the second round before the Bears pick again at No. 51.

700 by Brad Biggs. MOVED


^PGA Tour<

RBC Heritage, in Hilton Head, S.C.


^'Hurricane' Carter remembered more than ring skills<


But Carter was more than a boxer. He was a cause celebre because of his conviction in 1966 of a triple murder charge and his subsequent 19 years of wrongful incarceration before the conviction was overturned in 1985. His story was told in song by Bob Dylan and portrayed by actor Denzel Washington in the 1999 movie "The Hurricane."

600 by Greg Logan. MOVED



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