Patriots Release Antonio Brown

September 20, 2019 4:39 pm

(AP) – The New England Patriots have released receiver Antonio Brown after a second woman accused him of sexual misconduct.   The team announced the move Friday in a statement emailed to reporters.  The statement said: “We appreciate the hard work of many people over the past 11 days, but we feel that it is best to move in a different direction at this time.”   Brown has been accused of rape in a lawsuit by a former trainer. He is also accused of exposing himself to a painter he had hired. He has denied the allegations.   The Patriots signed Brown this month hours after he was released by Oakland. He was traded to the Raiders after wearing out his welcome with the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he was a four-time All-Pro in nine seasons.

NFL; Jacksonville Knocks Off Tennessee

September 20, 2019 3:50 am

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) – The Jacksonville Jaguars have their first win of the NFL season after knocking off the Tennessee Titans.  Gardner Minshew completed 20 of 30 passes for 204 yards and two touchdowns in the Jaguars’ 20-7 victory against the Titans. Minshew found James O’Shaughnessy wide open for a 7-yard TD, one play after Adoree’ Jackson’s muffed punt. Minshew was more precise with a 22-yard touchdown pass to DJ Chark, who was blanketed by Malcolm Butler.  The sixth-round draft pick starting his second consecutive game in place of injured quarterback Nick Foles.  Jacksonville sacked Marcus Mariota nine times, including three by Calais Campbell.  Derrick Henry scored the Tennessee’s lone touchdown early in the fourth quarter, but he finished with just 44 yards on 17 carries.  Both teams are 1-2.

Rudolph Ready To Lead Steelers

September 20, 2019 3:47 am

PITTSBURGH (AP) – Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph says he’s not going to change now that he’s filling in for Ben Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger is out for the season with an elbow injury, opening the door for Rudolph to make the first start of his NFL career when the Steelers visit San Francisco. Rudolph says he’s been preparing as if he’s the starter since the day the Steelers selected him in the 2018 draft and he’s eager to help the Steelers emerge from an early 0-2 hole.

Pirates Losing Skid Hits 6

September 20, 2019 3:41 am

PITTSBURGH (AP) – Shed Long had three hits and scored the go-ahead run in the 11th on an unusual inning-ending double play as the Seattle Mariners beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-5 on  Thursday.  The Mariners swept the three-game series between last-place teams and sent the Pirates to their sixth straight loss.  Long reached base on first baseman Jose Osuna’s error to start the  11th and Omar Narvaez singled with one out to put runners on the corners. Austin Nola then hit a chopper to second baseman Kevin Kramer – rather than flip the ball to second, he ran at  Narvaez, who alertly stopped and began to retreat.  Kramer then threw to first, and Narvaez was eventually tagged in a 4-3-6-2 rundown as Long scored. Kramer likely would’ve had no chance to  throw home at the start to get Long.  Long also drove in two runs.  Pittsburgh’s Jake Elmore had three hits and two RBIs.  Brandon Brennan (3-6) pitched one scoreless inning and rookie Erik Swanson worked around a walk in the 11th for his first career save. Clay Holmes (1-2) took the loss, though the winning run was unearned.  Mariners left-handed Yusei Kikuchi lasted four innings in what figures to be his next-to-last start of the season, allowing four runs and eight hits with one strikeout and one walk.  Signed from Japan to a three-year, $43-million contract in the offseason, Kikuchi has made 31 starts and pitched 155 2/3 innings. He is 6-10 with 5.55 ERA.  Pirates starter Joe Musgrove gave up four runs – two earned – and five hits in five innings. He struck out six and walked two.  Seattle tied the score at 5-all in the seventh on Nola’s two-out single after Elmore put Pittsburgh ahead 5-4 in the fifth with an RBI single.  Both teams had four-run second innings.  Long’s two-run single capped the Mariners’ half in which Braden Bishop hit an RBI single and another run scored on shortstop Cole Tucker’s throwing error. The Pirates got run-scoring doubles from Elias Diaz, Elmore and  Musgrove before Kevin Newman capped the inning with an RBI single.  Elmore’s hit snapped a 0-for-19 skid.

Fitzpatrick Practices With Steelers

September 19, 2019 3:37 am

PITTSBURGH (AP) – Pittsburgh Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick is trying to get up to speed quickly with his new team. The Steelers acquired Fitzpatrick from Miami for three draft picks. Fitzpatrick joins a defense that was pushed around at times in losses New England and Seattle. Fitzpatrick said he didn’t feel out of place during his first practice with the Steelers. Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin said he plans to play Fitzpatrick extensively when the team visits San Francisco.

Pirates Blanked By Seattle

September 18, 2019 3:41 am

PITTSBURGH (AP) – Marco Gonzales allowed six hits in seven innings, Austin Nola and Omar Narvaez hit back-to-back home runs and the Seattle Mariners beat Pittsburgh 6-0 on Tuesday night after Pirates All-Star closer Felipe Vazquez was arrested on multiple felony charges earlier in the day.  Vazquez was charged with statutory sexual assault, soliciting a child and pornography, and placed on administrative leave by Major League Baseball.  Vazquez was taken into custody by Pennsylvania State Police on one count of computer pornography/solicitation of a child and one count of providing obscene material to minors, both felonies, stemming from an investigation in Florida. He was later charged in Westmoreland County, which is located east of Pittsburgh, with felony counts of statutory sexual assault, unlawful contact with a minor and corruption of minors and a misdemeanor count of indecent assault of a person under 16 years old.  Gonzales (16-11) struck out four, walked none and doubled and scored in the fifth inning. The left-hander has set career high in wins, starts (32) and innings pitched (189).  Sam Tuivailala and Reggie McClain each pitched one inning to complete the eight-hitter.  Narvaez and Nola each had three hits, and their consecutive home runs in the sixth inning off Michael Feliz extended the Mariners’ lead to 4-0. Shed Long led off the seventh with a homer off Williams Jerez as Seattle won its third straight game.  Nola has seven hits in his last two games following a 1-for-18 skid.  Rookie Mitch Keller (1-5) gave up two runs in five innings in falling to 0-4 in his last six starts. The Pirates’ Jose Osuna and Erik Gonzalez each had two hits.  Dee Gordon opened the scoring with a second-inning sacrifice fly and Gonzales scored on J.P. Crawford’s single to make it 2-0. Narvaez drove in the last run with a single in the seventh.

Pirates Vazquez Arrested On Child Porn Charges

September 18, 2019 3:44 am

PITTSBURGH (AP) – Pittsburgh Pirates All-Star closer Felipe Vazquez has been arrested on charges of pornography and soliciting a child.  Vazquez was taken into custody Tuesday morning by State Police on one count of computer pornography/solicitation of a child and one count of providing obscene material to minors. Both charges are felonies.  The Florida Department of Law Enforcement says it began investigating the 28-year-old Vazquez in August after learning of an alleged sexual relationship between Vazquez and a teenage girl living in Lee County, Florida. Authorities say Vazquez, who lives in Saint Cloud, Florida, and the victim began the relationship when the girl was 13.  The girl, now 15, allegedly received a video text message from Vazquez in July in which he was performing a sex act. Vazquez also allegedly texted the girl to ask if she wanted to meet for a sexual encounter following the end of the baseball season.  The Pirates said they have informed the MLB commissioner’s office and expect Vazquez to be placed on administrative leave.

NFL; Manning Benched; Surgery For Brees

September 18, 2019 3:44 am

UNDATED (AP) – Eli Manning’s NFL career began when he took over for Hall of Famer Kurt Warner midway through the New York Giants’ 2004 season. Giants coach Pat Shurmur is making a quarterback change following the team’s 0-2 start, announcing that Daniel Jones is replacing Manning under center.  Jones was taken by the Giants with the sixth overall pick in this year’s NFL draft and looked impressive during preseason. He started three seasons at Duke, completing 60% of his passes for 8,201 yards, 52 touchdowns and 29 interceptions before turning pro after his junior year.
Manning led the Giants to Super Bowl titles following the 2007 and ’11 seasons, beating Tom Brady and the Patriots both times. He’s broken every Giants career record for quarterbacks and has started all but one game since taking over for Warner 15 years ago.  Elsewhere in the NFL: Saints quarterback Drew Brees says he is scheduled to undergo surgery on his throwing thumb tomorrow, adding that he’ll dedicate himself to a rehabilitation process to get back to playing as quickly as he can. Brees tore a ligament in the right thumb when he made contact with Los Angeles defensive tackle Aaron Donald during the follow-through of a throw in Sunday’s loss to the Rams. Rehabilitation is estimated to take about six weeks, but that timeline could change after surgery.

Steelers Deal First Rounder To Miami For Fitzpatrick

September 17, 2019 3:44 am

DAVIE, Fla. (AP) – Miami Dolphins defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick has been traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a first-round draft pick in 2020.  Fitzpatrick was unhappy about his role with the Dolphins, and he requested and received permission to seek a trade. He played free safety for Miami in Sunday’s 43-0 loss to New England and had six tackles and a fumble recovery.  Fitzpatrick was the 11th overall pick in the 2018 draft, but quickly became unhappy after Brian Flores took over as Miami’s coach this year.

MNF; Browns Knock Off Jets

September 17, 2019 3:46 am

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) – It seemed like old times for Odell Beckham Jr. as he delivered a pair of highlight-reel catches at Met Life Stadium.  The former New York Giant had a long scoring reception and made a one-handed grab as the Cleveland Browns dumped the battered New York Jets, 23-3. Beckham took a slant pass and outran the Jets’ defenders all the way to the end zone for an 89-yard TD that put Cleveland up 23-3 with 3 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter. His spectacular 33-yard, one-handed grab got Cleveland down to the Jets 4 and set up a field goal for the game’s first points.  Beckham finished with six catches for 161 yards as the Browns bounced back from their 30-point loss to the Titans in Week 1.  The 0-2 Jets finished the game with their third-string quarterback. Marcus Siemian had to leave the game after taking a hit in the second quarter. Siemian was starting in place of Sam Darnold, who is out with mononucleosis. Siemian finished 3 of 6 for 3 yards, while Luke Falk was 20 of 25 for 198 yards as the Jets absorbed their seventh consecutive home loss since last season.