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Tuesday, August 13, 2019 B3

COLUMBIA-GREENE MEDIA

NFL NOTEBOOK:

Steelers WR coach Drake dies at 62 Field Level Media

The Pittsburgh Steelers are mourning the loss of wide receivers coach Darryl Drake, who died Sunday morning. Drake, who joined the Steelers in 2018, was 62. No information about the cause of his death was available. Team owner Art Rooney issued a statement honoring Drake on Sunday morning. “We are at a loss for words following Darryl Drake’s passing this morning,” it begins. “Darryl had such an impact on the players he coached and everyone he worked with throughout his entire career. He was a passionate coach and had a tremendous spirit toward life, his family, his faith and the game of football.” –The New York Jets were forced to find a replacement after kicker Chandler Catanzaro announced his retirement. The 28-year-old Catanzaro missed two of three extra point tries in the Jets’ preseason opener on Thursday. He was the only kicker in camp, so the Jets signed free agent Taylor Bertolet after a tryout. Catanzaro entered the league with the Arizona Cardinals in 2014 and spent three seasons there. He spent the next season with the Jets before splitting the 2018 between with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers.

–Ron Minegar, the executive vice president and COO of the Arizona Cardinals, was arrested on suspicion of DUI. “Ron Minegar’s actions last night are inexcusable,” the team said in a statement. “He made the decision to drive after drinking alcohol and is fortunate that he was pulled over before injuring anyone or himself. According to MADD, drunk driving results in almost 11,000 deaths per year and is the number one cause of fatalities on roadways. We fully recognize the seriousness of these actions and they will have serious consequences.” It is the second straight summer that a Cardinals executive has been arrested on a drunk-driving charge. Last July, the team suspended general manager Steve Keim for five weeks and fined him $200,000 after he entered a guilty plea to extreme DUI. –The Baltimore Ravens traded kicker/ punter Kaare Vedvik to the Minnesota Vikings. The Ravens said they are receiving an “undisclosed draft pick” in exchange. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported it was a 2020 fifthround pick. Several teams had contacted the Ravens about Vedvik after the 25-year-old Norwegian drilled four field goals, including a 55-yarder, in Thursday’s preseason opener against Jacksonville. Baltimore already has Justin Tucker, the most accurate kicker in NFL history. Dan

Bailey is currently the kicker in Minnesota. –Denver Broncos running back Theo Riddick will be out six to eight weeks with a slight shoulder fracture, according to a report. Mike Kils of 9News in Denver said Riddick sustained the injury Thursday in the Broncos’ preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks. He said surgery won’t be required. The Broncos signed Riddick to a one-year deal for $2.5 million, with $1 million guaranteed, just a week ago after the Detroit Lions released him. –New York Jets cornerback Trumaine Johnson injured a hamstring in practice and will be sidelined indefinitely. The 29-year-old veteran apparently suffered the injury on a long interception return. “Anytime a guy that makes a living has a hamstring ... we’ll see how it goes,” coach Adam Gase said, per ESPN. “He’s going to have to get a lot of treatment and strengthen it up, and we’ll get him back as fast as possible.” –San Francisco 49ers tackle Shon Coleman had surgery to repair a broken fibula and dislocated ankle suffered in Saturday’s preseason opener against Dallas. Coleman, 27, was injured in the first quarter and left the game on a cart with an air cast around his lower right leg. A third-round pick of the Cleveland Browns in 2016, Coleman was traded to the 49ers in August 2018. He appeared in 23 games for the

Browns, including 16 starts in 2017, and was expected to be the 49ers’ swing tackle behind starters Joe Staley and Mike McGlinchey this season. –The Cardinals activated tight end Charles Clay and cornerback Brandon Williams from the physically unable to perform list. Clay was sidelined with a knee injury and Williams has been dealing with a back issue. The moves leave only offensive lineman Max Garcia (knee) on Arizona’s PUP list. Clay, 30, signed a one-year contract with the Cardinals in February after four seasons with the Miami Dolphins (2011-14) and four with the Buffalo Bills (2015-18). He caught 21 passes for 184 yards in 13 games in 2018 and has 339 career receptions for 3,631 yards and 23 touchdowns in 112 games. –The Cleveland Browns signed tight end Rico Gathers and released tight end/fullback Orson Charles. The Dallas Cowboys, who selected Gathers in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, waived him earlier this week. Gathers played college basketball at Baylor, and the Cowboys drafted him in hopes he’d become the next Antonio Gates, who turned into an All-Pro with the Chargers franchise after a basketball career at Kent State. But in three years in Dallas, Gathers caught just three passes for 45 yards.

MLB NOTEBOOK:

Maddon expects to stay with Cubs Field Level Media

In the final season of his fiveyear contract, Chicago manager Joe Maddon said he expects to be with the Cubs “for a couple more years.” Maddon, 65, addressed his future with ESPN prior to Sunday’s game in Cincinnati. He said he wants to manage until he is at least 70. “I’m operating like we’ll be together for a couple more years, at least,” he said. “I’m not going to sit and proclaim I’m looking to go elsewhere. That’s not true.” Maddon guided the Cubs to at

Kelly From B1

not the quarterbacks coach,” Swarbrick said. “He’s able to narrow his focus to things he can uniquely do. And I think that lifts a burden off him. He can be a little bit more relaxed and comfortable.” And yet at Notre Dame, misery is always one “L” away. Northwestern lost three straight games last season and still had a wildly successful

Mets From B1

majors’ best record since the All-Star Game. Since mid-July they’ve leapfrogged seven National League clubs in the standings to claw within a half-game of a postseason berth. “It’s unfortunate that we fell short today, but I mean, hell, we were on an eight-game win streak,” Mets first baseman Pete Alonso said, before adding of coming visits to Atlanta and Kansas City: “Regardless of today, we have a ton of momentum going into this road trip.” Conforto provided the dramatic highlight Friday night, hitting a game-winning single off a 94-mph heater on the inside corner from the Nationals’ lefty closer Sean Doolittle to cap a four-run, ninth-inning rally. The raucous onfield celebration ended with a tattered uniform jersey, a bare-chested Conforto and a “Holy Shirt!” tabloid headline. “It’s allowed me to not pull myself off the ball if it does run away, stay on the change-ups and off-speed pitches and still get to the inside fastball, which for a lot of guys is the toughest pitch to get to,” Conforto said of his swing tweak.

least 92 wins in each of his first four seasons, highlighted by a 103-58 record and the franchise’s first World Series championship since 1908 in 2016. –The New York Yankees placed reliever Stephen Tarpley on the 10day injured list with a left elbow impingement. The Yankees also optioned infielder Breyvic Valera to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. To fill those roster spots, the Yankees summoned right-hander Brady Lail and left-hander Joe Mantiply from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

The club also moved slugger Giancarlo Stanton to the 60-day injured list. –The Boston Red Sox selected the contract of veteran infielder Chris Owings from Triple-A Pawtucket. To make room on the roster, Boston sent 30-year-old right-hander Hector Velazquez (1-4, 5.81 ERA) to Pawtucket and transferred first baseman Steve Pearce (back, knee) to the 60-day injured list. Owings, 27, signed a minor league contract with the Red Sox on June 17 after being released earlier that month by the Kansas City

Royals. He hit leadoff in his Boston debut but went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts. –The Chicago White Sox activated right-handed reliever Kelvin Herrera from on the 10-day injured list after his rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte. Herrera had been sidelined with a right oblique strain, dating back to July 18. He made three appearances, including one start, during his rehab stint. He replaced righthander Jose Ruiz, who was sent back to Charlotte following Saturday’s 3-2 win

year, winning the Big Ten West. The Irish can’t win a conference and might get zapped from the playoffs with a single loss, even if it’s at Georgia (Sept. 21) or at Michigan (Oct. 26). Last year some clowns thought the Irish weren’t worthy at 12-0, then doubled down after Notre Dame got spanked by Clemson in a semifinal of the College Football Playoff. But based on that rationale, Alabama also didn’t deserve to make the final four. Swarbrick paid no attention

to the critics after the Clemson blowout. “I didn’t read anything for a week,” he said. “And by the time I started reading anything, Alabama had had the same experience.” That Clemson loss was like a drawing where some people see a duck and others a bunny. The masses saw the final score (30-3), the halftime score (23-3) and the yardage disparity (538-248) and termed it a blowout. Tribune headline: “It happened again. Notre Dame mauled in its hunt ...” Swarbrick and some Irish

fans saw a close (9-3) game late in the second quarter change when stud cornerback Julian Love entered the concussion protocol. Trevor Lawrence (27-for-39, 327 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs) torched his sub. A bad break for the Irish? Or proof of a flawed roster? “I think Clemson wins that game nine out of 10 times,” Swarbrick said. And if Love stays healthy: “Certainly a different outcome ... in terms of the spread. Not the result. But it feels very different.” The hypothetical will never

The Mets’ current run has had shades of 2015, when a hot streak around the time of the trade deadline propelled them toward an NL East crown and World Series trip, but the circumstances are considerably different this season. Whereas the run in 2015 was a concerted plan, 2019 has been more of a patchwork push. Four years ago, when the Mets won seven straight and 11 out of 13, it came on the heels of the trade acquisitions of left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (who homered 17 times in his first 40 starts) as well as relievers Tyler Clippard and Addison Reed and infielders Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe. Conforto, a top prospect who made his big league debut July 24, 2015, and reserve outfielder Juan Lagares are the lone position players from that season who are still on the active roster. Starting pitchers Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz remain — although Matz only made six starts in ‘15 — as does reliever Jeurys Familia. At this year’s deadline, Brodie Van Wagenen, the Mets’ rookie general manager, acquired pitcher Marcus Stroman in a move that, with the Mets five games below .500, appeared to target contention in 2020 more than 2019. Postdeadline, the Mets, after losing

Robinson Cano to a torn hamstring, added second baseman Joe Panik. They also signed reliever Brad Brach to bolster the bullpen. Both are former All-Stars, albeit ones who had endured tough stretches that resulted in being designated for assignment by the San Francisco Giants and Chicago Cubs, respectively. That the Mets were adding at all was unexpected, considering the fact that a week before the deadline most reports suggested they were attempting to trade Zack Wheeler and Syndergaard. “We welcome them with open arms,” Wheeler said of Panik and Brach. “Any help helps.” On Sunday, Panik contributed a run-scoring single and a diving stop in the infield while Brach stranded two inherited runners in a tied sixth inning. Stroman struck out a seasonhigh nine batters in a no-decision Friday night. All three hail from the Greater New York City area: Panik grew up in Dutchess County and attended St. John’s University; Stroman was raised on Long Island; Brach spent his childhood in New Jersey. Before his first home start Friday, Stroman wore a vintage Mets jersey with Darryl Strawberry’s name on the back. Strawberry starred during the franchise’s 1986 World

Series championship season — the first time, incidentally, the Mets had a stretch of 15 wins in 16 games. DeGrom, Syndergaard and Wheeler have combined for 10 starts with a cumulative 1.20 ERA during this stretch. Wheeler hasn’t allowed a run in 15 innings over his last two starts, and in his last outing, found himself summoning the approach of Bartolo Colon, who led the 2015 staff in innings pitched. Colon rarely deviated from variations of his fastball, and Wheeler acknowledged trouble with his breaking pitches in last Tuesday’s start against the Marlins. At one point in the dugout, he thought to himself, “I want to see my fastball percentage, because I feel like Bartolo.” In the midst of the streak, the Mets have embraced a new rally cry, “LFGM” — a profane embellishment of the popular “Let’s Go Mets” chant — that was evident on Alonso’s pregame T-shirt and even the faux license plate adorning Dominic Smith’s KneeRover scooter, as the left fielder recovers from a stress reaction in his left foot. “We haven’t done anything yet,” manager Mickey Callaway said. “All we’ve done is put ourselves in a better position than we were prior to this. There’s a long, long way to go.”

over the Oakland A’s. –The Arizona Diamondbacks officially released veteran reliever Greg Holland less than a week after designating him for assignment. Holland, 33, was 1-2 with a 4.54 ERA in 40 appearances with Arizona this season. He tallied 17 saves, boosting his career total to 206. Following his release, Holland is eligible to sign with any big league team for the pro-rated portion of the veteran’s minimum salary for the remainder of the season.

be resolved, but the Irish can answer those who think there’s a Dexter Lawrencesized gap between Notre Dame and Clemson. “People can say (it was huge) because the score was like that,” Irish receiver Chris Finke said. “For me and the other players on the field, we didn’t feel outmatched. We didn’t execute our game plan and didn’t get the job done, but I don’t think we were totally on a different field, you know?” The theme of this year’s team, the one you see

Biles From B1

acknowledges it herself. On Wednesday, she warmed up for this championship meet in a leotard bedazzled with a goat. It’s an acronym: Greatest Of All Time. Biles’ list of accolades is well-known, but it bears repeating: She was the 2016 Olympic individual allaround, vault and floor gold medalist, and the bronze medalist on the balance beam. She’s also a four-time world all-around champion, four-time world floor exercise champion, two-time world balance beam champion and 2018 world vault champion. In total, she was won six national titles. Another way to explain Biles’ lore is to point out her ingenuity. She’s the owner of two eponymous skills, or skills named for their creator, and both are named The Biles: The first, on the vault, involves a Yurchenko halfon, front layout salchow with double twist off. The second, on the floor exercise, features a double layout half-out. Very difficult maneuvers. Even if we threw all that

hashtagged on social media, is: “Sharpen the Blade.” It fits. After the 4-8 season, the Irish needed all new weapons. Now it’s a matter of fine-tuning. Kelly realizes this. And instead of bullying or micromanaging, he’s showing an easy confidence. After lauding the hang time and makeup of freshman punter Jay Bramblett, Kelly added a virtual wink: “And he’s got a terrific arm. ... Just throwing that out there.”

out the window, Biles has shown the kind of sheer athleticism, pure ability and utter wow factor to make her a household name, leaping like she’s playing the floor is a volcano game that many of us enjoyed as kids. That Biles has engendered such name recognition competing in a discipline that lacks the enormous audience enjoyed by other major sports speaks to her raw ability, among other things. Together, these are the ways Biles has pieced together a list of accolades that have elevated her to a stratosphere befitting the best gymnast ever. She’ll vouch for herself, too. In the afternoon session for the junior women’s finals, Kayla DiCello took home the all-around title — but just barely. DiCello, who entered Sunday in second place, edged Konnor McClain, using a total all-around score of 112.700 to best McClain’s 112.600. An incoming high school sophomore, McClain clinched the gold in the floor exercise, balance beam and vault, while Olivia Greaves, who grabbed the all-around bronze, won gold on uneven bars.

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