Weekend Sports in Brief
HOUSTON (AP) Home runs kept flying over the wall at Minute Maid Park, on line drives up toward the train tracks, on fly balls that just dropped over the fence.
Seven more were hit in Game 5, raising the total to a World Series record 22 – with two possible more games to play. Twenty-five runs were scored in a game started by the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw and the Astros’ Dallas Keuchel, Cy Young Award winners regarded as among baseball’s best.
After a season when sluggers outpaced even their steroid-era predecessors for home runs, some are convinced that something is amiss with the baseballs.
”The main complaint is that the balls seem a little bit different in the postseason, and even from the postseason to the World Series balls,” Justin Verlander said.
A record eight home runs were hit in Game 2, including five in extra innings, and Game 5’s seven long balls would have tied the old mark. The 13-12, 10-inning Astros’ win Sunday night was the second-highest scoring game in Series history.
Keuchel was quoted as saying after Game 2: ”Obviously, the balls are juiced.”
Speculation that something has changed includes a study claiming to have found differences in the size and seam height of balls since the 2015 All-Star break.
Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred insists nothing nefarious is going on.
”I’m absolutely confident that the balls that we’re using are within our established specifications,” he said Friday.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) – Oakland Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell was arrested in Arizona after a food delivery person alleged he pointed a gun at her.
Maxwell was the only player in Major League Baseball to take a knee this year during the national anthem to protest racial injustice.
Scottsdale police said officers went to Maxwell’s home Saturday night after getting a call about a person with a gun. Maxwell was booked on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and disorderly conduct.
Police said Maxwell was held in custody pending an initial court appearance. It wasn’t known if he had an attorney who could comment on his behalf.
TMZ Sports first reported the arrest.
The 26-year-old Maxwell hit .237 with three home runs and 22 RBIs in 76 games this season. He was projected to be Oakland’s starting catcher next year.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Dave Martinez will get a chance to try to do what no Washington Nationals manager has accomplished: win a postseason series with the club.
Martinez agreed to a three-year contract plus an option with the Nationals, a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press, for a job that will make him a skipper in the majors for the first time.
The person described the contract to the AP on condition of anonymity because the agreement had not been announced.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Golden State star Draymond Green is taking issue with being fined $25,000 for a skirmish with Washington’s Bradley Beal, saying he was trying to protect himself from Beal and players from the Wizards’ bench.
On Sunday, the NBA fined Green and Beal for fighting during a game Friday night and also suspended Washington guard Carrick Felix and forward Markieff Morris one game apiece for leaving the bench area during the scuffle.
Beal, who was ejected for initiating the fight, was fined $50,000. Also, Wizards forward Kelly Oubre Jr. received a $15,000 fine for entering the altercation in the Warriors’ eventual 120-117 victory.
”I got hit and didn’t even hit back and got fined,” Green said Sunday after the defending champions’ 115-107 loss to Detroit. ”Then for him to get fined only $50,000, I get fined $25,000. Oubre comes in throwing punches and he gets fined less than me. That just don’t add up to me.
SEATTLE (AP) – All but 10 members of the Houston Texans took a knee during the national anthem Sunday, as the vast majority of the team protested the owner’s ”inmates running the prison” comment.
The Texans had indicated there would be some type of protest following the comments by owner Bob McNair. It came prior to the Texans’ wild 41-38 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
”I’m never going to force anyone to do anything they don’t feel comfortable with. I think we all felt the same way on Friday,” said Houston left tackle Duane Brown. ”As far as the demonstration went, some people didn’t feel quite comfortable (kneeling) and some people did, but we all supported each other. That was what was important. I don’t think that anyone looks at anyone differently for what they stood for or didn’t stand for.”
All of the team’s black players appeared to take a knee. At least one white player – Ben Heeney – also knelt.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, one of the founders of The Players Coalition, said the next proposed meeting between the owners and players to discuss social justice initiatives has been canceled.
”The league didn’t accept our invitation,” Jenkins said Sunday.
NFL players proposed to meet Monday in Philadelphia. Jenkins said the league cited scheduling and logistical issues.
”At this point, the ball is in their court,” Jenkins said. ”We’ll continue to do what we’ve been doing. Guys are working around the league.”
League spokesman Brian McCarthy said Sunday night: ”Nothing is set, but the league is eager to continue the dialogue with the players.”
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) – Florida and coach Jim McElwain have agreed to part ways a day after a third consecutive loss and nearly a week after he said his players and their families had received death threats.
Athletic director Scott Stricklin made the announcement Sunday and named defensive coordinator Randy Shannon the team’s interim coach for the final four games.
The parties are negotiating McElwain’s $12.5 million buyout.
Florida (3-4, 3-3 Southeastern Conference), which is still paying former coach Will Muschamp, would like to significantly reduce McElwain’s sum and could use his actions over the last week as leverage.
Regardless of the outcome, McElwain’s tenure will be remembered for failing to fix a floundering offense. Three years ago, McElwain proclaimed he could win with his dog at quarterback. The Gators currently rank 113th in total offense, in triple digits nationally for the third time in McElwain’s three seasons.