Rangers catcher J.P. Arencibia tossed a scoreless inning

J.P. Arencibia has proven to be not much of a hitter with a career .208 batting average and .662 OPS, but last night the 28-year-old catcher/first baseman made his pitching debut for the Rangers and looked pretty decent.

Arencibia tossed a scoreless ninth inning with the Rangers down 10-1 to the Rays, recording three outs on just 10 pitches while working around a Logan Forsythe infield single. He threw all fastballs, averaging 72.6 miles per hour and topping out at 74.2 mph.

He’s the third position player to pitch for the Rangers this season, which in itself says a lot about how many times Texas has been blown out.

Oklahoma without second Class of 2014 recruit in fall camp

Oklahoma is without one more member of the Class fo 2014 this summer. Safety Vontre McQuinnie has been officially removed from the football roster this week, but he still plans on arriving on Oklahoma’s campus in the future.

According to The Oklahoman, McQuinnie had planned to enroll in a junior college and transfer to Oklahoma at the completion of his summer courses. That plan may be on hold as well, but time will tell how this all plays out. Tulsa World, first to report the roster news with a confirmation from Oklahoma’s athletics department, says McQuinnie never arrived in Norman this summer, opting to enroll at a community college to focus on grades.  McQuinnie is the second member of Oklahoma’s Class of 2014 not to make it to the fall, with offensive lineman Natrell Curtis choosing to enroll at a community college in Arizona. Curtis was a three-star lineman according to Rivals.com.

McQuinnie was a two-star prospect at safety according to Rivals.com. Recruiting by Mike Stoops, McQuinnie chose the Sooners over offers from SMU and Iowa.

Rangers place Yu Darvish on disabled list with elbow injury

 The long list of injured Rangers now grows …

As first relayed by Jeff Wilson at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, ace Yu Darvish has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his right elbow. Darvish had a surprisingly-terrible start last Saturday in Houston — surrendering six runs on nine hits and four walks in a loss to the Astros — and then experienced discomfort in his pitching elbow at the beginning of a bullpen session on Monday.

Darvish will undergo further testing on his right arm later this week. Robbie Ross will start in his place on Thursday and Alex Claudio has been called up from Triple-A Round Rock to provide bullpen depth.

Darvish, 27, owns a 3.06 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, and 182/49 K/BB ratio in 144 1/3 innings this year.

 

Cowboys-Raiders Practice Brawl Features Helmet-Swinging Raiders Fan

by Rick Chandler

SportsGrid

The Cowboys and Raiders had a joint practice in Oxnard, CA, on Tuesday, and it went pretty much as you expected — with a large brawl, including a Raiders fan who swung a helmet at a Dallas player.

Imagine what what have happened had this not be a non-tackling practice.

It all began when Cowboys CB Morris Claiborne leveled Oakland tight end Mychal Rivera near the sideline on a pass play (hey! Non-tackling practice!) which led to Raiders players retaliating, and then a big dogpile. One fan can be seen above swinging a helmet, with Cowboys CB B.W. Webb retaliating by taking a swing at the fan.

It’s definitely a dangerous situation,” Webb said. “I don’t know why fans would want to jump on this side of the fence. I don’t think they’d like it too much on this side.”

But even that brawl and a smaller one on the other field involving Cowboys running back J.C. Copeland and Raiders linebacker Justin Cole couldn’t mar the day.

“I don’t like the fights. I want to come out and practice football,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. “We don’t have any time for that, and we certainly don’t want to get anybody injured in fisticuffs. I thought both teams came out and competed and got a lot of good work in.”

Look at it this way — it’s the first skirmish in the new San Antonio-Dallas rivalry.

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Oklahoma’s top tackler suspended for the season

Linebacker Frank Shannon is no longer a member of the Oklahoma Sooners. Shannon was suspended by the school for a year, according to a release from Oklahoma University president David Boren.

Shannon led the Sooners last season with 92 total tackles and helped solidify a defensive front seven which struggled in recent years.

The linebacker remained an active member of the Oklahoma football team, while the investigation into an alleged sexual assault continued. The university changed course after an internal investigation was completed.

Even with the university’s decision to suspend Shannon, this may not be the end of story. Shannon, a junior, retains the right to appeal the school’s decision.

“The University followed a very stringent process with both sides, and under the Administrative Procedure Act both sides have an ability to appeal any decision reached by the University to a district court,” Oklahom’s open records officer Michael Purcell told The Oklahoman‘s Jason Kersey last week. “The University takes very seriously its obligation in cases like this. Under federal law, since this matter is still pending, the University cannot release further information.”

 

Quick Take: Johnny Manziel makes strong starting bid

Johnny Manziel took center stage Saturday night in his preseason debut.

DETROIT – Advantage, Johnny Football.

The Cleveland Browns got their first game-action glimpse into the future of life with Johnny Manziel on Saturday night, and the train has gained some momentum.

It looks like Manziel is capable of making some magic in the NFL, too.

He flashed enough to advance the imagination.

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What lengths did Cowboys owner Jerry Jones go to Saturday to avoid the media?

For an owner who usually loves to talk to the media, Jerry Jones went to amusing lengths to avoid reporters Saturday.

Jones normally enters the practice fields through the tennis courts near the hotel complex. On this day, he entered on the opposite side of the complex through a dirt field where fans park. He then took his seat in the tower between the two practice fields.

Once practice was over and Jones descended the tower, a club official called head coach Jason Garrett over. Jones and Garrett walked across one of the practice fields and up a small hill to the training room. The two stopped and chatted in an area restricted to reporters.

A few minutes later, as fan began to chant “Jerry, Jerry,’’ Jones came back down and signed autographs before again leaving for the training room. He went out a side exit, far away from where the media is allowed, took his seat in a waiting car and left.

Jones hasn’t spoken to the local media since Monday night. While this amount of time between sessions in camp isn’t unprecedented, it’s uncharacteristic.

How funny it is. A billionaire, always blabbering about how good his organization is, how successful he is, reduced to a little old man afraid of the media.

How long can he hide?

The power of three: College football’s top trios

With the rising numbers of college football players leaving their programs early for the NFL, getting a top quarterback, running back and receiver back from the previous season is increasingly rare.

That is one reason Baylor has the top trio in FBS entering the 2014 season.

In a composite of NCAA statistical leaders, the Bears have a top five quarterback in Bryce Petty, a top seven wide receiver in Antwan Goodley, and in spite of losing their No. 1 rusher, their offensive scheme still places Shock Linwood in the top 25 of returning rushers. Without Goodley, the Bears return so many quality receivers, they would still have one of the top 20 trios with their No. 2 or No. 3 receivers.

To formulate a composite ranking, each returning player was broken down into multiple categories and ranked against the other returning players at their respective positions. This creates an average national ranking for every player based on their position. For quarterbacks, there were 11 stats used, seven were used for running backs and seven were used for wide receivers/tight ends.

Like Baylor, Florida State lost its top rusher from 2013, but its returning players have enough potency to give the Seminoles the No. 2 trio. The remainder of the top five is USC and Indiana tied at No. 3 and Houston at No. 5. Arizona State, Temple, Michigan State, Northwestern and Auburn come in with the sixth- through 10th-ranked trios.

So where is Oregon, with a leading Heisman contender in quarterback Marcus Mariota and two strong backs in Byron Marshall and Thomas Tyner? The Ducks would have the No. 2 trio if Bralon Addison — the No. 16 returning receiver in this composite — was not expected to miss the 2014 season with a knee injury. As it is, their top receiver is tight end Johnny Mundt, who ranks 147th among returning pass catchers.

Quarterbacks were evaluated on a composite of attempts, completions, yards per attempt, touchdowns, interceptions, efficiency rating, attempts per game, yards per game, points per pass, interceptions per pass. Running backs were evaluated on a composite of attempts, yards, yards per carry, touchdowns, carries per game, yards per game, points per rush. And wide receivers were evaluated on a composite of receptions, yards, yards per catch, touchdowns, receptions per game, yards per game, points per catch.

The top 10 trios, with individual national position rankings for QB, RB and WR:

1. Baylor (Bryce Petty 5, Shock Linwood 33, Antwan Goodley 7), 15.0 average

2. Florida State (Jameis Winston 7, Karlos Williams 44, Rashad Greene 21), 24.0

3 (tie). Indiana (Nate Sudfeld 17, Tevin Coleman 17, Shane Wynn 39), 24.3

3 (tie). USC (Cody Kessler 14, Javorius Allen 30, Nelson Agholor 29), 24.3

5. Houston (John O’Korn 20, Ryan Jackson 58, Deontay Greenberry 16), 31.3

6. Arizona State (Taylor Kelly 16, D.J. Foster 72, Jaelen Strong 25), 37.7

7. Michigan State (Connor Cook 20, Jeremy Langford 20, Tony Lippett 75), 38.3

8. Northwestern (Trevor Siemian 26, Treyvon Green 38, Christian Jones 55), 39.7

9. Auburn (Nick Marshall 26, Cameron Artis-Payne 62, Sammie Coates 32), 40

10. Utah (Travis Wilson 24, James Poole 81, Dres Anderson 20), 41.7

Cleveland Browns vs. Detroit Lions

Johnny Manziel will make his long-awaited debut Saturday night in Detroit, where every seat in Ford Field has been sold and every spot in the press box has been filled,  presumably because Johnny Football is coming to town.

Manziel, who will work exclusively with the second-team offense, has scrambled his way into the forefront this week — but Brian Hoyer can steal back the momentum Saturday night with a productive start against the Lions.

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