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Russia’s World Cup Opener Alters Its Narrative, Changes Its Outlook, Pleases Putin

Russia’s World Cup Opener Alters Its Narrative, Changes Its Outlook, Pleases Putin

Russia's much-maligned national team had a packed crowd in Moscow in disbelief and earned a post-game call from Vladimir Putin on a day when it changed the narrative surrounding the World Cup host. Saudi Arabia was worse. This Golovin kid could play. Russia has some talent, after all. “This is better than receiving calls when people criticize you,” Cherchesov said. Cheryshev made it 4-0 with an astonishing outside-of-the-boot curler, then Golovin punctuated his very man-of-the-match worthy performance with a goal on a free kick. It began with the firebird, the legendary creature of Russian folklore that sets itself alight before being reborn from its own ashes, and often is the target or inspiration for a mythical quest. Maybe Russian soccer would use this World Cup to re-establish some traction and respect. He said this week that Russia’s national team was expected “to play with dignity,” to showcase “interesting football,” and “to fight until the end.” None of that necessarily involves winning. Make no mistake, the Saudis were abject.
Rangers minor-league report (6-13): Willie Calhoun’s batting average reaches season-high

Rangers minor-league report (6-13): Willie Calhoun’s batting average reaches season-high

Worth noting from the Texas Rangers' minor-league system on Wednesday: TRIPLE-A ROUND ROCK (29-35): Gave up six runs in the second inning of a 7-5 loss to Sacramento (San Francisco). DH Willie Calhoun went 3 for 5 with two doubles and two RBIs. Calhoun has 10 hits in his last 23 at-bats, raising his average to a season-high .280. DOUBLE-A FRISCO (21-44): Had only three hits in a 3-1 loss in 10 innings against San Antonio (San Diego). RHP Richelson Pena allowed one run in six innings, lowering his Texas League-leading ERA to 2.43. HIGH A DOWN EAST (34-31): Had only four hits in a 2-1 loss to Wilmington (Kansas City). SS Anderson Tejeda hit his team-leading 11th homer of the season. LOW-A HICKORY (28-36): Allowed 20 runs in being swept in a doubleheader at Greensboro (Miami). In the second game, a 13-4 loss, Hickory allowed 10 runs in the first inning. 1B Tyreque Reed went 4 for 6 overall.
Jacob deGrom dominates again and gets no support again in Mets loss to Braves

Jacob deGrom dominates again and gets no support again in Mets loss to Braves

ATLANTA — If you’re looking for bright spots in the Mets’ 2-0 loss to the Braves Wednesday, at least they avoided getting no-hit. But they did waste another sparkling start from Jacob deGrom, wait until the seventh to get their first hit and strand the would-be tying runs in scoring position in the ninth inning en route to their 10th loss in 11 games and 17th loss in 21 games. The Mets are 2-8 in those games. For us to not put up any runs for him again, I told him I’m sorry. As frustrating as can be.” Callaway pulled deGrom after 86 pitches in an effort to manage deGrom’s workload and stressful innings. The goal is to win baseball games.” Soroka, 20, in his first start after spending about a month on the disabled list with a right shoulder strain, didn’t allow a hit until the seventh, when Michael Conforto singled on a grounder to shortstop. Leaving the game at 74 pitches, Soroka struck out four and walked one, Bruce in the second. Bruce is hitting .193 the past month. That’s all I got to say about that.” Brandon Nimmo then doubled to deep rightfield, putting runners at second and third, but Bruce popped out to end it. “We have to score runs to win, and we haven’t been doing that.
OU football: Kyler Murray reportedly to sign contract with Oakland Athletics on Friday, only play one more season for Sooners

OU football: Kyler Murray reportedly to sign contract with Oakland Athletics on Friday, only play one more season for Sooners

Kyler Murray reportedly will spend only one more season with Oklahoma’s football team before starting his professional baseball journey. According to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser, the OU quarterback will officially sign a contract with the Oakland Athletics on Friday and also confirm that he’ll join the organization after playing football this fall. Murray was the Athletics’ top pick in last week’s Major League Baseball amateur draft and picked No. The draft-slot value for the selection is about $4.6 million. The Chronicle reported that the Athletics and Murray have an insurance policy in place in the event he is severely injured playing football. “As Kyler and I discussed prior to the Major League Baseball draft, we’re excited to have him here with us for this upcoming football season,” OU football coach Lincoln Riley said in a statement last week. “We’re looking forward to getting him back around our team this summer, and he’s excited to get into workouts and help us continue to pursue another championship. “We’re also equally excited for his opportunity with Major League Baseball and being the ninth pick in the draft. It’s a great honor for him and he’s going to have some great options going forward.” Murray, who has two years of football eligibility entering this fall, has not been named the Sooners’ starting quarterback for the 2018 season. He’s battling redshirt sophomore Austin Kendall for the job left vacant by Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield.
Report: Ex-Cowboys pass-rusher DeMarcus Ware lands part-time gig helping Broncos’ defensive line

Report: Ex-Cowboys pass-rusher DeMarcus Ware lands part-time gig helping Broncos’ defensive line

It looks like the Denver Broncos are again enlisting the services of former Cowboys pass rusher DeMarcus Ware, only this time it's not as a player. The Broncos hired Ware part-time as a pass-rush consultant and will work with the team a few days a week, a few times per months, according to a report from ESPN's Adam Schefter. Ware will work a few days a week, a few times a month, trying to help improve Denver’s pass rushers. — Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 13, 2018 Ware, who owns the Cowboys franchise record for sacks (117) after playing in Dallas from 2005-13, was part of the Broncos' Super Bowl 50-winning team, teaming up with former DeSoto and Texas A&M standout Von Miller star on a formidable defense. Ware, who retired from the NFL after the 2016 season, has already spent part of this offseason coaching up the defensive lines in both his former homes, Dallas and Denver. He also served as an NFL draft ambassador for this year's event at Arlington's AT&T Stadium. He has worked there with several Cowboys defensive linemen for the past three years. The nine-time Pro Bowler is also busy coaching his son's youth league football team. The sons of former Cowboys receivers Dez Bryant and Patrick Crayton play on the same team. "Just a different color team," he said.
Why Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green likely will not sign extensions this NBA offseason

Why Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green likely will not sign extensions this NBA offseason

More on NBA Irving not signing extension this summer Let's look at the numbers for each player, starting with Irving. If he was to sign an extension rather than waiting for free agency, the most that the Boston Celtics could offer him is a four-year, $107 million deal. Even if Irving was to leave the Celtics next July, he could make more than he could by signing an extension -- other teams will be able to offer him a four-year, $139.3 million deal. If Boston signs him to a max deal in 2019, it would owe Irving $40.2 million in 2022-23 and $42.8 million in 2023-24. Green is eligible for a three-year, $71.7 million extension that would start in the 2020-21 season. If he wins Defensive Player of the Year or makes an All-NBA team next season, though, he could sign a super-max deal. If Green is not eligible for a super-max contract, then the Warriors could could sign him to a five-year, $197.3 million deal as a 30-year-old in the summer of 2020. Other teams will be able to offer him four years and $146.3 million. Even if he'd like to commit to the organization this summer, the most an extension can be worth is $102 million over four years. I'd love to hear the pitch he gives Green and Thompson and their agents on this one.
Oklahoma Scene: Former Sooners sign contracts with pro fastpitch teams

Oklahoma Scene: Former Sooners sign contracts with pro fastpitch teams

Paige Lowary's collegiate softball career ended less than two weeks ago, but the former Oklahoma pitcher is already starting her next chapter. Lowary, the No. 1 pick in the 2018 National Pro Fastpitch Draft, signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Bandits on Tuesday. In her two-year career with the Sooners, Lowary set the program record for single-season saves (11) and career saves (24). Lowary, who is represented by Young Money APAA, isn't the only Sooner with a new professional contract. Center fielder Nicole Pendley signed a contract of her own Tuesday. 12 pick overall, signed a two-year contract with the USSSA Pride. Lauren Chamberlain and Keilani Ricketts have also both played for the Pride. Former OU pitcher Paige Parker was also drafted by the Pride earlier this year, but she hasn't signed a contract yet. UCO cross country coach retires
A Saturday at the Belmont With Gronk

A Saturday at the Belmont With Gronk

‘Is my horse a guy?’ We tagged along as Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski flew in to watch his namesake horse run in the third jewel of Triple Crown. One mile into the mile-and-a-half race, Gronkowski caught up with the back of the pack, and under the hand of jockey Jose Ortiz, started making a move on the inside. Rob’s dad, brothers and pals who came with him to cheer on Team Gronkowski placed numerous $69 bets on his horse to place. “Have you ever been stuck in an elevator?” Big G asks. 4:45 p.m. Chad Brown, the horse’s trainer, stops by the table to meet him for the first time. How many pounds of grain does this horse eat per day?” A few minutes later, the equine Gronkowski arrives. Brown leads Gronk over to his horse for the long-awaited meeting. Brown gives Ortiz a talk on race strategy, with detailed jargon that the uninitiated can only loosely translate as: Let another horse challenge Justify at the start to tire him out, then grind it out to the finish. (Ludt says European horses typically start and run slower at start, so it’s often an issue for the first time the horse races in the United States.) That’s a loss.” But for Rob Gronkowski, this was anything but.

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