Beloved in Boston, Roberts returns for World Series with LA
By JIMMY GOLEN
AP Sports Writer
Monday, October 22
BOSTON (AP) — In the souvenir store across from Fenway Park, it will set you back $100 for a framed, autographed photo of “The Steal,” Dave Roberts’ stolen base in the 2004 AL Championship Series that kick-started the Red Sox comeback against the New York Yankees and ended Boston’s 86-year title drought.
“We used to have a big panorama of it,” the clerk, Nick Fosman, said, “but we sold out of them a while ago.”
Other mementos from that drought-busting championship may fade, but the intervening years have done little to dim Roberts’ legacy in Boston since he helped the Red Sox rally from a three-games-to-none deficit against the rival Yankees en route to their first World Series crown since 1918.
Now, as he returns to Boston as the manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, he will be trying to prevent the city that celebrates him from claiming a fourth title this century. Even so, Roberts can expect a big cheer when he is introduced before Game 1 on Tuesday night.
“Obviously, for me personally I have a lot of fond memories of the Red Sox and Fenway Park,” he said after the Dodgers clinched the NL pennant and advanced to the Series for the second straight year. “To be wearing another uniform going in there playing for a World Series championship is going to be special for me.”
Havlicek stole the ball, Orr sailed through the air, and Vinatieri split the uprights (twice) to cement themselves in Boston sports history. But few athletes have squeezed their way into the city’s lore like Roberts.
A trade deadline acquisition who was obtained for his speed, he hadn’t played in 10 days when he entered Game 4 of the ‘04 ALCS as a pinch runner in the ninth inning at Fenway. The Red Sox trailed 4-3 in the game, and 0-3 in the best-of-seven series.
Roberts stole second, then slid home to score tying run that began Boston’s unprecedented comeback. He pinch-ran again, and scored again, in Game 5, but he never appeared in another game for the Red Sox, standing by as they swept the St. Louis Cardinals to set off a celebration that generations of New Englanders had been waiting for.
“He came here. He stole that base,” said Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who was Roberts’ teammate with the Dodgers in ‘04 and helped console him after he was traded. “I texted him right after he stole second base. I was like, ‘I don’t know what’s going to happen here, but if this happens, you’re going to become a hero.’
“And he is, here in this city.”
Cora was in his last year as a full-time player with the Dodgers in ‘04, and three years and two teams later he was a utility infielder in Boston when the Red Sox went back to the Series. He entered Game 1 as a defensive replacement and had his only plate appearance in Game 3, when he laid down a ninth-inning sacrifice bunt that led to an insurance run.
It was his only World Series appearance as a player.
“I didn’t take one swing in the World Series, and I feel like I accomplished (something), I was part of the equation,” said Cora, who also won ring as a bench coach for the Houston Astros last season.
The lesson, he said, is not lost on his players.
“Every night somebody can step up, and somebody can be that guy,” Cora said Sunday. “They know. They understand. … Everybody is all-in, and everybody knows that when they have a chance, they’ve got a role and they can contribute.”
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RED SOX SUPPORT “SPIRIT DAY” WITH $200,000 PLEDGE TO FENWAY HEALTH
Donation Made in Partnership with the Gordon Family Foundation
BOSTON, MA – As part of “Spirit Day,” a world-wide, LGBTQ anti-bullying campaign during National Bullying Prevention Month, the Red Sox, in partnership with Fenway Sports Group President Mike Gordon’s Gordon Family Foundation, have made a $200,000 pledge to support its neighborhood LGBTQ health center, Fenway Health.
The donation will benefit Fenway Health’s youth, anti-bullying and anti-violence programs, including its Violence Recovery Program and the Sidney Borum, Jr. Health Center, which provides safe, non-judgmental care for young people ages 12 – 29.
“Spirit Day is meant to bring attention and awareness to bullying among LGBTQ youth, and there is no better way to affect real change related to this kind of abuse – whether its verbal or physical – than by supporting the great work being done right in our own neighborhood at Fenway Health,” said Red Sox President and CEO Sam Kennedy. “We are lucky to have a facility in our community with the highest level of leadership and expertise in this area, and are thankful to Mike and Christina Gordon for their partnership, generosity, and thoughtfulness around this important topic.”
Fenway Health is one of seven national centers of excellence in LGBTQ health. Fenway’s Violence Recovery Program provides counseling, support groups, advocacy, and referral services to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and anti-LGBTQ hate violence. Fenway’s satellite center, the Borum, provides medical and behavioral health care and services for youth and young adults, including those who are LGBT or just figuring things out; homeless; struggling with substance use; or living with HIV/AIDS.
“Fenway Health is grateful for this generous donation from the Boston Red Sox and the Gordon Family Foundation and for their public acknowledgement of the importance of Spirit Day and LGBTQ youth issues,” said Fenway Health Interim CEO Darlene Stromstad. “We know that LGBTQ young people, especially those of color, are at increased risk of bullying and discrimination and this support will allow us to expand the important work we do with those populations.”
The pledge to Fenway Health is just one way the Red Sox support the LGBTQ community. The club recently participated in Major League Baseball’s “Shred Hate” campaign, which was launched in January, 2017, and is part of an effort by the nonprofit No Bully to eradicate bullying and cyberbullying worldwide. Red Sox Outfielder Mookie Betts is one of nine players who lent their voice to the PSA launched earlier this month.
“I am so proud of the Boston Red Sox who are commemorating their support of Spirit Day by making an incredibly generous donation to Fenway Health,” said Major League Baseball Vice President and Special Assistant to the Commissioner Billy Bean. “This gift will impact many people in need who receive life-saving treatment and care at this wonderful facility. It will also bring great visibility to this important day, and support to LGBTQ youth who are disproportionately singled out as the target of bullying throughout the U.S.”
In addition to MLB’s Shred Hate campaign, the Red Sox have supported the ongoing efforts of Freedom For All, a coalition to update Massachusetts law to protect transgender people from discrimination. The team has also hosted Pride Night at Fenway Park since 2013, when Jason Collins was invited to throw the ceremonial first pitch at the ballpark shortly after coming out as the first openly gay athlete playing in American professional sports. Pride Night at Fenway Park is an official Boston Pride Week event and part of the club’s ongoing effort to make Fenway Park an inclusive environment open to all fans regardless of race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.
Since 1971, Fenway Health has been working to make life healthier for the people in our neighborhoods, the LGBT community, people living with HIV/AIDS and the broader population. The Fenway Institute at Fenway Health is an interdisciplinary center for research, training, education and policy development focusing on national and international health issues. Fenway’s Sidney Borum Jr. Health Center cares for youth and young adults ages 12 to 29, including those who are LGBT or just figuring things out; homeless; struggling with substance use; or living with HIV/AIDS. AIDS Action, Fenway’s public health division, works to reduce the number of HIV infections while supporting those already infected, and operates a needle exchange that serves as an entry point to healthcare services for active substance users.
“Derek Jeter’s Castle & His Grandfather’s Legacy”
At just age 44, retired New York Yankee Derek Jeter, 14-time All Star, future MLB Hall of Famer and now co-owner of the Miami Marlins, has accomplished more than most would in many lifetimes. With an estimated net worth of approximately $185 million, it’s not surprising that he owns homes in New Jersey, New York and Florida. However since recently charged with overseeing the day-to-day operations to reinvigorate the last-place Marlins, Jeter has less time to get to his properties as often as he once did and has put his New York Tiedemann Castle on the market for $14.75 million.
It seems fitting that one of the Yankees royalty would own a castle. Built in the early 1900s on Greenwood Lake on the border of New York and New Jersey by a New York doctor, Rudolph Gudewill, for his wife, the estate is actually two castles – the master castle with a connected tower and a guest castle. After Gudewill died, John and Julia Tiedemann bought the castle where they lived with their 13 children including an adopted son, William “Sonny” Connors. Connors was later to become Derek’s maternal grandfather.
While Derek’s parents moved to Michigan when he was four, he spent many of his childhood summers at the castle swimming, playing sports and chores. Jeter not only came to love the castle through his grandfather, but his grandfather’s love for the Yankees and belief that achievement comes with hard work. In interviews, he credited lessons learned from his grandfather as a key to his professional success. The Tiedemanns sold the estate in 1996, but when it came back on the market in 2002, Jeter bought it and began a long and expensive restoration.
Loaded with rustic atmosphere and many stunning architectural features such as the soaring wood-beamed ceiling in the great room, large stone fireplaces, stone turret and a stone bridge traversing a lagoon, many elements duplicate what one would find in the European castles in history, making it feel very authentic. Greenwood Lake was one of the East Coast’s most popular resort town in the late 1800s and early 1900s attracting celebrities including another Yankee legend, Babe Ruth, who was a frequent visitor. The seven-mile lake, restaurants and rural atmosphere still attract many visitors from New York City, New Jersey and Philadelphia.
Sited on four acres, the immaculately restored greystone compound consists of the main castle, a guest castle, pool house and boat house located at the edge of nearly 700-feet of Greenwood Lake’s shoreline. Measuring 11,000 square feet, the main house is perfect for extended family or as a corporate retreat with water sports and enjoying the extensive partially covered terrace with infinity pool overlooking the lake. The rusticity and visions of roaring fires in the stone fireplaces would also ensure magical winter holiday gatherings.
Living areas in the main house include six bedrooms, seven full and five half baths, great room, four kitchens, multiple stone fireplaces including one on the terrace, dens, game room, sunroom, office, formal dining room, gym and family room with a bar. The turret opens out to a widow’s walk which is duplicated on the guest house, both providing beautiful lake and wooded views. There are extensive gardens, a Statue of Liberty replica and a four-car garage. Even with a large number of guests, there is always a quiet place to spend some alone time.
Rurally located but only 50 miles from Yankee Stadium, Derek Jeter’s Tiedemann Castle is the perfect getaway spot for New Yorkers or anyone to bring their friends and family and get away from the hectic, noisy work-a-day world of city life. Priced at $14.75 million, the listing agent is Diane Mitchell with Wright Bros. Real Estate, Nyack, New York.
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Tuesday, October 16
Win for Jeter: Marlins’ home run sculpture will be moved
By STEVEN WINE
AP Sports Writer
MIAMI (AP) — The Miami Marlins’ home run sculpture is outta here.
The team won county permission Tuesday to move the kitschy, widely disliked Red Grooms sculpture out of Marlins Park to the plaza outside the ballpark. The vote was a victory for Marlins CEO Derek Jeter, who can now remove from the ballpark one reminder of unpopular previous owner Jeffrey Loria’s regime.
Workers will take apart the 73-foot-tall sculpture and reassemble it on the plaza. The artwork, which has been located beyond the center field fence, will be replaced by a tiered standing room-only area for spectators.
The colorful, mechanical sculpture moved when a Marlins player hit a homer and will continue to do so. It also will move at 3:05 p.m. — Miami’s area code is 305 — on game days, and perhaps after victories.
Loria, who sold the Marlins a year ago, commissioned the $2.5 million sculpture for the opening of Marlins Park in 2012. Traditionalists like Jeter — a former New York Yankees shortstop — tended to dislike it, while supporters found the pop art very Miami.
Grooms opposed moving the artwork. But Miami-Dade County’s Art in Public Places board voted unanimously to approve the Marlins’ plan.
“We appreciate the support and collaboration for our proposal from the county and the Art in Public Places trust,” the Marlins said in a statement. They added the new location “will allow the piece to be enjoyed year round in a more public-facing manner.”
Loria didn’t respond to a phone message requesting comment.
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Cowboys get Amari Cooper from Raiders for 1st-round pick
By SCHUYLER DIXON
AP Pro Football Writer
Tuesday, October 23
DALLAS (AP) — The Dallas Cowboys made a bold move for the present Monday, trading a first-round pick for Oakland receiver Amari Cooper in Raiders coach Jon Gruden’s latest play for the future.
The Cowboys gave up their top pick in the next draft in hopes of giving quarterback Dak Prescott another weapon just a few months after releasing franchise touchdown catch leader Dez Bryant in a cost-cutting move.
Dallas (3-4) has struggled to score points while losing all four road games, including 20-17 Sunday at Washington . And Cowboys receivers haven’t made many big plays in their first season without Bryant and retired tight end Jason Witten, the club leader in catches.
The Cowboys decided Bryant wasn’t worth $12.5 million in 2018 after three subpar seasons since signing a big contract following his only All-Pro year in 2014.
Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said Cowboys executive vice president of personnel Stephen Jones called last week to say he’d check in on Cooper on Monday and offered the first-round pick that the Raiders were holding out for before making a deal.
Cooper was the fourth overall draft pick by the Raiders out of Alabama three years ago. He started his career with consecutive 1,000-yard seasons and had two 100-yard games this year, but had just two targets and one catch since the second of those games.
The 24-year-old Cooper — five years younger than Bryant — was placed in the concussion protocol after leaving Oakland’s last game against Seattle on Oct. 14.
Dallas receivers have just one 100-yard game combined through seven games, by Cole Beasley in a Week 6 win over Jacksonville. The Cowboys are going into their bye week, and the Raiders are returning from their break to face Indianapolis at home Sunday.
For Gruden, dealing his most accomplished receiver doesn’t compare to the preseason trade that sent two-time All-Pro pass rusher Khalil Mack to Chicago. But it is another example of the Raiders (1-5) looking to the future.
Oakland figures to have a good shot at the No. 1 overall pick in 2019, and now has three first-rounders with the Cooper trade.
“This is where we get a great opportunity to build,” McKenzie said. “We’ve got pieces now, but we can really rebuild on what we have. With this group, the coaches that I’ve got here, knowing where we’re heading schematically on both sides of the ball and special teams, we’re going to build this thing . we’ve got the ammunition to build this thing really well.”
Cooper was the third receiver started his career with back-to-back seasons with 1,000 yards receiving and 70 catches, following Odell Beckham Jr. and Marques Colston but has been unable to build on that success the past two years.
He has just 70 catches for 960 yards since the start of 2016 as his inconsistency has become a bigger problem. Cooper has been held under 30 yards receiving in 13 of his past 26 games. Cooper has 3,183 yards and 19 touchdowns in three-plus seasons.
The Raiders have now dealt two key pieces away from a 12-win team in 2016 and look to be in major rebuilding mode now.
“It’s disappointing. Real disappointing,” McKenzie said. “It was starting to get that way last year when we somewhat took a nosedive, but I understand the NFL, the system will not allow you to keep them all.”
It’s not the first time Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones has made a big trade for a former top-10 pick at receiver, and the other two attempts didn’t go well.
In 2000, Jones sent two first-round picks to Seattle for Joey Galloway before the first of three straight 5-11 seasons. Galloway, drafted eighth overall by the Seahawks in 1995, didn’t have a 1,000-yard season in four years with the Cowboys.
About this time 10 years ago, the Cowboys got Roy Williams from Detroit for three draft picks, including a first-rounder. The former Texas standout’s first full season with Dallas was his best, with 596 yards receiving and seven touchdowns.
The Cowboys made the playoffs once in two-plus years with Williams, in 2009, when they won the franchise’s first postseason game since the last of five Super Bowl victories following the 1995 season. Williams was drafted seventh overall by the Lions in 2004.
AP Pro Football Writer Josh Dubow contributed.
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Ryan throws for 379 yards, Falcons beat Giants 23-20
By PAUL NEWBERRY
AP Sports Writer
Tuesday, October 23
ATLANTA (AP) — Matt Ryan is putting up MVP-like numbers, even on a team that hasn’t lived up to expectations.
Matty Ice turned in another brilliant performance in prime time Monday, throwing for 379 yards and completing his final 18 passes to lead the Atlanta Falcons to their second straight victory, 23-20 over the struggling New York Giants.
“Whatever it takes to win,” Ryan said. “That’s the mindset we have every week.”
Ryan threw a 47-yard touchdown pass to Marvin Hall, Tevin Coleman broke loose on a 30-yard scoring run and the Falcons added another chapter to New York’s miserable season, sending the Giants (1-6) to their fourth straight loss.
“I don’t feel like we’re a 1-6 team,” Odell Beckham Jr. said. “That’s what our record is, but that’s not the feeling in the locker room.”
Ryan was the league’s MVP in 2016 when he led Atlanta to the Super Bowl. While these Falcons (3-4) haven’t played to that level, their quarterback is putting up numbers that measure up to what he did two years ago: a 71.1 percent completion rate, 2,335 yards passing, 15 touchdowns and just two interceptions.
Ryan is only focused on the team’s performance.
“To inch our way closer to .500 is a positive for us,” he said.
It was also a big night for Giorgio Tavecchio, who was signed during the week to fill in for injured Atlanta kicker Matt Bryant. The native of Milan, Italy, made all three of his field goal attempts, including a 56-yarder that was the longest of his career and helped seal the victory.
“That kick was good from about 65 yards,” Ryan said. “He did a great job for us coming in on short notice.”
Facing one of the NFL’s worst defenses, New York botched its best scoring chance by going for a touchdown on fourth-and-goal from the 1 early in the third quarter. To the surprise of no one who has seen the Giants stumble through the season, Eli Manning’s pass for tight end Scott Simonson fell harmlessly to the turf.
Manning was sacked four times but still managed to complete 27 of 38 for 399 yards. Beckham hauled in eight passes for 143 yards, pushing him past 5,000 yards in his career, and Sterling Shepard finished with 167 yards on five receptions.
Both teams got off to sluggish starts offensively. The Falcons failed to cross midfield on their first three possessions, and the Giants weren’t much better.
Then, suddenly, Atlanta struck for two big plays to grab the lead. Ryan went down the left sideline to tight end Austin Hooper for a 36-yard gain, pushing the Falcons into New York territory for the first time. Then Ryan spotted Hall breaking free down the middle of the field, hitting him perfectly in stride for the touchdown.
Coleman’s touchdown with 7½ minutes remaining gave the Falcons some breathing room, but the Giants finally showed some life offensively.
Manning completed five passes for 61 yards before Saquon Barkley powered over from the 2 with 4:47 remaining for New York’s first TD of the game. Embattled coach Pat Shurmur decided to go for 2, looking to put his team in position to win with another score, but Beckham couldn’t hang on to Manning’s pass.
The Falcons drove into position for Tavecchio’s final field goal, extending the lead to 23-12.
The Giants did manage a touchdown with 5 seconds remaining as Manning hooked up with Beckham on a 1-yard scoring play, but only after the quarterback was stuffed on two straight attempts to run it over, burning off most of the scant time on the clock.
The Falcons were the first team to hold Barkley to less than 100 yards rushing and receiving in a game.
The rookie running back was limited to 43 yards on 14 carries, to go along with nine catches for 51 yards.
It was Barkley’s second-lowest rushing output of the season, eclipsed only by a 28-yard effort against Dallas in Week 2.
Barkley was coming off his best game of the season, totaling 229 yards (130 rushing, 99 receiving) in a loss to Philadelphia.
TAVECCHIO STEPS UP
Bryant is one of the NFL’s most accurate kickers, but Tavecchio sure made a good impression in his return to the NFL.
His 56-yard kick was the longest by a player in his first game with a new team in the last 40 seasons, according to NFL Research. He also connected from 40 and 50 yards.
Tavecchio kicked last season for the Oakland Raiders, but he was without a job until Bryant injured his right hamstring making a long kick in Atlanta’s victory over Tampa Bay.
That prompted the Falcons to bring back Tavecchio, who got a brief look from the team at the end of the preseason.
Even though Bryant will surely reclaim his job as soon as he’s healthy, Tavecchio set himself up to draw attention from other teams when he goes on the open market again.
The Falcons lost another guard when Brandon Fusco went down late in the first half with a right ankle injury.
Fusco had to be helped off the field by a pair of trainers, and he was quickly taken to the locker room on a cart.
Atlanta had already lost another starting guard, Andy Levitre, to a season-ending injury.
Ben Garland took Fusco’s spot on the line.
Giants: New York returns home next Sunday to face NFC East-leading Washington (4-2).
Falcons: Atlanta also plays Washington in its next game — but not until Nov. 4 after a bye week.
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