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^Thursday's game<


Tribune News Service

Sports Budget for Thursday, October 11, 2018

Updated at 10 p.m. EDT (0200 UTC)

This budget is now available at http://www.TribuneNewsService.com, with direct links to stories and art. See details at the end of the budget.


^New technology allows spinal cord patients to drive a NASCAR race car<


The No. 78 flat-black Toyota Camry, owned by Furniture Row Racing, was screaming around the track, but it was not reigning Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Martin Truex Jr. behind the wheel.

The driver was Janette Lawler, who cannot move anything below her shoulders. Still, Lawler did four laps in a car that had been modified to be operated by those with disabilities.

1350 by John Smallwood. MOVED


^Adam Wainwright will be back with Cardinals for another season<

BBN-CARDINALS-WAINWRIGHT:SL _ When Adam Wainwright stood at spring training and considered the end of his contract, he said, repeatedly, that his plan was to force the team to want him back. His season took a more scenic route than planned _ winding through rehab assignments and recovery, from Springfield, Mo., to Memphis, to a playoff race in September _ but the destination was the same.

The team wanted him back.

Conversations that started toward the end of the season reached agreement Thursday as the Cardinals finalized and announced a one-year deal with their veteran ace.

500 by Derrick Goold in St. Louis. MOVED

^Jimmy Butler reportedly held team meeting Thursday, preparing to start year with Wolves<

BKN-TWOLVES-BUTLER:MS _ Jimmy Butler said he was ready to practice again Thursday, a day after he memorably returned to the Timberwolves and confronted teammates and the front office.

Except there was no practice.

The Wolves canceled their previously scheduled practice and media availability set for Thursday in advance of Friday's preseason finale at Milwaukee, allowing Butler's eventful Wednesday to simmer without anyone from the organization trying to comment on what happened or try to cast in a positive light.

700 by Chris Hine in Minneapolis. MOVED


^Mark Bradley: Six key items on Braves' offseason to-do list<


On the day the Braves clinched the NL East, Alex Anthopoulos conceded it wasn't until the Braves summoned Mike Soroka at the start of May that he began to believe.

1200 by Mark Bradley. MOVED

^Bill Shaikin: Left off Dodgers' World Series roster last year, Curtis Granderson has moved on<


He was not one of them. The Dodgers had acquired him to fill a particular supporting role in their cast.

1450 by Bill Shaikin. MOVED


^Kristie Ackert: Cashman, Yankees need to get to work this winter to avoid Series drought hitting decade mark<

BBA-ACKERT-COLUMN:NY _ It has been nine years now since the Yankees last celebrated a World Series championship.

After watching their bitter division rival Red Sox celebrate ending their 2018 season at Yankee Stadium Tuesday night, well short of their goal to end that drought, the Yankees have work to do if they don't want to make it a decade.

Tuesday night was a huge disappointment for a team that was within a game of going to the World Series last season.

800 by Kristie Ackert in New York. MOVED

^Mariano Rivera on Aaron Boone: 'To me, he did an outstanding job'<

BBA-YANKEES-RIVERA-BOONE:ND _ Mariano Rivera came to the defense of the beleaguered Aaron Boone, saying that the Yankees manager did a "tremendous" job despite their early ouster in the postseason, and adding that this team could be one quality front-line pitcher away from building a dynasty of its own.

"I can't say nothing bad about Boone. He did a great job. An amazing job," the former closer said Thursday afternoon at a fire house in Harlem. (He was on hand to visit with elementary school children and teach them about the importance of fire safety as part of the Hartford Junior Fire Marshall program during fire prevention month.) Boone, he said, kept his players "motivated _ pushing and pushing and pushing."

550 by Laura Albanese in New York. MOVED

^With these Dodgers, it's always a wild-card series<

BBN-PLASCHKE-COLUMN:LA _ "Oh, their wonderful bullpen! Ah, that great Christian Yelich! Hey, look at the mustachioed dude going down that slide!"

We interrupt all this lovely talk about the Milwaukee Brewers to reveal the real truth about the upcoming National League Championship Series.

It's not about the Brewers. It's all about the Dodgers.

There's no bit of momentum in the streaking Brewers that the Dodgers can't stop. There's nothing the effective Brewers relievers can do that the Dodgers can't swat. There is no part of the formidable Brewers batting order that the Dodgers can't smother.

The Dodgers are deeper, broader, more versatile, more battle tested and, honestly people, just a better baseball team.

1150 by Bill Plaschke in Milwaukee. MOVED


^Kristie Ackert: Yankees are in good shape at manager as long as Boone is willing to learn from his 2018 mistakes<

BBA-ACKERT-COLUMN:NY _ Aaron Boone has a lot to learn.

That's not an indictment on his first year as a manager, it's just a statement of fact. Coming into this assignment with zero experience in management or coaching, this learning curve should have been expected.

Now, the biggest question the Yankees front office and fans have about the 45-year-old heading into 2019 is whether the baseball lifer is willing to accept the mistakes he made this year and learn from them. That is one of the things that Boone can be expected to answer Friday, when he and GM Brian Cashman meet the press to wrap up the 2018 season.

750 by Kristie Ackert in New York. MOVED

^Cubs fire hitting coach Chili Davis after 1 season<


Davis, 58, was informed of his dismissal Thursday _ nine days after the Rockies eliminated the Cubs in the National League wild-card game. The Cubs scored one run in three of their final four games, including the 2-1 loss to the Rockies in 13 innings.

Davis' firing will result in their third hitting coach in as many seasons. It also will turn up the heat on manager Joe Maddon, who enters the final year of his five-year contract and expressed his support for Davis, assistant Andy Haines and the advance scouts during the offense's rut.

550 by Mark Gonzales. MOVED



^There is a (good) catch to Chargers' use of running back Melvin Gordon<

FBN-CHARGERS-GORDON:LA _ There was little indication when he came out of Wisconsin that Melvin Gordon could be a dual-threat running back in the NFL.

A first-round pick of the Chargers in 2015, Gordon spent the previous three years in the land of smash-mouth football, racking up 4,915 yards and 45 touchdowns in 631 carries and surpassing the 100-yard rushing mark in 22 of his 44 games for the ground-hogging Badgers.

Gordon finished as the school's third-leading all-time rusher and the sixth-leading rusher in Big Ten Conference history.

950 by Mike DiGiovanna in Los Angeles. MOVED


^Woody Paige: Broncos coach Vance Joseph could save his job with these tips<


If the Broncos don't change, Vance Joseph could be bye-bye by the bye.

Joseph finally agrees with a David Bowie lyrical assessment.

"I won't share what we're going to change, but there's going to be changes," the coach stated on the Broncos' website.

The other philosophy is: The more things change, the more they stay the same.

However, if Joseph hopes to keep his job the rest of the season, and beyond, the Broncos must make changes and corrections or continue to collapse.

700 by Woody Paige. MOVED

^Paul Domowitch: Carson Wentz can't play recklessly if he wants a long Eagles career<


He's already been sacked 12 times and taken licks of varying severity on 31 of his 122 pass attempts. The 12 sacks are the most over a three-game period in his short career.

Many of the sacks and hits have been the result of protection breakdowns of one sort or another. But some also have been the result of Wentz's reluctance to give up on a play.

1000 by Paul Domowitch. MOVED

^Jameis Winston says being out of football made him reflect on some things<

FBN-BUCS-WINSTON:PT _ Jameis Winston had had football taken away from him, but until this season he had not been taken away from his team.

He missed three games with a shoulder injury last season. He was forced to watch a game against Clemson at Florida State for making some vulgar comments on campus.

But the three-game suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy was different. Winston could not have any contact with coaches and was allowed only approved text messages to teammates.

400 by Rick Stroud in Tampa, Fla. MOVED


^Bears' Akiem Hicks 'very relieved' he wasn't suspended for Sunday's game vs. Dolphins<


Hicks was ejected from the game in the second quarter after a scuffle with a Bucs player. After an official separated the pair, Hicks charged back toward the player and pushed the official, which was ruled to be a separate and deliberate act from the altercation.

Hicks didn't speak to the media last week because the team had an open date, and he waited a couple of days this week because he said he wanted to make sure all of the people within the Bears organization knew "how wrong my response was to the situation."

400 by Colleen Kane. MOVED


^Ezekiel Elliott says Cowboys offense is accountable, starting with him<

FBN-COWBOYS-ELLIOTT:FT _ Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott says there isn't any finger pointing in the locker room after a 2-3 start.

The only pointed fingers, he said, are players pointing at themselves for failing to execute.

Elliott, who is coming off a 54-yard performance (the third fewest yards in his career) in the overtime loss to the Texans, said the defense has been especially supportive while the offense has struggled.

"There's enough accountability in this locker room that there's not going to be any finger pointing," he said. "One thing that's good about this group that we have in this locker room is that there hasn't been any finger pointing at all."

450 by Stefan Stevenson in Frisco, Texas. MOVED


^Ravens TE Hayden Hurst struggled with his mental health. He hopes to 'change some lives'<

FBN-RAVENS-HURST:BZ _ Wednesday was World Mental Health Day, an annual observance of mental health issues and education, with the goal of mobilizing efforts against the social stigma.

Hayden Hurst did his part.

"#MentalHealthAwareness you never know what someone else is going through," Hurst wrote in a tweet, the Ravens rookie tight end's first personal message since the season started. "Everybody fights their own fight. Just know you aren't alone! Reach out to someone if they are struggling, your words could change a life or save one."

It is a personal crusade for Hurst.

400 by Jonas Shaffer in Baltimore. MOVED


^Ravens on alert for Titans QB Marcus Mariota's tendency to run<

FBN-TITANS-MARIOTA-RAVENS:BZ _ A right elbow injury forced Marcus Mariota to sit out the Tennessee Titans' win against the Houston Texans on Sept. 16, but the ailment has not altered the Ravens' assessment of the fourth-year quarterback.

"He's had the little, whatever his arm injury (was), but he can make all the throws," free safety Eric Weddle said Wednesday. "He's obviously dangerous in the open field, extending plays, moving the chains."

Mariota has not missed a start since that Week 2 game, but it appears that the elbow is still an issue. He did not throw for more than 130 yards in three of his four starts and has more interceptions (four) than passing touchdowns (two).

450 by Edward Lee in Baltimore. MOVED


^Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes in position to take torch from all-time great Tom Brady<


A winner of multiple championships, the captain and on-field leader of one of the most successful franchises in sports and arguable the face of the game, Jeter's success helped spawn a generation of big, athletic do-it-all shortstops who grew up modeling themselves after him and eventually competed against him.

A 13-time Pro Bowl selection, five-time Super Bowl champion and three-time NFL MVP, Brady has been the central figure in the Patriots' run of dominance over the course of 19 seasons.

800 by Lynn Worthy. MOVED


^Mike Zimmer calls report 'false' that Vikings don't expect Everson Griffen to return anytime soon<

FBN-VIKINGS-ZIMMER-GRIFFEN:MS _ "I saw the report and I think it was false," Zimmer said. "Let's just say that."

What report?

"There was a report from, was it (ESPN's Adam) Schefter?" Zimmer turned asking to his public relations director. "Schefter."

ESPN reported Sunday prior to the Vikings' 23-21 win in Philadelphia that Griffen wasn't expected to return to the team "anytime soon" as he focuses on his mental health.

Asked again Thursday to confirm that he thought the report was false, meaning the Vikings do expect Griffen to return soon, Zimmer winked in lieu of additional comment.

250 by Andrew Krammer in Minneapolis. MOVED

^Joe Manniello's Week 6 NFL picks<


1500 by Joe Manniello. MOVED

^Greg Cote's Week 6 NFL picks<


1200 by Greg Cote. MOVED


^Sam Farmer's Week 6 NFL picks<


850 by Sam Farmer. MOVED

^Giants fine Odell Beckham Jr. for controversial ESPN comments<

FBN-GIANTS-BECKHAM:NY _ Pat Shurmur and the Giants fined Odell Beckham Jr. for his controversial comments in last week's explosive ESPN interview, according to a league source.

That's on top of Shurmur ripping Beckham Friday morning when the first excerpts of Beckham's interview were released questioning his teammates' heart and Eli Manning's ability. And the coach also had Beckham apologize to the team on Saturday night.

FOX Sports' Jay Glazer reported Beckham's fine on Thursday night.

150 by Pat Leonard in New York. MOVED

Thursday's game

TNS expects coverage from the following game:

Philadelphia at NY Giants, 8:20 p.m. EDT


^Jabari Parker says reserve role on Bulls would be 'huge adjustment'<

BKN-BULLS-PARKER:TB _ Saying he declined to address reporters late Wednesday because he "just wasn't prepared to answer questions" about his demotion, Bulls forward Jabari Parker answered almost all of them before practice Thursday.

It's the one he didn't answer that seemed the most telling.

Asked if, after two left ACL tears, the former No. 2 overall pick is willing to take whatever role at this stage of his career, Parker didn't miss a beat.

"Uh, no comment," he said.

650 by K.C. Johnson in Chicago. MOVED


^Dave Hyde: Loud and petulant, Jimmy Butler looks like perfect Heat player<


Alonzo Mourning told Charlotte Hornets owner George Shinn to "protect your assets" by trading him in a public confrontation that became so pronounced Shinn later said, "It broke my heart."

Tim Hardaway demanded a trade from Golden State. Goran Dragic, the nicest guy in the world, wanted out so badly in Phoenix he told the media, "I don't trust them anymore."

And you think Jimmy Butler's strange day in Minnesota changes anything?

700 by Dave Hyde. MOVED



Thursday's games

TNS expects coverage from the following games:

Columbus at Florida, 7 p.m. EDT

Washington at New Jersey, 7 p.m.

San Jose at NY Rangers, 7 p.m.

Los Angeles at Montreal, 7:30 p.m.

Toronto at Detroit, 7:30 p.m.

Vancouver at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.

Calgary at St. Louis, 8 p.m.

Chicago at Minnesota, 8 p.m.


^Illinois guard Aaron Jordan is from the Chicago area and wears No. 23. So is he related?<


Jordan, a Plainfield (Ill.) East alumnus who last season shot 46.3 percent from 3-point range, said he often gets the question from fans, fellow students and even professors.

"I say: 'No, I'm not, unfortunately. If I did, I'd have all the shoes,' " Jordan said Thursday at Big Ten media day. "I find it funny because some people are dying to know."

150 by Teddy Greenstein. MOVED



^Fantasy football Week 6: Start and sit<


There are currently eight quarterbacks on pace to join the exclusive club, including Brees again.

(Geez, Drew, we get it! You're beating a dead horse at this point.)

Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Deshaun Watson, Derek Carr, Ben Roethlisberger, Kirk Cousins and Jared Goff are the others. Goff is currently on pace for a record 5,526 yards.

There are 10 quarterbacks who are currently on pace to throw for 35-plus touchdowns _ Andrew Luck, Andy Dalton, Tom Brady, Philip Rivers and Patrick Mahomes are the ones who don't make the first group.

2300 by Eddie Brown. MOVED



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