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^Monday's games<


Tribune News Service

Sports Budget for Monday, February 11, 2019

Updated at 11 p.m. EST (0400 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.


^A look inside the 'gaudy, loud' Mascot Hall of Fame<

MASCOT-HALLOFFAME-SPORTSPLUS:TB _ At the end of November, in the middle of the night, a few weeks before the Mascot Hall of Fame opened in Whiting, Ind., the large, colorful snot that dangles from the front of the building blew away and rolled down Front Street.

Now please note: There is not a single metaphorical thing about that sentence. The day after Christmas, an actual Mascot Hall of Fame debuted in this small industrial dot of 5,000 outside Chicago, and on the facade of its $18 million complex is a giant purple mascot with a Mt. Rushmore schnoz, from which extends a snot the size of a bathtub.

2100 by Christopher Borrelli in Chicago. MOVED


^Browns sign controversial running back Kareem Hunt<


The Browns signed Hunt on Monday, adding a tremendous talent to their roster but also opening themselves up to public backlash during what had otherwise been a quiet offseason for the organization.

The Kansas City Chiefs cut Hunt on Nov. 30 after TMZ.com released a disturbing surveillance video in which the player shoved and kicked a woman in the hallway outside his apartment at the Metropolitan at The 9 in downtown Cleveland.

850 by Nate Ulrich. MOVED

^Kyler Murray chooses NFL over A's<

FBN-BBA-MURRAY-DECISION:SJ _ The slim chance of Kyler Murray reporting to the A's spring training camp is officially over.

Murray, a two-sport star at Oklahoma, announced Tuesday via Twitter that he will focus on the NFL draft, scheduled for April 25-27. The Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback didn't mention the A's in his post.

"Moving forward, I am firmly and fully committing my life and time to becoming an NFL quarterback," Murray wrote. "Football has been my love and passion my entire life."

650 by Martin Gallegos in Mesa, Ariz. MOVED


^Peter Schmuck: Orioles fans will have to trade expectations for intrigue this spring<


Everyone knows that the organization had to push the reset button. Nobody could possibly question that after a 2018 season during which the Orioles lost a record 115 games and watched attendance drop to a four-decade non-strike-year low.

650 by Peter Schmuck. MOVED


^David Lennon: Bryce Harper, Manny Machado headline MLB's Unemployed All-Star Team<


800 by David Lennon. MOVED

^Marlins CEO Derek Jeter trying to construct a winner in Miami<

BBN-MARLINS-JETER:MI _ Derek Jeter was asked about his vision for the Marlins when he turned to look behind him at the cranes and workers in hard hats making renovations to the ballpark.

"Under construction," Jeter answered.

His description applies to more than just hammers and nails.

As Jeter begins his second year as CEO of the Marlins, a franchise that has gone 10 years without a winner on the field and ranked dead last in attendance in 2018, the immediate prospects are bleak.

700 by Clark Spencer in Miami. MOVED


^Dave Hyde: Wake me up when the Marlins are ready to compete again<


"It takes time," Marlins CEO Derek Jeter said.

And they're building and growing.

"We continue to build, we continue to grow," he said.

And there's no time frame on winning.

"I don't put a time frame on it, because any time you put a time frame on it, it allows your team to accept mediocrity," he said.

750 by Dave Hyde. MOVED


^Yankees' Britton spells out why it's Zack, not Zach<

BBA-YANKEES-BRITTON:ND _ It has always been Zack with a 'k,' Zack Britton said Monday.

He even has the birth certificate to prove it.

So why last week's announcement, which took off on social media, saying he would hereupon be known as Zack with a 'k' instead of the 'h,' which is how it always previously appeared in public?

It's best to let the reliever, who signed a three-year, $39-million free-agent deal with the Yankees with a vesting option, explain.

350 by Erik Boland in Tampa, Fla. MOVED

^Twins' young core players in line for multiyear contracts<

BBA-TWINS-MULTIYEAR-CONTRACTS:MS _ The Twins are working to sign some of their young players to multiyear contracts and could announce some of those deals by the end of the week.

The contracts are a sign that the club is encouraged with the development of a young core and are willing to offer them some security while avoiding their arbitration-eligible seasons, during which their salaries could increase exponentially.

The Twins' pitchers and catchers report to training camp Wednesday.

750 by La Velle E. Neal III in Fort Myers, Fla. MOVED


^Jeff Seidel: Tigers should hide Miguel Cabrera's glove, make him full-time DH<


He has played through all kinds of injuries over the last six seasons _ a groin tear and two herniated discs in 2017, a bad ankle and cracked foot in 2014 and a hamstring last season.

Cabrera has reached an age _ he'll be 36 in April _ when he can get hurt just taking off for second base (a calf strain in 2015 put him on the disabled list for the first time in his career).

950 by Jeff Seidel. MOVED

^David Lennon: Jeurys Familia is happy to be back with revamped Mets<

BBN-LENNON-COLUMN:ND _ The parking lot at First Data Field was familiar. So, too, was the blue-and-orange workout gear, the clubhouse, the bullpen mounds. Everywhere Jeurys Familia looked Monday reminded him of being home again.

Familia said he turned down offers elsewhere to be a closer because he wanted this, that being a setup man, essentially a demotion, was fine as long as he was back with the Mets. Clearly a three-year, $30-million contract nudged him in that direction as well. Let's not ignore the obvious.

750 by David Lennon in Port St. Lucie, Fla. MOVED

^Dieter Kurtenbach: Kyler Murray's NFL decision is an indictment of Major League Baseball<


It's the one that everyone has been expecting for a few weeks now.

The A's first-round draft pick will, indeed, not pursue professional baseball _ at least not in the near future. Instead, he has decided to "firmly and fully" commit to playing football.

Good for him. Murray is, by all accounts, a solid young man who had a difficult decision to make _ we should all wish him success on his journey.

1100 by Dieter Kurtenbach. MOVED


^Dave Hyde: 10 simple steps to improve the Dolphins (bring aspirin)<


If the plan is to lose, and they end up losing a lot, does that mean the coming season is a success?

It's all making my head spin more than it usually does during Dolphins offseasons.

900 by Dave Hyde. MOVED


^Tim Cowlishaw: How Super Bowl history debunks the notion that Dak Prescott needs to run more for Cowboys to succeed<


Dak needs to run more.

This is something virtually every Cowboys fan has thought and all of us in the press box have suggested at some point. In the club's most one-sided game of the season, a 40-7 romp past Jacksonville in Week 6, Prescott ran for 82 yards.

800 by Tim Cowlishaw. MOVED

^'Incredible teammate' Eric Reid, returns to Panthers with 3-year contract<


Carolina signed Reid to a one-year deal four weeks into the 2018 season and immediately became the team's starting strong safety. He finished sixth on the team in tackles despite playing only 13 games.

"It gives my family peace of mind, knowing what will be the next couple years," Reid said Monday.

800 by Marcel Louis-Jacques. MOVED


^Sam Mellinger: Kareem Hunt signs with the Browns, the worst place he could go, save us the posturing<


Might be sooner than expected, and going back to Cleveland is setting him up to fail _ more on this in a minute _ but he was always going to have another job in the NFL.

The Chiefs released the star running back last fall almost immediately after security video surfaced that showed him kicking a woman in a Cleveland hotel.

900 by Sam Mellinger. MOVED


^Greg Cote: Costas spoke out about the dangers of the NFL. It cost him his job _ but not his integrity<


It's what ended the marriage.

"You've crossed the line," is what his company told him.

He had a conscience, and gave it voice. On his "misgivings about football." On the sport being "unacceptably brutal."

800 by Greg Cote. MOVED


^Kevin Sherrington: Kyler Murray is about to give the NFL the Johnny Football experience it never got<


Murray finally answered Monday. Right or wrong, this should be fun.

Because we're about to see what Johnny Football could have been.

"Football has been my love and passion my entire life," Murray tweeted. "I was raised to play QB, and I very much look forward to dedicating 100 percent of myself to being the best quarterback possible and winning NFL championships."

750 by Kevin Sherrington. MOVED

^Brad Biggs: Kareem Hunt signing with the Browns saves the Bears a potential headache as they seek help at running back<


They won't be joining forces in the Bears backfield this year as the Browns announced Monday that they signed the troubled Hunt to a one-year contract. So a second chance for Hunt, who was captured on video shoving and kicking a woman in a Cleveland hotel last year, has come from his former general manager instead of his former offensive coordinator.

1000 by Brad Biggs. MOVED


^Marla Ridenour: With Kareem Hunt signing, 'man of character' becomes lip service under Browns GM John Dorsey<


I should be outraged by the Browns' decision Monday to sign running back Kareem Hunt. The 23-year-old from Willoughby, Ohio was captured on security video shoving and kicking a woman in the hallway of his apartment at the Metropolitan at The 9 in Cleveland, resulting in his rapid release by the Kansas City Chiefs on Nov. 30.

Hunt's actions were outrageous and disgusting. But my initial reaction was tempered by the fact that this is no surprise.

700 by Marla Ridenour. MOVED


^Matt Calkins: Markelle Fultz and Isaiah Thomas are two former Huskies in NBA limbo<


One is Markelle Fultz, the first pick in the 2017 NBA draft. Fultz may be the most high-profile recruit to ever suit up at Washington. In his only year on Montlake, he averaged 23.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.9 assists while shooting 41.3 percent from the field.

Comb through stat lines of any other Husky and you won't find any as efficient Fultz.

700 by Matt Calkins. MOVED

^Carron Phillips: Kevin Durant's excuse for getting mad at the media is beyond ironic<


After not speaking to the media for nine days, the Warriors star blew up on the media for speculating on his upcoming free agency plans _ which could include the Knicks _ during a press conference last week after the Warriors demolished the Spurs.

On Monday morning, Durant appeared on an episode of ESPN's "Get Up" to explain why he wants to only talk basketball with the media, not business.

300 by Carron J. Phillips. MOVED

^Stephen Curry to Dwyane Wade: 'Are you sure you don't have a couple more years left?'<

BKN-HEAT-WADE-CURRY:MI _ After the Heat lost to the Warriors on Sunday, Stephen Curry had a message for Dwyane Wade.

Are you sure you want to retire at the end of this season?

As part of the jersey exchange that's become a trademark of Wade's final NBA season, Wade chose Curry as the Warriors player to swap jerseys with.

"It seems like he's got a lot more in the tank," Curry said.

550 by Anthony Chiang in Oakland, Calif. MOVED


^NBA investigating whether Lakers, Ben Simmons violated contact rules<


That request is drawing scrutiny from the NBA league office.

600 by Tania Ganguli in Los Angeles. MOVED


^NBA rules error on no-call on Durant, Heat's Spoelstra not fined for comments<


Not that it offered after-the-fact consolation to Heat coach Erik Spoelstra.

"Basically what I said is we disagreed. It just didn't look right, it didn't feel right," Spoelstra said before his team faced the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center.

650 by Ira Winderman. MOVED


^Kevin Love's progress continues as Cavs hand Knicks record-setting loss<

BKN-KNICKS-CAVS:AK _ After Larry Nance Jr. found Collin Sexton for a layup in the second quarter, Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson got off the bench and raised both arms in the air.

Such are the little victories in a Cavaliers season that started to unravel with Love's toe injury in the exhibition opener.

With the Cavs hosting the New York Knicks in the second installment of the Battle for Zion on Monday night at Quicken Loans Arena, one had to stress the positives in Cleveland's 107-104 triumph.

650 by Marla Ridenour in Cleveland. MOVED

^Andre Drummond, Blake Griffin lead surging Pistons to 4th straight win<

BKN-WIZARDS-PISTONS:DE _ The Detroit Pistons game plan was apparent from the opening tip. And it worked.

The big man tandem of Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond pounded the Washington Wizards inside the paint for a combined for 63 points and 26 rebounds in helping the Pistons to a 121-112 victory at Little Caesars Arena on Monday night.

The Pistons (26-29) won their fourth straight game and remained in possession of the Eastern Conference's eighth and final playoff spot.

400 by Vince Ellis in Detroit. MOVED

^Nets play well, but fall to Raptors on Kawhi Leonard's game-winning jumper<

BKN-NETS-RAPTORS:ND _ Reinforcements are arriving from the injury list just in time for the Nets' playoff push.

But as much as the infusion of talent might help the Nets, it also served to underline the complicated process of working top players back into the rotation. The new player who made the biggest impact was Marc Gasol who had 11 fourth-quarter points in his first Raptors home game since being traded from Memphis before star Kawhi Leonard banged in the winning jumper with 4.2 seconds left in a 127-125 victory over the Nets.

650 by Greg Logan in Toronto. MOVED

^Timberwolves gain ground in West by stopping Clippers<

BKN-CLIPPERS-TWOLVES:MS _ Getting healthier at guard, but playing without a sick Andrew Wiggins, the Wolves hosted the Los Angeles Clippers in a game as close to must-win as one might imagine at this point in the season.

And so, with a tweaked starting lineup that included both Dario Saric and Luol Deng, the Wolves went out and did just enough in a 130-120 victory.

Using a monster 33-5 run that ran from late in the second quarter until midway through the second, the Wolves seemingly took control of the game.

600 by Kent Youngblood in Minneapolis. MOVED

^Lonzo Ball's absence has compounded Lakers' defensive woes<


Ball came into the NBA with many doubts about his defense. But in his second season, Ball made his presence felt on the defensive end, and the Lakers have missed him dearly since he suffered a Grade 3 ankle sprain last month.

550 by Tania Ganguli in Los Angeles. MOVED


Monday's games

TNS expects coverage from the following games:

Milwaukee at Chicago, 8 p.m.

Dallas at Houston, 8 p.m.

Miami at Denver, 9 p.m.


^Corey Crawford's return to practice could force Blackhawks into difficult decision<


With millions in the bank, two Stanley Cup rings on his fingers and a family to enjoy, the 34-year-old Crawford heard calls to wrap up his career rather than put his health at risk.

Only one problem: The idea of retiring never crossed Crawford's mind.

550 by Jimmy Greenfield. MOVED


^Blackhawks sign Collin Delia to a 3-year extension, solidifying uncertain goalie situation<


The deal, which runs through the 2021-22 season, carries a team-friendly $1 million cap hit.

"It's a huge vote of confidence in myself and my ability," Delia said. "Couldn't be happier to do it now. At this time of the year, it feels really good."

250 by Jimmy Greenfield. MOVED


^Kings trade Nate Thompson to Montreal for draft pick<


The Kings sent Thompson and a fifth-round draft pick to Montreal for a fourth-round selection. Both draft picks are this year. The move was expected because Thompson is on an expiring contract and, with Carl Hagelin, is seen as a valuable rental role-player to another team.

250 by Curtis Zupke in Washington. MOVED


^Flyers fire 28 shots in a period but fall to Penguins<

HKN-PENGUINS-FLYERS:PHI _ Early in the day, Flyers interim coach Scott Gordon said the Flyers had to treat Monday's showdown against the arch-rival Pittsburgh Penguins "like a playoff game."

They did, playing with a high level of desperation, swarming the net, and badly outshooting Pittsburgh.

No matter.

Despite setting a franchise record with 28 shots in a period and finishing with 51 shots, the Flyers fell to Pittsburgh at the Wells Fargo Center, 4-1, and dropped eight points behind the Penguins in the playoff race.

800 by Sam Carchidi in Philadelphia. MOVED


^Will Artemi Panarin, Sergei Bobrovsky become a package deal in free agency?<


650 by Helene Elliott. MOVED


Monday's games

TNS expects coverage from the following games:

Los Angeles at Washington, 7 p.m.

San Jose at Vancouver, 10 p.m.


^No. 4 Virginia defeats No. 8 North Carolina, snapping Tar Heels' seven-game winning streak<

^BKC-VIRGINIA-UNC:RA_< No. 8 North Carolina had a chance to defeat No. 4 Virginia and make a statement in the ACC. The Tar Heels led by seven points with nine minutes left in the game.

But the Cavaliers were just too good. UVA junior guard Kyle Guy hit a 3-pointer with 1:10 left in the game to give the Cavaliers a six point lead and the game.

The Tar Heels attempted to come back with some desperation 3's but could not hit them. UVA beat UNC, 69-61.

400 by Jonathan M. Alexander in Chapel Hill, N.C. MOVED


Monday's games

TNS expects coverage from the following games featuring teams in the AP top 25:

No. 14 Kansas at TCU, 9 p.m.


^Overwatch League brings another pair of teams trying to win over LA fans<

OVERWATCH-LEAGUE:LA _ Los Angeles is a two-team city with a pair of franchises in the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS and two traditional college sports powerhouses in USC and UCLA.

Most people have chosen a side in these intracity battles, but perhaps the rivalry that will become the most interesting to watch in the coming years, particularly if you're younger than 30, isn't taking place on the field, court or ice.

1050 by Arash Markazi in Los Angeles. MOVED



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