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Barry Trotz dismisses concerns about lack of Islanders practices

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Barry Trotz dismisses concerns about lack of Islanders practices

On the off-day prior to Tuesday’s potential elimination Game 5 of the conference finals, the Islanders … were essentially off. Thus, not a single full-scale practice since arriving at the Edmonton bubble on Sept. 6.

“We had an optional with some guys, some [other] guys were getting treatments, what have you, so we weren’t able to have a full practice,” Barry Trotz said via Zoom. “But we’ll put together whatever we have to do and when they drop the puck we’ll have to get it done.”

The coach dismissed concerns that lack of practice time might be contributing to the errors the Islanders have committed, or been forced into making while dropping three of the first four games to the Lightning.

“These guys have been doing this for four or five months and they’re playing every second day,” Trotz said. “I don’t know a team that’s here that’s had a full practice with all their players out there. You get in the playoffs, it’s about playing and maintaining, or maintenance.

“Tampa Bay practiced, they didn’t have all their guys out there. You just don’t at this time. It is harder and harder to practice and the four teams in the bubble, I don’t know of anyone who’s practicing.”

The Islanders are in a must-win situation in the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Islanders are in a must-win situation in the Eastern Conference Finals.NHLI via Getty Images

Steven Stamkos, sidelined with a lower-body injury he apparently sustained during Phase 2 of the restart and ruled out of this series, does continue to skate intermittently with the Lightning.

“He’s been skating on and off,” said coach Jon Cooper. “He’s on a rehab regimen and so a lot of days he’s either skating by himself, or if we’ve got optionals, like today, he’s out there with the guys. There are certain things he can and can’t do. But definitely nothing has changed in the playing department any time soon.”

The 30-year-old Stamkos, who recorded 66 points (29-37) in 57 games, has not played since Feb. 25. He underwent core surgery on March 2, 10 days before the NHL’s coronavirus-related pause went into effect. The Lightning had been hopeful that Stamkos would be cleared at some point during the tournament, but that remains to be seen.


Semyon Varlamov was fine in Sunday’s empty-net abetted 4-1 defeat, but the Islanders will need better than that if they’re going to be able to dig out of the 3-1 rubble.

“They’ve got a guy like [Nikita] Kucherov, who doesn’t need a big window, and he can make you pay,” Trotz said, “That line [with Brayden Point and Ondrej Palat] has been good against us. So we’ve got to make sure we don’t give them a whole lot of space and when we do give them space, we’re going to hope that they don’t execute at the level they are capable of and maybe get a high-level save when we need it.”

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Mets, David Peterson beat Nationals to keep playoff hopes alive

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Mets, David Peterson beat Nationals to keep playoff hopes alive

WASHINGTON — David Peterson’s season is concluding just as it has reached a zenith.

The rookie pitcher didn’t even possess a roster spot when summer camp began, but became an integral piece of the Mets’ rotation out of necessity. Now the Mets have to love the potential gem they have unearthed.

Thursday night Peterson kept the Mets’ scant playoff hopes alive with his strongest start of the season in a 3-2 victory over the Nationals.

The Mets (26-31) are still mathematically alive for second place in the NL East, which carries a postseason berth, and also breathing, albeit barely, in the wild-card race. Their deficit on the Giants and Phillies for the final wild-card spot is two games with three remaining. The Brewers also sit ahead of the Mets. In the race for second place in the NL East, the Marlins began play Thursday night with a 2½-game lead on the Mets with the Phillies sitting in between.

Peterson (6-2) lasted seven innings — his longest career start — and allowed one earned run on four hits with one walk and four strikeouts. The left-hander lowered his ERA to 3.44, an oasis for a team whose back-end rotation options — Rick Porcello, Michael Wacha and Steven Matz — have all disappointed at various degrees.

Peterson was strong late into his start, escaping trouble in the sixth by retiring Kurt Suzuki and Yan Gomes in succession after Juan Soto had doubled with one out. In the seventh he allowed a leadoff single to Josh Harrison before getting three outs.

It was a second straight superb start for Peterson, who allowed only one run over six innings in a victory over the Braves last Saturday. The left-hander also reached double digits in strikeouts for the first time in his career with 10 in that game.

Robinson Chirinos, who entered batting .149, delivered his first homer of the season, a two-run shot in the fifth, that gave the Mets a 2-1 lead. Guillermo Heredia singled leading off the inning against Patrick Corbin before Chirinos cleared the fence in right-center.

In the sixth, Chirinos hit a grounder to the first-base hole — and beat Corbin to the bag — for an RBI single that extended the Mets’ lead to 3-1. Robinson Cano’s bunt single against the shift started the rally before Amed Rosario walked and Heredia’s fly ball to right advanced Cano to third.

David Peterson
David Peterson is seen pitching against the Nationals tonight.AP

Harrison’s RBI single in the fourth brought in the game’s first run. Soto walked leading off the inning to begin that rally.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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ESPN’s Mark Jones receives pushback on anti-police tweets

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ESPN's Mark Jones receives pushback on anti-police tweets

ESPN play-by-play announcer Mark Jones was called upon Thursday to reconcile his previous public support for police with his current distrust of officers.

Jones sent multiple anti-police tweets Wednesday after Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced a grand jury declined to indict three Louisville Metro officers in the shooting death last March of Breonna Taylor inside her apartment. One officer was charged with firing his weapon into an unoccupied adjacent apartment. Two Louisville officers were later shot during protest demonstrations.

Jones went so far as to say that he didn’t want his customary police detail when he calls the Army-Cincinnati football game Saturday. His reasoning? He fears for his safety around cops.

“I’m not signing my own death certificate,” Jones, who is Black, wrote.

It should be noted that spectators will not be allowed inside Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium for the game. Jones therefore won’t need an escort to get him through pregame or postgame congestion.

Jones also wrote that his uncle made history as an officer in Toronto and racism within that force was widespread. 

Jones broadcast NBA games for ESPN in the Orlando bubble and heard NBA players regularly speak about Taylor. He also saw players walk out of games to protest police brutality and racial injustice.

MORE: ESPN’s Jalen Rose shouts Breonna Taylor message before network goes to break

After Jones’ tweets went viral Thursday, people brought up posts he sent years ago thanking and supporting police who assisted him at stadiums. It was a “This you?” moment.

Jones parried by saying his colleagues, friends and even a stranger have been integral to his safety.

Jones also received backlash for two tweets he liked earlier in the week regarding 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa’s ACL tear. One of the tweets Jones liked appeared to mock Bosa’s support of President Donald Trump; the other appeared to mock Bosa’s standing for the national anthem.

ESPN has not commented on Jones’ social media activity.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Meaningless, misleading talk is invading sports broadcasts

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Meaningless, misleading talk is invading sports broadcasts

Ah, to sleep, perchance to miss it all.

During the first half of Sunday’s Niners-Jets game, a large graphic appeared to promote the halftime show that would include, “Steelers Host Winless Broncos.”

Winless Broncos? The Broncos were 0-1. Half the NFL’s teams were winless!

No matter, play-by-play man Brandon Gaudin dutifully parroted the “winless” graphic for our further enlightenment.

At the start of the Giants-Bears game, CBS scrolled a bunch of distracting stats giving both teams’ offensive and defensive percentages and ranks. The “when accumulated” went unaddressed, but if these were last season’s numbers they were irrelevant and if they were this season’s they were, off just one game, also irrelevant.

In the first quarter, CBS play-by-play man, Ian Eagle, perhaps stuck for something — anything — to say, said the Giants’ defense “has been in its nickel throughout.” The game was just over three minutes long.

It’s wall-to-wall. Late Sunday afternoon, the stat-headed host of the NFL’s gambling-centric Red Zone channel, Scott Hanson, stated that the Falcons, up 15 over the Cowboys midway through the fourth quarter, had a 98 percent win probability. That soon dipped to zero percent.

The USGA, over the weekend, did everything in its power to wreck its premier event, the U.S. Open. In repeated — as in dozens of times — frame splits that relegated live major golf on NBC to distant stick figures in indiscernible activities, three-fifths of the screen was devoted to commercials.

What made this particularly astonishing was that many of the commercials/promos seen in those dominant boxes were for the USGA! Don’t watch the USGA’s Open, watch repeated promos for the USGA!

And the commentary, especially that spoken by cliché-dependent NBC host Dan Hicks, was insulting. He repeatedly said that this was the first Open cut missed by Tiger Woods since 2006, citing his father’s death at the time for the reason.

But such a maudlin treatment was terribly misleading. Woods, golf’s most privileged, took an entire month off after his father passed — evidence, as per groveling TV announcers, that no one loved their father as much as Woods loved his.

How many of us are allowed such leave from work after the passing of a loved one? An itinerant pro, Jay Delsing, played in the Open and played in other events shortly after his father’s death in order to try to keep making a living — a story widely ignored.

Harris English
Harris English takes a swing at the U.S. Open.EPA

And the say-anything filler was enough to stuff a year’s supply of prison meat loafs. As contender Harris English prepared to play the 18th hole during Round 2, Gary Koch, who relies on vacant commentary, said, “It all starts with a tee shot.” To think he has the right to remain silent.

NBC’s Stanley Cup Finals “coverage” continues to beg both the impossible and senseless from viewers. Along the top it has scrolled the running time of players’ shifts on the ice. Who cares enough to cease watching the game to study for such needless info? And during the Stanley Cup Finals, no less!

And will someone at Fox, please — please! — at last tell or convince MLB analyst John Smoltz to take off a pitch or two. Whatever good stuff he has to add is lost after the first inning of his say-something sense of duty after every bloody pitch!

Sanctuary!

Losing? No worry, you can still pose

Never thought we’d see what we saw on ABC/ESPN during Saturday’s Navy-Tulane game. After a Navy defender sacked the QB, he rose and did an all-about-me skit that ended with a mime of him sinking a putt, as opposed to a battleship. The conspicuously immodest from a U.S. Naval Academy man!

At the time, Navy trailed, 17-0. Naturally, announcers Mark Jones and Dusty Dvoracek could muster not a word of discouragement.

The next day, Jets WR Chris Hogan caught a short pass then spun the ball on the ground before doing that hackneyed, self-aggrandizing downfield first-down signal.

At the time, the Jets trailed, 24-3.


Alex Rodriguez’s “Baseball Has Never Been More Fun To Watch” Games of the Week:

On Sept. 20, Howie Rose tweeted, “Last night’s [Mets] game started at 7:07. It wasn’t until 7:32 that the first ball was put into play, a two-run single by Robinson Cano. 25 minutes in – and Cano was the 8th batter. 4 BBs, 3K’s, plus a pickoff.

“Maybe I’m missing something, but is this what we really want? Hard to imagine it is.”

Doug Adler
Doug AlderGetty Images

Same with this: The Cardinals beat the Pirates 7-2 last Friday in the second game of a doubleheader. There were 21 strikeouts — in a 6 ½-inning game.

And with this: That same night, in 8 ½ innings, the Brewers used seven pitchers to beat the Royals, 9-5. And all, by new, feckless rule, six pitched to at least three batters.


Doug Adler, the longtime ESPN tennis analyst fired in 2017 as a racist after a New York Times freelancer and frightened ESPN execs determined that he had, out of the blue, called Venus Williams a “gorilla” — he was admiring her net-poaching “guerilla tactics” — returns to the air Sunday on Tennis Channel’s coverage of the French Open.

Adler, who had also been drummed out of French Open coverage after nine years following the preposterous accusation — and then suffered a stress-related heart attack — last worked the French in 2016.

It’s Saturday, let’s not play a ballgame

Uncle Rob Manfred’s claim to embrace kids as MLB’s top priority was on full display, last Saturday, as only one afternoon game was scheduled, and that was for Giants-Athletics, a 4:05 ET start for Fox.


Craig Carton’s remorse via that HBO documentary seems a matter of feeling sorry for himself as much as his family. He also came across as what he was pre-arrest: defiant, belligerent and narcissistic — an uncured ham.


Think Pete Alonso regrets all his LFGM!, I’m-the-man! second-season preseason bravado?


Reader Nathan Mayberg has a good question: When did “He’d like to have that pass back” become legitimate, in-game quarterback analysis?


Here’s hoping TBS doesn’t rush Curtis Granderson onto center stage before he’s ready. No one easier to root for than Granderson, a mensch. And thousands of kids have his autograph to prove it.


One of Vince McMahon’s most popular wrestlers, Road Warrior Animal (Joseph Laurinaitis), died this week at 60. That’s a long life by pro wrestling standards. His Road Warrior/Legion of Doom partner, Hawk (Michael Hegstrand) died of a heart attack in 2003 at 46. Not that WWE yahoo Peter Rosenberg of “The Michael Kay Show” cares.


Reader Steve Arendash: “While I’m watching the NFL on CBS, I’m told by CBS that I’m ‘watching the NFL on CBS.’ Next they’ll tell me that the postgame show follows the game.”

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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