Grizzlies hire Jenkins
The Memphis Grizzlies finally filled their coaching vacancy by hiring Milwaukee Bucks assistant Taylor Jenkins. The Grizzlies will introduce Jenkins at news conference today. Memphis became the sixth and final NBA team to hire a new coach after firing J.B. Bickerstaff following the end of the season in April. Jenkins, 34, was Mike Budenholzer’s assistant in Milwaukee this season and in Atlanta for five seasons. Jenkins becomes Memphis’ fourth head coach since the Grizzlies chose not to renew Lionel Hollins’ contract in 2013 after he led them to their lone Western Conference final appearance. The new Grizzlies coach started in the NBA as an intern with the San Antonio Spurs’ basketball operations department during the 2007-08 season after graduating from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in economics. Jenkins then was an assistant coach with the Spurs’ G League team, the Toros, and worked under both Quin Snyder, now head coach of the Utah Jazz, and Brad Jones, now coach of Memphis’ G League team. Memphis controlling owner Robert Pera fired Bickerstaff the day after he wrapped up his first full season on the job and with the 33-49 Grizzlies missing the playoffs for a second consecutive year.
Futures Game revamped
Hall of Famer Jim Thome and Dennis Martinez will be the managers in a revamped All-Star Futures Game at Cleveland on July 7. In its 21st year, the game is switching formats and will match American League prospects against young players from National League teams. Previously, a world team faced U.S. players. In addition, the game is being shortened from nine innings to seven, which was the length in the initial Futures Game in 1999. The commissioner’s office said Tuesday that Thome will lead the AL team and Martinez the NL team. Both are former Indians players. The U.S. has won 13 of 20 Futures Games, including eight of the last nine.
Orioles’ Cobb out
Baltimore Orioles right-hander Alex Cobb will have season-ending surgery on his right hip. Cobb went 0-2 with a 10.95 ERA in three starts this season. He was expected to be Baltimore’s opening day starter but was scratched with a groin injury. Cobb was placed on the injured list three times this season, including twice for a lumbar strain. The surgery is meant to correct an impingement in the hip and will take place in Nashville, Tenn., later this week. Cobb could also undergo a procedure on his knee. Cobb signed a four-year, $57 million contract with Baltimore in March 2018. He struggled early but improved in the second half of the season, finishing 5-15 with a 4.90 ERA. He underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow in 2015 while with the Tampa Bay Rays.
Mariners’ Gordon returns
The Seattle Mariners have reinstated second baseman Dee Gordon from the injured list, following a 19-game absence because of a bruised right wrist. Gordon was hit by a pitch on May 9 in New York. He was batting .281 with 16 runs, 7 extra-base hits, 19 RBI and 12 stolen bases in 45 games before he was hurt. Shed Long took most of the turns at second base while Gordon was out. The move was made before the Mariners began a three-game game series at Minnesota on Tuesday. Right-handed reliever Matt Festa was sent to Class AAA Tacoma to make room on the roster.
Raiders on ‘Hard Knocks’
Oakland Raiders Coach Jon Gruden will be a TV star once again. HBO announced Tuesday that the Raiders will be featured on the network’s Hard Knocks show in training camp this summer that gives a behind-the-scenes look at an NFL team. Gruden spent nine seasons as the lead analyst on ESPN’s Monday Night Football before returning to the sideline for a second stint as Raiders coach last year. Now he will likely be a star of the 14th edition of this reality show. The Raiders made several high-profile additions this offseason that made them an attractive team for the show in their final scheduled season in Oakland before a planned move to Las Vegas. They hired another former TV analyst as general manager in Mike Mayock, traded for big-play receiver Antonio Brown and signed controversial free agents Vontaze Burfict and Richie Incognito. Oakland also had three first-round draft picks in Clelin Ferrell, Josh Jacobs and Johnathan Abram, as well as quarterback Derek Carr. The first of five episodes will air Aug. 6.
The Minnesota Vikings weren’t willing to part with Kyle Rudolph despite their lack of salary cap space, and the ninth-year tight end sure didn’t want to leave. No matter the tricky nature of making the numbers work for both sides, the mutual desire to keep the team’s longest-tenured offensive player in place was the driving force behind a four-year contract extension Rudolph signed on Tuesday with the Vikings. Rudolph had entered the final year of his current deal with a $7.25 million non-guaranteed salary, putting him at risk for being released after the Vikings drafted Alabama tight end Irv Smith Jr. in the second round. Making a rookie the primary player at that position would have been a big burden on Smith, though. As last season proved, the Vikings need to give quarterback Kirk Cousins as many options in the passing game as possible after wide receivers Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs drew heavy attention during the second half of the schedule.Rudolph, a two-time Pro Bowl pick who had 64 receptions for 634 yards and four touchdowns in 2018, is second among tight ends in Vikings history in catches and yards. Having played in every game over the past four seasons, Rudolph has a streak of 65 consecutive games started that is a franchise record and the longest active run by a tight end in the league.
Commission: No appeal
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has asked a federal judge to toss a lawsuit by Maximum Security’s owners over the disqualification of their horse in the Kentucky Derby. The motion, filed on behalf of the commission and its members, the stewards who disqualified Maximum Security, and the executive director, said horse racing is a sport with rules and neutral arbiters and disagreement with a call doesn’t mean their constitutional or legal rights have been violated. The motion was filed on June 8, the day that the Belmont, the last jewel of the Triple Crown, was run in New York. The state asked U.S. District Judge Karen K. Caldwell to dismiss the suit, which was filed May 14 in Lexington, Ky. The Wests argued that they should be allowed to appeal the disqualification of Maximum Security, who crossed the finish line first in the Derby. After two other jockeys filed objections, the stewards ruled that Maximum Security had impeded several horses and Country House was declared the winner. Jockey Luis Saez, who rode Maximum Security, also is facing a 15-day suspension; he has appealed and continues to ride in races.
This Sept. 25, 2017, file photo, shows then-Atlanta Hawks assistant coach Taylor Jenkins during the NBA basketball team's media day in Atlanta. A person with knowledge of the decision says the Memphis Grizzlies have hired Milwaukee Bucks assistant Taylor Jenkins to be the team’s next head coach.
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