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May 11, 2015

NFL fines Patriots $1 million, suspends Brady in ‘Deflategate’

By Steve Ginsburg

(Reuters) – The National Football League on Monday fined the New England Patriots $1 million for its role in “Deflategate” and will suspend star quarterback Tom Brady for the first four games of next season.

The NFL also said the Patriots will forfeit their first-round selection in the 2016 draft for using under-inflated footballs in last season’s AFC Championship game.

May 11, 2015

U.S. female rower readies for solo Pacific Ocean odyssey

By Steve Ginsburg

(Reuters) – Sonya Baumstein lay in bed one sleepless night and wept softly as she pondered her upcoming attempt to cross the Pacific Ocean alone in a rowboat.

“I was just thinking about the fact that I’m going to be leaving everything that I love for a really long time,” Baumstein said of her planned 6,000-mile (9,600 km) odyssey. “And I don’t know the consequences.”

May 8, 2015

Even with ‘Deflategate,’ the Brady brand may hold up to pressure

By Steve Ginsburg

(Reuters) – At perhaps the most difficult time in his storybook football career, Tom Brady’s brand value might sag a bit with the “Deflategate” scandal but probably won’t collapse, experts say.

The New England Patriots quarterback is one of the biggest names in sports today, a four-time Super Bowl champion and three-time Super Bowl Most Valuable Player who until now has kept his nose clean over 15 years in the National Football League.

May 7, 2015

Agent for Patriots QB Brady says NFL’s ‘Deflategate’ probe flawed

By Steve Ginsburg

(Reuters) – The agent for New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on Thursday called the National Football League’s “Deflategate” report “a significant and terrible disappointment” and suggested the league reached its conclusion before hearing the facts.

“Its omission of key facts and lines of inquiry suggest the investigators reached a conclusion first, and then determined so-called facts later,” Don Yee said in a statement.

May 6, 2015

NFL says Patriots probably deflated the balls in AFC title game

By Steve Ginsburg

(Reuters) – The New England Patriots probably deliberately deflated the footballs to gain an advantage in the AFC title game in January, and quarterback Tom Brady was “at least generally aware” of the scheme, the National Football League said on Wednesday.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league would consider possible disciplinary action and what rules, if any, need to be changed.

May 3, 2015

Baseball’s new up-tempo rules receive a standing ovation, so far

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Major League Baseball’s campaign to speed up its games in the hope of winning over more young fans has shown some signs of success in the first month of the new season. 

    Before the season began, Rob Manfred, MLB’s new commissioner, said he wanted to reduce the amount of dead time during games without compromising the integrity of the game.

May 1, 2015

Horse racing industry angry over bill designed to clean up sport

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A congressional bill that would eliminate most wagering on horseracing, introduced to encourage the sport to end alleged widespread doping and cheating, was labeled on Friday by an industry leader as “a shameless publicity stunt.”

The legislation, authored by Senator Tom Udall, a Democrat from New Mexico, and Representative Joe Pitts, a Republican from Pennsylvania, would repeal the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978 that permits “off-track” and online wagering.

Apr 29, 2015

Put it in the books: Orioles 8, White Sox 2 … Crowd size 0

BALTIMORE (Reuters) – It was a perfect April afternoon to take in a ball game, but the Baltimore Orioles and Chicago White Sox played before a sea of 45,971 empty seats on Wednesday afternoon, setting an unenviable record of sorts in a sport driven by statistics.

After a night on turmoil in the streets of Baltimore on Monday, officials decided it was simply too difficult to assure the safety of fans coming to Camden Yards, the city’s venerable downtown stadium. The violence erupted days after the death of Freddie Gray, a young black man who suffered a fatal spinal injury while in police custody.

Apr 29, 2015

Baltimore Orioles to play in empty stadium as Baltimore reels from rioting

By Steve Ginsburg

(Reuters) – In what will be a first for Major League Baseball, the Baltimore Orioles will host the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday in a stadium closed to fans as Baltimore copes with some of the worst U.S. urban rioting in years.

The Orioles said Wednesday’s scheduled 7:05 p.m. game would be played at 2:05 p.m. before an empty Camden Yards ballpark.

Apr 28, 2015

Baseball’s Orioles to resume play Wednesday in game closed to public

By Steve Ginsburg

(Reuters) – The baseball game between the Baltimore Orioles and Chicago White Sox scheduled for Tuesday night in riot-hit Baltimore has been postponed and Wednesday’s game will be closed to the public, team officials said.

The Orioles said Wednesday’s scheduled 7:05 p.m. game with the White Sox would be played at 2:05 p.m. before an empty Camden Yards stadium.