Postseason games “just taking too long”
No, it’s not your imagination. This year’s playoff games are running extra long — and extra slow.
And even the players are noticing.
“They’re really slow. It’s tough to watch,” Baltimore Orioles reliever Darren O’Day said after the first two games of the AL Championship Series each lasted more than 4 hours, 15 minutes. “I understand it’s postseason, but these are just taking too long.”
The average time of the first 20 postseason games played so far was 3 hours, 49 minutes. Five went to extra innings, including an 18-inning marathon between San Francisco and Washington that lasted a record 6 hours, 23 minutes. So those games skew the numbers a bit.
Dodgers add Friedman to front office
The L.A. Dodgers have hired Andrew Friedman for the new position of president of baseball operations. Current general manger Ned Colletti will stay on as a senior adviser to team president and CEO Stan Kasten.
Friedman comes from the Tampa Bay Rays, where he was executive vice president of baseball operations for nine years after being hired at age 28.
In joining the Dodgers, Friedman will have baseball’s highest payroll of $256 million at his disposal.
The Rays acted swiftly to replace Friedman, saying long-time club president Matt Silverman will fill the position.
Keselowski and Stewart fined for post-race fracas
NASCAR fined Brad Keselowski $50,000 and Tony Stewart $25,000 for their roles in the fracas after the race at Charlotte Motor Speedway over the weekend.
Both drivers were also placed on probation. NASCAR said the penalties “are about maintaining a safe environment following the race.” Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamlin were not penalized for their roles in the post-race skirmishes after Saturday night’s race.
The sequence of events began on the cool-down lap when Hamlin admittedly brake-checked Keselowski to show his displeasure with how Keselowski raced him over the final two laps. Keselowski then tried, but failed, to spin Hamlin. Keselowski inadvertently ran into the back of Stewart’s car as the entire field headed toward pit road. Stewart responded by backing his car up into Keselowski’s car.
As Keselowski walked between two team haulers, Kenseth rushed in from behind and jumped him. Crew members quickly peeled Kenseth away and he made it clear he was upset Keselowski hit him while his seatbelts were off and his window net down.
NFL, union discuss player conduct policy
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and players’ union chief DeMaurice Smith have agreed to continue discussing changes to the league’s personal conduct policy following a four-hour session in New York on Tuesday.
In an email to player representatives afterward, Smith says he made it clear to the league that the union wants due process.
In other NFL news:
Adviser for the Winston family wants an explanation from Florida State on timing of hearing
In a letter obtained by The Associated Press, the adviser for the family of Jameis Winston has asked Florida State why it has chosen now to engage in the Title IX process and accuses the school of trying to protect its own interests and responding to media pressure.
Florida State announced last week it will use an independent official in a student code of conduct hearing. A female student said Winston sexually assaulted her in December 2012.
Attorney David Cornwell notes in a letter that university and federal policy requires a timely investigation. He asks university officials why Florida State ignored those guidelines and writes that Winston deserves a prompt explanation.
A Florida prosecutor declined to press charges against Winston last December due to a lack of evidence.
Detroit’s Meeks out 8 weeks with back issue
Detroit Pistons guard Jodie Meeks is expected to miss about eight weeks because of a stress reaction of his lower back. The injury was discovered following a CT scan.
Meeks signed a $19.5 million, three-year deal with the Pistons this offseason. He was diagnosed with back spasms last week and had additional testing done because of continuing discomfort.
Meeks started 70 games last season, averaged a career-high 15.7 points for the Lakers.
Islanders, Devils, Sharks still perfect…Hat trick for Seguin
In hockey, Kyle Okposo scored his 100th NHL goal to snap a tie 48 seconds into the third period, and the undefeated New York Islanders netted four goals on seven shots in the final frame to beat the sliding New York Rangers 6-3. The Islanders are 3-0.
In other hockey:
Slive stepping down as SEC boss
One of the most powerful figures in college sports is stepping down. Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive will retire next summer after 13 years leading the league to unprecedented success and prosperity.
The 74-year-old Slive said his retirement will take effect July 31, and also announced he plans to begin treatment for a recurrence of prostate cancer.
Under his leadership, the SEC became the nation’s most premier football conference, dug out from under a pile of NCAA compliance issues and won seven consecutive BCS titles. Overall, the SEC won 67 national championships in 15 of its 21 sponsored sports since he took over in 2002.
Kaymer in control
U.S. Open champion Martin Kaymer seized control with a tap-in birdie followed by an eagle on his way to a 6-under 65 and a two-shot lead over Bubba Watson in the PGA Grand Slam of Golf.
British Open and PGA champion Rory McIlroy fell back after a strong start and had a 69. Jim Furyk, the alternate in the 36-hole exhibition for the year’s four major champions, was seven shots behind after a 73.
The Grand Slam of Golf concludes Wednesday.
Altidore scores in 1-1 tie
Jozy Altidore scored in his return to his hometown of Boca Roton, Florida, and the United States wasted a late lead for the second time in in five days in a 1-1 tie against Honduras in an international friendly match.
Maynor Figueroa scored in the 86th minute for the Hondurans.