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News, Scores, Teams, Stories & More on Northeast OH Sports on cleveland.com

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    Check here for the live second-round leaderboard for the PGA Tour's The Northern Trust 2018 on Friday, Aug. 24, in New Jersey. The Northern Trust opens the FedExCup Playoffs.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Tiger Woods, Marc Leishman and Tommy Fleetwood comprise one of the notable groups for Rounds 1-2 of the PGA Tour's The Northern Trust 2018 this week in New Jersey. Round 2 is Friday, Aug. 24.

    The Northern Trust is the first of four events in the FedExCup Playoffs.

    Among other notable groups: Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas and Brooks Koepka; Patrick Reed, Phil Mickelson and Tony Finau; Justin Rose, Bubba Watson and Jason Day; and Ryan Armour, Chez Reavie and Brendan Steele.

    Johnson, Thomas, Koepka, Rose and Watson finished Nos. 1-5 in the FedExCup "regular-season'' standings.

    The original field of 125 (120 started at The Northern Trust) will be cut to 100 after The Northern Trust; to 70 after the Dell Technologies Championship; and to 30 after the BMW Championship. The top 30 play in the TOUR Championship.

    Johnson is ranked No. 1 in the world. His PGA Tour season features three victories among 10 Top-10's.

    Thomas has won three times this season, including the final WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club in Akron.

    Koepka won two majors this season -- the U.S. Open and PGA Championship. He went back-to-back at the U.S. Open.

    Rose has won twice this season; Watson, three times.

    No. 11 Mickelson, 48, won WGC-Mexico Championship 2018, his first victory since British Open 2013.

    No. 20 Woods, 42, tied for sixth at U.S. Open 2018 and was runner-up at PGA Championship 2018. He owns five Top-10's this season but zero victories; the most recent of his 79 PGA Tour titles occurred at WGC-Bridgestone 2013.

    No. 37 Armour, a Silver Lake native and a former standout at Walsh Jesuit and Ohio State, has experienced a career revitalization in his early 40's. After a missed cut in the 2017-18 PGA Tour season opener, Armour won the Sanderson Farms Championship three weeks later. It was his his first career PGA Tour title (in his 105th start) and secured his card through the 2019-20 season.

    In July, Armour finished second at the Quicken Loans National. Most recently, he finished tied for eighth at the Wyndham Championship, which ended Aug. 19.

    Armour owns nine Top-25's and has earned $2.41 million this season, the latter more than double his career earnings prior.

    PGA TOUR
    THE NORTHERN TRUST
    Site: Paramus, N.J.
    Course: Ridgewood CC. Yardage: 7,385. Par: 71.
    Purse: $9 million. Winner's share: $1,620,000.
    Television: Friday, 2-6 p.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday 1-2:45 p.m. (Golf Channel); 3-6 p.m. (CBS); Sunday, noon-1:45 p.m. (Golf Channel), 2-6 p.m. (CBS).
    Defending champion: Dustin Johnson.
    FedExCup leader: Dustin Johnson.
    Last week: Brandt Snedeker won the Wyndham Championship.
    Notes: This is the first of four FedEx Cup playoff events that conclude with the Tour Championship at East Lake. Points count quadruple for the opening three events, then are reset for the Tour Championship. ... Tiger Woods returns to the FedExCup playoffs for the first time in five years. He starts at No. 20. ... Harris English and Nick Taylor moved into the top 125 to qualify for the playoffs and keep full cards for next year. Seamus Power, who missed the cut at the Wyndham Championship, finished at No. 125. ... Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson, Bud Cauley and Patrick Rodgers are not playing, leaving the field at 120 players. ... The top 100 in the FedEx Cup advance to next week at the TPC Boston. ... U.S. Open and PGA champion Brooks Koepka will have his first shot at reaching No. 1 in the world. ... The field includes Ian Poulter and Paul Casey, both just outside qualifying for the European Ryder Cup team with two weeks remaining. ... Matt Kuchar won at Ridgewood in 2010. ... The tournament returns next year to Liberty National. After that, it will alternate with the TPC Boston. ... Snedeker moved to No. 30 with his victory at the Wyndham Championship.
    Next week: Dell Technologies Championship.
    Online: www.pgatour.com

    (Fact box from Associated Press.)


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    Check here for the live second-round leaderboard for the LPGA Tour's CP Women's Canadian Open 2018 on Friday, Aug. 24.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Ariya Jutanugarn, Mariajo Uribe, Sung Hyun Park, Nasa Hataoka, Jin Young Ko, Brooke Henderson, Minjee Lee, Moriya Jutanugarn, Lexi Thompson, Lydia Ko and Georgia Hall are among notables in the field for the LPGA Tour's CP Women's Canadian Open 2018 this week. Round 2 is Friday, Aug. 24.

    LPGA TOUR
    CP WOMEN'S CANADIAN OPEN
    Site: Regina, Saskatchewan.
    Course: Wascana CC. Yardage: 6,675. Par: 71.
    Purse: $2,250,000. Winner's share: $337,500.
    Television: Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday, 3-6 p.m. (Golf Channel); Sunday, 4-7 p.m. (Golf Channel.
    Defending champion: Sung Hyun Park.
    Race to CME Globe leader: Ariya Jutanugarn.
    Previous week: Sung Hyun Park won the Indy Women in Tech Championship.
    Notes: Sung Hyun Park joined Ariya Jutanugarn as the only three-time winners on the LPGA Tour this year. No one else has won more than once. ... Lydia Ko has won three times at the Women's Canadian Open -- the first one in 2012 when she was 15, making her the youngest winner in LPGA history. ... Americans won three of the opening four events on the LPGA Tour schedule. Since then, the only American to win was Annie Park on June 10 at the ShopRite Classic. ... Sung Hyun Park became the third player to eclipse $1 million in earnings, joining Ariya Jutanugarn and So Yeon Ryu. ... Lexi Thompson returned last week after taking three weeks off for emotional and mental fatigue. She tied for 12th. Thompson has gone more than a year without winning. ... The Women's Canadian Open joined the LPGA schedule in 2001, when Annika Sorenstam won. ... Ariya Jutanugarn, Ryu and Ko share the tournament record score of 265.
    Next week: Cambia Portland Classic.
    Online: www.lpga.com

    (Fact box from Associated Press.)


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    Ohio State's 23-page investigatory report detailed a coach who has cast doubt on his own honesty.

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- "As as result, he has cast doubt on his own honesty, in a way that reflects adversely on him, the football program, and Ohio State." -- Summary findings of the Ohio State independent investigative group

    Across the parking lot six years and nine months earlier, Urban Meyer had owned the room and saved a program, confident and refreshed as the new head of the Ohio State football team. The Urban Meyer introduced in the Fawcett Center on Nov. 28, 2011, had a year off from coaching and a new job leading the program he followed as a child.

    On Aug. 23, 2018, inside the Longaberger Alumni House, Meyer sat, sullen and disconnected, offering an apology to Ohio State fans, sorry for what he had done to Buckeye Nation, but reading from a prepared statement, rather than speaking from the heart. Meyer seemed cowed by a press conference focused on his mistakes, which led to a three-game suspension, while making it clear he thought the punishment too severe.

    Read Ohio State's 23-page report

    But Meyer wasn't suspended for how he handled domestic abuse allegations against Zach Smith in 2015, the focus of this drama that led to Smith's firing, Meyer's paid administrative leave for the last three weeks and a raft of national debate. Meyer complied with his basic duties there. If you think that was the issue, and you're angered about a Meyer suspension, it's not about that.

    He was suspended for the public relations hit Ohio State is taking on this. Even if you're a full supporter of Meyer and of Ohio State football, you have to realize the backlash the school would be absorbing if Meyer was coaching practice Thursday.

    He was suspended because Ohio State's report detailed a coach who can't be trusted.

    The most damning part of the report on Meyer, compiled by an independent investigatory group after two weeks of work, is the revelation that the first instinct of Meyer and Brian Voltolini, the football operations guy he brought from Florida and his right-hand man in issues like this, was to delete text messages when a bad story came out. They had a conversation about setting Meyer's phone to delete text messages more than a year old after Brett McMurphy's story with Courtney Smith, Zach Smith's ex-wife, dropped, and voila, when the phone was turned over, all text messages over a year old were gone.

    The committee couldn't prove they did it -- maybe the phone was already set to delete texts after a year. But they saw something in that initial desire to delete texts -- texts that should have been privy to open records requests.

    "Often, although not always, such reactions evidence consciousness of guilt."  -- Summary findings of the Ohio State independent investigative group

    I disagree with the summation of many in the media that Ohio State ignored domestic abuse and enabled an abuser by continuing to employ Zach Smith. The report states that athletic director Gene Smith and Meyer would have fired Zach Smith had he ever been charged with abuse. He never was. The report also concludes that relying only on charges isn't the right way to handle that issue, because often, charges never come.

    So Smith and Meyer failed there, but not in my opinion out of malice, but out of ignorance to the realities of abuse situations.

    Buckeye Talk Podcast on the decision

    Lessons must be learned, and the report makes a strong recommendation for changes in training and enforcement of this rule so that the next time Meyer or Smith or someone in power hears any inference of abuse regarding an employee, Ohio State's University Office of Compliance and Integrity can get to work. In this case, Ohio State's athletic compliance officer knew, but that university compliance office was never notified and given the opportunity to launch a Zach Smith investigation in 2015, which should have happened.

    But I don't think that reality fairly characterizes Ohio State as an enabler of abuse.

    But Zach Smith's repeated failures as a coach -- going to strip clubs on recruiting trips (known by Meyer), regularly showing up late to practice (known by Meyer), a 2013 DUI arrest (not known by Meyer), coupled with repeated abuse allegations -- should have absolutely led to an earlier firing.

    Regardless of Meyer's admitted loyalty to OSU legend Earle Bruce, Smith's grandfather, this was a repeated and egregious lapse of judgment by Meyer. The fact that he knew about 2009 abuse allegations against Smith at Florida, and never told that to Ohio State when Smith was hired in 2012 or when abuse issues arose in 2015, shows a willful desire to hide knowledge to get keep Smith hired or keep him on staff.

    So can you trust Meyer?

    His lies and misstatements at Big Ten media days were a surprisingly large chunk of the investigation, when his actions with Smith are of far more consequence in my mind. But the explanations for why Meyer said what he did, including a reference to medication that leads to him forgetting some things, is so convoluted as to defy reason. While the investigation concludes Meyer most likely knew Courtney Smith was texting Shelly Meyer abuse concerns in 2015, Meyer said again Wednesday he had no knowledge of that.

    Meyer has made it very difficult to believe him.

    All along, I've said actions matter more than words. I wrote that again after the news conference Wednesday, but before the report was released. The report added a lot of previously unknown context. But it's still about actions in the end.

    So Ohio State has to monitor Meyer's actions now.

    He can't just hire anyone he wants. Meyer said he won't make any hire without an open dialogue with Smith. That's a must. 

    Meyer can't just be trusted to handle business at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. After the 2011 scandal that led to Jim Tressel's firing, Ohio State hired a compliance director specifically for football and moved him into the football building. The Buckeyes are on their third person in that role since 2012, but he remains in that football office. Another move along those lines, not in compliance necessarily but in some oversight capacity, would be warranted here.

    Because how can the university have faith in the day-to-day operations inside the football building?

    How about moving the deputy AD who oversees football, Diana Sabau, into an office at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center? She's currently in charge of things like scheduling, budgeting, contracts and compliance for football. But what if it's made clear that she's empowered to also be in charge of things like making sure Zach Smith isn't running amok?

    Get someone with power, who doesn't rely on Meyer for a job, in there every day, and task them with getting the pulse of the building. The football people would probably hate that. Good. 

    There are currently five people in the football directory with associate or assistant AD titles. One is the trainer.

    The other four are Meyer loyalists from Florida who are entrusted with vital parts of the program: recruiting director Mark Pantoni, player development director Ryan Stamper, strength coach Mickey Marotti and  .... Voltolini, the test message deletion conspirator.

    Yes, he's the "associate athletic director, general manager."

    Ohio State chose to keep this coach it has reason to doubt. After seeing the report, I believe this to be a more questionable decision than before. It's not outrageous.

    But the situation needs monitoring. So install someone on the inside that Meyer doesn't control. By letting an out-of-control assistant operate in that building for six years, Meyer proved he shouldn't run the football building on his own. It's right there in the report.

    "He has cast doubt on his own honesty."


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    Two days of free programs at the Baseball Heritage Museum will focus on women and race in baseball.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio - The Baseball Heritage Museum will hold a baseball-pioneers program this weekend.

    The focus Saturday, Aug. 25, will be on women in baseball. Award-winning filmmaker Jon Leonoudakis, creator of the Amazon Prime documentary series "The Sweet Spot: A Treasury of Baseball Stories," will present "Shutout! The Battle American Women Wage to Play Baseball." It features Cleveland's Justine Siegal, Ila Borders and others.

    Sunday, Aug. 26, Leonoudakis will present his films focusing on Jackie Robinson and Jim "Mudcat" Grant.

    Grant - the first African-American to win 20 games in the American League - is featured in three films. "Raceball on the Inside Corner" chronicles his journey fighting racism in the Major Leagues. "Breakfast with JFK" is about the pitcher's surprise meeting with President John F. Kennedy. And "Baseball & Vietnam" tells the emotional story of Grant's trip to Vietnam in the 1960s.

    "Jackie Robinson: A Lion in Winter" details journalist Ron Rapoport's story about interviewing Jackie Robinson for the Los Angeles Times months before the pioneering ballplayer died in 1972.

    The programs begin at 1 p.m. The screenings each day will be followed by a Q&A and a signing of Leonoudakis' book, "Baseball Pioneers."

    Previous programs this year have focused on Satchel Paige, Babe Ruth, Roberto Clemente, women negro leaguers and more.

    The museum is at League Park, 6601 Lexington Ave., Cleveland. Admission is free for the programs, which are sponsored by a Cuyahoga Arts and Culture grant. You can register online.


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    Not only did Biles just win another all-around medal, she swept the entire United States Gymnastics Championships and won every event.

    Simone Biles returned to competitive gymnastics at the United States Gymnastics Championships and rocked her rivals at the ripe old age of 21. Not only did she win the all-around medal, she swept the entire competition and won every event. After such a dominant performance, some are considering her the greatest athlete ever, since gymnasts retire after their teens. Others concede while she might be the greatest gymnast ever, she's not the greatest overall athlete. What do you think? 

    PERSPECTIVES

    No American woman has won five U.S. all-around titles -- until Biles. The greatest gymnast of all time put her stamp on the sport with another dominating performance, sweeping every event and winning the all-around gold by a gaudy margin of 6.55 points. 

    Biles' otherworldly performance at age 21, in a sport where your teens are your prime, is ridiculous and should make her the greatest athlete ever.

    What Biles is doing a great, but dominating teenagers isn't exactly anything new. Athletes are building toward their prime or are in their prime at age 21. Biles also has only been dominating the sport since 2013.

    In order to be considered the G.O.A.T., success should last longer than five years. Michael Jordan dominated for two decades, as did Wayne Gretzky. Biles is great, but she isn't the greatest. 

    The Tylt is focused on debates and conversations around news, current events and pop culture. We provide our community with the opportunity to share their opinions and vote on topics that matter most to them. We actively engage the community and present meaningful data on the debates and conversations as they progress. The Tylt is a place where your opinion counts, literally. The Tylt is an Advance Local Media, LLC property. Join us on Twitter @TheTylt, on Instagram @TheTylt or on Facebook, we'd love to hear what you have to say.


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    In addition to suffering a sore wrist, Taylor suffered a dislocated pink in the Eagles game.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- In addition to a sore left wrist, Tyrod Taylor suffered a dislocated pinky when he fell on his hand during Thursday night's 5-0 preseason victory over the Eagles.

    Taylor left the game on his second possession and was replaced for two drives by Baker Mayfield. He returned in the second quarter and played three more series before halftime.

    X-rays were negative, but Taylor has undergone further exams on the hand.

    Taylor, who injured the hand rolling to his left and falling to the sideline as he fired a pass into the end zone to Jarvis Landry on fourth and goal from the 1, tweeted Friday that he's doing well and thanked fans for their prayers.

    A source also said he's expected to be fine for the opener Sept. 9th against the Steelers. The Browns' website reported Friday the team doesn't believe the injury is serious but that it'll proceed with caution with the opener a little more than two weeks away.  

    Coach Hue Jackson admitted after the game that the injury alarmed him.

    "Anytime your quarterback gets nicked like that, you're always concerned, but I think the fact that he was able to go back into the game was a good sign,'' Jackson said. "I know we'll make sure that we take care of it this week, whatever that is, and get him back to where he needs to be. I feel comfortable and confident that he is going to be OK, and that will happen."

    When Taylor returned to the game, Jackson noted that he handed the ball off with two hands.

    "Absolutely, and I was aware of it, but obviously, our medical people said he was fine and he could be out there,'' he said. "We would not have put him back out there if he was not. We will check everything tonight and see where he is, but hopefully, everything will be okay."

    In his five series of work, Taylor completed 11-of-16 attempts for 65 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions for a 76.3 rating.

    He was sacked twice to thwart two drives, badly overthrew Jarvis Landry on his final possession and failed to generate any points despite the fact the defense kept getting the ball back for him.

    Mayfield, who was checked for a concussion in the fourth quarter but cleared, cited Taylor's toughness.

    "That's who he is,'' Mayfield said. "He's a competitor. He wants to be out there. He's the same way I am in regards to that. He wants to be out there and playing with his guys.''

    Taylor is likely done for the preseason, not because of the wrist, but because Jackson will likely rest the starters in the preseason finale in Detroit next week. He left the Stadium immediately after the game, opting not to fulfill his contractual obligation to talk to the media.


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    IndyCar Series points leader Scott Dixon has Alexander Rossi in his mirrors with three races left in the season.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio - While NASCAR takes a rare breather this week, IndyCar is ticking down to the end of its season with the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at Gateway Motorsports Park outside of suburban St. Louis.

    The hot driver is Alexander Rossi, who is coming off back-to-back victories that now have him second to current leader Scott Dixon, down 29 points, with three races left in the season.

    Live streaming  is available at SportsnetNOW and NBCSports.com.

    You can get live scoring and updates at IndyCar's Race Control.

    Drivers will begin prep for the 8 p.m. Saturday night race at 1:15 p.m., less than a week after the gut-wrenching crash that left driver Robert Wickens hospitalized with a severe spinal cord injury as well as several other broken bones.

    While the focus is on Rossi and Dixon, both Honda drivers, defending series champion Josef Newgard is still lurking as well - albeit 66 points behind Dixon - and is in serious need of a victory to make this a three driver race for the crown after the short oval (1.25-mile) race at Gateway.

    The final two races will be on road courses at Portland and Sonoma, California, which are tracks where Honda drivers should be favored.

    Auto Racing this weekend.

    VERIZON INDYCAR
    BOMMARITO AUTOMOTIVE GROUP 500
    Site: Madison, Illinois
    Schedule: Friday, practice, 1:15 p.m., qualifying, 5 p.m. (NBCSN), practice, 9 p.m.; Saturday, race, 8 p.m., NBCSN.
    Track: Gateway Motorsports Park (oval, 1.25 miles)
    Race distance: 310 miles, 248 laps.
    Last year: Josef Newgarden won outside of St. Louis on his way to the series championship.
    Last race: Alexander Rossi won at Pocono, a race marred by a horrific crash involving Robert Wickens.
    Fast facts: IndyCar said on Tuesday that Wickens had titanium rods and screws placed in his spine, but that the severity of his spinal cord injury remained unknown. Wickens is expected to undergo further surgeries to treat broken bones in his lower extremities and right forearm. Wickens, who is in sixth place in the standings, was in stable condition. ...Rossi is closing in on Scott Dixon, who just a month ago seemed set to cruise to his fifth title. Rossi has won back-to-back races and is now within 29 points of Dixon.
    Next race: Grand Prix of Portland, Sept. 2, Portland International Raceway, Portland, Oregon.

    FORMULA ONE
    BELGIAN GRAND PRIX
    Site: Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium.
    Schedule: Friday, practice, 5 a.m. (ESPN2), practice, 9 a.m. (ESPNU); Saturday, practice, 6 a.m. (ESPN2), qualifying, 9 a.m. (ESPN2); Sunday, race, 9 a.m., ESPN2.
    Track: Spa-Francorchamps Circuit (4.3 miles)
    Race distance: 191.4 miles, 44 laps.
    Last year: Lewis Hamilton won the pole and the race.
    Last race: Hamilton won in Hungary, extending his lead over Sebastian Vettel to 24 points.
    Fast facts: Spa-Francorchamps first hosted a Grand Prix in 1924, and it remains one of the more popular circuits in F1. But just six drivers have won the race more than twice, led by Michael Schumacher (six) and Ayrton Senna (five victories). ... Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari is third with 146 points, with Valterri Bottas of Mercedes is fourth with 132 points.
    Next race: Italian Grand Prix, Sept. 2, Monza Autodrome, Monza, Italy.

    NASCAR
    Last race: Kurt Busch won at Bristol, his first victory of 2018.
    Next race: Bojangles' Southern 500, Sept. 2, Darlington Raceway, Darlington, South Carolina.

    XFINITY
    JOHNSONVILLE 180
    Site: Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
    Schedule: Friday, practice, 1:35 & 3:35 p.m.; Saturday, qualifying, 12:35 p.m. (NBCSN); race, 3 p.m., NBCSN
    Track: Road America (4.04 miles)
    Race distance: 182.16 miles, 45 laps.
    Last year: Jeremy Clements won from the 12th row, his only victory in 288 career starts.
    Last race: Kyle Larson led 202 of 310 laps to take first in Bristol.
    Fast facts: Christopher Bell, who finished second last week, maintained his slim lead atop the point race. Bell won three races in a row earlier this year and has four victories overall. Justin Allgaier has won three times. ...Elliott Sadler, in his last scheduled full season in NASCAR, has 18 top-10s in 22 races. But he hasn't won a race in 2018. ...Cole Custer also has 18 top-10s without a win. But Custer has claimed four poles.
    Next race: Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200, Sept. 1, Darlington Raceway

    CAMPING WORLD TRUCK
    CHEVROLET SILVERADO 250
    Site: Bowmanville, Ontario.
    Schedule: Saturday, practice, 9:30 & 11:30 a.m., qualifying, 6 p.m. (FS2); Sunday, race, 2:30 p.m., FS1.
    Track: Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (circuit, 2.46 miles)
    Race distance: 157.37 miles, 64 laps.
    Last year: Austin Cindric won from the pole.
    Last race: Johnny Sauter won for the fifth time in 2018.
    Fast facts: The playoffs begin on Sunday in Canada. Two of the eight postseason drivers will be eliminated after subsequent first-round races at Las Vegas and Talladega. ...Sauter now has 12 wins dating back to the start of the 2016 season. He had won just 10 times before then in a truck career that began in 2003. ...Canadian Stewart Friesen enters the event with three podium finishes in his last five starts.
    Next race: World of Westgate 200, Sept. 16, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas.

    NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING
    Last race: Billy Torrence won his first Top Fuel event in Minnesota.
    Next race: Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, Sept. 3, Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.

    (Associated Press contributed to this report).


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    Taylor's hand injury is not serious and he won't miss time.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Tyrod Taylor has a bruised and sore left hand and had a dislocated pinky, but won't miss any time, coach Hue Jackson said Friday on a conference call.

    "He's going to be fine,'' said Jackson, who admitted after the game he was concerned.

    It means Taylor will be available for the opener against the Steelers Sept. 9, a little over two weeks away.

    Jackson also defended his decision to put Taylor back in Thursday night's 5-0 victory over the Eagles after X-rays on the hand were negative and he was cleared by the medical staff. They popped the pinky back into place in about "15 seconds' and he was good to go.

    "Obviously, the player was very excited to go back in the game,'' said Jackson. "Again, I felt he needed to, because our offensive football team at that time needed to play together. They needed his leadership. He needed to be out there playing with them.''

    Taylor probably won't play during the preseason finale in Detroit, which means the Eagles game was the last live action until he faces the Steelers.

    In five series against the Eagles' fourth-ranked defense from 2017, he completed 11-of-16 attempts for 65 yards and a 76.3 rating. He put no points on the board despite four straight attempts from the one into the Eagles end zone, the last of which he injured the hand on.

    "It's important for them to develop that chemistry, so I felt comfortable that when we put him back out there, things were okay,'' said Jackson. "Obviously, when he was inside, all kinds of thoughts go through your head. But I feel good about where he is and what he'll be able to do in the future."

    Mayfield, who got his first reps with the starter, cited Taylor's toughness.

    "That's who he is,'' said Mayfield. "He's a competitor. He wants to be out there," said Mayfield, who was 8-of-12 for 76 yards and an interception. "He's the same way that I am in regards to that. He wants to be out there and playing with his guys."

    Taylor, who threw only one touchdown pass in his 11 preseason series, was without Josh Gordon (non-football injury list) and Antonio Callaway (groin) against the Eagles. He struggled to connect with Jarvis Landry, who caught only 3-of-10 targets, some of which were way off.

    But help is on the way. Gordon will participate in walk-throughs beginning Saturday and Callaway will return to practice this week.

    All told, Taylor completed 20-of-28 attempts in preseason for 186 yards, with one TD and no INTs for a 101.2 rating. He was sacked twice, both by the Eagles.


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    Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor combined to hit .161 in a four-game series against Boston this week.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez and the Cleveland Indians had a chance to send a message to baseball's best team this week.

    The Indians won the first two games in Boston and could have taken the four-game series by winning one of the last two at Fenway Park, but instead, the club dropped two straight to the team with the best record in baseball.

    Lindor and Ramirez, who entered the series among the top contenders for American League MVP, combined to hit .161 (5-for-31) with two doubles, six strikeouts and zero RBI in the four game set.

    In this week's Cleveland Baseball talk podcast, Paul Hoynes and Joe Noga look at what the Boston series showed Tribe fans about their team. Paul and Joe also break down some of the Indians' nicknames you'll see during Players Weekend and answer some reader questions about Bryce Harper, Yandy Diaz, Andrew Miller and Cody Allen.

    Got a question you want answered on the podcast? Submit it to Paul or Joe on Twitter or via email.

    Listen along to the show and leave your comments. You can download the audio here.

    Subscribe on iTunes.
    Subscribe on Google Play.


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    The Anytime Fitness 24 in 24 Challenge benefits A Special Wish Cleveland.

    EASTLAKE, Ohio -- Could you run 24 miles in 24 hours?

    Well, there are 160 local runners who will attempt to do just that Saturday at Classic Park in Eastlake, the home of the Lake County Captains minor league baseball team.

    The challenge, started by those at Anytime Fitness in 2014, goes as follows.

    Beginning Saturday at noon, these runners will attempt to run one mile per hour for 24 consecutive hours to raise funds for A Special Wish Cleveland and children battling life threatening illnesses.

    Now in its fourth year, the inaugural event raised $13,000 for the family of a Lake County child fighting Leukemia and two years later raised $31,000 for three children with life-threatening illnesses.

    Last year, 100 Anytime Fitness members participated and raised $75,000. This year, 160 athletes will be raising funds for 10 children.

    "This challenge isn't easy. It's hard, but nothing we go through in the 24 hours can compare to what these brave kids go through day in and day out," said Anna Dey, co-founder of Anytime Fitness. "I think that thought is what pushes most of our athletes to finish."

    To donate, head to www.af24in24.org, where participants are seeking donors to contribute toward their challenge attempt.

    "This is such an amazing event for A Special Wish to be a part of," said Eileen Lane, Executive Director of A Special Wish Cleveland. "The sacrifice these runners are making to help grant the wishes of these 10 deserving children truly embodies the kindness of our community."

    The challenge concludes Sunday and includes a party for the final hour and final mile at 11:00 a.m.

    The final hour is open to the public as the runners complete their final miles and the medal ceremony takes place. Medals are given to the athletes by the 10 children for which money was raised.


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    Jackson said Tyrod Taylor has a bruised and sore left hand, but won't miss any practice time.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Denzel Ward has back spasms but won't miss much time if any, and rookie linebacker Genard Avery will be out a while with a hip injury, coach Hue Jackson said Friday on a conference call.

    Here's the quick rundown of injuries that occurred during or impacted Thursday night's 5-0 victory over the Eagles:

    * Jackson said Tyrod Taylor has a bruised and sore left hand, and won't miss any practice time. He also dislocated his pinky, but that was quickly popped back in during the game.

    * Ward, who left the game in the first quarter, has been diagnosed with back spasms, but he'll be okay, Jackson said. He said Ward probably won't miss much time, meaning he should be able to start the opener Sept. 9 against the Steelers. Ward was replaced in the starting lineup by Mike Jordan.

    * Avery, who strip-sacked Nick Foles and had a big game, will "miss time'' with a hip injury. Jackson acknowledged that the fifth-round pick had been coming on strong.

    * Starting free safety Damarious Randall sat out after his knee locked up in pre-game warmups, but it was more for precautionary reasons, Jackson said. He'll be back in practice this week. Briean Boddy-Calhoun replaced him and picked off Foles in the second quarter.

    * Receiver Antonio Callaway, who sat out with a groin injury, will be back in practice this week.

    * Receiver Josh Gordon (non-football injury list) will move to phase two of his return, which includes participating in walk-throughs beginning on Saturday.


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    Gordon moves to phase 2 of his return to the playing field on Saturday when he'll be permitted to participate in walk-throughs.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- It's often said that one must walk before you can run, and that's certainly proving to be the case for Browns receiver Josh Gordon.

    Gordon, who returned to the Browns on Saturday from his treatment program at the University of Florida, moves to phase 2 of his return to the playing field Saturday when he'll be permitted to participate in walk-throughs, coach Hue Jackson said Friday on a conference call.

    Gordon, who's on the non-football injury list, watched Thursday night's 5-0 preseason victory over the Eagles on the sidelines. It was the dress rehearsal game for the opener against the Steelers Sept. 9, and neither Gordon nor rookie receiver Antonio Callaway, currently the starting X, were dressed.

    Callaway sat out with a groin injury, but is expected back in practice this week, Jackson said. 

    Gordon returns, vows to put sobriety first

    Jackson said the next step for Gordon is to participate in light walk-throughs to get him re-acclimated to the team and to the new offense.

    He said last week that he wouldn't be opposed to Gordon playing in the preseason finale in Detroit on Thursday despite the fact most of the starters will either rest that game or play a series. He's said the goal is to get Gordon "up and running'' for the opener against the Steelers Sept. 9.

    Thursday's night game against the Eagles and their No. 4 defense from 2017 illustrated just how much the Browns need Gordon and Callaway to stretch the field, provide red zone targets and take some pressure off Jarvis Landry.

    Landry was targeted a game-high 10 times, but caught only three passes for 23 yards. Some of those passes were way off the mark, including an overthrow by Tyrod Taylor on his final possession, and a wide toss from Baker Mayfield before the 54-yard Zane Gonzalez field goal. But Landry was held up a couple of times in the end zone and no flag was thrown.

    Having Gordon and Callaway on the field will draw some attention away from Landry, who's adjusting to playing more on the outside.

    The Browns have four more practices before the preseason finale in Detroit, which would give Gordon enough time to get used to the pads and taking a hit. If he's not ready for that game, he's got a little more than two weeks to prepare for the Steelers.


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    The Indians open a three-game series against the Royals on Friday night at Kauffman Stadium.

    KANSAS CITY -- Here are the starting lineups for Friday night's game between the Indians and Royals at Kauffman Stadium. First pitch is at 8:15 p.m.

    INDIANS

    SS Francisco Lindor.

    LF Michael Brantley.

    3B Jose Ramirez.

    DH Edwin Encarnacion.

    1B Yonder Alonso.

    RF Melky Cabrera.

    2B Jason Kipnis.

    C Yan Gomes.

    CF Greg Allen.

    RHP Mike Clevinger, 9-7, 3.25.

    ROYALS

    2B Whit Merrifield.

    LF Alex Gordon.

    C Salvador Perez.

    1B Lucas Duda.

    RF Jorge Bonifacio.

    DH Ryan O'Hearn.

    3B Hunter Dozier.

    CF Brett Phillips.

    SS Adalerto Mondesi.

    RHP Brad Keller, 6-5, 3.32.

    UMPIRES

    H Ramon DeJesus, crew chief.

    1B Stu Scheurwater.

    2B Gary Cederstrom.

    3B Eric Cooper.


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    See everything we have written following Ohio State's decision to suspend Urban Meyer for the first three games of the 2018 season.

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State suspended coach Urban Meyer for three games and athletic director Gene Smith for three weeks without pay following its investigation into what they knew and did regarding domestic-violence allegations against former receivers coach Zach Smith.

    In case you have missed anything we have written about the decision, here is everything you need to know from Wednesday's decision.

    See Ohio State's Board of Trustees arrive for meeting to discuss Urban Meyer investigation

    Ohio State suspends Urban Meyer for 3 games: Did the university make the right decision?

    *  Watch Ohio State's full press conference announcing Urban Meyer's, Gene Smith's suspensions

    Urban Meyer suspended by Ohio State: See reaction from around college football, media

    Urban Meyer investigation: What you need to know about Ohio State's report

    Urban Meyer suspended by Ohio State: Read the full report

    Urban Meyer and Gene Smith suspended, what Ohio State got right and wrong: Doug Lesmerises

    Urban Meyer, Gene Smith suspended -- Right decision? And what's next for the Buckeyes: Podcast

    Full timeline of Ohio State's investigation into Urban Meyer leading up to his 3-game suspension

    How Ohio State's Urban Meyer decision is being perceived nationally

    In Urban Meyer, Ohio State employs a football coach it doubts it can trust: Doug Lesmerises

    What we learned in Ohio State's full report of the Urban Meyer investigation

    Did Urban Meyer violate his contract? What it says and what Ohio State's investigation found

    What Urban Meyer's absence through three games means for Ohio State football


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    The Ohio State football coach issued a public apology to the wife of former assistant coach Zach Smith on Friday.

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer on Friday issued a statement on relationship violence in which he apologized to the ex-wife of former assistant coach Zach Smith.

    Meyer is currently on suspension, along with athletic director Gene Smith, following an investigation into how both handled domestic abuse allegations against Zach Smith in 2015. Zach Smith was investigated by Powell, Ohio police and never charged, but Meyer and Gene Smith were found to not have followed reporting procedures to the letter of their employment contracts when learning of the allegations three years ago.

    They were also found to have ignored repeated red flags from Smith in both his personal life and work performance for years up until he was fired on July 23.

    When asked on Wednesday, following the announcement of his suspension, if he had any message for Courtney Smith, the victim of Zach Smith's alleged abuse, Meyer said: "Well, I have a message for everyone involved in this. I'm sorry we're in this situation. And, um ... I'm just sorry we're in this situation."

    Those comments drew criticism in the days following, leading up to Meyer's statement on Friday evening, released through his Twitter account and a university release. It read:

    "My words and demeanor on Wednesday did not show how seriously I take relationship violence. I sincerely apologize. I was taught at a very young age that if I ever hit a woman, I would be kicked out of the house and never welcomed back. I have the same rule in my house and in the football program at Ohio State. Over the years, we have worked hard to educate and remind our coaches and players of the seriousness of relationship violence.

    I understand my lack of more action in this situation has raised concerns about this commitment. I once again apologize for this, and I extend my empathy to all women, men and families who are affected by relationship violence. This has been a real learning experience for me. I fully intend to use my voice more effectively to be a part of the solution.

    Let me say here and now what I should have said on Wednesday: I sincerely apologize to Courtney Smith and her children for what they have gone through."

    The university announced on Aug. 1 an investigation into what Meyer knew about the allegations against Zach Smith following Courtney Smith's interview with college football writer Brett McMurphy in which she said she shared texts and photos detailing her ex-husband's alleged abuse with Meyer's wife, Shelley, and said she believed Meyer knew about it. 

    Courtney Smith's name was mentioned twice during Wednesday's news conference: When lead investigator Mary Jo White listed her among the 40 witnesses interviewed, and when a reporter said her name in that question to Meyer.

    Meyer, reading a prepared statement at the beginning of Wednesday's news conference, apologized to "Buckeye Nation" but was criticized for not saying Courtney Smith's name.

    The head coach is suspended from all football activity through Sept. 2 and for the first three games of the season. Meyer, who was on paid administrative leave from Aug. 1 until Wednesday, will forgo six weeks of compensation as part of his punishment. Gene Smith was suspended for three weeks without pay.


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    Big Ten Network and Comcast reached a deal to allow subscribers to watch games on the network once again.

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Big Ten fans from all around the country got great news on Friday night.

    BTN announced that it has agreed to a deal with Comcast, which will allow subscribers to be able to watch Big Ten games against just a few days before the start of the 2018 season. 

    It will also allow fans in those areas to watch the games on FS1, which is important because this is the second year of the Big Ten's deal with Fox.

    Comcast is the main provider for most of the markets that include a Big Ten team. Ohio State is one of only four teams in the conference where Comcast is not the main cable provider.

    At Big Ten media days in Chicago on July 24, Mark Silverman, the president of BTN and National Networks at Fox Sports, expressed his concern about when a deal between the two parties was going to be reached. 

    "It's extremely concerning. I've gone through this with them 10 years ago. And I can't predict what their motivations are. I don't know what their motivations are," Silverman said.

    Comcast announced back in April that it was dropping BTN for customers living in markets outside of the Big Ten. It said Friday that fans in those markets will have opportunities to get BTN on Comcast's Sports and Entertainment Package "in the coming months."

    BTN's first broadcast this season is Minnesota hosting New Mexico State on Thursday night at 7 p.m.


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    Taylor is wearing a thick wrap on his swollen and bruised left hand, but plans to practice on Saturday. Watch video

    CLEVELAND, Ohio - Tyrod Taylor showed up at a men's apparel store on West 25th street Friday evening, wearing one more accessory than he planned when he initially set up his first meet and greet with Browns fans.

    It was the thick wrap around his puffy and bruised left hand and wrist.

    Taylor, though, knows it could be worse. He dodged a bullet after falling awkwardly on his left wrist during Thursday night's 5-0 victory over the Eagles.

    Nothing broken, nothing torn. Just a bruised and swollen hand and a dislocated pinkie that hurt as much going back in as it did coming out.

    "Hand's good,'' he told a trio of Browns reporters while standing outside of Xhibition, where fans decked out in Browns gear were lined up down the street for photos and autographs. "It's a lot better than it was last night.''

    Best of all, Taylor doesn't plan to miss a beat with the opener against Pittsburgh on Sept. 9, a little over two weeks away. One fan wore a Tim Couch jersey with all the QB names on it since 1999, and has a spot reserved for Taylor.

    "Yeah, I'll be out there (in practice) tomorrow,'' Taylor said.

    He admitted the injury "was definitely scary, but it's part of the game. You can't control those type things. Of course, in a perfect world try to get my hand from under me, but luckily it wasn't worse than what it was. So I was able to get back out there and compete. That's the main thing.''

    Amazingly, Taylor's season didn't flash before his eyes when he spilled to the sideline with his wrist bent awkwardly and his pinkie dangling and excruciating.

    "No, I didn't think that far into it,'' he said. "I literally just prayed to be honest. Like I said, you can't control some of those situations. Things happen on the football field that are out of your control, but luckily it wasn't too bad. It could've worse but it wasn't and I was able to get back out there and compete with the guys and that's what I love doing is competing.''

    One of the worst parts of the ordeal was popping the pinkie back in. Taylor tried to look away and let the doc do his thing, but it wasn't exactly the 15 seconds Jackson billed it as during his conference call Friday.

    "Yeah, it wasn't as quick as I thought it was going to be, but they got it back in,'' he said. "It took a couple tries. It was tough, though. But it ended up happening. Luckily, they got it in."
     
    Taylor knew right away that "something in my hand was off. My wrist was a little jacked up at the time, too. But like I said, everything came back negative, which is a good sign and we were able to put the finger back in place. It's my left hand, at the end of the day. So deal with it. Like I said, it'll be sore for a couple of days but it's nothing that's going to stop me.''

    He said "the main thing right now is just calm the swelling and continue to keep moving it, keep the range of motion there, get back out there. I won't miss any time. Just more so just dealing with the soreness of it.''

    Taylor hasn't seen the tumble yet himself, as he was rolling left and firing the ball back inside to Jarvis Landry in the end zone, but has heard plenty about it.

    "Of course, I felt the play, so I knew what happened, but my parents told me that it looked pretty nasty on TV, so definitely glad that it wasn't as worse as it looked. Continue to keep moving forward from here.''

    Taylor came out for two series and was replaced by Baker Mayfield. But as soon as the X-rays came back negative, he was right back out there, lobbying Hue Jackson to put him back in the game.  Jackson obliged and Taylor played the final three series of the first half.

    "Once they told me there was no structural damage, like I said, it's just sore and I've battled through soreness before in my career,'' he said. "Being with the team for the first year, it's just getting out there and jelling with the team, being with the offense and just competing.

    "Definitely in my eyes (it was important) just to be out there first and foremost to show them that toughness, but at the same time, be out there and still lead the group. That's what I want to do.''

    Tyrod Taylor 


    Taylor, who produced two TD drives in his 11 preseason series, will likely sit out the preseason finale in Detroit on Thursday. If so, he finished 20-of-28 attempts for 186 yards with one TD and no picks for a 101.2 rating.

     "We did some good things,'' he said. "It's something to build on. Of course, with the limited playing time in the preseason, you don't get a chance to fully get into a groove sometimes, but each and every day as you work hard in the practice and continue to keep getting better in practice, ultimately you get ready for a season.''

    Taylor was injured on his fourth straight incompletion into the end zone from the 1, but help is on the way. Josh Gordon will return to walk-throughs beginning tomorrow, and Antonio Callaway (groin) will be back in practice this week. Both sat out the Eagles game.

    "That'll be awesome,'' Taylor said. "That's my first time hearing that as far as Josh so that's awesome. I'm looking forward to getting him back on the field. I know he's excited to come out and show what he can do, not only to his teammates but to the people, to the city.

    "There's a wonderful opportunity ahead of him. We're going need him to be big for us this season, so i'm looking forward to it as well as Callaway."


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    Doug Lesmerises is joined by Brendan Leister to analyze exactly what Garrett will mean for the Browns defense this year, whether Gregg Williams should be trusted to deploy those defenders the right way and everything else about the Browns.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Myles Garrett held a house party in the Philadelphia Eagles backfield in the Browns third preseason game on Thursday night. So what might the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft do for the Browns in his second season?

    On this episode of Takes By The Lake, I'm joined by Brendan Leister, an analyst for Pro Football Focus and an assistant high school coach in the Cleveland area who does a great job breaking down the Browns on Twitter.

    We delved into everything about the Browns, with a strong focus on Garrett and on defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. Beyond Garrett, there's clearly more talent on the defense this year, but will Williams use it correctly?

    We also hit on a major point that Browns fans need to think about. How much does the run game really matter to the Browns success this season? You may be surprised by the answer.

    So it's another great discussion with a really smart person who understands this Cleveland football team. Settle in and enjoy, and make sure you are subscribed to Takes By The Lake so you never miss an episode.

    There's an Apple podcasts channel for Takes By The Lake.

    You can subscribe on Google Play.

    Use this podcast's RSS feed in your favorite podcast player. Or listen right here.

     


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    Four-star linebacker Kane Patterson decommitted from Ohio State on Friday night, a source confirmed to cleveland.com.

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Two days after Ohio State suspended coach Urban Meyer for the first three games of the 2018 season, the Buckeyes lost one of their commitments from the 2019 recruiting class.

    Four-star linebacker Kane Patterson from Nashville decommitted from Ohio State on Friday night, a source confirmed to cleveland.com. WGFX-FM in Nashville first reported the news during a radio broadcast featuring Patterson's Christ Presbyterian Academy team.

    The 6-foot-1, 255-pound prospect is the No. 9 inside linebacker and No. 199 player in the 247Sports.com composite rankings. He and four-star prospect Cade Stover from Lexington were the only two linebackers in Ohio State's class.

    Patterson committed back on July 9. He is the first player in the 2019 cycle to decommit from Ohio State. Patterson also has offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia Tech, LSU, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas A&M among others.

    OSU's 2019 class now has 14 commits. That puts the Buckeyes No. 13 in the 247Sports.com class rankings. But they still have the best class in the Big Ten.  Learn about the 2019 class here.


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    Water on the field at Kauffman Stadium has delayed the Cleveland Indians vs. Kansas City Royals game at Kauffman Stadium.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Kauffman Stadium's right field warning track suddenly flooded with water Friday, and the Cleveland Indians vs. Kansas City Royals game was delayed while crews worked to clean up the mess.

    With two out and the Indians trailing 3-2 in the top of the fourth inning, water began to pool on the right field warning track near the Royals bullpen in front of the stadium's center field fountains. The game went into a delay as umpires and grounds crew members tried to restore order.

     

    Indians first baseman Yonder Alonso launched a solo home run into the Royals bullpen to lead off the inning. The ball landed curiously close to the source of where the water began flooding onto the field moments later.

    Kauffman Stadium's most unique feature is a 322-foot wide fountain spectacular in center field that debuted when the park opened in 1973. The fountains were renovated in 2009 and are the largest privately-funded fountain display in the world, according to the team.

    Kauffman Stadium crews worked to cut off the water supply to the affected area, according to SportsTime Ohio reporter Andre Knott. Crews applied several bags of drying agent to the right field track after the flowing water was brought to a stop.

    The game resumed with Greg Allen batting after a 30-minute delay. Royals starting pitcher Brad Keller struck Allen out to end the inning.

     


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