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    Check here for the tee times, TV schedule for the PGA Tour's BMW Championship 2018. The BMW is the third of four events in the FedExCup Playoffs.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Tiger Woods, Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth comprise one of the groups at the PGA Tour's BMW Championship 2018 this week in Pennsylvania. The BMW, featuring a field of 69, is the third of four events in the FedExCup Playoffs.

    Bryson DeChambeau, who has won the first two playoff events (The Northern Trust, Dell Technologies Championship) is grouped with Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose. DeChambeau, Johnson and Rose are Nos. 1-3 in the FedExCup standings.

    Site: Newtown Square, Pa.
    Course: Aronimink GC. Yardage: 7,267. Par: 70.
    Purse: $9 million. Winner's share: $1,620,000.
    Television: Thursday-Friday, 2-6 p.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday, Noon-3:30 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3:30-6 p.m. (NBC); Sunday, Noon-2 p.m. (Golf Channel), 2-6 p.m. (NBC).
    Defending champion: Marc Leishman.
    FedExCup leader: Bryson DeChambeau.
    Last week: Bryson DeChambeau won the Dell Technologies Championship.
    Notes: This is the third FedEx Cup playoff event, with the top 30 advancing to the Tour Championship at East Lake in two weeks. .... DeChambeau is assured of being the No. 1 seed at the Tour Championship. At stake this week is getting one of the top five seeds. Those players only need to win the Tour Championship to claim the FedExCup title and the $10 million bonus. ... Aronimink last held a PGA Tour event in 2010 and 2011 when the AT&T National moved there from Congressional ahead of the 2011 U.S. Open. Justin Rose and Nick Watney won those two years. Tiger Woods, whose foundation ran the tournament, tied for 46th in 2010 and did not play in 2011 because of leg injuries. ... Rickie Fowler is playing his first FedExCup playoffs event. He missed the last two with an injury. He started at No. 17 and now is No. 26. ... Aronimink is where Gary Player won the PGA Championship in 1962. The club will host the Women's PGA Championship in 2020 and the PGA Championship in 2027.
    Next tournament: Tour Championship on Sept. 20-23.

    (Fact box from Associated Press.)

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    Bryson DeChambeau, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson were the wild-card picks made by U.S. Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk on Tuesday afternoon, Sept. 4.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau are three of the four captain's picks for Team USA in Ryder Cup 2018.

    Team USA Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk announced the picks in a news conference Tuesday at the site of the BMW Championship in Pennsylvania. The BMW, which begins Thursday, is the third of four events in the FedExCup Playoffs.

    Furyk will make his fourth wild-card selection soon after the conclusion of the BMW on Sunday.

    The Ryder Cup unfolds at Le Golf National outside Paris, Sept. 28-30. Team Europe seeks to avenge a 17-11 loss at Hazeltine in Minnesota in 2016.

    The wild-card picks fill out a team that features eight automatic qualifiers. Those who guaranteed themselves spots on points for Team USA are: Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed, Webb Simpson, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Bubba Watson. For Team Europe: Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Rory McIlroy, Francesco Molinari, Alex Noren, Thorbjorn Olesen, Jon Rahm and Justin Rose.

    Team Europe captain Thomas Bjorn will announce his four wild cards on Wednesday.

    Woods, 42, is on the short list of greatest golfers ever. His remarkable comeback this season from back surgeries includes two Top 10's in majors (T-6 at The Open, 2nd at PGA Championship). He ranks No. 2 all time with 79 PGA Tour titles. He is 13-17-3 in seven Ryder Cups.

    Mickelson, 48, is the second-best player of his generation. He ranks No. 9 all time with 43 PGA Tour titles, including one this season. He is 18-20-7 in 11 Ryder Cups.

    DeChambeau, 24, will make his Ryder Cup debut. He has won the first two events of the FedExCup Playoffs (The Northern Trust, Dell Technologies Championship).

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    Cancelled game between Akron and Nebraska leaves teams at odd over $1.17-million contract.

    AKRON, Ohio - For the second straight season, Akron's football team has faced a weather-related game delay. But the lightning strikes that forced cancellation of the Akron-Nebraska season opener Saturday in Lincoln, Nebraska, now seemed headed toward an administrative tussle more than one on the gridiron.

    At issue is whether Nebraska owes Akron the $1.17 million Nebraska agreed to pay the Zips after the game was played.

    Last season, when the Zips game at Western Michigan was flooded out on a Saturday, accommodations were found and logistics cleared for the game to played the next day. And the Zips won.

    The Akron-Nebrasksa game was slated for an 8 p.m. Saturday start and was extended past 10:30 p.m. before it was cancelled because of a persistent thunderstorm and lightening.

    The hope now, at least for Akron athletic director Larry Williams, is for the contract to be fulfilled and the game played the first week of December, especially if one or both teams need a victory to end the season at .500. That would make at least one of the teams bowl eligible.

    "As I sit here today, my first expectation is Nebraska will be the opponent,'' Williams said. "But if they are already qualified (bowl eligible) or don't want to host it, then I would look to get an FCS (team), then get a waiver from the NCAA (for a second FCS team to count toward a .500 record) to become bowl eligible, if we in fact, need it.''

    Williams_Larry_H16.jpgLarry Williams, Akron athletic director. (Akron Zips photo). 

    Akron already plays one FCS team, Morgan State, Saturday in its home opener.

    "The conversations are continuing (and) will resume this week, and we will figure out how to resolve it,'' Williams said.

    But, there is still the matter of the $1.17-million contract which Nebraska is apparently quibbling over.

    The Omaha World-Herald reported the game contract called for a payment if the game was cancelled because of "tropical storm, hurricane and flood."

    Lightning is not mentioned in the contract, according to the World-Herald.

    That apparently gives the Cornhuskers wiggle room to argue out of the payment.

    So as of now, the Zips are in a small financial hole. "Under the contract our travel costs are our responsibility, and they pay us the guarantee specified; in this case it is $1.17 million,'' Williams said.

    He said this trip cost Akron roughly $165,000.

    Nebraska suggested playing the game at 10:30 a.m. Sunday. Akron had checked out of its hotel before the game Saturday and declined.

    Nebraska, according to Williams, is suggesting Akron backed out of the deal because the Zips could not find adequate accommodations on short notice for the team, would not accept sleeping in Nebraska dorm rooms and would not agree to play the game at 10:30 a.m. the following morning, effectively on less than six hours of rest for the players.

    While Nebraska head coach Scott Frost admitted to the Omaha World Herald he would have done the same as the Zips, that does not hold true for his superiors.

    "Administratively, they are suggesting that we backed out of the deal,'' Williams said. "That's not the case at all and is really disappointing."

    Now comes the tough part of agreeing to play again. Since bye weeks do not align for both teams, the next option is to play the first weekend of December, particularly if one or both teams need a victory to become bowl eligible.

    Shy of that, one or both teams can opt to play a FCS team during their bye week (or the first week of December).

    For the Zips, that would mean getting an NCAA waiver for bowl eligibility as teams are allowed just one FCS opponent per season toward its .500 record to be bowl eligible. As recently as last year the NCAA granted such waivers to teams affected by hurricanes.

    That would still leave the final hurdle of Nebraska's $1.7 million due to the Zips.

    "We have every expectation that they are going to fulfill every obligation they have in our deal,'' Williams said.

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    "They said I've got to prove that I'm the best option out there, which is nothing new," Kipnis said.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- If Jason Kipnis is going to play center field for the Cleveland Indians, the eight-year veteran must demonstrate that he is the club's best possible choice for the position.

    That's what manager Terry Francona and president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti told Kipnis this week after the Tribe traded for third baseman Josh Donaldson from Toronto. The move will bump All-Star Jose Ramirez from third to second and put Kipnis in competition with rookie Greg Allen for playing time in center once Donaldson is ready to come off the disabled list next week.

    "They said I've got to prove that I'm the best option out there, which is nothing new," Kipnis said. "Everybody should have to prove every day at every position that they're the best out there, otherwise they shouldn't be there."

    Donaldson hit a grand slam in his first rehab game Monday with Triple-A Columbus. He is eligible to return from the DL when the team is in Tampa Bay next week. "If he comes in healthy, then I'm excited," Kipnis said. "I understand their position that they've got to put the best team out there to win this thing."


    A September switch is nothing new for Kipnis. He started 11 of the team's final 12 games last season and all five playoff games against New York in center field after coming off the disabled list in mid-September. This time around, though, he's making the transition from a better starting point.

    "I'm not told 'hey you're going to the outfield' when I'm on the DL," Kipnis said. "I actually have some legs under me. But it helps that I can run more and I'm more free in that sense. Having some kind of starting point to fall back on now is nice."

    But the move is nonetheless frustrating for the two-time All-Star at second base who had started to swing the bat with more success in recent months. After struggling for most of the season at the plate, on Sept. 1, Kipnis had reached season highs in batting average (.229), on-base percentage (.316), slugging percentage (.379) and OPS (.695).

    "They just came out a week ago saying I was going to stay at second," Kipnis said. "Then this happens and then I get it going a little bit. Does it take a little wind out of my sails? It did, a little bit. But not enough to get me to stop working, stop competing."

    Kipnis delivered a pinch-hit home run in the ninth inning on Saturday in a loss to Tampa Bay, one day after the Donaldson trade was announced.

    "I like having that little fire behind me," he said. "Hopefully it's a good thing. Hopefully it stays."

    In the meantime, Kipnis said he does not have time to be frustrated. He has a job and a position to win.

    "I didn't make it about me last year, I'm not going to make it about me this year," Kipnis said. "I probably put us in this situation with not having the year I'm capable of having. It's a little bit of cause and effect."

    Kipnis worked in the outfield during batting practice on Tuesday for the first time this season. He used ex-teammate Austin Jackson's glove while shagging fly balls. Last year, Kipnis used an outfield glove from Josh Tomlin on the first day he moved to the outfield.

    Francona said Kipnis will continue to work in center before night games, rather than squeezing workouts in before day games.

    "We're a better team when Kip's playing well," Francona said.

    Francona said he recognizes that hearing the news can be a little "unsettling" for a veteran player. But the hope is he can balance that by being transparent with his intentions.

    "I've known Kip for six years now, it's been a guy that we've depended on," Francona said. "Now, all of a sudden you're having a conversation with him that's probably not exactly what he wants to hear, so it's not the funnest thing in the world. The best way to start those is by being honest."

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    DiLauro played in two preseason games for the Browns.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The Browns made a minor move on Tuesday, replacing Uniontown native Christian DiLauro, an offensive lineman, with another offensive lineman, Brad Seaton.

    Seaton, 6-foot-9, 330 pounds, is officially in his first season out of Villanova. He was a seventh-round pick of the Titans in 2017 and spent time on the practice squads of both the Titans and Buccaneers.

    Get the best Browns news and perspective in your inbox at lunch time every weekday. Sign up for our Browns newsletter.

    Go inside the Browns every week with's Orange and Brown Podcast, featuring Mary Kay Cabot and Dan Labbe. Listen and subscribe here.

    Want more Browns? Subscribe to our Browns YouTube channel for interviews, analysis and more.

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    Francisco Lindor opened Tuesday night's game with his sixth homer of the season as the Indians ended Kansas City's six-game winning streak.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio - Francisco Lindor said the Indians' feet have been dragging as they hit the home stretch of the regular season. He included his feet among those that have lacked a little pep in their step.

    He made that statement Monday after the Indians lost their third straight game, 5-1 to the Royals.

    Well, if he intended to put a charge into his teammates on Tuesday night, he did it the right way by starting the game with his 31st homer as the Indians went on to beat the Royals, 9-3, at Progressive Field. The victory reduced the Tribe's magic number to 10 and ended Kansas City's six-game winning streak.

    Danny Duffy (8-12, 4.88) left with two out in the first with tightness in his left shoulder after the Indians reached him for three runs on three hits. Duffy has never had much luck against the Indians and the trend continued. He's 0-4 against them this year and 2-10 in his career.

    After the game Duffy told reporters he was done for the season because of the condition of his left shoulder.

    Mike Clevinger (11-7, 3.11) allowed one run on three hits in six innings. He tied a career-high with 11 strikeouts. It was the fifth double-digit strikeout game in his career, all coming this season. Clevinger is one win shy of matching his career best 12 wins from last year.

    The game was a coming out party for Yandy Diaz, who is built like The Hulk, but until Tuesday night had not hit a big-league homer. That streak came to an end as Diaz drove a ball over the wall in center field in the fifth. He just missed his second homer as he tripled high off the right field wall in the seventh. On the night, Diaz finished a double shy of the cycle.

    Diaz, through interpreter Will Clements, said he was going to try and send the ball back to his mother in Cuba.

    "I'm really happy," said Diaz, who snapped a streak of 243 homerless consecutive plate appearnances to start his career. "Imagine going so many games without a home run, to finally hit one, it was great."

    Following Lindor's sixth leadoff homer of the season, the Indians made it 3-0 in the first as Melky Cabrera and Jason Kipnis delivered runs. The Indians sent eight men to the plate in the first.

    Lindor, who is tied with Houston's George Springer for the most leadoff homers in the AL this season, was a definite step in the right direction for him teammates.

    "We seem to take our cue from him, so I'd say for the most part, that's a really good thing," said manager Terry Francona.

    Lindor was asked if he felt any pressure to get the team off to a fast start after his comments on Monday.

    "No pressure. If I get on base immediately, guys are going to try to drive me in," said Lindor. "It just so happened the ball went out and everybody says, 'All right, let's put up some runs.' It's part of the game. That's why I wanted to hit leadoff. . .to get things going."

    The Indians made it 6-0 in the second as Jose Ramirez doubled home Lindor, who was hit by a pitch from Burch Smith with one out. Smith went up and in against Lindor and hit him on the forearm as the Tribe's shortstop spun out of the way.

    Diaz followed with a walk and Jose Ramirez doubled home Lindor with a drive off the wall in right center. Right fielder Brett Phillips hit the wall hard in pursuit of the ball. He finished the inning, but left shortly after that with a bruised right shoulder.

    It did not appear the Indians took kindly to Lindor getting hit. Oliver Perez hit Kansas City's Brian Goodwin in the seventh. Rajai Davis was hit by Brandon Mauer in the seventh and Brad Hand hit Royals shortstop Adalberto Mondesi in the eighth. It drew a stare into the Indians' dugout from crew chief Joe West, but Francona said no warning was issued.

    When asked if he felt the Royals knocked down Lindor intentionally, Clevinger said, "I don't think so. I think that would be very unwise for the whole Royals' organization. Especially as much as we see them and the arms we have over here. So, I hope not and for their sake they better hope not either."

    Lindor did not think there was any ill intent behind Burch's pitch.

    "I don't think so," said Lindor. "There were two strikes. I think they were just trying to get me off the plate. I don't he was trying to hit me. If he was trying to hit me, it's OK, he hit me in the right spot."

    As for the three other players who were hit by pitches -- Rajai Davis, Brian Goodwin and Mondesi -- Lindor said, "Rajai got hit by a curveball, pfft. Goodwin got hit on a curveball, pfft. We weren't throwing at each other, if that's what you guys are trying to get to. I didn't even think about it. If you throw at somebody and get hit with a curveball, (you say), 'Thank, you.'"

    What it means

    In the race to host the ALDS on Oct. 5, the Indians (78-60) trail AL West-leading Houston (86-53) by 7 1/2 games. While the Tribe beat the Royals, the Astros beat the Twins, 5-2, Tuesday night.

    The Astros have won four straight and eight of their last 11 games. They are 21-7 against the AL Central this year, taking four out of seven from the Indians.

    The pitches

    Duffy threw 26 pitches, 14 (54 percent) for strikes. Clevinger threw 96 pitches, 68 (71 percent) for strikes.

    Thanks for coming

    The Royals and Indians drew a crowd of 17,041 to Progressive Field night. First pitch was at 7:10 with a temperature of 85 degrees.


    Right-hander Corey Kluber (17-7, 2.80) will face the Royals and rookie right-hander Brad Keller (7-5, 3.26) on Wednesday at 1:10 p.m. SportsTime Ohio and WTAM will carry the game.

    The Royals beat Kluber, 7-1, on Aug. 25 at Kauffman Stadium. This will be his fourth start against them this year. He's 2-1 with a 3.93 ERA. Keller faced the Indians on Aug. 24, allowing two runs on six hits in five innings in a no-decision. He struck out five and walked one.

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    Cleveland's magic number to clinch a third consecutive A.L. Central Division title is down to 10.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The Cleveland Indians' magic number to clinch a third consecutive American League Central Division title is 10 after a 9-3 victory against Kansas City on Tuesday.

    Cleveland's division lead over Minnesota is at a season-high 15 games with 24 to play. Any combination of Indians wins or losses by the second-place Twins that is greater than or equal to 10 will clinch the division title for Cleveland.

    Minnesota lost for the fourth consecutive game on Tuesday, falling 5-2 at Houston. The Indians (78-60) conclude their series against the Royals on Wednesday at 1:10 as Corey Kluber faces Brad Keller.

    You can calculate the first-place Tribe's magic number by starting with 162 (games in a season) and adding one, then subtracting the number of Indians wins and subtracting the number of losses by the second-place team.

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    LeBron James said he stands with Nike, a clear reference to the company's Colin Kaepernick ad campaign.

    NEW YORK (AP) -- Clutching his young daughter in his arms, LeBron James said he stands with Nike, a clear reference to the company's Colin Kaepernick ad campaign.

    The basketball superstar -- and new Los Angeles Laker -- made the remarks as he received an award Tuesday for both his style and his philanthropy from Harlem's Fashion Row. The fashion collective partnered with Nike for the New York event, both a fashion show and an awards ceremony that focused on diversity in the fashion world. The evening culminated in the reveal of the latest LeBron James Nike basketball shoe: a women's sneaker designed by three female African-American designers and inspired by strong African-American women.

    In emotional remarks, James paid tribute to the three women in his life -- his mother, wife and 3-year-old daughter, Zhuri.

    He noted how his mother had raised him alone, and given him "a sense of pride, a sense of strength, a sense of no worry."

    "Because of you, Gloria James, I'm able to be in a position today where I can give back and showcase why I believe African-American women are the most powerful women in the world."

    The NBA star, who was wearing one of his favored shrunken-fit shorts suits by designer Thom Browne, called his daughter "my rock."

    "People always told me if you ever have a girl, she'll change you," said James, who also has two sons. "I was like, nobody's changing me, I'm a man." But she did, he said.

    "Not only did she change me, she's made me a better person," James said. "A more dedicated person, a stronger person, I guess a more sensitive person."

    Closing his remarks, he said he stood "for anybody who believes in change." He added: "I stand with Nike, all day, every day."

    Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, unveiled his first ad of the new campaign Monday. "Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything," it said.

    The new endorsement deal has sparked vigorous debate, with some fans expressing displeasure over the apparel giant's support of a player known for starting a wave of protests among NFL players against police brutality, racial inequality and other social issues.

    Some angry fans were even burning and cutting out the signature swoosh logos on their gear -- and posting the results on social media.

    But Kaepernick and his Nike campaign, which marks the 30th anniversary of Nike's "Just Do It," received plenty of support from the fashion world in attendance Tuesday.

    Bethann Hardison, an activist for diversity in fashion and a former supermodel who was also honored by Harlem's Row, said she was happy with Nike's move. "It's such a divided situation in our world right now," she said of the negative reaction by some fans. "But I'm such a huge, huge, wholehearted supporter of Colin that I'm very proud that someone understands what he's done and (is giving) him some kudos."

    Prominent African-American designer Tracy Reese said she loved the new Nike campaign.

    "It was tastefully done," she said. "And really, this is the time to stand up for what you believe in. Colin Kaepernick has done that and I think that we need to follow his example and really go where the heart leads, instead of where everybody expects you to go."

    Also honored at the ceremony were Harlem streetwear designer Dapper Dan and stylist Jason Rembert. A fashion show highlighted the work of designers Kimberly Goldson, Undra Duncan and Fe Noel, who together helped create the new shoe.

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    Garrett didn't want Mack any more than his Bradley Chubb because he's fiercely loyal to his teammate Emmanuel Ogbah.

    BEREA, Ohio -- Myles Garrett felt the same about the Browns possibly trading for Khalil Mack as he did about them drafting N.C. State pass rusher Bradley Chubb.

    In fact, when asked about that on Wednesday, he made a face like he had just taken a bite of kale.

    "Come on now,'' he scoffed. "I've been vouching for my man E-man this whole offseason. So I'm glad to have him on my side and I'm not going to try to trade him for anybody.''

    E-man, of course, is his bookend end Emmanuel Ogbah. The two expect to make quarterbacks quake in their cleats together this season, and Garrett wouldn't want to go to battle with anyone else -- not even the 2016 Defensive Player of the Year.

    The Browns inquired about the former Raiders' three-time Pro Bowler over the weekend, but didn't want to surrender the two first-round pick the Raiders got from the Bears. They also probably wouldn't have parted with Ogbah.

    How Garrett feels about some experts ranking Chubb above him

    In the run-up to the draft, Garrett also said he didn't want the Browns to draft Chubb No. 4 to take the spot of Ogbah, the Browns' second-round pick in 2016. Instead, they selected cornerback Denzel Ward, and the Broncos snatched up Chubb at No. 5.

    Meanwhile, Garrett is gearing up for his first crack at Ben Roethlisberger on Sunday, since they missed each other last year. He's hoping his E-man will help aid in the cause of bringing down Big Ben.

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    The maze is part of Mapleside's annual fall festivals and Pumpkin Village, which opens for the fall season on Friday, Sept. 7.

    BRUNSWICK, Ohio -- Here's something that will bring a smile to the man they call Mr. Smile.

    Mapleside Farms has created a seven-acre corn maze that pays tribute to the Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor. From the air, you can see an outline of the three-time All-Star as well as the Indians block "C" logo and the words "Go Tribe."

    The maze is part of Mapleside's annual fall festivals and Pumpkin Village, which open for the fall season on Friday, Sept. 7.

    "We've had an incredible string of great teams here in Cleveland over the past 3-4 years and we love the way the Cleveland Indians represent our great city, and specifically how Francisco plays the game with his whole heart and soul," said Mapleside Farms owner Greg Clement in a Facebook post.

    In previous years, Mapleside has honored Browns left tackle Joe Thomas and LeBron James and the Cavaliers 2016 NBA Championship team with their own corn mazes. Compared to those, the Lindor maze is "50 percent larger and a couple levels harder," a Mapleside spokesperson said.

    Other attractions include a 311-foot slide, Ohio's largest "jumping pillow," hayrides and train rides. For adults, there is a second maze that will be used for Mapleside's Wine Your Way Out, where guests search for wine and beer tastings throughout the wine-themed corn maze every weekend from Sept. 14-Oct. 27.

    The fall festival events at Mapleside Farms, located at 294 Pearl Rd., are open weekends through Oct. 28. Admission to Pumpkin Village is $14, while Wine Your Way Out tickets (ages 21 and over) are on sale for $28.

    CornMaze_1.jpgA look from above at the wine-themed corn maze at Mapleside Farms in Brunswick.  

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    Mike "The Miz" Mizanin dreams of winning the All-Star celebrity softball MVP in his home part next summer. Watch video

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- WWE superstar Mike "The Miz" Mizanin loves seeing a plan come together, and thus far his celebrity softball scheme is halfway to fruition.

    Mizanin tossed out the first pitch Wednesday before the Cleveland Indians took on Kansas City at Progressive Field. But the Parma native and pro wrestling megastar has plans to be back on the field in July as the Tribe hosts Major League Baseball's All-Star Game and the All-Star celebrity softball game that precedes it.

    When Mizanin found out he was going to participate in this year's celebrity softball game at Nationals Park, he took batting practice every day leading up to the event. "I knew we were going to have a helluva pitcher on the mound (Jennie Finch)," Mizanin said. "I knew she was a pro at it, but I was about an inch from taking her yard, twice."

    Mizanin finished with a pair of doubles and five RBI. He even pitched a 1-2-3 inning and was named MVP for his team. "You're damn right I was -- I'm from Cleveland," Mizanin said.

    Mizanin, however, had a secret motivation for playing in the game. And he's halfway to achieving his goal.

    "The whole reason I wanted to do it this year was I wanted to take the MVP and be the reigning MVP and come to Cleveland for next year's All-Star Game and be the first-ever two-time MVP," he said.

    That would be, as The Miz often says, "Awesome."

    Wednesday was Mizanin's second time throwing an opening pitch at Progressive Field. His first attempt took place in 2011 when he fired a perfect strike over the plate. After that, Mizanin considered walking off on a high note.

    "It was amazing," Mizanin said. "I'd thrown first pitches at other stadiums and they were always balls. But if I throw at Progressive Field, I'm 1-for-1 laying them in there."

    Wednesday's offering to relief pitcher Tyler Olson ended up in the right-handed batter's box. But Mizanin, who captained Normandy High's baseball team in his prep days, was quietly confident that he could still be in line for a contract.

    "I plan on getting signed today," Mizanin quipped. "I've got a helluva split-finger that would strike out 90 percent of major league hitters."


    A diehard Tribe fan since the days of old Municipal Stadium, Mizanin wore an Indians jersey with his 5-month-old daughter Monroe's name and the No. 1 on his back.

    "She's my No. 1, she's my everything," the new father said. "I just want to dedicate this pitch to her because I remember back in the day when I used to go to Municipal Stadium with my dad."

    Mizanin recalled getting tickets for the cheap seats and walking down to the front row as he cheered on Cory Snyder and Joe Carter. Someday he plans to share the experience with Monroe.

    "It's what you did with your kid," he said. "Some of the best times I could ever remember. I can't wait until she's old enough and I can take her to a baseball game. And this will be her first jersey."

    Though he spends most of his time on the road, Mizanin says he catches games at Progressive Field whenever he gets the chance. Unsuspecting Indians fans can find themselves standing next to The Miz at The Corner bar in right field.

    "It's my favorite spot," he said. "Today I have a skybox and I'm probably not even going to go to it. I'm probably going to be in The Corner having a nice craft beer watching the game from right field and enjoying myself."

    He'll enjoy himself even more if the first-place Indians can find success in the playoffs. Mizanin says he is looking forward to October.

    "Our pitching is stacked," Mizanin said. "Last year they clicked about a month too early. This year, hopefully we can click at the right time and find the right kind of feel, get everybody healthy and go to the playoffs, go to the Series and take one for Cleveland."

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    Corey Kluber became the first major league pitcher to reach 18 wins as the Indians defeated the Royals.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Corey Kluber became the first major leaguer to reach 18 wins by pitching the Cleveland Indians to a 3-1 victory against visiting Kansas City at Progressive Field on Wednesday afternoon.

    Cleveland reduced its magic number to clinch the American League Central Division and a third consecutive playoff appearance to 9. Second-place Minnesota plays at 8:10 p.m. at Houston, and a Twins loss would drop the magic number to eight.

    Kluber (18-7, 2.75) was brilliant, recording his fifth start with at least 10 strikeouts. He tossed 6 2/3 innings, allowing a run on just two hits and walking one. Indians pitchers combined for 16 strikeouts against a Royals lineup that took an aggressive approach at the plate.

    "Against me, they're always aggressive," Kluber said. "We kind of prepare for that. It basically comes down to executing pitches early in the count. When they're coming out aggressive, you don't want to give them good pitches to hit early in the count.

    Oliver Perez relieved Kluber in the seventh and struck out Royals center fielder Brian Goodwin with a runner on base. Cody Allen and Brad Hand each pitched a scoreless inning for manager Terry Francona's bullpen.

    Hand earned his 32nd save overall and eighth with Cleveland. Since joining the Indians in late July, Hand has posted a 1.86 ERA across 19 appearances.

    Kluber's only blemish came in the fourth inning when he allowed a one-out double to K.C. left fielder Alex Gordon and a two-out RBI triple to rookie Ryan O'Hearn. He improved his record to 9-2 with a 2.23 ERA against A.L. Central Division teams.

    "The last couple times out it seemed like he started to get the feel back," Francona said of Kluber. "The breaking ball had some shape to it, and he throws that two-seamer in to the lefties because it starts going back and forth."

    Greg Allen got the Indians on the board in the second inning with a two-out RBI single against Royals starter Brad Keller (7-6, 3.14) after back-to-back hits by Kipnis and Yan Gomes. 

    Allen is now batting .280 (25-89) with two doubles, a homer, 11 RBI and 14 runs in 26 games since the All-Star break.

    Edwin Encarnacion's RBI groundout in the fifth gave the Tribe a 2-1 advantage before Kipnis delivered an insurance run with an RBI sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth. Kipnis batted .357 (10-28) in nine games on the homestand, with three doubles, two homers, seven RBI and four runs.

    Brandon Guyer set up Kipnis' RBI with a bunt single down the third-base line. Royals third baseman Hunter Dozier's throwing error allowed Guyer and Yonder Alonso to advance before Kipnis plated Alonso with a fly ball to right.

    "It was a big play for us," Francona said of Guyer's bunt. "We want to put (Guyer) in because he covers more ground than Melky (Cabrera), but then when he adds to our offense, that's certainly welcome."

    What it means

    In the race to host the ALDS on Oct. 5, the Indians (79-60) trail AL West-leading Houston (86-53) by 7 games.

    The pitches

    Keller threw 99 pitches, 69 (70 percent) for strikes. Kluber threw 105 pitches, 68 (65 percent) for strikes.

    Thanks for coming

    The Royals and Indians drew a crowd of 18,435 to Progressive Field on Wednesday afternoon. First pitch was at 1:10 with a temperature of 91 degrees.


    The Indians travel to Toronto to open a four-game series against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. Right-hander Shane Bieber (8-3, 4.66) will take on righty Sam Gaviglio (3-7, 5.02) on Thursday at 7:07 p.m. SportsTime Ohio, WMMS and WTAM will carry the game.

    Bieber takes on the Blue Jays for the first time in his career. He is 4-0 with a 4.44 ERA in eight road starts this season. Gaviglio has never faced the Indians. He is 2-1 with a 2.68 ERA in 11 appearances at home in 2018.

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    Harrison could start his first NFL game against the Steelers.

    BEREA, Ohio -- Undrafted rookie Desmond Harrison could still start at left tackle for the Browns on Sunday, but coach Hue Jackson will keep the Steelers guessing, likely all the way until Friday.

    "Still working through it,'' Jackson said Wednesday. "Probably Friday. Friday I'll know for sure. I just want to get through practice and kind of go from there before I make that choice.''

    Jackson said, "I'm using all kind of guys during practice. Again, I owe it to the football team. I owe it to all involved to make sure we make the right choice to start the game.''

    If Jackson opts to go with the rookie, Joel Bitonio will be back at his natural left guard spot.

    "I've always said from the start that we'll play the best five guys, and to me that's still is ongoing,'' he said. "I never said these are the five guys that are the starters and they're playing. I never made that announcement, so it's just still ongoing to me.''

    He said whatever he decides, "I think it's the best guys for the season. That's the way you want to start it, but we all know all that's going to be fluid as you go. I think you have to whatever you decide, make sure that's it's the right decision and keep going, and if we have to change it that's football. You make the right choices as you go. We'll start it on Sunday whatever that is, and then we'll kind of go from there.''

    Starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor said he's fine with whomever Jackson chooses to protect his blindside.

    "In house, guys are confident with what is going on at the left tackle position,'' he said. "We have tremendous confidence in everyone's ability to go out there and play at a high level. We will just continue to keep working and get ready for the game."

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    Gordon has gone 1-4 against the Steelers, but thinks this is the best roster he's faced them with. Watch video

    BEREA, Ohio -- It's been so long since Josh Gordon beat the Steelers that he's the only one left on the team from that 20-14 victory in 2012.

    The Browns, 6-32 against Pittsburgh since 1999, beat them one other time since then, but Gordon was suspended for that game in 2014.

    All told, the receiver has faced the Steelers five times since 2012, with that lone victory in which he caught four passes for 60 yards.

    But having lived through this lopsided "rivalry,'' he knows better than anyone that the overhauled Browns have a legitimate shot at beating the reigning division champs on Sunday. What's more, the Steelers players are turning on running back Le'Veon Bell, who's holding out and will most likely sit out this game. 

    "Oh yeah, in comparison to (those five games), yeah,'' Gordon said Wednesday. "By far we have our best chance. Our chances are higher than they've ever been to get a win this Sunday."

    Gordon returns to Browns, vows to put sobriety first

    Gordon also knows how much it would mean to the organization and the city to beat the Steelers on Sunday -- and snap the Browns' 17-game losing streak dating back to an OT loss to the Steelers in the 2016 finale.

    "That's the equivalent of making the playoffs here, almost a Super Bowl win,'' said Gordon. "But a win is a win. We just want one at a time. The fact it's Pittsburgh just makes it that much better having an opportunity to play them, but to go against them speaks volumes. It's something we've been wanting for a long time."

    An elder statesman on this young team, he couldn't begin to describe the intensity of the rivalry.

    "I know even my rookie year, when I look back, there's no way to put that on somebody and try to paint that picture until you get in the game and get a chance to feel that environment, especially the second half playing Pittsburgh during the season,'' he said. "Then you really grasp the concept and the level of which this rivalry goes to. They're going to have to experience it."

    Browns quarterback Tyrod Taylor wasn't around last year for the 0-16 debacle, so he doesn't view this as the mighty Steelers converging on the lowly Browns.

    "Can't speak about last year,'' he said. "Both teams are different, and both teams are 0-0 right now. In my eyes, it is a fair shot for both teams, and we have to approach it that way and handle business throughout the week so we can go out and play winning football."

    He's been around long enough to know, however, that this game means everything to Browns fans.

    "For sure,'' he said. "You hear it all throughout training camp. If there's one team that they want to beat, it's definitely Pittsburgh. We have to have that mindset each and every week as a team, but we definitely understand what it means to the community and the people who are supporting us. Not only for them but for ourselves because we put the work in, we definitely want to go out and have a good performance and a winning performance - on Sunday."

    Browns coach Hue Jackson stopped short of calling it the championship-caliber game.

    "Well it's important to get a win, because this is the game we're playing,'' he said. "I'm not going to say it's the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl is in February, but it's a huge game for us. It's our division rival. It's an AFC [North] game, so it really counts as two at the end of the day. We all recognize that, and we want to get to winning as fast as we can, but it's a 16-game season and we get that too.

    "Trust me, we're going into this game giving it everything we have, just like we do every week, but obviously this is the Pittsburgh Steelers and the AFC North game so we respect that."

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    The Steelers could be without Bell for Sunday's game in Cleveland. Watch video

    BEREA, Ohio -- Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell still hasn't reported to his team, yet. It's good news for the Browns and it has his teammates unhappy.

    Mary Kay Cabot and I talked about that following Browns practice on Wednesday.

    We also talked about Myles Garrett finally getting his shot to face Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Garrett was injured and missed the first meeting between the teams last season and Roethlisberger sat out the second meeting.

    Lastly, we talked about the Browns' unsettled left tackle position heading into Sunday's game.

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    Check out the hype trailer Ohio State released for its second game of the season vs. Rutgers.

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Big Ten play opens for Ohio State on Saturday when it opens against Rutgers.

    And the Buckeyes released their latest hype trailer on Wednesday to get ready for the game.

    The theme of the video is above focus and moments, and features several moments from the 77-31 win vs. Oregon State played in reverse, including the post-game handshake and even when the players leave Skull Session.

    Check out the whole video above, which features Nick Bosa, Johnnie Dixon and Robert Landers among other players.

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    Garrett finally gets his first crack at Roethlisberger, who he vowed last year to 'chop down.' Watch video

    BEREA, Ohio -- Myles Garrett finally gets his chance Sunday to shred Ben Roethlisberger, and the Steelers quarterback paid him the ultimate compliment on Wednesday, calling Garrett an animal.

    On July 19, the Browns did a spoof video of "The Office," with Garrett playing the part of Dwight K. Schrute, and putting a Xerox copy of Big Ben through the shredder.

    He jumped at the chance to do it, and will jump at the chance to tear Roethliserger to pieces on Sunday in the opener at FirstEnergy Stadium.

    "It's just a joke,'' Garrett said Wednesday.  "I'm here to have a little bit of fun and play some football. It goes along with what I'm trying to do, so I had no problem doing it."

    Does Roethlisberger have the clip on his phone on a loop to get his game face on?

    "I haven't gotten any feedback,'' said Garrett. "I hope they bring it up a little bit. That would probably be a little bit funny, but I just hope to have a good game that's competitive, hard-nosed and they come out here and don't take it easy on any of us because we're going to do the same to them."

    The paper-shredder comes a little over a year after Garrett said on draft day about Roethlisberger that he's "coming for him first, to chop him down."

    Of course, he never got that chance last year, because he suffered a high ankle sprain just days before the opener and had to sit out the first four games. Garrett played in the finale, but Roethlisberger rested for the playoffs.

    Garrett didn't want Khalil Mack

    So the big showdown is Sunday, and both parties can't wait.

    "Mindset is the same as it would be any other week,'' Garrett said. "I want to get to the passer. I want to make plays. I want to be dominant and I know the D-line wants to do the same thing. We're all on the same page and we have a plan to get there and keep him from dominating the game and go out there and enact that."

    The chop-down threat rankled the Steelers last year, and Garrett surely put a bull's-eye on his back for this game.

    "I mean probably,'' said Garrett. "I have to go out there and show that I'm actually a threat. Maybe after a couple rushes, me getting back there or us getting back there, they may have to turn to who really is getting there. But I plan to get back there a little bit."

    Over in Pittsburgh, it wasn't lost on Roethlisberger that Garrett is still talking about sacking him this game.

    "Yeah, he's been talking about that for awhile now, so hopefully Al (left tackle Alejandro Villanueva) does a great job,'' Roethlisberger told reporters in Pittsburgh.

    Roethlisberger also complimented the 2017 No. 1 overall pick, who had seven sacks in his 11 starts last season.

    "It starts with our left side, their right side in Myles,'' he said. "What an animal. A guy that just gets after the quarterback. We're really going to have to keep two eyes on him.''

    Big Ben's tone was a little lighter than last year after Garrett vowed to chop him down in a draft day interview with ESPN's Randy Moss.

    "I was talking to (center Maurkice Pouncey) after Garrett called me out," Roethlisberger told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette then. "Pounce got a big kick out of it. All of my linemen enjoyed hearing it. They can't wait to get started. I can't, either."

    Roethlisberger also said last year, "I've been playing this game for 14 years now. He's not the first or the last one to talk about trying to get me. I'm just blessed to have a group in front of me to help protect that.  I know they're always up for the challenge. They always want to protect me, open up things in the run game. They take pride in being the best in the business and that's what I think they are."

    Garrett didn't back down from his remarks back then either.

    "I stand by it,'' he said. "You shouldn't be scared to take anybody down. It's the whole defense against their offense. I'm not going to be alone in this.''

    All bravado aside, Garrett has the utmost respect for Roethlisberger, who's 21-2 against the Browns, and who's been sacked 37 times in 23 regular-season starts by them.

    "He's a Super Bowl champion,'' said Garrett. "A multiple time Super Bowl champion, so you know he's played on a high level consistently for years so you have to be able to respect greatness when you see it, but you also have to seize the opportunity of being able to usurping that position, so you have to be able to respect it but don't be afraid of it and don't be afraid of that moment.''

    He acknowledged that it will be tough to being the big Houdini down.

    "You've got to use your whole body where you can't try to arm tackle him, where you just try to grab him by his arm or his side,'' he said. "You have to lean into him a little bit, try to torque him. Otherwise, he's just going to strike you off or spin out of the tackle.

    "He just has that way where you're on him, but he'll just step up while you're flying by, so you have to make sure you're directly on him. If you're leaning any kind of way, he'll just slip out of there.

    Garrett believes he would've made the difference in the opener last year, a 21-18 loss to the Steelers at home. Late in the game, Roethlisberger rolled out and hit Antonio Brown (11 catches for 182 yards) with a 38-yarder that preserved the victory.
    "Yeah, that's where I come in,'' said Garrett. "He's not able to extend that play. So, I don't think he gets that off, and I think that's a different ballgame entirely if he's not able to get that ball off, but that's last year and we have to make the plays this year to get the win.''

    He won't get any disagreement from Browns receiver Josh Gordon, who believes Garrett is just what the Browns need to get over the top.

    "I think it's going to come down to defensive stops and it's going to start with 95 on the edge making extremely athletic plays the likes of which we might not have seen before,'' he said. "I know he's capable of doing it. We've seen it in practice. He's extremely fast. I've never seen a guy that big move like that, but I think he's ready to step up to the challenge. We're all counting on him to get to the quarterback and make a difference."

    Garrett acknowledged that missing those first four games, and the Browns getting off to a 0-4 start, drove him this offseason.

    "The best quality is availability and missing those games when my team was out there and they just needed a couple of big plays to change the flow of the beginning of the season, that hurt and that did stick with me,'' he said. "So it was one of the things that drove me to be in better condition, to be able to go for a longer play count, to be on the field more, and just being stronger, faster, come back as a more polished weapon.''

    And one that he hopes can turn a QB into pulp.

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    The Cavaliers worked out four NBA vets on Wednesday with training camp nearly two weeks away and some vacancies left on the roster.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The Cavaliers worked out four NBA vets on Wednesday with training camp nearly two weeks away and some vacancies left on the roster.

    The Cavs hosted Cleveland native and former Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary's student JaKarr Sampson, as well as Tyler Ulis, Alan Williams, and Marcus Georges-Hunt, two team sources confirmed.

    The workouts were first reported by HoopsHype.

    Former Notre Dame standout Bonzie Colson is also here working out for the Cavs, a source told

    The Cavs have 12 players (out of a possible 15 spots) under contract, but two more spots will go to restricted free agent Rodney Hood and free agent David Nwaba, who has agreed to play for Cleveland but does not yet have a contract.

    Cleveland is likely to leave that 15th guaranteed contract open for training camp. Teams can carry 20 players for camp, and the Cavs may have two or three spots to fill there.

    In addition to the 14 players who will have guaranteed contracts, John Holland and Billy Preston will be there as the organization's two "two way" players (meaning they will spend time with the Cavs and their G-League affiliate in Canton).

    Point guard Isaiah Taylor is coming to camp trying to make the team as Cleveland's third point guard.

    Colson is under consideration for a camp invite, though the team was still determining his health after suffering a broken left foot in the spring.

    "I'm staying focused with what I need to do to make my dreams come true," Colson told the South Bend Tribune. "I'm here and have a great opportunity in front of me with Cleveland."

    Colson indicated to the Tribune he was healthy and he was leaving for Cleveland on Tuesday. Had he been healthy earlier this summer, he would have played for the Cavs during the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.

    The four players the Cavs hosted Wednesday could be candidates for those two or three camp invites.

    Sampson, 25, is averaging 5.1 points over a little more than two NBA seasons. He spent most of last season in the G League (22 games with Sacramento) and missed all of 2016-17.

    Training camp starts with media day on Sept. 24.

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    Gordon won't start against Pittsburgh, but he's ready to make an impact. Watch video

    BEREA, Ohio -- The Browns have lost 13 consecutive season openers, a streak that dates back to 2004. It's a streak they would like to see end on Sunday against Pittsburgh.

    Ending that streak will be a monumental task. Another season opening streak is likely to end: Josh Gordon has missed five Browns openers in a row.

    Barring something unforeseen -- and when it comes to both the Browns and Gordon, you just never know -- Gordon will take the field in an opening week game for the first time since his rookie year in 2012. In fact, this stands to be the first time Gordon will take the field for the Browns before November since 2013.

    Gordon, who was listed on Wednesday's injury report as limited with the hamstring injury that slowed his return to the practice field, said he is 100 percent and plans to be 100 percent on Sunday.

    "I feel the biggest piece of it is making sure I'm locked in and knowing what I'm trying to do as an individual, as a player and as a teammate going forward," Gordon said.

    So Gordon's missed opener streak is about to end, but it's not clear exactly how deep into Sunday's game it will happen. Head coach Hue Jackson has made it clear that Gordon will not start the game, contrasting last season, when Gordon started in his first game back against the Chargers.

    The natural question is why Gordon, coming off of a suspension in 2017, was afforded the opportunity to start immediately last season, whereas this time around he has to wait, even though his disappearance at the start of camp was about keeping his recovery on track.

    "I am not about entitlement for players," Jackson said. "I am about work. I am about when guys are here, the guys that have been here the whole time working and busting their tail - and they are on the team and they play receiver, too -- that if a guy is ready and up for the game, why should I start (Gordon) in front of them when they have done the most work?"

    Gordon, of course, missed most of training camp and, upon returning, missed time while dealing with the hamstring. He didn't return to the practice field until Monday.

    "If you do not practice, if you have not been here and went through what everybody else has gone through, I do not think that it is right that you just get to do whatever you want to do," Jackson said. "We are not going to have that kind of program here."

    On the verge of starting the season with his team, Gordon pointed to a collection of things that have helped get him to this point.

    "I can't pick just one specific thing, but just having a healthy balance of things inside of here, knowing what I do here and off the field, knowing what I want to gain from it. Prioritizing that over everything else kind of takes care of itself and it feels good -- real good."

    Jackson called Gordon outstanding and reiterated that he is not punishing Gordon for his decision to not report to camp right away.

    "Josh is in a much better place," Jackson said. "He has done a great job. Kudos to him for what he did prior to coming back."

    So, no matter what's happened in the past, no matter how much time he's missed, Gordon is back now on a remade roster that adds to the feeling of having a clean slate.

    Gordon was asked if he was as locked in as he's ever been.

    "I would say so," Gordon said. "I believe that's fair to say."

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    Safety Josh Proctor and H-back Jaelen Gill are among three Ohio State players to lose their black stripes on Wednesday.

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State had two more members of its 2018 recruiting class lose their black stripes on Wednesday, which means they have officially become Buckeyes.

    Safety Josh Proctor and H-back Jaelen Gill became the latest freshmen to lose their stripes.

    Proctor, who came to Columbus from Owasso, Okla., was the No. 7 safety and No. 71 overall prospect in the country according to's composite rankings. He made his debut in Ohio State's 77-31 win vs. Oregon State in Week 1. 

    Gill, who played his high school football at Westerville South, was the No. 2 all-purpose back and No. 30 overall prospect.

    In addition, walk-on receiver Sam Wiglusz also lost his stripe.

    That means 17 members of Ohio State's 2018 class have lost their black stripes. Get caught up with our black stripe tracker

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