Weekday Morning Sports Report – Wednesday 10/1/14

Sports Radio 1400 WSJM     @wsjmsports      wsjmsports.com     Wednesday, October 01, 2014

MLB – Major League Baseball
Last Night- American League Wild Card Playoff
Kansas City Royals 9, Oakland Athletics 8 – F/12

Royals 9, Athletics 8 – F/12 – Royals beat A’s 9-8 in 12 in AL wild-card thriller
Christian Colon and Salvador Perez hit RBI singles in the bottom of the 12th to lift the Kansas City Royals to a 9-8 victory over the Oakland Athletics in the American League Wild Card game. The A’s had an 8-7 lead until Eric Hosmer tripled and scored on Colon’s high chopper down the third-base line. The A’s wasted a nice game by Brandon Moss, who hit a two-run homer and a three-run blast while Oakland was building a 7-3 lead.

Tonight- National League Wild Card Playoff
San Francisco (Bumgarner 18-10) at Pittsburgh (Volquez 13-7), 8:07 p.m.

MLB – Scherzer to start Game 1 for Tigers vs Baltimore
Max Scherzer (SHUR’-zur) will be on the mound when Detroit opens its AL Division Series against the Orioles in Baltimore.  Scherzer went 18-5 this season with a 3.15 ERA.   Manager Brad Ausmus will go with Justin Verlander in the second game and David Price in Game 3 when the series shifts to Detroit.  Orioles manager Buck Showalter will start Chris Tillman in game 1. Wei-Yin Chen (way yihn-chehn) starts Game 2 for the Birds, followed by Miguel Gonzalez at Comerica Park.

MLB – Epstein sees Cubs competing for division next year
Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein made one thing clear. He sees no reason why his team can’t compete for a division title next season. With the arrival of top prospects such as Jorge Soler and bounce-back seasons from shortstop Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo, the Cubs are ready to kick their rebuilding project into the next gear after finishing fifth in the NL Central for the fifth straight year. Epstein says the goal is to win the division in 2015. The Cubs are not abandoning their youth movement, but they do plan to be active in free agency. He spoke Tuesday, two days after the Cubs wrapped up a 73-89 season, seven wins better than last year.

NCAA Football – UM changes policy, apologizes for QB injury errors
Michigan has announced changes to its injury protocol, admitting it made a mistake in handling quarterback Shane Morris following a suspected concussion because of a “serious lack of communication” and “confusion” among the coaching staff. Athletic director Dave Brandon said Tuesday that Michigan plans to have a medical professional in the press box or video booth at future football games after what happened over the weekend. Coach Brady Hoke has been criticized for not immediately sitting Morris for the rest of the game after the sophomore took a hard hit in Saturday’s fourth quarter against Minnesota. Hoke said Monday that he didn’t see the hit on Morris, and that all he knew then was that his quarterback had an ankle injury.

NCAA Football – Michigan St, Nebraska have gaudy offensive numbers
No. 10 Michigan State is off to a historic start on offense and faces another high-scoring team in No. 19 Nebraska to open Big Ten play on Saturday night.  Michigan State (3-1) has scored 201 points through four games, best in school history. The Cornhuskers (5-0, 1-0 Big Ten) are averaging 45.4 points per game. It’s an interesting dynamic considering Spartans coach Mark Dantonio and Nebraska coach Bo Pelini are former defensive coordinators.  Dantonio said Tuesday that high-scoring games don’t seem unusual anymore in this day and age.

NCAA Football – Notre Dame faces first tough test vs. Stanford
Ninth-ranked Notre Dame is preparing for its toughest challenge so far this season. After beating four teams with a combined record of 7-11, the Irish (4-0) face 14th-ranked Stanford (3-1) on Saturday. The Cardinal has the nation’s top-rated defense and has beaten the Irish four of their last five meetings. So it’s the first real test for a young Irish squad coming off a sloppy victory over Syracuse where they won despite five turnovers.  The Irish are ranked higher than the Cardinal but are one-point underdogs, just the second time since the start of 2011 season an opponent has been favored at Notre Dame Stadium.

UM students protest, demand AD Brandon’s firing
About 1,000 University of Michigan students have marched to the home of school President Mark Schlissel to protest against the performance of athletic director Dave Brandon and football coach Brady Hoke. Tuesday evening’s rally came shortly after Schlissel apologized for the way the team handled a head injury to quarterback Shane Morris during Saturday’s 30-14 loss to visiting Minnesota. The protest came as disappointments mount for the 2-3 Wolverine and focused on coaches’ failure to keep Morris out of the game after his head injury. Brady says he was unaware that Morris hurt his head in a helmet collision. The Michigan Daily reports that students called for the athletic director’s removal with chants of “fire Brandon” and “down with Dave.” The Ann Arbor News estimates that about 1,000 people participated.

NFL – League says refs blew it
The NFL says Kansas City Chiefs safety Husain Abdullah should not have been penalized for dropping to his knees in prayer in the end zone after an interception in Monday night’s game. NFL spokesman Michael Signora writes in an email to The Associated Press that “the officiating mechanic in this situation is not to flag a player who goes to the ground as part of religious expression.  The flag thrown in the fourth quarter of Kansas City’s 41-14 victory over New England last night touched off a firestorm on social media, with many wondering how it was different from players dropping to one knee in Christian prayer.

NFL – FCC rules end to TV blackouts
The Federal Communications Commission has voted to end the decades-old rule preventing cable and satellite operators from airing sports events that were blacked out on local TV. The commission says the rule was outdated and unnecessary. It was originally adopted to help boost ticket sales in the 1970s. This may not spell the end to sports blackouts. The NFL would still be able to privately negotiate its own rules with cable and satellite companies that would not have the backing of the federal government.

NFL – FCC to look at petition to ban Redskins
Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheelers says the agency will consider a petition to ban the Washington Redskins nickname from the public airwaves. A law professor has challenged the use of the name on broadcast television, saying it violates FCC rules against indecent content. Native American and other groups have demanded the name be changed, calling it a racial slur. Wheeler did not offer a timetable for a ruling on the matter.

NFL – Bears waive WR Ross, elevate WR Williams
The Chicago Bears have waived receiver Rashad Ross and elevated receiver Chris Williams from the practice squad to the active roster. Ross appeared in the last two games for the Bears, returning five kickoffs for 106 yards. Williams worked with the practice squad the past two weeks after making his NFL debut in Week 2 at San Francisco. The Bears announced the moves on Tuesday.

NHL – National Hockey League Preseason
Tonight
Pittsburgh Penguins at Detroit Red Wings, 7:30 p.m.
Montreal Canadiens at Chicago Blackhawks, 8:30 p.m.

Olympics – Olympian Michael Phelps apologizes for DUI arrest
Olympic champion Michael Phelps is apologizing for his latest brush with the law, saying he is “deeply sorry to everyone I have let down” with an arrest early Tuesday on a DUI charge.  Police charged the 18-time gold medalist after officers said he was speeding and failed field sobriety tests when pulled over in his native Baltimore. This is the second time Phelps has been arrested on drunken-driving charges, the first coming in 2004 after he competed at the Athens Olympics. He also was photographed using a marijuana pipe after the 2008 Beijing Games, which resulted in a three-month suspension from USA Swimming. Phelps issued a statement saying he understands “the severity of my actions” and takes “full responsibility.”  He is hoping to compete in his fifth Olympics at Rio.

MCCAA – Junior College Sports
Last Night
Women’s Soccer
Alma College 2, Lake Michigan College 1

Women’s Volleyball
Kellogg CC 3, Lake Michigan College 2

Today
Men’s Soccer
Ancilla at Lake Michigan College, 4:00 p.m.

MHSAA – High School Sports
Yesterday
Boys Soccer
St. Joseph 3, Kalamazoo Central 0
Mattawan 4, Lakeshore 0
Lake Michigan Catholic 8, Cassopolis 0

Girls Golf
South Haven Invitational at Hawkshead, 9:00 a.m.
1.       St. Joseph                         331
2.       Kalamazoo Hackett            363
3.       St. Joseph “B”                     419
4.       South Haven                      427
5.       Lake Michigan Catholic      468
6.       Hillsdale Academy              No score

St. Joe wins South Haven Invitational
St. Joseph was 32 strokes better than Kalamazoo Hackett in winning the South Haven invitational with a score of 331.  St. Joe’s Hannah Grall won medalist honors with a 79 score.  St. Joe’s Courtney Rooker and Casey Singler tied for third with an 83.  St. Joe’s Shanna Mais was fifth with an 85.   Sarah Hallgren was the top finisher for South Haven with a 91 for 8th place.  Lizzie Stolte had 99 for Lake Michigan Catholic for 9th place.

Girls Swimming
Portage Northern 100, St. Joseph 80
Bridgman/Lakeshore 104, Mattawan 72

Today
Boys Soccer
Wolverine Conference Tournament – Round 1

Otsego at Edwardsburg
South Haven at Sturgis
Allegan at Paw Paw
Coloma at Three Rivers
Vicksburg at Berrien Springs

Girls Volleyball
Lakeshore at St. Joseph, 6:30 p.m.
Portage Central at Benton Harbor, 6:30 p.m.
Lake Michigan Catholic at Bridgman, 7:00 p.m.

Girls Golf
SMAC Invitational at Gull Lake, 10:00 a.m.
Wolverine Conference Jamboree at Comstock, 4:00 p.m.

Boys Tennis
Portage Northern at St. Joseph, 4:00 p.m.
Portage Central at Lakeshore, 4:00 p.m.
Bridgman at South Haven, 4:00 p.m.

Cross Country
SMAC West Division at St. Joseph, 5:00 p.m.