Weekday Morning Sports – Wednesday 7/15/15

Sports Radio 1400 WSJM     @wsjmsports     wsjmsports.com     Wednesday, July 15, 2015

MLB – Major League Baseball – 2015 All Star Game, Great American Ballpark, Cincinnati
Last Night
American League 6, National League 3

AL 6, NL 3 – Trout homers, AL wins All-Star Game 6-3
Mike Trout became the first player in 38 years to lead off the All-Star Game with a home run, and the American League beat the National League 6-3 Tuesday night to secure home-field advantage in the World Series for the third straight year.  Prince Fielder singled in the go-ahead run in the fifth inning off loser Clayton Kershaw, joining Trout in completing career All-Star cycles. Only 10 players in 86 midsummer classics have a career cycle.  Fielder added a sacrifice fly, Manny Machado doubled in a run and Brian Dozier homered for the AL in the fifth All-Star Game played in red-clad Cincinnati and first at the Great American Ball Park.  Trout went opposite field off Kershaw’s teammate Zack Greinke on the fourth pitch of the game, giving the four-time All-Star a unique feat: he has a single, double, triple and homer, in that order, in his first four initial trips to the plate in his All-Star appearances.  The Tigers David Price struck out two in an inning for the win.

MLB – While MLB open to pitch clocks, players’ union opposed
Baseball management is intrigued with the idea of using pitch clocks to speed play in the major leagues. The players’ association thinks it is a horrible idea. Adopting rules requiring hitters to keep at least one foot in the batter’s box and to put up clocks timing between-innings breaks led to the average time of a nine-inning game dropping to 2 hours, 53 minutes so far this season. That is down from 3:02 for the first half of 2014.  “We decided that we would undertake a rather modest set of changes this year,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said Tuesday during a meeting with the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

MLB – MLB regular season cut could get tied to changing playoffs
Cutting the length of Major League Baseball’s regular-season schedule could be tied to reconfiguring the postseason. Baseball players are increasingly complaining of the toll of playing 162 games in 183 days. The schedule was 154 games before the AL added eight games when it expanded in 1961, and the National League adopted the new format when it added two teams for the 1962 season. “A shortened schedule is a major, major economic issue,” Commissioner Rob Manfred told the Baseball Writers’ Association of America on Tuesday.  “We sell out in a lot of markets in terms of gates. The gates are really valuable to us. We have television commitments. Each local contract varies, but there are game guarantees that could be affected by a shortened season.”

NBA – Bulls announce Dunleavy Jr., Brooks signings
The Chicago Bulls say they have signed forward Mike Dunleavy Jr. and backup guard Aaron Brooks.  The deals were announced Tuesday. Both players reached agreements before the league’s signing moratorium ended last week. Dunleavy, who turns 35 in September, got a three-year, $14 million contract. He averaged 9.4 points in 63 games, all starts, and shot 41 percent from 3-point range for Chicago last season. In the playoffs, he averaged 10.9 points and shot 48 percent from beyond the arc. The 30-year-old Brooks averaged 11.6 points for the Bulls last season. Chicago’s roster returns virtually intact after a 50-win season that ended with a loss to Cleveland in the Eastern Conference semifinals. The Bulls fired coach Tom Thibodeau and replaced him with Fred Hoiberg.

Bulls, WNBA’s Catchings win Sports Humanitarian awards
The Chicago Bulls and WNBA player Tamika Catchings have been honored at the first Sports Humanitarian of the Year awards.  The Bulls won in the team category and received a $75,000 grant to a charity related to their humanitarian efforts.  Catchings, who plays for the Indiana Fever, won the individual category. She also received the same grant for her Catch the Stars Foundation that helps teach girls about embracing their differences, building self-esteem and overcoming obstacles.  The awards sponsored by ESPN and PlayStation were presented Tuesday night at the Conga Room at LA Live in downtown Los Angeles. The network says more than $500,000 in net proceeds was raised for The V Foundation’s Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Fund as well as funding grants.

WNBA – Elena Delle Donne leads WNBA All-Star balloting
Chicago Sky forward Elena Delle Donne is the leading vote-getter for the WNBA All-Star Game. Indiana’s Tamika Catchings and New York’s Tina Charles will join Delle Donne in the Eastern Conference’s front court. Atlanta’s Angel McCoughtry and Shoni Schimmel will start in the backcourt for the east team.

NCAA – NCAA gets a bill
A U.S. Magistrate has ruled the NCAA must pay more than $46 million in bills stemming from last year’s Ed O’Bannon case. Judge Nathanael Cousins wrote in his 28-page ruling that the organization was responsible for slightly more than $44.2 million in fees for O’Bannon’s lawyers, and another $1.5 million in costs and expenses. O’Bannon’s side had requested about $50.8 million.

NFL – Kromer on paid leave
Buffalo Bills President Russ Brandon says offensive line coach Aaron Kromer has been put on paid administrative leave after being accused of punching a boy in the face for using his beach chairs.  Brandon says the team is following the league’s personal conduct policy, putting Kromer on leave while investigating with the league.  The Walton County Sheriff’s Office says Kromer was arrested and charged with battery that caused bodily harm over the weekend after confronting two boys, pushing one to the ground and punching him. An arrest report released this week says the boy told deputies that Kromer threatened to kill his family if he reported the incident.

Soccer – Jamaica wins Group B at Gold Cup
Jamaica has clinched first place in Group B in Gold Cup by beating El Salvador 1-0 in Toronto on Tuesday. Jamaica finishes group play with a 2-0-1 record, while El Salvador failed to wrap up a berth in the knockout round. Jamaica will take on Haiti on Saturday in Baltimore. Costa Rica took second by playing Canada to a scoreless draw. Costa Rica tied all three of its group matches.

Cycling – Tour de France – Froome pads lead
Chris Froome used the first high-mountain stage of this year’s Tour de France to take control of the race. Froome powerered up a punishing climb in the Pyrenees at a pace that none of his rivals could match. He and his Sky teammates killed off the hopes of one contender after another, including 2014 winner Vincenzo Nibali. Froome has stretched his overall lead to 2 minutes, 52 seconds over Tejay van Garderen, an American on the BMC team.

MHSAA – Benton Harbor leaving SMAC
The 2015-16 school year will mark the final year that Benton Harbor will be in the Southwest Michigan Athletic Conference (SMAC). The School Board voted Monday night to tender their resignation from the league they had joined in 1985. Benton Harbor is the smallest of the 12 school league consisting of St. Joseph, Lakeshore, and Niles, as well as the larger schools in Kalamazoo, Portage, and Battle Creek. Of the 12 schools in the SMAC, Benton Harbor was the lowest in enrollment at 631 and is one of two class B teams in the league. The only other Class B team in the league is Lakeshore, which is the state’s largest Class B school. With the exception of boys and girls basketball, Benton Harbor has been unable to field competitive teams. The Tiger football program has only won 4 games since the 2007 season and has gone winless in each of the last two seasons. The Tigers haven’t had a winning season on the football field since 1989.  The school has not indicated which, if any other area league the Tigers will join.

MWL – Midwest League Baseball
Last Night
No games last night – MLB All Star Game

Tonight
Dayton Dragons at West Michigan Whitecaps, 7 p.m.
South Bend Cubs at Lansing Lugnuts, 7:05 p.m.
Great Lakes Loons at Bowling Green Hot Rods, 8:05 p.m.