This Week in US Sports: Astros injuries piling up, drama continues in Oakland and Dallas

By Sports Desk August 22, 2019

It is the dog days of summer in the United States which means two things — MLB teams are just trying to get to the playoffs healthy and unnecessary drama is being drummed up in the NFL.

This is the kind of week where there is serious news coming out but said news is hard to take seriously.

Do not know what we mean? Read what is going on this week in US Sports.

 

1. Astros injuries piling up

The Houston Astros have the best team in baseball on paper. They also are competing for the best team in MLB on the injured list. As of right now the New York Yankees undoubtedly hold that title with Luke Voit, Edwin Encarnacion, Giancarlo Stanton, Luis Severino and Dellin Betances all on the shelf, but Houston are doing their best to catch up.

Houston lost Carlos Correa (back), Aaron Sanchez (pectoral) and Ryan Pressly (knee) to the injured list this week. That is while they were also without Gerrit Cole for a start after he sustained a hamstring injury before his scheduled appearance against the Chicago White Sox last week.

Fortunately for the Astros, Cole starts against the Detroit Tigers on Thursday. Unfortunately, Houston are once again dealing with injury woes for 2012 number one pick Correa. The 24-year-old has now spent significant time on the injured list with thumb, back and rib issues over each of the last three years and his back injury completely derailed his 2018 season and is now threatening to do the same in 2019.

This is a concern for Houston not just this year, but in regard to the shortstop's long-term future.

 

2. Elliott, Jones getting in their feelings

Should Ezekiel Elliott be holding out right now? The answer is almost certainly yes. After leading the league in rushing two of his first three years in the NFL while accumulating more attempts than any other back in that span, the Dallas Cowboys picked up his fifth-year option in a means of avoiding paying him in the short term while racking up wear and tear for the long term.

With a running back's average NFL career being about two and a half years, yeah Elliott should want to get paid and he deserves it. But should he be getting offended when Jerry Jones jokes about him? Probably not. But he and his camp were apparently very ticked off when hearing Jones joke about Elliott after Saturday's game, referring to the back as "Zeke who?"

Now, Jones has always had Elliott's back. He fought tooth and nail to help Elliott avoid a suspension for an alleged domestic violence incident two years ago. He loves Elliott. However, he probably could have proved that better than how he reacted to hearing Elliott was annoyed at the joke he made.

"I've earned the right to joke with Zeke," Jones said in a news conference on Tuesday. "Let me be real clear about that. I've earned the right to joke with Zeke."

Has he earned the right? Probably. Should he have shown his outrage in news conference to a reporter asking a legitimate question? Probably not.

 

3. Brown loves the limelight

For anyone watching Hard Knocks with the Oakland Raiders this year, it is easy to see what is going on. Antonio Brown loves attention and he is getting it. From a hot air balloon flight, to frostbitten feet, an obsession with Gatorade and multiple helmet issues, the cameras are constantly trained on Brown and will be until the show ends.

And while all of this is happening, we are getting a great glimpse into the constant drama around Brown. The wide receiver's helmet saga which featured him reportedly threatening to quit if he were not allowed to use his old helmet to general manager Mike Mayock telling reporters Brown is either in or out has been complete stupidity.

Brown is not going to quit over a helmet, but everyone is going to report on it for a couple of reason — one it is Brown, so it is news. And two, people love to watch car accidents, it is why traffic backs up every time a motorist is stuck on the side of the road after a collision.

This is sports in the US during August. Nothing is going on so more is made out of things than should be and Brown has been the absolute beneficiary.

 

4. Corey Kluber suffers a setback

The Cleveland Indians' trade of Trevor Bauer to the Cincinnati Reds at the deadline was made a lot more comfortable with the assumption that the former would be getting ace Corey Kluber back from a broken arm by the end of the season.

Well, that plan has hit a snag as Kluber suffered an oblique injury and has been shut down for two more weeks. While that does not sound so bad, let us tell you this, it is not just a two-week injury.

While he may be shut down for two weeks that just means he cannot throw in that time. So, when he does return, he has to ramp up his throwing again, face live hitters again and get his rhythm back on a mound hopefully in time for the postseason in October.

Kluber may be ready by then but there is a solid chance he could not be.

Related items

  • Arrest warrant issued for Antonio Brown Arrest warrant issued for Antonio Brown

    Antonio Brown remained wanted by police in the United States on Thursday on charges of burglary with battery and criminal mischief.

    The former NFL star, who has been without a team since his release by the New England Patriots in September last year, was being sought after allegations made against him late on Tuesday.

    The Florida-based Hollywood Police Department issued a statement that said: "On January 21, 2020 at approximately 9:30pm, an arrest warrant was issued for Mr Antonio Brown who has been charged with one count of burglary with battery, one count burglary of an unoccupied conveyance, and one count of criminal mischief less than $1,000.

    "On January 21, 2020, at approximately 2:00 pm, officers of the Hollywood Police Department received a 911 call for a possible disturbance which occurred at 3600 Estate Oak Circle. When officers arrived on scene they made contact with the alleged victim who stated he was battered by Mr Antonio Brown and Mr Brown’s trainer, Mr Glenn Holt.

    "While on scene, officers made contact with Mr Holt who was subsequently taken into custody without incident. Mr Holt was charged with one count of burglary with battery. Officers attempted to make contact with Mr Brown but were unsuccessful."

    Wide receiver Brown has not yet commented on the allegations. CNN and other media said the property in question is 31-year-old Brown's home in South Florida.

    Police have not detailed the nature of the incident. CNN said it involved a dispute over the delivery of items to Brown's house.

    Brown, a seven-time Pro Bowler, left the Patriots amid allegations of sexual assault and rape, which he strenuously denies.

    He was traded from the Pittsburgh Steelers to the Oakland Raiders in March 2019 after a tumultuous 2018 campaign; however, Brown did not play a game for the Raiders before moving on to his brief stint with the Patriots.

  • MLB not planning to strip Astros and Red Sox of titles MLB not planning to strip Astros and Red Sox of titles

    MLB does not intend to strip the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox of their World Series titles as a result of the sign-stealing scandal.

    An investigation found the Astros had stolen signs en route to their 2017 championship.

    Houston fired general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch after the pair were suspended, while the Red Sox - the 2018 champions - parted ways with manager Alex Cora.

    Cora had been bench coach for the Astros before leading Boston to the title, and an investigation into the Red Sox is ongoing.

    However, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, speaking for the first time since the investigation, suggested it would be difficult to alter past World Series results at this stage.

    The Los Angeles Dodgers were beaten on both occasions, yet Manfred insists it cannot be assumed they would have otherwise won.

    "Well, we haven't concluded our investigation with the Red Sox," Manfred told FOX Business.

    "So, it's a little hard to take the trophy away from somebody who hasn't yet been found to do something wrong. We don't know what the outcome of that's going to be.

    "The second flaw is whatever the impact of the sign stealing was, it could've changed who was in the World Series. It is absolutely unclear that the Dodgers would've been the World Series champion.

    "I think there's a long tradition in baseball of not trying to change what happened.

    "I think the answer from our prospective is to be transparent about what the investigation showed, and let our fans make their own decision about what happened."

  • Brees delays decision over future as Saints hope for QB's return Brees delays decision over future as Saints hope for QB's return

    The New Orleans Saints want Drew Brees to return for a 20th NFL season but the veteran quarterback insisted he would not rush the decision.

    Brees recently celebrated his 41st birthday and is set to become an unrestricted free agent.

    The former Super Bowl champion became the NFL's all-time leader in touchdown passes in December and threw for 208 yards in the NFC wild-card loss to the Minnesota Vikings earlier this month.

    However, he plans to consult with his family before deciding on whether to continue his illustrious career.

    "I wanted to give it at least a few weeks, months, postseason, just to take a deep breath and decompress a little bit and get some time with the family and then just reassess," Brees told ESPN.

    "The most important thing is time with my family, to be with them, talk to them about it. It will be a shared decision. I know my boys wish Dad could play forever."

    New Orleans general manager Mickey Loomis promised there would be space for Brees if he chose to return for the 2020 season.

    "Yeah. I don't think it's any different than it's been for the last few years," Loomis said.

    "It's easy to take him for granted, yet I don't take him for granted.

    "I don't view it any different than I did a year ago or the year before that or the year before that, regardless of whether he has a contract or not.

    "He's a good player. He's been a good player. He continues to be a good player."

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