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Sports news from Los Angeles and beyond
Angels' Matt Shoemaker takes baby steps in recovery from injury

Matt Shoemaker said he was feeling better Wednesday than he did Tuesday, “which is good,” the Angels' right-handed pitcher said. But it’s far too early to gauge how Shoemaker is recovering from a mild left oblique strain, a rib-cage injury he sustained Monday night against Seattle.

“They said I could feel good in two or three days, I could feel good in a week -- everyone’s body is different,” said Shoemaker, who will miss his next start Saturday night but is hopeful he will return in time for the playoffs.

“The positive part is it feels better every day. It’s not getting worse. They said it’s going to linger for a few days, and hopefully after a few days it will be gone.”

Some moderate oblique strains can sideline pitchers for four to six weeks. Recovery times vary depending on the severity of the strain and how quickly a player heals.

A healthy Shoemaker, who is 16-4 with a 3.04 earned-run average, probably would be the team’s No. 2 starter behind Jered Weaver in the playoffs. The...

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Arizona's Jonathan Dwyer arrested in domestic assault case

Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer has been arrested on suspicion of aggravated assault for two incidents that involved a 27-year-old woman and his 18-month-old child at his home in July, Phoenix police said Wednesday afternoon.

Dwyer was arrested on suspicion of aggravated assault causing a fracture, aggravated assault involving a minor, criminal damage, stopping someone from using the phone during an emergency and assault, police said. 

The Cardinals deactivated Dwyer Wednesday.

The incidents were reported Sept. 11, and authorities have been investigating since that time, police said. 

After Dwyer was arrested and booked into jail, authorities issued a search warrant for his home, police said.

The victims in the case were not named. 

The Arizona Cardinals took action before a news conference on the issue began.

"Given the serious nature of the allegations, we have taken the immediate step to deactivate Jonathan from all team activities," the team said in a statement. "We...

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Kerri Walsh Jennings, April Ross go for AVP beach volleyball sweep

Armed with a new partner and the responsibility of being the star attraction in a fledgling league, Kerri Walsh Jennings is looking to finish off the Assn. of Volleyball Professionals doubles season undefeated at Huntington Beach this weekend.

Starting Friday at 10 a.m. and ending Sunday, the beach volleyball tournament at Huntington Beach is the last stop of the AVP season. There's also a qualifying round for the bottom-seeded players Thursday, and general admission is free.

Walsh Jennings and her new teammate, April Ross, have won all six of the AVP's events this year, including the Manhattan Beach Open last month. Since becoming partners late last season, they have won seven of eight AVP events. Their only loss came last year at Huntington Beach. A win this year would give the duo a sweep of the 2014 season.

The potential undefeated season is even more impressive considering they have been playing together for less than a year. Ross won a silver medal in the 2012 London Olympics and...

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Umpire Joe West suspended by MLB for grabbing player's jersey

Suspend the ump?

Major League Baseball did just that on Wednesday, suspending umpire Joe West for one game without pay for "grabbing the jersey" of Philadelphia Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon on Sunday.

West ejected Papelbon on Sunday, after believing the closer had grabbed his crotch in an obscene gesture to fans. Papelbon, who got into a face-to-face argument with West, later said he was merely adjusting his athletics supporter. On Monday, however, the league suspended Papelbon for seven games.

“Joe West handled himself appropriately in ejecting Papelbon after the player's lewd gesture to the fans," MLB executive vice president Joe Torre said in a statement. "I fully understand that Joe was reacting to a player who was acting aggressively, and can understand his frustration with the situation. 

"However, Joe knows that an umpire cannot initiate physical contact with a player just as a player cannot initiate physical contact with an umpire."

The league said West would serve his...

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Carolina Panthers' Greg Hardy on exempt list as he appeals conviction

Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy has taken a voluntary leave of absence and will be placed on the commissioner's exempt list while he appeals an assault conviction stemming from an attack on his ex-girlfriend in March.

The Panthers announced the move on their official Twitter account Wednesday.

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who was indicted on child abuse charges in Texas last week, was also placed on the exempt list early Wednesday after the team lost a slew of endorsements when they decided to allow him to rejoin the team.

"Greg is hurt. It is a tough situation. He knows he put himself in it," Panthers Coach Ron Rivera said.

Hardy was convicted of assaulting his ex-girlfriend by a North Carolina judge in July, but has filed an appeal to seek a jury trial. A trial date is set for Nov. 17.

"We're worried about the wrong things ... trying to find out who to blame. I hope people understand we're trying to get this right," Rivera said.

Hardy played in the...

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Reggie Bush: 'Obviously I'm not going to be spanking a 1-year-old girl'

Reggie Bush might have gone a little too far in sticking up for fellow NFL running back Adrian Peterson on the radio Tuesday, saying he disciplines his 1-year-old daughter "harshly" and leading some to believe he spanks his 1-year-old daughter.

A day later Bush said those people were taking his comments the wrong way.

"Obviously I'm not going to be spanking a 1-year-old girl," the Detroit Lions and former USC star said Wednesday. "We do discipline her a little bit because she does this thing now where if she doesn't like something or if you say something to her she doesn't like, she kind of swings at you.

"So we're already starting to implement little things like talking to her and saying that's not OK. I think obviously people took it too far and [said] I was doing much worse and that's not the case."

Bush's initial comments were made on WFAN's "Boomer and Carton" show Tuesday morning, back when Peterson was still allowed to participate with the Vikings despite facing a felony charge...

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Vikings officials say decision to bar Adrian Peterson was '100%' theirs

The owners of the Minnesota Vikings said Wednesday they changed their minds about allowing embattled running back Adrian Peterson to play with the team based on their own feelings on the right way to handle the situation, not any kind of pressure from the NFL or corporate sponsors.

Early Wednesday, Vikings co-owners Zygi and Mark Wilf announced that they were placing Peterson on the exempt/commissioner's permission list, which prevents him from taking part in any team activities, with pay, for an indefinite period.

General Manager Rick Spielman, one of the team executives who joined the owners at a news conference later in the morning, said Peterson would remain on the list and away from the team until his legal matters are resolved.

Peterson, the 2012 league MVP, is due in court Oct. 8 on a felony charge of injury to a child. He was indicted last Friday and was deactivated by the Vikings for the team's game against the New England Patriots two days later.

He was reinstated by the...

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Florida State suspends Jameis Winston for half-game for vulgar scream

Florida State announced Wednesday it will suspend Jameis Winston for the first half of Saturday's home game against Clemson in the wake of a vulgar remark uttered by the quarterback Tuesday.

Winston, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, stood up on a table on campus and screamed a sentence that is unprintable here. The exclamation was apparently derived from a popular Internet meme.

"It was not a good decision," Coach Jimbo Fisher said of Winston's behavior. "You can't make certain statements that are derogatory or inflammatory to any person, race or gender. You have to understand that. You have to be very intelligent about what you say, [because] it matters."

University president Garnett S. Stokes and athletic director Stan Wilcox released the following joint statement:

"As the university's most visible ambassadors, student-athletes at Florida State are expected to uphold at all times high standards of integrity and behavior that reflect well upon themselves, their families, coaches,...

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Rory McIlroy lawsuit doesn't worry European Ryder Cup team

Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell share something more than being teammates in next week's Ryder Cup -- the two golfers are also embroiled in a long-running lawsuit.

McIlroy is suing his former agent, Horizon Sports Management, which also happens to represent McDowell.

The suit alleges that Horizon misled McIlroy and gave preferential treatment to McDowell despite promises to the contrary. The discovery process has included a request to view all contracts and agreements between Horizon and McDowell.

The court recommended earlier this week that the parties consider mediation.

Speaking to reporters at a tournament in Wales, European team captain Paul McGinley dismissed concerns that the suit might create tension between the teammates and longtime friends.

"It has not affected their performance and both of them have assured me it's not going to affect anything in the team room," McGinley was quoted as saying. "I would be very surprised if they don't play together."

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Nike suspends endorsement deal with Adrian Peterson

You won't see Adrian Peterson in any Nike commercials, at least for a while. The company on Wednesday announced that it was suspending its endorsement deal with the running back in connection with the investigation into charges that he abused his 4-year-old son.

“Nike in no way condones child abuse or domestic violence of any kind and has shared our concerns with the NFL,” the company said in a statement. “We have suspended our contract with Adrian Peterson.”

Peterson was the focus of several Nike ads in the past. Note that the company hasn't dropped him totally, just suspended him, so it is possible he can return to its ads in the future.

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Royal & Ancient Golf Club to vote on admitting women as members

The vote for independence isn't the only historic decision that will be made in Scotland this week.

While Scots decide on whether to split from the United Kingdom, members of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club in St. Andrews -- an iconic landmark in the sport -- will take up the issue of admitting women for the first time in its 260-year history.

"I think it's the right thing," R&A Chief Executive Peter Dawson was quoted as saying last spring. "And I hope that R&A members do what's right for golf."

Two years have passed since another famous course -- Augusta National, home of the Masters -- admitted its first female members.

Both of Scotland's big votes will take place Thursday. R&A officials have said that there is strong member support for their initiative and that the club's rules could be changed immediately, with women invited to join "in a reasonable time scale."


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NFL, players association reach agreement on testing players for HGH

After three years of haggling, the NFL and the NFL Players Assn. finally reached an agreement to test players for human growth hormone, a move widely regarded as a positive development in an otherwise harrowing start to the 2014 season.

The new testing policy for performance-enhancing drugs (PED), including HGH, could begin as soon as the end of the month.

The accord has an immediate impact on three standout players. Denver receiver Wes Welker, St. Louis receiver Stedman Bailey, and Dallas defensive back Orlando Scandrick — all of whom had been suspended for four games — are now eligible to return in half the time and will be available for this weekend's games.

Those three benefit from a rules change in which players who test positive for banned stimulants in the off-season will no longer be suspended but will be referred to the league's substance-abuse program.

Players who test positive for banned stimulants during the season will continue to receive four-game suspensions.

"I said it...

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