The Sports Report: Rams acquire Von Miller from Denver
Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.
Gary Klein on the Rams: The Rams, never cautious about going all in when a Super Bowl run is possible, did it again Monday by trading for eight-time Pro Bowl linebacker Von Miller.
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The Rams sent a second- and third-round pick in the 2022 NFL draft to the Denver Broncos, who will pay $9 million of the remaining portion of Miller’s $9.7 million salary, a person with knowledge of the situation said.
Miller, 32, joins a Rams defense that includes star lineman Aaron Donald, star cornerback Jalen Ramsey and edge rusher Leonard Floyd. They have helped lead the Rams to a 7-1 record going into Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans at SoFi Stadium.
Miller, the most valuable player of Super Bowl 50 following the 2015 season, has 4 ½ sacks this season, 110 ½ in his career.
“You look at what it takes to be successful defensively, and it’s about affecting and influencing the quarterback,” McVay said during a videoconference with reporters. “And this guy does it as well as anybody.”
Miller has played his entire career with the Broncos, who selected him with the second pick in the 2011 draft. On Monday in Denver, he was emotional about leaving. But he is looking forward to joining a team regarded as a contender to play in Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium.
“Great team,” Miller said of the Rams to Denver reporters. “Been a huge fan of Aaron Donald for a long time. They’ve got a great defense. Jalen Ramsey, Leonard Floyd, all these guys. I’m excited.”
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Jeff Miller on the Chargers: Young and still learning on the job, he has had back-to-back rough games, both ending in hollow, humbling defeat for him and the Chargers.
Justin Herbert? Yes. Brandon Staley too.
“He’s still seeing things for the first time a lot, just like I’m seeing things for the first time as a head coach,” Staley said Monday. “I’m going to have tough moments too, right?”
A rookie, Staley won four of his first five games with the Chargers. But the last two — a 34-6 loss at Baltimore and a 27-24 defeat to New England — have quickly sobered the outside perception of this team.
On offense, second-year quarterback Herbert and the rest of Chargers have appeared confused at times while scrambling to keep up with what the defenses are doing.
Following both losses, Herbert admitted that the opposition did things he wasn’t expecting. On Sunday, it was the pass defense of the Patriots, who played more zone than Herbert said he anticipated.
Kevin Baxter on the Galaxy: The Galaxy’s grip on an MLS playoff berth grew tenuous Monday after a 1-1 tie with the Seattle Sounders, a result that opened a clear path to the postseason for LAFC.
The point lifted the Galaxy (13-12-8) into sixth in the MLS Western Conference standings with only Sunday’s season finale with Minnesota United remaining. But the Galaxy will need help to remain in the top seven and advance to the postseason because a win over Minnesota alone won’t ensure that since Vancouver, Real Salt Lake and LAFC, if they win out, could push them below the playoff line.
The Galaxy broke on top in the 19th minute when an unmarked Javier “Chicharito” Hernández, wearing a white, long-sleeved undershirt and black gloves against the wet and chilly Seattle weather, deflected the ball in from the center of the six-yard box.
The sequence started with a Sebastian Lletget corner kick that Nick DePuy headed toward Hernández, who, while facing away from the goal, redirected it in with the back heel of his right foot for his team-leading 15th goal of the season.
Andrew Greif on the Clippers: Last season’s most accurate team shooting from deep, the Clippers entered Monday an ice-cold 31% on three-pointers, a confounding start for some within the organization even amid a season that has seen offensive numbers depressed across the NBA after years of increases in efficiency. But their nadir may have come in the first half against Oklahoma City at Staples Center – 14 consecutive missed three-pointers.
Not even Paul George, the lone engine of this offense so far thanks to a pair of 40-point games was immune. Against a rebuilding Thunder defense owning the league’s third-worst defensive rating, and more future draft picks than expected victories this season, the forward missed nine of his first 10 shots.
It would not define his night amid a 99-94 comeback victory -- just as the Clippers believe their early struggles are not the beginning of a larger trend.
Beginning with 2 minutes 35 seconds to play in the fourth quarter, and the Clippers down six, George made a pair of three-pointers, got a hand on a layup to stop the red-hot Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, almost lost his dribble in traffic before finding teammate Luke Kennard for a cross-court assist leading to a three-pointer, and hit a twisting jump shot from 10 feet to take a 93-92 lead with 68 seconds to play.
For good measure, he stole the next pass and grabbed the next defensive rebound to cap a finale that was as equally furious as the first quarter had been frustrating.
George finished with 32 points and nine rebounds and, including his seven assists that led to 19 points, accounted for 51% of his team’s offense at a time when the Clippers (2-4) badly need any and every point they can muster.
Bill Shaikin on the Dodgers: In the NFL, the standard player suspension for domestic violence or sexual assault cases is six games. The NFL reserves the right to adjust the length of a suspension based on the circumstances of each case, but the baseline for discipline is six games — about 35% of a season.
There is no similar baseline for such suspensions in Major League Baseball. In the six years of baseball’s domestic violence and sexual assault policy, the commissioner’s office and player representatives have reached individual agreements for the 14 player suspensions levied under the policy. The suspensions have ranged from 15 games to 162 games — that is, from 9% to 100% of a season.
The possibility that Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer could be suspended under that policy — and could be the first player to appeal rather than settle — could raise a thorny question for an independent arbitrator: Just what is the appropriate length of a suspension?
“There’s no precedent,” said Jay Reisinger, a Pittsburgh attorney who has represented players suspended under baseball’s domestic violence policy. “When there’s no precedent, it’s hard to gauge what the appropriate penalty is.”
Bauer has not pitched for the Dodgers since June 28, the day before a woman accused him of sexual assault. Bauer contends his two sexual encounters with the woman were consensual.
The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office has yet to decide whether to pursue criminal charges against Bauer. MLB put Bauer on leave July 2 and has conducted its own investigation.
Nathan Fenno on the Angels: A week before the trial of Eric Kay is scheduled to begin in the overdose death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs, attorneys for the former Angels communications director have asked a federal judge to delay proceedings for at least a month.
In a motion filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Fort Worth, Texas, attorneys Michael Molfetta and William Reagan Wynn said prosecutors informed them that a grand jury could return a superseding indictment against their client as soon as Tuesday.
The superseding indictment, according to the motion, would add distribution of oxycodone to a count alleging Kay conspired to “possess with intent to distribute” fentanyl “beginning in or before 2017.”
“Undersigned counsel have prepared to defend the specific allegations in the indictment and the addition of a different controlled substance to the conspiracy allegation requires undersigned counsel to change their trial strategies, potentially including calling different witnesses and seeking to introduce different exhibits,” the motion said.
Broderick Turner on the Lakers: As Russell Westbrook dribbled the basketball toward the half-court line at Staples Center on Friday night, the Lakers guard began to shuffle his feet, doing the “crip walk” as he danced his way up the court against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The song “G’d up” by Tha Eastsidaz was playing and the music had caught his attention, causing Westbrook to do his dance even while the game was going on.
It was his way of bringing some swag back to the Lakers, leading them past the 26-point collapse at Oklahoma City last Tuesday and letting his teammates inside of his veneer.
As an L.A. kid from Leuzinger High in Lawndale who attended UCLA and now is playing for his hometown Lakers, the song was cathartic for Westbrook and allowed him to express himself.
“All I heard was the music and I was like, ‘Oh, this is my joint right here.’ This is my …’ And then my feet start moving. That’s just how it works with me,” Westbrook said after practice Monday. “So, I love to dance and it’s something that I kind of enjoy doing. So, it kind of happened in the middle of the game but, you know, enjoying it. But that also goes to what I mentioned after that game about just our swag and my energy. That’s who I am and in order for us to be who we need to be, I need to be who I am and be free and do things where, to me, it feels normal.”
Helene Elliott on the NHL: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman expressed compassion for Kyle Beach, a former Chicago Blackhawks prospect whose allegations of sexual abuse by a video coach in 2010 were ignored for more than a decade, but Bettman defended the league’s handling of what he called a “disturbing and difficult” matter.
Beach, then 20, alleged he was sexually assaulted by video coach Brad Aldrich and that Aldrich threatened to harm his career if he reported it. Beach told the team’s skills coach, who relayed the information to club executives. They met in May of 2010 to discuss a response but didn’t act promptly, which allowed Aldridge continued access to players and team activities.
Aldrich made advances on a team intern before he was allowed to resign. He received severance pay and had his name engraved on the Stanley Cup. He pleaded guilty in 2013 to fourth degree criminal sexual conduct involving a minor in Houghton, Mich., and in 2014 was sentenced to nine months in jail. He is a registered sex offender.
Lawsuits filed in May by Beach and the unnamed minor in Michigan prompted the Blackhawks to commission the law firm of Jenner & Block to investigate the matter. The investigation found that the Blackhawks had made no effort to investigate Beach’s allegations and they had violated their sexual harassment policy by failing to respond in a timely manner.
Bettman said the NHL was not made aware of Beach’s allegations in 2010. It wasn’t until last Monday that he saw the report on the investigation, which he described as a “thorough and professional job.” He also said that although Aldrich contended the encounter with Beach had been consensual, it was not appropriate in any case because it involved a subordinate and someone with power over that person.
“Whatever you concluded from what the witnesses said, it is clear that what happened was inappropriate, it was wrong on every level, and it was not handled correctly by the Blackhawks organization,” Bettman said Monday during a webinar. “The fact that ownership was found to be unaware did not change my view that the club bore responsibility.”
Ben Bolch on the Bruins: UCLA’s latest basketball commitment is big in every way.
Adem Bona, a 6-foot-9 post player from Napa’s Prolific Prep who picked the Bruins over Kentucky, will provide the team with a highly skilled big man who elevates what’s shaping up as one of the top recruiting classes in the country.
A consensus five-star player, Bona combines elite shot-blocking with power moves around the basket and a willingness to work, making him a perfect fit for coach Mick Cronin’s team.
“I was really excited watching them practice, the way they play hard, the way they played as coached,” Bona told The Times about his new team. “They give their all every single time and play really hard and that was really exciting for me. I feel like I’m going to be able to improve myself a lot down there.”
WORLD SERIES SCHEDULE
All times Pacific
Game 1: Atlanta 6, at Houston 2
Game 2: at Houston 7, Atlanta 2
Game 3: at Atlanta 2, Houston 0
Game 4: at Atlanta 3, Houston 2
Game 5: Houston 9, at Atlanta 5
Game 6: Tonight, Atlanta at Houston, 5 p.m., Fox, ESPN Radio
Game 7*: Wednesday, Atlanta at Houston, 5 p.m., Fox, ESPN Radio
THIS DATE IN SPORTS
1895 — Belmar, ridden by Fred Taral, wins in the Belmont Stakes by a head over favorite Counter Tenor. The race is run under the jurisdiction of the Westchester Racing Association, because the New York Jockey Club had closed out its affairs.
1958 — Chicago and Los Angeles establish an NFL attendance record when 90,833 fill the L.A. Coliseum to see the Rams beat the Bears 41-35.
1985 — Gordon Brown has 214 yards and quarterback Steve Gage has 206 to become the first teammates to each rush for more than 200 yards as Tulsa beats Wichita State 42-26.
1986 — Minnesota’s Tommy Kramer passes for 490 yards and four touchdowns but the Vikings still lose to the Washington Redskins in overtime, 44-38.
1990 — The Golden State Warriors beat the Denver Nuggets 162-158 at McNichols Arena. The 320 points set an NBA record for the most points scored by two teams in a non-overtime game.
1991 — Nevada makes the biggest comeback in NCAA football history, overcoming a 35-point deficit in the third quarter and rallying to beat Weber State 55-49.
1996 — A.J. Pitorino of Hartwick rushes for an NCAA all-divisions record 443 yards in 45 carries in a 42-14 win over Waynesburg.
2006 — Minnesota’s Niklas Backstrom becomes the first goalie in the modern era, which began in 1943, to win twice without starting. Backstom replaces an ill Manny Fernandez and stops all 19 shots he faces over the final two periods as the Wild rally for a 5-2 victory over Vancouver. Backstrom relieved Fernandez after a three-goal first period against Nashville on Oct. 7 before Minnesota came back for a 6-5 victory.
2007 — Washington misses all 16 of its three-point shots, an NBA record for most attempts without making one, in a 103-83 loss at Boston.
2013 — Quinn Epperly of Princeton sets an NCAA record by opening with 29 straight completions, and accounts for 401 total yards and six TDs in a 53-20 win over Cornell.
2014 — Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger throws for six touchdowns for the second consecutive week, setting an NFL mark in a 43-23 win over Baltimore. Roethlisberger’s 12 touchdown passes over the last two games breaks the mark of 11 set by Tom Flores for Oakland in 1963 and matched by New England’s Tom Brady in 2007.
2016 — The Chicago Cubs win their first World Series championship since 1908 when Ben Zobrist hits a go-ahead double in the 10th inning, beating the Cleveland Indians 8-7 in a thrilling Game 7 delayed by rain early. Chicago is the first club to overcome a 3-1 Series deficit since the 1985 Kansas City Royals.
Supplied by the Associated Press
The Cubs win the World Series. Watch and listen here.
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