The Sports Report: Weary Dodgers are shut out by Rockies

Trea Turner dives for a ball Monday.
Trea Turner dives for a ball Monday.
(David Zalubowski / Associated Press)

Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

From Jack Harris: After a successful trip to Atlanta this weekend, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts had hoped his team could keep the party going against the Colorado Rockies on Monday.

Instead, the Dodgers suffered one of their most lackluster displays of the season in a 4-0 loss at Coors Field, getting shut out by Rockies starter Chad Kuhl in what felt like the baseball equivalent of a hangover from the long night, and series, before.

“We didn’t really deserve offensively to win that game,” shortstop Trea Turner said. “Our pitchers did a pretty good job of giving us a chance late. But offensively we were pretty bad. It happens.”

The Dodgers (45-27) had started their current nine-game trip with two successful stops. They swept three games from the Cincinnati Reds last week. Then they took two of three from the Braves this weekend, winning an 11-inning, nearly 4 ½ hour marathon on Sunday night.


That game, however, delayed the team’s arrival to Denver for a three-game set with the Rockies (32-42). They didn’t land until close to 3 a.m. Monday morning. They skipped batting practice later that afternoon to give their players extra rest.

“I think you could probably kind of see everybody’s dragging a little bit,” second baseman Gavin Lux said.

“It’s not ideal,” Roberts added. “But you still gotta go out there and play.”

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From Bill Shaikin: As the Angel Stadium deal died and the mayor of Anaheim resigned amid an FBI investigation into public corruption, the city of Anaheim has worked to isolate itself from the allegations leveled against the now-former mayor.

On Monday, an Orange County grand jury nonetheless blasted the Anaheim City Council — and not just now-disgraced former Mayor Harry Sidhu — for rushing to approve a stadium deal without proper transparency.

“The City Council majority’s inappropriate handling of the stadium property transactions betrayed its constituents,” the grand jury said in its report.

Mike Lyster, the city spokesman, declined to respond to that sentence. In a statement, Lyster said: “We appreciate the grand jury’s review. With recent events and new information brought to light, those issues now are being thoroughly discussed as part of a new, extensive public process for our city.”


Angels’ Phil Nevin gets 10-game suspension for role in brawl with Mariners; 11 others disciplined


From Dan Woike: Kyrie Irving will exercise his option for the final year of his contract with the Brooklyn Nets, largely ending speculation that he’d join LeBron James with the Lakers.


Signals had been sent over the last month, sources told The Times, about Irving’s interest in leaving the Nets for the Lakers after talks for a long-term contract extension with Brooklyn didn’t materialize.

The notion that Irving would play for the taxpayer mid-level exception, a deal worth $30 million less than what he opted into on Monday, got consistently floated in NBA circles.

While there was always skepticism about Irving’s ability to actually leave that money on the table, there was mutual interest between Irving and the Lakers in forging a partnership.


From Andrew Greif: Fourteen months ago John Wall had 27 points and 13 assists to offset a poor three-point shooting night in Houston with nine free-throw attempts. He finished two pickpocket steals with dunks by flashing the open-court burst that defined his run of perennial All-Star Game appearances before heel and Achilles tendon injuries.

“He’s somebody I’m always going to root for,” Clippers wing Paul George said that night. “He’s a brother to me, and I couldn’t be more happy to see him back on the floor and doing what he loves to do, and continuing to make those plays that everyone loves him for.”

Wall hasn’t been back on an NBA court since as Houston began a rebuild by prioritizing its younger guards while paying the 31-year-old Wall his $44-million salary not to play. That exile is now reportedly on the verge of ending, with both sides close to reaching a buyout, according to multiple reports. And it’s worth remembering the relationships, track record and needs of the last opponent he played against that April night in Houston when considering why Wall plans on signing with the Clippers once free agency opens Thursday, according to ESPN.


It was last week when Lawrence Frank, the Clippers’ president of basketball operations, described George and co-star Kawhi Leonard as eager participants in roster-building discussions with executives, with Frank describing their opinions as passionate and “very, very valuable.”


From Thuc Nhi Nguyen: Kristi Toliver knew it was going to take time to come back. After missing the first month of the WNBA season while helping the Dallas Mavericks to the Western Conference finals, the Sparks guard/Dallas assistant coach doesn’t want to rush or force things.

When asked Monday morning how close to 100% conditioning she was, Toliver hesitated. She was wearing a black brace around her midsection that gave her aching muscles a mobile back massage during shootaround.

“Uh, not,” she said with a smile.

Despite being in less-than top conditioning physically, the two-time WNBA champion has helped the Sparks since she returned. Toliver has started five straight games for the Sparks, including Monday’s 79-73 loss to the Las Vegas Aces at Arena.

With a mind she says is as “sharp as ever,” Toliver was one assist shy of her season-high with five and added three points.

“The game is very, very slow for me,” she said before Monday’s game. “That’s kind of been interesting for me to feel and be a part of. It should feel harder for me right now, just given the situation. But it doesn’t really.”



From Helene Elliott: The sting of defeat was still fresh when Jon Cooper, coach of the recently dethroned Tampa Bay Lightning, arrived at his postgame news conference Sunday at Amalie Arena.

He had just watched the Colorado Avalanche hug, roll around on the ice and raise their arms in triumph after a 2-1 victory that wrapped up the Stanley Cup Final in six games and ended the Lightning’s two seasons of NHL supremacy, and he didn’t like the view from the losing side of the post-series handshake line.

“Winning is ecstasy,” he said. “Losing sucks.”

That about sums it up.

After 71 postseason games over three seasons, the Lightning simply had no resilience left. There’s no shame in that. They deserve the ultimate respect for getting as far as they did. If it were easy to win the Cup three times in a row, someone would have done it since the New York Islanders won four straight championships starting in 1980. The Islanders’ record of 19 consecutive playoff series wins won’t be touched in the short-term future. Maybe ever.


Marlin Briscoe, who became the first Black starting quarterback in the American Football League more than 50 years ago, died Monday.

His daughter, Angela Marriott, told the Associated Press that Briscoe, 76, died of pneumonia at a hospital in Norwalk. He had been hospitalized with circulation issues in his legs.

Briscoe, an Omaha native, was a star quarterback for Omaha University before the Denver Broncos drafted him as a cornerback in the 14th round in 1968. Briscoe told the team he’d return home to become a teacher if he couldn’t get a tryout at quarterback. Denver agreed to an audition, and the 5-foot-10 dynamo nicknamed “The Magician” nearly rallied the Broncos to victory as a reserve against the Boston Patriots on Sept. 29 before earning the historic start on Oct. 6.



From Ryan Kartje: Until his cousin, Bernard Afutiti, visited from the mainland nearly five years ago, the notion of playing college football had never occurred to Tyrone Taleni. And why would it? Taleni didn’t know football. He’d neither played nor spent any time watching the sport. Sure, football might be ingrained into the cultural fabric of nearby American Samoa, but on his home island of Savai’i, the western-most island in independent Samoa, rugby was still king.

When it came to rugby, Taleni was a natural. In his small mountain village of Vaiola, they played most days when school was out and the chores were done, sending punt after punt soaring over unspoiled paradise. Over the years, his family had carved out their own slice of this island oasis, living off the land, tending to chicken and cattle and pigs on a family homestead, where cacao, taro, bananas and mangoes grew plentifully.

It was Afutiti, a former college football player, who first floated the idea, planting a seed that would send Taleni careening down an unlikely path in an unfamiliar sport. Afutiti figured his cousin’s rugby talent might translate. Never in his wildest dreams did he believe that conversation would, years later, lead Taleni to USC.

He knew Taleni had designs on becoming a doctor, to help bring better medical access to Samoa. But pursuing that plan meant leaving the island for a higher education in the States, and college was costly. “He didn’t want to put any more burdens on his parents,” Afutiti says.

So Afutiti suggested football: “I told him it was probably his best way to earn a free education,” he said.

Taleni told his cousins he would pray on it.

A few weeks later, Taleni boarded a plane to California. He hasn’t been back to Samoa since. Now he’s a defensive lineman for the Trojans.



From J. Brady McCollough: The announcements came in a flurry as soon as the calendar flipped to July one year ago.

Miami quarterback D’Eriq King was among the first college athletes to capitalize on the use of his name, image and likeness, signing a deal with a moving company worth about $20,000. Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz and Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler tweeted out their new personal logos, showing they were open for business. Hanna and Haley Cavinder, twin basketball players from Fresno State who were mostly unknown to the sports world aside from their massive social media following, suddenly found themselves posing in New York City promoting a mobile technology company and a whey protein brand.

Then boosters started making their moves. Nearly a year later, Ohio State coach Ryan Day had to tell the local business leaders that the Buckeyes would need around $13 million yearly to compensate his five-star-studded roster. “Collectives” of donors across the country have tossed their riches together into funds, and the more brazen among them have reportedly offered six- and seven-figure agreements to high school players and college athletes who have entered the transfer portal. This alleged assault on the NCAA’s long-held rule that recruits could not be induced to attend a school by the promise of financial gain forced the association to threaten punishment in the coming year.

How did we get here? And where are we going? The upcoming one-year anniversary of this momentous change feels like a good time to explore.

Click here to read the Q&A.


From Kevin Baxter: Angel City FC, Southern California’s first-year NWSL club, will play host to Mexico’s national women’s team in an exhibition Sept. 5 at Banc of California Stadium in the first game of what both sides are calling a multiyear cross-border partnership. A formal announcement is expected Monday morning.



Hernández: Gareth Bale signing with LAFC showcases how U.S. is winning over European stars


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1935 — Alf Perry ties a British Open scoring record with a 283 total at Muirfield in Gullane, East Lothian, Scotland. Perry’s finishes five-under for four-stroke win over Alf Padgham.

1939 — Joe Louis stops Tony Galento in the fourth round at Yankee Stadium to retain the world heavyweight title.

1953 — Betsy Rawls wins the U.S. Women’s Open with a six-stroke playoff victory over Jacqueline Pung.

1966 — Ernie Terrell scores a unanimous 15-round decision over Doug Jones in Houston to win the WBA title, which had been stripped from Muhammad Ali.

1971 — Muhammad Ali wins a four-year legal battle to overturn his 1967 conviction for draft evasion in an 8-0 vote by the U.S. Supreme Court.

1992 — Connie Price-Smith, who earlier won the discus, wins the shotput at 62 feet, 6 inches, to become the first woman to win both events at the U.S. Olympic trials since Earlene Brown in 1960.


1994 — Oleg Salenko scores a World Cup record five goals as Russia beats Cameroon 6-1.

1997 — Evander Holyfield, bleeding badly from his right ear after being bitten by Mike Tyson, retains the WBA heavyweight championship in Las Vegas when Tyson is disqualified after the third round.

2007 — Frank Thomas hit his 500th home run to become the 21st major leaguer to reach the career mark.

2007 — Craig Biggio becomes the 27th player in major league history to get 3,000 hits in Houston’s 8-5 11-inning victory over Colorado.

2009 — Mariano Rivera earns his 500th save, becoming the second reliever to reach the milestone, and the New York Yankees beat the Mets 4-2 for a Subway Series sweep.

2009 — Nineteen-year-old Joey Logano becomes the youngest winner in the history of the NASCAR Sprint Cup series, winning the rain-shortened race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

2012 — Kentucky becomes the first school to go 1-2 in the NBA Draft. New Orleans Hornets select Kentucky forward Anthony Davis with the No. 1 pick. Then Charlotte follows by taking fellow freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. The Wildcats join UNLV with six players drafted in the entire draft. UNLV had six players drafted in 1977 — but none in the first round.


2014 — Sebastian K, driven by trainer Ake Svanstedt, trots the fastest mile in harness racing history, finishing in 1:49 in the $100,000 Sun Invitational for older trotters at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. Sebastian K, an 8-year-old stallion who raced four times in the U.S. since arriving from Sweden during the winter, breaks the record of 1:49.3 set by Enough Talk in 2008.

Compiled by the Associated Press

And finally

Mike Tyson bites Evander Holyfield’s ear. Watch and listen here.

Until next time...

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