The Sports Report: Clayton Kershaw will probably be back, but where?
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From Dylan Hernández: He would rather retire than break down again.
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Except he believes he won’t.
He would rather walk away than be reduced to mediocrity.
Except he believes that won’t happen either.
So, when Clayton Kershaw pictures what he’ll be doing next year, he imagines himself pitching.
“As of now, I haven’t really thought a whole lot about next year,” he said. “But I do think I’m leaning towards playing over not, for sure.”
The tentative plan lacks specificity at this point, Kershaw saying he didn’t yet know whether he would return to the Dodgers for a 16th season or move to pitch elsewhere. He entertained an offer from the Texas Rangers before this season and could revisit the possibility of playing for his hometown team in the winter.
With the playoffs approaching, what the 34-year-old left-hander is confident of is that he can manage the back problems from which he returned earlier this month. The same is true of the elbow troubles that kept him out of the postseason last year.
And as long as he remains healthy, baseball’s fiercest competitor intends to compete again next year.
“I hold the right to change my mind, but as of today, I think that I’ve got at least one more run,” he said.
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Corey Seager hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the eighth inning, helping the Texas Rangers top the Angels 5-3 on Thursday.
Seager drove a 1-1 fastball from José Quijada (0-5) deep to left center for his 32nd homer, extending his career best in his first season with Texas. Quijada came in to pitch the eighth and walked leadoff hitter Marcus Semien before Seager connected for his opposite-field shot.
From Ryan Kartje: Romello Height, the edge rusher who transferred from Auburn to USC to stabilize the Trojans’ pass rush, is likely to miss the rest of this season after undergoing surgery on his injured shoulder this week.
Height played only briefly through the Trojans’ first two games while dealing with the lingering injury. He sat out last Saturday’s meeting with Fresno State, in the hope that his shoulder might improve with rest, coach Lincoln Riley said at the time.
A few days later, Height had surgery, which Riley said Thursday will require “a long-term recovery.” He then clarified that the redshirt sophomore is likely to miss the rest of the season.
From Ben Bolch: Greg Lee once described the dominance of his UCLA basketball teams by saying if he had a perfect game, they would win by 50 points instead of 40.
It was no exaggeration. Those Bruins won national championships in 1972 and ’73 under coach John Wooden while amassing the bulk of a record 88-game winning streak that would end the following season.
A cerebral 6-foot-5 guard known for throwing lobs to big man Bill Walton, Lee was mostly a complementary piece while surrounded by seven future NBA players. He started his first two seasons on the varsity team before coming off the bench as a senior.
But his greatest pro success came on the sand, not the hardwood, while splitting his time between basketball and volleyball careers. Lee won a record 13 consecutive pro beach volleyball tournament titles from 1975 to 1976 alongside partner Jim Menges, another former Bruin. Lee said one of the things that drew him to volleyball was having a bigger impact on his team’s performance.
“If I played poorly in volleyball, I was out of there,” Lee once told The Times. “If you made errors, you were history.”
From Andrew Greif: Fifteen months after Kawhi Leonard last played in an NBA game, the Clippers can see his return coming soon.
The NBA All-Star forward who underwent surgery in July 2021 to repair an injured anterior cruciate ligament has yet to play five-on-five basketball but has been cleared to do so during the preseason and “feels great,” team president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank said. He added Leonard’s recovery has been “very, very encouraging” — and that the team will continue to be cautious with his workload once he is back on the court for good.
Speaking at the team’s practice facility Thursday morning, Frank didn’t offer specifics about what Leonard’s availability will be like during training camp, which begins Tuesday in Las Vegas, saying that “we’re not going to get into predictions what he will do or he won’t do.”
From Jeff Miller: When Justin Herbert returned to the field after sitting out only one play, Keenan Allen — probably like a lot of Chargers fans — figured things couldn’t be too bad.
But, just a few minutes later, Herbert rolled to his right on third and one and, with room to run for the first down, instead gingerly and feebly tossed the ball into the Arrowhead Stadium turf to kill the play.
“It didn’t look like a real injury because he landed on his butt,” Allen said Thursday of the moment Herbert suffered fractured rib cartilage last week against Kansas City.
But then recalling the throwaway on third down, Allen said he concluded, “OK, he must have a real problem. He’s hurting. He’s hurting for sure.”
Herbert was limited in practice for the second consecutive day Thursday after he was seen throwing a variety of passes in the portion of the workout open to the media.
His official designation for the game will be determined Friday when the Chargers release their latest injury report. If Herbert can’t play, veteran backup Chase Daniel is expected to start.
From Gary Klein: As they prepare for their NFC West opener against the Arizona Cardinals, the Rams on Thursday continued making moves to fortify a roster depleted by injuries and a suspension.
A day after signing edge rusher Takkarist McKinley, the Rams signed tight end Kendall Blanton and defensive back Shaun Jolly to the roster and veteran running back Malcolm Brown to the practice squad.
Blanton and Brown have history with the Rams. Brown played for the team from 2015 to 2020, and Blanton from 2019 to 2021.
“Just excited to be back in this culture, this organization that I had been in for so long,” Brown said. “Excitement is the only word.”
THIS DATE IN SPORTS
1926 — Gene Tunney beats Jack Dempsey with a 10-round decision to retain the world heavyweight title.
1952 — Rocky Marciano knocks out Jersey Joe Walcott in the 13th round to retain the world heavyweight title.
1979 — St. Louis’ Lou Brock steals his 938th base to break Billy Hamilton’s record as the Cardinals beat New York Mets 7-4 in 10 innings.
1979 — The Houston Oilers overcome a 24-0 deficit to beat the Cincinnati Bengals 30-27 in overtime.
1983 — Gerry Coetzee knocks out Michael Dokes in the 10th round to win the WBA heavyweight title in Richfield, Ohio.
1988 — Jose Canseco is the first player to steal 40 base and hit 40 home runs in the same season.
1992 — Manon Rheaume becomes the first woman to play in one of the four major pro sports leagues when she takes the ice in the first period for the NHL expansion Tampa Bay Lightning in an exhibition game. The 20-year-old goalie faces nine shots and allows two goals in St. Louis’ 6-4 victory.
2000 — Ben Matthews ties an NCAA record with five interceptions as Bethel beat Gustavus 14-13. Matthews ties the all-division record shared by eight players.
2007 — For the first time in NFL history, two players have 200-plus yards receiving in the same game — whether they were opponents or teammates — in Philadelphia’s 56-21 rout of Detroit. Philadelphia’s Kevin Curtis has 11 receptions for 221 yards and Detroit’s Roy Williams catches 9 passes for 204. Detroit’s Jon Kitna sets a franchise record with 446 yards passing.
2012 — The Tennessee Titans become the first team in NFL history to score five touchdowns of at least 60 yards in a game in their 44-41 overtime win over Detroit. The scorers are Tommie Campbell with a 65-yard punt-return; Jared Cook’s 61-yard reception from Jake Locker; Darius Reynaud’s 105-yard kick-return; Nate Washington’s 71-yard reception from Locker; and Alterraun Verner’s 72-yard fumble-return. The Lions also become the first team in NFL history to score two touchdowns in the final 18 seconds of regulation to either take the lead or force overtime.
2012 — Kansas City’s Jamaal Charles rushes for 233 yards, including a 91-yard TD run in the Chiefs’ 27-24 overtime win over New Orleans. Ryan Succop kicks six field goals, one to force overtime in the final seconds and a 31-yarder in overtime for the Chiefs.
2017 — The St. John’s-St. Thomas rivalry game obliterates the NCAA Division III attendance record with a crowd of 37,355. The Tommies use a stingy defense to hang on for a 20-17 win over the Johnnies at Target Field, the home of the Minnesota Twins. The previous mark was set on Oct. 8, 2016, with 17,535 fans watching Wisconsin-Oshkosh play at Wisconsin-Whitewater.
2017 — Juwan Johnson catches a seven-yard TD pass as time expires and fourth-ranked Penn State rallies to stun Iowa 21-19 in the Big Ten opener for both teams. Saquon Barkley has 211 yards rushing and 94 yards receiving for the Nittany Lions, who outgain Iowa 579-273 but nearly blew the game. With the Hawkeyes leading 19-15, Penn State goes 80 yards on 12 plays to close out the game, and Trace McSorley finds Johnson in a crowded end zone on fourth down.
2018 — Tiger Woods caps off one of the most remarkable comebacks in golf history. Woods ends his comeback season with a dominant victory at the Tour Championship. He taps in for par and a 1-over 71 for a two-shot victory over Billy Horschel. It’s the 80th victory of his PGA Tour career and his first in more than five years.
2018 — Drew Brees sets the NFL record for career completions while passing for 396 yards and three touchdowns and running for two scores to lift New Orleans past Atlanta 43-37 in overtime. Brees breaks the record of 6,300 career completions set by Brett Favre.
Compiled by the Associated Press
Manon Rheaume appears in an NHL exhibition game. Watch and listen here.
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