Yankees’ McCann makes first career start at first

Former Braves catcher Brian McCann played first base and batted cleanup Wednesday night for the Yankees against the Cardinals.

New York beat St. Louis 7-4. McCann went 2-for-4 at the plate with an RBI.

It was McCann’s first career start at first base. He replaced another former Braves player, Mark Teixeira, who was out of the lineup for the third straight game because of soreness in his surgically repaired right wrist.

“I felt pretty good over there,” McCann said. “With each pitch I was glad balls weren’t hit to me, but I’ll get more reps in practice just in case Tex needs a couple days and I can fill in there.”

Kelly Johnson is hitting just .207 with 4 homers and 13 RBIs.

Kelly Johnson is hitting just .207 with 4 homers and 13 RBIs.

A third former Brave, Kelly Johnson, played first base in the previous two games. Johnson started at third base Wednesday night and went 2-for-4.

Brian McCann is hitting .225 in his first season in New York, with 7 homers and 23 RBIs.

Brian McCann is hitting .225 in his first season in New York, with 7 homers and 23 RBIs.

Continue reading Yankees’ McCann makes first career start at first »

Quarterback Ferguson leaves Vols

Tennessee coach Butch Jones doesn’t expect quarterback Riley Ferguson to return to the Volunteers.

“Riley’s no longer with the program,” Jones said. Earlier Tuesday, Volquest had reported that Jones said he didn’t expect Ferguson to remain with the Vols.

Ferguson, a redshirt freshman, was expected to compete with senior Justin Worley and sophomores Joshua Dobbs and Nathan Peterman for the starting job. Although a leg injury prevented Ferguson from playing last season, he impressed coaches with his arm strength and upside.

Ferguson had quarterbacked two state championship teams at Butler High School in Matthews, North Carolina. During Tennessee’s spring game last month, he went 7 of 12 for 83 yards and a touchdown, but also threw an interception and lost a fumble.

Worley started seven games last season before having season-ending thumb surgery. He completed 55.6 percent of his passes for 1,239 yards with 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Tennessee went 4-3 in the games he …

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Ex-Tech star Chris Bosh not eager to leave Heat

In an interview Tuesday with Dan Le Batard’s show on ESPN Radio in Miami, ex-Georgia Tech star Chris Bosh said he wants to stay with the Heat.

“I don’t want to go anywhere. I like it here. It’s Miami,” Bosh said. “Everybody wants to come here. Yeah.”

Bosh has two seasons and $42 million left on his contract with the Heat, but can opt out before June 30 and become an unrestricted free agent.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reports that the Mavericks and Lakers would be among multiple teams that would have interest in Bosh, should he opt out and become a free agent. Bosh likely would attract another large offer, such as the six-year, $110 million deal signed in 2010, but when asked on Le Batard’s show if he would accept an offer below market value, he said: “If that’s what it takes.”

Fellow Heat stars Dwyane Wade and LeBron James also can opt out of their contracts before June 30.

Bosh, James and Wade are in the fourth season together with the Heat. They won the past two NBA …

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Watch: Reporter congratulates French Open loser

Nicolas Mahut lost his first-round match at the French Open. Unfortunately, the reporter who opened the post-match news conference did not get the memo because he offered: “Congratulations.”

Mahut threw up his hands in exasperation: “Congratulations? I lost.”

Awkward!

The reporter, ignoring the old saying about better to be silent and be thought a fool than speak and confirm it, soldiered on: “You lost? OK. So what happened out there?”

So not only did the reporter not bother to at least learn the result of the match about which he was now asking questions (or trying), he wants Mahut to fill him in on the details.

The rest of the exchange is detailed in the transcript below. Mahut actually handled the situation smoothly under the circumstances. He’s incredulous when the reporter admits to not watching the match but controls his seething anger long enough to politely asking for questions in French.

(And, come to think of it, that’s probably some kind subtle statement about …

Continue reading Watch: Reporter congratulates French Open loser »

SEC coaches vs. Saints cheerleaders

The New Orleans Saints cheerleading group, the Saintsations, run off after posing for a photo at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort during their annual calendar shoot.  (Devon Ravin / Northwest Florida Daily News)

The New Orleans Saints cheerleading group, the Saintsations, run off after posing for a photo at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort during their annual calendar shoot. (Devon Ravin / Northwest Florida Daily News)

The coaches of the Southeastern Conference are meeting in Destin, Fla., this week, but the big attraction in the Florida panhandle beachfront are the 36 women in tiny white bikinis posing for a platoon of cameras.

The cheerleaders of the NFL’s New Orleans Saints are on the Emerald Coast to shoot their annual calendar. The kings of college football are there to talk schedules and recruiting.

“With over 10,000 calendars sold, the making of the calendar, TV show, the promotional YouTube video, and our internet site, our audience exceeds well over one million,” Saintsations director Fitzmorris Mitchell told the Northwest Florida Daily News. “The annual calendar has become a staple of must-haves for fans.”

The college football conference launches the billion-dollar bonanza …

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Report: Former Walton star QB Parker McLeod leaving Alabama

BamaOnline reports that former Walton High standout quarterback Parker McLeod has decided to transfer from Alabama.

McLeod enrolled at Alabama in January 2013 and did not play last season while taking a redshirt. According to 247sports.com McLeod chose the Crimson Tide over offers from Boston College, East Carolina, Louisville, Maryland, Oklahoma State, Syracuse and Central Florida.

The BamaOnline report did not say why McLeod is choosing to transfer. Coming out of spring ball, McLeod was among several players on the depth chart behind senior Blake Sims and junior Florida State transfer Jacob Coker.

Continue reading Report: Former Walton star QB Parker McLeod leaving Alabama »

Top Auburn recruit says Nick Saban has ‘little man syndrome’

Auburn recruit says Nick Saban doesn't measure up.

Auburn recruit says Nick Saban doesn’t measure up.

Tre Williams decided to play football for Auburn instead of Alabama and now is doing his best to inject some fire into the milquetoast rivalry between the two schools.

That’s a joke, of course. The always-intense rivalry is at DEFCON 1 after the Tigers beat the Tide on the way to the national championship game last season. Williams, a Mobile native who’s touted as a five-star recruit, fanned the flames when he said Auburn “owns Mobile” and now took a personal shot at Tide coach Nick Saban.

As reported by al.com, Williams played a word association game with radio station WSNP. Williams’ response when asked about Saban: “Little man syndrome.”

Ouch.

It will be interesting to see if coach Gus Malzahn or someone from Auburn will apologize for that below-the-belt hit. It certainly will be more fun if they don’t.

According to a study at University of Groningen in Holland, “little man’s syndrome” also known as “Napoleon complex,” is …

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7-year-old Atlantan will be on field during World Cup

Nigel Shoyoye, father Marvin and mother Deanna posed on Thursday after learning that they had won a trip to the World Cup in Brazil.

Nigel Shoyoye, father Marvin and mother Deanna posed on Thursday after learning that they had won a trip to the World Cup in Brazil.

Because of one cup of sweet tea a 7-year-old Atlanta boy will get the trip of a lifetime.

Nigel Shoyoye will walk onto the field with the U.S. soccer team before it takes on Ghana in its opening game of the World Cup on June 16 in Brazil.

“It’s just a beautiful thing to see your child be blessed with such incredibly positive opportunities,” mother Deanna said. “We try to expose our children to all the world has to offer. For his first international trip to be to on this scale, and to represent our family and the Atlanta community, is a blessing.”

Nigel plays for Olympic Atlanta Soccer Club, a new league in south Fulton.

It was at a practice on Thursday that he was surprised by fast-food character Ronald McDonald with the news that he was one of 25 children from the U.S. going to Brazil as a player ambassador.

Deanna said she has rarely seen Nigel …

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Emory advances to D-III baseball title game

For the second time in the program’s history, Emory will play for the NCAA Division III baseball championship after advancing through the losers’ bracket.

The Eagles, ranked No. 22 and now 38-12, fought back to stop St. Thomas 10-7 to advance, taking the lead in the sixth and stretching it with a five-run seventh inning. Earlier in the day, the Eagles topped Southern Maine 15-3.

To claim the school’s first national Division III baseball title, they must defeat Wisconsin-Whitewater twice on Tuesday. The first game is at noon. A victory will force a title game at 3:30 p.m.

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3 things about Kennesaw’s and Georgia Southern’s regional

Three things about the NCAA baseball tournament’s Tallahassee regional, which will feature Florida State hosting Georgia Southern at 6 p.m., and Alabama taking on Kennesaw State at noon in Friday’s games:

It has the nation’s hottest team: Kennesaw State has won seven consecutive games and 23 out of 24. The Owls (37-21) are led by catcher Max Pentecost, who is projected to be a top-20 pick in June’s amateur baseball draft. He leads the team in most categories, including hitting (.423), runs (57), doubles (21), home runs (nine) and stolen bases (16).

It has the reigning Heisman Trophy winner: FSU’s Jameis Winston quarterbacked the football team to a national championship and is also a relief pitcher on the baseball team. He is 1-0 in 23 appearances with a 1.17 ERA.

It has mostly unfamiliar teams. Florida State didn’t play any of the teams in its region this year. Neither did Alabama. Kennesaw State defeated Georgia Southern twice in their two meetings this year by a combined …

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