Angels hire Josh Paul as bench coach, add Brad Ausmus to front office

first_imgJosh Paul, who spent part of his big league career playing for the Angels under Mike Scioscia, has been hired as the Angels new bench coach.Earlier this month the Angels moved bench coach Dino Ebel to third base coach, replacing Ron Roenicke. Roenicke left to become the Boston Red Sox bench coach.Paul, 42, has most recently worked in the New York Yankees organization in player development. He managed two years at Class-A and has also been the organizational catching instructor, a role in which he helped develop Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez.Paul played for the Angels in 2004-05. He is best remembered for being the catcher when A.J. Pierzynski reached first on a controversial dropped third strike in the 2005 American League Championship Series. The play was critical in the Angels losing the game on their way to losing the series to the Chicago White Sox. Paul played 797 games in the majors over nine seasons.The Angels are also hiring former Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus as a special assistant to the GM.Ausmus was fired in September after managing the Tigers for four years. A former big league catcher, Ausmus will assist with scouting and evaluations of the Angels system, amateurs and players in other organizations. Bud Black held a similar role with the Angels in 2016, when he was between managing jobs. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Justin Upton excited to be back in Angels’ lineup after missing 72 games

first_img Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter “Not an easy decision to come to,” Manager Brad Ausmus said. “And it wasn’t easy to tell him. Although, he like Cody Allen, was extremely professional about it. He knew Justin Upton was coming back and a move had to be made. Obviously, we would prefer to keep him but we can’t keep everybody.”Puello performed well enough that it would not be a surprise if he is claimed by another team on waivers. If he clears waivers, the Angels can keep him in Triple-A.The Angels also could trade him if someone makes an offer that is worth passing on the chance of getting him through waivers.ALSOAndrelton Simmons was scheduled to take live batting practice on Monday. Simmons, who had a Grade 3 ankle sprain, could be headed for a rehab assignment any day and activated by this weekend in St. Louis. …Related Articles Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros “Obviously you can’t simulate big league pitching but I got pretty close to that,” Upton said “My timing feels great. I feel like I should be able to make the adjustments.”Upton said he also felt like he got enough work on defense and running the bases to be at full strength.“Early on I was kind of guarding running in the outfield,” he said. “I have gotten over that. I feel like I’m moving well and everything is back to normal.”As much as the Angels were thrilled to get Upton back, it meant a tough roster decision.They designated Cesar Puello for assignment after Puello had hit .390 with three homers in 41 at-bats in the majors. He had hit .299 with seven homers and a .941 OPS at Triple-A before he was recalled. Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield center_img Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone TORONTO — On what was his Opening Day, Justin Upton said being out for so long with a sprained toe was a mental challenge.“At first, in the boot, you feel like ‘OK, I’m in a boot. I can’t do anything,’” Upton said. “Then after I got out of the boot, I feel like I was moving around good enough, but still letting the injury heal. The last six weeks have been the toughest. … I am excited to be here with the guys. It’s been rough watching them on TV but being here makes things all better.”Finally, after missing the first 72 games of the season with an injury suffered just days before the start of the season, Upton was in the lineup on Monday night, playing left field and batting fourth.After going 7 for 21 with two homers in six games of a rehab assignment at Class-A Inland Empire, he said he feels he’s as ready as he can be without actually facing big league pitchers. JC Ramírez, who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, is scheduled for another rehab outing at Triple-A on Tuesday. Ramírez is expected to throw 90 to 100 pitches. Unless he has a setback, his rehab assignment has to end by June 29, so the Angels will need to decide what to do with him by then. He could come back as a starter or reliever. …Keynan Middleton, who is also rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, is throwing but still not facing hitters, Ausmus said. …Ausmus conceded that backup catcher Kevan Smith could get more playing time in front of starter Jonathan Lucroy if Smith continues to hit well and Lucroy continues to struggle. “Baseball is a performance-based game so if he ends up playing well, he probably ends up getting more playing time,” Ausmus said.UP NEXTAngels (LHP Tyler Skaggs, 5-6, 5.00) at Blue Jays (RHP Marcus Stroman, 4-8, 3.16), Tuesday, 4:07 p.m., Fox Sports West, 830 AM Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Live: Clippers in Houston for Game 5 of NBA West Semis

first_imgLive updates from Game 5 of the NBA Western Conference Semifinals series between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Houston Rockets from Los Angeles News Group staff at Toyota Center in Houston, including Clippers beat writer Robert Morales, sports columnist Vincent Bonsignore, NBA writer Mark Media and NBA columnist Mark Heisler.Viewing on mobile? Click here. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

LA Clippers done in by Wizards’ late rally

first_imgWASHINGTON >> Bradley Beal fell a point short of his career high Sunday.He’ll have to settle for making a fan out of Chris Paul.Beal scored 41 points — including 18 during the third quarter — in the Washington Wizards’ 117-110 victory over the Clippers. In the process, he left the nine-time All-Star Paul thoroughly impressed.“Brad looks like a totally different person,” said Paul, who scored 13 points and had 12 assists for the Clippers. “This is the Bradley Beal he should be all the time. (Today) he was aggressive. In order for this team to be as good as they probably want to be, he got to be like that.” Markieff Morris had 12 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter, and John Wall added 18 points and 11 assists for the Wizards.After going down by seven, Washington closed the game on a 22-8 run to seal their third straight win and fifth out of six.The Wizards shot 80 percent (12 of 15) from the floor in the fourth, and on the other end held Blake Griffin scoreless after he had scored 26 in his first three periods.“We wanted to make him shoot jump shots,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. “The ones he was making, in the second half he still made a few, but we still just wanted to stay with that strategy, and it paid off.”DeAndre Jordan added 13 points and 17 rebounds for the Clippers, who played the final 1:08 without ejected coach Doc Rivers. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img “This little stretch we’ve been winning games, but our defense still hasn’t been great,” Paul said. “You want to win and learn at the same time, and it finally caught up with us.”Beal hit 6 of 10 3-pointers and shot 13 of 23 from the floor during a night when he repeatedly took the initiative to drive the lane.And after his outburst in the third quarter helped Washington recover from an 11-point deficit, Beal’s 3-pointer from the right off Wall’s transition feed made it 102-102 with 5:01 left.Some 90 seconds later, Morris’ alley-oop slam of Wall’s lob gave Washington a 106-104 lead, its first after halftime.Then Morris’ leaning jumper after Jordan missed a pair of free throws made the lead six. Rivers received two technicals in the aftermath, and Beal hit both foul shots to make it 116-108 with 1:08 to play.“He was able to get to the paint, get to the rim and get to the free throw line,” Wall said of Beal. “We found him a couple time in transition for some 3s. He was being aggressive on his own. And that kind of helped us get back into the game.”Three of Griffin’s seven assists resulted in alley-oop dunks for Jordan, including a stunning reverse slam that made it 83-80 with 2:13 left in the third quarter.Doc Rivers’ dismissal came after his son, Clippers guard Austin Rivers, received his fifth technical of the season late in the first half. last_img read more

Clippers’ Chris Paul looking at the bigger picture

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “Obviously it feels good to win,” Redick said. “It’s a better feeling to win. But we know we’re incomplete right now and we also know that we have proven we can finish games. We’ve proven we can be a good team, a high level team. We just have to do it consistently.”Moving up Paul’s sixth assist Friday brought no fanfare. It was just one of 12 in another stellar night of distribution for the point guard. With that pass, however, he moved past Rod Strickland and into 10th on the NBA’s all-time assists list with 7,994 in his 11-plus seasons.Next up: Veteran Spurs point guard Andre Miller, with 8,524 career assists and counting.Paul called moving into the top 10 of a list that includes John Stockton, Jason Kidd and Steve Nash a privilege.“I’m so competitive I think about all the games I’ve missed because of injuries or whatnot,” he said, “but I mean, that’s an honor and a privilege. I think that says a lot about my teammates and my coaches over the years, I’ve been blessed enough to com in this league and play from day one.”Paul has averaged roughly 700 assists per season in his career. If he played five more years, a conservative estimate, it’s easy to imagine him finishing his career in the top three in assists.“He’s still got a lot of years left,” Doc Rivers said. “So I’ve got a feeling that he’s going to keep going up, he’s one of the greatest passers ever.”Paul said that when he was drafted in 2005 he had a goal of passing Stockton in both assists (15,806) and steals (3,265), the two categories he holds the records.“No chance,” Paul said. “I missed 18 games my second year in the league with an ankle injury. That went out the window then.”Stockton was remarkably durable, playing in all 82 games in 16 of his 19 seasons with the Utah Jazz.Paul ranks first among current players, and 15th overall, with 1,864 steals.Like a Rivers flowsPaul’s return to the lineup did little to slow Austin Rivers.The guard remained in the Clippers starting lineup, and poured in 24 points against the Kings, including 18 in the first half.That performance came on the heels of a 28-point game Wednesday against Memphis.“It’s huge and we need him to keep it going,” Paul said. “He’s been playing with a ton of confidence on both ends of the court. We need it. We wouldn’t be doing what we’re doing right now without it.”In 10 games as a starter, Rivers is averaging 17.5 points per game, compared to just 8.5 when he comes off the bench. Fans may be breathing a collective sigh of relief that Chris Paul is back and the Clippers are winning once again, but the perennial All-Star was tempered in his own excitement after he made the key plays, including six straight free throws in the final minute, to carry the Clippers to a 106-98 win over Sacramento on Friday.“I don’t even know what our record is now,” he said.And of that three-game winning streak that the Clippers — who are 25-14, by the way — carry into Sunday’s matchup with Miami?“Is it three games?” Paul asked.center_img It’s not that Paul operates unaware. He recited his playing time Friday down to the second — 31 minutes, 26 seconds. When it comes to wins and losses, however, Paul thinks bigger than one win, or even three, in January.“We’re going to be all right,” he said. “We’re going to win games, that’s just something that’s always going to happen. We’re talented and we’ve got enough guys, we’re going to win games. For us it’s bigger than that.“Not even trying to be funny: Winning 50 games, that’s easy. Not for everybody, but for us. That’s easy. For us it’s bigger picture, we’re trying to build for something bigger than that.”The Clippers won at least 53 games in each of Paul’s first four seasons with the team and, with 43 games remaining, are on pace to do so again. The nagging reality is that Paul’s Clippers have never advanced beyond the second round, and in a West loaded with Golden State, the San Antonio Spurs and a surging squad down in Houston, have a challenging road to do so this year.Blake Griffin may not be back until late this month or early February and the Clippers won’t be at full strength until he returns. J.J. Redick said it is “hard to gauge” where things stand in the big picture until Griffin returns.last_img read more

Former Dodgers players pitch fun at Norwalk school

first_img“I liked meeting them,” Benavidez added.The three fifth-graders, along with the rest of the student body, administration and faculty and aides received free T-shirts and caps emblazoned with the Dodgers logo.The former ball players didn’t just coach the students, but actually competed alongside them.From all the smiles and laughter, it was difficult to distinguish who was having more fun.Along with the games, the MLB vets and the student painted and signed stepping stones placed in the school’s Reading Garden in honor of the Dodgers’ visit, which concluded with a school-wide assembly featuring a question-and-answer session. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error NORWALK >> It was a sea of Dodger blue Tuesday at Moffitt Elementary School as students welcomed past Dodgers players from the 60s, 70s and 80s.Dodger alumni Tommy Davis, “Sweet” Lou Johnson, Tim Leary and Derrel Thomas were there as part of “Pitching in the Community,” sponsored by State Farm and Playworks, a non-profit that partners with public elementary schools and develops play and leadership opportunities on the playground.“I think it’s fun,” said Edgar Barajas, 10. He and his friends, Jacob Hernandez, 10, and Allan Benavidez, 10, were excited about being able to play basketball and handball and other games with the former Dodgers.“It’s very nice of them to come here,” Hernandez said.last_img read more

Reds release former Dodgers All-Star Matt Kemp

first_img Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire The Reds also optioned OF Scott Schebler to Triple-A Louisville and recalled LHP Cody Reed from Louisville. Schebler was hitting .123 with two home runs and seven RBIs in 30 games and had lost his starting job to top prospect Nick Senzel, who made his major league debut Friday.Related Articles Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start center_img Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error CINCINNATI  — The Reds have released injured outfielder Matt Kemp just over four months after acquiring the 2018 All-Star from the Los Angeles Dodgers.Cincinnati announced the move Saturday.Kemp hit .200 with one homer and five RBIs before Cincinnati placed him on the injured list April 23 with a broken left rib. Kemp was injured colliding with an outfield wall in San Diego.The 34-year-old was among four players acquired from Los Angeles in a seven-player trade in December along with outfielder Yasiel Puig, infielder Kyle Farmer and left-hander Alex Wood. Kemp is in the final season of a $160 million, eight-year contract.last_img read more

Dustin May still auditioning for role on Dodgers’ postseason roster

first_img How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco KELLY STATUSReliever Joe Kelly’s unspecified health issue – “overall body situation,” Roberts called it Tuesday – will make him unavailable to pitch until Thursday at the earliest, the manager said. Kelly has faced a total of seven batters in three appearances over the past 13 days.“The expectation is he’ll be ready to go when the bell rings and before that too,” Roberts said.“His head space and where his body is at is most important and right now the body part isn’t quite where we want it to be. So once it gets there – hopefully it’ll be Thursday – we’ll put him back in the mix.”Roberts continues to assert that he is “absolutely” certain Kelly will be ready to pitch in the postseason.“I’m certain he will pitch again this year,” Roberts said. “And if I’m not concerned I don’t think anyone should be concerned. I’m not concerned.”STARTING ROTATIONClayton Kershaw will make his final start of the regular season on Thursday followed by Walker Buehler in San Francisco on Friday and Hyun-Jin Ryu on Saturday. All three are likely to be abbreviated starts.With their NL Division Series scheduled to start next Thursday at home, Kershaw would be lined up to start Game 1 on six days’ rest, Buehler on five. Even with a short start on Saturday, Ryu is an unlikely Game 1 starter on four days’ rest.Related Articles Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season He has allowed three runs and nine hits in 7-1/3 innings, allowing a .310 batting average. But he has also struck out 10 and walked only one (but hit two others).“I think the thing that’s been the most impressive … is the intensity and the importance of every outing he takes,” Roberts said. “I think some of it has been self-induced as far as the traffic that’s created. But when it comes down to making pitches, he’s done that.“I think, for me, having him come into games and see his intensity from pitch one has been really good to see.”What May has to offer a Dodgers’ postseason bullpen is obvious – his pitch mix might be the most electric among the candidates vying for spots.“There’s a soft contact. There’s obviously with the swing and miss with the punch out,” Roberts said. “For him to be able to run 97 mph up there and throw a 93 mph cut fastball, a breaking ball once in awhile … for him to have that obviously is exciting for all of us.”center_img “We don’t know yet,” Roberts send when asked what order those three might start in the NLDS. “We’re talking through it. We are. Obviously you’re looking at who we’re potentially going to face. I think that matters. Where we’ve lined up our guys, Thursday, Friday and Saturday – knowing we play the first game on Thursday – gives us some latitude to go in any direction we want.“We’re digging in on both potential opponents and seeing what makes the most sense.”ALSOInfielder Max Muncy returned to the starting lineup Tuesday after missing two games with tightness in the quadriceps muscle of his left leg. Like third baseman Justin Turner when he returned from an ankle injury over the weekend, Muncy will be eased back into the lineup with limited at-bats at first. …Ross Stripling is the most likely starting pitcher on Wednesday. Roberts said Stripling will either be the starter or “the bulk guy” who pitches multiple innings following an opener.UP NEXTDodgers (TBD) at Padres (RHP Dinelson Lamet, 3-5, 3.84 ERA), Wednesday, 7:10 p.m., SportsNet LA (where available), 570 AM Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start SAN DIEGO — For Dustin May, the audition continues.Going into the final trip of the regular season, May has made six relief appearances this month. He will get “two, three more outings” this week as the Dodgers try to decide if they can trust a hard-throwing right-hander who started the season in Double-A and just turned 22 to pitch out of the bullpen in the pressurized atmosphere of the postseason.“We’re learning more about him,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “But fortunately for us, we don’t have to set the roster yet. He’s going to get a couple more outings and we’ll know more.”May’s results pitching out of the bullpen this month have sent mixed signals. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Whicker: Can Jordan Clarkson’s legs carry Lakers forward?

first_img“All that stuff is self-motivation. That’s some hard stuff. Nobody is around, I’m running around in a circle, and Texas gets hot. On Saturday mornings, it’s cooking out there.”In the ninth grade, Clarkson began handling a basketball full-time. Since then he has been lapping expectations. That continued last season, when Clarkson was a bright jewel submerged in the Lakers’ landfill, making the NBA’s All-Rookie team and averaging 11.7 points even though he was a second-round draft choice.Those around the Lakers are discussing a nascent Big Three of Clarkson, Julius Randle and D’Angelo Russell as Kobe Bryant goes through his goodbyes. But Randle is coming off a knee injury that wiped out his rookie season, and Russell is a rookie himself, and wasn’t a particularly steady one when last seen in the NBA Summer League. The Lakers have to rely on Clarkson, and hope his legs don’t get tired.“I felt the game slow down a lot in the second half,” Clarkson said. “It could slow down a lot more. Seeing plays, seeing where I could get my shots, and then breaking everything down film-wise.”Clarkson scored 20 or more points in six of the last 10 Lakers games, only two of which were wins. Against Oklahoma City on March 24, he shot 12 for 19 and put up 30 points. Speed gets Clarkson to the optimum spots. Knowledge makes him more dangerous when he gets there. He averaged 16.7 points after the All-Star break and shot 47.9 percent.This is the battle that track and field faces, and loses. Its top young performers know where the money is, knows what ESPN prefers to program, and what it doesn’t. When Clarkson was nine years old he ran the 400 meters in 1:08.1. That was a record in San Antonio’s CYO program, and he was nationally ranked in his age group.“But it still came down to running around a circle,” said Clarkson, who must realize the Lakers will be running the same dogged 360 for a while.“That’s probably the reason I gave it up. I had to change sports, but the self-motivation followed me to basketball, helped me tremendously. That’s the first thing that came easy in basketball, beating people down the court, getting into people. Using God’s gifts. Your mind is going 100 percent. What I had to do was slow down and see the game.’Over the summer Clarkson worked out three times a day, refining his rainbow jumper with the help of skills coach Drew Hanlen. He also got a hand from Thomas Scott, Byron’s son and a member of the Lakers skill development team.Clarkson has become accustomed to surprising people. After he and future Colorado standout Andre Roberson kept leading Karen Wagner High deep into state tournaments, Clarkson signed with Tulsa and became the best player there. When Doug Wojcik was fired, Tulsa would not release Clarkson from his scholarship. Mike Clarkson, an Air Force veteran, said he’d pay for Jordan to play at another school, and finally Missouri took him. Clarkson sat out a year and practices against the likes of former Lakers teammate Jabari Brown, then became the Tigers’ best player, too.The draft came along, and teams who took Jordan Adams, P.J. Hariston, Cleanthony Early and Rodney Hook could have taken Clarkson.He wasn’t much of a Spurs fan when he grew up in San Antonio, but his mother worked at a hotel on the Riverwalk, so Clarkson got an up-close seat for the 1999 championship parade. The Lakers held the next three parades, and two later, but now a mere trip to the playoffs would represent outrageous progress. It will take all the legwork Clarkson can stand. Everybody worries about the “face of the franchise” these days.Jordan Clarkson’s face is young, earnest, oft-decorated with a smile. It is also not the issue. What Clarkson brings are the new legs of the Lakers.Clarkson unwittingly got them in NBA shape by running around the tracks of San Antonio. He was a triple-champion in AAU meets before he became a teenager. His dad, Mike, was out there with him, because Mike didn’t want Jordan playing basketball, didn’t enjoy his own hoop experience when he began at UNLV. Besides, this way, Jordan didn’t have to ask for the ball.“Track is something you do by yourself,” Clarkson said after Monday’s practice, as the Lakers prepared for a long, unpredictable road that begins tonight against Minnesota at Staples Center.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

NBA wrap: Magic pull away from 76ers to earn win in Orlando

first_imgThe Magic took down the 76ers handily Monday.Orlando pulled away in the second half and claimed a 21-point, 119-98, win over Philadelphia. Ben Simmons sat out for the 76ers with an illness, and the team just didn’t look its best.Nikola Vucevic torched Philadelphia with a game-high 28 points and 11 rebounds in the contest. Evan Fournier contributed 24 points in the victory. Related News Jason Kidd discusses potentially coaching Lakers, LeBron James Adams ➡️ Schroder ➡️ PG#ThunderUp 53#GrindCity 65📱💻: https://t.co/cb8TXyNer6 pic.twitter.com/TPk8MVUoK5— NBA (@NBA) March 26, 2019Enes Kanter batted the ball away in an unorthodox way to end the third quarter in Portland’s 148-144 win over Brooklyn.we interrupt this basketball game for…..volleyball??Good form, @Enes_Kanter. pic.twitter.com/yd1dO2VswX— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) March 26, 2019What’s Next?Rockets (47-27) at Bucks (55-19) 8 p.m. ET — The two front-runners for MVP, James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo, are going head-to-head Tuesday. This matchup between Milwaukee and Houston could have a playoff feel to it.center_img Joel Embiid led the way for the 76ers, totaling 20 points and 10 rebounds on the night.Ninth-seeded Orlando is jockeying to get into playoff position while Philadelphia sits firmly in third in the Eastern Conference standings.Studs of the NightDevin Booker scored 59 points in the Suns’ 125-92 loss to the Jazz.Paul George’s 30 points and 12 rebounds weren’t enough for the Thunder, as they fell to the Grizzlies, 115-103.Dud of the NightJJ Redick tallied eight points on 2-of-10 shooting in Philadelphia’s loss.HighlightsDeandre Ayton threw down a big dunk over Rudy Gobert.Deandre Ayton punches it home! #TimeToRiseWATCH on NBALP: https://t.co/cb8TXyNer6 pic.twitter.com/PzYFJRNih0— NBA (@NBA) March 26, 2019Dennis Schroder dished a quick touch pass to George on the break for an emphatic finish. Jazz center Rudy Gobert sets NBA single-season dunk recordlast_img read more