^Wednesday's games<


Tribune News Service

Sports Budget for Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Updated at 6 p.m. EDT (2200 UTC)

This budget is now available at http://www.TribuneNewsService.com, with direct links to stories and art. See details at the end of the budget.


^He paints, plays guitar — and sacks quarterbacks: Meet Illinois defensive end Oluwole Betiku Jr.<

^FBC-ILLINOIS-BETIKU-SPORTSPLUS:TB—<His deliberate introspection and patience led "Wole" from the bustling Nigerian capital of 20 million people to become a five-star high school recruit in California, then a seldom-used outside linebacker at USC and now the nation's co-leader in sacks as an Illinois defensive end.

Heading into Saturday night's home game against Nebraska, Betiku has six sacks in three games and also leads the nation with 7 tackles for a loss for the Illini (2-1).

1850 by Shannon Ryan in Champaign, Ill. MOVED


^Cowboys officially waive disgruntled former No. 1 pick Taco Charlton<

FBN-COWBOYS-CHARLTON:FT — Defensive end Taco Charlton's career in Dallas is finally done.

The disgruntled 2017 first-round pick was officially released Wednesday after the Cowboys were unable to find a trade partner.

The Cowboys needed to make a roster move by 3 p.m. to activate defensive end Robert Quinn, who missed the first two games under NFL suspension.

Charlton's departure ends weeks of speculation about his future and a contentious last few days.

200 by Clarence E. Hill Jr. in Frisco, Texas. MOVED



^Bill Shaikin: Many try, but few finish, the world's toughest baseball quiz<

BBO-SHAIKIN-COLUMN:LA — Even by the standards of baseball's most arduous trivia competition, and even to the competitors whose brains overflowed with arguably useless knowledge, this question was ridiculous.

Other questions had made you think. Some had made you laugh. This one might have driven you to curse.

Who better to solve trivia riddles than the fans dedicated to the study of the sport?

1900 by Bill Shaikin in San Diego. MOVED


^Quiz: How would you measure up to the world's toughest baseball trivia?<

^BBO-QUIZ:LA—<Try answering some of the questions posed in the annual trivia contest held by the Society for American Baseball Research. We're including five questions from each of the four rounds of competition. If we included questions solely from the final round, you'd have no chance. Answers are at the bottom.

650 by Bill Shaikin. MOVED


^Gary Peterson: Giants pitcher Barry Zito rooted against his own teammates in 2010 postseason before saving their bacon in 2012<

^BBN-PETERSON-COLUMN:SJ—<Barry Zito has written a book. And since every book has to have a hook, this revelation:

Zito rooted against the Giants, his own team, the organization that was in the process of paying him $126 million, during the 2010 postseason.

850 by Gary Peterson. MOVED

^Cardinals take series against Nationals with 5-1 win<

BBN-NATIONALS-CARDINALS:SL — The Cardinals gained a couple of extra at-bats thanks to a blinding sun in the seventh inning Wednesday, and Matt Wieters made Washington's Max Scherzer pay.

Making his first appearance since Aug. 31, Wieters hit a two-run, pinch-hit home run to give the Cardinals some breathing room in what turned out to be a 5-1 win.

350 by Stu Durando in St. Louis. MOVED

Wednesday's games

TNS expects coverage from the following games:

NY Mets at Colorado, 3:10 p.m.

Kansas City at Oakland, 3:37 p.m.

Miami at Arizona, 3:40 p.m.

LA Angels at NY Yankees, 6:35 p.m.

Seattle at Pittsburgh, 7:05 p.m.

Toronto at Baltimore, 7:05 p.m.

Detroit at Cleveland, 7:10 p.m.

San Francisco at Boston, 7:10 p.m.

Philadelphia at Atlanta, 7:20 p.m.

San Diego at Milwaukee, 7:40 p.m.

Chicago White Sox at Minnesota, 7:40 p.m.

Cincinnati at Chicago Cubs, 8:05 p.m.

Tampa Bay at LA Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.

Texas at Houston, 8:10 p.m.


^Mike Preston: Just how good are Ravens under Lamar Jackson? We'll find out when they face Chiefs.<

^FBN-PRESTON-COLUMN:BZ—<The Ravens have been impressive in their 2-0 start, but the truth about this team will come out Sunday when it travels to Kansas City to play the Chiefs.

So far, the Ravens have beaten a Canadian Football League team masked in NFL uniforms, better known as the Miami Dolphins, who were shut out by the New England Patriots, 43-0, on Sunday.

In two games, the Dolphins have allowed 102 points and scored 10, if you're counting.

On Sunday, the Ravens secured a sloppy 23-17 victory against the Arizona Cardinals, another non-contending team.

900 by Mike Preston. MOVED


^An immigrant poet and activist faced deportation by ICE. Then 2 NFL players bailed him out<

IMMIGRANT-NFLPLAYERS:LA — A few months ago, Jose Bello's future looked grim: detention, imprisonment, deportation and a long-term separation from his infant son.

His only offense, he claimed, was reading a poem.

At a meeting in May of the Kern County board of supervisors in Bakersfield, the 22-year-old Mexico native, farmworker and outspoken college activist had pushed up to the podium, leaned into the mic and recited the verses that would set off an uproar.

"Dear America," Bello began, "our administration has failed/ took away our rights and our freedom / and still expect to be hailed?"

In a steady tone at odds with his fiery message, he went on. "Dear America / You and your administration cause fear, / fear through Separation, / Instead of building trust with our people, do y'all prefer this racial tension?"

1850 (with trims) by Giulia McDonnell Nieto Del Rio in Los Angeles. (Moved as a national story.) MOVED


^Colin Kaepernick is 'actively interested' in playing. Too bad no one needs a QB <

^FNB-KAEPERNICK:LA—<An alarming number of NFL teams have lost their starting quarterbacks — and in the case of the New York Jets, two starting quarterbacks — during the first two weeks of the season. All of those teams have made or are in the process of making plans to address their sudden need at quarterback.

None of those plans involve Colin Kaepernick.

700 by Chuck Schilken. MOVED


^'One day' has arrived for Daniel Jones, the Giants' rookie starting quarterback<

^FBN-GIANTS-JONES:ND—<Talking about replacing Eli Manning seemed a lot easier for Daniel Jones when it was a hypothetical. In the spring and summer, the rookie quarterback spoke confidently — almost brashly — about one day winning multiple Super Bowls and steering the franchise for years to come.

Then "one day" came.

800 by Tom Rock. MOVED

^Greg Cote's Thursday night NFL pick<

^FBN-THURSDAY-PICK:MI—<Greg Cote makes his Thursday night NFL pick.

200 by Greg Cote. MOVED


^Jets' Adam Gase on Trumaine Johnson: 'It just hasn't worked out as well as we need it to'<

FBN-JETS-JOHNSON:ND — It's looking like Trumaine Johnson will be watching from the sideline again.

Johnson was benched for most of Monday's game after a rough performance the prior week against Buffalo. The high-priced cornerback needs to re-earn the trust of a Jets coaching staff that believed he would play well after reuniting with defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.

350 by Al Iannazzone in Florham Park, N.J. MOVED

^Adam Gase says it's 'realistic' for Sam Darnold to return Week 5 against Eagles<

^FBN-JETS-GASE-DARNOLD:NY—<Adam Gase is keeping his fingers (and toes) crossed Sam Darnold will be medically cleared and ready to prepare for a road game against the Eagles in Week 5. The second-year signal caller revealed Tuesday the team's medical staff estimates he will indeed be fully recovered from mononucleosis and able to play after the bye in Week 4.

"I think it's realistic," Gase said Wednesday about getting his quarterback back in time for the test in Philly. "But we're at the mercy of what the doctors tell us.

400 by Manish Mehta. MOVED

^Belichick: Rex Burkhead one of the Patriots 'most versatile players'<

FBN-PATRIOTS-BURKHEAD:PJ Rex Burkhead has been a productive player since joining the Patriots in 2017.

That's certainly been the case when he's on the field.

450 by Mark Daniels in Foxborough, Mass. MOVED


^Barry Jackson: Former NFL players union president says Dolphins' approach is 'morally reprehensible'<

FBN-JACKSON-COLUMN:MI — The former president of the NFL Players Association pushed criticism of the Dolphins' blueprint to a new level on Wednesday, going on national television and accusing the team of unethical behavior.

"It's unethical and morally reprehensible as far as I'm concerned," former NFL defensive back Domonique Foxworth said of the Dolphins' roster stripping, during an appearance on ESPN's morning show, Get Up.

Foxworth, who was the union president from 2012 to 2014, was just getting started with his rant.

500 by Barry Jackson in Miami. MOVED


^Marcus Hayes: Doug Pederson gives Eagles a Wednesday off in a triumph of sports science and common sense<

^FBN-HAYES-COLUMN:PH—<The innovative genius of Doug Pederson surfaced again Wednesday when he canceled the usual helmeted, padded day of misery for a hatted, T-shirted walk in the park. More precisely, a walkthrough in the park. Parasols optional.

1150 by Marcus Hayes. MOVED


^Chiefs coach Andy Reid says Ravens have 'opened the gate' for quarterback Lamar Jackson<

^FBN-RAVENS-JACKSON:BZ—<Ravens' quarterback Lamar Jackson has shown tremendous improvement as a passer two games into the season, and Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid believes part of that is a result of what the team is asking of him.

550 by Daniel Oyefusi. MOVED


^Jaguars' Jalen Ramsey will start Thursday against Tennessee despite trade request<

FBN-JAGUARS-RAMSEY:JK — Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey could be traded by Friday, but coach Doug Marrone said the All-Pro cornerback will be starting Thursday night against Tennessee.

Earlier on Thursday, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported that Friday is the most likely target date the Jaguars could trade Ramsey, who requested to be traded through his agent on Monday after getting into an ugly verbal exchange with Marrone on the sideline during Sunday's 13-12 loss to the Houston Texans.

200 by John Reid in Jacksonville, Fla. MOVED


^Cam Newton misses practice again, but Panthers not ready to rule on his Sunday status<

^FBN-PANTHERS-NEWTON:CH—<For the second straight day, the Carolina Panthers practice gates closed with Cam Newton noticeably absent.

The Panthers' starting quarterback re-aggravated his left foot sprain in Thursday night's loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, thrusting his status for Sunday's road game against Arizona into doubt. But after teammate Eric Reid said Newton was in a boot on Tuesday, it was no surprise that Newton missed practice Wednesday, as well.

850 by Brendan Marks. MOVED



^All-Stars Steph Curry, Damian Lillard set their sights on 2020 Olympics<

^BKO-OLY-2020-CURRY-LILLARD:NY—<The stars are aligning.

After every superstar imaginable withdrew from FIBA World Cup competition this summer, two-time NBA Most Valuable Player of the Year Stephen Curry has already thrown his hat into the ring for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

"That is the plan for sure," Curry said in an interview with ESPN's Rachel Nichols. "You know, obviously knock on wood, you don't want injuries or things like that to interfere."

Trail Blazers star guard Damian Lillard also intends to help bring home the gold next summer.

350 by Kristian Winfield. MOVED

^Joe Tsai becomes full owner of Nets, Barclays Center<

BKN-NETS-TSAI:ND — In a move that might have long-term ramifications for the global growth of the NBA, the league's Board of Governors on Wednesday unanimously approved the sale of the Nets and Barclays Center to Joe Tsai.

The billionaire co-founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba purchased a 49% stake in the Nets from Mikhail Prokhorov in April 2018 and had an option to buy the remaining 51% by 2021. With the encouragement of NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who views Tsai as a leading partner to help grow the brand in Asia, the timetable for completion of the sale was moved two years ahead of schedule.

750 by Greg Logan in New York. MOVED

^Heat's Bam Adebayo posted up by Kobayashi in burger blowout<

^BKN-HEAT-ADEBAYO:FL—<MIAMI — The Miami Heat could have a problem on their hands this season.

Wednesday, 6-foot-10, 265-pound center Bam Adebayo was posted up and taken down by a 5-8, 143-pound opponent.

Takeru Kobayashi 20, Bam Adebayo 1.

No, the hamburger drill did not go exactly as forecast.

400 by Ira Winderman. MOVED



^Martin Fennelly: Lightning's Maroon brings Stanley Cup full of grit<

^HKN-FENNELLY-COLUMN:PT—<Pat Maroon, with his St. Louis Blues teammates, lived the dream last season, winning it all for his hometown and the team he rooted for growing up.

He will always be a Stanley Cup winner, part of St. Louis' remarkable worst-to-first 2018-19 season that ended with the first Cup in 52 years of Blues history.

But did he save some grit and pixie dust?

The Lightning might have that question in the back of their minds after bringing in the 31-year-old Maroon on a one-year deal for $900,000, a song by today's standards.

1250 by Martin Fennelly in Brandon, Fla. MOVED



^Mike Jensen: Have you noticed Temple football is pretty good?<

FBC-JENSEN-COLUMN:PH — A Temple football fan of long standing emailed in early August, noting that while the Owls' product on the field has improved dramatically in recent seasons, a general awareness of that improvement seems to be missing in Philadelphia.

"If these so-called 'real football fans' really knew that Temple football has progressed immensely, I like to think they would start coming to games at the Linc and literally buying into the true reality that there is some real good entertaining college football going on in their backyards," the man continued.

700 by Mike Jensen in Philadelphia. MOVED



^Rick Pitino, Louisville agree to settlement<

^BKC-LOUISVILLE-PITINO:LX—<Rick Pitino and the University of Louisville Athletic Association's executive committee agreed to a settlement Wednesday following a two-year saga.

According to WDRB's Eric Crawford, Pitino will not receive any money in the settlement. Pitino was fired in October 2017 in the wake of a federal investigation into alleged corruption in college basketball, but as part of the settlement, his personnel file will now say he resigned, The Athletic's Jeff Greer reported.

250 by Mike Stunson. MOVED


^Dan Hurley returns to coaching UConn following spinal surgery: 'One of the toughest summers I've had in a long time'<

BKC-UCONN-HURLEY:HC — Dan Hurley returned to work on Wednesday, less than two weeks after surgery to correct a herniated disc and spinal cord compression. The experience was eye-opening, he says.

Hurley, 46, spent a difficult summer, first experiencing tingling in his neck that affected his left shoulder and arm, and a chronic problem with his stomach and esophagus that gave him chest tightness. In August, he was concerned enough to drive to the emergency room at Hartford Hospital, where the issue was addressed with an esophageal dilation.

850 by Dom Amore in Hartford, Conn. MOVED



^Fantasy football Week 3 lineups: Start, sit and sleepers<

^FBN-FANTASY-START-SIT-SLEEPERS:TB—<It's the picture of fantasy frustration: You invested early draft picks in your favorite running backs or wide receivers only for them to have slow starts.

Now you're hoping they'll be late bloomers.

Several top-ranked players are prime candidates to break out of their funks. Others face grim circumstances that may not change anytime soon.

1650 by Phil Thompson. MOVED


^Birders from around the world head to Duluth's Hawk Ridge<

OTD-DULUTH-BIRDERS:DU — Janelle Long was walking up to the bird counting platform at Hawk Ridge when a sharp-shinned hawk fluttered by, alternately flapping then soaring, maybe looking for a little songbird to munch on.

While many hawks prefer a tail wind on their migration south, the sharp-shins don't seem to care as much, and this one was flying through the teeth of a cold, easterly blow off Lake Superior.

"For a lot of the raptors that soar, westerly or even northerly winds are definitely the best days for sheer numbers of birds here," said Long, the only full-time executive director Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory has ever had.

900 by John Myers in Duluth, Minn. MOVED

^Dennis Anderson: True to form, sensing that vivid autumnal vibe<

OTD-ANDERSON-COLUMN-AUTUMN:MS — In Minnesota's "First Report of the State Zoologist," issued in 1892, Philo Hatch said that while ruffed grouse were breeding throughout Minnesota, the bird was most abundant in its northern forests.

In that part of the state, the Slavs, Finns, Croats, Serbs, Italians and Scandinavians who daily climbed down into Mesabi Range mines ground-swatted these birds opportunistically, while market hunters, Hatch wrote, shipped rail cars full of grouse "as fast as about 300 dogs and 700 double-barreled breech-loading shotguns can accomplish their annihilation."

900 by Dennis Anderson in Minneapolis. MOVED


^Dennis Anderson: Picture from Minnesota Waterfowl Association brings brother back, at least for a moment<

OTD-ANDERSON-COLUMN:MS — Kacie Moosbrugger was surprised and pleased to see her brother's photograph on this page recently, showing him at age 13 blowing a duck call at "Woodie Camp," managed by the Minnesota Waterfowl Association (MWA).

Sourced from Star Tribune archives, the image helped illustrate a column I wrote about the demise of MWA, which was founded in 1967 in Albert Lea.

Surprised because Michael Moosbrugger died in 2010 at age 26 — 13 years after the image was captured by a Star Tribune photographer. And pleased, Kacie said, because "It seemed like Michael was popping up to say hello to all of us. We miss him every day."

400 by Dennis Anderson in Minneapolis. MOVED

^Best times for anglers<



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