Legends on the road to take on Power

July 30, 2014

South Atlantic League baseball

legends-logo-13sal-logo-wvaLexington Legends
at West Virginia Power

What: Four-game series

When: Thursday through Sunday (7:05 Thursday through Saturday nights, 2:05 Sunday afternoon)

Where: Appalachian Power Park (Charleston, W.Va.)

Major League affiliates: Kansas City Royals (Legends), Pittsburgh Pirates

Probable pitchers (Legends listed first): Thursday, RH Luke Farrell (1-9, 5.05) vs. RH Dovydas Neverauskas (5-9, 5.50); Friday, LH Matt Tenuta (4-8, 5.40) vs. RH Luis Heredia (1-3, 4.86); Saturday, RH Alec Mills (1-0, 0.82) vs. RH Felipe Gonzalez (1-3, 2.55); Sunday, RH Matt Alvarez (4-5, 5.40) vs. LH Cody Dickson (5-8, 4.42).

Luis Villegas

Luis Villegas

Legend to watch: C Luis Villegas (5-foot-10, 188 pounds, age 21, bats and throws right, from Maracay, Venezuela), just off the disabled list, is 4-for-17 (.235) and has scored three runs in five games. Signed July 2, 2009, as a non-drafted free agent, he spent the 2010-11 seasons with the Dominican Summer League Royals. He was a DSL all-star in 2011, when he batted .244, with a homer, 23 RBI and 26 runs over 53 games. In 2012, with Surprise of the Arizona League, Villegas hit .232 over 29 games. He spent last year with Burlington of the Appalachian League, hitting .222 over 19 games.

Austin Meadows

Austin Meadows

Power to watch: OF Austin Meadows (6-3, 200, age 19, bats and throws left, from Loganville, Ga.) leads the Power with a .345 batting average over 14 games. He also has played two games for the Gulf Coast League Pirates and five games for Bristol of the Appalachian League this season. Rated by Baseball America as the fourth-best prospect in the Pirates system, he was a 2013 first-round draft pick (ninth overall) out of high school, signing for $3.025 million. His father, Kenny, played baseball and football for Morehead State, and mother Staci played softball at Georgia State. Austin spent last season with the GCL Pirates (.294 with five homers and 20 RBI over 43 games) and Jamestown of the New York-Penn League (.529 with two homers and two RBI over five games). Baseball America reports, in part: “Meadows draws comparisons to Reds right fielder Jay Bruce as a left-handed hitter with power and athleticism. He repeats his easy, fluid swing, has present strength, good plate discipline and the ability to hit the ball hard to all fields.”

Radio: WLXG-AM 1300

 


Legends continue homestand vs. Sand Gnats

July 26, 2014

South Atlantic League baseball

sal-logo-savannahlegends-logo-13Savannah
Sand Gnats

at Lexington Legends

What: Five-game series

When: Saturday through Tuesday (7:05 Saturday and Tuesday nights, 6:05 Sunday, 5:05 doubleheader Monday)

Where: Whitaker Bank Ballpark

Tickets: Call (859) 422-7867

Major League affiliates: New York Mets (Sand Gnats), Kansas City Royals

Probable pitchers (Legends listed first): Saturday, RH Pedro Fernandez (0-6, 6.32) vs. RH Robert Gsellman (8-4, 2.77); Sunday, LH Luis Rico (3-7, 4.43) vs. RH John Gant (10-5, 2.76); Monday, RH Matt Alvarez (4-4, 4.52) vs. LH Alex Panteliodis (3-2, 4.01); Monday, game two, RH Alec Mills (0-0, 1.80) vs. RH Miller Diaz (5-1, 2.26); Tuesday, RH Jake Junis (8-5, 3.87) vs. RH Robert Whalen (5-0, 2.10).

Nelfi Zapata

Nelfi Zapata

Sand Gnat to watch: 3B Nelfi Zapata (6-foot, 185 pounds, age 23, bats and throws right, from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) is leading Savannah with a .356 average for 13 games since stepping down from Double-A Binghamton of the Eastern League. Over those 13 games, he has seven doubles, a triple, three RBI and eight runs. Over 14 games at Binghamton, Zapata hit .185 with an RBI and five runs. Selected by the Mets in the 19th round of the 2009 draft, out of Lynn English (Mass.) High School, he broke in that year with the Gulf Coast League Mets. Since then, he has had stops with Kingsport of the Appalachian League, Brooklyn of the New York-Penn League and St. Lucie of the Florida State League. His best season average came with Brooklyn in 2011, when he hit .269 with two homers and 14 RBI.

Kevin Kuntz

Kevin Kuntz

Legend to watch: INF Kevin Kuntz (6-1, 180, age 24, bats both and throws right, from Overland Park, Kansas) is 5-for-25 (.200) since joining the Legends. He has two doubles, two RBI and five runs in 11 games. Selected in the 28th round of the 2013 draft, he is a 2009 graduate of Tulsa’s Union High, where he batted .430 as a senior. The Royals drafted him that year in the 48th round, but he did not sign. He went on to play collegiate ball for Kansas, earning All-Big 12 Tournament honors in 2013. He is the son of Royals first base coach Rusty Kuntz. Kevin broke  into pro ball last year with Burlington of the Appalachian League. He batted .208 with six RBI and nine runs over 36 games.

Radio: WLXG-AM 1300

 


Legends come home to face RiverDogs

July 22, 2014

South Atlantic League baseball

sal-logo-charlestonlegends-logo-13Charleston RiverDogs
at Lexington Legends

What: Three-game series

When: Wednesday through Friday (7:05 each night)

Where: Whitaker Bank Ballpark

Tickets: Call (859) 422-7867

Major League affiliates: New York Yankees (RiverDogs), Kansas City Royals

Probable pitchers (Legends listed first): Wednesday, RH Alec Mills (0-0, 0.00) vs. RH Rookie Davis (4-8, 4.66); Thursday, RH Jake Junis (8-4, 3.70) vs. RH Andy Beresford (1-0, 4.60); Friday, RH Luke Farrell (1-8, 4.89) vs. LH Chaz Hebert (0-2, 3.58).

Mark Payton

Mark Payton

RiverDog to watch: OF Mark Payton (5-foot-8, 190 pounds, age 22, bats and throws left, from Chicago) is 15-for-43 (.349) in his first 13 games as a professional. A seventh-round draft pick last month out of Texas, he batted .315 for the Longhorns, with two homers, 39 RBI and 19 stolen bases over 67 games. He struck out only 27 times and drew 57 walks. Thus far with the RiverDogs, he has a homer, two doubles and a triple, nine runs and nine walks to nine strikeouts. He’s batting .455 when runners are in scoring position. Payton was selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 31st round of the 2010 draft, and by the Cleveland Indians in the 16th round of the 2013 draft but did not sign.

Alec Mills

Alec Mills

Legend to watch: Wednesday starter Alec Mills (6-4, 190, age 22, bats and throws right, from Clarksville, Tenn.) was on his way to an outstanding season with the Legends last year when he suffered an injury that required Tommy John surgery. He earned mid-season SAL All-Star honors last season, making his last appearance of the year on June 12. He made 15 relief appearances for Lexington before moving into the starting rotation, finishing with a 1.59 ERA over 18 total outings and 45 1/3 innings. He struck out 47. Mills returned to action this year June 17 with Idaho Falls of the Pioneer League. With the Chukars, he went 2-2 over seven games, including six starts. Over 19 1/3 innings, he struck out 14 and walked four. Wednesday will mark his first appearance of the season with the Legends.

Radio: WLXG-AM 1300

 


Legends continue road trip at Savannah

July 18, 2014

South Atlantic League baseball

legends-logo-13sal-logo-savannahLexington Legends
at Savannah Sand Gnats

What: Four-game series

When: Friday through Monday (7:05 Friday and Monday nights, 6:05 Saturday, 2:05 Sunday)

Where: Grayson Stadium (Savannah, Ga.)

Major League affiliates: Kansas City Royals (Legends), New York Mets

Probable pitchers (Legends listed first): Friday, LH Matt Tenuta (4-7, 5.52) vs. RH Robert Gsellman (7-4, 2.89); Saturday, LH Luis Rico (3-6, 4.42) vs. RH John Michael Gant (9-5, 2.97); Sunday, RH Matt Alvarez (4-3, 5.62) vs. LH Alex Panteliodis (2-2, 4.42); Monday, TBA vs. RH Logan Taylor (0-2, 3.27).

Dex Kjerstad

Dex Kjerstad

Legend to watch: OF Dex Kjerstad (6-foot-1, 210 pounds, age 22, bats and throws right, from Canyon, Texas) is batting .417 over his last 10 games. Overall, he is at .270 over 43 games with the Legends, with three homers, 16 RBI, 18 runs and seven stolen bases. Signed as a  non-drafted free agent July 11, 2013, he missed the 2013 season following Tommy John surgery. Kjerstad earned 2010 all-state honors at Randall High School in Amarillo, Texas, batting .470 with 11 homers and 60 RBI. He played one season of college ball for Texas, then transferred to Howard and then Louisiana Lafayette. He was named Louisiana Newcomer of the Year and All-Sun Belt Conference in 2013, leading the league with a .388 batting average. He finished two hits shy of a school record for ULL.

Dominic Smith

Dominic Smith

Sand Gnat to watch: 1B Dominic Smith (6-0, 185, 19, bats and throws left, from Los Angeles) is tied for seventh in the league with 99 hits. Rated by Baseball America as the fourth-best prospect in the Mets system, he is a 2013 first-round draft pick out of high school, signing for $2.6 million. He batted .196 through his first 51 pro at-bats, then hit .328 the rest of the way with the Gulf Coast League Mets (.287 overall for 48 games) to earn a promotion to Kingsport of the Appalachian League. There, he went 4-for-6 (.667) over three games. Baseball America reports in part: “A sweet left-handed swing combined with hand-eye coordination and sound pitch recognition all indicate that he will hit for average while posting a high on-base percentage. He hits with authority to his pull side and straight away, and he could mature into a steady 20-homer threat.” With the Sand Gnats, Smith is batting .295, with 29 RBI, 39 runs and a .353 on-base percentage. In 25 games since the all-star break, he’s batting .350.

Radio: WLXG-AM 1300

 


Legends on the road vs. RiverDogs

July 14, 2014

South Atlantic League baseball

legends-logo-13sal-logo-charlestonLexington Legends
at Charleston RiverDogs

What: Three-game series

When: Tuesday through Thursday (7:05 each night)

Where: Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park (Charleston, S.C.)

Major League affiliates: Kansas City Royals (Legends), New York Yankees

Probable pitchers (Legends listed first): Tuesday, RH Jake Junis (8-4, 3.53) vs. LH Omar Luis (2-3, 5.75); Wednesday, LH Cody Reed (2-7, 5.92) vs. LH Ian Clarkin (3-3, 3.49); Thursday, RH Luke Farrell (1-7, 4.66) vs. RH Rookie Davis (3-8, 4.76).

Andrew Brockett

Andrew Brockett

Legend to watch: RHP Andrew Brockett (6-0, 185, age 22, bats right, from New Haven, Conn.) made his Legends debut Friday, firing 3 1/3 innings of two-hit, shutout relief against Hagerstown. Brockett began the year with Burlington of the Appalachian League, going 3-1 with a save and a 2.16 ERA over five relief outings. He struck out 11 and walked two. Selected in the 22nd round of the 2013 draft, out of the University of Richmond, he earned a team-high six saves in 2012 for the Spiders and struck out 64 batters in 59 1/3 innings. In 2013 with Richmond, he finished 3-2 with a 3.70 ERA and a team-high three saves. He split the 2013 pro season between Surprise of the Arizona League and Idaho Falls of the Pioneer League, making nine relief appearances for each team. Brockett finished the year a combined 2-1 with four saves and a 2.78 ERA, 21 strikeouts and six walks.

Miguel Andujar

Miguel Andujar

RiverDog to watch: 3B Miguel Andujar (6-0, 210, 19, bats and throws right, from San Cristobal, Dominican Republic) is 19-for-56 (.339) over his last 17 games, raising his season average from .213 to .236. Overall, he has seven homers, 41 RBI and 46 runs, with 14 doubles and a pair of triples. Signed for $750,000 in July 2011, he spent the past two seasons with the Gulf Coast League Yankees. After hitting .232 with a homer and 19 RBI in 2012, he improved last season to .323-4-25. Baseball America rates him the 18th-best prospect in the Yankees system. This season, he is batting .272 against right-handers, .130 versus lefties.

Radio: WLXG-AM 1300

 


Legends come home to take on Suns

July 10, 2014

South Atlantic League baseball

sal-logo-hagerstownlegends-logo-13Hagerstown Suns
at Lexington Legends

What: Four-game series

When: Thursday through Sunday (7:05 Thursday through Saturday nights, 6:05 Sunday)

Where: Whitaker Bank Ballpark

Tickets: Call (859) 422-7867

Major League affiliates: Washington Nationals (Suns), Kansas City Royals

Probable pitchers (Legends listed first): Thursday, LH Tripp Davis (2-0, 4.73 vs. LH Hector Silvestre (4-6, 4.60); Friday, LH Cody Reed (2-6, 5.93) vs. RH Nick Pivetta (10-5, 4.20); Saturday, RH Pedro Fernandez (0-5, 7.36) vs. TBA; Sunday, TBA vs. RH Jake Johansen (5-3, 4.69).

Isaac Ballou

Isaac Ballou

Sun to watch: LF Isaac Ballou (6-foot-2, 205 pounds, age 24, bats left, throws right, from Germantown, Md.) leads the league in runs with 67 through 87 games. He’s also tied for ninth in the SAL with 18 stolen bases in 23 attempts. Overall, Ballou is batting .269 with six homers, 44 RBI and 134 total bases. Over 20 games since the all-star break, he is batting .292. An all-Conference USA pick as a senior at Marshall University, he was selected by the Nationals in the 15th round of the 2013 draft. He also was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 36th round of the 2011 draft, but did not sign. Last year, Ballou played 59 games for Auburn of the New York-Penn League, batting .294 with two homers, 20 RBI and 33 runs. He also played six games for the Suns, going 3-for-27 (.111) with two RBI and two runs.

Kenny Diekroeger

Kenny Diekroeger

Legend to watch: 2B/SS Kenny Diekroeger (6-2, 196, age 23, bats and throws right, from San Francisco) is 9-for-25 (.360) in six games since being assigned to the Legends. During that span, he has a homer, five RBI, seven runs and a pair of stolen bases. Selected in the fourth round of the 2012 draft, he is a graduate of Menlo School in Atherton, Calif., where he batted .568 as a senior and earned first-team All-America recognition from Baseball America. Selected by Tampa Bay in the second round of the 2009 draft, he opted to play for Stanford University, leading the team with a .356 average as a freshman, and sharing the team lead with 41 RBI. That earned him Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and first-team All-Pac 10 in 2010. Diekroeger earned second-team Academic All-America honors in 2012. He played alongside his brother, Danny, at Stanford. Diekroeger broke into pro ball in 2012 with Burlington of the Appalachian League, batting .208 with eight homers, 33 RBI and 21 runs. Last year, he played 33 games for Wilmington of the Carolina League (.207-3-15-8) and 66 games for the Legends (.142-1-7-11). He opened this season with Wilmington, batting .212 with a homer, eight RBI, 17 runs and six stolen bases over 47 games.

Radio: WLXG-AM 1300

Promotions: Thursday, the Cincinnati Ben-Gals cheerleading and dance team will appear before and during the game; it’s also “Thirsty Thursday” with $1 beer and soft drinks. Friday, former big-leaguer Jose Canseco will compete in a pre-game Home Run Derby against local celebrities and with fans whose names were chosen in a drawing; gates open at 5:30 p.m., with the Home Run Derby at 5:45 p.m. Friday also is Wine Night, with a post-game fireworks show, and the Legends will salute Beep Baseball Kentucky, which provides blind or vision-impaired players the opportunity to play baseball. Saturday is Breast Cancer Awareness Night, with the Legends wearing special-edition jerseys that will be auctioned after the game. A fireworks show will follow the auction, and a “Diamond Dig” for a half-carat diamond run will follow the fireworks. Finally, there’s Kids Club Sunday and Propane Night. Kids Club members will receive free admission, and all kids may run the bases after the game.

 


Legends on the road to face Crawdads

July 7, 2014

South Atlantic League baseball

legends-logo-13sal-logo-hickoryLexington Legends
at Hickory Crawdads

What: Three-game series

When: Monday through Wednesday (7 each night)

Where: L.P. Frans Stadium (Hickory, N.C.)

Major League affiliates: Kansas City Royals (Legends), Texas Rangers

Probable pitchers (Legends listed first): Monday, LH Matt Tenuta (3-7, 5.49) vs. RH Cole Wiper (5-6, 3.63); Tuesday, LH Luis Rico (2-6, 4.09) vs. RH Akeem Bostick (5-3, 3.47); Wednesday, RH Luke Farrell (1-7, 4.87) vs. RH Tyler Smith (4-2, 3.79).

Frank Schwindel

Frank Schwindel

Legend to watch: All-star C/1B Frank Schwindel (6-foot-1, 210 pounds, age 22, bats and throws right, from Livingston, N.J.) has hits in 14 of his last 15 games, going 22-for-61 (.361) with five runs and nine RBI. That has enabled him to raise his season batting average from .249 to .273. Schwindel is batting .330 against left-handers, .246 against righties. He’s also batting .409 with runners on and two outs. An 18th round draft pick in 2013, out of St. John’s University, he hit .300 over 64 games last season with the Idaho Falls Chukars of the Pioneer League. At St. John’s, he batted .322 as a sophomore to help the Red Storm reach their first NCAA super regional. He earned all-tourney honors at both the NCAA Chapel Hill regional and Big East tournaments. In 2013, he led the Red Storm with a .349 average, earning first-team All-Northeast Region and second-team All-Big East honors.

Jairo Beras

Jairo Beras

Crawdad to watch: OF Jairo Beras (6-5, 178, 18, right and right, from San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic) is 17-for-34 (.500) over his last nine games, with three homers, eight runs and 10 RBI. Overall, he is batting .245 with four homers, 23 runs and 20 RBI. Beras, who has played all three outfield positions this season, is batting .389 since the all-star break. Signed July 12, 2012, as a non-drafted free agent, he was suspended by Major League Baseball through July 1, 2013, due to a controversy involving his age. He then appeared in 17 games for the Arizona League Rangers, going 16-for-64 (.250), with two homers, 11 runs and 15 RBI.

Radio: WLXG-AM 1300

 


Ky. Pro Football Hall of Fame shindig June 20

June 13, 2014

From the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame …

Golfers are invited to play with some of the NFL’s greatest players from Kentucky as the Class of 2014 is inducted into the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame on June 20.

The golf outing will take place at Covered Bridge Golf Club in Sellersburg, Ind., with team entries set at $2,500 and $5,000. All proceeds benefit Kosair Children’s Hospital’s Congenital Heart Center. To register, call (502) 629-8060.

The Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame celebration will take place at the Brown Theatre in Louisville, June 20, at 7 p.m. Tickets are available for $25 and may be purchased online at www.HelpKosairChildrensHospital.com. Click on “fundraising events.”

Lexington businessman Frank Minnifield (Henry Clay High School, University of Louisville, Cleveland Browns) will receive the eighth annual Blanton Collier Award for Integrity, an honor named after the former University of Kentucky and Cleveland Browns coach. The award recognizes individuals who have shown outstanding integrity on and off the field. Minnifield, 54, started and grew a successful home-building business. He was the first African-American executive on the Lexington Chamber of Commerce board of directors and was elected chairman of the University of Louisville board of trustees in 2011.

“Frank Minnifield lives out our father’s belief you can accomplish anything so long as you do not care who gets the credit, which explains why he was so surprised to be nominated for this award,” said Dr. Kay Collier McLaughlin, daughter of Blanton Collier, speaking on behalf of her family, the Blanton Collier Sportsmanship Group and the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame board. “Frank is a visionary and humanitarian who almost single-handedly created the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame to benefit children in the commonwealth.”

The class of 2014 inductees include:

Sherman Lewis of Louisville (Manual High School 1960, Michigan State ’64), who coached with the San Francisco 49ers (1983-91), Green Bay Packers (1992-99), Minnesota Vikings (2000-01) and Detroit Lions (2002-04).

Elvis Dumervil of Miami (Miami Jackson H.S. 2002, University of Louisville ’05), who played for the Denver Broncos (2006-12) and Baltimore Ravens (2013-present).

Larry Seiple of Allentown, Pa. (William Allen H.S. 1963, University of Kentucky ’67), who played and coached with the Miami Dolphins (1967-78), Detroit Lions (1980-84), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1985-86) and Dolphins (1988-2000).

Mark Clayton of Indianapolis (Cathedral H.S. 1979, University of Louisville ’83), who played for the Miami Dolphins (1983-92) and Green Bay Packers (1993).

The Centre College team from Danville also will be inducted.

Proceeds from the celebration and golf outing will support the Children’s Hospital Foundation, Norton Kosair Children’s Hospital and its Brave Hearts, a support group of local families united by their children’s fight for life after being born with complex congenital heart defects that require heart surgery.

 


World champ Phillips learned work ethic at UK

June 12, 2014

Olympic gold-medalist. Five-time world champion.

Dwight Phillips knows how to jump far.

Dwight Phillips (Maloney photo)

Dwight Phillips (Maloney photo)

Recently retired after 14 years of competition on the international circuit, Phillips is in Danville through Saturday. He’s passing on his long-jump expertise in the role of staff clinician for Maximum Velocity Track and Field Academy, hosted by Centre College.

The camp is something of a homecoming for Phillips, who competed in 1997-98 for Kentucky, then transferred when sprints coach Darryl Anderson was hired at Arizona State.

“Kentucky’s where I learned that hard work and dedication, and I’ve got to attribute a lot of that to Coach (Edrick) Floreal, at the University of Kentucky right now. Because without that, I don’t think I would have become the athlete that I became because he really instilled in me the value of hard work, and I have a strong work ethic as a result. So I’m so grateful for my time in Kentucky.”

Floreal, now the head coach at UK, was coaching jumpers when Phillips was here.

“On my second day of practice at the University of Kentucky, Coach Floreal, he watched me run and he’s checking out my mechanics. And he told me ‘Dwight, if you focus on the long jump, you can be the NCAA champion and the Olympic champion.’ I was like ‘man, this guy is crazy. There is no way in the world that I could possibly become an NCAA champion in the long jump or the triple jump.’

“I mean, I’m a 400-meter runner, and that’s what I wanted to do. But I’d like to express to the younger athletes today, in hindsight, that sometimes you can have somebody else that can see something in you that you don’t see in yourself.”

While at UK, Phillips concentrated on the 400 and dabbled in the triple jump. It wasn’t until he was at Arizona State that he blossomed in the long jump.

He made it to the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, placing eighth.

In 2003, he won indoors and outdoors at the World Championships. A year later, he won Olympic gold at Athens.

“I would have to say the highlight of my career probably was my very first (world) championship in Birmingham, England. I never won an NCAA championship in the long jump; I never won the high school State Meet in the long jump,” Phillips said. “But at that moment, I taught myself how to win on the world stage. And once I got a taste of that, I just wanted more and more and more. I think that was one of the most defining moments of my career. … And, of course, the Olympic gold medalist – that’s just a dream come true.”

Phillips is one of eight Olympians on the Maximum Velocity staff. He is a business partner with one, 800-meter runner Hazel Clark-Riley.

“We came up with an organization called FOSC – Future Olympian Sports Clinics – where we travel the world and help inspire the next generation of Olympians,” Phillips said. “We do it in a unique fashion. Everything we do is implemented or put together by Olympians. We get to travel to different states and teach kids technique, responsibility, life values. We talk about health and wellness, anti-bullying campaigns.

“And most importantly, just teaching them the value of sport. You may not become an Olympic gold-medalist in track and field, but you can become an Olympic gold-medalist in life. And that’s the message that we’re trying to convey to all of our kids and parents as well, to bring up a positive next generation of track and field athletes.”

Olympians weigh in on Tyson Gay

Phillips and several of the Maximum Velocity clinicians were asked about the punishment levied recently against Lexington sprinter Tyson Gay. With nullification of competition results dating to 2012, Gay lost parts of three seasons. But the ban from when he tested positive for using a banned substance was one year rather than the usual two. That’s because Gay cooperated and named names when the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency was conducting its investigation.

“I’m very adamant about my message with doping. I don’t think it’s right,” Phillips said. “I don’t think it’s the right message that our governing bodies and doping agencies are sending to the kids that if you give up viable information that you can have a reduction. I think the overall message should be that drugs should not be tolerated, no matter what. And I think we’re sending the wrong message to the sport, to the kids. Personally, I don’t think it’s good for the sport.

“Tyson may be a very good guy, but sports is full of good people that make bad choices or bad decisions that allow bad people to be around them. It’s unfortunate. But at the end of the day, it’s wrong. And what’s wrong is wrong and what’s right is right. I hate it. Quite frankly, I hate the fact that he will be able to come back this year, compete. And other athletes have been working hard that have integrity, and they’re going to be kind of pushed to the side. And that’s really unfortunate.”

Clark-Riley agreed.

“I have a very strong stance against people that use performance-enhancing drugs,” she said. “I don’t know if people understand the implications in that people say ‘well, everyone gets a second chance.’ Yes. But the people that you beat and that you took medals away from don’t necessarily get a second chance. You work very hard in this sport. … For someone to cheat, it’s very frustrating for us athletes. A year seems like a slap on the wrist. It doesn’t necessarily seem fair.

“I don’t know the details behind the scenes, but just on the surface the fact that he’s able to already come back and compete, it’s a little bit frustrating. And it doesn’t really send a message to the people that are willing to cheat. It doesn’t deter them. To me, he still is financially in a great position, still has some great endorsements. And he was able get those, unfortunately, by cheating. … I don’t have an Olympic medal, but I have the fact that I can look back on my career and say everything that I accomplished I accomplished with hard work. And it’s something that my family is proud of. And I still had a very successful career and I can look at children and tell them that I did things the right way. It’s not going to be a fairytale, it’s not going to be easy, but you have to do things the right way.”

From Lexington’s Sharrieffa Barksdale, 400-meter hurdler: “I think it was a fair ruling. … Knowing his character and stuff like that, I’m like Tyson’s second mom. So it is what it is. Tyson is a very honest person and knowing him, he would not do anything intentionally to cause this embarrassment and this dark cloud over him. Tyson, he’s just not type of person. … I believe him and I stand behind Tyson wholeheartedly, because I know what type of person he is. … A lot of people will say he’s a dopey. He’s not. He’s not. He’s the type of person that his character, his principle and his upbringing, it stands for something.”

Kevin Young, 400-meter hurdler: “It just shows the evolution of our sport because years ago WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) and USADA would have took more of a hard-nosed stance. … The court of public opinion on Tyson Gay is pretty positive. Everybody knows he’s a standout athlete, a standout person. … He should have been a little more vigilant on his part. However, I’m glad he’ll have an opportunity to participate.”

Sprinter Lauryn Williams: “I just think that he gave the information that he could. He ended up in a really tough situation and I admire the way he’s handling it. He’s been up front. He’s the only person I’ve seen out of any positive tests who addressed the media immediately when he had the positive test. And, last I talked to him, he planned on addressing them and telling kids his story. Because so often people come back from their ban and they don’t say anything. But I know Tyson has a plan that will be able to really impact the youth by telling his story so that they can avoid coming into a situation like he did.

“I don’t know the particulars of everything that happened, but if he cooperates and we’re going to catch more people in the future, then yeah, USADA had to make the decision that was best for the information that was given to them.”

High-hurdler Aries Merritt: “Tyson and me are actually managed by the same agent. Mark Wetmore’s our agent. And I just feel bad about the whole entire situation. As an athlete, I feel like he was betrayed. You just can’t trust everyone. And as athletes, who do we trust? It’s really difficult to put trust in people as it is, and then to put your career on the line, to trust someone and then be let down is just devastating. It cost him a World Championship medal. It cost him his Olympic (silver) medal from London even though he didn’t even test positive during that time. It’s just tragic. I wish him the best and obviously he’s running this year. He’s served his sentence and hopefully he’s learned from this mistake. The whole situation is just bizarre and it’s just awful.”


Legends play host to RiverDogs

June 12, 2014

South Atlantic League baseball

sal-logo-charlestonlegends-logo-13Charleston RiverDogs
at Lexington Legends

What: Four-game series to end the first half of the season

When: Thursday through Sunday (7:05 Thursday through Saturday nights, 6:05 Sunday)

Where: Whitaker Bank Ballpark

Tickets: Call (859) 422-7867

Major League affiliates: New York Yankees (RiverDogs), Kansas City Royals

Probable pitchers (Legends listed first): Thursday, LH Matt Tenuta (2-6, 5.46) vs. RH Brady Lail (7-3, 3.82); Friday, RH Luke Farrell (1-5, 5.20) vs. RH Rookie Davis (2-6, 5.57); Saturday, RH Jake Junis (7-3, 3.10) vs. RH Luis Severino (2-2, 2.92); Sunday, LH Crawford Simmons (1-1, 8.10) vs. LH Ian Clarkin (2-3, 4.17).

Aaron Judge

Aaron Judge

RiverDog to watch: All-star RF Aaron Judge (6-foot-7, 230 pounds, age 22, bats and throws right, from Linden, Calif.) is among the league leaders with a .321 batting average, with 24 of his 71 hits going for extra bases. He has eight homers, 39 RBI and 33 runs over 62 games. Baseball America rates him the No. 6 prospect in the Yankees system. A 2013 first-round draft pick (32nd overall) out of Fresno State, he signed for $1.8 million. With Fresno State, he was a three-time all-conference pick while hitting .346 with 17 homers, 41 doubles and 35 stolen bases. Judge won the Home Run Derby at the 2012 College World Series. He did not play last summer due to a torn quad muscle. Baseball America reports, in part: “If his 6-foot-7 frame didn’t make it obvious, Judge is a physical beast and has earned comparisons to Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton. He shows impressive batting-practice pwoer thanks to his strength and leverage, though some scouts are worried about how well it will translate into games.”

Luke Farrell

Luke Farrell

Legend to watch: Friday starter Luke Farrell (6-6, 205, 23, bats left and throws right, from Westlake, Ohio) has been impressive in two June starts despite losing both times, giving up three runs, two earned, for a 1.54 ERA. He is a 2009 graduate of Cleveland’s St. Ignatius High School, where he went 8-2 as a senior. He went on to earn a communications studies degree from Northwestern University, where was second-team All-Big Ten in 2013 and a three-time Academic All-Big Ten. As a senior, he finished second in the league in ERA (2.13) and strikeouts (80). Farrell threw a complete-game shutout against Michigan at Wrigley Field. Selected in the sixth round of last year’s draft, he started 10 games for Idaho Falls of the Pioneer League last summer, going 1-3 with a 6.65 ERA. He is the son of Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell. A brother, Jeremy, plays in the White Sox organization. Another brother, Shane, was drafted by Toronto and is now in the Cubs’ front office.

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