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Sooners off to College World Series finals after beating A&M

OMAHA, Neb. — Oklahoma’s baseball players came to the College World Series calling themselves “a bunch of Davids,” a nod to their embrace of the underdog identity they adopted after an underwhelming start to the season.It was one David — David Sandlin — who got most of the credit Wednesday for taking down Texas A

North Carolina sports betting legislation falters in House

RALEIGH, N.C. — Legislation that would have authorized sports betting across all of North Carolina fell apart late Wednesday as the House narrowly rejected a key measure amid warnings about the dangers of gambling from an unusual coalition of social conservatives and liberal Democrats. The House voted 51-50 not to approve one of two measures that, when combined, would have established the rules to authorize and regulate gambling on professional sporting events and out-of-state horse racing, Prospects already looked shaky earlier Wednesday when the House voted by a similar 51-50 margin for a supplemental measure that would have mostly made changes to a separate, comprehensive bill unveiled last year that laid out the structure of how sports betting would be conducted. The supplemental measure focused on how gambling license operators would have been taxed and where the proceeds would have gone. Several critics of the measures said state sanction of sports betting would create gambling addicts, leading to increases in theft, embezzlement and people deep in debt. “If you vote for this you’re gambling that these two bills will control gambling, in North Carolina,” Rep. Jay Adams, a Catawba County Republican, told colleagues on the House floor. “This is just another opportunity to create unfortunate opportunities for people who can’t resist.”The first measure had already taken a hit when the chamber voted by a comfortable margin an amendment to remove college sports from the list of games on which online or in-person customers could have wagered. Rep. Jason Saine, a Lincoln County Republican shepherding the measures in the House this week, pointed out the supplemental measure survived a floor vote, so the gambling idea “is not totally dead.” But the General Assembly work session is likely to end late next week. “It could resurface depending on what happens. If not, sports wagering is going to remain an issue for the state of North Carolina because … states around us are doing it,” Saine said afterward. Sports gambling took off in the states after a 2018 U.S. Supreme Court ruling. Twenty states and the District of Columbia now offer mobile sports betting, including the neighboring states of Virginia and Tennessee, according to the American Gaming Association, while 28 states and D.C. have some kind of in-person betting. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians opened on-site betting operations last year at its two far western North Carolina casinos thanks to earlier legislation. Wednesday’s defeat also means uncertainty about whether the state Senate and Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, who had said he was ready to sign sports betting legislation, would be willing to accept less than the compromise that was unveiled this week. More than half of the Senate Republicans voted against the comprehensive measure that passed their chamber last August. GOP Rep. Jeffrey Elmore of Wilkes County appears to have been the deciding vote on Wednesday. While Elmore voted for the supplemental measure, he voted no on the second, more comprehensive bill, House records showed. Elmore didn’t immediately respond to a phone message left at his legislative office.Nearly one-fifth of the 120 House members didn’t vote, either with or without formal excuses for being absent — a sign of how tentative vote counting was.Bill supporters said state residents already are participating in illegal sports betting through offshore online websites or local bookies, and it’s better for the state to control the activity and tax it. North Carolina, the ninth-largest state by population, is currently an untapped market with several major-league sports franchises, college basketball, NASCAR and golf. The measures would have authorized the issuance of between 10 and 12 interactive sports wagering operator licenses along with supplier and service provider licenses. People 21 and over within the state’s boundaries would have been able to play on their phones or computers starting in January. NASCAR tracks, golf courses, arenas and stadiums where professional sports are conducted could have betting sites in person or close by if the legislation had succeeded.The legislation also contained $2 million for problem-gambling programs.“I certainly understand the concerns of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, but I also disagree with them,” said Rep. Wesley Harris, a Mecklenburg County Democrat who supported the measures. “The black market does exist and people are already gambling. But there is no regulation and there’s no help for those people.” The supplemental bill also contained sweeteners on how the state’s share would have been distributed. Net proceeds would have benefited county youth sports programs, athletic departments for seven UNC system campuses and efforts to bring sporting events and attractions to the state.

Memorial Cup: Wiebe gives Oil Kings 4-3 OT win over Sea Dogs

SAINT JOHN, New Brunswick — Jaxsen Wiebe completed a hat trick at 8:05 of 3-on-3 overtime to give the Edmonton Oil Kings a 4-3 victory over the host Saint John Sea Dogs on Wednesday night in the Memorial Cup.Wiebe took the puck the length of the ice down the right side and fired a wrist shot from the circle that went in off goalie Nikolas Hurtubise’s left shoulder.Wiebe also fought Riley Bezeau in the first period of the round-robin game. The 20-year-old right wing from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, had 10 goals in 51 regular-season games.Western Hockey League champion Edmonton rebounded from an opening 4-3 loss to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League champion Shawinigan Cataractes on Tuesday night. Saint John beat the Ontario Hockey League champion Hamilton Bulldogs 5-3 on Monday night in the tournament opener.Carter Souch also scored for the Oil Kings and Sebastian Cossa made 36 saves.After the teams combined for five goals in the first 10 minutes, Wiebe tied it at 3 on power play at 2:05 of the second period.Edmonton raced to a 2-0 lead, with Wiebe connecting on a power play at 2:14 and Souch following 2:13 later. Raivis Kristians Ansons and Josh Lawrence scored in a 25-second span to tie it and William Dufour gave Saint John the lead midway through the period.Nikolas Hurtubise made 27 saves for the Sea Dogs.Canceled the last two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the four-team championship features the winners of the three major junior leagues and the host team.On Thursday, Shawinigan will face Hamilton. Edmonton will play Hamilton on Friday night, and Saint John will face Shawinigan on Saturday night in the round-robin finale.

Cardinals vs. Brewers: Who wins in battle for the NL Central?

By Jordan ShustermanFOX Sports MLB WriterIt’s still June, but it’s pretty safe to say that the NL Central is going to be a two-horse race over the next three months.That reality alone makes this division unique. If you look at the rest of the league, there’s either one team running away with the division (AL East, AL West, NL East), or three teams within striking distance of the division lead (AL Central, NL West). Meanwhile, in the NL Central, Milwaukee and St. Louis are duking it out at the top while Pittsburgh, Chicago and Cincinnati currently have three of the four worst records in the National League.This means it’s not too early to start comparing the Cardinals and Brewers directly. With the two teams squaring off this week in Milwaukee, it’s a great time to take stock of these NL Central heavyweights.In a tale of the tape comparison, like the one we recently did on the Mets vs. the Yankees, Jake Mintz and I went position by position and decided which team, the Cardinals or Brewers, has the edge in each spot.MLB Power Rankings
Ben Verlander breaks down his MLB Power Rankings after week 11 of the season. See if the Cardinals or Brewers make the top 10.
Catcher: Yadier Molina/Andrew Knizner vs. Omar Narvaez/Victor CaratiniGut instinct is to take the legendary Molina and his unparalleled ability to lead a pitching staff. But with his recent injuries at age 39 (40 on July 13) and objectively terrible offensive production, we’ll give the slight edge to the Brewers’ duo. Narvaez and Caratini have been one of the better hitting catching tandems in all of baseball and not too shabby defensively either.Advantage: BrewersFirst base: Paul Goldschmidt vs. Rowdy TellezIt’s been a joy watching Rowdy establish himself as a quality first baseman since arriving from Toronto via trade, and he’s been one of Milwaukee’s most consistent hitters this year. Still, this one isn’t much of a debate — Goldschmidt has been unbelievable this season and is a legitimate MVP candidate.Advantage: CardinalsSecond base: Nolan Gorman vs. Kolten WongThis is a fun contrast: a former Cardinal in Wong who offers Gold Glove defense and an average bat vs. a rookie in Gorman who’s still learning to play second base but may already have the most raw power of any player at his position. Gorman looks like a future star, but Wong might be the safer choice for this year. It’s a toss-up.Advantage: EvenThird base: Nolan Arenado vs. Jace PetersonRespect to Peterson, who has already started more games this season than any season since 2016 after spending several years as a utility bench bat, but this one is also an easy call. Any doubt that Arenado’s offense wouldn’t translate away from Coors Field has been completely quashed. He has been tremendous.Advantage: CardinalsShortstop: Tommy Edman vs. Willy AdamesThe Adames we saw in the second half of 2021 was one of the best players in the National League, and he has carried over some of that success into this season. He’s still showing plus power and plus defense, but he’s still pretty streaky. Edman, meanwhile, moved to shortstop about a month ago and is now apparently a WAR machine? We love both of these guys, but we have to go with Edman.Advantage: CardinalsOutfield: Brendan Donovan/Harrison Bader/Dylan Carlson/Tyler O’Neill vs. Hunter Renfroe/Tyrone Taylor/Christian YelichWith Lorenzo Cain recently DFA’d, the Brewers turn to Taylor as their center fielder. He’s flanked by Yelich, who we are still desperately waiting to see return to MVP form, and offseason addition Renfroe, who has quietly been Milwaukee’s best hitter while providing stellar defense in right field.Meanwhile, the Cardinals have seen both Carlson and O’Neill regress after 2021 seasons that seemed to portend stardom. Bader continues to be excellent defensively and reasonably sufficient at the plate. Sure enough, it’s Brendan Donovan of all of these who’s performing the best, as he’s now filling in for the injured O’Neill and getting on base a ton. All of which is to say: We have no idea what to make of any of these guys, and it’s tough to say which outfield unit is definitively stronger.Advantage: EvenDH: Albert Pujols/Juan Yepez vs. Andrew McCutchenSurprise, surprise: Pujols can still crush lefties (.951 OPS) and can’t hit a lick anymore vs. righties (.496 OPS). Still, the emergence of Yepez as an additional DH option and the continued struggles of McCutchen in his age-35 season give the edge to St. Louis here.Advantage: CardinalsBench: Edmundo Sosa/Corey Dickerson/Lars Nootbaar vs. Keston Hiura/Luis Urías/Mike BrosseauCount us in among those who thought Sosa might be on the verge of a breakout in 2022 only to be harshly disappointed thus far. We also believed that Hiura could be an All-Star after his monster rookie season in 2019, but he has underwhelmed as well thus far. This one is close, but Urías’ versatility is so valuable and Brosseau has also hit well when healthy. We’ll give it to Milwaukee.Advantage: BrewersStarting pitching: Adam Wainwright/Dakota Hudson/Andre Pallante/Miles Mikolas/Jack Flaherty/Steven Matz vs. Corbin Burnes/Eric Lauer/Adrian Houser/Brandon Woodruff/Freddy Peralta/Aaron AshbyThe two staffs’ do it in tremendously different ways, but their effectiveness has been shockingly similar thus far this season: The Brewers’ starters ERA of 3.76 is only a touch better than the Cardinals’ starters’ mark of 3.81. Without a whole lot of swing-and-miss, St. Louis relies heavily on its elite defense for run prevention. Conversely, all of Milwaukee’s starters save for Houser can rack up the strikeouts to keep offenses at bay. Even with Peralta and Woodruff dealing with injuries, Burnes’ dominance alone gives Milwaukee quite an edge here. We’d rather bet on the staff with elite stuff than the one dependent on converting a ton of balls in play into outs. It’s closer than you’d think, though.Advantage: BrewersBullpen: Ryan Helsley/Giovanny Gallegos/Genesis Cabrera vs. Josh Hader/Devin Williams/Brad BoxbergerHelsley’s huge breakout has actually made this something of a discussion. But Milwaukee still has a huge depth advantage here and a much stronger track record of finding quality innings from unexpected places.Advantage: BrewersManager: Craig Counsell vs. Oli MarmolAmong active managers, only Terry Francona and Kevin Cash have held their positions longer than Counsell, who is consistently lauded as one of the best skippers in the league. Marmol’s first year at the helm is off to a good start, but he still has a ton to prove. Counsell is the clear choice for now.Advantage: Brewers WINNER: Jake says Brewers; Jordan says CardinalsThose are our picks. Let us know what you think!Jordan Shusterman is half of @CespedesBBQ and a baseball writer for FOX Sports. He lives in D.C. but is a huge Seattle Mariners fan and loves watching the KBO, which means he doesn’t get a lot of sleep. You can follow him on Twitter @j_shusterman_. Get more from Major League Baseball Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more. in this topic share story

Carson Wentz vs. the NFC East: Where does QB rank?

Carson Wentz will lead the charge for the Washington Commanders in the upcoming season, putting him up against an NFC East division full of younger talent.Dak Prescott of the Dallas Cowboys, Jalen Hurts of the Philadelphia Eagles and Daniel Jones of the New York Giants are Wentz’s competition. Where does he rank among the NFC East’s playcallers? Shannon Sharpe shared his opinions on the matter on “Undisputed.”Ranking Carson Wentz vs. NFC East QBs
Shannon Sharpe and Skip Bayless took a shot at ranking the NFC East’s QBs. Where does Carson Wentz rank among his competition?
1. Dak Prescott, Dallas CowboysKey stats: In 16 games last season, Prescott threw for 4,449 yards, completing 68.8% of his passes for 37 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, leading Dallas to an 11-5 record and the playoffs.2. Carson Wentz, Washington CommandersKey stats: In 2021 with the Indianapolis Colts, Wentz completed 62.4% of his passes for 3,563 yards, 27 touchdowns, and seven interceptions. The Colts went 9-8 but missed the playoffs.3. Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia EaglesKey stats: Hurts started 15 games last season, leading his team to an 8-7 record in those contests and to a wild-card berth. He threw for 3,144 yards, completed 61.3% of his passes, and threw 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He also rushed for 784 yards and 10 touchdowns.4. Daniel Jones, New York GiantsKey stats: In 11 starts for the Giants, Jones produced a 4-7 record as his team missed the playoffs. In those games, Jones threw for 2,428 yards, 10 touchdowns, and seven interceptions, while completing 64.3% of his passes.Shannon’s thoughts on Wentz: “The biggest question mark on Wentz is his leadership. Because there have been two locker rooms his leadership skills and the way he interacts with his teammates have been questioned.”Sharpe continued:”I’ve never heard an owner [Indianapolis Colts] speak this openly and outwardly, and disparaging of his quarterback, ever. So that told me that it’s more to it than just ability, because I believe he has the ability, and his numbers weren’t bad! Maybe it’s just that he needs a change of scenery.”After discussing Wentz, Sharpe elaborated on why he has Hurts ranked third in the division.”Jalen Hurts has better weapons now,” said Sharpe. “I love AJ Brown. I love DeVonta Smith. I love the pieces that they have. Hurts is a great leader, but he still struggles with accuracy. He still struggles with turning the ball over entirely too much.”As far as Sharpe’s list goes, Prescott is the undisputed No. 1. So is the worst quarterback in the NFC East, Daniel Jones. However, the second and third-ranked guys on his list could depend on the type of 2022 season they have. We’ll have to wait and see.  Get more from National Football League Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more. in this topic share story

Tony Siragusa, who helped Ravens win Super Bowl, dies at 55

Tony Siragusa, the charismatic defensive tackle who helped lead a stout Baltimore Ravens defense to a Super Bowl title, has died. He was 55.Siragusa’s broadcast agent, Jim Ornstein, confirmed the death Wednesday. The cause of death was not immediately available.”This is a really sad day,” he said. “Tony was way more than my client, he was family. My heart goes out to Tony’s loved ones.”Siragusa, known as “the Goose,” played seven seasons with the Indianapolis Colts and five with the Ravens. Baltimore’s 2000 team won the Super Bowl behind a defense that included Siragusa, Ray Lewis and Sam Adams.Siragusa was popular with fans because of his fun-loving personality, which also helped him transition quickly to broadcasting after his playing career.Siragusa came to Baltimore as a free agent in 1997 and teamed up with Adams to form an imposing defensive tackle tandem. In the Ravens’ 2000 championship season, the 6-foot-3, 340-pound Siragusa was sixth among Baltimore defenders with 75 tackles.He finished his career with 22 sacks.The news of Siragusa’s death came on what was already a tragic day for the Ravens. The death of Jaylon Ferguson, a linebacker for Baltimore, at age 26 was announced earlier in the day.Fans, journalists and sports figures reacted to the news.Reporting by the Associated Press. Get more from National Football League Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more. in this topic share story

Tony Siragusa, who helped Ravens win Super Bowl, dies at 55

Tony Siragusa, the charismatic defensive tackle who helped lead a stout Baltimore Ravens defense to a Super Bowl title, has died. He was 55.Siragusa’s broadcast agent, Jim Ornstein, confirmed the death Wednesday. The cause of death was not immediately available.”This is a really sad day,” he said. “Tony was way more than my client, he was family. My heart goes out to Tony’s loved ones.”Siragusa, known as “the Goose,” played seven seasons with the Indianapolis Colts and five with the Ravens. Baltimore’s 2000 team won the Super Bowl behind a defense that included Siragusa, Ray Lewis and Sam Adams.Siragusa was popular with fans because of his fun-loving personality, which also helped him transition quickly to broadcasting after his playing career.Siragusa came to Baltimore as a free agent in 1997 and teamed up with Adams to form an imposing defensive tackle tandem. In the Ravens’ 2000 championship season, the 6-foot-3, 340-pound Siragusa was sixth among Baltimore defenders with 75 tackles.He finished his career with 22 sacks.The news of Siragusa’s death came on what was already a tragic day for the Ravens. The death of Jaylon Ferguson, a linebacker for Baltimore, at age 26 was announced earlier in the day.Fans, journalists and sports figures reacted to the news.Reporting by the Associated Press. Get more from National Football League Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more. in this topic share story