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Former Mets GM Billy Eppler Suspended Through World Series For Fabricating Injuries

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NEW YORK — Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred suspended former New York Mets general manager Billy Eppler through the 2024 World Series on Friday after determining that he directed team workers to fake ailments to generate open roster positions.

Manfred stated that Eppler directed “the deliberate fabrication of injuries; and the associated submission of documentation for the purposes of securing multiple improper injured list placements during the 2022 and 2023 seasons.”

The so-called “phantom injured list” is believed to be widespread in baseball, but Eppler is the first to face a penalty.

eppler

Former Mets GM Billy Eppler Suspended Through World Series For Fabricating Injuries

“I fully and transparently cooperated with the MLB’s investigation, and I accept their decision,” Eppler said in a statement.

Eppler will not lose any pay as a result of his suspension. After resigning last fall on the same day MLB’s inquiry was made public, the Mets paid the remaining balance of his contract, which was slated to expire in 2025.

According to a source familiar with the investigation, Eppler’s actions involved approximately seven players. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the players had not been publicly identified.

Major League Baseball “concluded that the pattern of conduct was at Mr. Eppler’s sole direction and without any involvement of club ownership or superiors.”

eppler

Former Mets GM Billy Eppler Suspended Through World Series For Fabricating Injuries

Eppler’s suspension prevents him from working for another team until he is restored. Eppler will be able to petition for early reinstatement, the MLB announced.

The commissioner’s office did not sanction any additional Mets personnel, according to a second person familiar with the probe, who also spoke anonymously.

MLB stated that it questioned more than three dozen people during the probe. Attorney Jay Reisinger represented Eppler.

According to MLB rules, a physician must confirm an injury in the sport’s computer records. MLB decided that any additional personnel participating in the misbehaviour acted under Eppler’s direction.

Players have an economic incentive to participate in an IL stint. A player with a split contract that required different salaries in the major and minor leagues would have received at least $3,978 per day while on a big league IL last year; for many, the pay while assigned to the minors ranged from as little as $315 or $630, depending on whether they were on a 40-man roster for the first time that year.

Eppler, 48, was the Mets’ general manager from November 2021 until he resigned on October 5, three days after owner Steven Cohen appointed David Stearns president of baseball operations.

The Mets said they “consider the matter closed and will have no further comment.”

eppler

Former Mets GM Billy Eppler Suspended Through World Series For Fabricating Injuries

Eppler served as the New York Yankees’ deputy general manager from 2012 to 2014 before becoming the Los Angeles Angels’ general manager from 2015 to 2020. He joined WME Sports’ baseball representation group in September 2021 and, two months later, signed a four-year contract with the Mets, becoming the team’s eighth head of baseball operations in 13 months.

MLB’s sentence is the most serious since Houston manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were suspended in January 2020 until the World Series for participating in the team’s use of a video camera to steal signs. Both were fired, and the Astros were fined $5 million. The organisation also forfeited four high-round amateur draft picks.

The Red Sox fired Alex Cora for his involvement in the Astros incident, and Manfred suspended him for the coronavirus-shortened 2020 season. Alex Cora had previously been Houston’s bench coach before becoming Boston’s manager.

Atlanta lost 13 prospects, and general manager John Coppolella was banned for life in November 2017 for violating foreign signing rules between 2015 and 2017. Coppolella was reinstated in January 2023.

SOURCE – (AP)

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Record Point Total In Controversial NBA All-Star Game As The East Defeats The West, 211-186

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The Eastern Conference won the All-Star Game for the first time since 2014, defeating the Western Conference 211-186 on Sunday in its annual showcase of its best players.

The rosters included top players including LeBron James, Steph Curry, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nikola Jokić, and Kevin Durant.

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Record Point Total In Controversial NBA All-Star Game As The East Defeats The West, 211-186

According to the NBA, the scoring spree smashed numerous records. The East scored the most points ever, exceeding the 196 that the Western All-Stars scored in 2016, and the overall total of 397 surpassed the previous record of 374 set in 2017. The Eastern All-Stars also made a stunning 42 three-pointers, breaking the previous record of 35 established in 2019.

“Everybody was asking what the record was,” Milwaukee Bucks guard Damian Lillard said. “We found out and went after it.”

This year’s All-Star Game also featured the return of the original East vs. West format. From 2018 to 2023, team captains (the two players with the most fan votes in each conference) selected players from an All-Star pool, regardless of team or conference.

Lillard led the East with 39 points, capping off a hugely successful weekend by being awarded All-Star Game MVP after defending his Three-Point Contest championship earlier on Sunday. Some of his shots during the showcase game came from far beyond the arc.

“Kawhi Leonard and I were impressed with his ability to shoot from the halfcourt line as if it were a free throw. “Strength, power, muscle memory,” said 14-time All-Star Kevin Durant.

Karl-Anthony Towns, a Minnesota Timberwolves big man coming off the bench for the West, led all scorers with 50 points in under 28 minutes. Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, a regular season MVP candidate, scored 31 points to power the West.

Despite the broken records and attacking masterclasses, many fans and analysts chastised Sunday’s game for its apparent lack of competition.

Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics scored 36 points, while Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton, playing in his home court, scored 32.

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Record Point Total In Controversial NBA All-Star Game As The East Defeats The West, 211-186

Defence has always been regarded as optional in midseason exhibition games, with players preferring to put on a show for the spectators with spectacular highlights while playing with less energy to avoid injury.

The All-Star Game is primarily a showcase, but the high point totals and sluggish defensive attempts have begun to irritate fans.

With the East’s advantage expanding in the second and third quarters and little to no defence performed on either end, the game was out of reach for the West early on, resulting in a lack of suspense down the stretch.

The popular Elam Ending, which ends a game when one team hits a target score in an untimed fourth quarter, was also removed with the return to the conference structure.

Mychal Thompson, the father of Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson, called the event a “farce,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver appeared frustrated after the final buzzer.

“To the Eastern Conference All-Stars: You had the most points. “Well, congratulations,” he remarked on-court after the game.

Even the players had worries about the game.

“I hope the All-Star Game returns to what fans want to watch over time. “I guess guys are trying to figuNBAre out how to play hard while also staying safe,” Brown remarked after the game.

Record Point Total In Controversial NBA All-Star Game As The East Defeats The West, 211-186

Durant argued that the lopsided scoreline was due to the game’s high-powered offence.

“The shot-making from the East was incredible,” he said. “Hard to play defence when somebody’s shooting 30-, 40-footers over you.”

Finding a way to revive interest and inject some energy into this NBA season mainstay will be a struggle for Silver in the coming years as the league strives to balance crowd-pleasing on-court antics and competitive spirit.

SOURCE – (CNN)_

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Stephen Curry Tops Sabrina Ionescu In 3-Point Shootout At All-Star Weekend

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Stephen Curry was on a roll in Indianapolis, but it wasn’t enough to beat Sabrina Ionescu.

And, fittingly, he won by three.

The Golden State star and NBA’s all-time 3-point champion defeated Ionescu 29-26 in the Steph vs. Sabrina battle at All-Star Saturday night, the league’s first him-versus.-her matchup.

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Stephen Curry Tops Sabrina Ionescu In 3-Point Shootout At All-Star Weekend

“For us to deliver a show like that, it was perfect,” Curry said. “As much excitement as you can generate in that short period of time with two outstanding shooters going at it. This is something we will cherish for a long time.”

Ionescu won the WNBA’s 3-point shootout at All-Star weekend last year with a record of 37 points, breaking Curry’s NBA shootout record of 31. A challenge was issued from there, and a plan was devised for them to meet over All-Star weekend.

So they did, and it seemed like the main event of the evening.

“Hopefully, this isn’t the last time we do this,” Ionescu remarked.

Given how much the fans — and everyone in the NBA and WNBA — seemed to enjoy it, it’s unlikely to be the last time, especially since Curry and Ionescu discussed adding partners to the mix next year when All-Star weekend happens to be in San Francisco, where he plays, and she lives.

Curry received a championship belt with images of goats—as in, GOATs—on either side.

curry

Stephen Curry Tops Sabrina Ionescu In 3-Point Shootout At All-Star Weekend

He is, without a doubt, the greatest shooter of all time. But Ionescu, the New York Liberty star, nearly overwhelmed him.

Ionescu took the first shot and made 18 of 27—starting 7 for 7. Some were worth one point, some worth two, for 26 points.

She shot from the NBA 3-point line, which is often 12 to 18 inches farther away from the hoop than the WNBA line, depending on the area of the court. Ionescu used a WNBA ball, which was smaller than Curry’s NBA ball.

Curry had to rally at the end, making nine of his last ten to seal the victory.

They combined to shoot 39 for 54 (72%) in a contest featuring unusual components, such as a lime-green glass floor in a football stadium with the world watching.

“This was so authentic for the both of us to be able to be here, finally not in a closed gym, shooting in front of everyone watching and understanding what it means for ourselves but also the bigger picture,” said Ionescu, who previously defeated Curry in an H-O-R-S-E competition without millions of people watching on television. “This is exactly where I wanted to be. It has altered the landscape of how people perceive what we are doing.”

There is no rivalry between the two, even though Curry heckled Ionescu during her rehearsal shooting session on Friday. He was booing her as she was shooting.

“Trying to apply some pressure, for sure,” Curry added.

curry

Stephen Curry Tops Sabrina Ionescu In 3-Point Shootout At All-Star Weekend

He has inspired Ionescu for more than half of her life. Ionescu’s family held season tickets to the Warriors games. He once gave her a high-five in the tunnel connecting the locker room to the court. She used a photo of him as her screensaver.

Years later, when Ionescu was shining in Oregon, she was the one who high-fived Curry’s daughters, who adored her. And on Saturday, Ionescu said the experience of simply being a part of something so unique on the All-Star stage taught her a valuable lesson.

“To just keep believing in myself,” she stated. “You know, ten years ago, I would have never imagined this was conceivable. And so being able to be up here is a blessing and an opportunity to even be in the same conversation with Steph and to see how much he respects me as a player, a basketball player, and a person for wanting to come out here and do this.”

The competition garnered funds for both of their causes, and Curry won the belt at the end – but they were both pleased.

“I don’t know what’s going to come out of it, but Sabrina and I talked about how cool of an opportunity it is to do something that’s never been done before in our game,” Curry said. “Her presence on this stage will greatly inspire the next generation of young boys and girls who want to compete and see themselves in either of us.” Wherever it goes from there, we know we can establish ourselves as doing something truly unique.”

SIYRCE – (AP)

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Shooting After Chiefs Super Bowl Parade Seemed To Stem From Dispute Among Several People, Police Say

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Kansas City, Missouri – The mass shooting that occurred amid crowds at the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl celebration looked to be the result of a dispute between several persons, authorities said Thursday.

Police Chief Stacey Graves said the 22 people injured in the incident ranged in age from 8 to 47 years old, with half of them under the age of 16. A mother of two was also killed.

Graves said three people were held, including two children, but no charges have been filed yet. Police are urging witnesses, anyone with mobile footage and victims of the violence to contact a special hotline.

“We are investigating the involvement of others. It should be mentioned that we have retrieved multiple guns. “This is still a very active investigation,” Graves stated during a press briefing.

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Shooting After Chiefs Super Bowl Parade Seemed To Stem From Dispute Among Several People, Police Say

The shooting outside Union Station occurred despite the presence of around 800 police officers in the building and surrounding vicinity, including on top of adjoining structures, according to Mayor Quinton Lucas, who arrived with his wife and mother and fled for safety when the guns rang out. However, he does not plan to cancel the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day parade.

“We hold parades all the time. I don’t think they will finish. “Certainly, we recognised the public safety challenges and issues surrounding them,” Lucas added.

Before the shooting, crowds gathered along the parade route, with some fans climbing trees and street poles or standing on rooftops to get a better view. Double-decker buses with drummers and DJs passing by the audience carried players.

The police had estimated that 1 million people attended the march, which took place in a city with a population of around 470,000 and a metropolitan area of roughly 2 million, but emphasised that a small group of people perpetrated the violence.

“The law enforcement response was excellent. “Those in attendance also responded,” Graves said. “They helped one another and even physically stop a person believed to be involved in the incident.”

Meanwhile, police continue to seek witnesses to come forward. Many others recalled a feeling of disorientation that spread throughout the gathering.

The demonstration had just ended, and music was still playing when the shooting began. Many folks initially believed they were hearing fireworks. However, mayhem ensued. Some in the crowd fell to the ground, while others jumped over barriers and fled the scene, some carrying toddlers in their arms.

The gathering was so large that normalcy swiftly returned, with several supporters confused about what had transpired. But suddenly, ambulances arrived, and officers rushed in, pistols drawn. Some of the least badly injured were transported away in golf carts.

The startled crowd, some in tears, cautiously gathered their possessions, attempting to find how to return home. Strangers consoled one another as police taped up the crime scene in an area where there had been a joyful party just moments before.

Hank Hunter, a sophomore at a Kansas high school, reported hearing bullets in the distance while watching the rally with a friend. At first, they had no idea what it was, but then, “like a chain reaction”, individuals began hitting the ground.

They tried to jump over a barricade, and his friend banged his head into the concrete, Hunter explained. As the players and coaches boarded buses, a security guard led his companion into Union Station, which was closed to the public. Coach Andy Reid consoled his pal, saying he “just tried to comfort him and calm him down.”

chiefs

Shooting After Chiefs Super Bowl Parade Seemed To Stem From Dispute Among Several People, Police Say

Social media users shared disturbing footage of cops dashing through Wednesday’s crowded scene. One video showed someone performing chest compressions on a victim while another person, who appeared to be in pain, lay on the ground nearby. People screamed in the background.

Another video shows two people chasing and tackling someone before holding them down until two police officers arrive. In an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Trey Filter of Wichita, Kansas, said he witnessed someone being chased and intervened.

“I could not see much. I heard, ‘Get them!’ I noticed a flash close to me. And I remember jumping and thinking, ‘I hope this is the fool they were talking about,'” he explained. “They began shrieking, ‘There’s a gun! “There is a gun!”

Filter stated that he and another man kept the person pinned down until authorities came. “I remember the officers pulling my feet off of him, and at that point, I was just looking for my wife and kids,” he told reporters.

It wasn’t immediately obvious whether the guy he was holding down was involved in the shooting, but Filter’s wife, Casey, noticed a gun nearby and grabbed it up.

According to radio station KKFI-FM, the woman slain in the incident was Lisa Lopez-Galvan, host of “Taste of Tejano.”

Lopez-Galvan, whose DJ name was “Lisa G,” was an outgoing and loving mother from a well-known Latino family in the neighbourhood, according to Rosa Izurieta and Martha Ramirez, two childhood acquaintances who worked with her at a hiring firm.

“She’s the type of person who would jump in front of a bullet for anybody — that would be Lisa,” she said.

chiefs

Shooting After Chiefs Super Bowl Parade Seemed To Stem From Dispute Among Several People, Police Say

Kansas City has long suffered from gun violence, and in 2020, it was one of nine towns targeted by the US Justice Department as part of an initiative to reduce violent crime. In 2023, the city tied a record with 182 killings, the majority of which included guns.

Lucas has joined mayors from throughout the country in pushing for additional gun-violence-reduction policies, such as universal background checks.

“We did everything to make this event as safe as possible,” Lucas, a Democrat, told KMBC-TV Thursday. “But as long as we have fools who will commit these types of acts, as long as we have their access to firearms with this level of capacity, then we may see incidents like this one.”

According to University Health spokesperson Leslie Carto, two of the eight gunshot patients who were brought to the hospital remain in critical condition. One person is in stable condition. The remaining five have been discharged. The hospital also treated four event attendees who sustained nongunshot injuries. Carto said that three of those patients had been discharged.

Stephanie Meyer, chief nursing officer at Children’s Mercy Kansas City, said the hospital was treating 12 rally patients, including 11 children aged 6 to 15, nine of whom had sustained gunshot wounds. Everyone was anticipated to recover, she said.

When asked about the children’s condition, Meyer said, “Fear.” The one word I’d use to describe what we saw and how they got to us is terror.”

Emily Hohenberg, a representative for St. Luke’s Hospital, said one gunshot victim is still in critical condition. Four people who were injured while fleeing the scene of the incident were treated and released.

SOURCE – (AP)

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