Report: Packers could shut down Aaron Rodgers if team falls out of playoff contention

Report: Packers could shut down Aaron Rodgers if team falls out of playoff contention

Anwar S. Richardson

By                                  3 hours ago                             Shutdown Corner

(USA Today Sports Images)


The Green Bay Packers haven’t won since Aaron Rodgers was sidelined with a collarbone injury. If Green Bay’s losing streak continues, Rodgers may not play again until next season.

According to NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport, Rodgers would “be lucky” to play on Dec. 8 against Atlanta, but if Green Bay is out of playoff contention once the quarterback is healthy, the Packers may sit him for the rest of this season.


The Packers were 5-2 prior to Rodgers’ injury, but are 0-4-1 without him. Packers quarterback Matt Flynn was abysmal recently against the Detroit Lions, completing 10-of-20 passes for just 139 yards and one interception during a 40-10 loss on Thursday. Flynn was also sacked seven times.

Green Bay’s remaining games are against Atlanta, Dallas, Pittsburgh and Chicago. Rodgers may have a slim chance of playing against Atlanta, but time is running out on Green Bay’s playoff hopes.

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A-Roid’s problem: ‘He tries to please everyone’


By Michael Gartland

December 1, 2013 | 5:34am

Stand by your ex.

That’s the tune Alex Rod­riguez’s former wife, Cynthia, is singing in New York magazine’s Monday issue. But even as she attempts to defend A-Rod against Major League Baseball’s allegation that he used banned substances, she suggests he lacks a moral compass and would just listen to the advice of whoever was with him at the time.

“I used to say to Alex, ‘Don’t you just know what to do? Don’t you just have that voice in your head that tells you?’ He said, ‘No. I don’t,’ ” Cynthia said.

“I think, looking back, he was probably uncomfortable with his place in the world.”

Amazingly, A-Rod referred the mag to his ex-wife as a “character witness” despite his string of embarrassing liaisons, including one with Madonna that led to their 2008 divorce.

“You’re going to love her,” he told New York. “She’s an amazing lady. I love her to pieces, and she’s one of my best friends.”

C-Rod, who had two daughters with A-Rod, lauded her ex for making amends after their breakup.

“He really made sure that everything was taken care of,” she said. “It was a very nurturing process . . . I saw something in him that I still see in him, and what I see is still very good.”

She believes many of his problems stem from growing up without a father and trying to please everyone.

“He’s trying to say the right thing, trying to fit in,” Cynthia said. “I would say immature, not insincere.”

Even toward the end, as their marriage hung by a thread, she said she tried to get to the bottom of why he is the way he is — even soliciting baseball legend Cal Ripken Jr. for advice.

“Cynthia, let me tell you the problem,” he told her. “I might be wearing a suit, and Alex will see me and say, ‘Cal, I love your suit. Where did you get that suit?’ Then somebody else might walk in the locker room, and they have a completely different kind of suit on. And Alex might say, ‘Hey, I love your suit.’ Cynthia, he tries to please everyone. That’s the problem.”

MLB, MLBPA joint drug report shows Adderall use rising in baseball


By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer
November 29, 2013 8:04 pm ET        


Carlos Ruiz was one of eight players disciplined for amphetamine use this year.
Carlos Ruiz was one of eight players disciplined for amphetamine use this year. (USATSI)




Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players’ Association released a joint drug report on Friday, covering the 2012-13 season. Here is the text, courtesy of Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe:

The report covers from the 2012 offseason to the end of the 2013 Major League Baseball post-season. The report is specific to Players who compose forty-man rosters for Major League Baseball Clubs.

1) The total number of drug tests that were conducted for the presence of Performance Enhancing Substances and/or Stimulants during the time listed above was 5,391 tests. The number of urine samples that were collected and analyzed for the presence of Performance Enhancing Substances and/or Stimulants was 4,022. The number of blood samples that were collected and analyzed for the presence of human growth hormone was 1,369.

2) Eight tests were reported by the testing laboratory for having an adverse analytical finding that resulted in discipline. All were for Stimulants. The substances reported were as follows: Adderall: 7; Methylhexaneamine: 1

3) 13 non-analytical positives resulted in discipline.

4) 122 Therapeutic Use Exemptions were granted. The diagnoses were as follows: Attention Deficit Disorder: 119; Hypogonadism: 3

Respectfully submitted, Jeffrey M. Anderson, MD Independent Program Administrator Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program

First things first: Those 13 players in item No. 3 are the players suspended for their ties for Biogenesis. None of them failed a drug test, but MLB dug up enough evidence to hand down suspensions.

As for item No. 2, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times notes the report implies one in 10 players are treated for Attention Deficit Disorder with Adderall, which is roughly double the rate of the general population. The number of Adderall exemptions in MLB has risen considerably since 2006 — 28 in 2006 to 103 in 2007, for example — when amphetamines were banned.

Baseball is a game built around short periods of intense focus surrounded by a lot of down time, so it makes sense players would seek Adderall. The only difference between this and more hardcore (and frowned upon) performance-enhancing drugs is that most players are using Adderall under the direction of a doctor and with approval from MLB.


Mike Tomlin’s sideline dance in front of Ravens returner Jacoby Jones could end up hurting the Steelers in more than a fine.

Ian Rapoport of reports that the NFL could not only fine Tomlin and the team, but possibly take away one of the Steelers’ draft picks. The league clearly doesn’t want anyone else to think about pulling this shit again.

The most recent case similar to Tomlin’s act happened a few years ago. Remember Sal Alosi, the Jets’ strength and conditioning coach? His trip of Dolphin’s player Nolan Carrool to his firing—along with a $25,000 fine—and a $100,000 fine for the Jets. There was no loss of draft pick, though. And Alosi actually tripped a player.

Obviously, Tomlin not making contact with Jones doesn’t mean he wasn’t trying, but loss of a draft pick seems excessive. Then again, Roger Goodell gets a boner for setting precedents and making statements with his punishments, so while that kind of ruling would be severe, it wouldn’t be surprising.

All you need to know: MLB rumors, news roundup for Nov. 30


All you need to know: MLB rumors, news roundup for Nov. 30

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer
November 30, 2013 7:38 pm ET        
Free agent Rafael Furcal is drawing interest despite missing all of 2013 due to elbow surgery.
Free agent Rafael Furcal is drawing interest despite missing all of 2013 due to elbow surgery. (USATSI)



MORE: FA tracker: position players | FA tracker: pitchers

In nine days, the 2013 Winter Meetings will begin in Orlando. That’s when all hot stove hell will break loose. There will be trades, free agent signings, the Rule 5 Draft, plus tons and tons of rumors. Things will start to pick up on Monday with the non-tender deadline, but right now things are slow because of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Here’s a recap of Saturday’s hot stove action.


Orioles: Acquired C Johnny Monell from the Giants for cash considerations, the team announced. The 27-year-old hit .275/.364/.494 with 20 home runs in 121 Triple-A games last season before being designated for assignment a few days ago.


SS Rafael Furcal: The Mets, Red Sox, Marlins, Pirates, Nationals and Rockies are the among the teams with interest in the free agent infielder. (ESPN Deportes)

Mets: They are “heavily involved” with RHP Bronson Arroyo. GM Sandy Alderson will meet with the free agent hurler next week at his Florida home.

Padres: Expected to land a lefty reliever and/or a left-handed bat relatively soon. “By the time the Winter Meetings end, we will have done something,” said GM Josh Byrnes. “We’re lined up on a few trade ideas over the next couple weeks.” (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Red Sox: Close to moving on if their free agents like 1B Mike Napoli and SS Stephen Drew do not accept their offers relatively soon. No deadlines are set, but the team is “certainly working on other options, also.” (

Royals: Looking for second base help and they believe 2B Mark Ellis has “something left.” (Kansas City Star)

Twins: Will remain aggressive in their hunt for pitching despite already signing RHP Ricky Nolasco to a four-year contract. (1500 ESPN)

Robinson Cano, Yanks still far apart

Robinson Cano, Yanks still far apart

Updated: December 1, 2013, 11:23 AM ET news services


Robinson Cano and the New York Yankees remain roughly $80 million apart on a new contract, sources told’s Buster Olney.


Cano, sources said, asked for a nine-year deal at $28 million a year, with a vesting option for a 10th year at $29 million this past week. That deal, at $252 million, would match Alex Rodriguez‘s 2000 deal with the Texas Rangers in guaranteed value.

The Yankees, sources told Olney, upgraded their offer to the $170 million range, leaving a gap of about $80 million. According to published reports and information from sources who spoke to, the Yankees had previously offered Cano a seven-year deal worth approximately $160 million.

The Yankees met with representatives for Cano on Tuesday in Manhattan. Present at the meeting were Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, president Randy Levine, Cano agent Brodie Van Wagenen of Creative Artists Agency and a representative of Jay Z’s Roc Nation, although not Jay Z himself.

Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner said in October the club would not give Cano a 10-year deal, and last week Levine told, “Unless he gets a little more realistic, we have nothing to talk about.”

Robinson Cano asks Yankees for $250-260 million, per report

Robinson Cano asks Yankees for $250-260 million, per report

By                               on Nov 30 2013, 10:03p

Tom Szczerbowski

Representatives for the second baseman are scheduled to meet again with the Yankees on Monday.

Free agent second baseman Robinson Cano and the Yankees remain far apart in contract negotiations, as a report from Ken Davidoff in the New York Post has the coveted infielder asking New York for between $250-260 million.

In a meeting before Thanksgiving, Cano’s representatives — including Jay Z and Brodie Van Wagenen — proposed a nine-year contract for the second baseman, though Davidoff reported the Yankees’ latest offer was a seven-year deal between $160-175 million.

Cano has played all nine of his MLB seasons in New York, but the Yankees have other irons in the fire and won’t necessarily wait for Cano to make a decision, per Davidoff:

If they spend their allotment before Cano decide on his future, Yankees officials have vowed to industry folks, they’ll give up on Cano (or get him to agree to a dramatically reduced contract) and come up with a cheaper solution for second base. They reached out early to free-agent second baseman Omar Infante and also checked in with Cincinnati regarding a trade for Brandon Phillips.

Though Cano and the Yankees are between $75-100 million apart in their negotiations, it is closer than the earlier rumors of Cano seeking in excess of $300 million for his big payday. A source told Davidoff that Cano hasn’t sought $300 million since becoming a free agent after the World Series, and that those discussions occurred in May, during the season.

Cano on Thursday told Dominican newspaper El Dia, “I’ve never asked anybody for $300 million.”

The 31-year-old second baseman hit .314/.383/.516 with 27 home runs and 41 doubles in 2013, his fifth straight season hitting at least .300 with a .500 slugging percentage, at least 40 doubles and at least 25 home runs. Cano has also been one of the most durable players in baseball, averaging 160 games per season for the last seven years. From 2007-13, Cano is one of just four players in MLB to play in 1,100 games, along with Prince Fielder, Adrian Gonzalez and Ichiro Suzuki.

The Yankees and Cano are expected to meet again on Monday, per Davidoff.

Manny Ramirez eyes another baseball comeback, either in MLB or Japan

Ramirez, who played  in Taiwan from April through June last season, hasn’t played in the majors since  2011, when he appeared in five games with the Rays before being informed by MLB  that he had violated the league’s drug policy for a second time.


Monday,  November 11, 2013, 8:42 PM


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This photo taken on March 27, 2013 shows former Boston Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez poised to swing during his debut game on the island after joining EDA Rhinos in March, in Taiwan's southern Kaohsiung baseball stadium. US baseball legend Manny Ramirez quit Taiwan's EDA Rhinos on June 19, breaking local fans' hearts just three-months after joining the team despite being the highest paid player in the league's history.  AFP PHOTO / Mandy ChengMandy Cheng/AFP/Getty Images


Manning Ramirez wants to keep on being Manny next season – hopefully with an  MLB team.

ORLANDO – Manny  Ramirez isn’t finished with baseball yet.

At least that’s what his agent, Barry Praver, said Monday at the General  Managers meetings, saying the 41-year-old wants to play somewhere in 2014.

“He’s interested in continuing his career, whether it be with a major-league  organization or in Japan,” Praver said. “He’s serious. He’s got a tremendous  love of the game. He loves playing.”


Ramirez hasn’t played in the majors since 2011, when he appeared in five  games with the Rays before being informed by MLB that he had violated the  league’s drug policy for a second time. Rather than taking a 100-game  suspension, Ramirez retired.

The league and the players’ union later agreed to reduce the suspension to  50 games, which he served in 2012 before trying an unsuccessful comeback with  the A’s. Ramirez played in Taiwan from April through June last season, returning  to the U.S. in July after signing a minor-league deal with the Rangers. He was  released six weeks later.


Phil Hughes' struggles last season don't seem to be affecting his free agency value.

Andrew Theodorakis/New York Daily  News

Phil Hughes’ struggles last season  don’t seem to be affecting his free agency value.


Despite his dreadful 2013 season, Phil Hughes is drawing interest from  “several teams” in both the AL and NL, according to a source.

Although Hughes posted a 4-14 record and 5.19 ERA, the 27-year-old managed a  3.88 ERA in 13 road starts, allowing seven home runs over 67.1 innings away from  Yankee Stadium. He posted a 6.32 ERA with 17 homers allowed in 78.1 innings in  the Bronx.

Hughes’ 7.5 K/9 was also right in line with his 2010 and 2012 seasons, his  two best as a starter.


“He’s young and he’s healthy,” the source said.


Things are going slowly but surely for Bobby Parnell in his recovery from neck surgery.

Howard Simmons/New York Daily News

Things are going slowly but surely  for Bobby Parnell in his recovery from neck surgery.

The Mets will honor veterans and members of the military with Military  Mondays, which will include the Mets wearing camouflage uniforms for every  Monday home game during the season. The Military Mondays will begin April 21 and  continue July 7, July 28, Sept. 8 and Sept. 15.


The Mets will honor a “Veteran of the Game” with a team autographed  camouflage jersey, presented by a Mets player.

U.S. military personnel with active or retired military identification will  receive complimentary tickets to Monday night games for themselves and up to  three guests. They will also offer retail discounts and community outreach  events in conjunction with the promotion.


Mets closer Bobby  Parnell is progressing from surgery to repair a herniated disk in his neck,  but is still weeks away from being cleared for baseball activities.

“His last report was good,” Mets assistant GM John Ricco said, “but he is  not cleared for baseball activities yet.”

Parnell had 22 saves in 49 appearances in his first season as the Mets  closer. He was shut down in late July and had surgery in September.

The surgery, the same that Broncos’ quarterback Peyton Manning had, is  unusual in baseball and the Mets were concerned about his rehab. Parnell,  however, is optimistic about being ready for spring training.

Royals “insist” they’ll pursue Carlos Beltran, appear willing to offer three-year deal

Nov 30, 2013, 5:24 PM EST

Carlos Beltran APAP

The Yankees were mentioned as the favorites to sign Carlos Beltran earlier this week, but the Royals haven’t given up hopes of reuniting.

According to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star, the Royals “insist” that they will pursue Beltran and appear willing to meet his preference of a three-year contract. This comes on the heels of CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman pegging the club as a “serious threat” last weekend.

“We’d love to have him in,” one Royals official said. “One thing about Carlos Beltran is he’s a money player. He’s an RBI guy. He produces.”

As these things usually go, it will all come down to money. With that in mind, the Royals would likely have to shed payroll in order to make room for Beltran. Dutton speculates that Billy Butler could be at the top of the list of available players, along with some of their high-priced relievers. Still, with the Yankees, Tigers, Red Sox, Rangers, Orioles and Mariners all in the mix for Beltran, the bidding could climb higher than the Royals are willing to go.

Beltran, who turns 37 in April, batted .296/.339/.491 with 24 home runs and 84 RBI over 145 games this past season. He spent the first seven years of his career in Kansas City, so if he can return to his roots and remain healthy and productive into his late-30s, it would pretty much clinch him going into the Hall of Fame in a Royals cap.