Braves' McDowell on leave after alleged S.F. incident

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Braves' McDowell on leave after alleged S.F. incident

April 29, 2011GIANTS PAGE GIANTS VIDEO
ATLANTA (AP) The Atlanta Braves placed pitching coach Roger McDowell on administrative leave Friday while they investigate allegations that he made homophobic comments and crude gestures toward fans before a game in San Francisco last weekend.McDowell also is accused of using a baseball bat to threatening a fan who objected to his actions.The former major league reliever apologized in a statement, but the team barred him from the bench heading into a three-game series against St. Louis.The Braves' minor league pitching coordinator, Dave Wallace, will take over for McDowell during the investigation. Major League Baseball has said it's waiting to hear from the team before deciding on possible penalties.Atlanta general manager Frank Wren planned to address the media before Friday night's game.The de facto suspension of McDowell came just hours after the team announced it was looking into the arrest Thursday night of starting pitcher Derek Lowe on drunken-driving charges, a double dose of trouble for a team that has always prided itself on avoiding off-the-field incidents.The altercation at AT&T Park in San Francisco took place last Saturday during pregame batting practice. Justin Quinn was in the stands with his wife and 9-year-old twin daughters when he noticed McDowell hectoring three men and asking them, "Are you guys a homo couple or a threesome?"After the coach made crude sexual gestures with his hips and a bat, Quinn said he shouted, "Hey there are kids out here." According to Quinn, McDowell said kids don't belong at a baseball park, picked up a bat, walked up to Quinn and asked him, "How much are your teeth worth?"Quinn said he felt threatened and was unsure whether McDowell intended to hit him."My kids are in panic mode ... they're like grabbing onto me," Quinn said Wednesday during a news conference at the office of prominent Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred. "I'm talking to him, trying to calm him down and the kids are screaming."Some parents who were in the stands with their children began to boo at McDowell and came down to retrieve their kids. Quinn said that eventually McDowell walked away."I am deeply sorry that I responded to the heckling fans in San Francisco," McDowell said in a statement, his only public comment on the matter. "I apologize to everyone for my actions."Baseball commissioner Bud Selig called the allegations "very troubling" while awaiting the results of the team's investigation.The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation called on the Braves and Major League Baseball must take "real disciplinary action and send the message that anti-gay slurs have no place in sports.""Professional sporting events should be an environment that all fans and families can enjoy, not a place where children are exposed to violent threats and discriminatory language," the alliance's president, Jarrett Barrios, said.McDowell was a star reliever with the Mets and Philadelphia Phillies, playing a key role on New York's World Series-winning club in 1986. He has been Atlanta's pitching coach since 2005, earning praise for his work in developing young hurlers such as Tommy Hanson and Jair Jurrjens.

Cousins buys chocolate from kids for charity, donates bars to flight staff

Cousins buys chocolate from kids for charity, donates bars to flight staff

DeMarcus Cousins leads the NBA in technical fouls. He also leads the league in scowls and he’s even kicked over a few garbage cans following the Kings' loss to the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night. But that’s just a small portion of who he is.

According to a source that travels with the team, Cousins went out of his way Sunday morning to make an impact in the lives of a couple of local youth in Chicago.

Kids were selling chocolate bars outside the team’s hotel trying to earn money for charity. Plenty of people walked by, avoiding the youth, but Cousins stopped, reached into his pocket and purchased all of the boxes they had to sell.

Later on in the day, Cousins donated the candy to the flight service staff for use on the flight to Detroit.

Cousins gets plenty of negative press for his antics on the floor, but off the court, he is extremely generous. He plays Santa-Cuz during the holidays, buying gifts for underprivileged children in Sacramento and his hometown of Mobile, Alabama. He has also purchased a new scoreboard for a local high school and even paid for the funeral of a local high school football player who lost his life in a drive-by shooting.

No one is perfect, Cousins included, but he also has a genuinely good side that he often doesn’t seek or receive press for.

 

Kirk Cousins watches Kyle Shanahan's offense carve up Packers

Kirk Cousins watches Kyle Shanahan's offense carve up Packers

Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent. His uncertain status has led to speculation presumptive 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan will be interested in acquiring him in the offseason.

On Sunday, Cousins got a first-hand look at his former coach’s offense.

Cousins posted a photo on Instagram from the stands at the Georgia Dome, where the Atlanta Falcons and their high-octane offense blasted the Green Bay Packers, 44-21, in the NFC Championship game.

Cousins wrote the caption, “Watching two of the best in the world do what they do & taking notes to make it to this game next year -score a lot of points!”

Washington finished third in the NFC East and out of the playoffs with an 8-7-1 record.

Shanahan, the Falcons’ offensive coordinator, coached Cousins for the first two seasons of his NFL career with Washington on the staff of his father, Mike Shanahan. Cousins appeared in just eight games with four starts in 2012 and ’13.

Cousins' career has taken off in the past two seasons while starting all 32 regular-season games. He completed 67 percent of his passes this season with 25 touchdowns and 12 interceptions and a passer rating of 97.2.

Washington placed the franchise tag on Cousins this season at nearly $20 million. He franchise tag is expected to be approximately $24 million in 2017.

If Washington places the non-exclusive franchise tag on Cousins, a team could sign him to an offer sheet at the cost of two first-round draft picks or negotiate a trade with Washington for a lesser amount.