Developing: Temporary stay expected in NFL lockout


Developing: Temporary stay expected in NFL lockout

April 29, 2011Michael David Smith

UPDATE: In the fluid situation that is the NFL labor mess, mistakes are being made including a big one in the ESPN report that we cited just moments ago.During the 1 p.m. Eastern SportsCenter, ESPN broke in with an on-screen graphic saying, BREAKING NEWS: Court grants temporary stay of players injunction, reinstates NFL lockout.
EARLIER: Although NFL players were being welcomed back to team facilities this morning because of Judge Susan Nelsons injunction to end the lockout, that is changing this afternoon.ESPN is reporting that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has granted a temporary stay of the injunction and reinstated the lockout, meaning players will now be told to hit the road, and doors to team facilities are being locked this afternoon.READ MORE>

MLB becomes whole new ballgame since Cubs last World Series trip


MLB becomes whole new ballgame since Cubs last World Series trip

One way to realize just how long it's been since the Chicago Cubs last reached the World Series is to look at how much the game has changed since then, on and off the field.

The Cubs are making their first appearance since 1945 and chasing their first title since 1908.

Some of the ways the game has changed since the Cubs lost Game 7 to the Detroit Tigers some 71 years ago:

INTEGRATION: Jackie Robinson became the first black player to reach the major leagues in 1947, two years after the Cubs' last World Series appearance. Baseball has turned into a virtual melting pot in the seven decades since. The Cubs' roster includes players from Cuba (reliever Aroldis Chapman and outfielder Jorge Soler), along with Venezuela, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, as well as the United States.

EXPANSION: There were 16 teams in the majors in 1945, including two in St. Louis, Boston, Philadelphia and Chicago, and three in New York. The total is up to 30 now.

GO WEST: There were no major league franchises west of St. Louis in 1945. The Brooklyn Dodgers moved to Los Angeles and the New York Giants headed to San Francisco in 1958. In 1969, the Seattle Pilots showed up - they went 64-98 in their first year, then became the Milwaukee Brewers.

DIVISIONAL PLAY: There were no divisions in 1945, just eight teams in both the American League and National League. They split into East and West divisions in 1969. Then a Central was created in 1994, with the Cubs shifting from the NL East to the NL Central.

PLAYOFFS PLUS: Extra teams and divisions resulted in expanded playoffs. The League Championship Series began in 1969, the Division Series started in 1995 and a one-game wild-card playoff came in 2012. A longer postseason pushed the World Series deep into October and beyond. If the Cubs and Cleveland go the distance this year, Game 7 would be on Nov. 2.

FREE AGENCY: When Phil Cavarretta and Peanuts Lowrey helped lead the Cubs to the 1945 Series, they were bound to the team until they were traded or released. Curt Flood tested baseball's reserve clause in the early 1970s and took his case to the U.S. Supreme Court, helping pave the way for players to move around as free agents. Jon Lester, John Lackey and Ben Zobrist are among the players the Cubs acquired this way.

DESIGNATED HITTER: The designated hitter joined the American League lineup in 1973. The DH debate is still hot, with the leagues playing by different rules. When this year's World Series opens at the AL park, both teams will use the DH; when the Cubs host, the pitchers will hit.

LIGHTS AT WRIGLEY: The Cubs were the last team in the majors to play only day games. That changed when lights were installed at Wrigley Field in 1988. The games there have always been played outdoors on green grass, never under a dome or on artificial turf, trends that became popular starting with the Astrodome in the mid-1960s.

Inactives: Raiders RB Murray to play vs Jags; Watson remains out

Inactives: Raiders RB Murray to play vs Jags; Watson remains out

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Latavius Murray is active and ready to play Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. That was expected, as the top Raiders running back passed tests during the practice week that showed coaches he could go.

Right tackle Menelik Watson, however, needs another week. He was limited in each practice, and Austin Howard remained in the catbird’s seat there. Watson will miss a fourth straight game.

Howard will have a solid backup. Matt McCants is active for the first time since the season opener. Vadal Alexander is also out with an ankle injury, though the Raiders have eight offensive lineman dressed an ready for the first time since the opener.

The Raiders will be without some core special teams players. Brynden Trawick is out with a shoulder injury and Taiwan Jones is inactive. He was questionable with a knee injury.

That should hinder the Raiders special teams coverage in particular.

The Jaguars are healthy for this stage in the season, with their starting lineup intact heading into this game.

Here are the full inactives for both teams