Participants announced for 2011 Home Run Derby

Participants announced for 2011 Home Run Derby

July 5, 2011GIANTS PAGE GIANTSVIDEOA'S PAGE A'SVIDEO staffRecent Derbychampions David Ortiz and Prince Fielder will headline the 2011 Home Run Derbyas captains of the American and National Leagues, respectively. Each slugger selectedhis own squad to represent their leagues in the competition, taking place onMonday, July 11th at 5:00 p.m. in Phoenix.Ortiz stuck close to home, selecting three big hitters from hisnative American League East to accompany him on the field. As the reigning Derby champion, Ortizentered Tuesday hitting .301 with 17 home runs with the Red Sox.Boston Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, teammate ofcaptain David Ortiz, will join the band of AL contenders. Gonzalez, who leads theleague with a .348 batting average and 75 RBI, has hit 16 home runs as ofTuesday. Toronto Blue Jays outfielderthird baseman Jose Bautista swung his wayon to the hand-picked squad after hitting a Major League-leading 27 home runsat the time of the selection. Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano fills outthe AL roster,bringing 14 home runs into Tuesday's game. Fielder included two members of the NL Central and one fromthe NL West when constructing his team. Milwaukee'sfirst baseman heads the NL contenders with a .299 batting average and 21 homeruns as of Tuesday. Representing the host National League will be Fielder'steammate, Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks. Weeks, older brother of A'ssecond baseman Jemile Weeks, has hit 15 home runs with 34 RBI in 86 games. Cardinalsoutfielder Matt Holliday was selected to participate in the event after batting.316 with 10 RBI entering Tuesday's game. Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder MattKemp completes the NL squad, earning an invitation with an NL-leading 22 homeruns and .611 slugging percentage. Ortiz and Fielder will each select a charity that their teamwill support. The winning captain's charity will receive a 150,000 donation,along with a 100,000 contribution to the Boys & Girls Club of America (BGCA).25,000 will be awarded to the charity of choice of the losing team. The remainder -- determined by how many homers are hit inthe competition and how many are hit on Gold Ball tosses -- will be donated tothe BGCA on behalf of State Farm and MLB.

NFL owners mull cutting regular-season OT to 10 minutes

NFL owners mull cutting regular-season OT to 10 minutes

NEW YORK -- NFL owners will consider proposals next week to cut regular-season overtime from 15 minutes to 10; eliminate players leaping over the line on kick plays; and expansion of coaches' challenges and what can be reviewed by officials.

In what promises to be a busy annual meeting next week in Phoenix that will include discussing the Raiders' potential relocation from Oakland to Las Vegas, the 32 owners also will vote on changing the mechanics on replay reviews and other items intended to reduce downtime during games.

The Eagles proposed four rules changes, including abolishing the leaping techniques that league football operations director Troy Vincent said Thursday "don't belong in the game."

Seattle and Buffalo co-authored a proposal allowing a coach to challenge any officiating decision, whether a foul is called or not.

"That is a significant change to our current replay rule and it is something that will be on the floor and will be debated next week," NFL officiating chief Dean Blandino said.

Another major change would be the reduction of overtime in-season; the extra period in the playoffs would remain at 15 minutes. The powerful competition committee, of which Vincent and Blandino are members, believed it's a player safety issue, noting that number of snaps for games going to OT - especially deep into the overtime - is excessive. Especially if a team has a quick turnaround.

"We don't know where a team is going to be playing the next week, it could be four days later," said committee chairman Rich McKay, president of the Atlanta Falcons. "We felt we should put an end to it. We don't think it will lead to more ties. Could it? It could, but we are not concerned with that."

As for changing the format of overtime to ensure both teams always get a possession - a popular topic after how the Super Bowl ended - Blandino said the league's wants to keep the element of sudden death in the extra period.

The "leaper rule" has taken some priority among competition committee members, the players' union and coaches. Vincent said coaches have begun scheming how to defense it, which can "create a real safety issue."

"It is really in the best interest of the game" to outlaw leaping on kicks," Vincent added.

McKay noted that the NCAA is in the process of passing a similar ban on the technique.

During the meetings that run from Sunday to Wednesday, the teams will be shown plays the competition committee believes should result in suspensions or ejections. Game officials already have had the leeway to eject players, but it rarely has happened; there were three in 2016.

"They don't happen very often, let's give the players credit," McKay said. "We have 40,000 plays in a year. We'll show a tape that will have four or five plays that would warrant suspension. This is not a widespread situation."

Added Vincent, a former NFL defensive back: "When you see the plays, they are catastrophic. We had two players who did not return for the season. They are high-impact plays that belong out of the game. It will be a real point of emphasis this season."

Warriors guard Livingston begins turnaround after shooting dry spell

Warriors guard Livingston begins turnaround after shooting dry spell

OAKLAND -- Amid the recovery mission that followed the absence of Kevin Durant, as every Warrior eventually pitched in, Shaun Livingston stood virtually alone as someone who wasn’t doing his part.

The Warriors, and Livingston, would like to believe that is about to change.

When Livingston made 3-of-4 shots in a 112-87 rout of the Mavericks on Tuesday night, it was the first time he shot higher than 50 percent on multiple shots since Feb. 28, the day Durant went down with a knee injury.

“You go through slumps,” Livingston said after practice Thursday. “Fortunately for me, I’ve played long enough to know. You keep shooting. Keep pushing forward, good things will happen.”

As the Warriors lost that game at Washington, and four of the next six, Livingston’s usually reliable midrange game disappeared. In the first 10 full games since Durant was sidelined, Livingston shot 18.8 percent (6-of-32).

So his teammates did the heavy lifting. Andre Iguodala excelled as the steady vet. Klay Thompson and Draymond Green dipped and then came hard. Stephen Curry climbed out of his rut and started dancing again. The big men -- Zaza Pachulia, JaVale McGee and David West -- were titanic. Pat McCaw, Ian Clark, Matt Barnes and James Michael McAdoo filled in the gaps.

They had to, because Livingston the most reliable shooter on the team was nowhere to be found.

“We all want to play the best that we can,” Livingston said. “But the reality is it doesn’t work that way all the time.”

On Tuesday, for the first time this month, Livingston looked like himself. He was the guy who shot 55.6 percent in October, 54.4 percent in November, 57.6 percent in December, 58.9 percent in January and 54.1 percent in February.

“It was good for Shaun to see the ball go in the rim,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “He’s had such a great year shooting the ball, and then the last couple weeks he hit a dry spell. Which is going to happen to everybody.”

The “dry spell” was shocking, because it was Livingston. He’s in the final weeks of his third season with the Warriors, and throughout that time there was only one month in which he shot less that 49 percent (47.5 in March 2015). Signed in July 2014 to be the team’s No. 3 guard and primary backup to Curry, Livingston is shooting 51.9 percent in his Warriors career.

The Warriors would like to think he’s ready, once again, to do his part.

“Last game was good for him, just to make a few and see the ball go in,” Kerr said. “I’m confident he’ll get it going.”