From Comcast SportsNetHOUSTON (AP) -- Houston cornerback D.J. Hayden remains hospitalized in "stable, yet critical" condition after tearing a vein in a collision with a teammate during practice.Team physician Dr. Walter Lowe said in a statement from the school Thursday that the senior was taken by ambulance to Memorial Hermann Hospital after the collision late Tuesday afternoon. Hayden was rushed into immediate surgery for a tear of the inferior vena cava, the large vein that carries blood from the lower half of the body to the heart.Lowe says that type of injury is fatal "95 percent" of the time. He says such an injury is usually linked to high-speed motor vehicle accidents."This injury has never been seen or reported in association with a football injury," Lowe said.Lowe complimented the quick response by the team's trainers, paramedics, the Memorial Hermann trauma team and operating surgeon Dr. John Holcomb. The statement from the school said Hayden was alert, but still recovering in the intensive-care unit."We are very fortunate to have some of the nation's top physicians and medical facilities just minutes away from our campus," first-year coach Tony Levine said, "and I would like to extend our appreciation for their efforts on Tuesday evening."Hayden leads Conference USA with four interceptions and had returns for touchdowns in consecutive games against SMU and UTEP earlier this season. He was named the league's Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 29 after picking off two passes in the 45-35 victory over the Miners."D.J. is a tremendous young man and has been a great asset to our program, both on and off the field," Levine said. "I ask that everyone continue to keep D.J. and his family in their thoughts and prayers."The 6-foot Hayden transferred to Houston after helping Navarro College win the 2010 national championship. In his first season in Houston, Hayden led the team with 11 pass breakups and five forced fumbles, helping the Cougars finish with a school-record 13 victories and a No. 18 national ranking.Case Keenum, that team's record-setting quarterback who now plays for the Houston Texans, was getting updates on his phone from friends on Hayden's condition."Great player, better guy," Keenum said. "I know his family really well. My family got to know his family, just being at the games and sitting together a bunch. We've felt for them and we've been praying for them. It's nothing short of a miracle that he's still around."The Cougars (4-5, 3-2 C-USA) have three games left in their 2012 regular season, starting with Saturday's game against Tulsa (7-2, 5-0).
MESA, Ariz. — Right-hander Raul Alcantara, who could factor in as a starting or long relief option for the A’s, is experimenting with a split-finger fastball this spring.
Alcantara, who made five late-season starts last season in his first big league call-up, threw the pitch for the first time to hitters Tuesday, so he’s still in the infant stages with it. The A’s would like Alcantara to develop a solid third pitch to go with his fastball and changeup, though he does dabble with a curve and cutter too.
“In general, we’re looking for a ball that’s gonna dive, something where the bottom’s gonna fall out,” Oakland bullpen coach Scott Emerson said.
Alcantara, 24, faces crowded competition for the No. 5 starter spot with Jesse Hahn, Andrew Triggs and Paul Blackburn among those also going for it. Claiming the last spot in a seven-man bullpen is a possibility, though the A’s could surely utilize a second left-hander to go along with Sean Doolittle.
Making Alcantara’s case more interesting is that he’s out of minor league options, meaning he would need to make it through waivers unclaimed before the A’s could send him down.
Alcantara throws a hard changeup that clocked 86-87 miles per hour last season. Ideally, Emerson said his splitter would settle in the low 80’s.
Speaking through interpreter Juan Dorado, Alcantara said he’s gradually getting a feel for the new pitch.
“Obviously it’s a little more difficult on the hitters to know that there’s a different pitch,” he said. “They’re used to me throwing a fastball, a cutter and a change, and now implementing a split would just help me out to show them something different.”
CAMP BATTLE: Lefty Ross Detwiler, who re-signed with Oakland in the winter on a minor league deal, offers depth as a potential swing man who can start or relieve. Detwiler went 2-4 with a 6.14 ERA in nine games (seven starts) last season for the A’s. Those numbers look ugly in a short sample size, but Melvin values the veteran beyond what the stats show.
“I think he liked being here and we wanted him back.”
QUOTABLE: “I must be a little behind this year because the guys are hitting me a little harder than they normally do. Healy took me over the batter’s eye three times in a row.” — Melvin, who throws a couple rounds of batting practice every day.
NOTEWORTHY: The A’s will hold a pair of two-inning intrasquad games Thursday at the Lew Wolff Training Complex, with both set to start at 11:40 a.m.
The San Francisco 49ers Wednesday announced that Tom Gamble is leaving the organization.
“The 49ers organization has tremendous respect and appreciation for Tom Gamble and his many years of service,” said General Manager John Lynch. “He is a class act who has helped a great deal in this transition, and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know him. After working together over the last month, Tom and I agreed that it would be in both of our best interests for him to pursue other opportunities. Tom is a true professional and we wish him and his family great success in the future.”
“I must thank Jed, the York family and the entire 49ers organization for the wonderful memories they provided me and my family, but it is time I move on,” said Gamble. “This past month, I have had the pleasure of working alongside John Lynch and the talented staff he has assembled. The team is in capable hands and I wish them nothing but the best.”
Gamble, who recently completed his 29th NFL season and 10th with the 49ers, returned to the team in January of 2015 as the senior personnel executive and was later named assistant general manager on July 25, 2016. He spent the 2013-14 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles as vice president of player personnel. Gamble originally joined the 49ers in 2005 and spanned eight seasons with San Francisco including two as the director of player personnel (2011-12). He oversaw both the college and pro personnel efforts of the 49ers. As the 49ers director of pro personnel from 2005-10, Gamble monitored every NFL roster with an emphasis on scouting talent of upcoming pro free agents, while also maintaining continuous depth of personnel on the team’s roster.
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