Zito takes loss in Indians' 7-1 win over Giants


Zito takes loss in Indians' 7-1 win over Giants

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) The World Series champion San Francisco Giants are looking more fragile by the day.With closer Brian Wilson already ailing, the Giants found out NL championship series MVP Cody Ross would be lost for about three weeks, news that came a few hours before they lost 7-1 to the Cleveland Indians on Thursday night.
SOURCE: Giants' Ross out for Opening Day
Giants general manager Brian Sabean said the team will be ready come opening day."We are happy with the amount of innings played, innings pitched. Nobody has been cheated out of an opportunity. We really didn't see a lot of your younger kids and hopefully, that speaks to the depth of our roster."Chad Huffman hit a three-run homer and an RBI double and Luke Carlin added a solo homer for the Indians.Left-hander David Huff, making a late bid to earn the final spot in Cleveland's rotation, pitched five shutout innings, giving up three hits. Manager Manny Acta is due to announce his rotation on Saturday.The Indians scored three runs - only one earned - in the third inning off Giants starter Barry Zito. Carlin hit a two-out homer off the left-hander in the sixth and Huffman connected in the seventh off Ramon Ramirez for his third homer of the spring.Miguel Tejada hit a solo homer in the seventh for the Giants, his first of the spring. San Francisco signed Tejada as a free agent after parting ways with World Series MVP Edgar Renteria.Ross strained his right calf while chasing a flyball to right field on Wednesday. Wilson continues to have difficulty with his strained left abdominal muscle. He tried to play catch on Wednesday but had to shut it down because the pain had not subsided.
NEWS: Giants' Wilson sustains setback with oblique injury
Sabean said it is "50-50" on Wilson being ready on opening day. Wilson could remain in Scottsdale, where the weather is warmer, and continue to rehabilitate his injury.NOTES: Cleveland CF Grady Sizemore (left knee) went 1 for 3 with a walk as the DH in a minor league game against the Chicago White Sox. ... Giants INF Mark DeRosa returned to action for the first time in more than a week, playing 3B after resting his left wrist (tendinitis).

Falcons C Mack explains what makes Shanahan's offense so effective

Falcons C Mack explains what makes Shanahan's offense so effective

The Atlanta Falcons had the highest scoring offense during the 2016 regular season, averaging 33.8 points per game, and they racked up 6,653 total yards.

In two playoff games, they've scored a combined 80 points.

The architect of that high-powered offense is Kyle Shanahan, who is the presumptive head coach of the 49ers.

So what makes Shanahan's scheme so effective?

Falcons starting center and former Cal Bears star Alex Mack answered that on ESPN's Mike and Mike show on Tuesday.

"He does a really good job of just having a very balanced offense. We want to run outside schemes. we want to run outside zone, we want to be really effective at doing that. And when a team stops you from doing that, when they put people over there, or they slant out or whatever they do to stop that, he has the backup plan," Mack said.

"He knows exactly when they bring that safety down to make it really tough to run outside zone, well that's going to open up some throws later down the field. And then when they put someone out there on the throws, well, there's a bigger cutback lane, so he calls a different run for that. So our offense is really built around being balanced and having an answer for what the defense wants to do to stop us," Mack continued.

Mack, Shanahan and the Falcons are set to put their No. 1 scoring offense to the test against the Patriots' No. 1 scoring defense in Super Bowl 51 in Houston on Feb. 5, 2017.


LeBron goes off after latest loss: Cavs 'not better than last year'

LeBron goes off after latest loss: Cavs 'not better than last year'

CLEVELAND -- LeBron James has alluded to flaws with Cleveland's roster all season.

He got much more detailed about the cracks and crevices in the NBA champions after their fifth loss in seven games.

James urged the team's front office to do more after a 124-122 loss Monday night to the New Orleans Pelicans, who were missing star forward Anthony Davis.

"We're not better than last year, from a personnel standpoint," he said. "We're a top-heavy team. ... I just hope we're not satisfied as an organization."

On Tuesday, James went on Twitter to explain that his comments weren't directed at Cavs general manager David Griffin or Cleveland's coaching staff.

"I not mad or upset at management cause Griff and staff have done a great job, I just feel we still need to improve in order to repeat..." James tweeted. "If that's what we wanna do."

After speaking to a larger group of reporters on Monday night, James saved his most biting comments for Cleveland's traveling beat writers.

The Cavs haven't played well for weeks, and James felt the need to unload.

"It's been a (lousy) 2017 so far," he said.

His biggest issue is with the current makeup of the Cavs, who have been hurt most by allowing backup point guard Matthew Dellavedova to leave as a free agent and injuries to forward Chris Andersen and guard J.R. Smith. James watched the Golden State Warriors retool after losing in last year's NBA Finals and feels the Cavs haven't done enough to address their biggest needs.

James said he's expressed his opinions directly to Griffin, who recently obtained Kyle Korver in a trade with Atlanta.

"We need a (expletive) playmaker. I'm not saying you can just go find one, like you can go outside and see trees. I didn't say that," James said.

Griffin has an open roster spot and two small trade exceptions. The trading deadline is Feb. 23 and free agents can be signed until March 1 to be eligible for the playoffs.

Now in his 14th season, James knows his time to win more titles is dwindling.

"I don't know what we got to offer," James said of possible deals. "I just know me, personally. I don't got no time to waste. I'll be 33 in the winter, and I ain't got time to waste."

It remains to be seen whether James' public rant will spark the team. But James also knows that the Cavs will do anything within reason to accommodate him. What King James wants, he usually gets.

Despite their recent slide, the Cavs still have the best record in the Eastern Conference.

Cleveland hosts Sacramento on Wednesday as well as Brooklyn and Oklahoma City later this week.