Lance Lynn did it again on Wednesday, making another impressive start to help the St. Louis Cardinals avoid a sweep at the hands of the Cubs. In four starts this season — each of which the Cards have won — Lynn has a 1.33 ERA with 24 strikeouts and an opponents OPS of .524. His opponents .203 batting average on balls in play won’t be sustained, but none of that matters. Because he is the spitting image of 1983 AL Cy Young Award winner LaMarr Hoyt

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Small-school Butler could soon be making a big move.

The NCAA tournament darling is reportedly debating whether to leave the Horizon League for the stronger, higher-profile and potentially more profitable Atlantic 10.

Bulldogs athletic director Barry Collier met Monday with his coaches, part of a regular meeting process he has with athletic department employees. Spokesman Jim McGrath said Collier declined to comment on what was discussed at the meeting or where the decision-making process stands.

”We’ve been longtime members in good standing of the Horizon League and we continue to examine the ever-changing landscape of conference affiliation,” McGrath said.

The Indianapolis Star first reported that university President James Danko notified trustees in a letter that the school had been conducting a cost-benefit analysis of changing conference affiliations. Coaches have been fielding questions, too, and trustees have been told not to discuss the possibility of a move that has caught the ear of Horizon League officials.

”Our commissioner, Mr. (Jon) LeCrone, has been in contact with the president and athletic director and they’ve not said anything to him,” Horizon League senior associate commissioner Bill Benner said Monday. ”As far as we know, the status is quo.”

Butler’s board of trustees is scheduled to meet May 9-10 and this month’s staff assembly general meeting is slated for May 16.

Danko did not immediately respond to an interview request from The Associated Press. Neither did Butler board of trustees Chairman Craig Fenneman or A-10 Commissioner Bernadette McGlade.

The Atlantic 10 is looking to replace Temple, which will join the Big East in all sports other than football in 2013-14. The football team will begin playing football in the Big East this fall.

A-10 officials are reportedly interested in adding three schools — Butler, George Mason and Virginia Commonwealth — following Temple’s departure.

All three have played in the men’s Final Four since 2006, but the Bulldogs are the only one of those three to reach the championship game. Butler lost to Duke in the 2010 title game when Gordon Hayward’s half-court heave bounced off the rim in Indy. The Bulldogs then lost to Connecticut in the 2011 championship game when they shot just 18.8 percent from the field.

If all three make the move, the 14-team Atlantic 10 would grow to 16. It would also reunite Butler with four rivals from the old Midwestern Collegiate Conference — Dayton, Duquesne, St. Louis and Xavier.

The Horizon League currently has 10 members with Green Bay (approximately 400 miles) being Butler’s longest trip in conference play. If the Bulldogs join the A-10, they would travel regularly to Charlotte, N.C., Massachusetts, Fordham in New York City, Rhode Island, St. Joseph’s in Philadelphia and Virginia.

All of those trips would exceed the distance to Green Bay, making Butler’s potential move more costly.

2 23 (55) Peter Konz C 6-5 315 Wisconsin
3 28 (91) Lamar Holmes T 6-6 333 Southern Miss from Ravens
5 22 (157) Bradie Ewing FB 6-0 245 Wisconsin
5 29 (164) Jonathan Massaquoi DE 6-2 250 Troy from Ravens
6 22 (192) Charles Mitchell SS 5-11 205 Mississippi State
7 42 (249) Travian Robertson DT 6-4 303 South Carolina compensatory selection
1 11 (11) Dontari Poe DT 6-5 350 Memphis
2 12 (44) Jeff Allen G 6-5 315 Illinois
3 11 (74) Donald Stephenson G 6-6 307 Oklahoma
4 12 (107) Devon Wylie WR 5-9 185 Fresno State
5 11 (146) DeQuan Menzie CB 6-0 198 Alabama
6 12 (182) Cyrus Gray RB 5-10 200 Texas A&M
7 11 (218) Jerome Long DL 6-5 265 San Diego St.
7 31 (238) Junior Hemingway WR 6-1 222 Michigan

Denver aims to circumvent Lakers ‘illegal defense’

LOS ANGELES (AP) The Denver Nuggets still believe Andrew Bynum and the Lakers play illegal defense all the time.

The Nuggets also realize it’s on them to make the 7-foot shot-blocker’s job a whole lot tougher, or their playoff stay will be short.

”He’s not going to shrink by tomorrow,” Arron Afflalo said Monday before the Nuggets’ practice.

After getting one-sixth of all their shots blocked in a Game 1 loss, the Nuggets are redoubling their efforts to force their speedy tempo on the Lakers in Game 2 on Tuesday night.

Denver figures it’s the only way to prevent Bynum from camping out underneath the basket alongside fellow 7-footer Pau Gasol, who blocked two shots of his own. Yet Bynum also spends enough time parked in the paint to earn several parking violations, according to Denver coach George Karl, who claims Los Angeles played ”about 30” illegal defense possessions against the Nuggets’ layup-dependent offense.

”Yeah, but we help him a lot, too,” said Denver forward Kenneth Faried, who had 10 points and eight rebounds in his NBA playoff debut. ”We step inside, and he basically gets 3 clear seconds (in the paint). We just have to get back to what we’re used to doing, just getting up and down the floor and enjoying ourselves. … If we get outside the (paint), Bynum can get caught for 3 seconds, because he does sit there a lot, just posts there like a tree and blocks a lot. He’s got to move with us, and that takes him out of the middle.”

The Lakers mostly rolled their eyes at the Nuggets’ cries over the nebulous rules governing how long a defensive player can stay in the paint. Bynum has patrolled the lane aggressively throughout his first All-Star year, and Kobe Bryant said his 24-year-old teammate has ”obviously progressed tremendously defensively from the first part of the season.”

When asked about Karl’s accusations, Bynum conceals a smile while pointing out how the Nuggets’ up-tempo offense allows him to do his job.

”If people cut through the lane, you can touch them and you can stand there the whole time,” Bynum said after the Lakers’ workout at their training complex in El Segundo. ”That’s part of the game.”

The Lakers are quite familiar with coaches using gamesmanship to get the attention of officials and opponents with sharp public statements in the postseason – but it was usually former Lakers coach Phil Jackson who was doing the needling and prodding.

With a few days to prepare, new coach Mike Brown put together a game plan that led to a remarkably smooth win in his Los Angeles playoff debut. Karl’s gamesmanship elicited a chuckle from Brown, who hasn’t played this game much in Cleveland or Los Angeles.

”He’s a veteran coach,” Brown said. ”He’s been in the playoffs a long time. He’s just got to try to work the officials in different ways, and that’s what he’s doing. I applaud him for that. … George is maybe doing the right thing, following Phil Jackson’s lead. He’s got 11 rings.”

The Lakers didn’t miss suspended forward Metta World Peace in the opener, but now backup big man Jordan Hill also is apparently in trouble over an assault charge filed in an alleged confrontation with his girlfriend before Hill joined the Lakers in mid-March.

Hill had 10 points and 10 rebounds in Game 1, making a significant contribution for a third straight game with the Lakers. Hill issued a brief statement and vaguely answered a few questions Monday, saying he doesn’t expect to miss any practices or games with the Lakers despite a looming court date in Houston on Tuesday.

”I’ll be here, but we’ll see,” Hill said of his ability to play in Game 2.

Even if Hill is unavailable, veterans Josh McRoberts and Troy Murphy could step in to face a Denver lineup that’s usually much smaller than the Lakers.

”What pleased me the most is the amount of energy we played with,” said Bryant, who scored 31 points. ”We were pretty tenacious on the defensive end, very active.”

Los Angeles held the Nuggets to 35.6 percent shooting with a dismaying number of missed layups. Leading scorer Ty Lawson didn’t make a shot until the fourth quarter, finishing with seven points as no Denver player made more than half of his shots except Jordan Hamilton, who was 1 for 1.

Denver is still confident in its transition game, and the Lakers have struggled against fast-breaking teams all season. They figure the only way to score in the paint against Bynum is to get to the hoop first.

”We have to be more aware when he’s in the paint, and we have to try to make the extra passes better,” said Danilo Gallinari, who led the Nuggets with 19 points. ”We have to move the ball, and shoot before he gets there.”

Link  —  Posted: May 1, 2012 in Denver Nuggets/New York Knicks
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EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) Los Angeles Lakers forward Jordan Hillfaces a felony assault charge after his girlfriend accused him of choking and shoving her in Houston earlier this year.

Hill is charged with assaulting 28-year-old Darlene Luna on Feb. 29 at his apartment while the New York Knicks’ former first-round draft pick was playing for the Houston Rockets.

The 24-year-old Hill was charged by Harris County prosecutors in March, and he has a court appearance scheduled for Tuesday in Houston.

Hill was apologetic, but said little about the accusations after the Lakers’ practice at their training complex Monday.

”I just want to apologize to fans, to the Lakers, the organization, to everyone,” Hill said. ”I can’t speak on it right now. I’m going to let my attorney, my agents take care of that. Unfortunately, it happened at this time, but I’m going to keep my head up, keep working, keep playing.”

When asked if he would be able to play in Game 2 of the Lakers’ playoff series against Denver, Hill replied: ”I’ll be here, but we’ll see.”

The charge could affect a remarkable recent rise by the 6-foot-10 Hill, who has contributed valuable minutes off the bench for the Lakers in three straight games after playing little since arriving March 15 in a trade for Derek Fisher. Hill had 10 points and 10 rebounds while playing 24 minutes in the Lakers’ 103-88 series-opening victory over Denver on Sunday.

”We had a conversation,” Lakers coach Mike Brown said. ”He has talked to Mitch (Kupchak, the Lakers’ general manager). But it’s not that we’re worried about his mental focus. We just told him that we’re behind him.”

According to documents filed with Harris County officials, Luna told police she argued with Hill about their future. Luna said the two had been dating for about two years.

Luna said Hill hit her legs with his fists after she threw Hill’s two cellphones to the floor. Luna claimed Hill then pulled her off a couch and threw her against a wall before putting her in a chokehold from behind.

Hill played for Houston from February 2010 until the March trade. Hill was the eighth overall pick in the 2009 draft by New York but never panned out for the Knicks or Rockets, playing in just 32 games this season for Houston.

After going nearly a month between appearances for the Lakers before mid-April, Hill has earned an improbable spot in Los Angeles’ rotation heading into the playoffs over the past two weeks.

He had his biggest game April 22, contributing 14 points and a career high-tying 15 rebounds while playing 35 minutes after Metta World Peace’s ejection from the Lakers’ double-overtime win over Oklahoma City.

Hill leapfrogged fellow forwards Troy Murphy and Josh McRoberts in Brown’s rotation with that performance, and his energy in the playoff opener helped minimize the absence of World Peace, who is suspended for five more games for viciously elbowing James Harden.

Shortly after news of the charges broke Monday, Hill posted on his Twitter account: ”Wowwwww,” and ”Unbelievable!!!!!!”The Lakers’ front office declined to comment on the charges.

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DETROIT — Delmon Young was suspended by Major League Baseball on Monday for seven days without pay following his arrest on a hate crime harassment charge last week in New York.

 The commissioner’s office said the suspension is retroactive to Friday, when Young was arrested after a late-night tussle at his hotel during which police say he yelled anti-Semitic epithets.

“Those associated with our game should meet the responsibilities and standards that stem from our game’s stature as a social institution,” commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement. “An incident like this cannot and will not be tolerated. I understand that Mr. Young is regretful, and it is my expectation that he will learn from this unfortunate episode.”

The statement from the commissioner’s office also said that Young would be required to participate in a treatment program.

Young is eligible for reinstatement from the restricted list May 4.

The suspension will cost Young approximately $257,240 of his $6,725,000 salary.

Speaking before the Tigers game against the Kansas City Royals was postponed by rain, Detroit general manager Dave Dombrowski said Young will not appeal the ruling and that he will not face additional discipline by the team when he comes off the restricted list Friday.

“Under the (collective bargaining agreement), there’s no dual discipline,” he said. “He’ll be activated and ready to play on Friday. If he’s not in the lineup, that will be the manager’s decision. He’s been working out over the weekend, and took batting practice today, so he’ll be physically ready on Friday.”

 

Around 2:30 a.m. Friday, Young was standing outside the team hotel in New York. Nearby, a group of about four Chicago tourists staying at the hotel were approached by a panhandler wearing a yarmulke and a Star of David around his neck, according to police.

Afterward, as the group walked up to the hotel doors, Young started yelling anti-Semitic epithets, police said.

It was not clear whom Young was yelling at, but he got into a scuffle with the Chicago group, and a 32-year-old man was tackled and sustained scratches to his elbows, according to police and the criminal complaint.

Both Young and the group went inside the hotel, and at some point, police were called, and Young was arrested, police said. Young was first taken to a hospital because he was believed to be intoxicated, police said.

Young apologized to his teammates and fans in a statement before being arraigned hours after his arrest.

Dombrowski did not know any of the details of the treatment program. It is not known if Young would undergo sensitivity training, treatment for alcohol and anger issues or some combination.

“We have not been told those details, and we might never know all of them,” he said. “When Miguel (Cabrera) was in a similar program last spring, I never saw the entire treatment program. The team is just told what they need to know to facilitate the player’s work in the program.”

Young is hitting .242 in 18 games, batting fifth in the order behind Miguel Cabrera andPrince Fielder. He has one homer and five RBIs.