Boston Celtics

Hot dog thrown at Tiger Woods

505857.jpg

Hot dog thrown at Tiger Woods

From Comcast SportsNet
SAN MARTIN, Calif. (AP) -- Tiger Woods was sure to make news at CordeValle in his first tournament in seven weeks. Only it wasn't from any of his scores or any of his shots. It was from a hot dog. Even when he returned to golf last year after a sex scandal, Woods heard only the occasional heckle from the crowd or saw a plane toting a saucy message on a banner. But as he stood over a putt on the seventh green toward the end of his final round in the Frys.com Open, he heard a commotion from security and saw remnants of a hot dog being tossed in his direction. "When I looked up, the hot dog was already in the air," Woods said. "The bun was kind of disintegrating." Woods hadn't played on the PGA Tour since the middle of August, when he missed the cut at the PGA Championship amid growing questions about whether he could get his game back to where it once was, or even come close to that standard. His golf looked much improved. After playing only six rounds since the Masters while letting injuries to his left leg fully heal, he overcame a sloppy opening 73 with three straight 68s -- the first time he has had three rounds in a row in the 60s in more than a year on the PGA Tour. That amounted to progress, just not up the leaderboard. Woods wound up 10 shots behind in a tie for 30th in what will be his final PGA Tour event of the year. Still to come is the Australian Open on Nov. 10-13, followed by the Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne. The winner was Bryce Molder, an All-American all four years at Georgia Tech who joined the tour in 2002 and had to wait nearly a decade -- this was his 132nd tournament -- to win. It wasn't easy. Molder holed a 12-foot birdie putt on the 18th that got him into a playoff with Briny Baird. Molder outlasted Baird on the sixth extra hole, the longest playoff on tour this year, by making a 6-foot birdie putt. It was a big disappointment for Baird, 0 for 348 on the PGA Tour. He went over 12 million in career earnings, the most by any player who has never won. Even so, Woods managed to produce the most bizarre moment in what already is a strange year. He stood over an 18-foot birdie putt late in his round when a 31-year-old man, whose name wasn't released, yelled out his name and tossed the hot dog in his direction. Woods backed off his birdie putt, then quickly resumed play. He missed the putt. "Some guy just came running on the green, and he had a hot dog, and evidently ... I don't know how he tried to throw it, but I was kind of focusing on my putt when he started yelling," said Woods, who didn't seem bothered by it. "Next thing I know, he laid on the ground, and looked like he wanted to be arrested because he ... put his hands behind his back and turned his head." Sgt. Jose Cardoza said the man was arrested for disturbing the peace and removed from the property. Because it was a misdemeanor, Cardoza said the man would not be taken to jail and his name not disclosed. Cardoza said only that he was from Santa Rosa. "He was very cooperative," Cardoza said. "They said, 'Why did you do this?' He just shook his head in guilt or remorse. He didn't give a reason why he did it." Cardoza said the man claimed he wasn't throwing the hot dog at Woods, rather tossing it in the air. He said the man acknowledged having a drink earlier in the day, but that the man was not drunk. Arjun Atwal, who played with Woods, said he was concerned for a moment at the sight of a fan yelling out Woods' name and approaching the green. "They could have shot him," Atwal said. "The cops could have thought it was something else." It was high drama, albeit briefly, an example that Woods attracts attention simply by being at a tournament. The longest playoff of the year. The first win for Molder. There was even 21-year-old Bud Cauley shooting 66 to finish third, which likely will be enough for him to become only the sixth player to get a PGA Tour card without going to Q-school. And a hot dog steals the show. "It was bizarre," said Rod Pampling, who also played with Woods. "This guy comes running out with a hot dog in his hand, and then he lays down and puts his hands behind his back." Woods said he never felt threatened because he was on the back end of the green and the fan never got close to him. He heard the commotion of security behind him, and when he looked up, the hot dog already was in the air. "I guess he wanted to be in the news," Woods said. "And I'm sure he will be." When he finished with a final birdie, any seriousness of the incident gave way to levity. Dan Diggins, head of security for tournament sponsor Frys Electronics, said the man would be arrested for "everything" and described him as "just an idiot." "It wasn't a chili dog," Diggins said. "That could have been really bad." The rest of Woods' round wasn't nearly as eventful. He did get on the leaderboard, before the leaders teed off, with four birdies in his opening six holes. But he missed the 16th green and made bogey, and after an easy birdie on the 17th, didn't make another one until his final hole on the par-5 ninth. He attributed that to not enough play. Because of injuries to his left leg this year that are finally healed, Woods now has played only 10 full rounds since the Masters. "I haven't played much," Woods said. "That comes with competitive flow, understanding the situations and feels, and game time is a little bit different." He is hosting a tournament at Pebble Beach next week to raise money for his foundation, and he said "family obligations" would keep him from playing the season-ending tournament at Disney.

Cavs expect Isaiah Thomas playing in games by January

cleveland-cavaliers-isaiah-thomas-92517.jpg

Cavs expect Isaiah Thomas playing in games by January

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — Isaiah Thomas could be running the point for Cleveland by the end of the year.

The All-Star point guard, acquired from the Celtics this summer in a blockbuster trade, has made progress with his hip injury, and the Cavaliers expect him to be playing games by January.

Thomas has begun running and doing on-court activities as he rehabilitates the injury, which prematurely ended his postseason with the Celtics. Cleveland acquired him in a trade that sent All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving to Boston, its biggest challenger in the East.

Thomas doesn’t need surgery. While the Eastern Conference champions have been encouraged by his recovery, they will not rush him back. While he gets healthy, Derrick Rose, another summer acquisition, will start at point guard.

Thomas averaged 28.9 points last season for the Celtics, who sent him along with forward Jae Crowder, center Ante Zizic and a 2018 first-round draft to Cleveland.

The Cavaliers were concerned with Thomas’ injury, so the Celtics added a second-round pick to complete the deal.

When they introduced Thomas at a news conference, the Cavaliers were vague about a timeline for his return, mainly because they hadn’t yet worked with him. It’s now possible Thomas could be back and playing by Christmas, when the Cavs visit Golden State.

Thomas is only under contract for the upcoming season and has said in the past he wants a maximum contract.

Copyright The Associated Press.
 

Tom Brady on pace to dwarf deep-ball passing numbers from 2016

cp-tom-brady-092517x.jpg

Tom Brady on pace to dwarf deep-ball passing numbers from 2016

FOXBORO -- When the Patriots traded their first-round pick in the 2017 draft for Brandin Cooks, they gave Tom Brady one of the most productive deep-ball receivers in the NFL over the course of the last few seasons. 

The Cooks acquisition not only made the Patriots offense more versatile, it also may have signaled an acknowledgement that the team needed more pass-catchers who could produce down the field and outside the numbers.

In the playoffs last season, against Houston's and Atlanta's defenses -- both of which were effective at times in taking away the short-to-intermediate areas of the field -- the Patriots could have benefited from someone like Cooks. In both games, the Patriots were able to hit on throws deep and on the outside in critical moments with likes of Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan and Malcolm Mitchell. 

Now after three weeks, and after having faced two defenses in Houston's and Kansas City's that were intent on packing the middle of the field with defenders, it's clear that the move to grab Cooks is paying dividends. 

In Sunday's win over the Texans, 36-33, Brady threw eight passes that traveled at least 20 yards in the air, and he completed five for 185 yards and three scores, according to Pro Football Focus. On the season, Brady leads the league with 22 attempts of 20 yards or more, per PFF. He's completed 11 of those for 368 yards and four touchdowns. His passer rating on deep attempts (135.4) is second in the league. 

Compare that to last season's totals for Brady on deep passes -- 23 completions for 834 yards and eight touchdowns -- and he's on pace to blow those numbers away. Whereas he only attempted deep passes on just over 11 percent of his throws last season, according to PFF, so far this year one in every five of his throws is traveling 20 yards or more.

The biggest beneficiary of the new approach? Cooks, of course, who Brady has dubbed "Cookie." 

PFF says Cooks is leading the league in deep-ball receiving through three weeks, with 187 yards on five deep catches. Three of those came on Sunday and they resulted in 111 yards and two scores. In Week 1, Cooks had three catches for 88 yards -- including a 54-yarder -- and he drew three penalties that resulted in an additional 38 yards. In Week 2, Cooks had two catches for 37 yards -- including a 22-yarder.

Last year? The leading receiver for the Patriots on passes that traveled 20 yards or more was Hogan (10 catches for 397 yards). 

One more indication that the Patriots offense has shifted with Cooks in and Edelman sidelined: Cooks leads the NFL in yards per catch through three games (25.6 yards per reception), while Danny Amendola (16.4 yards per reception, seventh) and Rob Gronkowski (14.9, 13th) are all found among the league leaders in that category.  

Opposing defenses may continue to play the Patriots as the Texans and Chiefs did this season: Flood the middle of the field and pressure Brady with just three or four linemen. They may be content with allowing Brady to attempt lower-percentage throws down the field as opposed to letting him slice them up with shorter tosses. 

It worked well enough for the Chiefs to win, and it nearly worked well enough for the Texans. Perhaps "the blueprint" is still the blueprint. But with the addition to Cooks, Brady and the Patriots have proven that they've evolved to more efficiently combat those schemes.

CSNNE SCHEDULE