Melky Cabrera could be in big trouble with MLB

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Melky Cabrera could be in big trouble with MLB

From Comcast SportsNet
NEW YORK (AP) -- An associate of San Francisco Giants All-Star Melky Cabrera purchased a website and attempted to create evidence to support a claim that the outfielder inadvertently took the substance that caused a positive drug test, Major League Baseball said. Baseball officials uncovered the scheme as Cabrera prepared his case to challenge the test. Cabrera's grievance then was dropped, and MLB announced a 50-game suspension Wednesday. The New York Daily News first reported on the scheme Sunday. A team of six-to-seven investigators from MLB spent several weeks working to uncover the plan, a baseball official familiar with the probe told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because MLB didn't authorize anyone to discuss the matter publicly. It's the first such case MLB has had and officials hope that uncovering the scheme will discourage similar attempts. The person said baseball had referred the case to federal investigators. A second baseball official, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said additional discipline against Cabrera was unlikely. Cabrera, MVP of the All-Star game last month, tested positive for testosterone, MLB said. The person said Juan Nunez, who works with Cabrera's agents, purchased an existing website and attempted to alter it in a manner that would allow Cabrera to claim the positive test was caused by a substance obtained through the website. The News reported Nunez paid 10,000 for the website. "If you create a new website, you would know when the website was created," the baseball official said. "At least they were smart enough to buy an existing website." The baseball official said MLB investigators were able to use their forensic resources to trace the website back to Nunez. Cabrera is represented by brothers Sam and Seth Levinson of ACES, a sports management company based in Brooklyn. The Levinsons told the Daily News that Nunez was a "paid consultant" of their agency. "The MLBPA has clearly stated that ACES has no connection to the website or this matter and, as reported, Juan Nunez has taken full responsibility for his acts," Seth Levinson told The Associated Press. "There is nothing more we can add and we will allow our reputation in the industry for 27 years to speak for itself." The second baseball official said MLB intends to ask the Major League Baseball Players Association, which regulates agents, to follow up on the situation at ACES. Cabrera was enjoying the best season of his big league career, helping the Giants contend for a postseason berth. He was hitting .346 with 11 homers and 60 RBIs, but will miss the rest of the regular season and the start of the playoffs, if the Giants advance that far. A former member of the New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves and Kansas City Royals, Cabrera is eligible for free agency after the World Series. San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy declined to discuss the allegations against Cabrera before the Giants played the Padres in San Diego. He didn't defend his player's actions, either. "You can be world-class parents and your kids can go south or have some issues. We can't follow guys 247, and it comes down to choices. (Cabrera) is a grown man, he's a veteran," Bochy said. "These are unfortunate things and we'll continue to work at cleaning out baseball."

Isaiah Thomas continues to claim Celtics' franchise records

Isaiah Thomas continues to claim Celtics' franchise records

BOSTON – This continues to be a historic season for Isaiah Thomas as more records fell in Wednesday’s 103-100 loss to Milwaukee, and the company he’s keeping becomes even more exclusive. 

Thomas had a game-high 32 points on Wednesday which included five made 3’s on nine attempts. That gave him 223 for the season which is a new franchise single-season record for made 3-pointers. The previous record was 222 set by Antoine Walker during the 2001-2002 season.

And his 32 points scored gives him 2,012 this season. 

Only six players in franchise history (Paul Pierce was the last to do it during the 2005-2006 season) have scored 2,000 or more points in a single season. 

Oh, there’s more. 

With Wednesday being the 66th time this season he has had 20 or more points, Thomas has now tied Pierce (2005-2006) and Larry Bird (1985-1986; 1987-1988) for sixth on the Celtics’ single-season franchise list. 

“I didn’t even know that,” a visibly disappointed Thomas said following Wednesday’s loss. “It doesn’t feel that good right now. But when I look back on it, probably in the offseason, I’ll appreciate it a little more. But I’m just staying in the moment and try and play as best I can to lead this team to as many wins as possible.”

Other season milestones Thomas is in the mix for include the following:

  • The 5-foot-9 guard is one of three players this season to have 50 or more games of 25-plus points, joined by Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook (57) and Houston’s James Harden (54).
  • Thomas has made at least one 3-pointer in a franchise-record 50 straight games (Dec. 3 – March 29). That’s also the longest current streak in the NBA. 
  • With 66 games of 20 or more points this season, Thomas is second in the NBA to Westbrook (67).

Marcus Smart at center of yet another controversial call

Marcus Smart at center of yet another controversial call

BOSTON – One of the more bizarre plays in Boston’s 103-100 loss to Milwaukee came in the second quarter, requiring some explanation from the officials afterwards. 

With 3:55 to play in the second quarter, the officials had originally called a foul on Marcus Smart which he verbally protested that eventually led to him being whistled for a technical foul. 

After the officials reviewed the play, they changed the call to a personal foul against Khris Middleton but no change to the called technical foul against Smart who objected to a call that, upon review, they agreed was the wrong call to make. 

Official Sean Corbin, through pool reporter Ken Powtak of the Associated Press, acknowledged that the original call was a loose ball foul against Smart. 

“The (officiating) crew got together, we met prior to video and we decided that we needed to look at video because both players were on the floor bleeding so we went to the video for a hostile act,” Corbin told Powtak. “In the review we noticed that Khris Middleton initially made contact to Marcus Smart’s face. That’s how the original contact to the play occurred.”

Fortunately for the Celtics, Middleton missed his technical free throw while Smart split a pair of free throws which cut Milwaukee’s lead to 49-40.

Still, that’s no consolation for Smart who was whistled for a technical foul on a play that the official acknowledged was the wrong call to make. 

In the fourth quarter, Smart was at the center of yet another controversial call that was also reviewed by the officials. The verdict wasn't nearly as good for Smart who was whistled for a flagrant foul after getting his feet tangled up with Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo who was called for a non-shooting foul in the play with 4:46 to play. 

Antetokounmpo made one of two free throws and on the Bucks' ensuing possession, he was called for traveling.

Smart was unavailable to talk after the game in part because the aforementioned incident left an abrasion to his mouth and, because of the technical foul, a little lighter in the wallet as well.