#DigSportsDesk - The Lede

Bruins Defeat Sharks

BOSTON, October 21, 2014 -- Rookie winger Seth Griffith scored his first career goal early in the third before Gregory Campbell notched the game-winner midway through the period as Boston rallied to earn its first home win since the NHL season opener.

David Krejci had a goal and two assists and Brad Marchand and defenseman Torey Krug added power-play tallies for the Bruins, who have won three of four following a three-game slide. Milan Lucic collected three assists and Tuukka Rask turned aside 31 shots for Boston, which had to kill off a four-minute power play in the final 4:09 before Krejci settled it with a short-handed and empty-net tally with 25 seconds remaining.

Logan Couture scored a pair of goals and Joe Thornton also tallied against his former team as the Sharks dropped their second in a row to complete a 2-2-1 road trip. Patrick Marleau had a pair of assists while Antii Niemi suffered his first loss in four starts for San Jose, making 28 saves.

The Sharks surged ahead on goals by Couture and Thornton 37 seconds apart late in the second period, with Thornton poking Joe Pavelski's shot out of mid-air and past Rask at 16:52. Griffith, recalled from the minors on Monday, tied it at 4:50 of the third by pouncing on a loose puck in the right circle and swatting it past Niemi before Campbell tipped in Daniel Paille's pass from the right boards with 9:18 to play.

Marchand opened the scoring on the power play at 13:57 of the first but San Jose countered on the man advantage 2 1/2 minutes later when Couture deflected Marleau's shot from the left circle. Boston went back ahead with a power-play tally from Krug, who snapped a shot past Niemi from the right circle on a goal almost identical to Marchand's.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Thornton's goal gave him 1,201 career points, moving him past Dino Ciccarelli and into sole possession of 45th place in NHL history. ... Marchand's goal was the first allowed in the first period by San Jose this season and marked Boston's fourth successful conversion in 23 power-play chances. ... Sharks GM Doug Wilson said F Raffi Torres will not undergo a second ACL operation and instead will work to strengthen the muscles around his right knee.


World Series Notebook ...

KANSAS CITY, October 21, 2014 -- The San Francisco Giants have been here before, winning the 2010 and 2012 World Series.

The Kansas City Royals have not been to this biggest baseball stage since 1985, when they defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games. That also was the last time the Royals were in the playoffs, so most of their players are postseason neophytes.

Advantage Giants.

"I can imagine any time you've done something more than your opponent, it's going to make it easier to understand the weight of the situation," Royals eighth-inning setup reliever Wade Davis said. "I think we're all pretty comfortable where we are right now. We've played in some pretty big games and beat some really good teams."

The Royals are 8-0 in postseason play, sweeping the Los Angeles Angels and the Baltimore Orioles after rallying to top the Oakland Athletics in extra innings in the wild-card game.

Both teams worked out Monday afternoon with the World Series set to begin Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium. Right-hander James Shields will start for the Royals against Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner.

While the Royals have the home-field advantage, that does not faze the Giants, who are 16-5 on the road in postseason play since 2010.

"That's tough to explain," Bumgarner said. "It definitely has worked that way for us. I don't know the numbers, but it does seem like we're not really affected much by being on the road. Obviously, you would like to be at home. Home-field advantage is a little bit of an advantage. But we're here, and we're playing the cards we were dealt."

While Bumgarner will be working on his normal four days of rest, Shields has not pitched in 11 days.

"Resting and some bullpen action, just trying to repeat my delivery in my bullpen sessions," Shields said. "I think this late in the year almost too much throwing is too much, so I've just kind of rested by body up for (Tuesday)."

--Jarrod Dyson is the Royals' fourth outfielder and deluxe pinch runner, but he has become a go-to guy for the media.

After the Royals won the first two American League Championship Series games in Baltimore, he predicted the series would not return to Camden Yards, and it did not.

"It's not a time for a prediction," Dyson said Monday. "I can't give you guys no headlines, man. I'm sorry. That's my new name now, 'Headline.' (My teammates) gave me a new name because I give you guys a headline, talking crazy."

Dyson stole third base on his own in the ninth inning of the wild-card game against Oakland and scored the tying run on right fielder Nori Aoki's sacrifice fly. If he had been thrown out, the Royals probably would have been eliminated.

"That was a gutsy move by me. If I get thrown out right there, the whole city is ready to kill me," Dyson said with a laugh.

--Giants right-hander Tim Lincecum, a two-time National League Cy Young Award winner, has not pitched since Sept. 28 and has not started since Aug. 23.

Bochy said Lincecum had a good bullpen session Sunday.

"We need to have him ready because you don't know what's going to happen in the game," Bochy said. "He's ready to go and he's healthy. It's an old adage, all hands on deck, and he's one of them. If it's the right spot, he'll be out there."

Bochy said Lincecum, who went 12-9 this season with a 4.47 ERA in 33 games, including 26 starts, is mentally handling his situation "great."

"Really been upbeat about it, he understands," Bochy said. "He's done so much, including this year. You go back to '12 and he was a weapon in the bullpen, and he could be that this series. I feel bad for him that he didn't get to pitch against Washington or St. Louis because I think a lot of Timmy.

"There was never any thought of not having him on this roster. Not just having him on the roster, but the fact that he could help us at some point."

NOTES: Bochy said Michael Morse would be the Giants' designated hitter for the series opener, with Travis Ishikawa, who hit the game-winning home run in the series clincher against St. Louis, playing left field. Bochy also said the Giants' World Series roster will remain unchanged from the group that won the National League Championship Series. The 25-man rosters must be set Tuesday. ... The Royals' Ned Yost said he is a completely different manager than when he managed the Milwaukee Brewers from 2003-08. "I think I've learned to let my players be themselves," Yost said. "Because I have great coaches, I think I listen a lot more than I did back then. I'm pretty hard-headed, a little more flexible, and use the tremendous experience we have in our coaching staff to my benefit and our benefit." ... This is the second time in the wild-card era (since 1995) two wild-card teams advanced to the Fall Classic. The previous time was 2002, when the Anaheim Angels beat the Giants in seven games. ... This is the second time two teams reached the World Series after recording fewer than 90 victories during the regular season (excluding the strike-shortened 1981 season). The Giants went 88-74, while the Royals finished 89-73. In 1918, the Red Sox (75-51) beat the Cubs (84-45) in the World Series.


The NBA's Bank Shot

NEW YORK, October 7, 2014 -- New media rights deals with Turner and ESPN could bring the NBA as much as a 186 percent revenue increase over its existing broadcasting rights deal, which runs through 2015-16.

 

  • "I'm sure both sides will be studying this new deal and seeking to assure that it remains a fair deal to both sides," NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Monday.

    The Sports Business Journal first reported the eight-year deal, which was later confirmed by the league Monday, to be worth $2.66 billion per year, increasing the number of games televised exponentially and adding elements of digital streaming and exclusive content to partners under the ESPN and Turner Sports umbrella.

    "The Walt Disney Company and Turner Broadcasting share responsibility for the growing popularity and interest the NBA enjoys, and we are thrilled to extend our partnerships," said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. "With these new agreements, our fans will continue to benefit from the outstanding NBA coverage and programming provided by ABC, ESPN, TNT, NBA TV and their digital platforms."

    The rights deal begins with the 2016-2017 season and is widely expected to impact the next round of collective bargaining talks with players. LeBron James, for example, is on record as saying he preferred short-term deals until the next CBA is ratified. It is likely maximum contract levels will be greatly adjusted or eliminated.

    Silver said he is already engaged in conversation with the players' association and was scheduled to meet Monday night with new players' exec director Michele Roberts.

    "Our job will be to ensure that the players receive their fair share, and maintain the growth and popularity of the game," Roberts said in a statement Monday.

    The current eight-year deals ends in June 2016. ESPN pays $485 million per year and Turner pays $445 million per year on average in the current agreement.

    According to the league, a new digital platform will be created in partnership by the NBA and ESPN to address streaming to the ever-growing number of fans cutting their cable tv tie but accessing content online.

    From the league: "The parties have also established a framework for ESPN and the NBA to negotiate the launch of a new over-the-top offering in which the league would receive an equity interest. Details for the new offering will be announced at a future date."

    Projections based on current figures indicate the 2015-16 salary cap could increase from $58.7 million last season to $91 million in 2016-17. James and Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant are scheduled to be free agents in 2016.

    TNT will televise 64 regular-season games and 45 playoff games on an exclusive basis, an increase from 52 regular-season games televised during the current agreement. TNT will also offer exclusive presentation of Opening Night, the All-Star Game and All-Star Saturday Night. The 12 additional games will be televised during the second half of the regular season on a night other than Thursday.

    In addition to the NBA Draft, ESPN's family of networks will expand game coverage significantly, with the Finals remaining on over-the-air network television.

    ABC will televise up to 15 regular-season games on an exclusive basis, beginning on Christmas Day and continuing on Sunday afternoons in January, with the ability to move select Sunday games to ESPN.

    The postseason will feature the entire best-of-seven NBA Finals in primetime on ABC.

    ESPN and ESPN2 will televise up to 85 regular-season games primarily on Wednesday and Friday nights, an increase from 70 regular-season games under the current agreement. ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 will also televise up to 30 playoff games in the first two rounds, while ESPN will feature exclusive coverage of the conference semifinals games it televises and one of the conference finals each year.