Rams’ Sean McVay takes on changes in team and training camp

Sometime Monday in Thousand Oaks, in a newly erected tent roomy enough to allow social distancing by 100 football players and coaches, Sean McVay will meet his 2020 Rams face to face for the first time.

After a different kind of offseason in which Zoom meetings replaced in-person strategy sessions and workouts, the Rams will open a different kind of training camp.

McVay can’t come right out and say it’s going to his most challenging camp as a head coach, and maybe it’s not. It wasn’t easy in 2017, when McVay was a 31-year-old rookie coach. That worked out all right.

“I know our players and coaches are really champing at the bit to even get in here, where we can meet with the players in person,” McVay said in a video chat with reporters Sunday from the Rams’ facility at California Lutheran University. “It’ll be newer challenges, things we’ve never navigated before.”

None of the 32 NFL coaches has ever faced a training camp as hard as this, with practice sessions limited, preseason games and inter-team scrimmages eliminated, and daily coronavirus tests reminding everybody why.

It might be harder for McVay. Nobody will have to work around those restrictions to incorporate more changes in the roster and staff than he must carry out after a 9-7, non-playoff season followed by a rough offseason.

The departed names are familiar, among them running back Todd Gurley; wide receiver Brandin Cooks; linebackers Cory Littleton, Dante Fowler and Clay Matthews; safety Eric Weddle, and kicker Greg Zuerlein.

Their potential replacements are unproven, including Darrell Henderson and top Rams draft pick Cam Akers at running back, Josh Reynolds and rookie Van Jefferson at receiver, Samson Ebukam, and free-agent signing Leonard Floyd and rookie Terrell Lewis at linebacker.

All told, the team will have at least six different starters from the 22 on the depth chart for the Rams’ last game of 2019, and at least nine changes from the 22 who began last season.

The assistant coaches helping McVay choose the starters for the Sept. 13 season opener against the Dallas Cowboys at SoFi Stadium are new, too: coordinators Kevin O’Connell on offense, Brandon Staley on defense and John Bonamego on special teams, and running backs coach Thomas Brown.

To evaluate players in game conditions without the usual four exhibitions and joint practices with other teams, McVay said Sunday he plans to hold intrasquad scrimmages at SoFi, the new Rams and Chargers home in Inglewood.

He hopes that while the lack of audition time might hinder rookies, an increase in “above the neck” coaching early in the pandemic-style training camp will help them.

“If we do it the right way,” McVay said, “it’ll give rookies actually a better opportunity to not be as stressed and overwhelmed mentally when the full-speed reps start.”

Camp will begin with a nine-day “acclimation period” of weight and on-field conditioning work, followed by a five-day “ramp-up” period of practices. Not until Aug. 18 will a 20-day period of full-contact practice begin on two fields in Thousand Oaks. (Fans won’t be allowed at training camp this year, and reporters won’t be allowed in until Aug. 18.)

The Rams begin camp with the 2020 limit of 80 players (10 fewer than usual) on the roster after undrafted rookie defensive tackle Michael Hoecht was activated Sunday from the “Reserve/COVID-19” list for players who tested positive for the coronavirus or have been quarantined because they were in contact with an infected person. The active roster must be trimmed by Sept. 5 to 53, plus a practice squad of 16 (six more than usual).

Hoecht and Lewis were put on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Friday, the same day that offensive lineman Chandler Brewer declared he was opting out of playing this season because his 2018 battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma leaves him at risk to the virus. McVay said he didn’t expect any other players to opt out or go on the physically unable to perform list.

Once openly skeptical about holding training camps, McVay said he feels “a lot better” now because of the NFL’s agreement with the NFL Players Association to hold daily virus testing for the first two weeks.

McVay preached “responsibility” by players and other personnel, who will commute to camp from their homes, to keep the virus from entering the training-camp “ecosystem.”

“It’s not just about what you’re doing here (in camp). It’s about understanding how important the ramifications can be if you make bad decisions outside of here with who you’re exposed to,” the coach said.

But he said he won’t impose rules for players’ off-duty behavior or special treatment for indispensable players such as quarterback Jared Goff.

“What I’m still working through is that fine line of acknowledging how serious this … but also allowing(ing) us to go play football.”

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AVP Champions Cup: April Ross, Alix Klineman win third consecutive title

Top-seeded April Ross and Alix Klineman are used to playing in beach volleyball championship matches. But when they took on fourth-seeded Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil on Sunday for the title in the third and final leg of the AVP Champions Cup series, they did so knowing their opponents were coming off an impressive semifinal victory over defending world champions Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes.

It was no problem for Ross and Klineman as they defeated Claes and Sponcil 21-18, 21-17 in the championship match, completing a hat trick by winning all three titles in the series that was contested over consecutive weekends without fans because of the coronavirus pandemic.

There was a total of $700,000 in prize money.

Although the win came in straight sets, Klineman, of Manhattan Beach, said it was anything but easy.

“First of all, we have a lot of respect for them as a team” she said. “We’ve trained against them a bunch, especially leading up to these three events, and so we’ve seen how much they’ve improved.

“And I think we could just tell that they were fired up today and we knew that we were going to have to match their energy and their intensity.”

Ross, of Costa Mesa, talked about what, in her mind, is the most difficult thing about winning on three consecutive Sundays.

“I think it’s the emotional dedication to wanting it and fighting through fatigue or drain,” she said. “It’s really hard to kind of get up emotionally three weekends in a row. And I think we did that really well and helped each other out and helped each other stay up for all three weekends.”

Klineman had 16 kills and Ross came through with 14 kills, 14 digs and three aces.

Claes, of Fullerton, powered down 23 kills and also had six digs, a block and an ace. Sponcil had six kills and nine digs.

Ross and Klineman are ranked No. 2 in the world behind Pavan and Humana-Paredes of Canada and are favored to be one of the two American teams in the Tokyo Games next year. As strong as they are, Klineman believes she and Ross still have plenty of upside.

“I’d like to think a lot,” Klineman said. “Every training block we have I feel we’re able to improve and add new things to our game.”

Ross and Klineman made it to the final with a 21-18, 21-17 semifinals victory over No. 6-seeded Kelley Kolinske/Emily Stockman. Ross had 15 kills, 12 digs and two aces in that one and Klineman had 14 kills and four blocks.

Kolinske had 10 kills and four blocks and Stockman contributed nine kills and 13 digs.

Claes and Sponcil upset No. 2-seeded Humana-Paredes/Pavan 21-16, 21-13 in the semifinals. Claes had 17 kills, nine digs and three blocks and Sponcil had 10 kills and 19 digs.

Humana-Paredes led her team with 12 kills and 14 digs.

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Del Mar: Fighting Mad sprints to win in Grade 1 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes

It’s not easy to impress Bob Baffert. Not with the number of equine greats the Hall of Fame trainer has housed in his barn over the years.

But Fighting Mad, a 4-year-old New Year’s Day filly, did just that Sunday at Del Mar, speeding gate to wire to win the $250,000 Grade I Clement L. Hirsch Stakes for her second consecutive graded-stakes victory and third of her career.

“Basically, she ran ’em off their feet,” Baffert said.

But he wasn’t so certain Fighting Mad was going to fire her best shot while saddling her in the paddock. She got so worked up they had to hose her down before the race.

“I was a little bit worried about her because she was getting pretty warm, really getting hot,” Baffert said. “The way she was acting in the paddock, she ran incredible … she was trembling and sweating. She really lost it in the paddock today. I was very worried about that, but that’s how good a filly she is.”

Baffert needn’t have worried.

Fighting Mad, with Abel Cedillo aboard, popped the gate, opened a quick lead and never looked back while setting quick fractions of 23.15, 46.55 and 1:10.57 as the 9-5 favorite. She held off a late-closing Ollie’s Candy by a half-length for the first Grade I victory of her career.

A winner of five of eight lifetime, Fighting Mad came into the race off a Grade II score in the Santa Maria Stakes at Santa Anita on May 31. She won the Grade III Torrey Pines Stakes last summer at Del Mar, proving she loves the ocean air. She’s three of four with a second at the track.

Ce Ce, the 2-1 second choice, finished third, 4 3/4 lengths behind Ollie’s Candy, who won the race last year. Final time for the 1 1/16 miles was 1:43.46 as Fighting Mad earned an all-expenses paid berth in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Keeneland on Nov. 7.

“I had the same instructions today that I had yesterday (for his gate-to-wire victory aboard Thousand Words for Baffert in the Shared Belief Stakes),” Cedillo said. “Get her out of there and see if you can get to the front. She really broke sharply and wanted to go right away.

“I got her to relax some on the backside, then she went right on with it. She’s just an amazing filly.”

Fighting Mad opened a 1 1/2-length lead up the backstretch and was never seriously threatened, though Ollie’s Candy was making up ground in the final sixteenth of a mile.

“Her speed is her weapon,” Baffert said. “Just let her bounce away from there. When you look at her you wouldn’t think she could go that far, but she has so much speed. When she started opening up I thought, ‘Well, he (Cedillo) must know what he’s doing.’”

The biggest disappointment of the race was Hard Not to Love, the 3-1 third choice in the wagering. She shifted in and bumped Ce Ce soon after the break, dropped back to last and stayed there the entire way, beaten about 13 lengths.

Asked after the race if he thinks Fighting Mad can successfully navigate the Breeders’ Cup Distaff’s mile and an eighth, Baffert wasn’t immediately concerned.

“You don’t worry about that,” he said. “We gotta keep ’em healthy. It’s a long ways off (to the Breeders’ Cup).”

It’s been a successful Del Mar meet through the opening 10 days for Fighting Mad’s owners, Gary and Mary West. They also own Maximum Security, who won the San Diego Handicap on July 25 in a stirring stretch duel with Midcourt and will likely run next in the $500,000 Pacific Classic on Aug. 22.

“I’m happy for the Wests,” Baffert said. “They live down here and they got to see some action finally.”

Del Mar still is not allowing spectators because of the coronavirus, but track officials relaxed their protocols beginning July 31 and are allowing a limited number of owners to attend the races. They’re not allowed in the paddock or winner’s circle, but can view the races from the second-floor grandstand and box seat area.

It’s the first time since mid-March that owners in California have been allowed to watch their horses run in person.

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Alexander: The mystery of Shohei Ohtani continues, but there’s an explanation

  • Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, stands at left after walking Houston Astros’ George Springer with the bases loaded during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, walks off the mound after being taken out of the baseball game during the second inning against the Houston Astros on Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

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  • Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, gets set to pitch during the second inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, right, of Japan, is taken our of the game by manager Joe Maddon during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, left, gets a hug from Anthony Rendon after hitting a grand slam during the third inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, right, gestures as he scores after hitting a grand slam as Houston Astros catcher Dustin Garneau stands at the plate during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, right, claps as he scores after hitting a grand slam as Houston Astros catcher Dustin Garneau stands at the plate during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols drops his bat as he hits a grand slam during the third inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, right, gestures as he scores after hitting a grand slam as Houston Astros catcher Dustin Garneau stands at the plate during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, right, hits a grand slam as Houston Astros catcher Dustin Garneau, second from left, and home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez watch during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols hits a grand slam during the third inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, right, of Japan, winds up as Houston Astros’ Yuli Gurriel stands at second during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, center, hits a grand slam as Houston Astros catcher Dustin Garneau, right, and home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez watch during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, gets a pat on the back from a teammate after being taken out of the game during the second inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros on Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Houston Astros starting pitcher Josh James throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, top, heads to third after hitting a grand slam as Houston Astros starting pitcher Josh James stands at the mound during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, throws to the plate during the second inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Houston Astros starting pitcher Josh James throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, right, of Japan, follows through as Houston Astros’ Yuli Gurriel leads off during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, center, hits a grand slam as Houston Astros catcher Dustin Garneau, right, and home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez watch during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani, center, of Japan, and catcher Max Stassi, left, waves to teammates in the stands prior to a baseball game against the Houston Astros Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, second from right, is congratulated by teammates Justin Upton, left, Brian Goodwin, center, and David Fletcher, second from left, after hitting a grand slam as Houston Astros catcher Dustin Garneau stands at the plate during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, reacts as he walks in a run during the second inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros on Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, stands at left after walking Houston Astros’ George Springer with the bases loaded during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, right, of Japan, throws to the plate as Houston Astros’ Yuli Gurriel stands at second during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, stands on the mound before being taken out of the game after walking in his second run during the second inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Houston Astros starting pitcher Josh James throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels manager Joe Maddon, left, and Houston Astros third base coach Gary Pettis joke around prior to a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Was it a crisis of confidence, maybe? Was Shohei Ohtani hesitant to really cut loose on the mound, 22 months after Tommy John surgery?

Or was it maybe a dearth of adrenaline? Without the fans and the signs and real, live honest to goodness noise, has Ohtani just found it hard to get pumped up enough to just let it fly in this strangest of all baseball seasons?

Both of the above, maybe, but there’s more – and it’s enough to cause furrowed brows and worried looks among the Angels and their faithful, at the very least.

Ohtani’s second start of 2020, Sunday at Angel Stadium against Houston, was marginally better than his first last week in Oakland, when he couldn’t get out of the first inning. This time he breezed through the first – eight pitches, six strikes and a 1-2-3 inning – but the second was brutal: Five walks, two of which forced in runs, in two-thirds of an inning. And while his velocity started out better Sunday, getting as high as 97, it had tailed off significantly to 89.7 and below by the end of his day. In both cases, half the pitches he threw were balls: 50 in this case including 42, with 23 balls, in the second inning

And then Ohtani reported “discomfort” in his pitching arm, according to an Angels spokesman, and was sent for an MRI.

You panicking yet?

It is worth noting that even with his command struggles in the second inning, Ohtani still could have escaped unscathed Sunday but for plate umpire Alfonso Marquez’ Incredible Floating Strike Zone. A 3-2 pitch to Astros catcher Dustin Garneau in the upper inside quadrant was called ball four by Marquez to force in the first run, and if anyone knows the Japanese translation for “robot umps” I’ve got to think that’s what was going through Ohtani’s mind.

It looked like it was inside the strike zone graphic on the telecast, the online GameDay graphic likewise had it a strike, and after Anthony Rendon was called out on a simliar pitch an inning later the Angels’ telecast helpfully replayed that Ohtani pitch, complete with 3-D illustration.

“He gets that called strike three right there, he gets out of the inning with 30 some pitches and it could have been a different story,” manager Joe Maddon said. “Could have been. I’m just saying.

“Overall, a lot better physical stuff. But the results aren’t good yet.”

The concern was real that Ohtani was hesitant to let it rip, even after having a few extra months to heal from the Tommy John surgery he had in 2018. Maddon said he thought the decrease in velocity was more a combination of fatigue from a long inning and getting out of sync mechanically. The fact that four of the walks came on full counts suggested that Ohtani wasn’t confident enough yet to put hitters away.

This may have been a tipoff. In a Saturday teleconference interview he was asked if he’d overcome the hesitancy to let it all out and answered, through interpreter Ippei Mizuhara, “It’s hard to say. I can’t give you a 100 percent answer saying I will be not apprehensive when I’m throwing.”

Whatever the result of that diagnostic test, then, the other challenge ultimately will be to get Ohtani through the mental aspect of this.

“There’s a lot of conversations involved,” Maddon said, after the game but before Ohtani’s trip to the MRI chamber was disclosed. “In order to really understand how you could help him, you got to do a good job of listening.  You present the opportunity or the forum for the player to speak openly and then you listen.

“I’m a mental skills guy. I believe in it. It’s about creating and maintaining a routine. It’s not complicated, but when things start going quickly we get away from it. We all do. So it’s a conversation, an open conversation. It’s a lot of listening. And then it’s building the process, building the program each individual player has, and try to have him put it back together. Eventually they do. It’s about slowing the moment down … creating and maintaining a good process.”

Meanwhile, there is also this: The Angels don’t just have Ohtani the pitcher to think about but Ohtani the hitter as well. Right now he’s hitting .148 with a .586 OPS in six games as a DH, but he does have two home runs and seven RBI, and the Angels are more threatening offensively when he’s in the batting order.

If he’s struggling on the mound one day a week, he can still help with the bat the rest of the week. It’s bad enough that the Angels have started this weirdest of all seasons 3-7. If both sides of Ohtani are somehow shut down … well, have we said enough bad things yet about 2020?

[email protected]

@Jim_Alexander on Twitter

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داجرز’ کلیتون Kershaw سربی در سال 2020 اولین

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ کودی Bellinger (35) دور این پایگاه پس از هدف قرار دادن دو اجرا خانه اجرا به آریزونا دایاموند بکس’ نیک احمد, چپ, به نظر می رسد پایین در اولین ورود از یک بازی بیس بال یکشنبه, اوت. 2, 2020, سیمرغ است. (AP Photo/Ross D. فرانکلین)

  • آریزونا دایاموند بکس شروع پارچ مریل کلی می اندازد زمین در برابر لس آنجلس داجرز در اولین ورود از یک بازی بیس بال یکشنبه, اوت. 2, 2020, سیمرغ است. (AP Photo/Ross D. فرانکلین)

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    گالری خواهد شد درثانیه

  • Los Angeles Dodgers شروع پارچ کلیتون Kershaw می اندازد در برابر آریزونا دایاموند در اولین ورود از یک بازی بیس بال یکشنبه, اوت. 2, 2020, سیمرغ است. (AP Photo/Ross D. فرانکلین)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers شروع پارچ کلیتون Kershaw می اندازد در برابر آریزونا دایاموند در اولین ورود از یک بازی بیس بال یکشنبه, اوت. 2, 2020, سیمرغ است. (AP Photo/Ross D. فرانکلین)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Mookie بتی (50) جشن دو اجرای خانه های اجرا شده توسط هم تیمی کودی Bellinger (35) در برابر آریزونا دایاموند در اولین ورود از یک بازی بیس بال یکشنبه, اوت. 2, 2020, سیمرغ است. (AP Photo/Ross D. فرانکلین)

  • Arizona Diamondbacks سوم baseman Ildemaro وارگاس توقف توپ اما قادر به پرتاب در یک زمین زیر کشت تک توسط لس آنجلس داجرز’ Joc Pederson در دوران چهارم زمین باز یافته از یک بازی بیس بال یکشنبه, اوت. 2, 2020, سیمرغ است. (AP Photo/Ross D. فرانکلین)

  • آریزونا دایاموند بکس دوم baseman, Ketel Marte می رسد تا گرفتن پاپ پرواز ضربه لس آنجلس داجرز’ Kiké هرناندز در دوران چهارم زمین باز یافته از یک بازی بیس بال یکشنبه, اوت. 2, 2020, سیمرغ است. (AP Photo/Ross D. فرانکلین)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ کودی Bellinger flips یک خفاش خود را به دور به عنوان او به تماشای خط خود را درایو گرفتار در دوران چهارم زمین باز یافته از یک بازی بیس بال در برابر آریزونا دایاموند بکس یکشنبه, اوت. 2, 2020, سیمرغ است. (AP Photo/Ross D. فرانکلین)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Mookie بتی, راست, لبخند او به عنوان جشن خانه اش اجرا در برابر آریزونا دایاموند بکس با داجرز’ جاستین ترنر (10) در پنجمین دور از یک بازی بیس بال یکشنبه, اوت. 2, 2020, سیمرغ است. (AP Photo/Ross D. فرانکلین)

  • آریزونا دایاموند بکس شروع پارچ مریل کلی چپ مکث بر روی تپه پس از دادن یک خانه اجرا به لس آنجلس داجرز’ Mookie بتی (50) در پنجمین دور از یک بازی بیس بال یکشنبه, اوت. 2, 2020, سیمرغ است. (AP Photo/Ross D. فرانکلین)

  • Arizona Diamondbacks مرکز fielder سار Marte است که قادر به گرفتن بر روی یک ضربه لس آنجلس داجرز’ حداکثر Muncy در پنجمین دور از یک بازی بیس بال یکشنبه, اوت. 2, 2020, سیمرغ است. (AP Photo/Ross D. فرانکلین)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ کریس تیلور قطره خفاش خود را پس از اینکه در حملات به عنوان آریزونا دایاموند بکس گیر کارسون کلی سر به ستاره شرق در پنجمین دور از یک بازی بیس بال یکشنبه, اوت. 2, 2020, سیمرغ است. (AP Photo/Ross D. فرانکلین)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ جاستین ترنر به نظر می رسد در ستاره شرق به عنوان او می ایستد در پایه اول پس از اتصال برای یک برابر آریزونا دایاموند در پنجمین دور از یک بازی بیس بال یکشنبه, اوت. 2, 2020, سیمرغ است. (AP Photo/Ross D. فرانکلین)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers گیر Austin بارنز, چپ, گفتگو با داجرز امداد پارچ پدرو بائز (52) به عنوان دو پیاده کردن زمینه پس از نهایی کردن در برابر آریزونا دایاموند بکس طول seventh inning از یک بازی بیس بال یکشنبه, اوت. 2, 2020, سیمرغ است. (AP Photo/Ross D. فرانکلین)

  • آریزونا دایاموند بکس و لس آنجلس داجرز بازی در مقابل خالی تعقیب زمینه در طول seventh inning از یک بازی بیس بال یکشنبه, اوت. 2, 2020, سیمرغ است. (AP Photo/Ross D. فرانکلین)

  • آریزونا دایاموند بکس shortstop نیک احمد می اندازد به پایه اول برای دریافت لس آنجلس داجرز’ Kiké هرناندز در طول the ninth inning از یک بازی بیس بال یکشنبه, اوت. 2, 2020, سیمرغ است. داجرز را شکست داد دایاموند 3-0. (AP Photo/Ross D. فرانکلین)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers امداد پارچ کنلی Jansen می اندازد زمین در برابر آریزونا دایاموند بکس طول the ninth inning از یک بازی بیس بال یکشنبه, اوت. 2, 2020, سیمرغ است. داجرز را شکست داد دایاموند 3-0. (AP Photo/Ross D. فرانکلین)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers امداد پارچ کنلی Jansen چپ و داجرز گیر Austin Barnes, راست, جشن بعد از نهایی کردن در نهم باز یافته از یک بازی بیس بال در برابر آریزونا دایاموند بکس یکشنبه, اوت. 2, 2020, سیمرغ است. داجرز را شکست داد دایاموند 3-0. (AP Photo/Ross D. فرانکلین)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Mookie بتی, راست, لبخند او به عنوان جشن خانه اش اجرا در برابر آریزونا دایاموند بکس با داجرز’ جاستین ترنر (10) در پنجمین دور از یک بازی بیس بال یکشنبه, اوت. 2, 2020, سیمرغ است. (AP Photo/Ross D. فرانکلین)

  • آریزونا دایاموند بکس’ Ketel Marte, راست, مکث در صفحه اصلی پس از قابل توجه به عنوان لس آنجلس داجرز گیر Austin بارنز سمت چپ به نظر می رسد در بیس بال در هشتمین دور از یک بازی بیس بال یکشنبه, اوت. 2, 2020, سیمرغ است. داجرز را شکست داد دایاموند 3-0. (AP Photo/Ross D. فرانکلین)

  • آریزونا دایاموند بکس شروع پارچ مریل کلی چپ مکث بر روی تپه پس از دادن یک خانه اجرا به لس آنجلس داجرز’ Mookie بتی (50) در پنجمین دور از یک بازی بیس بال یکشنبه, اوت. 2, 2020, سیمرغ است. (AP Photo/Ross D. فرانکلین)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers شروع پارچ کلیتون Kershaw می اندازد در برابر آریزونا دایاموند در اولین ورود از یک بازی بیس بال یکشنبه, اوت. 2, 2020, سیمرغ است. (AP Photo/Ross D. فرانکلین)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Mookie بتی (50) جشن دو اجرای خانه های اجرا شده توسط هم تیمی کودی Bellinger (35) در برابر آریزونا دایاموند در اولین ورود از یک بازی بیس بال یکشنبه, اوت. 2, 2020, سیمرغ است. (AP Photo/Ross D. فرانکلین)

  • Arizona Diamondbacks مرکز fielder سار Marte است که قادر به گرفتن بر روی یک ضربه لس آنجلس داجرز’ حداکثر Muncy در پنجمین دور از یک بازی بیس بال یکشنبه, اوت. 2, 2020, سیمرغ است. (AP Photo/Ross D. فرانکلین)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ کودی Bellinger متصل در دو اجرای اجرای خانه برابر آریزونا دایاموند در اولین ورود از یک بازی بیس بال یکشنبه, اوت. 2, 2020, سیمرغ است. (AP Photo/Ross D. فرانکلین)

مت بیتی های داجرز’ 27 ساله ابزار بازیکن با اشاره به هم تیمی کلیتون Kershaw به عنوان یک “افسانه زنده” در یکشنبه مصاحبه با SportsNet لا.

در 32 سال, Kershaw به نظر می رسد بیش از حد جوان برای چنین رفیع عنوان اما در سال 2020 اولین ارائه یک یادآوری از یک استاد پارچ در نخست خود را.

استفاده با دقت اشاره کردن فرمان سه رزین و سرعت بهتر از او تا به حال در سال Kershaw در زمان هیچ-hitter وظیفه به چهارمین دور در برابر آریزونا دایاموند. او در نهایت اجازه سه بی ضرر مجرد قبل از خروج از در ششمین دور از 3-0 برنده.

کودی Bellinger و Mookie بتی آمار خانه اجرا می شود در حمایت از Kershaw که اولین بار به تعویق افتاد و پس از پایین آمدن با سختی پشت در ورزشگاه دو روز قبل از روز افتتاحیه. Kershaw نمی پیاده روی خمیر زده و از شش 2/3 در 5 نوبت. پدرو Baez, اسکات الکساندر و کنلی Jansen تن به تن 3 1/3 نوبت بدون گل تسکین.

“آن را سرگرم کننده بود” Kershaw گفت. “من آن را از دست رفته. آن را سخت به دست باز روز. من نمی دانم چه مدت آن را برای به دست آوردن بهتر است. خیلی عالی بود فقط به عقب وجود دارد و رسیدن به یک پیروزی. آن را احساس خوب است.”

Bellinger خانه اجرا شد اولین فصل است. با ناشران در اولین ورود و جاستین ترنر در پایه اول Bellinger به صف 3 و 2 changeup از مریل کلی (1-1) در داخل راست-میدان قطب ناپاک.

خود را از طریق هشت بازی فصل Bellinger به حال یک کارهایی .139 طور متوسط پنبه حلاجی شده اما مدیر دیو رابرتز پاداش داده شد به صورت چسبیده با حاکم لیگ ملی MVP در پاکسازی نقطه.

بتی’ خانه دوم اجرای فصل آمد با یک پنجم زمین باز یافته. آن فرود آمد در یک استخر خالی فراتر از مرکز-زمینه حصار. بتی و ترنر ء داجرز با دو بازدید هر کدام.

بتی مجبور به ترک بازی با درد سمت چپ و انگشت وسط به جای خرج کردن hitter وظیفه ادوین ریوس در هفتم زمین باز یافته. یک x-ray بعد از بازی منفی بود.

“من فکر می کنم او صدمه دیده آن را در طول یک نوسان” رابرتز گفت. “آن متورم در طول بازی. ما او را در آنجا به زمین باز یافته دیگر از دفاع. او را روز به روز. ما بیشتر بدانید در زمانی که ما به سن دیگو.”

داجرز (7-3) شروع یک سری بازی برابر Padres (6-4) در روز دوشنبه.

بتی دو برابر در یک سوم زمین باز یافته و داجرز به پایان رسید با نه بازدید به عنوان یک تیم. بتی جایگزین شد در مرکز میدان با Bellinger با Kiké هرناندز در حال حرکت به راست میشه و اولین baseman حداکثر Muncy حرکت به دوم.

داستان بازی بود Kershaw.

The left-hander بازنشسته و 10 مورد در یک ردیف برای شروع بازی است. Kershaw سپس رو جلوتر از سار Marte 0-و-2 اما Marte صف حلق آویز لغزنده به مرکز میدان به دایاموند اول خود را baserunner. بعد خمیر مسیحی واکر با چکش fastball برای یک قرار دونده در اول و پایه دوم.

Kershaw سپس بازنشسته ادواردو Escobar و Kole, Calhoun به منظور پایان دادن به دایاموند ” بهترین تهدید از این بازی است.

Kershaw لمس 93 mph با چهار seamer و متوسط خود را fastball سرعت 92 mph بيشتر از هر بازی او تن به تن در فصل گذشته. همراه با یانسن و هم تیمی الکس چوب Kershaw ساخته شده خارج از فصل سفر به Driveline بیس بال داده-محور مرکز آموزش شده است که با اضافه کردن سرعت برای طفره زن کوزه پس از سال 2016.

“من انجام بسیاری از چیزهای مختلف” Kershaw گفت. “من و بعد فورا رفت واز بسیاری از کمک آموزش کارکنان قدرت و تهویه کارکنان فقط کار کردن و انجام بسیاری از چیزهای مختلف بازو-مراقبت و حکیم است. من فقط از نوع انداخت همه چیز در آن و دیدم چه آمد. من خدا را شکر برای بازو احساس خوب آن را به عنوان امروز است.”

اضافه شده رابرتز “او می تواند تن به تن 90 (کیلومتر در ساعت) که با fastball فرمان.”

رابرتز معتقد است داجرز هنوز هم اتاق را برای رفتن تا زمانی که آنها ضربه اوج خود است. با اجرای دیفرانسیل (به علاوه-30) آنها در حال حاضر اشغال آشنا نقطه به عنوان بهترین تیم در بیس بال. آنها انجام داده ایم تا بدون پارچ دیوید قیمت که تصمیم گرفتند در خارج از فصل. Kershaw خود را به ace برای دهه گذشته تنها وارد پنج شنبه. برای تمام مفاهیم و اهداف بنابراین آیا Bellinger.

“این یک نمونه کوچک,” رابرتز گفت: “اما من فقط عاشق راه ما بچه ها سخت کار کردن.”

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AVP جام قهرمانان اروپا: Trevor Crabb, سه بورن ناراحت دانه بالا را به نفع خود عنوان

ترور Crabb و سه بورن با استعداد هستند, ساحل, والیبال, بازیکنان, اما زمانی که آنها آماده به بازی برای قهرمانی سومین و آخرین مرحله AVP قهرمانان جام حذفی در روز یکشنبه آنها به دنبال در سراسر دادگاه در بالا-کشت فیل Dalhausser و نیک لوکنا.

پس Dalhausser/لوکنا برنده اول در دو بازی از این سری در آنها علاقه به سه ذغال سنگ نارس. اما سوم-کشت Crabb و بورن بودند تا به وظیفه و آمد دور با سه مجموعه پیروزی با نمرات 21-17, 15-21, 15-12.

این بازی به پایان رسید در بازگشت به عقب می کشد توسط بورن.

آن را یک پیروزی شیرین به مطمئن شوید. برای Crabb شاید کمی بیشتر به خاطر خود تیم را شکست داد برادر کوچکتر تیلور Crabb و جیک Gibb — شماره 2 دانه — در یک چهارم نهایی شنبه پس از از دست دادن پنج بار متوالی به آنها.

“این بدان معنی است بسیاری” گفت: Trevor Crabb که بازی داخل سالن در ساحل, دولت.. “پس از از دست دادن به هر دو فیل و نیک و تیلور و جیک دو هفته گذشته چند بار که به نوعی به ما که انگیزه بیشتری نیاز داریم که به این و ما تا به حال تمام اعتماد به نفس در جهان است که ما می تواند قطع با کسانی که بچه ها و ضرب و شتم کسانی که بچه ها نیز هست.

“این چیزی است که ما امروز نشان داد.”

از سری رقابت بیش از سه روز متوالی آخر هفته در مرکز کنوانسیون ساحل بدون هواداران به دلیل بیماری همه گیر کوروناویروس. وجود دارد در مجموع $700,000 در پول جایزه.

Dahausser و لوکنا برنده مجموعه دوم با شش امتیاز اما ترور Crabb و بورن را دارا بودند هیچ کدام از آن. بورن گفت: به دست آوردن حرکت بود در مورد او و شریک زندگی خود را با اعتقاد در بازی خود را.

“ما بازی های زیادی از والیبال در روز ما و ما شاهد حرکت تغییر به عقب و جلو بسیاری از زمان وجود دارد هرگز واقعا یک لحظه هنگامی که ما احساس می کنیم مثل ما فقط کاملا از آن,” او گفت:.

“اگر شما ما را ديدند نیمه نهایی مسابقه آن را مرتب کردن بر اساس همان چیزی که در آن ما کار می کردم در اولین مجموعه ما در بر داشت ما ریتم. این فقط در مورد دانستن که ما در حال رفتن به پیدا کردن ریتم و اعتماد است که آن را به نوبه خود به نفع ما است.”

ترور Crabb این هفته پیش بینی او و بورن خواهد برنده این عنوان است.

“منظورم این است که شلیک ما واقعا تا به حال هیچ چیزی برای از دست دادن” او گفت:. “این آخرین مسابقات و ما می دانستیم که ما تا به حال اعتماد به نفس در آینده و گاهی اوقات شما فقط باید را پیش بینی های جسورانه. آره من نمی هر گونه شک در کل این زمان.”

بورن 23 کشته شدن هفت حفاری و دو بلوک و ترور Crabb تا به حال 12 کشته و هفت حفاری و یک بلوک.

Lucena آمد از طریق با 22 کشته و 14 حفاری برای تیم خود و Dalhausser به حال 15 کشته و پنج بلوک.

ترور Crabb و بورن ساخته شده آن را به نهایی موجب خود سخت مبارزه پیروزی بر شماره 5-کشت خایم Schalk/Chase Budinger در نیمه نهایی. نمرات بودند 12-21, 21-16, 15-12.

Dalhausser و لوکنا تا به حال به توسط گیب و تیلور Crabb در نیمه نهایی. آن آسان نبود اما آنها پدید آمده 21-19, 23-21 در مجموعه های مستقیم.

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WATCH: Angels’ Albert Pujols hit grand slam against Astros

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, left, gets a hug from Anthony Rendon after hitting a grand slam during the third inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, right, gestures as he scores after hitting a grand slam as Houston Astros catcher Dustin Garneau stands at the plate during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

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  • Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, right, claps as he scores after hitting a grand slam as Houston Astros catcher Dustin Garneau stands at the plate during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols drops his bat as he hits a grand slam during the third inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, right, gestures as he scores after hitting a grand slam as Houston Astros catcher Dustin Garneau stands at the plate during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, top, heads to third after hitting a grand slam as Houston Astros starting pitcher Josh James stands at the mound during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, right, hits a grand slam as Houston Astros catcher Dustin Garneau, second from left, and home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez watch during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols hits a grand slam during the third inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, center, hits a grand slam as Houston Astros catcher Dustin Garneau, right, and home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez watch during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, second from right, is congratulated by teammates Justin Upton, left, Brian Goodwin, center, and David Fletcher, second from left, after hitting a grand slam as Houston Astros catcher Dustin Garneau stands at the plate during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Angels’ Albert Pujols is within range of Willie Mays for 5th all-time on baseball’s career home run list. He is three HRs shy of passing Mays (660) on the career list.

Pujols’ 658th career HR was a grand slam in the bottom of the third inning against the Houston Astros. The four RBIs brought his career total to 2,080 and is now six shy of tying Alex Rodriguez for 2nd all-time.

It was the 15th career grand slam for Pujols.

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Dodgers scratch Corey Seager with quadriceps injury

Corey Seager was held out of the Dodgers’ lineup Sunday with an injury Manager Dave Roberts described as “a little bit of a quad.”

Seager was removed from the Dodgers’ game against the Diamondbacks on Saturday as a precaution after he fouled a ball off his calf. He didn’t play the final three innings and was set to be re-evaluated today.

The quadriceps issue might be the result of dehydration, Roberts said. The Chase Field roof was closed all weekend, but the temperature outside reached 111 degrees Sunday.

“I want to give him an extra day and see where we’re at,” Roberts said of Seager.

Chris Taylor started at shortstop in place of Seager, who is hitting .361 and began the day leading Major League Baseball in extra-base hits and total bases.

ROSTER CRUNCH

When MLB and the Players’ Association agreed to expand active rosters to 30 players to begin the season, they also agreed to reduce rosters to 28 after two weeks. Thursday is the two-week mark, and a rare off-day for the Dodgers in the 60-game season.

“I have heard rumblings that they’re contemplating keeping them at 30,” Roberts said. “Right now we’re planning on the rosters being at 28.”

The two cuts will come from a 12-member bullpen that collectively leads MLB in relievers’ ERA (1.06).

LUX UPDATE

Touted as a National League Rookie of the Year candidate prior to the season, Gavin Lux was widely expected to be in the Dodgers’ everyday lineup. Instead, he was a late arrival to the team’s summer camp and was optioned to the alternate training site before Opening Day.

Nearly two weeks later, Lux is still honing his craft in intrasquad games at USC.

“He’s taken live at-bats every day,” Roberts said. “He’s getting closer. Robert (Van Scoyoc, the Dodgers’ hitting coach) is in lockstep with him. … We’re getting reports every day, video. He’s coming. There’s a lot of parts to his swing. From what I hear it’s improved, not quite there yet.

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Kawhi Leonard’s playmaking is more than a passing fancy for Clippers

When he brought his talents to the Clippers a year ago, Kawhi Leonard arrived as a known winner, a gifted defender, a clinical scorer, the king of the good bounce.

Turns out, when the 6-foot-7 wing has the ball in his hands as much as he does on the Clippers — his 32.8 percent usage rate (a calculation of the percent of plays in which he’s involved while on the floor) rates seventh in the NBA — he’s also an effective playmaker.

Leonard’s 5.0 assists per game are a career high by 1.5 percent and represent the second-highest average on the team behind Lou Williams’ 5.7 per contest.

In Saturday’s 126-103 runaway victory over the New Orleans Pelicans, Leonard supplemented his 24 points with five assists, all of them in the first half and all of them on made 3-pointers. It was a team high and it boosted Leonard’s season total to 263, eclipsing, in just 53 games, his previous highest single-season tally of 260.

On a team with five players averaging more than 3.2 assists per game, the passing is just part of the job, Leonard said Saturday, via Zoom.

“I gotta be one of the guys that gets in the paint, passes the ball,” said Leonard, who twice this season has had 10 assists, and in five games finished with nine dimes after previously never having recorded more than eight assists in a game.

“Just really becoming that real true point guard. I have to step in that role a little bit more, bringing the ball up the floor, trying to get guys involved. That’s what I gotta do with this team.”

He’s smart about it, of course, delivering a pass to an open Patrick Beverley on Saturday just when Pelican point guard Lonzo Ball took a half-step too far toward Leonard to recover.

Another time, Leonard corralled a loose ball at center court and delivered a laser to Reggie Bullock, waiting on his periphery, who made another of the Clippers’ franchise record 25 3-pointers. There also was a textbook drive and dish to JaMychal Green in the corner, and a pass out of a double team to an open Paul George, for one of his eight 3-pointers.

“It’s been amazing,” Rivers said. “I thought he set the tone the beginning of the game. You can tell. It’s funny, he was just passing, almost overpassing at times. You look up, he still had (18 points) at halftime, then he had the assists.

“People are going to load up on Kawhi. They’re going to load up on P.G. The more we can make them pinpoint passers, the better our team will be.”

WINNING PLAYS

Leonard’s early passing helped set up the Clippers for a successful Saturday, when they also got a noticeable lift from Beverley.

The 6-1 sparkplug again was on a minutes restriction because he’s only recently returned after being away from the bubble to tend to a personal matter. But it’s hard to limit the man’s energy on the court — including, this time, for the start of the game.

“He was awesome, that’s why we have him,” Rivers said, repeating it for good measure: “He was awesome.”

In 18 minutes, Beverley went 3 for 6 from the floor (and 3 for 5 from deep), fought for four rebounds, assisted on three baskets and made a steal — though his impact was felt beyond what was recorded in the box score, Rivers said.

“His spirit alone lifted us,” Rivers said. “He just makes so many unselfish plays. He’s incredible some of the things he does. Half the things that happen out there, he gets zero credit for in a stat sheet, yet the meaning for us on the floor is immeasurable.”

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After welcoming his first child, Mike Trout to rejoin Angels on Tuesday in Seattle

ANAHEIM — Mike Trout, whose wife delivered the couple’s first child on Thursday, is scheduled to be back in the Angels lineup on Tuesday, when they open a three-game series in Seattle.

Because the paternity list allows a player to be replaced on the roster for three games, the Angels have placed Trout on the restricted list to allow him to miss a fourth game on Sunday. The Angels are off on Monday

Trout’s son, Beckham Aaron, was born on Thursday evening.

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