All MLB 

Cleveland Indians’ Andrew Miller hopes to avoid ‘ugly showdown’ with MLB over pace of play

Cleveland Indians reliever Andrew Miller, a prominent voice in the Major League Baseball Players Association, said he hopes that MLB’s plan to introduce a pitch clock in 2018 doesn’t lead to a “big fight or some sort of ugly showdown,” even though players are overwhelmingly opposed to the idea. Miller — who serves as one of four elected association representatives, along with Washington’s Daniel Murphy, Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt and the New York Mets‘ Matt Harvey — has been heavily involved in pace-of-game talks, which hit a wall Thursday when players…

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All NFL 

Jeff Fisher not surprised by success of Case Keenum, Nick Foles – Los Angeles Rams Blog

LOS ANGELES — Jeff Fisher has somehow emerged as a central figure in the buildup to the NFC Championship Game. Three of the quarterbacks who will be in uniform at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday have previously played for him. The two starters, Case Keenum of the Minnesota Vikings and Nick Foles of the Philadelphia Eagles, were employed by the same Fisher-led Los Angeles Rams as recently as 18 months ago. Fair or not, the success of Keenum and Foles — much like the triumph of first-year Rams head coach…

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All Football 

Aaron Lennon: Burnley agree deal to sign Everton winger

Lennon has provided two assists in 19 appearances in all competitions for Everton this season Burnley have agreed a deal with Everton to sign winger Aaron Lennon for an undisclosed fee. The 30-year-old, who is surplus to requirements at Goodison Park following the arrival of Theo Walcott, still needs to have a medical, but personal terms have been agreed. Lennon joined Everton from Tottenham in 2015 and has scored seven goals in 63 appearances. The former England international has played 19 games this season. The second half of the 2016-17…

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All Boxing 

Billy Joe Saunders, Terry Flanagan slated for separate world title bouts on April 14 card

Middleweight world titleholder Billy Joe Saunders and former lightweight world titlist Terry Flanagan, two of England’s top fighters, will have world title bouts on the same card on April 14, promoter Frank Warren announced on Friday. Saunders will make the fourth defense of his 160-pound belt against countryman Martin Murray and Flanagan, who vacated his lightweight belt in October in order to move up in weight, will face Maurice Hooker for one of the junior welterweight belts vacated by Terence Crawford last fall. Warren said he would announce the venue…

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All NHL 

Kevin Shattenkirk of New York Rangers tears meniscus, out indefinitely

New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk is set for surgery to repair a torn meniscus, the team announced Friday. He has been ruled out indefinitely. The Rangers did not reveal details of how the injury occurred. Shattenkirk played for 17 minutes in Thursday’s 4-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres. Shattenkirk, 28, has posted five goals and 18 assists this season, his first in New York after signing a four-year, $26.6 million contract during the offseason. Saturday’s matchup against the Colorado Avalanche will be his first missed game of the season….

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All MMA 

MMA — Daniel Cormier – ‘It’s all about competition for me’

BOSTON — Daniel Cormier was squinting as he tried to listen to the questions being thrown at him at UFC 220 media day Thursday at Fenway Park before he briefly paused and positioned someone besides him to stand in front of the spotlight that had been piercing his eyes. It was perhaps the first time, it could be argued, that any spotlight for Saturday’s UFC 220 pay-per-view was directed in Cormier’s direction. Nearly six months after his last fight in the UFC — a knockout loss to Jon Jones at…

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All Tennis 

Rafael Nadal describes Australian Open conditions ‘dangerous to health’

10:56 AM ET ESPN staff World No. 1 Rafael Nadal has joined calls for a review into the heat policy of the Australian Open after several players complained about the extreme heat in Melbourne. The tournament’s current heat policy calls for the roofs to be closed on the main show courts and play to be suspended on outer courts when the temperature exceeds 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) and the wet-bulb globe temperature, which takes into account humidity and wind speed, reaches 32.5 Celsius (90.5 Fahrenheit). The policy was last…

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All Rugby 

Nathan Earle: Saracens winger to join Harlequins

Nathan Earle has scored five tries in eight Premiership appearances for Saracens this season Harlequins have agreed a deal to sign Saracens winger Nathan Earle at the end of the season. The 23-year-old is yet to make his full international debut, but has been named in England’s squad for their Six Nations opener in Italy on 4 February. “Nathan has a number of weapons at his disposal, the most potent of which is his blistering pace,” Quins director of rugby John Kingston said. “I have been impressed with his desire…

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All Golf 

Rory McIlroy takes route 66 to underline his title threat in Abu Dhabi

Rory McIlroy saved the best until last to surge into contention for his first win since September 2016 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy carded four birdies and an eagle from 25 feet on the 18th in a second round of 66 to reach nine under par, three shots behind Ryder Cup partner Thomas Pieters. Leader Pieters had earlier holed out from a bunker on the ninth — his final hole — for one of his seven birdies in a bogey-free 65, with Spain’s Jorge Campillo his nearest challenger…

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All NBA 

Charlotte Hornets open to trading Kemba Walker

11:57 AM ET Adrian WojnarowskiESPN Overloaded with bad contracts and untradable assets, the Charlotte Hornets have made All-Star point guard Kemba Walker available in trade discussions, league sources told ESPN. Charlotte has been encouraging teams to make offers and appears eager to discuss attaching Walker to a larger trade in which another team would take on one of the Hornets’ several far-less-desirable contracts, sources said. Walker, 27, who makes $12 million per season through 2018-19, has developed into something rare among Charlotte’s cornerstone players: a talent whose production outperforms his…

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