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Bills O-line coach accused of punching a boy

Aaron Kromer, offensive line coach of the Buffalo Bills, was placed on paid leave after he was accused of punching a boy in the face for using his beach chairs.  The Walton County Sheriff’s Office said Kromer, 48, was arrested after confronting three boys, all minors, who were using his beach chairs while fishing at Inlet Beach.  Kromer allegedly pushed one boy to the ground and punched him, after throwing his fishing pole into the water.  An arrest report quoted one boy saying Kromer threatened to kill his family if they reported the incident.  Kromer and his son Zachary, 21, were charged with misdemeanor battery.  Zachary allegedly put his hands around the throat of the boy who was sitting next to the one his father is accused of punching.  Kromer is due in court Aug. 12 to enter a plea.  Unless he can resolve the issue then, it’s doubtful he can keep his job with the Bills.  This is not the first time he’s caused a distraction.  Last season he tearfully admitted in a team meeting with the Chicago Bears that as offensive coordinator he had talked with reporters about the unpopularity of QB Jay Cutler.


Favre fumbles Rodgers’ ESPY award

Aaron Rodgers has been outspoken about Brett Favre offering little support as he was serving his apprenticeship as backup quarterback for the Green Bay Packers.  So it was surprising – and awkward – when ESPN chose Favre to present the ESPY for “best NFL player” to Rodgers.  Favre slipped and almost fell while trying to pick up the trophy which was under the broadcast desk.  His lack of balance caused some viewers to wonder if he had been drinking before the show.


Tour de France leader splashed with urine

Britain’s Chris Froome said a spectator threw urine at him and shouted “Doper” as he rode past as the leader of the Tour de France.  And Froome’s teammate, Richie Porte, said he received “a full-on punch” from a spectator in an earlier stage of the marathon bicycle race.  Froome said fans were being incited by journalists “who have been extremely irresponsible in the way they’ve reported on the race.”  He could have cast some blame on Lance Armstrong, the former champion who admitted to using illegal substances and said cheating was the only way the race could be won.  The Tour has a history of violent fans.  Eddie Merckx, one of bicycling’s greatest champions, was once injured by a punch to the kidney that prevented him from winning his sixth championship.


Cycling team blames failure on lack of air conditioning

Team Etixx-Quick Step faltered in Stage 15 of the Tour de France, and their captain, Patrick Lefevere, cited an unusual reason:  “I think a lot of guys were killed by the hotel last night.   There was no air-conditioning (in 86-degree weather), and everybody was sleeping with the window open.”

Just wondering: They couldn’t afford a two-star hotel?


Davis pitches in 117 games without allowing a homer

Since becoming a full-time reliever in September 2013, the Kansas City Royals’ Wade Davis has pitched in 117 regular-season and postseason consecutive games without allowing a home run.  During this stretch he has a 0.80 ERA with 180 strikeouts in 135 innings.  Davis throws a four-seam fastball that averages 95.8 mph and a cutter that averages 92.8, according to Fangraphs. He has reached 99 mph on occasion.  He was unsuccessful as a starter (4.57 ERA) for Tampa Bay and Kansas City because his velocity tended to drop to 90-91 after two or three innings.


Smoltz: Mets rotation better than 1990s Braves

John Smoltz, who was part of the famous Atlanta Braves rotation that included fellow Hall of Famers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, told the New York Daily News that current Mets starters Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz are “way better,” that they have “more talent than we could ever have.”  But he added that doesn’t necessarily translate to long-term success.  “Everybody wants quick results, expectations through the roof,” he said.  “And that’s what these guys are fighting today. . . . There’s no doubt the dynamic arms are way better than we’ve ever seen.  The issue is how long can we keep them healthy and how long can they stick together financially? . . . We didn’t miss a lot of starts.”   Harvey missed last season with Tommy John surgery, and Matz is temporarily sidelined.  Another of the Mets’ highly regarded young pitchers, Zack Wheeler, is lined up for Tommy John.


Detroit’s Kinsler ejected after slamming bat to the ground

Ian Kinsler, second baseman of the Detroit Tigers, annoyed plate umpire Manny Gonzalez when he winced at a called strike and took some extra time before re-entering the batting box during Sunday’s  loss to Baltimore.  Gonzalez warned him about this year’s rule change that requires batters to stay in the box during their at-bat.  Kinsler said he told the ump: “I know the rules.  If they want to fine me they can fine me.  Whatever.  I’ll get in the box when I’m ready.”  He proceeded to fly out to center with his team down 1-0.  In frustration he slammed his bat against the ground.  The bat broke, and Kinsler tossed a piece of it toward home plate instead of taking it with him.  When he reached the dugout he learned he’d been ejected.  Crew chief Fieldin Culbreth told a pool reporter that Kinsler “slammed the bat on the ground, breaking it and then threw the rest of it in Manny’s direction.  That was when he was ejected.”  Kinsler and manager Brad Ausmus did not think ejection was warranted.  Kinsler insisted he didn’t toss the wood at Gonzalez, that he made no complaint, and the ump did not claim otherwise.


Surfing champion gets company on his board:  a shark

Nick Fanning, a three-time world surfing champion, was competing in an event off the coast of South Africa when something began pulling him underwater.  Then he saw a shark’s fin.  “I was on my board, and it was right there,” he said.  “And I saw the whole thing thrashing around.”  He managed to escape, without injury.  A day later, he posted on Facebook:  “It was by far the scariest thing I’ve ever been through, and I’m still rattled.”


Keselowski crew chief complains of drivers ‘a little bit lost’

Brad Keselowski felt his Ford was the fastest on the track in the past two NASCAR races, but both times he lost to Kyle Busch’s Toyota.  Keselowski led a race-high 100 laps Sunday at New Hampshire, but he finished second and complained about being impeded by drivers who were not in contention.  His crew chief, Paul Wolfe, told USA Today:  “Some of those guys out there, they’re just kind of a little bit lost and their cars aren’t driving well and it seems like they just always end up at the wrong place at the wrong time.  That can be frustrating.”  Keselowski hopes for better luck in one of NASCAR’s premier events, the Brickyard 400 on Sunday in Indianapolis.

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