GAME DAY COVERAGE:

No. 7 Georgia Bulldogs vs Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

clear-day
63°
Clear
H 63° L 42°
  • clear-day
    63°
    Current Conditions
    Clear. H 63° L 42°
  • clear-day
    63°
    Today
    Clear. H 63° L 42°
  • cloudy-day
    64°
    Tomorrow
    Partly Cloudy. H 64° L 41°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb news on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb traffic on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb weather on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

    The Braves lost 13 prospects and former general manager John Coppolella was banned for life by Major League Baseball on Tuesday for circumventing international signing rules from 2015-17.Former Atlanta special assistant Gordon Blakeley, who was the team's international scouting chief, was suspended from baseball for one year by Commissioner Rob Manfred.Sanctions imposed by Manfred leave the Braves unable to bargain at full strength for a top Latin American prospect until 2021.Manfred said MLB's investigation determined the Braves funneled extra signing bonus money to five players in 2015-16 by giving the funds first to another player considered a foreign professional under baseball's rules and having the money redistributed to the other five. If the money had been counted for the other five, the Braves would have exceeded their pool by more than 5 percent and been restricted to signing bonuses of $300,000 or under for international amateurs through June 15, 2019.Because of that, MLB voided the contracts of nine players the Braves would have been ineligible to sign: Venezuelan infielder Kevin Maitan ($4.25 million signing bonus), Venezuelan catcher Abrahan Gutierrez ($3.53 million), Dominican shortstop Yunior Severino ($1.9 million), Dominican right-hander Juan Contreras ($1.2 million), Dominican shortstop Yenci Pena ($1.05 million), Dominican right-hander Yefri del Rosario ($1 million), Cuban outfielder Juan Carlos Negret ($1 million), Venezuelan shortstop Livan Soto ($1 million) and Colombian right-hander Guillermo Zuniga ($350,000).Three players the Braves signed for $300,000 bonuses were set free because the Braves gave additional money to their agents by signing others to deals with what MLB called 'inflated' bonuses: Venezuelan outfielder Antonio Sucre, Dominican outfielder Brandol Mezquita and Dominican shortstop Angel Rojas.Atlanta's deal with South Korean shortstop Ji-Hwan Bae, which also called for a $300,000 signing bonus, was rejected by MLB because the sides agreed to an additional $600,000 in compensation outside the contract.In total, Atlanta takes a $16.48 million loss in bonuses given to prospects who will no longer be with the organization.In addition, the Braves were banned from signing Robert Puason, a 14-year-old Dominican shortstop with whom they had reached a verbal agreement, when he becomes eligible for a contract on July 2, 2019. MLB said Puason agreed to sign with the Braves because the team agreed with his agent to deals with six other players for 'inflated' signing bonuses.Atlanta also forfeited its third-round selection in next June's amateur draft as punishment for offering 'impermissible benefits' to an unidentified draft pick in an effort to convince him to sign for a lower bonus.The 13 players keep their bonuses from the Braves, must obtain new representatives and will be free to agree to signing bonuses as free agents with other teams from Dec. 5 through Jan. 15. After that, they can still agree to a deal, but not with a signing bonus. They are eligible to re-sign with the Braves starting May 1.As part of an agreement between MLB and the players' association, a club can use money from either its 2017-18 or 2018-19 signing bonus pool to sign a player but can't combine money from both pools in one contract. The first $200,000 of a signing bonus will not count against a team's limit, but the $300,000 maximum remains for teams subject to the penalty for exceeding their pool under the previous labor contract.Manfred said stripping the Braves of the 13 players was not sufficient punishment. He said 'additional sanctions are warranted to penalize the club for the violations committed by its employees.'Therefore, the Braves will be prohibited from signing any international player for more than $10,000 during the 2019-20 signing period. Also, the team's international signing bonus pool for the 2020-21 signing period will be reduced by 50 percent.The Braves already cannot give an international signing bonus of more than $300,000 for 2017-18 and 2018-19 as penalties for exceeding their signing bonus pools.Manfred said he intends 'to discipline other Braves international baseball operations employees who participated in the misconduct.'Blakeley said in a statement released to several media outlets that he accepted responsibility for his actions but was following instructions.'I am obviously very disappointed in the Commissioner's decision regarding my suspension, particularly given my 32 years of untarnished service to the game,' Blakeley said in the statement. 'That said, I am in the digesting the Commissioner's findings and considering all of my options going forward. I take responsibility for my actions in this situation; however, I always acted under the direction of my superiors.'Coppolella, 39, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press. He joined former Cincinnati manager Pete Rose (1989 agreement following investigation of his gambling), New York Mets pitcher Jenrry Mejia (2016, third positive drug test) and former St. Louis employee Chris Correa (2017, hacking into Houston computer systems) on the permanently ineligible list.He was forced to resign after his 11th season with the Braves and second full year as general manager. He began his time with the Braves in 2006 when he oversaw quantitative analysis and baseball information initiatives.Coppolella, a magna cum laude graduate of Notre Dame in business management, was hired by the New York Yankees as a baseball operations assistant in 2000. He spent seven years with the Yankees, including time as assistant director of pro scouting.Coppolella was credited with helping to improve the Braves' farm system, which was rated No. 1 this year by Baseball America.Former team president John Hart was moved to a senior adviser role when a new general manager, Alex Anthopoulos, was hired on Nov. 13. Hart left the team on Friday.'The senior baseball operations officials responsible for the misconduct are no longer employed by the Braves,' Manfred said. He also said the Braves 'cooperated throughout the investigation.'Atlanta braced fans for the sanctions when team chairman Terry McGuirk apologized to fans 'on behalf of the entire Braves family' for the rules violations at the news conference to introduce Anthopoulos.The Braves said in a statement they 'understand and accept the decision regarding the penalties that have been handed down.'As we expressed last week, our organization has not lived up to the standard our fans expect from us and that we expect from ourselves. For that, we apologize. We are instituting the changes necessary to prevent this from ever happening again and remain excited about the future of Braves baseball.'Manfred said he is confident the Braves management team led by McGuirk, Anthopoulos and vice chairman John Schuerholz 'have and will put in place procedures to ensure that this type of conduct never occurs again and which will allow the club to emerge from this difficult period as the strong and respected franchise that it has always been.'In 2016, the Boston Red Sox lost five players and were banned from signing international amateurs for one year as punishment for rules violations on signing bonuses.___AP Baseball Writer Ronald Blum in New York contributed to this report.___More MLB baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
  • Former Atlanta Braves General Manager John Coppolella has been banned for life by the MLB for meddling with international free-agent signings. Coppolella’s punishment is part of discipline handed down by the league Tuesday for major infractions committed in the international free-agent market. In addition, special assistant Gordon Blakeley has been suspended for one year. In handing down the punishment, the league announced that Braves will forfeit rights to 13 international prospects, will be prohibited from signing any international player for more than $10,000 during the 2019-20 signing period and are restricted from signing players in the next two signing periods for contracts with bonuses greater than $300,000. The Braves issued a statement Tuesday evening, saying in part, that they fully cooperated with the investigation. The highest-profile signee that the Braves will lose is infielder Kevin Maitan. pic.twitter.com/9FGORxGnHk — Atlanta Braves (@Braves) November 21, 2017 Pete Rose, Shoeless Joe Jackson and Jenrry Mejia are the only other people on the MLB 'banned for life' list. Information from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution was used in this report.
  • Former Braves general manager John Coppolella has been banned for life by Major League Baseball as part of discipline handed down by the league Tuesday for major infractions committed in the international free-agent market. In addition, special assistant Gordon Blakeley has been suspended for one year. In handing down the punishment, the league announced that Braves will forfeit rights to 13 international prospects, will be prohibited from signing any international player for more than $10,000 during the 2019-20 signing period and are restricted from signing players in the next two signing periods for contracts with bonuses greater than $300,000. The highest-profile signee that the Braves will lose is infielder Kevin Maitan. Here is the complete statement from MLB Commissioner Robert Manfred: “My office has completed a thorough investigation into violations of Major League Rules by the Atlanta Braves. The Braves cooperated throughout the investigation, which was conducted by MLB’s Department of Investigations. The senior Baseball Operations officials responsible for the misconduct are no longer employed by the Braves. I am confident that Terry McGuirk, John Schuerholz, Alex Anthopoulos and their staffs have and will put in place procedures to ensure that this type of conduct never occurs again and which will allow the Club to emerge from this difficult period as the strong and respected franchise that it has always been. “The investigation established that the Braves circumvented international signing rules from 2015 through 2017. During the 2015-16 international signing period, the Braves signed five players subject to the Club’s signing bonus pool to contracts containing signing bonuses lower than the bonuses the Club had agreed to provide the players. The Club provided the additional bonus money to those players by inflating the signing bonus to another player who was exempt from their signing pool because he qualified as a ‘foreign professional’ under MLB rules. Consistent with the rules, the Braves could have signed all of the 2015-16 players for the full, actual signing bonus amounts. Had the Club signed the five players to contracts containing their actual bonuses, however, the Braves would have exceeded their signing bonus pool by more than five percent and would have been, under MLB rules, restricted from signing any players during the next two signing periods for contracts with bonuses greater than $300,000. “As a result of the 2015-16 circumvention, the Braves were able to sign nine high-value players during the 2016-17 signing period who would have been unavailable to them had the Club accurately accounted for its signings during the 2015-16 signing period. These players were Juan Contreras, Yefri del Rosario, Abrahan Gutierrez, Kevin Maitan, Juan Carlos Negret, Yenci Peña, Yunior Severino, Livan Soto and Guillermo Zuniga. In addition, the Braves entered into additional ‘package’ agreements in 2016 and 2017 in which they signed Brandol Mezquita, Angel Rojas and Antonio Sucre for reduced amounts, and provided additional money to those players’ agents by signing other players affiliated with their agents to contracts with inflated bonuses. In order to remedy these violations, I am releasing these players from their contracts with the Braves and declaring them free agents eligible to sign with any other Club. The procedures governing the players’ release and the signing process will be communicated to MLB Clubs under separate cover.  “The investigation also determined that the Braves: (i) agreed to sign six players to inflated signing bonuses pursuant to an agreement with prospect Robert Puason’s agent in exchange for a commitment that Puason would sign with the Club in the 2019-20 signing period; and (ii) offered prospect Ji-Hwan Bae extra-contractual compensation. In order to remedy these violations, I am prohibiting the Club from signing Robert Puason when he becomes eligible to sign, and disapproving the contract between Bae and the Braves, which has not yet become effective. “While the remedies discussed above will deprive the Braves of the benefits of their circumvention, I believe that additional sanctions are warranted to penalize the Club for the violations committed by its employees. Accordingly, the Braves will be prohibited from signing any international player for more than $10,000 during the 2019-20 signing period, which is the first signing period in which the Braves are not subject to any signing restrictions under our rules; and the Braves’ international signing bonus pool for the 2020-21 signing period will be reduced by 50 percent. “The investigation also determined that the Braves offered impermissible benefits, which were never provided, to a player they selected in the First-Year Player Draft in an attempt to convince him to sign for a lower bonus. As a penalty for the Club’s attempted circumvention involving a draft selection, the Braves will forfeit their third-round selection in the 2018 First-Year Player Draft. “With respect to individual discipline, former Braves General Manager John Coppolella will be placed on the permanently ineligible list, effective immediately. Former Braves Special Assistant Gordon Blakeley will be suspended for a period of one year, effective immediately, and may not perform services for any MLB Club during his suspension. I intend to discipline other Braves’ International Baseball Operations employees who participated in the misconduct after the completion of our internal procedures. My staff will speak to the Players Association and officials in the Dominican Republic regarding appropriate consequences for the representatives of the players who intentionally participated in schemes to circumvent our rules, none of whom are certified by the Players Association.” Check myAJC.com for a full report on the Braves and the punishment.
  • The Dodgers have traded pitcher Josh Ravin to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for cash considerations.Los Angeles designated the 29-year-old right-hander for assignment earlier Monday. Ravin was 0-1 with a save and a 6.48 ERA in 14 relief appearances for the Dodgers last season. He was 2-2 with a save and a 5.05 ERA in 33 career games over three seasons with the team. He was signed as a free agent in December 2013.Also, the Braves claimed left-hander Grant Dayton. The 29-year-old was 1-1 with a 3.42 ERA in 54 relief appearances over two seasons with the Dodgers.The Dodgers also added right-handers Trevor Oaks and Dennis Santana to the 40-man roster. Oaks spent most of last season with Triple-A Oklahoma City, going 4-3 with a 3.64 ERA in 16 games. Santana split last season with Class A Rancho Cucamonga and Double-A Tulsa, going a combined 8-7 with a 4.11 ERA.
  • Chipper Jones, Jim Thome and Omar Vizquel are among 19 first-time candidates on the Baseball Writers' Association of America ballot for baseball's Hall of Fame.They are joined by Johan Santana and Chris Carpenter. Also among the newcomers to the 33-man ballot announced Monday are Jamie Moyer, Andruw Jones, Carlos Lee, Kevin Millwood, Carlos Zambrano and Johnny Damon.Trevor Hoffman, who fell five votes short last year, leads holdovers that include Vladimir Guerrero, Edgar Martinez, Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Mike Mussina and Curt Schilling.Roy Halladay will not appear on the ballot for another year. The retired pitcher died Nov. 7 at age 40 when a plane he was piloting crashed off Florida. A player who dies less than five full years after retiring is eligible in the next election six months following his death or at the end of the five-year wait after his retirement, whichever comes first. Halladay had been set to be eligible in the ballot sent to voters in late 2018.About 430 ballots are being sent to eligible voters from the BBWAA, and a player must receive at least 75 percent for election. Ballots are due by Dec. 31 and results will be announced Jan. 24. The BBWAA voted last December to have ballots of individual voters made public for the first time, but the proposal was rejected by the Hall of Fame's board of directors.Voters, who must have been members of the BBWAA for 10 consecutive years, have been free to announce their votes on their own, and about half chose to do so in recent years. The ballot this year will have a check mark allowing the BBWAA to make an individual vote public 14 days after the totals are announced.Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez were elected last year, when Hoffman drew 74 percent. Guerrero had 71.7 percent, followed by Martinez (58.6), Clemens (54.1), Bonds (53.8), Mussina (51.8) and Schilling (45).Since a change in eligibility requirements eliminated some older voters, Clemens and Bonds received a majority of the vote for the first time last year, the fifth appearance on the ballot for each. Clemens rose from 37.5 percent in 2015 to 45.2 percent in 2016, while Bonds climbed from 36.8 percent in 2015 to 44.3 percent in 2016.Players remain on the ballot for up to 10 years, provided they receive at least 5 percent of the vote annually.Chipper Jones, an eight-time All-Star, won the 1999 NL MVP and the 2008 NL batting title. He hit .303 with 2,726 hits and 468 home runs in 19 seasons with the Atlanta Braves.Thome was a five-time All-Star who hit 612 home runs, eighth on the career list, over 22 seasons. Vizquel was an 11-time Gold Glove winner who set the record for most games at shortstop with 2,709 and the highest fielding percentage at the position at .985. He had 2,877 hits and 404 stolen bases over 24 seasons.Moyer was 269-208 in 25 seasons and in 2012 at 49 became the oldest pitcher to win a major league game.Other holdovers include Manny Ramirez (23.8), Larry Walker (21.9), Fred McGriff (21.7), Jeff Kent (16.7), Gary Sheffield (13.3), Billy Wagner (10.2) and Sammy Sosa (8.6).Newcomers also include Livan Hernandez, Orlando Hudson, Aubrey Huff, Jason Isringhausen, Brad Lidge, Hideki Matsui, Scott Rolen and Kerry Wood.___For more AP baseball coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
  • John Hart left the Atlanta Braves on Friday, less than a week after being stripped of his role as president of baseball operations.The decision was not unexpected given the hiring of general manager Alex Anthopoulos, who is now in charge of all baseball-related decisions. Hart was bumped to the role of senior adviser, but clearly had no real power.A former general manager in Cleveland and Texas, the 69-year-old Hart took on a leading role with the Braves at the end of the 2014 season after the firing of general manager Frank Wren.Hart took part in a massive overhaul of the Braves' roster and farm system, which brought in some top young talent but has yet to produce results on the field. Atlanta has had four straight losing seasons since its last playoff appearance in 2013.'This was a difficult decision, but it's one that I made with the best interests of the Atlanta Braves in mind,' Hart said in a statement released by the team. 'With the hiring of Alex Anthopoulos as general manager, this organization is in great hands. I believe that the talent of the major league players, combined with the young talent soon to arrive, makes the Braves poised for a great run of success.'Hart initially took over as interim general manager after Wren's dismissal, supposedly to help in the search for a replacement, but wound up staying on as head of baseball operations while the team groomed John Coppolella to take over as GM.Coppolella lasted only two seasons in that role. He was forced to resign last month after an investigation by Major League Baseball disclosed rule violations committed by the Braves in the international player market.The revelations led to calls for Hart to step down as well, though he denied knowing about any of the violations despite his oversight role.'This is a good time to step aside and let Alex and his group put their stamp on this great franchise,' Hart said. 'I still have a tremendous passion for this great game, and I plan to stay active and contribute to the game.'Hart didn't mention what he planned to do next, though he had served as a television analyst before accepting a major role with the Braves.Anthopoulos, a former Dodgers and Blue Jays executive, was given the title of executive vice president and has more power than any Braves general manager since Hall of Famer John Schuerholz served from 1990 to 2007, a tenure that included a record 14 straight division titles and Atlanta's lone World Series championship.Anthopoulos spent the last two seasons as the Dodgers' vice president of baseball operations after six years as Toronto's general manager. He takes over a once-powerhouse franchise that is trying to recover from the embarrassing end to Coppolella's tenure.The team is still awaiting sanctions from Major League Baseball.'The past few months have been the toughest in the storied history of the Atlanta Braves franchise,' team chairman Terry McGuirk said at Monday's news conference to announce the hiring of Anthopoulos. 'Frankly, the Atlanta Braves have not lived up to our standard that the fans expect of us and that we expect of ourselves.'___Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 . His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/paul%20newberry___For more AP baseball coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
  • Max Scherzer heard his name and thrust his arms in the air, shouting and smiling big before turning to kiss his wife. Corey Kluber, on the other hand, gulped once and blinked. Two aces, two different styles — and now another Cy Young Award for each. The animated Scherzer of the Washington Nationals coasted to his third Cy Young, winning Wednesday for the second straight year in the National League. He breezed past Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, drawing 27 of the 30 first-place votes in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Kluber's win was even more of a runaway. The Cleveland Indians ace took 28 first-place votes, easily outpacing Chris Sale of the Boston Red Sox for his second AL Cy Young. Scherzer yelled 'yes!' when his award was announced on MLB Network, a reaction in keeping with his expressive reputation. He showed that intensity often this year, whether he was cursing under his breath like a madman during his delivery or demanding — also with expletives — that manager Dusty Baker leave him in the game. Just a little different than the pitcher they call 'Klubot.' Kluber was stoic as ever when announced as the AL winner. He swallowed hard but otherwise didn't react, only showing the hint of a smile moments later when answering questions. Not that he wasn't thrilled. 'Winning a second one maybe, for me personally, kind of validates the first one,' Kluber said. Scherzer's win moves him into rare company. He's the 10th pitcher with at least three Cy Youngs, and among the other nine, only Kershaw and Roger Clemens aren't in the Hall of Fame. 'That's why I'm drinking a lot of champagne tonight,' Scherzer said. Scherzer earned the NL honor last year with Washington and the 2013 American League prize with Detroit. 'This one is special,' he said. 'When you start talking about winning three times, I can't even comprehend it at this point.' Scherzer was 16-6 with a career-best 2.51 ERA this year. The 33-year-old righty struck out a league-leading 268 for the NL East champion Nationals, and in an era noted for declining pitcher durability, he eclipsed 200 innings for the fifth straight season. He had to overcome a variety of ailments to get there, and Washington's training staff was high on his thank-you list. 'Everybody had a role in keeping me out on the field,' he said. 'I'm very thankful for all their hard work.' Kershaw has won three NL Cy Youngs and was the last pitcher to win back-to-back. He was 18-4 with a league-best 2.31 ERA and 202 strikeouts. This is his second runner-up finish. Stephen Strasburg of the Nationals finished third. Kluber missed a month of the season with back pain and still easily won the AL award over Sale and third-place finisher Luis Severino of the New York Yankees. Kluber led the majors with a 2.25 ERA, and his 18 wins tied for the most in baseball. He added to the Cy Young he won with the Indians in 2014 and is the 19th pitcher to win multiple times. The 31-year-old Kluber was especially dominant down the stretch, closing out the season by going 11-1 to help Cleveland win the AL Central. He and Minnesota's Ervin Santana tied for the major league lead with five complete games — nobody else had more than two. Kluber also led the majors with 8.0 wins above replacement, per baseball-reference.com. Kluber and Scherzer both had rough outings in the playoffs. Kluber gave up nine runs over two starts in an AL Division Series against the Yankees, and Scherzer blew a save in the decisive Game 5 of an NL Division Series against the Cubs. Scherzer said he couldn't even watch the League Championship Series, although he did tune in for the World Series. 'That will eat at me this whole offseason,' he said. Voting for the awards was completed before the postseason began. The final BBWAA honors will come Thursday when the MVP awards are announced in the AL and NL. ___ This story has been corrected to remove an erroneous reference to Roy Halladay winning three Cy Young Awards. Halladay won the award twice. ___ More MLB baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
  • Atlanta United is adding an expansion team in the second-division United Soccer League that will play at a suburban baseball stadium beginning in 2018.The USL team will provide a nearby outlet for Atlanta United to loan out little-used players to get additional experience, while also serving as a pathway to the professional ranks for United's academy players.The new squad will play its matches at 10,427-capacity Coolray Field, home of the Atlanta Braves' Triple-A farm team.United president Darren Eales says the Major League Soccer franchise now has the 'capability to develop players in our system from the time they're 12 years old until the minute they reach the first team.'The club's name and crest will be released later.The USL had 30 teams this season and will add at least four expansion franchises next season, with three more set to join in 2019.
  • Puffing on a cigar, Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf said what many fans believe.'It doesn't matter if the game is 3 1/2 hours if it was an exciting game. But if it's a 2-1 game, it takes 4 hours, nobody's too happy with it,' he said Tuesday. 'I believe we should speed up the game. That's one of the things we should do, is limit the number of trips that a catcher can take to the mound in the course of an inning or a game. We could easily cut 20 minutes off the time of a game if we really wanted to.'The average time of a nine-inning contest was a record 3 hours, 5 minutes this season, up from 2:56 in 2015. The postseason average was 3:29.Many owners and general managers want to cut down trips to the mound by catchers. Whether the reason is changing signs, talking about pitch selection or just giving a pitcher a breather during long plate appearances, management wants to cut back.Pitchers and catchers say they are being extra cautious in an era where dozens of high-definition cameras are focused on them, and each team has employees in video rooms seeking any advantage.'There could be an element of paranoia involved,' White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said.Jon Daniels, the Texas Rangers president of baseball operations, didn't hedge.'I don't think it's paranoia, I think it's real,' he said of the sign-stealing threat.MLB proposed three changes to address game length last offseason that the players' union didn't accept, and management can start them next year without player approval: restricting catchers to one trip to the mound per pitcher each inning; employing a 20-second pitch clock; and raising the bottom of the strike zone from just beneath the kneecap to its pre-1996 level — at the top of the kneecap.Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred prefers reaching an agreement with the union, and changes could be phased in over several years. The strike zone change has been discussed less in recent months.Dialogue between MLB and the union is ongoing.There also has been discussion about cutting the time between innings by using split screens to broadcast commercials while half-innings get underway.'It's not just listening to our current fans, it's thinking about our future fans and the landscape we're competing on, how they watch other sports, how they digest media in general and where society is kind of taking sports and sports media,' Toronto Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro said. 'It's important to consider those things. To operate in a vacuum would be a mistake.'While many want to eliminate what they call 'dead time,' the debate is what new rules to put in place.'I know catchers are out there to try to help the pitcher, so when our team does it, it doesn't annoy me,' St. Louis Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt Jr. said with a laugh before adding: 'I think it needs to be eliminated to a degree.'Reinsdorf said the Cardinals' All-Star catcher is among the worst offenders.'The master of going out to the mound is Yadier Molina, because he's like a pitching coach. He's out there helping his pitcher,' Reinsdorf said. 'There's a trillion ways that you could take 20 minutes off the game, and Rob is smart enough to know what they are, and I think he wants to do it, so I think it will get done.'Manfred spoke to the general managers and reinforced there would be severe sanctions for trying to evade baseball's labor contract by agreeing to a future major league contract with Japanese star pitcher/outfielder Shohei Otani, who if posted must agree to only a minor league contract with a limited signing bonus. Manfred also briefed the GMs on what Hahn said were 'impending sanctions for team improprieties.' Atlanta Braves GM John Coppolella and special assistant Gordon Blakeley resigned Oct. 2 after an MLB investigation revealed serious rules violations in the international player market.As GMs prepared to end their meeting, team chief executives began arriving for committee meetings Wednesday and a quarterly owners' meeting Thursday. A vote is likely on a new contract with online ticket exchange StubHub.___More MLB baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
  • The remake of the Atlanta Braves' management was completed Monday when Alex Anthopoulos was named general manager and John Hart was removed as team president.Anthopoulos, a former Dodgers and Blue Jays executive, will have autonomy of baseball operations, giving him more power than any Braves general manager since John Schuerholz served from 1990 to 2007. Anthopoulos also was given the title of executive vice president, while Hart will assume a senior adviser role, team chairman Terry McGuirk announced at a news conference that Hart did not attend.Anthopoulos was to fly to Orlando on Monday night to represent the Braves at baseball's general managers' meetings.He spent the last two seasons as the Dodgers' vice president of baseball operations after six years as Toronto's general manager.Anthopoulos succeeds John Coppolella, who was forced to resign as general manager on Oct. 2 after an investigation by Major League Baseball disclosed rule violations committed by the Braves in the international player market.'Alex is a man of integrity and he will operate in a way that will make all of our Braves fans proud,' McGuirk said.McGuirk apologized to fans 'on behalf of the entire Braves family' for the scandal.'The past few months have been the toughest in the storied history of the Atlanta Braves franchise,' he said. 'Frankly, the Atlanta Braves have not lived up to our standard that the fans expect of us and that we expect of ourselves.'McGuirk said he was told by Commissioner Rob Manfred on Monday 'the investigation has been completed for some time.'He said he expects to learn within two weeks what fine or other penalties the Braves will receive.When asked who made the decision for Hart to immediately hand over control of baseball operations, McGuirk said, 'It just became obvious this was the right thing to do at this time, and he and I made that decision together.'Hart temporarily assumed general manager duties while leading the search for Coppolella's replacement.Gordon Blakeley, the team's international scouting chief, also resigned last month following the disclosure of international scouting violations.Anthopoulos said the investigation had no impact on his interest in the Braves.'For me more than anything else, who are you going to work for and who are you going to work with?' Anthopoulos said. 'Regardless of what the fallout was going to be or what the sanctions may be, that's not going to change who I'm going to go to war with day in and day out.'Anthopoulos said the Braves, who opened SunTrust Park in 2017 and whose minor league organization was named the best in the game by Baseball America, are 'one of the premier jobs in all of sports.'The young talent here is as good as you're going to get in the game, and even here at the big league level, you have some exciting players as well,' he said. 'The opportunity here, the upside, is through the roof.'Braves manager Brian Snitker and former manager and current senior adviser Bobby Cox attended the news conference. Cox was part of the Braves management team that met with Anthopoulos at SunTrust Park during a break between Games 5 and 6 of the World Series.Cox said Anthopoulos was 'a home run' in the interview.'He's smart as heck and a workaholic,' Cox said. 'I've heard that from everyone.'Anthopoulos began his baseball career with the Montreal Expos as a publicity intern before moving to scouting for three years. He joined Toronto after the 2003 season as a scouting coordinator and earned a promotion to VP of baseball operations and assistant GM in 2006 before taking over as GM.___More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

News

  • Atlanta police have been handing out the flyers across the city telling people that a permit is needed to give food to the homeless. The fliers are being used as a warning to those trying to help the homeless. Channel 2’s Justin Wilfon found one group who received more than a warning. Instead of getting praise for helping Atlanta’s homeless, Adele Maclean and Marlon Kautz say they’re getting punished for it. “We’re looking at a citation,” Maclean said. Channel 2 Action News’ cameras were there when police wrote the pair a ticket for handing out food to the homeless without a permit. “I mean outrageous, right? Of all the things to be punished for, giving free food to people who are hungry?” Maclean told Wilfon. TRENDING STORIES: Worker killed after woman drives onto sidewalk on busy road, police say There's a Christmas tree shortage in metro Atlanta Arrests made in violent robberies of Asian-owned businesses The pair said they give food to the homeless every Sunday in Atlanta’s Woodruff Park, and have never heard of needing a permit. “It seems ridiculous to me that they would be spending their time and resources on stopping people from feeding the homeless,” said Maclean said. Wilfon contacted the city to find out what was going on. A city representative said the Fulton and DeKalb County boards of health both require permits to give food to the homeless and the city of Atlanta enforces those requirements. While the requirements aren’t new, Atlanta police told Wilfon they recently started more strictly enforcing them for several reasons. The city believes there are better ways to help the homeless, like getting them into programs and shelters. They are also taking issue with the litter the food distributions leave behind. Ben Parks, who runs a nonprofit for the homeless, told Wilfon he can see the argument from both sides. “I understand where the city’s coming from. I understand when they see groups come in and leave a bunch of trash behind,' Parks said. While this ordinance is also on the books in DeKalb County, DeKalb police told Wilfon Wednesday that they are not using police to enforce it. They’re leaving that up to the health department.
  • A candidate for mayor says she has always wondered if the current mayor of Atlanta won his seat fair and square. Mary Norwood lost to current Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed in 2009. Make sure to tune in to WSB-TV as Keisha Lance Bottoms and Mary Norwood go head-to-head in a live runoff debate moderated by Channel 2’s Justin Farmer, LIVE on Sunday, Dec. 3 at 5 p.m.  Norwood told Channel 2’s Dave Huddleston that she never spoke publicly about the accusation because what she said she knew what happened wasn't significant enough to upset the entire system.  [WATCH: Keisha Lance Bottoms speaks on Channel 2 Action News This Morning] But our partners at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution got a copy of a transcript of a private June meeting where she brought up the 2009 election.  'I just want you to be who you say you are, live where you say you live and vote once,' Norwood told Huddleston.  [WATCH: Mary Norwood speaks on Channel 2 Action News This Morning] Norwood raised concerns about the 2009 election, which she lost to Reed by a couple of hundred votes.  TRENDING STORIES: Worker killed after woman drives onto sidewalk on busy road, police say There's a Christmas tree shortage in metro Atlanta Arrests made in violent robberies of Asian-owned businesses She told Huddleston that she always suspected there was voter fraud.  'I know there are instances where individuals were asked to vote in the election,' Norwood said.  She said individuals who didn’t live in Atlanta still voted in the mayor's race.   [SPECIAL SECTION: The Atlanta Mayor’s Race] Norwood said she's never talked publicly about the accusation, but privately has mentioned it to several groups, including last June, at a meeting that was recorded and leaked to the AJC. 'I have spoken privately to many groups, including last night to the NAACP, about the fact that I did not go public with some things I was concerned about with that election,' Norwood said.  ATLANTA MAYOR QUICK FACTS The city’s last five mayors have been African-American The last 27 have been Democrats There have only ever been two Republican mayors of Atlanta Shirley Franklin was the first female mayor of Atlanta. The next mayor will be the second Only four former Atlanta mayors were born in Atlanta Click here for more facts about Atlanta mayors Huddleston contacted Reed for a comment on this story Wednesday. His spokesperson responded and said in part: “If Mary Norwood had proof that the election results were invalid in 2009, she should have stepped forward and challenged the results then. She did not because she could not. She has no evidence to back up her claims. She has been a public official for the past four years and never raised any concerns about the integrity of our voting system.' Norwood said after the 2009 race, she joined the Fulton County Elections Board to get a new director on staff.  She told Huddleston that she's confident the Dec. 5 mayor's race will be fair, accurate and impartial.
  • Beyond the slick, Hollywood-style cinematics, the Islamic State is targeting Western recruits with videos suggesting they, too, can be heroes like Bruce Willis' character in 'Die Hard.'That's the conclusion of The Chicago Project on Security and Threats, which analyzed some 1,400 videos released by IS between 2013 and 2016. Researchers who watched and catalogued them all said there is more to the recruitment effort than just sophisticated videography, and it's not necessarily all about Islam.Instead, Robert Pape, who directs the security center, said the extremist group is targeting Westerners — especially recent Muslim converts — with videos that follow, nearly step-by-step, a screenwriter's standard blueprint for heroic storytelling.'It's the heroic screenplay journey, the same thing that's in Wonder Woman, where you have someone who is learning his or her own powers through the course of their reluctant journey to be hero,' Pape said.The project at the University of Chicago separately has assembled a database of people who have been indicted in the United States for activities related to IS. Thirty-six percent were recent converts to Islam and did not come from established Muslim communities, according to the project. Eighty-three percent watched IS videos, the project said.The group's success in using heroic storytelling is prompting copycats, Pape said. The research shows al-Qaida's Syria affiliate has been mimicking IS' heroic narrative approach in its own recruitment films. 'We have a pattern that's emerging,' Pape said.Intelligence and law enforcement officials aren't sure the approach is all that new. They say IS has been using any method that works to recruit Westerners. Other terrorism researchers think IS' message is still firmly rooted in religious extremism.Rita Katz, director of SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks messaging by militant groups, agrees that IS makes strong, visual appeals resembling Hollywood movies and video games, making its media operation more successful than al-Qaida's. And IS videos can attract hero wannabes, she said.'However, these features of IS media are only assets to a core message it uses to recruit,' Katz said. 'At the foundation of IS recruitment propaganda is not so much the promise to be a Hollywood-esque hero, but a religious hero. There is a big difference between the two.'When a fighter sits in front of a camera and calls for attacks, Katz said, he will likely frame it as revenge for Muslims killed or oppressed somewhere in the world. The message is designed to depict any terror attack in that nation as justified and allow the attacker to die as a martyr, she said.The promise of religious martyrdom is powerful to anybody regardless of whether they are rich or poor, happy or unhappy, steeped in religion or not at all, she said.Pape said he knows he's challenging conventional wisdom when he says Westerners are being coaxed to join IS ranks not because of religious beliefs, but because of the group's message of personal empowerment and Western concepts of individualism.How else can one explain Western attackers' loose connections to Islam, or their scarce knowledge of IS's strict, conservative Sharia law, he asked. IS is embracing, not rejecting, Western culture and ideals, to mobilize Americans, he said.'This is a journey like Clint Eastwood,' Pape said, recalling Eastwood's 1970s performance in 'High Plains Drifter' about a stranger who doles out justice in a corrupt mining town. 'When Clint Eastwood goes in to save the town, he's not doing it because he loves them. He even has contempt for the people he's saving. He's saving it because he's superior,' Pape said.'That's Bruce Willis in 'Die Hard.' That's Wonder Woman. ... Hollywood has figured out that's what puts hundreds of millions in theater seats,' Pape said. 'IS has figured out that's how to get Westerners.'Pape said the narrative in the recruitment videos targeting westerners closely tracks Chris Vogler's 12-step guide titled 'The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers.' The book is based on a narrative identified by scholar Joseph Campbell that appears in drama and other storytelling.Step No. 1 in Vogler's guide is portraying a character in his 'ordinary world.'An example is a March 25, 2016, video released by al-Qaida's Syria branch about a young British man with roots in the Indian community. It starts: 'Let us tell you the story of a real man... Abu Basir, as we knew him, came from central London. He was a graduate of law and a teacher by profession.'Vogler's ninth step is about how the hero survives death, emerging from battle to begin a transformation, sometimes with a prize.In the al-Qaida video, the Brit runs through sniper fire in battle. He then lays down his weapon and picks up a pen to start his new vocation blogging and posting Twitter messages for the cause.Matthew Levitt, a terrorism expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, says it doesn't surprise him that IS would capitalize on what he dubs the 'zero to hero' strategy because the organization is very pragmatic and accepts recruits regardless of their commitment to Islamic extremism.Heroic aspirations are only one reason for joining the ranks of IS, he said. Criminals also seek the cover of IS to commit crimes. Others sign up because they want to belong to something.'I've never seen a case of radicalization that was 100 percent one way or the other,' Levitt said.
  • A Georgia mother whose toddler has been waiting for a kidney transplant his whole life was gifted a car on Tuesday -- hours before a kidney donor was found. >> Read more trending news  Carmellia Burgess brought her son home from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta on Nov. 8, where he’d been since Oct. 29.  Burgess’s son, AJ, battled a potentially deadly infection, contracted pneumonia, had surgery to implant a new port for his dialysis treatments and received blood transfusions before he was released from the hospital, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported. MORE: Toddler heads home from hospital to wait for kidney transplant But his mother didn’t have a car to get AJ to his hemodialysis appointments three times a week, she wrote on Facebook. That trouble ended Tuesday, when actor Tyler Perry gifted Burgess with a new car. The family later learned a deceased donor kidney would be given to AJ this week, attorney Mawuli Davis said.
  • A federal lawsuit set to go to trial next month marks the latest legal action brought against former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio over allegations that he pursued a trumped-up criminal case to get publicity and embarrass an adversary.The political opponent in this case: U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake.One of Flake's sons filed a malicious-prosecution lawsuit, saying Arpaio pursued felony animal cruelty charges against him and his then-wife in a bid to do political damage to the senator and gain publicity.Austin Flake and his wife were charged in the heat-exhaustion deaths of 21 dogs in June 2014 at a kennel operated by his in-laws. The Flakes were watching the dogs when the in-laws were out of town.The dogs died when an air conditioning unit failed in a small room where the animals spent the night.The case against the Flakes was dismissed at the request of prosecutors, and the owners of the kennel pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges after an expert determined the air conditioner failed because the operators didn't properly maintain it.The lawsuit, which is scheduled for trial on Dec. 5, alleges that Arpaio was intent on linking the Flakes to the deaths, going so far as to conduct surveillance on the senator's home. The suit also says Arpaio's investigators examined phone records to see if the younger Flake called his father during the time he was watching the dogs.Lawyers for Austin Flake and his then-wife have said the senator disagreed with Arpaio over immigration and was critical of the movement questioning the authenticity of then-President Barack Obama's birth certificate.In a deposition, Arpaio didn't accept responsibility for bringing the charges against the couple and was unable to cite any evidence to support the allegations. But he still expressed confidence in his investigators.'I am going by what my detectives accomplished during their investigation,' Arpaio said during the July 2016 deposition. 'They had the nuts and bolts already. I defend my people. I have confidence in them. I don't have to know everything that's going on.'Arpaio and Jeffrey Leonard, an attorney representing Maricopa County and the former sheriff, declined to comment on the case.Stephen Montoya, an attorney for Austin Flake and his former wife, Logan Brown, said the sheriff's office didn't have evidence showing his clients intended to hurt the dogs, yet still charged them with crimes that devastated them and contributed to the demise of their marriage.'It splashed their names across the internet as the murderers of 21 dogs. It really ravaged them emotionally,' Montoya said, noting that Austin Flake was 21 and his wife was 20 at the time.A ruling in August by U.S. District Judge Neil Wake dismissed a defamation allegation from the lawsuit but determined investigators didn't have probable cause to charge the couple.'A factfinder could thus reasonably find that the prosecutors initially charged the Flakes based on pressure from Arpaio,' Wake wrote.The prosecutor who brought the allegations said in a court filing that she wasn't pressured by Arpaio's office to prosecute the couple and that the decision to present the case to a grand jury was made by her and her supervisors. The Maricopa County Attorney's Office isn't named as a party in the lawsuit.The lawsuit doesn't specify how much money the younger Flake and his ex-wife are seeking. But they previously sought $4 million in a notice of claim — a precursor to a lawsuit.It isn't the first time Arpaio has been accused of trumping up charges in an animal cruelty case.He launched an investigation against a police officer from the Phoenix suburb of Chandler over a 2007 death of a police dog that was left in a hot vehicle for 12 hours in blistering summer heat.The officer was charged with animal abuse but eventually acquitted. He filed a lawsuit alleging Arpaio brought the criminal case so the sheriff could exploit the publicity.Taxpayers paid $775,000 to the officer to settle the case.___Follow Jacques Billeaud at twitter.com/jacquesbilleaud. His work can be found at https://www.apnews.com/search/jacques%20billeaud .
  • Two-game winning streaks have given much-needed midseason boosts to Tampa Bay and Atlanta.Now it's time to see which team is ready for the tough NFC South.The Falcons (6-4) have moved into playoff position with back-to-back wins over Dallas and Seattle. Atlanta plays five of its last six regular-season games against NFC South rivals, including Sunday's visit from the Buccaneers.The Buccaneers (4-6) have won two straight over the Jets and Dolphins. Four of their last six games will be against NFC South opponents, including two against Atlanta.Tampa Bay faces a tough climb up the NFL's only division with three teams with winning records. The two straight wins have come with Ryan Fitzpatrick subbing for injured quarterback Jameis Winston . Fitzpatrick, who will make his third straight start against Atlanta, says the wins have helped boost morale.'It's definitely changed a little bit, a little more upbeat, but it's still businesslike attitude,' Fitzpatrick said. 'We know we've dug ourselves a big hole and we still have a long way to go.'Asked what Fitzpatrick has brought to the offense, Tampa Bay coach Dirk Koetter said 'Toughness. Smarts. Competitiveness. Desire to win. Calming influence. How's that off the top of my head?'The Falcons have the same record through 10 games as they did in 2016, when they won the NFC championship before losing to New England in the Super Bowl. Last week's 34-31 win at Seattle left Atlanta in position for a wild card, even though they still trail New Orleans (8-2) and Carolina (7-3) in the division.'I knew it was going to be a battle,' said Falcons coach Dan Quinn of the division. 'That would be certainly the case this weekend. ... We had real regard for the division before the season started. As you go through and look at the different matchups and how some of the teams play, that's certainly the case.'While the Buccaneers' surge has come without Winston, the Falcons have had starting running back Devonta Freeman for only two snaps of their two straight wins. Freeman left the 27-7 win over Dallas with a concussion after only two plays and was held out last week.Freeman was still in the concussion protocol for the start of practice this week and is expected to miss his second straight game, leaving Tevin Coleman as the starter.Here are some things to watch as the Buccaneers and Falcons renew their NFC South rivalry:RYANS EXPECTING TWINS: Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and his wife, Sarah, are expecting twins. For Ryan, the news brings more significance to his jersey number 2.'There is something about 2,' Ryan said, smiling. 'Before, I just liked it. Now I have something for it. It's cool.'Ryan said the twins are due 'in a couple months. We're just very happy, very excited.'REAL MCCOY: Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy is tied with Arizona linebacker Chandler Jones for the NFL lead with 20 quarterback hits. McCoy is tied with Atlanta's Grady Jarrett with 10 tackles for loss, tied for the most among defensive tackles. He leads the Bucs with 5.0 sacks.GOODBYE GEORGIA DOME: This will be the Falcons' first home game since their old home, the Georgia Dome, was imploded on Monday . Koetter, the former Falcons offensive coordinator, is eager to see the $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which was built beside the old facility.'I've heard it's awesome,' Koetter said. 'I am anxious to see it. I always thought the Georgia Dome was dark and had bad acoustics. I couldn't hear a word anybody said in there.'90-GAME MILESTONES WITHIN REACH: Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones is on the brink of setting new NFL standards for catches and yards receiving in the first 90 games of a career. Jones has 551 catches. He needs eight receptions to pass Anquan Boldin's record of 558. Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown is second with 554.Jones has 8,396 yards receiving. He needs 107 yards to pass Lance Allworth's 90-game record of 8,502.WARD VS. WARD: Terron Ward moved up the depth chart with Freeman's concussion. As Coleman's top backup, there is a greater chance he'll go against older brother T.J. Ward, Tampa Bay's backup safety. The head-to-head competition is rare for the brothers.'We never played against each other,' said Terron Ward of the brothers' childhood, noting he is 5 years younger than his 30-year-old brother and the two would play together against cousins.'We used to get out there at Thanksgiving and Christmas, two on two,' he said. '... It would go back and forth so it's always been fun.'___For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL