Braves claim speedy Hamilton off waivers
ATLANTA â The Atlanta Braves have claimed outfielder Billy Hamilton off waivers from the Kansas City Royals to bolster their injury-plagued Major League Baseball roster. The 28-year-old Hamilton is a five-time Gold Glove finalist and switch-hitter who gives Atlanta some defensive options and speed off the bench. He played in 93 games for the Royals, hitting .211 with 18 stolen bases. Hamilton spent six years with the Cincinnati Reds before signing with Kansas City as a free agent for this season. He is a career .242 hitter with 295 stolen bases, including four straight seasons with more than 50 steals in Cincinnati.
Earnhardt ‘truly blessed’ nobody was seriously hurt in crash
Dale Earnhardt Jr. says his family is “truly blessed” that nobody was seriously injured when his plane crash-landed last week in Tennessee. The retired NASCAR driver, now a television analyst, issued a statement Monday on social media praising the “quick response of my pilots, local law enforcement, emergency personnel and hospital staff.” He thanked people for their phone calls, messages of support and prayers. Investigators say the plane carrying Earnhardt and his family bounced multiple times during a crash-landing Thursday in Elizabethton and veered off the runway before ending up on a highway. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause. Earnhardt was with wife Amy, 15-month-old daughter Isla, two pilots and the family dog. He was to have been part of NBC’s broadcast team for Saturday night’s Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Benson driving at ‘high rate’ of speed before fatal crash
AUSTIN, Texas â Police said Monday they are still investigating the weekend motorcycle crash that killed former Texas Longhorns running back and National Football League player Cedric Benson and a woman passenger. According to police, witnesses said Benson was driving his BMW motorcycle at a high rate of speed through a curving, hilly section of the city Saturday night when he collided with a van that was attempting a left turn. Police said a passenger in the van and a bystander attempted to help Benson, 36, and his passenger, 27-year-old Aamna Najam. Both died at the scene. Police said the van driver is co-operating with the investigation. No charges have been filed. Benson is the second-leading rusher in Texas history with 5,540 yards. He was drafted No. 4 overall by Chicago in 2005 and played eight seasons in the NFL with the Bears, the Cincinnati Bengals and Green Bay Packers.
Bombers quarterback Nichols on six-game injured list with upper-body injury
WINNIPEG â Winnipeg Blue Bombers starting quarterback Matt Nichols has been placed on the six-game injured list with an upper-body injury. Head coach Mike O’Shea said after Monday’s practice the unspecified injury does not require surgery and Nichols will be re-evaluated in four to six weeks. Backup pivot Chris Streveler will start when the Canadian Football League West Division-leading Bombers (7-2) travel to play the Edmonton Eskimos (6-3) on Friday. Nichols was sacked by B.C. Lions defensive lineman Shawn Lemon with nine minutes left in the fourth quarter of Winnipeg’s 32-16 victory over the Lions last Thursday. He fumbled the ball after the sack and walked to the locker-room appearing to favour his arm. Streveler replaced him.
Canadian Diez tops Sela to advance to second round of U.S. Open qualifiers
NEW YORK â Canada’s Steven Diez is one step closer to his first main-draw berth at a Grand Slam after winning his first-round U.S. Open qualifier Monday. The Toronto player defeated Dudi Sela of Israel, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, to advance to the second round of qualifying for the final major of the tennis season. Diez, ranked No. 175, saved seven of 10 break points and converted on five of eight to down his 167th-ranked opponent. Diez, 28, needs to win two more qualifying matches this week in order to advance to the U.S. Open main draw, which begins Aug. 26. Diez will next face 228th-ranked Japanese player Yosuke Watanuki. Diez’s best career result at a Grand Slam was reaching the third round of qualifiers at the 2016 U.S. Open.
Brown reportedly takes part in meetings with Raiders
ALAMEDA, Calif. â Star receiver Antonio Brown has returned to training camp with the Oakland Raiders a day after being given an ultimatum by general manager Mike Mayock to be “all in or all out.” Brown took part in meetings Monday with the Raiders in Napa before the National Football League team broke camp, a person familiar with the situation said. Brown didn’t attend practice Sunday as he works to find a helmet that he’s comfortable using and that meets safety standards set by the NFL and NFL Players Association. Agent Drew Rosenhaus told ESPN earlier Monday they are looking into “all options right now to resolve the helmet issue.” Brown also lost a grievance to allow him to use a helmet that is no longer certified as safe. Brown had hoped to find a newer version of his preferred helmet that could be approved but the one he submitted failed a safety test conducted by the league and union, a second person said on condition of anonymity because test results weren’t released.