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Wednesday
Jun212017

Oakland Raiders nearing big money contract extension with Derek Carr

Photo by Scott Clarke / ESPN Images(OAKLAND, Calif.) -- Quarterback Derek Carr and the Oakland Raiders could be close to a contract extension worth more annually than any contract ever given to a quarterback, ESPN reports.

Sources tell ESPN that Carr and the Raiders are nearing a deal that would pay the third-year signal-caller about $25 million per year. The contract is expected to be signed by the time the training camp deadline Carr had provided for negotiations arrives.

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is currently the highest paid player in terms of annual salary at $24.6 million per season. Only Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer and New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees are also above $24 million annually.

Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins currently earns $23.9 million per year, but is working on a long-term deal.

Carr's 3,937 passing yards and 28 touchdowns last season helped lead the Raiders to their first postseason berth in nearly 15 years. He suffered a broken fibula in Week 16, however, missing the playoff loss to the Houston Texans.

At team minicamp, Carr has said that he's just happy to be back. "As soon as the ball was snapped, it was a blessing," Carr said. "It kind of all went away."

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jun212017

Cubs' Addison Russell's wife filing for divorce, won't talk domestic abuse claims with MLB

Photo by Allen Kee / ESPN Images(CHICAGO) -- Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell's wife is filing for divorce, a law firm representing her announced on Wednesday, and Melisa Russell will not meet with Major League Baseball to discuss claims of domestic abuse.

According to a report from ESPN, Beermann Pritikin Mirabell Swedlove LLP is representing Melisa Russell in the matter.

Major League Baseball announced that it was looking into an Instagram post of Melisa Russell's earlier this month. In the post, she seemed to imply that Russell was cheating on her and treating her badly. A comment on the post from someone identified as a friend of hers accused the Cubs shortstop of physically abusing his wife.

Melisa Russell has not commented publicly on those accusations.

"It is her desire to pursue a resolution that is, first and foremost, in the best interest of the parties' son, and which occurs in a swift, amicable and private fashion," the law firm's statement read.

Addison Russell has denied abusing his wife.

Major League Baseball and the league's players' union has a tough domestic violence policy, which was adopted in 2015. Multiple players, including New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman, New York Mets closer Jeurys Familia and shortstop Jose Reyes, and Atlanta Braves utilityman Hector Olivera, were suspended for more than 15 games under the policy.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jun212017

Marian Hossa to miss 2017-18 season due to allergy, skin condition

Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- Scoring 26 goals at the age of 38, it seemed as if nothing would be able to slow Marian Hossa down. That is, until it was discovered that the three-time Stanley Cup winner and five-time All Star had been battling a skin condition due to an allergic reaction to his equiptment. As a result, Hossa will not play in the upcoming 2017-18 NHL season.

"While I am disappointed that I will not be able to play, I have to consider the severity of my condition and how the treatments have impacted my life both on and off the ice," Hossa said in a statement Wednesday. "The Chicago Blackhawks organization, including Rocky Wirtz, John McDonough and Stan Bowman, and my agent, Ritch Winter, have been very supportive throughout this entire process."

"The Chicago Blackhawks are in full support of Marian Hossa as he addresses his medical issues," Blackhawks Senior Vice President and General Manager Stan Bowman said in a statement. "This is extremely difficult for us because we all know the incredible person and player that Marian Hossa is — competitive, loyal and humble. He has played a major role in the success our franchise has experienced in recent years, which makes his departure from our lineup a significant loss."  

"Marian has been dealing with the effects of a progressive skin disorder that is becoming more and more difficult to treat and control with conventional medications while he plays hockey," Blackhawks' team physician Dr. Michael Terry said. "Because of the dramatic nature of the medications required and their decreasing effectiveness, we strongly support his decision not to play during the 2017-18 season."

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jun212017

Pro golfer Billy Horschel and his wife open up about her battle with alcoholism

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Professional golfer Billy Horschel and his wife, Brittany Horschel, opened up about her battle with alcoholism in a joint interview with ABC News' Good Morning America Wednesday.

The 30-year-old golfer won his fourth Professional Golfers' Association title last month at the AT&T Byron Nelson Tournament, where for the first time he briefly opened up about a private struggle he and his family have dealt with over the past year.

"I'm not able to talk about it right now, but it's just a lot of stuff happened in the last year, and this is just, this is nice," Billy Horschel told reporters in a news conference following his win.

Brittany Horschel later turned to Twitter to explain her husband's emotional reaction, revealing publicly that she sought treatment last year for alcoholism.

"'I am an alcoholic,'" Brittany Horschel wrote in a statement. "I say that now without shame."

She went on to say that her husband took care of their 18-month-old daughter Skylar when she checked herself into a treatment facility for two months.

"With him winning at my one-year mark, it was the perfect time for me to tell everybody that I'm an alcoholic and I'm proud of being an alcoholic and how far I've come," Brittany Horschel said live on GMA. "Not everybody's comfortable with [going] public and I am, so I feel like I have almost a sense of duty to share my story to help others."

On Wednesday morning, Brittany Horschel revealed that she would fill water bottles with vodka for many years to hide her addiction.

"He knew that I'd drink a couple of glasses of wine at night, but other than that I really kept it hidden from friends and family and especially Billy," she said. "I would wake up and I would have some sort of drink. Most likely it was mixing vodka with orange juice and then just slowly keep on drinking throughout the day.”

As for the Horschels’ daughter, "I was able to take care of her, but it wasn't at any energy level. It was sad for her because the quality of her life was suffering because of how my life was," she added.

Billy Horschel said he had begun to realize that his wife had a serious problem that required help.

"It probably wasn't until after Skyler was born, probably 6, 8 months, she started drinking again and into 2015, beginning of 2016, I realized there was a really big issue here," Billy Horschel said. "We would have conversations about her drinking. I would say, 'Hey, how about we just stop drinking for a couple weeks. Maybe only drink wine.' But obviously, I knew it was a bigger situation than that."

While Brittany Horschel was in treatment, the couple reversed roles.

"That was the hard part, leaving Skyler," Brittany Horschel. "I was very hesitant at first, but soon realized that it was the best thing for her. It was the best gift I ever gave her."

"It was tough," Billy Horschel added. "She was an alcoholic, she had issues drinking but our relationship together as a husband-wife was not great. We needed to work on that … so for me to be more open, communicate better with my wife and our relationship was a massive thing that we learned how to do."

Brittany Horschel has been sober for a year.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jun212017

Scoreboard roundup -- 6/20/17

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the latest scores and winners:

INTERLEAGUE
Tampa Bay 6, Cincinnati 5

AMERICAN LEAGUE
L.A. Angels 8, N.Y. Yankees 3
Baltimore 6, Cleveland 5
Texas 6, Toronto 1
Minnesota 9, Chicago White Sox 7
Boston 8, Kansas City 3
Houston 8, Oakland 4
Seattle 5, Detroit 4, 10 innings

NATIONAL LEAGUE
St. Louis 8, Philadelphia 1, 11 Innings
Washington 12, Miami 3
San Francisco 6, Atlanta 3
Pittsburgh 7, Milwaukee 3
Chicago Cubs 4, San Diego 0
Colorado 4, Arizona 3
L.A. Dodgers 12, N.Y. Mets 0

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Jun202017

Tiger Woods receiving 'professional help' to manage medications

Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) -- Tiger Woods tweeted that he is seeking "professional help" for his use of prescription drugs, weeks after his arrest for suspicion of driving under the influence.

Woods released a statement Monday evening explaining why he's in treatment.

"I'm currently receiving professional help to manage my medications and ways that I deal with back pain and a sleep disorder," the statement read. "I want to thank everyone for the amazing outpouring of support and understanding, especially the fans and players on tour."

No other details were immediately available.

Woods, 41, was arrested May 29 and said he'd been taking prescription drugs at the time. The golfer, who had back surgery in April, released a statement at the time of the arrest in which he apologized to his family, friends and fans, noting, "I expect more from myself too."

"I understand the severity of what I did and I take full responsibility for my actions," he said. "I want the public to know that alcohol was not involved. What happened was an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications. I didn't realize the mix of medications had affected me so strongly."

For the past decade or so, Woods has experienced a number of personal and professional setbacks. Though he racked up 14 major championships before the age of 32, Woods, who has been plagued by injuries, has not won one since the U.S. Open in June 2008.

About two years later, he admitted that he had been unfaithful to his then-wife, Elin Nordegren, and was seeking treatment for sex addiction.

"I felt I was entitled," he said at the time. "I was wrong. I was foolish. I don't get to play by different rules. I brought this shame on myself."

Nordegren filed for divorce in 2010 after nearly six years of marriage. They have two children, Sam, 10, and Charlie, 8. Woods said during a visit to ABC News' Good Morning America in March that his family has become his priority.

"My kids now dominate my life, and I think that's a good thing," he said.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Jun202017

Scoreboard roundup -- 6/19/17

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the latest scores and winners:

INTERLEAGUE
Cincinnati   7  Tampa Bay   3

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Cleveland    12  Baltimore   0
Toronto       7  Texas       6
Kansas City   4  Boston      2
Houston       4  Oakland     1
Seattle       6  Detroit     2

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Miami          8  Washington      7
Atlanta        9  San Francisco   0
Pittsburgh     8  Milwaukee       1
Chi Cubs       3  San Diego       2
L.A. Dodgers  10  N-Y Mets        6

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Jun192017

Michael Phelps discusses new swimming events and post-Olympic career at New York City promotional event

ESPN Images/Phil Ellsworth(NEW YORK) -- Olympic legend Michael Phelps was critical of the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) decision to add new swimming events to the Games while speaking at a promotional event in New York City.

The IOC recently announced that it will add a women's 1500 meter freestyle, a men's 800 meter freestyle, and a mixed-gender 4x100 relay to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, much to the annoyance of the 28-time Olympic medalist. Phelps says the expansion make it seem like "there's too much going on," adding, "it takes away from the sport... it's not swimming anymore."

He compared the additions to the high-tech, polyurethane-based swimsuits that swimming introduced to the world at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. They were banned after those Olympic Games once officials determined the suits were too much of a performance enhancer. Phelps believes that officials are essentially picking and choosing which races they want in the Games.

However, the racing legend does not completely oppose the idea of adding new events. It gives athletes another opportunity to win a gold medal and one day break his record of 23 career golds. Katie Ledecky, the women's swimming star who earned four gold medals at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, will now have a chance to compete for one more thanks to the new 1500 meter race.

Phelps seems to welcome that opportunity, telling reporters he "doesn't care" if a swimmers break his Olympic records. In fact, he says he would, "Love to see it, adding, "I think it's good to have somebody out there that is willing to challenge themselves in way that they had no idea."

The legendary swimmer also discussed what he has been up to in retirement, and some of it does not involve swimming. In fact, he has picked up a new sport: golf.

Phelps also spends time with his wife, former Miss California Nicole Johnson, and one-year-old son, Boomer.

As for work, he is spending a lot of time working with his foundation, promoting swim safety to get kids active and prevent drowning accidents. He also testified before Congress earlier this year, speaking out against doping in Olympic swimming.

Phelps joked with reporters that every so often he will post a picture on Instagram with the caption "#2020?" teasing fans about a potential comeback. However, he assures the public that his Olympic career is definitely over.

He did not say, however, that his racing career is over. In fact, he is actually preparing for another highly-anticipated race coming up later this summer. Phelps will race against a great white shark as a part of Discovery Channel's "Shark Week," a dream for Phelps as he calls sharks his "number one favorite animal in the world.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Jun192017

Green Bay fanatic marries woman named Marie Packer in team-themed wedding

Courtesy Ryan Holtan-Murphy(CHICAGO) -- This diehard Packers-loving groom said “I do” to the love of his life, Marie Packer, in a Green Bay-themed wedding on June 17.

Ryan Holtan-Murphy said it was a “no brainer” to take his wife’s last name.

“We’re the Packer family now,” he proudly told ABC News.

The couple tied the knot at Willis Tower in Chicago with elaborate Packers decorations, mostly arranged by the groom.

“I kept most things a surprise from her, but she knew about the mailbox because we ordered that together,” Holtan-Murphy, 41, said.

The groom even surprised his bride with a Green Bay-themed suit after the ceremony.

“I ordered it three months ago and have been hiding it under the bed in our guest room. She was a lot harder to find on the dance floor once I showed up in the suit,” he said with a laugh. “She’s a great sport. She’s a lot of fun.”

Packer, 38, said she was “surprised, but not surprised” when her husband came out in the suit, which she now knows was his pièce de résistance from the wedding.

“I was waiting for something,” she recalled. “I was thinking, ‘This is a lot more toned down than I was expecting.’ Everyone was in black tuxedos and everything and I was like, ‘Where is the green and gold? I know it’s around here somewhere and he just hasn’t busted it out yet.’ I just stood with my head down laughing easily for two or three minutes. He looked amazing. I thought he looked hilarious.”

Holtan-Murphy first made headlines when he announced he was going to be taking his wife’s football-themed last name upon marriage.

“I grew up in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, where the Packers are the unofficial state religion,” he told ABC News in January. “Everyone from grandmothers to little kids are diehard fans and we live and die with the team.”

When the lovebirds first met at a karaoke bar in Madison, Wisconsin, he thought Packer was too good to be true.

“Marie is beautiful, strong, hilarious. And then she told me her last name,” he recalled. “I didn't believe her and made her show two forms of ID and a credit card.”

Holtan-Murphy even proposed while wearing a Green Bay jersey.

“I was wearing my favorite Aaron Rodgers jersey and we were in a water tank at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago and I had arranged it with them to have a baby beluga whale bring over the ring in a waterproof box,” he said. “I was relieved he didn't try to eat it!”

Now the two Cheeseheads are honeymooning in Turks and Caicos, still sporting their Packers gear. And Holtan-Murphy has already begun paperwork to officially take his wife’s last name.

“I've already started the paperwork for after the wedding,” he wrote in an email. “I have my completed application for a new Social Security card, new passport and new driver's license ready to mail! My new full name will be Ryan Holtanmurphy Packer. I can't wait!”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Jun192017

Wanda Durant on her son Kevin's NBA win: 'I felt fulfilled as a mom'

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- After Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant helped his team clinch the NBA championship, his mother, Wanda Durant, celebrated alongside the team in what truly was a lifelong dream come true.

"I felt fulfilled as a mom," Durant said Monday on ABC News' Good Morning America about the winning moment. "When he gave the speech and he talked about me in the speech ... I felt like he got, he understood why I was the type of mother that I was -- sometimes a little psychotic. But at that moment I felt like I was fulfilled as a parent because it was like all that hard work really paid off."

Durant, a single mother, said she did her best to stay engaged as a parent and demand the best from her two sons.

"On the court I was very demanding in practice and workouts. The coach would say 'Kevin do 25 push-ups,' and I would come in with my flippin attitude and say 'do 250,'" Durant said. "I just taught him how to go beyond what was required and dig deeper."

When Kevin Durant was named league MVP in 2014, he delivered an emotional speech dedicated to his mother.

"We wasn't supposed to be here. You made us believe. You kept us off the street. You put clothes on our backs, food on the table. When you didn't eat, you made sure we ate. You went to sleep hungry. You sacrificed for us. You the real MVP," he said.

For all the young moms and single parents going through difficult times, Wanda Durant stressed the importance of being involved.

"I was determined early on as a young mother that I was going to be present with my children, I was going to be engaged," she said. "It didn't matter what I had to sacrifice for their success, I knew I wanted different for them. I wanted them to live their dream. I wanted them to set a goal for themselves and not just live life as a survivor, but a thriver."

She added, "Being engaged with your children helps you identify characteristics for certain professions or hobbies or interests. It just happened to be basketball for us. But just being able to identify the artistic characteristics in your child, the academic prowess and the athletic ability if you're there and present."

And she admitted that raising her two sons had its challenges.

"There were several times I wanted to quit, but the look in their eyes was what kept me going ... no matter how hard it was I just couldn't be a quitter for them," she said.

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