Bryce Harper delights home crowd with Home Run Derby win

The ball cleared the center field wall, and the sellout crowd roared. Bryce Harper threw his bat in the air, thrust both index fingers skyward and yelled with delight as a shower of streamers rained upon the crowd of 43,698. It could have been a scene from a playoff game. That it was merely the All-Star Home Run Derby mattered not to Harper or the Washington Nationals fans, who were thrilled to see their hometown hero deliver the night’s final longball Monday. In the midst of it all — and in the middle of trying season — Harper grabbed the microphone and

The Open 2018: Golf to introduce blood testing as part of WADA regulations

Players have previously only been subjected to urine tests but a condition of golf’s inclusion in the Olympics was that the sport would need to meet testing standards deployed across other WADA-regulated sports. About 20 per cent of the field will be subject to testing which has already been introduced on the European Tour. “I’ve done it a few times,” said Europe’s No1 Tommy Fleetwood. “I’m pretty confident that it’s a clean sport but we’re an Olympic sport these days so rules apply to everybody. “If everybody’s doing the right things, then it shouldn’t be a problem. I don’t see

Rory McIlroy confident his firepower can boost him to victory at The Open

The toughest course on the rota has claimed many a victim down the years but McIlroy, one of the longest hitters in the game, feels he has the ammunition to put it in its place. “My record at the Open has been pretty good over the last few years and I don’t see any reason why I can’t continue that good run this week,” said McIlroy, who practised with Spain’s Jon Rahm yesterday. “With the way the rough is, someone like Jon and I can fly it over 320 yards – you’re basically taking all the trouble out of play

Jordan Spieth reveals Claret Jug sadness ahead of The Open

Spieth reluctantly took part in a setpiece handover of the Open trophy on the first tee at Carnoustie to R and A chief executive Martin Slumbers and afterwards owned up to a surprising sense of emptiness. “I thought maybe somebody would meet me in the parking lot and I’d just give them the case back and we’d move on. But it was a ceremony, and because of that, it actually hit me harder,” he said. “I was thinking: ‘Man, this was in my possession. I took it to all the places that allowed me to get to where I am

Danny Willett: Former Masters champion opens up on his fall from grace ahead of The Open

He is able to do so with complete honesty because, finally, the wheel has begun to turn but if you ever wondered what happened to that twitchy Yorkshireman who won the Masters then here it is in unflinching detail. Willett’s fall from Augusta hero two years ago to a missed cut and withdrawal specialist was widely (mis) interpreted as a classic case of golfing Icarus, a player who flew too close to the sun and could not handle what went with becoming a Major champion. The truth was that at 28 he was only on the course at all with

Sources: LeBron to miss Team USA minicamp

6:02 PM ET LeBron James will not participate in USA Basketball’s minicamp in Las Vegas next week, multiple sources familiar with James’ plans told ESPN. James, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, was in Vegas over the weekend to observe his new team, the Los Angeles Lakers, play a summer league game, but he will not be present for the training camp, which is slated for July 25-27 at UNLV’s Mendenhall Center. It will be the first official USA Basketball gathering with Gregg Popovich as the head coach. James played for Larry Brown on the 2004 bronze medal team at the

The Open 2018: Rory McIlroy confident his firepower can boost him to victory at Carnoustie

The toughest course on the rota has claimed many a victim down the years but McIlroy, one of the longest hitters in the game, feels he has the ammunition to put it in its place. “My record at the Open has been pretty good over the last few years and I don’t see any reason why I can’t continue that good run this week,” said McIlroy, who practised with Spain’s Jon Rahm yesterday. “With the way the rough is, someone like Jon and I can fly it over 320 yards – you’re basically taking all the trouble out of play

British Open viewer’s guide: tee times, TV schedule and streaming options

The 147th British Open begins on Thursday at Carnoustie, and tee times for the opening round are from 1:35 a.m. ET to 11:16 a.m. ET. Tiger Woods, making his first British Open start in three years, tees off at 10:21 a.m. alongside Hideki Matsuyama and Russell Knox, and that group goes off at 5:20 a.m. on Friday. The TV broadcast begins at 1:30 a.m. on Thursday on the Golf Channel and continues until 4 p.m. Weekend coverage is also on NBC. Below is the TV schedule, streaming options and tee times for the week. TV SCHEDULE (ET) Thursday: 1:30 a.m.-4

Scherzer gets nod to start MLB all-star game in home park

Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper will bat sixth for the National League in the all-star game in his home ballpark on Tuesday night in Washington (7:30 p.m. ET). Harper is hitting .214 with a .365 on-base percentage, .468 slugging percentage, 23 home runs and 54 runs batted in. Despite his hitting struggles, Harper is an all-star — voted in by fans — for the sixth time in his seven-year major league career. Nationals teammate Max Scherzer will take the mound for the NL as expected with Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts saying it’s good for baseball and for the country

LaVar’s latest boast: In prime, I’d beat LeBron

1:31 PM ET LaVar Ball made headlines last year when he said that he could have beaten Michael Jordan one-on-one back in his playing days. Now the braggadocious basketball dad is making the same claim about his son’s new teammate: LeBron James. In a recent interview with Fanatics View, Ball said he would have been able to beat James because the four-time NBA MVP is “too weak.” “ too weak,” Ball, 50, said during the interview, which was published last Thursday. “Back in my heyday, can’t nobody hold me. 270 (pounds), benching 500? All I gotta do is back

Porter Jr. likely to use Friday for medical exam

An invitation-only medical examination of Missouri freshman star Michael Porter’s surgically repaired back is likely back on for Friday in Chicago, his agent, Mark Bartelstein, told teams in an email Thursday afternoon.

Bartelstein told teams that circumstances were “trending” toward team officials being able to travel to Chicago to examine Porter. Porter was scheduled to hold a workout for teams Friday in the city, but canceled it because of a strained hip. It brought into question whether he would even be made available for the medical exam.

Porter’s agency, Priority Sports, had previously informed teams that they could bring their own trainer and doctor for a 15- to 20-minute evaluation, a unique twist in the draft environment.

Porter is No. 7 in ESPN’s most recent mock draft. He also was suffering from back spasms Thursday and underwent an MRI, and it was expected that he’d be evaluated again Thursday night, although he was said to be feeling better.

Porter’s camp appears to feel comfortable with his stock. The Sacramento Kings (No. 2), Memphis Grizzlies (No. 4) and Dallas Mavericks (No. 5) are interested in Porter, and it’s now unlikely he falls out of the top seven in the draft, sources tell ESPN.com. The Chicago Bulls hold the seventh pick.

Porter’s draft stock appeared to be trending down after the college basketball season, as his refusal to participate in the NBA combine medical examinations and the postponement of his first pro day — originally scheduled for June 1 and rescheduled to June 8 — caused some teams picking in the late lottery to believe Porter might still be on the board for their pick. Questions about his ability to be a good teammate at Missouri and pre-draft interviews of Porter conducted by NBA teams attending the combine contributed to the concern.

Porter dropping to the late lottery would be a noteworthy turn of events for a player rated so highly in his high school class. For much of 2017, Porter was projected to be one of the top two picks in the 2018 NBA draft.

A back injury revealed in late November derailed Porter’s freshman season, forcing him to have microdiscectomy surgery on his L3 and L4 spinal disks. Porter was cleared to play in March and participated in two games for Missouri, shooting 9-for-29 from the field.

Porter ceased all basketball activity after the season, focusing his efforts on rehab, sources told ESPN, after losing strength in his left leg in particular because of the injury. He was cleared to play just two weeks before his June 8 pro day. While he reportedly felt only about 50 percent physically, he had a very impressive showing, according to multiple teams in attendance, shooting the ball exceptionally well. His size, fluidity and shot-making ability off the dribble reminded teams of the player who had been highly touted before the season.

The results of Porter’s full medical examination, conducted by the Bulls, were eventually released to all NBA teams. Representatives of multiple teams that reviewed the information with their medical staffs say those results are encouraging.

“There doesn’t appear to be anything wrong with him right now,” one NBA executive told ESPN.com. “But a conservative doctor could still [be concerned about] what might happen down the road.”

League sources say that NBA doctors appear optimistic about his long-term prognosis, and teams will weigh his talent against the inherent risks.

“Everyone is worried about missing out on a star,” one NBA executive told ESPN. “No one wants to miss out on another Joel Embiid.”

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