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podcasts: The Little League Replay

The Little League Replay

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Little League Report 05.22.19

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Georgia Sports News

  • ATLANTA (AP) - The Braves are not promising Will Smith the closer's role. Smith isn't complaining. During his first news conference with his new team on Tuesday, Smith said he's fine with pitching in any inning. The Georgia native said he's just happy to move close to home and to pitch 'for an organization I grew up watching with my family.' A 30-year-old left-hander, Smith wore No. 47 as a kid because that was Atlanta left-hander Tom Glavine's number. Smith agreed to a $40 million, three-year contract with the Braves on Thursday following an All-Star season with San Francisco. The free agent turned down a $17.8 million qualifying from San Francisco and agreed to a deal that includes a $13 million annual salaries and a $13 million club option for 2023 with a $1 million buyout. Smith's former clubhouse neighbor with the Giants, Mark Melancon, was 11 for 11 in saves opportunities with the Braves in 2019 following a midseason trade from San Francisco. Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos said Melancon is expected to enter spring training as the closer. The GM noted the decision will be made by manager Brian Snitker. It would not be a surprise if Smith wins the job. He posted a 2.76 ERA with a career-best 34 saves last season for San Francisco. 'Will Smith is one of the better relievers in the game,' Anthopoulos said. 'It's a big add for us. We made our bullpen a lot better today.' Left-hander Sean Newcomb, who started only four games before pitching well out of the bullpen last season, will have another opportunity to win a spot in the rotation. Anthopoulos said that decision was made before the team signed Smith. Teams are increasingly willing to utilize elite relievers in clutch situations before the ninth inning. Anthopoulos said he could foresee Smith being called on in the seventh or eighth innings, depending upon matchups and game situations. Smith endorsed that strategy. He said a successful bullpen is filled with pitchers who see themselves as 'the closer of that inning,' no matter when they enter a game. 'If everybody takes that attitude, I think we're going to be all right out there,' he said. Smith is a native of Newnan, Georgia - about 40 miles southwest of Atlanta. He said his family frequently attended Braves games. With Smith playing home games in California, however, it was difficult for his Georgia family to follow his career. 'They would set an alarm for 12:45 to check the score and see if it was a save situation,' Smith said. Smith said playing so close to home 'was huge' in his decision to sign with Atlanta. He said he also wanted to play for a winner, and the Braves have won two straight NL East division titles. Atlanta struggled to find consistency at the back end of its bullpen last season. Anthopoulos made three trade-deadline deals to acquire relievers, adding Melancon, Shane Greene from Detroit and Chris Martin from Texas. Bullpen woes hurt the Braves in their NL Division Series loss to St. Louis. Atlanta led 3-1 going to the eighth inning of the opener, but Luke Jackson and Melancon struggled in a 7-6 loss. Anthopoulos shot down any notion that he'll be looking to trade Greene after adding Smith. 'We're trying to have a deep bullpen,' Anthopoulos said. 'We like Shane. We're excited to have him.' Anthopoulos is looking for help at other spots, including third base. The team has made a qualifying offer to Josh Donaldson, who became a free agent after hitting 37 homers and driving in 94 runs with Atlanta. Among other notable free-agent third basemen are Anthony Rendon and Mike Moustakas. 'There are a lot of good players out there,' Anthopoulos said. 'We're going to see if we can get something done.' If the Braves can't re-sign Donaldson or add another top third baseman, Johan Camargo and Austin Riley likely would compete for the job in spring training. ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • Kendall Milton is already making a real impact on and off the field. There was no better reflection of that than the events of the last week. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Georgia commit was honored in front of Buchanan High School (Clovis, Calif.) this past Friday with his All-American Bowl jersey. When he hit the field later that night, hetouched the ball just six times but came away with 109 yards and two touchdowns. His Bears cruised to a 43-7 state playoff win against Bakersfield. None of those steps mattered as much as when he walked into a hospital room earlier in the week. It showed he was a lot more than the skill and size that led to his status as the nation's No. 6 RB and No. 34 overall prospect for this cycle per the 247Sports Composite ratings. That moment was all about showing love. To a young man who really needed it. When Milton chose Georgia back in late July, it was big news for his region of California. That part of California isn't known for big-time recruits. Especially All-Americans. That drew a lot of headlines. His community found itself a part of a different sort of headline over the last week. That's when news of a 12-year-old boy at a sleepover at a friend's house led to third-degree burns and serious scare. According to various reports, the boy was showering at a friend's house when the friend sneaked into the bathroom and splashed him with the cup of hot liquid. Further details are not readily known in the case. The district attorney for the area is still investigating. Milton didn't know that young man as a 12-year-old local boy. He knew him as Antonio Kemp, the son of a Bears teammate, who was also someone the Milton family knew well, too. The breakaway back, known for his vision on the field, saw an opportunity to 'Do more' here. 'I just wanted to reach out and show my support to him and his family,' Kendall Milton said. 'To let him know they they are in our prayers and we are constantly thinking about him.' It was a tough story. The incident took place on Nov. 2 and it was described by family members as a long-standing 'prank war' but that one led to serious burns on Kemp's face and upper body. RELATED: 12-year-old describes attack which led to severe burns What happened when Kendall Milton reached out This was not just a teammate's little brother. Kemp played football for a youth team that his father, Chris, started up in their community. Those kids are by and large essentially family by now. Milton asked his father to order up a few things: A Georgia backpack, a hat and he already had his share of UGA wristbands. While he has gone to local schools to speak to kids or visit area youth programs, this was Milton's first hospital visit. The opening he saw this time was a chance to affect change and be a true role model in this young man's life.He tried his best to rev up the young man's spirits. Yet Kemp's spirit and outlook somehow inspired him. 'It was a little bit of both,' Kendall Milton said. 'Just the position he was in made me want to go out and be somebody to people who are in the same situation. I hoped that by going there to see him, it would help him out and help him to have more motivation. Basically try to help him have a lot to look forward to still in his life and to basically just to keep that positive mindset.' When the news stories started to come up regarding Kemp's plight and the unfortunate series of events, the young man was found wearing that Georgia 'Power G' wristlet that the future Georgia back had given him. 'I just wanted him to stay positive and let him know that God always has a plan for him and everything is always going to work out,' he said. 'I just wanted him to stay positive through it all.' Milton was guilty of having a bleeding heart. Even in a state playoff week. And maybe also trying to recruit another Georgia fan, too. 'Just wanted to have him [to] rock that Dawg gear,' Milton said. 'I just wanted him to have that memorabilia and let him know that I am always with him.' His father has seen the growth. 'What people don't understand is that Kendall has a very very humble and giving heart,' Chris Milton said. 'While he doesn't take crap from people, he has a heart of gold and really loves to help people.' When Kendall sees a homeless person, he's moved to do something. To buy a meal. To share some pocket change. He will bow his neck to prevent bullying. 'When you look at him physically, people tend to figure he is a certain way,' his father said. 'But when you see him do humanitarian work, your mind will be blown.' Kemp attended Milton's playoff game last week. Rocking his new Georgia gear. Kendall Milton: The All-American Bowl jersey moment Milton is known mostly to Georgia fans for his ratings. Maybe his size and HUDL highlights, too. There was also his viral commitment video with the catchy soundtrack from the summer. Most might not know that he is an honor roll student who holds a 3.4 grade-point average. He will graduate early and enroll in January at UGA. He even does yoga. Milton doubled up in the classroom over the last year so he could graduate early. He was the first All-American Bowl or Army All-American Bowl selection in Buchanan High School history. 'It is an exciting feeling,' he said. 'Seeing this game on TV and seeing these great players in this game and just having an opportunity to follow in their footsteps and try to head in the right direction to have their same levels of success.' He's seen Alabama star Najee Harris and Oklahoma safety Brendan Raley-Hiles in the game, among others. 'Just having the Adidas All-American across your chest kind of feels like a dream accomplished,' he said. 'It is all realistic now just having the jersey on and having everything right in front of you. It is crazy that is has all played out the way it has now.' When these ceremonies take place across the country, it offers a chance for the athlete to turn the spotlight toward someone who has truly made a difference in their life. Most All-Americans chose their parents and Milton's parents would have been a wonderful choice. They seem to have blessed him in so many ways. But Milton chose another family member instead. That would be his older brother KaLonn Milton. 'He just kept me grounded the most throughout this process,' Kendall Milton said. 'He never let me get too happy with the position I am in and he always encouraged me to strive for more. I really believe that's why I am at the place that I am at. He gave that encouragement and stayed on me about it so it allowed me to keep getting better throughout the years.' Kendall Milton: On the field Milton has played in just six games this season. He was bothered by a nagging quad injury earlier in the year and the decision was made to rest it and save him for the current playoff push. That hasn't stopped him from picking up 870 yards and 12 touchdowns on just 92 carries. That's 9.5 yards per rush attempt. He's also caught 12 passes for 216 yards and two more scores. Check out the highlight reels from just last week in the tweets below. Who said a BIG MAN can't make you miss??? @therealkmilt pic.twitter.com/3LuI60osAA Chris Milton (@fatherofballers) November 16, 2019 Playoff TD #2 @therealkmilt pic.twitter.com/T0q6bgjCQG Chris Milton (@fatherofballers) November 16, 2019 Playoff TD #1.. @therealkmilt pic.twitter.com/Z79DbTgyRX Chris Milton (@fatherofballers) November 16, 2019 Rumble young man rumble @therealkmilt pic.twitter.com/IpHhij6aHV Chris Milton (@fatherofballers) November 16, 2019 Buchanan (9-2) is now rated by MaxpPreps.com as the No. 23 team in the CIF. They'll face No. 24 Liberty (10-4) in the CIF semifinals sectional contest on Friday night. When it comes to recruiting, the is a ninja. He's always working behind the scenes. Building. Talking to guys. Not pressuring them. But making sure they would feel comfortable about making Athens their college home right with him, too. He keeps his real moves to himself but will offer up names like Elias Ricks (5-star LSU cornerback commit) and Kelee Ringo (Undecided 5-star CB) from time to time. 'Those are two of the two DBs in the country,' he said. 'I feel like they could come in and make that immediate impact and basically help us get to that lockdown secondary that is what we are striving for. Those are two dudes who have that dawg fight' mentality to just get better every day.' There's also a bit of kinship there with 5-star ILB Noah Sewell. Those two are both out West and they linked up at the Opening finals this summer. Milton juked Sewell in an early cat-and-mouse drill and basically lit his fuse. Sewell was basically a wrecking ball for the rest of the Opening. Nobody got by him again. The nation's No. 2 ILB is one of the top remaining targets for Georgia in the 2020 class. At this time, it appears that Georgia and Oregon are the primary contenders for Sewell. He's only taken official visits to those two schools at this point. Milton would love to see Sewell wind up choosing to play for the red and black, too. 'It would be great,' he said. 'Having a guy like that on your team just makes everybody get better every day. Do you know that about how iron sharpens iron? We would be just be battling every day to get better. That would help us become a better team and help us get to a national championship.' The post Kendall Milton: Georgia RB commit has an All-American week both on and off the field appeared first on DawgNation.
  • It hasn't been the best of seasons for former Georgia running back Todd Gurley. He's seen a drop in production and had to answer question after question about the health status of his knees. But on Sunday night, the former Georgia product showed that he's still capable of carrying his team to victory. Gurley finished with 97 rushing yards and 36 receiving yards for the Rams. Gurley also found the endzone on a night where both the Rams and Bears struggled to score. 1-yard touchdown run by Todd Gurley II. #PeckerNation pic.twitter.com/Aev2L43RIg Ghost Valley Peckers (@PeckerNation) November 18, 2019 Gurley also eclipsed 5,000 career rushing yards for his career. Thanks to Gurley's efforts, the Rams came away with a crucial 17-7 win. The victory keeps the Rams in the mix for a playoff spot. 'I guess I felt like the old Todd,' Gurley said. 'But it's cool, man. I'm just happy I was able to go out there and take advantage of my opportunities.' Gurley wasn't the only former Georgia star to play well on Sunday night, as Chicago Bears linebacker Roquan Smith led the Bears with 11 tackles. He also intercepted a pass from Jared Goff. It wasn't Smith's fault the Bears offense struggled to score on Sunday. ROQUAN SMITH WITH THE PICK!!! #GODAWGS #DAWGSINTHENFL pic.twitter.com/WrqIV81Tnp NATEDAWG (@NateDawgUga) November 18, 2019 Another Bulldog who had a standout week was Justin Houston of the Indianapolis Colts. Houston picked up another sack in the Colts' 34-13 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. He now has 8.0 sacks on the season, good for 11th in the league. Geno Atkins also had a 1.5 sacks this weekend for the Cincinnati Bengals this past weekend while also adding 5 tackles. On the offensive side of the ball, Nick Chubb surpassed the 1,000 yard mark on the season, as he finished with 92 rushing yards in the Browns 21-7 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Chubb is third in the NFL rushing on the season. Chubb and the Browns take on the Miami Dolphins this coming weekend. Sony Michel had only 33 rushing yards for the New England Patriots this weekend but he is going to be getting some help starting this week, as former Bulldog Isaiah Wynn is set to return from injury. Wynn has been out since Week 2 due to a toe injury. Former Bulldog Benjamin Watson also caught 3 passes for the Patriots in their 17-10 win over the Philadelphia Eagles. As for our Top Dawg the weekly honor that goes to the former Bulldog that has the best week in the NFL we're giving to Gurley. He was huge for the Rams this week and if he continues to play he did on Sunday, which is going to help the Rams greatly in their playoff push. Top Dawgs in the NFL Week 1: Leonard Floyd, Chicago Bears Week 2: Mecole Hardman, Kansas City Chiefs Week 3: Mecole Hardman, Kansas City Chiefs Week 4: Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns Week 5: Sony Michel, New England Patriots Week 6: Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns Week 7: Justin Houston, Indianapolis Colts Week 8: Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions Week 9: Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions Week 10: Jordan Jenkins, New York Jets Week 11: Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation WATCH: Georgia newcomers were difference-makers in 21-14 highlight video Texas A&M's Jimbo Fisher: Aggies aim to match Georgia physicality and toughness' Even as Georgia offense struggles, D'Andre Swift continues to show why he's one of the best in the country Georgia football podcast: UGA has a lot to celebrate after beating Auburn Georgia football freshmen report: UGA 21, Auburn 14 Texas A&M will get a chance to play spoiler for Georgia and the Bulldogs know it WATCH Georgia coach Kirby Smart outlines 3 biggest concerns with Texas A&M 5-star DE Jordan Burch sets his commitment date The post Todd Gurley leads Los Angeles Rams to win, surpasses another career milestone appeared first on DawgNation.
  • UGA photographer Chamberlain Smith has tweeted out the picture she took on Saturday night in Athens right before Georgia running back Brian Herrien collided with her, sending her to the hospital. And it’s a very good picture...  Smith was knocked unconscious after taking a bit to the head and sustaining facial bruises, and carried off the field on a stretcher and taken to a nearby East Alabama Medical Center.  She has since been released and is back at her home in Ringgold, GA.  Kirby Smart addressed her situation to begin his Monday media press conference this week, saying “thoughts and prayers going out to Chamberlain Smith, the young lady who works on Sports Communications Director Claude Felton's staff that got hit over on the sideline,' Smart said. 'It was a scary moment. Brian felt really sick about it, and it was a tough deal, but hopefully she’s going to be OK and I think she is.
  • Legendary UGA football coach Vince Dooley will be doing a book-signing tour with 10 stops around the metro Atlanta area. Dooley coached the Bulldogs to the 1980 national championship, and he recently had the school's football field named after him Vince Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium. Here's the stops on the tour: Wed., Nov. 27 (4-6pm): Kroger at 1931 Jesse Jewel Pkwy, Gainesville, GA 30501 Wed., Dec. 4 (4-6pm): Kroger at 1476 Turner McCall Blvd., Rome, GA 30161 Thurs., Dec. 5 (4-6pm): Kroger at 4880 Lower Roswell Rd., Marietta GA 30068 Tues., Dec. 10 (4-6pm): Kroger at 1365 W. Walnut Avenue, Dalton, GA 30720 Wed., Dec. 11 (4-6pm): Kroger at 455 Nathan Dean Blvd., Dallas, GA 30132 Thurs., Dec. 12 (4-6pm): Kroger at 5928 Zebulon Rd., Macon, GA 31210 Tues., Dec. 17 (4-6pm): Kroger at 3300 Hamilton Mill Rd., Buford GA 30519 Wed., Dec. 18 (4-6pm): Kroger at 774 Ga Highway 96, Bonaire, GA 31005 Thurs., Dec. 19 (4-6pm): Kroger at 5550 Bethelview Rd, Cumming, GA 30040 Fri., Dec. 20 (4-6pm): Kroger at 2295 Towne Lake Pkwy. Woodstock, GA 30189 The post Dates, times for UGA legend Vince Dooley's book-signing tour at Kroger stores appeared first on DawgNation.