ATLANTA — The Atlanta Falcons have agreed to terms with safety Chris Hope, who has started 109 games in 10 seasons with Pittsburgh and Tennessee.
The 31-year-old Hope will provide experience behind starters William Moore and Thomas DeCoud.
Hope was a third-round pick by Pittsburgh in 2002. He signed with the Titans as an unrestricted free agent in 2006.Hope was a 2008 Pro Bowl selection after leading Tennessee with four interceptions.
In 2011, Hope made two starts and played in 10 games. He had 33 tackles with one interception.
He started all 16 regular-season games on Pittsburgh’s 2005 Super Bowl championship team. He has 20 career interceptions.
Details of the agreement announced Friday were not released.
The Clarksville Parks & Recreation Department and the Clarksville YMCA have seen such success with the new Yoga in the Park series, classes will continue through August 3 (excluding Wednesday, July 4)!
Yoga in the Park is a free, morning yoga class instructed by trained YMCA instructors each Wednesday and Friday beginning May 16. Classes take place from 6 to 7 a.m. on the stage behind the As the River Flows museum at McGregor Park, located at 640 N. Riverside Drive.
Each participant must bring their own yoga mat. The participant(s) with the highest attendance at the end of the program will be eligible to receive a gift certificate to a local salon for a day of pampering!
Registration for Yoga in the Park is available at the Parks & Recreation Main Office, located at 102 Public Square, as well as online at recpro.cityofclarksville.com.
For more details on Yoga in the Park, please contact the Clarksville Parks and Recreation Office at 645-7476 or visit recpro.cityofclarksville.com.
ROUND ROCK, Texas – The Nashville Sounds blanked the Round Rock Express, 2-0, on Friday night at The Dell Diamond in the finale of a three-game series. The shutout was Nashville’s PCL-leading eighth of the season and second in three games over the Express.
With the win, Nashville (33-49) picked up only their second winning series on the road this season and finished 3-4 overall on the seven-game road trip through Albuquerque and Round Rock.
Nashville starter Brian Baker (2-3) authored his best pitching performance of the season to pick up the win. The 29-year-old threw six scoreless innings on six hits and no walks while striking out six. Baker is record a 0.79 ERA (1er/11.1ip) in his last three outings (two starts).
Relievers Johnnie Lowe, Mike McClendon, and Jim Henderson followed with scoreless frames to collect the combination shutout.
First baseman Sean Halton accounted for two of Nashville’s five hits and also scored a run. Second baseman Eric Farris went 0-for-3 to snap a nine-game hitting streak, which matches his best effort of the year.
The game remained scoreless until the Sounds scored their first run in the visiting half of the fifth inning. After one-out base hits from Halton and outfielder Corey Patterson, shortstop Edwin Maysonet hit a fly ball to right field to score Halton on a sacrifice fly.
Nashville scored their other run in the seventh as Round Rock committed two costly fielding errors. Oufielder Jay Gibbons reached on a fielder’s choice and was followed by another hit from Halton. Patterson then loaded the bases after reaching on a fielding error by the pitcher.
On the ensuing at-bat against reliever Johan Yan, Maysonet grounded to shortstop Luis Hernandez, who made the second fielding gaff of the frame to allow Gibbons to score.
With runners on first and second in the bottom of the ninth, Henderson struck out Round Rock’s Michael Bianucci to end the game and pick up his seventh save.
Former Sound Zach Jackson took the loss, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits in 6 1/3 innings.
The Sounds travel home to welcome the division-rival Iowa Cubs (AAA-Cubs) to Music City for a four game series for the first time this season. Nashville right-hander Seth McClung (1-9, 5.19) will toe the rubber against Iowa southpaw Brooks Raley (4-2, 4.14).
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The lineup is set and tickets are available for the 12th annual “Talk with the Titans” Dinners that benefit the Charles Davis Foundation and inner-city youth.
The dinners are scheduled for July 22, 23 and 24 at Loews Vanderbilt Hotel and again will be hosted by Houston Chronicle sports writer John McClain and George Plaster.
The entertaining evenings will include behind-the-scenes stories and anecdotes. Each night begins with a reception and photo opportunities with guest participants at 6 p.m. and is followed by dinner at 7 p.m. An auction of Titans memorabilia is also scheduled.
Titans past, present and future will be topics of conversation. Former Titans and current St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher will speak on July 22 during “Jeff Fisher Returns” night. Fisher has participated every year of the event.
Second-year offensive coordinator Chris Palmer and 2012 NFL Draft first-round pick Kendall Wright will appear for “The Wright Stuff” evening on July 23.
Mike Munchak, second-year head coach of the Titans and Pro Football Hall of Fame member, and Titans general manager Ruston Webster will be the featured guests on “The Playoffs Start Here” evening on July 24.
Tickets are $250 per person, eight-person tables are available for $2,000, and 10-person tables are available for $2,500 per night. Two-night tickets are available for $400 per person, and a ticket for all three evenings is $600 per person.
Tickets can be purchased on the Charles Davis Foundation’s website or by calling (615) 254-0396. Click here to download the registration form.
Location: Loews Vanderbilt (free parking in the Loews Garage)
Reception & Pictures: 6 p.m.
Dinner: 7 p.m.
Cost: One-night ticket: $250 per person; Two-night ticket: $400 per person; Three-night ticket: $600 per person
Tables: $2,000 for an eight-person table per night; $2,500 for a 10-person table per night
Contact: Charles Davis Foundation at (615) 254-0396; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.charlesdavisfoundation.org/
About the Charles Davis Foundation
The Charles Davis Foundation offers inner-city youth positive role models, programs, activities, resources and opportunities that build character and self-esteem. Its mission is to empower inner-city youth and families to reach their full potential through positive, educational, athletic, cultural and economic development. CDF was founded in 1982 by Charles Davis as a fulfillment of a childhood promise to God. Davis vowed that if he “got out” of the Tony Sudekum/University Court “projects” that he would come back to help others. Remaining true to this vow, the Charles Davis Foundation has been providing programs to fulfill its mission. Through its programs, the foundation achieves its mission, serving approximately 1,200 youth per year.
Reliever To Represent Sounds, Pacific Coast League At Triple-A All-Star Game On July 11 In Buffalo
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Pitcher Jim Henderson has been named to the Pacific Coast League All-Star team and will represent the Sounds on the 30-man squad that takes on the International League stars in the 25th Annual Triple-A All-Star Game on Wednesday, July 11 at Coca-Cola Field in Buffalo, New York.
Henderson was selected as a reserve for the contest by the PCL office.
The 29-year-old right-hander has posted a 3-3 record, team-leading six saves, and a 1.93 ERA (8er/37.1ip) in 24 relief appearances for the Sounds while holding opponents to a .233 average.
He has struck out 42 batters in his 37 1/3 innings, ranking 4th among league relievers with a 10.13 strikeouts per nine innings ratio, while issuing only 16 walks.
Henderson has allowed a run in only four of his 24 outings this season and opened the year with a PCL-best 24 1/3 consecutive scoreless?innings pitched over his first 15 appearances before finally surrendering a run on May 28th.
The All-Star nod is the second mid-season honor of Henderson’s 10-year pro career. He was previously recognized as a Midwest League All-Star in 2009 during his first year in the Brewers organization.
A pair of former Sounds were named as additional participants for the PCL team in the 2012 Triple-A All-Star Game.
Shortstop Luis Cruz, who was Nashville’s 2010 team MVP after hitting .281 with 10 HR and 68 RBIs in 129 contests, will be a member of the PCL roster as one of three Albuquerque Isotopes participants.
Former Sounds player and manager Marty Brown, currently the skipper with the Las Vegas 51s (Blue Jays), will serve as the PCL All-Star manager for the game. Brown played for the Sounds for parts of two seasons in 1988-89, representing the club in the inaugural Triple-A All-Star Classic in 1988, then returned to manage Nashville for two seasons from 2001-02.
There are no former Sounds on the International League All-Star roster, which was announced yesterday.
The 2012 Triple-A All-Star Game will be broadcast live on television on MLB Network and the Armed Forces Network as well as on the radio on 102.5 FM “The Game” at 6:00 p.m. CDT.
The complete Pacific Coast League and International League All-Star rosters are attached.
Tennessee Tech standout Kevin Murphy was taken with the 47th overall pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft.
On a night where the University of Kentucky saw a record six players taken in the NBA Draft, the state of Tennessee also fared pretty well as five players who played college ball in the Volunteer State had their name called, including Tennessee Tech standout Kevin Murphy.
Vanderbilt shooting guard John Jenkins became the first Commodore chosen in the first round since Will Perdue in 1988 when he was taken No. 23 overall by the Atlanta Hawks.
Jenkins, who left Vanderbilt after his junior season, was the SEC’s leading scorer the past two seasons and is considered the best shooter in this year’s draft class by many draft experts.
Seven picks later, Vandy center Festus Ezeli was chosen by the Golden State Warriors with the final selection in the first round.
Ezeli, a 6-foot-11, 255-pound Nigerian native, recorded 204 blocked shots during his four-year college career, shattering the school record previously held by Perdue.
Despite battling injuries for nearly the first third of the season, Ezeli averaged 10.1 points and 5.9 rebounds per game last year for the Commodores.
With the selection, Ezeli and Jenkins became the first duo of Vanderbilt players taken in the first round in school history.
One pick later, Vanderbilt small forward Jeffery Taylor heard his name called when he was selected No. 31 overall by the Charlotte Bobcats.
Taylor, who grew up in Sweden, moved to the United States in 2006 before committing to the Commodores and head coach Kevin Stallings in 2008.
Taylor averaged 14.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game last season for the Commodores.
Regarded as perhaps the most complete prospect of the three Commodores, Taylor will look to help rebuild a Bobcats franchise that won just seven games in 2011-2012.
Memphis shooting guard Will Barton was taken by the Portland Trail Blazers with the 10th pick in the second round (No. 40 overall).
Barton, a 6-6, 174-pound Baltimore native, left after just two seasons in Memphis, but averaged 18.1 points and 8.1 rebounds en route to being named the Conference USA Player of the Year in 2012.
Initially projected as a first-round selection, Barton joins a Blazers squad that drafted Weber State point guard and Illinois center Meyers Leonard with the team’s first-round selections Thursday night.
Seven picks later, Murphy became the second Ohio Valley Conference player to be drafted in as many years when he was taken by the Utah Jazz.
Murphy, a 6-foot-6, 194-pound shooting guard from Atlanta, scored 20.6 points per game in 2012 – tops in the OVC and 10th nationally.
Already on scout’s draft boards, Murphy boosted his draft stock thanks to his 50-point performance against SIU-Edwardsville on January 30, the most points scored in a game by any DI player last year.
Murphy was the only draft selection of the Jazz, who finished 36-30 last year and made the playoffs as the Western Conference’s No. 8 seed.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Single-game tickets to all 10 Tennessee Titans home games at LP Field in 2012 will go on sale Friday, Aug. 3 at 10 a.m. (CST).
Tickets can be purchased by visiting the ticket office at LP field, calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000, visiting any Ticketmaster outlet, or logging on to the Ticketmaster web site at Ticketmaster.com.
Game tickets start at $35.
The Titans open the 2012 season against the reigning AFC Champion New England Patriots on Sunday, Sept. 9 at LP Field. They also return to the prime-time football lineup with games against the New York Jets on Monday Night Football (Dec. 17) and their long-time rival Pittsburgh Steelers on NFL Network (Oct. 11).
In addition, the Titans will play at home against the Detroit Lions (Sept. 23), Indianapolis Colts (Oct. 28), Chicago Bears (Nov. 4), Houston Texans (Dec. 2) and Jacksonville Jaguars (Dec. 30).
The Titans kick off their home preseason schedule on Thursday, Aug. 23 in a nationally-televised ESPN game against the Arizona Cardinals at LP Field. A week later, they close out the preseason at home against Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints on Thursday, Aug. 30.
Fans will enjoy several improvements to LP Field this coming season, including new high-definition video screens in both the north and south end zones, LED ribbon boards, a new distributed sound system, two banks of high-speed elevators to the upper-deck, and fan-friendly dining and entertainment zones.
“All of the improvements are state of the art, and they’ll be certainly a reason for fans to come enjoy games at LP Field this season, let alone the environment you get at an NFL game to begin with,” said Don MacLachlan, executive vice president of administration and facilities for the Titans. “All these enhancements will take our fans’ experience at LP Field to an entirely new level.”
The Titans have sold out 134 consecutive games since moving into LP Field for the 1999 season, including preseason contests.
The Braves have something now they haven’t had in … well, they haven’t had it this season: production at the bottom of the lineup.
Right fielder Jason Heyward has gone nuts lately, batting .459 (11-for-37) with three home runs in a 10-game streak through Sunday. In 28 games in May, he hit .200, and only nine of his hits went for extra bases.
At the same time, he has stepped up his aggressiveness on the bases, and it was pretty high to begin with. He has 10 stolen bases — he had nine all of last season — and also is taking more extra bases on hits. It’s all instinct; he is seldom wrong and has the green light from manager Fredi Gonzalez.
And now rookie shortstop Andrelton Simmons is driving in runs with both hits and productive outs. He was promoted from Double-A Mississippi because of his stellar defense. Nobody was expecting any offense. And maybe that will diminish as the league compiles a book on him. But as savvy as he has looked in the field and at the plate, it’s a good bet he will be able to make the necessary adjustments when opponents do figure him out.
Nothing was expected of Simmons’ bat. But because he is producing so far, Gonzalez has been keeping Heyward in the sixth or seventh spot in the batting order, depending mostly on whether Brian McCann or David Ross is catching.
The Braves were off Monday, and Gonzalez typically uses an off day to make adjustments. The starting pitching has been such a problem that that’s what occupies him most, but he might also decide to tinker with the lineup. Especially because McCann is struggling. He’s the three-hole hitter at the moment but hit only .167 on the six-game road trip to New York and Boston.
Notes and Quotes
–3B Chipper Jones is batting only .189 (7 for 37) in 10 games since returning from the disabled list on June 10. The switch-hitting veteran says there have been a few times in his career when his swing wasn’t right from either side, and this is one of them. He is feeling soreness in his legs from the time he missed because of the severe contusion and hematoma he sustained in his left ankle and calf.
–LHP Mike Minor has given up 18 home runs in 60 1/3 innings this season, and most of them have come off his changeup, which is his best pitch. The damage is exacerbated by the fact that he is giving up walks as well. He walked two ahead of Red Sox RF Cody Ross’ homer on Sunday.
–The June 1 rainout against the Nationals in Washington will be made up as part of a doubleheader July 21. There will be a game at 1:05 p.m. followed by the regularly scheduled 7:05 game.
–RHP Jair Jurrjens’ win over the Red Sox on Friday was his first major league win since last August 22 over the Cubs in Chicago. It has taken that long for Jurrjens to strengthen and then trust his surgically repaired right knee.
BY THE NUMBERS: 1 — Double plays grounded into by RF Jason Heyward this year, on June 17 versus the Orioles.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “I’m more excited about some of the plays that he’s made defensively. The offense, for me that’s gravy.” — Manager Fredi Gonzalez on rookie SS Andrelton Simmons.
Atlanta Braves Roster Report
–RHP Peter Moylan (right shoulder surgery in October 2011) was long-tossing as of mid-May. He threw his first bullpen session May 23 and hopes to return around the All-Star break.
–RHP Arodys Vizcaino (Tommy John surgery in March 2012) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 26. He is expected to miss the entire season.
–RHP Brandon Beachy (sore right elbow) went on the 15-day disabled list June 17. He underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery June 21.
–LHP Robert Fish (left elbow tendinitis) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 26.
The Clarksville Parks & Recreation’s first-ever Youth Kickball League is extending registration through July 6! Participants can register at the Parks & Recreation Main office as well as online at recpro.cityofclarksville.com. There will also be a registration booth available at the City of Clarksville’s Independence Day Celebration from 6 to 10 p.m. on July 3 at McGregor Park.
The Youth Kickball League is open to ages 7 to 14 years and includes 8 games for the season. Games will be played on Thursday evenings beginning August 16, with practices beginning July 23. The cost to participate is $30 per child.
The Parks & Recreation Department is also seeking coaches for this league! If interested, please contact Tina Boysha at 645-7476.
For more details on Youth Kickball, please contact the Clarksville Parks and Recreation Office at 645-7476 or visit recpro.cityofclarksville.com.
Earlier this week, I blogged about finding quality sports and television to keep us entertained during these summer months.
What I didn’t include, however, was much on Thursday’s NBA Draft.
And for good reason: I figured I’d write a totally separate entry on the event.
Quite simply, I am a sucker for the NBA Draft.
Whether it be tearing through pages of mock drafts or watching footage from the Scouting Combine at 3AM on a Sunday morning (I did this two weeks ago – don’t judge), I love everything about the Draft and the way the NBA markets the event.
The beauty of the Draft, however, lies in the extraordinary entertainment value (in addition to the drama of the selections themselves) that comes along as the night and the coverage progresses.
So rather than bore you with a mock draft of my own, (which have been pretty terrible over the years anyway) I’ve instead pieced together a few of my favorite things for you to look forward to.
The Deals. This is quite possibly my favorite aspect of Draft Night. NBA executives love (or at least seem to love) wheeling and dealing picks and players on draft night. To give you an idea of how crazy draft nights can be, during last year’s draft, 31 of 60 picks were either made as the result of some sort of trade. 31 of 60. That’s over half of the picks in the draft! And while the vast majority of these trades were made during the regular season, (or years prior) the fact remains: On draft night, anything can – and undoubtedly will – happen. It can be a bit confusing (and at times overwhelming) but it also keeps things interesting.
Buying and Selling Picks. I don’t know exactly why, but this has always been another one of my favorite intricacies of the Draft. Maybe I just secretly wish I was a billionaire and had the ability to wheel and deal like an NBA owner. But seriously, in what other sport can you just openly buy or sell rights to picks? Already made your first-round choice, but really want to add another player to your roster? Just call up the team on the clock and make an offer for him. Looking to add some quick, easy cash flow to your books? (In 2011, 22 of the league’s 30 franchises reportedly lost money.) Sell the pick. Keep those calculators handy Thursday night, you might need them.
The Watch Party. Much like the NFL Draft, (and the MLB and NHL Drafts, to a lesser extent) the watch party is one of my favorite things in all of sports. It’s a chance for fans of all teams to get together and share food and beverages while also talking trash to each other about his or her team’s picks. On a personal note, my favorite (for the wrong reasons) watch party story came in 2009. As a suffering Grizzlies fan, I realized the danger of the Grizz winding up with the second overall pick that year (also known as “The Blake Griffin Draft”). For those that don’t remember (or have had it scrubbed from their memory), the Grizzlies took Connecticut center Hasheem Thabeet, which could go down as the one of the worst picks in modern NBA Draft history. That summer, I watched the draft with some friends at the ESPN Zone in Las Vegas (which, ironically, shut down the next summer). Virtually everyone in our party knew how opposed to the Thabeet pick I was and began giving me grief before the Draft even started. Needless to say, by the time the Grizzlies turned in their pick, virtually the entire bar was rooting for the Grizz to take Thabeet just to get under my skin. Sadly, the rest is history as Thabeet was a complete and utter bust and is no longer a member of the Grizzlies. Just to make matters worse, the Grizz also took former Vanderbilt and Missouri player DeMarre Caroll (who is now on his fifth NBA squad in three seasons). Any time I talk to friends about that draft, the ESPN Zone story always comes up. These are the types of stories that make watch parties special.
(By the way: To give you an idea how bad that pick was, here’s a list of players the Grizz passed up on to take a 7-foot-3 project player from Tanzania: James Harden, Tyreke Evans, Ricky Rubio, Stephen Curry, Brandon Jennings Ty Lawson, Jeff Teague and Darren Collison. Sigh.)
The Suits. Ah yes, the suits. In a second life, I’m going to write a book or produce a documentary on the dress of players at the NBA Draft. Over the years we’ve seen some pretty awful fashion on Draft Night. Whether it be Jalen Rose’s red pinstripes, Samaki Walker’s fedora failure, or whatever the heck Drew Gooden was wearing (right), the fashion stories are priceless. And with the “nerd glasses” phenomenon that’s sweeping the NBA, the trend of Draft Night wardrobe failures is sure to continue. I’ll put it this way, by the end of Thursday night, I guarantee you there will be at least one player that will be a trending topic on Twitter because of a heinous outfit – not because of his game.
So there you have it, folks. Whether it be the wheeling and dealing of NBA general managers, the unintentional humor of ESPN’s draft coverage (which features Rece Davis as the lead anchor this year), or even the picks themselves, there’s something for everyone to look forward to Thursday night.
Just make sure you don’t show up to any draft parties dressed in a fedora.