NBA player fined 25K for threatening tweet

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NBA player fined 25K for threatening tweet

From Comcast SportsNetNEW YORK (AP) -- San Antonio Spurs forward Stephen Jackson was fined 25,000 by the NBA on Sunday for threatening Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka in a Twitter post.Jackson posted the message after Ibaka and Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace got tied up during the fourth quarter of the Thunder's 114-108 victory on Friday night.The post has since been deleted, but multiple outlets reported it read: "Somebody tell serg Abaka. He aint bout dis life. Next time he run up on me im goin in his mouth. That's a promise. He doin 2 much.""The recent public comments made by Stephen Jackson are absolutely unacceptable, cannot be tolerated and do not reflect the standards held by the San Antonio Spurs," Spurs general manager RC Buford said Sunday night in an emailed statement.The team said Jackson would be fined, but the punishment would "be imposed in consultation and coordination between the Spurs and the NBA."It was unclear if Jackson faced additional punishment from San Antonio in the wake of the NBA fine.Jackson apologized to Ibaka on Twitter on Sunday, calling his post "unprofessional and childish."Jackson has played for seven different teams in 13 seasons in the NBA. He is perhaps best known for his role in the Pacers-Pistons brawl in 2004, which also involved World Peace -- then known as Ron Artest -- and resulted in a 30-game suspension for Jackson.

Kenley Jansen? Wade Davis? Cubs keeping an open mind for the ninth inning

Kenley Jansen? Wade Davis? Cubs keeping an open mind for the ninth inning

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – The San Francisco Giants had been three outs away from forcing an elimination game that Johnny Cueto would have started at Wrigley Field – and five different relievers couldn’t protect a three-run lead against a Cubs team that made a stunning comeback.

That October crash reverberated throughout the winter meetings as a $10 billion industry gathered outside Washington, D.C. The Giants bought peace of mind for the ninth inning on Monday and finalized a four-year, $62 million deal with Mark Melancon. For the moment, that will be the biggest contract ever for a closer, at least until Kenley Jansen and Aroldis Chapman shatter that record.

The Cubs have been in contact with Jansen’s camp, sources said, monitoring his market to see if there might be a match as the World Series champs try to upgrade the bullpen this week at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center.

Theo Epstein’s front office doesn’t necessarily have a singular focus – believe the reports linking the Cubs to Kansas City Royals closer Wade Davis – or the appetite to win a Jansen bidding war that will include the Los Angeles Dodgers and Miami Marlins and perhaps the New York Yankees and Washington Nationals.

But after telling everyone that they did two offseasons in one last winter – and spending almost $290 million on free agents – this is where the Cubs could make a splash.

“It’s safe to say we’re kicking the tires on any pitching that’s available,” general manager Jed Hoyer said during his briefing with the Chicago media. “We’re not spending a lot of time on bats. We’re spending a lot of times on arms. Anyone that’s available, we’re going to sort of be in on and talking about.”

Cubs manager Joe Maddon watched Jansen’s cutter up close and gave this endorsement during the National League Championship Series: “He’s like a 100-pound heavier version of Mariano Rivera.”

Jansen, a homegrown Dodger, converted from catcher and developed into an elite closer, saving 189 games while putting up a 2.20 career ERA and 13.9 strikeouts per nine innings.

Jansen just turned 29 and already showed a willingness to pitch outside the ninth inning and go for more than three outs, something that didn’t come easily for Chapman in an October where former Yankee teammate Andrew Miller became an American League Championship Series MVP for the Cleveland Indians.

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“The postseason was reliever-centric,” Hoyer said. “Bullpens have always been really valuable, but I think the way they were used and talked about – really, not even this postseason, but the last two or three postseasons – people are definitely putting a lot of financial importance on having a good bullpen.”

Kansas City’s blueprint for winning back-to-back pennants and the 2015 World Series featured Davis, who posted a 0.94 ERA during that championship season. But Davis dealt with a strained right forearm this year and will make $10 million in his final season before free agency, at a time when the Royals can begin to see their window to contend closing.

The Cubs haven’t made Chapman a priority – and Epstein’s group has been philosophically opposed to the idea of investing big money in a closer – but they also know they probably don’t get that parade down Lake Shore Drive and Michigan Avenue without that blockbuster deal with the Yankees.

“We see the value of it,” Hoyer said. “Look, we traded a great young prospect in Gleyber Torres to get Chapman, because we felt like that was an area that we were a little bit short. We felt like in order to win the World Series, we had to have that kind of guy at the end of the game. It proved to be right.

“In order to get those really difficult final outs in the postseason, having an elite guy is certainly a huge advantage.”

So if the White Sox become the Chicago team that makes most of the headlines here – and in-house options like Hector Rondon, Carl Edwards Jr. and Pedro Strop disappoint – the Cubs can always reassess at the trade deadline.

“We’ll bolster our bullpen,” Hoyer said. “Whether you do that by adding just a number of good relievers – or whether we do it by adding a guy that’s sort of a known closer – I’m not sure. But we’ll definitely add to our bullpen.”

Report: Talks surrounding Chris Sale intensifying between White Sox, Nationals

Report: Talks surrounding Chris Sale intensifying between White Sox, Nationals

The White Sox haven't wavered on their asking price for Chris Sale, and their patience may be paying off.

According to FOX's Ken Rosenthal, trade talks surrounding Sale are intensifying between the White Sox and Nationals that would likely include Washington's two top prospects in RHP Lucas Giolito and OF Victor Robles.

Despite the trade chatter heating up, a source told CSN's Chuck Garfien that the White Sox aren't close to a deal and continue to talk with other teams regarding the White Sox ace.

In an exclusive interview with CSN earlier on Monday, White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said trading Sale would be 'very hard' on multiple levels, particularly being satisfied with the package coming back.

Perhaps it's only a matter a time before Sale gets traded, but the White Sox have made it clear they won't make a deal unless they're maximizing their return.