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WAMC Sports Report: NFL seeking one-year suspension, fine for Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson

Michael Dwyer

The NFL is seeking an indefinite suspension of at least one year plus a fine in appealing a disciplinary officer’s decision to suspend Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson for six games for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. The NFL’s appeal gives Commissioner Roger Goodell or someone he designates authority to impose a stiffer penalty. League spokesman Brian McCarthy said it’s still to be determined whether Goodell or someone else will hear the appeal.

Cliff Branch was the epitome of what Al Davis coveted in a receiver during his decades running the Raiders. Branch arrived in Oakland with the game-breaking speed needed to fuel the Raiders' vertical offense and as soon as he learned to harness that speed and develop reliable hands, there was no stopping him. Branch became one of the best deep threats of his era with some of his biggest performances coming on the game’s biggest stages to earn a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday.

Closing arguments in Brittney Griner’s cannabis possession case in Russia are set for Thursday. That's nearly six months after the American basketball star was arrested at a Moscow airport in a case that has reached the highest levels of U.S.-Russia diplomacy. Griner faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted. A conviction appears almost certain — given that Russian courts rarely acquit defendants — and Griner has acknowledged that there were vape canisters with cannabis oil in her luggage. Still, Russian judges have considerable latitude on sentencing. It’s not clear when the verdict will be announced. If the two-time Olympic gold medalist does not go free, attention will turn to the high-stakes possibility of a prisoner swap.


In the National League, the Mets defeated the Nationals 9-5.

And the Phillies beat the Braves 3-1.

In the American League, Seattle beat the Yankees 7-3.

And Houston got by the Red Sox 6-1

Meanwhile, during the game, Houston slugger Yordan Alvarez was not called out after a third strike. Alvarez led off Houston’s third by taking a ball against Rich Hill. After that, home plate umpire Jim Wolf called strike one, and Alvarez fouled off a pitch for strike two. Wolf then called the third strike, but didn’t punch him out. No one appeared to notice the mistake, as Alvarez remained in the box and Hill went back to the mound. Alvarez grounded out on the next pitch.

Juan Soto got multiple ovations in his first game with the Padres and Brandon Drury did even better. He hit a grand slam on the first pitch he saw with his new team to lead San Diego to a 9-1 victory against the Colorado Rockies on an electric night at Petco Park. The Padres unveiled their new-look lineup with Soto batting second and Josh Bell hitting cleanup, a day after they were obtained from Washington in one of the biggest deadline deals ever. Drury was also obtained on Tuesday, from Cincinnati, and put a charge into the already festive atmosphere with a grand slam.

Flowers, candles and handwritten messages lie beneath a sign welcoming fans to Dodger Stadium at the main entrance on Vin Scully Avenue. Fans of all ages made their way to the ballpark and other points around Los Angeles to mourn the Hall of Fame broadcaster who died Tuesday night at age 94. Flowers and mementos decorated Scully's star on the Walk of Fame. Moments of silence were held around the major leagues. The self-effacing Scully would have appreciated the tributes but would have likely found them to be “a little bit embarrassing.” That's how he described the hoopla surrounding his retirement in 2016.


The dispute between the PGA Tour and the Saudi-funded LIV Golf series is now in the courts. Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau are among 11 players who have sued the PGA Tour in federal court in San Francisco. They are challenging the tour's right to suspend them for joining the rival league. Three other players are seeking a temporary restraining order that would allow them to play in the lucrative FedEx Cup playoffs, the PGA Tour’s postseason, which begins next week. The lawsuit was expected as soon as the Saudi-backed league launched and PGA Tour players began taking signing bonuses to play LIV Golf.


UConn says women’s basketball star Paige Bueckers tore the ACL in her left knee during a pickup game and will miss the entire 2022-23 season. UConn announced Wednesday that Bueckers suffered the injury Monday and underwent an MRI that evening. The school did not say where the junior guard from Hopkins, Minnesota, was playing when the injury occurred. Bueckers was the 2020-21 AP national player of the year. She missed 19 games last season with a knee injury. She returned to lead the Huskies to the Final Four, where the Huskies lost to South Carolina in the championship game. UConn said Bueckers will undergo surgery on Friday at UConn Health in Farmington.

David Guistina is the host of Capital Connection, Legislative Gazette, and Morning Edition and the producer of the Media Project on WAMC.