Julius Thomas stays hungry after Pro Bowl year

By Arnie Stapleton
AP Pro Football Writer

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Even after the fog lifted from the Denver Broncos’ blowout in the Super Bowl, Julius Thomas was in no mood to celebrate his breakout season.
Coming off a Pro Bowl year in which he was a bulls-eye for many of Peyton Manning’s biggest moments, it would have been easy for Thomas to sit back and act as if he’s finally arrived after two injury-filled seasons.
Instead, Thomas watched hours of film to find flaws in his game and met with the recently retired Tony Gonzalez to pick his brain.
“We both happen to live in the southern California area, so we met up and talked a little football,” said Thomas who asked Gonzalez’s all about how he stayed a step ahead of opponents and maximized practices all those years, “just some things that only a future Hall of Famer and 17-year veteran would know.”
He’s now applying those tips at training camp.

Northern Wyoming Daily News

Northern Wyoming Daily News

201 N. 8th, Worland, Wyoming 82401
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Bumps with bruises on egos, high flying riders and kisses to the crowd —
all part of Wednesday night’s ranch rodeo competition


Anyone saying the livestock at a ranch rodeo are calm and gentle creatures misunderstand the concept of a ranch rodeo. After a not so gentle dismount the cowboy saddlebronc rider looks for safety. Sydney Clark is on for a long ride on a high-kicking bronc that was all about action.
Colt Carlson’s horse was active, but not aggressive. In between bucks and hiccups Carlson showed his friendly demeanor by throwing kisses to the crowd.


A’s get Lester, Gomes from Red Sox for Cespedes

By Janie McCauley
AP Baseball Writer
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The Oakland Athletics won the Jon Lester sweepstakes, acquiring the left-hander and outfielder Jonny Gomes from the Boston Red Sox for slugging outfielder Yoenis Cespedes before Thursday’s trade deadline.
Oakland, with the best record in baseball at 66-41, also received cash from Boston in another blockbuster deal by A’s general manager Billy Beane. The Red Sox also get a draft pick in a deal confirmed by both teams.
“I believe that the deliberations leading to the two trades we did today were deeply analyzed, thoughtful and value-added,” A’s owner Lew Wolff said in an email. “The best trades are when all parties have potential benefits, and what Billy accomplished is an example of such a win-win. The calls I have received from other owners were very complimentary.”
A few hours later, the Red Sox traded their No. 2 starter, right-hander John Lackey, to the St. Louis Cardinals for right-hander Joe Kelly and outfielder Allen Craig, a person with knowledge of the deal said. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because neither club announced that trade.
Lester is having an outstanding season with a 10-7 record and career-best 2.52 ERA in 21 starts. He has allowed seven earned runs in his last eight games with 54 strikeouts and nine walks. But the Red Sox put him on the trading block because he can become a free agent after the season.
He was sought by many teams, including Pittsburgh and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The 30-year-old, three-time All-Star originally was scheduled to start Wednesday night for the slumping Red Sox, who instead scratched Lester ahead of the trade deadline.
After winning their third World Series in 10 seasons last year, with Lester getting two of the four wins with a 0.59 ERA against St. Louis, the power-poor Red Sox are last in the AL East with a 48-60 record. They had Thursday off after losing for the eighth time in nine games to drop 13 games behind first-place Baltimore.
While the Red Sox look toward next season, the A’s are determined to take the next step after losing in each of the past two Octobers in five-game division series to Detroit. Oakland was off Thursday before returning home to begin a weekend series with Kansas City on Friday night.
It’s unclear what day Lester would start, though it’s likely to be Saturday. Sonny Gray (12-3) is scheduled for Friday. Manager Bob Melvin has discussed the idea of giving some pitchers extra days between outings to keep them fresh in the second half.
“Well I am awake,” Gray posted on Twitter when the trade news broke early Thursday. Oakland later sent lefty Tommy Milone to the Twins for outfielder Sam Fuld.
Beane believes in starting pitching depth, and the A’s sure have it. Lester joins Gray, Scott Kazmir and recently acquired Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, each dealt by the Chicago Cubs on July 4.
Gomes, a fan favorite who grew up in nearby Petaluma, provides Oakland with a veteran presence that proved invaluable during the A’s run to the AL West title in 2012. The A’s reached the playoffs for the first time in six years.
He also was a respected clubhouse leader in Boston, which signed him as a free agent before last season. Gomes is hitting .234 with six homers and 32 RBIs in 78 games this season.
For Boston, this marks another big move of a starting pitcher to the Bay Area after Jake Peavy was traded to the San Francisco Giants on Saturday for two solid pitching prospects.
The 28-year-old Cespedes won the past two Home Run Derby titles at the All-Star game. The Cuban left fielder is in the third season of a $36 million, four-year contract he signed before spring training 2012. Cespedes is batting .256 with 17 homers and 67 RBIs, 26 doubles and three triples.


 

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Northern Wyoming Daily News
201 N. 8th, Worland, Wyoming 82401
307-347-3241 - 1-800-788-4679 in Wyo.
©2008 All rights reserved.