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First call: Antonio Brown, Ryan Clark clash; NHL apologizes to Golden Knights | TribLIVE.com
Breakfast With Benz

First call: Antonio Brown, Ryan Clark clash; NHL apologizes to Golden Knights

Tim Benz
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In “First Call” Friday, Antonio Brown and Ryan Clark clash on Twitter again. Also, an umpire magic trick. A four-man outfield. A worry for the Pirates. And an apology for the Golden Knights.


Was that a threat?

Former Steelers safety Ryan Clark is in another dust up with Mr. Big Chest.

Clark, now an NFL analyst for ESPN, was in a debate with a Twitter follower when he made a reference to Steelers-turned-Raiders receiver Antonio Brown.

The chirp at Clark — now deleted — essentially brought his credibility into question. Clark defended himself by referencing how he gave people the inside dirt on how bad of a guy Brown can be.

To the surprise of no one, that went over poorly with Brown.

“Ain’t gone spare u?” Does that mean, like, “beat you up” or something?

So is that a challenge, or a threat, or what? Regardless, what a stunner, huh? Who saw this kind of stuff coming from A.B.? What an unforeseen deviation in behavior!

At least Brown tried to take this one back, suggesting that his alter ego, “Tony,” was the one that sent the tweet.

The Raiders had to know this was coming. It was part of the purchase when they signed Brown in the first place. Here’s a warning, Oakland.

It’ll never stop. It’ll just get worse.

The social media stuff is just the start. The weird off-field behavior. The barking at quarterbacks. The discontent over his working situation. Skipping meetings. That will all come soon enough.


So what’s next?

After being battered for four days by scalding bats from Arizona, the Pirates start a three-game series in Los Angeles against the Dodgers on Friday.

The Dodgers are 16-11, leading the National League West. Cody Bellinger is a huge reason why.

Bellinger is leading the NL in batting average (.426), OPS (1.394), on-base percentage (.500), and slugging percentage (.894). He’s tied with Christian Yelich for the RBI lead with 31. His 12 homers trail only Yelich’s 13.

Bellinger has at least one hit in 11 of his last 12 games.


Million-to-one shot, Doc!

Speaking of the Dodgers, they beat the Cubs, 2-1, on Thursday.

The game featured one of the stranger plays you’ll ever see.

Watch what happens on this foul ball from Cubs’ catcher Willson Contreras.

That’s right. Off the catcher. Off the umpire. And right into the umpire’s pocket.

What amazed me is how nonchalant Lance Barksdale was. It looks like he reached right in and grabbed the same ball.

That had to be the only time that’s ever happened to him. Had to be, right?


Oops! Our bad

Vegas Golden Knights owner Bill Foley says the NHL reached out to him to apologize for the major penalty call against his team in Game 7 against San Jose.

That cross check by Cody Eakin yielded a five-minute power play that resulted in four goals by the Sharks, thus erasing a 3-0 deficit.

The Knights lost in overtime, 5-4.

That call should not have been a major. And I’m sure the league apology rings hollow to Foley. So, now in Saints-esque fashion, the Golden Knights are going to push for a rules change to get major penalties reviewed.

That’s what New Orleans did after their team got the shaft in the NFC Championship Game against the Rams on a missed pass-interference penalty.

And it worked. The Saints got the rule change they wanted. So maybe it’ll work for Vegas, too. It won’t get the penalty back. But it’ll make them feel better, I guess.

Although I don’t think it will help Tomas Sandstrom feel better.

Now that one from Dave Brown deserved five and the gate!


4-man outfield

This is taking the shift to a new level.

In the top of the third on Thursday, the Reds basically employed a four-man outfield against Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman.

Cincinnati moved second baseman Derek Dietrich to right field. Then manager David Bell shifted right fielder Yasiel Puig to right-center. The Braves’ first baseman served a single into the gap between Dietrich and Puig. He tried for second when Puig bobbled the ball.

This is how it turned out.

Puig’s arm saved the shift!

The Reds went on to win 4-2.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at [email protected] or via Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless specified otherwise.

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