McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Sports Budget for Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Updated at 6 p.m. EDT (2200 UTC)

This budget is now available on MCT Direct at, with direct links to stories and art. See details at the end of the budget.



^Packers' young offensive tackles expected to play like veterans<

FBN-PACKERS-SPORTSPLUS:MW _ The message David Bakhtiari has been receiving since he stepped into the Green Bay Packers' left tackle position is the same one that Don Barclay received when he stepped into the right tackle position late last year.

There are no such things as rookie mistakes.

So, when Bakhtiari starts at left tackle in the season opener against San Francisco on Sunday, he'll be under the same pressure Barclay was _ and still is _ to play like a veteran. It's not exactly the definition of being eased into the job, but the Packers weren't given the option of switching opponents when veteran Bryan Bulaga was lost for the season to injury.

"Honestly, something we talked about with him was you don't have time to be a rookie," right guard T.J. Lang said of Bakhtiari. "You don't have time to make rookie mistakes. You have to grow up fast and the way he has handled himself through camp, in games, practices, in meetings, all indications are he's ready to go.

"We're counting on him. We're not trying to put too much pressure on him, just let him go out there and do what he's been doing _ play."

1150 by Tom Silverstein in Green Bay, Wis. MOVED


^Can extra padding make football helmets safer?<

BBO-MED-CONCUSSIONS-HELMET:TB _ The NFL's concussion lawsuit was settled Thursday, but to get an idea of the confusion that still envelops the subject of football safety, consider the Guardian.

It's a padded fabric shell that is strapped around the outside of a helmet with the aim of reducing the impact of collisions. It has been on the market for two years, and while it doesn't promise to prevent concussions, Elmhurst College players who wear the shell during practice say it has made a big difference.

"It gets rid of those little small hits you get in practice that kind of turn your eyes green a little bit," said defensive end Nick Spracklen, 20. "It keeps your head fresh, keeps those headaches away. You leave practice without a headache, your whole day is better."

Head over to nearby Addison Trail High School, though, and you'll get a different perspective.

1100 by John Keilman in Chicago. MOVED


^Wednesday's games<

MCT expects coverage of the following games:

Minnesota at Houston, 2:10 p.m. EDT.

Texas at Oakland, 3:35 p.m.

Baltimore at Cleveland, 7:05 p.m.

Chicago White Sox at N.Y. Yankees, 7:05 p.m.

Detroit at Boston, 7:10 p.m.

Seattle at Kansas City, 8:10 p.m.

Tampa Bay at L.A. Angels, 10:05 p.m.

N.Y. Mets at Atlanta, 12:10 p.m.

Miami at Chicago Cubs, 2:20 p.m.

San Francisco at San Diego, 6:40 p.m.

Washington at Philadelphia, 7:05 p.m.

St. Louis at Cincinnati, 7:10 p.m.

Pittsburgh at Milwaukee, 8:10 p.m.

L.A. Dodgers at Colorado, 8:40 p.m.

^Mets manager expects Davis' season is over<

^BBN-METS-NOTES:HK_<If the Mets want another look at Ike Davis, they'll have to bring him back for another season. On Wednesday morning, Mets manager Terry Collins all but confirmed that Davis is done for the year.

350 by Mike Kerwick. MOVED


^With Miami up next, coach says Gators 'the healthiest we've been' in months<

FBC-FLORIDA:OS _ The Florida Gators limped into the spring game, opened preseason practices with starting QB Jeff Driskel recovering from an appendectomy and were without four starters during last weekend's opener against Toledo.

Due to a combination of injuries, illness and suspensions, coach Will Muschamp has been without a full squad for months.

250 by Edgar Thompson in Gainesville, Fla. MOVED

^Miami coach says it'd be mistake to overlook Gators' passing attack<

FBC-MIAMI:FL _ Miami coach Al Golden said it'd be a huge mistake for the Hurricanes to underestimate Florida QB Jeff Driskel and the Gators' passing attack.

UF turned in some lackluster offensive performances last season and didn't connect on a lot of deep passing plays Saturday during a 24-6 win over Toledo.

250 by Christy Cabrera Chirinos in Coral Gables, Fla. MOVED


^Putin promises no anti-gay discrimination at Russia Olympics<

OLY-RUSSIA-GAYS:LA _ President Vladimir Putin is attempting to allay fears about Russia's new anti-gay law, saying there will be no discrimination during the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

"We can be absolutely sure that Russia will support the principles of Olympism, which don't allow discrimination of people on any basis, either ethnicity or gender or sexual orientation," Putin said in an interview with Russia's First Channel television network and The Associated Press, which was posted on the Kremlin website Wednesday.

The law, which criminalizes public displays of support for gays and lesbians, has drawn international condemnation.

600 by Sergei L. Loiko in Moscow. (Moved as an international story.) MOVED


^NASCAR's Jeff Burton won't return to Childress Racing next season<

^CAR-BURTON-CHILDRESS:LA_<Veteran driver Jeff Burton said Wednesday he won't return to Richard Childress Racing after this year to keep driving the No. 31 Chevrolet in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series.

Burton, 46, said he previously told RCR that he planned to stop driving a full schedule after next year.

But now the car does not have enough sponsorship for all of next season so "we're just accelerating (the departure) a year earlier," he told reporters on a teleconference.

250 by Jim Peltz. MOVED


^White perch a tasty alternative these days<

OTD-WHITEPERCH:WI _ Dale Hines set the hook early one Wednesday morning and added credence to the old adage, "One man's trash is another man's treasure."

"We need to get the public educated that these aren't a trash fish a good fish," Hines said as he hefted two 10-inch fish attached to the same line. "Our problem with white perch is when we can't find enough of them."

It's been about 15 years since white perch, a fish native to estuaries of America's eastern coast, were inadvertently stocked into Cheney and Wilson reservoirs with a shipment of small striped bass. About five years ago, they appeared in El Dorado Reservoir, and have since been located in several state fishing lakes. Most places, the fish have brought bad news.

At Cheney, they were credited with virtually wiping out multiple classes of popular sport fish such as white bass and walleye as they ate the young of the species and out-competed all sizes for gizzard shad and other foods.

1000 by Michael Pearce in Wilson Reservoir, Kan. MOVED


^Managing deer is like a pendulum<

OTD-DEERMANAGE:GF _ As a lifelong hockey fan who has occasionally played the game _ and not very well, I might add _ I know how easy it is to criticize from the stands or in front of the TV.

I'm a much better hockey player off the ice.

The same can be said, I think, for managing deer populations. That's especially true this year, given what's happened with deer numbers in northeast North Dakota and northwest Minnesota.

I suspect more than one coffee shop or barstool conversation has taken aim at either the North Dakota Game and Fish Department or the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for getting carried away in their efforts to reduce the deer population.

It's not that many years ago, after all, that gun hunters in North Dakota could buy an almost unlimited number of bonus tags in hunting units where licenses remained after the lottery. Ditto for Minnesota, where the DNR offered hunters the opportunity to purchase as many as five licenses in numerous permit areas across the northwest and other parts of state.

750 by Brad Dokken in Grand Forks, N.D. MOVED

^This 94-year-old angler has another great fish story<

^OTD-SRS-OLDERANGLER:FT_<Moses Lopez spent his early days hunting with a slingshot.

He mostly bagged rabbits and squirrels and was handy with a rod and reel as well.

"I'd tag along with my brother," Lopez said. "That's where I learned to hunt and fish."

It was during the Depression in the 1930s, and Lopez lived in Winnie just east of Galveston Bay with his mother, four brothers and two sisters. Besides hunting and fishing, he found odd jobs and worked in the fields, planting and harvesting crops, doing whatever he could to help out.

"My father had passed away when I was 12," Lopez said, "and we had a family to feed."

Now a spry 94 years old, Lopez doesn't hunt anymore _ "that's too much work" _ but he still loves to fish.

800 by Lee Williams. MOVED


^Going deep for Lake Superior trout with jigs<

OTD-SUPERIORTROUT:DU _ Tim Sonday is channeling his inner GPS now. He's a few minutes out of Agate Bay on Lake Superior, running his old 16-foot Lund with the 50-horse Evinrude.

He looks over one shoulder, eyeing some landmark on the North Shore ridge line. Now he's glancing straight toward shore at some feature significant only to him.

He's trying to home in on the spot where he wants to anchor over 175 feet of water and begin jigging for lake trout.

Finally, Sonday throttles the Evinrude down and slips it into neutral. He moves to the bow and drops an anchor into the water. He lets it plummet 175 feet, playing out parachute cord anchor line all the way.

"I'll put the anchor out," he says, chuckling. "I'll let you bring it up. Why do you think I brought you along?"

1050 by Sam Cook in Two Harbors, Minn. MOVED


^Younger hunters aren't replacing aging ones fast enough<

OTD-YOUTHHUNTERS:MS _ Come Saturday, about 5,000 kids age 15 and under and their mentors will slip into duck blinds before dawn and partake in Minnesota's 18th annual Youth Waterfowl Day.

While the special one-day waterfowl hunt has its supporters and detractors, one thing is certain: Though the purpose is to encourage youngsters to take up duck hunting, the number of state duck hunters still has fallen 21 percent since the program was launched _ from 114,000 in 1996 to 90,000 last year.

Still, officials say that's not evidence Youth Waterfowl Day doesn't bring new hunters into the fold and isn't worthwhile.

"I don't think we can say because (hunter) numbers have declined, youth recruitment isn't working," said Ed Boggess, Department of Natural Resources Fish and Wildlife Division director. "It's fair to say we don't really know if various hunter recruitment programs are working. It's frankly an experiment, because traditionally youths were introduced to hunting through families."

750 by Doug Smith in Minneapolis. MOVED

^Raising crops and conservation awareness to help hunters and farmers<

OTD-ENV-HUNTERS-CONSERVATION:MS _ One Wednesday evening, rain threatened to fall here on the 1,400-acre corn and soybean farm owned by the John and Jewell Peterson family. But ultimately, no showers were received, leaving the Petersons _ like farmers throughout much of Minnesota _ still searching the skies for rain that hasn't appeared for nearly two months.

The Petersons and their operation, Spring Creek Farms, were hosting a gathering of about 20 people sponsored by the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council.

A group called Discovery Farms Minnesota also had representatives on hand to explain how they are conducting research on the Peterson farm and on other farms throughout Minnesota to determine, in general, sediment and nutrient losses from runoff.

The Peterson farm was selected for the event, I was told, because of its conservation practices.

1150 by Dennis Anderson in Near North Branch, Minn. MOVED


^Expect a bonanza during clam season off Washington state<

OTD-CLAMDIGGERS:SE _ Coastal razor clam diggers have been riding a high note lately, and this coming fall, winter and spring should each be another banner season.

"Razor clam populations look very good on most beaches," said Dan Ayres, the head state Fish and Wildlife coastal shellfish manager. "We'll see more digging days than last year, and it'll be a stupendous season.

"At Mocrocks, the clam population is the highest we've ever measured dating back 20 years," Ayres said of the area just north of Ocean Shores. "Populations are also up at Twin Harbors, Copalis and Long Beach. Short of any marine toxin issues, this is pretty exciting news."

500 by Mark Yuasa in Seattle. MOVED

^Missouri River still in its prime when it comes to producing huge catfish<

^OTD-RIVERCATS:KC_<When it comes to fishing holes, the Missouri River won't win many beauty contests.

The water is muddy, it looks like a narrow ditch in some places. It is lined by old abandoned warehouses and crumbling buildings in urban areas. And pollution is still a problem despite efforts by officials to meet clean-water standards.

So would you want to fish there? Many fishermen who dream of catching trophy catfish answer that question with an emphatic, "Yes."

Against all odds, the Missouri River continues to produce legendary catfish. And many of those monstrous fish are caught within eyesight of the Kansas City skyline.

City cats? You'd better believe it.

Just talk to Owen Hill, 13, who weighs 73 pounds soaking wet. Fishing with his dad, Scot, and guide John "Captain Catfish" Trager this summer, he caught a blue cat that weighed almost as much as he does _ 68 pounds.

1050 by Brent Frazee. MOVED


^Boy Scouts lap up gun lessons at new adventure camp<

OTD-BOYSCOUTS-GUNS:DA _ The Boy Scouts of America's $400 million Summit Bechtel Reserve opened with a bang at the July Jamboree. There were 32,000 Scouts, 532 from the Dallas-based Circle Ten Council, who fired about two million rounds of ammunition during the 10-day event.

At 10,000 acres, the West Virginia facility is BSA's fourth high adventure camp. Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico is the best known, but Summit Bechtel Reserve's location could change the paradigm for future Scouts.

The mountainous terrain lends itself to activities from mountain biking to zip lines. Summit Bechtel Reserve also has shooting facilities second only to the NRA's. It has 148 shotgun stations, many nestled into the West Virginia mountainside. There are 100-yard ranges for rifles in .308 and .223 caliber.

400 by Ray Sasser in Dallas. MOVED

^Hunter takes individualized approach to training dogs<

OTD-DOGTRAINING:GT _ By age 18, Ben Garcia was hooked.

"I bought a Lab in college (when) I was going to school in Greeley and started duck hunting," Garcia said. "That's how the whole thing happened, pure addiction."

That addiction has made him a rising star in breeding and training a variety of bird hunting dogs right here in Colorado. Garcia, from Longmont, trains both pointers and flushers in Calhan, and has been refining his training techniques for 16 years.

Whether a hunter uses a pointer or a flusher depends on individual preference, but training the dogs well is where Garcia comes in.

550 by Angelo Stambene in Colorado Springs, Colo. MOVED


^Best times for anglers<

^OTD-LUNAR:MCT_<Best times for the anglers

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