First appeal: Comment details emerge as Deshaun Watson’s decision looms; Brian Reynolds trade talks quiet

On Monday’s “First Call,” details began to leak out regarding a decision to potentially suspend the Cleveland Browns’ midfield division Deshaun Watson. Bryan Reynolds appears to be staying with the Pirates, but he may be a Pittsburgh native on the trading block. Plus, take a look at Kyle Schwarber’s latest shows popping up at home in PNC Park.

decision day?

A ruling on the suspension status of Cleveland quarterback Deshaun Watson is expected on Monday. That’s according to a pair of reporters from CBS Sports.

Someone said the NFL wanted the suspension to be long.

Citing unnamed NFL sources, Josina Anderson tweeted that “the parties involved have already been notified that (Judge) Sue Robinson is currently expected to inform them of the decision in Deshaun Watson’s proceedings by sometime Monday.”

Then, Jonathan Jones sent out a tweet, noting that the NFL was pushing for an “indefinite suspension of at least one year.”

Jones followed this up by stating that Watson could receive “a one-year suspension or a suspension lasting at least one year where he would then have to apply to reinstate his (hence ‘unspecified’) job.”

Shortly after that post, ESPN’s Dan Graziano stated that there was a gap in negotiations toward a settlement that both sides could not bridge. The NFL wasn’t willing to accept anything less than a 12-game suspension. Watson’s camp was only willing to go to six to eight games.

Meanwhile, the NFL Players Association released a statement insisting that it would not appeal the ruling on Watson’s behalf through an appeal, regardless of the outcome. I asked the NFL to take the same approach.

As Graziano explained on Twitter, “The context here is that either side can appeal a ruling they don’t like, and Commissioner Roger Goodell will hear the appeal. (The union) is trying to avoid a situation in which the union overturns a jointly impartial arbitrator’s ruling.”

The Steelers visit Cleveland in their third week on Thursday night. They host Browns in Week 18 at Acresor Stadium.

Watson is accused of sexual harassment and assault by 24 massage therapists in Texas and has settled 20 civil lawsuits against him. Four cases are still pending, and the lawyer representing the women said he hopes to try them sometime next spring.

Two separate Texas juries refused to indict Watson over criminal complaints arising from the allegations.


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Reynolds keep

With Tuesday’s trading deadline looming, the Buccaneers are likely to replace some of their veterans with less expensive talent in the league.

Don’t expect quarterback Brian Reynolds to be on the move. That’s according to John Heyman of the MLB Network.

There has been some talk of teams throwing sensors at hackers during the holiday season to figure out what Reynolds was asking for, but that conversation has subsided dramatically since the Hackers signed Reynolds to a two-year, $13.5 million contract in April.

However, in a way, the short-term cost of certainty for that deal could make Reynolds more attractive. The Sporting News listed the Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres and Philadelphia Phillies as potential applicants for the Pirates to give up Reynolds. San Diego was one of the teams allegedly interested in swinging Reynolds deal in March.

It hits .251 with 15 homers, 32 RBIs and an OPS of .779. After a brutal June marked by a 0.989 OPS and a hitting average of 0.33, Reynolds struggled in July, hitting just 0.22 with a 0.69 OPS and no home run.

Mr. Mount Lebanon is moving?

Heyman also reports that multiple teams may be in the mix to acquire Chicago Cubs All-Star Ian Hap.

The Mount Lebanon alum is said to be attracting interest from San Diego, Milwaukee, Toronto and Atlanta.

Like Reynolds, Hap had a June monster, hitting 327 with an OPS of 0.948. It is currently in .280 with nine home runs and 46 RBIs to go along with the .796 OPS.

Statast Schwarber

When Oneil Cruz throws a ball really fast from a short stop or runs super fast around the bases, Pirates fans and media are blasting Twitter with all sorts of streaming Statcast records.

Twitter also told me these numbers matter much more than the fact that Cruz scores 0.206 or has 40 more strikes (46) than walking (6) right now.

yes. I will play along. But if we’re going to keep talking about Statcast numbers whenever they make a pirate look good, let’s admit it when the opponent hits Buccos too.

Like when Philadelphia’s Kyle Schwarber hit that home dip from GT Brubaker in the fifth inning of the Phillies’ 8-2 win over PNC Park on Sunday.

Statcast claims that the ball left the field at an exit speed of 111.6 mph, and went 441 feet into left field. This was the 33rd race to drive Schwarber at home this season.

Via MLB Media’s Sarah Langs, this was the deepest home run in the opposite field of any major league baseball swing this season and is tied for the 10th longest since these stats have been measured.

Lange also noted that it was the longest reverse home run in Philadelphia’s history.

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

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