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No promises for Domingo German’s Yankees return

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CLEARWATER, Fla. — Brian Cashman understands why some Yankees teammates have expressed discomfort with Domingo German’s return to the team following his suspension for domestic violence, but the general manager defended the organization’s handling of the situation.

During the first week of spring training, German’s status emerged as the biggest issue in Yankees camp. The trouble began when Zack Britton — a respected voice on the team — suggested he wasn’t happy with having German as his teammate. Luke Voit also weighed in, saying that German’s suspension had him “skating on thin ice” and Aaron Boone admitted that the German reaction in the clubhouse was something that was now squarely on his radar.

“I don’t have a locker in that locker room, so I can’t speak to what his teammates think,’’ Cashman told The Post by phone. “They have a right to voice their opinion.”

The controversy prompted questions as to whether the organization could have, or should have, been better prepared for German’s re-entry. Boone himself admitted that he didn’t read the clubhouse “as well as I should have.” 

Domingo German's return to the Yankees has been an issue at spring training.
Domingo German’s return to the Yankees has been an issue at spring training.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

German’s first session with the press was even postponed so that the 28-year-old pitcher could first address his teammates.

Cashman, though, explained the Yankees’ handling of German’s return by noting that the organization couldn’t meet with German while he was serving his suspension. He also said that the challenges presented by COVID protocols prevented a meeting with German before he arrived at camp in Tampa, when he met with Cashman, Boone and bench coach Carlos Mendoza.

“Major League Baseball ran the investigation and there were a lot of hurdles that needed to be cleared,’’ Cashman said. “We couldn’t meet with the player until we did.”

Once they did, Cashman said, they “walked through his return to professional baseball.”

“MLB and the union agreed to a suspension and once he served it, he could resume his career,’’ Cashman said. “If it wasn’t here [with the Yankees], it would be somewhere else.”

Following German’s apology, the right-hander said he had a good conversation with Britton. His mea culpa also appeared to be well-received by most of his teammates.

Cashman noted those conversations, as well as the apology, when German said through an interpreter he acknowledged he must “show that I definitely can become a better person and let my actions speak for myself.” The rest, Cashman said, is up to German.

“There are no promises moving forward,’’ the GM said. “He’s taken the necessary steps to begin this journey. Time will tell how it works out.”

It echoed what Boone said previously of German, who went 18-4 with a 4.03 ERA in 2019 and is in competition for the fifth spot in the rotation. He’s scheduled to make his first start since the suspension on Friday, when the Yankees host the Tigers at Steinbrenner Field.

“He has done enough to earn the opportunity to be here and compete and be a part of the team,’’ Boone said last week. “We’re certainly gonna do all we can to support him … [but] a lot is on him. He’s a grown man.”

Cashman added: “He has a chance to resume his career and we hope for the best for him and his family, both personally and professionally.”

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Bulls’ Zach LaVine called cops on ‘obsessed’ fan at his home

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Zach LaVine had an unwanted visitor.

The Chicago Bulls star had to call the police after an “allegedly obsessed” woman showed up to his Chicago home and refused to leave on Thursday night, according to TMZ. 

The woman reportedly traveled from out of state, demanding to speak with the first-time All-Star, who was home at the time.

Police took her a local hospital for mental evaluation, and she has not been formally arrested or charged with a crime.

LaVine, 25, wrapped up first-half action with the Bulls on Wednesday and was drafted to Kevin Durant’s All-Star side for Sunday’s festivities in Atlanta.

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Blake Griffin a free agent after Pistons buyout

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Blake Griffin will be free to sign with the Nets or another interested NBA team after agreeing to a contract buyout with the Detroit Pistons.

The six-time All-Star forward “has interest from most of the NBA’s top playoff contenders and is expected to make a decision on his next team after conversations with prospective teams,” ESPN reported.

The Nets, Lakers, Heat, Warriors and Clippers – his former team — are among those that have expressed interest, according to the New York Times. ESPN.com added that the Blazers are interested

The 31-year-old Griffin hasn’t played since Feb. 12 while the Pistons attempted to trade him before the March 25 deadline, but they found no takers due to the remainder of his $36.6 million salary for this season and the $39 million he’s owed for 2021-22.

Blake Griffin was released by the Pistons on March 5, 2021
Blake Griffin was released by the Pistons on March 5, 2021
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Griffin is averaging a career-low 12.3 points and 5.2 rebounds in 20 games this season. He was dealt by the Clippers to Detroit in 2018, during the first season of a five-year extension worth $171 million.



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Broncos send a pretty strong warning to Drew Lock

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Drew Lock is no lock to remain the Denver Broncos’ starting quarterback in 2021.

General manager George Paton and coach Vic Fangio both said Thursday that the team expects to bring in competition for Lock, possibly with the ninth pick in the NFL Draft.

“Obviously we’re always looking to bring in players at all positions that can raise the level of competition, and the quarterback is no different in that regard,” Fangio said, according to the team’s website.

“Until we get or until Drew proves to be the next great quarterback, like the ones that the Denver franchise has been used to in years past or certain teams around the league … are used to, we’re going to always try and bring in competition. But I have confidence that Drew can continue to improve.”

Lock made 13 starts in 2020 and tied with Carson Wentz for the league lead with 15 interceptions. He finished 32nd in the league among qualifying quarterbacks with a 75.4 passer rating, ahead of only Dwayne Haskins, Wentz and Sam Darnold.

Drew Lock faces the Patriots on October 18, 2020.
Drew Lock faces the Patriots on October 18, 2020.
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“Very talented, was inconsistent at times, has a lot to work on,” Paton said Thursday. “But I’ve spoken with Drew, I see him every day. He’s here early. He’s working. He really wants to be great. And we’re always going to try to bring in competition at every position, and quarterback as well. But I like the track that Drew’s on.”

Lock, the Broncos’ second-round pick in 2019 out of Missouri, had started five games as a rookie, winning four of them. Denver went 4-9 with him as the starter last season.

“I’m confident that Drew’s going to continue to improve,” Fangio said. “Drew’s had a great offseason up to this point. There’s not a lot you can do, but he’s working hard on his own, coming over here and getting workouts, and I know he’s doing a lot at home by himself, watching video by himself. He’s got a good setup over there. And he’s doing anything and everything he can to improve, even in February and now in March.”

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