LA Dodgers promote former relief pitcher Brandon Gomes to general manager

The Los Angeles Dodgers announced on Tuesday that they have promoted Brandon Gomes to general manager. The former vice president and assistant GM is the 12th general manager in franchise history. The 37-year-old Gomes has been in the Dodgers organization since 2017. Gomes is a former pitcher, playing five major-league seasons for the Tampa Bay Rays from 2011 to 2015, making 173 career relief appearances with a 4.20 ERA.

The Dodgers also hired two new assistant general managers on Tuesday — the organization promoted director of baseball operations Alex Slater, and hired Washington Football Team chief legal officer Damon Jones. Slater has been in the Dodgers front office since 2014, and worked for the San Diego Padres from 2009 to 2014.  Jones previously spent more than a decade with the Washington Nationals as senior vice president and general counsel. His full title with Los Angeles will be vice president, assistant GM and baseball legal counsel.

The Dodgers also promoted the club’s pitching coordinator, Rob Hill, to director of minor league pitching. Brandon McDaniel was promoted to vice president of player performance, and Thomas Albert to head athletic trainer.

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Thomas Rhett shares details of new album ‘Where We Started’ featuring Katy Perry, Tyler Hubbard and more

Thomas Rhett has announced his sixth studio album, titled ‘Where We Started,’ is set to be released on April 1. Rhett also released two new singles, “Angles” and “Church Boots,” as well as the official tracklist for the album.

The album, featuring 15 songs, is inspired by Rhett’s return to touring and features collaborations with Riley Green, Josh Thompson, Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard, Russell Dickerson and more. Rhett also teams up with pop singer Katy Petty, who is featured in the album’s title track “Where We Started.”

Rhett said in a press release: “For me, getting into the entertainer’s headspace and back onstage was euphoria. When you go a year and a half without it, then feel it for the first time again, it’s the coolest thing in the world. That’s really where my brain has been and where these songs came from — they’re some of my favorite songs that I’ve ever been a part of.  I’m just enjoying life so much right now, getting to be a dad, collaborating with incredible artists, playing shows with my friends, and watching people smile from the stage. It has really filled my soul.”

Rhett also shared he is planning to release the second part of his Country Again: Side A project this year — titled Country Again: Side B — later this year.In the meantime, you can pre-save/pre-order “Where We Started” – here

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Director Joss Whedon addresses misconduct allegations from Gal Gadot, Ray Fisher and the cast of ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’

Director Joss Whedon has finally addressed allegations of misconduct that have been leveled him by “Justice League” stars Gal Gadot and Ray Fisher, as well as by cast members of “Buffy The Vampire Slayer.”

Whedon denied Gadot’s claim that he threatened to ruin her career during an argument on the set of “Justice League,” saying she didn’t understand his “flowery” way of speaking.  Said Whedon: “I don’t threaten people. Who does that?  English is not her first language, and I tend to be annoyingly flowery in my speech.”  Whedon clams the two were arguing over a scene that Gadot wanted cut. Whedon said he joked that if she wanted to get rid of it, she would have to tie him to a railroad track and do it over his dead body. Said Whedon:  “Then I was told that I had said something about her dead body and tying her to the railroad track.” Gadot’s response to Vulture: “I understood perfectly.”   Actor Ray Fisher ― who played Cyborg in the 2017 film ― also accused Whedon of slashing the character’s presence and making choices that he thought “would be offensive to the Black community” and accused Whedon of changing an actor of color’s complexion to lighten their skin tone.  However, Whedon insists the only reason Fisher’s role was cut in his version of the film was because the story line “logically made no sense,” and he felt the acting was bad.

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64th Annual GRAMMY Awards rescheduled to Sunday, April 3

The 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards have been rescheduled and will now broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, April 3, from 8-11:30 p.m on CBS, and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+.   It’s the first time the show will take place in Vegas.

The show was postponed earlier this month amid the omicron surge from its original date of Jan. 31. It was scheduled to take place at the Crypto.com Arena (formerly known as the Staples Center) in Los Angeles. The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah will return as host of the ceremony. Additional details about the dates and locations of other official GRAMMY Week events, including the GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony, MusiCares Person of the Year and the Pre-GRAMMY Gala will be announced soon.

The news came via a joint announcement from the Recording Academy, CBS and CMT. The CMT Awards will now move from its originally scheduled date of April 3 to a later date in April to be determined. This year will mark the first time that the CMT Awards will air on CBS.

Jon Batiste leads all nominees with 11 nominations; J. Cole, Drake, Lil Nas X, Justin Bieber, Billie Eilish, H.E.R., Olivia Rodrigo, and more also received multiple nominations.

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Family of tornado victim in central Illinois sues Amazon over warehouse collapse

The family of an Amazon delivery driver, who died when the central Illinois Amazon facility where he worked collapsed due to a tornado, filed a wrongful death lawsuit Monday in Madison County. The lawsuit on behalf of 26-year-old Austin McEwen claims that Amazon failed to warn employees of dangerous weather or provide safe shelter before a tornado slammed into the Edwardsville facility on Dec. 10, killing McEwen and five others.

McEwen’s parents, Randy and Alice McEwen, allege that Amazon administrators knew severe weather was imminent but had no emergency plan nor evacuated employees from the fulfillment center.  Mrs. McEwen said at a news conference on Monday: “Sadly, it appears that Amazon placed profits first during this holiday season instead of the safety of our son and the other five.”  The lawsuit stated that Amazon “carelessly required individuals … to continue working up until the moments before the tornado struck” and “improperly directed” McEwen and colleagues to shelter in a rest room, which it says the company knew or should have known wasn’t safe.  The lawsuit seeks more than $50,000 from each of the four defendants named in the suit, which includes Amazon.com, the construction company that built the facility and the project’s developer.

Amazon spokeswoman Kelly Nantel released a statement that countered that the lawsuit: “This was a new building less than four years old, built in compliance with all applicable building codes, and the local teams were following the weather conditions closely. Severe weather watches are common in this part of the country and, while precautions are taken, are not cause for most businesses to close down. We believe our team did the right thing as soon as a warning was issued.”  Nantel said the company would defend itself against the lawsuit but would continue to focus on “supporting our employees and partners, the families who lost loved ones, the surrounding community, and all those affected by the tornadoes.”

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Newly elected Governor Glenn Youngkin of Virginia begins term by signing executive actions including a ban on critical race theory in public schools, lifting school mask mandates

Newly-elected Governor Glenn Youngkin of Virginia began his term on Saturday with executive actions directed at education and the COVID-19 pandemic, which notably included a ban on critical race theory in public schools and a lifting of school mask requirements. Youngkin also issued executive actions terminating the Virginia Parole Board, rescinding a vaccine mandate for state employees and establishing a commission to combat anti-Semitism.

Youngkin became the first Republican to win statewide office in Virginia since 2009.  He signed nine executive orders and two executive directives following his swearing-in, saying that the executive actions are steps to help launch “the work of restoring excellence in education, making our communities safer, opening Virginia for business and reinvigorating job growth, and making government work for the people, and not the other way around.”

The first executive order from Glenn Youngkin prohibits the teaching of “inherently divisive concepts,” including critical race theory, an academic concept developed by legal scholars to examine the ongoing effects of racism in American policies and institutions. Youngkin said in his executive order: “Political indoctrination has no place in our classrooms,”adding that “inherently divisive concepts, like critical race theory and its progeny, instruct students to only view life through the lens of race and presumes that some students are consciously or unconsciously racist, sexist, or oppressive, and that other students are victims.”

Youngkin also removed school mask requirements statewide. The governor’s order states that parents with children in public schools “may elect for their children not to be subject to any mask mandate in effect at the child’s school or educational program.”  The order continued:“A child whose parent has elected that he or she is not subject to a mask mandate should not be required to wear a mask under any policy implemented by a teacher, school, school district, the Department of Education, or any other state authority.”  The removal of a mask mandate in public schools prompted pushback from school districts outside of Washington, D.C.  Following the governor’s executive order, Arlington Public Schools announced Saturday there would be no change to its mask requirements, with the face coverings still required for staff and students inside school grounds and on buses. Fairfax County Public Schools – the state’s largest school system — also said the district would continue to require universal masking.  Alexandria City Public Schools also stated it will continue to require all individuals wear masks in schools, facilities and on buses.

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Las Vegas Raiders fire general manager Mike Mayock after three seasons and 25-24 record with team

The Las Vegas Raiders announced in a statement that they have fired general manager Mike Mayock.  The Raiders said: “We have relieved Mike Mayock of his duties as General Manager of the Las Vegas Raiders. We thank Mike for his contributions over the last three years in helping to form the foundation for the franchise to to build upon in its future.”  Mayock spent three seasons with the team, in which the Raiders went 25-24. They reaching the AFC Wild Card Round this season.

Las Vegas will now be searching for both a head coach and GM. Jon Gruden resigned in October after emails he sent containing racist, anti-gay and misogynistic comments became public.   Special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia was made Gruden’s interim replacement, and went on to lead the Raiders to the postseason, winning each of their final four games to secure a wild-card berth, which ended with Saturday’s wild-card loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

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Former Clemson quarterback Hunter Johnson transferring back to program

Former five-star recruit Hunter Johnson will transfer back to Clemson for the 2022 season. The 24-year-old Johnson was initially a 5-star recruit in 2017, when he committed to Clemson. He played one season with the Tigers before transferring to Northwestern.

Said Johnson: “I initially reached out to Coach Swinney to honestly see if he had any GA [graduate assistant] spots. I reached out to him and he asked if I had my sixth year because of COVID-19 and I told him I still did. It wasn’t really my intention initially of calling him.It was pretty exciting and I took a day or so to think over things and it felt like it was a great situation for me… just being able to go finish  my sixth year and play at a place I’ve grown to love over the years and be part of the room.”

Johnson will serve as a backup QB for Clemson in 2022 behind D.J. Uiagalelei and Cade Klubnik.  At Northwestern, he tallied 856 passing yards and five touchdowns across nine games.

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Cole Swindell and Lainy Wilson release official video for “Never Say Never”

Cole Swindell and Lainey Wilson premiered the new music video to their duet “Never Say Never”, set in a prison and showing a jail officer and a prison inmate team up in an attempt to escape.

“Never Say Never” was released in November, shortly after Swindell and Wilson posted tweets that hinted at a collaboration. Swindell and Wilson had also been posting on their social media channels in anticipation for the new music video. “This one still gives me goosebumps,” Wilson shared. “it’s too good y’all.”

Watch the music video for “Never Say Never” – here.

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Miranda Lambert debuts the video for ‘If I Was a Cowboy’

Miranda Lambert has dropped the music video for her new single, “If I Was a Cowboy,” shot in rural Texas.  In the video, the singer gallops on horseback across an open field, riding through a Western town and gathering around a fire with her fellow cowboys after nightfall.

Lambert was recently inducted into the ‘National Cowgirl Hall of Fame.’ She also recently paid homage to her Texas roots with the release of “The Marfa Tapes,” an acoustic collection of music with fellow Lone Star state natives Jon Randall and Jack Ingram.

Check out the video for ‘If I Was A Cowboy” – here.

Miranda Lambert Rules the Wild West in New ‘If I Was a Cowboy’ Video

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