SEATTLE -- Texas manager Ron Washington is tired of talking about all of the Rangers injuries. The latest is to third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday with a herniated disk in his lower back. Fortunately for the Rangers, Adrian Beltre was ready to return from his quadriceps injury and was activated from the DL before Texas played the Seattle Mariners. And the lingering question remains outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, who tested out his sore heel for the first time since getting injured earlier in the week. "Its a situation you just cant do anything about. Everyone around here knows that theyre trusted and you just keep going," Washington said. "Thats all you can do. Theyre not going to stop our schedule. Youve just got to keep going. At some point this testing that is happening to us will stop and well get healthy and we can go. But until then weve got to keep going with what weve got." Kouzmanoff left Tuesdays game in Oakland with back tightness. He had been outstanding in place of Beltre, hitting .362 with two homers, six doubles and 10 RBIs in 13 games since his contract was purchased from Triple-A Round Rock. Kouzmanoff was the American League player of the week April 14-20. Now theres uncertainty about when he might be able to return after he was examined by a back specialist in Texas earlier Friday. Beltre was placed on the disabled list April 13, retroactive to April 9, with a strained left quad. He was hitting .286 with four RBIs in eight games before getting injured. He was looking forward to getting back in time to face buddy Felix Hernandez on Saturday night. Beltre has learned how to manage issues with his hamstrings in the past and said he likely wouldnt push himself the first week back from the quad injury. Choo and the Rangers believe hell be able to avoid the disabled list. Choo got hurt Monday night in Oakland when he landed awkwardly while extending his leg to beat out an infield single. He hit in the indoor cage and did some running on the field Friday. Choo said there were no problems when he hit, but said he continued to feel pain in the heel when he ran. Still, Choo believes the progress hes made from when the injury first happened should keep him from needing to be out for 15 days. Washington said if Choo felt OK on Saturday he would go through batting practice on the field. "I dont want to go on the DL and Im positive before 15 days Ill feel better," Choo said. Cheap Cleveland Cavaliers Jerseys . The Brewers finalized a US$36 million, three-year contract with free agent third baseman Aramis Ramirez on Wednesday, adding a much-needed bat to their lineup. 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The Maple Leafs dropped a 4-2 decision to the hosting Washington Capitals on Friday.The San Antonio Spurs, the model for stability and sustained success in the modern NBA, were still a shaken team when they showed up for training camp in October, less than four months after a devastating loss to Miami in the NBA Finals. Some coaches would try to brush off the disappointment of letting a title slip through their fingers and refuse to acknowledge the elephant in the room. Gregg Popovich took it head on, embraced the heartache, and in a career full of masterful coaching performances, delivered perhaps his finest effort in season No. 18. "The way we lost in the finals wasnt an ordinary loss, it was pretty devastating," Popovich said on Tuesday after being named NBA coach of the year. "We decided that we needed to just face that right off the bat at the beginning of the season and get it out of the way. Dont blame it on the basketball gods or bad fortune or anything like that, the Miami Heat beat us and won the championship and thats that." Popovich joined Don Nelson and Pat Riley as the only coaches in league history to take home the Red Auerbach trophy three times in their career. "Theyre on the hood of my car," Popovich cracked. "One, two, three, right on the car, the way players do license plates. ... Ive got three of those right on the hood." Hes never liked the attention, never bought into the proclamations of his genius. When the accolades come his way, Popovich is quick to deflect them, giving the credit to his players, his assistant coaches, owner Peter Holt and general manager R.C. Buford. The humility in his voice on Tuesday was genuine, the challenge of putting the pieces back together after last seasons finish as daunting as ever. They showed up to training camp still stinging from that defeat, and Popovich had to get to know a new-look coaching staff after losing longtime assistants Brett Brown and Mike Budenholzer to head coaching jobs in Philadelphia and Atlanta. Then he led the Spurs to a league-best 62-20 record, which gives them home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. And he did it while deftly navigating a season filled with nagging injuries to several key players. Tim Duncan was the only starter to play in at least 70 games. No Spur averaged 30 minutes per game and Tony Parker led the team with a modest 16.7 points per game. Despite all of that, the Spurs won at least 50 games for the 15th straight season and topped 60 for the fourth time in that span. "Day after day, year after year, the energy that Pop provides our organization is truly unique," Buford said. The Spurs lead the Dallas Mavericks 1-0 in their best-of-seven series, with Game 2 on Wednesday night in San Antonio.dddddddddddd "Hes a gentleman," Spurs swingman Marco Belinelli said. "Everybody knows that hes the best coach in the league. So to say that is not really important. But maybe some people, they dont know hes really a great guy, a great gentleman. He really helps guys, helps each other. He wants to help everybody. Great person." When Miami topped San Antonio in that classic seven-game series, Popovichs reaction resonated deeply within some members of the Heat organization. Instead of showing his disappointment at the final buzzer, Popovich lingered on the court for a few minutes, sharing heartfelt embraces and words with Erik Spoelstra, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James, among others -- even smiling as he chatted with them and congratulated them on winning the title. And when told of Popovichs award Tuesday, James offered high praise to the Spurs coach. "Not surprised," James said. "Its well-awarded. I have the utmost respect for Gregg Popovich, man. Not only what hes been able to do for that team, but him just being able to always keep those guys motivated and always keep their best interests. ... From the outside looking in, it seems that he has their best interests and all he cares about is the teams success and nothing else matters. Thats big-time." Behind all his press conference bluster and the orneriness he directs toward the officials, there is a softer side that endears Popovich to those around him. That much was revealed during Game 1 against the Mavericks when he was interviewed by Craig Sager Jr., who was filling in for his father, a longtime sideline reporter who is being treated for leukemia. Popovichs curt demeanour and one-word answers to the elder Sagers questions have become appointment viewing, but this time the coach stopped in the middle of tense game, stared right into the camera and delivered a heart-felt message. "We miss you. Youve been an important part of all of us for a long time, doing a great job," he said. "We want your fanny back on the court, and I promise Ill be nice." Popovich garnered 59 first-place votes and 380 total points in voting conducted by a panel of media members. Phoenixs Jeff Hornacek (37 first-place votes) finished second and Chicagos Tom Thibodeau (12) finished third in the voting, with Charlottes Steve Clifford and Torontos Dwane Casey rounding out the top five in a season so strong that Spoelstra did not make the top 10. 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