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Bill Buckner, RIP
[Posted Wed. a.m.]
PGA Tour Quiz: With The Memorial at Jack’s Place this weekend, name the seven tour players to have notched victories in 12 straight PGA Tour seasons. Answer below.
Stanley Cup Finals
After 11 days it seemed inevitable that the Boston Bruins would be rusty, hard as they tried to change their routine to stay fresh, and on Monday, the St. Louis Blues got off to a 2-0 start in Boston, before the Bruins roared back to score four unanswered for a 4-2 win.
Boston coach Bruce Cassidy got maximum production from his fourth line, with Sean Kuraly setting up the Bruins’ first goal and scoring the game-winner when he took a pass from linemate Noel Acciari and whipped it past St. Louis goaltender Jordan Binnington at 5:21 of the third.
Game 2 is Wednesday in Beantown.
--Separately, Washington Capitals star Evgeny Kuznetsov said he has “nothing to hide” in response to a video that went viral Monday showing Kuznetsov sitting in a room near two lines of a powdery white substance spread onto a table. Kuznetsov did not make contact with the unknown substance in the 20-second clip, and appeared to be in the middle of a FaceTime conversation.
In his native tongue, Kuznetsov told Russian news outlet Sports Express that he has never used drugs and is ready to undergo a medical exam “at any time,” as translated. He explained the video was shot in Las Vegas amid Washington’s 2018 Stanley Cup run.
“I just went to my friends in the room. When I saw what was happening in there – unfamiliar women, strange substances on the table,” he said he left the room as soon as possible. “I have nothing to hide, let it remain on the conscience of the one who posted this video.”
The Capitals in a statement said that they are aware of the video and “are currently in the process of gathering facts and will have no further comment at this time.”
Deputy NHL commissioner Bill Daly said in part: “He seems to have acknowledged that he was in that room with whatever it is, but I don’t know what whatever it is, and he claims not to have used whatever it is, so on that basis, I’m not going to convict him of anything.”
Kuznetsov had 21 goals and 72 points this season after leading the Capitals in scoring during the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs. He is two years into an eight-year, $62.4 million contract with the team.
The series between the Warriors and the Raptors doesn’t get underway until Thursday in Toronto and it is highly unlikely Kevin Durant will be in the lineup. Coach Steve Kerr confirmed after Warriors practice Monday that Durant won’t play in Game 1, though he did travel to Toronto with the team as he continues to recover from a strained right calf.
--Meanwhile, out in Los Angeles, the situation only gets worse for the Lakers with Tuesday’s publishing of an ESPN story by Baxter Holmes that represented another deep dive into the Lakers’ dysfunction.
The story contains heretofore unknown anecdotes, such as in the case of general manager Rob Pelinka’s countless lies, and how Magic Johnson harassed employees, with his overbearing management style, which led two workers to suffer panic attacks. One longtime staffer quit because of the distress Magic allegedly caused her.
When taken with everything else that has happened in the offseason, if you’re a Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard or Kyrie Irving, you’d never think of signing here.
--For six years, Derek Dietrich was largely a serviceable bench player for the Miami Marlins, batting .254 with some pop. Granted free agency in the offseason, Dietrich ended up signing a minor league deal with the Reds with a chance to compete for a roster spot.
Well, all Dietrich has done is hit a career-high 17 home runs, thus far, including three last night against the Pirates in an 11-6 Reds win, Dietrich with six RBIs. He has 17 homers and 35 ribbies in just 118 at-bats.
“They let me be myself,” Dietrich said. “They believe in me. They gave me an opportunity. That’s all I’ve ever needed along the way.”
--The Mets took their .500 record out to Los Angeles to face Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers on Monday and aside from Kershaw going six innings, allowing 3 earned on 10 hits that was nonetheless good enough for the win, L.A. taking it 9-5, the Mets got a great look at 2019’s full-blown superstar, Cody Bellinger, who not only slammed his 19th home run, but threw out two runners from right field on spectacular plays, Bellinger with an MLB-leading eight assists from the outfield this season.
Bellinger homered off Jacob deGrom, who allowed two runs in five innings in a no decision.
As for Kershaw, the Dodgers have now won 16 straight regular-season games when he is on the mound, the future Hall of Famer 9-0 over that stretch. He is also now 9-0, 2.14, lifetime against the Mets, while deGrom is 0-4, 3.23, lifetime against the Dodgers (though he beat them twice in the 2015 NLCS).
But the Mets bounced back last night to win 7-3 on Michael Conforto’s seventh-inning grand slam. Cody Bellinger hit No. 20, a two-run shot, for L.A.
--Manny Machado came to New York, and Yankee Stadium, for the first time since his blockbuster free agency process, after he had interacted with the Yankees in the course of it, Machado eventually signing a 10-year, $300 million contract with San Diego.
Manny went 1-for-4, the Padres losing to the Yankees 5-2, and I saw the interviews with him in the locker room after, Machado having been booed heavily each time he came to the plate.
“I get booed everywhere I go,” Machado said. “Great players get booed everywhere they go. It happens. How can you compare (it to other parks)? A boo is a boo. We took the (loss), and it sucks. There’s nothing worse than that.”
But you had to see the full interview to see what an amazing jerk the guy is. Instead of laughing it off and just being classy, he totally belittled the reporters asking the questions.
As for Manny’s play thus far, through Monday he had played in 53 of the Padres’ first 54 games (San Diego 28-26), with 9 home runs, 26 RBIs, a .267 batting average and a .788 OPS vs. a career average of .820.
In other words, after exactly a third of the season, you’re looking at 25-30 homers and 85-90 RBIs.
If you were San Diego, would you take that the next, say, 7 years of the 10-year deal? Not at $30 million per!
Unless you tell me San Diego goes to three World Series over that time, winning at least one title, with Machado shining in the postseason. Otherwise, you’re looking at a colossal bust.
--The annual baseball draft is June 3 and I haven’t had a chance to mention the case of 19-year-old Carter Stewart, a pitcher for Eastern Florida State College.
Last June, the Atlanta Braves drafted Stewart eighth overall out of high school in Florida, but the Braves greatly reduced his bonus offer, saying Stewart had a wrist injury.
Stewart then didn’t sign with Atlanta, and hired Scott Boras to be his new agent, who then connected Stewart with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks in Japan. Stewart is receiving a six-year contract worth about $7 million, plus incentives.
But here’s the key...and why this contract is so important.
Tyler Kepner / New York Times
“The deal, first reported by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, would allow Stewart to become a free agent at age 25 – younger than almost all major league free agents, who typically toil in the minors before heading to the majors, where they are required to have six years of service before free agency.”
Boras told Kepner in a phone interview that the Hawks hosted Stewart and his family in Japan for a week or so.
“They went over there and they loved it, they loved the culture, they have unbelievable facilities. And I basically told them, ‘Look, I have Kikuchi. Kikuchi left the Japanese system when he was 26. He’s over here in the big leagues pitching great. You will be developed in that system, no different.”
Boras was referring to Yusei Kikuchi, 27, who signed a three-year, $43 million contract with the Seattle Mariners on Jan. 1 and is 3-2 with a 3.82 ERA in his first 12 starts this season.
Others who arrived in the majors from Japan between the ages of 25 and 27, and then found success, were Yu Darvish, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Masahiro Tanaka.
Stewart likely would have commanded less than $2 million had he fallen to the second round of next week’s draft, as expected, and then he’d be toiling in the minors. But under the rules, players in Japan as young as 25 can be eligible to be posted as free agents with no restrictions.
--The NCAA Baseball championship begins this weekend at 16 regional sites. The winners then advance to eight super regionals, and the winners there move on to Omaha for the College World Series.
UCLA is the No. 1 overall seed. Oregon State the defending champions.
--A Honus Wager T206 baseball card has been sold privately for $1.2 million. SCP Auctions in Southern California says the 1909-11 card was graded in Good 2 condition on a scale of 1 to 10 by Professional Sports Authenticator. A startling sum for a card graded that low.
Only a few dozen examples of the famed Wagner card are known to exist and just six have ever been graded higher by PSA than the one that sold this week.
--Finally, we have the death of baseball great Bill Buckner.
Mike Vaccaro / New York Post
“The fortunate part was that there really was a second act for Bill Buckner, one that came so many years after the moment that would unfairly underline his brilliant baseball career, the instant a baseball drizzled between his ruined legs early one Sunday morning in October 1986.
“Athletes react in different ways when the fates conspire against them, especially at the most inopportune times. Earlier in the autumn, Buckner’s teammate, Dave Henderson, had crushed a Donnie Moore pitch over a wall in Anaheim, Calif., to improbably keep the Red Sox alive in the ALCS. Moore never recovered from that. He killed himself three years later after first trying to murder his wife.
“Then there was Ralph Branca, who surrendered the most famous home run in baseball history, the Shot Heard Round the World that won the 1951 playoff for the Giants over Branca’s Dodgers. While Bobby Thomson, the man who hit that blast, would always gently chide, ‘Ask Ralph how many of the speaking fees he’s given back over the years,’ he also knew precisely the burden Branca bore the final 65 years of his life.
“ ‘For me,’ Thomson told me in 2001, ‘that moment was the best thing that ever happened to me. It may have been the best thing that ever happened to anybody. It was Ralph that allowed people to enjoy it, though. His grace. His good humor.’
“It took a while for life to get square with Buckner, who hit .289 in 22 major league seasons, who played in four different decades, who assembled 2,715 hits and won the 1980 NL batting crown with the Cubs, who had 721 extra-base hits and struck out only 453 times in his career. Only Pete Rose had more hits in the ‘70s and ‘80s. The only other player since 1961 to have a lower strikeout rate in a career of 10,000-plus at-bats? Tony Gwynn.
“Buckner died at age 69 Monday after a long bout with Lewy Body Dementia, his family said in a statement. It was an extraordinary baseball life, with exactly one exception. It would be decades before Bill Buckner was welcomed back to Boston.
“That was a few minutes after the Saturday evening of Oct. 25, 1986 bled into the Sunday morning of Oct. 26. It should be essential to note, on all retellings of this story, that the Red Sox had already blown the two-run lead they took into the bottom of the 10th inning, the last when a Mets outfielder named Mookie Wilson somehow skipped out of the way of a Bob Stanley sinker, allowing the tying run to score from third. That made the game 5-5.
“But then Wilson hit a slow roller behind first base. The other footnote that should forever be attached to this: Buckner had no business being at first in the bottom of the 10th. All season, he’d been replaced late in games by Dave Stapleton, and he was playing that whole postseason on damaged knees and ankles. But he was out there. That’s a fact.
“So is this: the ball skipped under his globe, bisected his legs. Ray Knight scored the winning run. Two nights later the Mets won Game 7, extending to 68 years a Sox drought that wouldn’t die until it turned 86.
“Buckner was chased out of Boston. He came back to Fenway for a Sox encore, to cheers, in 1990, briefly, but after he retired he had to seek asylum in Idaho to forsake the maddening crowd. He spoke later of a constant bitterness that filled him. Twenty-two years of elegant baseball service, reduced to 22 seconds, the worst 22 seconds of his career.”
For his part, Mookie Wilson issued a statement Monday:
“I was saddened to hear about Bill’s death. We had developed a friendship that lasted well over 30 years. I felt badly for some of the things he went through. Bill was a great, great baseball player whose legacy should not be defined by one play.”
Wilson and Buckner, over the years, made joint appearances, signing posters of the play. As Mike Vaccaro noted “one of which clearly shows that Mookie would have been safe (even if Buckner fielded the ball cleanly) because Stanley never bothered to rush to cover first.”
And then on Opening Day 2008, Buckner returned to Fenway Park to help celebrate the 2007 championship Red Sox by throwing out the first pitch. The fans gave him a thunderous ovation, Buckner wiping away a tear.
Buckner had been unsure whether he should make that appearance, but after he said, “Glad I did it. Glad I came.”
Bobby Valentine, former Mets manager and teammate and friend of Buckner’s for 51 years, the two being members of the Dodgers’ historic 1968 draft class, grew up in baseball with Buckner.
“As I clear my head and hold back the tears I know I will always remember Billy Buck as a great hitter and a better friend,” Valentine tweeted Monday. “He deserved better.”
“It took many years, but baseball finally did right by him. History ought to do the same.”
Tom Keegan / Boston Herald
“If not for one play, one lousy play, former Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner’s death would not have been as big a story, and that would have been just fine with him....
“Unfortunately, he became a big baseball name that would echo louder with each passing year as the Red Sox championship drought grew because of one lousy play....
“I once spoke to a man in a dugout at Shea Stadium about the 10th-inning groundball that went through Buckner’s legs in Game 6, preventing the Red Sox from clinching the 1986 World Series, which they lost to the Mets in Game 7.
“The man was very bitter about the treatment of the play, was tired of talking about it, thought it ridiculous a ballplayer should be remembered for one play. That man’s name was Mookie Wilson, the speedy outfielder who hit the grounder through Buckner’s legs.
“Wilson maintained that even if Buckner had fielded the ball cleanly, he would have beat it out for an infield hit. I hadn’t talked to anybody who shared that opinion before interviewing Wilson in the dugout at Shea and haven’t found anyone since. [Ed. some would beg to disagree with Mr. Keegan.]
“Wilson spent 12 seasons in the big leagues and stole 327 bases, so in one respect you can understand how he resents being remembered for one grounder, but that’s not how the world works. Inside and outside of sports, the unusual makes news. Sorry, but a groundball that goes through a first baseman’s legs and alters baseball history in a big way is newsworthy....
“In 2011, (Jeremy) Schaap did an ‘E:60’ episode in which Jody (Buckner’s wife) shared the reason the family moved from Massachusetts to Boise, Idaho: A parent at their son’s preschool said to the 4-year-old boy, ‘Your daddy had to quit baseball because he missed the ball.’ The Buckner’s son came home and asked, ‘Daddy, what did he mean?’
“Buckner’s postgame reaction to the play came from a far more mature place.
“ ‘It’s unfortunate it happened, but that’s baseball,’ Buckner told reporters. ‘All I can say is I never played in the seventh game of the World Series, and I get to play in one now. I hate to say it’s because I missed the groundball, but that’s the way it goes.
“Perfect statement from a player whose job it was to worry about the next play, especially when preparing for Game 7 of the World Series.
“For fans still smarting, the Sox’ 2004 world championship healed wounds from the error. Not all wounds created by the reaction to it had yet healed. Buckner didn’t attend the 20th-anniversary celebration of the ’86 Red Sox, but after thinking about it for a month, he did accept the club’s invitation to throw out the first pitch at the home opener in 2008 as part of a celebration for winning the 2007 World Series.
“Buckner received and appreciated a four-minute ovation. But a sign that read, ‘You’re forgiven,’ was ill-conceived. The only ones who needed to apologize were those who took one error personally. He tried to make the play and didn’t. It happens, and it happened at the worst possible time on the grandest of all stages. Still, next play.....
“As the years passed, Wilson and Buckner made money sitting side by side, signing photographs of the play, which was eerily foreshadowed in an ESPN interview of Buckner on the field at Fenway Park, 19 days before the error.
“ ‘The dreams are that you’re going to have a great series and win, and the nightmares are you’re going to let the winning run score on a grounder through your legs,’ Buckner said. ‘You know, those things happen, you know, and I think a lot of it is just fate.’
“Buckner knew all along his error was not worthy of being taken personally One of the best things about the Red Sox 21st-century championship run is that it finally led so many others to learn that lesson.”
--Matthew Wolff of No. 1 Oklahoma State won the NCAA men’s individual title, the first for the Cowboys since Jonathan Moore in 2006. Coming into the tournament, Wolff, a sophomore who has had an awesome year, was the fourth-ranked amateur in the world, with teammate Viktor Hovland No. 1 and the reigning U.S. Amateur champion.
Steven Fisk of Georgia Southern finished second to Wolff.
In the team competition, the following made match play.
Oklahoma State, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, Texas, Oklahoma, Stanford, Texas A&M and SMU, which defeated Clemson in a playoff for the final spot.
Then in the quarterfinals Tuesday, Wake Forest lost on the final hole of its match against Stanford, Stanford a nemesis for us in men’s soccer, traditionally. It sucks. The Deacs had their chances, but as Tony Soprano used to say, before they pulled the plug on him and the family at the diner, ‘Whaddya gonna do?’
It’s important for Wake, and recruiting, that we at least made the match play.
Anyway, Vanderbilt, Stanford, Oklahoma State and Texas moved on into the semifinals.
And then Stanford beat Vandy, while Texas upset Oklahoma State to set up today’s finale.
Some are saying that with Oklahoma State’s spectacular play all season, including in the stroke play where they finished a whopping 31 strokes better than runner-up Vanderbilt, they are the true national champ.
But it’s like the NCAA Basketball Championship. You can enter it undefeated and then lose, say, to an 8-seed in the semis. It happens.
It does need to be said, however, that the Cowboys won 16 team titles over the past two seasons, as well as being the 2018 NCAA champion. And it’s now the end of an era, as Wolff, and the junior Hovland, are expected to turn pro in the coming weeks.
--Brian Wacker and John Huggan of Golf World / Golf Digest have an extensive piece in the current issue on the USGA. To set the tone:
“It wouldn’t be a U.S. Open without a certain amount of moaning about the difficulty of the conditions and the course setup, but something changed last year at Shinnecock Hills. After a final-round debacle there in the 2004 Open, when players began putting balls into bunkers on one of America’s finest and most historic courses, the United States Golf Association insisted that things would be different in 2018.
“But instead of the image of Brooks Koepka clutching his second consecutive Open trophy, the lingering memory for many is of Phil Mickelson, a six-time runner-up in the event he needs to win to complete the career Grand Slam, running after his ball and stopping it before it could roll off the 13th green. Facing a possible disqualification, Mickelson was instead penalized two strokes and made a 10 on his way to an 81. Was it 27 years of U.S. Open frustration for Mickelson, or was he sending a message for many of the players, speaking to far-greater issues with the ruling body?”
So Wacker and Huggan interviewed 35 current players, 16 major champions, along with caddies, coaches and analysts, to uncover details on the rapidly eroding relationship with the governing body.
“The resentment ran so deep that at one point in 2016, leading players say, they even contemplated the unthinkable: a boycott of the U.S. Open.”
The new rules haven’t helped, and you’ve seen the likes of Rickie Fowler mock them, while Justin Thomas vented about a lack of communication with the USGA.
Among the comments Wacker and Huggan elicited:
“They’ve had a bad run of golf setups, of decisions, and in some cases, golf courses. They know this is a bad time. Controversy is killing the major championship.”
“What’s the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over when it doesn’t work. That’s where we are.”
“They’re amateurs who think they know it all – a dangerous combination.”
On the other hand:
“The USGA could do 10 great things at a U.S. Open, but the one bad thing they do is what gets publicized. They overthink it. It’s golf. It’s not a math equation. The R&A runs one tournament a year, and we never hear from them, because they deal with flat links greens and they can’t get them above 11 on the Stimp.”
Then again, the following is from a caddie for multiple PGA Tour winners:
“The USGA official with every group always patronizes the caddies on the first tee: ‘Make sure you’ve got 14 in there – count your clubs.’ That’s insulting. That’s not their job; it’s mine. And if I have 15, it’s my fault. I heard a caddie say once, ‘Don’t worry, I’ve got this. I do it every week of the year. It’s only you guys who do it once a year.’ That statement applies to so much of the U.S. Open.”
From a teacher of multiple major champions:
“The USGA is an organization built on egos. It’s full of successful people who are not used to being told what to do. And they’re very rich, typically. They don’t listen when it comes to golf.”
Teacher of multiple major champions:
“I don’t understand why we can’t have a U.S. Open where the greens actually have living grass on them.”
Great line....and so true.
A multiple European tour winner:
“I saw 11 guys out on the greens at Shinnecock last year selecting pin positions. None of them were from the tours, guys who do that every week.”
A number of major champions told Wacker and Huggan that they were ready to sit out a U.S. Open.
From a multiple PGA Tour winner:
“I still don’t know where [all the additional money from Fox] goes. I’ve tried a thousand times to get an answer. The USGA is making about $100 million a year that we know about – that’s just U.S. TV revenue, not international TV money, merchandise and sales and so on. If you can show us how you’re using that money to grow the game, we’d be all about it. But they haven’t shown us that.”
Winner of more than 20 PGA and European Tour events:
“If they f--- up Pebble Beach, I can see players not going back. That’s America’s St. Andrews.”
Former U.S. Open Champion:
“The Masters is clearly the most successful professional tournament in the world, by a mile.”
Former U.S. Open Champion:
“It’s pin positions that you look at and think, Is this over the edge? And when you do that, it’s over the edge. And they have 12 every day like that.”
As for the Mickelson drama at Shinnecock, a coach of multiple major champions:
“It was a big middle finger to the USGA.”
Former U.S. Open Champion:
“The only thing Phil got wrong was his bullshit excuse. I loved every minute of it otherwise. It was the right guy saying the right thing: F--- off. I’ve been playing in this event for over 25 years, and I’m the biggest lover of the event in the world, but you’ve finally ruined it completely.”
There have been three more deaths at the California track in nine days, bringing the total to 26 since Dec. 26, with Sen. Dianne Feinstein again calling for racing to be halted at the venue.
“I once again call for an immediate moratorium on racing at Santa Anita,” said Feinstein in a statement. “We need a thorough investigation of practices and conditions at the track before any more races are held.”
Two of the last three deaths were unusual injuries not generally associated with breakdowns. One horse, Commander Coil, broke a shoulder while galloping, a very low-risk activity. The track had gone three weeks without a fatality before the 3-year-old gelding suffered the catastrophic injury.
Another 3-year-old, Spectacular Music, was euthanized after an unusual pelvis injury while racing and Kochees, a 9-year-old gelding, died of a leg fracture after efforts to save him during surgery were unsuccessful Sunday.
There are only 12 more racing days at Santa Anita, before a short meeting at Los Alamitos, followed by the summer meeting at Del Mar.
As John Cherwa of the Los Angeles Times noted, Santa Anita had seemed to turn the corner on equine fatalities after Arms Runner was euthanized March 31 following a fall on the dirt portion of the downhill turn course. The next fatality didn’t come until May 17, Commander Coil.
The California Horse Racing Board and L.A. County District Attorney’s office are conducting a joint investigation into the deaths. The CHRB recently said the investigation should be finished in about four months.
After the current meeting at Santa Anita ends June 23, the track is down until Sept. 26, when racing is held there for about a month, concluding with the Breeders’ Cup.
Feinstein said: “I believe we need to carefully review what medications horses are given, and under what circumstances as well as take a close look at the issue of overrunning horses, which may be contributing to deaths.
“Tracks in the United States have significantly higher rates of death than tracks overseas. We need to determine what we’re doing wrong in this country and fix it. If we can’t, we need to consider whether horse racing has a future here.”
Big couple days coming up.
Chelsea meets Arsenal in the Europa League final on Wednesday. Aside from team owners, fans and players wanting to add some hardware to their club’s trophy case, this is huge for Arsenal. Chelsea has already qualified for the Champions League, 2019-20 edition, but Arsenal must win this match to get in as well, which would make it five teams from the Premier League, to go with Man City, Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea.
So speaking of Liverpool and Tottenham, they square off on Saturday for the Champions League crown. The Spurs are receiving a huge boost as striker Harry Kane said he’s good to go, while key players Jan Vertonghen and Davinson Sanchez are also expected to be available after various injuries (concussions).
Finally, as for the next PL season, which starts in a mere 2+ months, Aston Villa won its Championship League (not to be confused with the Champions League) playoff against Derby County 2-0 on Monday, so Villa joins Norwich and Sheffield United in gaining promotion to the Premier League.
Villa returns to the PL for the first time since being relegated in 2016, and just what does this mean financially? Try $215 million! Yup, an estimated $215 million windfall. That’s what it means to be in the Premier League, boys and girls, which means someone like Villa now has the wherewithal to try and buy some better players, to make sure they stay in the top level.
--Virginia won the NCAA men’s lacrosse title Monday, defeating Yale 13-9 in Philadelphia. It was the Cavaliers’ sixth national championship but first since 2011. Yale was the defending champion.
Virginia had defeated Duke in double-overtime in one semifinal, Yale beat Penn State in the other, the Nittany Lions the No. 1 ranked team in the country.
--The ratings on NBC for the Indy 500 were up 15% this year, which is encouraging, after four years of ratings declines, according to Nielsen.
--There are some who believe that perhaps the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway last Sunday night is a bit too long...as in why not cut it to 500. But it’s the ‘600’ that sets it apart, and it’s a long-time Memorial Day weekend tradition.
Well, I went to bed around 11:30, with about 25 laps to go, so it was too long for me, but when I woke up Monday, wouldn’t you know but my DraftKings lineup was a winner! OK, I only netted a few bucks, but a win is a win.
And it was a win for Martin Truex Jr., gaining his second Coca-Cola 600 in four years, taking the lead on a restart with four laps to go and then holding on, beating Joey Logano and Kyle Busch.
Truex has won three of the last five Cup Series points races, and of the 13 held thus far in 2019, Truex, Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch have each won three.
--Sports Illustrated was sold for $110 million to Authentic Brands, which looks to make money licensing out the iconic name.
Current owner Meredith Corp. is unloading the magazine as part of an effort to sell Time Inc. titles that don’t fit with its other publications. But Meredith will continue to publish the Sports Illustrated print magazine and manage its website for at least two years.
Authentic Brands, meanwhile, will seek licensing deals that could slap the Sports Illustrated name on everything from consumer goods to sports-gambling services.
While SI has lost luster in the age of online journalism, according to Meredith, it still reaches 175 million U.S. consumers each month through its various properties.
--James Holzhauer won again on Monday, making it 28 straight on “Jeopardy!” He took down $130,022 this episode, bringing his total to $2,195,557.
And he won Tuesday, $59,381...the total $2,254,938.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, ratings have reached a 14-year high, which is pretty impressive.
--It was indeed remarkable that Amanda Eller, the 35-year-old yoga instructor from Hawaii, was able to survive for more than two weeks after getting lost in the wilds there, Eller breaking her leg when she fell into a ravine and suffering a skin infection. She was finally spotted by a search and rescue helicopter hired by her parents.
Eller, speaking from her hospital bed 24 hours after being rescued, said: “I wanted to give up. But the only option I had was life or death. I heard this voice that said, ‘If you want to live, keep going.’”
After breaking her leg, Eller said she began to crawl instead of walk, adding: “I was getting so skinny I was really starting to doubt if I could survive.”
Amanda’s mother said her daughter survived on wild berries and a few moths.
That was also quite a press conference yesterday. She’s an amazing woman.
Top 3 songs for the week 5/27/72: #1 “Oh Girl” (Chi-Lites) #2 “I’ll Take You There” (The Staple Singers) #3 “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” (Roberta Flack...think Play Misty For Me’...the great Clint Eastwood film...)...and...#4 “Look What You Done For Me” (Al Green) #5 “The Candy Man” (Sammy Davis Jr. with the Mike Curb Congregation) #6 “Morning Has Broken” (Cat Stevens) #7 “Tumbling Dice” (The Rolling Stones) #8 “I Gotcha” (Joe Tex) #9 “Sylvia’s Mother” (Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show) #10 “Hot Rod Lincoln” (Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen)
PGA Tour Quiz Answer: Seven who have notched victories in 12 straight PGA Tour seasons:
Walter Hagen, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Billy Casper, Lee Trevino, Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson.
1969 Mets, cont’d....
The expansion San Diego Padres came to Shea Stadium for the first time.
May 27: The Padres won 3-2, Al Santorini scattering 12 hits in hurling a complete game. That’s Union, New Jersey’s own, Al Santorini. Because he grew up about 15 minutes from yours truly, I heard a lot about him. He was just 21 this night and the future seemed bright. But he would finish 17-38 in his career, 4.29 ERA, and out of the game at age 25.
May 28: The Mets bounced back to win 1-0 in 11 innings on a hit from Bud Harrelson. Jerry Koosman pitched the first 10 and struck out a franchise-record 15. Clay Kirby had shutout the Metropolitans for nine.
So the expansion Padres were 18-30, the Mets 19-23.
Next Bar Chat, Monday.