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Kevin Durant's Injury and the Massive Ramifications
[Posted Wed. a.m.]
US Open Quiz: The last four held at Pebble Beach were 1982, 1992, 2000, 2010. You will know the winners of each, but identify the runner-up (just one for all four). Answer below.
NBA Finals...and Durant
What a monumental sports moment we had Monday night in Toronto, the Warriors staving off elimination 106-105, sending the series back to Oakland for a Game 6 on Thursday. Steph Curry (31) and Klay Thompson (26) stepped up with the Warriors down six with under 3 ½ minutes to go, the Splash Brothers then combining to hit three straight 3-pointers, while Toronto’s final shot for the win, and the title, a jumper by Kyle Lowry, not Kawhi Leonard, was blocked by Draymond Green.
DeMarcus Cousins had a big 14 points and six rebounds off the bench in 20 minutes for Golden State, while Kawhi Leonard was held to 26 on 9 of 24 from the field, 2 of 7 from three, though he scored 10 straight points in the fourth to set the Raptors up for the championship...before it wasn’t.
But what made it all the more remarkable for the Warriors was the comeback came after they had lost Kevin Durant barely a quarter into the game with a devastating Achilles tendon injury.
Durant, in his return from his calf injury, returned to score 11 points in 12 minutes, hitting all three of his attempts from downtown, and was looking good.
The Warriors are devastated, but they showed what they are made of in focusing on the game at hand. How will they now react Thursday? How will the Raptors respond, knowing at least that they could still have a Game 7 at home on Sunday if necessary.
But the injury has massive implications as Durant faced free agency. Yet now he is likely to be out all of next season. It’s really tragic for the lad...and not good for the league, especially assuming the Knicks or Nets had signed him, thus putting some juice in the NBA’s biggest market.
Warriors GM Bob Myers said immediately afterwards, while fighting back tears:
“He was cleared to play tonight; that was a collaborative decision. I don’t believe there’s anybody to blame, but I understand in this world and if you have to, you can blame me. I run our basketball operations department.
“To tell you something about Kevin Durant, Kevin Durant loves to play basketball, and the people that questioned whether he wanted to get back to this team were wrong... He’s one of the most misunderstood people. He’s a good teammate, he’s a good person, it’s not fair....”
So Durant was scheduled to have an MRI Tuesday to assess the scope of the injury. Immediately, though, there were claims Durant never had a calf injury, as we were told, but perhaps a partial tear of the Achilles.
Durant practiced with the team on Sunday for the first time since the injury he suffered in the second round of the playoffs.
Steph Curry said, “He sacrificed his body for us and I just feel bad for him....It’s going to be tough to get calibrated.”
Marc Berman / New York Post
“Kevin Durant’s gutty return for Game 5 lasted less than 15 minutes and ended when he suffered what could be a potentially devastating Achilles tear in the second quarter that would keep him out the start of next season and throw his – and the Knicks’ – pending free-agency plans into chaos....
“It was a stunning turn of events for Durant, who returned from a 4 ½-week absence with a calf strain. He is set to become a free agent July 1 and the Knicks were ready to pounce. Now his entire future is up in the air and there’s a possibility he won’t opt out of the final year of his contract as has been expected.
“Timetables on Achilles tears can last up to a year. Twenty years ago, Patrick Ewing tore his Achilles in the playoffs and didn’t begin the following season on time. Durant’s teammate, Demarcus Cousins, tore his Achilles when he was with the Pelicans on Jan. 26, 2018, and didn’t return for almost a year – Jan. 18, 2019....
“Durant posted a message on his Instagram account after the game ended; ‘Dub nation gonna be loud as f--- for game 6. I’m hurting deep in the soul right now I can’t lie but seeing my brothers get this win was like taking a shot of tequila, I got new life lol. #dubs.’”
Dan Wolken / USA TODAY Sports
“Kevin Durant should not have played in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
“We will talk for a long time about everything that happened here Monday night: the shock of Durant’s injury in the second quarter, the jubilation of a crowd in Toronto whose team had one hand on the trophy with three minutes to go and the utter dismay at how the Golden State Warriors dug a little deeper to send this series back to Oakland for Game 6.
“But the decision to play Durant, who suffered what might very well be a serious Achilles injury, is one that should haunt everyone associated with the Warriors no matter what happens the rest of this series.
“ ‘I don’t believe there’s anybody to blame, but I understand it’s this world,’ Warriors president of basketball operations Bob Myers said, trying to hold back tears. ‘And if you have to, you can blame me.’
“It was a scene unlike anything that has ever happened at the NBA Finals. Steve Kerr, the Warriors coach, was clearly shaken, unsure how to process the pain of watching Durant go down and the pride of seeing his team somehow rescue a game that seemed lost to keep this series going.
“Asked whether he had any regrets about bringing Durant back into the series after a month-long recovery from a right calf injury, Kerr said only that he would leave it to Myers. And when Myers got to the podium for the post-game news conference, he stared straight ahead and his voice shook. He said it was a ‘collaborative decision’ to come back and that after multiple MRI exams and doctors’ visits, the team was confident that Durant was healthy enough to come back.
“We’ll have to wait for the official diagnosis on Tuesday before we know how serious the injury was. And even then...we may never be completely sure whether the injury Durant suffered...was caused because the one he suffered a month earlier with the same leg hadn’t fully healed, leaving his Achilles vulnerable to a tear.
“But it sure seemed that way, didn’t it....”
Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, who suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon in 2017, doesn’t agree.
“We fully know our bodies and what we are risking especially at the professional level,” Sherman tweeted. “I am sure there were attempts to persuade him to continue to wait. He’s built different than the [people] saying he shouldn’t have played. Maybe that’s why they haven’t gotten where he is.”
But Charles Barkley said on ESPN’s “Get Up.” “I don’t think you can ever leave it up to a player.”
“To put a guy, who hasn’t played basketball in over a month into Game 5 of the Finals, and had some type of move-around the day before, I don’t think that’s fair to that man,” Barkley said.
On ESPN, Barkley seemed to suggest media reports may have influenced Durant, who is known to closely monitor social media and, at least occasionally, bristles at criticism.
“If you go back and look at the last two weeks – the article comes out, KD’s ‘worst nightmare’ that the Warriors are winning without him,” he said. “Then you come out, you read the articles: the Warriors are really unhappy that KD won’t risk his Achilles’, they’re frustrated with KD.
“Now this man has to be feeling some type of way, so I blame the Warriors for KD getting hurt, and I don’t care what they say about it,” Barkley continued. “They shouldn’t have put that man out there.”
But Sherman shot back: “It really frustrates me listening to current and former players act like anyone could have kept KD from playing last night,” he tweeted.
“Every single athlete worth their weight dreams of playing in the Championship game of their sport, and most of us are making that same decision!”
Mike Vaccaro / New York Post
“For now, the concern has to be for the player, even here, even in Manhattan, where so much hope – real, imaginary, virtual – has been tied up in the vision of Kevin Durant wearing an orange ‘35’ against a classic white Knicks uniform opening night next year. Or across the East River, where lately a renewed hope casting him in a black ‘Brooklyn’ jersey has arisen, too.
“We are not savages, after all, certainly not of the category of the gutternshipes in the Toronto crowd who Monday cheered when Durant crumpled to the floor, something clearly amiss. Later, we would learn that it was as was feared: an Achilles injury, severity unknown until he slips into an MRI tube Tuesday.
“So yes: the first positive vibes must go to Durant, who could’ve skipped the rest of the Finals with a nine-figure summer awaiting and his team with one foot on the golf course already.
“Of course, the fact that he chose to play – and seemed reasonably close to his superlative self across his 11 minutes of action – only underlines why he will be so coveted come July 1. In a time when LeBron James seems on the other side of the mountain, it is either Durant or Kawhi Leonard who fills that void now. And Leonard, for all his greatness, has had an injury cloud following him.
“And now, so does Durant.
“And that is why the Knicks and the Nets can now wonder if their own futures – which they’ve each crafted in meticulous, if divergent, ways – weren’t given a sharp jolt Tuesday night, when Durant went down, when he clutched for his Achilles, when an entire sport held its breath.
“An Achilles injury is just about the worst thing a basketball player can suffer. We can see instant evidence of that watching Durant’s teammate, DeMarcus Cousins, scuffle with inconsistency (though, ironically, Cousins was brilliant Monday, and great as the Splash Brothers might’ve been down the stretch of the Warriors’ season-saving win, they wouldn’t have had a prayer without Cousin’s 14 points and six rebounds)....Hardly any player has ever matched his pre-Achilles self when it happens.
“The outlier is Dominique Wilkins, who hurt his Achilles at 32 but came back to average 28 points over the next two seasons and generally resumed his above-the-rim game....
“(As GM Myers said), It’s not fair.’
“Not to Durant. Not to the Warriors. Not to the NBA. And no: not to the teams who’ve been hoping to woo him East and try to set themselves up to be led by his guiding hand to a better basketball place than either has lately known. The Knicks and Nets were primed to initiate borough warfare to bring the game’s signature player East.
“Those plans might have also taken a hit with 9:46 left in the second quarter on the floor of Scotiabank Arena.”
Personally, I sure hope now that my Knicks do not attempt to sign Durant regardless of the likelihood he misses a full season. And I don’t want Kyrie Irving. I’m in the emerging camp that believes the best thing for the future is draft RJ Barrett, who immediately makes them better, and continue to stockpile draft picks. It might delay being competitive again by another year or two, but it’s the right thing to do if you aren’t getting a healthy Durant.
And I don’t want them sending New Orleans too much of their young talent for Anthony Davis, as is still being rumored.
But there will be teams that will take a flyer on Durant. Potentially even the Brooklyn Nets, who would be then saying they are going for it all in 2020-21. Or the Clippers, whose owner, Steve Ballmer, wants to win titles badly and has been spending $millions to please his players with all kinds of infrastructure upgrades. He’d be willing to wait a year.
For his part, Durant could accept his $31.5 million option for next season and stay in Golden State while he rehabs, but if rehab doesn’t go well, he’s left with a much smaller deal in all probability next offseason.
As for Kawhi Leonard, as we all now know, he dropped a major hint (if you believe he’s being truthful) that he hasn’t purchased a home in Toronto, “yet.” To me it’s Toronto or going home to play with the Clippers...only. There are no other potential landing spots for him...at least that he’d be interested in.
But what happens to a Kyrie Irving, who it was figured would be paired with Durant in one place or another?
**As I go to post, we still haven’t learned the results of Durant’s MRI, which was given in New York, not back in California.
--In other hoops news, Tony Parker announced his retirement on Twitter:
“It’s with a lot of emotion that I retire from basketball, it was an incredible journey! Even in my wildest dreams, I never thought I would live all those unbelievable moments with the NBA and the French National Team. Thank you for everything!”
Parker played the first 17 of his 18 seasons with the Spurs, finishing up this past season in Charlotte, becoming the first European player to be named MVP of a Finals in 2007.
He was a six-time All-Star, averaging 15.5 points and 5.6 assists over his 18 seasons, but performing even better in the playoffs.
Parker was selected No. 28 overall by the Spurs in the 2001 NBA Draft and quickly established himself, at 19, as their starting point guard under Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, going on to be part of four NBA championship teams.
Stanley Cup Finals
Well we have us a Game 7, tonight, following the Bruins’ impressive 5-1 win at St. Louis on Sunday night, Boston scoring four in the third to break open a 1-1 game after two periods.
There are five Bruins remaining from the 2011 Cup-winning team – Zdene Chara, Tuukka Rask, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Krejci and their leadership Sunday was key.
The 42-year-old defenseman Chara had an empty-net goal to cap things off.
--Retired Red Sox star David Ortiz was the victim of an apparent assassination attempt in his native Dominican Republic late Sunday night. Ortiz was shot in the back by a gunman who had gotten off a motorcycle and approached him from behind, Ortiz sitting at the Dial Bar and Lounge, a popular spot in the capital city of Santo Domingo.
Surveillance video posted on social media showed Ortiz collapsing from his chair. He was rushed to a clinic in the city and underwent surgery.
The initial reports were that a bullet entered Ortiz’s back and exited his stomach, with his father, Leo Ortiz, telling reporters early Monday that there was no damage to his major arteries or organs.
A Dominican TV host who is a friend of Ortiz’s and was sitting with him was also wounded by the bullet that struck Ortiz, and his injuries were non-life-threatening.
The alleged gunman was captured and beaten by a crowd of people at the bar, according to police, while an accomplice got away.
The Dial Bar and Lounge sits amid a busy nightlife district in eastern Santo Domingo and was said to be a decent neighborhood, all things considered, it being in the D.R.
Those were the initial reports....which is why you always want to wait 24 hours, because we then learned Ortiz had indeed suffered organ damage and he was rushed back to Boston to get the best possible treatment. We learned that in the initial surgery in Santo Domingo, part of his colon was removed, and he also suffered injuries to his gallbladder and limited damage to his liver, according to reports.
A suspect was identified, who Listin Diario reported has a drug trafficking past.
And so Tuesday we learned from Big Papi’s wife that Ortiz had taken his first steps after undergoing a second surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, though Ortiz will be in intensive care “for a while,” according to a spokesman, and no further details on the extent of his injuries has been released as I go to post.
We did learn that police in the Dominican Republic charged Eddy Feliz Garcia with “attempted homicide” and “criminal association” in connection to the shooting. Garcia claims he was not the one who pulled the trigger, according to ABC News.
Police said they are still looking for at least one more suspect, with Ortiz telling the spokesman he didn’t think it was a robbery attempt.
--Monday was an awful weather day in New York, as you saw from the fatal helicopter crash atop a midtown Manhattan office building that hit the national airwaves that afternoon. I was following the radar all day, in anticipation of Mets-Yankees at the Stadium, but thought there was no way it would be played, and it was indeed canceled, necessitating Tuesday’s day/night doubleheader.
But the Yankees didn’t call the game until 6:45 PM, 20 minutes before game time, which means thousands had already entered the ballpark, having paid oodles for parking, for one, while purchasing greatly overpriced food, money the Yankees won’t be returning.
Well the Mets and Yanks split the twin bill, the Yankees taking the first 12-5, the Mets returning the favor 10-4 in the nightcap. Fans of either team certainly got their fill yesterday. I think I missed all of one inning.
--In this year of the juiced ball, or whatever it is (like no seams), on consecutive days we had two big events in terms of home-run statistics.
In Sunday’s Nationals-Padres game at Petco Park, Washington slugged back-to-back-to-back-to-back home runs in the eighth inning, part of a 5-2 win.
The four consecutive homers represented just the ninth time that has happened in major league history – Howie Kendrick, Trea Turner, Adam Eaton and Anthony Rendon, all coming against former Nationals reliever Craig Stammen. No word on how well, or not, Mr. Stammen slept Sunday night. None of them were cheapies...421, 425, 402 and 391 feet.
The damage was done on seven pitches.
The Nationals are now the only team to do this twice.
Then on Monday, Arizona and Philadelphia combined to hit a record 13 home runs, the Diamondbacks with a team-record eight in that little bandbox in Philly, Citizens Bank Park, Phillies starter Jerad Eickhoff yielding three taters in a row, the first three hitters of the game (Dyson, Marte, Peralta) to get things started.
--Elsewhere, on Monday the Rays defeated the A’s 6-2 in Tampa Bay, as Charlie Morton threw seven scoreless to improve to 8-0, 2.10.
The Red Sox lost to the Rangers in Fenway, 4-3, though Chris Sale threw seven innings, 0 earned, fanning 10.
--With less than half the season complete, we already have three runaway division leaders, the Astros, Twins, and Dodgers. But the other three divisions look promising in terms of tense September races.
New York 41-25
Tampa Bay 41-25
Boston 34-34...8...so much for the Trump Bump
New York 33-34...5
St. Louis 33-32...4
--In the NCAA Baseball Tournament, the field is set for the College World Series in Omaha beginning this weekend, and the No. 1 overall seed UCLA Bruins are not one of the eight. UCLA lost to third-seeded Michigan 4-2 in the decisive third game of the Los Angeles super regional Sunday night, after the Bruins had already survived four previous elimination games this postseason.
So to complete the super-regional action:
1 Vandy over 3 Duke
1 Texas Tech over 1 Oklahoma State
1 Louisville over 1 East Carolina...drat
1 Mississippi State over 1 Stanford
1 Arkansas over Ole Miss
2 Auburn over 1 North Carolina
3 Florida State over 1 LSU
There are now two brackets...one containing Florida State, Arkansas, Michigan and Texas Tech. The other Vanderbilt, Louisville, Mississippi State and Auburn.
The winners of each bracket then play for the title in a best-of-three.
Try to catch some of it. Mets fans, Mississippi State outfielder Jake Mangum was our fourth round selection the other day in the draft, so worth following. He’s 23, and the SEC’s all-time hits leader, and supposedly just a year or two away from making the big-league roster.
--And one last note on baseball drafts. Johnny Mac sent me one on the 2009 edition.
Stephen Strasburg was the first overall pick, with Mike Trout 25th.* [The Mets’ Zack Wheeler was the sixth overall selection by the Giants.]
Nolan Arenado, Jason Kipnis, DJ LeMahieu and Patrick Corbin went in the second.
Will Myers and Kyle Seager in the third.
Brandon Belt in the fifth.
Dallas Keuchel and Khris Davis in the 7th.
Paul Goldschmidt, Brian Dozier, round 8.
Matt Carpenter round 13.
Scooter Gennett in the 16th.
JD Martinez in round 20, pick No. 611.
But it’s interesting to go back to Trout’s start in the minors. After the June draft in ’09, he played at two levels in the Angels’ farm system, hitting just one home run in 179 at-bats, though he batted .352 in the rookie league and then A-ball. He also didn’t turn 18 until that August!
He then hit .341 in 2010 at two levels of A-ball.
At the end of 2011, he had earned a cup of coffee with the big-league club, but hit only .220 in 123 at-bats.
And then in 2012, he started out the year at AAA Salt Lake City, hit .403 in 20 games, and the Angels were like, ‘Now it’s time.’
Boom...Mike Trout is called up for good; still just 20 years old and, to me, what was most impressive is he scored 129 runs in 139 games that first season. [Which remains the most runs he’s had in any season.]
But to go back to the draft and forget Strasburg, who deserved his No. 1 overall selection, you had 23 players then selected ahead of Trout.
So ya never know, boys and girls. Go Jake Mangum.
But wait...one more draft story. Jesse Yomtov had a piece in USA TODAY’s Sports Weekly on the best player taken at every spot from 1-30, the major league draft not starting until 1965.
1. Alex Rodriguez, 1993
2. Reggie Jackson, 1966
3. Robin Yount, 1973
4. Barry Larkin, 1985
5. Buster Posey, 2008
6. Barry Bonds, 1985
7. Clayton Kershaw, 2006
10. Mark McGwire, 1984
11. Max Scherzer, 2006
But get this. Mr. Yomtov has a player at 18 rather familiar to some of us.
18. Willie Wilson, 1974! Yomtov writes: “Not a household name, but Wilson ranks 12th with 668 steals and hit .285 in his 19-year career.”
Wilson would have been in the top three or so selections that year if so many teams didn’t think he was going to Maryland to play football under coach Jerry Claiborne. The Royals gambled and won.
23. Christian Yelich, 2010
25. You know who.
And then get this....
29. George Brett, 1971
30. Mike Schmidt, 1971
Yes, Brett and Schmidt were taken back-to-back by the Royals and Phillies in the 1971 amateur draft. Remarkable.
I’m pumped...you should be too...a beautiful, familiar venue and some of the best in the sport coming into the Open playing well, whether it’s Rory, DJ, Koepka...even Spieth has been playing much better. Plus a fellow by the name of Tiger Woods.
The DraftKings/SportsBook odds have:
Rory 8 ½ - 1
Brooks 9 ½ - 1
Patrick Cantlay 20-1...amazing how he shot up on the ‘respect meter’
Simpson 30-1 ...Go Deacs!
I haven’t placed a player bet, though for the good of the game I’d love Rory to be holding the trophy Sunday, if it isn’t Webb Simpson!
As for PGA champion and Masters’ runner-up Brooks Koepka, he already has a chip on his shoulder over Fox Sports snubbing him in one of their television promos (though he’s part of three of them).
In his Tuesday press conference, Koepka also weighed in on the USGA concerning and course setup:
“Yeah, I mean, I guess the only reason they’re complaining...I mean, everybody has got to play the same golf course. So it really doesn’t make a difference...if you put it in the fairway and you hit every green, there’s really no problem, is there?
“So obviously they’re not doing what they’re supposed to do. So they’re not playing good enough. If they put it in the fairway, you shouldn’t have to complain about the rough. You hit the greens and you hit it close, you shouldn’t have to complain about the greens.
“I’ve just never been one to complain, make excuses. It doesn’t matter.”
By the way, Koepka said of the course set-up at Pebble:
“The rough is definitely going to be a factor... It’s very, very thick. Very juicy. You’ve got to put the ball in the fairways. Not many drivers here. I don’t need driver that much, maybe four times this week. These greens are so small, you can almost put it in the center of every green and have 20 feet, no matter where the flag stick is. It really comes down to who’s going to make putts.”
--The U.S. Women opened defense of their World Cup title with a record 13-0 annihilation of Thailand, Alex Morgan with five goals. I don’t have a problem with the girls running it up, but tone down some of the celebrations, will ya?
--Joey Logano won the rain-delayed Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway Monday, second of the year, 23rd of his career, besting Kurt Busch and Martin Truex Jr.
It was another win for Team Penske.
--After I posted last night I learned that the number of thoroughbred fatalities at Santa Anita since Dec. 26 had reached 29 after two more deaths over the weekend, with Senator Dianne Feinstein renewing her call for the immediate suspension of racing at the track.
California’s Horse Racing Board also asked for the track to close for the remainder of the meeting – just six days.
This makes for six deaths in just 23 days.
But the CHRB doesn’t have the authority to suspend a license or move races...yet. There is a bill working its way through the California legislature that would allow the CHRB to enact emergency measures and, after a vote, call for a track’s temporary closure.
Feinstein’s points out, “This isn’t an isolated year for Santa Anita. During the ’17-18 season, 44 horses died; during the ’16-17 season 64 horses died; and during the 2015-16 season, 62 horses died.
“That’s 199 dead horses at one track in four racing seasons. Something is seriously wrong – whether it’s the track itself or problems with training and medication. No one seems to know, yet training and racing continues.”
Santa Anita, along with the Thoroughbred Owners of California and the California Thoroughbred Trainers, issued a statement late Sunday night, saying in part:
“After extensive consultation among all partners, Santa Anita will stay open through the end of its meet to see these reforms through.”
The track is referring to medication and protocol changes that are in effect at Santa Anita and meant to change public perception about the sport; with one of the reforms being the elimination of the use of Lasix, but experts show no correlation between Lasix and breakdowns.
--Mark R., Philadelphia sports expert, says Jets fans should be very happy with the hiring of Joe Douglas to be their new GM as, to many, Douglas was the brains behind most of the Eagles’ moves over the last three seasons as in, heck, they won a Super Bowl.
--Lionel Messi has topped Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid athletes, with soccer players dominating in 2019.
The Barcelona superstar earned $127 million this past year in a combination of salary and endorsements, $18 million more than second-place Cristiano Ronaldo.
Neymar, facing a serious rape charge these days, is third.
Ronaldo made the most in endorsements, $44 million, between the three.
1. Messi $127 million
2. Ronald $109m
3. Neymar $105m
4. Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, boxer: $94m
5. Roger Federer $93.4m
6. Russell Wilson $89.5m
7. Aaron Rodgers $89.3m
8. LeBron James $89m
9. Stephen Curry $79.8m
10. Kevin Durant $65.4m
--Phil W. just sent me a note that Wake Forest signed the national Gatorade Player of the Year for high school soccer, attacking midfielder Omar Hernandez out of Dalton, Georgia. Go Deacs! He may only be around one year, but if he brings us a national title.....
Top 3 songs for the week 6/12/76: #1 “Silly Love Songs” (Wings) #2 “Get Up And Boogie (That’s Right)” (Silver Convention) #3 “Misty Blue” (Dorothy Moore)...and...#4 “Love Hangover” (Diana Ross) #5 “Happy Days” (Pratt & McClain) #6 “Shannon” (Henry Gross... song about former Cardinals third baseman Mike Shannon...or was it Shannon Sharpe...very confused...) #7 “Sara Smile” (Daryl Hall & John Oates...one of my two faves of theirs, the other “She’s Gone”...) #8 “Shop Around” (Captain & Tennille) #9 “More, More, More” (Andrea True Connection...one of the 2 or 3 disco songs that holds up OK...) #10 “Fool To Cry” (The Rolling Stones...music is on the verge of total blowdom as I finish up a solid high school career, expecting college to be a cakewalk...but I hadn’t discovered beer yet...and, well, you know...)
US Open Quiz Answer: Winner and runner-up, plus winning score, for each of the past four Opens at Pebble Beach.
1982 – Tom Watson -6 (Jack Nicklaus -4)
1992 – Tom Kite -3 (Jeff Sluman -1)
2000 – Tiger Woods -12 (Ernie Els +3)...still amazing to think about
2010 – Graeme McDowell E (Gregory Havret +1)*
*If you got Havret, you’re damn good, because I certainly wouldn’t have. I mean this guy had a few wins years earlier in Europe and never did anything in the U.S. except for this single tournament...and then he quickly disappeared.
Meanwhile, this was also the tournament where Dustin Johnson led by 3 over McDowell heading into the final round and shot 82.
But with the scores, you can see how it all depends on the weather and how the USGA sets it up. But -3 could be a winning score. And it’s supposed to be a be chilly weather week, but no significant rain last I looked.
1969 Mets cont’d....
The Mets took their 10-game winning streak to San Francisco for two with the Giants and the weather must have sucked (as in cold and damp for Candlestick) because the crowds wre 6,038 and 3,935.
June 10: Mets win 9-4, as Tommie Agee had four hits, including two home runs (Nos. 8 and 9) and 3 RBIs, while Cleon Jones slammed a 3-run homer, his eighth. Mets starter Don Cardwell was the recipient going 8 1/3 for just his second win of the season, 2-6, despite a solid 3.05 ERA. Plus Cardwell went 3-for-3 at the plate. Ron Taylor got a save. So the winning streak is eleven!
June 11: And then it ended, as all good things must, 7-2; Gary Gentry and Tug McGraw getting hit hard.
But the story of this one was Gaylord Perry (9-5, 2.33) who threw a complete game for San Fran.
Perry was at odds with home plate umpire Doug Harvey all game. As Joe Trimble wrote for the Daily News:
“Harvey spent much of the day looking for the grease the Jint righthander was supposed to use on the ball. Under a new edict by NL prexy Warren Giles, the pitcher can be ejected if he is doctoring up the ball, in the ump’s judgment. Harvey threw three balls out of the game but not the pitcher.
“In New York on May 31, manager Gil Hodges noticed some sort of clear jelly on the balls thrown by Perry and gave the plate umpire Frank Secory a five-minutes lecture about it but was told that nothing could be done about it as the league office would not back them up.”
Well, the Metsies are now 29-24, looking to start a new winning streak with a weekend set in Los Angeles.
Next Bar Chat, Monday....Happy Father’s Day!!!