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Yanks Take Game One...Nationals Up Two
[Posted Sun. p.m., prior to Yanks-Astros Game 2]
LSU Football Quiz: The Tigers won the 2007 BCS title. Name the quarterback, top running back, and the two receivers with 50 or more receptions. Answers below.
--Yankees fans were curious how the team would set the roster for the ALCS, and outfielder Aaron Hicks, who last played Aug. 3 and was placed on the 60-day IL due to a flexor strain in his right elbow, is one of five outfielders the Yanks will carry. The Yankees set the dubious record of placing 30 players on the injured list during the regular season.
But now they are getting healthy, and lefty CC Sabathia also made the roster (the Yanks opting to carry 13 pitchers), after missing the division series against the Twins with a sore left shoulder.
The odd men out were utilityman Tyler Wade and first baseman Luke Voit, who were on the ALDS roster.
The Astros lined up their top three, all righties, with Zack Greinke in Game 1, followed by Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole in Games 2 and 3.
So in Game 1 last night at Houston’s Minute Maid Park, the Yankees dominated, 7-0, behind the pitching of Masahiro Tanaka and the hitting of budding superstar Gleyber Torres. Tanaka faced the minimum 18 batters, yielding just one hit in six innings. Every New York area sports fan knows that Tanaka has a history of being clutch in the postseason and he didn’t disappoint Saturday, moving his career mark to 5-2, 1.32 ERA in seven starts. [Tanaka is the first pitcher in major league history to permit two or fewer runs in his first seven postseason starts.]
As for Torres, he had three hits, a double, homer, and five RBIs, another Gleyber Day, as we say in these parts. You can’t help but like the 22-year-old. He’s exuberant, comes up with one big hit after another, and he’s terrific with the press. He’s on the verge of owning Gotham if he keeps it up.
For Houston, starter Zack Greinke was OK, six innings, three runs, but he gave up homers to Torres and Giancarlo Stanton in the sixth as New York upped its lead to 3-0.
Sunday night it’s James Paxton vs. Verlander.
--The Washington Nationals took the first two of their NLCS against the Cardinals in St. Louis, 2-0 and 3-1. In the opener Friday night, the fourth Washington starter, Anibal Sanchez, carried a no-hit bid into the eighth inning, helped by an outstanding diving catch by first baseman Ryan Zimmerman for the first out in the inning, but pinch-hitter Jose Martinez singled cleanly to center with two down and Sean Doolittle came in for the last four outs. Howie Kendrick had two more big hits for the Nats after his dramatic 10th-inning grand slam against the Dodgers in Game 5 of the NLDS.
Saturday, the Nats rode Max Scherzer’s seven scoreless, 11 Ks, to a 3-1 victory; Adam Eaton with a two-run double in the eighth, and just like that the series is 2-0 heading back to D.C.
Thomas Boswell / Washington Post...on how Washington sports fans don’t get enough love for their baseball futility.
“Cubs or Red Sox fans, any fans you want to mention – none approach the 118 years of bad road D.C. has endured at the hands of baseball. Our problem: We keep coming back for more cream pies in the face because, apparently, we refuse to stop loving the game. The sad Cubs went 108 years between World Series wins. That’s pain. But at least they had a team all 108 years. Part of the reason they went so long between titles is that they lost seven World Series along the way.
“The Red Sox went 86 years between World Series wins. But in that span, they had 48 teams with records over .500, eight of them over .600, and went to the postseason 10 teams. They didn’t win the World Series, but they had baseball – and generally good baseball – every year.
“I’m a native Washingtonian, lived here all my life. My old baseball cards begin with some from the Bowman set of 1955... Do you know how many winning major league teams D.C. had from the time I became conscious of the sport until the Nats finally became good in 2012?
“In 56 years, the answer is one.
“One winning team by the time I turned 64.... When people who are eligible for Social Security have seen only one winning baseball team in their lives, that ought to kill every iota of their baseball interest 10 times over.
“But the first year that baseball came back to D.C. in 2005, in that decrepit, rodent-infested RFK Stadium, the team drew 2,731,993 fans.
“Do you know the first year that the New York Yankees ever drew that many people? Try 1998.
“Don’t you think those of us who live in the Washington area are normal folks? Are we not fans? Do we not hold our heads in our hands when we must wait 33 years – 33 years of lobbying, begging, forming ownership groups and proposing ballpark plans – to get back a franchise in a town that was home to one of the founding franchises in 1901?”
--So we have to go back to the big Washington win in the NLDS against the Dodgers in L.A., once again, Clayton Kershaw the postseason bum.
Bill Plaschke / Los Angeles Times
“This is not real. This cannot be happening.
“The Dodgers did not just collapse all over October again. The Dodgers did not just blow another season with their Hall of Fame pitcher crumbling again. The Dodgers did not just extend a 31-year championship drought with boneheaded bullpen decisions by their manager again.
“Yes, they did. Good Lord, they did.
“The nightmare that never ends continued in its most fitful, frightful fashion yet Wednesday at the October house of horrors known as Dodger Stadium surrounded by the postseason demons that have inhabited Clayton Kershaw and Dave Roberts.
“In the fifth and deciding game of the National League Division Series against the Washington Nationals, the Dodgers held a 3-1 lead in the eighth inning with the ball inexplicably in Keshaw’s hands. Three pitches and two blasted home runs later, the game was tied.
“Two innings after that, with the ball equally inexplicably in the hands of reliever Joe Kelly, a 10th-inning grand slam by the Nationals’ Howie Kendrick finished it.
“In front of a booing crowd that had been earlier stunned into silence, the Dodgers’ season ended in a 7-3 defeat that marked the worst collapse in their current seven-year postseason run.
“No, seriously, this was bad. This was really, really, really bad.
“ ‘Disappointing is an understatement,’ Roberts said.
“They win a club record 106 games over six months, and their championship hopes end in less than a week.
“They have arguably their best team in the last 31 years and overwhelm the mediocre National League for the entire season, yet when they finally play a game that matters, they lose their minds.
“They tease their loyal fans with seemingly their best chance at breaking their World Series championship dry spell (Ed. 1988), yet those fans end the game staring in shock at a pile of Nationals dancing and hugging on the field....
“This was the worst because the Dodgers had the lead, and momentum from a brilliant 6 2/3 from Walker Buehler, and power from two home runs off the formidable Stephen Strasburg in the game’s first two innings.
“This was the worst because when the eighth inning began, Chavez Ravine was rocking, the Nationals were reeling and the Dodger bullpen was filled with rested and reliable relievers and the doggone game should have been over....
“But Kershaw was on the mound. What was Kershaw doing on the mound?
“Kershaw had replaced Buehler with two out in the seventh inning in a move that initially made sense. There were runners on first and second and lefty Adam Eaton was at the plate. Kershaw, despite his awful history of postseason starts, has a career 1.98 ERA out of the bullpen.
“One batter, that makes sense, and when he struck out Eaton on three pitches and howled, it seemed like he had been the perfect pitcher in the perfect spot.
“But then he came back out in the eighth even though the nearly unhittable Kenta Maeda was warm and ready. He came back out, and lasted about five minutes.
“Kershaw threw three pitches, and two of them were blasted into next week.”
Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto went deep, game tied. Kershaw walked off the field in shame.
It was only the second time in his career that Kershaw allowed home runs on consecutive pitches. The other time was, fittingly, in the playoffs. He now has a 4.43 postseason ERA.
“While the Nationals advance to the NL Championship Series by winning their first postseason series in franchise history, Roberts and his team will spend the rest of the winter facing the answer to a question that has now plagued Dodger fans for 31 years and counting.
“How on Earth could they have blown it again?”
Kershaw said after when asked how long it will take to get over this latest disappointment, “I’ve had to do it so much, I don’t know. It might linger for a while. I might not get over it. I don’t know.”
As for Dave Roberts’ status, he is coming back as he has three years remaining on his contract. The Dodgers are 393-256 (.606) during the regular season but only 25-22 in the playoffs with him at the helm, but he did take L.A. to the World Series in both 2017 and 2018, where they then fell to the Astros and Red Sox.
--As for Game 5 of Braves-Cardinals to decide the Nationals’ opponent in the NLCS, in one of the more absurd postseason developments in baseball history, St. Louis unleashed a playoff record 10-run first inning that took all the suspense away before the Braves even came up to bat.
St. Louis would win it 13-1, Jack Flaherty with a solid six-inning effort as the Cards’ starter.
--Eric Kay, the Los Angeles Angels’ director of communications, told federal investigators that he provided oxycodone to Tyler Skaggs and abused it with him for years, and that two team officials were told about Skaggs’ drug use long before his death, according to ESPN.com’s T.J. Quinn.
Kay’s attorney confirmed the details of Kay’s statements, given in separate meetings with DEA agents in Dallas and Los Angeles in late September.
Skaggs died in a Southlake, Texas, hotel room on July 1 from choking on his own vomit, according to the local medical examiner. He was 27.
Skaggs’ autopsy, released Aug. 30, found evidence of fentanyl, oxycodone and alcohol in his system.
Kay told investigators he illegally obtained six oxycodone pills and gave three to Skaggs a day or two before the team left California for the road trip to Texas, according to two sources.
Kay’s mother, reached by ESPN’s “Outside the Lines,” said her son started abusing opioids a few years after his father died in 1998. Eric Kay is on paid leave from the Angels.
--Finally, the winningest pitcher in the history of Japanese professional baseball, Masaichi Kaneda, died the other day at the age of 86. Kaneda was the all-time leader in Japan in strikeouts, with 4,490, and innings pitched with 5,526 2/3. He won exactly 400.
Kaneda won three versions of Japan’s Cy Young Award, and pitched two no-hitters. “With an effectively erratic fastball and a looping curveball,” he was considered Japan’s answer to Warren Spahn. [Ken Belson / New York Times]
Kaneda, who spent most of his years with the woeful Tokyo Yakult Swallows (formerly Kokutetsu Swallows), also lost a record 298 games, while walking 1,808, another record.
At least Kaneda spent his final five seasons with the Tokyo Yomiuri Giants, whose record string of nine consecutive titles started with Kaneda’s arrival in 1965.
College Football Review
[Comments written prior to release of the new AP Poll.]
We’ll have a shakeup in the top ten after this weekend’s action.
Nos. 1 and 2, Alabama and Clemson, will stay the same, ‘Bama defeating 24 Texas A&M (3-3) 47-28 to go to 6-0, as Tua Tagovailoa threw for six touchdown passes (now holding the career school record in this category), but also his first interception! As in he has 27 TD passes and now a lone pick.
2 Clemson is 6-0 and looked like its old self in whipping Florida State (3-3) 45-14, as Trevor Lawrence threw for three touchdowns, while running back Travis Etienne had his best game since the season opener, 17 carries for 127 yards.
But then we had a huge upset as South Carolina (3-3) beat No. 3 Georgia (5-1) 20-17 in double overtime. Both coaches made highly-questionable decisions at the end of regulation, and in the end, Georgia’s superb placekicker, Rodrigo Blankenship, couldn’t connect in the second OT to keep the game going.
It was the Gamecocks’ first win against a top 25 team in five years, and the first against a top five opponent in decades, if I heard it right.
So coupled with 5 LSU’s 42-28 win over 7 Florida (6-1), LSU could vault into the three slot, No. 4 Ohio State idle this weekend. The Tigers (6-0) were once again led by Heisman candidate Joe Burrow, who was a cool 21/24, 293, 3-0. Clyde Edwards-Helaire helped out with 134 yards on the ground and two touchdowns.
LSU was down 28-21, then scored the next 21 for the big ‘W’.
Meanwhile, 6 Oklahoma won its Red River shootout over 11 Texas (4-2) 34-27 to move to 6-0 and stay very much in the CFP conversation. Jalen Hurts threw three touchdown passes for the Sooners, while rushing for 121 yards and another score, and receiver CeeDee Lamb toyed with the Longhorns’ defense (who tackled like a bunch of second graders), Lamb with 171 yards on 10 catches and three TDs.
The Sooners defense, on the other hand, sacked Texas QB Sam Ehlinger nine times as the poor guy was scrambling for his life the entire contest.
8 Wisconsin (6-0) pitched a 38-0 shutout over Michigan State (4-3), as the Badgers outgained the Spartans 402-149. Quarterback Jack Coan was rather efficient, 18/21, 180, 1-0, even as Jonathan Taylor was held in check, rushing it 26 times for just 80 yards, but two scores.
9 Notre Dame is 5-1 after their annual rivalry game against USC (3-3) in South Bend, 30-27. The Trojans were down 20-3 and rallied back to make a game of it (as alum Mark R. notes owing in no small part to Brian Kelly’s bonehead coaching decisions), but the Fighting Irish beat back the challenge, Tony James Jr. with 176 yards on the ground in 25 carries.
10 Penn State defeated 17 Iowa (4-2) 17-12 in Iowa City, the Nittany Lions moving to 6-0.
Friday night, No. 13 Oregon (5-1) beat Colorado (3-3) in Eugene 45-3, as looming first-rounder Justin Herbert threw for 261 yards and two touchdowns, marking the 34th straight game Herbert has had a touchdown pass. The Buffaloes’ Steven Montez threw four interceptions.
The Ducks have now won five in a row after an opening loss against Auburn.
And 20 Virginia (4-2) laid an egg at Miami (3-3) 17-9.
Elsewhere, nice win for Temple (5-1) over 23 Memphis (5-1) 30-28. Yet another gritty Owls squad.
And former Temple coach Matt Rhule has 22 Baylor at 6-0 after a 33-30 win in double overtime against Texas Tech (3-3).
Rutgers (1-5) continues to build its case for pulling the football program altogether, 35-0 losers at Indiana (4-2). It was the 16th straight loss in the Big Ten for the Scarlet Knights, who have been outscored 165-7 in their four conference games this year. Rutgers had one...one...net passing yard in the game and was outgained 557-75. That’s not a misprint. What upsets me is that the stench from campus is enveloping my town and we’re like 25 miles away.
But then there was 19 Wake Forest hosting Louisville Saturday night. I told you three things heading into this one. One, that our 19 ranking probably wasn’t deserved; two, that I was very leery of this game as this Louisville team is hardly like the pathetic 2018 edition, with first-year coach Scott Satterfield (formerly at Appalachian State), injecting a new attitude into the program; and, third, that for some unknown reason, Wake coach Dave Clawson was 0-6 with the Deacs after a bye week.
Make that 0-7 as Wake Forest quickly fell behind 28-7 thanks to a godawful effort on the part of the Demon Deacons’ kick return coverage, and Wake was forced to battle back time and again, finally falling short 62-59 in a shootout for the ages, the second-highest scoring game in ACC history. I hung with this one to the bitter end, while it looked like 80% of the fans in the stands exited at the end of the third quarter.
Wake alternated Jamie Newman and Sam Hartman at quarterback, as Newman dealt with a shoulder injury, and the two combined for 423 yards and five touchdowns, receivers Sage Surratt (12-196-3) and Kendall Hinton (13-134) with valiant efforts in defeat.
Wake outgained Louisville (4-2) 668-520, but gave up 280 yards in the return game, including a 100-yard kickoff return and a 50-yard punt return. That was the difference.
Or as Dave Clawson put it after: “Our special teams were atrocious tonight. All year, I thought we’ve been a focused, disciplined football team. Tonight we were not. Our focus to come into the football game was awful.”
I do have to add that Wake (5-1) probably recovered the last onside kick, Clawson exasperated it went the other way, but as Tony Soprano would have said upon reflection, “Whaddya gonna do?” The referee ruled Cardinals’ ball and it was not overturned on review.
Bottom line, Wake, with a win, would have had the chance for a truly special season, but now I’ll be satisfied with 7-5 and hopefully a tough bowl opponent.
Then again...if we beat Florida State next weekend....
And now the new AP Poll!
1. Alabama (30) 6-0
2. LSU (12) 6-0...surprised ahead of Clemson
3. Clemson (11) 6-0
4. Ohio State (9) 6-0
5. Oklahoma 6-0
6. Wisconsin 6-0
7. Penn State 6-0
8. Notre Dame 5-1
9. Florida 6-1
10. Georgia 5-1
11. Auburn 5-1
12. Oregon 5-1...quack quack
14. Boise State 6-0...Group of Five, New Year’s Six clear leader
18. Baylor 6-0
19. SMU 6-0
20. Minnesota 6-0...good story
24. Appalachian State 5-0...ditto
Awful schedule this coming week, though we’ll see if Louisville puts a scare into Clemson, and how Penn State handles 16 Michigan.
--Thursday night in Foxborough, the Giants lost to the Patriots 35-14 as quarterback Daniel Jones struggled again, 15/31, 161, 1-3, 35.2, after guiding the Giants to two wins in his first two starts as a pro. New England forced four turnovers in all, but the Giants played feisty defense for much of the contest, the Pats up only 21-14 in the fourth before pulling away.
--In London today (Tottenham Stadium), the Panthers improved to 4-2 with a 37-26 win over the Bucs (2-4) as Jameis Winston had another awful day on the turnover front, five interceptions, despite throwing for 400 yards, Tampa Bay with seven TOs overall, which Carolina parlayed into 17 points. Kyle Allen improved to 5-0 as a starter in the NFL, playing an efficient QB, 20/32, 227, 2-0, 104.6; Allen continuing to sub for the injured Cam Newton.
Back in the States, Seattle improved to 5-1 with a 32-28 win at Cleveland (2-4) as Russell Wilson continued his sterling play, 23/33, 295, 2-0, 117.6, plus another TD rushing. Chris Carson added 124 yards and a score on the ground for Seattle, while Baker Mayfield, admittedly playing hurt, threw three interceptions, negating Nick Chubb’s 122 yards, two touchdown rushing effort.
Kansas City (4-2) has shockingly lost two straight, both at home, as Houston (4-2) beat the Chiefs 31-24, Deshaun Watson with 280 yards and a TD, plus two rushing touchdowns, though he threw two picks. The Texans did a sterling job controlling the ball, Carlos Hyde with 116 yards rushing on 26 carries, Houston doubling up K.C. in time of possession, 40:00-20:00.
As in if you keep Patrick Mahomes (three touchdown passes) off the field, you have a shot. Houston had a whopping 35 first downs.
The Jekyll and Hyde Vikings had no problem with the Eagles, 38-20, to improve to 4-2, as Minnesota can compete with anyone if Kirk Cousins is on and he was today, 22/29, 333, 4-1, 138.4...receiver Stefon Diggs with a huge 7-167-3 afternoon.
Philadelphia dropped to 3-3.
Baltimore is 4-2 after a 23-17 win over the 0-6 Bengals, Cincy with a mere 33 yards rushing, while Ravens QB Lamar Jackson passed for 236, but ran for 152* and a score. It’s that dimension of his game that has any good football fan just wanting the Ravens in the playoffs for the excitement factor. At least you should, by god. [OK, Pittsburgh fans are allowed to boo my statement. I can take it.]
*It turns out Jackson’s 152 rushing was the fourth most by a quarterback in NFL history, and he became the first player to record at least 200 yards passing and 150 yards rushing in a regular-season game.
In a hideous game, the Saints (5-1) beat the Jaguars (2-4) 13-6 as Teddy Bridgewater, still in place of Drew Brees, did enough to win, while the Jags’ Gardner Minshew II had his comeuppance, 14/29, 163, 0-1, 51.4.
And in a game for the ages, 0-5 Washington went down to Miami to play the 0-4 Dolphins, tickets going for over $1,000....or was it $10.
It ended up being kind of exciting as Ryan Fitzpatrick, in place of Miami starter Josh Rosen, who was hideous (two picks, five sacks, 32.9 PR), rallied the Dolphins from down 17-3 in the fourth. But after the second Miami TD with 0:06 left, the Dolphins went for two and the win and were stopped.
Adrian Peterson had 118 yards rushing for the Redskins as interim coach Bill Callahan promised to emphasize the ground game.
This was one of those games I’m not sure you really wanted to win, see the Tua (or Justin Herbert) sweepstakes.
Then in the 4:00 games...Jets quarterback Sam Darnold, held out of last Sunday’s game against the Eagles as he continued to recover from Mono, said in the past few days that he felt more prepared than ever because up until a day or so before, he was ready to play...as in he felt very ready for today’s contest at MetLife Stadium against Dallas.
And Darnold and the Jets came out firing, New York shocking the Cowboys by jumping out to a 21-6 halftime lead, Darnold 13/18, 218, 2-0, 149.8, including a 92-yarder to Robby Anderson.
But it was a different Dallas team in the second half and Dak Prescott and Co. methodically came back, with a chance to tie it at 24-24 in the final minute, only the Jets stopped the 2-point conversation attempt, Jets win their first of the year, 24-22.
Dallas falls to 3-3, as no doubt the Jason Garrett rumors will start up all over again.
Darnold finished 23/32, 338, 2-1, 113.8; a helluva first game back. There is a reason to watch the Jets again, at least to see his development.
San Francisco is now 5-0 as they stifled the Rams (3-3) 20-7. Once again L.A. quarterback Jared Goff sucked wind, 13/24, 78, 0-0, 60.8. Boy, Rams fans have to be worried sick. The guy just gets an All-World contract and it’s been one choke job after another.
Granted, today the 49ers defense had something to do with it, holding the Rams to just 165 yards of total offense.
In a wild one in Glendale, Ariz., the Cardinals (2-3-1) held on for a 34-33 win over Atlanta (1-5), despite a superb effort from Falcons QB Matt Ryan...30/36, 356, 4-0, 144.9. It’s just with the score 34-33 at the end, Atlanta kicker Matt Bryant missed the tying extra point attempt.
Kyler Murray threw for 340 yards and three touchdowns, 128.2 PR, easily his best effort to date.
--Last time I noted that Redskins tight end Jordan Reed, a key component to the offense, has been dealing with one injury after another over the years, including multiple concussions, and now he is out for the season because of a concussion he suffered in the third preseason game after a helmet-to-helmet hit by Atlanta Falcons safety Keanu Neal.
Because this was Reed’s seventh concussion since he started playing college football, there are very real concerns his career is over.
In six seasons, he never played more than 14 games, the exception 2015, when he caught 87 passes for 952 yards and 11 touchdowns. Now we just him well.
--No Premier League action this weekend owing to international play and European Championship qualifying.
--Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge made sports history on Saturday when he became the first person to run a marathon in under two hours, 1:59:40, at Vienna’s Prater Park on a cool and windless autumnal morning.
Kipchoge had said the day before he was confident he could do it, but it’s important to note up front that the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) won’t recognize the run as an official record because it was not in open competition, as it used seven-man teams of pacesetters, many of themselves renowned athletes, and an electric pacecar that shone green lasers onto the track for the best route. IAAF president Sebastian Coe, however had welcomed the record attempt.
The run was organized and funded by the British chemical company INEOS and dubbed the INEOS 1.59 challenge, as it was Kipchoge’s second attempt to break the barrier in such a fashion, having missed out by 26 seconds in Monza two years ago.
He ran at a 4:33.5 minutes per mile pace, 11 seconds ahead of schedule, halfway through his run.
Regardless of whether it is recognized, Kipchoge is the first. He compared himself to Roger Bannister, the first man to break the four-minute mile barrier in 1954.
“I am feeling good, after (Bannister) it took another 65 years to make history. Now I’ve gone under two hours to inspire other people and show the world that nobody is limited,” Kipchoge said.
He has won 10 of his 11 marathons, including the Gold at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
What is really cool is the impact of Kipchoge’s effort in Kenya, where they set up a big screen in Nairobi for everyone to watch. There were celebrations in the running mecca of Eldoret, called the home of champions.
So then today, in the Chicago Marathon, Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei eclipsed the 16-year-old women’s marathon world record held by Britain’s Paul Radcliffe, the 25-year-old recording a time of 2:14:04, easily besting Radcliffe’s 2:15:25 set at the London Marathon in 2003.
Only 22 runners in the men’s race finished faster than Kosgei, whose time would have been a men’s world record in 1964.
--Simone Biles won her fifth all-around world gold medal in Stuttgart, Germany, at the 2019 World Gymnastics Championships. In doing so, Biles helped lead the U.S. women to their fifth consecutive world team championship.
Then today, Biles broke the record for most medals by a gymnast at the world championships by winning the balance beam and floor exercise, 25 medals in all, breaking a tie with Belarusian men’s gymnast Vitaly Scherbo with her 24th.
Of Biles’ 25 medals, 19 are gold. 12 of Scherbo’s 23 were gold.
--American Conor Dwyer, a three-time Olympic medalist swimmer, received a 20-month suspension Friday after an arbitration panel concluded he had testosterone pellets inserted in his body.
Dwyer, 30, tested positive for an anabolic agent as the result of out-of-competition urine samples collected last year on three separate occasions, according to a news release by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
USADA said in part in its statement: “Anabolic agents have powerful performance-enhancing capabilities and can give an athlete an unfair advantage over fellow competitors.”
Dwyer tweeted a press release Friday, saying he had been following a doctor-prescribed medical treatment that he didn’t realize contained a banned substance – testosterone. Dwyer said “I would never knowingly violate anti-doping rules.” He added he was retiring from swimming.
--This was pretty incredible... “A toy fox terrier that disappeared from its family’s south Florida home in 2007 was found this week over a thousand miles away in Pittsburgh and reunited with its owner on Friday.
“The 14-year-old named Dutchess was found hungry, shivering and in serious need of a nail trim under a shed on Monday, according to Humane Animal Rescue.
“The property owner took the dog to a Humane Animal Rescue location, where staffers were able to locate a microchip and trace the dog back to its owners in Boca Raton, Florida.
“The dog’s owner, Katheryn Strang, drove all the way to Pittsburgh for an emotional reunion with Dutchess.”
Boca Raton is about 1,130 miles away. Strang said her son opened the door one day after school and Dutchess got out and they never saw her again. They were living in Orlando at the time, on a busy street, and assumed the dog was either hit or scooped up by someone.
But Strang paid the annual fee on the microchip and updated her contact information whenever she moved.
Oh, the stories Dutchess could tell.
Top 3 songs for the week 10/13/73: #1 “Half-Breed” (Cher) #2 “Ramblin Man” (The Allman Brothers Band) #3 “Let’s Get It On” (Marvin Gaye)...and...#4 “Higher Ground” (Stevie Wonder) #5 “Angie” (The Rolling Stones) #6 “That Lady” (Isley Brothers) #7 “Loves Me Like A Rock” (Paul Simon) #8 “Midnight Train To Georgia” (Gladys Knight & The Pips) #9 “Keep On Truckin’” (Eddie Kendricks) #10 “We’re An American Band” (Grand Funk...pretty good week, B+/A-....)
LSU Football Quiz Answers: The quarterback of the 2007 BCS title winner was Matt Flynn, who threw for 2,417 yards, 21 TDs and 11 INTs. The lead running back was Jacob Hester, 1,103 yards, 4.9 avg., and 12 touchdowns. The top two receivers were Early Doucet (57-525, 5 TDs) and Brandon Lafell (50-525-4).
LSU was 10-2 entering the SEC Championship game when they dispatched with Tennessee and then faced No. 1 Ohio State in the title game, winning 38-24.
Matt Flynn played in the NFL for seven seasons, but just 17 TDs, 11 INTs. He started only seven games in his career, but on Jan. 1, 2012, in Green Bay’s regular season finale, Flynn started in place of an injured Aaron Rodgers and was 31/44, 480 yards, and six touchdowns, as the Packers completed a 15-1 regular season with a 45-41 win over the Lions.
No one ever made more out of one game, Flynn then signing a three-year free agent contract with Seattle, $9 million guaranteed, though he played sparingly the rest of his career.
Jacob Hester played little in the NFL, while Early Doucet caught 139 passes in his five years at Arizona.
Brandon LaFell lasted nine seasons with New England, Carolina, Cincinnati and Oakland, snagging 406 passes with 31 TDs.
1969 Mets, cont’d....
The World Series is tied 1-1, the Mets gaining the split with the Orioles in Baltimore. Now the next three are at Shea Stadium, which will be rocking.
Game 3: In front of 56,335, the Mets shutout the Orioles 5-0 behind Gary Gentry (6 2/3) and Nolan Ryan (2 1/3). Tommie Agee led off the game for the Mets with a home run off Jim Palmer (6 innings, 4 earned), with Ed Kranepool adding a homer in the eighth.
But the big hit was in the second, when the light-hitting Gentry (like try 6-for-74, .081, in the regular season, one RBI) doubled in two off Palmer in the second for the 3-0 lead.
This was also the game where center fielder Agee saved the Mets’ bacon twice with two catches for the ages in the fourth and seventh off the bats of Elrod Hendricks and Paul Blair, the Orioles coming up scoreless when five runs, combined, could have scored on the two blasts into the power alleys. Just incredible stuff.
Game 4: 57,367 roared as Tom Seaver went all the way in a 10-inning, 2-1 win. Brooks Robinson’s sac fly in the top of the ninth tied it at 1-1, sending it to extra innings. [Donn Clendenon had homered back in the second off Orioles starter Mike Cuellar.]
But Brooks’ sac fly was far more than that. Baltimore had runners on first and third, one out, and he hit a sinking liner to right that outfielder Ron Swoboda made a swan dive for, glove outstretched across his body, and the ball disappeared into the glove. F. Robby scored easily from third, but it could have been a two-run double (just as Agee had saved the day twice the afternoon before).
So in the tenth, Jerry Grote led off with a double off Dick Hall (a misplayed fly ball by outfielder Don Buford), Rod Gaspar coming in to run for Grote. Al Weis was intentionally walked. And then lefty Pete Richert was sent in to face left-handed pinch-hitter J.C. Martin, who laid down a sac bunt that Richert then threw away, Gaspar scoring the winning run. The Mets are up 3-1...one game to go, they hope.
Game 5: The crowd inched up to 57,397, as a few more fans squeezed in somehow, and they weren’t disappointed. After the Mets had fallen behind 3-0 in the third, Baltimore pitcher Dave McNally with a two-run homer off Jerry Koosman, followed batters later by a solo shot off the bat of Frank Robinson, the Mets rallied back.
Donn Clendenon hit a two-run homer in the sixth off McNally*, Clendenon’s third of the series, and Al Weis tied it in the seventh with a solo shot off McNally.
*Cleon Jones scored on Clendenon’s shot, Jones having reached first on the famous shoe polish play, where Jones said he was hit in the right foot by a pitch from McNally, plate umpire Lou DiMuro said no, but manager Gil Hodges produced the ball and showed DiMuro the mark of shoe polish and that convinced DiMuro. He waved Cleon to first.
The Mets then went ahead in the eighth, Cleon Jones leading off with a double off reliever Eddie Watt. Two batters later, Ron Swoboda doubled home Jones, and then Swoboda would score on a double error (Boog Powell and Watt) to make it 5-3.
Jerry Koosman went all the way, inducing Davey Johnson to fly out to Jones in left to wrap it up, and the wild celebration was on. The Impossible Dream was reality.
It was a victory that as Ron Swoboda said after, “will give heart to every loser in America.”
Donn Clendenon was the Most Valuable Player with his three home runs, a fitting end for his rags-to-riches story. When the season started, he was working for an Atlanta pen company.
As an 11-year-old fanatic fan, I was one of those Mets faithful who cried tears of joy...for a long time. The Mets were the toast of the town, getting a big spot on The Ed Sullivan Show. They were also the toast of the sports world. It truly was a miracle and it came at an otherwise awful time for the country, and New York City, save for the Moon landing earlier in the summer.
But I can’t help but write this up and constantly think of Tom Terrific, suffering at home in California with dementia. We pray for you, Tom, as we remember the likes of Gil Hodges, Tommie Agee, Tug McGraw, Donn Clendenon and Ed Charles.
Thanks for the memories, 1969 Mets.
Next Bar Chat, Thursday.