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A Memorable Controversy
[Posted early Sun. p.m.]
MLB Quiz: Last Thursday, Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard accomplished something done only seven times before in the history of the game; pitching a shutout and hitting a home run for the only run scored... ‘Thor’ pitching the 1-0 gem over the Reds, while hitting his second home run of the season.
Of the other seven to achieve the feat, you have Bob Welch (1983), Juan Pizarro (1971), Spud Chandler (1938) and Gene Packard (1915). Name the other three, all Hall of Fame pitchers. [I’ll give you the years...1932, 1959, 1965.] Answer below.
I had to go to a friend’s 80th birthday party Saturday and was a little worried I would miss the race. I needn’t have, as Artie had a terrific TV room, with a huge screen. Surprisingly only about 15 of the 60 or so there were that interested.
So as I watched, I commented to my friend next to me that Maximum Security’s move off the final turn didn’t seem right...a foul. But the horse completed an exciting stretch run, I went back upstairs to join in the party, and it was only then I learned a half-hour later what had transpired.
I think it was the right call, especially as that was my reaction as it occurred. But I totally understand those who disagree.
Joe Drape / New York Times
“This has not been horse racings’ finest hour: dead horses at Santa Anita Park and consternation among horse people that they can treat their athletes better but have failed to do so. It’s little wonder then that the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday ended in astonishment, controversy and confusion.
“The Kentucky Derby, much like the Super Bowl, has become place to see and be seen. Celebrities and wealthy people are everywhere, making the weekend a party with a race as the main distraction. On Saturday, Maximum Security won America’s most famous race on the track. Until he didn’t. For the first time in the history of the race, the horse who crossed the finish line first was disqualified for interference and stripped of his title, before a stunned crowd of more than 150,000.
“By all appearances, Maximum Security had outrun the field, remaining unbeaten and giving a hard-knocking trainer from the Mid-Atlantic, Jason Servis, and his up-and-coming jockey, Luis Saez, their first Derby victories.
“But there was a problem – a big one. Maximum Security had jumped a puddle on the rain-soaked track and slid to the outside, not only impeding the progress of a rival, War of Will, but also forcing that colt’s rider, Tyler Gaffalione, to squeeze his knees and wrangle the reins just to stay aboard.
“So the racing stewards went to watch the video for five minutes, then 10 minutes, then nearly 22.
“ ‘Leave it to the racing gods,’ an increasingly anguished Servis said as he awaited the stewards’ decision.
“Not far away, Bill Mott, a Hall of Famer trainer, looked on placidly. His colt, Country House, had finished second. Mott was trackside and said on national television what horseplayers know, dread and curse on a regular basis.
“ ‘There was definitely a foul in the race,’ Mott said. ‘If this was a maiden claimer on a weekday the winner would come down.’
“Down came Maximum Security and up went Country House, a 65-1 improbable victor. It was not a popular decision, but it was a brave one that is certain to keep a battered old sport in the national consciousness for a little bit longer. Never before had a foul voided an apparent win at the Derby. One other horse has been stripped of victory: In 1968 a failed drug test led to the disqualification of Dancer’s Image days after the race, when Forward Pass was named the winner.
“This was the first Derby triumph for Mott, a horseman revered among his peers for being ‘half-horse,’ as it was for Flavien Prat, a Frenchman who is now based in California. He has learned his lessons well here because it was his objection that set off the video scrutiny and ultimately changed (and made) history.”
Maximum Security’s move barely affected Country House, despite Prat’s protest, but Mott put it better:
“It may have affected it slightly, but it affected two other horses dramatically,” he said, and he is right.
Barbara Borden, chief steward for the state of Kentucky, said upon making the decision:
“The riders of the 18 (Long Range Toddy) and 20 (Country House) horses in the Kentucky Derby lodged objections against the 7-horse (Maximum Security), the winner, due to interference turning for home leaving the ¼ pole. We had a lengthy review of the race. We interviewed affected riders. We determined that the 7-horse drifted out and impacted the progress of No. 1 (War of Will) in turn interfering with the 18 and 21 (Bodexpres). Those horses were all affected, we thought, by the interference. Therefore we unanimously determined to disqualify No. 7 and place him behind the No. 18 – the 18 being the lowest placed horse that he bothered, which is our typical procedure.”
As for Servis, he was about to join his brother John as the only brothers to train Derby champions, John Servis winning the race with Smarty Jones in 2004.
“I’m just trying to hold it together,” Servis said on television after he thought he had won.
Mott said: “It’s bittersweet,” a smile creeping into the corners of his mouth. “You always want to win with a clean trip and have the horse recognized as the great athlete that he is. So yeah, it diminishes it. I know they had a very tough decision. I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes. With all that said, I’m damn glad they put up our number.”
Dan Wolken / USA TODAY Sports
“Perhaps the most amazing part of horse racing’s decline into relative obscurity among major American sports is that it manages to still pack 150,000 people into Churchill Downs every year for the world’s biggest party on the first Saturday in May. It happens rain or shine, no matter how much they jack up ticket prices, regardless of how many $15 mint juleps it takes to get a comfortable buzz.
“And it only grows like that year after year apart from the sport’s typical sinkage for one reason – the Kentucky Derby is special.
“It’s less special today.
“Every now and then, the best horse in the Derby doesn’t win. It should never be robbed.
“The history books will say that long shot Country House was the 145th Kentucky Derby winner on Saturday. But anyone who watched and remembers the race years from now will know that Country House was little more than the recipient of an egregious decision by the racing stewards at Churchill Downs, who disqualified the horse that finished under the wire first and was much the best running 1-1/4 miles around the famed oval.
“That horse was Maximum Security, and now he’s the poster boy of the biggest controversy in the history of American horse racing – an outcome horse racing didn’t need amidst a months-long public relations debacle resulting from 23 horse fatalities in California over the winter, and, frankly, wasn’t warranted under the circumstances of the race.”
For the record, Country House was the second-highest payout in Derby history at $132.40 on a $2 bet. One individual on online horse racing site TwinSpires.com bet $2,500 on the colt, earning this lucky guy or gal $162,500. As Ronald Reagan would have said, ‘Not bad, not bad at all.’
But the real bottom line of Saturday’s chaotic action is that no horses were hurt. The sport moves on, at least for two more legs of the Triple Crown.
I don’t think the average sports fan really understands how quickly racing could die. It’s a political, and ethical, issue and just as California legislators have threatened to shut down Santa Anita, and racing overall in the state, the same could easily happen across the country.
Meanwhile, President Trump weighed in:
“The Kentucky Derby decision was not a good one. It was a rough and tumble race on a wet and sloppy track, actually, a beautiful thing to watch. Only in these days of political correctness could such an overturn occur. The best horse did NOT win the Kentucky Derby – not even close!”
One more...Bob Baffert’s horses, Improbable, Game Winner and Roadster, finished 4, 5, and 15.
*Some ugly stories on the sport’s future are hitting anew as I go to post....more next time.
Friday night, the Portland Trail Blazers and Denver Nuggets made history, the first four-overtime thriller in playoff history since 1953, Boston and Syracuse.
Portland pulled it out 140-137 behind the play of Rodney Hood, who came off the bench to score 19 points, seven in the fourth OT, his three with 17 seconds remaining the decider. The Trial Blazers’ CJ McCollum had 18 points overall in overtime, tying for the most in OT of a playoff game in the last 20 seasons; McCollum with 41 for the game, taking 39 shots from the field, hitting 16.
For Denver, Nikola Jokic played an extraordinary 65 minutes, racking up 33 points, 18 rebounds and 14 assists. But the no-doubt dead-tired Jokic also had some crucial turnovers at key times.
--Saturday, Houston defeated Golden State 126-121 in overtime, the Warriors still up 2-1. James Harden had 41 for the Rockets and Eric Gordon 30, which helped offset Kevin Durant’s 46. Steph Curry, playing with the dislocated finger, was just 7 of 23 from the field, including missing a wide open layup in OT.
--In the Philadelphia-Toronto series, the Sixers took a 2-1 series lead Thursday in Philly, 116-95, as Joel Embiid dominated with 33 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 blocks in just 28 minutes.
But today, the Raptors evened it at 2-2, 101-96, as Kawhi Leonard had 39, with 14 rebounds, while Joel Embiid was totally ineffective...just 11 points on 2 of 7 shooting.
--Friday, the Bucks took a 2-1 lead over the Celtics, winning 123-116 on the road, as Giannis had 32 points, 13 rebounds and 8 assists.
--In college basketball, the NCAA has launched an investigation into Arizona’s men’s basketball program. Back in January, former assistant Emanuel “Book” Richardson pleaded guilty to accepting $20,000 in bribes to steer Arizona players to aspiring sports manager Christian Dawkins and other financial advisers once they turned pro.
During the trial, Dawkins said he had a “pretty good” relationship with Arizona coach Sean Miller and didn’t need to bribe Richardson to get Wildcat players as clients.
Miller has adamantly denied paying players to attend Arizona.
But on Wednesday, federal prosecutors played a recording of a phone call in which Richardson told Dawkins that Miler was paying star center Deandre Ayton $10,000 per month while he was enrolled at the school. Prosecutors also played a surveillance recording of a meeting on June 6, 2017, in which Dawkins talks about Ayton and says Miller told him, “I’m taking care of everything myself. I wanna bring you in. I’ll turn everything over to you.”
Miller remains the coach, and the school has found no corroborating evidence against him thus far in an extensive investigation. Miller continues to deny all charges.
Stanley Cup Playoffs
--Today, the Blues forced a Game 7 with the Stars, 4-1, the decider Tuesday in St. Louis.
--The Bruins have taken a 3-2 series lead over the Blue Jackets, with 4-1 and 4-3 wins in Games 4 and 5. Game 6 is in Columbus Monday.
Also Monday, the Sharks take a 3-2 series lead into Denver, as the Avalanche attempt to force a Game 7.
--Friday, the Hurricanes completed a 4-game sweep of the Islanders in Raleigh, 5-2; the same score as Game 3. New York simply ran out of gas.
--Most fans wait until their team is 40 games into the season before drawing sweeping conclusions, but after Friday night’s Mets loss in Milwaukee, 3-1, we were 16-16 and one could easily say, ‘That’s it...we’re just a .500 ballclub.’
I mean this is a team that in a seven-game stretch, from April 7-13, set a franchise record in scoring at least six runs in each contest (though they were just 4-3), while through Friday, they had scored just ten runs in their last five (2-3).
So then the Mets lost 4-3 to the Brew Crew in 18 innings Saturday night, the Mets taking the lead in the top of the 18th, only to have their eighth pitcher of the game, the forgettable Chris Flexen, yield two in the bottom of the frame. Ryan Braun with six hits in eight at bats for Milwaukee.
The two teams had to come back to play this afternoon and there was zero reason for optimism among us Mets fans, Jason Vargas on the mound.
And we lost, 3-2, Christian Yelich going deep for home run No. 15 for the Brewers. The Mets are now 16-18, with one of their starting pitchers, Steven Matz, heading back to New York to check out a ‘nerve’ condition in his left arm. Oh brother. This season could very quickly spiral out of control, your editor screaming for Johnny Mac to send me my sword.
--The Yankees have begun to get some of their walking wounded back, first Gary Sanchez, and then Saturday, third baseman Miguel Andujar.
But Friday night, starter James Paxton exited after three innings due to left knee soreness, though it appears he’ll miss just one, at most two, starts.
As for Andujar, the knock on him, despite his being runner-up for Rookie of the Year last season, was fielding. He had worked on it hard this winter and spring, but then in his first game back from his shoulder tear, he committed two errors – a misplayed grounder and later making a wild throw, as the Yankees lost to the Twins 7-3.
Tonight, as I go post, the Yankees and Twins are in a rain delay...rain unrelenting in the entire eastern half of the country since the start of the year, it seems.
--Bryce Harper is in the throes of a 7 for 49 slump, including today’s 1 for 5 in Philadelphia’s 7-1 win over Washington. But Philadelphia is 19-14, the Nats 14-19.
--The Cleveland Indians lost two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber for at least a month, Kluber suffering a non-displaced fracture of his right arm when he was hit by a ball off the bat of the Marlins’ Brian Anderson Wednesday night. It’s obviously a big blow, though Kluber was struggling this season, 2-3, 5.80 ERA; this after going 20-7 last year.
--In the offseason, the Dodgers caught heat for not aggressively pursuing either Manny Machado or Bryce Harper, choosing instead to drop down, from a talent standpoint, and sign outfielder A.J. Pollock to a four-year, $55 million contract.
But Pollock, while a solid player, has only one time in seven seasons played more than 137 games due to various injuries, and Thursday, he underwent surgery to remove hardware previously inserted in his right elbow, a procedure spurred by an infection. No timetable for recovery has been determined. Thus far he has been a disappointment, batting .223, 2 home runs, 14 RBIs. Actually, in 28 games he’s been downright putrid.
--The Washington Nationals fired pitching coach Derek Lilliquist on Thursday just 30 games into the season, which as Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post points out is typical of the D.C. sports scene, witness the Nationals dumping manager Dusty Baker after the Nationals had won 97 games in 2017.
Baker was 60 games over .500 in two years, replaced by Dave Martinez, who is 96-99 after 195 games as manger.
Or look at the Washington Capitals, who couldn’t reach a contract agreement with coach Barry Trotz after he guided the team to its first Stanley Cup playoff, and replaced him with Todd Reirden, who flamed out in the first-round of this season’s playoffs.
Martinez is getting a vote of confidence, and the Nationals’ pitching staff had gotten off to a dreadful start, so fire the pitching coach.
Recall, after the Nats gave Baker the boot, they lost his pitching coach, the highly-respected Mike Maddux, who had guided the Washington staff to the second and sixth best ERA in the majors in 2016 and 2017.
Lilliquist was in charge as the team’s ERA fell to 15th in baseball last season and now it sits at an ugly 26th, despite having Scherzer, Strasburg and Corbin, as well as closer Sean Doolittle.
Maddux has been the Cardinals’ pitching coach the last two seasons, and they were 12th of 30 both last year and this.
--The Cincinnati Reds called up their top prospect, Nick Senzel, a 23-year-old outfielder. Senzel was the second overall pick in the 2016 amateur draft from Tennessee.
So in his debut Friday night against the Giants, Senzel went 1 for 5 with two walks in a 12-11 loss.
But Saturday, Senzel hit his first career home run in a 9-2 Cincinnati victory over San Fran.
Today, though, he was 0 for 3 in a 6-5 loss.
--I can’t help but note the rather spectacular night 31-year-old journeyman catcher Josh Phegley had for Oakland on Friday in Pittsburgh, the A’s winning 14-1. Phegley went 4 for 5, 8 RBIs, a franchise record for a catcher, and the most RBIs by an A’s position player since Eric Chavez in 2001.
--And also on Friday, Tampa Bay’s Tyler Glasnow improved to 6-0, 1.47, with seven scoreless in a 7-0 Rays win over the Orioles. Glasnow was 2-7 last season for Pittsburgh and TB.
--For the record, since I was mentioning the pace of home runs in April, with the month having ended, in March and April, a record 1,144 homers were hit, 2.62 a game on average, an increase of 12.2 percent from a year ago. There were a record 6,105 home runs hit in 2017, but after April, we were on pace for 6,500.
One thing is certain, major league hitters have become used to facing flamethrowers, which in the past were mostly out of the bullpen. But today, as Jared Diamond in the Wall Street Journal pointed out in a recent piece, in 2018, 177 different starters threw a pitch of at least 95 mph, a 30% increase from 2008. “Starters now throw practically as hard as relievers, with the typical fastball for both groups registering at about 93 mph,” Diamond writes.
“Hitters prepare for velocity more than ever before, training at game speed against turbocharged pitching machines in addition to – or even instead of – the usual on-field batting practice. Modern technology also allows batters to study the exact spin and movement of pitches before they ever face them.”
--ESPN.com’s Jeff Dickerson had a great story (except for those involved) on the Chicago Bears’ search for a replacement for Cody Parkey, the kicker who missed from 43-yards at the end of a bitter playoff loss to the Eagles in January.
The Bears, after releasing Parkey this winter, had a competition the other day for eight kickers at the team’s rookie minicamp. Coach Matt Nagy instructed all eight to attempt the same 43-yard field goal in front of the entire minicamp roster at the end of practice.
The verdict? Chicago’s kickers combined to go 2-of-8.
To be continued at training camp in July.
--ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” will return to a two-man booth when it kicks off its 50th season later this year; play-by-play anchor Joe Tessitore is back, but this time with Booger McFarland moving up to the booth. Lisa Salters will return as the sideline reporter. I’m guessing this works OK...Tessitore and McFarland developing a chemistry between them when they worked together on the SEC Network.
Jason Witten, who had a rather rocky first season in the booth last season, decided to end his retirement and return to the Cowboys.
ESPN had reached out to Peyton Manning but nothing came of it.
--In college football, Florida quarterback Jalon Jones was accused of sexual battery by two female students last month, police reports show.
The reports, obtained by the Tampa Bay Times, stem from two purported incidents 30 minutes apart on April at a residential housing complex.
It’s an ugly story, having read the alleged details, but neither woman wanted to pursue criminal charges.
Jones played in the team’s spring game one week after the sexual battery reports were received by police. Jones then filed paperwork earlier this week to transfer from the university, some four months after he joined the Gators.
--Wake Forest reached an agreement on an eight-year contract extension with coach Dave Clawson that runs through the 2026 season. This is good!
Wake is 28-35 in five seasons under him, but 22-17 with three bowl victories in the last three years. Demon Deacon football fans have realistic expectations. We would take 7-6 with a bowl victory every season for decades to come. Throw in a miracle year, like 2006, when we went to the Orange Bowl, every ten seasons and that would be all the sweeter.
It’s the freakin’ basketball program that is the issue!!!
--28-year-old Max Homa, who had three top 10s in 68 PGA Tour events over the last three years, took home his first title at the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte. Good for him. A lot of big names, like Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler, fell short. As Jim Nantz said, who the heck knows if this is a springboard for the lad...or if he’s a one-shot wonder? It’s all part of what makes the sport great.
And I do have to add...I loved the ducks on the 18th green, being a huge duck lover (as opposed to Canadian geese, who used to just fly through, but then decided to stay).
--On the senior circuit, Scott McCarron won his 10th career title (after 3 PGA Tour wins) at the Insperity Championship at The Woodlands, Texas. But Scott Parel was second, and no offense to the Parel family, that is part of the ongoing problem with this tour. The names we’re familiar with are largely absent these days.
Premier / Champions League
--Having lost its first leg of the Champions League semis to Ajax in New Tottenham Stadium last Tuesday, Saturday, the Spurs hosted Bournemouth in their next to last PL contest, a win clinching a top four spot and another CL berth.
But the Spurs played undisciplined, and while missing numerous great opportunities in the first half, Son Heung-Min picked up an uncharacteristic red card in the 43rd minute, and then at the start of the second, Juan Foyth picked up Tottenham’s second red card, so with over 40 minutes left in a scoreless contest, they were two men down.
Mounting an offense was basically out of the question, as the Spurs tried to hang on for what would have still been a critical point, but Bournemouth scored in extra time and that was the final, a crushing 1-0 loss.
Had Tottenham won the game, manager Mauricio Pocchetino could have played the second leg of his CL semi with Ajax knowing their final PL game, next Sunday, was irrelevant, but now he has to somehow get his very tired players motivated for two massive contests.
In the Ajax game, Ajax having won the first 1-0, the Spurs need to win 2-1, or 3-2, to take it outright (tied aggregate, but more away goals).
And then next Sunday, they must beat Everton, whose been playing great at season’s end.
I do have to add that Bournemouth started 19-year-old Mark Travers (from Ireland) in goal and he was super when tested in the first half. He was the first teenage goalkeeper in the Premier League since 2006.
Meanwhile, as for the other teams vying for a Champions League berth, everyone tripping over themselves down the stretch, Sunday, Chelsea defeated Watford 3-0 to leapfrog Tottenham into third, while Arsenal could only manage a 1-1 draw at home against Brighton.
As for Manchester United, they were eliminated from top-four contention with a pathetic 1-1 draw at Huddersfield. United has played like crap since they gave interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a three-year deal, Man U going the last five games without a win, all leagues, one win the last eight!
Then you have the top two, Manchester City and Liverpool.
Liverpool pulled out a late win at Newcastle, 3-2, to regain first, with Man City hosting Leicester on Monday. Liverpool, however, lost superstar Mohamed Salah to a head injury.
After Monday’s City-Leicester contest, both will have one game left, next Sunday, though Liverpool has a Champions League contest against Barcelona in between. More next chat.
1. Liverpool 37 – 94
2. Man City 36 – 92
3. Chelsea 37 – 71
4. Tottenham 37 – 70
5. Arsenal 37 – 67*
6. Man U 37 – 66
*Arsenal can still qualify for the Champions League if it wins the Europa League competition. [That’s the league for the Nos. 5-8, in general, in the Premier League standings...the winner getting CL status.]
Relegated: Cardiff, Fulham and Huddersfield.
Norwich and Sheffield United are being promoted from the Championship League (like baseball’s AAA). There’s a playoff for the third slot over the coming weeks. Just love this system.
--Caster Semenya said “no human can stop me from running” after winning the 800m at the Doha Diamond League meet amid speculation over her future, after the Court of Arbritration for Sport rejected her challenge of IAAF rules designed to limit testosterone levels in female runners.
“Actions speaker louder than words,” Semenya told BBC Sport. “When you are a great champion, you always deliver.”
The Doha meet was Semenya’s final race before the IAAF’s new rules come into force on May 8.
Semenya is only 28 and plans on competing for years to come. Just how this really plays out is a mystery.
Jerry Brewer / Washington Post
“In the intricate and emotional case of Caster Semenya, there is no such thing as fair. Her situation vexes traditional sports logic. It challenges the inflexibility of the way we divided athletics long ago: Males are easily defined as males and should compete against other males; and females are easily defined as females and should compete against other females.
“It was all neat and tidy until further study taught us not to assume the biological purity of two genders. The body is too complex, and the concept of sex is far more complicated than imagined. In high-level sports, we appreciate and expect the best athletes to have biological advantages that contribute to gifts such as strength, endurance, speed, leaping and agility. For as much as we amplify their great training and hard work, we also marvel at their extraordinary physical makeup, provided that they are a natural creation and not the product of doping. In that sense, the notion of a fair and level playing field is quite vast because we accept that sometimes evolutionary superstars are needed to whip the field, wow the audience and provide a preview of what’s to come.
“It’s wonderful, celebrated even, to have the likes of LeBron James, Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt, Serena Williams, Katie Ledecky and Simone Biles among us. They can be placed cleanly into our man-woman sports categorization. But Caster Semenya? As the dominant two-time Olympic champion in the women’s 800 meters and a three-time world champion, she’s just as special as they are. But she is considered different because it is believed she has an intersex condition that makes her body naturally produce a high level of testosterone.
“In the myopic manner that we view gender and sports, Semenya is a biological oddity. And so the solution – delivered as a measure of fairness to ‘normal’ females racing against Semenya – is quite cruel: Change or go away. To compete in the biggest international track events, Semenya has to take medications to decrease her testosterone levels. If she declines, there is no place for her on the grandest stage....
“Ultimately, the (Court of Arbitration for Sport reached) a decision to protect 99.9 percent of competitors at the expense of the other 0.1 percent. Neither the IAAF nor CAS arrived at it easily. But they thought it was essential, in this situation, to prefer parity to promote the sport’s growth and maintain the integrity of competition. They disliked the alternative, which would have been to let Semenya, a 28-year-old South African, keep dominating, remain mired in controversy and risk a portion of the competition straying from the 800-meter event. They chose to side with the bigger crowd because there was no better way out.
“It feels wrong. But honestly, I’m not sure we have the mental agility to arrive at right. It’s possible to be cruel without having cruel intentions. It’s possible to be unfair while in pursuit of fairness. And it’s inevitable that, in trying to get through this labyrinth, there will be some flawed approaches.”
Meanwhile, I have to note “White Lightning,” Matthew Boling, a senior at Strake Jesuit College Prep in Houston, Texas, who broke the national high school record in the 100-meter dash the other day with a time of 9.98 seconds.
Boling, 18, is the first high school runner to break the 10-second mark since Florida’s Trayvon Bromell clocked 9.99 seconds in 2013.
But since Boling competed with a 4.2-mph tailwind, it’s considered he got an assist. So, the national record of 10.00 still stands for the fastest high school runner without wind aid. [Trentavis Friday in 2014.]
--James Holzhauer’s winning streak on “Jeopardy!” hit 22 on Friday night, walking off with $82,381; his cumulative haul now $1,691,008.
But while episodes are taped in advance, we won’t get to see the 34-year-old knock out more contestants until May 20, as the next two weeks there is a Teachers Tournament for $100,000.
At 21 in a row after Thursday, Holzhauer grabbed the mantle of second-longest winning streak in the history of the game show.
--Cheslie Kryst, a 27-year-old lawyer from North Carolina who represents prison inmates for free, won the 2019 Miss USA title Thursday night. She earned a law degree and an MB at Wake Forest. Go Deacs!
Kryst, who went to the Univ. of South Carolina undergrad, advances to the Miss Universe competition.
--Authorities on Cape Cod are concerned many tourists will be scared away by last summer’s shark attacks, a great white killing a 26-year-old boogie boarder off Wellfellt, Mass., in September, the area’s first shark fatality in 82 years, which came a month after a shark seriously injured a swimmer.
The sharks are increasingly being lured to the area by the huge numbers of seals, which are a protected species.
But with four million visitors to the Cape each year, authorities are stepping up emergency response efforts, adding more emergency-call boxes to make up for spotty cellphone service, and upgrading signage, as well as distributing safety kits with tourniquets to help treat traumatic bleeding.
--We note the passing of Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca in the original Star Wars trilogy, from a heart attack. He was 74.
Top 3 songs for the week 5/8/65: #1 “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter” (Herman’s Hermits) #2 “Count Me In” (Gary Lewis and the Playboys) #3 “Ticket To Ride” (The Beatles)...and...#4 “Game Of Love” (Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders) #5 “I’ll Never Find Another You” (The Seekers) #6 “I Know A Place” (Petula Clark) #7 “Silhouettes” (Herman’s Hermits) #8 “I’m Telling You Now” (Freddie and the Dreamers) #9 “The Last Time” (The Rolling Stones) #10 “Cast Your Fate To The Wind” (Sounds Orchestral...tremendous week, all-around balance)
MLB Quiz Answer: Three Hall of Famers to throw a shutout and hit a home run for the only run of the game....
Jim Bunning (5/5/65)*, Early Wynn (5/1/59), Red Ruffing (8/13/32).
*Fascinating game...Bunning beat the Mets, 1-0, homering off Warren Spahn. Spahn himself went the distance. It was his final season, age 44.
I also have to add, Early Wynn was a solid hitting pitcher, 17 career home runs, .214 batting average, while Red Ruffing was one of the best hitting pitchers in history, 36 home runs and 273 RBIs, along with a .269 BA.
1969 Mets, cont’d:
The Mets headed to Wrigley for four with the first-place Cubs.
May 2: Mets lose 6-4, despite Tommie Agee’s 4 for 4; the Cubs hitting Gary Gentry hard, while Ron Santo and Al Spangler went deep.
May 3: Mets lose 3-2, their lone runs coming on solo shots by Ron Swoboda and J.C. Martin. Nolan Ryan went 6 1/3, 0 earned, but he committed an error that led to a run and then reliever Cal Koonce took the loss. Chicago’s Phil Regan improved to 5-0 out of the bullpen, in relief of Fergie Jenkins.
So the Mets were now 9-14, eight games back of the 18-7 Cubs. I was depressed. Another crappy season.
May 4: The Mets sweep the Cubs in a doubleheader, 3-2, 3-2; Tom Seaver with the complete game in the opener, and then Tug McGraw, filling in for an injured Jim McAndrew, who had a finger issue, pitched a complete game in the nightcap! McGraw thus far is 3-0, 1.61 ERA.
So we picked up two games just like that. I went to bed that night feeling much better, as fifth grade was winding down, having no clue what I do the following 50 years.
Next Bar Chat, Thursday.