#SportBits … Ladies, It’s Your “Fall Sports Preview”

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Summer is over. The Olympics are done. School is starting. Sadness rains and we all get wet! Ha!

No need to be sad loyal #SportBits readers. There are plenty of exciting sporting events on the horizon. Here is a quick look at what’s coming up this fall and what you need to know so you can #jointheconversation. Ladies, it’s no fun being left out because you don’t know what the big game is…am I right?

August 29th – September 11th: US Open, Flushing Meadows, NY
The U.S. Open is the fourth and final event of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments. The New York crowd is always rocking, the outfits are NEVER white, and those nighttime matches are a party! No. 1 seeds Serena Williams and Novak Djokavic made early exits in Rio – let’s see if they can pull it together for another GS win in the big apple.

September 30th – October 2nd: Ryder Cup, Hazelton National Golf Club, Chaska, MN
The Ryder Cup is a men’s golf competition between teams from Europe and the United States, played every two years. The venue alternates between courses in the USA and Europe. Players are chosen on a point system, which closes on Sunday, August 28th. So far five players, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson, Jimmy Walker and Brooks Koepka, have mathematically qualified for the Cup. It’s the USA v. Europe on our homeland…so there’s a lot of pride on the line. If there’s one golf tourney to watch this year, it’s the Ryder Cup.

October 4th – October 23rd: Major League Baseball Playoffs
OCTOBER BASEBALL!!! THE BEST. Check in here to see how your team is doing.
Here is the schedule for all the playoffs and World Series games.

October 25th – November 7th: MLB World Series

August 26th – December 10th: 2016 NCAA College Football Season
The College Season ended last year with Alabama winning the national championship. They are the Pre-Season #1 team and have a DOOZIE of a first game v. #19 USC on September 3rd at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. (8pm ET. ABC)

September 8th – January 1st NFL: Regular Season
ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL? Well, get ready because it’s here, and this articlewill give you a quick preview of the upcoming season.

October 25th – Wednesday April 12th: NBA Regular Season
The biggest news in the off-season in the NBA was the signing of Kevin Durant by the Golden State Warriors. Everyone is anxiously awaiting to see if the Warriors will dominate as expected. Mark your calendars for Christmas Day when the Warriors will meet NBA Champ LeBron James and the Cavaliers for a tasty holiday rematch treat!

OK, this should get you started ladies. I’ll be keeping track of scores, news, and interesting sports stories on social media, so give me a follow. Remember, you just need a little information to join the conversation. #SportBits

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#SportBits ..Sports Update

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Hello HerDaily readers! I’m back on my #SportBits mission to help you stay in touch with what’s happening right now in sports. Just a little bit of info is all you need people – so you can chat it up with your partner, kids, or co-workers. I recently had a friend tell me she likes my Instagram feed because she’s finding herself sprinkling sport bits in her conversations with her hubby. He keeps giving her the “how did you know that” look. Ha! Pretty soon, he’ll stop giving the look, and just accept that she knows a little bit about sports! #victory

Here are 3 sports stories you should know about this week:

WIMBLEDON:

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Getty Images

The Championships, Wimbledon came to a close on Sunday.

On Saturday in the ladies final, No. 1 seed Serena Williams beat No. 4 Angelique Kerber of Germany, 7-5 6-3, to win her 22nd Grand Slam title. This ties her with Steffi Graff for the most majors in the Open Era of professional tennis. I’m betting there will be no rest for Serena as talk will now turn to breaking the ALL TIME record of 24 titles, held by Margaret Court. Three hours after her win, Serena was back on Center Court with sister Venus, and the Williams sisters won the ladies double final by beating fifth-seeded Timea Babos of Hungary and Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan, 6-3, 6-4.

On Sunday, No. 2 Andy Murray, who ended 77 years of the British waiting for a men’s singles championship when he won his first Wimbledon in 2013, beating Canadian Milos Raonic 6-4, 7-6(3), 7-6(2) for his second Wimbledon title and third Grand Slam.

Tennis now moves on to the hard court season in preparation for the last Grand Slam of the year: the U.S. Open.

EURO 2016

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It’s party time in Lisbon! Portuguese fans are celebrating their first European title after their underdog national team triumphed in the face of adversity. With their captain and star player Cristiano Ronaldo going out with a knee injury just 25 minutes into the game, Portugal held on to beat hosts France 1-0 after extra time in the Euro 2016 final.

MLB ALL-STAR GAME:

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Scott Varley/Daily Breeze

The 2016 MLB All-Star Game, aka Midsummer Classic, is coming at you this week from Petco Park in San Diego, California. Players from theAmerican League battle those from the National League, with the winner taking home field advantage in the World Series. Starting infielders are voted in by the fans; pitchers voted in by managers, and the reserves are chosen by the managers and players. This year, the Chicago Cubs made history when their entire infield was selected to start in the game.

That’s it…so now you know. Be sure to follow me on Facebook, Instagram,and Twitter for news, scores and updates. #dropmic

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#SportBitsDaily … Wednesday

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Right now I’m watching #RFed v. Cilic in the men’s quarter-finals at Wimbledon. Yesterday, both Williams sisters won their matches putting them in the semis, and on course for an all-Williams final. Lordy, who wouldn’t want to see that? Who would you root for?? Venus, at 36 years old? Or Serena – who is going for her 22nd Grand Slam – tying her with Steffi Graf? #quandary

Here are all scores from yesterday’s matches.

MLB: The 2016 All-Star roster was announced yesterday and the Chicago Cubs made history by becoming just the second team ever to have its entire infield start an All-Star Game.  The Boston Red Sox placed an AL-best six players on the team, the most they have sent to an #ASG since also sending six to the 2011 game.

MLB: New York Mets at San Diego Padres
Petco Park will host the 2016 All Star Game on July 12th. PhotoCredit: Jake Roth

 

Here are scores from yesterday’s games.

Breaking:

Double-amputee Olympian Oscar Pistorius has been sentenced to six years in prison for the murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

The University of Tennessee has reached a financial settlement with a group of women who sued the school in federal court for the way it handled their allegations of sexual assaults by student-athletes. According to documents obtained by ESPN, the university will pay the eight women $2.48 million.

The latest #RioWorry: Scientists have found dangerous drug-resistant “super bacteria” off beaches in Rio de Janeiro that will host Olympic swimming events and in a lagoon where rowing and canoe athletes will compete when the Games start on Aug. 5. #awesome

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A man runs next to a sewage system flowing on Copacabana beach in Rio. Photocredit: Reuters

Ok. That’s it. So now you know. #shortsweet

 

 

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#SportBitsDaily … Tuesday

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Happy July 5th…Hope you had a fun day yesterday. Getting a late start today …

Here is some sports news to take with you this morning.

NBA:

The NBA just got a bit more interesting AND boring at the same time. How, you ask? Well, former MVP and OKC Thunder star Kevin Durant made his decision to jump ship and join current MVP Steph Curry in Oakland. In the “Next Chapter” on the Player’s Tribune, Durant cited his growth as a man and a player, and his need for a new challenge as reasons for leaving. But we all know it’s about the bling…and the Championship ring he wants so desperately.  You can’t really blame him…although ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith does. The move sets up a SUPERPOWER in the western conference, which isn’t good for the game if you ask me. When one team dominates, as this team will, it’s bad for the league, and for basketball fans…unless you’re a Warrior fan of course.

The OKC organization had a CLASSY response…no sore losers here…I was impressed.

After Durant signed with Golden State, the dominoes started to fall. Here is an update on the #freeagencyfrenzy .

At Wimbledon, No.2 seed Andy Murray beat Australian rising star Nick Kyrgios, 7-5 6-1 6-4, to reach his 9th Wimbledon quarter-final. The 29-year-old has now won eight matches in a row on grass, and joins Pete Sampras and John McEnroe in reaching nine consecutive Wimbledon quarter-finals.

No. 3 seed Roger Federer moved into his 14th quarter-final with ease yesterday beating American Steve Johnson 6-3 6-2 7-5.  Federer moves one step closer to contesting for his eighth title at the All England Club, which would be a record. Only one man – Rafael Nadal – has captured eight or more titles at the same Grand Slam championship.

On the women’s side, the Williams sisters can move closer to a finals reunion should they get through their quarter-final matches today.

World No 1 Serena, with six Wimbledon crowns to her credit, will play Russian 21st seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the last eight after the defending champion romped to a 7-5, 6-0 victory over Russian 13th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Five-time champion Venus takes on Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova after becoming the oldest Wimbledon women’s quarter-finalist for 22 years.

More Wimbledon scores….here.

MLB news:

LOTS of games yesterday…check scores here.

And a friggin bald eagle found freedom and flew through Dodger Stadium at the Orioles game!

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It’s a short one today….but at least now you know.

 

 

 

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#SportBitsDaily … #TGIF

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Happy 4th of July weekend #SportBits readers! Hopefully, you are all where you’re going to be for the big day, because traveling today will be a nightmare. You might need some satellite radio, portable charges, and lots of patience to get you through the traffic jams and long security lines. Thankfully, I got to my destination yesterday….so good luck to you. Stay strong!

CWS: This is what it looks like when a school wins its first National Championship in program history.

Coast Carolina won the College World Series yesterday, beating Arizona 4-3 in a hard fought and tense Game 3. Severe weather in Omaha, Nebraska caused the game to be postponed from its original Wednesday night start time. Head coach Gary Gilmore won his first title after 21 years of coaching, and the Chanticleers (it’s a rooster!!) capped off their improbable run with its first National Championship.

NBA: Let the CRAZY off-season deals begin…..

  • The Los Angeles Lakers will pay the 7-1 center Timofey Mozgov, who will turn 30 in two weeks, $64 million over the next four seasons. The Cavaliers traded two first-round picks to the Denver Nuggets for Mozgov in January 2015. DUDE IS 30 AND COMING OF MAJOR KNEE SURGURY. #wtf
  • Free agent DeMar DeRozan has agreed to a five-year, $139 million-plus deal to stay with the Toronto Raptors.
  • Free-agent center Joakim Noah and the New York Knicks are working to finalize a deal in the range of four years and $70 million-plus.

More free-agency news here. And there is more to come…. #Durant #Gasol #Howard ~> stay tuned.

MLB:

The Cleveland Indians won their 13th straight behind Carlos Carrasco‘s 14 strikeouts last night. The win gave the Indians their longest winning streak in nearly 65 years

IT IS PANIC TIME FOR DODGER FANS. Superman ace pitcher Clayton Kershaw has a herniated disc and has been put on the 15day DL. The Dodgers quickly scrambled to beef up their ailing pitching staff by acquiring right-hander Bud Norris from the Atlanta Braves. Holeeeeee hell this is not good.

Love me a good comeback: The Detroit Tigers began an 11-game road trip yesterday with a WICKED ninth-inning rally v. Tampa Bay. The Tigers trailed 7-2 entering the ninth and opened the inning with four consecutive hits, overcoming a five-run deficit win 10-7.

More MLB news and yesterday’s scores…here.

 Wimbledon:

Of course it’s the fashion getting all the news. Nike’s “lingerie” dress is really irritating some people. Many feel the free flowing outfit belongs in the bedroom and not the All England Tennis Club. Jeez-Louise…everyone needs to lighten up! Thoughts?

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No. 8 seed Venus Williams won her match v.  Maria Sakkari 7-5, 4-6, 6-3, on the smaller, outer court 18 yesterday. Afterwards, she said she didn’t mind playing on the outside court as long as EVERYONE has to, insinuating that the scheduling is not fair. When asked if she could imagine a five-time male champion being on an outside court, Venus said with a smile, “I haven’t seen that in the scheduling yet.” The rain is wreaking havoc, so scheduling matches is proving to be quite a challenge. Guess you can’t please everyone.

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has not decided if he’s playing in Rio. “I’ve been trying to reach out to Brazilian friends and acquaintances, [to] get information … When I get more, I’ll be able to make my final decision.” #RioWorries

The biggest upset yesterday was No. 2 seed and French Open winner Garbine Muguruza losing 6-2, 6-1 to Slovakian qualifier Jana Cepelova who is ranked No. 124. The match took less than an hour. Ouch.

Here are all your results and match updates.

Olympic News:

22-time Olympic medalist Michael Phelps became the first swimmer to qualify for 5 Olympics yesterday when finished first at the men’s 200-meter butterfly at the U.S. Olympic trials. This sets up a Friday night showdown between Phelps and longtime competitor Ryan Lochte in the final of the 200-meter individual medley.This one is especially significant for the 31-year-old Lochte, given it’s his only real shot at swimming a race of his own (rather than a relay) at the Olympics.

L A S T L Y :  #JohnnyFootball Update: Johnny Manziel’s dad called him a “Druggie” who would best benefit from some time in jail. Johnny responded maturely with this instagram from Costa Rica with caption #HiDad.

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His trouble continues as yesterday the NFL announced Johnny has been suspended for the first four games of the season…making his return to the an even bigger uphill battle. He’s a free agent.  Who is going to take a chance on him?  I’m all for second chances, but ya gimme something to work with. #maturity #commitment

Ok. That’s it…so now you know. Enjoy your 4th! Lot’s of good sports on this weekend. Watch…learn…and chat it up around the BBQ. And can I recommend a digital thermometer. It really is THE ONLY WAY to get those burgers, steaks and chicken cooked properly. Cheers!

 

 

 

 

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#SportBitsDaily … Wednesday

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Happy Wednesday yo. I’m feeling a bit spicy today…I think it’s that new Kanye West video with all those naked waxy bodies in the bed that has me rethinking things. Or perhaps it’s the anxiety I’m feeling over what time the #TWC guy is actually going to show up to fix my wifi.  Either way – I’ve gotta just deal – and report some sports – so let’s go.

Conor McGregor and his continuing gripe against the UFC lives on. As you may recall, McGregor and his much anticipated rematch with Nate Diaz was pulled from UFC 200 because he/McGregor wouldn’t break his training routine to do the required publicity for the fight.  McGregor retired…then un-retired…and after he and UFC prez Dana White seemingly kissed and made up, the rematch was back (UFC 202 – August 2oth). Word has it the bad blood is still a-flowin, and with the publicity requirements for 202 set to kick off next week in Las Vegas, many are wondering if McGregor will show. I’ve got $20 that says he doesn’t.

High drama at the CWS  last night. Down 1-0 in the best-of-three series to Arizona, Coastal Carolina staved off elimination for the fourth time in the CWS and fifth time in the NCAA Tournament, but not before some nervous moments in the eighth inning, when their three-run lead was cut to one. The Chanticleers held on for the 5-4 win, forcing a WINNER-TAKE-ALL final game TONIGHT, 8pm on ESPN.

In the MLB, the pitchers are having a rough go:

  • Clayton Kershaw had to fly back to LA yesterday to see a specialist about his sore back. (HOLEEEE HELL)
  • Zach Greinke left his game in the 2nd with a sore left oblique.
  • Thor and Steven Matz both have bone spurs in their elbows.

On the flip side: Dodger teenager Julio Urias got his first MLB win as the Dodgers beat the Brewers 6-5. And 21yr old Lucas Giolito, the pride of Santa Monica, CA ,made his MLB debut for the Nationals. He and his 100-mph fastball kicked ass for 4 innings before the rain came.

More MBL scores…here.

Wimbledon news, scores and highlights … here.

The Olympic Trials continue, and in swimming it’s the shiny and new that stole the show last night in Omaha (cue Peyton Manning). Many familiar faces are being left behind as these plucky newbies are taking their spots in Rio. Ryan Lochte, Missy Franklin and Natalie Coughlin are a few of the household names that have been swept aside by their younger versions. #FatherTime…. when he calls…RUN (or swim) as fast as you can!

In other Olympic news, world No. 1 golfer Jason Day is the latest to pull out of the #RioOlympics over Zika concerns. As I understand it, it’s the men who need to worry since doctors are unsure how long the virus can live in sperm. Doctors say it lives in the blood stream for 7-10 days, so as long as a woman doesn’t get pregnant in that time, she should be safe. The men on the other hand…should be thinking one way or another about  “pulling out.”

Speaking of “pulling out,” Donald Trump has nabbed his first celebrity endorsement in former Seattle Seahawk Terrell Owens. He joins Bobby Knight and Mike Tyson as Trump believers who hope their stellar reputations within the sporting world can help sway those undecided voters to hop on the Trump train.

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I’m still reflecting on the legendary life and career of Pat Summitt, who passed away yesterday from early-onset Alzheimer’s. To say she paved the way for women in sports is a huge understatement.

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Lastly, you’ll be happy to know the legendary banana boat picture from Chris Paul, Dwayne Wade and LeBron James’ vacation last year now lives on — through a Snapchat filter. OH THANK GOD! Sadly, there is just no way to look cool riding on a banana boat…unless you’re a cartoon filter. Way to go guys.

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That’s it…so now you know. #ttyt

PS. This is disturbing….right? It’s not just me.

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#SportBitsDaily … Tuesday

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Good morning…here’s some sports news for you. Take it => use it => impress someone with your knowledge. Why the hell not?

SOCCER:

#Brexit Part Two: In a shocking upset, England lost to Iceland, 2-1, in the Euro 2016 soccer tournament yesterday. Right after the loss, Roy Hodgeson pulled a Lionel Messi and resigned as team manager. English fans lost their minds, the Iceland announcer almost lost his voice, and the country once again lost all that they thought was right and just in the world.

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Not quite as dramatic, but almost as impressive, was Italy’s defeat over two-time defending champion Spain in the round-of-16. Does this mean the end of Spain’s reign (mainly in the plain)? Who knows. There is so much soccer going on right now, I’m just trying to stay afloat here, people. Spain’s manager Vicente de Bosque doesn’t think so, however.

BASKETBALL:

Legendary Tennessee basketball coach Pat Summitt died this morning. She was 64 years old. Summitt, who built the Lady Vols into a major powerhouse, was the winningest coach in the history of major college basketball. She passed away after battling early onset dementia, “Alzheimer’s type,” according to a statement from the Pat Summitt foundation.

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The #USABMT was “officially” announced yesterday…but the roster had been leaked and it was all kinda anticlimactic.

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FOOTBALL:  (not soccer)

Pittsburgh Steeler James Harrison agreed yesterday to sit down with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to discuss the league’s investigation into performance-enhancing drugs among it’s players  (mainly himself) –  but only on his terms. This is the instagram he sent out:

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Harrison was implicated (along with Peyton Manning) in an Al-Jazeera report back in December, but has refused to meet with the league to discuss the allegations, until now. In the meantime, he seems to be enjoying taking shots at Goodell and the NFL on Twitter.

Former NFL coach and defensive wizard Buddy Ryan died this morning. He was 82yrs old. Ryan coached in the NFL for 35 seasons, and was known for building some of football’s top defenses.

The attorney who inadvertently sent a text message to The Associated Press expressing doubt about whether Johnny Manziel could stay clean has withdrawn from representing Manziel in his domestic violence case. Manziel, 23, is accused of hitting and threatening his former girlfriend, Colleen Crowley, during a night out in January. He is facing a misdemeanor assault charge that carries a penalty of up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.

BASEBALL:

#STUDALERT: Chicago Cubs third-baseman Kris Bryant hit 3 home runs in an 11-8 win over the Reds on Monday night, supplanting Ernie Banks as the youngest in franchise history to accomplish the feat. Bryant, 24, who went 5-for-5 with two doubles and six RBIs, is 10 days younger than Banks was when he hit three homers in 1955.

Thor lost yesterday…. first time in over a month.

The Yankees and Stub Hub have ended their feud over the team’s elimination of the print-at-home service, with a $100million dollar deal that benefits…. well, you decide.

Yesterday’s MLB scores…here.

CWS: JC Cloney pitched a four-hitter for Arizona and the Wildcats beat Coastal Carolina 3-0 in Game 1 of the College World Series. Game two is tonight.

TENNIS:

The first round continues on day two of Wimbledon and there have been no major upsets thus far…unless you’re upset that the eventual Champions may lose $400,000 because of #Brexit.

Wimbledon scores and highlight…here.

That’s it for now, folks. Check in with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more news throughout the day. #ttyt

 

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#SportBitsDaily … Monday

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Hello #SportBits readers! I’m back after a week away. Did you even notice? Oy. Don’t answer that.  I took the kids east for their summer camp jobs in the glorious Adirondack Mountains. We even managed to squeeze in a Dead and Company show. #familytime . Did you miss me? I feel like so much has happened since we last spoke…HELLO NBA CHAMPIONS CLEVELAND CAVALIERS! I’m happy to be writing my daily reports again, so let’s just dive right in.

SOCCER:

I’ll be on the east coast for a bit, and dealing with the time change is a TOTAL DRAG for watching my games. Last night I had to stay up until ALMOST 11PM to watch the end of the Copa America championship game! But it was worth it…unless you’re a Lionel Messi fan. His Argentinian team fell short for a second year in a row to Chile in overtime penalty kicks. Messi himself missed a PK (first time EVER according to the broadcast), and was so devastated by the loss, he announced his retirement from international play shortly thereafter. It was painful to watch.

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Lionel Messi trying to figure out how it all happened.

In a rematch of the tourney opener, the #USMNT once again fell short against Columbia, 1-0, who ended up with the bronze medal. Who wants third place anyway?

BASEBALL news:

Well, this isn’t earth shattering news, but it always amazes me when some dumbass fan runs out onto the field for his/her 15seconds of fame. So here is said dumbass fan, running out onto the field during a Cardinals v. Mariners game. I say, if you’re going to run out in the MIDDLE OF THE PLAY, at least try and catch the ball. #doofus

Albert Pujols hit career homer #574 last night, passing Harmon Killebrew on the all-time list, and is nine away from tying Mark McGwire.

The NY Mets signed former star shortstop Jose Reyes, a move that has left many scratching their heads. First off, Reyes is not the player he was when he left the team in 2011. But even more controversial is that Reyes was arrested for domestic violence charges after he allegedly assaulted his wife in Hawaii last October. He was suspended during legal proceedings, but reinstated after his wife refused to cooperate and charges were dropped. Apparently the suspension was enough under the MLB policy. Dude got big cheers from fans, kids included, when he made his first at-bat yesterday, which just feels WRONG.

Here are yesterday’s scores

The best-of-three-games College World Series finals begin tonight (7 ET on ESPN), with the Arizona Wildcats (48-22) taking on the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (53-17) at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha (cue Peyton Manning).

TENNIS:

Wimbledon begins today and here’s all you need to know about that!

The NBA season may be over (and what a finish it was!!) but the basketball news doesn’t stop there. Unrestricted free agent Kevin Durant has chosen his list of teams by whom he’d like to be courted: OKC, Golden State, San Antonio, Boston, Miami, and the Clippers – corsages not mandatory. Of course his current OKC team is a-hoping and a-praying he signs a 2year deal with an opt-out, but if he’s focusing on that ring (he’s not getting any younger!) I don’t see that happening. I see a move to the Bay Area and GSW, which would TOTALLY suck for my Lakers. #sadface

The Olympic roster for the USA men’s team was announced yesterday:

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There are some notables missing, Steph, LeBron, Russell, Blake, to name a few, but it’s still an impressive group.

In other Olympic news, swimmer Ryan Lochte was denied a chance to defend his Olympic title in Rio in the 400-meter individual medley when he finished third behind a pair of college teammates who raced right by him on the closing laps. The 11-time Olympic medalist looked slow in the pool and was apparently hindered by a groin injury sustained in the morning prelims. It’s called #FatherTime my friend …and it’s a bitch.

Last week the World Anti Doping Agency suspended the accreditation of the Brazilian Doping Control Laboratory due to a non-conformity with the International Standard for Laboratories.  The suspension, which took effect on June 22nd, prohibits the Laboratory from carrying out all anti-doping analyses on urine and blood samples. It may appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport within 21 days of receipt of notice.

39 days until the games begin.

That’s it for now. I’m dealing with some spotty wifi here folks.  I’m hoping to get my sh*t together and post a bit earlier in the AM. But with the kids gone, that extra hour (or two) of sleep is soooo tempting. Have a good day. #ttyt

 

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#SportBitsDaily … Thursday

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NBA:

GET READY FOR GAME 6 OF THE NBA FINALS!! The Cavs are trailing 3-2, so if they lose tonight in Cleveland, it’s ova! Draymond Green will be back in the lineup for the Warriors, but big man Andrew Bogut, is out. An MRI revealed that Bogut has multiple bone bruises in his knee and will be out six to eight weeks. The injury will not require surgery. His shot blocking ability will be definitely be missed.

To quote #POTUS, there has been a lot of “yapping” between these teams…with wives getting into the mix…and emotions are high. It’s going to be an exciting game. And what makes it even better…YES BETTER…is ESPN’s announcement yesterday that longtime TNT announcer, Craig Sager, known for his outrageous suit ensembles, will be the sideline announcer. Sager, currently battling an aggressive form of Leukemia, has never worked the Finals. Classy move by ESPN. Can’t wait to see what he wears tonight! #NBAFashion

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photocred: The Lead Sports

 

MLB:

Old man Ichiro Suzuki broke Pete Rose’s all-time record of 4,256 after a double during the Miami Marlins’ game against the San Diego Padres yesterday, but Rose said he wasn’t counting Ichiro’s hits in Japan. The Miami Marlins outfielder has a career total of 4,257 hits – 2,979 in MLB and 1,278 in the Nippon Professional Baseball League. God love Pete Rose…. he’s always got something to say…but does he maybe have a point??

 “I’m not trying to take anything away from Ichiro — he’s had a Hall of Fame career — but the next thing you know, they’ll be counting his high school hits.” ~ Pete Rose

 Here are yesterday’s MLB scores, news and highlights.

TENNIS:

Five-time grand slam champion Maria Sharapova can’t play tennis for 2 years because she took a drug called meldonium, which was banned starting in 2016. She has officially appealed the decision seeking to wipe out or reduce the ban imposed by the International Tennis Federation. Fellow tennis player and Head racquet client, Andy Murray, thinks the ban is progress in the battle against doping, and that Sharapova should have know about the ban.

“I don’t really see that as being a valid excuse. If you’re taking any medication, it’s your responsibility as the athlete to check and make sure what you’re taking is legal…if you’re taking medication, there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t know whether it’s on the banned list or not.” ~ Andy Murray

SOCCER:

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Copa America continues!  The #USMNT take on Ecuador tonight in the quarterfinals. And here are yesterday’s results.

European Championships results are here.

GOLF:

The 116th U.S. Open begins today from Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pennsylvania. 156 of the greatest golfers in the world will compete for the United States’ biggest prize in golf. Settle in folks…we’ve got 4 days of great competition ahead, from a course that many say is probably one of the hardest courses played. I’m #TeamRickie all the way…who do you want?

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#SportbitsDaily … Wednesday

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NHL:

The NHL has settled on Las Vegas as it’s choice for expansion, provided organizers can come up with the $500 million fee. They’re calling them the Black Knights (love it!!) …and they’ll make their debut (most likely) in 2017. Next to Vegas…the Oakland Raiders!

SOCCER:

Copa America continues…here are yesterday’s results.

UEFA Euro results….here.

Team Russia was handed a suspended disqualification yesterday, and a fine of $168,000 for the actions of Russian fans following a 1-1 draw in a game against England in Marseille. Should more violence occur in the stadium, Russia will automatically be disqualified from Euro 2016. Put down your beer and chairs people, and just watch the match fahcrissakes.

NFL:

A lawsuit launched by a group of Patriots fans against the National Football League regarding the handling of the “Deflategate” investigation was dismissed by a federal judge. Major props for trying though..

MLB:

MLB scores and highlights…here.

The NCAA College World Series tournament is set…here is your lineup, game times and TV schedule.

ICYMI:

The 2016 Rio Olympics medals were unveiled yesterday….hmmmmm. #jurysout

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#SportBitsDaily … Tuesday

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Today’s theme ….balls.

NBA:

The Golden State Warriors blew their chance to clinch the NBA title at home last night. The war of words between LeBron James and Klay Thompson that began Sunday, continued on the court, and King James came out on top. The Cavs needed the win, and behind a 41pt performance from James and Kyrie Irving, they did just that, 112-97. The series returns to Cleveland for Game 6 on Thursday…and with Draymond Green back in the lineup after his groin-grabbing suspension – it’ll be dramatic – and fun.

Golf:

Big balls for Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy …b0th confirming they WILL take part in the summer Olympics despite #Zika concerns .

MLB:

More groin news: Cleveland Indians third baseman Juan Uribe was carted off the field in the fourth inning of Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Angels after Mike Trout’s ground ball nailed him in the nuts. He is listed day to day with a testicular contusion. Wasn’t he wearing a cup, you ask?  Don’t they all wear cups? Well, apparently Cleveland trainers didn’t have one in his size. #biggerballs

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*Insert some witty #DonJuan hashtag here.

Yesterday’s MLB scores…here.

Hey…let’s hear it for the old guys:

Ok, 32yrs may not be old. But to pursue an NFL career at that age is…well… ballsy. 32-year old former NBA player Nate Robinson had a tryout Monday with the Seattle Seahawks, a league source confirmed. The 5-foot-9 Robinson had been playing basketball in Israel, but he has expressed interest in pursuing an NFL career.

“The biggest challenge is probably all the haters, everybody counting me out, somebody not really giving me the opportunity. That’s what I think the biggest challenge will be, getting somebody to give me that chance.”

Good luck Nate – I’m rooting for you!

Meanwhile, Ichiro Suzuki is 42 years old, and after a disappointing 2015 season with his longtime Mariners team, many thought he was done. But he hung in there and signed with the Marlins for 2016, and is having a helluva season so far. Suzuki has a .350 batting average and is just 23 career hits short of 3000.

ICYMI: 

Baylor interim president David Garland acknowledged Monday that a movement to bring back Art Briles as football coach in 2017 has gained momentum among a few key donors. #BEYONDballsy.  There are no words…except that my incoming high school senior WILL NOT be looking at Baylor this fall. #BaylorScandal #notrust #nofaith

Let’s end with a shout out to all the ladies of the WNBA …

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#SportBits … Weekend Recap

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It is with a heavy heart I write my recap today, after the horrific massacre in Orlando, Florida. These tragic and senseless shootings continue to happen at an alarming rate. It’s sad, confusing, and maddening that we cannot figure out a way to battle this epidemic. Watching sports is a way for me to step out of the insanity for a little while. I’m reminded that these games are just that…GAMES…and they offer joy and reprieve during times where joy is hard to find…and I am thankful for that. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families today.

#SportBits

NBA:

The Golden State Warriors are 1 game away from winning their second consecutive NBA title. The can take it tonight at home – but they’ll have to do it without forward Draymond Green. Green was assessed a Flagrant 1 foul and suspended for 1 game for what the NBA said was a “retaliatory swipe of his hand to the groin” of LeBron James on Friday. The flagrant 1 gave Green his fourth flagrant foul point of the playoffs, which carries an automatic suspension. He will be allowed to participate in postgame celebrations if the Warriors win (they will). Draymond has been caught swiping the groinage before…kinda weird.

Russell Westbrook and James Harden have removed their names from consideration for USA Basketball’s 2016 Rio Olympics team. They are the latest star athletes to opt out of the games this summer. While neither mentioned the Zika virus as the reason – that’s the reason. I don’t care what anyone says.

The LA Lakers announced that Magic Johnson is no longer a ceremonial (i.e. non paid) Vice President of the organization. Why? Because he’s often critical of the team on social media – sounding somewhat teenagery at times – and the Lakers want all to know that “his opinions, comments and social media posts are solely his, and do not represent or reflect those of Lakers ownership of management. Hopefully this will eliminate any confusion over this issue in the future.”

This was one of my favs:

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#teenagery

NHL:

The Pittsburgh Penguins clinched the Stanley Cup with a 3-1 Game 6 win over the San Jose Sharks. This is their 4th title in franchise history. Team Captain Sidney Crosby was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.

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Gordy Howe, the Hall of Fame forward, also known as “Mr. Hockey” died on Friday. He was 88 yrs. old. Howe scored 975 goals in 2,186 games for four teams in two leagues—during a professional career that spanned 32 seasons from 1946 to 1980. In his final season, he scored 15 goals in 80 games for the Hartford Whalers.

MLB:

The 2016 MLB draft is over…. and here is what should know about that.

Here are the weekend scores and highlights.

In a TOTALLY DRAMATIC FINISH, UC Santa Barbara stunned Louisville with a walk-off home run to earn their first trip to the College World Series. FYI: Louisville was 47-0 this season when leading after 8 innings…and the FRESHMAN pinch hitter (Sam Cohen) had hit only 1 home run all year. I LOVE SPORTS!!!!

 

USCB will be playing Coastal Carolina, who clinched its first-ever trip to the College World Series Sunday night as the Chanticleers were able to earn a walk-off win over LSU in Baton Rouge. Can’t wait for the CWS – and here is what you need to know about it.

 

HORSE RACING:

There was no Triple Crown on the line; but the finish was still dramatic at the $1.5million Belmont Stakes on Saturday. Three-year-old gray colt, Creator, closed the race with a mad rush and caught Destin at the wire in the photo finish. Heavily favored Preakness winner Exaggerator wound up in 11th place. Creator co-owner and celebrity chef Bobby Flay is certainly cooking up celebratory feast for friends today.

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SOCCER/FOOTBALL:

Big sigh of relief for the #USMNT. After a 2-0 loss in their opener v Colombia, a 4-0 rout of Costa Rica put them back on track. On Saturday, the USA team beat Paraguay 1-0 on a Cliff Dempsey goal, which puts them in the Copa America quarterfinals.

#DUMBASSfanalert: English and Russian soccer fans hurled bottles and chairs, clashing with each other and French riot police in Marseille on Saturday ahead of their teams’ opening Euro 2016 match. One person suffered a heart attack while another England fan was knocked unconscious. There were also clashes in the stadium following England’s 1-1 draw with Russia, after Russia fans appeared to rush at England supporters. My suggestion would be to move the 9pm start to earlier in the day…leaving less time for fans to get hammered and act like IDIOTS before, during and after the game. #forfucksake

GOLF:

Canada’s Brooke Henderson claimed her first major title yesterday, beating world number one Lydia Ko in a sudden-death play-off at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.

 

That’s its for now folks… enjoy the game tonight (9pm ET on ABC)…lots of drama surrounding it…should be a great one. Follow me on social media, HerDaily.com and right back here for daily sports news, scores and highlights.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#SportBitsDaily … Friday

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Fifteen thousand people are expected to attend an interfaith service that will be held at the KFC Yum! Center at 2 p.m. today for boxing great Muhammad Ali. Former President Bill ClintonBilly CrystalBryant Gumbel, and Ali’s wife, Lonnie, will give eulogies. Also expected to speak is Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch. The service is open to the public.

NHL:

After wild first period goal-fest in Game 5 in the #StanleyCupFinals, the San Jose Sharks held on to win in Pittsburgh, 4-2, to force a Game 6 in San Jose on Sunday.

Hockey legend Gordie Howe died this morning, the Detroit Red Wings have confirmed. He was 88. The Hall of Famer played on four Stanley Cup championship teams in Detroit during a 25-year stint that began in 1946. He retired from hockey for good when he was 52.

NBA:

After winning Game 3 on Wednesday by 30 pts. without Kevin Love, a game which they were going to win NO MATTER WHAT, word has it the Cavaliers are wondering if they even need the injured star forward in the lineup for Game 4, tonight. He’s got to pass the concussion test before he’s cleared, which will probably be something like riding a unicycle while explaining the Theory of Relativity. …in Mandarin.

MLB:

The Philadelphia Phillies had the No. 1 pick in the MLB draft yesterday and took this guy. Here is more draft news from Day 1.

Manny Muchado was suspended 4 games for taking a swing and a miss at pitcher Yordano Ventura , who got 9 games for nailing Muchado with a fastball.

NFL:

Yahoo Sports reported yesterday that Von Miller could sit out the entire 2016 season. His contract negotiations with the Denver Broncos have hit a snag over what part of the 6yr, $114million will be guaranteed.

#RIPdabbing … Cam Newton announced yesterday the dab is done. We can all go back to living our lives now.

TENNIS:

Rafa Nadal will skip Wimbledon this year because of his recurring wrist injury.

Finally…

Loving the spirit of 7 yr old cancer survivor and Cub fan Beckham Zobrist. Retinoblastoma took his eye, but it couldn’t take his Cub spirit. Check out his prosthetic:

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#SportBitsDaily … Thursday

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NBA:

Big sigh of relief… The Cleveland Cavaliers found their shooting arm, LeBron scored 32, and the Cavs walloped the Warriors in Game 3 of the NBA Finals last night. From the start of the game the Cavs dominated, building a 20pt lead in the first quarter. Steph Curry had another off-night with 19pts and 6 turnovers. I just want a flippin’ game where both teams are playing well…this series has been a snoozefest. Through 3 games, the average margin of victory is 26pts. #dramafree

TENNIS:

Five time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova was suspended two years by the International Tennis Federation on Wednesday for doping, a ban she called “unfairly harsh.” She plans to appeal. In a statement on her Facebook page Sharapova said:

 “While the tribunal concluded correctly that I did not intentionally violate the anti-doping rules, I cannot accept an unfairly harsh two-year suspension. The tribunal, whose members were selected by the ITF, agreed that I did not do anything intentionally wrong, yet they seek to keep me from playing tennis for two years. I will immediately appeal the suspension portion of this ruling to CAS, the Court of Arbitration for Sport.”

A two-year ban, when everyone seems to agree that Sharapova didn’t know the substance, Meldonium, had been banned, seems a little harsh. Nike agrees…and they are sticking with her. Porsche is awaiting the appeal decision. Tag Heuer cut ties but MAY work with her again, and Avon said “see ya – wouldn’t want to be ya.”

MLB:

The MLB Draft starts tonight…is 40 rounds.. and lasts for of 3 days. You can watch on MLB Network and MLB.com. #yawn

A day after Yordano Ventura zinged a 99mph fastball at Manny Muchado – causing a bench-clearing brawl – the Kansas City Royals are reportedly reaching out to other teams to trade the controversial pitcher. Apparently Ventura’s attitude and immaturity seem to be the catalyst for the trade talk..that, and the series of on-field altercations he’s created over the last couple of season by hitting opposing batters. #thehell

Snoop Dogg threw out the first pitch at the Padre game yesterday. God love him…

 

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#SportBitsDaily … Wednesday

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COPA AMERICA:

In a make-or-break game for the #USMNT last night, Cliff Dempsey had a goal and two assists, and the U.S. rebounded from its opening loss with a convincing 4-0 victory over Costa Rica. The Americans are now in a position to advance to the knockout stage when playing Paraguay in its group finale on Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.

NBA:

Speaking of make-or-break games….the Cleveland Cavaliers MUST win Game 3 at home tonight. No team in history has come back from a 3-0 deficit in the NBA Finals. Good news  for Cavs fans: the team is 7-0 at home this playoff season.

Hours after interviewing for an assistant-coaching job with the New York Knicks on Tuesday, former NBA center Sean Rooks  collapsed and died in a Philadelphia restaurant. Rooks had a 12-year NBA career, including stops with the Dallas Mavericks, Minnesota Timberwolves, Atlanta Hawks, the Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers, New Orleans and Orlando Magic. He had been a player-development coach for the past two years with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Score one for #TeamNike. Projected No. 1 overall NBA draft pick Ben Simmons announced Tuesday that he has signed an endorsement deal with the company…why? Well, Simmons hired agent Rich Paul, who is a longtime friend of, and now agent for, LeBron James => #NikeGod ..and every shoe deal Paul has negotiated for his clients has been with Nike.

GOLF:

Tiger Woods announced yesterday he would miss the US Open and the Quicken Loan Invitational due to his continuing rehab on his surgically repaired back. The 14-time major champion hasn’t played a competitive round on the PGA Tour since finishing in a tie for 10th in the Wyndham Championship last August. I’m thinking that just like the Bernie Sander campaign – it might be time for Tiger to throw in the towel – and start designing courses.

NFL:

Rookie Mistakes: (paging D’Angelo Russell)… Minnesota Vikings’ top draft pick Laquon Treadwell is feeling the wrath of his new fan base. Dude was snapped wearing an Oakland Raiders hat, and when that pic hit snapchat? Ooooooh, fans let him have it. I get it…. cause I’ll tell you right now, if some #Cuse freshman showed up on campus wearing a Duke hat? #doneski

abda0723cbf91f87f2e4310a90e1659f.jpgLaquon Treadwell

The NFL twitter account was hacked and the culprits falsely tweeted out that ‘ding dong the commissioners dead’.  Roger Goodell took it all in stride, tweeting out his own response. We can’t get rid of him that easily folks.

The drama filled off-season for the SuperBowl champs continues…The NFL said yesterday they are investigating a shooting incident involving Bronco Aqib Talib. What we know for sure is Talib must have had quite a buzz going early Sunday morning when he to accidentally shot himself in the leg. What is unclear is whether it happened at a park while he was hanging with some friends, as he told police – OR – if it happened at a nightclub where an unknown suspect shot two people in a disturbance around the same time. Does Talib actually have a permit to carry a gun? Will he de disciplined by the team? Dunno…but the NFL is investigating it all.

MLB:

I mean really…no one likes getting hit by a 99 MPH fastball… Baltimore Royals starter Yordano Ventura hit Orioles shortstop Manny Machado with a wicked pitch.. and a big ole bench clearing brawl ensued. Both guys were ejected.

 

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#SportBits … Monday recap

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As I’m sure you know by now, Muhammad Ali, the silver-tongued legendary boxer, who proclaimed himself “The Greatest,” died Friday, June 3rd after being admitted to a Phoenix-area medical facility for respiratory complications. He was 74 years old. Ali battled Parkinson’s disease for 32 years, which had slowly robbed him of both his verbal artistry and physical aptitude. I could spend the whole article writing about the Louisville Lip, and what his legacy means, but I already did that over on HerDaily.com … Instead, I’ll let Ali speak for himself. Here is an except from his 2013 autobiography, The Soul of a Butterfly: Reflections on Life’s Journey:

 “I would like to be remembered as a man who won the heavyweight title three times, who was humorous, and who treated everyone right. As a man who never looked down on those who looked up to him, and who helped as many people as he could. As a man who stood up for his beliefs no matter what. As a man who tried to unite all humankind through faith and love. And if all that’s too much, then I guess I’d settle for being remembered only as a great boxer who became a leader and a champion of his people. And I wouldn’t even mind if folks forgot how pretty I was.”

 

#SportBits …

NBA: In the NBA Finals, the Golden State Warriors C R U S H E D the Cleveland Cavaliers, 100-77, in Game 2 in Oakland last night. The Warriors lead the series 2-0 heading to Cleveland for Game 3, Wednesday. Warriors’ Draymond Green scored 28 points and Cleveland lost star forward Kevin Love to “concussion protocol.” Here’s hoping LeBron and Co. can GET IT TOGETHER and take care of business at home. I’m not counting him out yet…but … #laststand

TENNIS: I bet Andy Murray is feeling a bit like the Cavs because no matter what he does, he can not beat Novak Djokovic at the Slams. World No. 1 Djokovic beat Murray in four sets at the French Open and became the first man in nearly a half-century to win four consecutive Grand Slam Tournaments. In his 12th appearance and fourth final, the Joker finally captured the one title that has eluded him. Next up: Wimbledon.

On the women’s side, World No. 1 Serena Williams was upset by Spaniard Garbine Muguruza, 7-5 6-4 in the women’s final on Saturday. Muguruza won her first career Grand Slam while denying Williams the opportunity of tying Steffi Graf’s record of 22 majors.

NHL: The Stanley Cup Final continues tonight in San Jose. The Pittsburgh Penguins lead the series 2-1. In a nutshell, the Penguins need to capitalize on their speed, and the Sharks need to take more shots! All the while, the beards keep growing…

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 11.37.21 AMJoe Thornton

MLB: Check here for weekend scores and highlights. In the meantime:

  • Giant pitcher Madison Bumgarner REALLY wants to participate in the Home Run Derby at the All Star game. After watching the show he put on at battling practice Sunday at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, I can see why. But it ain’t gonna happen…Giant manager Bruce Bochy doesn’t want ANYTHING happening to that arm…or legs…or hands..or … #riskybusiness
  • The LA Dodgers cut ties with  Carl Crawford and must eat the remaining $34.6 million left on the under-achieving outfielder’s contract. That is one expensive meal. #stomachache
  • Those sneaky Dodgers…after being accused last week of using lasers to mark spots on the outfield for defensive purposes, they hoped to supply some sweet music to umpire Joe West’s ears on Sunday. West, the longtime umpire who has two country albums to his credit, was behind the plate for Sunday’s game between the Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves. Dodger players used his songs as walk-up music for their first at-bats. Hilarious…and what’s even better? It was Chase Utley’s idea. #sneakiest

MMA: I had a ticket dropped in my lap last night to see the Zac Brown Band at the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood. Didn’t know one song, but man, he was good. Twenty-four hours earlier, the Forum hosted UFC 199 where 37-year-old Michael “The Count” Bisping shocked the MMA world by knocking out defending champ Luke Rockhold in the first round. Even more exciting was the announcement that a welterweight rematch between UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz will headline UFC 202 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Aug. 20. #BookItDano

Copa America: After losing their opening match, 2-0, to Columbia, the #USMST travels to Soldier Field in Chicago to take on Costa Rica on Tuesday. Check here for all results, matchups, and upcoming schedule.

In other soccer news, a federal district court in Chicago ruled in favor of the U.S. Soccer Federation, saying the women’s national team is subject to a contract that prevents players from striking. The previous agreement expired in 2012,but, according to U.S. Soccer, it was modified and extended to last from 2013 to 2016. The modification included a no-strike clause. U.S. Soccer brought a lawsuit against the players’ union after the union’s lawyer denied that there was a valid contract and the federation saw that as a threat to strike.  Basically, now that they can’t strike, their bargaining chip is gone in their battle for equal pay.

I’m going to end with more Muhammad Ali. One of the things I remember most as a kid watching Ali was his wacky and unlikely friendship with sportscaster Howard Cosell. To this day, I don’t think I’ve seen another relationship like it in the world of sports and sports media. Take a look:

 

Have a great week everyone. Remember to check in with me on social media for scores and highlights during the week, and with #SportBitsDaily for daily news, scores and TV schedules.

 

 

 

 

 

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#SportBitsDaily … Wednesday

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MLB:

The Boston Red Sox are leading the majors in runs scored with 308. Yesterday, Sox right fielder Mookie Betts added to the mix with 3 home runs v. the Orioles..dude is on FIRE and on pace for a 37-home season…which would make him just the third player under 5’-10” to hit 30 by age 23. It is VERY refreshing and GREAT for the game to see a small guy pounding the ball. #Mookie

The Chicago Cubs are in second place in runs scored with 275… but yesterday they were shutout, 5-0, by the boys in Blue. Cub pitcher Jake Arrieta’s impressive 23-game win streak came to an end. Wasn’t his fault though. He pitched 7 scoreless innings  – but the Dodgers took apart the bull pen scoring 2 in the 8th and 3 in the 9th.

FYI: Dodgers are calling the teenager back up to the big boy table after pitcher Alex Wood was sent to the DL because of elbow soreness.

More MLB scores…here.

NBA:

The NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers START TOMORROW. Here is a quick rundown on the matchup and TV schedule for your convenience.

Meanwhile, the Durantula has a stressful summer ahead…as if losing Game 7 wasn’t enough. Durant has spent his entire nine-year career with the OKC Thunder organization and is a seven-time All-Star. He can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and he is expected to be one of the most coveted free agents in league history. Will he or won’t he leave OKC? That’s the ???million dollar question. My advice? Sign a 2-year deal for beaucoup bucks with an option to leave after one. You gotta give it JUST ONE MORE TRY…

FRENCH OPEN:

Serena Williams storms in French quarters…Venus loses.

Djokovic ousts Bautista Agut to reach quarters.

Andy Murray beats Richard Gasquet for a spot in the semi’s.

Check here for more French Open news.

Sweet Jesus…did you see the massive alligator walking across a Sarasota, FLA. golf course on Monday? Not really earth shattering sports news…but really, really freaky anyway…”2 guys in an alligator suit.”

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#SportBitsDaily … Tuesday

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NBA: Led by 36-points by NBA MVP Steph Curry, the Golden State Warriors beat the Oklahoma City Thunder, 96-88, in Game 7 of the #WCF for a berth in the NBA Finals v. the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Warriors, who won a record 73 games during the regular season and came back from a 3-1 deficit against the Thunder, and Cavaliers will meet for the title for the second season in a row. The Warriors won the championship last season in six games.

Game 1 of the Finals is Thursday night at Oracle Arena in Oakland.

NHL: The Pittsburgh Penguins took Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals with a 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks in Pittsburgh last night. Sharks draftee Nick Bonino and his very big beard scored the winning goal for the Penguins. Game 2 is Wednesday in Pittsburgh, 8pm ET on NBCSN.

French Open results… here.

MLB scores…here.

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#SportBits … Memorial Day

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Happy Memorial Day #SportBits readers! I hope you are enjoying your long weekend. Today I am very thankful for all the women and men in the military who bravely serve this country. Their commitment affords my kids and me the freedoms we experience every day – and often take for granted. Thank you.

You know what else I’m thankful for? Sports! Following my teams and chatting about it on Twitter, at work, or with my family is fun. Don’t get me wrong, I love going to a great museum, or hitting up that killer Memorial Day Sale at Nordstrom’s, but knowing that I get to watch Game 7 tonight between #OKC and #GSW really makes my day. What about you? What’s making YOUR Memorial Day?

There were so many games, tournaments, and races to keep up with this weekend…I gave it my best-shot people….here we go.

NHL: The Stanley Cup Final is set. The Pittsburgh Penguins will battle the San Jose Sharks for the coveted trophy. The Sharks are in the finals for the first time in franchise history, while Sidney Crosby and the Penguins return for a 5th time. Game 1 is TONIGHT in Pittsburgh (8pm ET. on NBC) . There are many interesting storylines in this one…but I’m just excited to watch the fast and frantic pace that is expected in this series, along with the playoff beards that just keep-a-growin’.

NBA: Thank goodness for the Sharks because the Golden State Warriors have put the #NoCal fans in a tizzy. Over the weekend, the Warriors went to #OKC facing elimination in Game 6, and came out with an improbable win. Only 9 times in NBA history has a team come back from a 3-1 deficit. We’ll see if the Warriors can do it TONIGHT in Oakland for Game 7. Watch this game folks (9pm ET. TNT) – or if you have $29,000 – you can get a floor seat. If it’s anything like the last one, it might just be worth it!

Waiting in the wings from the East Conference is #KingJames and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Having beaten the Toronto Raptors in 6 games, the Cavs are hoping to bring the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy to Cleveland, where no professional sports team has won a championship in nearly 52 years. #Ouch. James is back to the NBA Finals for a record 6th straight time. THAT’S impressive…but it won’t mean squat if he doesn’t win the title. Finals begin Thursday.

MLB: It was a great weekend for me because I was able to watch 2 Dodgers games on TV. Don’t get me started on the Dodger/TimeWarnerCable BS that we are STILL experiencing out here in Los Angeles. Just … don’t.

The Dodgers traveled to New York to take on the World Series runner-up NY Mets, and this rivalry is officially ON. It began with the Mets accusing the Dodgers of cheating with lasers. The Mets contacted Major League Baseball about the possibility of the Dodgers using lasers to gain an unfair advantage in their defensive positioning. Next there was the Dodger debut of 19-year old lefty phenom pitcher Julio Urias. The Mets didn’t appreciate all the hype surrounding the kid, and made his first outing a rough one. Over the course of 2.2 innings, Urias allowed three earned runs and five hits while walking four batters and striking out three. He’s been sent back to his room Triple-A, Oklahoma City team and can not come out to play (in the majors) for a bit…

Oh, it doesn’t end there…things got really chippy on Saturday night. Mets Thor-esque pitcher Noah Syndergaard was given the quick boot for throwing a pitch behind Dodger Chase Utley. The 99-mph fastball appeared to be in retaliation for Utley’s leg-breaking slide to former Mets infielder Ruben Tejada in the NLDS last season. Twitter went nuts and Mets fans were M A D as many felt Thor should have been given a warning first.

In other baseball news, USA softball star Jennie Finch became the first woman to manage a professional baseball team on Sunday. Finch was a guest manager for the Atlantic League’s Bridgeport Bluefish. Her aggressive base running strategies helped lead the Bluefish to a 3-1 win over the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs at The Ballpark at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Finch is now 1-0. #girlmode

Check here for MLB scores and highlights.

Soccer: The 100th anniversary of the oldest international soccer tournament kicks off this Friday at Levi’s Stadium Santa Clara, CA when the U.S. meets Columbia in the first round of the Copa America Centenario. The 16-team competition will be played in 10 U.S. cities over the next month. It’s a great test for the USNMT going into the summer Olympics…and who doesn’t want to win the 100th anniversary title? Here is a complete TV guide for upcoming matches. If you’re a soccer fan, you’re in for a treat.

In NCAA news: so many tournaments… lacrosse, baseball, softball, ultimate Frisbee .. too many to cover. Sorry folks. Check here for final scores and updates on what’s happening in college sports sports.

Tennis: It’s been a nightmare year in tennis so far, and the hits just keep on coming. A match-fixing scandal began the year at the Australian Open. Maria Sharapova is out of tournament play due to a drug suspension. Roger Federer skipped the French because of an undisclosed injury. Clay King Rafa Nadal withdrew on Friday because of a wrist injury. And on Sunday, home favorite 6th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga retired after pulling his groin. Add all this to the ongoing bickering over equal pay, and the announcement by several high profile players that they are skipping the Olympics. #noreliefinsight

Speaking of the Rio Olympics, more than 100 prominent physicians, bioethicists and scientists from around the world posted a letter Friday urging World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan to exert pressure on Olympic authorities to move the Olympics from Rio de Janeiro or delay the Games because of public health concerns over the Zika virus, according to the Washington Post. In the open letter posted Friday on Twitter and Facebook, the authors said evidence shows that “Brazil’s Zika strain has more serious medical consequences than researchers previously knew, that Rio de Janeiro is one of the hardest-hit areas of the epidemic, and that Rio’s mosquito-killing efforts are not meeting expectations.” #ongoing

Golf: Texas native Jordan Spieth won his first PGA tournament in his home state on Sunday. A sure cure for his Master’s meltdown blues, Spieth birdied the last three holes in front of family and friends to win the Dean and Deluca Invitational in Fort Worth, Texas. Spieth is the reigning U.S. Open champion and will try to defend that title at Oakmont in three weeks. #cantwait

The Russian doping scandal continues. According to the Associated Press, 8 more Russian athletes tested positive in the retests of doping samples from the 2012 Olympics. The IOC is using newer methods to test samples. Russia has already been banned from competing in track and field, including at the Rio Olympics, by the international track and field federation. The IOC said Friday that 23 athletes from five sports and six countries tested positive in retests of 265 samples from 2012.

A very sad story from the NFL: New Orleans Pelicans guard Bryce Dejean-Jones was fatally shot after breaking down the door to a Dallas apartment early Saturday morning. Dejean-Jones was visiting his girlfriend for his daughter’s first birthday. According to police, the resident of the apartment, who had been asleep, retrieved a handgun and called out to Dejean-Jones but did not get an answer. Dejean-Jones kicked the bedroom door and the resident fired his gun through the door, striking and killing Dejean-Jones. It’s not clear at this time whether any substance played a part in this horrific tragedy.

Let’s end with the great underdog story from the Indianapolis 500! In what has to be one of the biggest upsets in the Formula-One sport, 24 year old California native Alexander Rossi won the 100th running of the “Greatest Spectacle In Racing” on Sunday. The 66-1 long shot used super speeds and a savvy fuel strategy to take the checkered flag, giving the Andretti family the biggest win of their storied careers. Columbian runner-up (for the 2nd time in 4 yrs) Carlos Munoz was not happy it all came down to fuel consumption – but a win is a win…#dealwithit. Rossi, on the other hand, had the best quote of the day: “The emotional roller-coaster of this race is ridiculous,” he said. “There were moments I was really stoked, really heartbroken, really stoked. I was like, ‘Wow, I’ll need to see a psychiatrist after this.” #pagingDr.Phil

That’s is for #SportBits this week. Enjoy the rest of your Memorial Day. Fire up the BBQs and watch some of great games tonight. Don’t know about you…but I’m stoked! Check in with #SportBitsDaily for TV schedules and quick updates…and don’t forget twitter, Facebook and instagram. #socialmediaOVERLOAD

 

 

 

 

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#SportBitsDaily … Friday

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The NBA defending champs live to see another day! Last night in Game 5 of the #WCF, the Golden State Warriors, lead by MVP Steph Curry, beat the OKC Thunder 120-111, in Oakland. Curry had 31 points and Kevin Durant had 40 for the Thunder. I’m digging the rivalry between Curry and Russell Westbrook though…keep an eye on that. Game 6 is going to be goooooood, Saturday night in Oklahoma.

It will be the Pittsburgh Penguins v. the San Jose Sharks in the Stanley Cup Finals. Last night, the Pittsburgh Penguins advanced with a thrilling Game 7 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Penguins dominated possession on their home ice, outshooting the Bolts 30-17, but the game was filled with tension from start to finish. The best-of-seven Stanley Cup Finals begins Monday night in Pittsburgh.

In an effort to keep the “dopers” away from the Rio Olympics, the IOC continues to reanalyze samples from athletes from the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. The latest tests have turned of 23 more athletes with doping in their samples. An earlier sweep revealed 31 doping athletes. #cheatersbeware

My Dodgers pitching rotation is in need of some HELP. And hopefully that’s what they’ll get today as 19year old Julio Urias gets his first MLB start. Dude has been ripping it up in the minors – time to see how he plays with the big boys. Heck, he’s younger than many of the players the Dodgers will be drafting in two weeks. Lord have mercy! I’ma rootin’ him on, and hoping his mom will be there incase things don’t go well.

Baylor fired football coach Art Briles yesterday amid the controversy over the school’s handling of sexual assault allegations involving players on his team. #BoutTime

Happy Memorial Day weekend folks…you’ve got all kinds of sports to watch this weekend: NBA, NCAA tourneys, MLB, French Open, Indy 500, Golf, NASCAR…fire up the DVR along with the BBQ.  Enjoy!

That’s it. So now you know…

 

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#SportBits… Monday Recap … #jumpin

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Hello #SportBits reader! Thanks for stopping by. It tells me you DO want to know a little bit of what’s happening in the world of sports…for whatever reason. Now if you would just leave me some comments below, I could fine-tune this bad boy to make #SportBits even more enjoyable for YOU! #jumpin

It was a beautiful weekend here is Southern California…one of those weekends where it was really hard to be inside watching sports. But for you loyal readers, I made sure to catch the noteworthy contests.

First up in Maryland, we had the running of the 141st Preakness. After a decisive win at the Kentucky Derby, undefeated Nyquist hoped to win the second leg of the Triple Crown. It was a day of rain and fog, which many felt favored Nyquist’s main competitor, Exaggerator. Jockey Kent Desormeaux ran a beautiful race and guided Exaggerator to a 3-½-length victory over Cherry Wine on the sloppy track. Nyquist finished third. If you missed it, you will get a chance to watch these two compete again in three weeks at the Belmont Stakes. It will be their 6th time running against each other, with Nyquist up 4-1. #rivalry

At the Byron Nelson Golf Classic in Irving Texas, Spaniard Sergio Garcia made par on the first playoff hole on Sunday to beat Brooks Koepka for his ninth career PGA Tour victory, matching the late Seve Ballesteros for the most by a Spanish-born player. #vamonos

The 2016 French Open, the second Grand Slam tournament of the year, kicked off at Roland Garros stadium this week. Sunday started with cloudy and soggy conditions, forcing play to stop. Rain continued to fall today/Monday, causing additional delays after only 10 of 32 scheduled matches were completed on Sunday. The French Open is the only Grand Slam tournament that plays on a clay court, and so weather conditions can have a huge impact. This year, top seed Serena Williams will be playing for her 4th French Open and 22nd Grand Slam title, which would tie her with Steffi Graf. Men’s top seed Novak Djokovic will be playing for the only Grand Slam title missing from his impressive résumé. Check in HERE for scores and match schedules. And for more French Open analysis, see my article on HerDaily. #crosspromotion

The NBA playoffs continue. In the east, the Toronto Raptors won Game 3 at home on Friday, 99-84. Cleveland leads the series 2-1. Game 4 is tonight in Toronto, 8:30pm ET on ESPN.

In the West, the OKC Thunder clobbered the Golden State Warriors in Game 3 in Oklahoma City on Sunday night, 133-105. The Thunder leads the series 2-1. Game 4 at OKC, Tuesday, 9pm ET on TNT.

ICYMI: the NBA lottery took place last week and the Philadelphia 76ers won first pick. The LA Lakers got second and the Boston Celtics took third. The draft is June 23rd in New York, with LSU’s Ben Simmons and Duke’s Brandon Ingram considered the top two picks.

The WNBA season is just underway, and the league is getting great PR from some of their NBA counterparts. Golden State Warrior Draymond Green said last week: “In the NBA there’s always a guy who is only around because he can jump. He doesn’t have a clue about the fundamentals. I learn more from the WNBA. They know how to dribble, how to pivot, how to use the shot fake.” And when Clipper star Blake Griffin guested on Broad City last month, he said the WNBA was, “So good. I literally steal moves from them all the time.” He then went on to say, “Some of the moves they do, I can’t even — like — I can’t even think of in my head. It’s just like the best version of basketball there is.”

The WNBA is where it’s at, people. Check it out. Here is a great place to start.

The NHL playoffs continue with the Western Conference series tied at 2 after a strong performance by the St. Louis Blues in Game 4 on Saturday. Game 5 v. the San Jose Sharks is tonight, in St. Louis, at 8pm ET on NBCSN.

In the #ECF, the Tampa Bay Lightning staged comebacks scoring two tying goals, the second of which forced overtime with 3:16 to go in regulation in what became a 4-3 overtime victory over the Penguins in Game 5. They lead the series 3-2 over the Pittsburgh Penguins, and can advance to the Stanley Cup Finals with a win in Game 6, Tuesday night in Tampa Bay.

In MLB news… a few interesting rule changes are in the works. At the owners meeting last week, the Competition Committee approved a change in the strike zone, which now starts below the knee. The change move the zone to the top of the hitter’s knee. Also, if a pitcher wants to walk a batter, he will soon be able to signal the umpire instead of having to throw the old-fashioned 4 pitches to a standing catcher. Both these changes could go into effect next season and are meant to pick up the pace of the game, which is a priority for MLB commissioner Rob Manfred.

A crappy thing happened at Petco Park on Saturday night, and the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus is calling for an investigation. A mix-up occurred at the Padres v. Dodgers game, when a recording of a woman’s voice was played over 100 male chorus members who had taken the field to perform the national anthem. No attempt to stop the recording or usher the singers off the field was made, so the chorus stood there looking embarrassed and humiliated. Donald Trump Fans were heard yelling, “you sing like a girl” as they walked off afterwards. Padre officials said it was a mistake and have fired the person responsible for the error. I hope it was a mistake because that sh*t ain’t cool.

Here is a link to all the scores and current team standings.

In college sports, there are a bunch of tournaments happening, but I’m going focus on lacrosse and softball this week.

In the women’s lacrosse, the tournament final four is set: #1 Maryland will play #4 Syracuse, and #3 North Carolina takes on Penn State in the semifinals on Friday. The championship game will be 12pm ET on Sunday.

On the men’s side: #1 Maryland plays #5 Brown, and North Carolina takes on #7 Loyola (Md) on Saturday, with the championship game on Monday. College lax is fast past, exciting to watch and becoming more and more popular by the day. You should try and catch some if you get chance. Most games are televised on the ESPN networks.

In women’s softball, the Women’s College World Series (WCWS) is the final portion of the NCAA Division I Softball Championship. The tournament format consists of two four-team double-elimination brackets. The winners of each bracket then compete in a best-of-three series to determine the Division I WCWS National Champion.  The top 4 seeds this year are: Florida, Michigan, Oklahoma, and Auburn. Teams are currently competing in the best-of-three Regional Series. Check here for teams, scores and schedules.

In other news…

Our old pal Johnny Manziel is in the news again. On Friday, Manziel got kicked out of a Las Vegas club for punching a patron in the face at an impromptu Drake concert. Now there is word the NFL is investigating the Cleveland QB’s role in a car crash that happened on the Sunset Strip last month. Manziel was a passenger in the rental car which was heavily damaged. The owner now claims Manziel refuses to pay for repairs – and he is PO’d. TMZ reports the car crash probe is part of a “larger Manziel investigation, which is ongoing.” #staytuned

Today is the deadline for New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady to appeal his deflate-gate case, and it’s looking like he is going to proceed. Lord have mercy, when will it end? I’m tired of it…You can read more about it here.

Ugh. According to documents obtained by ESPN’s Outside The Lines, a new congressional report is out implying that the NFL sought to “improperly influence” a major government study on connections between football and brain disease. The report says the NFL gave the National Institutes of Health a $30 million unrestricted gift in 2012, but later sought to pull $16 million in funding from that gift away from one researcher, and reroute it to researchers working on the league’s own brain injury committee. When the NIH declined to redirect the funding, the NFL “balked at paying for the study, despite having signed documents it would do so.” Taxpayers were then on the hook to pay for the study. Not cool NFL…not cool at all. The brain injury study begins next week in Boston.

The Olympic doping scandal continues. Over the weekend, Russian pole-vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva accused anti-doping and Olympic bosses of discrimination against Russia and violating her human rights. Russia’s athletics team has been suspended from international competition since November, after the publication of an independent report into systemic doping in Russian athletics. A decision on whether to lift that ban in time for Rio will be made by the International Association of Athletics Federations on June 17.

L A S T L Y…. and let’s see if you made it to the end of this VERY long article… I want you to check out this video from last nights #OKCvGSW game and tell me if you think the kick in the crotch by Draymond Green on Steven Adams was intentional. He was assessed a Flagrant 1 foul which is being reviewed today. Opinions are falling on both sides. I have no question what I think. What do YOU think? #owie

Alrighty then…that’s it for #SportBits. Thanks for stopping by. Find me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for more news and scores and just plain fun.

 

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#SportBits…BREAKING NEWS

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Hello… and welcome! If this is your first time visiting #SportBits, let me let explain my mission. Simply put, I want everyone on the planet to know a little bit about what is going on in the world of sports. Why? Well, why not? People talk about sports all the time. Sports news is happening 24/7. It crosses over with politics. It’s entwined with pop culture. It even touches upon social and religious issues. It’s a smart move to know what’s going on in the world of sports, so when you’re in that business meeting, or cocktail party, or commute to school with your kids, and someone asks, “You think the Warriors can win the title this year,” you will:

  1. Know who the Warriors are, and
  2. Have an answer for her/him.

And you will feel empowered by having that answer! I promise. And WHY will you have that answer? Because you read #SportBits every week! #yay

Let’s start off with the NBA playoffs and that above-referenced Warriors question.

In the Western conference:

  • The No. 1 Golden State Warriors lead No. 8 Houston Rockets 3-1 in their first round, best-of-seven series. The big news here is that superstar badass Steph Curry, who sat out game 3 with a tweaked ankle, sprained his knee at the end of the first half on Sunday. Curry was visibly upset on the bench, and took his tears to the locker room at halftime. He didn’t return in the second half, but his teammates responded and got the win without him.
  • BREAKING NEWS: CURRY COULD BE OUT FOR 2 WEEKS WITH A GRADE 1 SPRAIN OF HIS KNEE.
  • Can the Warriors beat the LA Clippers or the San Antonio Spurs with out Curry? Hmmmm…. it would be VERY tough. There are some anxious fans up in #NoCal for sure.
  • Game 5 is set for Wednesday at 7:30pm in Oakland.
  • No. 2 San Antonio swept the Memphis Grizzlies, and awaits the winner of the No. 3 Oklahoma City Thunder v. No. 6 Dallas Mavericks series. #OKC seemingly have control in this one with a 3-1 lead.
  • Game 5 is TONIGHT, 8pm ET on TNT.
  • No. 4 LA Clippers lead No. 5 Portland Trailblazers 2-1.
  • Game 4 is TONIGHT in Portland at 10:30pm ET, on TNT.

In the East:

  • No. 1 Cleveland Cavs closed out their series with No. 8 Detroit Pistons with a sweep on Sunday in Detroit. 
  • They await the winner of the Atlanta v. Boston matchup.
  • No. 2 Toronto Raptors are tied 2-2 with the No.7 Indiana Pacers.
  • Game 5 is Tuesday in Toronto.
  • No. 5 Boston Celtics won Game 4 in overtime on Sunday to even the series at 2-2 with No. 4 Atlanta Hawks.
  • Game 5 in Atlanta is Tuesday – check local listings for time/channel.

Meanwhile, the first round of the NHL Playoffs continues:

In the West Conference, Pacific division:

  • No. 1 Anaheim Ducks v. (wildcard) Nashville Predators: Ducks lead series 3-2
  • On Saturday, the Ducks won 5-2 in Nashville, putting the Predators on the brink of elimination.
  • Game 6 is Monday (TONIGHT!) night in Nashville, 8pm on CNBC.
  • Game 7, if necessary, is Wednesday (check local listings) in Anaheim
  • No. 2 Los Angeles Kings v. #3 San Jose Sharks: Sharks win the series 4-1
  • Two years ago, the Sharks held a 3-0 lead over the Kings in the playoffs, and lost it.
  • This year, they made sure that didn’t happen, beating the Kings 6-3 in LA on Friday, to win the series.
  • They await the winner of the Ducks v. Predators.

In the Central division:

  • No. 1 Dallas Stars v. (wildcard) Minnesota Wild: Stars win the series 4-2  
  • The Stars put their fans at ease and closed out the series with a 6-5 win in Minnesota on Sunday.
  • They await the winner of St. Louis v. Chicago.
  • No.2 St. Louis v. No. 3 Chicago Blackhawks: Series tied 3-3
  • Game 7 is TONIGHT in St. Louis, 8:30pm on NBCSN.
  • GAME 7’s ARE ALWAYS EXCITING. #winORgohome

In the East, Atlantic division:

  • No.1 Florida Panthers v. (wildcard) New York Islander: Islanders win series 4-2.
  • Islander fans are rejoicing as their team had not had a chance to clinch a playoff series at home since 1993, when its current captain, John Tavares, was 2 years old. That also was the last time the Islanders won a playoff series.
  • They now play No.2 Tampa Bay Lightening, who won their series 4-1 over No.3 Detroit Red Wings.

In the Metro division:

  • No.1 Washington Capitols wrapped up their series on Sunday winning it 4-2 over the  (wildcard) Philadelphia Flyers.
  • They will play No.2 Pittsburg Penguins, who won  4-1 over No. 3 New York Rangers.

Last night in baseball, the Washington Nationals beat the Minnesota Twins 6-5, but it took 16 innings and 6 hours to get it done. Bryce Harper tied it with a pinch-hit home run in the ninth inning, pitcher Oliver Perez put down a bunt in the 15th that kept the game going, and Chris Heisey homered in the 16th to end it.

In another Sunday marathon game, the Boston Red Sox beat the Houston Astros 7-5 in a 12 inning, 5-hour game.

In Denver, the LA Dodgers blew a 7-1 lead in the 8th to the Rockies (I’m blaming it on the altitude), but then scored 5 in the ninth to win it. Crazy stuff. Going to the ballpark is a crapshoot. Spending $$$$ on tickets is a given. Knowing what kind of game you’ll get is not. It could be a low scoring snoozer…or a marathon outing filled with exciting plays. But what you can ALWAYS count on? Good food and frosty beers.

Check in here for all scores and current standings in the MLB.

In other news:

The Los Angeles Lakers fired their coach Byron Scott on Sunday. Poor guy did all that he was supposed to: guide the young team through the end of the Kobe Bryant era including the season-long #FarewellTour. But the minute that was over, so was Scott. Probably for the best. Can’t wait to see whom they hire.

SUCH DRAMA IN THE #MMA! It’s better than highschool… Conor McGregor, arguably the biggest draw for the sport, and the UFC featherweight champion, was scheduled for a rematch with Nate Diaz in the main event of the card of UFC 200. But last week, out of the blue, McGregor tweeted he had retired. A a few hours later, UFC president Dana White explained that McGregor had been pulled from UFC 200 because he wouldn’t fly to Las Vegas to perform promotional obligations. THEN McGregor clarified his tweet saying he wanted to focus on training and would do some promotional duties now, and some later. But White followed that up with press conference, saying McGregor was DEFINITELY OFF the UFC 200 card, and the UFC was looking for a new opponent for Diaz. Still with me? Well last night, McGregor took to twitter again (WHAT IN THE WORLD DID WE DO BEFORE SOCIAL MEDIA??) :

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UPDATE: Dana White now says McGregor’s tweet in “inaccurate.”  Yeah, MUCH better than high school.

Sports & Politics… Last week, NBA Commissioner David Silver made it perfectly clear that if the North Carolina “Bathroom Bill” isn’t changed, the league will find a host other than Charlotte for next year’s All-Star Game.

“We’ve been, I think, crystal clear a change in the law is necessary for us to play in the kind of environment that we think is appropriate for a celebratory NBA event,” Silver said at the Associated Press Sports Editors’ commissioner meetings.

I’m not a big fan of David Silver (advertising on NBA jerseys!! ugh) but at least he got this one right.

BREAKING NEWS: The U.S. Court of Appeals  has ruled in favor of the NFL in the ongoing Deflategate case against the New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and the NFL Players Association. Brady’s 4-game suspension has been reinstated….for now.

That’s it for me. Like Conor McGregor, I’m all over social media => follow me! Have a great week and I’ll see you back next Monday. Or maybe not…I’m heading to the Big Easy for some Jazz Fest next weekend. Then again, sports and music often intersect..so you never know what I might be reporting on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#SportBits…Monday News

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It’s Monday, and #SportBits is here to give you the 411 on what’s happening in fashion, entertainment and politics. Ha! Just seeing if you are paying attention. A lot is happening out there in the world of sports. I’m sure most of you know what’s going on, since you follow me on social media, but incase you don’t (and you may want to rethink that), here is this week’s sports roundup. #yeehaw

It’s PLAYOFF time in the NBA and NHL.

In the NBA, the top eight teams in each conference battle in their best of seven, first round seri. I could write a whole article about the matchups, the key players, and the schedule, but why should I when this article does it for me. I’m picking Golden State to win it all, because Superman Steph Curry will be the first to tell you that their record breaking 73-win season doesn’t mean SQUAT if they don’t win the Championship. #MAJORincentive. Plus, he’s Superman.

Ditto for the NHL. Their 4-round, best of seven series got underway last week, and HERE is what you need to know about THAT. It’s still early .. and I promise to go into more #SportBits detail as we get a little deeper in.

In baseball news, the Washington Nationals have a franchise-best 9-1 start. Bryce Harper looks to repeat last season’s MVP, and their off-season acquisitions are performing very well, so things are looking cherry-blossomy in DC. But man, it’s a loooong season, so does all this really mean anything? Who the heck knows. Time will tell.

In Tampa Bay, a female fan was struck by a foul ball and hospitalized over the weekend. The fan was sitting in the lower box seats next to the Tampa Bay’s dugout on the first base side, when she was struck in the seventh inning by a ball off the bat of Rays designated hitter Steven Souza Jr. The ball went through a small gap in the protective netting behind an area for photographers. Baseball games can be long and boring at times. But you have to pay attention because apparently, even the protective netting won’t always keep you safe.

MLB teams are still trying to get used to the new slide rule implemented this season. This issue rose to the forefront during the 2015 postseason when LA Dodger Chase Utley broke up a potential double play in Game 2 of the National League Division Series with a controversial slide that ended up injuring Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada. In the past, runners were given wide latitude coming into second base as long as they were close enough to touch the bag. Under the new rule, a runner will have to make a “bona fide slide,” which is defined as making contact with the ground before reaching the base – meaning the runner can’t just take out the 2nd baseman in order to mess up his flow. Players aren’t happy since they’re used to plowing down the second baseman if needed. But this is a good thing….because change is good…yada yada yada. #safetyfirst

Let’s talk some fashion and design. The Chicago Cubs have a new clubhouse, and I ain’t talking Mickey Mouse. Take a look:

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Bye bye traditional locker room-feel. Hello multiple flat-screen TVs, circular bar, and swanky lounge, strength and conditioning area. And let’s not leave out the futuristic training room and saltwater hyperbaric deprivation chamber. All they need now is a disco ball and D-Jay and Cub Nightclub will be ready for business.

Here are the MLB scores and highlights from the previous week. Give a glance…

It’s the off-season in football..college and pros..so why has there been so much football news lately? Can’t we go one day without some Johnny Manziel, blockbuster trade, new NCAA rules or scheduling story? Can’t the OTHER sports have their time in the spotlight? Man, I think football can be so selfish sometimes.

So we’ll move on to soccer, which of course is called FOOTBALL over in England, where the  English Premiere League  is played. We are coming to the end of the 9month League season. In the European League, each of 20 teams play each other twice. A team is given 3-points for a win and 1-pt for a tie (draw). If two or more teams have the same number of points at the end of the 38game season, there are factors used to separate them. It’s pretty straight forward…whichever team has the most points at the end, wins it all. There are no playoffs –  so this is the juicy part of the season. Here is an update on League leaders and remaining games.

In MLS, soccer commissioner Don Garber confirmed the league’s plans to expand from 20 to 24 teams by 2018, and to 28 teams by an unspecified timetable. Sacramento, Detroit, St. Louis and San Diego are all in the running.

For all MLS soccer scores and updates…check here.

In other news….

It was a great night in the NBA and the state of California last Wednesday. In Los Angeles, Kobe Bryant scored 60 points in his last NBA game. It was an amazing ending to an amazing 20yr career. Up in Sacramento, The Golden State Warriors ended an amazing season with their 73rd win, surpassing the 1995-96 Bulls.

In women’s basketball, Loyola University Chicago announced Friday they will be investigating complaints made against women’s basketball coach Sheryl Swoopes following a mass exodus of players from the program. According to the Chicago Tribune, 10 of the team’s 12 returning players have transferred, or put in requests to be released from their scholarships – this, after 5 players transferred after last season. Sources say team members were not happy with Swoopes’ treatment of individual players. Swoopes, a four-time WNBA champion and three-time Olympic gold medalist, who was hired by Loyola in 2013 with very little coaching experience, is said to be cooperating fully.  Hmmmm….as Colonel Clink would say, “Veeeery interestink.”

And because I want to hit that #SportBitsFashion theme again, let’s check out a couple NBA stars and their “Game 1 Arena Arrival Outfits” or #G1AAO :

Russell Westbrook, from the Oklahoma City Thunder, made a bold choice going with the simple white T and wide-leg fisherman pants for his arrival. Gotta have some stones to rock this one…and he does…rock it that is.

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#KingJames sticks with the all-business attire. He’s focused (and reportedly off social media for the playoffs..thank goodness) and his outfit reflects that. #allbiz

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That’s it folks. As I write this, I have Pro Bowling on in the background. Clearly I need help. Please post any advice or comments below – or on facebook, twitter and instagram. Thanks for stopping by…see you next Monday. #SportBitsOut

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#SportBits….#QuickChat with Phil Jackson

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Hello #SportBits readers! How are you handling the #madness? It certainly was a great weekend of college basketball- both men and women’s. Bummed I have to wait until Thursday before it starts up again. We’ll get to the scores and highlights in a minute. But first, I want to pass along some interesting information and insight I got from NY Knick president and former Laker and Bulls coach, Phil Jackson. That’s him in the cover photo. It was the only shot where he’s smiling, so I had to use it! He came into the vintage watch store I work at with a couple beautiful timepieces to be repaired – one was a gift from Jerry Buss, given to him when he was kicked out of a game for defending Kobe. Naturally, I took the opportunity to chat him up. His son Charlie was with him, and it was fun quizzing them both on some #SportBits topics.

We started out with a little tourney talk and it turns out that, like me, they both have Kansas winning it all. #greatminds

Next came a quick question on the state of the Knicks head coaching position. Former Laker and Knicks head coach Derek Fisher was let go in February, and veteran assistant (and former Laker) Kurt Rambis was named interim coach. According to an ESPN.com article, Jackson took some blame for Fisher’s performance. He said he could have done a better job mentoring him. I asked PJ (that’s what Charlie calls him) if Rambis was his permanent pick, and if there was any truth to the rumors he might step back into the coaching arena and coach some Knick home games? “At this point, I haven’t made any decisions,” Jackson said. The Knicks are 5-11 under Rambis and near the bottom of the Eastern division. I mentioned my theory on Kobe’s coaching aspirations, as it seems he’s doing a lot it from the bench this season. I jokingly suggested to Phil he might want to hire him for the job. He smiled and said, “No comment.”

Next was my standard question on concussions in sports. I asked Coach if he knew then, what we know now, would Charlie be able to play football as a kid? He looked at Charlie and said, “Well, ask him about that.” Charlie told me he was NOT allowed to play football growing up. “My mom saw too many injuries in the game and didn’t want us getting hurt,” Charlie said. “We weren’t allowed to play.” I asked him if he was bitter about that and he responded, “Not at all. I’ve got two young boys and I’m not sure what I’ll do when they get old enough to play. Hopefully, they will have figured out proper safety measures by then.”

The last topic I touched on was the Adam LaRoche controversy. If you haven’t heard, Chicago White Sox designated hitter Adam LaRoche retired from baseball last week because the team president asked him to “dial back” his son’s time in the clubhouse and on the field. LaRoche walked away from $13 million dollars remaining in his contract to put #familyfirst. Charlie Jackson answered this one too. He explained that growing up in Chicago while his dad coached the Bulls, and here in Los Angeles with the Lakers, he was rarely allowed in the locker room. “Kids and wives were not on the team planes or in the same hotels even. That’s not the atmosphere Dad wanted. It was business. But I think things are a little different now. It’s a different generation.” Phil agreed. “I’ve got to think there is some kind of compromise here,” Charlie said. I agreed with them both. Surely, there must be a better way to work this one out. Lots of support coming on both sides of the issue, and I’m hoping there can be an amicable resolution before the boycotts begin. The whole thing is ridiculous if you ask me. Kids in the workplace…yes or no?

That was all the time I had with Phil. I was surprised he let me snap a picture (photocred: Charlie). I thanked him and asked permission to post. I then told him it was his friend Jeannie Buss who I REALLY wanted to interview, and asked him to put in a good word. #workit

On to the #madness… It was a fun weekend of hoops filled with some wicked upsets and bracket busters (HELLO Middle Tennessee State (men’s side),  U of Albany in the women’s); a phenomenal half court buzzer beater, tip-ins and those Cinderella teams no one expected to advance. So much happened over the four days, it’s just too much to cover here. If you want to get all the details, check this article. Here are a few of my take-aways from the men’s side:
• The Sweet 16 round is made up teams mostly from the power conferences. Other than Gonzaga, the mid-majors melted away.
• The biggest upset of the weekend had to be No. 2 seed Michigan State falling to Middle Tennessee State in the first round. It killed my bracket.
• The ACC conference is the big winner with 6 teams heading to the Sweet 16.
• There are zero African American coaches in the Sweet 16 for the second year in a row. #S16sowhite

Here is a look at the bracket going in to the second weekend. How have your teams done?

In the women’s tournament, the two big stories are Syracuse advancing to its first Sweet 16 in program history, and powerhouse Tennesee advancing after a hugely disappointing regular season. Other teams moving on: No. 5 Mississippi State, No. 1 South Carolina, No. 3 Ohio State. Check here for the full bracket. If you haven’t watched any of the women’s games, you should check them out. They are just as entertaining and exciting as the men’s games.

In the NBA there were a few noteworthy games over the weekend.

LeBron and the Cavaliers were pummeled by Dwayne Wade and the Heat on Saturday, 122-101. Down 20 at the half, the Cavs fell behind by as much as 30 in the 3rd quarter. Let’s keep an eye on LeBron’s twitter and instagram feeds this week to see if he’s posts anymore cryptic messages. His latest instagram had everyone in a tizzy once again.

San Antonio held Steph Curry to 14 points and defeated the Golden State Warriors 87-79 to stay perfect at home this season.

One night after dominating the 76ers in Philadelphia, the OKC Thunder were back in action on Saturday against the Indiana Pacers and came out with a 115-111 win. Kevin Durant had 33 points while Russell Westbrook put in14. Paul George of the Pacers had 45 in the losing effort.

In what could be a first round matchup in the playoffs, the Los Angeles Clippers came up short against the Grizzlies 113-103 in Memphis. Former Clipper Zack Randolph has his way with his former team, scoring a triple double (28pts/11 rebounds/10 assists). On Sunday, the Clippers fell 109-105 to the New Orlean Pelicans. It’s panic time in Clipperland.

Check here for all NBA scores.

NHL News:

Last Monday, the NFL made news when the league’s vice president of health and safety, Jeff Miller, acknowledged a link between football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The NHL did NOT follow suit however. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said:

“Well, first of all, I don’t feel that it’s either necessary or appropriate for me to comment on what the NFL says or does,” Bettman said. “Secondly, I think it’s fairly clear that playing hockey isn’t the same as football. And as we’ve said all along, we’re not going to get into a public debate on this.”

Good luck with that Mr. Commissioner. Currently, over 100 NHL players are involved in lawsuits claiming the league did not do enough to educate or protect them from the long-tem effects of concussions. The League says players could have done research and figured out the connection on their own. #whatheWHAT? Looks like a resolution is nowhere in sight.

Last week, the League leading Washington Capitols became the first team to clinch a playoff sport with their overtime win over the Carolina Hurricanes. On Sunday, they lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins who extended their win streak to 6.

On Saturday, LA Kings goalie Jonathan Quick helped his team win its fourth in a row and clinch a playoff berth in the West. They beat the Boston Bruins 2-1 at the Staples Center.

Anaheim Ducks beat the Winnipeg Jets in OT.

Check here for all NHL scores.

In college hockey, the 16 teams were announced on Sunday for the Division-1 NCAA Frozen Four Tournament. If you’ve never watched college hockey, you should check it out. It’s very fast paced and exciting. Here is a look at the bracket. Games start March 25th with the Frozen Four meeting in Tampa on April 7th. Championship game is April 9th, 8pm ET on ESPN.

On the women’s side, Boston College was attempting to cap off only the second undefeated season in NCAA history against the Minnesota Gophers in the championship game on Sunday. The Gophers came up with the upset winning 3-1 in Durham, NH.

In tennis, the BNP Paribas at Indian Wells came to a close, but not without some major controversy. Event CEO Raymond Moore spoke at a press conference before the women’s final on Sunday, and made some remarks that we’re outright sexist. Moore claimed that both the Women’s Tennis Association and its players ride on the coattails of men, used the term “lady player,” and commented on the physical attractiveness of a couple of the tour’s best young athletes. He quickly tweeted a hasty apology but I’m thinking his days are numbered.

Meanwhile, in the women’s final, No. 13 seed Victoria Azarenka dominated the early stages of the match before holding off a second-set fightback to defeat Serena Williams 6-4, 6-4 . Serena commented on the controversy after the match and she didn’t mince words.

On the men’s side Novak Djokovic dominated Milos Raonic 6-2 6-0 to cliam his 5th Indian Wells title. After the match he added to the controversy by stating men should be given more prize money because they bring in more TV viewers. Guess Novak was unaware that at last years US Open, the women’s final sold out before the men’s. #Joker

I’m going to end with my #HOLYCRAP moment of the week. F1 racecar driver Fernando Alonso should definitely play the lottery after walking away from this one. Check it out.

That’s it for #SportBits. I’ll be following the Knick head coaching story closely because something tells me this decision is going to make or break Phil Jackson’s tenure with the team. And hey, if you’re ever down in the South Bay, stop by MB Watch Repair and Vintage Watches. We’re always talking food, sports and of course, classic watches! Follow me on social media for more news and updates. See you back here next Monday. #out

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Baseball Compromise

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Chicago White Sox first baseman Adam LaRoche  announced his retirement from baseball this week because club president Kenny Williams asked that he cut back bringing his 14-yr old son to the clubhouse. With the decision, LaRoche walks away from a contract that would have paid him $13million this year.

Drake LaRouche has been a fixture in the clubhouse over his dad’s 12-year career, a career which has taken him to 6 different teams. While the White Sox have always encouraged players to bring their kids to the clubhouse and onto the field, teams officials thought Drake LaRouche was there too much.

“I don’t think he should be here 100 percent of the time,” Williams said.  “And he has been here 100 percent, every day, in the clubhouse. I said that I don’t even think he should be here 50 percent of the time. Figure it out, somewhere in between.”

Support has come on both sides of the issue, with White Sox teammates threatening a boycott if the decision isn’t reversed. As of now,  LaRoche has filled out his retirement paperwork, but the White Sox, in allowing him time to reconsider, have not yet submitted it to Major League Baseball’s central office.

Where do you stand on this? I think there has got to be a happy medium, no? #compromise

 

 

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