PLAYER OF THE DAY
Will Benson (MLB) is a Cleveland Indians minor-league prospect. His power and speed led him to be selected 14th overall by the Indians in the 2016 MLB Draft. Last night, he became the first minor-leaguer to hit four home runs in one game since 2014 and the first player in Class A Lake County history to do so. He homered in each one of his first four at-bats. He hasn’t proved to be a consistent hitter, only hitting .180 last season, but he did have 22 home runs. Knock the rest of the season out of the park, Benson.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Missing Persons Report
(NBA) OK, not a missing person, but Ben Simmons is missing his jump shot. Simmons is a star point guard for the Philadelphia 76ers, who are playing the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. Before Game 3, a “missing” poster was put up outside of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, offering a $26,620,450 reward (equal to his rookie contract) for the retrieval of Simmons’ jump shot. This was supposed to be a dig at Simmons, as he finished the regular season making just 21 out of 93 jump shot attempts.
Joke’s on Nets fans, though; Simmons recorded a triple double that propelled a series-tying win in Game 2, and then responded to the public jabbing with one of the most efficient shooting performances of his career – a playoff career-high 31 points – and a Game 3 win. The Sixers now hold a 2-1 series lead, and Brooklyn fans may want to avoid riling Simmons up any further. Just a gentle suggestion.
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UNC Women’s Basketball Coach Resigns
(NCAAW) Hall of Fame coach Sylvia Hatchell coached the UNC women’s basketball team for over three decades. She is one of the longest-tenured coaches in D1 women’s basketball history, is the winningest women’s basketball coach in ACC history and has a national championship title (1994) under her belt. Her 33-year tenure ended last night with her resignation after an investigation into her coaching practices was complete. The investigation concluded that she was making “racially insensitive” comments to players, was pressuring players to play through injuries and had an overall “breakdown in connectivity” with her players.
Hatchell has had a rough go-around in her years as a women’s basketball coach. In 2013-2014, she was sidelined after being diagnosed with Leukemia. The program also spent multiple seasons under shadows of an investigation into athletes’ enrollment in schools “irregular classes.” This is no excuse, however, for mistreatment of players. She apologized for her actions, and she said they came from her “lack of awareness” rather than implicit racism.
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The Most Dangerous Lead
What’s dangerous about a lead?
(NHL) There’s nothing like playoff hockey. After the favorite to win the Stanley Cup was eliminated easily and the Islanders swept the Penguins, things are getting a little crazy.
Last night, the Winnipeg Jets were up 2-0 — the most dangerous lead in hockey — for most of the game. The Blues scored one 12 seconds into the last period, making it 2-1. 13 minutes later, Brayden Schenn, a St. Louis Blues center, shot the puck and it went in the net, but there was a catch — the net was off. There is an NHL rule that states if the puck was shot before the net was displaced, and it would have gone in with normal positioning of the goal, then it counts. Sounds complicated, but it counted. With six minutes left in the game, the Blues erased the Jets’ most dangerous lead.
The Blues’ game winning goal was scored with 15 seconds left to play, giving them a 3-2 lead in the series. This series is also the first time in 15 years, and the fourth time in history, that the road team has won each of the first five games in a seven-game series. Home fans don’t want to see wins anyway…right?
The Washington Capitals have also been victim to this 2-0 lead. They were up two games in their series against the Carolina Hurricanes (a.k.a. the “Bunch of Jerks”, a name they have claimed for their unique victory celebrations). The Jerks have a wild fan base, and the Capitals were faced with the largest crowd ever to watch a game at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C. Not only did the Capitals lose the second game in Carolina, they lost star player T.J. Oshie, when he left the ice after being hit from behind. He got wrecked and, according to Capitals head coach Todd Reirden, “won’t be playing anytime soon.” Tough luck.
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ON THIS DAY
In 1960, the Chicago White Sox (MLB) became the first team to put names on the back of their jerseys. Before then, players could only be identified by their numbers (and their faces). This practice became pretty universal for all leagues throughout the 70’s, but the Yankees have not adopted it. They wanted to be ‘different.’
Seeing their name on the back of their jersey gives players a sense of pride, and it definitely doesn’t hurt when they see others wearing it, too. However, as legendary USA Hockey coach Herb Brooks would say, “The name on the front is a hell of a lot more important than the one on the back.”
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