PLAYER OF THE DAY

Yoenis Cespedes (MLB) is a Mets left fielder, All-Star slugger and, apparently, avid rancher. On Monday, the team shared that Cespedes had fractured his right ankle in a “violent fall” at his ranch in Florida on Saturday. He could miss the rest of this season after his foot got caught and twisted in a hole. The Mets may try to stop paying him entirely if they can find that he was involved in an activity that was prohibited by the deal’s guarantee language. Cespedes has battled injuries ever since he signed a massive deal in 2016, and he was already on the injured list after two surgeries to remove bone spurs in his heels. No more horsing around, Cowboy Cespedes…

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Just When You Think You Can Beat ‘Em
The Warriors deliver heartbreak again… and again… and again…
(NBA) The Portland Trail Blazers did what most teams in the NBA dream about doing. They led the two-time defending NBA Final Champions, the Golden State Warriors, by at least 17 points. It’s pretty tough to develop a lead like that, and normally even tougher to lose a lead like that. Nonetheless, the Blazers accomplished both — in three straight games. 

The Blazers led by 17 in Game 2, 18 in Game 3 and 17 in Game 4. No team had blown three straight 15-point leads in the last 20 postseasons, until now. The Warriors became the first team to erase three straight halftime deficits in the playoffs since the 1995 Rockets. The Warriors advance to the Finals (for the fifth straight year) to take on either the Milwaukee Bucks or Toronto Raptors, who play in a big Game 4 on Tuesday, with the Bucks leading the series 2-1. According to Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, a team making five straight finals hasn’t been done since the 60’s, and he hopes it doesn’t go “unnoticed or underrated” because it’s “really really difficult.” Seems to come natural for these guys, but Coach Kerr is probably right…

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Women’s Hockey Players Form Union
And this matters because…?
(Hockey) 
A few weeks ago, we learned that professional women’s hockey players were boycotting their sport in protest of low wages, lack of health insurance and generally unsustainable work conditions. On Monday, many of those players formed the “Professional Women’s Hockey Players’ Association” or PWHPA.

The union includes more than 200 players, including superstars from various countries, who have vowed not to play until conditions improve. The Canadian Women’s Hockey League went belly up in March, and the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) struggled financially before the NHL sent more money its way in April. That significant amount of money didn’t do much, and players still decided to boycott. Perhaps the pressure of a unionized player base can solicit change in a hurry. 

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Antetokounmpo Brings More Basketball to Greece
What did he do?
(NBA) The Greek ‘Freak’ has become the Greek ‘Benefactor’. The Milwaukee Bucks star and likely MVP will fund the construction of an indoor basketball court just outside of Athens after a fire in the area killed at least 100 people and destroyed more than a thousand homes last year.

Vangelis Bournous, the mayor of the Rafina area where the court would be built, announced the news on Sunday and news spread Monday, with the Greek-born star currently leading his team in the NBA’s Eastern Conference Finals. Antetokounmpo was born and raised in Athens and has maintained a strong link with his home country as his continues his ascent to mega-stardom. 

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ON THIS DAY

In 1997, Blues Jays pitcher Roger Clemens (MLB) earned his 200th career win in a 4-1 victory over the New York Yankees. It was one of his league-leading 21 wins in a year when he led all of baseball in ERA (2.05), innings pitched (264) and strikeouts (292).

Clemens won his fourth Cy Young award (best pitcher) that year and won another in 1998 before, ironically, joining the Yankees via trade in 1999. His career was never the same; he won two more Cy Young awards (2001, 2004) but never reached his gaudy strikeout or innings totals an retired in 2007.

He finished with 354 career wins, ninth all-time, and he’s the only pitcher with at least 300 wins not currently in the Hall of Fame — in part because of his alleged steroid use.


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