WTOPspin Live

The official blog of WTOP Sports.

  • Josh Donaldson just made the catch of the year

    WASHINGTON -- Shut it down. No more entries are needed. Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson just made the catch of the year.

    In the bottom of the eighth inning of Marco Estrada’s perfect game bid, in a scoreless tie, on a 3-2 pitch, David DeJesus skied a foul ball down the third base line, a few rows out of play. Or, at least, it should have been out of play.

    That’s when Donaldson went into a headlong dive, with no regard for his (or anyone else’s) safety, risking life and limb to make one of the best catches your eyes will ever see. And while the perfect game was lost on the next batter, this catch will be the enduring image that will live in highlight reels for years to come.
  • Doug Fister loses game, but saves wedding ring

    WASHINGTON -- The Nationals lost the battle Thursday night, dropping a 5-3 decision to the Tampa Bay Rays, but Doug Fister won the war.

    After a nasty changeup for a strikeout to end the first inning, Fister started off the mound toward the dugout, then stopped, realizing that he had left something behind. Somehow, during his delivery, Fister’s wedding ring fell off his glove hand and dropped onto the mound behind him.

    Fister picked the ring up like a pro, slipped it back on and resumed his walk to the dugout. While he eventually took the loss, he no doubt saved himself a lot more grief with his quick find on the mound.
  • Paul Pierce goes dunking with Jimmy Kimmel

    WASHINGTON -- Paul Pierce seems to be enjoying the offseason.

    The Wizards swingman and 10-time NBA All-Star appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live to play Sink it or Swim, a mano y mano competition where making a basket while seating on a dunk tank platform sinks one’s opponent, who is in the same precarious position.

    “You might win, I haven’t taken a shot in three weeks,” said Pierce right before they began.

    They layoff didn’t seem to affect him, as he nearly drained the first shot before getting the second one to go, sending a shirt-and-tie clad Kimmel into the tank.

    And Pierce almost got away with it splash free. Kimmel fires up a couple more after getting dunked, eventually seeming content conceding. But as he’s kicking to the break, Kimmel heaves up one last shot, knocking it down and sending Pierce into the frigid water.

    Happy offseason, everyone.
  • FBI investigating St. Louis Cardinals for hacking Houston Astros

    WASHINGTON -- The St. Louis Cardinals are under investigation by the FBI for hacking the Houston Astros, according to a report from The New York Times Tuesday.

    Investigators uncovered evidence that Cardinals officials digitally accessed an Astros database including internal discussions on potential trades, proprietary statistics and scouting reports. Subpoenas have been served on the Cardinals and Major League Baseball, per the Times.

    Jeff Luhnow, the Astros general manager, had formerly worked for the Cardinals before assuming his current post in 2011.

    Luhnow’s computer network called Ground Control was hacked last year with certain documents revealed on Deadspin. After that cyber attack, MLB notified the FBI to investigate. The bureau found that the Astros’ network had been accessed by a home computer at a residence where Cardinals officials lived.
  • Better than perfect? Breaking down Max Scherzer’s gem

    WASHINGTON -- There are few accomplishments in Major League Baseball rarer than a perfect game. Only 23 have been thrown in the sport’s recorded history, dating back to 1880. And yet, what Max Scherzer accomplished on Sunday against the Milwaukee Brewers was, in a way, even more spectatular.

    Scherzer allowed a single, broken-bat hit while walking one and striking out a Nationals-record 16 batters in a complete game shutout. As such, according to the Game Score metric devised by sabermetrician Bill James, he recorded a 100, just the 12th time a pitcher has done so in a nine-inning game.

    The score is calculated by starting at 50 points and adding one for each out recorded (27), two points for each inning completed after the fourth (10), and one for each strikeout (16). Then, one subtracts two points for each hit allowed (-2), four points for each earned run (0), two for each unearned run (0) and one for each walk (-1). That leaves Scherzer right at 100, only five points shy of the highest score ever recorded, by Kerry Wood in his 20 strikeout game in 1998.

    For those wondering, Scherzer’s gem even beats Jordan Zimmermann’s 2014 no-hitter by Game Score, as the latter clocked in with a 96 (50 + 27+ 10 + 10 - 1). That makes yesterday’s performance the best in Nationals history, at least by one measurement.
  • Bryce Harper so upset he flied out, he doesn’t realize he’s homered

    WASHINGTON -- Wrigley Field is historic for many reasons. Just one of those is its famous winds, which have the tendency to make baseballs do unexpected things when hit high enough into the air. Notably, Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper was asked about those winds heading into the club’s current series with the Cubs on Chicago’s north side. His response was so very Bryce Harper.

    A Cubs reporter asked Bryce Harper if he's checked the flags to see what the wind's doing. "I don't need wind," he replied.

    — Dan Kolko (@masnKolko) May 25, 2015

    In general, Harper is probably correct in his assessment. He entered Tuesday evening leading the National League in home runs, with nine of those traveling 400 feet or more. And then this happened.

    Yes, that ball landed in the third row above the baskets. Yes, Harper flung his bat aside in disgust after hitting it, thinking it was a can of corn to left field. Yes, he and the rest of those unfamiliar with Wrigley’s ways uttered “wow” after he crossed home plate. Now he knows. Hopefully, he won’t rub it in to Ryan Zimmerman.
  • RG3’s first daughter is born

    WASHINGTON -- Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III took to social media to announce the birth of his daughter, Reese Ann Griffin, on Thursday. 

    Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." Reese Ann Griffin was born today!
    All 7lbs 9 oz.
    of her!!!
    May 21, 2015 has forever changed our lives for the better!
    #Blessed #ReeseAnn #ProudParents #MomRockedIt #YesWeCriedAndByWeItMeansMe
    by rgiii via Instagram

  • Riley Curry stole Game 1 for the Warriors

    WASHINGTON -- Despite sweeping the Houston Rockets with four double-digit victories during the regular season, the Golden State Warriors found themselves down by 16 points in the second quarter at home in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals Tuesday night. They even needed a couple free throws from their MVP, Steph Curry, to ice the game in the waning seconds.

    But it was a different Curry that stole the show.

    In his postgame press conference, Curry brought his daughter Riley with him to the stage, resting her on his leg

    The “You the real MVP” meme is systematically overused on the interwebs, but this might be its most appropriate application.
  • This is one of the best dunks you’ll ever see

    WASHINGTON -- The golden age of dunk contests seems to be past us. After all, the bounds of dunking creativity are limited to the handful of spins and alterations one can make while hanging in the air on the way to a rim 10 feet above the floor. There just don’t seem to be many innovations remaining.

    And then, along comes something like this from Canadian Jordan Kilganon.

    When seen from the initial angle, it’s not even immediately clear just what has happened, how exactly the ball traveled up to the rim. When viewed from other vantage points, we see that the 6’1” (!) Kilganon starts into a 360 on the way to the rim, then flips the ball behind his back halfway through. As he finishes the twist, he wraps that same hand around to slam the ball home, a self-alley oop that’s unlike anything we’ve seen.

    Is it the best dunk ever? You decide.
  • Ever wonder what it feels like to be in a race car when it crashes?

    WASHINGTON -- Technology allows us the opportunity to experience lots of things we never before would have a chance to see close up. One of those things is what it looks like from the driver’s seat as an Indy car loses control and flips upside down.

    On Wednesday, Helio Castroneves was training at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval when his car locked up coming out of a turn, the back end spinning loose and shooting him up the track facing the wrong direction, into the wall. As he careened down the straightaway backward, the back end of the car lifted into the air, flipping him almost completely over before the back end of the vehicle caught on the track, seemingly defying gravity as it drug its way toward the next corner, before rolling and righting itself.

    At that point, Castroneves regained control, avoided any more walls, and somehow walked away, apparently unscathed.
  • Giancarlo Stanton hit a ball clear out of Dodger Stadium

    WASHINGTON -- Too often, we hear a baseball fan tell us that a player hit a ball “out of the park.” We know, instinctively, that they merely mean “over the wall,” but it’s still annoying -- if you say “out of the park,” a ball should literally leave the ballpark.

    We also know that Dodger Stadium is very large. In addition to generally pitcher-favorable dimensions, it contains a double section of relatively steeply pitches bleachers, with a pavilion roof above. People don’t hit the ball out of Dodger Stadium.

    Well, some people do. Giancarlo Stanton became the first in 16 years and the fourth ever, joining Mark McGwire, Mike Piazza and Willie Stargell, who did it twice. Perhaps by the time that ball lands we’ll be able to add another name to the list.
  • Cavaliers air oblivious in-arena spot promoting domestic violence

    WASHINGTON -- Yikes.

    One might think that -- given the year the NFL has endured for its tone-deaf response to domestic violence, given the backlash against Floyd Mayweather for his history of abuse convictions, given the evolving nature of the social conscience of the sports world in general -- someone, anyone would have had the presence of mind not to run the promo the Cleveland Cavaliers aired during Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Chicago Bulls at Quicken Loans Arena Wednesday night.

    Before you watch the actual clip, it’s important to note that it appears to be not a direct spoof of Dirty Dancing, but rather of this commercial, which is itself a spoof of the film.

    Our Song Commercial | UnitedHealthcare :60
    by UnitedHealthcare via YouTube

    Seems harmless, enough, right? Just a little slapstick humor, no harm, no foul. Now, here’s the Cavs’ spot.

    Time Of My Life -- Cavs Playoff Skit
    by signaleatsnoise via YouTube
    The biggest difference between the two, of course, is that the woman’s fall is not accidental, or precipitated by her catching her significant other by surprise. Instead, she is thrown to the ground, where she holds her arms and legs in pain. Only once she has switched out of the Bulls shirt to a Cavs one, while holding an icepack to her head, does she regain the favor of her man.

    Great message, Cavs! The video, which had been uploaded to Vimeo, was removed Thursday morning.

  • While mocking NFL Draft, Sports Pickle accidentally nails first seven picks

    WASHINGTON -- The often too self-serious sports world opens itself up to be mocked frequently. Frequently enough, as it were, for sites like the Sports Pickle -- which exists solely to poke fun at the sports world -- to thrive.

    But sometimes, the planets align at the intersection of parody and reality, and leave us with a mind-blowingly perfect piece of commentary. Enter the Sports Pickle’s article “Pretty much every NFL mock draft ever” article published on Tuesday, two days before the first round of the NFL Draft.

    Follow along as the site nails the first seven picks of the Draft to a T.

    The actual NFL Draft went almost exactly according to form. (Sports Pickle/NFL.com) 

    #1 – A Quarterback

    As expected, Jameis Winston went first overall. No surprise there.

    #2 – Another Quarterback

    Marcus Mariota was long thought to be the safe money to go next, so again, not a huge limb to step out on.

    #3 – A Large Person Who Will Disappoint the Team’s Fans

    With DE Leonard Williams still on the board, the Jaguars took 6’3”, 261-pound linebacker Dante Fowler, Jr. It’s not a bad pick, but not thrilling, either. So far so good.

    #4 – Probably a Guy Who Went to Alabama

    The Raiders selected Amari Cooper, wide receiver, Alabama. Whoa.

    #5 – Another Really Big Person

    Washington snagged 6’5”, 319-pound tackle Brandon Scherff. Check.

    #6 – Value Pick

    At long last, the Jets took Williams, who Mel Kuiper, Jr. said was the top player on his board in the whole draft. Six for six.

    #7 – The Top Wide Receiver

    The Bears picked Kevin White, thought by many to be better than Cooper in the wideout class. Good enough.

    The Pickle finally misses at #8, picking “The Top Cornerback” while the Falcons took linebacker Vic Beasley. But the rest of the piece has plenty of truisms thrown around during draft weekend, and is well worth the time to scroll through.

  • Redskins fans worst writers in NFL

    WASHINGTON -- NFL message boards are a disaster. Whether or not you ever use them, if you’ve seen one, you already know this. But if you’re a Washington football fan, you’ve probably seen the worst of the worst.

    The Wall Street Journal released a study of grammar power rankings among NFL fans based on comments left on each team’s official website. Using an automated proofreading algorithm built by Grammarly, they reviewed 150 reader comments of at least 50 words for each team, then calculated the grammar errors per hundred words. Coming in first (last?), well ahead of the pack at 16.5 mistakes per 100 words, were your Washington Redskins.

    The study found that on average, MLB fans make the fewest mistakes per 100 words (8.3), followed by the NFL (9.9), NBA (10.3) and, shockingly, NASCAR (10.5).

  • Caps Eastern Conference Semifinal schedule

    WASHINGTON -- The Washington Capitals announced the schedule for their Eastern Conference Semifinals series against the New York Rangers, which begins in the Big Apple Thursday. The date and time for a potential Game 7 will hinge on the result of the Tampa Bay/Detroit series, but if the Lightning advance, it will look like this:

    Game 1: Thur., April 30, 7:30 p.m. at Madison Square Garden (NBCSN)
    Game 2: Sat., May 2, 12:30 p.m. MSG (NBC)
    Game 3: Mon., May 4, 7:30 p.m. at Verizon Center (NBCSN)
    Game 4: Wed., May 6, 7:30 p.m. at Verizon Center (NBCSN)
    Game 5*: Fri., May 8, 7 p.m. at MSG (NBCSN)
    Game 6*: Sun., May 10, TBD at Verizon Center
    Game 7*: Wed., May 13 TBD at MSG

    If Detroit advances, a potential Game 7 would take place Tuesday, May 12.
  • Georgetown announces basketball court design contest

    WASHINGTON -- Do you have a good idea of what you’d like Georgetown’s home floor to look like? Here’s your chance to design the Hoyas’ new hardwood.

    Submit your design between now and May 31 for a chance to win two season tickets and, of course, ultimate bragging rights at the game. According to the school, Coach John Thompson III will have the final say on the new design.

    Many schools have taken court designs in different directions over the past few years, with George Washington’s monument-heavy look following the lead of many newer looks around college. What can you come up with?

  • Breeze player lays out for ridiculous, headlong 70-yard catch

    WASHINGTON -- The D.C. Breeze, one of Washington’s two professional Ultimate Frisbee teams, beat the Ottawa Outlaws 23-19 over the weekend for their first win of the season. That win would not have been possible without this absurd, headlong, diving catch by David Boylan-Kolchin off a 70-yard pass from Jarnail Bajwa.

    The Breeze play their next home game Sunday, May 3 at 4:30 p.m. at Galludet University.
  • Cubs now have Clark and Addison at Wrigley Field

    WASHINGTON -- As anyone familiar with Chicago baseball knows, one of the game’s classic cathedrals, Wrigley Field, rests at the corner of Clark and Addison Streets on the Windy City’s north side. Now, in the year of our lord and savior Marty McFly, kismet is upon us.

    While everyone expected prospect Kris Bryant to be called up from the minors last week, the Cubs surprised the baseball world by recalling their other top minor leaguer on Tuesday, Addison Russell. Joining Chicago’s bear mascot Clark, who was introduced last year, the Cubs now have both Clark and Addison at Wrigley.

    It’s been 107 years since Chicago’s last World Series title. They’re off to a strong start, and have one of the best young lineups in the game. With both Clark and Addison at Clark and Addison, is it time to believe?
  • Bubba Watson is hitting trick shots in China

    WASHINGTON -- Two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson was a non-factor at Augusta a couple weeks ago, but that doesn’t seem to have gotten him down. The 36-year-old Floridian was out playing some night golf in China over the weekend and took the time to record and tweet this absurd trick shot.

    He chipped a ball up to his caddy, perched on a light pole during a round of night golf. He then pulled a driver out of his bag and had the caddy drop the ball, connecting on the fly for a shot straight down the fairway.

    It was pretty impressive, and reminiscent of Tiger Woods’ Nike commercial from a few years back.

    As for whether it will make Watson any more likeable on tour, well…
  • Weekend provides first great ejection of the baseball season

    WASHINGTON -- The baseball season is a week old, and already we’ve got our first solid ejection and tantrum from a manager. This one comes courtesy of Frisco RoughRiders manager Joe Mikulik on Saturday night.

    Without any additional context, Mikulik seems to have a pretty legitimate beef here. Major League rehabber Tanner Scheppers is pitching in the eighth inning, with his team down 4-0, and lets a 2-1 pitch sail behind the number nine hitter, shortstop Eric Stamets. With a runner at second, the top of the order coming up, and the game already nearly out of reach, there seemed no intent behind the pitch, especially as Scheppers was just working his first inning on the mound.

    And yet, first base umpire Bryan Fields tossed the Texas Rangers’ pitcher immediately. Incredulous, Mikulik stormed out of the dugout and was ejected shortly thereafter. But the manager got his money’s worth, going chest to chest with Fields, then kicking up the dust in both baselines, as well as his hat before finally retiring to the cluibhouse.

    Hooray for baseball, everyone.
  • Redskins preseason schedule released

    WASHINGTON -- The NFL has released it preseason schedule of matchups, though dates and times have not yet been set. The Washington Redskins' opponents will be as follows:

    Week 1 (Aug. 13-17)
    Washington at Cleveland

    Week 2 (Aug. 20-24)
    Detroit at Washington

    Week 3 (Aug. 27-30)
    Washington at Baltimore

    Week 4 (Sept. 3-4)
    Jacksonville at Washington

    For the complete preseason schedule, visit NFL.com.
  • Cubs season off to a flying start

    The Cubs are off to a rough start, especially off the field. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh) 

    WASHINGTON -- This was supposed to be a magical season for the Chicago Cubs.

    After acquiring manager Joe Maddon and ace Jon Lester in the offseason, their plethora of young talent seemed ready to take the big leagues by storm and return them to the playoff chase. With the bleachers remodeled and new video board installed, the iconic venue of Wrigley Field would be set for the chance of at least a partial fulfillment of the Back to the Future II prophecy of a World Series title in 2015.

    Things haven’t gone as planned. A particularly harsh Chicago winter pushed construction plans behind, and the mayor refused to allow crews to work around the clock to get the job done in time for Opening Day.

    Partially as a result, the ballpark had far fewer restrooms than it needed when the season began Sunday night, causing nearly hour-long waits.

    Management scrambled to fix that issue by bringing in 74 portable toilets for their second game…which never took place. In anticipation of storms, the game was postponed, although no rain ever actually fell.

    Now, the Cubs’ television partners are getting in on the comedy of errors. During the intro to the ABC 7 Chicago broadcast of Wednesday night’s game, graphics for a number of MLB teams were shows. There were a number of spelling errors, and one particularly egregious error that went a step further.

    The team names included the “Cincinnnati Reds,” the “Milwalkee Brewers,” and the Washigton Nationals.” But the real kicker was the “San Franscisco Mariners.” Yep.

    We’re only two games into the season. Who knows what else the lovable losers of the North Side might have in store for us this year?

  • Every team should have a win song like Oakland’s

    WASHINGTON -- After Sonny Gray nearly no-hit the Texas Rangers on Opening Night at the Oakland Coliseum, A’s fans prepared to hear and sing along with “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang, the long-standing tradition after victories in Oakland. Instead, they got this.

    That’s not “Celebration.” It’s a very, very different song. It’s a song by an indie band called The Phenomenauts, who you had never heard of before reading this sentence.

    And while change can be hard, this one was awesome. Because the song is called “Theme for Oakland,” and couldn’t be more civic pride-filled or jingoistic against the Giants, the Angels or the entire rest of baseball if it tried.

    Here’s the first verse, in all its poppy, four-beat glory, repeated twice for effect:

    Human kind calls our home
    Planet Earth, this we know
    But the greatest place to be
    On the planet of our birth
    Is Oakland, California
    The capital of Earth

    Then, the second verse:

    And wherever we may roam
    Far and wide, let it be known
    That whenever we say home
    It’s the place we think of first
    Oakland, California
    The capital of Earth

    Every team in baseball should have a battle of the bands to come up with a similarly amazing celebration song. The gauntlet has been thrown to the rest of Major League Baseball -- you’re on notice.
  • The P-Nats are going to be stupid fun to watch this year

    WASHINGTON -- While the Washington Nationals have championship aspirations in 2015, those looking to take in some great baseball and get a glimpse of the future while the team is out of town have a worthy substitute nearby.

    The Potomac Nationals released their Opening Day roster Tuesday night. It features seven of the top 30 prospects in the system, according to Baseball America, including Spring Training darling infielder Wilmer Difo and fast-rising third baseman Drew Ward, still just 20 years-old. But it will get even better in a few weeks.

    That’s when Lucas Giolito, the top prospect in the system and eighth in all of the minor leagues, according to MLB.com, will arrive from extended spring training in Florida. Ever wary of innings burdens for their post-Tommy John pitchers, the Nats are artificially shortening Giolito’s season, after he threw less than 100 innings last year.

    But if Giolito’s showing at Low-A Hagerstown as a 19-year-old is any indicator -- he was 10-2 with a 2.20 ERA (24 ER/98.0 IP) and 110 strikeouts against just 28 walks -- you may have to fight the scouts for a seat. The same goes for Reynaldo Lopez, a 21-year-old who went 7-3 with a microscopic 1.08 ERA in 16 starts across two levels of the minors last year, having also undergone prior TJ surgery.

    So don’t fret when the Nats are out of town. There will be plenty of great baseball to watch in Woodbridge.
  • The Phillies are trying to kill their fans

    The Phillies' new Triple Triple Burger. (NBC10) 

    WASHINGTON -- The Philadelphia Phillies are going to be bad this year. They were bad last year, as well as the year before, losing 89 games in each season. But in 2015, they’ll be worse.

    That’s tough to take for Phillies fans. A once proud franchise just seven years removed from a title and only four years from a 102-win season may be the worst team in the league. As such, they’ve tried to draw attention for the upcoming season off the field.

    Those intentions may be pure, but the execution, well, it’s dirty.

    First, the Phillies made efforts to help numb the pain of what’s sure to be a dumpster fire of a campaign by serving wine and hard alcohol at Citizen’s Bank Park for the first time ever. While that may raise the mood at the ballpark a bit, the idea of Philly fans consuming higher concentrations of alcohol probably raises eyebrows among fans of any other team daring to make a road trip to the City of Brotherly Love.

    Now, the club has announced that they will wage full on warfare on their customers’ arteries in 2015. Behold the Triple Triple Burger, a nine-patty, nine-slice of cheese culinary abomination and edible heart attack squeezed between some decorative vegetables and two halves of a bun, which appear to be hanging on for dear life.

    What could possibly go wrong? Other than Cliff Lee’s potentially career-ending elbow injury. And Jonathan Papelbon trade requests. And Jordan Danks starting in right field on Opening Day. And Sean O’Sullivan, one of the 15 worst pitchers in MLB history, claiming a rotation spot. And Ryan Howard being owed $50 million more for the remaining two years of his contract.

    And Philly fans potentially literally eating and drinking themselves to an early death.

  • Phillies to make season more palatable by serving wine, liquor

    WASHINGTON -- The Philadelphia Phillies are pushing forward with the best worst idea ever, and will be serving hard alcohol and wine at games for the first time in the 2015 season.

    Cocktails and wine will be available on the main concourse at general concession areas, according to Philly.com. However, fans will not be allowed to bring their drinks back to their seats, and will instead have to finish their drinks entirely before returning to watch the game.

    On one hand, this should make what promises to be an insufferably bad season slightly more bearable. On the other hand, Philly fans slamming booze as quickly as possible between innings probably won’t help reduce their notoriety for abhorrent behavior, from heckling injured players, to chucking batteries, to intentionally vomiting on children.

    Opening Day is less than a week away!
  • Old Dominion heads to MSG thanks to buzzer beater

    WASHINGTON -- Old Dominion has had a great season, but one that saw the dream of an NCAA Tournament berth dashed after blowing a seven-point, second half lead against Middle Tennessee in the Conference USA Tournament. On Wednesday night in the third round of the NIT, they led by as many as 10 against Murray State with under four minutes to play, and were up six with under a minute left, only to watch the Racers tie the game at 69-69 with just seconds left.

    But the Monarchs weren’t about to watch their season end the same, familiar way. With 3.5 seconds left on the clock, Trey Freeman came off a curl just shy of half court, and fought his way through the defense to try to free himself for a shot. He could only get within about 30 feet of the basket before letting fly a final prayer.

    Freeman banked the game-winner home, sending the home crowd in Norfolk into a frenzy, and sending the Monarchs to the NIT Semifinals at Madison Square Garden.
  • Heads up play, off head, leads to double play

    WASHINGTON -- Coaches often speak of using your head to make good plays. But almost never, outside of soccer, is it a good idea to actually use your head to make a play. The operative word here is “almost.”

    A pair of Mississippi high school teammates teamed up to make one of the more spectacular, bizarre double plays you’ll ever see, thanks to the literal use of one’s head. On a line drive, D’Iberville center fielder Travis Bender slipped trying to make a play, the ball ricocheting high off his head and to his right. Left fielder Jay Deshong was ready, though, catching to ball on the fly after about it traveled roughly 60 feet, then flipping it back to second base to double off the runner for an inning-ending double play.

    Mark that one 8-7-4 in your scorebook, and #1 in your heads and hearts.
  • Basketball player with f-word last name lobbies to display it on jersey

    What's in a name? Everything for #14 of the Medicine Hat Rattlers. (mhc.ab.ca) 

    WASHINGTON -- The Medicine Hat Rattlers in Alberta, Canada sport black and yellow jerseys with “Rattlers” across the front and each player’s last name across the back. Each player, that is, except for their Brazilian-born, 6-foot-6 leading scorer, Guilherme Crabogiale Fuck.

    For obvious reasons, the school requested that the forward use only his first two names, with which he initially complied. But now, with the support of his coach, he has lobbied to get his actual last name --pronounced FOO-key -- on his jersey, just like everyone else.

    “It’s my last name, I’m proud of it,” he told the Medicine Hat News. “Doesn’t matter if it means something bad.

    The name is of German origin, according to the player, and means “fox” in its original language.

    If the Brazilian keeps pouring in 18.3 points per game, collecting 10.1 rebounds a game and shooting 42.5 percent from three-point range, he’ll make a name for himself on the floor as well.

  • NCAA reminds us all once again that they are just the worst

    NCAA President Mark Emmert. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) 

    WASHINGTON -- In its constant, back-and-forth battle with FIFA to establish itself as the worst organization in sports, the NCAA has sunk to new lows in establishing guidelines for March Madness watch parties. Let’s run through the eight rules one-by-one and see how they stack up on the scale of hypocrisy from 1 to Mark Emmert.

    1. No admission may be charged for admission to a party whose primary purpose is to view NCAA tournament games.

    So, you can hold a watch party, but you can’t charge a cover. As the Tournament is broadcast on network and basic cable, this seems kosher.

    Hypocrisy Rating: 1

    2. There should not be sale of food or beverages. Members of the organization are permitted to bring their own food or beverage (free of charge).

    One can see the idea here, but it’s not like the NCAA isn’t happy to let venues charge for food and drink for those paying to attend games, and it’s not like you can bring your own food in from the outside.

    Hypocrisy Rating: 4

    3. Sponsorship or commercial advertising is prohibited from being a part of a viewing party.

    Remember, only the NCAA can sell every inch of available advertising real estate to make money off the Tournament. Even if you’re putting on your own admission-free, no-refreshments-for-sale event out of the goodness of your own heart and your love for amateur athletics, you aren’t allowed to let anyone know that you’ve done so by advertising that fact.

    Hypocrisy Rating: Full Emmert

    4. Asking for donations in exchange for being part of the viewing party is prohibited.

    Donations can only be given to schools through official booster channels, which can then be used by the institutions at their own discretion. You are not allowed to take part in this racket.

    Hypocrisy Rating: 3

    5. Promotion of the event is limited to those affiliated with the organization. For example, if a church conducts a viewing party, it is able to promote within its own publications (e.g., church bulletin) to the congregation. However, any website promotion is prohibited.

    The NCAA literally doesn’t understand how electronic communication works. Posting to one’s own website is less of an advertisement than putting something in a bulletin, or a newsletter, or a mailer. Websites are like virtual telephone poles, places that people need to actively seek out information to find. This is idiocy, and completely backwards.

    Hypocrisy Rating: 7

    6. Please carefully review the NCAA Advertising and Promotional Standards, which can be found on NCAA.com/media and click on the “NCAA Advertising and Promotional Standards” link found under Broadcast and Digital Policies.

    Ok, I’ll follow your clickbait. Here’s the opening graph of that page:

    “The NCAA's advertising and promotional standards are designed to encourage those advertisements and advertisers that support the NCAA's ideals and exclude those advertisements and advertisers (and others who wish to associate with NCAA activities) that do not appear to be in the best interests of higher education and student-athletes.”

    You know, the best interests of higher education, like Coca-Cola, Capital One, Buffalo Wild Wings and Infiniti. There’s nothing like junk food, bars, banking institutions and car that no student-athlete can afford to support the virtue of amateur athletics. I’m sure none of them specifically do any of the things the NCAA says they should not:

    · Cause harm to student-athlete health, safety and welfare.

    · Bring discredit to the purposes, values or principles of the NCAA.

    · Negatively impact the best interests of intercollegiate athletics or higher

    Hypocrisy Rating: Full Emmert

    7. Commercial entities are not permitted to conduct viewing parties without securing a commercial cable subscription or commercial satellite license from their cable (e.g., AT&T Uverse, Comcast/Xfinity, Time Warner Cable) or satellite (e.g. DirecTV, DISH Network) provider.

    Hahahahahahaha. Reminder: The NCAA made $527 million for the 10 days of games from tournament TV rights deals last year.

    Hypocrisy Rating: Full Emmert

    8. All non-profit or for-profit (commercial) entities must comply with U.S. copyright laws. The U.S. copyright act addresses issues such as charging admission to view or watch events on television, size of the TV(s) or video screen(s), securing or holding the appropriate copyright license (commercial cable or satellite versus over-the-air), etc.

    Hey, the law’s the law. No problem here. Just with pretty much everything else.

    Hypocrisy rating: 1

    So, if you’re thinking of throwing a watch party, just remember that only the NCAA is allowed to squeeze every possible penny out of a product in which the actual participants are unpaid. For you to do so violates the spirit of everything the NCAA stands for.

  • The NFL is even more delusional than you realize

    Roger Goodell, face of the NFL. (AP Images/David J. Phillip) 

    WASHINGTON -- It’s been a bad year for the NFL.

    If any professional sports entity could use some image polishing, it’s professional football (good try, good effort, NCAA). And yet, when presented with an opportunity to do so, not only did the NFL punt, the league managed to show itself to be even more delusional of its own grandeur than anyone had probably realized.

    Eric Sollenberger of SBNation hosted a panel at SXSW last Saturday about sports and comedy, which including Funny or Die’s Alex Richanbach. Following President Obama’s appearance on their popular show Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis, FOD and the NFL began to discuss the idea of having NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell do some time of video for the site. Per Sollenberger:

    The league was obviously interested in a bit of goodwill coming their way for a change, and Funny or Die would have relished the opportunity/challenge that would go along with presenting Goodell in a comical light.

    As the President had with the Healthcare.gov in his video, the NFL wanted to highlight certain talking points. That was no big deal to FOD, but the producers wanted to make sure the league was aware that they would be making some jokes at the commissioner’s expense, because that’s what a comedy website does.

    In response, the producers reminded the league that the leader of the free world was more than willing to play by that set of rules. Surely they could see the light.

    In an attempt to salvage the relationship, Funny Or Die countered by reminding them that even the leader of the free world was willing to take a joke, saying "but Obama did it, and he's President of the United States."

    Richanbach said that the league shot back, "well, he's not the commissioner of the NFL."

    That’s right, the NFL holds the position of its commissioner, a public relations lackey for 32 billionaires, in higher regard than the President of the United States.
  • Minor League team to wear ‘Full House’ jerseys

    WASHINGTON -- The Frisco RoughRiders are a Double-A team in Texas, but they’re using their native geography to do some Major League level trolling.

    As anyone from Northern California will tell you, San Franciscans hate it when people call their city Frisco for short. With that in mind, the RoughRiders are holding a Full House night, featuring these abrasive jerseys, and even hosting one of the show’s stars, Dave Coulier, for a celebrity appearance and meet and greet.

    San Francisco’s a beautiful city, so the jerseys are no doubt aesthetically pleasing. What’s that? They look like a third-rate art school student’s attempt at combining Andy Warhol-era art deco with poster boards from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air?”

    Those sure are rough, ‘Riders.

  • Monstrous gator crawls onto golf course

    WASHINGTON -- No, you can putt first.

    Myakka Pines Golf Club/Facebook 

    There are gators, then there's whatever this godless killing machine that crawled out of a lake by the seventh green at Myakka Pines Golf Club in Englewood, Fla. last week is. The club posted photos of the beast to their Facebook page. Seriously, that thing will eat you for a snack.

    Myakka Pines Golf Club/Facebook 

    The course is on Florida’s west coast near Port Charlotte, dozens of miles from the edges of the Everglades. Let this serve as a simple reminder to never go to Florida. 

  • John Wall, Adidas unveil cherry blossom sneakers

    WASHINGTON -- Now that the snow is finally gone, all you’ll hear about for the next month (until you actually see them) is cherry blossoms. Thanks to John Wall and Adidas, you’ll see them a little earlier, on the hardwood.

    The John Wall/Adidas cherry blossom sneaker. (BullletsForever.com)

    The bottom of the sneaker. (BullletsForever.com)

    For the second year in a row, Wall is getting his own Cherry Blossom Festival-themed shoe, a white sneaker with a pink sole, gold accents and pink blossoms along the toe, tongue, and the sides of the heel. It’s…bright. Hooray for spring.

  • Steph Curry is inhuman

    WASHINGTON -- The Golden State Warriors are a very good basketball team this year, which is good for America, because it means they are on national television a lot. It means you get to watch the team with the top offense in the league, the top defense in the league, and the best backcourt in the league nearly every week.

    Why is this good? Aside from the sheer entertainment value associated with the above sentences, it also gives you a chance to watch Steph Curry do things that no other basketball player would dare -- or even think -- to do. He did one of those things again on Sunday as the Warriors pancaked the rival Los Angeles Clippers in a game that was nowhere near as close as the 106-98 final score indicated.

    In case you missed it, prepare yourself.

    Let’s break this thing down, shall we? Coming off a pick by Andrew Bogut on the left wing, Curry slips right past help defender Matt Barnes but finds himself cut off, suddenly facing both Clippers big men Spencer Hawes and DeAndre Jordan, with original defender Chris Paul stepping back into the play to help. Just as Paul closes in, Curry dribbles between his legs to create space, then wraps the ball behind his back, impossibly evading Paul’s outstretched arm and slipping back away from the two big men.

    Curry dribbles back behind the top of the arc, Hawes and Paul in tow, as Klay Thompson flashes to the right wing and Draymond Green points him out. But rather than pass, Curry -- suddenly and without warning -- squares up and flings an uncontested three over the stunned defenders, hitting nothing but the bottom of the net.

    Somehow, the entire sequence, from the first dribble off the screen to the ball ripping the nylon, takes less than four seconds.

    “That could be the greatest move I’ve ever seen live,” said color commentator Jeff Van Gundy on the broadcast, to laughter from his fellow crew. “No, I’m being serious.”

    Most everyone who watched it probably felt the same way, but for it to come from Van Gundy, with more than 20 years of coaching experience between the high school, college and pro levels, carries a little more weight.

    The look on Warriors head coach Steve Kerr’s face says all we need to know, from exasperation to disbelief to delirious acceptance, all in the five-step walk back to his seat on the bench. Feel free to enjoy this one as many times as you can -- we may not see anything quite like it for quite a while.
  • While you freeze, Redskins players surf in San Diego

    WASHINGTON -- Kirk Cousins and Alfred Morris seem like nice enough dudes. They’re in the middle of their offseason, and therefore entitled to do pretty much whatever they want, so long as it falls within the bounds of the law and the NFL collective bargaining agreement.

    So they’re more than entitled to go surfing. In San Diego. Under cloudless, blue skies. But do they really have to rub it in while the rest of us are trapped under 6 inches of snow?

    Enjoy, guys. We’ll just be over here living vicariously through you until Spring.

  • Enormous catfish snagged in Italy

    WASHINGTON -- Well, this is terrifying.

    by dylandog1969 via YouTube

    That behemoth (weighing in somewhere between 266 and 280 pounds, depending on which media report you believe) was reeled in last week in Italy by Dino Ferrari. Somehow, it was neither the largest catfish caught on record (342 pounds) or even the largest in Italy (298). Regardless, the fisherman released his catch back into the wild.

    We were going to try to make a ‘Big Fish’ joke here, but we’ll just count our blessings that they don’t live in the Potomac. What’s that? They do? Welp…
  • Astros bring giant snake into clubhouse

    WASHINGTON -- The Houston Astros brought a giant albino Burmese python into their Spring Training clubhouse Thursday because, why not? While this doesn’t seem nearly as cute as Joe Maddon’s penguin endeavor with the Tampa Bay Rays last year, I guess anything's worth a shot to help a team that’s averaged 104 losses over the past four seasons.

    In related news, has anybody seen Jose Altuve today? Asking for a friend…

  • Maryland students execute epic flash mob prior to win over Wisconsin

    WASHINGTON -- Flash mobs can be dumb. They can seem forced, or excessive, or simply unnecessary. But what the Maryland students pulled off Tuesday night at Xfinity Center prior to the Terps’ huge matchup with Wisconsin was visually stunning and got the crowd hyped up for the big game (click in the lower right corner to blow the video up to full screen).

    Oh, right. Maryland also went on to notch their signature win of the season so far, knocking off the Badgers, 59-53. For more on what that means for their NCAA Tournament seeding, check out Dave Preston’s analysis on WTOP.com.
  • LeBron James Jr. is here to make you feel old

    WASHINGTON -- LeBron James is no longer the rising superstar he once was, but rather an established, 30-year-old veteran with multiple championships and MVPs to his name. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that he had children, and that those children are good at sports, particularly basketball.

    Nevertheless, James’ son -- LeBron James Jr. -- impressed at John Lucas All-Star Weekend in Louisiana.

    From the looks of things, he’s already got a solid handle, good court awareness, and unselfish, pass-first approach, and a deadly long range jumper. But the real story here is that you and I and everyone we know are really, really old, because LeBron James has a son who is already 10 year-old and already better than you at basketball.
  • CC Sabathia is in the best “shape” of his life

    CC Sabathia is back to his old self. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) 

    WASHINGTON -- As any good baseball fan knows, every player shows up to Spring Training every year in the best shape of his life. In CC Sabathia’s case, that shape is round and oblong. Ovalish, if you will. Like a pinstriped egg.

    “I feel like this is a good weight,” Sabathia told the New York Daily News. “I feel my legs under me, being a lot stronger, and being able to push off the mound.

    After dropping down to 275 pounds last year and looking like a cartoonishly skinny version of his prior self, Sabathia is back up to his fighting weight of 305. He looks like his old self, but the question of whether the heft will help bring back the 34-year-old’s former velocity remains to be seen.

    If nothing else, it’ll bring a whole new competition to the classic AL East rivalry between the Yankees and Red Sox.

  • Danny Espinosa is Sam Elliott in The Big Lebowski

    WASHINGTON -- Way down south, there was this fella, fella I wanna tell you about, fella by the name of Danny Espinosa. At least that was the handle his loving parents gave him.

    As for his handle bar mustache -- he gave that to himself.

    They call Viera the city of “faith.” I didn’t find it to be that exactly. But it’s a place where pitchers and catchers are reporting for Spring Training, and where position players are showing up with facial hair dramatic enough to stop you in your tracks. But sometimes there’s a mustache, sometimes there’s a mustache…

    Howdy, pardner. (movieactors.com) 
  • Mascot tramples young fan looking for high five

    WASHINGTON -- Mascot suits don’t offer the greatest range of vision. In order to conceal the identity of the suit’s operator, they are necessarily tough to see through. This is especially true when it comes to items at the wearer’s feet, like stairs, or young children looking for celebratory approval.

    Such was the case Tuesday night at Southern Illinois Univesity, where the Saluki mascot was doing mascot things on the floor after the team’s 84-62 loss to Wichita State. A young girl approached the oblivious costumed character, hand up, looking for a high five. She got more than she bargained for.

    Be careful around mascots, kids. They’re not as magical as you might think.
Powered by ScribbleLive Content Marketing Software Platform