Bryan Stow Throws Out First Pitch at Minor League Game: The San Francisco Giants fan beaten outside Dodger Stadium threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the home opener for the San Jose Giants, a team where he used to be a paramedic before he was left brain damaged in the attack four years ago. Stow still suffers memory loss and concentration issues but is able to walk and stand for short periods and gave newspaper interviews before the ceremony. "I'm excited about it," Stow told a newspaper.
U.S. Men Win 2-0 Over Mexico in San Antonio: Playing on a dismal surface, the U.S. men's national team handed Mexico another 2-0 loss in a friendly Wednesday night in San Antonio. Jordan Morris, the first current college player to play for the U.S. since 1999, scored a scrappy goal off a defender's carom and Juan Agudelo took a long pass out of the air, opened up a little space outside the box and beat the goalie to hang the famous "dos a cero" on the Americans' southern rival.
Aaron Hernandez convicted of 1st-degree murder: Unsurprising but still a tragic disappointment. Maybe they can room Hernandez and Phillips together...
Former Bradford chairman linked to at least eight fires before Valley Parade disaster: '[T]here had been at least eight other fires at business premises either owned by, or connected to, Stafford Heginbotham, Bradford’s then-chairman, in the previous 18 years, resulting in huge insurance claims . . . "Could any man really be as unlucky as Heginbotham had been?"
NHL Playoff Pick 'Em Starts Now: The playoffs begin tonight at 7 p.m. Eastern. Pick the eight teams that will advance out of the first round and the number of games each series will require: Ottawa vs. Montreal, New York Islanders vs. Washington, Chicago vs. Nashville, Calgary vs. Vancouver, Pittsburgh vs. New York Rangers, Detroit vs. Tampa Bay, Minnesota vs. St. Louis, Winnipeg vs. Anaheim. One extra point on winning picks for getting the number of games right. Another extra point for picking one of the three top goal scorers in this playoff round.
Ex-NFL Running Back Suspected of Killing Cellmate: Former NFL running back Lawrence Phillips is suspected of killing his cellmate in a Central California prison, officials said. Damion Soward, Phillips' cellmate at Kern Valley State Prison, was found lifeless early Saturday and later pronounced dead. A former Nebraska standout drafted sixth overall in 1996 by the St. Louis Rams, Phillips is serving a sentence of more than 31 years after being convicted of twice choking his girlfriend in 2005 in San Diego and later that year of driving his car into three teens after a pickup football game in Los Angeles. Soward, 37, was serving 82 years to life for first-degree murder.
Famous Texas Sportswriter Jim Dent Convicted of 10th DWI: The sportswriter Jim Dent, a former reporter in Dallas and Fort Worth known better today for his non-fiction sports books such as The Junction Boys, is in jail awaiting his sentence for his ninth and 10th DWI convictions. He fled the charges to Mexico for a year, where he promoted his latest book Manzell Mania in interviews conducted over an anonymous Internet phone service, but was caught at a border crossing in San Diego. He says he's done drinking (natch) but a long prison sentence awaits. "Dent said he has at least one more book in him," writes Barry Horn. "He is 35,000 handwritten words into an autobiography he has titled Last Call."
Who are the "Franchise Four"?:
A chance to vote for the four players on each franchise (plus 3 other categories) who have had the biggest impact on those franchises. The winners are to be revealed during the MLB All-Star Game.
Losing Wisconsin Coach Laments 'Rent-a-Player' Trend: After Duke beat Wisconsin for the men's NCAA basketball championship, shots were still being taken. Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan: "We don't do a rent-a-player." Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill: "Congrats to Duke, but I was rooting for team who had stars that are actually going to college and not just doing semester tryout for NBA." She later added: "I see I have stirred things up. Sorry, but I'm sad about the one and done thing. I understand why it's happening, but I don't have to like it."
Around the ballparks.: In celebration of opening day, the best food in the MLB.
LA Dodgers set MLB payroll record.:
$277,000,000 for this season.
The best 3-point shooter you never saw: "Durante’s name is still whispered on the Catawba campus four decades after his heyday. He was a lefty scoring machine with lightning in his legs. He shot often, connected often."
Yankees Have Most Improved Shortstop WAR in Baseball: The New York Yankees have the Majors' biggest projected improvement in wins above replacement (WAR) at shortstop this season -- according to Fangraphs -- and it's all because Derek Jeter retired. Neil Paine of 538 notes, "[T]he Yankees had the least-productive shortstop situation in all of baseball last year, so even a shortstop depth chart headlined by Didi Gregorius was bound to be one of the game's most improved in 2015." There are some other gems in the stats. The Texas Rangers have a +3.7 at first base because they've replaced Prince Fielder ... with Prince Fielder.
Ronnie O'Sullivan clears the table in the 2012 world snooker championships.: It's mesmerizing to watch a good snooker player work at the best of times, but this was a pretty bad table after the scratch and he conquers it almost without time for thought. Originally posted to MeFi.
Bill Belichick Offseason Simulator: Jon Bois' latest work of gaming genius.
Tiger Woods Falls Out of Top 100 in Golf: Tiger Woods, who spent 683 weeks (over 13 years) atop the rankings of world golfers, has fallen out of the top 100. He's currently at 104 and sidelined with injury. In February the 39-year-old took an indefinite break from golf and called his play "not acceptable for tournament golf," but he's hoping to be back to play the Masters in April. He has won 14 Majors, the last in 2008 at the U.S. Open.
Australia bowls out New Zealand on 183: Loving the 93,000-strong support the Aussies made short work of their neighbors to win the Cricket World Cup for the fifth time yesterday. The Kiwis had a difficult start, losing three wickets early but then had a run to 150 when disaster hit and they lost three more for almost no runs. The home side had a terrific innings from captain Michael Clarke and (his replacement as captain?) Steve Smith, needing only five batsmen to run down the win. There were, of course, a few afters ;)