Cricketer Fighting for Life After Ball to Head: An Australian cricketer suffered a life-threatening injury when struck below his helmet while swinging at a cricket ball during a match in Sydney Tuesday. Phillip Hughes, 25, collapsed and his heart reportedly stopped before he was resuscitated. He was put in an induced coma at a hospital and is in intensive care. "In first class cricket, top batsmen face balls delivered at speeds approaching 100 miles an hour, so injuries aren't uncommon, but they are very rarely this serious thanks to the protection usually provided by padding and helmets" the Wall Street Journal explains.
Red Sox Sign Pablo Sandoval, Hanley Ramirez: The Boston Red Sox have reached deals with shortstop Hanley Ramirez (four years, $88 million) and third baseman Pablo Sandoval (five years, $90 million). Ramirez is likely to move to the outfield because the Sox already have Xander Bogaerts at his position. Jim Bowden expects the Sox to go after more than one top-of-the-rotation starting pitchers and names Cole Hamels, Jon Lester and James Shields among their targets. "The Red Sox lineup is now much better, but they're not even going to contend unless they completely revamp the top of their starting rotation with at least two elite starters," he writes.
Clif Bar Drops Sponsorship of 5 Climbers Over Risks They Take: Clif Bar, the nutrition bar maker that has long supported the sport of climbing, has dropped sponsorship of five well-known climbers. "We concluded that these forms of the sport are pushing boundaries and taking the element of risk to a place where we as a company are no longer willing to go," the company wrote in an open letter to the climbing community. "We understand that some climbers feel these forms of climbing are pushing the sport to new frontiers. But we no longer feel good about benefiting from the amount of risk certain athletes are taking in areas of the sport where there is no margin for error; where there is no safety net."
NFL Pick 'Em, Week 12: This week's NFL games begin tonight with Buffalo at Miami. Leaders: wmwtm (1340), mattwalshvideo (1290), mbates321 (1280), Krumrie's Floppy Leg and lsun667 (1240).
NFL Pick 'Em, Week 10: Cleveland visits Cincinnati tonight to start off week 10. Top 5 in our contest: wmwtm (1200), mattwalshvideo (1190), lsun667 (1160), grum (1150), mbates321 (1140). Collective hive mind picks of the week: Baltimore over Tennessee and Denver over Oakland (both 98 percent). Closest choice: Kansas City over Buffalo (68 percent).
Despite Vehement Public Claims of Innocence, A-Rod Admitted to DEA He Used Steroids: Jay Weaver of the Miami Herald broke this story Wednesday: "For 21 tumultuous months, New York Yankees superstar Alex Rodriguez has defiantly maintained he never used banned substances from a Coral Gables anti-aging clinic, that he is the victim of a Major League Baseball 'witch hunt,' and that he would fight to the end to clear his name. But in a Drug Enforcement Administration conference room back in January, facing federal agents and prosecutors who granted him immunity, baseball's highest-paid player admitted everything: Yes, he bought performance-enhancing drugs from Biogenesis of America, paying roughly $12,000 a month to Anthony Bosch, the fake doctor who owned the clinic. Yes, Bosch gave him pre-filled syringes for hormone injections into the ballplayer's stomach, and even drew blood from him in the men's room of a South Beach nightclub." Now the Yankees must deal with a star player of diminished skills with three years and $60 million left on his contract, plus another $90 million in potential home run milestone incentives. Janet Macur of the New York Times writes, "In a million years, in a million baseball seasons, I never would have dreamed I'd ever say this: I feel sorry for the Yankees."
NFL Pick 'Em, Week 9: We have a new leader, Wmwtm, who is 10 points ahead of Lsun667 and Mattwalshvideo. The collective hivemind at NFL.Com has picked Cincinnati over Jacksonville by a margin of 98 to 2 percent.
Bucks Player Almost Shoots in Wrong Basket: I love the reactions of the announcers, coach Jason Kidd and courtside fans after Milwaukee Bucks center Larry Sanders comes tantalizingly close to eternal sports infamy by driving with the ball to the wrong basket.
Giants Win World Series: The San Francisco Giants are World Series champions for the third time in five seasons after defying the odds for a road team in Game 7 and beating the Kansas City Royals 3-2 at Kauffman Stadium. Michael Morse gave the Giants that lead with a fourth-inning single and the San Francisco bullpen, most notably Madison Bumgarner, pitched 7 1/3 shutout innings to deliver another parade.
Denver Broncos Fan Disappears During Game: A 53-year-old man attending his first Denver Broncos game with his son and two friends disappeared during halftime and has been missing for four days. Paul Kitterman told his son Jarrod they'd meet up back at their seats when Jarrod went to the restrooms at halftime. Paul Kitterman never showed up and has been gone since. He had $50 in cash, no credit cards and no phone. "He's absolutely nowhere to be found," said friend Tia Bakke, who attended the game with him. "It's been the longest, [most] miserable three days of our lives."
Minor League Hockey Player Suffers Gruesome Cut from Skate: A minor league hockey game in Peoria, Illinois, came to a halt Saturday after a player fell on an opponent's skate and suffered a deep and potentially life threatening cut to his thigh. Trainers and players from both teams raced to help Huntsville Havoc center Justin Cseter, bringing towels and fashioning a tourniquet out of a broken hockey stick. Dave Eminian of the Peoria Journal-Star penned this memorable lead: "The Peoria Rivermen were gaining momentum, had just scored to build a 2-1 lead over the Huntsville Havoc on Saturday at Carver Arena. And then hockey gave way to horror."
PGA Exec Calls Ian Poulter 'Little School Girl': PGA of America President Ted Bishop, upset by criticism of past Ryder Cup captains Nick Faldo and Tom Watson by Ian Poulter in his new book, called Poulter a "lil girl" and "little school girl" in social media posts. Bishop wrote on a Facebook post that athletes with "lesser records or accomplishments in a sport never criticized the icons" and then said of Poulter, "Really? Sounds like a little school girl squealing during recess. C'mon man!" He later deleted the posts and apologized. Poulter's response: "Is being called a 'lil girl' meant to be derogatory or a put down That's pretty shocking and disappointing, especially coming from the leader of the PGA of America."
NFL Pick 'Em, Week 8: Week eight of SportsFilter's NFL Pick 'Em contest finds Mattwalshvideo continuing to hold a big lead, 50 points ahead of Lsun667 and Wmwtm and 60 ahead of Mbates321. San Diego visits Denver tonight in Thursday Night Football.
Royals Advance to First World Series Since 1985: The Kansas City Royals won their eighth straight post-season game Wednesday, sweeping the Baltimore Orioles 4-0 and advancing to the club's first World Series since 1985. Kansas City scored two runs in the first inning without a ball leaving the infield, then made them hold up over the next 9 for a 2-1 series clinching victory. "Manager Ned Yost has become Midas here in October," writes Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star.
Drone with Flag Sparks Brawl at Euro 2016 Match: The Euro 2016 qualifier between Serbia and Albania was abandoned after a drone carrying a banner with an Albanian nationalist message flew over the pitch at Partizan Stadium in Belgrade, Serbia, and sparked a brawl between the teams after a Serbian player pulled it down and Albanian players tried to take it from him. Albanian supporters had already been banned from attending over security concerns, given turbulent relations between the countries. Deadspin has the video.
Infamous College Tackler Tommy Lewis Dies: The former Alabama player who made one of the most infamous tackles in college football history has died. At the 1954 Cotton Bowl, Rice halfback Dicky Maegle had broken free on a run likely to end in a 95-yard touchdown when Tommy Lewis left the sideline and tackled him near midfield. The officials awarded Maegle the touchdown. Lewis, who would be invited with Maegle to appear on the Ed Sullivan Show two days later, explained, "I was just so full of Alabama, and I couldn't stand to see him make another touchdown. I lost my composure and tackled him."
DeMarco Murray Ties Jim Brown Record: Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray became the second running back in NFL history to start a season with six straight 100-yard rushing games, matching Jim Brown. And he did it against the league's best run defense, which had not allowed a running back more than 38 yards in a game this season, as Dallas defeated the Seattle Seahawks 30-23.
NFL Pick 'Em, Week 6: Six weeks into the contest, Mattwalshvideo's lead has narrowed slightly to 40 points, with jagsnumberone in second and lsun667, aeonmcallister, wmwtm and crisisstills tied for third. Biggest anticipated rout: The Pick 'Em hive mind predicts a 98% chance of a Denver victory over the New York Jets. Fun fact: Jagsnumberone would be tied for the lead if he hadn't picked Jacksonville to win four times.
Florida QB Treon Harris Investigated in Alleged Sex Assault: Two days after he helped Florida come back to a 10-9 road victory over Tennessee, freshman quarterback Treon Harris has been suspended indefinitely by the team because of an alleged crime involving a female student. The crime is not yet being described, but university president Bernie Machen said in a statement, "We have no tolerance for sexual assault on our campus."
NFL Pick 'Em, Week 5: Minnesota visits Green Bay for Thursday Night Football. Mattwalshvideo remains atop our Pick 'Em Contest by 50 points, with Wmwtm, AeonMcCallister, Crisisstills and Jagsnumberone tied for second.
Royals Steal 9-8 Win Over A's in Epic 12-Inning AL Wild Card: The Kansas City Royals entered the eighth inning down 7-3 to the Oakland A's with ace Jon Lester on the mound. Using their speed on steals and sacrifice bunts, they scored three in that inning and another in the ninth to send the game to extra innings, then came back from a one-run deficit in the 12th with a Salvador Perez single to left that scored Christian Colon, sending a franchise that had waited 29 years for postseason baseball into the ALDS.
Tackled Ohio State Student Was Wearing Secret Booze Panties: Ohio State strength and conditioning coach Anthony Schlegel executed a ferocious open-field tackle on a student who ran onto the field Saturday in the game against Cincinnati, to the roaring approval of the home crowd. The student is a senior in mechanical engineering on a full housing and tuition scholarship. Why would he risk that? The answer is in his pants.
Jose Altuve Asks to Play, Risks Batting Title: Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, originally kept out of the lineup, asked to start today and has gone two for three in his first two at-bats, lifting his AL-leading batting average from .340 to .341. The Detroit Tigers' Victor Martinez plays later with a .337 average. Altuve would be the Astros' first batting champ.
SportsFilter Fantasy Hockey Needs 4 Owners: Our head-to-head NHL fantasy hockey league, Koharski's Donuts, is looking for four more owners in its second season. Compete for the world's most delicious trophy (warning: not a food product). Use this link and the password shipley (all lowercase).
NFL Pick 'Em, Week 4: The NFL resumes tonight with the New York Giants going to Washington. Mattwalshvideo continues to lead our Pick 'Em Contest by 50 points, with Jagsnumberone, Crisisstills and Howardt98 tied for second. Jagsnumberone had the best week, going 14-2 with only Arizona's upset of San Francisco and the Colts defeat of the Jaguars as misses.