Review Category : National Sports

Scoreboard roundup — 5/6/17

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

INTERLEAGUE
N-Y Yankees 11 Chi Cubs 6

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Boston 11 Minnesota 1
Tampa Bay 6 Toronto 1
Cleveland 3 Kansas City 1
Baltimore 6 Chi White Sox 5
Oakland 6 Detroit 5
L.A. Angels 2 Houston 1
Seattle 8 Texas 2

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Pittsburgh 2 Milwaukee 1, 10 Innings
Washington 6 Philadelphia 2
St. Louis 5 Atlanta 3
N-Y Mets 11 Miami 3
Cincinnati 14 San Francisco 2
Colorado 9 Arizona 1
L.A. Dodgers 10 San Diego 2

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PLAYOFFS
Golden State 102 Utah 91

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE PLAYOFFS
OT Ottawa 5 N-Y Rangers 4
Washington 4 Pittsburgh 2

WOMEN’S NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
L.A. Sparks 73 San Antonio 59
Dallas 80 Indiana 75

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Olympic champion bobsledder Steven Holcomb found dead at 37

Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images For IBSF(LAKE PLACID, N.Y.) — American bobsledder and Olympic gold medalist Steven Holcomb was found dead Saturday morning in his room at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, New York.

Holcomb, 37, made history in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver where he led the four-man U.S. bobsled team to victory, marking the country’s first gold medal in the event since 1948.

In 2014, he won the bronze medal at the Sochi Olympics for the two-man and four-man events.

U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmum said in a statement that Team USA was “shocked and saddened” by Holcomb’s death.

“Steve was a tremendous athlete and even better person, and his perseverance and achievements were an inspiration to us all,” he said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Steve’s family and the entire bobsledding community.”

USA Bobsled & Skeleton CEO Darrin Steele said: “It would be easy to focus on the loss in terms of his Olympic medals and enormous athletic contributions to the organization, but USA Bobsled & Skeleton is a family and right now we are trying to come to grips with the loss of our teammate, our brother and our friend.”

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Always Dreaming Wins 2017 Kentucky Derby

Jon Durr/Eclipse Sportswire/Getty Images(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) — Always Dreaming has won the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby.

Despite a muddy track, the 9-2 favorite was able to finish ahead by about 2 lengths in front of Lookin at Lee and Battle of Midway.

It was the first Derby win for trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey John Velazquez as a pair; both had won the race once before.

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Patch, the one-eyed horse competing in Kentucky Derby, is ‘lovable underdog’

TongRo Images/Thinkstock(LOUISVILLE) — It’s time to dust off that fancy hat and mix a mint julep because the Kentucky Derby is almost here. And when the starting gate flies open Saturday, everyone will be buzzing about Patch, the one-eyed long shot who has emerged as this year’s fan favorite.

ESPN’s Jeannine Edwards said Patch is definitely a “lovable underdog.”

“He’s an underdog with a disability, but he doesn’t let that disability keep him on the sidelines,” Edwards said on “Good Morning America” today from Churchill Downs. “Patch actually lost his left eye less than a year ago to inflammation. The vets tried to salvage it. They could not, so he only has one eye.

To everyone who says a horse without a left eye can’t win the @KentuckyDerby from Post 20. pic.twitter.com/tu4b0VVway

— Patch (@PatchHorse) May 3, 2017

“Peripheral vision is very important to horses so that they can see all the way around them, so he basically can only see half his world,” she continued.

Patch is not the first one-eyed horse to race in the Derby, however.

“Three prior horses with one eye have raced in the Kentucky Derby,” said Edwards. “None have won. Patch is looking to be the first. It would be quite an upset indeed.”

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Scoreboard roundup — 5/5/17

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

INTERLEAGUE
N-Y Yankees 3 Chi Cubs 2

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Baltimore 4 Chi White Sox 2
Toronto 8 Tampa Bay 4
Minnesota 4 Boston 3
Kansas City 3 Cleveland 1
Detroit 7 Oakland 2
Houston 7 L.A. Angels 6, 10 Innings
Texas 3 Seattle 1, 13 Innings

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Cincinnati 13 San Francisco 3
Pittsburgh 4 Milwaukee 0
Washington 4 Philadelphia 2
N-Y Mets 8 Miami 7
St. Louis 10 Atlanta 0
Arizona 6 Colorado 3
L.A. Dodgers 8 San Diego 2

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PLAYOFFS

Cleveland 115 Toronto 94
San Antonio 103 Houston 92

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE PLAYOFFS
St. Louis 2 Nashville 1
SO Anaheim 4 Edmonton 3

WOMEN’S NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Minnesota 113 Atlanta 67

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Report: Chris Sale will not be suspended for throwing behind Manny Machado

Tim Bradbury/Getty Images(BOSTON) — Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale will not be suspended for throwing behind the Baltimore Orioles’ Manny Machado, a source told ESPN.

In the first inning of Tuesday’s game at Fenway Park, Sale pitched a 98 mph fastball towards the third baseman, prompting both sides to be warned.

It marked the latest incident in the growing rivalry between the Red Sox and Orioles. On April 21, Machado spiked Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia with a slide. Two days later, Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes threw a 90 mph pitch behind Machado’s head, which led the MLB to issue Barnes a four-game suspension.

On Monday, Baltimore’s Dylan Bundy hit Boston right fielder Mookie Betts near the hip with a pitch. And in the second inning of Wednesday’s game, Kevin Gausman was ejected for hitting Boston’s Xander Bogaerts. Orioles outfielder Adam Jones, who said earlier in the week he was called a racial slur by fans in Boston, was also ejected from that game after arguing with the umpire over strikes.

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‘Know you are an angel’ Aaron Hernandez tells fiancée in suicide note

Jared Wickerham/Getty Images(BOSTON) — In his suicide note to his fiancée released Friday, Aaron Hernandez wrote that he told her what was coming “indirectly” and encouraged her to share his story, adding “know you are an angel.”

The letter to Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez was one of three found in the former New England Patriots player’s prison cell at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts, after he was discovered hanging in the early morning hours of April 19.

“Shay, you have always been my soul-mate and I want you to live life and know I’m always with you,” he writes in the note, obtained by ABC News. “I told you what was coming indirectly! I love you so much and know you are an angel. … Tell my story fully but never think anything besides how much I love you.”

Hernandez’s family is calling for an independent probe into his death after state investigators determined he wasn’t on any drugs when he apparently took his own life in prison.

“Now that the state authorities have completed and closed their investigation into the death of Aaron, we owe it Aaron and his family to conduct a thorough and independent investigation into this tragic death,” Hernandez’s lead attorney, Jose Baez, said in a statement obtained by ABC News on Thursday night.

Hernandez was serving a life sentence for murder at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center. The Worcester County District Attorney’s Office and the Massachusetts State Police on Thursday released their report on the investigation into his death, which had been ruled a suicide.

The report shares chilling new details on the circumstances surrounding Hernandez’s death and confirms information that had already been reported by the media.

According to the report, Hernandez was “naked” when he was discovered hanged from a bed sheet tied around the cell’s window bars. A postmortem toxicology of the former NFL player’s blood came back negative for all substances tested, including synthetic cannabinoids.

Hernandez’s lead attorney said state authorities exhibited an “unprecedented” and “total lack of professionalism” throughout the investigation.

“The majority of information contained in these reports was leaked to the press during the course of the investigation. The family was never advised during the investigation or before the report was released today as to any of the specifics of the investigation,” Baez said in the statement. “They unfortunately learned through the numerous press reports, citing unnamed government sources or those close to the investigation, of the details of Aaron’s death. The family members were victims in this matter and deserved better treatment by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”

Baez continued: “The unprofessional behavior of those entrusted to impartially and professionally conduct an investigation into Aaron’s death has caused grave concern as to the validity and thoroughness of the investigation.” Prison authorities declined to comment beyond the official report on Hernandez’s death.

Baez said his legal team intends to “fully, completely and impartially review all of the evidence” using the “best investigators and forensic experts available.” The attorney also warned that “any official who attempted to interfere or inhibit our investigation by refusing to allow access to the evidence surrounding this matter will not be tolerated.”

Once a star NFL tight end, Hernandez, 27, was acquitted less than a week before his death of killing two men in 2012. He was already serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for the 2013 killing of semiprofessional football player Odin Lloyd, who was dating the sister of Jenkins-Hernandez.

Hernandez and Jenkins-Hernandez have a 4-year-old daughter.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Correction, Hernandez was in a “single cell in a general population housing.”

A spokesman for the Massachusetts Department of Correction told ABC News that there was no prior concern that Hernandez was suicidal and that if there had been, he would have been on mental health watch in a different part of the prison.

Correction officers told police that Hernandez had been locked in his cell just before 8 p.m. ET on April 18 and remained there until the following day just after 3 a.m. ET, when he was found hanging. Video surveillance of the cell block from the time Hernandez entered his cell until the time he was transported to the hospital show no one entered the cell until correction officers came to render aid, according to the report.

Surveillance video also shows that Hernandez was on the phone prior to being locked in his cell. State authorities listened to the last five phone calls Hernandez made on April 18 and determined he did not make “any apparent indication of an intent to harm himself during any of those phone calls,” the report states.

The door to Hernandez’s jail cell was “pegged,” with cardboard shoved into the door tracks to prevent the door from opening. Hernandez had also placed “a large amount of shampoo on the floor” inside his cell, making it very slippery, according to the report.

Correction officers were able to cut Hernandez down and began administering CPR. Medics continued CPR on Hernandez as he was transported to UMASS Health Alliance Hospital in Leominster. He never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead just after 4 a.m. ET, according to the report.

After performing an autopsy of Hernandez, Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Henry N. Nields concluded the cause of death as asphyxia by hanging and the manner of death was suicide.

According to the report, state authorities observed what appeared to be “a large circular blood mark on each of Hernandez’s feet” as well as the Bible verse John 3:16 written in ink across his forehead. The verse reads, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

The same Bible verse, along with “several drawings,” was written “in a substance consistent with blood” on the wall of Hernandez’s cell. Under the drawings was a Bible open to John 3:16, with the 16th verse marked in blood. Next to the Bible were three handwritten letters, according to the report.

Investigators determined with a “reasonable degree of certainty” that the letters found in Hernandez’s cell were written by him, the report states.

State authorities took custody of the letters before releasing them to Hernandez’s family, according to the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office.

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The Kentucky Derby’s rich history of diversity

TongRo Images/Thinkstock(LOUISVILLE) — Many know the Kentucky Derby as an over-the-top horse race held in the spring, where — in between sips of mint juleps — people dressed in huge hats and pressed outfits cheer as racehorses run around a dirt track.

But the derby, which is the oldest continuous sporting event in America, is steeped in a diverse history and tradition that runs deeper than fancy headwear, expensive beasts and boozy drinks.

The first Kentucky Derby was held on May 17, 1875, at Churchill Downs, a thoroughbred racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky. Typically, horses that are about 3 years old compete in the event, where they are required to run the 1.25-mile-long track as quickly as they can.

And even though the horses and the owners get a lot of the glory, a sometimes-overlooked part of the winning equation is the jockey. Jockeys often work with the horses, sometimes from birth, to get them ready for “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports,” as the race is sometimes referred to colloquially.

What you may not know is that jockeys, historically, have been a diverse group of competitors, possibly one of the most diverse groups in all of sports.

Black jockeys dominated the Kentucky Derby at its start

Horse racing grew in popularity in the South before the Emancipation Proclamation. Black slaves often maintained the horse’s stables and worked with the thoroughbreds, which made them the best people to keep the horses calm before, during and after races. Subsequently, most of the first jockeys were black.

The Hidden (Black) History of the Kentucky Derby

In 1863, 3 million slaves were freed, thanks to President Abraham Lincoln’s executive order, which meant these men and women had to start finding a way to support themselves. Due to their familiarity with horses, many newly freed slaves took to racing horses and raising them as careers.

In that first “Run for the Roses” — a nickname coined by a journalist trying to describe the elaborate rose garland draped over horses after they win — Oliver Lewis rode the horse Aristides to victory. Lewis, who was 19 years old at the time of the race, was one of 13 black jockeys in that inaugural Kentucky Derby. The other two jockeys in that race were white.

Black jockeys won half of the first 16 Kentucky Derbys, and one of those men, Isaac Murphy, who was the first to win the Kentucky Derby in successive years in 1890 and 1891, also became “the first black millionaire athlete,” according to his biographer, Joe Drape.

Murphy, at the peak of his career, received a yearly salary of about $10,000 to 20,000 not including bonuses, which equates to about $260,000 to $515,000 in 2017. At the time, this made Murphy the highest paid jockey in America.

The reign of the black jockey

Black jockeys’ success at the sport did not go unnoticed by their white counterparts, and as horse racing gained popularity, they were slowly pushed out.

Chris Goodlett, the senior curator of collections for the Kentucky Derby Museum, said racism was to blame for the decrease of black jockeys in the derby.

“Racing becomes more of a profession, so white jockeys become more interested,” Goodlett told ABC News. “And when Jim Crow laws came in after the Civil War, racism was the main reason [for the decline of black jockeys.]”

According to Goodlett, Jimmy Winkfield — who was the last African-American to win the Kentucky Derby in 1902 — was racing outside of Chicago when he was pushed against the rail “as an intimidation tactic.” Goodlett told ABC News the combination of potential injury to the jockey or the horse made fewer black men pursue becoming a jockey.

Not one black jockey raced between 1921 and 2000, until Marlon St. Julien saddled up for the derby.

The late Arthur Ashe, former professional tennis player and author of “A Hard Road to Glory: A History of the African-American Athlete,” said the decrease in the number of black jockeys is “the saddest case” of discrimination in American sports.

“Black domination of horse racing then was analogous to the domination of the National Basketball Association today,” Ashe wrote in the book, originally published in 1988. “Subsequently, the Jockey Club was formed in the early 1890s to regulate and license all jockeys. Then one by one the blacks were denied their license renewals. By 1911 they had all but disappeared.”

For context, the MLB, the NFL and the NBA were not integrated until the 1940s. The NHL wasn’t integrated until the late 1950s.

“Hopefully, we will have more African-American jockeys returning to the race,” Goodlett said. “Diversity will continue in the jockey profession for the foreseeable future.”

Latino jockeys rise to prominence

As black jockeys waned, Latino jockeys began to take their place.

In 1963, Braulio Baeza of Panama City, Panama, won the Kentucky Derby as well as the Belmont Stakes. He set the stage for various Latinos to consider a career in horse racing.

When President Dwight Eisenhower presented Baeza with the trophy at Belmont, he spoke Spanish to him, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader. Eisenhower spent part of his military career in the Panama Canal Zone in the early 1920s.

“He said, ‘Yeah, I speak Spanish,'” Baeza told the Lexington Herald-Leader in 2013. “When he talked [in] Spanish to me … that made [the win] even better.”

Since Baeza’s win, more Latino jockeys were inspired to become professional jockeys in America.

In fact, every winning jockey since 2011 has been Latino: John Velazquez (Puerto Rico), Mario Gutierrez (Mexico), Joel Rosario (Dominican Republic) and Victor Espinoza (Mexico). (Gutierrez and Espinoza have both won twice since 2011.)

“If horses could talk, they would surely speak Spanish,” Bob Baffert, the trainer of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, told ESPN, alluding to the large number of Latinos involved in the sport.

In the 2017 Kentucky Derby lineup, nearly half of the jockeys are Latino, four are from Europe, one is from Jamaica, and the remaining seven jockeys were born in the U.S.

Goodlett said the infrastructure in Latin American countries lends itself to yielding a great deal of elite jockeys.

“There is racing in Central and South America,” Goodlett told ABC News. “There were also jockey schools in that area that go back decades.”

For comparison, there is only one professional jockey school in the U.S., the North American Racing Academy.

Female jockeys have raced alongside men in the Kentucky Derby for decades

The first female to ride a horse in the derby was Diane Crump in 1970. Many women had raced alongside men before then, but it took a lawsuit in the late 1960s to allow women to become licensed jockeys to raise the number of females in the sport.

Since then, there have been a total of six women who rode in the Kentucky Derby: Diane Crump, Patti Cooksey, Andrea Seefeldt, Julie Krone, Rosemary Homeister Jr. and Rosie Napravnik.

As of 2017, no female jockey has ever won the Kentucky Derby, but in 2013, Napravnik placed fifth — the highest place of any female jockey in Kentucky Derby history.

However, women are at a distinct disadvantage because of their body fat composition, which is typically higher than a man’s, according to the North American Racing Academy. A successful jockey will weigh so little that the horse will barely feel him or her on its back.

“A horse is not going to be able to perform at its optimum peak if it’s carrying 100-something pounds,” Hall of Fame rider Chris McCarron told ABC News.

The North American Racing Academy prefers riders weigh less than 112 pounds. Body fat expectations are far more rigid than other athletes, on par with the lowest percentage of body fat necessary to even survive.

“Your typical male jockey has a body fat percentage that ranges between 3 and 7 [percent],” McCarron said. “The girls are between 8 and 12 [percent].” The average American’s body fat percentage is around 18 percent for men and 25 percent for women.

The Kentucky Derby requires that a jockey not weigh more than 126 pounds, including his or her equipment.

Vanessa Reill, who attended the North American Racing Academy back in 2013, said she struggled meeting the weight requirements during her schooling.

“I’ve stopped eating as much chocolate as I used to,” she told ABC News. “And just trying not to go over 1,500 calories a day.”

But the pressure to stay thin means eating disorders are common among jockeys.

“Unfortunately, bulimia is a pretty prevalent problem among jockeys and taking diuretics [is as well,]” McCarron said.

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Scoreboard roundup — 5/4/17

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

INTERLEAGUE
Tampa Bay 5 Miami 1

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Oakland 8 Minnesota 5
Texas 10 Houston 4
Chi White Sox 8 Kansas City 3
Baltimore 8 Boston 3
Seattle 11 L.A. Angels 3
Cleveland at Detroit 1:10 p.m., postponed

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Cincinnati 4 Pittsburgh 2
Washington 4 Arizona 2
Chi Cubs 5 Philadelphia 4, 13 Innings
Colorado 3 San Diego 2, 11 Innings
Milwaukee 5 St. Louis 4
N-Y Mets at Atlanta 7:35 p.m., postponed

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PLAYOFFS

Washington 116 Boston 89
Golden State 115 Utah 104

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE PLAYOFFS

N-Y Rangers 4 Ottawa 1

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Bucs’ Martin OK after car accident

Christian Petersen/iStock/Thinkstock(TAMPA, Fla.) – Police say Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin suffered minor injuries after being involved in a car crash in Tampa Thursday afternoon.

Tampa police say Martin was driving a BMW when it was struck by a Kia at approximately 1:15pm. The Kia then rammed into a periodontist’s office. No one was hurt in the building.

As you have read, I was in a little car accident. I am perfectly healthy, my carrrrr..not so much. pic.twitter.com/awUXJZZujn

— Doug Martin (@DougMartin22) May 4, 2017

The Buccaneers released a statement saying Martin was treated by the team’s medical staff and is resting at home.

Police told ESPN that no drugs or alcohol were involved.

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