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Brandon Flowers’ jacket honoring the ’89-’90 UNLV championship team is fantastic

brandon-flowers-unlv-jacket

During the 1989-1990 men’s college basketball season, there wasn’t a better team than the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels.

Led by Larry Johnson, Stacey Augmon, David Butler, Greg Anthony, and Anderson Hunt, UNLV finished the regular season as co-champions of the Big West Conference. Then, they won the conference tournament. The Rebels capped off their season with a run through the NCAA Tournament that ended with them cutting down the nets as national champions after beating Duke 103-73 in the final.

On Saturday, during the March Madness Music Festival, Brandon Flowers of the Las Vegas-based band The Killers took the stage wearing the above pictured jacket, complete with the names of UNLV’s starting five from that title-winning team.

That jacket is fantastic. I’m not from Las Vegas and don’t have an allegiance to UNLV, but I would wear it in a heartbeat.

Photo via Twitter/lukezim

Masahiro Tanaka allows home run to first batter in major league debut (GIF)

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The New York Yankees were the big winners of the Masahiro Tanaka sweepstakes, signing 25-year-old Japanese starting pitcher to a seven-year, $155 million contract in January.

On Friday, the Yankees got their first look at their prized import in a game that mattered. The Toronto Blue Jays, with a lineup that included sluggers Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, were the opposition.

masahiro-tanaka-first-batterBefore Masahiro Tanaka faced either of them for the first time, Toronto already had a run on the scoreboard. Blue Jays lead-off hitter Melky Cabrera homered on Tanaka’s third pitch of the game.

How’s that for a welcoming to a new league?

Tanaka went on to pitch seven innings, allowing six hits, no walks, and two earned runs while striking out eight. Overall, not a bad first time out.

Watch Giancarlo Stanton launch a 484-ft home run (GIF)

There are a handful of players in Major League Baseball who are worth arriving to the ballpark early for to see them take batting practice because of the show they put on. Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins is in that group for me.

giancarlo-stanton-484Few players can hit a baseball farther when they make solid contact.

Back in 2012, Stanton launched a ball at Coors Field that landed 494 feet from home plate. Yes, that’s in Denver and we know about its distance above sea level, but still.

During Friday’s game against the San Diego Padres, Stanton came pretty close to equaling his feat in Colorado when he got hold of a pitch by Eric Stults. The result was a 484-ft blast to left field.

According to ESPN’s Home Run Tracker, there have now been 11 home runs measured at 480+ feet since 2010, when Giancarlo Stanton made his major league debut. Only he has more than one.

Fan fails in attempt to catch foul ball, falls flat onto cement (GIF)

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Among the more interesting things you’re likely to see at a baseball game is the effort that goes into possessing a ball that makes its way into the crowd.

fan-foul-ball-oaklandSome people go all out, risking injury to themselves (or others) in order to proudly hold the baseball they have secured high above their head for all to see afterward.

This gentleman, during the first of two games on Wednesday between the Cleveland Indians and Oakland A’s, was determined to get himself a souvenir off the bat of Michael Brantley.

Unfortunately, he just missed and fell flat on the cement.

Thankfully, the fan appeared to be alright. He gets an A for effort though.

Astros give Derek Jeter golf clubs and pinstriped cowboy boots as farewell tour begins

Derek-Jeter-YankeesFrom the moment Derek Jeter announced this would be his final season in Yankees pinstripes, you knew the farewell tour would be similar to the one Mariano Rivera experienced last season.

A rocking chair, commemorative guitar, sand sculpture, beach cruiser bicycles, custom fishing poles, and a mounted fire hose nozzle were among the items gifted to Rivera in 2013 by teams across Major League Baseball.

The New York Yankees are in Houston to begin the 2014 season with a three-game series against the Astros, who presented Rivera with a collage painting. For Jeter, the team decided on golf clubs, a cowboy hat, and cowboys boots complete with pinstripes.

We definitely need photos of Derek Jeter in those boots.

I’m sure we’ll keep you up-to-date on any other interesting items Jeter receives during the season.

Kevin Durant wants DeSean Jackson to join Redskins

Kevin Durant RedskinsNow a free agent, wide receiver DeSean Jackson has begun the process of finding a team to continue his NFL career with.

Tuesday, it was the Washington Redskins who met with Jackson for reportedly three hours. While it appears there is no deal in place yet, a couple notable names have given their stamp of approval should it become reality.

Robert Griffin III told ESPN’s Britt McHenry that Jackson is “his kinda guy.” Then there’s Kevin Durant, who took to Twitter in an attempt to encourage Jackson to join his beloved Redskins.

Clearly, DeSean Jackson would add an explosive option for the Washington Redskins offense.

He’s already met with the team’s starting quarterback and hung out with a member of the receiving corps. One of the biggest stars in the NBA wants to see Jackson on his favorite team. All that’s left is for the Redskins to make it happen. Seems simple enough.

Sean Doolittle had April Fools’ prank for fans planned since 2013

sean-doolittle-beardBeards are pretty big in the sports world. They’re everywhere. It’s how we identify with some players (like James Harden) or even a team (last year’s Boston Red Sox).

Oakland A’s pitcher Sean Doolittle is among the many who have become recognizable by their facial hair. With Tuesday being April 1, he used it as the basis for a prank on followers of his Twitter account.

Doolittle posted a picture of himself with noticeably less hair on his face than we are accustomed to, which led to predictable responses.

Alas, it was all a clever joke that has been in the works for quite a while.

With Sean Doolittle, Josh Reddick, and Coco Crisp, I imagine the Oakland A’s have a pretty fun clubhouse, minus the sewage problems.

H/T Big League Stew