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Tuesday, March 20, 2018


Jeremy Guthrie wears ‘These O’s ain’t Royal’ T-shirt after Game 3

Jeremy Guthrie O's Royal shirt

Are the Kansas City Royals feeling themselves a little too much now that they’re up 3-0 in the ALCS against the Baltimore Orioles?

Starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie, who pitched five innings allowing just three hits and one run in KC’s 2-1 win on Tuesday, wore a clever T-shirt to his postgame media conference.

Guthrie’s shirt said, “These O’s ain’t Royal,” which is a play on words using a Chris Brown and Lil Wayne song (the hook of the song is “these hoes ain’t loyal”).

This isn’t the first time Guthrie has used the phrase; he also wrote it in a tweet sent last week:

Apparently he got a shirt to match the tweet.

Maybe it’s a better idea to wait until after you’ve won the series before you start gloating. KC is the third team to start off the postseason with seven straight wins and is one win away from the World Series.

Royals have not lost in the playoffs and are one win away from the World Series

Eric Hosmer Mike Moustakas

The story of the gritty, gutty, small-market Kansas City Royals stopped being cute the moment the eliminated the Angels and A’s from the postseason. They’re one win away from adding the Orioles to their list.After posting seven straight playoff wins, the Royals are showing everyone that they are the hottest team in baseball and a serious threat to win the World Series.

Kansas City beat the Baltimore Orioles 2-1 in Game 3 of the ALCS on Tuesday night to take a 3-0 series lead. They beat Oakland 9-8 in 12 innings in a thrilling do-or-die wild-card playoff game; they swept the Angels 3-0 in the ALDS; and they now are up 3-0 on the O’s in the ALCS.

The only other teams to start a postseason with seven straight wins were the 2007 Colorado Rockies and the 1976 Reds (the Reds won the World Series and did not have a divisional round of the playoffs).

It seems like everything is falling in place for the Royals. Tuesday marked their third 1-run game in seven postseason wins. They got excellent pitching, some spectacular defense, and just enough hits to score what they needed to.

Mike Moustakas, a former No. 2 overall pick who was demoted to the minors this season, is scorching in the playoffs and has clubbed four home runs. Eric Hosmer, who bought nearly $20,000 in drinks for local fans after the ALDS, has been even hotter hitting .462 with seven RBIs. Lorenzo Cain has been one of the greatest revelations for the team, as he has not only been unreal robbing hits in center field, but he has also hit .387 and scored a team-leading 9 runs. The Royals have also stolen 13 bases — three by pinch-runner Terrance Gore — while allowing just three to opposing teams. Not only are they putting pressure on opponents with their running game, but the concern over their speed has forced defenses to play closer to the bases, opening up holes on the infield. In Game 3 on Tuesday, a key hit by Hosmer in the hole helped the Royals score in the sixth, and it was all thanks to the Orioles holding the runner at first.

In addition to the hitting, defense and speed, the Royals are getting good pitching — particularly out of their bullpen.

The trio of Wade Davis, Kelvin Herrera and Greg Holland have combined to pitch 22 innings in the postseason and have allowed just 3 runs, 12 hits and 8 walks while striking out 28. They’ve also received solid efforts from Jeremy Guthrie and Jason Vargas, whose stats were the worst among their starting pitchers during the regular season.

The Royals can clinch their first trip to the World Series since 1985 with a win in Game 4 at home on Wednesday. The only thing that might stop them now would be a layoff while waiting for the NLCS to be completed.

Mike Moustakas makes incredible catch falling over railing (Video)

mike-moustakas-alcs-catchThe Kansas City Royals were among baseball’s better defensive teams during the regular season and have kept it up thus far during the playoffs. During game 3 of the ALCS, third baseman Mike Moustakas made a few nice plays, none better than this one.

Adam Jones hit a ball into foul territory that looked destined to land amongst the crowd down the third base line. Moustakas had other ideas. Reaching over the railing, he extended to make an incredible catch before tumbling over into the crowd.

I mean, wow.

The Royals have seen their share of web gems by teammates over the course of this season, but this one deserved a second look.

Here’s a view from another angle.

Spurs giving out replica championship rings to fans on opening night


The San Antonio Spurs captured their fifth NBA championship earlier this year. When they open the new season on October 28, the players won’t be the only ones receiving championship rings.

The team announced on Tuesday fans will receive replica rings as part of the festivities that include the raising of the championship banner and a pregame party with live music and food trucks, because everyone loves food trucks.

Here are a few details on the ring from the press release:

“The commemorative NBA Championship rings feature the iconic Spur logo on the front and the team’s 2013-14 regular and post-season records above the NBA logo on the left panel. The opposite panel is etched with a replica of the Larry O’Brien trophy with five studs, representing each of the Spurs’ five championships.”

To have one of your own all you have to do is get your hands on a ticket to the game, which will surely be easier said than done.

Spurs giving out replica championship rings to fans on opening night

Ronda Rousey would rather die than lose a fight

Ronda Rousey cares about winning so much that she says she would rather die than lose.

Rousey, who is the UFC women’s bantamweight champion, made her comments during an interview on “Jim Rome on Showtime,” a show for whom she is a frequent guest.

Rousey said she refuses to tap out during a fight and would rather suffer whatever pain and injuries she’s subjected to rather than quit because she can’t take the pain.

“There have been times during a fight when I thought I was going to die,” Rousey told Rome. “I thought to myself, ‘I would rather break my neck than lose this fight.’

“I will never tap out of a fight because I know the feeling of losing. I know that I would rather die than lose a fight,” she said.

Though many fighters have an anti-tapping policy — it’s a family philosophy for the Gracies — Rousey’s comments still are shocking to many. But Rousey has her reasons.

“Have you ever lost at the Olympics?” Rousey asked Rome rhetorically. “I would rather die than lose. I know that feeling so well. It’s not that I’ve never lost; it’s that I’ve lost at the worst time, so I know what a loss is.

“That’s why I want to win so much more than these other girls. My mom was the world champion in judo. She was the first American to ever do it. I had my shot to be like my mom and win a world championship in judo, and I lost. It feels like dying to me. I’d rather die.”

Ronda Rousey

Rousey’s comments seem stunning on the surface, but if you’ve watched her fight, you know they mirror her mentality. She goes into fights with more focus, determination and a killer mentality than anyone else in the sport. Her fear of losing is probably what motivates her to be great.

Randy Choate throwing error gives Giants walk-off win (Video)

There are not many worse ways to lose a close playoff game than what happened to the Cardinals on Tuesday.

St. Louis lost Game 3 of the NLDS 5-4 after relief pitcher Randy Choate made a throwing error while making the play on a sacrifice bunt. The Cards reliever walked Brandon Crawford to start the bottom of the 10th in San Francisco, then allowed a hit to Juan Perez, who was unable to get down a sacrifice bunt. With two on and nobody out, the Giants tried another sac bunt and this time executed.

Gregor Blanco laid a sacrifice bunt down between third and the pitcher, and Choate fielded it, went to first and threw the ball into right field. The error allowed Crawford to score the winning run to make it 5-4.

The Giants still would have been in good position to win the game with runners on second and third, one out and Joe Panik and Buster Posey coming up, but it still has to hurt losing a game on a play where the opposing team is giving you an out. At least make them earn it!

Randy Choate Cardinals

Source: Jim Mora jab at Jeff Ulbrich sparked sideline fight

A sideline fight between head coach Jim Mora and defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich was a microcosm for UCLA’s disappointing performance against Oregon last weekend and the downward trend the Bruins’ season has taken.

After starting off 4-0, the Bruins lost consecutive games at the Rose Bowl — first an upset loss to Utah, and then a blowout loss against the Ducks. Oregon went up 42-10 before the Bruins ended the game with three touchdowns to make the final score look respectable, but not reflective of the true flow of the game.

During the second quarter, Mora and Ulbrich were shown by TV cameras in a confrontation after an Oregon touchdown made it 15-3. Now we can give you a little background on what led to the confrontation.

Oregon started with the ball at their 28 and drove to the UCLA 21, gaining most of their yards on short runs and penalties by the Bruins. The Ducks threw two straight incompletions on first and second down from the UCLA 21 and were setting up for their third down play. That’s where things started.

Larry Brown Sports is told that UCLA set up for a blitz on third down, and Oregon appeared to audible to a screen pass that likely would have burned the Bruins. UCLA called a timeout in response. After the timeout, UCLA again called a blitz, while Oregon ran a screen play that went for a 21-yard touchdown to make it 15-3 (seen below).

The exact thing UCLA feared when it called a timeout the first time transpired the second time they lined up for the third down play.

We’re told that after Oregon scored on the screen following UCLA’s timeout, Mora remarked to Ulbrich something along the lines that he was getting played by Oregon. As you can see from the video, Ulbrich was angered by Mora’s comment and threw a fit on the sideline, even going so far as to hand over his play sheet in a way of saying to Mora, “you think this is easy? You think you can do better? Here you go.”

Jim Mora Jeff Ulbrich fight

Some others have reported that Mora overruled Ulbrich and got burned, and Ulbrich was upset over that. From our understanding, that’s not what happened.

Mora’s comment on the incident after the game also coincides with what we’re reporting.

“If you don’t have that fire, then something’s wrong,” Mora said via The Los Angeles Times. “We’re fighting to win, and we love each other dearly…. I challenged him a little bit and he responded.”

If Mora had overruled Ulbrich and taken over a playcall, then Ulbrich wouldn’t be challenged to stop Oregon’s offense; that would be Mora trying to take over. Mora challenging Ulbrich is him saying (and I’m quoting hypothetically, not factually) something like, “Oregon’s owning you. Step it up!”

Ulbrich admitted after the game that he did not take Mora’s jab/challenge well.

“I just responded in the wrong way, I should have responded better,” Ulbrich said. “Obviously I lost a little control, I can’t do that, that’s not a good message for my players, I got to handle it better.”

Mora has downplayed the incident and said it’s just a part of sports and competition. While that is true, it’s still a bad look to have UCLA get smacked at home in a big game and see the coaches fighting on the sideline. It gives the appearance of disorder and discord, which is just what the final score indicated.

UCLA still has Arizona, Washington, USC and Stanford as their final four games of the season. While fans were expecting a double-digit win season, now an 8-4 finish looks like it would be an achievement.

NFL Week 7 expert picks against the spread – Del’s picks

Week 6 featured a trio of back-door covers that absolutely killed Las Vegas, and Del was fortunate enough to be on the winning side in all three games. The end result was another solid week that featured a 9-6 record against the spread and 2-1 performance in locks of the week. Del has rattled off several winning weeks in a row now and the goal is to keep it that way. Our main focus will be making good selections with our weekly locks, so we’ll look to keep the ball rolling into Week 7.

Here are Del’s Week 7 NFL Picks, with analysis of this week’s locks after the chart.

(ATS = Against the Spread, SU = Straight Up)



Ball State football players tied to poop-covered money prank on waitress


Three Ball State Football players were reportedly with a group of people who pulled a nasty prank on a waitress at a restaurant over the weekend. According to to Ball State Daily, Muncie Police say a 17-year-old went into the bathroom after the group of six received its bill at Brothers Bar & Grill. The details got pretty gross from there.

Ball State defensive back Darius Conaway, defensive lineman Kennan Noel and linebacker Nicholas Isaacs reportedly remained at the table when the minor went into the bathroom. When he returned, he put some money into the check folder. The waitress claimed the suspect was laughing when she came back to retrieve the bill, and she smelled a “foul odor” when she picked up the check.

The waitress told police she quickly realized that the bills were covered in fecal matter. The 17-year-old was taken into custody by police and charged with battery with bodily waste. He was later released into the custody of his legal guardian.

“We find the alleged actions deplorable,” Ball State associate athletic director for media and alumni relations Joseph Hernandez told Ball State Daily. “We are continuing to collect information on the matter and will refrain from further judgment until then.”

Conaway has already been in trouble with the team, as he is currently serving a two-game suspension following an arrest last month for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and illegal consumption of alcohol by a minor.

I can’t imagine any waitress ever doing something to deserve being paid with crap-covered money. Unless the football players had no idea what their buddy was doing, they’re guilty by association and should be punished accordingly.

H/T The Big Lead

Oregon to wear throwback uniforms for 20-year anniversary of ‘The Pick’


Oregon is celebrating its 20-year anniversary of “The Pick” on Saturday, and the celebration will include some awesome throwback uniforms. While Oregon’s relationship with Nike has led to numerous cutting-edge uniform designs every year, the Ducks are kicking it old school this weekend when they take on Washington.

For those of you who don’t know your Oregon history, the Ducks and Huskies are (were?) rivals. Oregon beat Washington in the final seconds of their meeting in 1994 by taking an interception 98 yards for a touchdown. The rivalry isn’t quite as fierce as it used to be, with Oregon having won the last 10 games between the two schools.

This isn’t the first time Oregon has gone with throwback uniforms, but these are the best ones I have seen. They’ll be salting the wound in style on Saturday.


H/T SI Hot Clicks
Photos via Andy McNamara

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