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Michael Pineda appears to have pine tar on his pitching hand

Michael Pineda pine tar hand

Michael Pineda will be under scrutiny when he pitches in the future after cameras caught him with a foreign substance on his hand Thursday that sure as heck appeared to be pine tar.

Pineda, who went six-plus innings of 1-run ball for the New York Yankees to pick up his first win of the season, had a dark substance on his hand for the first four innings of the game against the Boston Red Sox.

Michael Pineda pine tar

Michael Pineda pine tar

As MLB Network showed, by the fifth inning, he had cleaned up his hand. He didn’t allow a hit in the first four innings but allowed four after that, though he only let up one run.

Pineda was acquired by the Yankees from the Seattle Mariners over two years ago and was making his first start at Yankee Stadium.

Pineda also appeared to have the same substance on his hand during his first start of the season where he allowed just one run over six innings in a loss to the Blue Jays on April 5:

And here’s how his pants looked from the substance:

Michael Pineda pants

The substance clearly appeared to be pine tar. Pine tar is a sticky substance used by batters to get a better grip on the bat. Some pitchers have also been known to use it — especially on cold days — because it helps them get a better grip on the ball.

The Red Sox probably can’t make much of a fuss about things because their pitcher who was opposing Pineda is Clay Buchholz, who was accused last year of doctoring the ball.

David Ortiz said after the game that it wasn’t a big deal because everyone uses pine tar.

Adreian Payne’s friend Lacey Holsworth dies of cancer

Adreian Payne Lacey Holsworth

If you’re a college basketball fan, you probably are familiar with the story of Adreian Payne and Lacey Holsworth.

The 8-year-old girl and Michigan State senior met over a year ago when the Spartans basketball team visited Sparrow Hospital. Holsworth was being treated for neuroblastoma, a form of child cancer that had been threatening her life since she was diagnosed in 2011.

Holsworth and Payne connected during the visit, and they formed a friendship. They traded inspirational text messages and tweets.

Adreian Payne Lacey Holsworth senior night

Holsworth was Payne’s escort on Senior Night, she cut down the net with the team after they won the Big Ten title, she traveled with the team to the East Regional in New York, and she was there when Payne won the dunk contest in Dallas last week.

Adreian Payne Lacey Holsworth

A week later, the young girl has passed away.

“Princess Lacey has achieved the ultimate victory,” Lacey’s family posted on her Instagram account. “She now dances among angels.”

Payne released this statement after learning about the death of his young friend.

“Words can’t express how much I already miss Lacey. She is my sister, and will always be a part of my life. She taught me how to fight through everything with a smile on my face even when things were going wrong. I’m a better man because of her. She said she first liked me because of my smile, but it’s her smile that made America fall in love with her. I know she’s smiling and dancing in heaven right now. My princess is now an angel.”

Payne called her his “special friend” and says she’s like a sister. This video produced by Big Ten Network last month shows more on the relationship between the two:

Photos: Twitter/adorablelacey, Instagram 1, 2

Ultimate Warrior is dead – WWE, Triple H announce news

Ultimate Warrior

There have been recent rumors about The Ultimate Warrior dying which ultimately proved to be false, but the WWE announced on Tuesday night that the wrestling icon has actually died.

The Ultimate Warrior took part in RAW on Monday night and was inducted into the Hall of Fame at WrestleMania, but he died just after receiveing his glory. Triple H announced via Twitter Tuesday night that the Warrior passed away:

Just a day ago Ultimate Warrior posed with Vince McMahon for a picture and looked like this:

And here he was on RAW Monday night:

Ultimate Warrior RAW

And if you really want your mind blown, here’s a fan who says he posed with Warrior for a picture at the airport on Tuesday morning:

This is a crushing blow to wrestling fans everywhere. Warrior, whose real name was James “Brian” Hellwig, was 54 years old.

Between his cool face paint, arm bands and neon colors, he could pump anyone up. I know I’m not alone in saying that he was my favorite wrestler growing up.

Here is what the WWE said in its announcement:

WWE is shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the passing of one of the most iconic WWE Superstars ever, The Ultimate Warrior. Warrior began his WWE career in 1987 and quickly went on to become one of the biggest stars in WWE history. Warrior became WWE Champion at WrestleMania VI, defeating Hulk Hogan in an epic encounter. We are grateful that just days ago, Warrior had the opportunity to take his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame and was also able to appear at WrestleMania 30 and Monday Night Raw to address his legions of fans. WWE sends its sincere condolences to Warrior’s family, friends and fans. Warrior was 54 and is survived by his wife Dana and his two daughters.

He’s the latest pro wrestler to die young. Warrior just signed a legends contract with WWE and was set to start cashing in through the company.

Hulk Hogan shared his sympathies over Twitter:

And Jake the Snake Roberts said he and Warrior buried he hatchet:

Also see: Ultimate Warrior’s speeches at RAW and Hall of Fame are chilling in light of death

MLB executive thinks games should be shortened to seven innings

Matt Harvey MetsCritics of Major League Baseball have long complained that the games are too long. Between batters stepping out of the box when they’re uncomfortable and pitchers strolling around the mound between pitches, an MLB game almost always lasts more than three hours. Now that instant replay is being utilized, they will take even longer. One MLB executive thinks he knows how to fix that.

ESPN’s Buster Olney spoke with a high-ranking official on Monday who suggested MLB games should be shortened from nine innings to seven.

“I think they ought to change the games to seven innings,” he reportedly said emphatically.

The conversation started with a discussion about injuries. Pitchers seem to be suffering more and more injuries as the years pass, and apparently this particular MLB exec thinks they are throwing too much. Based on his theory, starters would probably go about five innings and then the bullpen would follow the same formula.

As Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk noted, NFL games usually take around three hours or more. There are commercial breaks after almost every punt, turnover, kickoff, timeout and score, and the NFL product remains stronger than ever. If someone isn’t going to watch a baseball game, they’re still not going to watch a seven-inning baseball game.

As for the injuries, one of the reasons we see more in the modern game than we did 50 years ago is because everything is diagnosed as an injury these days. A sore muscle sounds worse when you call it a strained oblique. I’m not saying an injury that requires Tommy John surgery isn’t significant, but I don’t think the number of innings pitched matters that much.

Shorter MLB games is not likely to be something we’ll see in our lifetime.

Guy misses out on $100,000 because he forgot to save his final bracket

Think you were having a bad day or week? I’m sure it was nothing compared to what Corey Johnson was going through.

Johnson, 28, picked one of the best brackets among all entrants on Yahoo! Sports. Even though nobody won the Perfect Bracket Challenge — no surprise — Yahoo! was still going to give away $100,000 to the top 20 brackets.

Entering Monday’s title game, Johnson was tied for fourth among all entrants. That’s impressive. He had 11 of the Sweet 16 teams, three Final Four teams and correctly predicted UConn and Kentucky would reach the title game.

Corey Johnson bracket

Prior to the game, Johnson said he had UConn winning it all but, because of some error, his pick didn’t save on Yahoo! That means he had one of the best brackets in the world, but a computer error kept him from winning $100,000.

Johnson joked to Deadspin that he would be watching the game “from a rope hanging from a tree” after his blunder, but we don’t think he should be so hard on himself. In fact, we think Yahoo! should make it up to him, especially since he correctly picked the title game before it was played.

I posted my brackets on LBS days before the NCAA Tournament began, so it was obvious I had completed my picks. But when I went to check the standings, I had a zero score. Yahoo! didn’t save my picks, possibly because I didn’t fill out the final score. It was a crappy and lame technicality, especially since I filled everything else out.

Yahoo! should apologize to the kid, who says he clicked UConn and hit save. Their system really was screwy this year.

And how hard is that going to be to get over? Ouch.

Guy who got Kentucky 2014 National Champions tattoo gets free tickets to game

Kentucky-fan-2014-championship-tattoo

Remember that Kentucky fan who got a 2014 National Champions tattoo before the NCAA Tournament began? He’s one win away from looking like Nostradamus.

The No. 8 seed Wildcats have become one of the lowest seeds to ever reach an NCAA men’s basketball national championship game. For about two hours, that honor belonged to No. 7 seed UConn. Tyler probably wasn’t surprised to see Kentucky defy the odds, but I’m sure he never imagined his decision to get a tattoo would lead to free tickets for the biggest game of the year.

Because of the success John Calipari’s team has enjoyed, Tyler’s ink has officially became a national story.

[Read more...]

Gene Chizik does not look happy about his daughter’s prom date

Gene Chizik prom picture

Greatest picture ever or greatest picture ever?

Former Auburn football coach and Florida Gator player Gene Chizik acted exactly how you’d expect any father to act about his daughter going to prom with an athlete. Look at him all tucked away in the corner, the look of suspicion and disapproval plastered across his frown. He even has his UnderArmour shirt on and long sleeves as if he’s going to run an Auburn practice in a few minutes.

The person who posted the photo that has now gone viral is Jeri Dickey, the mother of the boy in the picture, Jerod Dickey. She actually says Gene likes her son and guessed that he may have just been photobombing.

Dickey is a senior and pitcher on Auburn High’s baseball team. According to this article, he was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when he was two years old.

Maybe ol’ Gene should cut the kid a little slack! Doesn’t he remember what it was like to be a young kid taking a girl to prom? After all, he married his coach’s daughter!

H/T Deadspin