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#pounditWednesday, May 5, 2021

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John Means no-hitter

John Means nearly perfect in no-hitter of Mariners

John Means has been great all season for the Baltimore Orioles, but he was even better on Wednesday when he had no-hit stuff. The Orioles starter threw a no-hitter in the Orioles’ 6-0 win against the Seattle Mariners. He did not allow a hit, walk or hit batter in the game. What ruined Means’ perfect… Read More

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Manny Pacquiao expected to announce plans for retirement

Manny Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao is expected to announce his retirement plans in the near future.

Pacquiao has been training since at least February for an impending fight this year. No fight has been scheduled yet despite plenty of rumors. But the latest talk is that when Pacquiao’s next fight is announced, he will also talk about his planned retirement.

Pacquiao spoke with the media virtually on Monday and talked about it, via The National News.

“The negotiations are ongoing. I will not go into details so that there will not be any problems,” Pacquiao said of his future fight plans.

He was also asked about retirement and said “that is part of the negotiations. That will be included in the announcement.”

Pacquiao was rumored to possibly be fighting Terence Crawford next. However, that rumor came from Crawford’s side, and the fight investors did not come through. Mikey Garcia seems like much more of a realistic opponent.

Pacquiao has not fought since July 2019 and is coming up on two years out of the ring. He is a politician in his home country and has aspirations of one day running for president of the Philippines.

There have been talks for nearly 10 years about the 42-year-old retiring. And guess what? He is still here. Maybe Pac-Man will want to fight two more times before hanging up his gloves.

Jimbo Fisher had a little trash talk for Nick Saban

Jimbo Fisher

Jimbo Fisher had a little trash talk for Nick Saban on Wednesday.

Fisher spoke at the Houston TD Club to some loyal Texas A&M fans. Fisher is entering his fourth season as the Aggies’ head coach. He was asked about the key to beating Alabama and whether they needed Nick Saban to retire.

Fisher said “we’re going to beat his a– even when he’s there,” via the Houston Chronicle’s Brent Zwerneman.

You have to love that attitude. You’re never going to be or beat the best if you’re afraid of them. And Fisher definitely is not afraid of Saban and Alabama.

Fisher just had his best season yet at A&M. The Aggies went 9-1 in the shortened season, but they lost star quarterback Kellen Mond to the NFL Draft. We know that Saban is able to reload and put a powerhouse team out there year-in and year-out, regardless of what happens in the draft. There is a lot more pressure on Fisher to show he can reload too. In other words, we would be very surprised if A&M had a .900 winning percentage next season, or something close to that.

Video: These young Angels fans were so upset with the Rays for hitting Mike Trout

Angels fans

A couple of young Los Angeles Angels fans objected in a big way after Mike Trout was hit by a pitch on Wednesday night.

Trout was batting in the bottom of the fifth inning against Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Ryan Yarbrough. The Angels star was hit in the elbow by a 1-2 pitch.

The cameras later show a couple of young fans letting the Rays hear it for hitting Trout and then throwing inside to the following batter, Jared Walsh.

That is awesome. No Angels players should be hit on their watch.

Trout missed a few games recently after being hit in the elbow. He entered the game batting .407 with eight home runs on the season.

Despite having a pad for protection, those injuries still hurt.

Shaq responds to being left off Jeanie Buss’ list of most important Lakers

Shaquille O'Neal

Shaquille O’Neal usually does not take too kindly to perceived slights. But he actually seems to be handling Jeanie Buss’ recent comments pretty well.

In a podcast appearance last month, the Los Angeles Lakers controlling owner Buss provided her list of the most important Lakers in franchise history. Buss named Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Phil Jackson, and LeBron James.

Speaking this week on his show “The Big Podcast with Shaq,” O’Neal responded to being left off Buss’ list.

“I’m 49 years old,” said O’Neal. “For the past ten years, [I’ve learned] you have to respect people’s opinion, even if their opinion is not [the same as] yours. I love Jeanie Buss. I have never, would never say anything negative about Jeanie Buss. She gave me $120 million, $100 million, another $80 million. I would never, ever in my life say anything negative about Jeanie Buss and the Buss family. That is her opinion. I respect her opinion.

“I don’t wanna have a fight about this,” O’Neal went on. “I’m glad my name is mentioned, period. I’m glad my statue is in front of Staples Center. I’m glad my jersey is hanging over there. That’s her opinion. I love it. Look, I’m not mad about that. Listen, she’s Jeanie Buss. That’s her opinion. You ask other people, the names will vary. At 49, I’m a lot more peaceful than I was. If I was 29, I’d say, ‘Hold on, LeBron’s only been there 720 days. How you gonna put him before me?’ But look, I’m 49. I respect people’s opinions.”

O’Neal does have a strong argument for being one of the most important Lakers ever. In eight seasons with the team, O’Neal led the Lakers to three straight championships, which has only been done by two other franchises in all of NBA history (the Chicago Bulls and the Boston Celtics). O’Neal also won Finals MVP in each of those years on top of winning league MVP in 2000 and earning All-NBA honors in every single season he was a Laker.

But as O’Neal hinted at, reasonable minds can differ on such a list. Many people questioned Buss leaving another all-time great Laker off her list.

Bucks likely to fire Mike Budenholzer?

Mike Budenholzer

Just two years after he won the Coach of the Year Award for them, the Milwaukee Bucks could be showing Mike Budenholzer the door.

Shams Charania and Sam Amick of The Athletic reported Wednesday that there is significant pressure on Budenholzer heading into this postseason. The report adds that Budenholzer is likely gone if Milwaukee does not go on a deep playoff run.

The 51-year-old Budenholzer is in his third season as Bucks head coach. He led them to 60 wins and a conference finals berth in his Coach of the Year campaign in 2018-19. But last season saw Milwaukee suffer an embarrasing second-round exit at the hands of the Miami Heat.

Budenholzer has had the services of reigning back-to-back MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo throughout his tenure with the Bucks. Management has also provided him with enough supporting talent, including this season’s acquisitions of veterans Jrue Holiday and PJ Tucker.

But the East is even stronger now with powerhouses like the Brooklyn Nets and the Philadelphia 76ers. There are also some rising teams with upset potential such as the New York Knicks and the Atlanta Hawks.

Just a few months ago, Budenholzer’s job was reported to be safe. But circumstances change very quickly in the NBA, and now Budenholzer is feeling the heat.

Kerryon Johnson being waived by Lions

Detroit Lions logo

Kerryon Johnson’s Detroit Lions career appears to be over.

The Lions are waiving Johnson, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported on Wednesday.

Johnson was a second-round pick (No. 43 overall) by Detroit out of Auburn in 2018. He rushed for 641 yards and three touchdowns as a rookie. His season was cut short after 10 games due to a sprained knee. He only played in eight games in 2019 also due to his knee.

Last season, Johnson’s role was diminished as he played behind new draft pick D’Andre Swift and even veteran Adrian Peterson.

Now after drafting Jermar Jefferson and signing Jamaal Williams, Johnson unfortunately became expendable.

Eagles’ Howie Roseman responds to scrutiny over awkward draft fistbump

Philadelphia Eagles logo

Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman is trying to clarify the awkward draft room video that went viral following the team’s third round selection.

Video from the draft room showed Eagles senior scout Tom Donahoe offering a reluctant-looking fistbump to Roseman following the team’s selection of defensive lineman Milton Williams 73rd overall. Roseman seemed to be somewhat exasperated in response to Donahoe. The video raised speculation about the relations between Roseman and the team’s scouts, which had appeared strained this season. There was even some speculation that Roseman had gone off his own personal draft board to make the selection, ignoring the full team version.

On Tuesday, Roseman strongly disputed that there were any issues. He suggested that Donahoe had wanted to draft defensive lineman Alim McNeill instead of Williams, but McNeill ended up going No. 72 after the Eagles traded down from No. 70.

“That’s ridiculous,” Roseman said Tuesday on 94WIP, via Tim McManus of ESPN. “Every single person on our staff has their own draft board. That’s how we write up reports. [Coach] Nick [Sirianni] has his own draft board, [vice president of player personnel] Andy Weidl has his own draft board, Tom Donahoe has his own draft board, I have my own draft board. That’s how we rank players. That’s how our system is set up, to do that.

“Discussion and debate and having these conversations, it’s OK. You’d rather have that passion. Tom’s been here for a long time. We’ve been together for 10 years, extremely close relationship. It’s OK to have tough conversations, and Tom and I have had a lot of them in 10 years.”

Roseman’s denial won’t really silence chatter about discord in the organization. There was some talk of that going all the way to the top during the 2020 season, so this wasn’t a great look for a franchise trying to dispel that notion.

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