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#pounditMonday, June 5, 2023


Indiana gets home run thanks to blunder by Kentucky OF

Jackson Gray leaps for a ball

Indiana caught a nice break during their game against Kentucky at the Lexington Regional of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday.

Hoosiers second baseman Evan Goforth was batting in the bottom of the third inning with his team down 4-0 to the Wildcats. Goforth hit a pitch deep to center that Jackson Gray was tracking. Gray leaped for the catch and had the ball in his glove, but he was unable to hang on. Instead, Gray inadvertently flung the ball over the wall for a home run.

That was Goforth’s first career home run and just his second hit of the season. And if Gray would have been able to hang on to the ball, it would have been yet another out for Goforth.

Maybe the IU second baseman was just due to catch a break at the plate.

Entering Sunday’s game, Indiana had the upper hand on Kentucky after winning the first matchup between them in the regional. The Hoosiers just needed one win against Kentucky to advance to the Super Regional, while the Wildcats had to beat IU twice in a row to advance.

Shaq has touching Kobe Bryant quote on notable anniversary

Shaq looking on

Mar 10, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; NBA former player Shaquille O’Neal watches a game between the Atlanta Hawks and Toronto Raptors in the third quarter at Philips Arena. The Hawks won 105-99. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday marked the 23rd anniversary of the Los Angeles Lakers’ dramatic comeback against the Sacramento Kings in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals, a game punctuated by a memorable Kobe Bryant-Shaquille O’Neal alley-oop. The anniversary had Shaq in a reflective mood, and prompted a touching quote about his former teammate.

O’Neal spoke about the game and the moment on NBATV Sunday prior to Game 2 of the NBA Finals, and said he would happily trade the moment for Bryant to be alive.

“I’m happy that happened, but every time I see my young fella, he’s not with us anymore, it kind of makes me sad,” O’Neal said. “Shoutout to his mom and dad, we talk all the time, his sisters. Of course it was a happy moment, but if I could trade that moment and have him sitting here with us, or be able to text him and say ‘Look, Kobe, can you believe this happened 23 years ago?’ That would be better for me.”

The memorable moment was the highlight of a game that saw the Lakers rally from 15 down to make the NBA Finals, and has become one of the defining moments of the Laker dynasty of that era. The two ultimately became embroiled in a long-running feud, but Shaq made clear how much Kobe meant to him after Bryant died in a helicopter crash in 2020.

No doubt many would feel the exact way Shaq does upon seeing the highlight.

Ex-Celtics champion reuniting with team as assistant coach

Joe Mazzulla on the sideline

Dec 16, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla watches from the sideline as they take on the Orlando Magic at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics are turning back their clocks to 2008.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on Sunday that Sam Cassell has agreed to join the Boston Celtics coaching staff under Joe Mazzulla. The 53-year-old Cassell is a Doc Rivers disciple who spent the last eight seasons on Rivers’ staffs on the LA Clippers and then the Philadelphia 76ers. But with Rivers recently getting fired by the 76ers and having yet to land a new job, Cassell is moving on to the Celtics.

A former NBA All-Star who played for 16 seasons in the league, Cassell already has notable history with Boston. He finished his career with the Celtics in 2008 and won the NBA championship with them that year.

Mazzulla is set to lose several of his assistants from this season to a rival NBA coach. But Cassell, who has nearly a decade-and-a-half of assistant coaching experience, is a great option to start re-filling out the staff with.

Video: Marcus Stroman trolled Juan Soto so hard after strikeout

Marcus Stroman doing a shuffle

Marcus Stroman is definitely First Team All-Disrespect.

The Chicago Cubs pitcher had a savage move during Sunday’s game against the San Diego Padres. After striking out Padres slugger Juan Soto on a 2-2 sinker in the fifth inning, Stroman stepped to the edge of the mound and started doing a little shimmy.

Check it out.

That is an obvious reference to Soto’s famous shuffle. The All-Star Soto often exaggeratedly shuffles his legs in the batter’s box, usually after taking a ball. Soto’s move has been dubbed “The Soto Shuffle” and has even inspired some hilarious bobbleheads.

Stroman, Soto’s former division rival in the NL East, might have just been having some lighthearted fun there. But with Stroman going on to lead the Cubs to a 7-1 victory over the Padres, Soto probably didn’t find it very funny.

NASCAR president shares interesting comment on Chase Elliott suspension

Chase Elliott with a hat on

Mar 20, 2022; Hampton, Georgia, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Chase Elliott (9) during the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

NASCAR president Steve Phelps shared an interesting comment Saturday regarding the suspension of Chase Elliott.

Elliott was suspended for Sunday’s Cup Series race at World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Ill. due to his actions the previous week. Elliott appeared to wreck Denny Hamlin intentionally in a retaliatory move during the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Hamlin called for Elliott to be suspended, citing Bubba Wallace’s actions against Kyle Larson in Las Vegas in 2022 as precedent for the discipline.

NASCAR complied during the week by suspending Elliott from driving the No. 9 Chevrolet in St. Louis, leaving Corey Lajoie to drive the car for the Enjoy Illinois 300.

Phelps told FOX NASCAR reporter Bob Pockrass that they suspended Elliott because they felt they had to stick with the precedent set by the Wallace suspension.

“It would be difficult to have a conversation with Denny [Hamlin] or Bubba [Wallace] or someone else and say, ‘Hey, it was not OK for Bubba to do it and it’s OK for Chase to do it. … We hate it but it’s a call we needed to make,'” Phelps told Pockrass.

Phelps’ comment makes it seem like they didn’t really want to suspend Elliott but that they felt they had to in order to avoid the appearance of favoritism.

Hamlin was making the most of not having Elliott on the track Sunday and was in contention for much of the start of the race at St. Louis.

LaMelo Ball goes viral for his over-the-top new bling

LaMelo Ball gesturing

Jan 8, 2022; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball (2) reacts after making a three point basket against the Milwaukee Bucks during the second period at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

You might just go blind if you stare at LaMelo Ball’s new bling for too long.

The Charlotte Hornets star Ball went viral this week for his gaudy (to put it lightly) new wristwatch. In what can only be described as Louis XIV meets the Migos (with a hint of … Alaskan king crab as well), Ball’s watch was as mesmerizing as it was absolutely grotesque.

Here’s the video of Ball showing off the watch (courtesy of jeweler Zo Frost).

That is an oddly fitting piece for a player as flashy as the 21-year-old Ball. An All-Star last year, Ball followed that up by posting 23.3 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 8.4 assists a game for Charlotte this year (though he missed significant time due to an ankle injury).

Ball is quickly becoming known for his (shall we say) eccentric sense of fashion. Not too long ago, he showed up to a postgame press conference wearing something even more ridiculous.

Scoot Henderson will only do pre-draft workout with 2 teams

Scoot Henderson in a jersey

Nov 29, 2021; Stockton, CA, USA; G League Ignite guard Scoot Henderson (0) dribbles during the third quarter against the Stockton Kings at Stockton Arena. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Scoot Henderson is considered a consensus top-three player in the upcoming NBA Draft, and he is acting like it in terms of his pre-draft visits.

Henderson said Saturday that he will only visit with the Charlotte Hornets and Portland Trail Blazers prior to the draft. Not coincidentally, those teams pick at No. 2 and No. 3 in the draft order.

Victor Wembanyama is essentially a lock to go first overall to the San Antonio Spurs. That leaves Henderson and Brandon Miller as the competitors to go No. 2 and No. 3, at least in the eyes of many experts. Henderson may have an edge, as Miller apparently has left some unimpressed in his pre-draft meetings.

Henderson spent last season playing for the G League Ignite, where he averaged 17.6 points, 5.1 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 1.3 steals per game.

Aaron Judge suffered injury while making epic fence catch

Aaron Judge makes an incredible catch

New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge made the play of the day Saturday when he more or less ran through the bullpen fence making a catch against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The play may have saved the game, but Judge apparently did not come out of it unscathed.

Judge suffered a foot injury while making the catch in Saturday’s win and is not in Sunday’s lineup as a result. Judge apparently hit his toe on the cement block that sits behind the fence.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Judge will not go on the IL immediately, but did not rule it out if Judge’s toe does not improve in the next few days.

Nothing would sum up the Yankees’ injury issues more aptly than a Judge IL stint from making a circus catch. This comes just after Josh Donaldson and Giancarlo Stanton got healthy and returned to the lineup, too.

Judge had a complaint about the fence after making the great catch. Maybe he wasn’t joking as much as it seemed he was at the time.

Scottie Scheffler reveals what golfing with Tony Romo is like

Tony Romo in a suit

Jan 21, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; Television announcer Tony Romo following the AFC championship game between the New England Patriots against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Tony Romo is best known for his NFL career, but the former Dallas Cowboys quarterback has a well-known side interest in golf. He is a regular at top pro-ams and has been known to play with PGA pros, including Scottie Scheffler.

Scheffler on Sunday gave a glimpse into what playing with Romo is like. Scheffler called Romo a “crazy person” who needs everybody else to put restrictions on his presses.

Romo can actually back it up with some amateur victories, and he has even tried out for the US Open before. It’s hardly a surprise that he is super serious about the game.

Of course, Romo’s main gig is doing analyst work for CBS’ NFL coverage. That’s how he can throw a lot of money around on the course.

Red Sox broadcaster had hilarious issue announcing Jose Siri’s name

Jose Siri running the bases

May 7, 2023; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Jose Siri (22) runs the bases after hitting solo home run against the New York Yankees in the fifth inning at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Red Sox radio broadcaster Joe Castiglione ran into some unexpected problems on Saturday trying to call the team’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Castiglione mentioned the name of Rays center fielder Jose Siri at one point during the broadcast. However, this came close enough to “hey, Siri” that his phone saw fit to trigger the iPhone’s virtual assistant. Worse, it was loud enough that it could be heard on the air.

“Siri’s at the plate. I’m not asking you, Siri. Not this Siri, that Siri,” Castiglione joked as the rest of the booth broke into laughter.

Hey, it is an understandable mistake, and a pretty hilarious one. It certainly beats having to call a play like this one.

Siri, by the way, has a career-high 10 home runs for the Rays this season. Broadcasters might have to get used to having to say the name a lot.