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Monday, May 16, 2022
In what appears to be a dead ball season in Major League Baseball, seems not that uncommon for a no-hitter to be deep into a game on a nightly basis. On pitcher finally finished it off. Los Angeles Angels lefty Reid Detmers finished off a masterpiece CG no-hitter against perennial power Tampa Bay Rays on 108, pitches, 68 strikes. He walked a man and was the benefactor of a fair scoring decision for an error that was pretty textbook and non-controversial. Detmers is a 22-year-old rookie and may provide some hope on the pitching side for a potent Angels lineup featuring three former MVPs and to pair next to Shohei Ohtani as a great 1-2 punch. Will this be the year the Angels get to the postseason? Detmers may be a reason for optimism.
Monday, May 9, 2022
Peak late Spring sports season, we have three of the four major American Sports (five of six if you throw in MLS and NASCAR) with several in playoffs, weather nice. Etc. Oh yeah, it's also horse racing's triple crown season. The first Saturday in May is reserved for the Kentucky Derby. For the first time in 3 years, full crowd and it was everything it was billed to be. Especially if you like upsets. In a 20-horse field, which expanded to the 21st horse just hours before, the longest shot in over 100 years stunned the field. Ridden by our Sportsman of the Week Sonny Leon, 80-1 Rich Strike (strangely not "Strike Rich" like his bettors did) looked like a Ferrari amongst Kia's down the last furlong as it outpaced favorited lower odds Epicenter and Zandon to breeze to victory. Sports. You can't win if you're not in it. The Kentucky Derby served as another reminder and inducted another amazing Sportsman of the Week!
Wednesday, May 4, 2022
While the NHL and NBA playoffs heat up, it was the first baseball player in 2022 that caught our attention. Taylor Ward of the high expectation Los Angeles Angels dominated at the plate in a week in which his team took control of the American League West Standings. Ward batted .448 (13-for-29) with 10 runs scored, two doubles, a triple, four home runs, 11 RBI, two walks and a 1.000 slugging percentage over seven games played (credit MLB.com). While the Angels tallied a 6-1 week to lead the ALW by 2.5 games by the end of the week. On a team with three former Most Valuable Players (Trout, Ohtani, and Rendon), it's Ward who has been the early hero and is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!
Monday, April 25, 2022
In one of the grandest and most traditional sports, perhaps one of the greatest in that sport etched his name into history in what may be his final competition. Tyson Fury proved his heavyweight boxing championship meddle with a 6th round knockout of contender Dillian Whyte in front of a phrenetic 90K plus home crowd at England's Wimbley Stadium. Whyte seemed overmatched by the largish champion Fury as he faced a constant barrage of punches, with 76 landing including 47 power punches. As the waning seconds of the 6th round ticked down, the referee stopped the fight for a TKO. Fury finishes his career undefeated, with a 32-0-1 (only 10 fights going the distance, none lost). In an era where boxing is finding itself among other combat sports, Fury ends with a record in some of the annals of history. And is a worthy (second time) Sportsman of the Week!
Wednesday, April 20, 2022
Another amazing week in sports, especially American sports, but we go over to the Pacific Rim for an amazing, near impossible or stuff of legend, story. Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) has started just like the American Major League Baseball but has a story never matched. 20-year-old pitching phenom Roki Sasaki (佐々木) of the Chiba Lotte Marines in his second and third start of the young season pitched 17 consecutive perfect innings. Read that again. 17. Consecutive. Perfect. Innings. Sasaki pitched the 16th perfect game in NPB history (first since 1994, 7+ years before Sasaki was born) on Sunday April 10, on a magnificent 19 strike out (including 13 straight) 27 up, 27 down performance. He followed it a week later with 24 up and 24 down before being lifted (by his own admission suffering "some fatigue") in a 0-0 game. For a young arm like that, discretion is definitely warranted. What will Sasaki do for his next act? Check it out on Sunday for his next start. And maybe in a Major League Baseball ballpark in the not-too-distant future! Sasaki is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!
Monday, April 11, 2022
What a week of sports. It started with the NCAA Men's Basketball finals, transitioned to the Major League Baseball Opening Day, but finished with the iconic Masters tournament, the first with full fans in 3 years. And it did not disappoint. The surging best player in golf lapped the field to win not only his first Masters, but first major. Scott Scheffler has been one of the best up and coming golfers for over a year now. Including his inclusion on the dominant American Ryder Cup team in which his inclusion was questioned, as usually spots go to veterans, to a 4-0 matchup performance. But in Augusta, he was unmatched. Consistency, big shots, and nerves of steel, and talent. Lots of talent. Scheffler is one of the next generation greats, and a worthy Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!
Monday, April 4, 2022
Tuesday, March 29, 2022
As the blue blood programs rose to the top of the NCAA March Madness heap, Villanova proved once again they were built for tournament play. For the third time in seven years (only six Final Fours) the Wildcats are among the elite. The last two, and three of the last four, they won the National Championship. Against a surging Michigan, and perhaps the most dominant tournament team to date Houston, Villanova moved along relatively easily. Led by a rare senior Jermaine Samuels Jr., they punched their ticket, Samuels Jr. led the team in scoring over the South Regional Semifinals and Finals with 38 points. But it was efficiency that was his calling card, with a 61% field goal percentage as well as 8-8 from the free throw line. All in 68 minutes and only 3 personal fouls enabling his team flexibility in keeping him on the court. Will Samuels Jr. complete his career after his freshman year National Championship in 2018 with another? Our Sportsman of the Week will give his all!
Monday, March 21, 2022
The first weekend of the NCAA Tournament is perhaps the most anticipated in the sports calendar with the volume and variety of games and teams all vying for a National Championship. While there are usually some interesting upsets, the Sweet 16 typically recalibrates to the highly ranked teams. Tell that to the St. Peter's Peacocks. With absolutely nobody pushing them through on their brackets, they are dancing through to the second weekend. The face of the amazing two game stretch is probably best personified as Doug Edert. The slight guard came off the bench in both games to lead the team in scoring for the weekend with amazing shot after amazing shot. What he didn't get in playing time, he made up for in efficiency. Edert came through in the clutch in a monumental upset of the 2 seeded Kentucky Wildcats with a near-flawless 5/7 from the field (2/2 from 3-point territory) and 8/8 from the free throw line in a stunning 85-79 overtime win. He followed that up with a 4/6, 1/2, 4/6 performance in the downing of Murray State 70-60. He played no more than 25 minutes in either game but his clutchness defined what the Peacocks did. And that was, survive and advance. Edert is a worthy Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!
Tuesday, March 15, 2022
All-time home run records are what Ron Burgundy would call a "big deal". And a new one was set at the NCAA college softball level. Jocelyn Alo of the Oklahoma Sooners hit her 96th career home run, passing Lauren Chamberlain (also for Oklahoma) for the home run queen title as it were. Alo did it in her fifth playing season, taking advantage of the COVID extended eligibility. But before anyone calls this an asterisk situation, her breaking home run came in about the same number of games (224) as Chamberlain (220, okay, four more) and I'd put a plug nickel that you can take the 8 HR away from 2020 and Alo will exceed the career total anyway. For reference, this was Alo's 8th HR of 2022. She hit 34 last season. An all time 3rd through 13th all played 236 games or more. Alo is a true legend of the sport and her name will forever be associated with power and greatness! Alo is the Longhorndave Sportswoman of the Week!