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Monday, June 14, 2021
Winner. Best way to describer our Sportswoman of the Week. Win the singles. Win the doubles. At a Grand Slam. Of course we're talking about Barbora Krejcikova. An improbable unseeded single, and highly seeded double did things that haven't been done in decades. Krejcikova began the weekend by downing another improbable finalist in Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the French Open finals at Roland Garros 6-1, 2-6, 6-4. To cap off her weekend, she then won the doubles on Sunday with fellow Czech Katerina Siniakova beating Iga Swiatek and Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-4, 6-2. Entered Paris and never lost a match. None of this was expected. Krejcikova looked all the part of a Top 10 singles talent while not being ranked in the Top 30. The Czech will be soon. And our Sportswoman of the Week!
Tuesday, June 8, 2021
The NBA Playoffs are kicking as we're down to the Top 4 (okay one 5) seeds in each conference battling for the Championship. Most eyes were on the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers who were fraught with injury during the regular season but seemed poised to make a run because, well, they have LeBron and Davis. Not so far says Devin Booker. The 24 year-old budding superstar put his team on his shoulders to easily close out the Lake Show in Games 5 and 6 after the first two games were split. Booker poured in 77 points, 18 rebounds, and 8 assists during the week to guide his Phoenix Suns to double digit victorys and slay the dragon. The 2-time All Star has led the Suns to its first Playoff Series since 2010 and it looks like they'll be a force for years to come. Booker is the future of the league and the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!
Monday, May 31, 2021
An epic weekend of sports commenced on Memorial Day weekend, unlike 2020 in which the country was imperiled with COVID shutdowns. Memorial Day always anchors the Indianapolis 500 and this year's race more than lived up to the billing. Historic even. As Brazilian Helio Castroneves won his career record tying fourth Indy and the first in 12 years. And he did it with style. In what many described as the most entertaining (and statistically fast) race in recent memory as there was lots of action and passing rewarding 135K (partial attendance) fans who waited after missing last year. The 46 year-old Castroneves beat out young stars like Alex Palou and Pato O'Ward to show experience over youth. The race featured intriguing pit strategies but at the end, it was tactics and timing and the veteran shined. Helio Castroneves is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!
Monday, May 24, 2021
What a week in sports. But rarely is there a story of a legend of the sport doing things well beyond one would think his age would allow. Phil Mickelson. Fifty. Never a Sportsman of the Week winner until now. His last major was the 2013 Open Championship (commonly called the British Open) in July 2013 but he was edged out by first time Tour de France winner Chris Froome. Taking the back seat no more. At age 50, Phil Mickelson won the Professional Golf Association (PGA) Championship for his sixth major. His first was 17 years ago (when literally at 33 some thought he may never win one). He's won all four majors, this was his second PGA to go with two green jackets. Mickelson was the only golfer with three rounds at 70 or better the first three days (runner up Brooks Koepka was the only with 3 at 71 or better). Sunday of the PGA Championship weekend seemed more like match plays as lower placed golfers surged but Mickelson and Koepka battled down the stretch with Mickelson holding on for the win. What a weekend and what a golfing legend, and a first time Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!
Thursday, May 20, 2021
As a period of transition engulfs the Colorado Rockies franchise with the loss of key players, corner infielder Josh Fuentes stepped up to deliver a decent week for the struggling ball club. With the Rockies floundering with the worst record in Major League Baseball, Fuentes put his team on his back for the week and led them to a 3-2 record by going 11-22, 2 HR, and tallying two or RBI in each game he played (13 total in five games). His May batting average is warming up with the weather now at .347 to offset a struggling May. The Rockies aren't going anywhere this year, but Fuentes is a player to watch, and the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!
Monday, May 10, 2021
Two for one sale, No Hitters are cheap! I promise, my Blog isn't all about No Hitters but wow, we can't go a week without one happening. This week two, but we give the nod to the pitcher on the team who hasn't pitched one since 1969. Baltimore Orioles left handed pitcher John Means flummoxed the Seattle Mariners for no hits, no walks, and no errors over 9 innings. The sole base runner? Reached on a strikeout wild pitch. That's how close to a perfect game. The 28-year old Means is in his third year of being a workhorse starter but this was his first complete game or shutout. The Orioles have been punching bag in the rough and tough AL East but this could be a turning point for the proud franchise. John Means earns the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!
Tuesday, May 4, 2021
No Kentucky Derby jockey has ever won two Derbies in an eight month span. Leave it to COVID to change that. John Velazquez was brilliant on a second tier horse to win the 2021 Kentucky Derby for Medina Spirit. What's amazing is the similarities to the 2020 Derby ran on Labor Day Weekend. Both times it was legendary Bob Baffert's only entry. Both times the horse wasn't the favorite. Both times, Velazquez led him to victory. Pretty much wire to wire from the Clubhouse turn on. The stretch was harrowing four wide as horses had a clean run, but Velazquez and Medina Spirit would not be denied It was great that fans could see, and Medina Spirit jockey John Velazquez is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!
Monday, April 26, 2021
Three weeks in a row a no hitter in Major League Baseball? According to MLB, no. According to our Blog? Yesssssss! Arizona Diamondbacks lefty Madison Bumgarner navigated start to finish against the defending National League East champion Atlanta Braves and did not allow a batted ball in play that resulted in a runner that was not an error or fielders choice. In fact, there was just one error in the game. Bumgarner is an unlikely source for such a feat. While in his prime he was one of the most feared pitchers in the League, including a 2014 World Series MVP (for which he won a Sportsman of the Week) to his credit, he has not been as effective. He hasn't had a complete game since 2017. A shutout since 2016. What a performance and what a Sportsman of the Week!
Monday, April 19, 2021
Two weeks into the MLB season and two no hitters. It's not supposed to happen like this. Especially early in the season where pitchers are presumably working up their pitch count. Last week, Joe Musgrove did the improbable. This week, Chicago White Sox hurler Carlos Rodon almost did the impossible. A near perfect game. The lefty took a perfecto into the 9th but on a fluke (or characteristic) unhittable sharp breaking ball, hit a batter on his foot with one out. No worries, he retired the next two batters and preserved the no-no for an 8-0 victory over the Cleveland Indians. Rodon, a 3rd overall pick in the 2014 Amateur draft, has struggled with injuries with only 11 starts in the last 2 years (2019-20). It was Rodon's second complete game and first shutout. And of course, first no hitter. He did it and further reminded baseball fans how fun baseball is. Our Sportsman of the Week!
Monday, April 12, 2021
What a first full week for Major League Baseball and unbelievably we have our first no hitter! Of 2021 and for the San Diego Padres! With teams concerned about pitch counts and 10 person bullpens, Joe Musgrove ensured none were needed. Facing just one more than the minimum, Musgrove sent down 27 Texas Rangers without allowing a hit. Ten strikeouts, no walks and just a hit by pitch. It was Musgrove's first complete game and, consequently, his first shut out. Could not have come at a better time. The Padres are expected to compete with the World Champion Los Angeles Dodgers and if they can get this sort of performance out of Musgrove, they just might unseat the champs. A worthy Sportsman of the Week!