Blair Johnson at Yahoo Sports Minute 8 mths ago
There's a history of interesting things happening on foul balls down base lines at Wrigley Field when the Chicago Cubs host the Miami Marlins. Of course, you might remember a certain situation involving a man named Steve Bartman when the National League East franchise (then known as the Florida Marlins) faced the Cubs in the 2003 NLCS. The stakes weren't nearly as high Sunday. But the outcome was exceedingly more pleasant for all parties involved, although it may not have seemed it at first.
Let's set the scene. Marlins center fielder Marcell Ozuna fouled a ball into the stands down the first-base line during a scoreless tie in the top of the fifth inning.
A fan — who we guess was rooting for the home team — fumbled the would-be souvenir away and it landed back on the field. Cubs right fielder Nate Schierholtz was kind enough to retrieve the ball and toss it back into the stands.
But a Marlins fan was on the receiving end. Here's where things got interesting. The Miami supporter gave the ball to the guy who dropped it!
Are you a recent lottery winner? Still not sure what to do with that pesky million bucks you can't seem to get rid of? Perhaps you could treat yourself and a friend to the Miami Heat-Los Angeles Lakers game in Miami this coming season. Depending on where you would like to sit, it could actually take the whole million - and then some.
That's right. Currently on StubHub, there are two courtside seats to the January 23, 2014 at the AmericanAirlines Arena on sale for $1,100,002.49. It should be noted that the whopping pricetag "includes service fees and delivery" for the value-conscious shopper. And in case you didn't already think a pair of tickets going for the Dr. Evil-friendly price of 'one million dollars' was steep, Stubhub is careful to point out, "Prices may be higher than face value." We can only imagine the response to this offer around the world. Riiiiight .
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C.B. Bucknor has been umpiring Major League Baseball games since 1996. But over that time frame, he — along with Angel Hernandez (a favorite of former Atlanta Braves great Chipper Jones) — may be considered the worst ump in the big leagues. Earlier this season, Bucknor managed to punch out a batter with two strikes. But the call he made during a critical point in Wednesday night's Philadelphia Phillies-Miami Marlins game truly defies logic. With the score tied 2-2 with two out and runners on the corners, Marlins left fielder Christian Yelich hit a slow grounder down the first-base line. It appeared as if he'd have an infield single — and an RBI along with it. But when Phillies reliever Cesar Jimenez took the toss from first baseman Kevin Frandsen and applied the "tag" to Yelich, Bucknor called Yelich out. The problem? The ball never left Jimenez's glove! And it's debatable Jimenez even tagged Yelich with his bare hand. The Marlins overcame the horrible call and won 3-2— but Bucknor's incompetence was on display once again.
Who knew being a sideline reporter was a contact sport? Typically, it's not — unless you're Pam Oliver. Just last month, the longtime Fox Sports personality was hit in the head by a pass from Indianapolis Colts quarterback Chandler Harnish while covering a preseason game. It was later reported Oliver had suffered a concussion from the contact. Prior to Sunday's Green Bay Packers-Cincinnati Bengals game, Oliver had another on-field incident.
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Pau Gasol is one of the NBA's more well-rounded players. The Los Angeles Lakers big man was working on an inspirational photography book when the season ended and worked with UNICEF this summer. The four-time All-Star is also known for his beard — which he hadn't shaved since his days as a member of the Memphis Grizzlies back in 2004. But after losing a bet with his younger brother Marc Gasol (who happens to be the CURRENT Grizzlies pivot man), the elder Gasol looks considerably younger.
The Healthy Competition was a contest between the two siblings to see which center could captain a group of kids to a healthier way of living this summer. Marc's group won — by a hair. So Pau had to shave. Here's his tweet that showed off his new look:
If PGA Tour journeyman Scott Brown expects to win this year's Fed Ex Cup, he's going to need more lucky shots like the one he had on Thursday at The Barclays. Playing the short par-4 16th hole, his seventh of day, he pushed his tee shot to the right and straight into a water hazard. But lucky for him, a well-placed cart path was there to keep his ball from getting wet, and instead it bounced onto the green and rolled to within a few feet of the cup. The tap-in eagle was his only red number of the day, however, and with a bogey and 16 pars his 1-under 70 has him six shots back from the leader, Kevin Stadler.
Houston Astros rookie Max Stassi needs a mulligan. Or two. The 22-year old was the victim of a hidden ball trick in his big league debut Tuesday night. Wednesday night, he drove in his first career RBI in one of the most agonizing ways imaginable — he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
Moving to NBA news, Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul is the new president of the National Basketball Players Association. CP3 is the highest-profile player in the role since Patrick Ewing in 2001. Paul takes over for Derek Fisher.
Finally, Maria Sharapova withdrew from the U.S. Open. The 2006 champion is battling bursitis in her right shoulder. The season's last grand slam event gets underway Monday.
Where did the ball go?
Earlier this month, we saw Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Juan Uribe fall for the old hidden ball trick. But what occurred during Tuesday's game between the Chicago White Sox and the Kansas City Royals was something different.
Moving to NBA news, Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant and wife Vanessa are putting one of their Newport Beach, Calif. properties up for sale. The four bedroom spread — which is listed at $8.599 million — features nearly 8,500 square feet of living space and a large paneled office/library with a shark tank.
Finally, Washington State University cheer squad member Kevin Nebeker made a trick shot for the ages. Check it out here.
Milwaukee Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez is in the middle of a breakout season. The 27-year-old, nicknamed Go-Go, was selected to his first All-Star Game in 2013 and, according to the WAR (wins above replacement) metric, is one of the most valuable players to his team — joining the likes of Mike Trout, Miguel Cabrera and Andrew McCutchen. You may remember he robbed Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto of a home run in spectacular fashion last month. Thursday night it was Votto's teammate, Brandon Phillips, who fell victim to Gomez's gold glove-caliber defense. But it was Gomez who ultimately paid the price.
Moving to NFL news, it was a tough day for the Pittsburgh Steelers' backfield. Highly touted rookie Le'Veon Bell aggravated a knee injury that kept him out of the team's first preseason game after fellow running back Isaac Redman missed time with a stinger.
Kelly Hall is no stranger to dazzling a crowd. After all, the girlfriend of Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford was once a cheerleader at the University of Georgia. She and Stafford have been dating since their days together in Athens. But the performance the former Bulldog spirit squad member put on during a recent charity dance competition elevated her into a new stratosphere.
Wearing a tiny blue dress (with Stafford making a cameo), Hall and partner Jordan Cowan did the cha cha, wowing those attending an event that benefited the Jack's Place for Autism Foundation in Detroit. Her entire performance can be seen here. But somehow, the routine wasn't enough to win the competition. Detroit Tigers infielder Ramon Santiago and partner Lada Reschikova took home top honors for their tango.