MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
ATLANTA 2 TAMPA BAY 1
CHICAGO CUBS 3 NY YANKEES 0
TEXAS 7 WASHINGTON 2
CHICAGO WHITE SOX 8 ST. LOUIS 7
LA DODGERS 11 LA ANGELS 4
TORONTO 12 DETROIT 2
BOSTON 7 OAKLAND 3
CLEVELAND 3 KANSAS CITY 0
BALTIMORE 3 MINNESOTA 1 (10)
SEATTLE 10 HOUSTON 1
PHILADELPHIA 4 MIAMI 3
MILWAUKEE 7 CINCINNATI 3
NY METS 7 SAN DIEGO 5 (10)
ARIZONA 7 PITTSBURGH 3
COLORADO 5 SAN FRANCISCO 2
MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
INDIANAPOLIS 2 MEMPHIS 1
PEORIA 12 SOUTH BEND 5
FT. WAYNE 5 WEST MICHIGAN 3
MYSTICS 96 FEVER 88
DREAM 82 SKY 68
WINGS 80 ACES 78
LYNX 75 MERCURY 64
2023 INDIANA FOOTBALL”HOOSIER CROSSROADS” SCHEDULE
FRIDAY, AUG. 18
BROWNSBURG AT BISHOP DWENGER, 7 PM
CARROLL AT HAMILTON SE, 7 PM
FRANKLIN CENTRAL AT PERRY MERIDIAN, 7 PM
LAWRENCE NORTH AT AVON, 7 PM
NEW PALESTINE AT WESTFIELD, 7 PM
NOBLESVILLE AT MOUNT VERNON, 7 PM
NORTH CENTRAL AT FISHERS, 7 PM
PIKE AT ZIONSVILLE, 7:30 PM
FRIDAY, AUG. 25
AVON AT BEN DAVIS, 7 PM
FISHERS AT PIKE, 7 PM
HAMILTON SE AT NORTH CENTRAL, 7 PM
HOMESTEAD AT NOBLESVILLE, 7 PM
CATHEDRAL AT BROWNSBURG, 7 PM
RONCALLI AT FRANKLIN CENTRAL, 7 PM
WESTFIELD AT LAWRENCE CENTRAL, 7 PM
ZIONSVILLE AT LEBANON, 7:30 PM
FRIDAY, SEP. 1
AVON AT HAMILTON SE ©, 7 PM
FISHERS AT NOBLESVILLE ©, 7 PM
FRANKLIN CENTRAL AT BROWNSBURG ©, 7 PM
WESTFIELD AT ZIONSVILLE ©, 7 PM
FRIDAY, SEP. 8
BROWNSBURG AT AVON ©, 7 PM
HAMILTON SE AT FISHERS ©, 7 PM
NOBLESVILLE AT WESTFIELD ©, 7 PM
ZIONSVILLE AT FRANKLIN CENTRAL ©, 7 PM
FRIDAY, SEP. 15
FISHERS AT BROWNSBURG ©, 7 PM
FRANKLIN CENTRAL AT AVON ©, 7 PM
WESTFIELD AT HAMILTON SE ©, 7 PM
ZIONSVILLE AT NOBLESVILLE ©, 7 PM
FRIDAY, SEP. 22
AVON AT FISHERS ©, 7 PM
BROWNSBURG AT WESTFIELD ©, 7 PM
HAMILTON SE AT ZIONSVILLE ©, 7 PM
NOBLESVILLE AT FRANKLIN CENTRAL ©, 7 PM
FRIDAY, SEP. 29
FRANKLIN CENTRAL AT FISHERS ©, 7 PM
NOBLESVILLE AT HAMILTON SE ©, 7 PM
WESTFIELD AT AVON ©, 7 PM
ZIONSVILLE AT BROWNSBURG ©, 7 PM
FRIDAY, OCT. 6
AVON AT ZIONSVILLE ©, 7 PM
BROWNSBURG AT NOBLESVILLE ©, 7 PM
FISHERS AT WESTFIELD ©, 7 PM
FRANKLIN CENTRAL AT HAMILTON SE ©, 7 PM
FRIDAY, OCT. 13
HAMILTON SE AT BROWNSBURG ©, 7 PM
NOBLESVILLE AT AVON ©, 7 PM
WESTFIELD AT FRANKLIN CENTRAL ©, 7 PM
ZIONSVILLE AT FISHERS ©, 7 PM
BIG 10 WEEKLY FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
MINNESOTA VS. NEBRASKA
THURSDAY, AUG. 31
WISCONSIN VS. BUFFALO
MICHIGAN STATE VS. CENTRAL MICHIGAN
MICHIGAN VS. EAST CAROLINA
PURDUE VS. FRESNO STATE
RUTGERS VS. NORTHWESTERN
INDIANA VS. OHIO STATE
ILLINOIS VS. TOLEDO
MARYLAND VS. TOWSON
IOWA VS. UTAH STATE
PENN STATE VS. WEST VIRGINIA
MARYLAND VS. CHARLOTTE
PENN STATE VS. DELAWARE
MINNESOTA VS. EASTERN MICHIGAN
ILLINOIS AT KANSAS
INDIANA VS. INDIANA STATE
IOWA AT IOWA STATE
NEBRASKA AT COLORADO
PURDUE AT VIRGINIA TECH
MICHIGAN STATE VS. RICHMOND
RUTGERS VS. TEMPLE
MICHIGAN VS. UNLV
NORTHWESTERN VS. UTEP
WISCONSIN AT WASHINGTON STATE
OHIO STATE VS. YOUNGSTOWN STATE
MICHIGAN VS. BOWLING GREEN
WISCONSIN VS. GEORGIA SOUTHERN
INDIANA VS. LOUISVILLE (IN INDIANAPOLIS, IN)
MINNESOTA AT NORTH CAROLINA
NEBRASKA VS. NORTHERN ILLINOIS
NORTHWESTERN AT DUKE
ILLINOIS VS. PENN STATE
PURDUE VS. SYRACUSE
MARYLAND VS. VIRGINIA
RUTGERS VS. VIRGINIA TECH
MICHIGAN STATE VS. WASHINGTON
IOWA VS. WESTERN MICHIGAN
OHIO STATE VS. WESTERN KENTUCKY
INDIANA VS. AKRON
ILLINOIS VS. FLORIDA ATLANTIC
PENN STATE VS. IOWA
NEBRASKA VS. LOUISIANA TECH
MICHIGAN STATE VS. MARYLAND
NORTHWESTERN VS. MINNESOTA
OHIO STATE AT NOTRE DAME
MICHIGAN VS. RUTGERS
PURDUE VS. WISCONSIN
PURDUE VS. ILLINOIS
MARYLAND VS. INDIANA
MINNESOTA VS. LOUISIANA
NEBRASKA VS. MICHIGAN
IOWA VS. MICHIGAN STATE
NORTHWESTERN VS. PENN STATE
RUTGERS VS. WAGNER
NORTHWESTERN VS. HOWARD
OHIO STATE VS. MARYLAND
MINNESOTA VS. MICHIGAN
ILLINOIS VS. NEBRASKA
IOWA VS. PURDUE
WISCONSIN VS. RUTGERS
MARYLAND VS. ILLINOIS
MICHIGAN VS. INDIANA
WISCONSIN VS. IOWA
RUTGERS VS. MICHIGAN STATE
PURDUE VS. OHIO STATE
PENN STATE VS. UMASS
MICHIGAN STATE VS. MICHIGAN
IOWA VS. MINNESOTA
NEBRASKA VS. NORTHWESTERN
OHIO STATE VS. PENN STATE
INDIANA VS. RUTGERS
ILLINOIS VS. WISCONSIN
PENN STATE VS. INDIANA
NORTHWESTERN VS. MARYLAND
MINNESOTA VS. MICHIGAN STATE
WISCONSIN VS. OHIO STATE
NEBRASKA VS. PURDUE
MINNESOTA VS. ILLINOIS
NORTHWESTERN VS. IOWA (IN CHICAGO, IL)
MICHIGAN STATE VS. NEBRASKA
RUTGERS VS. OHIO STATE
MARYLAND VS. PENN STATE
MICHIGAN VS. PURDUE
INDIANA VS. WISCONSIN
ILLINOIS VS. INDIANA
NEBRASKA VS. MARYLAND
PENN STATE VS. MICHIGAN
OHIO STATE VS. MICHIGAN STATE
PURDUE VS. MINNESOTA
WISCONSIN VS. NORTHWESTERN
IOWA VS. RUTGERS
IOWA VS. ILLINOIS
MARYLAND VS. MICHIGAN
INDIANA VS. MICHIGAN STATE
OHIO STATE VS. MINNESOTA
WISCONSIN VS. NEBRASKA
NORTHWESTERN VS. PURDUE
PENN STATE VS. RUTGERS
NEBRASKA VS. IOWA
FRIDAY, NOV. 24
PURDUE VS. INDIANA
RUTGERS VS. MARYLAND
ILLINOIS VS. NORTHWESTERN
MICHIGAN VS. OHIO STATE
MICHIGAN STATE VS. PENN STATE
MINNESOTA VS. WISCONSIN
COLTS TRAINING CAMP SCHEDULE
WEDNESDAY, JULY 26 – 10-11 A.M.
SATURDAY, AUG. 5 – 6-7:30 P.M.
SUNDAY, AUG. 6 – 2-3:45 P.M.
SATURDAY, AUG. 5 – 6-7:30 P.M.
SUNDAY, AUG. 6 – 2-3:45 P.M.
TUESDAY, AUG. 8 – 9-10:30 A.M.
THURSDAY, AUG. 10 – 9-10 A.M.
TUESDAY, AUG. 15 – 9-10 A.M.
WEDNESDAY, AUG. 16 – 6-8 P.M.
THURSDAY, AUG. 17 – 6-8 P.M.
Major League Baseball
CHICAGO WHITE SOX — Optioned RHP Jimmy Lambert to Charlotte (IL).
NEW YORK YANKEES — Optioned RHP Deivi Garcia to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (IL).
OAKLAND ATHLETICS — Placed 2B Esteury Ruiz on the 10-day IL, retroactive to July 6. Optioned and designated RHP Rico Garcia for assignment. Selected the contract of CF Cody Thomas from Las Vegas (PCL). Recalled RHP Angel Felipe from Las Vegas.
TAMPA BAY RAYS — Designated LHP Jose Lopez for assignment. Optioned RHP Ryan Thompson to Durham (IL). Selected the contract of RHP Elvin Rodriguez from Durham.
TORONTO BLUE JAYS — Optioned RHP Thomas Hatch to Buffalo (IL). Placed RHP Jay Jackson on the paternity list. Recalled RHP Alek Manoah from New Hampshire (EL).
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS — Placed SS Tommy Edman on the 10-day IL. Recalled SS Jose Fermin from Memphis (IL).
National Basketball Association
HOUSTON ROCKETS — Signed G Fred VanVleet.
Minor League Hockey
American Hockey League
CLEVELAND MONSTERS — Signed F Owen Sillinger to a one-year contract.
Major League Soccer
LOS ANGELES FC — Returned D Mamadou Fall on loan from Villareal CF (La Liga), pending receipt of his international transfer certificate (ITC).
NEW YORK RED BULLS — Transferred M Cristian Casseres Jr. to Toulouse FC (Lige 1 side).
National Women’s Soccer League
SAN DIEGO WAVE FC — Signed G Meagan McClelland as a national team replacement player (NTRP).
MILWAUKEE — Announced the retirement of head baseball coach Scott Doffek.
MISSOURI VALLEY — Named Antonija Cooper women’s volleyball head coach.
WASHINGTON (MO.) — Named Marcus Hong assistant athletic trainer.
TOP NATIONAL RELEASES/HEADLINES
MLB ROUNDUP: CUBS’ JAMESON TAILLON SHUTS DOWN YANKEES
Jameson Taillon pitched eight outstanding innings and combined with Adbert Alzolay on a two-hitter, and the visiting Chicago Cubs spoiled Carlos Rodon’s debut with the Yankees by beating New York 3-0 on Friday night.
Taillon (3-6) returned to Yankee Stadium after winning 22 games for the Yankees over the previous two seasons. He struck out four, walked two and threw 102 pitches, two shy of his season high.
Cody Bellinger homered and Nico Hoerner hit an RBI single off Rodon (0-1) to help the Cubs win for the first time in nine all-time regular-season games against the Yankees in the Bronx. Bellinger extended his career-high hitting streak to 13 games after going 4-for-4 Thursday in Milwaukee. Besides hitting his ninth homer, Bellinger singled, stole second and scored on a double by Patrick Wisdom in the seventh.
Rodon scattered two runs and four hits over 5 1/3 innings with two strikeouts and two walks. He signed with the Yankees in free agency but injuries delayed his team debut.
White Sox 8, Cardinals 7
Jake Burger and Zach Remillard each had two hits and three RBIs to help Chicago to a come-from-behind win against visiting St. Louis in the opener of their three-game series.
The White Sox scored five runs in the sixth to take a 6-5 lead, with an RBI double from Andrew Vaughn and two-run hits by Burger and Remillard.
Nolan Arenado hit his second two-run homer of the game to move the Cardinals back ahead 7-6 in the seventh, but Luis Robert Jr. tied it with a solo homer — his 26th — in the bottom half of the inning. Remillard later walked on four pitches to force in Chicago’s go-ahead run.
Braves 2, Rays 1
Sean Murphy connected on a two-run home run, and it was all the support Charlie Morton needed as Atlanta edged Tampa Bay in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Morton (9-6) yielded just one run on four hits in 6 1/3 innings, and the Braves took the first of three in a battle of teams with the best records in their respective leagues. Atlanta closer Raisel Iglesias gave up a two-out double to Harold Ramirez but struck out Taylor Walls for his 16th save. The Braves won despite collecting just two hits.
Tampa Bay’s season-long losing streak grew to six games. Rays right-hander Tyler Glasnow (2-3) exited after 5 2/3 innings due to cramping in his left (non-throwing) hand. All-Star Wander Franco hit his 11th homer for the hosts’ lone run.
Orioles 3, Twins 1 (10 innings)
Ramon Urias doubled in the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th inning and Aaron Hicks added a sacrifice fly to lead Baltimore over Minnesota in Minneapolis.
Urias led off the 10th with the double into the gap in right-center off Minnesota reliever Jhoan Duran (2-4) to drive in automatic runner Colton Cowser from second. James McCann’s sacrifice moved him to third, and he scored on Hicks’ fly ball to center.
All-Star Felix Bautista (4-1) picked up the win with two hitless innings of relief. He walked one and struck out three, including Max Kepler to end the game. It was the opener of their three-game series going into the All-Star break.
Mariners 10, Astros 1
Luis Castillo pitched seven strong innings and Seattle posted a nine-run fourth inning in pounding host Houston.
Castillo (6-6) cruised to his second consecutive winning decision, limiting the Astros to five hits and one unearned run while recording three strikeouts. He needed just 89 pitches, stumbling only in the third inning when a Kolten Wong two-out error extended that frame.
Astros rookie right-hander Hunter Brown (6-6) recorded eight strikeouts over three shutout innings but labored throughout, stranding six baserunners while carrying 69 pitches into the fourth.
Dodgers 11, Angels 4
Mookie Betts hit two home runs with four RBIs and the Dodgers stayed perfect against the visiting Angels this season.
Freddie Freeman, J.D. Martinez and Will Smith also went deep for the Dodgers, while right-hander Tony Gonsolin (5-3) gave up four runs over 6 2/3 innings. The Dodgers improved to 3-0 against the Angels this season with the finale of the season series Saturday and extended their overall winning streak over the Angels to nine games.
Mickey Moniak hit a three-run home run for the Angels and center fielder Jo Adell robbed Max Muncy of a homer in the first inning. Mike Moustakas also homered as the Angels lost their fourth consecutive game and fell for the eighth time in their last nine contests.
Diamondbacks 7, Pirates 3
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. homered, doubled twice and drove in four runs and fellow All-Star Zac Gallen tossed seven strong innings to lead Arizona past Pittsburgh in Phoenix.
Corbin Carroll, also an All-Star, had two hits, two runs and two steals as the Diamondbacks halted a four-game losing streak. Gallen (11-3) gave up one run on four hits with no walks and five strikeouts in his final outing before the All-Star break.
Carlos Santana had two RBIs for the Pirates, who lost for the sixth time in seven games. Pittsburgh starter Rich Hill (7-9) gave up five runs and seven hits over four innings. He walked four and fanned three.
Mets 7, Padres 5 (10 innings)
Jeff McNeil lined Tom Cosgrove’s first pitch of the 10th over the first base bag for an RBI double, and visiting New York scored four runs in the inning to earn a victory over San Diego.
Starling Marte, who grounded into an inning-ending, bases-loaded double play in the ninth, scored easily on McNeil’s double. Catcher Francisco Alvarez drove home McNeil with his fourth single of the game. Francisco Lindor capped the scoring with a two-out, two-run single off Brent Honeywell as the Mets scored a sixth straight win.
Manny Machado hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the 10th before David Robertson polished off the win for the Mets. The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Padres, who are 0-8 in extra-inning games this season.
Phillies 4, Marlins 3
Pinch hitter Cristian Pache hit a two-run, go-ahead homer with two outs in the ninth inning, leading Philadelphia over host Miami for the Phillies’ 13th consecutive road win, tying a franchise record set in 1976.
Closer A.J. Puk (4-3), who entered in the ninth trying to protect a 3-1 lead, took the loss for the Marlins, who fell to 21-6 in one-run games. Reliever Jeff Hoffman (2-1) pitched two scoreless innings to pick up the win.
Former Miami catcher J.T. Realmuto homered, singled and scored half of the Phillies’ runs.
Brewers 7, Reds 3
Willy Adames homered, doubled and drove in three runs as Milwaukee snapped visiting Cincinnati’s five-game winning streak.
Joey Wiemer added a two-run home run and Owen Miller had three hits and an RBI for Milwaukee, which moved within a game of the first-place Reds in the National League Central. Corbin Burnes (7-5) allowed two runs on three hits over six innings. He walked four and struck out six.
Joey Votto hit a two-run homer and drove in all three runs for Cincinnati, which had gone 23-6 since losing the first three of a four-game series against the Brewers in early June. Cincinnati starter Andrew Abbott (4-1) yielded six runs on nine hits over 4 1/3 innings after giving up a total of five runs in his first six career starts.
Guardians 3, Royals 0
Aaron Civale scattered two hits and struck out a season-high nine batters over seven innings as host Cleveland blanked Kansas City.
Josh Bell belted a two-run homer and Josh Naylor had an RBI single for the Guardians, who have won five of their last seven games. Cleveland moved to .500 for the first time since April 28. Civale (3-2) did not walk a batter en route to recording his first win since June 8, and Emmanuel Clase pitched the ninth to secure his 25th save.
Bobby Witt Jr. ripped a double in the fourth inning and MJ Melendez did the same in the fifth for the Royals, who have lost five in a row. Starter Daniel Lynch (2-4) permitted three runs on six hits in six innings to fall to 0-4 in six career starts against Cleveland.
Blue Jays 12, Tigers 2
Alek Manoah pitched six strong innings in his return to the majors, Whit Merrifield hit his third home run in the last two games and Toronto rolled over host Detroit.
Manoah (2-7), a 2022 All-Star, was sent to the minors after struggling through the first two months. He held the Tigers to one run and five hits while walking none and striking out eight. George Springer hit a two-run homer, doubled, and finished with three RBIs. Danny Jansen drove in two runs while Kevin Kiermaier had four hits and an RBI.
Losing pitcher Alex Faedo (1-4) gave up seven runs and six hits in 3 2/3 innings. Matt Vierling had three hits and an RBI for Detroit.
Rangers 7, Nationals 2
Adolis Garcia and Corey Seager each hit solo homers to power Texas to a 7-2 win over host Washington to open a three-game series.
Garcia went 2-for-5 with a double, two RBIs and two runs, while Seager went 2-for-5 with an RBI and two runs. Josh Jung went 1-for-3 with two RBIs for Texas, which ended a two-game slide. Cody Bradford (1-1) picked up the win by allowing a run on five hits with a strikeout and a walk in five innings
Joey Meneses carried Washington offensively, going 2-for-4 with two solo home runs. Nationals starter Trevor Williams (5-5) allowed four runs on seven hits with five strikeouts and three walks in six innings.
Red Sox 7, Athletics 3
A five-run second inning gave Boston all the offense it needed en route to a win over visiting Oakland.
Jarren Duran, Justin Turner and Alex Verdugo all went 2-for-4 with an RBI to lead Boston, while Yu Chang drove in two runs. Nick Pivetta (5-5) allowed two earned runs in five innings to earn the win following opener Brennan Bernardino.
Seth Brown homered and scored twice for Oakland. Opener Sam Long (0-1) allowed three runs in the second, then Luis Medina gave up four more over his six innings.
Rockies 5, Giants 2
Ezequiel Tovar broke a seventh-inning tie with a three-run home run, Ryan McMahon added a two-run shot and Colorado snapped a four-game losing streak by beating host San Francisco.
Austin Gomber (7-7) pitched six effective innings to record his third straight win for the Rockies. Walks to Randal Grichuk and Doyle in the seventh set up Tovar, who teed off on Tyler Rogers’ first pitch. Three Rockies pitchers protected the lead with hitless relief, with Daniel Bard working a 1-2-3 ninth for his first save in the opener of a three-game series.
Giants reliever Taylor Rogers (4-3), who walked two of the four men he faced before watching his brother Tyler give up the tie-breaking home run, was charged with the loss. Brandon Crawford followed a leadoff single by Casey Schmitt with a two-run homer, tying the score in the sixth.
TEXAS RANGERS HAVE 5 ALL-STAR STARTERS AFTER GARCÍA ADDED ALONG WITH BALTIMORE’S HAYS
NEW YORK (AP) Texas will become the first team in 47 years to have five position players start in the All-Star Game after the Rangers’ Adolis García and the Baltimore Orioles Austin Hays were picked Friday to join the American League lineup as injury replacements.
The pair take over from the New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge and the Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout.
García joins Rangers catcher Jonah Heim, second baseman Marcus Semien, shortstop Corey Seager and third baseman Josh Jung in the AL lineup for Tuesday’s game at Seattle. The non-Rangers are Tampa Bay first baseman Yandy Díaz and outfielder Randy Arozarena, Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani and Hays.
The only other teams with five position players to start the All-Star Game were the 1939 Yankees and the 1956, 1957 and 1976 Reds.
Hays was out of the Orioles’ starting lineup for the fifth straight game Friday because of a bruised left hip.
Judge hasn’t played since tearing a ligament in his right big toe on June 3 while crashing into a fence while making a catch at Dodger Stadium. Trout broke his left wrist fouling off a pitch on Monday and had surgery Wednesday.
In addition, Chicago Cubs shortstop Dansby Swanson won’t play because of a bruised left heel that has kept him out of the starting lineup since Tuesday. Cleveland closer Emmanuel Clase will skip the game because of the imminent birth of a child.
They were replaced on the roster Friday by Arizona infielder Geraldo Perdomo and Los Angeles Angels closer Carlos Estévez, both first-time All-Stars.
Seattle center fielder Julio Rodríguez and right-hander George Kirby, Tampa Bay shortstop Wander Franco and Houston outfielder Kyle Tucker were added to the AL roster on Tuesday and Pittsburgh closer David Bednar was picked for the National League team.
Houston outfielder Yordan Alvarez, Tampa Bay left-hander Shane McClanahan, Judge, Trout and Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw were dropped because of injuries.
WHY THE ANGELS ARE UNLIKELY TO TRADE OHTANI
Mike Trout will miss the next month, perhaps longer. The Angels were just swept by the Padres, the nadir of a nightmarish stretch in which they’ve lost 11 of 15.
What does all of this mean for Shohei Ohtani’s immediate future?
Few in the baseball industry see the Angels’ precipitous fall as an indication they will deal Ohtani prior to the Aug. 1 Trade Deadline.
In a vacuum, superstar players on expiring contracts are traded for the highest return. But the Angels don’t operate in a vacuum. They play on Planet Earth, where Ohtani is one of the most unique athletes ever.
Sure, the possibility of acquiring a collection of young talent is tantalizing. The Angels have two prospects among the industry Top 100, according to MLB Pipeline; the higher ranked of the two, catcher Logan O’Hoppe, is recovering from left shoulder surgery.
To be sure, the club’s baseball operations staff will communicate with other teams to workshop trade scenarios if the Angels’ slide continues. That is the job of a front office. But presenting an acceptable deal to ownership, and receiving approval for it, is another matter entirely.
If the Angels were intent on maximizing Ohtani’s trade value, they would have moved him last year, when they were less competitive in the standings and the additional contractual control would have yielded greater value.
Even if the Angels miss the postseason, value exists in keeping Ohtani on the roster until he reaches free agency. There are the viewership numbers every time he plays. There are the marketing revenues and sponsorships attached to his presence. There’s the very realistic chance that he’ll win his second American League MVP Award.
Ohtani leads the Majors with 31 home runs, which puts him on pace for 56 over the full season. If you think Ohtani is a global phenomenon now, just wait until he’s slugging in September with a chance to reach 60 homers.
Now if you’re an Angels fan — or executive — imagine him doing so in another uniform.
An empty feeling, right?
That’s why the scenario is so unlikely.
Of course, Ohtani’s game cap may no longer have a halo by Opening Day 2024. That is relevant here, too, insofar as the Angels’ long-term relationship with Ohtani will be shaped by the manner in which they could part.
If the Angels make him a strong offer in free agency, but he opts to sign with a consistent playoff team, it would be difficult for an objective observer to find much fault in the actions of either party.
By contrast, a midseason trade in the name of “maximizing asset value” would diminish the chance of Ohtani returning in free agency — and may impact the manner in which he’s connected to the organization in his post-playing years.
The Angels can quiet the trade talk by winning more ballgames, but that won’t be easy. They close the first half with the Dodgers and open the second against the reigning World Series champion Astros.
Trout won’t be in the lineup as he recovers from hamate surgery, and Ohtani’s next pitching assignment is unclear after he left his most recent start with a blister on his right middle finger. The team that had the fourth best record in the American League as recently as June 18 now trails the Yankees, Blue Jays, and Red Sox for the third and final Wild Card spot.
Ohtani’s arrival to the Angels in December 2017 is one of the great bargains in sports history, due to the international transfer rules that governed the move. All he’s done since then is elevate the sport, domestically and globally, with a series of achievements that no human previously approached. The Angels received full value from this partnership long ago.
2023 MLB MOCK DRAFT: SKENES VS. CREWS, WHO GOES NO. 1?
The 2023 MLB Draft gets underway July 9. Here’s a look at how the first round, featuring 28 selections, could shake out.
Each pick is accompanied by its league-mandated value, the total bonus pool for that particular team, and where that bonus pool ranks in MLB. Individual pick values are added up to calculate a team’s total bonus pool. Clubs are allowed to sign prospects above (over slot) or below (under slot) the expected value of the pick but can’t exceed their total bonus pool when signing all drafted players.
Every team will make at least one selection in the first round other than the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets, whose first-round pick drops 10 spots as a result of exceeding the first threshold of the luxury tax by $40 million or more.
Paul Skenes, RHP, LSU
Pick value: $9,721,000
Total bonus pool: $16,185,700 (1st)
There are rumors heading into the draft that high-powered agent Scott Boras is telling the Pirates not to take his client Dylan Crews, which could lead them to select his LSU teammate and ace Skenes. If the Bucs decide Crews is their guy, there’s little recourse for Boras – Crews wouldn’t go back to college and risk injury just to re-enter the draft next year. But it’s considered a near coin flip for who’s the better prospect between Crews and Skenes, and Pittsburgh might opt away from the headache.
Dylan Crews, OF, LSU
Pick value: $8,998,500
Total bonus pool: $14,502,400 (3rd)
The Nationals will almost certainly take whichever of the LSU two is left, but that doesn’t mean Crews is a consolation prize. The outfielder basically went wire-to-wire as the class’ best and most polished prospect. He was probably a first-round talent coming out of high school but wound up slipping in the pandemic-shortened draft as teams opted for collegiate players. This is Crews’ time, and he brings a 70-grade hit tool and 60-grade power the Nats would love to build around.
Wyatt Langford, OF, Florida
Pick value: $8,341,700
Total bonus pool: $15,747,200 (2nd)
It’s Scott Harris’ first draft as the Tigers’ president of baseball operations after previously serving as the Giants’ general manager. He oversaw some bold picks during his tenure in San Francisco but frequently opted to take a polished college bat. We’re sticking with that trend with Langford, who might have the best power in the class. If Detroit wants to get a little crazy and flex the league’s second-highest bonus pool, perhaps the club goes with Virginia catcher Kyle Teel or two-way prep star Bryce Eldridge in hopes of going over slot later in the draft.
Walker Jenkins, OF, South Brunswick HS (N.C.)
Pick value: $7,698,000
Total bonus pool: $9,925,300 (16th)
Langford seems exactly like the type of player the Rangers would want, but one of the top three teams would likely have to take a high schooler for the Florida product to slip to No. 4. Instead, we’ve got the Rangers taking the top prep bat on the board in Jenkins, who seems very advanced for an 18-year-old. However, the Rangers are a bit of a wild card here. Despite picking fourth, they have only the 16th-largest bonus pool. Texas could be forced to get creative.
Max Clark, OF, Franklin HS (Ind.)
Pick value: $7,139,700
Total bonus pool: $14,345,600 (4th)
The Twins have a history of success drafting prep outfielders in the first round, selecting Alex Kirilloff in 2016 after picking Byron Buxton second overall in 2012. Clark is arguably better than Jenkins, with higher grades in run, arm, and fielding. The Vanderbilt commit looks like a sure bet for Minnesota if he’s still available. Gatorade’s National Baseball Player of the Year has been mentioned as a wild card to go first overall if the Pirates spread out their bonus pool money.
Chase Dollander, RHP, Tennessee
Pick value: $6,634,000
Total bonus pool: $14,255,600 (5th)
The A’s have spent the last seven years loading their farm system with position players selected in the first round, so the timing feels right for them to choose a college arm. Dollander and Rhett Lowder are the top collegiate pitchers available after Skenes. Dollander’s arsenal features a 99-mph fastball and a wipeout slider, but he comes with command concerns. The Tennessee grad has front-end starter stuff and could jump into Oakland’s rotation in the not-too-distant future.
Noble Meyer, RHP, Jesuit HS (Ore.)
Pick value: $6,275,200
Total bonus pool: $13,785,200 (6th)
With the A’s opting for a college arm, that leaves Meyer – arguably the best pitcher in the draft after Skenes – for the Reds to gobble up. The 6-foot-5 righty is already capable of touching triple digits regularly and still hasn’t fully grown into his frame. This pick would be oddly similar to when Cincinnati drafted Hunter Greene in the first round in 2017. That worked out pretty well, so why not go back to the well?
Jacob Wilson, SS, Grand Canyon
Pick value: $5,980,100
Total bonus pool: $12,313,500 (9th)
This is J.J. Picollo’s first draft at the helm since being named general manager and executive vice president of the Royals. Expecting any substantial change in Kansas City’s draft strategy would be foolish since Picollo was former team president Dayton Moore’s right-hand man. We’ve got the Royals opting for a shortstop with premium contact skills. It’s not a common first-round target for them, and they could opt for more pitching. But, as an organization, the Royals have shown an interest in players like Wilson.
Rhett Lowder, RHP, Wake Forest
Pick value: $5,716,900
Total bonus pool: $11,909,800 (10th)
Despite their general inability to develop any, the Rockies love taking pitching early. However, Lowder seems like a great organizational fit. The righty has a repeatable delivery and has shown an ability to induce weak-contact groundballs. Lowder may not make it this low, and Colorado could have its eye on Meyer if he slips. The Rockies have also loved picking prep hitters in this range, so this could be the ceiling for Colin Houck.
Arjun Nimmala, SS, Strawberry Crest HS (Fla.)
Pick value: $5,475,300
Total bonus pool: $12,829,600 (8th)
Nimmala is one of the most intriguing prospects on the board. His development has been relatively non-linear, he doesn’t have a long track record, and he’ll be one of the youngest players selected at 17 years old. Scouts who like Nimmala seem to be high on him, and he might go surprisingly early. But there are a lot of other scouts who seem averse to the risk, as he’s a very raw hitter.
Hurston Waldrep, RHP, Florida
Pick value: $5,253,000
Total bonus pool: $8,328,900 (23rd)
Drafting for need in baseball rarely happens, but the Angels have done it in recent years. They’ll likely continue doing it if they think it means pushing their team closer to immediate contention to retain Shohei Ohtani. It seems likely that L.A. will take a pitcher who might be close to MLB-ready, and Waldrep is a reasonable target. The Florida righty doesn’t have nearly the command of the zone that Reid Detmers flaunted in his draft year, but he might have a slightly higher ceiling. If Lowder or Dollander slip, expect the Halos to go with one of them over Waldrep.
Colin Houck, SS, Parkview HS (Ga.)
Pick value: $5,043,800
Total bonus pool: $11,084,300 (11th)
The Diamondbacks have shown an impressive ability to react to prep prospects slipping lower than expected. In this version, we’ve got Houck being the latest. Nimmala might also make sense here.
Enrique Bradfield Jr., OF, Vanderbilt
Pick value: $4,848,500
Total bonus pool: $8,962,000 (19th)
A future outfield featuring Bradfield and Pete Crow-Armstrong in the Windy City? That sounds pretty sweet. Both players are 21 years old, play stellar defense, and run really fast. Bradfield makes a ton of sense here, with the Cubs shifting their organizational philosophy toward improved defense.
Tommy Troy, SS, Stanford
Pick value: $4,663,100
Total bonus pool: $10,295,100 (15th)
Under Chaim Bloom, the Red Sox have gone pretty off-the-radar a couple of times, especially preferring prep middle infielders. Now we have them sticking in the infield but going with a more advanced hitter in Troy. He flaunts a very advanced plate approach.
Kyle Teel, C, Virginia
Pick value: $4,488,600
Total bonus pool: $9,072,800 (18th)
Teel is the top catcher on the board, and it’s not even particularly close. It’s been a while since the White Sox selected a backstop in the first round, going back to Zack Collins in 2016. However, this would seem like the floor for the Virginia product.
Bryce Eldridge, 1B/RHP, Madison HS (Va.)
Pick value: $4,326,600
Total bonus pool: $9,916,900 (17th)
Two-way players are a scarce breed, and teams willing to give one a shot in development are even rarer. The Giants are just one year removed from taking Reggie Crawford, who’s working on pitching and hitting. Perhaps San Francisco corners the market on these types and selects Eldridge.
Matt Shaw, SS, Maryland
Pick value: $4,169,700
Total bonus pool: $10,534,800 (14th)
This is the lowest first pick for the Orioles since 2017 when they selected DL Hall 21st overall. That was before Mike Elias took over the general manager role, so projecting the club’s direction is difficult. We’ve got them taking Shaw, one of the top college shortstops still on the board with a very good bat and plate approach. He likely doesn’t stick at short, though.
Brayden Taylor, 3B, TCU
Pick value: $4,021,400
Total bonus pool: $10,950,600 (12th)
Taylor will almost certainly become the first TCU position player to go in the first round and has a good chance of getting selected before the Brewers are on the clock. With a small-market, risk-averse front office, Milwaukee loves taking polished college bats. Taylor fits that bill very well. If he isn’t available, perhaps one of the shortstops in Troy or Shaw make it to them. This could also be a great spot for Jacob Gonzalez.
Dillon Head, OF, Homewood-Flossmoor HS (Ill.)
Pick value: $3,880,100
Total bonus pool: $10,872,100 (13th)
Showing a recent penchant for prep hitters, the Rays also have an organizational history of targeting guys with game-breaking speed, and that’s Head. Unlike other speedsters in the class, Head also has a pretty advanced bat and is by no means a one-trick pony. Think more of Jose Siri as opposed to Jarrod Dyson.
Blake Mitchell, C, Sinton HS (Texas)
Pick value: $3,746,000
Total bonus pool: $6,529,700 (26th)
The Blue Jays’ farm system is pretty light on catching prospects after trading Gabriel Moreno to the D-Backs. Adding Mitchell could give them something credible at the position in future years. The Texas high schooler also flaunts a great arm, touching 97 mph as a pitcher, and that’s becoming a more premium tool behind the dish with more stolen bases in the majors.
Nolan Schanuel, 1B/OF, Florida Atlantic
Pick value: $3,618,200
Total bonus pool: $6,375,100 (27th)
Schanuel hits bombs. The wooden-bat Cape Cod League ate him alive, so it’s clear he needs some development once he goes pro. But he has a very advanced eye, posting a .615 OBP and .868 SLG over 59 games this past season while crushing 19 homers. If he pans out, he’s a steal.
Aidan Miller, 3B, Mitchell HS (Fla.)
Pick value: $3,496,600
Total bonus pool: $13,170,900 (7th)
The Mariners have picked high-school position players in the first round of the past two drafts and could hit gold if Miller lands in their lap at No. 22. The Arkansas commit projects to go as high as No. 13. However, some analysts have him dropping out of the first round after a broken hamate bone cost him most of his senior year. His power alone is worthy of being picked by this point in the draft.
Jacob Gonzalez, SS, Mississippi
Pick value: $3,380,900
Total bonus pool: $8,736,700 (20th)
This would be quite a fall for Gonzalez, perhaps the class’ most under-appreciated hitter after posting a .999 OPS in the SEC this past season. Gonzalez isn’t especially quick and may need to move off shortstop, but he could certainly hang at second base, and his bat should play. He could easily wind up being the best middle-infield prospect in the class.
Thomas White, LHP, Phillips Academy HS (Mass.)
Pick value: $3,270,500
Total bonus pool: $8,341,700 (22nd)
White might follow through on his commitment to Vanderbilt if he goes any lower, so signability is a bit of an issue. But the lefty has an impressive arsenal and might be lured by the Braves’ recent ability to develop pitchers and accelerate them through the minors like Spencer Strider and AJ Smith-Shawver.
Kevin McGonigle, 2B/SS, Monsignor Bonner HS (Pa.)
Pick value: $3,165,400
Total bonus pool: $5,416,000 (28th)
McGonigle is one of the top prep hitters available thanks to his high contact rate. While the Pennsylvania native and Chase Utley fan looks like a better fit for the Phillies, it’s doubtful he’ll make it past this point.
George Lombard Jr., 3B/SS, Gulliver Prep HS (Fla.)
Pick value: $3,065,000
Total bonus pool: $5,299,400 (29th)
Lombard isn’t a first-rounder on a number of notable mock drafts, but we like the son of former big-leaguer George Sr. going to the Yankees. Most of New York’s top prospects are pitchers, so it makes a lot of sense for the Bronx Bombers to add a future corner infielder with solid hitting and power.
Charlee Soto, RHP, Reborn Christian HS (Fla.)
Pick value: $2,968,800
Total bonus pool: $5,185,500 (30th)
One of the youngest players in the class, Soto will still be 17 on draft day but stands 6-foot-5 and boasts a deep repertoire for a high schooler. The righty will try to follow in the developmental footsteps of Mick Abel and Andrew Painter.
Travis Sykora, RHP, Round Rock HS (Texas)
Pick value: $2,880,700
Total bonus pool: $6,747,900 (25th)
This is the Astros’ first draft under new general manager Dana Brown, who comes over after being the vice president of scouting for the Braves. With that track record, Sykora fits in well as a flame-throwing prep ace.
ANALYSIS: THE WEMBY SHOW IS UNDERWAY, AND OPENING NIGHT WAS A CIRCUS
LAS VEGAS (AP) The final numbers for Victor Wembanyama in his Summer League debut: nine points on 2-for-13 shooting, eight rebounds, five blocked shots, three assists.
Not on the stat sheet: countless pictures and videos captured on phones, the couple dozen times he applauded teammates, and all the autographs that a very friendly San Antonio Spurs coach named Gregg Popovich signed at halftime for kids and other fans.
The Wemby Show is underway. The outcome on Friday night doesn’t matter much and will be forgotten in the next couple days – for the record, the Spurs beat the Charlotte Hornets 76-68. But for the 17,500 people who bought tickets, most of them just to say they saw Wembanyama’s first time sweating in a Spurs game uniform, it was a night to remember.
A night to remember for the No. 1 pick, too.
“Special moment,” Wembanyama said. “Really special to wear that jersey for a first time. It’s really an honor.”
Wembanyama did a lot of things well, which can’t be a surprise. He screened well. Passed well; he even had a left-handed shovel pass for an assist. Defended well at times; Charlotte’s Brandon Miller, the No. 2 pick in the draft, tried a 3-pointer from about five or six feet beyond the arc in the first half, and Wembanyama threw his left arm skyward and blocked it with ease. And his four-point play with 2:50 left put the Spurs up by 14, just about sealing the win.
“He’s a legit 7-6,” Miller said afterward, only slightly exaggerating Wembanyama’s official height of 7 feet, 3-1/2 inches. “Victor is a great guy, great off the court. He’s going to have a great career, and just to see him step up to the challenge, I think that shows a lot of heart.”
Wembanyama struggled shooting and airballed a pair of 3-point tries in the fourth quarter, got moved out of the way on a few rebound opportunities, was sort of dunked on when he was trying to defend a lob to Charlotte’s Kai Jones – Wembanyama couldn’t reach it, and fouled Jones as he threw the ball down – and had tons of moments that he’ll learn from on film.
“All in all, I think he did a good job. … You can see his basketball IQ is elite,” Spurs summer coach Matt Nielsen said.
Again, none of it mattered much, good or bad. Wembanyama’s body of work in France over the last three years more than proved his enormous potential. A 30-point game or an 0-for-30 game on Friday night wouldn’t have changed anything.
There were hundreds of phones pointed at the tunnel where he emerged for a six-minute warmup before the game. Some tickets went for more than $200 on the resale market; that’s pretty much unheard of for Summer League. Fans in Spurs jerseys – they were obviously new jerseys, since they had Wembanyama’s name on them – started showing up inside the arena two games before the Spurs-Hornets matchup just to make sure they had a good seat. No. 3 draft pick Scoot Henderson played in the previous game for Portland; he came out and stood courtside for some of the second half of the Spurs game.
“I’m glad a lot of people could get to see us play,” Wembanyama said.
Jerry West was courtside, as was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who’ll join Wembanyama on stage at NBA Con on Saturday for a conversation between a legend and someone who is expected to become a legend.
The numbers didn’t matter. Wembanyama overshadowed everyone. And everything.
Like Jabari Smith Jr. and Tari Eason, for example. They combined for a miracle finish to give Houston a 100-99 win over Portland in the game that immediately preceded Spurs-Hornets. Down by two with 0.6 seconds left, Eason just sort of sidearm-heaved a pass about 40 feet to Smith, who turned and beat the clock with a 3-pointer at the buzzer. Everybody celebrated, some because of Smith’s shot, some because the game was over and it was Wemby time. It would have been the talk of Summer League, under normal circumstances.
These are not normal circumstances.
And in the adjacent court – UNLV has two separate gyms under one roof – Cleveland and Brooklyn were playing simultaneous to Wembanyama’s debut. Let’s just say there were more than a few empty seats in the gym for that game; only the most ardent Cavaliers fans, Nets fans or friends and family of players on those rosters seemed to be there for that one. Meanwhile, a few feet away in the big gym, fans were seated all the way up to the rafters.
The debut was a circus. Everyone expected it would be, and that was even before he went to dinner Wednesday night and was approached by Britney Spears – the pop star who grabbed or poked at Wembanyama and set off a two-day story that generated tons of headlines worldwide. He handled all that with ease, not even knowing until hours later Spears was the person involved, and handled all the attention Friday night with ease as well.
“He’s pretty cool,” Spurs teammate Julian Champagnie said, later adding, “he deserves to have this moment.”
He is a rookie. A very tall, super talented one. He will have great games in San Antonio. He will have bad games. And he’s now had his first game. His NBA story is underway. The Spurs are betting that it only gets better from here.
“I just want to get better every time,” Wembanyama said, “and learn as much as I can.”
BUCKS SIGN GUARD MALIK BEASLEY AND CENTER ROBIN LOPEZ
MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Milwaukee Bucks have added guard Malik Beasley and center Robin Lopez.
The Bucks officially announced the signings of Lopez on Friday and the addition of Beasley on Thursday. These accompany the returns of forward Khris Middleton and center Brook Lopez, who could have left as free agents.
Beasley, 26, averaged a combined 12.7 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 25.8 minutes in 81 games with the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Lakers last season. The 6-foot-4 guard made 27 starts.
He holds career averages of 10.8 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists while shooting 41.2% from the floor and 37.8% from 3-point range over seven NBA seasons.
Robin Lopez, Brook’s twin brother, appeared in 35 games for the Cleveland Cavaliers last season and averaged 3 points, 1.4 rebounds and 8.1 minutes. The 7-footer previously played for the Bucks in 2019-20.
NO CHARGES WILL BE FILED IN ALTERCATION WITH BRITNEY SPEARS, VICTOR WEMBANYAMA
LAS VEGAS (AP) — No charges will be filed following a brief investigation of the altercation involving pop star Britney Spears, San Antonio Spurs rookie Victor Wembanyama and a member of the player’s security team, Las Vegas police said Friday.
Spears said she was struck by a security guard as she tried to approach Wembanyama near a restaurant in a Las Vegas casino complex on Wednesday night. Wembanyama said a person — he later was told it was Spears — grabbed him from behind.
Spears filed a police report, alleging battery. The Las Vegas Metro Police Department said its investigation is over and “no charges will be filed against the person involved.”
Wembanyama is scheduled to make his NBA Summer League debut for the Spurs in Las Vegas on Friday night. The 7-foot-3 French teen was the No. 1 pick in last month’s NBA draft and is entering the league with as much acclaim as anyone since LeBron James in 2003.
The altercation happened Wednesday night; Spears said she recognized Wembanyama at another hotel earlier in the evening and when seeing him again at the Aria Resort & Casino she “decided to approach him and congratulate him on his success.”
Spears said, “His security then back handed me in the face without looking back, in front of a crowd. Nearly knocking me down and causing my glasses off my face.”
Spears said in posts on Twitter and Instagram that the run-in was “super embarrassing,” and denied grabbing Wembanyama, saying she only “tapped him on the shoulder to get his attention.” She also said that she was hopeful of getting an apology from the team or the security guard who she said was involved.
Wembanyama had a different account of the events. He said security advised him to not stop for anyone as he walked into the restaurant, mindful that pausing could cause a stir and allow a crowd to build. He said one person was shouting “sir, sir” to him, “and that person grabbed me from behind,” he said.
He was told hours later that person was Spears. He never saw her, he said, because he never turned around.
REPORTS: CHIEFS, PATS, TITANS PURSUING DEANDRE HOPKINS
DeAndre Hopkins remains unemployed six weeks after he was released by the Arizona Cardinals, but the market for the former All-Pro wide receiver could be heating up.
ESPN reported the Kansas City Chiefs are kicking the tires on a Hopkins deal, which follows previous visits to the New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans.
Hopkins was released on May 26, after the Cardinals were reportedly unable to find a trade partner for the 31-year-old, who skipped the start of voluntary organized team activities.
Hopkins had two years and $34.36 million in base pay left on his contract.
The Buffalo Bills and Baltimore Ravens were rumored to be interested in Hopkins, but he hasn’t met with either team.
With the move, the rebuilding Cardinals cleared $8.15 million in salary cap space but will carry a dead cap hit of $22.6 million in 2023.
A three-time All-Pro, Hopkins recorded 221 receptions for 2,696 yards and 17 touchdowns in three seasons in Arizona. A first-round pick in 2013, Hopkins spent his first seven NFL seasons with the Houston Texans before he was traded to Arizona by then head coach and acting GM Bill O’Brien. O’Brien is currently the offensive coordinator of the Patriots.
Hopkins had 64 catches for 717 yards with three touchdowns during a 2022 season in which he missed the first six games while serving a suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy. He sat out the final two games with a knee injury.
The Cardinals’ top wide receivers are Marquise Brown, Greg Dortch and Rondale Moore.
CAMERON YOUNG LEADS JOHN DEERE CLASSIC BY 2, SEEKING LONG-AWAITED FIRST TOUR WIN
SILVIS, Ill. (AP) Cameron Young shot a 7-under 64 on Friday to take a two-stroke lead halfway through the John Deere Classic and put himself into position to erase an unwelcome distinction from his PGA Tour resume.
Young was at 13-under 129 at TPC Deere Run, with Garrick Higgo (66), Adam Schenk (66) and Brendon Todd (65) chasing at 11 under.
The 26-year-old Young did everything but win last season en route to being named the tour’s rookie of the year. He was the runner-up at the British Open, tied for third at the PGA Championship and played on the winning U.S. Presidents Cup team.
Young now has six runner-up finishes without a victory – tied with Colin Montgomerie and Briny Baird for the most in the past 40 years. Nonetheless, he believes it’s OK to think about winning from the minute he arrives at a venue.
“Obviously I’m in a better position than you find yourself most weeks to do that, but that just really means I’m kind of accomplishing my goals thus far this week and doing my job well,” Young said. “So that’s all I can try to keep doing.”
Ludvig Aberg, William Mouw, Denny McCarthy and Kevin Roy were 10 under, three shots back. Roy, a 33-year-old tour rookie, shot a career-best 63 after missing the cut in six of his previous eight events. Aberg and McCarthy each shot 64 and Mouw had his second straight 66.
Young began the day three shots behind first-round leader Jonas Blixt and quickly got to the top with birdies on his first three holes – the 10th, 11th and 12th. He closed with birdies on two of his final three holes.
Young, who had his most recent runner-up in March when Sam Burns beat him in the final at the Match Play, has made 15 birdies and two bogeys through two rounds and thinks he has a good mindset to break through.
“I think it’s just remaining really committed to what we’ve planned on for how to play the golf course and just keep myself in each shot as much as I can,” he said.
Higgo, who started on the back nine, got within a stroke of Young with a birdie on the par-3 seventh. But a bogey on his closing hole dropped him into a tie for second.
Higgo began the week 84th in the FedEx Cup standings; the top 70 qualify for the tour’s postseason.
“I’m just going to try and do what I’ve been doing, that be great,” he said. “It’ll be good momentum going into the next couple of weeks.”
Schenk had five birdies without a bogey while Todd had a run of four birdies in five holes midway through the round.
Mild conditions and a bit of rain left the TPC Deere Run susceptible to low scores. Jim Herman made 10 birdies, including seven straight, for a 63. Four others besides Herman and Roy matched that score on Friday: Kevin Streelman, Sepp Straka, Yuto Katsuragawa and amateur Michael Thorbjornsen.
McCarthy may have signed the oddest scorecard of the day. Over his last 11 holes, he posted eight birdies, including five straight, a bogey, a double bogey and just one par.
Asked to explain, McCarthy answered, “I don’t know.”
“When I get hot, I get hot,” he said. “I like to just get going and keep going.”
Blixt, who opened with a 9-under 62, shot 73 to fall six shots off the lead.
Young will have two more days to try to impress U.S. Ryder Cup captain Zach Johnson, a native of nearby Iowa and a past John Deere champion. Johnson birdied his next-to-last hole to make the cut on the number at 4-under.
JAY MONAHAN TO RETURN TO PGA TOUR COMMISSIONER ROLE AFTER MONTH BREAK
PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan is returning to work just over a month after he stepped away for a “medical situation,” saying a two-year battle that ended in a surprise agreement with the Saudi backers of LIV Golf had been “grueling for all of us.”
Monahan informed the PGA Tour’s policy board, players and staff Friday evening that he will return to his role on July 17, the week of the British Open.
He said June 13 he was turning over day-to-day duties to two of his executives, just one week after announcing the commercial agreement with Saudi Arabia’s national wealth fund.
Seven weeks of private meetings preceded the agreement, and the following week was spent trying to meet with players and explain to them why the tour went from battling the Saudi league to becoming its partner.
“I am deeply sorry that I haven’t been able to be with you during this time,” Monahan wrote. “The last two years have been grueling for us all. I experienced that toll personally in the days following the announcement of our framework agreement and encountered adverse impacts on my health.
“With the support of my family and thanks to world class medical care, my health has improved dramatically.”
The tour never disclosed what the medical situation involved.
Monahan had negotiated a nine-year media rights deal right before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down golf for two months and led to strict measures to return. Then came the formation of LIV Golf, which had billions of dollars from the Public Investment Fund to buy PGA Tour stars and start a rival league.
The PGA Tour was spending millions of dollars on legal fees for the antitrust lawsuits involving LIV Golf, and on a radically changed structure that doubled prize money to the $20 million range at elevated tournaments.
Then came the shocking announcement on June 6 in which Monahan and Yasir Al-Rumayyan, governor of the PIF, revealed they would be working together.
The five-page framework agreement sparked concern of a merger. Monahan had said details were still to be worked out even as Congress and the Justice Department got involved.
“Over the last several years, as we’ve confronted challenges that called the PGA Tour’s future into question, we have devoted every ounce of energy to securing a stable path forward for our organization,” Monahan said in his memo. “With the framework agreement with DP World Tour and PIF, we are on a path to accomplish this goal.
“Should we be able to reach a definitive agreement, we can rest assured that the PGA Tour will continue to lead and shape the game for the future. Beyond that, we will have the ability to invest in our players and communities like never before.”
The day the deal was announced, Monahan faced players in a meeting he described as “intense,” with some players suggesting it was time for him to be replaced.
And then a week later, Monahan announced he was stepping away and two of his top executives – Ron Price, the chief operating officer, and Tyler Dennis, the PGA Tour president – would handle the day-to-day duties.
Over the last month, emotions have calmed as players try to grasp how the commercial agreement will work out – provided the government approves – and where it might lead. That includes a path back for players who left the PGA Tour and European tour for LIV Golf.
Monahan sent a separate memo to players saying he was excited to return and thanking them for their support during his absence.
“I will plan to join you in person at a tournament as soon as possible and address any and all questions you may have,” he said.
Price and board member Jimmy Dunne have agreed to appear before a Senate panel reviewing the agreement on Tuesday in Washington. Dunne and board chairman Ed Herlihy were the only board members working with Monahan on the Saudi agreement.
MATTHEW WOLFF: BROOKS KOEPKA’S CRITICISM ‘HEARTBREAKING’
Matthew Wolff said Friday it was “heartbreaking” that LIV Golf teammate and Smash GC captain Brooks Koepka would criticize him as the former deals with ongoing mental health challenges.
Koepka’s comments to Sports Illustrated earlier this week came on the heels of Wolff withdrawing from a tournament outside Washington in May prior to the final round, citing an undisclosed injury. The five-time major winner also criticized the 24-year-old’s work ethic.
“I mean, when you quit on your round, you give up and stuff like that, that’s not competing,” the 33-year-old Koepka said to Sports Illustrated. “I’m not a big fan of that. You don’t work hard. It’s very tough. It’s very tough to have even like a team dynamic when you’ve got one guy that won’t work, one guy is not going to give any effort, he’s going to quit on the course, break clubs, gets down, bad body language, it’s very tough. I’ve basically given up on him — a lot of talent, but I mean the talent’s wasted.”
Wolff said Koepka’s criticism was tough to take.
“To hear through the media that our team leader has given up on me is heartbreaking,” Wolff said in a statement to Sports Illustrated. “It’s not what a team member looks to hear from its leader, and I think we all know these comments should have been handled much differently. But I’m moving forward and won’t ever give up on myself. While on course results may not appear now to be positive indicators, I’m trying to win an even BIGGER game with my life.”
Wolff won the 3M Open in 2019 in his third pro start. He also held the 54-hole lead at the U.S. Open in 2020 before finishing the tournament as the runner-up to Bryson DeChambeau.
Wolff, however, opted to take a two-month break in 2021 to address his mental health. Those issues, he contends, remain with him to this day.
“While my 2023 season has not been all I had hoped for to this point, I have made positive strides in managing my life and feel (like) my game is turning for the positive,” Wolff told Sports Illustrated.
“I trust Brooks wants what is best for our team. But it’s hard to imagine his comments in his recent SI interview in any way line up with those priorities. This will be my last comment on this matter.”
Wolff resides 27th on LIV Golf’s money list, with only the top 24 guaranteeing a spot on the tour for next season.
WOMEN’S GOLF NEWS
BAILEY TARDY BRINGS HER BEST TO PEBBLE BEACH FOR 2-SHOT LEAD AT US WOMEN’S OPEN
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) Annika Sorenstam and Michelle Wie West, two popular figures in women’s golf despite being separated by 19 years and 67 wins, stopped to hug as they walked up the 18th fairway at Pebble Beach on Friday, their farewell to the U.S. Women’s Open.
For Bailey Tardy, she had hope this is only the beginning.
Tardy picked a good time and a beautiful location to play her best golf. The 26-year-old LPGA rookie made eagle on the par-5 sixth hole for the second straight day as part of her torrid start, and she held steady the rest of the day for a 4-under 68 and a two-shot lead.
Tardy has made only four cuts and hasn’t finished in the top 20 her rookie season. Now she has the 36-hole lead at the biggest event in women’s golf. Adding to her good timing was being the first one out, before the wind was strong enough for Pebble to start showing a nasty side.
“It was not as windy on my front nine as the back nine. Definitely took advantage of that,” Tardy said. “Then just was able to hold on, I guess, through the wind.”
Tardy was at 7-under 137, one of only six players who remain under par going into the weekend, with even stronger wind in the forecast. Of those six, only Nasa Hataoka faced the flag-snapping wind of the afternoon. Hataoka shot 74.
Rose Zhang went from thankful to making the cut to still very much in the mix. She had a 71 in the morning, and by the end of a long day, her 1-over 145 put her in a tie for 10th.
Most of the attention was on two players who had no chance of making the weekend.
Sorenstam, the 52-year-old Swede with 72 wins who retired in 2008, accepted an invitation because it’s the first U.S. Women’s Open at Pebble Beach, the most iconic of U.S. Open courses.
A three-time Women’s Open champion, she hit her final drive onto the rocks left of the 18th fairway and finished with a double bogey for a 79.
“It’s a little bittersweet to finish that way but the memories are more than the shots,” she said.
Wie West, a dynamic figure known as much for competing against men as a teenager as her Women’s Open title at Pinehurst No. 2, could only laugh as her 30-foot par putt dropped on the final hole. Neither of them made a birdie in two rounds.
Asked to describe her legacy, the 33-year-old Wie West said she hopes it was to inspire girls to make fearless decisions.
“If it feels right to do, go ahead and do it, and live out your wildest dreams,” she said after a 79.
Others joining their early departure were far bigger surprises.
Jin Young Ko, the No. 1 player in women’s golf, missed a 25-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole and missed the cut. So did Lilia Vu, who won the first LPGA major of the year and shot 79-82. Also leaving was Lexi Thompson, who had two double bogeys and no birdies in her round of 79.
Now the stage gets turned over to an eclectic mix of players, most looking for their first major, some trying to simply win for the first time.
Tardy’s only professional victory was two years ago on the LPGA’s developmental tour. She is No. 455 in the world ranking. And she was not the least bit surprised when she walked off the 18th green leading Allisen Corpuz (70) and Hyo Joo Kim (71) by two shots.
“I’ve always believed in myself to win any tournament that I enter,” said Tardy, who played in college at Georgia. “I’m good enough to be here, and I’ve been on the LPGA, so I feel like I definitely have the game to hang with the best in the world.”
The best in the world have some work to do.
Second-ranked Nelly Korda shot 73 and made the cut with one shot to spare, leaving her 12 shots behind. Lydia Ko at No. 3 in the world was at 3-over 147 while playing one hole – the par-3 fifth – in 5-over par for two days.
“Apart from one hole, I played really solid,” Ko said.
Tardy has been a bit of a hard-luck case getting to the LPGA Tour, once missing out on a card by $343 on what is now the Epson Tour and twice more having close calls.
She played Pebble Beach last year for fun – who wouldn’t? – and certainly knows the secret to scoring on days like these when the wind is more of a rumor. It began to pick up in the middle of her round, but she took advantage on the opening seven holes. That’s where to score.
Tardy had four birdies along with her eagle, dropped her only shot from a bunker in front of the par-3 fifth green and even missed a 6-foot birdie attempt at No. 8. Her only mistake on the back nine was a long three-putt on the par-5 14th.
Leona Maguire of Ireland was primed to join her. Two behind going to the easier front nine, she bogeyed four of the next five holes and capped off a forgettable finish with a three-putt from 25 feet for a 40. She was six shots behind at 143, but very much in the game.
“Under par around here you always know you’re going to be in good shape,” she said. “Just made a few bad swings and kind of cost me, that early stretch on the front nine.”
Zhang was eight shots behind, but had only 10 players ahead of her with 36 holes to play.
“I’ve been in this position before where you have to chase and it’s nothing new to me,” she said. “I’ll just be trying to do the same thing. Try to hit as many fairways and greens, because that will allow you to gain more birdie opportunities. That’s all I can do.”
REPORT: TOM BRADY LOST $30M IN FTX COLLAPSE
Tom Brady lost millions in the collapse of cryptocurrency company FTX, for which he served as an “ambassador,’ The New York Times reported Friday.
Under an agreement the retired NFL quarterback made with FTX in 2021, he received $30 million in now-worthless stock for his work pitching the company in television ads and at its conference. In step with him at the time was his then-wife, Gisele Bundchen, who received $18 million in stock, per the report.
FTX filed for bankruptcy last November. Its former CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, is facing federal fraud-related charges.
And Brady, who won seven Super Bowl titles in his career, also faces legal peril on top of the financial losses. Both Brady and Bundchen, who officially divorced last October, are being sued by FTX investors who want repayment from celebrity endorsers. Basketball Hall of Fame member Shaquille O’Neal also has been sued in the FTX case, as have Larry David of “Seinfeld” fame, tennis player Naomi Osaka and Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors.
“None of these defendants performed any due diligence prior to marketing these FTX products to the public,” according to the lawsuit, obtained by the Times. It was filed in federal court in Florida.
Before the collapse of FTX, it was valued at $32 billion, including $48 million in shares held by Brady and Bundchen, per the Times. Now, it has no value.
Brady, 45, ranked No. 50 on Forbes’ 2023 list of the World’s Highest-Paid Athletes with earnings of $45.2 million in football salary and endorsements.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL NEWS
NORTHWESTERN COACH PAT FITZGERALD SUSPENDED IN HAZING INQUIRY
Northwestern football coach Pat Fitzgerald received a two-week suspension without pay following an independent investigation into allegations of hazing within the program, the university announced Friday.
The suspension begins Friday for the 48-year-old Fitzgerald, who has been the head coach of the Big Ten program since 2006. The Wildcats will begin preseason practices in early August.
The university received a complaint in late November alleging instances of hazing that occurred inside the team’s locker room and at Kenosha, Wis. Investigators spoke with more than 50 people currently or previously affiliated with the program and reviewed emails and player survey data dating back to 2014, per the executive summary of the probe.
“The investigation team determined that the complainant’s claims were largely supported by the evidence gathered during the investigation, including separate and consistent first-person accounts from current and former players,” per the summary.
“While the investigation did not uncover evidence pointing to specific misconduct by any individual football player or coach, participation in or knowledge of the hazing activities was widespread across football players.”
“I was very disappointed when I heard about the allegations of hazing on our football team,” Fitzgerald said. “Although I was not aware of the alleged incidents, I have spoken to University officials, and they informed me of a two-week suspension, effective immediately.
“Northwestern football prides itself on producing not just athletes, but fine young men with character befitting the program and our University. We hold our student-athletes and our program to the highest standards; we will continue to work to exceed those standards moving forward.”
Northwestern president Michael Schill provided the following statement:
“Hazing in any form is unacceptable and goes against our core values at Northwestern, where we strive to make the University a safe and welcoming environment for all of our students. Our athletics programs are held to the highest standards, and in this case, we failed to meet them. I expect that today’s actions will prevent this from ever happening again.”
In addition to Fitzgerald’s suspension, Northwestern also announced the following changes:
–Football practices at “Camp Kenosha” will be permanently discontinued.
–The University will require monitoring of the locker room by someone who doesn’t report to the football coaching staff.
–The University will create an online reporting tool specifically for student athletes to anonymously report incidents of potential hazing or hazing-related concerns.
–The University will require annual mandatory anti-hazing training for all coaches, staff members and athletes, with an emphasis on reporting options, the duties to report and discipline for future violations.
The Wildcats are coming off a 1-11 record in 2022. They will open the 2023 season at Rutgers on Sept. 3.
Fitzgerald is 110-101 with 10 bowl appearances (5-5 record) in 17 seasons as the head coach at his alma mater.
GEORGIA LB TICKETED FOR DRIVING 88 IN 55 MPH ZONE
Georgia linebacker Samuel M’Pemba is the latest member of the team to run into trouble behind the wheel.
Police ticketed the freshman for driving 88 mph in a 55-mph zone on Wednesday morning, according to the Oconee (Ga.) County Sheriff’s Office.
The incident occurred the same day Bulldogs receiver Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint pleaded guilty in an Athens, Ga., courtroom to driving 90 in a 45 mph zone on May 23.
ESPN reported last month that Georgia football players have been involved in “at least 10” reports of moving violations in the Athens area since Jan. 15, the date when offensive lineman Devin Willock and football staff member Chandler LeCroy died in a reckless driving incident hours after celebrating the team’s second straight national championship.
Police alleged that former Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter, a rookie with the Philadelphia Eagles, was racing the SUV driven by LeCroy at high speeds before the vehicle ran off the road and struck power poles and trees.
The UGA Athletic Association issued a statement to ESPN in June about the rash of incidents.
“The Athletic Association recognizes the severity of reckless driving and is actively addressing recent incidents with educational measures, mentorship, and when necessary, punitive action. Baseless reports that suggest we tolerate this behavior are categorically false. Our coaches and administrators are deeply disappointed by the persistence of reckless driving and other misbehavior.”
M’Pemba, a four-star recruit who played at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., was stopped by police at 10:31 a.m. ET on Wednesday.
BIG TEN QB RANKINGS 2023: TAULIA TAGOVAILOA AND CONFERENCE NEWCOMER TANNER MORDECAI TOP THE LIST
As with the remaining conference rankings and our national quarterback evaluations, the Big Ten rankings below consider everything involved with quarterbacking at the major college football level.
While statistics will be mentioned, they were not the lone deciding factor in ranking the athletes. The list below prefers programs with a solidified quarterback situation and one signal-caller who has played significant work against top-tier competition. The system looks down upon schools with question marks still at the quarterback position, especially as the summer has come.
Other factors in these rankings include but are not limited to game film, injury history, play-calling, offensive system knowledge and continuity, general quarterbacking mechanics, level of competition, the elevation of supporting casts, and several other influential factors.
1) Taulia Tagovailoa | Maryland
Single-handedly rewriting the Maryland record books, Taulia Tagovailoa returns as the top and certainly most experienced QB in the Big Ten in 2023. Tagovailoa owns the career Maryland records for passing yards, completions, completion percentage, passing touchdowns, 300-yard passing games, and total offense.
His 2022 season could have largely been seen as a “down year” thanks to his historic 2021 season that saw him set single-season records for passing yards (3,860), touchdowns (26), and 300-yard passing games (7). But that would be lazy to brand his 2022 as unsuccessful.
Save for a hampered game against Penn State, Tagovailoa had positive showings in nearly every game and threw for multiple touchdowns in six games. He can touch every level of the field when healthy and has significantly improved his progressive-read throws over his career.
Tagovailoa entered his final year with the Terps with a terrific spring performance that flashed all of his attributes and a growing receiving corps has the ceiling very high in College Park this fall.
2) Tanner Mordecai | Wisconsin
Back in the Power Five ranks, Tanner Mordecai is largely viewed as an upgrade at the quarterback position for Wisconsin. The Badgers replace Graham Mertz (now at Florida) with Mordecai, an SMU transfer who previously played three seasons at Oklahoma.
Mordecai has thrown for at least 3,400 yards in each of his past two seasons and a combined 72 touchdown passes in that span. As distinguished as they get, Mordecai can elevate his own draft stock as well as the Badgers’ passing attack under Phil Longo, Wisconsin’s new offensive coordinator.
Mordecai has a game similar to Baker Mayfield at Oklahoma, proving difficult to bring down both in the pocket and if he breaks contain. But his strengths are still his downfield throwing ability and arm strength. Mordecai will put Big Ten defenses on notice early on in 2023.
Mordecai’s leadership is uncanny and he’s been billed as the perfect mold of a player ready to lead Wisconsin into a new era of Badger football.
3) J.J. McCarthy | Michigan
It’s hard not to admire what J.J. McCarthy did for the Michigan Wolverines in 2022. After taking them to the College Football Playoff and dismantling the Big Ten schedule on his way there, McCarthy certainly earned his fair share of praise.
Even in defeat at the hands of TCU in the CFP, McCarthy had some of his highlight-reel flashes that indicate his talent. The 2023 season is set as a “prove-it” season for McCarthy and the Wolverines as they return a wealth of talent in areas but have to replace a ton of next-level players in the trenches.
Can McCarthy elevate the players around him? If he does, this No. 3 ranking is just the beginning for him. He’s already popped up on draft boards around the country as a potential next-level signal-caller and 2023 will showcase that.
4) Jeff Sims | Nebraska
Casey Thompson is out and that means one thing for Nebraska fans: Jeff Sims has arrived. After the two battled it out through spring camp and ultimately, the spring game, Thompson entered the portal with Logan Smothers and Richard Torres from the quarterback room.
Though it wasn’t public knowledge that Sims was going to be the starter in 2023, that can all but be assumed at this rate given he’s the only qualified player to lead the Cornhuskers at the position now.
What Sims has shown he can produce, at his best and healthy, is an elite athlete with plus skills as a passer. With new head coach Matt Rhule calling the shots, the acquisition of Sims in the transfer portal was indicative of his desire to bring in a player who fits his system a bit more.
Now that the spring session is over and Sims is the go-to man, everything appears a bit more clear. Sims has the talent to help smooth this work-in-progress Cornhuskers offense over in 2023 as he puts on a display for next-level decision-makers.
5) Drew Allar | Penn State
Penn State fans got a taste of what Drew Allar brings to the table during his true freshman season in 2022. In the early stages — most notably in mop-up duty against Ohio and pressed into action against Indiana — Allar flashed high-end potential that we all saw coming out of high school.
The 6’5″, 242-pound prototypical passer possesses uncanny arm strength and clearly understood defenses in his limited action a year ago. He pushed footballs into tight windows with ease, and some of his best shots were actually dropped by the receivers.
Allar’s ceiling is incredibly high, and after we said landing at sixth was his floor in our Big Ten QB Rankings, he’s already gained a spot on the competition.
6) Kyle McCord, Devin Brown | Ohio State
It’d be easy to list the Buckeyes at or near the top of the list of quarterbacks here. After all, they have the best receiver in the country at their disposal, and the offense is loaded with talent at every position.
Still, Kyle McCord or Devin Brown has to prove they can handle what it means to be Ohio State’s starting QB and show a keen understanding of the offensive scheme before they can rank any higher here.
McCord has great arm strength, and we’ve seen it in action on Saturdays. His accuracy and anticipation really popped in his lone career start against Akron back in 2021. There were a few throws left on the table and a costly turnover, but McCord clearly has the leg up on this quarterback battle and has most recently been labeled as the favorite to land the job.
Brown hasn’t attempted a collegiate pass just yet, but his recruiting background indicates that OSU may be perfectly fine either way this battle breaks down. In last year’s Scarlet and Grey game, Brown showcased the touch and accuracy that he flashed in high school, breaking contain on one specific play and delivering an off-script dime to a receiver who dropped the pass.
Both quarterbacks have a lot of promise, but playing it safe here once again means they land at No. 6 in the conference. Like Allar, they gain a spot and this is likely the lowest they rank all season long.
7) Hudson Card | Purdue
We got the answer we all thought we were going to get this spring after Hudson Card’s performance for the Boilermakers. Brady Allen has entered the transfer portal once again after entering in December, only to withdraw his name and come back for spring practice.
They’re players with similar journeys as Card transferred in from Texas.
Card entered the portal when it opened on Dec. 5 and committed to Purdue just days before Allen entered back in December. Though they have the transfer portal in common, on the field is where they differ.
Card’s compact throwing motion was pressed into action during his three years at Texas, flashing at times but struggling with consistency. He makes the most of his attempts with sound fundamentals and clearly worked on his accuracy as that was his lone ding from his scouting report at Texas.
His place is seemingly set in stone now with Allen out of the picture and Card’s spring performance and subsequent praise he received was in fact the truth.
8) Cade McNamara | Iowa
It’s a new day for Iowa football. A day clear of potential lackluster QB play that plagued their past few seasons. With Spencer Petras out, Cade McNamara has earned the right to be the Hawkeyes’ starter with the promising Deacon Hill behind him.
McNamara, who famously started the first game for Michigan before ultimately giving way a game later to McCarthy, was a heralded recruit and the Wolverines’ starter in 2021. He’s a quick-read thrower and consistent chain-mover at quarterback.
What McNamara isn’t, however, isn’t what Iowa wants to do on offense. McNamara is a great thrower from within the structure and can lead an offense with his leadership skills.
Those skills were apparent in reports all throughout spring that McNamara is the clear-cut leader of the group and the right person to take Iowa into 2023. With their situation sorted, for now, it’s safe to put them up a few spots to No. 8 in these rankings.
9) Gavin Wimsatt, Evan Simon | Rutgers
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights’ QB job appears to be wide open entering the 2023 season. Gavin Wimsatt and Evan Simon are clear of Noah Vedral in the backfield, and each has something to prove.
Wimsatt is the more dynamic of the two, while Simon put forth a midseason stretch of positive plays that was marred by an error-filled Nebraska game. Wimsatt will have to prove he’s a consistent passer of the football who can find the Scarlet Knight pass catchers in space, both in the pocket and outside of it.
Simon has the leg up on Wimsatt with his passing ability but also must avoid the errors that plagued his time in the middle of the season. Both have a lot to prove and have positives in their game to potentially find success this year at Rutgers.
10) Luke Altmyer, John Paddock, Artur Sitkowski | Illinois
The Tommy Divito experiment went swimmingly for Illinois in 2022. Now, the next options up for the Fighting Illini have taken the long road to potential college stardom. In a way, they’re all a bit similar to DeVito himself.
Luke Altmyer was never going to be the guy for Ole Miss. After battling with Jaxson Dart for reps in 2022, Altmyer opted for the transfer portal and has found his way to Champaign.
John Paddock started every game last season for Ball State and threw for over 2,500 yards and 18 touchdowns. His 14 interceptions, however, stunted most of the good that Paddock was able to produce as he struggled to get the ball downfield and in space for the Cardinals’ skill players.
Artur Sitkowski has knowledge and understanding of offensive coordinator Barry Lunney Jr.’s offense. Sitkowski enters his sixth year in college and third with the Illini after three previous years with Rutgers.
The battle-tested Sitkowski doesn’t wow with his arm talent, and Paddock’s decision-making was surely worrisome. In the end, it appears that Altmyer is the answer for Illinois as the summer comes, but this room is experienced and has plenty of options once we get to fall.
11) Ben Bryant, Ryan Hilinski, Cole Freeman, Brendan Sullivan, Jack Lausch | Northwestern
After a lackluster and relatively quiet spring, the Northwestern program clearly wasn’t sold on their quarterback situation. Carl Richardson left midway through the semester and Ryan Hilinski, Cole Freeman, Brendan Sullivan, and Jack Lausch took part in spring drills.
However, it’s Ben Bryant’s acquisition just this past week in the transfer portal that sees the Wildcats take a rise in our rankings. Bryant is battle-tested and on his third school after initially starting his career at Cincinnati, transferring to Eastern Michigan, then back to Cincinnati, only to leave this spring.
Bryant has a bevy of experience and has thrown for over 2,700 yards in each of the last two seasons and a total of 35 touchdowns since 2021. He’s a prototypical quarterback with an underrated athleticism to his game.
It’s unclear what his role will be right away, but odds are he’s the best quarterback they have in their room and it won’t take long for Bryant to take the starting job at Northwestern.
12) Athan Kaliakmanis, Cole Kramer | Minnesota
The Minnesota Golden Gophers will turn to a new signal-caller to start a season for the first time since 2018. But after starting Minnesota’s final four games, Athan Kaliakmanis was viewed to have a leg up on Cole Kramer and Jacob Knuth.
Kaliakmanis’ spring performance was sound and ultimately, Knuth entered the portal.
He wasn’t asked to do too much in Minnesota’s system last year, largely tasked with making middle-of-the-field throws but Kaliakmanis did a great job of allowing the receivers to do the majority of the work. Though he was late at times to some of his second- or third-read throws, when Kaliakmanis was able to sit protected in the pocket, he showcased some good decision-making downfield.
Wins followed the rushing game in Minnesota last year, however, and the hopes for Gopher Nation will be someone takes the reins of both positions in 2023.
13) Tayven Jackson, Dexter Williams II, Brendan Sorsby | Indiana
One SEC transfer didn’t work out for Indiana, so why not try another? That’s probably not what head coach Tom Allen is thinking, but on the surface, that’s what is happening here if Tayven Jackson gets the starting nod in 2023.
Jackson enters the fray after a season with Tennessee. There, Jackson played just a handful of snaps and attempted four passes with the Volunteers. He’s a high-profile recruit with terrific tools and may present as one of the more underrated athletes on the field.
Dexter Williams II is rehabbing a major knee surgery this year, and his play in 2023 is still in question.
As exciting as Jackon’s recruiting profile may be, as well as redshirt freshman Brendan Sorsby, Allen was quoted as still mulling over potentially taking in a veteran transfer QB as late as the middle of January. That doesn’t spell out confidence and we got no clearer answer this spring.
14) Noah Kim, Katin Houser | Michigan State
What a fall from grace it was to end the spring for Michigan State. After setting records and throwing for nearly 6,000 yards, Payton Thorne opted to hit the transfer portal and ultimately committed to Auburn.
That leaves Noah Kim and Katin Houser as the options at quarterback unless the Spartans hit the transfer portal for an addition. They’ve also all but lost top target in Keon Coleman to the portal and it appears the wheels are falling off.
Kim has played in limited snaps but it was his throw to Antonio Gates Jr. that got the nation talking about MSU once again following their spring game. They sit at the bottom, for now, until we have more clarity on their situation at quarterback.
TOP 10 MUST-SEE GAMES ON THE 2023 COLLEGE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
Colorado at TCU, Week 1
The “Coach Prime” era in Bolder begins with an instant classic — a must-see game on the 2023 college football schedule. Deion Sanders leads his team of transfer portal acquisitions into Fort Worth to face Sonny Dykes and his TCU team fresh off a trip to the College Football National Championship. Expect points, swag, and fireworks to open the 2023 college football season.
Ole Miss at Tulane, Week 2
As a former SEC member, Tulane has a long history of facing Ole Miss. They also have a long streak of defeat dating back to 1988, including a 61-21 shellacking in 2021. This standout game of Week 2 of the 2023 college football schedule gives Willie Fritz’s team the chance for revenge.
Although they lost some pieces of this year’s fairytale Cotton Bowl-winning team, there’s enough talent to give Lane Kiffin’s Rebels a run for their money. A potential Group of Five win over a Power Five program should feature highly on any list of the must-see games on the 2023 college football schedule.
Kansas at Texas, Week 5
Forget the fact that Texas turned Kansas over in a 55-14 drubbing last season. Forget the 17-4 winning head-to-head record for Steve Sarkisian’s team. This clash between the Jayhawks and Longhorns belongs on the must-see list every season, and the 2023 college football schedule is absolutely no different.
The return of Jalon Daniels. The quarterback battle between Quinn Ewers and Arch Manning. A plethora of offensive talent on both teams. Pick your storyline, pick your fighter, and pick up some popcorn on your way to the television for this Week 5 clash. Texas’ Week 2 battle with Alabama also earns an honorable mention.
Jacksonville State at Sam Houston State, Week 5
This might not seem like an obvious choice for a must-see matchup on the 2023 college football schedule, but color me excited for the clash between the two new programs on the FBS scene.
The Jacksonville State Gamecocks jump up from the ASUN to Conference USA, joined in their new conference by the Sam Houston State Bearkats, who flip from the WAC.
The Gamecocks will be looking to avenge a 42-7 loss from 2021 that tipped the head-to-head record in favor of the Bearkats.
If Sam Houston State wins, it could be their first FBS victory as they face a gauntlet to begin their 2023 college football schedule. Two Big 12 opponents in BYU and Houston sandwich a home game with Air Force.
Oregon at Washington, Week 7
This Week 7 matchup between Oregon and Washington has the potential to be the game of the 2023 college football schedule. That might seem a little hyperbolic this far away from the start of the season. However, consider the exciting edition from Eugene that we saw last season.
Then consider the fact that both teams finished among the top 20 passing offenses in the nation and return both of their starting quarterbacks. Bo Nix and Michael Penix Jr. are two of the most exciting college football quarterbacks to watch this coming season. Washington returned a good chunk of their talent on both sides of the ball as well.
Meanwhile, Oregon combine several returnees with one of the best 2023 college football recruiting classes to be a dangerous force in the Pac-12.
USC at Notre Dame, Week 7
When Caleb Williams is playing, every USC game has the right to be described as “must-see” on the 2023 college football schedule. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner — and front-runner to win the award for a consecutive season — has the ability to conjure up magic, transforming the mundane game to the insane.
As two of the most storied programs in college football history, the Trojans’ matchup with Notre Dame should also always be considered a must-see. USC ended a four-game losing streak last season by emerging as 38-27 winners.
That the Fighting Irish got within 11 of a Williams-led team with their QB and offensive coordinator combination of last season is a minor miracle. Being led by Sam Hartman in 2023 makes this matchup a tantalizing encounter and potential shootout.
Hartman’s Notre Dame team also welcomes his former team — Wake Forest — to South Bend in Week 12 of the 2023 college football schedule in another must-see game for the Fighting Irish.
Penn State at Ohio State, Week 8
“The Game” rivalry between Michigan and Ohio State should always be a can’t-miss contest. Michigan and Penn State could also be included on a must-see montage of the 2023 college football schedule. However, there is some high-level potential for this game to be an absolute classic in Week 8.
Whoever replaces C.J. Stroud under center for the Buckeyes will have a dominant wide receiver duo in Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka. Ohio State’s ground game is also strong, and they return their best defensive player in J.T. Tuimoloau.
Penn State has an upgrade at quarterback in Drew Allar, and possibly the best running back duo in the nation in Kaytron Allen and Nicholas Singleton. They could be a legitimate force in college football this season, with some exciting playmakers on defense too.
Penn State hasn’t beaten the Buckeyes since 2016, and their last win in Columbus was in 2011. However, circle this game as a streak-ending showdown with ca n’t-miss potential on the 2023 college football schedule.
LSU at Alabama, Week 10
When LSU lost to Florida State in Week 1 of the 2022 campaign, the bottom appeared to be falling out of the Brian Kelly era before it had even begun. Yet, the Tigers made it to the SEC Championship Game and return playmaking quarterback Jayden Daniels under center to terrorize the SEC once more.
Alabama is extremely familiar with his talents after the former Arizona State QB accounted for three touchdowns in the Crimson Tide’s defeat to the Tigers that changed the shape of the college football season.
Can Nick Saban’s team avenge that loss despite several question marks hanging over the team ahead of the 2023 college football season? That question alone, plus the storied history and the SEC West rivalry, makes this a must-see game on the 2023 college football schedule.
Georgia at Tennessee, Week 12
In the Georgia Bulldogs’ quest to hit a historic “three-peat” in the upcoming college football season, their Week 12 clash with Tennessee has the potential to be the biggest stumbling block. A road trip to Neyland Stadium is a different proposition from their ultimately comfortable win over the Vols in Athens last season.
In fact, you have to go back to the last time the Vols beat Georgia (2016) to find a close game between the two teams. However, there are enough question marks over the Bulldogs and enough optimism about the future of Josh Heupel’s team, to think that this highlight of the 2023 college football season could buck the trend.
Florida State at Florida, Week 13
Nothing says college football more than a good rivalry, and in 2023, this rivalry may well have a say in the College Football Playoff scenario. Florida State has a genuine chance of returning to college football relevancy this fall, with the best quarterback in the ACC and a plethora of returning defensive talent.
TOP INDIANA RELEASES
JONES FANS SEVEN IN FIRST CAREER TRIPLE-A WIN
INDIANAPOLIS – Jared Jones fanned seven batters in 4.0 relief innings as the Indianapolis Indians pitching staff held the Memphis Redbirds to just two hits in Friday night’s 2-1 win at Victory Field.
Jones (W, 1-1) earned his first career Triple-A win in his first relief outing since July 11, 2021, with Single-A Bradenton vs. Clearwater. He allowed one run on a hit, two walks with seven punchouts. Indians (40-44, 7-3) relievers Jose Hernandez, Andre Jackson and Colin Selby (S, 4) combined for 4.0 no-hit innings to silence Memphis’ offense, with the only blemish coming on a Kramer Robertson walk in the eighth.
After Memphis (41-44, 2-8) scored its lone run of the contest in the fourth, the Indians plated two in the following inning to capture a lead they did not relinquish. Vinny Capra singled before Alika Williams sent him home on an RBI single. Later in the frame, center fielder Ryan Vilade poked a ground ball up the middle off Ryan Loutos (L, 2-2) to score the go-ahead run. Both teams were held scoreless after the fifth frame.
Miguel Andújar, Vilade and Williams each notched two-hit nights. Andújar extended his hitting streak to nine games. Williams clubbed his fourth multi-hit game in July while hitting .346 (9-for-26).
The two hits allowed by Indians pitching tied the fewest allowed this season, marking the third time this season and the first since April 9 at Louisville.
The Indians and Redbirds will play the penultimate game of their six-game series Saturday night at 7:05 PM ET. Southpaw Kent Emanuel (6-3, 6.08) will take the hill for Indy against Memphis’ RHP Thomas Parsons (0-5, 6.94).
GAME RECAP: STRONG SECOND HALF NOT ENOUGH FOR FEVER AGAINST MYSTICS
WASHINGTON, D.C. – After reducing a 17-point lead down to four following a 25-12 scoring run in the third quarter, the Indiana Fever (5-13) fell to the Washington Mystics on Friday night, 96-88, at Entertainment and Sports Arena.
Fever guard Lexie Hull had a record-setting night for herself after playing a career-high 37 minutes, leading Indiana in scoring with a career-high 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the floor and 3-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc. Hull also tied a career-high with six rebounds to go along with three assists.
NaLyssa Smith followed Hull in the scoring column with 19 points, while Kelsey Mitchell recorded 18 points and shot 3-of-5 from behind the three-point line. Aliyah Boston added 12 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Indiana finished the game shooting a season-high 55.0 percent (33-of-60) from the floor and 50.0 percent (9-of-18) from the three-point line.
Fever guard Erica Wheeler dished out seven of Indiana’s 24 assists, which tied the team’s record for most assists this season.
Washington opened the game with momentum, starting 5-of-7 from the court within the first five minutes, but Indiana would soon find its stride and finished the quarter shooting 53.3 percent (8-of-15) from the floor. Hull guided the Fever’s scoring effort within the first ten minutes of play as she contributed eight points, which tied her career-high for most points in a quarter, on 3-of-3 shooting from the floor to go along with three rebounds. The Mystics tied its season-high offensive output for a first quarter and finished the first frame ahead of the Fever, 28-21.
The Mystics stretched a 23-9 scoring run, which began midway through the first quarter into the first two minutes of the second frame, allowing Washington to expand the lead. After being held scoreless in the first frame, Mitchell recorded her first basket three minutes into the quarter and went on to record five points. Amanda Zahui B came off the bench to contribute her first four points in a Fever uniform. In its second highest scoring first half this season, Washington held on to its lead going into halftime, 55-40.
After trailing by as many as 17 points at one occasion, the Fever were successful in shrinking the Mystics lead to four points with two minutes remaining in the third quarter. With the help of Mitchell and Hull, who each contributed seven points, Indiana outscored Washington, 24-19, in the third frame. In addition, Smith added four points, four rebounds and two assists in the quarter. The Fever still stood within reach of the lead going into the final ten minutes of play behind, 74-64.
Indiana held Washington to 38.5 percent (5-of-13) from the floor and 20.0 percent (1-of-5) from beyond the arc in the final frame, but were ultimately unable to overcome the deficit. Smith closed the final quarter with nine points on 4-of-5 shooting and Mitchell added six points on 3-of-4 shooting to cap her night.
For Washington, the Mystics were led by Brittney Sykes’ season-high 29 points on 10-of-19 shooting from the floor and 4-of-6 shooting from the three-point line. She was followed by Ariel Atkins with a season-high 26 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the court and 9-of-10 shooting from the charity stripe. Atkins also recorded a career best 10 rebounds in her double-double performance. Myisha Hines-Allen had a game-high four steals and Tianna Hawkins dished out five assists.
The Fever return home to take on the Dallas Wings on Sunday at 4 p.m. ET. Sunday’s game will be broadcast on Bally Sports Indiana.
BUTLER FOOTBALL COMPLETES 2023 ROSTER WITH 16 NEWCOMERS
INDIANAPOLIS – The Butler football program added more talent to the roster this off-season with 16 more student-athletes heading to Indianapolis from nine different states. This wave of newcomers includes four wide receivers, four defensive backs, three linebackers, two tight ends, two defensive linemen and one offensive linemen. Transfers from Yale, Harvard, Cornell, Ball State, Eastern Kentucky and Brown are all in the mix. Seven of the 16 players are from Indiana.
“We are really excited to welcome these new student-athletes and their families into the Butler Football program,” Head Coach Mike Uremovich said. “This was the first class that we had the full year to complete the evaluation process. I thought our staff did an outstanding job of finding student-athletes that not only fit into our football program, but also fit the academic profile and expectations of Butler University. I am really excited to watch these guys perform over the next 4-5 years and ultimately achieve their goal of graduation from Butler University.”
High School: Four-year starter at Verona under the guidance of head coach Andrew Riley… Part of an undefeated team in 2022 that won a Big 8 Conference Championship… Two-time All-State selection… John Anderson Award Semifinalist… Big 8 Inside Linebacker of the Year… Two-time All-Conference selection… Two-time Team Captain… Recorded 208 tackles, including 17 tackles for loss over his four-year career… All-State baseball player…2022 Wisconsin Football Foundation Scholar Athlete.
Why Armstrong Chose Butler
“The coaches made it feel like home. Butler gives me a combination of athletics and academics.”
Cardinal Gibbons H.S. (Yale)
High School: Three-year starter for head coach Steven Wright at Cardinal Gibbons playing wide receiver, running back and quarterback… Two-time All-Conference selection… Offensive MVP… Team Captain… Rushed for 2,300 yards and 21 touchdowns in his career… Added 1,800 career receiving yards and 12 TDs… Averaged 13.5 yards per catch… Scholar Athlete of the Year in North Carolina… Member of the National Honor Society.
Why Biestek Chose Butler
“Butler gives me the best opportunity and guidance to achieve my athletic and academic goals.”
Deerfield Academy H.S. (Harvard)
2022 Season at Harvard: Honorable mention All-Ivy League (Special Teams)… Phil Steele Third-Team All-Ivy League (All-Purpose)… Phil Steele Fourth-Team All-Ivy League (Kick Returner)… Bluebloods Second Team All-Ivy League (Return Specialist)… Dream Bowl participant… Played in all 10 games… Finished with 17 catches for 185 yards… Returned 28 kicks for 570 yards, with a long return of 60 yards vs. Holy Cross… Ranked 21st nationally in combined kick return yards (570)… Had four catches for 40 yards and four returns for 106 vs. Holy Cross… Returned six kicks for 121 yards vs. Princeton… Recorded six catches for 79 yards, both season-highs, at Penn… Earned a sport in the NFF Hampshire Honor Society.
High School: Three-year letterwinner at Garden City HS (2016) and Deerfield Academy (2017-2018) in both football and lacrosse…Earned 2018 All-New England honors…Named to the 2018 All-Central New England Football League second team…Helped lead Deerfield to best record in 20 years…Involved in four singing groups at Deerfield…Plays guitar and piano in free time…Sister, Maggie Bill ’18, played soccer and lacrosse at North Carolina…Father, Robert Bill ’84, played football at Virgnia…Grandfather, Bob Bill ’61, played football at Notre Dame and was drafted in the 1962 NFL Draft by the NY Giants.
Why Bill Chose Butler
“Butler has provided me with the opportunity to continue playing the game I fell in love with when I was a child. The culture of the school, team and coaching staff makes me feel at home.”
Hamilton H.S. (Cornell)
2022 – Senior Season at Cornell: Saw action in five contests at tight end and on special teams … Caught five passes for 40 yards and two touchdowns … Made a pair of special teams tackles … Became the first Cornell tight end to score two receiving touchdowns in the same game with his pair of scoring catches vs. VMI … in fact, no Big Red tight end has ever scored more than two touchdowns in an entire season since 1973 when Cornell first initiated the position listing … Had two catches in the win at Colgate … Hauled in a 24-yard reception vs. Harvard while adding a pair of special teams tackles … Missed five games during the season due to injury, returning in the season finale against Columbia.
High School: Two-time First Team All-Conference selection while playing on both sides of the football at Sussex Hamilton … Elected team captain as a senior … Tabbed honorable mention All-State in his final season… Caught 11 passes for 169 yards and three touchdowns in his senior campaign… Had 13 receptions for 138 yards and two touchdowns as a junior… Played two seasons of baseball.
Why Enneking Chose Butler
“I loved the staff members and players that I met on my visit. I also like the campus and the Indianapolis area. It felt like a place I could call home.”
Creighton Prep H.S.
High School: Three-year letterwinner… Part of back-to-back district championship teams… Named All-Metro… Recorded 94 tackles over 12 games as a senior… Honor roll student… Member of the National Honor Society.
Why Kieny Chose Butler
“I chose Butler for the curriculum along with a caring coaching staff.”
Warren Central H.S.
High School: Two-year starter for head coach Mike Kirschner that helped Warren Central win a sectional championship… Ended his senior season with 46 tackles and four interceptions… Returned two interceptions for touchdowns… Played some offense and provided the team with 13 catches for 190 yards and two scores… Team MVP… Named All-Conference, All-Region and All-State honorable mention… North-South All-Star.
Why Holman Chose Butler
“Butler has great academics, good football and the campus is close to home where my family can still see me play and grow as a young man.”
Southport H.S. (Ball State)
2021 Season at Ball State: Competed in all 13 games on special teams and as a tight end … made first career appearance in season opener vs. Western Illinois (Sept. 2) … caught a pass for six yards at Penn State (Sept. 11) … played in all eight MAC games … had a kick return for eight years at Northern Illinois (Nov. 10).
High School: Earned four letters from head coach Brandon Winters at Southport High … 2-star recruit via 247Sports … played quarterback for the Cardinals as a senior … two-time captain … two-time first team all-state and three-time all-conference pick … threw for 2,170 yards and 27 touchdowns as a prepster … also carried the ball for more than 650 yards and seven scores in 2019 … tallied 1,160 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns during his junior year … a member of the National Honor Society.
Why Lezon Chose Butler
“The school has a great reputation and the people here are great!”
Rich Central H.S. (Eastern Kentucky)
2022 – Redshirt Senior at EKU: Played in 10 games … made one start … caught 18 passes for 221 yards and one touchdown … tied career-high with 69 yards receiving against Sam Houston (Oct. 15) … four catches for 62 yards against Eastern Michigan (Oct. 2) … five-yard touchdown reception against Charleston Southern (Sept. 17).
High School: Named to the Daily Southtown All-Area Team as an athlete… Ran for 1,384 yards and 13 touchdowns and threw for 1,250 yards and 17 scores his senior year at Rich Central High School… Awarded the Southland Athletic Conference Co-Offensive Player of the Year… As a member of the Rich Central track team, won the Class 2A state title as a part of the 400-meter relay team.
High School: Part of the winningest team in York football history… Won a Conference Championship… Semi-State Finalists… Helped York go 12-1 overall with an 8-0 conference record… Made 44 tackles including 18.5 tackles for loss… Credited with 8.5 sacks… Tabbed All-Conference… Named Co-Defensive Lineman of the Year… Academic All-State.
Why Nawrocki Chose Butler
“Butler felt like home when I came to visit. I also came here to win games and get a great education.”
North Central H.S. (Brown)
2019 Season at Brown: Made 38 tackles for the season, including 30 solo stops … Had a season-high nine tackles vs. Yale (Nov. 9), including eight solo hits, while forcing a fumble … Made seven tackles vs. Columbia (Nov. 16) with a tackle for loss … Broke up three passes on the year … Made five solo tackles vs. Princeton (Oct. 19) … Twice named to the Ivy League weekly honor roll.
High School: All-State selection … Named All-Conference after leading the conference in tackles … Also played baseball … Academic Top 25 … Wrote for the school newspaper.
Why Ochs Chose Butler
“To continue my education and compete athletically.”
Millis H.S. (Nichols College)
Before Butler: Named Second Team All-Conference at Nichols College in 2022 (Commonwealth Coast Conference). Appeared in seven games during the 2022 campaign for the Bison and played in eight games in 2021. Olmsted was a two-year starter and the team’s Lineman of the Year. At Millis High School, Olmsted helped his team win the Division 8 Super Bowl in 2016 and 2017.
Why Olmsted Chose Butler
“Butler has a great MBA program, beautiful facilities and a great coaching staff.”
San Antonio, Tx.
Churchill H.S. (Pasadena CC)
2022 – Pasadena City College: Played in 10 games… Made 27 total tackles (21 solo)… Averaged 2.7 tackles per game… Made one tackle for loss… Recovered a fumble… Broke up four passes… Blocked a kick… Made a season-high six tackles vs. Grossmont (10/22)… Made a tackle for loss in the season finale at Mt. San Jacinto (11/12)… Broke up two passes at Desert (10/15)… Returned a fumble 30 yards for a TD vs. Victor Valley (11/5).
High School: Recorded 43 tackles as a senior… Intercepted a pass and forced one fumble… Broke up three passes… Named Academic All-State.
Why Schwartz Chose Butler
“The coaches are passionate about football and the players really impressed me. Butler is a mix of great athletics as well as great academics. The school’s job placement after graduation is impressive. I feel like I can grow as a person and a player at Butler.”
High School: Helped his team reach the quarterfinals of the 2022 State Playoffs with an 8-3 record… Part of a Top-25 program in 2021 that finished State Runner-Up… Played wide receiver, tight end, safety and impacted special teams… Honorable mention scholar athlete.
Why Slaton Chose Butler
“Butler has a top notch business school and football program. The coaches want and support me and I believe they will make myself and the team better every day.”
High School: Part of two Sectional and Conference Championship Teams (2022, 2020)… Won a Regional and Semi-State Championship in 2022 to finish the season State Runner-Up… Recorded 134 tackles as a senior… Added two sacks and 11 tackles for loss… Credited with 17 QB hurries and 11 pass break-ups… Forced one fumble and recovered three… Caught five passes for 65 yards and two touchdowns… Named All-State and All-Conference… Team Captain… National Football Foundation Scholar Athlete… Johnson Country Defensive Player of the Year.
Why Stanifer Chose Butler
“I am able to get a great education and learn from some of the best coaches in the country all while being able to play in front of my family.”
High School: Part of a Marion team that won a sectional and regional championship… Two-year starter… Team Captain… Academic All-State.
Why Vermilion Chose Butler
“Butler made me feel at home. The friendly staff and coaches welcomed me on my visit and made me feel confident that it was the best option for me. I like the beautiful campus and grew up with family at Butler, including my role model (my dad) who played there.”
Michael Williams II
High School: Part of a sectional championship team that posted an 11-2 record… IFCA All-Region All-Star… Recorded 53 total tackles in 2022 (44 solo)… Forced two fumbles and made four tackles for loss… Broke-up 10 passes and had one interception.
Why Williams Chose Butler
“I want to be part of the brotherhood and help create a legacy.”
INDIANA STATE BASEBALL
SYCAMORES IN THE SUMMER LEAGUES – JULY 7 UPDATE
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State baseball continues to compete across the collegiate summer leagues and a number of Sycamores continue to participate throughout the country. All statistics are accurate through July 7.
Coastal Plain League
Luis Hernandez – Over nine games with the Tobs, Hernandez has six hits with a double, triple, and home run. He’s driven in five RBI and scored three runs.
Cam Edmonson – Edmonson has made four appearances on the mound with the Tobs. He’s posted a perfect 0.00 ERA over 8.0 innings allowing four hits while posting a 9:3 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Zach Davidson – Davidson has made six appearances on the mound with the Tobs. He’s posted a 2.84 ERA over 6.1 innings allowing seven hits and three runs (two earned). He’s posted a 9:4 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Jorge Pereira – Over seven games with the Bacon, Pereira has six hits with a double. He’s scored three runs and driven in an RBI.
Connor Hicks – Over 12 games, Hicks has 10 hits including a pair of doubles with the Bacon. He’s driven in three RBI while scoring five runs.
Great Lakes League
Grand Lake Mariners
Jackson Taylor – Over 16 games with the Mariners, Taylor has posted 19 hits including five doubles, two triples, and three home runs. He’s driven in 12 RBIs and scored 16 runs.
Jace Fowler – Over 14 games with the Mariners, Fowler has connected on 13 hits including a home run. He’s driven in nine RBIs while scoring seven runs.
Southern Ohio Copperheads
Luke Garabedian – Over 16 games with the Copperheads, Garabedian leads the team with 18 hits and 14 runs scored. He’s the team leader with five doubles while driving in nine RBIs.
Max McEwen – McEwen has made two appearances on the mound with Lima. He’s posted a 0.00 ERA over 4.0 innings allowing one hit while posting a 3:4 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Jacob Pruitt – Pruitt has made five appearances on the mound including a start and a complete game with Lima. He’s posted a 0.46 ERA allowing 10 hits and four runs (one earned), while posting a 25:6 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Terre Haute Rex
Keegan Garis – Over 14 games with the Rex, Garis has connected on 11 hits while driving in four RBIs and scoring five runs.
Dom Krupinski – Over 13 games with the Rex, Krupinski has connected on five hits and a double. He’s scored two runs.
Brayden Lybarger – Lybarger has made one start on the mound for the Rex. He’s posted a 27.00 ERA allowing three runs while posting a 1:4 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Adam Pottinger – Over 16 games with the Kingfish, Pottinger has posted six hits and a double. He’s driven in five RBIs and scored seven runs, while adding multiple highlight-reel catches in the outfield.
Henry Brown – Over 14 games with the Kingfish, Brown has posted three hits including a home run. He’s scored five runs and driven in three RBIs.
Parker Stinson – Over eight games with the Stingers, Stinson has connected on seven hits including a home run. He’s driven in seven RBIs and scored seven runs.
Kyle Cortner – Cortner has made five appearances including two starts on the mound with the Jackrabbits. The left-hander has posted a 1.23 ERA over 14.2 innings with an 11:6 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Bristol State Liners
Jordan Austin – Over 19 games with the Liners, Austin is second on the team with a .338 batting average with 23 hits. He’s tied for the team lead with five doubles and a triple. He’s scored 12 runs and driven in 10 RBIs. He also leads the team with nine stolen bases.
PURDUE FT. WAYNE VOLLEYBALL
PURDUE FORT WAYNE WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL ANNOUNCES 2023 SCHEDULE
FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The 2023 Purdue Fort Wayne women’s volleyball schedule is here.
The schedule consists of 12 non-league matches and 18 Horizon League matches, with home and away games against each of the nine other league teams.
The Mastodons will open the 2023 campaign with an exhibition contest against Xavier in the Gates Sports Center on August 19. Former Mastodon graduate assistant Andre Foster is an assistant coach for the Musketeers.
Purdue Fort Wayne will go to Ball State’s tournament to open the regular season on August 25-26, playing matches against Oklahoma, Gonzaga and the host Cardinals.
To start September, the ‘Dons will go to two tournaments to the east. On the first and second of September, the ‘Dons will play in Saint Francis’ (Pa.) event, playing Stony Brook, Manhattan and the Red Flash. The next week, the Mastodons will play in a tournament co-hosted by Niagara and Canisius, visiting both schools and playing Kent State in a neutral contest.
The Mastodons will finish the non-league season by hosting their annual Purdue Fort Wayne Invitational presented by Hyatt Place on September 15-16. Miami (OH), SIUE and Valparaiso will come to the Summit City for a six-match event. The Horizon League season will open on September 19 when long-time rival Oakland visits Gates. This comes before a three-match road stretch to Green Bay (Sept. 22), Milwaukee (Sept. 23) and Cleveland State (Sept. 26). Then the ‘Dons have three home games against IUPUI (Sept. 30), Youngstown State (Oct. 6) and Robert Morris (Oct. 7). The first half of the league season wraps with a trip to Northern Kentucky (Oct. 13) and defending league champ Wright State (Oct. 14).
The second time through the league starts with a pair of home matches against Milwaukee (Oct. 20) and Green Bay (Oct. 21). Then Purdue Fort Wayne will travel to Oakland (Oct. 24), IUPUI (Oct. 28), Robert Morris (Nov. 3) and Youngstown State (Nov. 4). The regular season comes to a close with a three-match homestand against Cleveland State (Nov. 7), Wright State (Nov. 10) and Northern Kentucky (Nov. 11).
The top six teams in the Horizon League standings qualify for the Horizon League Championship (Nov. 17-19), which the No. 1 seed will host.
UE BASEBALL SUMMER UPDATE
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – As the collegiate baseball summer season enters its second month, here is an update of how various University of Evansville baseball players are doing on the summer circuit so far.
Updates based off uniform number and Twitter handles included:
#2 Ty Rumsey (@tjrumz99) – Has manned center field in 25 of the Mankato MoonDogs’ (@MankatoMoonDogs) 36 games this summer in the Northwoods League. He currently sports a .274 batting average with a double, two triples and a home run, while ranking second on the team with 21 runs scored. Rumsey has been on fire of late, hitting .364 (12-for-33) over his last 11 games played.
#3 Brent Widder (@brentwidder) – Has played 21 contests at third base for the Wausau Woodchucks (@ChucksBaseball) this summer in the Northwoods League. Currently hitting .250 with two doubles and nine RBI, while ranking fifth on the team in runs scored (15). Widder also has 13 walks against just 10 strikeouts, while boasting a .364 on-base percentage.
#4 Drew Howard (@drew_howard23) – Has played in 14 games on the infield for the Dubois County Bombers (@DCBombers), hitting .255 in Ohio Valley Baseball League action. Howard currently leads the Bombers in both doubles (five) and stolen bases, as he has gone a perfect 9-for-9 in the stolen base department.
#5 Kevin McCormick (@kevomac04) – Played in 11 games in the month of June for the Southern Ohio Copperheads (@Copperheads) of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League. Hit .200 (5-for-25) with eight runs scored, while posting a .394 on-base percentage, thanks to seven walks against just three strikeouts.
#7 Kannon Stull (@StullKannon) – Has played in 12 games this summer for the Louisville Jockeys of the Ohio Valley Baseball League, hitting .344 (11-for-32) with two doubles, eight RBI and 10 runs scored.
#9 Simon Scherry (@yrrehcsnomis) – Played in 17 games alongside Brent Widder for the Wausau Woodchucks (@ChucksBaseball) of the Northwoods League, before focusing on the MLB Draft. Hit .288 with a double and six RBI, while scoring 12 runs for the Woodchucks. Racked up a team-high 64 defensive assists in just 154 innings of play.
#12 Ethan Bell (@ethan_bell7124) – Made seven appearances, including five starts for the Dubois County Bombers (@DCBombers), posting a 1-0 record and 1.44 ERA in a team-best 25.0 innings of work. Bell allowed just four runs and 17 hits in 25.0 innings of work, while recording 21 strikeouts against just six walks. Bell is currently transitioning to another summer league home.
#17 Jack Taczy (@jtaxi4) – Has pitched in six games, including one start for the Southern Ohio Copperheads (@Copperheads) of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League. Has struck out 11 men in 7.2 innings of work this summer. Had his best outing of the summer his last time out on July 4, striking out seven men in a summer-best 3.1 innings of work, allowing just a single run on a single hit.
#18 Kip Fougerousse (@kipjfougerousse) – Ranks seventh in the Northwoods League in both hitting (.339) and home runs (five), having played in 27 contests for the Mankato MoonDogs (@MankatoMoonDogs). Fougerousse currently owns a seven-game hitting streak for the MoonDogs, as he is hitting .379 (11-for-29) over the last seven contests. He also currently ranks second in the Northwoods League with 33 runs scored, and is second on the MoonDogs in RBI behind UE teammate Brendan Hord with 21.
#19 Brendan Hord (@brendanhord) – Has played in 26 games behind home plate for the Mankato MoonDogs (@MankatoMoonDogs), and leads the team in RBI with 24. Overall, Hord is hitting .271 with seven doubles and four home runs, while owning a .413 on-base percentage thanks to working 18 walks against just 14 strikeouts. Hord’s 24 RBI not only lead Mankato, but they also rank in the top 20 in the Northwoods League this summer.
#32 Mark Shallenberger (@MarkShall32) – Opened the summer on fire, hitting .389 (7-for-18) with two doubles, a home run and four RBI in 13 contests for the Chatham Anglers of the Cape Cod League. Playing on a temporary contract, Shallenberger posted the second-highest batting average of any player of the Anglers this summer, while posting a 1.244 OPS in 27 plate appearances. Transitioned recently to playing with the Wausau Woodchucks (@ChucksBaseball) of the Northwoods League, and has hit .357 (5-for-14) in his first three games in Wausau. In his second game at Wausau on Wednesday (July 5), launched a pair of home runs and drove in five RBI in a 16-8 victory over Fond du Lac.
#36 Elias Hachem (@EliasHachem6) – Has pitched in one game for the Addison Braves of the Chicago Suburban Baseball League this summer. Gave up a run on a hit with a strike out in 2.0 innings of work against West Allis.
#38 Ben Stuart (@benstuart_38) – Has played in 18 games on the infield for the Cincinnati Steam (@CincinnatiSteam) of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League. Currently hitting .327 with two doubles, a home run and eight RBI. Also owns a .861 OPS, having posted a .438 on-base percentage and a .423 slugging percentage in 64 plate appearances.
The Purple Aces finished the 2023 season with a 37-24 overall record and advanced to the finals of the 2023 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.
EVANSVILLE MEN’S BASKETBALL
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – One of the best to wear the Purple Aces uniform is back! University of Evansville head men’s basketball coach David Ragland has announced the addition of DJ Balentine as the Director of Player Development.
“We all are excited to welcome back Aces great, DJ Balentine as our new Director of Player Development. Aces fans had the privilege of cheering on DJ during his storied career here at UE and now will be able to watch him grow and develop as a coach,” Ragland exclaimed. “DJ is as energetic as his game was, he is extremely personable but also a up and coming super star in this profession. I admire and respect Jimmy Elgas a ton and grew a good relationship coaching against him while we were both assistants in this league. Jimmy is a very good coach and has groomed some of the most talented young assistants across college basketball today.
Jimmy echoes the thoughts that I have on DJ’s potential to grow and be a valuable addition to our staff as we build towards chasing championships on and off the court here at UE.”
Balentine returns to Evansville following a season as an assistant coach at Henderson State University in Arkansas where he reunited with former Aces assistant coach Jimmy Elgas. He helped the team to a successful 2022-23 season as the Reddies earned a berth in the GAC Tournament Semifinals. Coach Elgas was on staff for three of Balentine’s four seasons with the Aces.
Prior to joining Henderson State, Balentine served as the assistant coach at Indiana University-Kokoma from 2020-22, where he helped the team to a 39-6 overall record, including an 18-1 conference record, leading to a Rivers State Conference Championship and a trip to the Sweet 16 at the NAIA National Tournament in 2022.
“As our Director of Player Development, DJ will focus on formulating a detailed plan of success for our student athletes both on and off the court. We want to be able to clearly communicate with our student athletes our expectations of them individual,” Ragland added. “We will focus on each person’s strengths while assisting them in their areas of improvements. DJ will also be heavily involved in our day to day off court operations.”
“DJ will also be able to have a hand in our on-court instruction of our student athletes due to the new rules being passed by the NCAA. We want to establish an environment in which we allow our students athletes to have a first-class experience. We feel with our staff additions and realignment that we are making a huge step in the direction of providing a first-class student athlete experience.”
Finishing his UE career with 2,464 points, Balentine passed Colt Ryan’s program record of 2,279 points. Leading the Missouri Valley Conference in scoring for three-consecutive years, Balentine joined Larry Bird and Oscar Robertson as the only other players to do so. He wrapped up his career as the #4 scorer in MVC history.
Following his collegiate career, Balentine saw a four-year professional basketball career, which gave him the opportunity to travel around the world to countries such as Lithuania (2016), Netherlands (2017), Iceland (2018) and Cyprus (2019).
Balentine earned his Bachelor’s degree in Sports Advertising and Management with a minor in Business from Evansville in 2016.
VALPO WOMEN’S SOCCER
VALPO UNVEILS 2023 SOCCER SCHEDULE
The reigning Missouri Valley Conference regular season soccer champions open the 2023 season next month, as the Valpo soccer program unveiled its schedule for the upcoming campaign — a slate which features eight home matches — on Friday.
After exhibition matches during the preseason against Oakland (Aug. 6) and at Notre Dame (Aug. 12), the Beacons start off the regular season with a pair of matches on Brown Field, welcoming Eastern Illinois (Aug. 17) and Northern Illinois (Aug. 20) to town. Valpo will also host Chicago State (Aug. 31) during preconference action.
The early-season road slate is highlighted by a weekend swing against a pair of power conference foes, as Valpo heads to Purdue (Aug. 24) and Kentucky (Aug. 27). The Beacons conclude the nonconference schedule with three consecutive road matches, hitting the road to face Purdue Fort Wayne (Sept. 3), Youngstown State (Sept. 8) and Eastern Michigan (Sept. 10).
Valpo begins defense of its regular season title on Sept. 21 with a trip downstate to take on Evansville, followed by a Sept. 24 fixture at Indiana State. Other road conference matches include trips to Drake (Oct. 8), Southern Illinois (Oct. 12) and the regular season finale at UIC (Oct. 22).
The first of five home MVC matches comes on Sept. 28, as defending MVC tournament champion Missouri State returns to Brown Field. The Beacons will also host Murray State (Oct. 1), Illinois State (Oct. 5), Belmont (Oct. 15) and UNI (Oct. 19) in conference play.
The 2023 MVC Tournament begins Oct. 26 and runs through Nov. 5. The top eight teams in the conference standings will vie for the tournament title and the corresponding berth in the NCAA Tournament.
Valpo returns 18 letterwinners, including nine starters, from last year’s squad which went 7-1-2 in MVC play to claim the program’s first regular season title as a member of the Valley. The Beacons have posted a 16-4-6 record in regular season Valley action over the last three seasons.
U OF INDY FOOTBALL
ELEVENTH ANNUAL GLVC FOOTBALL KICKOFF SCHEDULED FOR JULY 28
INDIANAPOLIS – The Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) will host its 11th annual GLVC Football Kickoff event on Friday, July 28, setting the scene for the league’s 12th season on the gridiron.
The annual celebration will be held at The Hettenhausen Center for the Arts on the campus of McKendree University in Lebanon, Ill., for the ninth time. This season’s event, which will serve both the league’s media members and passionate fans through several social media outlets, will take place from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET.
Located just outside the gates of McKendree’s Leemon Field, “The Hett,” as it is commonly referred to on campus, has been a perfect setting for the GLVC Football Kickoff the past seven seasons, excluding 2020 when the event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The first two events in 2012 and 2013 were held at the Millennium Student Center on the campus of the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
All eight Conference teams will be represented by a coach and two players.
Nine-time GLVC Champion University of Indianapolis will be represented at this year’s GLVC Football Kickoff by head coach Chris Keevers in his fifth season at the helm. UIndy has compiled a 68-7 record in GLVC play since the league began sponsoring the sport in 2012, including a perfect 6-0 mark to finish as GLVC Champions this past fall season. The Greyhounds have also garnered NCAA Division II playoff bids in seven times since 2012, including last fall.
Truman State University’s Gregg Nesbitt will again be at the event and on the sidelines for his 14th season in Kirksville, Missouri, after leading the Bulldogs to a 5-1 GLVC record in the 2022 season, including 9-2 overall. Truman, for the third-straight time, represented the GLVC in the third annual America’s Crossroads Bowl against Great Midwest Athletic Conference (GMAC) foe Tiffin, keeping its winning streak alive with a one-point victory, 28-27.
Head coach Robert Clardy is back for his ninth season at Southwest Baptist University, which went 6-5 overall and 4-2 in league play this past fall to finish third in the standings.
Mike Babcock returns for his 11th season at the helm for McKendree after a 5-6 record (2-4 GLVC) last fall and has participated in every Kickoff event that has been hosted on campus.
Missouri S&T tied with the Bearcats for fourth in the 2022 fall season with a 2-4 league record while going 3-7 overall. The Miners enter the 2023 season under the direction of second-year head coach Andy Ball.
In his sixth year as mentor for Quincy University, Gary Bass led the Hawks to a 4-7 record overall and a 1-5 mark in GLVC action in 2022.
William Jewell College will be led by a new head man this fall in Neil Linhart. He will be serving in an interim capacity but has spent the last three seasons on the Cardinals’ sideline as the offensive coordinator. Linhart will be looking to improve the team’s showing from last fall that produced a 1-5 GLVC record and 2-9 overall mark.
Upper Iowa University officially became the Conference’s 14th league member as of July 1, 2023, and will get its first taste of the Kickoff at the end of this month. The Peacocks are coming off a 1-10 overall and NSIC record last fall and are led by fourth-year mentor Jason Hoskins.
In the coming weeks, the GLVC will release its list of player attendees and launch the official GLVC Football Kickoff website, as well as the fan-interactive schedule.
MATT KING AND RODNEY DECKARD JOIN MARIAN FOOTBALL COACHING STAFF
INDIANAPOLIS – The Marian football staff has added two new members to its staff, as Matt King and Rodney Deckard have been hired by head coach Ted Karras Jr. Matt King joins the Knights after three seasons working at Cornell College, while Rodney Deckard, a former Marian assistant coach, returns to the west side after working as both a teacher and defensive line coach at Carmel High School.
Matt King is a veteran coach, who comes to Indianapolis after serving as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for three seasons at Cornell College. Prior to Cornell College, King spent three seasons working at Walsh University, serving as the passing game coordinator and recruiting coordinator. King also has stops as a defensive assistant at both Olivet College and Siena Heights, helping the 2016 Olivet team qualify for the NCAA DIII playoffs. The familiarity with the MSFA doesn’t just stop as a coach, as King was also a student-athlete at Siena Heights, playing both football and baseball for the Saints from 2011-2014. In his senior season, King finished 20th in the NAIA in passing efficiency, while in his sophomore season he assisted the Saints baseball team as a starting pitcher to win the WHAC Tournament. King has a B.S. in Sport Management and Masters of Organizational Leadership from Siena Heights.
Matt King will serve as the wide receivers coach for Marian along with working alongside offensive coordinator BJ Coad with the offensive position groups. King started his Marian tenure at the beginning of the month.
Rodney Deckard makes his return to Marian University in 2023, as the former Knights co-defensive coordinator and defensive line coach comes back with over 30 years of coaching experience. Deckard got his start in coaching at Roncalli High School after completing his B.S. in Education and M.S. in Physical Education at IUPUI, working as an assistant football coach and the head softball coach. Deckard shifted gears and earned his first head coaching stint in high school football in 1993 at Arlington High School, and after two years moved to Scecina High School to serve in the same role. Deckard moved again in 1999 to teach and coach football and baseball at Tri-West High School, working in each capacity until 2007, when he was brought on as Marian’s first defensive line coach under Coach Karras.
Deckard played an instrumental role in helping launch the Marian football program, guiding many of the program’s all-time greats on defense. In his tenure, Deckard helped guide Marian to their first NAIA FCS appearance and MSFA Mideast Championship, culminating in the Knights’ first NAIA National Championship in 2012. Following his time at Marian, Deckard returned to the high school ranks as a defensive coach, teaching and coaching at Lebanon, Pike, and Carmel High Schools. In his career as a high school coach, Deckard has won multiple sectional titles in football and baseball, and helped coach Tri-West to a pair of IHSAA State Championships, along with Carmel’s state title in 2019.
Deckard will serve as the linebackers coach for Marian as he makes his return to the Knights’ sidelines. Deckard will begin duties on Monday, July 10.
King and Deckard fill the vacancies on the staff left by Clay Emmrich and Tyler Valentine. Emmrich recently left after being named the defensive coordinator at Randolph-Macon Unviersity, while Valentine left the staff in the spring after joining the Cal. Poly football staff.
VU VOLLEYBALL CONTINUES TO ADD SIZE BY SIGNING MIDDLE LAURA HERNANDEZ TAVARES
VINCENNES, Ind. – The two-time defending Region 24 champion Vincennes University volleyball team added another big front row piece this week with the signing of six-foot-two middle blocker Laura Hernandez Tavares.
Hernandez comes to VU from Merida, Venezuela, where she was a member of the club teams Club de Voleibol del Estado Merida Libertador and Gladiadoras de Merida.
“Laura first approached us about a month ago and due to some recent roster changes where we now have some openings that we didn’t foresee, we were definitely interested in her,” VUVB Head Coach Gary Sien said. “We were very fortunate to sign her. It sounded like she was highly recruited and I believe her family did some research about VU and I think that when all things are equal, our academics are going to come out ahead and I think that was a deciding factor in Laura signing with us.”
“She is a very nice, long athlete,” Sien added. “I want to focus on the word ‘athlete’. We like tall players, however we also look at their athletic ability as well. If you have the combination of height and athletic ability, there isn’t much on the volleyball court you cannot do.”
“Also, she is from Venezuela and I traveled there with Athletes in Action volleyball team years ago,” Sien said. “I went to her country and played a number of games there. She’s from Merida, which is a few hours away from Caracas, so I already had some knowledge of the area.”
Hernandez brings with her a long list of accolades and accomplishments with her, including being named Best Player by the Merida State Volleyball Association three times and being named Best Blocker four times. Laura was also named Best Center Back four times.
“I consider Laura as a strategic, strong, fast, bold, experienced and efficient player,” Laura’s club coach Ramon Zambrano said. “She does very well at middle blocker, outside hitter and opposite hitter. She’s a fast player and she thinks before she uses her strength. It is normal for her to take control in a game and lead her fellow teammates through a stressful moment. She knows how to follow instruction very well and how to use new techniques.”
“She is an outgoing player and she knows how to understand and give support to all of her teammates in a hard moment,” Zambrano added. “However, she is demanding and hard at times throughout the game because she likes to give all of herself on the court and she also likes to receive the same thing from her teammates. One of her biggest principles is having a good relationship with her teammates because she thinks that is reflected on the court and affects the team positively. One of her best skills on the court and off is being mature and empathic and by the way she gets better daily.”
Laura is the daughter of Luis Hernandez and Gloria Tavares and plans to major in Art Design at Vincennes University.
Hernandez will be joining a Trailblazer volleyball program coming off of back-to-back undefeated Region 24 Championships, including a 29-9 record overall last season.
“Laura seems to be an extremely hard worker,” Sien said. “She has taken advantage of her opportunities to play volleyball whenever she can in Venezuela, including playing on co-ed teams and training on her own with a personal coach. So, it sounds like she really wants to be the best player that she can be and I feel like we are getting someone here who has a very strong work ethic.”
“I feel like it is going to be very difficult for a lot of teams to match up with us this season, at least on paper,” Sien added. “So, it’s going to come down to a matter of comfort level and how long is it going to take for us to gel as a team. But I am encouraged about next year, not only because of bringing in players like Laura, but from what I’m hearing about our returning players and incoming players working out on their own this summer. You can’t coach work ethic, excitement, or motivation, so when you have those things, I don’t see us taking a lot of time to gel.”
“We are going to have a little less experience than we thought we would have this season,” Sien said. “But we can’t look backwards, we have to move forward. It has been very exciting to be able to get some of these players later on in the recruiting season. We have an opportunity to actually speed up our offense heading into next year with the athletes we have coming in. The majority of these hitters we have coming in are used to running a much faster offense and I would love to be able to run that type of high-level offense, which you obviously can’t do unless you have those types of players. We probably really won’t know anything for sure until about early September or maybe even later. That’s part of the excitement and burden of coaching at this level in the fall.
The Vincennes University Athletic Department is excited to welcome Laura Hernandez Tavares to the 2023 Trailblazer recruiting class.
SMALL COLLEGE ATHLETIC SITES:
INDIANA WESLEYAN ATHLETICS: https://iwuwildcats.com/
EARLHAM ATHLETICS: https://goearlham.com/
WABASH ATHLETICS: https://sports.wabash.edu/
FRANKLIN ATHLETICS: https://franklingrizzlies.com/
ROSE-HULMAN ATHLETICS: https://athletics.rose-hulman.edu/
ANDERSON ATHLETICS: https://athletics.anderson.edu/landing/index
TRINE ATHLETICS: https://trinethunder.com/landing/index
BETHEL ATHLETICS: https://bupilots.com/
DEPAUW ATHLETICS: https://depauwtigers.com/
HANOVER ATHLETICS: https://athletics.hanover.edu/
MANCHESTER ATHLETICS: https://muspartans.com/
HUNTINGTON ATHLETICS: https://www.huathletics.com/
OAKLAND CITY ATHLETICS: https://gomightyoaks.com/index.aspx
ST. FRANCIS ATHLETICS: https://www.saintfranciscougars.com/landing/index
IU KOKOMO ATHLETICS: https://iukcougars.com/
IU EAST ATHLETICS: https://www.iueredwolves.com/
IU SOUTH BEND ATHLETICS: https://iusbtitans.com/
PURDUE NORTHWEST ATHLETICS: https://pnwathletics.com/
INDIANA TECH ATHLETICS: https://indianatechwarriors.com/index.aspx
GRACE COLLEGE ATHLETICS: https://gclancers.com/
ST. MARY OF THE WOODS ATHLETICS: https://smwcathletics.com/
GOSHEN COLLEGE ATHLETICS: https://goleafs.net/
HOLY CROSS ATHLETICS: https://www.hcsaints.com/index.php
TAYLOR ATHLETICS: https://www.taylortrojans.com/
VINCENNES ATHLETICS: https://govutrailblazers.com/landing/index
|TAMPA BAY||57||34||.626||–||34 – 14||23 – 20||17 – 10||14 – 3||9 – 7||3 – 7||L 6|
|BALTIMORE||52||35||.598||3||26 – 18||26 – 17||16 – 11||16 – 7||10 – 7||4 – 6||W 3|
|TORONTO||49||40||.551||7||23 – 18||26 – 22||7 – 20||15 – 5||11 – 8||6 – 4||W 4|
|NY YANKEES||48||41||.539||8||27 – 22||21 – 19||13 – 17||8 – 8||14 – 8||5 – 5||L 3|
|BOSTON||46||43||.517||10||24 – 22||22 – 21||16 – 11||11 – 8||8 – 6||6 – 4||W 3|
|MINNESOTA||45||44||.506||–||26 – 20||19 – 24||12 – 15||18 – 12||5 – 4||5 – 5||L 1|
|CLEVELAND||44||44||.500||0.5||23 – 21||21 – 23||7 – 8||12 – 12||13 – 6||6 – 4||W 2|
|DETROIT||38||49||.437||6||19 – 24||19 – 25||2 – 15||15 – 11||7 – 9||4 – 6||L 1|
|CHI WHITE SOX||38||52||.422||7.5||21 – 23||17 – 29||6 – 16||15 – 11||9 – 14||4 – 6||W 1|
|KANSAS CITY||25||64||.281||20||13 – 31||12 – 33||4 – 10||7 – 21||4 – 11||3 – 7||L 5|
|TEXAS||52||37||.584||–||27 – 18||25 – 19||11 – 11||11 – 5||16 – 11||4 – 6||W 1|
|HOUSTON||49||40||.551||3||24 – 21||25 – 19||5 – 5||8 – 11||16 – 9||7 – 3||L 2|
|SEATTLE||44||43||.506||7||24 – 20||20 – 23||7 – 11||7 – 6||14 – 10||6 – 4||W 2|
|LA ANGELS||45||45||.500||7.5||23 – 20||22 – 25||8 – 9||11 – 8||15 – 12||2 – 8||L 4|
|OAKLAND||25||65||.278||27.5||12 – 32||13 – 33||5 – 16||7 – 8||4 – 23||5 – 5||L 2|
|ATLANTA||59||28||.678||–||30 – 15||29 – 13||22 – 6||8 – 1||10 – 7||9 – 1||W 2|
|MIAMI||51||39||.567||9.5||28 – 18||23 – 21||11 – 16||11 – 6||9 – 10||5 – 5||L 2|
|PHILADELPHIA||48||39||.552||11||22 – 16||26 – 23||9 – 13||9 – 4||11 – 12||8 – 2||W 4|
|NY METS||42||46||.477||17.5||20 – 19||22 – 27||13 – 13||5 – 14||14 – 9||7 – 3||W 6|
|WASHINGTON||34||54||.386||25.5||13 – 32||21 – 22||9 – 16||5 – 9||9 – 13||4 – 6||L 5|
|CINCINNATI||49||40||.551||–||23 – 21||26 – 19||12 – 11||11 – 13||9 – 6||8 – 2||L 1|
|MILWAUKEE||48||41||.539||1||25 – 20||23 – 21||6 – 1||16 – 8||8 – 15||7 – 3||W 2|
|CHI CUBS||41||46||.471||7||21 – 22||20 – 24||6 – 13||12 – 11||9 – 8||4 – 6||W 1|
|PITTSBURGH||40||48||.455||8.5||22 – 21||18 – 27||5 – 5||11 – 15||13 – 10||4 – 6||L 3|
|ST. LOUIS||36||52||.409||12.5||17 – 25||19 – 27||5 – 8||11 – 14||7 – 13||3 – 7||L 1|
|ARIZONA||51||38||.573||–||25 – 23||26 – 15||11 – 14||9 – 4||17 – 11||4 – 6||W 1|
|LA DODGERS||50||38||.568||0.5||28 – 16||22 – 22||9 – 6||15 – 12||14 – 11||6 – 4||W 3|
|SAN FRANCISCO||47||41||.534||3.5||24 – 22||23 – 19||10 – 9||13 – 7||13 – 10||3 – 7||L 1|
|SAN DIEGO||41||47||.466||9.5||23 – 23||18 – 24||10 – 10||7 – 13||12 – 13||4 – 6||L 1|
|COLORADO||34||55||.382||17||20 – 24||14 – 31||11 – 14||8 – 10||6 – 17||4 – 6||W 1|
TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY
1912 At Chicago’s West Side Grounds, Giants southpaw Rube Marquard’s consecutive winning streak is stopped at 19 when the Cubs defeat New York, 7-2. The future Hall of Famer will finish the season with a league-leading 26 victories for the eventual NL champs.
1918 At Fenway Park, Babe Ruth’s shot over the fence, a triple due to the prevailing rules, plates Amos Strunk, giving the Red Sox’s 1-0 victory over the Indians. The Boston left fielder, playing in 95 games this season, finishes tied A’s outfielder with Tillie Walker for the American League title with 11 homers.
1935 The American League’s winning streak reaches three as the Junior Circuit beats the NL in All-Star action at Municipal Stadium in Cleveland, 4-1. The new rule that no pitcher can throw more than three innings unless the game goes extra innings is due to Yankee southpaw Lefty Gomez pitching six outstanding innings in the Midsummer Classic.
1939 A wall of Japanese beetles forms in front of the home dugout before the first game of a doubleheader with the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. The removal of 5,000 insects doesn’t prevent the problem from returning later in the month.
1941 Thanks to a dramatic two-out, bottom of the ninth inning, three-run home run by Red Sox outfielder Ted Williams, the American League All-Stars beat the NL in Detroit, 7-5. The “Splendid Splinter’s” dramatic drive on a 1-1 pitch thrown by Claude Passeau off the right-field press box makes the Briggs Stadium contest the first Midsummer Classic decided in the final inning.
1947 At Wrigley Field, Yankee right-hander Spec Shea becomes the first rookie to win an All-Star Game when the Junior Circuit edges the National League, 2-1. The 26-year-old ‘Naugatuck Nugget’ relieves AL starter Hal Newhouse of the Tigers, giving up three hits and one run while pitching the 4th, 5th, and 6th innings.
1949 Hank Thompson, who broke into the majors as a member of the St. Louis Browns twelve days after Larry Doby’s American League debut with the Indians in 1947, became the first African-American to play for the Giants. When the former Kansas City Monarchs’ standout pops up to second base facing Dodger right-hander Don Newcombe, it marks the first time a pitcher-batter confrontation occurs between black players in the major leagues.
Amazon 1991 Hank Thompson Archives (1953 Topps Reprint #20)
1950 In the bottom of the ninth inning at Forbes Field, Jack Phillips, pinch-hitting for Murry Dickson, erases a three-run deficit with a walk-off grand slam off Harry Brecheen. The 28-year-old utility infielder, who will go deep only nine times in 892 major league at-bats, gives the Pirates a dramatic 7-6 victory over the Cardinals.
1952 At Philadelphia’s Shibe Park, the home of both the Phillies and A’s, the hometown National League squeaks by the Junior Circuit in a shortened five-inning All-Star contest, 3-2. The game marks the first Midsummer Classic called early due to rain since the two leagues’ inaugural meeting in 1933.
1956 In an 11-1 rout of the Pirates at the Polo Grounds, the Giants go deep for a franchise-record seven home runs. Willie Mays, Daryl Spencer, and Wes Westrum each connect for a pair, and Hank Thompson adds another.
1958 At Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium, in a contest that features no extra-base hits (13 singles), the American League edges the Senior Circuit, 4-3. Giants hurler Billy O’Dell pitched a perfect final three innings of the Silver Anniversary of the All-Star Game.
1959 During the All-Star break, the Reds dismiss manager Mayo Smith (35-45), replacing him with Fred Hutchinson (39-35), the skipper of the Seattle Rainiers, the team’s PCL farm. ‘Hutch,’ who will become a mainstay in the Cincinnati dugout, is the team’s fourth manager in less than a year.
1962 With Stan Musial’s three home runs, the Cardinals soundly defeat the Mets at the Polo Grounds, 15-1. ‘The Man,’ who at the age of 41 becomes the oldest major leaguer ever to accomplish the feat, misses another opportunity to bat in the ninth inning after being replaced in the previous frame by pinch-runner Bobby Gene Smith.
1965 At Milwaukee’s County Stadium, Joe Morgan sets an Astros record by going 6-for-6. The 21-year-old rookie second baseman’s stellar performance, which includes two home runs and a double, doesn’t stop the Braves from beating Houston, 9-8.
1969 At Shea Stadium, Cubs’ centerfielder Don Young is criticized by teammate Ron Santo for his two misplays, helping the Mets score three ninth-inning runs in a 4-3 walk-off loss that cuts Chicago’s division lead to four games over the surging New York team. The emotional third baseman will apologize for his remarks tomorrow but will be soundly booed by the hometown fans in his first game back at Wrigley Field.
1970 Jim Ray Hart completes the cycle and becomes the first player in fifty-nine years to have six RBIs in one inning when he hits a three-run homer and a three-run triple in the Giants’ 13-0 rout of Atlanta. The San Francisco third baseman had already stroked a double in the second and added a single in the third before his three-base hit and round-tripper in the fifth frame.
1973 Bob Watson’s hard slide into second base to break up a double play fractures Tim Foli’s jaw. When the Houston outfielder returns to left field, the Expos fans at Jarry Park begin hurling debris to show their displeasure about his treatment of their popular shortstop.
1973 “Can you imagine a damn team that has to cheat to beat us?”- WHITEY HERZOG, Ranger manager lamenting about Milwaukee stealing signs from his 29-53 Texas team. After losing 17-2 yesterday and dropping a doubleheader today at County Stadium, Ranger skipper Whitey Herzog accuses Bernie Brewer of cheating. The very-animated Texas skipper contends the mascot uses white-gloved costumed hands to relay signs from his center-field chalet, clapping once for a curve and twice for a fastball.
1974 Oakland outfielder Claudell Washington, making his first start in the major leagues, strokes a single in the tenth inning to give the A’s a 4-3 victory over the Indians. The 19-year-old rookie’s walk-off hit spoils Gaylord Perry’s attempt to get a record-tying 16th consecutive victory this season.
1976 Randy Jones posts the most victories at the All-Star break in National League history, winning his 16th game of the season in the Padres’ 6-3 defeat of the Cubs at Wrigley Field. In the second half of the season, the 26-year-old southpaw’s good fortune runs out when he loses seven games by a run, including two 1-0 losses.
1977 A bench-clearing brawl erupts at Three River Stadium when Pirates right-hander Bruce Kison hits Mike Schmidt in the back with a pitch, resulting in a dislocated finger for the Phillies’ third baseman. Bucs’ first baseman Willie Stargell, attempting to break up the fight, suffers a pinched nerve in his left elbow, limiting his playing time for the remainder of the season to only eight games.
1979 The Mets announce the selection of Mettle as the name for the team’s new mascot mule. Dolores Mapps of Mercerville, N.J., who submitted the winning entry, believes the moniker captures the team’s “spirit, ardor, stamina, and courage, all of which the Mets have in abundance.”
1987 Gerald Young becomes the first player from Honduras to appear in the majors. In his big league debut, the 22-year-old Tela native plays center field and leads off for the Astros, going 0-for-4 in a 1-0 loss to the Expos at the Astrodome.
1989 In a pregame ceremony at Royals Stadium, hurler Dennis Leonard and outfielder/DH Hal McRae become the seventh and eighth inductees of the team’s Hall of Fame. The right-hander finished his career leading the franchise in complete games (103), shutouts (23), and second in wins (144), and McRae, a three-time All-Star, served as the club’s skipper from 1991 to 1994, posting a 286-277 (.508) record.
1990 En route to becoming the only player to win a batting title in three different decades, George Brett begins a 16-game hitting streak when he grounds a single to right field off Steve Searcy in the Royals’ 10-4 loss to Detroit at Tiger Stadium. During the span, which lasts until July 26, the Kansas City third baseman hits .470 (31 for 66), four homers, one triple, 13 doubles, and drives in 14 runs.
1994 Red Sox shortstop John Valentin snares Marc Newfield’s sixth-inning line drive, steps on second retiring Mike Blowers, and then tags the runner coming from first, Kevin Mitchell, to turn an unassisted triple play. After completing the rare triple killing, a feat that has occurred only ten times in major league history, the infielder begins a three-homer outburst by Boston in the bottom of the frame, helping the team defeat the Mariners at Fenway Park, 4-3.
1995 After the team matches 1st and 16th inning runs with the Padres, Houston scores in the bottom of the 17th frame for a 3-2 walk-off victory. Craig Biggio singles off Brian Williams to score Doug Brocail, who becomes the winning pitcher in the Astrodome contest when he steps on home plate.
1997 At Cleveland’s Jacobs Field, Royals’ reliever Jose Rosado picks up the win when the American League beats the Senior Circuit, 3-1. Before the ALers scored two go-ahead runs in the bottom of the seventh, the Kansas City southpaw blew the save opportunity, giving up a lead-off home run to Javy Lopez in the top of the frame, knotting the score at 1-1.
1997 Sandy Alomar, Jr., helping to snap the National League’s three-game winning streak, belts a seventh-inning two-run home run to lead the Junior Circuit to a 3-1 All-Star Game victory in front of an enthusiastic hometown crowd at Jacobs Field. The 31-year-old Indian catcher, amid a 30-game hitting streak, is named the Midsummer Classic’s Most Valuable Player.
2000 The Yankees sweep their crosstown rivals in the first double-ballpark doubleheader since 1903 with identical 4-2 scores in an afternoon tilt at Shea and an evening contest at Yankee Stadium. Highlights include Mike Piazza, beaned by Roger Clemens, going to the hospital, Dwight Gooden getting his first win in Flushing Meadows since 1994, and an obstruction call on Mets’ first baseman Todd Zeile causing the team to play the first game under protest.
2000 When Jose Cruz Jr. hits his 20th round-tripper in a 6-3 win over the Expos, the Blue Jays become the first team in major league history to have four batters to hit twenty or more homers before the All-Star break. The 26-year-old Toronto outfielder joins teammates Tony Batista, Carlos Delgado, and Raul Mondesi in reaching the milestone.
2002 The Charleston Riverdogs, the Class A minor league affiliate of the Devil Rays, padlock the gates of Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park and hold a party outside the ballpark to set the record for the lowest attendance at a professional baseball game. When the ‘Nobody Night’ contest becomes official in the fifth inning with the audience recorded as zero, patrons are allowed through the gates to watch the South Atlantic League contest against the Columbus RedStixx.
2003 Indians’ southpaw Billy Traber one-hits the Yankees, retiring 27 of 28 batters, including 21 in a row after allowing John Flaherty to reach first base with a single in the third inning. The 4-0 blanking of the Bronx Bombers is the 23-year-old rookie’s first complete game.
2005 In Singapore, the International Olympic Committee takes a secret vote on approving the 28 current summer Olympic events scheduled for the 2012 Summer Games in London. The scheduled activities do not include baseball and softball, marking the first time the IOC has eliminated existing sports since the dropping of polo in 1936.
2005 In the team’s 7-6 defeat to the Rangers, Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay suffers a broken leg after being hit by a Kevin Mench third-inning line drive. ‘Doc,’ slated to be the American League starter in the All-Star Game to be played in Detroit this week, will miss the rest of the season.
2008 The Cubs bolster their pitching staff, obtaining starter Rich Harden and reliever Chad Gaudin from the A’s in exchange for right-hander Sean Gallagher, second baseman/outfielder Eric Patterson, outfielder Matt Murton, and minor league backstop prospect Josh Donaldson. Chicago’s dealing may be in anticipation of the Brewers’ trade rumors of getting Indians’ ace, CC Sabathia.
2010 Ubaldo Jimenez, with the Rockies’ 4-3 victory over St. Louis, became the first pitcher in ten years to record 15 wins before the All-Star break. The Colorado right-hander, who has compiled a 15-1 mark, is the first hurler to reach the plateau since David Wells posted a 15-2 record with the Blue Jays in 2000.
2010 Using an online ballot, fans select Nick Swisher of the Yankees and Reds’ first baseman Joey Votto to fill the last two roster spots in this year’s All-Star Game. The New York outfielder, who has edged Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis for the final AL spot, used his Twitter account to campaign for votes and to thank his fans for their support.
2012 In Kansas City, George Brett’s U.S. team easily defeats the World Club, managed by Bernie Williams, 17-5, in the Futures Game. The contest played annually as part of the Mid-Summer Classic festivities features future All-Stars Wil Myers, Francisco Lindor, Christian Yelich, Xander Bogaerts, Manny Machado, Nolan Arenado, Nolan Arenado, Nick Castellanos, Zach Wheeler, and Gerrit Cole.
2014 The Mets beat Atlanta to win its 4,000th game since starting as an expansion team in 1962. Rookie right-hander Jacob deGrom, who strikes out 11 batters in seven shutout innings in the team’s 8-3 win at Citi Field, records the milestone victory.
2019 In the decisive final round of the Home Run Derby at Progressive Field, Pete Alonso, hitting 23 home runs in his last at-bats, edges out fellow first-year player Vladimir Guerrero of the Rangers by one homer. The New York first baseman becomes the first Mets player to win the competition outright (Darryl Strawberry shared the title with Wally Joyner in 1986) and the second rookie to win the event, joining Yankee freshman Aaron Judge, who won in 2017.
2021 In his second career plate appearance, Padres reliever Daniel Camarena hits a grand slam against one of the top pitchers in baseball, Max Scherzer. The 28-year-old rookie’s fourth-inning bases-full home run contributes to San Diego’s nine-run comeback, ending in a 9-8 walk-off victory over the Nationals at Petco Park.
2022 With one out and runners on first and third, Tampa Bay’s Matt Wisler commits the first walk-off balk in franchise history, giving the Reds a 2-1 tenth-inning victory at Cinergy Field. Pinch-runner Mark Kolozsvary, who had entered the game for ghost runner Mike Moustakas, scores the winning run when home plate umpire Edwin Moscoso and second base ump Lance Barrett determined the Rays’ reliever flinched before his delivery.
BASEBALL HALL OF FAME
“Someday the bar will drop and some good man will be chosen from out of the colored profession that will be a credit to all, and pave the way for others to follow.” – Sol White
Sol White was 78 years old in 1947 when Jackie Robinson shattered the major league color barrier. It marked the completion of a journey that White helped start in the 19th century.
A seminal figure in African-American baseball, White was a player on both black and white teams, a manager, a coach, an official, a sportswriter and a historian. He began his playing career at age 19 while a student at Wilberforce University, with the Pittsburgh Keystones, a team in the “League of Colored Baseball Clubs,” which folded after one week. He immediately joined a white team, the Wheeling Green Stockings, and batted .370. The following season his teammates forced his release.
White was a hard-hitting infielder, an intense competitor and a quiet leader.
From 1889-91, he played for black teams which played within otherwise white leagues in New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.
In 1902, White organized the Philadelphia Giants, among the best of the pre-Negro Leagues teams. The Giants won the championship every year from 1904-07. The 1906 Giants, who went 108-31, made an offer to play either the NL-pennant winning Chicago Cubs or the World Series winning White Sox, but neither team responded. White was a player or a player-manager on six other championship teams in the pre-Negro Leagues (pre-1920) era.
White retired in 1912 but came back as secretary of the Columbus Buckeyes in the Negro National League in 1920. He left Columbus to manage the Cleveland Browns of the NNL in 1924 and coached for the Newark Stars in 1926.
Perhaps White’s greatest contribution to baseball was as the author of one of the first books on African-American baseball, his “History of Colored Base Ball,” published in 1907. White spent his later years as a sports columnist for the New York Amsterdam News and the Cleveland Advocate.
White passed away on Aug. 25, 1955. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2006.
REMEMBERING THE SENIOR PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL ASSOCIATION
NATIONAL BASEBALL HALL OF FAME
They were all former ballplayers who had varying degrees of success on a big league diamond.
A little more than three decades ago, these Old Boys of Summer were given – though the moment was fleeting – the rare opportunity to exhibit their finely honed baseball skills as part of a team once more.
Familiar faces from the 1970s and ‘80s – some recently active, others away from the game for a number of years – were once again toeing the rubber and strolling to the batter’s box. A sampling of the talent ran the gamut from 1971 American League MVP and Cy Young Award winner Vida Blue to accomplished closer Al “The Mad Hungarian” Hrabosky, southpaw slinger Bill “Spaceman” Lee to four-time All-Star infielder Toby Harrah, and Al Cowens, the starting right fielder on a trio of Kansas City Royals postseason teams of the mid-1970s, to Rafael Landestoy, a utility infielder for three teams over eight seasons.
The Senior Professional Baseball Association was the brainchild of Jim Morley, a Colorado real estate developer and former minor league outfielder with the San Francisco Giants’ Class A California League affiliate in Fresno for one season in 1979.
Ten years later, in January 1989, he was in Australia at the same time a senior golf tournament was taking place nearby. If golf fans would watch these heroes from the past, the 32-year-old Morley thought, maybe there should be a senior league for baseball players. The Senior PGA Tour, as it was first known in the late 1970s, consisted of famed golfers aged 50 and older like Arnold Palmer and Chi Chi Rodriguez and was an immediate hit with fans. The senior tour, today called the PGA Champions Tour, remains a successful venture.
Amazingly, the fledgling SPBA was in operation 10 months after Morley’s brainstorm.
“It’s pretty much like anything I do, even in real estate,” said Morley at the time. “It’s like a dog that catches the postman and grabs a hold of the leg and shakes it ‘til it’s done.”
Everyone was not convinced, however.
“Isn’t this the height of absurdity? The collecting and nostalgia craze is one thing, but why should people pay top dollar to watch faded players in a regular league?” wrote Moss Klein in the March 27, 1989, issue of the Sporting News. “Old-timers’ days are nice once in a while, but this is too much. At least at oldies concerts, all the performers have to do is sing. Watching out-of-shape former baseball stars play on a regular basis would be sad. And paying to see them regularly would be downright dumb.”
After procuring the names and addresses of players who fit the loosely defined age criteria he was looking for, Morley mailed them letters that gauged their interest. The response was overwhelmingly positive.
The initial plan called for a 72-game season over three months beginning in November with teams made up almost exclusively of former big leaguers with a minimum age of 35 (32 for catchers). Salaries would start at $5,000 with a maximum of $15,000. After debating between Florida and Arizona as the upstart league’s home state, the choice was the Sunshine State due to, in part, the desirable weather, the influx of tourists that time of year and the close proximity between ballparks.
“You aren’t going to get ex-major leaguers to travel four or five hours by bus,” Morley said.
Prior to the start of the SPBA’s initial season, a price was set for franchise ownership at $850,000.
“There aren’t enough clubs out there. And which would you rather own, a Class A team of 19- and 20-year-old no-name kids or a team of ex-major-leaguers?” Morley said. “An owner has the potential to make money Year One. Even if he loses he’s not going to lose much money.”
Morley’s initial hope was that much like the senior golf tour, name recognition would be one of the SPBA’s strongest assets.
“These guys were world-class athletes and if they’ve lost a step it’s different from the guy down at the Y losing a step,” said Morley. “Over time it could very well be that it becomes the natural progression, you play in the minors, you play in the majors and you play in the seniors.”
Unfortunately, Morley’s dream scenario for the senior baseball league would be dissolved in less than two seasons due to mismanagement, unfulfilled expectations, infighting among ownership groups and financial hardships.
The league began its inaugural season in November 1989 in eight Florida cities: West Palm Beach Tropics, St. Lucie Legends, Orlando Juice, Winter Haven Super Sox, St. Petersburg Pelicans, Fort Myers Sun Sox, Gold Coast Suns (Pompano Beach) and Bradenton Explorers. And reports were that there was high interest among former big leaguers for the approximately 200 jobs available.
“The thing about it that appeals to me is that it’s a chance to play baseball again and make some money,” said longtime first baseman Mike Hargrove, who ended his playing career in 1985. “I think people would love the chance to go out and watch Hall of Famers and future Hall of Famers play.”
“We’re not talking about 162 games. As long as it’s retired players going against retired players, it will be all right.”
Tom House, the Texas Rangers pitching coach at the time, was more skeptical.
“Can [Vida Blue] throw 86 miles an hour for two starts a week, throwing 150 pitches? If he can, he should still be in baseball,” House said. “You’d have to have 25 guys on a pitching staff just to get through a week. The concept looks good on paper, but there are provisions they haven’t considered.”
There was even wild speculation that future Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt, who had just retired from the Philadelphia Phillies in May 1989, would join the SPBA only a few months later, a report his lawyer “unequivocally” refuted.
“I know Mike better than anyone and I know he will not be playing,” said Schmidt’s attorney, Arthur Rosenberg. “That’s crazy. He just walked away from a million-and-a-half dollars guaranteed to him by the Phillies. All he had to do was just show up. But Mike was dissatisfied with his play.”
Chicago Cubs broadcaster Steve Stone, who captured the 1980 American League Cy Young Award after a 25-win season with the Baltimore Orioles, jokingly denied any interest in the newfangled old-timers league.
“What is the salary?” he asked. “I can make that much going to lunch and making a speech.”
While the Gulf Coast Suns named longtime Orioles manager Earl Weaver as their skipper, another O’s legend and fellow future Hall of Famer Jim Palmer considered the opportunity but ultimately decided against giving the game another shot with the SPBA.
“(The league) should be very enjoyable,” said Weaver, who resigned after the 1986 season with a 1,480-1,060 record during his 17 years as manager of the Orioles. “It’s something people are going to like.
“The golf courses are crowded during those months, but (the league) is an interesting concept. Even if I don’t manage, I’ll still go to a number of games.”
Palmer won 20 games eight times and earned three Cy Young Awards during his career with the Orioles from 1965 to 1984.
“I don’t need to do it,” said Palmer, a year away from his 1990 election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, when contemplating pitching again. “The big thing when I retired was my arm. But I needed knee surgery. I would look at it as enjoyment. I don’t know how my body will respond.”
Even towering flamethrower J.R. Richard, whose 1980 stroke at the age of 30 ended a stellar career, signed with the Orlando Juice to give the sport another shot.
“I’ve been working out regularly and have no after-effects from the stroke,” said the 39-year-old Richard, who spent his entire 10-year career with the Astros compiling a 107-71 record with 1,493 strikeouts. “I’m looking forward to playing in this league. I think people will be surprised with what a lot of the players can still do.”
Mere weeks from his opening slate of games on Nov. 1, 1989 – and with former All-Star center fielder Curt Flood named commissioner – Morley’s public enthusiasm for this new sports venture was still at a fever pitch despite the naysayers who pointed to the recent failures of the United States Football League, the World Football League and the North American Soccer League.
“I think the league will fly,” Morley said. “I don’t think there’s any danger because all the owners have budgeted enough money and put enough money aside so the league will succeed. There’s a very real possibility after year one that a team might move from a city. Or maybe an ownership group would drop out and another ownership would take over. Just the natural attrition that takes place in all businesses.
“In our league, each team will probably have 10 or 12 name players. (Fans) will be able to get close to them. The fans are coming out to see the players. They’re not coming out to see the stadium. They’re not coming out to see the owners.”
Journeyman utility infielder Bill Stein, a 14-year big league veteran with four teams who hadn’t played since 1985, had a simple reason for giving the game another shot with the SPBA.
“I’m coming back mainly because it’s fun to play,” said the 42-year-old Stein, a minor league coach with the Mets at the time. “When you play as long as I did, it stays in your blood…I’m also was glad to see that Nolan Ryan signed and will be in Texas next year.
“I think this has the possibility of really being something if it is handled properly. I think people in their late 20s, 30s and early 40s will recognize the names if they are baseball fans.”
The senior league got underway – tickets costing between $4 and $10 – with team’s rosters limited to 24 players with a salary cap of $550,000. A total of 192 players – seven with no major-league experience – signed to play in the league. Reports had the average age of the players as 38.78, an average of 9.31 years of major-league experience and had been out of baseball for 5.21 years.
While word from league officials was they needed to average 2,500-3,000 fans a game to break even, the opening day crowds were 3,304 at West Palm Beach, 2,302 at Fort Myers, 1,428 at Winter Haven and 1,242 at Orlando. The following day, those figures dipped to 638 at West Palm Beach, 1,083 at Fort Myers, 324 at Winter Haven and 512 at Orlando.
One year after ending his big league managerial career with Seattle, Dick Williams was again in the dugout leading the West Palm Beach Tropics. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008, Williams 21 seasons spent with the Red Sox, A’s, Angels, Expos, Padres and Mariners ended with a record of 1,571-1,451.
“I don’t need the visibility,” said Williams, who managed in four World Series. “I’m not interested in managing in the big leagues. I’m sure Earl [Weaver] feels the same way.
“This is fun. Managing in the big leagues has become a glorified baby-sitting job. Management pays so-called stars ridiculous amounts of money and then pampers them so much the manager’s hands are tied. Managing in this league, there is none of that BS. There are no agents to deal with and no prima donnas.”
Rollie Fingers, a closer who won World Series titles with the A’s under Williams in 1972 and ‘73 and was now reunited with his fellow future Hall of Famer with the Tropics, had faith in this new endeavor: “It’s going to work. The fans come down here for the season. What better chance to see some guys play who they grew up with.”
For Fort Myers Sun Sox outfielder Amos Otis, a five-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove Award during his time with the Royals in the 1970s, this was a chance at redemption.
“My last year in the majors was disastrous,” said Otis, who ended his career batting .165 in 40 games with the Pirates in 1984. “Now this league comes along and it’s an opportunity to go out on top. I want to be remembered as a good player, not as a broken-down guy.”
Bill Lee, a pitcher with the Winter Haven Super Sox, joked early in that first season: “We have a few guys with good arms, but they have bad legs. We have a few guys with good legs, but they have no arms. If we could put three or four guys together, maybe we could come up with a complete player.
“There’s nobody here who thinks he can get back to the big leagues. At least I hope there isn’t because they’re in for a disappointment.”
While some observers claimed the players they knew now looked like they were moving in slow motion, owners around the league tried to put a happy face on the slow gate returns.
“You can make money,” said Don Sider, a co-owner of the West Palm Tropics. “You’ll lose the first year but you can make money, certainly. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be in it. If we’re here next year, we’ll have corporate sponsorship and TV contracts. With those things going, we can make money and pay the players a little more, improve the setup and make money.”
Russell Berrie, owner of the Gold Coast Suns, imagined his involvement as “a successful hobby,” adding “Anything you do you like to be successful, but I’m not in this to make money. We all have our field of dreams and this is mine. I’m out to enjoy myself, have fun, and develop something. Some years down the line we can look back and say, ‘Hey, we started that.’”
An infamous transaction that first SPBA season made news across the country when the Gold Coast Suns acquired the ageless hurler Luis Tiant from the Winter Haven Super Sox for 500 teddy bears that were later distributed to children attending a game later that season. The trade was made to facilitate “El Tiante” request to remain in Miami and pitch for the Suns.
“They didn’t have any player we needed who they were willing to trade,” Super Sox owner Mitchell Maxwell said. “We wanted to get something positive back for Luis.
“They won’t be cheap teddy bears. They’re going to be nice big ones.”
Palmer and Joe Morgan were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America in January 1990. But Cubs legend Ferguson Jenkins, who was a member of the Winter Haven Super Sox’s pitching staff, fell short on his second year on the ballot with 296 votes, needing 333 to reach the 75 percent threshold for election. The longtime righty would become a Hall of Famer in 1991.
Jenkins recalled his time with the short-lived senior baseball league.
“I was with the Winter Haven Super Sox and we had a lot of Boston players there. Bill Lee was there, Rick Wise, Cecil Cooper and Luis Tiant,” Jenkins said. “And the following year I went to the Sun City Rays that were in Sun City in Arizona. Jim Marshall was the manager and I played with Rollie Fingers and a few other talented players.
“I think that senior league would have really been successful if we’d have had some major sponsors. They really didn’t have a lot of backing. It came along at the same time as senior golf and senior golf had major sponsors. I think that’s why they were more successful than the baseball.”
The first regular season of the Senior Professional Baseball Association ended on Jan. 31, 1990, with the West Palm Beach Tropics having the best record at 52-20 while the St. Petersburg Pelicans captured the postseason title over the Tropics. Fort Myers Sun Sox Tim Ireland led the league with a .374 batting average.
Members of the SPBA first all-star team included: 1B Dan Driessen, Fort Myers; 2B Tim Ireland, Fort Myers; 3B Jim Morrison, Bradenton; SS Ron Washington, West Palm Beach; OF Steve Henderson, St. Petersburg; OF Mickey Rivers, West Palm Beach; OF Jose Cruz, Orlando; DH Amos Otis, Fort Myers; C Stan Cliburn, Bradenton; SP Juan Eichelberger, West Palm Beach; RP Rick Lysander, Bradenton.
The final average attendance figures were: West Palm Beach, 1,600; Fort Myers, 1,328; St. Petersburg, 1,132; Gold Coast, 985; Bradenton, 781; St. Lucie, 607; Winter Haven, 529; and Orlando, 400. The league average was 920 fans per game.
“And we all lost money,” said Morley, who owned the St. Petersburg Pelicans, “from about $520,000 to as much as a million.”
Bill Campbell, who ended his 15-year big-league playing career in 1987, pitched for Winter Haven and came away from that first season in the SPBA with realistic expectations on his future.
“Some of these guys came down with a fun-and-games attitude, that this was going be a party league, that they’d just throw on a glove and mess around for a couple of innings,” said Campbell. “But it never fails. Once you put on that glove, the instincts take over. No one wants to embarrass himself. Guys start working harder, like they have to prove themselves all over again.
“But it’s funny how sometimes you rationalize. I’d start popping the ball and I’d find myself thinking, ‘Maybe there’s still enough there …’”
The SPBA, which operated with eight Florida-based teams during its inaugural season in 1989-90, went westward to add expansion franchises San Bernardino (Calif.) Pride and Sun City (Ariz.) Rays for its second campaign. League officials said the additions were made, in part, to engage the many former major leaguers who lived in these states.
Possibly foreshadowing the upheaval the league would soon experience, the Florida teams from that first season that folded included ones in Gold Coast, Orlando, St. Lucie and Winter Haven, while the West Palm Beach Tropics became a traveling team known as the Florida Tropics, and the Bradenton Explorers moved and became the Daytona Beach Explorers.
The SPBA’s second season, this time with a scheduled 56-game slate that started on Nov. 23 – the day after Thanksgiving – saw the six-team league drop its minimum age to 34 (catchers at 32) and dismissed Flood as commissioner.
On Christmas night, though, Morley, shared some ominous news about a financial dispute among the ownership group of the Fort Myers Sun Sox.
“The guys in Fort Myers are a problem,” Morley said. “It may force the rest of us to suspend the season. Neither side is budging and willing to give.”
According to Morley, it would cost the Fort Myers owners about $150,000 to finish the season, which was to conclude Feb. 3. With none of the three co-owners willing to spend more money – it’s estimated they had invested between $1 million and $1.5 million already – and with the league was unwilling to bail out the franchise, these was no other choice.
A day after Christmas in 1990, the transactions listed in newspaper sports pages across the country read in small type that a much-ballyhooed new baseball league had suspended play. Unfortunately for those involved, less than halfway through its second season, the SPBA folded on Dec. 26, 1990. Only a few days prior, the players had agreed to accept a 16-percent pay cut for the season’s final month in an effort to save the league.
“The problems with Fort Myers forced them to shut down, which forces us to suspend play for the rest of the season,” said Morley, the league founder and president and owner of the St. Petersburg franchise. “I’m tremendously disappointed in the way things have turned out.
“Most of the time in this situation, the reason is financial. This isn’t financial. Fort Myers is far and away the wealthiest franchise. They have an internal partnership problem.”
Among the new players the SBPA added for its 1990-91 campaign were Jim Rice, the longtime slugger with the Red Sox whose final major league season was as a 36-year-old in 1989. The Class of 2009 Hall of Famer was batting .292 with three homers and seven RBI in 15 games with St. Petersburg when the league folded.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s collection contains three programs, one booklet and two tickets from the league which ultimately couldn’t survive with its lack of attendance – despite opening to great fanfare and attracting some of the sport’s top names back to the diamond.
“No matter how old you are, you still feel like a kid when you play this game,” said Fort Myers pitcher Eric Rasmussen. “When they take away your team, it’s sad.”
Fort Myers catcher Marty Castillo was acutely aware of the sad facts, adding: “Half the people in this town didn’t even know they had a Sun Sox baseball team. We’ve gotten more press in the last two days that we’re going to fold, more awareness through that, than we ever had.”
Todd Cruz, the St. Petersburg Pelicans shortstop was more succinct in his feelings: “I feel terrible about it because I wanted to play so bad. For a lot of us, this is the biggest thrill in our lives.”
In retrospect, Morley said his brainchild probably was rushed into existence.
“I guess a lot of people are laughing at me know,” he said. “But I don’t care what anybody says. This was a good idea and it still is. This was the best-kept secret in town. I don’t understand why people didn’t show up.”
July 8, 1933 – The National Football League for the first time divided the League into two different divisions with the plan to have the winner of each division play for the NFL Title per the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Prior to this the League crowned the team with the best record as Champions. This practice turned into controversy in many instances.
July 8, 1933 – Cincinnati Reds franchise was established and played during the 1933 and 1934 seasons before it folded. According to the Ohio History Central website the Reds gridders finished fourth in the Western Division, with a record of three wins, six losses, and one tie in 1933. The next season, the Reds finished sixth in the Western Division, with zero wins, eight losses, and zero ties. During the middle of the season, the National Football League suspended the Reds for failing to pay league dues. The St. Louis Gunners, an independent team in St. Louis, Missouri, played the Reds’ final three games of the set schedule.
July 8, 1933 – Pittsburgh Pirates/Steelers franchise forms as Art Rooney pays $2500 to the League as an entry fee. In 1940 Mr. Rooney changed the name of his team to the Steelers in honor of the hard working Steel workers around Pittsburgh that supported his team.
July 8, 1975 – Gerald Ford announces that he will seek the Republican presidential nomination. Ford played football for the University of Michigan Wolverines where in the 1932 and 1933 seasons he helped his team go undefeated and win the National Championship both years. Ford was a two way player on the team manning the positions of Center and Linebacker.
HALL OF FAME BIRTHDAYS JULY 8
July 8, 1890 – Turkey City, Pennsylvania – Pete Mauthe the Penn State fullback of the era of 1909 to 1912 arrived into the world. He was a four season letterman on the gridiron for the Nittany Lions according to the FootballFoundation.org website. During the time when Pete graced the sidelines of Penn State the team had a spectacular record of 26-2-4. In 1911, the Nittany Lions went 8-0-1. Mauthe was the team’s punter and placekicker, and he beat Pittsburgh 3-0 with a 35-yard field goal. The following season of 1912 Mauthe was the team captain and his Penn State squad won all eight of its contests. Mauthe scored 119 of the team’s 285 points and even connected on a 51-yard field goal against Pittsburgh. Pete Mauthe was honored with induction into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1957 after the National Football Foundation tabulated their votes. After college In 1913 he was head coach at Gettysburg College with a 3-6-1 record.
July 8, 1935 – Marion, Louisiana – Texas A&M famed halfback from 1955 to 1957, John David Crow was born. Per the National Football Foundation’s bio on John David, had a very auspicious start in college football. When the Aggies played Southern Methodist in 1955, an A&M sophomore took a punt at his own 40 and promptly lost 30 yards attempting to skirt the perimeter of the SMU defense, that was Crow. A few plays later, Crow lost another five yards on a sweep. The youngster headed to the sideline, fully expecting to feel the wrath of head coach Paul “Bear” Bryant but instead the future Hall of Fame sideline boss merely informed him, “John, our goal is that-away.” The young player responded to his coaches instruction as he averaged 4.9 yards a carry in his three years at Texas A&M. The Aggies had a 24-5-2 record for his career. In 1957, Crow was unanimous All-America halfback, won the Heisman, was named Player of the Year by the Walter Camp Foundation and Washington Touchdown Club, and Back of the Year by United Press. John David Crow collegiate football records are celebrated in the College Football Hall of Fame after his induction in 1976. Crow stayed the course of the gridiron long after his collegiate playing days. He played in the NFL with both the Cardinals and 49ers serving as captain on both teams. He was an assistant coach under Bryant at Alabama, and with Cleveland and San Diego in the National Football League. He was the head coach at Northeast Louisiana from 1976 through the 1980 season. Later Crow served as Texas A & M as Associate Athletic Director from 1985 to 1988 and Director of Athletics from 1988 to 1993.
July 8, 1952 – Mantua, Ohio – Jack Lambert Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrined LB that played for the Pittsburgh Steelers was born.
FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME
Place of Birth: Elizabeth, NJ
Date of Birth: Mar 31, 1938
Jersey Number: 21
High School: Cocoa, FL (Cocoa HS)
Continuing in a vast tradition of Army football excellence, Bob Anderson joins teammates Bill Carpenter and Pete Dawkins in college football’s national shrine. A two-time First Team All-America selection, Anderson became only the eighth cadet to earn All-America status in his first collegiate season. In 1957, he rushed for 983 yards, second most in Army history at the time, ranked second in the nation with 14 touchdowns and finished seventh in the Heisman Trophy voting. In 1958, he lead Army to the Lambert Cup and their last undefeated season at 8-0-1. Currently, he ranks eighth all-time at Army with 21 career touchdowns and ninth with 1,887 career rushing yards. A hard-nosed two-way player, Anderson also led the team in interceptions in 1957 and 1958. Early in his senior season, Anderson suffered a debilitating knee injury. Selected in the ninth round of the 1960 NFL Draft by the New York Giants, Anderson served in the 101st Airborne Division for three years as lieutenant. After returning to the Giants in 1963, he suffered a career ending knee injury in 1964.
7 – 18 – 16 – 3 – 22
July 8, 1898 – The Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Red Donahue tossed a no-hit decision against the Boston Beaneaters, 5-0 at the Baker Bowl
July 8, 1912 – New York Giants ace pitcher Rube Marquard lost a decision after winning 21 straight games that he started.
July 8, 1949 – The trend in the MLB of African-American players getting on rosters in the MLB continued. Monte Irvin, Number 20, and Hank Thompson Number 7, became the first black players for New York Giants. Unfortunately their debut was spoiled just a tad in the 4-3 loss to the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field but the victory march of baseball’s integration continued so that the best players, no matter what color were playing together.
July 8, 1965 – Joe Morgan, wearing uniform Number 18 became the first Houston player with 6 hits in a game. It was the first season of the franchise being called the Astros after initially using the moniker of the Colt .45’s. Many people do not remember that Morgan started his brilliant career in Houston for 10 seasons before the success he enjoyed with the Big Red Machine in Cincinnati.
July 8, 1970 – San Francisco Giants Number 16, Jim Ray Hart is 8th to get 6 RBIs in an inning (5th)
July 8, 1974 – New York Yankees shortstop Jim Mason, Number 22 tied a record with 4 doubles in 9 inning game
July 1, 1990 – At the FIFA World Cup Final, Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy it was in the 85th minute of play that a penalty kick by Number 3, Andreas Brehme propelled West Germany, 1-0 win over Argentina
|PGA: John Deere Classic||1:00pm||GOLF|
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|MLS: Houston Dynamo vs Sporting KC||8:30pm||Apple TV|
|MLS: Minnesota United vs Austin||8:30pm||Apple TV|
|MLS: Colorado Rapids vs Dallas||9:30pm||Apple TV|
|MLS: Real Salt Lake vs Orlando City SC||9:30pm||Apple TV|
|CONCACAF Gold Cup: Quarterfinals||10:00pm||FS1|
|NWSL: San Diego Wave vs Washington Spirit||10:00pm||Paramount+|
|MLS: LA Galaxy vs Philadelphia Union||10:30pm||Apple TV|
|MLS: Los Angeles FC vs SJ Earthquakes||10:30pm||Apple TV|
|MLS: Vancouver Whitecaps vs Seattle Sounders FC||10:30pm||Apple TV|
|TRACK & FIELD||TIME ET||TV|
|US Outdoor Championships||9:00pm||CNBC|
|Seattle vs New York||2:00pm||ESPN|