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NEWS REAL

• NBA All-Star James Harden has joined the ownership group of the Houston Dynamo. According to the MLS club, the 2018 NBA MVP with the Houston Rockets becomes the fifth member of an ownership group led by Gabriel Brener, which also includes boxing icon Oscar De La Hoya, Ben Guill and Jake Silverstein.

In addition to the Dynamo, the group also owns the NWSL's Houston Dash and BBVA Stadium, the home venue for both clubs.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity to join the ownership group of the Houston Dynamo and Houston Dash and proud to be a part of a club with tremendous history and a great future,” Harden said via the team.

• Spend a "Day in the Life Of Blake Griffin." Full story here.

• Cavs Legion Gaming Club, the NBA 2K League affiliate of the Cleveland Cavaliers, has unveiled plans for an eSports center in Cleveland’s Battery Park neighborhood. The 2,700 square foot venue is scheduled to open this fall,

• The NFL Network is planning 129 hours of “Inside Training Camp Live” coverage July 22-Aug. 7 Additional coverage will appear across NFL media platforms including NFL.com, NFL Films, NFL app and NFL RedZone.

ESPN also said it would provide comprehensive coverage of the opening week of the 2019 NFL training camps beginning July 22 on daily editions of SportsCenter and NFL Live.

• NBC’s Golf Channel unveiled details for its next Golf Films project, “Tiger Woods: Chasing History,” to premiere July 22  The film will present viewers with a chronological look at the “sights and sounds from each of Woods’ 81 professional victories, from his first at the Las Vegas Invitational in 1996, through the most recent win at the Masters earlier this year.”

• Pete Frates and Pat Quinn, co-founders of ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, have launched with The ALS Assn. the 5th anniversary of “Challenge Me” with a “new call to action to reignite the passion and generosity of the millions of people who dumped ice water on their heads in the summer of 2014.”

POLL POSITION

AT&T WNBA All-Star 2019 Starter Pool

  • Liz Cambage, Aces
  • Elena Delle Donne, Mystics
  • Chelsea Gray, Sparks
  • Brittney Griner, Mercury
  • Natasha Howard, Storm
  • Jonquel Jones, Sun
  • Jewell Loyd, Storm
  • Kayla McBride, Aces
  • Kia Nurse, Liberty
  • A‘ja Wilson, Aces

AT&T WNBA All-Star 2019, featuring Team Delle Donne vs. Team Wilson, is scheduled for July 27 in the Mandalay Bay Events Center, Las Vegas (ABC 3:30 PM ET).

KEEPING SCORE

The Top 25 MiLB Teams With Best-Selling Merchandise (alphabetically, with MLB affiliate):

  • Albuquerque Isotopes (Rockies)
  • Charleston RiverDogs (Yankees)
  • Charlotte Knights (White Sox)
  • Columbia Fireflies (Mets)
  • Columbus Clippers (Indians)
  • Corpus Christi Hooks (Astros)
  • Durham Bulls (Rays)
  • El Paso Chihuahuas (Padres)
  • Fort Wayne TinCaps (Padres)
  • Gwinnett Stripers (Braves)
  • Hartford Yard Goats (Rockies)
  • Indianapolis Indians (Pirates)
  • Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (Marlins)
  • Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Phillies)
  • Nashville Sounds (Rangers)
  • Pawtucket Red Sox (Red Sox)
  • Portland Sea Dogs (Red Sox)
  • Richmond Flying Squirrels (Giants)
  • Rochester Red Wings (Twins)
  • Sacramento River Cats (Giants)
  • Salt Lake Bees (Angels)
  • San Antonio Missions (Brewers)
  • Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners)
  • Toledo Mud Hens (Tigers)
  • Trenton Thunder (Yankees)

SOURCE: MiLB

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office July 12-14
1. Spider-Man:Far From Home $45.3M
2. Toy Story 4 $20.7M
3. Crawl $12M
4. Stuber $8M
5. Yesterday $6.8M
6. Aladdin $5.9M
7. Annabelle Comes Home $5.6M
8. Midsommar $3.4M
9. Secret Life of Pets 2 $3.1M
10. MIB International $2.2M
Source: Box Office Mojo

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COLLEGE

BodyArmor Into NCAA
No. 1 Colleges Since '92
Notre Dame Builds Brand
Cancer Drives Home
Men's Hoops Are 'Toxic'

Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
Channel Chasers

NFL UK 2019
• Oct. 6 Chicago Bears v Oakland Raiders Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
• Oct. 13 Carolina Panthers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
• Oct. 27  Cincinnati Bengals v Los Angeles Rams Wembley Stadium
• Nov. 3 Houston Texans v Jacksonville Jaguars Wembley Stadium

NFL Mexico 2019
• Nov. 18 Kansas City  Chiefs v Los Angeles Chargers Mexico City Estadio Azteca (ESPN Monday Night Football).

Friday
Aug102018

MLB Players' Weekend: Tsunami, Pickles, Broomstick, Sabanero Soy, Underpants

By Barry Janoff

August 10, 2018: On the weekend of Aug. 24-26, you won’t be able to tell the MLB players without a scorecard — and even that might not help.

Baseball is bringing back Players' Weekend for the second season, this year presented by Valspar, meaning that tradition is out the window and off-the-wall is in, with players wearing jerseys adorned with nicknames of their choosing.

Last year, the winner for most unusual might arguably have gone to then St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Seung-hwan Oh, who spelled out his nickname, "Sparky," in Korean characters (and will be doing it again this year with the Colorado Rockies).

Shin-Soo Choo (Texas Rangers) also will have his nickname in Korean characters this year.

But the potential top nominee for unusual presentation: Brad Boxberger, pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks, using the emojis of “box” and “hamburger” to spell out his name.

Not far behind: Joey “In Flanders Field” Votto (Cincinnati Reds), the title of poem written in 1915 by Canadian physician Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae during World War I.

"Players envisioned Players' Weekend as a way to express themselves and connect with fans in a fun and more personal way," Tony Clark, MLBPA executive director, said in a statement.

“And the opportunity for players to honor those who first stirred their passions for baseball at a grassroots level helps reinforce the way our game is handed down from generation to generation."

Players' Weekend presented by Valspar is not just for fun, it also helps MLB players honor those who have helped them on their path to the pros and supports all of baseball, from the Little Leagues to the Major Leagues.

In addition to nicknames on the back of their Majestic jerseys, players will wear a patch on the right sleeve of each uniform on which they can write the name of a person who aided or inspired them.

The patches and New Era caps will also feature an "Evolution" logo, showing a progression of five players increasing in size to demonstrate the process of a player's path from Little League, through youth leagues and to the Majors.

The patch is a show of solidarity with youth baseball and softball programs, said MLB.

MLB said game-worn jerseys would be auctioned at MLB.com, with 100% of the proceeds going to the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation, a joint effort focused on improving the caliber, effectiveness and availability of amateur baseball and softball programs across the U.S. and Canada.

Youth Ambassadors, promoting the event include Ozzie Albies, Jose Berrios, Alex Bregman, Edwin Diaz, Didi Gregorius, Enrique Hernandez, Rhys Hoskins, Brandon Nimmo and Albert Pujols.

You won’t see such classics as “The Sultan of Swat” (Babe Ruth), “Hammering’ Hank” (Hank Aaron), “Splendid Splinter” (Ted Williams) or “Three Fingers” (Mordecai Brown).

But get ready for Todd “Toddfather” Frazier (New York Mets), Carlos “Tsunami” Martinez (St. Louis Cardinals), Max “Blue Eye” Scherzer (Washington Nationals), Nelson “Broomstick” Cruz (Seattle Mariners), Ronald “Sabanero Soy” Acuna Jr. (Atlanta Braves), Danny “Chill Sergeant” Duffy (Kansas City Royals), Shane “Not Justin” Bieber (Cleveland Indians), Sonny “Pickles” Gray (New York Yankees) and Hunter “Underpants” Pence (San Francisco Giants).

Some chose to go a simpler route: JT “T” Riddle (Miami Marlins), Mike “Z” Zumino (Seattle Mariners), Cody “CC” Carroll (Baltimore Orioles). Giancarlo “G” Stanton (New York Yankees) and Xavier “X” Cedeno (Chicago White Sox).

Not making much of a change: Homer “Homer” Bailey (Cincinnati Reds), Eric “Hosmer” Hosmer (San Diego Padres), Joe “Mauer” Mauer (Minnesota Twins) and Aaron “Judge” Judge (New York Yankees), who, if not opting for the “All Rise” already attached to his persona could have at least tried “Here Come Da.”

Many of the Yankees, in fact, seemed not to overthink the issue. In addition to Judge, we are getting Brett “Gardner” Gardner, Ben “Heller” Heller, Greg “Bird” Bird and A.J. “AJ” Cole.

San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey went with his real nickname, “Buster,’ but could have turned things around on nickname weekend by using his real name, Gerald.

Same for Cincinnati Reds pitcher Homer Bailey, who is using “Homer” when he could have touted his given name, David; and Boston Red Sox outfielder Mookie “Mookie” Betts (real name Markus).

Fortunately, Detroit Tigers pitcher Buck Farmer was in on that particular joke: He’s using his real name, George, on nickname weekend.

Some players apparently want the crowd to cheer them on when they appear: Jerry “Jer-ry Jer-ry Jer-ry” Blevins (New York Mets) and Emilio “Emiliooooo” Pagan (Oakland A’s).

Ryan Pressly (Houston Astros) went with “Pressly" when “Elvis” might have had a better rock 'n' roll sound to it.

Last year, Chicago Cubs pitcher Carl Edwards Jr. was the only player allowed to use a brand name, Carl's Jr., on the back of his jersey.

This year we get “Miller Time” from Andrew “Miller (Cleveland Indians).

Among the longest nicknames: Andrew “Triggonomentry” Triggs (Oakland A’s), Marco “Stratosphere” Estrada (Toronto Blue Jays), Julio “El Caballo de Olaya” Teheran (Atlanta Braves) and Carl “Stringbean Slinger” Edwards Jr. (Chicago Cubs).

Among other highlights, the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies will play the second annual MLB Little League Classic presented by Geico in Williamsport, PA , to air on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball (7 PM. ET).

The game will be played in Bowman Field,, not far from Howard J. Lamade Stadium, which is hosting the Little League World Series.

MLB said Little League players and their families would attend the Mets-Phillies game.

See the full list of player MLB Players' Weekend nicknames here.

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