Sports – Press Herald http://www.pressherald.com Tue, 27 Jun 2017 14:17:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 The future of U.S. swimming is 6 feet 9, 17 years old . . . and African-American http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/27/the-future-of-u-s-swimming-is-6-feet-9-17-years-old-and-african-american/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/27/the-future-of-u-s-swimming-is-6-feet-9-17-years-old-and-african-american/#respond Tue, 27 Jun 2017 13:37:57 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/27/the-future-of-u-s-swimming-is-6-feet-9-17-years-old-and-african-american/ The question comes up whenever someone meets Reece Whitley for the first time. Whitley is too polite to respond with the classic teenage show of disdain: the eye roll. But inside? Inside, his eyeballs are on the other side of their sockets.

“How big are your shoes? I hear that all the time,” Whitley said with an exasperated chuckle. “I mean, I’m a swimmer. I don’t wear shoes. It’s not a relevant question.”

What remains relevant, however, is Whitley’s skin color. He’d love for it to be otherwise, for the notion of an African American swimmer to be a norm instead of a novelty. The sport simply isn’t there yet. Elite-level swimming success for blacks in the United States essentially begins with Cullen Jones and ends with Simone Manuel, and that stretch started in 2008.

Certainly there has been progress. Jones, who became the first African-American to hold a world record, is no longer swimming solo upstream. Manuel’s history-making gold medal in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics came on the heels of she and Lia Neal (both swimming for Stanford) joining Florida’s Natalie Hinds in becoming the first African Americans to sweep an NCAA championship event.

Still, advances have been painstakingly slow, the sport inching along one athlete at a time.

Enter Whitley, who arrives at this week’s U.S. nationals seeded eighth in the 200 breaststroke, ninth in the 50 and 11th in the 100. Semi-famous since he began shattering age-group records at age 13, the 17-year-old is emerging from the kiddie pool just as Michael Phelps exits. Whitley, who two weeks ago committed to the University of California, has all the tools to fill the void: charisma, smarts and talent.

Now for the hard part: Realizing it.

“If he was just another white, 6-7 breaststroker we wouldn’t be having this conversation,” swimming analyst Rowdy Gaines said. “That’s why Reece is so important: What he can do for this sport, how he can promote it in a way no one has. The only stumbling block? He has to win. I know that’s obvious, but it’s the most important step, the biggest next step he has to take. He has to win.”

The combination of his competitive potential and his skin color makes Whitley perhaps the most important male swimmer to come along since Phelps, Gaines argues. Whitley has spent his entire high school career at Penn Charter, a prestigious Quaker school in Philadelphia known far more for its academic rigor than its swimming success. Crystal Keelan, Whitley’s longtime coach, has built a more than respectable program at the school but Whitley remains the only swimmer competing at a national – let alone international – level.

Even without elite training partners, Whitley reigns as the national age group record holder for 15- and 16-year-olds in the 200-meter breaststroke by nearly a full second, and he owns the short-course record in the same event by an astounding 2.5 seconds. In 2015, Sports Illustrated tapped him as its “Sports Kid of the Year.”

This week he will have a good shot at making the A final in both the 100 and 200 breast, and though he’s more likely headed for a spot at the World Junior Nationals, it’s not out of the question that he could break through to a spot in the top-level meet.

At Cal, Whitley will find out just how far he can go. The Cal Bears have won three national titles since 2011, and in Rio, current or previous Cal swimmers accounted for 11 medals, including eight gold. Unlike basketball, collegiate swimming isn’t a drive-through relationship. Graduates often stay in the program and train long after their eligibility expires. That means Whitley will go from training essentially against himself to competing with some of the best swimmers in the world.

The challenge is in the balancing act. Whitley already has experienced the burden of living up to outside expectations.

In a handful of meets last summer Whitley didn’t meet his own standards and saw the cause wasn’t lack of effort but attempting to clear an impossibly high bar.

“I was driven to prove to myself and to others that I was good – really, really good – and it took me away from what I’d already accomplished,” he said. “I had to remind myself that just because you’re labeled a certain way – I’m supposedly the number one recruit for 2018 – it doesn’t mean I have to swim that way every single day. That’s not really human. That’s not possible. This week I want to swim as fast as I can but if I walk away and I’m not on a team this summer but I swam my best times, yeah I’ll be disappointed I won’t be able to wear the American flag on my cap, but I want best times. That’s what matters.”

Whitley long has been accustomed to being what he calls “the only one.” Up until the fourth grade, Whitley could name the black students in his grade – Reece Whitley and Nigel George – and his parents had long talks with him from an early age, making sure their son was comfortable in his own skin.

He separated himself even further when he opted to swim, those flipper feet (for the record, he’s a size 15) and a frame that currently stands at 6 feet 9 leading to presumptions that he was yet another Philly hoops prodigy in the making.

Whitley instead jumped in the pool and let the water – and the outside comments – roll off his back.

It is a different thing altogether to go from being “the only one” to “the one.” The burden here is even more than merely diversifying a sport. The comparisons likening Whitley, Manuel, Neal and Jones to Tiger Woods in golf or the Williams sisters in tennis address only a fraction of the significance.

According to a recent study spearheaded by the USA Swimming Foundation, 64 percent of African American children have low to no swimming ability. That’s a 5 percent improvement since 2010 but still a dangerously high number.

Whitley has yet to experience an a-ha moment – no child has stopped him to say he or she is swimming because of him – but he knows every time he steps on the blocks he could be opening a kid’s eyes to a whole new world, not to mention a safer one.

Whitley also knows, though, that to change a sport he has to step higher than the blocks. He has to stand atop the podium.

That’s why, when Whitley is invariably asked about his potential impact on swimming because of his skin color, he has a lot more patience than when peppered with questions about his shoe size.

“Right now it’s a relevant question, so I don’t take any shame in answering it,” he said. “At the end of my career, if I look back on it and that question is irrelevant, then that means I would have fulfilled my goals.”

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Maine Milestones http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/27/maine-milestones-59/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/27/maine-milestones-59/#respond Tue, 27 Jun 2017 08:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1217298 Jim Green used a 5-hybrid to ace the 183-yard fourth hole at Nonesuch River Golf Club on June 21. Green’s playing partner, Jeannie Green, witnessed the shot.

Marc Chantigny made a hole-in-one on the third hole at Dutch Elm on June 25. Chantigny hit a 9-iron on the 126-yard hole while playing with Mike Mackinnon, Dan Roche and Bob Libby.

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Tom Caron: Red Sox must learn to live without Big Papi http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/27/tom-caron-sox-must-learn-to-live-without-papi/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/27/tom-caron-sox-must-learn-to-live-without-papi/#respond Tue, 27 Jun 2017 08:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1217303 In his prime, David Ortiz was known to savor his trips around the bases. Over a 20-year major league career, Big Papi hit 541 homers. Many of them, especially the ones late in his career, were followed by glacially slow home run trots.

So it should come as no surprise that Ortiz savored every moment of his victory lap around Boston this weekend. Summer officially began this past week, but the Summer of Love for Ortiz has been under way for a while.

This weekend, it reached its peak. Ortiz had a Boston street named after him (he already had a bridge), a Logan Airport gate named in his honor, and had his number retired by the Red Sox.

The sight of the red 34 up on the right-field facade should finally quiet down any call for the return of Ortiz to the Sox lineup. He has retired, his number has been retired, and it seems clear that this team is going to have to find its way without Big Papi stunning the world with a return.

Friday night, in the wake of the celebration, the Red Sox hit like a lineup loaded with No. 34s. The 9-4 win was a perfect way to open the homestand and to add to the team’s dominance at Fenway. That changed over the next two games, when Boston was limited to five runs and the Angels took the series.

Once again, we were left wondering if someone is going to be able to step up and lead this offense. The Red Sox began the week with the fewest home runs in the American League and the third-lowest slugging percentage. The team can hit – the .265 team batting average is third-best in the AL – but with the All-Star break looming, the Red Sox clearly cannot hit for power consistently.

And baseball in 2017 is a game of power.

Major league hitters are on pace to hit more than 6,000 home runs this season. That’s never been done before. The record is 5,693 in 2000, at the height of the Steroid Era.

There are a lot of theories why balls are suddenly leaving the yard at a record pace. It’s an all-or-nothing game now where hitters don’t mind striking out. There’s no such thing as shortening your swing with two strikes and trying to make contact to get a hit. Today, the game is played with a goal of “absolute outcomes” – homers, strikeouts, and walks. There is no embarrassment in striking out 200 times.

With all that in mind, it’s hard to fathom why the Red Sox aren’t hitting home runs. On Friday, we were reminded of the biggest reason of all. Ortiz led the Red Sox in home runs (and RBI) each of the past four years. He led the team in homers eight of the last 12 years. He was a presence in the midst of a lineup that could rattle the game’s best pitchers.

Clearly, that presence hasn’t been replaced.

The Sox believed they could improve this season by fielding one of the best pitching staffs in the game. Sure enough, the Sox are one of just four American League teams with a sub-4.00 ERA. It is the main reason why the team began the week tied for first place.

Over the winter, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski passed on free-agent slugger Edwin Encarnacion. He’s belted 17 homers with Cleveland – six more than anyone on the Red Sox roster. He’d be a powerful presence as a cleanup hitter.

When the Red Sox were in Kansas City last week, there was a lot of talk about Dombrowski trading for Mike Moustakas. He has 19 homers and would fix the offensive black hole at third base. Then the Sox lost 2 of 3 to the Royals, who are suddenly back in the AL Central race and talking about keeping the roster intact through the season. Moustakas is a free agent at the end of the season, but the Sox would probably have to overpay in prospects now that the Royals are believing in themselves.

Meanwhile, the Red Sox continue life without Ortiz. Any hopes that he would come out of retirement and start smashing homers were dashed when his number joined the list to never be worn again. Big Papi isn’t walking through that clubhouse door anytime soon. It’s a new era, one where the Sox will have to win games without majestic home runs off the bat of the greatest DH to ever play the game.

Tom Caron is a studio host for the Red Sox broadcast on NESN. His column appears in the Portland Press Herald on Tuesdays.

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Major league roundup: Indians outslug Rangers http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/26/major-league-roundup-indians-outslug-rangers/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/26/major-league-roundup-indians-outslug-rangers/#respond Tue, 27 Jun 2017 03:26:58 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/26/major-league-roundup-indians-outslug-rangers/ CLEVELAND — Francisco Lindor, Lonnie Chisenhall and Carlos Santana each had three RBI to help the Cleveland Indians rally from a seven-run deficit and beat the Texas Rangers 15-9 on Monday night.

The Indians came back after trailing 9-2 in the fourth inning to avoid their first four-game losing streak since 2015.

The Indians scored a run in the fourth, four in the fifth, took the lead with five in the sixth and added three in the seventh.

Chisenhall’s two-run single with the bases loaded put Cleveland ahead 10-9. Lindor, Santana, Roberto Perez and Jason Kipnis also drove in runs in the inning.

Adrian Beltre, Elvis Andrus and Joey Gallo each homered off Cleveland starter Carlos Carrasco, but then the Indians’ offense finally woke up after being shut out twice while losing three straight to the Minnesota Twins.

Cleveland set a season high in runs, matched a season best with 19 hits and was 11 for 28 with runners in scoring position. Every starter except Kipnis had at least two hits.

Bryan Shaw (2-2) pitched 11/3 scoreless innings for the win.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

CUBS 5, NATIONALS 4: Anthony Rizzo and Ian Haps each hit an RBI single and Javier Baez added an RBI double in the top of the ninth inning, and the Cubs survived a four-run rally in the bottom of the ninth to win at Washington.

An RBI single by Matt Wieters, a two-run double by Stephen Drew and a wild pitch enabled the Nationals to cut their deficit to one run, but Wade Davis struck out Ryan Zimmerman with runners at second and third to end the game.

DIAMONDBACKS 6, PHILLIES 1: Zack Greinke pitched five effective innings after a shaky start, Daniel Descalso had three RBI and Arizona rolled to a win at home.

The Diamondbacks took advantage of a rough outing by Nick Pivetta (1-4) in the series finale, racking up six runs in less than three innings against the rookie right-hander.

Chris Herrmann led off the first inning with a homer and Greinke (9-4) allowed a run and three hits with five strikeouts.

Arizona won for the 12th time in 14 games to extend the best start in team history (49-28).

Pivetta gave up a homer to the first batter, a line drive into the pool in right field by Herrmann. Descalso had a run-scoring single in the second inning, then Pivetta had trouble finding the strike zone, walking three straight batters for another run.

Descalso added a two-run single in Arizona’s three-run third for a 6-0 lead.

CARDINALS 8, REDS 2: Randal Grichuk and Jedd Gyorko each homered and drove in three runs, leading St. Louis over visiting Cincinnati.

It was a makeup for an April 29 game that was postponed because of severe weather.

Grichuk hit his second homer in two games since being recalled from Triple-A. The two-run drive in the fourth inning was his sixth of the season.

Michael Wacha (4-3), who began the day with an 8.17 ERA over his last seven starts, limited the Reds to one run on five hits in six innings. He struck out five and walked one.

Brandon Finnegan (1-1) was activated off the disabled list after missing more than two months because of a shoulder problem. The lefty exited in the fourth because of a strained left triceps.

Tommy Pham had two hits, walked twice and scored three runs. Paul DeJong added three hits.

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NBA notebook: Westbrook caps stellar season with MVP award http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/26/nba-notebook-westbrook-caps-stellar-season-with-mvp-award/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/26/nba-notebook-westbrook-caps-stellar-season-with-mvp-award/#respond Tue, 27 Jun 2017 03:26:12 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/26/nba-notebook-westbrook-caps-stellar-season-with-mvp-award/ NEW YORK — Russell Westbrook won the NBA’s MVP award after setting a record with 42 triple-doubles last season.

The Oklahoma City All-Star joined Oscar Robertson as the only players to average a triple-double for an entire season, leading the Thunder into the playoffs after Kevin Durant left for Golden State.

Westbrook beat out Houston’s James Harden and San Antonio forward Kawhi Leonard for the league’s top honor.

He ended the two-year reign of Stephen Curry, who last season was the league’s first unanimous MVP.

Malcolm Brogdon of the Milwaukee Bucks won the rookie of the year award.

Brogdon beat out finalists Joel Embiid and Dario Saric, both of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Brogdon was a second-round pick out of Virginia who led all rookies with 4.2 assists and 1.12 steals per game while helping the Bucks reach the playoffs.

Embiid had the strongest stats, averaging 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.45 blocks, but was limited to 31 games because of injuries.

Houston guard Eric Gordon won the sixth man of the year award in his first year as a reserve.

Gordon beat out Rockets teammate Lou Williams and former NBA finals MVP Andre Iguodala for the award given to the league’s top player off the bench.

Gordon set an NBA single-season record for most 3-pointers off the bench, helping the high-scoring Rockets make more shots behind the arc than any team in history.

Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas won the NBA Cares Community Assist Award.

Celtics legend Bill Russell received the first lifetime achievement award, responding with some trash talk and then praise for the big men who honored him.

Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, David Robinson, Shaquille O’Neal, Alonzo Mourning and Dikembe Mutombo presented the honor to Russell, who won 11 championships as a player with the Celtics and went on to become the NBA’s first black coach.

Russell pointed at them and said he would kick all their butts. After a long laugh from the crowd that was standing and cheering, Russell told the other centers that “you have no idea how much respect I have for you guys.”

Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo won the most improved player award and Houston’s Mike D’Antoni was named coach of the year.

HORNETS: At 31 and entering his 14th NBA season, eight-time All-Star Dwight Howard says his best basketball is ahead of him.

Wearing a teal suit with black trim, a smiling Howard insisted he can return to being a dominant center with the Charlotte Hornets, where he will be reunited with Coach Steve Clifford and play for one of his childhood heroes, team owner Michael Jordan.

“A lot of people have written me off, which is great because it’s going to make me work even harder,” Howard said during his introductory news conference. “I’m just looking forward to this opportunity because I have a lot left in the tank.”

This will be Howard’s third team in three seasons.

The Atlanta Hawks, his hometown team, traded him to Charlotte one year into a three-year, $74 million contract.

CAVALIERS: Chauncey Billups isn’t sure if it’s time to jump back into the NBA.

Nearly a week after first meeting with Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, Billups has not yet decided whether to join Cleveland’s front office, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Monday.

Billups is weighing several factors and remains unsure if he wants to lead the Cavaliers’ basketball operations, according to the person who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the talks.

Billups met twice last week with Gilbert, who is also looking for a new general manager after parting ways with David Griffin. The sides were unable to negotiate a contract extension following Cleveland’s third straight trip to the NBA finals. The person says there’s no timetable on a decision.

A five-time All-Star, Billups, who has no executive experience, would have to uproot his family in Denver to take the job. He also has to consider other factors, including the possibility that LeBron James could leave as a free agent after next season.

TIMBERWOLVES: Minnesota waived veteran forward Jordan Hill, clearing another $4 million in salary cap room as free agency approaches.

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http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/26/nba-notebook-westbrook-caps-stellar-season-with-mvp-award/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2017/06/1217441_777741-AP17177089716313.jpgOklahoma City guard Russell Westbrook was named NBA MVP after becoming the first player since Oscar Robertson to average a triple-double.Mon, 26 Jun 2017 23:34:34 +0000
Sports Digest: Mainers edge Swamp Bats http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/26/sports-digest-mainers-edge-swamp-bats/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/26/sports-digest-mainers-edge-swamp-bats/#respond Tue, 27 Jun 2017 02:45:24 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/26/sports-digest-mainers-edge-swamp-bats/ Ryan Hogan’s one-out single in the bottom of the seventh drove in Colby Maiola with the go-ahead run, lifting the Sanford Mainers to a 5-3 win over the Keene Swamp Bats in a New England Collegiate Baseball League game Monday night at Goodall Park.

Maiola scored on a Shane Hughes sacrifice fly and Connor Aube doubled home Riley Pittman as the Mainers (4-11) scored single runs in the first and fourth to open a 2-0 lead.

Keene (6-10) took the lead with three runs in the fifth, but Sanford tied it in the bottom half when Bryan Sturgis singled home Hughes.

Sanford got its final run in the eighth when Carmine Pagano drove in Jimmy Kerr with a double.

EMPIRE LEAGUE: Nick McHugh had three hits, two RBI and a run scored in leading Puerto Rico (1-2) to a 6-4 win over the Old Orchard Beach Surge (2-1) at The Ballpark.

Kevin Putkonen had two hits and two RBI for OOB, and Eric Frain finished with two hits and two runs scored.

AMERICAN LEGION: Alex Livingston scored the tie-breaking run on a sacrifice fly by Nate Ingalls in the sixth inning, and Griffin Kelley raced home when the throw was misplayed as Yankee Ford (4-2) earned a 3-1 win over Coastal Landscaping (3-2) in Portland.

Riley Bartell singled home Tim Greenlaw to put Coastal ahead in the second inning. Yankee Ford tied it in the third when Ingalls scored on a throwing error.

RMSL: Hunter Owen allowed one hit while striking out nine to lead South Portland (3-1) to a 10-0 win over Gorham (1-2) in a Regency Mortgage Summer League game shortened to five innings in Gorham.

Owen also hit a two-run single during South Portland’s eight-run fourth inning.

Jack Clark pitched a two-hitter and Zachary Alofs scored three times to lead Nova Seafood (6-0) to an 11-0 victory against Greely (1-4) and a sweep of a doubleheader in Scarborough.

Nova scored four times in the sixth to win the opener, 4-1. Morgan Pratt singled home a run and also scored.

SAILING

AMERICA’S CUP: Helmsman Peter Burling and Emirates Team New Zealand won the America’s Cup with a resounding romp against software tycoon Larry Ellison’s two-time defending champion Oracle Team USA.

The underfunded but resourceful Kiwis claimed the oldest trophy in international sports with another dominating light-air sprint around Bermuda’s Great Sound aboard their fast, 50-foot foiling catamaran. New Zealand won 8 of 9 races in the finals.

TENNIS

EASTBOURNE INTERNATIONAL: Petra Kvitova withdrew because of an abdominal injury and No. 4 seed Dominika Cibulkova lost 7-5, 6-4 to Heather Watson in a second-round match in Eastbourne, England.

HOPMAN CUP: Roger Federer has committed to starting the 2018 season at the international mixed-team tournament in Perth, Australia.

Federer, 35, has cut back on the number of tournaments he plays in order to prolong his career, but he played in this year’s Hopman Cup and it proved an ideal tune-up for the Australian Open, where he beat Rafael Nadal in the final to end a Grand Slam drought stretching back to Wimbledon in 2012.

GOLF

DALY INJURED: Two-time major champion John Daly withdrew from this week’s U.S. Senior Open in Peabody, Massachusetts, because of a shoulder injury.

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Sale gets 10th win, Moreland homers again as Red Sox beat Twins http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/26/sale-gets-10th-win-moreland-homers-again-as-red-sox-beat-twins/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/26/sale-gets-10th-win-moreland-homers-again-as-red-sox-beat-twins/#respond Tue, 27 Jun 2017 02:35:01 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/26/sale-gets-10th-win-moreland-homers-again-as-red-sox-beat-twins/ BOSTON — Chris Sale pitched 6 1/3 overpowering innings with nine strikeouts, Mitch Moreland hit a solo homer for the third straight game and the Boston Red Sox beat the Minnesota Twins 4-1 on Monday in a matchup of two of the AL’s top teams.

Dustin Pedroia had two hits and drove in a run and Moreland added a sacrifice for Boston, which kept pace with the New York Yankees atop the East.

Coming off a three-game sweep in Cleveland that had jumped them over the Indians into first in the Central, the Twins’ offense was stymied by Sale and three relievers.

Sale (10-3) gave up one run and four hits, increasing his major-league strikeout total to 155. Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his 21st save.

The 6-foot-6 Sale relied on his usual sharp-breaking slider and fastball in the mid-to-upper 90s to fan eight over the first six innings, getting the initial half dozen with his breaking pitch.

Jose Berrios (7-2) allowed four runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings. Chris Gimenez had a solo homer for Minnesota.

Boston jumped ahead 2-0 in the first when Moreland homered into the first row of Green Monster seats after the first run scored on a double-play grounder.

Berrios had given up just two runs in each of his previous four starts, and six of eight since being promoted on May 7.

Gimenez’s homer completely left Fenway Park over the Monster.

Red Sox rookie Tzu-Wei Lin singled to right in his first major-league at-bat and first career start.

The 23-year-old from Taiwan played third on his country’s national teams in 2009 and 2010. He’s the second Taiwanese-born player to make Boston’s major-league roster. Outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin was the other, in 2012.

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On baseball: Henry Owens back with the Sea Dogs http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/26/on-baseball-henry-owens-back-with-the-sea-dogs/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/26/on-baseball-henry-owens-back-with-the-sea-dogs/#respond Tue, 27 Jun 2017 02:23:19 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/26/on-baseball-henry-owens-back-with-the-sea-dogs/ In 2014, Henry Owens was the frontline starter in the making. He won 14 games for the Sea Dogs with a 2.60 ERA.

But years of adjustments and wildness followed.

Three seasons later, Owens is back in Portland, trying to end the tinkering and find a consistent path back to the major leagues.

Owens, who had started 16 games for Boston over the two previous seasons, has not seen Fenway this year. Instead, Owens was sent from Triple-A Pawtucket to the Double-A Sea Dogs on Monday.

“It was time for a change,” said Ralph Treuel, the Red Sox minor league pitching coordinator.

“Coming down here, maybe starting with a clean slate … It will free him up a little more.”

Owens, 24, will eventually join the Sea Dogs’ rotation. His first start is tentatively scheduled for July 3 in Hartford. Until then, Owens will be working on his delivery.

The idea is for Owens to become more consistent with a three-quarters angle.

Owens called it a “low three-quarters slot.”

“There had been discussion in the past about it. Just mild discussions,” Owens said. “But with the struggles over the top and the inconsistencies – one outing a lot of walks, the next outing kind of power through it …

“In terms of repeating the arm slot, I was having difficulty doing that. Not so much with the off-speed, but more with the fastball, which is the one pitch I need to command the most.”

Owens, a 6-foot-6 left-hander, had struggled with consistency.

A top prospect in 2014 – drafted 36th overall in 2011 out of high school – Owens looked sharp in Portland, striking out 126 and walking 47 in 121 innings.

But the walks began to mount in Pawtucket.

In 2015, Owens walked 56 (1221/3 innings). Last year: 81 walks (1372/3 innings).

This year, Owens had already walked 60 batters in 69 innings. Still, he has stuff – 72 strikeouts and opponents hitting only .224. But Owens could never figure out his delivery.

“The last two, three spring trainings, there was a lot of tinkering,” Owens said. “Last year, every two or three starts, there were mechanical adjustments.”

Even when Owens was pitching in the majors last season, he was tinkering.

“I remember before a start against the Yankees, that week I threw a bullpen almost completely different than I had thrown in the past,” he said.

But now he’s working on a whole new look.

“In terms of arm slot, I’ve never dropped my arm and tried that,” Owens said.

“I do believe it’s my natural arm slot because, in pitchers’ fielding practice, when I throw to first base or second base, my instinct has always been to throw it sidearm.”

It is not unheard of for pitchers with major league time to come down to Double-A. Clay Buchholz reached Boston at the end of 2007 and threw a no-hitter. He began 2008 with the Red Sox, slumped and eventually came down to Portland.

Pitchers in other organizations have been up and down.

“I’ve played with plenty of dudes who have had more adversity than this and they had success at the major league level,” Owens said. “I’m going to be optimistic, stay positive and keep working hard.”

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

kthomas@pressherald.com

Twitter: @ClearTheBases

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http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/26/on-baseball-henry-owens-back-with-the-sea-dogs/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2017/06/1217407_622782-20170627_seadogs-3.jpgHenry Owens was back in the dugout at Hadlock Field three seasons after establishing himself as a prospect with the Sea Dogs.Mon, 26 Jun 2017 22:42:54 +0000
Major league notebook: Francona ailing, leaves game early http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/26/major-league-notebook-francona-ailing-leaves-game-early/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/26/major-league-notebook-francona-ailing-leaves-game-early/#respond Tue, 27 Jun 2017 01:37:49 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/26/major-league-notebook-francona-ailing-leaves-game-early/ CLEVELAND — Indians Manager Terry Francona left Cleveland’s game against the Texas Rangers because he wasn’t feeling well.

Francona spoke at his usual press availability before the game and presented Rangers first baseman and former Cleveland player Mike Napoli with his American League Championship ring in a ceremony about 10 minutes before the first pitch, but bench coach Brad Mills removed starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco in the fourth inning. It’s not clear when Francona left.

Francona, 57, was hospitalized on June 13 following a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Progressive Field. He underwent a battery of tests and was released a few hours later. Francona returned to work the following night.

Francona missed a game last season in August after experiencing chest pains.

n Cleveland activated outfielders Michael Brantley and Brandon Guyer from the 10-day disabled list.

Outfielder Daniel Robertson and right-hander Shawn Armstrong were optioned to Triple-A Columbus.

Brantley hasn’t played since June 14 because of a sprained left ankle. Guyer has been on the DL since May 13 because of a sprained left wrist.

TRADE: The Miami Marlins traded shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria to the Tampa Bay Rays for two minor leaguers – right-handed pitcher Ethan Clark and outfielder Braxton Lee.

Hechavarria, 28, has been on the disabled list since May 10 because of a strained left oblique but was on a minor league rehab assignment. He was hitting .277 with one homer and six RBI in 20 games, and hadn’t made an error this year. He’s a career .255 hitter in six seasons.

Lee, 23, was an All-Star this season in the Double-A Southern League. Clark, 22, is in Class A.

RANGERS: Left-hander Cole Hamels was activated from the 10-day disabled list in time to start against Cleveland.

Hamels was out for eight weeks because of a strained oblique muscle. He was injured warming up for a scheduled start May 2 against Houston and was placed on the DL on April 30 in a retroactive move.

Hamels is 2-0 with a 3.03 ERA in five starts. He made two minor league rehab starts.

Outfielder Drew Robinson was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock. He was promoted on Saturday and homered for his first major league hit Sunday in a 7-6 win over the New York Yankees.

YANKEES: New York activated outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury from the disabled list and put him back into the starting lineup against the Chicago White Sox.

Second baseman Starlin Castro also returned to the lineup, batting second after getting a shot in his wrist Saturday. Castro injured his hamstring early in the game and departed.

The Yankees also recalled infielder/outfielder Rob Refsnyder and right-handed pitcher Ronald Herrera from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Outfielder Aaron Hicks was placed on the disabled list, and the Yankees optioned left-hander Tyler Webb and outfielder Mason Williams to Triple-A.

ROCKIES: Outfielder Carlos Gonzalez was placed on the 10-day disabled because of a strained right shoulder that had kept him out the past three games.

Manager Bud Black said neither the training staff nor Gonzalez were sure he would be ready by the start of a weekend series Friday at Arizona. Gonzalez is expected to return next Monday.

Colorado also placed lefty starter Tyler Anderson on the DL because of inflammation in the back of his left knee near the hamstring. He felt it during his Sunday start at Dodger Stadium in what had been described as a cramp, but the Rockies thought it could become a strain and made the precautionary move to shut him down.

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Trey Ball blanks Fisher Cats as Sea Dogs get 5-1 win http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/26/ball-sea-dogs-top-fisher-cats/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/26/ball-sea-dogs-top-fisher-cats/#respond Tue, 27 Jun 2017 01:34:24 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/26/ball-sea-dogs-top-fisher-cats/ Trey Ball put together one of his finest Double-A performances Monday night, allowing one hit in six scoreless innings, leading the Portland Sea Dogs to a 5-1 win over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats before 4,770 at Hadlock Field.

Ball (2-6) did hit two batters and walked five, but mostly on full counts.

“They were deep counts and just missing spots,” Ball said. “I’d get the next guy to roll over and get some double plays, so that was nice.”

When Ball looked like he might lose it, he rebounded. He began the fourth inning by hitting a batter on an 0-2 count. He began the next batter 2-0, but then got a double-play grounder. Ball began the sixth with two walks, but got another double play.

“My two-seam fastball was working for me tonight,” said Ball, who had one strikeout. “They weren’t chasing the slider or the change-up. Just let (the two-seam fastballs) play and let the defense work.”

Ball, who gave up a single in the second inning, left in the seventh with two runners on and no outs. Reliever Luis Ysla got out of the jam. Ysla allowed one run in the eighth, and Bobby Poyner pitched a 1-2-3 ninth.

Henry Urrutia and Jeremy Barfield knocked in two runs. Nick Longhi singled in a run. Danny Mars went 3 for 4 and Chad De La Guerra was 2 for 4 to lead the Sea Dogs (33-38). New Hampshire dropped to 31-44.

One of the highlights of the night came while the Sea Dogs were making warm-up throws before the fourth inning. They stopped to watch the video board, which replayed the first major league hit by their former teammate, Tzu-Wei Lin, in his first at-bat at Fenway. Lin was called up to Boston on Saturday.

“That was awesome,” Mars said. “Sometimes you get caught up in the game and forget why you’re out there, and then you look up and see that.”

NOTES: Third baseman Rafael Devers sat out with a sore knee and will likely miss a few games … Michael Chavis played third. He went 0 for 4, but is still batting .333 after four games … Poyner’s ERA dropped to 0.68 … The Sea Dogs made it official, announcing that Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez will make a rehab start Thursday. Rodriguez last pitched at Hadlock in 2014, after he was traded from Baltimore … To make room for Henry Owens on Portland’s roster, pitcher Elih Villanueva was transferred to Lowell … Patriots quarterback Jacoby Brissett will throw out the first pitch Tuesday and be available for autographs.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

kthomas@pressherald.com

Twitter: @ClearTheBases

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http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/26/ball-sea-dogs-top-fisher-cats/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2017/06/622782-20170627_seadogs-2.jpgPORTLAND, ME - JUNE 27: Portland Sea Dogs' Chad De La Guerra reaches out as he attempts to make a catch at second as New Hampshire Fisher Cats'Harold Ramirez slides in during the 7th inning of their game Monday, June 27, 2017 in Portland, Maine. (Staff Photo by Joel Page/Staff Photographer)Mon, 26 Jun 2017 23:38:38 +0000
NHL notebook: Stars acquire Methot, waive Niemi http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/26/nhl-notebook-stars-acquire-methot-waive-niemi/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/26/nhl-notebook-stars-acquire-methot-waive-niemi/#respond Tue, 27 Jun 2017 01:22:11 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/26/nhl-notebook-stars-acquire-methot-waive-niemi/ The Dallas Stars acquired veteran defenseman Marc Methot in a trade Monday night with the Vegas Golden Knights.

Dallas sent goaltending prospect Dylan Ferguson and a 2020 second-round pick to Vegas. The deal was announced less than a week after the Golden Knights took Methot in the expansion draft from the Ottawa Senators.

Methot, 32, has two years left on his contract at a salary-cap hit of $4.9 million.

The Stars also placed goalie Antti Niemi on waivers with the intention of buying out the final year of his contract, according to a source who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the Stars have not announced the move, which was first reported by the Dallas Morning News.

Niemi is due to make $4.5 million next season but would be bought out at $3 million spread over two years. The ninth-year player, who won a Stanley Cup with Chicago in 2010, is coming off a disappointing season in which he went 12-12-4 and had a 3.30 goals-against average in 37 games.

He became the odd-man out in Dallas behind Kari Lehtonen and Ben Bishop after Bishop was acquired in a trade last month. Dallas has until Saturday to sign Bishop before he’s eligible to become an unrestricted free agent.

Dallas re-signed rookie defenseman Esa Lindell to a two-year, $4.4 million contract and forward Mark McNeill to a one-year deal. Lindell had six goals and 18 points in 73 games during his first full NHL season.

OILERS: Edmonton signed forward Zack Kassian to a three-year contract extension.

Kassian, 26, appeared in 79 games last season, finishing with seven goals, 17 assists and 101 penalty minutes.

BLUES: St. Louis did not extend a qualifying offer to Nail Yakupov, making the 2012 No. 1 overall pick an unrestricted free agent.

Yakupov, 23, had just nine points in 40 games last season after four years with the Edmonton Oilers. The Russian winger has never had more than 33 points in a season.

The Blues tendered qualifying offers to five other restricted free agents: defensemen Colton Parayko and Petteri Lindbohm, forwards Magnus Paajarvi and Oskar Sundqvist and goaltender Jordan Binnington. St. Louis re-signed forward Wade Megan to a one-year, two-way contract.

Monday was the deadline for clubs to extend offers to ensure the right of first refusal or draft choice compensation should players sign an offer sheet with another team.

HURRICANES: Carolina agreed to terms with forward Derek Ryan on a one-year contract.

Ryan, 30, will make $1.425 million this season. He had career bests with 11 goals, 18 assists and 29 points in 2016-17.

WILD: Minnesota agreed with defenseman Gustav Olofsson on a two-year, $1.45 million contract.

Olofsson was one of eight restricted free agents who received qualifying offers from the Wild. He will make $675,000 this season and $775,000 next season.

LIGHTNING: Tampa Bay re-signed defenseman Andrei Sustr and forward Yanni Gourde and made qualifying offers to nine other players, including forwards Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat.

Sustr agreed to a one-year, $1.95 million contract. He appeared in 80 games last season, finishing with three goals and 14 points.

General Manager Steve Yzerman says Gourde signed a two-year contract worth $1 million per season. The 25-year-old played in 20 games last season, scoring six goals.

In addition to Johnson and Palat, goalie Kristers Gudlevskis, defensemen Jake Dotchin and Slater Koekkoek and forwards Michael Bournival, Tye McGinn, Matthew Peca and Tanner Richard got qualifying offers.

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Defense still a puzzle for the Bruins http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/26/defense-still-a-puzzle-for-bruins/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/26/defense-still-a-puzzle-for-bruins/#respond Tue, 27 Jun 2017 01:19:44 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/26/defense-still-a-puzzle-for-bruins/ The Boston Bruins packed up operations after the NHL draft and moved on from Chicago with a half-dozen kids in the system they hope can help three or four years down the road.

Now it’s time for General Manager Don Sweeney to turn his attention back toward the more pressing issue – improving his team for the fall.

It won’t be easy.

Sweeney’s quest for a left-shot defenseman proved fruitless at the draft, but chances are he’ll make another run at a trade leading into the opening of free agency at noon on Saturday.

The acquisition of a left-shot defenseman is not imperative but would make their blueline six-pack fit together a whole lot better. As of now, the Bruins have two left/right pairs that make sense in Zdeno Chara/Brandon Carlo and Torey Krug/Adam McQuaid. But Kevan Miller would likely be forced to play on the left, keeping rookie Charlie McAvoy on his natural side.

Miller played on the left side a bit last year and it wasn’t a disaster, but he’s clearly a better player on the right. And after the Bruins protected Miller in the expansion draft, it seems logical that they want to put him in position to succeed. Still, staying pat on defense might be the team’s best option.

The Bruins were linked to Minnesota’s Marco Scandella over the weekend, though it’s not clear just how interested they were. Scandella would represent a big-time commitment to his remaining three-year, $4 million per year pact, especially if the Bruins feel good about lefty prospects Rob O’Gara, Matt Grzelcyk, Jakub Zboril and Jeremy Lauzon.

Sweeney could look back toward the desert, where the tables may have turned a bit on Vegas GM George McPhee. Before the expansion draft, he did a great job of procuring draft picks from teams wishing to protect players. But now he has a surplus of defensemen and has to trade a few.

One of those defensemen was dealt Monday night when the Knights sent Marc Methot to the Dallas Stars. Nate Schmidt, a 25-year-old restricted free agent who played for the Capitals last season, might have the most upside of anyone on the Vegas roster, so it would likely take a lot for the Bruins to pry him away from the Knights.

That leaves Jason Garrison, Alexei Emelin, Luca Sbisa, Brayden McNabb, Clayton Stoner and Jon Merrill as possible trade candidates. Maybe Sweeney sees something there that he likes, maybe not.

Sweeney can start talking to free agents this week before the signing period opens, and there are two perfect candidates to fill spots on the Bruins from the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins. Left-shot defenseman Trevor Daley and third-line center Nick Bonino both could fill holes. Daley, though, will be 34 in October and is known more for his offensive skills and mobility than his defensive prowess, and sometimes struggles against big forwards.

The 29-year-old Bonino, a Connecticut native and Boston University product, would seem like a good replacement for Ryan Spooner if the Bruins decide to move on from the restricted free-agent center. Spooner’s days in Boston seemed numbered when he was a healthy scratch in the playoffs.

The question facing both potential signings are the usual ones – term and money. And champions tend to get paid. The Capitals’ Karl Alzner hits the market, too, but he’ll be looking for a big deal on his first foray into unrestricted free agency.

Perhaps the best alternative is to stick with what the Bruins have, re-sign restricted free agent Joe Morrow as a seventh defenseman and hope O’Gara or Grzelcyk is ready. Remember at this time last year, there was a desperate need for a right-shot defenseman, and then Carlo showed up to camp.

The Bruins displayed an upward trajectory when they made the playoffs, but make no mistake, they are still very much at a crossroads. With divisional rivals Toronto and Montreal figuring out ways to improve, especially on the back end, Sweeney’s next moves, or non-moves, could be critical to the Bruins’ continued path up the hill.

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http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/26/defense-still-a-puzzle-for-bruins/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2017/06/1217372_59893-AP17152581181241.jpgNick Bonino won back-to-back Stanley Cup titles with the Penguins, and the Bruins might be interested in signing the free-agent center.Mon, 26 Jun 2017 21:32:49 +0000
Former UMaine star Paul Kariya to enter Hockey Hall of Fame http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/26/kariya-selanne-to-enter-hockey-hall-of-fame/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/26/kariya-selanne-to-enter-hockey-hall-of-fame/#respond Tue, 27 Jun 2017 00:53:07 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/26/kariya-selanne-to-enter-hockey-hall-of-fame/ Paul Kariya always felt as if he knew where Teemu Selanne was on the ice when they had spectacular chemistry together as teammates.

On Monday, Selanne pulled a new trick, telling Kariya where he was going: the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Before Kariya got the call that he was being inducted, Selanne delivered the news that the dynamic duo that thrilled hockey fans in Anaheim for several years was going to be inducted together this fall.

The longtime teammates headline the Hall of Fame’s class of 2017, which includes the long-overdue additions of Mark Recchi, Dave Andreychuk and longtime Canadian university coach Clare Drake. Canadian star Danielle Goyette became the fifth women’s player elected, and Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs got in as part of the builder category.

Selanne was the only player elected in his first year of eligibility after putting up 1,457 points in 1,451 games over 21 NHL seasons. The “Finnish Flash” was a 10-time All-Star, had 76 goals as a rookie with Winnipeg in 1992-93 that still stands as one of his 18 NHL records, and won the Stanley Cup with Anaheim in 2007.

“When I look back, I shake my head and say how lucky I was in so many different ways and so thankful that I was able to play for so many years,” Selanne said.

He and Kariya played together for parts of six seasons with the Ducks, helping hockey grow in Southern California in the 1990s, and then another season with Colorado. Kariya had his career cut short by concussion problems, finishing with 989 points in as many games.

“I didn’t retire willingly,” said Kariya, who will be the first University of Maine player in the Hall of Fame. “I would’ve loved to have kept playing. If there was any way of waving a magic wand and getting the opportunity to live through my entire career, the good and the bad, I would do it again in a heartbeat.”

Recchi’s election in his fourth year of eligibility ended a curious omission for a player who won the Cup three times – once each with Pittsburgh (1991), Carolina (2006) and Boston (2011) – and is 12th in NHL scoring with 1,533 points. Every other retired player in the top 28 in career scoring was already in the Hall of Fame.

“You can only do so much, and you’ve got to let your numbers and your play dictate where it gets you,” Recchi said. “It was just something where you hope it’s good enough at some point.”

Andreychuk had an even longer wait, finally getting the call in his ninth chance after putting up 1,338 points in 23 seasons and serving as captain of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 2004 Cup champions. His 640 goals are 14th all time.

“The years that I have waited make no difference to me,” Andreychuk said. “When I started (in Buffalo) in ’82, I got the privilege of watching Gilbert Perreault score 500 goals, and to think that I went by him, it’s mind-boggling.”

Goyette won two Olympic gold medals and one silver medal for Canada and had 113 goals and 105 assists in 171 international games. Growing up in Quebec, she was asked why she played a men’s sport and said, “When you love something that much, it doesn’t matter what people say: You just do what you love.”

Drake, who said he was humbled to learn of his selection, has the most wins of any Canadian college coach during a legendary 28-year career at the University of Alberta that included six University Cup titles. Along the way, he revolutionized puck pressure and penalty-killing techniques and influenced NHL coaches Mike Babcock, Ken Hitchcock and Barry Trotz.

Hitchcock said he was relieved Drake is being honored at age 88 and said of his mentor, “There’s never been a person that’s done more for hockey and more for coaches and more for his players than Clare.” Babcock called Drake the John Wooden of Canadian hockey.

“You’re a great man, you did things right, treated people right, won championships and made an impact,” Babcock said. “What more can you ask?”

Jacobs has owned the Bruins since 1975 and has served as chairman of the NHL Board of Governors since 2007. He said it was “a total surprise” to be elected and credited his time working at the league level for the honor.

“While our league has changed and grown over the 42-plus years Jeremy has owned the Bruins, he always has focused on further growing our game and strengthening our league,” Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “As chairman of our board of governors for the past decade, his priority has been to serve our fans and to make sure our league and its teams are strong.”

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http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/26/kariya-selanne-to-enter-hockey-hall-of-fame/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2017/06/1217344_610266-AP_9712110528-e1498535063283.jpgPaul Kariya's NHL career was still in its early stages in 1997 when he re-signed with Anaheim, where he teamed up with Teemu Selanne to form one of the league's best scoring duos.Mon, 26 Jun 2017 23:44:32 +0000
Commentary: Earnhardt reflects as career winds down http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/26/commentary-earnhardt-reflects-as-career-winds-down/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/26/commentary-earnhardt-reflects-as-career-winds-down/#respond Tue, 27 Jun 2017 00:35:19 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/26/commentary-earnhardt-reflects-as-career-winds-down/ SONOMA, Calif. — Dale Earnhardt Jr. had just completed a satisfying sixth-place finish at Sonoma Raceway when he was stopped by the Fox Sports cameras in what might have been his final postrace interview with the network.

It was 17 years ago that Fox made its debut as NASCAR’s newest broadcast partner, and that Daytona 500 will always be remembered for the fatal last-lap accident that killed Dale Earnhardt Sr. His son rushed from the track in his firesuit to the hospital hoping for the best, but his father was gone.

He was practically a kid back then, doing his interviews with a baseball hat on backward before jumping in his race car as a respite from the chaos around him.

Now 42 years old and married, Fox stopped him Sunday after what might have been his final race on the picturesque road course in Napa Valley wine country. He was asked, “When you look back to the past 17 years, what will stand out the most? What will you be most proud of?”

“I think the wins and everything, are great. I enjoyed celebrating those,” Earnhardt began. “But, long after your career – guys come along and win races and some of your accomplishments on the track sort of get forgotten. But, who you are as a person never gets forgotten. People never forget who you were.

“I hope people just thought I was good and honest and represented the sport well. I hope people that work with me enjoyed working with me, whether it was in the late model ranks or whatever; and I hope the guys I raced against enjoyed racing with me. That’s really all that will matter. And, what people I think will remember, is always you’re alive and beyond. Hopefully I left a good impression. I’ve had a lot of fun.”

With that, it was off to prepare for Saturday night’s race at Daytona International Speedway. It’s the second half of the season, and every stop Earnhardt makes from here until November will effectively be “his last race at that track.”

As his farewell tour began in Sonoma – the track “gifted” him the sponsorship of three Labrador retriever puppies that will be raised and trained to help children with disabilities through Paws as Loving Support Assistance Dogs – Earnhardt is becoming more reflective with each passing race.

That should make this week’s stop in Daytona a tough one for NASCAR’s most popular driver.

He comes from a time when the “Firecracker 400” was actually held on the morning of July 4, then all the drivers would take their families to Daytona Beach after the race. He’s always been nostalgic for the simpler days in NASCAR, when he was just a little boy in awe of his father and his racing heroes.

Daytona, with all its grit and biker bars, gentleman’s clubs and chain restaurants, is still paradise to Earnhardt.

With his countdown to retirement under way, Earnhardt seems to be recognizing the end is near. And it sounds very much like he has mixed emotions.

Earnhardt was asked last weekend about what should be his final race at Daytona, and his answer was a very firm statement that he isn’t going anywhere.

“I am just retiring from full-time racing. I am going to run some Xfinity races next year. I don’t know that I won’t ever run the Daytona 500 again,” he said. “I want to continue to be part of the sport. I don’t know how it’s going to affect me, really. It’s hard for me to put that into words because I don’t know what that is going to feel like.

“It will be pretty weird I think to come back to the 500, I’m going to go to the 500 whether I’ve got any work to do or not. It will be pretty weird to be there and not race.”

Earnhardt, a two-time Daytona 500 winner, owns an Xfinity Series team. There also seems to be interest in him for a broadcasting career, with Sam Flood, executive producer for NBC’s NASCAR telecasts, telling The Associated Press there’s room on broadcasts for Earnhardt.

Should he land a job with NBC, he’d be reunited with former crew chief and current analyst Steve Letarte, who told Earnhardt he himself struggled initially with the transition.

“When he wasn’t working a race he had a hard time being there. He had a hard time watching it and not wanting to be a part of it,” Earnhardt said.

So he’s received enough advice, reflected on the implications of trying to go cold turkey from NASCAR, and doesn’t think that’s what retirement should mean.

“I’m not retiring from work,” he said. “I want to keep seeking out opportunities to make a living and make money and be relevant, be a value to my partners. I want to continue to be a part of the sport and not just as an owner in the Xfinity series. I want to be a valuable asset to the growth of the sport and continue to help raise the bar and raise the awareness of the sport and promote the sport as much as I can.”

Ambassador Dale. It could very well work.

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http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/26/commentary-earnhardt-reflects-as-career-winds-down/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2017/06/1217319_282819-AP_17167799215071.jpgDale Earnhardt Jr. is preparing for the second half of his final season on the NASCAR Cup Series and hopes to be remembered as an ambassador for auto racing.Mon, 26 Jun 2017 20:45:26 +0000
NFL notebook: Nick Fairley won’t play for Saints in 2017 http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/26/nfl-notebook-fairley-wont-play-for-saints-in-2017/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/26/nfl-notebook-fairley-wont-play-for-saints-in-2017/#respond Tue, 27 Jun 2017 00:23:51 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/26/nfl-notebook-fairley-wont-play-for-saints-in-2017/ METAIRIE, La. — New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Nick Fairley is coming off one of his best NFL seasons and it might have been his last.

At the very least, he won’t be playing in 2017.

General Manager Mickey Loomis said Monday that Fairley has been placed on the team’s reserve list with a nonfootball illness designation, meaning the 2016 starter is out for this season.

The 6-foot-4, 308-pound Fairley had a career-best six sacks for the Saints last season, after which he signed a four-year extension worth up to $28 million.

However, symptoms related to an enlarged heart caused Fairley to miss offseason practices and minicamp while he saw specialists to determine whether playing football would be an undue health risk.

Saints Coach Sean Payton has said at least one specialist recommended that the 29-year-old Fairley – a former Auburn star and 2011 first-round draft pick by Detroit – give up football. Payton also mentioned that he wanted to be sure Fairley wouldn’t return unless he was confident enough in his health to play to his full potential.

“The most important thing right now in our mind is his well-being,” Payton said earlier this month, when Fairley’s status for this season was still in doubt.

“To play this game, there’s a little bit of mental toughness involved, obviously. I want to make sure, if in fact he’s playing it, again that he’s playing with full confidence that he’s healthy to play and that nothing severe would come of him playing.”

Fairley has been playing his whole NFL career with an enlarged heart, which can be caused by health problems of varying severity.

In addition to his career-high sacks last season, Fairley was credited with nine tackles for losses and 22 quarterback hits.

Fairley’s absence is the second recent blow to a team trying to break out of a rut of mediocrity that has produced three straight 7-9 seasons. Little more than a week ago, the Saints learned that their highest-paid offensive lineman, left tackle Terron Armstead, needed shoulder surgery that would sideline him 4 to 6 months, or at least about half of the regular season.

PANTHERS: Quarterback Cam Newton said on Twitter that he threw his first passes since surgery in March for a partially torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder.

Newton is on schedule to participate in the team’s training camp in July, and barring setbacks should be ready for the start of the season.

The Panthers released a short black-and-white video of Newton throwing in the team’s locker room.

FORMER GREEN BAY Packers running back Ahman Green was charged with felony child abuse after his 15-year-old daughter told police he punched her in the face.

Green, 40, is also charged with disorderly conduct in the incident late Sunday in the Green Bay suburb of Ledgeview.

According to a criminal complaint, Green’s daughter told police that he struck her in the face in a dispute over getting her to do the dishes. She also said he threw her to the ground and against kitchen cabinets.

According to the complaint, Green told deputies he “may have” thrown his daughter to the ground and against cabinets. He said he slapped her in the head and believed he may have hit her glasses, causing a swollen eye.

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Red Claws coach Scott Morrison earns promotion to Celtics http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/26/morrison-earns-promotion-from-red-claws-to-celtics/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/26/morrison-earns-promotion-from-red-claws-to-celtics/#respond Mon, 26 Jun 2017 21:28:43 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/26/morrison-earns-promotion-from-red-claws-to-celtics/ Dave Lewin, general manager of the Maine Red Claws and scouting director of their parent Boston Celtics, confirmed Monday what many had suspected for months: Scott Morrison, the most successful coach in Red Claws history, will join the staff of Brad Stevens in Boston as an assistant coach.

Morrison, 39, led the Red Claws to three straight Atlantic Division titles in the NBA Development League and helped develop league Rookies of the Year Tim Frazier and Abdel Nader. Because Morrison’s current contract runs through June 30, no official announcement will be made until July.

“Scott will be joining the Celtics for next season,” Lewin said. “You can go ahead and say that.”

The Celtics currently have five assistant coaches: Jay Larranaga, Micah Shrewsberry, Walter McCarty, Jamie Young and Jerome Allen. The new coach of the Red Claws appears likely to come from that pool.

“It’s not done yet and perhaps something different will happen,” Lewin said, “but my impression is that several people will shuffle internally. Brad will have the lead on that. We’ll take a look at a couple of people who have been with us in Boston and are ready to have the opportunity to be a head coach.”

The Celtics will take part in two weeklong Summer League sessions. The first starts Sunday in Salt Lake City with Allen as head coach, and the second starts July 8 in Las Vegas with McCarty as head coach. Morrison will be on staff for both sessions.

“I think they’re still deciding what my role (with the Celtics) will be,” Morrison said by phone Monday afternoon from Boston. “(Stevens) suggested I’ll most likely be on the second bench. I just want to try to do the best job I can here.”

The first week of July also means the opening of free agency, and “we have some important things going on with that that we’re going to pursue pretty aggressively,” Lewin said. “That will flow right into Summer League and during the tail end of Summer League or right after, the D-League (now known as the G-League) will be the next priority.”

Of the 15 players on Boston’s current roster, James Young, Jonas Jerebko, Amir Johnson and Gerald Green soon will be unrestricted free agents and Kelly Olynyk could be a restricted free agent. Tyler Zeller and Jordan Mickey have nonguaranteed contracts for next season and Demetrius Jackson has a guarantee of $650,000.

“So more than half our roster could potentially change, depending on trades and free agency,” Lewin said.

One thing that should remain stable is the parent club’s reliance on Portland as a place to keep its bottom-of-the-roster players active and game ready.

“Organizationally, we’re all in,” Lewin said. “Everyone has seen the value of what we’re doing in Maine and the importance of it as a preparatory opportunity. For guys who are not quite ready to be Celtics, we want to get them ready to be a part of what we’re doing.”

Of the four players selected by the Celtics in last week’s NBA draft, Kadeem Allen at No. 53 and Jabari Bird at No. 56 are likely to be mainstays of the Red Claws. Semi Ojeleye at No. 37 and, although less likely, even Jayson Tatum at No. 3 also could see considerable G-League action.

“Depending how things go,” Lewin said, “all rookies have a chance to spend some time in Maine.”

Morrison recently became engaged to Susanne Canvin, a fellow Prince Edward Island native who played college basketball in Canada and works in marketing and advertising for the Celtics. They are living in Boston.

“I’m happy to get the (NBA) opportunity, but I was definitely happy to be (in Portland),” Morrison said. “In this business, it’s move up or get out. In a different environment, I’d sign a 10-year contract to stay there (in Maine).”

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or:

Gjordan@pressherald.com

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

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Local baseball roundup: Sullivan lifts Cape Elizabeth to victory http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/local-baseball-roundup-sullivan-lifts-cape-elizabeth-to-victory/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/local-baseball-roundup-sullivan-lifts-cape-elizabeth-to-victory/#respond Mon, 26 Jun 2017 03:29:36 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/local-baseball-roundup-sullivan-lifts-cape-elizabeth-to-victory/ CAPE ELIZABETH — Carson Sullivan struck out eight and allowed three hits to lift Cape Elizabeth to a 5-1 win over Biddeford in a Junior Legion baseball game Sunday.

Alex Bozek drove home Zack Fitts with the go-ahead run as Cape Elizabeth (3-1) broke a 1-1 tie with four runs in the bottom of the fifth.

Biddeford is now 0-3.

CHEBEAGUE ISLAND BOATYARD SWEEPS BANGOR: Luke Waeldner lined a two-run single as Cheabeague Island (7-0) overcame a 4-2 deficit with eight runs in the fourth inning to win the second game of a doubleheader with Bangor (0-6) 10-5 in Yarmouth.

Chebeague Island had three-run sixth inning to win the first game, 8-5.

Toby Burgmaier and Ben Norton powered the inning with consecutive RBI singles.

TWILIGHT LEAGUE

AERO HEATING & VENTILATION 8, ON TARGET 1: Nate Cyr singled home a run in a four-run fifth inning, then added a two-run homer run in the ninth to lift Aero (5-4) past On Target (3-5) in Cumberland.

EMPIRE LEAGUE

OLD ORCHARD BEACH 10, PUERTO RICO 3: Branden Henriquez allowed one run through six innings as the Surge (2-1) beat Puerto Rico (1-2) in Old Orchard Beach.

Parker Franklin had a two-run single for OOB, while Mike Davis, Doug Matas, Jake Simpson and Tony Bakeris added doubles.

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Major League notebook: Yankees outfielder Hicks headed to DL http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/major-league-notebook-yankees-outfielder-hicks-headed-to-dl/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/major-league-notebook-yankees-outfielder-hicks-headed-to-dl/#respond Mon, 26 Jun 2017 03:20:49 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/major-league-notebook-yankees-outfielder-hicks-headed-to-dl/ NEW YORK — New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks will go on the disabled list after injuring his ribcage on the right side during a check swing in the first inning of New York’s 7-6 loss to Texas on Sunday.

Hicks was removed from the game before the fifth inning.

“They said the process is about three to four weeks,” Hicks said. “I’ll do my best to get it done before that.”

Manager Joe Girardi said the Yankees might activate outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury from the DL on Monday.

Ellsbury has been out since May 24 with a concussion but played his second minor league rehab game with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Sunday.

New York was also without second baseman Starlin Castro, who got a shot in his wrist Saturday. Girardi said the wrist has bothered Castro for six weeks, but added that it’s “not a serious injury.”

“We said, let’s get (the shot) because you’ll get more than 24 hours (rest) in a sense, going from a day game to a night game,” Girardi said.

MARLINS: Manager Don Mattingly made out Miami’s lineup unaware he was making Ichiro Suzuki the oldest player to start a game in center field since at least 1900.

“He doesn’t play like that,” said Mattingly.

When the 43-year-old Suzuki started in Sunday’s 4-2 win over the Chicago Cubs, he surpassed the record held by Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson, who was a month younger when he started in center in 2002 for the Boston Red Sox.

Tim Tebow has been promoted to the New York Mets’ high Class A affiliate in St. Lucie, Florida. Tebow entered his final Fireflies game batting .222 with three home runs and 23 RBI.

Orioles: Zach Britton (left forearm strain) pitched a scoreless inning Saturday for Class-A Delmarva and will make his fourth rehab appearance Monday at Double-A Bowie. The closer could return July 5.

MILWAUKEE: The Brewers claimed catcher Stephen Vogt off waivers from Oakland. The 32-year-old Vogt, an All-Star in 2015 and 2016, was hitting .217 when he was designated for assignment by the A’s on Thursday.

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Major League roundup: Dodgers stretch streak to 10 http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/major-league-roundup-dodgers-stretch-streak-to-10/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/major-league-roundup-dodgers-stretch-streak-to-10/#respond Mon, 26 Jun 2017 03:04:47 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/major-league-roundup-dodgers-stretch-streak-to-10/ LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Dodgers found a new way to extend their winning streak to 10 games, scoring five runs on four wild pitches to go along with two more homers from rookie sensation Cody Bellinger in rallying past the Colorado Rockies 12-6 Sunday.

The Dodgers’ string is their longest since they won 10 straight in August 2013. Colorado lost its season-worst fifth in a row.

Rockies reliever Adam Ottavino (1-2) threw four wild pitches in the late innings, all of them scoring at least one run.

Kenley Jansen got five outs for his 17th save, and hit an RBI double for the Dodgers’ final run. Jansen also walked his first batter of the season after striking out 51.

REDS 6, NATIONALS 2: Scooter Gennett homered and had four hits, and Cincinnati scored five times in the first inning on its way to a win over Washington.

The Reds won for just the second time in 15 games. Gennett’s four hits were his most since he got five while becoming the 17th major league player homer four times in a game on June 6.

BREWERS 7, BRAVES 0: Travis Shaw became the first player to reach SunTrust Park’s right-field roof, belting a two-run homer that helped Milwaukee beat Julio Teheran in Atlanta.

MARLINS 4, CUBS 2: Chicago wasted a fine pitching performance by Mike Montgomery, stranding 11 runners and allowing three unearned runs while losing in Miami.

DIAMONDBACKS 2, PHILLIES 1: Daniel Descalso lined a run-scoring single in the 11th inning and Arizona extended the best start in franchise history with a win over Philadelphia in Phoenix.

METS 8, GIANTS 2: Rene Rivera homered twice, Rafael Montero pitched into the sixth inning in a spot start and visiting New York swept sliding San Francisco.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

BLUE JAYS 8, ROYALS 2: Closer Roberto Osuna struck out three in a scoreless ninth inning a day after saying he was dealing with anxiety issues, and Toronto avoided a sweep by winning in Kansas City, Missouri.

Jose Bautista homered and drove in a season-high four runs and Francisco Liriano earned his 100th career victory.

On Saturday, Osuna said he was out of sorts mentally and feeling anxious.

RANGERS 7, YANKEES 6: Adrian Beltre, Shin-Soo Choo and Drew Robinson each homered off Michael Pineda to build a seven-run lead, and Texas held on in New York.

TWINS 4, INDIANS 0: Ervin Santana struck out seven in six innings, Jason Castro drove in three runs and Minnesota finished a sweep on the road, beating Cleveland to move back into first place in the AL Central.

ORIOLES 8, RAYS 5: Joey Rickard hit a tiebreaking double in the ninth inning and Baltimore, boosted by three home runs, won in St. Petersburg, Florida.

ATHLETICS 5, WHITE SOX 3: Sonny Gray allowed four hits in seven innings, Adam Rosales and Matt Joyce hit back-to-back homers in the ninth, and Oakland rallied to win in Chicago.

ASTROS 8, MARINERS 2: George Springer, Yuli Gurriel and Evan Gattis hit long home runs and Houston Astros wrapped up a 6-1 roadtrip with a win in Seattle.

INTERLEAGUE

TIGERS 6, PADRES 5: Mikie Mahtook drove in three runs including a tiebreaking two-run single in the ninth inning to help Detroit snap an eight-game losing streak with a win in San Diego.

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http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/major-league-roundup-dodgers-stretch-streak-to-10/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2017/06/1217037_Rockies_Dodgers_Baseball_8.jpgCody Bellinger watches his two-run home run in the third inning Sunday against Colorado. Bellinger homered twice and the Dodgers won 12-6.Sun, 25 Jun 2017 23:18:48 +0000
SEC rivals to meet in CWS finals http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/sec-rivals-to-meet-in-cws-finals/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/sec-rivals-to-meet-in-cws-finals/#respond Mon, 26 Jun 2017 03:04:23 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/sec-rivals-to-meet-in-cws-finals/ OMAHA, Neb. — The matchup for the College World Series finals certainly bolsters the case for those who say the best college baseball is played in the Southeastern Conference.

To get to the best-of-three finals starting Monday night, LSU (52-18) beat an Oregon State team that had the highest winning percentage of any program in four decades – twice in two days. Florida (50-19) became the fourth team in CWS history to shut out an opponent twice with a pair of 3-0 wins over TCU wrapped around a 9-2 loss to the Horned Frogs.

So here they are, the teams that shared the SEC regular-season championship playing for the national title.

“I think this is how it had to be,” LSU shortstop Kramer Robertson said. “If you want to be the best, you’ve got to beat the best. I think both teams are happy with who is in the finals.”

With eight players taken in the first 10 rounds of last year’s Major League Baseball draft, the 2016 Gators were the season-long favorites to break through with a championship. They went 0-2 in Omaha.

This year’s team lacks depth and dynamic offense but has been able to count on dominant pitching and defense. The Gators have played 25 one-run games and have won 18 of them.

“I had a feeling early on, if we stayed healthy, that we had the ingredients to be successful out here,” Gators Coach Kevin O’Sullivan said.

“I thought our starting pitching was going to be as good as anybody’s in the country. We needed to figure out our bullpen, and Michael Byrne has turned out to be outstanding at the end.”

LSU leads the all-time series 61-47-1, but the Gators won two of three at home in March in the only meetings this season.

“If the truth be told, I was rooting for Kevin and the Gators last night,” said LSU Coach Paul Mainieri.

“I just think it’s an awesome thing that these two SEC schools get to play for a national championship. Probably the only person that’s happier than (O’Sullivan and me) is Greg Sankey, the commissioner of the SEC. He’s anxious to get up here and get behind home plate so as not to show any favoritism.”

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Sports Digest: Luce storms to victory at Oxford Plains Speedway http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/sports-digest-luce-storms-to-victory-at-oxford-plains-speedway/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/sports-digest-luce-storms-to-victory-at-oxford-plains-speedway/#respond Mon, 26 Jun 2017 03:03:38 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/sports-digest-luce-storms-to-victory-at-oxford-plains-speedway/ AUTO RACING

Luce storms to victory at Oxford Plains Speedway

Glen Luce of Turner cruised to victory in the 50-lap Super Late Model feature at Oxford Plains Speedway on Saturday night.

Luce went from last to first in his 12-lap heat race, then dominated the field in the feature.

Alan Tardiff of Lyman finished second, while Wayne Helliwell Jr. of Dover, New Hampshire took third.

Other winners Saturday were: Billy Childs Jr. of Leeds in the Street Stock feature; Cam Childs of Leeds in the Bandits race; Erik Hodgkins of Minot in the Figure 8 race; and Andy Hill of Waterford, Vermont in the North East Classic Lites 20 lap features.

FORMULA ONE: Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo profited from the chaos to win the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku, Azerbaijan, while Sebastian Vettel extended his championship lead over Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton and Vettel were involved in an incident that threatens to sour their good relations.

Hamilton appeared to stop his car right in front of Vettel, causing Vettel to crash into him.

An irate Vettel then accelerated alongside Hamilton and appeared to deliberately swerve back into him.

Vettel was given a 10-second stop-go penalty, but Hamilton lost valuable time changing a loose headrest at the same time that Vettel served his time penalty.

Soccer

MLS: The San Jose Earthquakes fired coach Dominic Kinnear and assistant John Spencer, naming former player Chris Leitch the replacement head coach.

CONFEDERATIONS CUP: World champion Germany reached the Confederations Cup semifinals with a 3-1 victory over Cameroon, which had a player sent off after confusion with experimental video replays.

Germany was leading through Kerem Demirbay’s 48th-minute strike when Cameroon had Sebastien Siani wrongly sent off, even after a challenge on Emre Can was reviewed by the video assistant referee.

Martin Rodriguez salvaged a draw for Chile against a tenacious Australian side to ensure his team qualified for the Confederations Cup semifinals.

BASKETBALL

WNBA: Karima Christmas-Kelly scored 24 points and the Dallas Wings beat the Connecticut Sun 96-82 in Arlington, Texas for their fourth win in a row.

Theresa Plaisance added 16 points while Skylar Diggins-Smith had 15 points and nine assists for Dallas (8-8).

 Tayler Hill scored 10 of her 17 points in the decisive second quarter and the Washington Mystics cruised to a 97-63 win over the Chicago Sky in Bridgeview, Illinois.

TENNIS

GERRY WEBBER OPEN: Roger Federer defeated Germany’s Alexander Zverev 6-1, 6-3 to win the tournament in Halle, Germany for a record ninth time.

Playing in his 140th career final, Federer saved the only break point he faced and converted four of his eight opportunities to clinch his 92nd career title in 53 minutes.

AEGON CLASSIC: Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova beat Ashleigh Barty 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in Birmingham, England to win her first title since her playing hand was injured in a knife attack at her home.

Kvitova was playing only her second tournament and seventh match since she was attacked in December.

QUEEN’S: Feliciano Lopez saved a match point as he came from behind to beat Marin Cilic of Croatia and claim the biggest title of his career, in London.

The 35-year-old Spaniard failed to break the serve of fourth-seeded Cilic throughout the grass-court final but fought back to win 4-6, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (8) in a match lasting around 21/2 hours.

– Staff and news service report

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On Baseball: Ortiz’s former platoon partner still plugging away http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/on-baseball-ortizs-former-platoon-partner-still-plugging-away/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/on-baseball-ortizs-former-platoon-partner-still-plugging-away/#respond Mon, 26 Jun 2017 03:03:37 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/on-baseball-ortizs-former-platoon-partner-still-plugging-away/ They both labored in the Minnesota Twins minor league system, eventually platooning in the big leagues.

This past weekend, one player was celebrated as one of Boston’s greatest athletes.

The other stood in the third base coach’s box at Hadlock Field, managing the minor league Harrisburg Senators.

David Ortiz, 41, had his number retired at Fenway Park on Friday night. Matt LeCroy, 41, caught highlights of the ceremony after he was done with Harrisburg’s 9-2 loss to the Sea Dogs.

“I saw a little bit of it when I got back to the hotel,” LeCroy said. He delighted in watching his former teammate get recognized.

“Solid guy. Great teammate. Just a good person. Turned out to be a really, really great player. I’m happy for him.”

Both LeCroy and Ortiz served as the Twins designated hitter in 2002, with occasional time at first base. Ortiz, a left-handed hitter, batted .272 with 20 home runs in 125 games; LeCroy, a righty, hit .260 with seven home runs in 63 games.

“He had the talent,” LeCroy said. “You could see it when he played with us. A great hitter. Just didn’t get the opportunity to do it every day. Went to Boston and took advantage of the opportunity. The rest is history.”

When deciding future rosters, the small-market Twins had to hold strictly to its budget. Ortiz was an arbitration-eligible player in 2002 and made $950,000; LeCroy made $200,000.

Ortiz was due to make more in 2003, but the Twins did not tender him a contract. The Red Sox scooped him up for $1.25 million.

“You hate to see a guy like that go,” LeCroy said. “A lot of times in Minnesota, that’s what happened. Guys would make too much money and (the Twins) weren’t willing to pay it.

“Look at the guys who went away, like Torii (Hunter), Johan (Santana), David. It’s just part of it.”

LeCroy said good bye to a teammate and friend. LeCroy was a first-round draft pick out of Clemson in 1997. He soon met Ortiz.

“We became good friends. Our wives became good friends. We watched their daughter during spring training,” he said.

They played together briefly in Triple-A and the majors, especially in 2002. In 2003, it looked like the Twins were choosing LeCroy over Ortiz.

“It wasn’t like they were just giving me the job. Because they didn’t,” LeCroy said.

LeCroy played 107 games in 2003 and hit .287 with 17 home runs. He hit 17 homers again in 2005, then became a free agent and signed with the Nationals. After one season, he returned to the Twins. The following season, he signed with the A’s, but when they offered him a player/coach position in the minors, he opted to play independent ball.

In 2009, the Nationals hired him to manage a Class A team, at the age of 33. He’s been managing since – except for a two-year stint as the Nationals bullpen coach in 2014-15.

The Nationals played at Fenway in 2015.

“We were able to catch up. Same old Ortiz,” LeCroy said. “Just a good dude.”

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

kthomas@pressherald.com

Twitter: ClearTheBases

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Commentary: Celtics have the pieces to get George http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/commentary-celtics-have-the-pieces-to-get-george/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/commentary-celtics-have-the-pieces-to-get-george/#respond Mon, 26 Jun 2017 03:03:35 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/commentary-celtics-have-the-pieces-to-get-george/ BOSTON — The Celtics are still in the hunt for Paul George, and they may be in the best position to get the Indiana star.

Begin with the fact that dealing for a guy with one year left on his contract and who has said through his agent that he will leave the Pacers as a free agent after the 2017-18 season – with all signs pointing to him joining his semi-hometown Lakers – is, at best, a gamble.

But the Celtics have more chips than anyone else and thus are better equipped to play a little poker. Their hope would be that if they could get the All-Star forward here for a season, the quality and togetherness of the team around him and the way the club is supported – something that deeply impressed the Clippers Blake Griffin when he saw the outpouring for Paul Pierce’s last visit as a player to the Garden – would make him want to stay.

But when it comes to dealing first-round draft picks in a package for George, the concept of gambling also comes into play.

Consider this: if you make all the picks, what’s the likelihood they all pan out? The Celtics have had their share of botched first-rounders, though, granted, most of them were of the non-lottery variety.

Surely the Celtics have a chart somewhere that approximates the value of each pick in a given draft and the possibility for a player taken at that position to become a star.

But in the case of George, they would be getting a proven All-Star with leadership qualities who might enjoy playing for a coach like Brad Stevens and with a group of teammates who play with a high level of maturity.

But it will all come down to cost and what Indiana expects in return for a player whose proclamations now and at last February’s trade deadline, when he said he would either play for Indiana or leave for the Lakers, severely cut his value in the marketplace.

Teams backed away a few months ago, but now that George has said he’s leaving Indy, the asking price cannot be as high. Teams know the Pacers have to get something for him before he walks.

While other clubs will be looking for a bargain, the question is not whether the Celtics will overpay for a guy who can leave in a year. The question is by how much, and only Danny Ainge and staff and their value chart know the answer to that.

The funny thing is a deal for George would be easy were it not for collective bargaining rules. While teams can put contingencies on draft picks that are traded, they cannot do the same based on a player’s actions or decisions.

The Celtics would love to be able to put a couple of large conditions on a deal – something along the lines of we’ll give you X if he leaves us at the end of the 2017-18 season, and we’ll give you X plus Y and Z if he stays with the club beyond the year.

For now, however, we’re left to wait and see which team will make the best bet on George. And it looks as though we could be waiting a while.

Pacers head of basketball ops Kevin Pritchard says he’s going to be patient as he looks for the right deal, and the Celtics, even if they can reach an agreement in principle with Indiana, will want to see what they can do in their free agent quest for Gordon Hayward before executing a move for George or anyone else. As the Celtics try to maneuver their salary cap situation, they pretty much have to do things in that order.

Speaking of gambles, it wasn’t the fact that Josh Jackson wouldn’t work out for the Celtics that likely scared them off.

“The kid blew us off in a workout, but I don’t believe Josh Jackson did that,” Ainge said. “I believe there’s people around him that made those decisions. But I really enjoy watching him play, and I really enjoy what he’s about.”

Ainge may have confidence in Jackson’s ability to develop into a shooter, but as a coach from another team put it, there’s a significant risk involved.

“In today’s game, if you can’t shoot, you ruin your team’s offense,” he said. “If the opponent doesn’t really have to worry about you, it changes the spacing on the floor.

“That’s what happened with Kris Dunn and that’s why Minnesota was so willing to trade a guy they’d coveted a year ago.”

Dunn shot 37.7 percent from the floor (28.8 percent on 3-pointers).

When it was pointed out that Marcus Smart was 35.9 and 28.3 percent, respectively, last season, the coach replied, “Yeah, but that guy can be streaky. And if you don’t stay up on him, he’ll get going downhill and wind up at the line or laying the ball down for an easy 2 for someone else.”

By the way, George averaged 23.7 points on 46.1 percent shooting last season. He averaged 28 points in four single-digit losses to Cleveland in the playoffs.

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Erin Andrews marries ex-NHL player Jarret Stoll http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/erin-andrews-marries-ex-nhl-player-jarret-stoll/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/erin-andrews-marries-ex-nhl-player-jarret-stoll/#respond Mon, 26 Jun 2017 02:53:57 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/erin-andrews-marries-ex-nhl-player-jarret-stoll/ NEW YORK — Sportscaster Erin Andrews and former NHL player Jarret Stoll have tied the knot.

Publicists for Andrews confirm that the 39-year-old Fox Sports sideline reporter and “Dancing with the Stars” co-host married Stoll on Saturday, his 35th birthday.

People magazine first reported the nuptials. According to the magazine, the wedding was held at sunset in Montana in front of a small group of family and friends.

Andrews wore a gown designed by Carolina Herrera.

The couple, who started dating in 2012, got engaged in December at Disneyland.

The wedding follows a rocky year for Andrews.

In September 2016, she was diagnosed with cervical cancer, months after winning a stalking lawsuit.

She settled with two hotel companies that were found partially to blame for the stalker, who got a hotel room next to hers and posted nude video of her on the internet.

Stoll played in the NHL for 13 years, for Edmonton, Los Angeles, Minnesota and the New York Rangers.

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http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/erin-andrews-marries-ex-nhl-player-jarret-stoll/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2017/06/1217026_People_Erin_Andrews_Cance2.jpgErin Andrews, a sports broadcaster and "Dancing with the Stars" co-host, married Jarret Stoll over the weekend.Sun, 25 Jun 2017 22:53:57 +0000
Red Sox notebook: Rodriguez to pitch Thursday for Sea Dogs http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/red-sox-notebook-rodriguez-to-pitch-thursday-for-sea-dogs/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/red-sox-notebook-rodriguez-to-pitch-thursday-for-sea-dogs/#respond Sun, 25 Jun 2017 23:33:41 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/red-sox-notebook-rodriguez-to-pitch-thursday-for-sea-dogs/ BOSTON — Eduardo Rodriguez threw 68 pitches in a simulated game Saturday at Fenway Park, an outing that puts him in line to throw 75-80 pitches in a rehab start Thursday for the Portland Sea Dogs. If that rehab assignment goes as expected, he could return to the Boston rotation five days after that.

“He felt like today he could continue on,” Red Sox Manager John Farrell said. “He didn’t feel taxed from a physical standpoint. He was able to maintain some arm strength.”

Rodriguez last pitched on June 1, the day he slipped and fell in the bullpen and suffered another subluxation of his right knee. It was the same injury that cost Rodriguez the first two months of the 2016 season after a fall during a spring-training fielding drill. The lefty then pitched to an 8.59 ERA in his first six starts and had to be demoted to Triple-A Pawtucket, struggles he attributed to uncertainty about the stability of his knee.

To alleviate similar uncertainty this time around, the Red Sox have fitted Rodriguez with a knee brace and have put him through agility drills to assure him his knee has healed.

“The fact that he’s had this now multiple times, I think he’s had more experience at it, as crazy as that sounds,” Farrell said. “The fact that it’s happened multiple times, he can tell when he’s gaining that stability and is maybe not as reluctant to be the normal force with his delivery.”

DAVID PRICE was a bit cryptic late about his departure from his start Saturday night. He threw 103 pitches through six innings, a natural point of departure for a pitcher coming back from an injury. But TV cameras caught Price summoning pitching coach Carl Willis into the tunnel behind the dugout after the sixth inning, and Price himself did little to diminish the intrigue.

“There’s a lot of stuff going on right now,” he said. “You don’t want it to linger into the next start or two to three weeks from now.”

Price denied that his departure had anything to do with his elbow or with the blister that has hampered him in recent weeks but declined to go into further detail.

On Sunday, Farrell offered some clarification: Price developed a cracked fingernail on the middle finger of his left hand and left the game so as not to exacerbate it.

He’s still expected to make his next start on Thursday.

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Golf roundup: Spieth wins in playoff http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/golf-roundup-spieth-wins-in-playoff/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/golf-roundup-spieth-wins-in-playoff/#respond Sun, 25 Jun 2017 22:58:26 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/golf-roundup-spieth-wins-in-playoff/ CROMWELL, Conn. — Jordan Spieth needed an extra hole, a little bit of luck and an amazing final shot to finish off a wire-to-wire victory in the Travelers Championship.

The two-time major champion holed out from 60 feet for birdie from a greenside bunker on the first hole of a playoff with Daniel Berger on Sunday at TPC River Highlands.

Spieth, 23, joined Tiger Woods as the only PGA Tour players since World War II with 10 victories before age 24. Woods won 15 times before he turned 24.

“That was one for the ages,” said Spieth, also the winner at Pebble Beach in February.

Spieth held a one-stroke edge after each of the first three rounds. He closed with an even-par 70 to match Berger at 12-under 268.

Berger, the Memphis winner two weeks ago before missing the cut last week at the U.S. Open, birdied three of the final six holes for a 67 but just missed a 50-foot putt from off the 18th green that would have forced a second playoff hole.

“Jordan does Jordan things,” Berger said. “So there’s not really much you can say. I’m obviously disappointed, but happy to be in the position I was in today.”

Berger hit his drive on the first playoff hole left and into the crowd behind a fairway bunker. Spieth seemed to clip a tree on the left side of the fairway, and the ball landed in the fairway about 150 yards short of his normal drive and 230 yards from the hole.

Spieth’s approach fell into bunker. Berger’s ran off the green to the left.

Spieth had to back up after hitting his bunker shot to see the hole. When the ball rolled straight into the cup, he threw his club and did a flying chest bump into caddie Michael Greller.

“If I was in Berger’s shoes, I’d be cursing Jordan Spieth right now for the break off the tee and then holing a 30-yard bunker shot – that’s a lot of luck,” Spieth said.

Spieth became the third player to go wire-to-wire in the lead at the Connecticut event, joining Gene Littler in 1959 and Tim Morris in 1982. Spieth’s only other wire-to-wire win was the 2015 Masters.

Charley Hoffman (66) and Danny Lee (67) tied for third, three strokes back.

LPGA: So Yeon Ryu became the first two-time winner this season, taking the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship in Rogers, Arkansas, with a tournament-record 18-under 195 total.

Five strokes ahead after a course-record 10-under 61 on Saturday, the third-ranked Ryu closed with a 69 for a two-shot victory over fellow South Korean Amy Yang and Thailand’s Moriya Jutanugarn.

Yang finished with a 64, and Jutanugarn had a 66.

Local favorite Stacy Lewis (69) and Michelle Wie (64) tied for fourth at 13 under.

EUROPEAN TOUR: Andres Romero had seven birdies in his last 11 holes to win the BMW International Open by one stroke in Munich.

The 837th-ranked Romero carded a bogey-free round of 65, the day’s best, to finish at 17-under 271, a shot better than Thomas Detry (66) and overnight leaders Sergio Garcia (69) and Richard Bland (69).

It was Romero’s second European Tour title, 10 years after the Argentine won the Players Championship of Europe.

CHAMPIONS TOUR: Fred Couples rallied to win the American Family Insurance Open in Madison, Wisconsin, for his second title of the year and 13th overall.

Couples, 57, shot a 6-under 66 in cool and windy conditions for a two-shot victory over Scott Verplank. He birdied six of the first 11 holes and finished at 15-under 201.

Verplank shot a 69.

Tournament host Steve Stricker (69) and Joe Durant (67) tied for third at 12 under. Stricker made his first start in his hometown event after turning 50 in February. Paul Broadhurst, two strokes ahead after each of the first two rounds, had a 73 to finish fifth at 11 under.

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Harvick ends drought at Sonoma http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/harvick-ends-drought-at-sonoma/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/harvick-ends-drought-at-sonoma/#respond Sun, 25 Jun 2017 22:36:15 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1216913 SONOMA, Calif. — Kevin Harvick returned to Victory Lane for the first time this season with a dominating run Sunday on the road course at Sonoma Raceway.

The former NASCAR champion came to Sonoma winless in 20 races since Kansas last fall and has been overshadowed in this season of NASCAR’s young new superstars. But at a track where experience and ability can separate the field, it was Harvick and a bunch of veterans who led the way.

It was the first win on the winding wine country road course in 17 tries for the driver from Bakersfield, California. Sonoma was one of just four active tracks where Harvick had never scored a Cup victory.

“To finally check this one off the list …. being so close to home and having raced here so much, this was one that was on the top of the list,” Harvick said.

Harvick was on cruise control and conserving fuel in this win, which ended under caution after Kasey Kahne had a hard accident on the final lap. Harvick had a cozy 9-second lead over Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Clint Bowyer before the caution.

Bowyer, now the driver for the entry Tony Stewart used for his final NASCAR victory last year at the track, was second and Brad Keselowski third as Ford cars went 1-2-3.

It was the first victory for Stewart-Haas Racing since the team switched to Ford this season. Harvick had spent 16 years in a Chevrolet.

It was Ford’s seventh victory of the season. Ford won eight Cup races last season, and seven came from Team Penske drivers. This year, the manufacturer has wins from Penske, Roush-Fenway Racing, The Wood Brothers and SHR.

“Getting our first win with Ford, this has been a great journey for us as an organization and team,” Harvick said.

Martin Truex Jr. led 25 laps but suffered an engine failure and finished 37th. Truex won the first stage of the race, his series-leading 11th stage victory. Jimmie Johnson won the second stage, his first stage victory of the season, but finished 13th overall.

Kyle Larson and Jamie McMurray started on the pole for Chip Ganassi Racing and hoped to give the owner a Sunday sweep after Scott Dixon won the IndyCar race at Road America in Wisconsin. But Larson, the points leader, was never a factor and finished 26th. McMurray was 10th.

Most of the top 10 was comprised of veterans. Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch were fourth and fifth in Toyotas, while Dale Earnhardt Jr. was the highest-finishing Chevrolet in sixth. Daytona 500 winner Kurt Busch was seventh.

Then came Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney, who along with Larson are part of the newest faces of NASCAR.

Bowyer couldn’t catch his teammate for the win, but his second-place finish was a season best. He was content with that and knows how hard his new SHR team is working.

He also understood that Harvick was eventually going to get a win.

“Let’s face it, you’re not going to keep that team that’s won a championship, won all these races in the last five years, you’re not going to keep them out of winning,” Bowyer said.

Alon Day became the first Israeli driver to start a Cup Series race. He finished 32nd.

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http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/harvick-ends-drought-at-sonoma/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2017/06/1216913_NASCAR_Sonoma_Auto_Racing7.jpgKevin Harvick embraces his wife, DeLana, after his road course victory Sunday in Sonoma, Calif.Sun, 25 Jun 2017 19:44:10 +0000
Harris finishes second in 800 at U.S. championships http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/harris-finishes-second-to-earn-spot-on-u-s-team/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/harris-finishes-second-to-earn-spot-on-u-s-team/#respond Sun, 25 Jun 2017 21:28:06 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1216888 SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Isaiah Harris of Lewiston finished second in the 800 meters at the U.S. track and field championship on Sunday to earn a trip to the world championships.

Harris ran a personal-best time of 1 minute, 44.53 seconds. Donavan Brazier won the race in 1:44.14 and Drew Windle finished third in 1:44.95.

Clayton Murphy, last year’s Olympic bronze medalist, did not start the race because of a sore hamstring from the 1,500 final on Saturday.

Harris, who recently finished his sophomore year at Penn State, qualified for the final by running 1:45.77 in the semifinals on Friday. His previous personal best was 1:45.12.

The world championships take place in London in August.

Matthew Forgues of Boothbay finished fourth in the 20K racewalk with a time of 1:32.30.27.

ARIES MERRITT will be making a return to the world championships, this time, with a working kidney.

The world-record holder finished second behind Aleec Harris in the 110-meter hurdles.

Merritt won bronze at the 2015 world championships in Beijing with his kidneys barely functioning because of a genetic disorder. He received a transplant from his sister less than a week later. Now healthy, he’s ready to see what he can do with worlds being held at the venue where he won an Olympic gold medal during the 2012 London Games.

“I always felt once I was healthy, all it would take is for me to put in the work,” Merritt explained. “That’s something I’ve been lacking. I haven’t been able to put in the work in two years.”

Harris proved uncatchable as he finished in 13.24 seconds. Merritt was 0.07 seconds behind, and former University of Oregon football player Devon Allen took third.

JUST LIKE in the 100, Christian Coleman took the early lead in the 200. And just like in the 100, he was caught at the last moment. Coleman was outleaned at the finish by Ameer Webb, who finished in 20.09 seconds to win by 0.01. Elijah Hall-Thompson was third.

“Racing at this high level, you can never think you have it,” Coleman said. “He got me today.”

Oregon standout Deajah Stevens won the 200 from the outside lane, edging Kimberlyn Duncan and Tori Bowie.

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http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/harris-finishes-second-to-earn-spot-on-u-s-team/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2017/06/1216888_823435-track.jpgIsaiah Harris, left, of Lewiston celebrates as he crosses the finish line to take second place in the 800 meters at the U.S. track and field championships on Sunday in Sacramento, California. Donvan Brazier, second from left, won the race in 1:44.14. The top three finishers earn a spot on the U.S. team for the world championships in London in August.Sun, 25 Jun 2017 20:37:48 +0000
Senators rout Sea Dogs http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/senators-rout-sea-dogs/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/senators-rout-sea-dogs/#respond Sun, 25 Jun 2017 20:52:14 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1216879 The Harrisburg Senators enjoyed a beautiful 78-degree afternoon in Portland on Sunday. Their 15-hit outburst made it all the more pleasurable.

Harrisburg routed the Portland Sea Dogs 11-4 at Hadlock Field.

The highlights for the Sea Dogs included a Michael Chavis home run, Rafael Devers reaching base four times (single and three walks), and Henry Urrutia going 3 for 4 with a double.

Chavis went 2 for 3, including a double. He was the designated hitter, while Devers took his turn at third base.

The Sea Dogs (32-38) recorded 11 hits. They just could not do a lot with them.

“That’s been our season,” Sea Dogs Manager Carlos Febles said. “I’ve seen us before get 14 hits and score only two runs.

“We just can’t execute when we need to. From my (perspective), we’re trying to do too much in those situations.

“We’re working on it and hopefully things will start clicking soon. We do have a pretty good offense, but our approach hasn’t been the best.”

Harrisburg (32-41) got home runs from Drew Ward and Mario Lisson.

Sea Dogs starter Elih Villanueva (1-3) took the loss, allowing five runs on seven hits and three walks over 31/3 innings. Four Portland pitches issued a total of seven walks.

The Sea Dogs trailed 2-0 after the first inning and could not catch up. Danny Mars led off with a double in the bottom of the first but was stranded at third.

In the second inning, Chavis hit a shallow fly ball to center that dropped in for a hustle double. Urrutia doubled him in.

In the fourth, Chavis led off and hit the first pitch from Taylor Hill (3-1) – a hanging curveball – over the left-field wall. It was his second home run in three games with the Sea Dogs. He is 5 for 11 in Double-A so far.

“This is the first time I’ve had a chance to watch him play,” Febles said. “I’m real impressed how fast his hands go through the zone.”

Chavis was lifted in the eighth inning to give Danny Bethea some at-bats. Bethea came through with an RBI single in the ninth.

NOTES: The announced paid attendance was a sellout of 7,368. … First baseman Nick Longhi has missed three games because of a stiff back. He should return soon … Urrutia is batting .343 (12 for 35) since signing as a free agent after he was released by the Orioles. … Actor Steve Burton (General Hospital, Young and the Restless) will appear at Monday’s game … Tuesday’s guest is New England Patriots quarterback Jacoby Brissett.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

kthomas@pressherald.com

Twitter: ClearTheBases

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http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/senators-rout-sea-dogs/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2017/06/1216879_370567-20170625_Sea_Dogs01.jpgSea Dogs pitcher Elih Villaneuva throws to first after fielding a ground ball by Harrisburg's Yadiel Hernandez in the second inning of Portland's 11-4 loss Sunday at Hadlock Field.Sun, 25 Jun 2017 21:20:09 +0000
Angels score 3 after overturned call, beat Red Sox http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/angels-score-3-after-overturned-call-beat-sox/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/angels-score-3-after-overturned-call-beat-sox/#respond Sun, 25 Jun 2017 20:48:48 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/angels-score-3-after-overturned-call-beat-sox/ BOSTON — The Los Angeles Angels benefited from a replay challenge to beat the Boston Red Sox.

Parker Bridwell was solid for 6 2/3 innings and Los Angeles scored three runs after its challenge overturned an inning-ending double play in the second inning, propelling the Angels to a 4-2 win over the Red Sox on Sunday.

Bridwell (2-0) gave up two runs and seven hits while striking out four without issuing a walk.

Yusmeiro Petit pitched two innings for his first save.

“I don’t care if it’s old-fashioned or it’s cutting edge, we need them,” Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said of Petit’s save. “We need guys to hold leads. Most closers are primarily the one-inning guys that are in that bubble.”

Ben Revere had three singles and Kaleb Cowart drove in two runs for Los Angeles, which won two of three against the Red Sox for its fifth series win in the last six.

Doug Fister (0-1) lost his Red Sox debut, giving up three runs and seven hits in six-plus innings. He was signed by Boston on Friday after being released by the Angels.

Mitch Moreland and Jackie Bradley Jr. each hit a solo homer for the Red Sox, who lost their second straight at Fenway Park after winning 10 of the previous 12.

Boston remained one percentage point behind the Yankees for first place in the AL East.

Bridwell was Fister’s teammate at Triple-A Salt Lake before Fister was released.

“That’s weird,” Bridwell said. “I was in the same clubhouse with him a week and half ago or whatever and we were talking pitching. I was asking him certain things he did along the game, and the next thing you know we’re starting against each other on the big-league level.”

The Angels got their first run when Danny Espinosa was ruled safe at first base on the replay challenge, then quickly added two more runs. Cowart followed with an RBI double and Juan Gratetrol had a run-scoring single.

“That’s modern-day baseball,” Scioscia said.

“He’s a bang-bang play from a scoreless outing,” Red Sox Manager John Farrell said.

Except for the loss, Fister was pleased by his first start with Boston, and 200th of his career.

“Overall, it wasn’t a bad day,” he said. “They just put together some timely hits and took advantage of well-placed baseballs. That’s what good clubs do and that’s what they did today.”

Moreland homered over the Angels’ bullpen in the bottom of the second. Bradley homered into the center-field bleachers in the fifth.

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http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/angels-score-3-after-overturned-call-beat-sox/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2017/06/1216876_Angels_Red_Sox_Baseball_72.jpgAndrew Benintendi is tagged out by Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons as he tries to stretch a single into a double in the fourth inning Sunday.Sun, 25 Jun 2017 23:40:02 +0000
Birding: The fascinating hummingbird is back http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/herb-wilson-the-fascinating-hummingbird-is-back/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/herb-wilson-the-fascinating-hummingbird-is-back/#respond Sun, 25 Jun 2017 08:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1216195 The hummingbirds are back! Who among us has not joyfully exclaimed when the first ruby-throated hummingbird of the year appears at our flowers or feeder? It’s hard to think of a Maine migratory breeding bird whose spring arrival is more eagerly anticipated.

The hummingbird family is restricted to the New World with most of the 328 species occurring in Central America and South America. Unsurprisingly, South Texas and Southeastern Arizona have the highest hummingbird diversity in the U.S. with almost 20 species in each area. For us New Englanders, we have to be content with a single species.

But our ruby-throated hummingbirds have a broad nesting distribution, occurring in the United States east of 100 degrees latitude everywhere except the southern tip of the Florida peninsula. In Canada, ruby-throats occur from the Maritime Provinces westward into Saskatchewan. No other species of hummingbird in North America has a broader geographic range.

The delights of watching ruby-throated hummingbirds are many. The red throat feathers (called a gorget) of a male ruby-throated hummingbird may seem to sparkle in the right light. Their throat feathers refract light, giving the bird an iridescence that makes the feathers seem to shimmer as the bird moves its head.

Who isn’t amazed by a hummingbird’s ability to fly backward? Unlike other birds that extend their wings down and forward during a powerful downstroke and then fold the wings to raise them back for the next downstroke, hummingbirds generate lift and thrust on both the downstroke and upstroke. Their wings in motion describe a figure-8 when viewed from the side. At the end of the downstroke, the wing is moved backward and power is created by the upstroke moving forward to the head.

Don’t expect to see these amazing wing movements with your naked eye. Hummingbird wings are a blur in motion; the wings beat up to 70 times a second. Slow-motion video is needed to see the figure-8 wing movements.

Ruby-throated hummingbirds have a mating system called promiscuity. Each male tries to mate with as many females as possible.

A male will court a female through complicated flight displays. When a female flies into his territory, he begins with a dive display, flying U-shaped loops starting from as high as 30 feet above the female. If the female perches, he switches to very fast, side-to-side flights, with his gorget extended, within two feet of the female. If the male is acceptable as a mate, the female will cock her tail feathers to one side and lower her wings, inviting the male to mate with her. Mating lasts only about 2-3 seconds and that is the end of the male’s contribution to the offspring. Keep an eye out for these behaviors. I find them fascinating.

As a single mom, the female builds the nest by herself. The base is made of the down from dandelions and thistles and is attached to the upper side of a branch, much like a saddle over the back of a horse. The sides of the nest are made of plant down, bud scales and spider webs. The plant material is woven into the nest with the spider silk.

The eggs are usually two in number and, as you might imagine, are tiny. An average egg is half an inch long.

Incubation takes 12-14 days and the young hatch as naked, blind chicks. Feeding usually begins soon after hatching and the young fledge about 20 days after hatching.

We think of ruby-throated hummingbirds as depending on nectar for their nutrition. However, these birds also take spiders and insects (mosquitoes, gnats, fruit flies and small bees). Sometimes hummingbirds steal insects caught in spider webs and may take insects attracted to oozing sap from yellow-bellied sapsucker wells.

Herb Wilson teaches ornithology and other biology courses at Colby College. He welcomes reader comments and questions at whwilson@colby.edu

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Outdoors Calendar http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/outdoor-calendar-116/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/outdoor-calendar-116/#respond Sun, 25 Jun 2017 08:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1216230 SUNDAY

Youth Field Day, 8 a.m. in Phippsburg

The Phippsburg Sportsmen’s Association is hosting a Summer Youth Field Day at the Sportsmen’s Association’s Clubhouse and Outdoor Education Center on Route 209, Main Road, in Phippsburg. There will be hour-long sessions on archery, target shooting, and kayaking. Each activity will be taught by an instructor. All equipment provided.

Youth must be accompanied by an adult. No charge. Lunch to be provided.

WEDNESDAY

Mountain Lions in Maine, 7 p.m. in Damariscotta

BookSpeak, a literary forum based in Damariscotta, will hold a panel discussion by scientists and environmental writers titled “Mountain Lions in Maine: Rewilding the Maine Woods” at Damariscotta River Association’s Round Top Farm, located at 3 Round Top Lane.

Panelists include environmental journalist and author Will Stolzenburg, endangered species specialist at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Mark McCollough, the association’s vice president, Peter McKinley, and Chris Spatz, the Cougar Rewilding Foundation president. Tickets are $8 in advance at brownpapertickets.com/event/2958371 or 800-838-3006 or $10 on the day of the event.

UPCOMING

Loons from the Lake, 10 a.m., July 22, Rangeley

The Rangeley Region Lake Cruises will offer a summer program on the life, habits and reproduction of the loon. It will include a presentation by biologists from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, Brookfield Renewable and Biodiversity Research Institute, as well as lunch and a loon cruise on Rangeley Lake. The presentation will be in the Rangeley Outdoor Sporting Heritage Museum in Oquossoc Village. For the presentation in the museum there is a $5 requested donation. The lunch and the biologists’ presentation costs $13 and the cruise is $40. To register, call 670-8391 or email rangeleycruises@gmail.com. For more information go to rangeleylakecruises.com.

Calendar events can be sent to dfleming@pressherald.com.

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Boys’ tennis player of the year: Nick Mathieu, Mt. Ararat http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/boys-tennis-player-of-the-year-nick-mathieu-mt-ararat/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/boys-tennis-player-of-the-year-nick-mathieu-mt-ararat/#respond Sun, 25 Jun 2017 08:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1216332 Nick Mathieu dabbled in baseball and soccer, but when he started playing tennis he was hooked. He loved the individual aspect of the sport, the lack of outside influence.

“It was a matter of how hard I wanted to work,” said Mathieu, who convinced his father to hit at Maine Pines in Brunswick in the predawn hours before school.

“Five days a week I would go in with my dad, from 4 to 7 a.m.,” he said. “We’d open up the club and he’d feed balls to me for three hours.”

Mathieu completed a remarkable high school career at Mt. Ararat in Topsham. He reached the final of the state singles tournament all four years, winning three-set matches as a junior and senior after twice being runner-up.

For the second straight year, he is the Maine Sunday Telegram’s Player of the Year in boys’ tennis.

“He’s a good athlete who could have done anything,” said Mt. Ararat Coach Don Foley. “He could have played lacrosse, baseball. His brother is very good at track. But (Nick) concentrated on tennis. That’s what he wanted.”

In four years, Mathieu went 85-2. He lost only to Brendan McCarthy of Falmouth in 2014 and Isaac Salas of Waynflete in 2015. He plans to continue playing at Colby-Sawyer College in New Hampshire and study business with a concentration in finance and a minor in biology.

“My goal going in (to high school) was to win all four, honestly,” he said. “I figured it was good to aim high. I’d still do well even if I didn’t reach it.”

There were sacrifices. Mathieu said he spent more time in the gym lifting weights, cross training and doing core and balance work than he spent with friends. He credits improved fitness for still feeling fresh at the end of his 2-hour, 20-minute 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 victory over Nick Forester of Falmouth in the singles final.

If he has any regrets, it’s the time he spent traveling to tournaments nearly every weekend from seventh to 10th grade.

“I’m happier now,” he said. “Looking back, I definitely wouldn’t have done as many tournaments as that. Now it’s more at home, training for the select big tournaments.”

He has several sprinkled throughout New England this summer. He’s also coaching and giving private instruction. But this weekend he’ll be on the Roach River north of Greenville, casting flies for brook trout and salmon. The trip is a birthday present from his parents.

“I have a balance,” he said. “Whenever I’m not playing tennis, I’m fishing.”

Foley, who coached another four-year singles finalist – three-time state champ Mike Hill – has known Mathieu since he was 12 and admires his passion.

“He gets very energized, let’s put it that way,” Foley said. “I told him the nearest comparison tennis has to another sport is boxing, and that tennis final was like a boxing match, one blow after another, back and forth, all day long.”

Telegram All-State Team

Brandon Ameglio, Waynflete senior: Ameglio knocked off the fourth and fifth seeds in singles tournament to become the second unseeded player in recent memory to reach the semifinals, where he lost to eventual champ Nick Mathieu. He’ll continue playing at Connecticut College.

Declan Archer, Kennebunk freshman: Archer was unseeded but reached the singles quarterfinals before being derailed by eventual finalist Nick Forester. Playing No. 1 singles, he went 10-2 in team matches for a team that finished 2-10.

Nick Forester, Falmouth sophomore: An ambidextrous player who returned from a knee injury to lead Falmouth to the Class A state title, he reached the final of the singles tournament and extended defending champ Nick Mathieu to three sets in a hard-fought championship match.

Matthew Jarmusz, Morse senior: Jarmusz advanced to the singles quarterfinals before falling to No. 3 Dariy Vykhodtsev. He helped lead Morse to a 12-2 record and into the Class B South semifinals. In four years of team play, he never lost a match.

Thomas Jarmusz, Morse senior: Jarmusz won a third-set tiebreaker to reach the quarterfinals before losing 6-3, 7-5 to Brandon Ameglio. He was unbeaten in team play. He’ll attend Ithaca College with his brother.

Nick Mathieu, Mt. Ararat senior: A two-time singles state champion and four-time finalist, he won the last three games in the singles final to beat Nick Forester, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5. He had an 85-2 career record. He plans to continue playing at Colby-Sawyer College.

Cole Ouellette, Lewiston senior: A two-time state champion in hockey who plans to continue in juniors, Ouellette’s athleticism helped him reach the singles quarterfinals before falling 6-1, 6-1 to Nick Mathieu. He led Lewiston to the Class A North title over No. 1 Brunswick.

Dariy Vykhodtsev, Thornton Academy sophomore: A singles finalist as a freshman, he returned to the semifinals this spring before falling 6-3, 6-4 to Nick Forester. He was unbeaten in team play as the Golden Trojans finished 15-1.

Coach of the Year

Noah Capetta, Camden Hills: Capetta led the Windjammers to a second consecutive Class B state championship with 5-0 shutout of Yarmouth. In Capetta’s four years at the helm, Camden Hills has reached the state final four times, compiling a record of 58-6. “I love sharing my passion for tennis and the life lessons that I’ve learned through practicing, playing and teaching tennis,” Capetta said. He was previously an assistant at Greely and at his alma mater, Hermon. He said tennis is always a challenge because graduation and the end of the school year always coincide with the last week of playoffs. “I’ve been lucky to have a group of players who are dedicated to the team and are able to keep many balls in the air.”

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or:

Gjordan@pressherald.com

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

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http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/boys-tennis-player-of-the-year-nick-mathieu-mt-ararat/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2017/06/1216332_257209_20170529_tennis0076-e1498341129771.jpgAll the fitness training helped when it was most needed, when Nick Mathieu of Mt. Ararat went three long sets to outlast Nick Forester of Falmouth in the state final.Sat, 24 Jun 2017 20:01:25 +0000
Girls’ tennis player of the year: Lana Mavor, Yarmouth http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/girls-tennis-player-of-the-year-lana-mavor-yarmouth/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/girls-tennis-player-of-the-year-lana-mavor-yarmouth/#respond Sun, 25 Jun 2017 08:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1216341 After blasting one final forehand winner, Lana Mavor relaxed and began the walk to the net for the congratulatory handshake.

As Mavor reached the service line, she glanced at her fingernails as if wondering if they needed a trim. No celebration seemed necessary. The outcome certainly was never in doubt.

Mavor, a Yarmouth sophomore, had defeated Rosemary Campanella of Wells 6-1, 6-1 to become a state champion for the first time. In five matches of the singles tournament, the top-seeded Mavor lost only six games. She shut out her first two opponents and limited the final three to two games apiece.

“Showing emotion makes it easier for the opponent to play you,” Mavor said later. “So it’s good to keep it contained.”

Mavor, who also led Yarmouth to the regional final of the Class B team tournament, is the Maine Sunday Telegram Player of the Year in girls’ tennis. Her father, Brian, was the 1982 singles state champion for Cape Elizabeth.

“When she’s on the court, she’s taking care of business,” said Yarmouth Coach Ann Harradon. “You don’t see any expression. There’s no happy. There’s no sad. Occasionally she’ll slap her thigh, then I know she’s not happy with what she’s just done.”

There was some question whether Mavor – a nationally ranked player who does schoolwork online through Maine Virtual Academy rather than attend classes at Yarmouth High – would play for the Clippers this spring. As a freshman, a back injury forced Mavor to withdraw from the state singles tournament in the semifinals against Campanella.

“I didn’t get a chance to finish states,” she said. “I wanted to see how I did. And I like being part of a team.”

Mavor didn’t drop a set in her 10 matches for the team, including three in the playoffs. Her games record was 120-13. Yarmouth had two other sophomores who were Mavor’s classmates back at Harrison Middle School.

“So she gets along with the kids,” Harradon said. “She had a team dinner at her house and they all came.”

On the court, Mavor had no peers in Maine.

“They watch her and they’re amazed,” Harradon said. “She’s something we’ve never had before. She’s very athletic and puts a lot of time and effort into making herself better. She works out in the gym, and she runs and she hits with area pros. We’ve had good players, but nowhere near as competitive and highly ranked as she is.”

Mavor’s busy summer schedule began this weekend with a trip to a sectional tournament at Yale University. Next weekend, she has intersectionals in Louisiana. After that are tournaments in Pennsylvania and Virginia, followed by up to three in California.

In the fall, college coaches can begin the recruiting process.

“I just focus every match,” Mavor said, “and try to practice my skills that I’ve been working on in practice.”

Telegram All-Sate Team

Grace Campanella, Kennebunk freshman: Campanella reached the semifinals of the state singles tournament, losing a total of only two games in her first three matches before being stopped by eventual champ Lana Mavor.

Rosemary Campanella, Wells junior: The two-time singles finalist and older sister of Grace won four matches by a combined games score of 48-10 before falling 6-1, 6-1 to Lana Mavor in the final. She helped lead Kennebunk/Wells to first tourney berth.

Liv Clifford, Cape Elizabeth senior: The No. 7 seed, she reached the quarterfinals with a pair of straight-set victories before falling to eventual finalist Rosemary Campanella, 6-3, 6-2. She plans to continue playing tennis at Colorado College.

Lexi Epstein, Waynflete senior: The No. 9 seed, Epstein reached the quarterfinals by beating No. 8 Gabrielle Marquis of Caribou 6-1, 6-0 before falling 6-0, 6-2 to eventual champ Lana Mavor, then helped the Flyers win the Class C team title. She plans to continue playing at Dickinson College.

Izzy Evans, Greely junior: After a year abroad, Evans returned to lead the Rangers to their third Class B title in four years, 3-2 over Caribou. Seeded fourth in singles, she reached the quarterfinals before falling 6-0, 6-2 to Grace Campanella.

Bethany Hammond, St. Dominic senior: A four-time singles semifinalist and the 2015 runner-up, Hammond fell 6-1, 6-2 to Rosemary Campanella in the semifinals. She plans to continue playing tennis at Stonehill College.

Lana Mavor, Yarmouth sophomore: The top seed in the singles tournament, she rolled through the field by a combined games score of 60-6 to win the title, culminating in 6-1, 6-1 victory over Rosemary Campanella. In team play, she led the sixth-seeded Clippers to the Class B South final.

Kira Wolpow, Brunswick senior: The sixth seed in the singles tourney, she rallied for a 1-6, 6-3, 6-1 win over Falmouth’s Meredith Kelley to reach the quarterfinals before falling 6-3, 6-2 to Bethany Hammond. She led the Dragons to the Class A North title. After a gap year teaching English in Colombia, she’ll attend Northeastern.

Coach of the Year

Bill Goodspeed, Falmouth: In his second season after rising from assistant coach to head coach, Goodspeed continued Falmouth’s run of state titles to 10 and match winning streak to 157. Falmouth won the Class A state title with a 5-0 sweep of Brunswick to cap a 19-1 tournament run despite, for the second straight year, losing the state singles champion to graduation and having to rely even more heavily on the bottom of the lineup. Goodspeed even found time to self-publish a book this spring called “Alternative Facts: Fake News, Tweets & the 2016 Election.” “We never talk about it,” Goodspeed said of the winning streak. “I don’t know if it’s superstition or it’s one match at a time. It’s like looking ahead in the draw. We don’t look ahead in the draw.”

CORRECTION: This story was updated at 10:22 a.m. on June 26, 2017 to correct Lana Mavor’s record in the singles tournament.

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or:

Gjordan@pressherald.com

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

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http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/girls-tennis-player-of-the-year-lana-mavor-yarmouth/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2017/06/1216341_257209_20170529_tennis0247-e1498341047118.jpgLana Mavor of Yarmouth, the girls' tennis state champion, has a busy summer schedule planned, including tournaments in Pennsylvania, Virginia and California.Mon, 26 Jun 2017 10:23:55 +0000
For small-town team, it’s more than just a baseball game http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/for-small-town-team-its-more-than-just-a-baseball-game/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/for-small-town-team-its-more-than-just-a-baseball-game/#respond Sun, 25 Jun 2017 08:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1216365 SANFORD — They started gathering outside Goodall Park about 5 p.m., 30 minutes before the gates opened and a full 90 minutes before the Sanford Mainers would play the Mystic Schooners.

“They get here early,” said Helen Hajny, chairman of the board for the Mainers and one of the many game-day volunteers. “We have one guy who shows up at 5 every game. He wants to be the first one in.”

A crowd of 485 snuggled into Goodall Park on Thursday night to watch the Mainers lose to the Schooners 7-6, continuing an early-season string of close losses. But the relationship between this team and this town goes far beyond wins and losses.

In the 16 seasons the Mainers have played here since joining the New England Collegiate Baseball League, the team, the players and the coaches have been embraced by a small but passionate fan base. The players, who come from NCAA schools across the country, are welcomed into the homes of host families, recognized in the local restaurants or stores, and always greeted with a smile and a “Hi, how are you?”

“You feel welcome,” said Aaron Izaryk, in his second year as general manager.

Izaryk once played for the Mainers and served as the field manager for seven years.

“I’ve been in other places that the summer baseball team isn’t always welcome,” he said. “If you’re a Mainer they always want to know about you. … You’re a local celebrity for a couple of months.”

Each game at historic Goodall Park – anyone in Sanford can, and will, tell you that in 1919 Babe Ruth hit a home run here with his barnstorming team – is an intimate gathering for the fans and players. The grandstands – rebuilt in 1997 after a fire destroyed the wooden grandstand – seat about 700 and are nearly filled on most summer nights.

“It’s the quintessential American experience,” said Diane Snyder, who has been attending games with her husband, Dave, for the last 13 years since they retired to Alfred, “coming to a small ballpark and joining other fans in rooting for the kids.”

But it’s more than just watching the game. The younger fans are treated to the antics of, and play games with, the Mainers’ two moose mascots, Broose and Boomer. The adults keep score on a scorecard or wave green-and-white pompoms. Players sell 50-50 tickets in the stands, taking the time to converse with fans.

“This is a gem,” said Dave Snyder, the former men’s hockey coach at Wesleyan University who professes a love for baseball. “It’s a surprise gem, this field, this stadium, this program.”

The NECBL is a 13-team wooden bat college summer league. Its teams are located throughout New England, in places such as Keene, New Hampshire; Newport, Rhode Island; New Bedford, Massachusetts and Danbury, Connecticut. Rosters are filled by college players, most from the Division I level. Teams play a 42-game schedule over eight weeks.

While it may lack the prestige of the Cape Cod League, perhaps the best-known college summer league, it has top-level players. “It’s good baseball,” said Chris Morris, in his second year as manager of the Mainers. “I don’t think people realize that.”

This year’s Mainers consist of players from schools such as Vanderbilt, Michigan, Texas Christian, Arkansas-Little Rock, Columbia, Eastern Kentucky and the University of Southern Maine.

For many of the players, it’s their first visit to Maine. Those from warmer climates find the weather delightful but the ocean water much colder than that off South Carolina or Texas. A group of 10 or so visited Wells Beach last week. Only the hearty Mainers – like Jake Dexter from Oakland and USM – took a dip.

“Not used to that at all,” said Bryan Sturges, a 19-year-old sophomore from TCU who grew up in Houston. “I went about ankle deep. That was it.”

Sturges is one of the newcomers this year and loves the support. “This place is crowded every night,” he said during batting practice. “Other places, maybe 10 fans.”

That support surprised Jimmy Kerr, a 20-year-old Michigan junior infielder who grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona. “For a small town they fill it,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll give them even more reason to come.”

After Thursday’s loss to Mystic, the Mainers fell to 2-10. But the coaches and players feel the team is close to turning it around. And if history is any indication, it will. The Mainers have qualified for the playoffs in 13 of their previous 15 seasons, twice winning the championship (2004, 2008) and twice losing in the finals (2014, 2016).

Morris, who is an assistant coach at MIT, said community support is a big reason behind the success.

“You need that in summer ball,” he said. “If your community doesn’t embrace you, if your host families aren’t outstanding as ours are, if those small things behind the scenes don’t work, it’s hard to get the baseball side of things to work.”

Their alumni includes seven players who have gone on to play in the major leagues, including Atlanta Braves reliever Jason Motte (who helped the St. Louis Cardinals win the 2011 World Series) and Cincinnati Reds outfielder Adam Duvall (who hit 33 home runs and drove in 103 runs last year).

Twelve former Mainers were selected in the 2016 major league draft. Three were drafted from this year’s team and another signed as a free agent.

“We’ve had some special characters, some special players, come through here, some who have gone on to professional careers,” said Morris. “And I think anytime you see a kid who can do that, it’s always exciting for the fans.”

Morris also believes it’s important to have Maine players on the roster. He played at Hampden Academy and Husson University, and knows how fans feel about their native sons.

And the in-state players love being here. “It’s a special feeling,” said Dexter. “It’s pretty cool to be staying in the state and wearing Mainers on your chest.”

“Playing in your home state is nice,” said Dalton Rice, the pitcher from USM and Waterford. “It’s like school ball.”

Ben Greenberg, the pitcher from Scarborough and Fordham University, is back for his third year. “I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” said Greenberg, who missed his entire college season following back surgery.

The relationship between the host families and players goes far beyond baseball and providing a couple of meals a day.

Hajny and her husband, Ray, hosted a player during the team’s first season. This year they are hosting five. She still corresponds with the first player they hosted, Brandon Alphin from Louisville. “We Snapchat with each other, send Facebook messages, there’s phone calls every now and then,” she said. “It’s a lasting thing. They’re our boys when they’re here. They’re our family.”

Steve Cabana has hosted 39 players over the past 12 seasons, this summer taking in Dexter and, for a second year, pitcher Joe Orlando, who comes from Binghamton University and Endicott, New York. Cabana had seldom gone to a Mainers game before he got involved. Now he hardly misses any.

Like Hajny, he still keeps in touch with his first player, Greg Paiml of Alabama, and has developed lifelong relationships with players and their families.

“I love baseball and it’s a connection to the sport at a different level than just being a fan,” he said. “You’re more intimate with the organization and the team because you know the players. It’s like having your own children.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

mlowe@pressherald.com

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

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http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/for-small-town-team-its-more-than-just-a-baseball-game/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2017/06/1216365_907466-20170622_Sanford-M5.jpgThe players come from near and far – Ian Burns, 26, is a junior at Columbia University in New York. What they find in Sanford is a town that supports its summer college baseball team, much more than some other places, and has done so since the Sanford Mainers' inception in 2002.Sat, 24 Jun 2017 18:08:19 +0000
It’s Worth the Trip: Even if you don’t have a car, you can explore trails near and far http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/its-worth-the-trip-even-if-you-dont-have-a-car-you-can-explore-trails-near-and-far/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/its-worth-the-trip-even-if-you-dont-have-a-car-you-can-explore-trails-near-and-far/#respond Sun, 25 Jun 2017 08:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1216227 For the first time since I started this column half a decade ago, I find myself without a car. It’s a turn of events that, while not unpredictable (Christies have notoriously bad luck with cars, which are driven until catastrophic malfunction), was unexpected. It was also something that I thought would surely make my column impossible. Most of the trips covered in this column are hours from home, with little in terms of public transport to cover the miles.

Rather than concede defeat – another thing intrinsically difficult for Christies – I decided to explore just how far the public transportation in the Greater Portland area could carry me. By using only local buses and ferries, could I put together a worthwhile list of destinations?

The answer, thankfully, is yes. The Portland Metro bus system (and, by extension, its partner services and ferries) spans a great swath of southern Maine, covering dozens of miles of coastline and as far inland as Bridgton.

Over the last week, I’ve used the bus system to explore the urban and rural trails of the Portland area. It’s been a great chance to reacquaint myself with some favorite trails, as well as discover new gems.

I’ll note that this list covers a few of my favorite routes off the Metro, and by no means is meant to be comprehensive. The Portland Trails network alone, almost all of which is accessible by public transportation, maintains 70 miles of hiking, walking and biking trails. Add on other routes, and there’s far more than could be covered in a single column. Please consider this a starting point.

Route 4, which runs between Portland and Westbrook, accesses the Westbrook Riverwalk at the Main Street and Vallee Square stop. The Riverwalk follows the Presumpscot River east for a mile and a half, with views of mills, waterfalls and kayakers. From the Brighton and Rowe stop, it’s a short walk down Rowe Street to the 85-acre Fore River Sanctuary and Jewell Falls, Portland’s only natural waterfall. The Brighton and Lucas stop drops at the trailhead to the Capisic Brook Trail in Capisic Park, home of Portland’s largest freshwater pond.

Route 5, connecting Portland to the Jetport and Maine Mall in South Portland, accesses the Fore River Sanctuary from its southern end at the Congress and Frost stop. You can also pick up the Forest City Trail, a 10-mile network of trails running from the Stroudwater River to the Presumpscot Falls, at the trailhead behind Unum at the Congress and Unum stop. It’s a 10-mile hike in one direction, but thankfully the Route 9 bus picks up near the trail’s end at Auburn Street.

Route 7 provides access to the Audubon Preserve and Mackworth Island trails in Falmouth, at the Route 1 and Gilsland Farm and Route 1 and Andrews stops, respectively. The former is a 65-acre sanctuary with more than two miles of trails, while the latter is a 1.6 mile loop around Mackworth Island.

The Metro Breez, an express service started last year that connects to Falmouth, Yarmouth, and Freeport, accesses the same Falmouth trails as Route 7 (albeit from a bus stop slightly farther away). It also provides access to the Royal River Trail in Yarmouth via the Yarmouth Town Hall stop, and Leon Gorman Park in Freeport via the L.L. Bean stop. Service will extend to Brunswick in August – depending on where stops are placed, this might add even more hiking opportunities for those willing to venture up the coast.

Portland’s buses charge a one-way fare of $1.50, with free transfers available if you’re changing lines at a stop. The Breez fare is slightly more, at $3 per trip. Both the city and Breez buses have a bike rack affixed to their fronts, and it’s free to transport your bike.

Beyond the eight routes of the Metro, partners extend the system significantly. The South Portland Bus Service provides service from Portland to Willard Square in South Portland via Route 21 – from here, it’s only a mile and a half down Cottage Road to Fort Williams Park and the Portland Head Light. Bug Light is accessible from the same stop (as is Scratch Bakery and Willard Scoops, if you need a snack). The Lakes Region Explorer, which runs four times daily during the week from Portland to Bridgton (with a $3 fare), offers stops in Naples, Casco and Windham, and exploration opportunities along Sebago Lake.

The Casco Bay Island Transit District, also known as Casco Bay Lines, runs multiple ferries to Peaks, Little Diamond, Great Diamond, Cliff, Long and Chebeague. Most of the islands offer some sort of hiking – the best of the bunch are the four-mile loop of Peaks Island, and the 20-minute walk from Long Island’s town landing to the “singing” sands of South Beach. As with the Portland buses, you can cart a bicycle onto the ferries for use on the islands.

The options don’t stop there. Beyond the municipal options (and, frankly, beyond the scope of this piece), things expand even further.

With Amtrak trains and Concord Coach buses, the Maine coast from Bangor down to Kittery is easily and inexpensively reached without a vehicle of your own.

While I wouldn’t wish a sudden and unexpected vehicle loss on anyone, I’m glad that I’ve gone through the experience. I’ve relied heavily – perhaps too heavily – on having my own vehicle to explore the outdoors. I hadn’t give much thought to how much my work could exclude the many folks in the greater Portland area going carless, by choice or otherwise. Hopefully, this column provides a starting point for those who want to explore the outdoors without a car.

Josh Christie is a freelance writer and lifetime outdoors enthusiast. He shares column space in Outdoors with his father, John Christie. Josh can be contacted at:

joshua.j.christie@gmail.com

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http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/its-worth-the-trip-even-if-you-dont-have-a-car-you-can-explore-trails-near-and-far/feed/ 0 Fri, 23 Jun 2017 18:49:58 +0000
On Baseball: They are hardly bargains for the Red Sox http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/on-baseball-they-are-hardly-bargains-for-the-red-sox/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/on-baseball-they-are-hardly-bargains-for-the-red-sox/#respond Sun, 25 Jun 2017 08:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1216617 Whether it was panic or pride, the Boston Red Sox are carrying two of the worst contracts in pro baseball.

And it looks like Boston will get nothing more from Pablo Sandoval (signed for five years and $95 million) and probably nada from Rusney Castillo (seven years, $72 million).

Who is the bigger bust?

In 99 major league games, Castillo batted .262 – or $873,494 for each of his 83 hits.

In 162 games with Boston, Sandoval is batting .231 – or a bargain rate of $714,286 for each of his 133 hits.

Combined, Sandoval and Castillo have hit 21 home runs for the Red Sox.

To put that in perspective, former Red Sox slugger Travis Shaw (making just over half a million this year) is batting .292 with 14 home runs and the season isn’t half over. Projected over a season, the Brewers will pay Shaw about $3,400 a hit.

Yes, we can blame Dave Dombrowski for trading Shaw for injured reliever Tyler Thornburg (as long as you give him credit for the Chris Sale and Craig Kimbrel deals).

As for Sandoval and Castillo, the guilt goes to ousted general manager Ben Cherington – although ownership agreed to (and likely encouraged) the signings.

Castillo, a refugee from Cuba, was 27 when he signed with the Red Sox in August 2014. Why so much for an unproven talent? Because after the 2013 season, Boston was outbid by the Chicago White Sox for another Cuban, Jose Abreu.

The Red Sox owner, John Henry, wouldn’t be outbid for Castillo. And now he’s paying millions for Castillo to play in Pawtucket.

With Castillo not producing, Dombrowski – who replaced Cherington near the end of the 2015 season – placed Castillo on waivers. No team wanted his salary so Castillo was removed from the 40-man roster and sent to Pawtucket.

The only consolation for the Red Sox is the $41 million Castillo is still owed doesn’t count toward the team’s payroll for luxury-tax purposes.

It also has kept Castillo hostage in Triple-A. Even though he is batting .311 with an .844 OPS in Pawtucket, the Red Sox are not likely to call him up since that means his salary goes back on the books.

Sandoval’s situation is different. He has enough seniority in the majors that he can’t simply be taken off the 40-man roster and sent to Pawtucket. Sandoval likely would refuse such a move and instead be released.

That release is expected soon, even though he’s still owed $49.5 million. And that’s on the books, though 2020 (when he’s eligible for a $5 million buyout).

Besides releasing Sandoval, what else can Boston do with an obviously deficient third baseman who is batting .212/.622 OPS?

How did the Red Sox get stuck with Sandoval? Panic.

After the 2014 season, when the Red Sox finished last in the American League East for the second time in three years (not to discount the 2013 World Series title), they looked for quick fixes.

The Giants won it all in 2014 with Sandoval batting .429/1.002 in the World Series. He became a free agent.

In 2014, Boston had a rotation of third basemen as Will Middlebrooks faltered and Xander Bogaerts slumped when moved there from shortstop. Brock Holt was also used, as was journeyman Carlos Rivera. Shaw was still in the minors, having moved from Portland to Pawtucket in 2014.

The Red Sox options in 2015 included bringing back everyone and having a competition for third (with Bogaerts back at short), or go outside the organization.

Boston went after Sandoval, even though his offensive production showed a consistent slide from .330/.943 in 2009 to .279/.739 in 2014. Plus there were concerns about his conditioning.

Sandoval’s slide steepened in 2015: .245/.658. In 2016 he came to spring training in horrible shape and was soon done for the season with a shoulder injury.

Shaw got most of the starts at third base (105 games) and batted .242/.276 with 16 home runs. Instead of the Red Sox seeing Shaw as a potential big-time slugger – and insurance at third base – Dombrowski saw Shaw as trade bait and put complete faith in a Sandoval comeback – a faith that had no substantiation.

Sandoval, 30, is currently on the 10-day disabled list for an ear infection; a convenient time for the Red Sox to figure out what to do with him.

And they must do something. Last Monday, Sandoval was pinch hit for late in the game, even though it meant catcher Christian Vazquez had to play third base in the ninth inning.

Boston is looking for solutions. Veteran Jhonny Peralta, 35, was signed to a minor league contract after the Cardinals released him (he was batting .204/.462). Peralta has been sent to Pawtucket to see if he can get his game back.

Can Sandoval get his game back? I think we already know that answer.

Will Rusney Castillo ever help out? That’s an expensive question.

Sandoval and Castillo are not the only free agents that fizzled in Boston. It’s a lengthy list, containing such names as Jack Clark, Jose Offerman, Edgar Renteria, Daisuke Matsusaka (although he had two good seasons in a six-year deal), Julio Lugo and Carl Crawford.

Sandoval appears the worst of the bunch, and John Henry will be signing his checks for years to come.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

kthomas@pressherald.com

Twitter: @ClearTheBases

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Boys’ tennis: Telegram All-State team http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/boys-tennis-telegram-all-state-team/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/boys-tennis-telegram-all-state-team/#respond Sun, 25 Jun 2017 08:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1216651 BOYS

Brandon Ameglio, Waynflete senior: Ameglio knocked off the fourth and fifth seeds in singles tournament to become the second unseeded player in recent memory to reach the semifinals, where he lost to eventual champ Nick Mathieu. He’ll continue playing at Connecticut College.

Declan Archer, Kennebunk freshman: Archer was unseeded but reached the singles quarterfinals before being derailed by eventual finalist Nick Forester. Playing No. 1 singles, he went 10-2 in team matches for a team that finished 2-10.

Nick Forester, Falmouth sophomore: An ambidextrous player who returned from a knee injury to lead Falmouth to the Class A state title, he reached the final of the singles tournament and extended defending champ Nick Mathieu to three sets in a hard-fought championship match.

Matthew Jarmusz, Morse senior: Jarmusz advanced to the singles quarterfinals before falling to No. 3 Dariy Vykhodtsev. He helped lead Morse to a 12-2 record and into the Class B South semifinals. In four years of team play, he never lost a match.

Thomas Jarmusz, Morse senior: Jarmusz won a third-set tiebreaker to reach the quarterfinals before losing 6-3, 7-5 to Brandon Ameglio. He was unbeaten in team play. He’ll attend Ithaca College with his brother.

Nick Mathieu, Mt. Ararat senior: A two-time singles state champion and four-time finalist, he won the last three games in the singles final to beat Nick Forester, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5. He had an 85-2 career record. He plans to continue playing at Colby-Sawyer College.

Cole Ouellette, Lewiston senior: A two-time state champion in hockey who plans to continue in juniors, Ouellette’s athleticism helped him reach the singles quarterfinals before falling 6-1, 6-1 to Nick Mathieu. He led Lewiston to the Class A North title over No. 1 Brunswick.

Dariy Vykhodtsev, Thornton Academy sophomore: A singles finalist as a freshman, he returned to the semifinals this spring before falling 6-3, 6-4 to Nick Forester. He was unbeaten in team play as the Golden Trojans finished 15-1.

Coach of the Year

Noah Capetta, Camden Hills: Capetta led the Windjammers to a second consecutive Class B state championship with 5-0 shutout of Yarmouth. In Capetta’s four years at the helm, Camden Hills has reached the state final four times, compiling a record of 58-6. “I love sharing my passion for tennis and the life lessons that I’ve learned through practicing, playing and teaching tennis,” Capetta said. He was previously an assistant at Greely and at his alma mater, Hermon. He said tennis is always a challenge because graduation and the end of the school year always coincide with the last week of playoffs. “I’ve been lucky to have a group of players who are dedicated to the team and are able to keep many balls in the air.”

– Glenn Jordan

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What’s Up in July: Saturn, Jupiter and Venus among the highlights http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/whats-up-in-july-saturn-jupiter-and-venus-among-the-highlights-in-the-july-sky/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/whats-up-in-july-saturn-jupiter-and-venus-among-the-highlights-in-the-july-sky/#respond Sun, 25 Jun 2017 08:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1216598 The month of July was named for Julius Caesar in 44 BC. Before that it was named Quintilis, which is Latin for fifth. That was when March was the first month of the year.

July is the first full month of summer. Even though the days are still long and the nights are short, this is a great month to get outside to enjoy and learn more about the beauty of the night sky. You may have to deal with a few bugs, but there are generally far fewer sacrifices to be made in summer than in winter to enable us to really enjoy the myriad wonders lying beyond our relatively tiny solar system.

The highlights this July include Saturn near its best for the year, Jupiter still brighter than usual in our evening sky, Venus in our morning sky passing between two bright clusters in Taurus, similar to what Mars did two months ago, an asteroid in Ophiuchus named Hebe, the Delta Aquarid Meteor Shower, and even a bright comet named Johnson in Hydra and Libra.

In summer you are looking into the very center of the Milky Way galaxy when you look low in the southern sky just below Sagittarius and Scorpius. There is an invisible supermassive black hole lurking there at the very heart of our galaxy. We are not special in that regard, since nearly every galaxy, both the spirals and the ellipticals, has supermassive black holes spinning at their centers. Ours weighs in at about four million times the mass of our sun. Its event horizon stretches about 30 million miles, the distance from our sun to Mercury. An individual stellar black hole event horizon is only 10 miles across.

We even have a series of about 100 radio telescopes linked together across the entire globe, appropriately called the Event Horizon telescope, to study this black hole, called Sagittarius A, and an even much bigger one at the center of the monster elliptical galaxy named M87 in the constellation of Virgo. That one is located 50 million light years away and is only one of about 2,000 galaxies in that nearby cluster. The one at the center of M87 is about seven billion solar masses, or almost 2,000 times more massive than the one we can claim for our own. That one is shooting out an incredibly powerful beam of synchronized radiation at relativistic speeds about 5,000 light years long. Anything and everything in its path would be fried instantly.

All that may sound very dramatic, but our own black hole was 10 million times brighter and more powerful than it is now, only two million years ago, which is a mere two seconds in cosmic time. Those are called active galactic nuclei. Ours will probably become active again sometime in the not-too-distant future.

We even think that we have recently found the fossil imprint of that powerful and ancient jet of radiation that used to shoot out of our black hole. It is the stream of lacy gas trailing behind the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, our two closest satellite galaxies.

The Event Horizon telescope is studying these two supermassive black holes and will have much more good data by next year. It is designed to detect the light cast off when objects disappear behind that elusive boundary. It will essentially make the silhouette of this monster black hole become visible to us. It will open new frontiers in our understanding of gravity, and I am sure we have much to learn about this force, which is basically just the curvature or topography of the fourth-dimensional space-time continuum in which everything in this universe is embedded. The recent confirmation of the third official gravitational wave detected with LIGO also will add a little to our ever-expanding knowledge of this important and all pervasive, yet still mysterious force.

Saturn can be easily seen in Sagittarius now, just above the part of our sky marking the very center of our galaxy about 26,000 light years away. The ringed planet is still in westward or retrograde motion toward Antares, the bright orange giant star marking the heart of Scorpius. Saturn is just under a billion miles away.

Jupiter is about twice as close to us as Saturn, and is about six times brighter. Keep in mind that our little man-made mission, Juno, has taken many incredible pictures of the king of planets, with countless colorful swirls of clouds near its south pole. Jupiter will already set around midnight. Try to see some or all four of its largest Galilean moons with just a pair of binoculars.

Brilliant Venus rises in our eastern sky around 3 a.m. It is another six times brighter than Jupiter or 36 times brighter than Saturn. Keep watching it as it tracks eastward in direct motion between the famous Pleiades and the less famous Hyades star clusters in Taurus, following a very similar path that Mars took two months ago. Notice that it will be three degrees above the slender waning crescent moon on the morning of Thursday, July 20.

The Southern Delta Aquarid Meteor Shower will peak during the morning of Sunday, July 30. The moon will be first quarter, which means that it will set at midnight and be out of the way when the shower hits its peak of about 25 meteors per hour. You can expect almost that many meteors each night for the last five days of July from this shower. This is also a good warmup to the more famous Perseid Meteor Shower, which will be largely washed out by a bright waning gibbous moon on Aug. 12.

Comet Johnson should get as bright as sixth or seventh magnitude this month and become easily visible in a good pair of binoculars if not even without any optical aid. Look for it in Virgo just to the left of Spica about the same distance that Jupiter is to the right of Spica. Then it follows an arc through Hydra the Sea Snake just to the west of Libra the Scales.

This is a comet with a hyperbolic orbit, which means it is not on a periodic orbit and it will leave our solar system. It was discovered on Nov. 3, 2015 by Jess Johnson at only 17th magnitude using the Catalina Sky Survey images. That is 21 magnitudes or 300 million times fainter than Venus.

JULY HIGHLIGHTS

July 1. The moon passes 3 degrees north of Jupiter in the morning.

July 3. Earth is at aphelion, or farthest away from the sun, at 94.5 million miles.

July 6. The moon passes 3 degrees north of Saturn in the evening.

July 9. Full moon is at 12:07 a.m. This is also called the Hay or Thunder Moon.

July 10. Pluto is at opposition at 14.2 magnitude in Sagittarius the Archer at night. It takes 248 years to make one orbit around the sun and its status was changed to a dwarf planet 11 years ago.

July 14. Venus passes near Aldebaran in Taurus in the morning.

July 16. Last-quarter moon is at 3:26 p.m.

July 23. New moon is at 5:46 a.m.

July 25. The moon passes near Regulus in the morning. .

July 30. The southern Delta Aquarid peak tonight and first-quarter moon is at 11:23 a.m.

Bernie Reim of Wells is co-director of the Astronomical Society of Northern New England.

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http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/whats-up-in-july-saturn-jupiter-and-venus-among-the-highlights-in-the-july-sky/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2017/06/1216598_828970-July2017SkyChart.jpgSKY GUIDE: This chart represents the sky as it appears over Maine during July. The stars are shown as they appear at 10:30 p.m. early in the month, at 9:30 p.m. at midmonth and at 8:30 p.m. at month's end. Saturn and Jupiter are shown in their midmonth positions. To use the map, hold it vertically and turn it so that the direction you are facing is at the bottom.Sat, 24 Jun 2017 18:06:23 +0000
Red Sox rally falls short http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/24/red-sox-rally-falls-short/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/24/red-sox-rally-falls-short/#respond Sun, 25 Jun 2017 03:03:06 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1216816 BOSTON — JC Ramirez rebounded from his shortest career start with six solid innings, Cameron Maybin doubled home a run and scored another, and the Los Angeles Angels held off the Boston Red Sox 6-3 on Saturday night.

Mitch Moreland hit a solo homer for the Red Sox, who lost for only the third time in their last 13 home games.

Ramirez (7-5) allowed one run and four hits with five strikeouts after lasting just three innings and giving up five runs in his previous start.

Blake Parker struck out pinch-hitter Chris Young with the bases loaded for the final out after Boston scored twice in the ninth.

David Price (2-2) had a decent outing for the third time in six starts, allowing three runs – two earned – with five strikeouts and a walk in six innings.

Red Sox Manager John Farrell was ejected by third-base umpire and crew chief Bill Miller after Fernando Abad was called for a balk in the seventh inning, allowing Maybin to score a run that made it 5-1.

Farrell was tossed after Kole Calhoun, the batter, stepped out and home plate ump Ryan Blakney appeared to raise his hands, signaling time. Abad stopped his motion to the plate and was called for a balk.

The umpires then met for a minute or so and allowed the run. Farrell got into a heated argument with Miller and was given his first ejection of the season.

The Angels took advantage of shortstop Xander Bogaerts’ throwing error for an unearned run and that put them ahead 2-1 in the fourth.

Danny Espinosa reached on the error, stole second and scored when Eric Young Jr. doubled inside the first-base bag.

Luis Valbuena’s sacrifice fly made it 3-1. Maybin added his RBI double in the seventh.

Martin Maldonado’s RBI single gave Los Angeles a 1-0 lead.

Moreland homered into the first row of Green Monster seats in left-center, a shot estimated at 429 feet.

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http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/24/red-sox-rally-falls-short/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2017/06/1216816_Angels_Red_Sox_Baseball_146-e1498359845824.jpgRed Sox Manager John Farrell argues with third-base umpire Bill Miller after a balk call that allowed a run to score Saturday night against the Los Angeles Angels. Farrell was ejected, and Boston lost, 6-3.Sat, 24 Jun 2017 23:17:34 +0000
Local baseball roundup: Mainers pull away late to beat Blue Sox http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/24/local-baseball-roundup-mariners-pull-away-late-to-beat-blue-sox/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/24/local-baseball-roundup-mariners-pull-away-late-to-beat-blue-sox/#respond Sun, 25 Jun 2017 02:01:39 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/24/local-baseball-roundup-mariners-pull-away-late-to-beat-blue-sox/ SANFORD — Jimmy Kerr’s two-run double highlighted a four-run seventh inning that carried the Sanford Mainers to a 6-1 win over the Valley Blue Sox in a New England Collegiate Baseball League game Saturday night at Goodall Park.

After an error allowed the go-ahead run to score, Kerr’s hit made it 4-1. Another run scored on a passed ball.

Perez Knowles got the win with two scoreless innings in relief of Justin Courtney, who gave up five hits and one run in six innings.

AMERICAN LEGION

FAYETTE STAPLES SWEEPS BONANZA OF SANFORD: Tim Smith pitched a four-hitter in Game 1 and Ben Lambert went five innings to win in the second game as Fayette Staples (3-2) earned 9-5 and 7-3 victories in a doubleheader at Bonanza of Sanford (1-4).

Lambert hit a two-run single in each game and an RBI double in the opener. Zach Ham also had two hits and two RBI in Game 1.

Brad Bouchard hit an RBI single and Frankie Veino tripled home a run in the first game for Bonanza. Chase Kerrigan had an RBI single in Game 2.

STAPLES CROSSING SPLITS WITH SACO & BIDDEFORD SAVINGS: Staples Crossing (4-1) got a run in the bottom of the seventh to earn a 6-5 win, but Owen Sullivan scattered eight hits in the second game as Saco & Biddeford Savings (2-1) earned a split with a 5-2 win, in South Berwick.

In Game 1, Cooper Whitehouse recorded the final out in the top of the seventh to get the win in relief of Shane MacNeill. Holden Jackman and Hunter Carignan each had a single and a double for Staples Crossing.

Sullivan had two hits for Saco & Biddeford Savings in Game 2. Staples Crossing got two hits apiece from Jackman and Jeremy Jacques.

 

Correction: This story was updated at 8:34 a.m. on June 25 to correct the team name in the headline.

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Sea Dogs lose on ninth-inning homer http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/24/sea-dogs-lose-on-ninth-inning-homer/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/24/sea-dogs-lose-on-ninth-inning-homer/#respond Sun, 25 Jun 2017 01:29:06 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1216782 It was a good news/bad news kind of day Saturday for the Portland Sea Dogs.

The good news was very good: Utility player Tzu-Wei Lin was promoted from Portland to the Boston Red Sox for Saturday night’s game at Fenway Park.

As for the bad, the Sea Dogs lost 6-5 to the Harrisburg Senators before a soldout Hadlock Field crowd of 7,368.

Raudy Read’s two-run homer off Taylor Grover in the ninth was the winner.

Portland (32-37) had rallied with a three-run eighth inning, on RBI hits from Michael Chavis, Henry Urrutia and Jake Romanski.

Urrutia, a recently signed free-agent outfielder, had two doubles. Chavis was 1 for 4.

Chad De La Guerra reached base four times, with a double, two walks, and a hit by pitch on the knee that forced him to leave the game in the eighth inning.

Sea Dogs starter Teddy Stankiewicz put in a quality start, giving up four runs (three earned) over six innings. Harrisburg (31-41) scored three in the first inning. Jose Marmolejos added a solo home run in the fifth.

Reliever Josh Smith was in line for the win after two scoreless innings. Grover (1-3) began the ninth with a walk. After a strikeout, he ran a full count to Read, who crushed his home run over the left- field wall.

Read took his time around the bases. Romanski, the catcher, spoke to him and the benches emptied, but there were no altercations.

Lin, 23, was called to Boston to replace Josh Rutledge, who went on the disabled list with a concussion.

The Red Sox made room for Lin on the 40-man roster by moving Brock Holt to the 60-day disabled list. Lin wasn’t in the starting lineup Saturday night against the Los Angeles Angels.

After two struggling seasons at the plate in Portland, Lin hit .302 with an .870 OPS this season.

“He was playing with a chip on his shoulder,” Sea Dogs Manager Carlos Febles said.

“He was a different player this year, more aggressive. It started working out for him.”

NOTES: Rafael Devers was the designated hitter for Portland and went 0 for 5. … Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez might make a rehab start Thursday with the Sea Dogs, according to reports out of Boston. Rodriguez, who is on the disabled list with knee trouble, pitched a simulated game Saturday in Boston and is scheduled for a rehab appearance Thursday. Portland is the preferred destination because Triple-A Pawtucket will be playing in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

kthomas@pressherald.com

Twitter: ClearTheBases

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http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/24/sea-dogs-lose-on-ninth-inning-homer/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2017/06/1216782_946998-20170624_seadogs-1.jpgDanny Mars of the Portland Sea Dogs slides past Osvaldo Abreu of the Harrisburg Senators and into second base Saturday night during the second inning of Portland's 6-5 setback at Hadlock Field.Sat, 24 Jun 2017 21:34:58 +0000
Sports Digest: True falls short of qualifying for world championships http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/24/sports-digest-true-falls-short-of-qualifying-for-world-championships/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/24/sports-digest-true-falls-short-of-qualifying-for-world-championships/#respond Sun, 25 Jun 2017 00:09:05 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1216729 TRACK AND FIELD

True misses out on world championships, places fourth in 5,000 at U.S. championships

Ben True of North Yarmouth fell just shy of qualifying for the world championships as he placed fourth in the 5,000 meters late Friday night in the U.S. track and field championships in Sacramento, California.

Paul Chelimo won the race in 13 minutes, 8.62 seconds. True (13:17.94) was outsprinted by Eric Jenkins (13:15.74) of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Ryan Hill (13:16.99) for the other two spots on the world championships team. Riley Masters of Bangor finished ninth (13:40.14).

In the 800, Isaiah Harris of Lewiston qualified for Sunday’s final by posting the third-fastest time in the semifinals – 1:45.77.

Kate Hall of Casco was to compete Saturday in the long jump but withdrew because of a leg injury.

HOCKEY

NHL: The Calgary Flames made the biggest move on Day 2 of the NHL draft, acquiring 26-year-old defenseman Travis Hamonic from the Islanders.

Calgary sent first- and second-round picks next year plus a future second-round pick to New York while receiving a future fourth-round selection.

The Boston Bruins made five selections on the draft’s second day, including University of Maine recruit Jeremy Swayman,

The Bruins picked Swayman, an 18-year-old goalie, in the fourth round, No. 111 overall. Swayman is from Anchorage, Alaska, and played last season with Sioux Falls of the USHL.

The Bruins also took three players from Canadian junior leagues – center Jack Studnicka (second round, No. 53 overall), center Cedric Pare (sixth, No. 173) and defenseman Daniel Bukac (seventh, No. 204) – along with Swedish junior defenseman Victor Berglund (seventh, No. 195).

GOLF

PGA: Jordan Spieth closed with a 20-foot birdie putt for a 4-under 66 in the Travelers Championship, giving him a one-stroke lead for the third straight round at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut.

Spieth had a 12-under 198 total. Boo Weekley was second after a 65.

LPGA: So Yeon Ryu shot a course-record 10-under 61 in the NW Arkansas Championship to take a five-stroke lead into the final round at Rogers, Arkansas.

EUROPEAN TOUR: Sergio Garcia carded a 5-under 67 to join Richard Bland in a share of the lead after the third round of the BMW International Open in Munich.

CHAMPIONS TOUR: Paul Broadhurst shot a 3-under 69 in Madison, Wisconsin, to maintain a two-stroke lead in the American Family Insurance Open.

– Staff and news service report

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Major League roundup: Yankees bats silenced by 32-year-old rookie http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/24/major-league-roundup-yankees-bats-silenced-by-32-year-old-rookie/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/24/major-league-roundup-yankees-bats-silenced-by-32-year-old-rookie/#respond Sun, 25 Jun 2017 00:03:11 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1216725 NEW YORK — Austin Bibens-Dirkx pitched seven dazzling innings in his first shot at the New York Yankees after 12 seasons in the minors, and Carlos Gomez homered for the Texas Rangers in their 8-1 victory Saturday.

Robinson Chirinos also went deep and Elvis Andrus had a pair of run-scoring hits for the Rangers, who rebounded quickly from a difficult defeat that ended at 12:19 a.m. The teams were back on the field less than 13 hours after New York rallied to win the rain-delayed series opener 2-1 in 10 innings, and Bibens-Dirkx (3-0) lulled the Yankees’ bats to sleep.

The 32-year-old rookie, promoted to the majors last month for the first time, allowed only Aaron Judge’s major league-leading 26th home run in his fourth big league start. Filling a spot in Texas’ injury-depleted rotation, the right-hander scattered five hits and walked one while striking out three on 93 efficient pitches.

Not a bad Yankee Stadium debut for a guy who was pitching in the independent Atlantic League last year and bounced all around the minors before finally getting his chance.

Fittingly, his unusual name is misspelled in the player development section of Texas’ media guide, missing the “x” in Bibens-Dirkx.

New York, which began the day leading the AL East by a percentage point over Boston, has dropped nine of 11. Texas has won 10 of 15.

Luis Cessa (0-2) flashed sharp stuff in his 11th major league start and second this season. Pitching in place of injured CC Sabathia, the right-hander struck out eight in five innings. He was charged with three runs and three hits.

ROYALS 3, BLUE JAYS 2: Jason Vargas earned his major league-leading 11th victory, pitching seven efficient innings to lead surging Kansas City past visiting Toronto.

The Royals won for the 11th time in 13 games and moved over .500 for the first time this season at 37-36.

ORIOLES 8, RAYS 3: Dylan Bundy helped Baltimore avoid a dubious pitching record, throwing seven solid innings as the Orioles won at St. Petersburg, Florida.

The Orioles had given up at least five runs in 20 straight games, matching the major league mark set by the 1924 Philadelphia Phillies.

TWINS 4, INDIANS 2: Brian Dozier hit a leadoff homer off closer Cody Allen to break an eighth-inning tie and Minnesota defeated host Cleveland for the second straight day.

Dozier homered into the left-field porch on a 3-2 pitch and narrowed Cleveland’s lead over Minnesota in the AL Central to a half game.

ATHLETICS 10, WHITE SOX 2: Matt Olson hit his first two major league home runs, Jaycob Brugman and Franklin Barreto also launched their first career shots and Oakland rolled at Chicago.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

CUBS 5, MARLINS 3: Jon Lester gave up a three-run homer to J.T. Realmuto in the first inning and then settled down to help the Cubs win at Miami.

Lester (5-4) went seven innings, retiring 13 in a row after Realmuto’s seventh homer of the year.

BRAVES 3, BREWERS 1: Brandon Phillips gave Atlanta the lead with a two-run homer in the third inning to continue his productive homestand, R.A. Dickey threw seven strong innings and the surging Braves beat Milwaukee.

Phillips has homered in three straight games.

NATIONALS 18, REDS 3: Michael Taylor homered twice among his four hits, Trea Turner finished 5 for 5 with a walk and Washington won at home.

Daniel Murphy had four RBI for the Nationals. His three-run double highlighted a six-run second inning against Homer Bailey, who was making his season debut.

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Larson wins pole at Sonoma http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/24/larson-wins-pole-at-sonoma/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/24/larson-wins-pole-at-sonoma/#respond Sat, 24 Jun 2017 23:38:28 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/24/larson-wins-pole-at-sonoma/ SONOMA, Calif. — Chip Ganassi likes winners, and his drivers have him in prime position to celebrate another victory.

Kyle Larson and Jamie McMurray swept the front row in Saturday qualifying at Sonoma Raceway to give Chip Ganassi Racing a 1-2 start on the wine country road course.

Larson turned a lap at 95.295 mph Saturday and just nipped his teammate, who ran his qualifying lap at 95.204 in the Ganassi Chevrolet. McMurray is seeking his first win of the season.

Larson is coming off a Cup win last week at Michigan – where he also started from the pole. In fact, Larson is on an incredible hot streak and, including his sprint car races, has four wins in the last two weeks.

“The whole lap actually felt pretty bad,” he said. “I felt like I gave up enough there that I wouldn’t have a shot at the pole. So, I was surprised and I was happy about that. Jamie is always really good when we come to road courses, especially when it comes to qualifying here at Sonoma. It was a big deal there to beat Jamie there in qualifying.

“Hopefully, we can be one-two in the race as well.”

Larson planned to be a spectator Saturday night at Calistoga Speedway, where best friend Rico Abreu was hosing a charity sprint car race that featured Abreu, Tony Stewart and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. As much as he wished he could get out and play with his friends in the dirt, the focus is Sunday for the Cup Series points leader.

“This is cool to get a pole on a road course at my home state. This is my closest track to Sacramento, or Elk Grove, where I grew up. I have lots of friends and family here, we’re going to celebrate with the team, and then we’re going to head out to Calistoga and go watch some sprint car racing. So, I’m excited about that.”

McMurray noted that Ganassi had left Sonoma to return to the IndyCar event in Wisconsin, but the car owner would be reaching out to his drivers shortly.

“Kyle just got a little bit more. I thought he was going to give it back to me in Turn 11,” McMurray said. “That team’s been on a roll and our whole Chip Ganassi Racing team has been pretty awesome this year. I know Chip went back to Road America today and I’ll be getting a phone call soon. He’ll be pretty pumped.”

Martin Truex Jr., the most consistent driver this season, qualified third in a Toyota for Furniture Row Racing, and Kyle Busch was fourth in a Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing.

AJ Allmendinger was fifth for JTG Daugherty Racing, and Danica Patrick was sixth for Stewart-Haas Racing in her best qualifying run of the season. She was also the highest qualifying Ford.

“Let’s be honest, I just love the area,” Patrick said. “And I had a glass of my wine before I made my lap. That’s a joke. But I am really comfortable here. I feel like I can just drive this place in my sleep because I’ve driven so many laps here over the years.”

It was Patrick’s best qualifying effort since she was fourth at Charlotte in 2014, and the third best qualifying effort of her Cup career. She made seven starts at Sonoma in IndyCar, and Sunday will be her fifth start in the Cup series.

Ryan Blaney was seventh and Chase Elliott was eighth in a backup car after a wreck Friday in practice. Chris Buescher was ninth, followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Daniel Suarez – a rookie driving the car that Carl Edwards won the pole in last year – and Kevin Harvick.

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Major League notebook: Blue Jays closer deals with anxiety issues http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/24/major-league-notebook-blue-jays-closer-deals-with-anxiety-issues/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/24/major-league-notebook-blue-jays-closer-deals-with-anxiety-issues/#respond Sat, 24 Jun 2017 22:36:33 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/24/major-league-notebook-blue-jays-closer-deals-with-anxiety-issues/ KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Toronto Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna said Saturday that he’s out of sorts mentally, feeling “anxious” and “weird.” And that’s why he was unavailable to pitch Friday.

Manager John Gibbons didn’t use Osuna when the Kansas City Royals scored four runs in the ninth off three relievers to win, 5-4. Gibbons said Osuna was “just not feeling well.” He didn’t elaborate.

Osuna said through an interpreter before Saturday’s game that he feels “great physically” but not “mentally.” He added that he’s “a little bit anxious, a little bit weird. I feel like I’m not myself right now.” He said he’s never before experienced the sensation during his career.

Osuna, 22, has 19 saves this season and is the youngest player in major league history to record 75 saves.

ATHLETICS: Oakland promoted infielder Franklin Barreto from Triple-A Nashville and placed infielder Chad Pinder on the 10-day disabled list with a left hamstring strain.

Barreto, 21, is considered the top prospect in Oakland’s farm system. He hit .281 with eight home runs and 32 RBI in 68 games with Nashville.

Barreto was acquired in the Josh Donaldson trade from Toronto after the 2014 season.

He started at second base and batted seventh against the White Sox.

RANGERS: Pitcher Martin Perez was placed on the 10-day disabled list after injuring the thumb on his non-pitching hand in an accident at the team hotel, the latest setback for a depleted Texas rotation.

The team said Perez ripped off the fingernail and broke a bone at the tip of his right thumb when he caught it in the hinge of a door Thursday night in New York. The roster move was made retroactive to Friday, and infielder-outfielder Drew Robinson was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock.

Perez is 4-6 with a 4.70 ERA in 15 starts this season. He joins fellow Texas starters Cole Hamels, Andrew Cashner and A.J. Griffin on the DL.

Hamels is set to be activated Monday night, so Yu Darvish could take Perez’s next turn on regular rest Wednesday.

WHITE SOX: On the day his No. 56 jersey was retired, former Chicago star Mark Buehrle gave a 4-plus-minute tribute to the organization with which he spent 12 of his 16 seasons and the fans who supported him.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” said the 38-year-old Buehrle, who was flanked by his wife, two children, mother and father at the 30-minute ceremony. “I really can’t put it into words how I feel. … It’s a special day.”

Buehrle received a four-wheeler and pickup truck among several gifts. His 9-year-old son, Braden, sang the national anthem before his 8-year-old daughter, Brooklyn, threw out the first pitch. An oversized “56” was stenciled in the dirt behind second base.

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Girls’ tennis: Telegram All-State team http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/24/girls-tennis-telegram-all-state-team/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/24/girls-tennis-telegram-all-state-team/#respond Sat, 24 Jun 2017 22:20:35 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/24/girls-tennis-telegram-all-state-team/ Grace Campanella, Kennebunk freshman: Campanella reached the semifinals of the state singles tournament, losing a total of only two games in her first three matches before being stopped by eventual champ Lana Mavor.

Rosemary Campanella, Wells junior: The two-time singles finalist and older sister of Grace won four matches by a combined games score of 48-10 before falling 6-1, 6-1 to Lana Mavor in the final. She helped lead Kennebunk/Wells to first tourney berth.

Liv Clifford, Cape Elizabeth senior: The No. 7 seed, she reached the quarterfinals with a pair of straight-set victories before falling to eventual finalist Rosemary Campanella, 6-3, 6-2. She plans to continue playing tennis at Colorado College.

Lexi Epstein, Waynflete senior: The No. 9 seed, Epstein reached the quarterfinals by beating No. 8 Gabrielle Marquis of Caribou 6-1, 6-0 before falling 6-0, 6-2 to eventual champ Lana Mavor, then helped the Flyers win the Class C team title. She plans to continue playing at Dickinson College.

Izzy Evans, Greely junior: After a year abroad, Evans returned to lead the Rangers to their third Class B title in four years, 3-2 over Caribou. Seeded fourth in singles, she reached the quarterfinals before falling 6-0, 6-2 to Grace Campanella.

Bethany Hammond, St. Dominic senior: A four-time singles semifinalist and the 2015 runner-up, Hammond fell 6-1, 6-2 to Rosemary Campanella in the semifinals. She plans to continue playing tennis at Stonehill College.

Lana Mavor, Yarmouth sophomore: The top seed in the singles tournament, she rolled through the field by a combined games score of 60-6 to win the title, culminating in 6-1, 6-1 victory over Rosemary Campanella. In team play, she led the sixth-seeded Clippers to the Class B South final.

Kira Wolpow, Brunswick senior: The sixth seed in the singles tourney, she rallied for a 1-6, 6-3, 6-1 win over Falmouth’s Meredith Kelley to reach the quarterfinals before falling 6-3, 6-2 to Bethany Hammond. She led the Dragons to the Class A North title. After a gap year teaching English in Colombia, she’ll attend Northeastern.

Coach of the Year

Bill Goodspeed, Falmouth: In his second season after rising from assistant coach to head coach, Goodspeed continued Falmouth’s run of state titles to 10 and match winning streak to 157. Falmouth won the Class A state title with a 5-0 sweep of Brunswick to cap a 19-1 tournament run despite, for the second straight year, losing the state singles champion to graduation and having to rely even more heavily on the bottom of the lineup. Goodspeed even found time to self-publish a book this spring called “Alternative Facts: Fake News, Tweets & the 2016 Election.” “We never talk about it,” Goodspeed said of the winning streak. “I don’t know if it’s superstition or it’s one match at a time. It’s like looking ahead in the draw. We don’t look ahead in the draw.”

– Glenn Jordan

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Sports Digest: UMaine’s baseball coach no longer just interim http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/23/sports-digest-umaines-baseball-coach-no-longer-just-interim/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/23/sports-digest-umaines-baseball-coach-no-longer-just-interim/#respond Sat, 24 Jun 2017 03:52:07 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1216524 COLLEGES

UMaine’s baseball coach is no longer just interim

University of Maine interim baseball coach Nick Derba will be full-time.

UMaine Director of Athletics Kartlon Creech announced Friday that Derba’s status will be upgraded, effective July 1.

The 2016-17 season was Derba’s fourth season on the UMaine coaching staff, and the Black Bears went 25-29, their most wins since 2013.

“The young men that we have the privilege of coaching will continue to represent this university to the highest degree,” Derba said. “We will continue to push forward in the America East academically and athletically, with the overarching goal of getting to a regional appearance and beyond.”

Alex Lange limited Oregon State to two hits over 71/3 innings, and LSU won 3-1 to set up a winner-take-all Bracket 1 final at the College World Series.

The teams will meet again Saturday, with the winner going to the best-of-three finals beginning Monday.

COLBY HIRES A.D.: Jacob Olkkola becomes Harold Alfold Director of Athletics.

Olkkola will leave his post as senior associate director of athletics at the University of Deleware. He also directed recreation services at Harvard.

TENNIS

QUEEN’S CLUB: Gilles Muller and Feliciano Lopez progressed to the semifinals in London.

Lopez, 35, ousted seventh-seeded Tomas Berdych in three sets, while Muller, 34, overcame Sam Querrey in straight sets.

AEGON CLASSIC: Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova beat Kristina Mladenovic 6-4, 7-6 (5) to advance tothe semis at the Wimbledon warm-up in England.

GERRY WEBER OPEN: Roger Federer advanced to the semis for the 13th time by beating defending champ Florian Mayer 6-3, 6-4 in Halle, Germany.

SOCCER

MLS: Drew Moor scored early and Sebastian Giovinco struck late and host Toronto FC overcame a tight schedule turnaround to beat the New England Revolution 2-0.

AUTO RACING

ARCA: Austin Theriault raced to his third victory of the season and increased his points lead, holding off Zane Smith at Madison International Speedway in Wisconsin.

The Fort Kent driver also won the opener at Daytona and took the Elko Speedway event in Minnesota.

TRUCKS: John Hunter Nemechek raced to his second straight NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory, taking the lead with six laps left at Iowa Speedway.

– Staff and news service report

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Major League roundup: Rays remain hot, rout Orioles http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/23/mlb-roundup-rays-remain-hot-rout-orioles/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/23/mlb-roundup-rays-remain-hot-rout-orioles/#respond Sat, 24 Jun 2017 03:40:43 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/23/mlb-roundup-rays-remain-hot-rout-orioles/ ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Evan Longoria and Shane Peterson drove in four runs apiece to back the pitching of Chris Archer and lead the surging Tampa Bay Rays to a 15-5 victory over the struggling Baltimore Orioles on Friday night.

Peterson and Derek Norris hit two-run homers off Ubaldo Jimenez (2-3) as Orioles pitchers allowed at least five runs for the 20th consecutive game, tying a major league record set by the 1924 Philadelphia Phillies.

Longoria had a two-run single during Tampa Bay’s four-run first inning, and Peterson and Norris both went deep in the third to chase Jimenez, who yielded nine runs, seven hits and four walks in 21/3 innings.

Logan Morrison also had a big night for the Rays, hitting his 22nd homer and finishing with three RBI.

Archer (6-4) wasn’t especially sharp. But the right-hander didn’t have to be with the Rays posting a season high for runs.

TWINS 5, INDIANS 0: Adalberto Mejia combined with three relievers on a four-hitter, leading Minnesota over host Cleveland in a matchup of the top two teams in the AL Central.

Mejia (2-3) held Cleveland to two hits in five innings, but had to work around five walks and two errors. The left-hander got out of bases-loaded jams in the second and fourth, and stranded nine Indians runners on base.

Cleveland was coming off a 7-1 road trip, including a four-game sweep at Target Field last weekend that gave the Indians first place in the division. The Twins are now 11/2 back.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

MARLINS 2, CUBS 0: Giancarlo Stanton hit his 19th home run, Jose Urena scattered five hits over six innings and Miami won at home.

Christian Yelich added a sacrifice fly for the Marlins, who won for the second time this week with no more than three hits. Stanton had two hits and Dee Gordon the other for Miami, which got only two hits in a 2-1 win over Washington on Wednesday.

Urena (6-2) won his fifth straight decision. A.J. Ramos pitched the ninth for his 11th save in 12 chances.

NATIONALS 6, REDS 5: Bryce Harper singled in the winning run in the 10th inning, Brian Goodwin homered twice and Washington got a solid performance from its bullpen.

Anthony Rendon and Daniel Murphy also homered for the Nationals, who trailed 5-2 in the sixth inning before coming back to deal the Reds their 12th loss in 13 games.

Trea Turner singled off Raisel Iglesias (2-2) with one out in the 10th and took third on a single by Goodwin before Harper hit a liner that struck the right-field wall on one bounce.

BRAVES 5, BREWERS 4: Brandon Phillips had a home run and an RBI double, and Mike Foltynewicz pitched five crisp innings as Atlanta won at home against NL Central-leading Milwaukee.

It rained steadily for a few innings but there was no delay for only the second time in five nights this week.

The Braves have won 8 of 11 games including 6 of 8 on the homestand, improving to 13-9 in June and lifting their home record back to .500 (19-19) for the first time since May 1.

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http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/23/mlb-roundup-rays-remain-hot-rout-orioles/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2017/06/1216518_Orioles_Rays_Baseball_2052.jpgDerek Norris of the Tampa Bay Rays high-fives Daniel Robertson after hitting a two-run homer off Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez during the third inning of Friday's game.Fri, 23 Jun 2017 23:48:05 +0000
NHL draft: Vegas Knights center attention on 18-year-old http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/23/nhl-draft-vegas-knights-center-attention-on-18-year-old/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/23/nhl-draft-vegas-knights-center-attention-on-18-year-old/#respond Sat, 24 Jun 2017 03:23:26 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/23/nhl-draft-vegas-knights-center-attention-on-18-year-old/ CHICAGO — Cody Glass played in a youth hockey tournament in Las Vegas when he was 10. His Junior Steelers team finished a disappointing second.

He is looking forward to many more games in Sin City.

Glass was selected by the expansion Vegas Golden Knights with their first-ever pick Friday night, going No. 6 overall as part of a parade of forwards at the top of the NHL draft. The 18-year-old Canadian center had 32 goals and 62 assists in 69 games last season for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League.

“I didn’t really see that as a hockey place when I went there, but now, with the new team and the fans and season tickets sold out, I think hockey will be unbelievable,” Glass said. “Just being there and walking down the Strip, it’s something that’s really nice. You don’t see too much of that in Winnipeg.”

The first NHL draft in Chicago began with another 18-year-old forward, with Swiss center Nico Hischier going No. 1 overall to the New Jersey Devils. The Philadelphia Flyers then grabbed Nolan Patrick at No. 2.

Ten of the top 13 picks were listed as centers. Defensemen Miro Heiskanen (No. 3 overall to Dallas) and Cale Makar (No. 4 to Colorado), and right wing Owen Tippett (No. 10 to Florida) were the lone exceptions.

Vegas also opted for another forward prospect with its second of three picks in the first round taking Nick Suzuki at No. 12 before selecting Swedish defenseman Erik Brannstrom with the 15th pick.

“The forward group is real strong,” New Jersey General Manager Ray Shero said.

The Boston Bruins selected Finnish defenseman Urho Vaakanainen with the 18th pick. A left-handed shooter, he was rated the third best European defenseman by the Central Scouting Bureau.

After a symphony of boos for NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and most of Chicago’s rivals across the league, the crowd cheered when the Blackhawks finally got on the clock at No. 26. But they promptly moved back three spots in a deal with Dallas in the first of three trades announced during the first round.

The St. Louis Blues sent forward Jori Lehtera and two draft picks to Philadelphia for Brayden Schenn, and also traded physical forward Ryan Reaves to the Stanley Cup champion Penguins.

The crowd at the United Center cheered again when the Blackhawks got back on the clock, and General Manager Stan Bowman played to the roaring fans when he brought out captain Jonathan Toews and star winger Patrick Kane to announce their selection of Finnish defenseman Henri Jokiharu.

“Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane call my name, and it can’t be a better feeling,” Jokiharu said.

The 18-year-old Hischier is the highest drafted Swiss player in the NHL history. He had 38 goals and 86 points in 57 games with the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League this past season. He spent the previous two seasons in the Swiss pro league, where he was coached by current Ottawa Senators coach Guy Boucher.

Hischier fits in nicely with Shero’s desire to put a faster team on the ice. New Jersey is coming off its worst season in nearly three decades, finishing with a 28-40-14 record.

But Hischier is just over 6 feet tall and listed at 179 pounds, and will need to put on more muscle to succeed in the NHL.

“I love hockey,” he said. “It’s my biggest goal to play in the NHL. I’m so happy.”

The 18-year-old Patrick, a Winnipeg, Manitoba, native whose father Steve and uncle James played in the NHL, held the top spot in the NHL Central Scouting Department’s final rankings in April. He sustained a sports hernia last summer that hampered him during his season with Brandon of the Western Hockey League, but finished with 20 goals and 46 points in 33 games.

“Once we gathered all the information we felt comfortable that if he was there for us we were going to take him,” General Manager Ron Hextall said.

The New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning also opted for players with family ties to the NHL.

New York got the No. 7 pick in a trade with Arizona and selected center Lias Andersson, whose father Niklas played in the league. Callan Foote, who went to Tampa Bay at No. 14, is the son of two-time Stanley Cup champion Adam Foote.

“It’s nice to have someone like him on my side,” Callan Foote said.

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