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22 May, 2018

The Monday Morning Quarterback

Devils Legend Lamoriello Joins Islanders Front Office

[ PHOTO: NEW YORK POST ]
May 22, 2018
Vin A. Cherwoo, Associated Press


NEW YORK (AP) — Longtime NHL executive Lou Lamoriello joined the New York Islanders on Tuesday and will have full authority in all hockey matters.

The 75-year-old Lamoriello will hold the title of president of hockey operations. Son Chris Lamoriello has been the team's assistant general manager since 2016.

He comes to a team that has missed the playoffs eight of the last 12 seasons. Recalling the team's glory days from a generation ago, Lamoriello said he is "excited to join such a storied franchise."

It was not immediately clear how the move will affect current president and general manager Garth Snow. He has four years left on his contract. Lamoriello's hiring was first reported by The Athletic, which said Snow's deal has a "steep buyout."

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL STORY FROM THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT


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21 May, 2018

The Monday Morning Quarterback

The Giants Should Pay Odell Beckham Now

[ PHOTO: NEWSDAY ]
May 21, 2018
Steve Serby, New York Post


The message from the top has been received by Odell Beckham Jr., and the Giants’ organizational decision to Win Now — to sign Nate Solder, to trade for Alec Ogletree, to pass on Sam Darnold, etcetera and draft Saquon Barkley — means you can take it to the bank that they will Pay Now.

Pay Beckham now.

And that will be music to Barkley’s rookie ears.

Barkley, labeled a gold-jacket guy by Giants GM Dave Gettleman, was asked whether his future partner in crime is a gold-jacket guy.

“You look at Odell, what he’s done the last four to five years, how he impacted the game, the culture of the game and impact on the field, it’s a no-brainer,” Barkley said.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL STORY FROM THE NEW YORK POST



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The Monday Morning Quarterback

Justify Wins 143rd Preakness Stakes, Goes for Triple Crown at Belmont

[ PHOTO: NEW YORK POST ]
May 21, 2018
Stephen Whyno, Associated Press


BALTIMORE — Justify keeps showing something new each time he races.

In the Kentucky Derby, he showed he could run in the mud in a crowded, 20-horse field. In the Preakness, he showed he could withstand the challenge of a top rival pressing him early and hold off others before the finish line — also in the mud

For his next trick, he’ll need to show he can endure the grueling 1½-mile Belmont in New York on June 9. And it he does that, Justify will become horse racing the second Triple Crown winner in four years.

“If you’re a superior horse, you can do it,” trainer Bob Baffert said Sunday. “I’ve seen horses go a mile and a half and they never won again. It’s a weird, quirky race, but I don’t see why though he wouldn’t handle it.”

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL STORY FROM THE AUGUSTA CHRONICLE

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15 May, 2018

The Monday Morning Quarterback

NHL WCF: Vegas Wins Game 2, Golden Knights, Jets Head to Sin City Tied at 1

[ PHOTO: VICTORIA TIMES COLONIST ]
May 15, 2018


WINNIPEG, Manitoba — Jonathan Marchessault changed the dynamic of the Western Conference Final with two backhanded flicks of his stick.

The Golden Knights’ forward backed up his words with a pair of goals and helped the Knights take home-ice away from the Winnipeg Jets in a 3-1 win that evened the series at one game apiece. 

Momentum and the series now shifts for the Knights to Game 3 at 6 p.m. Wednesday at T-Mobile Arena.

“We showed the hockey world we have earned the right to be here,” Marchessault said. “We’re definitely satisfied with our effort. Everyone showed up.”

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL STORY FROM THE LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL



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The Monday Morning Quarterback

NBA WCF: Durant Leads Warriors to Game 1 Win Over Rockets

[ PHOTO: SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE ]
May 15, 2018
Kristie Rieken, Associated Press



Kevin Durant continues to deliver in the postseason for the Golden State Warriors.

He scored 37 points on Monday night to lead the Warriors to a 119-106 win in the long-awaited showdown with the Houston Rockets in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals.

But if it were up to him, he would have done even more.

Durant wasn't happy with coach Steve Kerr when he took him out in late in the third quarter and loudly asked his coach why he was putting him on the bench.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL STORY FROM ABC NEWS

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The Monday Morning Quarterback

Manning, Giants Settle Memorabilia Fraud Lawsuit

[ PHOTO: NEW YORK DAILY NEWS ]
May 15, 2018
A.J. Perez & Art Stapleton, USA Today


A settlement has been reached in the long-running lawsuit that alleged New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning and the team conspired to pass off fake game-worn memorabilia.

The Giants said a settlement had been reached in a statement to USA TODAY Sports Monday night. 

"The compromise agreement, entered into by all parties, should not be viewed as supporting any allegations, claims or defenses," Giants spokesperson Karen Kessler said in an email. "All parties are grateful to have the matter, which began in 2014, concluded and are now focused on football, the fans and the future."

The trial was set to begin in Hackensack, N.J., on Monday with jury selection, but was pushed back to next week due to a death in the family of one of the attorneys.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL STORY FROM USA TODAY


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14 May, 2018

The Monday Morning Quarterback

Sports Betting Coming to New Jersey as Supreme Court Rules in Favor of State(s)

[ PHOTO: THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ]
May 14, 2018
Stephen Edelson, Asbury Park Press

OCEANPORT - The seven year legal battle is finally over, and sports betting is coming to New Jersey.
Monday’s favorable ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court paves the way to allow gambling on sporting events at racetracks and casinos in the state.

“I am thrilled to see the Supreme Court finally side with New Jersey and strike down the arbitrary ban on sports betting imposed by Congress decades ago,'' Governor Phill Murphy said.

“New Jersey has long been the lead advocate in fighting this inherently unequal law, and today’s ruling will finally allow for authorized facilities in New Jersey to take the same bets that are legal in other states in our country.



CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THE STORY FROM THE ASBURY PARK PRESS

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The Monday Morning Quarterback

NBA ECF: Celtics Dominate Cavs in Game 1

[ PHOTO: THE BOSTON GLOBE ]
May 14, 2018
Mark Murphy, Boston Herald


In past postseasons of the Brad Stevens era, the Celtics have basically melted in LeBron James’ presence. Heading into yesterday they were 1-8, consistently falling to a Cleveland star at the peak of his powers.

But that’s what is funny about this year’s Celtics.

“We have a lot of guys that really just don’t care,” said Marcus Smart. “Our whole life we’ve been fighting. Bigger opponents than us, and playing LeBron and that Cavs team is great — they’ve been here for a reason. We have talent as well — we’re fearless.”

There was a lot of money on the end of that bench in street clothes, including $48.9 million just between Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. But as the Celtics have shown repeatedly this season, no one has spent a lot of time worrying about all of those untapped funds.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL STORY FROM THE BOSTON HERALD

 
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The Monday Morning Quarterback

NHL ECF: Capitals Heading Home with Commanding 2-0 Series Lead Over Lightning

[ PHOTO: USA TODAY ]
May 14, 2018
Matthew Paras, The Washington Times


TAMPA — The Capitals could have blamed a lousy call from the referees, or even used Nicklas Backstrom’s hand injury as an excuse. On Sunday, there were plenty of moments when it might have been understandable if Washington had allowed the Tampa Bay Lightning back into the series.

But these Capitals didn’t let up. They didn’t relax. And now, with a 6-2 win in Game 2, they return to the District with a commanding 2-0 series lead — halfway to moving on to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Sunday’s contest turned late in the second period when Lars Eller scored from the slot to put the Capitals up 3-2.

Seconds later, Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy was called for tripping forward Andre Burakovsky, and — like Alex Ovechkin’s one-timer in Game 1 — the Capitals took advantage of a penalty with time winding down. This time it was center Evgeny Kuznetsov who fired a shot at the net that deflected off Vasilevskiy and slipped under the goalie and into the net.


CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL STORY FROM THE WASHINGTON TIMES

 

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The Monday Morning Quarterback

Mark Reynolds Goes Yard Twice in Washington Debut as Nats Sweep D-Backs Aside

[ PHOTO: THE WASHINGTON TIMES ]
May 14, 2018
Nick Piecoro, The Arizona Republic


Torey Lovullo isn’t usually the overly nostalgic type, but the seventh inning on Sunday brought back memories for the Diamondbacks manager. It harkened him back to a simpler time, an era when his offense could score and his team could win.

“Yeah, the good old days,” Lovullo said, a half-smile on his face. “You know, of 10 days ago.”

The Diamondbacks lost for the fifth consecutive time on Sunday evening, dropping a 6-4 decision to the Washington Nationals, who, one day after becoming the first team to win a series this season against the Diamondbacks, became the first to sweep them, doing so over four games at Chase Field.


CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL STORY FROM THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC


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The Monday Morning Quarterback

deGrom Exits Early, Mets Bullpen can't get Job Done Against Phillies

[ PHOTO: THE BERGEN RECORD ]
[ PHOTO: THE BERGEN RECORD ]
May 14, 2018
Tim Healey, Newsday



PHILADELPHIA — Mickey Callaway needed nearly a complete game from his bullpen Sunday, and he got it. It just wasn’t a very good game.

In the Mets’ 4-2 loss to the Phillies, four relievers combined to allow four runs, four walks and eight hits in seven innings after Jacob deGrom lasted only one.

Paul Sewald (0-3) coughed up the lead in the sixth on a three-run homer by Nick Williams. Jeurys Familia allowed Carlos Santana’s solo shot to center in the eighth.

“It was the wrong pitch in the wrong location,” Sewald said. “Down and in to a lefty is not where it’s supposed to be. I wasn’t tired or anything like that.”
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The Monday Morning Quarterback

Braves Top Sinking Fish 4-3

[ PHOTO: MIAMI HERALD ]
May 14, 2018
Field Level Media, Gwinnett Daily Post


Sean Newcomb pitched six scoreless innings and Ender Inciarte slugged a two-run homer as the Atlanta Braves held on to beat the Miami Marlins 4-3 on Sunday afternoon at Marlins Park.

Miami had just one hit -- a double by Brian Anderson -- entering the ninth. But after singles by Starlin Castro and J.B. Shuck, Justin Bour hit his third pinch-hit homer of the season, cutting Atlanta's lead to 4-3.

Braves reliever Jesse Biddle allowed the two singles before making way for Arodys Vizcaino, who gave up the upper-deck homer by Bour. However, Vizcaino retired Miami's final three batters to pick up his seventh save of the season.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL STORY FROM THE GWINNETT DAILY POST


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The Monday Morning Quarterback

Red Sox Hold off Blue Jays to Stay Tied for First

[ PHOTO: BOSTON HERALD ]
May 14, 2018
Peter Abraham, The Boston Globe


TORONTO — Red Sox manager Alex Cora knew before Sunday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays that he would not have Craig Kimbrel and Carson Smith available out of the bullpen.

Kimbrel had pitched in three of the previous four games, Smith in five of the last six. And the Sox don’t have a scheduled day off until May 21.
What was a small problem became a big one when starting pitcher Drew Pomeranz couldn’t get an out in the fifth inning and was pulled after 103 extra-tedious pitches.

The Sox had a one-run lead and limited means to protect it.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL STORY FROM THE BOSTON GLOBE


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The Monday Morning Quarterback

Orioles Stay Hot, Rout Rays 17-1

[ PHOTO: THE WASHINGTON POST ]
May 14, 2018
Eduardo A. Encina, The Baltimore Sun


The Orioles’ early-season tumble to the worst record in the major leagues was predicated by a bunch of patchwork lineups that were necessitated by injuries and inconsistency.

Now, just seven games into this nine-game homestand, the Orioles have put together their best stretch of baseball this season. Yes, it’s a reflection of how poorly this club played before this stretch, but out of nowhere, the Orioles are scoring runs in bunches and finally look more like their complete selves, and their 17-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays was an example of that.

The club has unquestionably benefited from the return of middle-of-the-order bats Jonathan Schoop and Mark Trumbo. But it is also now suddenly a team that is better able to put its pieces where they belong, and it’s resulted in recent wins.
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The Monday Morning Quarterback

Stanton's 4-for-4 Day Leads Yanks Over A's on Soggy Mother's Day at the Stadium

[ PHOTO: NEWSDAY ]
May 14, 2018
Peter Solari


Once the rain finally subsided on Mother's Day, the Yankees brought the thunder!

After a nearly three hour rain delay at Yankee Stadium, Giancarlo Stanton went 4-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs, as the Yankees rolled to a 6-2 victory over the struggling Oakland A's Sunday to complete a 7-2 home-stand. New York has now won seven straight series', and remains tied with the rival Red Sox for the best record in baseball at 28-12.

"I'm really excited where we're at, but it's a long, long way to go," manager Aaron Boone said of his Yankees, after the game.

Coming up with the bases loaded in the first inning, Stanton got his day started by delivering a two-RBI single off Oakland starter Brett Anderson, scoring Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge. Aaron Hicks added his first of two RBIs on the day with a single later in the inning, giving the Yankees an early 3-0 lead.

[ VIDEO CREDIT: YES NETWORK ]

After adding a second single in the third inning, Stanton launched his 10th homer of the season into the bullpen in right-center field in the fifth, making this the first time in the Yankees' historic history that four players have have at least 10 home runs in the first 40 games. Only the 2003 Texas Rangers, with Juan Gonzalez, Carl Everett, Alex Rodriguez. and Rafael Palmeiro, had accomplished that feat until now. Judge, Didi Gregorius, and Gary Sanchez are the other Yankees with double-digit home runs this season.


[ VIDEO CREDIT: YES NETWORK ]

Staff ace Luis Severino continued his winning ways by battling through six tough innings, striking out seven and surrendering just one run on five hits, to improve to 6-1 and tie the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner, Corey Kluber of the Indians, for the league lead in wins.

"Talk about grinding through it," Boone said of his starter. "Proud of his effort on not necessarily his best day. That's why he's become a really special pitcher."

Stanton capped his day in the seventh inning by slugging a double into left field for the 999th hit of his career, leaving him one short of a milestone. The Bronx Bombers' key offseason acquisition is now batting .252 with 10 homers, 26 RBIs, and a .339 OBP in his first season in the Bronx, much of which has been a struggle for him.

Judge's RBI single in the eighth, which scored Miguel Andujar, accounted for the rest of New York's scoring.

For the A's. who have now lost five of six, a Jed Lowrie RBI single off Severino in the fifth, and a late Mark Canha home run off Yankees reliever Chasen Shreve, were all the runs they could muster.

After a day off on Monday, the Yankees will return to action Tuesday when they open an eight game road trip in our nation's capital against Bryce Harper and the Washington Nationals. Here are the expected pitching matchups for the two-game series in DC:

Tuesday May 15, 2018, 7:05 PM, Nationals Park, Washington, DC
NYY: Masahiro Tanaka (4-2, 4.66 ERA) @ WSH: Gio Gonzalez (4-2, 2.22 ERA)


Wednesday May 16, 2018, 7:05 PM, Nationals Park, Washington, DC
NYY: CC Sabathia (2-0, 2.23 ERA) @ Max Scherzer (7-1, 1.61 ERA)

BONUS:

Watch Dellin Betances channel his inner-ninja with an amazing behind-the-back stab to rob a hit in the eighth inning on Sunday. Video courtesy of the YES Network.


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13 May, 2018

The Monday Morning Quarterback

Hamilton Cruises to Victory in Spanish Grand Prix as Mercedes Finishes One-Two

[ PHOTO: THE GUARDIAN ]
May 13, 2018
Associated Press



Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton easily won the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday for his second straight Formula One victory, increasing his championship lead over Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel.

Valtteri Bottas secured a one-two for Mercedes at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, while Max Verstappen completed the podium despite finishing the race with a broken front wing on his Red Bull.
Vettel, who now trails Hamilton by 17 points in the drivers' standings, was only fourth after a change in strategy didn't pay off.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL STORY FROM THE LOS ANGELES TIMES

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08 May, 2018

The Monday Morning Quarterback

Golden Knights' Cinderella Story Continues with Trip to Conference Final

[ PHOTO: THE OKLAHOMAN ]
May 8, 2018
Kevin Allen, USA Today

  
If you placed a $100 bet on the expansion Vegas Golden Knights when they were listed at 500/1 odds to win the Stanley Cup, you'd have no confusion about who to root for in the NHL playoffs.

The Golden Knights moved a step closer to this unlikely occurrence when they knocked off the San Jose Sharks 3-0 in Game 6 Sunday night to win their second-round series and earn a trip to the Western Conference final. They even caught a break Sunday when Nate Schmidt was awarded a goal that originally was missed by on-ice officials but was caught after the fact on replay.

Vegas will face the winner of the Winnipeg Jets-Nashville Predators series, which the Jets lead 3-2 heading into Monday's Game 6 in Winnipeg.

Even if you have no money riding on the Golden Knights, here are five reasons why you should root for them to win the Stanley Cup:

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL STORY FROM USA TODAY

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The Monday Morning Quarterback

Eastern Conference Finals Preview: Capitals-Lightning

[ PHOTO: THE WASHINGTON POST ]
May 8, 2018
Roger Mooney, Tampa Bay Times
It was fitting the Capitals, tormented for so long by the Penguins, were the team to put an end to the Penguins' Stanley Cup reign.

Their reward: A date with the top-seeded Lightning in the Eastern Conference final.

The best-of-seven series will be the third postseason meeting between the two teams. The Lightning won both, taking the 2003 Eastern Conference quarterfinal in six games and the 2011 conference semifinal in four.

History, however, means little to the Caps, who snapped a streak of seven-straight postseason series losses to the Penguins that dated back to the 1995 conference quarterfinal. Not this year, anyway.

The Caps advance to their third conference finals. They beat the Sabres in six in 1998 before being swept by the Red Wings in the Stanley Cup Finals. In 1990, the Caps were swept by the Bruins in the ECF.

The Caps reached this round after beating the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins on Monday in Pittsburgh 2-1 on an overtime goal by Evgeny Kuznetsov.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL STORY FROM THE TAMPA BAY TIMES

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The Monday Morning Quarterback

Caps Eliminate Pens, Move on to East Finals

[ PHOTO: THE WASHINGTON TIMES ]
May 8, 2018
Will Graves, Associated Press


PITTSBURGH (AP) — A cathartic celebration 20 years in the making began with a poke of Evgeny Kuznetsov's stick. It built as the puck that Kuznetsov tapped away from Sidney Crosby made its way to Washington Capitals teammate Alexander Ovechkin.

It neared its crescendo as Ovechkin flipped it back to Kuznetsov, who at this point had split two Penguins and was streaking toward the Pittsburgh net. And it culminated jubilantly and unexpectedly in the corner moments later, with the puck in the net and Kuznetsov's teammates mobbing him after he ended two decades of frustration with a flick of the Russian's wrist.

The ghosts of past playoff failures, many of them at the hands of the Penguins, were gone. Dispatched over the course of six games of grit and guile, the last a 2-1 overtime win in Game 6 on Monday night that gave Washington a 4-2 series victory and a spot in the Eastern Conference finals against Tampa Bay.

"It's pretty emotional," Kuznetsov said after his seventh goal of the playoffs 5:27 into overtime pushed the Capitals into the NHL's final four for just the third time in franchise history. "I don't really have a word for it."

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL STORY FROM THE NEW JERSEY HERALD

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07 May, 2018

The Monday Morning Quarterback

Sabathia to Retire if Yankees Win World Series

[ PHOTO: NEW YORK POST ]
May 7, 2018
Peter Solari, Editor in Chief


CC Sabathia is just about ready to call it a career, but not before he gets one more ride down the Canyon of Heroes. 

“I want one more parade and pretty sure that will be it,’’ Sabathia told the New York Post. 

According to the Yankees' southpaw, if the Bronx Bombers win the World Series in 2018, he will retire at season's end. In fact, he would have preferred to have done it even earlier. Here's more from the New York Post:

Asked if he would have retired had the Yankees gotten by the Astros in Game 7 of the ALCS, which he started, and beaten the Dodgers in the World Series, Sabathia said that would have been the end of what has been a Hall of Fame worthy career.

“That’s what you play for,’’ the 37-year-old Sabathia said of winning another World Series title before retiring and enjoying his family. “But you got to get it first.’’
It has been 10 seasons since Sabathia helped the Yankees beat the Phillies in the 2009 World Series. They haven’t been back since, though they came nine outs away a year ago.

“You always want that feeling. It feels like 20 seasons [ago],’’ Sabathia said of the Yankees’ 27th World Series title in 2009. “That’s all you play for.’’

Brett Gardner and Sabathia are the lone leftovers from the 2009 title team. David Robertson was on the team but left following the 2014 season to sign with the White Sox and was dealt to the Yankees last July.
Believe it or not, Sabathia has now spent a majority of his great career as a New York Yankee. 2018 marks his tenth season in the Bronx.

Sabathia broke onto the scene in 2001 with the Indians and spent parts of eight seasons in Cleveland. He signed with the Yankees as a free agent after the 2008 season, and was the ace of a staff that won the World Series in 2009; the lone championship in Sabathia's illustrious career. 

Sabathia also spent several months as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers, and though his time in the Brew City was short, he left a lasting impression on the city and the ballclub, In fact, the Milwaukee months may have been the greatest performance of Sabathia's entire career.

It might sound cliche, but Sabathia really did put the Brewers on his back and carried them to the playoffs in 2008. In 17 starts for the Brewers, Sabathia was a staggering 11-2 with a 1.65 ERA, including seven complete games, three shutouts, and a controversial one-hitter, which in reality, should have been a no-hitter. The hefty lefty made his final three starts of the regular season on three-days rest, propelling Milwaukee to its first playoff appearance since 1982, as the Brewers finished one game ahead of the New York Mets to win the National League Wild Card.

Overall, Sabathia is 239-146 with a 3.68 ERA in 515 Major League starts over 18 seasons with the Indians, Brewers, and Yankees. The six-time all star twice led the Majors in wins in 2009 and 2010, won the American League Cy Young Award in 2007, and was named MVP of the ALCS in 2009.

Currently, the Yankees are the hottest team in baseball, having won 15 of their last 16 games, and are very much expected to compete for a World Series title in 2018, making Sabathia's dreams of a fairy tale ending, a very real possibility. 
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The Monday Morning Quarterback

Torres Hits Walk-off Blast, Yanks Keep Rolling

[ PHOTO: THE NEW YORK TIMES ]

May 7, 2018

Peter Solari, Editor in Chief


After a somewhat slow start to their season, the New York Yankees are in mid-season form, and it's only the first week of May.

The team's latest triumph came Sunday, when rookie second baseman Gleyber Torres hit a Danny Otero 3-2 pitch 415 feet over the center field wall, sending New York to its 15th win in 16 games, 7-4 over the Cleveland Indians at Yankee Stadium.

At 21-years, 144 days, Torres became the youngest Yankee to ever hit a walk-off homer, a record previously held by Hall-of-Famer Mickey Mantle, who was 21-years, 185-days old when he hit the game winning home run against the Boston Red Sox on April 23, 1953. The Bronx Bombers have now recorded three walk-off wins in their last four games at home.

You wouldn't know it from the final score, but most of Sunday's game was very much a pitchers duel, with Cleveland Starter Mike Clevinger struck out 10 Yankees and surrendered just one hit over 7 and 1/3 innings. Clevinger's counterpart, rookie Domingo German, was equally, if not more impressive, throwing six scoreless innings and fanning nine batters, in his first major league start. German, who started in place of the injured Jordan Montgomery, was removed by manager Aaron Boone after throwing a career-high 84 pitches.

Cleveland finally broke through in the eighth inning against relievers Dellin Betances and Jonathan Holder, and appeared to be on their way to victory, opening up a 4-0 lead late in the game. But the Yankees clawed back in the bottom of the inning when Brett Gardner delivered an RBI single and Aaron Judge followed with a two-run double off Indians closer Cody Allen, to bring New York back within one run.

After Chason Shreve pitched a perfect ninth, Aaron Hicks and Neil Walker led-off the bottom of the inning with back-to-back doubles, tying the game at 3, and sending Allen to locker room with the blown save.

Boone elected to send the struggling Giancarlo Stanton up to pinch hit for Tyler Austing, prompting Francona to counter by intentionally walking the reigning National League MVP, and inadvertently set the stage for Torres' game-winning blast.

At 15-1, the Yankees are currently on their best 16-game run since 1980.

The rookie Torres, who was only called up to the Major Leagues on April 22, but has had an immediate impact on the team, is now batting .327 with 2 round-trippers and 11 runs batted in. He was acquired from the Cubs by general manager Brian Cashman in a 2016 trade deadline deal that sent closer Aroldis Chapman to the Windy City. After playing a major role in helping the Cubs end their 108-year World Series drought, Chapman became a free agent and re-signed in New York before the 2017 season, making the Torres-Chapman swap one of those rare deals in sports, that works out well for all parties involved.

Having now won consecutive series' against expected contenders Cleveland, the Houston Astros, and Los Angeles Angels, the Yankees will turn their attention to their toughest test to date, when the rival Red Sox come to the Bronx to open up a three game series on Tuesday at 7:05 PM. Drew Pomeranz (1-1, 6.14 ERA) will take the hill for Boston, while ace Luis Severino (5-1, 2.11 ERA) will go for New York. The Red Sox (25-9) currently sit just one game up on the Yankees (24-10) in the American League East standings.

Here are the expected pitching matchups for the rest of the Yankees/Red Sox series this week:

Wednesday May 9, 2018. 7:05 PM
BOS: David Price (2-4, 5.11 ERA) @ NYY: Masahiro Tanaka (4-2, 4.39 ERA)

Thursday May 10, 2018, 7:05 PM
BOS: Rick Porcello (5-0, 2.14 ERA0 @ NYY: CC Sabathia (2-0, 1.39 ERA)
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The Monday Morning Quarterback

Justify Breaks "Curse of Apollo", Wins 144th Kentucky Derby

[ PHOTO: THE LOUISVILLE COURIER-JOURNAL ]

May 7, 2018
Peter Solari, Editor in Chief


Despite a wet track on a rainy day in Louisville, Justify triumphed in the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on Saturday, making him the first horse since Apollo in 1882 to win the 'run for the roses' without a start as a two-year-old. 


Justify, who was the odds-on-favorite to win the Derby, was neck and neck with a longshot, Promises Fulfilled, out of the gate, before pulling away for a comfortable win, and breaking the “Curse of Apollo”.

Great Magic was second in the first leg of this year's Triple Crown, with Audible finishing third.

It was the wettest day in the nearly-150 year history of the Kentucky Derby, as three inches of rain slammed the famous dirt track, but the inclement weather didn't appear to dampen the spirits of fans. Over 157,000 were in attendance despite the soggy conditions.  

Saturday marked the fifth Kentucky Derby victory for legendary trainer Bob Baffert, whose horses also won in 1997 (Silver Charm), 1998 (Real Quiet), 2002 (War Emblem), and 2015, when American Pharoah won the first Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978. 

It was also a return to the Churchill Downs winner's circle for jockey Mike Smith, who previously won the Derby in 2005 aboard Giacomo.

Next up for Justify, Smith, and Baffert will be the 143rd running of the Preakness Stakes on May 19, at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. The American Triple Crown series will conclude on June 9 with the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York.

Here are the full results from the 2018 Kentucky Derby:


  1. Justify
  2. Good Magic
  3. Audible
  4. Installed Regard
  5. My Boy Jack
  6. Bravazo
  7. Hofburg
  8. Lone Sailor
  9. Vino Rosso
  10. Solomini
  11. Firenze Fire
  12. Bolt d'Oro
  13. Flameaway
  14. Enticed
  15. Promises Fulfilled
  16. Free Drop Billy
  17. Noble Indy
  18. Combatant
  19. Magnum Moon
  20. Mendelssohn
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30 April, 2018

The Monday Morning Quarterback

Mets Clobber Padres Behind 19 Hits

[ PHOTO: NEW YORK POST ]
April 30, 2018
The Monday Morning Quarterback


In their last game of the season’s first full month, the Mets offered a glimpse of what they hope is to come with a 14-2 win over the Padres on Sunday.

Zack Wheeler, who opened the season in the minors, made his case as perhaps the team’s third-best starter behind Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard. He tossed five innings of two-run ball, striking out nine.

First baseman Adrian Gonzalez, facing the prospect of decreased playing time as the Mets think about playing Jay Bruce at first occasionally, contributed his biggest game as a Met. He went 3-for-6 with a home run, a double and five RBIs.

CLICK HERE TO READ THIS FULL STORY AT NEWSDAY

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The Monday Morning Quarterback

Yankees Sweep Away Angels, Win Ninth Straigth

[ PHOTO: THE NEW YORK TIMES ]

April 30, 2018

The Monday Morning Quarterback


Gary Sanchez hit a two-run homer and CC Sabathia delivered seven sturdy innings to lead the New York Yankees to a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday night in Anaheim, completing a series sweep, and giving New York its ninth consecutive win.

Sabathia (2-0) gave up five hits and a walk, and struck out four in the ninety seven pitch performance, with Los Angeles' only run coming as the result of a wild pitch in the sixth inning.

The Angels put the tying run on base in the ninth inning after Chris Young walked, but Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman struck out Ian Kinsler to end the game, and earn his sixth save of the season.

Angels starter Tyler Skaggs (3-2) did not allow a hit until Giancarlo Stanton doubled in the fourth, followed by Sanchez's homer, his 7th of the season, which traveled approximately 450 feet.

Skaggs gave up two runs on three hits and walked two, while punching out eight. Los Angeles' tough-luck southpaw has allowed two runs or less in five of his six starts this season.

The Angels rallied in the eighth inning, putting two runners on base, but Yankees reliever Chad Green struck out Zack Cozart to end the inning.

The Angels outhit the Yankees 6-4, but were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
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The Monday Morning Quarterback

Hamilton Wins Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Leapfrogs Vettel

[ PHOTO: THE GUARDIAN ]

April 30, 2018

The Monday Morning Quarterback



Lewis Hamilton took the championship lead from Sebastian Vettel when the Mercedes driver won an eventful Azerbaijan Grand Prix on Sunday.

Hamilton topped Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari, with Sergio Perez's Force India finishing third. Raikkonen's teammate Vettel, who started from the pole, took fourth place.

Hamilton now leads Vettel 70 to 66 in the drivers championship, with both seeking their fifth world title.

"It was quite an emotional race. Valtteri did an exceptional job and deserved to win, Sebastian also did a great job so it feels a bit odd to be up here," the victorious Hamilton said from the podium.

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo smashed into the back of teammate Max Verstappen in a lap 40 collision that ended the race for both of them.

Carlos Sainz was fifth for Renault, and Charles Leclerc earned his first points, finishing sixth for Sauber.

Former world champion Fernando Alonso of McLaren, Canadian Lance Stroll of Williams, Stoffel Vandoorne in the second McLaren, and New Zealand's Brendon Hartley of Toro Rosso, rounded out the top ten.
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17 April, 2018

The Monday Morning Quarterback

Wentz on Mend, Not About to Change Style

[ PHOTO: THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER ]

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz took another step forward in his recovery from knee surgery when he began his running program. Wentz said Tuesday that he does not have a definitive timetable for his rehab but "the goal" remains to be under center for Week 1, according to NJ.com.
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