Saturday, April 13

Sports

Ryan Giggs and football: A very complicated relationship
Sports

Ryan Giggs and football: A very complicated relationship

Associated media - Linked media The celebration was almost as glorious as the goal itself. The fuzz of chest hair, the twirling shirt, the body swerve to evade the Manchester United fans who had run on the pitch in their euphoria. On Sunday, it is 25 years since Patrick Vieira, a genuine great of Arsenal’s midfield, played a wayward pass amid the high drama of an FA Cup semi-final between the leading two English sides of the time. Ryan Giggs took the ball and then he was off and running, picking up speed from inside his own half, slaloming past opponents, one by one. Vieira tried to get back but Giggs, crossing the halfway line, dipped his shoulder to get away. Lee Dixon was next to come across. He, too, could not get near him. Arsenal had the most famously parsimonious defence in En...
Pat Zachry, Pitcher Known for a Lopsided Trade, Dies at 71
Sports

Pat Zachry, Pitcher Known for a Lopsided Trade, Dies at 71

Connected media - Connected media Pat Zachry, who was a co-winner of the National League Rookie of the Year award in 1976, but who is probably best known for being one of the players traded to the New York Mets a year later for Tom Seaver, died on Thursday at the home of his son, Josh, in Austin, Texas. He was 71. Jay Horwitz, a spokesman for the Mets, announced the death. He did not specify the cause, saying only that Zachry died after a long illness. Zachry, a 6-foot-5 right-hander, began his career with the Reds in 1976 and got off to a promising start. He went 14-7 with a 2.74 earned run average in his first season and tied the San Diego Padres pitcher Butch Metzger for Rookie of the Year. He beat the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series and...
USWNT’s loss to Mexico was a jarring reminder that the team’s mystique is gone
Sports

USWNT’s loss to Mexico was a jarring reminder that the team’s mystique is gone

Associated media - Associated media For those who weren’t following along during the 2011 World Cup qualifying cycle — in which the U.S. lost to Mexico in the CONCACAF semifinals before Alex Morgan finally sent the U.S. through in a playoff series against Italy — matches against Mexico might have felt like a rivalry in name only. The U.S. women’s national team had not lost to Mexico since that moment in 2010, and hadn’t lost to any CONCACAF opponent at home since 2000. Monday night threw that narrative out the window. The USWNT was outplayed in a 2-0 loss in front of a boisterous crowd in Carson, Ca., and while it didn’t match the low of that 0-0 draw against Portugal in the World Cup group stage last summer, the team’s final group stage match of this Gold Cup was (hopefully...
A’s Will Finally Turn Out the Lights on Pro Sports in Oakland
Sports

A’s Will Finally Turn Out the Lights on Pro Sports in Oakland

Related media - Linked media Still, the Athletics continued to be competitive, reinventing themselves by shrewdly using data to assess undervalued skills, a process that became known as “Moneyball,” after the best-selling book. The A’s have not reached the World Series since 1990, but they’ve been in the playoffs 11 times since 2000 — more than the Mets and the San Francisco Giants, and just as often as the Boston Red Sox. Attendance had lingered in the lower third, though drum-pounding fans in right field causing a nightly ruckus added a degree of atmosphere. But when the team began its latest tear down, trading away its best players for prospects rather than paying their accelerating salaries, fans finally had enough of John Fisher, the owner, who before last season had raised tick...
The tiny Brazilian club that fooled North Korea – ‘They would have been angry if we had won’
Sports

The tiny Brazilian club that fooled North Korea – ‘They would have been angry if we had won’

Related media - Linked media Everyone seems to have a slightly different estimate of how many people were outside the stadium on that strange November afternoon, but the consensus is that it was a lot. As the bus crept through the crowd, the Brazilian footballers on board stared out of the windows. Locals — tens of thousands of them, on some accounts — flooded the streets. Most greeted the bus with diffident waves. A few ran alongside, hoping to catch a glimpse of someone they would not have recognised anyway. An hour later, those same footballers walked through a long underground tunnel, up a flight of stairs and out onto the pitch. They lined up in front of the dugout and sang Brazil’s national anthem. The match that began moments thereafter took place in 2009, but you would never ...
A Former Hockey Enforcer Searches for Answers on C.T.E. Before It’s Too Late
Sports

A Former Hockey Enforcer Searches for Answers on C.T.E. Before It’s Too Late

Linked media - Associated media Memory, Now and Five Years Ago Chris Nilan is a quintessential Bostonian of a certain time and demographic, the kind they make movies about: A tough, working-class hockey player of Irish descent, hundreds, if not thousands, of local kids yearned to be just like him. He was born on Feb. 9, 1958, at the Faulkner Hospital in West Roxbury, Mass., the son of Henry and Leslie Nilan, a hard-working, blue collar couple who raised their four children in a strict household. Chris still found his way into scraps as a kid, and soon discovered he was a capable and fearless fighter. Often, he said, it was in defense of others. Later, he mixed it up with groups of kids and young adults on the streets and in the bars of Boston. He met Karen Stanley at Northeastern Uni...
On Klay Thompson as a sixth man, boost from a living (Larry) legend and uncertain Warriors future
Sports

On Klay Thompson as a sixth man, boost from a living (Larry) legend and uncertain Warriors future

Connected media - Related media SAN FRANCISCO — The motivational message, courtesy of the great Larry Bird, came at the perfect time. Klay Thompson was just a few days removed from the unwelcome start of his sixth-man life in Utah, where the 34-year-old Warriors legend had been asked to come off the bench after the previous 12 years as a starter. Even with Thompson’s spectacular debut in this new reserve role, a 35-point showing on Feb. 15 that helped lift Golden State over the Jazz heading into the All-Star break, this was the kind of career-changing decision that would take much more time to truly accept. The emotions were still raw. This was already a sensitive situation too, what with Thompson and the Warriors having been unable to come to terms on an extension in recent months a...
Ohtani’s Contract Goes Beyond Dollars and Sense
Sports

Ohtani’s Contract Goes Beyond Dollars and Sense

Associated media - Connected media Ohtani, though, is beating the Americans on their own terms. “He can hit a home run 500 feet and throw a ball 100 miles per hour, and he’s bigger and stronger than most Americans,” said Robert Whiting, who has written several books on baseball in Japan, including “You Gotta Have Wa.” Ohtani’s Ruthian contract might never have been signed if Nomo, Hideki Irabu and Alfonso Soriano hadn’t challenged Japanese restrictions on the movement of players in the 1990s. Nomo, for instance, retired from Japanese baseball so he could sign with the Dodgers, while Irabu pushed back when his old team, the Chiba Lotte Marines, cut a deal to send him to the San Diego Padres. Irabu was later sent to the Yankees, his preferred destination. A couple of years la...
Baseball Has Grown in Bogotá, Colombia, Thanks to Venezuelan Migrants
Sports

Baseball Has Grown in Bogotá, Colombia, Thanks to Venezuelan Migrants

Related media - Connected media “Once you’re here, it doesn’t matter,” said Gabriel Arcos, a systems engineer who grew up cheering for a Leones rival in Venezuela and moved to Bogotá in 2016. “Maybe you don’t like the Leones of Caracas, but like I always say, these are the Leones of Bogotá.” Four years ago, when Iraida Acosta took over as president of the Leones, she said there were only six Venezuelan children. Now, she said, most of its 64 players are Venezuelan. Ms. Acosta, 54, said that in 2017, she and her 9-year-old son left their Venezuelan hometown near the Caribbean coast to visit her husband, who had come to Bogotá six months earlier to find work. They ended up staying because the economic opportunities were better. Still, it wasn’t easy. “The culture, although being brothe...
NFL Scouting Combine: What we’re following for all 32 teams in Indianapolis
Sports

NFL Scouting Combine: What we’re following for all 32 teams in Indianapolis

Associated media - Linked media Draft season kicks into high gear this week at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis as teams will put prospects under a microscope during private interviews, news conferences and workouts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Quarterbacks always dominate conversations at the combine, and this year will be no different with USC’s Caleb Williams, North Carolina’s Drake Maye and LSU’s Jayden Daniels expected to be among the first handful of picks come April. But a stellar wide receiver group, headlined by Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr., LSU’s Malik Nabers and Washington’s Rome Odunze, will also draw plenty of interest this week. Beyond the draft prospects, new head coaches, led by the Chargers’ Jim Harbaugh, and GMs, including the Commanders’ Adam Peters, will be i...