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Panel: Sports bets on phones have huge growth promise

When a New Jersey racetrack and a casino start taking bets on sporting events Thursday, they will be part of an industry primed for tremendous growth, much of it taking place on smartphones, according to a panel of national gambling experts.

Speaking Wednesday at the east Coast Gaming Congress at Harrah's casino in Atlantic City, a panel of sports betting and technology company representatives predicted the fastest-growing segment of sports betting will be bets made on smartphones as games are being played.

While bettors always will want to bet on the outcome of a game before it begins, many also want to predict particular plays or developments within a game, the panelists said.

So in addition to wagering on whether the New York Yankees would beat the Boston Red Sox, many gamblers also would want to bet on whether Yankee Aaron Judge would hit a home run just as he arrives at the plate, or how many batters Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale would strike out in a particular inning.

Such betting is the main element of growth in the European sports betting market.

"The growth of in-play has been a huge driver," said Neale Deeley, vice president of Sportradar US, a data company that works with more than 70 sports federations and leagues around the world on fraud detection, including the NBA, NHL and Major League Soccer.

"Mobile and in-play were absolutely made for each other," added Lee Richardson, CEO of Spectrum Gaming Group, a gambling consulting firm near Atlantic City. "It's what customers want to do."

The forum came a day before New Jerseyans were to begin placing their first legal sports bets. Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy was to place the state's first legal sports bet at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Monmouth Park, a horse racing track near the Jersey shore in Oceanport.

Thirty minutes later and about 70 miles to the south, Atlantic City's Borgata casino will start taking sports bets.

No other New Jersey racetrack or casino has announced plans to begin taking bets within the next few days, although most if not all are expected to do so eventually. The Golden Nugget casino and the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, near New York City say they'll have sports betting operations up and running by the start of football season in September.

New Jersey's Division of Gaming Enforcement issued its regulations for sports betting providers Wednesday, clearing the last major obstacle for it to begin.

The state won a U.S. Supreme Court case last month clearing the way for all 50 states to offer legal sports betting if they choose.

Experts at the conference cautioned against unduly optimistic projections of sports betting revenue and tax money for states; the activity accounts for about 2 percent of Nevada casinos' total winnings. In New Jersey, Moody's has estimated sports betting could initially bring in $108 million, or about 4 percent of the state's annual gambling revenue.

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Follow Wayne Parry at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC

Stephen Colbert, Patrick Wilson belt out ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ at Mets, Yankees game

Who knew they had a set of pipes like these, but Stephen Colbert and Patrick Wilson, known more for their comedy and acting skills respectfully, can really sing. 

>> Read more trending news 

The odd pair sang the national anthem Friday during a subway series game between the New York Mets and New York Yankees, Fox News reported. The game was played at Citi Field.

This isn’t the first time Wilson sang for fans. He played Raoul in 2004’s film version of “The Phantom of the Opera.

Colbert has also sung on his show, “The Late Show” on CBS.

Here are all 99 SEC players who were selected in the 2018 MLB Draft

Casey Mize-2018 MLB Draft-Auburn Tigers baseball-SEC baseball

Ninety-nine SEC players were selected in the 2018 MLB Draft, including 13 from Kentucky, the most of any college in the nation.

So it’s fair to say the conference had quite a good showing in the draft, and now, the former SEC standouts enter the next stage of their baseball journey, heading to the minor leagues in an attempt to one day play in the MLB.

Here’s a full list of every SEC player who was taken in the 2018 MLB Draft, showing what pick the player was selected, where he went to school and what team he was drafted by:

Round 1

1 Casey Mize Auburn Detroit Tigers 5 Jonathan India Florida Cincinnati Reds 18 Brady Singer Florida Kansas City Royals 22 Ryan Rolison Ole Miss Colorado Rockies Compensation Picks 33 Jackson Kowar Florida Kansas City Royals

Round 2

45 Sean Hjelle Kentucky San Francisco Giants Compensation Picks 76 Mitchell Kilkenny Texas A&M Colorado Rockies

Round 3

81 Konnor Pilkington Mississippi State Chicago White Sox 83 Carlos Cortes South Carolina New York Mets 86 Connor Kaiser Vanderbilt Pittsburgh Pirates 87 Blaine Knight Arkansas Baltimore Orioles 89 Tristan Pompey Kentucky Miami Marlins 101 Reid Schaller Vanderbilt Washington Nationals

Round 4

110 Adam Hill South Carolina New York Mets 117 Nick Fortes Ole Miss Miami Marlins 118 Michael Plassmeyer Missouri Seattle Mariners 122 Eric Cole Arkansas Kansas City Royals 130 Kole Cottam Kentucky Boston Red Sox

Round 5

143 Brady Feigl Ole Miss Oakland Athletics 144 Grant Koch Arkansas Pittsburgh Pirates 148 Nolan Hoffman Texas A&M Seattle Mariners

Round 6

182 Zach Haake Kentucky Kansas City Royals

Round 7

200 Kevin Smith Georgia New York Mets 207 Cason Sherrod Texas A&M Miami Marlins 221 Chandler Day Vanderbilt Washington Nationals 223 Cody Morris South Carolina Cleveland Indians

Round 8

233 JJ Schwarz Florida Oakland Athletics 239 Jax Biggers Arkansas Texas Rangers 246 Nick Bush LSU Colorado Rockies 254 Luke Heyer Kentucky Los Angeles Dodgers

Round 9

260 Bryce Montes de Oca Missouri New York Mets 261 Luke Becker Kentucky San Diego Padres 267 Jake Walters Alabama Miami Marlins 268 Keegan McGovern Georgia Seattle Mariners

Round 10

287 Madison Stokes South Carolina Philadelphia Phillies 311 Carson Shaddy Arkansas Washington Nationals 312 Chandler Taylor Alabama Houston Astros 314 Deacon Liput Florida Los Angeles Dodgers

Round 11

315 Kacey Murphy Arkansas Detroit Tigers 334 Michael Helman Texas A&M Minnesota Twins 335 Davis Daniel Auburn Milwaukee Brewers 344 Stephen Kolek Texas A&M Los Angeles Dodgers

Round 12

347 James McArthur Ole Miss Philadelphia Phillies 368 Cameron Sanders LSU Chicago Cubs 369 Justin Lewis Kentucky Arizona Diamondbacks 371 Graham Lawson South Carolina Washington Nationals 374 Hunter Feduccia LSU Los Angeles Dodgers

Round 13

382 Brendan Venter Auburn Atlanta Braves 383 Dallas Woolfolk Ole Miss Oakland Athletics 399 LT Tolbert South Carolina Arizona Diamondbacks

Round 14

409 Michael Byrne Florida Cincinnati Reds 410 Andrew Mitchell Auburn New York Mets 432 JP France Mississippi State Houston Astros

Round 15

443 Calvin Coker Auburn Oakland Athletics 461 Evan Lee Arkansas Washington Nationals 462 Trey Dawson Kentucky Houston Astros

Round 16

471 Michael Curry Georgia San Diego Padres 490 Christopher Machamer Kentucky Boston Red Sox

Round 17

496 Ryan Olenek Ole Miss San Francisco Giants 517 Barrett Loseke Arkansas New York Yankees 518 Jake Reindl Arkansas Chicago Cubs 521 Ridge Chapman South Carolina Washington Nationals

Round 18

533 Cobie Vance Alabama Oakland Athletics 548 Jake Slaughter LSU Chicago Cubs

Round 19

579 Andy Toelken Missouri Arizona Diamondbacks 581 Zach Linginfelter Tennessee Washington Nationals 583 Antoine Duplantis LSU Cleveland Indians

Round 20

586 Jett Manning Alabama San Francisco Giants

Round 21

636 Hunter Stovall Mississippi State Colorado Rockies

Round 22

645 Mark Conger Vanderbilt Detroit Tigers

Round 23

683 Jonah Bride South Carolina Oakland Athletics 686 Troy Squires Kentucky Toronto Blue Jays 687 Giovanni Lopez Missouri Miami Marlins 697 Justin Wilson Vanderbilt New York Yankees 698 Hunter Taylor South Carolina Chicago Cubs

Round 24

721 Isaiah Campbell Arkansas Los Angeles Angels

Round 25

743 Alonzo Jones Vanderbilt Oakland Athletics 745 Nick Horvath Florida Baltimore Orioles 747 Luke Jarvis Auburn Miami Marlins

Round 26

770 Brian Sharp Missouri New York Mets 774 Ethan Paul Vanderbilt Pittsburgh Pirates 776 Brett Wright Auburn Toronto Blue Jays 786 Will Golsan Ole Miss Colorado Rockies 789 Ethan Small Mississippi State Arizona Diamondbacks

Round 27

799 Eddy Demurias South Carolina Cincinnati Reds

Round 30

890 Chandler Avant Alabama New York Mets

Round 31

927 Steve Scott Vanderbilt Miami Marlins 934 Zach Neff Mississippi State Minnesota Twins

Round 32

947 Ben Aklinski Kentucky Philadelphia Phillies 950 Jake Mangum Mississippi State New York Mets 952 Trey Harris Missouri Atlanta Braves 971 Alec Maley Kentucky Washington Nationals 972 Jacob Billingsley Mississippi State Houston Astros

Round 34

1012 Zack Hess LSU Atlanta Braves 1023 Benito Santiago Tennessee St. Louis Cardinals

Round 37

1106 Parker Caracci Ole Miss Toronto Blue Jays 1119 Zack Plunkett Arkansas Arizona Diamondbacks

Round 40

1197 Andrew Miller Kentucky Miami Marlins 1210 Zach Watson LSU Boston Red Sox

The post Here are all 99 SEC players who were selected in the 2018 MLB Draft appeared first on SEC Country.

Get ready for rarest of occasions, LSU baseball as likable underdog

lsu baseball-lsu-lsu tigers-sec baseball-sec tournament-todd peterson-ncaa tournament-ncaa baseball-college world series

BATON ROUGE, La. — Certain teams never feel the warmth of the national embrace. Casual fans don’t pull for the New England Patriots or the New York Yankees. No one gets butterflies in their stomach thinking about a Duke basketball run to the Final Four or Alabama returning to the College Football Playoff.

And college baseball fans don’t jump for joy when LSU ends up in Omaha. The team with the biggest fan base and the shiniest history also never gets national love or media darling status.

Except for this year.

If the LSU baseball team’s Cinderella run through the 2018 SEC Tournament taught us anything, it’s that this year’s squad is one of the rare LSU teams that fans from outside Baton Rouge can adore. The roster isn’t littered with potential high draft picks or polarizing personalities as it was a year ago with Alex Lange, Greg Deichmann and Kramer Robertson.

And the Tigers aren’t going to extend their six-year streak of finishing as a national seed, showing a rare moment of vulnerability in the otherwise perpetual run of the dynastic LSU baseball machine.

What’s left? Personalities worth rooting for and a team worth rallying behind. Sure, some players look like they’re on inevitable trajectories toward MLB success. Freshman outfielder Daniel Cabrera and his 52 RBI come to mind.

But for every Cabrera, LSU has many, many characters. The twin brothers built more like 1950s fullbacks than baseball players, competing together for the last time as teammates. The Charlie Sheen impersonator turned inconsistent ace trying to translate his best performance yet into another dominant postseason. The quiet-leading slap hitter overshadowed by every announcer’s insistence to point out his younger brother’s achievements.

And, of course, the relief pitcher who just wants to hit nukes.

For the first time since 2010, LSU is going to have to play a postseason series outside of Alex Box Stadium or Omaha. The Tigers won’t know their destination until Monday after 11:00 a.m. CT. The NCAA could send LSU anywhere from Deland, Fla., to Minneapolis, Minn., to Corvallis, Ore., to Palo Alto, Calif., and anywhere in between at one of 16 regional sites.

But for once, LSU won’t be the favorite to head to super regionals. Depending on the location, LSU might not even have the most predominant fan base. It’s a long shot, but stick the Tigers on the West Coast and it might be hard to find a couple thousand alums willing to don the purple and gold.

Still, there’s reason to root for this LSU team. Matching up against stalwarts like Florida, Arkansas and Ole Miss – all projected national seeds – LSU was playing like the loose team, the team with nothing to lose. Usually when June rolls around, LSU has to be the team on edge, the team with the target on its back.

This year, that shouldn’t be the case.

Naturally, whichever team hosts LSU is going to be weary of the Tigers. As Paul Mainieri said in 2008, no one is ever going to take LSU lightly again. But the same pressure won’t be on LSU in 2018 as it was in 2017, when everyone carried the sting of a super regional loss with them for 12 months.

This is a team that wheezed its way through the regular season, fighting injuries to half of its Opening Day infield, an inconsistent bullpen and a weekend pitching staff living in the shadow of its dominant predecessor. But LSU made it to the postseason. And the team looks as good as it has all year.

That’s something to root for.

The post Get ready for rarest of occasions, LSU baseball as likable underdog appeared first on SEC Country.

Mariners’ Robinson Cano suspended 80 games after positive drug test

Seattle Mariners’ second baseman Robinson Cano will be suspended for 80 games for violating Major League Baseball’s drug policy, according to KIRO.

In a statement on Twitter, Cano said he tested positive for Furosemide, a drug commonly used to flush out the kidneys.

>> Read more trending news 

In a statement, the Seattle Mariners said the team is ‘disappointed’ that Cano used the banned drug. 

Cano broke his hand Sunday after the team’s loss to Detroit and was placed on the 10-day disabled list. 

According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, Cano’s suspension was pending when the injury happened, and Cano’s time on the disabled list will count toward his 80-game suspension. 

KIRO reports that before his injury Sunday, Cano was batting .287 with four home runs and 23 RBIs in 39 games.

Cano signed a 10-year, $240 million contract with the Mariners in 2013, after spending the first nine years of his career with the New York Yankees. 

The Mariners are currently in third place in the AL West with a 23-17 record entering Tuesday's home game against the Texas Rangers.

Derrius Guice’s high school coach spills the beans on his behavior

lsu-lsu football-derrius guice-washington redskins

BATON ROUGE, La. — As one of Derrius Guice’s high school football coaches, Gabe Fertitta is all too familiar with the type of trouble his talented former running back is capable of getting in to.

While Guice was slipping from the first round of this year’s NFL draft as reports surfaced about off-field behavior affecting his stock, Fertitta couldn’t help but think of the incident where it was clear the running back might be going down the wrong path.

“One of the biggest infractions,” Fertitta intoned ominously, “was when he had a mustache or some hair on his chin.”

Come again? Is this the New York Yankees?

“It’s a learning curve when he comes to Catholic and we have all these rules,” said Fertitta, the current Baton Rouge Catholic head coach who was Guice’s offensive coordinator. “You have to tuck in your shirt. Wear certain socks. You have to shave.”

The latter violation was the cardinal sin committed by Guice while at Catholic.

“I’ve had to deal with way more difficult [situations] as a high school coach,” Fertitta said. “Kids caught with drugs, drinking alcohol. Never happened with Derrius. Not one time.”

Finally, some light has been shed on the type of immature, high-maintenance behavior that was anonymously attributed to Guice as he toppled out of the first round before getting selected in the second round by the Washington Redskins. No wonder he’ll never play at Gillette Stadium.

What else do you have, Coach Fertitta?

“People have come out of the woodwork down here sharing stories people haven’t even heard about,” he said.

Oooh! It’s about time we got to the juicy stuff. Do tell.

“Like, ‘My kid noticed Derrius bowling and said hello, and he came over and bowled with him for 30 minutes.’ Or, ‘Derrius went out to a youth football game and threw the ball around with my kid and his teammates.’ That doesn’t get press.”

Hold up. So you’re telling me that … Derrius Guice is a good kid?

That’s not what I saw on the internet, man.

“Is he a perfect saint? Absolutely not,” Fertitta said. “Did he come into a meeting late when I was OC? Sure. Did we discipline him? Sure. I don’t see how he’s different from any kid who has needed structure.”

Guice was a little different. He needed more structure and attention than most in high school. He was only 6 years old  when his father was murdered. On top of that, he was a fish out of water from a poor part of town attending a college prep school for Baton Rouge’s most well-heeled families. He may as well have been on a different planet.

“Just like any kid you have in high school, we definitely worked on instilling some accountability and discipline and stuff — as well as with about the other 70 kids we had on the team,” Fertitta said. “He responded to that stuff. It’s a kid who had no steady male discipline figure in his life.”

As Guice noted on his pro day, some teams were turned off by his heavy social media presence and seeming addiction to playing video games.

“I heard a guy say Derrius is chatty,” Fertitta said. “Is that a crime? His personality is out there. He’s not afraid to voice his opinion or say things on social media. I guess that turns some people off, but that’s just him.”

Believe it or not, there was even a time when Guice went Twitter silent at the insistence of then-Catholic head coach Dale Weiner.

“His senior year, Coach Weiner sat him down and said, ‘We need to slow down on social media stuff,’ and Derrius did it instantly. He did what Coach Weiner asked him to do — so much that when he opened his recruitment back up, he called Coach Weiner for permission to post it.”

Weiner and Fertitta were in Arlington, Texas, for the first round of the draft, watching helplessly as Guice waited for his name to be called. Fertitta said it was clear that Guice was disappointed, but that was gone the next morning.

Contrary to yet another untrue tweet stating that Guice had packed his bags and gone home Thursday night, he was actually having the time of his life on Friday morning.

“He was good,” Fertitta said. “He was out riding bikes around Dallas with buddies he graduated with from Catholic.”

Fertitta isn’t sure where all the anti-Guice buzz came from. He assumes it was fed to teams by agents trying to help their own clients leapfrog Guice.

“The NFL is a big business, and people make a lot of money from other people falling,” he noted.

Fertitta knows one thing for certain — Guice isn’t going to be held down by his first-round setback. As it turns out, he has too much character for that.

“He’s well-versed in adversity. It ain’t like this is the first time,” Fertitta said. “I expect him to keep rolling.”

The post Derrius Guice’s high school coach spills the beans on his behavior appeared first on SEC Country.

1952 Topps Mickey Mantle baseball card fetches record  $2.88 million at auction

Mickey Mantle baseball cards are coveted by collectors, and the 1952 Topps card of the New York Yankees’ Hall of Fame outfielder remains the gold standard for post-World War II collectibles.

>> Read more trending news

The bar was raised even higher Thursday night, as a ’52 Mantle in mint condition -- graded PSA 9 by Professional Sports Authenticator -- sold for $2,880,000 in an online event hosted by Heritage Auctions. That price, which includes the buyer’s premium, is the most ever paid for a post-World War II trading card and the second-highest for any trading card, Sports Collectors Daily reported. 

The highest amount was $3.12 million for a T206 Honus Wagner card sold in October 2016 by Goldin Auctions.

“The 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle is more than just a baseball card,” PSA President Joe Orlando said in a news release. “It is pop culture art and the symbol of the card collecting hobby itself.”

There were 21 bids cast for the Mantle card, which was part of Heritage Auctions’ Spring Sports Card Catalog Auction. The previous record for a 1952 Mantle graded PSA 9 was set in 2006, when Memory Lane Auction sold one for $282,588, PSA said in its release. The previous record for a Mantle card, regardless of grade, was a PSA 8.5 that sold in 2016 for $1.13 million.

The card that was sold Thursday night was owned by former NFL offensive lineman Evan Mathis, who played for six teams during his professional career. Wednesday night, Mathis spoke with with ESPN’s Bob Ley about the card and his love for collecting. Mathis said he sold the card to finance a new home in Tennessee, Sports Collectors Daily reported.

Mantle’s 1952 card is not the slugger’s true rookie card, but it is the first card that Topps issued. The 1951 Bowman card of the Mick is considered his rookie card, and one graded PSA 9 sold during this week’s Heritage Auctions sale for $750,000.

“The 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card captures the attention of baseball fans, serious collectors, and investors alike and this auction made it one of the most valuable sports collectibles in existence,” Chris Ivy, Director of Sports Auctions at Heritage Auctions, told Sports Collectors Daily. “It’s a phenomenal price, a world record, but it’s also the natural progression of a trend we’ve seen building for years.”

Florida baseball: Freshman Jordan Butler emerging as shutdown reliever for No. 1 Gators

Florida baseball-Missouri baseball-game time-schedule-stats-preview-tv-watch online

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Jordan Butler was drafted in the 34th round by the New York Yankees last summer, but as tempting as that could be for a young player, he felt his best move was heading to college and continuing to develop.

Especially considering he still doesn’t know whether his future is as a hitter or a pitcher.

“I think it was an easy choice for me. I don’t think I was ready for pro ball yet,” Butler said. “I think I wanted to come here and play for the No. 1 team in the nation and face SEC hitters, which will ultimately get me to be ready for pro ball.”

Butler has been used mostly as a pitcher in his first season with the No. 1-ranked Gators, and he’s quickly emerged as a vital bullpen piece for coach Kevin O’Sullivan.

The young left-hander from Tampa has not allowed a run in his last six outings, spanning 10 1/3 innings pitched, and he hasn’t allowed any runs out of the bullpen all season (14 1/3 innings). Overall, he’s 3-1 with a 2.61 ERA, 33 strikeouts and 13 walks over 31 innings (including four starts).

“I really like Jordan a lot. I think he’s going to be a special two-way player for us,” O’Sullivan said. “He hasn’t had a chance to hit as much as we would like, but you’ve seen me put him into some really tough situations. I brought him in with the bases loaded against Vandy and he pitched well there. … He’s a competitor. He played on the USA national team, the 18-U team two years in a row. He’s just a really good player.”

No. 1 Florida (29-6, 9-3 SEC) vs. Missouri (24-9, 6-6)

Where | McKethan Stadium, Gainesville

Friday, 6:30 p.m. | Florida RHP Brady Singer (7-1, 3.00 ERA) vs. Missouri LHP T.J. Sikkema (2-2, 2.90)

Saturday, 5 p.m. | Florida RHP Jackson Kowar (5-1, 2.72) vs. Missouri LHP Michael Plassmeyer (4-0, 1.99)

Sunday, 1 p.m. | Florida RHP Tyler Dyson (4-2, 3.48) vs. Missouri RHP Bryce Montes De Oca (4-2, 2.64)

TV/Online | All games are available on SEC Network+ and can be streamed via WatchESPN

In the finale of Florida’s three-game sweep of Vanderbilt earlier this month, Butler took over in the top of the fifth inning with the bases loaded and one out. He followed with a strikeout and groundout to end the frame unscathed.

As for his offense, O’Sullivan sounded high on Butler as a hitter in the preseason, and he’s been effective in a small sample size, batting .400 with 2 RBIs over 10 at-bats.

“I enjoyed hitting in high school and I think I’m pretty good at it. And I love pitching too, so I just try to stay with doing both as long as I possibly can because I know one day I’ll eventually have to say goodbye to one of them,” Butler said.

He hasn’t yet decided which path he’ll pursue at the professional level when the time comes, and O’Sullivan isn’t sure the right answer either. He does want to get Butler more at-bats when possible.

“It’s still early to predict that, but I think that’s one of the benefits of going to college, gives you a couple more years to swing the bat and figure some things out,” O’Sullivan said.

The Florida coaching staff has put a premium on finding two-way talents like Butler as it can essentially be like recruiting two players in one, which is a real value given the tight scholarship limits in college baseball.

Sophomore Austin Langworthy and senior Nick Horvath are two other examples on the roster.

But for the moment at least, Butler has settled in on the mound while building more confidence with each appearance.

“I can’t take anything [for granted] because playing in the SEC is pretty tough, so I just keep going game by game,” he said.

The post Florida baseball: Freshman Jordan Butler emerging as shutdown reliever for No. 1 Gators appeared first on SEC Country.

Yankees’ Aaron Judge promises more home runs in Pepsi digital spot

Promising to hit home runs is nothing new for major-league baseball players. Babe Ruth famously promised a four-bagger to 11-year-old Johnny Sylvester in 1926 -- and then delivered.

>> Read more trending news

Ruth’s slugging descendant, Aaron Judge, does a 21st-century version in a new digital spot he shot for Pepsi, the New York Daily News reported.

Judge, who hit 52 homers as a rookie in 2017, is shown in the video sitting in a New York pizza parlor, eating a slice of pizza and sipping on a Pepsi Zero Sugar drink.

The owner of the restaurant is on the telephone talking with his mother, and the woman insists on talking to the Yankees outfielder.

The 2017 American League Rookie of the Year takes the phone and promises the woman he will do his best to hit 80 home runs in 2018.

>> Snowed under: Blizzard forces Yankees to cancel home opener

Judge will need to crank up his power stroke to reach that plateau. Through four games, he is batting .200 with three hits and no home runs, the Daily News reported.

The New York slugger will resume his quest Tuesday, as the Yankees’ home opener against the Tampa Bay Rays was canceled Monday because of a blizzard that hit the New York area.

Snowed under: Blizzard forces Yankees to cancel home opener

The New York Yankees are usually snowed under with ticket requests for Opening Day.

>> Read more trending news

Monday, a blizzard canceled the team’s home opener against the Tampa Bay Rays, the New York Post reported.

The game was rescheduled for Tuesday at 4 p.m.; however, the forecast calls for rain.

Since 1970, the Yankees have played their home opener with snow falling twice, in 1996 and 2003. Game-time temperatures for those games was 35 degrees, NJ.com reported.

It is the first time snow has canceled a home opener at the new Yankee Stadium, which opened in 2009.

Here is the final out of the 1996 home opener, which was the debut for manager Joe Torre:

Arkansas has impressive preferred walk-on additions coming from 2018 class

Arkansas Razorbacks-football-recruiting-Nathan Parodi

SEC Country reporter Trent Shadid will answer your Arkansas Razorbacks football recruiting questions each weekday in our recruiting question of the day mailbag. Join the conversation by sending your questions via Twitter to  @SECCountryHogs, @Shadid13 or by email to Trent at Shadid13@gmail.com.

Recruiting question of the Day: Tuesday, March 27, 2018 2018 class news- guys not going to make it on campus for whatever reason, info on any new incoming juco/transfers/walk-ons that could count towards 18 class? (I might need to save this question for a couple months) — Brandon (@brandonmeredith) March 20, 2018

Arkansas has three 2018 signees already on campus and 14 more expected to arrive this summer. There is no reason at this time to suspect any of the 14 won’t make it to campus with one exception — quarterback Connor Noland.

If you follow Arkansas recruiting or even high school sports in the Natural State, you’re likely well aware of Noland’s situation. But if you’re not aware, he’s a 4-star quarterback from Greenwood (Ark.) who signed with the Hogs last December after being committed for 17 months. He’s also planning to join Arkansas’ baseball team as a right-handed pitcher.

There’s still one obstacle to get past in order for Noland to definitely end up at Arkansas, though. That obstacle being the 2018 MLB Draft. Noland is very likely to be selected, but the chances it’s high enough and for enough money to sway him away from Arkansas seem to be slim. Still, it’s worth monitoring.

As of right now, I don’t believe Arkansas is on the market for any graduate transfer additions. I had initially thought the Hogs would likely pursue a potentially tackle graduate transfer, but I’ve heard nothing of that the last few weeks. They are also tight on scholarships and need to trim a few more to meet the 85-scholarship limit entering next season. The current projection is 90 scholarships once all the incoming signees arrive. Considering that, I’d think it would be very difficult to add a transfer of any kind on scholarship.

But, as you mentioned, that will be an easier question to answer in a couple of months. Remember, 2017 graduate transfer running back David Williams didn’t announce his intentions to play his final season at Arkansas until last June. Rumors of the Hogs’ previous staff extensively recruiting him also didn’t begin making the rounds until late in the spring. A similar situation certainly shouldn’t be ruled out. That’s especially true if roster changes come after spring practice, which is very possible.

Here’s the full list of expected preferred walk-on additions:

  • QB Austin Aune, 6-2, 190, Argyle (Texas)
  • WR Peyton Ausley, 6-3, 175, Vandegrift (Austin, Texas)
  • P Reid Bauer, 5-11, 195, Magnolia (Texas)
  • RB Thomas Muldrow, 5-11, 185, Prescott (Ark.)
  • ATH Nathan Parodi, 5-9, 165, Lake Travis (Austin, Texas)
  • P/K Matthew Phillips, 5-11, 185, Brentwood (Tenn.)
  • P Chad Stephens, 6-0, 205, Dodge City (Kan.) C.C.
  • DB Cameron Vail, 6-1, 185, Bryant (Ark.)

Aune and Stephens are already enrolled and practicing with the team this spring. Aune is pretty far down in the quarterback pecking order after a couple weeks of practices, but that’s to be expected. He is making a return to football after spending the past several years in the New York Yankees organization. He opted to sign with the Yankees in 2012 after initially signing earlier that year to play quarterback at TCU. Stephens is competing for the starting punter job, which is expected to be won by returning starter Blake Johnson.

Ausley and Parodi are very good preferred walk-on additions. Parodi was one of the most productive players on an immensely-talented team at Lake Travis last season. He had 90 tackles (53 solo) and 7 interceptions as a defensive back. He wasn’t highly recruited because he’s undersized. Ausley had 74 catches for 946 yards and 11 touchdowns at Vandegrift last season. At 6-3, he has the kind of size Chad Morris loves at receiver.

The post Arkansas has impressive preferred walk-on additions coming from 2018 class appeared first on SEC Country.

5 things to know about ALS and how Stephen Hawking survived it for decades

A diagnosis of Lou Gehrig’s disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), is usually a death sentence, and it’s one filled with pain and suffering, sometimes for years, before the victim finally succumbs to the disease.

>> Read more trending news 

So how was world-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking able to survive the degenerative neurological illness and live for decades? Hawking was 21 when he was diagnosed with ALS and given only a few years to live, but he survived more than 50 years. He was confined to a wheelchair in near-total paralysis, breathed through a tube, used an electronic voice synthesizer to speak and could only move his little finger on one hand, but he lived until the age of 76 and made quite a name for himself during his lifetime, beating almost all the odds for those with ALS.

Hawking often credited his sense of humor as one of factors for his longevity, although doctors have said he was a rare ALS victim with a slow-moving form of the disease.

>> Related: Stephen Hawking dead at 76: Celebrities, public figures, scientists pay tribute 

In a 2016 question and answer session, he said “his work” and “a sense of humor” kept him alive, according to The Washington Post.

Here are 5 things to know about ALS:

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a progressive neurological disease that destroys the nerve cells and causes disability, according to the Mayo Clinic. Doctors don’t know why victims develop the disease, although some cases are inherited. There is no cure for ALS.

 

  • The first symptoms of the disease include muscle twitching, weakness in the arms or legs or slurred speech. ALS is eventually fatal.

 

 

  • In the summer of 2014, millions of people started talking about ALS, according to the ALS Association, and raising money and awareness through the Ice Bucket Challenge. The challenge raised millions of dollars for ALS research.

 

  • Just over 6,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with ALS every year and just 10 percent will survive 10 or more years. The ALS Association says some 20,000 Americans have the disease at any given time. More men than women develop the disease, which usually strikes between the ages of 40 and 70, with an average age of 55. 

Report: Andy Cannizaro to be fired as Mississippi State baseball coach

Andy Cannizaro-Mississippi State baseball-Mississippi State Bulldogs-Mississippi State

After the opening weekend of the college baseball season, Mississippi State will fire baseball coach Andy Cannizaro on Tuesday morning, according to a report from 247Sports’ David H. Murray.

Cannizaro will reportedly be fired for cause. Murray reports “University officials have yet to state on record what said cause is.”

Cannizaro is in his second year at Mississippi State and took the Bulldogs to a Super Regional in 2017. Mississippi State did not get off to a good start to 2018 however, as the Bulldogs were swept in the opening weekend by Southern Miss, a team it beat in NCAA Tournament a season ago. In his first year at Mississippi State, Cannizaro led the team to a 40-27 record, and went 17-13 in the ultra competitive SEC. During his two seasons at Mississippi State, Cannizaro had a 40-30 record. This was his first head coaching job in college baseball.

Cannizaro replaced John Cohen, who is now the school’s athletic director. Cohen replaced Scott Stricklin who had left to take the same position at Florida. Prior to his time at Mississippi State,  Cannizaro had been an assistant at LSU from 2014-16 where he was the hitting coach and recruiting coordinator. Mississippi State’s season came to an end last season at the hands of LSU. He had also worked a scout for the New York Yankees from 2009 until he was hired by LSU.

In the season prior to Cannizaro’s arrival, Mississippi State went 44-18-1, with its season also ending with a loss in the Super Regionals.

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Related:  SEC Country baseball Power Poll

Before the season-opening sweep by Southern Miss, the Bulldogs began the season ranked No. 12 but dropped to No. 21 in the second set of rankings.  The Bulldogs were one of 8 SEC teams ranked in the D1Baseball Top 25 poll.

Mississippi State returns to action on Wednesday when they take on Jackson State in Jackson, Miss. After that the Bulldogs travel to Corpus Christi, Texas to take part in the Kleeberg Bank College Classic where they will play UC Santa Barbra, Nicholls State and Texas A&M Corpus-Christi. The team begins SEC play on March 16, when it takes on Vanderbilt.

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4 SEC traditions in running to be named America’s favorite in USA Today vote

best SEC traditions-SEC traditions-sports traditions-tommer's corner-the grove-12th man-usa today

Make your voice heard with a vote, SEC fans.

Think your school has the best tradition in America? There’s a chance to have your thought count.

As part of USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards, four SEC traditions are listed among the possibilities to be named the  favorite tradition in American sports. If you haven’t voted yet, you have time. You can vote for your favorite sports tradition once per day until polls close at noon ET on March 5. The winning tradition will be revealed on March 9.

The four SEC traditions included in the vote are as follows:

  • Mississippi State’s cowbell
  • Ole Miss’ The Grove
  • Texas A&M’s Midnight Yell
  • Auburn’s rolling Toomer’s Corner

The other possibilities include the Chicago Cubs’ seventh-inning stretch, Duke’s Cameron Crazies, college basketball’s cutting of the nets, the Kentucky Derby’s hats, Clemson’s Howard’s Rock, Wisconsin’s Jump Around, the Green Bay Packers’ Lambeau Leap, Army and Navy’s March On, Florida State’s Planting of the Spear, Notre Dame’s Play Like a Champion sign, the Oakland Raiders’ Raider Nation, the New York Yankees’ Roll Call, Ohio State’s Script Ohio, Oklahoma’s Sooner Schooner, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Terrible Towels and the Detroit Red Wings’ Throwing of the Octopus.

Of course, judging traditions is so subjective. But come on, each of those SEC traditions is far superior to most of those other options. (Who really wants to throw an octopus? Ew. And those Kentucky Derby hats? Talk about boring.)

You can check out the current leaderboard here. Get those votes in fast, SEC fans. Have justice be done.

The post 4 SEC traditions in running to be named America’s favorite in USA Today vote appeared first on SEC Country.

Former MLB pitcher Esteban Loaiza jailed on drug charges

Former major-league pitcher Esteban Loaiza faces felony drug charges after he was arrested Friday in San Diego, according to San Diego County arrest records.

>> Read more trending news

Loaiza, 46, was charged with possession of more than 20 kilograms of heroin and/or cocaine, according to arrest records. He was also charged with possession of narcotics for sale and possession and transportation of narcotics for sale.

Loaiza is being held in South Bay Detention Facility on $200,000 bail, according to arrest records. He will appear in court on Wednesday, the New York Post reported.

Loaiza pitched 14 seasons in the majors, compiling a 126-114 record. The native of Tijuana, Mexico pitched for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays, Chicago White Sox, New York Yankees, Washington Nationals, Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Dodgers. The right-hander’s best season was 2003, when he went 21-9 with the White Sox and finished second in voting for the American League Cy Young Award. 

His last season in the majors was in 2008.

Loaiza’s 126 victories makes him the second-winningest pitcher from Mexico in major-league history. Fernando Valenzuela is the leader with 173.

Alabama ranked among Sporting News’ Top 15 dynasties in sports history

Nick Saban-Bill Belichick-Alabama-Alabama Crimson Tide-football-New England Patriots-

Alabama won the national championship again this season, as the program is currently on an incredible run of success. In fact, it’s among the greatest in not just college football history, but in all of sports.

But how exactly does this run by the Crimson Tide compare to some of the other all-time great dynasties?

Well, Sporting News decided to create a list of the Top 15 greatest dynasties in sports history, and Alabama’s current one made the list. The Crimson Tide (2007-present) came in at No. 9.

Alabama has won five national championships in the past five seasons, while also making the College Football Playoff each of the past four seasons. Since the start of 2007, the Tide have a 132-20 record.

During this incredible run, Alabama has also won five SEC championships, as head coach Nick Saban has continually guided the program to success.

The Crimson Tide are the only college football program to make Sporting News’ list.

Here is the full list, courtesy of Sporting News:

  1. Chicago Bulls (1991-98)
  2. UCLA basketball (1964-75)
  3. Boston Celtics (1956-69)
  4. New England Patriots (2001-present)
  5. New York Yankees (1949-56)
  6. New York Yankees (1996-2003)
  7. UConn basketball (1994-present)
  8. Montreal Canadiens (1952-60)
  9. Alabama football (2007-present)
  10. Edmonton Oilers (1982-90)
  11. San Francisco 49ers (1981-94)
  12. Los Angeles Lakers (1979-91)
  13. Pittsburgh Steelers (1972-79)
  14. Green Bay Packers (1960-67)
  15. Duke basketball (1985-94)

The post Alabama ranked among Sporting News’ Top 15 dynasties in sports history appeared first on SEC Country.

Arkansas’ recruiting class quickly filling up after busy 2 days

Arkansas recruiting-Tommy Bush-under armour

Welcome to SEC Country’s  daily Arkansas Razorbacks recruiting notebook . In this edition, we discuss where the 2018 class stands after a busy couple days and a walk-on quarterback addition to the roster.

Where Arkansas’ 2018 class stands after 4 commits in 2 days

Arkansas’ 2018 class has quickly gone from plenty of room remaining to nearing completion.

The Razorbacks added four commitments from Sunday morning to Monday afternoon. All four were visitors to Fayetteville last weekend. Prior to them stepping on campus for their recent trips, Arkansas had nine members in the class — eight signees and a commit — with as many as seven scholarship spots still available.

Now, the Hogs have a projected two-to-four spots still available with another set of official visitors expected this weekend. That’s including an unexpected scholarship for the Hogs after offensive lineman Jake Heinrich announced Monday evening he is giving up football.

With the new commitments in place, the list of top targets to finish out the class has narrowed. Here’s a look at a few players who are still among the Hogs’ top targets in the class and where things stand with their recruitment:

  • WR Tommy Bush, 4 stars, Samuel Clemens (Schertz, Texas): Bush received an in-home visit from coach Chad Morris, wide receivers coach Justin Stepp and running backs coach Jeff Traylor on Monday night. The staff is clearly working hard to bring him on campus for an official visit, but so are in-state programs Baylor and Texas as he only has one official visit remaining. If the Hogs can persuade him to visit campus, they’ll have a serious shot at landing what would be their highest-rated recruit in the class.
  • S/OLB Aaron Brule, 3 stars, Archbishop Rummel (Metairie, La.): Brule had an official visit to Fayetteville last weekend that went great. The Hogs are definitely near the top of his list along with Oklahoma State and TCU. He’s currently really struggling with a final decision and may not make it public until he signs on National Signing Day (Feb. 7).
  • S Joseph Foucha, 3 stars, McDonogh 35 (New Orleans): Foucha’s visit to Fayetteville last weekend has helped place  Arkansas among his top-3 choices. He’s still hoping to make visits to those schools and possibly Ole Miss before making a decision, which is likely not coming until National Signing Day.
  • CB Mario Goodrich III, 4 stars, Lee’s Summit (Mo.) West: Arkansas defensive backs coach Mark Smith attended Goodrich’s basketball game last week. That gesture has apparently helped the Hogs receive an official visit from Goodrich. He is expected to be on campus in early February just before Signing Day. Georgia and LSU are still considered the favorites, but the Hogs will at least make the last impression.
  • WR Treveon Johnson, 3 stars, Brenham (Texas): Johnson is still committed to Oklahoma after his visit to Fayetteville last weekend. He enjoyed the trip and has a great relationship with Arkansas’ coaching staff. Still, a flip from the Sooners seems unlikely, but the Razorbacks haven’t been totally ruled out just yet.
  • DE Tyree Wilson, 3 stars, West Rusk (New London, Texas): Wilson was also among the official visitors last weekend. He remains committed to Texas A&M, but Arkansas has definitely given him something to think about between now and National Signing Day.
  • OL Ryan Winkel, 3 stars, Christian Brothers (Memphis, Tenn.): Winkel officially visited Mississippi State last weekend. He has plans to do the same at Arkansas this weekend. A recent offer from Tennessee has also made the Vols a possibility. Look for Arkansas to try and lock in his commitment with a strong push this weekend.

See also:

Former TCU signee Austin Aune joins Arkansas as walk-on

Former TCU signee and New York Yankees draft pick Austin Aune has enrolled at Arkansas. He will be a walk-on quarterback for the Hogs, sources have confirmed to SEC Country.

Aune, 24, signed with the Horned Frogs as a member of their 2012 class but never enrolled. He was selected by the Yankees in the second round of the MLB draft that summer. He opted to sign for a $1 million bonus.

A shortstop and outfielder, he spent six seasons in the organization before retiring from baseball after his 2017 campaign. He had a career .226 batting average with 20 home runs in 387 games.

Aune was a 3-star recruit from Argyle (Texas) when he signed with TCU. He passed for 3,411 yards and 33 touchdowns with 9 interceptions as a senior. Additionally, he rushed for 541 yards and 9 touchdowns.

Miss a previous edition? Find every SEC Country daily Arkansas Razorbacks recruiting notebook  right here.

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Who is Allen Greene? 5 things to know about Auburn’s new athletics director

Auburn-Auburn athletics-Auburn Tigers-Auburn athletics director-Allen Greene

AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn athletics is headed in a brand-new direction, as Buffalo athletics director Allen Greene was named to the same position for the Tigers on Thursday.

Greene is an outside of the box hire for Auburn, which has long given its top spot in athletics administration to alumni or former coaches. Greene has been all across the country in athletics, but his job in Auburn will be his first inside the state.

Here are five key things to know about Greene, who will be formally introduced as Auburn’s new athletic director on Friday morning at 10 a.m. CT.

MORE:  Tommy Tuberville on new Auburn AD Allen Greene: ‘Give him full rein’

1. Allen Greene has zero ties to Auburn.

After decades of athletic directors who either played or coached at Auburn, Greene is a step in a brand-new direction for the Tigers. Greene was born in Seattle and played college baseball at Notre Dame. After several years in the New York Yankees’ farm system, he received his masters’ degree from Indiana and returned to his alma mater to work.

Greene’s only regional ties come through Ole Miss, where he spent several years working for the Rebels’ athletic department. He followed Danny White to Buffalo and was a deputy athletics director there before White’s departure to UCF. Greene knows the SEC, but he doesn’t have any prior connection to Auburn. That was a major sticking point for certain power brokers at Auburn and members of the fan base after Jay Jacobs, who spent almost his entire post-college career working for the school.

2. Greene is known for his fundraising skills.

Greene’s time at Ole Miss was mostly spent in fundraising. He was a major part of a $150 million capital campaign, which was the largest in school history. At Buffalo, he helped secure funding for an $18 million indoor football practice facility — something that was discussed at the school for a long time.

He will step into a situation that needs his expertise, as Auburn is in the midst of several major facilities projects. A new football operations building seems to be high on the priority list for Gus Malzahn, especially after he was armed with a seven-year contract late last year. Greene’s experience in generating funding will come in handy for the Tigers at this current time.

3. Greene has experience in several key areas of athletic department administration.

While Greene’s strong suit is fundraising, he appears to be a well-rounded hire on paper. At Notre Dame, he spent several years working in compliance, then in athletics advancement — AKA fundraising. During his time at Buffalo, Greene oversaw operations for both the Bulls’ football and basketball programs.

He hasn’t made a head coach hire in a major sport yet, but Auburn should be set up well for the future in that area with Gus Malzahn, Bruce Pearl, Butch Thompson and Mickey Dean. Greene doesn’t have many years under his belt as a top athletics director. However, he’s been involved in a lot of areas at a wide range of schools.

4. Greene is one of the youngest athletic directors in the country.

Greene was 38 years old when he was hired as White’s replacement at Buffalo. He is now 40 years old, and he will turn 41 in April — his third month on the job at Auburn. Greene has accomplished a lot in a short amount of time when it comes to college athletics.

Greene’s energy and enthusiasm should serve the Tigers well as they step into what Auburn president Steven Leath called a “new chapter” for athletics. For decades now, Auburn athletics has been run by, for lack of a better term, older Auburn people. Greene should be a shot of new energy.

5. Greene is the third African-American athletics director in SEC history.

When Greene takes over day-to-day operations at Auburn in February, he will become only the SEC’s third African-American athletics director and Auburn’s first. Vanderbilt’s David Williams and former Georgia athletics director Damon Evans were the first two.

Greene is a trailblazer for Auburn and the SEC, as Williams and Evans were hired to their positions from within. He is the first African-American athletics director to be brought in as an outside hire. Under Greene’s leadership, Buffalo recently won an NCAA award for diversity and inclusion.

The post Who is Allen Greene? 5 things to know about Auburn’s new athletics director appeared first on SEC Country.

Auburn officially names Buffalo’s Allen Greene as its new athletics director

Auburn football-podcast-Auburn-Athletics director

AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn University officially has its 15th athletics director and its replacement for longtime head man Jay Jacobs — Buffalo’s Allen Greene.

Auburn athletics announced the hire of Greene on Thursday afternoon. The news of his hire was first reported by Brandon Marcello of Auburn Undercover on Wednesday night.

“Allen kicks off the next exciting chapter for Auburn Athletics,” Auburn University president Steven Leath said in a statement. “In our interviews and due diligence learning all we could about him, it became overwhelmingly clear that Allen has the right combination of leadership, enthusiasm, experience and management to lead Auburn Athletics to success well into the future.”

PODCAST:  Auburn moves in new direction after 14 years with Allen Greene

Greene comes to Auburn after two years at the athletics director at Buffalo, where he replaced current UCF athletics director Danny White. Greene served in various positions at Buffalo, Ole Miss and his alma mater, Notre Dame, before his hire.

Greene, who is one of the youngest ADs in major college sports at the age of 40, is the first African-American athletics director in Auburn history and only the third in SEC history. He played baseball at Notre Dame and played in the New York Yankees farm system for several seasons.

“Serving Auburn University as Director of Athletics is a tremendous honor and an awesome responsibility, Greene said. “Time-honored traditions have helped create a culture of success at Auburn that is incredibly rare. I am humbled that President Leath and the Search Committee entrust me to maintain all that is uniquely Auburn and utilize that foundation to forge a path to even greater heights. Whether in the classroom or on the fields and courts of play, these lofty expectations are embraced, and I am eager to get to work for the Auburn Family.”

Greene will replace Jacobs, who announced his retirement from his position after 12 years. Jacobs was set to stay on as Auburn’s acting athletics director until his replacement was hired.

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