Fun Fact of the Day: This weekend, former Olympic softball star Jennie Finch will become the first woman to manage a professional baseball team! Ok, ok… it’s just a guest manager gig for an independent club in Connecticut called the Bridgeport Bluefish. Baby steps.
Not going home! The Golden State Warriors avoided elimination by beating the Oklahoma City Thunder last night 120-111, but the Thunder still lead the series 3-2. The Warriors shouldn’t get too excited yet because this home game was close and the next game will be even tougher back in Oklahoma. The Thunder aren’t scared, in fact Russell Westbrook thinks the Warriors Steph Curry’s defense is a big joke. What a treat! You’re watching the best guards in the league. Yesterday, the Curry and Westbrook both made the All NBA 1st team. The Thunder’s Kevin Durant was snubbed but made it onto the 2nd team.
Rocketing back to the top. Mike D’Antoni will be the next head coach for the Houston Rockets. He is coming from an assistant coaching gig with the Philadelphia 76ers, but don’t get it twisted, he’s got plenty of head coaching experience under his belt. Previously, D’Antoni was the head coach of the Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks, and L.A. Lakers. He focuses on a really fast pace on offense, but his teams have never taken home a championship because they forget that defense is a thing they should do.
The mighty, mighty Penguins! The Pittsburgh Penguins are going to the Stanley Cup finals after defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning last night (2-1) in Game 7. The Penguins came back from behind in the series to win 2 straight games and bring home the Eastern Conference title. Rookies ruled the night with Bryan Rust scoring both of the Penguins’ goals and goalie Matt Murray continuing his steady defense of the net. A return to the ice. The Lightning’s captain Steven Stamkos returned after battling dangerous blood clots the past 2 months.
You should see the other guy. This past weekend, Kansas City Royals teammates LF Alex Gordon and 3B Mike Moustakas suffered some serious injuries after running into each other chasing down a foul ball. Moustakas will be out the rest of the season with a torn ACL, while Gordon will miss 3-4 weeks with a broken wrist. This isn’t great news for the reigning World Series champs, because they are currently sitting in 3rd place in the AL Central division. The silver lining. As Gordon put it, he’s “sucked so far” this season, so he’s hoping the time off will get him in a better headspace.
Spotlight on Baylor’s Football Team
Yesterday, Baylor made big waves in the college football world, when they announced that they will terminate their head coach Art Briles. They also demoted Kenneth Starr (yes, that Kenneth Starr) from school President to Chancellor.
Back up. What’s going on? Last fall, Baylor hired a law firm to review their treatment of sexual assault allegations against Baylor football players. They discovered that Baylor officials knew about several assaults, sexual assaults, and domestic violence allegations involving football players, but most of the players didn’t receive discipline or miss playing time. In fact, some football personnel met with the victims of alleged assaults and didn’t report any misconduct to school administrators.
Some crooked cops. In one case from 2011, Waco police even helped to keep an assault involving 3 football players out of the media. The police pulled the case from the computer system and instead kept the report in a locked office.
But football fans just want their football. Coach Briles has been with Baylor for the past 8 years and turned the program around from being a perennial bottom-dweller to dominating the Big 12 conference. In the 105 years before Briles became coach, they had only one 10-win season, after he joined they had four. In short, this firing is a big deal, because football fans are usually willing to plug their ears and scream “LALALA” as long as the team is winning.
Consequences on the field. Following the news, one top recruit has already decommitted from Baylor and you can bet more recruits will follow.
If you haven’t made long weekend plans yet, you’re in luck because we’ve got your programming guide right here:
The NBA playoffs continue. Both conference finals continue! See if the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors can fight back from the brink of elimination. Check the schedule for both series here.
The Stanley Cup finals begin. The San Jose Sharks are going to the Stanley Cup finals for the first time in franchise history. They will face off against the fearsome Pittsburgh Penguins. Tune into Game 1 this Monday at 8pm ET NBCSN.
The UEFA Champions League final. Tune in to see Atlético Madrid and Real Madrid battle it out in one of the most prestigious soccer tournaments in the world. Atletico will be seeking revenge for 2014’s final when Real Madrid took home the title. They stand a good chance, because Atletico has won 9 of their last 10 meetings. Saturday 2:45pm ET, Fox Sports.
The French Open continues. Check the complete schedule here.