Fun Fact of the Day: Even though Tiger Woods finished 15th out of 17 players in the Hero World Challenge tournament last weekend, he got a huge surge in his Official World Golf Rankings. That’s because he hadn’t collected points towards his ranking in nearly 16 months. With his lowly finish, Tiger jumped up nearly 250 spots from #898 to #650.
Fitz and the tantrums. We may have seen the last of N.Y. Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. Last night, the Indianapolis Colts completely steamrolled the Jets (41-10). At the half, the Jets were already down 24-3, so they benched Fitzpatrick and put in backup QB Bryce Petty. Obviously, Petty didn’t fair much better, but after the game the team announced that he would become the starting QB for the last 4 games of the season. That doesn’t bode well for Fitzpatrick’s chances of getting re-signed when he becomes a free agent at the end of this season.
Klay’s showtime. Uh oh, the Warriors are scary good again. Last night, Klay Thompson went off for 60 points in the Golden State Warriors’ victory over the Indiana Pacers (142-106). What makes his performance even crazier? He played only 29 minutes of the game, sitting out the entire 4th quarter.
Seen and Heard
Rondo being Rondo. The Chicago Bulls suspended their point guard Rajon Rondo 1 game for “conduct detrimental to the team.” Even though they wouldn’t elaborate on what that conduct was, sources say that he got into a shouting match with the Bulls’ lead assistant coach about the team’s loss to the Dallas Mavericks. That sounds about right. Rondo has a reputation for thinking he’s the smartest person in the room, and it has gotten him into trouble with nearly all of his past head coaches, including Doc Rivers (then, with the Boston Celtics) and Rick Carlisle (Dallas Mavericks).
A man hunt. Sacramento Kings forward Matt Barnes is wanted by the NYPD for an alleged assault against a woman in a NYC nightclub. According to surveillance footage he was seen choking a woman. Unfortunately, Barnes has a history of violent behavior. Back in 2010 he was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence against his then-fiancee Gloria Govan, but the charges were later dropped. Then, just this past spring Barnes physically confronted former-teammate Derek Fisher for dating Govan, who had since become his ex-wife.
Getting ready for next season. It’s baseball’s offseason, but that doesn’t mean that teams are just sitting around. Here’s what you need to know about the latest deals and rumors:
- Former Washington Nationals closer Mark Melancon signed a 4-year, $62M deal with the San Francisco Giants. Melancon had a league-high 51 saves this past season, so he’ll be a big help to the Giants’ weak bullpen.
- Closer Aroldis Chapman is a free agent he’s hoping to sign a long-term 6-year deal. Even though his 100+ mph pitches helped the Chicago Cubs win the World Series this year, they’re reportedly not interested in keeping him around.
- RF Bryce Harper is still 2 years away from free agency, but he’s already trying to negotiate a contract extension with the Washington Nationals. He’s trying to demand a big 10-year, $400M contract, but so far the Nats are not taking the bait. Probably because Harper’s performance slipped a little last season.
In memoriam. Brazillian football club Chapecoense has been named the winner of the Copa Sudamericana. Last week, a chartered plane carrying the team and several journalists crashed, killing 71 passengers and leaving only 6 survivors. The plane suffered a total electrical failure and ran out of fuel. It was a tragic end to the team’s fairytale season. As few as 4 seasons ago, the small-town team was near bankruptcy and struggling in Brazil’s second football division. This season, they defied the odds to make it all the way to the Copa Sudamericana finals. After the crash, their planned opponent Atletico Nacional requested that Chapecoense be named the champions and several leading Brazil clubs pledged to loan players to the team for next season.