Miami Marlins to Construct Bronze Statue of Jose Fernandez

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Jose Fernandez was a Cuban-born right-handed pitcher for the Miami Marlins, who was known as “Niño” by his teammates and fans due to his passionately boyish attitude toward the game of baseball, which was apparent he loved as much as anything when he stepped on the diamond. Born in Cuba, Fernandez had previously been caught while trying to escape the country three times before he successfully made a hard fought voyage to the United States in 2008, at the age of 16. Following his extreme success in high school, he was drafted in the first round of the 2011 MLB (Major League Baseball) draft.

After honing his skills in the minor leagues, Fernandez made his major league debut on April 7, 2013. That year, he was named to the 2013 MLB All-Star Game, won the National League Rookie of the Year, and finished third in the voting for the Cy Young Award. Fernandez’ throwing arm took a turn for the worst when he had no choice but to undergo  “Tommy John” surgery during the following season, but he would slowly and surely bounce back. The 2015 Major League Baseball season was a series of ups and downs for Fernandez, who spent a large portion of the year on the disabled list. When he was on the mount that year however, he managed to record a major league record for consecutive wins at home by a single pitcher with an impressive number of seventeen.

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During the 2016 season, it was apparent that the arm was back in business, as Fernandez was named to the MLB All-Star Game for a second time. In his final outing, on September 20, 2016, he delivered eight shutout innings in a 1-0 victory over the Washington Nationals. Five days later, on September 25, Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident off the coast of Miami Beach. Two others also died during the tragedy. That day, the Marlins cancelled their game against division rivals Atlanta Braves. The following day, the Miami Marlins announced that they would retire Fernandez’ jersey number, 16.

Now, a half year later, the Miami Marlins organization has announced that they will be “planning a memorial to their late ace” that will include a bronze statue of the Cuban-born athlete. “We want him to be memorialized here at Marlins Park, because he is forever a Marlin,” team President David Samson said. William Behrends, the mastermind behind the Willie Mays statue in Francisco, will be the sculptor of Jose Fernandez’ bronze likeness, and the project isn’t expected to be completed for another six months.

For his career, he had a 38–17 win-loss record for a .691 winning percentage and a 2.58 ERA

Floyd Mayweather Says Fight with McGregor will not Happen

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Despite the rumors flying about within the past few months concerning a potential boxing bout between the undefeated Floyd Mayweather and the phenomenal mixed martial artist Conor McGregor, who was the first fighter in the history of the UFC to simultaneously hold two championship belts in different weight classes, Mayweather has admitted that the much anticipated fight will not occur. According to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, Mayweather told Stephen A. Smith during last Saturday’s game between the Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder that “we’re getting very, very close” with regard to an agreement on a bout with McGregor. However, Mayweather has since posted on his Instagram account stating that he intends to remain retired and is happy enjoying life at the moment. He also stated that if that were to change, he’d be the first to inform the public of his plans to return to competitive boxing.

This potential fight was broadcasted to the public as though it were an all-but sure thing, but as of now, it looks like the fight has been postponed, if not for a while, then forever. Although it seems like a long shot at this point, when it comes to boxing matches of this magnitude, as well as the popularity of both fighters involved throughout the world, the money that would be made by the both of them may be cause for reconsideration in the near future.

Brandon Ingram Shines Against Warriors

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Anybody who’s anybody knows that one of basketball’s all-time greats, Kobe Bryant, retired following this past National Basketball Association (NBA) season. In the two decades that the “Mamba” spent with the Lakers, he managed to acquire five championships, one Most Valuable Player (MVP) award, and was named to the West All-Star team an astonishing 18 teams. Bryant’s skills somewhat declined in the past few years as he aged, but that didn’t stop him from scoring 60 points in his final NBA game. With the player who’s been the face of the franchise for twenty years having stepped away from the game, who better to fill the vacancy than rookie sensation Brandon Ingram?

Ingram, a native of Kinston, North Carolina, managed to secure four state championships while at Kinston High School. I myself was lucky enough to have seen him play at the high school level, and I knew right away that he was the real deal. After spending just one season at Duke University, he opted for the NBA Draft, where he was selected second overall by the Los Angeles Lakers. Not only did it seem as though he was stepping into the spotlight in the new-found absence of Bryant, he took over the Black Mamba’s locker as well.

In the preseason, Ingram has shown the world that he is a force to be reckoned with, despite some critics saying he lacks the build to compete with some of professional basketball’s finest. Just last night, in a preseason game against what very well may be the best equipped team in the history of basketball, regardless of their second-place finish last year, Brandon Ingram showed the Golden State Warriors what he was made of. Coming off the bench, Ingram managed to score 21 points and was 7/10 in FG and 5/6 from the free throw line. He was outscored only by the two-time reigning MVP Steph Curry and the Warriors’ newly acquired Kevin Durant. Some may say this feat isn’t too impressive, but for a rookie to put up 21 against what is arguably the most stacked team in history coming off of the bench, it definitely proves that he’s more than ready for the big leagues.

Indians’ Trevor Bauer exits ALCS Game 3 with bloody finger

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Game 3 of the American League Championship Series began tonight in Toronto much like any other postseason baseball game. The Cleveland Indians, who have managed to overcome the Blue Jays in the first two contests, are looking to notch out another victory, becoming just one game away from the World Series. Trevor Bauer, a starting pitcher for the Indians, was supposed to start Game 2, but was injured by a propeller on a drone of his. Although Bauer didn’t endure serious harm, his right pinkie was sliced, which also happens to be his throwing arm. The wound didn’t keep him on the bench for long however, at least it didn’t appear as though it would, and he was scheduled to start Game 3 tonight in Canada.

In the first inning, after throwing just 21 pitches, Bauer had to be removed from the game due to the cut profusely bleeding. Even with ten stitches placed in his finger to avoid this exact issue, they only held up for four batters before blood began to emerge. He managed to strike out Jose Bautista before he was pulled out of the game, but the blood wouldn’t hold off long enough for him to record three outs.

Major League Baseball Rule 8.02(b) states that: “The pitcher may not attach anything to either hand, any finger or either wrist (e.g., Band-Aid, tape, Super Glue, bracelet, etc.). The umpire shall determine if such attachment is indeed a foreign substance for the purpose of Rule 6.02(c)(7) (Rule 8.02(b)), but in no case may the pitcher be allowed to pitch with such attachment to his hand, finger or wrist.”

Kershaw Earns First Postseason Shutout

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It was a rough night for the Chicago Cubs’ offense facing off against arguably the best pitcher in baseball, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ ace Clayton Kershaw, as he prevented them from scoring a single run. The Dodgers evened up the National League Championship with an intense defensive battle that ended with a score of 1-0 in their favor. The National League Championship Series is tied at one game a piece with it now going to Los Angeles to complete the next three contests. With Kershaw making his third appearance in just six days, fatigue wasn’t a factor at all in the three-time Cy Young award winner’s dominance over the Cubbies.

Through the first four innings, the lefty had thrown just 40 pitches and looked as commanding as ever on the mount. After having completed two outs in the fifth inning, Kershaw allowed his first baserunner when Javier Baez hit a line drive single to center field. In the seven innings that he inhabited the pitcher’s mound, he was as efficient as ever, striking out six and walking one in a mere 84 pitches.  The lone run for the Dodgers came from a home run that cleared the fence in left-center by Adrian Gonzalez on a pitch from National League ERA (Earned Runs Average) champion Kyle Hendricks.

The series continues on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium, where reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta will take the mound for Chicago. His last appearance at Dodger Stadium concluded in a no-hitter for the pitcher, who struck out twelve and walked just one in the impressive outing.

 

President of FIFA Endorses eSports

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Earlier today, Gianni Infantino, the president of FIFA, the international governing body of association football, known as soccer to many North Americans, released a lengthy document titled “FIFA 2.0: The Vision for the Future”. In this 69 page script, Infantino discusses a well-written plan as to how to effectively grow the most beloved international sport as well as enhance the experience for players and fans while strengthening the institution as a whole. Although there are a multitude of areas of emphasis in which the FIFA president plans on achieving these goals, a particularly interesting point he made regards eSports.

Along with mentioning how successful the FIFA Interactive World Cup was this year, and although this has been a recurring event for FIFA gamers since 2004, the video game hasn’t received much attention in terms of elite competition on a grand scale. Seeing as soccer is the most popular sport in the world and that the eSports industry has grown exponentially over the past decade, Infantino realizes the potential of success that implementing more events such as the Interactive World Cup could generate. This could provide a unique experience for fans of and real-life soccer players alike, since just about everyone can compete and appreciate the matchups that video games bring about.

In the document, “FIFA 2.0: The Vision for the Future”, Infantino had this to say regarding eSports: As the world of gaming expands, FIFA
has a tremendous opportunity to mimic
the production of global events on the
pitch with enhanced production of virtual
FIFA competitions. To investigate the
benefits and feasibility of expanding
FIFA’s engagement in eSports, FIFA will
commission a working group to consider
its forward-looking strategy. 

If you’re interested in reading the specifics regarding the official document, click anywhere on this sentence. Electronic sports is discussed on Page 43.

Auston Matthews Scores 4 Goals in NHL Debut

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When the Toronto Maple Leafs walked out of the tunnel and skated onto the ice Wednesday evening to face the Ottawa Senators, nobody expected the spectacle that would unfold before them within the next couple of hours. Auston Matthews, the newest center on Toronto’s squad and also the No.1 overall pick in the 2016 NHL draft, would do nothing but exceed expectations. Although the game would end with a 5-4 loss for the Maple Leafs, fans and teammates would be sure to recognize that the rookie could handle professional competition.

For any hockey player, a hat trick (scoring three goals) is an impressive feat, but on his debut, Matthews would one-up even that grand accomplishment. Just 8:21 into the first period, slipped the puck in on his very first shot on a pass from Zach Hyman during a frenzy around the Ottawa net. Just minutes later, he stole the puck from the Senators’ Erik Karlsson and beat goalie Craig Anderson with a swift forehand. It was proving to be a great debut for the rookie already, just one-third of the way into the contest.

After less than two minutes into the second period, Matthews slapped a one-timer into the goal from inside the opposition’s right circle, giving Toronto a 3-2 lead. Needless to say, the fans began showering the ice with hats, as is tradition when a player scores three goals in a game, if you aren’t very familiar with the sport. This marked Matthews as the fifth player in the history of the National Hockey League to complete the hat trick in their debut. But he wasn’t quite done yet. With just three seconds left in the second period, Matthews lifted the puck past the Ottawa goalie following blowing by a defender.

In the third period, Ottawa regained the lead and maintained it until the end of regulation, handing Toronto a 5-4 loss, all of whose goals came from the rookie Auston Matthews. The 19 year-old has surely proven himself to the entire hockey world, and will be at the forefront of attention for awhile, especially if he continues to put up impressive numbers. Although it’s doubtful he’ll have many, if any games with as many goals as in his debut, will he keep playing very well now that the spotlight is on him more so than ever?

Ronda Rousey to Return at UFC 207

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UFC President Dana White announced Wenesday that Ronda Rousey, arguably the most widely recognized name in MMA, as well as the most popular female athlete in the world, will be returning to octagon on December 30th, 2016 where she will face Amanda Nunes for the main event of UFC 207. Rousey, who’s record as of now is 12-1, dominated the world of mixed martial arts by holding the 135-pound belt from November 2012 until she was defeated by Holly Holm in November 2015. During that span, she set the record for the longest reigning champion in the history of women’s MMA. She also evolved from a submission expert to a full-on knockout specialist in this time, only allowing one opponent, Miesha Tate, to make it out of the first round against her.

At UFC 184, “Rowdy” Ronda’s exponentially increasing fame and reputation as the most dominant female fighter in the world, made a bold statement by defeating  Cat Zingano in a UFC-record 14 seconds by armbar. At that point, it seemed to many as though Rousey was all but unbeatable and would hold onto the title for several more years. However, it wouldn’t be long before an adversary would strip her of her title. At UFC 193 in Melbourne, Australia, Rousey lost her title to Holly Holm, and “Rowdy” Ronda decided to take a break from fighting for a short while.

But now she’s back. Rowdy Ronda Rousey will be back in action at UFC 207 against Amanda Nunes to attempt to strip her of the bantamweight title. Many believe that Nunes, a ferocious Brazilian fighter who has racked up a 6-1 record as of now, has a finishing game (submission or knockout) that may rival Rousey’s. When they square off the day prior to New Years Eve, they will both be looking to seal their legacies into the world of mixed martial arts more so than they already have. The bout will air live on Pay-Per-View from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Don’t miss it.

Late IndyCar driver Justin Wilson’s Donated Organs will Save Lives

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Justin Wilson, an IndyCar racer who passed away on Monday night following a severe head injury caused by a piece of debris which struck him during a race the previous day at Pocono Raceway, will have his legacy live on forever. The 37-year-old will save six lives with organs of his that have been donated. Wilson, of British heritage and a resident of Colorado, was airlifted from the racetrack after suffering a devastating injury. Unfortunately, he would succumb to his injuries the following night.

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IndyCar drivers and fans alike took to social media to voice their condolences and to pay tribute to one of the more popular athletes of his sport. It’s truly a sad day when a man as likable as Justin who is seen in many pictures with a smile on his face meets an untimely end. Luckily, Wilson was able to do one last good deed: potentially saving the lives of six people. Rest in peace Justin Wilson, the world needs more men like you.

Justin Wilson - Racecar