One Big Thing, On This Day, What's New In Sports 1/18/20

January 18, 2020

One Big Thing:

Mike Fiers Astros
Photo: Sportsnaut

ESPN personality and New York Mets special assistant Jessica Mendoza made waves on Thursday when she called out Mike Fiers for being the whistleblower that brought the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal to the forefront.

“I want to make it extra clear that my advisor role with the team does not shape my opinion in any way, shape or form on this matter,” Mendoza added. “I feel this way regardless of what teams, players or managers are involved.”

In seemingly responding to Mendoza’s take, MLB threw nothing but support behind Fiers. “Mike Fiers did the right thing and should be commended,”

Fiers, who was a part of the Astros’ 2017 World Series-winning team, said the scheme was not the right way to play the game.

In addition to Carlos Beltran being shown the door in New York, the Astros fired manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow. The Boston Red Sox also moved on from manager Alex Cora.

The Houston Astros fired manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Lunhow for their roles in the sign-stealing scandal during the 2017 season in which they won the World Series. The team has also lost its first- and second-round draft picks for the 2020 and 2021 drafts and will be fined $5 million,

On This Day:

1779 Happy Birthday Peter Mark Roget, British lexicographer (Roget’s Thesaurus) and inventor (slide rule, pocket chessboard), born in London (d. 1869)

1896 First college basketball game with 5 players on each side is conducted by the University of Iowa; invites student athletes from University of Chicago for an experimental game; Chicago beats Iowa 15-12

1938 Pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander is elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

1947 Detroit Tigers sell Hank Greenberg to Pirates (for $25-35,000)

1950 Indians pitcher Bob Feller, after 15-14 season, takes $20,000 salary cut to $45,000, pay cut is Feller’s own suggestion

1951 NFL rules tackles, guards & centers ineligible for forward pass

1961 Happy Birthday Mark Messier, Canadian NHL Center (Edmonton, NY Rangers), born in Edmonton, Alberta

1963 Al Davis becomes the head coach and general manager of the Oakland Raiders

1972 22nd NBA All Star Game, The Forum, Inglewood, Ca: West beats East, 112-110: MVP: Jerry West, LA Lakers, G, hits a last-second, 20-foot game-winning jumper

1973 Boston Red Sox sign Orlando Cepeda as 1st player signed as a DH

1976 Super Bowl X, Miami Orange Bowl, Miami, FL: Pittsburgh Steelers beat Dallas Cowboys, 21-17; MVP: Lynn Swann, Pittsburgh, WR

1980 Happy Birthday Julius Peppers, American football player (Carolina Panthers), born in Wilson, North Carolina

1981 Swedish tennis star Björn Borg claims his second straight ATP Masters Grand Prix title with a 6–4, 6–2, 6–2 win over Ivan Lendl at Madison Square Garden, NYC

1983 IOC restores Jim Thorpe’s Olympic medals (Pentathlon & Decathlon victories) 70 years after they were taken from him for being paid $25 in semi-pro baseball

1983 Dick Motta becomes the 5th NBA coach to record 600 wins as his Dallas Mavericks defeat the Golden State Warriors, 112-102 in Oakland

1995 Ron Luciano, American baseball umpire in the American League (1969-79), dies at 57

1996 Baseball owners unanimously approve interleague play in 1997

1998 Larry Bird returns to Boston as head coach of the Indiana Pacers for the first time, as former Celtics center Robert Parish is honoured by having his No. 00 raised to the Fleet Center rafters

2017 Baseball Hall of Fame adds Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez

What’s New:

Photo: Sports Illustrated

The post-championship exodus at LSU hit another gear as seven underclassmen declared for the NFL draft. The mass departure comes less than 24 hours after passing-game coordinator Joe Brady accepted the job as offensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers.

The Baylor Bears hired LSU Tigers defensive coordinator Dave Aranda as its next head coach. Aranda, 43, emerged as the leading candidate days after the National Championship game.

Clemson Tigers quarterback Chase Brice, who spent the past two seasons as the backup behind Trevor Lawrence will transfer.

The 2019 coaching carousel spun very slowly and with the volume on low. But there were still several strong hires made, which should pay off in the coming years.

UConn saw its athletic deficit grow by another $2 million in 2019 to $42.3 million.

California lawmakers last year gave college athletes the right to profit from their names, images or likenesses. Nebraska joined the groundswell with a bill (LB962) from Omaha Sen. Megan Hunt that would remove the strictures on college athletes in the state from seeking financial compensation beyond their scholarships and stipends.

Mike Vrabel patiently waited by the entrance of the Tennessee Titans locker room in Baltimore, issuing hugs, fist bumps, edifying words, trash talk or some combination thereof.

For years, the Holy Grail of American sports video has been Super Bowl I — the championship game between the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs. Now, the Paley Center for Media in New York believes it has a tape of a mostly complete broadcast of the 1967 game.

Brands spent a whopping $4.48 billion on TV advertising during broadcasts of the National Football League’s (NFL) 2019 regular season.

A look at coaches or managers who, after being hired, have either resigned or been fired before coaching a game.

Former Mets general manager Steve Phillips had his own sign-stealing situation to he had to take care of but it was behind the scenes.

Los Angeles Dodgers Cody Bellinger had a strong to reaction to the controversy surrounding the Houston Astros hitters allegedly using “buzzers” to signal different pitch types.

Alyssa Nakken made history being the MLB’s first female, full-time coach. Nakken joined the Giants as an intern in 2014, will have the title of major league assistant coach and will work with another new hire.

ESPN color commentator Stephen A. Smith wants to see Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo the reigning NBA MVP to form a new superteam with the Splash Brothers Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors.

Bad goaltending remains the ultimate coach killer in the NHL. Gerard Gallant firing marked the seventh coaching firing in less than two months, a continuation of one of the more unstable runs for coaching retention we have seen in recent history.

The NCAA will review its stance regarding athletes accused or convicted of sexual assault, the college sports organization, amid pressure from Congress calling for an independent study of the NCAA’s lack of accountability for such athletes.

Did You Know:

Did you know the average golf ball has 336 dimples

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