Robinson Cano Improves 15th-Inning Batting Average by 1.000 Points
With a 2-RBI double in the 15th inning against the Baltimore Orioles, Yankee second baseman Robinson Cano sent his career 15th-inning batting average skyrocketing from .000 to 1.000, a record-tying turnaround.
"It feels good to have the monkey off my back," said Cano, who hails from the Dominican Republic. "I am now the best 15th-inning hitter in baseball, and nobody can take that away from me."
After the game, his Yankee teammates mobbed him by the dugout, fully aware of Cano's woeful numbers in the 6th extra inning.
"I'm really happy for Robbie," said right fielder Nick Swisher. "You never like to admit it, but it was certainly on his mind. That can weigh on you, as a person and a player." Swisher, who was replaced for defensive purposes in the 9th inning, could be seen weeping as the game continued into extra innings, well aware that he was missing his chance at history.
Yankee manager Joe Girardi expressed cautious optimism about Cano's feat. "It's certainly a step in the right direction," he said. "But Robbie has to realize he can't rest on his laurels. When you look at the numbers, there's a lot of work left to be done. He's still batting .000 in innings 16-47, and I know he expects more of himself than that."
Joel Anthony, NBA's Best Player, Leads Heat to Game 2 Victory
The Miami Heat have evened their Eastern Conference Finals series against the Chicago Bulls at one game apiece behind the efforts of Joel Anthony, the best player in the NBA.
Anthony, the team's star center, held the Bulls to a playoff low 75 points, including just 10 in the fourth quarter.
"It was a great night," Anthony said. "Anytime I can personally hold Derrick Rose to just 7-23 shooting, I know I have a good chance to win the game."
Playing before a hostile crowd at Chicago's United Center, Anthony was unfazed. He limited Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng to a combined 20 points, gave the team a spark through reserve forward Udonis Haslem, and prevented Bulls sharpshooter Kyle Korver to just one three in five chances.
"You can measure greatness in so many ways," said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, "but true excellence means elevating your teammates. Tonight, we saw Joel inspire LeBron and Dwyane to score 53 combined points, and those are the little things that make the difference."
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau agreed. "Joel Anthony was just too much tonight," he said. "Some of the stuff he had LeBron doing at the end of the game...we just couldn't handle it."
Anthony, who wears a bright purple jersey that says "The Best!" in neon green letters, grabbed 2 rebounds and scored 0 points in 22 minutes of action.
For 110th Straight Time, French Open to be Held in France
Satellite photographs taken yesterday above the Stade Roland Garros in Paris indicate that this year's French Open will once again be played in France.
The photos, taken from a distance of more than 4,000 feet, show workers preparing the many clay courts for what appears to be a tennis tournament. With the French Open set to begin this Sunday, it's all but assured that the timing is not coincidental.
"The French Open has been played at Roland Garros since 1928," said French tennis expert Gilbert L'Estrade. "It's important not to make any assumptions, but these photographs seem to be showing that in 2011, nothing has changed."
Fury quickly spread around the tennis world.
"It's a bloody disgrace," said Liam Holder, the head of the All England Lawn and Tennis Club, which has held the Wimbledon tournament since 1877. "The unforgiving regionalism and prejudice of the French has reared its ugly head again."
Others shrugged off the news.
"Yes, it would be nice to have the tournament in a different country," said defending champion Rafael Nadal. "But these things are complicated, and we must give them time."
Many experts thought the French Tennis Association would take notice of the example set by the Madrid Open, which held its tournament in Johannesburg, South Africa this year. But FTA prime minister Francoise Lambert remained steadfast.
"The French Open will forever be in France," he said before an raucous crowd of nationalists. "And beginning in 2014, it shall be open only to French players."
ESPN.com Can't Find Score for Last Night's Sharks-Canucks Game
As of 10am eastern time, ESPN.com's NHL division still could not get a score for last night's western conference finals match-up between the San Jose Sharks and the Vancouver Canucks.
The game, held in Vancouver, is thought to have ended sometime last night around 10pm eastern time. In the twelve hours since, desperate phone calls and e-mails have gone unanswered as executives try desperately to find the result.
"We don't really know anybody in Vancouver," said NHL Division Chief Thomas Stuart. "One of our interns had a friend who moved there a couple months ago, but the kid turned out to be a total hippie who had no idea about hockey, and none of his friends could help us either."
After exhausting their personal connections and finding themselves no closer to the score, ESPN workers attempted to contact local newspapers.
"It was awful," said marketing coordinator Jim Erickson. "I was screaming out, 'does anyone know of a fucking newspaper in Vancouver??!' We couldn't even scratch the surface."
"Nobody even really knew where San Jose was located," said second-year administrative assistant Bethany Little. "I mean, is it in Oregon? Canada? We may never know."
ESPN staff was unable to remember any player or coach's name from either team, and the entire department deleted all NHL contact info from their cell phones last November. "We thought they'd call us if something important was happening," said Erickson.
One ESPN vice president had saved Mario Lemieux's phone number from the 90s, but all calls went straight to voicemail. Later, a staffer was able to use 411 to find the number of the arena in Vancouver. Earlier this morning, someone answered the line, but through the scratchy connection it became apparent that it was a representative from a beauty pageant scheduled to be held in the arena later this afternoon. The woman had no idea about a hockey game.
At approximately 9:30am, ESPN writers were ordered to post a fake story about last night's game with a fabricated score and story based on rosters found on a rudimentary fan website. According to the fictional account, which is accompanied by streaming video from a 1997 game, Vancouver scored 4 goals in the 3rd period to win 7-3.