Max Scherzer and Aaron Judge demonstrated near perfection in whiffing — from opposite ends of the spectrum.
Fan Appreciation Day in June, anyone?
Nats pitcher Max Scherzer needed just the minimum nine pitches to strike out the side in the sixth inning against the Rays on June 5.
At the opposite extreme, on June 4, Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge whiffed .889 — eight strikeouts in nine at-bats — in a doubleheader against the Tigers.
No photo finish here
Secretariat’s combined time for the 1973 Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes — 6:16.4 — is a whopping six seconds faster than the next-fastest Triple Crown winner, Affirmed at 6:22.4.
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Or as fans of Big Red like to call the stunning disparity: Secretariat’s Spread.
On Eagles’ rings
The Philadelphia Eagles’ Super Bowl rings all have the motto “We all we got, we all we need” inscribed on the side.
Well, except for that one ring they had specially made for Robert Di Nero.
Current events quiz
a) the new name for IHOP restaurants
b) baseball nerds’ newest sabermetric stat for infield hits or bunts
Ex-MLB pitcher Kevin Brown caught two men stealing from his mailbox in Macon, Ga., and kept them at gunpoint until police arrived.
Elias Sports Bureau statisticians alertly credited him with a hold.
First sack of the season
Wake Forest, citing an undisclosed violation of team rules, has suspended starting quarterback Kendall Hinton for the first three games of the 2018 season.
Or as Demon Deacons apologists tried to spin it, three-and-in.
Ringing in the new
Broadcaster Jim Gray was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
On his plaque, we assume, he’ll be credited with the LeBron James decision.
With Browns coach Hue Jackson saying his players will have to earn the brown and white stripes on their helmets, are said players — or the team — subject to fines from the NFL’s uniform police for nonmatching gear?
So what’s next, helmet stickers? Postgame trips to Dairy Queen when they win?
Flag on the play
A financial adviser for ex-NFLer Cory Redding was convicted of stealing $4.5 million from him and got hit with a seven-year prison sentence.
Now that’s what you call a withholding penalty.
2 minutes for interference?
Restoring Hope “looked like a bodyguard making sure nobody got close to Justify” in this year’s Belmont Stakes, complained the owner of a rival Thoroughbred.
In other words, Restoring Hope is the Dave Semenko of horse racing.
Talking the talk
• TBS’s Conan O’Brien, after President Trump said the North Korean dictator is “absolutely” invited to the White House: “Unless, of course, Kim Jong Un wins the Super Bowl or the NBA championship.”
• Headline at TheOnion.com: “Ovechkin knocks out rest of teeth while kissing Stanley Cup.”
• Tacoma Rainiers radio voice Mike Curto, via Twitter, after the Astros agreed to terms with first-round draft pick Seth Beer: “I, too, have agreed to terms with beer.”
Slice of baseball heaven
The short-season Class A Staten Island Yankees will refer to themselves — new uniforms and all — as the Staten Island Pizza Rats for all five Saturday home games this season.
Opposing hitters are already bracing for a bevy of cutters and high cheese.
If Avis is looking for a modern-day spokesman for a tried-and-true ad campaign, Gronkowski was No. 2 in the Belmont Stakes as well as No. 2 in the Super Bowl.
That’s shoe biz
IKEA announced global partnerships with a few leading brands such as Adidas.
Which is great news if you like taking two hours to put your sneakers together, then wondering why you have three screws, a bracket and an Allen wrench left over.
Thanks for playing
Nearly 65 percent of FBS football teams will go bowling after the NCAA added three more postseason games to the 40 already on the docket.
So what do the remaining 35 percent get, participation trophies?
Bottom of the Fifth Dept.
A Baltimore bar is offering free shots every time the Orioles’ .150-hitting Chris Davis gets a hit.
And if Astros fans can somehow finagle the same deal with Jose Altuve … Houston, you have a drinking problem.
He’s no rookie
Cincinnati rookie QB Logan Woodside has been charged with DUI in Bellevue, Ky., after blowing a .112 at 3:45 in the morning.
Guess the scouting reports weren’t kidding when they said he plays like a veteran Bengal.
Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski plunked down a $69 place bet on his namesake horse — which opened at 69-to-1 odds to win, on 6/9 — at the Belmont Stakes, and cashed in when the four-legged Gronkowski rallied from last place to finish second.
No word on whether the two-legged Gronk spiked his wad of dough at the payout window.
Sign of the Apocalypse
Making the rounds on the internet: “With the rise of self-driving vehicles, it’s only a matter of time before we get a country song where a guy’s truck leaves him too.”
Kevin Durant’s seamless assimilation into the Warriors wasn’t as easy as he made it look.
“All-star bands don’t always mesh like the Highwaymen did,” wrote Mark Whicker of the Orange County Register. “The smoke is still clearing from the crash of Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Dwight Howard.”
• Janice Hough of LeftCoastSportsBabe.com, after model Winnie Harlow’s checkered-flag gaffe allowed Sebastian Vettel to win the Canadian Grand Prix two laps early: “How many blondes are thrilled to know … she is a brunette?”
• NBC’s Seth Meyers, on the Golden State Warriors’ championship parade last Tuesday: “And to add insult to injury, they held it in Cleveland.”
• Comedy writer Jim Barach, after a computer algorithm predicted that Germany will win the World Cup: “Although gamblers are still waiting for more reliable predictions from an octopus, squid and giraffe.”
• Comedy writer Alex Kaseberg, after the 2026 World Cup was jointly awarded to the U.S., Canada and Mexico: “Apparently FIFA could not make up their minds from whom to take a bribe.”
• Jason Whitlock, via Twitter, on Terrell Owens’ induction no-show: “The worst teammate in the history of professional football is now going to be the worst teammate in the history of the Hall of Fame.”
Kicking the tires
“Here’s the difference between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland LeBrons,” wrote Mike Bianchi of the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel. “The Warriors are driving a luxury Lincoln Navigator with multiple options. Steph Curry is the power windows. Kevin Durant is the heated leather seats. Klay Thompson is the panoramic sun roof and Draymond Green is the back-up camera.
“Meanwhile, comparatively speaking, LeBron James is driving a 2001 Pontiac Sunfire with cloth seats, one missing floor mat, hand-crank windows and a broken clock (see J.R. Smith).”
Quote, end quote
• Greg Cote of The Miami Herald, via Twitter, endorsing Howard Schnellenberger for the College Football Hall of Fame: “It’s a WAY better idea than IHOB.”
• RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com, on his wife’s burner accounts greasing the exit of 76ers GM Bryan Colangelo: “Parting is such tweet sorrow.”
• Bob Molinaro in the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, on Game 3 of Golden State’s NBA Finals sweep: “After falling to the Warriors on a night when Curry shot 3 for 16, the Cavaliers’ discouragement is well-earned.”
• RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com, after Edmonton Eskimos backup Kevin Glenn became the first QB to be on the roster of all nine CFL cities: “If he was a pitcher, we’d say he had location issues.”
• Bob Molinaro in the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, on the Orioles sporting an MLB-worst 19-48 record and ranking 29th of 30 in run differential: “The worst part is apparently the club isn’t tanking on purpose.”
Oakland and Sacramento sit just 68 miles apart. In terms of NBA acumen, though, it’s 68 light years.
The Golden State Warriors used shrewd drafting to land cornerstones Steph Curry (seventh pick, 2009), Klay Thompson (11th, 2011) and Draymond Green (35th, 2012) and build a modern dynasty.
The Sacramento Kings had a chance to draft all three, but whiffed, instead taking shooting guard Tyreke Evans fourth in 2009, center Bismack Biyombo seventh in 2011 and forward Thomas Robinson fifth in 2012. Biyombo and Robinson aren’t even in the league anymore.
“Had the horse Gronkowski won the Belmont,” wondered Cam Hutchinson of the Saskatoon Express, “would he have hosted a cruise for fillies?”