From the Cuban national team, 21-year-old Aroldis Chapman (above), one of the top lefthanded pitching prospects in the world. On July 1 Chapman disappeared from the team's hotel in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, where Cuba was playing in a tournament; he told the Spanish-language site CubaEncuentro.com that he is ready to sign with a major league team. His location was not known as of Monday, but to become a free agent Chapman must establish residency in a country outside the U.S. During the World Baseball Classic in March, Chapman was 0--1 with a 5.68 ERA in two games for Cuba, but he struck out eight in 6 1/3 innings, and his fastball has been clocked at 100 mph.
To the family of Chicago investment banker Tom Ricketts, the Cubs. Baseball's most hapless franchise—the Cubbies have gone 100 seasons without winning the World Series—was put on the block by the Tribune Company two years ago. On Monday the media conglomerate and Ricketts reached a deal worth nearly $900 million, according to the Chicago Tribune. The sale must be approved by 75% of the 30 major league owners; it is also subject to court approval because the Tribune Co. filed for bankruptcy last December.
With the Gulf Coast League Pirates, Pittsburgh's rookie-level minor league team, India-born pitchers Dinesh Patel and Rinku Singh. The 20-year-old former cricket players had never played baseball before appearing on the Indian reality show The Million Dollar Arm last year, but after training with a former pitching coach they tried out for major league teams and were signed by the Pirates (SI, March 9). Last Saturday each pitched an inning of relief against the Gulf Coast Yankees. Singh, a lefthander, allowed a run on two hits. The righthanded Patel needed only eight pitches to get through a perfect inning. Asked afterward how he sees his career playing out, Patel said, "Single A, Double A, Triple A then the majors."
On suspicion of robbery, former Hawaii quarterback Timmy Chang, the alltime NCAA leader in passing yards. Last month Chang, 27, who was released by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL in February, allegedly got into an argument with a woman who was videotaping a street fight in Honolulu. When she refused Chang's request to stop filming, he allegedly grabbed the camera and threw it onto the roof of a nearby building. Chang was released without charges pending further investigation.
July 12, 2009
For DUI, Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi. The WNBA's second-leading scorer (21.1 points per game) and the WNBA's top vote-getter in fan balloting for the July 25 All-Star Game, Taurasi was pulled over for speeding in Phoenix early last Thursday morning; she underwent field sobriety tests, refused a breath test and was cited after submitting a blood sample. (Blood test results have not been released.) Last Friday, Taurasi said the incident was "embarrassing and unfortunate."
By the CFL, Toronto Argonauts receiver Arland Bruce (above), for a tasteless posttouchdown homage to Michael Jackson. After catching a scoring pass in a July 1 win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Bruce removed his helmet, jersey and shoulder pads and lay on his back in the end zone. He said he was pretending to be buried in tribute to the King of Pop, who died on June 25. Bruce, who received penalties for removing his helmet and excessive celebration and was fined an undisclosed amount, later apologized. "I made the mistake of telling him in camp that once he got to the end zone I didn't care what he did," coach Bart Andrus said. "I think next time around he will celebrate in an appropriate manner."
To return to the Sprint Cup circuit, driver and Mayfield Motorsports owner Jeremy Mayfield, who was suspended by NASCAR in May after reportedly testing positive for methamphetamine use. Mayfield, who denies any illegal drug use, sued NASCAR on the grounds that its substance-abuse program is unfair because it didn't allow him to have his B sample tested by an independent lab. U.S. district court judge Graham Mullen bought the argument and on July 1 issued an injunction allowing Mayfield to compete. Saying he didn't want to cause a distraction, Mayfield skipped last Saturday's race but said he might compete in Chicago this week.
By the U.S., the Junior World Championship, the first international football tournament for players 19 and under. The U.S. beat Canada 41--3 in the final in Canton, Ohio, on Sunday. The event also drew teams from Japan (which won the bronze medal), Mexico, Germany, Sweden, France and New Zealand. The U.S. squad was composed of incoming college freshmen; in the final, quarterback Bryce Perry, who will play at Baylor, threw three touchdown passes and completed all of his 14 attempts. "They are what we are in hockey," Canada coach Glen Constantin said of the U.S. "We have to catch up to them in football."
At bats it took the Nationals' Adam Dunn to hit his 300th career home run.
Players who reached the 300-homer mark in fewer at bats than Dunn: Babe Ruth (3,830), Mark McGwire (3,837), Ralph Kiner (3,883) and Harmon Killebrew (3,928).
Minutes that last Thursday's Astros-Padres game was delayed, after a mammoth swarm of bees descended on the leftfield warning track at Petco Park.
Wieners by which Joey Chestnut broke the hot-dog-eating world record, when he downed 68 last Saturday to win Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest.
Points by which Stewart-Haas owner and driver Tony Stewart leads the Sprint Cup standings.
Years since a NASCAR owner-driver won a Cup championship; Alan Kulwicki, the only one to do so, won it in 1992.
Fans at Real Madrid's stadium for Cristiano Ronaldo's introduction as a member of the team on Monday.
THEY SAID IT
Yankees pitcher and pro wrestling fan, after watching practice and going backstage at a Florida Championship Wrestling match: "It's real, because you have to put a lot of time into learning not how to kill someone by accident."