With a noninvasive form of breast cancer, tennis icon Martina Navratilova (above). The retired 53-year-old, a winner of 59 Grand Slam titles, says doctors first detected a lump in her left breast in January; a biopsy revealed ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), and in March she had the lump removed. (Of the estimated 50,000 women diagnosed with DCIS, 2% die of cancer within 10 years, according to a National Institutes of Health study.) In May, Navratilova is scheduled to undergo six weeks of radiation therapy in Paris, during which time she hopes to serve as a commentator on the Tennis Channel's coverage of the French Open. "[This] was my personal 9/11," Navratilova told ABC's Robin Roberts, herself a breast cancer survivor, last week. "I've been healthy all my life, and all of a sudden I have cancer. Are you kidding me?"
By 2009 Breeders' Cup Classic champion Zenyatta, the Apple Blossom Invitational at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark. In taking last Friday's mile-and-an-eighth race by 4¼ lengths, the 6-year-old mare became just the third horse (after 1948 Triple Crown champion Citation and 1995--96 Horse of the Year Cigar) to go undefeated in 16 straight top-tier races. Conspicuously absent from the Apple Blossom field was 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra, who'd been expected to compete in Hot Springs before she was pulled following an unexpected loss last month to one of Zenyatta's stablemates, Zardana. "We're going to plan our schedule," Zenyatta's owner, Jerry Moss, said of a potential matchup at the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic in November. "If Rachel Alexandra wants to join us, she's more than welcome."
April 18, 2010
From the Steelers to the Jets less than 24 hours before he was suspended for the first four games of the 2010 season, Santonio Holmes, MVP of Super Bowl XLIII. On Sunday evening New York dealt Pittsburgh its fifth-round pick in next week's draft for the 26-year-old receiver (79 catches, 1,248 yards in '09). On Monday afternoon the league suspended Holmes for an unspecified violation of its substance abuse policy. Holmes's past troubles are well documented: In '06 he was arrested for disorderly conduct (charges were dropped) and involved in a domestic violence case (charges also dropped); in '08 he was arrested for possession of marijuana, for which he apologized. With the move, Holmes leaves behind a Steelers franchise already dealing with the fallout from accusations of sexual assault against quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who on Monday learned that Georgia authorities would not pursue charges against him.
By the ECHL's Johnstown (Pa.) Chiefs, a relocation to Greenville, S.C. The minor league hockey team was founded in 1988 to honor the '77 hockey comedy Slap Shot. The Chiefs, named after Slap Shot's fictional Charlestown Chiefs (which were inspired by the Johnstown Jets, a real-life team that folded the year the movie was released), have struggled to fill seats at 60-year-old Cambria County War Memorial Arena, which doubled as the movie's main set more than 30 years ago. Citing the economy and a series of investment deals gone wrong, owner Neil Smith, a former Rangers G.M., echoed one of the movie's plotlines in deciding to move the team. One of the team's minority shareholders, Ned Nakles, is forming a nonprofit corporation to buy the Chiefs' name, logo and statistics.
At age 90, Arthur Mercante Sr., the third man in the ring for the 1971 heavyweight title bout between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier (above, far left), and the first active referee inducted into boxing's Hall of Fame, in '95. A childhood friend of Rocky Marciano's, Mercante was introduced to boxing by his uncle Joe Monte, who'd fought Max Schmeling and Jim Braddock. Mercante dabbled in Golden Gloves as a teen and turned to refereeing in the U.S. Navy, where his commanding officer was former heavyweight champ Gene Tunney. In '54 he embarked on a 47-year pro career during which he would employ his aggressively controlling style in more than 140 championship matches. Mercante's son Arthur Mercante Jr. followed in his boxing shoes in 1984 and has since refereed 147 bouts, including last year's WBO welterweight title fight, in which Miguel Cotto defeated Joshua Clottey.
By the Chico Outlaws of the Golden Baseball League, 18-year-old pitcher Eri Yoshida, who will become the first female to play pro baseball since Ila Borders retired in 2000. Yoshida, a righty who learned her staple sidearm knuckleball from watching video of Red Sox righty Tim Wakefield, last year became the first female pro pitcher in her native Japan, and in January she moved Stateside to take the mound for the Yuma Scorpions in the Arizona Winter League. There she went 1--1 with a 4.79 ERA in 10 appearances. "Like any knuckleballer, when she was on she was very difficult to hit," Outlaws manager (and former big league All-Star shortstop) Garry Templeton said of the 5'1", 114-pound Yoshida's winter ball experience. "And when she wasn't, good hitters would tee off. I'm excited to watch her progress up the pro ranks." The Outlaws open their season on May 21.
Game-ending hits on Opening Day by Carl Crawford after his two-run double beat the Orioles on April 6—giving the Rays' leftfielder more first-game walk-offs than any other player in the past 40 years.
Winning bid in an online auction for the Crimson Tide logo that carpeted the middle of Alabama's football locker room over the past four seasons.
Career victories by Warriors coach Don Nelson, who passed Lenny Wilkens as the NBA's alltime winningest coach when Golden State beat the Timberwolves 116--107 on April 7.
Shorthanded goals on one power play by the Bruins in a 4--2 win over the Hurricanes last Saturday, an NHL first.
NBA players with triple doubles at age 37 or older before Jason Kidd, 37, had 11 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists against the Kings last Saturday. The others: Elvin Hayes, Karl Malone and John Stockton.
Innings that Tim Lincecum has worn the same Giants cap, covering his entire four-season career.
THEY SAID IT
Prince Edward Island chief judge, ruling on the case of former P.E.I. Rockets wing Chris Doyle, who punched a door that struck a woman, breaking her nose:
"If he was charged with being a colossal a------, I would find him guilty. Of assault causing bodily harm, I find him not guilty."