| DIED |
At age 81 of congestive heart failure, former slugging first baseman Bill Skowron. Moose, as his family nicknamed him at age eight after he'd gotten a haircut that made him resemble Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, spent 14 years in the majors: nine with the Yankees (above), for whom he was a fan favorite, followed by shorter stints with the Dodgers, Washington Senators, White Sox and Angels. His Bronx teams won seven pennants and four World Series, and in 1963, after the Yankees traded Skowron to the Dodgers, he won another Series—a four-game sweep of New York. An All-Star every year from '57 through '61, and then again in '65, Skowron is one of only two players, along with teammate Yogi Berra, to have hit a home run in a World Series Game 7 three times.
| DIED |
At age 83 of colon cancer, professional poker player Thomas Austin Preston Jr., better known to the card-playing world as Amarillo Slim (or the World's Greatest Gambler, as he often called himself). Slim first gained fame by winning the World Series of Poker in 1972, and he stayed in the headlines for an array of outrageous proposition bets. He used a broom handle to beat Minnesota Fats in pool, won a round of golf against Evel Knievel with a hammer instead of a club and played with a skillet to beat Bobby Riggs in a game of Ping-Pong. Seemingly always on the prowl for a patsy, Slim (above right) grew fond of telling his card-playing opponents, "Look around the table. If you don't see a sucker, get up, because you're the sucker."
May 7, 2012
| LIFTED |
By the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Monday, British sprinter Dwain Chambers' lifetime Olympic ban for doping. The three-man Swiss CAS panel ruled that the ban, imposed by the British Olympic Association, was in violation of the World Anti-Doping Agency's code. Under WADA rules, an athlete can be suspended only for a specific period, so a lifetime Olympic ban is considered an extra and therefore illegal sanction. The ruling followed a similar decision last year in favor of U.S. runner LaShawn Merritt, who challenged the IOC rule whereby athletes banned for six months or longer had to miss at least one Games. This week's decision means that Chambers, who tested positive in 2003 for anabolic steroids, and British cyclist David Millar, who tested positive in '04 for blood boosters, can compete in London if they are selected to their national teams. The BOA has said that, despite the organization's feelings on the rule, the athletes will receive "100 percent support" if they make the teams.
| ARRESTED |
And charged with second-degree aggravated harassment and accused of a hate crime, Tigers outfielder Delmon Young. According to police, an intoxicated Young, outside his hotel during a road trip to New York City last Friday, yelled anti-Semitic slurs at a group of tourists who were giving money to a panhandler wearing a Star of David necklace and a yarmulke. After Young allegedly tackled one of the tourists, a security guard called police, who arrested Young in his room. The Tigers placed Young, 26, on the restricted list and announced that he would undergo alcohol and anger evaluation. On Monday, Young was suspended for seven days retroactive to April 27. He had been suspended for 50 games in 2006 as a minor leaguer, after he threw a bat at an umpire.
| ANNOUNCED |
By Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola (right), that he would leave the defending Champions League winners at the end of the season. The announcement came six days after a loss to Real Madrid that likely ended Barca's shot at a fourth straight Primera Division title and three days after a loss to Chelsea in the Champions League semifinals. Guardiola, 41, who played for the Blaugrana from 1990 through 2001, said that the demands of the job were getting to be too much and that he had made his decision last December. He exits as the most successful manager in the club's history, winning 13 major trophies in four years, including two Champions League titles. Assistant Tito Vilanova will take over.
| PLAYED |
By the Nets on April 23, the team's final game in New Jersey before moving to Brooklyn for the 2012--13 season. Before the 105--87 loss to the 76ers that concluded a fifth-straight sub-.500 season, New Jersey governor Chris Christie made it clear that he would not miss the team. "They want to leave here and go to Brooklyn?" he said. "Good riddance." The Nets, who spent four seasons in Piscataway and 29 in East Rutherford before a final two at the Prudential Center in Newark, finished their Garden State tenure with a record of 1,186--1,635. They made the playoffs 16 times and the Finals twice, losing both times. On Monday, with their new $1 billion Barclays Center in the background, the Nets unveiled a revamped logo and black-and-white color scheme.
Tweets per second reached during the April 24 Champions League semifinal between Chelsea and Barcelona, breaking by 1,451 the record for a sporting event, set during this year's Super Bowl.
Rookies who started for the Warriors in their 107--101 loss to the Spurs last Thursday, an NBA first dating back to 1970-71, when the league started keeping that stat.
Amount wagered by boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr.—spread across seven Las Vegas sports books—according to multiple reports, that the Clippers (+6) would beat the Grizzlies on Sunday in Game 1 of their playoff series. L.A. won by erasing a 24-point fourth-quarter deficit.
"Buy It Now" price on eBay last week for the entire visitors' dugout from the Seattle Kingdome, former home of the Mariners, which was demolished in 2000.
Consecutive batters walked on April 24 by the Marlins, each by a different pitcher, an MLB first, in their 2--1 loss to the Mets.
| BOOED |
By Knicks fans at Madison Square Garden last week, the Jets' Mark Sanchez and Santonio Holmes (left). Those jeers were on par with recent heckling at the NFL draft (an age-old NYC tradition) when the Jets took Quinton Coples, Rangers fans hissing over O Canada, and a harsh Yankee Stadium welcome for Tim Tebow. Which raises the notion: Maybe Philly fans aren't the most hostile of all. Here, a bevy of Big Apple booing victims over the years.
KEY : KNICKS . RANGERS . GIANTS . YANKEES . METS
FAILED MARRIAGE PROPOSAL
V.P. DICK CHENEY, DURING GOD BLESS AMERICA
KINGS PG ISAIAH THOMAS (FOR HIS NAME)
FLORIDA GOV. RICK SCOTT
BROKEN HOME RUN APPLE
BLACK LAB WHO DROPPED A FRISBEE
WARRIORS' DRAFTING OF STEPHEN CURRY
BARITONE ROBERT MERRILL
MLB PLAYER POLL
Who has the better chance of living up to his new contract?
ALBERT PUJOLS ANGELS 1B 48.7%
PRINCE FIELDER TIGERS 1B 48.6%
1.5% voted for both; 1.2% for neither.... Pujols, who was 31 when he signed his 10-year, $240 million deal, received one more vote than Fielder (nine years, $214 million), though among pitchers the three-time NL MVP held a 54%--45% edge (with Fielder's chances being seen as more favorable by nonpitchers by nearly the same margin) .... Through Sunday the 27-year-old Fielder was almost living up to his price tag, batting .309 with three home runs and an .832 OPS, while Pujols (.216, .561 OPS and no homers) was off to his worst start over 22 games.
BASED ON 273 MLB PLAYERS WHO RESPONDED TO SI'S SURVEY