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This is an article from the June 4, 2012 issue
At 45 of undetermined causes at his home in Albuquerque, five-time boxing world champion Johnny Tapia. His death did not appear suspicious, but an autopsy will be required. Tapia (above, right) truly embodied his nickname, Mi Vida Loca: As a child, he was falsely told that his father had been murdered before he, Tapia, was born (he only recently reconnected with him); he was left essentially orphaned at eight when his mother was raped and stabbed to death by an unknown assailant. Tapia himself was declared dead four times after drug overdoses. When he was hospitalized after one such incident in 2007, his brother-in-law and nephew were killed in a car crash rushing to see him. But his boxing career could be magical. His five titles came in three weight classes—two as a super flyweight, two as a bantamweight and one as a featherweight. He won his final fight, last June, in an eight-round decision, to finish with a 59-5-2 record.
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By the IOC, the three finalists for host city for the 2020 Summer Olympics: Tokyo, Istanbul and Madrid. The cities are all familiar with the process—Tokyo hosted the 1964 Games and applied for 2016, Istanbul has submitted bids for every Summer Olympics from '00 through '12, and Madrid lost in the third round of voting for both '12 and '16—but all three face obstacles. Tokyo's problem is that Pyeongchang, South Korea, will host the '18 Winter Games, and the IOC may be reluctant to award the same continent two Games in a row; Turkey has also applied to host the UEFA European Championships in '20, and hosting two major events in a year violates IOC rules; and Spain's financial problems are front-of-the-mind for the committee. The IOC will select the winning city with a final vote on Sept. 7, 2013, in Buenos Aires.
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At 88, former Indiana basketball player and coach Lou Watson. Watson (left), who also played baseball for the Hoosiers as a member of the school's only Big Ten regular-season championship squad, in 1948, starred on the court from '47 through '50. He was an All-America as a senior and was the school's alltime leading scorer (with 757 points) when he finished his collegiate career. After graduation he worked as an assistant coach at Indiana, eventually replacing his own coach, Branch McCracken, and heading the program from '66 through '71. His teams went 62--60 with one Big Ten cochampionship. After Bob Knight took over as head coach, Watson worked as special assistant to the Indiana athletic director, retiring in '87.
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38 Studios, the video game company started by former Red Sox and Diamondbacks pitcher Curt Schilling. The company's decline was precipitous: On May 1 it was unable to make a $1.1 million payment toward $75 million in loans it had obtained from Rhode Island after moving to the state; it could not meet payroll on May 15; and finally, last Thursday, it laid off its entire 400-plus-person staff. Schilling has publicly said that he put $30 million of his own money into 38 Studios—which he founded in '06 and which released its only game in February (SI, Feb. 20). He has not commented on the recent developments.
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For $18 million in damages by a Cuban-American resident of Miami, and arrested three days later for speeding, Reds closer Aroldis Chapman (below). The plaintiff in the lawsuit, Danilo Curbello García, currently imprisoned in Cuba, alleges that Chapman, who had been expelled from the Cuban national team because of an attempted defection, fabricated an accusation that García was involved in human trafficking and then testified against him as part of a deal with Cuban officials to allow him to rejoin the team. Chapman has not commented on the allegations. In the traffic violation, Chapman was caught driving 93 mph and then discovered to have a suspended license, according to police. This is at least Chapman's fourth speeding offense in two years. The legal troubles come amid the best stretch of Chapman's career: He is 4--0 with 44 strikeouts and only eight walks in 26 innings this season and has yet to allow a run.
Winners in the first 14 seasons of Dancing With the Stars who have come from the world of sports, after the victory by Packers WR Donald Driver, who termed the experience "the same" as winning the Super Bowl.
Innings caught in one day by Appleton (Wis.) East High softball catcher Mallory Lamers, in a three-game tournament, the first game of which went 27 innings and lasted six hours.
Stolen bases by Vanderbilt in the ninth inning of last Saturday's SEC semifinal win over Florida, including three on one pitch.
Home runs on consecutive at bats—by Reds Mike Leake and Zack Cozart—caught by fan Caleb Lloyd, who was seated in the front row in left centerfield at Great American Ballpark.
Times that Don Larsen wore the Yankees uniform he is putting up for auction to raise money for his grandchildren's education: the first in a 1 2/3-inning outing in Game 2 of the 1956 World Series, a 13--8 New York loss, and the second in his Game 5 perfect game.
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As the official animal prognosticators for the Euro 2012 soccer tournament, which is cohosted by Poland and Ukraine and kicks off on June 8, Citta the Elephant (right) and Psychic Pig (whose handlers say is camera shy). In the honored tradition set by Paul the Octopus (left), the celebrated cephalopod who correctly predicted the winners of eight 2010 World Cup matches, Citta will make her picks on behalf of Poland, while Psychic Pig will pick for Ukraine.
MLB PLAYERS POLL
Who is the most underrated pitcher in the game?
MATT CAIN, GIANTS 9%
DOUG FISTER, TIGERS 8%
RICKY ROMERO, BLUE JAYS 6%
DAN HAREN, ANGELS 4%
VANCE WORLEY, PHILLIES 3%
A whopping 98 hurlers received at least one vote—including four Cy Young winners (the Brewers' Zack Greinke, the Phillies' Roy Halladay, the Mets' Johan Santana and, at ninth overall with six nods, the Mariners' Felix Hernandez).... Combined career record for the top five: 264--233; combined ERA: 3.47.... Fister, who drew 16% of the votes from his own AL Central, is winless in five starts in '12, but has a 1.84 ERA.... In a similar poll on Facebook, Romero led with 34%.
BASED ON 293 MLB PLAYERS WHO RESPONDED TO SI'S SURVEY