Cubs

After a party, Usain Bolt gets into car accident

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After a party, Usain Bolt gets into car accident

From Comcast SportsNet
KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) -- Usain Bolt was involved in a minor car crash shortly before dawn Sunday in his Caribbean homeland of Jamaica but was not hurt, according to the publicist for the world's fastest man. Carole Beckford said the three-time Olympic champion was returning from a party with friends in the early hours Sunday when he was involved in a "fender bender" in Jamaica's capital of Kingston. "There were no injuries at all. He is fine and resting at home," Beckford told The Associated Press in Jamaica. Police in the Half-Way-Tree area where the accident took place say they are still investigating, but it appears that the sprinting champ somehow lost control of his black BMW and swerved into guard rails shortly after 5 a.m. local time. Fellow Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell was traveling in another car at the time and was at the scene of Bolt's accident. "My friend and countryman (Bolt) is ok after a fender bender," Powell's Twitter account said Sunday morning. Powell's Twitter feed dispelled rumors that he was also hurt: "Contrary to the news, I was in another car." Bolt and Powell had just returned to Jamaica after competing at the Diamond League meet in Norway. At that meet, Bolt recovered from a poor start to win the 100 meters in 9.79 seconds, beating Powell by 0.06 seconds. Bolt remains undefeated this year. The Jamaican star hasn't lost since failing to defend his title in the 2011 world championships in South Korea after being disqualified in the final for a false start. It's not the first time Bolt has been in a worrying car crash in Jamaica. In 2009, Bolt crashed a BMW into a ditch along a highway. He required minor surgery on his left foot after stepping onto thorns while getting out of the wreckage. A month after the accident, Bolt told reporters: "After something like that you look at life through and over, and look at what has gone wrong -- where you should improve or should be careful." Bolt's coaches could not be reached for comment Sunday. Beckford said she would release further details when they became available. Bolt emerged as a global superstar after his stellar 2008 performance at the Beijing Games, where he became the first sprinter to set three world records in the same Olympics. He gave much of the credit for his 2008 renaissance to his willingness to act the part -- to stop the late-night partying, which he conceded could be over the top, and spend more time in the gym. The news of Bolt's car accident worried his fans in Jamaica, where the charismatic athlete is regarded as a national treasure. "?He should be more careful on the roads," said Rashalee Mitchell, an assistant lecturer at Jamaica's University of the West Indies. "Jamaica cannot afford to lose a precious athletic gem as Lightning Bolt.'"

Why what Mike Montgomery did against LA could go a long way toward keeping him in the Cubs' rotation

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USA Today

Why what Mike Montgomery did against LA could go a long way toward keeping him in the Cubs' rotation

Joe Maddon needed Mike Montgomery to get through at least six innings given the circumstances presenting the Cubs' manager before Game 2 of Tuesday’s day-night doubleheader against the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

Not only were the Cubs short a man in the bullpen (thanks to Brandon Morrow’s pants-related back injury), but Maddon had to use four relievers — including Pedro Strop for two innings — after Tyler Chatwood managed only five innings in Game 1 earlier in the afternoon. 

So when Montgomery — who had only thrown over 100 pitches once in the last two and a half seasons before Tuesday — saw his pitch count sit at 40 after two innings, and then 63 after three, he knew he needed to regroup to avoid creating a mess for the Cubs’ bullpen. 

What followed was a start that, statistically, wasn’t the most impressive of the five Montgomery’s made since re-joining the Cubs’ rotation earlier this year. But it was an important start in that the 28-year-old left-hander didn’t have his best stuff, yet didn’t give in to a good Dodgers lineup. And holding that bunch to one run over six innings was exactly what the Cubs needed in what turned out to be a 2-1 extra-inning win. 

“Especially when you don’t have have your best stuff, you always gotta — that’s when you really learn how to pitch,” Montgomery said. 

It’s also the kind of start that could be a major point in Montgomery’s favor when Maddon is presented with a decision to make on his starting rotation whenever Yu Darvish comes off the disabled list. Knowing that Montgomery can grind his way through six innings when his team needs it the most without his best stuff only can add to the confidence the Cubs have in him. 

Montgomery didn’t have his best stuff on Tuesday, issuing more walks (four) than he had in his previous four starts (three). He threw 48 pitches between the second and third innings, and only 25 of those pitches were strikes. Of the nine times the Dodgers reached base against Montgomery, six were the result of fastballs either leading to a walk or a hit. 

Even though the Dodgers were able to bother Montgomery a bit on his fastball, Maddon said that’s the pitch of his that’s impressed him the most over the last few weeks. 

“He never got rushed,” Maddon said. “In the past he would seem to get rushed when things weren’t going well, when he spot-started. Overall, fastball command is better — even though he was off a little bit tonight, the fastball command still exceeds what I’ve seen in the past couple of years on a more consistent basis. The changeup, really, good pitch. He got out of some jams but I think the fact that he knows where his fastball is going now is the difference-maker for him.”

Darvish will throw a simulated game on Wednesday after throwing two bullpen sessions last week. Maddon still doesn’t have a timetable for the $126 million right-hander’s return, and said he’s not entertaining what to do with his rotation until Darvish comes off the disabled list. But Maddon did mention Montgomery’s relative lack of an innings load — the most he’s thrown in a season in 130 2/3, which he did in 2017 — as a reason to perhaps not rush him into a permanent starting role the rest of the season. Going to a six-man rotation is a possibility, too, Maddon said. 

But the over-arching point is this: Montgomery will remain in the Cubs’ rotation as long as he keeps earning it. That can be the product of strong outings in which he has good stuff, or games like Tuesday in which he shows the Cubs the kind of resiliency most starters need to get through a full season. 

“I pitch well, good things happen,” Montgomery said. “I’ve always thought that. Opportunities, you just gotta make the most of them.”

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 28th + 29th homers in 1998

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 28th + 29th homers in 1998

It's the 20th anniversary of the Summer of Sammy, when Sosa and Mark McGwire went toe-to-toe in one of the most exciting seasons in American sports history chasing after Roger Maris' home run record. All year, we're going to go homer-by-homer on Sosa's 66 longballs, with highlights and info about each. Enjoy.

For the second time in 1998, Sosa went back-to-back games with multiple home runs. After going yard twice on June 19 of that season, Slammin' Sammy again sent two balls into the bleachers on June 20.

He singlehandedly beat the Phillies that night, driving in 5 runs in a 9-4 Cubs victory.

But that wasn't the most impressive feat of the day from Sosa. His second homer was actually measured at a whopping 500 feet! It was the longest of the season, but not the longest of his career. On June 24, 2003, Sosa hit a homer at Wrigley measured at 511 feet.

The back-to-back big games raised Sosa's season OPS to 1.083 with a ridiculous .685 slugging percentage. He began June 1998 with a .608 slugging percentage.

Fun fact: Kerry Wood struck out 11 batters in 7.1 innings on June 20, 1998 to pick up his 7th big-league victory. As Wood marched to the National League Rookie of the Year that season, he finished with a 13-6 record and 233 strikeouts in only 166.2 innings for a career-high 12.6 K/9 rate.