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It was less like baseball and more like archery practice. And wherever
Stephen Piscotty went he had a bull’s-eye on him.
In a bruising Matt Bryant
Jersey , battering tour around the bases , the St. Louis Cardinals
outfielder could not stay out of harm’s way. He was hit three times in one
inning, as if being tracked by a GPS.
The pounding sequence began in the fifth when he was struck on the right arm
by Chicago Cubs ace Jake Arietta. Piscotty shook it off and headed to first. It
was only beginning. The ball soon got away from the catcher and Piscotty bolted
for second, hit on his left arm by Wilson Contreras’ throw.
Then came a slow roller to second base that Kolten Wong overran. Piscotty
rounded third and broke for home. Wong’s throw to the plate nailed him on the
helmet. A shaken Piscotty walked to the dugout. He would later pass all
Piscotty, since traded to Oakland in the offseason, majored in atmospheric
and energy engineering at Stanford. But even he was puzzled by that inning
against the Cubs.
”I’ve never seen that before,” he said. ”Crazy.”
Piscotty was not the only Cardinal traveling strange byways in 2017. A ball
somehow stuck to the chest protector of St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina
Jersey , who was asked if a foreign substance were responsible.
”That’s a dumb question,” he said.
This was also a year in which Atlanta Falcons receiver Julio Jones lost a
$100,000 earring while jet skiing, prompting erroneous reports that he hired a
dive team to find it. (”I did not do that. It was insured.”).
Synchronized swimming changed its name to artistic swimming. Olympic champion
shooter Michael Diamond of Australia was convicted on firearms charges, and his
gun license was revoked. Mechanical doping came to the fore in France when an
amateur cyclist was caught with a motor on his bike.
A bowler from upstate New York raced from one lane to another and rolled a
perfect 300 game in less than 90 seconds. The Saint Louis University basketball
team was left waiting for its bus after a game at St. Bonaventure because the
driver was some 40 miles away and soon to be charged with drunken driving. And
Jerry Bozzo sure beat the odds at Gulfstream Park, becoming the oldest
thoroughbred trainer to win a race at 96.
The high hops and unscripted plays came from all over:
ANIMAL MAGNETISM: Shortstop Zack Cozart , then with the Cincinnati
Allen Jersey , made the All-Star team, and with it came a gift from
teammate Joey Votto that required more upkeep than a watch – a donkey. . Second
baseman Rougned Odor was not wowed by his contract offer until Texas sweetened
the deal by throwing in two horses. ”I love horses,” he said. . Fans of the top
Danish soccer club Brondby threw out the welcome mat for opposing players by
throwing dead rats at them. . A New Zealand cricket player tried to convince the
court he had good reason for driving after too many drinks – he needed to
console his distraught girlfriend over the death of a pet parrot.
DOUBLE FAULTS: World-weary Australian star Bernard Tomic bemoaned that
Wimbledon provides insufficient motivation: ”I felt a little bit bored to be
completely honest with you.” . Romania’s Ilie Nastase, banned by international
tennis authorities for his profane outburst and general boorishness during the
Fed Cup, was given a new assignment – diplomat for the Czech Republic. . The
fashion police at all-white Wimbledon were ever vigilant, ordering some junior
boys players to change their resplendently colored underwear. Venus Williams,
when questioned about the flash of pink beneath her dress Ryan
Schraeder Jersey , said: ”I don’t like talking about bras at press
conferences. It’s weird.”
ON THE GRID: Olympic champion gymnast Simone Biles posted a 14-minute video
on Twitter of her gauze-filled mouth after her wisdom teeth were removed. . An
Indiana high school student won a bet with his teacher to call off a final exam
by getting Kobe Bryant to give him a retweet. The retired NBA star said: ”Hope
you have an A in this class.” . Canadian tennis star and model Eugenie Bouchard
figured she was on safe ground. With the Falcons way ahead in the Super Bowl she
tweeted that she ”knew Atlanta would win.” A University of Missouri student
replied with a dare: If the Patriots win, they go on a date. Bouchard said sure,
and New England rallied to win from 25 points down. The two went to a Brooklyn
Nets game. Said Bouchard: ”Never bet against Tom Brady.”
THE BIG SLEEP: A death notice in The Richmond Times-Dispatch for one Patrick
”Pat” Killebrew began by noting he ”passed away peacefully at home . after
watching the Washington Nationals relief pitchers blow yet another lead.” . A
similar notice in a New Jersey newspaper requested eight Philadelphia Eagles for
pallbearers, so the Eagles can let him ”down one last time.” . Red Wings
enforcer Bob Probert stayed in the penalty box, with some of his ashes scattered
there at the hockey team’s last home game at Joe Louis Arena. . A New York City
man honored his plumber friend by flushing his ashes down toilets of major
league ballparks. The friend told The New York Times: ”This is the perfect
tribute to a plumber and baseball fan.”
HONORS CLASS: Theo Epstein , the master builder who helped end title droughts
for the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs, was No. 1 on Fortune magazine’s list of
World’s Greatest Leaders. He was followed by Alibaba founder Jack Ma and Pope
Francis. Epstein didn’t get carried away Andy Levitre
Jersey , telling ESPN: ”Um, I can’t even get my dog to stop peeing
in the house.” . The rugby sevens team from Fiji that won the Oly.