McGrathI have to say, Cupid is a pretty awful judge of compatibility. I mean, this is the cherub who brought you Dennis Rodman and Carmen Electra, Andre “Bad Moon” Rison and Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez, the Benson’s, Mark Wohlers and ball four … the list goes on. Even when the fat, naked archer got it right, it was obviously a mistake … I mean, he was probably hungry.Without question, the best sports couple is Takeru Kobayashi and the hot dog. Do you know what kind of rock-solid foundation of love it would take for you to sit there and swallow 79,000 wieners and still come back with enough lust to want to gobble down 50 at each sitting? That’s dedication. And it’s reciprocal, too. The frankfurters, despite being notoriously cardiac unfriendly, haven’t had a bit of ill effect on Kobayashi to this point, as he is skinner than Manute Bol after a six-month fast. Take one look at the 420-pound Eric “Bad Lands” — that must mean the unfortunate earth that is underneath him at any given point in time — Booker and his physique fit for an oversized bean bag chair, and it is clear that the tube steak is showing the K-man some love.”Take”-out also has become a millionaire for his unique talent for guzzling down wieners like Lil’ Kim does … well, wieners. Meanwhile, Nathan’s hot dogs are still more popular than those stupid floppy-discs of beef served at most fast-food eateries, and dominate the attention of the American public on the most patriotic of days, the Fourth of July. Again, Cupid must’ve been aiming for Mary Kate Olson when he hit the gluttonous Kobayashi, but regardless he created a match made in Roman myth. Point: Hot dogs and Kobayashi. 2.14 PCP — PoppyPoppyThe best couple in the sports world should be one in which each side brings the best out in each other, and what better place to do that than the playing field?With that said, any athlete involving singer Toni Braxton is disqualified. Remember when she tore the Dallas Mavericks franchise apart in the mid-1990s by messing around with Jason Kidd, Jim Jackson and Jamal Mashburn?Anyway, the best couple in sports is none other than Ivan Rodriguez and Ugueth Urbina. Not to imply or disrespect anything homosexual, but seriously, the catcher-pitcher duo in baseball is one that requires a strong relationship, and Pudge and Ugi had just that.In 2003, Rodriguez and Urbina hooked up on the unlikeliest of teams, the Florida Marlins, and made history. Pudge had signed a one-year contract with the Marlins in hopes of reviving his career, and Ugi came on board mid-season as Florida found itself in the wildcard race. The battery connection posted solid seasons but made their magic in the postseason.As Rodriguez and Urbina opened the playoffs, they found their cupid in Steve Bartman, who in the single swift of one hand helped the couple on their way to the World Series, and it was there they showed everyone their true affection for one another.As Urbina recorded two saves against the Yankees, he and Rodriguez celebrated the Marlins’ victories with a smooch on the mound. It caused a stir in the sports world, but really it’s just an extension of the butt-smack.Rodriguez and Urbina even had a honeymoon of sorts, jumping ship to the lowly Tigers the next year. Furthermore, the couple had their divorce this past season as Detroit traded Urbina to Philadelphia.Nevertheless, Rodriguez and Urbina are the Best. Sports. Couple. Ever.
Ghana will go 4-3-3 against Mali later on Tuesday when they clash in a friendly international in Paris.The game in France comes after the Stars lost 2-1 to Senegal on Saturday.In his quest to make Ghana look pliable, Grant will try a more wing-based approach after going with a traditional 4-4-2 in Le Havre.“It’s a different target now to when in a tournament,” Grant said.“In friendly matches, you have a chance to try different situations and different systems…we will start with the 4-3-3 and see how it goes.”In Equatorial Guinea, the Stars mixed a fast-paced style centred on wingplay with the more traditional role. Ghana’s squad:Goalkeepers: Razak Braimah (Mirandes, Spain), Fatau Dauda (AshGold)Defenders: Harrison Afful (Esperance, Tunisia), John Boye (Erciyesspor, Turkey), Jonathan Mensah (Evian, France), Jeffery Schlupp (Leicester City, England), Gyimah Edwin (Mpumalanga Black Aces, South Africa), Daniel Amartey, (FC Copenhagen, Denmark)Midfielders: Rabiu Mohammed (Krasnodar, Russia), Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu (Udinese, Italy), Afriyie Acquah (Sampdoria, Italy), Solomon Asante (T.P. Mazembe, DR Congo), Christian Atsu (Everton, England), Mubarak Wakaso (Celtic, Scotland), Andre Ayew (Olympique Marseille, France), Frank Acheampong (Anderlecht, Belgium), Seidu Salifu (Club Africaine, Tunisia)Forwards: Jordan Ayew (Lorient, France), Kwesi Appiah (Crystal Palace, England), Ebenezer Assifuah (FC Sion, Switzerland), Richmond Boakye-Yiadom (Atalanta, Italy), David Accam (Chicago Fire, U.S.A) –Follow Gary on Twitter: @garyalsmith
Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros LOS ANGELES — Shohei Ohtani stood at the end of a long corridor running behind the visiting clubhouse at Dodger Stadium when he met with a gaggle of reporters Sunday morning.Ohtani assessed his season’s first half, beginning with the lofty comparisons to Babe Ruth, penciled in the Angels’ lineup as their starting pitcher or designated hitter, to an elbow injury that has limited the two-way star for the past month.“I didn’t set any expectations for myself,” the rookie from Japan said through an interpreter. “I just wanted to see how things pan out. I think I had some ups and downs, but overall it went pretty well.”Due to the sprained ulnar collateral ligament of his right elbow, Ohtani’s appearances since June 6 have been limited to starting at DH or pinch-hitting — he bats left-handed. He may not pitch again this season, though, and will be re-evaluated on Thursday, one day before the club returns from the All-Star break. He received a platelet-rich plasma injection and underwent stem-cell therapy to help heal his damaged ulnar collateral ligament last month. The Angels have not decided if Nick Tropeano will return to their starting rotation after the All-Star break or be sent on another rehab assignment, as Scioscia said the right-hander’s next step will be determined in the following days.Tropeano has been out for a month with a shoulder injury.With a rash of injuries to their rotation, the latest last week when Garrett Richards opted for Tommy John surgery, the Angels have been left to use as many as 12 different starting pitchers in the first half of the season.The need for healthy arms would not spark Tropeano’s return.“When Nick’s ready, there’ll be an opportunity,” Scioscia said. “We’re going to make sure he’s physically ready to meet the challenge. That’s the overriding factor, not what’s going on with the team.”ALSOAngels outfield prospect Jo Adell went 1 for 4 with one RBI, including a sacrifice fly, and scored on a wild pitch in Team USA’s 10-6 win over the World in the All-Star Futures Game on Sunday afternoon in Washington D.C. As part of his rehabilitation, Ohtani has gone through strength and conditioning exercises. In the weekend series against the Dodgers, began with a double and a walk as a pinch hitter, then struck out in the ninth inning Sunday against closer Kenley Jansen.Over the All-Star break, he said he planned to continue working out, but “mainly I’m just going to relax.”Prior to his elbow injury, Ohtani had made nine starts for the Angels, pitching every seven days, and was 4-1 with a 3.10 ERA and 3.05 strikeout-to-walk ratio. At the plate, he has hit .283 with seven home runs and 22 RBI.His workload as a two-way player was similar to Japan, he said, where the 24-year-old had previously played professionally.“Nothing’s too much or too hard,” Ohtani said. “I think I’ve adjusted pretty well.” Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros The Angels enter the All-Star break with a 49-48 record, sitting in fourth place in the AL West, and nine games back in the wild-card race, but Ohtani was hopeful he could help the club push toward the playoffs.“I still think we have a shot at the postseason,” Ohtani said. “We just need to take it game by game and try to win as many games as possible obviously.”Sign up for Home Turf and get exclusive stories every SoCal sports fan must read, sent daily. Subscribe here.FIELDING LEFTJustin Upton was a finalist for a Gold Glove Award last season.Several advanced metrics suggest his fielding has taken a dip this summer.Upton, the left fielder acquired by the Angels late in the season, had eight defensive runs saved in 151 games in 2017.Through his first 89 games this season, Upton had one defensive run saved. His ultimate zone rating, used by Fangraphs to “quantify how many runs a player saved or gave up,” has dropped from 4.4 to minus-1.8. Most recently, in a 5-4 win over the Dodgers in 10 innings Saturday, a pair of line drives sailed over Upton’s head late in the game.Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he had little concern.“He does a good job in left field,” Scioscia said. “It’s just occasionally with any outfielder, you’re going to get a misread here or there.”TROPEANO RETURN DATERelated Articles Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Mike Trout, with bat and glove, helps Angels end losing streak Clippers, Mavericks brace for the unknown in Game 4 Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield
Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error If things keep going the way they are for the Lakers, they might have to hold an open tryout for point guards.Jeremy Lin became the latest player to catch the injury bug when he suffered a sprained left ankle during the team’s 5-on-5 workouts after being stepped on by Robert Sacre. Lin left the court on his own power and will be re-evaluated today before the team’s game against Golden State at Citizens Bank Arena in Ontario.“It depends on how he feels because he’s still trying to get acclimated to what we’re doing here,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said. “Obviously the more he plays and he’s out there, the better for him, but if (his ankle) is tender, we’ll probably sit him down.”Lin’s injury comes on the heels of Jordan Clarkson suffering a strained left calf muscle against Golden State on Thursday. Clarkson is expected to miss a week and was restricted to drills following practice. “We’re just going to get healthy and get ready for these last preseason games so we can be healthy for the regular season,” said Clarkson.Young returnsNick Young looked like his usual self bouncing around Lakers practice, save for the sling on his right arm that forced him to shoot and dribble left-handed.Young made his first appearance since tearing the radial collateral ligament in his thumb while guarding Kobe Bryant earlier this week. He ran sprints with the team following their scrimmage but was mostly on the sidelines practicing on his own.“It’s tough, but I’m fighting through it,” Young said.Young wore a heavy cast on his thumb that he said won’t be removed for another five weeks. He is expected to return in six to eight weeks, and in the meantime he’s learning to adjust with his off hand.“I can’t tie my shoelaces or put my clothes on without help,” he said.At the same time, his good mood was still intact. He participated in the team’s final sprints at the end of practice despite trying to duck away when Scott was looking for him.“I was tired from running earlier and was hoping coach didn’t see me, but he did out of the corner of his eye,” Young said.Hello old friend, we meet againTonight the Lakers will face Golden State for the second time in four days and will look to avenge a 120-105 defeat suffered at Staples Center on Thursday.Scott said that the meeting is just another chance for the Lakers to measure themselves against a good team as well as see if they applied the lessons learned in the first meeting.“We know how to play them and we’ll get a chance to see if we improved in some of the areas that we felt we need to improve on,” Scott said. The good news was that Xavier Henry returned to practice after missing a week due to back spasms. Although Henry will not be available tonight, Scott said it was encouraging to see him go through drills and 5-on-5 workouts.“He was rusty and obviously been a while since he’s been on a basketball court, but having him out there was a good sight to see,” he said.Steve Nash, who did not suit up on Thursday, also participated in practice except for parts of the team’s final scrimmage when he went in for treatment. Scott said that he was unsure if Nash or Kobe Bryant would play tonight, but if both feel as fine as they did after practice, they could be called upon depending on Lin’s status.“This is still relatively a new team, so I want them to play together as much as possible. We’ll just have to wait and see,” Scott said.In the meantime, the Lakers are hoping to survive the rest of the preseason without another major injury. Clarkson said afterwards it was weird to see one guard after another go down but focused on the bright side, that it happened now rather than later.