Golf: Golf-Johnson excited to see what LIV Series has to offer golf

TULSA, Oklahoma (Reuters) – Dustin Johnson’s loyalty is currently with the PGA Tour but the twice major winner said on Wednesday that he is excited to see what the upstart LIV World Golf Invitational Series could do for the sport.

For the moment the Saudi-backed venture has proven only disruptive as it attempts to poach players from the established PGA and DP (European) Tours, tempting defectors with massive prize purses like the $25 million up for grabs at next month’s series opener in the Centurion Club outside London.

The eight-stop tour will offer total prize money of $255 million.

With the PGA Tour having threatened member players with suspensions and fines if they join the breakaway circuit, it is uncertain what the field at the Centurion Club will look like.

Johnson, reportedly a top recruiting target for the series, will be watching.

“I think golf is in a good spot, and I think what they’re doing is — could potentially be good for the game of golf,” Johnson said during his PGA Championship press conference on Wednesday.

“I’m excited to see what happens here in a few weeks. I’ll be watching.”

Johnson’s enthusiasm stands in contrast to the muted response of many of the other top players paraded through the PGA Championship press room.

The more prevailing attitude was expressed by Rory McIlroy, who said on Tuesday he was sick of talking about the LIV series and wanted it over.

Another common sentiment was repeated by Jordan Spieth, who like most of his fellow golfers believes it simply comes down to an individual choice.

“The Saudi league, or the LIV league, everybody can do what they want to do,” said Spieth, who can complete a career Grand Slam if he can walks off with the PGA Championship Wanamaker trophy on Sunday. “No players are standing in any players’ way.

“If they want to go, go. I love where I’m at. I’ve been saying that for a long time.”

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Tulsa. Editing by Pritha Sarkar)


When Thousands Flooded Seville for the Europa League Final

The official estimates had seemed inflated, deliberately aggrandized, exaggerated for dramatic effect, right up until the planes started landing and the streets started filling. Some 50,000 fans were making their way to Seville, Spain, in the midst of a blistering spring heat wave, from Germany. Twice that number were traveling from Scotland.

They came every way they could imagine, by land and by air, by hook and by crook. Flights had sold out so quickly that dozens more were chartered; some 400 aircraft touched down in Seville on Tuesday alone.

Those who could not make it directly got as close as possible — to Malaga, 150 miles south, or to Faro, across the border in Portugal — and continued their journey however they could. When those tickets disappeared as well, a handful of fans contacted a hot-air balloon company in Glasgow and asked if they could float them to the south of Spain. The firm assumed it was a joke. It was not. Nobody wanted to miss the Europa League final, not this time.

Ordinarily, the conclusion of European soccer’s secondary competition — the Champions League’s little sibling — is a relatively sedate affair, contested between teams that see it either as a consolation prize or as a means to an end; victory, after all, means a chance to participate in club soccer’s main event the next season.

For Eintracht Frankfurt and Rangers, though, it was different. Eintracht has long defined itself by its exploits in European soccer, particularly this tournament. It won the competition under its previous name, the plain old UEFA Cup, in 1980 — Eintracht’s last European final — and it has yearned to repeat the trick ever since.

In April, the club took so many fans to Barcelona for a quarterfinal match that the Spanish team launched an internal investigation into how quite so many of them were able to acquire tickets. Xavi Hernández, Barcelona’s coach, complained afterward that the visiting fans’ presence had made the Camp Nou feel like enemy territory.

For Rangers, meanwhile, this was somewhere between an arrival and an ascension. Since the club last made the final of this tournament — losing to Zenit St. Petersburg in Manchester, England, in 2008 — it has been, depending on whom you ask, either liquidated and reestablished or relegated and reformed.

Less than a decade ago, Rangers was reduced to playing in Scotland’s semiprofessional fourth tier as a punishment for years of financial mismanagement and chicanery. Only last season was it restored to the pinnacle of Scottish soccer, depriving its bitter rival Celtic of the country’s title for the first time in 10 years. A place in one of Europe’s major finals on Wednesday night was the completion of that journey, proof that a team that claims to be the most garlanded in world soccer had finally, conclusively returned.

That prospect drew fans, by the tens of thousands, to what Police Scotland believed was to be the “biggest gathering” that tranquil, convivial Seville had ever seen. That was not without its risks, of course: There were some 5,000 police officers on duty on Wednesday, and Rangers took the unusual step of asking several of its most beloved alumni to plead with fans to act as “good ambassadors” for the club.

The result, inside the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium, was ear-splitting and eye-catching. At one end, where Eintracht’s fans gathered, a sea of white was wrapped in the fog of flares. The rest of the stands were dominated by the blue of Rangers.

The stadium seemed to lift when Joe Aribo gave Rangers the lead. The roar when Rafael Borré equalized might have been heard in Frankfurt, where 50,000 more Eintracht fans had filled the club’s stadium to watch the game live. It took penalties, in the end, to separate the teams, to determine which set of fans would remember this journey as a holiday and which a calvary.

Aaron Ramsey, the experienced Rangers midfielder, missed. Borré, nerveless, sealed victory for Eintracht.

The fans knew that might happen, of course. They knew that someone would leave Seville with nothing but regret. They made the journey anyway, however they could, carried along by the hope that it would not be them.


Golf: Golf-Changes ahead for Europe says Ryder Cup captain Stenson

TULSA, Oklahoma (Reuters) – European Ryder Cup captain Henrik Stenson said there will be changes when the biennial showdown with the United States heads to Rome next year but refused to divulge any further details.

Following their 19-9 shellacking at the hands of the Americans last year, it’s back to the drawing board for the Europeans as they look to reclaim the Cup and continue their dominance on home soil. The U.S. have not won in Europe since 1993.

“There are quite a few things in the works but it will be announced in due course in not too far distant future,” assured Stenson, the 2016 British Open champion, during a break in practice for the PGA Championship.

“I can’t really spill the beans on that today but there will be some changes. That’s what we’re working towards.

“We need to have that approved and ready to go, discussions with the (DP World) Tour and everyone involved.

“There will be one or two little surprises maybe down the road, so stay tuned.”

Those changes are likely to focus on the number of captain’s picks and the European’s qualifying period which came under scrutiny following their Whistling Straits flop.

The European squad was not finalised until just a week prior to travelling to Wisconsin, leaving little time for the team to come together.

“There’s a lot of wheels that are spinning at the moment,” said the 46-year-old Swede. “A lot of things in planning and I’m heading down to Rome in a couple of weeks’ time for the first site visit.”

U.S. Ryder Cup captain Zach Johnson, who is also at Southern Hills and will be playing in the group ahead of Stenson, said the Americans will stick with a winning template while injecting some of his own personality.

“We do have probably more of a template,” said Johnson, who has not ruled the possibility of player/captain role.

“But within that template there are systems that have been useful, that have been beneficial and effective.

“The nuance to that is everybody is different.

“You combine what we’ve established with the individual side of what I have and what I believe is imperative and beneficial, and it’ll be a combo of all of that.

“I kind of go back to the template we have, I can rely on.”

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Tulsa, Editing by Pritha Sarkar)


Ray Scott, Creator of the Super Bowl of Bass Fishing, Dies at 88

Ray Scott, an exuberant promoter who turned bass fishing into a professional sport by organizing a series of tournaments that found television homes on TNN and ESPN, died on May 8 in Hayneville, Ala. He was 88.

His death, at a rehabilitation facility, was confirmed by Jim Kientz, executive director of Ray Scott Outdoors, a consulting business.

The idea for a bass fishing tour came to Mr. Scott, then an insurance salesman, when rain cut short a fishing outing with a friend in Jackson, Miss., in 1967. Stuck in his hotel room watching sports on television, he had an epiphany: Why not start the equivalent of the PGA Tour for bass fishing?

He held his first tournament at Beaver Lake, in Arkansas, where 106 anglers paid $100 each to compete over three days for $5,000 in prizes. A second tournament followed that year; in 1968 he formed a membership organization, the Bass Angler Sportsman Society, or BASS.

In 1971, Mr. Scott started what has become known as the Super Bowl of bass fishing: the Bassmaster Classic, his organization’s annual championship tournament, which he paired with a merchandising expo for manufacturers of bass fishing boats and gear.

Roland Martin, who hosts a fishing show on the Sportsman Channel, began competing on the BASS circuit in 1970. He said in a phone interview that Mr. Scott had a vision for bass fishing that no one else had, one that he expressed to his skeptical parents at the time.

“I said, ‘I met this guy Ray Scott and he’s talking about all the great things that are going to happen in bass fishing,’” Mr. Martin said. “He made me think there was a professional occupation to be had in fishing.”

Mr. Scott was the showman of BASS, the umbrella company for tournaments, magazines and television shows. Easily recognized in his cowboy hat and fringed jackets, Mr. Scott memorably served as the M.C. for tournament weigh-ins, entertaining thousands of fans with his exuberant patter as anglers pulled flopping fish out of holding tanks.

“Now, ain’t that a truly wonderful fish?” he asked one tournament crowd. “How many of you want to see more fish like that? C’mon, let’s hear it for that fish!”

He entered the arenas that were the exposition sites of the Bassmaster Classic in eye-catching ways: on an elephant, flying on a wire, bursting out of a giant egg, in a boat as pyrotechnics made him appear to be floating on a fiery lake.

Mr. Martin, a champion fisherman, said that Mr. Scott could be devious in pursuing tournament cheaters.

“He’d take a dead fish and mark them then throw them in the lake in the hope that someone would find that fish and try to weigh them in,” he said. “And he would catch guys doing that.”

One of Mr. Scott’s critical initiatives was a 1972 campaign called “Don’t Kill Your Catch,” aimed at amateur anglers and those competing in the tournaments, at which entrants had to use aerated livewells on their boats so they could release the bass they caught after the weigh-ins. He had seen fly fishermen release their catch at an event in Aspen, Colo., and thought that he could bring that conservation ethic to bass fishing.

“I saw the excitement those men had releasing that puny little trout,” Mr. Scott said in a 2008 episode of “The Bassmasters,” a TV series, he created. “I wondered what they would do if we had men releasing five- or six-pound bass — big guys.”

Raymond Wilson Scott Jr. was born on Aug. 24, 1933, in Montgomery, Ala. His father operated a group of ice cream pushcarts. His mother, Mattie Scott, was a hairdresser.

Ray had an early entrepreneurial streak: In third grade, when his mother gave him extra sandwiches to add weight to his frame, he sold them to his classmates. He later collected bills for a local dairy company.

Fishing became an early obsession. He caught his first fish at age 6; when he was 16, he started a fishing club, charging a 25 cent membership fee.

After studying at Howard College (now Samford University) in Birmingham, Mr. Scott served in the U.S. Army in West Germany for two years. He then resumed his education at Auburn University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1959.

He sold insurance for Mutual of New York until 1964 and then became a manager for Underwriters National before turning full time to bass fishing.

He also became known for his conservation efforts, which included filing about 200 state and federal lawsuits in 1970 and 1971 against companies for pollution that had fouled fishing waters, in advance of the passage of the federal Clean Water Act in 1972.

Mr. Scott lobbied for the passage in 1984 of an amendment to the Sports Fish Restoration Act that created an excise tax program that financially benefits state fisheries agencies.

He sold BASS in 1986 to a group that included Helen Sevier, the president and chief executive, who had been a behind-the-scenes power since joining the company in 1970. ESPN, which had televised tournaments since the 1990s (it was seen on TNN before then), acquired the company in 2001. It sold the company nine years later but continued to carry its events until 2020, when Fox took over.

Mr. Scott, who remained the public face of BASS for a dozen more years, also became friendly with President George H.W. Bush. He served as Mr. Bush’s campaign chairman in Alabama during his unsuccessful presidential campaign in 1980 and regularly hosted Mr. Bush at his private lake in Pintlala, south of Montgomery, where he indulged his love of fishing.

Mr. Bush’s favorite magazine was said to be Bassmaster, which BASS publishes.

In 2008, Mr. Scott endorsed the former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee for president.

After selling BASS, Mr. Scott started two new businesses; one develops seed products used by hunters to grow forage for deer nutrition, and the other, no longer in operation, designed fishing lakes and ponds.

In 1995, Field & Stream named Mr. Scott one of the 20 people who most influenced outdoor sports in the 20th century. In 2001, he was inducted into the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame.

He is survived by his wife, Susan (Chalfant) Scott; his daughter, Jennifer Epperson; his sons, Ray III, Steven and Wilson; 10 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. His marriage to Eunice (Hiott) Scott ended with her death.

Mr. Scott sensed even in the early days of his bass fishing tour that he had tapped a market with great potential. But James Hall, editor in chief of Bassmaster, said that Mr. Scott achieved more than he could have anticipated, and that his influence was not just in making an organized sport out of bass fishing but also in accelerating the growth of an industry that serves anglers.

If not for Mr. Scott, he said, the Bass Pro Shops chain and many boat builders might not exist.

“They were founded,” Mr. Hall said in a phone interview, “because of what Ray did.”


Football: Soccer-Eintracht beat Rangers 5-4 on penalties to lift Europa League title

SEVILLE, Spain (Reuters) – Eintracht Frankfurt beat Rangers 5-4 on penalties on Wednesday to lift the Europa League title and win their first European trophy in 42 years.

Eintracht keeper Kevin Trapp saved Aaron Ramsey’s spot kick — Rangers’ fourth — while Eintracht were flawless in their execution, scoring all five. The game had finished 1-1 after 120 minutes.

Joe Aribo had struck against the run of play in the 57th minute to give Rangers the lead, charging clear after a string of defensive errors and sliding the ball past Trapp.

The Germans, unbeaten in the competition going into the final and eyeing their first European title since 1980, bounced back as Rafael Borre snuck in between two defenders to turn in a Filip Kostic cross in the 70th.

The win also means Eintracht will be competing in next season’s Champions League despite finishing in 11th place in the Bundesliga.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Pritha Sarkar)


This P.G.A. Champion Lost the Wanamaker Trophy. Oops.

It’s nearly impossible to talk about the P.G.A. Championship‘s Wanamaker Trophy without mentioning how the five-time champion Walter Hagen lost it in Chicago after winning the event in 1925.

As the story goes, while out in Chicago celebrating the win, Hagen gave his taxi driver $5 and asked him to take the cumbersome trophy to his hotel. It not only never arrived, but Hagen never admitted the loss to the P.G.A. until he lost the championship in 1928 and had to turn the trophy over to the winner.

The trophy is tied to the history of the P.G.A. It was named after the department store owner Rodman Wanamaker, who in 1916 formed the Professional Golfers’ Association of America.

“Rodman Wanamaker was a big fan of professional golf and perhaps even more so of Walter Hagen,” said Connor Lewis, a golf historian. “He believed that professional golf was the way of the future — perhaps a decade ahead of the general public — who at that time believed in the ideals of the amateur game.”

Wanamaker invited a group of golf professionals, including Hagen, to meet and form the association to help elevate the professional game.

“In those times professional golf was not an actual occupation; it was frowned upon,” said Tom Clavin, the author of “Sir Walter,” a biography of Walter Hagen.

Wanamaker had two main motives, Clavin said. One was to form a professional association to enhance the position of golf. Another: Money.

“Let’s face it,” Clavin said. “There was a commercial motivation for forming the P.G.A. The man was a magnate of department stores. By forming the P.G.A., he could make golf more popular, bring more people into playing golf and sell a lot of clubs, balls and clothing.”

The P.G.A. named the cup after him, and the first P.G.A. Championship was held in 1916 at Siwanoy Country Club in Bronxville, N.Y. Jim Barnes won the trophy, which was designed by Dieges & Clust — the same company that created the Heisman Trophy in 1934. The P.G.A. silver trophy weighs 27 pounds and is more than two feet tall and two feet wide, handle to handle.

“Wanamaker’s prestige and his bankroll gave golf a great jump-start, and it was perfect timing,” Clavin said. “It was after World War I, during the Roaring Twenties, and there were more and more professionals playing. More people started following golf and wanted to know who’s winning. There was Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen catching headlines. Professionals were starting to storm the gates. And Hagen was leading the charge.”

Hagen won the first of his five P.G.A. Championships in 1921, but didn’t win again until 1924. For the 1925 event, Hagen lugged the trophy to the event at Olympia Field Country Club, near Chicago. He won again — but that’s also when he lost it.

In 1926, Hagen defended his title without the trophy. It was P.G.A. policy for the winner to return the trophy the following year, according to Bob Denney. a P.G.A. historian. Hagen told officials, “I will win it anyway, so I didn’t bring it.” Hagen said the same thing in 1927 to defend his title.

“That was Hagen — they just laughed it off,” Clavin said. “He was a showman and great for golf. Everybody was just winking — ‘Hey, that’s Walter.’”

It wasn’t until 1928, when Leo Diegel won, that Hagen confessed to losing the trophy. Again, it was awkward, but officials shrugged it off, Denney said. The missing trophy was replaced with one made by R. Wallace and Sons of Wallingford, Conn. It was ready by the 1929 PGA Championship, with Diegel’s name on it. Diegel successfully defended his title in that year’s tournament and finally took home a trophy, but it wasn’t the Wanamaker.

“You would be hard pressed to find the Stanley Cup or the Heisman where the winner actually lost it,” Clavin said.

In 1931, the P.G.A. announced that the trophy had been found. A janitor cleaning the basement of the building that had once housed the Walter Hagen Golf Products Corporation in Grand Rapids, Mich., discovered a large box containing the trophy, Denney said. How it got there remains a mystery.

“The taxi driver probably dropped it at the hotel, and the hotel sent it to his company headquarters,” said Paul Wold, a historian of Rochester Country Club, where Hagen was club professional.

Hagen, not one for much introspection, didn’t give it another thought, Clavin said.

“You get the impression he was a real prince of a guy,” Wold said. “People loved him, and he really just raised the total esteem of professional golf.”

It’s difficult to top the Hagen incident, but there have been minor gaffes over the years.

In 2014, at the Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky, the trophy lid fell off as Ted Bishop, who was then the P.G.A. president, handed the trophy to the winner, Rory McIlroy — who caught it before it hit the ground. “You saved me,” Bishop said.

At the 2020 P.G.A. Championship at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, the lid fell off again. Collin Morikawa hoisted the Wanamaker, shaking it until the top lid clanged off and dropped to the ground. Morikawa clutched his chest, replaced the lid, gently lifted the trophy again and kissed it.

While the Wanamaker Trophy passes to a new champion each year, winners also get a replica engraved on site to keep. The P.G.A. has the original, which will soon be on display at its headquarters in Frisco, Texas.

“It would be lousy to have nothing to show for the win,” Wold said. “Wouldn’t it?”


Cricket: Cricket-De Kock, Rahul smash record opening IPL partnership

(Reuters) – South African Quinton de Kock and India’s KL Rahul recorded the highest opening partnership in Indian Premier League history on Wednesday as their stand of 210 fired the Lucknow Super Giants to the playoffs with a two-run win over the Kolkata Knight Riders.

De Kock scored an unbeaten 140 off 70 balls and captain Rahul scored 68 not out from 51 balls as they became the first pair to bat 20 overs in an IPL innings.

Their opening stand surpassed the previous best of 185 by Jonny Bairstow and David Warner for Sunrisers Hyderabad against Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2019, while De Kock also set the highest individual score this season.

“I was a little bit cooked. But I had to get out there and get on with the job. It was just a bit of frustration that came out,” said De Kock.

“The last couple of games just the way I was getting out. It was just a bit of release. I didn’t know what I was thinking, I was just keeping it in.”

Chasing a target of 211, Kolkata got off to a poor start with both openers out for single-digit scores. Nitish Rana (42) and captain Shreyas Iyer (50) helped them bounce back before Rinku Singh (40 from 15 balls) lit up their run chase.

Rinku and Sunil Narine (21 not out) hit 17 runs in the 19th over, leaving Kolkata to chase 21 runs in the final over.

Rinku piled pressure on Lucknow as he hit Marcus Stoinis for a four and two sixes in the first three balls of the final over, with Kolkata needing only three runs off the final two balls to win.

But Stoinis held his nerve as he dismissed Rinku on the fifth ball, with Evin Lewis taking a stunning one-handed catch.

The Australian all-rounder completed the job by taking out Umesh Yadav with a yorker on the final delivery as Lucknow joined fellow new franchise Gujarat Titans in the playoffs.

“There haven’t been so many games that have gone to the last ball,” said Rahul.

“Yes, they have gone to the last over but not so close. Happy to be on the other side, good way to finish the last game of the league stage.”

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)


After A’s, Mark Canha Adjusting to Life With Mets

Before a recent game, Mets outfielder Mark Canha gleefully acknowledged the drink in his locker.

He didn’t elaborate on the tea in his paper cup, but it was clear that he appreciated its availability in the Mets’ clubhouse. The same went for the food.

“Every meal in here is unbelievably good,” Canha said. “Quality food, every single meal. It’s just been amazing. I feel blessed to be here, honestly. It’s been easy to play here.”

Canha, 33, found himself discussing the differences between life with the Oakland Athletics, his first team, and the Mets. He didn’t have many perks during the first seven years of his career in Oakland, where Moneyball tactics have frequently kept the A’s competitive despite a minimal financial investment in the team.

Now, after signing a two-year, $26.5 million deal with the Mets in the off-season, Canha plays for a team on the opposite end of baseball’s spending spectrum.

The Mets’ $264.4 million opening day payroll, financed by the owner Steven A. Cohen, trailed only the Los Angeles Dodgers’ $280.8 million, per Cot’s Baseball Contracts. The A’s, after trading multiple prominent veterans, opened with a minuscule payroll of $47.7 million under the ownership of John Fisher. Only the Baltimore Orioles, at $43.6 million, had a smaller budget.

Money doesn’t always equate to wins, but the Mets had the best record in the National League East through Tuesday after pumping hundreds of millions of dollars into the roster. Canha’s former squad was in last place in the American League West.

“It’s very difficult to contend when you don’t spend the money,” Canha said. “What the A’s and the Rays have been able to do is admirable, but usually the teams that spend, especially nowadays, are the ones that are at the top.”

Canha, who was hitting .287 with a .758 on-base plus slugging percentage, three home runs and 13 R.B.I. ahead of Wednesday’s scheduled game against the St. Louis Cardinals, is one of three current Mets who played for the A’s last season. Outfielder Starling Marte also signed as a free agent, while Chris Bassitt, an All-Star right-hander, became one of several Athletics to be traded in Oakland’s latest penny-pinching pursuit. Pitcher Sean Manaea and the infielders Matt Olson and Matt Chapman were also shipped out of town.

“I understood the direction I thought they were going to go,” Bassitt said at the time of his trade. “So I wasn’t surprised.”

The A’s have moved in this direction before, but this particular period in franchise history has brought about grievances that extend beyond the departures of fan favorites. The A’s are last in average attendance at Oakland Coliseum, a product of not only discarded talent and a downtrodden stadium, but also increased ticket and parking prices, public distrust of the team’s management and lingering questions over what city the team will call home in the near future.

For a Bay Area native like Canha, it hurts to see his former team stuck in a state of uncertainty. He loved his time in Oakland, but he started to feel the “cloud of mystery” that covered the club toward the end of his tenure.

“It’s just kind of sad, and it jades the whole experience because my time with the A’s was so special, and I’ll always have that and I’ll always remember it fondly,” said Canha, who was born in San Jose. “I always wonder what the hell is going on. What’s going on behind the curtains with all this stuff? Because they say a lot of things in the media. There’s so much reporting on the stadium stuff and where the team’s going to be located and all this stuff, but it’s so much noise that you don’t know what’s really going on.”

Canha added that the Athletics’ reputation is well known throughout baseball and that the team’s aversion to spending and its limited resources are not exactly attractive.

“It hurts them in that regard because players hear stories and they’re like, ‘OK, I’m not going to Oakland unless I have to, unless it’s my only choice,’” Canha said. “I don’t think it’s a desirable destination for a lot of players for that reason.”

Funding is not an issue in Queens, not for roster upgrades or for refreshments in the players’ lounge.

“Whatever we want, we’re getting. He wants to win,” Bassitt said about Cohen when he joined the team. “We all want to win, so we all have a common goal from literally the very top to the bottom.”

While Canha did not know the team was negotiating with Eduardo Escobar and Marte at the same time the Mets were working out a deal with him, or that Max Scherzer would eventually be brought on board as well, he said that after meeting with Billy Eppler, the general manager, and Sandy Alderson, the team president, he understood what to expect.

“They conveyed that they were planning to spend and be competitive,” Canha said.

Needless to say, the A’s never did business that way.

Now, watching from afar, Canha cannot help but feel sorry for those who used to cheer him.

“I know a lot of fans are really disappointed in the organization,” he said of the A’s. “It’s a situation that’s kind of disappointing from my perspective, as someone who grew up in the Bay Area.”


Golf: Golf-Spieth Grand Slam bid put in the shade by Woods and McIlroy

TULSA, Oklahoma (Reuters) – When you’re the hottest player in golf going for the career Grand Slam at the PGA Championship you would expect to be the man in the spotlight at Southern Hills Country Club this week.

But Jordan Spieth, who can become just the sixth golfer to accomplish the feat if he can hoist the Wanamaker trophy on Sunday, will be the other guy when play gets underway on Thursday.

That’s what happens when you are grouped with Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy for the opening two rounds, even a run at history is overshadowed by two of the game’s most successful, charismatic and compelling figures.

“You’ve got to embrace it and have fun and recognise these are the kind of pairings you get to tell my kid about some day, I got to play with Tiger in a major,” Spieth told reporters on Wednesday.

“Selfishly, it’s pretty exciting to be able to play these events growing up with the guy that you idolised.”

After winning the 2017 British Open this will mark Spieth’s sixth crack at joining one of golf’s most elite clubs comprised of golfing greats Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Woods.

Runner-up at the 2015 PGA Championship and third in 2019 Spieth has been knocking at the door but his form coming into this year’s event may give him his best opportunity yet.

Since missing the cut at the Masters Spieth has been hot, winning at Hilton Head Island and second at the Byron Nelson in his PGA Championship tune-up.

“When it’s Wednesday it’s hard to say it’s the best chance because you’ve got to play three nice rounds to have a chance on Sunday,” said Spieth. “I like where things are at.”

Perhaps no one at Southern Hills will better understand the challenge facing Spieth than McIlroy, who has been trying to complete his career Grand Slam for eight years needing a win at the Masters.

“Having won the other three, it’s an elephant in the room for me,” Spieth said. “It’s a goal of mine.

“If you just told me I was going to win one tournament the rest of my life, I’d say I want to win this one, given where things are at.

“You feel like you kind of accomplished golf when you win a career Grand Slam.”

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Tulsa, Editing by Ed Osmond)


Colin Kaepernick to Publish a Young Adult Memoir

As Colin Kaepernick approached the end of high school, he had a decision to make: He could pursue baseball, for which he was already being scouted, or he could try to play football, a sport where he felt he could embrace his community and his identity.

Kaepernick chose football, and became widely known for taking a knee during the national anthem at professional football games to protest police brutality and racial injustice.

On Wednesday, Kaepernick and Scholastic announced they would publish a book about the period when he had to make this choice — a young adult graphic novel called “Colin Kaepernick: Change the Game,” which is scheduled to be released next spring.

“Many of my experiences in high school helped to anchor me in my understanding of Blackness, my community, and my sense of worth,” he said in an email. “High school affirmed for me that it’s sometimes only by transgressing social expectations that we’re able to transform into our truest selves.”

Illustrated by Orlando Caicedo, “Change the Game” was written by Kaepernick and Eve L. Ewing, whose work includes fiction, nonfiction, poetry and the “Ironheart” series for Marvel Comics. The book is aimed at both teenagers and adults and will be copublished by Scholastic and Kaepernick Publishing — the partnership that produced Kaepernick’s children’s book, “I Color Myself Different,” this spring.

“We are thrilled to work with Colin again on the publication of this second book based on his life experience,” said Debra Dorfman, the publisher of Scholastic’s global licensing, brands and media. “Everyone faces a crossroad in their life — Colin’s teenage years were defining and his inspirational story reminds readers of all ages not to conform to others’ expectations.”

Kaepernick was a talented pitcher in high school, when he was scouted by colleges and major league baseball. His parents, teachers and coaches all believed that was his way forward, but Kaepernick wasn’t all that interested in the sport. The description of Kaepernick’s new book quotes Adam Jones, a five-time All-Star M.L.B. player, who said that “baseball is a white man’s sport.”

Baseball, Kaepernick explained, “would force me into spaces where I would face open racism and have fewer resources of cultural support.” Football, on the other hand, he said, would “provide me with real opportunities to fully embrace my culture, identity, and community.”

He went on to play college football for the University of Nevada and became a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers.

“‘Change the Game’ is about how power and resistance operate in the real world and how young people can embrace their autonomy and live life on terms that uplift them,” Kaepernick said. “I want young people to have courage, confidence, and conviction in who they are and what they are capable of, regardless of obstacles they may face.”