The Phoenix Mercury is one win from clinching a championship and becoming one of the greatest WNBA teams ever. And while Diana Turasi and Britney Griner’s play has provided inspiration at times, the Mercury have also had a guest on their bench who has provided extra inspiration this postseason.
The Mercury introduced 11-year-old Mia McPoland as the team’s “honorary” assistant coach a pre-playoff press conference in Phoenix. Head coach Sandy Brondello said she was searching for someone with strength, determination, and perseverance to help move her team through the playoffs. And Coach Mia fit the bill.
It's the top of the 5th last night and the Pirates are down 3-2 to the Phillies. Star centerfielder and reigning National League MVP Andrew McCutchen steps up to the plate. On the first pitch he sees blasts a shot to deep center, and with a lucky bounce (and some bad positioning from the Philadelphia outfield), Cutch turned on the jets and extended a sure-fire triple into his first career inside-the-park homerun. And it's probably the best inside-the-park homer you'll ever see.
When pitcher Mariano Rivera retired after the 2013 season, he played 19 years in the majors and left the game with 652 saves — the most all time. Mo is a modern legend, and a lock for the Hall of Fame. But there’s more to his story than baseball. Rivera, the son of a fisherman, grew up in Panama, and when he tried out for the Yankees he did with mismatched clothes and a hole in his shoe. If baseball didn’t work out, he wanted to be a mechanic. Rivera documents the life he had as a youth — as well as his experiences as a pitcher — in his book The Closer. And now there’s a Young Readers Edition just for kids.
Rivera stopped by the SI Kids offices last week to talk with Kid Reporter Amiri Tulloch about the YA version of The Closer, his life in and out of baseball, and what he misses about the game. Watch the full interview below:
Some predictable names rose to the top of the Week 1 fantasy rankings, with Calvin Johnson, Peyton Manning, Matt Forte and Julius Thomas among the leading scorers. They were joined atop the leaderboard by second-tier players like Matt Ryan and Le’Veon Bell, and late-round draft day fliers like Allen Hurns and Knowshon Moreno. You never know who is going to bust out and lead fantasy owners to weekly glory.
What will Ryan do for an encore after his career day against the Saints last week? Is Bell the breakout running back of 2014? Can Hurns keep alive his Week 1 momentum? Find out in our fantasy football projections for Week 2.
After 16 years of playing in the WNBA, Becky Hammon will become a rookie again when the NBA season tips off this fall. No, she’s not turning back the clock. Instead, she’ll enter the upcoming season as a first-year assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs. By joining the 2013-14 NBA champions, the newly retired San Antonio Silver Stars guard is also making history. Hammon will be the first full-time female member of an NBA coaching staff.
Undrafted when she started her WNBA career with the New York Liberty, Hammon wrapped up her final season as the Stars’ all-time leader in assists, points per game, and three-point field goals made. And even though fans won’t get to see her run the Stars’ offense on the court anymore, they will get to see her help draw up plays for the Spurs on the sidelines.
Last week, Hammon was in New York taking part in the WNBA’s Inspiring Women Luncheon, where she was given the Boost Mobile Pioneer Award. She spoke to SI Kids about her legacy on the court, her new gig, and what her new boss Gregg Popovich is really like.
Every single season, a previously unheralded player has a monster Week 1. For some guys, a big game in the season opener is just the start of a breakout season. Others are never heard from again. For every 2011 Victor Cruz, there are five versions of 2013 Leonard Hankerson (five catches for 80 yards and two touchdowns Week 1, 295 yards and one touchdown the rest of the season). Your free agent bids and waiver claims in these first few weeks of the season are crucial. Fantasy owners need to be able to distinguish between the Ponies (like Cruz) and the Phonies (like Hankerson). We’re here to help.
Heading into yesterday’s game against the Kansas City Royals, the New York Yankees were 8.5 games behind the red hot Baltimore Orioles in the AL East and 4.5 games out of a Wild Card spot. With only 22 games left on the schedule, the Yankees’ hopes for the playoffs were dim. And that means Derek Jeter’s final season is getting closer to its end.
So the Yankees took time before Sunday’s matchup to honor the Captain. Special flags bearing Jeter’s number 2 flew over Yankee Stadium. Players wore special patches on their jerseys and hats. The bases were branded with the same logo. And a bunch of faces from baseball’s recent past — Hall of Famers like Cal Ripken Jr. and Joe Morgan and former teammates Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada and Paul O’Neil — joined Jeter on the field. Oh, and Michael Jordan was there, too.