The Sports Report: Angels fire Joe Maddon
Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.
From Mike DiGiovanna: The Angels, mired in a 12-game losing streak that negated a promising start to the season, fired manager Joe Maddon on Tuesday and named third-base coach Phil Nevin as interim manager.
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Maddon, 68, was in the final year of a three-year, $12-million contract that included a $4-million option for 2023.
The Angels were 24-13 and tied for first-place with the Houston Astros in the American League West on May 15 but have lost 16 of 19 games since then to fall to 27-29 and 8½ games behind the Astros.
The Angels were swept in a four-game series at home by the Toronto Blue Jays before embarking on a six-game trip in which they were swept by the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies, including Sunday’s 9-7 loss in which they blew leads of four runs in the eighth inning and one run in the ninth to Philadelphia.
Monday night’s 1-0 loss to the Boston Red Sox extended their losing streak to 12, a stretch in which the Angels suffered breakdowns in the rotation and bullpen and saw their offense disappear, and that was enough for general manager Perry Minasian to make the change Tuesday.
Maddon, who spent three decades with the Angels as a minor league coach and coordinator and big league coach, finished with a 157-172 (.477) record in parts of five seasons as Angels manager, including two interim stints in 1996 and 1999. He was manager Mike Scioscia’s bench coach when the Angels won the World Series in 2002
Commentary: In firing Joe Maddon, Angels GM Perry Minasian has put all the pressure on himself
Mike Trout removed from Angels game against Red Sox with left groin tightness
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From Thuc Nhi Nguyen: Derek Fisher and the Sparks mutually agreed to part ways after a disappointing 5-7 start to the season, the team announced Tuesday, relieving him of head coach and general manager duties. Fisher’s less than four-year tenure ends with a 54-46 overall record and a 1-4 postseason mark.
Assistant coach Fred Williams will serve as interim head coach for the remainder of the season. Williams has already been hired as the associate head coach of the Auburn women’s basketball team, a role he accepted last month and was expected to start in mid-summer.
The Sparks play next on Saturday against the Las Vegas Aces at Crypto.com Arena.
“After a thorough evaluation of the state of our team, the Sparks and GM/Head Coach Derek Fisher have agreed to part ways,” managing partner Eric Holoman said in the team’s statement. “On behalf of our ownership group, I want to thank Derek for his efforts and contributions to the Sparks franchise. We wish him the best moving forward. I have full confidence in Fred Williams to step into the role of interim head coach, bringing a wealth of experience leading WNBA teams.”
From Jack Harris: On the field, the Dodgers and AJ Pollock had a cordial reunion Tuesday afternoon.
Ahead of his first game against the Dodgers since they traded him to the Chicago White Sox at the end of spring training, Pollock lingered around the cage as the Dodgers took pregame batting practice at Guaranteed Rate Field.
He chatted and laughed with former teammates and coaches. He and manager Dave Roberts conversed for several minutes, Roberts keeping an arm draped around the outfield most of the time.
“AJ helped us win a championship,” Roberts said. “He’s very well liked in the clubhouse and organization. To trade him was tough for everyone.”
Behind the scenes, however, the Dodgers also identified Pollock during pregame meetings as a potential weakness in the White Sox lineup.
During his first season in Chicago, the 34-year-old has been inconsistent. He entered with a .216 batting average, three home runs and a .586 on-base-plus-slugging percentage. And while he wasn’t in the starting lineup, the Dodgers saw him as a potentially favorable matchup if he came to the plate against their bullpen.
In a scoreless game in the sixth inning, however, Pollock made his old club pay, hitting a two-run pinch-hit double that keyed a decisive rally in the White Sox 4-0 win.
Clayton Kershaw targeting Sunday return; Dodgers expect Brusdar Graterol to rebound
From Helene Elliott: Darvin Ham was still new to the coaching business in 2011, working his third professional job and first with an NBA team. Then-Lakers coach Mike Brown had hired him to be a player development coach, an out-of-the-spotlight role that proved more important to shaping Ham than he thought possible.
Ham spent hours on the practice court and in the film room with Laker players, none more intense than when he was with Kobe Bryant. They’d push each other, test each other’s limits. Ham marveled at how Bryant saw the game so well on so many levels.
“If I was going back and forth with him and have him disagree with me and then double back and tell me I was right, we all know how stubborn he was, man, it just gave me a wealth of confidence in myself as a coach,” Ham said the other day.
Those sessions also taught Ham the importance of working together with star players, not just working. He put that to good use as an assistant in Atlanta and Milwaukee. “It’s a two-way street. It’s not just this coach that thinks he knows it all, that he’s just barking orders. No, you have to be able again to collaborate, communicate and understand each other,” Ham said.
“It’s not your way or my way but what’s the best way to go forward? What’s the best plan for all of us? Kobe was right at the forefront of that in my own development as a coach, just the workouts with him on the court, the type of film we would watch, dinners we’ve had, offline, just getting away from it all. He was a big part of why I was able to grow the way I did as a coach.”
From Gary Klein: The Rams took care of quarterback Matthew Stafford and defensive lineman Aaron Donald, giving both cornerstone players massive contracts.
Next up: Cooper Kupp.
The five-year veteran is coming off a historic season. He led the NFL in receptions, yards receiving and touchdown catches, becoming the first player since 2005 to achieve the so-called triple crown.
Kupp was named NFL offensive player of the year, and then caught two touchdown passes — including the game-winner — in the Rams’ Super Bowl LVI victory over the Cincinnati Bengals at SoFi Stadium, earning most valuable player honors.
Less than two years after Kupp signed an extension that included about $21 million in guarantees, Rams coach Sean McVay and general manager Les Snead said Kupp has earned a new contract.
But how much are the Rams willing to spend?
From Jeff Miller: When they signed Kyle Van Noy via free agency in early May, the Chargers added a linebacker with experience, versatility and presence.
Also two Super Bowl rings.
“I love winning,” Van Noy said. “I don’t care about stats. Most people do. That’s all fine and dandy. But at the end of the day, when you get to hold up the trophy, nobody can really say nothing. I want to be able to do that, and I want to bring that juice each and every day to practice and fuel the team.”
At 31, Van Noy is entering his ninth season. He won his two Super Bowls with New England and also has played for Detroit and Miami.
Speaking with the local media for the first time since joining the Chargers, Van Noy said he won’t force any Super Bowl-winning wisdom on his new teammates.
From John Cherwa: The post position draw in the Belmont Stakes is not even close to being as critical as in the Kentucky Derby. The 1½-mile distance combined with the wide sweeping turns at Belmont Park and a much smaller field gives racehorses plenty of time to recover from breaking a step slow.
It’s with those forgiving factors in mind that We the People, one of two colts in the eight-horse field who does not have a Triple Crown start, was made the 2-1 morning-line favorite after Tuesday’s post position draw for Saturday’s race.
And, he drew the one hole, at that.
Once again, there remains mild skepticism in Rich Strike (Post 4), the Kentucky Derby winner, who was made the third favorite at 7-2. Mo Donegal (Post 6), who finished fifth in the derby after winning the Wood Memorial, is the 5-2 second choice. Both horses skipped the Preakness Stakes.
We the People last ran May 14, winning the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park by 10¼ lengths. It was his third win in four starts.
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All times Pacific
All games on TNT
Colorado (C1) vs. Edmonton (P2)
Colorado 8, Edmonton 6
Colorado 4, Edmonton 0
Colorado 4, Edmonton 2
Colorado 6, Edmonton 5 (OT)
All games on ESPN
New York Rangers (M2) vs. Tampa Bay (A3)
New York 6, Tampa Bay 2
New York 3, Tampa Bay 2
Tampa Bay 3, New York 2
Tampa Bay 4, New York 1
Thursday at New York, 5 p.m.
Saturday at Tampa Bay, 5 p.m.
*Tuesday at New York, 5 p.m.
Schedule and results
All times Pacific
All games on ABC
Boston vs. Golden State
Boston 120, Golden State 108
Golden State 107, Boston 88
Tonight at Boston, 6 p.m.
Friday at Boston, 6 p.m.
Monday at Golden State, 6 p.m.
*Thursday, June 16 at Boston, 6 p.m.
*Sunday, June 19 at Golden State, 5 p.m.
THIS DATE IN SPORTS
1935 — Omaha, ridden by Willis Saunders, becomes the third horse to win the Triple Crown by capturing the Belmont Stakes with a 1½-length victory over Firethron.
1950 — Boston beats the St. Louis Browns 29-4 at Fenway Park, and the Red Sox set six major league records: most runs scored by one team; most long hits in a game with 17 (nine doubles, one triple and seven homers); most total bases with 60; most extra bases on long hits with 32; most runs for two games with 49 (20 a day earlier); and most hits in two games with 51.
1958 — Mickey Wright beats Fay Crocker by six strokes to win the LPGA Championship.
1980 — Sally Little wins the LPGA Championship by three strokes over Jane Blalock.
1985 — Creme Fraiche, ridden by Eddie Maple, becomes the first gelding to win the Belmont Stakes, beating Stephan’s Odyssey by a half-length.
1986 — Larry Bird scores 29 points to lead the Boston Celtics to a 114-97 victory over the Houston Rockets and their 16th NBA title.
1990 — The “Indomitable Lions” of Cameroon pull off one of the greatest upsets in soccer history, 1-0 over defending champion Argentina in the first game of the World Cup.
1991 — Warren Schutte, a UNLV sophomore from South Africa, shoots a 5-under 67 to become the first foreign-born player to win the NCAA Division I golf championship.
2000 — Mike Modano deflects Brett Hull’s shot at 6:21 of the third overtime, ending the longest scoreless overtime game in Stanley Cup finals history and helping the Dallas Stars beat the New Jersey Devils 1-0 in Game 5.
2005 — Freshman Samantha Findlay hits a three-run homer in the 10th inning to lead Michigan to a 4-1 win over UCLA for its first NCAA softball title. Michigan is the first team from east of the Mississippi River to win the national championship.
2008 — Rafael Nadal wins his fourth consecutive French Open title in a rout, again spoiling Roger Federer’s bid to complete a career Grand Slam. Dominating the world’s No. 1 player with astounding ease, Nadal wins in three sets, 6-1, 6-3, 6-0.
2008 — Yani Tseng of Taiwan becomes the first rookie in 10 years to win a major, beating Maria Hjorth on the fourth hole of a playoff with a 5-foot birdie on the 18th hole to win the LPGA Championship.
2012 — I’ll Have Another’s bid for the first Triple Crown in 34 years ends shockingly in the barn and not on the racetrack when the colt is scratched the day before the Belmont Stakes and retires from racing with a swollen tendon.
2013 — Serena Williams wins her 16th Grand Slam title and her first French Open championship since 2002, beating Maria Sharapova 6-4, 6-4.
2014 — Rafael Nadal wins the French Open title for the ninth time, and the fifth time in a row, by beating Novak Djokovic 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4. Nadal improves his record at Roland Garros to 66-1.
2015 — The NCAA approves multiple rule changes to men’s basketball for the 2015-16 season, including a 30-second shot clock and fewer timeouts for each team. The shot clock was last reduced, from 45 to 35 seconds, in 1993-94.
2018 — Golden State romps to its second straight NBA championship, beating Cleveland 108-85 to finish a four-game sweep. Stephen Curry scores 37 points and Kevin Durant, who is named MVP for the second straight finals, has 20 for the Warriors. It’s the first sweep in the NBA Finals since 2007, when James was dismissed by a powerful San Antonio team in his first one.
2019 — Ashleigh Barty, Australia, wins the French Open by defeating Marketa Vondrousoca. The win is Barty’s first Grand Slam singles title.
Compiled by the Associated Press
Cameroon upsets Argentina in the 1990 World Cup. Watch and listen here.
Until next time...
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