Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.
Derek Jeter came within one vote of being a unanimous pick for the Baseball Hall of Fame, falling just shy of the standard set when longtime New York Yankees teammate Mariano Rivera became the first unanimous selection last year. Larry Walker also earned baseball’s highest honor Tuesday in his last chance on the ballot.
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For now, the identity of the voter is a mystery. Did Jeter kick his or her dog or something?
“Well, I look at all the votes that I got,” Jeter said. “Trying to get that many people to agree on something is pretty difficult to do. So that’s not something that’s on mind.”
Longtime shortstop and captain of the Yankees, Jeter appeared on 396 of 397 ballots cast by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. His 99.7% moved above Ken Griffey Jr. (99.3%) for the second-highest share.
Walker got 304 votes, six above the 75% needed and up from 54.6% last year. He was making his 10th and final appearance on the BBWAA ballot and tweeted earlier in the day “I believe I’m going to come up a little short today” after checking the vote tracker and projecting he would finish at 73.3%.
As the announcement time approached, Walker had just about given up.
“I had it when they’re going to call, a roundabout time, and that time had come and gone,” he said. “And there was two minutes after that when the call actually came.”
Pitcher Curt Schilling was third with 278 votes (70%) in his eighth ballot appearance, an increase from 60.9% but still 20 votes shy. The steroids-tainted pair of Roger Clemens (61%) and Barry Bonds (60.7%) both showed slight increases in their eighth tries. Clemens rose from 59.5% last year and Bonds from 59.1%..
Kawhi Leonard scored 36 points, Landry Shamet made two clutch three-pointers late and the Clippers beat the Dallas Mavericks, 110-107 for their fourth straight win.
Dallas ended a four-game winning streak, and more importantly, lost a key piece in center Dwight Powell just as they welcomed back Kristaps Porzingis.
Porzingis scored 10 points on 4-for-17 shooting in his return after missing 10 games with right knee soreness. Late in the first quarter, Powell went down on a non-contact play with a right Achilles’ tendon injury.
A see-saw fourth quarter turned on Shamet’s three from the left wing to give the Clippers a 100-98 lead with 2:48 to play. Montrezl Harrell added two free throws, then Shamet sank another three from straight-on to put the Clippers up by seven. He finished with 18 points.
Bill Plaschke‘s latest on the Houston Astros cheating scandal. An excerpt:
The theft of the 2017 World Series championship continues.
A week after the revelation of their sign-stealing scandal, the pathetic Houston Astros are still cheating the Dodgers.
They’re cheating them out of any show of remorse. They’re cheating them out of any words of regret. They’re cheating them out of any transparency that could lead to any sort of closure.
The arrogant Astros have spent the week behaving like innocent bystanders in an accident whose smoking wreckage somehow landed on their front lawn.
We’re cleaning it up, they told us.
The grass will grow back even stronger, they promised.
Nothing to see here, they claimed.
Not once has any member of the organization accepted blame for causing the mess in the first place. Not one person has uttered a word recognizing the pain their actions brought upon other teams. There has been zero accountability for what has been stolen, and from whom.
How about, “Hey baseball, we’re sorry”?
Last spring, an NCAA working group gathered at a Dallas-area hotel to discuss a strategic vision for the billion-dollar organization.
Each attendee received a 44-page report marked “Privileged and Confidential — Not for Distribution” filled with anonymous feedback from top college athletics officials. The document, obtained by The Times through a public records request, provides a rare look into the unfiltered thoughts of 52 university presidents and chancellors, athletic directors, conference commissioners, NCAA staffers and others on key issues facing the organization.
There are concerns about media coverage of the NCAA, plaudits for initiatives to improve the health and academic success of athletes, worry about the influence of money, frustration with the organization’s thick rule book and widespread apprehension regarding the future of amateurism, lawsuits and whether athletes should be able to make money off their name, image and likeness.
“The general public does not view the NCAA in a positive light. There was a huge communication plan to fix this, but then the scandals ruined that,” one person said in response to a question about an opportunity the organization should leverage.
“It is a hard environment with these sports writers who think amateurism is ludicrous. I think there is room for the definition of amateurism to evolve. In some sports, it is okay for students to compete in non-collegiate competition, like the Olympics, where there is an opportunity to make money through endorsements. And this inconsistency is ridiculous to me. Treat student-athletes like other students. If a pianist got an endorsement from Steinway, we go, yay. If it is an athlete, totally different story.”
If Tiger Woods were to get into serious contention this weekend in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines and have a shot to become the all-time wins leader on the PGA Tour, Farmers Insurance Open CEO Marty Gorsich’s world would be turned upside down.
Consider, Gorsich says, the powerful people and celebrities who know and love Woods and want to say they were standing behind the South Course’s 18th green when he secured win No. 83 to break a tie with Sam Snead.
“As we talk about what we could anticipate that day, and some of the people who feel they need to be here and experience it at the last minute, it goes all the way to the top of the food chain,” Gorsich said.
He held his breath for a short beat.
“That includes our own president,” Gorsch said. “That includes past presidents.”
Defending champion Naomi Osaka threw her racket, tossed a ball and kicked the racket again for good measure, before sitting for a while with a towel over her head. She sensed the crowd was looking for drama, and she gave them a little bit.
She pulled it together quickly in a swirling breeze on Margaret Court Arena, though, and beat Zheng Saisai 6-2, 6-4 to advance to the third round of the Australian Open.
On the adjoining show court at about the same time, 2019 runner-up Petra Kvitova held her composure when she faced three set points before winning 13 of the next 15 points to beat Paula Badosa 7-5, 7-5.
Both of last year’s finalists had secured spots in the third round before some of the women hadt completed their first-round matches in the singles draw. A backlog caused by heavy rain on Day 1, caused a further spillover on Day 2.
Kings minor league coach Mike Stothers didn’t get to see much of the club’s prospect development camp in June. Instead, he was tucked away in a video room, huddled around the organization’s other NHL and American Hockey League coaches.
Two months earlier, the Kings hired coach Todd McLellan to reshape the franchise. He was given a five-year contract and free rein to implement his systems. Just like the team’s veteran players, Stothers had to learn what McLellan wanted to do.
“We basically try to design our game plan around what they’re doing,” said Stothers, the silver-haired Ontario Reign coach now in his sixth season at the helm of the Kings’ AHL affiliate. “We do try to keep it as close as possible to whatever Kings head coach is in there. We’re trying to follow their system.”
This season has been a stark change. Stothers spent five seasons running the familiar heavy-checking, defense-minded style employed by former Kings coaches Darryl Sutter and John Stevens. McLellan arrived with a new neutral zone forecheck (a 1-3-1 instead of the Kings’ previous 1-2-2), new terminology (a phrase such as “skating interference,” for instance, is now known as a “down screen”), a new special-teams system, and a new ethos: Play faster and more aggressive.
TODAY’S LOCAL MAJOR SPORTS SCHEDULE
All times Pacific.
Lakers at New York, 4:30 p.m., Spectrum Sportsnet, 710 ESPN
Clippers at Atlanta, 4:30 p.m., Fox Sports Prime Ticket, AM 570
Sunday Feb. 2
Kansas City vs. San Francisco, 3:30 p.m., FOX
BORN ON THIS DATE
1927: Football player Joe Perry (d. 2011)
1940: Football coach George Seifert
1953: Swimmer Karen Moe
1957: Hockey player Mike Bossy
1964: Former Clipper Stojko Vrankovic
1966: Football player Carlton Haselrig
1978: Former Angel and Dodger Chone Figgins
1988: Basketball player Greg Oden
DIED ON THIS DATE
1959: Tennis player Elizabeth Moore, 82
1968: Swimmer/surfer Duke Kahanamoku, 77
2001: Baseball player Tommie Agee, 58
2002: Speedskater John Shea, 91
2012: Football coach Joe Paterno, 85
NHL tribute to Mike Bossy. Watch it here.