The Celtics. Yes, they got absolutely throttled in Game 2 at home on Friday. But they showed a level of resiliency Sunday night few expected. As a 16.5-point underdog, the Celtics pulled off the biggest upset of the season (at least in Vegas' eyes) and the largest of the last 20 postseasons. They did it by winning the struggle in the paint, making 18 3s and stifling LeBron James.
Stephan Jaegar. The former Baylor School and UTC star golfer used a stellar Saturday round to take the 54-hole lead at the BWM Pro-Am on the Web.com Tour. When Sunday was washed out, the tournament declared Jaegar the winner — his second Web.com win — and handed him a $126,000 check. Good times. The check moved him from 103 on the money list to seventh, and remember the top 25 at the end of the season get PGA Tour cards.
Dansby Swanson. Dude went 4-for-8 with two doubles and a homer as the Braves took two of three from the East-leading Nationals. In his last 10 games, Swanson is 12-of-34 with five extra base hits and nine RBIs. He has raised his average 40 points in that stretch and not surprisingly, the Braves are 7-3 in that span.
SEC softball. The league has seven teams in the Super Regional, and could add an eighth if LSU advances today.
Da' Preds. After blowing a critical game four at home in overtime, the Preds went to Anaheim and reclaimed home ice with a gritty 3-1 win. Nashville can advance to the Stanley Cup finals with a win tonight at home in what will be a CRAZY Bridgestone Arena.
Isaiah Thomas. Say what? The Celtics won, right? Yes, they did. They toppled the mighty Cavs with Thomas sidelined for the rest of the playoffs with a hip injury. And this begs the question if the future for Boston is without the 5-foot-9 dynamo. Yes, one single game is too small a sample size, but the question has to be asked because a) he is so undersized he is arguably the worst defensive match-up in the league, b) if Boston is going to keep him, he's going to get max money, c) the Celtics have the top pick in a very point-guard heavy draft.
LeBron James. Dude, we give the King more than his fair share of props when he plays like he did in the first two games of the Eastern Conference Finals. But he dropped a floater in Game 3 with 11 points on just 13 shots and has as many turnovers as assists (six). If James just plays a bad game for him — think 18-8-8 rather than 11-6-6, the Cavs lead 3-0.
This Mississippi state legislator. Hey we understand the outrage some have about removing Civil War monuments. We think it's a discussion that should be made and instantly picking up the Confederate statues is a knee-jerk reaction to the social media morality mob. But c'mon Karl Oliver. Saying those that want the statues removed are "Nazi-ish" and should be "lynched" is stupid and devalues your entire point.
The Belmont. Yep, with Cloud Computing's win at the Preakness, there will be no chance at a Triple Crown. That also means there will be no interest in the final leg of the Triple Crown.
OK, it's time.
It's time for someone in a position of baseball to figure out all the unwritten rules in baseball.
They need to write them all down. Then take that list, read it aloud and we can all laugh at how ludicrous this is in the modern age.
Yes, we all know that Jose Batista gets in a lot of trouble because he is pleased with himself after he hits a home run. (How dare you sir celebrate a personal accomplishment in what is the hardest thing to do in sports. Outrage.)
We know hard slides are punishable by 90-plus-mph pitches in the back. Somehow we accept this in a society in which people can sue Starbucks for properly fixed tops and tough messages in chalk are ruled offensive on college campuses, but risking serious injury — and potentially a player's career — is fine and dandy as long as we are protecting some mythical fabric of the game.
Now the latest one comes from Don Mattingly, the Marlins manager who, hold on to your keyboard, was irate at Dodgers slugger Corey Seager over the weekend. Seager's big miscue in the unwritten code of silliness?
He had the audacity to swing at a 3-0 pitch in the seventh inning of a game the Dodgers led by five runs. Yep, that's it. A hitter swinging the bat at a 3-0 pitch. (Oh the humanity.)
So Seager fouled off the pitch and walked on the next one. (You scum.)
And Mattingly took it as Seager trying to add to an insurmountable lead. Again, PUH-lease.
Here's what he said a day later on Saturday after the benches cleared Friday in the innings after Seager's audaciousness was followed by another Dodgers' homer, the Marlins hitting the next hitter and the Dodgers hitting a Marlins player after that.
"If you're on our side, we look at it one way," Mattingly said. "If you're on their side, they look at it another."
Ah, the magic of invisible rules in baseball.
This and that
* Many congrats and props to all the folks involved in hosting and all the folks who competed in the Ironman event this weekend downtown.
* We enjoyed this podcast with Chattanooga's Kip Henley, the outspoken and entertaining PGA Tour caddie.
* A real life Kramer here, as this woman got $100,000 in a lawsuit when her Starbucks coffee lid fell off and she was burned by the beverage.
* This interesting. And tragic. Zaza Pachulia says extra security has been added to his kids' school after Spurs fans have threatened his family. Zaza also says Gregg Popovich, who called Pachulia a dirty player, deserves some blame for helping to incite the threats.
* Ryan Fitzpatrick had kind of an odd odd job before signing to be the back-up with the Tamp Bay Bucs. He taught a Rubik's Cube class. Go figure.
* Interesting and somewhat worrisome story here for Johnny Bulldogs Fans. According to this, the state of Georgia is going to be absolutely loaded in high school football star recruits. The top 10, according to 247sports.com, is stacked. The state has the nation's top-ranked QB, offensive guard and linebacker. Three of those players have yet to commit, and Kirby Smart has a verbal pledge from only one of the top 10. (THE Ohio State has two.)
* Michael Vick is a head-liner for a new flag football league. That could be cool. And Vick will be a handful.
* Thought this dance off between the Brewers and the Cubs bullpens during a lengthy rain-delay this weekend was fun.
* Here's thinking that Thomas Tyner will not get an Oregon bobblehead the next time he returns to Eugene. The former five-star recruit retired from football in Febraury 2016. He officially requested a release from Oregon last Friday, and was talking with Oregon State about returning to college football on Saturday. "I've wanted to be a Beaver my whole life," Tyner said. Ouch-standing.
Weekend winners and losers. Feel free to offer a nomination.
May 22 is a big day for patents in our history. Abe Lincoln patented a device to lift a boat over obstructions. (He was the only U.S. president to do patent something.) Dr. Washington Sheffield patented the toothpaste tube. The Wright Brothers in 1906 patented something called the airplane.
The Associated Press was formed in New York City on this day as a non-profit news co-op in 1900. The first reported sighting of the Loch Ness Monster was on this day in 1933. Fifty years ago today, "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" debuted on NET. In 1973 Richard Nixon confessed his role in the Watergate cover-up.
As for a Rushmore, let's go here: Twenty-five years ago today, Johnny Carson signed off as the host of the tonight show.
Who makes the Rushmore of TV. Yes, that's a monster Rushmore, and considering the way he shaped a) late-night TV and b) the lives of so many young comics who reshaped modern-day sit-coms, we think Johnny Carson is a no-brainer.
Who else makes the Rushmore of all-time TV people.
Go and enjoy the day.