Block Title One

Albert Pujols joins the 700 home run club

St. Louis Cardinals v Los Angeles Dodgers
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

St. Louis Cardinals slugger reaches baseball immortality with a pair of home runs

Albert Pujols belted a pair of home runs on Friday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers, moving the St. Louis Cardinals slugger into one of the most elite clubs in all of professional sports.

The 700 home run club.

Pujols’ first home run came in the 3rd inning off of Dodgers starting pitcher Andrew Heaney, and it was a no-doubter off the bat:

Pujols was able to turn on a 94-mile per hour fastball that Heaney left on the inside part of the plate, driving it 434 feet to deep left for the two-run shot. It touched off a frenzy in left field, with fans clamoring for a piece of baseball history.

Then in the fourth inning, Pujols came to the plate with a pair of runners on base. He pulled another pitch into deep left field, touching off a celebration as he joined the elite club:

Pujols is now the fourth member of one of sports’ most-elite clubs, the 700 home run club. Only Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth and Barry Bonds have amassed more home runs over the course of a career. Pujols currently ranks fourth all-time in home runs behind Bonds (762), Aaron (755) and Ruth (714).

Given that Pujols is retiring at the end of this season, it is unlikely he will catch Ruth with ten games left in the regular season. But the first home run was his 20th on the season, placing him in another small club, as he joins Ted Williams as only the second player in baseball history to hit 20 home runs in both his first, and his last, season:

In addition to joining the 700 home run club, Pujols joins Aaron as the only two players in MLB history to amass 700 home runs, along with 3,000 hits, over the course of a career.

Everything we know about Ime Udoka’s scandal with Celtics

2022 NBA Finals - Golden State Warriors v Boston Celtics
Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Head coach Ime Udoka is facing discipline by the Celtics.

The Boston Celtics suspended head coach Ime Udoka for the 2022-2023 NBA season after he had an intimate relationship with a team employee, the team announced. Udoka was entering his second season as head coach of the Celtics after leading the franchise to the 2022 NBA Finals in his debut year.

Here’s everything we know about Udoka’s affair.

What did Ime Udoka do?

Udoka had an affair with a woman on the Boston Celtics’ staff. He’s facing a suspension for a violation of the Celtics’ code of conduct.

How long is Ime Udoka’s suspension?

The Celtics announced on Thursday night that Udoka would be suspended for the entire 2022-2023 season, and that “a decision about his future with the Celtics beyond this season will be made at a later date:”

What are the details of Ime Udoka’s affair?

Shams Charania added new insight into the Udoka scandal after the team announced the suspension. Charania reported that Udoka made “unwanted comments” towards the woman involved in the situation, which sparked an investigation. More from The Athletic:

Some members of the Celtics organization first became aware of the relationship in July, sources said. At that time, team leadership was led to believe by both parties that the relationship was consensual. But sources said that the woman recently accused Udoka of making unwanted comments toward her — leading the team to launch a set of internal interviews.

Who is the Celtics’ head coach during Ime Udoka’s suspension?

Assistant coach Joe Mazzulla will take over as head coach for the Celtics, per Woj.

The 34-year-old Mazzulla played college basketball at West Virginia, and landed his first NBA job with the Celtics in 2019.

Who is Ime Udoka in a relationship with?

The 45-year-old Udoka is engaged to actress Nia Long. The couple had their first child together in 2011, and became engaged in 2015. Long had said previously the couple may never marry.

Brad Stevens stood up for the women in the Celtics’ organization

The Celtics had a press conference on Friday addressing Udoka’s suspension. He made a point to call out the “bullshit” Twitter speculation about the women working for the organization as the story slowly leaked out.

Watch the Celtics’ press conference statement on Udoka

Ime Udoka committed more than one violation with Celtics

Will Ime Udoka be fired by the Celtics?

Udoka reportedly isn’t in jeopardy of losing his job, per Woj. As noted above, in announcing the suspension the Celtics stated that “a decision about his future with the Celtics beyond this season will be made at a later date.”

What did Ime Udoka say about the suspension?

Here’s his statement:

Brad Stevens will not coach the Celtics again

Stevens was the Celtics coach for eight seasons before having into a lead front office role and hiring Udoka. He said he won’t coach the Celtics again during Udoka’s suspension.

Who broke the Ime Udoka story?

The story slowly leaked out in the late hours of Wednesday morning when ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Udoka was set to be disciplined by the team for an unspecified violation of conduct. The Athletic’s Shams Charania nailed down the details hours later.

Matt Barnes on Ime Udoka: “This situation in Boston is deep. It’s messy. It’s 100 times uglier than any of us thought.”

Will Ime Idoka resign from Celtics?

He reportedly won’t resign after initial reports said he might. Chris Haynes has the latest update:

We’ll update this story as it develops.

Richard Sherman claims Russell Wilson was held to a different standard with Seahawks

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The cornerback and former teammate K.J. Wright discuss Wilson’s time in Seattle

This week on his podcast “The Richard Sherman Show,” the cornerback sat down with former Seattle linebacker K.J. Wright to talk about Russell Wilson, among other topics. In their discussion, they outlined how, in their view, Wilson “received special treatment under Pete Carroll:

In Sherman’s words:

But there wasn’t enough years difference for the accountability thing to be like that. Well, he was young. It’s like, well, he’s like a year younger than us. He ain’t that young. When you got 52 guys being held to a certain standard and you got one guy not being held to the standard than it’s gonna cause some friction.

After a while, it had to get to a point where he chose Russ or the defense. And after the Super Bowl loss, he kinda made it pretty clear who he was choosing.

However, as Wright and Sherman allude to, it seems that Carroll has shifted his views since Wilson’s departure. After years of seeking a run-first offense that had Seattle fans begging for the team to “let Russ cook,” Carroll is now hoping that the Seahawks — and Geno Smith — put the ball in the air more:

Let Geno cook?

With Wilson now playing quarterback for the Denver Broncos, the fallout over his time with the Seattle Seahawks continues. After Seattle shocked Wilson and the Broncos in Week 1, current and former Seattle players could barely contain their glee, taking the chance to get their shots in on Wilson:

Even the Seahawks themselves got in on the act, poking fun at Wilson’s “let’s ride” promotion that surfaced on social media over the summer:

Among the former Seahawks taking jabs at Wilson on that night was Sherman. The former cornerback, now an analyst with Amazon, posted a few different tweets while at the game.

Sherman really seems to be soaking this in.

It almost makes one wonder if the entire plan for the Seahawks this season is to troll Wilson at every opportunity.

Albert Pujols joins the 700 home run club

St. Louis Cardinals v Los Angeles Dodgers
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

St. Louis Cardinals slugger reaches baseball immortality with a pair of home runs

Albert Pujols belted a pair of home runs on Friday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers, moving the St. Louis Cardinals slugger into one of the most elite clubs in all of professional sports.

The 700 home run club.

Pujols’ first home run came in the 3rd inning off of Dodgers starting pitcher Andrew Heaney, and it was a no-doubter off the bat:

Pujols was able to turn on a 94-mile per hour fastball that Heaney left on the inside part of the plate, driving it 434 feet to deep left for the two-run shot. It touched off a frenzy in left field, with fans clamoring for a piece of baseball history.

Then in the fourth inning, Pujols came to the plate with a pair of runners on base. He pulled another pitch into deep left field, touching off a celebration as he joined the elite club:

Pujols is now the fourth member of one of sports’ most-elite clubs, the 700 home run club. Only Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth and Barry Bonds have amassed more home runs over the course of a career. Pujols currently ranks fourth all-time in home runs behind Bonds (762), Aaron (755) and Ruth (714).

Given that Pujols is retiring at the end of this season, it is unlikely he will catch Ruth with ten games left in the regular season. But the first home run was his 20th on the season, placing him in another small club, as he joins Ted Williams as only the second player in baseball history to hit 20 home runs in both his first, and his last, season:

In addition to joining the 700 home run club, Pujols joins Aaron as the only two players in MLB history to amass 700 home runs, along with 3,000 hits, over the course of a career.

Everything we know about Ime Udoka’s scandal with Celtics

2022 NBA Finals - Golden State Warriors v Boston Celtics
Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Head coach Ime Udoka is facing discipline by the Celtics.

The Boston Celtics suspended head coach Ime Udoka for the 2022-2023 NBA season after he had an intimate relationship with a team employee, the team announced. Udoka was entering his second season as head coach of the Celtics after leading the franchise to the 2022 NBA Finals in his debut year.

Here’s everything we know about Udoka’s affair.

What did Ime Udoka do?

Udoka had an affair with a woman on the Boston Celtics’ staff. He’s facing a suspension for a violation of the Celtics’ code of conduct.

How long is Ime Udoka’s suspension?

The Celtics announced on Thursday night that Udoka would be suspended for the entire 2022-2023 season, and that “a decision about his future with the Celtics beyond this season will be made at a later date:”

What are the details of Ime Udoka’s affair?

Shams Charania added new insight into the Udoka scandal after the team announced the suspension. Charania reported that Udoka made “unwanted comments” towards the woman involved in the situation, which sparked an investigation. More from The Athletic:

Some members of the Celtics organization first became aware of the relationship in July, sources said. At that time, team leadership was led to believe by both parties that the relationship was consensual. But sources said that the woman recently accused Udoka of making unwanted comments toward her — leading the team to launch a set of internal interviews.

Who is the Celtics’ head coach during Ime Udoka’s suspension?

Assistant coach Joe Mazzulla will take over as head coach for the Celtics, per Woj.

The 34-year-old Mazzulla played college basketball at West Virginia, and landed his first NBA job with the Celtics in 2019.

Who is Ime Udoka in a relationship with?

The 45-year-old Udoka is engaged to actress Nia Long. The couple had their first child together in 2011, and became engaged in 2015. Long had said previously the couple may never marry.

Brad Stevens stood up for the women in the Celtics’ organization

The Celtics had a press conference on Friday addressing Udoka’s suspension. He made a point to call out the “bullshit” Twitter speculation about the women working for the organization as the story slowly leaked out.

Watch the Celtics’ press conference statement on Udoka

Ime Udoka committed more than one violation with Celtics

Will Ime Udoka be fired by the Celtics?

Udoka reportedly isn’t in jeopardy of losing his job, per Woj. As noted above, in announcing the suspension the Celtics stated that “a decision about his future with the Celtics beyond this season will be made at a later date.”

What did Ime Udoka say about the suspension?

Here’s his statement:

Brad Stevens will not coach the Celtics again

Stevens was the Celtics coach for eight seasons before having into a lead front office role and hiring Udoka. He said he won’t coach the Celtics again during Udoka’s suspension.

Who broke the Ime Udoka story?

The story slowly leaked out in the late hours of Wednesday morning when ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Udoka was set to be disciplined by the team for an unspecified violation of conduct. The Athletic’s Shams Charania nailed down the details hours later.

Matt Barnes on Ime Udoka: “This situation in Boston is deep. It’s messy. It’s 100 times uglier than any of us thought.”

Will Ime Idoka resign from Celtics?

He reportedly won’t resign after initial reports said he might. Chris Haynes has the latest update:

We’ll update this story as it develops.

Richard Sherman claims Russell Wilson was held to a different standard with Seahawks

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The cornerback and former teammate K.J. Wright discuss Wilson’s time in Seattle

This week on his podcast “The Richard Sherman Show,” the cornerback sat down with former Seattle linebacker K.J. Wright to talk about Russell Wilson, among other topics. In their discussion, they outlined how, in their view, Wilson “received special treatment under Pete Carroll:

In Sherman’s words:

But there wasn’t enough years difference for the accountability thing to be like that. Well, he was young. It’s like, well, he’s like a year younger than us. He ain’t that young. When you got 52 guys being held to a certain standard and you got one guy not being held to the standard than it’s gonna cause some friction.

After a while, it had to get to a point where he chose Russ or the defense. And after the Super Bowl loss, he kinda made it pretty clear who he was choosing.

However, as Wright and Sherman allude to, it seems that Carroll has shifted his views since Wilson’s departure. After years of seeking a run-first offense that had Seattle fans begging for the team to “let Russ cook,” Carroll is now hoping that the Seahawks — and Geno Smith — put the ball in the air more:

Let Geno cook?

With Wilson now playing quarterback for the Denver Broncos, the fallout over his time with the Seattle Seahawks continues. After Seattle shocked Wilson and the Broncos in Week 1, current and former Seattle players could barely contain their glee, taking the chance to get their shots in on Wilson:

Even the Seahawks themselves got in on the act, poking fun at Wilson’s “let’s ride” promotion that surfaced on social media over the summer:

Among the former Seahawks taking jabs at Wilson on that night was Sherman. The former cornerback, now an analyst with Amazon, posted a few different tweets while at the game.

Sherman really seems to be soaking this in.

It almost makes one wonder if the entire plan for the Seahawks this season is to troll Wilson at every opportunity.

Our expert NFL picks for Week 3 of 2022


Who are this week’s picks? And who had to endure a horrible punishment for Week 2?

Well hey, that was a dumb week! Don’t get me wrong, dumb = fun, but still it was brutal for all of us. We’re still at the feeling out part of the season, but nobody outside of the Bills and Chiefs feel like they’re really hit their stride yet.

The Jets beating the Browns, the Ravens getting obliterated by the Dolphins, and the Bengals losing to the Cowboys without Dak Prescott really threw us all for a loop and left the weekly winner with an 11-5 record.

David Fucillo, 49ers fan and head of sports betting here at SB Nation won the week, and got to write a tweet for Jeanna Thomas, die hard Falcons fan and associate director of NFL — who sadly finished last in Week 2. As you can imagine, it was brutal.

You know a fake tweet is good when most of the replies are asking if this is a cry for help, or if Jeanna was kidnapped as this was a hidden message to check on her wellbeing.

This is our first time getting to humiliate each other as punishment for bad picks, and I love it. This is probably mostly because I haven’t finished in last yet and had to write something embarrassing.

Now it’s time to see if Week 3 will be a little more even-keeled. We have a few brutally tough games to pick like Browns vs. Steelers and Buccaneers vs. Packers, but there are some that should be pure chalk. Does anyone really think the Chiefs will lose to Indy? I hope not.

I ruined ‘Take Me Out to the Ballgame’ in ’Trombone Champ,’ the best video game


TOOT ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME

As someone who buys an awful lot of video games — way more than I could ever play — it’s not often that I’m confident I’ll be getting my money’s worth after just five minutes with one. Enter Trombone Champ, the “world’s first trombone-based rhythm music game.”

Released on Sept. 15, Trombone Champ allows you to “Honk, blow, & toot your way through over 20 songs,” and boy does it deliver. I’ve only played the one song thus far, but the sheer beauty in its composition is enough to convince me that this one’s a keeper.

Seriously, just listen to my toots. I tooted the heck outta Take Me Out to the Ball Game, earning a ‘B’ rating on my first try. Try to beat it if you can, but I’m not easily out-tooted, friend.

A big thanks to the folks at PC Gamer for alerting the Internet at large to this gem of a game, as well as its potential as an obvious Game of the Year contender. The mangled (read: beautiful, dulcet) tones from Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony is what made this an instant buy for me and, if you’ve got $15 and a PC with which to play games on, should for you as well.

Fortunately, from a brief glance at the opening cutscene (yes, a cutscene), this game’s got more going for it than “haha funny horn go toot,” though it does, for certain, go toot. The Steam page promises collectibles and some overarching lore in which you will “uncover the mysteries of the Trombiverse.”

I can’t wait. I’ve got some more honking and tooting to do.

The Maple Leafs are sponsored by MILK. What if other teams had generic sponsors?


We need more generic sponsors?

The clammy hands of capitalism know no bounds, and we’re all getting used to a world where our favorite jerseys are sullied by brands. Some of these are really dumb, with the Harley Davidson Bucks only being beaten out by the Sacramento Kings and Blue Diamond Almonds for the worst patch in the NBA.

Now there’s a new challenger coming from the NHL, and my goodness is it special.

MILK! Not just milk, but milk written in script because this is some high-level artisanal milk, probably sourced from a moose or something. Okay, that’s a lie — this isn’t an ad for Canadian moose milk, but rather Ontario Dairy, and the patch spreads the good word that mammalian teat fluid is still the best drink in the world.

This got us all thinking: What other basic state exploits should be celebrated in jersey patch form? This is the future we all have to accept, and a basic word like MILK is still far superior to a brand with no connection to the state.

Here are our suggestions for the best evocative item for each sports teams

New York Knicks, Yankees, Mets, and the Brooklyn Nets — PIZZA

I believe in bringing all of New York City’s incredible boroughs together in celebration of not just a food, but a lifestyle. PIZZA belongs not just to one chain or joint, but everyone — and this communal celebration of saucified cheese bread typifies New York.

It’s an identifiable mark, it’s a vibe, and makes a strong statement to plant the city’s flag in the ground and say “We are PIZZA, all of us. Mess with one of us, and feel the wrath of all of us.”

Who doesn’t want to root for pizza? It’s pizza. I might not particularly like the Knicks, but dammit I like pizza — so I’ll cheer for the Knicks. At this point they need all the fans they can get.

— James Dator

Miami Dolphins, Heat, and Florida Panthers — Cocaine

According to Newsweek, this literally happened last month:


Do I really need to say more? When you think of Miami, you think of cocaine and cafecito (and honestly cocaine might be in the cafecito because that stuff is addicting). They even had the Miami Dolphins offensive line coach snorting cocaine before meetings! If that isn’t the most Miami thing ever, I’m really not sure what is.

— JP Acosta

Denver Nuggets — Weed

In 2012, Washington and Colorado became the first states to legalize cannabis for recreational use. The SuperSonics left Seattle in 2008, so that makes the Nuggets a natural partner for Big Weed. Even beyond cannabis being a multi-billion dollar business in the state, we’re talking about a team that is literally called the Nuggets. This franchise has been a natural fit for stoners all along.

Have you ever seen Nikola Jokic thread ridiculous passes …. on weed? With all apologies to Denver’s current jersey sponsor, Western Union, there’s no better fit for a big nug jersey patch than with the Nuggets.

— Ricky O’Donnell

Baltimore Ravens and Orioles — Crab

Crabcakes and football. That’s what Maryland does.

It is more than a line from a movie, it is a way of life.

Head to an Orioles game at Camden Yards, and you can find no shortage of offerings featuring the Maryland staple. You can stop at Jimmy’s Seafood and sample their Crab Cake Egg Rolls, which feature “the restaurant’s iconic crab cakes in egg roll form with a cream cheese blend, mango ponzu, and spicy mayo.” You can try the Crab Dip Pretzel, which is a soft-baked pretzel with crab dip, Monterey Jack cheese and of course, Old Bay seasoning. Stuggy’s offers their Crab Mac N Cheese Dog, and if you’re looking for something different, you can find an Old Bay-infused sausage topped with crab meat at the Wild Pitch Sausage location, near Section 45.

It does seem like this one is a bit of a layup.

— Mark Schofield

Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Rays — Piracy

There’s really nothing super special about Tampa, but they got a lot of boats. Makes sense because there literally right next to the Gulf of Mexico, making them one of the boating capitals of the US. You can go fishing, you can have Super Bowl celebrations on the river like the Buccaneers did, or, in true pirate fashion, steal a million dollar yacht and abruptly leave it after ramming into some pilings.

I mean the entire city is pirate themed. The Buccaneers play in Raymond James stadium, which has a big ass pirate ship that shoots cannons after every touchdown, the city used to be home to the Gasparilla Bowl, which is also the name of the pirate festival that’s held in Tampa. Gasparilla is a mythical Spanish pirate who terrorized people in the Gulf of Mexico. Sounds like the Buccaneers defense to me.

— JP Acosta

Nebraska Cornhuskers – Corn

I mean it is right there in the name. This seems like an easy fit. Although did you know that Nebraska, known as the Cornhusker State, is not the largest producer of corn in the United States? In fact that title belongs to Iowa, followed by Illinois. Nebraska actually ranks third.

Hopefully that little fact comes in handy at your next trivia night.

Now if we can just do something about Lil’ Red.

NCAA Basketball: Idaho State at Nebraska
Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

— Mark Schofield

North Carolina — House Divided License Plates

I had a lot of ways I wanted to go with this one: Pulled pork, pimento cheese, tobacco — but in the end I had to do with what really defines this state in 2022. Those “House Divided” license plates are EVERYWHERE. Go to the Outer Banks and and count the number of people with UNC-Duke and UNC-NC State vanity plates and you’ll have enough to fill a parking lot.

The basic idea, as far as I can tell, is some weird flex like “our relationship is stronger than which sports team we like,” which is super odd. Of course, the HOUSE DIVIDED plate is almost always accompanied by the stick figure family on the rear window, and perhaps even the white oval “OBX” sticker that tells everyone where you vacation.

— James Dator

Dallas Cowboys, Mavericks, Texas Rangers, Stars, Wings — Cowboy

Kind of a layup here. Texas is the cowboy capital of the world, and the Professional Bull Riding championships are located in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. When we think of Cowboys, we immediately think Texas, Dallas specifically. Now if only I could ride bulls through the city—that would be true cowboy behavior.

— JP Acosta

Atlanta Dream, Hawks, Falcons, Braves — Peaches

Could’ve gone a lot of different ways here, but I decided to play it safe and go with the peach. It’s Georgia’s state fruit, and it makes for some awesome desserts (shoutout to my grandma’s peach cobbler). It also made for the Hawks’ Peachtree jerseys, which go absolutely hard.

— JP Acosta

Seattle Storm, Mariners, Seahawks — Coffee

I went with coffee here instead of fish for a few reasons. They’re known as the coffee capital of the US and Starbucks is based in Seattle. However, the main reason I went with Coffee here is because too much of it gives you an insane rush where you act crazy and all Seattle sports are clinically insane and never normal. They always play like they’ve had way too much coffee and crash right at the end. So coffee works here far too well.

— JP Acosta