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Posted at 10:05 PM ET, 07/10/2014

Rockies’ Morneau and A’s Donaldson round out home run derby field


Oakland’s Josh Donaldson will be part of the home run derby next week in Minneapolis. . (Eric Risberg/Associated Press)

The five-man teams for the home run derby that will precede the MLB all-star game are now complete, and fans in the host city of Minneapolis will get to cheer for an old favorite. The National League squad added Colorado first baseman Justin Morneau, who played for the Twins from 2003 until he was traded away in 2013. The American League team added Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson, who was already a member of this year’s AL all-stars.

You might recall that Morneau won the 2008 home run derby as a member of the Twins. Or you might not, as the big story of that event was Josh Hamilton’s Ruthian display in the first round. This will actually be the third time Morneau competes in the competition, and it represents a bit of a consolation prize after he lost a late lead to the Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo in voting for the NL’s final all-star spot.

Donaldson leads all MLB third baseman with 20 home runs. In fact, he hit No. 20 in a day game Thursday, shortly before the announcement of his selection. Here is what he told the San Jose Mercury-News:

“It’s going to be pretty cool. I like to hit homers in batting practice, so I look at it as another round of BP with a lot more people watching.”

The complete teams for the home run derby look like this:

American League

Captain — Jose Bautista, Blue Jays

Yoenis Cespedes, Athletics

Josh Donaldson, Athtetics

Brian Dozier, Twins

Adam Jones, Orioles

National League

Captain — Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies

Todd Frazier, Reds

Justin Morneau, Rockies

Yasiel Puig, Dodgers

Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins

By Des Bieler  |  10:05 PM ET, 07/10/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:00 PM ET, 07/10/2014

Breaking news from LeBron’s house: We have a car crash!


A Bath Township, Ohio, police officer guards the front gate of the home of LeBron James on Thursday. (Karen Schiely/Akron Beacon Journal via Associated Press)

Sorry, we don’t have anything actually, you know, important to report. But hey, it’s nice to know that the scene outside of LeBron James’s Akron-area home has gone from ludicrous to possibly litigious.

It might be important to note, in terms of appreciating how wacky this all is, that James has not been at this home for quite a while (he has been at his basketball camp in Las Vegas), and he apparently will not be there for quite a while.

It might also be important to note, in terms of how potentially heart-breaking this all is, that there is still a very good chance that James ends this prolonged free-agency madness by signing with Miami instead of Cleveland.

Um, bro, that’s probably not going to help.

By Des Bieler  |  10:00 PM ET, 07/10/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 07:21 PM ET, 07/10/2014

Seagull photobombs horse race’s photo finish


According to an official at the seaside track, this has “never happened before.” (Brighton Racecourse via Facebook)

In the 7:10 race Tuesday at England’s Brighton Racecourse, Bejewelled won by a neck. Over a seagull, who was absolutely flying down the stretch.

From an account by BBC Sport:

Racecourse spokesman George Hill said: “We are about a mile and a half from the sea, and there are a lot of seagulls around, but this has never happened before as far as we are aware. “The bird just happened to be in the right place at the right time.” Lee McKenzie, who provided notes on the race for the Racing Post, said: “Some racegoers thought the seagull should have been awarded second place. “It flew home up the final stretch and clearly beat the next horse by a long beak. Pity it wasn’t the next race on the card (7.40), won by Byrd In Hand from Hawk Moth, with another flyer Abigails Angel third.”

Next up for the seagull: a trip to the U.S. to compete in the Kentucky Birdy and the Beakness Stakes.

By Des Bieler  |  07:21 PM ET, 07/10/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:05 PM ET, 07/10/2014

Police on the scene at LeBron James’ Akron-area house


(Amy Sancetta/AP)

Welp! Things seem to be happening! The latest rumors in the LeBron James free agency saga suggest that his announcement about where he’ll be taking his talents next is imminent. There’s even a police car stationed outside his house in Bath Township, near Akron, Ohio.

But is this a good sign for Cavaliers fans or bad? The police could be there to stave off vandalism if James announces he’s staying in Miami or going elsewhere. Or, maybe — just maybe! — the patrol car is on the scene to control ecstatic revelers who plan to gather for a party outside James’ abode to celebrate the star’s return.

Locals have a strong hunch that it’s the latter, the Akron Beacon Journal’s Phil Trexler notes on Twitter,  and that the star’s plans to return to the Cavaliers will be announced tonight.

By Marissa Payne  |  05:05 PM ET, 07/10/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:50 PM ET, 07/10/2014

German cyclist Marcel Kittel’s hair has become a thing during the Tour de France


(Bas Czerwinski/EPA)

German cyclist Marcel Kittel is doing all right in the Tour de France — but his hair’s doing even better. Yes, besides winning three of the six stages so far in the 21-stage race, the Giant-Shimano cyclist’s signature floppy-top hairdo is going viral. Even babies are getting in on the action now.

Kittel responded with only semi-approval.

Of course, keeping up the Kittel cut isn’t easy — for men or, contrary to Kittel’s preferences, female babies. It requires so much product that one must be very careful when traveling internationally, lest security’s suspicions be raised.

Luckily, Kittel-suitable hair gel can be procured around the world, so coif crises can generally be avoided.

Kittel, however, will have to reinvigorate his initial energy in the middle stages of the Tour de France if he wants to make it to the winner’s podium. After a stellar start, the cyclist has fallen behind because of rough climbs, which he is not good at, meaning he has virtually no chance of wearing the yellow jersey again. (After Thusrday, that’s still on the back of Astana’s Vincenzo Nibali of Italy.) But Kittel is still fighting for the green sprinter’s jersey. He’s currently in third place for that, trailing Slovakian leader Peter Sagan of Cannondale’s team by a hefty 82 points.

By Marissa Payne  |  02:50 PM ET, 07/10/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

 

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