MLB

Fernando Tatis Jr. had a better weekend than you, plus the worst NFL Draft decisions in recent history

Happy Monday everyone! It’s Shanna McCarriston, and I — along with my fantastic colleagues Chris Bengel and Gabe Fernandez — will be taking over the morning edition of this newsletter for the next few weeks.

This week I am looking forward to heading to Cleveland for the NFL Draft as a fan. I went to the draft in 2013, but it’s been a minute, so I can’t wait to see what The Land does for the fans. I’m also going to a Cavaliers game, which is the first time I’ve been at a live, pro sports game in over a year. Let me know what you’re most looking forward to this week and let’s celebrate some fun times coming up as we start to get back to normal.

We have a lot to get to today, so let’s jump right in.


📰 What you need to know

1. The biggest NFL Draft blunders in recent history 🏈

Football season never really ends, and this week we get to see where the next generation of NFL stars will land. Mock drafts have been made, people have given their sleeper predictions and we have all been in arguments about the order the top quarterbacks will be taken in.

We won’t all be right about our picks, but sometimes even the experts in the draft rooms get it wrong, so let’s not be too hard on ourselves. Ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft, the CBS social team took a look at the biggest draft blunders since 2000, though as a Bostonian I have to mention the most obvious draft miss: Tom Brady dropping to No. 199 in 2000.

Here’s a look at some other blunders:

  • 2007: JaMarcus Russell taken over Calvin Johnson — The No. 1 pick turned out to be a massive bust, while Calvin Johnson turned out to be, well, Calvin Johnson. Megatron was taken second overall and the Raiders missed out on one of the best talents ever at the wide receiver position
  • 2007: Rams could’ve had Darrelle Revis at No. 13 but instead took Aaron Carriker –Carriker had a lot less of an impact in the league than the man known a ‘Revis Island’. The Rams took Carriker, leaving Revis on the board for the Jets to take with the next pick. Revis is known as one of the best shut down corners to hit an NFL field
  • 2004: Raiders draft Robert Gallery over Larry Fitzgerald at No. 2 — Fitzgerald is a generational talent, but this is another example of the Raiders missing out on one of the best and taking someone who turned out to be less than the best. Fitzgerald will be headed to the Hall of Fame and those in the Raiders organization who passed on him will forever have regrets
  • 2005: Aaron Rodgers falls all the way to pick No. 24 — Teams missing out on Hall of Famers seems to be a trend and a bunch of teams missed out on taking Rodgers. The Raiders took cornerback Fabian Washington at No. 23, just ahead of Rodgers. The QB is now a household name, while Washington gets lost in Raiders’ history

While these, and many others, are clear blunders, it’s hard to ignore how many teams missed out on a talent that ended up to be Rodgers. The Super Bowl champion has one of the best arms in the league, longevity and the ability to win games even when it seems impossible. Oh, and he guest hosts “Jeopardy!” too.

2.  Why Madison Bumgarner‘s no-hitter won’t actually count as one ⚾


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Diamondbacks pitcher Madison Bumgarner had seven hitless innings in a complete game win against the Braves on Sunday, but it won’t officially count as a no-hitter. The game was part of a doubleheader and, according to MLB rules, a pitcher can’t be credited with a no-hitter in that seven-inning scenario.

The official rule states: “Neither a team nor an individual pitcher will be credited with a no-no in a scheduled seven-inning game of a doubleheader — unless that game goes to extras. If the contest extends to at least nine innings and that pitcher (or a team’s group of pitchers) has still not allowed a hit, then it goes down in the history books as a no-no”

It’s a tough beat after not allowing any hits, but I get that it’s not a typical full game.

Despite not getting a no-hitter next to his name in the record books, BUmgarner still gets a complete game and a shoutout. He threw 98 pitches, with 73 strikes. Not too shabby. A throwing error by Nick Ahmed in the second inning prevented Bumgarner from being perfect on the day.

3. UFC 261 was one of the sport’s best nights ever


USATSI

UFC 261 took place in Jacksonville on Saturday night and it was the first time fans were allowed back in an arena for a fight since last March. From defending titles, to knockouts, to regaining titles, we got to see a little bit of everything in what turned out to be a special night for UFC.

Here are some takeaways from our combat scribe Brent Brookhouse:

  • In the main event, Kamaru Usman defended his welterweight championship, doing so with a one-punch knockout of his rival Jorge Masvidal. With the victory, he successfully defended his championship for the fifth time
  • Usman is continuing to prove that he can bring something new to the table, as well as improve, each time he competes, adding power and perfecting his technique. For many, he still has a ways to go before he gets to the G.O.A.T.-level of Georges St-Pierre — who successfully defended the welterweight championship nine times … but Usman is well on his way
  • Another major moment from the night was when Rose Namajunas defeated Weili Zhang with a head kick knockout to win the women’s strawweight championship. The victory not only gave her the title, but also put her in the history books as the first woman to lose a championship and later regain the title. Namajunas was first in possession of the title when she beat Joanna Jedrzejczyk in 2017, but two years later lost to Jessica Andrade

What may have been even better than Namajunas’ knockout this time was her reaction to the win, showing just how important the win was for her.

4. Fernando Tatis Jr. had a fun weekend ⚾


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Fernando Tatis Jr. knows how to hit a baseball and he knows how to have a good time while doing it. The 22-year-old San Diego Padres star homered twice off Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer on Saturday for two of his five HRs in three days, but his bombs weren’t the only thing that got attention during the game: Tatis mocked the reigning National Cy Young winner as he rounded the bases, gaining notice from MLB fans.

  • Tatis covered one eye as he headed home, a reference to when Bauer tried practicing pitching with one eye closed during Spring Training
  • When Bauer was experimenting with the new pitching technique during the spring he said, “I figured if they can’t score off me with one eye open, it’s going to be difficult to score off me with two eyes open. Just having a little bit of fun”

The pitcher, true to his word, had no hard feelings about Tatis Jr.’s move.

Bauer: “I think that pitchers that have that done to them and react by throwing at people — I think it’s pretty soft. If you give up a homer, a guy should celebrate it. It’s hard to hit in the big leagues. So I’m all for it, and I think that it’s important that the game moves in that direction and that we stop throwing at people because they celebrated having some success on the field”

The two then had a fun twitter exchange that you have to see. I agree with Bauer here, home runs are exciting, but the celebrations add another level of entertainment that attract more fans.

Tatis Jr. truly did get the last laugh, as the Padres came from behind to win the series finale last night, 8-7.


📝 Odds & Ends


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📺 What to watch tonight

🏀 Thunder vs. 76ers, 7 p.m. | PHI -800 | TV: NBA League Pass

🏀 Clippers vs. Pelicans, 8 p.m. | LAC -160 | TV: NBA League Pass

⚾ Dodgers vs. Reds, 10:10 p.m. | LAD -172 | TV: MLB.TV


🥇 The best thing I saw yesterday

Yeah, we are going to talk about Fernando Tatis Jr. one more time. He just can’t stop hitting home runs and he’s becoming more fun to watch by the minute. 



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