MLB

These MLB races are starting to heat up, plus Joey Chestnut does it again

Happy Tuesday, everyone. It’s Zach Pereles back to bring you all the biggest sports news. I hope you had a safe and enjoyable long holiday weekend.

Let’s get right to it.


Good morning to everyone but especially to…


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JOEY CHESTNUT AND MIKI SUDO

It’s apparent that nothing — not injury, not protestors, not his fellow competitors — can stop Joey Chestnut. The star competitive eater dominated the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest once again. It’s his 15th win in the last 16 competitions.

  • Chestnut downed 63 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes, 15 1/2 more than his nearest competitor, Geoffrey Esper (and 62 more than I ate yesterday). It was well short of the all-time record (which he set last year) of 76.
  • Chestnut won despite wearing a surgical boot due to a leg injury and admitted it caused him some pain throughout the competition. He also had to deal with several protestors rushing the stage. Chestnut even briefly put one protestor in a chokehold before security removed him.

On the women’s side, Miki Sudo ate 40 hot dogs and buns for her eighth win in the last nine years. The only time over that span she did not win was last year, when she didn’t compete because she was pregnant.

Honorable mentions

MLB Power Rankings: Which races will heat up most? ⚾

We’re now into July, but the top of MLB expert Matt Snyder’s MLB Power Rankings look the same they have for a while now: With the Yankees in first. The Bronx Bombers still own the best record in the majors at 58-22 and are on pace for what would be a record 117 wins.

But, as he explains in this week’s Power Rankings, Matt thinks there will be some challengers for his top spot in one of several races to watch.

  • Snyder: “The Yankees have held down the top spot for the last several weeks with ease, but I think the Astros and Dodgers are going to make this a fun three-team race the rest of the way.”

Need another race to watch? How about the crowded AL Wild Card race, where nine teams are within 6 1/2 games of the final playoff spot?

  • Snyder: “AL East teams hold all three spots right now, but the Guardians are only 2 games out. The White Sox and… get this, the Mariners are only four out. With the AL East being so tough — even the Orioles aren’t that far behind here at 6 1/2 back — there could well be an opening for a lesser-looking roster. There’s potential for major chaos here and that’s fun.”

Here’s the latest top five in the Power Rankings:

  • 1. Yankees (prev. 1)
  • 2. Astros (prev. 3)
  • 3. Dodgers (prev. 2)
  • 4. Mets (prev. 4)
  • 5. Braves (prev. 7)

Brittney Griner, on trial in Russia, sends letter to White House 🏀


USATSI

Brittney Griner, the Phoenix Mercury star who has been detained in Russia for nearly four months, sent a letter to the White House yesterday asking President Biden to fight for her freedom.

Griner’s representatives released portions of the letter Griner sent to the White House yesterday. Early in the letter, Griner writes, “I’m terrified I might be here forever.” Later, she writes…

  • Griner: “I realize you are dealing with so much, but please don’t forget about me and the other American Detainees. Please do all you can to bring us home. I voted for the first time in 2020 and I voted for you. I believe in you. I still have so much good to do with my freedom that you can help restore. I miss my wife! I miss my family! I miss my teammates! It kills me to know they are suffering so much right now. I am grateful for whatever you can do at this moment to get me home.”

Her trial is expected to resume Thursday.

USWNT opens World Cup qualifying with 3-0 win over Haiti ⚽


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It may not have been as convincing as they wanted it to be, but the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team started its 2023 World Cup qualifying journey with a 3-0 win over Haiti in Concacaf W Championship group play.

  • Alex Morgan scored off crosses in the 16th and 23rd minutes after hitting the frame in the 11th minute. She now has 21 goals in 21 career qualifying matches.
  • Midge Purce capped the scoring in the 84th minute.
  •  The USWNT is now 8-0 all-time vs Haiti and has never allowed a goal in the series.

The U.S. faces Jamaica on Thursday (7 p.m. on Paramount+), and a win would put them on very solid footing to reach the semifinal, which also guarantees a berth to the World Cup.

Sports media icon ‘Hammerin’ Hank’ Goldberg dies at 82


CBS Sports HQ

Henry “Hank” Goldberg, who affectionately earned the nickname “Hammerin’ Hank” for his brash style, died yesterday at 82 after a seven-year battle with kidney disease.

  • Goldberg was an icon in the South Florida area, hosting and co-hosting radio call-in shows from 1978-2007.
  • After working at ESPN as a radio personality, NFL insider and horse racing analyst for decades, he joined CBS Sports HQ and SportsLine in 2018 and continued to work until just a few weeks ago. He correctly picked the top two horses in May’s Preakness Stakes for SportsLine.

Goldberg was an institution in the sports betting world and was renowned for his connections. As SportsLine writer Gene Menez pens in Goldberg’s obituary

  • Menez: “Al Davis was one of hundreds of contacts that Goldberg compiled over the decades in an otherwise nondescript black book. Wrapped in black alligator skin, the book’s pages yellowed over time but tell a story of a man who touched every corner of sports and pop culture. Joe Namath. Chris Webber. Mike Eruzione. Al Michaels. The ‘E’ section alone begins this way: Dale Earnhardt Sr., Kenny Easley and Clint Eastwood.”

This obituary is packed with fascinating facts and hilarious anecdotes fit for a legend. And that’s exactly what Hank Goldberg was.

What we’re watching Tuesday 📺

Rays at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. on TBS
🏀 Sun at Wings, 8 p.m. on Facebook



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