Rafael Devers hit a three-run homer as the Red Sox stunned Justin Verlander and the Astros in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series to win the best-of-seven set 4-1, a perfect 43rd birthday present for rookie manager Alex Cora. After dropping the opener at home, Boston took four straight -- including three in a row at Minute Maid Park -- to improve to 5-0 on the road in the 2018 playoffs.
Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and the Red Sox will try to bring Boston its fourth World Series crown in 15 years when they open the World Series on Tuesday night at home in Fenway Park against the Los Angeles Dodgers or Milwaukee Brewers. The Red Sox were last in the World Series when they won it all in 2013.Los Angeles has a 3-2 lead in the NLCS going into Game 6 on Friday night at Miller Park.
Former professional wrestler Dick Slater, a volatile performer whose nicknames of “Dirty Dick” and “Mr. Unpredictable” were a testament to his reputation, has died, World Wrestling Entertainment said in a statement Thursday. He was 67.
Details of Slater’s death have not been released.
“I have so many memories of Dickie,” said former pro wrestler Gerald Brisco, who wrestled with and against Slater and is currently a WWE talent scout. “I loved him and we laughed about the many stories we shared through the years.”
One of seven children, Richard Van Slater was born in Albany, New York, on May 19, 1951. He lived in Ravena, New York, before moving to Tampa, Florida, with his mother and stepfather when he was 9.
Slater began wrestling as an amateur with his Robinson High School classmate and future pro wrestling friend -- and foe -- Mike Graham. He attended the University of Tampa, where he was a teammate of another future wrestling star, Paul Orndorff.
Slater wrestled in the National Wrestling Alliance during the 1970s and was a familiar face on the Florida promotion’s weekly television show, “Championship Wrestling From Florida.”
Slater was known for his rough-and-tumble tactics and was involved in several wrestling feuds when he performed in Florida. The match results could be unpredictable, too. After interfering in a 1974 match at Miami Marine Stadium, Slater was tossed into Biscayne Bay by Dusty Rhodes, according to The Miami News.
Slater’s career accelerated when he became a fixture in the Georgia Championship Wrestling promotion. Wrestling mostly as a “heel,” or villain, Slater’s unorthodox, brawling style made him a box office star.
Slater also wrestled for World Championship Wrestling and traveled to Japan. He wrestled for WWE in 1986-87.
"Slater was a prolific competitor during the 1970s and 1980s in Georgia Championship Wrestling, Mid-South Wrestling and Mid-Atlantic Wrestling, where he teamed with WWE Hall of Famer Bob Orton and had a memorable rivalry with WWE Hall of Famer Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts," WWE said in its statement. "WWE extends its condolences to Slater’s family, friends and fans.”
Despite his gruff exterior, Slater could be a prankster in the locker room, Brisco said.
One incident in Charlotte, North Carolina, during the mid-1980s was typical.
“On our way to the arena, Dick saw a fireworks stand where you could buy big cherry bombs,” Brisco said. “Jack (Brisco’s brother) and I were heels at the time so we were in the same dressing room.
“Dick got his fireworks out and one was a whirlybird bomb. He lights it and it goes up and I’m next to Dick. When it comes down it went right into my right cheek and sets my new jeans on fire,” Brisco said. “I’m on fire, my pants are on fire. And I still have the burn mark.
“We all laugh but I have no pants and my cheek is burned. But Dick went out and bought me some new Levi’s. He thought it was great. I didn’t.”
Slater’s life outside the ring could also be volatile, as he had several brushes with the law. His most serious offense occurred on Dec. 27, 2003, when he was charged with attempted murder for stabbing his ex-girlfriend, Theresa Marie Halbert, three times with an 8-inch butcher knife, the Tampa Bay Times reported in 2003.
After pleading no contest, Slater was sentenced in June 2004 to a year of house arrest followed by two years of probation, the newspaper reported.
In a 1987 lawsuit, Slater was accused of aggravated battery for allegedly body-slamming Bruce Siira and breaking his knee outside a bar in Lantana, Florida.
In 2012, Slater collaborated with Linton Herbert on his autobiography, “1,000 Lives: Autobiography of Richard Van ‘Dirty Dick’ Slater.”
“I’ve lived a thousand lives,” Slater wrote. “Most men can’t say that, but I can because I have lived a thousand lives.”
For the first time since 2013, the Boston Red Sox are one win away from a spot in the World Series after their Game 4 win against the Houston Astros in the ALCS.
But Wednesday's 8-6 win, which put the Red Sox ahead 3-1 in the series, didn't come without controversy.
A ball launched from the Astros' Jose Altuve to right field looked like it was about to put the Red Sox in a tough spot, but Altuve was called out on a contentious fan interference ruling involving Boston outfielder Mookie Betts, changing the entire game.
The call sparked debate on Twitter among fans, sports journalists and celebrities, including Hall of Famer Chipper Jones and supermodel Kate Upton, who is married to Astros pitcher Justin Verlander.
The Astros fan said to have interfered with the play, Troy Caldwell, told the Houston Chronicle that he "didn't do anything wrong."
Members of a Thai boys soccer team, which captivated the world when they were rescued from a waterlogged cave in July, were interviewed Monday by talk show host Ellen DeGeneres.
The 12 boys were dressed in their “Wild Boars” jerseys as they spoke through an interpreter with DeGeneres on her show, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” The team was evacuated from the submerged network of caves on July 10 in a carefully orchestrated procedure by international cave diving experts, CNN reported. They had been trapped in the cave since June 23.
While being interviewed about their tense ordeal, the boys received soccer jerseys with DeGeneres’ logo on the front, and then were introduced to their soccer idol -- LA Galaxy striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Ibrahimovic high-fived the players before paying tribute to their bravery.
"I thought I was brave, but these kids, this team, is more braver than me ... This is probably the best team in the world," he said.
A former college football standout who briefly signed with the Atlanta Falcons was arrested Saturday by police in Columbus, Georgia, for allegedly having sex with a 12-year-old girl, the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reported.
Justin Crawford, 23, who played running back at Georgia's Hardaway High School and West Virginia University, faces charges of incest, sodomy and enticing a child for indecent purposes, according to Muscogee County Jail records.
At a preliminary hearing on Monday, Columbus Detective Mark Scruggs said Crawford’s wife, Chakeya, woke up Saturday around 5 a.m. and walked into her living room to find her husband with an erection as he stood over the child, the newspaper reported.
However, she told the Ledger-Enquirer she objected to Scruggs’ account, saying her husband’s penis was exposed but not erect. She said she confronted her husband about it, that he denied any wrongdoing and she decided to go back to bed.
She took the 12-year-old to the child’s mother later, and that’s when the girl said she had been asleep in the living room when Crawford came in and had her perform oral sex on him before they had intercourse, Scruggs said.
The newspaper reported that Scruggs said Crawford initially denied any sexual contact with the girl to police, but he later admitted to having oral sex and intercourse with her but claimed it was her idea.
Crawford remains in the Muscogee County Jail without bond, according to jail records.
As a senior in high school, Crawford rushed for 825 yards and seven touchdowns, the Ledger-Enquirer reported.
He spent two years at Northwest Mississippi Community College, where he rushed for over 3,000 yards and six touchdowns, putting him in the national spotlight. He then transferred to West Virginia, where he rushed for 2,237 yards and 11 touchdowns over two seasons.
Crawford signed with the Falcons as an undrafted free agent on May 1, but he was among 36 players released in September during the preseason.
He was on the roster for the Atlanta Legends in the new Alliance of American Football league but was suspended by the team after being arrested, according to The Associated Press.
The fan seen throwing beer on Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill moments after he scored his third touchdown against the Patriots during Sunday night’s overtime game has been banned from Gillette Stadium, team officials said.
It was clear through television replays that fans at Gillette Stadium were not saying nice things and were making obscene gestures to Hill, but it was also immediately clear one of them crossed the line by throwing beer directly into his face after his 75-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter.
Hill made seven catches for 142 yards Sunday night, and the 75-yard catch tied the game at 40 with slightly more than three minutes remaining in regulation.
In a statement issued Monday afternoon, the Patriots organization said it had turned over the fan's identify to local law enforcement and issued "a letter of disinvite to all future events at Gillette Stadium."
The Patriots (4-2) won 43-40 in overtime against the Chiefs (5-1).
DJ Khaled sure knows how to throw a party for his son.
The Miami music producer and his wife, Nicole Tuck, rented Marlins Park on Saturday for his son Asahd’s second birthday, and turned the 36,000-seat baseball stadium into a carnival. Instead of bases and a pitching mound, the stadium floor included a chair swing ride, a Ferris wheel, games and even a petting zoo, the Sun-Sentinel reported.
“Although his actual bday is OCT 23rd we started early,’’Khaled wrote on Twitter, including videos of the event at Marlins Park. “ASAHD had the whole stadium!!”
About 150 inner city kids and members of local Boys and Girls Clubs and Connecting Families joined the family at the party, EOnline reported.
The party also served as the official launch for Asahd’s charity program, called Asahd’s Initiative -- which is part of Khaled’s We The Best Foundation.
Guests included Marlins owner Derek Jeter and Yo Gotti. Jeter presented a $100,000 check from the Marlins to Khaled’s We The Best Foundation.
It was a festive day for the Asahd and his family, and perked up the normally staid Marlins ballpark. The Marlins had the lowest average attendance in the major leagues in 2018, drawing 811,104 fans for an average of 10,013 per game, ESPN reported.
A runner at the University of Oregon became the first professional athlete with cerebral palsy to sign a contract with Nike, Sports Illustrated reported.
Justin Gallegos, a 20-year-old junior, thought he was being filmed for completing a cross country race for the university’s running club last Saturday. Instead, cameras captured the moment as John Douglas, Nike’s Insights director, handed Gallegos a contract.
In a video that has since gone viral, Gallegos sinks to his knees in joy as his teammates applaud.
“You don’t realize how realistic and emotional your dreams are until they play out before your very eyes!” Gallegos wrote on Instagram.
Gallegos began running as a ninth-grader. One of his coaches had gone to the University of Oregon, so Gallegos decided to attend the school and join the running club, Running magazine reported.
Gallegos used a walker as a child and endured plenty of physical therapy to improve his walk, the magazine reported.
He was noticed by Nike when he attended high school in California, and he has helped the athletic retail giant develop a shoe for runners with disabilities, called the FlyEase, Running reported.
Gallego said he was stunned by the contract offer from Nike.
“I’m still at a loss for words,” Gallego wrote on Instagram. “Beyond blessed to officially represent the swoosh!”
Touchdowns are always a good thing for any football team, but a recent score on a Massachusetts’ college gridiron had a little extra meaning.
A local Nichols College fan, an 11-year-old girl named Alana Inslee, who suffers from acrodysotosis and hydrocephalus, was honored on her birthday with a special moment on her favorite team's field.
Acrodysostosis causes growth delays and small hands and feet with fingers and toes that are shorter than usual.
Meanwhile, hydrocephalus increases the size of ventricles deep within the brain, putting pressure on the brain and leading to a larger head than usual.
While the Nichols College football team battles various opponents throughout the season, Alana battles her disorders, and sticks around as a fan of the team.
In honor of her dedication, the team honored her by letting her score a touchdown at practice, and had everyone sign a jersey as a gift before taking pictures and videos with her.
The team tweeted out the special moment, saying, "We've had some great touchdowns scored this season on the field, but we think this is the best one!"
Colin Kaepernick’s company, Inked Flash, filed for the trademark to a black-and-white image of the former NFL quarterback’s face and hair, ESPN reported Wednesday.
Inked Flash filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Friday, but it appeared for the first time on the patent office’s website Wednesday. The company’s intent is to use Kaepernick’s image on items such as shampoo, hairspray, jewelry and even lampshades.
Other items include mugs, plates, bowls, drinking glasses. water bottles, tins, afro picks, brushes and combs, coasters, pillowcases, blankets, towels and handkerchiefs, according to the patent office website.
The filing also says the image could be used in association with "providing classes, workshops, seminars and camps in the field of self-empowerment and awareness to properly interact with law enforcement"
Kaepernick became the face of Nike's “Just Do It” 30th anniversary campaign last month. He also has been marketing his own merchandise, including jerseys with the slogan #ImwithKap on them.
The decision to use Kaepernick as the face of its brand was a polarizing move for Nike. Some fans said they would shun the product, while others said they were more likely to buy Nike items as a result.
Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since the 2016 season.
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