👋 Welcome back! Today marks 6,000 days since the Cleveland Browns last appeared in a playoff game (Jan. 5, 2003).
Today's word count: 1,270 words (~5 mins).
David Ortiz was shot in the Dominican Republic last night. Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
If sports didn't matter, I would never have started this newsletter. Sports matter, and they matter a lot.
What's happening: The Boston Bruins trounced the St. Louis Blues 5-1 last night to force Game 7, and initially, that was extremely important ... until it wasn't.
The bottom line: Sports give us teams to root for, moments to cherish and athletes, like David Ortiz, to adore. More importantly, sports willingly take a backseat to things of much greater significance (like a man's life).
The bottom line: Once the Ortiz news broke, Game 6 became far less meaningful. Now, Game 7 becomes far more meaningful. Boston will be playing for Big Papi — and an entire nation will have him in their hearts.
Love you, big guy.
Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
There are plenty of storylines heading into Game 5. Will Kevin Durant play?! Will all of Canada be celebrating in the streets tonight?! Is the Warriors' dynasty over, or can they do what the Cavs once did to them?!
The forgotten man: Those storylines are all deserving of the spotlight (and the exclamation points), but for my money, the best story is one we've spent far too little time on: the rise of Nick Nurse.
The backdrop: 20 years ago, Nurse was coaching across the pond. Now, he's one win away from an NBA title.
Cristiane's hat trick earned her opening weekend MVP honors. Photo: Naomi Baker/FIFA via Getty Images
Photo: Quality Sport Images/Getty Images
Men's champion: Rafael Nadal
Women's champion: Ashleigh Barty
HAMILTON, ONTARIO — Just one week after missing the cut at Memorial, Rory McIlroy shot a final round 61 to win the RBC Canadian Open in a landslide. Then he broke out a Kyle Lowry jersey.
NASHVILLE, TENN. — With his team facing elimination, Vanderbilt's Kumar Rocker struck out 19 Duke hitters en route to tossing the first ever no-hitter in Super Regional history. He's a freshman.
MONTREAL — A heated Sebastian Vettel, who crossed the finish line first at the Canadian Grand Prix but came in second due to a time penalty for overly aggressive driving, theatrically swapped No. 1 and No. 2 signs with race winner Lewis Hamilton.
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75 years ago today, 15-year-old Joe Nuxhall became the youngest player in MLB history when he took the mound for the Cincinnati Reds.
Edwin Encarnacion smashed two dingers yesterday to join the illustrious 400 home run club.
Answer at the bottom.
Looks like he/she could play some kickball and drill field goals, too. A true multi-sport athlete.
P.S. ... How about the other elephant just casually holding a soccer ball in his/her trunk? A lot going on here.
Photo: Keith Birmingham/Pasadena Star-News
📺 Thumbs up: "The Brotherhood" is a 14-minute ESPN special about high school QB Alex Ruiz, who had his leg amputated after a horrific tackle. Alex's attitude is phenomenal and the way his teammates support him ... I cried at the end.
🐴 Thumbs down: Two more horses died at Santa Anita Park this weekend, bringing the death toll to 29 since Dec. 26. The California Horse Racing Board has asked the track to suspend racing but management refuses to do so. Unbelievably disappointing.
Top 10 plays from Week 2 of the inaugural Premier Lacrosse League season (all in a single Twitter thread).
🎥 Watch: Hope you enjoy.
See you tomorrow,
Kendall "Thoughts on the Top 10 plays thread? Could do that daily for all sports" Baker
Trivia answer: Albert Pujols (644) and Miguel Cabrera (468)