▪ Well, the Cleveland Cavaliers got back into the NBA Finals in a big way Wednesday night, boat-racing a listless Golden State Warriors team that had looked so dominant through the first two games. Just a few days ago, pundits were sizing the Warriors for their rings, now cue overreaction in the opposite direction. One thing seems certain, Steph Curry just isn’t himself right now. Check out the highlights and decide for yourself:
▪ The Tribune launched a new outdoors effort this week. If you haven’t seen it, reporter Lucas Clark provides a nice profile on Atascadero resident Brett Rancadore, a Spartan race enthusiast. What’s a Spartan race? Well, it’s not for the faint of heart. An area hike will also be profiled weekly, starting with the Cuesta Ridge Botancial Area.
▪ Brazil’s Philippe Coutinho scored a hat trick in a 7-1 Copa America win over Haiti on Wednesday. With the absence of super-star Neymar and several other big-name players left off the Copa roster, someone had to step up for Brazil. The Liverpool midfielder was tabbed as the player to watch in The Tribune’s Copa guide. His first goal showed a nice bit of skill:
▪ Newly-traded pitcher James Shields was a disappointment for little over a season with the San Diego Padres, who traded him to the White Sox last week. It seems the Padres couldn’t have made the trade soon enough, as the 34-year-old has given up 16 earned runs and five home runs in his last 4 1/3 innings. On Wednesday night, it took Shields 84 pitches to complete two innings in his White Sox debut against the Nationals and allowed six runs.
Shields had a 4.28 ERA entering Wednesday’s game and that was partly in pitcher-friendly Petco Park. It will be interesting to see what happens the rest of the season given he is switching leagues, parks and catchers.
▪ Speaking of the Padres, rapper Snoop Dogg threw out the first pitch in San Diego on Wednesday. Most first pitches aren’t strikes — most aren’t even over the plate — but then again, most pitches are lobbed in there (see 50 Cent throw a first pitch). Snoop Dogg went the opposite route, sacrificing accuracy for power. This was the result:
▪ Sosha Makani, a goalkeeper for the Iranian national team, was suspended for six months after a photo of him wearing Spongebob pants emerged.
Now the punishment seems a little excessive for the crime, although it appears as though Makani was on thin ice already — he was arrested in January after pictures of the 29-year-old surfaced of him socializing with women not in hijab, which is against Iranian law. The Iranian Football Federation was looking for any reason to drop Makani, and they found it in the form of pants.