The St. Louis Cardinals raised their first World Series banner in 24 years on Sunday, but the New York Mets dampened the celebrations with a 6-1 opening day win.
The Mets got six strong innings from Tom Glavine, who notched his 291st career victory and out-dueled Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter.
Carlos Delgado opened the scoring with a two-run double and Paul Lo Duca drove in three runs for the Mets, who tied for the most wins in the majors last season with 97 before falling to St. Louis in seven games in an exciting National League Championship Series.
With Mets star righthander Pedro Martinez out until after the All-Star break with a rotator cuff injury, 40-year-olds Glavine and Orlando Hernandez will be counted on to lead a rotation that also includes second-year starter John Maine and unproven hurlers Oliver Perez and Mike Pelfrey.
Glavine put to rest any concerns that his age was finally catching up to him, yielding a run, six hits and a walk while striking out two to remain undefeated in his career when having a five-run lead. He also moved within nine wins of becoming the fifth lefthander all-time to reach 300 wins.
The game kicked off what promises to be a landmark baseball season.
San Francisco's Barry Bonds pursues a bittersweet bid for baseball history, with the controversial San Francisco Giants slugger needing 22 home runs to break Hank Aaron's hallowed all-time US mark of 755.
But Bonds' links to the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative steroid scandal have made him a pariah in the eyes of many baseball fans, who consider his batting statistics tainted.
For those weary of the Bonds saga and baseball's apparent inability to come to grips with doping, Japan's Daisuke Matsuzaka is a welcome antidote.
The 26-year-old righthander was a high-school legend and a hero for the Seibu Lions before accepting a six-year contract worth US$52 million to join the Boston Red Sox.
Matsuzaka, who is nicknamed "Dice-K," and his awe-inducing gyroball pitch join a veteran staff that features Curt Schilling, Josh Beckett and knuckleball specialist Tim Wakefield.
Such a stacked pitching lineup could give the Sox an edge over the New York Yankees in their American League East division feud.
Boston was scheduled to launch their season yesterday at Kansas City with Schilling on the mound.
The Yankees were also to see action yesterday, as are the Detroit Tigers, the defending American League champions, who return most of their pennant-winning lineup.
The Giants and Bonds open their season on today, when they host the San Diego Padres.
Uncertainty grips next year’s postponed Tokyo Olympic Games: Will there be fans or empty stadiums in 14 months? How will thousands of athletes, staff members and technical officials travel, be housed and stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic? And the Tokyo Games are not the only event. China, where COVID-19 was first detected, is to hold three mega-sports events in the year after the Tokyo Olympics are set to close. The World University Games in Chengdu, China, are to open, with up to 8,000 athletes, only 10 days after the Tokyo Games close. Next come the Beijing Winter Olympics beginning on Feb. 4, 2022,
PANDEMIC HYGIENE: Players had their temperatures checked, carried their own equipment and towels, and tapped rackets to congratulate the match winners Alison Riske and Danielle Collins of the US and Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic were among the winners on Friday, the opening day of a women’s tennis mini-tournament in Florida that offered professional players an opportunity to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The WTA women’s tennis tour canceled four more events this week and is not to resume until at least July 20. However, four women ranked in the top 60 in the world turned out for the UTR Pro Match Series event in Palm Beach, which followed a similar event for men two weeks ago. World No. 51 Collins toppled 28th-ranked compatriot Amanda Anisimova
The Rakuten Monkeys remained atop the CPBL table, despite a 5-7 loss to the Uni-President Lions in Taoyuan yesterday, while the CTBC Brothers fell to the Fubon Guardians at the Taichung Intercontinental Stadium. The visiting Guardians blasted three home runs in their 7-3 triumph, helping Dominican pitcher Henry Sosa pocket his second win of the season. Improving his record to 2-2, Sosa sailed through seven innings, allowing six hits while striking out five. He gave up one earned run in the opening frame, with two Brothers relievers mopping up the final two innings. Fubon’s marquee stars, designated hitter Hu Chin-lung and first baseman
Georgian tennis star Nikoloz Basilashvili, ranked 27th in the world, was on Sunday charged with physically assaulting his ex-wife, prosecutors said. A court in Tbilisi charged Basilashvili with perpetrating “violence against a family member committed in the presence of a minor,” before releasing him on US$30,000 bail, prosecutor Natia Guruli said. He faces up to three years in prison if found guilty. Basilashvili’s ex-wife, Neka Dorokashvili, on Sunday told Mtavari TV that Basilashvili “physically assaulted” her on Friday in the presence of their five-year-old son. Basilashvili denied the charges, his lawyer Irma Chkadua said. The 28-year-old won his second ATP Tour title at the China