Mon, Jan 01, 2018 - Page 10 News List

Donkeys and dates in ‘crazy’ odd 2017

AP

It was less like baseball and more like archery practice. Wherever Stephen Piscotty went, he had a bullseye on him.

In a bruising, battering tour around the bases, the St Louis Cardinals outfielder could not stay out of harm’s way. He was hit three times in one inning, as if being tracked by a GPS.

The pounding sequence began in the fifth when he was struck on the right arm by Chicago Cubs ace Jake Arietta. Piscotty shook it off and headed to first. It was only beginning. The ball soon got away from the catcher and Piscotty bolted for second, hit on his left arm by Wilson Contreras’ throw.

Then came a slow roller to second base that Kolten Wong overran. Piscotty rounded third and broke for home. Wong’s throw to the plate nailed him on the helmet. A shaken Piscotty walked to the dugout. He would later pass all concussion tests.

Piscotty majored in atmospheric and energy engineering at Stanford, but even he was puzzled by that inning against the Cubs.

“I’ve never seen that before,” he said. “Crazy.”

Piscotty was not the only Cardinal traveling strange byways last year. A ball somehow stuck to the chest protector of St Louis catcher Yadier Molina, who was asked if a foreign substance were responsible.

“That’s a dumb question,” he said.

This was also a year in which Atlanta Falcons receiver Julio Jones lost a US$100,000 earring while jet skiing, prompting erroneous reports that he hired a dive team to find it.

Olympic champion shooter Michael Diamond of Australia was convicted on firearms charges and his gun license was revoked. Mechanical doping came to the fore in France when an amateur cyclist was caught with a motor on his bike.

A bowler from upstate New York raced from one lane to another and rolled a perfect 300 game in less than 90 seconds. Jerry Bozzo sure beat the odds at Gulfstream Park, becoming the oldest thoroughbred trainer to win a race at 96.

The high hops and unscripted plays came from all over.

ANIMAL MAGNETISM

Shortstop Zack Cozart, then with the Cincinnati Reds, after making the All-Star team received a gift from a teammate that required more upkeep than a watch: a donkey.

Second baseman Rougned Odor was not wowed by his contract offer until Texas sweetened the deal by throwing in two horses.

“I love horses,” he said.

Fans of the top Danish soccer club Brondby threw out the welcome mat for opposing players by throwing dead rats at them.

A New Zealand cricket player tried to convince the court he had good reason for driving after too many drinks — he needed to console his distraught girlfriend over the death of a pet parrot.

ON THE GRID

Olympic gymnast Simone Biles posted a 14-minute video on Twitter of her gauze-filled mouth after her wisdom teeth were removed.

An Indiana high-school student won a bet with his teacher to call off a final exam by getting Kobe Bryant to give him a retweet.

The retired NBA star said: “Hope you have an A in this class.”

Canadian tennis star and model Eugenie Bouchard figured she was on safe ground. With the Falcons way ahead in the Super Bowl, she tweeted that she “knew Atlanta would win.”

A student replied with a dare: If the Patriots win, they go on a date.

Bouchard said sure and New England rallied to win from 25 points down. The two went to a Brooklyn Nets game.

THE BIG SLEEP

A death notice in the Richmond Times-Dispatch for a Patrick “Pat” Killebrew began by saying he “passed away peacefully at home after watching the Washington Nationals relief pitchers blow yet another lead.”

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