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Indians set AL mark with 21st straight win; now chase disputed MLB record

Published: Wednesday, September 13, 2017 @ 4:07 PM

Francisco Lindor waits to celebrate with Jay Bruce (32) of the Cleveland Indians after both scored during the first inning on Bruce's homer at Progressive Field.
Jason Miller/Getty Images
Francisco Lindor waits to celebrate with Jay Bruce (32) of the Cleveland Indians after both scored during the first inning on Bruce's homer at Progressive Field.(Jason Miller/Getty Images)

The Cleveland Indians became the first American League team to win 21 consecutive games Wednesday, as a 5-3 victory against the Detroit Tigers completed a series sweep. The Indians’ victory snapped a tie with the Oakland Athletics, who won 20 consecutive games in 2002.

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Whether the Indians, now tied with the 1935 Chicago Cubs of the National League with 21 straight wins, go for the major-league record Thursday when they host the Kansas City Royals depends on whether you believe in asterisks.

A Giant asterisk.

The New York Giants were unbeaten in 26 games during the 1916 season, but there was a tie game sandwiched in the middle of the steak. The Giants won 12 straight games, played a 1-1 tie and then won 14 in a row.

The official record keeper of Major League Baseball still recognizes the Giants’ streak

"A tie was never an acceptable result of a baseball game," Steve Hirdt, executive vice president at the Elias Sports Bureau, told ABC News. "If one happened because of darkness or rain or some certain circumstance, the game was played over.

“The Giants' 26-game winning streak has existed since the beginning of time," Hirdt told ABC News. “I do not know why certain people are looking at the 21 now and holding that up as the record or alternately trying to parse language so that they can somehow exclude the 26.

"It's the longest winning streak, it's the record for most consecutive wins, etc., because a tie game breaks neither a winning streak or losing streak for a team because it always gets replayed unless the season ends first."

Some media outlets refused to split hairs. Fox Sports tweeted “The @Indians tie the MLB record for most consecutive games with a win.”

Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports tweeted his agreement with Fox Sports, posting that “Unbeaten ≠ winning streak.”

The official Twitter account of Major League Baseball was vague enough to satisfy both sides: 

Jay Bruce hit a three-run homer off Buck Farmer (4-3), and Mike Clevinger (10-5) won his fourth straight start for Cleveland.

LaVar Ball minimizes Trump's role in getting UCLA players released

Published: Saturday, November 18, 2017 @ 10:40 AM

UCLA basketball players LiAngelo Ball and Cody Riley. left, addressed the media when they returned from China.
Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images
UCLA basketball players LiAngelo Ball and Cody Riley. left, addressed the media when they returned from China.(Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images)

LaVar Ball downplayed President Donald Trump’s role in having his son and two other UCLA basketball players released from custody after a shoplifting incident in China, ESPN reported.

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“Who? What was (Trump) over there for? Don’t tell me nothing,” Ball told ESPN. “Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out.”

LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley had been detained in China for the past week on suspicion of shoplifting. The three players returned to Los Angeles on Tuesday and were indefinitely suspended by the team.

Trump, who returned from Asia late Tuesday, said he raised the question of releasing the players when he spoke with China’s president, Xi Jinping, during a trip to Beijing last week, ESPN reported.

The players were questioned about allegedly stealing from three stores in Hangzhou, including sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store next to the team’s hotel. They were released on bail on Nov. 8, ESPN reported.

"As long as my boy's back here, I'm fine," Ball told ESPN. "I'm happy with how things were handled. A lot of people like to say a lot of things that they thought happened over there. Like I told him, 'They try to make a big deal out of nothing sometimes.' I'm from L.A. I've seen a lot worse things happen than a guy taking some glasses. 

“Everybody gets stuck on the negativity of some things and they get stuck on them too long. That's not me. I handle what's going on and then we go from there.”

Alaskan woman sets world powerlifting record

Published: Saturday, November 18, 2017 @ 3:22 AM

Weightlifter.
Mike Powell/Getty Images
Weightlifter.(Mike Powell/Getty Images)

A woman from Alaska set a squat world record by lifting 603 pounds during the World Open Powerlifting Championships in Pilsen, Czech Republic on Friday, KTUU reported.

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Natalie Hanson of Bethel, competing in the 185-pound class, shattered the mark of 591 pounds set by Kozlova Olena of the Ukraine in 2014.

A video clip posted by the International Powerlifting Federation shows Hanson, watched by five spotters, break the world record.

“It has only been about 12 hours so it is still sinking in,” Hanson told KTUU. “I’m really amazed by how many Alaskans were awake in the middle of the night to watch me compete. The support I receive from fellow Alaskans is unparalleled.”

NCAA champion South Carolina women decline White House invitation

Published: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 4:29 AM

Univ. of South Carolina Women’s Basketball Team Decline White House Invite

South Carolina women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley said the only invitation that interests her is one to the 2018 NCAA Tournament.

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That was one of the reasons why Staley declined an invitation from the White House to attend a ceremony Friday to honor college sports’ championship teams, ESPN reported.

“We did hear from the White House about attending tomorrow's event, but we will not be able to attend,” Staley said in a statement. “As I've been saying since our practices for this season started, all of our focus is on the season ahead. The only invitation we are thinking about is to the 2018 NCAA Tournament.”

The White House did not provide a list of the teams attending, ESPN reported.

The Gamecocks won their first national championship in April. At the time, Staley said the team would go to the White House because “it's what it stands for. It's what national champions do.”

However, Staley told The Associated Press in September that the South Carolina squad had yet to receive an invitation.

“That in itself speaks volumes,” she said, adding that she was not sure the Gamecocks would accept an invitation after “some things transpired over the last few months,” ESPN reported.

President Donald Trump hosted the 2016 NCAA football champion Clemson Tigers at the White House in June. The University of North Carolina's 2017 national championship men's basketball team said earlier this year it could not agree on a date for a visit.

Hope Solo accuses former FIFA president of sexual assault

Published: Saturday, November 11, 2017 @ 12:47 AM

Hope Solo and Sepp Blatter announce Abby Wambach as FIFA women's player of the year during the Ballon d'Or Gala in 2013.
Christof Koepsel/Getty Images
Hope Solo and Sepp Blatter announce Abby Wambach as FIFA women's player of the year during the Ballon d'Or Gala in 2013.(Christof Koepsel/Getty Images)

United States women’s national team goalkeeper Hope Solo accused former FIFA president Sepp Blatter of sexually assaulting her in 2013, ESPN reported.

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Solo told Expresso that Blatter grabbed her buttocks before the pair went on stage in 2013 to present an award to Solo’s teammate, Abby Wambach.

“It's been normalized,” Solo said of such behavior.

A representative for Blatter called the allegation “ridiculous” in a statement to Expresso and The Guardian.

Solo and Blatter walked onstage together in January 2013 to present the 2012 women's world player of the year award to Wambach.

“I was in shock and completely thrown off," Solo told The Guardian on Friday. “I had to quickly pull myself together to present my teammate with the biggest award of her career and celebrate with her in that moment, so I completely shifted my focus to Abby.”

Solo said she never saw Blatter again after the ceremony, ESPN reported. 

“That was kind of bad,” she told Expresso. “I didn't get to tell him directly. ‘Don't ever touch me!’ That's the way I've always handled things. Directly.”

Blatter, now 81, was banned by FIFA in 2015 over a conflict of interest case.

“While in this instance it was Sepp Blatter, who was the most powerful man in football at the time, sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior are rampant at every level in women's sport, and it needs to stop,” Solo said.