National Sports News

Can pitcher Dylan Unsworth be South Africa’s next major leaguer?

While growing up in South Africa, where baseball is pretty far down in the hierarchy of sports, Dylan Unsworth often played catch with his father, just as so many kids do in the Americas. The Unsworths used a little different style though. “He would throw underhand to me, and I would throw overhand to him, so it was a little weird,” said Unsworth, pointing out that his father did so because he was a good softball pitcher. “He wasn’t really the fastest pitcher, but his control and command were outstanding. And that’s definitely my strength, so I’m taking after him a little bit.” A prospect in the Seattle Mariners’ system, Unsworth is hoping to become the second player — and first pitcher — from South Africa to reach the major leagues. On Tuesday, the Pittsburgh Pirates called up shortstop Gift Ngoepe, who grew up in the Johannesburg area, making him the country’s (and continent’s) first native to reach the highest level of professional…

Read More

Gennady Golovkin a no-go for June, hopes to fight Alvarez-Chavez Jr. winner

LONDON — Unified middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin will bypass a quick June return in his home country of Kazakhstan and instead look forward to a blockbuster fight in September against the winner of next week’s Canelo Alvarez-Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. fight, K2 Promotions managing director Tom Loeffler told ESPN on Wednesday. Golovkin, who eked out a decision win in a hard fight with Daniel Jacobs on March 18, had been close to a deal to fight middleweight titleholder Billy Joe Saunders?on June 10 at a 40,000-seat soccer stadium in Kazakhstan as part of the country’s Expo 2017, one of Golovkin’s sponsors. According to Loeffler, the combination of Golovkin getting a bit dinged up in the rough go with Jacobs, and Saunders’ promoter, Frank Warren, wanting to move the fight up one week was enough for them to scrap the plans. “Gennady is not going [to] fight in June,” Loeffler told ESPN during the Anthony Joshua-Wladimir Klitschko open workout at Wembley Arena on…

Read More

Cavs coach Tyronn Lue not bothered by LeBron James’ increased postseason minutes

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio –? Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue has no reservations about playing LeBron James 43.8 minutes per game in his team’s first-round sweep of the Indiana Pacers and, in fact, believes other coaches should ride their stars more in the postseason. “Of course, we’re always cognizant of LeBron’s minutes, but in looking at this situation, we didn’t look at the minutes as an issue,” Lue told ESPN. “It makes more sense to close out the series and have the additional rest versus playing potentially even more minutes, potentially 96-144 more minutes. Closing out and the rest that comes with it far outweighs the other potential scenario. James led the way for the Cavs past the Pacers with series averages of 32.8 points, 9.8 rebounds, 9.0 assists, 3.0 steals and 2.0 blocks. At 32 years old and in his 14th season, his 43.8 minutes per game in the postseason currently leads all players. It is an uptick from his 37.8 minutes per game in the…

Read More