Former St. Louis Cardinals and Hall of Fame outfielder Lou Brock died Sunday. Brock, 81, won two World Series Championships with the Cardinals. He spent 16 seasons in St. Louis after a little more than three seasons with the Chicago Cubs.
Brock was inducted in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1985. His Hall page described him as “baseball’s most dangerous player for more than a decade, pressuring opponents with speed and daring on the basepaths.”
Pitchers knew trouble was coming anytime they allowed Brock to reach base. Brock retired with the most all-time steals (938), but now he’s second to Rickey Henderson. Brock also had a 12-year streak of 50 or more stolen bases. He batted .293 in his career and is one of 32 players in the 3,000-hit club.
What Brock meant to the Cardinals and baseball goes beyond what he did on the field. He was active in mentoring Cardinals players. Many former and current players around baseball shared messages of what he meant to them.
“Lou Brock was one of the finest men I have ever known,” former Cardinal Albert Pujols said. “Coming into this league as a 21-year-old kid, Lou Brock was one of the first Hall-of-Fame players I had the privilege to meet. He told me I belonged here in the big-leagues.”
The Cardinals and Cubs held a moment of silence before Sunday’s game.
Djokovic’s default at U.S. Open comes when he least needed it
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal aren’t playing in the U.S. Open. That fact, plus Novak Djokovic’s having a 26-match winning streak, made Djokovic a strong favorite to win the Open.
That’s until his emotions got the best of him. Djokovic hit a line judge in the throat with a tennis ball from his pocket after frustration kicked in during the first set of his fourth-round matchup. He showed immediate concern, but at that point, his fate — disqualification from the tournament — was already decided. His 26-0 start in 2020 was a forgotten memory at that point.
Djokovic remains three Grand Slam titles behind Federer, and he squandered one of his best opportunities.
This situation wasn’t an anomaly. Djokovic had a similar scenario at the 2016 French Open when he threw his racket and it almost hit a line judge. If that person hadn’t been looking, Djokovic likely would have been disqualified.
Djokovic was asked in 2016 if his antics concerned him, but he downplayed the situation.
This is a damaging blow to Djokovic’s legacy. He’s been playing the best tennis on the planet, and it was hard seeing him not pick up his 18th career Grand Slam win at the Open.
Now, he’s left explaining himself after an ugly situation. Both the USTA and Djokovic issued statements after the incident.
Rajon Rondo is giving the Lakers what they were missing
When Rajon Rondo was hurt, LeBron James was probably the only playmaker on the Lakers roster who would scare teams. James averaged 10.2 assists this season, and when you subtract Rondo, the next closest is Anthony Davis at 3.2 per game.
Rondo averaged five assists in the regular season, and he’s long established himself as one of the NBA’s best playmakers. He holds a career average of eight assists and led the NBA in that category in three seasons.
That’s why Rondo’s big performance against the Rockets is just what the Lakers needed. James can’t do most of the playmaking himself, and Rondo’s return from a thumb injury is giving him an assist.
Rondo was a plus-28 in 29 minutes Sunday night. No other Laker was more than a plus-15, and five Lakers had a negative plus-minus.
For what he lacks as a shooter, Rondo makes up for as a passer, and he also showed his savviness on defense with five steals.
Rondo allows James to play more off the ball and get a tad more rest. That gives James the extra energy to make plays such as his chasedown block on Russell Westbrook.
The Lakers need Rondo’s playmaking skills to reach their aspirations.