The Mercury News https://www.mercurynews.com Thu, 28 Jul 2022 05:15:12 +0000 en-US hourly 30 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.0.1 https://www.mercurynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/32x32-mercury-news-white.png?w=32 The Mercury News https://www.mercurynews.com 32 32 116372247 Miss Manners: Was I wrong to ask what he knew about these people? https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/07/28/miss-manners-was-i-too-nosy-about-these-people-interested-in-my-club/ https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/07/28/miss-manners-was-i-too-nosy-about-these-people-interested-in-my-club/#respond Thu, 28 Jul 2022 08:30:12 +0000 https://www.mercurynews.com/?p=9382044 DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am the president of a small social club. At a party, a member was approached by two individuals expressing interest in joining, and they gave him their contact information.

I was delighted when our club member informed me about these two interested individuals. I was also happy to hear that they might show up at our monthly meeting, at my home. (This is common practice in the club, without necessarily asking for the host’s permission. We only ask that the host be informed in advance, as I was.)

After thanking our club member for helping to find prospective members, I asked for their contact information. He responded by saying that he did not feel comfortable sharing their contact information without permission.

As the president of the club and the host of the upcoming meeting, was I out of line to ask for this, since these individuals had given their contact information to another club member (not me)? All I wanted to do was to personally greet them and formally invite them to my home for the meeting.

GENTLE READER: The sponsoring member seems to Miss Manners to be too easily made uncomfortable, as it is difficult to assail the logic that you can neither invite, nor admit, someone you cannot reach.

Rather than convince them of this, explain that you would never forgive yourself for the rudeness of not issuing a personal invitation to a guest and prospective member, and that therefore they should get their guest’s permission to share the information. If this fails, it is time for a rule change, which, as president, should be easy for you to accomplish. The new rule is that hosts are to be informed of the names and contact information of meeting attendees.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: When people get together and make a toast, everyone wants to clink glasses. Is that necessary? Is it OK to just raise our glasses instead of physically touching everyone’s drink?

I would be very grateful if your reply could convince my friends that feelings of goodwill would still be genuine if we didn’t stretch across a table to make sure every single glass connected with all the others.

GENTLE READER: It is the feelings, not the threat to the glassware, that is important, Miss Manners agrees.

If you hold your glass in front of you, look a distant neighbor in the eye, and raise your glass, that may be enough to prevent a stampede.

If anyone wants to discuss the matter further, ask how the host or hostess is going to feel if you switch to a more expensive custom — that of breaking the glasses after the toast.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am a recently retired public school teacher who has gone back into education as a substitute teacher. I need to know how to properly sign email correspondence. Do I sign “Hope Fairfield, Teacher, Retired”? Or “Hope Fairfield, Substitute Teacher, Retired Teacher”?

GENTLE READER: Substitute teachers have enough trouble asserting their legitimacy in classrooms. Why exacerbate the issue? You are Hope Fairfield, Teacher. Unless, of course, you want to preface it with “part-time” in order not to invite more employment. If that is the case, Miss Manners certainly will not spoil it for you.

Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, www.missmanners.com; to her email, dearmissmanners@gmail.com; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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Dear Abby: I think I’ll die before I stop longing for the man who divorced me https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/07/28/dear-abby-i-think-ill-die-before-i-stop-longing-for-the-man-who-divorced-me/ https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/07/28/dear-abby-i-think-ill-die-before-i-stop-longing-for-the-man-who-divorced-me/#respond Thu, 28 Jul 2022 08:00:39 +0000 https://www.mercurynews.com/?p=9374342 DEAR ABBY: I cannot seem to get over the loss of my first husband decades ago.

I still think of him often. I am still grieving our divorce and his subsequent marriage to someone I’d known for many years. They have happily gone on with their lives.

I am a widow now. My second husband was like me, dumped by his first wife, and we cobbled a life together as best we could. My problem is that I can’t stop longing for my first husband. Logically, I know we’ll never be together, even if he were free from his marriage to the “other woman.”

How does one ever get beyond the grief from a marriage that made me feel happy, safe and loved? Do others suffer for decades? I can’t seem to move past the sadness, but would like to be free of these feelings before I pass away.

MISSING THAT LIFE

DEAR MISSING: You are stuck in a rut of your own making, grieving the loss of your first marriage because there’s nothing else going on in your life to distract you.

If you want to get beyond this, start finding other things to occupy your time and your thoughts. Explore special interest groups you can join and activities that will take you out into the community so you have less time alone to brood. And if that isn’t enough, consider asking your doctor to refer you to a licensed mental health professional.


DEAR ABBY:
My adult granddaughter, “Lola,” is in a two-year relationship with a wonderful young man and has been anticipating a proposal.

During a conversation, he mentioned he would not propose to her until he has introduced her to his parents, who live in another state.

He says his mother wants him to marry a woman who has never been married or divorced and who has not had a child. Lola is divorced (due to her ex-husband’s infidelity) and has a young son. This seems to her to be a no-win situation if he won’t propose until she’s met his parents, but he lacks the courage to introduce her to them.

What is my granddaughter to do? She’s so unhappy and disappointed.

IMPOSSIBLE IN TEXAS

DEAR IMPOSSIBLE: Your granddaughter’s boyfriend is a mama’s boy. The decision of whom to marry should be his, not his mother’s. If, after two years, he cannot summon up the courage to introduce her proudly to his parents, she should quit wasting her time with him because this romance will go no further than it already has.

DEAR ABBY: The past couple of years I’ve given $300 to $400 in cash to my personal trainer and his therapist wife for their birthdays and Christmas. When I hand them the card, they’ll thank me for the card, but I never hear another word.

How do I know they just didn’t throw away an unopened card? Maybe I’ve insulted them with the cash? Or someone pilfered it? Or is this a sign of the times?

BITTER IN THE WEST

DEAR BITTER: The next time you hand them their cards, say, “I hope you can use what’s inside to get yourself something nice or have some fun.” (If you still want to continue giving them money, that is!)

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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Nootropic Supplements: A New Wave of Smart Drugs https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/07/28/nootropic-supplements/ https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/07/28/nootropic-supplements/#respond Thu, 28 Jul 2022 08:00:02 +0000 https://www.mercurynews.com/?p=9393408 Sponsored Content

In today’s day and age, lifestyles have gone from relaxing on the weekends to working 24/7. With this influx of working hours, many of us tend to overextend ourselves or we start to lose focus. However, with the advent of smart drugs and nootropics in particular. We are able to improve not only our focus and memory. We are able to improve our overall lives.

 

What are Nootropics?

Nootropics are a class of supplements that fall under the umbrella of smart drugs. What does that mean? It means that they are able to enhance cognitive functions when used. They tend to lean more towards executive functions in the brain. They’re able to aid with attention, memory, creativity, and even motivation.

 

Types of Nootropics

In the world of nootropics, the most prevalent are those related to the racetam family. These nootropic supplements include piracetam, phenylpiracetam, aniracetam and oxiracetam. These variations of smart drugs can often be found as over the counter supplements. Both piracetam and aniracetam are known to act as positive allosteric modulators of specific receptors called AMPA receptors.

Another variation of nootropics that you may not realize is even in the category of nootropics is caffeine. Caffeine is in things from coffee to teas and candies. However, the downside to caffeine is that there is a possibility to consume too much of it. Not only that, caffeine tends to be addictive and so you can then become dependent on it.

Similar to caffeine, another popular supplement especially among the bodybuilding and fitness industries is creatine. Now, creatine does occur naturally within the body and is a building block of the proteins our body produces. However, creatine created externally should only be taken for 5 years by those that are deemed healthy and at a measurement of 30 grams per day. This is because it merits some pretty intense side effects.

Something else you probably didn’t realize was a nootropic is omega 3 fatty acids. They are often found in fatty fish as well as fish oil supplements.

 

Most Common Nootropic Supplements

But before we go too far off of this nootropics journey, let’s take a look at a few of the most popular variations of nootropic supplements. That way, if you find one that works for you. You’ll know where to start.

Alpha GPC

Alpha GPC is a naturally occurring compound that can be found in the brain. The compound itself is a choline compound which is also a parasympathomimetic acetylcholine precursor. Most of the research around this nootropic supplement focuses on its potential as a treatment for alzheimers as well as other variations of dementia.

By taking Alpha GPC as an external nootropic supplement, you are increasing your brain’s ability to deliver choline to the brain through the blood brain barrier.

General benefits that you may notice when taking Alpha GPC may include better cognitive function, better work performance, improved memory, as well as improvements in concentration and alertness.

Aniracetam

Aniracetam is one of many variations of nootropics that can be found in the racetam family of nootropics. In multiple studies, aniracetam has shown that it can positively modulate the AMPA receptor in our brain. When taken as a nootropic supplement orally, it quickly breaks down during its trip through the hepatic metabolism.

This particular nootropic is able to increase plasticity of the mind and in doing so improve learning and memory retention. It does this by increasing blood flow and oxygen to the brain.

Noopept

Noopept is a nootropic supplement with a slightly different background than most other nootropics. That is because it is a derivative of a peptide. It boasts a higher bioavailability than nootropics such as those in the racetam family as well. This makes it a great contender for use in assisting cognitive functions.

Noopept is most commonly used as a way to improve memory and concentration. However, it has also shown an affinity to improve moods as well.

Phenibut

In the world of nootropics where improving cognitive function is the key contender. There are other variations of cognitive function and repair that need tending to as well. This is where phenibut comes into play as a nootropic supplement. It was originally created and studied as a treatment for anxiety. However, it has since then expanded in use.

So rather than just being used as a treatment for just anxiety or stress. It is also used as a way to strengthen an individual’s cognitive functions in addition to improving a person’s mood as well as enhancing memory capabilities.

 

Benefits

While most modern aged individuals use nootropics and other smart drugs for improvements in their daily lives. These nootropic supplements are capable of doing so much more. For example, in the medical field, nootropics are constantly under study as an alternative to other medications. Specifically medications that treat things like alzheimers, narcolepsy, ADHD, or dementia.

But that hasn’t stopped these supplements from being used by the everyday student or business person. In fact, they are used more frequently as a way to improve a person’s concentration, attention, and memory.

 

Side Effects

Now, as with most supplements or drugs, nootropics have the potential to have drug interactions with other supplements. Therefore, it is recommended that if you’re on medications for things like heart disease, diabetes, or birth control that you do not use nootropic supplement. This is because nootropics may potentially alter the effects of these types of medications on the body.

Something else to consider is that each nootropic may have its own specific side effects. That being said, these supplements are still breaking boundaries in the cognitive world of health. You can learn more about nootropic supplements by clicking here.

 

 

The news and editorial staff of the Bay Area News Group had no role in this post’s preparation.

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Yankees pick up Royals outfielder Andrew Benintendi https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/07/27/yankees-pick-up-royals-outfielder-andrew-benintendi/ https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/07/27/yankees-pick-up-royals-outfielder-andrew-benintendi/#respond Thu, 28 Jul 2022 05:15:12 +0000 https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/07/27/yankees-pick-up-royals-outfielder-andrew-benintendi/ The Yankees were expecting to see Andrew Benintendi on Thursday, they just weren’t expecting to see the All-Star outfielder in their clubhouse. The Yankees announced they had acquired Benintendi in a deal with Kansas City. The Royals, coincidentally, will be in the Bronx for a four-game series beginning Thursday night.

ESPN first reported the deal, which sends three minor league pitchers back to Kansas City, on the heels of the Yankees being swept by the Mets in the Subway Series. The Yankees have now gone 14-15 in their last 29 games.

The 28-year old Benintendi is slashing .321/.389/.399 with three home runs this season. The left-handed hitter made his first All-Star Game appearance this season and is scheduled to become a free agent after the season.

The 2021 Gold Glove Award winner, Benintendi has made 89 starts in left field this year and has not made an error in 164 total chances. His 40 outfield assists since 2017 are tied for the fourth-most in the Majors in that span.

Over seven Major League seasons with the Red Sox (2016-20) and Royals (2021-22), he has batted .280 with 71 home runs and 65 stolen bases in 712 career games. He has hit .324/.410/.491 with 45 doubles, nine triples, 14 home runs with runners in scoring position.

Benintendi also has the playoff experience the Yankees hope will make a difference. He has made the postseason three times with the Red Sox, including winning a World Series. He hit .272/.322/.407 with two home runs and nine RBI in 21 career postseason games. In 2018, he started 13 of 14 playoff games for the Red Sox during their World Series run.

The Royals were initially seeking top prospects for Benintendi.

The price came down somewhat, however, after it was revealed that Benintendi was not vaccinated against the coronavirus at the time the Royals were headed to Toronto and he therefore could not enter Canada. The Yankees have one more series in Toronto in the regular season and there is a chance that they could have to go to Canada for the playoffs.

The Yankees have been interested in adding a left-handed outfield bat to take over for the struggling Joey Gallo, who they got at last year’s trade deadline. Gallo is hitting .161/.285/.343 with 12 home runs and 24 RBI in 230 at-bats this season. He did not play in the Yankees’ loss to the Mets Wednesday night.

The Royals spent weeks scouring the Yankees system in the spring and early months of the season and some in their organization think there are plenty of other prospects to try and work a deal with. Even in the lowest level Florida Complex League, the source told the News earlier this month there are “lots of players to consider,” in a possible deal.

The Royals get right-handed pitcher Beck Way, who the Yankees picked up in the fourth round of the 2020 draft along with right-handed pitcher Chandler Champlain and left-handed pitcher TJ Sikkema.

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Orioles lose to Rays, 6-4, in 10 innings after Tyler Wells exits with lower back discomfort https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/07/27/orioles-lose-to-rays-6-4-in-10-innings-after-tyler-wells-exits-with-lower-back-discomfort/ https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/07/27/orioles-lose-to-rays-6-4-in-10-innings-after-tyler-wells-exits-with-lower-back-discomfort/#respond Thu, 28 Jul 2022 04:40:13 +0000 https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/07/27/orioles-starting-pitcher-tyler-wells-exits-game-vs-rays-with-lower-back-discomfort/ The Orioles lost their starter, then lost the game with their closer.

Orioles starting pitcher Tyler Wells exited Wednesday night’s 6-4 loss against the Tampa Bay Rays with side and lower back discomfort, the team said. The decisive runs came in the 10th inning off All-Star Jorge López, with Randy Arozarena continuing to haunt the Orioles with a two-run double.

Wells will be evaluated further Thursday morning, but manager Brandon Hyde said there’s a “pretty good chance” he will need an injured list stint.

“I was out there, and it happened, and I was like, ‘Oh, that doesn’t feel great,’” Wells said. “And then I didn’t want to continue to try and test it because you see it so many times with other people, one extra one and it just re-irritates it, and I wanted to make sure that I stayed on top of it and didn’t really get to a point of where I made it any worse.”

Wells threw his 69th pitch, an 87 mph slider, with one out in the fifth inning and began grimacing on the mound while holding his left side. Hyde, pitching coach Chris Holt and head athletic trainer Brian Ebel came out to the mound, with Wells eventually gingerly walking off the field with Ebel. Dillon Tate came in to replace him.

Wells, a 27-year-old in his second major league season, was making his 20th start of the season, tying veteran Jordan Lyles for the most on the team. The Orioles said before the season they would exercise caution with Wells throughout the year. Between Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery in 2019 and the lost 2020 minor league season, he did not pitch in a game for two years before Baltimore took him in the Rule 5 draft and used him as a reliever.

Wells’ 94 2/3 innings rank second most on the team behind Lyles and are nearly 40 more than he threw out of the Orioles’ bullpen in 2021. He said he’s been dealing with tightness in his hips and back of late, working on mobility to keep himself loose.

“I haven’t been a starter, haven’t been thrown this many innings in three years, so it’s definitely my body kind of re-acclimating to the overall workload,” Wells said. “But it’s all part of it.”

His effectiveness had prompted the Orioles to loosen the leash on him somewhat. Before his start Friday to open the second half of the season, Wells had 17 straight outings in which he allowed three or fewer earned runs, the second-longest such streak from an Oriole since 1969. He went at least five innings in 11 of those starts and completed six frames in five of them.

“It is unfortunate,” Hyde said. “I’m hoping for the best, and we’ll see. I’m not gonna make any judgments right now, but I’m hoping for the best, but it is somebody that we’ve been trying to be careful with throughout this year, and sometimes, you can’t control some things.”

Wells left a runner on second for Tate, who allowed him to score. Wells finished the outing with four earned runs allowed, the first three coming on a pair of home runs, and a 3.90 ERA, the lowest among Orioles with at least 10 starts.

The Orioles trailed 4-2 after the fifth inning, getting a run back in the bottom half when Trey Mancini broke an 0-for-26 skid with a single that scored a run thanks to Rays right fielder Luke Raley’s throwing error. Raley homered off Wells in the second inning, with Ji-Man Choi hitting a two-run shot in the first.

Yandy Díaz’s double off Tate to score the runner he inherited from Wells marked the only run that scored with an Orioles reliever on the mound in regulation. Baltimore’s bullpen collectively pitched 14 1/3 scoreless innings in the series before the 10th inning.

Big day for shortstops

The day the Orioles officially added a new shortstop prospect to their farm system and another continued his push for a major league promotion with a pair of home runs at Triple-A, their current player at that position sent the game to extras.

With one out in the bottom of the ninth, Jorge Mateo laced a game-tying home run. It marked the farthest right of center he has hit a homer in his major league career and a rare offensive outburst from a player who has made more of an impact for Baltimore with his defense and speed. The latter was on display even on the home run, with Mateo losing his helmet on his trot and leaving it on the ground near first base as he made his way home.

“I’ve been putting a lot of work in overall but especially trying to hit the ball towards the opposite fields,” Mateo said through team interpreter Brandon Quinones. “It’s not surprising to me, and I’m happy that the hard work is paying off.”

The highlight came on the day Baltimore welcomed Jackson Holliday, the first overall pick in the 2022 draft, to Camden Yards, and Gunnar Henderson, Baltimore’s No. 2 prospect, homered twice in Triple-A. The Orioles threatened to win in the bottom of the ninth, putting two on after Mateo’s home run, but Anthony Santander struck out to send the game to the decisive extra frame.

Vavra ‘eager, excited’ to debut

Infielder Terrin Vavra learned late Monday night not long after Triple-A Norfolk arrived in Memphis that he was heading to Baltimore. Perhaps the most exciting part beyond his looming debut is that his wife, Carlie, will be able to watch it.

Carlie, 35 weeks pregnant, has been back in Vavra’s home state of Minnesota for much of the season, unable to watch her husband play. But she got clearance from her doctors to join the rest of his immediate family on a flight to Baltimore to watch his first game with the Orioles.

They’re still waiting. Vavra, Baltimore’s No. 12 prospect according to Baseball America, didn’t make it to the ballpark Tuesday until 4 p.m., flying from Memphis to Washington that morning after being notified of the promotion late Monday. He also wasn’t in the lineup Wednesday, but he’s looking forward to being part of an Orioles team that he’s watched play well from a distance while part of a Triple-A team featuring other top infield prospects Henderson and Jordan Westburg.

“As a team down there, we’re trying to get to this point, and we see what they’re doing up here, and we’re trying to try to replicate that down there,” Vavra said. “But then obviously we’re looking forward to the opportunity to get up here and do the same thing. So yeah, eager, excited. Ready to get here and just try to help with winning games.”

RAYS@ORIOLES

Thursday, 12:35 p.m.

TV: MASN

Radio: 97.9 FM, 101.5 FM, 1090 AM

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Mets ace Max Scherzer no fan of new PitchCom system: ‘It should be illegal’ https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/07/27/mets-ace-max-scherzer-no-fan-of-new-pitchcom-system-it-should-be-illegal/ https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/07/27/mets-ace-max-scherzer-no-fan-of-new-pitchcom-system-it-should-be-illegal/#respond Thu, 28 Jul 2022 04:35:54 +0000 https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/07/27/mets-ace-max-scherzer-no-fan-of-new-pitchcom-system-it-should-be-illegal/ Major League Baseball introduced PitchCom this year, a system that allows catchers to call signs for their pitcher electronically, sending the call directly to their ear rather than doing it the traditional way by putting down fingers for everybody to see.

One of their best pitchers ever is not a fan.

“Here’s what I’ll say about PitchCom,” Max Scherzer said after twirling seven sparkling innings in the Mets’ win over the Yankees on Wednesday. “It works, yeah, does it help? Yes. I also think it should be illegal. I don’t think it should be in the game.”

Scherzer was using the technology for the first time on Wednesday, something he said he did at the behest of catcher Tomas Nido. His reasoning for not liking it wasn’t because the electronic communication can be hard to hear, or because the wearable technology is uncomfortable, but rather because it takes away an old school element of baseball.

“Stealing signs is part of the game,” he said. “For me, I’ve always taken pride in having a complex system of signs and having that advantage over other pitchers. The fact that we’re taking this out of the game and putting in technology, now you can’t steal signs on something, the pitcher can’t have an advantage of having a complex system. It’s part of baseball, trying to crack somebody’s signs.”

PitchCom was instituted in the first place to improve pace of play. The thinking from the league office is that instead of the catcher running through a series of signs, pressing a button is way quicker. It also eliminates the process of a pitcher shaking off pitch after pitch, or stepping off the mound because they think a base runner has picked up on the signs. That typically led to a conference between pitcher and catcher, another thing that added to the time of game.

“Does it have its desired intent of speeding up the game a little bit? Yes,” Scherzer acknowledged. “I also think it takes away part of the game.”

Birthdays always seem to have a way of providing clarity in life. This whole spiel came on Scherzer’s 38th birthday, and it doesn’t sound like his 39th trip around the sun will include very much PitchCom. When asked if he’ll go back to it in the future, he was extremely non-committal.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I’ll continue to think about it. I might.”

If the Mets, say, meet up with the Astros down the line, perhaps Scherzer will change his tune.

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Mets sweep Subway Series with Yankees on Starling Marte’s 9th inning walk off https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/07/27/mets-sweep-subway-series-with-yankees-on-starling-martes-9th-inning-walk-off/ https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/07/27/mets-sweep-subway-series-with-yankees-on-starling-martes-9th-inning-walk-off/#respond Thu, 28 Jul 2022 03:56:00 +0000 https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/07/27/mets-sweep-subway-series-with-yankees-on-starling-martes-9th-inning-walk-off/ Walk-offs are more fun, right?

The Mets will certainly take their 3-2, last-minute win over the Yankees on Wednesday, but the events that led up to it were less than ideal.

A deeply strange managerial decision in the top of the eighth, a blown chance in the bottom of the eighth and a two-out single in the top of the ninth that forced them to face Aaron Judge are all dust in the wind now. Starling Marte won the game for the Mets with a single in the bottom of the ninth, and the win goes into the books all the same. Even better for the suddenly streaking Mets, it completed a sweep against the best team in the league.

“Every game is a big game, especially in the situation that we’re in currently,” Marte said afterward with the help of team translator Alan Suriel. “We’re playing a tremendous team who’s also in first place, but we continue to battle. Luckily, things came out right and we were able to win the game.”

Before the pandemonium of a walk-off and the mini collapse that made it necessary in the first place, Max Scherzer had himself a pretty nice 38th birthday.

“You want to come to the park and get a win,” the birthday boy said. “That’s all I wanted for my birthday, so that’s what we got.”

With the Mets needing a win to sweep a two-game series from the reeling Yankees, Scherzer lived up to his $43.3 million salary. The bullheaded veteran gave the Mets seven innings of vintage Scherzer, helping them get most of the way to a win.

Before the game, Mets’ manager Buck Showalter was asked about Scherzer, who has become the team’s de facto ace as Jacob deGrom inches his way back to full health. It hasn’t all been roses for Scherzer, who himself missed a month and a half with an oblique injury. But with a player like Scherzer, the manager explained, there was no need to fret about how he’d handle his first Subway Series start.

“If it’s 3,000 people at a spring training game, Max is the same guy,” Showalter said. “If he’s doing drills on a back field, he approaches it the same way. He never fails to have a competitive edge, regardless of what the atmosphere is. That’s good, because a lot of guys aren’t able to do that. I love it.”

Showalter and the Mets had to love what they saw on Wednesday night — though some batted ball luck surely helped — and conversely, the Yankees went home kicking themselves for the second night in a row. They were 0-for-8 on Tuesday with runners in scoring position and 0-for-7 on Wednesday. That noise you heard throughout the game was Yankee general manager Brian Cashman furiously calling up other GM’s to trade for another bat, who turned out to be Andrew Benintendi.

Now, about that managerial decision from Showalter. Five pitches was all it took to briefly spoil Scherzer’s birthday. Staked to a 2-0 lead, having just watched Scherzer put together his masterpiece, David Peterson came in for the eighth.

Four-pitch walk to Anthony Rizzo, first-pitch bomb to Gleyber Torres, tie game.

Showalter’s decision to use Peterson was questionable at best and reckless at worst. Peterson is a career starter who had pitched just three times out of the bullpen this year, four times in his entire career. More importantly, his outing on Wednesday came on the shortest rest he’s ever had. Peterson last pitched on July 24 against San Diego, giving him just two days off. It’ll be interesting now to see how much time off he has to dwell on this Subway Series slip up.

“Looking at their track record, they obviously don’t [pinch] hit for Rizzo and haven’t hit for [Matt] Carpenter in that situation,” Showalter explained. “It was kind of where we were in our bullpen, knowing we were going to have to pitch a couple innings out of there. I liked the way that Peterson came back and got Carpenter. It’s a good learning experience for him.”

Marte saved him in the end though, bringing home Eduardo Escobar who kicked off the ninth with a bullet double into left field. Marte, Escobar and Scherzer were all getting their first taste of the Subway Series, and it’s safe to say they liked the flavor.

“We like playing in situations like that because we know how to control the game,” Marte said, wearing the team’s massive emerald green sombrero that’s given to the player of the game. “We really control our at-bats and take each at-bat seriously.”

“This is fun,” Scherzer said. “This is for bragging rights in New York. It’s fun to compete in an atmosphere like this. Fortunately we played well enough to win both games.”

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NBA free agents: List mostly picked clean, but Hassan Whiteside, Markieff Morris remain https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/07/27/nba-free-agents-list-mostly-picked-clean-but-hassan-whiteside-markieff-morris-remain/ https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/07/27/nba-free-agents-list-mostly-picked-clean-but-hassan-whiteside-markieff-morris-remain/#respond Thu, 28 Jul 2022 03:22:57 +0000 https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/07/25/nba-free-agents-list-remains-in-a-holding-pattern-three-weeks-in-2/ Where the NBA free-agent list stands:

Best available: Miles Bridges (R), Colin Sexton (R), Montrzel Harrell, Dennis Schroder, Eric Bledsoe, Hassan Whiteside, Rodney Hood, Kent Bazemore, Carmelo Anthony, Rajon Rondo, Dwight Howard, Markieff Morris, Elfrid Payton, Paul Millsap, Wayne Ellington, Blake Griffin, Tristan Thompson, Kemba Walker.

Agreed to terms: Kyle Anderson (Timberwolves), Deandre Ayton (Suns), Marvin Bagley III (Pistons), Mo Bamba (Magic), Nicolas Batum (Clippers), Bradley Beal (Wizards), Nemanja Bjelica (Turkey), Bismack Biyombo (Suns), Bol Bol (Magic), Bruce Brown (Nuggets), Charlie Brown Jr. (76ers), Moses Brown (Clippers), Troy Brown Jr. (Lakers), Jalen Brunson (Knicks), Thomas Bryant (Lakers), Chris Boucher (Raptors), Ignas Brazdeikis (Lithuania), Vlatko Cancar (Nuggets), Javon Carter (Bucks), Justin Champagnie (Raptors), Nicolas Claxton (Nets), Amir Coffey (Clippers), Sharife Cooper (Hawks), Dewayne Dedmon (Heat), Gorgui Dieng (Spurs), Donte DiVencenzo (Warriors), Lu Dort (Thunder), Goran Dragic (Bulls), Aaron Holiday (Hawks), Andre Drummond (Bulls), Kessler Edwards (Nets), Drew Eubanks (Trail Blazers), Bruno Fernando (Rockets), Malik Fitts (Celtics), Bryn Forbes (Timberwolves), Danilo Gallinari (Celtics), Taj Gibson (Wizards), Anthony Gill (Wizards), JaMychal Green (Warriors), Gary Harris (Magic), James Harden (76ers), Isaiah Hartenstein (Knicks), Sam Hauser (Celtics), Juancho Herangomez (Raptors), Danuel House (76ers), Markus Howard (Spain), Sergei Ibaka (Bucks), Joe Ingles (Bucks), Damian Jones (Lakers), Derrick Jones Jr. (Bulls), Tyus Jones (Grizzlies), DeAndre Jordan (Nuggets), Frank Kaminsky (Hawks), Nathan Knight (Timberwolves), Luke Kornet (Celtics), Kevin Knox II (Pistons), Zach LaVine (Bulls), Damion Lee (Suns), Robin Lopez (Cavaliers), Kevon Looney (Warriors), Caleb Martin (Heat), Cody Martin (Hornets), Wesley Matthews (Bucks), JaVale McGee (Mavericks), Patty Mills (Nets), Malik Monk (Kings), Mike Muscala (Thunder), RJ Nembhard (Cavaliers), Raul Neto (Cavaliers), Jusuf Nurkic (Trail Blazers), Josh Okogie (Suns), Semi Ojeleye (Italy), Victor Oladipo (Heat), Gary Payton II (Trail Blazers), Theo Pinson (Mavericks), Yves Pons (France), Otto Porter Jr. (Raptors), Bobby Portis (Bucks), Myles Powell (China). Trevelin Queen (76ers), Neemias Queta (Kings), Davon Reed (Nuggets), Austin Rivers (Timberwolves). Mitchell Robinson (Knicks), Ricky Rubio (Cavaliers), Tomas Satoransky (Spain), Admiral Schofield (Magic), Jay Scrubb (Clippers), Anfernee Simons (Trail Blazers), Jalen Smith (Pacers), Edmond Sumner (Nets), Juan Toscano-Anderson (Lakers), P.J. Tucker (76ers), Rayjon Tucker (Bucks), Luca Vildoza (Bucks), Lonnie Walker IV (Lakers), John Wall Clippers), T.J. Warren (Nets), Yuta Watanabe (Japan), Quinndary Weatherspoon (Warriors), Lindell Wigginton (Bucks), Cassius Winston (Germany), Delon Wright (Wizards), Thaddeus Young (Raptors).

Atlanta Hawks: Sharife Cooper, Gorgui Dieng (Spurs), Kevin Knox II (Pistons), Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Skylar Mays, Lou Williams, Delon Wright (Wizards).

Boston Celtics: Malik Fitts (Celtics), Sam Hauser (Celtics), Luke Kornet (Celtics), Brodric Thomas (R)

Brooklyn Nets: LaMarcus Aldridge, Bruce Brown (Nuggets), Nicolas Claxton (Nets), Goran Dragic (Bulls), Andre Drummond (Bulls), David Duke Jr. (R), Kessler Edwards (Nets), Blake Griffin, Patty Mills (Nets).

Charlotte Hornets: Miles Bridges (R), Montrezl Harrell, Arnoldas Kulboka, Scottie Lewis, Cody Martin (Hornets).

Chicago Bulls: Troy Brown Jr. (Lakers), Tyler Cook, Malcolm Hill (R), Derrick Jones Jr. (Bulls), Zach LaVine (Bulls), Matt Thomas, Tristan Thompson.

Cleveland Cavaliers: Moses Brown (Clippers), Ed Davis, Brandon Goodwin, RJ Nembhard (Cavaliers), Rajon Rondo, Collin Sexton (R).

Dallas Mavericks: Jalen Brunson (Knicks), Theo Pinson (Mavericks).

Denver Nuggets: Facundo Campazzo, Vlatko Cancar (Nuggets), DeMarcus Cousins, Bryn Forbes (Timberwolves), Markus Howard (Spain), Davon Reed (Nuggets), Austin Rivers (Timberwolves).

Detroit Pistons: Marvin Bagley III (Pistons), Carsen Edwards, Luka Garza, Frank Jackson, Rodney McGruder, Jamorko Pickett,, Kemba Walker.

Golden State Warriors: Nemanja Bjelica (Turkey), Chris Chiozza, Andre Iguodala, Damion Lee (Suns), Kevon Looney (Warriors), Nico Mannion (R), Gary Payton II (Trail Blazers), Otto Porter Jr. (Raptors), Juan Toscano-Anderson (Lakers), Quinndary Weatherspoon (Warriors).

Houston Rockets: Bruno Fernando (Rockets), Trevelin Queen (76ers), Dennis Schroder, John Wall (Clippers).

Indiana Pacers: Ricky Rubio (Cavaliers), Jalen Smith (Pacers), Terry Taylor, T.J. Warren (Nets), Duane Washington Jr..

Los Angeles Clippers: Nicolas Batum (Clippers), Amir Coffey (Clippers), Isaiah Hartenstein (Knicks), Rodney Hood, Semi Ojeleye (Italy), Jay Scrubb.

Los Angeles Lakers: Carmelo Anthony, Trevor Ariza, Kent Bazemore, Wayne Ellington, Dwight Howard, Malik Monk (Kings).

Memphis Grizzlies: Kyle Anderson (Timberwolves), Jarrett Culver, Tyus Jones (Grizzlies), Yves Pons (France), Tyrell Terry.

MIAMI HEAT: Dewayne Dedmon (Heat), Udonis Haslem, Caleb Martin (Heat), Markieff Morris, Victor Oladipo (Heat), P.J. Tucker (76ers).

Milwaukee Bucks: Javon Carter (Bucks), Serge Ibaka (Bucks), Wesley Matthews (Bucks), Jordan Nwora (R), Bobby Portis (Bucks), Rayjon Tucker (Bucks), Luca Vildoza (Bucks), Lindell Wigginton (Bucks).

Minnesota Timberwolves: Jake Layman, Nathan Knight (Timberwolves), Josh Okogie (Suns), McKinley Wright IV.

New Orleans Pelicans: Gary Clark, Tony Snell.

New York Knicks: Solomon Hill, Taj Gibson (Wizards), Mitchell Robinson (Knicks).

Oklahoma City Thunder: Lu Dort (Thunder), JaMychal Green (Warriors), Niko Mannion, Mike Muscala (Thunder), Paul Watson.

Orlando Magic: Mo Bamba (Magic), Bol Bol (Magic), Ignas Brazdeikis (Lithuania), Gary Harris (Magic), Robin Lopez (Cavaliers), Admiral Schofield (Magic).

Philadelphia 76ers: Charlie Brown Jr. (76ers), James Harden (76ers), DeAndre Jordan (Nuggets), Paul Millsap, Myles Powell (China).

Phoenix Suns: Deandre Ayton (Suns), Bismack Biyombo (Suns), Aaron Holiday (Hawks), JaVale McGee (Mavericks), Abdel Nader, Elfrid Payton, Ish Wainright.

Portland Trail Blazers: Eric Bledsoe, Keljin Blevins, CJ Elleby, Drew Eubanks (Trail Blazers), Joe Ingles (Bucks), Anfernee Simons (Trail Blazers), Ben McLemore, Jusuf Nurkic (Trail Blazers), Dennis Smith Jr., Trendon Watford.

Sacramento Kings: Donte DiVencenzo (Warriors), Josh Jackson, Damian Jones (Lakers), Louis King, Jeremy Lamb, Neemias Queta (Kings).

San Antonio Spurs: Devontae Cacok (R), Danilo Gallinari (Celtics), Lonnie Walker IV (Lakers), Joe Wieskamp (R).

Toronto Raptors: Isaac Bonga, Chris Boucher (Raptors), Justin Champagnie (Raptors), Nando De Colo (R), David Johnson (R), Yuta Watanabe (Japan), Thaddeus Young (Raptors).

Utah Jazz: Trent Forrest, Juancho Herangomez (Raptors), Danuel House (76ers), Elijah Hughes, Eric Paschall, Hassan Whiteside.

Washington Wizards: Joel Ayayi (R), Bradley Beal (Wizards), Thomas Bryant (Lakers), Anthony Gill (Wizards), Raul Neto (Cavaliers), Tomas Satoransky (Spain), Cassius Winston (Germany).

KEY: (R) – restricted free agent, team has right to match outside offers.

(As reported by Sun Sentinel, ESPN, The Athletic, The Associated Press and other NBA media outlets.)

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Orioles sign, introduce No. 1 overall pick Jackson Holliday: ‘I want to be up here as fast as possible’ https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/07/27/orioles-sign-introduce-no-1-overall-pick-jackson-holliday-i-want-to-be-up-here-as-fast-as-possible/ https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/07/27/orioles-sign-introduce-no-1-overall-pick-jackson-holliday-i-want-to-be-up-here-as-fast-as-possible/#respond Thu, 28 Jul 2022 01:20:22 +0000 https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/07/27/orioles-sign-introduce-no-1-overall-pick-jackson-holliday-i-want-to-be-up-here-as-fast-as-possible/ As Orioles executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias said at a table in Camden Yards’ auxiliary clubhouse with a first overall pick beside him, he couldn’t help but reflect on the previous time he had done so.

Three years ago, the Orioles introduced Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman as effectively the face of their nascent rebuilding project. When they welcomed Oklahoma high school shortstop Jackson Holliday to Baltimore on Wednesday after officially signing him to an $8.19 million contract, a record for a high school draft pick, they added a player who they hope will add to their foundation, not begin it.

“It felt like we were just kind of starting something, and [Rutschman] was a big piece of a big project we were trying to build,” Elias said. “And I look now, and this has a totally different feeling to me adding Jackson’s talent right now. Our organization, I think, is in the healthiest spot it’s been in in a very long time. We’ve got a major league team, to their credit, that’s up here playing a really exciting brand of baseball, playing really well.

“They’re young, they’re talented, so many of them are going to be here for a while. And we’re sitting on the No. 1 farm system in the game. And now we have somebody that I expect is going to one day develop into one of the very best players in the game.”

The son of former Major League Baseball seven-time All-Star Matt Holliday, Holliday hit .685/.749/1.392 with 17 home runs and 30 steals in 40 games at Stillwater High School, setting a national record with 89 hits. Having entered his senior year perceived to go near the end of the first round if not later, he added strength and speed to become a player in the mix for the Orioles’ No. 1 pick.

Sitting between Elias and agent Scott Boras, Holliday said he was looking forward to joining an organization on an upswing. Elias said he will report to the team’s Ed Smith Stadium complex in Sarasota, Florida, on Thursday to eventually play in the Florida Complex League, where he will likely end his first professional season. Holliday said he hoped it was the first step in a quick ascent back to Camden Yards.

“I want to be up here as fast as possible,” Holliday said. “I would love to come out hot and continue to play well. So, hopefully, two years or less would be my goal. I know it’s a big goal, but I think that I can do it.”

The Orioles believe Holliday has that potential, with Elias reiterating they see him as a five-tool shortstop. He showed that potential during a batting practice session at Camden Yards, lacing 100 mph line drives around a ballpark he once chased flyballs at during his father’s playing career.

Along with his father, joining Holliday for the introduction was his mother, Leslee; his girlfriend, Chloe Cox; and his three younger siblings, Ethan, Gracyn and Reed. Reed spent Holliday’s introductory press conference wearing an Orioles home run chain. While Holliday heads to Florida, the family will return to Oklahoma, the first time the 18-year-old will be on his own.

Matt Holliday, who played 15 years in the big leagues and drew laughs when he introduced himself as “Jackson’s dad,” said his oldest son is prepared for what’s ahead.

“The way he’s played — he plays the game hard, he’s not flashy, he doesn’t showboat — I think people appreciate his ability,” Matt Holliday said. “I never really think it’s been that hard for him to navigate that. … I’m not really concerned about that. I think he’ll handle that really well and he always has handled that well.”

Orioles manager Brandon Hyde chatted with Matt as Holliday took batting practice. They had played against each other as minor leaguers, Hyde recalled, adding that during his days coaching the Chicago Cubs, Matt Holliday was the last player he wanted to see coming up in big spots in matchups with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Hyde said the benefits of being the son of a major leaguer come from both nature and nurture.

“When you grow up in the clubhouse and you grew up around major league people, major league players, you understand more than anybody that they’re just like anybody else and also the work ethic it takes and what these guys kind of go through,” Hyde said. “I think being around that’s extremely helpful because it’s so hard to do to be up here and to play well up here. I think being able to see it firsthand and being around is a huge benefit.”

Elias said the Orioles have no aspects of Holliday’s game they’re looking to change as he enters their player development system, which is part of why they took him first overall. Holliday, though, is looking forward to learning from those the organization puts around him as it works toward the next phase of its rebuild.

“They have the No. 1 farm system, so I’m excited to get in and start learning from people that know more than me and get better,” Holliday said. “It’s awesome to be able to get into an organization that is heading in such a great direction. I’m hoping that I can get here fast and contribute in a good way.”

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Chicago White Sox blow a 9th-inning lead in a loss to the Colorado Rockies. 3 takeaways from the series split. https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/07/27/chicago-white-sox-blow-a-9th-inning-lead-in-a-loss-to-the-colorado-rockies-3-takeaways-from-the-series-split/ https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/07/27/chicago-white-sox-blow-a-9th-inning-lead-in-a-loss-to-the-colorado-rockies-3-takeaways-from-the-series-split/#respond Thu, 28 Jul 2022 01:18:46 +0000 https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/07/27/chicago-white-sox-blow-a-9th-inning-lead-in-a-loss-to-the-colorado-rockies-3-takeaways-from-the-series-split/ The Chicago White Sox were three outs away from gaining ground in the American League Central Wednesday.

Instead they left Coors Field with only a split of a two-game series after the Colorado Rockies scored twice in the ninth for a 6-5 win.

The Sox entered the ninth leading 5-4, but reliever Kendall Graveman walked the first three batters to load the bases for Elias Díaz. The catcher hit a two-run single to right.

It was a wild afternoon. The Sox trailed 3-0 after the first inning. Yasmani Grandal knocked in two in the fourth to get the Sox within a run.

Tim Anderson tied the game with a two-out single in the seventh, and the Sox took the lead later in the inning on AJ Pollock’s two-run single.

The Rockies scored once in the seventh, cutting the Sox lead to 5-4.

The Sox escaped a jam in the eighth without allowing a run. They were not as fortunate in the ninth.

Here are three takeaways from the split in Denver.

1. The margin for error remains small.

The Sox trailed 3-2 in the fifth but had runners on second and third with two outs.

They were on the verge of loading the bases for Pollock when Yoán Moncada drew a walk. But the catcher Díaz fired to third base on ball four, and Ryan McMahon tagged Leury Garcia before he could get back to the bag to end the inning.

It was a crucial mistake.

The next inning, José Abreu reached second with one out on a hustle double. Grandal hit a line drive, which second baseman Brendan Rodgers caught. He threw to second in time for an inning-ending double play.

Outs on the bases have hurt the Sox repeatedly this season, the most glaring example when they ran into a triple play after Pollock flied out to right-center in the seventh inning of a tie game against the Minnesota Twins on July 4 at Guaranteed Rate Field.

When a team is scrapping to put together rallies — the Sox did not homer in the two games at Coors Field — each moment on the bases matter. And those miscues can, and have, proved costly for a Sox team that has had a small margin for error.

2. Michael Kopech made the big pitches. And the defense had his back.

Michael Kopech went into the All-Star break on a good note, allowing two runs on five hits in five innings in a win against the Twins on July 15 at Target Field.

He received aid in the form a big play in the fourth inning of that outing. Carlos Correa hit a grounder to the shortstop Anderson, who started a 6-4-3, inning-ending double play.

Double plays were crucial Tuesday in Kopech’s first start since the break. He allowed six hits and struck out four in 5⅓ scoreless innings in the 2-1 win.

Two of the three walks Kopech allowed came to consecutive batters in the second. The Rockies loaded the bases with one out, but Kopech got Brian Serven to ground into an inning-ending double play.

It was the first of four double plays the Sox infield turned Tuesday.

The Rockies had runners on the corners with one out in the fifth. Kopech induced Kris Bryant to hit a grounder to Anderson, who began a 6-4-3 double play.

Kopech exited after allowing a one-out single to Rodgers. Jimmy Lambert entered and got McMahon to ground into another double play.

The final double play, in the seventh, was the most impressive. Abreu fielded Charlie Blackmon’s grounder to first and fired to second to start a 3-6-3 DP.

The Rockies had at least one baserunner in each inning, but Kopech and the relievers made big pitches when necessary, and the defense had their backs.

3. Momentum stalls again as the White Sox return to .500.

With the victory Tuesday, the Sox went over the .500 mark for the first time since May 25 in Boston. They were 22-21 at that time.

The ninth-inning collapse Wednesday prevented the Sox from going to two over .500 for the first time since April 20. They are back to .500 at 49-49.

The first-place Minnesota Twins lost to the Milwaukee Brewers 10-4 earlier Wednesday, giving the Sox an opportunity to pull within two games of the division lead. But the Sox didn’t close out the win.

Additionally, reliever Joe Kelly exited in the eighth inning with right biceps discomfort. He’s being evaluated, according to the Sox.

The loss stalled a chance to build on the momentum gained after winning the final two of a four-game weekend series against the Cleveland Guardians and the opener against the Rockies.

Up next: the Oakland Athletics, who have the worst record in the AL, in a three-game series beginning Friday at Guaranteed Rate Field. It’s another chance for the Sox to gain some steam heading into the final two months of the season.

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