College Blog Blog Network

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Former Colts RB Zurlon Tipton dead at 26 after accidentally shooting himself

06.29.16 at 8:25 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at Rays, 12:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Marlins at Tigers, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Orioles at Padres, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Mets at Nationals, 7:05 p.m. (ESPN2)
College baseball: World Series, Coastal Carolina vs. Arizona, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
WNBA: Liberty at Lynx, 8 p.m. (NBA TV)
WNBA: Sun at Mercury, 10 p.m. (NBA TV)
Swimming: U.S. Olympic trials, 7 p.m. (NBCSN), 8 p.m. (NBC)
Tennis: Wimbledon, 7 a.m. (ESPN)


Zurlon Tipton played two seasons for the Colts. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

Zurlon Tipton played two seasons for the Colts. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

— An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday on former Colts running back Zurlon Tipton, who died Tuesday after accidentally shooting himself while at a car dealership in suburban Detroit.

Tipton, a 26-year-old Detroit native who starred at Central Michigan, had brought his car into the Roseville dealership for service in the morning, general manager Mark DeMara told The Detroit News.

“At some point, he reached into a duffel bag that was on the passenger seat of his vehicle and the pistol that was in there deployed and shot the gentleman in the abdomen,” DeMara said.

Tipton initially was alert and talking as he was taken to the hospital, where he died of his injuries.

Police said there was a second firearm in the bag, but it’s unclear why he had them or who owned them. They ruled the death an accident.

Tipton played two seasons for the Colts after being signed in 2014 as an undrafted free agent. He appeared in 13 regular-season and three playoff games, scoring his first rushing touchdown in the AFC championship game against the Patriots on Jan. 18, 2015. He was waived on Dec. 21. Four days later, he was arrested and charged with criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon after firing a shot from an AR-15 rifle outside his girlfriend’s Indianapolis-area house. According to media reports, Tipton indicated he was attempting to protect his girlfriend from an ex-boyfriend who had threatened her. The prosecutor’s office did not pursue charges.

Colts wide receiver Donte Moncrief paid tribute to Tipton in an Instagram post Tuesday, writing: It’s crazy I just got that phone call bro cause I just talk to you and we talked about the future and teams giving you your second chance. No matter where I’m at or what team I’m on ill have that 37 on my wrist or glove.

— Days after Johnny Manziel’s father called the former Browns quarterback “a druggie” and said he hopes he ends up in jail for his own sake, Manziel posted an image on Instagram of himself overlooking a beach in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

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Legendary women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt dies at 64

06.28.16 at 10:08 am ET
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Legendary coach Pat Summitt passed away Monday night. (Randy Sartin/USA Today Sports)

Legendary coach Pat Summitt passed away Tuesday. (Randy Sartin/USA Today Sports)

Former University of Tennessee coach and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame member Pat Summitt passed away Tuesday morning after a lengthy battle with early onset dementia. She was 64.

Her son, Tyler Summitt, released a statement Tuesday revealing his mother died peacefully at Sherrill Hill Senior Living in Knoxville, Tennessee surrounded by loved ones.

“Since 2011, my mother has battled her toughest opponent, early onset dementia, ‘Alzheimer’s Type,’ and she did so with bravely fierce determination just as she did with every opponent she ever faced,” Tyler Summitt said. “Even though it’s incredibly difficult to come to terms that she is no longer with us, we can all find peace in knowing she no longer carries the heavy burden of this disease.”

The winningest coach in Division I history, Summitt tallied 1,098 wins and eight national championships in her 38 seasons as head coach of the Lady Vols. She left the team in 2012 after announcing she had early onset dementia in 2011.

A pioneer for women’s basketball, Summitt became head coach at Tennessee in 1974 when the NCAA didn’t recognize the sport. Her accomplishments and success helped women’s basketball garner national attention and gave the sport a new spotlight.

Even after retiring in 2012, she continued to work with Tennessee student-athletes while working with the Pat Summitt Foundation Fund, with proceeds going to cutting-edge research. She received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at ESPN’s ESPY Awards in 2012, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama that same year.

“She’ll be remembered as the all-time winningest D-1 basketball coach in NCAA history, but she was more than a coach to so many,” Tyler Summitt said. “She was a hero and a mentor, especially to me, her family, her friends, her Tennessee Lady Volunteer staff and the 161 Lady Vol student-athletes she coached during her 38-year tenure.”

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Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Former NFL coach Buddy Ryan, father of Rex Ryan, dies at 82

06.28.16 at 8:33 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at Rays, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Mets at Nationals, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
College baseball: World Series, Coastal Carolina vs. Arizona, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
WNBA: Wings at Sparks, 10 p.m. (ESPN2)
Tennis: Wimbledon, 7 a.m. (ESPN)


— Former NFL coach Buddy Ryan, the father of Bills coach Rex Ryan, has died at the age of 82, his agent confirmed to the media Tuesday morning.

Buddy Ryan was the architect of the famed “46” defense of the Bears, who routed the Patriots in the 1986 Super Bowl. Ryan was carried off the field by his players after that game.

Also a member of the defensive staff of the Super Bowl-champion Jets in 1968, Ryan went on to become a head coach of the Eagles and Cardinals, posting a 55-55-1 record. He also served as defensive coordinator of the Vikings and Houston Oilers. Known for his brash ways and issues getting along with his fellow coaches, Ryan punched Oilers offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride during a sideline skirmish in 1993.

Rex Ryan was on his father’s staff with the Cardinals for two years in the 1990s. Last fall, despite his declining health, Buddy traveled to Buffalo to watch Rex make his debut as Bills coach. Buddy’s first NFL job was as a Bills assistant in the early 1960s.

Rex’s twin brother, Rob, is a former Patriots assistant who was fired as Saints defensive coordinator late last season and was hired by his brother in January to be an assistant head coach/defense with the Bills.

— As the problems in Rio de Janeiro continue to mount, the state’s acting governor acknowledged that the Olympic Games could be a “big failure” unless a huge investment is made immediately.

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Read More: Rex Ryan, Rio Olympics,

Monday’s Morning Mashup: Kevin Durant reportedly adds Celtics to list of 6 teams he wants to meet

06.27.16 at 6:52 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at Rays, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Dodgers at Pirates, 12:30 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Mets at Nationals, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Astros at Angels, 10:05 p.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: European Championship, Italy vs. Spain, 11:30 a.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: European Championship, England vs. Iceland, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Tennis: Wimbledon, 7 a.m. (ESPN)


Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant

— The Celtics’ dream of landing premier free agent Kevin Durant lives on for at least another few days.

According to Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski and confirmed by ESPN, Durant has added the C’s to his list of teams to meet as he officially hits free agency Friday.

Durant already reportedly set meetings with the Warriors, Spurs and his current team, the Thunder. The new group includes the Celtics, Heat and Clippers.

The Knicks, who have made clear their desire to join the hunt, are said to be under Durant’s consideration. The Wizards, Durant’s hometown team, reportedly are not one of the early favorites, with a team source acknowledging to ESPN, “It’s not like LeBron and Cleveland.”

The 27-year-old forward, a nine-year pro, averaged 28.2 points last season as he led Oklahoma City to the Western Conference finals, where the Thunder squandered a 3-1 series lead and fell in seven games to the Warriors.

The former league MVP is scheduled to go on a publicity tour of the Far East on July 9, and he reportedly wants to make his decision before then. The Thunder, who can offer him the most money, are considered the favorites, although he could attempt to maximize his financial prospects by signing a one-year deal and becoming a free agent again next year.

— Pete Rose showed his appreciation to his hometown fans as his No. 14 was officially retired by the Reds on Sunday.

“It solidifies what I’ve been saying for many, many, many years and will continue to say it: Cincinnati is the baseball capital of the world,” Rose said from a stage by second base.

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Thinking Out Loud: Celtics draft pick Ben Bentil should have stayed at Providence another year

06.24.16 at 5:50 pm ET
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Rooke_JohnThinking out loud … while wondering whatever happened to Sam Bowie.

— Kris Dunn’s night in the NBA draft spotlight very nearly had a local lean to it, except for Danny Ainge’s crazy idea that Jaylen Brown might actually be a serviceable player right away. More on that in a sec — but for Dunn, it was the culmination of what could best be described as a beautiful struggle.

— If you know Dunn’s story (and if you don’t, Google it), you know this is a fairy tale ending. Or beginning. Minnesota has a piece now that could turn a 29-53 Timberwolves team into a playoff contender. From the PC point of view, Dunn is the first first-rounder selected since Marshon Brooks in 2011 (25th to Boston), and the highest pick (at No. 5 overall) since Marvin Barnes was taken at No. 2 in 1974. He’s also the fourth Friar all-time to be selected in the top five of the draft (Barnes, Jimmy Walker, Ernie DiGregorio), and also the 11th all-time to be taken in the first round.

— The last NBA draft top-10 pick for Providence? Otis Thorpe at No. 9 (by Kansas City, now Sacramento) in 1984. Forty-three Friars have been NBA draft picks, all-time.

— Andrew Wiggins. Karl Anthony Townes. The last two NBA Rookies of the Year reside in T-wolves Land. Good company for Dunn. Ricky Rubio. Zach LaVine. Highlight reel alley-oops are on the revamped dinner menu.

— One other note worth mentioning here — Dunn may be the first person in recorded history to put J.C. Penney and Gucci in the same sentence. Dunn already has a sponsorship deal with J.C. Penney for clothing, as his draft night suit was created by the clothing store giant. His Gucci shoes were glittering to the point he was asked about them by ESPN’s Lisa Salters.

— Tallying the draft score college conference-wise, the Big East had four players drafted in the two rounds (Marquette’s Henry Ellenson No. 18 to Detroit, Seton Hall’s Isaiah Whitehead No. 42 to Utah, then traded to Brooklyn), including PC’s Dunn and Ben Bentil.

— If you’re keeping score at home, the Big Ten, SEC, Big 12 and Pac-12 each had six picks, while the ACC led the way with nine players selected. Only one other league had multiple picks (the WCC, with two) and 12 conferences were represented overall, including the Atlantic-10 (St. Joseph’s DeAndre Bembry, 21st to Atlanta) and the American (UConn’s Daniel Hamilton 56th to Oklahoma City).

— Bentil’s wait until the second round and the 51st pick overall was not a surprise in these eyes. Great that Boston selected him, and he’ll get the chance to compete for a Celtics roster spot. Dunn and Bentil now make it 10 times PC has had multiple NBA draft picks in the same year.

— But anyone who really believes Bentil made the right “basketball” move by leaving Providence early is wrong.

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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Warriors reportedly plan aggressive push to sign Kevin Durant

06.22.16 at 7:26 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: White Sox at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Royals at Mets 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Brewers at Athletics, 3:35 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Giants at Pirates, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
College baseball: World Series, UC Santa Barbara vs. Arizona, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
NHL: Awards show, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
WNBA: Liberty at Dream, noon (NBA TV)
Soccer: Copa America semifinals, Colombia vs. Chile, 8 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: European Championship: Hungary vs. Portugal, 11:30 a.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: European Championship: Iceland vs. Austria, 11:30 a.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: European Championship: Italy vs. Ireland, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: European Championship: Sweden vs. Belgium, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN2)


Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant

— It’s quickly becoming a very interesting offseason in the NBA, and not just for the Celtics, who reportedly continue to look to make a deal involving the No. 3 pick in Thursday’s draft but are having no luck.

According to an ESPN report, the Warriors — fresh off their loss in Game 7 of the NBA Finals — will aggressively pursue Kevin Durant when free agency begins July 1.

While Boston would seem an unlikely landing spot for the former league MVP, Golden State would be more enticing for obvious reasons. And while the most likely scenario for Durant to maximize his options financially is for him to re-sign with Oklahoma City but become a free agent again in another year or two, Warriors owner Joe Lacob hinted Sunday night, “I will be very aggressive” in free agency.

For his part, Durant played down the financial aspect of his pending decision, saying Monday, “It’s a little bit complicated right now,” and it’s more about basketball than money or fame.

“That’s what it is for me,” he said. “It’s a basketball decision.”

If Durant should sign with the Warriors — and even if he doesn’t — there could be a shakeup for the Warriors, who have eight pending free agents. Forward Harrison Barnes and center Festus Ezeli are the most likely to draw interest, especially from a team like the Celtics that could use a dramatic improvement in its frontcourt.

Meanwhile, Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki reportedly opted out of his contract and will become an unrestricted free agent July 1. And teammate Chandler Parsons is expected to do the same.

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Read More: Chandler Parsons, Dirk Nowitzki, Joseph Randle, Kevin Durant

U.S. soccer falls to Argentina, Lionel Messi in Copa America semifinals

06.21.16 at 11:30 pm ET
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Lionel Messi scored a beautiful free-kick goal in the 32nd minute. (Kevin Jairaj/USA Today Sports)

Lionel Messi scored a beautiful free-kick goal in the 32nd minute. (Kevin Jairaj/USA Today Sports)

The U.S. men’s soccer team will play in the Copa America Centenario third-place game, as it lost 4-0 against Argentina in a sold-out NRG Stadium in Houston.

Despite the physical play from the U.S. defense, the Argentinian attack, led by Lionel Messi, peppered 10 shots at netminder Brad Guzan. The Americans meanwhile failed to register a shot on goal, and were smothered on all sides of the pitch by the No. 1-ranked team in the FIFA world rankings.

The USMNT’s night started off with an omen for the rest of the game. Three minutes into the contest, Ezequiel Lavezzi produced a give-and-go with Messi near the top of the box after dribbling out a short corner kick. Messi chipped the ball toward the net, where a streaking Lavezzi was able to head it in and put Argentina up 1-0.

Messi would later get a goal of his own in the 32nd minute, and it was one that broke his country’s international goal record. After being fouled on the edge of the penalty area, Messi was placed just outside the box on a free kick. With Messi curling it to the right and around a four-man wall, the ball found the top right corner of the net. It was the 55th international goal for the 28-year-old legend.

After halftime, Gonzalo Higuain darted past John Brooks, collected his own rebounded shot off of Guzan, and called the game at the 50th minute by putting it into the back of the net. For good measure, Messi connected with Higuain in the 86th minute to make it 4-0, where the American defense was nowhere to be found in the waning minutes of the game.

Highlighted by also having two-thirds of possession throughout the entire game, the Argentinian national team proved through complete domination that it is ready to win its first Copa America title since 1993. All was not positive though, as Lavezzi injured himself as he went to head a ball near the side barrier. Tumbling over the barrier, Lavezzi was carried off and as of writing, there is no update of whether he will play in Argentina’s championship match.

While this was anything but a graceful exit for the USMNT, it still left a positive mark on the state of U.S. soccer at Copa America Centenario. The team was the only North American side to make it to the semifinals, and faced arguably the toughest side in the tournament. The Americans were still out-classed by the South American side in every aspect of the game, but still have one more match to prove their worth in the world’s game.

This match also gave Christian Pulisic, a promising 17-year-old, a full second half of play against a world-class international side, which is positive for his already rapid growth and development. He showed some quality midfield play in his limited time, causing some havoc for the Argentine defense, but not enough to warrant any solid chances.

Argentina will face the winner of the Chile-Colombia match, while the Americans will take on the loser of that fixture on Saturday at 8 p.m. in Glendale, Arizona.

Read More: copa america, lionel messi, usa soccer,

Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: LeBron James lashes out at critics after being welcomed home to Cleveland as champion

06.21.16 at 7:46 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: White Sox at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Cardinals at Cubs, 8 p.m. (MLB Network)
College baseball: World Series, Texas Tech vs. Florida, 5 p.m. (ESPN2)
College baseball: World Series, TCU vs. Coastal Carolina, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
WNBA: Lynx at Sparks, 3:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
WNBA: Mercury at Wings, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: Copa America semifinals, United States vs. Argentina, 9 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: European Championship, Northern Ireland vs. Germany, 11:30 a.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: European Championship, Ukraine vs. Poland, 11:30 a.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: European Championship, Croatia vs. Spain, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: European Championship, Czech Republic vs. Turkey, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN2)


LeBron James

LeBron James

— LeBron James was welcomed back to Cleveland with his Cavaliers teammates Monday after they ended the city’s 52-year championship drought with an NBA title. After arriving home, James took a shot at critics who said he would not be able to seal the deal.

James, the NBA Finals MVP after his triple double in Sunday’s Game 7, posted an image on Instagram of him holding the Larry O’Brien trophy with the note:

They said u lost a step, wasn’t explosive as once was, the best days was in the [rear] view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don’t have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won’t work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won’t work, love your teammates to much, there’s no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc…. But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir

James, who limits his social media presence during the postseason, also told ESPN that he had an issue with some people close to him who questioned his desire to leave the Heat two years ago in an effort to bring Cleveland a title.

“When I decided to leave Miami — I’m not going to name any names, I can’t do that — but there were some people that I trusted and built relationships with in those four years [who] told me I was making the biggest mistake of my career,” James said.

“And that [expletive] hurt me. And I know it was an emotional time that they told me that because I was leaving. They just told me it was the biggest mistake I was making in my career. And that right there was my motivation.”

A crowd estimated at more than 10,000 was on hand to greet the Cavaliers when their plane landed at Hopkins International Airport around 12:40 p.m. James exited the plane with the trophy, wearing a shirt that read “Ultimate Warrior.”

Hundreds of fans camped outside James’ home in Akron as well, and he greeted them and made a few remarks.

— The prosecutor’s office in Ouachita Parish, Louisiana, declined to pursue charges against two Alabama football players, claiming there was insufficient evidence. But it’s what the prosecutor said in a television interview that raised some eyebrows.

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Reports: Game 7 TV ratings best for NBA Finals game in 18 years

06.20.16 at 10:00 am ET
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A great game got a great viewing audience.

According to John Ourand, media writer for the Sports Business Journal, the Cavaliers’ Game 7 win offered the best television numbers for an NBA Finals game in 18 years.

Monday’s Morning Mashup: Cleveland in control as it celebrates long-awaited title

06.20.16 at 8:27 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: White Sox at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Diamondbacks at Phillies, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Giants at Pirates, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Nationals at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m. (ESPN)
College baseball: World Series, UC Santa Barbara vs. Miami, 2 p.m. (ESPNU)
College baseball: World Series, Oklahoma State vs. Arizona, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: European Championship, Slovakia vs. England, 3 p.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: European Championship, Russia vs. Wales, 3 p.m. (ESPN2)


— A crowd estimated at 20,000 gathered at Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena on Sunday night to watch on video screens as the Cavaliers defeated the Warriors in Oakland for Cleveland’s first major sports championship since the Browns won the 1964 NFL title, and thousands more poured into the city to celebrate in the early morning hours.

No major violence or destruction was reported, although a police officer was injured when he was struck by a driver who then fled the scene. A spokesman said the officer was treated and released. And a man was wounded in the ankle when shots were fired just before 1 a.m.

A report that a fire truck was stolen turned out to be inaccurate, although fans did climb atop a ladder truck downtown to celebrate.

Police closed some highway exits downtown to help control traffic, and public transportation into the city was halted.

The Cavaliers were expected to arrive home shortly before noon, and a parade is scheduled for Wednesday.

“I an’t wait to get back home,” said NBA Finals MVP LeBron James.

— Meanwhile, a fan was seriously injured at Oakland’s Oracle Arena when he was pushed over a railing on the second deck during a brawl at the end of Sunday’s game.

The man was in critical but stable condition overnight, police said.

No immediate arrests were made, but police continued to investigate.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On June 20, 1980, the Angels routed the Red Sox, 20-2. Which diminutive Angels infielder led the onslaught with three home runs and a double?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “To go out there and be on that side of that type of game always feels good. I’m getting better, absolutely. There’s always room for improvement no matter how good you are. I’m still not satisfied.” — Red Sox starter David Price, after Sunday’s 2-1 victory over the Mariners

STAT OF THE DAY: 3 — Red Sox minor leaguers promoted to Double-A Portland on Sunday, with top prospect Yoan Moncada among them

‘NET RESULTS: Chris Cuthbert’s single in the 13th inning gives the Royals a walk-off win over the Tigers.

Jose Ramirez gives the Indians a walk-off win over the White Sox with an RBI single in the 10th inning.

The Dodgers beat the Brewers on a walk-off walk to Yasmani Grandal in the ninth inning.

Rockies right fielder Carlos Gonzalez races in and lays out for a catch against the Marlins.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Light-hitting 5-foot-4 shortstop Freddie Patek, who finished his career with 36 home runs

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Lionel Richie was born on this day in 1949.