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HORSE RACING

26th death spurs look

The owner of Santa Anita is investigating whether new rules were followed before the 26th horse death at the Southern California racetrack. Kochees, a 9-year-old gelding, was euthanized Sunday after injuring his left front leg in a race a day earlier. It was the third horse death in nine days and the 26th overall since the season began Dec. 26. Stefan Friedman, a spokesman for The Stronach Group, said Monday that the track's owner is looking into whether protocols were followed leading up to the gelding being euthanized. "If those rules were not followed, consequences will be swift," he said. "I'm not going to get into specifics of that incident, but anybody who thinks they can sort of skirt the rules and perhaps there was an old way of doing things, it's not going to fly anymore." Among the rules put in place since March, a trainer's veterinarian must sign off on a horse's fitness before the track's veterinarian also takes a look at the animal ahead of its training or racing. Trained by Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer, Kochees was pulled up by jockey Mario Gutierrez entering the top of the stretch in the 5½-furlong race Saturday. The gelding was taken off the track via van and had a splint applied to his leg. The injury appeared to be correctable through surgery. However, when doctors realized the horse had lost blood flow to the leg, he was euthanized.

BASKETBALL

Durant out for Game 1

The Golden State Warriors will not have Kevin Durant against the Toronto Raptors in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday after he missed the past five playoff games because of a strained right calf. "KD's not playing in Game 1," Warriors Coach Steve Kerr said. "We'll see where it goes from here. The fact there's a lot of days in between games in the Finals helps us. So we'll see." The Warriors play Game 2 on Sunday in Toronto, but Durant might not play in that game, either. Kerr said the Warriors have not decided whether Durant will travel with the team to Toronto today. The Warriors have yet to clear Durant for any on-court work. Since injuring his right calf against the Houston Rockets in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals, Durant's rehab has entailed receiving treatment in the trainer's room and completing exercises in the weight room.

HOCKEY

Capitals confirm video

The Washington Capitals say they have confirmed star Evgeny Kuznetsov is shown in a now-deleted video on social media that appears to show him in a hotel room with lines of white powder on a table in front of him. In a statement sent to The Associated Press by spokesman Sergey Kocharov, the team said it is in the process of gathering facts and will have no further comment at this time. The video posted on Twitter carried a message saying it was why Russia lost in the world hockey championship semifinals. It showed Kuznetsov talking to someone and lines of white powder and American dollar bills can be seen on the table. Kuznetsov does not touch anything on the table in the 22-second video. The 27-year-old Kuznetsov was Washington's leading scorer in the playoffs when it won the Stanley Cup a year ago. This season, the Russian center had 72 points in 76 games but just one goal during a first-round loss to Carolina.

BASEBALL

Pedroia unsure he'll return

Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia will take an "indefinite leave" in his long struggle to recover from knee trouble, putting in doubt whether he'll play again in the majors. The 35-year-old Pedroia has tried the past two seasons to fully return from surgery on his left knee. At a news conference Monday at Fenway Park, Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski called it an "indefinite leave at this point." Boston put the longtime star on the 60-day injured list. Pedroia said "time will give me the right answer if my knee can do this." The 2008 AL MVP had surgery on Oct. 25, 2017, and played in just three games last season. This year, he's played in only six games, getting two singles in 20 at-bats.

Blackmon heads to IL

Colorado Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon has been placed on the 10-day injured list with a strained right calf. The team on Monday announced the move, which is retroactive to May 24. Blackmon suffered the injury at Pittsburgh last week when he fouled a ball off his calf. He was hoping to avoid the injured list, but he tested the calf the past few days and said "it didn't quite feel like it was strong enough to push off at game speed." Blackmon is hitting .300 with 10 home runs and 31 RBI this season. To take his roster spot, the Rockies recalled outfielder Yonathan Daza from Class AAA Albuquerque. Colorado also reinstated outfielder Noel Cuevas (strained left quad) from the injured list and optioned him to Albuquerque.

Arizona's Weaver hurting

The Arizona Diamondbacks have put right-hander Luke Weaver on the 10-day injured list with forearm tightness. Manager Torey Lovullo said Monday that Weaver went back to Phoenix and is scheduled to have an MRI. Lovullo added he spoke to Weaver and said his starter remains "optimistic that he's going to get some good news." Weaver left the game in the sixth inning Sunday in San Francisco. He's 4-3 with a 3.03 ERA this season. He also has 68 strikeouts and 14 walks in 621/3 innings. To take Weaver's place on the roster, the Diamondbacks recalled righty Jimmie Sherfy from Class AAA Reno.

BASEBALL

1986 World Series icon Buckner, 69, dies

Bill Buckner was an All-Star and batting champion, a gamer who was welcome on any team. A reliable fielder, too. But a little grounder forever changed his legacy.

Buckner, who made one of the biggest blunders in baseball history when he let Mookie Wilson’s trickler roll through his legs in the 1986 World Series, died Monday. He was 69. Buckner died after a long battle with Lewy body dementia, his family said in a statement. The disease causes Alzheimer’s-like symptoms along with movement and other problems.

Buckner made his major-league debut as a teenager, played until he was 40 and amassed 2,715 hits in between. Yet for all he accomplished, it was his October error at first base that fans always remembered.

Trying for their first crown since 1918, the Boston Red Sox led the New York Mets 5-3 going into the bottom of the 10th inning in Game 6 at Shea Stadium. The Mets tied it with two outs, then Wilson hit a roller up the first-base line that got past a gimpy Buckner, a misplay that let Ray Knight rush home from second base with the winning run.

The Red Sox lost 8-5 in Game 7, and their World Series drought continued until they won the championship in 2004. In the aftermath of Boston’s near-miss, Buckner became a target of fans in New England and beyond, his mistake shown over and over on highlight reels.

“You can look at that Series and point fingers in a whole bunch of different directions,” Buckner said a decade ago. “We did the best we could to win there, and it just didn’t happen and I didn’t feel like I deserved” so much blame.

Buckner made his big-league debut with the Dodgers at 19 in 1969 and became a batting champ with the Cubs. He had a career .289 average and totaled over 100 RBI in three seasons, twice with Boston.

Photo by AP
Bill Buckner

Sports on 05/28/2019

Print Headline: Off The Wire

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