Jannese Torres-Rodriguez, host of the Yo Quiero Dinero podcast, talks to Carmen Perez about making conversations around personal finance accessible to all
Jannese Torres-Rodriguez, host of the Yo Quiero Dinero podcast, talks to Carmen Perez about making conversations around personal finance accessible to all
The first period between the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers featured several fights, in an ugly moment for the NHL.
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John Means threw the 10th no-hitter in Orioles history Wednesday.
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Get news, analysis, memes and more delivered to your inbox the morning after every Raptors game.
SEATTLE — The clubhouse celebration that awaited John Means was more than 50 years in the making for the Baltimore Orioles and more like a playoff berth being clinched rather than a Wednesday win in May. Only a wild pitch in the dirt kept the Orioles from celebrating perfection. That's how dominant Means was in throwing the major leagues' third no-hitter of the season in Baltimore's 6-0 win over the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday. A franchise still in the midst of a rebuild with little to celebrate in recent seasons was happy to put the spotlight on its tall lefty who overmatched the Mariners with an array of unhittable fastballs, breaking pitches and a terrific changeup. No, it wasn't perfection. But it was about as close as it comes. “I never really thought I’d be here. I’d always write MLB player when I was a kid on the sheet when asked what you wanted to do when you’re older, but I never thought it was a reality,” Means said. “And now that it is, and now I’m able to throw this, it’s crazy and I don’t even know how to describe it.” This wasn't a fluke performance — Means has been one of the best pitchers in the American League to start this season. This was domination. Means (4-0) struck out 12 and walked none. Seattle’s only baserunner was Sam Haggerty after he raced to first after swinging at a curveball in the dirt for strike three with one out in the third inning. The 1-2 pitch bounced away from catcher Pedro Severino and ended up being the only blemish that separated Means from a perfect game. Haggerty wasn’t on base long, getting thrown out attempting to steal second. It was Means' first complete game in 44 career big league starts, and he said he couldn't care less that it wasn’t a perfect game. Means pitched the first non-perfect no-hitter in which the opposing team did not reached on a walk, hit by pitch or error, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Means threw 79 strikes among 113 pitches, including first-pitch strikes to 26 of 27 batters. When Seattle did make contact against the 28-year-old left-hander, it was weak and there were no threats to fall in for a hit. Means lowered his ERA to 1.37 and became the first individual Orioles pitcher to toss a no-hitter since Jim Palmer against Oakland on Aug. 13, 1969. It was the 10th no-hitter in franchise history, including six as Baltimore after four as the St. Louis Browns. “It’s such a crazy feeling. It’s such a whirlwind of an experience. I don’t think I’ve been able to process it yet,” Means said. “But to be in the same breath as Palmer, I don’t think that it gets much better than that.” In a season in which batters are on track to hit a record-low .234, Means joined a no-hit club that includes San Diego right-hander Joe Musgrove at Texas on April 9 and Chicago White Sox left-hander Carlos Rodón against Cleveland on April 14. In addition, Arizona left-hander Madison Bumgarner pitched a seven-inning no-hitter against Atlanta on April 25, but that is not recognized as an official no-hitter by Major League Baseball because the game did not go at least nine innings, shortened under pandemic rules in effect for a second straight season. It's the first time since 1969 there have been three complete game no-hitters this early in the season. “Really can’t put into words what the last three outs, seeing how the teammates embraced him,” Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said. “Our clubhouse after the game, it was like we clinched a playoff spot.” The closest Seattle came to a hit through six innings was J.P. Crawford's short fly ball in the sixth that centre fielder Cedric Mullins caught with a slide. Kyle Lewis provided a threat with a drive leading off the eighth that Austin Hays caught on the left-field warning track. Means got a popout from Dylan Moore, struck out Haggerty swinging and induced a soft liner from Crawford to end it, setting off a wild celebration with his teammates on the mound and a standing ovation from the crowd. “He was good. He was really good,” Seattle's Kyle Seager said. “He was in control. I don’t think we had hardly any balls that were close to being hits.” Baltimore’s previous no-hitter came on July 13, 1991, when Bob Milacki, Mike Flanagan, Mark Williamson and Gregg Olson combined for a 2-0 victory at Oakland. Means had never pitched beyond seven innings in a big league start. “When I started the (ninth) I got a little bit of the Jell-O legs, just a little bit, started to kind of feel a little wobbly,” Means said. “But once I did get that first pitch I was able to lock in again.” D.J. Stewart and Ramón Urias had third-inning RBI singles against Yusei Kikuchi. Pat Valaika hit a solo homer off Kikuchi (1-2) in the sixth, and Trey Mancini connected for a three-run shot against Aaron Fletcher in the eighth. It was Mancini's sixth homer in a season that marked his return from colon cancer surgery. TRAINER’S ROOM Mariners: RHP Keynan Middleton was placed on the 10-day injured list due to a biceps strain but the initial belief is it will be a short stint on the IL. Middleton left his relief appearance in the ninth inning on Tuesday night after just four pitches. Manager Scott Servais said it appears not to be a significant injury and Middleton should be back after the 10 days. UP NEXT Orioles: Opens a four-game series at home against Boston on Friday. RHP Matt Harvey (3-1, 4.06 ERA) starts the opener. Mariners: Starts a five-game trip on Friday at Texas but has not announced a starter. ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Tim Booth, The Associated Press
SEATTLE — The Baltimore Orioles already had the feel-good story of the season with the return of Trey Mancini from colon cancer surgery. For more than a month, the youngsters at the core of their rebuild have — perhaps surprisingly so — played well enough to hang around the .500 mark in the AL East. And if they needed additional proof they have an ace on their pitching staff, John Means provided it on Wednesday. Throwing the first individual no-hitter by an Orioles pitcher in more than 50 years is plenty of affirmation. “That’s the feeling you’re getting with John right now is, you go to the ballpark (John’s) on the mound, it’s going to be a fun night,” Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said. “That’s what you feel like when you have a number one or a top of the rotation guy on the mound is when you get to the ballpark we got a really good chance to win this game.” Means more than just improved to 4-0 on Wednesday. He etched himself in Orioles lore throwing the first individual no-hitter by a Baltimore pitcher in 52 years in a 6-0 win over the Seattle Mariners. Early in a season that’s already been filled with several positives, this was another boost in efforts for Baltimore returning to prominence. “I think we have a really good team and it’s about time people started to pay attention,” Means said. Means was brilliant on the mound. His fastball was overpowering as it sat in the mid 90s and spotted on the edges. His changeup left batters flailing. He struck out 12, threw 26 first-pitch strikes and rarely found himself in a three-ball count. Mix in a Seattle lineup that collectively was struggling at the plate, and it was a perfect recipe for a bit of history. The Orioles had a combined no-hitter in 1991, but Means was the first individual to finish a no-no since Hall of Famer Jim Palmer in 1969. Means understood how special it is to be a pitcher in Baltimore and mentioned in the same breath as Palmer. “I can’t put it into words. It’s just it’s such a crazy feeling. It’s such a whirlwind of an experience,” Means said. The only blemish that stood between Means and a perfect game was a breaking pitch in the dirt that struck out Sam Haggerty swinging but skipped past catcher Pedro Severino. It happened in the third inning, but even that early in his outing, Means was showing he had the stuff capable of something special. “He was awesome today,” Seattle’s Kyle Seager said. “He was ahead of us all day. We were behind pretty much every single count.” Means showed two years ago he had the potential to be an emerging breakout star for the Orioles when he went 12-11 with a 3.60 ERA, was an All-Star selection and finished second in the AL Rookie of the Year voting. Last season, Means started poorly but his final four starts were a precursor to what he’s done this season. In his final four outings of 2020, Means only went 2-2, but had a 1.52 ERA and opponents hit just .146 against him. And his start to 2021 couldn’t be much better. Means has thrown at least six innings in five of his seven starts. He’s allowed just seven earned runs in 46 innings and opponents are hitting a meagre .135. He’s an ace, whether the Orioles want to give him that official title or not. “You don’t want to label somebody. I don’t want to raise expectations of who he is, but he is definitely pitching like one there’s no doubt about that,” Hyde said. “He has pitched like one from September on from last year, through this year. “For me aces, not only give you a chance to win the game but they go long. They can battle throughout a game, and they give bullpens a rest, and they make big pitches in big spots late in the game, and you kind of have a longer leash because of that. John Means is at that point for me.” ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Tim Booth, The Associated Press
TORONTO — Mandy Bujold would have preferred fighting this battle in the ring. Instead, the Tokyo Olympics fate for Canada’s best boxer lies in the hands of the Court of Arbitration for Sport after her qualifying tournament was scrapped due to the pandemic. Bujold and her lawyer, Sylvie Rodrigue, lost their appeal to the International Olympic Committee earlier this week, leaving CAS as her last chance to box in what would be her final Olympics. “I had been hopeful (about the IOC’s decision),” Bujold told The Canadian Press on Wednesday. “But they did not even address the issues in our letter, which is really unfortunate, right? You think of the Olympics and the principles of Olympism, you think about fairness, you think about sportsmanship, you think about all these things that make the Olympics what they are, and make me proud to be an Olympian and to get this response was really tough.” After a competitive year erased by COVID-19, the 11-time national flyweight champion had been confident she’d clinch a berth at the qualifying tournament this month in Buenos Aires. The event was recently cancelled amid coronavirus cases in Argentina. With no remaining international competitions for boxers from the Americas, athletes were selected on a revised ranking system using three events between 2018 and 2019 — events Bujold didn’t compete in because they conflicted with her maternity leave. Bujold’s daughter Kate was born on Nov. 5, 2018. Rodrigue calls Bujold’s situation a human rights violation and discrimination case. In the Olympic Boxing Task Force’s revised ranking system for Tokyo, “it’s like Mandy has never been ranked in the world,” Rodrigue said. “What we say is the fact that they do not accommodate pregnant or postpartum athletes by recognizing their rankings pre-pregnancy, they are violating the rights of the athletes from a gender equity and from a discrimination standpoint,” she said. The 33-year-old Bujold had planned to retire after the Tokyo Games, and had already pushed back her departure for a year after the Olympics were postponed to 2021. “I’ve been training for this opportunity, for this final moment to kind of close this chapter of my career, and now not even being able to have that opportunity, that’s really tough,” she said. Both the Canadian Olympic Committee and Boxing Canada wrote letters in support of her appeal to the IOC, Bujold said. The continental qualifiers were originally scheduled for last March, but were scrapped due to the pandemic. Adding to the frustration, the European qualifying event is still happening next month in Paris. Bujold said a European boxer with an identical story — she had a baby and took maternity leave around the same time — is just one fight from punching her ticket to Tokyo. Whatever the CAS rules, there was never a doubt Bujold would pursue this battle to the end. “I think about when I’m preparing for a fight in the ring, I make sure that I do everything possible to give myself the opportunity to win. And, that’s exactly what we’re doing right now, in a different type of fight,” she told CP. Bujold, a two-time Pan American Games champion who was previously ranked No. 2 in the Americas, would be the first Canadian woman to box in back-to-back Olympics. Her Rio Olympics ended in heartbreak due to illness; hours before her quarterfinal bout she was in hospital on an I.V. Her goal was to close her career with a medal in Tokyo. Now with everything in doubt, it’s not easy some days to go to the gym. “At the end of the day, I’m trusting Sylvie, I’m trusting her team to fight for me,” she said. "So, I need to be prepared and do my part by staying ready, and staying in shape. So until there’s a final conclusion, at the end of all of this, I need to just stay ready.” The Associated Press
OAKLAND, Calif. — Oakland's typically reliable bullpen faltered. The Blue Jays delivered with their bats despite more injuries. Teoscar Hernández hit a tiebreaking RBI single during Toronto's five-run eighth inning, and the Blue Jays beat the Athletics 9-4 on Wednesday night. After George Springer went on the injured list earlier in the day, Toronto lost right-handed reliever David Phelps to shoulder discomfort and infielder Joe Panik, who hurt a calf muscle running out a grounder. Both were scheduled for further examination Thursday, with manager Charlie Montoyo expecting to be short-handed for the afternoon series finale. Hernández also had an earlier run-scoring single before coming through against Lou Trivino (1-1), who was tagged for five earned runs after allowing a total of three in his first 15 appearances this year. “Everyone has a bad night. Tomorrow I fully trust Lou and Diek (Jake Diekman) and the back end of our bullpen,” said starter Chris Bassitt, who settled for a no-decision. Ramón Laureano and Matt Chapman homered for Oakland, and Sean Murphy had two hits and two RBIs. The A’s (19-13) are still tied for the best winning percentage in the majors after beginning the season 0-6. Laureano went deep in the first after Bassitt fell behind 2-0 in the top half — but the right-hander bounced back to pitch a solid outing. “I just didn’t execute pitches. Bass threw a fantastic game,” Trivino said. "The guy’s a first-class starter, he’s everything you want in a starter. To give up two runs in the beginning of the game and then to dominate like he did it was fun to watch. It’s a little disappointing I couldn’t bring home the W.” Hernández and Randal Grichuk hit RBI singles in the first inning before Laureano connected for the fourth time in five games. He had a single and double in his following two at-bats, collecting three of the six hits allowed by Robbie Ray in six innings. Grichuk added another run-scoring single in the decisive eighth. “Good job by the offence to come back against good pitching,” Montoyo said. Bassitt struck out seven over seven innings. He allowed two runs for the fifth straight start. Ray, who was looking to win back-to-back starts for the first time in 2021, struck out nine and walked none. Jordan Romano (3-1) followed with a perfect seventh for the win. “Fastball command," Ray said of what's working for him. “That's been the biggest thing for me is being able to move that fastball around and place it where I want to.” GAMES PILE UP Matt Olson played his 421st game at first base for the A’s, passing Scott Hatteberg for fourth place in Oakland history. MORE LEFTIES Oakland faced a left-handed starter for the fourth straight game, sixth in seven and ninth in the last 12 overall. And the A's will see another southpaw, Hyun Jin Ryu, in Thursday's series finale. TRAINER’S ROOM Blue Jays: OF Springer went on the 10-day injured list with a strained right quadriceps muscle. He had an MRI exam on his troublesome leg earlier, a change of plans from a day earlier but the decision came after consultation with Springer and the medical staff. The injury forced Springer out Sunday. “The main reason we did it, we just didn't see him improving fast enough so we decided to get some imaging done to determine the next steps,” Montoyo said. OF Jonathan Davis was recalled to replace Springer. Athletics: C Austin Allen, called up Tuesday to replace C Aramís García since he has a stomach bug, gave regular Sean Murphy a much-needed break from behind the plate so he could be designated hitter. Allen arrived too late for Tuesday's game because of a delayed flight. ... OF Chad Pinder (sprained left knee) continues all his on-field baseball work and is nearing a rehab assignment, perhaps by this weekend. “He's doing everything. Probably goes out on rehab toward the end of our homestand," manager Bob Melvin said. UP NEXT Ryu (1-0, 2.60 ERA) is set to return from a strained right glute muscle to pitch Thursday. "There's no more hurdles. He's good to go for tomorrow," Montoyo said. Oakland sends RHP Mike Fiers (0-1, 4.50) to the mound for his second start of the season needing seven strikeouts for 1,000 in his career. ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/tag/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Janie McCauley, The Associated Press
CALGARY — The Jets hadn't tasted victory in so long, they almost forgot how to celebrate. Winnipeg can now exhale, and focus on building off Wednesday's complete effort with an eye towards bigger moments just over the horizon. Adam Lowry and Blake Wheeler had two goals each as the Jets defeated the Calgary Flames 4-0 to snap an ugly seven-game losing streak and clinch a playoff spot. "It gets hard to answer the same questions," Wheeler, who now has 800 points in the NHL, said of the frustrating slide. "Clearly you don't have the answer, so it's nice not to have to answer those questions anymore. "But I think more than that, it was a good wake-up call for our team. Our game slipped a little bit." Connor Hellebuyck made 32 saves for his third shutout of the season and Andrew Copp added two assists for the Jets (28-21-3), whose longest losing stretch since the franchise relocated from Atlanta to Winnipeg a decade ago has seen the club go from battling for first place in the North Division three weeks ago to fighting to hang onto third. "We were a little confused at first," Lowry said with a grin when asked about the feeling in the locker room following the final buzzer. "Facing a little adversity, it's not the worst thing. You've got to find ways to get through it. "There's a bit of a relief there that it's behind us." Paul Maurice picked up his 300th win as Jets head coach as Winnipeg wrapped up its season series against Calgary with a record of 6-2-1. "When you have the stretch that we've just had, you lose sight of your starting point," he said of securing a post-season berth for the fourth year running. "We had a lot of things that we had to get right to get into the playoffs. We got off to a real good start and maintained that, and of course it's well-documented what we just went through. "Now you can take a step back and look at the bigger picture." Maurice added he never lost faith that his group would find its way back. "They care about each other," he said. "You're in the room as a coach and you try to get around and gauge temperature all the time, but you don't really know the dynamic in the room until you see it under duress. "You can tell they care about each other because they got more connected, not less." Jacob Markstrom stopped 15 shots for Calgary (22-26-3), which was all but eliminated from playoff contention before Wednesday, and now faces an even more dire situation. "We were coming into this game with pretty much a must-win mentality," Flames captain Mark Giordano said. "You lose 5 on 5 and special teams, you're not going to win most nights." The Jets got a boost earlier Wednesday when the Montreal Canadiens, who sat tied with Winnipeg on points for third in the division entering play, fell 5-1 to the Ottawa Senators in the nation's capital to halt their three-game winning streak. The Jets and Canadiens both have four games left on the schedule. Winnipeg was just three points back of Toronto for top spot in the North after picking up a 5-2 road victory over the Maple Leafs on April 15. But coming into Wednesday, the Jets were 15 points back of the Leafs, had conceded 28 goals against during their losing streak, and had found the back of the opposition net just 10 times. Desperate for something positive out of the gate, Winnipeg jumped in front of Calgary just 69 seconds into the first period. Playing his second game back since missing four straight with a head injury, the grinding Lowry moved in on a 3-on-1 and fired the first shot of the night past Markstrom his ninth goal of the season. The Jets' power play — 1 for 19 during the losing run, including 0 for 6 in Monday's 2-1 loss in Ottawa — got a chance later in the period, but was unable to connect. Hellebuyck then had to be sharp in a tight-checking first, picking Elias Lindholm's effort out of the air with his glove. Lowry made it 2-0 at 5:33 of the second with the Jets killing a penalty on a nice breakaway move to the backhand through Markstrom five-hole for his fourth-career shorthanded goal. "If you draw up a perfect game, this is pretty dang close," Hellebuyck said after recording the 23rd shutout of his career. "Every single guy chipped in. "There's a lot of character." The Jets goaltender stopped Matthew Tkachuk's shot up high with Calgary still on the power play before the Flames winger rang another attempt off the crossbar. The home side thought they had scored late in the second to cut the deficit in half, but Winnipeg defenceman Neal Pionk cleared the loose puck out of Hellebuyck's crease following a desperation save. The puck bounced over the stick of Calgary's Juuso Valimaki at the offensive blue line, and Wheeler raced in alone before fooling Markstrom with a backhand upstairs for his 12th of the campaign. Winnipeg's captain then put the game out of reach with his milestone moment on a power play at 3:02 of the third for the Jets' first four-goal showing since their last win. "It doesn't mean anything," Wheeler, 34, said of his 800th point. "This night belongs to our team and the fact that we're going back to the playoffs. That's all I play for, especially this part of my career is just having opportunities to achieve the ultimate goal. "That's what makes this night special." Notes: Mark Schefiele assisted on Wheeler's second goal for his 500th career point. ... The Jets host the Senators on Saturday in the first of four consecutive home games to close out their schedule. ... Calgary welcomes Ottawa on Sunday before playing four straight against the Vancouver Canucks. This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 5, 2021. The Canadian Press