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Mariners’ Robinson Cano suspended 80 games after positive drug test

Seattle Mariners’ second baseman Robinson Cano will be suspended for 80 games for violating Major League Baseball’s drug policy, according to KIRO.

In a statement on Twitter, Cano said he tested positive for Furosemide, a drug commonly used to flush out the kidneys.

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In a statement, the Seattle Mariners said the team is ‘disappointed’ that Cano used the banned drug. 

Cano broke his hand Sunday after the team’s loss to Detroit and was placed on the 10-day disabled list. 

According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, Cano’s suspension was pending when the injury happened, and Cano’s time on the disabled list will count toward his 80-game suspension. 

KIRO reports that before his injury Sunday, Cano was batting .287 with four home runs and 23 RBIs in 39 games.

Cano signed a 10-year, $240 million contract with the Mariners in 2013, after spending the first nine years of his career with the New York Yankees. 

The Mariners are currently in third place in the AL West with a 23-17 record entering Tuesday's home game against the Texas Rangers.

ESPN, Netflix team up for Michael Jordan documentary ‘The Last Dance’

ESPN Films and Netflix have joined together to create a 10-part documentary series on Michael Jordan.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the series, called “The Last Dance,” will look at Jordan’s rise to NBA stardom during the 1990s. Jordan will fully participate in the documentary, THR reported.

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According to a Tuesday news release, more than 500 hours of never before seen footage will be used in the series, which will include footage of Jordan and the Chicago Bulls’ 1997-1998 championship. The series is directed by Jason Hehir, who has previously worked with ESPN Films on its successful 30 for 30 series “The Fab Five” and “The ‘85 Bears.”

“The Last Dance” will air on Netflix and ESPN in 2019. Watch the trailer below or at ESPN.com

Supreme Court strikes down federal law prohibiting sports gambling

The Supreme Court on Monday struck down a key portion of a federal law that prevented states from offering legal betting on sports at their race tracks and casinos, KTLA reported.

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By a 6-3 vote, the high court ruled that in 1992, Congress lacked the authority to pass the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which banned states that did not already allow legal sports betting from sanctioning it, The New York Post reported.

“Just as Congress lacks the power to order a state legislature not to enact a law authorizing sports gambling, it may not order a state legislature to refrain from enacting a law licensing sports gambling,” Justice Samuel Alito, writing for the majority, said in his 31-page majority opinion.

Currently, only Nevada offers legalized betting on sports, KTLA reported. New Jersey officials, who brought the case forward in July 2017, said the federal government could not force them to enforce a congressional ban on wagering on professional and college sports. New Jersey is expected to be an immediate beneficiary of the Supreme Court decision, the Post reported. Other states that are expected to follow suit are Delaware, Mississippi, New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Concurring with Alito were justices John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Elena Kagan and Neil Gorsuch. Stephen Breyer agreed in part with most of the ruling.

Dissenting opinions were written by Sonya Sotomayer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Breyer (in part).

The court ruled in favor of New Jersey and against NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball and the NCAA, ending a six-year legal battle, ESPN reported. The leagues sued New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in August 2012, and the Supreme Court decided to take the case in June, ESPN reported. Oral arguments were heard Dec. 4.

Police: Couple faked son's cancer for donations, visit with Syracuse football team

A New York couple is accused of faking a 2017 story about their son having cancer so they could solicit more than $3,300 in donations, the Cayuga County Sheriff's Office said. The couple also used their son’s alleged battle with Hodgkin’s disease so the family could meet the Syracuse football team, Syracuse.com reported.

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Martin and Jolene LaFrance were charged with scheme to defraud and endangering the welfare of a child Friday, according to the Sheriff's Office.

According to deputies, the LaFrances set up a GoFundMe page for their son, CJ LaFrance and collected $3,334 from 42 donors. After a four-month investigation, deputies determined “conclusively” that CJ had not been diagnosed with any medical conditions, Syracuse.com reported.

An archive of the page on Aug. 30, 2017 shows that the GoFundMe campaign had been shared 403 times on Facebook.

Last August, CJ and family members were special guests during a Syracuse football practice, Syracuse.com reported. CJ, who was 9 years old at the time, met his favorite players and coach Dino Babers.

"The LaFrance Family has violated GoFundMe's terms of service, and all donors will receive a refund," GoFundMe officials said in a statement. "Additionally, they have been banned from our platform."

GoFundMe will also be working with New York authorities in their investigation, ESPN reported.

Martin and Jolene LaFrance, both 35, will be arraigned May 16, Syracuse.com reported.

Say Hey! Willie Mays turns 87 today: 5 fun facts

Willie Mays turned 87 on Sunday, and for a generation of baseball fans he will forever be “The Say Hey Kid.” When Mays retired after the 1973 season, his 660 home runs put him third on the all-time career list behind Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron.

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Author James S. Hirsch wrote in 2010 that Mays “not only played the game as well as anyone who’s ever taken the field but he also played it the right way.”

Videos of Mays’ defensive gem in Game 1 of the 1954 World Series -- dubbed simply as “The Catch” -- shows Mays with his back to the plate, flagging down Vic Wertz’s smash to the deepest part of center field at the Polo Grounds.

With two runners on base, it prevented the Cleveland Indians from breaking a 2-2 tie, and the New York Giants would win in extra innings en route to a four-game sweep. Was it his greatest catch? “I don’t compare them,” Mays told reporters. “I catch ‘em.”

“My definition of Willie Mays walking into a room is the chandeliers shaking,” Leo Durocher wrote in his 1975 autobiography, “Nice Guys Finish Last.” “And what made him more appealing was that he didn’t know it.”

So, on Willie’s birthday, here are some appealing facts:

Loving August: In 1965, en route to a 52-homer season, Mays set a National League record for August by hitting 17 homers in one month. The record has since been tied by Sammy Sosa, who connected 17 times in August 2001.

All-Star tradition: Mays has played in a record-tying 24 All-Star Games, sharing the mark with Stan Musial and Hank Aaron.

Big awards: Mays won the National League’s Most Valuable Player Award in 1954 and 1965. His biggest honor, however, might be the Presidential Medal of Freedom he received from President Barack Obama in November 2015.

TV star: Mays was a big star whenever he appeared on “The Game of the Week” baseball telecasts, but he also appeared in some situation comedies during the 1960s. In 1964 he appeared in two episodes of “The Donna Reed Show” on ABC, and two years later he appeared in an episode of “Bewitched.” He played himself in both shows.

He was chided a bit by Redd Foxx in the 1970s sitcom, “Sanford and Son”:

Not unanimous: Mays was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1979, his first year of eligibility. No one has been a unanimous selection for enshrinement in Cooperstown, but Mays received 409 votes out of 432 ballots cast. New York Daily News columnist Dick Young, bashing the 23 voters who kept Mays off the ballot, wrote, "If Jesus Christ were to show up with his old baseball glove, some guys wouldn't vote for him. He dropped the cross three times, didn't he?”

Country singer Jason Isbell swaps concert tickets for Hank Aaron baseball cards

Baseball cards for tickets? Country singer Jason Isbell is ready to deal if the offer is right.

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Well, at least when it come to Hank Aaron.

It began when author Jeff Pearlman, noting that Albert Pujols’ 3,000th career hit put him in a category of four players with 3,000 hits and 600 home runs, mentioned Aaron, who topped the list.

Isbell answered Pearlman in a tweetabout the baseball Hall of Famer on Friday night when a Twitter user posted an offer, MLB.com reported. 

The tweeter, James Herlitz, offered Isbell a 1971 Topps card and card No. 1 from the 1974 Topps set. Both were well-loved cards and the condition was less than pristine, but Isbell agreed to the swap, leaving a pair of tickets for his Aug. 30 show in Berkeley, California, MLB.com reported.

“You can give them to the sound guy. Red beard. Can’t miss him.” Isbell tweeted. “I’ll put you down plus one on the guest list. Have fun.”

Isbell released his sixth album, “The Nashville Sound,” last year.

90-year-old man competes in NASCAR-sanctioned event

Hershel McGriff struck a blow for elderly drivers everywhere Saturday.

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McGriff, who turned 90 in December, became the oldest racer to compete in a NASCAR-sponsored event, finishing 18th in the K&N Pro Series West event at Tucson Speedway, ESPN reported.

Driving on the three-eighths-mile track was a snap, McGriff said, but he was more nervous about playing the national anthem on his trombone to kick off the race.

“Instead of racing young kids at 120 miles per hour, he’s more nervous about playing his trombone,” Tucson Speedway president John Lashley told the Arizona Daily Star. “He’s just wound different than you and me.”

McGriff drove for Bill McAnally Racing with sponsorship from South Point Hotel & Casino, the Star reported. His son, Hershel Jr., and his granddaughter Mariah competed in separate races Saturday at the track.

McGriff is no stranger to racing. He won four races in 1954 in what is now the NASCAR Cup Series and has 37 career victories. His last win in the series came in 1989, ESPN reported. McGriff’s last race in the K&N series came in 2012, when he placed 18th at Sonoma Raceway.

McGriff’s last victory came in 1989. He was named one of NASCAR's 50 greatest drivers in 1998, and in 2006 was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame.

McGriff began racing as a 17-year-old, enticed by an advertisement in an Oregon newspaper.

“So I borrowed my dad’s 1940 Hudson — ugly car, but he loaned me the car and I found a couple of guys that helped me,” McGriff told the Star. “I didn’t do too well. I finished I think 12th or 13th out of a bunch of cars and it was a terrible track. That got me started.”

McGriff retired from competitive racing when he was 74. He raced sporadically since, and in 2009 -- as an 81-year-old -- he became the oldest man to compete in a NASCAR-sanctioned race. "I've had a great life. I wouldn't backtrack for anything,” McGriff told the Star. “I have family that's with me and behind me, so it's great.”

'Game of Thrones' actor Hafthor Bjornsson wins World's Strongest Man title

“The Mountain” now sits on the throne as the world’s strongest man.

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Hafthor Bjornsson, the powerlifter from Iceland who also stars in “Game of Thrones,” won the 2018 World's Strongest Man contest Sunday after winning three of the final weekend's six events in Manila, Philippines, Bleacher Report said.

Bjornsson plays the role of Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane on “Game of Thrones.” Capping his first appearance in World’s Strongest Man competition, Bjornsson finished second in the 20-ton truck pull before winning the loading race to clinch first place.

The victory made Bjornsson the first athlete to win World's Strongest Man, Europe's Strongest Man and the Arnold Strongman Classic in the same calendar year, Bleacher Report said.

Florida State's Mike Martin becomes college baseball's winningest coach

Florida State University’s Mike Martin became the winningest coach in college baseball history Saturday night, notching his 1,976th victory as the Seminoles defeated Clemson 3-2 in 13 innings.

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Martin passed the late Augie Garrido as the Seminoles improved to 32-14 overall and 14-10 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, The Tallahassee Democrat reported.

“It was really just a night that I’ll always remember because of the way that our young men battled," Martin told the Democrat. “The record means that for awhile it’s going to have Florida State’s name (on it). That’s what means so much to me because that’s the university that gave me a chance to coach. I’m very fortunate. I love my university.”

>> Augie Garrido dead at 79

Martin needed 246 fewer games than Garrido to reach his record victory. Garrido, who died on March 15, compiled a 1,975-951-9 record from 1969 to 2016 and won five national titles during his 48-year coaching career.

The University of Texas, where Garrido won two NCAA baseball crowns during his 20-year tenure at the school, tweeted congratulations to Martin.

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