The 35-year-old Spanish professional basketball player, currently playing for the Toronto Raptors, is mentally preparing to face-off against his former team.
Gasol played for parts of 11 seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies, going to three All-StarGames with the team’s jersey on his back, earning two All-NBA selections there and a Defensive Player of the Year award.
And now, he’ll play against his former team for the first time.
“I got there when I was 16 years old. It was my first time out of Spain,” said Gasol, who still owns his Memphis home. “I started high school there as a teenager and left as a father of two kids. … My ties to the city and my roots go pretty deep and my love for the people there, what they mean and the franchise, it’s forever.”
Gasol helped Memphis make the playoffs in seven consecutive seasons including the 2013 run to the Western Conference finals. He’s the Grizzlies’ all-time leader for minutes played, field goals made, free throws made and attempted, rebounds, blocks and triple-doubles and is second in points — 49 behind Mike Conley.
The Raptors were supposed to have played back-to-back games against Memphis this season, going there on March 28 and then playing host to the Grizzlies March 30. Those games were called off due to the season suspension caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Obviously it’s a little bittersweet that we couldn’t play in the city of Memphis, to get that love and feel that Iove from the fans,” Raptors guard Fred VanVleet said. “But I’m sure he’ll be happy to see some familiar faces and a lot of the people that he spent a lot of time with over the years.”
The 26-year-old Puerto Rican professional baseball player and shortstop for the Chicago Cubs, nicknamed “El Mago,” is slated to bat second for the National League in Tuesday’s MLB All-Star Game.
Baez, in his second straight All-Star Game, will follow lead-off hitter and Milwaukee Brewers slugger Christian Yelich, who bowed out of the Home Run Derbywith a back issue. Yelich leads the majors with 31 home runs.
He’ll befollowed by Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman, Los Angeles Dodgersright fielder Cody Bellinger, Colorado Rockiesthird baseman Nolan Arenado, Pittsburgh Pirates‘ Josh Bell at designated hitter, Cubs catcher Willson Contreras, Arizona Diamondbackssecond baseman Ketel Marte and Atlanta center fielder Ronald Acuna Jr.
The National League has the youngest starting lineup in All-Star Gamehistory, with an average age of 25.75. The previous record was 26.4 by the 2017 ALstarters.
Houston Astros‘ George Springer leads off and plays right field for the American League and is followed in the order by New York Yankees second baseman DJ LeMahieu, Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout, Cleveland Indians’ first baseman Carlos Santana, Boston Red Sox designated hitter J.D. Martinez, Houston third baseman Alex Bregman, Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez, Astros left fielder Michael Brantley and Minnesota Twins’ shortstop Jorge Polanco.
Cora joked about LeMahieu’s success against the Red Sox in his first season after leaving the Rockies for New York — especially when Boston played the Yankees in London last month.
“People in the offseason thought that he wasn’t going to be able to hit outside of Colorado. Well, he hits outside of Colorado and in Europe, too,” Cora said.
The 24-year-old part-Spanish American professional baseball player, a first baseman for the New York Mets, outslugged the Toronto Blue Jays‘ Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in a battle of rookies to win the Home Run Derby at Cleveland’s Progressive Field on Monday night.
Guerrero had broken the Derby’s single-round record in each of the first two rounds, but after surviving an exhausting duel with Joc Pederson of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the semifinal round, Guerrero didn’t have enough to beat Alonso in the final.
The Blue Jays rookie, trying to follow in the footsteps of his Hall of Famefather, who won the event in San Francisco in 2007, went first in the final, and after initially struggling to duplicate his earlier pace, he picked it up after calling a second timeout and finished with 22 home runs.
Alonso, unique in the competition in sending most of his hits toward center field, then followed with 23 to spare to end it with plenty of time.
He became the first Met to win the event since Darryl Strawberrywas a co-champion in 1986.
“That was a blast. Oh my god, that was a blast,” Alonso said after his win. “I’m gonna remember that for the rest of my life.”
With the win came a cool $1 million bonus to supplement Alonso’s base salary of $555,000.
He said he would donate 10% of his winnings between two charities, the Wounded Warriors Projectand the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation.
“I have the utmost respect for the people that put their lives on the line every single day — and I just wanna show my gratitude, because a bad day for me is a lot different than a bad day for the servicemen and women that serve this country,” Alonso said.
Guerrero has eight major league home runs in his rookie year, and he hit 44 total homers in the minors. But at the Derby, he hit 91.
The biggest drama of the night came in the semifinal round, when he needed three tiebreakers to eliminate Pederson 40-39.
Before this year’s Derby, only six players had hit 40 home runs in an entire event, much less a single round.
“I feel bad for him,” an exhausted Pederson said after his final swing. “He’s gotta keep hitting; I’m toast.”
Pederson, who lost in the final as a rookie in 2015, now has the most combined home runs at the Derby all time, with 99, while Guerrero — in his first appearance — tied the previous record of 91 held by Todd Frazier, who also competed twice.Guerrero did have the honor of hitting the longest homer of the night, 488 feet, in the second round. That netted him a $100,000 bonus to go with his $500,000 for finishing second, which more than equals his season’s salary of $468
Pete Alonso may be a rookie, but he’s already makin’ a name for himself in Major League Baseball…
The 24-year-old part-Spanish American professional baseball player and New York Mets first baseman, ready to play in the All-Star Game on Tuesday night in Cleveland, has set the National League rookie record with 68 RBIs before the break.
He hit his 30th home run of the season Sunday in an 8-3 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies, driving in two runs with the shot, to set the mark.
He was tied with Albert Pujols, who had 66 for the St. Louis Cardinalsin 2001. Walt Droposet the major league mark of 83 for the Boston Red Soxin 1950.
His 30 home runs are tied for the second most by a rookie in major league history before the All-Star break. The New York Yankees‘ Aaron Judge also hit 30 in 2017. Mark McGwireholds the major league record, with 33 for the Oakland Athletics in 1987 before the break.
The 36-year-old Cuban-American rap superstar will perform during ceremonies Monday night before the Major League Baseball’s All-Star Home Run Derby.
Bebe Rexha will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” Tuesday night before the All-Star Game at Marlins Park and Jocelyn Alice will sing “O Canada.”
Jennifer Hudson will sing at a private party in Miami Beach hosted by Stand Up to Cancer and Mastercard on Sunday night, when there also will be a New Era event with Amine and Metro Boomin.
Lenny Kravitz will perform Monday night at the Major League Baseball Players Association party in Miami.
Rapper Lil Jon was to perform at the All-Star 5K on Saturday night and Don Omar at the All-Star Zumba experience on Sunday, when Flo Rida is to give a show at Marlins Park between the All-Star Futures Game and the celebrity softball game.
Robinson Cano will be reporting for MLB All-Star duty…
The 34-year-old Dominican professional baseball player, a second basemen for the Seattle Mariners, is among seven replacement players selected for Tuesday’s All-Star Game in Miami.
Cano, who has the world’s fifth-largest sports contract at $240 million, is an 8-time All-Star.
Other replacement players to the American League roster include Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Chris Archer and Toronto Blue Jays reliever Roberto Osuna, Houston Astros reliever Chris Devenski, Minnesota Twins reliever Brandon Kintzler and Detroit Tigers outfielder Justin Upton.
Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Alex Wood was added to the National League All-Stars.
Three of the original All-Stars are on the disabled list and won’t be active for the game: Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout, New York Yankees second baseman Starlin Castro and Houston Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel.
Four pitchers on the All-Star rosters won’t be active because they are scheduled to start Sunday: the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw, Texas Rangers‘ Yu Darvish, Cleveland Indians‘ Corey Kluber and Detroit’s Michael Fulmer.
Ally Brooke Hernandez and Lauren Jauregui are hitting the rink…
The Latina singers and their fellow Fifth Harmony groupmates will perform at the National Hockey League (NHL) All-Star Game on Sunday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The 62nd annual event, which will also feature performances by Nick Jonas and Carly Rae Jepsen, kicks off at 12:30 p.m. PT on Sunday, Jan. 29, and will air on NBC.
Jepsen will kick things off with the Canadian national anthem before the game, and Fifth Harmony will follow with “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Jonas, meanwhile, will perform during the game’s second intermission.
“We are pleased with the incredible lineup of entertainment that we put together for the 2017 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend,” said Steve Mayer, NHL chief content officer and executive vice president. “The All-Star Weekend will feature three days of can’t-miss events, including the NHL100 celebration on Friday night, in a weekend where hockey takes over Hollywood. We are excited for Nick Jonas, Fifth Harmony and Carly Rae Jepsen’s All-Star Game performances for our fans in L.A and those watching around the world.”
This will be Fifth Harmony’s second performance without Camila Cabello, following their debut as a quartet at the People’s Choice Awardslast week.
The NHL All-Star Weekend will also include the NHL100 gala hosted by actor Jon Hamm honoring the league’s 100 greatest athletes of all time with guest appearances by John Legendand Robin Thicke, who will honor his late father Alan Thicke, as well as John Ondrasik of Five for Fighting.
This will be the third time Los Angeles will host the NHL All Star Game and the first since 2002.
The 26-year-old part-Puerto Rican baseball star put on a record display of power at Petco Park during the All-StarHome Run Derby on Monday night, peppering every landmark from the left field corner to center field.
Stanton hit 20 homers in the final round to beat out defending champion Todd Frazier of the Chicago White Sox. Overall, the Miami Marlins slugger hit a record 61, shattering the single-night mark of 41 by Bobby Abreu in 2005.
Stanton’s impressive shots hit the top level of the Western Metal Supply Co. Building in the left-field corner and the top of the batter’s eye in center field.
He sent several balls just below the giant scoreboard high atop the left-field stands and several over the bullpens in left-center.
“For sure, being on the West Coast and taking the flight out here just for this, you know. I figure it’s a waste if I don’t bring this bad boy home,” Stanton said, hoisting the trophy.
The three-time All-Star is not on the National League roster for Tuesday night’s game after batting .233 with 20 homers and 50 RBIs before the break.
“I had a great time. I had a blast.”
His longest shot was estimated at 497 feet. He hit the eight longest homers of the competition and 20 of the 21 deepest drives.
“When I get a few in a row I would kind of bump it up 5 to 10 percent,” he said. “But most the time I stuck at 80-90 percent. I knew I could do it endurance-wise. I was just hoping my swing didn’t fall about.”
Stanton can defend his title at home next year when the Marlins host the All-Star Game.
“That is where I got my childhood memories, watching the Home Run Derby as a kid,” said Stanton, who’s from Los Angeles.
“Maybe some kids are watching me. I would like to return that.”
Stanton is baseball’s highest-paid player with a $325 million, 13-year deal. His new hitting coach is home run king Barry Bonds.
Stanton hit 24 homers in the first round to eliminate the Seattle Mariners‘ Robinson Cano (seven) and 17 in the semifinals to knock out Mark Trumbo (14) of the Baltimore Orioles.
Frazier hit 13 in the first round to beat Carlos Gonzalez (12) of the Colorado Rockies, and 16 in the semifinals to eliminate Adam Duvall (15) of the Reds.
The 22-year-old part-Mexican American actress has come aboard as the new headline act for the MLB All-Star Game concert on Saturday night (July 11), replacing previously announced headliner Ariana Grande at Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park.
The MLB has yet to issue a statement on the change, and neither Lovato nor Grande have posted about it on social media. A rep for Lovato confirmed to Billboard that she’s indeed performing at the star-studded baseball game on Saturday night.
Grande is currently facing backlash for a bizarre video in which she declares “I hate America” in a donut shop. No word on whether her removal from her the All-Star Game concert was the result of that controversy.