Dereck Rodriguez Agrees to Minor League Deal with Colorado Rockies 

Dereck Rodriguez has a new deal…

The 28-year-old Puerto Rican baseball pitcher, the son of MLB Hall of Fame catcher Ivan Rodriguez, has signed a minor league contract with the Colorado Rockies that includes an invitation to spring training.

Dereck Rodriguez

Rodriguez appeared in 51 games over three seasons with the San Francisco Giants. He compiled a 12-15 record with a 4.27 ERA before being designated for assignment by the Giants on August 26. He was claimed five days later off waivers by the Detroit Tigers before recently becoming a free agent.

Rodriguez made his major league debut at Coors Field on May 29, 2018. He allowed four runs, one earned, over 3⅓ innings. He also had an RBI double off Kyle Freeland.

Rodriguez was originally a sixth-round pick by the Minnesota Twins in 2011.

Jennifer Lopez & Alex Rodriguez Add Sports Star Power in Bid to Purchase the New York Mets

Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez aren’t giving up their Mets quest…

The 50-year-old Puerto Rican superstar and the 44-year-old Dominican American former-baseball-player-turned-sports-commentator aren’t giving up on their bid to purchase the New York Mets from the Wilpon family. 

Jennifer Lopez & Alex Rodriguez

After the pair reportedly teamed up with billionaire Mike Repole in an ownership group, they’ve now added a group of investors that includes some other big names. 

Per ESPN, Hall of Fame linebacker Brian Urlacher, 2020 Super Bowl champion Travis Kelce, ex-NFL star DeMarco Murray, former Cleveland Browns offensive lineman Joe Thomas,Washington Wizards All-Star Bradley Beal and Denver Nuggets center Mason Plumlee are all joining the celebrity couple’s bid.

“We couldn’t be more excited to have such high-quality individuals as part of our group,” Lopez and Rodriguez told ESPN on Monday.

The Wilpons have been looking to sell the Mets for months now, but a deal hasn’t been reached despite some interest. 

The Wilpons originally had an agreement in place to sell the team to hedge fund investor and billionaire Steve Cohenwhile remaining in control of the club for another five years, but that deal fell apart.

Recently, it was reported that Cohen delivered the family an offer for $2 billion, and was willing to offer an additional $2 billion to also acquire SportsNet New York (SNY). The Wilpons have reportedly been reluctant to give up SNY. However, it now appears the television network would now be included in a potential sale, indicating the Wilpons are more serious about a deal.

The group headed by Lopez and Rodriguez reportedly submitted an initial bid of $1.7 billion. The former New York Yankees slugger and Bronx-born pop star have reportedly put $300 million of their own money toward the bid. 

The Wilpons will review all of the bids, and work with MLB commissioner Rob Manfred to determine the next steps in the process. Whoever does end up taking home the Queens-based franchise will need to their purchase to be approved by 75 percent of MLB owners.

The Wilpons reportedly hope to close a deal by the fall and gain Major League Baseball approval for the new owners before the end of the year.

Jaime Munguia Defeats Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan in Middleweight Debut

Jaime Munguiais celebrating a positive step up…

The 23-year-old Mexican boxer and former WBO junior middleweight titlist made a successful debut at middleweight by defeating Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan with an 11th-round TKO at the Alamodome in San Antonio on Saturday night.

Jaime Munguia

While he was able to dominate the late stage of the contest, there were certainly some rough moments for Munguia (35-0, 28 KOs), who, after a quick start in the opening two rounds, was clipped on the chin by a right hand from O’Sullivan that dazed him at the very end of the third.

It took a few rounds for Munguia to truly steady himself, but as he got back to establishing his long, quick jab and focusing more on throwing fast punches, instead of hard ones, the 23-year-old was able to regain full control of the bout. In the seventh round, a low blow sent O’Sullivan to the canvas, and Munguia was deducted a point by referee Mark Calo-oy. But that didn’t dissuade Munguia from consistently attacking the body and then mixing up his attack up top.

“I was confused whether to attack or not, but thanks to my corner, I think I did better at 160,” said Munguia. “I feel like I wore down less ’cause of the weight cut. I felt I threw more punches, more combinations, and it made the difference.”

Give credit to O’Sullivan: Although he was hurt in several rounds, he landed more than his share of punches on Munguia, who left more than a few openings with his hell-bent for leather style. O’Sullivan was staggered in the 10th, and then finally, as he was swarmed by the two-fisted attack of Munguia, he crumbled to the canvas just as the towel was being thrown in by his corner.

Munguia finished with a flourish, but he showed that he is still very much a work-in-progress under the direction of Hall of FameErik Morales, who has trained him for the past two fights. Their first outing together was back in September when he halted Patrick Alloteyin four rounds.

It seems as though Morales has made some progress with his young pupil. Yet, there is still plenty more to be learned.

When asked how he would assess his own performance, Munguia said, “I would give myself an eight or nine. I had to do some more things but will take this fight by fight.”

Rafael Furcal Earns First-Ever Spot on the MLB Hall of Fame Ballot

It’s a special first for Rafael Furcal

The 42-year-old Dominican former professional baseball shortstop is among 18 newcomers on the 2020 Hall of Fame ballot.

Rafael Furcal

Furcal, who retired from Major League Baseball in 2014, for the Atlanta BravesLos Angeles DodgersSt. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins. With St. Louis, he won the 2011 World Series over the Texas Rangers. He was the National League Rookie of the Yearin 2000 and a three-time MLB All-Star.

Other newcomers announced Monday by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America include Derek Jeter, Cliff LeeJosh BeckettJason Giambi, Paul KonerkoBobby Abreuand Alfonso Soriano.

Holdovers include Curt Schilling, who received 60.9% last year, Roger Clemens (59.5%), Barry Bonds (59.1%) and Larry Walker(54.6%). Schilling rose from 51.2% in 2018. Walker, on the ballot for the 10th and final time this year, increased from 34.1% in 2018.

Bonds and Clemens, whose candidacies have been tainted by allegations of steroid use, are both on for the eighth time. Clemens rose from 57.3% in 2018 and Bonds from 56.4%.

In all, 10 Latino former ‘ballers made the list… In addition to Furcal, Abreu, and Soriano, former players on the list include Eric Chavez, Raul Ibanez, Manny Ramirez, Carlos Pena, Sammy SosaJose Valverdeand Omar Vizquel.

Ballots are sent to more than 400 BBWAAmembers with at least 10 consecutive years in the organization, and a player must appear on at least 75% to gain election. Ballots must be mailed by December 31, and results will be announced January 21.

Anyone elected will be inducted July 26 along with any selections by the Hall’s modern era committee, which meets and votes in San Diego on December 8.

Players remain on the ballot for up to 10 years, provided they receive at least 5% of the vote annually.

Roy HalladayEdgar Martinez and Mike Mussina were elected along with Mariano Rivera in the 2019 BBWAA vote.

The ballot: Bobby Abreu, Josh Beckett, Heath Bell, Barry Bonds, Eric Chavez, Roger Clemens, Adam Dunn, Chone Figgins, Rafael Furcal, Jason Giambi, Todd Helton, Raul Ibanez, Derek Jeter, Andruw Jones, Jeff Kent, Paul Konerko, Cliff Lee, Carlos Pena, Brad Penny, Andy Pettitte, J.J. Putz, Manny Ramirez, Brian Roberts, Scott Rolen, Curt Schilling, Gary Sheffield, Alfonso SorianoSammy SosaJose Valverde, Omar Vizquel, Billy Wagner, Larry Walker.

Tony Romo Leads After First-Round at the American Century Championship

Tony Romo is one step closer to defending his turf…

The 39-year-old Mexican American former Dallas Cowboys quarterback-turned-NFL analyst birdied six of his final 11 holes to take the first-round lead Friday in the American Century Championship at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course.

Tony Romo

Romo, the defending champion, shot a 2-under 70 and scored 26 points in the celebrity tournament that uses the modified Stablefordscoring system.

Arizona Cardinalscornerback Patrick Peterson was two points back, and former Major League Baseball pitcher Derek Lowe was another point behind. Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltzwas fourth at 22, and actor Jack Wagner, a two-time winner in the event, had 21.

Romo, who has competed in two PGA Tour events this year, played the back nine in 5-under 31 after getting off to a slow start with two bogeys and a double-bogey on his first five holes.

“I think I had two points after five holes,” Romo said. “So from that point on, I got pretty hot.”

Charles Barkley, the former NBA star who has regularly finished last or second to last, birdied the second hole.

“Did he hit somebody and they threw it in the hole?” Romo joked.

Barkley was at minus-12 points, but he was ahead of 14 players in the 90-player field.

Pete Alonso Defeats Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in a Battle of Rookies to Win Home Run Derby

Pete Alonsois officially a home run champion…

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.

Pete Alonso

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

Daddy Yankee Leads Team World to Victory at MLB’s Annual Celebrity Softball Game

Daddy Yankee is always ready to play ball…

The 42-year-old Puerto Rican rap superstar joined several celebrities over the weekend at Cleveland’s Progressive Fieldfor Major League Baseball’s annual celebrity softball game.

Daddy Yankee

This year’s roster was divided into two celebrity teams:Team Cleveland, which included Drew CareyMachine Gun KellyQuavo, and Hall of FameJim Thome; and Team World, including Daddy YankeeAnuel AAJamie Foxx, and Dascha Polanco

Team World

Yankee, who aspired to become a professional baseball player before becoming one of the pioneers of reggaeton,played third base and was pitcher during Sunday’s game, his publicist Mayna Nevareztold Billboard.

 In true Daddy Yankee fashion, his global hit “Con Calma” blasted throughout the field when it was his turn to bat. 

A true baseball aficionado, Daddy Yankee owns a softball team in Puerto Rico called “El Cartel Softball,” which focuses on doing charitable games. 

On Instagram, Latin trap sensation Anuel AA shared a photo of him and Daddy Yankee in the locker room. “Smile at life because it’s only one!!!!” he expressed before Team World ultimately won the game with a final score of 21-16. 

San Francisco Giants’ Pablo Sandoval Makes History Against Cincinnati Reds

Pablo Sandoval has etched his name into the annals of sports history…

The 32-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball player became the first Major League Baseball player since 1905 to hit a home run, steal a base and post a scoreless outing in the same game.

Pablo Sandoval

Sandoval achieved the feat in the San Francisco Giants‘ 12-4 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on Monday.

The only other time the feat was achieved, it was also accomplished by a Giants player in a game against the Reds.MLB Hall of FameChristy Mathewsonthrew nine shutout innings, hit a homer and stole a base in a victory on May 23, 1905, according to the Elias Sports Bureau‘s data.

Chief Johnsonof the Kansas City Packersalso accomplished this feat playing in the Federal Leagueon August 14, 1915.

Sandoval’s steal of third base in the second inning of Monday’s game was his first stolen base since the 2012 season. His home run Monday was a three-run shot in the sixth inning that cut the Giants’ deficit at the time to 7-4. He has three home runs this season.

In his scoreless inning Monday, which came during the eighth inning, he hit Jose Peraza to lead off the inning but got Josh VanMeter to fly out and induced a ground ball double-play off the bat of Nick Senzel. When Sandoval hit Peraza, it marked the fifth time in Monday’s game that a Reds player was hit by a pitch, tying a National Leaguerecord.

Sandoval has now pitched two innings in his career and has not allowed a run.

Tito Ortiz Signs Multi-Fight Deal with Combate Americas

Tito Ortiz is heading back to the cage…

The 44-year-old half-Mexican American UFC Hall of Famer has signed a multi-fight deal with Combate Americas, according to ESPN.

Tito Ortiz 

Ortiz is expected to debut in the fall, though his opponent isn’t finalized at this time. It is also unknown which weight class he’ll initially compete in.

Ortiz said after his win over Chuck Liddell in November that he was done fighting, though he seemed to change his mind shortly thereafter. Ortiz has come out of retirement before, so this isn’t anything new for the “Huntington Beach Bad Boy,” who is considered one of the all-time greats in MMAhistory

A former UFC light heavyweight champion, Ortiz will enter Combate Americas with a 20-12-1 record and riding a two-fight winning streak. This will mark the fifth promotion he has fought for.

Bad Bunny to Compete at This Year’s NBA Celebrity All-Star Game

Bad Bunnyis hoopin’ it up…

The 24-year-old Puerto Rican Latin trap and reggaetonsinger will compete at this year’s NBA Celebrity All-Star Game on February 15 when All-Star Weekend takes over Charlotte, North Carolina.

Bad Bunny

Bad Bunny, whose real name is Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, will compete alongside last year’s MVP Quavo, emerging comedian Amanda Seales and NBA Hall of Fame sharpshooter Ray Allenon the away side.

The home team will be made up of players with Carolina ties including lyrical assassin Rapsody and Terrence J

For the first time, the matchup will honor a pair of hometown heroes, as a former Marine and a 29-year-old who disarmed a gunman will be suiting up for the game. This year’s contest once again teams up with Rufflesfor a lengthy 4-point line titled “The Ridge.”

The 2019 NBA Celebrity All-Star Game tips off at 7:00 pm ET on February 15 live on ESPN from the Bojangles’ Coliseum in Charlotte.