By John Strege
First baseman Nate Freiman, husband of retired (or not) LPGA player Amanda Blumenherst, failed to make the Oakland A's opening-day roster, despite a fairly productive spring training, and was sent to the club's minor league camp on Sunday.
Last year, Freiman, 27, hit .274 with four home runs and 24 runs batted in in 208 at-bats for Oakland. He spent the entire 2013 season with the American League West champion A's, who were required to keep him on the major league roster for the entire season after acquiring him with a Rule-5 selection.
There was no such restriction on the A's this year. Freiman, a first baseman used exclusively against left-handed pitchers in 2013, batted .238 this spring, with one homer, but he drove in 11 runs, only one fewer than the team leader.
Blumenherst, who met Freiman at Duke, was a three-time college player of the year there. Late last year, she announced she was stepping away from the LPGA to spend time with Freiman, though she left the door open for a return at some point.
It seems likely that Freiman will return to the A's at some point this season. "I'm sure we will see the 6-foot-8 first baseman again this season," Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote. "The A's know what he can do, and he's popular with his teammates and the coaching staff, a hard worker who is quirky and kind."
(Getty Images photo)
By Alex Myers
Losing in the NCAA Tournament is tough, but at least there's a silver lining for one coach. North Dakota State's Saul Phillips, whose 12th-seeded Bison upset No. 5 Oklahoma on Thursday before getting knocked out by fourth-seeded San Diego State on Saturday, couldn't help but cry in a post-game press conference. That led him to remark that analyst Charles Barkley would probably make fun of him.
But Barkley didn't -- at least, at first. He spoke about how much respect he has for college coaches and that he knows how much losing sucks (And as one of the greatest NBA players to never win a championship, he does know). Then in typical Barkley fashion, he cracked, "I don't think he was crying because he lost, I think he was crying because he's gotta go back to North Dakota." Ouch.
Barkley isn't as cold as he seems, though. On Sunday, he revealed he called Phillips and had a nice conversation. "I'm still never going to North Dakota, but if he comes to Arizona, he can play golf with Chuck," Barkley said.
Lose an NCAA Tournament game, win a round of golf with Charles Barkley? It could be worse -- especially if you've just spent a long winter in North Dakota.
By Alex Myers
The dudes in Dude Perfect, a YouTube trick shot group that also created a hysterical golf stereotypes video, have topped themselves once again. This time, the five guys pull off nine consecutive trick shots involving five different sports in one unedited clip.
The ninth and final trick involves one of the guys hitting a golf ball through a beer bottle being held by another member some 20 yards away. We'll let you judge if it's all real or not, but it sure looks impressive. Oh yeah, don't try this at home. . .
We knew Rickie Fowler was a huge motocross fan. But the 25-year-old might have a bit of baseball fever, too.
Fowler posted a photo on Instagram of him taking batting practice at a St. Louis Cardinals/New York Mets spring training game in Jupiter, Fla. this afternoon.
Check out that swing! Those are strong upper-body swing positions for golf -- the straight left arm into impact with the lower right shoulder. Not so much for baseball. (To be fair, looks like that pitch is coming in a little low and outside.)
Fowler credits Butch Harmon for some recent strides in his golf swing. He has him cleaning up his backswing and spine angle, which Fowler parlayed into a semifinal appearance at the WGC-Match Play last month.
But as for baseball? Looks like it's clearly just a hobby for the Jupiter-based Fowler.
"@PinehurstResort: . We see you'll be performing in Fayetteville on April 18. How about a round on No. 2 two months before the Opens?"Im in-- Darius Rucker (@dariusrucker) March 4, 2014
By Alex Myers
On Sunday night, a talented celebrity golfer won an Oscar. On Tuesday night, an aspiring celebrity golfer made some basketball history and referenced his newest sport.
Miami Heat superstar LeBron James scored a career-high 61 points in a win over the Charlotte Bobcats. When asked what it felt like to be in such a shooting zone (he made his first eight three-point attempts!), he responded, "It felt like I had a golf ball throwing it into the ocean." The highlights back it up.
Maybe it's a stretch, but perhaps the comment indicates LeBron has golf on his mind these days -- in addition to winning a third-consecutive NBA title and a fifth MVP trophy, of course. After all, Nike recently released a commercial in which comedian Kevin Hart is giving James golf tips on the range and the course.
LeBron's a bit busy with his best sport right now, but we hope he keeps working on his golf game -- especially if he enjoys reaching scoring milestones.
By Alex Myers
On Sunday, the U.S. celebrated the 50th anniversary of The Beatles' famed first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. It got us thinking about some of the band's best-known songs and the true* golf meaning behind them. Here are 10 we picked out:
(*By true, we mean totally made up. Despite the pictures below, it appears The Beatles weren't big fans of the game. But we can imagine, right? It's easy if you try.)
"Eight Days A Week": In an ideal world, wouldn't we all play golf this much?
"We Can Work It Out": Penned when Paul took John under his wing to help him with his struggling short game.
"Here, There and Everywhere": Written by John during a phase in which he had no clue where his driver was going.
"Here Comes the Sun": This song came to an optimistic George while waiting out yet another rain delay in Liverpool.
"Drive My Car": Little-know fact: The original title was "Drive My Cart," but cart didn't rhyme as well with "star."
"The Fool on the Hill": Doesn't this describe how all hackers look trying to hit a ball off an uneven lie?
"Help!": Inspired by Ringo's decision to take lessons from a golf pro -- and not just from anybody -- for the first time.
"Norweigan Wood": Paul laments losing a magical fairway wood he discovered while touring the Scandinavian Peninsula.
"I Am The Walrus": How big of a legend is Craig Stadler? He was the first golfer to be given an official theme song.