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MLB teams eliminate top prospect from draft boards as criminal history surfaces

Luke Heimlich was one of the top prospects in the upcoming 2017 MLB draft. He was ranked 43rd overall on Baseball America’s top-500 list, which is no small thing. Was is the operative word in both of those sentences, however: Last week, in a story in The Oregonian, it was revealed that the Oregon State Beavers’ ace is a registered sex offender, who plead guilty in 2012 to molesting a 6-year-old family member.

The reason this took so long to get out is because Heimlich apparently failed to register his sex offender status in April, which put the story on The Oregonian’s radar. Heimlich asked not to pitch on Friday, his scheduled day during the 2017 NCAA baseball tournament, as he felt it would be a distraction to his team.

Professional sports teams are known for turning a blind eye toward criminal behavior if they think a player can help them win, and MLB is no exception. The Mets signed Jose Reyes specifically because his domestic violence arrest made him an inexpensive addition. The Mariners pretended they didn’t know anything about Josh Lueke’s sexual violence when they traded for him.

The Wildcats and Aggies’ feat here of course pales in comparison to when Texas topped Boston College, 3-2, in the opening regional of 2009’s tournament. That bonkers outing lasted 25 DAMN INNINGS, and it remains the longest college baseball game in history. It began at 7:02 p.m. ET on a Saturday and ended at 2:05 a.m. Sunday. Seven hours, three minutes, all told.

The longest super regional game ever played was in 2015, when TCU beat Texas A&M in the rubber match of the Fort Worth super in 16 innings, 5-4.

Davidson and A&M didn’t require two calendar days to end the argument, but let’s at least appreciate that these two teams tangoed for over five hours, and they have to do it again on Saturday.

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Stanley Cup playoffs three stars: ‘Boring’ Senators blow out Penguins in Game 3 to take series lead

Borrrrrring. No longer.

The same Senators who lulled many a hockey fan to sleep to begin the Eastern Conference finals sent the series into a frenzy with a five-goal outburst in Wednesday’s Game 3, converting their 5-1 victory into a two-games-to-one lead over a Penguins team that for the first time these playoffs crumpled under the weight of mounting injury woes.

For watching such a stodgy group, Canadian Tire Centre was raucous, hosting its most important hockey game in 10 years, chanting for six.

The Sens were quick to disprove critics of the dull, bend-but-don’t break trap system they’ve deployed to slow the defending Cup champs with a goal 48 seconds into the game and three more in a span of 2:18 later in the first period. Games 1 and 2 in Pittsburgh featured four goals in total.

Is it evidence of a lesson learned through years of salary cap headaches and harmful buyouts? Probably not, but it’s an encouraging sign (well, for owners at least) that teams are getting smarter with their wallets. It’s also decidedly less fun for people who get to write articles ranking the smartest and dumbest deals so far.

In essence, the Rangers replaced flat-footed cap burden Dan Girardi with Shattenkirk, one of the NHL’s best puck-moving defenseman and the consensus top UFA available this summer. That’s a win no matter the cost. But that Shattenkirk, a New Rochelle, N.Y., native, turned down longer term and more lucrative offers to suit up for his hometown team played right into the suddenly cost-conscious Rangers’ hands. New York has one of the top blue lines in the league.

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