College Baseball Player’s 56-Game Hitting Streak Comes To A Shameful End

I realize most of you probably don’t follow college baseball so here’s a quick rundown before you read this story. Florida International player Garrett Wittels had a 56-game hit streak (two shy of Robin Ventura’s all-time D1 mark of 58) after the end of last season which was put on hold when FIU was eliminated in the NCAA tournament. Well, when the season started this weekend and the following went down. From NBC Sports:

Said Wittels, who was 7 for 7 in late-game situations with the streak on the line in 2010: “I didn’t deserve it.”

Wittels reached on a fielder’s choice in the first, fouled out near the right-field bullpen in the third and grounded out to third in the sixth inning — one pitch after successfully lobbying plate umpire Michael Baker that a ball which appeared to hit his hand actually hit the knob of his bat instead.

Afterward, Wittels acknowledged that he was hit by the pitch.

“Worst moment in baseball I’ve ever been a part of in my life,” Wittels said. “I got hit by a pitch and I was selfish and didn’t take my base. Honestly, I’m more (upset) about that than not continuing into history. … I don’t really know what was going through my head at the time.”

Wittels went 0 for 3 against Brandon Efferson and 0 for 1 against reliever Stefan Lopez.

You read that correctly.  He didn’t take his base after being hit by a pitch so that he could selfishly try to extend the streak rather than help the team win.  I don’t want to stand on Mount Pius and preach, but the act speaks for itself.

At least he owned up to it after the game.

[AP via NBC Sports]

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Video Of Ray Allen Tying And Breaking Reggie Miller’s Three-Point Record

Just to stir the pot a little bit for all the Reggie fans out there, check out these numbers from the Boston Globe:

With a 3-pointer at the 1:48 mark of the first quarter of tonight’s game against the Lakers, Ray Allen broke Reggie Miller’s all-time NBA record for career threes with 2,561. Allen broke the record in 309 fewer games played than Miller. Allen has a career 3-point percentage of .398 to Miller’s .395.

Here’s the first three-pointer he ever hit, just for fun.  Look at his form between now and then.

[Boston Globe]

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Kevin Love Is On The Cusp Of Breaking An Impressive Franchise Record

The Mark? Kevin Garnett’s monstrous run of 37 consecutive double-doubles which Love easily matched last night in a 27-17 effort that helped the T-Wolves defeat a surprisingly good Hornets team 104-92. He’ll look to break the record Friday on the road against the Pacers.  From the Star-Tribune:

Missing two players to begin with and down two more by game’s end Monday night, the Timberwolves proved themselves both resilient and winners, two qualities they have lacked far too often this season.

Their 104-92 victory over the Hornets was their third on the road all season, and their first since Dec. 26.

It came on a night when Kevin Love reached his 37th consecutive double-double game and joined Kevin Garnett and John Stockton as the only NBA players in the past 25 years to do so.

It also came when the Wolves started without Luke Ridnour and Martell Webster, then lost Darko Milicic (hip flexor strain) early in the game and Michael Beasley (ankle) late.

He’s now put himself in the company of two no doubt about it Hall-Of-Famers with this remarkable run.  Impressive, to say the least, especially when you consider that guys like Steve Nash and Chris Paul haven’t approached this territory.  Like I wrote last week, the T-Wolves have all the makings of being the next up and coming team in the West.  Look for them to be a fringe playoff contender next year.

[Star-Tribune]

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The One Where A Lithuanian Player Attempted 124 Three-Pointers In A Single Game

This is no joke.  From LithuanianBasketball.com:

Lithuanians proved that amateur basketball can be just as exciting as the professional sport in somewhat bizarre circumstances. Rolandas Dovydaitis put on a real show for the small number of spectators, who gathered to watch an amateur league game in Kaunas, setting the country’s world record for most three-point shots attempted in a single game.

The record was broken by a country mile as the player jacked up an astonishing 124 attempts from beyond the three-point line, making 24 of the shots. Even such a circus couldn’t stop Rolandas Dovydaitis and his team from winning as they still triumphed 103-70 in the end.

“Last game our opponents let us shoot wide-open three-pointers. We gave it a little thought and wondered why a single player couldn’t do all of that alone. If our opponents allow me to shoot more than 70 three-pointers, I should be in the record books after the end of the game,” Dovydaitis said just before the tip-off of the game.

At first, the gag wasn’t going all that well, as Dovydaitis missed his first 19 shots, but the Lithuanian managed to get back on track and even had a run of eight consecutive shots made from beyond the arc at one point in the game. What’s even more remarkable, his teammates amassed a total of 108 rebounds, a key factor to the player’s success.

Despite collecting a total of 73 points, Dovydaitis managed to get a total efficiency ranking of minus-30, mostly due to a hundred missed three-pointers.

“My goal was to score twenty out of a hundred, but what’s most important is that I broke the record,” said the new record holder, who has set a mark, which will be hard to beat.

This makes the D’Antoni offense seem conservative.  I can’t believe the coach actually allowed it to go down.

[Lithuanian Basketball]

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UConn Women win 89th straight game

I must admit that anyone stepping past John Wooden and his 88 wins at UCLA in the record books is quite impressive. Tonight the women’s basketball team of the University of Connecticut did just that. It has been widely talked about whether these two accomplishments are comparable. If you ask me, it’s tough to say.

For one, I never saw Wooden’s Bruins compete or the level of the teams around them. But it is clear that the Lady Huskies are in a league of their own (no pun intended). They have demolished everyone in their way, having just two games decided by 10 points or less. I have a feeling the level of competition was slightly higher for UCLA, but then again, maybe UConn is just that good right now.

Regardless of how comparable the two are, congratulations needs to be given to the Huskies. To win 89 games in anything is a great accomplishment.

I appreciated Geno Auriemma quoting Wooden after the game, but really wish he would have smiled in the last two minutes of the game. There is nothing worse than a grumpy coach while setting a historic record. I think Nick Saban and Auriemma would get along great.

RIP John Wooden.