Football Preview: Servite’s Tetairoa McMillan can make the ‘extraordinary look ordinary,’ even in the Trinity League


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This is the first in a series of stories about players in Orange County that fans will want to keep an eye on this football season. 

Servite’s sports history is rich.

Like, Jeff Bezos rich.

Steve Beurlein. Steve Buechele. Patrick Cantlay. Matt Slater. Chris Pontius. Mike Witt.

Some day “Tetairoa McMillan” might be in that paragraph.

McMillan goes into his senior year at Servite as one of the elite receivers in high school football. Rivals.com gives him four stars (out of five possible) and has him ranked No. 4 in the country at receiver. Rivals also has McMillan as the No. 4 prospect among all players in California and No. 44 for all players in the nation.

St. John Bosco coach Jason Negro won’t dispute that after watching McMillan, widely known as “TMac,” make eight catches for 168 yards and a touchdown against Bosco this past spring.

“What separates him from everyone else is how he makes the extraordinary look ordinary,” Negro said. “So many times you think you have him covered and somehow he wins possession of the ball making an outstanding catch.”


Servites Tetairoa McMillan pushes away St. John Bosco linebacker Jalen Woods as he tries to gain some more yardage in the fourth quarter in Costa Mesa on Friday, October 4, 2019. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

What helps separate McMillan (6-4, 185 pounds) as an athlete is his ability to excel in volleyball. His jumping ability gets him so high that his elbow is above the net, and his hitting power sends the ball across it at violent velocity.

“He is definitely a special athlete,” said Servite volleyball coach Matt Marrujo. “He might be the best who’s ever been here.”

Servite football coach Troy Thomas, who was a defensive back in high school and college and knows about matching up against a great receiver, said McMillan’s physical skills might overshadow another aspect of his excellence.

“He’s smart and he knows how to position his body to make the difficult catch,” Thomas said. “He uses a lot of different things to do what he does.”

McMillan was born in Hawaii. His family moved to Southern California where he started playing tackle football at age 12. McMillan was a cornerback and linebacker on his Pop Warner team. His participation in volleyball, inspired by his mother who played the sport in college, would come a couple of years later.

He would quickly establish himself in both sports.

McMillan was All-Trinity League second team in volleyball as a freshman in 2019. He was the only sophomore on the 2019 All-Orange County football first team. As a junior in the 2020-21 school year McMillan was on the CalHiSports.com All-State first team and was honored as the website’s California Wide Receiver of the Year . He was All CIF-Southern Section Division 2 in volleyball, having led the Friars to the CIF-SS Division 2 championship match.

McMillan was the Register’s Orange County boys athlete of the year for the 2020-21 school year.

With scholarship offers from many of the top college football programs in the country, this summer he narrowed his list of potential schools to Arizona, Oregon and USC. He plans to make his college decision before the high school season begins.

“I’m definitely making my decision soon,” said McMillan, who is not looking forward to having to turn down offers he received from people he likes. “The main thing about recruiting is creating relationships, and that’s why it’s going to be hard to tell people ‘no.’ “

It’s worth noting that two of his teammates, quarterback Noah Fifita and tight end Keyan Burnett, have committed to Arizona.

McMillan was a starter on the Servite basketball team during his sophomore year, but he chose to play volleyball instead of basketball as a junior when those sports were forced to have their seasons at the same time because of the compacted schedule in 2020-21.


Tetairoa McMillan, center, of Servite attempts to hit the ball over Cayman LaFontaine, left, and Drake Goering of Huntington Beach in the semifinals of the CIF-SS Division 2 boys volleyball playoffs at Servite High school in Anaheim on Saturday, May 29, 2021. Huntington Beach won the match and advances to the finals. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Thomas is certain that McMillan improved as a football player by being a multisport athlete.

“There’s so much you can learn from other sports that will carry over to football,” Thomas said. “Whether it’s track or wrestling, or in his case basketball and volleyball. Playing other sports will make you more well-rounded, and that’s what Tetairoa did while growing up.”

Thomas said it is important that a team’s best senior players be team leaders. Thomas said that McMillan, who is a quiet and soft-spoken person, began to take on that responsibility during the summer.

“I’m not really a vocal guy,” McMillan said. “But this is my last year, so I have to do what I have to do to get our team prepared to reach its goals.”

This past football season was delayed and shortened because of COVID-19, which limited Servite to six games during the spring. Servite lost twice, in Trinity League games against St. John Bosco 38-28 and Mater Dei 24-17.

As he was in the Bosco game, McMillan was outstanding against Mater Dei. While being covered most of the game by Mater Dei’s nationally-ranked cornerback Domani Jackson, McMillan had six receptions for 107 yards, including a 32-yard touchdown reception. McMillan also drew six pass interference penalties in the Mater Dei game.

He is excited about the opportunity to play Bosco and Mater Dei again this season. Those two opponents are in Servite’s final games of the regular season.

“It’s always a blessing playing arguably the top two teams in the country every year,” McMillan said. “Unfortunately we came up short. But I feel very fortunate just to play against so many good DI players in those games.”

McMillan in those games this season just might make Servite’s sports history wealthier.

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What is the Fed prepared to do if inflation isn’t transitory?

In its July 9 Monetary Policy Report, the Federal Reserve tells us not to worry about inflation.

“Some of the strength in recent 12-month inflation readings reflects the comparison of current prices with prices that sank at the onset of the pandemic as households curtailed spending—a transitory result of ‘base effects.’ More lasting but likely still temporary upward pressure on inflation has come from prices for goods experiencing supply chain bottlenecks, such as motor vehicles and appliances,” the report states.

Stories of jobs going wanting while potential workers wait out the end of unemployment benefits add to the characterization of upward price pressure being temporary — the higher wages necessary to attract these workers back will give way once the compensation for not working evaporates.

This is very reassuring, except for two points.

The first is that economics is a social science not a physical science. The Fed report itself recognized that what people believe about inflation’s likely course becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. This is for the obvious reason that if a manufacturer or bank expects price levels to rise by, say, 3%, then the price of the good or interest rate on a loan must increase by 3 percentage points if the seller or lender is to stay even.

The Fed reported it was monitoring  inflationary expectations, but that is not the same thing as building credibility that the Fed will act if those expectations do rise. The monetary medicine is severe, and for that reason, few believe the Fed will apply it.

We last saw this in 1979 to 1983, when Fed Chief Paul Volcker increased interest rates over which the Fed has direct control. Mortgage rates rose to above 16%. Volcker induced a recession that defeated the reelection of the President Jimmy Carter, who had appointed him to the position.

It took over four years, with serious unemployment, and the election of a new president, to convince Americans that inflation had been tamed. No one believes this Fed is inclined to apply such medicine, especially so soon after the COVID-19 recession.

Under Chairman Jerome Powell, the Fed has telegraphed instead that its mission is to achieve full employment — hugely desirable, of course, but not reassuring to those who doubt Powell’s will to imitate Volcker.

The second concern is that, under Powell, the Fed has been printing money as never before, responsive to the COVID-19 downturn. From January 2020 to May 2021, the latest date for which data are available, the measure of money in our economy has risen by 32%. By comparison, in the seventeen months prior to that period, money rose only 8.8%. That amount of new money does not dissipate; it stays in the economy.

The price level is directly related to the amount of money in society.

A classic thought experiment in an introductory macroeconomics course is to ask what would happen to prices if the government were to drop $20 bills from helicopters over U.S. population centers. Obviously, prices would rise, unless one of two other things happened simultaneously: economic output (GDP) increased in the same proportion as the amount of money in circulation, or the use of money to buy goods dropped.

This “equation of exchange” was first posited by the great American economist Irving Fisher in 1911 and became the basis for the quantity theory of money promoted by Milton Friedman.

COVID-19 did, indeed, decrease the use of money as fewer purchases were made (the drop was about 20% over the same 17-month period), and output dropped as well. As we recover from the pandemic, however, the use of money has returned to its traditional levels. And, while the economy is returning, the rebound of real GDP has not matched the increase in the money supply.

The result, according to textbook economics, must be inflation equal to the difference. Nothing in the Fed’s July 9 report refutes this. The Fed simply says it hasn’t happened. Yet.

Tom Campbell is a professor of economics and a professor of law at Chapman University. He served five terms in the US Congress, including on the Joint Economic Committee. He left the Republican Party in 2016 and is in the process of forming a new party in California, the Common Sense Party.  Milton Friedman was Campbell’s faculty advisor for his Ph.D. in economics.

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Will Irvine-based Rivian be the ‘Tesla of trucks?’

It’s a challenge for any automotive startup to produce its first new car.

Irvine-based Rivian is trying to launch three at once — an electric pickup, an electric sport utility vehicle and an electric Amazon delivery van.

Getting off the ground “is a big deal for an EV startup,” AutoForecast Solutions Vice President Sam Fiorani told Bloomberg News in March. “But Rivian takes on the added complication of having three models come out in the same year.”

Fiorani noted the U.S. has had just one successful auto manufacturing startup since World War II: Tesla.

Despite production delays, some experts are calling Rivian “the Tesla of trucks,” in part because of the huge amount of financial support and technical advice it’s getting from the likes of Amazon, Ford, T. Rowe Price, Fidelity and Cox Automotive.

With the closing of its latest $2.5 billion round of private funding on July 23, Rivian announced it has raised $10.5 billion since 2019. Bloomberg estimated the company’s value at nearly $28 billion earlier this year.

Rivian brands its EVs as “adventure products,” designed for outdoor enthusiasts who crave a vehicle that drives well both on and off the road. Air compressors are standard, and for a little extra, customers can get a camp stove with the pickup that slides out of a hidden storage compartment called the “gear tunnel.”

Production of its R1T pickup truck was postponed from late 2020 to June, then to July and now is planned for September.

The starting price for the launch edition is $73,000, not counting the discounts buyers get from federal and state tax credits. Production for the seven-seat SUV, the R1S, is planned to start a month or two after the truck, with a starting price of $75,500 before tax rebates. The company says both vehicles have a range of about 300 miles fully charged and go from zero to 60 mph in 3 seconds.

Here are questions and answers about Rivian based on news reports, company posts and past interviews with Rivian founder and CEO RJ Scaringe.

Q: How long has Rivian been around?

A: RJ Scaringe, 38, founded the company in his home state of Florida in 2009, not long after completing his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Originally named Avera Motors, Scaringe rebranded his firm as Rivian Automotive in 2011. The name pays homage, in part, to the Indian River Lagoon near Scaringe’s hometown of Melbourne, Fla., he wrote.

Rivian spent the next seven years “in stealth mode” designing its new vehicles until their unveiling at the Los Angeles Auto Show in 2018.

Q: Who is RJ Scaringe?

A: The Florida native first dreamed of starting his own car company when he was in high school, Forbes reported.

He studied for his doctorate at MIT’s Sloan Automotive Lab. While there, Forbes reported, he grew disillusioned with the idea of building another gas-powered car.

During a 2020 interview with the Lean Enterprise Institute, Scaringe said civilization’s addiction to fossil fuels has reached at “an inflection point.”

“The fossil fuels we use today were built up over the course of approximately 300 million years. We’ve used about half of that in 100 years. So, it’s not a debate as to whether we have to switch off our dependence on fossil fuels,” he said.

“The other wrinkle in this is the impacts of burning fossil fuels. The longer we wait to make a transition, the greater the damage to the planet and air quality. Essentially, what we’re doing is taking carbon that was buried in the earth and moving it into the atmosphere. … We see a huge urgency to solve that, and solving that is not an easy problem.”

At Rivian, Scaringe said, “we’re building something that is meaningful. We’re making something that matters for our kids’ kids’ kids.”


Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and fellow passengers on Blue Origin’s first human space flight climb into a pre-production Rivian SUV used to shuttle them to the launchpad. Amazon is a major Rivian backer and has 100,000 Rivian delivery vans on order. (Staff screen shot of Blue Origin video)

Q: How fast is Rivian growing?

A: The company went from 600 employees at the end of 2018 to more than 7,000, “and is growing every week,” a company spokeswoman said. More than 1,400 of its employees are based in Southern California.

Q: Where are Rivian vehicles being built?

A: The company paid $16 million in 2017 for a 3.3-million-square-foot former Mitsubishi plant in Normal, Ill., about 38 miles east of Peoria.

The Rivian plant currently has more than 2,200 employees and is expected to have 3,000 workers by early 2022, a company spokeswoman said.

The Chicago Tribune reported the company also has 1,000 robots to help build vehicles. Scaringe has posted several tweets showing robots painting vehicles and dipping chassis into a chemical bath.

Q: How many vehicles does Rivian plan to build each year?

A: Rivian expects to deliver 20,000 units its first year and 40,000 its second, according to Forbes. The company won’t say how many vehicles have been pre-ordered.

Q: Rivian has been around for 12 years, but has yet to sell a single vehicle. What has it been doing all those years?

A: To build an auto company from scratch, Scaringe told the Lean Enterprise Institute, “there are a number of items you need to have at the same time or in parallel, all of which are hard.”

You need billions of dollars, thousands of engineers, about 250 suppliers, a manufacturing plant and a team, he said.

“I had none of those,” he said. “No team, no money, no plants, no suppliers, no facilities.”

The challenge was convincing people to give him startup capital when he had nothing to show he could build EVs, he said. It took two years to develop an initial product plan. He then set out to show backers he had a product that was both technically feasible and for which there is a market.

“Today, it’s easy to see there’s a market (for EVs),” Scaringe said. “But eight, nine years ago, for an electric pickup truck, (it) took some convincing.”

Q: What’s holding up production?

A: In a letter to customers last month, Scaringe blamed delays on the “cascading impacts of the pandemic.”

“Everything from facility construction to equipment installation, to vehicle component supply (especially semiconductors), has been impacted by the pandemic,” he wrote. “Beyond these unforeseen challenges, launching three new vehicles while setting up a multi-vehicle manufacturing plant is a complex orchestra of coordinated and interlinked activities where small issues can translate into ramp delays.”

Scaringe said Rivian’s two production lines have completed hundreds of vehicles for testing purposes but is holding off on sales to ensure “the quality and robustness of our launch products.”

In an interview last November with Bloomberg’s Ed Ludlow, Scaringe said he expects supply constraints to hamper production through 2023.

“The challenge of launching a production system,” he told Ludlow, “is managing complexity.”

Rivian profile

  • Chief Executive Officer: RJ Scaringe, 38, of Laguna Beach
  • Headquarters: Irvine
  • Date founded: 2009
  • Employees: More than 7,000, more than 1,400 in Southern California
  • Factory location: Normal, Ill.
  • Product: Electric pickups, SUVs and Amazon delivery vans

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Leah Pruett wins Top Fuel; Capps wins Funny Car at NHRA Winternationals

  • Top Fuel winner Leah Pruett (right), from Redlands, is congratulated by her fiancé Tony Stewart (left) after winning the rescheduled NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Sunday August 1, 2021. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Top Fuel winner Leah Pruett (right), from Redlands, celebrates with her fiancé Tony Stewart (left) after winning the rescheduled NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Sunday August 1, 2021. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Top Fuel winner Leah Pruett, from Redlands, celebrates after winning the rescheduled NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Sunday August 1, 2021. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Top Fuel driver Leah Pruett , from Redlands, waits in her dragster in the staging lanes prior to the semi final round of eliminations at the rescheduled NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Sunday August 1, 2021. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Funny Car winner Ron Capps celebrates after winning the rescheduled NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Sunday August 1, 2021. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Top Fuel driver Justin Ashley sits in his dragster in the staging prior to the semi final round of eliminations at the rescheduled NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Sunday August 1, 2021. Ashley, who made it to the final round, was unable to race due to a heat related illness. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Top Fuel driver Leah Pruett (left), from Redlands, defeats Mike Salinas (right) during the semi final round of eliminations at the rescheduled NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Sunday August 1, 2021. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Funny Car driver John Force (left) pulls away from Matt Hagan (right) for the round win during the opening round of eliminations at the rescheduled NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Sunday August 1, 2021. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Funny Car driver John Force (left) pulls away from Matt Hagan (right) for the round win during the opening round of eliminations at the rescheduled NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Sunday August 1, 2021. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Funny Car driver Bob Tasca (front) pulls away from Paul Lee for the round win during the opening round of eliminations at the rescheduled NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Sunday August 1, 2021. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Funny Car driver Ron Capps (near lane) defeats John Force (far lane) during the semi final round of eliminations at the rescheduled NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Sunday August 1, 2021. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Funny Car driver Ron Capps pulls his parachutes during an opening round of eliminations win at the rescheduled NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Sunday August 1, 2021. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Top Fuel winner Leah Pruett (right), from Redlands, celebrates with her fiancé Tony Stewart (left) after winning the rescheduled NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Sunday August 1, 2021. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Top Fuel driver Leah Pruett (near lane), from Redlands, defeats Mike Salinas (far lane) during the semi final round of eliminations at the rescheduled NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Sunday August 1, 2021. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Funny Car driver Ron Capps does his burnout during the semi final round of eliminations at the rescheduled NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Sunday August 1, 2021. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Funny Car winner Ron Capps celebrates with his crew after winning the rescheduled NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Sunday August 1, 2021. Capps defeated J.R. Todd in the final round. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Top Fuel driver Mike Salinas (near lane) defeats Clay Millican (far lane) during the quarterfinal round of eliminations at the rescheduled NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Sunday August 1, 2021. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Event winners, from left, Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle), Aaron Stanfield (Pro Stock), Ron Capps (Funny Car) and Leah Pruett (Top Fuel), celebrate after winning their respective categories at the rescheduled NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Sunday August 1, 2021. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Top Fuel driver Leah Pruett, from Redlands, heads down track for the round win during the opening round of eliminations at the rescheduled NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Sunday August 1, 2021. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Top Fuel driver Leah Pruett, from Redlands, heads down track for the round win during the quarterfinal round of eliminations at the rescheduled NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Sunday August 1, 2021. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Funny Car driver John Force (left) pulls away from Matt Hagan (right) for the round win during the opening round of eliminations at the rescheduled NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Sunday August 1, 2021. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Pro Stock Motorcycle winner Matt Smith celebrates after winning the rescheduled NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Sunday August 1, 2021. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Antron Brown (left) defeats Steve Torrence (right) during the opening round of Top Fuel eliminations at the rescheduled NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Sunday August 1, 2021. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Top Fuel driver Leah Pruett, from Redlands, heads down track for the round win during the opening round of eliminations at the rescheduled NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Sunday August 1, 2021. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Funny Car driver John Force (left) pulls away from Matt Hagan (right) for the round win during the opening round of eliminations at the rescheduled NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Sunday August 1, 2021. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Pro Stock driver winner Aaron Stanfield celebrates after winning the rescheduled NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Sunday August 1, 2021. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Funny Car driver Ron Capps (left) pulls away from Bobby Bode (right) for the round win during the opening round of eliminations at the rescheduled NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Sunday August 1, 2021. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Funny Car driver Ron Capps pulls his parachutes during an opening round of eliminations win at the rescheduled NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Sunday August 1, 2021. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Funny Car driver John Force (left) pulls away from Matt Hagan (right) for the round win during the opening round of eliminations at the rescheduled NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Sunday August 1, 2021. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Funny Car driver John Force (top) defeats Cruz Pedregon (bottom) for the round win during the quarterfinal round of eliminations at the rescheduled NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Sunday August 1, 2021. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Funny Car driver John Force (left) goes sideway but still manages to defeat Cruz Pedregon (right) for the round win during the quarterfinal round of eliminations at the rescheduled NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Sunday August 1, 2021. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Top Fuel driver Justin Ashley (left) defeats Antron Brown (right) during the semi final round of eliminations at the rescheduled NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Sunday August 1, 2021. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Funny Car driver Ron Capps (left) defeats John Force (right) during the semi final round of eliminations at the rescheduled NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Sunday August 1, 2021. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Top Fuel driver Leah Pruett, from Redlands, waits in her dragster in the staging lanes prior to the semi final round of eliminations at the rescheduled NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Sunday August 1, 2021. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Funny Car driver Ron Capps sits in his support vehicle in the staging lanes prior to the semi final round of eliminations at the rescheduled NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Sunday August 1, 2021. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Event winners, from left, Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle), Aaron Stanfield (Pro Stock), Ron Capps (Funny Car) and Leah Pruett (Top Fuel), celebrate after winning their respective categories at the rescheduled NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Sunday August 1, 2021. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Top Fuel driver Antron Brown heads down track during his semi final round loss to Justin Ashley (not pictured) at the rescheduled NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Sunday August 1, 2021. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Top Fuel driver Mike Salinas heads down track during his semi final round loss to Leah Pruett (not pictured) at the rescheduled NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Sunday August 1, 2021. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Funny Car winner Ron Capps celebrates after winning the rescheduled NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Sunday August 1, 2021. Capps defeated J.R. Todd in the final round. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Top Fuel driver Justin Ashley (far lane) defeats Antron Brown (near lane) during the semi final round of eliminations at the rescheduled NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Sunday August 1, 2021. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Top Fuel driver Leah Pruett, from Redlands, heads down track for the round win during the quarterfinal round of eliminations at the rescheduled NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Sunday August 1, 2021. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Funny Car winner Ron Capps celebrates after winning the rescheduled NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Sunday August 1, 2021. Capps defeated J.R. Todd in the final round. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

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POMONA—Summertime heat took its toll at the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals Sunday as Top Fuel finalist Justin Ashley was a starting-line scratch because of dizziness apparently caused by dehydration.

After getting out of his dragster, the 26-year-old Ashley was helped into his tow vehicle and wrapped in cold towels. Ashley’s father Mike, a former racer himself who is a member of his son’s team, reported later his son was doing okay.

“The important thing was the safety of my son,” Mike Ashley reportedly said.

It was 92 degrees around 4 p.m. when the event’s final race was scheduled to go off in front of a very sparse crowd.

The absence of Ashley, who is only in his second year as a Top Fuel racer, allowed Redlands native Leah Pruett to claim the Top Fuel title after making a solo run down the Auto Club Raceway track.

Pruett said she saw Ashley was having problems in the starting area before the final. She said he got out of his dragster and got into his tow vehicle before getting back into the racecar.

“But I was surprised to see that he got out of his dragster at the starting line,” she said. “I was disappointed because I’m a competitor and wanted to race. But I am thrilled to have this title on my home track. Of course, I certainly hope Justin will be okay. I look forward to racing him in near future.”

Pruett, a Cal State San Bernardino graduate, now lives in Lake Havasu, Ariz., and is engaged to former NASCAR racer Tony Stewart, who was at the track Sunday.No. 1 Funny Car qualifier Ron Capps of Carlsbad caped off a great weekend by defeating J.R. Todd in that division’s final and going from fifth to first in the NHRA standings.

“I was driving the coolest car in the most extreme conditions I’ve ever competed in,” Capps said.

He said a caravan of some 300 family members and friends were at the track for the most satisfying weekend of his long career. In meeting with the press afterwards, he said he had already received 190 text messages.

Before the late scratch by Ashley, the highlight of these Winternationals may have been the performance by 72-year-old John Force, who made it to the Funny Car semifinals, where he was beaten by Capps.

It seems there is no force strong enough to knock John Force out of the drag racing spotlight, whether it is wintertime or summertime.

At the 2020 Winternationals, held in February, Force pulled off a surprise by making it to the final before losing to Jack Beckman.

At these Winternationals, held in the summer over the past three days because of rescheduling due to the COVID pandemic, the Yorba Linda legend upset Matt Hagan in the first round Sunday.

In another first-round upset, Top Fuel favorite Steve Torrence, shooting for a sweep of the NHRA’s western swing, was knocked out in the first round by Antron Brown. Ashley eliminated Brown in the semifinals.

Force, seeded 12th, forced Hagan to the sidelines with a run of 4.054 seconds compared to Hagan’s 4.112.

Hagan, as the higher seed, had the lane choice and decided to change lanes because of an earlier oil spill. Hagan had the better start but Force ran him down. Hagan wins 81% of the time in the first round when he has the lane choice, but Force has a 26-18 record against Hagan.

After eliminating Cruz Pedregon in the second round Sunday, Force said, “I popped up out of nowhere.”

That is not actually accurate. He won his 16th and last national championship in 2013, but he has two event wins this year among his total of 153. He also won twice in 2019.

Force’s connection to Hagan goes back to the NHRA 2010 Finals at Auto Club Raceway. Hagan, in his third year on the NHRA Funny Car circuit, held a 38-point lead in the standings going into the finals. But he was upset in the first round by Bob Tasco III and that opened the door for Force to win his 15th national title.

Hagan, who owns a 3,200-acre cattle ranch in Virginia, on that day in 2010 got outdone by an old bull. Force was then 61 and figured to be in the sunset of his career. He was not.

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Dodgers pound Diamondbacks to end road trip with 13-0 win

  • Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates with Albert Pujols #55 after hitting a three-run home run off of Ryan Buchter #52 of the Arizona Diamondbacks during the seventh inning at Chase Field on August 01, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

  • Albert Pujols #55 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts after getting hit with a pitch from Stefan Crichton #58 of the Arizona Diamondbacks during the sixth inning at Chase Field on August 01, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

  • Austin Barnes #15 of the Los Angeles Dodgers scores on a wild pitch by Matt Peacock #47 of the Arizona Diamondbacks during the fifth inning at Chase Field on August 01, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

  • Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers makes a running throw to first base on a single by Christian Walker #53 of the Arizona Diamondbacks during the fourth inning at Chase Field on August 01, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. Walker advanced to second base on a throwing error by Turner. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

  • Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers rounds the bases after hitting a three-run home run off of Ryan Buchter #52 of the Arizona Diamondbacks during the seventh inning at Chase Field on August 01, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

  • Christian Walker #53 of the Arizona Diamondbacks slides safely into second base as Mookie Betts #50 of the Los Angeles Dodgers waits for the throw from Albert Pujols #55 during the fourth inning at Chase Field on August 01, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. Walker advanced to second base on a throwing error by Justin Turner #10. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

  • Jake Hager #16 of the Arizona Diamondbacks reacts after being struck out by Julio Urias #7 of the Los Angeles Dodgers during the fourth inning at Chase Field on August 01, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

  • Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hands a piece of a bat broken by Daulton Varsho #12 of the Arizona Diamondbacks to a bat boy during the second inning at Chase Field on August 01, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

  • Jake Hager #16 of the Arizona Diamondbacks makes a throw to first base for a force out on a ground ball hit by Julio Urias #7 of the Los Angeles Dodgers during the third inning at Chase Field on August 01, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

  • Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits an RBI single against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the second inning at Chase Field on August 01, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

  • Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers scores on a double hit by Albert Pujols #55 against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the second inning at Chase Field on August 01, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

  • Albert Pujols #55 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts after hitting a three-run double against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the second inning at Chase Field on August 01, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

  • Bryan Holaday #28 of the Arizona Diamondbacks is attended to by Albert Pujols #55 of the Los Angeles Dodgers after getting hit in the back of the head on the follow through of a swing during the first inning at Chase Field on August 01, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

  • Julio Urias #7 of the Los Angeles Dodgers delivers a first inning pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 01, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

  • Julio Urias #7 of the Los Angeles Dodgers delivers a first inning pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 01, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

  • Caleb Smith #31 of the Arizona Diamondbacks delivers a first inning pitch against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Chase Field on August 01, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

  • Caleb Smith #31 of the Arizona Diamondbacks delivers a first inning pitch against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Chase Field on August 01, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

  • Max Scherzer #31 of the Los Angeles Dodgers walks through the dugout after throwing in the bullpen prior to a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 01, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

  • Max Scherzer #31 of the Los Angeles Dodgers talks to Spectrum Sportsnet broadcaster Kirsten Watson in the dugout prior to a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 01, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

  • Max Scherzer #31 of the Los Angeles Dodgers walks to the dugout from the bullpen prior to a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 01, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

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PHOENIX — You’ll recognize the uniforms.

But the Dodgers will return to Los Angeles as a different team after completing a six-game road trip with a 13-0 dismissal of the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field Sunday afternoon.

The Dodgers went just 3-3 on the trip to San Francisco and Arizona. But they collected a few tchatchkes along the way.

Corey Seager came off the Injured List on Friday, Mookie Betts on Saturday. Max Scherzer joined the team in Arizona, put his new uniform on for the first time to throw a bullpen session Sunday and will make his Dodger debut on Wednesday. (Trea Turner’s arrival is still TBA.)

What didn’t change in a week is their second-place status in the NL West. The Giants also won Sunday and remain three games ahead of the Dodgers in the division.

They wasted no time taking care of their business Sunday, scoring five times in the second inning off Diamondbacks starter Caleb Smith. Smith faced 13 batters, retiring just five — the same number he walked. Albert Pujols chased Smith with a three-run double.

The Dodgers piled on from there. Justin Turner hit a three-run home run in the seventh. A.J. Pollock had a four-hit game against his former team, now suffering through a 33-73 nightmare. Pollock drove in a pair of runs with two doubles.

Betts went 2 for 5 in his return to the lineup, reaching base three times, scoring twice and hitting a home run off the left-field foul pole on a 68-mph — let’s call it a changeup — from Diamondbacks catcher Bryan Holaday who was chosen to take his lumps on the mound in the ninth.

Betts made his return to the lineup at second base and quickly showed it was not unfamiliar territory. He made a running, over-the-shoulder catch of a broken-bat blooper in the first inning then turned a double play on his own in the eighth.

That was all that passed for entertainment when the Diamondbacks were batting. Julio Urias handled the first five innings, allowing four hits (only one advanced to second base) while striking out seven. Relievers Phil Bickford, David Price and Yefry Ramirez (freshly arrived from Triple-A) completed the shutout with four hitless innings.

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Four takeaways from the Dodgers’ blockbuster trade


Editor’s note: This is the Friday, July 30 edition of the Inside the Dodgers newsletter from reporter J.P. Hoornstra. To receive the newsletter in your inbox, sign up here.


Thursday night, I sent a one-word text to a National League executive: “Wow.”

I received a one-word reply: “Understatement.”

When the trade deadline was over. Max Scherzer, Trea Turner and Danny Duffy are Dodgers. Josiah Gray, Keibert Ruiz, and a handful of other prospects are not.

Here are my off-the-cuff thoughts about the Dodgers’ biggest trade deadline in years:

1. The Dodgers needed Trea Turner more than Max Scherzer

Scherzer’s name comes with more caché, but the headliner of the deal for me is Turner. I wouldn’t be so bold as to claim the Dodgers just acquired Mike Trout with less power and more speed, but here is what each of the two have done since the start of the 2020 season:

Trout: .301 BA .419 OBP .611 SLG 3/4 SB

Turner: .327 BA .378 OBP .546 SLG 33/40 SB

Turner and Trout also have sisters named Teal and sons named Beckham (really).

Unlike Trout, Turner’s defense is at best elite. It’s no worse than good. Your adjective will depend on what metric you choose. Either way, it’s something the Dodgers have lacked this year. According to Defensive Runs Saved, they’re an average fielding club on the whole, but the SS/3B side has been brutal. Third baseman Justin Turner is particularly unhelpful in the Dodgers’ standard shift against left-handed hitters, while Corey Seager and Gavin Lux are both below average fielders at shortstop regardless of what numbers you look at. In that context, I don’t think it’s a given that Trea Turner slots in at second base for the Dodgers and stays there.

Turner is on the injured list with COVID-19, and the Dodgers aren’t sure when he’ll be ready to return. Just remember: his role this season doesn’t have to be his role next season, which leads me to the other reason the Dodgers needed Trea Turner more than they needed Max Scherzer. I’m talking, of course …

2. … about Turner’s contract situation

Unlike Scherzer, Turner is not a one-year rental. He has one year of arbitration left, and can become a free agent after the 2022 season. That’s significant for a team that might lose Seager to free agency after this year. Predicting the Dodgers’ internal budget is a fool’s errand, so I can’t tell you whether the Dodgers will have enough to re-sign Seager and Clayton Kershaw and Chris Taylor and afford Cody Bellinger’s third-year arbitration salary. (Did I mention that Kenley Jansen, AJ Pollock, Jimmy Nelson, Albert Pujols and Corey Knebel are all free agents at the end of this season too?)

That’s a lot of uncertainty — and we should expect that from a team whose player payroll sits north of $260 million. (I’ve seen it reported elsewhere at $275 million.) A payroll that large will come down. Trading for Turner doesn’t merely improve the Dodgers’ 2021 lineup and defense dramatically; it also gives the front office one less position to fill in 2022. Maybe that’s second base (if Corey Seager re-signs). Maybe that’s shortstop.

Either way, the Dodgers will pay Turner perhaps half of what Trout will make over the next season and a half, and receive excellent production in return.

3. The rotation with Scherzer

On July 19, I wrote something that seemed safe at the time: “There’s no Yu Darvish on this trade market. There’s no Justin Verlander, either.” Then the Baltimore Orioles swept the Washington Nationals over the weekend and, well, I don’t know who the Nationals are anymore.

Scherzer, 37, still ranks among the game’s elite at limiting hard contact and missing bats. It’s been a couple years since he was averaging more than six innings per start, but that might simply be how the Nationals decided to limit innings in the age of COVID-19. Scherzer’s stamina might still be an asset in October, and that’s when the Dodgers really need this trade to pay dividends. Here’s how their playoff rotation might line up in a 7-game series:

G1: Walker Buehler

G2: Clayton Kershaw

G3: Max Scherzer

G4: Julio Urías

If Kershaw is healthy, Tony Gonsolin, Danny Duffy and David Price all project to be part of the Dodgers’ bullpen come playoff time. That turned the need to acquire a relief pitcher into a luxury. Craig Kimbrel went to the White Sox at the deadline. Richard Rodriguez went to the Braves. Ian Kennedy is headed to Philadelphia. With the Dodgers’ ability to mix and match Gonsolin, Duffy and Price with their existing parts — Kenley Jansen, Blake Treinen, Jimmy Nelson, (eventually) Corey Knebel, Victor Gonzalez, Scott Alexander, Phil Bickford, etc. — they should feel no fear of missing out on the reliever market.

4. The Dodgers didn’t literally “sell the farm.”

The Turner/Scherzer trade is the most significant deadline deal the Dodgers have made, in my opinion, since the Adrian Gonzalez/Carl Crawford/Josh Beckett/Nick Punto blockbuster in Aug. 2013. That one involved more money, and more players, and required that all four Red Sox improbably pass through waivers unclaimed. It did not, however, bring the Dodgers any future Hall of Famers. Scherzer already belongs in Cooperstown by some measures.

The Dodgers will have traded five prospects all told for Turner, Scherzer and Duffy. They only sent four (plus James Loney) to Boston for the four major leaguers they acquired. Compared to every Dodger trade deadline I’ve ever covered, they gave up more prospects this week — including their No. 1 and No. 2 ranked players. Relatively speaking, they’ve never been more all-in at the deadline.

From a distance, you might say the Dodgers “sold the farm” to get here. That’s what I wrote yesterday on Twitter, and boy did people have some opinions about that phrase. No team’s farm system consists of two players, or four. As of Thursday, 154 different players have appeared in a minor league game for a Dodgers affiliate in 2021. That list doesn’t include some prospects who are injured, or any of their recent draft picks who haven’t been assigned to an affiliate.

Michael Busch, Kody Hoese, Bobby Miller, Diego Cartaya and Ryan Pepiot are the Dodgers’ new Top 5 prospects, according to MLB Pipeline. Peter Gammons of The Athletic reported the Dodgers were unwilling to part with Pepiot, Cartaya, Miller, and pitchers Andre Jackson and Landon Knack in a trade. If your major league roster is deep and healthy enough that the last guy on your bench is literally Albert Pujols, why hold on to a couple highly ranked prospects who are major-league ready (or close to it), like Gray and Ruiz? It made sense for the Dodgers to trade the players they did.

So yes, the Dodgers’ farm system is weaker now than it was before the trade, but that’s the cost of buying at every trade deadline. If you’re the Dodgers, you can trade a couple of high-level, top-50 prospects and still have a good farm system.

The purpose of my tweet was to illustrate that the Dodgers gave up a lot to acquire starting pitching, which they didn’t need to do if Trevor Bauer is coming back.

I don’t think Trevor Bauer is coming back to the Dodgers this season.


Editor’s note: Thanks for reading the Inside the Dodgers newsletter. To receive the newsletter in your inbox, sign up here.


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Huntington Beach man who shared photos from Capitol riot arrested after tip to FBI

A Huntington Beach remodeling firm owner has been arrested in connection with the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol after he sent photos of himself at the insurrection to members of his church group, federal officials said.

Glenn Allen Brooks was accused of unlawful entry and disorderly conduct on restricted grounds in a criminal complaint filed Tuesday, July 27. He was arrested two days later, and made his first court appearance Thursday afternoon at the Edward R. Roybal Federal Building in Los Angeles.

A member of Brooks’ prayer group contacted federal authorities on Jan. 30. after he shared a selfie of himself standing in a hallway amidst a crowd that had forced its way into the Capitol, according to a sworn statement from an FBI agent.

He is seen with a white beard and red jacket in the photo, and is wearing a beanie decorated with an American flag and “TRUMP.”

Investigators compared photos of Brooks to images captured during the riot and confirmed that they were the same person, according to court documents. FBI agents conducting surveillance on March 24 watched him exit a truck associated with the remodeling business Brooks Works, and observed that he had the same beard worn by the man in the selfie.

Neither Brooks nor the federal public defender assigned to represent him could immediately be reached for comment.

 

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Italy’s Lamont Marcell Jacobs (who?!) wins the Olympic 100 meter title in wild Tokyo night

TOKYO — Track and field has been described by its devotees and its detractors as a three-ring circus, the ultimate multitasking sport where hulking throwers, graceful jumpers, and runners, whether they possess thundering power or are rail thin, compete simultaneously.

But rarely, if ever, has the Olympic Games, the sport’s biggest of big tents, seen a night as wild or weird as the show put on at Olympic Stadium Sunday.

Within a matter of minutes Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas in one ring shattered a triple jump world record that was set two months before she was born, becoming the first woman to break the 51 foot barrier, while in another ring Qatar’s Mutaz Barshim and Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi shared the high jump gold medal.

But it was in the night’s center ring that Lamont Marcell Jacobs, the El Paso-born Italian sprinter who bears a tattoo of a tiger across his back, delivered a show stopper for the ages.

Jacobs’ 9.80-second European-record setting victory in the 100-meter final was so unexpected that even the new Olympic champion was among those asking themselves what just happened?

“I don’t know,” Jacobs said. “It’s a dream, a dream, it is fantastic. Maybe tomorrow I can imagine what they are saying, but today it is incredible.”

How incredible?

Consider that Jacobs, who has never made it past the semifinals of either World or European Championships in the 100, ran faster than Usain Bolt did in winning his third and final Olympic 100 gold medal five years ago in Rio de Janeiro, and more than a tenth of second faster than Carl Lewis did in either of his two Olympic victories.

“I’m surprised a little bit by the time,” Canada’s Andre DeGrasse, the bronze medalist Sunday. “It’s crazy when everyone runs so fast – 9.80 from the Italian guy, I didn’t expect that. I thought my main competition would have been the Americans, but definitely he came to play. He executed.”

With the victory, Jacobs not only became Italy’s first Olympic 100 champion, but the first Italian to even medal in the event and the first European to take the 100 gold medal since Great Britain’s Linford Christie’s 1992 victory. Jacobs is the first Italian to win a sprint medal since Pietro Mennea won the 200 at the boycotted 1980 Games in Moscow.

“It was my childhood dream to win an Olympics Games and obviously a dream can turn into something different,” Jacobs said “but to run this final and win it is a dream come true.”

Barshim and Tamberi have both seen their Olympic dreams threatened by injuries.

Barshim was third at the 2012 Games, second in Rio and had won the last two World titles. Tamberi won the World Indoor and European Championships outdoors in 2016 only to miss the Olympics that summer with a career threatening ankle injury.

Barshim underwent surgery in 2018 after injuring his left ankle attempting to break Javier Sotomayor of Cuba’s world record of 8-feet, ½ inch at a meet in Hungary.

Barshim jumps in trademark sunglasses, even at night. Tamberi until recently had an even more unusual trademark—shaving the right side of his beard, while leaving the left side untouched earning him the nickname “Halfshave.”

“No half beard?” Tamberi said when asked by reporters in February why he had stopped the practice. “It’s because this year I’m trying to change all the habits and routines, I’m looking for something different inside of me.”

He found it Sunday night. Both Tamberi and Barshim, close friends, were perfect through 7-9 ¼ and then missed on all three attempts at 7-10.

Meet officials gave the pair the option of breaking the deadlock with a jump off.

“I look at him, he looks at me, and we know it,” Barshim said. “We just look at each other and we know, that is it, it is done. There is no need (for the jump-off).

“We talked about it (sharing gold) years ago but we just said, ‘Oh imagine’ and today actually it happened. It is a great feeling, you can’t be more happy than that.”

Rojas’ victory was as predictable as Jacobs’ was unlikely.

“I knew she was capable of doing it,” said Spain’s Ana Peleteiro, who trains with Rojas in Barcelona under Ivan Pedroso, the 2000 Olympic and four-time World champion in the long jump for Cuba. “I didn’t have doubts that she was going to get it (the world record) here.”

Rojas, 25, opened the most dominant performance of these Games so far by nearly breaking the world record of 50-feet, 10 ¼ inches set by Inessa Kravets at the 1995 World Championships 72 days before the she was born in Caracas. She followed up her 50-6 ¾ first round leap with two fouls past the world record and then on her final jump left no doubt, soaring 51-10 ¼  to win the competition by more than two feet.

Portugal’s Patricia Mamona took the silver at 49-3, Peleteiro the bronze with a 48-9 ½ jump.

“I am lost for words,” Rojas said. “I can’t describe this feeling and this moment. Gold medal winner, with an Olympic record, and a world record. Wow. It is a fantastic night.”

And fantastical.

Jacobs was born to a U.S. soldier and an Italian mother. When his parents split, he moved with his mother to Italy as a small boy, his father eventually fading from his life.

“I’d never really gotten to know my father and over the years we had grown apart,” Jacobs said. “We hadn’t talked for quite some time. So we got closer again and that gave me the energy and also the will to do everything I could to be here today.”

Jacobs likes to say that only his “muscle fibers are American.”

“I feel 100 percent Italian” he said.

Jacobs focused primarily on the long jump until suffering a hamstring injury in 2017. “My dream up until a few years ago was to win the Olympic long jump,” he said. In fact his Instagram handle is “Crazylongjumper.” The same phrase is tattooed across his chest.

He cracked 10 seconds at the Diamond League meet in Monaco last month, running 9.99 for third. But he was such an unknown before Saturday night that Team USA’s Fred Kerley admitted, “I really didn’t know anything about him.”

Much of the pre-Olympic focus was on Trayvon Bromell, the 2021 world leader and U.S. Olympic Trials winner, and Canada’s DeGrasse.

DeGrasse left Rio with a 100 bronze, a 200 silver and the weight of a contract with Puma worth a reported $11.25 million.  He was the designated heir apparent to Usain Bolt, the eight-time Olympic champion, anointed by the Jamaican himself.

But the former USC standout was hampered  by injuries before duplicating his Rio medal haul at the 2019 Worlds in Doha.

Bromell struggled to find his Trials form in Tokyo. Saturday he barely made it out of the first round. Sunday evening with the top two finishers in each of the three semifinals and the next two fastest finishers moving on the final, Bromell was third in a semi won by Great Britain’s Zharnel Hughes (9.98), running 10.00, well off his season’s best of 9.77, missing the final by a mere thousandth of a second.

Both Kerley and DeGrasse looked easy in the first semi, running 9.96 and 9.98 respectively to advance. China’s Su Bingtian won the third semi in an Asian record 9.83, Team USA’s Ronnie Baker also clocked in 9.83, followed by Jacobs in a European record 9.84. The Italian was the next to last qualifier for the final 140 minutes later.

The final field of eight men was reduced to seven after Hughes false started. Before the gun went off a second time, Tamberi and Barshim’s shared victory was announced.

“I was at the start and I had already seen Marco  win in high jump and I thought, you can do it, you can win another gold medal,” Jacobs recalled. “So I focused on myself, on my lane. I didn’t look left, I didn’t look right.”

He didn’t see Kerley close to even with him through the mid race or DeGrasse, running in an outside lane, making a late surge.

Kerley, who started 2021 as a medal contender at 400 meters before moving down, captured the silver in 9.84, DeGrasse was third yet again at 9.89.

Jacobs kept running around the turn into the arms of Tamberi, draped in an Italian flag. Only moments earlier Tamberi twice collapsed onto the track sobbing with joy. Now he wrapped the flag around the most unlikeliest of Olympic champions on the most unlikely of nights.

“When you’re a child, you dream about winning a gold medal,” Jacobs said. “Of course, you never give up on your dream. You can dream anything you like and when you start fulfilling your dreams, when you start reaching your goals, it gives you that unbelievable feeling.”

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The anti-death league

Because of our foolish obsession with handling even horrific health emergencies on a state-by-state basis, our nation did a really lousy job saving lives when it could have made a difference at the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

So much more nimble! is the theory. Let every governor handle it on their own!

That’s the ticket. Assume every numbskull elected in each of the 50 states is the person to create an effective public-health strategy on her or his own. So efficient. So … local.

The good news: Even with the bungled job that led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands more Americans than ought to have died, today’s politicians are so much better at handling a major viral attack than the politicians of a century ago.

Because of the appalling number of deaths resulting from the novel coronavirus, Americans’ life expectancy in 2020 plunged by a shocking year and a half, the first time that number has gone down in decades.

But in 1918, a flu pandemic knocked 11.8 years off Americans’ life expectancy. So now that we have ventilators in ICU units and eventually vaccines, we do a massively better job than our low-tech ancestors did.

But losing on average a year and a half of life? That’s still an unforgivable tragedy.

Here’s the way the National Center for Health Statistics sees it: “In 2020, life expectancy at birth for the total U.S. population was 77.3 years, declining by 1.5 years from 78.8 in 2019. Life expectancy at birth for males was 74.5 years in 2020, representing a decline of 1.8 years from 76.3 years in 2019. For females, life expectancy declined to 80.2 years, decreasing 1.2 years from 81.4 years in 2019.”

Just as it was worse for men overall than for women, it gets even worse for Black and Latino Americans: “life expectancy decreased by 3.0 years for the Hispanic population (81.8 to 78.8). It decreased by 2.9 years for the non-Hispanic black population (74.7 to 71.8) and by 1.2 years for the non-Hispanic white population (78.8 to 77.6).”

Those populations were disproportionately represented in the over 600,000 Americans dead from COVID-19.

It all adds up to the biggest decline in Americans’ life expectancy since World War II.

I’m blaming the politicians and the system for these murderous statistics, but there is a bit more blame to go around.

First killer is your awful Aunt Hattie in Mobile, who won’t get her shots because she saw on her Facebook feed that the vaccines will make you magnetic. Could you do us a favor and ring her up, along with her daughter, your cousin Jolene, who has heard that the vaccines cause fertility issues, and read both of them the riot act? Karma will thank you if you do.

The other folks who really slay us are the anti-maskers, whose constitutional freedoms to not put any medical thing on their faces have been messed with over the last 16 months. It’s not merely Alabamans at fault here. A French doctoral student surveyed about 800 members of anti-mask groups on social media, and found that 52% of them also believe in the antisemitic conspiracy theory that there is a global Zionist plot.

The best way to get to the people in your own life who are also nuts is to quote their leader, King Nut of Mar-a-Lago, who, after months of refusing to wear a mask in public, tweeted a picture of himself in a face covering, with the charming tagline: “We are United in our effort to defeat the Invisible China Virus, and many people say that it is Patriotic to wear a face mask when you can’t socially distance. There is nobody more Patriotic than me, your favorite President!”

We weren’t united in our effort. But we in the anti-death league can endeavor to do a better job of living, in the future.

Larry Wilson is on the Southern California News Group editorial board. lwilson@scng.com.

 

 

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Clayton Kershaw’s return to Dodgers unclear due to ‘residual soreness’

PHOENIX — After Clayton Kershaw threw a three-inning simulated game in San Francisco on Tuesday, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts laid out a tentative plan for how and when the left-hander would return to the Dodgers’ starting rotation.

Kershaw would throw another simulated game, stretching out to four innings and 50 to 60 pitches, on Sunday in Arizona, Roberts said. Then he would likely rejoin the Dodgers to start next Saturday against the Angels at Dodger Stadium.

That plan has gotten a little fuzzy now with Roberts hedging on whether Kershaw will throw Sunday due to “residual soreness” that followed Tuesday’s workout.

“I wish I had that definitive answer,” Roberts said Saturday when asked if Kershaw was still going to throw the sim game on Sunday. “I think we’re going to get through today and see where he’s at tomorrow to see if that plan stays as is. I can’t confirm that. That’s our plan. But until he gets through it and does it, I can’t confirm.

“There’s no hard date for him to have to throw tomorrow. So we’re just leaving it in his and the training staff’s hands.”

Roberts said the “residual soreness” is just a carryover from the approximately 45-pitch sim game in San Francisco and is not specifically related to the elbow inflammation that sent Kershaw to the Injured List four weeks ago.

“(It’s) not a setback,” Roberts said. “But if we want to move forward, we would like the soreness to be not an issue.”

Roberts said, “I think we’ll know more after tomorrow” about whether August 7 is a realistic date for Kershaw’s return.

“Again, the main thing with Clayton is to get him back so he stays back for the duration and through the postseason,” Roberts said. “So right now, there’s no hard date or deadline.”

BETTS BACK

Mookie Betts is expected to come off the IL on Sunday. The hip issue that sent him to the IL has improved significantly, he said.

“Everything’s good to go. Just have to keep an eye on the hip and we should be fine,” he said Saturday.

The Dodgers have also had to keep an eye on Betts’ lower back and left shoulder this season, injuries he called “nagging things” that have held him back this season. Betts said this is the first season where he’s been plagued by so many physical issues.

“I wish it would have came from I ran into a wall or something instead of out of nowhere. It would have made more sense,” he said. “But it is what it is. You just have to deal with it. … The training staff has done a great job in helping get me to where I am now.”

Betts acknowledged that Roberts has talked to him about playing second base when he returns (though not likely Sunday) much as Cody Bellinger played first base instead of center field in his first two games back from a hamstring injury.

“There’s definitely been some discussion, just trying to limit the miles,” Betts said.

Betts came up in the Boston Red Sox’s farm system as an infielder then moved to the outfield with Dustin Pedroia blocking him at the major-league level. He has played 17 games at second base in the major leagues, 14 of them during his rookie season in 2014.

NOT CLOSE

Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman acknowledged he was “spooked … for a second” by reports mid-day Thursday that the San Diego Padres were “close” to acquiring Max Scherzer and Trea Turner from the Washington Nationals, not the Dodgers.

Padres GM A.J. Preller was asked about that report after Friday’s trade deadline passed and said he never thought he was close to making a trade with the Nationals.

“Obviously it was not an accurate report,” Preller said. “We hadn’t heard from the Nats in, I don’t know, probably seven or eight hours at that point. It was not a situation where we were on the 2-yard line or anything like that.

“You see a report like that — I think from our standpoint we knew that it wasn’t accurate. Then you kind of start thinking about what that means. But it wasn’t a situation where we were right there with a chance to complete the deal. It didn’t feel like that.

“Ultimately, we were in the room working on other things and really hadn’t been at that spot where we were talking to them that closely. So you see that report come out, it was not something from a completion of a deal standpoint … it wasn’t that type of situation.”

SORE SHOULDER

Right-hander Tony Gonsolin went on the IL Saturday with shoulder inflammation. Gonsolin spent the first two months of the season on the IL with a shoulder injury and didn’t look completely healthy at times after he returned — including Friday night when he walked five of the 11 batters he faced in his abbreviated start.

After the game, Gonsolin admitted his shoulder “has its days where it doesn’t feel great. But for the most part, it feels good on game day.”

In other roster moves Saturday, the Dodgers added left-hander Garrett Cleavinger and right-hander Edwin Uceta from Triple-A and officially added Scherzer to the active roster. Outfielder Luke Raley and right-hander Brusdar Graterol were sent to Triple-A.

Scherzer joined the Dodgers at Chase Field before Saturday’s game and played catch in the outfield briefly. He is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Sunday with an eye towards making his first start for the Dodgers on Wednesday.

UP NEXT

Dodgers (LHP Julio Urias 12-3, 3.54 ERA) at Diamondbacks (LHP Caleb Smith 3-7, 4.61 ERA) Sunday 1:10 p.m., SportsNet LA, 570 AM

Read more about Clayton Kershaw’s return to Dodgers unclear due to ‘residual soreness’ This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed. Irvine Shredding Service

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