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Latino Athletes Made 2015 So Fun to Watch

Latino athletes made headlines throughout 2015. We were treated to plenty of homeruns, knockouts and goals – lots of goals. Here’s what went down this year:

Joey Bats and the bat flip seen around the world:

Credit: @MLB/Vine

It took Jose Bautista 11 years to play in the MLB postseason and he made it a memorable one. The Dominicano’s epic home run helped the Blue Jays defeat the Texas Rangers in Game 5 of the ALDS. Unfortunately for Bautista, the Blue Jays couldn’t get past the eventual champs, the Kansas City Royals.

The UFC went to Mexico for the first time and two Latino heavyweights faced off.

cain-werdum
Credit: UFC / sherdog.com

UFC held its first pay-per-view event in Mexico City, and Brazilian Fabricio Werdum punished Cain Velaquez to snatch the UFC Heavyweight title. Although Velasquez was returning to the Octagon after a 20-month layoff, most experts expected a much closer fight. Werdum, known for his jiu-jitsu game, kept the fight standing and surprised Cain with his improved striking game. Werdum controlled the fight and submitted Velasquez in the third round of their bout.

Leo Messi continued to show he’s from a different planet.

Credit: @jacob/Vine

Leo Messi nearly broke Jerome Boateng’s ankles (and Twitter) after this brilliant goal against Bayern Munich in the first leg of the Champions League semifinal back in May.

The Kansas City Royals found their “savior.”

Good morning mi gente DIOS los bendiga???

A photo posted by Salvador Perez (@salvadorp13) on

Credit: @salvadorp13/Instagram

Venezuelan and Royals catcher Salvador Perez was named the World Series MVP after Kansas City defeated the Mets in five games. And of course, Royals fans began calling Perez their savior.

A Mexico vs. Puerto Rico boxing matchup leads to another title for Canelo.

Credit: @canelo/Instagram

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez capped an unforgettable 2015 by defeating Miguel Cotto in November to win the WBC middleweight belt.

Hey, this Carlos Correa kid can play!

Taking flight at Minute Maid… Fun one last night #astros #win

A photo posted by Carlos Correa (@teamcjcorrea) on

Credit: @teamcjcorrea/Instagram

Puerto Rican sensation Carlos Correa concluded his magical first year in the big leagues by winning the AL Rookie of the Year. The Astros’ shortstop is drawing comparisons to Alex Rodriguez (before everyone hated Alex Rodriguez).

Chicharito quieted his haters with a clutch goal.

soccer

After riding the bench at Real Madrid for most of the season, Chicharito scored a game-winning goal versus Atletico Madrid –Real’s hated rival – to send them into the semifinals of the Champions League. He’s since moved on to Germany’s Bayer Leverkusen, where he’s been scoring goals left and right.

A Mexican and an American rode into the history books.

We Love Kentucky

A photo posted by Victor Espinoza (@espinozasvictor) on

Credit: @espinozasvictor/Instagram

Mexican jockey Victor Espinoza and his horse American Pharaoh captured the first Triple Crown since 1978.

The new pound-for-pound king is from Nicaragua.

Credit: @chocolatitobox/Twitter

Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez was named the new pound-for-pound king in boxing after Floyd Mayweather retired. The Nicaraguan boasts a perfect 44-0 record.

Big Papi’s 500th home run.

Credit: @roofoh/Vine

David Ortiz added to his Hall-of-Fame resume by joining the 500 home runs club. Big Papi said 2016 will be his last season in the MLB.

Canelo-Cotto event produced the fight of the year, but it wasn’t Cotto vs. Canelo.

Credit: @elbandido13/Instagram

Francisco Vargas was headed for a loss against Takashi Miura, but the Mexican warrior rallied despite a swollen shut right eye. In an epic ninth round, Vargas knocked out the Japanese boxer to win the WBC featherweight title during the Canelo-Cotto undercard.

After lots of controversy, Mexico beats the USA in CONCACAF Cup.

Credit: @Soccermemories/Vine

After advancing through the CONCACAF Gold Cup in controversial fashion – Mexico was awarded questionable penalties in matches versus Costa Rica and Panama – Mexico defeated Jamaica soundly to win the title. That led to a face-off with the US in the CONCACAF Cup. Paul Aguilar’s goal in overtime lifted Mexico past the United States at the Rose Bowl in October.

The Hawks go streaking to start 2015.

#Repost @atlhawks Great month of January! Let's keep getting better. #ATLHawks #HawksRising #Proudofmyteam

A photo posted by Al Horford (@al_horford) on

Credit: @al_horford/Instagram

Dominican power forward Al Horford was a major reason why his Hawks went 17-0 in January and extended the streak to 19 games.  Atlanta advanced to the Eastern Conference finals where they fell to the Cavaliers.

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Some People Think Brazil Rigged Copa America In Their Favor Since They Were The Host Nation

Entertainment

Some People Think Brazil Rigged Copa America In Their Favor Since They Were The Host Nation

lucasfigfoto / cbf_futebol / Instagram

For the first time since 2007, Brazil has won the ultimate South American soccer tournament, Copa America. Brazil played against Peru in their home Maracaña stadium on Sunday, July 7 with a solid 3-1 victory. That small fact means something even bigger for Brazil. The country’s team has won the title every single time it has hosted the tournament. While some folks think that the tournament is rigged in Brazil’s favor, there were quite a few factors that were not in the winning team’s favor.

Neymar, arguably Brazil’s best player, had to sit out of the game due to an ankle injury.

Credit: naymarjr / Instagram

Neymar and his son sat very close to President Jair Bolsonaro, albeit on the sidelines. Fans have remarked on how upset Neymar looks to be benched. He had ruptured a ligament in his ankle just days before the game in a friendly match against Qatar last week.

Forward Gabriel Jesus, who scored for Brazil, was sent to the bench after a foul.

Credit: dejesusoficial / Instagram

With 20 minutes left in the game, Gabriel Jesus was sent to the bench for his second yellow card. That means that Brazil had ten players to Peru’s eleven, and still beat them.

“Brazil deserved the victory,” Peru coach Ricardo Gareca said.

Credit: lucasfigfoto / cbf_futebol / Instagram

“We played better than we did in the previous match. We have improved as a team,” an encouraged Gareca told reporters. “We still have to improve more, but we are on the right track.”

Neymar’s replacement, Everton, was named player of the final.

Credit: lucasfigfoto / cbf_futebol / Instagram

“I gave everything I had today,” said Everton. Nobody, not even coach Tite, could have imagined that Everton would even be playing in the final, let alone carry the team. You’ll see his head in the bottom left corner of the image above.

Argentina’s Lionel Messi publicly called the Copa América referees “corrupt.”

Credit: leomessi / Instagram

After a bizarre red card against Messi during the third-place playoff against Chile Saturday, he told reporters, “I feel a lot of anger because I think I did not deserve that red card because I think we were playing a very good game. We were ahead, but, as I said recently, unfortunately, there is a lot of corruption, the referees. We leave with the feeling that they did not allow us to be in the final, that we were ready for better.” 

Defensive midfielder, Carlos Henrique Casemiro, had a classy response to Messi’s comments.

Credit: casemiro / Instagram

This Twitter user is throwing shade back at Messi for his comments. “Those with a mouth can say what they want. It’s not up to me to speak, it’s a delicate subject,” the soccer player told reporters. “It’s not for me to say if the refereeing was good. We need to congratulate Peru for the good Copa America they had.”

While Brazil is celebrating a victory, they’re also commemorating a historic loss against Germany.

Credit: @anapgeller / Twitter

Known on The Internet as #7x1Day, on July 8th, 2014, Brazil lost the FIFA World Cup to Germany in a disgraceful 7-1 loss. Germany scored four goals within the first six minutes of the game, and it got worse from there. At the last minute, Brazil scored a consolation goal but ultimately lost big. That game marked the end of a 62-match home unbeaten streak going back to the 1975 Copa América when they lost to Peru.

Of course, the Internet is doing its thing.

Credit: @TrollFootball / Twitter

Obviously, @TrollFootball is trolling us all with this screen grab from that infamous Germany-Brazil game. Latinos definitely came out to call BS on this claim. At the time, Germany’s jerseys looked pretty similar to Peru’s and have enjoyed a redesign.

Even Jesus is wearing a Brazil jersey now.

Credit: @BleacherReport / Twitter

And also, apparently, holding a gleaming trophy that’s shining brighter than Jesus himself! They say we create a God of our own understanding. This is how Rio’s God is looking–freshly outfitted and winning.

Felicidades a Brasil!!! 🇧🇷

Credit: @BiaFuracaoReal / Twitter

Brazil’s streets were flooded with fans after the victory, and we don’t think they’ve stopped partying since Sunday. Enjoy it!

READ: Brazil’s Soccer Reina Marta Trumps Germany’s Miroslav Klose For All-Time World Cup Scoring Record

Here’s What We Know So Far About The Untimely Death Of Mexican-American Pitcher Tyler Skaggs

Entertainment

Here’s What We Know So Far About The Untimely Death Of Mexican-American Pitcher Tyler Skaggs

tskaggs45 / Instagram

Less than a week after the unexpected passing of 27-year-old Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitcher Tyler Skaggs, there is new controversy surrounding the reporting of his death. The Santa Monica Observer sparked widespread outrage when it speculated that Skaggs had died of an opioid overdose. But after receiving a wave of blowback, the California newspaper scrapped the piece and wrote an op-ed explaining why it did so. The explanation has been met with a tepid response from police and the Angels organization.

There are few details surrounding the reason behind Skagg’s death so far.

Credit: @peteabe / Twitter

Tragedy struck the baseball world last week when Skaggs, who is of Mexican descent, was found by the Southlake Police Department unconscious in a hotel room hours before his team was about to play the Texas Rangers. Authorities pronounced the 27-year-old dead at the scene, a police press release said. But there were still many questions about how such a young promising star like Skaggs could be found like this.

Shortly after, the Santa Monica Observer reported that Skaggs may have been getting opioid prescriptions from doctors who were unaware of each other’s treatments. That report was quickly shot down by Texas police who said there was no credible information to support that Skaggs died of an overdose or suicide.

Angels spokesperson, Marie Garvey, said the report was also wrong citing that the investigation is still ongoing at this time. While an autopsy has reportedly been completed, the results of it and a toxicology report will not be released until October.

“This article is categorically incorrect,” Garvey said in a statement. “The cause of death is still under investigation as stated by the Southlake Police Department. We have tried to contact the paper to correct this story but have [been] unsuccessful in our attempts. This sort of reckless reporting from Tyler’s hometown paper is disappointing and harmful.”

The Op-Ed piece did little to clear things up as many wonder why this was published in the first place.

The op-ed, published this past Saturday, titled “Why Did We Take Down Our Original Story About The Death of a Ballplayer?” says the publication took down the story due to multiple threats. Santa Monica Observer publisher David Ganezer wrote the op-ed and defended it’s publishing. He said the newspaper’s staff received “multiple personal threats and attacks from anonymous sources,” including “a creepy text message” that was sent to a young female intern’s cellphone.

“She wasn’t frightened about it at all,” Ganezer wrote. “But I was. I’m older, much older; and I know more about how out of hand the potential pile-on is getting in this country.”

“Not simply in the form of a threat letter from lawyers Kirkland and Ellis, representing the Angels and a certain deceased ball player. And not just in the form of anonymous phone calls and emails,” Ganezer said. “No, we also received multiple personal threats and attacks from anonymous sources.

The original article was ultimately scrubbed of the opioid details but Ganezer said in his op-ed it was made clear from the author, Stan Greene, the piece was “speculation.”

This isn’t the first time the newspaper publishes “speculative information.”

Credit: @alden_gonzalez / Twitter

The baseball world is still in mourning over the death of Skaggs and many teammates have shown their respect for their fallen teammate in various ways since last Monday. But for Skagg’s family, the last thing they want at this time is presumptive information being released about him.

According to the Santa Monica Lookout, the Observer has had previous situations where the paper published incorrect stories. This past January, a story ran with the headline, “Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Will Retire from the US Supreme Court in January 2019.” This was false. In December 2016, the headline, “Kanye West Appointed Under-Secretary of the Interior After Meeting at Trump Tower” was published, which was also false. Both pieces were written by Greene, who also wrote the article on Skaggs’ passing.

At this time, the paper says they would comment further on the story when Skaggs’ autopsy and toxicology reports are released in October. Maybe by then, we’ll have a more accurate picture on this unfortunate passing.

READ: Trump Put A Stop To The MLB And Cuban Baseball Federation Deal And Here’s Why It Matters

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