The Yankees are the best MLB team behind Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton

Welcome to The Opener, where every weekday morning during the regular season you’ll get a fresh, topical column to start your day from one of SI.com’s MLB writers. By the end of this week — as they start a 10-game stretch with seven games against Baltimore — the Yankees will have played a quarter of … Read more

76ers face James Harden contract problem after another playoff failure

Early in the fourth quarter of Game 6 between the Sixers and Heat, an exhausted Doc Rivers abandoned attempts to scheme his team back into it and pronounced directly to its competitive spirit. “Fight for this, ”implored Rivers. “Come on guys, fight for this. ” They didn’t. Miami’s lead swelled to 19, then to 20 … Read more

Bucks put Celtics on the brink, display championship pedigree

BOSTON – What happened? No, really—what just happened? The Bucks beat the Celtics 110–107 on Wednesday, seizing a 3–2 lead in the series. And, seriously—how did that happen? “We beat ourselves,” said Boston guard Marcus Smart. Said coach Ime Udoka, “We know we gave up a golden opportunity tonight.” Added forward Jaylen Brown, “We gave … Read more

Monday night football doubleheaders, overlapping schedule quirk

While I was enjoying the quiet… One thing that I think a lot of people missed with Disney’s announcement of the Monday night games set for Sept. 19 — as part of the league’s coordinated “trickle” release of the schedule this week, ahead of Thursday’s full release — was that it isn’t actually a doubleheader. … Read more

In Result No One Saw Coming, Rich Strike’s Kentucky Derby Win Helps Redeem Racing

Jeff Roberson / Associated Press LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Thoroughbred racing is a mess of a sport, but it finds incredible, preposterous ways to redeem itself. It occasionally interrupts raging controversies to drop romantic stories from the heavens. It sometimes shoves aside the rich and famous to elevate winners you could not dream up, much less … Read more