Yahoo Sports AM: Alcaraz eyes rare “Channel Slam”

Yahoo Sports AM: Alcaraz eyes rare “Channel Slam”

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🚨 Headlines

⚾️ Franco formally charged: Rays shortstop Wander Franco was formally charged with sexual abuse and sexual exploitation against a minor after being away from the team for nearly a year since allegations first surfaced.

🎮 Arch is in the game: Arch Manning will be in the EA Sports College Football 25 video game, the Longhorns QB announced Tuesday in a fun video with his uncle, Eli Manning.

🏟️ NRG Stadium damaged: The Texans stadium was damaged by Hurricane Beryl, which has killed four people in the Houston area and left millions without power since making landfall on Monday.

🏀 Emergency fill-in: Sparks guard Lexie Brown joined the Spectrum Sports broadcast team as a fill-in TV analyst to cover her team’s game on Tuesday.

(Andrej Isakovic/AFP via Getty Images)

(Andrej Isakovic/AFP via Getty Images)

Carlos Alcaraz joined an exclusive club last month in Paris, and he’s two wins away from joining an even more exclusive one in London.

Onto the semifinals: The defending Wimbledon champion defeated American Tommy Paul on Tuesday to set up a semifinal rematch against Daniil Medvedev, who eliminated world No. 1 Jannik Sinner.

Chasing history: Alcaraz’s 2024 French Open title made him the seventh man in the Open Era to win Grand Slams on all three surfaces.

  • Now, he’s vying to become just the sixth man to win the French Open and Wimbledon back-to-back.

  • The aptly named “Channel Slam” requires players to adjust from clay (slow, bouncy) to grass (fast, not bouncy) in three short weeks, which is why it’s such a rare feat.

“Channel Slam” club members:

  • Rod Laver (1969)

  • Björn Borg (1978-80)

  • Rafael Nadal (2008, 2010)

  • Roger Federer (2009)

  • Novak Djokovic (2021)

Looking ahead: Djokovic advanced to the semifinals this morning after Alex de Minaur withdrew due to injury, so this year’s final could see the 21-year-old Alcaraz attempting to complete the “Channel Slam” against the man who most recently accomplished it.

⚾️ DBH: A new kind of ownership group

Truist Field, home of the Charlotte Knights — the latest MiLB team acquired by DBH. (Charlotte Knights)

Truist Field, home of the Charlotte Knights — the latest MiLB team acquired by DBH. (Charlotte Knights)

Diamond Baseball Holdings didn’t exist four years ago. Now, the company owns roughly one-third of all Minor League Baseball teams.

Wait, what? The company, backed by private equity firm Silver Lake, recently purchased another six teams, giving them 35 of the 120 affiliated minor league franchises.

  • Triple-A (11): Albuquerque Isotopes (Rockies), Charlotte Knights (White Sox), Gwinnett Stripers (Braves), Iowa Cubs (Cubs), Louisville Bats (Reds), Memphis Redbirds (Cardinals), Norfolk Tides (Orioles), Oklahoma City Baseball Club (Dodgers), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Yankees), St. Paul Saints (Twins), Worcester Red Sox (Red Sox),

  • Double-A (12): Altoona Curve (Pirates), Arkansas Travelers (Mariners), Binghamton Rumble Ponies (Mets), Birmingham Barons (White Sox), Harrisburg Senators (Nationals), Midland RockHounds (Athletics), Mississippi Braves (Braves), New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Blue Jays), Portland Sea Dogs (Red Sox), Springfield Cardinals (Cardinals), Tulsa Drillers (Dodgers), Wichita Wind Surge (Twins)

  • Single-A (6): Augusta GreenJackets (Braves), Down East Wood Ducks (Rangers), Fresno Grizzlies (Rockies), Inland Empire 66ers (Angels), Salem Red Sox (Red Sox), San Jose Giants (Giants)

  • High-A (6): Hickory Crawdads (Rangers), Hudson Valley Renegades (Yankees), Lansing Lugnuts (Athletics), Rome Emperors (Braves), Vancouver Canadians (Blue Jays), Winston-Salem Dash (White Sox)

What they’re saying: “We are agnostic to geography. We are agnostic to club affiliation,” DBH co-founder Pat Battle told The Athletic ($) back in April. “If you’re one of the 120, we are interested.”

Taking advantage of new rules: Before MLB took over the minors in 2020 and contracted it to 120 affiliates, no group was allowed to own more than one team in any league. But that restriction has been increased to 14 per league, giving DBH an upper limit of 56 teams. And given the founders say they’re still “aggressively in acquisition mode,” that limit might as well be a target.

A new kind of ownership group: Unlike other multi-team ownership groups like Fenway Sports Group (Red Sox, Penguins, Liverpool), Kroenke Sports and Entertainment (Rams, Nuggets, Avalanche, Rapids, Arsenal) and City Football Group (13 soccer clubs across 12 countries), DBH is focused solely on MiLB.

  • The group also has a contract with MLB to help negotiate national sponsorships for all 120 teams, giving it a hand in the strategic direction of the entire organization.

  • Some owners fear the private equity backing means DBH will eventually sell its teams as a package deal, but the company says it isn’t contemplating a sale.

What’s next: DBH plans to continue acquiring teams and generating additional revenue by hosting non-baseball events at their stadiums on the nearly 300 days per year when there’s no game.

🌎 The world in photos

(Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images)

(Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images)

Munich — Lamine Yamal, 16, became the youngest scorer in Euro history with a magnificent strike, helping lead Spain past France, 2-1, to send La Roja back to the final for the first time since 2012.

(Robin Alam/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

(Robin Alam/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

East Rutherford, N.J. — Lionel Messi scored his first goal of the tournament and 109th in international play (second-most ever) as defending champion Argentina brushed aside Canada, 2-0, to waltz into the Copa América final.

Spectators cheer on the peloton during Stage 10 of the Tour de France. (Thomas Samson/AFP via Getty Images)

Spectators cheer on the peloton during Stage 10 of the Tour de France. (Thomas Samson/AFP via Getty Images)

Saint-Amand-Montrond, France — Not a bad setting for a picnic.

Daulton Varsho just misses what would have been an incredible home run robbery. (Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

Daulton Varsho just misses what would have been an incredible home run robbery. (Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

San Francisco So close.

📆 July 10, 1999: Brandi Chastain’s iconic kick

(Hector Mata/AFP via Getty Images)

(Hector Mata/AFP via Getty Images)

25 years ago today, the USWNT beat China in a shootout to win the Women’s World Cup on a game-winning shot from Brandi Chastain, who provided one of the most iconic celebrations and images in sports history.

Chastain: “It was complete slow-motion between my foot and the net. And when it hit the net: an explosion. Noise, cheering, cameras, teammates, everything.”

More on this day:

*The five Hall of Famers: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons, and Joe Cronin.

📺 Watchlist: The finals are nearly set

James Rodríguez and Colombia have been on fire. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

James Rodríguez and Colombia have been on fire. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Who will meet France and Argentina in the Euro and Copa América championships? We’ll find out today.

  • England vs. Netherlands (3pm ET, Fox): England can book a spot in their second straight Euro final, while the Netherlands seek their first finals berth since 1988, when they won their lone title.

  • Colombia vs. Uruguay (8pm, FS1): Uruguay’s 15 Copa América titles are tied with Argentina for the most ever, but they’ll need to beat the world’s hottest team (27-match unbeaten streak) for a shot at 16.

More to watch:

  • 🎾 Wimbledon (Men): No. 13 Taylor Fritz vs. No. 25 Lorenzo Musetti (9:15am, ESPN2) … Quarterfinals.

  • 🎾 Wimbledon (Women): No. 13 Jeļena Ostapenko vs. No. 31 Barbora Krejčíková (8am, ESPN2); No. 4 Elena Rybakina vs. No. 21 Elina Svitolina (8:30am, ESPN) … Quarterfinals.

  • 🏀 Exhibition: USA vs. Canada* (10:30pm, FS1) … The Olympic squads play a friendly in Las Vegas.

  • 🇫🇷 Tour de France: Stage 11 (7am, Peacock)

  • ⚾️ MLB: Dodgers at Phillies (7pm, ESPN)

  • ⚽️ U.S. Open Cup: Sporting KC vs. FC Dallas (9pm, Apple); LAFC vs. New Mexico United (11pm, Apple) … Quarterfinals.

  • 🏀 NBA Summer League: Grizzlies vs. Thunder (7pm, NBA); Heat vs. Lakers (7pm, ESPN2); 76ers vs. Jazz (9pm, ESPN2); Kings vs. Warriors (10pm, NBA)

*Loads of NBA talent: Outside of Team USA, the Canadians boast the most current NBA players, with 10: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jamal Murray, R.J. Barrett, Lu Dort, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Dillon Brooks, Trey Lyles, Andrew Nembhard, Kelly Olynyk and Dwight Powell.

🏀 Team USA trivia

(Mercedes Oliver/NBAE via Getty Images)

(Mercedes Oliver/NBAE via Getty Images)

Kevin Durant, Team USA’s all-time leading scorer (435 points), will miss tonight’s exhibition against Canada with a calf strain.

Question: Who rounds out the top five Team USA scorers behind Durant?

Hint: Two played on the Dream Team and two were drafted in 2003.

Answer at the bottom.

⚽️ A controversial choice

(Carl Recine/Getty Images)

(Carl Recine/Getty Images)

Felix Zwayer has been appointed as the referee for today’s England-Netherlands game — a rather controversial choice.

Context: Zwayer was convicted of match-fixing and banned six months in 2005 after taking a bribe from another official. And three years ago, England star Jude Bellingham was fined for publicly questioning his integrity.

Trivia answer: Carmelo Anthony (336 points), LeBron James (273), David Robinson (270), Michael Jordan (256)

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