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Cloud Computing wins in upset at 2017 Preakness Stakes

Cloud Computing won the 142nd Preakness Stakes Saturday on a fast track at Pimilico Race Course.

Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming fought for the lead with Classic Empire from the start of the race.

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However, Cloud Computing came from behind at the end to take the win in 1:55.98. 

Always Dreaming faded to eighth. Classic Empire was second and Senior Investment third.

This was the fourth start for Cloud Computing, who did not race at the Derby. The horse was a 13-1 long shot to win. 

Rain that fell Friday and muddied the main track dried and was fast by the time the Preakness went off around 6:48 p.m. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photos: 2017 Preakness Stakes

NBA star Enes Kanter detained at airport, says Turkish government canceled passport

An Oklahoma City Thunder basketball star was briefly detained by Romanian airport authorities after the Turkish government reportedly canceled his passport.

Thunder center Enes Kanter posted a video on Twitter Saturday morning saying he was being held by police at an airport in Romania.

Kanter said the Turkish government canceled his passport, claiming that officials made the move because of his political views.

>> Read more trending news

Kanter went on to call Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan the "Hitler of our century," referencing a recent visit to the U.S. during which Turkish presidential guards were caught on video violently breaking up a protest in Washington, D.C.

The guards were held briefly and then released after the incident in the nation’s capital, prompting outcry from many across the country.

Kanter concluded the video by promising updates and asking for prayers.

According to the NBA, the 25-year-old has been with the Thunder since 2014. Before that, he played for the Utah Jazz.

Kanter was the only Thunder player to appear in all 82 regular season games in the 2015-2016 season.

In March, Kanter and teammate Steven Adams caught the attention of web users after they appeared in a video calling Russell Westbrook "King of the Prairie."

A New York Times sports reporter tweeted Saturday afternoon that Kanter had been released by authorities and was on his way to London. 

George W. Bush photobombs sports reporter

Former President George W. Bush is enjoying his retirement, and doesn’t mind having some fun at a reporter’s expense.

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Bush was while enjoying a Texas Rangers game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Globe Life Ballpark in Arlington on Wednesday night. As he returned from a concession stand, Bush walked behind Fox Sports reporter Emily Jones, who was doing a standup segment. Bush looked into the camera and shouted “Hey” before returning to his seat.

Call it a presidential photobomb.

After Jones finished her segment, she walked over to Bush and asked if he had photobombed her, Time reported.

“Yep, I sure did,” Bush said.

"He's obviously very playful and likes to joke around. I can't even tell you what a nice man he is," Jones told Time, adding that he often asks her about her children.

Bush watched Wednesday's game from the dugout suite, which was first designed to accommodate his father, former President George H.W. Bush, and Secret Service agents, Jones said.

James Conner, Adam Bisnowaty sign NFL rookie contracts with Steelers and Giants

I've been trying to keep an eye out on the contract status for the five Pitt players drafted. But in reality, it doesn't mean a whole lot. None were taken extremely high so a holdout situation isn't something that would be huge news, even if it happened.

But a couple of Panthers are already signed to their new teams. About a week ago James Conner signed a four-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Earlier today, news was released that Adam Bisnowaty signed a four-year deal with the New York Giants.

To date, I haven't heard anything about Nathan Peterman, Dorian Johnson, or Ejuan Price inking deals yet.

Two things of note on each of the signees is that Conner is apparently slimming down a bit with the Steelers and while Bisnowaty played left tackle at Pitt, the Giants are trying him out at right tackle for now.

The move for Biz isn't unexpected. Left tackle is generally the more important position for teams with right-handed quarterbacks (which Eli Manning is) and he'll probably need to work his way up a bit. Conner losing weight will be something to watch. So much of his game is based on a bruising style of running so you wonder if that will have any impact on how he holds up and how much punishment he gives to defenders. But anything within reason shouldn't affect him too much.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

Pitt women's basketball player Brenna Wise headed to Indiana

Two years ago, guard Josh Newkirk transferred out of Pitt's basketball program to Indiana. Women's basketball star Brenna Wise is doing the same.

Wise announced the move recently.

"Oh, my gosh, it was one of the toughest decisions I ever had to make," she said. "It came down to a lot of heart and soul. I fell in love with the coaching staff. "It's truly an honor to have the opportunity to play in the Big Ten. Indiana is a basketball mecca."

Funny enough, but the first thing I thought of after that were the comments made by Josh Newkirk about Indiana being a 'dream come true.'

Per NCAA transfer rules, will have to sit out for a season.

Wise said she was leaving the Pitt program earlier this year after the season ended. She's been one of the team's best players over the past two seasons and it was pretty clear there was sort of a rift between her and head coach Suzie McConnell-Serio.

As anticipated, she commanded a lot of interest. Other reported finalists included Ohio State, Michigan, Villanova, and Dayton. Those are all fairly close by for her (since she's from the area) so it looks like she wanted to stay pretty near home. I have to imagine that more offers from quality programs a little farther away were there, too.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

Pitt will host Montana and UC Santa Barbara in Legends Classic

In March, it was announced that Pitt would participate in the 2017 Legends Classic. This week, the Panthers' opening round opponents were determined.

Pitt will face Montana on November 13th then play UC Santa Barbara on November 15th.

Regardless of the outcome of those games, Pitt will still advance to the semifinals along with Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, and Penn State.

Ordinarily those early-round games would just be footnotes. But with all of the roster turnover Pitt has had, I don't think fans will be feeling overly confident in those games as much as in years past. Still, UC Santa Barbara was only 6-22 last year and Montana was 16-16 while playing in the Big Sky. If Pitt can't find a way to win those games (at home, no less), it will probably be a very long year.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

Tensions high, suspensions levied in Braves-Jays series

In the hours leading to the final game Thursday night in a contentious home-and-home series between the Braves and Blue Jays, fallout continued from Wednesday’s wild 8-4 win by Atlanta. It included confirmation of Freddie Freeman’s fractured wrist after being hit by a pitch, a two-game suspension for a Toronto player’s use of a homophobic slur, and more criticism of Jose Bautista for his bat-flip and stares at Braves players not at all amused by the antics.

>> Read more trending news

Toronto center fielder Kevin Pillar was suspended two games by the Blue Jays for shouting a homophobic slur at Braves reliever Jason Motte in the seventh inning, which led to the first of two benches-and-bullpens-clearing incidents (Bautista would cause the second one just an inning later). Major League Baseball is also investigating the incident and could levy further discipline.

Pillar, upset at being “quick-pitched” by Motte — Pillar struck out on the outside pitch to end the inning — shouted the slur at Motte, which was clear to anyone watching the game on television and reading Pillar’s lips, and audible to many fans in the seating sections behind home plate. Both benches and bullpens cleared as players raced onto the field, though no punches or shoving resulted before the scrum was broken up and play continued.

Pillar called Motte after the game to apologize, and on his Twitter account Pillar said he’d used “inappropriate language” and that, “By doing so I had just helped extend the use of a word that has no place in baseball, in sports or anywhere in society today. I am completely and utterly embarrassed and feel horrible to have put the organization in this position.”

Motte didn’t make himself available to reporters following the game or before Thursday’s series finale.

Pillar wrote on his Twitter account that he had “apologized personally to Jason Motte, but also need to apologize to the Braves organization and their fans, and most importantly to the LGBTQ community for the lack of respect I displayed last night.”

Part of the team’s written statement said, “The Toronto Blue Jays are extremely disappointed by the comments made by Kevin Pillar” and that “in no way is this kind of behavior accepted or tolerated, nor is it reflective of the type of inclusive organization we strive to be.” 

An inning later, Bautista repeated behavior that he has, on the other hand, become known for. With similar results as previous incidents, though he didn’t get punched like he did a year ago.

With the Braves leading 8-3 in the eighth inning, Bautista riled the Braves when he homered off Braves reliever Eric O’Flaherty and flipped his bat. As Bautista rounded first base in front of Jace Peterson, the Braves’ fill-in first baseman shouted to Bautista to let him know what Peterson thought of the bat flip and staring at O’Flaherty. Bautista briefly looked as though he were about to stop — Peterson said Thursday it would not have been pretty if Bautista had stopped — before the Blue Jays veteran continued his trot around the bases.

“That’s something that’s making the game tough to watch lately,” O’Flaherty said afterward. “It’s just turned into look-at-me stuff, it’s not even about winning anymore. Guy wants to hit a home run in a five-run game, pimp it, throw the bat around — I mean, I don’t know. It’s frustrating as a pitcher. I didn’t see it at the time, but I saw the video — he looked at me, tried to make eye contact. It’s just tired. We’ve seen it from him, though.”

This wasn’t anything quite like Bautista’s over-the-top bat flip against the Rangers in the 2015 playoffs, when he tossed it at least 20 feet in the air in the direction of the Rangers dugout. But given the game situation — Braves led by five runs and bases were empty — the flip and subsequent hard stares from Bautista irked the Braves.

When Bautista crossed home plate and stared at Kurt Suzuki, the Braves catcher stepped up and told him what he thought of the whole incident, too. As they two exchanged words, the benches and bullpens cleared again. Order was again restored without punches thrown or ejections.

After the game, O’Flaherty delivered a withering line about Bautista: “I’m surprised he’s ready to fight again after last year. But he’s throwing some looks around so … it’s what it is.”

He was referencing a famous punch May 15, 2016, when the Rangers’ Rougned Odor hit Bautista with a devastating right hand, after the Texas second baseman took offense to Bautista’s hard slide and then punished him when Bautista dared shove Odor as things escalated.

If Bautista had stopped at first base Wednesday, the stage was set for a potentially similar incident with Peterson, a former college football defensive back and linebacker who wasn’t about to back down if the situation had gone next-level.

“I’m not out looking to start a fight,” Peterson said. “But for me it’s just about situations, I think different situations you can handle the way the game’s going and do things differently. Bautista’s a great player. I don’t think he did it with intent, but he did it. At that moment it kind of triggered me. I felt like we were disrespected a little bit. Now it’s just time to go on and play baseball.”

In the first inning Thursday, Julio Teheran threw inside on the first pitch to Bautista and hit him in the thigh with the second pitch. This time, Bautista didn’t stare at the pitcher. He trotted to first base.

Pat Signal: Noah Palmer commits to Pitt

Pitt lands a local defensive end.

Proud and very excited to announce that I have fully committed to the University of Pittsburgh #H2P #L1TS8URGH pic.twitter.com/NUh6t28GCu— Noah Palmer (@npalmer_3623) May 18, 2017

Noah Palmer announced via Twitter today that he has committed to Pitt. Palmer is a 6’4” 225 pound defensive end from Jefferson Hills, Pennsylvania. He chose Pitt over offers from a number of MAC schools.

Palmer plays his high school football for Thomas Jefferson, a local powerhouse in the Pittsburgh region. He helped guide the Jaguars to a 12-1 record and a WPIAL championship in AAAA. Palmer posted 43 total tackles and 3 sacks along with two defensive touchdowns. Here is a look of his highlights from his junior season.

Palmer becomes the third commitment for this class, joining tight end Jay Symonds and Quarterback Nick Patti. Historically, Pitt’s recruiting efforts tend to pick up considerably in the months of May and June, and that looks to be the case again this season. Pat Narduzzi and his staff are still waiting to land a big time prospect, and perhaps by landing Palmer could help land his teammate, highly touted defensive tackle Devin Danielson.

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