It took a good two hours for the man of the hour to arrive at the party. Shortly after the 49ers select him with the 17th pick of the first round, Arik Armstead bounds through the doors of an Elk Grove banquet hall and is given a hero’s welcome. The defensive end out of Pleasant Grove High School wears a championship smile. Meanwhile, Shaq Thompson of Grant High School sweats out the first round and goes No. 25 to the Carolina Panthers, giving the region a rare double-dip in the first round.
Maybe Trent Baalke is more transparent than we thought. In his predraft news conference, the often opaque and closed-off 49ers general manager told everyone he likes big players. And that’s precisely what he got Thursday in defensive lineman Arik Armstead, who has so much size – 6-foot-7, 292 pounds – that he spent two seasons moonlighting as a basketball player at Oregon.
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr must be chilling, smiling, exhaling. Assuming Alabama wide receiver and No. 4 overall pick Amari Cooper arrives as advertised – fast, mobile, precise, explosive, nuanced – Oakland’s offense could start to look retro.
Oakland loses to the Los Angeles Angels 6-5 at O.co Coliseum. The bullpen didn’t lose the game, but it has been a sore spot for the A’s. Getting closer Sean Doolittle back will help the ailing relief staff.
Mike Dunleavy scores 20 points as the Chicago Bulls come close to an NBA playoff record, finally putting away the Milwaukee Bucks with a 120-66 victory in Game 6 to clinch their first-round series. Meanwhile, Blake Griffin scores 26 points as the Los Angeles Clippers hold on 102-96 against San Antonio to force a Game 7.
California-based trainer Bob Baffert has two aces for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby. American Pharaoh and Dortmund couldn’t be more different. Except both contenders fit the Derby profile and are very, very fast.
Though Scott Pruett isn’t ready to retire, the Auburn resident and Chip Ganassi Racing driver, who turned 55 in March, said he’s been thinking more about it lately. He will team with Sacramento’s Joey Hand in Saturday’s Monterey Grand Prix.
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