Jul 26, 2013, 7:55 AM PDT
The social media world was abuzz on Thursday night when Angels reliever Dane De La Rosa found a hobbled pigeon in the Angels bullpen. De La Rosa braved a potential case of bird flu and transported the pigeon to the dugout where he lovingly held it in his hands during the game.
Eventually the pigeon was gone, prompting wide-spread concern over its whereabouts. Comcast SportsNet sent an intern to find out what happened to the bird, and he discovered that it was set free in the parking lot. Rumor has it that the pigeon in question could be “War Pigeon,” the bird that frequents Oakland Raiders games. War Pigeon went viral after flying alongside the Raiders special teams players during kickoffs, and draws cheers from the crowd when staffers try to corral him and take him off the field of play.
At times during the A’s 8-3 loss to the Angels, people were far more interested in War Pigeon than the game itself. That isn’t exactly surprising. Face it. Most Americans love their pets more than other human beings. The proof is in the data. According to a study done by Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, 41 percent of online charity donations go to animal foundations, while just 18 percent of the money is used helping human rights organizations.
Mindful of that fact, here are a bunch of important sports tidbits with animal tie-ins.
A Seahawk is hurt. All-Pro wide receiver Percy Harvin could need surgery to repair a torn labrum in his hip. This is a big blow to the Seahawks’ offense and somewhat evens the playing field with the 49ers, after they lost Michael Crabtree for a bulk of the season.
People in Panda hats had a reason to look on the bright side on Thursday. The Giants didn’t lose and the division-leading Dodgers did. The Giants were guaranteed not to lose because they didn’t have a game to play, but days without defeat are starting to become few and far between. The defending World Series Champions are seven games behind, but they aren’t giving up hope. As trade rumors swirl around right fielder Hunter Pence, he tells our Giants Insider that he, like Journey, won’t stop believing.
“We’ve just got to keep pushing and continue to try to progress and compete each day with everything we have,” Pence said. “I feel we’ve been playing hard. The effort, the hustle, those are the things you can control. The preparation, all of that. We’ve got to constantly believe the tide can turn.”
The 49ers have a new top dog. Our 49ers Insider Matt Maiocco says that Colin Kaepernick looked and sounded like a leader in his first 49ers training camp as the starting quarterback. Kaepernick spoke in front of the media and referred to his teammates as “my players” severals times over the course of the interview session.
Meanwhile, the man that took a sasquatch to an award show, Brian Wilson, threw for several scouts in Los Angeles on Thursday. According to reports, he topped out at 93 mph and had scouts from nine different teams watching him. Somewhat surprisingly, the A’s were one of them.
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— Most players show up to training camp rocking comfortable yet stylish sweat pants and fancy Beats By Dre headphones while carrying luggage. Darnell Dockett showed up with a jungle cat. Yup. The dude brought a friggin’ tiger to training camp. Rawr.
— Keeping with the animal theme (sort of)… International recording artist Ellie Goulding was performing in San Jose on Thursday and was seen representing the Sharks.
— A-Rod owns apparently owns a rat-riddled apartment complex.
— Not exactly an animal, but mammal Manny Ramirez isn’t expected to be seen in the major leagues any time soon.
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