10-25-2020  6:54 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Candidate Iannarone Welcomes Ruling on Complaint Against Mayor Wheeler

Mayoral challenger Sarah Iannarone has welcomed the Multnomah County Circuit court ruling requiring City Auditor Mary Hull Caballero to look into a complaint against Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler for loaning his own re-election campaign 0,000

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Report: Seattle Officers Used Excessive Force at Protests

Since May, the office has received 19,000 complaints about police misconduct during protests.

PSU’s Black Studies Department Grows, Offers Students Immediate Support

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NEWS BRIEFS

How Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard got its Name

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Thursday, October 22: All Registered Voters Should Have Received Their Ballots

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Forest Service Now Hiring

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Crews vacuum 'murder hornets' out of Washington nest

BLAINE, Wash. (AP) — Heavily protected crews in Washington state worked Saturday to destroy the first nest of so-called murder hornets discovered in the United States. The state Agriculture Department had spent weeks searching, trapping and using dental floss to tie tracking devices to Asian...

Roseburg VA police officer accused of placing hidden cameras

ROSEBURG, Ore. (AP) — A Roseburg man who works as a police officer at a Veterans Affairs hospital has been accused of hiding cameras in the bedroom of a young teen. Detectives began investigating after the cameras were found in the 14-year-old’s bedroom, the Douglas County...

Missouri grinds out 1st victory over Kentucky in five years

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri kept handing the ball to Larry Rountree, and Kentucky barely got a chance to take a turn. Rountree carried 37 times for 126 yards and two touchdowns as the Tigers dominated the clock and the Wildcats in a 20-10 victory on Saturday.Missouri (2-2 Southeastern...

Humbled LSU eyeing QB contingency vs surging South Carolina

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — LSU coach Ed Orgeron was grateful for an extra week to help the Tigers confront considerable challenges on both sides of the ball.He’ll have to hope that’s enough time for the unranked Tigers (1-2, 1-2 SEC) to turn back South Carolina (2-2, 2-2), which...

OPINION

The Skanner News National 2020 Election Endorsements

Vote like your life depends on it. Read The Skanner News' endorsements for US President, and more ...

The Skanner News Statewide Election 2020 Endorsements

Read The Skanner News' endorsements for Portland Mayor, Portland City Council, and more ...

Muslim Advocates Denounces Trump’s Racist Attacks on Rep. Ilhan Omar and Refugees

The organization says Trump’s attacks invite violence against Rep. Omar and Minnesota’s Somali community ...

Trump and the Lost Country

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AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Black woman shot by officer seeks justice from hospital bed

WAUKEGAN, Ill. (AP) — A Black woman who was shot and wounded inside a vehicle by a police officer who also fatally shot her 19-year-old boyfriend on Satuday told about 200 people gathered at an emotional rally in suburban Chicago that she's fighting “to be strong" for her son. The...

Attack, then pandemic: Pittsburgh Jewish congregations cope

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Fields, No. 5 Ohio St run away from Huskers in opener, 52-17

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Justin Fields and No. 5 Ohio State shook off the rust in the first half and then buried Nebraska the rest of the way.Fields completed 20 of 21 passes for two touchdowns and ran for another, Master Teague III rushed for a pair of scores and the Buckeyes rolled over...

ENTERTAINMENT

Kevin Hart: Hosting MDA telethon is a 'major level-up'

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Sandra Oh celebrates Asian culture in film 'Over the Moon'

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Film depicts Black Lives Matter, #MeToo as new feminist wave

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The documentary genre’s power of immediacy is evident in “Not Done: Women Remaking America," which includes the still-unfolding possibility of the first Black female vice president and the loss of Breonna Taylor.The film depicts a powerful female-driven...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Stumbling stunner! Rays shock Dodgers in 9th, tie Series 2-2

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Brett Phillips squatted on the field crying, Randy Arozarena sprawled in the dirt...

Malaysia's king rejects PM's proposal to declare emergency

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia's king on Sunday rejected a proposal by embattled Prime Minister...

Thai protesters rally ahead of parliamentary debate

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Italy closes gyms, shuts eateries early to fight COVID-19

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Afghanistan claims killing an al-Qaida leader wanted by FBI

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan claimed Sunday it killed a top al-Qaida propagandist on an FBI...

Malaysia's king rejects PM's proposal to declare emergency

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Vote like your life depends on it
Greg Beacham AP Sports Writer

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Albert Pujols ripped a long drive down the left-field line, and the Los Angeles Angels rose in the dugout along with the crowd. The ball sliced through the heavy night air, soaring into the stands - and hooking just a few feet foul outside the yellow pole.

The collective groan in Angel Stadium was audible from the dugout to the back of the bleachers Monday, and it's getting louder every night.

One month into a lavish contract with a new team, baseball's most feared slugger has lost his pop.

"I know I can hit home runs," Pujols said. "When it's going to happen, I don't know."

Pujols didn't hit a homer for the Angels in April, shockingly going 23 games and 92 at-bats without once doing what he did 445 times over 11 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals. Dating back to late last season, the three-time NL MVP and two-time World Series champion is in the longest longball drought of his career, going 29 games and 121 at-bats without a homer.

For a gifted power hitter in the ostensible prime of his career, it's a distressing stretch of futility even in the earliest stages of his 10-year contract. For the Angels, who are paying $240 million for homers and victories from arguably the best offensive player of his generation, it's a simmering problem that's threatening to boil.

"I don't think about that, man," Pujols said. "It could be tomorrow, maybe the next day, a month from now, I don't know. My job is to get myself ready to play and take my swing. ... Home runs, when they come, they come in bunches."

They're not coming at all in Anaheim, and that's not what the Angels expected after signing Pujols away from the Cardinals for the next decade with the third-richest contract in major league history. Even worse, Pujols' new teammates have slumped along with him, and last-place Los Angeles heads into May in an 8-15 funk despite Monday's 4-3 win over majors-worst Minnesota.

Not even matching the worst start in franchise history has caused the Angels to waver from publicly backing their new first baseman. They still expect to see the sublime power of the man who hit three homers in Game 3 of the World Series last fall, matching a feat only accomplished by Babe Ruth and Reggie Jackson.

"Even though he's a leader and has been around, we've still got to lift him up, because the game will slap you in the face sometimes and humble you," said fellow veteran Torii Hunter, who shared Pujols' power drought until hitting three homers in the last four games.

Pujols has the highest batting average and slugging percentage of any active player, but he's hitting .217 with just four RBIs and eight extra-base hits - all doubles, and just one in the last nine games.

Pujols deploys a frustrated smirk whenever he's asked about his homerless start, saying he has "been in this situation before." He insists he's "putting good swings on the ball," as evidenced by that 350-foot foul ball in the fifth inning Monday night.

"I know what I need to do, and I'm making my adjustment," Pujols said. "I've been doing it for 12 years, so I know my hitting. Only God knows my swing better than me. When you're going through things like this, you've got to be careful who you listen to, because you have so many hitting coaches."

His actual hitting coach, Mickey Hatcher, irked Pujols on Monday night after the slugger learned the coach had shared fairly innocuous details about a pregame team meeting.

"That stuff needs to be private," Pujols said. "He should have never told the media. What we talked about at the meeting, not disrespecting Mickey, but that stuff should stay behind closed doors."

If Pujols wants extra coaching, he could get it from fellow players, talk-radio callers, and even fans on the street in Anaheim and Los Angeles, where Pujols' arrival was heralded by a massive marketing campaign and a sharp spike in ticket sales for the already-popular Angels, who outdrew the Dodgers for the first time last season.

The solutions range from swing adjustments to pressure-relieving mind games to extra days off. Pujols downplays the difficulties of switching leagues and studying the innumerable idiosyncrasies of 13 new pitching staffs, but Hunter acknowledges it's tough for Pujols.

Even ex-players have theories on Pujols, including Jim Leyritz, the former Yankees and Angels catcher who now hosts an Internet radio show.

"I can tell you that coming over from New York and playing here that first year (in 1997), it was tough to get motivated because the fans weren't the same," Leyritz said. "Every at-bat wasn't the World Series, and it took me a little while to get used to the slower pace. I'm sure that's what he's going through right now is that this is a little different pace than it was in St. Louis. It's different surroundings. It's going to take some time to adjust. Once he makes that adjustment, the rest of the American League better be careful."

Angels manager Mike Scioscia has tried numerous changes to his lineup, which ranks 13th out of 14 AL teams with just 80 runs in the Angels' first 23 games. Scioscia insists Pujols will find his own way out of the slump, even while it deepens.

"He's got a routine that's worked for him, he's committed to it, and there's nobody working harder to get out of this than Albert," Scioscia said. "Anyone who plays this game accepts the fact that there are going to be tough times during the season and during a career. But his talent is real, and he's going to grind it out until he gets to where he needs to be."

But 247 players have homered this season before Pujols, who led the NL in homers in 2009 and 2010. He hasn't even had many narrow misses, among them that foul ball and a drive off the top of the left-field fence against Oakland during the Angels' previous homestand.

Scioscia has no intention of moving Pujols from his No. 3 spot in the lineup. The Angels still have five months left in a season of enormous expectations, and they're confident Pujols has plenty of time to help fulfill them.

"Pujols, he's always going to get the nastiest of everything," Hunter said. "He's going to get the hardest pitches. The ball is going to move the most. ... I know, and everybody else knows, this guy is going to hit. Once he gets that big home run to win a game, it's over."

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