A new word for your vocabulary: xoloitzcuintli


A new word for your vocabulary: xoloitzcuintli

From Comcast SportsNet
NEW YORK (AP) -- Jose Barrera enjoys pretty things. A jewelry designer to the stars, his gold-plated breastplate is what Beyonce wore for her "I Am ... Sasha Fierce" album. These days, he's showing off another gem -- Alma Dulce, his tiny, trembling xoloitzcuintli. His what? With the 136th Westminster Kennel Club dog show which began on Monday, it's become time for some to know your Xs and Os. So start with the xoloitzcuintli, one of six new breeds welcomed this year to Madison Square Garden. "They are exotic," Barrera said. "You can't take her for a walk around the block without someone stopping you to ask, 'What is that, how do you spell that?'" Commonly known as a Mexican hairless, and featuring oversized batlike ears, they're pronounced "show-low-eats-QUEEN-tlee." That's according to Amy Fernandez, an expert who's written books about the breed. "We go around with little cards at shows telling people how to say it. Otherwise, you would lose your voice doing it every time," she said. Fernandez planned to enter two of her xoloitzcuintli in America's most distinguished dog show. There are 10 ready to compete, though little Alma Dulce will sit out this time at only 2 years old. The "show-low" expected to show best is Georgio Armani, the first xolo to win best in show at an American Kennel Club event. "As magnificent a dog of any breed that we might see," praised David Frei, longtime television host of Westminster. More than 2,000 pooches will take part, coming in 185 breeds and varieties. Among the favorites to become top dog are a wire fox terrier, a smooth fox terrier, an affenpinscher and a couple of standard poodles. Judge Cindy Vogels, who comes from a terrier background, will point to her pick as best in show around 11 p.m. Tuesday. CNBC and the USA Network will share the TV coverage on the first night, then USA will show the winner. Next year, Westminster expects to have 3,200 entries when it moves part of its show about 20 blocks north to an exposition space along the Hudson River. The show normally has 2,500 dogs, but an ongoing renovation at the Garden took away available space, so Westminster will hold its breed judging at Piers 9294. The nighttime events -- group judging and the best in show pick -- will remain at the Garden, the show announced Sunday night. Last year, Hickory the Scottish deerhound earned the prized silver bowl. Among the popular winners from the past were Uno the beagle, Josh the Newfoundland and J.R. the bichon frise. This year's six new breeds to Westminster are the xoloitzcuintli, the Entlebucher mountain dog, the Norwegian lundehund, the American English coonhound, the Finnish lapphund and the Cesky terrier. Watching any of them win would be a surprise -- it's taken more than a quarter-century for any newcomer to take the top honor. Seeing any xolo is pretty rare, be it in the nonsporting group or anywhere else. Sporting an Aztec name that meant "dog of the gods," the xolo dates back 3,000 years, Fernandez said. "An ancient, primitive breed," she said. Fernandez said there are about 2,500 purebred of them in the United States. They were able to meet the AKC criteria for recognition -- an ample number, a good geographic distribution in the country and a parent club to set proper standards. A xolo can range from about 10 to 24 inches high, weigh from 10 to 50 pounds and have hair or be hairless. Their skin is very warm, and once was believed to provide healing power to humans in chronic pain who slept next to them. Barrera certainly is having fun with Alma Dulce. He brought her to a recent dog event with an attractive turquoise necklace and a little tuft of hair atop her head. "I didn't even realize you could get a xolo in the present day," Barrera said. "I looked at breeds from A to Z. This was the X factor."

Morning Update: Cubs shut out by Indians in Game 1 of World Series

Morning Update: Cubs shut out by Indians in Game 1 of World Series

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Cubs want another shot at Andrew Miller after shutout loss

CLEVELAND - The Cubs didn't look like a team that just got shut out and struck out 15 times in Game 1 of the World Series in the visiting clubhouse at Progressive Field.

Maybe it's because they have endured offensive slumps before this postseason - 21 straight scoreless innings against the Dodgers in the National League Championship Series - and bounced back just fine to score 23 runs in three games to clinch the NL pennant.

Or maybe it's because they nearly got to Andrew Miller, who has taken over title of Best Pitcher on the Planet.

"I hope we [get to see him tomorrow]," Cubs shortstop Addison Russell said. "We got beat by a pretty good ballclub today. On paper, they beat us. It leaves a sour taste in our mouth, but tomorrow's a new day."

That's the Cubs' attitude normally and that spirit has only strenghtened with Kyle Schwarber back in the lineup.

The Cubs obviously didn't score against Miller - who ran his career posteason scoreless streak to 22 innings - but they did force him to throw 46 pitches in two innings and had the best overall outing against the dominant left-hander of any team in 2016:

The first two batters Miller faced - Kyle Schwarber and Javy Baez - worked a walk and then laced an 0-2 single to left field to load the bases. 

Miller then worked out of the bases loaded jam with a shallow pop-out and back-to-back strikeouts, but the next inning, the Cubs made him work again with a Kris Bryant walk and Ben Zobrist single.

Miller avoided that jam by striking out Schwarber to end the inning.

"We put some really good at-bats against these guys today," Schwarber said. "We just didn't come up with the knock when we needed to, but that's baseball."

It was the most pitches Miller has thrown in an outing since September 2011 and the Cubs tallied five different full counts against him in the two innings. 

"Guys getting to see him in the first game I think is always to a hitter's advantage," Anthony Rizzo said. "He's as advertised. He bears in when needed to and gets outs and that's the name of the game."

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With a taxing outing and another game right away Wednesday night, the Cubs feel confident they can get to Miller if he does come back and work again in Game 2.

"That's huge. I'm sure he's going to be a little tired," Bryant said. "He was doing his job, going max effort. 

"Any time you can get their best guy out of the bullpen to throw a lot of pitches and have good at-bats off of him, it gives us a bunch of confidence."

Even if Miller feels fine physically, the Cubs hitters have all seen him now and they can learn from watching his stuff and how he approached hitters in Game 1.

The Cubs had a rough showing against Corey Kluber - only four hits and nine strikeouts in six innings - but he's a Cy Young contender and there are major question marks surrounding the Indians' Game 2 and 3 starters (Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin).

In general, the Cubs came away feeling confident despite putting a goose egg in the runs column.

"I'm a believer," manager Joe Maddon said. "I know we're going to be fine. ... [Kluber], he's in a different league. So if we can continue to work these same kind of at-bats, I feel good moving forward.

"And that's not to denigrate anybody we're going to face. I just thought we actually did better than that all looked tonight. So I'm eager to get back out there and play again tomorrow."