September 20, 2020

Pearson – I’ll pick a strong side

first_img The Foxes boss is adamant he will pick his strongest possible side for their game against the leaders on Wednesday. Leicester have won four straight games in the Barclays Premier League and are out of the bottom three for the first time since November. Nigel Pearson insisted it is an “insult” to suggest he would pick a weakened team to face Chelsea as Leicester battle the drop. David Nugent and Jeff Schlupp are struggling with calf problems while Jamie Vardy needed an injection in his foot before scoring the winner in Saturday’s 1-0 victory at relegation rivals Burnley. The trio will be assessed ahead of the game at the King Power Stadium where Chelsea cannot now win the title after their goalless draw with Arsenal on Sunday. And Pearson expects Jose Mourinho’s side to be as strong as ever as they close in on the crown. He added: “If they play a counter-attacking game they are very strong. If they play a very offensive game they are very strong. “They have the capabilities of being able to deal with most situations that are thrown at them. They are an exceptional team.” Chelsea will win the title if they beat the Foxes and then Crystal Palace on Sunday while Leicester are a point above the relegation zone. They host Newcastle in Saturday’s early kick-off as well but Pearson vowed he will not prioritise games and weaken his side. He said: “We expect them to be at their best as I am sure they will expect us to be at our best. “I think any questions that intimate there may be a hint of lack of commitment is pretty poor personally, from either side. I think that is an insult to our professionalism. “My angle on it, and I will make it very clear again, is the considerations we have in relation to selecting the team for this game will go along the same lines as we do for every game. “That is to pick the strongest and best side for this fixture. “What is our strongest side? Do you know? It is a loaded question. Our fundamental priority is getting it right for us. “A weakened side is being disrespectful to our squad of players. I’ve never picked a side which doesn’t have the integrity of any competition in mind.” Press Associationlast_img read more

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Progress key as USC returns to Coliseum

first_imgVirginia comes to town Saturday, setting up the No. 16 Trojans’ home slate at the Coliseum and providing another quasi-test for a USC team hoping to prove to skeptics it is indeed as good as old.Finding ground · Redshirt junior tailback Marc Tyler looks to continue his dominance at the position Saturday against Virginia. Tyler ran for a career-high 154 yards on 17 carries and a touchdown in USC’s win over Hawai’i last week, which was also his first career start. – Brandon Hui | Daily Trojan The Trojans struggled with that last week at Hawai’i, coming up empty on defense and allowing 588 yards and 36 points to an inexperienced Warrior offense in a 49-36 win.But first-year coach Lane Kiffin, who replaced the long-tenured Pete Carroll in January and has already endured a great deal of turmoil in his eight months on the job, has proclaimed with confidence that this game will feature none of the same.“I think you’re going to see a very different game here,” Kiffin said. “And hopefully a much-improved game from our defense. Let me phrase it this way: I will be shocked if we don’t play extremely well on Saturday night on defense.”Virginia is also a very different team than Hawai’i. Whereas the Warriors could sometimes pass the ball almost exclusively, the Cavaliers are much more balanced, relying on bruising running back Keith Payne to shoulder the load in tandem with scatback Perry Jones.“On film, it looks to be that way,” Kiffin said. “But you never know how they’re gonna come in, what their plan will be.”Virginia quarterback Marc Verica also had a solid opener, completing nearly 70 percent of his passes. Receivers Kris Burd and Dontrelle Inman appear to be legitimate threats as targets.But Payne is a remarkable story, a 6-foot-3, 255-pound Northern Virginia native who quit the team prior to last season but rejoined it in spring practice, and then — in his first career start for the Cavaliers — carried the ball 16 times for 114 yards and four touchdowns in their season-opening 34-13 win over Football Championship Subdivision powerhouse Richmond.The Trojans’ run game will be led by redshirt junior tailback Marc Tyler, who was named the starter shortly before the season opener and was impressive in his debut, averaging more than nine yards a carry against Hawai’i and totaling 154 yards and a touchdown. Quarterbacking USC, of course, is sophomore sensation Matt Barkley, the newly christened 20-year-old, who had a superb five-touchdown day against Hawai’i.Virginia coach Mike London emphasized this week that the Trojans have plenty of talent on their roster — regardless of NCAA sanctions and corresponding transfers that have hurt depth.“I know there’s a lot of talk about who is playing and whom they have lost, but the quality of the talent that they have is indicative of the fact they are one of the top programs that have players in the NFL,” London said Tuesday. “When you look at the game, you see athleticism — from everybody. Even the water boy is athletic and fast.”Virginia will need to run the ball effectively against USC to have a shot. London wouldn’t admit that but did say ball control would be a factor.“I do know this,” London said. “You’ll have to take some time off the clock against Southern Cal. USC is a team that plays fast and that tries to capitalize on the things that you don’t do. So we need to make sure that we can keep the clock running, with the running game, short passes that are caught, keep the clock moving, keep the chains moving.”Kiffin said Saturday’s contest is about the Trojans — not the Cavaliers. He wants his team to focus on fixing what it did wrong against Hawai’i first and, second, pay some attention to Virginia as well.“Most importantly, it comes back to us,” Kiffin said. “We’ve got to be extremely consistent in what we do — not worry so much about what they do.”last_img read more

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Chargers’ James injures right knee during scrimmage

first_img Associated Press Television News Last Updated: 1st September, 2020 07:53 IST Chargers’ James Injures Right Knee During Scrimmage The Los Angeles Chargers safety sustained the injury during Sunday’s scrimmage. Coach Anthony Lynn said on Monday that James continues to be evaluated and that a timetable for his return has not been determined FOLLOW US First Published: 1st September, 2020 07:53 IST LIVE TV Written Bycenter_img SUBSCRIBE TO US WATCH US LIVE Derwin James could miss significant time for the second straight season after suffering a right knee injury.The Los Angeles Chargers safety sustained the injury during Sunday’s scrimmage. Coach Anthony Lynn said on Monday that James continues to be evaluated and that a timetable for his return has not been determined.“We don’t know the final results, so I will leave it at that,” Lynn said.The injury could be a huge blow to the Chargers and their defense as they look to bounce back from last year’s 5-11 season. It would also be the second time in five years that James has had a knee injury. He tore the meniscus in his left knee in 2016 at Florida State during the team’s second game and missed the rest of the year.James was selected by the Chargers 17th overall in 2018 and made a quick impact for a team that finished 12-4 and advanced to the AFC divisional round. He was an All-Pro selection after he led the team in tackles with 105 along with four interceptions, 3 1/2 sacks and 13 passes defensed.James was hoping to follow that up with another breakout season, but he had a stress fracture to the fifth metatarsal of his right foot during training camp last year and missed the first 11 games. He broke the same bone during the spring of 2016 at Florida State.Lynn said Rayshawn Jenkins and Desmond King are possibilities to take James’ spot.Los Angeles could also look at signing Earl Thomas, who has familiarity with the Chargers’ scheme after playing for defensive coordinator Gus Bradley in Seattle. But Lynn did not appear to be receptive to that.“Since you guys are telling me how stacked we are in the secondary, why the hell would I look anywhere else?” he said. “I like the depth in the secondary and we can mix different combinations.”If James is placed on injured reserve with a designation to return, meaning he could not be activated until after Week 8. Los Angeles is scheduled to host Las Vegas in Week 9 before having its bye the following week.Image credits: AP COMMENTlast_img read more

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Greek Ministry of Finance submits draft legislation to European Commission

first_imgShare StumbleUpon Related Articles Romania’s ONJN adds 20 sites to blacklist August 14, 2020 Submit Alberto Alfieri: Leading the way for Gamingtec’s B2C growth August 25, 2020 The Greek Ministry of Finance has confirmed that online sports betting and other games will be subject to different licences as shown in the draft gambling regulations submitted to the European Commission.The draft legislation comes as the Ministry of Finance seeks to implement further controls on the gambling industry.As confirmed in the legislation, online sports betting licences will cost €3m (£2.5m) while licences for other online games will cost €2m (£1.7m), both of which will last seven years.Random number generator (RNG) games will be subject to a maximum stake of €2, with the maximum profit per gaming session set to be limited to €5,000. Jackpot game will limited to paying out a maximum of €500,000.The draft legislation also outlines limitations that will be placed on the advertisement of RNG games, whereby the games can only be promoted on the sites where they can be played.These advertising restrictions will not be applicable to other forms of online gaming, such as sports betting, poker and other casino products, however the games will only be able to be played by those aged 21 and over.Restrictions will also be in place for the operators which were blacklisted in the 12 months before submitting their application, as they will now be ineligible for a licence. Share Sweden: Soft2Bet CEO Chaikin on prospering in igaming’s brave new world August 18, 2020last_img read more

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The first #ESIForum, in association with Digital Fuel, is set to sell out…

first_imgThe level of intrigue around esports has been made clear once again with the ticket sales for the first of our Esports Insider Forum Series (#ESIForum) events at Fnatic’s Bunkr.Just 10% of tickets remain for the evening event (July 20th) in Shoreditch and you can secure your place here. We’re pleased to announced that the Digital Fuel Group has come in as the Event Partner for our first two Forums, both the one tomorrow and the second in the series on August 31st. The company has exceptional experience in esports and are an ideal partner for the Forums. Toby Oddy, Digital FuelDigital Fuel Founder and CEO Toby Oddy commented: “The Digital Fuel Group of companies is delighted to be supporting this Esports Insider monthly forum. Our group including Trifecta Media and Code Red Esports has an unparalleled level of esports expertise which we are looking forward to sharing with the forum. We are looking forward to meeting new companies and people who share our vision for esports.“Whether you’re established in esports already or looking to engage an esports agency or esports consultant to get involved, the Digital Fuel Group of companies can help you decipher the esports industry and advise on the best opportunities and solutions for your business.”We will welcome 80 attendees on the evening of Thursday 20th July at Fnatic’s Shoreditch venue for an evening of networking, food, drinks, knowledge sharing with an expert panel and a ‘calm but competitive’ FIFA tournament.Attendees include representatives of Tottenham Hotspur and the City Group, as well as the big hitters in esports ESL, Fnatic themselves, UK based esports companies such as Gfinity, Level Up Media, and plenty more including NBC Universal, the NBA, UNILAD, Ubisoft, SwipeRight PR and Sheridan’s Sports law firm. The panel includes Fnatic CEO Wouter Sleijffers, VfL Wolfsburg’s FIFA player David Bytheway, Sky Sports and FIFA esports commentator Gary Taphouse, with Fortaura CEO Ibrahim Taylor moderating. They’ll go through the hows and whys of football clubs, and traditional sports clubs more generally, in esports including their advice on the best way to go about entering and the opportunities that exist. There’ll be plenty of time for these experts to field questions throughout the evening with a backdrop of some (we hope) high level FIFA on the big screen. Those there on the night will also hear from SpecialEffect, a gaming charity doing some amazing things, and we’re delighted to deliver a FIFA tournament in association with them. Players can make a donation on a pay-what-you-feel basis. The tournament will see 16 Forum competitors sign-up, before pairing up and competing in some classic knockout FIFA 2v2 action. The eventual winning pair will then play each other in a Grand Final to decide the overall winner, with the champion taking home a signed Tottenham Hotspur shirt kindly donated by the club. Esports host and commentator Matt Andrews will be joined by partner in crime Gary Taphouse to bring the commentary hype and add an authentic touch to what’s sure to be a fierce competition. Esports Insider is a part of SBC Global, and the company’s founder and CEO Rasmus Sojmark will also be in attendance on the night. Esports Insider and SBC are hosting the first Betting on Esports conference later in the year (September 13-15) and the team will be on hand to answer any questions on this front. The evening will be fuelled by ample pizza, beer, wine and soft drinks. Action gets underway at 6:30pm tomorrow and close of play is 11pm. Confirm your attendance here. This is the first of the new #ESIForum Series but you can also get the date in your diaries for the second, which’ll take place on August 31st once more at the Bunkr.last_img read more

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Clippers give up huge lead, lose to Sacramento Kings

first_img“It’s a bad loss,” Paul said. “It’s probably the worst one in the regular season in my career, probably. Yeah, that’s tough. That was a bad one. That’s a bad loss.”The Kings ultimately overtook the Clippers when center Willie Cauley-Stein scored on a put-back with 1.8 seconds remaining. That play capped a frantic sequence after Jamal Crawford missed a corner 3-pointer with 8.9 seconds left in the game. The Kings opted against calling a timeout.Careening toward the rim, Ben McLemore missed a short floater in the lane, but Cauley-Stein was there to drop it back in.Chris Paul missed a 21-foot jumper as time expired.DeAndre Jordan led the Clippers with 20 points and 11 rebounds, while Paul and Griffin each scored 17. LOS ANGELES >> Stunning as it was, Blake Griffin had no problem explaining the Clippers latest result amid a critical part of the season in which has the Clippers fighting for both consistency and the advantage of home court in the first round of the playoffs.“I know why it happened,” Griffin said. “We took our foot off the gas.”Not much earlier, he had been sitting on the bench next to Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan, all of them back in warm-ups, enjoying the 18-point cushion they had built, certain the Clippers bench could close out their fifth win in six games.Instead, the Clippers collapsed. The Kings closed the game on a 22-3 run to hand the Clippers their most stunning loss of the season, 98-97. It was the second time in a week that the Clippers missed a potential game-winner at the buzzer. The other came Thursday in Dallas when J.J. Redick’s corner 3 rimmed out as time expired. They are 4-2 in their last six games, but two missed jumpers away from riding a 6-game winning streak.Those two losses, both against losing teams, are especially painful given the crowded playoff chase in the West. With a victory, the Clippers would tied the Jazz for fourth in the West and created 2.5 games of separation between themselves and Oklahoma City for sixth.“These games should mean so much more to us than to them,” Griffin said. “Nothing against (the Kings), but … we have something to play for. And tonight it looked like it was the opposite, the other way around in that last little bit.”The Clippers were coming off of an encouraging win Saturday against Utah, which now sits a full game ahead of the Clippers for the four-seed.“You can’t take one step forward, two steps back, two steps forward, one step back,” Griffin said. “You can’t have those steps back, especially in these type of situations.”Instead, they sit a full game back of the Jazz and avoided giving up any more ground to the Thunder, who lost Sunday to Houston.The Clippers built their biggest lead of the game, 94-76, when Paul Pierce buried a step-back jumper with 5:16 remaining in the fourth.It was the last field goal the Clippers would score.When the Kings cut the lead to 11, Doc Rivers inserted Paul and Griffin back in the lineup, something he had not planned on doing.“I just think it’s hard (for the players),” Rivers said. “It’s easy to ask guys to stay ready, but they’re looking at that lead thinking they’re not going back in.”The Clippers were playing their eighth game in 12 days, which, Rivers said, was “one of the reasons I was desperately trying to see if our bench could take us home.“Because I really did not want to put our guys back in, at all costs almost. And at the end of the day it may have cost us the game with that decision.”Griffin did not take the easy out.“That’s what we’re supposed to do,” Griffin said. “We’re supposed to be able to play at any time. You can’t really make that excuse because we were sitting out. We’ve got to be able to come in and be better. Like I said, it shouldn’t have gotten to that.”Buddy Hield made a 3-pointer with 2:19 remaining, and then another nine seconds later after a stealing Griffin’s pass in the backcourt.The Clippers missed their final nine field goal attempts and were 2-of-4 from the foul line. Among the missed free throws was one by Griffin with 1:57 left. After that, Sacramento’s Langston Galloway made a 3 to bring the Kings with 97-96.Then, with 1:11 remaining, the Clippers committed a shot clock violation.“If we don’t take this and use it as a motivation or something to learn from,” Griffin said, “then we’ve got bigger problems.”NOTES: The Clippers assigned rookie Brice Johnson to the Salt Lake City Stars of the D-League. He previously spent three games with the Stars earlier in March. … Starting shooting guard J.J. Redick did play Sunday after suffering a sprained right ankle against the Jazz on Saturday.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

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Dodgers rally to force extra innings, then lose to Diamondbacks in 12th

first_imgMatt Kemp (3 for 6)  tallied his third consecutive three-hit game, raising his batting average to .356. Yasmani Grandal went 2 for 4 with a home run, and Cody Bellinger went 2 for 5 with a double.Pollock (2 for 6) has hit 11 home runs this season and seven against the Dodgers. His latest blast came in the first inning, immediately after Hill walked Paul Goldschmidt and fell behind on a pair of curveballs that missed Chris Guccione’s strike zone. The Diamondbacks quickly led 2-0.Chris Owings led off the second inning with another home run. Nick Ahmed (2 for 4) led off the fourth inning with a single, and John Ryan Murphy followed with a towering two-run blast to left field.Hill allowed five runs in four innings, all on homers. It was an imperfect bookend to his previous start, also against Arizona, in which he allowed seven runs over five innings. Hill developed a cut on his left middle finger in that game. When the cut became infected, it further delayed Hill’s return from the disabled list.The intervening rest seemed to turn to rust. Hill disagreed.“I felt like the ball came out of my hand well,” he said. “Unfortunately the results weren’t there. You have to execute better in certain situations.”The Dodgers never quite went away. Taylor led off the game with a walk against Zack Godley, then went to second base on a wild pitch. With two outs, Kemp laced a single to right-center field, driving in Taylor with the Dodgers’ first run.In the third inning, Grandal tomahawked a home run from the left side of the plate halfway up the right-field bleachers, cutting the Dodgers’ 3-1 deficit in half. The final innings were enough to break the most resilient heart. In the bottom of the 10th, Diamondbacks left-hander Andrew Chafin walked Grandal and allowed an infield single to Bellinger before without recording an out. Yoshihisa Hirano promptly jogged in from the bullpen.Sign up for our Inside the Dodgers newsletter. Be the best Dodger fan you can be by getting daily intel on your favorite team. Subscribe here.Pitcher Ross Stripling pinch-ran for Grandal. He tagged up and went to third base on Kemp’s fly ball to deep right-center field. Facing a first-and-third, one-out quagmire, Hirano fell behind Joc Pederson 2-and-0. With a flick of the wrist, Pederson was intentionally walked to load the bases.But Hirano came back to whiff Kyle Farmer on a splitter in the dirt. Chase Utley took a splitter over the plate for strike three, sending the game to the 11th inning.Tony Cingrani got through the Diamondbacks’ side unscathed before the Dodgers threatened again in the bottom of the 11th. Hernandez drew a walk against Silvino Bracho. Taylor was hit by a pitch. Alex Verdugo struck out, and Roberts was forced to use pitcher Kenta Maeda as a pinch hitter with runners on first and second and Cingrani due up.Maeda laid down a bunt to advance both runners – Roberts said he didn’t want a double-play groundout to end the inning – but Bellinger flew out to end the inning.Roberts said he didn’t want to use Garcia in the game. By the 12th, he had no choice.Garcia allowed a single to Alex Avila and walked Goldschmidt. Pollock popped out, the second out of the inning, but Descalso’s home run to right field was a no-doubter off the bat.If the Dodgers are accustomed to turning the page after losing to Arizona, Wednesday should arrive with few lingering scars. One was worn on the right ankle of Dodgers third baseman Max Muncy, who absorbed a cut and a bruise when Steven Souza Jr. slid into him trying to steal the base in the fifth inning.“I haven’t had a chance to look at it (video) yet,” Muncy said. “It’s hard for me to tell. It was a steal and he was sliding through it like he was breaking up a double play. At that point, he’s not trying to be safe. As for whether it was dirty or not, or that’s what he was trying to do … I’m not sure.” That capped the Dodgers’ third loss in a row, and their eighth in 11 games head-to-head against the Diamondbacks this season.“Games that we found ways to win (last year), for the first five weeks of the season, we haven’t,” Manager Dave Roberts said. “I just don’t have an answer for that.”After Hill pitched the first four innings, the Dodgers’ bullpen did not allow a run for the next seven. It looked like the Dodgers would end the game in the bottom of the 10th, when they loaded the bases with one out, or the 11th, when they had runners on second and third with two outs. They failed to score both times.The Dodgers (15-20) left six runners on base in the first nine innings, and five afterward.The teams are obligated by the schedule to play again Wednesday, then not again until Aug. 30. For the Dodgers, who trail Arizona (24-11) by nine games, it should be a welcome respite. Murphy’s home run gave Arizona a 5-2 lead. The Dodgers got both runs back on an RBI single by Grandal and an RBI double by Bellinger against Godley in the fifth inning.In his fourth start against the Dodgers this season, Godley allowed four runs in 5-2/3 innings. He left with a 5-4 lead, in line for the victory.It was still 5-4 in the ninth inning when Kenley Jansen pitched a scoreless frame. He pitched the 10th inning after Hernandez’s homer tied the score and allowed a leadoff double to Goldschmidt. Jansen then retired the middle of the Arizona lineup – Pollock, Descalso and Ketel Marte – in order.center_img PreviousArizona Diamondbacks during batting practice prior to a Major League Baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Yimi Garcia sits alone on the bench after giving up a three home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 12th inning of a Major League Baseball game at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 in Los Angeles. Arizona Diamondbacks won 8-5 in 12 innings. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Rich Hill throws to the plate against the ]Arizona Diamondbacks in the first inning of a Major League Baseball game at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsArizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zack Godley throws to the plate against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the second inning of a Major League Baseball game at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Arizona Diamondbacks’ A.J. Pollock watches his two run home run against hr Los Angeles Dodgers in the first inning of a Major League Baseball game at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Arizona Diamondbacks’ A.J. Pollock (11) rounds third base after hitting a two run home run as Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Rich Hill (44) looks at a baseball in the first inning of a Major League Baseball game at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Arizona Diamondbacks’ A.J. Pollock shakes hands with third base coach Tony Perezchica (8) after hitting a two run home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first inning of a Major League Baseball game at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Arizona Diamondbacks’ A.J. Pollock high fives teammates after hitting a two run home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first inning of a Major League Baseball game at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Arizona Diamondbacks catcher John Ryan Murphy throws to second base late as Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chris Taylor (not pictured) moves to second base on the play in the first inning of a Major League Baseball game at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chris Taylor (3) safe at sec and base as Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop Nick Ahmed (13) can’t handle the throw in the first inning of a Major League Baseball game at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw, center, during a Major League Baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Rich Hill throws two the plate against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the second inning of a Major League Baseball game at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasmani Grandal during a Major League Baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Matt Kemp watches his RBI single as Chris Taylor (not pictured) scores against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first inning of a Major League Baseball game at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chris Taylor (3) leads off third base against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first inning of a Major League Baseball game at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chris Taylor (3) high fives teammates after scoring on a RBI single by teammate Matt Kemp (not pictured) against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first inning of a Major League Baseball game at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chris Taylor, right, celebrates with bench coach Bob Geren, left, after scoring on an RBI single by Matt Kemp, as manager Dave Roberts watches during the first inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles, Tuesday, May 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Rich Hill throws two the plate against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the second inning of a Major League Baseball game at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Arizona Diamondbacks’ Steven Souza Jr. (28) yells toward the Los Angeles Dodgers dugout after being tagged out at third base by Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Max Muncy (not pictured) as Arizona Diamondbacks third base coach Tony Perezchica (8) and Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal (9) tries to hold him back in the fifth inning of a Major League Baseball game at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Arizona Diamondbacks’ Steven Souza Jr. (28) yells toward the Los Angeles Dodgers dugout after being tagged out at third base by Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Max Muncy (not pictured) as Arizona Diamondbacks third base coach Tony Perezchica (8) tries to hold him back in the fifth inning of a Major League Baseball game at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal, left, yells at Arizona Diamondbacks’ Steven Souza Jr., right, after Souza collided with third baseman Max Muncy while attempting to steal third during the fifth inning of a baseball game, while Arizona third base coach Tony Perezchica separates the two in Los Angeles, Tuesday, May 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Arizona Diamondbacks’ Steven Souza Jr. (28) yells toward the Los Angeles Dodgers dugout after being tagged out at third base by Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Max Muncy (not pictured) as Arizona Diamondbacks third base coach Tony Perezchica (8) tries to hold him back in the fifth inning of a Major League Baseball game at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)in the fifth inning of a Major League Baseball game at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher JT Chargois throws to the plate against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the fifth inning of a Major League Baseball game at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasmani Grandal moves to third base as Alex Verdugo (not pictured) scores on a RBI double by Cody Bellinger (not pictured) against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the fifth inning of a Major League Baseball game at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Justin Turner during a Major League Baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger (35) RBI double as Alex Verdugo (not pictured ) scores against he Arizona Diamondbacks in the fifth inning of a Major League Baseball game at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop Nick Ahmed, right, is unable to handle a throw as Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chris Taylor steals second base during the first inning of a baseball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, May 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Rich Hill wipes his face as he walks back to the dugout in the middle of the first inning of the team’s baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles, Tuesday, May 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zack Godley, right, tags out Los Angeles Dodgers’ Max Muncy on an infield ground ball during the fourth inning of a baseball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, May 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Rich Hill reacts after allowing a two-run home run to Arizona Diamondbacks’ John Ryan Murphy during the fourth inning of a baseball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, May 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger follows through on a swing for an RBI double during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles, Tuesday, May 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)LOS ANGELES, CA – MAY 08: A.J. Pollock #11 of the Arizona Diamondbacks makes a running catch in front of David Peralta #6, for an out of Chris Taylor #3 of the Los Angeles Dodgers to end the seventh inning at Dodger Stadium on May 8, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Enrique Hernandez looks up after hitting a game-tying solo home run during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles, Tuesday, May 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Brad Boxberger catches a new ball while Los Angeles Dodgers’ Enrique Hernandez rounds the bases after hitting the game-tying solo home run during the ninth inning of a baseball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, May 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Enrique Hernandez, left, is congratulated by third base coach Chris Woodward after hitting the game-tying solo home run during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles, Tuesday, May 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)LOS ANGELES, CA – MAY 08: Manager Dave Roberts #30 and bench coach Bob Geren #8 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate an Enrique Hernandez #14 solo homerun to tie the game 5-5 during the ninth inning at Dodger Stadium on May 8, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Enrique Hernandez celebrates with manager Dave Roberts, center, and Bob Geren after hitting the game-tying solo home run during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles, Tuesday, May 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)LOS ANGELES, CA – MAY 08: Kenta Maeda #18 of the Los Angeles Dodgers bunts during the 12th inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium on May 8, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)The Diamondbacks’ Daniel Descalso hits a tie-breaking three-run home run in the 12th inning of Tuesday’s game against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Arizona won 8-5. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)The Diamondbacks’ Daniel Descalso watches the flight of his tie-breaking three-run home run in front of Dodgers catcher Kyle Farmer during the 12th inning of Tuesday night’s game at Dodger Stadium. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)Arizona Diamondbacks’ bench reacts as Daniel Descalso (not pictured) hit a three run home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 12th inning of a Major League Baseball game at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 in Los Angeles. Arizona Diamondbacks won 8-5 in 12 innings. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Arizona Diamondbacks’ Daniel Descalso (3) celebrates with teammates after hitting a three run home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 12th inning of a Major League Baseball game at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 in Los Angeles. Arizona Diamondbacks won 8-5 in 12 innings. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)LOS ANGELES, CA – MAY 08: Daniel Descalso #3 of the Arizona Diamondbacks celebrates his three run homerun with his dugout to take an 8-5 lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers during the 12th inning at Dodger Stadium on May 8, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)Arizona Diamondbacks’ Daniel Descalso (3) celebrates with teammates after hitting a three run home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 12th inning of a Major League Baseball game at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 in Los Angeles. Arizona Diamondbacks won 8-5 in 12 innings. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Yimi Garcia sits alone on the bench after giving up a three home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 12th inning of a Major League Baseball game at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 in Los Angeles. Arizona Diamondbacks won 8-5 in 12 innings. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Alex Verdugo looks on as the Arizona Diamondbacks celebrate after defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-5 in 12 innings during a Major League Baseball game at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 in Los Angeles (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)A young Los Angeles Dodgers fan plays with a baseball prior to a Major League Baseball game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Kenley Jansen, right, speaks with former Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Don Newcombe prior to a Major League Baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Arizona Diamondbacks during batting practice prior to a Major League Baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Yimi Garcia sits alone on the bench after giving up a three home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 12th inning of a Major League Baseball game at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 in Los Angeles. Arizona Diamondbacks won 8-5 in 12 innings. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)NextShow Caption1 of 49Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Yimi Garcia sits alone on the bench after giving up a three home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 12th inning of a Major League Baseball game at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 in Los Angeles. Arizona Diamondbacks won 8-5 in 12 innings. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)ExpandLOS ANGELES — Rich Hill had the unenviable luxury of 24 days between his last two starts. During that time, the Dodgers managed to lose two-fifths of their starting rotation and another member of their starting infield to injuries. They recalled Breyvic Valera from Triple-A three times, and three times sent him back. They occupied fifth place in the National League West after the Arizona Diamondbacks beat Hill on April 14, and fourth place after the D-Backs hit three home runs against him Tuesday.It seemed Dodger Stadium held no rest for the weary or the well-rested, the next defeat a mere A.J. Pollock home run away.The Dodgers’ 8-5 loss to the Diamondbacks almost went the other way. It lasted 4 hours, 29 minutes and threatened to end more often than a wandering jazz solo.The Dodgers were down a run the bottom of the ninth inning when Kiké Hernandez hit a solo home run against Diamondbacks closer Brad Boxberger. The game remained tied into the 12th inning, when Daniel Descalso hit a three-run home run off Yimi Garcia before what remained of the announced crowd of 45,894. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

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Solving baseball’s service time manipulation problem might only treat the symptoms

first_imgBaseball’s peculiar problem with winning has a face now. Actually, it has a few faces.Toronto Blue Jays prospect Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. is still a minor leaguer despite having no minor league games left to play in 2018. So is Chicago White Sox uber-prospect Eloy Jimenez. So is Byron Buxton, a veteran of 306 major league games, whose absence from the Minnesota Twins’ roster is a perverse punishment for the “crime” of not having enough service time to qualify for free agency.Service time might be the two most underrated words in baseball. The number of years and days a player spends on a major league roster form his ability to qualify for salary arbitration, and free agency, and pension benefits. Fans don’t always want to be reminded that professional baseball is big business; concepts like “service time” shatter the illusion of sports as mere pastime. But sometimes a reminder is necessary.Guerrero, 19, batted .381 across four minor-league levels in the Blue Jays’ system this year. Fans of the Jays, who will not see playoff baseball for the 23rd time in 25 seasons since their team last won the World Series, would love to see such a talented player in Toronto. Jimenez, a 21-year-old outfielder, is being heralded as one of the faces of the White Sox’s future. For now, he is the face of the Charlotte Knights, a Triple-A team for whom Jimenez batted .355. The Knights’ season ended Sept. 3, while the White Sox still have more than a week left in their season.Executives for the Blue Jays and White Sox cited the defensive skills of Guerrero and Jimenez, respectively, as reasons to delay their major league debuts. Buxton won a Gold Glove Award last year. His general manager, Thad Levine, publicly cited service time as a reason to keep Buxton in Triple-A. It was a rare moment of honesty.By keeping each player in the minor leagues while the major league team is out of contention, executives can delay the players’ ability to reach free agency without spoiling their chances of winning a championship. The Blue Jays, White Sox and Twins are effectively trying to extend their “team control” over their prospects by another year. Most executives would rather not admit this on the record. Feeding fans excuses for not fielding your best roster is a bad look.This is not a new phenomenon. It happened to the Braves’ Ronald Acuña in April, and to the Cubs’ Kris Bryant in April 2015. It will happen again – unless baseball’s Collective Bargaining Agreement changes and the value of winning outweighs the value of suppressing service time. “It’s a service-based system,” one player agent told me this week.I recently scratched out what seemed like a palatable solution to the problem, something that would benefit front offices at marginal cost to the players. I ran it by a few players who serve as their team’s player representative to the MLBPA. The idea goes like this: for the small handful of teenagers each year with the ability to play in the major leagues, each day on an MLB roster counts as a quarter-day of service time. When they turn 20, that quarter-day becomes a half-day. For players who signed as international free agents (like Guerrero and Jimenez), they begin to accrue full days at age 22. A former high school draft pick (such as Buxton) begins to accrue full days at 24. For collegiate players such as Bryant, the full day kicks in at 25.Only a small percentage of players would be affected by these changes. You can count on one hand the number of teenage players in MLB in any given year. High school and college draftees rarely spend a full year in the majors before age 24 or 25, respectively. Most players would still accrue full days of service time, while teams would have more incentive to bring up an MLB-ready player who isn’t gaining a full day toward free agency.In the case of Guerrero and Jimenez, each player could have been recalled a quarter of the way through the 2018 season and still hit free agency at age 27 – the same age they will become free agents if they are brought up roughly a month into the 2019 season, as is expected. In theory, Bryant and Acuña would not have lost the first month of their rookie years under my proposal.Some players would never go for such a system. Bryce Harper, the rare college draft pick who reached the majors at 19, would have lost up to three years off his free agent clock. But I figured most players would see the upshot: Players who deserve to earn major-league money and benefits get major league money and benefits.“That’s a horrible idea,” said one player.Wait, what?“Teams are going to do anything they can to win if they’re winning,” he said. “The real problem is teams that tank. I’m not so worried about service-time manipulation. I’m worried about teams being incentivized to lose games.”His point was this: the Braves suppressed Acuña’s service time by about a month, but it was only a month. The same was true for Bryant. Their teams were trying to make the playoffs. The Blue Jays, with a 69-82 record through Tuesday, are closer to the No. 1 overall draft pick than a postseason berth. They have arguably more incentive to lose than win. The same logic applies to the White Sox at 59-91. Eliminate the incentive to lose, and the best players will be in the major leagues.“I think it would greatly resolve the problem,” he said.In other words, my solution treated the symptom and not the disease.Another player was loathe to accept any idea that ate into his potential service time, saying the long-term benefits of reaching salary arbitration, free agency and a full pension outweighed the benefits of earning the minimum major league salary a year earlier. Any plan that would prevent anyone from reaching free agency before age 27 would not be popular within the union.“I don’t think fans understand the value of service time,” he said.In a service-based system, service time isn’t a bullet point the players seem willing to concede. Is there a simple fix, or is this conflict the substance of a potential work stoppage?One player offered what seemed like a simple solution. It was less complicated than mine and it treated the disease: Reverse the order of the first 20 picks in the amateur draft. Playoff teams still draft in chronological order of elimination, from 21 to 30, but the team with the worst regular-season record drafts 20th. The team with the next-worst record drafts 19th.“So you’re incentivized to win all the way up to the end,” he said. “If you’re the 11th-best team, you get the first pick. And if you have the worst record, the lowest you can pick is 20th.” The race to the bottom would not be a race at all.If any sport could radically restructure its amateur draft, it’s baseball. Unlike hockey, basketball and sometimes football, the first overall pick is never expected to make an immediate impact. The draft itself is not a ratings machine for the league. It is less sacred and therefore, maybe, more negotiable.Ultimately, this is a debate for 2021, when the current Collective Bargaining Agreement expires. Maybe this is one step toward a solution.Eloy Jimenez, a Chicago White Sox outfield prospect, stands in the dugout before throwing out a ceremonial first pitch before a game between the White Sox and the Cleveland Indians last September in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

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Inside Conditions—Michael Vick, PETA and Iraq

first_imgAUBREY BRUCEI am angry, no, completely livid about the constant persecution of NFL quarterback Michael Vick.In December of 2007, Vick was convicted of his role in an illegal dog fighting ring. He was sentenced to 23 months in prison. He served his sentence, paid his “debt of humanity” not his debt to society because he didn’t then and still doesn’t owe society nothing, not one damn thing.A recent espn.com article written by Rich Cimini reported that, “Soon after signing a one-year contract [with the NY Jets] in March, a group in Cortland, NY—home of the Jets’ training camp—started an online petition to ban him from camp. It received more than 20,000 signatures. 20,000 signatures to ban a man from playing professional football?Now before Michael Vick was ever discovered or convicted in regard to “the mistreatment” of animals, one of the most prominent organizations trusted with ensuring the welfare of animals was allegedly operating its own animal genocide ring that was far more diabolical and self serving than the offenses allegedly committed by Michael Vick.last_img read more

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Dr Paul Wright: Drug-free sport is attainable

first_img UKAD being investigated We now hear that this same group is being investigated by a former assistant police chief constable in Britain, Mr Andy Ward. This investigation became necessary as a British newspaper, the Sunday Times, published a report that alleges that a British doctor, Mark Bonar, had claimed that he provided numerous athletes, including Premier League footballers, England cricketers and Tour de France cyclists with banned substances such as EPO growth hormones and steroids. Amazingly, the report also indicates that UKAD was given information about the activities some two years ago by an athlete who was trying to reduce possible sanction after failing to submit to a drug test when called upon to do so. This whistle-blower even provided signed prescriptions for banned substances signed by the doctor, but alleges that UKAD refused to probe further, claiming that the accused physician was not associated with any organised sport. Yes, UKAD, the same organisation selected to lead the fight against doping in sports leading up to the Summer Olympics this year! Icons protected It appears that anti-doping organisations around the world have very little interest in finding and announcing positive drug test results for the so-called icons of sports. We now know that credentials and expertise in anti-doping could also mean very little when a nation’s credibility is at stake. Lord Coe lamented publicly his disappointment at the absence of Russia from the World Indoor Championships, as he simultaneously held out hope that Russia could still send athletes to the Rio Olympics. Kenya had dates for compliance with World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) directives repeatedly postponed seemingly in a desperate effort to have them compete in Rio. The announcement that Ethiopia, Morocco, Ukraine, and Belarus are all on a list of countries not fully compliant with WADA’s anti-doping code was quickly followed by assurances that these countries were not banned from competing in the Olympics. The obvious question is: ‘What on earth is going on?’ The call from British athlete, Paula Radcliffe, for drug testers to be allowed visa-free entry to countries where independent testing is scheduled (as the issuance of a visa will alert cheaters that the tester is coming) has not received any support from the authorities, including the new head of the medical and anti-doping commission of the IAAF, South African Harold Adams, who replaced Gabriel Dolle, who is now banned for bribing athletes to conceal positive results. The answer to clean sports will only be achieved when those previously present when corruption was rife are removed and the selection of their replacements be removed from government appointees. Drug-free sport is attainable. All that is needed is the will to make sports drug-free. Athletics remains the number one watched sport in the Olympics. This fact will be questioned as the fans of the sport watch the build-up to the Summer Olympics in Rio, Brazil this year. Doping scandal after doping scandal has left some of the fans wondering ‘just who is clean’. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has announced that the Swedish runner, Abeba Aregawi, has tested positive for the performance-enhancing substance meldonium and is provisionally banned from competition. Aregawi was the Ethiopia World indoor 1500-metre champion who switched allegiance to Sweden after the 2012 Olympics. Her ‘excuse’ for the positive test is that she was given tablets by a doctor in Ethiopia that she thought was vitamins! Thanks to whistle-blowers, we now know that doctors, coaches, drug testers and even those in charge of Anti-Doping Commissions have aided and abetted cheating in the sport of athletics. The present head of the IAAF, Lord Sebastian Coe, is facing mounting criticism as he tries to clean up a sport that now seems destined for life support as major sponsors withdraw their support. The United Kingdom Anti-Doping organisation (UKAD) was recently named as the body to oversee the anti-doping programme in Russia, and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) appointed UKAD as the secretariat for the task force that will coordinate the fight against doping in the build-up to this summer’s Olympics.last_img read more

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