I have to admit I thought Melky Cabrera was just a relatively expensive mistake by the Blue Jays. Nuggets Jerseys China . The organization gambled that Cabrera could bounce back from last years PED suspension and be a credible bat, and left fielder hitting near the top of the order. When he struggled, we looked at each other knowingly saying this was simply a guy, who couldnt do it anymore without the "Juice". Cabrera looked achingly slow in the outfield, unable to cut off balls hit into the gap, and get to them quickly when they were driven into the corner. He had a litany of knee, leg muscle and ankle problems and finally shut it down on August 1st. You had to wonder, if the Jays were going to waive him in the off-season and effectively eat the final year of his contract or if Cabrera might even retire. Either way, it looked as though he was done as a member of the Blue Jays. Then the real story, the more concerning story came out over the weekend. Melky had been playing for months with back pain, and hadnt told anyone, trying to play through the agony. Finally on a visit, to his own personal doctor, it was discovered Melky had a benign tumour on his spine. It was pressing on the nerves and was causing general leg weakness. Melky underwent successful surgery and should be ready for spring training. While, this might not explain every aspect of why Cabreras game faltered this season, it certainly qualifies him for another chance. This story reminds me very much of one of the most dominating right handers of his generation. James Rodney Richard, or J.R. as we knew him, was a giant of a man at 68 and 222 pounds. He was the number two overall pick of the Houston Astros in 1969. He was a slow, but steady developer, going 23-16 over his first five seasons, before it all clicked for the intimidating power pitcher. Over a four year span between 1976 and 1979, he went 74-48 winning 20 games once and 18 games three times. In 1979, he set an Astros club record with 313 strikeouts that still stands. Over 221 career starts Richard had 76 complete games and 19 shutouts. However, that would-be Hall of Fame career came to a crashing halt in 1980. J.R. got off to an incredible start that season, winning five straight and striking out 48 over that span. At one point he pitched three straight shutouts. As the season wore on though, it was clear something was wrong as Richard complained of various arm and back troubles. No-one was buying, some members of the media thought the pressure of playing for an Astros team with high expectations was too much for Richard to handle. Others felt he was jealous of a big contract given to his new free-agent teammate Nolan Ryan. In any event, he kept going. In a game on July 14th against Atlanta, his condition worsened. He had trouble seeing the signs flashed by his catcher Alan Ashby and his right arm just wasnt functioning properly. Richard left that game in the 4th inning, saying his arm was dead, and he couldnt even manipulate his fingers to grasp a ball. It proved to be his final Major League game. He was placed on the 21-day disabled list and nine days later checked in to Methodist Hospital in Houston for a full battery of tests. Doctors found two sets of arteries in his arm were obstructed. But later tests found no problems with the arteries in his neck. On July 30, Richard went to a Chiropractor, who rotated his neck, to improve blood flow in his upper body. Later that day, while playing catch in the Astros pre-game warm-up, Richard suffered a full blown stroke. He had to undergo emergency surgery later that night to clear a blockage in an artery in his neck. Doctors discovered he had actually suffered three separate strokes. J.R Richard tried to mount a comeback the following season, but it never worked out. He didnt have the same strength or body control. Richards life spiraled out of control for a few years after that. Bad investments and two broken marriages left him destitute and at one point living penniless under a bridge. J.R Richard found salvation through the church and ultimately became a minister and motivational speaker who specialized in helping underprivileged youth. I guess the morale of this story if there is one, is try to make sure you know all the facts before you judge a players performance. Denver Nuggets Store . Hollis-Jefferson went 5-for-6 from the field and added six rebounds, while Stanley Jefferson contributed 14 points for the Wildcats, who used their trademark tough defense to dominate the games final 24 minutes and advance to Tuesdays winners bracket matchup with Kansas State. Custom Denver Nuggets Jerseys . INJURIES - Cardinals 1B Matt Adams has been put on the DL with calf tightness, resulting in some lineup shifting, with Allen Craig moving from right field to first base, so that the Cardinals could bring up top prospect Oscar Taveras, who was the No.(SportsNetwork.com) - The Carolina Panthers didnt win a football game for over eight weeks at one point this season and now they are set to host a wild- card playoff game as the favorite. Such is life in the war of attrition that is the NFL. The NFC South champions will open up the NFL postseason on Saturday against an 11-win Arizona team that will be relying on its third-string quarterback Ryan Lindley. Despite ping-ponging from Carson Palmer to Drew Stanton back to Palmer and back to Stanton before Lindley due to injuries the Cardinals tied a franchise record with the 11 victories and have won 21 total games in their first two seasons under the likely NFL Coach of the Year, Bruce Arians. Arizona has also won four of its past six postseason games, including a 33-13 win at Carolina on Jan. 10, 2009 in the divisional round, the only prior matchup between these teams in the playoffs. Its a whole new season now, Arians said. Were all 0-0 and were in the tournament. Were going to get ready for this playoff game. Were not planning on being one-and-done. Few ever plan to be one-and-done but the Cardinals have an uphill battle in trying to avoid that fate. Arizona comes in having lost two in a row, including a 20-17 Week 17 loss at the 49ers in what turned out to be Jim Harbaughs final game as San Franciscos head coach. Lindley did throw his first two career touchdown passes to Michael Floyd in the setback and completed 23-of-39 passes for a career-high 316 yards but he also was picked off three times. Floyd, meanwhile, made eight catches for 153 yards and Kerwynn Williams ran it 17 times for 67 yards. Its a loss and no one wants to lose in the NFL, but I think we gained some confidence, said Lindley. We ran the ball a lot better this week. We did a great job of pass protection ... Floyd had a great day. Despite their less-than-stellar record, the Panthers enter the tournament red hot, having won four straight while outscoring opponents 111-43 over that span. Under head coach Ron Rivera, Carolina became the first team to win back-to- back NFC South division titles after a dominating 34-3 winner-take-all road win at Atlanta last weekend. In the month of December, the Panthers formula for turning things around was running the football coupled with stingy defense, ranking second in the NFL in both rushing offense (199.3 yards per game) and points allowed (10.8 points per game) during the month. We put ourselves in this position by playing the way we did in December, Rivera said. Weve won the NFC South two years in a row and thats something to build on as we move forward as a football team. Against the Falcons, Carolina returned two Matt Ryan interceptions for touchdowns and scored a total of 21 points off three turnovers. The Panthers defense harassed Ryan all day, piling up six sacks and hurrying the veteran QB into uncharacteristic mistakes, resulting in an overthrown pass that was returned 31 yards for a touchdown by Roman Harper in the second quarter. Later in the third quarter, an underthrown pass was picked by Tre Boston and returned 84 yards to put the game out of reach. They played the way you need to play in these types of situations, said Ryan. They executed at a high level and we did not, across the board. Cam Newton didnt have to do much against the Falcons, and finished with 114 yards passing and a touchdown while adding 51 yards on the ground, including a 4-yard touchdown scramble after an Atlanta fumble in the first half. This game meant so much to, not only myself, but my teammates, said Newton. We were playing for so much. We did a lot that a lot of people didnt expect us to do. Jonathan Stewart carried the ball 13 times for 49 yards while starting again in place of DeAngelo Williams, who sat for the fourth straight game with a broken hand. Carolina leads its all-time series with the Cards by an 8-5 margin, including the prior postseason loss. In the playoffs as a whole the Panthers are 6-5 all-time while the Cardinals are under water at 6-7. The winner this week will advance to face either top-seeded Seattle or No. 2 Green Bay in the divisional round. If Dallas beats Detroit on Sunday, the winner will play at the Seahawks. If Detroit wins, the winner travels to Green Bay. WHAT TO WATCH FOR If you are wondering why Arians is the odds on favorite to win his second Coach of the Year award, consider this: Injuries have been an issue for Arizona dating all the way back to training camp when star defensive tackle Darnell Dockett was lost for the season to a knee injury. When you add it all up, the Cards have been without 21 different players at some point this season and that group has missed a collective 109 games. Add in suspended star linebacker Daryl Washington and those numbers jump to 22 and 125. The health at the quarterback position has been particularly troubling. Palmer has missed 10 games, first with a nerve issue in his shoulder before a season-ending ACL tear. His backup, Stanton, then went down with a knee injury of his own, which has been complicated by an infection. Palmer won all six of his starts this season aand 13 of 15 dating back to 2013 so this is a completely different club with him under center, one that was on its way to earning the top seed in the conference. Cheap Nuggets Jerseys. . Without Palmer or Stanton, Arizonas big-play defense will have to carry the day if the team hopes to leave the Tar Heel State with a win. Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles is getting a lot of bites as a head-coaching candidate because he has cobbled together a solid unit despite the absence of stalwarts like Washington, Dockett and John Abraham (concussion issues.) The group isnt that great on paper, ranked 24th in the NFL by allowing 368.2 yards per game, but it does force the issue as evidenced by the teams plus-8 turnover ratio, which is third in the NFC. Talented cornerbacks Patrick Peterson and Antonio Cromartie are prone to taking chances but can shift momentum at any time with their impressive man- to-man coverage skills. The Cardinals defense had 18 total interceptions in the regular season with four players snaring three-or-more, safety Rashad Johnson (four) and Cromartie, Peterson and fellow corner Jerraus Powers with three apiece. The Panthers offense is the definition of mediocre, 16th in a 32-team league at 346.7 ypg but they have some real threats in rookie receiver Kelvin Benjamin as well as star tight end Greg Olsen, who both finished with over 1,000 receiving yards. Carolina could also get a boost in the backfield with the potential return of Williams from the broken hand. The veteran was actually probable last week but was deactivated because he was deemed a liability in pass protection. Stewart, meanwhile, has been solid in his absence, rushing for 486 yards since Williams was forced to the sideline. (Williams is a) part of why we are where we are today, Rivera said. When hes healthy and ready to go hell get his opportunities to get on the field. Arians, meanwhile, is very concerned with the dual threat Newton brings to the table, calling him tougher to defend than other QBs who have a similar skill set like Seattles Russell Wilson and the Niners Colin Kaepernick. He presents different problems than Colin and Russell, Arians said. Hes more of a combination of both those guys. He can really throw the football extremely well from the pocket. It presents a multitude of problems for us. The Panthers wont be having those same problems. There is no other way to say it than other than Arizona is behind the 8-ball on offense with Lindley, who simply isnt a competent starter at this level. Conversely the Panthers defense has been hitting its stride lately and finished the season 10th overall (339.8 ypg) after the strong December. Without the exiled Greg Hardy, linebackers Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis are the unquestioned difference makers. The All-Pro Kuechly led NFL with 153 tackles and also leads with 473 stops since entering the league in 2012. His running mate, Davis, is almost as productive, finishing second on the club in tackles with 100. In Hardys absence. Charles Johnson has taken over as the units best pass rusher with 8 1/2 sacks, his fifth consecutive season with eight-or-more QB takedowns. The consistent Johnson is the only NFC player with 50-or-more sacks (52 1/2) and 13-or-more forced fumbled (13) since 2010. The defensive backfield is headlined by Harper, who led the team with a career-high four interceptions, but really took off when rookies Boston, Harpers running mate at safety, and cornerback Bene Benwikere entered the lineup. We were trying to find answers as a coaching staff, the right combination of guys -- and we found it, Rivera said when discussing his rookies. With all three levels hitting on all cylinders in December the group has limited opposing quarterbacks to a 64.6 passer rating -- second only to the Seahawks dominant defense. Lindley, meanwhile, is 1-5 as a starter as a professional and had thrown an NFL-record 229 pass attempts without a touchdown before finding Floyd on a gimmick flea-flicker play last week. It was good to get the monkey off my back a little bit, Lindley said. The real hope, though, is that Stanton could make the miracle recovery and be under center by Saturday. Hes progressing and nothings really changed, Arians admitted when asked about Stanton. Weve got our fingers crossed that possibly he could go later in the week. OVERALL ANALYSIS Since 1936, no team has scored fewer points than Arizona over the final six games and still made the playoffs. The Cardinals have continually called Stantons knee injury a sprain. In reality, though, it was a partially torn ACL and a Grade 2 MCL sprain further exacerbated by an infection which had to be drained. Hes not walking through that door at Bank of America Stadium on Saturday to save Arizona. Carolina, though, is bringing what has been the second best defense in football over the past month. It tells you that no matter what you do during the regular season, it just doesnt matter, Stewart said of his teams renewed optimism. Things amp up to a whole different notch in the playoffs. Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Panthers 21, Cardinals 17 ' ' '
6 déc. 2019
Liverpool have accepted a bid from Bournemouth for Australia international Brad Smith, according to Sky sources. Air Max 90 Outlet Italia . The 22-year-old left-back was on Liverpools tour of the United States, but will now return to England to hold talks with Bournemouth over a move to the Vitality Stadium. If terms can be agreed, Smith will become the second player to leave Liverpool for Bournemouth this summer following Jordon Ibes club record £15m switch to the south coast. Smith (L) in action for Australia against England Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has been busy adding to his squad ahead of the new season and has already secured the services of Ibe, Nathan Ake, Emerson Hyndman, Lys Mousset and Lewis Cook. Smith, capped nine times by Australia, made his Liverpool debut in December 2013, coming on as a second-half substitute in the 2-1 defeat away at Chelsea. Play Fantasy Football Create a Sky Sports Fantasy Football league to take on your mates for free or for money…. He spent time on loan at Sky Bet League One side Swindon Town, featuring 10 times during a short loan spell at the County Ground in 2014/15. Smith made 10 appearances for Liverpool last season, scoring in the 2-2 FA Cup third round draw at Exeter in January. Also See: Friendlies: Ibe on target Howe: Sam the right man Watch Saturdays pre-season goals Ibe seals ￡15m Bournemouth move Air Jordan 1 Offerte . Bryant underwent an operation in December to correct an irregular heartbeat. His season ended with four games left because of a rapid heartbeat, a condition he has known about for several years and had been treated for in the past. Air Max 90 False .com) - The Winnipeg Jets placed defenceman Paul Postma on injured reserve Tuesday.BRASILIA, Brazil - Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski knocked Antonio Silva out on Saturday in the first round of the main event of UFC Fight Night: Bigfoot vs. Arlovski 2.Arlovski (23-10) received heavy criticism for a lacklustre win over Brendan Schaub in June. On Saturday night, he silenced his doubters, at least for now.Silva (18-6) looked a little tentative to start, as he took the centre of the octagon but was reluctant to move forward, instead preferring to keep his hands high and seek a counter. Arlovski approached with caution to open, but once he realized Silva was holding back, he opened up with darting right hands to the head and body. It would be the punch that would ultimately prove the decider.Late in the first, Arlovski fired the big overhand, and it landed flush, sending the massive Silva to the floor. Arlovski immediately seized the opportunity, pouncing with big hammerfists that put Silva out at the 2:59 mark of the opening round.Silva — who goes by the nickname Bigfoot — defeated Arlovski in 2010 when both fought for the Strikeforce promotion.I am very excited and happy now, Arlovski said after the win. And I really want the extra $50,000 on my paycheck.Arlovski is now 2-0 in the UFC since rejoining the promotion after six years fighting outside of the octagon, and he did pick up a $50,000 bonus for one the cards two Performance of the Night awards, as well.In the nights co-main event, massive Brazilian lightweight Gleison Tibau earned a hard-fought split-decision win over Polish prospect Piotr Hallmann.Tibau looked destined to finish the fight in the early going, rocking Hallmann with a high kick and several powerful punches. But the gritty Hallmann refused to be put away, battling back throughout the 15-minute affair with punches and kicks of his own.Tibau seemed to control the action throughout all three rounds, taking the fight to the floor when he wanted and remaining upright when Hallmann tried to do the same. Ultra Boost Scontate Outlet . . Tibaus blows always seemed to land with more consequence, as well, though a few Hallmann knees did draw blood late in the third.The bout was back-and-forth, but Tibau stayed just a step ahead, and while it looked like he had done enough to comfortable score a decision win, he had to sweat through a split result before picking up the win.It wasnt the result I wanted, Tibau admitted after the fight. I won the fight, but I wanted the knockout. But Im happy because I think Hallmann made my win better because he was really tough.Tibaus 23 UFC appearances are now tied for fourth-most all-time.In a lightweight matchup, The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 2 winner Leonardo Santos (13-3) picked up a hard-fought decision win over The Ultimate Fighter 8 winner Efrain Escudero (22-9).Santos, a jiu-jitsu world champion, controlled the opening round, taking Escudero to the floor and looking for submission opportunities. The tables turned in the second, with Santos seeming to fade as Escudero defending his takedown attempts and landing uppercuts and overhands on the feet. With the fight on the line in the third round, Escudero looked crisp to start, but it was Santos ultimately imposed his will.Santos scored a well-timed takedown and then dominated the positioning for most of the final frame. While Escudero defended his submission well, he was unable to get back to his feet, and Santos was granted the unanimous decision win.He won the second round, and I know it, but I dominated the first and third rounds, Santos said after the win. He is a very tough and experienced guy, so I had to look for flaws in his game. But I found it and won the fight. ' ' '