Motorist dies in road crash

first_imgAccording to police investigators, DeDios was homebound from work when he accidentally overlapped in a curved partof the road and fell around 5:45 p.m. on March 17. The 55-year-old Joselito De Dios ofBarangay San Jose, Binalbagan died of head and body injuries, police said. He was rushed to the Ignacio LacsonArroyo Memorial District Hospital in Isabela where the attending physiciandeclared him as “dead on arrival.”/PNcenter_img BACOLOD City – He lost control of themotorcycle he was riding in Barangay Tinongan, Isabela, Negros Occidental.last_img

Wood blasts O’Driscoll axing

first_img And the two-times Lions tourist also accused Gatland of failing to respect the tradition of the combined home nations representative side. “I’ve been uncomfortable throughout this tour whenever Warren Gatland has spoken about the captaincy,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live. “He tries to depower it, he consistently says it isn’t about leadership and that isn’t the most important thing. Having been on two Lions tours myself under (former England skipper) Martin Johnson, I would have said the leadership of the captain was the most important thing. “Brian O’Driscoll has been quiet in the two Tests but at every stage, he has been the clarion call once Paul O’Connell got injured. I just think Gatland has made a terrible mistake.” O’Driscoll was widely seen as the favourite to captain the side in Saturday’s third Test in Sydney, with Paul O’Connell and Sam Warburton both injured. But the 125-cap Ireland international was not even included in the 23-man matchday squad as Jamie Roberts and Jonathan Davies were paired at centre as two of the 10 Wales players in the starting line-up, with England’s Manu Tuilagi on the bench. Wales lock Alun-Wyn Jones will instead lead the side and Wood feels his former international colleague’s leadership will be missed. The fit-again Roberts will be central to a physical approach at ANZ Stadium and Wood, who won 58 Ireland caps at hooker, is upset at the lack of a “spark” in the tourists’ game. “It’s entirely built around power,” he said. “A huge amount rests on Jamie Roberts’ shoulders and they were crying out for him in the last two weeks. I just think Brian’s subtlety off him would have worked. You can say (Gatland is) picking on form but he’s picked an unbelievably direct team with very little guile in it, specifically to play this game plan.” Press Associationcenter_img Former Ireland captain Keith Wood believes Warren Gatland has “made a terrible mistake” by leaving Brian O’Driscoll out of the British and Irish Lions’ deciding Test against Australia.last_img read more

Everton’s Romelu Lukaku haunts former club West Brom

first_imgRomelu Lukaku inspired Everton to a stunning fightback at West Brom as the Toffees recovered from 2-0 down to win 3-2. Mori had enjoyed a untroubled half but imploded when he lost the ball near the halfway line after trying to run out of defence. It found Morrison and his excellent throughball for Berahino saw the striker slip in a low shot via Tim Howard’s leg. It was the striker’s second goal since returning to the starting line-up following his deadline day strike threat and underlined why the Baggies were so determined to keep him away from Tottenham. Buoyed, James McClean fired over immediately after the restart and Mori escaped a penalty shout after pushing over Salomon Rondon. Darren Fletcher then had a header turned needlessly wide by Howard after 54 minutes and Albion doubled their lead from the resulting corner. Phil Jagielka and Barkley got themselves in a mess trying to pick up Dawson and Jonny Evans which allowed Dawson to nod in Chris Brunt’s deep delivery. Instantly, though, Everton hit back when Lukaku headed Deulofeu’s cross past Boaz Myhill. With that the game turned even if Everton’s desperation was growing and James McCarthy was booked for an awful dive in the box with 20 minutes left. Yet Kone levelled four minutes later – and just three minutes after coming on. Again, Lukaku did brilliantly on the edge of the box to spot Kone’s run and threaded the ball through to the former Wigan forward, who was just onside, to drill past Myhill. The Baggies were shellshocked and former Chelsea striker Lukaku was not finished as he wrapped up Everton’s comeback with six minutes left. There was a hint of handball when he met Deulofeu’s cross by splitting Dawson and James Chester but with Myhill slow to react Lukaku smashed in from close range to win it. TWEET OF THE MATCH “@TonyBellew: Romelu Lukaku take a bow!! #EFC” – Boxer and Everton fan Tony Bellew was impressed with Lukaku’s performance. RATINGS West Brom: Boaz Myhill: 6 (out of 10) Craig Dawson: 7 Jonny Evans: 6 Jonas Olsson: 6 Chris Brunt: 6 Claudio Yacob: 6 James McClean: 6 James Morrison: 7 Darren Fletcher: 7 Saido Berahino: 7 Salomon Rondon: 6 Subs: James Chester: 6 Craig Gardner: 6 Rickie Lambert: 6 Everton: Tim Howard: 6 Tyias Browning: 7 Phil Jagielka: 6 Ramiro Funes Mori: 5 Brendan Galloway: 6 Gareth Barry: 6 James McCarthy: 6 Steven Naismith: 7 Ross Barkley: 6 Gerard Deulofeu: 8 Romelu Lukaku: 8 Subs: Darron Gibson: 6 Arouna Kone: 7 Aaron Lennon: 6 STAR MAN: Romelu Lukaku The striker inspired Everton to a comeback which few saw coming during a poor first 55 minutes at The Hawthorns. The visitors struggled to spark in the first half and looked dead and buried after Craig Dawson made it 2-0. But Lukaku, against his former loan club, showed his class to make it six goals for the season and rescue the visitors. His assist for Arouna Kone’s equaliser showed brilliant vision and he was deadly in front of goal when it mattered. MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Few could have predicted the late drama following a first half which lacked tempo until Saido Berahino’s opener. But Lukaku proved the difference between the sides when he slammed in the winner with just six minutes left, to complete Everton’s comeback. He had already produced a fine header to pull a goal back and then a cute pass to set up Kone’s equaliser on 75 minutes. West Brom will be disappointed at the nature of the goal, with Boaz Myhill perhaps too slow to react, but the Toffees will not care one bit. MOAN OF THE MATCH: Tony Pulis will be wondering how West Brom blew their 2-0 lead to leave them winless at home in the Barclays Premier League this season. The Baggies looked on course for a comfortable win after Berahino and Craig Dawson had put the hosts in charge. Albion’s usually reliable defence faltered under the threat of Lukaku in the second half, while previously they had kept 14 clean sheets in 24 league games. VIEW FROM THE BENCH: Roberto Martinez was staring defeat in the face when his Everton side fell 2-0 behind before their remarkable comeback. Kone scored just over three minutes after coming on as the Toffees changes made a late difference. But Martinez can rely on Lukaku to make the difference as the striker showed his manager what he is capable of. The Baggies had struggled for goals this season, scoring just four prior to this game, and Tony Pulis will be furious they squandered a comfortable lead. WHO’S UP NEXT Crystal Palace v West Brom (Premier League, Saturday October 3) Everton v Liverpool (Premier League, Sunday October 4) Everton manager Roberto Martinez told Sky Sports: “[We showed] incredible character to come back and get a win. “We had to show a lot of character, a lot of desire, to improve. The first-half performance wasn’t anywhere near our level. [But] we never gave up and we found a way to get back into it. “To score three goals in open play against West Brom speaks volumes of the quality of our play in the second half. “We’ve got a very good squad, we’ve got really good options. [Substitute and goalscorer] Arouna Kone brought a different problem straight away and we took advantage of that confusion.” His West Brom counterpart Tony Pulis added: “We get the second goal and all we have to do is sit tight and be nice and solid for 10 minutes and the game would settle down again. Unfortunately we then give a soft goal [away]. “I think the second goal is offside, I don’t know what the linesman’s doing stooping down and looking inside [Chris] Brunt. He should be stooping down and looking outside Brunt. I’d like to know what he was up to then. “The defending of set plays was awful. We were still celebrating. You have to take the sting out of the game and we didn’t do that. “It’s really, really disappointing because we had the game in our hands and we’ve given it to Everton.” The 22-year-old scored 17 goals during an impressive loan spell at Albion from Chelsea in 2012-13 and ignited Everton’s challenge with Kone’s impact also crucial, the forward scoring within three minutes of coming on as a second-half substitute. It was the first time Everton had come back to win a game in the Barclays Premier League since May 1994 – when they beat Wimbledon 3-2 to stay in the top flight. There was little hint of the drama to come, which left Albion winless at home in the Premier League this season, during a wretched and instantly forgettable first half which was only lit up by Berahino’s opener. Without the sidelined John Stones, out with a knee injury, Ramiro Funes Mori stepped in for his full league debut but the Everton defender was at fault for Albion’s first goal after a dull first 25 minutes. Only the visitors created a clear cut chance before the hosts struck when Ross Barkley blew his lines from eight yards after 29 minutes. The England midfielder started the move with a neat dummy before the ball was worked to Gerard Deulofeu on the right. His fine low pass dissected the Albion defence only for an on-rushing Barkley to wretchedly miscue his shot wide. It was a horrible miss and one which the Toffees would pay for when the Baggies opened the scoring four minutes before the break. Press Association The former Baggies striker scored twice and set up Arouna Kone as the visitors scored twice in the final 15 minutes to steal the points. Saido Berahino and Craig Dawson had put the Baggies 2-0 ahead but Lukaku hit back immediately after Dawson’s header nine minutes after the break. last_img read more

John Whitaker presses Rio 2016 credentials in Liverpool

first_img Press Association British star John Whitaker made a blistering start to the inaugural Equestrian.com Liverpool International Horse Show as he announced his Rio Olympics credentials in style. Writing on his Facebook page, Hanley said: “It is with unbelievable sadness I let you know that my partner Antello had to be put down today due to an injury sustained in the ring. “He was such a fighter and he never quit. I had some of my best days in the ring with him. He brought me, and those of us who were lucky enough to work with him, so much happiness.” In a statement, show organisers said: “Organisers of the Equestrian.com Liverpool International Horse Show announce with a sense of deep regret and profound sadness that the 13-year-old bay gelding Antello Z has been put to sleep. “The horse received expert on-site veterinary assessment and care. “The rider was uninjured.” And show president Nina Barbour added: “We offer our heartfelt and sincere condolences to Cameron, his support team, the Hanley family and all connections of a truly wonderful horse.” Whitaker, meanwhile, thrilled a bumper crowd by winning the accumulator class and claiming runners-up spot behind recent Olympia World Cup winner Emanuele Gaudiano in the 1.45 metre two-phase competition. And his performance served immediate notice that he means business at the launch of Rio Olympics year, with 60-year-old Whitaker hoping to put himself in contention for a possible sixth Games appearance. But the opening day was shrouded in sadness following the death of Irish rider Cameron Hanley’s horse Antello Z. The 13-year-old bay gelding hesitated before taking off at a fence in Friday’s 1.45m two-phase international class at Liverpool Echo Arena, and then stumbled on landing. The accumulator, sponsored by Equiline/Fearns Farm Partnership – where riders score points for fences jumped – has a maximum 65 points available, including the invaluable joker fence, and Whitaker showed his rivals a clean pair of heels. His maximum score in a time of 43.82 seconds aboard Echo of Light ensured a comfortable victory, with Belgium’s Wilm Vermeir finishing second on Hacienda d’Eversem, while William Whitaker was third aboard Fandango. “I was second last to go, so I knew what I had to do,” Whitaker said. “If you go really fast in a class like that, you are going to knock the planks down. It’s a fine line between going quickly enough and keeping your control to jump the last plank. “Once I jumped one or two, he felt quite relaxed and I knew I was away, so I went for it.” Gaudiano earlier continued his rich vein of form just 12 days after winning the Longines FEI World Cup qualifier at Olympia in London. Riding Cocoshynsky, Gaudiano landed the two-phase class, sponsored by Harthill Stud, in a jump-off time of 29.25 seconds, which proved just enough to edge out Whitaker, riding Lord of Arabia, and land a £6,000 first prize. “Lord of Arabia jumped well at Olympia, and he hasn’t jumped a fence since then, but he came out great today. I am very pleased,” Whitaker added. Dutch rider Johnny Pals, who left his home in Belgium at 5.45am on Friday for Liverpool, took the 1.50 metre jump-off class, sponsored by Crabbies Alcoholic Ginger Beer. Pals’ time of 34.72 seconds aboard Fernando denied a double British challenge from Robert Bevis (Courtney Z) and Robert Smith (Bavi), with those combinations having to be content with second and third, respectively. “It is a super horse,” Pals said. “I have had him for just over a year, and I really think he is my best horse ever.” last_img read more

UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Stunning Comeback as Man Utd Eliminate PSG…

first_imgOle Gunnar Solskjaer’s visitors got the perfect start thanks to Romelu Lukaku’s opportunist strike after two minutes, the Belgium striker latching on to Thilo Kehrer’s blind backpass and finding the net.PSG went 3-1 ahead on aggregate when Kylian Mbappe fed a pass to the unmarked Juan Bernat, who slotted home at the back post.The hosts then had a succession of chances, with makeshift right-back Eric Bailly enduring a torrid time in his 35 minutes on the pitch, before injury saw him replaced by Dalot.Unable to capitalise, PSG were punished when veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon spilled Rashford’s long-range shot and Lukaku converted United’s second.The game appeared to be petering out to its conclusion before Dalot fired the ball against the arm of the unfortunate Kimpembe, and after a long delay while the referee consulted his pitch-side monitor, Rashford’s ice-cool penalty sealed a remarkable winUnited were heading out at the last-16 stage for the second consecutive season when France defender Kimpembe’s block from Dalot’s shot deflected away for a corner.But before it could be taken Slovenian referee Damir Skomina consulted with the VAR before coming to the side of the pitch to review the incident on the monitor.Players waited anxiously on the pitch and Kimpembe slumped to the ground when the penalty was finally awarded, before Rashford stepped up to smash the ball high beyond the reach of Buffon.United had to survive until the game’s 100th minute before joyously celebrating a famous Champions League victory in front of their boisterous travelling support at the final whistle.Meanwhile it was great night as footballing idols descended on Parc des Princes for the all-important clashSir Alex Ferguson was chaperoned into the ground through a cordoned off area and took the time to pose for selfies with fans.The Manchester United legend was given a warm reception by those who had waited in the cold for his arrival.Former United left-back Patrice Evra was also in the entourage with Ferguson and offered a beaming smile upon arrival.And the French club rolled out the red carpet for Fergie, sitting him alongside former French president Nicolas Sarkozy.Evra was positioned in the United section and was seen sharing a joke with Paul Pogba and Gary Neville.Pogba was banned for the game having been sent off at the end of the first leg at Old Trafford.Eric Cantona was also pictured in the stands as well as France World Cup winner Emmanuel Petit, who took time out to interact with supporters.Neymar was another high profile onlooker and was seen up in the Gods as he continues to recover from his foot injury.The Brazil and PSG forward sat in the same area as Ninja, a professional Fortnite gamer who has more Twitter followers than Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe combined.No doubt Neymar would have been itching to get onto the pitch, particularly after watching his side concede two goals in the first half an hour.He then made his way down to the touchline after Marcus Rashford had scored the penalty to send United through on aggregate and watched on in anguish knowing that he will play no further part in the Champions League this year.RESULTSPSG 1-3 Man UtdPorto 3-1 RomaShare this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Marcus Rashford scored a nerveless injury-time penalty as Manchester United staged an incredible comeback to beat Paris St-Germain on away goals and reach the Champions League quarter-finals.Rashford thumped home the VAR-awarded spot-kick in the 94th minute after Diogo Dalot’s speculative shot struck Presnel Kimpembe on the arm.The odds were stacked against United in Paris, but they became the first team in Champions League and European Cup history, at the 107th time of asking, to overcome a 2-0 or greater home first-leg deficit. Marcus Rashford last_img read more

Roger Federer becomes first man to win 300 Grand Slam matches

first_imgMore than 16 years after Roger Federer played in his first Grand Slam event, he’s won his 300th match, becoming the first man to reach that mark. He now trails only Martina Navratilova, who won 306 matches at the highest level of tennis.Federer, 34, is currently ranked No. 3 in the world.”It’s very exciting, I must tell you. Like when I reached 1,000 [career match wins] last year, it was a big deal for me,” Federer said after his four-set win over world No. 28 Grigor Dimitrov at the Australian Open on Friday. “Not something I ever aimed for or looked for, but when it happens, it’s very special.”The 300-win mark is yet another milestone in Federer’s career. Two other records he holds show that he put those wins to good use: 17 Grand Slam tournaments won and 27 finals reached. Federer is one of seven male players who have won all four Grand Slam events.Those 300 wins include two record stretches in which Federer was unbeatable — whether in majors or other tournaments. In one span from 2003-2008, he won 65 times in a row on grass; in another from 2005-2006, he won 56 straight matches on hardcourts.Federer is now the oldest man to reach the Australian Open’s fourth round since Andre Agassi did it in 2005. And today’s win led him to look back on the early days of his career — including the need to make mistakes. “I wish I could have maybe been tougher when I was younger in practice, but I guess that’s just how it needed to be. It needed to be genius or horrible,” he said, according to the tournament’s website. “I needed to have that wide spectrum. I needed to make mistakes to become the player I am today. In a way I would do it again the same way, with just some minor adjustments along the way.”–last_img read more

Joy Sports’ Africa focus: Egypt’s tactics decoded

first_imgAt Joy Sports, we hope the five African teams in Russia will do exceptionally well, which is why we are spending a little bit more time on them.Beginning with Egypt, we’ll provide in-depth tactical analyses on the quintet. Let’s go!Egypt topped their World Cup qualifying group with four wins and a draw, they lost once during their campaign. They also scored eight goals and conceded four in qualifying. The Pharaohs are winless in four of their warm-up matches against Portugal, Greece, Kuwait and Colombia.Let’s take a look at what Hector Cuper’s well-drilled Egypt side have to offer in the 2018 FIFA World Cup.System & Style Argentine Hector Cuper is a vastly experienced coach; spells at European heavyweights such as Inter Milan and Valencia highlight a successful coaching career. Cuper quickly earned a place as a national hero in Egypt; leading the Pharaohs to their first World Cup since 1990, just two years after taking charge in March 2015.Widely known for his defensive inclinations, Cuper drills his team to be very organized on the pitch. The Argentine’s go-to formation is the 4-2-3-1, with two defensive midfielders protecting the back four. In attack, he usually fields three attacking midfielders behind a lone striker. He has tinkered with a 4-4-2 diamond recently, but we will assume he sticks to the system that got him to the World Cup.Egypt’s game plan is based around a solid defensive approach to keep out the opposition before finding attackers in the final third using long-balls. Egypt use the strength and aerial prowess of Ahmed Hassan to win balls and lay it off to the attacking midfielders including Salah, who has the pace and ability to trouble opposition defences. System Strengths:The most obvious one is how hard it is to break down. In Cuper’s 33 games in charge, Egypt only conceded more than one goal on two occasions and have conceded a total of 18 goals. This is an average of 0.56 goals per game, which illustrates how well drilled they are in defending. In the 4-2-3-1 ,the two holding midfielders, Mohamed Elneny and Tarek Hamed, sit and shield a back four of Ahmed Fathi, Ali Gabr, Ahmed Hegazi and Mohamed Abdel-Shafy. The team sits deep and defends with two banks of four with two forwards closing down the opponent. Cuper’s side leave opponents with little space to attack.  Egypt also possess a very dynamic frontline; Mohamed Salah, Ahmed Hassan and Trezeguet offer very fluid movement which means they will always be a threat. Egypt do not commit many players forward, so their front three along with playmaker Abdallah Said, make sure they create high-quality chances in the final third. Salah’s superb movement in the final third coupled with Ahmed Hassan’s threat inside the box and Trezeguet’s quick feet pose a threat to defenders. The most important thing about Egypt’s frontline is their off-the-ball movement; they are constantly working and closing down to help out their defence, a key quality to have in tournament football.System Weaknesses:At times, Egypt’s gameplan is a little bit too direct. The Pharaohs have not been blessed with a quality creative midfielder since Mohamed Aboutrika. Thus, Cuper relies heavily on Mohamed Salah to create and finish chances.  Too often in matches, Egypt prefer to launch long balls into the final third for Ahmed Hassan and Mo Salah to chase down. This is a very risky tactic as they gift their opponents possession anytime their attackers cannot receive the long passes. This often means Hassan and Salah spend large parts of the game without touching the ball. Since Egypt do not commit many men forward when their long balls actually work, they find it difficult to create quality goalscoring chances even with Mo Salah in their attack. With only three or four men involved in attacks, they quickly get snuffed out and are easily put on the back foot. A peculiar weakness in Hector Cuper’s side is how they concede goals. Out of the 18 goals they have conceded under Cuper; 13 of them have come from crosses. A whopping 72% of the goals they concede are from crosses. A very odd statistic since the defensive partnership of Hegazi and Gabr has an average height of 1.95m. One of the reasons why they concede from crosses is because when the sit back and prevent opponents from attacking through the centre, the opposition go out wide. Their full backs Fathy and Abdel-Shafi are not that energetic or defensively sound enough to prevent crosses into the box. This weakness could be easily exploited if the opponents instruct their wingers to get to the byline and launch crosses into the box.SummaryEgypt may find it very hard to come by goals in Russia. Their defensive solidity will make it hard for their opponents to break them down. Recent friendlies against Portugal, Greece and Colombia tested the Pharoahs against stronger opposition. Although they did not beat those sides, the scorelines of 2-1,1-0 and 0-0 are very encouraging. Nevertheless, a fit Mohamed Salah will be key to any hopes of getting past the group stages. –Follow the World Cup with the Multimedia Group! With live English radio commentary on Joy 99.7 FM radio, Akan radio commentary on Asempa 94.7 FM and livestreaming on Myjoyonline.com, we’ve got you covered all-tournament long.last_img read more

Clippers trying to get back to last season’s form

first_imgRedick was mostly correct. The Clippers in 2013-14 averaged a league-high 107.9 points. They gave up 101, 14th-best in the league. This season, the Clippers are averaging only 100.7 points on offense, 16th in the league. They are allowing 101.7, 21st in the league.Perhaps the biggest difference is the point differential. The Clippers in 2013-14 were No. 2 in the NBA with a plus-6.9, behind only San Antonio (plus-7.8). This season, it’s negative 1.0. That’s bad enough for 19th in the NBA.Redick said the team is trying to get back to where it was a season ago. He admits it is not there at this point, but believes it can get there.“Every team is different,” said Redick, whose team plays host to the Phoenix Suns at 7:30 Saturday at Staples Center (on Prime Ticket). “Even with the same group of guys — or mostly the same — things change year to year.“But I think it’s realistic. I don’t know if we’ll play the exact same way, but my point is just the level of trust we had on both sides of the ball was great,” Redick said. “We were in position to win a championship. But we’re not there right now. That’s pretty obvious. But we can get back there.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error One thing about Clippers guard J.J. Redick, he’s not into diplomacy.That was evident Friday morning when he was asked to assess this season’s team comparesd with past season’s club, which won a franchise-best 57 games before losing to Oklahoma City in the Western Conference semifinals.“Just in general, we’re not very good on either side of the ball, so it’s not like we can rely on one thing right now,” Redick said of the current Clippers, who are an unsteady 4-3. “Our offense was No. 1 in efficiency last year. I don’t even want to know what we are this year.“Defensively, we were top 10; I don’t even want to know what we are this year. We’ve gotta be able to rely on something. We can’t right now.”center_img Rivers growing weary?Coach Doc Rivers is much more into diplomacy than Redick. But even he can’t hide from the numbers. He, too, assessed the difference a season has made — at least so far.“Oh, I don’t know,” Rivers said. “I mean, I thought in transition we were better (in 13-14). And I know everyone … because we’re 4-3, everyone’s focused on how we’re playing. I’m not that concerned about it. I do know we have to play at a better pace. I’ve been saying that all year.“Rebounding was a problem last year and it is this year again. We have some very good defensive rebounding numbers, but I think some of that is fool’s gold, in my opinion. And just the overall defense. So those are the three areas to me.”The Clippers are averaging a league-worst 35.7 rebounds. They are allowing 42.4. That differential of negative-6.7 is second-worst in the league behind Philadelphia’s negative-7.4. A season ago, the Clippers averaged 43 rebounds — tied for 13th — and allowed 43.7, a negative-0.7 differential.Scouting the SunsGuard Isaiah Thomas leads Phoenix (5-3 before Friday’s game against Charlotte) with a 17.4 scoring average and adds 4.1 assists.Forward Markieff Morris averages 15.1 points and guards Gerald Green, Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe are averaging 15.0, 14.9 and 13.8, respectively.Rivers said the Suns are tough to scout because of their guards.“You don’t know who’s going to be in there at the end of the game … so, they’re just lethal offensively and they’re solid defensively,” he said.last_img read more

Dodgers have questions, no manager as GM Meetings begin

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Regardless, the Dodgers want him to shed pounds from his listed weight of 255. “He has continued to get bigger and stronger each year,” Friedman said. “It may not be the optimal size for him to play 150-plus games.”Puig played 148 games in 2014 and only 79 games this year.Pederson was a model of good health. Only one Dodger (Adrian Gonzalez) had more plate appearances than Pederson’s 585. But he failed to adjust once the league figured out how to exploit his long swing. In his first 220 plate appearances, Pederson had a .267 batting average and 17 home runs. In his final 365, he batted .177 with nine home runs.“Both those guys (Pederson and Puig), you’re not asking them to change and become someone they’re not,” Friedman said. “It’s just getting back to what they were.”Grandal, 27, recently had surgery on his left shoulder and is expected to recover in time for spring training. After a strong start to the season, his offense faded along with his shoulder in August and September. He and backup A.J. Ellis finished with nearly identical batting lines (.238/.355/.403 for Ellis, .234/.353/.403 for Grandal). “Those are three big wild cards heading into the 2016 season,” Friedman said of Puig, Pederson and Grandal. “Being around them for a year, seeing their work ethic and what they put into it gives me optimism they will be contributors next year.”Will Pederson and Grandal be starters next year?“I don’t know yet,” Friedman said. “I expect both of them will be one of 13 in the position player group. I don’t know yet.”AlsoGreinke, Kendrick and Anderson all received qualifying offers last Friday — a standard one-year, $15.8 million contract for 2016. Friedman said he hadn’t heard back from any of them as of Monday afternoon. The deadline to respond is Friday. … Friedman said no coaches are under contract for 2016. … The Dodgers are “reaching out and having conversations” with candidates to replace Stan Conte, Friedman said. The Dodgers’ medical director and head athletic trainer resigned after the season. … Pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu, who missed all of 2015 following shoulder labrum surgery, remains on track to begin next season healthy, Friedman said. “We’ll be looking for a manager who can adapt to different personnel,” he said, “and someone who can appreciate the strengths of the guys on our roster at any given time and put them in the best position to succeed.”According to a source, Friedman will interview Chicago Cubs bench coach Dave Martinez during the meetings in Boca Raton, Fla., bringing the list of known candidates to nine.So, what about those guys on the roster?Friedman said he is counting on bounceback seasons from catcher Yasmani Grandal, center fielder Joc Pederson and right fielder Yasiel Puig, all of whom struggled for various reasons in 2015.Puig, who turns 25 in December, spent more time nursing injuries to his hamstrings than he did on the field. He finished the season with a .255/.322/.436 slash line, along with 11 home runs and 38 RBIs. How much his timing at the plate was disrupted by two lengthy trips to the disabled list is debatable.center_img In one sense, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman entered the annual GM Meetings on Monday in a similar position as his peers. Acquiring pitching, particularly starting pitching, is his top priority. Friedman said Monday he likes his depth at Triple-A, but he might need to replace two-fifths of his rotation by the end of the week. Second base is the only other question mark on the field.In another sense, the Dodgers’ situation is unique. They’re the only major league team with no manager. With 36 players currently signed to the 40-man roster — no Zack Greinke, no Howie Kendrick, no Brett Anderson — the final product could look very different in 2016.For that reason, Friedman said, the new manager will need to be flexible.last_img read more

Fantasy Baseball Sleepers: 1B

first_imgDOMINATE YOUR DRAFT: Ultimate 2019 cheat sheet2019 Fantasy Baseball 1B SleepersEligibility based on Yahoo’s default settingsTyler White, Astros. White is an unexciting “sleeper” pick, especially at a strong position like 1B, but considering he started eight games at SS, 22 games at 3B, and 26 games at 2B last year in Triple-A, it’s possible he gains multi-position eligibility at some point this season. As it stands, the 28-year-old slugger is coming off a quietly solid 66-game showing with the big club last year, posting a .276/.354/.533 line with 12 HRs. Slated to DH, White could be a cheap source of 25-HR, 85-RBI production assuming he doesn’t fall into a platoon.Jake Bauers, Indians. The 23-year-old lefty was shipped to Cleveland this offseason from Tampa, where he slogged his way through a .201/.316/.384 line during his 96-game rookie season. Bauers was a high-walk, modest-K guy in the minors, and over the past three seasons (135 games at Double-A, 184 games at Triple-A, 96 games in the majors), he’s averaged 14.3 HRs and 15.3 SBs in 138.3 games. Given his age and new (very) lefty-friendly park, Bauers should see an uptick in power, making him a 20/20 threat a position that rarely sees that kind of production. Obviously, you’d like more homers from your 1B, but Bauers’ SB-upside makes him a potentially valuable commodity. He’s also OF-eligible, which never hurts. 2019 Fantasy Baseball Rankings:Catcher | First | Second | Third | Short | Outfield | Starter | Reliever | Top 300Ronald Guzman, Rangers. There isn’t much in Guzman’s profile that suggests he’s going to have a big breakout campaign, but a 6-5, 225-pound, 24-year-old lefty who plays in Texas is always worth a second look. Guzman hit 16 homers in his 123-game rookie campaign last year, and he should have an everyday job to open the season unless Willie Calhoun forces his way into the lineup. Guzman wasn’t a big strikeout guy in the minors, which suggests his 28.3 K-rate last season will come down. If nothing else, he’s a worth a late-round flier in leagues that have a corner infield spot.Peter Alonso, Mets. The 24-year-old slugger is the Mets top prospect, and he hit an impressive 36 HRs between Double-A and Triple-A last year. Given his age, it would be nice to see him cut down on the strikeouts, but he walks a lot and will be a solid run producer with everyday at-bats. With 33-year-old Todd Frazier at 1B and 34-year-old Jed Lowrie at 3B — both of whom can play multiple infield positions — it seems likely Alonso will get called up relatively early. (Update: Alonso is now expected to start the year in the majors.) Once he does, be ready to pounce if he’s available in your league.2019 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers:Catcher | Second | Third | Short | Outfield | Starter | Each teamRyan O’Hearn, Royals. O’Hearn crushed the ball during his 44-game stint in the majors last year, blasting 12 HRs. Playing time could be an issue for the 25-year-old lefty, as a platoon with Hunter Dozier seems likely at least early in the season, but O’Hearn could still provide cheap power and RBIs. His high BB-rate should also play well in OBP leagues.Josh Bell, Pirates. Bell surprisingly hit 26 HRs in 2017, but perhaps even more surprising were the 12 HRs he hit last year. His most likely outcome in ’19 is somewhere between the two, but the 26-year-old switch-hitter seems to be low on the fantasy radar right now. Bell improved in BB-rate and K-rate last year and saw his BABIP rise as he made more hard contact. A career .303 hitter in the minors, Bell has a lot of room to improve on his average, and his already solid OBP gives him more value in those formats. Maybe it’s because a host of of highly ranked first basemen are eligible at other positions (including a bunch at 2B, for some reason), the 1B rankings doesn’t seem quite as strong as usual heading into 2019. But even with that said, fantasy baseball owners still don’t have to go out of their way to reach for a potential sleeper or breakout candidate. The list of potential .265, 20- or 25-HR, 75- or 80-RBI guys on your cheat sheet can become long and uninspiring, with the main difference being what kind of value you can get during your draft (or off the waiver wire).Indeed, trying to find more upside in one mediocre 1B than another isn’t easy, but we do our best to identify some potentially overlooked options. Whether it’s age, a clear path to more playing time, or even some stolen base ability, here are eight first basemen to watch as you prepare for the season. 2019 Fantasy Baseball Rankings Tiers, Draft StrategyCatcher | First | Second | Third | Short | Outfield | Starter | CloserLuke Voit, Yankees. Last year’s biggeset surprise is poised to start over oft-injured perennial breakout candidate Greg Bird. Voit clubbed 14 HRs in only 39 games with the Yankees last season, and while that pace is untenable, it’s not crazy to think Voit can hit 30 with a full season worth of at-bats. It’s just as likely Bird and Voit platoon, Bird takes over as the everyday starter, or the Yankees trade for a veteran 1B at some point, but going into the season, Voit is in position to outproduce his ADP.Peter O’Brien, Marlins. It’s probably silly to expect a breakout from O’Brien, who’s 28 and already been with seven different organizations, but there’s no denying his power, which was on dislay last year when he hit 34 HRs between Double-A, Triple-A, and the majors. Again, given his age, crushing Double-A pitching isn’t exactly a notable achievement, but O’Brien also held his own in his 22-game stint with the Marlins, posting a .273/.338/.530 line. He’ll get his chance in the rebuilding Miami lineup, and while the strikeouts (and batting average) figure to be brutal, he could pop some homers and drive in some runs on the cheap.last_img read more