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lebaobei123's blog

LOS ANGELES -- A San Francisco Giants fan who suffered brain damage in a beating in a Dodger Stadium parking lot won his negligence lawsuit Wednesday, with a jury agreeing that the Dodgers didnt provide adequate security and were partly to blame for the attack. Jerry Tillery Womens Jersey . Bryan Stows father said his son probably wouldnt understand the details of the settlement that will give him about $14 million from the Dodgers, "but Bryan will know that he got some help today." "Hes not going to be 100 per cent, maybe for a long time, maybe never. What he gets is going to help him through now, and thats what he needs," Dave Stow said. The jury delivered its verdict in a Los Angeles courtroom after weeks of testimony about the assault after the opening day game in 2011 between the rival teams. Stow, 45, was left with disabling brain damage and became a symbol of violence at sporting events. He was in the courtroom for part of the trial, his wheelchair positioned front and centre so jurors could see the ghastly scars on his head where his skull was temporarily removed during efforts to save his life. Experts testified that the former Northern California paramedic Stow will never work again and has suffered repeated strokes and seizures. They said he will require around-the-clock care. Lawyers for Stow claimed the team and former owner Frank McCourt failed to provide adequate security. In split decisions, jurors found that the Dodgers were negligent but absolved McCourt. In civil cases, only nine of 12 jurors must agree on the verdict. The Dodgers "did have a (security) plan but somewhere along the line that plan broke. And it needed to be fixed," juror Carlos Munoz said after the verdict. "Hopefully we helped to fix it. ... If youre going to own a stadium, do it right." Jurors determined that Stow suffered about $18 million in damages in the form of lost earnings, medical expenses and pain and mental suffering. The Dodgers must pay $13.9 million of that because while finding the team negligent, jurors assigned it only a portion of the responsibility for Stows harm. Stows attackers shared the rest of the responsibility for Stows harm, jurors determined. However, they werent sued and so cannot be required to pay a share of the damages. Stows parents pronounced themselves satisfied with the jurys award even though it is less than half of what they had sought. "Well make it work for him," said Stows mother, Ann Stow. The defence had argued that security was stronger than ever at an opening day contest and contended that Stow was partially to blame because he was drunk. But jurors were unanimous in deciding that Stows own negligence wasnt a substantial factor in causing his harm. Stows mother said she held her husbands hand as the court read that part of the verdict form. "I was so ecstatic because we know our son and we know that the picture the defence was trying to portray was not Bryan at all," Ann Stow said. They said they had not spoken to their son, who did not attend the hearing, but did talk to his sisters and expected they would talk to him. In San Francisco, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he was happy for the family that there was finally a verdict. "What happened shouldnt have happened. We have to keep that in mind. But also for the fans coming to the ballpark, you need the proper security," he said. "It shouldnt be a situation where youre afraid to go to a game or you cant enjoy yourself." Dodgers fans Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood pleaded guilty to the attack in criminal court after a lengthy preliminary hearing in which witnesses said security guards were absent from the parking lot where Stow was attacked. The complicated civil case even threw jurors at one point, who announced last week that they were deadlocked. The judge ordered them to resume deliberations. "They struggled through it," Dana Fox, an attorney for the Dodgers, said after the verdict. "Remember, after four days they had not found liability on the part of the defendants. That is quite telling, I think, in and of itself." In the wake of the attack, the Dodgers and Los Angeles police increased their security at games, including adding more patrols and undercover officers wearing rival team jerseys. LaDainian Tomlinson Chargers Jersey .com) - Sixth-seeded Feliciano Lopez was a first-round winner on Monday at the Delray Beach Open tennis event. Dan Fouts Jersey . A lovely summer day in England with abundant sunshine and minimal wind allowed him to attack Royal Liverpool.BOSTON -- After years of giving pointers to football players, Alex Ferguson will pass his knowledge along to executives. The former Manchester United manager has been hired by Harvard Business School for a long-term position. He will lecture to senior executives from around the world as part of a new program -- "The Business of Entertainment, Media and Sports." The hiring was announcedd Thursday. Kellen Winslow Womens Jersey. . Anita Elberse, a professor of business administration, developed a case study in 2012 involving Ferguson, who retired after the 2012-13 season. Ferguson has participated in Elberses classes and called his time at Harvard a "stimulating experience." Under Ferguson, United won 13 Premier League titles, the Champions League twice and five FA Cups. ' ' '
Toronto FC is holding a major news conference on Monday to unveil their newest player acquisitions for the 2014 MLS season, including England striker Jermain Defoe. Marouane Fellaini Manchester United Jersey . You can watch full coverage live on TSN and TSN.ca right now. "Im excited (to arrive in Toronto); its been a long couple months," Defoe said on his arrival to Pearson International Airport in Toronto on Sunday. "I just wanted to get over here and see the city. Im looking forward to it; its a fantastic challenge and great opportunity. Im really excited, I feel like a little kid. "Its always a challenge when you go to a new club. Playing against different opposition is always going to be a challenge but thats what I play football for; Im going to enjoy it. Im delighted I made the decision to come. My family came (to Toronto) about a month ago. They had great feedback and said it was a fantastic city with fantastic people." Tim Leiweke, president and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, and Toronto FC general manager Tim Bezbatchenko also added Gilberto from Brazil this winter. Gilberto joins midfielder Matias Laba as the clubs designated players. The club also brought back 35-year-old Toronto native Dwayne De Rosario last week. The former league MVP, who ranks sixth on the all-time MLS scoring list with 103 goals, returns home for his second stint with TFC. Defoe has scored 142 goals during two tours with Tottenham and is the clubs top scorer in European competitions. Defoe first joined the London club in February 2004 from West Ham United, making 177 appearances and scoring 64 goals before leaving to join Portsmouth in January 2008. The England international was re-signed a year later and has since made 185 appearances, scoring 78 goals. U.S. international midfielder Michael Bradley is the next piece of the puzzle to officially fall. AS Roma announced Thursday that it had sold the 26-year-old American to MLS for US$10 million. A source with knowledge of the league said Toronto was the lone MLS suitor. The 26-year-old Bradley played for the U.S. national team at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and has also played for MetroStars in the MLS as well as Heerenveen, Borussia Monchengladbach and Chievo Verona. Toronto opens its 2014 season Mar. 15 in Seattle. Defoe will miss almost all of Torontos pre-season games. Marcus Rashford Jersey . -- The court fight over NFL concussions should heat up soon as a judge in Philadelphia weighs the fairness of the proposed $765 million settlement. Romelu Lukaku Manchester United Jersey . So they rushed to re-sign the first baseman who general manager Ben Cherington described Friday as "a unique player." The World Series champions finalized a $32 million, two-year agreement Thursday with the slugging former catcher who turned into a surprisingly good defender.DRUMMONDVILLE, Que. -- Charles-David Beaudoin and Jerome Verrier scored in the third period to lead the Drummondville Voltigeurs past the Victoriaville Tigres 3-2 in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League play Sunday. Beaudoin scored at 3:53 of the third and Verrier added the eventual winner nearly five minutes later. Frederick Gaudreau also scored for Drummondville (41-21-4), which won its fourth straight, while Louis-Philip Guindon made 28 saves. Jean-Francois Plante and Julien Proulx replied for the Tigers (32-25-8), with Francois Tremblay stopping 35 shots. --- SCREAMING EAGLES 5 WILDCATS 1 SYDNEY, N.S. -- The Screaming Eagles offence overwhelmed the Wildcats, who didnt break through until the dying moments of regulation. Bradley Lalonde, Charles-Eric Legare, Raphael Corriveau, Kyle Farrell and Cameron Darcy scored for Cape Breton (35-26-4). Stephan Seeger had the lone goal for Moncton (32-31-3) at 18:49 of the third. Zachary Fortin stopped 22 shots for the Screaming Eagles, while at the other end of the ice, Alex Dubeau made 33 saves. --- TITAN 7 SEA DOGS 4 BATHURST, N.B. -- The Titan rallied from a 4-0 ddeficit in the first period to beat Saint John. Antonio Valencia Manchester United Jersey. Guillaume Brisebois and Scott Oke each scored twice for Acadie-Bathurst (21-39-6), with Nicholas Blanchard, Alexandre Gosselin and Alexandros Soumakis adding singles. Oliver Cooper opened the game with a pair of goals for the lowly Sea Dogs (19-41-5), with Matthew Highmore and Samuel Dove-McFalls contributing one each. Jacob Brennan was pulled from the Titans net after allowing three goals on six shots, but Miguel Sullivan took over and stopped 28 shots. Antoine Landry meanwhile made 21-of-26 saves for Saint John, and Sebastien Auger gave up a goal on six shots. --- REMPARTS 6 PHOENIX 1 QUEBEC CITY -- The Remparts gave up the first goal but took over from there for an easy win against Sherbrooke. Lucas Batt, Fabrice Herzog, Duncan MacIntyre, Hubert Lamarre, Olivier Archambault and Nick Sorensen each had a goal for Quebec (38-16-11). Vincent Deslauriers scored the lone goal for the league-worst Phoenix (16-41-8). Francois Brassard needed to stop just 18 shots for the Remparts, while Francis Desrosiers made 19 saves in the Phoenix net. ' ' '
TORONTO -- Marcus Stroman took care of the Kansas City Royals in the top of the first. Mikko Rantanen Avalanche Jersey . The Toronto Blue Jays potent offence took care of the rest. Stroman, the 23-year-old Blue Jays first-round draft pick in 2012, was solid in his first Major League start and the Toronto offence scored early and often in a 12-2 victory Saturday afternoon at Rogers Centre. "It feels great," Stroman said. "Anytime you get that kind of run support, its fun to pitch." After retiring the Royals in order in the first inning, the final two on strikes, Stroman sat as the Blue Jays scored seven runs in the bottom of the inning. The first eight Toronto batters reached base, a new club record. The Blue Jays stretched that lead to 11-1 after four innings in emphatically ending a two-game losing streak. "Its hard," Stroman said of the wait between his first and second inning. "But obviously youre not going to turn down seven runs. However long it takes the offence to keep mashing, Ill sit there all day. "This offence is so special. This lineup is like playing a video game." Stroman, who earlier in May made five appearances out of the Blue Jays bullpen, improved his record to 2-0 and saw his earned run average fall from 12.79 at the start of the day to 7.30. Stroman gave up five hits, struck out six and didnt issue a walk over six innings before 31,652 fans. Recalled from triple-A Buffalo Friday, the five-foot-nine right-hander threw 94 pitches, 63 of those for strikes. "I thought he was terrific," Toronto manager John Gibbons said of Stroman. "He got a bunch of strikeouts. He was attacking the (strike) zone, working fast. Doing all those things we expected. "That was his first start of the year and he showed us something. Were pretty impressed. It was a good bounce-back win for us." Juan Francisco had three hits and four runs batted in, Brett Lawrie of Langley, B.C., had two hits and three RBIs and Adam Lind added three hits and two RBIs as the American League East-leading Blue Jays pounded out 14 hits off four Kansas City pitchers. The Blue Jays (33-24) had won a season-high nine straight games before the Royals (26-29) won the first two games of the series Thursday and Friday. Toronto finished May with an American League-best 21-9 record. "Its been a huge month," Gibbons said. "In 2008, we won 20 games and had the best record in baseball and I got fired three weeks later," he quipped. "I always enjoy a good month but it means absolutely nothing in June." The Blue Jays, who were 0 for 10 with men in scoring position and stranded 14 runners in a 6-1 loss Friday, wasted few opportunities in the first inning against Kansas City right-hander Aaron Brooks. Brooks was making just his second career start and first since being recalled from triple-A Omaha. The Blue Jays, who lead Major League Baseball in home runs, scored all their runs without a homer Saturday. Toronto sent 12 men to the plate in the opening inning, the first eight of them reaching base. Each of the first five hitters scored and seven were in before Brooks (0-1) was given the rest of the afternoon off, getting just two outs and yielding five hits, three walks and two hit batters. Jose Bautista doubled in the first run and Franciscos ground-rule double plated two more to make it 5-0. Other than those two extra-base hits, the Blue Jays scored via small ball -- two RBI singles and a pair of bases-loaded walks -- to turn the game into a laugher before all the fans had settled into their seats. "It was good to let (Stroman) take a deep breath and just do what he does and throw all his pitches and let him relax a little bit," said Lind. After Kansas City cut the Toronto lead to 7-1 in the second, Lawries second RBI of the day made it 8-1 in the bottom of the inning. Lind, Lawrie and Francisco drove in runs in the fourth to make it 11-1. Todd Redmond gave up one run over three innings in relief of Stroman to earn his first save of the season. Rob Ramage Avalanche Jersey . - Rookie Kyle Larson will start from the pole position Saturday night in the NASCAR race at Richmond International Raceway after a thunderstorm arrived just in time to wash out qualifying. Joe Sakic Avalanche Jersey . The Toronto Maple Leafs were holding a news conference, so they got curious. It didnt take long for them to find out via social media that coach Randy Carlyle was coming back — with a two-year extension — and assistants Greg Cronin, Scott Gordon and Dave Farrish were being let go.BANGKOK, Thailand -- Top-seeded Tomas Berdych and the in-form Gilles Simon of France will confront each other for the eighth time after both won their Thailand Open quarterfinals on Friday. Fresh from helping the Czech Republic beat Argentina in the Davis Cup semifinals, Berdych beat Yen-hsun Lu of Taiwan 7-6 (7), 6-4 to maintain his record of never losing before the semifinals in Thailand. However, he also hasnt passed the semis in his two previous appearances. "Sometimes, I was feeling like he was a Playstation," Berdych said of Lu. "He was there he was so fast. He hit so many winners." Simon has a 5-2 record against Berydch, and said, "I just hope that I will beat him one more time." Simon said he was offf to receive treatment on his back after he needed court-side help from a trainer on his back after the first game of the third set against Igor Sisjling of the Netherlands. Samuel Girard Avalanche Jersey. After prevailing 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, the third-seeded Simon said it was a close shave. "I felt like I could have lost the two sets I won and I could have won the one I lost," he said. "It was a good win." Asked about the back injury, he said: "I have red lights everywhere. I felt the pain very quickly in the second game of the match. Then it was worse. I thought it would be hard to finish the match at this point but finally I was getting better. My back is not in great shape now but I hope I will be fine tomorrow." ' ' '
MIAMI -- Right-hander Bryan Morris was traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates to the Miami Marlins, who gave up the 39th overall pick in Thursdays draft. Stephen Johns Jersey . Miami also placed catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia on the seven-day concussion list Sunday and recalled catcher J.T. Realmuto from Double-A Jacksonville. Saltalamacchia was hurt when he took a foul tip off his face mask in Saturdays game against Atlanta. Morris will join the Marlins on Monday and is expected to give their struggling bullpen a boost. Through Saturday, Miamis relievers ranked 21st in the majors with an ERA of 3.96, while the starters ranked 10th with an ERA of 3.70. "Weve had some issues in the bullpen, and we just wanted to make it deeper," president of baseball operations Mike Hill said. Morris is 4-0 with a 3.80 ERA in 21 games this year, and he has a career ERA of 3.46 in 81 games. He was a first-round draft pick by the Dodgers in 2006. "Weve seen a lot of him," Hill said. "He was a first-round pick out of high school -- a power arm up to 97, and a power curveball behind that." The Marlins traded away their third pick in the draft. They still have six of the first 107 picks. Realmuto, a third-round pick in 2010, batted .301 with five homers and 31 RBIs for Jacksonville. "We want to try to get him in a couple of games," manager Mike Redmond said. "Were hoping that Salty is just a short-term deal, but you never know with concussions." Saltalamacchia batted only .177 in May, dropping his average for the season to .237, and he has committed eight errors. Esa Lindell Stars Jersey .com) - Jimmy Butler made four key free throws down the stretch to lift the Chicago Bulls over the Boston Celtics, 109-102, on Friday. Esa Lindell Jersey . He made that dream a reality Wednesday night. Olt, who grew up in Branford, Connecticut, attended UConn and made a nearly 2 1-2 hour trek to Boston a handful of times to watch the Red Sox, belted a two-run homer, one of four hit by Cubs in a 16-9 rout that completed a three-game interleague series sweep.DENVER -- The Colorado Rockies placed right-hander Jordan Lyles on the 15-day disabled list with a fractured left hand. The team also placed left-handed reliever Boone Logan on the DL with inflammation in his elbow. Lyles broke a bone just below the knuckle of his middle finger when he tried to tag out Martin Prado at home after a wild pitch in the first inning Wednesday night. Lyles stayed in the game, but had to use two hands to catch the ball when it was thrown back to him. He finally left aftter the fourth inning. Jason Dickinson Stars Jersey. The 23-year-old Lyles is 5-1 this season with a 3.52 ERA. To take Lyles place on the roster, the Rockies recalled right-hander Chris Martin from Triple-A Colorado Springs. Martin was 0-1 and had a 5.52 ERA with the Sky Sox. The Rockies have yet to make a move to fill Logans spot. They may be waiting, since theyre expected to call up prized pitching prospect Eddie Butler from Double-A Tulsa on Friday to throw against the Los Angeles Dodgers. 19:35ET 05-06-14 ' ' '
Andy Murray will know things will not be easy for him in the opening Monte Carlo Masters quarter-final against Milos Raonic, live on Sky Sports 1 HD on Friday. Jon Lester Cubs Jersey . His Canadian opponent took him to five sets in the Australian Open semi-final earlier this year and has three wins to Murrays four when the pair have faced each other over the years.Raonic, however, may be hampered by a troublesome adductor muscle which he tore earlier in the year. The 25-year-old was forced to call for a medical time-out just as he was about to serve to stay in the match in his third set against qualifier Damir Dzumhur on Thursday.After a massage, Raonic was able to hold his serve and gingerly take the tie break to win 6-4 3-6 7-6(5). Highlights of British number one Andy Murrays round three match against Benoit Paire at the Monte Carlo Masters Murray is the tournament favourite following Novak Djokovics shock defeat to Czech world No 55 Jiri Vesely on Wednesday,Djokovics conqueror Vesely went down tamely 6-1 6-2 to Frenchman Gael Monfils, who now faces Spaniard Marcel Granollers on Friday. Sixteenth seed Monfils is favourite to win but Granollers leads the pair in head-to-head contests 3-1 and has not defeated the Spaniard since 2009.One to watchRafael Nadal won a staggering eight Monte Carlo titles in a row between 2005 and 2012, but has just one final appearance to show from his last three visits.Once nigh-on unplayable on clay, Nadal has struggled to rediscover consistent form and keep clear of injury in the past two years and faces fourth seed Stan Wawrinka in the second quarter-final. Rafael Nadal serves to Dominic Thiem What promises to be an enthralling tussle could well see crowd favourite Nadal, who has looked good so far this tournament, beaten by his Swiss opponent, who will be seeking his second Monte Carlo title.Wawrinka conquered Nadal in the 2014 Australian Open final to claim the first of his two Grand Slams, and is reigning French Open champion having defeated Djokovic in the climax on the same surface at Roland Garros,Since losing his first 12 matches against Nadal, Wawrinka has won three of their past five encounters.Surprise in storeRoger Federer leads Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 11-5 in head-to-heads but the sometimes mercurial Frenchman can raise his game to heights that will trouble the Swiss holder of 17 Grand Slam titles.Federer has at times appeared back to his best as he has cruised through the early rounds at Monte CarloThe pair faced each other at this stage two years ago and on that occasion Federer won 2-6 7-6(6) 6-1.But the last time they met, in that years Canadian Masters final, Tsonga took the honours with a 7-5 7-6(3) victory.In case you missed itMurray had to fight back from the brink of defeat after being broken in the final set by Benoit Paire before breaking back to eventually win 2-6 7-5 7-5.Fifth seed Nadal had a tough first set before defeating a battling Dominic Thiem 7-5 6-3 to set up his quarter-final against Wawrinka.You can watch all the action from Monte Carlo, live on Sky Sports 1 from 9.30am on Friday morning.By purchasing a Sky Sports Day Pass for £6.99 or Sky Sports Week Pass for £10.99, you can enjoy access to all seven Sky Sports channels and watch on a TV with a NOW TV Box or on a range of devices. Also See: ATP schedule Tennis on Sky Latest scores Get a NOW TV pass Video Fergie Jenkins Jersey . The former Toronto FC designated player played three of his 15 professional seasons with the team. Brandon Morrow Jersey . Ashton scored a hat trick -- giving him 13 goals in 16 AHL games this season -- to power the Toronto Marlies to a 5-2 victory over the visiting Lake Erie Monsters in AHL action on Sunday.DENVER -- The Memphis Grizzlies had a bumpy ride into Denver early Monday. They had a hard landing Monday night and still managed to keep themselves in the thick of the post-season hunt. Zach Randolph had 20 points and 11 rebounds, Mike Conley added 19 points and the Grizzlies kept pace in the playoff race with a 94-92 win over the Denver Nuggets. The Grizzlies moved into a three-way tie with Dallas and Phoenix for seventh in the Western Conference. Memphis plays both teams once more -- at the Suns on April 14 and home against the Mavericks in the regular-season finale two days later. The rest of the schedule includes road games at Minnesota and San Antonio, and a home game with Miami, which is battling for the top seed in the Eastern Conference. "Weve got to keep playing," Randolph said. "Each game is an important game for us, so weve got to come out with a sense of urgency." Courtney Lee scored 19 points for Memphis, which stopped a two-game skid after an adventurous flight from Portland into Denver early Monday morning. The Grizzlies landing into Denver International Airport was rough thanks to high winds in the area. "Oh my gosh," Randolph said. "Oh man." The Grizzlies also handled the turbulence created by the Nuggets. Randolph said the Grizzlies have to be ready for teams with nothing on the line, especially with every game important in their playoff push. "A lot of teams is just free-styling, aint going post-season so they dont care so theyre playing freely," he said. "Were playing for something so weve got to come out from the beginning." The Nuggets nearly hurt Memphis playoff chances, coming from seven down in the fourth to make it a last-possession game. Denver rallied to get within 88-86 on Timofey Mozgovs free throw and the teams traded buckets before Conley banked in a 3-pointer to make it 93-88 with 36 seconds left. "Mike Conley hit a big shot," Memphis coach David Joerger said. "I thought we did a good job of executing in getting the shots we waanted down the stretch. Joe Maddon Cubs Jersey. " After Randy Foye hit a layup for the Nuggets, Randolph missed a pair of free throws with 8.2 seconds remaining. Denver got the rebound, called a timeout and set up a play for the 7-foot-1 Mozgov at the 3-point line. He missed but then dunked the rebound to get the Nuggets within 93-92. "We know that I can make 3s," Mozgov said. "We tried. I just missed it. It wasnt good." The miss wasnt as costly as Mozgovs decision to dunk his rebound instead of pass it out to a teammate for another attempt to tie the game. "What surprised me is he didnt kick it back out when he got the dunk," Randolph said. Lee was fouled with 0.7 seconds left, hit the first free throw and deliberately missed the second to end the game. Nuggets coach Brian Shaw didnt think Lees missed free throw hit the rim and pleaded with the refs to look at the replay. The officials told him it wasnt a reviewable play. "In a situation where its a deadball and theres three referees and theres no live action going on, just looking at the free throw, I dont understand why that cant be seen," Shaw said. Mozgov tied a career high with 23 points to go with 10 rebounds and Kenneth Faried had 17 points for the Nuggets, who have dropped four in a row. The teams play again Friday in Memphis. The Grizzlies jumped out to 16-point lead in the second quarter on Lees 13 points. But the Nuggets rallied behind Mozgov, who had seven points in the final 3:01 on three dunks and a free throw to cut Memphis lead to 47-45 at the break. Randolph took over late in the third quarter to help Memphis build a 75-68 lead heading into the fourth. Randolph scored 11 of his 13 points in the period in the final 4:16 as the Grizzlies expanded a two-point lead to seven. NOTES: Nuggets F Wilson Chandler missed his fifth straight game with a left groin strain. ... The Grizzlies are 27-11 since Marc Gasol returned from a sprained MCL in his left knee on Jan. 14. ... The Nuggets had just 10 players available for the game. ' ' '
Bruce Boudreau has earned a reputation as a gambler and the Anaheim head coachs latest roll of the dice paid off in a big way. Swell Schweiz . Boudreau made a surprising decision to start highly-touted goaltending prospect John Gibson in Game 4 at Los Angeles on Saturday and the 20-year-old responded by posting a 28-save shutout to help the Ducks even this Western Conference semifinals series at 2-2. Gibson and the Ducks will aim for a repeat performance when they try to take their first lead of this best-of-seven set in Mondays Game 5 against the visiting Kings. The Ducks recalled Gibson after Frederik Andersen, another rookie goaltender, was hurt late in Game 3 and had to be replaced by veteran backstop Jonas Hiller. With Andersen sidelined on Saturday, Hiller was expected to get the Game 4 start due to his playoff experience, but Boudreau instead went with Gibson, who earned rave reviews in his NHL postseason debut. "As soon as we called him up, I thought about starting him," said Boudreau. "I thought he would give us the best chance to win." Gibson had gone 3-0-0 with a 1.33 goals-against average and one whitewash in three appearances at the tail end of the regular season for the Pacific Division champions. On Saturday, he became the first rookie to post a shutout in a playoff debut since Andrew Raycroft of the Boston Bruins against the Montreal Canadiens (3-0) on April 7, 2004. "When I found out I was going to play, I was excited," Gibson said. "I knew the team had to get a win tonight." The victory knotted the series at two games apiece and continue the trend of road teams winning in this series. Los Angeles claimed Games 1 and 2 in Anaheim before the Ducks clawed their way back into the series with two straight victories at the Staples Center. Gibson will be in net again on Monday with Hiller serving as the backup. Devante Smith-Pelly and Ryan Getzlaf provided early offense for the Ducks on Saturday, as both players tallied late in the opening period. Anaheim improved to 23-2 all-time in the postseason when Getzlaf scores a goal. Anaheim had 11 shots in the first period, but only registered three shots on net over the final 40 minutes. The Ducks went without a shot in the middle stanza, marking the first time an NHL club was held without a shot in a playoff period since it happened to Dallas against Edmonton on May 9, 1998 in Game 2 of the WCSF. While Gibson was able to record a shutout, Kings star goaltender Jonathan Quick was pulled after the first period. Quick stopped 9-of-11 shots and Martin Jones turned aside the three shots he faced over the final two periods. Kings head coach Darryl Sutter said the decision to pull his No. 1 goaltender was a tactical one and Quick should be in net when Game 5 gets underway. "It wasnt a tough thought process. They scored two goals. I dont think our goaltending is an issue. We have to finish off our shots to be successful," offered Sutter. The Kings hadnt been blanked in a home playoff contest since May 20, 2012, a 2-0 defeat to the Phoenix Coyotes in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals. L.A. forward Anze Kopitar had his point streak halted at 10 games, as he failed to pick up a point for the first time in this postseason. He was the first King to have points in 10 straight games in one postseason since Wayne Gretzky posted a franchise-record 12-game point streak in 1993. Kopitar has four goals and 11 assists to lead all players with 15 points in this postseason. The winner of Game 5 will have a chance to close the series out Wednesday in Los Angeles. The Kings, the 2012 Stanley Cup champions, are attempting to make the conference final round for a third straight spring. Anaheim is trying to advance to the third round for the first time since claiming the franchises lone Cup title in 2007. This best-of-seven set, which had been dubbed the "Freeway Series," marks the first-ever playoff matchup between these Southern California rivals. Swell Flasche Marmor . Off-Season Game Plan looks at a Wild team that has a nice mix of proven veterans along with young, inexpensive talent on the rise. When the Wild signed Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, making a big splash in the summer of 2012, it set the franchise on a path to being more competitive, but a big reason that they have been so competitive is the contributions of young players who still have more to give. Swell Flasche Holz . - After spending the morning in the hospital, Logan Couture gave the San Jose Sharks the spark they needed.ARLINGTON, Texas -- Robbie Grossman and the Houston Astros finally got to Yu Darvish -- and moved out of last place in the AL West. Grossman snapped an 0-for-28 slide with a career-high four hits as the Astros completed a three-game sweep of the Texas Rangers with an 8-4 victory over the All-Star pitcher who dominated them so many times in the past. "The way we came into here, after losing seven in a row, for our guys to respond the way they responded in this three-game series, Im extremely proud of them," manager Bo Porter said. Grossman and rookie George Springer homered for the Astros, who moved into fourth place by a percentage point over slumping Texas. It is the first time in their two seasons since switching leagues that the Astros have not been in fifth place in the five-team AL West after mid-April. "When you look at where were at today, obviously we feel like we have improved as a ballclub," Porter said. "At the same time, when we get to the end of the year, well see where were at. It definitely feels good to be playing good baseball right now." Springer also made an incredible running catch in the third inning. The centre fielder leaped on the warning track, reached over his head and held onto the ball when he slammed into the wall. Houston had 28 runs and 42 hits in the series against its in-state rival that won 17 of 19 against the Astros last season. The Rangers lost for the 10th time in 11 games and have dropped 18 of 21 overall. At 38-53, their .418 winning percentage is the worst in the majors -- just behind Arizona and Houston, both 39-54 for a .419 mark. "Its been really tough. Its been frustrating," outfielder Alex Rios said. "This is a season that I believe that were all going to remember in a bad way." Dallas Keuchel (9-5), one of five candidates in Internet balloting for the final spot on the AL All-Star team, allowed four runs and eight hits over 6 2-3 innings. While it wasnt his best performance, he was happy to beat the Rangers. "Just bbecause theyve beaten us up the last couple years," Keuchel said. S Well Trinkflasche. "Theyve been the big brother, of sort." Darvish (8-5), who had thrown 20 consecutive scoreless innings while winning his last three home starts, gave up a season-high 10 hits and six runs. He struck out eight and needed 109 pitches to get through six innings. Against Houston at home in April, Darvish allowed one hit over eight scoreless innings. The Japanese ace also had two near no-hitters on the road against the Astros last season, one in which he retired the first 26 batters. Carlos Corporan had a two-run double in the sixth to break a 4-all tie. An inning later, Springer hit his 19th homer, a two-run shot off reliever Jason Frasor. Grossmans solo homer, about 329 feet into the right-field corner, made it 4-all with two outs in the fifth. He also had a double in the first inning and an RBI single in the third. Before getting recalled this week by the Astros, Grossman had an 18-game hitting streak at Triple-A Oklahoma City. But he was hitless in a span of 28 at-bats in the majors after going 0 for 4 on Tuesday night to start his third stint with Houston this season. Adrian Beltre extended his hitting streak to 13 games with an RBI single in the Texas first. The All-Star third baseman is batting .494 (38 for 77) in his last 20 home games, and is second in the AL at .336 overall. Houston took a 2-1 lead in the second when Corporan hit a two-out double before Enrique Hernandez tripled and scored on a wild pitch. "The team is in a skid, but Im telling you, theyre playing," Texas manager Ron Washington said. " Were not pitching very well. ... We just dont have a sustainable offence to support whats going on right now." NOTES: Springer also made a running catch in the right-centre gap to end the third. ... Beltre was called out on strike three in the third when he stepped out of the box but wasnt granted time. When he came to bat in the sixth, Beltre had an animated conversation with plate umpire Bill Miller. ' ' '
NEW YORK -- The NBA Finals could return to a 2-2-1-1-1 format. Evan Engram Womens Jersey . The leagues Competition Committee voted unanimously to recommend the change from the current 2-3-2 system and owners will vote on it next month at their meetings. "The idea was raised at the Competition Committee and was well-received and the committee ultimately unanimously voted to recommend the change in format," NBA spokesman Tim Frank said Sunday. If approved, it hasnt been decided if the change would begin with the 2014 finals. The Competition Committees vote was first reported by the Boston Herald. The format was switched beginning in 1985, a recommendation Commissioner David Stern has said came in part from former Celtics boss Red Auerbach to reduce the cross-country trips between Boston and Los Angeles. Critics argue it gives home-court advantage to the lower-seeded team in Game 5, which is often a pivotal game in a best-of-seven series. Last season, the Miami Heat became just the fourth team to rally from 3-2 down by winning the final two on their home floor. All other rounds in the NBA playoffs use the 2-2-1-1-1 format. Daniel Jones Youth Jersey . Hall joined Bengals teammates for a voluntary workout on Monday. Hes got his mobility back and is on schedule to be ready for the season. CINCINNATI - Bengals cornerback Leon Hall is happy with his recovery from a torn Achilles tendon and expects to be ready for the start of training camp in July. Doug Kotar Giants Jersey . -- James Harden scored 31 points, including 25 in the second half, and the Houston Rockets dug out of a double-digit, first-half hole to beat the Orlando Magic 101-89 on Wednesday night.BROSSARD, Que. -- Balancing the defence and making room for younger leaders marked the opening day of NHL free agency for the Montreal Canadiens. General manager Marc Bergevin acquired defenceman Tom Gilbert and re-signed rearguard Mike Weaver on Tuesday to fix the right-hand-left-hand balance at the blue-line, along with inking centre Manny Malhotra to add a veteran faceoff ace and penalty killer for the fourth line. He also shocked many fans by trading defenceman Josh Gorges, an alternate captain, to Buffalo and then letting captain Brian Gionta go to the Sabres as a free agent. Bergevin had said after the Canadiens were eliminated in the Eastern Conference final that the teams leadership had shifted to younger players like P.K. Subban, Max Pacioretty, Carey Price and Brandan Gallagher. Seeing off Gorges and Gionta made it official. "We felt that with our performance during the playoffs, our young core was ready to take a bigger role when it comes to leadership," said Bergevin, who refused to speculate on who the next captain may be. "Eventually you need to give your young players a chance to take over that role." Bergevin may have other moves planned, but his next task will be signing Subban, the 2013 Norris Trophy winner as the leagues top defenceman who is now a restricted free agent. Subban is expected to ink a long-term deal for top dollars. But the clubs main goal was to rearrange the defence. The addition of Gilbert will allow left-shooting Alexei Emelin to move to the left side where he will likely be more effective, while Weaver will probably play right defence in a pairing with one of the teams young prospects like Nathan Beaulieu, Jarred Tinordi or Greg Pateryn. That would allow coach Michel Therrien to pair his two top rearguards, Subban and Andrei Markov. "Were more balanced now," said Bergevin. The parting with Gorges was awkward. News leaked out last week that the veteran was not only on the block, but had refused to waive his no-trade clause to complete a deal with the rival Toronto Maple Leafs. Gorges added a couple of teams to the list of acceptable destinations, and was sent just before free agency opened to Buffalo for a 2016 second round draft pick. Bergevin was not pleased with how it unfolded. "It was difficult, hes a very good person," he said. "The fact the information got out was disappointing for us and for him. "No player should have to go through that. It was stressful for him and his family. Thats why I dont talk about trades in public. You see what happened. I have no idea where it came out from, but I can guarantee it did not come from the Montreal Canadiens organization." Gorges said he was shocked by the deal. A Canadien since 2006, he was seen as a heart and soul defenceman and a leader who was always willing to sacrifice his body to help the team. The Kelowna, B.C. native said he couldnt bring himself to play against Montreal in a Toronto (or Boston) jersey, and was relieved to go to a young, rebuilding squad in Buffalo. "Its been a tough couple of days and now things are looking bright again," Gorges said on a conference call. "You know where youre going and thats a good feeling." Bergevin was looking to movve Gorges contract, which had been signed with the previous management and has another four seasons at US$3. Lawrence Taylor Youth Jersey. 9 million per year. He reportedly made a bid to keep Gionta, but at a much reduced salary from the $5 million the right winger earned in each of the least seasons. The Rochester, N.Y. native ended up signing with Buffalo for three years at $4.2 million per season. "Youre losing great people," said Bergevin. "Sometimes you make decisions that are not popular. But Im not here to be popular, Im here to make decisions." On Monday, he also traded veteran centre Daniel Briere to Colorado for right winger P.A. Parenteau. It still left Montreal short a right winger, but Bergevin said the spot on the second or third line will likely be taken a by a young player, possibly a newcomer like Jakob de la Rose, Sven Andrighetto or Jiri Sekac. The much-sought after Sekac, a six-foot 175 pound Czech, inked a two-year, two-way deal with Montreal after reportedly talking to more than 15 NHL teams. "Hes a kid that has top-three line skill that can help at some point in the future," said Bergevin. "I wont be able to tell you until hes here at camp and he shows us what he can do. We felt it was a calculated risk to bring him to Montreal." Gilbert, an unrestricted free agent, signed a two-year deal worth $2.8 million. The 31-year-old, who was bought out of the final two years of a contract with Minnesota in 2012, played for Florida on a one-year deal last season. He had three goals and 25 assists in 73 games. "For me, a lot of it has to do with skating and getting the puck and making that first pass," said Gilbert, who had hoped to sign with Montreal last year but couldnt get a deal. Instead, he saw his Panthers teammate Weaver get traded to the Canadiens on March 4 and earn a new one-year $1.75 million contract by helping them to reach the conference final. Now the two are together again. "He sent me a text asking me why Im chasing him around," Gilbert joked. "Hes going to fit in great with the team," Weaver said of Gilbert. "Hopefully he cuts his hair a bit shorter, but the way he plays, I notice, is almost similar to what we do. Short little passes into the zone to break out. "Hes going to bring a wealth of knowledge and experience." Malhotra signed a one-year deal worth $850,000. The 34-year-old centre, who has come back from a career-threatening eye injury suffered in 2011, had seven goals and six assists in 69 games with the Carolina Hurricanes last season. While he still has reduced vision in his left eye, Malhotra was praised for his leadership and his ability to win faceoffs. He probably could have got more money on the open market, but wanted to play for a contender. "At this stage of my career, the most important thing for me is winning," he said. "You look at the season the Canadiens had last year and the way theyve been growing as a team and the pieces they have in place, to be able to be part of something like that means a lot to me, rather than trying to chase a few extra dollars in a place where I probably wouldnt be as happy hockey-wise. "To say its a great hockey market is a gross understatement. Im really looking forward to being a part of it." ' ' '
While Ralph may be the oldest CFL mascot, hes the youngest in the way he connects with fans on social media. Teppo Numminen Coyotes Jersey .Heres Ralph the Dog with the crew here at TSN jumping into the James Duthie TradeCentre selfie: Happy to drop by! RT @TSN_Sports: @tsnjamesduthie: Take this Ellen. #Tradecentre pic.twitter.com/W22NQKtP8U — Ralph the Dog (@Ralph_Dog) March 5, 2014And little did we know Ralph the Dog was originally cast in Star Wars… Little-known fact: George Lucas first choice for the wookie role was Ralphbacca #calstampeders #CFL #YYC pic.twitter.com/xtkLTcHgK4 — Ralph the Dog (@Ralph_Dog) May 2, 2014Well get our new pal Ralph the Dog to introduce the next two mascots on the scene, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers Buzz and Boomer! I get asked why I dont know which is Buzz and which is Boomer. My question: what difference could it possibly make? pic.twitter.com/kFde4Rhh1E — Ralph the Dog (@Ralph_Dog) September 30, 2013In case youre wondering, Buzz is in the Bombers helmet with flying goggles and Boomer is the taller and leaner of the two.Buzz and Boomer take more of a slapstick outlook to their comedy, proven by this Vine of the duo schooling Gainer in a Grey Cup dance-off. Mascot dance-off at Touchdown MB! #101greycup #Bombers https://t.co/dT7HjZJ8VN — Wpg Blue Bombers (@Wpg_BlueBombers) November 23, 2013The BC Lions mascot is Leo the Lion. BC Lions vs. Edmonton Eskimos. Leo the Lion. #photo #vancouver #bclions http://t.co/FmMXjSzJ — Zeljko (@ztravica) October 30, 2012Leo keeps a lower profile around Vancouver and on the Internet, but he is quite the ladies man on game-day:And last but not least, the Edmonton Eskimos mascots are Punter and Nanook. Sorry for the delay... Congrats goes out to Tami Rae Lukinuk on winning this weeks #Esks #CaptionThis contest. pic.twitter.com/zqmQcDqj5U — Edmonton Eskimos (@cfl_esks) April 24, 2014Punter is the result of a ball manufacturers "giant" error at the football factory, and even once jumped into a hot tub during an Eskimos game! Nanook on the other hand was born in Northern Canada and spends his offseason protecting the locker room while the players are away.Here are Punter and Nanook getting into a bit of a disagreement at a game:So now that youve seen all the CFL mascots, which ones your favourite? Wayne Gretzky Jersey . Louis Blues, having added Ryan Miller and Steve Ott from Buffalo, remain the No. Wayne Gretzky Coyotes Jersey .J. Fair didnt have many chances to be the main option for Syracuse last season.ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. - The Buffalo Bills have released receiver Brad Smith off of their injured-reserve list. The move, announced Friday, comes 10 weeks after Smith hurt his ribs in Buffalos preseason-finale against Detroit. Smith was entering his eighth NFL season, and third with Buffalo. Hes a versatile dual-threat on offence, known for his ability to play receiver and quarterback in wildcat formations. He became expenndable because the Bills have essentially abandoned running the wildcat under new coach Doug Marrone. Dale Hawerchuck Jersey. The Bills also spent the off-season retooling the receiver position by drafting Robert Woods in the second round and Marquise Goodwin in the third. Smith had one year left on a four-year, $15 million contract he signed with Buffalo. He spent his first five seasons with the New York Jets. ' ' '
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. Henrik Borgstrom Jersey . -- Atlanta Falcons rookie linebacker Marquis Spruill will miss the season with a left knee injury. Coach Mike Smith said Thursday Spruill tore his anterior cruciate ligament late in Wednesdays practice. Spruill was on the field for several minutes before walking off with the help of trainers. The Falcons lost starter Sean Weatherspoon to a season-ending Achilles tendon injury in June. Spruill, a fifth-round pick from Syracuse, was a third-string linebacker on the teams first preseason depth chart. He was listed behind Joplo Bartu and rookie Prince Shembo. The depth chart was configured for a nickel defence. He likely would have been a top backup inside linebacker on a depth chart configured for a 3-4 scheme. Mark Pysyk Jersey . -- Jimmie Johnson has a sixth NASCAR championship in hand and two legends within reach. Jonathan Huberdeau Jersey . -- The Los Angeles Dodgers signed Cuban shortstop Erisbel Arruebarrena to a $25 million, five-year contract Saturday.PITTSBURGH -- Pedro Alvarez mashed two home runs that travelled an estimated 831 feet Friday night. It was a series of sprints by the burly Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman, however, that ignited a 12-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. Alvarez broke open a close game in the sixth by beating out a potential double play, followed it up with the fifth stolen base of his career then scored with a deft slide around St. Louis catcher Yadier Molinas tag that gave the Pirates the momentum they needed to pull away. "I thought the stolen base was key," manager Clint Hurdle said. "He puts a lot of focus on running the bases and hes arguably one of our best baserunners when hes on." It certainly looked like it, as Alvarezs outstretched left arm slid across the plate a split second before one of the games best defensive catchers could nab him. The Cardinals imploded from there as Shelby Miller (0-1) continued to struggle against Pittsburgh. Miller fell to 0-5 with a 5.92 ERA against the Pirates in his brief career after tying a career-high by allowing five runs in 5 1-3 innings. The right-hander is 16-5 with a 2.34 ERA in his 33 other major league appearances. "Its not the park. Its not the team. I just pitched poorly today," Miller said. "I guess it just lines up that way where I dont pitch well when I face them." Travis Ishikawa added his first major league home run in nearly two years for Pittsburgh. Gerrit Cole (1-0) gave up two runs in seven innings in his first start since losing the deciding Game 5 of the NL division series to St. Louis last October. Six months removed from a taut NLDS that pushed the eventual NL champions to the brink of elimination, the Pirates sent an early message they have no plans of going away. Cole is considered the ace in waiting after a stellar rookie season in which he was arguably Pittsburghs best pitcher over the final six weeks. Eager to take the next step in his development, the 23-year-old kept the Cardinals in check by mixing a fastball that consistently reaches the upper 90s with improved offspeeed stuff. Aleksander Barkov Jersey. He also showcased some of his maturity, working out of a bases loaded situation in the fourth by getting Jhonny Peralta to fly out. His only mistake came in the fifth when Carpenter drilled a shot into the right field stands to pull the Cardinals to 3-2. Otherwise he teamed with catcher Russell Martin to keep St. Louis in check. "I think it was just a really well-played ballgame on our part," Cole said. "I cant say enough about what Russ did behind the plate. Not sure there are any other catchers in the entire world that could handle what I threw at him tonight." Pittsburghs offence -- which mustered all of 20 hits in 35 innings of a season-opening series against the Chicago Cubs -- made sure it didnt stay close for long after pounding out 16 hits in eight innings against the NL Central favourites. Alvarez began the year in a 1 for 15 slump but ended that with a home run to the gap in left-centre for his first home run of the season. He added his second two innings later with a long drive to right-centre that travelled an estimated 448 feet. His hustle down the first-base line in the sixth allowed Pittsburghs rally to continue and the Pirates pressed the advantage. Molina committed a rare error after Alvarezs slide, botching a potential rundown at third base when his throw hit Martin in the back and rolled into the stands. The miscue gave the Pirates a 5-2 lead and Pittsburgh poured it on in the late innings. NOTES: Ishikawas solo home run in the fourth was his first since May 15, 2012 while playing for the New York Yankees. ... The start of the game was delayed 1:05 by rain, the third straight game a Cardinals game was delayed by weather. ... Injured Cardinals 2B Mark Ellis is starting baseball activities but it remains uncertain when hell be ready to return from left knee tendinitis. Ellis went on the 15-day DL on March 27 and is eligible to return on April 11. ... The series continues on Saturday. RHP Joe Kelly will make his season debut for the Cardinals against Pittsburghs Francisco Liriano (0-0, 0.00). ' ' '
1. China Soccer Jerseys . Lou Williams & Lucas Nogueira (Raptors): I like this deal by general manager Masai Ujiri. I have always been a fan of Williams, who fell out of favor in Atlanta. In the final year of his contract, the Raptors will be getting a player who can score in bunches off the bench and give his team a lift on many nights. He plays with energy and can run the point for a possession or two but is definitely more of a scoring two guard. Nogueira is a guy that is under contract overseas for another year, which is a good thing because there is no rush to bring him over and start his NBA Contractual Clock. The Raptors want to be getting him when hes more mature and prepared to give them a greater return on their yearly investment. I like the move, though. Hes a young man who can make things happen in the lane with his rebounding and shot blocking potential.  His offence is a bit raw yet but in time he should be a sound pickup. John Salmons was a good pro, but as we could all see in the playoffs, hes clearly on the downside of his career. For Salmons, this is a nice trade particularly with the fact that Williams is off the books after this upcoming season. Helps you, yet doesnt damage your salary cap long term.              2. Jason Kidd (Bucks): How about this for a Machiavellian Move on the part of J-Kidd?! You literally cant make this nonsense up. He tries to back-door GM Billy King in Brooklyn and gets shown the door for two second-round picks.  I guess you beat the Raptors in Round 1 and win one playoff game against the Heat and youre a genius with the NBAs Highest Payroll. No one else in the league would have given him the shot he got last year to coach and this is the appreciation. I feel bad for coach Larry Drew, he gets one year and then the door from his new owners. This is a tough business and theres very little honour and respect left anymore in the coaching profession, thats for sure in this case.                3. Derrick Rose (Bulls): Rose is catching a lot of flak for saying that its not his job to recruit Carmelo Anthony. He is correct; its ownership, management and the coaches jobs to do the work. When you evaluate what he said after that about Melos skills, its pretty evident to me that hes impressed with Melos game and how it would help the Bulls.  In defence of him, Im sure if management asked him to publicly make comments about Melo or behind the scenes recruit him, hed assist them. Hes a team guy. On the other hand, maybe he just deep down in his heart knows that Melo wouldnt be a great fit in their system/team identity. Well all know in the next few days if this has any impact on Melos decision with Chicago. Usually guys with the ego the size of Melo want to be recruited by everyone involved.                      4. Nets coach: Youll hear the names of Lionel Hollins, George Karl & Mark Jackson among many for this job, as their agents cash in favours with media members to float their clients names to increase their profile and possibilities. In a market like New York, with such a high profile and a small window of opportunity with this older team thats got the huge payroll, it actually makes lots of sense to consider each of these guys for the job. The Nets will need both a strong and capable personality/coach to handle this job.  GM Billy King knows that and the fact that he was supported by ownership in the coup attempt doesnt mean hes not under tremendous pressure to win big right now. Kings has got to get the right guy and he better win lots of games next year or they might actually need a new GM next spring. I like Lionel Hollins for this job.                         5.  July 1: Here we go! Always a fun few days when free agency begins. The Big 3 and Melo set the tone and other movement will follow from a decent free agent class, when you look at the Top 10. Theres quite a drop off once you get past the Top 15 names. For Raptors fans, its very important to balance the desire to build on the 48 win season last year with the long term understanding that the Raptors as currently constructed (Even if Kyle Lowry, Patrick Patterson & Greivis Vasquez return) are still a ways away from being a legit contender to go to the NBA Finals out of the East. Particularly if the Big 3 stay in Miami, Chicago gets healthy and adds a guy like Melo and the Pacers improve and take a good look around. Other teams in the East added some pieces in the early part of the Draft that will make each win a little harder to get within the Conference. Remember back to Bryan Colangelos first season as GM with a 47 win season?  You can win too early. As crazy as that sounds, its true. Truly be honest with your team and organization and always try to evaluate yourself vs. the top four and top eight in the East as well as the top four and top eight in the West this past season. How did you stand up vs. those teams and vs. the non-playoff teams? Obviously, a nice season in the NBA is when you beat who youre capable of beating and the Raps did that with some other fun wins sprinkled in along the way to make it a neat experience.  Lots and lots of work still needs to be done for this team/organization to be a contender. Slow and steady wins the Race. Im quite confident in the patience and long-term view of Ujiri, that he wont get sucked in to believing that theyre close and try to build on a foundation that isnt there yet.   Manage the cap properly, improve internally and be patient.  The right defining move will present itself to you in the near future, youve got to be properly positioned when it shows up at your doorstep to be able to consummate the transaction. Yes, I love making the playoffs, but we all want more. So build with the idea of long term/organization vs. the 2014-15 team. You want to be in the playoffs on a yearly basis as well as - and this is what really matters - being a team with a legitimate chance to play in the Eastern Conference Finals & possibly get to the NBA Finals. Those are really hard steps to take. Obviously, if the Big Three break up, Melo goes to the Western Conference instead of the Bulls, etc. Then you reconsider that because you do have greater opportunity. But for now, big picture. It will be a fun few days to watch and follow.  Cheap Chelsea FC Jerseys . - A Tuesday funeral is planned in Toronto for 20-year-old Saginaw Spirit forward Terry Trafford. Cheap Germany Jerseys .Y. -- As if the worst start in franchise history isnt bad enough, Buffalo Sabres President Ted Black braced his teams win-starved fans for potentially more tough times.KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Danny Duffy walked briskly to the mound to start the seventh inning Saturday night, ready to throw his first warm-up pitch before anybody else on his team had even taken the field. The Royals left-hander was in that kind of rhythm. Duffy went on to retire the next two batters he faced before Baltimores Adam Jones finally ended his bid for a perfect game with a single up the middle. Still, it was the best outing of his career, and came on a night when the Kansas Citys scuffling offence needed it. Billy Butler drove in the only run in the first inning in the 1-0 win over the Orioles. "I started to feel it in the seventh a little bit," Duffy said of his tantalizing perfect bid, "but I didnt think about it because my job is to get outs." Others started to think about it, though. "You keep thinking, Boy, hes got really good stuff," said Royals manager Ned Yost, who was ejected during a tense ninth inning. "He gets through the fourth and the fifth and into the sixth and you think, Boy, hes got really, really good stuff." Duffy gave up a single to Nelson Cruz to start the eighth, but Wade Davis retired the next three batters. All-Star close Greg Holland allow a hit and two walks to load the bases with two outs in the ninth, then calmly struck out Cruz for his 11th save of the season. "We found a way to get back in it in the ninth and had the right guys at the plate," said Orioles bench coach John Russell, who was acting manager as Buck Showalter attended his daughters graduation. "We scraped and scrapped. We still found a way to make it interesting." Bud Norris (2-4) was the hard-luck loser, allowing four hits and a walk in 7 1-3 innings. The lone run he allowed came in the first, when Nori Aoki led off with a single, stole second and then scored on Butlers single to centre. The hit ended a 0-for-10 slump, and gave Kansas City only its second run in the first three games of the four-game set. "The story of the day is about Duffy. That was unbelievable," Butler said. "That gives yyou a glimpse of what he could be like every time out. Cheap Netherland Jerseys. " Duffy missed most of last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, and he began this season in the bullpen after losing the competition for a rotation spot in spring training. But he was forced back into the rotation a few weeks ago, when Bruce Chen landed on the disabled list with a back injury, and has pitched so well that he may have claimed the spot for good. After struggling with control most of his first three seasons, Duffy has finally started to harness his stuff. He allowed one run on two hits in four innings in his first start May 3 against Detroit, and one run on two hits in six innings last week in Seattle. He wound up losing both games when the Royals failed to score a run for him. Perhaps with that in mind, Duffy kept the Orioles off the scoreboard entirely. He never got close to allowing a hit until Caleb Joseph hit a liner at third baseman Mike Moustakas to end the sixth inning, and Alex Gordon made a spectacular diving catch on Nick Markakiss flyball to lead off the seventh. Duffy then struck out Manny Machado before Jones delivered his single. "I heard somebody say this is the type for, like, a perfect game," said the Orioles Caleb Joseph. "Right after that, somebody said, Jonesy is about to rip one right here." The crowd gave Duffy a standing ovation after the hit, and then another when he exited the game. Duffy sheepishly waved his cap in appreciation as he entered the dugout. "I was just trying to stay calm," Duuffy said. "Mechanics will come through on their own if you trust your stuff, you dont overdo anything. And we were on the attack all day." NOTES: Jones has a 12-game hitting streak. ... The Royals have had four no-hitters in their history, the last by Brett Saberhagen against the White Sox on Aug. 26, 1991. The Orioles have not been no-hit since Sept. 1, 2007, when Clay Buchholz accomplished the feat for Boston. ... Royals RHP James Shields and Orioles RHP Ubaldo Jimenez start Sundays series finale. ' ' '
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