pleted the signing of Mateo Kovacic from Real Madr

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first base prospect , who will begin the year in Triple-A, gave a glimpse into what the future might hold for Houston Thursday. Singleton, who is considered a top-100 prospect by Baseball America (No. 27) and .com (No. 27), homered twice off Tigers starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez in an 11-4 spring win.

“I was just going out there trying to do my best,” Singleton said to MLB.com. “He left a couple of pitches over the plate and I tried to put a good swing on it.”

Sinder Paul Pogba.They want to replace Pogba with either Philippe Coutinho or Ivan Rakitic, says the Mundo Deportivo.Coutinho, 27, has struggled to light up the Nou Camp like he did Anfield since his £142m move from Liverpool in January 2018.Croatia’s gleton will remaiers were properly focused for their behind-closed-doors match with LASK Linz after the warm-up.United thrashed the Austrian leaders 5-0 in their Europa League round-of-16 first leg to kill the tie, despite uncertainty over the European football calenn in Florida through the end of May as he finishes off a 50-game suspension for faken aim at the Premier League’s foreign managers.Allardyce, 65, has been out of management since 2018, when he left Everton as the Toffees turned to Marco Silva.It was a similar tale at Crystal Palace in his previous job, having kept the Eagles in thiling a second drug test. He’s played in just five major-league spring games, but Singleton is hitting .300 (3 for 10) with a triple, two homers, two walks and six RBI.

peaking about how he is under pressure, with the H

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‘s playing time will come strictly at catcher this season, according to MLB.com. Montero is hitting .395/.435/.674 with two home runs and 11 RBI in 43 at-bats this spring. manager Eric Wedge has been impressed with his performance after a slow start in camp.”From a playing-time standpoint, hiue title this season.He took Liverpool on for the first time as Tottenham boss on Saturday, and came out second best as Jurgen Klopp’s Reds ran out 1-0 winners.After the match Mourinho was asked whether he thinks Liverpool will win the title this seas time is going to have to be behind home plate,” said Wedge. “Obviously, I’m comfortable with him DHing, but we have so many other options with thatReal Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos is being urged to make up his mind on a move to North London.The Spaniard has offers from both Arsenal and Tottenham.Real are only willing to allow Ceballos to leave on a season-long loan.AS says the decision rests on the 23-year-old on who he wants to join.Losdelines after undergoing knee surgery.Khedira missed the 2-2 draw with Sassuolo last weekend and has decided to go under the knife.Juve confirmed on their official website surgery was “perfectly successful”.However, they added in their statement he Blancos expect the situation to be resolved sometime this week. to get people in the lineup we feel make us a better team.”

ea, but adds that he now feels settled after a ful

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CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Danny Knobler reports on Thursday that the optioned to their Triple-A club in Toledo. 

Rondon, 22, had his name thrown around all winter as the team’s potential closer by general manager Dnager Jurgen Klopp has no transfer concerns as he continues preseason preparations.The Reds are set to defend their Champions League title, while they hope to break their Premier League hodoo next term as well.They have not made any significant movesave Dombrowski, but he failed to deliver on the promise this spring, with a 5.84 ERA and 2.11 WHIP — including nine walkser can deliver trophies.The Frenchman joined his teammates for their trip to Australia on Sunday, despite his agent Mino Raiola confirming he wanted to leave the club over the weekend.Real ty legend Shaun Goater insists they can afford a defeat at Liverpool on Sunday in the title race.Goater, who scored 103 goals in 212 games over six season with the club between 1998 and 2003, insisted it was still too early for a loss to be fatal to Madrid are the frontrunners to sign the World Cup winner, wit — over 12 1/3 innings. 

Knobler says the team will go with a committee, which could include Phil Coke, Joaquin Benoit, Octavio Dotel, and Al Alburquerque. 

pions League victory.Lorenzo Insigne came off the

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pitcher will attempt to solidify his role in the team’s rotation Tuesday.

Cuique Setien is being linked with Watford.Quique Sanchez was sacked by the Hornets earlier this week.Sport says Setién is one of the men the Hornets are keen on along with Roger Schmidt, Chris Hughton, Mark Hughes and Sam Allardyce. Hayden Mullins iashner will get the start against the Giants, and could win the fifth spot in the rotation based on how he performs. He’s been limited to just six innings this spring, after injuring his thumb during the offseason. 

Cashner is builg tracked by Swanseated on AC Milan and Inter plans to build a new stadium.He said, “These are lovely projects, I am sure it’ll be a modern and beautiful arena. “We are fond of San Siro because we won everything there, every spectator gets a good view and I hope that and Bristol City in the Championship plus clubs in Germany should he be made available on a short-term deal.The Sun says Kop boss Jurgen Klopp will weigh up whether allow Brewster out to get regular football for the second half oding up his arm strength this spring, and only went 2 2/3 innings in his last start. If he can build up his arm strength, Cashner would be the likely candidate for the fifth spot in the rotation, according to CBSSports.com’s Scott Miller. If he’s unable to do that, he would build up innings as a long-man in the pen, or in Triple-A, and rejoin the team’s rotation after a few weeks. 

Valencia are ready to pounce for Newcastle United

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I’m wondering if it’s time to get concerned about DH , who hasn’t homered in 20 spring games. The spring isn’t a time Trumbo usually struggles. In his previous two spring trainings, he’s hit .310 with 12 homers, 13 doubles and 36 RBI in 48 games. This spring, he’s battingiker Lautaro Martinez.The Argentina international is a wanted manMerseyside Police will not take action after investigating an allegation of racist behaviour by a fan at Everton’s Premier League match against Tottenham.The force said it did not believetheir showdown with Premier League champions Manchester City.Many critics have suggested the club have no chance against Pep Guardiola’s side and should focus on the next game. Yet Silva said that is not the mentality of a big club – and Everton ar a crime had been committed in the incident, which occurred during Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Goodison Park.Everton launched their own investigation and that is ongoing. after his exploits for Antonio Conte’s side.ESPN says Martinez prefers a move to Catalan giants Barcelona over United.Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can now add the 22-year-old to his list of mi .255 (14 for 55) with no homers and four RBI.

You can’t really blame the move to DH as a potential cause of Trumbo’s struggles. He hit .310 with a .571 slugging percentage and .948 OPS in 84 at-bats as a DH last season, so strictly focusing on hitting hasn’t been a problem in the past.

It’s just too premature to say a bad spring is going to translate into a bad season for Trumbo. Our only history with Trumbo is that good springs have translated into good seasons for the 27-year-old slugger.

I’m not about to overlook him on Draft Day because he hasn’t homered this spring. He’s still going to get plenty of lineup protection hitting behind the likes of Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton, so my concerns are still minimal when it comes to Trumbo.

Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti was pleased with vict

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told the San Francisco Chronicle on Wednesday that he has received offers to play this season but has yet to find the right fit. Theriot has been on each of therpool Echo says Moshiri has increased in stake in Everton to 77.2%.The Blues have today confirmed the majority shareholder has purchased more of the club.Moshiri initially boe contenders.Asked if United, currently 27 points behind runaway leaders Liverpool , can challenge for the title next season Solskjaer did not sound convinced it is a genuine prospect.“That’s the aim, onfidence of his players.Groves has said the club’s players have lost confidence in their manager given their summer arrivals have failed to impress and after their poor start to the season.“The thing with the Arsenal situation with Unai Emery is, of course,” said Solskjaer. “I’m not saying iught 49.9% of shares in February 2016 before upping that to 68.6% in Septeme previous two World Series winning clubs, the 2011 Cardinals and 2012 Giants, and batted .270 with 28 RBI and 13 stolen bases in 104 games last season.“I’ve had some stuff come up, no doubt. It’s not really exactly what I’m looking for playing-time-wise,” Theriot said. “That’s where we’re at right now. We’ll see what happens.”

er Yannick Bolasie was satisfied with his Sporting

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Phillies outfielder continued his torrid spring pace on Wednesday, going 2-for-3 with a double andhas helped Algeria defeat Nigeria and book a place in the African Cup of Nations final.The Manchester City winger struck five minutes into injury-time with a precise and fierce set-piece intoy against Arsenal, despite being pushed to leave by Real coach Zinedine Zidane.Odriozola said, “Bale has always looked good to me. “They talk about him a lot, but he knows how to take it and he focuses on his day-to-day work. Today he scored a goal the top corner.Algerialing good after being diagnosed with coronavirus last week.The defender spoke to Juventus TV about having contracted the virus.“I’m fine, I’ve been pretty good. I haven’t had the symptoms you read about in the news,” Rugani said.“I was lucky desp opened the scoring when Nigeria def a run scored.

Mike Scioscia: Angels’ closer position wide open

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With all but certain to begin the season on the disabled list, manarton manager Marco Silva wants Richarlison and Yerry Mina to improve their English skills.The duo are important players for Silva, and he believes their inability to speak fluent English is impeding his team.Asked about Richarlison’s progress, Silva ger Mike Scioscia said , Alden Gonzalez of .com reported Wednesday.

Scioscia mentioned four relievers who could be in play for the role: , who racked up 23 saves ins urged Wilfried Zaha to join Arsenal.Both Everton and the Gunners failed with attempts to sign the Ivory Coast international over the summer.”If a player wants to go enough and is desperate enough to leave then it’s possibly not in your best interes the role last year, as well as , and . Frieri appears the most likely option given his success last season — he blew just three saves and posted a 2.32 ERA (163 ERA+). 

Downs also earned a shot at the closer role but doesn’t fit the typical closer mold. His fastball usually lives in the high 80s and he’s a lefty. Jepsen posted a sharp 3.02 ERA and offers a blazing (average velocity 96.6 MPH) fastball, but he has limited late-inning experience (three career saves). Burnett has the worst track record of the four, with a 3.58 career ERA and mediocre 4.15 career FIP.

For more up-to-the-minute news and analyss international future to China.Browning swapped Everton for Guangzhou Evergrande in February, but intends to swap a lot more too —starting with his citizenship.The defender was born in Liverpool and represented England at Under-17, U19 and U21 levis on the latest rumors from bloggers ,  and , follow .

Pirates camp report: Youngsters like Cole expected to help turnaround

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BRADENTON, Fla. — Bob Nutting starts talking about winning the World Series, and no doubt plenty of people start laughing. Or sighing.How about winning more games than you lose?

But the owner is right.

More on Spring TrainingRelated links | More on Pirates | | | | More coverage | | |

The goal can’t be just having a winning season, no matter how many losing years you’ve had in a row. The goal can’t be just to end the streak.

The Pirates should be thinking about winning World Series.

And that’s where Gerrit Cole comes in.

There’s no way to know for sure exactly what Cole will become. There’s no way to know for sure how soon he’ll become it.

He may not help the Pirates at all this year. Barring something crazy happening this spring, he’s going to start the season in the minor leagues. While the Pirates believe he could debut (and could make an impact) a few months later, there are no guarantees?

So why does he matter, for a team where the owner is demanding “a step forward” this season?

Simply because if your goal really is to win a World Series, you need to find and then develop talents like Gerrit Cole.

Somehow, in the 20 months since the Pirates made Cole the first overall pick in the June 2011 draft, he’s been pushed out of our thoughts by other guys from that draft. His UCLA teammate Trevor Bauer has already debuted in the big leagues, already been traded and already been raved about.

Meanwhile, as strange as it seems for someone taken with the first overall pick, Cole doesn’t get the same hype. Even some of his teammates laugh at the idea that a No. 1 draft pick can be under the radar, even as they agree that Cole is just that.

He probably shouldn’t be.

“Pure stuff, he’s jaw-dropping,” says Jameson Taillon, the Pirates’ other big pitching prospect. “I charted him some last year, and you see that 92 mph slider, the 101 mph fastballs … it’s like a video game.

“I think once Gerrit gets his shot, he’ll blow people away.”

The way general manager Neal Huntington puts it, the Pirates “haven’t closed the door completely” to Cole making the team out of spring training. But the Pirates think of themselves now as an organization that is cautious in promoting prospects (as opposed to the one that previously pushed up before he was really ready).

“The worst reason to bring [Cole] to the big leagues is that we need him,” Huntington said. “I’d rather be a week too late tven Gerrard’s side lost 3-1 at home to Bayer Leverkusen in the first leg of their round of 16 clash.It means Gers will have to go to Germany and overturn a two goal deficit if they are to progress into the quarter finals.Leon Bailey gave Leverkusen than a month too early.”

Huntington believes in Cole, Taillon and his other prized prospects. The organization believes in the prospects so strongly that the Pirates backed away from a proposed trade for Chase Headley last July, even though the team seemed to need a boost and even though it wasn’t going to cost them either Cole or Taillon.

Huntington also believes in his current roster, and in the small improvements he was able to make to it over the winter. He believes in new catcher (“One of our scouts said we didn’t just make one position better, we made half the team better”), and he believes in and and Alvarez and .

“We have a group that’s very hungry,” Huntington said.

They have a group that for now has one true star (center fielder ), and a lot of players who are better than the ones the Pirates had 3-4 years ago.

Everyone in camp reminds you that the 2012 team won as many games as any Pirates team in the last 20 years, even though that number was only 79. Everyone reminds you that the Pirates have improved by 22 wins in two years, even though they know that the owner is right when he says the goal has to be winning World Series, not winning 82 games.

There’s a tendency with bad teams to think that improvement necessarily comes in steps, but that’s not always true. Years ago,seille midfielder Maxime López has revealed an approach from Barcelona.Lopez admits Barca were in contact two years ago.”In the summer of 2017, the sports director of Barça ( Robert Fernández) spoke with my agent, who said there was interest in th the Braves became a great team overnight, going from last place in 1990 to the World Series in 1991.

More recently, the same thing happened with the Tigers, who had a streak of 12 consecutive losing seasons that ended with a team that went to the World Series.

Nutting isn’t going to spend the way Mike Ilitch did in Detroit, but there is one comparison between those Tigers and these Pirates: a high-end, hard-throwing young but unproven pitcher drafted by Greg Smith.

Maybe it’s not fair to compare Gerrit Cole to Justin Verlander. But in both cases, Smith chose a college pitcher who wasn’t a finished product, bypassing others who he believed would get to the big leagues sooner for one he was convinced had a real chance to end up being better.

“There’s some roughness around the edges, and I like that,” Smith said. “Because it means there’s more in there.”

Smith said if you re-ran the 2011 draft today, he’d still take Cole, even as others have gotten more attention and have already begun big-league careers.

“Oh, absolutely,” he said. “I haven’t wavered at all.”

Cole himself admits he notices the other guys in his draft class. He and Bauer were college teammate appoint a new manager.Hartson believes caretaker Freddie Ljungberg, who was appointed after Unai Emery’s dismissal, is not the man to steady the “sinking ship” and says the Arsenal board must act quickly — like Tottenham did.He told The Sun: “s, but they were never particularly close.

“I don’t think we focus on each other very much,” Cole said.

He knows Bauer and others have had higher profiles. He should also know that Verlander didn’t have the highest profile in his draft class in the months before he debuted as the 2006 American League Rookie of the Year.

In that spring of 2006, Baseball America ranked Verlander as the eighth-best prospect in the game. He was third among pitching prospects, behind and Chad Billingsley.

This week, Baseball America released its 2013 prospect rankings. Cole was seventh.Verlander ended that 2006 season in the World Series.

I’m not saying Cole is Verlander, and I’m not saying the Pirates are going to the World Series.

But getting the most out of talent like Gerrit Cole is the way they could get there.

se to drop their bid to bring Neymar back to the N

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The Phillies traded relief pitcher to the Blue Jwhen facing smaller clubs.Over the past month Chelsea have suffered embarrassing home defeats to West Ham, Bournemouth and Southampton – as well as being thrashed at Everton.Before victory at Arsenal, the 25-year-old told Canal+: “For the big matchesays on Saturday in exchange for minor-league first baseman Art Charles. Schwimer ms sports director Fabio Paratici is convinced he can bring Paul Pogba to Turin – and for an affordable price.The Manchester United midfielder continues to be linked with Real Madrid, with agent Mino Raiola confirming they attempted to engineer a moveade 35 appearances for Philadelphia last season and registered a 2-1 record with a 4.46 ERA and 36 strikeoutsgue opponents Liverpool.Haaland has scored 17 times in just 12 appearances, including a hat-trick against Genk in their Group E opener last month. Marsch sounded a positive note on his frontman to SiriusXM FC, saying the teen will be “ready to go”.”I.

fender Marc Cucurella.Getafe have exercised their

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In another indication of how quickly time passes, veteran starting pitcher will enter his ninth season in Atlanta this year. And the campaign could be his last as a member of the Braves as he heads into the final year of his contract with the club. The 37-year-old said he would like to finish his career with Atlanta, but is not focused on the situation. “We’ll make the most of it,” he told .com. “My job is to go out and help this team win. I’m going to enjoy it and savor it as much as I can. Hopefully it’s not, but it could be the last year for talks between the club and Maddison’s representatives started last November, but a fresh deal is only just moved to Parma from Manchester United for £1.4m.But Corriere dello Sport says a deal is already in place for Darmian to join Inter Milan in January.As part of the deal, Parma will take Alessandro Bastoni on loan.Moving to Inter will see Dyet to be agreed.City wanted to reward their number 10 with a contract that reflected his importance to the club and his rise to full England internatiome here. Hopat he is far better than Carlos Vela.While Vela is the top scorer in MLS this season, Ibrahimovic believes that he is still the best player in the league.Despite being in the twilight of his career, Ibrahimovic has lost none of his arrogance and passefully, I’ll play a while longer, and hopefully it’s here.”

Report: Diamondbacks mulling Atlanta offer for Justin Upton

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(US Presswire)

The are currently from Atlanta for outfielder , Buster Olney of ESPN.com reported Wednesday. CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman confirmed the report . The Braves are now generally considered the frontrunner for Upton if he is dealt.

Pieces in the offer have not been revealed. The best comparison available is the rejected deal between the and Diamondbacks for Upton, which r finishing second last season with a record points total of 97.The Reds have got off to the perfect start to this term with five wins from five games.”Last season we achieved a club record number of points in the Premier League,” he told the officiawould have sent top pitching prospect Taijuan Walker, shortstop prospect Nick Franklin and relievers Stephen Pryor and Charlie Furbush to Arizona. 

Last week, our R.J. White put together for Justin Upton based on prospect rankings. His hypothetical deal from the Braves would send pitching prospects and , shortstop prospect and reliever to Arizona. Although the names are unlikely to match up exster United youngster Angel Gomes was blocked from a loan departure on deadline day last week.The Manchester Evening Nith Claudio Ranieri’s Sampdoria, Corriere dello Sport says AS Roma and AC Milan are also keen.The pair want to take the 19-year-old on loan in the January transfer window.There could also be an option to buy included for €25m.His estranged father Jews says Gomes’s camp made a last-ditch attempt to secure the 19-year-old a loan to a top-flight team on Friday, even though the Uniactly if the trade comes to fruition, the general shape of the deal — one or two solid pitching prospects, one or two relievers, and a middle infield prospect — makes sense given the Diamondbacks’ stated needs and their nixed trade with the Mariners.

If the Braves do manage to acquire Upton, their Opening Day lineup will look something like this:

Martin Prado 3B

Jason Heyward RF

Justion Upton LF

Freddie Freeman 1B

B.J. Upton CF

Brian McCann C

Dan Uggla 2B

Andrelton Simmons SS

Although the National League will have some strong lineups this season — the Reds and Nationals stand out, with the Cardinals and Brewers bringing back high-scoring lineups as well — this hypothetical Atlanta team could compete with all of the above.

For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis on the latest rumors from bloggers Chris Cwik, Jack Moore and R.J. White, follow.

Willian lifted the lid on his future earlier this

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The Red Sox and relief pitcher agreed Friday to a one-year contract worth $4.1 million to avoid arbitration, CSN New England reports. Bailey was limited to just 19 appearances last season, his first with Boston, and didn’t make his season debut until mid-Auguends with Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola.The pair had a season together at the Nou Camp before Eto’o left for Impions Bayern Munich.Boateng has long been linked with a move away, with both Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United linked last summer.The Gunners are emerging as a possible destination this offseason.He has not been first choice for Bayern this nter Milan in a swap for Zlatan Ibrahimovic.”I love him as a coach, but not as a person,” said Eto’o to Marca.”I learned to play footbast because of a thumb n their academy.Along with Manchester United, the Blues are keen on signing the talented 16-year-old.Bellingham has made 32 appearances this season and Birmingham reportedly want £50m for his signature.But any move from Chelsea could have ramificatiinjury. He collected just six saves after registering at least 24 saves in each of his previous three seasons as a member of the Athletics.

Report: R.A. Dickey willing to accept a two-year extension

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k on loan until the end of the season.Lossl, 30, joined the Toffees from Town in the summer but has not played for the Premier League side this season.The Denmark international made 69 league appearances in two seasons with the Terriers.Willock, 22,

pitcher is willing to take a two-year extension, to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com.

Dickey and third baemanja Matic are resuming light training.While neither player should be ready for their next game on Thursday, they could be involved at the weekend or next week.Metro says both players are ready to return to training with the whole group this week.Sseman were said to be a “package deal” earlier this offseason. With Wright now in the fold, the Mets can turn their attention to the Cy Young winner. 

Coming together on a contract could be difficult. While Dickey is coming off a great season, he’s also 38-years-old. Making things even more tricky is that Dickey’s main pitch is the knuckleball. Normal aging curves don’t normally apply to knuckleball pitchers, as the pitch doesn’t put nearly as much stress on the arm. Still, the Mets want to proceed with caution and only give Dickey a two-year extension, as CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman in October. With Dickey willing to accept a deal for two years, both sides will now have to come up with an acceptable value for the deal. Rubin mentions that people with the Mets are “confident” a deal will be reached.

In 223 2/3 innings last season, Dickey had a 2.73 ERA and a 3.27 FIP with the team. He won the Cy Young awaon.The Brazilian winger has been one of the brightest spots of the Chelsea attack, despite many fans assuming he would be sold in the summer.The veteran has played a key role as the Blues race up the table to fight for a top four position.And Nevin ird in a landslide, receiving 27 out of a possible 32 first-place votes.

For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis on the latest rumors from bloggers Chris Cwik, Jack Moore and R.J. White, follow .

The pain of another World Series loss could linger long for the Tigers

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Related links | | VideoMore World Series | | | |

“It’s a raging fire now,” the best pitcher in baseball said, a little while after the finished proving that Verlander’s still aren’t the best team in baseball.It’s a funny thing about this game, maybe about any game. The further you go, the better you do, the bigger the disappointment if you don’t take it all the way.Thes he wants to be playing regular Champions League football.He told Goal: “We always want to level up and all players dream of playing in the Champions League. It’s a big competition and it’s good to have been followed by these kind of clubs. These ar Tigers aren’t losers, and their season didn’t end in disarray. But sometimes the disappointment of falling just short can be worse than the disappointment of not coming close at all.”Anytime you’re close to the goal you want and you don’t get it, it hurts more,” said.The Tigers’ season ended with no excuses. They didn’t lose because of bad luck or a long layoff. They lost because when it counted, their big guys didn’t hit, and for the most part their little guys didn’t, either.They lost because Verlander gave up two big home runs to in the first three innings of Game 1, and the Tigers never recovered. They never led a game until the third inning of Game 4, and even that lead only held up for three innings.They put up about the same amount of fight as the put up against them in the ALCS, the only difference being the lack of any real drama, -style.”There was nothing fluky about it,” manager Jim Leyland said. “We got our ass kicked. We got to the heavyweight fight, and we got knocked out.”Leyland spoke for a while about how the Tiger culture has changed in the seven years since he arrived. He took over a team that had gone 13 years without a winning season, and in seven years since has been to three American League Championship Series and two World Series.”It’s been great,” he said. “It’s been fun.”He never said it would continue. He never spoke about the future.In fact, if there was any sense of finality about this World Series loss, it was that it ended with more uncertainty than ever that the 67-year-old Leyland will return for another year.With him or without him, the Tigers could well be back. Their key players are signed or under control, and Victor Martinez will be back after missing all of this season after knee surgery.As always, they’ll have owner Mike Ilitch’s money available, and they’ll have the drive that comes with having an 83-year-old owner who badly wants a World Series ring.”The same team’s going to be here — with more,” Fielder said. “That’s a plus.”It was back in January, when the Tigers signed Fielder, that people seriously began talking about the Tigers as a team that could win the World Series — or as a team that should win the World Series.They went on to spend most of the season chasing the and/or the in the weak American League Central, and never seemed able to relax until they finally did make it to the playoffs.The no-doubt high point arrived 10 days ago, with the four-game sweep of the Yankees, but it was followed quickly by five days without a game and then by the four straight losses to the Giants.We’ll never know for sure whether the layoff had anything to do with the Tigers’ lack of hitting against the Giants (or with Verlander’s out-of-sync, out-of-character bad outing in Game 1). , who played on the 2006 team that lost the World Series after a long layoff, stood in the Tiger clubhouse late Sunday night and lamented the similarities.Whether it was that or whether it was simply the Giants’ strong pitching, the Tigers ended the World Series feeling that the world hadn’t seen them at close to their best.”They played perfectly,” catcher said. “We just couldn’t keep up.”The big focus will be on Fielder, whose Game 1 single was his only hit in 14 World Series at-bats, and on , the Triple Crown winner whose two-run home run in the third inning Sunday was his only real World Series moment.But just as in 2006, when the Tigers hit .199 and scored just 11 runs in a five-game World Series loss to the , this was a team failure, with a .159 team batting average and just six runs in four games.The Tigers’ pitching was good enough that when they briefly took a 2-1 lead in Game 4, they began to dream of a miracle comeback. Verlander was set to pitch in a Game 5, and (who carried a shutout through six innings of Game 2) was ready to return in a Game 6.”There wasn’t a doubt in my mind,” Verlander said.Not a doubt, even though no team had ever recovered from a three games to one World Series hole, even though the record now shows that 21 of the 24 teams that have fallen behind three games to none haven’t even made it to Game 5.”We had a good chance to win it all,” Verlander said — and yes, he was talking about winning it all after losing the first three.At 29, Verlander has accomplished plenty, from Rookie of the Year to Most Valuable Player and Cy Young Award winner in the same season. He’s been an All-Star starting pitcher (although it didn’t go well), and he has twice started Game 1 of the World Series (which hasn’t gone well, either).What he hasn’t done is what the Tigers haven’t done since 1984.He knows it. He feels it.”Absolutely,” he said. “There’s definit after completing a switch to Inter Milan.The Italian side paid £74m to get the deal over the line.Following the deadline day announcement, Lukaku tweeted a thank you message to everyone involved with the Red Devils.To everyone involved with Manchesely a burning fire to win it all. The only thing that takes that away is to win it.”And the only United great Ryan Giggs believes Marcus Rashford would’ve loved to have played alongside Eric Cantona.Cantona helped Giggs reach his potential when they were teammates at United.And the Wales coach told Bleacher Report: “He was just different. You sthing that makes it worse is to come all this way, and then lose it.Months from now, perhaps even days from now, the Tigers will look back on 2012 as a good year. There’s no other way to see it, when you win a pennant, when you’re one of the final two teams standing.”It would be very tough to look back at this year as a negative,” Verlander said. But it will oh so easy to look back and feel the pain of watching the Giants rush the field at Comerica Park when it ended.”That’s something that’s going to be etched in my mind,” Avila said. “The thing is, we do have the team to get back here.”They have no choice now. They have no choice but to find a way back.As every other team that loses a World Series would tell you — as Verlander would tell you about 2006 — the pain of losing won’t go away quickly.It may never leave, unless or until they win.