Penn rowing starts season strong on both coasts

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It was a busy weekend to start the spring season for Penn rowing, with boats in the water on both coasts for each of the program’s men’s squads. In the end, it proved to be a successful one, too.

The 11th-ranked lightweights opened their season at home against No. 12 Mercyhurst. While the Lakers won the freshman race and the fours, the Quakers won when it counted most.

Penn’s first varsity boat finished in 5:49.3, comfortably ahead of Mercyhurst’s 5:57.9, while the Quakers’ second varsity boat snuck in just ahead of the Lakers’ top rowers at 5:57.5, making Penn’s win even more convincing.

It was the first spring race for the lightweights under first-year Penn head coach Colin Farrell, whose excitement was unbridled after the win.

“The fun things about today and just getting into the spring racing is that now the crews are side by side,” Farrell said, explaining the difference from the fall season, in which the teams race single-file.

“They get to race and see their opponent right next to them, and you know how you’re doing at every moment of the race. And it’s a much shorter race. So the spring is just the greatest. It’s a lot more intense and personal because of those things.”

Rowing is a sport in which individual performances mean almost nothing. Still, Farrell was pleased with the actions of a few specific individuals before the race even started, explaining how the upperclassmen held a team meeting to give some advice to the freshmen.

“I was pretty proud of what I heard there, and just the way that they’re bringing the young guys along and trying to give them some veteran leadership. I really think all of our upperclassmen are doing nice job.”

On the other side of the country, the 13th-ranked heavyweights took part in the annual San Diego Crew Classic.

On Saturday, both the first and second varsity boats performed well in their heat races. The first team finished second in its heat at 6:01.34, significantly behind No. 2 California — who finished in 5:49.68 — but well ahead of Drexel’s 6:11.72 mark. The second team won its heat in 6:12.28, topping No. 12 Stanford.

In the final on Sunday, the first boat finished second behind Cal yet again in 6:03.68, but ahead of two teams above it in the rankings: Stanford (6:04.41) and No. 10 Navy (6:05.63).

The second boat finished in third in its final race, behind a pair of Cal boats but — like its teammates in the first boat — ahead of Navy and Stanford.

With their performance, the Quakers figure to move up in the next edition K£38 million (US$49 million) for the financial year ending June 2019, reports, /.The period covered the team’s Championship title-winning season, securing promotion back to the Premier League. But their 2018/19 campaign was also the first in eight yof the rankings, and their morale iaw with Eibar.Lionel Messi scored two goals in two minutes but champions Barcelona had to settle for a draw against an impressive Eibar side in the final La Liga match of the season.Marc Cucurella, on loan from Barcelona, grabbed the home side’s opens certainly on the rise as well.

“It’s huge,” Greg Myhr, coach of Penn heavyweight rowing, said when asked about the team’s confidence following the weekend. “Confidence is such a big part of the sport. We have a pretty solid team.

“Nobody got done feeling like ‘That’s the best we can do.’ But everybody got done feeling like ‘Hey, that was pretty solid, now let’s go home and make it better.’”

Both teams will be in action again on Saturday at home. The heavyweights will battle Northeastern for the Burk Cup, while the lightweights will take on Cornell and Harvard in the Matthews-Leonard Cups. Gervinho has signed a new contract with Parma.The deal takes him through to 2022 at Parma.Gervinho’s renewal was confirmed in a statement on Parma’s official website.The former Roma winger moved to the Tardini from Chinese club Hebei China Fortune in the summer of 2018.Gervinho has scored three goals and produced two assists this season.

Tydings | Predicting the future

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I t’s a new year for Penn Athletics — and with a new year comes new predictions.

Previous sports editors have hit and missed on their prognostications to various degrees. My goal is to beat all my predecessors, giving everyone some top-notch predictions that can’t be proven wrong (but very likely will).

Without further ado, here’s are some fool-proof predictions for the 2014–15 sports season:

What does that mean you ask? Simple: Penn foot himCeltic and Stoke City are set to battle it out for Luton Town star Jack Stacey. The 23-year-old right-back helped the Hatters earn promotion to the Championship this season.The Sun says Stoke boss Jones wants a reunion with Stacey after signing him two years ago when he managed Luton.The Englishman would reportedly cost just £2m..The 21-year-old starred on loan for Aston Villa this season and the recently promoted club are looking to sign him permanently.While the England international is open to leaving Stamford Bridge, that will only be the case if the Blues no longer ball will win the Ivy League title in 2014 but have to share it with one of their Ivy foes. In this way, I can stick with my ballot for the Ivy League Preseason Media Poll and keep Princeton atop the Ivy League.

While Penn was ranked fourth initially within that poll, the Red and Blue are as good as any team in the league. With a ton of experience returning at the skill positions and on defense, sophomore quatar Belgrade ace Milan Pavkov admits an early miss against Tottenham is still haunting him.Tottenham ran out 4-0 Champions League winners at the Marakana, but Pavkov had a great chance to score for Red Star on 22 minutes.In an one-on-one with Spurs grterback Alek Torgersen will have enough around him to succeed from the start, turning last year’s 3–4 Ivy finish into a distant memory. I’ll say the Quakers stumble at Dartmouth but take the rest of their six Ivy games.

This wouldn’t be the finish that most diehard fans are looking for, but it is also the most likely. The team loses eight contributors to last year’s squad, including arguably the two most consistent players in Miles Jackson-Cartwright and Fran Dougherty. The only way this prediction ends up going wrong is if Penn’s junior class takes the step forward that many think it can. Guard Tony Hicks and center Darien Nelson-Henry highlight that class and will be keys to any resurgence for the Red and Blue.

I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but Princeton is still really good, regardless of last year’s finish. Coach Mike McLaughlin’s squad will be a top contender for the Ivy throne after winning it all last year, but Courtney Banghart’s Tigers return more experienced after faltering under pressure last year. I expect it to come down to the final game once again, but with Princeton prevailing this time.

Let’s be perfectly clear: Women’s soccer deserved a bid to last year’s NCAA Tournament, yet somehow the Quakers’ resume was deemed unworthy. One loss to Harvard shouldn’t have kept Penn out, but this year will be different. Expect the Quakers to finish on top of the Ancient Eight this year and not leave a bid up to chance.

Coach John Yurkow’s first season at the helm was full of improvement for the Red and Blue, yet Penn finished without an Ivy crown. Why? One man: Columbia pitcher David Speer. Speer shut out the Quakers twice in the final week of the season, including in a Gehrig Division Playoff that decided Penn’s fate. Speer graduated and no one in Penn’s rotation left, so look for the Quakers on top of the Ancient Eight.

I’ll admit it: I’m going to mess some of this up. But as Taylor Swift suggests, I’ll just shake it off.

At stake in Holy War: Pride, and a Big 5 title

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The date was February 20, 1965. The Philadelphia Big 5 was celebrating its 10th anniversary, and the young association’s two NCAA Tournament contenders, Villanova and Saint Joseph’s, were set to clash at the Palestra.

The rivalry’s intensity had already earned the title of the “Holy War” – so named for the universities’ Roman-Catholic affiliations. This one proved to be no less intense. Not even a bomb threat – which turned out to be a false alarm – was enough to stop the electric play.

In the end, it was St. Joe’s that came out with the win. It swept the City Series en route to reaching the NCAA Tournament.

The Hawks (13-9, 3-0 Big 5) have been on the losing side of the battle in recent years, but with the Big 5 title on the line at 7 p.m. tonight, it hasn’t lost any of its signature intensity.

“There’s always that tension between us and Villanova,” St. Joe’s forward Ahmad Nivins said. “There’s a lot on the line here so it’s going to be a great game for us.”

Villanova (15-7, 3-0 Big 5) has won nine of the last 13 meetings and is fresh off of a win over Louisville.

The game is set to air on ESPN2 as part of the network’s “Rivalry Week,” but Nivins knows the dangers of getting caught up in the media hype.

“With this young group, we can’t be dazzled by the big lights,” Nivins said. “Villanova’s a good team with a lot of experience. . We can’t let those little things get to us, like the hostile environment and that it’s on TV. I think we just really have to stay focused.”

And there’sBrd over Eden Hazard’s expected sale this summer.The Sun says Chelsea chiefs promised the Belgian last summer that he could leave for La Liga if he stayed for one more year.Senior sources at Chelsea do not deny their agreement with Hazard but the clubuffon is proud to have matched Paolo Maldini’s appearances record.Featuring in victory over Sampdoria last night, Buffon made it 647 Serie A appearances – so drawing level with record holder and AC Milan icon Maldini.Afterwards, Buffon insisted: “ plenty to focus on for St. Joe’s.

Villanova freshman guard Scottie Reynolds has exploded onto the Philadelphia hoops scene, dropping 82 points in his last five games. That includes thr stalling stadium upgrade plans by slashing costs by as much as UK£500 million (US$650 million), according to the New Civil Engineer, reports, /.The West London club had originally planned to demolish the existing 41,600 seater Stamford Bridge to be game-high 26 points he netted in the Wildcats’ nail-biter over Texas.

His production, bolstered by Mike Nardi’s outside shooting and Curtis Sumpters’s inside presence, will give the Hawks plenty of trouble – a fact that is certainly not lost on St. Joe’s coach Phil Martelli.

“They do such a great job of finding each other with triple penetration; we are not going to be able to guard them unless we can guard the ball and keep the ball in front of us,” he said.

The Wildcats have had the advantage recently, but with both teams coming into the contest undefeated in the Big 5, this game seems in perfect accord with the heated history that dates back to 1921.

At the very least, the expectations, talent and tension promises that the game could be more than just another chapter in Holy War’s history.

DP Ivy Rankings

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Lions make gains in poll after big week

After a monumental sweep over Penn and Princeton, Columbia finally got some respect from the DP sportswriters as the Lions jumped over Brown into sixth place in the rankings.

Yale rose in the poll as well, despite a loss to Dartmouth. But the Quakers still hold a wide margin over the second-ranked Elis.

Meanwhile, the Tigers finally managed to break into the top half of the rankings despite having held a second-place record since the early stages of league play.

It’s m playing out a 0-0 draw at Barcelona, top level scouts were attending Rennes’ Coupe de la Ligue victory over Amiens.Lea’s transfer ban was overturned on appeal on Friday.And the Chelsea-transfer-news-Man-Utd-Liverpool-Jadon-Sancho-January-Borussia-Dortmund”>Daily Express says Chelsea have put Sancho at the top of their January shopping list after their transfer ban’Equipe says two representatives from Real were in the stands to check on Rennes midfielder Eduardo Camavinga.The 17 year-old has emeore than likely that this is partially because Harvard’s continued freefall shows no signs of letting up — it lost over 20 points in the poll since last weeical.Silva admits the West Ham fixture on October 19 is now a “must win game” following Saturday’s limp defeat to Burnley, their fourth successive loss.They have picked up just seven points from eight games.Silva said: “When I say to you it is a mustk.

The Brown women have taken over first place in the standings, and also picked up a few first-place votes from the DP writers.

However, the Big Green is still standing strong atop the rankings.

After winning their second league game against Columbia, the Quakers held their sixth-place spot. However, they made large gains in every category.

Yankees, Red Sox to honor Newtown victims on opening day

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On April 1 at Yankee Stadium, the and will team up to honor the 26 victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown, Conn. The Wall Street Journal :

Pregame ceremonies include a joint honor guard of Newtown police and firefighters, and a momentnce Leroy Sane about a move.Bayern powerbrokers have confirmed plans to sign the Germany international from Manchester City.And Rummenigge said, “I cannot answer that seriously today. But one must not forget that he has a two-year contract and Manche of silence at which time a list of the victims’ names will be recognized on the center-fnandinho’s 90th-minute own goal ensured the Eagles claimed a draw at Etihad Stadium in a remarkable conclusion to the game.The result leaves champions City 13 points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool, who have two games in hand and play Manchesield scoreboard.

The Yankees and Red Sox will wear a special ribbon on their uniforms. Baseball commissioner Bud Selig has asked that all other 28 major league teams wear the ribbon during their opening games.

“Months have passed, yet we are still trying to come to grips with this incomprehensible tragedy,” Red Sox owner John Henry said in a statement. “As our teams look to face each other on opening day, we will stand united in support of the families affected as we remember and honor those who were lost.”

The Yankees will also host “Newtown Day at Yankee Stadium” on July 7.

This is obviously a commendable gesture on the part of these two long-time rivals.

For mate Joao Felix.The €120m signing from Benfica has been a revelation in preseason.And Oblak enthused, “We’re still in pre-season but it’s clear that he’s a huge talent. With talent like that he can grow to be a magnificent player. I’m sure that tmore baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow on Twitter, subscribe to the and . Also, individually interact with us on Twitter: , and .

hile United have been pushing for a deal with Ajax

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Boston catcher returned to Grapefruit League action as the designated hitter on Sunday against the Yankees. Dealing with lower-back stiffness early in camp, Saltalamacchia appears to be over it after goingucceed at Chelsea.Henderson could come up against his compatriot when Chelsighting to keep hold of Hamza Choudhury.The Mirror says Leicester have rebuffed loan enquiries from Burnley and Newcastle for midfielder Choudhury.The Foxes have used the 22-year-old local lad largely as a substitute this season.And that prompted Seaea host the Premier League leaders at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.He told Sky Sports: “They’ve go Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen.The Dane’s current deal is due to expire in June.The Guardian says Inter have offered Eriksen a four-year deal and want to sign the Tottenham star this month.The midfielder is out of contract in the summer andot huge potential with the likes of Mason already training for England, I can see 1 for 2 with a double. Saltalamacchia said Saturday that he’s been wanting to play and that he believes the Red Sox were just being careful with him. He’s batting .375 this spring.

id defender Ricardo Carvalho is happy for Eden Haz

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Despite spring traininger Mauro Icardi.Inter are seeking a buyer for the Argentine as they need to raise funds to land Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku.After a difficult six months, Icardi has seen his asking price plummet from €110m a year ago to €60m now.Such games starting in less than two weeks, starting pitcher remains in the dwindling free-agent pool. Lohse posted a career-low 2.86 ERA over 33 starts with the Cardk Butland for below their asking price.Aston Villa and Bournemouth have been put off by the Potters demand of £20m for the England international goalkeeper.”We don’t want Jack to go. Jack’s a Premier League goalkeeper, no two ways about it,” said Joinals last season, but most teams have been reluctant toager Pep Guardiola.Mahrez is in his second season at City.He told France Football: “It is really very simple. He is a winner, he is there to make us progress. “Guardiola, he’ll explain everything to us, decrypt everything, from A to Z, with the aim o sign the veteran right-hander as it would cost a pick in the 2013 Draft. “He’s a good player and has been through this a couple of times,” his agent, Scott Boras, told MLB.com on Friday. “This was kind of anticipated with his draft compensation dynamic.”

Some still expect Toronto to let Farrell go to the rival Red Sox

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Three people with ties to the Blue Jays say they remain surprised the team has publicly suggested it won’t let manager John Farrell go to . Those people still believe there’s a chance will change its mind, and allow Farrell to gub with New England Revolution.Last August the 31-year-old joined New England Revolution who we meet in tomorrow’s Final Whistle On Hate game, and who today appointed former USA manager Bruce Arena as their new head coach.”It does make me very proud,o to the Red Sox, provided the compensation suits them.

One person, who claims the Blue Jays front office and Farrell butted heads this year, went so far as to say, “The people there would charter a jet to get him out.’’

That might be colorfully put or even exaggerated, but it appears there are legs to the initial report from Jim Duquette of Sirius/XM that there’s a “disconnect’’ between Farrell and the front office. Farrell denied there was a “disconnect’’ at the time. But of course, that could be a matter of perception or semantics.

According to one report by Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Red Sox and Jays have at least had “preliminary’’ talks regarding a trade for Farrell, the ex-Red Sox executive and pitching coach that tops Boston’s managerial wish list. So that could be more evidence the Jays might bend and let him go.

Red Sox GM Ben Cherington and Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos didn’t return texts regarding Farrell. Anthopoulos has said multiple times that the Jays are sticking to their policy written last year that employees won’t be allowed to take jobs with new teams if the new job is a “lateral’’ move.

That would seem to prevent Farrell from moving to the Red Sox to be their manager. Of course, it’s possible Toronto’s public stance could also be a negotiating tactic.

If there were truly issues between Farrell and the front office, and only a year remains on his deal, it seems logical they’d let him go.  Toronto went 73-89 this year, four games better than last-place Boston.

The Red Sox have interviewed four candintonio Conte has reaffirmed he “hopes” they can sign Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku.Conte was speaking after defeat to United in Singapore.He stated, “It’s not right to ask about a Manchester United player at this moment. We must show greadates for their managerial opening – Brad Ausmus, DeMarlo hale, Tim Wallach and Tony Pena —  but there’s no word of any new interviews within the last couple days.

Trades for managers have been rare. But thela is delighted to get some game time with the first team.Chirivella has been waiting a long time to get a few appearances with the senior setup.He is now 22 and knows that he must make an impact sooner than later to make it at the club.But he is hap traded Ozzie Guillen last year to the Marlins.

 

ed in their 2-2 draw with Champions League opponen

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Mets pitcher finished r advice from David Beagreed a fee to sign Genk star Leandro Trossard.Sky Sportssays the Seagulls will part with £18m in order to sign the talented winger.Graham Potter has now secured his second signing as Brighton manager after they completed the transfer of centre-bacckham about his next move.Sane is signing with the same agents that represent Beckham.His parents look after his affairs but Sane has also spoken to high-profile agencies as he plots his future.City boss Pep Guardiola dropped hithe season on the shelf, as he wasts their poor start to the season is just a “blip”.He wrote for the Daily Mail: “(Mauricio) Pochettino is the best thing that has happened to Tottenham in 20 years. I say that as someone who was at the club in the late 1990s and, again, 10 years lats unable to come back from an injured triceps. He last appeared in game Sept. 25.

Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw still has chance to pitch again in 2012

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(Getty Images)

manager Don Mattingly updated the stil this season.Arteta has seemingly ruled out Arsenal selling Ozil this January.The German’s future has been the subject of much speculation in recent months, and Fenerbahce are among the clubs keen on signing him.But Arteta suggested Ozil has a big atus of ace Tuesday after Kershaw met with a hip specialist in New York, but his status is still pretty vague.

According to Mattingly, Kershaw’s left hip injury still is considered “ser are moving for Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge.The England international will formally leave Liverpool when his deal expires at the end of this week.Takvim says Fenerbache are desperate to sign Sturridge on a free transfer this summer.The Turks aious,” but “it didn’t sound too bad.” And while there are no bullpen sessions scheduled forky Sports says Schalke are leading the race to sign Everton’s Kenny on a season-long loan.Premier League pair Brighton and Crystal Palace are also interested in the 22-year-old, who has fallen down the pecking order at Goodison Park following the ret Kershaw, Mattingly said there’s still a chance Kershaw returns this season ().

Another takeaway from the examination is that Kershaw can pitch through the injury — assuming he can deal with the pain — without risking further future injury. However, the Dodgers will not allow Kershaw to pitch in pain ().

So, basically, this is a bit of a nonupdate, except that Kershaw’s season still isn’t officially over. Time to insert that “so you’re telling me there’s a chance” line from Dumb and Dumber, right?

Kershaw, 24, is 12-9 with a 2.70 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 206 strikeouts in 206 2/3 innings pitched this season. He won the NL Cy Young Award last season.

The Dodgers enter Tuesday’s action only one game behind the for the final NL playoff spot.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow on Twitter, subscribe to the and .

Report: Giants reliever Guillermo Mota joining the team in Houston

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pitcher Guillermo Mota is heading to , to ESPN.com’s Enyers of their poor season.The Sun says Solskjaer had scheduled a meeting for players in the morning to assess the season and say farreports.The Brazilian is a wanted man as he enters the final 12 months of his contract.The Blues have now rejected two £35m bids from Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, according to Sky Sports.With the club likely to serve their transfer ban until 2020,ewell to departing team-mates.But the Cardiff City defeat in the last game of the campaign – bringing a terrible finalrique Rojas. 

The 38-year-old reliever sent Rojas a text telling him he was on a flight headed for Houston to rejoin the GBeattie, having seen what he did week in, week out at Birmingham, is confident his luck will change.“I speak to Che on a regular basis and he just needs to remember his process, remember his training and to try and relax a little bit. The more you iants. Mota is eligible to return from his suspension Tuesday. Mota has only thrown 10 2/3 innings with the Giants this season. He was suspended in May for testing positive for a banned substance. Because it was his second violation, Mota was suspended for 100 games. 

Mota is scheduled to become a free agent after the season. 

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

Giants bat Madison Bumgarner eighth against Cardinals

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manager Bruce Bochy has filled out his lineup card for against the , and in the spirit of a certain former St. Louis skipper he’s batting pitcher in the eight hole. Bumgarner, who throws lefty but bats from the right side, is a career .136/.184/.186 hitter in 140 plate appearances.As CBSSports.com Insider Danny Knobler notes, the Giants, in doing so, will become the first team in 2012 to bat the pitcher anywhere other than ninth. The last team to trot out such an unconventional lineup was the Braves in August of last year. The effects of lineup ordArsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny has signed with Besiktas.The Egypt international has joined Besiktas on-loan to the end of the season.Elneny, 27, had little future under Unai Emery.Trity.
The 19-year-old has never previously spent timnts to leave West Ham United.The Mexican has admitted he is searching for a new club after two seasons with the Hammers.”The team is working with us. [My agent] is the one more involved,” he said on the first episode of a Youtube series Naked Humans.e on loan.But he will face the challenge with Steve Cooper’s Swans for the remainder of the 2019/20 season.The Swans fought off competition from a number of clubs to sign the talented forward.Thankansferrrrrr No: #6 pic.twitter.com/k3mmbu90BU— Besiktas JK (@Besiktas) Besiktas/status/1167753923345752064?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>August 31, 2019ering are drastically overstated in most quarters, and that’s especially the case with single-game adjustments. While hitting the pitcher eighth does make sense, . Still, it’s always interesting to see how such decisions play out in an individual game.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow on Twitter, subscribe to the and .

Rangers won’t let Angels see Yu Darvish … yet

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The forthcoming Rangers-Angels duel for the AL West crown was already compelling stuff even before . Now, things are getting even more interesting. As T.R. Sullivan of .com reports, the Rangers, rather than allow Yu Darvish make his next scheduled spring start on Sunday against those Angels, , safely away from the prying eyes and bats of Anaheim. While this might seem like an unnecessary bit of espionage on the part of Texas — after all, there’s no doubt that each Darvish (9.0 IP, 3.00 ERA, 10 K, 7 BB, 0 HR this spring) start to date has been heavily attended by Ranger advance scouts — there’s something to be said for not letting the likes of

Albert Pujs to stay at Arsenal for 22 years.The Frenchman was in cham goalkeeper coach Erwin Lemmens says Simon Mignolet needs to leave Liverpool.Belgium international Mignolet was strictly second fiddle to Alisson Becker at Liverpool this season.”I have a lot of respect for Simon,” Lemmens said. “He’s a real professrge of the Gunners from 1996 to 2018, winning three Premier League titles and seven FA Cup’s during that time.”No regret,” Wenger told beIN Sports. “Regret is that maybe I sacrificed a little ols and

Torii Hunter get an early look at Darvish. If the received wisdom is to believed, then pitchers benefit from a lack of familiarity. Hitters, it follows, do not. As well, there’s the fact that limited exposure could be of extra benen enjoyed a busy summer at the Copa America as he helped Brazil triumph on home soil, scoring in the final.“I was really missing training and my teammates and very keen to get back on the pitch playing again,” Richarlison said.“It is my second hofit to a pitcher like Darvish, whose uncommonly deep repertoire and somewhat unorthodox delivery could befuddle stateside hitters in the early going (or even permanently). And, of course, such relative secrecy adds to the “aura” of Darvish. Call it La Russa-style “psych ops” if you want, but in a division that could have a hair-thin margin, every edge helps.

Spring primer: Boston Red Sox

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The Red Sox would obviously like to put 2011 behind them, moving into 2012 with a new general manager, a new manager and a new closer. Will Bobby Valentine, the new sheriff in town, be enough to keep last year’s prohibitive favorite return to form? RHP

, RHP Mark Melancon, INF Nick Punto, OF

, OF

RHP Jonathan Papelbon, INF Jed Lowrie, OF Josh Reddick, SS Marco Scutaro, OF 1.  Jacoby Ellsbury CF2. 2B3. 1B4.

3B5. DH6. LF7.

C8. Ryan Sweeney RF9. SS1.

2.

3. Clay Bochholz4. 5. Closer:  Andrew BaileySet-up: , , INF Nick Punto, OF Cody RossThe Red Sox hold a $12 million option on Kevin Youkilis for the 2013 season, but may decline that option, depending on how they feel about the progress of . Middlebrooks is without a doubt the team’s future at third base after hitting .302/.345/.520 in 96 games at Double-A Portland last season. Middlebrooks struggled in 16 Triple-A games last year, but will likely get a full year there followed by a September call-up to see if he can take over for Youkilis in 2013 or if he still needs a little more time to get ready. Ryan Sweeney”The line-drive hitting outfielder was penalized by playing his home games in Oakland, but in Fenway Park, Sweeney gets a double-hitter’s nirvana as his new home park. If Sweeney was capable of producing a 30-plus doubles season in Oakland, 35 or 40 doubles wlishman decided to stay at bet365 Stadium to try and get the Potters back into the top-flight this season.After they failed to do so, Butland has set his sights on a return. According to the Stoke Sentinel, the 26-year-old is being targeted by Bourneould not be out of the question in Boston.” — Al Melchior [] Jarrod Saltalamacchia”His pace of 16 home runs in 358 at-bats was far benchester United greatness.A fine preseason the from 17-year-old, in which he has scored two goals, has prompted Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to think about starting him in United’s opening Premier League opener against Chelsea.Shaw has been training alongsidtter than any ratio he had put up previously, and particularly with a high percentage of short-distance homers, it seems unlikely that he will equal it this year. Salty’s 23 doubles were also out of character, though some of those can be attributed to playing home games at Fenway Park.” — Al Melchior []Everything that went wrong in 2011 goes right this year. Crawford overcomes his early injuries to have an MVP type season, to go along with a monster yeCity.Four first-half goals carried the Reds to three points at Anfield as Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk and Divock Origi struck after Grant Hanley first put through his own net.Teemu Pukki netted for the Canaries, who tested Klopp’s side on the openar by Gonzalez. Aviles is competent at short and Sweeney is a beast now freed of Oakland’s cavernous park. Jon Lester, Josh Beckett and all have injury-free seasons and pitch to their ability. In all, it all works out and the team goes on to win the World Series, helping ease the memories of the disappointment of 2011.They open a Kentucky Fried Chicken in the clubhouse and the team revolts against Bobby Valentine’s no-booze mandate, leading into full-scale anarchy. Anything less than a playoff berth will be seen as a complete and total failure — and anything less than a World Series title will be a disappointment.

Mike Tomlin, Steelers offensive staff pushed to keep Devlin Hodges over Josh Dobbs

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undrafted rookie quarterback , who is expected to make his first start Sunday due to injuries, has strong support from the coaching staff, with Mike Tomlin and coordinator Randy Fichtner pushing hard for him to make the 53-man roster over more established players.

Hodges, who and arrived in Pittsburgh with little fanfare in the spring, has repeatedly wowed the team with his athleticism, instincts, arm talent, confidence and ability to absorb the offense, team sources said. He was originally thought of more as a camp arm to help them get through a rookie minicamp, but he impressed enough there to earn a shot at training camp. He was a quick study at camp, making the most of limited early reps and reaching a stage at which the coaches trusted him enough to consider him over others.

He beat out Josh Dobbs, a fourth-round pick in 2017, with Tomlin and Fichtner urging the personnel department to give him a roster spot and explore trades for Dobbs (he was sent to the after starter suffered a serious injury in Week 1). Hodges, who became a favorite among veteran players for his homespun country nature and uncanny ability to make duck calls, moved up from the No. 3 quarterback to No. 2 when was lost for th after his major hamstring injury.The Frenchman’sArsenal believe they’re close to signing Celtic fullback Kieran Tierney.The Gunners are getting closer to securing the services of Tierney.Sky Sports reporter, Kaveh Solhekol, claims the North London club are “edging closer” to an agreement.Unai Emery will be hopeful that a bid of £25 million can be enough to get the deal over the line. The payment structure has been holding things up. season is over due to the setback.Despite that, Setien tried to send a message of positivity as the club wait to see how long the French forward will be out of and if they can make a signing on an emee season, and with suffest Christmas period as a Manchester United player.Indeed, once the festive schedule is out of the way, focus will once more turn to the knockout competitions.An FA Cup third- round trip to Wolves and a two-legged League Cup semi-final blockbuster agaring a concussion in Week 5, he took over the offense against the and was leading a potential game-winning drive when fumbled in overtime.

Hodges has a fearless nature, is eager to throw the ball and doesn’t back down from a challenge. He is an intriguing prospect to the Steelers brass, who believe he has a chance to stick in the league. Rudolph was limited this week while in the concussion protocol, leading to more reps for Hodges.