aiola has taken aim at former Manchester United ma

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If this wasn’t ‘s final year of his contract…and if he wasn’t 37…and if he didn’t have a ready-made replacement in Rex Brothers — we’d be embracing him as a top closer option. With a 2.85 ERA and 0.99 WHIP in 120 innings over the last two years, Betancourt has looked like one of the few pitchers immune to Colorado’s thin air.

Unfortunately, Betancourt is all but wearing a sign around his neck that says, “I will be traded in July.”

And with the ‘ trade partner likely being a team that doesn’t need a cgoalkeeper Dean Henderson on a season-long loan.England Under-21 international Henderson, 22, has agreed a new contract at Old Trafford until 2022.He played all 46 league games for Sheffield United last season as they won promotion to the Premier Lealoser (as it often is), he’ll prnited boss Steve Bruce insists they didn’t deserve defeat at home to Everton.Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s brace sandwiched Fabian Schar’s goal for the hosts.Bruce said: “I don’t think we deserved to get beaten today. It was important we didn’t lose the maobably be relegated to middle relief duty for the season’s final two months. 

That gives us four months of saves from Betancourt, which may come out to about 20-25 total. Is that g Chelsea youngsters get their chance this season.Mee saw up close the potential of Chelsea on Saturday in their 4-2 defeat.“They have all got fantastic academies (in the Premier League) and when you see the young lads coming through it definitely enough to use a RP slot on him? Only, if he’s slipping below his ADP of 179, meaning I need to see Betancourt in the 18 or 19th round before I click the “draft” button. 

eaving the club.The Liverpool Echo says Partridge

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The announced Wednesday starting pitcher , who has been battling Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is striker Krzysztof Piatek from AC Milan on a long-term contract.Piatek, who was linked with a move to Tottenham, will now play under former Spurs striker Jurgen Klinsmann, the head coach at Hertha.The 24-year-old only spent a year at the San Siro havready to step up the club’s pursuit of Aaron Wan-Bissaka.The Crystal Palace fullback has attracted a number of suitors after a fine Premier League campaign.The Sun says United are prepared to part with £50M after Palace rejected their oririer admits he tried to leave Tottenham over the summer.While Aurier is away on international duty, he has opened up about the events of last season.The Ivory Coast fullback said, “I was looking for an exit, so I couldn’t play. When you’re trying to ginal offer of £40M.Solskjaer is also considering Thomas Meunier as an alternative.a stomach virus, had a successful bullpen Wednesday and will pitch in a minor-league game Saturday. He continues to build up strength as he recovers from his illness.

tarlet Mason Mount when a junior.He has worked har

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On Thursday, manager Bnsea City striker Wilfred Bony admits he’s in talks with Serie A clubs.Bony spent the last six months on loan with Al-Arabi.“I need to train with a team to be fit before I find a new team,” Bony told BBC Sport Wales.“My agent is talking with someo Porter echoed kers this season after sending Jurgen Locadia on-loan to Brighton.The Dutch striker has signed for Hoffenheim for the rest of thespite criticism after the El Clasico.Images were revealed during the week that showed Sarabia complaining and moaning about a number of players during the defeat to Real Madrid.”My essence won’t change,” he said before Barça’s game against Real Soci season.Young striker Aaron Connolly scored his first senior goal at Bristol Rovers in midweek.Steven Alzate also impressgeneral manager Jeff Lunhow’s statement about reliever not officially being the Astros’ closer, according the Houston Chronicle. However, Porter didn’t name any candidates for the closer’s role. 

Veras has a 6.00 ERA and 1.00 WHIP in three spring outings (three innings). He also has six strikeouts.

noussi declared himself a good fit for Celtic afte

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Angels reliever made his Cactus League debut on Wednesday against the Padres. After dealing with back stiffness earlier in c determined to be a first choice this season.Walker-Peters is pushing hard for a place in Mauricio Pochettino’s starting XI following Kieran Trippier’s departure to Aris Wilder says he has spoken with Harry Redknapp about controversial trialist Ravel Morrison. The former Manchester United, West Ham United and Lazio midfielder is a free agent after being released by Ostersunds.He played under Redknapp at QPR and Wtletico Madrid.He told The Sun: “Is there a chink of light with Tripps leaving? I amnar Solskjaer was delighted with Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford in Sunday’s 4-0 win over Chelsea.The duo combined for three goals in the exciting win at Old Trafford.Speaking after the game, Solskjaer said: “Marcus Rashford played that left handp, he allowed two runs on four hits over one-third inning. “I’m disappointed in myself,” Burnett told .com. “I’m frustrated. I don’t care if it’s spring training. You still want to go out there and give it your best, and being my first impression, it was sloppy.”

son wasn’t ready to manage the club.Hodgson claime

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Pirates starting pitcher posted his second solid start in three spring outings Wednesday against the Red Sox, as he continues to battle for a rotation spot. Locke tossed four innings in the game, allowing five baserunners on three hits and two walks. He limited Boston to just onehas spoken of leaving Arsenal for Juventus.Ramsey left north London for Turin in the summer on a deal worth more than £400,000 per week after a contract offer was taken off the table by the Gunners amid what the player calls “a lot of confusion”.He run scored in the gamss Jose Mourinho.Mourinho returned to the Premier League with Spurs last month.Former Chelsea fullback Bosingwa, who played under Mourinho at Porto, tosfield are interested in signing Watford striker Isaac Success.The Watford Observer reports they are one of several teams who are interested in securing the player’s signature.Anderlecht and Cardiff City are the other teams who want the striker.The Nld Omnisport: “I think football needs Mourinho. I’m happy he came back.”I hope he will do a good joe, lowering his ERA in 10 innings to 3.60. Locke struck out three batters in the start to earn the win.

ry with Sergio Aguero.Gabriel and Aguero were pair

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The Denver Post Rockies infielder heads into exhibition games as the front-runner to win the starting third base job after a torrid finish at the plate in 2012. Nelson hit .345 with a .379 on-base percentage, .503 slugging percentage and .882 OPS in his final 53 games last season. “There’s some thunder in his bat. I have been very impressed,” Rockies new hitting coach. said. Nelson’s biggest hurdle could be his defense. “The anglesriksen has already been heavily linked with Real Madrid and Manchester United, but now Inter have emerged as candidates to sign the mercurial 27-year-old.Gazzetta dello Sport says Inter will back their new manager Antonio Conte with funds in order to are different,” manager Walt Weiss said of Nelson transitioning from shortstop and second base. “Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho believes Ndombele insists his personality hasn’t changed since moving to Tottenham.The midfielder joined over the summer from Lyon for a fee rising to over €70m.Ndombele told Foot Mercato: “I have not really changed. As you said, I’ve only been here for a the side’s defensive frailties will eventually get exposed.The Blues are on an excellent run in the Premier League, which has taken them up to third in the table on goal difference from Leicester City. They are Every once in a while you get caught in between and you get tough hops. I don’t know if that’s the case. The finer points of the position are going to come with experience for Nelly. He has good hands, he catches the ball, he has a strong arm. There are some things he does well. It’s just experience at that position.”

Yanks, Cano have work to do to reach deal before free agency hits

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(US Presswire)

TAMPA — The recently began multiyear contract negotiations with star second baseman , but a resolution appears nowhere in sight.

Early indications are that they begin with at least a significant difference in either talent assessment or valuation, suggesting a decent likelihood that Cano — the storied franchise’s best position player in his prime — has a pretty decent chance to become a free agent at year’s end. While the sides won’t admit he’s sure to hit free agency, at the very least it’s clear there’s plenty of work to do.

Word is, early on the team has suggested they considered Cano a “top 10” or maybe at worst a top 15 player in the game, while Cano, following three straight top-six finishes in American League MVP voting, seems to be thinking a bit higher than that.

“There are few elite players. That just is a very short list — less than Inter Milan.The striker has been linked with Barcelona.“Lautaro Martinez will not leave Inter and he can’t wait to start work with Conte,” agent Beto Yaque told FCInterNews.“Obviously, being praised by the best player in the world is wonderful afive,” Cano’s agent Scott Boras said by phone of his client.

Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner recently revealed to Yankees writers that the sides have had “a conversation or two.” But left unsaid at the time is where things stand.

“Robinson is happy being a Yankee, and both sides recognize that this is one of the elite players in the game,” Boras said.

Exactly how elite may be at issue, however, as the Yankees aim to keep him from becoming a free agent after the season. This isn’t going to be a short process, however, and it appears it will take some major concessions from one or both sides to beat the deadline to get him signed before his free agency begins five days after the 2013 season ends.

Star players generally go to the marketplace when they get within a year of free agency, though there have been exceptions. The Yankees themselves have a policy to allow long-term contracts to expire before trying to extend players, and they made an exception just by opening negotiations with Cano.

The Yankees tried the same last spring with catcher Russell Martin, offering a three-year deal for $18 million in a rare attempt to head off free agency, but Martin turned that down and wound up signing a free-agent deal with the Pirates for $17 million over two years. Cashman, whose own extension waited until his contract was up, suggested he will on rare occasions make an exception for younger players, such as Martin and Cano.

“There’s been a conversation or two,” Steinbrenner told Yankees writers six days ago. “We’ll get into that, and we’ll talk about it at a later date. He’s been a great erty has announced he’s cut ties with Arsenal.Jeorge Bird’s Arsenal academy reports Flaherty has confirmed that he has left Arsenal after seven years at the club.The 18-year-old spent time on trial at West Ham United and then Newcastle United. It is Yankee, and we hope he’s here his entire career.”

Cashman flatly declined comment on the Cano talks, deferring to Steinbrenner’s brief earlier remark.

This is obviously a touchy subject.

Another dynamic at play is the Yankees’ stated intention to get their payroll below $189 million for the 2014 season in order to markedly reduce their luxury tax rate, from 50 percent to 17 percent. However, the verbiage on-loan striker is hoping to fire Villa into the Premier League today when the club take on Derby in the Play-off final.”Ever since I stepped foot through the door, I have felt at home,” he said in the Wembley match programme.”We are a family here e has changed in recent days; it was once said to be a mandate to go below $189 million, now they refer to it as a “guideline.” While slightly different payrolls are cited, the Yankees’ current payroll, the second highest in baseball to the Dodgers, is currently pegged at $217 million, according to an executive with another team.  

It isn’t known what the Yankees may have offered Cano so far, but if they see Cano as a “top 10 player,” that would mean somewhere from Adrian Gonzalez’s $154.3 million deal and up. Top 15 would put him at least on part with the $138 million, eight-year contract for crosstown Mets star David Wright.

The average of the top five contracts, from Alex Rodriguez’s $275 million Yankees deal down to Joe Mauer’s $184 million contract (Albert Pujols $240 million, Joey Votto $225 million and Prince Fielder $214 million are in between), is $223 million.

Boras also will be making the case that baseball’s revenues have shot up over the past several years, as have franchise valuations. “The marketplace has dramatically changed from five years ago,” he said.

Also likely at the center of the talks will be a disagreement over term. Cano, 30, will surely seek at least a 10-year deal, with the Yankees likely hoping to keep it to eight. A-Rod got his 10-year Yankees deal at age 32.

A-Rod himself may be another area of disagreement, as the Yankees will point out the A-Rod deal hasn’t worked out, certainly the last half of it. Boras, who negotiated that contract but no longer represents Rodriguez, will counter by saying Cano is his own entity and personality, a clean liver with a clean resume whose only similarity with A-Rod is that they share a clubhouse.

Burnley.Lys Mousset assisted all three goals, with

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The Philadelphia Inquirer reports Phillies manager Charlie Manuel saw first baseman take live batting practice in late January. Howard was limited to 71 games in 2012 as he came back from an Achilles injurystotspur thanks to a first-half goal from Danny Ings.The Englishman bagged his 15th goal for the season with a fine 17th minute strike.Spurs lost both Harry Kane and Tanguy Ndombele to injuries in what has been a dire festive period for Jose Mourinho.Trian is returning to the Premier League club after an impressive loan campaign with Kilmarnock.”I’m keen to push on. I’m coming back on July 1 with the others and I’m looking forward to the challenge,” said Bachmann.”Obviously I know Ben [Foster] h he suffered during the 2011 postseason. “He said his Achilles’ doesn’t hurt him and he said his ankle is much better,” Manuel said irca.The Frenchman was on the scoresheet alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez at the Camp Nou.”We wanted to have a good game,” Griezmann told Movistar.”The first half was very good and we connected a lot, before we managed time more in the second han late January.

Jim Thome says he’s not retired

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(Getty Images)

Apparently 612 home runs aren’t enough for — the 42-year old slugger wants to play in 2013.

“I’m not retired,” Thome . “If someone wants me captain.33-year-old Koscielny looks set to leave the Gunners after refusing to join the club on a preseason tour in the US.And Monreal insists he would be proud to accept the role.”Two captains left last season, if I have to be one of the captains Ito play, I”d consider it for sure. I feel good. If I didn’t feel goodverton striker Cenk Tosun.Turkish media sources say Eintracht Frankfurt are in talks to sign Tosun this month.The Turkey international is viewed by the Bundesliga outfit as a replacement for Sebastien Haller, now with West Ham.Tosun, 28, is a former , I wouldn’t even consider it. But I feel good. I’d like to play.”

Thome saire Jim Ratcliffe admits buying a Premier League could happen in the future – though he has distanced himself from a move for Chelsea.Ratcliffe already owns Lausanne in Switzerland and was linked with Roman Abramovich’s Chelsea earlier this year.“tarted the 2012 season with the Phillies and made 71 plate appearances, hitting five home runs in 30 games. He started four games at first base and nine as a DH during interleague play.  The Phillies traded him to Baltimore on June 30. He played in 28 games during the regular season with the Orioles, including 26 starts at DH, with three home runs. Overall he hit .252/.344/.442 with eight homers and 25 RBI.

Thome said he’d be better as a DH, but wouldn’t rule out signing with a National League team.

“At this stage, am I an everyday player? No,” Thome . “But I think I can still play. The best thing for me is being a designated hitter somewhere. But if an NL team calls, sure I’d consider it. I still feel like I can give a team a veteran presence and get a big hit off the bench.”

Thome’s home run total is the seventh-best in history, 18 shy of Ken Griffey Jr. for sixth on the list.

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Who is winning the Battle for LA?

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(Getty Images)

Theold talks with captain Granit Xhaka this week after his outburst during Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace.Xhaka was booed by Gunners supporters for taking too long to come off the ground against the Eagles. The Swiss international responded by cu have been making noise throughout the offseason — or, really, going back to late August when they added , and from the Red Sox — but the have once again made a big-ticket free-agent signing in December, landing Josh Hamilton.

So it’s on. Battle: Los Angeles.

Who is winning so far? Let’s go to the tale of the tape — in tongue-in-cheek fashion at times.

More on AnalysisRelated links |

It’s Crawford– vs. either –Hamilton or Hamilton-Trout-. I’d rather go the former route due to having an outstanding defender in two spots of the outfield, but I’m guessing the Angels choose power and go with the latter. Either way, I’m taking the Angels here. Trout is better than Kemp and Hamilton is much better than Ethier or Crawford.

The Angels look like this right now: , , , Joe Blanton and . The Dodgers? , , Beckett, and either or — at least until the Dodgers do more shuffling. I like the Dodgers by a nose, with most of the advantage being Greinke over Wilson.

Think about how funny this would’ve been last year. Frank McCourt jokes never get old, after all, but now it’s deadly serious. Arte Moreno has proven he’ll spend what it takes to get his guys, but the new Dodgers ownership group is poised to boast the highest payroll in MLB history. It’ll be interesting to see if the Dodgers react to the Anster United legend Roy Keane says manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should be supported after defeat to Liverpool.United sit a full 30 points off Liverpool in fifth place, with Solskjaer under mounting pressure given the Red Devils’ frustrating season so gels’ reaction to being upstaged out West. Regardless, you gotta follow the money here. Plus, the Dodgers have Magic Johnson. I mean, he’s so cool he tilts the scales automatically. It’s Dodgers.

“Donnie Baseball” (that’s Dodgers manager Don Mattingly to you non-baseball fans) was a far superior player to Angels manager Mike Scioscia, but they aren’t players anymore. Though both managers get sucked into doing things like throwing away outs via the bunt (which makes me want to scream), we have to give Scioscia the edge here for his pedigree, as he has six playoff appearances and a World Series championship under his belt.

It’s been a while, but Angel Stadium of Anaheim was once Anaheim Stadium, a ’60s-’70s style cookie-cutter yard that housed the ‘s Rams in addition to the Angels. It was then completely revamped into a baseball-only stadium prior to the 1997 season, most notably the trees, rocks and cascades in the outfield. But now, the Dodgers are making $100 million worth of renovations to Dodger Stadium (). Still, I lean toward Anaheim due to the aesthetic scene in the outfield.

The Angels are stuck with , who is still owed more than $40 million over the course of the next two seasons. Of course, Crawford is owed more than $100 million for the next five seasons, so we’ll call the Dodgers the “winner” here. Then again, does it really matter? Both teams are unbelievably flush with cash. That’s because (obvious segue alert!):

The Angels landed a windfall last December when they inked a $3-billion deal for the next 20 years in local TV broadcasting. Then again, it appears the Dodgers are going to double that, as they work toward a reported $6-billion deal for 25 years of local TV broadcasting. So it’s Dodgers here.

The Angels don’t yet have a list of 2013 ballpark promotions, but it doesn’t matter. This one is over before it starts because the . Knockout punch … delivered.

Well, both missed last year. As things stand, both certainly have enough talent to make a postseason run in 2013, though neither seems even close to a sure thing with the likes of the Rangers, Athletics and World Series champion Giants all playing out West.

And here’gland U21 goalkeeper Dean Henderson has welcomed support from Manchester United fans.Henderson, 22, enhanced his glowing reputation on Tuesday night as he produced a superb display for England U21s despite their heartbreaking 2-1 defeat.The United sts what really matters and where we have to get serious. If the Angels were willing to pony up $125 million over five years to add offense, when they clearly need pitching help, why couldn’t they go to six years and $150 for Greinke? Hamilton is two years older, much more injury-prone and the Angels already had a capable three-man outfield. The Dodgers win this one, and so far that’s why they currently lead the Battle for Los Angeles. It must be noted, of course, that this battle results in exactly zero wins in the 2013 season. But it sure is fun. 

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Jason Motte brought the heat in Game 3

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First, a clarification: closer always brings the heat. But if his outings are usually jalapeno hot, this one was habanero hot (food metaphor! ).

In his two-inning Game 3 save, Motte lfred Schreuder is delighted for Hakim Ziyech over his move to Chelsea.It was confirmed on Thursday that Ziyech would be joining Chelsea at the end of the season for a fee rising to €44m. And Hoffenheim coach Schreuder enthused: “I never shared tthrew 19 pitches. Every single one was some form of a fastball. He threw two cutters and one two-seamer, but otherwise Motte went straight smoke: The four-seam fastball.

Motte’s 16 four-seamers averaged 97.02 miles per hour, . From that same website, here’s Motte’s pitch-speed chart. Note that the scale need not dip below 92:

Time to break out the heat/gas/smoke-related superlatives. Don’t be shy. Anything goes.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow on Twitter, subscribee Karim Benzema should be playing for France.Benzema hasn’t played for France since before the 2016 Euros after being caught up in an alleged blackmail plot.Hazard says: “Ah, these are French problems. Me, I can jut night’s FA Cup win at Derby County.United’s new £68million signing is set to play in his first Manchester derby on Sunday.”He’s the same as he was at Sporting,” said Solskjaer. “I like to see that in a player, that he doesn’t change coming into a dge only on the performances. And in to the and .

Scott Rolen sounds like he’s going to retire

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(US Presswire)

CINCINNATI — As reporters huddled around ’s locker in the clubhouse one last time in 2012, there was a sense — even if Rolen didn’t come out and say it — that it would be the last time for the 37-year-old third baseman.

Rolen, a free agent after the World Series, sounded as if he had made up his mind on his future. A 17-year veteran and winner of eight Gold Gloves, as well as the 1997 NL Rookie of the Year, Rolen can be content with an exceptional career, despite striking out to end Game 5 of the National League Championship Series, ending the Reds season and likely his career.

“I don’t know what I’m doing, I’ll probably go home and pitch some balls (to my son) and he’s going to be acting like he was in the same situation I was just in, that’s the situation you want to be in, no question,” Rolen said. “He’s going to grow up and be in that spot some day and dad was in that spot. I’m thankful and happy to be in that spot, and to have that opportunity. It obviously didn’t go the way I wanted it to. That’s where I want to be.”

A TV reporter then said he wouldn’t ask if Rolen had made a decision about retirement, and Rolen responded, “You just did.”

And while the question may not have been direct, and Rolen’s answer wasn’t any more so, the intent and the answer were both clear.

Rolen was then asked if he had “anything left in the tank?”

“Is there anything left in the tank? Like another game? I don’t know,” Rolen said. “I’m going to go home and be a dad and move forward a little bit right now and see what happens.”

Soon, some sort of announcement will ls have offered the German to clubs across Europe.But Ozil told Adidas in a video which continued the launch of Arsenal’s new kit: “I’ve played for so many clubs already who all have their own fanbase but what I appreciate about Arsenal, and I’ve beikely be made. When he does retire, Rolen finishes as just one of three third basemen to produce at least 2,000 hits (2,077), 500 doubles (517), 300 home runs (316) and 1,200 RBI (1,287).

A seven-time All-Star, Rolen was limited to 92 games in 2012, hitting .245/.318/.398 with eight home runs. He hit .297/.376/.473 in 50 ga says City are waiting for Brazilian defender Danilo to tell themrdo Silva says there’s lessons to learn from defeat at Manchester United.Despite enjoying the lion’s share of possession, Pep Guardiola’s side rarely tested David De Gea in the United goal, with Anthony Martial’s first half strike and Scott McTominay if he is unsettled in Manchester before stepping up their interest in Juventus full-back Joao Cancelo.Danilo, who is wanted by Italian heavyweights Inter Milan, is said to be growing fmes in the second half, but was just 4 for 16 in the NLDS.

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Welcome to the 2012 postseason: Washington Nationals

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(Getty Images)

Just hours after the clinched their spot in the postseason, the Nationals also reserved a confirmation email that they’ll be busy in October, beating the 4-1 on Thursday night.

An interesting question. Yes and no. The have not, but their predecessors, the Montreal Expos did. Once.

The 1981 Expos made it to the postseason despite finishing second overall in their division. In the strike-shortened season, the Expos finished first in the NL East in the second half then defeating the in the National League Division Series. Montreal lost to the Dodgers in the best-of-5 NLCS aftenited squad for the first-time after recovering from cancer.The 19-year-old was diagnosed with testicular cancer last year and begun chemotherapy at the start of 2019.Taylor started training again in September and will now travel with the first-team r taking a 2-1 lead. The Dodgers crushed the Expos’ dreams by beating them in Game 4 and 5 at Olympic Stadium to advance to the World Series.

has played in 44 postseason games and won a ring with the 2008 Phillies. started four games last fall, but was just 1-1 with a 5.60 ERA, but did earn a ring with the Cardinals. has played 22 postseason games.

Daniel Farke was left angry with his players after their 2-0 home defeat to Watford.Gerard Deulofeu’s goal after 76 seconds after some lax defending from Emiliano Buendia set Watford on their way and Andre Gray’s close-range flick from a Deulofeu cro At 91-58, the Nationals have the best record in baseball. With a 5.5 game lead over the , their magic number for the National League East title is eight.

Despite the hullabaloo around the shutdown of , the Nationals still have the best rotation in baseball. Nationals pitchers have a 3.29 ERA, the best mark in baseball. In addition to and in the rotation, and tyler Clippard spearhead an underrated bullpen. The team’s .747 OPS is the fourth-best in the National League, trailing , andicharlison features high on the shopping list of Manchester United.The London Evening Standard says he is on United’s shortlist of five as they look for attacking reinforcements.United struggled for goals earlier in the season and have made a new str . The Nationals are the favorites in the National League, but will their lack of playoff experience hurt them?

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Photo: Colby Rasmus has a new hair-do

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Blue Jays center fielder seems to have found a sense of belonging in , which is a good thing. While his overall numbers still leave something to be deter United’s radar.The Sun says Old Trafford No2 Mike Phelan went for a personal check on the Elland Road star against Birmingham City last week as they take a close look.And coach Kieran McKenna followed it up by checking on Phillips, 23, as he turnsired, one gets the sense that young Mr. Rasmus is at the very least getting to know himself.

Witness, for instance, his new hairstyle!

On the left, you’ll find his “before” state, in which he features some plunging “” and a mighty will trapped within. On the right, though, you’ll finRafa Benitez is being linked with a return to Italy.Off contract next month, Benitez is yet to settle on new terms as he seeks assurances from mcial to their title hopes this season.The Germany midfielder underlined his importance to the Blues with two goals and an assist as the national team beat Estonia 3-0 in their Euro 2020 qualifier.And he said that anyone writing off City at this stageanagement about his transfer budget.Claudio Ranieri has announced he will leave Roma at the end of the sead his new look, which evokes not only the self-discovery that time abroad so often allows but also a comfortable geographic distance between son and … 

Carpe diem, young Colby.

(Images courtesy of Getty and ) 

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The Lineup: Orioles take flight; can Yanks pick up pieces?

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Panic in the AL East! Over in Central country, though, it wasn’t a good night to pitch for either Chicago squad … 

– Tuesday night’s 12-0 slaughter of the Blue Jays not only extended Baltimore’s scoreless-innings streak to 22 and gave them a record of 60-0 when leading after seven innings, but it also pushed them into a first-place tie with the Yankees. Damn the negative run differential, the Orioles are in first place! In September! In a season of unlikely stories, this is shaping up to be the unlikeliest of all. A nation asks: Can they do it?: The D.C. first baseman had a night to remember on Tuesday. In the course of an 11-5 thumping of the Cubs, LaRoche went 4-for-4 with a pair of home runs and a walk. He’s now hitting a nifty .266/.338/.498 on the season.

: Hill turned in a spotless night at the plate during the extra-innings affair in San Fran: 5-for-5 with a double, homer, walk and four runs scored. Among those hits was Hill’s leadoff single to start the 11th. Moments later, he scored the eventual winning run. Hill’s oustanding season continues.: From a perfect game to … this? After coming out of the bullpen against Minnesota irror says Arsenal boss Unai Emery is a big fan of Izzo, 27, and would like to see him in North London.Izzo, who started his career with home town club Napoli, was a huge reason why Torino qualified for the coming Europa League campaign.Emery had Izzon Tuesday night, Humber somehow managed to give up eight runs on seven hits and two walks in just one-third of an inning. Yes: eight runs, 0.1 innings pitched. Even the one out he recorded was a sac fly. : Rusin’s second major-league start did not go swimmingly. The 25-year-old lefty gave up five runs on eight hits and managed to record just three outs. Rusin struggled to keep the ball down, and the Nats made him pay with two early home runs. : The best thing you can say about Quintana’s outing is that it wasn’t as bad as Philip Humber’s. Still, Quintana’s blow-up burieo Fernandes can be happy with his debut against Wolves.The former Sporting CP captain impressed in the 0-0 draw.Lindelof said, “It’s not easy to come in here. “I think he’s had one training session, so to come in and play is not easy, but I think hd the Sox against Minnesota: 1.1 IP, 7 R, 5 H, 2 K, 2 BB. Quintana has now been cuffed around in back-to-back starts, which raises concerns that he’s running out of gas. Needless to say, the White Sox hope that isn’t the case. : R.A. Dickey has been pitching like an ace all year, and Adam Wainwright — in this, his first post-Tommy John campaign — has generally been in vintage form of late. These two will go at it on Wednesday in Leicester City fullback Ben Chilwell.Goal says any move Manchester City make for former defender Angelino will not affect their interest in Chilwell.City are set to trigger Angelino’s release clause after the left-back departed last summer, and he wSt. Louis. The Cardinals are in the thick of the NL wild-card chase, while Dickey is trying to get to 20 wins and perhaps win the Cy Young. : The Angels are trying to avoid becoming the most disappointing team of 2012* (*Non-Red Sox division), while the A’s are trying to cling to wild-card status and perhaps put additional heat on the first-place Rangers. Dan Haren, coming off one of his best starts of the year, goes for L.A., while Oakland sends out ace Brandon McCarthy. : The hotly contest AL East will be the focus when the Yankees and Rays wrap up their important series in Florida. The Yanks will pitch their surprise ace, 37-year-old Hiroki Kuroda (3.04 ERA), while the Rays will counter with gifted rookie Matt Moore, who boasts a 2.08 ERA since the break. The back-sliding Yankees badly need a win heading into an even bigger series in Baltimore. • : Cubs GM Jed Hoyer has new home, and it’s a $2.1-million, five-bedroom house in Chicago’s tawny Lincoln Park neighborhood. The Chicago Tribune . • : . It’s also for a great cause. It’s also in New Jersey. • : Progressive. Field. Wind. Turbines. Regarding the Cleveland State University project, I’ll steal Trent’s joke: “At least something at Progressive Field is exceeding expectations.” [] • : The mustache of Keith Hernandez has not only been a steady baseball presence for more than 30 years, it’s also become a cultural touchstone of sorts. But might Hernandez soon shave his iconic tickler? Perish the thought. [] • : During the near-brawl between the Rangers and Royals on Monday, KC broadcasters had some pointed words for Texas outfielder Nelson Cruz, who’s half-hearted stroll toward the mound kicked off the festivities. : 

“You don’t need to stand there that long against Bruce Chen. You’re not that good.””If you want a piece of him, go get him.””I agree with you 100 percent. If you’re going to charge the mound, don’t stand there and wait for someone to grab you. Go get him.””And he’s still over there crying at first base.”

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