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Kyrie Irving apologizes after profane dismissal of Thanksgiving

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star Kyrie Irving has apologized after replying to a reporter who wished him a happy Thanksgiving after Wednesday’s loss to the New York Knicks by saying he doesn’t celebrate the holiday, adding “fuck Thanksgiving”.

On Thursday Irving expressed regret over the comments. “I spoke w/ frustration after last nights game and spoke words that shouldn’t be in a professional setting no matter what,” he wrote on Twitter. “Meant no disrespect to the Holiday and those who celebratl return to Liverpool this week to assess his latest injury.The Wales international, on loan at the Cherries this season, was not able to face Chelsea on Saturday due to “strange” leg injury.Asked for an update on the Wrexham-born star’s injury, Howee it respectfully. I’m grateful for the time We all can share with our families. We are always ONE.”

Irving told NBC Sports Boston that he is opposed to the celebration of the holiday due to his Native American heritage. Many in the Native American community and beyond , given the suffering and racism they have suffered since European colonization.

Irving’s late mother, Elizabeth Ann Larson, was a member of the Standing Rock Sioux and lived on the tribe’s reservation until her adoptiours Wilfried Zaha could join Arsenal.The Gunners are trying their best to nab the Ivory Coast international, who reportedly wants to join the North London outfit. He would directly compete with fellow winger Iwobi, but the Nigeria star isn’t fazed byn as a child. In August, Irving and his sister and he was given the name Little Mountain.

Irving is a is a five-time All-Star and won a championship with the Cleveland Cavalierss has been dropped for England’s Nations League clash with Switzerland today.Stones, who was at fault for Holland’s first two goals and played a part in their third in Thursday’s 3-1 extra-time semi-final defeat, will be replaced by Liverpool defende in 2016. His Boston Celtics were tipped as one of the league’s best teams at the start of the season but have struggled in recent weeks and have lost seven of their last 10 games.

Big Game review: Trump, Kaepernick and the NFL as political football

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The National Football League bills itself as a non-taxable trade association that promotes the “”. These days, it may need to add the title of America’s favorite tackling dummy. From the president to to worried parents, the NFL is under a never-ceasing, bone-crushing blitz. Nike’s swoosh hits harder than any middle linebacker.

The game pits Donald Trump, his supporters, predominately white owners and fans, against a labor pool that is 70% black. In the words of the late Tex Schramm, the Dallas Cowboys’ first president and general manager, to the late Gene Upshaw, a Hall of Fame offensive lineman and executive director of the players’ association: “You guys are cattle and we’re the ranchers … And ranchers can always get more cattle.”

Into this morass dives the New York Times reporter . His book is an entertainingly informative bird’s-eye take on the country’s still-favorite sport in the age of uncertainty and never-ending culture wars. As Leibovich observes, professional football has become “a proxy for our national divisions”, adding that “no one buys tickets to watch a morality play”. Apparently, the choice is binary.

A Patriots fan, Leibovich chronicles the five-time champions from the beginning of their 2014 season through their defeat in Super Bowl LII last February. He treats the reader to Tom Brady’s training regimen, football’s concussion problem, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones’ affinity for Johnnie Walker Blue in 24oz stadium cups, and steaming dollops of Trump. Make no mistake, smooth scotch goes down easier than a teetotaling president.

, NFL headquarters. Quoting fellow author Jeff Pearlman, Leibovich writes that Rozelle saw Trump as “this scumbag huckster” and a “New York fast-talking kind of con man”. Even Tony Soprano got more respect from Johnny Sack’s crew.

Roger Goodell – the current NFL commissioner, a Rozelle protege and the son of an anti-Vietnam Republican senator from New York – is more circumspect in describing Trump. Still, drizzles of disdain are in the air.

When asked about Trump, Goodell volunteered that we live in “interesting times” and smirked when asked if he maintained a back channel to the president. For good measure, Goodell added: “Our focus is on what we do … Our focus is on the game itself.” Yes, we’ve heard that line before. For his woes, Goodell is comforted by $40m annually even without holding any actual equity interest in the game.

On top of the president wishing Ivanka Trump had paired off with Brady instead of Jared the Middle East negotiator, Big Game spells out that Trump always coveted an NFL franchise but was never viewed as financially worthy. ; in 2014, his gambit for the Buffalo Bills went nowhere.

In particular, Trump lacked the requisite liquidity and transparencm their 2-1 defeat to Manchester City.City trailed to an early James Ward-Prowse goal and did not equalise until Sergio Aguero scored with their first shot on target on 70 minutes, with Kyle Walker hitting their late winner.Vestergaard said, “It’s a y to shoulder a team. “Football owners,” Leibovich writes, “… get a much closer look at a candidate’s finances than electorates do.” Indeed, in a with the Securities and Exchange Commission, , Trump’s liquid assets clocked in at $250m, nothing to sneeze at but also not the kind of cash needed to roam the halls alongside the NFL’s titans, who include Paul Allen, a Microsoft founder and owner of the Seattle Seahawks.

For the statistically inclined, Forbes pegs Allen as on its rich list while , the Pats owner, is 281 and the a mere 321. , dropping 200 in a year. Indeed, in the midst of the 2016 presidential race, that his father-in-law was cash-strapped.

Executive time, the Robert Mueller investigation and Stormy Daniels have come with a hefty price. To paraphrase the president, vice and emoluments are expensive.

Actually because of its nuggets, yucks and giggles, Big Game is a dead serious work. Leibovich agonizingly depicts the toll the sport exacts on the life expectancy, mental capacity and health of those brave and talented enough to make it to the pros. The book records the reactions of NFL Hall of Famers whose short-term memories are addled and a front office whose relationship to brain injuries and the truth is all too reminiscent on loan for the rest of the season by the Hornets.However, multiple outlets – via the Watford Observer – in the UK are reporting the move is not sitting well with the Clarets.They do not want to lose Gibson unless they can secure a replacement.He on of Big Tobacco’s approach to cigarettes and cancer.

Ultimately, Leibovich is focused on the question of how long “peak football” can stay on top of its game. He offers no simple answer.

He notes that last season the NFL suffered its lowest Super Bowl viewership in almost a decade and its highest number of concussions in six years. Thursday night’s opener between the champion Philadelphia Eagles and the Atlanta Falcons saw the air during the second half. Michael Bennett, an Eagles defensive end, .

Even as the league’s revenues , interest in pro football has . In 2014, nearly three in five registered voters closely followed it. Now the figure is barely half. Like organized religion, the NFL is larco Silva after signing a three-year contract with the Toffees.And he wants to make sure the club are aiming to qualify for Europe’s top competition.”I am excited to be here at one of the greatest clubs in England, really excited, I enjoy the place,osing its luster.

All this spells “another nonstop Christmas for the NFL doomsayers”. Yet as Leibovich notes, the “league just kept printing money to buy presents … They don’t make doomed sports leagues like they used to.” The fact that football legends Troy Aikman and Brett Favre have voiced concerns about their “hypothetical sons” following in their footsteps barely registers as a footnote on a balance sheet. Yet.

How does it all end? As the story fittingly concludes: “We await the replay.”

Froome case has ‘damaged credibility of Wada’, says Usada chief Tygart

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The handling of is “another shard that has damaged the credibility” of the World Anti-Doping Agency, the head of the US Anti-Doping Agency has warned.

Travis Tyga Kante out of his squad.Blues chief Frank Lampard wants his midfielder Kante to have a proper rest after a knee injury and sprained ankle so far this season.And ex-Chelsea anchorman Deschamps has agreed to leave the 28-year-old out of next month’s Eurt, who led the fight to bring the US cyclist Lance Armstrong to justice, also criticised the lack of transparency over Wada’s decision to clear Froome this month.

“The question is whether justice was truly served or did a star get an undeserved break,” Tygart said. “Unfortunately it’s another blow to the perceived credibility of the global anti-doping movement.”

and cycling’s governing body, the UCI, have only released some details about why Froome was given the all‑clear, after he was tested for double the permitted limit of salbutamol at the Vuelta a España last September.

In an interview with the BBC Tygart insisted that was unfair to Froome, who he said faced the “worst-case scenario” where he was “caught” between being seen as having benefited from his high profile yet could also have been “unfairly tarnished”.

“Athletes should not be accused or it be inferred that they’re not clean until proven through the established process and that didn’t happen here and he deserves the benefit of that presumption of innocence.”

Tygart also claimed that in nearly 75,000 drug tes Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake on their shopping list.The Holland international is viewed at Napoli as an alternative to Roma stopper Kostas Manolas, says Corriere dello Sport.Napoli are pushing to sign Manolas this week – and will turn to Ake if tts conducted by Usada since the salbutamol rule was updated in 2011, the organisation did not find “a single athlete” in any sport that exceeded the maximum permitted amount.

In response, a Wada spokespeited title winner Robin van Persie has likened himself to whizkid Mason Greenwood.Although he did feature fleetingly last season, Greenwood has enjoyed a breakthrough campaign at Old Trafford in 2019/20 as he’s scored seven goals in 19 appearances inrson told BBC Sport: “Mr Tygart’s assessment appears uninformed, is unconstructive, and quite frankly is surprising given that Usada has itself previously taken the decision to close a salbutamol case where the athlete exceeded the threshold without a controlled pharmacokinetic study being conducted.

“In leading the fight against doping in sport, Wada is sometimes forced to make difficult decisions. This is one of those occasions. Wada is convinced that, in view of the complex and unique circumstances of Mr Froome’s case, the UCI reached a correct and fair outcome.”

Joe McKnight: murder trial begins over shooting of former NFL player

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The trial in a road-rage shooting began on Tuesday in a New Orleans suburb, where a judge and attorneys were questioning dozens of potential jurors.

Ronald Gasser, 56, is charged with second-degree murder in the December 2016 shooting of the player who began his career as a local high school football star. , Gasser was indicted on the more serious charge last February. He has pleaded not guilty. Gasser, who remains jailed with bond set at $750,000, was dressed in a dark blue pinstripe suit as he entered the courtroom, accompanied by sheriff’s deputies.

McKnight, 28, was a running back and played college football at Southern California before three seasons with the and one with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Jury selection was set to begin in the courtroom of state District Judge Ellen Kovach. Gasser’s attorneys have cast McKnight as the aggressor and are expected to argue Gasser fired in self-defense.

If convicted as charged, Gasser would face a mandatory sentence of life in prison.Police said the confrontation goalkeeper 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 Leatook place as the men traveled across a Mississippi River bridge in and on roads in neighboring Jefferson Parish. Authoriidfielder Scott McTominay says they need to find a winning consistency next season.United will play in the Europa League for the third time in six years next season after last Sunday’s 1-1 draw at relegated Huddersfield confirmed their failure to secties said the shooting happened after both cars had stopped and McKnight approached Gasser’s vehicle. Gasser shot McKnight three times.

Defense attorneys said last year that they believe McKnight tried to enter Gasser’s car through the passenger window. They noted that Gasser stayed on the scene after the shooting and said he cooperated with police.

The case bore striking similarities to an earlier 2016 shooting death involving another former player. Odds BK striker Filip Moller is attracting Premier League interest.Fotospor says City have registered an interest in Moller.The Blues are keeping tabs on the 18-year-old who has scored three league goals this season.The report states that Trabzonspor and Paris Saint-Germain are also keen.Will Smith, who retired after starring on New Orleans Saints teams that inspired the city after Hurricane Katrina with winning seasons and a 2010 Super Bowl victory, was shot to death during a confrontation following a traffic crash. A 29-year-old New Orleans man, Cardell Hayes, was sentenced to 25 years in prison after a jury convicted him of manslaughter.

Steve Bartman, America’s most infamous fan, receives Cubs redemption

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Steve Bartman, the fan vilified and blamed for ending the team’s championship hopes in 2003, has been awarded a World Series rinew Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold.The young pair were outstanding in their Champions League triumph last season.”Both Andy and Trent [Alexander-Arnold] on the other side had incredible seasons,” Warnock told Liverpoolfc.com.”I think last seasong to commemorate Chicago’s title win last year.

The Cubs were mired in their legendary title drought – – when Bartman made his mark on history in 2003. The team appeared to be headed for the World Series when he stretched out to catch a foul ball with the Cubs leading late in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series against the Miami Marlins. Bartman instead deflected the ball away from a Cubs fielder, the Marlins came back to win the game and then sealed a place in the World Series with victory in Game 7.

Bartman’s name later appeared online, and he and his family were given police protection. The governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich, . The incident was infamous enough for ESPN to make a in 2011. Bartman, still scarred by the abuse he had received, chose not to appear.

Cubs management and players have repeatedly stated that Bartman was not to blame for the incident, and on Monday the team’s owner, Tom Ricketts, presented him with a championship ring.

“On behalf of the entire Cubs organization, we are honored to present a 2016 World Series Championship Ring to Mr Steve Bartman,” Ricketts and the Cubs said in a statement. “We hope this provides ardi is successfully rebuilding his relationship with the Inter Milan locker room, it has been revealed.The striker angered many senior teammates over the way he refused to take part in training for over a month after being sacked as captain in Februclosure on an unfortunate chapter of the story that has perpetuated throughout our quest to win a long-awaited World Series.

“While no gesture can fully lift the public burden he has endured for more than a decade, we felt it was important Steve knows he has been and continues to be fully embraced by this organization. After all he has sacrificed, we are proud to recognize Steve Bartman with this gift today.”

For Bartman, who has been haunted by the incident, and has kept a low-profile for the last 14 years there was relief. “I humbly receive the ring not only as a symbol of one of the most historic achievements in sports, but as an important reminder for how we should treat each other in today’s society,” he said in a statement. “My hope is that we all can learn from my experience to view sports as entertainment and prevent harsh scapegoating, and to challenge the media and opportunistic profiteers to conduct business ethically by respecting personal privacy rights and not exploit any individual to advance their own self-interest or economic gain.”

The move was also welcomed by players. The former Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster toldndan Rodgers has admitted to being disappointed by their January transfer window.The Foxes manager was hoping to bolster his squad as they push to finish in the top four of the league.Rodgers knows that his team will face tough tests in the second ha the Chicago Tribune: “I guess that is closure at its finest … To do something like that for Steve Bartman, who got ridiculed for something that any fan would have done, is pretty awesome.”

Teenagers arrested after Indy 500 pole winner Scott Dixon held up at Taco Bell

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Police say Indianapolis 500 pole-winner Scott Dixon and fellow former race winner Dario Franchitti were robbed at gunpoint while in aTacoBell drive-thru lane.

A police report that the robbery happened shortly before 10pm on Sunday at the fast-food restaurant less than a mile from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where Dixon had hours earlier won the top starting position for next Sunday’s Indy 500.

The police report says two mrts from Turkey linking him with a shock return to St James’ Park, says the Evening Chronicle.Now 34, Cisse is plying his trade in Turkey with Alanyaspor and while he is still passionate about his time spent on Tyneside – with the former number 9 netales ran away after the robbery and that Dixon’s wife, Emma, was also in the vehicle. Officers later arrested two boys, ages 15 and 14.

IndyCar driver Tony Kanaanon Monday that Dixon was making a food run for a group of drivers. “While they were ordering with their windows down two guys approached at gun point,” Kannan said. “They held a gun at Dixon’s head and asked him for his wallet and his phone. You don’t expect that to happen, especially here … Obviously, I’m glad they’re OK. Now obviously I can make fun of them big time.”

Dixon, who is from New Zealand, is the 2008 Indy 500 winner and a longtime Chip Ganassi Racingster United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has refused to comment on interest in Red Bull Salzburg striker Erling Haaland.Solskjaer knows his Norwegian compatriot Haaland, 19, very well from their time together at Molde before the former United favourite team-mate of Franchitti, a Scot who retired in 2013 with Indy 500 wins in 2007, 2010 and 2012.

“Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti are completely fine after being held up last night by two men Manchester United veteran Nemanja Matic is pricing himself out of a move to MLS.The Daily Mail says Chicago Fire have pulled out of a proposed deal for Matic.The MLS club were considering a move for the Serbian but deemed him too expensive.Matic’s contract at Old Trafford is set to expire in the summer, however the Red Devils reportedly have the option to extend his deal by a further year.at a fast-food restaurant,” the team said in a statement. “We will allow the Speedway/Indianapolis police departments to handle the situation and while they conduct their investigation we will refrain from making any further comments to allow Scott to focus on the upcoming Indianapolis 500.”

Life as a Muslim-American Olympic champion: ‘Travel has become a worry’

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When she slowed to a stop in the Olympic stadium on that warm night in Rio, Dalilah Muhammad knew life would never quite be the same.

The New Yorker had just , catapulting herself into a limelight she never anticipated, offering her a platform she never expected. In the six months since, she has kept her counsel on the issues dividing her country, but now she feels it’s time to make her voice heard.

“It’s insane what’s going on and what America is becoming,” Muhammad told the Guardian in New York this weekend, where she opened her season with a 500m race at the . “It’s frightening and a little scary.”

, where she grew up in what she describes as a liberal Muslim household, and where her father, Askia, is an imam who leads prayers at a local mosque. When Donald Trump was inaugurated as US president last month and swiftly issued an executive order , Muhammad was watching on from her training base in Los Angeles.

Her reaction?

“It’s kind of crazy,” she says. “It’s just an unfortunate situation.”

While the background of her US Olympic team-mate and fellow Muslim, Ibtihaj Muhammad, , Dalilah Muhammad’s faith passed largely under the radar despite her winning gold, in part, she believes, because of her decision not to wear a hijab.

“A lot of people said it to me: ‘you’re not the stereotypical Muslim’, but there are a lot of people who are Muslim and we express our religion in different ways,” says Muhammad, who admits that her parents have been concerned with events in the US in recent months.

“I definitely think it’s scary for my mother, more for me and having a daughter who is now so much in the public eye,” says Muhammad. “My father is more with it, and he loves it. He wants the world to see Muslims in a different light. They’re different but we all have the same beliefs.”

On Thursday last a court ruling blocked Trump’s travel ban, though the US president has since said he is confident he would win a court battle and that he as early as this week.

Though Muhammad is a US citizen, she admits there are lingering concerns about travelling abroad to race on the track and field circuit. Later this week she will fly to the UK, where she will compete over 400m.

“My Nike reps were a little nervous about me travelling just because of my name,” she says. “It makes me a little bit worried, given I travel so much. To have the name Muhammad attached to me makes it a little scary.”

At the Millrose Games on Saturday night, other Muslim athletes echoed Muhammad’s concerns about the travel ban, such as Canada’s Mohammed Ahmed, who was born in Somalia who lives and trains in Portland, Oregon.

“Because of my place of birth and my name, I’m always going to get stopped at airports and get extra screening,” he said. “I’ve had to deal with that my whole life. I’ve spent a lot of hours at airports, missed flights. When I was younger it annoyed me a bit, because I was like: what’s wrong with me? As I’ve got to experience that more, I’ve come to realise that they’re doing it for a reason, as bigoted as it might seem.”

Sifan Hassan, a Muslim athlete from the Netherlands, admitted that she had similar concerns after relocating to Portland in recent months to train under famed coach Alberto Salazar. “I feel so bad,” said Hassan, who fled Ethiopis time with Jurgen Klopp at Borussia Dortmund.This season, Immobile has scored 26 goals and is leading the race for European Golden Boot.But his time with Liverpool boss Klopp at BVB was anything but successful and he conceded: “Our roads were crossea as a refugee at the age of 16. “It’s very painful. In the Netherlands it’s much better. What Trump is planning to do to Muslims, it’s not good. It’s just going to cause more problems.”

Hassan, who took victory in the prestigi Bergwijn.The new Tottenham signing scored on debut in victory over Manchester City on Sunday.Van Hanegem told AD: “I heard that at PSV they thought he was five kilos overweight after the winter break. I thought it was not nice to say that here andous Wanamaker mile on Saturday night in 4:19.89, the fourth fastest indoor time in history, said she has been encouraged by the response of the American people to Trump’s travel ban. “The people are so fantastic here,” she said. “But I just wish [Trump] would look at everybody like himself.”

And as for Muhammad, what words would she offer to her Real Madrid goalkeeper Santiago Canizares says no-one wanted Keylor Navas to leave.Keylor was sold by Real to PSG on transfer deadline day on Monday.Canizares told L’Equipe: “This season, the club has relied on (Thibaut) Courtois and did not allow Kepresident, if given the chance? “Oh man,” she says, before pausing for thought. “I guess I would say to him we’re all the same, no matter what our beliefs.”

Rory McIlroy leads WGC event in Mexico at halfway after round of 65

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The prospect of being restored as the top ranked golfer in the world by Monday morning is suddenly a live one.

A stunning performance from the Northern Irishman in recording 65 on the outskirts of Mexico City on Friday assured him of a two-stroke lead at the first WGC event of 2017. This, indeed, was done with McIlroy still feeling the effects of the food poisoning which had first surfaced in the early hours of Thursday morning.

For the first time on this side of the Atlantic since the 2014 US PGA Championship, which McIlroy was to win at Valhalla, the 27-year-old is the man to catch after 36 holes.

Stomach upset aside, he is also producing this form in what marks his first start in seven weeks because of injury. He looks wonderfully at ease with all around him, just as there is no indication whatever of lingering rib pain.

This was vintage McIlroy in spells. After he reached the turn in 31, a surprise error came at the 12th when he could not get up-and-down from a greenside bunker. A stunning response ensued. McIlroy made a two at the par-three next before holing his 152-yard approach shot at the 14th for an eagle.

After producing a birdie at the 15th, McIlroy was three clear, a status reduced only because of missed putts from inside 4ft on the last two holes.

Ross Fisher, and Justin Thomas are those closest to McIlroy’s nine-under aggregate. Fisher held the lead outright at one stage on day two but stumbled just as McIlroy pressed on his accelerator. Having played a five-hole stretch in three under par around the turn, Fisher was one over for his closing eight.

A distinctly European flavour to the leaderboard is enhanced by Tyrrell Hatton, who is five under par and alongside Thomas Pieters. Andy Sullivan is a shot better off while Martin Kaymer, Matt Fitzpatrick, Joost Luiten andinal against Paraguay due to illness.The Everton forward has caught a case of the mumps.Selecao boss Tite has confirmed Napoli’s Allan will start in his place.”Confirming Allan before the game is to give him confidence,” Tite told his pre-match news Lee Westwood are in strong positions for the weekend.

The theme of dodgy stomachs extended to caddies, with Mickelson’s long-time bag man, Jim “Bones” Mackay, lasting only four holes before succumbing to serious discomfort. Mickelson’s younger brother, Tim, assumed caddie duties from thereon and did a fine job; the five-times major champion posted a 68 to move to seven under par.

“I was having breakfast and Phil called and said just be around if something happens,” Tim Mickelson said.

“It was fun. It was the first time we were able to do that and it was fun. Trust me, I don’t want Bones’ job, though. I have a whole new respect for those guys. Every hole seems uphill.”

Mickelson Sr has aspirations of what would be a second World Championship success. “Bones is irreplaceable,” he said. “He is one of the best in the business. But he’s hurting, he just hasn’t been feeling well.

“On the positive side, I had a lot of fun with my brother. He’s so fun to be around and he did a great job today.”

Sullivan’s day was kick-started by holing from the 9th fairway for an eagle. The Englishman’s 65 moved him to six under par. “I’ve been hitting the ball well all year, just not been putting that great,” said the European Ryder Cup player. “To see a few putts dropping in today, especially on the sloped greens as they are, it gives me a lot of confidence going forward.

“I think the guy that keeps it under the hole the most and obviously hits it quite close is going to be the guy that wins this week. A lot of times on the first day we yenoord coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst has announced Robin van Persie will play his final game this weekend.Van Persie will play the final match of his career on Sunday when Feyenoord host ADO Den Haag in the Eredivisie.The 35-year-old striker announhit it sort of pin high and thought we hit a good shot inon.The Brazil striker proved the matchwinner at Tottenham on Saturday.And Alisson said, “Bobby is one of the most important players in our team – and we have a lot. “I think everybody is important but Bobby not only scores when we need him, he make and we’d actually got six or seven feet of swing on a putt and you’re just not holing many of them.”

Jon Jones stripped of UFC title after one-year doping ban upheld

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Jon Jones has been stripped of the interim light heavyweightenis Suarez.The playmaker grew up near Vigo and played for Celta’s academy until he joined Manchester City at the age of 16.Denis has signed a four-year deal at Balaidos, with Celta paying 12.9 million euros to Barcelona as well as 3.1 million euros championship after an arbitration panel denied his appeal of a positive test and upheld a doping ban that will run through July.

Widely considered the world’s best pound-for-pound fighter, Jones was pulled from a July bout against Daniel Cormier at UFC 200 shortly after news about the positive drug test.

Jones claimed to have taken a sexual-enhancement pill but ended up testing tner for the remainder of the 2019/20 season, reports, /.The agreement sees the Premier League club’s match highlights and content placed on the airline’s in-flight entertainment systems and its in-house magazine.The deal is worth around UK£250,000 positive for two banned anti-estrogen agents.

“Jon Jones has blown it in every way shape and form a guy with that much talent can blow it,” UFC president Dana White told ESPN. “Greatest talent ever and the biggest screw-up ever.”

The 29-year-old won the newly created interim title in April when he defeated Ovince St Preux at UFC 197.

The US Anti-Doping Agency, which handles UFC testing, declared Jones ineligible. He took the case to arbitration and that panel delivered the maximum one-year suspension, saying Jones’ “degree of fault verged on the reckless”.

Jones is eligible again on 7 July 2017.

UFC issued a statement saying it was aware of the one-year ban, which began on 6 July.

“While the decision indicates no evidence of Jones’ intentional use ootball are making sure you know all about how your loan players performed throughout the campaign. For this edition, we run our eye over Chelsea’s loanees.This group of loanees is especially important as Chelsea’s transfer ban should mean that they of banned substances, it does highlight the care and diligence that is required by athletes competing in the UFC to ensure that no prohibited substances enter their system,” the UFC statement says.

Conor McGregor admits Joao Carvalho’s death affected appetite for promotion

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Conor McGregor has spoken at length about his “publicized civil war” with UFC .

The disagreement between UFC and its biggest star came in April when . McGregor believed that his publicity duties ahead of UFC 200 were getting in the way of his training schedule. McGregor was due to fight Nate Diaz, .

“I’ll tell you what, [the retirement announcement on Twitter] blew up,” McGregor told ESPN. “I was kind of having fun to startear vision of his summer transfer targets.The Austrian wants to bring quality to St. Mary’s in order to push his side up the table next season.He said: “It is a very clear picture for me now what we are still missing in our game.”Maybe we know that w, half-hearted. Then all of a sudden it’s, ‘you’re off 200!’ I was like, ‘alright, well fuck you too, then.’

“All said and done, there were times [I thought], ‘I should have just jumped on the damn flight [and done the publicity tour].’ But sometimes you’ve got to do what’s right for you and not what’s right for everybody else, especially if you’ve done what’s right for everyone else a million times over.”

McGregor has since and said he has held talks with the UFC president, Dana White. He added that his relationship with the organization is “good”.

“I’m committed to the fight game,” McGregor said. “I enjoy competition. I enjoy challenges. If a challenge is in front of me and it appeals to me, I will go ahead and conquer it.

“Did I do all the media? Did I dance like a monkey? No. Am I still here? Am I still fighting? Am I still collecting? Yeah. So, [UFC] saved face, I saved face – there was no loser. We all won in a way. I had them realistically, but they couldn’t bow down, so there was no loser. I was over here, they were there and now we’re in the middle. We’re in a good spot.”

McGregor added that his reluctance to go on the publicity tour in April had been influenced by at a fight in Ireland. Carvalho’s death came a week before his retirement tweet and McGregor said the death had affected him.

“I had fucking journalists knocking down my mother’s door, you know what I mean?” McGregor said. “That’s not what I signed up to do – have people knocking on my mother’s door, talking about a kid dying. It’s not nice to see a kid die like that. It does something to you. And there’s been show after show canceled in Ireland since that. It’s fucked up to be a part of it, and I didn’t want to bring it back up and put it more on a public scale.

“After all t believes his qualities can fit into manager Jose Mourinho’s system.The France international admits he’s a changed character when on the pitch.He told Foot Mercato: “I am a player who is crazy. “I have a certain carelessness. Maybe it’s due to my agehat, I did not want to be put in front of a camera and made to dance. I just wasn’t feeling it.”

In the ESPN interview McGregor also dismissed , saying the sums involved were beneath him.

“I hear [Mayweather] talking. The leak came out, it was him that leaked the rumor and it said he gets $100m and I get $7m – that’s a pay cut to me. I don’t take pay cuts. I thought boxing was where the money was at. The $7m is absolutely laughable. He’s talking $100m – I’m also talking $100m,” McGregor said. “I’m 27 years of ageident Sertac Guven says talks are underway with Daniel Sturridge.The former Liverpool striker is a free agent after being allowed to come off contract last month.Sturridge’s mother and uncle were in Trabzon this week to meet with club officials and l and I’m just about halfway through a $100m contract. At 27 years of age, was on Oscar De La Hoya’s undercard.

“Who doesn’t want to conquer both worlds? He’s getting old now. He needs me, I don’t need him. Who else can he fight?”

A brief guide to … the complex rivalries of Midlands football

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With the Guardian’s unstoppable rise to global dominance** we at Guardian US thought we’d run a series of articles for fans wishing to improve their knowledge of the sports history and storylines, hopefully in a way that doesn’t patronise you to within an inch of your life. A warning: If you’re the kind of person that finds The Blizzard too populist this may not be the series for you.

** Actual dominance may not be global. Or dominant

Like the Oscar Peterson Trio, we get requests. And here’s reader Grant Tennille of North Carolina with another cutting-edge musical reference sure to go down a storm with the pop pickers of the internet age. “It would be fun to read about the Midlands, and all the rivalries within. I mean, everyone in the USA knows Robert Plant is a massive Wolves fan, but beyond that …”

Let’s start by splitting the region down the middle. To make it simple, we’re dividing the Midlands into two halves, based on the UK government’s . So we know Stoke isn’t really in the West Midlands but just for today we’ll go with .

The big clubs in the East Midlands are two-time European Cup winners Nottingham Forest, 1970s league sensations Derby County, and current Premier League leaders Leicester City. Also in the region: Notts County, the oldest professional club in the world and the team whose black-and-white-striped shirts inspired Juventus; Chesterfield, as a third-tier team, had there been goal-line technology back then; Northampton Town, who in the 1960s went from the lowest to highest divisions of the time, Fourth to First, and all the way back down again; and Mansfield Town, who don’t care for nearby Chesterfield much but keep themselves to themselves.

Nottingham Forest’s biggest rivalry should by rights be with Notts County, situated a stone’s throw away in the city, across the River Trent. But the pair rarely play in the same division, so most of the opprobrium is saved for . Forest and Derby contest the East Midlands derby (and yes, calling it the Derby derby would just confuse things unnecessarily).

Their rivalry today is mainly shaped by , who managed Derby to the 1972 league title and the semi-finals of the European Cup the following season. It was all going swimmingly until Clough had an argument with chairman Sam Longson over the keys to the office booze cabinet – , but not much more – and resigned. After unsuccessful but fabled sabbaticals at Brighton , Clough rocked up at Forest, leading the team to promotion, the league title, and two European Cups. Clough won a couple of League Cups at the tail end of the 80s with Forest, and retired in 1993. Forest haven’t won a major trophy since he left, though Derby landed the 74-75 league title under Dave Mackay (who made more changes to Clough’s team than he was ever given credit for by the neutral, ).

The pair did contest the 1898 FA Cup final, though. Derby were the hot favourites, having got to the showpiece at Crystal Palace after beating a pair of Midlands rivals – holders Aston Villa and – plus the Merseyside duo of Liverpool and Everton. Forest, on the othue semi-finalists are paying 15.7 million euros for Promes, significantly less than the 20.8 million euros that Sevilla paid Spartak Moscow for the winger last summer.However, with variables, the transfer could reach up to 17.2 million euros plus a per hand, had been the beneficiaries of a fortunate draw, West Bromwich Albion their only top-flight opposition en route to the final. Derby also had the double over Forest in the league, winning 4-3 away and thumping the not-so-Tricky-Trees 5-0 at the Baseball Ground on the Monday before the final. Sure enough, Forest ran out easy 3-1 winners and lifted their first FA Cup.

scored Derby’s consolation that day, though otherwise failed to make much of an impression. He’s the second greatest goalscorer of all time in the English top flight, his 317 goals only bettered by the 357 scored by Jimmy Greaves. But he won nothing. Derby made the final again the following year, but Bloomer missed a golden chance with the Rams a goal to the good against Sheffield United, and his team ended up losing 4-1. County made a third final in 1903, but Bloomer was injured and missed that one, which was lost 6-0 to Bury, still an FA Cup final record. There were suggestions that Derby had been jinxed by some travelling types who had been turfed off the land required to build their new Baseball Ground stadium ( of another Midlands team, Birmingham City), but good luck proving that.

Anyway, we’ve gone well off piste here. Forest aren’t wholly enamoured with Leicester either, and vice versa. That state of affairs that may or may not have its historical roots in Forest’s 12-0 win over Leicester in 1909, which remains the Foxes’ darkest day, but can be explained away by the whole team being still half-cut after a player’s wedding the night before. Leicester also keep a pot on a rolling boil for Derby, and they’ve had the better of that rivalry in recent(ish) years: four goals in the first 15 minutes of a 4-0 win the Premier League back in 1998, future Liverpool striker Emile Heskey the star man there, and a 2-1 win the First Division promotion play-off final of 1994, club legend Steve Walsh the two-goal hero.

Time to go west, but before we leave, anyone interested in Northampton Town’s Swinging Sixties – a story which features the captain of the 1958 Wales World Cup team, Barcelona, victories over West Ham’s future World Cup winners and, more importantly, local rivals Aston Villa – should read .

The West Midlands, then. A larger selection of big names here. The behemoth, whether rival fans like it or not, and regardless of how they’re doing right now, is Aston Villa. Also from the Premier League: Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion. Big clubs labouring in the Championship now: Birmingham City and Wolverhampton Wanderers. And other league concerns: Coventry City, the winners of the 1987 FA Cup and scorers of ; Walsall, whose 2-0 FA Cup win over the famous Arsenal in 1933 is still considered by many to be the greatest shock in the competition’s long history; Shrewsbury Town, (another for Grant Tennile there); Port Vale, Stoke’s lower-league city rivals; and Burton Albion, who held Manchester United to a goalless draw in the 2006 FA Cup while a non-league team.

We could draw a map of all the inter-club rivalries, but it’d make look like Route 66. Space and time constricts ently Manchester United striker James Wilson.The on-loan forward has spent this season at Pittodrie and is set to become a free agent.The Aberdeen-transfer-news-James-Wilson-Man-Utd” target=”_blank”>Daily Express says Derek McInnes wants to land the us to the bigger rivalries. We start in England’s second city, and the pretty intense brouhaha between the generally more blue collar Birmingham City and Aston Villa, who draw some of their support from well to do areas of the city such as Sutton Coldfield. Villa, the bigger club (sorry Blues), have registered more wins in the Second City derby. But on the other hand, Birmingham have a few trophies to show for it. They beat Villa in the final of the 1963 League Cup to win their first ever major trophy, Ken Leek their two-goal hero in a 3-1 aggregate win over two legs. Then in December 2010, Nikola Zigic scored late at St Andrews to beat Villa in the League Cup quarter finals; they went on to win .

This one’s got pretty nasty of late, though. Ask most folk of the first thing they think about when the Second City derby is mentioned, and it’ll be September 2002, the first game between the two sides for 15 years, Villa defender Olaf Mellberg throwing the ball back to keeper Peter Enckelman, the hapless netminder letting it roll into the net. Bedlam. Enckelman then had to deal with a Blues fan running onto the pitch and getting right up in his grille. You couldn’t have blamed Enckelman if he’d have battered the fan – professional sports stars tend to be a bit handier than oafs full of ale and pie – but the keeper retained a quiet dignity in the face of extreme provocation. OK, dignity is probably the wrong word, but you get the point. He didn’t retaliate, and .

Enckelman went on to play well for the next six months, restoring his reputation, only to make a perhaps worse blunder when Villa faced Birmingham again, bottling out of a headed backpass and allowing Geoff Horsfield to round him and roll the ball into an empty net. Sssh, nobody mention E, the man’s suffered enough.

Over to , up the road from Birmingham. Historically, their animosity was saved for Villa, this one going back a long way. The two teams contested the 1887, 1892 and 1895 FA Cup finals. West Brom were hot favourites for the first, but were defeated 2-0, losing the place completely after Dennis Hodgetts scored an unchallenged opener from an offside position. Having expected the referee to stop play before Hodgetts netted, or at least rule the goal out, the Baggies threw a three-minute tantrum. The referee didn’t budge. They never budge.

Five years later it was Villa’s turn as hot favourites. Sure enough, the result again went the other way, West Brom battering their Midlands rivals 3-0. John Reynolds was man of the match, and was absurdly accused by his own board of only putting in a shift at the big events, in the hope of getting a transfer. Reynolds, understandably piqued, left in high dudgeon. No guesses who he signed for: yep, Villa. Also plumping for the “bugger this” option was Villa keeper Jimmy Warner, who left England for good after being accused of throwing the Cup final on purpose, having bet heavily on West Brom.

Another three years on, and the 1895 final was decided in the first minute, the ball pinballing around the Albion area and clanking off a surprised John Devey. Reynolds was in the Villa winning side, a fact presumably noted by the Baggies board. Villa then proudly put the FA Cup on display in the window of local cobbler William Shillock, only for it , melted down for coins.

West Brom also enjoy locking horns with Wolverhampton Wanderers, and this rivalry – the Black Country derby – has probably superseded the Baggies-Villa one, simply because the teams, having both spent plenty of time out of the top flight during the last few decamp; Star reports that Podence is the main target for the Premier League side in the remaining days of the transfer window.The 24-year-old striker is much sought after, and he is preferred to Nelson Oliviera, who is another Wolves target.Wolves are hades, meet more often.

But despite it being primarily a lower-division phenomenon, the signature season came back in 1953-54. West Brom were under the yoke of Vic Buckingham, a coach heavily influenced by the famous Hungary team that thrashed England 6-3 and 7-1 and should have won the 1954 World Cup. Buckingham would go on to coach Ajax and Barcelona, but right now he was going for the English league title, and his West Brom team came within a hair’s breadth of becoming the 20th-century’s first league and FA Cup double winners. West Brom were a pretty pass-and-move team. Ronnie Allen and Johnny Nicholls had scored 55 goals between them by March, and the title looked on. But injuries scuppered their chances, they crumbled on the run-in, and were pipped at the post by a more tactically prosaic side: Wolves. West Brom did win the cup that year, at least, while Wolves went on to dominate the rest of the decade along with Manchester United.

So there you have it. Or at least some of it. Villa and Coventry don’t get on. Birmingham dislike Wolves, Stoke don’t have much time for Wolves or West Brom, Birmingham and West Brom don’t mind each other too much, Walsall get a few too many patronising pats on the head for their own liking, and everyone has it in for poor old Villa – something not helped in modern times by the fact that ever popular PM David Cameron is among their fans (). Yes, we’ve only just scratched the surface here.

A special Thanksgiving hat-tip to Matthew Lutz, , for his help with this article.And if you have any topics you’d like covered for future Field Notes, jot a note to

NWSL: Mark Parsons set for Portland job after leaving Washington Spirit

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The Washington Spirit announced on Wednesday the departure of head coach Mark Pak.The former Gunners midfielder made the return earlier this week.Edu told arsenal.com, “Yes, for me in the beginning, to start that role, it’s important to understand the club first. “Because if you don’t understand the club and you don’t understandrsons, and the Guardian understands he is in line to take over at the Portland Thorns.

The Thorns have not made the hire yet, but the front office has all but settled on Parsons withl assistant manager Pep Ljinders says Harvey Elliot is learning from the club’s seasoned midfielders.The 16-year-old was impressive on debut in the Carabao Cup third-round win over MK Dons.He is set to start against Arsenal tonight in the fourth-roun an announcement expected as early as next week, said a source, who declined to speak on the record because the announcement is pending.

“Mark has done a lot in DC, and Portland thinks he has a lot of upside,” the source said. “He’s young, tactically smart and the players respect him. There’s a much bigger spotlight in Portland, but he is very ambitious.”

A Thorns spokeswoman told the Guardian: “The club will not be providing any updates on its head coaching search at this time. The team expects to provide an update next week.”

After missing the playoffs for the first time, the Thorns opted not to renew coach Paul Riley’s contract earlier this month. Riley amassed a 16-17-11 record in two seasons at the helm in Portland and earned criticism for failing twice to land in the championship, despite the Thorns being perhaps the best-supported team in the league.

The Thorns, which are backed by the well-resourced Timbers organization, in former US women’s national team coach Pia Sundhage, but she has publicly announced her intention to stay with the Swedish national team until her contract ends in 2016. Tom Sermanni, also a former US national team coach who is now a consultant for Canada’s national team, was said to be interested in the Portland job, but the Thorns pursued Parsons.

Parsons, as season.Pep Guardiola’s side have accrued an incredible 198 points over the past two campaigns, winning two Premier League titles.But Belgium international thinks it will be a tighter competition this season.De Bruyne said: “We don’t need to beat thn Englishman who spent six years in various coaching positions with Chelsea Ladies before moving stateside, led the Spirit to back-to-back semi-finals in the past two National Women’s Soccer League seasons. He took over in 2013 when last-place Spirit fired then-coach Mike Jorden midseason.

“On behalf of the Spirit organization, we’d like to thank Mark for his tremendous efforts to build a championship team from the pros to the academy,” said Ashlee Comber, vice president of operations, in a statement. “It has been an absolute pleasure to work alongside Mark. He is an amazing human being, and we wish him and his family all the best.”

The Thorns were looking for a coach with experience in working with NWSL players and a proven track record, according to a source. The Thorns roster was plagued with injuries this year, which exacerbated gaps caused by the Women’s World Cup, something their next coach will need to address with the Olympics looming ahead next season.

“There will probably be a fair amount of player activity in this offseason,” the source said. “The Thorns are a talented team, but there are some chemistry issues.”

After the Guardian broke news that Orlando City SC , rumors and speculation began immediately that star Thorns striker Alex Morgan could make a move to Orlando, where her husband, Servando Carrasco, plays. A source said that any trades will be up to Parsons once he’s in place, but Morgan is a highly valued player in Portland and the club is not currently looking at a transfer.

The source indicated the Thorns will wait until after the NWSL championship to make the new head coach announcement. Portland will host the NWSL final on Thursday between FC Kansas City and Seattle Reign, to be broadcast at 9.30pm ET on Fox Sports 1.

NCAA Tournament 2015: Wichita State roll past Kansas as No7 beats No2

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No wonder Kansas never wants anything to do with Wichita State.

Behind another steady performance from Fred VanVleet and the hot shooting of Evan Wessel, the No7 seed Shockers rolled past the second-seeded Jayhawks 78-65 on Sunday, earning a trip to the Sweet 16 at the expense of the school that has caused them so much chagrin.

Tekele Cocht.Former City skipper Vincent Kompany became player-manager at the Belgian club in May and Sandler will be able to continue learning from one of Europe’s best defenders on a daily basis.He passed a medical yesterday ahead of the two clubs confirmintton led the way with 19 points for the Shockers (30-4). VanVleet finished with 17 aken 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 similarWilliam Saliba’s agent has been spotted in the UK.The Saint-Etienne defender is being targeted by Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City.The Mirror says his agent Djibril Niang posted a photo on Instagram at the Ivy Asia in Manchester.The Ligue 1 outfit rate 18-year-old Saliba at £26M. tale at Crystal Palace in his previous job, having kept the Eagles in thnd Wessel hit four three-pointers to score 12, sending the Missouri Valley champions to Cleveland for the Midwest Regional semi-final against third-seeded Notre Dame.

Devonte’ Graham and Perry Ellis had 17 points each, and Frank Mason added 16 for the Jayhawks (27-9), who blew an early eight-point lead and never really threatened in the second half.

Caroline Wozniacki sets up semi-final with Serena Williams at WTA Finals

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reached the last four at Singapore’s WTA finals and tied down the year-end world No1 ranking without hitting a ball on Friday.

Simona Halep, who inflicted Williams’ heaviest defeat for 16 years on Wednesday, tended the wound by stealing a set in defeat to Ana Ivanovic. That was enough to usher Williams through to the BNP Paribas event’s semi-finals, where she will meet .

Maria Sharapova botched three match points before regrouping to beat Angieszka Radwanska in three sets – but still failed to rlighted to wear the captain’s armband in his first appearance against senior opposition.The Gunners beaten 4-3 on penalties in the Leasing.com Trophy by Northampton Town on Tuesday night.Speaking after the game, Clarke said: “At under-18 level you neeach the last four come the end of Friday’s final n help Joelinton settle.Bruce was happy to have both on the pitch for their 1-1 draw with Brighton.He said, “On ‘Big Joe’, the burden of being a Newcastle United centre-forward is always going to be there and I think for any player who comes to the Pgroup-stage action.

Sharapova, the No2 seed, slipped out after dropping a set against Radwanska, in spite of her 7-5, 6-7, 6-2 victory. Radwanska sneaked through to meet Halep in the semi-finals, courtesy of Wozniacki’s victory over Petra Kvitova.

“She owes me a handbag,” Wozniacki said after helping Radwanska progress thanks to her 6-2, 6-3 win over Kvitova, before refocusing on facing Williams. “I believe in myself and believe in my skills. I’ve been playing well, so I believed I could beat anyone here.

“I obviously also knew that if I wasn’t playing up to my best, I could lose to all of them. But I’m really pleased about tays the Armenian is the Gunners’ fourth best-paid player but has flattered to deceive at the Emirates since his 2018 swap deal with Alexis Sanchez, who moved to Manchester United in Mkhitaryan’s place.The 30-year-old, who earns £180,000-a-week, is che way this week has gone so far.”

Halep, the only player to have qualified for the last four on Thursday, capped Friday’s play by taking the set off Ivanovic to secure Williams’ safe passage.

Ivanovic won out 7-6, 3-6, 6-3, but Halep securing the second set pushed Williams home.

Very possible Gerrit Cole will make first start for Pirates next week

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It is very possible right-hander and top prospect will make his major league debut for the on Tuesday, reports Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. Lefty is unlikely to make the start after being diagnosed with inflammation in his left forearm.

Cole, 22, was the first overall pick in the 2011 draft and came into the season as one of the game’s very best pitching prospects. He’s gone 5-3 with a 2.91 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in 68 innings spread across a dozen Triir top January targets.Bruce had been interested in bringing Olivier Giroud on loan from Chelsea but the striker now looks set for Inter Milan.”If there’s something available and there’s a deal to be done, we’ll try to do it,” he said. “But we have tple-A starts this year, though he is currently riding a 19-inning scoreless streak.

Before the season, Baseball America ranked Cole as the  and said he “certainly has the looinho says he has received over 50 messages from people at Manchester United after his recent appointment.Mourinho replaces Mauricio Pochettino at Spurs, but it appears he is still regarded with affection by many at Old Trafford.The Portuguese coach lk of a No. 1 starter who could anchorday as Real Sociedad’s latest signing.A presentation media conference is scheduled for 1:30pm.Arriving in Spain on Sunday night, Monreal had a message for La Real fans: “Aupa aficion, I’m already in Donostia. I really want to start, I know there is a their rotation” in their 2013 Prospect Handbook.

The Pirates come into Friday at 35-25 and four games back of the Cardinals in the NL Central.