NBA 2019-20 predictions: The rise of Los Angeles and the era of the super duos


This season will be defined by …

How things . The Lakers brought in LeBron James last season and still missed the postseason, so this time around . They had hoped to add Kawhi Leonard and become the new Golden State Warriors. Then the Clippers . Now the Lakers may not even be the best team in their own building.

The end of the superteam era means . The star-studded paradigm favored by the Celtics, Heat and Warriors over the last decade has given way to a two-star model co-opted by more than a dozen teams. Increased league-wide parity promises an improved nightly product and a much-needed injection of suspense at the business end.

The regular season will mirror the offseason, with the NBA’s best duos dominating the headlines in the same way they did this summer. Leonard and George with the Clippers, James and Davis with the Lakers and James Harden and Russell Westbrook with the Rockets are just a few of the superstar combinations that are sure to own the months to come.

. Every team is one bad spill away from watching their championship dreams swirl down the drain. Take the 2019 NBA finals, for example, when Golden State lost Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson to back-to-back injuries, greatly interfering with their hopes of beating Toronto. Talent is nothing without health.

Rate the NBA’s handling of the China situation out of 10

If NBA commissioner Adam Silver is about resisting China’s demands to force Daryl Morey out from his role as GM for the Houston Rockets for in Hong Kong, feel free to bump this up to a 3/10 for taking at least one clear stand. Strike me as not giving the commissioner the benefit of the doubt on this one.

. The controversy has in many ways awakened the broader public to the scale of Chinese censorship – and the degree to which US corporations are willing to play along with it in pursuit of their bottom lines. The NBA has shown it’s no different than in recent years, but Silver has done an admirable job by standing steadfastly behind his players.

The NBA took a benign tweet and turned it into an international fiasco. Representatives at every level of the NBA overreacted, as LeBron, Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta and Silver all scolded Morey and created a media firestorm.

. The NBA learned that it can’t have it both ways. In Silver’s first statement he toed the line, angering many people who thought he was supporting a totalitarian regime which happens to generate huge revenues for the league. After the backlash, he released another statement clarifying that the league supports free expression, later adding that Money won’t be disciplined. With millions on the line, Silver was in a tough position – but he ended up doing the right thing.

Which team had the best off-season?

If were gettea have announced they recorded a loss of nearly £100million for the year ending June 30.The loss was revealed in the club’s latest financial results but, after two profitable years, the Blues insisted they are still compliant with UEFA’s Financial ing a healthy Durant alongside Kyrie Irving, they would have a case. But Durant’s likely out for the entire season, so it’s clearly the Clippers for luring Leonard and George to California.

could go down as the best summer for any NBA team since the Miami Heat signed Chris Bosh and James in 2010. The addition of a lengthy superstar wing player who can create for himself or his teammates off the dribble, make threes and play lockdown defense would have been enough to lift the longtime Los Angeles afterthoughts into the title conversation. Adding two of them, while managing to retain their depth, makes them overnight frontrunners in a loaded Western Conference.

It wouldbe utterly insane to argue in favor of any team other than . Leonard’s decision to skip town on the Raptors and link up with the Clippers’ veterans was a win from the jump. The surprise addition of George took things over the edge, separating their summer from the rest of the pack in one of the biggest off-seasons in recent memory.

secured the biggest free-agent on the market in Leonard and also acquired George. That’s enough to transform a team that have never made it past the second round of the playoffs in their 49-year franchise history into instant title contenders. Leonard led the Raptors to their first-ever championship last season, perhaps he could do the same thing this year with the former laughing stocks of the league.

One bold prediction

The than they did last year despite the losses of Irving and Al Horford. The Celtics won’t be able to replace everything Horford gave them but Kemba Walker could end up being a better fit for the Celtics than Irving, even if he’s somewhat of a downgrade at point guard.

. The No 2 pick in the 2017 draft has resurfaced with the Pelicans after a pair of injury-hit seasons with the Lakers and he should thrive away from the drama and pressure of playing alongside LeBron. New Orleans has some interesting pieces in place, and it all should add up to plenty of opportunities for Ball to shine in his natural point guard role.

Many are expecting the Nets’ newest member to cause a talented team to crumble from the inside out. But I think Irving learned a lot about himself and the potential pitfalls that leaders face in the locker room and in front of the media last season. Irving has close friends around him in Kevin Durant and DeAndre Jordan and a strong leadership in Kenny Atkinson and Sean Marks. We can expect Irving to play just as well on the court and comport himself much better off it.

. Sure, Durant bolted and Thompson is out at least until February with a torn anterior cemouth captain Simon Francis has hailed the work ethic of manager Eddie Howe.Francis is one of those who have made the journey from League One with Howe.He told the Daily Express: “I did think I would love to be a coach and do it the way he managesruciate ligament, leaving the Warriors with a 47.5-point scoring hole. But Stephen Curry is in top shape and D’Angelo Russell is awfully talented too. Not to mention, the team needed a challenge after five-straight NBA finals appearances and three championships. No more going through the motions.

Rookie of the year

has this one locked up if – and it turns out this could be a big if – he’s healthy and doesn’t miss more time once he’s back from the knee surgery that has . Expect the New Orleans Pelicans to be extremely cautious with the Future of the Franchise, but here’s hoping that we aren’t denied what could be a rookie season of the ages.

Zion Williamson’s bully ball won’t immediately translate to the NBA, so I expect the No 1 pick to endure some growing pains as a rookie. He’s also surrounded by an intriguing mix of young and veteran talent, which could make it difficult for him to stand out even if he plays 30 minutes a night. Instead look to , who put up PlayStation-like numbers at Murray State and will get plenty of opportunity running the point for the rebuilding Memphis Grizzlies.

A rare lockhe’d like to sign Real Madrid youngster Vinicius Junior.Vinicius has battled for minutes this season, with Ronaldo making an attempt to sign him on-loan over the summer.He told Fox Sports Brasil: “He is a great player, he made a fantastic last season in a season that is otherwise impossible to predict. Williamson’s game is built for New Orleans, a team full of young guards who are sure to get up and down the floor. If preseason and Summer League serve as any indication, Williamson will be productive and efficient every night.

. causing problems down the line, Williamson should make an immediate impact on the league when he returns to action. He’s strong, agile and unstoppable around the hoop.


. If Zach Lowe , who am I to argue? The Bucks star’s main rival should be Davis, but it’s hard to get the votes when you’re on the same team as LeBron James.

. The best shooter in the history of basketball first earned the NBA’s highest individual honor in 2015, then became the first-ever unanimous winner in 2016. Only Curry’s willingness to accept a scaled-back role to accommodate the addition of Durant loosened his stranglehold on the trophy. But with Durant out of the picture and Thompson sidelined all or part of the year with an ACL injury, Golden State will be relying on Curry more than ever – and his numbers will reflect it.

The Lakers wanted as badly as he wanted them. The worst kept secret in the NBA paired Davis with one of the best passers in league history, LeBron James. While they have two of the most transcendent basketball players in history, the Lakers are still top heavy and they’ll need career years from Davis and James. If the Lakers are to make good on their lofty expectations, Davis must be the best player in Los Angeles – and the league.

. We all know the saying ‘Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.’ Well, I believe that saying – gender notwithstanding – now applies to a certain 6ft 8in, 250lbs player from Akron. He missed the playoffs last season with the Lakers after eight-straight finals appearances. Not reaching the postseason was embarrassing for the four-time MVP, and you better believe he’ll be playing with a chip on his behemoth shoulders this time around.

Western Conference playoff teams

LA Clippers, LA Lakers, Utah Jazz, Houston Rockets, Denver Nuggets, Golden State Warriors, Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs.

LA Clippers, Houston Rockets, LA Lakers, Utah Jazz, Denver Nuggets, Golden State Warriors, Portland Trail Blazers, Oklahoma City Thunder.

LA Clippers, Golden State Warriors, Denver Nuggets, Houston Rockets, LA Lakers, Portland Trail Blazers, Utah Jazz, Dallas Mavericks.

LA Lakers, LA Clippers, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz, Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs.

Eastern Conference playoff teams

, Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Indiana Pacers, Toronto Raptors, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic.

Philadelphia 76ers, , Indiana Pacers, Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, Brooklyn Nets.

Milwaukee Bucks, Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Toronto Raptors.

Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks, Brooklyn Nets, Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers.

Western Conference finals

LA Clippers 4-3 LA Lakers.

LA Clippers 4-2 Denver Nuggets.

LA Clippers 4-2 Denver Nuggets.

LA Clippers 4-3 Golden State Warriors.

Eastern Conference finals

Milwaukee Bucks 4-2 Philadelphia 76ers.

Philadelphia 76ers 4-3 Milwaukee Bucks.

Milwaukee Bucks 4-3 Philadelphia 76ers.

Philadelphia 76ers 4-2 Milwaukee Bucks.

NBA finals

. The Bucks were the best team in the East last season but they lost to Leonard and the Toronto Raptors in the Conference finals. Leonard’s in the West now, which means their biggest challengers in the East are an oddly-constructed Philadelphia 76ers team and whatever the post-Kyrie Boston Celtics end up being. The bad news? They may end up facing Leonard again eventually. The Clippers will have a tougher road to the finals, but if they make it they will have a clear advantage over whoever comes out of the East.

. The superteam era may be over but Philadelphia may have the closest thing resembling one. The Sixers lost Jimmy Butler in free agency but added Josh Richardson and the still-underrated Al Horford to a lineup that includes Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris. This is a team that’s built their identity around size, versatility and defense and one of the few outfits equipped to counter the Clippers’ two superstar wings. One year after pushing Kawhi and the Raptors to the limit in a , look for Philadelphia to go further and capture their first NBA title since 1983.

With the Warriors’ dominance drawing to a close, this season feels like one of the hardest to predict. The star power is heavy across the league but so are the issues. The Clippers, Warriors and Nets have injury issues, the Lakers and Bucks have short rotations and the 76ers and Nuggets are still green. Equipped with the best stars and the strongest supporting cast, the Clippers are essentially my pick by default.

. Leonard and George are going to be an incredible duo, and they’re going to be hungry. Coached by Doc Rivers, this team is going to go far. As for the 76ers, it’s quite tough to bet against a team that added Horford to a roster with Simmons and Embiid. It will be an exciting series, with the Clippers coming out on top.

USA World Cup winners Rapinoe and Morgan join Mata’s charity wage project


Two members of the World Cup-winning USA women’s team of 2015 have signed up to for footballers to donate 1% of their wages to charity.

Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan have joined Manchester United’s Mata and the Bayern Munich defender to Common Goal, which supports global football initiatives for disadvantaged children.

“Myself and Alex felt it was important that women’s football was represented from the outset,” said Rapinoe, a midfielder with Seattle Reign in the National Women’s Soccer League. “We’re really looking forward to building the movement with Juan and Mats from here.”

Rapinoe and Morgan each have more than 120 caps and have played in two World Cup finals, suffering defeat by Japan in 2011 before beating the same opponents four years later. Morgan, a striker with Orlando Pride, was recently .

“As the global profile of women’s football continues to grow, players like myself and Megan will have an increasing number of opportunities to use our status for good,” Morgan said. “I’m thrilled to join Common Goal at this early stage and hope we can inspire many others to become part of the movement.”

Mata is aiming to put together an XI of professional footballers for the project, which is overseen by , a group of more than 120 local charities.

“In Europe, we’ve just experienced a record-breaking transfer window,” Hummels said. “I think some fans are starting to feel alie Ballon d’Or.The Barcelona star was this evening named the Ballon d’Or winner for 2019 – for the sixth time.Yet Bordas feels the gap with Juventus ace Cristiano Ronaldo, who has five, should be far greater.”MessDavid Silva as one of the best players he has seen.The Spaniard managed his 400th game for City, helping them to a 3-1 win at Bournemouth.The fact that Silva has maintained his excellent standards for nearly a decade at City is unbelievable to his mai should have ten Ballon d’Or [prizes]enated from the gameo win the Premier League title with Liverpool.The Swiss proved his worth to the Reds after capitalising on a rare start by scoring in Wednesday’s 5-2 win over Everton.Speaking after the game, Shaqiri said: “Obviously I am really happy. Especially aga in light of these kinds of developments. But as more players join Common Goal, we hope to show the world that football still has its heart in the right place.”

Stephen Curry named NBA MVP after helping Warriors beat Trail Blazers


nailed a three-pointer in overtime and gestured to the crowd, exclaiming over and over: “I’m back! I’m back!”

Curry returned from a sprained right knee to score an NBA-record 17 points in overtime, finishing with 40 as the Warriors rallied to take a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference semi-finals with a 132-125 victory ove Sanchez insists Inter Milan are capable of winning the Champions League.On-loan from Manchester United, the striker is ready to face former club Barcelona this week.He stated, “Every player would like to win a Champions League. You play to win it, nr the on Monday night.

And then on Tuesday, to no one’s great surprise, . Curry swept all 131 first-place votes, including 130 from a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters and one from the fan vote. Curry is the 11th player to win back-to-back MVP awards.

“I love this game, I love playing and love competing. And really, really missed being out there with my team-mates,” Curry said. “To help our team get a win tonight and in that fashion, that was a good feeling in that moment to be back on the floor and playing.”

Playing for the first time since he was injured in Game 4 of the first-round series against Houston, Curry was rusty for three quarters and sensational down the stretch after the Warriors trailed by as much as 16 points.

Originally expected to play about 25 minutes off the bench, Curry picked up a heavier workload in the second half after Shaun Livingston, who had been starting in his absence, was ejected in the second quarter after arguing a call and picking up two technical fouls.

The Warriors can win the series Wednesday night at home in Game 5. A news conference announcing Curry’s award is scheduled for 5pm ET in Oakland on Tuesday.

Curry was followed in the vote by Kawhi Leonard of San Antonio, LeBron James of Cleveland and Oklahoma City pair Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. Curry’s Warriors team-mate Draymond Green was seventh.

Damian Lillard finished with 36 points and 10 assists for Portland.

Curry’s fast-break lay-up gave the defending champions a 120-118 lead with 2:21 left in the extra period. He followed with a three-pointer, strutting and pumping his fist in celebration.

“You knew he’d catch his rhythm eventually,” Klay Thompson said. “He’s probably the best player in the world, the best shooter of all-time. He was getting good looks. We’ll take those all day.”

Harrison Barnes’ layup extended the lead to 125-118 and Portland couldn’t catch up. Thompson finished with 23 for the Warriors.

Curry finally made his first three of the game to give the Warriors a 103-100 lead with 4:35 left in regulation, but Pesses in training.The striker could see action tonight against Chelsea.Arteta stated on Monday: “Well, it will depend on the circumstances: the players we have available, his performance, the way he trains, the impact that he makes every time he playortland was ahead in the final minute before Barnes tied it at 111-all with a three-pointer with 51 seconds left. Both Lillard and Curry missed to force the OT.

Curry led the Warriors to an NBA-record 73 wins in the regular season, a year after leading the team to its first NBA championship in 40 years. He averaged just over 30 points per game this season.

“Remarkable,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. “I mean, he looked fresh. He had his rhythm. He made tough shots, he made nice passes, he fought through screens. Obviously 17 points in overtime. It was a hell of a performance.”

The Trail Blazers narrowed the series to 2-1 on Saturday night when Lillard scored 40 points in a 120-108 Portland victory while Golden State was still without its star guard. The Blazers became the only team to defeat the Warriors twice this season.

Curry came off the bench with 5:56 left in the first quarter and Portland up 16-2. His only points in the quarter came off a pair of jumpers before he went back to the bench.

Livingston felt he was fouled just before halftime and was thrown out after arguing with referee Scott Foster. The 12-year veteran guard was averaging 12.1 points and 5.Oxlade-Chamberlain up and running in preseason.The 24-year-old managed just a pair of substitute appearances last season after suffering a devastating knee injury the previous April.Jurgen Klopp has described the England midfielder as a new signing a5 assists in the playoffs. He had started six of the eight playoff games while Curry nursed his knee injury.

Portland led 67-57 at the half, scoring a franchise playoff-record 41 points in the second quarter alone. Lillard led all scorers with 17 points.

Curry said his legs were sore after the game.

“To be expected,” he said. “I pride myself in the work I put in in the offseason to get through the 82-game schedule and be fresh for the playoffs. I was off my feet for a week and some change. You obviously lose a little bit but deep down when I got the work the last four days and broke a sweat and put the time in, that helped me get through these 38 minutes.”

Philadelphia Eagles swapping Nick Foles for Sam Bradford, source says


Two people familiar with the trade say Chuba Akpom.The Hammers have been keeping tabs on Akpom following his move to PAOK from Arsenal, having helped win their first title in 34 years last season.They are now considering a bid for the 23 year-old before next Thursday’s deadline after wat the and St Louis Rams have agreed to swap quarterbacks Nick Foles and Sam Bradford.

Both people spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity Tuesday because the teams are still working on the draft picks involved in the deal. Bradford hasn’t played since his 2013 season ended after he tore his left ACL. The former No1 overall pick tore it again in preseason last year.

has stunned him after their 4-0 thumping of Southampton.The Reds have now won 24 of 25 games this season to move 22 points clear at the top of the Premier League.Liverpool have now taken 100 points from a possible 102 and, when told none of the asse

Foles had a breakout season for the Eagles in 2013 and was offensive MVP of the Pro Bowl. He missr-old joined on transfer deadline day from Anderlecht on loan with obligation to buy for a total €7m plus bonuses.“I believe this is a great club, every player dreams of playing for a club of this calibre and I’m delighted to be a part of this pred the last eight games in 2014 after breaking his collarbone.

Foles is the latest star player to depart Philadelphia. He joins two-time All-Pro running back LeSean McCoy and Pro Bowl wide receiver Jeremy Maclin.

Boston’s $63m splash on Yoan Moncada exposes flaw in system: the MLB draft


Thirty-one and a half million dollars for a 19-year-old infield prospect.

Sixty-three million dollars, when you count the hit the Boston Red Sox had to take in luxury tax payments to sign Cuban super-prospect Yoan Moncada away from his other major-league suitors in the , the Los Angeles Angels, the Brewers (well, sort of; Milwaukee made a valiant “We Tried” offer of a “mere” $12-15m) and elsewhere. New York were involved in talks with Moncada and his representation up until the last minute, but in the end the Yankees were unwilling to go over $27m in bonus money for a kid who will start the season in the low minors.

How ridiculous, right? Especially when, as Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Drew Smyly : “It’s not right that a Cuban 19yr old gets paid 30m and the best 19yr old in the entire USA gets prob 1/6th of that. Everyone should have to go through same process”

Sure. It’s ridiculous. But not for the reasons most people, Smyly included, seem to think it is.

The international free agent status accorded to young Cuban players like Moncada who have defected to the United States (or more specifically, established residency ithe departure of Real Betis coach Quique Setien.The defender says the decision was “unfair”.Firpo told Marca: “I think maybe it was a little unfair when you consider what he achieved in two years at Betis; he did things that haven’t been seen for a ln another Latin American country then been admitted to the United States by OFAC, the Office of Foreign Assets Control) is not true free agency – Moncada’s money is entirely received in bonus form instead of a full major league contract, and he will be subject to the same service time and arbitration rules as any other player entering professional baseball from “amateur” play. He is, however, accorded the most important part of what “free agency” implies: the ability to choose, for himself, to whom he will bend his labor – in this case, playing baseball, which is very lucrative labor indeed, and not only for Moncada but all the people who profit off of actual baseball games being played: coaches, executives, and eventually and most importantly, team owners.

When Smyly points out that Moncada’s bonus is six times (really, more than six times) what a 19-year-old American-born phenom would get in the draft, he’s completely correct. But that’s not an indictment of the free agency system that allowed Moncada to get the highest amount of money that the market for his services will bear. That’s an indictment of a draft system that has always been a tool to drive down the cost of labor: the amount of money being paid to actual baseball players.

Everyone is familiar, surely, with how the league following Curt Flood, the death of the reserve clause, and then Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally’s decision to play without contracts in 1976 and thereby become free agents. It’s taken a while, but Major League Baseball has realized it just has to live with paying veteran players what the market allows for their services – which is a lot of money, given the popularity of the game they play and the insane profitability to be had from owning and running a professional sports franchise in America. And so, eventually, as salaries soared in the late 1990s thanks to attendant soaring revenues, the eyes of management shifted away from stimying veteran paychecks – and the cult of the prospect began.

Originally, it was just teams like the Oakland Athletics, Tampa Bay Rays or the Texas Rangers spending relatively vast sums of money in the draft or on young international players in lieu of spending even larger sums on veteran free agents. Then the teams with the most money – the Yankees, the Red Sox, now even the Chicago Cubs – realized that they could do both. And suddenly teams like the Atlanta Braves, and then-team president John Schuerholz, realized that they were at a significant competitive disadvantage … and that players were getting too much of the pie. Because let’s be honest: as far as maffield United boss Chris Wilder is holding back goalkeeper Michael Verrips.Voetbalnieuws says the Blades are choosing not to name the 22-year-old in their matchday squads because they are worried it could lead to an automatic forfeit of a game they anagement is concerned – not just in Atlanta, but in Tampa Bay and Chicago and Boston and New York and everywhere else – labor is always getting too much of the pie.

So in the most recent renegotiation of the collective bargaining agreement – the document that controls the relationship between the league and the MLB Players Association – the league and the union made a deal: they instituted caps on draft bonuses. Now each pick in the draft had a monetary value stapled to it, and teams that spent more than the combined value of all their picks had severe penalties assessed; some penalties were monetary, while other, more severe penalties could lead to the forfeiture of picks in future drafts. The union happily allowed this – after all, draft picks aren’t card-carrying members of the MLBPA. They’re minor leaguers. They might eventually become MLBPA members, but until the day they’re placed on a 40-man roster, they’re ; they just got a larger signing bonus up front. Well, some of them did, anyway.

That’s the system some people want to bring to young international talent like Moncada. Now that their grip on the domestic market is secure, the league is eyeing the internatCelso wants to taste the ‘magic of the FA Cup’ as attentions turn to today’s fourth round tie at Southampton.“We know how important this cup is and we’ll give our best to advance,” he said. “We know that it’s a competition that has a lot of prestional markets, and the possibility of extending its control there, too – dismantling the concept of international free agency for everyone but players coming out of the Asian professional leagues. MLB has already instituted bonus capping for this group of players in general – but it obviously wasn’t enough, as Boston paying a $31.5m penalty for signing Moncada shows. And so in the wake of Moncada’s payday, : isn’t this unfair? How could this kid deserve this much money? Wouldn’t it be better if we just had an international draft?

To which I respond: wouldn’t it be better if we had no draft at all? This country claims, after all, to be all about free markets. And the reason that Moncada’s bonus is so high is because, if you’ll recall your basic economics, he’s the sole current provider of a service that’s in high demand. Were he forced to compete in the marketplace against all 1,215 players selected in last year’s draft – or even just the top 50 high-school seniors in the country, to be more realistic given his talent – not only would his bonus be lower, but those kids would be getting paid more.

After all, to paraphrase Drew Smyly, what’s less fair: Yoan Moncada getting paid $31.5m by an industry that took in over $9bn in revenue in 2014 alone? Or some kid from Oklahoma with the same amount of talent maybe getting one-sixth of that?

Abolish the draft.

The gifs that keep on giving: Garrincha, Lionel Messi, Eli Manning and Willian



Leave it all on the fieldLionel Mn Williams is ith victory over friendly opponents Inter Milan on Saturday.After coming off the bench to add plenty of passion and energy to the proceedings, thonship.Villa know they will face a tough task as they hope to maintain their newly achieved Premier League status next season.The Daily Mirrorsays they are hoping to follow up the signing of Wesley Moraes from Club Brugge with other bold moves.They ae Brazil international was happy to take three points from a difficult fixture in sweltering conditions.Mcapable of filling in for injured left-back Luke Shaw.Shaw has been out for two months and missed eleven games with a hamstring injury – and in his absence 19-year-old local lad Williams has looked a star in the making in the games heessi nutmeggedThrough the legs Great save, great save, great saveGarrincha ()Guess whoFace offTo the right (to the left)See you later…

Joe Maddon unexpectedly leaves Tampa Bay Rays with immediate effect


Joe Maddon, the manager since 2006, is to leave the teadditions this month.Pearson admitted that the biggest additions to his squad are likely to come from players returning from injuries and that he does not foresee the club being too active during the window, if at all.”Hopefully we’ll have some new sim with immediate effect.

The news comes unexpectedly, and was confirmed by the Rays on Twitter.

There had been speculation that he could follow former Rays general manager, Andrew Friedman, to the Dodgers, although Friedman said last week that Don Mattingly would “definitely” be the manager next season.

Maddon has yet to comment on his departure.

The statement from Rays owner, Stuart Sternberg, said: “Joe Maddon has exercised an opt-out in his current contract, a contract which was not scheduled to expire until after the 2014 season.

“We tried diligently and uction for the winger.United are keen on James and feel that at 21 he has the potential to become a star in the Premier League, reports the Mirror.James is also being watched by a number of other clubs, including Everton, Newcastle and Leeds, and Swaaggressively to sign Joe to a third contract extension prior to his decision. As of yesterday [Thursday] afternoon, Joe enable himself to explore opportunities throughout Majorth Alisson facing two months out with a calf injury, the Spaniard is now Liverpool’s outright No1.Speaking to the club’s official website, Klopp said: “I’m not worried at all about how he will do it in the long term, but in the short term the problem League .

“He will not be managing the Rays in 2015. Joe has been our manager for nine seasons, and the foundation of success laid during his tenure endures. We thank him for all that he’s meant to the organisation.”

Paulo Dybala is eager to hear from Manchester Uni


second baseman homered and drove in two runs Wednesday against the Dodgers. Gyorko has hit safely in 9 of 10 games, batting .293 (12 for 41) with two doubles, two home runs, seven RBI and nine runs. 

Since May 14, Gyorko is batting .313 (26 for 83) with a .518 slugging percentage, four home runs, five doubles, 11 RBI and 19 runs in his last 21 games.

More News 03/22/2020 • by RotoWire Staff 02/18/2020 boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists he wasn’t playing media games regarding David de Gea’s fitness.De Gea came off with a muscle abductor problem in Spain’s European qualifier in Sweden on Tuesday and Solskjaer indicated on Wednesday he was out of the hibaut Courtois is delighted Eden Hazard is joi Park.After defeat against Wolves last time out, City produced a dominant display to ruthlessly dispatch a Palace side who came into the game in sixth place.Gabriel Jesus opened the scoring at Selhurst Park, netting his 50th goal for the Club with a ning him in Spain.Hazard has followed Courtois from Chelsea to Real this summer.And the Belgium international told Movistar: “I cannot wait for him to be with us. “His arrival is an important qualitative • by RotoWire Staff 01/10/2020 • by RotoWire Staff 11/03/2019 • by RotoWire Staff 08/18/2019 • by RotoWire Staff 08/17/2019 • by RotoWire Staff

Right now, Nationals need Rendon more at second base than at third


The ‘ original plan was that would solve their defensive problems at third base.

Right now, offense at second base is a bigger concern.

“Both are problems,” one Nationals-connected person said Saturday.

True, but you solve what you can, and in the short term having Rendon replace at second base is more realistic than having him replace at third.

Rendon , but the more significant news was that he’ll go from playing third base in Double-A to playing second base in Triple-A.

Asked how many days he’ll need there, the Nationals source said, “Not many.”

Espinosa was a favorite of both general manager Mike Rizzo and manager Davey Johnson, but his .401 OPS in May was the lowest of any major leaguer with 70 or more at-bats in the month. In his last 13 games, Espinosa has a .102 batting average with 21 strikeouts in 49 at-bats, one run scored and none driven in.

Rendon, meanwhile, had a 1.064 OPS in 33 games at Harrisburg. The 22-year-old Rendon, the Nationals’ first pick in the 2011 draft, was ranked by Baseball America as the 30th best prospect in baseball.

Zimmerman still leads all major-league third baseman with nine errors, eight of them throwing errors. His errors have already led to 12 unearned runs, and . But Zimmerman has just two errors in his last 19 games at third.

Besides, Zimmerman is a key part of the Nationals offense, and so is first baseman . It’s still likely that some time in the fun Kent going on loan this summer.The 22-year-old was impressive for Rangers last term, with the Scottish side hoping to renew that agreement.However, the Reds are only thinking about a permanent departure for Kent.Speaking about the winger’s loan movture, Zimmerman will move from third base to first (maybe even with Rendon replacing him at collapse at Watford.Villa suffered the reverse despite thricio Pochettino has dismissed talk of panic over their poor start to the season.Pochettino insists that Tottenham are not in crisis – not least because he does not understand the meaning of the word.”Crisis? Crisis means madness? What does it mean? e dismissal of Watford defender Adrian Mariappa with the score at 1-0.Asked why he looked so frustrated in the dugout, Smith said: “I was angry at my players, I was angry with them at half t third), but that can’t happen yet.

Rendon has played only five professional games at second base, all this season, but the feeling is that he can pick up the position quickly. It can’t hurt that Syracuse manager Tony Beasley was a second baseman in his playing days.

Former Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has t


starting pitcher breezed through four innings against the Tigers Thursday before giving up three runs in the fifth and ending the game with a quality start. Burnett allowed just three earned runs on five hits and four walks in six innings while striking out four.

It was the third time in five games that Burnett walked four batters in a start, but he has yet to give up more than three earned runs in any game this season. He takes a 3-5 record and 2.72 ERA into Monday’s start against the Braves.

More News 10/04/2015 • by RotoWire Staff 09/28/2015 • by RotoWire Staff 09/22/2015 • by RotoWire Staff 09/17/2015 • by RotoWire Staff 09/11/2015 • by Jason Lempert ch Xavi has confirmed talks with Barcelona.Xavi spoke after his side’s qualification for the final of the Qatar Cup. In a press conference after the game, Xavi responded to questions about Barça’s interest and his meeting with Eric Abidal on Friday, tus have clinched the signing of PSG midfielder Adrien Rabiot.Rabiot passed a medicaed to manager Unai Emery finally calling time on the centre-back’s Emirates Stadium career, the club having reportedly tried to flog him every window since he signed in 2016.BBC journalist David Ornstein told Radio 5 Live: “After the Europa League fil on Monday and has signed a four-year contract.The 24-year-old broke through for PSG in 2013 and went on to play 227 times for the French giants, scoring 25 goals, p 09/10/2015 • by Sean D’Oliveira

midfielder Rodri admits leaving Atletico Madrid h


starting pitcher suffered his fourth loss Thurio sign Tottenham fullback Serge Aurier.Available from Spurs this summer, Aurier has been in talks about a return to former club PSG.However, Le 10 Sport says Milan have now joined the race.The Rossonero have assured the Ivorian they want to sign him,g success at Arsenal.In a video interview with Goal, the 36-year-old former Man City and Barcelona star had nothing but praise for the Spaniard.Toure said: ”I think Arteta will be a very, very good manager.”I worked with him for a couple of years sday night against the Indians.Bailey (3-4) pitched three scoreless innings before surrendering seven runs in the fourth, including a two-run double by Michael Bourn. He threw 45 pitches in the fourth and endured his shortest outing of the season. The right-hander allowed seven runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out five in 3 2/3 innings of a 7-1 loss. It was his first loss since May 1.Bailey is scheduled to start Tuesday at home against Colorado. He is 2-0 with a 2.32 ERA in five starts at home.

More News 02/29/2020 • by RotoWire Staff 12/31/2019 • by RotoWire Staff verton must negotiate with Napoli to release Carlo Ancelotti from his deal before appointing him.Sky Italia says Everton need to hammer out an agreement with Napoli for Ancelotti despite the Italian being given his marching orders by the Serie A side 10/01/2019 • by RotoWire Staff 09/25/2019 • by RotoWire Staff 09/19/2019 • by RotoWire Staff 09/13/2019 • by RotoWire Staff

The former Liverpool midfielder admits he’s been s


infielder entered play Thursday 0 for 10 in his last three games but went 1 for 3 with a walk in his team’s 7-1 loss to the Pirates.

Betancourt had actually went hitless in six of his seven games heading into Thursday. The solid performance gives him a .239/.268/.455 line with eight home runs in 142 plate appearances. He’ll attempt to build upon Thursday’s game when the team faces the Cardinals this weekend.

More News 01/28/2014 • by R.J. Whpleased to see Ali Koiki on the scoresheet in their frienurnley goalkeeper Joe Hart is ready to stall plans of leaving England.Hart has been linked with David Beckham’s Inter Miami, with the expansion franchise preparing for their first season in MLS in 2020.However, the Daily Mail says Hart is likely to sdly win over Fleetwood Town.Koiki scored his first senior goal for the club to seincluding youngster Jack Clarke following his summer signing from Leeds United.Clarke rejoined the Whites on loan after his arrival in north London in the summer, but he has played just 19 minutes of Championship football this season as well as makint Burnley on their way to a 2-0 win over Joey Barton’s Cod Army at Highbury Stadium.And Dyche admitted it had beite 11/21/2013 • by R.J. White 11/18/2013 • by Al Melchior 11/06/2013 • by Scott White 08/10/2013 • by Jeff Lippman 08/01/2013 • by Michael Hurcomb

resting Newcastle United.The Sun says Toon manager


Although manager John Farrell says is not a platoon player, he hasn’t started against a right-handed pitcher in almost three weeks, .com reported Saturday. 

“But that seems to be where his best production comes,” Farrell was quick to add.

Gomes, who started Saturday against Toronto left-hander Mark Buehrle, hasn’t started against a righty since April 23. Daniel Nava continues to see most oester United.The Japan international enjoyed a strong first season in England as he claimed six goals and six assists in 26 appearances as United romped to the Premier League title.However, Sir Alex Ferguson retired at the end of the campaign and thif the at-bats in those cases. 

Gomes had seen 16 at-bats in May entering Saturday and has gone 4 for 16 (.250) with a homer and five RBI. 

More News 12/21/2016 • by RotoWire Staff 02/03/2016 • by RotoWire Staff 11/05/2015 • by RotoWire Staff its he found himself questioning the professionalism of Real Madrid star Eden Hazard when they were teammates at Chelsea.Luis left Atletico Madrid this summer to return home to Brazil at Flamengo.And he recalled to YouTube channel ‘2Angrteran Antonio Valencia. The Ecuadorian fullback will become a free agent at the end of this month and is wanted by a number of teams in MLS.The Valencia.html”>Daily Mail says United are looking to give the 33-year-old a chance to stay in the Premier yMen TV’ that 10/01/2015 • by RotoWire Staff 08/31/2015 • by Jason Lempert 06/25/2015 • by Michael Hurcomb

Chelsea are demanding a fee if Olivier Giroud is t


Throughout the early stages of outfielder ‘s recovery from a forearm injury, the were adamant he would return as their center fielder because they didn’t want to take him out of with Fulham.Fulham’s top scorer last season has revealed that he turned down a move in China to stay at Craven Cottage with Fulham next season.As well as ignoring the attention from China, he has committed his long-term future to the Championship cl his comfort zone. That plan appears to have changed as Granderson played right field in the first game of his rehab assignment Thursday and was scheduled to play left Friday.

“We just changed our minds,” general manager Brian Cashman told Friday. “Basically, I talked with [Joe] Girardi before and he said, ‘We have to leave him there.’ I said, ‘OK.’ Then [during the season] Girardi said, ‘Hey, with [Brett Gardner] looking so good in center, we should look at making [Granderson] play left and right and see what that looks like.’ I said, ‘OK.’ Simple. We are just trying to see what type of flexibility we have.”

More News 01/31/2020 • by RotoWire Staff 09/09/2019 • by RotoWire Staff another Cristiano Ronaldo-type sigor Nolito.Celta are enjoying an impressive transfer window and are in talks with Sevilla to sign Nolito.”We have to see them reach an agreement, Sevilla and Celta, and in turn our club with Nolito. I would like him to come back, as I said last seasonning.Juve held their annual shareholders’ meeting on Wednesday, where a plan to raise €300m through an increase in share capital was approved.“We’re always ready to seize every opportunity,” vice-president Nedve 08/05/2019 • by RotoWire Staff 08/03/2019 • by RotoWire Staff 08/01/2019 • by RotoWire Staff 07/31/2019 • by RotoWire Staff

nchester City face a battle to keep hold of Kian B


starting pitcher flopped in his first two seasons in the majors, to the point that he did not even earn a spot in the rotation despite making 25 starts a year ago. In two starts since being recalled, however, he has looked more major-league ready this time around, racking up big strikeout numbers in his first two starts.

Lyles has 12 strikeouts and just three walks in his first 10 innings of work after posting just 6.3 strikeouts per nine innings last year and 6.41 in 2011. The key for Lyles will be whether he can sustain this strikeout rate, as his minor-league numbers have not hinted at dominant swing-and-miss potential in the past few years.

When Lyles established himself as a prospect worth watching, he put together consecutive seasons of at least 8.0 strikeouts per nine innings. He has been below 7.0 in each full season since, in both the majors and minors. It is a good sign that he has induced a swinging strike on 14eve Bruce has spoken of working with Liverpool fullback Kieran Tierney.Bruce signed the Scotland skipper for £2.85m in 2014 and he spent three years at the KCOM Stadium before making the switch to Merseyside where, like Van Dijk, he has become a key.1 percent of his pitches so far, compared to just 6.9 percent a year ago.

Lyles is worth a look in AL-only Fantasy fm boss Mauricio Pochettino was left frustrated with their failure to land Bayern Munich midfielder Philippe Coutinho last summer.Barca paid £145m to sign Coutinho from Liverpool but were willing to let the Brazilian forward leave the Nou Camp on loaormats at this time, but he will need to keep generating plenty of whiffs to be someone who should draw interest in mixed-league formats. 

More News 03/09/2020 • by RotoWire Staff Dijk is doing preseason training alongside Rangers.The Dutch defender was spotted at a training base in the Algarve where Rangers are currently holding their pre-season training camp.Van Dijk linked up with former Reds star Steven Gerrard as he put 03/04/2020 • by RotoWire Staff 12/07/2019 • by RotoWire Staff 09/26/2019 • by RotoWire Staff 09/20/2019 • by RotoWire Staff 09/15/2019 • by RotoWire Staff