Naoyuki Oi of Japan had a memorable weekend at the World Pool Masters. He advanced to the quarterfinals after defeating Cheng Yu Hsuan, 8-6, on Saturday, but it was what happened after the match that turned him into a highlight. Oi doesn¡¯t speak much English, so while interviewer Tony Wrighton asked him elaborate questions about the match, Oi couldn¡¯t reciprocate his answers with the same level of vocabulary.
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Instead, Oi made the best of his English skills by saying what he knows and being theatrical about it.
Wrighton: ¡°We thought you¡¯d won it, a couple of racks before you did win it.¡±
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Why it worked
This was one of the most interesting trade-deadline deals, given that St. Louis, now retired and likely on his way to the Hall of Fame, would agree to go only to the Rangers after telling the Lightning he wanted to be traded. And given those limitations, Tampa general manager Steve Yzerman did yeoman’s work getting as much value as he did for St. Louis.
Although you can quibble with the long-term contract to which the Lightning signed Callahan after the trade, they went to the Stanley Cup finals in 2015 and the Eastern Conference finals last spring after that blockbuster deal. As for the Rangers, St. Louis provided an important presence in the locker room as they advanced to their first Stanley Cup finals since 1994. St. Louis led the way with eight goals and 15 points in spite of the death of his mother early in the playoffs. St. Louis was especially important during the Rangers’ second-round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins in which they overcame a 3-1 series deficit. This was a good deal for both sides.
Even though he plays in an age when it’s not unusual for players to change positions, he made no secret of the fact that moving away from that spot on the field — and not having a say in it — was difficult to accept.
“It’s more difficult because I feel I can still play it,” he said. “I don’t feel like I’m at the end of my career. You know, people like to say, ‘Torii Hunter moved to right.’ Uh, also, Torii Hunter was 35 years old when he moved to right. So at the same time, I’m 30, and I feel like I can still play it.”
After he’d taken the time to process the decision, McCutchen said he came to accept that he couldn’t be selfish if the move was going to improve his team. So two weeks ago, he tweeted a photo of former Pirates right-field legend Roberto Clemente — just to signal that maybe moving to right, for this franchise, wasn’t so bad after all.
“Once I got over the fact that I had to move,” McCutchen said, “the more I started to look at it and get some positivity out of it. And that’s one way to look at it. I’m playing at a position and a spot of a guy that you idolize: Clemente. He set the standard for someone that I would love to be like, even half that guy. So it’s an honor to be out there playing that position.”
Short of something happening to Carlos Martinez, Tuesday’s news was about as lousy for a Cardinals fan on day one of spring workouts as you could imagine. Reyes was one important adjustment — pitch efficiency — from being one of the team’s most bankable commodities in preventing runs, the area where the team broke down in 2016. He struck out 52 batters in 46 major league innings last season. He also walked 23. He wasn’t a finished product.
Now, Cardinals fans might have to confine those fantasies to two years down the road and, even with advances in medicine and physical therapy, major surgery still involves an element of mystery.
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Try to work out a deal with Ezekiel Ansah. He already is getting a massive raise this year as his salary jumps from $5.9 million to $12.7 million, but after playing out his fifth-year option in 2017, Ansah will be an unrestricted free agent.
There are a few reasons to sign Ansah right now. One is that the Lions have more leverage as Ansah remains further away from free agency. The franchise tag for defensive ends in 2018 will probably come in around $18.3 million, and if the Lions wanted to franchise Ansah again in 2019, they would have to pay $22 million. That’s $53 million over the next three years.
It seems like a lot, but keep in mind that Olivier Vernon, a less productive pass-rusher, just got $53.3 million over the first three years of his new deal from the Giants when he hit unrestricted free agency. With inflation and superior performance, Ansah would top $55 million and even approach $60 million over the first three years of his new contract if he was a free agent tomorrow.
That responsibility continued when Ryan took the job as Buffalo Bills coach. In one season, Lynn moved up from running backs coach to offensive coordinator to interim head coach when the Bills decided to part ways with Ryan.
One of the key things Lynn said he learned from Ryan was how to develop a solid, working relationship with players.
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â€œHis players loved him,â€ Lynn said. â€œWe didnâ€™t always have success, but they played hard. Did we always put them in the right position? Maybe not, but they always played hard.â€
He grew up a fan of the team, has an admirer in Jerry Jones and could join the pantheon of players who win a Super Bowl in Dallas. If the Cowboys were interested, that possibility might be enough to get Peterson to accept a secondary role. Making this happen, though, would require quite a few gymnastics.
“When the time is there, we’ll sit down,” Walton said. “We’re going to obviously coach this team the way that we think is best for our guys to win and gives us the best chance of growing in a certain direction for the future. But obviously, we would love to have Magic’s input on those type of things.”
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Earlier in the day, Johnson told CBS in an interview that it would likely take the Lakers three to five years to rebuild. Upon being relayed those comments, Walton said his focus was on Tuesday’s game against the Sacramento Kings, but he admitted the timetable seemed standard.
“I’m not really — I’m more concerned with our game tomorrow,” Walton said. “Three to five years? Yeah, I mean, that sounds normal for our rebuild.”
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After picking up a technical foul in the second quarter â€” his 17th of the season â€” DeMarcus Cousins was the favorite to be ejected during the Sacramento Kingsâ€™ matchup against the New Orleans Pelicans Sunday.
But it was first-year guard Buddy Hield who got the boot after a bizarre sequence of events left Cousins confused and sent officials to the replay booth.
The Knicks snapped a four-game losing streak and avoided what could have been the first 0-5 home stretch in franchise history. Kristaps Porzingis shot just 4-for-10 from the field, but recorded four blocks and made three of his five three-point attempts. New York outscored the Spurs by 20 in all lineups with Porzingis on the floor.
â€œThe blocked shots were huge,â€ Hornacek said. â€œThere was a stretch, when the game was close, they probably thought they had a nice shot but KP came and blocked it. I thought he was more aggressive.â€
According to Adam Vingan of The Tennesseean, Mike Ribeiro has been placed on waivers by the Nashville Predators.
During last night¡¯s 2-0 win over the Edmonton Oilers, rumors were circulating that the 36-year-old center had asked for a trade out of Nashville.
As for which teams have the first shot at claiming Ribeiro on waivers:
Elite Mens Kevin Johnson Jersey Things have not gone as planned as of late for Ribeiro as he has been scratched in Nashville’s past three games and five of the team’s past 11 contests.
Ribeiro has four goals and 21 helpers in 46 games this season.
It will be interesting to see if a team claims Ribeiro off of waivers and we will of course keep you posted on that front when the news is announced tomorrow afternoon.
Ribeiro carries a $3.5 million cap-hit and is set to be an unrestricted free-agent following the year.
Elite Mens Festus Ezeli Jersey ¡°Tonight was one of those nights where we should be holding ourselves and each other accountable for that.¡±
Still, New York (22-33) isn¡¯t completely out of the playoff picture. The Eastern Conference is top-heavy, and the Knicks, though 11 games below .500, are just 3.5 games behind the Detroit Pistons for the eighth seed in the conference.
¡°Only thing that¡¯s keeping us kinda sane is the fact that when you look at the standings,¡± Anthony said. ¡°When you look at that, it¡¯s about putting a couple games together and anything can happen. So yeah, we¡¯re still optimistic about making the playoffs and what we can do. We just have to start doing it on a consistent basis.¡±
NFL teams are starting to make moves now that the Super Bowl has concluded. On Tuesday the Browns announced that they released quarterback Josh McCown. The news was first reported by NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.
This past season, McCown played in three games and started in five for the Browns. He lost his starting job due to injuries. In the time that he did play, he completed 90 of 165 pass attempts for 1,100 yards, six touchdowns and six interceptions.
McCown was a free agent pickup by the Browns in 2015 and he ended up turning in the best season of his long career. The frequent NFL journeyman actually broke a franchise record when he threw for 457 yards against the Ravens in his only win as a starter for the Browns. However, his play wasn’t consistent by any stretch of the imagination.
In 13 total games in Cleveland, McCown completed 60.4 percent of his passes for 3,209 yards, 18 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions.
Questions have been raised as to whether McCown will continue playing or decide to retire. Part of that was because of what Hue Jackson indicated this past December:
Hue Jackson says 37 year old Josh McCown could be “rising star” in coaching ranks whenever he’s done playing. “He’s made of the right stuff”
“He’s made of the right stuff,” Jackson said via ESPN’s Pat McManamon. “He knows what it takes to coach and play in this league, and he’s going to be a rising star in this profession if that’s what he chooses to do.”
Authentic Ben Zobrist Jersey The Houston Rockets received a scare less than two minutes into their Tuesday night game with the Sacramento Kings. Star James Harden landed awkwardly after bumping knees with a Kings defender while throwing a lob pass to Clint Capela. It was clear Harden wasn’t himself, and after the Kings made a basket on the other end, he laid down along the baseline.
Harden didn’t leave the game, proving once again how tough he is, having missed just one game the past three seasons with the Rockets — that was due to a suspension.
But with Harden less than 100 percent, he deferred to his teammates, and things worked for the Rockets in a 105-83 victory.
Harden finished with 10 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists before leaving with five minutes left in the game and no further health issues.
You could point to two mottos that stuck with the Patriots this season: Through the playoffs it was “One More,” and throughout the season was the common refrain of “Do Your Job.”
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No season had a feel of the Patriots’ motto of “Do Your Job” more than this season in which the team managed to prevail after obstacles from Brady’s suspension to losing star tight end Rob Gronkowski to injury. What has stood out along the way is the stronger-than-the-norm emotion from Brady (“Let’s gooooooo!!!!” he would often scream before games), with Brady embracing the Super Bowl moment as much as ever before.
Now that they’ve achieved their goals and won Super Bowl LI, here’s the bottom line: This one means more.
Tomlinson’s induction shed a glimmer of light on a dark year for San Diego fans. The city lost its team to Los Angeles but gained a Hall of Famer.
“Those fans there inspired me to run harder, to dig deeper in times when I was tired in the fourth quarter and didn’t think I had anything left,” Tomlinson said.
This team needs no further persuasion on Cousins’ skill set. It’s reasonably assured he’s a good-hearted person who has manageable behavioral issues that fall within the bounds of the normal human experience. But it’s not sure it wants to pay the Cousins tax — that 6 or 7 percent of possessions that not only take a team out of its offensive or defensive rhythm but whose negative outcomes can crush its collective spirit.
One general manager says he wakes up every day hoping one of his rivals trades for Cousins. Another says “No f—ing way” when asked whether he’d ever consider dealing for him.
Elite Austin Howard Jersey The question, at least for now, is no more than a hypothetical, as it was reported on Jan. 10 that Cousins intends to sign an extension with the Kings for in excess of $200 million. But a teammate of Cousins’ last season believes it remains the fundamental problem for any team on which he’s the featured talent. Every day at work in Sacramento — every practice, every play, every film session, every huddle — has the potential to be a collective exercise in managing Cousins’ emotional fiber, and the NBA season is simply too taxing for a team to take that on.
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Black knows there is a lot more to this book than just the cover. And at his young age, there are lots of chapters still to come, including hope to one day run for mayor of Memphis.
â€œI live life to be the role model that I always wanted,â€ Black said. â€œAnd if anybody can learn anything from my story, it is to take what you need, because Iâ€™ve experienced a lot. Iâ€™ve seen a lot and I wonâ€™t be bold enough to say Iâ€™ve seen everything. So I wonâ€™t ever sit and say that I donâ€™t want anybody to ever mimic me, because a lot of people mimic people.
â€œYou should do it your own way. But take what you need from my story that relates to you.â€
Marc J. Spears is the senior NBA writer for The Undefeated. He used to be able to dunk on you, but he hasnâ€™t been able to in years and his knees still hurt.
His journey has not been easy and, in fact, he was possibly only one bad season from being cast aside.
He had the worst season of his career in 2015 when he threw 21 touchdowns — the second fewest in his career — and 16 interceptions (the second most in his career), and the Falcons crumbled to finish 8-8 after having started 5-0.
His lack of leadership was being called into question, and his inconsistency was under the microscope.
¡°Although it sounds like a clich¨¦, you have to trust in the process and focus on what you can control,¡± Ryan said.
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Since being drafted with the third pick in the 2008 draft out of Boston College, Ryan has had a mountain to climb in Atlanta.
In the past four years, he has recorded 75 of his 84 career postseason receptions. His total of 84 puts him seventh on the all-time list, but he¡¯s primed to potentially leapfrog the cluster of five players ahead of him — Andre Reed (85), Michael Irvin (87), Hines Ward (88), Wes Welker (88) and Reggie Wayne (93) — if he delivers his standard production in Super Bowl LI. No one is touching all-time leader Jerry Rice (151) for some time.
How can a player with Edelman’s level of playoff production essentially receive the cold shoulder from 31 other teams as a free agent?
It¡¯s hard to fathom now, but health was a part of it, as Edelman battled injuries at various points of his second, third and fourth seasons in the NFL, when he totaled just 32 receptions. Also, Welker was the Patriots’ go-to target at the time, and when he left as a free agent in the offseason after the 2012 season, the team signed Danny Amendola to a big-money deal as his replacement.
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MVP front-runner Matt Ryan is on a hot streak at the right time. He has guided the Falcons to five straight victories, including a 36-20 win over the Seattle Seahawks in the divisional round. Ryan has thrown 14 touchdowns and no interceptions in the five-game stretch. He needs to make sure he plays turnover-free Sunday with a Super Bowl berth on the line.
Ryan certainly knows what’s at stake as he goes up against two-time MVP Rodgers, another quarterback who’s on fire.
“I don’t specifically have to go out on the field and defend Aaron, which is a good thing for us,” Ryan said with a laugh this week. “I played against him a number of times. I’ve gotten to know him throughout the years. He’s a good friend. And I respect him so much because he’s such a great competitor.”
Ryan won the last battle between the two during Week 8 of the regular season. But Rodgers won the most important one when the Packers marched into Atlanta as the underdog during the 2010 season and knocked the Falcons out of the playoffs with a 48-21 thumping. Rodgers went on to win the Super Bowl.
Ryan certainly doesn’t want history to repeat itself in the final game at the Georgia Dome.
And Packers wide receiver Davante Adams, coming off an ankle injury, will present a challenge to cornerbacks Robert Alford and Jalen Collins. Not to mention the slight possibility of Jordy Nelson returning from a rib injury; he dipped behind the Falcons’ defense in Week 8 for a 58-yard pass play. All of that adds up to a tall challenge for the Atlanta defense.