Sports fans all over the Washington DC and surrounding regions are set to follow their favorite teams at a whole new level, following the release of Monumental Sports Network’s new OTT subscription service.
What’s been in the water of the Football Association and A-League’s offices https://www.acheterviagrafr24.com/a-quoi-sert-le-viagra/ recently? Some of the decisions seen in recent weeks have been bewildering at best.
In particular, the stance taken and penalties handed down over Dean Bouzanis’ racist slur over the weekend was, in my opinion, not even close to being sufficient. While I accept the Melbourne City goalkeeper swiftly apologised, and will undergo an education course after slurring Melbourne Victory striker Besart Berisha in Saturday night’s A-League derby, this, and a five game suspension, simply isn’t enough.
While greatly improved in recent years, the racial tension which still exists in various levels of soccer is still concerning, and the incident in question provided the Association with an opportunity to take a serious stance in eradicating it from the game. If it were up to me, Bouzanis would have been made an example of, and nothing less than a 10-game suspension should have been handed down.
Some believe this is too harsh a penalty for a ‘heat of the moment reaction’ however there’s simply no place for racism in sport – or any facet of life – and harsh penalties help send a strong, clear, message.
Quiet simply, I think the Association has missed the mark in its handling of this saga.
Next week I’ll tackle the highly emotive expansion debate…
Patriots fans aside, it’s pretty easy to see why Tom Brady is one of those guys you just love to hate. The dude’s life has pretty much taken the path of any American teenage boy’s dream. He’s dated gorgeous women since college, he eventually married a supermodel, his bank account is absolutely loaded, and he’s now got enough bling to occupy each digit on his clutch right hand.
It’s easy to hate on Brady, especially as a Ravens fan who’s still bitter about 2011 and 2014, however watching him lead the Patriots to an incredible come-from-behind win over the Falcons today confirmed in my mind that he is the greatest quarterback of all-time – yes, I said it. I’m sure many reading this just cringed and will soon put forward other names for debate, including Peyton Manning, Brett Farve, Joe Montanta, etc. However none of these superstars achieved what Brady has across all key indicators and as such, Brady gets my vote.
While the numbers certainly tell part of the story – five time Super Bowl champion, four time Super Bowl MVP, 12 time Pro Bowl, over 60,000 passing yards, nearing 500 career touchdowns, etc – the resilience of the man and his ability to lead by example tell much of the rest.
Today’s win was so incredible mere words will never truly do it justice. After a scoreless first quarter, the Falcons went on a tear in the second, opening up a 21-3 lead by the half. When Matt Ryan connected with Tevin Coleman midway through the third, the Falcons looked headed for their first Super Bowl victory with a seemingly unassailable 28-3 lead. They were dominant and even more so than the scoreboard, the difference between the two teams in their body language was extreme. The Patriots were flat, while the Falcons had never been more pumped up. The 25 point lead held until just two minutes remained in the quarter when Brady’s short pass found James White who raced into the end zone, yet even then, Stephen Gostkowski’s missed extra point attempt seemed to confirm it just wasn’t meant to be the Patriots night. Brady, though, had other ideas.
His fourth quarter was one for the ages as he shifted into top gear, rallied his troops, and progressed down the field drive, after drive, after drive. Gostkowski’s 33-yard field goal with just under 10 minutes remaining brought the Patriots to within two plays and it was then when fans first sensed the game was far from over. While plenty still needed to go the Patriots way, including a little luck, Brady finally saw a door ajar and the rest, as they say, is history.
Some of his record-breaking stats were so impressive they may never be broken – in particular his 43 completions and 466 passing yards. The win, his fifth, ties Charles Haley’s NFL record for the most Super Bowl wins by one player, and he became the first player in history to be named Super Bowl MVP on four occasions.
Today’s win was all the more special for Brady in light of the highly publicized Deflategate scandal, which saw him miss the first four games of the 2016 season following a suspension for his alleged involvement. While never popular among rival fanbases, due to his success more than anything else, the scandal severely tarnished his reputation and still to this day, jokes about flat footballs often circulate through social media platforms during Patriots games. His relationship with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell strained throughout the scandal, investigation, and subsequent legal battle, however Brady seemingly had the last laugh, as demonstrated by the final two words – “Roger that!” – spoken in this Shields Health Care commercial released shortly after today’s game…
The short clip, obviously filmed prior to his fifth win today, highlights the cockiness Brady seemingly possesses, however even his biggest critic will enjoy the commercial’s comedic nature. Love him or hate him, Brady is a champion and his swagger suggests he damn well knows it. With a handful of rings and the utmost respect among his peers, who are we to suggest otherwise?
Update: The commercial was pulled offline shortly after being released, however various recorded versions are still available (as seen above).
A lot has changed in the world since the Orioles’ 2016 season cruelly ended at the hands of the Blue Jays last October – most notably, seeing a new POTUS elected which has filled our Twitter feeds day, after day, after day. Thankfully though, baseball is nearing a return, so we can all look forward to analyzing and discussing that instead of debating which side of the political spectrum one chooses to position themselves.
The offseason has been a reasonably solid one for the O’s, who pulled off three important moves which are likely to see the team push for a sixth straight .500 or better season, and hopefully, a fourth postseason appearance in six years.
Mark Trumbo, with his original $80 million asking price, was widely tipped to be heading elsewhere, however Dan Duquette – to his credit – remained patient and moved after the market continued to drop, ultimately signing last year’s home run king for a team-friendly 3-year, $37.5 million deal. Also added were catcher Welington Castillo (1-year / $6 million), who is set to fill the void left by free agent Matt Wieters, and outfielder Seth Smith (traded for Yovani Gallardo) who importantly adds another left-handed bat to the lineup. Also of note were two young outfielders picked up in December’s Rule 5 Draft – Anthony Santander and Aneury Tavarez.
The Orioles also had some success on the arbitration front, avoiding hearings with all but three players, as well as coming out on top of Caleb Joseph this past week for the organization’s ninth straight win. Kevin Gausman and Brad Brach remain scheduled for their respective hearings later this month.
So how could the O’s roster look come Opening Day on 3 April against the Blue Jays?
Barring injury or an unexpected turn of events during spring, the rotation appears set with Chris Tillman, Kevin Guasman, Dylan Bundy, Ubaldo Jimenez, and Wade Miley occupying the five spots. Fans will be hoping Tillman can repeat the performances of his bounce-back season in 2016, while looking for further improvement and consistency from young arms Gausman and Bundy. The major concern with this rotation, as it was last year, is the veteran duo of Jimenez and Miley who are each capable of lock-down performances, yet also far too often guilty of early implosions on the mound. The success of the O’s season largely hinges on how these two will perform – if they can keep more games than not close, the powerful offense and lights-out bullpen will typically ensure the team gets the job done.
The bullpen has a number of spots still undecided as spring nears, with five of the seven likely to be filled by Donnie Hart, Mychal Givens, Darren O’Day, Brad Brach, and Zach Britton. The remaining two could be claimed by either Logan Verrett or Logan Ondrusek, and depending on what the team wants to do with Tyler Wilson, potentially him. The temptation here is seeing whether Wilson can find some consistency as a starter with Triple-A Norfolk and challenge for a rotation spot, however on the flip-side, the 27-year-old owns a very respectable career 3.09 ERA in relief. For mine, I’d take the more versatile duo of Verrett and Wilson who can each chew up innings in long relief roles, or make spot starts as required.
New addition Welington Castillo will be the team’s number one choice, with Caleb Joseph and Francisco Pena fighting it out for back-up duties. Here, Joseph probably has the lead however after a disappointing 2016 season, he won’t want to slump his way through spring training.
The Position Players
This is where some of the debate still rests, with a few options yet to be determined. The infield is set, with the regulars being Chris Davis at first, Jonathan Schoop at second, J.J. Hardy at shortstop, and Manny Machado at third. Ryan Flaherty will also continue to provide the team with some reliable infield depth. As recently reported by ESPN’s Buster Olney, Mark Trumbo is set to spend more time in the DH role this season than last, however we will still see him in right field from time to time. Splitting the right field duties with him will be Seth Smith, while Joey Rickard is also expected to make the team, adding versatility in being able to play all three outfield positions. He’s also a lead-off candidate after performing well leading off an innings last season (.286 AVG and .341 OBP in 84 at bats) . Adam Jones will continue to patrol center field, while fan favorite Hyun Soo Kim is expected to spend more time in left field this season than last. With all of that considered, there’s one spot remaining and that is likely to be filled by either Trey https://www.acheterviagrafr24.com/viagra-definition/ Mancini or Rule 5 pick Tavarez. Mancini excelled after debuting late last September, hitting .357/.400/1.071 in his five games, however Trumbo’s return to Baltimore hampers his chances of making the team. Still just 24, some more regular playing time at Norfolk certainly won’t hurt his development. That of course leaves the door ajar for the O’s to continue their tradition of picking a Rule 5 guy, in Tavarez. The 24-year-old is an exciting young prospect from the Dominican Republic who hit .330/.374/.495 in 400 minor league at bats last season, most of which at Double-A Portland.
Predicted Orioles Roster: Chris Davis, Jonathan Schoop, J.J. Hardy, Manny Machado, Ryan Flaherty, Mark Trumbo, Seth Smith, Adam Jones, Hyun Soo Kim, Joey Rickard, Aneury Tavarez, Welington Castillo, Caleb Joseph, Donnie Hart, Mychal Givens, Darren O’Day, Brad Brach, Zach Britton, Tyler Wilson, Logan Verrett, Chris Tillman, Kevin Gausman, Dylan Bundy, Ubaldo Jimenez, and Wade Miley.