Category Archives: Sports

Mariners´ Mitch Haniger likely needs core-muscle surgery

This was already going to be a year where the Seattle Mariners would be relying heavily on young players and some of their top prospects right from the beginning of the campaign.

Now the Mariners expect to be without one of their few veterans – likely for the first month.

Outfielder Mitch Haniger is expected to miss the start of the regular season and likely needs to undergo core muscle surgery, general manager Jerry Dipoto said Thursday.

Haniger suffered the injury during one of his offseason workouts earlier this week. Dipoto said the latest setback is tied to Haniger’s injury issues from last season.

“I was expecting him to show up for the first day of spring training ready to go but that does not appear to be the case,” Dipoto said.

Haniger missed the final 3 1/2 months of the season after suffering a ruptured testicle and then experiencing back and core issues during his recovery. Haniger was limited to 63 matches and batted .220 with 15 homers and 32 RBIs.

A year earlier, Haniger was an All-Star after hitting .285 with 26 homers and 93 RBIs and an OPS of .859.

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Dipoto said the expectation is that Haniger’s recovery will take about six to eight weeks following the surgery.

He could be ready to join the major league club sometime in late April.

The loss of Haniger is two-fold for the Mariners. Along with Dee Gordon and Kyle Seager, Haniger was expected to be one of the few experienced veterans the Mariners could lean on early in a season where the next phase of Seattle’s rebuild will starts.

The Mariners are likely to field one of the youngest teams in the American League, with a handful of rookies or second-year players expected to be in the everyday lineup. Seattle expects the likes of outfielder Kyle Lewis, first baseman Evan White, second baseman Shed Long and pitchers Justus Sheffield and Justin Dunn to be key pieces of the upcoming campaign.

The injury to Haniger may also allow Jake Fraley or Braden Bishop to earn more playing time early on.

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Gary Kubiak to take over OC duties for Vikings

Gary Kubiak has reportedly agreed to become the Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator, substituting Kevin Stefanski after he departed to take over the head coaching job with the Cleveland Browns. 

Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Kubiak will take the role after spending last season as an assistant head coach and offensive adviser on Mike Zimmer’s staff. 

Minnesota has been in the market for a new offensive coordinator since Stefanski was named as the Browns head coach Jan. 13. 

Stefanski took over as the Vikings offensive coordinator on an interim basis midway through the 2018 campaign after John DeFilippo’s firing. He was given the full-time job this season, and his unit ranked ninth in the NFL with 25.4 points per game. 

Kubiak returned to coaching in 2019 after spending the previous two years as a senior personnel adviser with the Denver Broncos. He walked away from being head coach of the Broncos following the 2016 season, citing health concerns.

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The 58-year-old was hospitalized with a complex migrane in October 2016 that caused him to miss Denver’s Week 6 game versus the San Diego Chargers. He had a previous health scare during the 2013 season as head coach of the Houston Texans when he was taken off on a stretcher after collapsing while leaving the field during halftime of a game versus the Indianapolis Colts.

Kubiak went 82-75 in 10 combined seasons as head coach of the Texans (2006-13) and Broncos (2015-16).

He won Super Bowl 50 with the Broncos and made the playoffs twice with the Texans, exiting in the divisional round on both occasions. 

Kubiak’s passing offenses have ranked in the top 10 in net yards per attempt 12 times since his first year as a coordinator in 1995. Eleven times, his scoring offenses cracked the top 10 during that span. A lot of that had to do with how much he was able to get out of the quarterback position.

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Ex-titleholder Andy Ruiz cuts ties with trainer Manuel Robles

Former WBO, IBO, WBA, IBF heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz has parted ways with head trainer Manny Robles.

Robles led Ruiz to one of the biggest upsets in the history of the heavyweight division, when the Mexican heavyweight stopped heavily favored Anthony Joshua in seven rounds to conquer the unified crown at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

But the December rematch was a complete tragedy.

After winning the first bout, Ruiz partied for two months. He started training camp way too late – and entered the rematch out of shape with a bloated 283.5-pounds on the scale.

He was unable to put his punches together, he was much slower in the ring, and all of that let Joshua to easily reclaim his titles with a lopsided twelve round decision.

Since that defeat, Robles had barely any contact from Ruiz.

So the veteran coach was not surprised when Ruiz’s father reached out on Wednesday night to advise him that his son was going in another direction.

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“I’ve seen it coming, I’ll be honest with you,” Robles said to Steve Kim of ESPN. “I’ve seen it coming during camp. I saw it coming, Andy was just doing whatever the hell he wanted to do. The dad, obviously with him being the manager, he just had no control over his son. None of us had control of him, for that matter.

As per Robles, he was told by Ruiz’s father that Al Haymon made the final decision for a trainer change. Ruiz is advised Haymon and fights under Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions banner.

“They apparently told them that they didn’t want the same thing to repeat itself, again,” Robles said. “It is what it is, I don’t know what to tell you. It’s not the first time it’s happened to me. I’m sure it’s not the first time it’s happened to other coaches. It happens time and time again. We always end up getting the short end of the stick. But it is what it is, you keep moving forward.”

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Eli Manning retires after 16 NFL seasons

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning will inform his retirement from professional football after 16 seasons, the team announced Wednesday.

The durable 39-year-old signal-caller walks away following a decorated career that includes a pair of Super Bowl championships and nearly every team passing record for one of the NFL’s blue-ribbon franchises.

Manning, a four-time Pro Bowl selection who retires with a career record of 117-117 as a starter, saved his best for dramatic runs through the 2007 and 2011 postseasons.

Both times, the Giants barely qualified the playoffs following uneven regular campaigns – 10-6 in 2007 and 9-7 in 2011 – only to catch fire in January before upsetting the New England Patriots in a pair of razor-close Super Bowls.

“For 16 seasons, Eli Manning defined what it is to be a New York Giant both on and off the field,” co-owner, president and CEO John Mara said in a statement. “Eli is our only two-time Super Bowl MVP and one of the very best players in our franchise’s history.

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“He represented our franchise as a consummate professional with dignity and accountability. It meant something to Eli to be the Giants quarterback, and it meant even more to us. We are beyond grateful for his contributions to our organization and look forward to celebrating his induction into the Giants Ring of Honor in the near future.”

Manning, who turned 39 on January 3rd, said after the regular season ended that he intended to discuss his future with family before making a decision.

He said, “I think I can still play,” but added he didn’t see a future with the Giants, noting, “Being a backup is not real fun.”

Manning was benched after Week 2 of the regular season in favor of rookie Daniel Jones, a first-round draft pick who went on to start 12 matches. Manning filled in for two starts in Weeks 14 and 15 when Jones was injured, winning his final start at home versus the Miami Dolphins.

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Chelsea make loan offer for PSG Cavani

Chelsea have offered to take Paris Saint-Germain’s striker Edinson Cavani to Stamford Bridge on loan until the end of the season.

According to The Times, Frank Lampard’s side are prepared to pay a loan fee and cover the Uruguayan’s hefty wages, thought to be over £360,000 a week, until his PSG contract runs out at the end of June.

The fee to secure the wantaway striker’s services is likely to be at least £5million and the Blues will have to fork out an additional £7.2million for the player’s wages.

Boss Lampard has stepped up his interest in signing a striker after his side twice threw away the lead to draw 2-2 with Arsenal.

He said: “You can’t say we will definitely sign a striker but we are looking.

“If you don’t score enough goals then you won’t win enough games.”

There are also concerns over regular lone striker Tammy Abraham who suffered an ankle injury late on at Stamford Bridge after sliding into the advertising hoardings and had to be helped from the field at the end of the match.

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Lampard said he did not know how serious the injury was but the club would assess the extent of the damage today.

With French World Cup winner Olivier Giroud set to depart this month, last season’s Europa League winners are now in need of reinforcements up front.

Cavani handed in a transfer request at the French champions on Sunday in a bid to force a move in this window and Lampard praised the 32-year-old before his side took on Arsenal.

He added: “He is a great player, I played against him.

“I am not sure what the situation is there though.

“He has experience, sometimes it’s good to bring in experience.”

The Uruguayan has been limited to just nine league appearances for PSG this season despite being the club’s record goalscorer with 198 goals in 293 matches in his seven years in the French capital.

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Bostons´ Dustin Pedroia has serious setback in recovery

Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia has suffered a “significant setback” while rehabbing his left knee injury, a team spokesman confirmed.

“As a result, his status for spring training is uncertain,” said Kevin Gregg.

Gregg did not elaborate on the nature of this setback, which exacerbated an injury that has plagued Pedroia for several campaigns.

The 2008 American League MVP’s knee troubles started in 2017, when his left knee was injured in a play involving Baltimore’s Manny Machado. Pedroia underwent surgery in October of that year.

He also underwent a joint preservation procedure in July 2018 to remove scar tissue and another in August 2019, in which bone spurs were removed.

Pedroia’s contract includes salaries of $13 million this season and $12 million in 2021, and he counts $13.28 million toward Boston’s luxury tax payroll.

Pedroia is a four-time All-Star, was the 2007 American League Rookie of the Year and has played for two World Series championship teams in 2007 and 2013.

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The news comes at a difficult time for the Red Sox organization, which is adjusting to a new head of baseball operations and lost manager Alex Cora after he was implicated in the Astros’ sign-stealing scheme during their run to the 2017 World Series title.

After the surgery, Pedroia’s mindset shifted, and he indicated to the Red Sox that he hoped to return to the field and become an everyday player again. But news of his latest setback brings up the question of retirement, given that he is now three campaigns removed from a fully healthy season, when he played 154 matches for Boston in 2016.

Red Sox general manager Brian O’Halloran expressed optimism for Pedroia’s return as recently as the GM meetings in November.

“He’s been working out and doing well by his own account and we’re going to talk to him and learn more,” O’Halloran said. “I don’t think anything specifically has changed. I think it’s more that time has passed and he’s been feeling better.”

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Lakers fall in their heaviest defeat of the season

More than half of the fourth quarter remained when the Lakers started to admit defeat.

LeBron James sat, so did Anthony Davis, and the Boston Celtics started pulling their starters too. They led the Lakers by 31 points — the largest deficit the Lakers had faced all campaign.

On the parquet floor versus their hated rivals, there were few friendly faces, and much of the crowd at TD Garden kept the arena packed in garbage time to revel in the one-night derailing of one of the NBA’s hottest teams.

The Lakers came into the match having won 10 of their last 11 games, including four of five without Davis, and the Celtics came into the game on a three-game losing streak, having lost six of their last eight.

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But their recent history wasn’t predictive. The Celtics beat the Lakers, 139-107.

“It was just a good ol’ …” James said before pausing. Then he continued. “Good ol’ fashioned butt-whooping. That’s all. They beat us in all facets of the game. Outside, interior, points off turnovers, offensive rebounds, so it’s the main ingredients in the L.”

The loss dropped the Lakers to 34-9, still best in the West, while the Celtics improved to 28-14, good for fourth in the East.

Davis returned and finished with nine points, two assists and four rebounds in 23 minutes. James scored 15 points with 13 assists and seven rebounds. Boston was led by Jayson Tatum, who scored 27 points with five rebounds and three assists. Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker also notched 20 points each for the Celtics. It was the first time in his career, out of 29 tries, that Walker won a game versus James.

The Lakers have been remarkably consistent versus teams with poor records — they are 22-1 against them. But their games against the NBA’s better teams have had peaks and valleys. They are 10-4 against the top seven teams in the Western Conference, but have lost to four of the top five teams in the East — Milwaukee, Toronto, Boston and Indiana.

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49ers RB Tevin Coleman has dislocated right shoulder

Head coach Kyle Shanahan exposed Monday at his press conference that running back Tevin Coleman suffered a dislocated right shoulder in the 49ers’ NFC Championship victory over the Packers.

Coleman sustained the injury around the nine-minute mark of the second quarter after falling awkwardly on his arm. He was carted off the field and did not return to the match. Despite the injury, Shanahan said that he “expects him to have a good chance to play” in the Super Bowl.

The 49ers didn’t miss Coleman versus the Packers, with Raheem Mostert rushing for 220 yards, the second-most in NFL playoff history, and four touchdowns. Imaging from Coleman’s MRI is still to be determined, but as of right now it doesn’t appear that Coleman will miss the Super Bowl.

A shoulder dislocation is not generally known as a long-term injury, so it’s really about the pain tolerance of Coleman.

It’s doubtful the former back for the Atlanta Falcons will rule himself out now that he has returned to the Super Bowl along with Shanahan after four years. 

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Along with Coleman’s injury, safety Jaquiski Tartt “irritated the same area” where he sustained a fractured rib injury. There isn’t much concern regarding his availability in the Super Bowl, but it is something to keep a close eye on. Tartt’s injury will also be about pain management. 

Rookie linebacker Dre Greenlaw came up gimpy late in the game and revealed in the locker room that he suffered an ankle sprain. Shanahan confirmed the injury and that it is being ruled as a “mild ankle sprain.” Just like with Tartt, there should be no issues with his availability. 

The three injured players have two weeks to get their bodies right and figure out how to manage the pain. Things could change with Coleman once the MRI results come in, but it is going to take something serious to prevent these guys from playing in the Super Bowl versus the Chiefs.

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Liverpool defeat Manchester United

Mohamed Salah ripped off his Liverpool jersey at a freezing Anfield after completing a 2-0 win over Manchester United in stoppage time on Monday morning and rousing fans on the Kop to sing: “We’re gonna win the league.”

It’s been a 30-year wait but there is no longer any trepidation from the Liverpool supporters as their team has moved 16 points in front at the Premier League summit.

“Now you’re gonna believe us,” they chanted.

The Reds mathematically need 30 points to secure the title but, as it stands, if they go undefeated they could clinch the Premier League with a win over defending champions Manchester City when they face off in a one-versus-two battle in early April.

It took Salah getting on the end of goalkeeper Alisson’s inspired long ball with the final whistle about to blow for the Liverpool title party to begin with four months of the season remaining.

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A 13th straight league victory since the sides last met at Old Trafford in October continues.

Liverpool’s relentless run towards a first league title in three decades, while United remain five points off the top four in fifth.

Liverpool have now taken 64 points out a possible 66 available this season, having only dropped points versus Manchester United when the teams drew in October.

Liverpool also have a match in hand to come on closest challengers Manchester City and could have been more comfortable winners after seeing two first half goals ruled out and a host of clear chances go astray.

United is the only team to take Premier League points off the European champions this season, but it rarely looked like lightning would strike twice once the hosts went in front on 14 minutes.

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Patrick Mahomes lifts Chiefs to first Super Bowl in 50 years

With his best imitation of a tightrope walker, Patrick Mahomes high-wired the Kansas City Chiefs into their first Super Bowl since 1970.

They outran the run-oriented Tennessee Titans and star back Derrick Henry for a 35-24 triumph Sunday in the AFC championship.

At last, for the third time overall, the Chiefs (14-4) are Super Bowl bound.

“I mean, it’s amazing. It really is,” said Mahomes, had 294 yards passing and three touchdown passes. “To be here, to be a part of Chiefs Kingdom and to be able to do it here at Arrowhead, these people deserve it. And we’re not done yet.”

Adding to the joy of the achievement, coach Andy Reid and owner Clark Hunt accepted the Lamar Hunt Trophy — named after his father — emblematic of the AFC title. It was handed over to them by Chiefs Hall of Famer Bobby Bell, with Mahomes and safety Tyrann Mathieu jumping for joy on the makeshift stage.

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The Chiefs lost in 1967 in the first AFL-NFL Championship match — nope, it wasn’t called the Super Bowl yet — to the Lombardi Packers 35-10. Three years later, one year after the New York Jets shocked Baltimore to lay claim to the AFL being equal to the long-established NFL, Kansas City was back.

This time, it was known as the Super Bowl — indeed, Lamar Hunt is credited with coming up with the name — and his Chiefs hammered Minnesota 23-7 with the typical Wild West offensive flair and a staunch defense.

Those are characteristics that helped carry KC this campaign.

Reid isn’t as animated as Hall of Famer Hank Stram, who famously urged the Chiefs team to “keep matriculating the ball down the field, boys.” Caught up in the moment Sunday, Reid said, “It’s awesome,” before asking the crowd to chant “How about those Chiefs?”

Reid goes back to the Super Bowl for the first time since the 2004 season, when his Eagles lost to New England. That gap is second longest to Dick Vermeil’s hiatus.

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