Tim Raines: Likely the Second Greatest Leadoff Hitters Ever

tim raines

Who’s the greatest lead-off hitter of all time?

Well, almost certainly Ricky Henderson, but Tim Raines, enshrined this weekend in the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, is right up there with him, likely number two. Others in this group, at least from the past 50 years, include Kenny Lofton, Craig Biggio, Maury Wills, Ichiro Suzuki, Vince Coleman, Lou Brock, Chuck Knoblauch, Pete Rose, Bobby Bonds, well we could go on and on.

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Predicted Man United Starting XI vs Stoke City

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Manchester United will head to the Bet365 Stadium in Stoke on Trent for Saturday’s Premier League fixture against Stoke City.

United had won nine in a row, until arch-rival Liverpool snapped that streak last Sunday in a very controversial 1-1 draw. The Red Devils do still have their unbeaten in their last 16 streak going.

The last times the two sides, in October, it was a frustrating match for the home side as Stoke tied it in the 82nd minute and heavily favored United dropped two points. 

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Chelsea FC Back on Top of Global Power Rankings

emily-rogawski

Always look forward to when ESPN FC and Analyst Shaka Hislop release their/his weekly power rankings of all the teams in Europe (which is a de facto power rankings for every team in the world, since European footy is the strongest of all). Chelsea are now back to being #1 in the world this week.

The Blues went 13 league matches in a row undefeated, before Tottenham Hotspur snapped their streak. Yes, that was all victories, no draws, and the run fell just one shy of the record held by early 2000s Arsenal.

They’re currently top of the table, leading Liverpool and Tottenham by seven points.

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Gerrard Encourages Daniel Sturridge to Stay at Liverpool FC

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Daniel Sturridge has had an extremely injury-plagued career at Liverpool football club. Year after year, he’s consistently encountering physical setbacks that keep him from being able to stay on the pitch. He’s only started five Premier League games this season, and he hasn’t been a shred of what he was when you had the three Ss attack of 2013-14.

The runner-up team of that season boasted Luis Suarez and Raheem Sterling alongside Daniel Sturridge, and they were really fearsome and extremely fun to watch.

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United Extend Antonio Valencia One More Season

manchester united kit

The January transfer window is open for 12 more days of business, but Manchester United are not doing any shopping. There aren’t many, if any transfer rumor stories circulating in the Twitterverse, blogosphere and media world pertaining to any United buys this  winter transfer window.

There has been sale some activity of course though. We just learned yesterday that winger Memphis Depay is off to Lyon, and earlier in the window midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin was sold to Everton.

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Luke Shaw Still Hoping to Prove Himself at Manchester United

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Manchester United Defender Luke Shaw, who has not played since limping off at half time of the EFL Cup quarter-final victory over West Ham United in November. Shaw has suffered through an injury-plagued career at United, and in the big picture, you have to think that his number of chances could be running out soon. Manager Jose Mourinho has publicly called out the young Englishman, and there has been reported contention between Shaw and his teammates. 

This January transfer window has also seen transfer rumor stories indicating that United will take offers for the left back, in the interest of shipping him out this summer. 

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Manchester United Passes Real Madrid, Barcelona as Richest Club in the World

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Manchester United is one of the world’s largest, richest, well known and most football clubs of all time. They have broken the British transfer fee purchase record 12 times, most recently with Angel Di Maria in 2014 at £59.3 million.

United finally broke the world transfer fee purchase record this summer with the re-acquisition of Paul Pogba for £89.3 million.
Indeed #Pogback was the media sensation of the summer. United can spend money like water because they’re proverbially printing currency over there at Old Trafford.

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Northwestern Basketball Will Make the NCAAs, Say Two More Pundits

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Jay Bilas says Northwestern basketball is headed to their first NCAA Tournament ever, and now two more big name ESPN personalities have followed suit. (Here’s the link to analysis of the team’s current resume)

ESPN college basketball analysts Dick Vitale and Seth Greenberg participated in a media conference call Wednesday, and I asked them if they think NU is headed to the NCAA Tournament this season. I also asked them, being television men, how will TV cover that story if and when it happens.

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Illini Basketball: Seth Greenberg on the Program’s Issues

seth greenberg

There’s only one Illini basketball topic that any fan really cares to discuss right now and you know exactly what it is.

Just about every member of the Illinois basketball community has one question on their mind, and then the natural follow-up:

“Will John Groce be relieved of his duties, and if so, could it happen before the season ends?”

After that, the natural query is “who could Illinois get to replace Groce?”

ESPN college basketball analysts Dick Vitale and Seth Greenberg participated in a media conference call Wednesday, and I asked them about the current state and direction of the program.

The answers, which were way off-the-point at times, were also extremely out of touch with the feelings and moods within the base.

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Yankees, Former Cubs P Adam Warren has Great “when I got traded” Story

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The New York Yankees recently announced that they have agreed to terms with SS Didi Gregorius, OF Aaron Hicks, LHP Tommy Layne, RHP Michael Pineda, C Austin Romine and RHP Adam Warren on one-year, non-guaranteed contracts, thus avoiding arbitration.

Given today’s world of extremely excessive communication technology and ridiculous over-communication, it’s nearly impossible to actually go off the grid. Like the B-52’s “roam if you want to, roam around the world,” and you’ll find more and more roaming available.

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United Finalizing £14.7m Memphis Depay Sale to Lyon

memphis depay

Manchester United forward Memphis Depay has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford for a few months now.

Of course, United had not accepted a bid for Depay, because the market for the Dutch winger is very much down. That appears to have changed today with Old Trafford now receiving a bid that they find acceptable. French side Lyon was among the few interested clubs, (Everton was too) and the price they’re willing to pay is half what United paid in May of 2015.

Still, it looks like a deal has now been struck.

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Manchester United fan Kate Abdo Leaves Sky Sports, Joins FOX

kate-abdo

Sky Sports personality and Manchester native Kate Abdo will now join FOX Sports to serve as a studio host for the network’s soccer/portfolio. This comes on the heels of her “loan move” from Sky to FOX (two companies who are in partnership with one another) for the broadcast of the Women’s World Cup 2015 in Canada that summer.

Now today FOX announced it’s a “permanent deal” instead of a “loan move.”  [Read more…]