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h. It makes you really
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h. It makes you really
July 17, 2014, 02:32:57 AM »
KISSIMMEE, Fla. - Major league teams will each have at least five games this spring where managers can challenge plays as part of the major expansion of instant replay which begins this season. Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez is looking forward to getting acquainted with it. "Those five games that we have the actual television, Im challenging everything just to get a feel for it," he said. "Im sure that the umpires will appreciate that." Gonzalez, Houston manager Bo Porter, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus and Nationals manager Matt Williams met with MLB executives Joe Torre and Tony La Russa for almost three hours Friday to go over the replay rules. The new rules allow each manager to challenge one call a game. If he wins the first one, hell earn another challenge. The crew chief can request a review after the seventh inning if the manager has used his challenges. Baseball has been reluctant to use replay and became the last major professional sport in North America to implement it late in the 2008 season. But it was very narrowly used — only close home runs could be reviewed. Now almost every call can be contested, with the exception of ball-and-strikes and checked swings. They also wont allow reviews of what is known as the "neighbourhood play" at second base on potential double plays. Gonzalez and Porter both acknowledged that the meeting was rather long, but they didnt mind. "Its historic for our sport," Gonzalez said. "Its never been done so we want to do it right." Porter agreed and said he left the meeting feeling very comfortable with the rules. "It was necessary," he said. "I thought that they did a tremendous job of putting the information together and giving us scenarios. It was long, but it was very much needed and very beneficial at the same time." The reviews during the regular season will be done by current MLB umpires at the replay centre in MLB.coms office in New York. Gonzalez said there will be eight umpires who will each be responsible for two games at a time. And as for people who worry that this will further slow a game that some people complain already takes too long, Gonzalez doesnt believe that will be the case. "As soon as they see something going on, they can go right to that play," he said. "They feel like theyll have an answer when the umpire comes to the headphones ... and theres no delay." Concerns about managers using replay challenges to buy time to warm-up a pitcher are probably unwarranted, Ausmus said. "It doesnt sound like theres going to be a lot of time," he said. The manager or other team officials in the dugout can talk with someone in the clubhouse watching a live feed of the game with replays available to help determine if the manager should challenge a call. Porter said he and his staff will work on how theyll decide whether to challenge plays all spring, not just in the games where instant replay is used. "Its more of getting into the practice and getting into the language you want to have transmitted during a close play and I think we can simulate it this spring," he said. Though hes certainly going to prepare to use instant replay, Gonzalez is not too sure how much hell actually use it in the season. "If you believe the numbers that they throw at you, we may go four or five games without even throwing a challenge," he said. "I believe, without having any kind of numbers behind it that this is going to show how good our major league umpires are."
. "Thank God hes OK," Stars forward Tyler Seguin said as his club prepared to face the St. Louis Blues Tuesday night. "Hockeys just a game at that point. It really puts things in perspective.
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. -- The San Jose Sharks chose centre Tomas Hertl of the Czech Republic with the 17th pick in the first round of the NHL draft on Friday night.
. Bayer Leverkusen beat Hannover 2-0 as the trio of leaders opened a significant gap seven games into the season. Dortmund leads on goal difference over Bayern. Leverkusen was a point behind them, six ahead of Hannover.
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. O.J. Mayo scored 11 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter and Mike Conley had 12 points and eight assists for Memphis. Kevin Love had 27 points and 14 rebounds and Ricky Rubio added 12 points, 10 assists and four rebounds for the Timberwolves, who missed a chance for their first three-game winning streak since February 2010.
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. -- At the beginning of training camp, Andrew Bogut set a goal to play all 82 regular-season games and regain his place among the NBAs best centres.VANCOUVER -- Over 7,600 kilometres and several times zones separate Sandwich, England, from Vancouver, but for Luke Donald the long journey was worth it to play a course like the Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club. Donald, the worlds No. 1-ranked golfer, failed to make the cut at last weeks British Open, but says hes excited about the challenge presented by this weeks RBC Canadian open. "Its a very good, classic golf course," Donald said Wednesday after playing a Pro-Am event. "It meanders through the trees. The rough is extremely thick, probably the thickest we played all year. Id say its even thicker than the U.S. Open. The greens are very small . . . but the premium this week will be keeping it in play." Masters champion Charl Schwartzel was surprised at how long the 7,010-yard course played. "Its been a long time since Ive had that many yardages of 200 and over into a lot of these holes, and the ball is going short," said the 26-year-old from Johannesburg, South Africa. "I thought that it played really long today." Donald, Schwartzel and defending champion Carl Pettersson will be in the field of 156 that tees of Thursday in the first round of the 72-hole tournament. They will be playing for a total prize purse of US$5.2 million, with the winner taking home US$918,000. The Canadian Open is the third oldest national open golf championship in the world. This years event will be played on a 53-year-old course where golfers can catch glimpses of ships on the Pacific Ocean through breaks along the tree-lined fairways. The thick rough and small greens put a premium on shotmaking and penalize sloppy play. "You have to drive your ball well to have a chance to hit the small green," said Rickie Fowler, the 22-year-old from Anaheim, Calif., who tied for fifth at the British Open. "I think the biggest part of the week is whoever is driving the best is going to have probably one of the best opportunities to win." With his bright green hat turned backwards on his shaggy blond hair, Fowler looked like someone heading to nearby Kits Beach. He showed no ill effects from a long trip and short break between tournaments. "This is about as far as youre going to get travelling wise, from England all the way to Vancouver," he said. "The charter definitely helps out with getting guys here. "I think tough courses draw better players. I like playing tough courses. Not that I have a better chance to win or be in contention, but I just like playing challenging golf courses." The tournament being scheduled on the heels of the British Open resulted in some players deciding to skip the chance to sip Canadian beer and eat West Coast salmon. Still, the field includes six of the top 30 in the tours FedEx Cup standings. Other big names include Ernie Els, Jim Furyk, Anthony p;Kim, Geoff Ogilviy and Paul Casey.dddddddddddd No Canadian has won the tournament since Pat Fletcher earned $3,000 for winning the title back in 1954. Among the 17 Canadians hoping to end that drought will be former Masters champion Mike Weir of Brights Grove, Ont., Stephen Ames of Calgary, David Hearn of Brantford, Ont., Matt McQuillan of Kingston, Ont., and Chris Baryla of Vernon, B.C. Weir is looking to reclaim some of the glory that made him one of Canadas biggest golf stars. He has missed 11 cuts this year and 19 of 32 since the start of the 2010 season. His best finishes this season are ties for 70th and 77th. Thats a huge fall for the man who won the 2003 Masters and spent 110 weeks in the worlds top 10 between 2001 and 2005. "Even as poorly as Ive played, I still like to think I have a glimmer of hope if I can find the fairway a few more times than I have been," Weir said. "If I get some momentum and have great crowd support behind me, hopefully it will turn into something good." In an effort to attract players, Golf Canada arranged a charter flight for the trip from England to Vancouver. "They make it as easy as they possibly can," said Casey. "The bags are right there, they get the customs guys right there, they make it easy for everybody. "I say, Why not? If youve got to fly all the way back to North America anyway, why wouldnt you go on a big charter with everybody and then go play a golf event the week after? To me, it kind of makes sense." Schwartzel said getting used to the time change isnt as hard as adjusting your game after facing the gusting winds and rain at the British Open. "The biggest adjustment for me is to find my golf swing again," he laughed. Tournament organizers are crossing their fingers the cold temperatures and rain that has hounded Vancouver wont affect play. There were dark, threatening clouds Wednesday, but no rain. The forecast for the rest of the week is for sun and temperatures of around 21 degrees. Donalds early exit from the British Open allowed him to fly back to the U.S. early, where he spent time with his family in Chicago. "The lifestyle that we lead is a busy one," said the 23 year old, who was born in England. "The worst part about it, and the most unglamorous side, is the travelling. "Were on the road 30-plus weeks a year and its tough. It makes you really appreciate being at home. But I certainly wouldnt give it up for anything." The last time the Canadian Open was held at Shaughnessy was 2005. Mark Calcavecchia won that year with a score of 5-under 275. After having his first look at the course, Schwartzel doubts there will be many low scores. "I dont think its going to be very much under par," he said. "Maybe around six or 7-under, something like that." ' ' '
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