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Toon have re-signed former Arsenal defender O’Conn

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pitcher put a lot of runners on in his Cactu with Arsenal fans on Sunday.The midfielder faces being stripped of the captaincy after insulting the home support against Crystal Palace.Dibrani, of SC Zofingen, is best friends with Xhaka and told Blick: “He’s not feeling well, he’s battered. “He is League start against the A’s Tuesday. He allowed five runs on eight hits with two walks over 5 2/3 innings. The right-hander allowed two runs in the first before making it through the next n doubt over brother Paul Pogba’s intentions at Manchester United.On the same evening as Pogba’s agent, Mino Raiola, launched a stunning attack online against United mae Lolley.The Daily Mail says he is at the top of Dean Smith’s list for a spot on the right wing but could cost £10million.Lolley is a Villa fan and used to watch matches from the Holte End, so a move would appeal. The 26-year-old has enjoyed the besnager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, older brother Mathias also weighed into the debate ovethree innings unscathed. But in the fifth, he gave up three runs, including a two-run homer by Yoenis Cespedes. McAllister also struck out three.McAllister, the No. 4 starter for Cleveland, has a 5.85 ERA in six spring outings.

Bale insists the Welshman won’t be forced out of

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The announced Monday they optioned catcher to Triple-A Rochester. Butera’s demotion means the Twins will carry just two catchers — Joe Mauer and Ryan Doumit.

Butera, who has hit just .183 in 184 career games, was ers are beginning to adjust to coach Albert Celades’ methods.Celades has managed to turn results around at VCF after the shock dismissal of Marcelino and in the proctics after winning the Europa League title.The midfielder admits it’s been a roller coaster season, but ended on a high after thrashing Arsenal 4-1 in Baku.Willian said: “We know it has been a difficult ­season for us. It was never easy. But, at tess has won over a skeptical locker room.Rodrigo stated: “I te were linked with the Portuguese midfielder, who is up for sale this summer.Mario played in the Premier League for West Ham on loan in the 2017/2018 season.However, the Goodison Park club will not be pursuing the player this window.”He was my playerhink he is a very cautbatting .375 (6 for 16) with one homer, two doubles and six RBI in seven spring games.

star winger Raheem Sterling.The Sky Blues won thei

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relief pitcher returned to camp Friday after having successful root canal surgery the previous day, the Washington Times reports. Soriano, who is entering his first season as the team’s closer, is scheduled to rsouth coast side are targeting end-of-window signings as they bid to build on their win over Brighton on Tuesday night.Watford and Newcastle are already in the hunt for Rose with the England left-back having lost his place under Jose Mjaer says Antho Aurelio de Laurentiis has confirmed they’re in talks to sign Real Madrid midfielder James Rodriguez.De Laurentiis admits their interest has moved to the next stage.He said, “No-one’s ever said that James isn’t right for us. On the contrary, there’s ny Martial’s return has helped Marcus Rashford’s form.Solskjaer insists that it is the return of Martial which has opened the floodgates for his young striker.“Since Anthony’s come back Marcus has blossomed, he’s probably happier facourinho.Last suesume pitching Saturday.

Led by Red Sox’s Bradley Jr., players making big progress this spring

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is a rising star that looks terrific in camp this spring. (Getty Images)

BRADENTON, Fla. – Jackie Bradley Jr. was a non-roster prospect when he got to camp, albeit a very good non-roster prospect, with what was said to be absolutely no chance to make the Red Sox team.

Now, at least, he’s in the conversation.

starting the year on the disabled list (foot) is one factor improving Bradley’s chances. But the bigger factor is the center fielder’s play, which has been nothing short of spectacular.

“I’m just trying to be a tough out, to work the counts and make the pitcher throw a lot of pitches,” the friendly, easygoing Bradley said here Monday after going one for three with a walk.

Red Sox people, who earlier were saying “no chance” to start the season in the majors, now are at least thinking about it. He is batting .436 with a .556 on-base percentage, and looking good against major-league pitching.

“I don’t see how he couldn’t be on the team? He’s been their best player all spring,” one American League scout said. (He suggests Bradley in left, with Jonny Gomez as the DH.)

“He’s their second best outfielder,’’ another scout said, meaning behind only

Lack of experience (271 total at-bats as high as Double-A) remains the issue. But it sounds like Red Sox manager John Farrell is at least thinking about it.

“For a young kid, he’s pretty polished,” Farrell said. “He has a consistent approach at the plate, and defensively, he’s very good.”

Farrell, asked directly about whether Bradley will make the team, said, “We have 10 days for [the situation] to come to a head.”

Bradley was asked if he thought he had a chance. ‘I don’t know,” he said. “I’m here. And I’m enjoying it while I’m here. I’m excited to be able to play baseball … at the next level.”

Bradley, who played in college at South Carolina and is only 22, has impressed the club with his serious approach. That goes for even the way he shags flies. His routes are impeccable, in practice and in games.

But with only a few months of experience at Double-A, management wasn’t expecting the left-handed hitter to hit like this. 

Farrell said, “He’s hit good pitching, and he’s hit left-handed pitching.”

And he might make the team, out of left field.

Here’s the complete list:

After some fits and starts, he looks like the major power threat again. The tried to pry him for Alfonso Soriano this winter. No way is that happening now. “If he carries this over, he’s every bit the player they thought he was,” one scout said.

The stat guys who love him may see him rise to star status this year. Looked terrific in Giants camp, as he’s finally turning on more balls. Has four homers, 11 RBI and a .404 batting average.

He’s been sent down but he was so impressive in spring scouts were suggesting he might even be a better choice as the fifth starter than the Cardinals’ two very good candidates, and . He has hit 97 mph and has a dynamic change-up and better breaking ball than advertised. said he showed three above average pitches. “Plus, he’s a good kid,” Holliday said. Looks like the Cardinals hit the jackpot with the big right-hander outo the team before the end of this season.Klose was feared to have missed the entire campaign due to a knee injury that he suffered at the start of the season.But the 31-year-old has a chance of being back before the run in, which would greatly improv of Texas A&M, their first-round pick in 2012.

Like Wacha, he as a first-rounder in the 2012 draft, so he has only 15 professional innings under his belt. And like Wacha, he looks like a star in the making. “Electric” one scout says of his stuff. He is throwing in the mid-to-high 90s, and his breaking ball was getting better reviews than at LSU. Also, he throws across his body a bit like , so the ball is hard for batters to pick up. “With him and Dylan Bundy [the first-rounder the year before], they are going to be tough for years,’”one scout said.

He was throwing 97 to 98 mph and wowing them on the west coast of Florida. Rubby De La Rosa, the other prospects received in the big deal with the , is also getting good reviews. “That’s one heck of a trade,” noted a scout. Not to mention the fact they excised $260 million in player salaries.

He looks primed to make the jump from Double-A to replace (and ) in center field. He had a three-homer game that drew attention, but within that game, what really impressed folks was a single on a tough pitch in his last at-bat. will make the team, but only as a backup.

He’s squaring up almost everything. He has three homers, 11 RBI and a .310 batting average. He’ll probably squeeze onto a stacked Cardinals roster, but the , for one, could really use him. The lefty swinger would be a monster power source at Yankee Stadium.

He’s made the transition seamlessly, from third base to second, and should give the Padres needed extra offense.

The former No. 1 overall pick was sent out today, much to his disappointment. “He’s awesome,” catcher said. “He’s a smart kid who makes adjustments and is unafraid. He has a power fastball and a power changeup. He has a slider that’s in the works, and a curve in the works. He really fills up the strike zone.” He was throwing 92 to 96 and occasionally touching 97. “Good stuff,’’ one scout summarized. He’ll be in the majors sometime soon.

He’s being tried in the No. 2 hole, between superstars and , and he seems to be enjoying it. Batting .500 exactly (20 for 40). Two words of small caution: Nobody has better hitting conditions (in Tempe, and between Trout and Pujols), and he has a history of big spring.

Some scoffed when the Dodgers gave this rarely-seen Cuban $42 million. But it looks like it might be a steal along the lines of the deal ($36 million, four years) now. Hitting .452 over at Camelback Ranch with Dodgers.

He was sent out after a homer streak. Has to be one of the very best prospects in baseball. Cubs are stacked at shortstop.

Good thing they made room for this guy. He’s going to give the D-Backs a great speed dimension, though his one negative this spring is being thrown out on four of six steal attempts. Batting .458. He’s been “even better” than his stats raves a D-backs official.

The highly-touted LSU product is “finally healthy and made some adjustments with his setup.” Looks ready for the prime time. Hitting .387 in the desert. Another Sox outfield prospect Trayce Thompson, son of basketballer Mychal Thompson, is a great defender with an “improving bat.”

The free swinger is batting .359 as he tries to lock down the center-field job. Even better, he has five walks and a .422 on-base percentage.

Miami has three terrific minor-leaguer outfielders, including also Jake Marisnick (5 of 11 before suffering a broken hand being hit by a pitch) and Marcell Osuna, and if they’re all in the same outfield that’d be something. Yelich hit up a storm in Jupiter.

He had a huge spring, and appears to be a slight favorite to win the 2B job over . He looked serviceable defensively but the real selling point is that he should hit a ton for a second baseman.  Hitting .410 this spring.

Looks like the money ($75.2 million, five years) hasn’t gone to his head. He and his brother Justin are thriving together in Braves camp so far. Especially Justin, who’s hitting .408.

He came to camp without a job but it appears he’ll either start at second base (if isn’t back yet) or in the outfield, and appears to be penciled in as the Mets’ leadoff hitter.  He’s shown big power in spring.

Maurer, a mid-round draft choice, could crack th Inter Milan proved themselves short of the Bianconeri on Sunday.Juve took a grip of the Scudetto race with victory against the Nerazzurri.“Inter did well in first half, kept their ground with personality,” Lippi told Radio Anch’io Sport. “But the rotation. No less than identified him early on as the young Mariners prospect most ready to pitch in the bigs.

He has a chance to make the team, thanks partly to being out until at least mid-April while recovering from shoulder surgery. He’s hitting .378 and has big-time pop. A great story, he was out of the game a couple years. Ready to emerge.

Terrific all-around talent provides hope for future, and could lead to finding himself on the trade market. “He’s a real good looking middle infielder with a chance to hit,’’ one scout said.

He’s 15 for 39, and better still, with only five strikeouts. The two questions surrounding this “toolsy’’ play are his ability 1) stay health, and 2) avoid strikeouts. So far he’s doing both.

 A terrific defender, he’s hitting up a storm in the desert. Took a step back last year, but now looks ready to bloom. He’s slowed a bit after a hot start but still has a 1.069 OPS.

He’s banging the ball so well he was considered to be added to Team USA. Could be primed for a breakout season after second-half falloff last year. Hitting .415.

The lefty hitter is wowing scouts in Cardinals camp. They don’t need him … yet, anyway.

If he’s on the trading block, somebody better pony up quite a bit. He has 18 strikeouts and only two walks.

He’ll get the Opening Day start due to ’s slow spring, but he earned it. He’s 1-0 with a 0.71 ERA and a nice changeup has complemented his bread-and-butter curveball.

 Highton & Hove Albion.The 22-year-old joins the League One side on a one-year contract with the option of a further 12 months.Barclay began his career at Manchester City before moving to Brighton and had a loan spell at Notts County last term.”It’e’s been simply dominating for Boston, which needs a comeback year, from him and the team. He’s 3-0 with a 0.90 ERA. is 2-0 with a 0.00 after an early hamstring strain.

 He’s made the adjustment from a 97-mph thrower with little-to-no command to a pitcher who works at 91-94. Has 25 Ks and just six walks in 20 innings.

They need him to get his swing back with Yasmani Grandal missing 50 games due to his PED suspension, and he has done that. Batting .457 in Peoria.

 Some worry that his nice September might be a mirage, but at least he’s carried it into February and March. The Mariners having been hitting like crazy in Arizona. (Trade pickup has five homers.)

 He was drawing raves as an all-around player in Mesa, not just a power threat. The Cubs are doing a nice job building for the future.

 Kansas City has looked very good this spring, and Gordon is one reason. His big second half suggests he may be ready to become a bona fide star. Like Kendrick, he’s 20 for 40 this spring.

He’s returned from a bad bout with Desert Fever and looks like he has a chance to regain his career. Has chance to make team. Nice story. (Last year’s nice story, Lew Ford, is hitting .483 this spring.)

Big arm. He impressed scouts early but had a rough one late. “Not quite ready,’’ said a scout.

 He looks ready to break out. Could be a nice year in K.C.

 No surprise, the Rays’ young pitchers look good. Cobb has 23 strikeouts and just two walks. Chris Archer was shipped out with a 0.00 ERA.

The two second-year players are showing no signs of letting up. Trout looks like he might duplicate what he did last year (.408 this spring), and Harper should take a big step forward. He’s hitting a point higher at .409 with three homers and eight RBI.

r Lautaro Martinez left frustrated with their Cham

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The Indians optioned , , , and to Triple-A Columbus Monday. The team also reaformance of Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk on Sunday.The defender scored in the 2-0 win over Manchester United.Van der Vaart said on Ziggo Sport: “I enjoyed him again. “ul Niguez admits he’s been impressed by Liverpool this season.The two teams will clash in the Champions League round of 16 this week.”I was watching the game against Norwich on Saturday,” he says. “If not for the goal from [Sadio]ord City are seeking new training facilities.The Sun says Manchester City rented their plush Carrington facility, their home for years, to Bury before the Shakers ran into major financial troubles that cost them their Football League status.News of a Mane, who produces He really is the leader of Liverpool. It is of course great that he slowly cassigned and to minor-league camp.

nchester United and move to Manchester City.Van Ga

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After saying Tuesday that using as the team’s assistant Steve Parkin have resigned from their positions with the beleaguered League One club, reports BBC Sport.Wanderers have been in administration since May and said in a statement on Thursday they had accepted the resignations “with great relu closer was not “necessarily a wild thought,” Tigers manager Jimrformance in their Champions League defeat to Liverpool.It was heartbreak for Spurs in Madrid as goals from Mto England ahead of formally joining Watford next month.Sky Sports says Pedro has said his goodbyes at Fluminense as he prepares to join struggling Watford in January. The teenager will complete a move 14 months in the making in the New Year after thohamed Salah and Divock Origi led Liverpool to a sixth Champions League trophy.Ex-Arsenal boss Wenger said: “We spoke a lot about Kane [bef Leyland clarified those comments on Wednesday. “I would say that that would be highly unlikely,” Leyland told .com. “I read the stories this morning. I said it’s not some far-out idea that somebody brought that up. I don’t think it’s a far-out idea. What I’m saying is I think it’s probably highly unlikely.”

Team USA has bats and resolve to win WBC (but are arms enough?)

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PHOENIX — Team USA is missing maybe the best five American pitchers — , , , and — as it tries to buck its stunningly mediocre World Baseball Classic record and win in the sport America invented.

But say this for this team: They brought a group with an uncommonly patriotic bent. The 27 guys who agreed to play for Joe Torre’s team are a supremely focused, determined and even personable group that is talking a great game on the eve of the third WBC event.

“Write this, ‘We didn’t come all the way here to (bleepin’) lose,'” USA outfielder said.

More on World Baseball ClassicStories | | More coverage | | |

Torre and his veteran group of coaches, including longtime right-hand men Larry Bowa and Willie Randolph, are impressed by the competitive attitude shown by a group led by , , and other country-first guys. Randolph, in particular, said he noticed a difference between this crew and Team USA’s previous two squads, suggesting this one is singularly focused on the prize after a dismal 7-7 mark posted in the disappointing 2006 and 2009 events.

No one can claim that the USA roster is made up of only the very best American players, but Randolph pointed out the roster’s strengths include speed, versatility and other less obvious positive traits. gives any team options. can put a scare into any opposing pitcher.

Torre talked up the table-setting Rollins and . , a .300 hitter, was the ninth-place hitter in one of the exhibitions. The strong and crazy-deep 10-man bullpen, with at the end, would be the envy of any manager.

In a short few days, the staff and its players have bonded. Perhaps best of all, it also has the guys who wanted to be here representing their country, which USA officials often cite as the biggest positive.

That is, of course, another way of admitting that not all the very best and brightest stars are here. In particular, the starting pitching is solid but less than glittering.

Verlander and Kershaw are said to have shown interest in playing, his disappointment over comments by Birmingham City following his dismissal from the club.The 40-year-old was sacked on Tuesday, with the Blues reasoning that Monk did not serve the “long term interests of the club” and that they wanted to “adopt a fbut Kershaw had a hip injury late last season that allowed the to discourage him, and Verlander’s extra October innings delayed his training start, eliminating him.

Team USA retains outward confidence. But there’s concern that Team USA has a bull’s-eye on its back. And there’s more concern that many of the top starters aren’t here.

“The other teams want to beat the piss out of the U.S.,” one USA official said. ‘”Until we win, we’re not going to get all our (very) best players to come.event pitch invasions.The Liverpool Echo says Liverpool are planning to write to UEFA to voice their concerns after a pitch-invader left Adrian with an injury by gatecrashing the Super Cup celebrations.The Reds were toasting their 5-4 penalty-shootou”

The hope is that once Team USA brings home the trophy, then relays how great winning felt, no one will again decline an invite. Sometimes it’s hard to push.

is in the group of late October players from last year. is returning from a shoulder injury, an ankle injury.

, the best player in the majors last year, hasn’t earned financial security yet. So it’s understandable he didn’t go. (Word is, he consulted with Bryce Harper, who also didn’t make it).

The pitching is the real issue though. , , and are four more that couldn’t, or didn’t, make it. Contracts just signed, about to be signed or being negotiated acted as a disincentive for top pitchers. Arms are fragile, and there’s a fine line between a $150-million-plus contract and no contract at all.

Team USA seems to be doing an exemplary job not focusing on who isn’t here (except when we ask about it), though it’s obvious who’s missing. One plus: None of the other teams seems to have overwhelming starting pitching, either.

Team Mexico, who Team USA faces in its opener Friday, saved its ace for this game. Mexico used journeyman Rodrigo Lopez in its loss to Italy on Thursday. Other teams are similarly thin.

Team USA will start with 37-year-old knuckleballer , had been close to completing the deal in January for £200,000, but it has taken until now for Kilmarnock to confirm an agreement had been reached.Smith, 16, will join the Elite Development Squad with immediate effect.Kilmarnock said in a statement:whose fast knuckleball could be a major weapon, then use , and as starters. It’s a very nice group but less than optimal.

When one Team USA official was reminded how great the lineup should be, he noted, cautiously, “What happens from 60 feet, six inches is what matters.”

Dickey should give Team USA a great chance in the opener, as it appears he’s reached his prime in his late 30s, winning the National League Cy Young Award last season. He also is very much into it, which counts, too.

“I’m here because this is one of the greater privileges of my athletic career. And that’s how I see it,” Dickey said.

Team USA will try to make up for what it lacks in established arms with bats and attitude. It’s a group that loves the idea of representing its country, which can’t hurt.

“We are not here to get out of spring training. We’re not here to go on a little vacation,” Wright said. “It’s time for us to win. A lot of other teams have been preparing longer. But pride will kick in. We are 0 and 2. We want to be the team that snaps that.”

Randolph, Wright’s first major-league manager with the , is thrilled at how the star third baseman has grown into a leader. Others, too, are here because they are excited about it.

New outfielder personally called Torre to beg his way onto the team as a reserve. first baseman rushed over from Surprise, Ariz., when went out with a wrist injury.

Pride is already starting to kick in.

“It’s our game,” Torre said. “That doesn’t mean other teams can’t play it. But we’re here to win. We’re here to get to San Francisco. We’re interested in moving on. Our goal is long-term, long range.”

Their hearts and their intentions are in the right place. The only question is whether they have enough arms to do the job.

VIDEOS: The breathtaking talent of Bo Jackson

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When a hip injury ruined Bo Jackson’s athleti2-year the 2019-20 Premier League season will be announced at 09:00 BST on Thursday.The opening matches will be played on an Dijk says they’re unharmed from last season’s Premier League title heartbreak.Van Dijk believes that ­Liverpool’s Champions League ­success healed the scars of losing the Premier League title today’s opponents Manchester City on the final day.Hethe weekend of Saturday, 10 August and the season will end on Sunday, 17 May.For the first time in Premier League history, the clubs r-old becomes the ninth Red Devil to spent this campaign away from Old Trafford following the departures of Chris Smalling and Alexis Sanchez.It is the fourth loan of Borthwick-Jackson’s career so far, following underwhelming spells at Wolves, Lc career, both baseball and football were robbed of years of likely superstardom from the transcendent athlete. Still, every once in a while, it’s worth admiring Bo’s athletic prowess. And thanks to .com’s expanded video archives, we can do so right now.

Remember when …

… Bo robbed Jack Clark of a homer?

… Bo ran up a wall?

… Bo hit one 450 feet in an All-Star Game and later stole a base en route to winning the game MVP?

… Bo made this throw?

And, to close, in true “Just Because” fashion, how about this golden oldie?

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow on Twitter, subscribe to the and . Also, individually interact with us on Twitter: , and .

made a plea to Gareth Bale.Toshack has urged Bale

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Yankees closer felt good after throwing 18 pitches in his first simulated game since knee surgery last spring. Rivera tossed one inning of work against minor-league. He also fielded and covered first base. According to .com, the 43-year-old has no timetable for his spring debut. “There is no real timetable, in a sense,” manager Joe Girardi said. “We just go day by day to see how he’s doing. I expect he’ll th Ivan Campo admits he regrets never playing for Real Sociedad.Campo revealed to AS that he had a chance to join La Real when with Bolton Wanderers.He said: “Yes, once I was in England, I received an offer from La Real. But I was so good in the Premierow another simulated game and then we’ll evaluate after that. You’re just able to c around holding the Europa League final in Baku.Smertin is hoping his old club to beat Arsenal tonight, but is upset with the way the English press has portrayed the city and the Azerbaijan football lowu has signed for Cork City in the League of Ireland Premier Division.The 20-year-old is on loan at the club for the rest of the season.Olowu has been with Arsenal since he was 13, when he arrived from Charlton Athletic.The academy graduate will becommunity.He scoffed to Sputnik: “Criticism for theontrol it.”

Phillies’ Halladay says he feels great, but can he be great again?

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(US Presswire)

CLEARWATER, Fla. — The speak glowingly about what once was. They speak hopefully about what Roy Halladay could still be.

They don’t know, not yet.

They can’t know, no matter how good he says he feels this spring.

They can only listen to him talk about how good he feels, thanks to a new workout program designed to address a lower-back issue he now blames for derailing his 2012 season.

“I feel as good now as I have in any spring training,” Halladay said Wednesday.

The Phillies will take that as a positive, just as they’ll take encouragement from the way and have looked in the early days of spring. While the key Phillies questions don’t yet have definitive answers, the early signs are good.

That seems especially true for Howard and Utley, so much so that manager Charlie Manuel said Wednesday, “I always felt like both of them would come back and have big years.”

The Phillies need that, but they also need Halladay. Manuel talks about getting 50-60 wins from the trio of Halladay, and .

More on PhilliesStories |

Before last year, they would have taken Halladay’s share of those wins for granted. He won 40 games in his first two seasons with the Phillies, and he averaged 17 wins a year in his last four seasons with the Blue Jays.

He was at leasadrid sports director Pedja Mijatovic says Gareth Bale will be hurting hlex Oxlade-Chamberlain has revealed how Jordan Henderson shuts down any talk of Liverpool winning the Premier League table.The Reds have all but secured their first top crown in 30 years as they hold a 22-point lead over Manchester City.But Oxlade-Chis career by staying.Bale remains a Real player after the Premier League transfer window closed yesterday.Mijatovic told El Larguero: “If he stays, Madrid is not going to have prt in the argument for best pitcher in the game, and he deserved to be called the most dependable.

“He was something,” Manuel said. “He was absolutely unreal.”

Then Manuel paused.

“He’s thrown a lot of bullets.”

Those bullets weren’t coming in as hard last year, and they weren’t nearly as effective. Halladay still insists velocity was and is less of an issue than his ability to locate, but you can count on the Phillies carefully watching for both when Halladay takes the mound for his spring training starts.

Manuel said the Phillies plan to take it a little slower than usual, that Halladay might well throw just one inning and 25 pitches in his first spring start.

“I think he’s going to be fine, really,” Manuel said. “I think it’s going to take time, but I think he’s going to get there.”

If you sense a touch of uncertainty in those words, you’re probably right. Halladay is 35 now and will turn 36 in May. Even without the shock of last year, we’d be wondering how long he could keep pitching at the level he had.

You sense him wondering it, too, even as he talks about how good he feels, about how much the new workout program has helped and about how he still wants to throw tons of pitches and tons of innings.

He knows he’s nearer to the end than to the beginning, no matter how well he does this year.

“Every year you go in, you realize you’re a little older, a little slower,” Halladay said. “The game’s getting quicker. The guys are getting younger.”

The Phillies aren’t young, but they still have more talent than manyutch great Wim Kieft has warned Tottenham fans not to get carried away with new signing Steven Bergwijn.The purchase from PSV Eindhoven scored on debut in victory over Manchester City last week.But Kieft argued in De Telegraaf: “Bergwijn is just 22 give them credit for. The question marks are big ones, but the ceiling remains high for a team just one season removed from 102 wins.

The goals are still high, too, and it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Halladay spoke of winning a World Series.

“If it takes 320 innings and I can throw that many, I’m going to throw it,” he said.

The guaranteed part of his contract only runs through this year, and not surprisingly, he said there have been no discussions yet about extending it. Halladay said he doesn’t see himself ever pitching for another team, but how this year goes will no doubt help determine how long the Phillies can see him pitching for them.

They saw last year what happened with a sub-par Halladay, a Halladay whose spring training struggles raised alarms and whose regular-season struggles never really calmed them. The lower back was the problem, he came to believe by the end of the season, and it was the problem that led to everything else.

“It seemed like the more I threw, the more of a problem it became,” he said.

So the legendary workout program underwent a total change, with more emphasis on strengthening the core and on what Halladay called “sport-specific” training.

“We’re not running at 4 in the morning,” rotation-mate and workout-mate said.

Halladay still starts early, maybe at 5:30 or 6 a.m. He still works hard.

“I saw him, and he was completely drenched,” Manuel said.

But devotion to work was never a problem for Halladay.

What the Phillies are hoping is that years of heavy workloads and advancing age aren’t problems that Halladay can’t overcome this year.

They don’t know that yet. They can’t know that yet.

They can only listen to Halladay talk about how good he feels, watch, and see that bullpen sessions like the one on Wednesday morning aren’t a problem, and then hope.

“I think we really need him to be good,” Manuel said. “Don’t get me wrong. He doesn’t have to pitch no-hitters.”

The Phillies remember when they could expect Halladay to do just that. It’s not that long ago.

He was absolutely unreal, as Manuel said.

Healthy or not, can he ever be like that again?

b, it has been revealed.The Argentine was sacked b

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MLB.com reports Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington expects DH (Achilles) to be ready for opening day after meeting with the veteran slugger in the Dominican Rrom Barcelona.Reports claimed that the La Liga champions are planning a £70million swoop for the striker this summer.It has been suggested that the Catalan side could offer Arsenal both Andre Gomes and Samuel Umtiti to tempt Unai Emery into acceptinepublic last week. However, Cherington wasn’t sure what Ortiz’s status would be at the begi stunned at an angry tirade from Charlie Austin about manager Ralph Hasenhuttl.Austin, 30, unleashed a dressing room tirade about Hasenhuttl after he learned he was not going on the club’s pre-season tour.He is training with the under-23 players as tnning of spring training. “He’s hitting and doing his agility and starting to run,” Cherington said Monday in an inrez was delighted to feature in victory over Real Betis.The 5-2 win marked Perez’s home debut.“I am very happy to be able to help the team and for everything that is happening. Debuting at Camp Nou is always very special for someone from the house terview with Network Radio. “He’s . We’ll see where he is as we report 10 days from now or so and take it from there. We don’t have any reason to think he won’t be in our lineup on opening day.”

a move away.The Manchester Evening News says repor

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Pittsburgh and pitcher still have not finalized the re-working of a contract. Liriano agreed to a two-year deal with Pittsburgh in December, but the deal was revised after the lefty broke his non-pitching arm in a home-related accident. “The proar-old, who signed from Southampton in July 2014, will be available on a free transfer and a series of clubs have already begun to register an interest, says the Liverpool-midfielder-Adam-Lallana-set-leave-Arsenal-Tottenham-interested.html” target=”_cessBournemouth manager Eddie Howe has planned talks with Harry Arter.The midfielder spent last season on loan at Cardiff City.The Mirror claims Arter is being chased by the Bluebirds and Fulham.But first Howe wants to sit down with Arter to discuss his future.The Republic of Ireland international has been at the Cherries since 2010. continues,” GM Neal Huntingtonchester City attacker Leroy Sane admits his injury recovery has been a battle this season.Sane has been out of action since suffering knee ligament damage against Liverpool in the Community Shield last August. “It was the hardest and longest injury t said. “We have ongoing conversations. I’m not an oddsmaker, so I don’t know if it is likely or unlikely that we will add another pitcher.”

this summer.The English winger just completed his

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Though a failed physical negated the three-year, $39 million offer the Red Sox made to free agent catcher earlier this ofnager Marcelo Bielsa does not believe that it is wise to compare his side to Arsenal.The two teams are set to go head to head in the FA Cup third round, with Bielsa’s promotion chasing team getting a chance to battle against a Premier League side.Butfseason, the two sides havein the Premier League.Despite being part of Villa’s team fohas not future at the club. Xhaka told fans to f*** off after he was booed off the ground whilst being substituted during Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace.”The sympathy is not with the reaction, the sympathy is with him being nominated captain br Sunday’s thrashing by Manchester City, El Ghazi insists he’s happy in England and feels there’s more to come from him.”But the fact that I now play in the Premier League almost every week f been working on a new deal in the weeks since, and according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman, the situation should be resolved by late January. Though Napoli’s hip was the cause of concern in his physical, he’s expected to be ready for opening day.

Rangers, A.J. Pierzynski agree on one-year, $7.5M deal

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(Getty Images)

The have agreed to sign free-agent catcher , according to CBSSports.com’s Scott Miller. The one-year deal is pending a physical and is worth $7.5 million, repEd Woodward’s public support was “not needed”. Despite their poor form, Red Devils executive vice-chairman Woodward said at United’s quarterly investors’ call last Tuesday that “it’s important that we’re patient while Ole and his team build for the forts Jon Heyman.

Pierzynski, 35, hit .278/.326/.501 with 27 homers, 77 RBI and 68 runs last season in 135 games for the . The 27-homer season appears an outlier, however, as Pierzynski hit only 17 homers combined in 2010-11 and his previous career high in single-season home runs was 18, back in 2005.

It’s also true that US Cellular Field is a homer-friendly ballpark, as it ranked fourth in homers last season and Pierzynski hit 18 of his home runce Goodridge has signed a new contract with the Clarets, extending his stay at Turf Moor until the summer of 2021.Goodridge, 20, originally started out at Manchester City, before spending two years at Newcastle United in the youth team, where he plays at The Cell, but so is Rangers Ballpark. So the expected regression in power numbers will only be due to Pierzynski returning more to previous levels and not attributable to the home ballpark.

Behind the plate, Pierzynski works well with his pitching staff and has thrown out 24 percent of would-be basestealers in his career.

Pierzynski will slide in as the Rangers’ everyday catcher while will serve as the primary backup.

For more baseball news, rumors and arector general Mateu Alemany has officially left the club.Alemany follows Marcelino, who was sacked as head coach earlier this season, after a couple of hugely successful years working together.”Following the initial agreement reached last week for tnalysis, follow on Twitter, subscribe to the and .

Free agent preview: Mark Reynolds

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(US Presswire)

There will always be a market for power hitters. Outside of Josh Hamilton, no player on the market can hit the long ball as well as Mark Reynolds. While Reynolds has the ability to mash 30 home runs a season, he’s just a likely to break the record for strikeouts in a single season, which, coincidentally, he already owns. At the plate, Reynolds is considered a three true outcomes player. The three true outcomes refer to the three results of a plate appearance that don’t involve fielders: walks, home runs and strikeouts. Players that lead the league in three true outcomes stats typically walk a fine line. A small loss in power or plate discipline, or a slight uptick in strikeouts can turn a once valuable player into a complete wreck in the batter’s box. 

Unfortunately for Reynolds, that time may have already come. The Orioles not only declined his $11 million option for next season, but decided to not even tender him a contract, making him a free-agent. The team had control over Reynolds for next season, but didn’t want to take the chance that he would receive significant money during arbitration. 

It looks like that may have been the right call. Reynolds made $7.5 million last season, and was due to receive a raise in arbitration. Though the market at first base isn’t all that strong, Reynolds isn’t likely to receive a big contract this winter. 

Finding a recent comparable player for Reynolds is nearly impossible due to his strikeout rate. Over the past three seasons, Reynolds has struck out in 32.3% of his plate appearances. That is a staggering rate for a full-time player. Recent players with similar strikeout rates either flamed out after a season or two, like Jack Cust and Wily Mo Pena, or were used as part-time sluggers, like Kelly Shoppach or Russell Branyan. 

Reynolds’ status as a full-time player is definitely boss Roy Hodgson insists there’s no plans for a squad overhaul.Hodgson has dismissed suggestions the departures of veterans Julian Speroni and Jason Puncheon mean Crystal Palace are embarking on a “new era”.He said: “This isn’t a question of regiin doubt. His reputation as a poor defender isn’t going to help, either. One of the main reasons teams have been willing to commit to Carlos Pena, who displays a similar skill set, is because he’s regardthe first team.Miller was involved for the Reds against Shrewsbury Town in an FA Cup fourth round replay, when the senior side was rested.The player will never forget the moment when he got to put on the Liverpool shirt as a first team starter for thed as a strong defensive first baseman. Reynolds’ best hope for consistent playing time may come as a designated hitter.

Reynolds is rumored to be looking for a deal in the same range as last yeaLazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is close to a move to PSG.Blic says the Serb has told PSG he wants to join them.PSG are offering €80m for the transfer and talks are in the final stages.PSG sporting director Leonardo is a known admirer of the player and tried to take him to Milan when he was still working for them.Milinkovic-Savic’s move will be funded by the sale of Neymar.r’s $7.5 million salary. That might not be out of line, as teams have shown a willingness to pay for power in the past. Carlos Pena managed to receive a one-year, $10 million deal with the Cubs after hitting .196/.325/.407 in 2010. And he was 32-years-old at the time. The following year, Pena received $7.25 million to return to Tampa for his age-34 season. Reynolds isn’t coming off as strong a year as Pena’s 2011, but he does have an age advantage. A one-year deal worth between $6 million and $7.25 million is probably an accurate range for Reynolds. He’ll have to prove he’s worth it, as this will likely be his last chance at significant playing time if he falters. 

Indians, Mariners, Rays

Marlins, Yankees, Cubs, Mets

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