Fox Sports Warren Barton Talks Champions League, Vince McMahon and Why He Thinks Gus Johnson Will Be One of the Best Soccer Announcers in the World

warrenbartonWarren Barton, an Englishman, has been part of the American soccer panorama the previous couple of years working as an analyst for Fox Soccer Channel and now Fox Sports 1. If you happen to’re a fan of the game within the States, you’ll little doubt acknowledge the previous England international and are nicely aware of his tendency to mix it up with former U.S. Nationwide Workforce striker Eric Wynalda on air.

Though FOX misplaced the rights to the Premier League, it nonetheless airs the Champions League and FA Cup. Right now we’re smack dab in the middle of peak soccer with European competitions, the start of MLS this weekend and the World Cup looming less than one hundred days away. Over the weekend FOX aired the quarterfinals of the FA Cup, together with Wigan Athletic shock 2-1 win over Manchester City. The second leg of the Round of sixteen Champions League video games resume on Tuesday with Bayern Munich/Arsenal and Atletico Madrid/AC Milan.

The Large Lead spoke with Barton by cellphone final week on a lot of soccer matters including what makes the FA Cup particular as an Englishman, why English fans are not often real looking about their nationwide group and what it’s like working with Gus Johnson.

TBL: Clearly Americans are wrapped up in English soccer, with the Premier League primarily. The FA Cup … typically it feels like the appeal is misplaced in translation. As an Englishman, describe what makes the FA Cup so particular?

WB: As a British one who thinks of the FA Cup, it’s the romance. We love the opportunity an amateur athlete pitting his wits against the Premier All-Stars. It’s like a high school group taking part in against the Steelers or the Cowboys in the Tremendous Bowl. It begins with a policeman, a builder, they could possibly be doing effectively and playing against mighty Manchester City or Arsenal. There’s the history. It’s the oldest home membership competitors in the world. That’s how I generalize it. The romance, the historical past. The beauty, as I mentioned, an newbie athlete playing towards one of many heroes of the Premier League.

TBL: What matchup would make for the most effective closing for the Champions League this season?

WB: Bayern Munich, they're the benchmark. Actual Madrid, at the moment, with the best participant on this planet (Cristiano Ronaldo), the most costly player on this planet (Gareth Bale) and possibly essentially the most underrated coach in the world, as properly with (Carlo) Ancelotti. Clearly ex-pats wish to see Chelsea or Manchester City. In case you’re a purist, trying on the game, taking a look at (Bayern and Actual) they’re thrilling, they rating objectives and so they play to win. They've the opposite group apprehensive about them, somewhat than being cautious. Take Manchester City, they have been very respectful of Barcelona and when you speak about Bayern or Real Madrid they exit to win regardless of who they’re enjoying against.

TBL: You’ve been in America for some time, what do you make of the viewers who watches English video games or soccer on the whole, who do you think that audience is?

WB: I can go simply by Twitter. They’re very educated. They’re very passionate. They are often very essential as well. Now with the sport being proven on so many channels, the Internet, folks’s knowledge is getting higher and other people’s opinions are getting stronger.

The expansion I’ve seen in six years, you may simply go by our viewing figures. Every year it gets larger. The data is spreading. … What’s thrilling is the game within the U.S. hasn’t even reached it’s potential but and it’s already breaking data week-in, week-out. That’s exciting as an analyst, as an ex-player, as a coach going ahead. I do know that’s how Eric (Wynalda) and Brian (McBride) really feel. We love it.

TBL: What’s probably the most noticeable change in soccer because you’ve been over here in America?

WB: Have a look at the shirts. You’re speaking about each now and again you might see a West Ham shirt or an Everton shirt. Earlier than it was once simply Barcelona or Actual Madrid, Manchester United. Clearly there’s ardour.

It’s also individuals recognizing you. You go to Phoenix, you go to Miami, Los Angeles, folks at all times ask me, ‘What’s Eric like, what’s Brian like?’ That shows you that the audience is getting bigger. Sure people are carrying not solely prime Premiership shirts, but perhaps a Stoke shirt will likely be worn. You’ll obviously see numerous MLS shirts. The game is growing. It’s the identical because the NFL in the UK. I communicate to my mates there. Earlier than you would possibly see a Cowboys and a 49ers shirt. Now you get a Chargers, Tennessee. It’s crossing over.

TBL: I’m positive you saw the rumors final month about Vince McMahon’s interest in shopping for Newcastle United, one among your former clubs. What did you make of that? Would he be a great addition to English soccer?

WB: You can’t assist however have a smile on your face, because of the ties to the WWE and what he’s completed. Something is feasible. That’s the fantastic thing about what’s happening.

Am I towards it? No. Wouldn't it surprise me? Sure.

You have a look at Roman Abramovich, a Russian billionaire coming to Chelsea. You have a look at what the Qataris have done at PSG and obviously these type of golf equipment. They’ve taken these mediocre teams from a decade in the past and turned them into global giants. It’s intriguing. As I said to Rob Stone, it could intrigue me. It will bring humor back into the sport and that’s what it’s about. (McMahon) positively knows business, look what he’s accomplished to that enterprise. He’s additionally obtained a strong opinion which is sweet.

Newcastle Fan

TBL: Newcastle has an enormous, passionate fanbase, an enormous stadium … why has it been so exhausting for them to get over that hump and compete for trophies constantly? What is it about that membership that all the time holds them back?

WB: It’s the turnover of coaches. You take a look at Chelsea and the turnover. To bridge that hole, you must sign high-quality gamers. We completed second twice (Barton played for Newcastle United from 1995-2002), played in Cup finals, played within the Champions League. You have to discover the suitable coach. There are only so many Sir Bobby Robsons which are round. It is advisable to have an owner that understands the chance you’ve given a certain coach. It’s an amalgamation of turnover of coaches, turnover of players and it’s like everybody – there’s solely so many winners. Sadly Newcastle are one of the teams like an Everton, like a Liverpool in the meanwhile who are trying to interrupt into the Prime 4. You possibly can throw Tottenham into that equation as well and so they’ve spent over $100 million. Cash doesn’t all the time purchase success, nevertheless it actually helps.

TBL: What’s it been like working with Gus Johnson, such as you did last spring with the Champions League?

WB: There’s little question. I’ve worked with Martin Tyler, with Rob Hawthorne on Sky and Gus is simply as passionate as them.

We’re in America and I think we should have an American voice. It sounds strange coming from a Brit, however that’s me personally. We've an American audience and to bridge that hole to get the American individuals to understand you want an American voice. Which will get myself out of a job however that’s how I feel. I’ve lived right here and respect the country and respect what the game is. I think Gus Johnson is pretty much as good as anybody on this planet. Yes Martin Tyler is the benchmark however you’ve received Gus Johnson 15-20 years in the sport and he’s right behind him. I’m an enormous fan, not just because he’s with us, however for what he does with the game, how strong he is to place his status on the line, to try this. That takes not solely guts, but it takes confidence to do this and he’s received all our confidence and the network behind him.

TBL: Will you be working more Champions League video games this spring with Gus?

WB: Our boss, obviously, has already spoken to myself and Eric about that on the timescale. It obviously needs to be a recreation that appeals to folks. From that standpoint I feel it will be accomplished. Will probably be a sport that’s worthy like Manchester United/Real Madrid. We don’t need to shortchange the viewers. Gus is very dedicated in addition to everybody on the soccer aspect. [Ed. word: Johnson will possible be again calling Champions League games this spring, but FOX hasn't confirmed recreation or date yet.]

TBL: Getting again to the Champions League, a number of years ago we had three of the 4 semifinalists coming from England. We’re at all times told the EPL is one of the best league on the planet, but now the continental European teams are faring much better against them in the Champions League. Is it cyclical or is there a cause why?

WB: The Premier League is the most exciting league. I feel Tim Howard mentioned that. Brian McBride stated that. You possibly can take a team like Fulham and may go and beat a Manchester United, a Chelsea. If you’re speaking other leagues, Real Madrid normally win their games, it’s impossible they’ll lose. The Premier League is aggressive and thrilling due to the fashion of football. It’s very much a mixture of continental and the British physicality. Now it’s a shift. Whether it’s La Liga, the Bundesliga or Ligue 1, you’re seeing that due to the money. PSG have performed effectively with the players they have. I still just like the EPL is essentially the most thrilling or aggressive.

The Champions League is the most exciting when it comes to the technical high quality of the coaches. If you talk about the information of the sport, there’s where the Champions League for me is so intriguing. The standard of gamers, the quality of coaches. The Premier League nonetheless has to bridge that gap. If you’re talking about data and techniques, it’s the Champions League. For those who’re talking pleasure it’s the Premier League, no doubt because of the bodily side of what you've got. If it’s the throughout bundle it’s Champions League for me.

TBL: As an Englishman what’s a sensible expectation for England on the World Cup this 12 months?

WB: To win it! (laughes) No, if we can get to the quarterfinals that may be an awesome achievement. As you realize in England we all get so excited that we’re going to win it, that that is the year. Once you discuss South America you talk about Brazil, Argentina and in Europe you look at the Germans and the Spanish.

All your wives and girlfriends are getting buggered right now.

TBL: English fans are bizarre with the World Cup. Half of them think it’s their birthright to win it, the opposite half think they have no likelihood. What’s it actually like?

WB: Two weeks earlier than everyone says we’re going to win it. The Queen will likely be on TELEVISION. We’ll have Prince Charles, Prince William, it’ll be our time. As soon as we kickoff, it’ll be, no we’re going to lose and go out of it. There are so many combined emotions. You have all the flags out, we’ll be able to go. Possibly this yr we’re being pessimistic, however real looking. That is the first time I’ve spoken to individuals and they’re like “we ain’t going to win it.” We’ve all the time stated before “we’ve obtained Rooney, we’ve got Peter Crouch, we’ve bought Steven Gerrard.” This time it’s extra like, if we get out of our group we’ve completed effectively. A bit of reality has kicked in.

TBL: I’m not sure how intently you monitor the U.S. crew, but we’re three months away from the World Cup. What do you think the U.S. expectation needs to be?

WB: Final week, when I watched them practice – Jurgen invited us down with Rob Stone – it was a privilege to speak to Landon (Donovan). The European gamers weren’t there. I just thought it’s very unfortunate with the group. Jurgen can flip it around and say to do effectively we’ve received to play in opposition to the best, however I think there’s such robust momentum from what he’s achieved within the last 18 months. The Donovan state of affairs has modified, the place you must earn the suitable to play for the U.S. which is implausible. There’s competition for places. The perfect players have stepped up. (Chris) Wondolowski, Eddie (Johnson) guys like that have stepped up. If they get out of that group I feel they’ve done very effectively. Anybody, even when it was England, even when it was France in that group. Looking at that group is very troublesome.

TBL: You’ve worked with Eric Wynalda for a pair years now. What’s the most heated argument you’ve had collectively?

WB: Obvious: The Premier League and the Bundesliga. He is in awe of the Bundesliga. He loves it. It’s his largest ardour and rightly so.

We argue about three issues: Premier League vs. Bundesliga, the U.S. vs. England … and who’s going to buy lunch. Each time I’ve gained and I’ve bought lunch each single time for the last three and half years with him. He’s a fantastic guy. We have now a lot of enjoyable on TELEVISION. People ask if we get on. I feel yeah we do, but now we have opinions and that’s what it’s all about.

He’s not bought me one beer or one sandwich in 4 years, and you may quote me on that.

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Astros’ Singleton talks about addiciton to marijuana


Jonathan Singleton has admitted that he has a drug problem.
Jonathan Singleton has admitted that he has a drug drawback. (USATSI)


Astros first base prospect Jonathan Singelton has been suspended twice in the minor leagues for failing drug tests for marijuana. At the time of his second suspension, his official assertion noted a "lapse in judgement," but that truly wasn't true, based on Singleton himself.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Singleton revealed that he was hooked on pot and needed to enter a treatment program.

From the AP article:

"At this level it's fairly evident to me that I am a drug addict," he instructed The Related Press over breakfast on a recent day close to the Astros' camp. "I do not openly inform everybody that, but it surely's fairly apparent to myself."

Vividly so.

"I know that I enjoy smoking weed, I get pleasure from being excessive and I can't block that out of my mind that I get pleasure from that," he mentioned. "So I have to work towards that."


"I knew I had a problem," he said. "Even after I failed the second drug test I could not quit smoking weed. It was actually unhealthy. Me going there was positively the perfect move."

He didn't feel that approach when he first entered. Fearing the unknown, he says he did not sleep for three days straight.

"They might turn off the lights at eleven:30 and I might simply sit there and stare at the ceiling as a result of I couldn't fall asleep," he said. "My coronary heart was beating too fast. I might get evening sweats. It was unhealthy. I legitimately went through withdrawal."

Singleton desperately needed to leave and wasn't open to the recovery course of.

"However after I was there for therefore lengthy it just grew on me," he said. "I was like, 'I will be right here for 30 days, so I'd as nicely get the best out of it that I can.' I used it as a learning experience."

Singleton said he has now prevented marijuana for over a 12 months, however he also ran into habit once more within the type of alcohol.

"I went by means of some slight nervousness, some despair because I wasn't being profitable," he mentioned. "That was definitely difficult and that drove me to drink."

He admits to abusing alcohol as a substitute for marijuana, getting drunk virtually day-after-day and "waking up hung over every morning."

The story up to now has a cheerful ending, as Singleton confirmed up for camp clean and in reportedly in fine condition. The AP story additionally pointed out that Singleton is confident he won't relapse and is in a superb place proper now with himself.

As far as on-field efficiency, it is easy to see how he could have been affected last season by the alcohol. He hit220/.340/.347 with six homers in seventy three games in Triple-A. In 2012, he hit284/.396/.497 with 27 doubles and 21 homers in 131 video games for Double-A Corpus Christi. His energy upside – he's 6-foot-2, 235 kilos – is why he is been ranked as a consensus high-30 prospect in all of baseball. He has a shot to open the 2014 season with the Astros, but another stint in Triple-A seems more possible at this juncture.

Staying clean will go a good distance toward him reaching his immense ceiling. Good luck to Singleton on that entrance.

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Mariners in talks with slugger Cruz, eyeing Rodney


Victor Cruz produced 27 home runs, 76 RBI and a266 batting average for the Rangers last season before his 50-game ban. (USATSI)
Victor Cruz hit 27 residence runs for the Rangers final season before his 50-game ban. (USATSI)


The Mariners, who’ve already landed the large free-agent fish in star second baseman Robinson Cano, are now in talks with free-agent outfielder Nelson Cruz whereas additionally eying nearer Fernando Rodney.

There is a belief Seattle is amenable to a multiyear deal for Cruz, maybe two years, with possibly an choice or possibly even a assured third year. There’s been a lot of speculation about Cruz and the Mariners throughout the offseason, but the suggestion now’s that issues have gotten a bit extra severe within the past few days.

The Mariners also have curiosity in Rodney, who might bolster a bullpen in need of a veteran presence. Rodney has been stated to be in search of $15-million over two years. It is not known whether or not Seattle may swing deals for both gamers.

New Seattle president Kevin Mather has authorized more money to be targeted towards player payroll, and Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik advised in this space every week ago that there may very well be room for an additional free-agent signing.

Zduriencik did not respond to messages Monday regarding Cruz, nor did Cruz’s agent Adam Katz.

Cruz had a really nice season on the sphere in 2014 but is one among five remaining free agents with a draft choice connected to his signing by virtue of his being prolonged the qualifying supply by his outdated Rangers crew. Seattle gave up its first-round draft option to land Cano on a $240-million, 10-yr deal, and while it prefers to retain its second-spherical decide, it is rather possible extra willing to lose that decide than teams that also have a primary-rounder to lose.

Cruz had 27 house runs, seventy six RBI and a266 batting average for the Rangers last 12 months earlier than accepting a 50-game Biogenesis-related PED ban, and has been a consistent run producer. He’d be a natural to bat behind Cano in a revamped Seattle lineup that may also include free-agent pickup Corey Hart and commerce acquisition Logan Morrison.

Seattle is eying back-end bullpen help after going 19-29 in a single-run video games last yr, and a league-worst 6-15 in additional-inning games. Rodney went 5-four with a 3.38 PERIOD, 37 saves and a 1.335 WHIP for the Rays after having a 0.60 ERA and zero.seventy eight WHIP in 2012, when he completed fifth in Cy Younger voting.

The Orioles have talked to each Cruz and Rodney, however Baltimore is reluctant to give up its first-spherical pick, making a Cruz deal somewhat much less likely. The Orioles had offered Grant Balfour $15 million for two years before their crew doctor interceded, however whereas they have interest in Rodney, they are extra targeted on including a beginning pitcher comparable to Bronson Arroyo, A.J. Burnett, Ervin Santana or Ubaldo Jimenez (Santana and Jimenez also have draft choices hooked up to them), or the Korean Suk-Min Yoon.

Cruz’s old Rangers crew has been considered as a fallback option for him, but after losing a draft selection for signing outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, Texas wouldn’t mind recovering a draft choice, either.

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Brewers: No deal with Garza yet, talks ongoing

After a quick period in Texas, Matt Garza may be headed back to the particular NL Central.

(USATSI)After a quick stint in Texas, Matt Garza may be headed back to the NL Central.
a lot more: FA tracker: placement players | FA system: pitchers
The Brewers may be close to signing free agent beginning pitcher Matt Garza to what was initially reported as a 4 year, $52 million deal. previously Thursday, it was believed that the deal was final impending a physical. However, early thurs evening the Brewers launched the following statement:

Despite media reports, discussions between the Brewers and he Garza are ongoing, yet there is no deal yet.


There's no indicator that this wrinkle has anything to do with Garza's medicals, but it's still really worth noting that he's arriving off two injury-plagued months. Snyder

avoid sleep on the Brewers


Garza, 30, is arguably the top beginning pitcher left on the market right after Masahiro Tanaka signed with the Yankees Wednesday. The right-hander was 10-6 with a few. 82 ERA (106 ERA+), 1. 24 WHIP plus 136 strikeouts in one hundred fifty five 1/3 innings last time of year with the Cubs (11 starts) and Rangers (13 starts).


within 60 starts for the Cubs, Garza was 21-18 with a 3. 45 ERA (115 ERA+) and 1. twenty one WHIP, so heading back to the NL Central bodes nicely for his chances in success.




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Fiorentina still in talks over Anderson

Fiorentina in addition to Manchester United continue to be operating on a deal regarding Anderson, according to typically the Serie A club's director of sport, Daniele Prade.


Anderson has not completed an entire match within the Premier little league under David Moyes.

Anderson, 25, appears to be excess to requirements at aged Trafford after failing to ascertain themselves in the first-team given that moving from Porto during 2007, and Fiorentina are keen to sign him.
The a couple of nightclubs have moved closer to an agreement for the particular Brazilian midfielder, although Prade says he has several other targets should an agreement not be reached.

"We like Anderson, and yet all of us like plenty of additional players too, " the person told Mediaset television. "We're working on lots of different fronts. We are subsequent him and he can come, but so also might possibly other players. Will be certainly moment until January thirty-one. micron

The true object of Fiorentina's ailments is a new striker, nevertheless. With Mario Gomez and additionally Giuseppe Rossi injured, Sunday's 0-0 draw together with Torino, in which Fiorentina drew an empty for only the third time this year, highlighted the need in order to strengthen right up top.

"I aren't say each time a new striker will arrive, inch Prade added. "We're not going to purchase somebody just for the exact sake of it, but all of us do want a striker. inch Prade has damaged Antonio pada Natale in addition to Antonio Cassano off that will list now, while Gomez hopes to give the particular search superfluous by just coming back in the very forseeable future.
"Rossi is one of the best strikers on earth in addition to we need him, just like I need to get back to playing hockey again at long previous, " often the German striker wrote on his Facebook page. "I how to start if I have ever had this type of hard time in my profession / what was designed to be two a few months is becoming nearly four, plus that's genuinely testing my nerves.

"We're attempting everything humanly possible to get to side handles with the problem of the wounded tendon, but unfortunately recovering from these kinds of an injury is very decrease the speed of. It's not usually easy to use a good impatient player with this problem that just wants to get back out onto the industry once again and give again to the enthusiast exactly what they give me every single day throughout Florence. inches

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Titans fire coach Munchak after talks over staff

Mike Munchak lasted three seasons as head coach of the Titans. (USATSI)

On Saturday, a day after Titans CEO Tommy Smith stated that no determination had been made on Mike Munchak, the workforce fired the third-year head coach.

“First I wish to thank Mike Munchak for his professionalism by means of this course of and thank him for his years of dedication to the Titans/Oilers group,” common manager Ruston Webster said in a statement. “He’s first-class and I wish him and his household nothing but the most effective. I also want to reward Tommy Smith for his involvement throughout the weeklong course of. He was thorough and thoughtful.

“The final week has been a tough time making an attempt to navigate by many issues to search out the very best decision for this franchise transferring forward. Tough selections have been introduced to all sides and the end end result was to part methods and transfer forward without Mike.

“We will instantly start a seek for a new head coach. I am confident that we will find a coach that may proceed our development as a workforce and lead us to sustained success.”

Munchak was elevated to move coach earlier than the 2011 season, replacing Jeff Fisher. A Hall of Fame offensive lineman with the Houston Oilers, Munchak joined Fisher’s employees in 1994.

Munchak’s first season was his finest; the Titans went 9-7 in 2011 however missed the playoffs. They have been 6-10 and 7-9 in subsequent seasons.

In accordance with Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean, throughout Friday’s meeting, Munchak was offered a chance to return to the Titans, with circumstances. It seems those situations were not agreed upon.

Meanwhile, the Titans now are available in the market for a brand new coach and doubtless a brand new franchise quarterback.

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Report: Gasol-Bynum trade talks hit a standstill


These two may not be switching jerseys. (USATSI)
These two might not be switching jerseys. (USATSI)


ESPN experiences that talks between the Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers for a deal to end Pau Gasol to the Cavs in a trade-and-waive salary clearance move for Andrew Bynum have hit a standstill.

The deal just isn't lifeless however it is not progressing. The Cavs, who've until Jan. 7 to trade Bynum before his contract becomes guaranteed and loses its instant value in a trade, are actually actively searching for other options.

The most important difficulty, sources stated, includes the Lakers' want to get an extra asset from the Cavs beyond Bynum's crew-friendly contract, which could save the Lakers greater than $20 million in salary and luxury taxes. The Lakers are keen on additionally getting a young prospect or first-round draft decide as a part of the deal. The Cavs have been reluctant to half with either.

To satisfy NBA commerce guidelines, the Cavs must add at least one more player to any trade involving Gasol for Bynum. Gasol is within the last yr of a contract that pays him $19.three million. Bynum's contract is for $12.25 million however is just half guaranteed before next week, which is why the Lakers have an interest. By trading for and then waiving Bynum, the Lakers could take themselves beneath the luxurious-tax threshold for the first time in seven years.

by way of Pau Gasol-Andrew Bynum commerce talks between Los Angeles Lakers, Cleveland Cavaliers stall – ESPN.

The 2 teams held discussions this week in a move that Ken Berger of describes as harmful both within the brief term and lengthy-term for the Lakers:

Do I believe the Lakers will do that? It would require a fundamental shift in their aggressive and monetary DNA. Not to point out the fact that skipping a season in the tax would not by itself spare them repeater charges in 2015-16 – the second 12 months of Bryant's extension. The repeater charges are in impact for any group that pays the tax in 4 out of 5 seasons beginning with the 2011-12 season – which means if the Lakers actually are scared of the large bad wolf, they would have to take two years off from paying tax over a 5-12 months period. If that were the case, why'd they signal Bryant to a two-yr, $48.5 million extension within the first place?

Additionally, there's this: If the Lakers stand pat, they will have an $11.three million tax invoice this season – a few third of last year's invoice. That's pocket change to the Buss household. And forgetting in regards to the repeater tax for a second, in the event that they trip it out with Gasol, they're going to be free and away from his contract subsequent season. For the difficulty of saving the Lakers a few bucks this season, however, the Cavs undoubtedly would ask a steep value when it comes to LA taking back future cash. In the event that they merely preserve Gasol and hope for the most effective, the Lakers not less than know they'll have no future obligation associated to him – both by way of his personal contract and as far as any wage they'd need to take back in a commerce.

In different phrases, in some ways buying and selling Gasol would solely make the Lakers' problems worse – both in the quick term and the long run.

through Dumping Gasol for Bynum would symbolize seismic shift for Lakers –

There's a whole lot of resistance to this concept across the league both in govt and media circles. In part, that is as a result of many are uncomfortable with the thought of the Lakers having to play by the same cost-cutting rules as the have-nots of the league. That makes quite a lot of columnists uncomfortable.

But this was the aim of the brand new CBA. (Nicely, the public objective. The precise aim was only for the owners to make more cash, and mission accomplished, I'd add.) It was alleged to degree the enjoying field in favor of parity.

In the meantime, the hiccup seems to be based mostly around the fact that usually, the Lakers get the higher finish of such a deal by a large margin. They have a history of lopsided trades that favor them, and seem to plan on trying to get a similar package deal for Gasol. At the same time, the Cavaliers' entrance workplace is infamous for demanding the moon for whatver rocks they're selling. You've got obtained two franchises that notoriously drive aggressively hard bargains. That makes the odds of a deal low, even if each side are attempting to deal assets which have misplaced most of their value. Bynum is a salary dump and Gasol is a shell of himself.

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Rumors: Leafs make Kadri available in trade talks


Kadri is fourth on the team with 23 points in 37 games. (Getty Images)
Kadri is fourth on the workforce with 23 points in 37 video games. (Getty Photographs)


Extra NHL: Scores | Standings | League Leaders | Odds | Accidents | Energy Rankings

For the second time in as many days, Nazem Kadri's name has popped up in a surprising edition of trade hypothesis. Now it begins to get just a little more critical.

On Sunday, Larry Brooks of the New York Put up added a bit of gem in his weekly column that often contains scuttlebutt from around the league. All Brooks mentioned: "Boy oh boy, would the Maple Leafs love to discover a taker for Nazem Kadri."

It gave the impression to be out of left field and did not include anything else so you couldn't be faulted for placing a lot stock into it. However on Monday the sentiment was principally echoed by Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet. The Leafsmight certainly be looking to move Kadri along.

Nicely that's fascinating and by fascinating we mean barely miffing. Kadri is barely 23 years old and has already proven he has the potential to be a productive scorer at the NHL stage (he has 23 factors in 37 video games this season, barely down from last season's pace).

Moreover, Kadri is signed for comparatively low-cost with a $2.9 million cap hit by way of next season and plays middle, a position that the Leafs have been thin at this season with injuries and such. They should be wanting to add young centermen, not buying and selling them away.

But Kadri's relationship with the crew that drafted him has never gave the impression to be precisely simple. Some felt he was held down within the AHL for too long and Carlyle has been tough on him at instances. Plus, he'll be due an enormous raise that he was denied in the drawn-out contract negotiations this past summer season. That said, it is tough to deny his offensive capabilities and it makes you wonder what may very well be so unhealthy that the Leafs could be procuring Kadri at this point. It's just powerful to believe the Leafs would actually pull the set off on a deal that despatched Kadri out of city.

The timing could probably be somewhat for Kadri, who is bound to face some questions from the throng of media available for the Leafs' subsequent game on Wednesday: the Winter Classic.

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Sources: Cano in Seattle for talks with M’s

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Free-agent 2nd baseman Robinson Cano traveled to Seattle on Thurs night and met with the Mariners, resources told ESPN.

Cano's broker, Jay Z, has been currently in the Seattle area, flying there from Los Angeles previously, a supply said. He offers a concert Friday night in Anaheim, Calif.



One resource informed's Enrique Rojas that the Mariners are usually willing to provide upwards of $240 million for Cano. There has been no confirmation of the amount.

Meanwhile, the New York Yankees are usually growing more and more resigned to the likelihood of a future without Cano.

Sources familiar with the club's considering informed that the Yankees believe the Mariners are about to offer Cano a nine-year, $225 million contract – nicely below Cano's reported need of $310 million over 10 years but significantly higher than New York's offer within the range of $175 million over seven many years.

"If that's what the [Mariners'] offer is, he's gone," said a source, who additional that he thought Cano would go to the highest bidder and that the Yankees had been determined not really to go increased than seven many years or $175 million for their team head in batting average (.314), home operates (27) and RBIs (107) in 2013.

In the event Cano leaves, the Yankees are usually preparing to shift forward on several additional free agents while considering the possibility of opening the 2014 season with journeyman Kelly Johnson as their beginning second baseman.

The Johnson signing has not been officially announced however, but it is anticipated that the Yankees shortly will announce a deal with the 31-year-old, who hit 16 home runs last time of year for the Tampa Bay Rays. New York believes Johnson's left-handed swing will play properly at Yankee Stadium.

Cano's father, Jose, told ESPN New York that Cano is certainly looking for 10-yr deal and that the Yankees have got only offered seven.

"We are looking for 10 many years," Jose Cano said, becoming the first individual from the Cano camp to publicly confirm what its side is seeking.

Meanwhile, Jose Cano has been bothered by general manager Brian Cashman's responses that the 2nd baseman "loves" cash. Cashman made the declaration at the GM meetings, but afterwards added that most gamers make a financial choice.

"I don't know why he said that," Jose Cano said. "I don't know precisely everything.Tell me, who doesn't love cash?"

Details from ESPN's Jerry Crasnick and Jayson Stark and's Wallace Matthews and Andrew Marchand was used in this statement.

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Transfer news: Swansea planning further talks regarding Tom Ince

Tom Ince: Remains a transfer target for Swansea

Tom Ince: Stays a transfer goal for Swansea

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Swansea City are planning further negotiations concerning Blackpool’s Tom Ince, however have little interest in Wilfried Zaha.

The Swans had been amongst a number of clubs trailing England U21 international Ince over the summer time, but were left ‘staggered’ by an asking value believed to be in the region of £8million.

That valuation is more likely to have dropped slightly, with Ince set to be out of contract at the end of the season.

Blackpool may be tempted to money-in in the course of the January transfer window, fairly than danger dropping their star flip for nothing.

Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins says he will probably be exploring ‘all the options’, despite seeing South Wales rivals Cardiff City snubbed by Ince in July.

He informed the Every day Mail: “He’s an excellent younger participant and one we checked out in the summertime.

“I’d say it’s probably that we will be speaking to Blackpool once more. I do know their chairman, Karl Oyston, and when the time is right we are going to make contact and see what might be finished.”

A transfer for Ince suggests that Swansea are in the market for creativity, but Jenkins claims they aren’t one of those taking a look at taking Zaha on loan from Manchester United – with the highly-rated winger having struggled to achieve recognition at Old Trafford.

He added: “Nothing is occurring there.”

Jenkins is, nevertheless, ready to confess that Michael Laudrup shall be trying to make not less than one more addition on high of his seek for a new extensive man.

He stated: “It will be most likely to act as cover for defence or midfield.”

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Agent says Jay Z ‘intimately involved’ in Cano talks


Robinson Cano eyes hundreds of millions of dollars this offseason in free agency.Robinson Cano eyes hundreds of tens of millions of dollars this offseason in free company. (USATSI)


Cano leaves Boras | Jay Z takes swipe at Boras | Jay Z investigated by MLBPA

The highest free agent out there in this offseason’s free agency spree is superstar second baseman Robinson Cano. There’s some added drama to the Cano negotiations, too, since he dumped uber-agent Scott Boras in favor of Roc Nation Sports activities, a new sports activities company run by rap mogul Jay Z.

A person named Brodie Van Wagenen is the man primarily engaged on the Cano dealings for Roc Nation Sports, although Jay Z is far from a figurehead.

Van Wagenen noted that Jay Z has been “intimately involved in all areas” of the negotiations on MLB Community Radio Sunday.

“That has been true for the last six months,” he stated. “It’s certainly true now. Jay is a really, very successful businessman, who has a eager understanding of value, a eager understanding of manufacturers, and a keen perceive of what this participant, Robinson Cano, desires to accomplish in his profession.”

Extra, through CBS New York:

“He is been on the table each in strategy classes and in preparation,” Van Wagenen mentioned of Jay Z. “And he completely has, and will proceed to be, involved within the precise negotiations with potential suitors.”

“What I believe persons are starting to acknowledge as nicely is that players of this magnitude don’t come alongside fairly often,” Van Wagenen mentioned. “And the opportunity to amass them is limited. And whenever you need to try to purchase impact, middle-of-the-order, dynamic gamers, uncommon expertise, you possibly can only do it in a couple of areas.”

Cano, 31, hit314/.383/.516 with 41 doubles, 27 homers and 107 RBI final season for the Yankees. He’s completed in the high six of AL MVP voting in each of the previous four seasons.

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Japan-MLB posting talks hit snag; Tanaka in limbo

Will Masahiro Tanaka not be a free agent this offseason after all?
Will Masahiro Tanaka not be a free agent this offseason in any case? (USATSI)

The last we heard on the MLB’s negotiations with Nippon Professional Baseball (Japan) on a brand new posting system got here in late October and the message was optimistic.

The news from Bud Selig’s news conference on the matter Thurday from the GM conferences in Orlando, Fla. brought fairly a unique tone, nonetheless.

Resembling this:

Or, more to the point of what it means for this present offseason, this:

Oh boy.

First issues first. The posting system is a way for Japanese groups to be compensated for losing their players to Major League Baseball earlier than they hit free company in NPB. In previous years, there was a blind bidding process to the NPB membership whose participant needs to hitch the majors, with the very best bidder successful the rights to barter a contract with said player. If no agreement is reached with the player, the posting fee is returned to the membership.

Let’s use Yu Darvish as the instance.

Darvish determined to put up to MLB after the 2011 season. The Rangers gained the rights to barter with him by posting $fifty one.7 million to the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters. They then had 30 days to signal him and ended up doing so quarter-hour before the deadline. They signed him to a six-yr, $56 million deal, so the Ham Fighters obtained to keep the $51.7 million whereas Darvish got his $56 million. Had he not signed, the Rangers wouldn’t have needed to pay a dime to anybody.

The proposal for changes to the system would allow the player some input in the course of. Stories have indicated either the top two or three blind bidders would have a shot at signing the participant, so he would have some choice in the matter.

However, apparently, that isn’t going over too effectively with NPB.

If no settlement is reached, Masahiro Tanaka is not going anyplace this offseason – which would be an enormous blow to the many groups thinking about signing the potential ace. It could additionally increase the marketability of the present high free-agent starters like Ervin Santana, Matt Garza and Ubaldo Jimenez.

Tanaka, who simply turned 25 on Nov. 1, went 24-0 with a 1.27 PERIOD, zero.ninety four WHIP and 183 strikeouts in 212 innings last season for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. His ERA hasn’t been north of 1.90 since 2010, when he was 21.

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Japan-MLB posting talks hit snag; Tanaka in limbo


Will Masahiro Tanaka not be a free agent this offseason after all?Will Masahiro Tanaka not be a free agent this offseason in spite of everything? (USATSI)


The last we heard on the MLB’s negotiations with Nippon Skilled Baseball (Japan) on a new posting system got here in late October and the message was optimistic.

The news from Bud Selig’s news conference on the matter Thurday from the GM conferences in Orlando, Fla. introduced quite a different tone, however.

Equivalent to this:

MLB rising impatient with Japanese baseball officials about amended posting system, could lead them to change proposal

— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) November 14, 2013

Or, more to the point of what it means for this present offseason, this:

Owner: “Severe reservations” among golf equipment about posting process. Attainable no settlement is reached, which means no Tanaka this off-season.

— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 14, 2013

Oh boy.

First issues first. The posting system is a approach for Japanese groups to be compensated for losing their players to Major League Baseball earlier than they hit free company in NPB. In earlier years, there was a blind bidding course of to the NPB membership whose participant needs to affix the majors, with the very best bidder profitable the rights to negotiate a contract with mentioned participant. If no settlement is reached with the participant, the posting fee is returned to the membership.

Let’s use Yu Darvish as the instance.

Darvish determined to post to MLB after the 2011 season. The Rangers gained the rights to negotiate with him by posting $fifty one.7 million to the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters. They then had 30 days to sign him and ended up doing so quarter-hour earlier than the deadline. They signed him to a six-12 months, $fifty six million deal, so the Ham Fighters received to keep the $51.7 million whereas Darvish bought his $56 million. Had he not signed, the Rangers wouldn’t have had to pay a dime to anyone.

The proposal for modifications to the system would enable the participant some enter within the course of. Studies have indicated either the top two or three blind bidders would have a shot at signing the player, so he would have some selection within the matter.

But, apparently, that is not going over too effectively with NPB.

If no agreement is reached, Masahiro Tanaka is not going anyplace this offseason – which would be a big blow to the many teams excited by signing the potential ace. It could also increase the marketability of the current prime free-agent starters like Ervin Santana, Matt Garza and Ubaldo Jimenez.

Tanaka, who just turned 25 on Nov. 1, went 24-zero with a 1.27 PERIOD, 0.ninety four WHIP and 183 strikeouts in 212 innings final season for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. His PERIOD hasn’t been north of 1.ninety since 2010, when he was 21.

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Obama Talks about the redskins

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama says he would “think about altering” the Washington Redskins’ identify if he owned the soccer group as he waded into the controversy involving a word many contemplate offensive to Native Americans.

Obama, in an interview with The Related Press, mentioned crew names such because the Redskins offend “a sizable group of people.” He mentioned that whereas followers get connected to the names, nostalgia might not be a adequate cause to keep them in place.

“I do not know whether our attachment to a selected title ought to override the actual reputable issues that folks have about these items,” he said in the interview, which was conducted Friday on the White Home.

An avid sports fan who roots for his hometown Chicago Bears, Obama mentioned he does not assume Washington soccer followers are purposely making an attempt to offend American Indians.

“I don’t wish to detract from the great Redskins fans which are right here. They love their team and rightly so,” he mentioned.

ObamaI do not know whether our attachment to a specific identify should override the true legit concerns that folks have about these items.

- President Barack Obama on ‘Redskins’

But he appeared to come down on the side of those that have sharply criticized the soccer group’s name, noting that Native Individuals “feel pretty strongly” about mascots and team names that depict negative stereotypes about their heritage.

The staff’s owner, Dan Snyder, has vowed to by no means abandon the title.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said last month that the league ought to take note of those offended by the name – a delicate change in position for Goodell, who had more strongly supported the identify in his earlier statements this yr.

Lanny J. Davis, an lawyer for the Redskins, stated the workforce’s fans don’t intend to “disparage or disrespect” anybody.

“The title ‘Washington Redskins’ is 80 years outdated. It is our historical past and legacy and custom,” Davis mentioned in an emailed assertion wherein he also recognized himself as an Obama supporter. “We Redskins fans sing ‘Hail to the Redskins’ every Sunday as a word of honor, not disparagement.”

Different skilled sports teams have Indian names, together with football’s Kansas Metropolis Chiefs and baseball’s Atlanta Braves and Cleveland Indians. Davis referred to followers of these groups and hockey’s Chicago Blackhawks in his assertion, saying Redskins followers “love our group and its name and, like these followers, we don’t intend to disparage or disrespect a racial or ethnic group.”

Numerous schools and universities have changed names that reference Native People. St. John’s modified its mascot from the Redmen to the Crimson Storm, Marquette is now the Golden Eagles as a substitute of the Warriors and Stanford switched from the Indians to the Cardinal.

The Redskins’ title has attracted a contemporary round of controversy in current months, with native leaders in Washington calling for a name change and a few media shops refraining from using the identify. The name is the topic of an extended-operating authorized challenge from a gaggle of American Indians in search of to dam the staff from having federal trademark safety.

Congressional lawmakers have introduced a invoice seeking the identical goal, although it appears unlikely to pass.

“What a prudent and smart use of the bully pulpit,” Suzan Shown Harjo, a plaintiff in that case, said in an interview Saturday. “I’m so glad that he said that and I hope that folks hear a reasoned response from the president and will take note of this subject.”

Harjo mentioned the problem “entails a number of harm and pain and ongoing identify-calling and bullying of our youngsters that goes with this title. We simply need to have an finish to it.”

“There isn’t any such thing as a good stereotype, irrespective of how well-intentioned, regardless of how good people really feel about it,” Harjo added. “It still has negative ramifications for our people.”

“These are relics of the previous. They need to be consigned to museums and history books and other people can be ok with them there,” she mentioned. “However they shouldn’t be allowed in well mannered society.”

Opponents of the Redskins identify plan to hold a symposium Monday on the Washington hotel internet hosting the NFL’s fall assembly.

“We really appreciate the president underscoring what we’ve been saying,” mentioned Ray Halbritter, chief of the Oneida Indian Nation, a tribe from upstate New York that is been campaigning towards the name. “There’s simply no place for knowledgeable soccer workforce to be using what the dictionary defines as a racially offensive time period.”

Halbritter mentioned the NFL and Snyder could “borrow a page from the president” and use a call to change the group’s identify as a “teachable moment.”

Despite the controversy, an AP-GfK ballot carried out in April confirmed that, nationally, “Redskins” nonetheless enjoys broad support. Almost 4 in five People do not assume the staff should change its name, the survey discovered. Solely 11 percent think it must be modified, while eight p.c weren’t positive and a pair of p.c didn’t reply.

Obama said he would not have a direct stake within the Redskins debate since he isn’t a staff owner. However he hinted that may be a part of his submit-White House plans.

“Perhaps after I leave the presidency,” he joked. “I feel it would be numerous enjoyable.”

“I might probably take a look at a basketball group earlier than I looked at a soccer workforce,” stated Obama, who plays basketball in his spare time, has coached his daughter’s basketball staff and is a fan of the NBA’s Chicago Bulls. “I do know more about basketball than I do about football.”


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Florida Lawmakers Gear Up For Another Round Of Gaming Talks

Florida lawmakers have been down this path before. Lobbyists for the gambling industry have spent the better part of the past decade trying to convince Tallahassee legislators that bringing full-scale casino resort gambling to the Sunshine State would be a good thing.

Heading into the Fall legislative session, the lobbyists are again out in full force, only this time there appears to be a changing of the guard in the lawmakers’ thought process. For the first time in nearly a decade, some lawmakers are convinced that this will be the session that the gaming laws change in Florida.

“In the past 25 years, gaming industries have been transformed, not just in Florida, but all around the country,” said state Senator Garrett Richter. “The state’s approach to regulating and taxing gaming activities has not kept pace.”

Gaming moguls such as Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn have been boisterous in their attempt to bring their high profile Vegas brands to Florida. Until now, their efforts have fallen on deaf ears in Tallahassee, but this time around feels different to those who have been there for the past debates.

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“Florida is heading towards becoming the next state with full service casinos,” said analyst Thomas Waters. “The momentum has been building, and it has gotten to the point where lawmakers are now watching how other states have thriving economies thanks to gambling revenue. Full-scale casino gambling is no longer an if, but rather a when.”

That when could be this Fall when lawmakers will discuss several different legislative plans that are being floated in the state capital. With all of the plans, lawmakers have to be aware of a compact that is currently in effect with the Seminole Indians. The compact ran for five years, and allows the Seminoles exclusive rights to blackjack, baccarat, and other table games.

Pari-mutuel facilities have been lobbying to get in on the table game action, and big-name gaming companies have already started preparations for a change in law.

Genting, a company based in Malaysia, purchased the former home of the Miami Herald several years ago, and has already shown blueprints for a Resorts World Miami resort. The plans have space on the second level for a gaming floor, should legislators follow through with the plan to expand gambling.