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ARLINGTON, Texas -- All-Star outfielder Ian Desmond has turned down a $17. Youth Steelers Jerseys .2 million qualifying offer from the Texas Rangers.The Rangers announced Monday that Desmond had turned down the qualifying offer. The free agent can still negotiate with the AL West champions.If Desmond signs with another club before the amateur draft next June, the Rangers would receive a draft pick as compensation at the end of the first round.Desmond last winter turned down a $15.8 qualifying offer from the Washington Nationals, the team for which he was a shortstop the previous seven seasons. Desmond signed an $8 million, one-year deal with Texas during spring training and converted to the outfield.Desmond hit .285 with 22 homers and 86 RBI in 156 games for Texas. Pink Steelers Jerseys . -- Devin Hester is done returning kicks in Chicago. Womens Steelers Jerseys . Philadelphia is 2-0 against the Senators this season and scored five goals in each victory. The Flyers recorded a 5-0 win in Ottawa on Nov. 12 and then earned a 5-2 home decision on Nov. 19. The Flyers have claimed three straight and four of the last five encounters with the Sens overall and Philly has won two in a row and three of its past four tests in Canadas capital city. . - Oakland Raiders running back Rashad Jennings was speaking to a group of local high school students earlier this week when the conversation turned to the importance of being prepared when opportunities in life arise.NEWARK, N.J. -- The New Jersey Devils have re-signed defenceman Marek Zidlicky to a one-year, $3 million contract. The Devils announced the signing of Zidlicky on Wednesday. Now the Devils can keep their top defensive pair together. Zidlicky usually plays with captain Brycee Salvador. Elite Steelers Jerseys. . Acquired from Minnesota in February 2012, Zidlicky helped the Devils reach the Stanley Cup finals that season. The native of the Czech Republic had four goals and 15 assists last season when New Jersey failed to make the post-season. Cheap NFL JerseysCheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From ChinaCheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys' ' '
Former Rangers manager Walter Smith believes the Ibrox board must find the money in order to compete with Old Firm rivals Celtic next season. Cheap MLB Jerseys Authentic . The Gers earned their place back in the top flight after a four-year journey ended last week and now the club are preparing for the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against the Hoops.And Smith remains adamant that Sundays clash will offer little indication of what will happen next season and he urged the Rangers board help strengthen the current squad. Rangers will have to support Mark Warburton in the manner I was supported as manager, to give him the opportunity to challenge, said the 68-year-old, who won 21 trophies in two spells as Rangers boss.The board want the club to be up there and they have to find a way of doing so. Smith has urged the Gers board to strengthen in the summer The economics of Scottish football are fairly straightforward for Rangers and Celtic. If you invest in your team and get to the Champions League, you make money. If you dont, you lose money.Thats the biggest gamble. Rangers are in a totally different circumstance from Celtic, but they have to find a way.It can be done. We werent in a great circumstance when I came back a second time. We werent in a great circumstance when Graeme Souness took over 30 years ago.The club showed a reaction at that time and Im fairly sure they will show a reaction now. Smith won 21 trophies in two spells as Rangers boss Smith also feels Celtic have lacked the motivation playing in the top flight without the Ibrox club to push them and have suffered as a result.Aberdeen put up a great fight over the last couple of years but its very difficult for provincial teams to match Celtic, or Rangers when they were at the level they were at five years ago, said Smith.Celtic have had a problem with their own motivation going into games. They have not had Rangers on their coat-tails. I dont think their spending has been what it was, and quite rightly: why spend the money when they dont need to?It doesnt matter what anyone says. When I was Rangers manager, you were motivated by Celtic. Your first look after each game was to look to see what their result was.Thats a massive motivation to take away and I think Celtic have suffered a bit from that in their performances.Watch the Glasgow derby on Sky Sports 2 HD from 11am this Sunday.By purchasing a Sky Sports Day Pass for £6.99 or Sky Sports Week Pass for £10.99, you can enjoy access to all seven Sky Sports channels and watch on a TV with a NOW TV Box or on a range of devices. Also See: Lustig: Pressure is on Celtic Walker: Celtic big favourites Larsson: Glasgow derby unique Deila: This game is special Cheap MLB Jerseys .C. -- Chris Thorburn thinks one of the reasons the Winnipeg Jets have been successful under new coach Paul Maurice is that theyre playing together as a team. Cheap Cincinnati Reds Jerseys . On Tuesday, Ottawa placed forward Cory Conacher and defenceman Joe Corvo on waivers as trade rumours swirl around the Senators. .Y. -- Sabres forward Drew Stafford has witnessed plenty of turmoil during his eight seasons in Buffalo.Manchester United should not be having to continually rely on their core of young players for results, according to Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness. Louis van Gaals side beat Everton 1-0 at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon to close the gap on fourth-placed Manchester City to just a single point with only seven games of the season left.Forward Anthony Martial scored the home teams winner nine minutes after half-time, the Frenchmans eighth Premier League goal of the season making him their top scorer. Anthony Martial celebrates after scoring Man Utds winner against Old Trafford However, United cannot keep asking their young stars to win them games, said the Scot. This is Man United relying on a 23-year-old Lingard, a 20-year-old Martial and an 18-year-old Rashford Graeme Souness They werent convincing and it wasnt particularly enjoyable for nearly 70,000 people here, he said.This is Man United relying on a 23-year-old Lingard, a 20-year-old Martial and an 18-year-old Rashford.This is Man United, one of the biggest football clubs in the world, and thats who they are asking time and time again to get them out of a hole. United are too reliant on their young players, says Graeme Souness Martial is Man Uniteds top goalscorer with eight goals. This is one of the top four teams in the world and they are relying on someone to get well into double figures.We are talking about a 20-year-old scoring eight goals as their top goalscorer. Cheap Reds Jerseys Authentic. Thats how far they have come back. They have got to get three or four proper ones in at the end of the season. Despite Uniteds lacklustre display against Everton, it is results and not performances that matter most as the club look to seal a place in next seasons Champions League, according to Souness.Its difficult, but theyve ground out a result and I think they would say in the dressing room that it isnt really important how they are playing right now, which is just as well because its been like that for most of the season, he said. Anthony Martial netted Manchester Uniteds 1000th home Premier League goal in their 1-0 win over Everton Its about digging results out and they are doing that. It is paramount they end up in the Champions League, especially for the manager. Also See: Martial fires Man Utd to victory Van Gaal admits win was stolen Sir Bobby Charlton honoured Man Utd 1-0 Everton: As it happened Cheap NFL JerseysCheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From ChinaCheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys' ' '
CHICAGO -- Playing left in Wrigley Field isnt easy under normal circumstances. Cheap Athletics Jerseys Authentic .Carlos Santana is about to find out what its like -- in Game 3 of the World Series with the wind blowing out to Waveland Avenue, millions watching on TV and well-oiled Cubs fans breathing down his neck.Go get `em, kid.Unable to use Santana as his designated hitter with the World Series switching to the fabled National League ballpark for the next three games, Indians manager Terry Francona is planning to move his DH into left field on Friday night.Its risky, but Francona feels its the right choice for his club. Santana has only played four innings in left during his career, and that was in 2012 during a 14-1 loss.I have anxiety about it, Francona said as he sat on the brick wall near Clevelands dugout Thursday night. I dont know how else to say it, and if he messes a ball up, Ill take responsibility because I dont think its fair to put it on him. But you try to figure out, `OK, whats our best way to win? If we dont play him out there, thats the best way to have nobody second guessing me.Santana took some fly balls during Clevelands workout with bench coach Brad Mills standing nearby and offering him tips on tracking balls into the gap and chasing grounders into the corner, where hell have to deal with the iconic ivy thats fading fast with winter approaching.Francona said there was only one thing that would stop him from making the switch.If he just cant do it. If he looks at me and says, `I dont want to do this or something like that, he said.The Indians could play Coco Crisp or Brandon Guyer in left, but they dont hit like Santana. He hit 34 homers and drove in 87 runs during the regular season, and although hes hitless in six at-bats in the Series and batting just .179 in the postseason, Francona is confident the switch-hitter will warm up.Hes a really good hitter, Francona said, adding he has spoken to Game 3 starter Josh Tomlin about playing Santana in left. You cant run away from your guys at this time of year. If guys go oh-for the first two games, and you sit them, theyll never do well.A former catcher, Santana has also played first and third and the Indians are certain he has the athleticism to handle left. But theres no way of knowing how hell do until they put him out there.Hes quick enough, Mills said. And he can move enough. Weve talked to him about seeing balls off the bat. We might have to play him maybe a little deeper or something along those lines, just to have him come in so reading the ball, he has more time to read the ball that way. Those things. When you havent been out there, keeping that focus on there a lot of times is tough, but at least hes got the wall behind him.Wearing a stocking cap as he sat in the warmth of the Indians dugout on a chilly evening, Santana said hes ready for his new assignment.Ill be fine, he said. Tito, he told me dont put on any pressure, play your game, play hard, stay focused and concentrate, and thats it.The Indians dont have many other options, and first baseman Mike Napoli quickly removed himself from consideration despite playing 11 games in the outfield for Texas.It was a circus last year with me out there, he said, so I wouldnt go out there in this situation. Cheap Athletics Jerseys . Reassurance came from Paul Tesori, his caddie and close friend whose newborn son is in intensive care in a Florida hospital. "Paul sent me a text this morning, just told me he loved me and wanted to go out and fight as hard as I would any other day," Simpson said Sunday after doing just that. Wholesale Athletics Jerseys . After a first half in which he thought "the lid was on the basket," the Toronto Raptors coach watched his squad mount a second half surge to defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers 98-91. . Halifax beat the Saint John Sea Dogs 7-5 on the strength of two goals apiece from Nikolaj Ehlers, Matt Murphy and Brent Andrews. Jonathan Drouin also scored and had three assists while Zachary Fucale made 17 saves for the Mooseheads (16-8-0), who led 6-1 after two periods.Chelsea will look to salvage some pride from their season when they meet Tottenham on Monday Night Football, live on Sky Sports. Ahead of their clash, we look back to the Blues win against Spurs in February 1994, in one of the most entertaining encounters of the 1993/94 Premier League campaign.Although both teams finished in the bottom half - 14th and 15th respectively - the match still had all the drama and passion attached to a London derby. Spurs were 2-0 up within 18 minutes, thanks to goals from Steve Sedgley and Jason Dozzell. Chelseas first came from an unlikely scorer, when 36-year-old left-back Mal Donaghy found the net, before Mark Stein followed up with the equaliser and John Spencer smashed home a third before the half. Chelsea drew 0-0 at White Hart Lane in this seasons return fixture The second half proved just as lively, as Chelsea conceded a penalty with just 20 minutes to go, with substitute Andy Gray drawing the away side level. Cheap Athletics Jerseys China. Just moments later, Tottenham were awarded another penalty, but this time Grays effort was saved by Dmitri Kharine. In the final minute of normal time, it was Chelseas turn to win a penalty, which was put away by Stein to give the home side a late victory.Watch the video above for a look back through the highlights of a Premier League classic! 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These rankings are for Week 12. Camo Cowboys Jerseys . Rankings for Week 13 will be available at noon on Wednesday, November 30. Pink Cowboys Jerseys . The Vancouver coach and an announced sellout crowd of 18,910 watched in dismay as the Canucks lost 7-4 to the New York Islanders on Monday night by squandering a 3-0 lead in the third period. Throwback Cowboys Jerseys .com) - The Montreal Canadiens will try to halt their longest losing streak of the season when they host the struggling New York Islanders in tonights clash at the Bell Centre. .B. - Sebastien Auger made 44 saves as the Saint John Sea Dogs edged the visiting Acadie-Bathurst Titan 2-1 on Saturday in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action.EDMONTON -- Odell Willis is the happiest man on the Edmonton Eskimos who cant control his rage. Hes the ever-smiling great teammate who has become a CFL vagabond due in part to self-centred behaviour. In other words, the newest Eskimos rush end is a walking enigma -- with 200 pairs of size-13 sneakers. "Show me the mawnnnnaaaay!!!" Willis -- in his six-foot-two, 255-pound frame -- shouts as he walks amongst his teammates in the Eskimo fieldhouse, a mile-wide grin on his face, mimicking wide receiver Rod Tidwell in the movie "Jerry Maguire." Eskimos camp is the fourth stop in five years for the 28-year-old import. "Sports is one of the things you can get a clean slate at in life," said Willis. "So were just ready to start clean, start fresh, new team, new look. Give this city something to smile about and be proud of." It has been a long journey. He was born in 1984 in Meridian, Miss., two decades after the area became the nationally infamous dark heart of racial hatred for the murder of three civil rights workers. He starred at the University of West Georgia, then went on to dominate arena football, prompting the Calgary Stampeders to give him an audition in 2009. He played half the season for Calgary, then got traded to Winnipeg. His sack total was 10 that year. The next two years in Winnipeg were the high point, when Willis became an outsized, outspoken media darling, the self-styled "Mayor of Swaggerville." He registered 11 sacks in 2010 and 13 in 2011 to earn CFL all-star recognition. His big game was matched by a big heart. Sitting out a practice with a bad hip one time, Willis became the teams roving ambassador to a group of young fans, escorting them around the field, introducing them to players, making friends for life. His big game was also matched by big talk. "Whos Brent Johnson?" he once asked in a public war of words with the B.C. Lions legendary sack leader. He made highlight reels for lightning-fast end runs, turning offensive tackles into turnstiles, followed by devastating hits to the quarterback. But there were penalties, many penalties: facemasking, roughing the passer, unnecessary roughness. Midway through 2011 his indifference to defending the run relegated him to passing downs only. He was not pleased and during the Bombers preparations for the Grey Cup tweeted hed rather be at home eating Thanksgiving dinner. The end came when he demanded the Bombers release him from his contract so he could try his luck in the NFL. Instead, they shipped him west to Regina. Elite Cowboys Jerseys. "Sometimes you have to make decisions based on more than talent alone," sighed then Winnipeg head coach Paul LaPolice at the time. Riders GM Brendan Taman rationalized it the other way. "If they can help you win games, provided theyre not being a total idiot off the field, you have to look at bringing them in," Taman said in March 2012. Two weeks later, Willis was arrested for alleged drunk driving in the pre-dawn hours in suburban Atlanta. In Riderville, he saw his sack totals fall to six in 2012, while the penalties continued to mount. "Hes going full speed trying to kill the quarterback, and its not about killing the quarterback," Saskatchewan coach Corey Chamblin told reporters last season. "He just has to find more control and more balance." When free agency arrived on Feb. 15, Saskatchewan stood by as Willis headed further west, this time to Edmonton, a team that has been bottom feeding for years and makes no secret of its willingness to adopt the leagues reclamation cases (see Eric Tillman and Jerome Messam). He joined the Esks three minutes after free agency began, an obvious violation of rules prohibiting teams and free agents from negotiating beforehand. The Eskimos were fined $10,000 for tampering. The team paid up and wouldnt discuss it further. Eskimo head coach Kavis Reed said hes had a heart-to heart-with Reed and the message is clear. "Swaggerville will not be coming west," said Reed, who coached Willis in Winnipeg. "Odell is a phenomenal talent. He is a young man that his teammates are going to absolutely love. "He loves to go to work and when he goes to work, he goes to work. But he also loves to make things fun. Thats a good trait to have as a teammate -- but for us its all about the team." Willis agreed, to a point. "The mayor (of Swaggerville) is here, but were going to be more professional about ourselves this year, try to lead these young guys to a Cup," he said. But the Odell Willis who mugs for the media, jokes with his teammates and lauds the "shoe connoisseur" who tracks down Michael Jordan sneakers for him from all over North America doesnt plan to change. "Youre going to see this 24/7, because this who I am," he said. Notes: The Eskimos beleaguered offensive line took another blow Tuesday, when the team announced that Orrin Thompson has been lost for the year with a knee injury. The six-foot-six 320-pound tackle was injured on the first day of camp Sunday. 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HOUSTON -- One night after digging deep their bullpen and preceding the final two games of this pivotal four-game series, the Toronto Blue Jays needed precisely what Danny Barnes delivered while making his major league debut on Tuesday night at Minute Maid Park. Cheap Tigers Jerseys Authentic .Blue Jays starter R.A. Dickey earned praise for delivering seven strong innings on the heels of a 14-inning loss on Monday night, especially considering the three-start rough patch Dickey rode into his 23rd start on the season.But Barnes eight-inning performance as the bridge from Dickey to veteran right-hander Jason Grilli was worthy of plaudits. Facing the top of the Astros order and gifted with just a one-run lead, Barnes preserved that advantage by recording a pair of strikeouts while stranding All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve on first base in the Blue Jays 2-1 victory.Hes a strike-thrower and thats what he did in not an easy situation to come in now either, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said of Barnes. Making your debut, nerves have got to be a little high. They said thats what he does (throw strikes). Hes got that invisible fastball that jumps on you. You dont see it well. To go through the top of their lineup like he did is that much more impressive.By helping save the bullpen, Barnes positioned the Blue Jays (60-47) to pursue at minimum a series split with right-hander Marco Estrada (6-4, 3.02 ERA) on the mound Wednesday night.Estrada is 1-0 with a 3.14 ERA in 10 career appearances (four starts) against the Astros. He will oppose Astros right-hander Collin McHugh (7-7, 4.75 ERA), who is coming off his worst start of the season.McHugh recorded just five outs last Friday against the Tigers, surrendering eight runs on 10 hits after entering that outing with six quality starts in his previous seven appearances. McHugh is 1-0 with a 2.79 ERA in three career starts against the Blue Jays.The Astros (56-50) could enter Wednesday with a tense clubhouse. After enjoying a two-plus month stretch without placing a player in the disabled list, the Astros have been besieged by injuries over the past week. Third baseman Luis Valbuena and center fielder Carlos Gomez suffered right hamstring strains in consecutive games against the Yankees, with Valbuena landing on the DL and Gomez returning to the lineup Tuesday clearly hampered.Utility infielder Marwin Gonzalez battled a right wrist ailment during the series in Detroit and is finally scheduled to return on Wednesday. Setup man Luke Gregerson was placed on the 15-day DL with a left oblique strain earlier Wednesday and right-hander Lance McCullers, the Astros most promising young starter, departed his outing Tuesday night two outs into the fifth inning with discomfort in his right elbow.McCullers missed the first six weeks of the season with right shoulder soreness, and the image of him shaking his right arm before walking off the mound was a sobering one for a club pursing a postseason berth.I saw the guys start to motion him out, Astros manager A.J. Hinch said of McCullers. When I got out there, he said he was having a little elbow discomfort. At that point, I didnt ask a lot of questions, I just said, Youre done for the night. Lets go get evaluated by the doctor and see the trainer. Its never a good feeling to walk off the field with any of your players and a trainer. That was definitely a bummer. Cheap MLB Jerseys Authentic .ca! Kerry, Two nights after the Scott-Eriksson incident in Buffalo, the Bruins returned home to play San Jose. In that game, Zdeno Chara put a check on Tommy Wingels that clearly targeted his head. Wholesale Tigers Jerseys . He was followed closely by David Clarkson, donning red, seconds later. Clarksons actions one night earlier, leaping off the bench in defence of Kessel during a pre-season game against the Buffalo Sabres, will cost him the first 10 games of the regular season. .Y. -- Syracuse has turned up the defence at the right time all season, and when High Point threatened to pull off a monumental upset the second-ranked Orange did what they do best with their quick hands and savvy play. RIO DE JANEIRO -- Sarah Michel and Endy Miyem each scored 14 points, and France shook off a cold start Saturday before beating Turkey 55-39 in the opening game of the Olympic womens group play.France, the 2012 silver medalist, lost starting point guard Celine Dumerc when she sprained her left ankle Wednesday in practice. She was replaced by Olivia Epoupa.Michel hit 4-of-6 of her 3-pointers, while Miyem connected on 6-of-9 overall. Epoupa scored only four points replacing Dumarc, but she handed out five assissts. Cheap MLB Jerseys. Nevriye Yilmaz led Turkey with 16 points, and Birsel Demirmen Vardarli had 10.Not having Dumerc may have led to Frances poor start. Turkey scored the first eight points and went up 16-6 before going cold in the second hitting only 1 of 12 attempts.France led 22-19 at halftime and finished the game on a 20-4 run started in the final 84 seconds of the third quarter. 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HOUSTON -- Reveal Chukwujekwu had 15 points and Colter Lasher added 13 as Houston Baptist won its sixth straight home opener, beating Dallas Christian 98-54 on Friday night. White Neymar Jersey .Houston Baptist (1-2) jumped out to 15-6 lead midway of the first half and was up 39-19 at the break. The Huskies also dominated the second period, 59-35.Chukwujekwu, who was 5 of 8 from the floor, also grabbed nine rebounds. Lasher dished out five assists and had three steals. Kyren Block had 10 rebounds and scored eight points as 14 Huskies got in the scoring column.Houston Baptist was 36 of 76 from the floor while holding the Crusaders to 20 of 72 for 28 percent shooting. The Huskies also dominated on the boards, pulling down 70 while Dallas Christian grabbed 40.Josh Walls led the Crusaders with nine points and Keldon Williams added eight. Authentic Neymar Jersey . Catch all the action on TSN2 at 11pm et/8pm pt. The nine-time Big 12 champion Jayhawks are positioning themselves for another title, as they have run out to a flawless 6-0 mark in conference play thus far. Neymar Jersey PSG . And follow right through Deadline Day for all the updates. From Pierre LeBrun While Anaheim GM Bob Murray said earlier this season he was not going to trade Jonas Hiller despite the fact hes an unrestricted free agent on July 1, some sources have told TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun that Murray might be willing to move another goalie. . Giroud, who wasnt in the starting lineup for two matches after allegations about his private life and a decline in form, scored twice in the first half. Tomas Rosickys chip made it 3-0 before half time at Emirates Stadium, while defender Laurent Koscielny scored an unmarked header in the second half. TORONTO -- By winning on the second night of a back-to-back, the Sacramento Kings avoided an empty road trip.DeMarcus Cousins had 22 points and 14 rebounds, Rudy Gay scored 23 against his former team and Sacramento beat the Toronto Raptors 96-91 on Sunday night before a sellout crowd of 19,800 at Air Canada Centre.It was much needed, a confidence boost, a momentum boost, Cousins said.Its a good feeling. It would have been a pretty long flight if we went home off this road trip with no wins, so it makes it a bit better. But were still finding ourselves. Weve still got a lot of growing to do.Gay had nine points in the fourth quarter as the Kings (3-5) snapped a four-game losing streak by winning the finale of their five-game trip.Matt Barnes had eight points and 10 rebounds, and Kosta Koufos added 13 points and six rebounds.DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors (4-2) with 23 points, the first time this season hes been held under 30. Kyle Lowry added 15 points and 11 assists for Toronto, which had a three-game winning streak snapped.We were out of it the entire night offensively. We were off rhythm, Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. They did a good job of sending bodies off of our young guys and onto DeMar, Kyle and our shooters.With center Jonas Valanciunas sidelined by a sore knee, rookie Jakob Poeltl started for Toronto. But he was in foul trouble all night and fouled out with six points and four rebounds in 18 minutes.Valanciunas injury and Poeltls foul trouble meant Lucas Nogueira, seeing his first action of the season, had to pick up the slack. He had seven points and five rebounds in 21 minutes.The teams swapped leads throughout the fourth quarter until Cousins layup with 2:55 to go gave the Kings a 90-88 advantage. They led the rest of the way.I think it shows what were capable of, Barnes said. Out of all the teams (on the road trip), we beat the best team after a back-to-back.We just need to stick together, start gelling and it wont be a problem.After DeRozan missed a pair of free throws that would have tied it, Gay hit two from the stripe at the other end to give the Kings a 92-88 lead with 1:54 remaining.We got a lot of great shots at the end of the game that we missed, DeRozan said. I missed two free throws. Norm (Powell) had two wide-open 3s that would have given us big momentum.It was one of those games that we are going to be able to look at and learn a lot going forward.Lowrys steal and threee-point play put Toronto up 73-72 with 9:34 to go. Neymar Jersey Brazil. But 3-pointers by Gay on consecutive trips staked the Kings to an 87-83 lead with 4:41 left.Lowrys 3 and DeRozans basket gave Toronto a short-lived 88-87 lead.It was a hard-fought game, Kings coach Dave Joerger said. Im really proud of our guys getting the win on a back-to-back, our third back-to-back of the season already.We played a team that was waiting for us and that is a very, very good team that I have a lot of respect for. Its been a tough road trip and its good to finish with a win.Sacramento led 68-66 going into the fourth quarter. The Kings, who trailed by 11 midway through the third, closed the period on a 7-2 run to take their first lead since early in the first.The Raptors led 50-44 at halftime.TIP-INSKings: Cousins had his 247th double-double, most in Sacramento history. ... The Kings dominated in the paint, outscoring the Raptors 52-30. ... Sacramento has defeated Toronto in three straight games.Raptors: Valanciunas was a late scratch. He bruised his left knee last week and it swelled up before the game. He is day to day. ... Toronto rookie Pascal Siakim set season highs for minutes (24) and points (10). ... The Raptors scored 13 points off 11 Kings turnovers, while Sacramento had two points off six Toronto turnovers.KINGS OF THE ROADSacramento has played an NBA-high six road games, going 2-4.SHUTDOWN DThe Kings limited the Raptors to a season-low 35.7 percent shooting from the field (30 for 84), holding them without a field goal over the final 6:42 of the third quarter.TWO-YEAR SELLOUT STREAKThe Air Canada Centre was sold out for the 96th straight game, including playoffs, dating to Nov. 11, 2014. Thats the longest streak in franchise history.HE SAID ITThey played as well as you can against a guy like DeMarcus Cousins. Hes one of the hardest matchups that you can have in the NBA. -- Casey on the play of rookies Poeltl and Siakam, who filled in for Valanciunas.UP NEXTKings: Host the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday, starting a stretch with seven of their next eight games at the new Golden 1 Center. Sacramento is 1-1 at home this season.Raptors: Visit the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday for their second road game of the season. Toronto went a franchise-best 24-17 on the road last season. Cheap NFL JerseysCheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From ChinaCheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys' ' '
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers rallied again to go ahead against Colorado. Cheap Tampa Bay Rays Jerseys . This time, the Rockies had a late comeback of their own.Carlos Gonzalez delivered a pinch-hit, bases-clearing double to cap a five-run rally in the eighth inning Thursday, and the Rockies held to win 12-9 on a steamy day in North Texas.These games have been back-and-forth the whole series. Weve done it to them three times, they did it to us today, Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland said. They were up and we came back late on them, and they flipped the script on us.Texas had won five straight, including three against Colorado with the Rockies scoring the deciding runs in the eighth inning or later each game. After trailing 4-0 early Thursday, the Rangers had just taken the lead with a four-run seventh before Colorado had its big rally.Lefty reliever Jake Diekman (3-2) walked Colorados No. 8 hitter with one out in the eighth, and then allowed consecutive singles to left-handed hitters before hard-throwing Matt Bush took over about 18 hours after recording his first major league save with a dominating ninth.Diek just lost a little feel for the strike zone. ... A little bit erratic, little uncommon of Diek, manager Jeff Banister said. As far as Bush, looked like he was trying to nip the edges.After getting the second out of the inning on a sacrifice bunt, Bushs consecutive walks included David Dahl with the bases loaded. Gonzalez, who hadnt played since coming out early Monday with a nagging sprained left ankle, then lined a double to the wall in left-center.It was the perfect scenario for me. Thats what I work for, for moments like that, said Gonzalez, a two-time All-Star. Im glad I got the job done, especially with all the tough losses against the Rangers.On a day when the temperature listed on the scoreboard reached 105 degrees, the game took 4 hours, 3 minutes to play. There were 402 combined pitches thrown by 10 pitchers, five for each team.The Rangers had tied the game at 7 on back-to-back homers by Adrian Beltre and Moreland to start the seventh. Elvis Andrus had a tiebreaking RBI double after twice failing to get a bunt down before Ian Desmonds grounder got another run in for a 9-7 lead.It was a gritty game by us, them, too, Desmond said.Rougned Odor had an RBI triple and a two-run homer for the Rangers. His 22nd homer in the fourth got Texas within 6-5.Scott Oberg (1-1), the third of five Rockies pitcher, got the win despite allowing two runs in his inning. Adam Ottavino struck out the side in the ninth for his first save.Charlie Blackmon homered, doubled and singled twice. The Colorado leadoff man crushed a 455-foot homer to center on the second pitch of the game and had an RBI double in the fourth.WORKMAN EFFORTRangers starter Lucas Harrell didnt give up another run in the first after the leadoff homer, getting out of a bases-loaded jam with consecutive strikeouts to end the frame before two more Ks to start the second. The right-hander gave up six runs and nine hits in six innings while throwing 118 pitches. He struck out eight and walked only one in his third start for Texas since being acquired in a trade with Atlanta.SHORT HOPSDahl, the Rockies rookie, matched a modern-day major league record by extending his hitting streak to start his career to 17 games with a single in the first. ... Beltres 18th homer of the season was the 431st of his career, tying him with Cal Ripken Jr. for 47th on the all-time list. ... The announced attendance of 20,720 was the smallest for a Rangers home game this season.TRAINERS ROOMRangers: LHP Derek Holland felt great after throwing 55 pitches in three innings of a rehab start for Triple-A Round Rock on Wednesday night. Holland, on the 60-day DL with shoulder inflammation and is eligible to return Aug. 20. He throws again Monday for Round Rock.UP NEXTRangers: RHP Yu Darvish (2-3) is winless in five starts since returning from the DL a month ago, but is coming off seven scoreless innings in a no-decision at Houston on Sunday. The right-hander is 5-0 in five career starts against Detroit. Cheap MLB Jerseys Authentic . The nimble-footed quarterback got his wish, dashing through the snow and a weary defence all the way into the NCAA record book. Cheap MLB Jerseys . Its sharpness matched my mind. This was no night to go to sleep. .C. -- Al Jefferson joked that he feels he can score from anywhere on the court.Debutant Haseeb Hameed looks right at home at Test level, says Nasser Hussain. The teenage opener struck his maiden England half-century on day four of the first Test against India, helping the tourists to 114-0 at stumps - an overall lead of 163. The best of the action of the fourth day of the first Test The 19-year-old followed his impressive first-innings 31 with an unbeaten 62 off 116 balls with one six and five fours - skipper Alastair Cook contributing 46no to the stand - and Hussain said the knocks had helped to transform pre-Test perceptions about Hameeds game. Its a brilliant, brilliant start from the young man, said the former England skipper.We all had Hameed down as a bit of a blocker - someone who would go into his shell - so there was a bit of concern about whether the combination of Hameed and Cook would be able to get England off to a flying start.Instead they went after India. They played beautifully - the tempo of the partnership was superb.Hameeds footwork is well-drilled. He comes from a family that has cricket in its blood; he was born with a cricket bat in his hand. Nasser Hussain analyses Haseeb Hameeds first Test innings. Weve seen him around the traps here and he walks around as if he belongs on this stage. Hes not meek, quiet and under the shadow of all thhe senior players. Cheap Rays Jerseys. His demeanour suggests this is my stage, Im going to show you what Im going to do and he did.He popped down the pitch to Ravindra Jadeja, who is not the easiest bowler to do that to, and smashed him over the top for six; when mid-off went back, he pushed him for one.He also went down the track to Ravichandran Ashwin and pushed through the off-side. He did get in a bit of discomfort when Ashwin attacked from around the wicket but on this pitch you are occasionally going to struggle.India made a decent fist of responding to Englands first-innings score of 537, but ultimately fell 49 runs short despite 70 from Ravi Ashwin to finish on 488 as Adil Rashid returned 4-114. England spinner Adil Rashid heaps praise on spin coach Saqlain Mushtaq The leg-spinners performance stood out - Sky Sports pundit Sir Ian Botham among several to say it was the best Rashid has bowled in an England shirt - but Hussain was also quick to praise the combined impact of the visiting attack.It sounds odd to say that England bowled brilliantly when the opposition get 480 but I can barely remember a period where they werent in control of the run-rate, said Hussain.Rashid was so good in this innings; it was an excellent effort all round from England. Although he ended up wicketless, Chris Woakes was absolutely exceptional. It set the tone and Hameed and Cook continued the momentum. India vs England November 13, 2016, 3:45am Live on Get Sky Sports Get a Sky Sports pass Watch highlights of day four at 3pm and 9.30pm on Sky Sports 3, followed by The Verdict on the same channel at 4pm and 10.30pm. 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TAMPA, Fla. Youth White NFL Jerseys . -- The attorney for Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive lineman Dominique Robertson filed a formal complaint Thursday against the Riverside County Sheriffs Department in Riverside, California, claiming that his client was denied access to water, his attorney and medication when detained for questioning last week following a shooting incident.Zulu Ali, the attorney, called it a violation of the most basic rights.We were terribly concerned about Mr. Robertsons welfare and the blatant disregard for his rights, health, and safety, Ali said in a statement provided to ESPN. Not allowing his attorney access to check on his welfare, and denying him water, medication, and access to medical attention was abuse on the part of the Sheriffs department.Robertson suffered gunshot wounds to his back, buttocks and leg in the early-morning hours of June 30. After being hospitalized and treated for injuries, he was released at 6 p.m. Friday and taken to Jurupa Valley Sheriffs station, where he was questioned for 5? to 6 hours.Ali maintains that there was no known motive for the shooting. He said he doesnt believe Robertson was the intended target and was merely an innocent bystander.Despite that, he said, Robertson thinks he was treated as the suspect of a crime, and that when he invoked his rights, those requests were ignored.His family was not allowed to speak to him and were threatened with arrest when they sought to get information from the detaining deputies, Ali said. Mr. Robertson was willing to cooperate with any investigation but was concerned with the detention and treatment of his family and requested an attorney before leaving the hospital and was promised that he would have access to counsel once they arrived at the Sheriffs station.Ali said police confiscated Robertsons water and his inhaler, which he uses for his asthma, and still havent returned the inhaler.When asked last week about the agencys policy on denying medications and water to those being questioned, Riverside County Sheriffs spokesman Deputy Armando Munoz said, Every situation is different. ... We cant get into hypotheticals because were not even confirming that we spoke to Mr. Robertson.It was not Robertsons first run-in with law enforcement. He is currently serving a 24-month probation after pleading guilty to misdemeanor obstruction of a law enforcement officer and misdemeanor simple assault stemming from an incident in Carrollton, Georgia, last year, according to the Carroll County Clerks Office. Robertson had originally been facing a felony count of obstruction and misdemeanor accounts of assault and battery stemming from a January 2015 incident.Ali said he believes Robertson will make a full recovery from the gunshot wounds. He is currently resting and trying his best to move forward from the incident, Ali said.Robertson is expected to be in Tampa along with the other Bucs rookies for the start of training camp July 25. White NFL Jerseys Store . Vancouver Whitecaps and Toronto FC failed to make the postseason while Montreal Impact fell at the first hurdle losing heavily to Houston Dynamo in the Eastern Conference Knockout Round. White NFL Jerseys Outlet . With the first unit struggling of late and Amir Johnson - one of the teams iron men - hobbling on an injured right ankle, Patterson knew he could get the nod in a challenging matchup against one of the leagues up and coming players at his position. .7 million, one-year contract, a raise of $2.2 million. Wieters had asked for $8.75 million and the Orioles had offered $6. KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Volunteers wrapped up a 2-0 SEC volleyball weekend with a 3-0 (25-21, 25-23, 30-28) victory over Auburn on Sunday at Thompson-Boling Arena.Coming off a 3-0 win Friday at Alabama, the Vols (15-8, 5-5 SEC) snapped Auburns five-match winning streak and have now won four of their last five matches.We played two good teams, especially Auburn today, which was on a five-match winning streak and had a lot of confidence and was playing good volleyball, Tennessee volleyball coach Rob Patrick said. To be able to come out and play with so much energy and stop a really energetic, well-coached Auburn team, Im really happy about that. A lot of people contributed in both the Alabama match and the Auburn match.Senior Bri Holmes led the Vols with 13 kills and added seven digs. Sophomore Erica Treiber had 12 kills and hit .435 for the match with four blocks.Both teams hits for a high percentage, with Tennessee hitting .308 for the match behind 42 assists from freshman setter Sedona Hansen. Auburnn (13-11, 7-4) hit . Wholesale White NFL Jerseys. 294 for the match, including .357 in the final, wire-close set.In the first set, the Vols pulled away with a 5-0 to go ahead 20-16 on an ace by Kanisha Jimenez. Auburn won three of the next four points to close the gap to 21-19, but the Vols held on to their lead, eventually taking the set 25-21 on a kill by Bri Holmes. Tennessee hit .433 for the set, compared to .220 for Auburn.Down two points late in the second set, the Vols scored three unanswered points to lead 23-22. Auburn tied the match at 23-23 but Tennessee won the next two points to take the second 25-23 on an attack error by the Tigers.The third set came down to the wire. The Vols fought off two set points and finally came through on their third set point thanks to a 3-0 run. From the outside Holmes powered a shot off the top of Auburns block and out of play to seal the set and match, 30-28. Cheap NFL JerseysCheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From ChinaCheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys' ' '
PRAGUE -- Sparta Prague has fired coach Zdenek Scasny after a 2-0 loss to archrival Slavia Prague in the Czech premier league. NFL Jerseys Outlet .The move happened on Monday, one day after Spartas first loss to Slavia at home since 2008. Angry Sparta fans invaded the field after the game.Scasny took over in April 2015 and led Sparta to the quarterfinals of Europa League last season but failed to win the Czech title and qualify for the Champions League.It is not immediately clear who will replace Scasny.Sparta hosts Inter Milan in the Europa League on Thursday. NFL Jerseys For Sale .com) - The women will also have a new champion at the Australian Open. Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic . Siddikur, whose previous win on the circuit came in Brunei three years ago, finished his bogey-free round with a birdie on the 18th for a total of 17-under 199. Indias Shiv Chowrasia, who has finished runner-up in this tournament twice, was in second place after a 66. . -- Timbers coach Caleb Porter didnt stray from his business-like approach to the season even after Portland downed the two-time defending league champion Los Angeles Galaxy to gain crucial playoff position. Lee Haskins will make a third defence of his IBF world bantamweight title against local hero Shohei Omori in Japan on Dec. 31.Omori (17-1-0, 12 KOs) will make his maiden challenge for a world title after registering two knockout wins since his first professional defeat last year to Filipino Marlon Tapales, who went on to win the WBO version of the world title in his next fight.Bristolian Haskins (34-3, 14 KOs), who is nine years older than his challenger, insists he has no fear of conceding home advantage.At this point in my career its all about having experiences, Ive fought my last two opponents at home now it will be nice to soak up the atmosphere in Japan, Haskins said.I have boxed in Spain, Belgium, France and Morocco so Im no stranger to travel but each place brings something new and I look forward to seeing what Japan has to offer on New Years Eve.Haskins has out-pointed Stuart Hall and Ivan Morales since being elevatted to full IBF champion from interim title holder. NFL Jerseys Clearance. American Randy Caballero was stripped of the IBF title in Nov. 2015 when he failed to make weight ahead of a scheduled fight with Haskins.Also on the same bill at the Shimazu Arena in Kyoto is IBF super-bantamweight champion Jonathan Guzman, of the Dominican Republic, who faces Japans Yukinori Ogunui. Another Japanese fighter, Kazuto Ioka, defends his WBA flyweight title against Thailands Yutthana Kaensa.There are two other shows in Japan on the same night featuring world title fights. In Tokyo, Jezreel Corrales and Takashi Uchiyama meet for the WBA super-featherweight title and Ryoichi Taguchi defends his WBA light-flyweight belt against Carlos Canizales. In Gifu, Moises Fuentes and Kosei Tanaka dispute the WBO light flyweight title. Cheap NFL JerseysCheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From ChinaCheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys' ' '
It would be convenient to point to the Steven Stamkos injury as a major reason the Tampa Bay Lightning are struggling, but it doesnt explain the entire story. Cheap NFL Black Jerseys .Of course, losing their captain and offensive superstar hurts the Lightning, especially since he had been playing some of his best hockey in two years before the injury. But the Bolts have been a resilient bunch that was able to survive key injuries before. Tampa Bay reached Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals last season, and the Lightning were without Stamkos until the final game of that series.Weve been able to do it in the past, Lightning GM Steve Yzerman told on Tuesday. Even with Stammer or other players being injured, weve been able to generate offense, get enough production and ultimately play well defensively and keep the puck out of our net to win games.A popular preseason pick to challenge for the Stanley Cup, the Lightning have lost seven of their past eight games and sit 12 points behind the Atlantic Division-leading Montreal Canadiens. The Stamkos injury aside, Tampa Bays slide is puzzling. This is a deep, talented lineup with a great coaching staff, a team that reached the Cup finals two years ago and fell one win short of a return trip last season.We need to get a bit more offensive production out of our top-nine forwards, said Yzerman. We need more out of them. But mostly, its our play defensively as a team that has to improve. Thats what is hurting us the most.The ingredients are there. But as Yzerman said, it starts with a better defensive effort.Were not going to win many 6-5 games, said Yzerman. Were falling in some categories -- our penalty killing is dropping, our goals against, our shots against. Were in the bottom half of the league now in those three categories, and those categories have to be good in order to win.Goalie Ben Bishop is not playing nearly as well as he was last season, and I cant help but wonder if the pending unrestricted free agent isnt distracted by his cloudy future. He almost was traded to the?Calgary Flames?last June, a deal that fell through because he couldnt come to terms on a contract agreement with the Flames. The Bolts then signed younger goalie?Andrei Vasilevskiy to an extension during the offseason. The writings on the wall, in all likelihood, for Bishop -- whether its in the form of a trade before March 1 or simply that he will walk away as an unrestricted free agent next July 1.Bishop can only help his stock by playing better. Not only will that attract trade suitors, it will also improve his contractual leverage for his next deal if he gets back to the level he was at a year ago.Yzerman refused to single out players, but rather stressed the collective need for Tampa Bays entire roster to be better. And theres no doubt the team can be better in front of its goaltenders.In the meantime, Lightning fans would love to see their GM make a trade. Who can blame them? But as weve seen around the league during the opening few months of the season, the cap system has had a paralyzing effect on big moves. Teams are waiting until closer to the March 1 trade deadline, when some bottom-feeding clubs finally give up on the playoff chase and put players up for sale. The parity throughout the league means that almost no one has raised the white flag yet. And it takes two teams to make a trade.Were constantly looking at ways to improve our team, Yzerman said. Weve lost seven out of eight. But it really doesnt change what were trying to do or what wed like to do. We have areas wed like to address with our team, whether thats from within the organization with the players we have, or seeing if we can do that out there on the trade market. If theres something that makes sense, were prepared to do that. But its difficult to find a partner for it to make it work. Everybody has concerns about the salary cap; everyone has concerns about the expansion draft. It is difficult to make a trade.Yzerman, who keeps his cards close to the vest, wouldnt specify the teams trade needs. But Im confident that a top-four defenseman tops his wish list. Its been a missing piece for this team for quite some time. And since a bunch of other teams also covet elite D-men, theyre a prized commodity and thus difficult to get -- which means theres no guarantee that the Lightning will be able to score one before the trade deadline.But you can bet Yzerman will continue to work the phones.Again, wed like to think we know what our team needs, said Yzerman. Wed like to think we know our players well and how we can help our team improve. But as Ive said time and time again, Ive got to find someone whos willing to work with me. NFL Jerseys Store Cheap . Team physician Dr. Steve Traina performed the surgery Friday. Robinson was injured in a spill underneath the Nuggets basket during the first quarter of Wednesday nights loss to the Charlotte Bobcats. NFL Youth Jerseys . -- For the first time in two months, an opponent was standing up to Alabama. . Neymar curled home a free kick from just outside the area to put the 2014 World Cup host ahead in the 44th minute. Three minutes after the break, a simple through pass from Paulinho freed Oscar and the Chelsea star rounded goalkeeper Jung Sung-ryong to extend Brazils lead. Thami Tsolekile could have been the ultimate South African success story.I am a Tsolekile sympathiser and I believe he was hard done by. Not only did I think he deserved an opportunity at a time when South Africas national team had a glaring absence of black African representation, I thought he was good enough regardless of his colour.His overall numbers - especially his batting average - might not support the promise he carried, but his was a career of two halves, the second of which was more prosperous. He was also something of a prodigy at junior levels. After Tsolekile moved to Lions in 2009-10, a decade after his first-class debut, his batting improved markedly. In six seasons with them he averaged 40.23, and in the same period he averaged 45.14 for South Africa A. It was widely acknowledged during that time that he was the best wicketkeeper in the country. He was on a central contract and had been assured of an opportunity to represent South Africa again. That he did not is a blight on South African cricket.What he did after that is a blight on himself.How did Tsolekile became the man the world now knows, a player banned for 12 years by Cricket South Africa (CSA) for contriving to fix matches? There are no answers but here is his story.Like many young South Africans, Tsolekile grew up playing sport. His home, on Harlem Avenue in a Cape Town township, was next door to Langa Cricket Club, which played in the Western Province Cricket League.Cricket was in his family: his grandfather, Hlubi Zibi Tsolekile, played for Western Province in the 1970s. The reason you may not have heard of him is the reason you may not have heard of Ben Malamba or William Magitshima or any of their team-mates. Those players could not play with or against the Pollocks and the Ackermans; they were governed by a different board and made do with playing in non-white leagues. They received scant media coverage and are largely forgotten. They had nothing like the opportunities that came the way of the next generation.For Tsolekile, that opportunity came in the form of a bursary to Pinelands High School, less than 10km from Langa but a world apart. At school he had access to well-maintained facilities and coaches. Tsolekile excelled and broke several school cricket records, but his reflexes and superior hand-eye coordination also allowed him to thrive at hockey.Thami was the most extraordinarily talented hockey player, says John Young, a coach who worked at Langa and who has acted as Tsolekiles agent in the past. He combined skill, speed and exceptional vision with a very high work rate and a very unselfish attitude.Tsolekile was able to apply those skills at Langa as well, and he swiftly became an iconic presence at the club. As the star player he was targeted by the opposition. He was often provoked and would occasionally respond, once to his detriment. In a hockey match in the Grand Challenge League - the top tier of provincial hockey - Tsolekile was yellow-carded by umpire Neil Schluter for protesting a foul, which resulted in a five-minute suspension from the field. As he walked off he threw his shirt on the ground in irritation, which, in turn, extended his suspension.At the end of the game, Schluter refused to shake hands, made an arrogant remark and turned away, Young remembers. Tsolekile put his hand on the umpires shoulder, intending to speak to him. For that he was red-carded. This became in pubs and newspaper columns some kind of assault.Langa appealed the red card, unsuccessfully, but the panel overseeing the affair concluded in their report that Schluter was over-zealous in his handling of the matches, and decided he should be counselled by the Western Province Umpires Association to adopt a more facilitative approach.The incident is often cited in media reports to illustrate Tsolekiles volatile temperament, which his supporters say is a mistaken assessment. His reputation, a former team-mate at Western Province explains, may have been a defence mechanism. It was a pretty difficult space for a young black African to be in, the team-mate says. In the early 2000s, provincial teams were still very much like old boys clubs, and with transformation only starting, players of colour were regarded with some suspicion.Suspicion of what?That they did not have a tradition of cricket.This player is not the only one who requested anonymity. Many contemporaries are no longer comfortable talking about Tsolekile, a man they believe should have amounted to more.Tsolekile made his first appearance for Western Province as an 18-year-old. A year later, in his second List A game, he took three catches and scored an unbeaten 37, which Michael Owen-Smith, writing in the Cape Times, called an innings of flair, daring and innovation.It was a sign of Tsolekiles promise that he, and not Graeme Smith, was appointed captain of South Africas Under-19 World Cup side in 2000. He led South Africa to victory in the Plate Final (rain wrecked their chances of the main prize) and three months later was named in the senior mens hockey squad to play in the African Cup of Nations (AFCON). As the continents best side, South Africa should have gone to the Sydney Olympics that year. But they were denied by the National Olympic Committee, which chose not to send them - as punishment for their lack of representation. Tsolekile was the only black African player in the AFCON squad. Even without Sydney, though, when the new millennium dawned, Tsolekile had the sporting world at his feet.Olympic dreams snuffed out, Tsolekile went to the national cricket academy, where, according to an individual close to the academy, he refused to worship at the altar of the former greats such as the Pollocks. He did not enjoy the pre-match rugby-style bonding sessions, which included war cries and team huddles. Tsolekile preferred to be on his own, and was often found tossing around a squash ball to sharpen focus. He was seen as standoffish, an upstart barging into a world that didnt like the idea of him being part of it.Over the next three years he progressed upwards, with a burgeoning reputation as a wicketkeeper if not yet a high-quality batsman. He had already played for South Africa A when, in 2004, Mark Bouchers form dipped. Tsolekile was called up for a Test tour to India, at the time becoming only the fourth black African in the countrys history to receive a Test cap. He struggled on surfaces with variable bounce and turn, as well as in a transitioning side, so that a month after his Test debut, in Kanpur, he played what would be the last of his three Tests, against England in Port Elizabeth. AB de Villiers took his place.At the time Tsolekile responded well to the axe. The 2004-05 summer became his most prolific first-class season. His 504 runs at an average of 36 were handy rather than spectacular - but he also became part of Cape Cobras leadership core. He was promoted to the captaincy and enjoyed two summers of great success, winning the MTN 2006-07 one-day cup.Very quickly, however, things changed. Cobras, convinced that the burden of captaincy was affecting Tsolekiles attempts to improve his batting, would occasionally release him from the role. That isolated Tsolekile and complicated his relationship with coach Shukri Conrad. In February 2008 matters reached a head. Tsolekile missed the first match of Cobras first-class campaign because of an injury and took a trip to the Eastern Cape. One report claimed he broke team protocol by travelling, missed a physiotherapy session, and returned late for a team meeting; another said he did not inform Conrad of where he went to or why. Eventually he lost his place in the XI.In an interview with Die Burger, a Cape Town-based Afrikaans daily, Conrad claimed Tsolekiles discipline let him down. Cobras lined up Ryan Canning as a replacement and Tsolekile lost his franchise contract at the start of the next season. In an interview with Independent Online in March 2012, Tsolekile acknowledged his own ffailings in the souring:When you get a big wake-up call, you take a look at yourself and you ask some hard questions. NFL Jerseys Authentic. Do you really deserve to be there, do you work hard? Only you can provide the answers. For me, the way forward was to be open and honest about myself… Maybe I took a few things for granted. I didnt do things like throw-downs by myself, I was only relying on the coaches to tell me when practice was happening. Knowing youre the only keeper, you get into a comfort zone, that was very dangerous for me… … At the Cobras I was relying on my talent only. Losing my contract, that was a big wake-up call for me. I realised that talent and hard work must go together, you cant just rely on talent.Tsolekile worked in the Newlands ticket office during that troubled period, continuing to play for Western Province as and when he was selected. He also threw himself back into Langa. There, at a club that had been relegated in the Western Province Cricket League, he was a bigger influence than ever, captaining, keeping, batting, bowling offspin and even transporting players to games in his car. Almost single-handedly he oversaw their promotion.Eventually he would get a second chance, upcountry in Johannesburg, where Lions were plundering resources from the Cape to combat their own troubles. Tsolekile, who arrived there ahead of the 2009-10 season, immediately embraced his role as a senior player. He was so good with leading guys, with being responsible for team performances, remembers Jacques Faul, general manager of Lions at the time.In two of his first three seasons he averaged over 50, earning a recall to South Africa A, and was challenging Boucher again for the Test spot. Early in 2012, when Boucher announced the England tour would be his last, Tsolekile was awarded a central contract. It seemed as if a succession plan was being drawn up.Instead, when Bouchers career was abruptly ended by a freak injury in the first warm-up match, the tour management took a decision to give the gloves to de Villiers before they had even consulted with the selectors. Tsolekile flew in to join the squad but ended up carrying drinks through the series. He said he was happy to do so.In December 2012, I had my last face-to-face conversation with Tsolekile, after the South African selectors had told him he was not good enough to bat at No. 7 in the Test team. It was after he told the Star newspaper that he did not trust the selectors; and it was after the convener then, Andrew Hudson, confirmed to me that he had told Tsolekile he would play but reneged when de Villiers changed his mind about keeping wicket in the long run.During a first-class match at the Wanderers, we sat on the grass embankment under a gazebo that shields spectators from the Highveld sun. Tsolekile was in his whites (he made 88 in the first innings, in a ten-wicket loss). He is a quiet but confident speaker, with an even tone, and rarely gets animated. That day he went over how he did not expect to play against England or on the subsequent tour to Australia because he knew de Villiers would do the job. De Villiers had taken over in an emergency in England and as South Africa became the No. 1 Test side they wanted to use the same team in Australia. When I asked Tsolekile how he felt, he shrugged and admitted he didnt really think about it at the time because he was more concerned with the chance he was going to get that summer at home. Tsolekile was told by Hudson he would play against New Zealand and Pakistan. But as South Africa won in England and Australia, and with de Villiers averaging nearly 50 across six Tests, the situation changed. Tsolekile was left out of the squad altogether. In six months he went from being on the cusp to being on the outer. Only then did he start to feel let down.He looked me in the eye and suggested maybe the colour of his skin had something to do with it. Until then Tsolekile had denied that race was ever an issue. During the tour of Australia, Makhaya Ntini had said Tsolekile would have played if he was white; Tsolekile had dismissed the statement. But just a month later, he wondered if Ntini was on to something. Faul, CSAs acting chief executive at the time, said the board would sit down and have a chat about what happened because we have to interrogate the process.Our conversation ended with Tsolekile in a defiant mood. He vowed to keep doing his best for Lions, and for a while he did. He helped them win the 2014-15 Sunfoil Series first-class championship, contributing 424 runs that season and captaining them through parts of it.The debate around representation, particularly of black Africans in sport, was getting louder. South Africas Test team went more than three years without a single black African in the side, and with Lonwabo Tsotsobe falling off the radar, they also did not have anyone making regular limited-overs appearances.Aaron Phangiso was a member of the 2015 World Cup squad but the only one to not play a single game - not even when South Africa had qualified for the knockouts and had only UAE to play. Khaya Zondo was picked for the limited-overs tour of India but not used, not even when David Miller was injured. Dean Elgar was flown in to fill in.After that tour, a group of black African players wrote a letter to CSA demanding an explanation for their treatment. Behind the scenes, they also threatened a walkout from their franchises. Tsolekile was believed to be one of the players involved. CSA never expanded on the subsequent talks it had with the aggrieved, not even on whether the issue was satisfactorily resolved.In November 2015, after receiving information of attempts to corrupt domestic cricket, CSA issued a statement warning players to be alert. In January, after an investigation, the board charged Gulam Bodi with contriving to fix games in the Ram Slam T20 competition.Tsolekile had not played since December. Lions insisted he was injured, but later that month he was named by the Guardian as one of the players involved in attempts to fix games. When I contacted him for comment, he asked me for the newspapers contact details and to say that he had hired a lawyer. When I asked for the lawyers contact, Tsolekile said that was confidential. In the months that followed, he made several promises to tell me his side of the story once he was cleared. He insisted he had done nothing wrong and once even said the sum of his actions amounted to not reporting an approach. I have been accused of thing I didnt do and I am just waiting waiting patiently for the investigation to finish, then I will come out, he wrote in one WhatsApp message, before adding, But what do I get from telling the story?More accusations in May 2016. The Rapport , an Afrikaans-language weekly, claimed to possess a video that showed Tsolekile meeting bookmakers. I contacted Tsolekile and again he denied it. I never went to a game in my life to underperform, not even a street game.In June, the Sunday Times predicted that Tsolekile would face a lengthy ban, and I heard from him for the last time. Nice article to call me a crook without any facts, he WhatsApped me. I asked for his side of the story again but got no reply. By August the paper had been proved right. Tsolekile was among four cricketers banned for attempting to fix matches. The details of what he did were not made public but CSA said no fixes were carried out. Of the four, Tsolekile received the longest ban.In September, Tsolekile appeared at the Goodwood Magistrates Court on an assault charge. He was alleged to have taken issue with a 14-year-old boy who was throwing stones at cars on the highway. Tsolekiles car was hit and he allegedly responded by forcing the teenager into his car and driving him around before letting him go with a smack. Tsolekile denies the allegations. The boy was from Pinelands High School. Cheap NFL JerseysCheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From ChinaCheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys' ' '
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