Wayne Rooney scored on his return to the Manchester United starting-line up as Jose Mourinho’s side enjoyed a 2-0 win at Burnley in the Premier League on Sunday to close in on the top four and extend their unbeaten league run to 23 games.Rooney, who last started a game on March 4, was given the start for only the second time in 2017 in the absence of the injured Zlatan Ibrahimovic and with Mourinho opting to start with in-form 19-year-old Marcus Rashford on the bench. (Christian Benteke earns Crystal Palace 2-1 win on return to Liverpool)Wayne Rooney: “Thursday will be two great teams playing. Its always a massive game for the city and its a fight for the top four” #BURMUN pic.twitter.com/8f9uNcwKMR- Premier League (@premierleague) April 23, 2017It was his French strike partner Anthony Martial though who opened the scoring at Turf Moor in the 21st minute, breaking from midfield and then finishing in style after a swift exchange with Ander Herrera. (Arsenal beat Manchester City 2-1 to reach FA Cup final with Chelsea)”Fantastic!”Hear from a proud Jose Mourinho as he tells #MUTV what pleased him the most about today’s win… #MUFC pic.twitter.com/jCoYv3YKbW- Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 23, 2017Rooney made it 2-0, with his 251st goal, in the 39th minute, reacting well to poke home from close range after Burnley keeper Tom Heaton failed to hold on to a low shot from Martial.
Volkswagen is looking to streamline its portfolio of companies post the diesel emissions scandal that rocked the company two years ago. Volkswagen is starting to get its act together again but it will take substantial effort to take the company back to its position before the scandal happened.To do this, the automaker needs to focus on technology that will be the future and its ID family of vehicles that have been showcased at multiple auto shows around the world are one example of that. VW will also need to raise funds and streamline its portfolio and that is where selling of Ducati comes into play.Europe’s largest carmaker has tasked investment banking boutique Evercore with evaluating possible options including a sale of the thoroughbred brand, which VW unit Audi acquired in 2012, they added.Companies that might be interested in buying Ducati are Chinese groups, Indian two-wheeler manufacturer Hero MotoCorp or other investors.With inputs from Reuters.Also Read:Volkswagen Polo GT Sport launched in India at Rs 9.71 lakh Also Read:Ducati Diavel Diesel limited edition launched in India at Rs 19.92 lakh
Shillong, May 1 (PTI) Meghalaya Governor Banwarilal Purohit today underlined the importance of the CAPF football talent hunt tournament ahead of the U-17 world cup in the country later this year.In his speech, Purohit emphasised the importance of this tournament in the lead-up to the U-17 World Cup which he said, “will be one of the biggest sporting activities in the country.”Assam Riffles Director General Lt Gen Shokin Chauhan said, “We aim to identify football talent and further popularise sports in the North East.”He said, “This is phase one and phase two in June will see states playing against each other. We will select the best children from Meghalaya and I am sure that they will bring further laurels to this beautiful land of clouds.”Later in the match, Umsning SC beat Laitkor SC 2-1 in a thrilling opening match of the Assam Rifles CAPF Under-19 Football Talent Hunt Tournament for Meghalaya.The nation wide competition, dubbed Oorja, is an initiative of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs to promote football in the entire country ahead of the FIFA Under-17 Football World Cup, which will be hosted by India for the first time later this year. PTI JOP RG
Mumbai, Jun 15 (PTI) Twelve young Indian hoopsters have been selected to undergo a three-day NBA-conducted training camp for basketball players in the Asia-Pacific region to be held in China later this month.The camp for elite young basketball talent of the region will be held from June 18-21 at Zhejiang Provincial Sports Vocational Technical Institute in China, said a media release today.The 12 youngsters are part of a 73-strong group of boys and girls, belonging to India, Australia, New Zealand, Korea and China.Current NBA players Malik Beasley (Denver Nuggets), Andrew Nicholson (Brooklyn Nets) and Garrett Temple (Sacramento Kings) will join former WNBA player Zheng Haixia (the first Chinese WNBA player) as well as NBA assistant coaches Ryan Bowen (Denver Nuggets), Charles Klask (Detroit Pistons), Bob Thornton (Sacramento Kings) and FIBA coach Ronald Cass to train the 17 and 18-year old campers, who were selected by their respective basketball federations.”We are grateful for the continued support of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), Zhejiang Provincial Sports Vocational Technical Institute and Nike to provide these elite young players with the opportunity to learn from some of the worlds best players and coaches,” said NBA China CEO, David Shoemaker.This is the fourth such camp being held. It had previously been held in Melbourne (Australia, 2011) and Nanjing (China, 2013 and 15).The selected Indian boys are: Robin Banerjee, Vivek Chauhan, Jagshaanbir Jhawar, Sejin Mathew, Shanmugam Murugan, Riyanshu Negi, Suraj Pathak, Preshit Pawar, Prashant Rawat, Parth Sunil Kumar Sharma, Princepal Singh, Manoj Singh Sisodiya. PTI SSR NRBadvertisement
Well well, the first look posters of Ilayathalapathy Vijay’s forthcoming film is here. Cashing on the popularity of Theri, Vijay 61 has been titled Mersal, a colloquial term which roughly translates to uber cool. As a treat for fans, director Atlee took to Twitter to unveil the first look posters from the film.Here’s comes my b’day gift to Vijay na. #Mersal #HBDMersalVijay pic.twitter.com/C19qAgtkMC- atlee (@Atlee_dir) June 21, 2017HBD THALAPATHYVIJAY pic.twitter.com/saxMwUz2Z3- atlee (@Atlee_dir) June 21, 2017Sporting a twirled mustache, Vijay’s look for Mersal is creating waves on the internet. From his second look, it’s quite evident that Vijay is playing a magician in the film. Ever since the commencement of the project, Vijay fans have been relentlessly tweeting about the film. Considering the unprecedented craze, Mersal is expected to take the box office by storm.Made on a lavish budget, Vijay 61 has three heroines- Kajal Aggarwal, Samantha and Nithya Menen, while SJ Suryah and Sathyaraj will play pivotal roles. Produced by Sri Thenandal Films, Mersal will see Vijay in triple roles for the first time.Academy Award-winning composer AR Rahman has been roped in to compose music. The film is slated to release on Diwali this year.ALSO READ: Ajith Kumar’s Vivegam- Anirudh’s Surviva song becomes a rage on the internet WATCH Duvvada Jagannadham: Allu Arjun, Pooja Hegde dance to Seeti Maar songWATCH HERE: Thalaivar speaks to India Today about fan greet and meet, politics
Australian Nick Kyrgios overcame Spanish veteran David Ferrer on Saturday to set up a clash against Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov in the final of the Cincinnati Open.The 22-year-old Kyrgios, looking for his first title of the year, beat the former world number three 7-6(3), 7-6(4), while Dimitrov also advanced to his first Masters 1000 final with a 7-6(4), 7-6(10) victory over American John Isner.Kyrgios, who had beaten Rafa Nadal in the quarter-finals, showed no drop off in performance against the 35-year-old Ferrer in the match that lasted just over two hours.Seventh seed Dimitrov needed almost two hours to book his place in Sunday’s final.The world number 11 had his work cut out against big-serving Isner, with neither player dropping serve in a match where break opportunities were few and far between.Isner had two break point chances, Dimitrov only one.Dimitrov saved a set point in the second set tiebreak, before putting away the dogged American.
Mumbai, Nov 17 (PTI) Japanese auto major Toyotas luxury arm Lexus today unveiled a compact hybrid SUV, the NX 300h, which is a premium urban sports car and is expected to begin delivery from February.The NX is the fourth offering from Lexus since its entry into the domestic market this March and is pitted against the likes of the locally-assembled GLA Class from Mercedes, the Audi A6 and most models of the Tatas-run JLR.Though Lexus did not disclose the final price of the NX, which will be sold as CBUs, it indicated that it will priced around Rs 60 lakh.The luxury car maker sells three models–RX450H hybrid and the full-size LX 450d (both SUVs) as well as the hybrid sedan ES300H–all as CBUs in the country now.The Lexus NX300h will be available in two variants – the F Sport and Luxury, and caters to the lifestyle needs of young achievers, Lexus India president Akitoshi Takemura said.Company vice-president Arun Nair said the deliveries of the new car could commence from February.The NX comes with 2.5 litre, 4-cylinder engine, which produces 145 KW max power, and proffers 18.32 km a liter.Nair said they have so far set up four guest experience centres in Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru and Gurgaon besides an equal number of after-sales centres.When asked if the company will follow the rest of the luxe players who all locally assemble most of their models, Nair answered in the negative saying that at present the focus is to establish the brand. PTI IAS BEN BEN BASadvertisement
Sushil Kumar emerged triumphant in trails conducted for selection of India’s wrestling representatives for 2018 Commonwealth Games on Friday.The two-time Olympic medallist will now be representing India in the Commonwealth Games next year, to be held at Gold Coast, Australia, in April.Sushil defeated Jitender Kumar 4-3 in the final qualification round for 74kg category at the KD Jadhav Stadium in New Delhi.He has previously won two gold medals for India in the Commonwealth Games — in 2010 in New Delhi and 2014 in Glasgow.After the Glasgow Games, Sushil suffered injuries and even missed the 2016 Rio Olympics.In a controversial battle with Narsingh Yadav, Sushil Kumar fought hard, both through legal ways and otheriwse, asking for trails to be conducted.Sushil eventually failed to win the battle against Narsingh but the latter was caught in a doping controversy ahead of Rio Games, which spoilt his chances in the mega event.He returned to action at the National championships last month, and had recently won gold at the Commonwealth Wrestling Championships in Johannesburg.Meanwhile, in an incident which should have been avoided, alleged supporters of Sushil and his opponent Parveen Rana clashed at the stadium.The scuffle allegedly broke out after Parveen bit Sushil during a trial match.”It’s very unfortunate and highly condemnable what has happened today at the stadium. I do not support anyone who gets violent in between sportsmanship. My aim is to fight and win for my Nation like a true sportsman and not to win against any group or individual #JaiHind,” Sushil tweeted reacting to the incident.advertisement(Courtesy: ANI)
World No. 6 and top seed Marin Cilic was knocked out of the Maharashtra Open in the semi-fianls after suffering a shock defeat to France’s Gilles Simon in Pune on Friday.Ranked 89 in the world, Simon beat defending champion Roberto Bautista Agut in the second round to set up a semi-final clash against Cilic. He made a slow start and went down 1-6 to the Croatian. But he made a stunning comeback to win the match 1-6, 6-3, 6-2.The former US Open champion was expected to have a strong start to the season ahead of the Australian Open, which begins on January 15 with a disappointing start to the year.WATCHSeveral top players including Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori are out of the grand slam event due to injury while world number one Rafael Nadal and Serb Novak Djokovic remain injury doubts, leaving the field open for other top contenders to take advantage.Second seed Kevin Anderson beat France’s Benoit Paire 6-7(6) 7-6(2) 6-1 in a tough two hour and 20 minute encounter to reach his second final in as many weeks, after winning the Mubadala World Tennis Championship event.Anderson and former world number six Simon will face off in the final on Saturday in Pune.(With inputs from Reuters)ALSO WATCH:
Australia wrapped up a 4-0 series victory by winning the fifth and final Ashes Test by an innings and 123 runs on Monday.England captain Joe Root eventually succumbed to illness and the lower order could muster little resistance after lunch on the fifth day.Josh Hazlewood took the final wicket to dismiss the hosts for 180, as Joe Root’s battling half-century after being released from hospital and allowed to resume batting Monday briefly gave the embattled tourists hope of salvaging a draw at the Sydney Cricket Ground.England’s slip toward a humbling 4-0 Ashes series defeat hastened quickly on the final day, as Pat Cummins blew away the lower order after lunch with pace and short pitched bowling to finish with 4-39, with spinner Nathan Lyon taking 3-54.Australia’s bowling attack – the potency of which has been one of the main points of difference between the two sides – mopped up the last four batsmen at the cost of just 36 runs after the break at Sydney Cricket Ground.Paceman Pat Cummins removed Jonny Bairstow (38), Stuart Broad (4) and Mason Crane (2) to finish with figures of 4-39, while Nathan Lyon (3-54) had taken the only wicket of the opening session as he continued his dominance of Moeen Ali.Josh Hazlewood performed the coup de grace when he had James Anderson caught behind for two.Australia’s batsmen also played a full part in the return of the coveted urn, with Mitchell Marsh, his brother Shaun and Usman Khawaja all getting into three figures as the hosts made 649 declared in their reply to England’s first innings 346.advertisementFIGHTING SPIRIT(AP Photo)England managed only three centuries to Australia’s nine over the series, with home skipper Steve Smith alone matching their tally.The tourists will, however, take pride from refusing to buckle despite being outclassed in four of the five tests and Root’s determination to bat on Monday while clearly unwell typified their fighting spirit.The 27-year-old was 42 not out with England 93 for four – still 210 runs from forcing Australia to bat again – at close of play on day four but experienced diarrhoea and vomiting overnight and was taken to hospital for treatment.England initially said he was treated for severe dehydration but later revised the diagnosis to viral gastroenteritis that had nothing to do with Sunday’s high temperatures at the ground.The skipper reached the ground in time for the start of play but out-of-form Moeen went out to bat in his stead, making 13 before almost inevitably falling lbw to Lyon.Off spinner Lyon dismissed the all-rounder seven times in nine innings over the series with four of those leg before decisions.Root received an ovation when he came out to resume his innings and had soon secured his 37th test half century with three runs to fine leg.He suffered a recurrence of the symptoms during the lunch break, though, and Tom Curran, who finished the day 23 not out, came out to bat in his place for the second session, leaving Root retired hurt for 58.(With Reuters inputs)
New Delhi, Jan 11 (PTI) Air warriors fly high, but some of them prefer to kiss the sky without being in the comfort of a cockpit.A team of five air warriors of the Indian Air Force (IAF) summited Mt Vinson in the icy Antarctica in the last week of December. The force also claims to be the first defence body to summit all major seven peaks across seven continents.Before Mt Vinson, different teams of the Air Force had summited Mt Everest (Asia), Mt Carstenz Pyramid (Indonesia- Australisa continent), Mt Elbrus (Russia-Europe), Mt Kilimanjaro (Africa), Mt Aconcagua (Argentina-South America), Mt McKinley/Denali (Alaska-North America) over the last two decades.Led by Captain R C Tripathi, the only air warrior to be part of all the seven expeditions, the team was flagged off by Air Chief B S Dhanao in December last.Trekking on a huge barren landmass, which is a continent in itself, is a daunting task, admits Tripathi.”Summiting every peak is different. You have different challenges in terms of topography, climate and logistics,” he said.From snow storms that piled up a huge mass of snow outside their tents to the sun which refused to get weary even after shining all day, or the sub-zero temperatures to the arduous treks, the five Air Force personnel saw it all.”This trek was particularly challenging because we had sledged our luggage, which we had not done before for any of our treks,” Tripathi said.On their arrival in Delhi, Tripathi, Wing Co S S Mallik, Squadron Leader Rajesh Mookhi, Sergeant R D Kale and Corp Pawan Kumar– were felicitated by the Air Force chief, both for their feat and for returning back safely.advertisement”When you conquer all the six peaks and you have the last one left, you tend to do mistakes. My only worry was your safety,” the Air Force chief told the mountaineers.The fear seems justified as the force lost two of its personnel during a 2005 expedition to summit Mt Everest.”We dedicate our success to Sqdrn Ldr S S Chaitanya and Sgt Shantanu, whom we lost during our Mt Everest expedition in 2005. We dedicate this achievement to all our martyrs,” Tripathi said.But how does it feel to summit the peaks in all continents?”Mountaineering is a sport where nobody is there to clap for you or cheer you. No one can see the pain and agony. You are on your own in the wilderness. You just have to feel the achievement,” Tripathi added. PTI PR SRY
Virat Kohli was cruising towards a triple hundred against an insipid Sri Lankan bowling attack in third and final Test at the Feroz Shah Kotla before the visitors raised some concerns over the Delhi air quality.The air quality in the national capital was rated “very poor” this morning. After lunch, a few Sri Lankan fielders came out sporting masks as Kohli eyed his maiden triple hundred.The Indian captain had blazed away to his sixth Test double hundred in the morning and commentators felt it was matter of time before he joined Virender Sehwag and Karun Nair as only the third Indian to score a triple century in Test cricket. WATCH VIDEOSri Lanka pacers Suranga Lakmal and then Gamage complained of uneasiness and play was halted for a few minutes. Soon after play resumed, India lost R Ashwin.BCCI PhotoHowever, Sri Lanka forced play to be stopped again and this time, Kohli threw his bat away in frustration. He even attempted some shots in anger and the ball flew past the umpire at the non-striker end.Another stoppage infuriated Kohli further and he lost concentration, losing his wicket for 243 in the process.Former cricketers, commentating on air, were not amused with Sri Lanka’s antics. VVS Laxman felt this visitors needed to stop the drama and get on with it while Akaash Chopra said the islanders were making the Test match a joke.Virender Sehwag, as outspoken as ever, reckoned Sri Lanka were using the poor air quality as an excuse.advertisementFinally, after another stoppage, Kohli declared India’s innings and asked Sri Lanka to bat. Incidentally, none of the Indian players came out to field wearing a mask.
Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said that he could rest in-form winger Mohamed Salah during the the busy festive period.Salah has a minor hamstring issue and the German hinted that he could be rested during the busy period to avoid aggravating the problem.Salah, who has scored 13 league goals, was substituted after 67 minutes in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Everton. Klopp is now keen to manage his resources with six games coming up in the next 18 days and that may see the Egyptian start on the bench against West Brom on Wednesday.”I took Mo Salah off because he had a hamstring a little bit,” the German said. “Then everyone said ‘how can you take him off?’ I do not go out and say ‘yeah, but he is close to being injured’. He is not at the moment, thank God.”Brazil internationals Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho did not start the Merseyside derby and came on in the second half and Klopp revealed the duo were left out of the team as a precaution.”Roberto and Phil could have played. Nobody told me leave them out, it was my decision. Emre (Can) and Gini (Wijnaldum) as well,” Klopp added.”We have a little information after a game and sometimes that leads to a decision that sometimes you should not go with the risk of this player or that player.”Sometimes you have to ignore (it) because the player has to go through. That is how it is. We have to make these decisions. When it works well it is really good, but when it does not work perfectly you ask questions.”advertisementMeanwhile, centre-back Joel Matip is back in training after suffering an adductor issue and could feature before the end of the year.Liverpool are fifth in the table with 30 points after eight wins, six draws and two defeats. (Courtesy: Reuters)
In the crowded southern Indian city of Chennai and in the shadow of the Wallajah Mosque, is an unflattering building. But what happens inside the building is remarkable. Every day since 1927, a dedicated team has worked tirelessly to create a handwritten newspaper, The Musalman.In the modern era where almost every published work is created digitally, it is refreshing to see the tradition of calligraphy endure with The Musalman.Editor Syed Arifullah reading the newspaperHere are few interesting facts about the last handwritten newspaper:The newspaper is largely in black and white and is written in Urdu language, but if an advertisement calls for a colored copy, an exception is made accordinglyIt was started in 1927 in Chennai and it circulates 21,000 copies daily. The Musalman publishes Urdu poetry and messages on devotion to God and communal harmony dailyIt is a broadsheet which is folded to make four pages; Urdu language publication; handwritten, then printedThe editor-in-chief of the daily newspaper is Syed Arifullah (youngest son of former editor Syed Fazlulla)The paper, which is delivered to subscribers, is also available on newsstands for less than one rupee, 75 paisa to be exactThe subscribers are located all across India, with copies being delivered to Delhi, Mumbai and even Kolkata. Any mistake in the newspaper, and the whole page has to be reworkedA negative of the finished product is used to make the printing plate, and this is how it has been published every single day since 1927Most of its advertisements come from agencies and the government, although a few also come directly from private organizations. While some of the advertisements are sent digitally, others are hand-drawn whenever neededThe staff working at The Musalman has been around for 30-35 years. There are three male reporters who cover all aspects of news — be it political, cultural and even sports. Of the three calligraphers, two are women, according to Khaleej Times’s report in the year 2015(Main Image Source: Daily Mail)advertisementInterested in General Knowledge and Current Affairs? Click here to stay informed and know what is happening around the world with our G.K. and Current Affairs section.To get more updates on Current Affairs, send in your query by mail to email@example.com
The Indian U-19 football team played out a goalless draw against Yemen in their second match of the AFC U-19 Championship Qualifiers at the Prince Mohammad bin Fahad Stadium here on Monday.It was all Yemen in the first 10 minutes as they dominated possession and kept threatening the Indian citadel. The Indian defence, however, dealt with most of the danger, whilst Dheeraj Singh’s safe hands kept Yemen at bay.The Indians continued to improve and in the 14th minute, Boris Singh beat his marker to run onto a vacant flank, only for his cross to miss Rahim Ali’s head.Four minutes later, Rahim Ali set up a shot for Amarjit from outside the box, but the latter could only shoot wide of the goal. In the 29th minute, Rahim Ali switched play and found Ninthoi on the flank, who released a pass for an onrushing Suresh Singh.Suresh failed to test the Yemen goalkeeper from outside the box as the ball flew over the bar.India had a glorious opportunity to take the lead early in the second half when Rahim Ali was released onto goal. With only the Yemen custodian to beat from a tight angle, Rahim Ali shot straight at the goalkeeper resulting in an easy save in the 46th minute.Four minutes later it was Abhishek Haldar’s attempt from inside the box that went inches past the goal after Suresh had found him with an inch perfect cross from the wings. In the 55th minute, Dheeraj Singh was called into action and the custodian did not disappoint as he made an acrobatic save to keep out Yemen.advertisementIndia held the Yemen attacks at bay whilst starting to dominate possession. Chances, however, became rare for both teams as the end-to-end tempo resulted in neither getting a clear attempt at goal.
MELBOURNE, Australia — The Super Bowl is a winter event, but in Rio de Janeiro, a mix of Brazilians and expatriates sweltered on a steamy night to celebrate the NFL championship game in their own way.Among the fans jammed into Shenanigan’s Sports Bar, just two blocks from the city’s famed Ipanema beach, Brazilian Milena Lozano — wearing a Patriots jersey emblazoned with Tom Brady’s No. 12 — said she likes American football because it’s “more intellectual” than Brazil’s beloved soccer.“It’s a little different dynamic than our soccer,” the 19-year-old said. “It’s a little more sophisticated than just go and score a goal.”Similar get-togethers were going on in time zones around the world, as international fans of the uniquely American game got together to celebrate Super Bowl Sunday, even in a few places where it was already Monday.Lozano and her friend Dandhara Grammatico watched their first Super Bowl last year, and this time they brought a group of friends for their first experience with the game. They witnessed Brady and the New England Patriots come back to beat the Seattle Seahawks 28-24.“We’ve been waiting the whole year for this,” Grammatico said.American Christian Grant, a graduate of the University of Southern California, said he was in Rio to visit his extended Brazilian family. His mother is from Brazil.“As a USC guy, I love Pete Carroll to death,” he said. “But the first Super Bowl team I loved the best was the Patriots 2002 title — Brady’s first. He’s a man’s man, and his wife is Brazilian — Gisele (Bundchen).”This year’s Super Bowl was broadcast live in 54 movie theaters throughout Brazil.At the Sandals resort in St. John’s on the Caribbean island of Antigua, massive screens were set up beachside and a party planned for vacationers eager to watch the game. Even some of the Europeans visiting who know nothing about American football joined in the revelry.In Tokyo, the start of the Super Bowl coincided with the Monday morning commute. That didn’t stop a large group of hardcore Japanese football fans from taking time off work as a boisterous gathering of about 200 crammed into a Hooters sports bar in the Akasaka business district to catch the game.“I took the morning off work,” said New England fan Yoichi Okano. “I’m a former college player so I do this every year. There is nothing like the Super Bowl.”Okano’s former teammate, Kaz Iijima, took it a step further by taking the entire day off.“This only comes once a year, so it’s worth it,” Iijima said. “I’m a big Seattle fan, so it works out well being here with Yoichi.”Sports fans, in Melbourne, Australia, still drowsy after watching Novak Djokovic claim his fifth Australian Open tennis title the night before, took time off work to settle into one of dozens of Super Bowl parties held at bars and in front of open air screens around the city, including an event in the downtown Docklands district touted as the “Ultimate Aussie Bowl Party” and hosted by former Seahawks wide receiver Terrell Owens.In a country where rugby, cricket and Australian rules football dwarf the NFL in popularity, former Australian rules player-turned-NFL punter Ben Graham — who played in the 2008 Super Bowl with the Arizona Cardinals — was on hand at the Sporting Globe bar to help explain the nuances of the game.___By Neil Frankland, AP Sports WriterAP Sports Writers Steve Wade in Rio de Janeiro, Tales Azzoni in Sao Paulo and James Armstrong in Tokyo contributed TweetPinShare0 Shares
TAMPA, Fla. — Alex Rodriguez reported to the New York Yankees three days ahead of schedule. He spoke for 8 1/2 minutes about his season-long drug suspension.But on his first day back with the team since September 2013, he never said why he resumed the use of performance-enhancing drugs, never explained what he did and avoided getting into any specifics.“I cringe when I look at some of things I did,” Rodriguez said, surrounded by about 40 reporters on the sidewalk outside the Yankees minor league complex.“No mistake that I made has any good answer, no justification. It’s unexplainable, and that’s on me. I’ve dug a big hole for myself. Paid a price.”New York asked him to hold a pre-spring training news conference at Yankee Stadium, but Rodriguez declined. The Yankees told them they didn’t want him holding one at Steinbrenner Field, where they felt it would be a distraction.So Rodriguez improvised.Wearing a green University of Miami sweatsuit, he arrived at Steinbrenner Field on Feb. 23d morning for his physical, three days before the first workout for Yankees’ position players. Shortly before 1 p.m., he showed up at the minor league complex, a little less than 1 mile away, carrying what appeared to be a tan bat box.After changing into Yankees’ shorts, a T-shirt and a spring training cap, Rodriguez worked out for about an hour. He hit six home runs in 71 swings and took grounders at shortstop.Yankees Manager Joe Girardi and General Manager Brian Cashman say Chase Headley will be their starting third baseman and Rodriguez will compete for at-bats at designated hitter.Rodriguez called Headley an “excellent addition” to the team. Rodriguez did not take grounders at first base.“I’m willing to try,” he said. “When Joe needs me, I’m going to be ready. I’m here early, trying to get a jump-start. It’s a process. It’s going to take time.”Suspended for violations of baseball’s drug agreement and labor contract, Rodriguez apologized to team officials during a meeting at Yankee Stadium on Feb. 10 and to fans in a statement last week. His handwritten statement to fans offered no details.“I’m fortunate for a lot of people, especially the commissioner’s office, the players’ union, the Yankees to give me an opportunity to play the game that I love,” he said.Asked whether he thought the Yankees’ organization was on his side, Rodriguez said he didn’t know.“You’d have to ask them,” he responded. “I created a big headache for a lot of people. So, I don’t blame whoever is mad at me.”When asked if at any point he would address specifics regarding his mistakes, Rodriguez answered: “Right now I’m just focused on making this team. Obviously, it was a rough year.”Before speaking with reporters, Rodriguez spent 10 minutes signing autographs for a group of around 50 fans, who all cheered him.Rodriguez stopped his SUV near the complex entrance, got out and walked toward the fans, who surged forward and semi-surrounded him. He also posed for photos with many of them, interacting with questions like “Where are you from?”When he was done, Rodriguez turned to the group of reporters and said, “Let’s keep this nice and short.”He said he has no plans to address Yankees teammates as a group.“I have a lot of good relationships in there,” Rodriguez said. “Stayed in touch with a lot of them. I feel welcomed back.”Rodriguez, who turns 40 in July, has not played a full season since 2007 because the suspension, operations on both hips and other injuries.“I don’t know. … We’ll see,” Rodriguez said about his body holding up. “If I stay healthy, I can do good things.”He admitted in 2009 that he used performance-enhancing drugs from 2001-03 while with Texas. Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig suspended Rodriguez for 211 games in August 2013, citing conduct from 2010-12 uncovered during MLB’s investigation of the Biogenesis of America clinic, which was based in Coral Gables, Florida, not far from Rodriguez’s home.Arbitrator Fredric Horowitz reduced the penalty to the 2014 season, finding “clear and convincing evidence” Rodriguez used three banned substances and twice tried to obstruct baseball’s drug investigation. The suspension cost Rodriguez just over $22 million of his $25 million salary last year.Rodriguez said it’s not for him to say if the penalty was fair.“There’s a system in place,” Rodriguez said. “I paid my penalty. I’m moving on.”Rodriguez also sued Major League Baseball, the players’ association and the Yankees’ team physician, then dropped the cases.He is owed $61 million in the final three seasons of his $275 million, 10-year contract. A marketing agreement signed at the time of his contract provides for five $6 million bonuses he could earn for historic achievements; the Yankees told him they don’t plan to pay those.When asked what he would have done differently the past two years, Rodriguez responded by saying: “I don’t have time for that.”(MARK DIDTLER)TweetPinShare0 Shares
NEW YORK — Jonathon Niese is surprised at how poorly he’s pitching. By the looks of it, his pitches aren’t surprising opponents at all.Giancarlo Stanton homered twice and Christian Yelich snapped a seventh-inning tie with a two-run single, sending the Miami Marlins to a 9-5 victory over the New York Mets on May 30.J.T. Realmuto and Jeff Baker also went deep as Miami dinged a struggling Niese, who lasted only four innings.“All my mistakes are getting hit. They just seem to be barreling everything I throw up there,” he said. “It’s very surprising. It’s frustrating more than anything because my arm feels great, my body feels great and it seems like I’ve been trying to execute my pitches instead of actually executing them. It’s going to change. I’m going to keep working.”After getting off to a solid start this season, Niese is 0-3 with a 9.00 ERA in his last four outings.“I’m concerned because I have yet to see him, in my time here, ever pitch where he makes the number of mistakes he’s made,” Manager Terry Collins said. “So if there’s no injury there we have to look at the mechanics side and some of the other things.”The Marlins had lost 14-of-17 before taking the first two games of this series, giving them four straight wins against the NL East rival Mets after dropping the first five meetings this season.Six members of Miami’s maligned bullpen combined for 5 2-3 shutout innings of two-hit ball, and the Marlins won consecutive road games for the first time since April 22-23.Ruben Tejada hit a three-run double for the Mets, who fell to 20-8 at home and 12-5 in day games. New York went 3 for 14 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11 overall.Stanton launched his 15th homer in the ninth an estimated 455 feet deep into the second deck in left-center. Baker connected on the next pitch from Alex Torres.It was Stanton’s 15th multi-homer game and second this season. He has five home runs against the Mets this year.“I wish I could tell you we haven’t seen him like this before, but we have,” Collins said. “There’s nobody with more power in all of baseball.”Mike Dunn (1-3) escaped a sixth-inning jam by striking out Lucas Duda and retiring Daniel Murphy with runners at the corners.A.J. Ramos got four outs for his fourth save.Donovan Solano hit an early two-run double off Niese, and Stanton lined a sizzling shot to right-center in the third that was barely high enough to clear the fence.“I didn’t think that was gone off the bat. I had to watch the trajectory a little bit,” Stanton said.Realmuto added a two-run drive in the fourth for his second career homer.Miami loaded the bases in the seventh with the help of a double that Martin Prado chopped off the glove of a leaping Tejada at third base. Two outs later, Yelich singled to right off rookie Hansel Robles (0-1) to give the Marlins a 7-5 lead.“He kind of just hung a slider there and I was able to get a piece of it,” Yelich said.(MIKE FITZPATRICK, AP Baseball Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shares
OTTAWA, Ontario — Mike Cammalleri scored twice, Cory Schneider made 36 saves and the New Jersey Devils beat the Ottawa Senators 3-0 on Dec. 30.Andrew Hammond made 18 saves. The Senators lost for the seventh time in 10 games despite outshooting New Jersey 28-11 over the final two periods.The Devils jumped one point ahead of the Senators and into the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference with 45 points.Lee Stempniak had a short-handed empty-net goal with 16 seconds left. Cammalleri scored both his goals in the first period. TweetPinShare0 Shares
Anadolu Efes Istanbul fought back from a 13-point second-half deficit to defeat Panathinaikos Athens 91-86 on Thursday at Abdi Ipekci Arena. The game had no relevance for the hosts, but the Greens needed a victory to have a shot at home-court advantage for the playoffs. But Dario Saric and Thomas Heurtel led a balanced effort to deny Panathinaikos, which fell to 9-5 and finished the Top 16 in third place. The Greens will meet Laboral Kutxa Vitoria Gasteiz in the playoffs. Efes placed fifth in Group E with a 7-7 record. Panathinaikos got off to a fast start as six players combined to make 9 of 10 three-pointers in the first half alone, while James Gist threw down a pair of highlight reel slams for a 43-52 halftime advantage. A Nick Calathes triple extended the difference to 45-58 early in the third quarter. However Saric and Heurtel scored all the points in a 10-0 run that brought Efes back. It was Heurtel’s three-point play that gave Efes its first lead, 77-76, midway through the fourth quarter. Saric stepped up with a clutch triple to extend the lead, a key block on defense and a three-point play as Efes pulled away to give their fans a parting gift. The forward tallied 15 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks to lead six Efes scorers in double figures. Jon Diebler added 13 points, Cedi Osman scored 12, Bryant Dunston and Derrick Brown each posted 11, Alex Tyus 10 and Heurtel finished with 9 points and 9 assists. Gist, Calathes and Elliot Williams led Panathinaikos with 14 points apiece and Vladimir Jankovic, Miroslav Raduljica and Dimitris Diamantidis added 10 points each. Calathes also dished 10 assists. Panathinaikos missed its final 6 three-point tries of the game.First quarter: Gists’s, Haynes’s threes push Greens aheadGist opened the scoring for the Greens with a triple from the corner. Calathes, who assisted on the first basket, buried a jumper. More than two-and-a-half minutes passed before Dunston finish in the paint got the hosts on the scoreboard. Williams buried a baseline jumper for a 2-7 Panathinaikos start. The lead grew on a Jankovic triple. Efes fond its footing with a Dunston put-back and Osman’s three-point play. A second three by Gist made it 7-13, however Dunston outmaneuvered Miroslav Raduljica inside to keep the hosts close. Saric rejected Raduljica at the rim and Furkan Korkmaz followed his own missed shot in for a basket and foul to bring Efes within 1. MarQuez Haynes drilled a pair of threes to put the visitors back in charge at 12-19. Tyus sank a jumper for Efes and Raduljica finished a pick-and-roll at the other end. Derrick Brown brought the hosts within 4 with a three-pointer only to see Diamantidis answer with a jumper that ended the quarter at 17-23.Second quarter: Visitors keep up hot shooting to remain in controlTyus went inside for a layup before Diamantidis and Diebler traded threes. After a timeout, Ognjen Kuzmic split free throws and Calathes put back the miss as the Greens’ lead swelled again. Derrick Brown missed a pair of free throws and Diamantidis nailed another three for the game’s first double-digit difference, 22-32. Tyus managed an acrobatic finish inside, but James Feldeine countered with yet another Panathinaikos triple. But Efes fought on through a Tyus put-back and a Birkan Batuk three. Williams tipped in a Calathes miss, but Tyus drained a jumper. Calathes’s brilliant pass led Williams to a slam and a 31-39 lead midway through the quarter. Osman turned the heat on with a three from the wing. Osman matched Jankovic’s put-back with a floater. Batuk buried a contested jumper to close the gap to 38-41. Jankovic netted free throws, but Osman scored again on the offensive glass. However Calathes nailed a three before Gist came up with a steal and took it in for a 360-degree slam dunk. Efes guard Jayson Granger was helped off the court with an apparent injury on the play. Dunston split free throws and Batuk made 2 more to close the deficit to 43-48. Williams darted through the Efes defense for a layup and Gist dunked again on the break thanks to a great outlet pass from Antonis Fotsis to lead 43-52 at the break.Third quarter: Heurtel, Saric spark Efes revivalJankovic kept the Greens shooting in form with a triple to start the second half. Diebler nit back with a jumper, but Calathes found himself open and hit another three. Heurtel found a cutting Saric wide open for a layup and the forward soon netted free throws. Heurtel added foul shots and Saric scored on the break thanks to a Heurtel steal. Heurtel then went through the Greens’ defense for a layup that capped a 10-0 run that brought the hosts within 55-58 and prompted a Panathinaikos timeout. Calathes found Raduljica inside for a layup to revive the visitors and Gist went through Saric as the Greens regained control. Dunston dunked home a missed Oman layup. And after a Diamantidis layup, dusnton turned an offensive rebound and into a Brown slam. A well-run play in transition finished with an Osman layup to make it a 3-point game again. After Raduljica’s free throws, neither team scored in the final two minutes of the quarter, which ended at 61-66.Fourth quarter: Efes uses 19-4 march to finish season in styleRaduljica extended the difference again with 2 free throws, but Dunston matched him after drawing an unsportsmanlike foul from Vince Hunter on the ensuing play. Heurtel’s turnover led to a Williams layup on the break, but soon Brown split free throws and Diebler buried a three to make it 67-70. Williams rescued the Greens with a nifty layup and Calathes also scored. Heurtel kept Efes in the picture with an off-balance bucket, but Raduljica matched him with a basket inside. After free throws by Brown, Osman’s steal led to a Saric triple, which cut the deficit to 2. Heurtel pushed the ball in transition for a three-point play and Efes’s first lead, 77-76, midway through the quarter. The lead changed hands on a Gist slam and a Diebler triple. Saric extended the difference to 5 with another big triple with two-and-a-half minutes remaining and then rejected Williams at the other end. Brown’s fast break layup made it 85-78 and prompted a Panathinaikos timeout. Feldeine kept the Greens alive with a layup, but Saric all but finished off the game with a basket-plus-foul. Calathes then missed free throws, although Calathes saved the second one and Hunter put it in. After a Calathes steal, he made free throws to bring his team within 88-84 with a minute to go. After Brown split free throws, Saric captured the offensive rebound to help kill the clock. Williams made it a 3-point game with 11 seconds left, but Diebler iced the game from the line.TweetPinShare0 Shares