Tag: 上海夜网RA

first_imgTo kick off the 2014 MLB season, we will be going around the diamond to find out who are the best under-the-radar players to look out for while you’re planning for your fantasy drafts. For the first edition of the series, we’ll start with the cornerstones of your team, the first and third basemen, or the corner infielders.First BasemenMy initial thought, in terms of draft strategy for this year, was to funnel a lot of money into the best players while disregarding positional scarcity, because the top talent this year seems to be annually underappreciated (I’m looking at you, Chris Davis and Edwin Encarnacion). However, the more I look at the 1B list, the more talented sleepers I find, leaving more money/high draft picks to be saved for the 2B and SS of the world.1) Jose Abreu, Chicago White SoxJose Abreu, recently rescued from Cuba for the price of $68 million over four years, is teeming with power potential. Labeled as possibly the best player in the world by some of his old Cuban teammates and MLB sensation Yasiel Puig, Abreu remains low key because Puig has already claimed the title “the Great Cuban Hope.” Although the thought that Adam Dunn might be mentoring Abreu is scary, he should at least have the power to smack 30-35 home runs, a valuable commodity in rotisserie leagues. A player with this kind of potential who is valued as the 19th best 1B in the ESPN rankings is well worth taking a flier on.2) Mark Teixeira, New York YankeesThe Yankees first baseman is coming off a season where he received 53 at-bats, with a whopping eight hits out of those at bats. However, even as he was working off the rust from a major injury, he still managed to homer in three of those eight at bats. If you extrapolate those numbers over the course of a full season (assuming he stays healthy for a full season), that’s about 30-35 home runs for a guy who strikes out under 120 times a season. Considering he’s hitting in the heart of a revamped, OBP-centric lineup and playing his first full season in that new sandbox we call Yankee Stadium, let’s just say I like his odds.3) Justin Morneau, Colorado RockiesIf, for some reason, you get tricked into drafting Hee-Siop Choi, forget he hasn’t been in baseball for 8 years, and only have a dollar or a late round pick to spend on an actual first baseman, don’t worry, because former MVP Justin Morneau will be available. And this should make you ecstatic, because who is talking about Justin Morneau these days? The 29th-ranked first baseman lost relevance lollygagging in the Twins’ organization before getting a very slight boost after a post-deadline trade to the Pirates last year. However, he made no headlines when he signed with the Rockies this winter. But I’ll take a guy who takes his 17 homers, .323 OBP, and 77 RBI with two mediocre hitting teams in spacious parks to one of the most potent lineups in baseball at the best hitting ballpark in recent memory.Third BasemenThird base just never gets any better. You have the perennial guys at the top in Cabrera, Beltre, Longoria and Wright, but you’re left hoping a second half breakout Chase Headley happens if you miss out on those guys. Luckily, we can add one more name to the top 4 in Matt Carpenter. But, with a typical five more teams in a league in need of a third baseman, let’s look at some of the other options you’ll have if you miss out on these five.1) Will Middlebrooks, Boston Red SoxMiddlebrooks has received a lot of draft hype, and most of it, deservedly so. His draft prospects are a little inflated because of the dearth of quality at this corner spot, but there are things to like about the Greenville, Texas product. He was a revelation in 2012, and started off hot in 2013, but all of a sudden, his production fell off a cliff. Fortunately for him and his fans, he picked it up with an impressive 881 OPS in August, and followed that up with a very respectable 747 OPS in September. Good late season showings are a very good indicator of future success and if Middlebrooks, who is still very young, can sustain this and improve on his skills, he can definitely finish in the top 5 of third basemen at season’s end, when Longoria eventually injures himself for the rest of the year.2) Mike Moustakas, Kansas City RoyalsMiddlebrooks is the only real third baseman sleeper I have for this year. No one else is really going to outdo their production from this crop of 3Bs, though I do have some hope for Moustakas. However, this is mostly predicated on my sixth sense of “this guy has to break out at SOME point, right?” Moustakas was a high draft pick and a top prospect for a minor league system that was littered with good players. Some guys just develop slowly. Even though I have no concrete reason why, this could be the year Moustakas takes off.3) The Matts: Matt Davidson, Chicago White Sox and Matt Dominguez, Houston AstrosAlthough both Davidson and Dominguez are a couple years too early from breaking out into 10-team, mixed league fantasy relevance, there’s no one with better potential than the Matts. Davidson will be a rookie this year, but with a 20-25 home run potential and hitting in shallow U.S. Cellular Field with a pretty decent White Sox lineup around him, he could put up decent numbers if he’s not overpowered by major league pitching. Dominguez was one of the lone bright spots for the lowly Astros last year, but proved that he can hit in the big leagues. He, too, is about a year away from taking the next big step and possibly becoming a major player at the third base spot, though there’s no reason why can’t take that step this year. The problem is that there’s also no reason why he would take it this year.Daniel Scheiner is a sophomore majoring in music industry. His fantasy baseball picks run Sundays.last_img read more

first_imgBut racism reared its ugly head on Tuesday when French players Ousmane Dembele and Paul Pogba were targeted during France’s 3-1 friendly victory over Russia in Saint Petersburg.An AFP photographer heard imitation ape noises aimed at Barcelona forward Dembele, while internet users reported similar abuse from sections of the 50,000 crowd targeting Manchester United’s star Pogba.Following calls from French sports minister Laura Flessel for “European and international” action, football’s ruling body FIFA is now investigating.Although the Russian Football Union’s initial response was sceptical — its security council chief said his monitors “did not hear or record anything of the kind” — anti-discrimination inspector Alexei Smertin later said a RFU probe was already underway.The Russian parliament’s deputy speaker, Igor Lebedev — a sports fanatic who sits on the RFU’s executive committee — addressed racist abuse the way few football officials had done before.“I want to call on fans to stop this,” he told the Championat sports news site.“This is not just a problem with our fans’ perception of African American and black players.“The problem is elsewhere: none of this bad behaviour will stop until we start punishing it.”Russia’s history of all forms of discrimination stretches back to its Soviet era and is rarely tackled head on.Critics say it is only being fomented by a mix of nationalist and socially conservative Kremlin ideology that at times borders on xenophobia.Lebedev further appealed to Russians’ sense of patriotism and pride in “our nation’s prestige”.“Do we want to embarrass the country?” he asked.– ‘Ultras’ and bananas –Racism is especially closely associated with football because of the right-wing hooligans and club “ultras” attracted to the game.The scourge swept across Europe and was especially severe in countries such as England and Italy between the 1970s and 1990s.This hatred spilled onto Russian football stadiums in the last two decades as clubs began signing African and Latin American players.One of the starkest episodes saw Brazilian legend Roberto Carlos walk off the pitch in disgust after a banana was thrown his way in 2011.“I hope that the Russian football authorities get to grips with this,” he said at the time.Fellow Brazilian Hulk complained after another incident in 2015 that “nobody is paying attention to this problem, neither the referees nor the RFU.”The Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) anti-discrimination network reported 89 racist and far-right incidents at Russian games in the 2016/17 season.But for French former World Cup winner Lilian Thuram, nothing concrete is being done to resolve the problem: “Is there any real will on the part of FIFA, the Russian federation or society in general to address this issue ?“If this happens during the World Cup, will the referee stop the game? I doubt it.“We will only see how serious FIFA are if they decide to stop a game.”Anti-discrimination officer Smertin has been one of the sport’s most vocal proponents of change.The former Spartak and Chelsea midfielder visits schools and has organised a Moscow State University course for combating discrimination in football.Smertin now wants to introduce similar studies nationwide.“These lessons won’t just be about football but about dialogue between different people,” he wrote in the Moscow Times.“And football, in my opinion, is a great platform for dialogue.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Midfielder Paul Pogba was one of two France players targeted by racist chants during a 3-1 friendly win over World Cup hosts Russia © AFP/File / FRANCK FIFEMOSCOW, Russian Federation, Mar 29 – A new racism scandal has rocked Russian football in the run-up to the World Cup — and anxious Moscow authorities are taking it seriously.The idea of fans targeting black players with monkey chants is haunting Russian football chiefs heading into the June 14 to July 15 celebration of the ‘beautiful game’.last_img read more