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Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne (87) runs away from New York Giants' Jayron Hosley (28) for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Nov. 3, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)Your Top Plays for Today: AP's Sports Guide

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last updated: Sun, 13 Mar 2011 01:45:03 EST

NCAA basketball: Navy women beat American, earn first NCAA tournament bid
Navy seniors Angela Myers and Cassie Consedine were the first to embrace at center court following a 47-40 victory over American in the Patriot League final Saturday at Alumni Hall. Their improbable journey from the depths of the league standings four seasons ago to champions was complete, and ah...

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Sport | The Guardian
last updated: Sun, 25 Jan 2015 14:56:33 GMT2015-01-25T14:56:33Z

Bristol City v West Ham United: FA Cup fourth round – live! | Nick Miller

69 mins: However, no amount of strength-giving veg can stop Smith winning that header, rising high above the defence to get his nut on a cross, but his header goes well over the bar.

68 mins: For the third time in a few minutes, Reid eases Carroll out of the way. He’s been at the spinach at half-time.

66 mins: Freeman loops a free-kick from deep out there on the right, but while Derrick Williams does well to win the header, he can’t get much behind it and Adrian gathers.

65 mins: Downing befuddles everyone by advancing down the right and not cutting back onto his left foot, instead swinging a cross over with his right, but the ball is headed clear with Carroll a-lurkin’.

63 mins: Quiet couple of minutes. Smith tries to muscle out Reid on the edge of the box, but in an unusual development the West Ham man comes out on top in that tussle.

61 mins: Lovely work by Downing on the edge of the box, skipping around one and then playing a nice one-two with Nolan, but he struggles to find the right angle to shoot, and when he eventually does it sails well over the bar.

59 mins: Great chance for a break by West Ham, but Sakho can’t control a firm forward pass by Reid, with Carroll screaming for the thing out on the right.

56 mins: Double change afoot for West Ham - Diafra Sakho and Morgan Amalfitano come on, departing the scene are Song and Valenca.

54 mins: Song, with his all-black boots, concedes a free-kick around 25 yards out with a clumsy challenge on Smith. JET takes the shot, it’s fairly weak and straight at Adrian, but it could have been slightly hairy with a rough bounce just in front of the keeper, and he did pretty well to hold on.

52 mins: Then Carroll is lucky to escape a booking for a from-behind-chop on Korey Smith, as the City midfielder looked to create something from deep.

51 mins: West Ham imposing themselves a little more now. Carroll has dropped deep a couple of times and while he’s not exactly Zvonomir Boban, he’s made a couple of half-decent passes.

48 mins: A glitch in the matrix as Nolan misreads a Carroll knock-down. In this uncertain world, those two being able to read each other perfectly was one of the few constants. Anything can happen now. Chaos, pandemonium, cats and dogs living together.

46 mins: Away we go, which is also the title of a lovely little film by Sam Mendes. Bit sentimental, but there are some nice moments of humour and...oh hang on a second here’s Valencia, taking advantage of an errant pass from Saville, but he can’t get a proper shot away.

And the players are out for the second-half. Difficult to tell if Allardyce looks annoyed or whether that’s just the way his face falls.

Some half-time entertainment, and I’ve been reminded this absolutely outrageous dive by Daniel Harris. Step forward ‘Flash’ Gordon Watson, tumbling to win a penalty against Leeds in 1991/92.

Well, City should be most pleased with their form so far, the only disappointment being that they haven’t converted their domination - which, for long spells of the 45 minutes, it was - into something tangible. Like, y’know, a goal. One imagines rockets are being fired up bottoms by Allardyce in the dressing room.


45 mins: Valencia goes down as if his leg has been removed by a slightly late Bryan challenge, but in fact it’s just a simple foul. No yellow card, a couple of minutes added time are signalled.

44 mins: “MOVE THE BALL,” bellows Steve Cotterill from the sidelines, and his players oblige, although an errant pass puts paid to a promising attack.

41 mins: Noble has a chance to create something after picking the ball up in the middle of the West Ham half. He skips around one man, then another, then has a chance to either shoot or play in Carroll, but he does neither and merely plunks the ball into Ayling’s shins. City counter, but it’s curtailed as Freeman, not for the first time, tries a through-ball that is just smart enough for him to conceive, but not able to execute.

38 mins: Fielding is forced into his first proper save of the day as Carroll stabs a low cross from Jenkinson towards goal. West Ham still stuttering, but at least they’re vaguely creating something now.

37 mins: More comic hi-jinx from Nolan as he attempts an acrobatic overhead volley from a Jenkinson cross to the far post, which he fails quite miserably to execute properly, and immediately claims a corner, despite the ball never at any point threatening to go out of play, as Fielding ambles over to collect it.

35 mins: From said corner, Smith is penalised for climbing all over Reid, and in one of those delightful moments of basic irony, Kevin Nolan flaps his arms about in protest/tantrum at such penalty box rough-housing.

34 mins: Ayling puts in a low and awkwardly-bouncing cross from the right, and it nearly befuddles Reid, who slices his clearance out of play for a corner.

32 mins: Bit of aggro as JET chops down Reid as the defender tries to usher the ball out of play, but no further action was taken by the referee. Fair amount of rough and tumble from the hosts, here.

31 mins: Nolan has a go at creating something with an attempted through-ball to Valencia, but the pass has too much on it and Frankie Fielding, who sounds like he should be an East End gangster from the 1950s, comes out to gather.

29 mins: Valencia tries to lift West Ham from their torpor out on the left, but while he manages to beat Ayling he can’t get past George Saville.

28 mins: Carroll drops into the No.10 pocket, and gets whatever the opposite of a nosebleed for a striker going up field is, dragging an optimistic shot well wide.

25 mins: Whiff of handball on that Carroll clearance, looking at the replays. Unintentional, but a whiff nonetheless. Smith really is bullying this West Ham defence, which will be a worry for Allardyce.

24 mins: Another off the line! JET and Freeman combine from a short corner on the right, the former dinks a cross directly onto Matt Smith’s bonce and he heads beyond Adrian, but Carroll was there behind his keeper to head off the line.

22 mins: Very flat from West Ham so far. Alex Song tries to play Carroll in with a diagonal pass from somewhere around halfway, but it’s intercepted and the midfielder sinks to the turf, seemingly contemplating the pointlessness of existence in the centre circle.

20 mins: Ach, brilliant chance for City as Joe Bryan advances into the area from the left, exchanges a smart one-two with JET and shoots across goal from a tight angle, and it zips wide. Replays suggest Jenkinson got a toe on that, but no dice on that occasion for City. Their bright start continues, mind.

17 mins: Mark Little, not the one who used to be in Neighbours, tries a cross from the right aiming for Smith at the back stick, but Carl Jenkinson is there to tidy things up smartly.

15 mins: City’s fans firmly nail their colours to the mast in the great ‘Which Is The Worst Of The Four Fundamental States Of Matter’ debate, as they sing ‘Stand up, if you hate the Gas.’

14 mins: Freeman lines up an ambitious shot from range but it’s heavily deflected and arcs high into the air. Fortunately for West Ham, the arc takes it directly to Adrian’s grateful grasp.

13 mins: West Ham tentatively feeling their way back into the game. Well, sort of. They’ve managed to string a few passes together, at least.

10 mins: City win a corner which Freeman hurls over from the right, Smith rises high and blunders towards the ball, the snag being that Kevin Nolan was in the way and is barged half into the net. Free-kick.

8 mins: JET (aaah aaah aaah aaaah), barrels through the middle, playing it in front of him and there’s time for Smith to smartly step aside from an offside position, and the ball is slipped to the right where Luke Freeman has a run on goal, but Winston Reid intervenes to stop a good chance. City much the better team thus far.

6 mins: ...and from that corner, Smith gets his noggin to the ball and it loops towards the far corner of the net, but Mark Noble is there on the line to head clear and prevent a certain goal.

5 mins: More early pressure from the hosts. Jay Emmanuel-Thomas feeds Matt Smith on the left side of the area, and the big centre-forward clips quite a neat cross into the box back for JET, but he can’t direct the header at goal and it’s behind for a corner...

3 mins: Early chance for City, as the ball falls to Matt Smith in the area with his back to goal, he spins and fires a shot towards goal, but James Tomkins is there to block.

2 mins: The aesthetics of this are weird. For a start, half of Ashton Gate is under construction, with one end open and half of one side still being built, plus there’s the absolutely ghastly sight of rugby markings bespoiling the pitch.

1 min: West Ham get us going (the game, I mean, not, like, get us going get us going), and they’re wearing that slightly odd purple third kit or whatever it is.

Weird note about Stewart Downing: his voice sounds a bit like a (very) dialled-down Robbie Savage, which is weird considering one is from Middlesbrough and t’other from Wrexham.

It’s a lump-off and no mistake out there today. Which is not to say the pair of lumps in question, Andy Carroll and Matt Smith, are not bad players, as their respective recent records display. Carroll has five in 11 in a season that quite literally didn’t start for him until November, while Smith, on loan from Fulham after Leeds’s vaguely bewildering decision to sell in him the final few minutes of the transfer window, has battered his way to nine in nine, including four in the JPT against Gillingham the other week.

Fielding, Little, Williams, Flint, Bryan, Ayling,Saville, Korey Smith, Freeman, Emmanuel-Thomas, Matt Smith. Subs: Richards, Osborne, Cunningham, Wagstaff, Elliott, Pack, Agard.

This season has been weird enough for West Ham. Weird watching them win a load of games, weird watching them do so in many cases with no little élan, weird watching Sam Allardyce take the very deserved praise coming his way with something approaching grace and humility. They’re seventh in the table and have managed to forge the old and new, to marry playing vaguely stylishly with playing Andy Carroll up top. In short, it’s going bloody well for a team who, if the mob had ruled at the back end of last season, would have gone into this season with a completely different manager, and it’s tricky to see how that new manager, unless he was a fusion of Clough, Gutmann, Shankly, Herrera and Ferguson, could have done much better.

And now. Now West Ham are among the favourites to win the FA Cup, largely because most teams above them have been so calamitously bloody awful that they’ve managed to get themselves knocked out by assorted plucky sorts from the ‘Football League’, whatever that is.

Good afternoon. Nick will be here shortly. Until then, here’s Stuart James chatting to Bristol City’s local hero, Joe Bryan:

After joining his hometown club at the age of eight and coming through their academy, Bryan has earned rave reviews with his displays at left wing-back as part of a resurgent City side who are promising to make 2014-15 a season to remember. Joint top of League One on points and only 90 minutes from reaching Wembley in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, City welcome West Ham to the building site that is Ashton Gate – the stadium is being redeveloped at a cost of £40m – in buoyant mood.

“People always say that it’s a sleeping giant. I think you can see the interest here, people realise we’re winning games,” Bryan says. “The thing is, I think the fact that we’re redeveloping the stadium this season is a bit of a hindrance. If all the stands were still there, I think they would be full every week because we’re winning. But it will be nice when the ground is done. It’s good to see development on and off the pitch. It’s a positive time.”

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NYT > Sports
last updated: Sun, 25 Jan 2015 04:36:16 GMT

On College Basketball: Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski Nears Milestone Victory
During his long coaching career, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski has impressed many people — including Harry Statham, the career leader in coaching victories for a four-year men’s college basketball program.

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last updated: Fri, 23 Jan 2015 13:40:21 EST

Tennis: Nadal elated after 'special' win
Rafael Nadal firmly put to rest fears over his form and fitness with a straight sets demolition of big-serving South African Kevin Anderson Sunday to reach the Australian Open quarterfinals.

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Vonn extends World Cup record
The winning machine that is Lindsey Vonn proved unstoppable again Sunday with rivals left trailing in the World Cup super-G at St Moritz.

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Premier League 0-2 Underdogs
Manchester City and Chelsea, two of the richest clubs in world soccer, were knocked out of the English FA Cup by lower league opposition on a day of shocks and awe.

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Jansrud wins skiing's 'Super Bowl'
Norway's Kjetil Jansrud clinched the biggest prize in men's skiing after winning the Kitzbuehel downhill, considered the 'Super Bowl' of the sport.

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Roger and out
Roger Federer will have to wait to win a record-extending 18th grand slam title after he lost to Andreas Seppi in the third round of the Australian Open.

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Odegaard set for superstardom
Real Madrid sign the "extraordinary talent" of Norwegian teenager Martin Odegaard.

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Aus tennis legend rediscovers her roots
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Pimp up your golf game
If golf has a reputation for being a bit stuffy, then the Bryan brothers and their trick shots are a much-needed blast of fresh air.

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Bring on the dancing horses
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Zara Phillips targets Olympic gold
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Japan's rise to racing prominence
Winning Post travels to one of the largest training centers in Japan to see how this nation is rising to racing prominence

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What's special about F1 car design?
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2015 Asian Cup set to kick off
As the 2015 Asian cup kicks off in Australia, CNN's Amir Daftari looks at the favorites to win the tournament.

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Pro golfers release new beer line
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Equestrian world's biggest moments
2014 was a year when new stars were crowned and a superstar of the sport made a comeback. CNN's Max Foster reports.

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Marc Marquez's talent runs in family
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Ski star Lindsey Vonn crashes
American star Lindsey Vonn had high hopes in the super-G but crashed out after hitting a gate mid-course.

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Nadal reveals future plans
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Could lawsuits make football obsolete?
Research on the long-term effects of concussions is changing how many look at this popular sport.

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2014's top sports stories
CNN's Rachel Nichols takes a look at the sports stories from on and off the field that we'll remember from 2014.

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The horse that always finishes second
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last updated: Sun, 25 Jan 2015 13:00:00 GMT

Shayk dumped ‘cheating’ Ronaldo
REPORTS claim Cristiano Ronaldo had affairs with at least three women during his five year relationship with Russian beauty Irina Shayk.

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last updated: Sat, 24 Jan 2015 23:26:06 PST

Sources: 11 of 12 Pats footballs underinflated
Eleven of 12 footballs were inflated 2 pounds per square inch below what's required by NFL regulations during the Pats' 45-7 victory over the Indianapolis Colts, according to sources.

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Seahawks' soft spots on defense, and how the Patriots can exploit them - ESPN


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The Kang Show
Jung-ho Kang (pronounced GAHNG) is officially a Pirate, as Friday’s announcement (plus a few reports earlier in the week) ended a couple weeks of speculation. Once the Pirates won the bidding for the negotiating rights, it wasn’t so much a question of if they would sign him, but for how much and how they would expect him […]

Jung-ho Kang (pronounced GAHNG) is officially a Pirate, as Friday’s announcement (plus a few reports earlier in the week) ended a couple weeks of speculation. Once the Pirates won the bidding for the negotiating rights, it wasn’t so much a question of if they would sign him, but for how much and how they would expect him to fit in. We have a better idea of that now: Kang’s contract is for $11M over four years, plus a team option for a fifth year ($5.5M with a $1M buyout). That’s far less than he was reportedly seeking (around 4-5M per year), and in the end this didn’t really turn out to be the enormous financial commitment on the part of the Pirates that some thought it might be: $17M over four years if the option is bought out, $12M of that going to Kang (the rest being the posting fee going to his old Korean club). This could turn out to be an incredible bargain, reasonable value, or wasted money, but if it ends up being wasted money, it is by no means a crippling amount.

The much more interesting thing is the role he will play on the team and what the Pirates can reasonably expect from him. Much was made of Kang’s comments at the Seoul airport, just before he left for the U.S.,when he nodded if asked if he thought he could put up better numbers than Jordy Mercer. As many others have said, this shouldn’t be a big deal – he was basically prompted in to saying that, he obviously isn’t going to aspire to be a benchwarmer, and it certainly didn’t come across as a “throwing down the gauntlet” sort of comment — and it appears that most have realized that, even though some media wanted to run with it for a day or so.  Anyway, to start out, Kang is going to be a benchwarmer. Mercer proved to be a very steady shortstop last year and the Pirates should be – and are – glad to have him as their starter there. They are obviously set at second and third as well. Initially, Kang’s role will be strengthening the bench and infield depth – something that has been a priority this offseason (Sean Rodriguez, Corey Hart, etc.) and should help the club in 2015.  There are questions about his defense but he is apparently versatile enough to play second and third, in addition to his main position at short. As long as he is somewhere in between “completely terrible” and “no different from his KBO self”, he should be just fine as a power bat off the bench and a fill-in for Mercer, Walker, and Harrison should any of them get hurt, struggle, or just need a day off. Neal Huntington was fairly adamant that he won’t be going to the minors – which I was surprised to hear him state right away, especially if it isn’t stipulated in his contract (which it apparently is not).

What happens beyond that initial “feeling-out” phase (2015) will undoubtedly depend on what Kang shows he can do, which is basically a complete mystery. There isn’t much point to trying to figure out if he’s the planned Neil Walker replacement after this year, or if a move to first for Walker is in play, or something else. Those discussions will certainly happen if Kang proves he can handle the majors, but he has to do that first. And while I trust that the Pirates did a good job with their scouting and research before making such an unprecedented investment, there’s no way to know for sure if Kang will do that. He’s the first KBO position player to make this transition, and we’ve heard plenty about how the ballparks are small and the pitching is bad over there. You would think that, even with a huge difference, arguably the best player there could hold his own in MLB, but there are so many factors in play (in addition to the change in pitching and the ballpark, there’s the matter of adjusting to living in a foreign country, taking on a bench role after being a star player for years, and having the baseball reputation of an entire country largely on your shoulders) … it’s not hard to envision him flaming out. But of course, the other side of the spectrum is the vast potential Kang offers if he can make the adjustment. If he can end up being a ~20 homer guy with OK on-base% and defense, that would be a huge win for the Pirates, regardless of where he ends up playing or who he ends up taking over for. With all the positional flexibility they currently have with basically all of their infielders, they should be able to choose from any number of options depending on who holds up and who doesn’t. Remember, while everyone’s high on Mercer and Harrison right now, that’s pretty much all built on one year, and while we all love Neil Walker, his durability has and will continue to come into question, as will his cost.

Other random notes on Kang:

  • He’ll train with his old Korean team, the Nexen Heroes, in Arizona from now until the start of Pirates camp in Bradenton next month. Korean teams typically train in AZ/FL at this time of year.
  • Kang will certainly have a large following back in his home country. For some perspective from over there, here’s an (translated) interview Kang did with the Korean news, and here’s an interview KDKA-FM did with Korean sports reporter Jeeho Yoo.
  • I really hope he uses the same walk-up music he did in Korea. 
  • Kang will wear #27 for the Bucs. 16 was his old number but he won’t be taking that from Nick Leyva.
  • Kang is the first position player to come over from the KBO, but there was one pitcher who did it: Hyun-jin Ryu of the Dodgers. That’s worked out pretty well for them. Ryu is a friend of Kang’s and shared some thoughts on him here, naturally predicting success. Back in the KBO, the last time the two faced each other, Kang homered.
  •  If you want Kang highlights, there’s no shortage of them here. 

In other Pirate news, it’s the fun time of year where arbitration salaries are negotiated. Most arb-eligible Bucs were able to reach an agreement: Mark Melancon, Josh Harrison, Chris Stewart, Antonio Bastardo, Francisco Cervelli, Jared Hughes, Travis Snider, Sean Rodriguez, and Tony Watson. The amounts for each are listed here – adding them up, they fall reasonably close to the projections. There were three players that did not reach an agreement: Neil Walker, Pedro Alvarez, and Vance Worley. The exchanged figures are here - the differences are $1M for Walker and less for the other two. In isolation, this isn’t a big deal, but going to an arb “trial” to determine a player’s salary is something the Pirates have generally stayed away from and could create (or increase) tension between the player and the front office – especially in the cases of Walker (who is still looking for an extension that might never come) and Alvarez (being forced to switch positions, at least somewhat against his will).

When all that is settled, it looks like the payroll is going to wind up over $90 million – a mark that still isn’t going to satisfy the Nutting haters, but is a nice bump up and is at least close to the range where most feel the Pirates should be.

Original article: The Kang Show

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