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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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Wash Post Sports
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 23:12:59 GMT2015-01-25T23:12:59Z

Didier Drogba wants to stay part of Chelsea ‘family’ after this season
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Didier Drogba wants to remain part of the Chelsea “family” past the end of the season.

After receiving the 2015 Football Writers’ Association Tribute Award in London on Sunday night, Drogba said: “When you have achieved so much and won so many trophies like we have done in the past 10 years, that creates something special. I hope, and the club makes me believe, I am part of this big family, so we are going to find the best thing for both of us to promote the club in the best way.”

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last updated: Sat, 24 Jan 2015 12:11:03 EST

Football: Defiant Blatter taunts UEFA
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Fox Sports Top Stories RSS feed merging with Breaking News
The Fox Sports Top Stories RSS feed is merging with Breaking News. Please use instead.

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Sherman take shot at under-pressure Pats
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last updated: Sun, 25 Jan 2015 13:32:21 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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Tavares leads Team Toews in highest-scoring All-Star Game - USA TODAY


Tavares leads Team Toews in highest-scoring All-Star Game
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- New York Islanders captain John Tavares is a difference-maker when the hockey is tough, fast, competitive and physical. He also can rise up when the game is played at half-speed. Tavares scored four goals, NHL leading points ...
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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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