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last updated: Fri, 30 Sep 2016 07:19:02 -0400

Ryder Cup showdown under way at Hazeltine

Europe's Justin Rose plays a a practice round ahead of the 41st Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Course in Minnesota on September 29, 2016Olympic champion Justin Rose teed off for Europe in a boisterous and tension-filled atmosphere Friday to start the 41st Ryder Cup with an opening alternate shot foursomes match at Hazeltine. Passions were overflowing in the first tee stands, jammed to a 1,500-seat capacity with screaming spectators, as Europe began the hunt for an unprecedented fourth consecutive victory over the United States. Rose fired his shot into the morning fog and mist and it landed on the fairway.

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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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last updated: Fri, 30 Sep 2016 08:00:02 GMT2016-09-30T08:00:02Z

Ryder Cup 2016: USA v Europe, day one foursomes – live!

Back on the 1st tee, Rory is out, and he’s whipping up the small European contingent in the crowd by joining in with their rendition of Is This The Way To Amarillo? It’s not quite Ian Poulter or Boo Weekley levels of showmanship, but it’s a good effort nonetheless. It needs to be, because the cheers that greet Phil and Rickie practically scatter the mist. Andy Sullivan, nervelessly, batters Europe’s opening drive down the track. That’ll settle him. Fowler follows. A pair of big drives there, taking out the corner on the left. Up on 2, Stenson splits the fairway; erstwhile European captain Sam Torrance looks on with a satisfied grin across his face. Spieth matches him. It’s been a brilliant display of driving so far, under all this pressure.

Reed’s uphill right-to-left putt skates by the left of the hole. That opens the door for Rose, but his gentle left-to-right curler from the other side of the cup stays high on the left. That wasn’t the easiest of putts, but it was an opportunity to land an early blow for Europe nonetheless. They move on to the par-four 2nd all square.

Spieth/Reed A/S Stenson/Rose (1)

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last updated: Wed, 28 Sep 2016 10:36:33 GMT

Ryder Cup Day One LIVE
Follow all of the action from Hazeltine as Day One of the Ryder Cup between the US and Europe gets under way.

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last updated: Fri, 30 Sep 2016 09:19:00 GMT

Video: Finch blows up after contentious dismissal
AUSTRALIAN opener Aaron Finch exploded in rage after controversially being given out caught in the opening one-day international against South Africa.

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last updated: Thu, 29 Sep 2016 13:31:49 EST

Browns' Gordon to enter rehab; return on hold
Browns' Gordon to enter rehab; return on hold

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The new status quo
It’s been a while since I checked in on here, but it’s almost a little weird well how my general thoughts in the previous post have held up. In short: The Good: OBP The Bad: Pitching depth (and the Cubs being really really good). A month and a half later, the Pirates are leading the […]

It’s been a while since I checked in on here, but it’s almost a little weird well how my general thoughts in the previous post have held up. In short:

The Good: OBP

The Bad: Pitching depth (and the Cubs being really really good).

A month and a half later, the Pirates are leading the league in OBP and are scoring plenty of runs as a result. The pitching may be coming around a little bit lately, but it would still be a stretch to call it anything but shaky. And the Cubs are still looking very tough.

It’s a little weird, honestly. We’re now living in a world where the Pirate offense – not pitching – is carrying them, and the Cubs – not the Cards – are public enemy #1. Things could change, but for now, the Pirates seem to have leapfrogged St Louis – but the Cubs leapfrogged both. So we appear to be headed for another summer of trying to close a semi-healthy deficit against a division opponent while dreading falling back on a wild card matchup with an inferior team with a superior ace pitcher. There are worse fates, I keep telling myself (we lived it for 20 years), but that’s still getting a little old.

Some other notes and thoughts on where things stand, and the first two months of the season:

  • Of course the number one hot topic around the team right now is the Indianapolis pitching cavalry that should provide some much needed help to a very iffy big league rotation. I’m very, very excited to see Jameson Taillon, who has checked pretty much any box in Indianapolis anyone could hope for…now it appears to just be a waiting game for the dreaded Super Two to pass. Sigh. The only good thing about that (besides the team saving money down the road, which, well, you know) is that the Pirates can afford to be extremely conservative with Taillon’s pitch count before he comes up. Innings and workload will be limited for the year at some point with his prized arm coming off two seasons of injuries. (That’s why I’d have liked to have used more of those limited innings at the MLB level this year, but now the Pirates have gotten so close to the Super Two point – sometime in early June – that they almost have to wait it out.)
  • Tyler Glasnow is the bigger arm and more eye popping prospect then Taillon, but if you read some of the reports, I’ll buy the idea that he actually does need some more work – notably on a changeup. Maybe he’d help the bullpen, or be a Juan Nicasio equivalent as a starter, but the Pirates probably don’t want that for his development.
  • Chad Kuhl, on the other hand, probably has a much lower upside but is pitching too well in Indy to ignore. He has to be getting awfully close to getting a look in the majors as well.
  • When one or more of those three reach the majors, I’m very enthusiastic about the bullpen’s chances to be much improved when Nicasio slides from the rotation to the pen. As a two pitch guy who dominates with hard stuff and not “pitchability”, he would just fit so much better in a role where he could go all out and only have to face a set of hitters once in a game.
  • The bullpen desperately needs that help – and more. It’s probably going to be the number one point of emphasis once we creep in to trade talk time – but hey, why wait?
  • I have very few, if any, complaints about the status of pretty much all the position players – starters and bench. It’s a very good offense. Heck, the biggest disappointment to this point has been McCutchen, who I’m not going to worry about.
  • How good is that Gregory Polanco extension looking? Really, really, really freaking good.
  • The Francisco Cervelli extension is nice, too – if only because the catching situation after this year was looking very dicey. It was pretty much going to be Elias Diaz (who is unproven and hurt) or bust. Cervelli offers plenty of stability (and likability).
  • Jung Ho Kang post-injury update: Still the man. I was concerned about how he’d look  – not only coming back from the awful injury, but also adjusting in his second year in the league – but so far he has not missed a beat. And with the depth (mostly provided by Freese), it isn’t a problem that he has to sit once a series or so.
  • I think most of us were expecting an improved version of Jon Niese, compared to what he did in New York. Instead he has been worse. If he can just get back to that level – which you’d think he should eventually – just a league average pitcher – it would help quite a bit, and the value for Neil Walker would be just fine. If not, well, he (and/or Jeff Locke) might be losing a rotation spot if those Indy pitchers keep knocking on the door.

Original article: The new status quo

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