After season of tinkering, Mariners pitcher Yusei Kikuchi spent the offseason perfecting
PEORIA, Ariz. — In the days after the 2019 season mercifully came to an end, and before the offseason truly began for players not in the postseason, Scott Servais wanted to talk with Yusei Kikuchi.The manager and the rookie pitcher, along with Kikuchi’s translator at the time, met for breakfast in Seattle to discuss what went right and all that went wrong in the recent season and what was expected to be gained in the four months of freedom before this spring training.It was there that the seeds of a change both knew was needed were planted.“We were just going to talk through the year and get a...
The Seattle Times
Marcos Breton: Sacramento's Dusty Baker has 2 tough jobs: Clean up Astros' image and win a World Series
Like a lot of people who know him and love him, I was overjoyed when Dusty Baker was named manager of the Houston Astros a few weeks ago.It seemed like a story book development: Baker was the beloved, Sacramento-reared baseball lifer who had been discarded by the game after decades of regular season success as a manager – and postseason heartbreak. He had just opened a wine business in West Sacramento and seemed content to move on after being ignored repeatedly for potential managing jobs since being shown the door by the Washington Nationals following the 2017 season.But now Baker is suddenly...
The Sacramento Bee
Marcell Ozuna: 'It feels amazing' to join Braves
NORTH PORT, Fla. — Marcell Ozuna joined his new teammates at Braves camp on Sunday, meeting many of them for the first time. It marked the unofficial beginning to what the player and team hope is a fruitful partnership.The slugging outfielder, signed to a one-year, $18 million deal last month, possesses an element critical to the team’s success: Power. Lots of power, in fact. A patient, calculated approach by the Braves and a free-agent Ozuna led to Sunday morning’s introduction.Ozuna had waited all winter for a multi-year offer he deemed viable. The Braves waited all winter to see if they’d r...
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Ryan Dempster will have a talk show on the Cubs' Marquee Sports Network. But will it feature Kris Bryant's new guitar skills?
MESA, Ariz. — As spring training moves into high gear this week, here are three things we’ve learned from Cubs camp.———1. Ryan Dempster’s ready to start his new chapter as a talk-show host.Coming soon to a TV near you — well, if your cable company carries the Marquee Sports Network — is the Ryan Dempster Show.The former Cubs pitcher and current assistant to Cubs president Theo Epstein will begin his own talk show on Marquee — officially called “Off the Mound with Ryan Dempster — with guests from baseball, the arts and other walks of life.Stupid Cubs Tricks?“Typically, we’re going to run it lik...
Omar Kelly: Will Dolphins be ready to take advantage of life after Tom Brady?
Tom Brady’s reign of terror in the NFL is nearing its end.Not only was this past season the first year that Tommy Terrific looked human while posting a 88.0 passer rating, but for months there’s been league-wide speculation that the 14-time Pro Bowler, who has led the Patriots to six championships in 20 seasons, is preparing his exit from New England.And there’s further speculation that this is a divorce Patriots coach Bill Belichick wants, but won’t dare publicly ask for.The 42-year-old quarterback will officially become an unrestricted free agent in March and is seeking his final major payda...
NBA All-Star Weekend: Team LeBron tops Team Giannis 157-155
CHICAGO — Team LeBron topped Team Giannis in a nail-biter in the All-Star Game at the United Center on Sunday, 157-155, earning $400,000 for Chicago Scholars.Chicago native Anthony Davis made the final free throw in the untimed fourth quarter to put Team LeBron over the top.Team Giannis won $100,000 for After School Matters by winning the second quarter.Along with the actual basketball events — Friday’s Rising Stars game; Saturday’s 3-Point Contest, Skills Challenge and Slam Dunk contest; and Sunday’s All-Star Game — there were a ton of happenings around Chicago all weekend.———©2020 Chicago Tr...
Luis Robert is ready to showcase a 'warrior' mentality in the majors after reaching a long-term deal with the White Sox
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Luis Robert has a tattoo on the left side of his neck.“It means ‘warrior’ in Chinese,” Robert said through an interpreter Sunday. “As a Cuban, when you leave the island, you know that you are going to face a lot of challenges, tougher challenges. I consider myself a warrior.”Robert, 22, is ready to unleash that mentality in the majors.The top prospect in the organization is in line to be the opening-day center fielder after he and the Sox came to terms on a six-year, $50 million contract this offseason.“The only thing that the contract changed was the certainty that I’m going...
Blues lose 2-1 in Nashville on late goal by Turris
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Blues ended one streak Sunday. For the first time in 12 games they allowed fewer than three goals.But the most important streak continued because their winless streak extended to five games (0-3-2) with a 2-1 loss to Nashville at Bridgestone Arena.Kyle Turris’ ninth goal of the season beat Jordan Binnington far side, breaking a 1-1 tie with just 2 minutes 12 seconds to go.The Blues’ fell to 32-17-10 for the season and went winless in the now-concluded season series against Nashville, going 0-3-1. The Blues are hanging onto first place in the Central Division by a thread....
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Mike Bianchi: Donald Trump's NASCAR pales in comparison to Ronald Reagan's days
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — In the minds of an estimated crowd of nearly 200,000 fans who packed into Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, President Donald Trump’s appearance before the rain-drenched Daytona 500 should have come with a brand-new campaign mantra:“Make NASCAR Great Again.”Please, Mr. President, make stock car racing like it was back in the good ol’ days of Reaganomics.If President Trump could somehow, someway reignite NASCAR’s sinking economy, it would, by far, surpass his presidential record on the surging U.S. economy. NASCAR’s economic downturn over the past decade is well chr...
Daytona 500 postponed until Monday due to rain
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The Daytona 500 was postponed until Monday for just the second time during the history of NASCAR’s showcase event.A rain delay of more than two hours washed out Daytona International Speedway, sending fans scurrying for cover and race teams packing up well before race officials decided to call off the race.The race now is scheduled to begin at 4:05 p.m. Monday and will still be broadcast on Fox. The weather forecast calls for mostly cloudy weather with a 10% chance of rain.The 2012 race, won by Matt Kenseth, did not finish until early Tuesday after Juan Pablo Montoya cras...