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I have been a very proud parent this week. [url=http://www.argentinasoccerauthentic.c
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I have been a very proud parent this week. Federico Fazio Jersey . As someone who grew up idolizing many sports I was absolutely thrilled when my daughter came home from school and told me her class spent part of their lunch watching the Winter Olympics in the library. "Look daddy there is that girl skier I watched today," she said pointing at our television. The skier in question hadnt won gold but shed won a spot on national television and, while enjoying her moment in the spotlight, had a huge smile for the camera. An enormous smile for a finish outside the medals. This lady had captured my daughters attention. Her happiness, so it turned out, had been infectious. I had noticed the smile immediately. I had spent my day watching hours of Premier League football and on a day where few goals were scored, even fewer smiles showed up. In fact, aside from celebrating the rare goals, none of the players smiled at all. It made me wonder; isnt anyone having any fun anymore? This had come to my attention watching Manchester Uniteds recent draw with Fulham at Old Trafford. United conceded early, spent much of the next hour camped in their opponents half, scored a goal with 12 minutes left, didnt celebrate, rushed back to restart, then scored a goal again which finally allowed everyone to smile. And laugh. And, in the case of manager David Moyes, act like theyd won the Champions League. It had all seemed a bit forced and then the smiles were well and truly wiped off their faces when Darren Bent netted a dramatic 94th minute equalizer. A few Fulham players smiled at the final whistle, others hugged each other and clapped their fans as they headed down the tunnel, no doubt turning their attention to their next match coming four days later. Welcome to Premier League football in 2014. Every team is either racing after something or trying to run away from something and while they are doing it, very few are stopping to smell the roses on the way. For some, having a plethora of teams challenge for the title, European spots, and against relegation, is seen as parity and a wonderful way for the league to have many important matches. The problem, however, are the intense demands that come with chasing 1st, 4th or 17th, for example, and they are undoubtedly weighing the players down. We are not supposed to feel sorry for a professional footballer. They earn tremendous amounts of money and for that they are supposed to be looked upon differently. However, whilst watching hours of Premier League football this month, I keep coming back to my original question - Is anyone having fun anymore? Professional sports have never been as professional. No stone is unturned and athletes are given the best of everything, but is this making them better and, just as important, are they enjoying themselves? Premier League footballers have their every move looked at, both on and off the playing field. How they train, eat, sleep, socialize, cross, pass, shoot, run, you name it, the club is looking at it. We are told it is to ensure every player is getting what they need so their employers can get the best out of them but you only have to watch Manchester United this season to know that they are not getting the best out of their players. We live in a world where every player in a game we have just watched can be analyzed in many different ways. By this rule, we can debate the merits of Tom Cleverley in midfield, the decision to play Juan Mata wide or Ashley Young at all, for example. Trained eyes can tell you how well they played. Stats available on your smart phone can tell you where they passed the ball and to whom seconds after it happens. Some statistics, if used correctly, can tell a story of how a player performed. Yet, the one thing no one will ever find a way to solve is the inability to know what is happening inside a players mind. Manchester United players this season look like the shirt is very heavy on them. They look like a team featuring players who have some serious doubts in their minds. These doubts could be anything from concerns about their form, whether their manager is good enough, or if their wife and kids are happy. Some of their teammates will not even know the real issues in their mind so the media and fans have no chance at knowing. And there is a very good chance that we will never know most of the issues. "The time to speak about many things will come," said striker Javier Hernandez on his Instagram account this week. It is a cryptic message and time will tell what he reveals, but if and when he does so, he will be in the minority. The Premier League right now is full of players going through mental battles. Yes, they have tremendous talent with a football and show you a strong side of them when they are on the field but what of the other times? A lot of things can happen in 6,410 hours - the amount of time between the start and end of a Premier League season. Only 57 of these are spent playing 38 games of Premier League football, less than nine per cent of the time. Yet, it is this time that many of us use when analyzing these individuals. It is, of course, the time we get to know them as we welcome them inside our living rooms, but for over 91 per cent of the time, these individuals are left to be as vulnerable as you or I and wed be foolish to not think what happens during this time doesnt have a substantial impact on what they do when playing. They are over analyzed and monitored by their clubs who hire men, who usually lose their job within two years, to get the best out of them as soon as possible. The pressure from that manager leaks to the players and leaves many to do things they wouldnt normally do. This is an example of insecurities being created by the sports culture. Clubs demand success, managers demand players to play at a high level and players are told they must deliver when the pressure is on. They are bombarded with information about their style and how they can be better but some are drowning in modern day over-professionalism and are losing their love for the sport. Last November I watched closely a battle between England and Australia in cricket and was left puzzled by the poor performances of a particularly England player who consistently seemed to play poorly. That player, Jonathan Trott, would go on to leave the tour and return home with a stress related illness. He was one of the minority who got help and, because he walked away from the series, allowed the public to see what demons he was battling in his personal life. Trotts case is the extreme and it would be wrong to assume many professional footballers have gone through something similar but it would naive to deny it completely. When we study the less than nine per cent of visual evidence we have on these players it is clear that many are not enjoying themselves enough. Manchester United have no chance at winning the league but instead of the club adopting a we are in a transition phase where we are experimenting to evaluate what we need to know to get better approach, the club is starting every match like it needs to win it and the enormous pressure placed on its players means they are not expressing themselves. How much better would they be if they were told to just forget the league table and have fun? Southampton have no such demands and have shown this season what a club can do when they are free to express themselves. Sure, they too could smile more but if a league table existed for content and happiness they would be at the top. Anyone who doesnt think this leads to success should talk to the current Brazilian coach Luiz Felipe Scolari. "My priority is to ensure that players feel more amateur than professional," Scolari once said. "Thirty to forty years ago, the effort was the other way. Now there is so much professionalism, we have to revert to urging players to like the game, love it, do it with joy." Anyone who watches Neymar often would say Scolari has so far accomplished that goal. Neymar would make a great Olympian; a true global superstar who plays with a smile. Too bad too many in the Premier League take it too seriously. Another win for modern day over-professionalism. Thankfully it isnt creeping into our childrens schools during Sochi 2014. Nicolas Otamendi Jersey . Now he has a complete game. Scherzer tossed a three-hitter in his 179th career start for his first complete game and Victor Martinez hit his 16th homer to lead the Detroit Tigers a 4-0 win over the Chicago White Sox. Gonzalo Higuain Argentina Jersey .The law passed on Friday, in a 128-62 vote in the lower chamber of parliament, was prompted by FIFA bribery scandals in recent years.Switzerland-based sports leaders such as FIFA President Sepp Blatter and IOC President Thomas Bach are now classed as politically exposed persons in wider legislation covering money-laundering. http://www.argentinasoccerauthentic.com/...ca-Jersey/ . It was well worth the wait. Manning and the Denver Broncos waited eight long months, then another 33 minutes to get the season started because of a lightning storm.CLEARWATER, Florida – J.A. Happ got the start in the Blue Jays rain-shortened, Grapefruit League opener against the Phillies but it was Todd Redmond who left an early impression on his manager. "Redmonds like anybody else, hes going to get hit every now and then but all weve ever seen out of him is good pitching and he gets guys out," said John Gibbons. "Hes pretty polished." The 29-year-old pitched two clean innings, the second and third, striking out a batter over 22 pitches. He got the win, for what thats worth on February 26, in a 4-3 game called midway through the seventh. Redmond is among more than a half-dozen pitchers in contention for the last starting rotation spot. While not much can be made of one outing, Redmonds performance resonated following a comment Gibbons made before the game. "Usually what happens, when theres a spot open, the guy that takes it, some of those guys have those springs where theyre good all spring and theres no doubt about it ... a lot of times that guy from day one, man, hes standing out and theres no hiccups." All Redmonds ever wanted is an opportunity. Here it is, less than three months before hell turn 29. Think hes overwhelmed? Redmonds been around too long – eight minor league cities over nine seasons – to get rattled by the best chance hes had to crack an opening day roster. "Im an easy-going guy," said Redmond. "Just give me the ball, Ill go out there and pitch. Same thing as I do every day. I pitch." Redmond made 17 appearances for the Blue Jays last season, 14 of them starts. Hed only made one previous appearance in the majors, a start for the Reds in 2012 that didnt go well. Familiarity breeds a sense of comfort. "I have a little more confidence coming into camp. Of my stuff, not of me, just of my stuff. More trusting of my ability," he said. As a starter last season, Redmond slowly earned Gibbons trust, which allowed Redmond to pitch deeper into games. If hes going to succeed at the major league level, however, Redmond will have to vastly improve his numbers facing hitters for a second and third time through the order. Batters have a .627 on-base plus slugging percentage against Redmond the first time through. Redmonds OPS against spikes to .939 when the lineup turns over and .914 the third time around. He insists durability isnt an issue. "My entire career, if you look at my minor league side of it, I dont think Ive ever thrown under 160 innings a year," said Redmond. "The workload. Thats one thing I take pride in is being able to go out there every fifth day and take the ball." Redmonds almost right. In the seven seasons between 2007 and 2012, he logged at least 160 innings five times and never through less than 145 innings. Having worked a modified heavy ball program this offseason, he would typically stretch with the one-pound or two-pound weighted ball prior to throwing, Redmond says his should feels strong as he makes the push for a job in the rotation. "Hes been a good pitcher in the minor leagues," said Gibbons. "Every year hes pretty steady and he never really had that opportunity until he came here last year. If this is his year he makes it and he goes on to have a good year, hell be a big league player and I dont think there will be any looking back. Willy Caballero Argentina Jersey. " DRABEK UNHAPPY WITH PERFORMANCE Kyle Drabek was visibly upset with his first spring performance, a line that looked like this: 1.2IP/1ER/1H/3BB/1K. In his only full inning of work, Drabek threw 11 pitches but only four for strikes. A candidate for that final rotation spot, he was most bothered by the lack of command. "Ive had it so good in all the bullpens," said Drabek. "Its just frustrating for me to kind of fall back into being wild a little bit. I know what I can do and thats not me." "Kyles whole thing, get it into the zone and hes fine," said Gibbons. "Hes had a long layoff through the surgery. He pitched some last year but in a lot of ways, hes been out for so long it may be something that he can build back into." The 26-year-old has a history of control problems. Hes averaged 5.8 walks per nine innings over 169 1/3 big league innings. Returning from Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery last season, Drabek vastly improved his walk rate, issuing just six bases on balls over 43 innings. BAUTISTA IMPRESSIVE It took Jose Bautista all of three pitches to appear in midseason form. He smacked a 2-0, Roberto Hernandez fastball out of the park, literally. The drive to left field cleared the Phillies bullpen, the walkway behind the bullpen and the fence beyond the walkway. "I dont know, for whatever reason, I feel like Im seeing (the ball) better," said Bautista. "Theres nothing that I could have done different. Im not going to go to play winter ball right now. Its kind of odd because I havent played since August. But Im not complaining." CABRERA LIKELY TO HIT SECOND Its not even March, everyone is healthy, and manager John Gibbons is able to envision putting together a full lineup, something he wasnt able to do all of last season. Jose Reyes will lead off and, as the plan was at this time last year, Melky Cabrera has the inside track to bat behind him. "The only real downfall is he does hit a lot of ground balls but you look at what hes done the last few years, take away last year, and hes been one of the better hitters in baseball," said Gibbons. "We like guys there that can get a lot of hits. Hes a switch-hitter, he can manipulate the bat a little bit, he knows how to do those things. Ideally, if hes the player we expect him to be, than hed be a good guy for that spot." One thing Cabrera doesnt do often is walk, an ideal trait of a two-hole hitter and something that would get him on base more often ahead of sluggers Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion. After walking 56 times in 2006, his first full year in the big leagues, Cabrera hasnt had more than 43 bases on balls in a season. A HEALTHY PERSPECTIVE Nobody wants to read about or hear about injury as an excuse for the Jays disappointing 2013 year. But a little perspective never hurt anyone, either. Last season, manager John Gibbons had these six players – Jose Reyes, Melky Cabrera, Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Colby Rasmus and Brett Lawrie – in the lineup at the same time on only eight occasions all year. It happened over an 11-day period, starting on July 21 and ending on August 1. ' ' '
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