17 Sep
2020

Struggles for Packers

first_imgRebuilding.It’s a term fans of Wisconsin sports have become used to hearing. The Bucks have spent the better part of the last three years rebuilding their program — and it seems to be paying off early this year — the team looks damn good. Milwaukee Brewers fans have been dealing with rebuilding for over a decade, holding out hope that the Nick Neugebauers and Ryan Andersons of the world would bring them out of the cellar. Well, it took a little longer than advertised, and it wasn’t Neugebauer or Anderson that brought the Brew Crew to glory — but the days of rebuilding appear to be over in Milwaukee.Although the Bucks and Crew have been rebuilding the past few years, there’s always been one constant for the Wisconsin football fans — the Green Bay Packers. Well, at least until this season.A 1-7 start wasn’t exactly what anyone — fan or pundit — expected from the Packers this season. They were an aging team, and their defense was suspect, but with Brett Favre at the helm and an offense solid at the skill positions, much more was expected of the Packers this season.After all, this was a team that went 10-6 last year, with the only major offseason losses coming at the two guard positions on the offensive line. This team was supposed to find a way to get into the playoffs with Favre’s Hall-of-Fame career winding down. But it has just not materialized.Obviously injuries have taken their toll. It’s hard to put points on the board when you lose three of your top five wide receivers and your top three running backs for portions of the season. Let’s face it, names like Chad Lucas and Samkon Gado don’t exactly strike fear into opposing defenses.Which brings about the question — is it time for rebuilding in Green Bay? Well, I’m not jumping off of any bandwagons yet, so I’m going to have to answer “no” to that question.For starters, it’s hard to believe the Packers would be where they are right now if it weren’t for the injury bug. I realize it’s pretty much a copout to blame injuries — after all, shouldn’t teams be deep enough to overcome the inevitable?That’s true, but replacing a Javon Walker is just not the same as replacing, say, an injured Bill Schroeder when he was a starter for Green Bay. The same can be said for replacing a tailback like Ahman Green (though I realize he wasn’t exactly tearing it up before his injury, he’s still a better option the Packers’ current starters).These players are Pro Bowl-caliber individuals in the NFL and for any team to replace them with players of comparable talent is nearly impossible. Not to mention the backups that stepped up in each case, Robert Ferguson for Walker and Najeh Davenport for Green, who both suffered injuries as well. If Walker and Green were healthy all year, it’s plausible the Packers could be at least a .500 club and challenging for the NFC North crown.Plus there’s still Favre. Is it fair to him to start rebuilding while he’s still rebuilding? Absolutely not. Favre has been the face of the Packers for years and is arguably the greatest player in franchise history, not to mention the guy is never willing to lose.Favre brought Green Bay its first Super Bowl win since the late 1960s and has led the resurgence of a franchise that was a perennial NFL doormat prior to his reign. If for no other reason than out of respect for the Kiln, Miss., native, Green Bay should do everything within its power to field a respectable team while he’s on the field.Not to mention, when was the last time the Brewers, Bucks and Packers were respectable at the same time? Wouldn’t that be something?last_img read more

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26 Aug
2020

Six weeks into the season, Dodgers’ Kenley Jansen finds his Opening Day form

first_img Dodgers bench slumping Cody Bellinger for a day Dodgers’ Justin Turner looking rejuvenated on defense LOS ANGELES — Kenley Jansen isn’t back. Not all the way.The Dodgers’ closer hasn’t allowed a run in his last four innings, a season high. He needed only nine pitches to retire Chris Owings, Nick Ahmed and Paul Goldschmidt on Wednesday for his sixth save of the season. The brief, stress-free inning was classic Jansen – a rare sight in 2018.Still, Jansen said, he hasn’t returned to his peak.“It’s getting there,” he said. “I’m not consistent enough. I’m not seeing consistent movement yet, compared to the few years I’ve had before. Sometimes it’s backed up on me.” Dodgers’ hot-hitting Corey Seager leaves game with back injury Whicker: Dustin May yet another example of the Dodgers’ eye for pitching Jansen’s measuring stick is his cut fastball, the pitch he throws 93 percent of the time. It averaged 90 mph in his first regular-season appearance and by Wednesday it averaged 93. Commanding the cutter has been an adventure too.“It’s not quite there yet,” Jansen confessed.Jansen threw 1,242 pitches in 2017, more than any year since 2013. So, before spring training, he and Manager Dave Roberts agreed to delay Jansen’s debut by a few weeks. That debut was pushed back a few more days in early March by a hamstring injury. By the end of camp, Jansen had thrown a career-low 4-2/3 spring training innings against major league competition.By Opening Day, Jansen’s command and speed were suffering. The 0-1 record, two blown saves and 4.02 earned-run average next to his name today were all known risks.“We could’ve been just as aggressive as we were in years past,” Roberts said. “We could’ve done that. There was an injury that took place with his hamstring. That kind of slowed things down. Once that happened, there’s really not a whole lot we could do – we’re just trying to get him healthy, get him ready for the season.center_img Sign up for our Inside the Dodgers newsletter. Be the best Dodger fan you can be by getting daily intel on your favorite team. Subscribe here.“Initially, we should’ve been more aggressive, but that could’ve created more health problems. I don’t know.”Devising the ideal timetable for Jansen was a bit of a guessing game, and the Dodgers won’t know for sure if they guessed right until the end of the season.For now, Jansen said, he’s throwing the way he expects to by Opening Day in a typical year. The past two seasons, he’s been able to add velocity into at least June. If Jansen’s self-assessment is correct, his speed might still improve by another tick or two. He’s confident his command will be better, too.Jansen would rather be optimistic than second-guess what might have been done differently.“I’m not trying to call my organization out or anything because me and Doc had that conversation. We all agreed,” he said. “Maybe I wasn’t ready. I’m almost there, where I want it to be mechanic-wise and all that. It’s not far. Just got to stay positive, keep competing and things are going to go well.”INJURY UPDATESThird baseman Justin Turner faced live pitching at Dodger Stadium in a simulated game setting for the second consecutive day. He faced minor league pitchers James Carter, a right-hander, and Mike Boyle, a left-hander. He even hit Boyle in the leg with a line drive.Related Articles Dodgers’ Dave Roberts says baseball’s unwritten rules ‘have changed, should change’ More importantly, Turner said, he was able to dive to field ground balls to his right and left sides. The left wrist that he fractured in spring training came through unscathed.“That was another box to check,” he said.Roberts said Turner would get a day off Friday before beginning a minor league rehabilitation assignment Saturday. Turner anticipates he will be assigned to Class-A Rancho Cucamonga.He might be joined by infielder Logan Forsythe, who was expected to fly in from the Dodgers’ facility in Glendale, Ariz. Forsythe hasn’t played in any competitive setting since April 14 because of inflammation in his right shoulder.Clayton Kershaw played catch on flat ground for the second consecutive day, extending his range a bit from the 60 feet he threw Wednesday. Roberts said there is no timetable for Kershaw to begin throwing off a mound, in part (at least) by Kershaw’s choice.“He wants little expectation,” Roberts said.ALSORight-hander Matt Harvey will start for the Reds on Friday opposite Dodgers right-hander Kenta Maeda. The Reds acquired Harvey in a trade with the New York Mets for catcher Devin Mesoraco on Tuesday. Harvey went 0-2 with a 7.00 ERA in eight games between the Mets’ rotation and bullpen. … The Reds optioned left-handed pitcher Brandon Finnegan, who was scheduled to start the game, to their Triple-A affiliate. … Outfielder Andrew Toles had a setback in his rehabilitation from a hamstring injury, Roberts said. Toles hasn’t played at Triple-A Oklahoma City since April 13 and his return is not on the immediate horizon.UP NEXTDodgers (RHP Kenta Maeda, 2-2, 4.02 ERA) vs. Cincinnati Reds (RHP Matt Harvey, 0-2, 7.00 ERA), Friday, 7 p.m., SportsNet LA (where available) Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

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23 Oct
2019

CSP Starts Building Container Terminal at Khalifa Port

first_imgzoom China-based Cosco Shipping Ports (CSP) and port developer and operator Abu Dhabi Ports held a ground-breaking ceremony for the CSP Abu Dhabi Container Terminal at Khalifa Port on November 5.The terminal is located along the ‘Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road’ and the shipping hub of West Asia region.The parties informed that the construction and development of the terminal is expected to last some 18 months, while the operations are scheduled to start in the first quarter of 2019.In September 2016, Abu Dhabi Ports awarded a 35-year concession to Cosco Shipping Ports under which the company is to build and operate the container terminal at Khalifa Port.With an annual designed capacity of about 2.5 million TEU and backed by the large shipping fleets of Cosco Shipping, CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal “will be well placed to be a shipping hub for major international shipping companies in the Upper Gulf Region.”Image Courtesy: Cosco Shipping PortsDuring the event, the parties also signed a new agreement for the development of the largest container freight station (CFS) in the region, according to Abu Dhabi Ports.“The partnership between Abu Dhabi Ports and COSCO SHIPPING Ports to develop the region’s largest container freight station will add a new dimension to UAE/China trade relations and is fully aligned with Abu Dhabi’s Vision 2030 to drive growth, attract investment, support economic diversification and create sustainable jobs,” Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of State and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Ports, said.“The signing of the agreement on CSP Abu Dhabi CFS project will further strengthen the services of the terminal and enhance the trade cooperation between the two countries,” Xu Lirong, Chairman of Cosco Shipping, said.last_img read more

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