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

Angels avoid arbitration with JC Ramirez, Nick Tropeano

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter center_img The Angels agreed to terms with JC Ramirez and Nick Tropeano on 2019 contracts, avoiding arbitration with the two pitchers on Thursday, according to a source.Friday at 10 a.m. PT is the deadline for eligible players and teams to exchange figures.Ramirez agreed to a $1,901,000 contract, while Tropeano agreed at $1.075 million.Ramirez, 30, is coming back from Tommy John surgery, expected to return sometime around midseason. Tropeano, 28, missed the end of last season with a shoulder injury, but he has been cleared to throw and is currently considered a healthy member of the rotation depth chart. Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield Starters Tyler Skaggs and Andrew Heaney, relievers Luis Garcia, Cam Bedrosian and Hansel Robles and infielder Tommy La Stella are also arbitration eligible.If they don’t reach a consensus, both sides will exchange salary figures and obtain a trial date for early February. They can agree to terms in the weeks before the hearing.The Angels haven’t gone to an arbitration hearing since doing so with former ace Jered Weaver in 2011, when Tony Reagins was the general manager.Related Articleslast_img read more

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10 Jan
2020

Matano to work on attack ahead of Stima tie

first_img“In the second half we played well and I saw the urgency and commitment from the players. The only thing we didn’t do well was the finishing but we will work on it over the coming two days and see that we improve,” the coach noted.Matano is confident the team will bounce back despite losing his first match as the club boss and he points out he will not rest until he sees the team back to the top.“We have to switch from losing to winning mentality. There’s nothing much we can do with these few days. We need to compose ourselves and take our chances. We must work as AFC Leopards and be ready to fight and get three points,” the coach noted.Gor Mahia George Odhiambo against AFC Robinson Kamura.PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaFor the Stima return tie, Matano will still be without the injured defender Robinson Kamura who is nursing bruises from a motorbike accident while left-back Marcus Abwao still remains on the sidelines with a knee injury. Midfielder Musa Mudde has been slotting in at left-back.AFC Leopards are faced with a tough week as they will be travelling back to Nairobi from Kisumu with another tough tie against Bandari awaiting them at Nyayo Stadium on Sunday.“Still not everybody is 100 percent but we will try and cope with the situation. We have several of our players who have not trained with us for some time like Vincent (Oburu) and Majid (Victor). But we have to deal with the situation and cope. There is no other way,” Matano offered.He added; “It is a tough period but hopefully we can hold on.”-Fiamenyo off to Libya-AFC Leopards forward Gilbert Fiamenyo celebrates after scoring the equalizer in their Kenyan Premier League match against Posta Rangers at Afraha Stadium in Nakuru on April 29, 2017. PHOTO/CourtesyMeanwhile, Ghanaian striker Gilbert Fiamenyo has left the club to join Libyan outfit Al Nasr. Fiamenyo asked to be omitted from the club’s second leg squad despite having an existing contract as he was still nursing a foot injury that would have seen him miss a huge chunk of the second leg.Fiamenyo joined the club midway through last season but had to wait until January to play due to issues of paperwork. He scored five goals for Ingwe, ranking as the team’s top scorer.-Financial constraints-At the same time, the club has revealed on their official Facebook page that they are grappling with financial difficulty due to high operation costs and low match attendance which has consequently led to their paltry collection in gate charges.AFC Leopards chairman Dan Mule (left) in a past KPL match.Photo/FILEThe club has now announced they will hold a fundraiser in the coming weeks to cater for the operation costs for the remainder of the season which total to Sh6mn while a further Sh17.5mn is needed to offset debts accrued over the last two years.In addition, the club which is on a close to Sh48mn-a-season sponsorship from betting firm SportPesa has also admitted they are struggling to raise Sh200,000 every month to maintain their youth team participating in the Nairobi County League.“NEC has decided to form a joint committee to manage the affairs of the youth team. The said committee will have an AFC Youth team bank account and a dedicated Paybill number 527900. The management committee shall be expected to share the status of the income and expenditure of the Youth team with NEC and the entire membership on a monthly basis,” the club said in a statement undersigned by Secretary General Oscar Igaida.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000AFC Leopards head coach Robert Matano (left) and his assistant Tom Juma during their GOtv Shield match against Bidco United at the Thika sub County Stadium on July 27, 2017.Photo/TIMOTHY OLOBULUNAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 1- AFC Leopards boss Robert Matano will focus on sharpening the team’s striking force as they prepare to face Western Stima in a Kenyan Premier League clash at the Moi Stadium in Kisumu on Wednesday.Matano says he was impressed with how the team played in the reverse fixture against Western Stima over the weekend despite the 1-0 loss, but reckons they can do far much better especially in their decision making in the final third.last_img read more

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