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Meant to be: Avery rejoins Rangers

November 2nd 2011 01:31
Love him or hate him, and he boasts plenty of supporters and detractors, there IS a place in the NHL for Sean Avery.

Once again, the forward's place is with the New York Rangers as he cleared waivers Tuesday and will rejoin the team he has played for most of the last five seasons.
Avery many chances
Sean Avery-wiki


Avery, 31, is one of the most controversial players to ever take the ice, both for his style and his BIG mouth, which have drawn both suspensions and criticism from opposing players and hockey analysts.

Avery, who has been accused of making racist comments and who DID make an inappropriate remark about an ex-Hollywood girlfriend, can be an effective agitator and scorer at times.

He scored 20 points in 29 games toward the end of the 2007season to help the Blueshirts complete a playoff push.

Avery can also giveth or taketh away by distracting opposing goalies which can help his team score or propel him into the penalty box.

He didn't score in this preseason, prompting a move to the team's Connecticut Whale minor league affiliate.

Although Avery himself doubted he had an NHL return left in him, he played fairly well there and got a spot as a replacement for the injured Mike Rupp.

It will be interesting to see how this return to the Rangers goes.

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Perhaps if he were still pitching Nolan Ryan would predict his team would win the World Series in a sweep.

As it is, Texas Rangers executive Nolan Ryan said his team, bridesmaids last year, will take home MLB's biggest prize this time.
Rollin with Nolan
Nolan Ryan


"I think we'll get it done in six," Ryan told ESPN Radio in Dallas. "I'm really thrilled that the guys played the way they did this year. To get back to the World Series back to back is a big challenge. So I'm thrilled with what they've done."

Ryan admitted he won't be so "thrilled" if the Rangers come up short again, as they did in falling to the San Francisco Giants in the 2010 Fall Classic.

"I always say that if your last game ends in a loss, there's a certain amount of disappointment," Ryan said. "That means you didn't get it done. I can tell you this, from our team, our players, our coaching staff, Ron (Washington), and the front office staff that if that were to happen we would be disappointed that we weren't world champions. After what we experienced last year, they came back very determined to be world champions."

Getting to the World Series three times straight would be a very difficult task, even for this talented group.

In the words of another favorite down south, Larry the Cable Guy, the Rangers are going to want to 'Git er done' this time when the World Series starts Wednesday night.

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Multiple media outlets are reporting that legendary Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis is dead at age 82.

The cause of death was not immediately known, but the Pro Football Hall of Famer had been in failing health in recent years.

The one-time coach who went on to become the team's owner in 1976 is remembered as a powerful figure in NFL history.

Legendary Owner Dead
Al Davis


"Al Davis' passion for football and his influence on the game were extraordinary," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement tweeted by spokesman Greg Aiello. "He defined the Raiders and contributed to pro football at every level. The respect he commanded was evident in the way that people listened carefully every time he spoke. He is a true legend of the game whose impact and legacy will forever be part of the NFL."

The team has won three Super Bowls under the iconic owner, who moved the team to Southern California before returning it back to its rightful home in Oakland.
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Matt Moore was terrific in the American League Division Series opener, pitching the Tampa Bay Rays to a game one win by allowing just four baserunners over seven innings in a 9-0 rout of the Texas Rangers Friday.

Rangers starter C.J. Wilson was knocked around for seven hits and eight runs over just five innings.

His teammates mustered just a single and double by Josh Hamilton and two walks.

Shop Class
Kelly Shoppach


The Rays pounded out 10 hits, including three from Shoppach who homered twice and drove in five runs.

Evan Longoria also added two hits to continue his scorching play.

Shoppach homered in the third and fifth innings to add to the Rays' cushion.

Longoria homered twice vs. the Yanks in the regular season finale as the Rays returned to the postseason after overcoming a 7-0 deficit.

Johnny Damon blasted a two-run homer in the second to get the Rays off to a quick lead.

Brandon Gomes and Wade Davis pitched hitless relief in the eighth and ninth innings, respectively.
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In retrospect the hiring of Butch Davis as the football coach for the North Carolina football program was a costly move in many ways. That almost seems like an understatement in the light of Monday's events, in which the program vacated 16 wins from the 2008 and 2009 seasons.

The Tar Heels will also reduce their number of scholarships in the hopes of avoiding further penalties in light of the notice of allegations by the NCAA against the program for receiving impermissible benefits.

Butch League
Butch Davis


"We have acknowledged our violations, and we've responded in the way you would expect of this University," UNC chancellor Holden Thorp said in a statement. "We think that the sanctions we have proposed accept responsibility and, at the same time, give our current and future student-athletes and coaches every opportunity for success.

The Tar Heels have done a good job of brushing off the turmoil in the early part of the season, posting a 3-0 mark with wins vs. James Madison, Rutgers and Virginia. The success, although not against powerhouse programs, came despite 14 players missing at least one game with seven sitting out the entire season





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Yanks Still Go To Mo'

September 14th 2011 09:59
Mariano Rivera continued his amazing work Monday night, collecting his 41st save of the season as the New York Yankees topped the Seattle Mariners 3-2.

It was the Yanks 90th win of the season, but the more amazing number was 600, as in the number of career saves for Rivera.

Rivera has had his minor bumps in the road, like allowing the dribbler celebrated in Tucson and Phoenix that gave the Arizona Diamondbacks a World Series title.

Mo'numental Save
Mariano Rivera


But ANY major league team would gladly deal with an occasional hiccup from Mo', rather than deal with the loud belch of their own bullpens.

The quiet professional from Panama City, Panama is also 75-57 lifetime with a nifty 2.22 ERA.

Control has been a major factor in Rivera's success, as he has 1,106 career strikeouts to just 274 walks, an impressive 4:1 ratio.

What sets Rivera apart from other closers, even Trevor Hoffman who earned most of his 600 saves with the San Diego Padres, is his postseason success.

Rivera has 41 of his saves in the playoffs and boasts a ridiculous 0.71 ERA and a 5:1 ratio of strikeouts to walks.

In big moments, Rivera is usually great ... and in today's hyper-reported sports world that REALLY says something.


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For all the great players in the NFL, there is still no one like Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher.

Urlacher was utterly dominant in his team's season-opening win over the Atlanta Falcons, collecting 10 tackles, including six solos, with an interception and a fumble recovery.

Unbelievable Urlacher
Brian Urlacher


He rumbled 12 yards for a score on the latter play and held on to the ball afterwards as a keepsake.

Perfectly understandable, even if this guy seems to make memories every time he is out on the football field.

Heck, sometimes it seems like Urlacher is having an impact on EVERY play he is on the field.

It should be considered a treat to watch a guy this good in this day-and-age, and it is just that.

The 6-4, 258-pounder out of Pasco, Washington is a seven-time Pro Bowler and five time AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

The New Mexico product has 1,192 career tackles, 41.5 sacks and 18 interceptions.

There just aren't enough adjectives to describe how dominant Urlacher is.

One way to describe him may be spot on, however: Future Hall of Famer.
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Adrian Peterson: Vikes $100M Back

September 11th 2011 12:21
It would be difficult to imagine Adrian Peterson in any uniform other than that of the Minnesota Vikings.

Thanks to the potential seven-year, $100 million pact Peterson and the Vikes agreed to Saturday it is unlikely he will ever have to swap jerseys.

AP, as he is called, is guaranteed about $30 million in the new pact and said he is thrilled to be in Minneapolis-St. Paul.

All Day Is $100M Man
Adrian Peterson


"Can't wait to get a ring and finish my career in Minn.," Peterson tweeted.

Peterson has reason to be comfortable in the Twin Cities, racking up 5,782 career yards with 54 touchdowns. He is already second all-time on the team's rushing list.

He is also called "All Day", for Peterson's willingness to rack up tons of carries to power the Vikes.

Team ownership indicated it is thrilled to have AP locked in for the forseeable future.

"Adrian's performances on the field have given fans so much excitement since he first joined us as a rookie," owner owner Zygi Wilf said in a statement released by the team. "His talent and determination are remarkable and we are proud to have him be a part of the family for years to come."


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There's something special about Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg.

The man hasn't pitched for over a year, since undergoing Tommy John surgery, but it's exciting watching him work.

That's something that can't always be said about baseball, home to too many four-hour snoozefests.

Strasburg, however, commands your attention like he takes command of the strike zone.

Although he was hyped beyond belief last year in his rookie campaign, Strasburg actually lived up to some of it with a 5-3 record, 92 strikeouts and an ERA below 3.00.

Just wait until he gets some more innings under his belt, like the four more starts he expected to make this season for the Nats.

Pitching In
Stephen Strasburg


On a night where the Red Sox are blowing out another opponent, and the Phillies and Braves are clashing in an NL East series it is still Strasburg that commands the main page on espn.com and top coverage on MLB Network.

OK, so the Dodgers are nothing special outside of Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier, but Strasburg still deserves credit for allowing just two hits with four strikeouts over five innings.

His final offering was a sizzling 97 mph, and Strasburg threw 40 of 56 pitches for strikes.

The only place Strasburg didn't look comfortable was at the plate, as in one at-bat he feebly poked his bat in front of the plate for an unsuccessful bunt attempt.

No one is perfect, however, and hopefully Strasburg will have time to work on that aspect of his game.

The pitching part looks just fine.
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Life has gotten pretty difficult for former New York Giants running back Tiki Barber.

Barber has endured personal, financial and professional problems in recent years, the latest turn being unwanted by NFL teams in his potential return to the playing field.

Tiki's NFL Career Over?
Tiki Barber


Barber is "just" 36 and potentially fresh-legged after being one of the top backs in the NFL as a member of the New York Giants just a few years ago.

That apparently isn't enough of a lure for ANY NFL team, however, as Barber only worked out with the Miami Dolphins this offseason.

The Fins passed on his services, however, and Tiki garnered no other interest.

His agent is certainly surprised at the turn of events, or lack thereof.

"We are flabbergasted that Tiki has not had an opportunity with any team, especially when rosters were at 90 players this year," agent Mark Lepselter told SI.com. "I certainly thought some team would be intrigued to see what he had left in the tank.''

Marital woes and a failed stint as a television host at NBC prompted Barber, twin brother of long-time Bucs star Ronde Barber, to want to give the NFL another try.

The interest is apparently not mutual, however.

Barber led the Giants to one Super Bowl appearance, a blowout loss to the Ravens, and racked up over 10,000 rushing yards in his career.

It does not appear he will be adding to that total, however.


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