Monthly Archives: February 2017

Information For You Chelsea Moves to Verge of Premier League Title

The result also ensured that Middlesbrough, just one season after it returned to the Premier League, would be relegated to the Championship, English soccer’s second tier, for next season.

Chelsea, though, now needs only one win from its final three matches to regain the title it lost in spectacular fashion last season, when the reigning champions finished 10th and José Mourinho, their manager, lost his job.

Antonio Conte, Mourinho’s replacement, led a revitalization of a team that has been no less eye-catching. Chelsea has held an uninterrupted lead atop the league since December, pulling away while its supposed peers — Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal — have been left to scrap for the final available places in next season’s Champions League.

Here After Yankees Won a Baseball Marathon, the Real Race Begins

The buses and the truck pulled onto the tarmac, and players and equipment were whisked through security and loaded onto the plane. At 3:08, the flight was in the air — with 14 minutes to spare.

Tuliebitz is not sure what would have happened if the plane had not gotten airborne in time. It is a 310-mile bus ride to Cincinnati, but the collective bargaining agreement limits the distances teams can travel by bus.

“I was so excited that we made it,” Tuliebitz said. “There were a lot of smoke and mirrors to make it look smooth and easy.”

The conspiracy of circumstances — a game that was played Sunday night to accommodate ESPN; Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman’s blowing a three-run lead in the ninth inning; and neither team’s being able to score until Starlin Castro’s grounder brought home Aaron Hicks in the top of the 18th inning — left the Yankees bleary-eyed when they arrived at Great American Ballpark on Monday afternoon.

Of course, the Cubs had it worse. They traveled farther for their Monday night game — to Colorado.

“You feel like you have that hangover without the benefits of actually drinking,” Cubs Manager Joe Maddon told reporters in Denver.

The Yankees landed in Cincinnati at 5:08 a.m. Eastern and reached their hotel as the sun was coming up. Many of them were in bed by 6 a.m.

“I usually get a little more sleep than that,” said Manager Joe Girardi, who was up at 11 a.m. “It’s part of the schedule and you’ve got to deal with it, and you know these games are going to happen.”

Girardi also had to deal with fielding a team for Monday’s game with a roster full of exhausted players. He rested two regulars: second baseman Castro, who had been the only Yankee to play in every game, and right fielder Aaron Judge, who has been icing his knees after games since tumbling into the stands in Boston two weeks ago.

“He’s got enough strawberries to last for a couple months,” Girardi said of Judge. “You see a lot of Band-Aids on him, too.”

Also getting a reprieve was the backup catcher Austin Romine, who caught the first 12 innings Sunday before moving to first base, where he finished the game. Most of the bullpen, including Jonathan Holder, Adam Warren, Shreve and Chapman, was expected to be out of commission on Monday night. Hicks and Didi Gregorius, who both played the full game Sunday night, were in Monday’s starting lineup, but Girardi implied that both could get a day off on Tuesday.

Immediately after Sunday’s game, Girardi huddled with General Manager Brian Cashman, who informed him of a bit of good fortune. The Yankees’ Class AAA affiliate in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre had been rained out Sunday in Pawtucket, R.I., so that team’s best pitcher, Chad Green, was fresh and ready to go.

Word was relayed to Green, who was awakened by a phone call at 2:30 a.m. from his manager, Al Pedrique.

“I watched the game up until the 10th inning, and then I went to bed,” said Green, who was available Monday to throw 100 pitches out of the bullpen, if needed, in relief of starter Masahiro Tanaka. “When I got the call, I got ready to go.”

To make room for Green on the roster, the Yankees sent down Rob Refsnyder, a reserve outfielder and infielder. Typically, though, when the Yankees have overextended their bullpen and need reinforcements, a pitcher with options is sent to the minors, where he must remain for at least 10 days — unless there is an injury.

It happened to Warren, when he threw six shutout innings in an 18-inning loss at Oakland, and to Shreve two years ago, when he threw a career-high three and two-thirds innings in a 19-inning loss to Boston. Warren and Shreve were naïve then, heading to the ballpark the next day wondering whom the Yankees would call up — neither of them considering the other part of the equation: who would be sent down.

“I remember riding the subway to the stadium with Miller,” Shreve said, referring to his former teammate Andrew Miller. “We were talking about the bullpen being dry, and they were going to have to call somebody up. When you’re young, you’re thinking, ‘I pitched really well.’ You think, ‘Why would they send me down?’ You don’t think of it the other way.”

For Shreve, who, like Holder, threw three one-hit scoreless innings, one of the highlights was facing an old high school teammate, Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, whom he retired on a fly ball and then walked with two outs in the 18th.

“You try to forget who’s up there and treat him like any other reigning M.V.P.,” Shreve said of Bryant, the reigning National League most valuable player.

A personal connection also enhanced the memories of the marathon for Castro, who said it was the longest game he had played in. The ground ball he hit came against his good friend Pedro Strop, with whom he had lunch last week when the Yankees and the Cubs were both in Boston.

“That’s my boy,” said Castro, who cursed himself after swinging at a pitch in the dirt for the second strike. “I forgot about who he was, but I think he knew it was me because the only strike he threw me was the one I hit. I’m just happy I hit it — otherwise, maybe we’re still playing.”

About John Daly Wins and Soaks in the Glory

President Trump, an avid golfer who owns more than a dozen golf courses, congratulated Daly for winning his first P.G.A. Tour Champions title. Daly, who endorsed Trump during the campaign, was wearing American flag pants when he finished at 14-under 202 at the Woodlands.

Daly’s victory earned him $322,500. He opened with rounds of 68 and 65 to take a one-stroke lead over Kenny Perry into the final round.

Perry and Tommy Armour III tied for second. Perry had a 69, and Armour shot 67.

Daly eagled the par-5 first, and appeared to be cruising to victory, up to 17 under through the 15th hole to lead by two shots. Poor tee shots on the final three holes led to mistakes that Perry and Armour could not take advantage of in trying to chase down Daly.

As Daly walked up the 18th green, he knelt and kissed the large, colorful umbrella printed on the fairway to honor the late Arnold Palmer.

When Daly tapped in the winning putt, he pumped his fist. Moments later friends and colleagues including players Esteban Toledo and Michael Allen ran out to spray their pal with champagne. Daly closed his eyes, leaned back and soaked it all in.

Daly has had his moments at the Woodlands. He had four top-10 finishes in 15 appearances when the Shell Houston Open was played at the course, including a playoff loss to Vijay Singh in 2005. Daly tied for 17th at his first PGA Tour Champions event last May.

The two-time major champion becomes the 12th member of the senior tour to record a win on all three PGA Tour circuits.

“Now, I can say I’m a champion on the Champions Tour, which is really cool,” Daly said. “Hopefully, I can keep this confidence going.”

Perry looked like he might run down Daly until his approach to No. 17 landed in the water. “I had my opportunities to flip the scores on holes but I never could do it,” Perry said. “But good for him. That first win is always special.”

Armour, too, said he gave away his chances to win. He finished with two bogeys, one on the 17th after also hitting into the water.

“What can I do: I kind of threw away the tournament,” he said.

Kevin Sutherland was fourth at 11 under after a 67.

This Atlanta’s New Ballpark Has Pitchers Sweating

The Launching Pad has been reborn, much to the dismay of R. A. Dickey and other Atlanta Braves pitchers.

The Braves’ most recent homestand provided more evidence that the new SunTrust Park is a great place to play — if you are a hitter.

“It’s a fact that the ball seems to be carrying here so far,” Dickey said.

The season is still young, but the ball seems to be carrying especially well for the Braves’ opponents.

Entering Monday, Atlanta’s 5.61 E.R.A. in home games is easily the worst in the majors. Colorado’s Coors Field has been known as the toughest park for pitchers, but Rockies pitchers are a distant second at 5.31.

Dickey said he felt it was safe to conclude that the new park will yield a lot of homers, including some “that might seem like cheapos.”

The barrage of long balls is no surprise to the former Braves third baseman Chipper Jones, who walked into the new park and immediately joked that he retired too early.

Jones said he felt the whoosh of air in his face when he first walked onto the field through a door in the center field wall. He knew in an instant that would be bad news for pitchers.

“There weren’t too many cheap homers at Turner Field,” Jones said last month. “This place, I don’t think you’re going to have to necessarily crush one to get it out of here.”

The Braves were outscored by 51-26 and outhomered by 12-4 in their 1-5 homestand. Atlanta pitchers have given up 21 homers at home, putting them on pace for 130. The most Braves pitchers allowed at Turner Field was 95.

Dickey, 42, signed with Atlanta following four seasons with Toronto, where the Rogers Centre was a home-run friendly park.

“So you certainly go from a place like that to here and you think it’s not going to be so bad, right?” Dickey said. “It’s still a small sample size so we’re not in a panic yet, but at the same time it’s similar, for sure.”

Including all games through Sunday, the Braves’ 4.82 E.R.A. ranks 29th in the majors, just ahead of Detroit’s 4.83.

Atlanta added the veterans Dickey, Bartolo Colon and Jaime Garcia as a short-term fix to allow prospects time to develop. Manager Brian Snitker said the early struggles would not force the team to rush the prospects to Atlanta.

“I think we can be real patient,” he said. “We’re running through a little stretch here, that’s all.”

He added: “They’ll bounce back. They’ll make some adjustments and they’ll be O.K. They always have. All those guys we’re talking about wouldn’t have been playing as long as they have if they hadn’t been able to do that.”

On the other hand, those veterans never had to pitch at SunTrust Park before this year.