SportsNet - April 2013
Among many problems in the Chicago Cubs’ rough start, the closer situation has been one of the most obvious. Carlos Marmol allowed at least one earned run in each of his first three appearances before losing the job, and newcomer Kyuji Fujikawa got injured almost immediately upon taking Marmol’s place.
Now, with the Cubs still scrambling for a solution, the Chicago Tribune reports that Marmol is likely back in the mix. Manager Dale Sveum is going with the dreaded “committee” approach, and his pool of candidates includes the mercurial righthander.
Although it’s understandable that Sveum wants to keep his options open during Fujikawa’s injury, the worst thing Chicago can do with Marmol is keep yo-yoing him in and out of the closer’s spot. It won’t help him, and it won’t help the team.
Perhaps you’re basking in the afterglow of the recently completed NCAA tournament, or swimming through the sludge of the Rutgers University coach-by-abuse fiasco. Maybe you’ve stepped away from college basketball altogether until next fall, opting to focus on baseball or spring football.
Regardless, the fact remains … the game, as it does with all big-time sports, goes on – day after day, month after month, year-round.
Be it hirings or firings, conference addition or subtraction, something always seems to pop up on the hoops radar. With all that, and the underlying reason behind everything being money, it was kind of nice to see that Oklahoma State freshman Marcus Smart opted to remain on campus at least another season, a decision he made public Wednesday.
No one-and-done for him. The green and gaudy lifestyle provided by an NBA bank account can wait.
The Los Angeles Lakers have hit the ground hard various times throughout their 2012-2013 season. The team went 0-8 during the preseason. Early in the season, the Lakers fired their head coach Mike Brown for lack of team production and progress? Many fans were then upset when the Lakers’ management appeared to have snubbed fan favorite Phil Jackson. Jackson had given some indication that he would consider returning to the Lakers. No returned phone call to Phil Jackson and the rest is history. Basketball fans observed as the Lakers hit the ground hard when they passed on their former head coach Phil Jackson. Mike D’Antoni was selected as the Lakers new head coach. “Bah Humbug” many Lakers fans cried.
Newcastle United have announced that Ryan Taylor has suffered a further cruciate knee injury. The 28 year old had injured his knee in a Europe League qualifier last August against Greek club Atromitos. After going through surgery soon after and undergoing rehabilitation over the last eight months this is a depressing blow for the Liverpool born full back.
This latest injury will rule Taylor out for at least the majority of the 2013/14 season if not the full campaign.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew said: “Ryan has worked so hard and diligently since his injury. He has been a model patient and has given his all to ensure he could return to full training in the best condition possible. Clearly everyone at the club is deeply saddened by this news.
Pardew added: “Ryan has, and will continue to, receive the full support of everyone at Newcastle United during this difficult time for him.”
Arsenal are playing better without Jack Wilshere. That's because the young England international plays an individual, rather than a collective game. He also lacks guile and creativity in advanced areas.
It's no coincidence that since Wilshere returned to the team against Norwich City on April 13th, the standard of Arsenal's play has deteriorated.
Specifically, the pace and craft of Arsenal's passing has suffered. One of the chief reasons has been that Wilshere is slowing things down in forward areas.
He has been positioned as the advanced member of Arsenal's midfield trio. This is the crucial position for manager Arsene Wenger's formation and style of play.
It's the position for Arsenal's creator in chief. It must be occupied by a player who can add the finishing touch to the Gunners' passing moves.
He must provide flair and creativity to link the midfield and forward lines together. For years Dennis Bergkamp took on this role as a supporting forward.
His through passes provided numerous goals for speedy strikers and late runners from midfield. After Bergkamp retired in 2005, Cesc Fabregas became the creative fulcrum.