SUPER BOWL: Chiefs, Eagles Land In Phoenix, Prepare For Super Bowl 57
PHOENIX SUPER BOWL — A few minutes after the Kansas City Chiefs and quarterback Patrick Mahomes touched down in Phoenix, the pilot hung a “Chiefs Kingdom” flag out the window as players, coaches, and staff walked across the runway.
The Philadelphia Eagles arrived in Arizona about an hour later, with an “It’s a Philly Thing” flag fluttering on the runway as quarterback Jalen Hurts, coach Nick Sirianni, and others made their way to a fleet of buses.
One week until Super Bowl 57.
The Chiefs will play the Eagles in Glendale, Arizona, on February 12.
Both teams touched down at Goldwater Air National Guard Base in perfect Phoenix winter weather, with bright sunshine and temperatures in the low 70s. On the runway, team members would occasionally stop to take photos and videos.
Players Prepare For Super Bowl Game Day
Former Kansas City Chiefs star Christian Okoye was on hand to hand out hats to the team’s players as they stepped off the plane. The former All-American running back lived in Southern California and traveled to Phoenix for a quick visit.
“They called and asked me to come over and greet the team,” Okoye explained. “So I said, ‘Of course,’ because my team is over here preparing to win the Super Bowl.”
The oddsmakers predict a good game, but they disagree with Okoye and give the Eagles a slight advantage. According to FanDuel Sportsbook, Philadelphia opened as a 1 1/2-point favorite.
The Chiefs are going to their third Super Bowl in four years. Last weekend, they beat the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 with a 45-yard field goal with 3 seconds left in the AFC championship game.
In the NFC championship game, the Eagles defeated the San Francisco 49ers 31-7. So far in the playoffs, they’ve looked dominant, including a 38-7 victory over the New York Giants in the divisional round.
Philadelphia is back in the Super Bowl after defeating the New England Patriots 41-33 five years ago.
The Eagles Will Go Arizona To Defend Their Title
The Eagles will go to Arizona to defend their title. Hurts and Sirianni will lead a mostly new group of players.
On Monday, both teams will participate in the “Super Bowl LVII Opening Night” in downtown Phoenix, where all the players and coaches from both teams will be available for the annual media extravaganza.
Then it’s time to get down to business. The Chiefs will practice at Arizona State’s football facilities throughout the week, while the Eagles will prepare at the Arizona Cardinals practice facility.
There are plenty of storylines: Kansas City coach Andy Reid faces his former team — which he led to Super Bowl 39 — in a game that also features the first Super Bowl matchup of Black starting quarterbacks, with Mahomes and Hurts.
There will also be a brother-versus-brother matchup between Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce and Philadelphia center Jason Kelce.
SOURCE – (AP)
World Baseball Classic Keeps Growing Despite Injury Risks
MIAMI — There will be endless replays of Shohei Ohtani’s strikeout of Mike Trout, Trea Turner’s game-winning grand slam against Venezuela in the eighth inning, Japan’s walk-off semifinal victory, and Mexico’s comeback from a four-run hole against Puerto Rico.
People will talk about Jose Altuve’s fractured finger and Edwin Dáz’s season-ending knee injury all year.
The 47 games played over two weeks during this year’s World Baseball Classic left fans with long-lasting memories and increased the sport’s global presence while restoring Japan’s dominance and reiterating Ohtani’s unrivaled talent.
Even if it is not a worldwide obsession like the World Cup of soccer, the event has expanded throughout its five editions since its debut in 2006.
“In a way, this is like our Olympics. Before the Americans were defeated by Japan 3-2 in Tuesday night’s championship game, Kyle Schwarber remarked, “We don’t have that opportunity to play wherever the Olympics are at. Ohtani fanned Trout to secure Japan’s first championship since 2009 and third overall. When baseball was briefly reinstated at the previous Games, Samurai Japan defeated an American team loaded with minor league players to win the gold medal. Baseball is no longer a permanent Olympic sport.
The star-studded WBC, held in Miami, Phoenix, Tokyo, and Taiwan, is expected to generate between $90 million and $100 million in revenue. The tournament’s top attendance of 1,306,414 was 20% more than the 1,086,720 for 40 games in 2017.
This year’s semifinals on FS1 and Fox Deportes averaged 2.4 million viewers, a 96% increase over the semifinals on MLB Network and ESPN Deportes in 2017.
Fox stepping up to broadcast the games was “one of the things that were important this time around,” according to baseball commissioner Rob Manfred. Nobody supports the MLB Network more than I do, but it’s a big deal when one of the main broadcasters shows interest in covering the event.
Since the start of the tournament, player health has been a source of concern.
Since the start of the tournament, player health has been a source of concern. Since they wanted them to focus on getting ready for the start of the season, many MLB organizations prohibited pitchers from taking part. Dáz and Altuve’s injuries heightened their worries.
However, the likelihood of injury risks slowing the WBC’s expansion seems remote given that MLB generates cash and international attention from the competition and that players are eager to represent their home nations.
Dáz’s teammate on Team Puerto Rico and the New York Mets, Francisco Lindor, told reporters, “We all care for each other, and no one wants to get hurt.” “But we all adore our nations and want to stand up for them. We get the chance to speak on behalf of our nations and gain knowledge from one another. It’s incredible.
Going into the title match, Japan had drawn three of the four most viewed WBC games ever at home, with ratings of 48.7 for the quarterfinal versus Italy, 44.4 for the matchup against South Korea, and 42.5 for the semifinal versus Mexico. The numbers show the proportion of television households that watched a particular broadcast.
Back home, there was a widespread celebration after the team’s victory. The most widely read newspaper in the nation, Yomiuri, published a special Wednesday afternoon edition for commuters. This publication is often saved for important national news, election-related breaking stories, or, as it happened last year, the killing of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The headline in Japanese read, “Japan, the World’s No. 1.”
Mexico expected that reaching the final four would draw more attention to the sport in a country where soccer is the most popular.
Britain, the Czech Republic, and Nicaragua first made it to the baseball tournament.
Manager Benji Gil predicted that the upcoming two weeks would draw many young players from Mexico and Mexicans who reside overseas.
Britain, the Czech Republic, and Nicaragua first made it to the baseball tournament after it went from 16 to 20 countries. All were unable to get past the group stage.
The mercy rule resulted in the mercy ending two games for China, one for Israel, and one for each Britain and Canada.
Due to a mathematical tiebreaker based on runs allowed divided by outs, Cuba and Italy advanced over the Netherlands, Taiwan, and Panama in Group A despite all five nations finishing tied at two points each in baseball.
Baseball is becoming more and more popular around the world, according to U.S. manager Mark DeRosa. “I figured Colombia, man, the arms they were running out there, they weren’t name guys, but everyone was sitting 92 to 95 (mph) and had pretty decent stuff,” the speaker said.
After striking out All-Stars Juan Soto, Julio Rodriguez, and Rafael Devers in one spectacular inning baseball, Nicaraguan pitcher Duque Hebbert signed a minor league deal with the Detroit Tigers.
The MLB Players Association and the next World Baseball Classic in March 2026 are committed. Manfred stated it is too early to predict whether the format would change.
If you can participate in an event that mixes nationalism and sport, you must, according to him, since he believes that the combination is potent.
SOURCE – (AP)
US Players Welcome Gio Reyna After World Cup Flap, Ream Says
FLORIDA’S DAVENPORT — Tim Ream, one of the team’s more experienced players, has welcomed Gio Reyna back after the teenage midfielder’s family sparked a spat with Gregg Berhalter that cast doubt on the coach’s job security.
Reyna’s parents, former U.S. captain Claudio Reyna and former women’s player Danielle Egan Reyna informed the U.S. Soccer Federation of a 1992 domestic violence incident involving Berhalter and the woman he later married—Danielle Egan’s former college roommate—after Berhalter used Reyna sparingly at the World Cup.
After Berhalter’s contract expired on December 31, the USSF hired a law firm to investigate and named Anthony Hudson interim coach. The USSF postponed making a coaching choice until when a new sporting director is chosen, which is likely to happen this summer after the law firm declared there was no legal barrier to retaining Berhalter, who is still a candidate.
Ahead of the CONCACAF Nations League matches against El Salvador on Monday in Orlando and Grenada on Friday, Gio Reyna is one of 24 players in camp.
The 35-year-old Ream stated on Tuesday, “The most important thing is making sure that everyone knows we’re here for a reason and that we moved on from that as players. What has happened with Gio in the past is in the past, and what happened at the World Cup is in the past.
Tim Ream is one of the team’s more experienced players.
Ream added, “I think the key thing for us as leaders and for the men in camp is to see that he’s working hard, training hard, that he wants to be here, and up to this point, it’s been nothing but positive. “Having chats with other guys, everyone knows what he can provide and how talented he is. And for all the guys to see him come in with that mentality, that work ethic, and the desire to fit in and go back on equal footing with everyone without unduly addressing it.
Reyna differed from the four athletes the USSF made available to the media during Zoom meetings on Monday and Tuesday. Reyna won’t be made available this week, the USSF said in response to an email.
Reyna played 52 minutes overall as a substitute during the World Cup players, and Berhalter said in a news conference that he nearly sent a player home for lack of hustle, comments that Reyna later acknowledged were directed at him.
“I’ve spoken to him on a one-on-one basis. These will remain private between us because it’s crucial to have a channel of trust and communication open between players, teammates, and groups, Ream added. “I think it’s vital to keep what he’s experiencing, seeing, and worrying about between him and me so that he can get over everything that’s happened. And everyone must be able to get past that and cooperate well.
After the United States was denied entry to the World Cup that year.
After the United States was denied entry to the World Cup that year, Berhalter was recruited in December. He stated last week that he is still looking for a job.
Ream emphasized, “the togetherness that he brought to the team after it was very much sporadic and fractured when he first came in,” that “bringing him back is a familiarity.”
Ream added, “He put and laid excellent foundations for the team. We will continue to work for him if they bring him back, and we will continue to work for someone else if they don’t. And that’s how gamers operate by nature. That is how the sport is. There is continuity and change occasionally, and we will go with the flow.
Ream claimed that Berhalter and the present group of leaders had put a stop to a time when there was discord between players in Major League Soccer and those playing for European clubs.
She claimed there was undoubtedly a sense of unease between the two players when Ream first entered the program during her early MLS years.
SOURCE – (AP)
Cuba Beats Australia, Reaches 1st WBC Semifinal Since 2006
Japan WBC — For the first time since 2006, Cuba was awarded a 7,500-mile journey to Miami and a place in the World Baseball Classic semifinals.
“Baseball fans in Cuba are currently acting quite emotional. They are waiting for a very long time,” manager Armando Johnson remarked following Wednesday night’s 4-3 victory over Australia. This is a new chapter and page.
Yoelkis Guibert singled home two runs in the three-run fifth inning, and Alfredo Despaigne delivered a game-tying sacrifice fly.
Cuba plays on Sunday in Marlins Park against the winner of a quarterfinal between Venezuela and the second-place team from Group C: Canada, Colombia, Mexico, or the United States, using current big league players for the first time in the WBC.
Rixon Wingrove, a former Philadelphia Phillies prospect, blasted a game-winning RBI single in the second inning and a two-run home run off Chicago Cubs pitcher Roenis Elias in the sixth inning to lead Australia in RBIs with seven. Later in the sixth inning, Australia had two runners on before Elas retired Milwaukee Brewers prospect Alex Hall on a flyout.
Cuba, which fell to Japan in the 2006 World Baseball Classic championship, had exited the previous three WBCs
Liván Moinelo overcame two walks in a hitless eighth inning by striking out Ulrich Bojarski and retiring Tim Kennelly on an inning-ending flyout after Elas pitched a flawless seventh. Darryl George was struck out on the eighth pitch of the at-bat by Raidel Martinez, who pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to earn the save.
Luis Robert leveled the game for Cuba with a run-scoring groundout in the third inning in front of 35,061 spectators at the Tokyo Dome.
Cuba, which fell to Japan in the 2006 World Baseball Classic championship, had exited the previous three WBCs in the second round. After losing their first two games in this tournament, the Cubans have now won three in a row.
For the first time, Australia moved past the group stage.
In essence, this tour is redefining Australian baseball at home, and George hoped it would alter the debate. People don’t have high expectations of us.
Yoán Moncada of the Chicago White Sox is hitting and has two hits and two walks WCB.
5 RBIs on 421 hits. Mitch Neunborn, who had walked Roel Santos to start the third, was the culprit as Moncada led off with a double with one out.
Miguel Romero, the second of five Cuban pitchers to win the game, gave up just one hit in 1 2/3 scoreless innings.
Santos singled to start the fifth as Moncada was being walked by loser Josh Guyer. Sam Holland walked Robert, and Cuba advanced thanks to Despaigne’s sacrifice fly while he was hitting. 412 (7 for 17) with four RBIs and seven home runs, which leads the WBC career list. After spending parts of five seasons with the Pacific League’s Chiba Lotte Marines (2014–16) and Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks (2017–18), the 36-year-old outfielder and designated hitter are a fan favorite in Japan.
Yoenis Céspedes, a former major leaguer, abandoned the club before the game WBC for unnamed personal reasons, according to the Cuban Baseball Federation.
SOURCE – (AP)
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