July 31, 2014

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Defender out of position comfortable facing Messi
Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, July 10, 2014 8:08 PM

Associated Press


PORTO SEGURO, Brazil — For a man about to face one of the game’s most prolific scorers, Benedikt Hoewedes is remarkably calm and composed ahead of the World Cup final.

Even more so considering he’ll be playing out of his usual position.

Hoewedes has been used as left back by Germany coach Joachim Loew during the tournament and the Schalke defender is likely to be the one assigned to stopping Argentina star Lionel Messi’s runs on the right wing.

“I’ll do my part but it will be a collective effort. That’s how even a player of such quality can be stopped,” Hoewedes said Thursday.

Hoewedes already has had to deal with another scoring sensation, Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal. Ronaldo was held scoreless and Germany won its World Cup opener 4-0.

Usually a center back, Hoewedes has defied skeptics with his performances at the tournament.

“Since we are in the final, I must have done something right,” said Hoewedes, one of the three Germany players to have played every minute of the tournament. The other two are goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and captain Philipp Lahm.

The position of left back has been considered the weak link in Germany’s team for years. Loew has tried several players in the position and even complained once that “I can’t cut a left back out of wood” when none met his standards.

When exactly Loew came up with the idea of using Hoewedes is not clear but he has been at left back since day one of the tournament.

“I am playing in a position for which I haven’t trained. But I think I am helping the team with my presence,” Hoewedes said.

Germany started the tournament with four center backs in its last line of defense but Lahm has since returned to right back from the midfield and the defense has gained stability.

Hoewedes has played right back for Germany and Schalke when necessary but being on the left is a novelty.

“For me, it’s completely crazy what’s going on. I still can’t believe it,” he added. “It’s huge what’s happening to me and the final will be the highlight. We want the title.”

Hoewedes does not provide much attacking spark on the left flank but says that that’s his not priority anyway.

Loew has praised Hoewedes’ robust performances.

“He’s been very strong in 1-on-1 situations and has covered a lot of distance,” Loew said. “His strong play in the air has been useful both in the back and in the attack.”

Despite woes, Argentines united in World Cup run

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Soccer has once again emerged as the patriotic touchstone that unites Argentines as they teeter on the precipice, this time threatened by a debt crisis, soaring inflation and the scandal-plagued end to a 12-year political dynasty that has polarized the nation.

The country’s World Cup semifinal victory over the Netherlands in a penalty shootout unleashed a collective catharsis on Buenos Aires’ streets Wednesday night the likes of which Argentines have rarely seen in recent times.

Coinciding with Independence Day celebrations, tens of thousands of Argentines dressed in blue and white partied well past midnight in cities across the country.

Lima Junior Golf Association
Written by Staff Reports   
Thursday, July 10, 2014 8:08 PM

McDonald’s Junior Series

Mast Memorial Classic - Bluffton Golf Club - Blue Par 72

Thursday’s Results

BOYS 12-13

1. Christian Nartke and Austin Radcliff 38; 2. Cole Fletcher 42; 3. Ethan Harmon and Gavin Harmon 43; 4. Austin Luck and Braden Ruble 47; 5. Grant Csukker and Adam Gerker 48.

BOYS 14-15

1. Andrew Simpson and Jack Rubin 33-35-68; 2. Sam Reed and Jacob Good 37-39-76; 3. Jared Hernandez and Daniel Magowan 39-37-76 (Reed & Good win a playoff for 2nd place); 4. Derek Klausing and R. Buescher 41-40-81; 5. Nick Guerrero, and Andrew Boone 44-39-83; 6. Ricky Carroll and Sean Houston 41-44-85; 7. Regan Altenbach and Thomas Williams 44-42-86; 8. Keaton Mckinley and Drew Bullock 45-45-90; 9. Joey Miller and Andrew Cook 49-46-95; 10. Jake Klingler and Colin Poling 55-51-106.

BOYS 16-18

1. James Riepenhoff and Westin Young 34-30-64; 2. Evan Hall and Carter Bowman 33-32-65; 3. Brady Garver and Spencer Stubbs 33-33-66; 4. (tie) Joshah Rager/Adam Vieira 34-34-68 and Wesley Markward/Xavier Francis 31-37-68; 5. (tie) Rich Streicher/Eli Runk 36-37-73 and Ian Hasting/Collin Hennon 35-38-73; 6. (tie) Nathan Clark/Eric Jordan 38-36-74 and Aaron Tietje/Jared Nelson 36-38-74; 7. Brandon Hernandez 39-41-80.


Simon first in NL to win 12, Reds beat Cubs 4-1
Written by Associated Press   
Wednesday, July 09, 2014 8:00 PM


Associated Press


CINCINNATI — Alfredo Simon became the NL’s first 12-game winner and Billy Hamilton added to his sensational series with a tie-breaking triple Wednesday night, leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 4-1 victory over the trade-depleted Chicago Cubs.

The Reds won their fifth in a row — matching their season high — and moved a season-best seven games over .500. After winning the first four games of the series, they’ll try for their first 5-game sweep since 1976 today.

Simon (12-3), left off the All-Star team, became the first Reds pitcher to win a dozen games before the break since Edinson Volquez also went 12-3 in the first half of 2008. The reliever-turner-starter gave up four hits in 6 2/3 innings, including Anthony Rizzo’s third homer in four games.

Hamilton tripled home a run and scored during a 3-run fifth against Dallas Beeler (0-2), who has lost his first two starts in the majors. Cubs manager Rick Renteria was ejected during the inning for arguing a foul-ball call with third-base umpire Andy Fletcher.

Hamilton is 7-for-15 with three triples, three walks, two steals and seven RBIs during the series. He left the game in the eighth with a tight left hamstring.

Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips also left in the eighth after spraining his left thumb while making a sliding catch. X-rays were negative.

It’s been a tough week for the Cubs, who have lost all six games — their deepest slump of the season — since they dealt starters Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to Oakland for a package of prospects.

Beeler and several others will get a chance to move up from the minors and fill their spots. The 25-year-old pitcher gave up four runs, six hits and four walks in five innings.

4 players eligible for NFL’s supplemental draft
Written by Associated Press   
Wednesday, July 09, 2014 8:00 PM

NEW YORK — Four players will be available during the NFL’s supplemental draft today.

League spokesman Michael Signora wrote in an email that New Mexico receiver Chase Clayton, North Carolina linebacker Darius Lipford, Virginia-Lynchburg defensive tackle Lakendrick Ross and SMU running back Traylon Shead were eligible for the draft.

The supplemental draft allows qualified underclassmen who did not request early entry into the regular draft to have a chance at entering the NFL. Teams submit picks and are awarded players if their bid — for which round they would take that player — is highest. Teams then lose the corresponding pick in next year’s draft.

Players that are not picked become free agents.

Redskins’ Tanard Jackson suspended 4th time by NFL

ASHBURN, Va. — Washington Redskins safety Tanard Jackson has been suspended for a fourth time for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.

The league announced Wednesday that Jackson has been suspended indefinitely without pay.

Jackson was also suspended indefinitely in August 2012. He was given what was expected to be his final chance to play again when the NFL reinstated him in May.

The Redskins re-signed him and he claimed during a spring practice that this time would be different in part because of the “humbling experience” of having to work in a warehouse during his suspension.

The 28-year-old Jackson was suspended twice while playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers: four games in 2009 and for 12 months starting in September 2010. He first signed with the Redskins in April 2012.

AP Sources: Riley, LeBron meet, no decision yet
Written by Associated Press   
Wednesday, July 09, 2014 8:00 PM

Associated Press


LAS VEGAS — Pat Riley made his pitch. And now, LeBron James wants time to think.

The Miami Heat president met with the 4-time NBA MVP on Wednesday afternoon in Las Vegas, two people familiar with the situation told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because neither side publicly disclosed details of the meeting. James, his agent Rich Paul, Riley and Heat executive Andy Elisburg were at the meeting, said one of the people.

According to the person, James has not made a decision and will not make any announcements before today, adding, “He wants to meet with his family.”

So now, Miami waits. So does Cleveland. So, too, does just about the entire NBA — because once James picks the Heat or the Cavaliers, the teams believed to be serious suitors for his services, the domino effect of other free agent moves will surely follow.

The meeting in Las Vegas lasted for more than an hour and took place more than two weeks after James opted out of his contract and elected to become a free agent and the day before free agents may begin signing contracts.

James spent part of his day before the meeting at his annual skills academy with some of the nation’s top high school and college players, interacting and observing workouts. That was part of the reason why Riley had to fly across the country to make the meeting happen, with hopes that he would return to Miami from the gambling haven with a huge win — keeping James in Heat colors for at least another season.

Several teams have met with Paul during the free-agent process but it appears James has only one decision to make: Cleveland or Miami, the same choice he pondered four years ago when he decided play with the Heat. With James, the Heat won four Eastern Conference titles and two NBA championships.

The Cavaliers didn’t sit idle waiting for James and Riley to meet.

Cleveland created salary-cap space earlier Wednesday with a 3-team trade with the Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets, ensuring they have enough to offer the James a maximum contract.

But James had said he would meet with Riley and the Heat before making his decision.

The meeting came nearly three weeks after Riley addressed reporters following Miami’s loss to San Antonio in the NBA Finals, when he insisted that the Heat needed to make some adjustments to get better — but didn’t need a massive rebuilding job to stay at a championship level.

If James leaves, it’ll be more than a retooling project that awaits Miami.