Dom Farrell Published on Mar. 30, 2018 Mar. 30, 2018 The United States will have World Cup representation in the form of two referees but no British officials will be present at Russia 2018. FIFA confirmed its list of 36 referees and 63 assistants for the tournament on Thursday, with the officials spanning 46 different countries. However, none come from the Premier League, despite English football's top-flight drawing upon a group of full-time professional referees. The USA's bid for qualification ended in humiliation but Mark Geiger and Jair Marrufo will be men in the middle in Russia. Nicola Rizzoli, the referee from the 2014 final, is now retired but Gianluca Rocchi will be present in his place as Italy's representative. Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz, a referee to have earned the distinction of winning praise from Jose Mourinho, is the Spanish referee named. The officials selected will attend two … [Read more...] about World Cup referees selected
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports The Rangers announced Thursday that they’ve selected the contract of veteran reliever Kevin Jepsen, who was in camp on a minor league contract. In a corresponding move, the Rangers designated first basemanTommy Joseph for assignment. Texas claimed him off waivers from the Phillies last week. Additionally, Martin Perez,Tony Barnette andTim Lincecum have been placed on the 10-day DL.Once a top-ranked catching prospect, Joseph moved to first base due to concussion issues and broke into the Majors with a solid showing in 2016 (.257/.308/.505). However, Joseph has struggled to get on base in each of his two big league seasons and saw his overall offensive output decline in 2017. Overall, he’s a .247/.297/.460 hitter in 880 PAs, but as an OBP-challenged slugger with significant defensive limitations, he was squeezed out in Philadelphia and could have a tough time finding a regular role elsewhere.The 33-year-old Jepsen didn’t pitch in the … [Read more...] about Rangers designate Tommy Joseph, select Kevin Jepsen
Back on June 5, just before the French Tests, I posted an article regarding whether the Wallabies were selected on form. Now the team for the first New Zealand Test has been announced I thought it might be timely to post a similar evaluation. Predicting who is in form at this stage is a little trickier than it was back in June. The Waratahs stand tall in our minds having won the 2014 Super Rugby competition. The Brumbies are the next most prominent in our minds but, having been beaten by the Waratahs, the form of any one of their players relative to their Waratahs counterparts is questionable. The form of players from the other Australian teams is a hazy memory with a tendency to be coloured by hope and provincial bias. Nevertheless it is a possible and interesting exercise to compile a list of eligible players who are in form and compare to the Wallaby team selected. I will go through each of the Australian teams, list players in form and allocate a totally subjective form rating out … [Read more...] about Take two: Were the Wallabies selected on form?
Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports The Angels have selected the contract of pitcher/DH Shohei Ohtani, per a club announcement. To create a 40-man spot, the organization designated catcherCarlos Perez for assignment.Los Angeles also made a few other calls on players in time for its Opening Day roster. RelieverFelix Pena was optioned, leaving Rule 5 pickLuke Bard andNoe Ramirezto make the club, while veteran first baseman/DH Chris Carter was informed he will not be on the active roster to open the year.The 23-year-old Ohtani, Japan’s biggest superstar, came into camp seen as something of a savior for the Halos. But he ended the spring facing questions as to whether he ought to begin the year in the majors.While Ohtani showed the tools on the mound that generated so much hype, the results were mixed. Indeed, he only took the ball twice in Cactus League action, spending most of his time on the hill in minor-league games. Ohtani did see 32 plate appearances as he seeks to adjust … [Read more...] about Angels select Shohei Ohtani, designate Carlos Perez
Is anyone else tired of sporting cliches? He’s a class player – well which class is he in? He’s a talented player – he’s playing first class cricket, that’s a given. He’s got potential – well call me back when he’s fulfilled it. I have little time for these popular buzzwords unless coupled with a greater depth of analysis. Hitting them well in the nets is great news. Now hit them well out in the middle and you’ve got something worth sharing. The Australian squad for the South African tour, like most Test squads, was not without its criticisms. And most of its critics had ready-made replacements for the men deemed inappropriate, or thoughts on those being nominated by others. Names were thrown forward, names were dismissed, names were forced and names were laughed away, but it was surprisingly uncommon for these names to be noted along with the cold, hard and strangely beautiful aspect of cricket: the numbers. Rather, as is … [Read more...] about Stats (should) matter in Test selection