06.08.2022
Shohei Ohtani admits it is hard to remain motivated when Los Angeles are not playoff contenders

Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani admitted it is tough to remain motivated amid the team’s losing streak.

Los Angeles tied a major league record with seven solo home runs, including two by Ohtani, but still lost to the Oakland Athletics 8-7 Thursday.

Following the Angels’ game on Wednesday – another defeat to the A’s, this time a 3-1 loss – Ohtani admitted it was tough to remain motivated when Los Angeles’s playoff chances have slipped well out of their grasp.

‘Remaining motivated in that way is hard,’ Ohtani said in Japanese, via the Los Angeles Times.

But the 28-year-old, who pitched well in the defeat, insisted that he was remaining focused.

‘Individually, there are many things I have to do,’ he said. ‘But my life in baseball will continue for some time and whatever the circumstances, I’d like to be focused each and every game.’

The Angels enter Friday with a 44–61 record and currently sit in fourth place in the AL West and are also 12 games out of the third wild-card spot in the American League.

Ohtani has arguably carried the team at times this season. He pitched 5 2/3 innings and struck out seven, giving up only two earned runs Wednesday.

Last month, he struck out 11 and gave up two earned runs in six innings during the Angels’ defeat to the Texas Rangers.

Ohtani admitted there has been a shift in the team’s mentality compared with earlier in the season.

‘Things are different from when we were winning earlier in the season,’ he said. ‘That’s why we became sellers. As a team, of course, you can’t continue to play with the high morale that you had when you were aiming for the postseason.

‘We’re not in a place where it’s good to just think that if you do what you can do in this one at-bat or one inning, or get a result against this one batter, and pile that up and just win the game.

‘As a player, it’s pretty tough knowing the chances are low that a win will play a part in getting you to the postseason. But I think I’d like to do what I have to do the best I can.’

With the Angels so far out of playoff contention, rumors were swirling whether Ohtani would be traded before last Tuesday’s deadline.

The Angels may have ‘listened’ to offers for star Ohtani, but talks reportedly went nowhere as owner Arte Moreno ‘didn’t even want to hear offers,’ according to the New York Post.

The Yankees and Padres were among the ‘dozen or so’ teams that tried engaging with the embattled franchise, who ultimately decided to hold onto Ohtani with their other franchise cornerstone Mike Trout out injured.

However, Los Angeles did trade a trio of stars – starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard, closer Raisel Iglesias and outfielder Brandon Marsh – to three legitimate playoff contenders.

Ohtani revealed he will still be cheering on his former teammates as he wished them the best.

‘I’m cheering from the bottom of my heart for the players who left,’ Ohtani said. ‘I’d like them to be part of good teams, get results and do their best in the postseason.’

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  • 20 минут назад 19.08.2022Sport
    Luke Rockhold slams Paulo Costa in X-RATED rant ahead of their clash at UFC 278

    Luke Rockhold has taken no prisoners ahead of his fight with Paulo Costa as he slammed the Brazilian in an x-rated rant.

    Rockhold appeared on stage at a press conference ahead of his upcoming bout with Costa in the co-main event of Saturday’s UFC 278.

    The 37-year-old one-time middleweight champion slammed his opponent and claimed Costa did all he could to avoid taking this fight, claiming the Brazilian kept postpoining their fight because of ‘all the cosmetic bulls*** he got done’.

    Rockhold said: ‘This m*********** didn’t want to take the fight in the first place.

    ‘The UFC forced it down his throat and then he delayed it twice, month after month and all the cosmetic bull**** he got done. You little b****, shut up.’

    Costa took Rockhold’s words with a pinch of salt and mocked the American’s age.

    He responded: ‘Come on, this guy is too old to say this kind of bull****. Come on. You are too old to say this kind of bull****.

    ‘He can say this bull****. I don’t feed on an older man like he is. It doesn’t matter on the day of the fight. We will be close in the same cage, just me and him and we will see who has more energy, who has more power and more will to win this fight.’

    Later on at the press conference, Costa took aim at Rockhold’s outfit, saying he was trying to dress like a ‘teenager’.

    The veteran fired back: ‘I’m old, I’m young. What am I? ‘Shut the f*** up.’

    The tension between the pair didn’t stop there, with both fighters continuing to throw a slew of insults at each other.

    This included when Rockhold questioned Costa’s desire when he faces challenges.

    ‘Have you ever dealt with adversity?’, Rockhold said, before he pointed to when Costa was criticised for missing his weight in a previous clash with Marvin Vettori.

    ‘The one time you dealt with adversity you missed weight by 20 f****** pounds.

    ‘My question: what’s your weight at? We all want to know. Are you going to make weight? Are you going to make f****** weight?’

    Costa fired back at Rockhold with ‘f*** you’, before he claimed he would win the fight easily on Saturday evening.

    He said: ‘I’m on my primetime. I will f*** this old man up on Saturday. He is visibly uncomfortable because he knows he will face a monster. He knows already. Look at him, He’s uncomfortable. I will retire him on Saturday.’

    The end of the press conference didn’t end the animosity as the pair stomped towards each other on stage with UFC President Dana White ready to step in.

    Saturday’s fight is definitely not one to be missed as the hostility between the pair shows no signs of relenting.

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  • 20 минут назад 19.08.2022Sport
    Rutgers football players ‘ordered $450,000 in DoorDash deliveries’ that university paid for

    Rutgers football players reportedly spent more than $450,000 on DoorDash for meals and other items – on the university’s dime – from May 2021 through June of this year, according to an investigation from the Bergen Record.

    The practice of allowing the players to expense food orders started during the pandemic, Rutgers said, as student-athletes were forced to quarantine for up to two weeks if they had tested positive or been exposed to coronavirus.

    Still, as Patch.com noted, that bill ultimately falls to New Jersey taxpayers (Rutgers is a public university), and Rutgers Athletics has operated at a $73 million deficit through the last two years.

    The investigation found that athletes had made orders from Outback Steakhouse and Red Lobster, plus pizza, tacos, chicken wings, Chinese food and even pharmacy items – with some orders even coming thousands of miles away from the Rutgers campus near athletes’ hometowns.

    One player made orders in New York and Florida on the same day, continuing to order in Florida for the next couple of days, the Record said.

    Rutgers did not dispute the hefty tab, and said they were ‘permitted to use DoorDash’ based on COVID guidance from the NCAA.

    ‘Many of our student-athletes come from economically challenged backgrounds and in addition to how difficult it was to meet their nutritional needs with COVID, this was the best way to look out for our student-athletes’ welfare,’ Rutgers said in a statement.

    ‘We continued to use DoorDash until June 2022 to provide to-go meal options to student-athletes in instances when a permissible meal was not otherwise available or provided.

    ‘DoorDash was used as a substitute for institutional meals when student-athletes were in quarantine or participating in team activities such as rehab, practice and competition, and food was not provided in the facility.’

    The school, which noted that the DoorDash program extended beyond football players to other student-athletes on campus, estimated an average monthly spend of $22.88 for most athletes entitled to free food. There were roughly 19,745 orders placed over the period, Rutgers said.

    Rutgers continues to offer free meals to its students (non-food items are no longer permitted), but switched to GrubHub in late June, citing the rival app’s cheaper costs.

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  • 20 минут назад 19.08.2022Sport
    Real Madrid eye Tottenham’s Pierre Emile-Hojbjerg as a potential replacement for departing Casemiro

    Real Madrid are interested in signing Tottenham star Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg to replace the departing Casemiro this summer.

    The Danish midfielder has established himself as a key part of Antonio Conte’s Spurs squad, and made 48 appearances for the club across all competitions last season.

    According to a report from The Telegraph, Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has earmarked Hojbjerg as a transfer target as Los Blancos look to strengthen their squad before the end of the transfer window.

    Hojbjerg still has three years remaining on his current deal at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium, having joined the club from Southampton.

    Ancelotti has long been an admirer of the 27-year-old, and even agreed terms to sign Hojbjerg back during his time in charge of Everton, but the midfielder ultimately opted to join then-Spurs boss Jose Mourinho instead.

    Since making the move to Tottenham, Hojbjerg has been virtually ever-present in north London, missing just two Premier League games since signing for the club in August 2020.

    The Denmark international has been in fine form this season, starting both of Spurs’ games in the heart of midfield and scoring an equaliser as Conte’s team salvaged a late point against Chelsea on Sunday.

    Madrid’s interest in the Spurs midfielder comes after Ancelotti allowed Real stalwart Casemiro to depart the club to join Manchester United in a £60million deal earlier this week.

    The Brazilian has signed a four-year deal at Old Trafford but will not be available for Monday’s game against Liverpool as United were unable to get the transfer over the line in time for Friday’s 12pm Premier League registration deadline.

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  • 20 минут назад 19.08.2022Sport
    Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud wants Big 10 TV revenues ‘shared’ after record shattering deal

    One of the largest TV rights deals in college athletics history was signed Thursday and a star in the conference wants the wealth distributed among the players.

    Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud thinks a portion of the money given to the Big Ten Conference in its new media rights deal should be shared with the players.

    Yesterday, the Big 10 announced they signed a deal with NBC, Fox, and CBS worth $7 billion and going into effect next season creating an NFL-esque TV schedule on Saturdays.

    Each school will be getting a cut of around $1 billion per year under this new agreement in what is the richest deal for a college athletic conference in history.

    Given the conference’s newfound riches, Stroud believes the athletes that provide the product shown on screen should get a cut of that money.

    ‘I definitely think it should be shared,’ Stroud said, ‘but if not, at the end of the day, we have the NIL space.

    ‘We can do it that way. The new college world is turning around, and I’m here for it.’

    Stroud helped win Ohio State a Rose Bowl title last season, and loves the college environment, but feels athletes shouldn’t be under compensated just due to their amateur status.

    ‘This game is amazing, especially the college atmosphere, because it does have amateurism to it,’ Stroud said. ‘That’s definitely a plus.

    ‘But at the same time, I’m not 100% sure what our tuition is, but I’m sure it’s not the worth of what we’re actually worth. My mom has always told me to know my worth.’

    Players only recently were allowed to sign deals letting them profit off their Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) that many athletes have already taken part in.

    But revenue sharing is an entirely different argument, but it’s something Big Ten leaders are open to having a discussion about.

    ‘I’ve already started some dialogue with our student-athletes,’ Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren said during the conference’s media days last month.

    ‘I want to be a great listener to figure out what is important to them. It’s so easy to talk about money and share money, but what does that really mean?

    ‘I want to make sure that I listen and learn to be able to have big ears and a small mouth to truly understand what’s important to them.’

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  • 1 час, 32 минуты назад 19.08.2022Sport
    Oleksandr Usyk dupes Anthony Joshua as heavyweight rivals weigh in for Saudi showdown

    Oleksandr Usyk weighed 221.6lb, similar to the 221.25lb he stepped on the scales at for his first contest with Anthony Joshua despite rumours he would be 15kg (33lb) heavier. ‘AJ’ meanwhile was slightly heavier at 244.5lb, 4.5lb heavier than he was for the inaugural encounter.

    Reports began to circulate that the Ukrainian was coming in much bigger after videos emerged online showing what appeared to be a far more muscular Usyk in training camp. Then, Amir Khan added further fuel to the fire when he claimed that Usyk had told him that he was up 15kg since his last meeting with the Watford powerhouse. But the numbers suggest otherwise.

    Although technically still a career-heaviest weight for Usyk, expectations of a muscle-bound 250lb behemoth have been shattered. In response to the result, Usyk said during Friday’s weigh-in: “You see your expectations are not met every time.”

    In typical Usyk fashion, when asked what he saw in Joshua’s eyes when they stared down for one final time, ‘The Cat’ joked: “Myself. It was the reflection of myself.” Before delivering one final message ahead of fight night: “Thank you very much, lord help us.”

    The pair had a long and intense face-off after recording their official weights with both men keen not to give anything away. Their glare was eventually broken after three minutes when ‘AJ’ went to shake his competitor’s hand and exchange a few words.

    After the weigh-in, Joshua also shared his thoughts on the match-up and the head-to-head: “Not much it’s just a face-off, face-offs don’t mean nothing just about the bell ringing and us throwing leather. Face-offs don’t win fights.

    “I’ll be honest all this stuff don’t matter. It’s just about the fight, real talk. All this stuff, weight, face-off none of it matters to me just looking forward to the fight. Just ready for twelve rounds, one hundred per cent, one hundred per cent, and anything short of that is a bonus.”

    Full weigh in results

    Main card

    Undercard

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  • 1 час, 32 минуты назад 19.08.2022Sport
    Chelsea target ‘requests not to play’ following multiple transfer meetings this week

    Chelsea transfer target Wesley Fofana has reportedly requested not to play in Leicester City’s Premier League clash with Southampton this Saturday amid continued uncertainty surrounding his future. The Frenchman is thought to have held multiple meetings with Foxes manager Brendan Rodgers this week, where he has reiterated his desire to leave the club.

    Fofana has emerged as a top target for the Blues this summer with the west Londoners having already seen two mega-money offers worth up to £70million rejected by Leicester. Foxes boss Rodgers has declared on multiple occasions that the defender is not for sale this summer.

    According to CBS Sports’ Ben Jacobs, Fofana and Rodgers have held multiple meetings this week to discuss the defender’s future. The France Under-21 international, who signed a new five-year deal at the King Power as recently as March, is believed to have reiterated his desire to be allowed to leave before the transfer window closes and asked to be left out of Leicester’s home clash with Southampton on Saturday.

    “There’s lots of speculation and lots of noise that goes on with it, especially for a young player of just 21. Yes, 100 per cent [I will leave him out if his head isn’t right].

    “If the players aren’t totally focused and committed to the club and being here, or for whatever reason just aren’t in the right mindset, that won’t help us. We have to ensure everyone is really focused in order for us to play the best game we can. I will always assess that after the sessions.”

    The news breaks just a day after Rodgers admitted in his Thursday press conference that he would be willing to omit Fofana from his match-day squad if he felt the centre-back’s transfer links to Chelsea were becoming too much of a distraction. The Leicester boss said: “It’s a challenge for any player.

    When probed over whether Leicester had received another further bids from Chelsea last week, Rodgers declared: “Not that I am aware of. There were two, but again, nowhere near what the club would even think about.”

    With the Foxes keen to take advantage of Fofana’s long-term contract, it is thought Chelsea would be required to submit a world-record bid for a defender in order to capture his services this summer. The current highest fee was also in the region of £80m, with Leicester receiving something similar from Manchester United in exchange for Harry Maguire back in 2019.

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Sport Shohei Ohtani admits it is hard to remain motivated when Los Angeles are not playoff contenders