Duff eyeing summer move abroad

first_imgDamien Duff will end his five-year association with Fulham this summer, with the winger contemplating a move to Australia or the United States before returning home to Ireland. Press Association A knee injury has brought this campaign to a premature end and, once recovered from surgery, he is planning to move in search of “something new” at the end of his contract. “I’m up at the end of the season,” Duff told the Irish Times. “The club haven’t spoken to me and I haven’t spoken to the club but we don’t need to speak: I’ll be leaving Fulham. I’ve had a great time here but that’s football. “I’ve had a few whispers from here and there but I’m just trying to get this [injury] right first. “I’ve looked at the Australia or America thing for a bit, it would be a different way of life, a different league; I think life’s too short just to be stuck in the rat race, if that’s the right phrase, over here so I’d maybe like to taste something new before I go back home.” Duff would like to do a “year or two elsewhere” before plying his trade in the League of Ireland, with the winger admitting former Republic of Ireland team-mate Robbie Keane, now of LA Galaxy, has suggested a move to Major League Soccer. “We’ve had a bit of banter all right,” he said. “He obviously loves it and every six months I see he’s signed a new deal so he’ll be there for a good while yet. “We’ll see what happens but I wouldn’t mind trying it to be fair but I have to get back fit first, I’ve got a screw in my knee now and a screw in the knee of a jinky winger doesn’t really go hand in hand but we’ll see what happens. “We’d be up for it and we’d like to see the world but it wouldn’t be for a jolly up. I’m still as hungry as ever.” center_img After spells with Blackburn, Chelsea and Newcastle, the 35-year-old moved to Craven Cottage in August 2009 and that season helped the Whites to the Europa League final. Duff has made 173 appearances in all for the west Londoners, although February’s appearance off the bench in the FA Cup fourth-round exit to Sheffield United looks to have been his last for the club last_img read more

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Dougherty: You wouldn’t believe what goes into long snapping

first_img Related Stories Snapshot: A look at Syracuse captain, 4-year starting long snapper Rodgers Published on September 2, 2015 at 8:24 pm Sam Rodgers ran through the basics for 15 minutes and was now standing seven yards behind me.I tried to remember all the tips and it made my head spin. Bend at the knees before reaching for the ball. Put your right hand on the ball like you’re going to throw it. Layer your left hand above your right and make sure your thumbs are parallel to each other. The outside line of the football should cut through your left shoulder. Don’t crane your neck to look through your legs. Make a double chin, instead. Then …Snap.“That wasn’t one of your better ones,” Rodgers, Syracuse’s long snapper from 2011-14, said as he lunged to his left to catch the wobbling ball. “You were thinking too much.”Of course I was. After spending an hour long snapping with Rodgers on a hot afternoon on Aug. 19, I learned that the best long snaps are, somehow, calculated and mindless at the same time. Rodgers spent four years perfecting the craft for the Orange, and spent time at Buffalo Bills training camp this past summer.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textNow he’s back — working at the Carrier Dome and training for another shot at the NFL — and Syracuse’s search for long-snapper stability will restart when it hosts Rhode Island at 7 p.m. on Friday.At the tail end of training camp, SU special teams coordinator Tim Daoust said true freshman Matt Keller will snap for punts, and that Keller and senior walk-on Keith Mitsuuchi were still competing to snap on field goals. Neither player has in-game college experience at the nuanced position, so I set out to learn how difficult long snapping really is.Reader discretion is advised. Don’t try this at home.“You’ll see it in practice, everyone wants to see if they can do it,” Rodgers said. “But most people are really bad. It’s hard.”I told Rodgers I should probably see him snapping a few times before I try. The first drill he does is a short 5-yard snap, then he moves to 7 yards and snaps in slow motion to emphasize technique. I do these with him and my lower back starts to hurt every time I bend down for a snap. He told me I’m not bending enough at the knees. My thighs start to burn. I look at the clock on my phone and we’ve been on the field for 12 minutes.“I’m at 10 yards now so it’s going to come in fast, can you catch?” he asked, setting the ball up at a distance in between punt and field goal snaps. I nodded.“I brought my gloves,” he continued. “There’s no shame in wearing them, my wife does when she catches for me.”I declined to wear the gloves and he shook his head as he got into his stance. He grunted as he snapped it and it looks like the ball was shot out of a pitching machine — an airtight spiral with the nose of the football bounding for my chest. The ball hits my hands and I think for a second that my thumb’s broken. When I look down there’s a five-fingered stop sign on the end of my right arm.“So that’s what it looks like,” I said to him, when what I really wanted to say was: “Did you feel that raindrop? We should call it a day.”Rodgers told me to try from 10 yards and I’m actually not too bad. The ball doesn’t zip like his but it gets there and is, for the most part, somewhat accurate. So he moved to 14 yards, which is about where the punter would stand.I bent down and looked through my legs and he looks like he’s standing on the other end of the field. He tells me that if I let my momentum takeover and get my legs into my follow through I should be just fine. When I let it go I don’t even look because I’m sure it’s anywhere but in his hands.“That could have been punted,” Rodgers said, which I learn is a real compliment in long snapping. “That was about 1.2 seconds, the goal is to get it to the punter in about 0.8.”He told me to try and get a little more on it and try for that 0.8-second mark. All the fundamentals and tips ran through my head and I let it rip, this time whipping around to admire my work.It bounced about 5 yards in front of him, skipped past his reach and rolled to midfield. It was one thing to complete one good snap, and a whole different beast to complete two in a row. I probably snapped around 50 times and got two votes of confidence from Rodgers: one “that could have been punted,” and one “that was fine.”When Syracuse’s new long snappers jog onto the field against Rhode Island on Friday night, I’ll be happy with my seat in the press box and sympathetic to any growing pains.“You did fine out there,” Rodgers said, smirking, after we finished up. “The first time’s hard for everyone.” Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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Angels Offseason Options: Mike Moustakas

first_img Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros (This is the latest in a series of quick profiles on players who fit for the Angels to add over the winter. They are purely “informed speculation,” based on what we know about the Angels’ roster needs along with General Manager Billy Eppler’s preferences and history. We’ll have a new one every weekday, until the GM Meetings, which are the unofficial start of the hot stove season.)MIKE MOUSTAKAS, 3B, Milwaukee BrewersThe basics: A product of Chatsworth High, Moustakas came up as a power-hitting third baseman with the Kansas City Royals, with four seasons of 20 homers. He was widely connected to the Angels as a free agent last winter, but he ended up re-signing with Kansas City and getting traded to the Brewers midseason. He will play most of next season at age 30.2018 season: Moustakas hit .251 with a .315 on-base percentage and 28 homers.Contract status: Moustakas has a mutual option worth $15 million, which means he’s probably going to be a free agent. Last season he made $5.5 million. Why he makes sense: The Angels are not likely to have the room in their payroll or roster for a premium infielder who can only play one position, but Moustakas played a few games at first base last season. If he’s willing and able to play over there more regularly, or even primarily, he could be a good fit for the Angels. The Angels could use one more big bat, preferably who hits left-handed, and if he can play first base and another position, that allows him to fill in when Albert Pujols is not at first, but also be somewhere on the field when Pujols is. The transition to first base should be doable, as long as Moustakas is willing. If Moustakas could play first and third, he’d basically do what the Angels hoped Luis Valbuena would do. A Southern California native, he might have some incentive to do what it takes to fit with the Angels. Another left-handed power bat in the lineup would help balance the roster.Why he doesn’t: He is going to cost some money that the Angels would probably prefer to save for their pitching, since they believe they have enough young players with the offensive upside to give them what they need. Also, his career on-base percentage is only average. Defensively, he’d be a work in progress at first.Previous players: C J.T. Realmuto, RHP Nate Eovaldi, RHP Sonny Gray, LHP Patrick Corbin, LHP CC Sabathia, UT Daniel Descalso, RHP Julio Teheran, LHP Gio Gonzalez, UT Marwin Gonzalez, LHP J.A. Happ, LHP Will Smith.Related Articles Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield center_img Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

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Reds rookie Aristides Aquino continues to electrify baseball with his power

first_imgAristides Aquino is nicknamed “The Punisher”, which couldn’t be more appropriate after the start to his MLB career. The Reds rookie right fielder delivered his grandest act yet on Saturday, not only homering three times against the Cubs, but doing all of his damage in the first four innings.  With an effortless swing and a batting stance reminiscent of Tony Bautista, Aquino now has seven long balls in his first 10 career MLB games, which ties Trevor Story for the most in the live-ball era. Just take a look at the way this man slugs a baseball.  There is a reason they call him “The Punisher.”Aristides Aquino has been feasting on major league pitching.pic.twitter.com/5pAdZT4Lgi— Sporting News MLB (@sn_mlb) August 10, 2019Punisher gonna punish #NotAReplaypic.twitter.com/FPRDYyTsyk— Sporting News MLB (@sn_mlb) August 11, 2019He’s done it again! Third time is the charm for The Punisher. pic.twitter.com/yzSKl27prB— Sporting News MLB (@sn_mlb) August 11, 2019MORE: How to watch ‘ChangeUp,’ an MLB whip-around show, for free on DAZNHis third home run was an apt finale for his night, travelling 452 feet into the Cincinnati night. Even though the Reds are on the periphery of the playoff race, it seems like they have found something special in Aquino. We will see when the league adjusts to him, and whether he can adjust back, since he has carried a high strikeout rate and low walk rate in the minor leagues, but for now he is turning the Reds into must-watch television.last_img read more

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