Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan is simply happy that the Black Stars have advanced to the next stage of qualifiers.Despite a mostly laboured performance, the west Africans got a 2-0 win against the gutsy Comoros at the Baba Yara Stadium in Ghana’s second city, Kumasi.“It is a good victory for us. We drew 0-0 over there and came to win 2-0 here,” Gyan said after the game. Goals from Mubarak Wakaso and Jordan Ayew settled the two-legged tie.The Black Stars had scared fans by playing a tepid 0-0 away on Friday. Continuous talk about player bonuses, which dominated the prelude to the second leg, did not help with fan confidence.And in a poorly attended game, the team scored a goal in each half. “Sometimes you face difficult opponents. People think they are ‘Comoros’ but tactically, they were very disciplined. They know how to block the spaces and everything,” he continued.Tuesday’s game takes Ghana into a draw of 19 other nations who will slug it out for a place at Russia 2018, where five African teams will feature. “We got a couple of chances that we could have buried but I think playing against them is very difficult. The most important thing is, we were able to get two goals.The usually prolific striker, who turns 30 on Sunday, could not make a key chance count when he missed a sitter with just the ‘keeper to beat.–This game was live on SuperSport, your world of champions.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr is concerned with how the Lakers handled their recruitment of Anthony Davis.The saga was well noted, with Davis publicly wanting a trade from the Pelicans and Los Angeles blatantly going after Davis near the trade deadline in February before negotiations with the Pelicans fell through. NBA trade rumors: Celtics ‘quickly’ rejected offer for Gordon Hayward “When you sign on that dotted line, you owe your effort and your play to that team, to that city, to the fans. And then (once the contract runs out) it’s completely your right to leave as a free agent. But if you sign the contract, then you should be bound to that contract.“If you come to an agreement with the team that, hey, it’s probably best for us to part ways, that’s one thing. But the Davis stuff was really kind of groundbreaking — and hopefully not a trend, because it’s bad for the league.”The way the Lakers came to acquire Davis was messy and made everyone look bad — Davis, his agent (who reportedly leaked the news that Davis wanted to be traded) and how the Lakers and Pelicans dealt with the situation.Eventually Davis got his wish and joined Los Angeles this offseason, but only after he played on a part-time basis with New Orleans after the initial trade rumors.“As a former player, I would always sort of lean toward player empowerment, guys who have earned their right to free agency,” Kerr said. “If they want to make a move for their own careers, I’m all for it. They’ve earned that right.“My only issue is when a player who is under contract decides not to honor the contract. That’s a problem. That’s something that can really affect the league.” Kevin Love is latest NBA star to withdraw from Team USA For Kerr, that left a bad taste in his mouth, even though other players have negotiated their way to different teams. Kerr said Davis’ situation is different because he had a couple years left on his contract with New Orleans.“I’m talking more about the Anthony Davis situation,” Kerr said on The Warriors Insider Podcast. “Where a guy is perfectly healthy and has a couple years left on his deal and says, ‘I want to leave.’ That’s a real problem that the league has to address and that the players have to be careful with. Related News Kerr cited LeBron James and Kevin Durant, both of whom moved on to different teams in 2018 and 2019, respectively, as the proper way to transition to another team in the league.“There’s a way to move and a way to not move,” Kerr said. ”What LeBron did, played out his contract. What Kevin did both when he arrived at Golden State and when he left. You sign contracts, you play them out and you move on. That’s how it should be done.“But it’s a little disturbing that there has been some action that happens before contracts are up, where teams are sort of held hostage and the league is sort of held hostage. I’m not a big fan of that. That’s damaging for everybody.”
ST. LOUIS — As reporters, we ask a lot of questions about a lot of topics. Often, we’ll ask about other players, for notebook items or feature stories, and you can generally tell by the answer and body language whether the player/coach is genuinely impressed with the player we’re asking about, or whether they’re just saying nice things for the sake of nice things.Sometimes, though, the people we’re interviewing will bring up players out of the blue or because the question is just tangentially related. That’s how you know they’re really impressed. NLDS: Braves confident, not concerned with 18-year postseason droughtAnd that’s exactly what happened a couple of times before and after the penultimate game of the regular season in St. Louis. Before the contest, soon-to-be-ex-Cubs manager Joe Maddon was asked how he, back in April, knew the NL Central race would come down to the Cardinals, Cubs and Brewers. First, he gave a typical Maddon-ism answer. “You look at the other teams and you’ve just got to be honest. Everybody thinks their baby is the cutest, you know, but the other kids are cute, too. When you look at it with your eyes open, you can see they’re pretty good.”And then he brought up Tommy Edman, pretty much out of the blue. “The big difference on this team, for me, is Edman,” Maddon said. “That’s the difference-maker right now. That’s the kid, and I know it’s hard to say that about a first-year guy, but when we play them now compared to when we played them earlier this year, he makes a marked difference for this team.” Maddon’s Cubs won that game, chasing veteran Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright in the fifth inning of what wound up as an 8-6 loss for the home team, ensuring that the season’s final contest would be very meaningful. After the game, Wainwright was asked about the disappointment of giving up a dozen hits and a half-dozen runs in his outing, and he spoke openly about the frustration. He was then asked about the young players on the team experiencing the postseason-type atmosphere for the first time — remember, the Cardinals had missed October three years in a row — and Wainwright immediately brought up Edman. “Seeing what Tommy Edman did today on the biggest stage, against the biggest rival we have, in the biggest spot of our whole season, and him cool as a cucumber out there, taking great at-bats, working counts and taking two-strike breaking balls to left-center,” Wainwright said. “I mean, you can’t say enough about what he and some of the other young fellas are doing.”The at-bat the veteran referenced happened in the fifth inning, with the Cardinals trailing 6-1. Edman came up with two on and one out. Maddon brought in reliever David Phelps to move Edman, a switch-hitter, to the left side of the plate. For the year, Edman’s OPS was 154 points lower from that side, though at .810 still wasn’t shabby.Edman smacked a triple to the wall in left-center on a 2-2 pitch, slicing the Cubs’ lead from five runs to a much more manageable three runs. It was his seventh triple on the season. MORE: NLDS preview, predictionsIf you’re looking for a turning point in the Cardinals’ season, it’s easy to point to Edman’s arrival. The sixth-round pick in 2016 out of Stanford started the 2019 season with Triple-A Memphis, rolling up a .305 average, .869 OPS, seven homers and nine stolen bases in 49 games before making his debut on June 8. He started only one of his first 11 big league games, hitting an even .400 in those contests, and moved into the starting lineup by the beginning of July. The Cardinals entered that month with a 41-41 record and in third place in the NL Central, barely ahead of the Pirates.You remember what happened starting in July, right? The Cardinals went 16-9 that month, then 18-9 in August and 16-12 in September, a three-month stretch of baseball played at a .625 winning percentage that led them to the NL Central title. The Cardinals, on the year, were 47-28 in games he started and 44-43 in games he didn’t start.Edman was right there in the middle of everything. In his 92 games, the 5-10, 180-pounder batted .304 with an .850 OPS, 17 doubles, 11 homers, seven triples, 15 stolen bases and a 3.8 bWAR. And he played all over the field, too: 41 starts at third base, 23 at second base and 11 in right field — even though he never played a single game in the outfield in the minor leagues. Here’s a bit of perspective: That 3.8 bWAR Edman produced in 92 games was higher than numbers posted by Kris Bryant (3.6 in 147 games), Justin Turner (3.7 in 135 games), Manny Machado (3.1 in 156 games), Lorenzo Cain (2.8 in 148 games) and even heralded teammate Paul Goldschmidt (2.8 in 161 games). And though Edman might not be known on a national scale like those other names, you can be sure the Cardinals appreciate him. “I think he’s a superstar,” Wainwright said. “I’m glad we have him on our team.” And you can also be sure the Braves — the Cardinals’ opponent in the NLDS, starting tonight — are well aware of him, too.