Ford joins Toulon coaching team

first_imgFormer Bath Head coach and Ireland defence coach Mike Ford has joined the coaching staff at French side Toulon.He’s taken on the role of backs coach.Ford, who’s also previously worked with England, left the Recreation Ground at the end of last season after the club finished ninth in the Premiership.last_img

Vin Scully’s send-off is a Los Angeles Dodgers’ walk-off

first_imgEither a Dodgers win or a Giants loss would have clinched the title for the Dodgers, and both games seemed to want to end at about the same time. Moments after Culberson’s homer, the Giants’ 4-3 loss was registered.As the Dodgers-owned SportsNet LA telecast was carried locally on over-the-air broadcast by KTLA-Channel 5 and nationally by the MLB Network, Scully also had the chance to call a dramatic two-out, ninth-inning homer by rookie star Corey Seager that tied the game at 3-3 and sent it into extra innings.“I’m terribly embarrassed,” Scully said over the public address system to the crowd just minutes after the game ended and the players began to celebrate. “I was hoping the team would win 10-0, there’d be no tension, and it would be a nice easy day.”In his final game at Dodger Stadium — he will do his last broadcast when the Dodgers play in San Francisco on Sunday — Scully thanked the sellout crowd for keeping him young at heart and asked if it could oblige him by listening to a recording of him singing the Bette Midler song, “Wind Beneath My Wings.”As the climax to an already emotional send-off for Scully by the team and the fans, the song elicited even more tears from those in the stadium. Scully began his last day of work at the stadium by attending a Catholic Mass in a room near the team locker room, and when asked to speak at the conclusion, he wept over the news about the death of Miami Marlins 24-year-old pitcher Jose Fernandez.Yet when the game and the broadcast began hours later, Scully focused on the play on the field and made just a brief mention of Fernandez’s death as it pertained to his friend, Dodgers outfielder and fellow Cuban escapee Yasiel Puig.Scully did not notice at first that as the Dodgers players were coming to bat in the first inning, all would stop before stepping to the plate and either tip their cap or wave up to him in the Vin Scully Press Box.“Are they waving up here? Oh, that’s terrific … holy mackerel,” Scully said. “I saw (second hitter) Justin (Turner), and I thought he’s waving to someone in the stands, but (leadoff man Howie) Kendrick did the same thing.”The TV camera occasionally caught a shot of Scully acknowledging it back as he continued to read his notes that he wanted to get into the broadcast.“No score, first inning … and it’s not about me, this is a big day for the Dodgers with a chance to win the Western Division,” Scully said as many in the crowd could hear him with their transistor radios as his voice was simulcast for the first three innings.In typical Scully fashion, he noted the sun was “bearing down unmercifully right now” at 95 degrees and reminded people to get plenty of water, sunblock and wear a hat, “even if you have to put a scorecard over your head.”In the bottom of the second, he started to do a promotion about 2017 season tickets with the phrase: “Want to talk about next year?”At one point, many of his 16 grandchildren came into the broadcast booth and posed for a photograph with him, one put up on the Dodger Stadium video screen. Scully’s wife, Sandi, was with him in the booth the entire game.“I don’t think the (video) board is big enough,” Scully said. “Well, it’s just kind of a rare and special day.”As the game ran its course, Scully told stories about the first time he met Babe Ruth as a kid when he was at the old Polo Grounds in New York. Instead of signing autographs, Ruth was giving out business cards with his autograph already printed on it.“I got one,” Scully said. “I lost it.”Scully also talked about his relationship with former owner Walter O’Malley, who would move the team from Brooklyn to Los Angeles in 1958. After Scully completed his first full season in 1950, he said he was “absolutely flabbergasted” that O’Malley himself called “this third-string announcer” to tell him that he would be retained for another year after there was an ownership group change.“My relationship and love for him grew and grew,” said Scully. “It he was not my second father, he was like an uncle. I really miss him.”The Dodgers announced the attendance at 51,962, pushing the home season total to more than 3.7 million, best in the major leagues. Scully took the moment late in the game to credit the fans for their support on that achievement.“Can you imagine if there was no one at the ballpark, and we were televising a game? It would be awful,” he said. “How about a movie (with) a dramatic moment and no music? As flat as yesterday’s ginger ale.”The crowd, Scully would also say, had gone through a day when they were “thoroughly frustrated, then depressed, then elated” after the two-out ninth-inning homer.By the time the 10th inning happened — or “extra Vin-nings” as some called it — they were exhausted.“And boy did it work out perfectly for the final home game of the regular season,” Scully said, tying it all together. LOS ANGELES >> In the final home run of Vin Scully’s Dodger Stadium broadcasting career, the Dodgers players provided all the necessary drama and more to set the stage for one last virtuoso performance Sunday afternoon.Building on an emotionally charged storyline that hit all the vintage Vinny touchstones — particularly as the 88-year-old Hall of Fame broadcaster weaved the crowd into every step of the way — a 10th inning walk-off home run by blue-collar second baseman Charlie Culberson gave the Dodgers a 4-3 victory to clinch the National League West Division title and provided a tailor-made send-off script for Scully to deliver to the radio and TV audience.“Swung on and a high fly ball into deep left field … Would you believe a home run!? And the Dodgers have clinched the division and they’ll celebrate on schedule,” said Scully, who had been describing both the game on the field in front of him and the nail-biting ending to the San Francisco Giants’ game in San Diego against the Padres.• Video: Watch Vin Scully’s last call at his final Dodgers home gamecenter_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

MLB playoffs 2019: Tommy Edman’s arrival as surprising star helped Cardinals make October return

first_imgST. 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.last_img read more

Sunday blog: Talking 1995, used-up controversies, babysitting Bryant, surveillance videos and Quinn

first_img2. Controversies that need to die and go to heaven…Roger StallbaumerNearly three weeks ago, the Wellington City Council appointed Mayor-soon-to-be-ex-mayor Roger Stallbaumer to fill the Wellington Housing Authority board vacancy left open when Kelli McComb was removed from the board.My apologies for the news delay. Here’s my three handy-dandy excuses in no particular order:1) I’ve had a lot of other things I’d rather write about this month.2) I have had little desire filing a WHA story knowing full well that it will require another round of policing the comment section over this never-ending tiresome Wheat Capital Manor controversy.3) I’m bored with the issue and want it to go away. Unless something concrete occurs, I’m moving on.Three people filed to fill the volunteer position including Sherry Sawyer and Chase Weber. Stallbaumer won by a 4-2 vote. Council members Jan Korte and Jim Valentine voted for Sawyer, while Kelly Green, John Brand, Vince Wetta and B.J. Tracy voting for Stallbaumer.Tracy was the swing vote and nobody was quite sure how he was going to vote before the meeting. It would have made for an interesting parliamentary procedure dilemma had Tracy voted for Sawyer and created a 3-3 tie among the city council. In case of a tie, the mayor, who usually does not vote, would be called to break the tie. In this case, that would have meant Stallbaumer would have either had to cast a vote for himself or against himself to appoint that position.That would have been an interesting moment in Wellington City Council lore. 2. After doing a painfully long research paper in the gifted program, we now get to do our presentation! 5. Contest time! Name the five different types of manna in Magic: The Gathering, but not by color. Email your answers to [email protected]! A free T-shirt could be coming your way if you answer the question first.Follow us on Twitter. 4. Fun Fact: I named the first raccoon in “Where the Red Fern Grows” Steven and his favorite food is sautéed asparagus. 4. Cruel Internet…Britt McHenryIt seems like every week, some celebrity type is fighting for his/her career because of one of those unflattering Youtube or TMZ videos going viral. Last week, ESPN reporter Britt McHenry got herself in a jam when a video of her dressing down a tow company employee after her car was towed from a Chinese Restaurant parking lot. In the video, she was a complete witch and she embarrassed herself.But my problem with this video is not for the reasons you think.Why is this unpleasant exchange any of our business? She wasn’t arrested. We don’t know the circumstances on why the car was towed, and we don’t know whether or not this employee not seen on the video provoked her.Until this video surfaced, McHenry was never on my radar, and I watch a lot of ESPN. Yet now, I know of McHenry as the woman who threw the big hissy fit.McHenry is probably going to lose her job, her career, and have this albatross around her neck for the rest of her life. Yes, her performance that night was pathetic, but at what cost? It was on her own time, and, again, the incident was none of our business!And quite frankly, I’m guessing most of us have made a jerk of ourselves at one point or the other.You also have to wonder why the tow company or whomever thought this surveillance video needed to be shared with the world.The TMZ “gotcha” video craze bothers me greatly. Whether it is David Hasselhoff being drunk in a shower, or a TV newscaster accidentally dropping the F-word during a telecast, or some Jo Schmo doing something idiotic at a party — we feed off people embarrassing themselves.And to me that’s unfortunate. To me, the lowest form of human being is someone who posts without provocation something on the Internet for the whole purpose of embarrassing another individual. Everyone has a right to recover from a mistake. And everyone has a God-given right to their privacy. 5. Here’s Quinn…Quinn McCue1. First of all I’m in the community theater production. Our last show was today and I had a great time.center_img Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Five Cueball thoughts for April 19, 2015…1. Baseball reunion…1995 Wellington High School baseball team and Class 4A State Champions.Former Wellington High School head baseball coach Mike Wilmoth is organizing a 20-year reunion for the 1995 WHS varsity baseball players who won the Class 4A State Championship in Manhattan. The ceremony will be held May 7 at Hibbs-Hooten Field in between the Wellington-Clearwater doubleheader.It should be a hoot. I was the sports editor at the Wellington Daily News and the memory of that tournament makes me smile. Not only was it the first state championship team I ever covered as a reporter, but it was also the first time I used a cell phone.It had been raining all week, and the Class 4A state baseball tournament had been delayed a couple of times. It started on a Friday and was supposed to end on a Saturday. But the tournament was delayed way into next week. I remember driving to Manhattan on one of those days not knowing if we were going to play a game or not. My wife handed me her new Nokia cell phone and told me to call her when I got up there. I can’t even fathom my wife handing me her cell phone today. Hard to find someone more glued to her cell than my wife.So I called her somewhere on my way to Manhattan saying it’s starting to rain again. I almost wrecked the car trying to use the dang thing which is really no different from today.I also remember thinking of the cell phone as a bit of a novelty that won’t last much longer than the C.B. radio, or this new Internet thingy everyone was talking about. 3. Where’s Bryant’s pacifier?…Sometimes, you just have to yell out “are you kidding me?!” Dallas wide receiver Dez Bryant is fussing with the Cowboys over a multitude of things including, get this, getting rid of his babysitter.“Hey, babysitter. If I can’t go out and break something or beat somebody up, I’m going to fire you and never play for the Cowboys again!!”Bryant wants to cut ties with David Wells, a former bail bondsman and current private investigator, whose main task is tagging the receiver 24/7 so he doesn’t get in trouble like burn down a nightclub or shoot all the neighbor’s cats or something.In other words, the Cowboys still feel they must babysit Bryant who is 26 years old… not 5, not 8, not 12, not 18, but frigging 26 YEARS OLD.If football wasn’t so darned entertaining, I’d gladly give it up and do something else rather than watch these pampered, overpaid, illiterate, immature, crybaby thugs bash in each other’s skulls on any given Sunday. 3. I really need to dust my fan in my room. Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (12) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. +2 Vote up Vote down craig · 277 weeks ago On Britt McHenry… they do it for the same reason you post the poli e notes – to attract viewers. The gossipy among us like other people’s dirty laundry. It lets them temporarily forget their own. And, by the way, getting arrested for something is *not* a conviction. But putting someones name in the paper for stuff is a great way to smear them horribly. Think about the irony here, Cue. Its not OK for TMZ but its OK for you. Really? Report Reply 2 replies · active 277 weeks ago +3 Vote up Vote down Ted Logan · 277 weeks ago Never heard of #3 or #4. It’s too bad you can’t get behind the Royals. Even as they were in first place, making a run for the playoffs last season, you were still not on board. A great start to the season by the home-town, world series runner-up gets pushed aside for two fluff pieces? Report Reply 1 reply · active 277 weeks ago +4 Vote up Vote down JustMe · 277 weeks ago I’m ok with leaving celebrity screw ups out of the news. But the second they pull a “do you know who I am?” or “I’m on TV”, then their perceived right to privacy, due to not representing their employer at the time of said screw up, goes out the window. Report Reply 6 replies · active 277 weeks ago Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new commentslast_img read more