SBO REPORT:In NL park, Royals slugger Billy Butler prepares for role as a pinch hitter

SBO REPORT:In NL park, Royals slugger Billy Butler prepares for role as a pinch hitter


Billy Butler stood in front of his  sbo  locker Thursday afternoon, smiling and talking about his very abrupt role change in the World Series. His two singles and two RBIs keyed the Kansas City Royals’ Game 2 victory, but now he’ll wait his turn as a pinch hitter when the series shifts to the Giants’ home turf for three games starting Friday.

It’s something that comes up every year in the World Series — the American League team is forced to find a new role for its designated hitter. For the Royals, a mostly small-ball team, there’s reason to worry about what will happen to their offense when Butler is confined to just one at-bat per game at most. But the team is  sbo  putting a positive spin on it, mostly because it has no other choice.

“It’s basically what I do four times a day anyway,” Butler said, showing the easy-going sensibility that comes with a nickname like Country Breakfast. “When you’re pinch hitting, you have to wait until the next day to hit again instead of the next hour.”.

The Royals can rationalize the loss of Butler a few ways: They can use him whenever they want now. It adds some power to their bench. And they played without him for a spell in September, when he fell out of favor in manager Ned Yost’s lineup. They know what they’re getting into.

“We can use this as  sbo  an advantage,” Butler said. “Because [Yost] can put me in any situation he wants.”

That, in fact, is exactly what Yost told Butler when they talked about his role with the series shifting to AT&T Park.

“Hey,” Yost said. “You can win a ballgame off the bench in the 7th inning just as well as you can getting four at‑bats.”

Butler’s numbers as a pinch hitter support that thinking. He’s 11-for-36 in his career as a pinch hitter, that’s a .306 average. It’s a smaller sample size, of course, but that’s better than his .295 career average. As a pinch hitter, Butler also has two  sbo  homers and four RBIs.

“I remember the good ones,” he said, when asked to his recall his career as a pinch hitter. “You gotta have a short memory on the other ones.”

There’s truth to the notion that Butler will have a chance to make a big impact as a pinch hitter. In the NL park, the Royals will have more pinch-hitting opportunities. Given the way they play and the nature of the postseason, the Royals will likely need him to tie a game or put them ahead.

To Butler, that means staying focused on the game is even more important than when he’s DHing.

“You can’t let your mind check  sbo  in and out,” Butler says. “You have to always be watching the game, watching pitch sequences, watching everything. You have to be mentally challenged. When you come in to pinch hit, you have to ramp up your focus even more because of the situation you’re getting throw into. You have to be ready for anything.”


SBO REPORT:AP Sources: Seahawks trade Percy Harvin to Jets

SBO REPORT:AP Sources: Seahawks trade Percy Harvin to Jets


The New York Jets have acquired wide  sbobet  receiver Percy Harvin from the Seattle Seahawks.

Two people familiar with the trade told The Associated Press on Friday that Harvin, a star in last season’s Super Bowl but injury prone through his career, was headed to the Jets. The people spoke anonymously because the deal wasn’t officially announced by either club.

The 26-year-old Harvin has played in 60 games with only 47 career starts since being a first-round pick (22nd overall) by Minnesota in 2009. He was traded to the Seahawks in 2013, appearing in just one regular-season game because of hip surgery.  sbobet  But he had two rushes for 45 yards and ran back the second-half kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown in Seattle’s 43-8 win over Denver in the Super Bowl.

New York gave up a conditional draft pick. The deal was first reported by Fox Sports.

Harvin has battled a thigh injury and was listed as questionable for the Seahawks’ game at St. Louis this weekend. The Seahawks have tried to find a variety of ways to use him in their offense as a runner, receiver and on special teams, but injury woes slowed their plans.

This season, Harvin has 22 receptions for 133 yards, with 12 of those catches coming behind the line of scrimmage. He has only one catch on a ball thrown more than 10 yards, according to STATS.  sbobet  Harvin’s average of 6 yards per catch is last among all wide receivers in the NFL averaging at least two receptions per game.
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FILE – In this Oct. 6, 2014, file photo, Seattle Seahawks …
FILE – In this Oct. 6, 2014, file photo, Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin (11) carries th …

He also has 11 runs for 92 yards and a touchdown, and 12 kickoff returns for 283 yards.

New York’s offense has struggled and the Jets have lost six straight since opening with a win over Oakland. Harvin figures to team with Eric Decker and Jeremy Kerley as the Jets’ main weapons in a so-far weak passing game with Geno Smith at quarterback.

As a rookie, he made the Pro Bowl and the Offensive Rookie of the Year. Harvin’s best season was 2011 with 87 receptions for 967 yards and six TDs.   sbobet He also rushed for 345 yards and two scores, and averaged 32.5 yards per kickoff return.


SBO REPORT:Anger over refusal to bench school athlete accused of rape in Wash

SBO REPORT:Anger over refusal to bench school athlete accused of rape in Wash


The decision of a Washington  sbo  state school district to allow a high school student charged with rape to continue to play on the football team has sparked anger from parents amid national scrutiny over how college and professional athletes are censured for violence.

Tyler Smith, 18, was arrested last month during football practice at his high school in Hoquiam in western Washington, and charged with raping two teenage girls – one in July and another in 2012, court documents show.

Smith, who was released on bail pending trial and has returned to   sbo school and the football team, told investigators the girls said “no,” but that in one case: “I thought she was saying ‘no’ for pleasure,” according to court records.

Smith’s return to the field comes as the National Football League (NFL) faces public criticism and the loss of sponsors over how it has handled allegations of domestic violence and sexual assault among professional athletes.

The NFL domestic abuse crisis was touched off when former Baltimore Ravens star Ray Rice was suspended for two games for punching his then fiancée, now wife, unconscious, a punishment many believed was too light.

Families of students  sbo  in the Hoquiam district said Smith’s return to the field sends the wrong message.

“I don’t think he should be allowed at school, let alone allowed to play,” said Shawn Sinor, whose grandson will attend the high school next year. “The school is definitely downplaying how serious this is – and it sends the message that bullies can get away with it.”

Other community members pointed to the pressure facing the NFL to suspend players charged with felonies.

“I think it should be the same deal as what the NFL is doing. They should be off from it and not playing,” Larry Perry, the grandfather of a Hoquiam High School student, told KOMO-TV.

Hoquiam School District Superintendent Mike Parker said the  sbo  allegations facing Smith were both “disgusting and disturbing,” but that the school was respecting the judicial process that assumes the young man is innocent until proven guilty.

“In consultation with legal counsel, the district will follow a legal path that we trust will lead to justice for all parties,” he said.

School officials said that Smith removed himself from the football field on Tuesday. It was unclear if he permanently quit the team.

It was also unclear how he intended to plead to the rape charges. His attorney could not immediately be  sbo  reached for comment.


SBO REPORT:Vikings loss, for Bridgewater, was ‘eye-opening’

SBO REPORT:Vikings loss, for Bridgewater, was ‘eye-opening’


Minnesota Vikings fans, quickly enamored  sbobet  with the rookie who’s supposed to solve this team’s long-running quarterback problem, have chanted Teddy Bridgewater’s name at each home game this season

The ”Teddy! Teddy! Teddy!” chorus that came from the crowd on Sunday was for encouragement, not excitement.

Bridgewater’s second NFL start was a sharp drop-off from his first, as the Vikings were overwhelmed by Detroit’s league-leading defense in a 17-3 defeat by the Lions.

”You’re not just going to go out there and be perfect. There’s some throws that you’re not going to be able to control and there will be things that happen throughout the course of a game that you won’t be able to control,” Bridgewater said.

”But at the same time, for me, it was an eye-opener. After my  sbobet  performance against Atlanta, I believe the expectation level is high. But I have a high expectation level for myself also.”

Bridgewater passed for 317 yards in three quarters on Sept. 28 when the Vikings beat the Falcons 41-28. His sprained left ankle forced him out of the end of that game and kept him out last week at Green Bay while the Vikings were blown out 42-10.

The natural assumption was that, with Bridgewater back, the offense would again be productive despite the difficult opponent. But it never got going.

”We’re all pointing fingers at ourselves. We’ve just got to do better, man, as a unit. The fans don’t like seeing  sbobet  that. That’s just poor effort from us. Hopefully next week we just get better,” wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson said.

Bridgewater completed better than 62 percent of his passes, but he threw three interceptions, albeit two that came from tipped balls.

”I believe, with all my heart, that Teddy Bridgewater is going to be the franchise quarterback here for a long, long time. I believe that the team believes that, too,” coach Mike Zimmer said.

”Guys in the organization, the players, everybody believes this guy will be the future and a bright future for this organization. We have to make sure we continue to help him to be successful: playing, coaching, whatever it is.”

The Vikings (2-4) play at Buffalo this week. Much of the time until then  sbobet  will be figuring out how to give Bridgewater more time to throw. Sacked eight times by the Lions, he simply had nowhere to go.

Zimmer said he’s ”not opposed” to changes on the offensive line, a group he said he anticipated would be a team strength entering the season.

Left tackle Matt Kalil has allowed the most of the 22 sacks surrendered by the Vikings, second-most in the NFL, but on Sunday the pressure came from everywhere.

”The guys overall are not bad football players. They’re just not playing real good right now,” Zimmer said.

None of the front five were   sbobet in the locker room on Monday while it was open to reporters, but wide receivers Greg Jennings and Jarius Wright and fullback Jerome Felton were among the players who refused to blame the problems on the line. Bridgewater said after the game he could run through his reads and get rid of the ball faster.

”I don’t expect for the offensive line to point the finger at us. I’m not going to point the finger at them. Because protection is across the board. Run blocking is across the board. Making things happen, making plays, is across the board,” Jennings said.

Zimmer was angry after the game about trends of a lack of discipline and threatened to fine players ”to the max” if more guys arrived late to meetings or appointments, as had happened a few times last week. He softened on Monday: ”That was probably Zimmer being Zimmer. I was not in the best frame of mind.”

Still, the message was clear. Felton, who acknowledged he was ”a little nervous” entering the team meeting on Monday, said Zimmer promised to cut playing  sbobet time for continued mistakes on the field.

”I want them to understand that it’s not OK to lose, that we have to change the mentality and the mindset of this,” Zimmer said.



SBO REPORTSutton says players responsible for Ryder Cup loss

SBO REPORTSutton says players responsible for Ryder Cup loss


Former American Ryder   sbo Cup captain Hal Sutton thinks a study committee will not transform his country’s Ryder Cup results until the players start focusing more on their own performances and stop worrying about who the captain is and what he says or does.

In the wake of another defeat two weeks ago by Europe — the eighth in the past 10 competitions — and criticism by star player Phil Mickelson of recent captaincies, the PGA of America is forming a task force to study ways of halting the poor record.

But Sutton believes the post Ryder Cup focus on Mickelson’s thinly-veiled attack on 2014 captain Tom Watson’s methods misses the bigger picture: that the  sbo  American players did not perform on the course at Gleneagles.

“I dare say that nobody who has ever played on a Ryder Cup team has thought that every decision that was made (by the captain) was right,” Sutton told Reuters during the SAS Championship on the over-50 Champions Tour being played this week.

“I just think we’re looking to blame the wrong folks. They (the players should) go there with one mission in mind, to play well (because) that’s all they have control over.

“To me, when you start blaming the captain you’re looking for excuses already.”

Sutton played in  sbo  four Ryder Cups. He had a solid individual record of seven wins, five losses and four halves, and was particularly impressive in alternate-shot foursomes (5-1-1).

But he was less successful as a captain, presiding over a record home defeat in 2004, when his decision to play Tiger Woods and Mickelson together on the first day was widely questioned, at least after the pair twice lost.

Sutton, whose 14 PGA Tour victories included one major, the 1983 PGA Championship, explained his attitude to playing the Ryder Cup this way.

“I knew I had to play well and I didn’t care who I was paired with and I didn’t care (who the captain was),” he said in his homespun Louisiana accent.

“It wasn’t about the captain. It was about a bunch of individual play  sbo  that added up to a team effort. It’s not a magic recipe.

“I really believe that it boils down to good play, simple as that, and not being worried about everybody else, not being worried what the captain does.”

Sutton’s comments may strike some as old school, but he clearly does not believe in over-complicating what at its core still remains a simple game.

“The Europeans ar  sbo e just playing better. That’s all there is to it,” he said, laying down the gauntlet at the feet of the players ahead of the 2016 competition.

“By nature, golfers want to blame somebody else. It can never be your fault (but) at some point, if you want to be better, you have to address the truth.”


SBO REPORT:What’s next for Mookie Betts?

SBO REPORT:What’s next for Mookie Betts?


Since his third promotion the big  sbo  league, Mookie Betts has found success at the plate. Given the surplus of outfielders on the Red Sox roster, Betts’ future with the organization remains murky.

When the Red Sox decided to go out and sign Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo, the ripple effects were much greater than the impact on the lineup. Following the team’s trade deadline acquisitions, the Red Sox now have a collection of players that could fill two at least starting outfields at the major league with Yoenis Cespedes, Allen Craig, Castillo, Jackie Bradley, Shane Victorino, Daniel Nava, Brock Holt and  sbo  Mookie Betts.

Betts’ situation is among the team’s most interesting storylines for the remainder of the season. Given the recent success of Betts and the overcrowded outfield situation, where the 21-year-old fits in the team’s plan moving forward is a predicament that is still very much up in the air.

Betts clearly has the talent and potential to be a very good major league baseball player. His recent success at the plate — highlighted by his first career grand slam — only further emphasizes that point. In his short stint in the majors, Betts has displayed the lightning-quick bat speed, athleticism and gap-to-gap power that lead his meteoric rise up top prospect charts  sbo . At the same time, the Nashville native has been learning the intricacies of playing the outfield at the major league level.

There are still questions about Betts, most notably which position he is going to play at the major league level. The potential, however, is still incredibly high with Betts. This point is only further highlighted by comments made by Ben Badler of Baseball America on The Adam Jones Show on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
Betts himself does not even know the answer regarding where he will be playing next year, whether that means positionally or geographically. The team’s long-term commitment to Castillo led Betts to believe that he could be traded in the offseason, according to a source. Publicly, Betts said that he does not worry about what position   sbo he will be playing next year.
“You have to focus on the task at hand, and that’s the game today. Now I’m playing center field. Tomorrow it might be somewhere else.

“I have no idea what they’re going to do. If [Castillo's] a center fielder, that’s fine. Wherever they put me is where they put me.”

Unless the team decides to make a drastic trade in the offseason with either Cespedes or Craig, it would appear that Betts is the odd man out in the outfield. With second base occupied by Dustin Pedroia, Betts is seemingly out of a position with the Red Sox for 2015.

Moving Betts to shortstop simply would not be ideal. While Betts came out of high school at the position, he was   sbo moved off the position because he simply did not have the arm required to play the position, similar to how Dustin Pedroia was moved to second base early in his minor league career. Moving Bogaerts to third and placing Betts at shortstop simply would not make sense.

Given the uncertainty of third base with the lack of stability from Will Middlebrooks and company, the position could be a place where the team begins to think about getting Betts some repetitions. There are, however, a couple of roadblocks that could prevent him from making the switch over to the hot corner. At 5-foot-9, Betts is small for third base, a position where the average player is around six feet tall. This proposition, however, has yet to have been brought up yet to Betts.

Betts’ bat would not profile as the typical third baseman, but the  sbo  Red Sox don’t have many internal options and the free agent market is highlighted by Aramis Ramirez, Chase Headley and Pablo Sandoval.


SBO REPORT:WWE SmackDown results, recap, reactions (Aug. 29, 2014): Mailing it in

SBO REPORT:WWE SmackDown results, recap, reactions (Aug. 29, 2014): Mailing it in


While watching last night’s episode  sbobet  of Friday Night SmackDown, which emanated from Ontario, California, (check out full results here) I wrestled with an oddly familiar feeling. Not for the program itself, but rather the idea that those in charge of writing for it did something every writer tasked with creating content on a consistent basis has done at one time or another.

They mailed it in.

I’ve been writing for this very site for just over three years now, and in that time I’ve been referred to — and this was an insult, mind you — as a “one man content farm”. Essentially, things happen in pro wrestling and I write about those things so you, dear readers, can read about them. I do this so much that I’m left with little time to craft a  sbobet  truly great piece of writing.

I’m too busy telling you about Hulk Hogan and the “major bitch” that comes up when discussing another match, Stone Cold Steve Austin.

This was in my head throughout this entire episode of SmackDown. Nothing presented here felt truly inspired. It felt rushed, as though little to no planning or preparation went into it. Like they know that we know it’s the lesser product compared to WWE’s flagship program, Raw, so it was written as such.

This is a problem, of course, because I can only churn out so many posts about Hogan being upset about Austin, or Paul Heyman selling a match, or the latest episode of The JBL & Cole Show. It’s why  sbobet  I hired talented writers like Hulk Holland, who drops in with a well thought out and even better executed piece every Tuesday and Thursday night. It’s why I gave Sean Rueter a raise and expanded his role. Because while they may not be in a position to rise up and overthrow me (easy on the mutiny, fellas), they absolutely challenge me to do better.

I don’t have a ready made solution to this problem for WWE. But SmackDown has become nothing more than a “B” show because WWE has all but openly acknowledged it as such. The problem is there doesn’t appear to be any rush to change that, and make no mistake it does need to change. Moving to Thursday night and presenting a tired rehash of Raw or uninspired angles will do nothing to fend off the far more difficult   sbobet competition the show will face on its new night.

Would I rather watch a football game or Big Show and Mark Henry lumbering to the ring to save Roman Reigns from a predictable beat down from The Wyatt Family after an even more predictable disqualification finish to his singles match with Bray Wyatt?

SmackDown can no longer be the show the writers mail it in for because ‘hey, we’ve got the Friday night viewers anyway, let’s gear up for Raw’. Where’s the competitive fire the leader of WWE, Vince McMahon, is so famous for?


SBO REPORT:Japan’s ‘Golden Bolt’: 103-year-old challenges world’s fastest man

SBO REPORT:Japan’s ‘Golden Bolt’: 103-year-old challenges world’s fastest man


Closing in on his 104th birthday, a  sbo  twinkle-toed Japanese sprinter has thrown down the challenge to the world’s fastest man Usain Bolt, telling him: “let’s rumble!”

Hidekichi Miyazaki — who holds the 100 metres world record for centenarians at 29.83 seconds and is dubbed ‘Golden Bolt’ after the Jamaican flyer — plans to wait another five years for his dream race and was happy to reveal his secret weapon: his daughter’s tangerine jam.

“I’d love to race Bolt,” the wispy-haired Miyazaki told AFP in an interview after tottering over the line with a joyful whoop at a recent Japan Masters Athletics  sbo  competition in Kyoto.

“I’m keeping the dream alive. I try to stay in top shape and stay disciplined and healthy. That’s important for everyone — even Usain Bolt.”

Born in 1910 — the year Japan annexed Korea and when the Titanic was still under construction — the pint-sized Miyazaki offered some dietary tips to Bolt, whose world record is 9.58 seconds.

“My body is small so I take care of what I eat,” said Miyazaki, who stands just 1.53 metres (five feet) tall and weighs in at 42 kilograms (92 pounds).

“When I eat, I chew each  sbo  mouthful 30 times before swallowing,” he added, loosening his Usain Bolt running shoes. “That makes my tummy happy and helps my running. And I eat my tangerine jam every day.”

In a country with one of the world’s highest life expectancies, Miyazaki is the poster boy for Japan’s turbo-charged geriatrics.

Some 6,000 pensioners are registered at the Masters federation which hosts more than 40 track and field meetings every year across the nation.

Serenaded by buzzing cicadas in sweltering heat, Miyazaki fell into  sbo  the arms of 73-year-old daughter Kiyono after clocking 38.35 — more than 20 seconds behind race winner Yoshio Kita, a relative spring chicken at 82.

“I’d give myself five out of 10 for that,” he said after regaining his breath and copying Bolt’s trademark ‘lightning’ pose. “Before I ran I curled up for a little nap — big mistake! I felt stiff.

“I’m still young so it’s a learning process,” joked Miyazaki, grinning from ear to ear as he put on a straw hat. “I can run for another five years.”

- Late bloomer -

Miyazaki, who hails from tea-growing Shizuoka prefecture, about 200 kilometres southwest of Tokyo, was a late bloomer, only taking up running at the age of 92 after watching an old people’s sports day broadcast on television.

Having become the planet’s  sbo  fastest centenarian in 2010, he now has his sights on another milestone in the unlikely 105-109 age group category.

“That’s what I’m training for,” said Miyazaki, who loses valuable seconds at the start of races because he can’t hear the gun go off.

“It’s my birthday next month and that’s my next goal.”

He need only cross the finish line to set the new world record as no official mark exists in that age class.

As Miyazaki left the track, 85-year-old Mitsue Tsuji tossed a shot put 4.73 metres — this after she had set a mark of 2.07 metres in the long jump. Not content, she set a meet record of 13.85 in the women’s 60 metres sprint.

“I started doing athletics when I was 81,” she said. “My husband  sbo  had passed away and I thought there was no point moping around at home alone.”

Tsuji will join Miyazaki at next month’s Asia Masters championships in northeast Japan.

“I had a bit of a fall last year and was going to skip it,” said Tsuji, who credits power naps for her age-defying stamina.

“But my son told me I might not live much longer so I’ll do as I’m told. I’ll keep going as long as I’m around.”

As the pair tore it up with the other high-fiving grannies and granddads in Kyoto, 78-year-old endurance runner Yoko Nakano pounded the streets in Tokyo, preparing for her latest world record tilt.

- ‘Too stubborn to quit’ -

Nakano ran her first full marathon at 70 “for fun” while vacationing in Honolulu — clocking four hours, four minutes, 44 seconds — and now holds the world record for 75 to 79-year-olds, as well as  sbo  those for the 3,000 and 5,000 metres.

“We were on holiday so I thought we might as well run,” she smiled, perched on a tree stump in a canary yellow T-shirt and polka dot scarf. Her world marathon mark now stands at 3:53.42.

The bespectacled Nakano, whose has also run marathons in New York and Boston, bounced back from stomach surgery last year, building her post-op fitness by walking up and down the hospital corridors.

“I walked about seven kilometres a day inside the hospital,” she said. “I guess I’m too stubborn to quit.”

Miyazaki, who is also handy with a shot put, gave an insight into his need for speed.

“I make sure not to use my brain,” he said. “I always keep it empty and   sbo uncluttered. That’s important.”


SBO REPORT:As Easy a Schedule As LSU Will Ever Get

SBO REPORT:As Easy a Schedule As LSU Will Ever Get


LSU kicks off the season against   sbobet a ranked team and legitimate contender for the Big Ten title. The schedule includes five games against teams ranked in the preseason polls, including a game against the defending SEC champions and BCSCG participant on the road.

It is perhaps the easiest schedule LSU has had in a decade, and a great opportunity for the Tigers to take advantage. LSU can have a great year and contend for the title, aided by its schedule.

LSU trades a road game with Georgia for a home game against Kentucky  sbobet  in conference play. Meanwhile, the two other top contenders for the West title saw their conference slates get more difficult: Alabama trades Kentucky for Florida, and Auburn goes from Tennessee to South Carolina.

Tiger fans spend a lot of time fretting over scheduling, and there’s a good reason for that: scheduling matters. It’s a lot easier to navigate the toughest conference in college football if you don’t have to play any of the contenders in the opposite division. A team’s cross-divisional schedule can make all the difference between playing in Atlanta on the first weekend of December and playing in Atlanta on New Year’s Eve.

Well, this is one of those rare years in which the Scheduling Gods favor LSU. LSU’s conference   sbobet schedule is objectively easier than both of the Alabama schools. This is not a year to look forward to the future, the schedule lines up now. There’s no telling when we’ll get this perfect storm again.

Heck, the schedule is even appropriately backloaded, helping out a young team to figure itself out before it gets into the meat of the schedule. Wisconsin is a difficult season opener, but Miles has always done well with a big first game to get his charges focused not just for the season at hand, but to come straight out of the gates. It’s hard sometimes to focus on the nebulous concept of “the season”, but it is easy to focus on playing Wisconsin.

It’s also a fairly low stakes game, in the grand scheme of things. If LSU  sbobet  drops this game, it is not like it impacts LSU’s SEC title chances in the least. This isn’t quite like A&M, who not only has a tough game right off the bat, but a tough conference game.

After the season opener, LSU plays three tomato cans and Mississippi State. State has one of their best teams in years, but LSU will still be a convincing favorite. The month of September is a time for LSU to figure out its best starting 11 on each side of the ball, and forge its identity. By the time the calendar flips to October, LSU could be 5-0 and ranked in the top 10.

The biggest test of the season comes in those first two weekends in October: at Auburn and at Florida. LSU will find out in a span of eight days exactly what this team is made of. However, they will have been given a month to essentially prep for that stretch. And as far as brutal stretches in the SEC go, two straight road games against Auburn and Florida doesn’t exactly rate  sbobet . Everyone in the conference has a similar stretch. Bama plays four road games in six weeks, and their one home game is against a preseason top 25 team. Auburn alternates its road games, but has a slate of South Carolina, Ole Miss, A&M, and finally Georgia without a bye. No one gets an easy trek. Two straight road games against very good teams is hard, but it doesn’t make LSU special. Not this year.

LSU then gets byes before its two biggest games in November, Alabama and A&M. Playing on Thanksgiving is going to suck, but LSU doesn’t have to worry about a short week.

This schedule is as easy as an LSU schedule is ever going to get. If LSU is going to contend for the division this year, it will need all of the help it can get. Finally, we got it from the league office. LSU has no excuses. If this team doesn’t win the division, it will simply be because it was not good enough. For the first time in a long while,   sbobet LSU is not playing a rigged game.


SBO REPORT:Crisp scores on wild pitch as A’s beat Angels 2-1

SBO REPORT:Crisp scores on wild pitch as A’s beat Angels 2-1


The Oakland Athletics are hardly  sbo  relishing being back in a first-place tie with the rival Los Angeles Angels.

Both clubs know this division race is far from over, with five meetings remaining before August ends and another three in late September. And with a margin of error so slim, one miscue might be the difference.

Coco Crisp scored the go-ahead run on Joe Smith’s wild pitch with two outs in the eighth inning, and the A’s beat the Angels 2-1 on Saturday night to move into   sbo a share of the lead atop the AL West.

“We can’t get caught up in the standings or the playoff picture,” closer Sean Doolittle said.

Luke Gregerson (3-2) pitched a perfect eighth, and Doolittle finished for his 20th save. The closer felt something in his right side nearer to his back, but was able to go through some twisting exercises and other postgame tests with no problem. He doesn’t consider it serious.

The division co-leaders (76-52) have the most wins in baseball. The Angels lost their fifth straight game this season   sbo at the Oakland Coliseum.

Smith (5-2) threw wildly to pinch-hitter Brandon Moss moments after plunking Derek Norris.

On Monday in Boston, the Angels moved into sole possession of the division’s top spot for the first time since May 15, 2011. Losing the first two games of this series has things all tied up again.

Jon Lester and C.J. Wilson had a nice pitchers’ duel but left with no-decisions in a tie game.

Lester struck out seven in seven innings, including Mike Trout three   sbo times as the slugger’s five-game home run streak at the Coliseum was snapped.

Lester bounced back from his first defeat in nearly 2 1/2 months and first since joining the A’s from Boston at the trade deadline. The lefty threw a combined 18 pitches in the fifth and sixth innings, 14 for strikes. He then allowed three straight hits in the seventh, including a double by Howie Kendrick and Erick Aybar’s RBI single that made it 1-1.

The A’s have struck out Trout three or more times in one game six times for his career, most by any team.

“Maybe we were able to get him off his game a little bit, get him frustrated and to swing at bad pitches,” Lester said.

Lester was helped by a  sbo  nice play from left fielder Craig Gentry in the seventh. David Freese hit a leadoff single off the wall and headed toward second as Gentry quickly retrieved the ball and threw him out.

Wilson allowed one run on five hits, struck out three and walked three in 6 1-3 innings.

“The A’s do a lot of things well. They pitch well and they have a good bullpen. It was another close game and we didn’t get a couple of things done,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “We have to keep moving forward.”

Scioscia challenged in the third that Albert Pujols beat out an infield hit rather than recording the third out. The call was overturned in 2 minutes, 4 seconds, and ruled a single.

In the sixth, umpires went to review again on a challenge by A’s manager Bob Melvin. He believed Josh Donaldson, who held up briefly at second, was safe at home on a headfirst slide in which he reached to touch the plate with his left hand as  sbo  catcher Chris Iannetta tried to tag him. The ruling stood after 3:40.

The crew chief then reviewed Sam Fuld’s caught stealing in the seventh, per Melvin’s request. The ruling was confirmed in 1:05.


Los Angeles 3B Gordon Beckham joined his new team, two days after being acquired by the Angels from the White Sox for a player to be named or cash. He earned a start and batted ninth, going 0 for 3 with a pair of called third strikes.

“Gordon will help in a lot of ways,” Scioscia said. “Hopefully he’ll give us depth at some key positions.”

The Angels optioned RHP Cam Bedrosian to Triple-A Salt Lake.


Athletics: More should be known   sbo about Doolittle’s status Sunday. … An MRI exam revealed 1B Kyle Blanks has tendinitis in his left Achilles tendon. He had pain in both feet and his lower legs while on a rehab assignment. “He’s going to be shut down for a while,” Melvin said.