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Former MLB Pitcher Is Happy He Retired

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(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

 

The MLB – Players Association feud is still preventing the sides from reaching a new deal for a collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

There is, quite clearly, some bad blood between the two, dating back from 2020 negotiations for the pandemic season and subsequent talks about the new CBA, as the old one expired in December.

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Players have been very vocal about their desire to get a good deal, one that is fairer than the ones they have had to sign recently.

However, some people are just happy to be away from this mess.

 

A Former Star Pitcher Is Relieved He Is Not In This Mess

That’s precisely the case of Jered Weaver, who pitched 12 seasons in the majors.

“I ended my career at the perfect time… baseball is getting ridiculous these days in all aspects of the game,” he tweeted, before wishing good luck to the players in their negotiation for a new, fair CBA.

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Both sides have been negotiating for a while now, but talks went nowhere late last year.

Teams, agents, players, and fans all knew there wouldn’t be a deal before the lockout deadline, December 1, so most of them rushed to get a team before that date.

Then early December came, owners locked out players, and transactions were frozen until a new CBA is reached.

The sides, in what can be seen as a huge waste of time, didn’t even talk for nearly six weeks, until mid-January.

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Not only have they not reached a deal, but they are also very far apart in their respective demands.

Weaver’s tweet can be interpreted in several ways, but he did show support to the players and point out a painful reality: things are getting ridiculous, and players and fans are the most affected parties in all this mess.

Players won’t earn a dime for regular season games they don’t play, and that’s why the possibility of losing games is not very promising for most of them.

Some players have even said they don’t mind losing a few games if that’s what it takes to negotiate a fair deal.

However, it’s easy for the most accomplished players to say that: younger players haven’t made life-changing money yet, and must also be considered.

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Things Are Getting Out Of Hand

In any case, Weaver, who played 11 of his 12 MLB seasons for the Los Angeles Angels, is right: things are getting out of hand.

The right-hander finished with a 150-93 record and a 3.55 career ERA, and was in the top five in the AL Cy Young Award race from 2010 to 2012.

He won 20 games in that 2012 campaign, and is actually eligible for the National Baseball Hall of Fame next year, in 2023.

In any case, he, as nearly every former and current major leaguer, surely wants talks to move at a faster pace, so spring training and the regular season can start as scheduled.

MLB will present a new offer to players on Saturday, and MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday that he expects it to get both sides a lot closer than they are now.

Baseball needs to negotiate a new CBA deal, but it needs it to be fair for players.

Things have gotten so ugly that former stars are now happy they got out of the game in time to avoid seeing (and living) this mess.

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The post Former MLB Pitcher Is Happy He Retired appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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Should Celtics run it back or move on from Tatum & Brown duo? | THE HERD

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Jim Jackson joins Colin Cowherd to discuss the latest in sports including the state of the Boston Celtics after their elimination in the Eastern Conference Finals.



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Steve Kerr Gives High Praise To The Miami Heat Players

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(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

 

The Miami Heat have done something this postseason that no one thought was possible.

They entered the Eastern Conference playoffs as the eighth seed and have made it to the NBA Finals.

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Despite the Heat not having the most talented roster in the league, they play well together.

Every man understands his role and does it to the best of his ability.

That is the sign of a great team.

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr had high praise for this Heat team.

According to NBACentral, via Draymond Green’s podcast, Kerr said that no one is complaining about their role, “They’re just all about winning.”

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Miami deploys a rotation of four undrafted players.

Each has played a significant role in the playoffs and continues to play well when called upon.

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Kerr knows what it takes to be a championship team.

He has won nine rings combined as a player and coach.

While many of these teams he was a part of had superstar players, the Heat’s style of play is refreshing.

Also, many fans think these comments by Kerr were a subtle message to some of the players on the Warriors.

There were a few Warriors players who were upset with their role this past season.

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That could be one of the reasons why they are not still playing.

Winning a championship in the NBA is hard, you need everyone to be bought in.

It is clear the Heat are bought in and now they head home for a crucial Game 3 where they can take the series lead.

The post Steve Kerr Gives High Praise To The Miami Heat Players appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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Once teammates with Keith, Alex Pietrangelo now battling Matthew Tkachuk in Final

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LAS VEGAS — When he was just starting his National Hockey League career in St. Louis, Alex Pietrangelo spent part of a summer house-sitting for one of his original teammates.

Pietrangelo discovered in the basement of the home the little mini-sticks rink that Keith Tkachuk had set up for his boys, Matthew and Brady. There were lots of scuffs on the walls. Apparently, the games were rambunctious.

It turned out, so were the boys.

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Now 33, Pietrangelo remembers Tkachuk bringing his sons to the rink in St. Louis, and Matthew and Brady bombing around the Blues’ dressing room. Reflecting on it this week, Pietrangelo smiled, mentioning how his own kids now visit the Vegas Golden Knights dressing room.

“I would have been what, 18, 19 years old, so they were just little guys,” Pietrangelo said Sunday between games in the Stanley Cup Final. “I’m nine years older than Matthew, so he was, what, 10 at the time. It’s just funny how things come back.”

Keith Tkachuk retired after the 2009-10 season, but the family stayed in St. Louis and Matthew and Brady eventually became part of the same training group that Pietrangelo still skates with in the summer — even after he left the Blues in 2020 for a stunning $61.6-million free-agent contract in Las Vegas.

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The scuff marks Matthew Tkachuk is making in the Stanley Cup Final are mostly on Pietrangelo, who seems to be the Florida Panthers‘ primary target, especially after whistles. During scrums in Games 1 and 2, which the Golden Knights easily swept to get halfway to their first Stanley Cup, Tkachuk took advantage of the chaos to punch Pietrangelo in the head.

“Yeah, multiple times,” the Knights’ No. 1 defenceman told Sportsnet. “He comes as advertised. That’s OK, I can take it.”

Asked Friday on media day about skating with the Tkachuks in the summer, Pietrangelo said: “I mean, there’s a lot of guys who skate with other guys. (Matthew) is a good player. They both are. They’re both big bodies, big boys. I skate with Brady, too, and I also played with their dad. That sounds a little weird sometimes.

“I stayed at their house one summer. They were out of town, but I stayed at their house with another guy. I still remember they had a little hockey rink in the basement. And here they are. Time flies.”

Like a rabbit punch in a scrum.

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The Tkachuk boys have grown into NHL stars themselves and Pietrangelo is finishing his 13th full season in the league — most of them as one of the game’s top-10 blueliners.

The defenceman from King City, Ont., has finished fourth in Norris Trophy balloting a couple of times, including during his final season in St. Louis, which was the year after Pietrangelo helped the Blues cap a storybook run to the Stanley Cup.

“The first time, it’s a big deal obviously,” Pietrangelo said. “You work your whole life to get there, and I think you’re a little more calm the second time around because you know what to expect. You’ve been there. You certainly try to enjoy it a bit more because you never know when it’s going to happen again, right? You think it’s going to happen but it’s harder than you think.”

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Before the Knights’ 7-2 blowout win on Monday, he explained: “Relaxed isn’t the right word, but you almost feel a little bit less pressure because you’ve been through it before. I think these whole playoffs in general, going on this run, for me, it’s felt a little bit less tense. I’ve played 115 or 120 playoff games [129 actually], and as you keep going you get that feeling. But I feel like our group, the way we are as a group in the locker room, I think we’re enjoying this process.

“St. Louis, there was so much going on that year — the coach [getting fired] and all that stuff, and then (Jordan) Binnington comes up, it was a different kind of ride. But I feel like we’ve been a good team all year. We’ve earned the right to be in this spot. So there’s a sense of confidence that we carried going into this. But the reality is there’s a lot of guys that were… three wins away from winning it last time [for Vegas in 2018] who haven’t won it. So we have a good balance of experience and hunger.”

And the Knights have outstanding lineup balance, too, and all these things have made the series a mismatch so far.

Game 3 is Thursday in Sunrise, Fla. (Sportsnet and SN NOW).

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Just as Pietrangelo said Tkachuk has come as advertised, so has Pietrangelo.

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Except for a moment of madness in the second round, when Pietrangelo uncharacteristically chopped down on the wrists of Edmonton Oilers star Leon Draisaitl and was lucky to escape with a one-game suspension, the big defenceman has played the steady, dependable, superior hockey that led the Knights to blitz him in free agency.

The Knights already had an elite defenceman in Shea Theodore. But general manager Kelly McCrimmon, backed by team president George McPhee and owner Bill Foley, believed Vegas needed a “true No. 1 defenceman” like Pietrangelo.

Among the NHL’s top blue-liners, Pietrangelo’s game is one of the quietest. He isn’t dynamic like Cale Makar and Quinn Hughes, doesn’t pile up points like Erik Karlsson and Roman Josi, and isn’t as physically imposing as Victor Hedman.

But night after night, Pietrangelo plays a strong two-way game, making plays with the puck, using his size to protect the Vegas net and his positioning and smarts to disrupt the opposition. He and teammate Alec Martinez lead the playoffs in blocked shots with 48, and only Knights forward Mark Stone and his magic stick have more takeaways than Pietrangelo’s 22.

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After a 54-point regular season that tied a career-high (but was only 15th in scoring among NHL defencemen), Pietrangelo has one goal and nine points (and a plus-10 goal differential at five-on-five) in 18 playoff games.

You can argue whether all that is worth $8.8-million a season, but the Knights have gotten exactly what they wanted with Pietrangelo. Well, they will get it as long as Vegas wins two more games against Florida.

“He’s a high-effort player,” Knights coach Bruce Cassidy said during his media availability on Sunday. “He’s certainly got skill and makes his plays, he’s got a good shot and good nose for the net. But I think his effort to block shots, to defend hard, clear the front of the net — those are some things I guess I’ve learned about Alex. I thought he was a little more the offensive-tilted guy, but he’s a full 200-foot guy. A harder player, I guess, than maybe I would have suspected watching him.”

“This was a good team before I got here,” Pietrangelo said. “Kelly and George have added some pieces, myself and a few other guys along the way they felt would give the team an even better opportunity. But credit to the guys who have been here, the guys who have been here from the start. They’ve been successful since Day 1. And there’s a reason why.

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“We’re confident in what we do as a group. I wouldn’t say that you sit there and you say: ‘Oh, we have a chance to win (the Stanley Cup).’ I don’t think that was ever really the thought process. The thing about our group is we kind of go every single day, and then worry about what the next day is. We’ve dealt with the emotions of the playoffs really well because of that.”

And the emotions of the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final, when the Panthers have failed to goad the Knights into a street fight and Tkachuk, their best player, has been ineffective.

“You’ve got to worry about who you’re playing and where you are right now,” Pietrangelo said. “Experience helps, but I think sometimes you can overthink that experience because you’ve still got to go out and play the game. Because for all of us who are experienced, there’s guys who have never won it before and are just as hungry to win for the first time, right? But, you know, when you win it once, you want to win it again.”

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