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Joakim Soria, 37, retires after 14-year career as relief pitcher

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After a 14-year career that spanned 771 appearances on nine different teams, relief pitcher Joakim Soria has decided to retire from his baseball playing career. His agent broke the news to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic late Wednesday night

Soria came up in 2007 to immediate success and served as the Royals closer for most of his first five seasons, twice making the All-Star team and finishing 10th in AL Cy Young voting in 2010 when he had 43 saves and a 1.78 ERA. He had a down 2011, losing the role of closer at one point, but still nailed down 28 saves before the season ended. In 2012, however, he had to undergo Tommy John surgery for a torn UCL in his right elbow.

Upon Soria’s return in 2013, he became a bit of a journeyman who served as a late-inning reliever. Several times he was a closer who ended up being traded to a contender in July and then was moved into a setup role. 

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In all, Soria played for the Royals, Athletics, Rangers, Tigers, Diamondbacks, Pirates, Blue Jays, White Sox and Brewers

Through the course of his 14 seasons, Soria pitched to a 3.11 ERA (137 ERA+), 1.13 WHIP and 831 strikeouts against 213 unintentional walks in 763 innings in the regular season. He amassed 18.7 WAR. 

Soria, 37, also pitched on four different playoff teams, getting to the 2018 NLCS with the Brewers. He was never on a team that won a pennant. 

Soria has a chance to be on the Hall of Fame ballot in five years, but he’d obviously be a one-and-done type. That’s not the biggest measure of a career, of course, as Soria had an admirable one. His most statistical similars on baseball-reference.com are Rod Beck, Armando Benitez, Sergio Romo and Keith Foulke. That’s good company in quality relief. 

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Tom Brady, Bill Belichick get open, emotional in podcast interview

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During a revealing podcast Monday, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick covered the ins, outs, ups and downs of their 20-year bond in New England.



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South American 2030 World Cup bid seeks final in Montevideo

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BUENOS AIRES (AP) — Members of the South American candidacy for the centennial 2030 World Cup want to host the opening match in Buenos Aires and the final in Montevideo, where Uruguay won the first edition of the tournament in 1930.

Government and soccer officials representing the joint bid of Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay held their first organizing committee meeting Tuesday. Argentine President Alberto Fernández also said he wants to add Bolivia to the group.

One other bid has already been formalized: Spain-Portugal-Ukraine. Morocco and another joint bid of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Greece are moving ahead.

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Alejandro Domínguez, the president of South American soccer body CONMEBOL, highlighted the historical links. Uruguay hosted the first tournament in 1930 and won the first title by beating Argentina 4-2 in the final.

“FIFA has the obligation of honouring the memory of those who came before us and made the first World Cup,” he said. “At the end, the ones who want it more win it. And in that Argentina and all of our countries have a tradition.”

FIFA will make the decision in 2024, two years before the next edition of the tournament takes place in the United States, Mexico and Canada with 48 teams for the first time.

Chile sports minister Alexandra Benado Vergara said Argentina’s World Cup title in Qatar gives an extra push to the South American bid, which she sees as stronger since other nations joined Uruguay’s initially single-nation candidacy.

“Argentina’s victory is also the victory of our region,” Vergara said. “We can totally say we will have a bid that is sustainable, clear, austere during these times of our region and the world.”

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Vergara’s Uruguayan counterpart Sebastián Bauzá said South America “feels we have the right to organize that World Cup.”

Argentina’s Fernández said on his social media channels he wanted to add Bolivia to the bid because “this is the candidacy of the entire continent. That is why I will propose that Bolivia become a part of this dream.”

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2023 USFL schedule: Best early games, title odds and more!

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What are the best games in the early part of the USFL season? Who is favored to win it all? We break it down.



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