World Baseball Classic starts in 5 days

The 2017 World Baseball Classic kicks off in 5 days and baseball fans can’t wait for it to get started. After a long off-season, the cravings are there to see their favorite players in action.

The first round of the competition is going to be played in four cities around the world: Seoul (South Korea), Tokyo (Japan), Miami (USA) and Jalisco (Mexico). Round two moves to Tokyo (Japan) and San Diego (USA) and the final is set in Los Angeles (USA).

All teams in the tournament have at least one player from the Majors, except the Cuban team. Th Cuban government does not allow players that defected from the country to represent them in the competition. Players with the caliber of Jose Abreu, Yoenis Cespedes, Yasiel Puig and Aroldis Chapman won’t be in the tournament.

Cuba used to dominate international baseball competition, winning three of five gold Olympic medals but have yet to win at the World Baseball Classic. Excluding players from the MLB will hurt the team and diminishes their chance at winning the tournament for the first time.

The stage is set, the teams are ready and fans all over the world can’t wait for the WBC to start. Let’s enjoy the tournament and let the best team win.

–Al Milian

Real Madrid nightmare at Mestalla continues

Real Madrid missed another chance to increase their lead at the top of La Liga Santander after falling to Valencia by a score of 2-1 at Mestalla Stadium.

Mestalla has become a nightmare for Los Blancos who have not won at this stadium since 2013, in a 2-3 victory thanks to a goal by Jese Rodriguez that broke the tie 8 minutes before the end of the game. Two early goals by Simone Zaza (4′) and Fabian Orellana (9′) were enough to steal 3 points from La Liga leaders who reduced the lead 1-2 before half-time, thanks to a goal by Cristiano Ronaldo.

Madrid had possession of ball through out the game, but was not able to take full advantage of it. Zidane introduced Bale and Lucas Vazquez in the second half but neither one made a significant impact on the game. Valencia on the other hand focused on defense as the game progressed with goalkeeper Diego Alves having another great performance.

Real Madrid remain atop of La Liga with 52 points and one game at hand, Barcelona is second with 51 points. Both teams have very important matches this weekend, Real Madrid away at Villareal and Barcelona plays Atletico Madrid at the Calderon. The results could reshape the race for the tittle one more time.

–Al Milian

Blockbuster trade for DeMarcus Cousins

DeMarcus Cousins was enjoying his time in New Orleans for the NBA All-Star weekend, little did he know he was being traded as the All-Star game unfolded.

News of the trade broke minutes after the game was over and DeMarcus Cousins was as shocked as most Sacramento Kings fans. The details of the trade are as follows: The Kings sent DeMarcus Cousins and Omri Casspi to the Pelicans in exchange for: Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway and its 2017 first-round and second-round pick. Watch Cousins’ reaction after the All-Star game.

Kings GM Vlade Divac said Monday that this was the best offer they had at the time of the trade and when asked why he didn’t wait until closer to the trade deadline on Thursday he said, “Most likely we would get less, because I had a better deal two days ago.”

This deal was a slamp dunk for the New Orleans Pelicans who get an All-Star player in Cousins to form the best front-court in the NBA together with Anthony Davis. The question remains if New Orleans can convince Cousins to resign with them after the 2017-18 season when he becomes a free agent. For now, they can make a push for the playoffs and try to find other pieces to complement Anthony and Cousins.

The Sacramento Kings were heavily criticized for deal, they should have gotten more for giving up their franchise player. The rebuild process starts all over again for a team that has not made the playoffs since the 2005-06 season. Ownership and management have high hopes for Buddy Hield and the draft prospects, I hope Kings fans share the same optimism.

–Al Milian

 

The future of Tony Romo

Tony Romo is expected to be released by the Dallas Cowboys after thirteen seasons with the team.

The emergence of quaterback Dak Prescott together with Romo’s age and recent injury history, are the likely causes for the team’s decision. The Cowboys would like to get some of their investment back on a trade, but his contract makes it very difficult to execute. Romo signed a signed a six-year, $119.5 million deal in 2013 and has three years left in that contract.

Possible destinations for Romo are the Houston Texans, Denver Broncos, Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, Arizona Cardinals and Chicago Bears. According to Colin Cowherd, host of the “The Herd” the only two teams with a shot at Romo are the Houston Texans and the Arizona Cardinals because they are closer to home, have offensive minded coaches and are title contenders.

Tony Romo is the all-time leader in passing yards (34,183) for the Cowboys, but would be leaving Dallas with only two playoff victories to his name.

–Al Milian