ll out of Roland Garros, where he is a nine-time champion, i

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ll out of Roland Garros, where he is a nine-time champion, i

Postby x123 » 14 Jun 2019, 12:08

CLEVELAND -- This is why Ben Zobrist came back home. And this is why manager Joe Maddon wanted him so badly.The Cubs needed a veteran in the clubhouse to teach their seemingly endless supply of budding young stars, someone whod been there. Whod done that. Who cared little about curses or droughts. Who knew what Maddon wanted and how to translate it.Zobrist, fresh off a World Series title with the Kansas City Royals, was searching for a place to spend the final years of a consistently fine career. What better place to do it than a 2-hour drive from where he grew up in central Illinois?And there he was early Thursday morning, standing in the batters box in the top of the 10th inning in Game 7, facing a two-strike count with two runners on. Then the 35-year-old switch-hitter did something that may have encapsulated everything Maddon loves about him.Zobrist shortened his swing. He fouled off one pitch to stay alive. The next provided the biggest blow in Chicagos season-long bout with the weight of its own history, a double inside third base that scored pinch-runner Albert Almora Jr. with the go-ahead run in an 8-7 win that gave the Cubs their first championship since 1908 and earned Zobrist the World Series MVP award.Its a team game and I cant believe I get the opportunity to hold this trophy, he said.Cleveland reliever Bryan Shaw intentionally walked Chicago slugger Anthony Rizzo to get to Zobrist, who entered the game hitting .391 in the Series but had gone hitless in four at-bats. Shaw quickly got ahead 1-2 before Zobrist -- batting left-handed -- poked a foul ball down the third base line past a diving Jose Ramirez. The next pitch was more of the same. In a situation where some of his teammates would have swung for the outer reaches of Progressive Field, Zobrist settled for making contact.The normally understated Zobrist pointed toward the sky after his 10th and final hit of the series as the blue-clad fans who spent hundreds if not thousands of dollars to turn portions of the Indians home field into an eastern suburb of Wrigleyville roared once more.I know he threw a pretty hard cutter, Zobrist said. I just barely hung in there and fortunately he put one just close enough to the plate where I could slap it down the line.By the time Zobrist went to the dugout to fetch his glove and ran back out to his spot in left field, the lead was two. Barely 10 minutes later, Zobrist was sprinting to join the dogpile in the infield after Kris Bryant threw to good friend Anthony Rizzo at first for the final out, the second time in as many years Zobrist found himself awash in the joy.Last fall he helped the Kansas City Royals beat the New York Mets in five Series games. When he went looking for a job, there was really only one place to go: Chicago.Ben is a winning baseball player, Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein said the day Zobrist signed a four-year, $56 million deal last December. His offense, his defense, his baserunning. Hes been one of the more valuable players in the game for a long time.One who also came to Wrigley Field without an ego. Maddon moved the player he cultivated a close relationship with while the two were in Tampa Bay around like a kid with a new toy. Zobrist played primarily at second base but also spent time in left and right field. Always without complaint. Always with the greater goal in mind.A goal that was realized after Clevelands Rajai Davis tied the score with a stunning two-run homer off Chicago closer Aroldis Chapman in the eighth. After the ninth inning ended, there was a 17-minute rain delay. And then the Indians dared Zobrist to be the difference.Just as he has whenever the Cubs called on him this season, he was. Minnesota Vikings Jerseys Sale . "I dont know that were close," said general manager Alex Anthopoulos. "I just think, right now, the acquisition cost just doesnt work for us right now. I dont know if I can quantify how far off or things like that that they might be but I would say we continue to have dialogue. Authentic Vikings Jerseys Cheap . -- PGA TOUR Canada member Steve Saunders took a three-stroke lead Saturday in the Web. http://www.fansvikingsteamstore.com/stefon-diggs-vikings-jersey.html . Paul Pierce couldnt believe he missed at the end. Young scored a season-high 26 points to spark a huge effort from the leagues most productive bench, and Los Angeles beat the Brooklyn Nets 99-94 on Wednesday night after blowing a 27-point lead. Fran Tarkenton Jersey Cheap .com) - The game was all punts and field goals before Kodi Whitfields catch. Harrison Smith Jersey Youth . -- Charlie Graham stopped 67 shots as the Belleville Bulls edged the visiting Guelph Storm 6-5 on Saturday in Ontario Hockey League action. The Olympics has always been a brutally tough fit into the busy summer tennis schedule.This year, a variety of extenuating circumstances -- led by the looming prospect of the Zika virus -- contrived to thin the ranks of the top seeds on both sides. Half of the mens top 10, including Swiss teammates Roger Federer (knee injury) and Stan Wawrinka (Zika fears) bailed on Rio. Milos Raonic, Tomas Berdych and Dominic Thiem also excused themselves, ostensibly over health concerns.Too bad. They missed a terrific, most memorable party.Over nine days (one of them a rainout), there was plenty of anarchy. No. 1-ranked Novak Djokovic was gone before the second round, and the No. 141-ranked player, Juan Martin del Potro, somehow managed to play his way into the gold-medal final.Whew. Here are five quick takeaways from the crazy carnival that ended Sunday:1. Andy Murray is suddenly The ManDont look now, but Murray appears to be the player to beat at the upcoming US Open. In 2012, he won gold at the London Olympics (beating Federer in the final), then followed it up with his first Grand Slam singles title at the US Open, dispatching Djokovic in that final. Four years later, he changed it up, winning at Wimbledon and carrying that momentum into the Rio Olympics, carrying the flag for Great Britain.With coach Ivan Lendl back in the saddle again, Murray became the first Olympic player to defend a singles title, beating del Potro in a match that lasted just north of four hours. Djokovic has won 24 of 34 career meetings with Murray, but if the Scot can get someone to do his dirty work -- Sam Querrey took down Djokovic at Wimbledon and del Potro did it in Rio -- hes got a good chance to win.2. Juan Martin del Potro is backWe saw flashes at Wimbledon, but now its official. After struggling through four wrist surgeries, Delpo is starting to look more confident with his backhand, sometimes using both hands in the heat of the moment. The forehand? Once again, its the biggest and most feared in tennis. After beating Djokovic in the first round, del Potro handled Rafael Nadal in the best match of the tournament, a 3-hour, 8-minute semifinal.After del Potro concluded his marathon against Naddal, few gave him any chance versus Murray, who advanced to the final in a match that was 108 minutes shorter.dddddddddddd Delpo was enormous, fighting every moment of the marathon before losing in four sets. Earlier, the 27-year-old had said that the gold medal would have meant more than the 2009 US Open title.3. Novak Djokovic needs down timeAfter completing his career Grand Slam at Roland Garros -- his leading priority of 2016 -- Djokovics usually fierce emotional energy has been sometimes difficult to summon. He got bounced by Querrey in the third round at Wimbledon and, after winning in Toronto, fell to del Potro in a marvelous two-tiebreaker match. Their touching hug at net reminded us that the Olympic spirit, despite all the no-shows, is real. Now Djokovic needs to embrace the seasons last Slam, one where hes been a finalist five of the past six years.4. Rafael Nadal is far from doneIts been a season of drama for the 30-year-old Spaniard. He retired from his Miami match against Damir Dzumhur, then rallied to win titles in Monte Carlo and Barcelona. A wrist injury forced him to pull out of Roland Garros, where he is a nine-time champion, in the middle of the tournament, and then he missed Wimbledon.Although that left wrist still isnt quite right, Rafa said he was compelled to try to play in the Olympics. In Rio, he won gold in doubles with Marc Lopez?and blew through to the singles semifinals. Rafa, looking exhausted, fell in the bronze match to Kei Nishikori?in three sets, but he heads into New York with some serious momentum.5. Jack Sock doubles upThe 23-year-old native Nebraskan was already a Grand Slam champion coming in, as he and Vasek Pospisil beat the Bryan Brothers in the 2014 Wimbledon final. Now, Sock is coming home to Kansas City with two Olympic medals. Sock paired with Steve Johnson to win a bronze in mens doubles (beating Pospisil and Daniel Nestor) on Saturday, then took the mixed-doubles gold with Bethanie Mattek-Sands. His stock in both singles -- where hes ranked No. 23 --- and doubles has never been higher. 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