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Sunday, June 24, 2018

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Report: Egypt star considering quitting international soccer for unusual reason

Egypt star Mohamed Salah is reportedly considering quitting international football as he feels he has been used by his country for political gain, according to reports. According to John Sinnott and Alireza Hajihosseini of CNN, Salah feels “exposed” after being photographed with Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of Chechnya, where the Egyptian team trained during the…Read More

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Twitter reacts in delight to Carlos Valderrama’s hair

Colombia defeated Poland with an emphatic 3-0 victory on Sunday at the FIFA World Cup, and Twitter was simply delighted to see one of the country’s most iconic soccer players in attendance — with the same hairstyle he wore in the 1990s.

The legendary midfielder, arguably Colombia’s greatest ever player, was in attendance at Sunday’s game alongside another former Colombian standout, goalkeeper Rene Higuita. Naturally, they both enjoyed the show — and so did Twitter, as Valderrama’s memorable blonde hairstyle hasn’t changed a bit in the last twenty years, even though the man who wears it is now in his 50s.

Soccer players often indulge themselves with unique and flamboyant haircuts. None match this. When you’re El Pibe, though, you can do whatever you want.

Report: Multiple teams monitoring Enes Kanter situation

Enes Kanter Thunder

New York Knicks center Enes Kanter has a decision to make on his status for next season, and multiple teams are reportedly watching with vested interest.

According to Ian Begley of ESPN, opposing teams expect Kanter to excercise his $18.6 million player option for 2018-19, but if he doesn’t, the Milwaukee Bucks are one of several teams who would be interested in signing him.

Kanter is only 26 and is coming off a season in which averaged a double-double (14.1 points, 11 rebounds per game). He would absolutely be in demand. However, he seems to have some visions for his own future with the Knicks.

Padres had legendary team bus mishap on way to face Giants

Padres logo

The San Diego Padres arrived to AT&T Park for their game against the San Francisco Giants on Sunday in a form of transportation that is very familiar to people in the Bay Area, but let’s just say the memorable entrance was not planned.

For whatever reason, the bus that was supposed to pick the Padres up at their hotel on Sunday morning never showed. That forced the team into a situation where they had to make other arrangements, and they ended up riding in a double decker tour bus with a police escort.

You can’t make this stuff up.

The Giants have been no strangers to transportation issues this season, but seeing their opponent pull up in a tour bus was probably something they won’t soon forget.

Mets’ Jerry Blevins sets unwanted mark in first career start

The New York Mets just can’t seem to have anything go right for them.

On Sunday, thanks to regular starter Jason Vargas landing on the disabled list, the Mets opted to go with a bullpen day as they faced the Los Angeles Dodgers. Lefty specialist Jerry Blevins got the call to start for the first time in his career as the Mets tried to piece together the game.

It did not go well. Blevins gave up back-to-back home runs to Enrique Hernandez and Max Muncy to open the game, which put him in rarefied air for all the wrong reasons.

Twitter couldn’t help laugh at the Mets either — particularly the fact that their once-vaunted rotation led to this.

It’s safe to say the Mets probably won’t be following another team’s lead with the Opener role based on this.

Las Vegas thinks LeBron James signing with Lakers is a ‘sure thing’

LeBron James

Several NBA reporters have insisted that LeBron James has not yet decided where he will sign as a free agent this summer, but oddsmakers in Las Vegas obviously are not buying it.

The gambling odds for where LeBron is going to end up this summer seem to be favoring the Los Angeles Lakers more by the day. As of the weekend, they were the overwhelming favorites to sign LeBron at -325. Vegas views James re-signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers as the second most likely result, though the odds of that happening are not great.

Sports books have made the Lakers the heavy favorite to sign LeBron in order to avoid potentially losing a ton of money. According to one report, sharp gamblers — also known as “wiseguys” — are convinced LeBron will wind up in L.A. and have been backing their predictions up with large wagers.

Given all the reports we have heard about where LeBron’s head is at, it’s no surprise the Lakers are front and center. With the draft having come and gone and the Cavs not making any major trades to bring in another star player, it almost seems as though they have accepted that they will once again be dealing with life after LeBron.

Argentina player denies widespread reports of rift with manager

To say that the Argentina camp at the World Cup is in a sorry state is probably an understatement.

On Sunday, defender Javier Mascherano was forced to deny a flurry of reports indicating that manager Jorge Sampaoli had lost the confidence of the team after their crushing 3-0 defeat to Croatia last week.

Despite Mascherano’s denial, reports of a massive rift between Sampaoli and his players have been widespread. One that was widely shared on Sunday came from Spanish outlet Vavel, which reported that Sampaoli had completely lost the squad and they were picking their own team for Tuesday’s crucial match against Nigeria.

It’s not hard to see where the reports are coming from, either, as forward Sergio Aguero reacted angrily to comments Sampaoli made after the Croatia defeat indicating that the team failed to offer Lionel Messi adequate support.

There were even rumors that Sampaoli would be fired before the Nigeria game and that the players were pushing for that solution. Whatever the case, that obviously did not come to pass.

While cutting out horrible individual blunders like this one would probably solve a lot of problems, it’s hard to deny that there’s something off in the Argentina camp. They need to get it together — despite their horrible start to the World Cup, they have not yet been eliminated, and can still make it to the knockout rounds as long as they beat Nigeria and results elsewhere go their way.

Cubs’ Yu Darvish set for rehab assignment

Chicago Cubs pitcher Yu Darvish is inching closer to a return to action after a month of being sidelined.

Darvish, who has been battling triceps tendinitis, will make his first rehab start on Monday, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.

It’s not clear how many rehab starts the Cubs will want Darvish making, and they may ultimately play it by ear.

Initial fears that Darvish might not be back until after the All-Star break appear to have been unfounded, though we’ll see how much rehab Darvish needs. He’s been a disappointment in his first year with Chicago, posting a 4.95 in eight starts in what has been an injury-riddled debut season with the Cubs.

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