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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Mudcats' Cochran dominates Jacksonville with help from some big bats

Posted By on Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 10:56 PM

FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON The Carolina Mudcats have an opportunity to take the lead in their current series with the Jacksonville Suns if they can win this one tonight. Photo by Nikolaus © 2010 Carolina MudcatsMudcats pitcher Tom CochranBut everybody in the park has already won tonight, as the game-time temperature is 77 degrees and rain is not coming. Some more good news for the home fans is that lefty Tom Cochran (4-3), one of the team’s two aces, is on the hill for Carolina against Jeff Allison (4-3). Cochran is one of six Mudcats who have been elected to play...

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“At peace” Brind’Amour hangs ‘em up after 20 NHL seasons

Posted By on Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 4:00 PM

The last time we'll post this overused file photo...*sniff.* File photo by Peggy Boone, IndyWeekBlogs No cutesy quips or memory-soaked remarks about his manic approach to working out or the primal scream he let out while lifting the Stanley Cup in 2006 — an image etched in the memory of North Carolina sports fans — will sum up what Rod Brind’Amour did for the Hurricanes over the last decade. From coming in (and not expecting to stay) under stressful circumstances to the few, frank words he uttered a few hours ago regarding his retirement, Brind’Amour did it his way. “Get...

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Early World Cup exit is no surprise to this Englishman

Posted By on Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 12:51 PM

English football fans tend to take one of two extreme postions. Some say the country, which is home to the world’s top professional league, is long overdue to add a second World Cup trophy to its vintage 1966 cabinet given the exceptional quality of the players and passion of the supporters. Others, such as our resident Englishman Paul Savery, seem to believe the national team is doomed to a future of failure. They point to the fact that the Three Lions have only advanced past the quarterfinals once since their 1966 victory and have lacked luck in losing all three...

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Mudcats endure rain delay, then extinguish Suns late

Posted By on Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 1:28 AM

The Carolina Mudcats waited out a pregame rain delay of over an hour, then rallied for three runs in the eighth for a 4-3 win over the Jacksonville Suns on Tuesday night. Photo by Nikolaus © 2010 Carolina MudcatsMudcats infielder Mike CostanzoThe win evened the current six-game series at a game apiece, leaving the Mudcats at 3-5 to start the second half. Mike Costanzo had three hits with an RBI for the Mudcats, while Sean Henry added a double with an RBI in the six-hit attack. Vinny Rottino doubled and singled for Jacksonville. Lee Tabor (2-0) was the winning pitcher...

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Jennings, Cozart Hit the Bull in Durham's comeback win over Louisville

Posted By on Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 11:20 PM

DBAP/DURHAM The Durham Bulls continue their 11-game homestand tonight as the Louisville Bats begin their four-game series here. Photo courtesy Durham BullsBulls outfielder Desmond JenningsAs is the case with all International League teams outside the South Division, this will be Louisville’s only trip to Durham unless the teams meet in the Governors’ Cup Playoffs. That they did last season, with Durham winning the best-of-5 semifinal series in five games before winning the next four en route to their first Triple-A National Championship. Being the Cincinnati Reds’ affiliates the Bats are chock full of former Carolina Mudcats, including Yonder Alonso, Chris...

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World Cup reveals "hopefulness, a newness, a sense of progress" in South Africa

Posted By on Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 1:34 PM

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA — Cape Town, June 29, noon, and the streets are filling up with fans of Spain and Portugal wearing their scarves and wigs and jerseys, the national flags draped across their backs, faces painted. The vuvuzelas already blare, as they do almost every moment. Andy Mead/YCJBzzzzzzzz off, vuvuzelas.So let’s talk about the vuvuzelas. They are, indeed, a South African tradition, and there are some beauts — beaded and painted masterpieces. But Coca-Cola has got hold of them, too, and filled the Fan Fests — the giant outdoor viewing areas with the jumbotrons and music acts —...

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Our American in South Africa looks for team, venue improvements in 2014

Posted By on Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 12:14 PM

Brian Fobi is a Yale graduate student based in South Africa attending more than a half dozen games during the World Cup. RUSTENBURG, SOUTH AFRICA — It is difficult to piece together a consistent and coherent assessment of the average fan experience for this World Cup. On the one hand, even everyday folks that you meet will go to extraordinary efforts to help you out, but on the other hand they usually do so because some gaping hole in event planning has left said fan in a difficult position. In this sense, Saturday’s USA-Ghana match exemplified many of the highs...

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Monday, June 28, 2010

Suns' Koehler tops Mudcats for league-high 10th victory

Posted By on Mon, Jun 28, 2010 at 11:21 PM

FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON The Carolina Mudcats return home for the first time in the second half for yet another series against the first-half South Division Champion Jacksonville Suns. Photo by Nikolaus © 2010 Carolina MudcatsMudcats pitcher Brandon YarbroughWith the Southern League’s wildly unbalanced schedule these teams will play a whopping 31 times this season. Assuming they don’t somehow hook up in the playoffs. The opener of the six-game series is going to be another hot one, with temperatures in the mid-90s at game time. Jacksonville’s manager is Tim Leiper, a former Mudcats infielder and N.C. State assistant coach. Lefty Travis...

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Furmaniak knocks in every Bulls run in their comeback win on national TV

Posted By on Mon, Jun 28, 2010 at 5:06 PM

J.J. Furmaniak made the best of his national TV time on Monday afternoon. Photo courtesy Durham BullsBulls infielder J.J. FurmaniakIn what was said to be the first high-definition national telecast of a minor-league regular-season game, the Durham Bulls’ shortstop knocked in all of his team’s runs including a two-run walk-off double with one out in the ninth as the Bulls escaped with a hot 3-2 win over the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Pinch-hitter Jose Lobaton and Desmond Jennings singled in the ninth to set up Furmaniak’s game-winning hit and drop the loss on Ryan Vogelsong (2-5). Darin Downs was the winner...

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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Miscues cost Durham Bulls a hot loss to Lehigh Valley

Posted By on Sun, Jun 27, 2010 at 9:34 PM

DBAP/DURHAM It’s Game 3 of the Durham Bulls’ four-game home set with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, and both teams are playing in their hottest game of the year. Durham BullsFernando PerezTemperature 99, heat index 110. They’re not fooling. The Bulls are in their familiar spot in the International League’s South Division, with an eight-game lead over the second-place Charlotte Knights. Lehigh Valley is half a game better than the worst record in the league, and comes in looking to break a five-game losing streak. Despite the oppressive heat there’s a great crowd in the house, announced at 8,130. It’s a...

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Mudcats' explosion gets Klinker a victory

Posted By on Sun, Jun 27, 2010 at 9:23 PM

Matt Klinker had a solid seven-inning start and the Carolina Mudcats ended their road series with the Tennessee Smokies on a good note, rolling to a 10-3 win Sunday. Photo by Nikolaus © 2010 Carolina MudcatsMudcats pitcher Matt KlinkerKlinker (5-4) went seven innings and allowed two runs — one earned — on four hits with seven walks against a pair of strikeouts. Mike Costanzo homered and singled for the Mudcats, while Sean Henry added three hits including a double for two RBI and Devin Mesoraco a double and two singles. Alberto Cabrera (0-4) took the loss. The Mudcats return to...

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What is justice? Blown call in England-Germany game shows need for goal-line video

Posted By on Sun, Jun 27, 2010 at 12:49 PM

RICHMOND, VA—There are only certain conditions under which all of a soccer ball crossing all of a white line painted on a patch of green grass has any significance whatsoever. But Frank Lampard and England had every right to believe that the ball he struck from about 20 yards out over German keeper's Manuel Neuer's head met all of the relevant conditions: A competitive soccer match was under way, the ball was in play, no foul was committed, no one was offside and the ball hit the underside of the crossbar before bouncing at least a yard behind the...

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England v. Germany: Tale of the Tape

Posted By on Sun, Jun 27, 2010 at 8:46 AM

World Cups Won All Time: Germany (W. Germany) 3, England 1Head to Head Results at Knockout Stage: Germany 2 wins (1970, 1990), England 1 win (1966)...

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Coulibaly lives! RailHawks settle for controversial 2-2 draw with Montreal Impact

Posted By on Sun, Jun 27, 2010 at 7:41 AM

Courtesy of Carolina RailHawksSallieu Bundu after scoring the RailHawks' first goal, with Gregory Richardson close behind.WAKEMED SOCCER PARK / CARY - Who said a tie game can’t be exciting? After defeating the Montreal Impact in Canada almost a month ago, the Carolina RailHawks again faced last year’s USL-1 league champions at WakeMed Soccer Park for the second of four regular season matches between the clubs this year. On this night, 2,157 fans—and an unknown number of noisy, orange vuvuzelas—would witness a 2-2 draw that doubled as a primer on the highs and lows of soccer: Sheer, prolonged tedium followed a...

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Durham Bulls slaughter Lehigh Valley IronPigs: A little napalm in the night

Posted By on Sun, Jun 27, 2010 at 6:00 AM

Sgt. SlaughterDBAP/DURHAM—On Friday night, the Durham Bulls and Lehigh Valley IronPigs played a taut pitcher's duel, won by the locals, 2-1. But don't worry, the Bulls were just having some fun with you there, and they were back to their old brutalizing, beat-you-senseless selves in making the IronPigs squeal on Saturday, 10-3. Clad in special camouflage jerseys, they put up two quick runs in a first inning salvo, took a couple of innings off for recon, and then dropped all their remaining ammo in the middle frames, thoroughly defoliating the enemy. Which is to say that it was Military Appreciation...

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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Mudcats homer twice before Tennessee rallies late to win

Posted By on Sat, Jun 26, 2010 at 9:38 PM

Matt Fairel even helped his own cause with a two-run homer, but the bullpen squandered a three-run lead as the Carolina Mudcats lost to the host Tennessee Smokies 7-6 on Saturday night. Photo by Nikolaus © 2010 Carolina MudcatsMudcats pitcher Matt FairelIt was the Mudcats’ sixth loss in their last seven games. N.C. State alumnus Jake Muyco (3-2) was the winning pitcher while Jerry Gil (3-3) took the loss. Matthew Spencer knocked in the tying and winning runs with a two-run homer in the eighth. Dave Sappelt added a homer and a single for two RBI for Carolina, while Kris...

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Win as a Country, Lose as a Country

Posted By on Sat, Jun 26, 2010 at 7:56 PM

RICHMOND, VA—The United States will not be the world champions of soccer over the next four years. Ghana probably will not either. But Ghana still have hope after defeating the U.S. 2-1 in extra time on Saturday in the sweet 16 of the Fifa World Cup (annoying Trademark mark). (On a side note, I was in Philadelphia Thursday and Friday, and was impressed by the bar at 30th Street station which had a printed poster announcing it would show all games in the "2010 World Soccer Tournament" to avoid having to pay some kind of fee to FIFA to use...

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Durham Bulls edge Lehigh Valley IronPigs: Charlie's Angels

Posted By on Sat, Jun 26, 2010 at 10:00 AM

Photo by D. L. AndersonJeremy Hellickson on the mound earlier this yearDBAP/DURHAM—After the Durham Bulls beat Lehigh Valley, 2-1, last night, Charlie Montoyo stood in front of the dugout, waiting to watch the Friday night fireworks. He doesn't usually do this, but it wasn't a usual night for him: He had with him his wife and his two sons. The younger child, Alex, as you may know, is battling the mortal threats of Ebstein's Anomaly, a rare condition that could end his life heartbreakingly early. Alex's presence, along with his family's—they'll be in Durham for a month with Montoyo—was a...

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Friday, June 25, 2010

Scottish striker coming to the RailHawks?

Posted By on Fri, Jun 25, 2010 at 2:49 PM

First Martin Rennie, then Greg Shields and Paul Ritchie. Could a fourth Scottish brogue be joining the RailHawks this summer? All signs are pointing to a mid-July debut of Allan Russell, the 2008 player of the year in the Scottish second division. Today, BBC published an item in which Russell said, "I officially sign on 14 July and I'll hit the ground running because it's mid-season over there." The RailHawks declined to confirm the report, but this is only the latest in a series of published reports saying that he will indeed become a RailHawk. (It's on his Wikipedia page,...

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Previewing Brazil-Portugal; racism in Brazilian media

Posted By on Fri, Jun 25, 2010 at 11:06 AM

RIO DE JANEIRO—It’s pretty amazing that Brazil, year after year, Cup after Cup, is always the team to beat. It’s hard for Brazil not to be in the group of death, because they are death to opponents. Not only has Brazil won more cups than any other nation, they have more victories and the highest points per game average, the most goals, the most everything. It’s hard to think of Brazil as a place without thinking about how many times they’ve won the World Cup. Even with the crappy team Dunga has assembled, they’re going to finish top of their...

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Mudcats lose a heartbreaker while Bulls fall hard

Posted By on Fri, Jun 25, 2010 at 12:34 AM

The Carolina Mudcats played well Thursday night and the Durham Bulls didn’t. Photo by Nikolaus © 2010 Carolina MudcatsMudcats pitcher Scott CarrollBut they ended up with the same result. Scott Carroll pitched a complete game, but it all went for naught as the Mudcats fell to 0-3 in the second half of their Southern League schedule in a 2-1 road loss to the Tennessee Smokies. Meanwhile the Bulls fell victim to a 9-1 drubbing at Indianapolis. The Bulls will return home Friday night against the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, while the Mudcats will have three more at Tennessee before coming...

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Reflections on watching Brazil with Brazilians

Posted By on Thu, Jun 24, 2010 at 12:06 PM

Andy Mead/ YCJIvory Coast's Emmanuel Eboue takes down Brazil's Kaká. RIO DE JANEIRO—The Rio de Janeiro FIFA Fan Fest (FFF) is a textbook example of how space can be manipulated to create and reproduce socio-economic hierarchies, cultural value systems and accelerate patterns of consumption. Watching Brazil versus Ivory Coast there on Sunday afternoon was a strangely unemotional experience in a country and city that prides itself on stopping everything for the national team. The streets surrounding the FFF in Copacabana were full of yellow clad fans heading in all directions. Since it was Sunday afternoon, the Avenida Atl├óntica was closed...

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Preview day 14: Who else will join us (U.S.) in the knockout stages?

Posted By on Thu, Jun 24, 2010 at 9:39 AM

One game changes everything, the saying goes. For the United States it was more like one kick, a single Landon Donovan tap in propelled the Americans from elimination to winning a group for the first time since 1930. Coincidentally that year was the country’s most successful tournament in history as they advanced to the semifinals. Things are shaping up similarly now with the USA set to face Ghana for the right to play Uruguay or South Korea. And today, after the single most important strike in USA history and with a country experiencing the World Cup fever that others romanticize...

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

D. Johnson homer lifts Bulls, Mudcats fall to 0-2 in second half

Posted By on Wed, Jun 23, 2010 at 11:43 PM

Dan Johnson’s three-run homer was the key hit for the Durham Bulls as they beat the Indianapolis Indians 7-6 on the road Wednesday afternoon. Durham BullsDan JohnsonBut things didn’t go as well for the Carolina Mudcats, who dropped to 0-2 in the second half with a 6-5 road loss to the Tennessee Smokies. The Bulls will return home Friday night against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, while the Mudcats’ next home game is on Monday against the Jacksonville Suns....

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USA! USA! USA! Late Donovan goal saves World Cup dreams

Posted By on Wed, Jun 23, 2010 at 12:06 PM

Andy Mead/ YCJLandon Donovan and teammates Edson Buddle (left) and Benny Feilhaber after the game-winner in stoppage time.RICHMOND, VA—It was shaping up to be the Year We Got Robbed, the moment the American soccer-interested public lost faith in the game's underlying propensity to justice and, worse yet, the moment folks stopped reading World Cup blog postings. Instead, a clutch goal capping a well-worked team move in injury team has sent the U.S. through to the second round, and sent throngs of jubilant soccer fans into ecstasy around the country. It was fitting that the two best American players were at...

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This was a great read until we got to the World Cup part (who knows or cares, this is America) …

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