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Dogcat250  » 2019-04-15 05:12:21

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WASHINGTON - Forgive Washington Nationals owner Mark Lerner if he got swept up in the scene.Speaking after a news conference Wednesday to announce the addition — via a $210 million, seven-year contract — of 2013 AL Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer, Lerner was thinking big thoughts. After all, the clubs starting rotation, at least for the moment, also includes Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Doug Fister and Gio Gonzalez.If they all stay healthy, began Lerner, whose father, Ted, is the teams principal owner, I guess its a possibility we may give up the fewest runs in National League history during a 162-game schedule, which is amazing.Let the speculation begin, then.Who will start on opening day, an honour thats gone to Strasburg the past three years? How good could this staff be?As it is, in 2014, Washingtons starters led the majors with a 3.04 ERA.How far can those pitchers take the Nationals, who won the NL East in 2012 and again last season before bowing out in Washingtons opening playoff series each time?And, perhaps most intriguingly, will general manager Mike Rizzo keep that group intact? Or will he wind up trading someone, perhaps Zimmermann or Fister, who can both become free agents after next season?Until those last two questions are answered, Rizzo certainly shares Lerners enthusiasm for the current collection of arms.Well stack our rotation up with anybodys in our division, our league and maybe in baseball, Rizzo said, and compete against them.Of course, things dont always shape up on the field the way they do during the off-season.The terrific Atlanta Braves group that included three Hall of Famers in Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz wound up with only one World Series championship. Thats one more than the Philadelphia Phillies won after assembling Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt.Still, if thats the discussion connected to the Nationals now, it represents a sea change from where this franchise stood a half-dozen years ago.It was noteworthy to hear the word winning over and over Wednesday at Nationals Park, where the scoreboard displayed a Welcome to D.C. greeting for Scherzer and his wife, and the diamond was covered by the afternoons dusting of snow.This is a club that lost 100 games in both 2008 and 2009 and found it difficult to attract top talent in free agency, but the perception has changed.Theres no doubt about it, Rizzo said. Weve got a lot of good baseball people around here. Weve got a lot of good professionals. The selling portion of it from five years ago to today is night and day. We certainly have no problem with players wanting to be Washington Nationals.Asked what reasons led him to sign with Washington, Scherzer replied, One: winning. I think this team is capable of winning and winning a lot. When you look at the near term and long term, this is an organization you want to be a part of.The size of the contract probably didnt hurt, either.The 30-year-old Scherzer, who became a free agent after spending the past five seasons with the Detroit Tigers, received the most guaranteed dollars for a right-handed pitcher in big league history.I dont play this game for money, said Scherzer, who was 18-5 with a 3.15 ERA in 2014, a year after going 21-3 with a 2.90 ERA, but yet at the same time, when you have an offer like that, it just makes you go, Wow.The deal includes a record $50 million signing bonus, of which $5 million is due this year and $15 million each in 2019, 2020 and 2021.The total payments of the contract are spread over 14 years, reducing the present-day value and making it palatable for the Nationals.If that didnt happen, there wouldnt have been a deal, Mark Lerner said. We had to make it work for us financially. It was really my father and Mike coming up with a creative deal.Because of the deferred money, the deal had a present-day value of $191.4 million, by Major League Baseballs calculation. It counts as $28.69 million annually for purposes of the luxury tax, which uses a different methodology.Lerner joked about Scherzer: I want to ask him for a loan. George King Jersey .B. -- Canadas Rachel Homan had ideal preparation for the playoffs at the Ford World Curling Championships with a pair of hard-fought wins over tenacious opponents Thursday. Deandre Ayton Jersey .Y. - Major League Soccers independent review panel has taken back the fine and one-game suspension it placed on Toronto FC forward Luke Moore earlier this week. . The Boston Celtics hadnt played since the All-Star break. So the Suns 100-94 victory over Boston Wednesday night was an uphill affair, with Phoenix relying on balance rather than its trademark high energy. Wholesale Suns Jerseys .NYCFC confirmed to The Associated Press on Saturday that this week Lampard signed a contract to start in July — midway through the new teams first season in MLS. Jason Kidd Jersey . Coming off a 6-0 drubbing at Chelsea on Saturday, Arsenal endured another demoralizing result after rallying for a 2-1 lead -- only to concede a fluke equalizer.Canadas Dara Howell had a hard time believing she was actually an Olympic gold medallist in the weeks following the Sochi Games.The accomplishment still hasnt quite sunk in.Some 10 months after making history in Russia as the first womens Olympic slopestyle ski champion, the 20-year-old from Huntsville, Ont., still has to pinch herself from time to time.I think when Im old and, like 50, Ill probably realize what happened, Howell said with a laugh on a conference call. But for now Im just enjoying it and taking opportunities that come my way and just keep moving forward.Howell spent most of the summer off her skis, but that moving forward she spoke of includes a Dew Tour event this week in Breckenridge, Colo.Im just getting back into it, but things are coming back the way I want them to, said Howell, who also won silver at the 2013 world championships. I think this season, its more just having fun and doing what I love to do. Thats pretty much it.In slopestyle, athletes try to impress a panel of judges with tricks and moves off jumps and rails, with degree of difficulty, style and execution factored into the scoring system.Howell scored 94.20 points at the Olympics in conditions that started off icy annd fast before becoming slow and slushy as the event progressed.ddddddddddddWith the next Games not until 2018 in Pyeongchang, South Korea, both Howell and Canadian teammate Kim Lamarre — who won bronze in womens slopestyle in Sochi — view this season as an opportunity to grow.Im looking forward to this year. I definitely want to not get ahead of myself, said Lamarre, a 26-year-old from Quebec City, Que. Theres a lot of good girls that are coming back from injury that are young and hungry. I want to keep my head in a good place and work on my tricks at my own pace.This year is not the biggest year and I just want to make sure I stay healthy for everything thats coming my way.Howell said life has been different since winning Olympic gold, but added that the title doesnt change how she prepares for events.Im just trying to go out and do the best that I can do, she said. I think that before the Olympics I put a lot of pressure on myself and I still think I put more pressure on myself than what anyone else can.The approach for this year is still to compete and still to have the mindset of competing and all that stuff, but I definitely want to keep progressing and keep learning new tricks. ' ' '