Sunderland skipper John O’Shea is keeping his fingers crossed for new signings as head coach Dick Advocaat attempts to avoid another survival fight. Press Association Asked what the target for the season was, O’Shea told a BBC radio Newcastle phone-in: “To improve on last season, that has to be your target – to make sure we are not going into the last couple of games keeping away from the bottom of the table. “There’s still obviously a couple of weeks to go in the transfer window, so in a couple of weeks we will know the full depth of our squad. “We have lost Adam [Johnson] the other day for a good few weeks now as well – you are going to get things like that and if we do get a few additions in, you would be hoping that’s the competition that the manager spoke about for increasing the depth of the squad, but also the quality of the squad. “It’s improving on last season, it’s always the case. You are hoping to improve on last season, without a doubt.” Borini, of course, rejected the opportunity to make a permanent move to the Stadium of Light last summer after a successful loan spell, opting instead to take his chances with parent club Liverpool. That decision ultimately did not work for the Italian and Sunderland fans are divided over the prospect of launching another bid to take him back to Wearside. However, O’Shea has no such qualms. He said: “I know the type of character he is – and obviously you saw it yourself on the pitch, how he plays – he is so positive, so in Fabio’s mind, he was going back to Liverpool to play, to break in. “Obviously it didn’t go to plan for him, so now he’s got another step in his career to make.” In the meantime, 34-year-old O’Shea, who was an unused substitute for the debacle at the King Power Stadium, and his team-mates will attempt to bounce back when promoted Norwich head for the north-east this weekend to face a side intent on turning the draws which caused them such a problem last season into wins. The Republic of Ireland international said: “What the manager showed towards the end of last season – it was obviously the situation he came into, but he wants to go and attack, he wants to have a go at teams. “He makes his changes not to worry about other teams, he’s making changes in the team to affect us going forward to score goals. I think that will see us definitely winning more games than drawing.” Advocaat was left admitting he needed reinforcements as last Saturday’s 4-2 drubbing at Leicester on the opening day of the new Barclays Premier League campaign rekindled memories of successive desperate fights against relegation. The loss of winger Adam Johnson to a shoulder injury for at least eight weeks has exacerbated the need for further arrivals, and the Black Cats have been linked with Manchester United youngster Adnan Januzaj and former loan signing Fabio Borini in recent days.
The Atlanta Braves announced the name of their new ballpark during their groundbreaking ceremony in Cobb County, Ga., a suburban of Atlanta.The Braves will play in the soon-to-be SunTrust Park, named after the Atlanta-based SunTrust Banks, Inc., one of the nation’s largest banking organizations which boasts a 25-year relationship with the team.SunTrust chairman and CEO William H. Rogers Jr. used to the platform to announce a $100,000 donation from the SunTrust Foundation to the Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Foundation as homage to Major League Baseball’s all-time home run king.The philanthropic gesture did little, however, to stem the criticism of the stadium’s name. Still, SunTrust brass are pleased at helping to write a new chapter in the history of the Braves.“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to partner with a great organization that shares our values for winning and serving the community,” Rogers said in a statement to press. “This partnership provides SunTrust increased visibility on a regional and national level through a truly unique mixed-use development that will attract fans and visitors throughout the year. Importantly, it will help us reach more people as we fulfill our bank’s purpose of lighting the way to financial well-being.”The Braves are scheduled to take ownership of their new stadium at the commencement of the 2017 season. The move will take them from their current location in the economically deprived area near downtown Atlanta and will be located on the outer edge of Atlanta’s bustling northwest side at the intersection of I-75 and I-285 in the bustling Cumberland CID. The stadium will be sandwiched comfortably by surrounding development that includes a vibrant atmosphere with unique shops, restaurants and entertainment venues that is accessible 365 days a year, not only on Braves game days.“The new ballpark constitutes a new chapter in Atlanta Braves baseball, and we are excited that SunTrust has decided to build upon our decades-long relationship and embark on this journey with us,” said Atlanta Braves Chairman and CEO Terry McGuirk. “Both of our organizations have deep roots in Atlanta and loyal fans throughout the Southeast and across the nation. We couldn’t imagine a more perfect partner and look forward to seeing the first pitch at SunTrust Park in 2017.”Unfortunately, not many of the fans are as excited as the Braves and SunTrust braintrust are over the name of the new playing field, SunTrust Stadium. In fact, many are downright repulsed that the beloved team will be christened with the name of a financial institution.Many took to social media to articulate their indignation. Take a look at a sampling of the responses.
In this July 31, 2004 file photo former Kansas City Royals second baseman Frank White poses next to a bronze statue of him during a dedication ceremony for the statue at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. White was a member of the team that won the World Series in 1985, the last time Kansas City made the playoffs. White calls the area home and is running for a spot on the Jackson County Legislature. Kansas City has changed greatly since White’s team won it all in 1985, even its fans, White says. “These fans are a totally different group of fans than we were accustomed to. They treat it more like a football game than baseball.” (AP Photo/Ed Zurga, File)KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The game had been over for hours. Kauffman Stadium had gone dark. The roars of a sold-out crowd, which had rooted the Kansas City Royals to a sweep of the mighty Los Angeles Angels, had drifted away into the cool night air.A few miles away, at a bar and grill called McFadden’s, the party was just beginning.Greg Holland had showed up, the All-Star closer watching with a grin as highlights of the game played on television. Salvador Perez and Jarrod Dyson, both integral parts in the Royals’ playoff push, posed with fans for more pictures than they could count. First baseman Eric Hosmer put down his credit card and for a full hour picked up the tab for hundreds of strangers.“It’s fun to get to enjoy it with the whole entire city. It’s a special time,” Hosmer said a few days later. “I think the buildup to this, it’s been so long. They’ve been hungry for a winner. What we’re doing now has just been a blast.”So much so that Hosmer didn’t mind his credit card taking a hit — he shared the $15,000 bar bill with some teammates — after beating the Angels in their AL Divisional Series.“We realize how bad the fans want it, how bad the city wants it,” Hosmer explained. “I think this team symbolizes the attitude of this city — tough, we’re not going to quit and we’re going to fight to the end. It’s a pretty special bond we’ve created.”It’s a pretty rare bond, too, in modern professional sports.As the Royals prepare to play the San Francisco Giants in the World Series on Tuesday night, capping their first postseason appearance since winning the title in 1985, the relationship they have established with their long-suffering fans harkens back to a bygone era.It’s reminiscent of a time when players lived in the same neighborhood as working-class fans, because they too were working class. When they had to find offseason jobs just to make ends meet, long before million-dollar contracts. When you walked into the barbershop or the supermarket and would see Duke Snider or Red Schoendienst getting a trim or perusing the vegetables.Only now, players and fans are connecting over drinks at a bar in the trendy Power and Light District of Kansas City. Or they’re connecting on Twitter in 140-word bursts.Didn’t hear about that one? Well, life-long Royals fan Nicholas Knapple didn’t have the cash for playoff tickets, so he messaged a few players on Twitter with a plea. One of them was Brandon Finnegan. The rookie pitcher promptly hooked him up.Knapple found himself watching Game 3 of the AL Championship Series against the Baltimore Orioles with his girlfriend and Finnegan’s mom — and an entire section filled with friends and family of other Royals players.“After the seventh inning, his mom told us we were going downstairs for the celebration,” Knapple said in a phone interview. “So after the game, we got to go down outside the clubhouse. We got to meet Danny Duffy, take pictures. It was unbelievable.”About as unbelievable as the Royals’ postseason run.The happy marriage between the Royals and their fans was a rocky relationship earlier this summer. Third baseman Mike Moustakas was getting booed off the field. Manager Ned Yost had gone back to using an alias when he ordered at Starbucks. Even longtime designated hitter Billy Butler was starting to feel the wrath of a fan base that had been pining for success.Then two fans popped onto the Royals’ radar, and things seemed to change.One was Tim Grimes, a 28-year-old fan battling Stage 4 cancer. Doctors gave him a 5 percent chance of surviving the next 18 months. He is spending it relishing every pitch and every hit.The other was SungWoo Lee, a fan from South Korea. He wakes up in the middle of the night, every night, to watch the Royals online. In August, he finally made it to Kansas City.
Submitted By Ben Deatherage for Grays Harbor RacewayWith Saturday September 28 getting rained out that would formally end the point battles of Grays Harbor Raceway in 2013. Of the five championship classes only one driver would earn his first career title while three would repeat their 2012 crowns.Jay Cole earned his eighth career GHR 360 Sprint title, ninth overall as he was the 1991 Hobby Stock champ, to his illustrious career. Joe German would hold on by just four points to win in the Shipwreck Beads IMCA Modifieds and for the third year in a row would be atop the points table in that tough division. Chase Goetz dominated the USAC Ford Focus Midget ranks winning all but two main events to earn his first career championship at Grays Harbor Raceway.In the Cut Rate Auto Parts Street Stocks Jason Tole captured his third career, and second straight, title in the division. Backing up his 2012 crown Chad Norton would win the 2013 edition by just four markers.Grays Harbor Raceway just has one race left in the 2013 campaign and that is next Saturday October 5th. That event will feature the Northwest Extreme Sprints, Cut Rate Auto Parts Street Stocks, and Hornets and will be non-points. For more information log on to www.graysharborraceway.com or call the Northwest Information Hotline at (360)-699-RACE. Facebook0Tweet0Pin0