Sprots

  Robinson Cano fires Scott Boras, Yankees second baseman signs with Jay-Z’s new Roc Nation Sports 

Cano has known Jay-Z for a while, so he was intrigued when he learned of the new sports management agency. The soon-to-be free agent second baseman just hired Scott Boras as his agent in 2011

Robinson Cano, who figures to be the premiere free agent in this year’s class, drops agent Scott Boras for Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports agency, a parter of super agency CAA.

He once boasted in a song that he made “the Yankee cap more famous than a Yankee can.” Now rapper/mogul Jay-Z is part of a team that will try to make Robinson Cano one of the richest Yankees ever.
Cano dumped super agent Scott Boras and hired Jay-Z’s new sports group on Tuesday, adding intrigue to the second baseman's upcoming free agency, and, perhaps, increasing the chances Cano will sign a lucrative contract extension to stay in the Bronx for the rest of his career.
In fact, one friend of Cano’s told the Daily News: “He wants to remain a Yankee. He wants his money, but he’s anxious to sign. He didn’t think that could happen with Boras, as far as signing anytime soon.”
It is a story that features a swirl of boldface names, from Jay-Z, a cap-wearing Yankee fan, to Alex Rodriguez to LeBron James to some of baseball’s biggest stars. Cano hired Roc Nation Sports, a new sports management company founded by Shawn (Jay-Z) Carter, to represent him. Powerful CAA Sports, which represents players such as Ryan Braun, Roy Halladay and Buster Posey, has partnered with Roc Nation Sports in the venture. CAA agents will handle negotiations for Cano’s next baseball contract.
“At this point in my career, I am ready to take a more active role in my endeavors both on and off the field,” Cano said in a statement released by the agency. “I am confident that the pairing of Roc Nation Sports and CAA Sports will be essential in helping me accomplish my short and long-term goals. I am making this important decision now so I can keep my focus on helping the Yankees succeed in 2013, while minimizing any distractions for me and my teammates.”
Cano’s friend also said he believed Rodriguez had offered input on the switch. Rodriguez, a former Boras client, has had CAA ties and is friends with Jay-Z, who helped convince A-Rod in 2007 that Rodriguez should stay in New York after he triggered the opt-out clause in his contract.
Cano recently met another Jay-Z pal — James. During the World Baseball Classic, Cano went to a Miami Heat game and schmoozed with the mega-star, and James signed a pair of high tops for Cano, who tweeted a picture of himself and James.
RELATED: AGENT: JAY-Z 'DOESN'T KNOW S--- ABOUT BASEBALL,' CANO'S MOVE 'NAIVE'
Some reports have speculated that meeting was set up to facilitate Cano’s switch.
Cano, the friend said, has been uptight about his contract situation recently and does not want too much attention on his looming free agency. Cano could make more than $200 million when he signs.
According to a source, Cano had been looking for new representation, apparently unhappy with Boras. Cano hired Boras in February of 2011 after previously being repped by Bobby Barad. At the time, it appeared to be a move perhaps designed to get the richest contract possible because of Boras’ preference for his clients to be open to bidders as free agents.
Cano has known Jay-Z for a while, so he was intrigued when he learned of the new sports management agency. He made the decision to fire Boras and sign on with Roc Nation Sports over the weekend.

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Simmons, Howard/New York Daily News

Jay-Z and Beyonce have been semi-regulars at Yankee Stadium over the years.

“Because of my love of sports, it was a natural progression to form a company where we can help top athletes in various sports the same way we have been helping artists in the music industry for years,” Jay-Z said in a statement released by CAA.
Boras told the Daily News on Tuesday afternoon that Cano had not yet informed him of the change.
“I have not spoken to Robinson,” Boras said. “I hope to hear from him soon.”
RELATED: JETER WON'T BE READY WHEN DL STINT ENDS: CASHMAN
Now Cano will be managed by a team of agents, led by CAA's Brodie Van Wagenen. Van Wagenen said in a phone interview he wouldn’t publicly comment on negotiations or Cano’s plans, but noted, “It’s fair to recognize that Robbie has enjoyed his experience in New York. He’s performed well here, the team has performed well and he’s enjoyed the city and fans. That’s something he doesn’t take lightly.
“Our mandate is to help him achieve his goals. We’ll map out a game plan. The ability to minimize his distractions is certainly a top priority and will drive all of this.”
Jay-Z himself intends to get accredited as an agent by the Major League Baseball Players Association, according to two sources. He has already has been granted temporary, limited approval status – the kind given to players’ marketing reps – a union source said.
So while Van Wagenen will lead Cano’s team of agents, Jay-Z will be in the loop and could be sitting at the bargaining table if and when Yankee brass sit down to talk contract. “Jay and I will be intimately involved in helping Robinson achieve his business desires,” Van Wagenen said.
One baseball insider called Cano “naïve” for signing with Jay-Z.
“Jay-Z is a New York celebrity,” the source said. “This is not a game you play three days a week. This is not going to work for Robinson.”
Still, there are some who believe that Cano switched so he could stay in pinstripes. Several big CAA baseball clients have signed long-term extensions with their original teams, including Posey, Braun and the Giants’ Matt Cain.
Yankee bigwigs, including Hal Steinbrenner, have said the Yankees want to keep Cano, and the club made what it has called a “significant” offer this spring. Tuesday, team president Randy Levine reiterated the club’s desire to keep Cano, saying, “We’ve made no secret, we value Robinson Cano, we think he’s a great player and want him to be a Yankee for a long time.”

( From NYdailynews )



NCAA Tournament: The Madness continues on Day 2

University of Minnesota guard Andre Hollins reacts after hitting a three-point basket as University of California Los Angeles guard Norman Powell runs behind him during the second half of their second round NCAA basketball game in Austin, Texas March 22, 2013.
Travis Releford #24 of the Kansas Jayhawks slam dunks against George Fant #44 of the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers in the second half during the second round of the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at the Sprint Center on March 22, 2013 in Kansas City, Missouri.
 A Creighton Bluejays cheerleader performs during a break in the game against the Cincinnati Bearcats during the second round of the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament on March 22, 2013 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
 A James Madison Dukes cheerleader performs on the court during a game stoppage in the first half against the Indiana Hoosiers during the second round of the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at UD Arena on March 22, 2013 in Dayton, Ohio.

 George Marshall #3 of the Wisconsin Badgers fights to maintain possession of a loose ball against Marshall Henderson #22 and Derrick Millinghaus #3 of the Ole Miss Rebels in the second half during the second round of the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at the Sprint Center on March 22, 2013 in Kansas City, Missouri.
 Sam Thompson #12 of the Ohio State Buckeyes dunks the ball against Lamont Jones #2 of the Iona Gaels during the second round of the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at UD Arena on March 22, 2013 in Dayton, Ohio.


A cheerleader for the San Diego State Aztecs performs against the Oklahoma Sooners during the second round of the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Wells Fargo Center on March 22, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


( From NYdailynews )

 


U.S. defeats Costa Rica 1-0 in World Cup qualifier as snowy weather creates controversy about if game should have been played"

Ultimately, Clint Dempsey, America’s singular difference-maker, was the hero once again. He scored the lone goal in the 16th minute, charging into the correct spot inside the box when Jozy Altidore’s shot deflected off Roy Miller, the Costa Rican defender.

Herculez Gomez runs through to snow to celebrate with his U.S. teammates after Clint Dempsey scores the lone goal of the game. 

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — All is fair in World Cup qualifiers, perhaps, but what took place on Friday night in the high plains of Colorado stretched the accepted bounds of home-field advantage and of all common sense.
To the credit of the U.S. national soccer team, its players somehow managed to follow the thudding, yellow soccer ball somewhere in the snow drifts and overcome near white-out conditions. The Americans captured a critical 1-0 victory over Costa Rica and moved into second place in the final Hexagonal round, next heading to Mexico City. To the mortification of the U.S. Soccer Federation, the match was staged in a winter wonderland and arguably the most absurd conditions in the history of this sport.
This is Colorado in March, and the Costa Ricans did not appreciate the venue.
“It was not fair, not fair,” said Costa Rica coach Jorge Luis Pinto. “It was an embarrassment for soccer and FIFA tonight. There was no respect at all. The referees don’t know the game if they allow it to be played in these conditions.”
The spectacle made for great television, surely, in the comfort of living rooms. It was fun, it was stupid, it was clumsy, it was more like Brazilian beach soccer than real soccer. And it ended very happily for Jurgen Klinsmann.
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Dustin Bradford/ Getty Images

Geoff Cameron of the U.S. (l.) fights for the ball through snowy conditions in the World Cup qualifer game against Costa Rica. 

“It was a nice snow battle,” Klinsmann insisted. “I kind of grew up in the snow. I played those games when I was little for many years. You try to push the ball into the opponents’ area. You can’t pass. That’s a game you can’t play anymore. You play the balls down the line.”
Ultimately, Clint Dempsey, America’s singular difference-maker, was the hero once again. He scored the lone goal in the 16th minute, charging into the correct spot inside the box when Jozy Altidore’s shot deflected off Roy Miller, the Costa Rican defender.
Miller is the same cursed Red Bulls defender who hurt his MLS team two weeks ago by purposely encroaching into the box on an opponent’s penalty kick. This time, Miller inadvertently set up Dempsey, who has made a career of this sort of opportunism. Dempsey finished the play nicely. He also should have earned a penalty kick late in the first half when he was undercut in the box, but referee Joel Aguilar from El Salvador ignored the infraction.
At halftime, snow plows and dozens of shovelers raced against the accumulations to clear the lines and burrow down near the grass. The crews succeeded to some degree, but passes could not be strung together and free kicks died on the snow. You wouldn’t wish such conditions on a fourth-grade rec team, let alone two finely tuned national sides.
The match was temporarily halted in the 55th minute, allowing Aguilar and match supervisor Victor Daniel from Grenada to confer. Pinto asked for the match to be suspended. Instead the lines were merely cleared.
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Dustin Bradford

The U.S. soccer team poses for a picture before its game against Costa Rica. 

“They didn’t respond,” said Pinto, who was also upset that the Americans held their postmatch press conference first.
Given such a wacky scenario, the Americans did as well as can be expected. They survived a double-post header goal by Costa Rica late in the match that was correctly ruled offside by a linesman. They maintained their poise, created a couple of decent chances for Dempsey and Altidore, and adequately protected goalkeeper Brad Guzan. It probably helped that conditions slowed the swift Costa Rican attackers.
Somehow, after a week under siege, Klinsmann came out smelling like a rose.
“It was a big step for us tonight to get the first three points. I would have done anything not to stop (the match),” said Klinsmann, who was lobbying with officials on the field in what he called “bad Spanish” to keep the match moving along.
U.S. Soccer now can point to the three points as justification for this sham and note that other federations in the CONCACAF region have been nearly as guilty of such nonsense.
“We can’t second-guess ourselves,” said Sunil Gulati, president of U.S. Soccer. “Do you think about it? Sure. But second-guessing doesn’t do any good. It’s been a perfect week in Denver until two hours before kickoff. (The snow) wasn’t the plan. If we wanted to play Costa Rica in snow, we could have played in Boston.”

 ( From NYdailynews )

 

No. 14 Harvard pulls stunning upset of No. 3 New Mexico in NCAA Tournament West Region stunner that busts many brackets.

The Ivy League advanced for the first time in the tournament since a very good Cornell team made the regional semifinals in 2010. It also was Harvard’s first NCAA tourney win.

The No. 14 Harvard Crimson celebrate after pulling off the biggest upset of the 2013 NCAA Tournament so far - a shocking 68-62 win over No. 3 New Mexico.

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - MARCH 21:  Head coach Tommy Amaker of the Harvard Crimson reacts in the second half while taking on the New Mexico Lobos during the second round of the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at EnergySolutions Arena on March 21, 2013 in Salt Lake City, Utah.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Harvard coach Tommy Amaker.

SALT LAKE CITY — Wesley Saunders scored 18 points and Laurent Rivard had 17 to help 14th-seeded Harvard pull off Thursday’s biggest upset in the NCAA tournament, a 68-62 win over No. 3 New Mexico in the West regional.
The Ivy League advanced for the first time in the tournament since a very good Cornell team made the regional semifinals in 2010. It also was Harvard’s first NCAA tourney win.
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Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Kendall Williams and the New Mexico Lobos couldn't score late and pay the price falling to prehaps the next Cinderella of March Madness.

PHOTOS: IVY SEIGE! HARVARD TAKES OVER DAY ONE OF TOURNEY
The Mountain West Conference, judged one of the top two leagues in college basketball all season, fell to 1-3 so far this week.
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Rick Bowmer/AP

Harvard's Siyani Chambers celebrates after the final buzzer.

Harvard (20-9) tries to keep it going Saturday against sixth-seeded Arizona.
PHOTOS: NCAA TOURNAMENT 2013: HERE COMES THE MADNESS!
New Mexico closes the season at 29-6. Alex Kirk had 22 points for the Lobos, a popular pick to make the Final Four who, instead, still haven’t made it out of the first weekend since 1974.
( From NYdailynews )

 

 

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