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26/03/2018

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TORONTO – R. T.J. Yeldon Jersey .A. Dickey said it best after Casey Janssens disastrous ninth inning coughed up a 4-2 lead and sent the Blue Jays to their sixth loss in seven games, a 5-4 defeat to the Tigers. "They all hurt," said Dickey, who stood to win after tossing six innings of two-run ball. "From here on in it all matters. It mattered back in May when we were losing a game or winning a game. It matters. It always matters." Yes, all losses hurt and its understood there will be plenty of them over the course of a long, 162-game season. Some will hurt more than others and it has to do with a combination of timing and circumstances. First, the timing: the Blue Jays are about to embark on a stretch of three games in which they will face the last three American League Cy Young award winners. It happens theyll face the three pitchers in order, starting with the most recent. Max Scherzer, last seasons winner, hurls on Saturday. David Price, acquired from Tampa Bay on July 31, was voted the ALs best pitcher in 2012. A road trip begins in Seattle on Monday against the 2011 winner, the man known as "King" and who has a court of yellow-shirted minions down Safeco Fields leftfield line, Felix Hernandez. "Thats a tough one," said manager John Gibbons. "Theres no question. Thats a tough one." The Blue Jays are looking up at the Yankees and the Royals and maybe the Mariners, pending Seattles late result on Friday, in the race for the second wild card spot. Its available to any of the above-mentioned teams and more. Its important for Toronto not to allow too many clubs in-between; that creates increased difficulty in nailing down that playoff spot. Dont worry about the Orioles for the moment. They were busy blasting the Cardinals all over Baltimore to stretch their lead in the American League East to six over the now-third place Blue Jays. Janssen was hit hard. J.D. Martinez lined a shot to the left-centre field gap to start the ninth. One out later, with Martinez on third, Nick Castellanos caught a hanging breaking ball and deposited it over the left field wall to tie the score. Next up, shortstop Eugenio Suarez belted a go-ahead homer off the facing of the batters eye in dead centre field. Janssen was pulled one out later after allowing an Ian Kinsler double. Three runs on four extra-base hits in two-thirds of an inning. The crowd, and Janssen, was stunned. "My arm felt great," said Janssen. "I felt great and you know what? They beat me." Janssen has pitched to a 9.72 ERA since the All-Star Break. Hes long since over a virus, perhaps food poisoning, he contracted during a vacation to the Dominican Republic. Still, he hasnt been the same. "I havent pitched that great," said Janssen. "Sometimes things can be streaky. Right now it doesnt seem like its streaking in the right direction for me but Ive just got to continue to work, to continue to execute pitches and maybe at times mix up what Ive been doing. The hitters might be adjusting to me so now its my turn to adjust to them. Im not quitting and weve got a long ways to go." Theres a lot of baseball left to be played. Why not start with three games against three of the sports best pitchers? Chris Ivory Jersey .The law passed on Friday, in a 128-62 vote in the lower chamber of parliament, was prompted by FIFA bribery scandals in recent years.Switzerland-based sports leaders such as FIFA President Sepp Blatter and IOC President Thomas Bach are now classed as politically exposed persons in wider legislation covering money-laundering. A.J. Bouye Jersey .Y. - Major League Soccer is prepared to start its season this weekend even if there isnt a labour deal with its referees and other on-field officials. FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Geno Smith is the new face of the franchise for the New York Jets. Well, at least for the opening game of the season. Beyond that, well see. The rookie quarterback will start in the opener at home Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The team finally confirmed Wednesday what had been expected since Mark Sanchez injured his right shoulder in a preseason game against the Giants on Aug. 24. "Theyll try to rattle my cage," Smith said about the Buccaneers. "I expect those guys to come out fired up and they want to make a statement. Theyve got a rookie quarterback and theyll want to hit me and get me off my game, but I expect those things. And I look forward to it." But, will Greg Schianos defence be able to unnerve him? "No," Smith said with a confident smile. Smith, who had an up-and-down preseason, was the teams second-round draft pick out of West Virginia after he was projected by many to be selected early in the opening round. After Smith threw three interceptions and took a safety in three-plus quarters against the Giants, it was widely assumed Sanchez had won the job. But Rex Ryan chose to put Sanchez in the game in the fourth quarter -- and he suffered the injury that could sideline him several weeks. "We realize that a rookie quarterback and all that, thats certainly a challenge," Ryan said. "I think our guys are ready to rally behind Geno, and the big thing weve told Geno is, You just have to be part of the solution." Despite announcing Smith as the starter for this week, Ryan wouldnt commit to him as the long-term guy under centre. It was an approach that was echoed by owner Woody Johnson and general manager John Idzik. "Well always put the best player we can on the field on Sunday, and that will continue," Johnson said. "The competitions ongoing." With Smith stepping into the starters role, it makes Sanchezs status with the team unclear. Ryan has still never declared a winner to the competition -- and he might not ever do so. If Smith can be solid during Sanchezs absence, he could make it hard for Ryan to pull him. And, by never saying whether Smith or Sanchez had won the job, Ryan would never technically have benched the anointed starter. While many look at the move as the team moving forward with a new quarterback, Idzik was asked if, when healthy, Sanchez has a chance to be the starter again. "Yes, of course he does," Idzik said. The Jets also have the inexperienced Matt Simms, who had a terrific preseason, and recently signed journeyman Brady Quinn. But with Sanchez not ready to play Sunday, the choice for Ryan, Idzik and offensive co-ordinator Marty Mornhinweg was easy for this week. "Well go through some ups and downs, I guarantee you that," Mornhinweg told the teams website. "Knowing Geno, hopefully there will be more ups than there are downs." Smith was off to a great start in training camp, going several practices without throwing an interception and outperforming Sanchez on some days. But Smith sprained his right ankle in the third quarter of the Jets preseason opener at Detroit and didnt play in the second game against Jacksonville because of the injury. He started against the Giants, with the general thought being he could potentially secure the starting job with a soliid performance. Myles Jack Jersey. Instead, Smith showed his inexperience during a miserable performance -- hurt in part by his ailing ankle -- that appeared to tip the tightly contested competition in Sanchezs favour. "I dont think Ive been rushed," said Smith, who took 69 snaps in preseason games. "They wouldnt put me out there if they didnt think I was ready." But the quarterback situation changed when Sanchez took a crunching hit to the shoulder from the Giants Marvin Austin. "We all regret that Mark got hurt, and obviously thats unfortunate," Ryan said. "Its unfortunate that it happened, but these things do happen and weve moved on." The Jets have said only that Sanchez -- the starter since his rookie season in 2009 -- was day to day with simply a "shoulder injury." The fact he hasnt practiced since, and the Jets signing Quinn on Monday were signs that Sanchezs injury was more serious than the team was initially letting on. But placing Sanchez on injured reserve doesnt appear to be an option at the moment. "Were not looking at that," Idzik said. Smith said his ankle is "steadily improving," and is "a ways away" from where it was in training camp, when he wasnt able to fully drive the ball as he planted his foot. "Nothing is given in this league," Smith said about needing to prove himself each week. "Im going to go out there and Im going to do that." Sanchez was once considered the future of the franchise, a terrific talent with GQ looks, and consecutive trips to the AFC title game in his first two years drew natural comparisons to Joe Namath. But Sanchez struggled over the next few seasons, including an NFL-leading 52 turnovers the last two years, and failed to develop into the elite passer the Jets had hoped. Ryan benched Sanchez for a game last season and it appeared his days in New York were numbered. His contract, however, and the $8.25 million in guarantees for this year made him unmovable. Still some have speculated that the Jets could simply cut Sanchez and move forward entirely with Smith. "Mark is going to be on the team," Johnson said. "I dont think theres a question." It appeared in spring that the Jets would let Sanchez compete with veteran David Garrard for the starting job. During the draft in April, the Jets went for defence with their two first-round picks, selecting cornerback Dee Milliner and defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson. But when their pick came up in the second round and Smith was still available, they jumped at the chance to take him. In May, knee trouble caused Garrard to retire, leaving the competition between Sanchez and Smith. A few months later, Smith has the opportunity -- starting Sunday against Tampa Bay -- to try to prove he might be the type of franchise-changing quarterback the Jets have been looking for. "Id like to be," Smith said. "Thats a tough question, but honestly, Id love to be the franchise quarterback here. I think thats the reason they brought me here." NOTES: Ryan announced that Vladimir Ducasse would start at left guard, and Antonio Allen would start at safety opposite Dawan Landry. Those were the two other main competitions in training camp. ... 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