Kelly: Revered Ujiri’s time for judgment has come to pass

Maybe talk to me in a month. It is on the cusp of becoming the Eastern Conference’s Los Angeles Clippers – a club that is reliably successful when it doesn’t count, and just as reliably stumbles when it does.The only way to do that is to absorb and then mimic the criticisms.One of Ujiri’s reliable feints – and one he hit again and again on Tuesday – is that he takes personal responsibility for the team’s failures. The one man in the organization who has zero worries on that score sees it differently.Raptors president Masai Ujiri does many things well, but the secret of his success has relatively little to do with basketball. Rubbing it in would have seemed excessive. Ujiri committed himself to the general idea of change without giving a single concrete example of how that would work. “I like to watch good basketball. Is everything all right?”Inevitably, you were just standing there thinking about why you pay so much for car insurance, so you’re caught off guard: “Um, sure?”But you do come away from it feeling enlivened, even – awful word – special. Raptors president on Kyle Lowry: ‘We want him back’ (The Canadian Press)

Instead, Golden State’s Draymond Green did it for him.“I thought [Cleveland’s playoff opponents] would compete a little harder,” Green said. If you spend enough time with him, he will perform regular, radical check-ins – stopping whatever he’s doing to focus every iota of his attention on you and say things like, “What about you? Ujiri has largely managed the climb by force of personality.That steady ascent plateaued Tuesday. It’s never stuck. When you watch Cleveland play, you’re only watching one side of the good basketball. While his team dithers about in the top third of the NBA, Ujiri’s own reputation continues to grow.It’s been a long road up from working as an unpaid, couch-surfing talent scout to one of the four or five most admired executives in basketball. This summer, Ujiri will be judged entirely on his basketball decisions.Now he has to decide what he is – a builder or a caretaker. In conversation, Ujiri locks eyes with you and smiles in the right spots and reaches out to rub your arm during the important bits. Lowry isn’t likely to prefer either scenario unless he is pushed).Asked if the MLSE board is willing to spend over the yet-to-be-determined salary cap limit to keep the current team together, Ujiri said, “100 per cent.”Asked if those same suits can countenance a tear down and restart, he said, “Absolutely.”All in all, it was a masterful example of rhetorical either/or-ism. That’s kind of weak.”So after four years of careful construction, stay-the-path management and regular-season success, there’s the NBA’s verdict on where the Toronto organization is at: “Kind of weak.” It riffs a little off the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’s two-word entry for planet Earth: “Mostly harmless.”In the immediate aftermath, the key players didn’t do much to dispute the tag. Regardless of which direction he heads, Ujiri will be out there at this same point next year, taking responsibility for everything that’s happened. Ujiri said it might best be called “a day of excuses.” Then repeatedly said that he didn’t want to make any.The pull quotes might be these three: “We need a culture reset here”; “All I know is that what we have been doing has not worked”; “We have to go a different direction now.”Buried in this disorienting froth was a (not terribly emphatic) commitment to coach Dwane Casey. The fourth wall came down; the obvious questions were anticipated and subverted; your sense of where this was all headed switched back on itself several times – this was the usual locker clearout reimagined by Eugène Ionesco.“I’m going to say the famous words that you guys don’t like … I feel like talking now is BS. I forget, but you get the point.The building’s coming down around them and the Toronto Raptors are standing in the lobby repeating “please remain calm” into a bullhorn.On one level or another, all of those people are trying to protect their jobs. Though not quite the kiss of death, it may yet be.There was also the unsurprising notion that, “We want [Kyle Lowry] back.”Of course, the question isn’t whether or not you want Kyle Lowry back. And that time, it will stick to him. It’s how badly.That wasn’t addressed (though Ujiri repeatedly set up a situation in which Lowry chooses to leave of his own accord – which would mean either for less money or to a less accomplished team. It’s a philosophy you might call “progressive Trumpism,” if sports bosses hadn’t been doing it since Christ was a cowboy.What Ujiri did most importantly was capture and redirect a growing sense of frustration with the Toronto basketball team. After he’d turned the Toronto Raptors over his knee and given them a postseason paddling, LeBron James didn’t bother with a follow-up lecture.James nodded briefly at some “that’s a good team over there” blandishments and then shuffled off like some enormous B-movie lizard to level another city. Are you okay? I’ll take the questions, but I know what the questions are going to be – I hate to be like this – but I would be a bad leader if I came to you today and decided that …” – and began rattling off a long list of things that might or might not happen.It went on like that for almost an hour. It’s absolute BS that we need to do this today. I can’t tell you I’ve made a decision on anything yet. According to them, it’s all very disappointing, but, you know, the answer is hard work, perseverance, commitment … what’s another word that means “work”? Ujiri’s undivided regard has that effect.On Tuesday, he turned his sympathetic lasers on the entire Raptors fan base in what might be called an anti-press conference. It is instead a sort of urgent empathy. Why do we need to do this today?

Unheralded Mark Letestu becomes a force for the Oilers

The Oilers’ followers are so fervent that Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle took his team 900 kilometres to Kelowna, B.C., in between Games 3 and 4 to get away from them.“I walk my son to school in the morning and teachers tell me how proud they are of the Oilers,” he said. The one thing that has been consistent is the fan support. I try to hit it as hard as I can and hope it gets over the goalie’s pads.”He has had two two-goal games against the Ducks in the second round that culminates on Wednesday night. Draisaitl scored two of his three goals and Letestu got both of his as Edmonton took a 5-0 first-period lead.One fan danced in the aisles at Rogers Place, drawing roars from the crowd as he pulled off an Oilers T-shirt only to reveal another and another and another. On Sunday, Letestu had two goals and four points as Edmonton rolled over Anaheim 7-1, forcing a Game 7 in the second-round series at the Honda Center on Wednesday night.Even then, his effort was overshadowed. Fans were honking their car horns afterward in the street.The series resumes in Southern California – which is right where the Oilers want it. He received a hockey scholarship to Western Michigan University and planned to be an accountant.“There wasn’t a whole lot of interest in me,” he said. With the Oilers facing elimination, Draisaitl posted his first hat trick in the NHL and first five-point game. He is the leader on the team in faceoffs, one of its best penalty killers, and a top producer on McDavid’s No. It must be love.”Letestu was never drafted and never played at the major-junior level. Mark Letestu is so unheralded, he is not even his own five-year-old son’s favourite hockey player.“He likes Connor McDavid,” said the Edmonton Oilers’ third-line centre.Playing on a team with the NHL’s scoring leader makes it easy for Letestu to be overlooked, but the 32-year-old is quietly enjoying the best season of his career. I have kind of carved out a role on the team with it.“It is my job to shoot. When he goes home now, he makes time to skate with the local kids.His wife, Brett, was in fourth grade and he was in sixth when they met. Letestu isn’t even his second-favourite player.“I am a close third, behind Cam Talbot,” Letestu said. “I think we are ready. With six winning goals this season, Letestu tied the 20-year-old captain for the team lead.“I feel I am a good player,” he said. “We are in this as a community together. “It is cool to be a part of.”He has five goals during the Oilers’ playoff run, same as McDavid.That still doesn’t go very far with his son. That is second on the team to Leon Draisaitl – and two more than McDavid. She even stayed with me in a hotel when I played for the Wheeling Nailers. He was a top player for the Bonnyville Pontiacs in the Alberta Junior Hockey League and his jersey hangs from the rafters there. “I didn’t think I’d ever play in the NHL.”He signed as a free agent with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2007, and spent most of the next three years toiling with Wilkes-Barre of the AHL and the Nailers, a West Virginia-based outfit in the East Coast Hockey League. He is simply a hard-working guy who has found a niche as a role player. This is the right fit at the right time for me.”He is not a particularly fast skater, nor very large at a compact 5-foot-10. In each of the past four years, Anaheim has lost in a Game 7 after leading a series 3-2.“We have the ingredients to get the result we need,” Letestu said. They began dating in the last year of high school, and married in 2010. “It is just that the success that is coming my way is a little different. “It has turned into something. He was second on the team to Milan Lucic with 11 power-play goals, and has had four more in the playoffs.“There was not a lot of fanfare when I was put on the power-play unit, so I wanted to prove that I belong there,” he said. He is easy to cheer for, accommodating, affable and smart, and a small-town boy from Elk Point, Alta. In 12 playoff games, he has 11 points. 1 power-play unit. They won Games 1 and 2 on the Ducks’ home ice. “We have a gutsy group of guys. When we come on to the ice before a home game, the crowd is so loud the hair stands up on the back of my neck.”Letestu said he has only played in one Game 7 – with the Penguins – and it didn’t go well.“When I am watching Game 7s on TV, I chew my fingernails to the nub,” he said. Letestu was chosen the second star.“It was fun,” he said. We are better than people give us credit for.”That can certainly be said of Letestu. The winner will play the Nashville Predators in the Western Conference finals.The Oilers were coming off back-to-back overtime losses when they pounded Anaheim on Sunday night. She has been with me every step of the way. We are confident we can beat this team.”It has already been a career year for him, and the playoffs have been full of fits and starts. They have three young children, a McDavid fan among them.“I played hockey with her brother and then dated his sister,” Letestu said. “I was pretty lucky. He had 27 points in his rookie season with Pittsburgh in 2010-11, playing on the power play with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.The Penguins traded him to Columbus in 2011 for a fourth-round draft pick, and then he signed a three-year free-agent contract with the Oilers a few days after they drafted McDavid with the first pick in the summer of 2015.He had a career-high 16 goals this season and tied for his career high with 34 points.

Three veteran players retire from national women’s basketball team

Thorburn is doing commentary for FIBA this summer at both Eurobasket and the under-19 women’s world championships. Best day of our lives!“’ added Thorburn. On Canada Day that year, Shona Thorburn, Lizanne Murphy and Tamara Tatham helped the national women’s basketball team clinch the last available berth for the London Olympics.The trio of two-time Olympians announced their retirement from the Canadian team Tuesday — and recalled that day, in particular, as one they’ll never forget. “It is just so cool that we were a part of the growth of something.”Thorburn talked about the disheartening summers when she couldn’t “see past losing to Brazil by 40 points,” and the hard work and sacrifice to stick it out. And it’s not going to be easy. She’s proud of the legacy they leave behind.“If there are ever young basketball players who want to ask me what it was like before, I have stories,” she said. Tatham hopes to remain in the sport, perhaps as a coach.Tatham said they leave the program in good hands.“There’s a lot of young talent in Canada right now,” she said. “It’s going to be a great program in the future, and I really can’t wait to see it happen.” “I hope that’s something that they’ve learned from us, that it wasn’t always easy. We’re all experts at gyms, airports and hotels worldwide,” Murphy laughing. Murphy went on to play 145 games while Tatham played 157.The trio helped Canada qualify for back-to-back Olympics in 2012 and 2016 and win gold medals at the 2015 Pan American Games and 2015 FIBA Americas tournament.The Canadian women’s team saw a resurgence over the past decade, and the three veterans were a big part of it. “What was so special about that was since we made the senior team from an open tryout (in 2007), we thought about the London Olympics every single day for five years. They were in Lyon, France on Tuesday, before heading to Chamonix and then Italy.“It’s been a bit overwhelming to plan, because over the last 12 years we’ve never had more than 10 days off, and in those 10 days you’re always training, getting ready for the next training camp. It just meant so much to get there.”“You’ll get these messages: ‘Hey guys! They’re stepping away from the national team as it begins its quadrennial for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.With their pro seasons recently wrapped up, Thorburn was headed home to Hamilton, while Murphy and Tatham are on a three-week driving vacation around Europe. Without that 2012 summer, and what we were able to accomplish, we wouldn’t have made it to Rio either, in my opinion. I’ll never forget those girls and what we accomplished. Because that was when we realized our potential and at what level we could play at.”Thorburn, a 34-year-old from Hamilton, represented Canada from 1998 to 2003 and again from 2011 to 2016, playing 132 games in total with 107 on the senior team. Murphy, a 33-year-old from Beaconsfield, Que., and the 31-year-old Tatham, from Brampton, Ont., both joined the team in 2005, and have been close friends ever since. The “Happy Anniversary” messages have poured in every July 1 since 2012. “Because we didn’t take the easy route to get anywhere. There’s still a big step that we have to take to be competitive at the next level and I hope our experiences have taught them that they have to work harder and things like that.”The three plan to play professionally at least one more season in France. “We call it our anniversary,” Murphy said. They stuck it out through the program’s lean years, when “Canada Basketball had no money and we were sharing dorm rooms, and Teresa Gabriele and Kim (Gaucher’s) parents were baking food for us,” Murphy laughed.“We look back at those days, those were some of my fondest memories of the national team,” she said. “This is a really cool adventure.”As for their careers after basketball, Murphy plans to further her studies and is considering medical school.

Stars acquire rights to goaltender Ben Bishop from Kings

Bishop went 2-3-2 with a 2.49 goals-against average.Bishop spent parts of the past five seasons with the Lightning, reaching the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. “This offers us the opportunity to negotiate with him before the free agency period begins.”Dallas split its playing time in net last season between Kari Lehtonen, who has been with the Stars since the 2009-10 season, and Antti Niemi.Both goalies had unimpressive years while the Stars missed the playoffs, but both are under contract for next season at a combined $10.4-million. He finished second in the Vezina voting in 2016 after getting selected for the All-Star Game.Bishop also has played for Ottawa and St. “Ben has proven that he is one of the elite goaltenders in the NHL,” Dallas general manager Jim Nill said. The Dallas Stars acquired the rights to goalie Ben Bishop from the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday for a fourth-round pick in the upcoming draft.Bishop will be an unrestricted free agent this summer unless Dallas signs him before July 1, but the Stars clearly hope to secure the two-time Vezina Trophy finalist as their new starting goalie. Louis.He spent the 2004-05 season with the NAHL’s Texas Tornado, playing in the same rink that holds the Stars’ training complex in suburban Frisco. Since-fired Kings general manager Dean Lombardi engineered the trade to create an elite goaltending duo that would allow the Kings to rest Quick, who was returning from a major injury.Los Angeles still failed to make the playoffs for the second time in three seasons. The combined buyouts for both goalies would be about $3.5-million.The 6-foot-7 Bishop played just seven games after the Kings acquired him from Tampa Bay to play alongside Jonathan Quick.

Juventus beats Monaco to reach Champions League final

“Everyone has grown: the club, the players, myself. From tomorrow we have to think about what we can do in these in 20 days.“It’s right to be enthusiastic, but we’ll take it one step at a time. “Mixing with the top teams is what’s best for progression. “I don’t score very often, so I’m happy, but in a way I prefer the assist to a goal, so everyone goes home happy.”Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid meet on Wednesday for the other second-leg match, with defending champion Real Madrid leading 3-0. But Alves had a man-of-the-match performance against Monaco, setting up Mario Mandzukic’s opener in the 33rd minute before getting on the scoresheet himself on the stroke of halftime with a sensational long-range volley as Juventus swept to a 4-1 victory on aggregate.“The most important thing is to help my team to win, whether scoring or providing assists,” Alves said. We have to improve certain things, because this squad is capable of improving.”Monaco’s young team has earned a lot of admirers this season and coach Leonardo Jardim’s task will be to keep his players together, especially with many top clubs following Mbappe. This time, it could be Juve’s year, especially after it eased past the Catalan team 3-0 on aggregate in the quarterfinals.Juventus will be attempting to end a 21-year wait for a European trophy.“It’s a path that started a long time ago,” Allegri said. “But when a player is good, he’s good in June, September and the following June… The 18-year-old striker wasn’t even born when Buffon made his Serie A debut in 1995.“We leave here eliminated, but still with our heads held high,” Mbappe said. But Alves, who spent eight years at Real’s fierce rival Barcelona, insists he has no preference who Juventus meets in the final.“Playing a final is enough motivation for me,” Alves said. Have to compliment everyone. But Real still has a match to play. Dani Alves proved his critics wrong as he inspired Juventus to a 2-1 win over Monaco on Tuesday to send the Italian club to its second Champions League final in three years.Often described as being past his best when he joined Juventus from Barcelona on a free transfer last June, the 34-year-old Alves was often mocked during the season. Today we learnt a lot, I learnt a lot and we’ll try to come back next season better armed.” he hasn’t turned mediocre.“Anyways, Alves is not someone we’ve discovered in the past three months. “It doesn’t change anything for me if it is against Real Madrid, it would be a great match in world football. It won’t be Barcelona against Real Madrid, but Juventus against Real.”There was one man who Alves didn’t need to prove anything: Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri.“Three months ago, some people wanted to strangle Dani Alves,” Allegri said with a smile. He’s won 29 titles.”Kylian Mbappe scored a consolation goal in the 69th minute for Monaco, as Juventus remained on course for the treble. we don’t have many regrets about this European campaign,” he said. “My goal against Buffon didn’t help anything, it’s pretty much just anecdotal.”As for Monaco’s performances in this season’s Champions League, Mbappe saw them as valuable experience.“We had a good run … Allegri’s side is likely to secure an unprecedented sixth Serie A title on Sunday at Roma, while it is also in the Italian Cup final.Two years ago, Juventus was in a similar position but it lost the final 3-1 to Barcelona.

Indianapolis Colts to retire Peyton Manning’s number during fall ceremony

One month later, Irsay released Manning, who wound up in Denver.Since then, Irsay has said publicly he believed the Colts should have won more than one Super Bowl with Manning behind centre. So has Tony Dungy, the coach of Indy’s only Super Bowl-winning team, and front office executive Bill Polian, who drafted Manning with the first overall pick in 1998.He will become the 14th player in the Ring of Honor – and the first Indianapolis Colts player to have his number retired.Perhaps the most fitting tribute will be the Saturday afternoon party to show off the new statue outside Lucas Oil Stadium, a venue many believe Manning helped land more than a decade ago. Last fall, Peyton Manning returned to Indianapolis for a Super Bowl reunion. 7. Manning did win one more ring before retiring after the 2015 season, with the Broncos.Now, Irsay and Manning appear to be on the same page.In March 2016, Irsay and Manning held a post-retirement news conference in Indy to honour Manning’s legacy. He also set single-season league records for yards (5,477) and TD passes (55) in 2013.In a season-opening win against the Colts in 2014, Manning became the second player in league history to defeat all 32 teams. But Manning lost the three other games he played against Indy, twice at Lucas Oil Stadium, and in January 2015 at Denver in the playoffs. In October, he’s coming back for some personal honours.Team owner Jim Irsay announced Tuesday that the Colts will unveil a statue of Manning outside Lucas Oil Stadium on Oct. “Peyton will always be a Colt,” Irsay said in a statement released by the team. That’s when Irsay announced the party plans, but without a date.“I am humbled, and I am grateful to Jim and the Irsay family for this tremendous honour,” Manning said.Manning spent his first 13 seasons in Indy, where he won a record four MVP awards and his first Super Bowl title. “This will be an event our city, state and Colts fans around the world can celebrate and be proud of.”Four of Manning’s former teammates – Marvin Harrison, Marshall Faulk, Edgerrin James and Jeff Saturday – have already been inducted into the Ring of Honor. He retired after winning his second title, and a fifth MVP award with the Broncos.He won two Offensive Player of the Year awards, was voted the 2012 Comeback Player of the Year, went to 14 Pro Bowls and finished as the NFL’s career leader in yards passing (71,940) and touchdown passes (539). One day later, the Colts will honour the biggest star of their Indy era by retiring the familiar No. 18 and inducting Manning into the team’s ring of honour during a game against the San Francisco 49ers. Citizens and politicians around the city and state found it next to impossible to just say no to a player revered as much for his all-American personality and incredible community work as he was for his successes on the field.But there have been some awkward moments in the Irsay-Manning relationship.After the 2011 season, when Manning missed all 16 games with a neck injury, Irsay and Manning were involved in a public spat over the quarterback’s prognosis – with the Super Bowl in town.

Senators book spot in Eastern final with win over Rangers

“Our captain was the best man on the ice,” Derik Brassard said.The Senators will now move on to the Eastern Conference final, meeting either the Washington Capitals or the Pittsburgh Penguins, who will decide their semi-final series with a Game 7 Wednesday night in Washington. The Ottawa goaltender was awarded an assist on the play.“When they came back and cut the lead, we didn’t panic,” added Jean-Gabriel Pageau, the hero of the Ottawa home games.With their season on the line, the Rangers came out strong in the third period. The Senators got their “good job” and they finally got a victory in New York, outscoring the Rangers 4-2, with Karlsson the best player on the ice and the one who would, appropriately, score the winning goal. What we get, we need to get ourselves.”They did just that. The next series, Ottawa’s first trip to the conference final since 2007, would begin Saturday.Despite the Rangers’ previous home-ice domination of the Senators, there had been much talk in the New York sports media and talk shows about players “showing up” and “missing in action.”New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey even issued a public apology Tuesday for failing to show up at a Mets weekend game, saying he was “embarrassed” at missing curfew the night before and then golfing in the morning before a game.Rangers accused of not showing up in this Eastern Conference semi-final included three stalwarts, Rick Nash, Derek Stepan and Chris Kreider, as well as team captain Ryan McDonagh.“When he’s on top of his game he’s one of the best two-way defencemen in the league,” Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault said. It seemed such a strange thing to say, especially for a professional athlete who is also the captain of his team.“We’re going to do a good job regardless of whether we win or not.”Erik Karlsson was obviously thinking of the Ottawa Senators’ earlier matches at Madison Square Garden, when the hometown New York Rangers had humiliated Ottawa in two lopsided 4-1 playoff games. It was Zibanejad’s second of the playoffs.Just more than two minutes later, however, the Senators restored their lead when Karlsson broke down the ice, slipped a pass to Bobby Ryan moving fast down the left boards, who then sent a sweet return pass to Karlsson, who easily scored with a shot to Lundqvist’s blocker side. “We need him to be at the top of his game.”The sputtering New York power play, a meagre 2-for-20 heading into the match – 2-for-24 by the end of the game – seemed disorganized and reluctant, with fans screaming “SHOOOOT!” every time a puck came near a player in position to score.But Ottawa goaltender Craig Anderson was very solid this night, almost always in position and allowing very few rebounds.Ottawa head coach Guy Boucher had repeatedly spoken of the importance of having a good start, particularly in the opening 10 minutes of play. For Stone, who has struggled against the Rangers, it was also his fourth goal of the playoffs.“We got the start that we wanted,” a relieved Karlsson said.The Rangers were roundly booed off the ice when the opening period finally wound down.It was certainly not the start Vigneault wanted.“The only way we’re going to win tonight is if all of us come together and play a real strong game,” he said.He had hoped the energy of the crowd “rubs off,” but in the end, it was his players rubbing their fans the wrong way.Ottawa went into its expected defensive shell in the second period, hoping to hold a 2-0 lead. “We don’t expect them to be giving us anything. In Ottawa’s previous failures in Games 3 and 4, the Rangers had taken over the game early on and never relinquished their hold on the Senators.This night had to be different, Boucher said, and it was.“We expect their very best and the most urgency you can imagine,” Boucher said shortly before the players took to the ice. “They gave us everything they could.” – they took hockey’s worst penalty, too many men on the ice, but New York’s pitiful power play was unable to seize the moment.With less than seven minutes left in the game, Stepan had the best chance of his night, only to be turned aside by Anderson.With time running out, Vigneault pulled Lundqvist and Pageau scored on the empty net.Karlsson had delivered exactly as promised: “A good job.”And a win. Kreider, in fact, has always been a force in games in which his team has faced elimination, now scoring nine goals and three assists in the 20 games where the Rangers had to win a playoff series or else.Kreider had a marvellous opportunity to tie the game when Zibanejad hit him with a perfect pass and Kreider tried to go high on Anderson, but fanned on his shot.With the Senators spending most of the third period desperately trying to hold the lead, and beginning to panic – “We’re exhausted,” Clarke MacArthur said afterward. It was only the second shot of the game for the Senators.Former Ranger Derick Brassard was given a four-minute penalty for cutting Mats Zuccarello with a high stick, but the Rangers could mount little threat against Anderson.Lundqvist was mostly in good form early, at one point stopping a Karlsson drive from the slot while flat on his back.Closing in on the 15-minute mark of the first period, however, Mark Stone came over the New York blueline and fired a hard wrist shot that beat Lundqvist to the blocker side. They had lost such leads before this spring and this time it seemed again possible when, at the 13:32 mark, Zuccarello sent former Senator Mika Zibanejad on a clear breakaway and Zibanejad beat Anderson on the glove side. Only 53 seconds in, Kreider blew past Ottawa defender Cody Ceci and beat Anderson with a quick shot to the stick side.For Kreider, it was his third goal of the playoffs and offered some redemption for the criticism he had taken during this second round against the Senators. Less than five minutes into the game, Mike Hoffman scored his fourth of the postseason when he tipped a Karlsson drive from the point past Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.

Reinforcements fall short in Jays’ shutout loss to Cleveland

Bolsinger would be throwing to Mike Ohlman, who was behind the plate for the Blue Jays, but the pair did not require any formal introductions.Ohlman was making his major-league debut after getting called up the day before as a roster replacement for regular catcher Russell Martin, who landed on the 10-day disabled list with a shoulder issue.The 26-year-old was hitting .246 for the Bisons and was leading the club with seven home runs. Their makeshift lineup was unable to make any headway against the Indians (18-14), who defeated Toronto (12-21) 6-0 in a rather tepid affair played out before more than 32,000 at Rogers Centre.The Blue Jays’ anemic offence could only muster three hits over seven leisurely innings put in by Cleveland starter Carlos Carrasco, who had seven strikeouts along the cakewalk.The good news for Toronto: Jose Bautista, who came into the game batting a meagre .169, broke out of an ugly 0-for-21 skid at the plate with a single to centre in the seventh.But the club deserves at least some credit for a recent upswing in its play, in spite of all the injuries. A 4-2 win over Cleveland in the opener of the three-game series on Monday was the Blue Jays’ sixth in their past nine outings.Tuesday’s setback was compounded by the loss of designated hitter Kendrys Morales, who exited the game in the seventh inning with what the club is calling left hamstring tightness.But some help appears to be on the horizon.Toronto manager John Gibbons said before the game that Sanchez, who has been battling blister and fingernail issues, threw about 60 pitches at the club’s training facility in Dunedin, Fla., earlier in the day.He said that Sanchez came out of that activity feeling fine and that all indications is that he will come off the disabled list and return to the Blue Jays in time to start Sunday’s game against the Seattle Mariners.And starting shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, out since April 22 with a bad hamstring, is set the begin a short minor-league rehab assignment likely this weekend, meaning he could conceivably be back with the big-league club some time next week.Apart from a little wildness, Bolsinger acquitted himself just fine in his Blue Jays debut.He walked two Cleveland batters in the second inning and both would come in to score to provide the Indians with a 2-0 lead.Lonnie Chisenhall cashed the first run when he stroked a double to the power alley in left-centre. Happ, whose injury woes have torpedoed the start of the 2017 season for Toronto.The Blue Jays entered play on Tuesday with the second-worst record in the American League. With all that ails the Toronto Blue Jays – and the list is lengthy, based on the first six weeks of the Major League Baseball season – the club’s reliance on Triple-A reinforcements continues to be an issue.For Tuesday night’s game at Rogers Centre against the Cleveland Indians, Mike Bolsinger made his first start of the season for Toronto on the same day he was summoned from the ranks of the Buffalo Bisons, the Blue Jays’ top minor-league affiliate. He will be the backup to Luke Maile, who is also up from Buffalo.And if Ohlman or Bolsinger needed to seek out advice from any other recent Triple-A expats in the Toronto starting lineup, they only had to holler over to second base to Chris Coghlan, who was stationed over there to give a bit of a break to the struggling bat of Devon Travis.Coghlan also started the season in Buffalo but was promoted in mid-April following a calf injury to Josh Donaldson.Order in a plate of Buffalo chicken wings and the trio would have felt right at home.Nothing personal against Bolsinger, Ohlman and Coghlan, but they are hardly the pedigree of Martin, Donaldson, Aaron Sanchez and J.A. Yandy Diaz brought in the second on a fielder’s choice.Bolsinger would hang in to pitch 5.2-innings, allowing just the two runs off three hits while striking out four and walking four.Now leading 3-0, Cleveland put this one to bed in the eighth, where the Indians tagged Toronto reliever Aaron Loup for three runs, all courtesy of a three-run home run shot off the bat of Yan Gomes.

Ousted FIFA ethics prosecutor says ‘several hundred’ cases ongoing

It’s a question how long it takes for the new chamber to investigate these cases to the level that will bring the success.”FIFA vice-president Victor Montagliani called Eckert and Borbely “unprofessional” for speaking out, though neither has ever broken ethics rules by speaking on the record about active cases.“It’s time to give someone else an opportunity,” said Montagliani, who leads the CONCACAF confederation. “You think about yourself and I didn’t find anything. Platini out of their jobs,” Eckert said. Blatter or Mr. A judgment in that case could remove Mutko from heading the 2018 World Cup organizing committee, after he was already forced to cede his FIFA Council seat.German soccer great Frank Beckenbauer and Olympic powerbroker Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad al-Sabah of Kuwait are also under suspicion in cases of suspected fraud and bribery, respectively.Eckert and Borbely have been with the ethics court since a revamp with greater independence in 2012, and have banned multiple officials during the biggest corruption crisis in FIFA’s history, including disgraced leader Blatter and then-UEFA President Michel Platini in 2015.“It’s not easy to take Mr. I really don’t know because nobody (from FIFA) speaks with me up to now.”The departing ethics officials said the process of bringing corrupt officials to justice will now stall as new ethics officials have to learn how to navigate the global FIFA structures. And so it is a decision of the president that he makes the proposal … On Wednesday, Infantino declined to discuss the reasons for not handing new terms to Swiss prosecutor Borbely and German judge Hans-Joachim Eckert.The FIFA leader also insisted its image had not been damaged by the fallout – despite widespread comparisons of him with President Donald Trump, who also fired a top investigator onTuesday.“We are positive,” said Infantino, whose reputation for acquiring and wielding executive power matches that of predecessor Sepp Blatter.Amid mounting criticism of the Infantino’s purge of the men who have banned soccer’s top officials in recent years, only one member of his council broke rank to publicly question the decision.“I said in the meeting that we were satisfied with the work of both people,” German federation president Reinhard Grindel said, referencing Eckert and Borbely. Hundreds of prosecutions of suspected wrongdoing by soccer officials will be affected by President Gianni Infantino firing FIFA’s top judge and prosecutor.The ousted investigator, Cornel Borbely, said Wednesday that the workload – heavier than even most FIFA critics imagined – of the ethics committee will be impeded by the firing that Infantino sprung on his ruling council a day earlier. “You have to develop this practice, this knowhow. “Imagine where FIFA would be today without an ethics committee.”Current investigations include Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko for links to covering up doping cases. It looks so easy and it is not easy.”FIFA said that its ruling council proposed Greek judge Vassilios Skouris and Colombian lawyer Maria Claudia Rojas for approval by the congress of all soccer nations on Thursday. “I asked because the general secretary (Fatma Samoura) made a statement in the media a few weeks ago that they will support both. Should we (do it)? Can we do (it)? you have to ask Infantino why he made this proposal.”Only a day before Tuesday’s council meeting, Grindel said he asked Samoura’s office “if there were any announcements that Borbely and Eckert will be displaced and they said no, they had no information.”Eckert and Borbely said they discovered they were being removed from heading the two FIFA ethics chambers on their phones as they arrived in Bahrain on Tuesday for the FIFA Congress.“First I was astonished, second I was disappointed because I am trying to ask myself, ‘Have I done something wrong?“’ Eckert said in an interview. Borbely said his “removal was unnecessary and because of that political,” and called it a “setback for the fight against corruption.”“We investigated several hundred cases and several hundred are still pending and ongoing at this moment,” Borbely added at a joint news conference with Eckert. Borbely said there’s “no period of transition” to the new ethics leadership for the ongoing cases.“They do not have the experience from Day 0,” Borbely said. “You are thinking quite a long time, is it correct?