will air its first game and its

in F r e i s t i l 19.09.2018 03:53
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Robinson Elandon Roberts Jersey , who?

At least that’s what some in Seattle are asking as the Mariners return to Safeco Field on Friday night to face the Kansas City Royals in the opener of a nine-game homestand.

The Mariners have gone a surprising 29-14, taking hold of the American League’s second wild card without eight-time All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano, who was suspended 80 games by Major League Baseball in mid-May for using performance-enhancing drugs.

On that day, Mariners manager Scott Servais brought together his team and delivered a simple message.

“He just said, ‘We’re a good team. We can still do this,'” left-hander James Paxton told The Washington Post. “Losing Robbie was a blow to the team. But we knew at the time everyone would have to step up to fill the void. No one guy could replace Robinson Cano.”

The results have surprised even Servais.

“Quite frankly, I couldn’t have predicted we’d go on the run we did without having your three-hole, All-Star second baseman,” the manager told The Post.

After 10 straight games against the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, a span in which they went 3-7 Nick Nelson Jersey , the Mariners swept a four-game series at the Baltimore Orioles, who are in last place in the American League East.

Next up are the Royals, the AL Central cellar-dwellers.

“We’re (20) games over .500 — that bad stretch (against the Red Sox and Yankees) didn’t do anything to our confidence,” the Mariners’ Dee Gordon told The Post earlier this week. “It’s just — sometimes you lose. Every team goes through a low stretch. We’ll be fine.”

Seattle designated hitter Nelson Cruz, the reigning AL Player of the Week, returned to the cleanup spot in the lineup Thursday after missing two games with lower back tightness. He went 3-for-5 with a home run and three RBIs as the Mariners beat the Orioles 4-2 in 10 innings.

Royals right-hander Ian Kennedy (1-7, 5.09 ERA) is scheduled to start the series opener Friday against Mariners left-hander Marco Gonzales (7-5, 4.04).

Kennedy, who is winless in 14 starts since a 1-0 victory on April 7 at Cleveland, has allowed two or fewer runs in nine of his 16 starts this season. He’s 2-2 with a 3.38 ERA in four career starts against the Mariners.

Gonzales is 0-1 with a 12.79 ERA in two career starts against the Royals. He suffered a 10-0 defeat on April 9 at Kansas City Coby Fleener Jersey , allowing four runs and eight hits in 2 1/3 innings.

The Royals are coming off a 5-4 victory Wednesday at Milwaukee. It was the first time they’ve scored five runs since June 2. They’ll be seeking their first back-to-back wins since May 29-30.

“It’s not frustration,” Royals manager Ned Yost told MLB.com of his team’s month. “Well, that’s a lie. We’re all frustrated. I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ve never seen an offensive drought like we’ve had all month long. It’s pretty puzzling. There’s no answer for it.”

Kansas City outfielder Jorge Bonifacio was recalled from Triple-A Omaha on Thursday. Bonifacio, who hit .255 with 17 home runs as a rookie last season, had been serving his own 80-game MLB suspension for a failed drug test.

Two new football leagues have formed this year, with the Alliance of American Football announcing that it will start play in 2019 and the XFL announcing that it will start in 2020. But as the AAF makes concrete plans that show it has a real backing, it raises questions about whether the XFL will be too far behind to catch up.

The AAF has already announced that several credible, well-known coaches have agreed to coach teams in its league, which will begin play in February: Steve Spurrier will coach the Orlando team, Rick Neuheisel will coach the Phoenix team Joshua Garnett Jersey , Dennis Erickson will coach the Salt Lake City team, Mike Singletary will coach the Memphis team and Brad Childress will coach the Atlanta team (with Michael Vick as his offensive coordinator).

Meanwhile, the XFL is tweeting about taking suggestions from fans about where their franchises should be located. No XFL franchises, coaches or league executives, other than Vince McMahon, have been announced.

The AAF has also already begun the process of explaining what will differentiate its league from the NFL. That includes rules like eliminating kickoffs, and an open-door policy to Colin Kaepernick, who is currently suing the NFL and saying its owners have colluded to keep him out of the league. The XFL has said it will provide an exciting brand of football but offered no specifics.

Most importantly, the AAF will air its first game and its championship game on CBS, and many other AAF games will air on CBS Sports Network. The XFL has no TV deal.

The AAF’s one-year head start is a massive advantage over the XFL. If the AAF succeeds in its first season in 2019 John Matuszak Jersey , then fans who want to watch spring football will already have a league they actively follow heading into 2020. If the AAF fails in 2019, then spring football itself will look like a failure, and the XFL will struggle to convince fans that it will be any different.

Although the XFL still has much greater name recognition than the AAF, thanks to the XFL’s one and only season in 2001, name recognition can get the XFL only so far. When it’s time for actual XFL football to be played, the AAF will already be way ahead.

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