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Dodgers’ magic number down to 2 despite 7-4 loss

first_imgBy that point, Colorado led 7-1 and the thin Rocky Mountain air wasn’t thin enough to facilitate a comeback. Yet the Dodgers’ magic number to clinch the National League West fell to 2 when the Giants lost to the A’s later in the day.The Dodgers’ lead in the division is 8 with nine games remaining. They can clinch today, but only if they beat the Rockies and the A’s beat the Giants in their game, which begins at 1 p.m. First pitch from Coors Field is scheduled for 5:10 p.m.The Dodgers have another game in Denver on Sunday before they begin a four-game series in San Francisco on Monday. Either nothing or everything will be at stake for both teams. If the Dodgers haven’t clinched the West by the end of that series, manager Don Mattingly said, “We don’t deserve to.”Bolsinger allowed seven hits and seven runs in four innings. Only four of the runs were earned, though Bolsinger did not help his cause by walking three batters. He struck out two. At one point during the fourth-inning onslaught, Dodgers head athletic trainer Stan Conte visited the mound to check on the pitcher. But there was no injury. “Nothing was wrong at all,” Bolsinger saidIn the previous breath, however, the right-hander conceded that he hasn’t been the same since returning from a four-week hiatus at Triple-A. In four September starts for the Dodgers, Bolsinger’s ERA has risen from 2.83 to 3.48.“Maybe a little bit of fatigue in the arm,” he said. “Since I’ve been back, I’m just getting tired real quick.”Mattingly reserved the right to change his mind, but said his first preference is to keep Bolsinger in the rotation. His next start would come Wednesday in San Francisco. Right-hander Carlos Frias is healthy and has a chance, like Bolsinger, to earn a postseason roster spot as a long reliever. Frias pitched four shutout innings Wednesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks in his only September start — a step in the right direction.Bolsinger said he is merely trying to finish the regular season strong.“Whatever happens, happens,” he said. “I definitely haven’t put myself in very good position for anything.”Rockies starter David Hale (5-5) allowed five hits and only one run in five innings before the announced crowd of 38,485 at Coors Field.On a night when second baseman Howie Kendrick was the only right-handed hitting position player in the Dodgers’ starting lineup, he delivered two of the Dodgers’ nine hits. Jimmy Rollins had three, including a triple, and Chase Utley walked twice and clubbed a ground-rule double. “It’s always tough this time of year because we’re playing against teams that have nothing to lose,” Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford said. “They play us a little harder. We’re trying not to make mistakes and do things the proper way. Sometimes it’s tough that way, but we still have to be professional, get ready to play, do what we do, and go out there and take care of business.”The Dodgers committed two errors in the field Friday and another on the base paths, when Crawford took a wide turn around first base on an infield single and was thrown out by Colorado third baseman Nolan Arenado.Getting ahead of ourselves, are we?“We’re not looking forward to nothing,” Crawford insisted.The Rockies lowered the boom with three runs in the third inning and three more in the fourth against Dodgers starter Mike Bolsinger (6-5). Charlie Blackmon, Carlos Gonzalez and Corey Dickerson each hit solo home runs in the fourth inning. DENVER >> The natural toll of playing 152 games is clearly pulling the Dodgers in a bad direction at the moment. Flashes of urgency, occasionally from grizzled veterans and occasionally from youngsters fighting for a postseason roster spot, are pulling the opposite direction.The taut threads in this metaphorical tug-of-war represent the Dodgers’ magic number. It can only get smaller, but its existence feels tortured.A 7-4 loss to the Colorado Rockies like Friday’s would not have come with the same tension in May or June, though the Dodgers lost to the Rockies twice in each of those months. Because it came in Game 153 of a 162-game regular season, it’s easier to lump in with the Dodgers’ four-game losing streak that ended Tuesday: Bad losses, or at least bad timing.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

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WWE sticks with Saudi Arabia deal despite backlash from fans

first_img“We’re not going to talk a lot about that,” WWE chairman Vince McMahon said on a conference call. “It’s a very sensitive subject these days, naturally.”The company’s announcers have refused to mention Saudi Arabia on recent live events and WWE’s website, as of Tuesday, only listed the date and time for the card . The page for April’s Greatest Royal Rumble still listed King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, under time/location .“WWE has operated in the Middle East for nearly 20 years and has developed a sizable and dedicated fan base,” WWE said in a statement. “Considering the heinous crime committed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul , the Company faced a very difficult decision as relates to its (Crown Jewel) event. Similar to other U.S.-based companies who plan to continue operations in Saudi Arabia, the Company has decided to uphold its contractual obligations to the General Sports Authority and stage the event.”WWE’s stock price has fallen the last month after steadily rising this summer, dropping from $94.22 per share on Oct. 1 to $66.16 on Monday.The backlash has also had repercussions for Crown Jewel’s marquee clash. John Cena, the 15-year face of the company, was replaced on the Saudi Arabia card by another wrestler and the move written into the fictional story line of the show. Cena, who could not be reached for comment, was widely reported to have misgivings about his participation and how it might affect his blossoming movie career.ADVERTISEMENT Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college FILE – In this March 29, 2015, file photo, Brock Lesnar makes his entrance at Wrestlemania XXXI in Santa Clara, Calif. WWE is set to hold its Crown Jewel event Friday, Nov. 2, 2018, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The lucrative deal with Saudi Arabia has prompted fans and politicians to criticize WWE’s decision to continue with the event. (AP Photo/Don Feria, File)WWE is set to hold its Crown Jewel event Friday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.That’s a nondescript way to describe a spectacle — headlined by major stars including The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar — that WWE would usually blitz fans with bombastic hype to promote.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award LeBron warns mates: ‘Don’t be around when my patience runs out’ Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown “Don’t give up on something you enjoy just because of the pressure from others around you,” Cena tweeted Monday .WWE certainly hasn’t, even as Cena’s absence and the sudden departure of Roman Reigns as he battles leukemia have shuffled the card.McMahon spoke of the sensitivity while reporting quarterly earnings, boasting revenue of $188.4 million for the third quarter and a record $657.7 million over nine months, ending in September. A massive chunk of that cash is derived from the Saudi Arabia shows — and WWE has used the hefty checks to help lure retired Hall of Fame wrestler Shawn Michaels out of an eight-year retirement and fatten incentives for other talent.“One of my biggest paydays in my history of working for Vince was making a trip to Saudi Arabia,” WWE announcer Jim Ross said on his podcast. “I got paid very, very well.”WWE hasn’t wavered in the face of public pressure even while other companies have rethought their business ties to Saudi Arabia. Endeavor, the parent company of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, pulled out of a deal that would have had Saudi Arabia invest $400 million.“I haven’t heard from somebody who did not want to go and felt afraid to speak out about it ,” said Wade Keller, editor and founder of wrestling news site PWTorch.com . “The people I’ve spoken to have had more of a shoulder shrug that it’s sort of out of their hands and above their paygrade. But I do know there are people who are not comfortable with it and wish it wasn’t happening.”The WWE has survived — even thrived — in the wake of unseemly PR messes in the past. McMahon faced steroid-related charges levied by the federal government in the early 1990s; a string of wrestlers suffered premature deaths, many drug related, throughout the late 1990s; and most notoriously, grisly murders committed by former champion Chris Benoit, who would also kill himself in 2007, rocked the organization.Despite previous unrest, fans never went away in droves. Not when there was always the next big card on the horizon, the next witty catchphrase to market on a T-shirt or a future movie star in the making to keep fans hooked.WWE has been bolstered by a family-friendly transformation over the last dozen years, and the company has eliminated many of the bloody, concussion-causing chair-shots to the head and foul language that scared off advertisers. The company has tried to clean up drug use with a wellness policy that nabbed even top wrestlers with violations. WWE placed a heavy emphasis on charitable and goodwill efforts with the military , cancer foundations , anti-bullying programs and Make-A-Wish, and strived to bond with the sports community. WWE routinely sends championship belts to World Series or Super Bowl winners that are raised high by beaming athletes on parade routes.“This goes completely against what they have spent years trying to make the WWE brand about,” Keller said. “I think fans bought into that and are feeling betrayed and let down. People who thought this was a company that meant to do good are now looking at this as a blood-money grab.” Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazilcenter_img Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew View comments Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Bigger! Badder! And usually with an event logo connecting the event to its host city, like the New York skyline or the fleur-de-lis for New Orleans incorporated into recent WrestleMania designs.WWE instead has put Saudi Arabia on mute as backlash spreads against its lucrative long-term deal with a kingdom facing global uproar . The financials are murky but WWE is expected to make between $20 million and $40 million per event from two Saudi Arabian shows this year under a 10-year deal. Criticism from fans and politicians started because women were excluded from competition in an April event, then shifted and spread after writer Jamal Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul .FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissWWE fans, traditionally as non-PC as the crotch-chopping wrestlers in the ring, have booed each time Crown Jewel is mentioned when a wrestler cuts a promo and the video feed hyping the event was abruptly shut off to the crowd at its first all-female event Sunday to squash unfavorable reaction. The deal was lampooned in consecutive weeks on HBO’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver .”WWE has tried to distance itself from the international outcry over the killing and downplayed its ties to Riyadh. MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Mainstream America will always look with a raised eyebrow at wrestling — sports entertainment, as WWE calls the profession — and nearly 70 years of popularity means little to critics when the company steps out of line.“There’s a lot of things they can do to make the world a better place that don’t involve having to plug their nose and play propaganda pieces for a government with the track record of Saudi Arabia,” Keller said.So why do it? Especially when cities bid for WrestleManias like Super Bowls and with billion-dollar TV deals with USA and Fox starting in 2019?“They feel like they can survive it because if they get $40 million for this event, they can take a lot of body blows and head shots and still come out ahead in their mind if they’re just calculating things on dollars and cents,” Keller said. “But the negative vibe and loss of goodwill is apparent.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextlast_img read more