#1 With just a month to go until spring training kicks off, the free agent market is still pretty stagnant. [url=http://www.cheapaustralianewbalance.com/]Cheap New Balance Shoes Online Australia[/url] . Part of the reason, of course, is the reluctance that t von jokergreen0220 07.03.2019 04:33

With just a month to go until spring training kicks off, the free agent market is still pretty stagnant. Cheap New Balance Shoes Online Australia . Part of the reason, of course, is the reluctance that teams have in parting with first-round draft picks as compensation for signing certain players, who come with that price tag attached. That made me wonder how valuable first-round picks really actually are. I took a look at three teams, one top dog, the New York Yankees, one middle-of-the-road club in the Toronto Blue Jays and one team generally at the back of the pack, the Chicago Cubs. Since the amateur draft began in 1965, the Yankees have chosen 51 players in the first-round, including supplemental picks. Twenty-seven of those spent some time in the Bigs and 24 didnt make it. The success rate is 52 per cent and this is a team that usually picks in the back end of the first round. The Yankees best first-rounder, without question, is Derek Jeter, taken at number six overall in 1992. The Yankees have done alright with compensation picks for losing free agents, as well. In 1996, they got a quality lefty in Eric Milton for losing infielder Randy Velarde. In 2004, they chose right-hander Phil Hughes when Andy Petitte jumped ship to the Astros before ultimately returning to the Yankees where he finished his career. In 2006, they chose righties Ian Kennedy and Joba Chamberlain upon losing curveball specialist Tom "Flash" Gordon. You might think the Cubs would have far great success with firsts than the Yanks because they miss the playoffs so often. However, the gap is only five per cent on the success scale. The Cubs have drafted 61 players in the first round since 1965 with 35 making it to the Majors. In other words, a percentage of 57 versus the Yankees 52 per cent. The Cubs top picks over the years have included Joe Carter in 1981, Rafael Palmeiro in 1985 and the flame-throwing Kerry Wood in 1995. In 2007, the Cubs used a supplemental first-round pick to take Josh Donaldson, who has since blossomed into a very good player with the Oakland Athletics. The only other supplemental pick of note made by the Cubs was Palmeiro, whom they were able to select for losing reliever Tim Stoddard to free agency. The Cubs made, without a doubt, the worst decision in the history of free agency when they allowed Hall of Famer Greg Maddux to walk away to the Atlanta Braves after the 1992 season. The Cubbies got two draft picks in return, which they used the following June to take pitcher Jon Ratliff and infielder Kevin Orie. In the following three seasons, Maddux won three Cy Young Awards and helped the Braves to a World Series title in 1995. Ratliff and Orie quickly faded into obscurity. Where do the Blue Jays fit in? Well, since they came in the American League in 1977, they have made 64 first-round picks and 36 have seen time in the Majors, good for a 56 per cent success rate. The Blue Jays have had pretty good success with first-rounders over the years, including Lloyd Moseby (1978,) Ed Sprague (1988,) Shawn Green (1991,) Shannon Stewart (1992,) Chris Carpenter (1993,) Roy Halladay (1995,) Billy Koch (1996,) Ricky Romero (2005,) Brett Cecil (2007) and J.P Arencibia in 2007...oh, well on that one. Righty Dustin McGowan (2000,) whos battled through a myriad of injuries, is still around as well. The Blue Jays have greatly utilized their supplemental picks and, well, you really couldnt do much better than they have. When lefty Bud Black, now the manager of the San Diego Padres, signed with the San Francisco Giants, the Jays used the pick they received to take Green. When knuckleballer Tom Candiotti left for the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Jays wound up with Stewart and when the "Terminator" Tom Henke returned to the Texas Rangers after the 92 World Series triumph, the Blue Jays used their pick to select future Cy Young winner, Carpenter. Of course, there a few in the not-so-good category, too. When Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar left for the Baltimore Orioles, the payback was Joe Lawrence. I guess the bottom line is that there are no sure things, but if you have a top-notch scouting staff and good development staff, you can risk losing those good, but not great free agents. But the ones you target as stars, you can never let walk away. - ESPN came out with its annual top 100 list of All-time Major League greats. Roy Halladay and Dave Winfield fell within the top 125 and received honorable mentions. Five players, though, who wore the Blue Jays uniform (albeit, briefly in some cases) cracked the top 100. Knuckleballer Phil Niekro was number 100, Paul Molitor came in at 78, Roberto Alomar at 74, "The Big Hurt" Frank Thomas at 70 and Rickey Henderson at number 14. Of the seven in total, Halladay was the only one drafted and developed by the Jays. Does that make him the greatest Blue Jay of all-time? Its a great argument, but my vote is still with Alomar, even though he only spent five seasons in Toronto, and my top Blue Jays pitcher, though just by a hair, is Dave Stieb. - Its great to see former Blue Jays fan favourite John McDonald signing a minor league deal with the Los Angeles Angels with an invitation to spring training, but sad to see Vernon Wells get released by the Yankees after being designated for assignment. New Balance Shoes Online Australia .com) - Devin Booker scored 19 points and top-ranked Kentucky put on a defensive clinic in an 83-44 obliteration of UCLA in the CBS Sports Classic. New Balance Sale Australia . The 24-year-old right winger has one assist in nine games this season with the Sabres. In his career, he has three goals and six assists in 43 NHL games. http://www.cheapaustralianewbalance.com/ . Cavaliers shooting guard Craig Ehlo makes a solid play on the ball, but still Jordan hits the amazing shot.NEW YORK -- Hockey rarely gets much attention in Norway, a skiing-obsessed nation that turns to soccer when the snow melts. Mats Zuccarello is changing that. Zuccarello is only the seventh player from Norway to make it to the NHL, and hes the first to make it to the Stanley Cup finals. Now, "Zucca" has Norwegians staying up late to watch New York Rangers games and checking the stats to see if he scored. "A lot of Norwegians have fallen in love with Zuccarello," says Roy Kvatningen, sports editor for Norwegian online paper Nettavisen. "First and foremost because hes successful at what he does. He won the scoring title in Norway, he won the scoring title in Sweden, and now hes playing on the biggest stage in the world. "Hes also got a cool name and a good personality: confident, but down to earth." Former teammates of Zuccarello and his mother are being interviewed by Norwegian media. Downhill skier Kjetil Jansrud and players on the national soccer team have sent him congratulatory messages. In his fourth NHL season, all with the Rangers, Zuccarello notched 19 goals and 40 assists in 77 games. He added four goals and seven assists in 20 post-season games to help New York get to the finals for the first time in 20 years. "Some people, like my close family and friends that have been following me since I was young, are really excited," he said. "I told everyone its a huge opportunity for me to play, but at the same time nothing is won yet." The affable 26-year-old winger hopes his success will build up hockey at home, but he knows it will take a lot more than that. "I would love to be a role model for younger players back home and create some more buzz around hockey," he said. "Hopefully this can help. If I was Norwegian or not, I would be equally happy to play in the Stanley Cup finals." Norway finished last in the Sochi Olympic hockey tournament. Zuccarello believes a greater commitment is needed within the country before success outside of it can be reached. "We have 25 rinks. There is no ice in the rinks during the whole summer," he said. "... How are you supposedd to be a good hockey player when you go four months with no ice?" Zuccarello says Norway hasnt made a commitment to hockey since Oslo hosted the 1952 Olympics. New Balance Outlet Store Australia. "Nothing," he said in a frustrated tone. "We have one new rink in Norway that is not from 52. They have renewed it a little bit, but our main rink in Oslo was built in 52, and thats not good enough. Its got to start from the top. Its going to cost money, but the government has money. Youve got to use it to get new rinks, get people excited to go to a hockey game with new seats. Norway is considered the "little brother" in hockey circles to Sweden and Finland. Sweden has 10 times as many rinks than Norway, Kvatningen said. Zuccarello was fortunate to attend a hockey-centric high school and then played three seasons in Norways elite league. From there he went to Modo in Swedens premier league before signing a free agent deal with the Rangers in 2010. He watched the Stanley Cup finals as a youngster in the early morning hours. The first one he recalls was the Colorado Avalanches victory over Florida in 1996 when he was 8. The Avalanche, with Swedish star Peter Forsberg, was Zuccarellos favourite team. They won that series in a four-game sweep -- ending it with Uwe Krupps goal in triple overtime. "I remember waking up. I was going to school, I turned on the TV and Uwe Krupp scored the overtime winner," Zuccarello said. "I didnt think it was live. I thought it was taped." He might be about to create a lot of sleepless nights for grown-ups and kids alike back home once this series against the Los Angeles Kings begins Wednesday. Family members and friends are planning to make the trip to New York to see him play live in Games 3 and 4. They will have to make room for other Norwegian tourists who are looking to make the trek, too. "I know already that more Norwegians have been travelling to New York to catch a game at Madison Square Garden," Kvatningen said. "Even if theyre not hockey fans, its a great experience for Norwegians to go over there and see a small Norwegian guy getting celebrated." ' ' '

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