Baseball podcasts

Baseball Podcasts

28 September 2021

Baseball Podcasts
  • Power Rankings: Week 26
    28 September 2021

    For the final time during the regular season, Drew Silva (@drewsilv) and Janice Scurio (@scuriiosa) break down the top five teams in Drew's weekly MLB Power Rankings column at NBC Sports EDGE and also examine the biggest risers (Yankees, Cardinals) and fallers (Red Sox, Blue Jays) from last week. Look for it every Tuesday morning throughout the 2021 regular season.

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  • 9/28/2021-The Baseball Betting Podcast With Greg Peterson
    28 September 2021

    Greg recaps Sunday's MLB results, chats with William Boor of & MLB Pipeline about some of the rookies and prospects that could impact games week & in the postseason & Greg picks & analyzes EVERY Monday MLB game!

    Podcast Highlights

    2:32-Recap of Monday's MLB results

    11:41-Interview with William Boor

    26:56-Start picks with Marlins vs Mets games

    32:08-Picks & analysis for Cubs vs Pirates

    35:51-Picks & analysis for Phillies vs Braves

    39:18-NY Post Pick Brewers vs Cardinals

    42:33-Picks & analysis for Nationals vs Rockies

    45:26-Picks & analysis for Diamondbacks vs Giants

    48:32-Picks & analysis for Padres vs Dodgers

    51:27-Picks & analysis for Orioles vs Red Sox

    55:16-Picks & analysis for Yankees vs Blue Jays

    58:50-Picks & analysis for Tigers vs Twins

    1:02:07-Picks & analysis for Angels vs Rangers

    1:05:37-Picks & analysis for Indians vs Royals

    1:09:45-Picks & analysis for Rays vs Astros

    1:12:54-Picks & analysis for Athletics vs Mariners

    1:17:12-Picks & analysis for Reds vs White Sox

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  • Astros vs. Rays Will Be A Playoff Preview If Both Teams Get Out of ALDS
    28 September 2021

    Hosts Eric Huysman and Brett Chancey of the Locked On Astros podcast are joined by Ulises Sambrano and Kevin Weiss of the Locked On Rays podcast to discuss the Houston Astros vs. Rays.

    Locked On Astros, the daily podcast about the Houston Astros, hosted by Eric Huysman and Brett Chancey, is part of the Locked On Podcast Network.

    Be sure to subscribe to Locked On Astros in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts, and come back every weekday morning and spend your morning commute listening to the latest Astros news and notes. Thanks for listening, and tell your friends! 

    We now have a YouTube channel as well, so go subscribe to that as well and get us to 5k subscribers!

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  • Talking Astros Playoffs, Correa, Rotation, and Matchups With Sully Part 1 of 2
    28 September 2021

    Eric joined the Locked On MLB podcast with Sully to discuss the recent Astros woes. Why Sully thinks the Astros have what it takes to beat the White Sox in the ALDS, why they should re-sign Carlos Correa, and how far the Astros are likely to get.

    Locked On Astros, the daily podcast about the Houston Astros,

    hosted by Eric Huysman and Brett Chancey, is part of the Locked On Podcast


    Be sure to subscribe to Locked On Astros in Apple Podcasts,

    Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts, and come back every weekday morning

    and spend your morning commute listening to the latest Astros news and notes.

    Thanks for listening, and tell your friends! 

    We now have a YouTube channel as well, so go subscribe to that

    as well and get us to 5k subscribers!

    Support Us By Supporting Our Sponsors! 

    Rock Auto

    Amazing selection. Reliably low prices. All the parts your car will ever need. Visit and tell them Locked On sent you.

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  • Good Luck with the Couch
    28 September 2021

    Tim Kurkjian joins Buster to discuss the exceptionally dangerous Rays clinching the AL East, why Kevin Cash should be AL manager of the year, the Brewers looking to surprise in the postseason, Juan Soto vs. Bryce Harper for NL MVP, the Yankees sweeping the Red Sox over the weekend and which teams they think make the AL Wild Card with a week left to play. Plus, Buster talks to Giancarlo Stanton after a Yankees victory on Sunday Night Baseball. And, Boog Sciambi chats with Alex Cora.

  • Red Sox Swept by Yankees in Weekend Series // How Were the Television Ratings for Yankees-Red Sox? - 9/27
    27 September 2021
    • (00:20) Tony Massarotti kicked off the show breaking down the New York Yankees sweep over the Boston Red Sox this weekend.
    • (25:10) Mazz also talked about Kyle Schwarber’s play at first base and the television ratings for this weekend’s series.
  • 396 | Cardinals Win 16th Straght, Yankees Sweep Boston, Padres & Mets Eliminated
    27 September 2021

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    Timestamps: 4:15 - Sunday May Not Matter 7:30 - Dodgers-Giants Race 12:00 - NL Recap 17:15 - Dodgers & Giants 20:00 - Cardinals Win Streak 28:45 - Braves-Phillies Preview 35:30 - AL Recap 41:00 - Wild Card Race 47:15 - Yanks-Boston 56:00 - Marlins-Rays 1:04:30 - Standout Performances 1:07:45 - Ranger Suarez 1:10:30 - Giancarlo Stanton 1:14:45 - Seager & Turner 1:15:45 - En Fuego 1:18:45 - Cole Tucker 1:23:00 - Brandon Belt 1:26:30 - Kyle Gibson 1:28:45 - Best Friend: Max Fried 1:30:15 - Elevator Talk: Sticky Stuff Presented by DraftKings

  • Leading Off, Monday September 27th (Ep.452)
    27 September 2021
    Brendan Tuma and Dan Harris highlight some of the top pitching and hitting performances from the weekend before giving their recommendations for the final week of the 2021 season.
  • Weekend Recap w/ Matt Williams & Carmen Maiorano
    27 September 2021

    Matt (@MattWi77iams) is joined by Carmen Mairorano (@carmsclubhouse) of FantasyPros and RotoFanatic to break down the weekend in fantasy baseball:

    - Is Ranger Suarez Legit?

    - Freddy Peralta's 2022 Value

    - Shane Baz Dominates

    - Brandon Crawford aka Benjamin Button

    - Josh Bell: Better Than You Think

    - Ian Happ's Second Half

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  • Stanton is on Fire! Weekend Recap & Last Second Waiver Wire Adds (9/27 Fantasy Baseball Podcast)
    27 September 2021

    Giancarlo Stanton is finally healthy and carrying Fantasy teams (4:07).... Ranger Suarez and Max Fried both threw shutouts this weekend (5:34)!... Will teams that clinched the playoffs rest their players this week (14:35)?... News and notes (21:45): Shane Bieber returned, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Jameson Taillon are due back Tuesday.... There's no stopping the St. Louis Cardinals right now (32:03)!... Do we have any love for Nathaniel Lowe or Myles Straw this week (34:27)?... We have waiver wire pitchers (40:30)!... Start or sit pitchers like Sean Manaea and Freddy Peralta this week (52:20)?... We wrap with bullpens and streamers (1:00:45)!

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Baseball blogs

Baseball Blogs

28 September 2021

Baseball Blogs
  • The Bookshelf Conversations: E. Ethelbert Miller
    28 September 2021
    There’s a first time for everything. For example, this is the first time we’ve had a poet on for a Conversation. It’s the same reasoning I have for not doing much fiction on the blog: I just don’t feel qualified to address the genre. My experience with poetry is limited to doggerel like “Casey at […]
  • Braves, Brewers Made Pirates “Big-Time Offers” For Bryan Reynolds
    28 September 2021

    You can add the Braves and Brewers to the list of teams who asked the Pirates about Bryan Reynolds prior to the trade deadline, as The Athletic’s Rob Biertempfel hears from a source that Pittsburgh received “big-time offers” from the two clubs.  Atlanta and Milwaukee join the Marlins, Indians, and Astros as teams known to have at least checked in on Reynolds’ availability, though it sounds as if the Braves and Brewers went a step further with their overtures.

    Of course, Reynolds wasn’t dealt anywhere, as the Pirates value the outfielder as a cornerstone of their future plans.  Biertempfel’s report comes within the context of a larger piece about which current Pittsburgh players are most likely to be on the roster come Opening Day, and Reynolds is seen as someone who is “not going anywhere.”  Reynolds’ price tag will start rising this offseason in his first of four (as a Super Two player) arbitration-eligible years, the Bucs have him controlled through the 2025 season, and the team is surely hoping to be back in contention while Reynolds is still producing at a high level.

    After a big 2019 rookie season and a sophomore slump in 2020, Reynolds has enjoyed a strong season as the Pirates’ everyday center fielder.  The 26-year-old has hit .293/.382/.505 with 24 home runs over 628 plate appearances, resulting in a 136 wRC+ and 139 OPS+.  While Reynolds’ hard-hit numbers are nothing special, his speed has allowed him to turn even moderate contact into base hits.  As a center fielder, Reynolds’ glovework is either elite (+10 Outs Above Average, one of the higher totals of any player at any position) or slightly below average (-3.2 UZR/150, -2 Defensive Runs Saved) depending on your metric of choice, though the eye test would certainly seem to lean closer to OAA’s analysis.

    There’s plenty to like about Reynolds as a contributor both now and in future seasons, which is why it was no surprise that so many teams were inquiring about trades.  The Braves and Brewers stand out as particularly intriguing, considering that Milwaukee has already won the NL Central and Atlanta has a 2.5-game lead in the NL East with six games remaining, so the specter of a Reynolds trade will loom as an interesting “what-if” should either team fall short in October.

    Braves president of baseball operations Alex Anthopoulos is no stranger to big deadline moves, and while a Reynolds trade would’ve counted as a blockbuster, Atlanta was hardly lacking in activity.  With Ronald Acuna Jr. gone for the season, Anthopoulos reinvented his outfield by adding Joc Pederson, Eddie Rosario, Jorge Soler, and Adam Duvall.  That quartet has all hit well, helping carry the Braves from a 52-55 mark on August 1 to the brink of a division title.  It is worth wondering if Atlanta’s inquiries about Reynolds led to the notable trade that the Braves did make with the Pirates, landing Richard Rodriguez for Bryse Wilson and Ricky DeVito.

    The Brewers had a relatively quieter July than the Braves in terms of sheer volume of moves, though the Brew Crew had the benefit of a much wider division lead, and the team certainly picked up some solid offensive contributors in Eduardo Escobar and Rowdy Tellez.  Installing Reynolds in center field ahead of the Lorenzo Cain/Jackie Bradley Jr./Tyrone Taylor combination would’ve certainly been a huge upgrade for Milwaukee’s lineup, and perhaps solidified the Brewers as World Series favorites.

    If the Pirates had been moved to deal Reynolds, it would’ve surely taken an enormous trade package from any team, and it is quite possible Pittsburgh might’ve demanded a premium to send Reynolds within the NL Central.  While the Pirates and Brewers combined on a pair of minor trades earlier this season, swapping minor league depth pieces is a far different matter than sending a star player to a division rival.

  • Road to Atlanta Podcast: Strider’s Promotion, Mississippi’s crown, and End of Season Mailbag
    28 September 2021
    Spencer Strider has made it all the way to Triple-A in his first full season as a pro. | Mills Fitzner

    You ask and we answer. This week we have a mailbag featuring our picks for player of the year.

    Road to Atlanta is our weekly podcast where we discuss all things minor leagues and prospects for our beloved Atlanta Braves. We have relaunched the podcast and it can be found in the same stream with the Talking Chop podcast, so if you subscribe to have easy access to R2A as well. Episodes will go live (most of the time) every Monday evening and will cover a wide range of topics including top performances from the previous week, deep dives into specific prospects or topics, and lots of sweet guests.

    We had a fun mix of questions to answer this week thanks to you all, and the overall state of the system this season was a big discussion. From the coaching staff to the system strength to the players that surprised us most Eric and I covered quite a range of topics. Listen in for our picks for the system player and pitcher of the year, our favorite pitching rotations of the last half decade, and the surprising promotion of Spencer Strider.

    Please check out the podcast via Apple Podcasts (where we strongly encourage you to leave a five-star review and rating), Stitcher, Spotify, PlayerFM, iHeartRadio or you can find us at our Megaphone page for all the latest.

  • Dodgers Still Somehow Favored to Win the 2021 World Series
    28 September 2021
    The Dodgers are entering their final stretch of games today. With the bulk of the season behind them, they have just 6 more games before they can get into postseason […]
  • Dodgers Have 1 Week to Win the West: Everything You Need to Know
    28 September 2021
    No one could have predicted where the NL West standings would have ended up in 2021. From the start, the only conversation was about the Padres and Dodgers going at […]
  • J.D. Martinez “Right In The Middle” About Opt-Out Decision
    28 September 2021

    J.D. Martinez’s top priority is on getting the Red Sox into the playoffs, though once this season’s business is complete, Martinez will have to decide whether or not to return to the Sox for 2022.  The slugger tells’s Rob Bradford that he is “right in the middle” about whether he will opt out of the final season (and $19.375MM) on his contract, or if he’ll come back for a fifth year in Boston.

    Martinez’s original five-year/$110MM pact from the 2017-18 offseason was somewhat unusually structured, giving both Martinez and the team multiple opportunities to opt out of the deal, with Boston’s concern being Martinez’s history of foot injuries.  As it turned out, Martinez stayed relatively healthy, and delivered huge numbers in 2018-19 before tailing off badly in 2020.  However, Martinez spoke at length about how the COVID-altered circumstances of the 2020 season impacted his ability to prepare and adjust for games, and his bat has largely bounced back in the somewhat more normalized environment of the 2021 campaign.

    It’s a sign of how well Martinez has performed during his career that his .285/.349/.516 slash line and 29 homers over 612 plate appearances this season actually represents a step down from his 2014-19 prime, though Martinez is certainly still a dangerous bat.  A below-average walk rate is the only real sign of decline for the 34-year-old, who is still making plenty of hard contact and hitting for plenty of power.

    Martinez has already passed on opting out of his contract following each of the last two seasons.  While last year’s decision was hardly a surprise given his subpar numbers, Martinez also expressed concern over how the free agent market would look for himself and for players as a whole in the wake of the pandemic season.  Given how vocal Martinez was about his displeasure with his own past free agent experience, he might be more inclined to take the security of his 2022 salary and avoid the possibility of another unusual offseason, considering the rumblings of labor struggles between owners and players.

    That said, the new Collective Bargaining Agreement could also represent an argument for Martinez to opt out.  It has been widely assumed that the next CBA will extend the designated hitter to the National League, thus opening Martinez’s market up to 15 other teams.  While Martinez isn’t a DH-only player, an NL team would surely prefer to have the DH available if signing Martinez to a multi-year contract.  Of course, Martinez will have to make his opt-out call within five days of the end of the World Series — well before we’ll know if the universal DH will be a reality.

    Looking at just the American League, teams like the Mariners, Tigers (Martinez’s former team), Indians, and perhaps even the White Sox, Blue Jays, or Royals could all make room for the veteran slugger in their 2022 lineups.  A return to Boston also couldn’t be ruled out beyond just declining the opt-out clause, as Martinez and the Red Sox could potentially work out an extension or another year or two to keep Martinez from opting out.

  • The Giants Capitalize on the First Pitch
    28 September 2021

    With just under a week to go in the regular season, the Giants are still in prime position to capture the National League West. Hitting the century win-total mark on Friday, San Francisco’s meteoric rise from unlikely postseason contender to best team in the sport has been well-documented across baseball’s corner of the internet. The combination of the unlikely resurgence of seemingly past-their-prime franchise mainstays, near-100th-percentile outcomes from additions like Darin Ruf and LaMonte Wade Jr., and some successful tinkering with players’ tendencies to help them maximize their potential has all added up to one of the more remarkable surprise contender stories in recent memory.

    Improve your player development, play the percentages better, enjoy some good fortune — the Giants have done it all. And as we march towards October, they deserve praise for it. But there’s one other thing that has piqued my interest, and though its relative importance may seem small, it’s a strategic decision that has added significant value at the margins: Giants pitchers are throwing a ton of first-pitch strikes. Just as Justin Choi praised the Blue Jays’ offense earlier this season for swinging in early counts, the Giants’ pitching staff deserves kudos for throwing pitches in the zone on the first pitch. They’ve done so more than any other team in baseball, though the other leaders here may surprise you:

    Highest Team Zone% On First Pitch
    Team In-Zone Pitches Zone%
    San Francisco Giants 3176 5779 55.0%
    Los Angeles Dodgers 3126 5709 54.8%
    Tampa Bay Rays 3130 5787 54.1%
    Detroit Tigers 3162 5911 53.5%
    Baltimore Orioles 3219 6034 53.3%
    SOURCE: Baseball Savant

    Any time you see the Dodgers and the Rays near the top of a leaderboard like this — especially for something that can be as strategy-driven as zone rate — it feels like you’ve uncovered something notable. But then there are the Tigers and Orioles. Detroit has played well since May, and while the Orioles are bad, there may be some method to that madness give the attention their front office pays to analytics. Still, this doesn’t tell you exactly why first-pitch zone rate matters, though the reason is perhaps unsurprising: You always want the hitter to start down 0-1 rather than up 1-0:

    Stat Lines for Non-Pitchers
    Player AVG OBP SLG BB% K% wOBA wRC+
    Average Hitter .247 .321 .417 8.8% 22.6% .319 100
    Through 0-1 .220 .267 .361 5.0% 30.7% .272 69
    Through 1-0 .259 .383 .449 15.9% 18.6% .360 128

    After reaching an 0-1 count, the league-average non-pitcher posts a 69 wRC+, which is what Jason Heyward has done over the course of the 2021 season. On the flip side, when reaching 1-0, the league-average non-pitcher produces at the same rate as José Abreu. And that’s just from a single pitch.

    First-pitch strikes matter a lot. The easiest way to get those first-pitch strikes? Throw your 0-0 pitches in the strike zone. It works extremely well, for many of the reasons Justin outlined in his piece on the Jays’ offense. The league-average hitter probably doesn’t swing enough in 0-0 counts, and until they do, it makes sense to try to get one over to steal a strike. Look at the league-average zone and swing rates by count, as well as the percentage of total pitches that come in each count. Since an 0-0 pitch has to be thrown to every batter, this count is by far the most prevalent of the 12:

    League Zone% And Swing% By Count
    Count Zone% Swing% Delta Pitch%
    3-0 60.5% 11.0% 0.495 1.1%
    0-0 52.0% 29.8% 0.222 25.6%
    2-0 57.1% 42.3% 0.148 3.4%
    1-0 53.6% 42.3% 0.113 10.0%
    3-1 60.5% 54.5% 0.060 2.2%
    2-1 55.1% 57.6% -0.025 5.2%
    0-1 45.0% 48.8% -0.038 12.8%
    1-1 49.6% 53.5% -0.039 10.1%
    3-2 57.6% 71.1% -0.135 5.0%
    2-2 46.8% 64.5% -0.177 8.3%
    0-2 33.5% 51.6% -0.181 6.8%
    1-2 38.4% 57.3% -0.189 9.6%
    SOURCE: Baseball Savant

    More than half of all first pitches are in the strike zone, but hitters still swing at less than 30% of them. While hitters shouldn’t be swinging at every strike they get, especially when they could be getting a better strike later in the at-bat, it’s pretty obvious that they’re leaving value on the table when not swinging. Not all pitchers capture this value equally, though. Some can pour first-pitch strikes in the zone and still get crushed. This how the Giants and Dodgers differentiate themselves from the Orioles, for example:

    There you have it. Giants pitchers have accumulated nearly 30 runs of value in 0-0 counts this season, which is roughly equal to three wins. Orioles pitchers, on the other hand, have lost about 20 runs of value in 0-0 counts. The big difference that explains this is what happens when the hitters do put the ball in play. Giants pitchers have allowed just a .331 wOBA in 0-0 counts, while Orioles pitchers have allowed a .408 wOBA. Throwing your first pitch in the zone helps, but the quality of those pitches — and the quality of your pitchers more broadly — matters too. Even when the hitter gets a strike, there’s still a huge difference between San Francisco and Baltimore. Giants and Orioles pitchers have reached an 0-1 count roughly the same number of times this season, but Giants pitchers perform near the top of the league after getting there (a 2.17 FIP after 0-1, third in baseball), while the Orioles find themselves near the bottom (3.55 FIP, 29th). Pretty much every pitcher improves after getting to 0-1, but they do not all improve equally.

    The Giants are still doing something unlike most other teams. Because the opponent numbers are so good when putting the first pitch in play, it does not actually appear to be better to swing more often against their first pitch. There are actually only five teams in baseball that allow a higher wOBA after falling behind 1-0 than they do on the first pitch itself: Kansas City, Detroit, Cleveland, Arizona, and San Francisco. This means that against these teams, taking more often may be considered more advantageous than swinging. But the Giants have reached an interesting equilibrium in their first pitch approach. If we call this metric “count upside” — that is, the difference between a team’s wOBA allowed after reaching 1-0 and their wOBA allowed in 0-0 counts — you can see how they stack up:

    Theoretically, for teams above the line, hitters are better off trying to get to 1-0 than they are swinging on the first pitch. For teams below the line, it’s the opposite: Swinging on 0-0 yields a better result than reaching 1-0, which is the best a hitter can possibly do if they’re taking. It goes back to the point above: hitters should probably increase their swing rates on the first pitch league-wide. But when facing the Giants’ pitching staff, they find themselves in a very unique bind. Swinging doesn’t do them much good, and taking can only really hurt them, given the team’s zone rate and their pitching success even when falling behind 1-0.

    This still doesn’t deviate from the thesis: Hitters should probably still swing more often on the first pitch, even against the Giants, since it will shield them from falling behind 0-1, where the downside is extremely high. But because the 0-0 numbers aren’t great, the recommendation isn’t as clear-cut here, which can create headaches for opposing teams when game-planning against this staff. Take the first pitch? It’s likely to be a strike, so you’re probably going to be down 0–1, a spot where you’re in real trouble. Swing at the first pitch? The results aren’t great there either. Pray for a ball? Even though it does help you slightly, 1-0 doesn’t even help you that much; wOBAs here only improve by seven points. Giants pitchers have put batters in a bind, and it’s one of the reasons they’ve been one of the most valuable pitching staffs in baseball this season.

  • Gerrit Cole and Austin Davis Discuss Curves and Sliders
    28 September 2021

    The Learning and Developing a Pitch series returned this summer after being on hiatus last year due to the pandemic. Each week, we’re hearing from pitchers on a notable weapon in their arsenal. Today’s installment features Gerrit Cole on his curveball and Austin Davis on his slider.


    Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees

    A.J. Burnett taught Charlie Morton and me the grip when we were in Pittsburgh. He would take me in the cage and do drills with me that his dad would do with him when he was a kid. The curveball is something he’s basically had since the first time he started playing catch, which is different than me, but similar to Jameson [Taillon]. So I had to learn it. He showed me the grip, showed me the drills, and kind of described what he was feeling and what he was looking for. This was in 2012, in spring training. Then in 2013, in the big leagues, we worked on it a lot.

    “I’d been pretty much slider only. I had tried a bigger curveball. I’d tried to make the slider bigger. I’d tried to throw a shorter cutter. But I never really had a true downer breaking ball. At first, I incorporated it in Pittsburgh [and] a lot was changing speeds. It’s kind of developed a little bit beyond just that.

    “One of [the drills] was with an L screen. We played catch in the cage a few times. He’d back me up to 50-55 [feet] — just in front of the mound — and I would play catch with the curveball. Then he would slide the L screen over. The objective was to throw the curveball and make it go right over the shorter portion of the L screen. It would get to the correct height at the finish. We practiced that a lot.

    Gerrit Cole’s curveball grip.

    “We practiced just getting over the ball. We discussed the grip in terms of where you put your pressure in order to be able to hold it. Charlie’s is extremely in the fingertips. I don’t have quite as big a hand, so I just kind of set it loosely in there. A.J. would take his nail and drive it into the seam. He would harden his nail up, and use the nail to flick it. I’m not sure how Charlie uses the nail. I just kind of set the finger away.

    “I first loved Adam Wainwright’s curveball, and that’s when I first started to try to throw a curveball with the finger up. This is when I was 11 or 12 years old. But I noticed that the ball would wobble as it hit my [index] finger out of my hand. Even though it was loose, and it was away, it always affected the spin — it decelerated the spin on the way to the plate. Getting the knuckle out when the ball comes out, it just kind of avoids the index finger. I guess I maybe use the index finger to also create good spin on it, too. Right? Like, I’m going to get a slight pressure point. But it doesn’t drag off the finger like the way it did with the finger up.

    “I learned in Houston that it made no difference to throw it 78-79 [mph]. I got no extra break out of that, so throwing it slightly harder, like in the 82-84 range, was much more effective. It still provided enough change of speed from a deception standpoint, and at the same time it had enough velocity to where it made you make a decision just that much quicker. It was roughly the same break as the 78-79, and since I’ve gotten more comfortable [with 82-84], that’s been a much better speed for me to comfortably throw the pitch. I can also manipulate the break a little more now that I’ve thrown it for seven or eight years.

    “Early on, I was trying to throw it, more so, to control the speed. And I don’t think that’s… I guess I haven’t quite figured out how to throw it slower and make it better. I can throw harder and make it shorter and more depthy and more nasty. I can throw it 80 and get the perfect blend of all of them. But the slower I throw it… it’s like diminishing returns to a certain extent. It just gives the hitter a longer time to adapt. So the mentality is … I guess I’d say you shouldn’t sacrifice any crispness or bite on the pitch for velocity. It has to bite every time or it doesn’t serve a purpose.

    “There are always outliers — there are multiple ways to get it done — but generally, I find that if you can get tight spin to where it spins like a white ball… and you want the direction of the spin to somewhat mimic the fastball. If you’re spinning a fastball at two o’clock, spinning the curveball at two o’clock — obviously in the other direction — provides really good deception. It also gives you a good split, relative to your break chart. The maximum discrepancy.”


    Austin Davis, Boston Red Sox

    “I started throwing a slider when I was a kid — around 12, 13, 14 years old — but the grip I’m throwing with now is something I started to develop in 2018. The slider I’d been using was kind of hit-or-miss, so I began messing with this slider that people say is… like, you’re trying to get that laminar flow, the seam-shifted wake. All of those terms. I don’t really know what they mean, but I know you want it — you want it to move more — so I started messing around with grips that had that possibility. That’s kind of created what I have now.

    “Eric Jagers, who is with the Reds now, was with the Phillies at that time. He’s a Driveline guy, and we had some connections at X2 Athletic Performance, where I work out in the offseason. I got to know him a little bit. I told him, ‘Hey, my slider is okay — it’s serviceable — but I want something that’s going to be better against lefties.’ Eric started talking to me about those things a little bit, although in somewhat different terms. There’s way more data out there now, and people have terms like ‘seam-shifted wake.’

    “X2 is in Scottsdale, and in 2015 we started using Driveline products and doing overload/underload throwing. From then on, I’ve learned a little bit more every single year about pitching and pitch design. So, my slider came about in 2018 — kind of with all of those connections — and over the years it’s kind of changed a lot. Now, coming over here and having Adam Ottavino to work with has been awesome. He’s obviously had one of the best sliders in the game for the last 10 years, so getting to talk to him about all of these small adjustments has been huge. It’s made lefty at-bats a lot easier for me.

    “As you’re working on things, you’re wondering in the back of your mind, ‘How legitimate is this adjustment?’ When you have a guy like Otto, you can say, ‘Hey, I’m trying to feel a little more on top of the ball and drive it down like this,’ and he can say, ‘Yes, that’s a correct adjustment to make.’ Or he might say, ‘That can work, but it also may cause you to get around the ball and have it be too loopy.’ So, some of it is small adjustments, like where your finger goes on the horseshoe, but a lot of it is, ‘Hey, have confidence in it — this is what the pitch is supposed to do; rip it and stick with that.’ It kind of lets you cut away the other things you’re thinking about, so you can get more dialed in on two or three little adjustments, and figure out which one works.

    Austin Davis’ slider grip.

    “The changes I’ve made have been finger placement and seam orientation. Before, I kind of creeped up into the side of the horseshoe. Now, I’m straight up on the side, like Ottavino and Chris Sale. Once I dialed into that being the type of slider I wanted to throw, there were small adjustments like where to put the pressure and how to accelerate through the ball. Part of it is just being more on time, too. I’m more on time this year than I’d been in the past — with my mechanics — so I can actually be on top of the slider and drive it to where I want it to go.

    “What I primarily want my slider to do is present itself as a hittable pitch, and then have it just not be there. Whether it’s from more depth, or from more sweep, or a combination of both… what you see with Otto and Sale is that it presents as, ‘Oh, this is a very hittable pitch,’ and then it’s not there anymore. That’s where you get missed swings, that’s where you get bad contact. And sometimes pitches that are really nasty don’t get swings, because the hitters just freeze; it doesn’t register as a hittable pitch.

    “The spin… it’s like a sideways curveball spin, right? I want it to spin on a two-seam axis, and ideally it gets halfway there and catches — seam shifted wake is what I think would be happening — and then it takes off. Like I said, I don’t know the terms extremely well, but that’s the general thought I have in my head. I want to have it spin like this, look like a strike, and then catch to where it takes off and is no longer a hittable pitch.”


    The 2021 installments of the series can be found here.

    The 2019 installments of the series can be found here.

  • Royals Rumblings - News for September 28, 2021
    28 September 2021

    Can Salvy break the club home run record this week?

    Royals Rumblings - News for September 28, 2021

    Salvador Perez enters the final week of the season two home runs shy of the single-season club record, writes Lynn Worthy.

    “It’s hard not to think about that,” he said. “Everybody knows there’s only six games left, but I don’t try to take that with me. I’m just trying to have fun, play the last six games and see what happens.”

    Salvy says the fan that caught his record-setting home run ball wanted $10,000.

    “He was talking to Davenport and one guy behind him (who said) like, ‘Hey, don’t give me (Perez) the ball because that’s gonna cost at least $10,000. Salvy, he just signed a contract, he can pay you the money. Just hook the guy up or something.’ That was crazy.”

    Perez does wish he could have received the ball.

    “This year is a dream year for me..... I was working hard my last offseason I tried to do the best,” Perez said. “But I never hit 30 home runs and I never broke 100 RBIs, so that was one of my goals. To now have 46 and 116 (RBIs), it’s amazing.

    Jackson Kowar struggled again in his latest start, writes Anne Rogers.

    “I’m getting a little tired of having to come here and say that, and take us out of games,” Kowar said. “There’s only so many times where I grinded or battled. Today, that’s not a battle day. That’s a day where your offense is clicking early and you got to go out there and win your team a game. It’s not a game where you’re battling through and eating innings.

    “I got to go out there and do my job. I did not do that today.”

    David Lesky at Inside the Crown looks at Kyle Isbel’s strong finish.

    Even though he went 0 for 4 yesterday, Isbel is hitting .290/.353/.581 with a walk rate of 8.8 percent and, maybe more importantly, a strikeout rate of 14.7 percent. He’s played really solid defense in center field, so it looks like his minor league adjustments have really paid off. I like that he hasn’t been trying to pull everything and that’s been a big benefit for him. He’s taking advantage of an opportunity that’s been presented to him and I do wonder if what he’s done in an admittedly small sample will make the Royals feel more comfortable with him as part of at least a rotation in center field next year.

    Inside the Royals has a roundtable on which prospect they like the most.

    Tyler Dierking: Northwest Arkansas is loaded with potential big leaguers. While I could pick Jonathan Bowlan as the guy to watch, I’m going to be looking at another player next year more (considering I already follow Bowlan pretty close). The most intriguing player looking forward that fans should be watching just might be first baseman Vinnie Pasquantino. He finished the year hitting .300/.394/.563 between Quad City and Northwest Arkansas over 116 games, but hit .310/.405/.560 over 55 games in Double-A. His 13.1% BB% and 11.0% K% are both fantastic.

    Had Pasquantino met the qualified playing time limits, his .965 OPS would have saw him finish second in all of Double-A behind fellow Royals prospect MJ Melendez. His .405 OBP would have had him ranked third.

    Brad Zimmer homered off of brother Kyle Zimmer on Monday.

    Kevin O’Brien at Royals Reporter ranks young Royals starters for 2022.

    The White Sox and Tigers have a bench-clearing incident.

    Giants first baseman Brandon Belt has a fracture in his left thumb.

    The Rays are progressing on their plan to play some games in Montreal.

    Shohei Ohtani talks about his future with the Angels.

    Which managers are on the hot seat?

    A hot winning streak to end the year does not ensure success in October for the Cardinals.

    The Arizona Fall League will feature some experimental new rules.

    Why the Mets are rooting for the Royals to win.

    The Chiefs sign oft-injured and oft-suspended receiver Josh Gordon.

    Is Brentford for real?

    R. Kelly is found guilty of sex trafficking.

    The FBI us probing Ozy Media after its co-founder allegedly impersonated a YouTube executive.

    A reboot of the 90s sci-fi series Babylon 5 is in the works.

    Your song of the day is Smashing Pumpkins with Rocket.

  • The Summer Score – Updated for September 28, 2021
    28 September 2021
    The White Sox are showing some fight as they pad their Summer Score. Every team in position for a playoff spot in September gets 4 points for each day. Each team that is within 1 game of a playoff spot will get 1 point. The Rays, White Sox, Astros, Yankees and Red Sox all added […]

Major League baseball podcasts

MLB (Major League Baseball) Podcasts

28 September 2021

MLB (Major League Baseball) Podcasts
  • Power Rankings: Week 26
    28 September 2021

    For the final time during the regular season, Drew Silva (@drewsilv) and Janice Scurio (@scuriiosa) break down the top five teams in Drew's weekly MLB Power Rankings column at NBC Sports EDGE and also examine the biggest risers (Yankees, Cardinals) and fallers (Red Sox, Blue Jays) from last week. Look for it every Tuesday morning throughout the 2021 regular season.

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  • Giving Pep Talks To Fan Bases
    28 September 2021

    With the critical final week of the season beginning, fan bases from Philadelphia, Boston and Seattle all need a little pep talk to see them to the finish line.

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  • 9/28/2021-The Baseball Betting Podcast With Greg Peterson
    28 September 2021

    Greg recaps Sunday's MLB results, chats with William Boor of & MLB Pipeline about some of the rookies and prospects that could impact games week & in the postseason & Greg picks & analyzes EVERY Monday MLB game!

    Podcast Highlights

    2:32-Recap of Monday's MLB results

    11:41-Interview with William Boor

    26:56-Start picks with Marlins vs Mets games

    32:08-Picks & analysis for Cubs vs Pirates

    35:51-Picks & analysis for Phillies vs Braves

    39:18-NY Post Pick Brewers vs Cardinals

    42:33-Picks & analysis for Nationals vs Rockies

    45:26-Picks & analysis for Diamondbacks vs Giants

    48:32-Picks & analysis for Padres vs Dodgers

    51:27-Picks & analysis for Orioles vs Red Sox

    55:16-Picks & analysis for Yankees vs Blue Jays

    58:50-Picks & analysis for Tigers vs Twins

    1:02:07-Picks & analysis for Angels vs Rangers

    1:05:37-Picks & analysis for Indians vs Royals

    1:09:45-Picks & analysis for Rays vs Astros

    1:12:54-Picks & analysis for Athletics vs Mariners

    1:17:12-Picks & analysis for Reds vs White Sox

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  • GSMC Baseball Podcast Episode 598: Final Week Predictions, Managers on the hot seat
    28 September 2021
    Kevin starts the episode by diving into where it team stands with one week remaining in the regular season. The AL Wild Card race is going to come down to the final day of the season, while the race in the NL East could be decided by this Thursday. Exciting baseball is on tap all across the league for the final six games. Kevin then talks about individual and team statistics entering the final week of the regular season. Salvador Perez, Vlad Guerrero Jr. and Shohei Ohtani are all vying for the home run crown. While Max Scherzer and Corbin Burnes are racing to the finish for the ERA title. Kevin wraps up the show discussing his pick for Manager of the Year in each league, as well as discussing who is on the hot seat and could be fired after the season. Jayce Tingler and Rocco Baldelli could be looking for new employment in the coming weeks. If you enjoyed this episode, follow us and subscribe to the show: you can find us on iTunes or on any app that carries podcasts as well as on YouTube. Please remember to subscribe and give us a nice review. That way you will always be among the first to get the latest GSMC Baseball Podcasts. We would like to thank our Sponsor: GSMC Podcast Network Advertise with US: Website: Apple Podcasts: GSMC YouTube Channel: Twitter: Facebook: Disclaimer: The views expressed on the GSMC Baseball Podcast are for entertainment purposes only. Reproduction, copying or redistribution of The GSMC Baseball Podcast without the express written consent of Golden State Media Concepts LLC is prohibited.
  • Good Luck with the Couch
    27 September 2021

    Tim Kurkjian joins Buster to discuss the exceptionally dangerous Rays clinching the AL East, why Kevin Cash should be AL manager of the year, the Brewers looking to surprise in the postseason, Juan Soto vs. Bryce Harper for NL MVP, the Yankees sweeping the Red Sox over the weekend and which teams they think make the AL Wild Card with a week left to play. Plus, Buster talks to Giancarlo Stanton after a Yankees victory on Sunday Night Baseball. And, Boog Sciambi chats with Alex Cora.

  • 396 | Cardinals Win 16th Straght, Yankees Sweep Boston, Padres & Mets Eliminated
    27 September 2021

    Go to now to get $15 off your first month

    Go to to find out what MLB inception NFT's are still available

    Timestamps: 4:15 - Sunday May Not Matter 7:30 - Dodgers-Giants Race 12:00 - NL Recap 17:15 - Dodgers & Giants 20:00 - Cardinals Win Streak 28:45 - Braves-Phillies Preview 35:30 - AL Recap 41:00 - Wild Card Race 47:15 - Yanks-Boston 56:00 - Marlins-Rays 1:04:30 - Standout Performances 1:07:45 - Ranger Suarez 1:10:30 - Giancarlo Stanton 1:14:45 - Seager & Turner 1:15:45 - En Fuego 1:18:45 - Cole Tucker 1:23:00 - Brandon Belt 1:26:30 - Kyle Gibson 1:28:45 - Best Friend: Max Fried 1:30:15 - Elevator Talk: Sticky Stuff Presented by DraftKings

  • Weekend Recap w/ Matt Williams & Carmen Maiorano
    27 September 2021

    Matt (@MattWi77iams) is joined by Carmen Mairorano (@carmsclubhouse) of FantasyPros and RotoFanatic to break down the weekend in fantasy baseball:

    - Is Ranger Suarez Legit?

    - Freddy Peralta's 2022 Value

    - Shane Baz Dominates

    - Brandon Crawford aka Benjamin Button

    - Josh Bell: Better Than You Think

    - Ian Happ's Second Half

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  • Looking at an October in Houston with Eric Huysman
    27 September 2021

    The Astros are on the verge of winning another Division Title. Eric Huysman of Locked on Astros joins Sully on the show to talk about the Astros chances and how Dusty Baker and company put together another title squad.

    Follow Locked on Astros on Twitter @lockedonastros

    Follow Eric on Twitter @EricTalkStros

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  • 9/27/2021-The Baseball Betting Podcast With Greg Peterson
    27 September 2021

    Greg recaps Sunday's MLB results, chats with Danny Burke of VSIN about how betting round by round in the MLB postseason might lend more value than betting futures & Greg picks & analyzes EVERY Monday MLB game!

    Podcast Highlights

    2:35-Recap of Sunday's MLB results

    22:19-Interview with Danny Burke

    40:27-Start picks with Pirates vs Reds

    42:59-Picks & analysis for Nationals vs Rockies

    46:12-Picks & analysis for White Sox vs Tigers

    49:54-NY Post Pick Athletics vs Mariners

    53:05-Picks & analysis for Royals vs Indians

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  • GSMC Baseball Podcast Episode 597: Playoff Chase & MVP Talk
    27 September 2021
    Patrick welcomes everyone into today's episode updating everyone right away on the playoff races. A few races have already been decided, like the AL East and Central Division Titles. Patrick also takes a look at races like the NL East and tries to predict who will win the division. Then Patrick ways the pros and cons of the MVP debate. Harper or Tatis, Gurrero or Ohtani who is more deserving and why? Following that segment, Patrick goes into a long 2 segment matchup between the "Young Gunz" and two World Series Champions. Patrick plays around a lot with the lineups and reads the box score and interesting things that happened in each of the ball games. This dream team that Patrick has thrown together might just be the most dominant team of all time, or is it? Find out now... If you enjoyed this episode, follow us and subscribe to the show: you can find us on iTunes or on any app that carries podcasts as well as on YouTube. Please remember to subscribe and give us a nice review. That way you will always be among the first to get the latest GSMC Baseball Podcasts. We would like to thank our Sponsor: GSMC Podcast Network Advertise with US: Website: Apple Podcasts: GSMC YouTube Channel: 4F6auhV_JDoMt-Y Twitter: Facebook: Disclaimer: The views expressed on the GSMC baseball Podcast are for entertainment purposes only. Reproduction, copying or redistribution of The GSMC Baseball Podcast without the express written consent of Golden State Media Concepts LLC is prohibited.

Athletics blogs

Athletics Blogs

28 September 2021

Athletics Blogs
  • Namibia: Esports Athletes to Compete in IESF's 13th Esports World Championship
    28 September 2021
    [Namibia Economist] This coming Thursday, 30 September, at 18:30, the Namibian esports athletes will battle it out during the Global Regional Games for their spot at the IESF 13th Esports World Championship Global Finals which will take place in Eilat, Israel during November.
  • Virgin Money London Marathon: who, what and when?
    28 September 2021
    Defending champions Brigid Kosgei and Shura Kitata are back in London for Sunday’s big race after Olympic challenges earlier this summer

    The international fields for this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon feature the two athletes who enjoyed that winning feeling last October. While world record-holder Brigid Kosgei was utterly dominant on the lapped course around St James’s Park, Shura Kitata’s first place came down to a memorable sprint finish along The Mall.

    On Sunday (October 3) they will defend their titles but on the traditional course which was last used 889 days earlier in April 2019. This will be the first time the race on its traditional course from Blackheath to The Mall has been held in October rather than the spring and the elite athletes will join a field of more than 40,000 runners with a similar number of runners tackling the virtual London Marathon too.

    “It is the strongest, most competitive and hardest-to-win race in the history of marathon running,” says event director Hugh Brasher.

    On the masses, he adds: “It has been an unbelievably difficult journey. People have stopped and started training and had to cope with huge uncertainty. This will be the most meaningful London Marathon in the history of the event. It will be different to previous events but also the same in many ways.”

    A number of safety measures have been brought in for this weekend’s race. They include participants having to show proof of a negative Covid lateral flow test, elite athletes from African countries being flown in on special charter planes and there are steps being made to stop crowds congregating. In addition, there are no baggage buses and runners will set off in 40 different waves over a 90-minute period.

    We take a look at some of the key contenders for 2021. 


    Brigid Kosgei KEN PB 2:14:04 WR

    The women’s world record-holder and Olympic silver medallist will be aiming for her third successive London win with a personal best which is four minutes faster than the second-quickest athlete in the field. Whether the Kenyan can emulate her performances from 2019 and 2020 just eight weeks after competing in the heat of Sapporo remains to be seen, however.

    Roza Dereje ETH PB 2:18:30

    The Ethiopian is also coming off the back of Olympic competition, having come fourth in Japan. The 10th-fastest marathoner of all time knows her way around the London course, having come third in 2019 and was runner-up in Chicago in 2018.

    Lonah Salpeter ISR PB 2:17:45

    Ran an Israeli record of 2:17:45 to win the Tokyo Marathon last year. She has also claimed the European 10,000m title in 2018 and has a good record in London after having won the European Cup 10,000m at Highgate in the past. She is coming off a frustrating Olympics, though, where she faded to 66th in the marathon due to stomach cramps.

    Birhane Dibaba ETH PB 2:18:35

    The two-time Tokyo Marathon winner and three-time runner-up has a high pedigree in the majors, with podium finishes in Berlin and Chicago also to her name.

    Joyciline Jepkosgei KEN PB 2:18:40

    The reigning New York Marathon champion arrives in London on fine form, having broken Sifan Hassan’s course record with a run of 65:16 in winning the Berlin Half-Marathon recently.

    Valary Jemeli KEN PB 2:19:10

    Her marathon PB was clocked when breaking the course record on her way to victory in the 2019 Frankfurt Marathon.

    Selected others:

    Degitu Azimeraw ETH PB 2:19:26
    Zeineba Yimer ETH PB 2:19:28
    Tigist Girma ETH PB 2:19:52
    Ashete Bekere ETH PB 2:20:14
    Alemu Megertu ETH PB 2:21:10
    Sinead Diver AUS PB 2:24:11
    Allie Kieffer USA PB 2:28:12
    Moira Stewartova CZE PB 2:29:28

    Charlie Purdue

    British contenders

    Charlotte Purdue PB 2:25:38
    Natasha Cockram PB 2:30:03
    Rose Harvey PB 2:30:58
    Naomi Mitchell PB 2:33:23
    Becky Briggs PB 2:38:58
    Samantha Harrison PB 2:51:33


    Shura Kitata ETH PB 2:04:49

    The defending champion, who just edged a sprint finish to the line and ended Eliud Kipchoge’s dominance last year, will be looking to bounce back after he succumbed to the heat and humidity of Sapporo, failing to finish the Olympic marathon. He tends to do well in London, having come second in 2018 and fourth in 2019.

    Shura Kitata (London Marathon)

    Vincent Kipchumba KEN PB 2:05:09

    Last year’s runner-up came incredibly close to winning in London, a run which followed up winning performances in Vienna and Amsterdam in 2019.

    Sisay Lemma ETH PB 2:03:36

    The third member of the 2020 London podium also failed to finish the Olympic marathon but has undoubted pedigree, given that he has also achieved third-place finishes in Berlin and Tokyo in the past two years.

    Birhanu Legese ETH PB 2:02:48

    The third-fastest marathon runner of all time, and the fastest man in the field, will be out to continue his winning habit after victories in the Tokyo Marathon both in 2019 and last year.

    Evans Chebet KEN PB 2:03:00

    The reigning Valencia Marathon champion was also the fastest man in the world last year thanks to his personal best of 2:03:00.

    Selected others:

    Mosinet GEREMEW ETH PB 2:02:55
    Titus EKIRU KEN PB 2:02:57
    Mule WASIHUN ETH PB 2:03:16
    Sisay LEMMA ETH PB 2:03:36
    Kinde ATANAW ETH PB 2:03:51
    Tristan WOODFINE CAN PB 2:10:51

    British contenders

    Jonny Mellor PB 2:10:05
    Mo Aadan PB 2:12:20
    Josh Griffiths PB 2:13:11
    Charlie Hulson PB 2:13:34
    Andrew Davies PB 2:14:36
    Nick Torry PB 2:15:04
    Weynay Ghebreselassie PB 2:17:26
    Matt Leach PB 2:17:38
    Josh Lunn PB 2:17:59
    Dan Nash PB 2:18:51
    Ross Skelton PB 2:19:21
    Doug Musson Debut
    Jamie Crowe Debut
    Phil Sesemann Debut

    2020 results

    Shura Kitata ETH 2:05:41
    Vincent Kipchumba KEN 2:05:42
    Sisay Lemma ETH 2:05:45

    Brigid Kosgei KEN 2:18:58
    Sara Hall USA 2:22:01
    Ruth Chepngetich KEN 2:22:05

    Wheelchair races

    The wheelchair events in London always make for compelling viewing and this year will see an extra edge to proceedings. A number of the wheelchair athletes will arrive in the UK capital not only fresh from competing at the Paralympics but in the midst of a battle for Abbott World Marathon Majors supremacy.

    An intense six-week period of road racing began on September 26 with the Berlin Marathon, followed by London, Chicago, Boston and New York. The Paralympic marathon which took place on September 5 also form part of the rankings for this year’s series.

    Here, we take a look at some of the key contenders in London.


    Daniel Romanchuk USA PB 1:13:57

    The hugely talented 23-year-old won London in 2019 and recorded the fastest-ever wheelchair marathon time when he clocked 1:13:57, albeit during the virtual New York Marathon race last year. Did not compete in the British capital in 2020 and will be on the lookout for more success.

    Marcel Hug SUI PB 1:18:04

    The athlete nicknamed “the silver bullet” is a two-time London champion and finished third last year. Enjoyed a terrific Paralympics with gold in four events, including the marathon, whereas he won last Sunday’s Berlin Marathon too.

    Marcel Hug (Getty)

    David Weir GBR PB 1:26:17

    The most decorated athlete in London Marathon history will be making his 22nd consecutive appearance at the event and aiming to add to his eight titles. The Briton was an extremely close second in 2020.

    Brent Lakatos CAN PB 1:29:41

    The British-based Canadian who competes across a wide range of events on the track and the road was a surprise winner last year when he was fastest in the closing sprint to take victory from Weir by just two seconds.

    Jordi Mader ESP PB 1:22:10

    A consistent top 10 performer across the marathon majors, the Spaniard was fifth last year.


    Manuela Schär SUI PB 1:28:17

    The course record-holder and fastest female wheelchair racer of all time will be looking to make up for last year’s second-place finish. She had won a remarkable nine major marathon races in a row until she missed the event in Tokyo last spring. Last weekend she won the Berlin Marathon.

    Susannah Scaroni USA PB 1:30:31

    The T54 5000m Paralympic champion has two top-three finishes to her name in London (2017 and 2018), and was also third in both the New York and Tokyo marathons in 2019.

    Tatyana McFadden USA PB 1:39:15

    The American star has had health issues in recent years but knows the London course extremely well, having won the title four times in a row from 2013 to 2016.

    Nikita den Boer NED PB 1:40:07

    If the Dutch athlete was able to fly under the radar a little last year, there is little chance of her doing that this time around after her shock win in London 12 months ago. She smashed her national record by 10 minutes on that occasion and will now have to be on her guard back on the traditional London course.

    Aline Rocha BRA PB 1:41:40

    The Brazilian who was the first female from her nation to compete at the Winter Paralympics, in cross country skiing, was a top 10 finisher in the 2018 and 2019 London Marathons and should be in the mix again.

    Mini Marathon

    Olympic medallists in Tokyo – Laura Muir, Keely Hodgkinson, Josh Kerr, Georgia Taylor-Brown, Alex Yee and Jonathan Brownlee – all ran in the Virgin Money Giving Mini London Marathon earlier in their careers and the races return this weekend after not being held in 2020.

    Taking place before the full marathon on Sunday morning, the series of races is for girls and boys aged between 11 and 17 and divided into three age categories (under-13, under-15 and under-17) over a 2.6-mile course which finishes on The Mall.

    The event comprises of entrants from the nine regions of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, and will include teams from all 33 London Boroughs.

    Start times

    8:30: Virgin Money Giving Mini London Marathon
    8:50: Elite wheelchairs
    9:00: Elite women
    9:30: Elite men and mass start

    TV coverage

    BBC2 8:00-10:00: Live coverage
    BBC1 10:00-14:30: Live coverage
    BBC Red Button/iPlayer 14:30-16:00: Live coverage
    BBC2 18:00-19:00: Highlights

    Following this year’s race, the 2022 event is on October 2 next year. Why? “In order to give people certainty,” says event director Brasher as no one knows how much disruption Covid will cause this coming winter. “But we are definitely a spring marathon so we plan to return to April in 2023.”

    With the BBC contract with the event due to end after this weekend, future races could be shown on a different channel too. However, Brasher is keen to keep the race on terrestrial television and knows BBC has covered the event continuously since it started in 1981.

    » Look out for our Virgin Money London Marathon race week updates on the AW homepage and our social media channels on TwitterFacebook and Instagram

    The post Virgin Money London Marathon: who, what and when? appeared first on AW.

  • Equality Guidance issued to our clubs
    28 September 2021

    Equality Guidance for clubs

    Athletics is, and will continue to be, the most inclusive and popular sport in Scotland.

    To ensure this continues, we need to operate in a way that reflects our values and recognises the role we play in Scottish society. We will continue to develop these values to ensure that equality and inclusivity remain at the heart of our activities.

    To that end, we’ve issued our Equality Guidance document to clubs at the start of National Inclusion Week.

    scottishathletics has been a leader in this area, not just within sport, but within the wider world. We will continue to strive to be as reflective of Scottish society as we can be, with the resources we have at our disposal.

    Our aim is to produce an inclusive and integrated system for athletes, clubs, coaches, officials, volunteers and administrators.

    If we all work together to ‘Build a Culture of Success’, then, undoubtedly, we will create an adaptable model of athletics provision that inspires every community in Scotland to enjoy athletics and running.

    Equality section on this site

    The Board of scottishathletics plays an essential role in ensuring that the organisation is advancing equality for its members and staff.

    The Board provides a clear leadership to the staff and the wider sport by setting the strategy, being in a key position to question, challenge and hold the sport to account on what progress it is making on delivering equality.

    Equality and Diversity are fundamental to the organisation providing the environment, learning and coaching, support and culture that will enable all of its members and staff to excel, and the Board to achieve its objectives.

    It is very much the opinion of the Board that a diverse governing body provides diversity of expertise and insights and robust decision-making that result in embedding equality in the organisation’s mission, strategy and culture.

    scottishathletics will continually strive to improve the diversity of our sport and fully understand that this is an ongoing process. By 2026, the end of our current strategic cycle, we will aim to:

    • Be more representative of the Scottish Population across staff, voluntary roles and in our clubs
    • Maintain the Advanced Level of the Equality Standard for Sport and address any gaps and priorities from the gap analysis
    • Be the most forward-thinking and inclusive sport in the UK
    • Continue to be a key advocate for equality beyond Scotland

    scottishathletics is committed to working closely in partnership with our Equality and Diversity Advisory Group and the key equality partners to ensure that we all continue to work towards a balanced and representative sport.

    Equality Report FINAL (

    With thanks to Francesca Snitjer

    Francesca Snitjer (photo by Bobby Gavin)

    The post Equality Guidance issued to our clubs appeared first on Scottish Athletics.

  • Mwangangi and Kibet to be compensated after being disqualified at Quad Cities Marathon
    28 September 2021
    Tyler Pence won the Quad Cities Marathon this weekend when two Kenyan runners who had far outpaced him were disqualified after being diverted off the course by a race volunteer bicyclist.

    Pence crossed the finish line in 2:15.06 to become the first U.S. runner since 2001 to win the race. The head track and cross-country coach at the University of Illinois-Springfield, Pence logged his fastest time ever with the win. His time is the third best in the history of the event and earned him the first prize of $3,000.

    It came after Elijah Mwangangi Saolo and Luke Kibet diverted from the course a little more than halfway to the finish line when the bicycle rider leading them mistakenly went straight when he should have turned.

    Elijah Mwangangi Saolo and Luke Kibet were left to wonder what might have been had they not diverted from the course on Arsenal Island, a little more than halfway to the finish line.

    Saolo and Kibet were far out in front of Pence and the rest of the pack as they came down Rodman Avenue on the island. But the bicycle rider leading them through the course mistakenly went straight on Rodman when he should have turned, and the two Kenyans followed him.

    Race director Joe Moreno confirmed that the bicyclist went the wrong way.

    As Moreno explained the mistake to Saolo and Kibet near the finish line, the bicyclist stood nearby on the brink of tears.

    “I messed up royally,’’ he muttered.

    Moreno said he needed to look at video of the mistake but said it was very likely the race would do something for both Saolo and Kibet.

    “I don’t want this to be a total loss for them so I think there is going to be some compensation for them,’’ he said. “That shows that we are taking some responsibility ourselves. As race director, I feel somewhat responsible … It’s very likely we’re going to compensate them Today.’’

    He said he and his race committee would learn from the mistake.

    “The responsibility falls on (the bicyclist) to know the course,’’ Moreno added. “The responsibility falls on the chairman of those bicyclists … That’s not acceptable.

    “Our volunteers have to be better trained or qualified. We just can’t have any bicyclists any more. We’re going to have some qualifying standards to have that responsible position … We learn from this experience.’’

    Kuwait’s Alali Mo Abdulmohsen finished in second place while Philemon Terer of Kenya, who was seeking his fourth Quad Cities title, placed fifth.

    Saolo was on a near-record pace before his mishap occurred. He is the grandson of Joseph Nzau, a Kenya running legend who won the Quad-City Times Bix 7 twice in the 1980s.

    The post Mwangangi and Kibet to be compensated after being disqualified at Quad Cities Marathon appeared first on Athletics News.

  • Helah Kiprop to battle Ednah Kiplagat at the Boston Marathon
    28 September 2021
    Former World Athletics Championships silver medallist, Helah Kiprop will battle for the top honors at the 125th edition of the Boston Marathon that will be held on October 11th in Boston, Massachusetts

    Kiprop who competed at the virtual Boston marathon last year, has intensified her training in Iten under head coach David Marus.

    She will battle for the pole position with the likes off with 2013 World Champion Ednah Kiplagat, Diana Chemtai, Purity Changwony, Caroline Chepkoech and Monica Wanjiru.

    “My training is going on well with hopes of earning good results in Boston after a very long time out of competition due to maternity leave,” said Kiprop.

    She last competed at the 2018 Tokyo marathon where she finished 5th and she is set to make her return with a bang.

    “It has been a while since I competed in a race and this time, I hope I will run well and am strong after three years out of competition but that has not killed my spirit. Am training more to ensure I get good results,” added Kiprop.

    The former Tokyo Marathon champion competed at the Eldoret City marathon in June to gauge her form in preparations for the races ahead.

    “I competed at the Eldoret City marathon not for the prize but to gauge my speed and form. I decided not to finish and realized I was fit for bigger races,” said Kiprop.

    Commenting on her virtual Boston marathon, she said that the race was not that competitive since she ran alone in the virtual relays.

    Kiprop was 7th and 4th at the London and Berlin marathon in 2017 and 2013 respectively, which are part of the world marathon majors.

    The post Helah Kiprop to battle Ednah Kiplagat at the Boston Marathon appeared first on Athletics News.

  • Nigeria: ANOCA to Honour Oborududu, 11 Other African Olympics Medalists
    28 September 2021
    [Daily Trust] The Association of National Olympic Committee of Africa (ANOCA) is set to honour 12 African athletes who won medals in different sports during the just concluded 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
  • Nigeria: We Want to Push Nigerian Athletics Forward, Says Okowa
    28 September 2021
    [Vanguard] Tonobok Okowa , President of the Athletics Federation Nigeria, has said that his priority was to push athletics forward, so as to enhance the development of the Sport in the country.
  • Rwanda: Miss Yassipi, Hakizimana Win Huye Duathlon Sprint
    28 September 2021
    [New Times] Miss Casmir Yassipi Uwihirwe is the winner of Huye Duathlon Sprint 2021 in the women's category.
  • Include non-campers in relay team but put them in Registered Testing Pool: Usha
    28 September 2021
    Legendary athlete says the runners should be tested regularly during off-season
  • BBC faces the end of 40-year London Marathon coverage
    28 September 2021

Gymnastics blogs

Gymnastics Blogs

28 September 2021

Gymnastics Blogs
  • Evolution Gymnastics in Aurora is Hiring
    28 September 2021
    Evolution Gymnastics Aurora is growing and we are looking to hire awesome coaches like you! If you have tons of energy, love kids and the sport of gymnastics you may be the ideal person we are looking for!   We…
  • superb Maltese positions
    28 September 2021

    Olympian Zou Jingyuan.

    Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

  • KÀ returns in November
    28 September 2021

    A very expensive and unique show, I’m surprised Cirque is bringing it back.

    LOVE that stage. Will be happy to buy tickets next time I’m in Lost Wages.

    Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

  • Parkour robots
    28 September 2021

    Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

  • How to Use Yoga Blocks for Beginners
    28 September 2021

    Yoga Blocks are utilised within the practice of yoga for those who are struggling with their flexibility or for those who have just started practicing yoga. Yoga blocks are useful for building upper body strength, practising alignment, protecting and building strength in weak wrists and gaining more depth into particular yoga poses.

    While blocks are mostly for those who wish to start practising yoga but need to deepen their stretches, they are also beneficial for gymnasts who want to loosen their upper and lower body muscles as well as gaining flexibility.

    Yoga blocks are available in a variety of different materials. Choosing the right material depends solely on your practice and goals. Yoga blocks are available in foam, cork and wood.

    Foam yoga blocks are softer and lighter. These are best for beginners as they can be more comfortable to use when it comes to initiating supportive postures.

    Cork yoga blocks, on the other hand, can be classed as a second recommendation for beginners as they are softer in comparison to wood blocks and heavier. These are also eco-friendly and typically last longer than foam yoga blocks.

    Wood yoga blocks were the traditionally used blocks for generations. Now, they are more so made from bamboo. These are sturdy and hard, and last basically forever. The only issue with wood yoga blocks is that they can become harder to use once the yogi becomes sweaty and these can be more costly than foam and cork blocks.

    Shop our Yoga Collection:


    Yoga teacher, Emma Chapman, has put together a video that shows the different ways that you can utilise yoga blocks, whether you’re starting to practice, or just after some good stretching techniques after working out.

    Standing Forward Bend: This helps with loosening tight hamstrings and gaining flexibility. Use the block as support for your hands, and then bend forward.

    Triangle Pose: Similar way to the forward bend, stand with your legs apart, and then bring your hands forward. Again, use the blocks to support your hands, and use them to push your dominant hip upwards.

    Seated Forward Bend: This is also to assist with tight hamstrings and creating more depth in your stretches. Sit on the ground in an ‘L shape’, and place the block in front of you, using it as a gauge for how far you wish to stretch.

    Opening Up the Chest and Shoulders: Place the yoga block behind you, in between your shoulder blades. Lay back on one block, and then use the other to support your head. Ensure your legs lay relatively straight in front of you and allow yourself to open up and release any tension that may be in your back.

    Yogi Squat: This is slightly different to the traditional form of a squat that you may see within gymnasiums or CrossFit, as this focuses more so on the depth. You can sit on the block in order to do this, as it will also loosen up tight hamstrings.

    Pigeon Pose: This position can be quite difficult to do if you have tight muscles and are not that flexible. By placing a block underneath your hip, you are allowing more depth, which will lead to building up flexibility, as well as allowing some additional support.

    What do you utilise your yoga blocks for? Let us know in the comments!



    The post How to Use Yoga Blocks for Beginners first appeared on The Gym Spot.

    The post How to Use Yoga Blocks for Beginners appeared first on The Gym Spot.

  •  Simone vs Herself – Sept 27th
    27 September 2021

    The latest episode is posted.

    Simone talks about her problems getting lost while twisting. But this edit takes us up to the flight to Tokyo.

    Olympic trials day 1 went very well. She was happy.

    Small problems day 2. Get them over with before the Olympics.

    Click PLAY or watch it on Facebook.

  • USA Gymnastics announces 2021 Rhythmic World Championships team
    27 September 2021

    Tokyo 2020 Olympians Evita Griskenas, Camilla Feeley, and Lili Mizuno headline USA Gymnastics’ team for the 2021 Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships, which are set to take place next month in Kitakyushu, Japan.

    U.S. rhythmic team for 2021 World Championships (Courtesy: USA Gymnastics)

    Announced Sunday following the conclusion of this past weekend’s rhythmic international selection camp, Griskenas and Mizuno will represent the U.S. in the individual competition alongside teammate Erica Foster.

    Feeley will use her Olympic experience to bolster the U.S. team in the group competition where she will be joined by Isabella Ivanova, Nicole Khoma, Gergana Petkova, Karolina Saverino, Hana Starkman, and Emily Wilson.

    The selection camp was held September 24-26 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, Iowa, and featured two selection competitions.

    Alexandria Kautzman and Jenna Zhao were appointed replacement athletes for the individual competition.

    This year’s Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships will be held in conjunction with the Men’s and Women’s Artistic Gymnastics World Championships. The rhythmic competition will close out two full weeks of gymnastics in Kitakyushu and is slated to begin October 27 at the West Japan Exhibition Center Annex.

    U.S. rhythmic team announced for 2021 Junior Pan American Games
    U.S. rhythmic team for 2021 Junior Pan American Games (Courtesy: USA Gymnastics)

    USA Gymnastics also announced its rhythmic team for the 2021 Junior Pan American Games, which will take place November 25-December 5 in Cali, Colombia.

    Based off performances at the selection camp, Sarah Mariotti, and Nayenne Pollini Ashenaffi will compete as individuals.

    In the group competition, the U.S. will be represented by Lucia Borja, Sophia Miller, Angelina Mirer, Natalia Ortigosa, and Alexandra Rykova.

    Victoria Gonikman and Lauren Kramer will serve as individual replacement athletes.

    You can see the results from this weekend’s selection camp here: Senior | Junior | Senior Group | Junior Group

    You can watch the livestream replays from the camp here: Saturday | Sunday.

    Enjoyed this story? Share it with your friends, and don’t forget to follow us on social!

    The post USA Gymnastics announces 2021 Rhythmic World Championships team appeared first on Gymnastics Now.

  • Oakville Gymnastics is Seeking a Power Tumbling Coach
    27 September 2021
    Oakville Gymnastics Club is currently seeking a Provincial and National Level Power Tumbling Coach.   Job Summary   As part of the Power Tumbling Team, you will be responsible for instructing Provincial and National level athletes, overseeing safety, and providing supervision…
  • High Flyers Has Equipment for Sale
    27 September 2021
        Mushroom $500.00             Rings $400.00 for both           Bars $1,000.00             Julia Tamburrini / CEO This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / (905) 669-1002
  • In Translation: “The Karolyi Ranch Was Not Dracula’s Cellar Prison”
    27 September 2021

    When Hungarian journalist Attila Kálnoki Kis was vacationing in his grandparents’ hometown in Romania, he happened to be eating lunch a table away from Marta Karolyi, once the national team leader for the U.S. woman’s program who retired in 2016 and then left the country following accusations of cruel and sadistic training methods in the wake of the Larry Nassar allegations.

    The journalist decided to approach Karolyi at the restaurant, and found that the women she was sitting with knew him and generations of his family, such is life in a small Transylvanian town, the same town where Karolyi grew up. Though Karolyi hasn’t spoken to the press at length in years, largely at the urging of her attorneys due to a pending lawsuit against her and husband Bela, she agreed to speak to this Hungarian journalist if and only if he would agree to share her whole story, which she said would explain everything about her coaching methods, and why they are not cruel, but rather necessary for creating champions.

    He agreed, and the next day, sat down with Karolyi in her living room. She shared details of her childhood, meeting Bela, how the two designed their training system and quickly took over the direction of the Romanian gymnastics program, the decision to defect to the United States, and making their winning system work in a country so socioculturally and politically different. Only then did she discuss her feelings about Nassar, her involvement, and why she believes she and Bela bear no responsibility.

    It’s a tough read at times, with lots of justifications and shifting the blame onto others, including personal coaches, and she also spouts the old “of course an athlete who isn’t good enough to succeed is going to blame me” trope. But I wanted to bring it to you in full, since it’s the only real insight we’ve seen from the Karolyis since they left the United States, so I translated it in full below from its original Hungarian, which is available on

    Note that everything below is in Marta’s own words, and I (obviously) do not agree with most, if not everything, she says. I find it especially ironic that she says Nadia Comaneci and Teodora Ungureanu were not “forcibly taken” from the Karolyis by the Romanian dictatorship following the 1976 Olympic Games, but “the party created a situation where they had no choice but to leave,” yet fails to recognize her own responsibility in creating a fear-based environment at the Karolyi Ranch that gave gymnasts no choice but to suffer in silence.

    Marta Karolyi: The Karolyi Ranch Was Not Dracula’s Cellar Prison

    Both HBO (At the Heart of Gold) and Netflix (Athlete A) produced documentaries about the scandal that shook the world: Larry Nassar, an American women’s gymnastics doctor, was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison for sexually assaulting 265 girls and women. The confessions revealed that the sexual predator had committed some of his crimes at the Karolyi Ranch in Texas. Not only did this cast a dark shadow over the world’s most successful Transylvanian coaching couple, but they also have damages lawsuits still pending against them. [After not speaking with any journalists since Rio 2016], Bela Karolyi’s wife made an exception with, where she recounted her life from Odorheiu Secuiesc to Onesti, then through Deva to Texas, from six-year-old Nadia Comaneci to Mary Lou Retton and Simone Biles to Larry Nassar.

    August 27, 2021. Odorheiu Secuiesc. Gondűző Restaurant. While we are furiously spooning our peasant chops, at the table next to us, three older ladies are speaking with delicious Szekler dialects, laughing. With one of them, you can feel an American accent as she talks, radiating amazing momentum and vitality, sometimes even weaving an English word into her tale. My ears. My mother mentioned the other day that the Karolyi couple (Bela Karolyi and Marta Karolyi) moved home. My wife, who sees me as my ear focuses on this other table, exclaims, “I think it is Marta Karolyi. You are a journalist!”

    Well, yes. A journalist is a journalist even if they are just resting at the location of their childhood’s most beautiful summers, their grandparents’ hometown. I put down the spoon, turn around, get up, step over. The lady sitting opposite me has been poisoning me with a sharp look for some time, exclaiming as I approach: “I know you! I am Agi Bodo, you are the son of Zsazsa! You know Gyöngyi, the son of our classmate, Eva Kabdebo’s twin brother,” whom the world world, including Marta, knows. “Yes, I am,” I say with a smile, and while flying back about sixty years on the family threads connecting the Kalnoki and Kabdebo families, Marta also turns around. I no longer need to introduce myself, so I say:

    “I work as a sports journalist in Hungary. You retired from the U.S. gymnastics team in 2016, and neither you nor your husband have given an interview since.”

    “Yes, yes. We gave a few more after the Rio Olympics. Not since. Our lawyer asked us to not speak if we didn’t have to.”

    “Because of the Larry Nassar case, the scandal that shook American gymnastics?”

    “This case is terribly unpleasant. There are girls who are suing us for a million dollars, too. Our lawyer says we don’t have to be afraid, we’ll win, but it has left Bela terribly worn out for the past five years. That’s typical of him, if he knows he’s right, he goes against the wall. Over the decades, while working in the background, he was outwardly outspoken about everything. Throughout his career, he has been immeasurably frustrated by injustice. This once powerful, strong man is now just a shadow of himself. But let everyone say what they want. I know we didn’t do anything wrong. In the end, the truth will be revealed anyway.”

    “Would you tell us your side: what, why, how did it happen?”

    “It is not enough to know only the last 25 years, the period since USA Gymnastics hired Larry Nassar to understand and get to know him. You also need to know our story, where we started, how we got from one to two, why we did it, our creed about sports, competition. If you’re willing to listen, I’ll make an exception.”

    The next afternoon, the day before Marta’s 79th birthday, we arranged the meeting in their American-style house on the left side of the main road leading to the Sheikh Bath. After I arrived, she sat me in her living room and then started telling stories.”

    “Is my daughter getting married to a sneaker?!”

    Odorheiu Secuiesc is my hometown. It says all about our relationships. Even though I have traveled all over the world, 40 years ago, fleeing the Ceausescu dictatorship, my husband and I realized the American dream in vain, the indelible memories of my childhood have bound me here. It all started here, and although we kept a small estate from the Karolyi ranch sold this summer, it will probably end here as well.

    My grandfather was a kulak [peasant], my father started out as an accountant and retired as a deputy bank manager, my mother worked as a piano teacher. My father was more relaxed, but my mother was extremely strict. As a hard-working, receptive child, every blessed day I walked from the beautiful large family house on Arpad Street to the Catholic grammar school founded and built by the Hungarians, now named after Aron Tamasi. I was terrified when I brought a 9 home from school [this is in reference to grades; a 10 is the best grade in the Romanian school system]. My mother always said, “Don’t get a 9 if you’re capable of 10! Always give your best!” I probably inherited my perfectionism from her. I would also like to thank my mother for her rigor from the perspective of looking back 70 years.

    In the afternoon, under the guidance of physical education coach Adam Attila, together with my classmates – including Eva Kabdebo and Agi Bodo – I got acquainted with the basics of gymnastics. In the fifties, the modern equipment was not yet available. We practiced on good, hard ground. Not at a high level – at the time, women’s gymnastics was more about performing than acrobatic elements. We performed at ceremonies, and competed in county and provincial competitions.

    As I graduated from high school, I was admitted to the University of Cluj-Napoca as a French-Romanian student. I achieved a great result, yet I did not get a seat because the children of the party members and the working class were preferred. The Teacher Training College in Cluj-Napoca also opened that year. There was a place in Russian-Romanian, but I decided to go into physical education instead. The family did not like the idea. My mother wanted me to be a doctor.

    I did particularly poorly in athletics, but I compensated for this in gymnastics, so I was admitted here without further ado. I met Bela here. We were both born in 1942, me on August 29, and he two weeks later, on September 13. The strong guy was mostly considered a hammer thrower, but he tried everything, even boxing. Yet he was admitted to the fine arts major. From there, he asked if he could transfer to the same physical education program I attended.

    Student love has bound us together for life. In 1963, as soon as we graduated from university, we got married. When I announced this at home, my mother said: “My daughter is getting married to a sneaker?!”

    I was a better student than Bela, so I could have chosen a teacher position sooner and at a much higher level, but I went to the Zsil Valley, in Vulcan, afterwards. To put it mildly, it is not the center of the world. On the other hand, the town was inhabited by straight, hard-working, strong, mostly Romanian and many Szekler mining families.

    In addition to teaching, we further trained at the University of Physical Education in Bucharest. I became a gymnastics coach, and Bela specialized in athletics and handball. At first he worked in these two sports, but he fell in love with gymnastics. From the very beginning, it helped us to create a small gymnastics team in Vulcan, which we took to the national championships after just a short time.

    Bela found out that, unlike other sports, we should not start with the selection of top athletes, but with the children aged 5-7. At a younger age, there is no sense of fear. Kids take everything as a game. They typically need less force to move their tiny, light bodies, and it’s easier to perform acrobatic elements. They adapt to work, but because regeneration is much faster at this age, their bodies can also relax quickly.

    Bela’s inalienable idea and merit is that he invented this completely unusual, novel selection method, which we used throughout our career.

    “In gymnastics, you practice in a strict and humble way to achieve perfection”

    Coming from Vulcan, we drew attention to ourselves by saying that our little disciples, though younger, were bolder and more skillful than average. After our first national successes, they were transferred to the Petrozavodsk sports school, and then in the summer of 1968, we moved our headquarters to Onesti. That year, the Romanian gymnastics training center was established, where we got a job. We selected the tiny Teodora Ungureanu and Nadia Comaneci for our first group of athletes. Kati Szabo also came to us at the age of five. Her father brought her and her sister with a bag of potatoes. He said:

    “Listen, Bela, we live in the middle of Szekerland, in Zagon. The girls’ physical education teacher said they were talented, and needed to find a better trainer, because if they didn’t, they wouldn’t get anywhere.”

    We all lived there in Onesti. The children spent 350 days in the boarding school. We divided them into two groups, which were taken in pairs by me and Bela. Throughout my career, I supervised beam and floor, and Bela, vault and uneven bars. The reason is simple: men have never stood on a beam, so they don’t really know about it, and more women are also attracted to choreography and dance.

    We always looked up to the Soviet gymnasts, as they dominated the sport one hundred percent. How could they be defeated? With better material, more acrobatic elements, and more precise gymnastics. Bela approached everything through strength and dynamics. It is also to his credit that we have focused even more on the development of physical strength, speed, and accuracy, because the execution of acrobatic elements in gymnastics ultimately depends on speed and strength. Therefore, the selected little girls took part in a strong conditioning program in Onesti, and later in Deva. During the workouts, they did body weight exercises for a half hour, they ran a lot, and only then did the apparatuses come. In addition to the early selection, this kind of change in training methods was another of Bela’s innovations.

    In addition to my two apparatuses, I was responsible for designing the annual training period that regulates our complex training method. For almost five decades, we have been applying my training methodology, which includes macro- and microcycles developed with knowledge of the dates of competitions and training camps.

    We made it with this. For months, we just practiced in a disciplined, strict, humble way so that the kids could present their routines perfectly afterwards.

    In the first phase, in addition to honing the basic technique, the emphasis was on physical preparation. In the second, we reduced force and dynamics development and practiced more and more technical elements. In the third, we started to connect the individual elements, which had been done separately until then, to form a routine, while in the final phase, before the competition, we focused only on the routines. In the end, you reach maximum form when the biggest meet comes.

    Before the 1976 Olympics, we had to travel to the central training camp in Bucharest. It was here that they decided which six gymnasts would be included on the Olympic team. At noon on a Sunday, Ilie Verdet, the First Vice President of the Counsel of Ministers who led the selection committee, appeared. We were just training in the gym. Verdet looked around and asked, “Where are the other gymnasts?” Bela shrugged, then replied, “Maybe they’re resting.” “While you train on Sundays,” Verdet noted.

    Before this, we knew that two coaches from Bucharest would lead the team, Bela would only travel to Montreal as an assistant coach, and I wasn’t even part of the conversation. The next day the announcement came: Bela Karolyi and Marta Karolyi would be the head coaches at the Olympics. They quickly got a uniform for me, and expedited a passport as well.

    We achieved overwhelming success in Montreal. Nadia Comaneci won three gold medals, received the first Perfect 10 in gymnastics history, and overthrew the Russian gymnast Ludmilla Tourischeva. All this at the age of 14. Comaneci won the all-around, bars, and beam titles and the bronze on floor, Teodora Ungureanu won silver on bars and bronze on beam, and the Romanian team finished second. In addition to Nadia and Teodora, we also trained team members Georgeta Gabor, Mariana Constantin, and the reserve Lilita Milea for years.

    “The room key for the New York hotel is still on the wall of our bedroom to this day”

    The huge success put gymnastics at the center of politics, and Nicolae Ceausescu fell in love with the sport. The tiny Nadia, just 15, was treated like a miracle girl. Everyone wanted to see her. As the treasure of the Romanian nation, she was brought to state events, before kings, heads of state. She dealt with all of this, not just training.

    Ilie Verdet, who believed in us, was replaced by Ceausescu, who was replaced by his son, Nicu, as the party delegate at the head of the sport. Because every sport needed a trusted party leader. Ceausescu has always disliked Hungarians. He came to us and asked more than once, “can’t we find better coaches than these bozgors?” [Romanians call Hungarians Bozgor.]

    However, Nicu, who did not like Bela at all, liked Nadia, and grew to be involved in the sport even more. My husband, as a Szekler man with a straight backbone, said: “We are the professionals. We know what to do, why we do it. The party should not be involved in training and competitions.” He raised his voice more than once for Nadia’s sake, which is why the main crack in the relationship with the party formed.

    Nadia and Teodora were quickly taken away from us by the party. They paid their parents significant money, and gave them a villa in Bucharest in exchange for the two girls, who were still young. Even if they were not forcibly torn from us, they created a situation where they had no choice. Meanwhile, Deva, a Hungarian city in the Romanian territory of Onesti, offered to build us the gym we wanted, so we relocated our center there. The competitions came, our gymnasts performed beautifully, and Nadia’s performance dropped significantly. Everyone told us that the Olympic champion, the best in the world, no longer needed to train as hard as we required, but being the best doesn’t work on its own.

    Nadia realized that, too. Although a little too late, but just in time. Shortly before the Moscow Olympics, she came to Deva and returned to us. She worked even harder than before. Many have criticized us for not always talking to our students in a nice tone. But I always said sports are an area where if you want to be the best in the world, an Olympic champion, you have to work the hardest, you have to endure the most. There is no other panacea, no other way. Absolutely not as a gymnast.

    We also received word that our gymnasts are overly disciplined, not smiling at competitions. But in the gym, discipline is the lord. On vault and floor, gymnasts fall from a height of two meters while their bodies spin, twist. On a beam, one hundred and twenty inches high, they step on a ten-centimeter-wide piece of wood. If they don’t concentrate, if they are not in control of their body, if they are two centimeters off, it results in a nasty injury. In addition to training athletes, it is the coach’s responsibility to maintain health.

    That’s why we taught our gymnasts that before they get to the apparatus, the outside world disappears. Maximum concentration. They had to run every skill of their routines in their brains. It was the tight focus practiced in the workouts, fixed on their routines, that was reflected on the faces of our students.

    The result: Nadia won on beam and floor in Moscow. Although she missed a Perfect 10, people still remember her as the little girl who presented the most perfect routine of all time.

    After we got home, a Hungarian judge, whose husband held a high position in the party, withdrew. “Listen, Marta, my husband heard with his own ears Nicu growling that the President’s father had instructed him to get rid of the scum.” The infamous Romanian secret service were sent to watch over us. While celebrating our successes, constantly bombarded with foreign offers, Securitate people followed us everywhere.

    After the Olympic break, the girls were just starting basic preparations when they were unexpectedly sent on an American tour. The Romanian state contracted them for many thousands of dollars to perform in a different city every day for a month like carnival stuntmen. Morning travel, evening show. We had a hard time, because according to the training period, we should have been doing something else entirely. We performed the last show in New York. We introduced the show, and then after going back to the hotel, we waited for all of the secret service to fall asleep and stepped out at four in the morning. We took our suitcase and shoved a few hundred dollars in our pockets and went to my aunt’s little apartment in Manhattan. To this day, the hotel room key is kept on the wall of our bedroom.

    No one knew about it. Neither did our parents. We suddenly decided to do it on the basis of “who knows when there will be another opportunity?” All this at the age of 39, and we knew our seven-year-old daughter Andrea would be a prisoner of the Ceausescu regime.

    Due to the many trips and training camps, she was used to being left alone for months – either our parents or an older aunt took care of her. At this time, she stayed at home in our apartment in Deva with the latter. I knew she was in good hands, safe. And while the Securitate visited them frequently, questioned them, we immediately started working on family reunification.

    A member of the congressional committee acted on our case where it was decided which type of assistance the U.S. should provide to which country. They asked everyone in return for something, the most basic respect for human rights. By this time, the stability of socialist Romania had faltered, becoming dependent on American and Western support. The representative picked up the phone in our presence and dialed the American Romanian ambassador. After the greeting, he said:

    “The Karolyi couple is standing next to me. You know them, don’t you? They settled in America. Andrea, their child, remained in Romania. One of the most important human rights is the reunification of broken families. Do we agree that they have the right for their daughter to leave Romania and travel to New York as soon as possible?”

    Andrea was with my parents in Odorheiu Secuiesc at that time. The day after the phone call, the Securitate raced through their door. They were asked what they could do to help Andrea get her passport as soon as possible so she could travel to her parents. Five months after our dissident, we met again.

    “In ‘Free America,’ people behaved as they did in Romania”

    As I mentioned, we did not run out of offers. We visited a few locations, but until we decided which one to accept, we still had to sustain ourselves by doing something. Although the Hungarians abroad helped with this by housing us and even collecting money for us, Bela took on all the work that was there, just to get money. The most sympathetic offer came from Oklahoma. The owner of a magazine, who had a gym and great connections, offered to give Bela a job and an apartment at the university as an instructor, and we could both work in the gym.

    We started all over again, but we soon realized that in ‘free America,’ people can behave just as they do in Romania. Our mentor tried to control our work just as the party did at home. Bela did not tolerate him having a say in our methods, just as Nicu did not allow Ceausescu to do so. That’s what we escaped. We longed for trust, for independence, not for people commanding us.

    After a few months, another opportunity arrived from Houston. They offered to be part owners in a gym there. We accepted. Mary Lou Retton..

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28 September 2021

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  • The five players your team can least afford to lose: GWS Giants
    28 September 2021

    The Greater Western Sydney Giants finished seventh in 2021, with 11 wins, one draw and ten losses, although they are effectively sixth for the purpose of this exercise, due to their semi-final performances against higher-rated teams.

    They had six debutants, while only four players featured in every game: Callan Ward, Harry Himmelberg, Tim Taranto and Isaac Cumming.

    Here are the five players and an honourable mention that the Giants could least afford to lose based.

    Honourable mention: Sam Taylor
    Taylor featured in 17 of 22 games, the Giants winning two, losing two and getting a draw when Taylor was unavailable through injury.

    He averaged the fourth most intercepts of any player in the AFL, an average of 8.47 per game, and averaged the third-most contested marks of any Giants player.

    5. Josh Kelly
    Kelly was extremely consistent in 2021 and was rewarded with a new contract. He averaged the most metres gained in the club, with an average of 454.17. He also averaged the second-most score involvements, with an average of 5.96 per game, as well as the most tackles, an average of 5.61 per game.

    His versatility was a strength as he could play in the midfield or on the wing.

    Last but not least, he led by example.

    4. Jacob Hopper
    Hopper was in the All Australian squad, had at least 21 disposals and only missed one game, which was through injury.

    He averaged the third-most inside 50s of any of GWS player, with an average of 4.30, and the most contested possessions, with an average of 12.04.

    3. Toby Greene
    Greene featured in 18 games, including the elimination final win over the Swans and was named in the All Australian forward pocket.

    He averaged the second-most score involvements of any player in the competition, with an average of 8.28, and kicked at least one goal in every game!

    (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

    2. Lachie Whitfield
    Whitfield was unavailable for the opening six games, and the club lost five of the seven games he didn’t play. Along with that, in Round 17 he was subbed out after accumulating just three disposals and the team lost to the Suns by one point!

    He averaged the third-most metres, with an average of 437.65 per game, and 4.53 score involvements per game – remarkable for a player who played predominantly on a half back flank.

    1. Tim Taranto
    Taranto was a revelation, featuring in all 24 games that they played, averaging the most disposals and the most inside 50s at the club.

    He also averaged 5.42 score involvements per game and had the second-most tackles – with an average of 5.33 tackles per game – which shows he worked hard defensively.

  • Coaching great tipping sustained success for Melbourne following drought-breaking premiership
    28 September 2021

    Coaching great Leigh Matthews believes Melbourne is well set for sustained success in the coming years.

    On the back of Simon Goodwin’s side winning the premiership on Saturday night – Melbourne’s first in 57 years – Matthews says the club’s list profile and talent across the park means they are as “well equipped as any premiership team in recent times” to continue their dominance this season for years to come.

    “If you’re talking about Melbourne, they have good big defenders and good medium smalls,” he said on Sportsday.

    “They have a fantastic one-two ruck combination (with Max Gawn and Luke Jackson) and they have (Clayton) Oliver, (Christian) Petracca, (Jack) Viney,(James) Harmes, (Angus) Brayshaw and (Ed) Langdon, that’s a fantastic midfielder group.

    “If you want to be honest, (Ben) Brown and (Tom) McDonald are OK forwards… (Bayley) Fritsch looks to be a pretty solid third tall so he’s very good.

    “Between them it’s pretty good, I think it’s reasonable to say that Melbourne is well equipped as any premiership team in recent times to be a good team for a long time.”

    The Demons will depart Perth in recent days, following a successful premiership campaign which saw them largely base themselves out west in the lead up to the Grand Final.

  • “Bottom of the ladder for facilities”: Melbourne CEO speaks on plans for new club base
    28 September 2021

    Melbourne CEO Gary Pert believes the Demons are on the “bottom of the ladder for facilities” in the AFL.

    Multiple club departments are currently situated across different locations, and the Demons are looking to harmonise all operations under the one roof.

    The club has been working on a design for a new base near AAMI park in Gosch’s paddock, which is set to be funded by a joint venture between Melbourne, the AFL, and the Victorian Government.

    Speaking to SEN’s Dwayne’s World, Pert said the club’s dire situation in terms of training facilities is recognised by the AFL.

    “If (the state government) fast tracked it, I’d be more than happy, I’ve been working on it for three years now,” he said.

    “We’ve won the premiership this year and we’re acknowledged at a government level and by the AFL that we’re clearly on the bottom of the ladder for facilities.”

    “If I was to talk to anyone at the AFL and say, ‘I’ll meet you tomorrow at the Melbourne footy club,’ basically you wouldn’t know what I’m talking about because we’re in three, four, five different locations.”

    The fact of Melbourne’s poor facilities makes the Demons triumph in Saturday’s AFL Grand Final “even more amazing,” according to Pert.

    “It’s started, we’re starting the redevelopment of our oval, we’ve had a junior-sized oval that we’ve been training on for the last 10 years and in the next few weeks that’s going to be resurfaced and enlarged to an MCG length and Marvel (stadium) width oval, so that’s a really big step for us,” he said.

    “Right at the moment, we don’t even have the facilities of a community club, which makes the performance of the players even more amazing.”

    The Demons will return home to Melbourne from Perth in the coming days after breaking the longest premiership drought in the AFL with their win over the Bulldogs.

  • Suns list boss trade update on top 10 draft trio, Brodie, Dunstan and more
    28 September 2021

    Gold Coast list boss Craig Cameron has provided an update on numerous dealings for the club during the upcoming AFL trade period, including a trio of young stars set to come out of contract in 2022.

    The Suns followed a familiar path in 2021, starting fairly before fading in the back half of the season.

    However, important wins over Richmond and the GWS Giants late in the season, coupled with the likely return of numerous injured key players next season, has given the club hope for 2022.

    2018 top 10 draft picks Ben King, Jack Lukosius and Izak Rankine are all out of contract at the end of next season and will face the pull of clubs from their home states.

    When asked about the trio, Cameron told AFL Trade Radio’s The Late Trade the Suns are confident the young guns are invested in the team’s success and hoped they might be able to complete signings over the break.

    “We’d be hopeful we can do some signings this off-season before we get into next year,” he said.

    “Our young blokes are really invested, part of our strategy from the get-go was to bring a bunch of talented young guys together, and they’ve really bonded.

    “They’ve got good hope for the future, but on-field we’ve got to show it.”

    Cameron also commented on the futures of Will Brodie and Darcy Macpherson.

    The pair are in a similar boat, both 23-years old but have struggled to cement their places in the Suns best 22.

    Brodie especially has struggled up north, playing just 24 games in five years after being drafted with pick nine in the 2016 AFL draft.

    “Will’s going into his sixth year next year, and he quite rightly wants to explore his options elsewhere and we’re happy to facilitate that if we can find something for him, we’ll work to that through the trade period,” Cameron said.

    “Darcy is a little bit the same, but he hasn’t been quite as vehement in talking to us around wanting to find another home, but if he did and found something that works for us, then we’d look at that.”

    The Suns have some work to do if they are to bring in any trade targets this off-season with all list spots currently filled and signed for next season, however, it hasn’t stopped Cameron and his team from showing interest in delisted Saint Luke Dunstan.

    “We’ll have to wait until we get through the trade period to see where everything sits, but Luke’s a good player and he played some good games this season so we’d be crazy not to look at a player of his talent if he’s available to rookie list, it just depends what happens through the trade period as to how many rookie selections we have,” Cameron said.

    2022 shapes as a big year for the Suns, with numerous signings still to be completed and coach Stuart Dew out of contract.

  • Melbourne man under investigation for attending Perth AFL grand final allegedly in breach of COVID rules
    28 September 2021
    Police in Western Australia are investigating whether a Melbourne man who may have attended the AFL grand final on Saturday is in breach of a COVID-19 quarantine direction.
  • Dermott Brereton's top AFL commentators, experts and host
    28 September 2021

    If you could put together a commentary team made of all available media talent to call a game of footy, who would you select?

    Dermott Brereton has put together who he believes are the best in the business in terms of hosting a broadcast, calling the game and providing expert commentary.

    He has gone with one host, two callers and two experts.

    See Brereton’s call team below:

    Host: Eddie McGuire

    “Eddie McGuire’s the best host. I declare my interests: he’s a great mate, but really if anyone says they’re as good a host as Eddie, it’s chalk and cheese, he’s the best host we’ve got,” Brereton told SEN’s Bob and Andy.

    Callers: Anthony Hudson and Dwayne Russell

    “Anthony Hudson and I love the way Dwayne Russell calls,” he said.

    Subscribe to the SEN YouTube channel for the latest videos!

    Experts: Jimmy Bartel and Nick Riewoldt

    “I learn the most off Jimmy Bartel listening to him. Jimmy tells me the most of what I want to know when I’m watching a game off-screen that I can’t see and is able to tell me how things have happened in a certain way,” he said.

    “I’ve got him first, he’s clearly the best in my view. I can’t work out why Channel 7 don’t use him more.

    “I love seeing how Nick (Riewoldt) pulls it apart and shows where players are from, how they’ve got there and shows how things have transpired to get there.

    “They’re the two current best at telling me something that I want to know.”

  • Melbourne CEO reveals club's Adam Cerra trade ambitions
    28 September 2021

    Melbourne CEO Gary Pert has spoken on the speculation surrounding the Demons throwing their hat in the ring for Fremantle young gun Adam Cerra, who has requested a trade home to Victoria.

    Cerra still appears to be destined to nominate Carlton in the coming days, however, Melbourne has emerged as another club interested in the 21-year old.

    Speaking on SEN’s Dwayne World, Pert believes the club’s list is in a great spot, featuring plenty of depth.

    “I’m part of all the conversations the list management group is having with all the players and all managers,” he said.

    “We’ve got a list that’s pretty strong, there’s going to be a bit of pressure on us from a salary cap point of view.

    “But I think not only have we got a talented list, but anyone who was looking at the players who ran onto the ground after the Grand Final, there were quite a few of them who deserved to be playing at the highest level.

    “We’ve got a highly talented group, but again we’ll explore all options.”

    It’s unclear how Pert and his list management team would be able to secure Cerra, considering the club has just one pick in the first two rounds at number 33.

    On the specifics of a deal for Cerra, Melbourne’s CEO confirmed they were interested in the star Docker but refused to elaborate on how it would happen.

    “All clubs are going to be talking to the representatives of a young star player like that,” Pert said.

    “Whether you can have the room or be able to pull off the deal, I’d say the majority of clubs are exploring it, but until we think anything’s going to happen with any player, we keep all those conversations highly confidential.”

    The Demons have an extremely young list, seven of their 23 players on Saturday night 21 years old or younger.

  • Grand finals don't reward season's best team, AFLW star Ebony Marinoff says
    28 September 2021
    After a mixed record in do-or-die grand finals, Adelaide Crows AFLW star Ebony Marinoff says it is a shame that one "really bad day" should cost a team a title.
  • Silvagni explains AFL draft points system, how Dogs will land Sam Darcy
    28 September 2021

    Stephen Silvagni has explained the intricacies of the points system in the AFL draft and how the Western Bulldogs will be able to secure Sam Darcy in the 2021 draft.

    Silvagni has worked as a list manager at both GWS and Carlton and has drafted many players under the current, albeit sometimes confusing rules of the draft.

    Darcy, son of Bulldogs legend Luke, is one of the most talented of his draft class, the tall forward rocketing in to pick one calculations with a six-goal haul for the Vic Metro’s under-19’s trial match in June.

    As a father-son prospect, the Bulldogs have the option to match any bid for the 18-year old.

    Silvagni explained exactly how the Dogs will look to land their prized draftee.

    “They can go into points deficit, but they will try and find the picks,” Silvagni told SEN Breakfast.

    “Each pick has a value, if he goes at pick two, that pick’s worth 2,500 points, plus a 20% discount for father-son or NGAs (Next Generation Academies).

    “So, they’ve got to make up those points within that draft.

    “They’ve got to find 2000 points, so all their picks in the draft have to add up to 2000 points, and they all go (if they match the bid).”

    However, he says that’s not the be-all and end-all, using Fremantle as a past example.

    “If they don’t have enough points with those picks in this year’s draft, the points will come off their first pick in next year’s draft, that’s called going into deficit,” Silvagni said.

    “It’s happened to Fremantle. Fremantle, last year or the year before, there was a bid on one of their NGA players, and they were in deficit in their first-round, so their first pick actually slipped back a couple of spots last year.”

    The Bulldogs first pick currently sits at number 17 in the 2021 AFL draft, meaning they will likely face bids from rival clubs on Darcy.

    The former Carlton list manager says clubs will bid if they think it can benefit them down the track.

    “Ultimately, by me bidding, (you have to ask yourself) ‘Is it going to help me out or is it going to help other picks come in for you, do I really value that player and are we a chance to get him?’” Silvagni said.

    “If you value the player, sure (bid), within reason.

    “I always said that if you value that player and it’s going to help you get that player or it's going to help you get something further down the line, then bid.”

    A club whose bid is matched on a player will then collect the draft picks and points the rival club used to match the original bid.

    Collingwood father-son prospect Nick Daicos and South Australian Jason Horne-Francis are the other two who appear a possibility to be the number one draft pick in 2021.

  • International Cup locked in for 2023
    28 September 2021
    Due to ongoing international border closures impacting travel to and from Australia, the AFL has announced that the next AFL International Cup is scheduled for 2023.

    The event was originally scheduled to be held on the Sunshine Coast in 2020 but was postponed until 2021, due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

    AFL Executive General Manager Game Development, Andrew Dillon, said it was important to provide certainty for international participants and stakeholders.

    “Given the challenges around the re-opening of borders, and the need for international teams and organisers to proceed with planning the International Cup, we have made the decision that 2023 is the ideal year in which to next host the event.”

    “The International Cup remains a key aspect of the games growth overseas and the scheduling of the event in 2023 returns us to our original three-year schedule. We know that is has been frustrating for teams to prepare for the event alongside Covid and the appreciate the the patienceshown by all of our international players.”

    New Zealand will field both a Men’s and Women’s team for the first time in the competitions history.

    The post International Cup locked in for 2023 appeared first on AFL New Zealand.