SARASOTA, Fla. -- When it comes to his 50-game drug suspension, Nelson Cruz didnt have much to say during his introduction by the Baltimore Orioles. Cruz gave short answers to any Biogenesis-related questions during a news conference Tuesday, a day after the 33-year-out outfielder finalized an $8 million, one-year contract. "Whatever happened in the past, I look to move forward and have a great year with the Baltimore Orioles," Cruz said. Cruz was suspended for 50 games last August for a violation of Major League Baseballs drug agreement related to the sports investigation of the Biogenesis of America anti-aging clinic. He was joined at the news conference by eight of his new teammates, including Chris Davis, J.J. Hardy, Adam Jones, Manny Machado, Nick Markakis and Matt Wieters. Markakis said last summer that MLB needed stiffer penalties for violations of the drug rules. On Saturday, Markakis said he still favoured tougher penalties but was happy to have Cruz on the Orioles. "My opinion doesnt change toward anything. Hes part of this team now and hes going to be in this clubhouse and were going to welcome him just like anybody else. Hes going to be part of this team," Markakis said. Cruz hit .266 last year with 27 homers and 76 RBIs in 109 games. The suspension cost him $2,732,240 of his $10 million salary. He signed with Baltimore more than three months after he turned a down a $14.1 million qualifying offer from the Rangers. "It was a frustrating process, but Im happy for the decision that I made. Im really excited for the opportunity. I like challenges and I think its going to be a great challenge for me. Hopefully, I do my best and I look for the World Series," Cruz said. Cruz waited until training camps had opened. Hes part of a late spending burst that has seen the orioles commit $63,575,000. Right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez agreed to a $50 million, four-year contract and South Korean right-hander Suk-min Yoon received a three-year deal for $5,575,000. Baltimore lost its first-round draft pick, No. 17 overall, for signing Jimenez, and its second-round selection, No. 55, for signing Cruz. Orioles executive vice-president of baseball operations Dan Duquette adopted a strategy of waiting for free agent prices to drop. "Weve been steadily putting our team together," he said. "We signed a couple of pitchers, which we said we were going to do, and we said we were looking for a bat in the middle of our lineup, and Nelson can fill that role. Were always looking, but I dont anticipate any players of this calibre soon, but were always looking around." DaShawn Hand Lions Jersey
. J.J. Hardy drove in a run for the Orioles, who bounced back from an 8-4 loss in the series opener on Friday. Fresh off the 15-day disabled list, Derrek Lee went 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Jake Arrieta (7-3) gave up three runs on five hits over six innings to pick up the win. DeShawn Shead Lions Jersey
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. The 21-year-old Wickham headed Sunderland into a 26th-minute lead --to add to the double he scored at Manchester City and his strike in last weekends win at Chelsea -- and then sealed the win with a late header. Kerryon Johnson Jersey
. The 24-year-old Pruneau played his CIS football with the Montreal Carabins. The six-foot, 200-pound Montreal native had 41 tackles, 3. Christian Jones Lions Jersey
. In question is whether 26-year-old Matt Frattin will be on it. A a€?mediocrea€? training camp, as Carlyle put it earlier this week, has Frattin lingering nervously on the bubble at the end of the exhibition season, pushed out of a likely job by Brandon Kozun, the small, but feisty winger determined to make the NHL for the first time. COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Cam Atkinson believes the Columbus Blue Jackets are getting better. But hes also realizes just how far they have to go. "We got a little taste of what we wanted in making the playoffs," the 24-year-old winger said the day after the Blue Jackets were eliminated in Game 6 of their wild first-round series with the Pittsburgh Penguins. "We just won two games. Its a stepping stone." For years an NHL doormat, the Blue Jackets are both inspired and also realistic after the best season in the franchises mostly rocky 13 seasons. "I heard on the radio the other day that Game 4 is one of the great sports moments in this city," forward Mark Letestu said, referring to a three-goal comeback at home that was capped by a last-minute tying goal in regulation and Nick Folignos overtime winner. "I think theres a lot more that we can give. We can give series victories and further cement the Blue Jackets in the hearts of people here. Thats whats on guys minds right now." It was a season of firsts for the Blue Jackets, who have spent much of their existence toward the bottom of the NHL standings. They set club records with 43 regular-season wins, 21 road victories, 93 points and 231 goals. They had made the playoffs just once previously and their stay lasted only four games, all losses. But one of the leagues youngest teams overcame a 5-10-0 start with a strong finish to clinch a playoff spot. Then, they won Games 2 and 4 against the Penguins with stirring comebacks. In Monday nights Game 6, they were outclassed early and trailed 4-0 heading into the final period before scoring three goals in a 4:52 span to energize a crowd of 19,189 that stood and roared throughout the final minutes. The 4-3 defeat left them disappointed, but most will likely only remember the Jackets scrambling at the finish for a possible tying goal while the Penguins struggled to hold them off. "The building was rocking," defenceman Jack Johnson said. "But theres going to be a lot more and better times ahead." Beyond everything else they accomplished, they gave ttheir patient followers some hope.dddddddddddd Over their past 111 games, the Blue Jackets are 62-37-12 -- far and away the best such span in the franchises history, and exceeded by only seven other teams in the league. "Its been great to see where we came from halfway through last season to where we are now and how excited the city gets," said fourth-line centre Derek MacKenzie, an unrestricted free agent this summer. "Weve already talked about that. What would it be like if we could have a great start? Is that arena going to be like that all season long? We sure hope so." The Blue Jackets poor history has become, well, old news. "Everybody hears about the past," said rookie defenceman Ryan Murray, taken No. 2 in the 2012 draft. "It hasnt been very good. Everybody thats here now just wants to change that, to change the culture and bring in more fans and change the city into a hockey town." Judging from the capacity crowds down the stretch and in the playoffs, and the excitement generated around this city of 787,000. For the past few weeks, the Blue Jackets have been the talk of the town, pulling off a rare coup by bumping Ohio State football off the front page of the local newspaper. Now that the Blue Jackets have stamped themselves as a good team, the hard part is getting better. "I dont think were going to catch anybody by surprise anymore," defenceman James Wisniewski said. "Everybody realizes the identity that weve created here, that its going to be a hard-fought game and that theyre going to have to bring their A game or were going to run them out of the building." Many of the Blue Jackets had already shaved off their playoff beards before meetings with the coaching staff on Tuesday morning. Several of the younger players were barely able to grow one. So now a team that didnt know what it was missing when it didnt make the playoffs is disappointed that it has been eliminated. "Ill be watching (the playoffs) for sure," Atkinson said. "What else is there to do now? You wish you could be playing." Wholesale Jerseys China Wholesale Black NFL Jerseys Wholesale Black NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Womens Jerseys China NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys China Discount Jerseys
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