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CHICAGO -- The first two happened in a single game in Colorado. Pierre Turgeon Jersey . There was a fly ball that barely cleared the wall, and then a screaming drive to right-centre. Jose Abreu quickly hit two more home runs against Cleveland. He beat Tampa Bay with a game-ending grand slam, an absolute laser for his second shot of the game. Some 6,000 feet of homers in just six weeks, another successful mile in a well-travelled bridge from Abreus native Cuba to the Chicago White Sox. The big first baseman is punishing major league pitching while making a difficult transition to the United States look almost routine. "I come from a place where there is very good baseball, but theres nowhere you can compare that baseball to this one," Abreu said through a translator. "This is the best baseball in the world. But the only way to achieve this, to come here and be successful, is to be disciplined, to have a lot of discipline, thats the way you improve." Abreu looks right at home. The 6-foot-3, 255-pound slugger connected in Oakland on Wednesday to become the fourth player in major league history to hit 15 homers in his first 42 games, joining Wally Berger, Kevin Maas and Wally Joyner. He is batting .271 with 41 RBIs heading into a weekend series at Houston. Abreu, who defected in 2012 and finalized a $68 million, six-year deal with the White Sox in October, is among the major league leaders in several offensive categories. Playing at hitter-friendly U.S. Cellular Field, he is a legitimate threat to become baseballs first rookie home run king since Mark McGwire for the Athletics in 1987. "Its just his strength, his power," White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham said. "I mean hes just strong. You can do what he does with how strong he is, because he doesnt do a lot with his swing, his body to get ready to hit. He just drops the head of the bat on it and its gone." All that power has captured the attention of baseball fans across the country, but it is Abreus appreciative attitude that has quickly endeared him to his teammates. No small feat considering Abreus arrival pushed franchise icon Paul Konerko into a reserve role. "Hes such a good team person and you like to see stuff like this happen to people like him," manager Robin Ventura said. Abreu is the latest in a new wave of Cuban stars finding success all over baseball, and part of a long history of successful Cuban players in Chicago. Sluggers Yoenis Cespedes of Oakland and Yasiel Puig of the Dodgers are two of the majors most dangerous bats. Cincinnati left-hander Aroldis Chapman has blossomed into an All-Star closer. Miami right-hander Jose Fernandez was the NL Rookie of the Year last season. There were a record 19 Cuban players on opening-day rosters and inactive lists this year. "I think clubs are learning more and more how to do it," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. Cuban players often travel a dangerous road to the majors. According to court documents in a federal lawsuit in Miami, smugglers who helped Puig leave his country on a speedboat have made death threats against him and against a boxer who says he defected with Puig. When they make it to the U.S., they face what can be an isolating transition to a completely different culture and the rigours of the majors. One of the biggest challenges is the language barrier, but they also have to work through changes brought on by a level of wealth and fame far beyond what they could have experienced in their home country. Major league teams are more careful than ever these days about creating a positive atmosphere for the Cuban players, making sure there is a translator in the clubhouse and help nearby when it comes to challenges on and off the field. The 27-year-old Abreu has three Cuban teammates; shortstop Alexei Ramirez, outfielder Dayan Viciedo and catcher Adrian Nieto. Lino Diaz, the manager of cultural development for the White Sox, also is around if Abreu needs any assistance. The White Sox have had 18 Cuban-born players in franchise history, tied with the Los Angeles Angels for fourth among all major league franchises, according to STATS. Minnie Minoso, regarded as baseballs first black Latino star, played 12 of his 17 seasons in Chicago and remains a team ambassador. Orlando Hernandez helped the White Sox win their last World Series title in 2005. Abreus fast start is drawing interest back home. The slugger is followed as closely as possible in a country where, despite the appearance of recorded major league games on state TV starting in March 2013, games featuring Cuban defectors are still not shown. Cubans with access to the Internet and bootleg versions track his career and often discuss it at the "hot corner," a spot in Havanas Parque Central where baseball fans gather to discuss international and Cuban players. "Abreu is a powerful hitter, he was really good here, but personally I think that with his major league results hes really exceeded expectations," said Jose Estrada, 55. "All over Cuba were following him much more than before because hes Cuban and he represents Cuba in the country with the best baseball in the world, the major leagues, and hes showing everyone the level of Cuban baseball." That level looks better than ever right now. Brett Hull Jersey . Vargas (8-3) allowed four singles and two walks while striking out five, allowing only two runners from a diluted Twins lineup to reach second base. Mike Moustakas and Jarrod Dyson hit RBI singles in the second inning against Kevin Correia (4-10), and that was all Vargas needed. Brian Sutter Jersey . Blackhawks RW Patrick Kane came up big when it counted, tallying two goals and an assist. He scored the game-winner with 4:45 remaining in the third period, stopping on the right hashmarks, carrying the puck up through the top of the Kings zone, then firing a wrist shot from the top of the circles past Jonathan Quick, who had his view obstructed by Andrew Shaw. http://www.officialbluesnhlshop.com/doug-gilmour-jersey/ . -- Among the 31 players at the Montreal Canadiens rookie camp, none feels closer to cracking the NHL roster than right winger Aaron Palushaj.PARIS - Paris Saint-Germain could offer new recruit David Luiz something Chelsea couldnt: the near certainty of being a league winner next season. Because, more than ever, PSG is reducing Frances Ligue 1 to a no-contest. While the English Premier League and Spains La Liga were consistently nail-biting, decided only in the last round of matches, PSG made Ligue 1 feel over before Christmas. Its total of 89 points was a record. It topped the league from the 10th round to the last in winning its second consecutive title. Already, next season is shaping up as the same again. As the biggest fish in the small pond of French domestic football, PSG is going to have to succeed in Europe to really prove itself. Even limited by UEFAs Financial Fair Play sanctions, PSGs cash-rich Qatari owners can still comfortably outspend every Ligue 1 team with the exception, perhaps, of Monaco, bankrolled by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev. Luiz is set to become PSGs fifth signing of €40 million or more. The versatile, attack-minded defender will only strengthen what already this season was again the leagues stingiest defence, conceding just 23 goals. Playing alongside Brazil teammate Thiago Silva, and because theyll be coming off the World Cup together, Luiz should slot smoothly into PSGs backline. The question is not whether PSGs domestic dominance can last, but rather if it can break Lyons record of seven straight league titles from 2002-2008. For the third consecutive season, PSG again had the most prolific attack, scoring 84 goals— 26 of them from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, again the leagues top scorer. "Ligue 1 is continuing to grow with Monaco, Lyon, Marseille. Were raising the level," Ibrahimovic said. Really? That can be argued both ways. While PSGs acquisition of global stars like Ibrahimovic has burnished the Ligue 1 brand, the ease with which he scores, the gulf in class between him and players from other clubs, reflects an unbalanced, top-heavy league with PSG out of reach for French opponents. Jaden Schwartz Jersey. Coach Laurent Blancs team won only two of its six matches against top-four teams. That highlighted both the fragility of PSG under pressure and its opponents erratic performances during the season. Often unwilling to take risks away from home, conservatively playing for draws, PSGs main rivals facilitated its route to the title. PSGs winning margin over runner-up Monaco was nine points, even more comfortable than its eight-point cushion over Marseille the previous season. In 2012-13, third-place Lyon finished 16 points behind PSG. This time, Lille was 18 points adrift in third. Monaco must now rebuild having sacked coach Claudio Ranieri. While his replacement will need time to adapt, Blanc will be in his second season at PSG. That stability also increases its prospects for a hat-trick of league titles. Rybolovlevs wealth and Monacos tax breaks attracted Colombia striker Radamel Falcao and countryman James Rodriguez, one of the best young wingers in Europe. But its squad remains light compared to PSGs strength in depth built over three years of Qatari ownership. Lyon, funding a new stadium, relies on talent from its youth academy and faces another difficult summer holding onto rising home-grown stars like forward Alexandre Lacazette and France midfielder Clement Grenier. Weak competition isnt necessarily good for PSG. The teams sense of security lulled Blancs players into bad habits at times, especially toward the end of the season when they went off the boil. That can be fatal against Europes top teams. Against Chelsea, PSG failed to protect a two-goal advantage in the return leg of their Champions League quarterfinal. Next season, PSGs stars must respond better when theyre pushed around in Europe or risk being written off as playground bullies in an uncompetitive domestic league. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '
11-02-2017 09:11:12 P.M.

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