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Its probably time to eject skipper from the baseball lexicon. The word is just too inadequate. The modern manager is so much more than the captain of a ship. He is a counselor, a teacher, a leader, a thinker, a storyteller, a cheerleader and a bearer of news, both good and bad.If theres one thing this epic World Series has demonstrated, its that the Cubs and Indians are here because of their managers. Its not just a coincidence that two storied Midwestern franchises with Cs on their uniforms are facing each other in the seventh game, hoping to finally write a happy ending. Its also a dazzling demonstration of how the manager has evolved in modern baseball.Joe Maddon and Terry Francona are both Italian-American, both close to their families, both from small, working-class, Pennsylvania towns. Theyre not exactly alike -- the ready-for-his-close-up Joe likes fine wine; the self-effacing Tito fondly recalls Boones Farm -- but they share a sensibility for their players, a willingness to think outside the box and a gift for expressing their thoughts honestly and humorously.Take the obligatory news conferences they gave before Game 6. Asked how Cleveland has differed from Boston, with which he won two championships, Francona said, I mean, there were a lot of times [in Boston] I thought my name was, You Suck because thats all I ever heard.Maddon used the forum to make a proposal: I think there should be two forms of Twitter. There should be the positive form of Twitter and the negative form, and you have to choose one ... There needs to be Twitter police because theres so much negativity thats generated on a daily basis.They are both turning postseason baseball into a breathtaking battle of wits. Jim Leyland, the longtime manager who helped bridge old school to new school, knows them well.They have been brilliant, he said. The way theyve used their bullpens, the way theyve focused on the importance of that nights game ... Im enjoying the hell out of this.Cubs president Theo Epstein, who hired Francona over Maddon when he made him the Red Sox manager in 2004, then hired Maddon when he became available after the 2015 season, sees similar basic qualities in both men.They both allow players to be themselves, and theyre not afraid to turn convention on its head, Epstein said. Oh, there are differences. Joe believes in balancing baseball with outside experiences, and Tito loves nothing more than to get to the clubhouse early. But they treat their players with respect, and thats whats made them so successful.On the face of it, Francona had the harder challenge in getting the Indians here; they were 68-94 before he took over in 2013. Now theyre looking for their first World Series title since 1948. The Cubs were built to win by the time Maddon took over. But they also were on a 0-108 streak when it came to winning world championships, and more to the point, they were down three games to one after Game 4.In the seventh inning of Game 5, up 3-2 but facing a man on and one out, Maddon brought in closer Aroldis Chapman?and let him finish the game. The move was preceded by a few days of gentle persuasion to convince Chapman that he could pitch multiple innings -- precisely what Francona has asked Andrew Miller to do throughout these playoffs (so often, in fact, that it earned Miller the ALCS MVP trophy).Yes, Maddons was a gutsy decision, but it was done with consideration and respect. When he saw the same moment of crisis in the seventh inning of Game 6, with the Cubs leading 7-2, he did it again -- damn the second-guessers.These two really dont care what you think. At this point, they care only about winning, and therein lies the shame of this World Series. As someone who has known Francona since he was a rookie outfielder with the Montreal Expos in 1981, I cant help but root for him. I can still see him going up to each of his Red Sox players after they beat the Indians in the 2007 ALCS and whispering his thanks in their ears. Nor can I help but hope that Maddon is the manager who finally breaks the Cubs curse; his joy for life and baseball are a constant inspiration.For now, its on to Game 7. After the Cubs 9-3 win in Game 6, Francona said, It will be exciting to come to the ballpark tomorrow. Shoot, I just might wear my uniform home.For his part, Maddon said, Both sides have played really good baseball. Its just correct and apt that wed go seven games.May the best team win. It might be hard to find better men, though. Black Packers Jerseys . The 17-year-old native of Marystown, N.L., pulled out of Skate Canada International last month in Saint John, N.B., with the same problem. Womens Packers Jerseys . All of the scoring came in the final 20:04. Lucic scored on a power play at 15:46 of the third period, when he tipped a shot over Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen for a 3-1 lead. http://www.officialpackersnflauthenticshop.com/ .com) - The red-hot Los Angeles Kings will try to extend their winning streak to a season-high seven games when they visit the Edmonton Oilers for Sundays clash at Rexall Place. Kendall Donnerson Stitched Jersey . -- The proud fathers huddled near the Dallas Stars dressing room, smiling, laughing and telling stories while wearing replica green sweaters of their sons team. Jaire Alexander Stitched Jersey . Down by seven with 90 seconds left in regulation, thats where they looked comfortable. The most wonderful time of the year is here.The 2016 bowl season kicks off with six games on Saturday. Well have to wait until Dec. 31 for the College Football Playoff semifinals, but there are plenty of other compelling bowl games to watch between now and then.Which games are the most interesting? We rank each of the 41 bowl games from best to worst:1. College Football Playoff semifinal at the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl: No. 3 Ohio State?vs. No. 2 Clemson?(Dec. 31, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App) University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona)A prime-time quarterback matchup (Clemsons Deshaun Watson vs. Ohio States?J.T. Barrett) and a big-time coaching duel (Clemsons Dabo Swinney vs. Ohio States Urban Meyer) with a spot in the CFP National Championship Game on the line. What more could you want?2. College Football Playoff semifinal at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl: No. 4 Washington?vs. No. 1 Alabama?(Dec. 31, 3 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App) (Georgia Dome, Atlanta)Defending national champion Alabama is two victories away from completing the first 15-0 season in modern college football history. The Crimson Tide must defeat the Pac-12 champion Huskies to advance to the CFP National Championship Game. Will Washington coach Chris Petersen have another trick up his sleeve?3. Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual:?No. 9 USC?vs. No. 5 Penn State?(Jan. 2, 5 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App) Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California)Two of the hottest teams in the FBS square off in The Granddaddy of Them All. The Nittany Lions won their past nine games after starting 2-2; the Trojans won their final eight after starting 1-3.4. Capital One Orange Bowl:?No. 6 Michigan?vs. No. 11 Florida State?(Dec. 30, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App) Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida)The Wolverines just missed making the College Football Playoff, but theyll have to bounce back to slow down Seminoles tailback Dalvin Cook. Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher already has won something Michigans Jim Harbaugh wants: a national championship.5. Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl:?No. 20 LSU?vs. No. 13 Louisville?(Dec. 31, 11 a.m. ET, ABC/ESPN App) Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Florida)New LSU coach Ed Orgeron will try to carry some momentum into the offseason by handing Louisville its third straight loss. The game will feature one of the best tactical matchups of the postseason: Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino vs. LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda.6. Allstate Sugar Bowl: No. 14 Auburn?vs. No. 7 Oklahoma?(Jan. 2, 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App) (Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans)Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops and his high-octane offense get another chance to take down an SEC opponent. Auburns offense should be better if quarterback Sean White is healthy.7. Valero Alamo Bowl: No. 12 Oklahoma State?vs. No. 10 Colorado?(Dec. 29, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App) (Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas)We probably wont see another 31-point second-half comeback, like last seasons Oregon-TCU game, in which the Horned Frogs prevailed here. But the Buffaloes and Cowboys might still produce one of the more compelling games of the postseason.8. Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic: No. 15 Western Michigan?vs. No. 8 Wisconsin?(Jan. 2, 1 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App) (AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas)The undefeated Broncos will row their boat to the Cotton Bowl, where theyll look to become only the sixth FBS team to finish a season with a 14-0 record.9. Las Vegas Bowl presented by Geico: Houston?vs. San Diego State?(Dec. 17, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN App) (Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas)The Cougars will try to slow Aztecs star Donnel Pumphrey, who needs 108 yards to become the all-time leading rusher in FBS history.10. Russell Athletic Bowl: No. 16 West Virginia?vs. Miami?(Dec. 28, 5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App) (Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Florida)The Hurricanes and Mountaineers renew an old Big East rivalry. The Hurricanes havent won a bowl game since 2006, and coach Mark Richt will try to end their six-game losing streak in the postseason in his first year.11. Boca Raton Bowl: Memphis?vs. Western Kentucky?(Dec. 20, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App) (FAU Stadium, Boca Raton, Florida)Get out your calculators. The Hilltoppers ranked No. 2 in the FBS with 45.1 points per game; the Tigers were 17th with 39.5.12. Hyundai Sun Bowl: No. 18 Stanford?vs. North Carolina?(Dec. 30, 2 p.m. ET, CBS) (Sun Bowl, El Paso, Texas)Its your last chance to see Stanford star Christian McCaffrey in a college uniform. Do you really need another reason to watch?13. Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl: Nebraska?vs. No. 21 Tennessee?(Dec. 30, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App) (Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tennessee)The Cornhuskers had problems scoring down the stretch. That shouldnt be a problem against the Volunteers, who were torched for a combined total of 118 points and 1,983 yards in their past three games.14. San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl: BYU?vs. Wyoming?(Dec. 21, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App) (Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego)We really need a WAC marathon before this one.15. Belk Bowl: Arkansas?vs. No. 22 Virginia Tech?(Dec. 29, 5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App) (Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina)If you havent heard, Hogs coach Bret Bielema didnt include the Hokies on his final ballot in the coaches poll. He later explained that it was an oversight by the person who fills out his ballot. Yeah, right.16. Outback Bowl: No. 17 Florida?vs. Iowa?(Jan. 2, 1 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN App) (Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida)First team to 13 points wins, am I right?17. AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl: Texas A&M?vs. Kansas State?(Dec. 28, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App) (NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas)If nothing else, you can watch Kansas State coach Bill Snyder break in his new pullover.18. AutoZone Liberty Bowl: Georgia?vs. TCU?(Dec. 30, noon, ESPN/ESPN App) (Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, Tennessee)Both of these teams were ranked in the top 15 after the opening week of the season. Then things kind of changed.19. New Era Pinstripe Bowl: No. 23 Pittsburgh?vs. Northwestern?(Dec. 28, 2 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App) (Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York)The Panthers beat No. 2 Clemson and No. 5 Penn State. How many other teams can say that?20. TaxSlayer Bowl: Georgia Tech?vs. Kentucky?(Dec. 31, 11 a.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App) (EverBank Field, Jacksonville, Florida)The Yellow Jackets and Wildcats have a lot in common. They both probably overachieved to upset their more celebrated in-state rivals at seasons end.21. Foster Farms Bowl: Indiana?vs. No. 19 Uttah?(Dec.dddddddddddd 28, 8:30 p.m. ET, Fox) (Levis Stadium, Santa Clara, California)Indiana fans will get their first look at the Hoosiers under new coach Tom Allen.22. National Funding Holiday Bowl: Minnesota?vs. Washington State?(Dec. 27, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App) (Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego)Remember that time the Gophers had a 31-point lead over a Mike Leach-coached team in a bowl game? In the 2006 Insight Bowl, Texas Tech rallied from a 38-7 deficit to stun Minnesota 44-41 in overtime.23. Camping World Independence Bowl: NC State?vs. Vanderbilt?(Dec. 26, 5 p.m. ET, ESPN2/ESPN App) (Independence Stadium, Shreveport, Louisiana)Its not every day that you get a chance to watch the state champions of North Carolina and Tennessee play in Louisiana.24. Birmingham Bowl: South Florida?vs. South Carolina?(Dec. 29, 2 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App) (Legion Field, Birmingham, Alabama)Biggest reason to watch: South Florida quarterback Quinton Flowers might be the best player you havent yet heard about.25. Motel 6 Cactus Bowl: Boise State?vs. Baylor?(Dec. 27, 10:15 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App) (Chase Field, Phoenix)Baylor won its first six games and lost its next six; now the Bears finish their season in the Motel 6 Cactus Bowl.26. AutoNation Cure Bowl: UCF?vs. Arkansas State?(Dec. 17, 5:30 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network) (Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Florida)Talk about turnarounds: The Knights improved from 0-12 in 2015 to 6-6 this season under first-year coach Scott Frost; the Red Wolves started 0-4, then won seven of eight games to finish 7-5.27. Raycom Media Camellia Bowl: Appalachian State?vs. Toledo?(Dec. 17, 5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App) (Cramton Bowl, Montgomery, Alabama)What do the Mountaineers and Rockets have in common? They both defeated Michigan in the past nine seasons.28. Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Idaho vs. Colorado State?(Dec. 22, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App) (Albertsons Stadium, Boise, Idaho)It might be your last chance to see Idaho in a bowl. The Vandals are making the unprecedented drop from the FBS to FCS after the 2017 season. They finished 8-4 this season, which is one more win than they had in their previous four seasons combined.29. St. Petersburg Bowl: Miami (Ohio) vs. Mississippi State?(Dec. 26, 11 a.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App) (Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida)No, Ole Miss isnt the best 5-7 team in the FBS. Mississippi State beat Texas A&M and the Rebels down the stretch to secure a bowl bid based on its Academic Progress Rate score.30. Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl: Louisiana Tech?vs. No. 25 Navy?(Dec. 23, 4:30 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App) (Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, Texas)This game probably would have been a lot more compelling if Navy hadnt lost another quarterback to a season-ending injury. At least the Midshipmen will have a couple of weeks to get somebody ready to direct the triple-option offense.31. Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman: No. 24 Temple?vs. Wake Forest?(Dec. 27, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App) (Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, Maryland)You might get to see the Demon Deacons score against the Owls for the first time in school history. Temple won the only previous meeting, 36-0 in 1930, in the first night game played at Temple Stadium.32. Dollar General Bowl: Ohio?vs. Troy?(Dec. 23, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App) (Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Alabama)Hows this for a coaching matchup? Ohios Frank Solich, 72, is twice as old as Troys Neal Brown, 36. When Brown was born on March 11, 1980, Solich was coming off his first season coaching Nebraskas freshman team.33. Popeyes Bahamas Bowl: Eastern Michigan?vs. Old Dominion?(Dec. 23, 1 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App) (Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium, Nassau, Bahamas)At least youll get to see two football teams that are going to cherish their opportunity to play in the postseason. The Eagles havent played in a bowl since 1987; the Monarchs are making their first bowl appearance.34. Hawaii Bowl: Hawaii vs. Middle Tennessee?(Dec. 24, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App) (Aloha Stadium, Honolulu)The Rainbow Warriors probably dont want to hear about Middle Tennessees travel concerns about heading to the islands. Hawaii traveled more than 19,000 miles to play California in Australia and Michigan on the road for its first two games this season. At least Hawaii will get to stay home for the postseason.35. R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: Southern Mississippi?vs. Louisiana Lafayette?(Dec. 17, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App) (Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans)It might be a matchup of 6-6 teams, but its going to be one heck of a party on Bourbon Street and inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.36. Miami Beach Bowl: Central Michigan?vs. Tulsa?(Dec. 19, 2:30 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App) (Marlins Park, Miami)Tulsas high-powered offense is fun to watch. The Golden Hurricane averaged 41 points per game and scored 31 or more in every game but one, a 48-3 loss at Ohio State.37. Quick Lane Bowl: Maryland?vs. Boston College?(Dec. 26, 2:30 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App) (Ford Field, Detroit)Hey, at least Rutgers isnt playing.38. Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl: North Carolina Central?vs. Grambling State?(Dec. 17, noon ET, ABC/ESPN App) (Georgia Dome, Atlanta)The HBCU showdown in the Georgia Dome is about more than the halftime show. After winning one game in consecutive seasons in 2012 and 2013, the Tigers have won 20 games over the past two seasons.39. Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl: South Alabama?vs. Air Force?(Dec. 30, 5:30 p.m. ET, Campus Insiders) (Arizona Stadium, Tucson, Arizona)South Alabama upset Mississippi State on the road to open the season, but it didnt win again away from home -- losing at Louisiana-Lafayette, Arkansas State, Louisiana-Monroe and Idaho.40. Gildan New Mexico Bowl: New Mexico?vs. Texas San Antonio?(Dec. 17, 2 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App) (University Stadium, Albuquerque, New Mexico)This will be Texas San Antonios first-ever bowl game. The Roadrunners started their program in 2011 and are only in their fifth season of FBS play, matching the NCAA record for the fastest program to reach a bowl game, equaling South Alabama (2014) and Georgia State (2015).41. Zaxbys Heart of Dallas Bowl: Army?vs. North Texas?(Dec. 27, noon, ESPN/ESPN App) (Cotton Bowl, Dallas)If you think youve seen this game before, its because you have. The Mean Green knocked off the Black Knights 35-18 on Oct. 22. Army had four turnovers in its loss. Wholesale Jerseys 2020 Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Wholesale NFL Camo Jerseys Wholesale NFL T-shirts Cheap NFL Jerseys Throwback Youth NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys From China ' ' '


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