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    • 533 posts
    October 17, 2018 10:43 PM PDT
    President Donald Trump expressed appreciation for U.S. service members on Super Bowl Sunday Christine Michael Sr Jersey , saying their bravery and sacrifice help make occasions like the year’s most-watched football game possible and renewing his criticism of NFL players who kneel during the national anthem.

    ”Though many of our Nation’s service members are unable to be home with family and friends to enjoy this evening’s American tradition, they are always in our thoughts and prayers,” Trump said in a statement about the game shortly before the matchup between the defending New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles got underway.

    ”We owe these heroes the greatest respect for defending our liberty and our American way of life. Their sacrifice is stitched into each star and every stripe of our Star-Spangled Banner,” Trump said. ”We hold them in our hearts and thank them for our freedom as we proudly stand for the National Anthem.”

    The president has been critical of NFL players who exercise their right to freedom of expression by kneeling during the national anthem to protest unfair police treatment of minorities. Trump says the practice is disrespectful to service members, and he has criticized the league and team owners for allowing the kneeling to continue.

    Trump hosted a Super Bowl watch party at his private golf club in West Palm Beach, Florida. He and first lady Melania Trump arrived just before kickoff. The Florida Atlantic University Marching Band marked Trump’s arrival by playing ”Hail to the Chief,” ”Boogie Wonderland” and ”Shut Up and Dance.”

    Trump thanked band members for a ”great job” and complimented their ”great talent” before entering the club.

    The president didn’t say which team he was rooting for. He punted when he was asked his preference earlier this week at the White House, saying ”I better not get involved.”

    However, Trump is good friends with Patriots owner Bob Kraft. Trump has said Kraft telephoned him in December, as he prepared to sign a package of tax cuts into law, to tell him that the tax bill is ”incredible.”

    The president spent the weekend at his estate in nearby Palm Beach, Florida, and returned to Washington late Sunday.

    Shortly after the Eagles won 41-33, Trump tweeted, ”Congratulations to the Philadelphia Eagles on a great Super Bowl victory!”

     

    TORONTO — Jose Bautista will return to the scene of some of his biggest moments in baseball Tuesday night when the New York Mets visit the Toronto Blue Jays.

    The Mets and Blue Jays will play a two-game interleague series at the Rogers Centre, where Bautista starred for the better part of nine years.

    The Mets will start right-hander Zack Wheeler (2-6, 4.47 ERA) against Blue Jays right-hander Marco Estrada (4-7, 4.53) in the series opener.

    While the Blue Jays (39-45) were losing 3-2 in 10 innings on Monday afternoon to the Detroit Tigers at the Rogers Centre, the Mets (33-48) had the day off. It gave Bautista a chance to renew acquaintances in Toronto.

    “I have some stuff scheduled, to meet up with people who were part of my life when I was there and visit some of the usual spots,” Bautista told reporters in Miami Malik Hooker Jersey , where the Mets played last weekend. “It’s definitely a place that I hold dear and close to my heart. It’s going to be a fun time.”

    Bautista twice led the American League in home runs with the Blue Jays, hitting 54 in 2010 and 43 in 2011. His most famous home run came in 2015 at the Rogers Centre, a three-run blast with an iconic bat flip that won the American League Division Series in the fifth and deciding game against the Texas Rangers.

    He played 1,235 regular-season games for the Blue Jays from 2008 to 2017, hitting 288 homers (second only to Carlos Delgado’s 336) with 776 RBIs (third on the team’s career list).

    Bautista also had an influence on his teammates.

    “He was a huge help in my development,” Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar said. “There was a time in my first full year when I went from left to center and I was making some plays and I kind of earned his respect and he metaphorically gave me the keys (to the outfield) and told me to go get anything I could. And my voice became the voice in the outfield. That was pretty special to me.”

    When the Blue Jays did not pick up the option on his contract for this season, he became a free agent. He did not have a team until the Atlanta Braves signed him on April 18. After a minor-league stint, he struggled with the Braves for 12 games and was released May 20. The Mets signed him May 22.

    In 36 games with the Mets, the 37-year-old is batting .250/.418/476 with three homers and 13 RBIs. In his past 14 games, he is hitting .300/.462/.650 with three homers and 10 RBIs.

    “I’m not surprised by what he’s doing,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. “He probably just needed some at-bats to get going and now we’re seeing the byproduct of him being ready. I’ve always known he’s a really good hitter. He keeps himself in really good shape. He’s probably in the best shape of anybody on our team and is (the oldest player on the team). Great approach, great patience, still has bat speed.”

    “Not having a spring training, wanting to swing the bat and some other things might’ve played into me not (reaching base) as much in Atlanta,” Bautista said.

    Bautista always has been a versatile player. He played mostly right field with the Blue Jays but also manned third base and occasionally first base. He has played 12 games in left field for the Mets, 10 in right field, two at third base and one at second base.

    This will be the second series between the teams. They split two games on May 15-16 at Citi Field.

    Wheeler was the losing pitcher on May 16, a 12-1 Blue Jays victory, in his only career outing against Toronto. He allowed six runs, seven hits and three walks and struck out seven in four innings.

    Estrada is 0-2 with a 7.27 ERA in seven career games (two starts) against the Mets. He struggled earlier in the season but is 2-1 with a 2.35 ERA in his past five starts.

    • 8510 posts
    January 29, 2019 2:12 AM PST

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