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Reds’ Nick Castellanos: MLB is knowingly allowing pitchers to cheat

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Nick Castellanos has been one of the best hitters in MLB this season, and that is despite the league doing its best to help out pitchers.

MLB has said it would be making an effort to crackdown on pitchers using illegal foreign substances on the ball. However, aside from one notable instance, they have hardly policed the matter. Castellanos believes MLB is knowingly allowing pitchers to cheat with foreign substances, as he said on “The Chris Rose Rotation” podcast:

“Is it illegal or is not illegal to put stuff on a ball?

“It’s illegal. The league obviously knows that they are doing it, but the league doesn’t care. They don’t care because if it was really a problem that they wanted, they would put people in the bullpen to check gloves, to check hats, whatever. The league would do something about it. But honestly, I don’t think it’s that important to them.”

Batting averages across MLB are down to .236 as a whole, which is the lowest it has ever been. Pitchers are using substances that allows them to improve their spin rates, giving them sharper breaks on their off-speed stuff. That makes it harder for hitters to hit.

Castellanos feels MLB knows what a difference it makes, but they are choosing not to do anything about it. Personally, Castellanos isn’t fixating on the issue, because he feels it would put him at a mental disadvantage. He is batting .361 with 12 home runs this season.

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EURO 2020: Griezmann strike sees France held 1-1 by Hungary at Puskas Arena | XtraTime | To get the best and exclusive sporting news, keep watching XtraTime

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Antoine Griezmann after scoring the equalizer for France in EURO 2020 Group F clash against Hungary at the Puskas Arena on Saturday. Image: Twitter

Xtra Time Web Desk: A second half (66’) strike from Antoine Griezmann helped France to hold Hungary to a 1-1 draw in EURO 2020 Group F clash at the Puskas Arena on Saturday. The result put France on four points to provisionally top the Group of Death. Portugal who plays Germany later in the day can leap frog France if they win.

Hungary took a shock lead against France in a pulsating second Group F match in front of packed home crowd. Attila Fiola combined with Roland Sallai before the wing-back raced through on goal to beat goalkeeper Hugo Lloris with a low shot at the near post in the injury time of the first half.          

World Champions France equalized in the 66th minute through Antoine Griezmann.  Kylian Mbappe latched on to a bouncing long ball from Lloris and though his cross was only half cleared, Griezmann was waiting in the open space to slot it past the Hungarian goalkeeper. It was Griezmann’s 38th international goal for France in 93 games.

Hungary next face Germany in Munich on Wednesday while Portugal and France meet each other in Budapest on the same day.

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Denis Radovan: ‘I never cry. I only sweat out of my eyes’ – Boxing News

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Paul Wheeler talks to Denis Radovan, a middleweight who wishes he could eat like a heavyweight

When and why you started boxing:
I started boxing at the age of seven. My father was always a big boxing fan. One time he took me to a boxing club in our city of Cologne and I just fell in love with the sport.

Favourite all-time fighter:
I couldn’t name just one fighter, as this sport has so many incredible athletes. But one boxer who is always in my top five is Bernard Hopkins. I loved to watch him fight.

Best fight you’ve seen:
It’d have to be the first meeting between Andre Berto and Victor Ortiz. That was an all-action fight.

Personal career highlight:
Winning my quarter-final bout at the Youth World Championships in 2010 was a great moment for me. With that win I made history because I became one of the first German athletes to qualify for the inaugural Youth Olympic Games later that year.

Toughest opponent:
The toughest person that I’ve been in the ring with is George Groves. I sparred with him before his fight with Chris Eubank Jnr. He was a very hard and skilful fighter.

Best and worst attributes as a boxer:
I’d say that my willpower and work ethic are the attributes that have taken me places. My worst attribute? Maybe sometimes I can be a bit too hotheaded!

Training tip:
Always try to have fun, even when the sessions are difficult.

Favourite meal/restaurant:
I don’t have just one favourite meal. I like food in every way. Food is life!

Best friends in boxing:
One of my best friends in the sport is Artur Mann. He’s a very special guy. I hope to see him back in the ring soon.

Other sportsperson you would like to be:
I’d like to be a heavyweight boxer. No weight-making issues – only training and eating!

Last film/TV show you saw:
The last TV series I watched was Money Heist.

Who would play you in a film of your life:
Tom Hardy could play me in an action film!

Have you ever been starstruck:
One time I met Evander Holyfield at a gym in Louisville, Kentucky. It was a surreal experience – meeting a legendary champ who fought in so many big fights, including the two famous ones against Mike Tyson. He’s a true legend of the sport. Of course, I had to get a photo with him. That was definitely my most starstruck moment!

Last time you cried:
I never cry. I only sweat out of my eyes!

Best advice received:
Take care of the people that you love.

Worst rumour about yourself:
I’ve never heard any rumours about myself.

Something not many people know about you:
Not many people know that I love to watch trash TV!

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Valencia sign shirt sponsorship deal with Socios – SportsMint Media

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La Liga club Valencia has replaced Bwin with Socios.com fan and will be the first team to promote the company on the kit. This will be a one-season deal and the fans will see Valencia’s official fan token ‘$VCF’ display on the shirt.

The Spanish side also joins some of the major football clubs like Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City, AC Milan, Juventus, Atlético de Madrid, AS Roma, Galatasaray to work with Socios. The Argentina national team also works with the firm. 

The company first began to expand its sponsorship portfolio in the United States of America, building an alliance with teams like the National Hockey League’s New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia 76ers of NBA. Both the teams were owned by Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment. Alexandre Dreyfus, chief executive of blockchain provider Chiliz and Socios.com revealed that partnership with Valencia is the most valuable milestone in the company’s evolution. 

 “This world-first partnership, our fourth with a major Spanish club and 38th overall, will bring incredible visibility to fan tokens and the Socios.com platform, accelerating our mission to shift passive fans into active contributors and create a brighter future for sport – where clubs and fans alike are able to enjoy the rewards created by unlocking the potential of global fan engagement.”

Socios will replace Bwin with the shirt sponsor. Bwin is a betting operator company and had a three-year deal with the club till 2022 but the club was forced to terminate the contract with them as Spain’s new law does not allow to promote gambling in relation to sports and other events. 

Valencia had quite a disappointing season as they finished 13th in La Liga with only 43 points. The Spanishonce used to challenge for the top four spots every year but the new ownership has been a bane for them in the past few years. 

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