Sprake, Reaney, Cooper, Bremner, Charlton…

When I was a boy, at this time of year, you knew which players were going to be in the squads of the significant Association Football teams of the coming season. They were, in short, largely the same players as were contracted to the club the previous year. Growing up in Yorkshire a number of us at school followed Leeds United. The team we knew was Sprake (later Harvey)- Reaney-Cooper-Bremner-Charlton-Hunter-Lorimer-Clarke-Jones-Giles-and Gray. It was almost a playground chant. Anyway, we knew those names by heart. It came as rather a surprise to me a number of years later when I looked back on the line-ups for that era to find that the particular 11 mentioned with Sprake in goal only appeared in a grand total of 1 game for Leeds. That was in a game, in the FA Cup, against Mansfield Town on the 7th of February 1970 which Leeds won 2-0. The 11 mentioned never lined up at the start of a game in the Football League.

How can we account for this?

The answer to this seeming conundrum can be found in two simple words.

Paul Madeley.

Madeley sadly passed on the 23rd of July this year.

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New York Yankees – The Pitchers in June (2018)

The Yankees’ pitching continued on two separate trends in June. The bullpen was continuing to be successful but most of the starting rotation with the exception of Luis Severino was struggling. Add into that a dual hamstring strain which took Masahiro Tanaka on the disabled list and they would inevitably be leaning more and more on that ‘pen

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New York Yankees – The Batters in June (2018)

The Yankees were great in May and they managed to continue that excellent trend in June – so important because Boston are showing no signs of slowing down. The Yankees are going to need to keep winning if they are going to finish ahead in this two-horse race. In June, they won exactly two thirds of their games. Let’s see who amongst the batters was lifting the most weight:

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New York Yankees – The Pitchers in May (2018)

The Yankees had set out their stall for 2018 with a starting rotation of Luis Severino – Masahiro Tanaka – CC Sabathia – Sonny Gray – Jordan Montgomery. Now this looked a little weaker than a team who were hoping for a World Series booth might field but it became a more pronounced lack when Jordan Montgomery went onto the disabled list in May. Further problems lay ahead when it was announced that Montgomery would need season-ending Tommy John surgery. What would carry the Yankees forward? Fortunately, the bullpen had begun to meet, if not exceed, all expectations.

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New York Yankees – The Batters in May (2018)

May 2018 was a strange month in the annals of the New York Yankees. They had a game which started on the 15th of May and didn’t finish until the 18th of June. To think that in my country of birth, they say that cricket Test matches are long because they end five days after they started.

When the game finally came to its conclusion the Yankees lost to a home run from a player for the Washington Nationals (Juan Soto) who hadn’t made his debut yet. All of this in what was a month which saw the Yankees become once again the lead team in all of Major League Baseball. As I keep saying, in these articles,…confused – you will be.

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It Won’t Be Gone When the Morning Comes

What: Bat Out of Hell – The Musical

Who: Jim Steinman et al

Where: Dominion Theatre, Tottenham Court Road

When: May 2018

The Bat out of Hell phenomenon dates back to the release of the Meat Loaf album of the same name in 1977. Bat out of Hell – The musical opened in Manchester, England in February of 2017 before transferring to London in June of the same year where it was housed at the Coliseum in the West End. In October 2017 it transferred to Toronto, Canada before returning to London, England and its new venue at the Dominion in April of this year.

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New York Yankees – The Pitchers in March and April (2018)

If those assessing the Yankees chances in the 2018 season picked out one flaw, it was the starting rotation which they saw as middling at best. The bullpen, they argued, was going to be the best in baseball.

In the opening period of our analysis (the last few days of March and all of April), it didn’t quite work out that way. The starters delivered up a very respectable 13 wins, 5 losses and 10 no-decisions. Of those 10 no-decisions the bullpen won 5 and lost 5 and 5 members of the bullpen produced an ERA of 4.50 or over. Confused? You will be…

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