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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

MLB's April All-Stars - Nets Reveal NEw Logo

Brooklyn Nets unveil new Jay-Z-designed logo, colors NEW YORK (AP) -- The Brooklyn Nets are open for business. The team's formal attire will be black and white. The Nets began settling into their new neighborhood Monday, unveiling new colors and logos at a sporting goods store on Flatbush Avenue, across the street from its soon-to-be-completed home arena, the $1 billion Barclays Center. "Hello Brooklyn,"' center Brook Lopez said. "I've been waiting a long time to say that. It's very exciting." Lopez was joined by coach Avery Johnson, General Manager Billy King, Bruce Ratner, the real estate developer and minority owner who was the catalyst behind the team's relocation, and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. "Today is a great day for Brooklyn It's been one decade, 10 years, since I started discussing this with Marty. It's taken 10 years, but they are officially the Brooklyn Nets," said Ratner, who faced both legal and political resistance to the building of the arena and the relocation of the team he bought in 2004. "Ladies and gentleman, the curse of O'Malley is officially over today." The O'Malley family controlled the Dodgers from 1950-98 and moved the team from Brooklyn to Los Angeles after the 1957 season. The Nets, who have been playing in New Jersey since 1977, are leaving their red, white and blue look behind as they move across the Hudson River. The Nets will be the only team in the NBA with black and white as its only primary colors. Adam Silver, NBA deputy commissioner, said the league has been trying to steer teams toward emphasizing their traditional primary colors instead of black, which many teams use for an alternative jersey, to make them more easily identifiable on television. But it had no problem with the choice of black and white for the Nets. "We agreed with the Nets that this color scheme made sense for this market," Silver said. The team's shield logo has Nets spelled out above a basketball with a block B on it. Below the shield, Brooklyn is printed. The Nets say the logo and color scheme were designed by minority owner Jay-Z and inspired by the New York City Transit Authority subway signs from 1957. The Nets are hoping the move to Brooklyn will also bring a change of fortune for a franchise that has mostly toiled in the shadow of the New York Knicks. The Nets have never won an NBA title, though they went to the finals twice with Jason Kidd in 2002 and '03, and have not made the playoffs since 2007. Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov bought the Nets in 2009, knowing that a move to Brooklyn was coming. The team moved out of its longtime home arena at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J., after losing 70 games in the 2009-10 season. The team has spent the past two years playing at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. "Hopefully, around this time next year you guys will be at our press conference for the 2013 playoffs," Johnson said. The Nets finished 22-44 this season. Nets have been touting the move to Brooklyn as a way to lure big-time free agents to the team. That didn't work out, as LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and others passed on the team's offers. "We've been talking about it, but now the reality is we are the Brooklyn Nets," King said. "The arena is on schedule. It's going to be one of the best arenas in the league." King traded for All-Star point guard Deron Williams during last season, hoping he would sign an extension. Instead, Williams will become a free agent July 1. MLB's April All-Stars By David Schoenfield | ESPN.com
C: Yadier Molina, Cardinals (.316/.369/.592, 4 HR, 15 RBIs) Molina is proving last season's power surge was no fluke as he ripped out nine doubles and four home runs in April. He's nailed 43 percent of basestealers and the Cardinals have a 2.61 staff ERA. Terms like team leader are thrown out a bit loosely, but there's little doubt Molina is the heart and soul of the Cards. If not for Matt Kemp, you could make a case for Molina as April's MVP. 1B: Bryan LaHair, Cubs (.390/.470/.780, 5 HR, 14 RBIs) One of the feel-good stories of the month, the 29-year-old minor league veteran was given the first base job only as a placeholder for prospect Anthony Rizzo. He may not give it up quite so easily. Thirteen of his 23 hits have been for extra bases and, incredibly, he's batting .676 when not striking out. Yeah, yeah ... that impossible to keep up, of course. Still, he could make for some interesting trade bait for a team in a pennant looking for some power at first base. (Yes, we mean you, Los Angeles Dodgers.) 2B: Ian Kinsler, Rangers (.298/.400/.574, 5 HR, 12 RBIs) Most impressively: 24 runs in 23 games. Since 1950, only 11 times has a player scored 140 runs in a season. Only one of those -- Jeff Bagwell in 2000 -- scored 150 runs. If Kinsler can maintain that .400 OBP -- 45 points higher than last season -- he may have a shot. 3B: David Wright, Mets (.389/.494/.569, 3 HR, 14 RBIs) Last season was a rough one for third basemen, as several of the top guys landed on the DL. Things got so bad that Scott Rolen made the NL All-Star team. It's a different story in 2012, as six regulars are hitting over .300, Miguel Cabrera is hitting .298 with power and Chase Headley is off to a terrific start for the Padres. But Wright kept his OBP over .500 until the final day of April. Cardinals fans will point to David Freese's 20 RBIs, but Wright's big lead in walks (16 to four) gives him the edge. SS: Derek Jeter, Yankees (.394/.437/.585, 4 HR, 13 RBIs) So much for needing a rest. Jeter played every game this month (four starts at DH) and led the majors with 37 hits. His 10 extra-base hits are already nearly one-third of the 34 he punched out a year ago. The range at shortstop remains problematic, but nobody seems to care right now. LF: Josh Hamilton, Rangers (.395/.438/.744, 9 HR, 25 RBIs OK, maybe I cheated a little bit here: Hamilton has played twice as many innings in center in left. Sorry, Josh Willingham. CF: Matt Kemp, Dodgers (.417/.490/.893, 12 HR, 12 RBIs) We bow down to your greatness, Mr. Kemp, and can't wait to see what you do in May. RF: Corey Hart, Brewers (.270/.360/.635, 6 HR, 13 RBIs Not bad for a guy who had knee surgery in early March and wasn't expected to be ready for the start of the season. DH: David Ortiz, Red Sox (.405/.457/.726, 6 HR, 20 RBIs) Remember April and May of 2009, when Big Papi hit .185 with one home run? "Trust me, I am not finished," Ortiz said in early June of that year. Many Red Sox fans wanted the club to release him. A Boston columnist called for the club to do so. Maybe it did come close to doing so. P: Jake Peavy, White Sox (3-1, 1.67, 37.2 IP, 21 H, 5 BB, 33 SO My pitcher of the month for April, it's great to see Peavy healthy and slinging again. He put together a terrific first five starts, in part because had to face Boston, Texas, Detroit and Baltimore in four of those games. P: Stephen Strasburg, Nationals (2-0, 1.13, 32 IP, 22 H, 6 BB, 34 SO He's allowed four runs in five starts ... and has two victories. Please explain to your friends why wins are overrated. He's been absolutely dominant, hasn't allowed a home run and with the Nationals leading the NL East, the speculation has already heated about what the club will do about Strasburg's supposed innings limit if the club is in the pennant race in September. We'll worry about that then; for now, let's enjoy a master at work. RP: Aroldis Chapman, Reds (2-0, 0.00, 12.1 IP, 5 H, 4 BB, 21 SO) He's gotten 37 outs -- so 57 percent of his outs have come via the strikeout. It leaves one to wonder: How would he do starting? Please, Dusty, give us the chance to find out. Guy I wanted to put on the team: Jose Altuve, Astros (.360/.404/.547) The little guy can flat rake. Enjoy, Astros fans. Strikeouts don't mean everything award: Derek Lowe, Indians Lowe is 4-1 with a 2.27 ERA even though he has just nine strikeouts in five starts. Most un-All-Star: Albert Pujols, Angels (.217/.265/.304, 0 HR, 4 RBIs) Sorry, with $240 million comes more pressure, more scrutiny and expectations that maybe you'll hit one or two home runs per month. Pujols was arguably the worst player in baseball in April. Who would have thought we'd ever hear such words?

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