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If you watched any NFL games Oct. 10, you probably noticed some of your favorite players and coaches wearing pink.
Some had pink shoes, pink wristbands or headbands, or pink bills on their caps.
That was to call attention to the fact that Oct. 10 was designated as Breast Cancer Awareness Sunday and this entire month has been designated Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Grant Sanders, son of Greg and Brandi Sanders, is an eighth grade football player for Tell City. He noticed the NFL’s display of pink and asked his mother if he could wear pink wristbands during the Archers’ game with Heritage Hills to honor his great aunt, who has successfully fought breast cancer the last couple of years.
According to Mary Phillips, mother of another Tell City junior high player, “Grant’s example was very popular with his teammates, and many have also asked to follow his lead by wearing pink wristbands during their game at Southridge and during their final game Oct. 20 here against Pike Central.”
Added Phillips, “Many of the athletes have loved ones and family friends affected by breast cancer, and I think the fact that this tribute comes directly from the boys is to be commended.”
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No Perry County team is favored in volleyball sectionals this week, but the Class 2A sectional at Perry Central is considered wide open by most coaches.
Forest Park, which Tell City will play in the semifinals Wednesday, has beaten every other team in the field but is only 14-18 overall. And nearly all the matches between sectional teams have been close, which should make for an interesting sectional.
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As I write this the New York Yankees have an excellent chance of defeating the Los Angeles Angels in the American League Championship Series, which could make Eric Hinske one of a rare group of players to play for three different pennant winners in a three-year span.
The former American League Rookie of the Year is a bit player now (he is not even on the Yankees’ roster for the ALCS, though he was on it for the divisional series and could be again for the World Series). But he played for Boston’s 2007 world champions and made the final out in the World Series last year for Tampa Bay before joining the Yankees.
The last player to capture this rare feat also started his streak with the Red Sox. Don Baylor played for Boston’s 1986 AL champs, Minnesota’s 1987 World Series winners, and Oakland’s 1988 pennant winners.
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Most trade rumors one reads on the Internet are unfounded, but a current one that I believe will likely come true is the Red Sox will trade star closer Jonathan Papelbon.
Despite giving up three runs in one inning to the Angels in the divisional series, Papelbon is still one of the top two or three closers in the game. The law of averages may simply have caught up with him in that game after giving up no runs in 26 previous postseason innings.
But the Red Sox also have a closer in waiting in 100-mph throwing Daniel Bard. And they could re-sign Billy Wagner to close for one year if they think Bard isn’t ready for that role next year.
Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein is reportedly interested in acquiring a big bat, but the only free agent available who fits the bill is Matt Holliday, who if he comes to Boston will likely replace another free agent, Jason Bay.
That means to really gain a hitter the Red Sox need to make a trade. And Papelbon, who is still two years from free agency, is probably their most tradable commodity.
He is also eligible for arbitration next year and has shown no interest in signing a long-term contract extension, two other factors that might make Epstein willing to trade him.
With David Ortiz no longer a clutch hitter in the postseason, Epstein wants another power hitter. He also loves players who draw a lot of walks and thus have higher on-base percentages and really make pitchers work.
Who’s available who fits that bill?
San Diego first baseman Adrian Gonzalez hit 40 home runs this season and led the National League in walks with 119. And the Padres don’t figure to be able to afford to keep him in the long run.
So look for Papelbon to be traded for Gonzalez, with Kevin Youkilis moving to third base full-time for the Red Sox.
Mike Lowell could also be thrown into the deal, with the Red Sox agreeing to pay part of his salary. Or Lowell could stay in Boston as the main designated hitter, with Ortiz being traded or released.