Dennis Rodmans agent says the former NBA star did not take any payment from the North Korean government during his trip this week to the country. Darren Prince says the North Korean government did not finance any part of the trip, adding that Irish betting company, Paddy Power PLC, covered expenses for Rodman and his team of former NBA players that included Charles D. Smith, Kenny Anderson and Cliff Robinson. NBA Commissioner David Stern told CNN this week that Rodman was influenced by "a flash of North Korean money" to stage an exhibition game in Pyongyang. Rodman apologized Thursday for comments he made in North Korea about a detained American missionary, saying he had been drinking and was under pressure as he organized the game. He also sang "Happy Birthday" to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the start of the friendly game. Rodman dedicated the game to his "best friend" Kim, who along with his wife and other senior officials and their wives watched from a special seating area. The capacity crowd of about 14,000 at the Pyongyang Indoor Stadium clapped loudly as Rodman sang a verse from the song. Rodman said he was honoured to be able to play the game in the North Korean capital and called the event "historic." Some members of the U.S. Congress, the NBA and human rights groups, however, say he has become a public relations tool for North Koreas government. Prince also said that an England-based production company, Chief Productions, filmed the North Korea trip for a documentary, and another outfit, Koryo Tours, sold VIP packages to the game and will make a donation to a childrens charity in North Korea this month with a portion of the proceeds. Romelu Lukaku Belgium Jersey
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. Clevelands manager had just watched his team lose 5-3 to Kansas City, which completed a 2-6 homestand and dropped the Indians 2 1/2 games behind Detroit in the AL Central. Jan Vertonghen Jersey
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. Needing to bulk up on both sides of the line, the Falcons agreed to terms with guard Jon Asamoah, defensive end Tyson Jackson and defensive tackle Paul Soliai. Asamoah and Jackson played last season with Kansas City, where Asamoah lost his starting job.TORONTO - Jose Bautista entered Wednesdays play at or near the top of most of baseballs important offensive categories. The 33-year-old is the league leader with 34 walks. His 1.058 OPS and 191 OPS+ are the best in the game. Bautistas hit nine home runs, which ties him for fourth in the majors. Hes reached base safely in each of the Blue Jays 33 games to begin the year. Thats a club record. "I think Ive had a pretty strong first month, as strong as I might have had ever in my career," Bautista told TSN.ca during a conversation in Philadelphia. "But the seasons long and its hard to look at small samples and how thats going to portray into a complete season. I try not to pay attention to those things and just focus on the preparation and the work and my effort and hopefully at the end of the year everythings taken care of itself." As teams around the league rely more heavily on spray charts and advanced offensive data, Bautista, like most sluggers around the league, often hits with three infielders on the left side of second base. The percentages show that if Bautista hits the ball on the ground, most of the time hell pull it. With that in mind, hitting coach Kevin Seitzer has encouraged Bautista to occasionally take pitches the other way. Manager John Gibbons believes the approach helps Bautista stay on breaking pitches down and away. He sees those often as opposing pitchers often work around him or, at least, are particularly careful about keeping the ball out of the middle of the strike zone. "The only difference I see with him is hes taking some hits the other way and I think its making him a tougher out," said manager John Gibbons. "You hear some people who complain about, well, hes a home run hitter, youve got to do it this way. Well, you know what? His home run numbers havent suffered one bit." Bautistas coaches and teammates took notice of his approach in the 10th inning of Tuesday nights 6-5 win over the Phillies. Melky Cabrera led off with a single. Bautista worked a 2-2 count and with the infield pulled around to the third base side he pushed a 93 miles per hour fastball through the gaping hole where the second baseman would usually stand. Cabrera advanced to third on the play and one out later scored the game-winning run on Juan Franciscos sacrifice fly. Manager John Gibbons called it "winning baseball." "Its good to see, thats what winninng players and winning teams do, the little stuff," said Jose Reyes.dddddddddddd "In that situation he didnt try to hit a two-run home run and pop it up to the infield or something. He just tried to move Melky over, he saw that huge space there at second base and he hit the ball that way, first and third and we win the game right there." Outfield coach Tim Leiper paid Bautista the ultimate praise last week, equating his pregame preparation and in-game adjustments to that of a coach. Bautista doesnt want the label but he is involved in every pitch. From the dugout hes studying the opposing pitcher, watching for tendencies that may indicate which type of pitch will be thrown. Not a base stealer himself, Bautista tries to help his faster teammates get a read on a pitchers move. Defensively, hell involve himself in outfield positioning based on his extensive knowledge of hitters. "I try to pay attention to things like that and I share all kinds of information with my teammates," said Bautista. "I also encourage them to share stuff that they know and information that they have with me. I like to listen to that kind of stuff and put it into my database, I guess." Gibbons recalls a game in Kansas City early last year when injuries to Jose Reyes and Brett Lawrie forced Bautista from his usual spot in right field and in to play third base. Bautista would frequently hover around the mound in between outs, giving the pitcher a scouting report on the next hitter. "Joses not just out there playing," said Gibbons. "He studies this and hes paying attention to whats going on. Hes played against a lot of these guys over the years so hes got a pretty good idea of what they do." The Blue Jays entered Wednesdays action with a record of 16-17 following a 4-4 road trip to Kansas City, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Like on their previous road trip, they left some games on the table due to poor, late-game pitching. Bautista isnt panicking, however, because the American League East remains tight six weeks into the season. Torontos just a game and a half back of first-place Baltimore. "The only thing that would matter if we were 15 games back," said Bautista. "That would mean wed dug ourselves a big hole to come out of. From that perspective it doesnt really matter. What matters is how we play from here on out and weve got to focus on that." China Jerseys Wholesale Cheap Jerseys Wholesale NFL Camo Jerseys Wholesale NFL Gear Cheap Jerseys Online Disocunt Football Jerseys Cheap NFL Black Jerseys
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