“This will be the first time in nearly 11 months we have a fan base roughly,” said Josh Rawitch of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
PHOENIX – It’s football time!
The Valley’s spring training matches begin on Sunday.
“It’s like Christmas morning. People are very excited, ”said Josh Rawitch, Senior Vice President of Content and Communications for Arizona Diamondbacks. “This will be the first time in nearly 11 months we have a fan base roughly.”
But of course, there have been some changes due to the pandemic: Capacity is limited to 2,200, about one-fifth of what Salt River Fields can have. This is of course to promote social distancing.
Fans will also be asked to wear a mask unless they are eating. By the way, if you make it to the spring training game, Chef Joseph Antosiak’s Sonoran Dog, which includes homemade pico de gallo and mayonnaise, will be on the menu.
“Then we have our delicious Shea Burger basket with delicious fries and some amazing wood apple bacon and cheddar cheese,” said Chef Joseph.
As for all the fans looking forward to enjoying this timeless Americana, it’s worth the wait.
“Yes, we rented an Airbnb here near Scottsdale. And we will come check the park every day and see if we have no luck, “said Candice Olson, who is in the city from Colorado.
“I think it will be much better than last season,” said Candice’s husband, Jon. “It’s much better to be back in full season.”
For those who could watch a live spring training match, it would be like watching a Major League Baseball game in person. This is arguably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
For those who can’t, there may be good news: Chase Field hopes to have more fans turn up for the real deal.
How abnormal has it been this season for the Knicks?
Mike Vorkunov, writer beat the Knicks: The last time the Knicks were in the playoffs was 2013. Then they fired their general manager the following September before the next season started. And, here it is. The last two decades for this franchise have been determined by defeat. It has become meme worthy.
This Knicks team, however, has reached a level of basic competence and excitement that has surpassed anything MSG has seen since Carmelo Anthony was at his zenith. It’s been a dark time since Patrick Ewing was traded but the Knicks are seeing the sunshine again.
What has changed recently in court?
Vorkunov: It’s hard to appoint a head coach and give him all the credit, but Tom Thibodeau certainly deserves it. The Knicks came under fire from your coach last season and they now hold the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference.
Thibodeau has been the biggest change from 2019-20. The Knicks are playing defense in the 90s again and things look a lot tighter. But Randle also deserves a lot of credit. He is the All-Star and sensational attacker the Knicks expected last season.
Is it sustainable?
Vorkunov: Isn’t that the big question. It depends. Can the Knicks defend their top-three defense despite firing the kind of shot that should have produced even worse results? Can Randle continue playing like an All-Star and reach 41 percent of his 3s? Can Immanuel Quickley continue to persuade the defenders to dirty him for the four-point game? Lots of ifs, but the Knicks are getting better and have actually improved over the past month. So, this may not be the climax yet.
Michigan State won’t use it as an excuse, but it’s clear there was little missing from the Spartans on a Sunday afternoon in College Park, Md.
Playing their fourth match of the week and picking up successive wins over a pair of the top five teams, the Spartans weren’t excited enough. a whopping 73-55 of Maryland.
Call it fatigue, call it the reality of the end of the season schedule full of matches thanks to facing the COVID-19 pandemic. You name it what you will, obviously one team has been through the blackmail for the last seven days while another has benefited from a week off.
“I think (Maryland) is playing well and I’ve been playing for this game every game (approach),” said Michigan State coach Tom Izzo. “So, there is no reason for that, but there is a reality. And the truth is, we’re in the two toughest games ever and I think that takes something away from those guys. “
If shooting the ball is an indication of tiredness or not, then Michigan State was tired early and could never really pull itself out of its funk.
Aaron Henry, Michigan State’s top scorer, missed all eight shots he took in the second half and finished the game 4-of-16, including 0-for-4 from 3-point range. And Joshua Langford, who was crucial for his late Spartan season streak, was only 3-for-13, including 2-for-8 from 3-point range.
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“I just felt like I was short on shots,” said Henry. “You will have days like that when it goes like that. They play good defense, they take all the free throws, they take shots, they compete. Praise them, but I felt like I was taking what defense gave me, I just missed it. I am short on many of them. I was right, but a few failed. “
Izzo saw the same thing from Langford.
“He fell (behind) a little bit and they were right, just short,” said Izzo. “And I’m not sure if it’s fatigue. I thought maybe because he couldn’t get on the lift and he couldn’t jump over a guy, so he shot a lot of him backwards. … So I don’t know if it’s fatigue. I hate to use that word. “
So it is with the Spartans.
For Henry, the player who has said over the past week that he has no time to tire, there’s no point lamenting that. There won’t be a chance to rest now, so that’s something the Spartans will have to strive for.
“Whether we’re tired or not doesn’t matter,” said Henry. “We played a lot. This was our last game in February and I had played in the previous March. I understand what it takes. At present, everyone around the country feet are tired, only from the duration of the season. I will never use it as an excuse, no matter how I feel. I’ll go home, take an ice bath and get ready for Indiana. “
As Izzo points out, there’s nothing anyone can do about the schedule.
“It is a reality of what we experience,” said Izzo. “We’re going to keep them fresh somehow because they have a lot to play for.”
Hauser is happy
It’s not all bad for Michigan State.
After struggling through part of the Top Ten seasons, Joey Hauser is starting to get up. He scored 11 points and eight rebounds, doing 3-of-6 from 3-point range. And Malik Hall played a solid 23 minutes, scored seven points and made three rebounds.
“I really feel good about Joey,” said Izzo. “He hit a couple of threes, he really played a lot more physically on the inside, he got eight rebounds and he kept people a little bit better. I think he’s been working on a few things, and there’s nothing easy going through all this, but it’s really encouraging, and I think Malik is playing a little better.
“But I think Joey is one of the parts that encourage us the most, and I think Malik is the second.”
Over the weekend, Pokemon famous its 25th anniversary. The idea of ”pocket monsters” has brought Japanese franchises into successful trading card games, video games, television shows, films and licensing opportunities.
Pokemon licensed items accounted for $ 4.2 billion in retail sales in 2019, according to data from Global License. That number may have increased in 2020 and 2021 with new items and licensing partners to celebrate their 25th anniversary.
Pokemon anniversary including a virtual concert with Post Malone and the opening of several new items from the company.
Here’s a glimpse into Pokemon’s success and what’s to come.
Investing in Pokemon Success: The Pokemon company is jointly owned by the video game companies Creatures, Game Freak and Nintendo Co. (OTC: NTDOY).
Investors only own stock options from Nintendo Co., which owns about 33% of The Pokemon Company. Along with its ownership in the Pokemon company and brand, Nintendo benefited from being the exclusive home for the Pokemon video game on the Nintendo Switch.
Trading Card Popularity Rises: One of the trends that is happening with Pokemon in 2020 is investors flocking to old unopened Pokemon card boxes. Over the weekend, more than 2.5 million people watched Logan Paul team up with Goldin Auctions to open the box Youtube.
The box was worth more than $ 1 million with an unopened pack auction that took place prior to unboxing. Two first edition Holo Charizard cards unlocked in the box. This card is considered one of the holy grails in the trading card game.
Wizards of the Coast, which is now owned by Hasbro Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS), obtained the right to make Pokemon cards in the late 1990s. The company released the first Pokemon TCG card in the US in 1999. The card sold more than 400,000 units in the first six weeks, which was 10 times more than the company projected.
In 2003, Nintendo established an American division to make Pokemon TCG cards with the expiration of the Wizards of the Coast contract. Wizards of the Coast sued Nintendo and reached an out-of-court resolution for releasing cards at the same time and luring executives to a new card division.
In Japan, Pokemon TCG cards sold more than 1 billion cards in their first three years.
Pokemon Video Games: Pokemon has become the most popular video game franchise, since the release of “Pokemon Red” and “Pokemon Blue” on the Game Boy.
Past announced It was last week that “Pokemon Brilliant Diamond” and “Pokemon Shining Pearl” will launch exclusively on Nintendo Switch in late 2021. A third new Pokemon game called “Pokemon Legends: Arceus” will launch on the Switch in 2022.
The first two games were remakes of the iconic games “Pokemon Diamond” and “Pokemon Pearl” which were released on the Nintendo DS and sold more than 17.7 million copies.
“Pokemon Sword” and “Pokemon Shield” sold more than 20.35 million units on the Nintendo Switch as of December 31, making it the fifth best-selling game on the console.
Pokemon Go: In 2016, “Pokemon Go” became one of the most successful mobile games ever launched. The launch helped boost Nintendo’s stock and caused the brand’s popularity to surge again.
“Pokemon Go” has income from $ 832 million 2016. The following year, revenue fell 29% to $ 589 million. The decline was short-lived, as revenue for “Pokemon Go” has gone up every year since then. In 2019, the revenue for “Pokemon Go” was $ 902 million.
Last year, “Pokemon Go” had its best year with revenues of $ 1.92 billion, a year-over-year increase of 39%, according to data from Super Data.
McDonald’s Joins the Fun: One of Pokemon’s main partners for its 25th birthday is McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD). Current restaurant chain offering four packs of Pokemon cards in his Happy Meals.
Fans have bought as many Happy Meals as possible, leading to a premium for retailers who list unopened cards and packages on eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY).
“With significant demand for our Pokemon TCG promotional cards, and some fans even trying hard to get them, we are working quickly to address the shortage and also strongly encourage restaurants to set a fair limit on Happy Melas sold per customer,” McDonald’s said in a statement. statement to Polygon.
Pokemon Television and Movies: There are dozens of Pokemon films and several television series, many of which customers can find Netflix Inc (NASDAQ: NFLX).
The new film is entitled “Detective Pikachu” released in 2019 with Warner Brothers, a AT&T Inc (NYSE: T) company. The film grossed $ 144.1 million domestically and $ 433 million worldwide. A sequel has been rumored but has not been confirmed by the parties involved.
Some investors may remember how the success of the original Pokemon television series boosted the value of 4Kids Entertainment, which is what traded on the NYSE. The company holds the rights to license Pokemon outside of Asia.
4Kids Entertainment stock rose 10 times its price and experienced two stock splits. The company was valued at over $ 1 billion before declaring bankruptcy and being removed from the list.
Photo credit: Jarek Tuszyński, via Wikimedia Commons
Since we last saw Fuels they picked up a win over Rapid City Rush on 6 February.
To recap so far, Fuel defeated their favorite opponent, Wheeling Nailers, twice on February 10 and February 14. The fuel was sprinkled in the win against Ft. Wayne Comets on February 17 before a three-game draw against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits.
Friday, February 19 – Greenville 4, Fuel 3
In the first three games, Fuel hosted the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. In the first half, Greenville took the lead late on against Fuel when right winger Jesse Schultz scored once over the shoulder of Fuel keeper Billy Christopoulos.
One goal down in the second half, Indy Matt Marcinew’s man broke through the Swamp Rabbit defense and slipped through the legs of goalkeeper Ryan Bednard to score the tie. The tie was short-lived, as Greenville immediately responded with a goal from Karch Bachman’s left wing. Bachman fired a slap shot past Christopolous for a 2-1 game lead goal.
Then in the second half, Greenville doubled the lead with a goal from striker Joey Haddad, who tipped the ball past Christopoulos. Just before the end of the period, Nic Pierog cut Greenville’s lead with a strong play goal to cut the gap to 3-2.
In the third period with Fuel trailing by a goal, Schultz put a nail in the Fuel coffin. Schultz took advantage of the bait from the back door to finally win the match. Fuel’s Dylan Malmquist added a late goal to make the final 4–3.
Peter Krieger signed a professional trial contract with AHL’s Manitoba Moose
Indy Fuel forward Peter Krieger signed a professional trial contract with AHL’s Manitoba Moose. Krieger currently has six goals and 10 assists as a member of BBM. Prior to joining Fuel, he spent the 2019-20 season at the Swedish Allsvenskan for Västerviks IK. He appeared in 52 games with Vastervik and scored 12 goals, 10 assists and 48 penalty minutes.
Saturday, February 20 – Fuel 4, Greenville 0
On Saturday, Fuel bounced back against Greenville with a big win. In the first half, Indy striker Mike McNicholas fired a shot past Greenville keeper Ryan Bernard to take an early lead. Indy doubled his lead at the end of the first period with a power play goal from Alex Rauter. Rauter parried defender Willie Raskob’s shot for Indy’s second goal of the game. Indy’s Mike Lee cemented Fuel’s lead by successfully overtaking Bernard for a three-goal lead.
In the second half, Indy’s Dan Bakala was surrounded for the first 10 minutes of the half. Greenville’s best chances were reviewed by officials and ultimately determined goalless. After a busy second period, Bakala only needed to hold Greenville for one more term.
In the third period, Bakala held firm at the net, standing tall by parrying Greenville’s eight shots. Rauter added a goal net for a four-goal win. Bakala is getting his first close of the season and the close of his third career at ECHL.
Sunday, February 21st. – Fuel 4, Greenville 0
A new night and a new goalkeeper equalized with the same result for Indy. After Bakala closed the Swamp Rabbit on Saturday night, it was Christopoulos’ turn to calcify.
After the first period without a score, Fuel was derived from the Swamp Rabbit in the second period. McNicholas saw Greenville taking a nap, as he jumped on the ice, unlatched the loose puck and fired a shot in the wrist past Greenville keeper Jacob Ingham. The recently acquired Diego Cuglietta doubled Fuel’s lead with a power play goal at Ingham. Cugiletta was acquired from the Utah Grizzlies for the rights to Connor McDonald.
In the third period, Greenville had their chances of making a comeback with a strong chance, however, Christopoulos’ rose defiantly denied all the Swamp Rabbit chances. The former Air Force Falcon stopped all 12 Swamp Hare shots in the period. With Greenville desperate to get back into the game, they tugged on Ingham, who made way for two more goals to fuel. Cedric Lacroix scored the third goal of the match. The 6-footed attacker scored the first empty goal from the netter. The second blank netter was printed by Cuglietta.
It was the first close of the season for Christopoulos and the second close in his ECHL career. It was the second consecutive shutdown for Fuel. It is the first time in the history of the Fuel franchise that two goalkeepers have received successive closings.
Bakala has been named Goalkeeper of the Week
Bakala was named the Warrior Hockey ECHL Goaltender of the Week during February 15-21. He went 2-0-0 with one shutout and averaged 0.50 goals. His saved percentage is .985 in both appearances.
The veteran goalkeeper made 35 saves in the 4-1 win against Ft. Wayne on 17 February and stopped all 30 shots on Saturday. The Canadian goalkeeper has a 10–0–1 record in 11 appearances for Fuel this season. He leads the ECHL in wins and is fourth with 2.12 goals average and tied for fourth with a save percentage of 0.926.
During his tenure with Indy, the Calgary native recorded a record 17–6–4 in 28 matches with an average of 2.30 goals and a saved percentage of 0.925. Prior to joining Fuel, he spent a lot of time in Europe, playing for teams in Austria, Germany, Scotland and Sweden.
Fuel currently has the best goalkeeping duo in ECHL with Christopoulos having the second best save percentage in the league.
Please stay tuned to The Rink for all your BBM and ECHL news.