Abbott pitch for a decade, first at T | Forum

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cx888 Nov 28 '18
DALLAS -- Saturday night wasnt kind to either the Minnesota Wild or the Dallas Stars, which makes the meeting between these Central Division rivals Monday night at American Airlines Center even more interesting. Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys China .Minnesota (9-7-1) had a two-goal lead after 40 minutes against the Colorado Avalanche at XCel Energy Center. However, the Wild coughed up that edge and ended up losing 3-2.I need more from a lot of guys, Wild first-year coach Bruce Boudreau told the media postgame. When was the last time any of us had a multi-point game? You cant win every night in this league 1-0, 2-1.The Wild was without forward Zach Parise (illness) on Saturday. Parise, who also missed six games with a foot injury earlier this season, practiced Sunday in the Twin Cities and appears likely to play against Dallas, although the club recalled forward Christoph Bertschy from Iowa of the American Hockey LeagueMinnesota goaltender Devan Dubnyk, who saw a 156-minute shutout streak end with Colorados first goal, sounded shell-shocked after the loss.We stopped playing, Dubnyk said. I dont know what happened. That is not like us. ... We just stopped playing in our end.The Stars (7-7-5) allowed the first four goals to Edmonton on Saturday night in Dallas and ended up losing 5-2 as Oilers phenom Connor McDavid delivered a hat trick.Dallas will conclude its four-game homestand on Monday and the first three games, in which the Stars are 1-1-1, have been a mixed bag.On Tuesday, Dallas lost 2-1 to New Jersey in overtime and followed that with a 3-2 win against Colorado on Thursday, a game where the Stars nearly blew a 3-0 lead.Against Edmonton, veteran forward Patrick Eaves scored, giving him goals in a career-best five consecutive games. Eaves currently is tied with Dallas captain Jamie Benn for second on the Stars with 15 points.Eaves also leads Dallas with nine goals and five power-play goals.Benn has also done his part so far this season, but he is the first to take responsibility for the Stars maddeningly inconsistent play so far this season, whether a rash of injuries to key players is to blame or not.We just have to come together as a team more, play for each other and keep each other accountable, Benn said after the loss to Edmonton. I dont think were playing as a team right now. We really need to do better, and that starts with myself.Veteran forward Patrick Sharp saw his first action in nearly a month. Sharp, fifth on the Stars with 55 points last season, was up and down in his first game since Oct. 20 against Los Angeles, when he sustained a concussion.I thought that there were times he really skated well, Stars coach Lindy Ruff said of Sharps performance against the Oilers. I just think its going to be a little bit of time. I saw him in the training room in between periods so its going to be a bit up-and-down and thats why I kind of mixed the lines and tried to find who was going the best.Dallas, which is 4-3-2 at home, did not practice on Sunday due to a mandatory day off.Last spring, the Stars drew the Wild in the opening round of the playoffs and eliminated them in six games, Dallas first playoff series win since 2008.However, Minnesota has a new coach in Boudreau and on Oct. 29, the Wild blitzed Dallas 4-0 in St. Paul.Both teams made considerable changes from the squads which faced one another in the playoffs. Dallas biggest changes came at the blue line as the Stars jettisoned three of their most experienced defensemen, trading Alex Goligoski while letting Jason Demers and Kris Russell leave in free agency.Dallas added veteran defenseman Dan Hamhuis, but otherwise the plan has been to give what is a pretty young defensive corps the chance to step up, a strategy which, like the Stars season thus far, has produced results on both sides of the ledger.The Stars have allowed 64 goals, second-most in the NHL. Only the Philadelphia Flyers, who lead the league with 67 goals allowed, have conceded more goals than Dallas.And thats a number Ruff knows must improve.Weve got some young defensemen who I think, when the going gets tough, their vision narrows, Ruff said after Saturdays loss. That will come with more experience. Thats hard right now. We made some good plays and had some better options (against Edmonton), which was encouraging. There was still some plays that we just left out there.That defensive depth will be put to the test again. On Sunday afternoon, Dallas placed veteran defenseman Johnny Oduya on injured reserve after he sustained a lower-body injury on Saturday.Dallas recalled Julius Honka and Esa Lindell from AHL Texas. Honka, the 14th pick in the 2014 NHL draft, figures to make his long-awaited NHL debut while Lindell made his debut last season and appeared in 10 games for Dallas before being sent to the AHL last Thursday. Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys Free Shipping . Laudrup revealed Thursday he was notified of his dismissal in "the briefest of letters which gave no reasons why such hasty and final action was deemed necessary. Wholesale Nike NFL Jerseys . First off, the fans ripped the Cubbies introduction of a fuzzy new kid-friendly mascot named "Clark". . Goals from Jerome Boateng, Franck Ribery and Thomas Mueller extended Bayerns unbeaten run to a record 37 matches. "This record is incredible," Bayern coach Pep Guardiola said. It is not as if Monica Abbott blended in with the crowd before she signed her groundbreaking $1 million contract. While such compensation put an appropriately specific figure on it, her left arm has been uniquely invaluable for quite some time.Nerissa Myers, Abbotts teammate with the Scrap Yard Dawgs, a Houston-area expansion team in National Pro Fastpitch, knows well the special kind of misery awaiting opposing batters. Facing Abbott for the first time, something Myers did two years ago in an otherwise nondescript regular-season game, brought on the kind of nervousness she compared to playing in the World Series.In my head, Im thinking I have to stay short [with her swing], but nothing can really prepare you for actually getting in the box, Myers recalled of the 2014 game between her Akron Racers and Abbotts Chicago Bandits. I got in there and she threw the first pitch, and in my head Im like Oh crap. I was thinking about how I was going to play this off and pretend like Im super confident when I didnt even see the ball come out of her hand.It wasnt Abbotts paycheck that had Myers sweating.That same old Abbott is exactly who her new employer hopes it signed. The landmark contract isnt akin to a venture capitalist investing money to develop an idea. What the new franchise invested in were the services of the best pitcher in the world, established excellence able to make instant contenders of a roster with more rookies than veterans. Rookies like Taylore Fuller. Just weeks removed from playing at the University of Florida, Fuller has been behind the plate for the majority of Abbotts innings for the Scrap Yard Dawgs. And if hitting against Abbott is the most nerve-racking experience in softball, catching her might be next on the list.The other night I told her I thought she hit 80 [miles per hour] because it felt so hard, Fuller said. What amazes me the most about her is her control on her fastball. She can pinpoint that pitch anywhere she wants, and it still feels like its coming at you 80 miles an hour.So some things never change. Abbott will be Abbott.Scrap Yard began the last week of June in third place and with a winning record in the six-team league. That success contrasts with the fate of most of the leagues new franchises in recent seasons. It was celebrated a season ago when the first-year Dallas Charge slipped into the playoffs with a 17-33 record. But after a rough start this season without Abbott, who was completing professional obligations in Japan, Scrap Yard is on a roll. Not coincidentally, Abbott began the week with a 5-1 record, the leagues second-best ERA and nearly twice as many strikeouts as any peer.The contract that I received, part of it was based on what I had already done, Abbott said. And then, obviously, an expectation of what I will continue to do over the course of my career. So Im trying to remember that and just separate regular business from softball business.Yet the familiarly invaluable ace is inescapably now also the million-dollar arm. That is change. For all that is the same, pitches speeding plate-ward and batters seeking solace in even making contact, this is Abbotts summer in a manner unlike any summer before. It is her league. In addition to a new uniform, new city and new teammates, she returned to a new role in the story of softball.And not just as the daughter who, while scarce free time has allowed for little in the way of splurges, reached for the check when she and her parents went out for a celebratory dinner.It definitely felt like I was starting something new, Abbott said of her return stateside. I was so grateful to play for the Bandits for so long, and I have so many great memories there of such a great organization to play with, so I felt like I was kind of embarking on a new adventure a little bit. It was a little bit nerve-racking, a little bit of you dont know whats going to happen or what to expect.But at tthe same time, I felt like I was being led in the right direction. Stitched Nike NFL Jerseys. Im trying to create something bigger for other girls in the league and for other women, whether theyre in softball or in another sport or just in the office.The middle chapters in that story, let alone its resolution, are years from being written. Only months have passed since she signed the uniquely structured contract that will pay her a million dollars over five seasons in a league in which teams operate under a $150,000 annual salary cap. Only weeks have passed since she first took the field for a franchise that hopes not to follow in the footsteps of the Carolina Diamonds, New York-New Jersey Comets, Rockford Thunder, Washington Glory and other franchises now defunct or relocated and rebranded.It isnt time yet to predict how the story ends, but there is definitely a sense of a distinct beginning. As much as batters are settling in for another summer of trying to solve Abbott, she is also a surrogate for every player in the league. If the league can support the investment in her skills, what promise might it hold for others? That was part of what came to mind when Myers first heard about the contract.It was more of a general happiness, Myers said. Everybody is a competitor and we all compete, but when that happened, it was like a relief. Like were doing something, were making a difference -- and shes going to make a difference for this sport. ...Were all just super excited. Of course you want to be like Howd you do that? But it was just general excitement that the people coming up after us are going to be able to make a decent amount of money and play this sport without having two or three other jobs on the side.How to get from here to there is, not unlike the Dawgs themselves, a work in progress. Abbott described an ongoing process of figuring out how best to use the bully pulpit, how to pick her spots to speak up with the same precision as she picks the spots to place her pitches. She brought up salary transparency as an issue of note. Her contract was unique not just in its size but in its public specificity. Unlike Major League Baseball, NPF salaries arent readily available. If players had access to a clear delineation of market value, Abbott suggested, it might better empower them in negotiations.At the other end of the business spectrum, Fuller almost couldnt believe it when she held her first paycheck in her hands recently, more amazed that she was being paid to play softball than conscious of an amount that rarely adds up to more than four figures for a summer of work. The hard part comes when, as in the case of a four-year veteran like Myers, a person wants to keep playing beyond that first summer.For now, both Fuller and Myers said the contract is rarely a topic of conversation with Abbott, the ground still too new to feel comfortable teasing her about it yet and more serious questions still unformed. Fuller was initially unsure at first how to act around Abbott, intimidated by the intensity and detail that the pitcher brings to the job, every pitch to every batter scouted and planned. But the intimidation wasnt born of a difference in salary. It was born of having watched Abbott pitch for a decade, first at Tennessee and then with the U.S. national team and the Bandits.Then you get to know her as a person and shes just another teammate, Fuller said. Shes awesome as a person. Shes really nice. You would think shes a 13-year-old girl, honestly, because she gets along with everyone so well. Shes ditzy, shes clumsy and shes hilarious. Theres no barrier there once you get to know her, and I think she makes sure of that. She doesnt want that barrier there.She wants to be the same old Abbott, even as a new summer begins to reshape what that means. 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