Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain sends class message to Hector Bellerin after Arsenal return

first_imgAlex Oxlade-Chamberlain is no stranger to knee injuries (Picture: Getty)Liverpool ace Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain sent a classy message to former team-mate Hector Bellerin after the defender’s long-awaited return from injury.The Spaniard managed over an hour in an U23 game for Arsenal on Friday night in his first appearance for the club in over nine months.The defender tore his ACL last season but is now deep into the road to recovery and hopes to feature for the first team in October.Oxlade-Chamberlain is no stranger to knee injuries having spent a year on the sidelines in 2018 and he was quick to congratulate Bellerin on his return.ADVERTISEMENT PLAY Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain sends class message to Hector Bellerin after Arsenal return Metro Sport ReporterSaturday 21 Sep 2019 7:01 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link6.5kShares 1 min. story Taking to his Instagram page, Bellerin wrote: ‘255 days and the day has finally come for me to get back out there. Can’t describe how much I’ve missed this!’AdvertisementAdvertisementAnd Oxlade-Chamberlain wanted to let the Spaniard know how happy he was that he was back: ‘Well done my bro! hard work paid off 🙌🏽💪🏽buzzing to see you back out there ❤️’More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing ArsenalLiverpool have already played Arsenal this season, beating the Gunners 3-1 at Anfield in August.Bellerin will be well up to speed again when the Gunners take on the Reds again in the final weeks of the season in May.MORE: Ian Wright backs Liverpool to beat Chelsea in Premier League showdown Advertisementcenter_img Video Settings Comment Full Screen About Connatix V67539 Advertisementlast_img read more

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Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Mike Piazza makes the Hall of Fame in his fourth try

first_imgSay what you want, but all kinds of “helpers” floated around major league clubhouses before, during and after Piazza’s time. A lot of people ingested a lot of things. Piazza finished his career with 400-plus home runs and a 300-plus career batting average. No catcher ever did that.Piazza’s journey should have moved the voters, too. He was taken in the 62nd round of the 1988 draft, four months before the Dodgers won their last World Series, and only because Tommy Lasorda was a pal of Mike’s father Vince.The kid disappeared into a batting cage and never came out. Even as a major league All-Star, Piazza celebrated each stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve by taking batting practice.Yet in 1990 he hit .250 with six home runs in the Florida State League. Three years later he hit 35 homers for the varsity Dodgers and was Rookie of the Year.Through it all he never struck out 100 times in a season and hit over .300 in each of his first nine full seasons. He was that rare force who made fans put down their pagers and, later, their cell phones when he made that threatening walk to the plate. He also could grab a moment, as he did in 2001 when his eighth-inning homer won the first post-9/11 game for the Mets and made the crowd scream away some grief.So, of course, the Dodgers traded him in 1998 and got, among other things, Gary Sheffield, who was named on 11.1 percent of the Hall ballots Wednesday.That deal came solely from Fox executives who were angry that Piazza turned down an $80 million contract offer before the season. The Marlins kept him long enough to fit him for socks and shipped him to the Mets, who gave him a $91 million deal after the season. General Manager Fred Claire, who had nothing to do with the deal, was fired shortly afterward. A solid front office was upended, with Mike Scioscia, among others, landing elsewhere.Piazza was not a catcher before the Dodgers drafted him. As the story goes, Lasorda proclaimed Piazza a catcher when the scouts said he wasn’t good enough to play first base. But the Dodgers’ pitching staff won an ERA title with Piazza and finished second twice.Next year Ivan Rodriguez gets his chance at Cooperstown. He caught more games than anyone in history. Buster Posey is building a Cooperstown case, way down the road. Otherwise, who knows? No position in baseball or maybe any sport has been so diluted.In 2015 only three men caught 130 games and only 20 caught 100. Brian McCann led all catchers with 26 home runs, and Posey’s .849 OPS was the only one over .800. Piazza topped 1.000 in OPS four times. His lifetime figure was .922.So Piazza joins the Dodgers’ Ex-Men in Cooperstown. Two years ago Pedro Martinez danced on the podium. Next year brings eligibility to Vladimir Guerrero, who was in L.A.’s camp as a youth in the Dominican Republic before he signed with Montreal.Sure, every club has a refugee or two that it regrets. But the Dodgers should have known better than anyone. This was a different animal. mark.whicker@langnews.com @MWhicker03LANG on TwitterThe National Baseball Hall of Fame opened its first Unicorn Wing on Wednesday.Its curators will blink in befuddlement when Mike Piazza walks in.What is this? An everyday catcher? Who hits home runs? And hits for average? And limits his strikeouts? And handles the league’s best pitching staff? Obviously this exotic creature has been assembled from leftover parts, like a jackalope. It certainly has not walked this baseball earth in recent times.But the voters finally recognized its singularity on Wednesday. It gave Piazza 83 percent of the vote. He sailed into the Hall on his fourth try by a margin of 35 votes.Piazza was the top non-qualifier on the 2015 ballot, so this is not a shock. But you do wonder if certain players are properly appreciated, and it’s strange that such a visible, unique player had to wait.He was either a Dodger or a Met for most of his career. He did crowd-pleasing things, like belt a home run completely out of Dodger Stadium in 1997. He made the World Series in 2000, leading the Mets, and got into a well-replayed dispute with Roger Clemens.Some voters suspected him of PED use, an issue that still haunts Clemens and Barry Bonds, even though Major League Baseball lifted no finger when Bonds was hired as the Miami Marlins’ batting coach. Neither Clemens nor Bonds drew 50 percent of the vote Wednesday.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

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