Topic: a lot of that in that room and I

VALENCIA, Spain -- Gareth Bale filled the void left by the injured Cristiano Ronaldo, sealing Real Madrids 19th Copa del Rey title with a late goal in Wednesdays 2-1 win over Barcelona. Ronaldos extra-time play gave Madrid the 2011 Copa del Rey title at Barcelonas expense. In his absence Wednesday, Bale scored in the 85th minute -- his first goal in three "clasico" matches -- to make sure Madrid repeated the feat. Angel Di Maria scored Madrids opener from a counterattack in the 11th minute, capitalizing on a Barcelona lineup that seemed to lack ideas in attack and was slow to recover in defence. Defender Marc Bartra equalized against the run of play in the 67th by heading in from a corner kick to ruin goalkeeper Iker Casillas record run of not conceding in this edition of the tournament. The goal appeared to energize Barcelona, sparking Lionel Messi into action and ensuring the last 15 minutes became a frenetic back-and-forth contest. But with the game hanging in the balance, Bale got the winner when he sprinted down the left side of the pitch, even running out of bounds to avoid Bartra, before racing into the area and rolling the ball under goalkeeper Jose Pinto. "It is difficult to see a player be able to sprint like that at that stage of the game," Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino said. "The game was going our way after we had levelled, until that counterattack." Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti said the goal was "surely the most important" of Bales career, which took a major turn last summer when Madrid broke its own spending record to pay his (euro)100-million transfer to pry him from Tottenham. "It was a decisive moment. When Bartra scored anything could have happened," Ancelotti said. Barcelona, however, still had one last chance, only for Neymars shot to hit the upright in the 90th. Neymars last-gasp effort almost "scared us to death," Casillas said. "Fortune was on our side, and we are thankful for it." Ronaldo joined his teammates to celebrate with their fans on the pitch before the team filed past King Juan Carlos to receive their medals and the prized trophy. The plane carrying the Spanish monarch had technical problems that delayed take-off, but he arrived on time to watch the match along with more than 50,000 spectators divided into large sections of white and blue-and-burgundy club colours. After failing to win the cup competition between 1993 and 2011, Madrid has won it twice in the last four years. Ancelotti earned his first trophy for Madrid and first "clasico" win after losing his first two meetings with Barcelona, and his team will now focus on overtaking Atletico Madrid in the league and its Champions League semifinal against Bayern Munich. The loss is a setback for Barcelona and a major blow to Martino. In an eight-day span, Barcelona exited Europes top-tier competition with a loss, slipped to third place in the Spanish league, and then lost Copa del Rey to its fiercest rival. "It has been a hard week on all fronts," said Martino, who remains confident of hanging on to his job for one more season. "As I have said for one, two, three months now, I dont feel that my future has changed because of all that we lost, and nor do I think it would be different if we had won." Barcelona will now have to catch both Madrid and Atletico with only five rounds left in the Spanish league to make sure it doesnt end the season without a major piece of silverware for the first time since the arrival of Pep Guardiola in 2008-09. Authentic Alex Formenton Jersey . Anor had not scored since getting his first two goals of the season vs. Philadelphia on March 22 but struck with laser precision from distance in the 56th and 75th minutes. Montreal (3-10-5) lost its third straight and Impact coach Frank Klopas said it literally was a case of his players not stepping up. Authentic Paul Carey Jersey . James scored 25 points against his former team, leading the energized Heat to a 114-107 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday night. Dwyane Wade added 24 points and Chris Bosh had 22 for the Heat, idle since a 90-84 loss Tuesday at Indiana. http://www.cheapsenatorsjerseysauthenti … elo-jersey . Bryant underwent an operation in December to correct an irregular heartbeat. His season ended with four games left because of a rapid heartbeat, a condition he has known about for several years and had been treated for in the past. Cheap Ottawa Senators Gear . Its like being on Broadway, everything you do matters. Id want to be good though! I couldnt play here if I wasnt very good.   #83217388 / gettyimages. Authentic Chris Tierney Jersey . Certainly not Monday night. George Hill took care of the early work, scoring a season-high 26 points, and Paul George closed it out by scoring 11 of his 26 points during a decisive second-half stretch that finally allowed Indiana to pull away from Minnesota 98-84 for yet another win.DUNEDIN, Florida – Blue Jays manager John Gibbons knows theres a lot at stake this season. Coming off a disastrous 2013 year, relative to expectations perhaps the most disappointing in franchise history, the club could be dealing with significant upheaval if theres continued, sustained underperformance. Gibbons sat down with TSN.ca before Thursdays Grapefruit League game against Houston to talk about his team, in which he espouses confidence. To listen to the interview, click here. TSN.ca: John, as we sit here, two weeks from tonight you guys will be flying to Montreal for the final two exhibition games of the spring. GIBBONS: Cant wait. TSN.ca: Old stomping grounds for you, right? An ex-Met, did you have some fun in Montreal in your day? GIBBONS: Yeah, you know I wasnt up with the Mets long but I made a few road trips to Montreal. I loved it. I really did. Its a neat city. Its a little different than what were used to or what Im used to but we always had a good time there. Good people. I enjoyed hopping on that subway, riding it to the stadium there so I have some good memories of that place. TSN.ca: Parlez-vous Francais? GIBBONS: Poquito. Oh thats not French, okay. You learn a lot of Spanish around here. Ill put it that way. TSN.ca: Yeah, theres no question about that in your clubhouse. So were three, three and a half weeks in since all the regulars got here. The tone of camp, at least from my point of view, John, is different from last years and there were a lot of mitigating factors with the WBC and whatnot last season. How do you feel camp has gone so far and where do you see your team at today? GIBBONS: I agree with you. I think theres a lot more focus and thats not just coming from the coaching end of it. I think the players are a lot more focused. Last year there was a lot of distraction. A lot of new faces were brought in and the high expectations, much more media coverage so the players were getting dragged in a lot of different directions. We had some celebrities on here. We brought in Dickey coming off a Cy Young. Of course Reyes and those guys coming in and everybody was tugging at all different angles so there were some distractions that way. Good distractions but nevertheless distractions and then of course some guys went off to the WBC and things like that. Its been a much nicer, simpler camp, a lot more low key and weve been able to get some great work in. TSN.ca: As you head into the regular season I think there are some questions about certain positions around the club. The starting rotation, especially the back end, has been a hot topic of conversation. More broadly speaking, the American League East, I think we both agree is always strong but has gotten better. Do you feel you have the quality of starting pitching that matches the quantity of the depth that youll have at Buffalo and in the lower minor leagues. GIBBONS: I think we do. Not a whole lot of change this year other than Navarro. You know, Alex was working all winter trying to bring in a pitcher or two, difference makers. We werent able to do that. It wasnt for a lack of effort. The money, the years, all sorts of things, their desire to go other places hampered that a little bit. There were a couple of trade opportunities but they wanted everybody and their brother top prospects in the minor leagues. After the trades with Florida and the Mets we gave up a lot of our top prospects so, I mean, theres no way you can deplete your whole minor league system to get guys who maybe arent difference makers. We sat tight there. The main reason behind that is we like what we have here. Theres much more depth, like you just alluded to, that we didnt have last year. If somebody falters or if theres an injury weve got some guys, some fallback plans that we think are pretty good that should make a huge difference. As of right now were still looking for that fifth starter. Weve got some guys that are pitching very good. Theres been some good competition down here. Right now, were probably only looking at one spot. J.A. Happ, now, hes been a little bit banged up with his back so at this point, on this day, hes a little bit of a question mark. Hopefully hes going to throw in the next couple of days in a minor league game. If hes fine that should solve some problems there. You know, theres some guys in here that we think are going to have some good big league careers. Now its just are they going to get that opportunity? They may get it as we break camp as we start the season this year. It may come a month in. It may come in two months. Who knows? Weve got some players here who we think are capable of winning in the American League East. Theres some great competitors and well see where it all ends up. TSN.ca: Do you anticipate Drew Hutchison breaking camp with the team? GIBBONS: Well, Im not going to say hes on the team right now but Ill tell you what, hes pitched as well, if not better, than anybody in camp and another thing he has going for him, you know hes really bounced back from that injury, but hes pitched in Toronto before and was pitching very well before he had the injury. Hes got a little experience under his belt. Hes definitely been a standout. Hes always been thought of highly in the organization. Its just basically a matter of time when hes ready again and it sure seems like, you look at it now, he should be ready to go. TSN.ca: Do you believe in the phrase, "Its early?" Especially after last year maybe you dont but getting out of the gate strong, John, aside from having more wins than losses, just setting the right tone I think would be important for you guys this year.dddddddddddd GIBBONS: It was early three weeks ago. Its not so early anymore, a couple of weeks left. Yeah, no question, a quick, fast start is very important to this ballclub. Easier said than done, of course, you know we play some pretty good teams early. I think what it would do is give us confidence and it may quell some of the naysayers out there because until we go out and prove something on the field that were better than we were last year and we actually do have the team that we think can win here, thats always going to be hanging over our heads. These guys, theyve been working hard, theyre very focused and now the key is to come out of the gates with everything clicking. Weve got to get good pitching. Hopefully those bats are going at the right time at the beginning of the season and something thats a constant, one thing you can always control, is the way you play defense and I think that will be much, much better this year. TSN.ca: I wanted to touch on that with you because when we think of winning, youve got to score more runs than you allow and we typically always think of offense, just hit the ball out of the park or piece together runs. We dont always think of run prevention. Well cross our fingers for you guys that you have pretty good health here, and you have so far through camp and that that will carry through. But with Lawrie at third, Reyes and short and it looks like Ryan Goins at second base, as long as theyre all out there on the field at the same time, weve seen some pretty sweet double plays and some pretty nice plays made here, John. Youre going to be able to prevent more runs than you did, especially in the first half of last year. GIBBONS: We think so and we have to. You left out Melky Cabrera, who wasnt moving well at all last year and so that created a big hole out there in leftfield. With the guys you just mentioned, we think we have one of the better defenses in baseball, in our minds. As much as our starting pitching struggled last year, we didnt bail them out, we didnt help them out one bit, especially early in the season. A lot of those games, a play thats made here or there, might have got us out of an inning, a big inning and kept us in the game and we may have come back and won some of those. You look at it, you can go through any sport, if you dont play defense youre not going to win. Boston was a good defensive team last year and they won the World Series. Football, another sport I know well, the Seahawks last year, great defense, the best defense in the NFL. Theres no secret there. We think we have a good one but the key is weve got to keep the right guys on the field the majority of the season. TSN.ca: The Red Sox, maybe they didnt have the best team on paper in the majors last year but they won the World Series and there was that grind it out aspect. When youve walked around the clubhouse, talked to your players or youve had them in here one on one, do you sense that there is an unquestioned willingness to grind it out this year? Kind of a win at all costs mentality? GIBBONS: Yes, I do. Weve got a lot of proud veterans out in that room. Some guys whove had some great careers, some guys on the upswing that are going to end up having real good major league careers but everybody was a little embarrassed, the way things went last year. One thing Ill say about this group last year, through all the different changes, all the guys coming and going, there never was a lack of effort. Thats rare when some seasons go south but our guys showed up to play everyday and I tip my hat to them and thats admirable and thats the way it should be but thats not always the way it ends up. They all know they have something to prove, that were a better team than the way we played last year and I sense that. They talk about that. To get to this level as an athlete, to get to the top at anything, youve got to have some pride. We have a lot of that in that room and I think, I dont want to say necessarily that were going to surprise some people because we think we have a good team on the field, we think we had a good team on the field last year it just didnt pan out, but if we play up to our capabilities we think weve got a chance to win this thing. TSN.ca: Its an everyday game so youre always at the field and youre always thinking about, okay, what do I have to do to win today? But when you get away from the ballpark, do you think give any thought to your future and the fact that if it doesnt go well again this year, John, fairly or unfairly, itll be a hard sell to the fan base to continue with you as manager and the coaching staff? There could be changes here if it doesnt work out. GIBBONS: Oh yeah. Thats to be expected in the professional sports world. I can guarantee you one thing, I wont be here forever. Thats a fact. When that day comes, sooner or later, who knows? I dont give that much thought because I approach my job everyday to do the best job I can. I have a great responsibility to the organization whos given me an opportunity here and theres a lot that goes into that. Thats the reality of baseball. I have some fans out there but I also have a lot of detractors. When the dark clouds show up you start hearing more of those voices. If you get caught up in that kind of stuff itll paralyze you, you cant do your job so I take it all in stride everyday because I know I can do this job, I know I can run a baseball team, Ive got zero doubt in my mind about that. Things dont always work out but I think this year it will. TSN.ca: We appreciate the time, John, and all the best this season. GIBBONS: Thank you, Scott. cheap falcons jerseys cheap ravens jerseys cheap bills jerseys cheap bears jerseys cheap bengals jerseys cheap cowboys jerseys cheap lions jerseys cheap texans jerseys cheap colts jerseys cheap jaguars jerseys cheap chiefs jerseys cheap rams jerseys cheap dolphins jerseys cheap vikings jerseys cheap saints jerseys cheap giants jerseys cheap jets jerseys cheap eagles jerseys cheap steelers jerseys cheap 49ers jerseys ' ' '