MILAN - The presidents of Inter Milan and Roma have met with UEFAs control board as part of an investigation into possible breaches of financial fair play rules. Eddie Murray Jersey .UEFA announced in September that Inter and Roma were among seven clubs which qualified for the Champions League or Europa League this season and are now being investigated over deficits in the past two financial years.The Gazzetta dello Sport estimates Inters deficit at 180 million euros ($225 million) for the past three years and Romas at 100 million euros ($125 million).Inters Indonesian president Erick Thohir says Friday, FFP contains a positive message and one which we believe in. It will strengthen European football. We were delighted to share our project with UEFA.Romas American president James Pallotta was at UEFA on Thursday. Paul Blair Jersey . (AP) -- The head of the committee that developed Major League Baseballs plan to expand instant replay says he is optimistic the system will be in place this season, even though owners and unions for players and umpires have yet to approve. Harold Baines Jersey . He, the 25-year-old Toronto backup net-minder and Manitoba native, would be making just his fourth start in the past 16 games against the Jets the following evening. It was the word of opportunity for Reimer, who has fallen into the role of backup, outmatched in recent weeks by Jonathan Bernier, his Quebec counterpart.The Toronto Maple Leafs made quite a splash with the hiring of an Assistant General Manager Tuesday. That might sound ludicrous, considering hes an Assistant General Manager, but it really is a pretty big deal. By hiring Kyle Dubas, a 28-year-old who has been the GM of the Ontario Hockey Leagues Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds for the past three seasons, the Leafs are bringing in a new voice. I dont know Dubas. I met him at this years Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston, enjoyed talking hockey with him for a little while and we were both wowed by the advances in baseball tracking technology. I came away impressed and sure that he would be in the NHL before long. That he landed an NHL job this summer comes as no surprise. Landing with the Toronto Maple Leafs, however -- a franchise that has eschewed the use of analytics -- was a legitimate shock. When the Maple Leafs hired Brendan Shanahan to be the clubs new president this spring, there was a lot of talk of a culture change but, as the offseason progressed, it didnt appear that any grand change was taking place. They had fired three assistant coaches, but had the same GM, head coach and front office. If assistant coaches were dictating the culture of the franchise, that would be a first, so it didnt look like the culture change was forthcoming. Enter Dubas, and exit veteran hockey execs Claude Loiselle and Dave Poulin, who were let go. That is the start of a culture change and one of the best parts of it is that Dubas isnt one to get caught up in a buzz phrase like "culture change." He recognizes that winning does a lot to change a teams culture but, for fans and media, having a new voice in the board room -- one that has different ideas than those that have been in place for a while -- does mark a change in the Leafs culture. While teams like the Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings have found value in using advanced statistics, the Maple Leafs have been resistant. If those teams, likely the two best teams in the league over the past five seasons, were using analytics, why would any team not at least ensure that they were up to speed on the latest concepts? Never mind any team, why would the most valuable franchise in the sport, not spend a relative pittance to make sure that they knew and could comprehend the data? Upon hiring Dubas, Shanahan said that he perceived some problems in the Toronto front office. "I believe we have people in our organization who have maybe been afraid of certain words and certain information," said Shanahan. "Once you speak with Kyle, I think he makes it seem much more logical and easy to apply." This, I agree with. Dubas helps crack through old-school hockey minds because he can speak their language. Hes a bright guy with a hockey history and that allows him to communicate on the level of people who arent necessarily inclined to look at some of the more modern statistical advances, whether that means Corsi, zone starts, zone entries, whatever. And, ultimately, its not about the statistics, its about using them to help make better organizational decisions. "Im not going to rush in tomorrow and try to tell everybody how it is," Dubas told the Globe and Mails James Mirtle. "Thats not really the way I am." From my brief conversation with Dubas at the Sloan Conference, he noted that the Greyhounds possession numbers skyrocketed under head coach Sheldon Keefe, going from 47% to 57%, using their own manually-calculated metrics (because, unlike the NHL, the OHL doesnt have a stats feed of every event that happens in every game). Getting the information, and applying it to how a team should play, is a textbook example of how to use statistics as part of a teams overall strategy. The Greyhounds valued puck possession, coached their players to value puck possession and became a much better team as a result. On other topics, we talked about employing four forwards on the ice at times. He said the Greyhounds were experimenting with it, adding a top-line forward when the other team put their fourth line on the ice, figuring that there was a potential mismatch available, with minimal downside because other teams fourth lines werent necessarily a big threat. Merely thinking that little bit outside the box qualifies as creative in hockey circles and its the open-minded approach to try it that makes Dubas such an intriguing hire. Hes not stuck on the same old, same old because thats the wway it has always been done. Austin Hays Jersey. While Dubas has been painted as a stats guy in some corners, there were soldiers at the ready to make sure the world knew he was not just some nerd (as if they could help a hockey team). Player agent Todd Reynolds, whose firm, Uptown Sports Management, hired Dubas as a player agent when he was 21, told TSNs Jonas Siegel, "I dont think its all about analytics like people have wanted to make it out to be today. Hes not a computer nerd. Hes not sitting there crunching numbers and bringing sheets of paper into the GMs office with recommendations. Hes much more complete than that." Some people are really concerned that you dont think too highly of Dubas use of analytics. These are deeply-held notions in the hockey world, that stats guys must sit in front of a computer and print out sheets of recommendations without watching the games and applying that analysis. Keep in mind, there may not be anyone doing more watching of the games than guys involved in analytics, who are constantly finding new ways to look at the sport. This isnt a bad thing, particularly in a sport that, relatively, has been in the statistical stone age. So, why is Dubas considered a stats guy? Because that is a point of differentiation. He has scouted players, been an agent and a junior hockey GM, so he has made his hockey bones, but hes 28-years-old, so he hasnt necessarily seen as much hockey as veteran NHL executives. But, if you are looking for a difference -- beyond merely age -- that helps Dubas stand out, it is that he understands modern analytic concepts and there wasnt a lot of evidence, through many radio interviews last season, that Loiselle, Poulin or Nonis had a firm grasp on those matters. Shanahan, describing the interview process with Dubas, said, "I was learning things I didnt know and just wanted to learn more." This is a three-time Stanley Cup winner, a Hall of Famer who scored 656 career goals (ranking 13th all-time), who was not only learning about hockey from a 28-year-old who never played in the league but, much more importantly for the Maple Leafs, he was actually open to the idea! That the Maple Leafs havent seriously applied analytics to their management is one thing. Its another matter entirely to have effectively taken this approach without a real understanding of how analytics apply to the modern NHL game. Even Dubas acknowledged that this was an area in which Nonis was learning. What does it mean for the future of the Maple Leafs? Dubas is a 28-year-old Assistant GM, coming into a team that, barring trades, largely has its roster set for the 2014-2015 season, so its not like immediate results can or should be pinned on his hiring, but this is about changing the long-term direction of the franchise and doing so in a progressive way. Dubas presents a voice that should be different and, for a team that has reached the playoffs once in the past nine seasons, new voices need to be heard. Dubas has Shanahans ear and that should have some influence in the decisions that the Maple Leafs make going forward. While that could make for some uncomfortable times for GM Dave Nonis, considering this franchises track record, no one in the Leafs organization ought to feel too comfortable. Getting better is the goal, right? "I havent run the team in Sault St. Marie based solely on statistics," said Dubas. "Its been a good size part of what weve integrated in, but the rest of it is just hockey. Its evaluating players, scouting reports, dealing with the personalities on the team, trying to hire the best scouts and people. And certainly the analytics, Ive found it to be a major help to me personally in the way that I view the game and just create a better level of certainty to decisions." Thats what any team should be striving to achieve in their use of statistics and analytics. Stats arent everything. No one is suggesting to use statistics on their own, without anything else. You can still watch the games. Use the stats as a tool for evaluation and make better decisions. There probably arent a lot of analytics about hiring a 28-year-old Assistant GM, small samples and all that, but this decision by the Maple Leafs was smart. If theyre not careful, that could become a thing. Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook. ' ' '
TORONTO - Tyler Hansbrough hasnt played in over three weeks but his long-awaited return to the court could be around the corner. Albert Almora Jr. Jersey Cubs . The Raptors forward has been sidelined for 11 games, longer than originally expected, after aggravating a lingering left ankle injury against his former team in the Jan. 1 win over Indiana. Although theres still no clear timetable - hell be a game-time decision in Philadelphia Friday, the case for most of this month - Hansbrough has ramped up his work and believes hes made significant progress. "Today was the most Ive done on it," Hansbrough told TSN.ca prior to Wednesdays contest. "Its definitely getting better, just a few steps but its improving. I feel like Im right around the corner from playing." Participating in practice to some degree for nearly two weeks, Hansbrough continues to work with Torontos renowned training staff to strengthen his ankle. Originally categorized as day-to-day with an ankle sprain, Hansbrough was removed from the injury report altogether and is now simply being listed as inactive while the team waits for him to say hes ready to go. The 28-year-old has been hesitant to rush his return, opting to play it safe and wait until hes close to 100 per cent, according to team sources. "Obviously I want to be out there but its just one of those things where its taken a while," Hansbrough said. "But its getting better." "There was really no set schedule," he continued. "Im improving, I know that, so when Im there, Im there and Ill be ready." The team estimated he would need four-to-five days of rest after he missed his first game with the ankle ailment, and third of the campaign, in Washington on Jan. 3. The injury has turned out to be more intricate than they anticipated. "Its more of a bruise," Dwane Casey said last week. "I dont want to rush him back and I dont think he wants to rush back either," said Casey ahead of the Bucks game on Jan. 13. "If he had to go, if it was a playoff game tonight, hed probably be able to go." That was 10 days ago and still, Hansbrough and the Raptors are taking things game-by-game. "I sat down with the trainers and we kind of came up with when we thought Id be ready," said the forward. "I feel like Ill be on the court very soon." In his fifth NBA season and first with the Raptors, Hansbrough is averaging 5.5 points - a career-low - and 5.0 rebounds in 28 contests. Signed to a two-year deal last summer, his contract is only partially guaranteed for next season. With the former Pacer sidelined, a couple of newly acquired bigs have stepped up and seized the opportunity in Caseys generally strict nine-man rotation. Often the first player off Torontos bench, Patrick Patterson is averaging 9.4 points and 4.9 rebounds since coming to the Raptors in the Rudy Gay trade last month. Chuck Hayes, also acquired in that deal, has earned the trust of his coach with his veteran savvy on defence. Although he was playing well before getting hurt - even supplanting starter Amir Johnson earlier in the season - and Casey is a strong believer that you shouldnt lose your job to injury, the Raptors coach has a tough decision to make when Hansbrough is finally able to make his return. Certainly its not a bad problem for a coach to have, but what will Hansbroughs role be when hes back in uniform and how will Casey juggle his five bigs? "Well see," Casey said after practice Thursday. "Tylers a valuable part of what we were doing earlier, his intensity and what he brings to the table is important but those other guys have really set the tone for the second unit." "Im sure hes not going to be able to come in and go full-bore for big minutes but we want to get him back in the rotation at some point." Mookie Betts Jersey Red Sox . - Mike Magee converted two penalty kicks in a 10-minute span of the first half and the Chicago Fire beat Sporting Kansas City 2-1 on Sunday. Kyle Schwarber Jersey Cubs . Sizemore, who turned 29 on Jan. 4, has been limited to six games over the past two seasons because of an injured left knee that twice required surgery. He originally got hurt on Feb. 25, 2012, during a fielding drill in Oaklands first full-squad spring training workout and had surgery that March 21 to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament.SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Rookie Tesho Akindele scored three goals and Fabian Castillo added two in FC Dallas 5-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night. Castillo opened the scoring in the 30th minute. He outran the defence to win a loose ball, was nearly pulled down but composed himself and chipped home a finish. He won a one-on-one matchup in the 74th minute and calmly bent in a shot for his fifthh goal in his last five games. David Justice Jersey Braves . Akindele scored on a well-placed shot inside the far post in the 43rd minute, poked in Castillos miss in the 58th and sent home another rebound in the 86th. Chris Wondolowski had a chance to pull San Jose (6-9-6) within a goal just before halftime, but his penalty kick sailed over the crossbar. Dallas (11-7-6) pushed its undefeated run to nine games. ' ' '