Woman, 61, ends attempt to swim from Cuba to U.S.

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Woman, 61, ends attempt to swim from Cuba to U.S.

From Comcast SportsNet Tuesday, August 9, 2011

HAVANA (AP)Wind conditions and less than ideal currents promptedmarathon swimmer Diana Nyad to end her second bid to swim from Cuba to theFlorida Keys about halfway through her journey early Tuesday.Elaine Lafferty, who was on the boat according to Nyads blog, posted onTwitter: Its over. Lafferty said the combination of factors was too muchto safely continue. According to the Twitter feed, Nyad was pulled from the water early in themorning after swimming for 29 hours. The swim was expected to take 60 hours tocover at least 103 miles (166 kilometers).It felt like this was my moment, a quote attributed to Nyad on herTwitter feed said. I dont feel like a failure at all. But we needed a littlemore luck.The Twitter account reported she decided to end the swim herself, afterrealizing the conditions of 5 to 10 knot winds and less than ideal currents.An online chart plotting the swims track showed the Gulf Stream currentspushing Nyad to the east of the intended course. Nyad had hoped to end her swimat Southernmost Point in Key West, Fla.According to the Twitter feed, Nyad was on a support boat after ending theswim and wrapped in blankets. The boat arrived at Key West early Tuesday.In her second attempt, Nyad tried to accomplish at 61 years old what shefailed to do at 28 in 1978. This time, she even attempted the swim without ashark cage, relying instead on an electrical field from equipment towed bykayakers to keep them at bay.In her first attempt in 1978, she quit after being in the water for 41 hoursand 49 minutes due to strong currents and rough weather that banged her aroundin the shark cage.Had the latest attempt been successful, Nyad would have broken her ownrecord of 102.5 miles (165 kilometers) for a cageless, open-sea swim, set in1979 when she stroked from the Bahamas to Florida.Before the swim, Nyad told journalists she hoped her swim would inspireothers her age to live active lives. She said she also hoped it could helpimprove understanding between Cold War rivals Cuba and the United States, evenif just symbolically.

Bell excused from Steelers practice for 'personal reasons'

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Bell excused from Steelers practice for 'personal reasons'

FOXBORO -- The Patriots have had perfect attendance at each of their last two practices. The Steelers, on the other hand, have been working with less than a full deck.

All-Pro running back Le'Veon Bell has been conspiculously absent from Pittsburgh's practices each of the last two days. On Wednesday, he was listed on the injury report as a non-participant due to non-injury related reasons. On Thursday, coach Mike Tomlin announced that Bell had been excused from practice due to "personal reasons."

Tomlin added that Bell will be ready to go against the Patriots on Sunday so it seems as though the team is painting this as a nothing-to-see-here situation. And it probably is. Whether or not Bell practices at all this week won't necessarily have any bearing on the AFC title game; if he's healthy, he'll be a factor. 

If for some reason he doesn't follow up his 170-yard performance against the Chiefs with another strong game, however, people will wonder how his preparation was impacted by missing out on the first two of his team's on-the-field sessions this week.

Sandoval’s offseason transformation doesn't guarantee he's Sox starting third baseman

Sandoval’s offseason transformation doesn't guarantee he's Sox starting third baseman

BOSTON - The weight room, as much as Instagram, has been Pablo Sandoval’s home in the offseason leading up to the 2017 season.

His change in diet and routine have clearly led to visible results, at least in terms of appearance. His play is yet to be determined. But his manager and teammates have taken notice.

“Compliments to Pablo,” John Farrell told reporters before Thursday’s BBWAA dinner. “He’s done a great job with the work that he’s put in, the commitment he’s made. He’s reshaped himself, that’s apparent. He knows there’s work to be done to regain an everyday job at third base. So, we’ll see how that unfolds. We’re not looking for him to be someone he’s not been in the past. Return to that level of performance.”

Farrell noted that Brock Holt and Josh Rutledge are the other two players in contention for time at third base and while others, such as prospect Rafael Devers, may get time there in the spring, those are the only three expected to compete for the job.

“The beauty of last spring is that there’s a note of competition in camp,” Farrell said. “And that was born out of third base last year [when Travis Shaw beat out Sandoval at the third base]. That won’t change.”

Sandoval's 2016 season ended after shoulder surgery in April. 

While the manager has to be cautiously optimistic, Sandoval’s teammates can afford to get their hopes up.

“Pablo is definitely going to bounce back,” Xander Bogaerts told CSNNE.com “Especially with the weight he’s lost and the motivation he has to prove a lot of people wrong, to prove the fans wrong.

“He’s been a great player for his whole career. He’s not a bad player based on one year. Playing in Boston the first year is tough, so, hopefully this year he’ll be better.”

Prior to Sandoval’s abysmal 2015, his first season in Boston, when he hit .245 with 47 RBI in 126 games, the 2012 World Series MVP was a career .294 hitter who averaged 15 home runs and 66 RBI a year.

If Bogaerts is right and Sandoval can be that player again, that will be a huge lift in filling in the gap David Ortiz left in Boston’s offense.