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Mikel Obi: Winning At Life!

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first_imgJohn Obi Mikel is living the good life! Soaring with the Super Eagles, amassing £140,000-a-week at Tianjin TEDA, a beautiful girlfriend and absolutely gorgeous twin girls. What more could a man ask for?The Super Eagles Captain’s Russian girlfriend, Olga Diyachenko took to Instagram to congratulate her “Pooh1” after the Nigerian National Team’s remarkable 4-0 victory over reigning African Champions, Cameroon in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying game on Friday.Mikel and Olga seem to be just fine, contrary to various rumors that their relationship was on the rocks after Mikel deleted some pictures on Instagram some months ago.Since the birth of twin girls, Mia and Ava in September 2015, Mikel Obi has gone ahead to capture an Olympic bronze medal, become a more influential figure in the Nigerian National Team and moved away from Chelsea where he had become somewhat surplus to requirements, making more money in the process. Apparently, fatherhood has been a major motivation for the Nigerian skipper.The proud daddy recently shared a picture of himself and Olga taking their twin girls to nursery school for the very first time.With a very impressive performance for Nigeria against Cameroon, putting the Super Eagles in a good position to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, the 30-year-old has again proved critics wrong. He looked like a very happy man.If Mikel would make it official by making Olga Diyachenko his wife, we have to wait and see.Relatedlast_img read more

Angels acquire second baseman Ian Kinsler from the Tigers

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first_imgLAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Billy Eppler is clearly a believer in the importance of defense up the middle.The Angels’ general manager added a third Gold Glove-winner to the heart of the defense, acquiring second baseman Ian Kinsler from the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday night in exchange for minor leaguers Troy Montgomery and Wilkel Hernandez.Kinsler will join shortstop Andrelton Simmons and catcher Martin Maldonado — both Gold Glove winners in 2017 — in front of center fielder Mike Trout. Eppler has traded for Simmons, Maldonado and Kinsler in his two-plus years with the Angels.“I like defense,” Eppler said with a smile, speaking just before midnight local time in the hotel suite he had barely left in the first three days of the winter meetings. “I like scoring runs and preventing runs. I’m excited to watch these guys play.” Even though Kinsler is 35, evaluators believe his defense is still above average. He won the Gold Glove in 2015.Offensively, he has slipped from the form that helped him to four All-Star appearances. Last season he hit .236 with a .313 on-base percentage, but he still hit 22 homers. Kinsler is a career .273 hitter with a .342 on-base percentage. Although he last made an All-Star team in 2014, in 2016 he hit .288 with 28 homers.“The people that we task with evaluating those things, both on-field evaluations and the metric-based evaluations gave us some optimism that he’s better than that (2017) line,” Eppler said. “He knows that and we believe in him as a player.”Kinsler is signed for one more season at $11 million. Kinsler, who had the Angels among the 10 teams to which he could block a trade, approved the deal after talking to Eppler on the phone.Eppler said he’d consulted former Tigers manager Brad Ausmus, now an Angels special assistant, and Justin Upton, Kinsler’s former teammate in Detroit, before the deal. Eppler said he got the full endorsement of both. “He’s a pretty complete baseball player,” Eppler said. “He hits for average, has selectivity, impacts the baseball. Outstanding defense. Runs the bases well. Phenomenal in the clubhouse. A great teammate from everything I’ve heard about him.”Although Kinsler is a one-year fix, he appears likely to be the best second baseman the Angels have had since trading Howie Kendrick after the 2014 season.In 2015 and 2016, Johnny Giavotella played most of the games at second, providing adequate offense but below average defense. Last year, the Angels played half the season with Danny Espinosa at second, and he was just the opposite. After they released Espinosa, they filled with a combination of Kaleb Cowart and Brandon Phillips.Their performance left little doubt that that the Angels would need to go outside the organization to get a second baseman. While the best multi-year fit may have been the Philadelphia Phillies’ Cesar Hernandez, who is 27 and under control for three more years, the prospect cost for him would have been much higher than what the Angels gave up for Kinsler.Montgomery, 23, was the Angels’ 20th-ranked prospect, according to MLB.com. He was their eighth-round pick in 2016, reaching as high as Double-A in his first pro season. He has a career .279 average with a .368 on-base percentage.Hernandez, 18, has posted a 2.28 ERA in his first two seasons, both at short-season rookie leagues. He was ranked 24th by MLB.com.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more