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Nov 16, 2012 7:57pm
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TORONTO – The phone rang in early December with good news waiting on the line.
Rob Ninkovich Womens Jersey . Job security
had been rather tenuous at that point for Will Acton. “Well in the hockey world
whenever the coaches or management tell you to get a place thats when you know
youre going to be around,” said Acton, a humble native of Stouffville, Ontario.
He answered his phone that day and it was a call from Dallas Eakins, the Marlies
head coach. “It was a day off and he called my cell phone and he said Hey, youve
played well, youve earned a spot on my team so get yourself a place and get out
of that stinking hotel,” recalled Acton of the conversation with Eakins. “It was
certainly a moment Im probably going to remember for a long time.” Living out of
a suitcase in a downtown Toronto hotel up until then, Acton had been admittedly
fraught with the stress and imbalance of an uncertain hockey future. Snatching
the singular grain of a five-game tryout upon his exit from Lake Superior State
University, the 25-year-old had earned himself a job with old-school work ethic,
hockey smarts and a knack for the defensive game. The six-foot-two pivot rapidly
evolved into an anchor of the Marlies shutdown line alongside fellow upstarts
Jerry DAmigo and Greg Scott. “Ever since Will got in hes had this quality about
him,” said Scott thoughtfully. “It seems like hes got a little fire under him
and he wants to get after it. “He doesnt want to be on the bottom of the totem
pole, he just wants to keep climbing.” “When you get a moment where you assert
yourself in a certain role and you feel like you assert yourself on the team
[and] they tell you to get a place, thats obviously really a good feeling to
reflect,” said Acton. “But that passes pretty quickly. You come to the rink and
theres people behind you playing well and people ahead of you playing well and
youve got to be on top of your game at all times; thats our job as a pro. Just
comes with the territory.” Inked to a one-year deal with the organization in
late July, Acton finds himself in a considerably more secure place this fall,
returning as an underrated cog in the Marlies quest to make good on the Calder
Cup which eluded them last season. But for whatever security hes been afforded
this time around Acton has no active plans to ditch the work and settle in. He
even kept his summer job at the Sleepy Hollow Country Club, pitching in as he
has since age 14 from time to time this past offseason. “Some of us in the
minors arent making the big cheques that everyone might think,” he said with a
grin. “Everyones dream is to play in the NHL, but for now youve got to do what
youve got to do and I have no problems doing that.” Five Points 1. Acton boasts
a personal motto of onward and upward, refusing to become complacent after his
climb to an American League job last season. “Im where I am right now, Im
grateful, but at the same time none of that really ever leaves you in
professional sports, your spots always up for grabs,” he said. “Theres always
people coming in behind you trying to take your job and its your responsibility
to try to always improve upon what youre doing and thats what Im trying to do.”
2. Of Actons ongoing work at the golf course this past summer, Scott smiled and
said, “Thats kind of rare to see. I guess it means hes got a good golf game
then.” He then added of Actons work ethic in a more serious manner, “I think
that comes from where he came from. His dad was a hard worker and it just
translates right down to Willie.” Will is the son of former NHL player and
long-time Leafs assistant coach, Keith Acton. 3. Korbinian Holzer was expected
to make the jump to the Leafs at some point this season, but remains with the
Marlies with the lockout continuing to loom. “Im happy I can play down here
instead of sitting at home and just skating by myself,” he said. “I think this
league will be a lot better than last year competition-wise and player-wise;
theres a lot of skill coming down from the NHL who are established players in
the NHL. Its a good learning curve for you and if the season should start at
some point its a nice way to get ready for it.” 4. If Dallas Eakins had just one
gripe at the moment it would be the shortened preseason schedule. The Marlies
played just two games – both wins against Hamilton over the course of three
nights – leaving little time for a comprehensive roster evaluation. “I just wish
for the kids that we wouldve had more exhibition games,” said Eakins. “I wish
that NHL season wouldve been going so these guys wouldve played a couple NHL
exhibition games or at least got in one and then they come down and play in a
couple more and I get to see them against better players.” 5. Eakins is
currently icing a roster that includes five forwards lines, eight defencemen and
three goaltenders. The group will stay intact through the weekend, but could
change in short order if injuries are minimal and the lockout continues. “I cant
have these guys sitting and not playing,” said Eakins of those players slated to
be extras when the regular season kicks off against Rochester on Saturday. “Its
just not healthy for anybody. Thats when we would try to re-evaluate it and
maybe send them out to play somewhere.” Devin McCourty Womens Jersey . The
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would offer Formula One fans access to Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve on Thursday,
giving racing lovers a chance to see cars up close, tour the pit lanes and get
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and four men who mostly care little about baseball then began deliberations
Tuesday that will impact one of the most successful pitchers of his generation
—and, in a way, the criminal pursuit of athletes accused of illegal
doping.CINCINNATI, Ohio – Joey Votto is finally swinging like an MVP again.
Votto hit a grand slam in the ninth inning for his third home run of the game on
Sunday, rallying the Cincinnati Reds to a rain-delayed 9-6 victory over the
Washington Nationals with the biggest game of his career. Votto hit solo homers
in his first two at-bats and finished with his second career slam, thrilling a
sparse crowd that sat through a long delay and then more rain to see an
improbable finish. The Reds said it was the first time in major league history
that a player hit a game-ending grand slam for his third home run, according to
research by the Elias Sports Bureau. “You like to see Joey hitting like that,”
Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “I keep telling the guys youve got to believe.”
Washington came into the game with only 15 homers allowed all season, fewest in
the majors. Votto broke out of a power drought and helped the Reds avoid a sweep
with three perfect swings. “Everybody talks about how hes treading water,”
teammate Drew Stubbs said. “Then he has a game like that. He wasnt far from
hitting five. Hopefully, hes back to what he used to be.” The first two homers
came off starter Edwin Jackson, ending Vottos drought of no homers since April
30. The slugger also doubled and flied out to the warning track. Votto has been
trying to smooth out his swing. “Its certainly a work in progress, but I think I
hit more barrels today than I have all season,” he said. He got his chance for
the last-swing drama when Nationals closer Henry Rodriguez (1-3) got into the
game and couldnt get comfortable on the wet mound. Rodriguez walked two batters
with two outs to load the bases, including Chris Heisey after getting ahead in
the count 0-2. Washington manager Davey Johnson came out to visit Rodriguez, who
repeatedly scraped at the wet mound with his cleats. Rodriguez left a 2-2 pitch
up and over the plate for Votto, who hit it over the wall in centre. The 2010 NL
MVP finished with a career-high six RBIs and the second three-homer game of his
career. It was Vottos best day since he signed a new deal before opening day
that added 10 years and $225 million. “He did today what hes been known to do,”
Jackson said. “Thats what he got paid a lot of money to do.” The last player to
hit a game-ending home run in a three-homer game waas Albert Pujols for St. Aaron Hernandez Womens Jersey. Louis against
Cincinnati on April 16, 2006, according to STATS LLC. Giancarlo Stanton also hit
a game-ending slam Sunday for Miami against the New York Mets, making it the
first time in 14 years that there were two walk-off slams on one day, STATS
said. Mo Vaughn connected for Boston and Steve Finley for San Diego on April 10,
1998. A few thousand fans were left to cheer Cincinnatis first game-ending slam
since Adam Dunn connected off Clevelands Bob Wickman on June 30, 2006.
Sean Marshall (1-2) got the win at the end of the long day. The start was
delayed 3 hours, 36 minutes by rain, which continued to fall throughout the
3-hour, 45-minute game. Ahead 6-3, the Nationals couldnt close out what would
have been their first three-game sweep of the season. The Reds got two runs in
the eighth when rookie right fielder Bryce Harper lost Jay Bruces two-out fly
ball in the twilight sky, letting it fall way behind him for a double. Then,
Washingtons fill-in closer let it slip away, concluding a painful one-week trip.
Right fielder Jayson Werth had surgery on his broken left wrist Monday, and
Harper needed 10 stitches for a self-inflicted gash above his left eye on Friday
after he hurt himself slamming a bat against a wall near the dugout. Catcher
Wilson Ramos tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee while chasing
a passed ball Saturday night. Despite sending 11 players to the disabled list
already this season, the Nationals had managed to stay atop the NL East because
of their pitching staff, which leads the majors. For one of the few times, it
let them down, and Washington dropped into second place behind Atlanta. NOTES:
The Nationals headed out for a seven-game homestand, including two games each
against San Diego and Pittsburgh and three against Baltimore. The Reds left for
an unusual seven-game trip: Atlanta for two games, then on to New York for two
against the Mets and three against the Yankees. ... The Nationals called up C
Sandy Leon from Double-A Harrisburg. ... Harper wore a bandage over his left eye
for the second straight game and had a pair of singles, ending his 0-for-9 slump
in Cincinnati. ... Reds 3B Mike Costanzo, called up to replace injured
Scott Rolen, made his big league debut as a pinch-hitter in the fifth and hit a
sacrifice fly on the first pitch. ’ ’ ’ 

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