Mookie Betts, David Price introduced by Dodgers | Los Angeles Dodgers

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Mookie Betts and David Price returned to Dodger Stadium on Wednesday for the first time since defeating Los Angeles in the 2018 World Series as members of the Red Sox.

But as the Dodgers’ new duo was officially introduced in center field — not far from where they celebrated the final out of that World Series victory — Betts said he’s hoping to end the 2020 season in similar fashion.

“I’d like to celebrate here again in this jersey,” Betts said, moments after putting on his No. 50 Dodgers uniform for the first time.

The Dodgers are hoping for a similar outcome following Monday’s blockbuster deal that brought Betts and Price to Los Angeles in exchange for outfielder Alex Verdugo (L.A.’s top prospect — and MLB’s No. 35 — a year ago), shortstop Jeter Downs (their third-highest ranked prospect on the 2020 Top 100 list, at No. 44) and catcher Connor Wong (No. 28 on the Dodgers’ 2019 year-end list).

Los Angeles has won seven straight division titles, but remains without a World Series championship since 1988. The Dodgers watched the Astros and Red Sox celebrate titles on their home field in 2017 and ’18, respectively, then won a franchise record 106 games in ’19, only to be eliminated in the National League Division Series — once again in their own ballpark.

“To be able to jump onto a team like the Dodgers, a team that has had the amount of success they’ve had the last couple years, and then add a player like Mookie Betts,” Price said, “and to then be able to add myself to that mix as well, that’s something special to be a part of, and we’re both very excited about it.”

They’ve arrived. pic.twitter.com/UAcvATulxe

— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers)

Manager Dave Roberts shared his excitement as well, as he is eager to pencil Betts into the NL’s highest-scoring lineup from 2019.

“As a coach, you just want to get going and what we do is compete, that’s what we love to do,” Roberts said. “I couldn’t be more excited.”

It’s hard to blame the skipper, who will have the luxury of rolling out the 2018 AL Most Valuable Player in right field alongside ’19 NL MVP winner Cody Bellinger in center field.

“We’ve kind of talked through passing at the All-Star Game and as we played here,” Betts said of his relationship with Bellinger. “It’s going to be pretty special. He won the MVP last year, so he’s definitely going to put on a show, and I’ll do my best to keep up with him.”

The Dodgers took on Betts’ entire $27 million salary for 2020. The 27-year-old outfielder is set to become a free agent following this season, and he has previously expressed his desire to test the market next winter.

Now that he’s arrived in Los Angeles, might Betts consider signing a long-term extension with the Dodgers?

“Right now, I just got here — still trying to find a house and those kinds of things,” Betts said. “I’m not even really thinking about that. I’m just focused on staying with 2020 and going from there.”

Along with the pair of MVPs in the outfield, the Dodgers will have multiple Cy Young Award winners in their starting rotation. Price, who won the 2012 AL Cy Young Award with the Rays, joins three-time NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw.

Price has plenty of history with Dodgers general manager Andrew Friedman, who selected Price with Tampa Bay’s No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 MLB Draft. The Red Sox and the Dodgers will split the remaining $96 million owed to Price over the next three years.

“I’ve watched him grow and continue to evolve on the mound — and obviously the success he’s had is evident and everybody knows about that — but he was as good of a teammate as I’ve ever seen,” Friedman said. “The impact he has in the clubhouse was as significant as I’ve seen. … What he does on the mound every fifth day is obvious and evident to everybody that follows, but as we look to continue to supplement and add to this core group, what David brings goes beyond what he does every fifth day.”

Though the trade process had its hiccups and took nearly a week to complete after reports of a deal initially surfaced, Price and Betts said they were both thrilled to be in Los Angeles on Wednesday and eager to report to Glendale, Ariz., next week.

“Once we found out we were both coming, we were excited,” Price said. “We shared some text messages and phone calls, and we’re excited to be here.”

Paul Casella is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in Philadelphia. Follow him on Twitter @paul_casella.

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Another 3-day sale in UAE this weekend

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The three-day will offer discounts of up to 70 per cent across dozens of stores.

The Galleria Al Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi is hosting a massive three-day shopping sale from Thursday, October 31 to Saturday, November 2. 

The three-day will offer discounts of up to 70 per cent across various stores.

According to its website, shoppers can find amazing offers from popular brands such as Debenhams, & Other Stories, H&M, River Island, Victoria’s Secret, Sephora, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Stradivarius, Pull & Bear and many others.

Here’s the full list of offers:

& Other Stories: Buy 2-get-1 free on selected items

1915 by Seddiqi & Sons: Up to 40 per cent discount

American Eagle: Buy-1-get-1-free & 40 per cent off selected Items

Annabelle’s: 25 per cent off all items

Armani Exchange: 30 per cent off selected items

Art Hub: 20 per cent off on workshops

Ascots & Chapels: 4 Duke shirts & 1 tie for Dh1,095

Aspinal of London: 25 per cent off selected items

Bath & Body Works: Buy 1-get-1 free on selected items / Buy any candle for just Dh39

Bershka: 40per cent off selected items

Boggi: 25  per cent discount on Fall Winter Collection

Boulevard Boutique: 10-30 per cent off selected items

CH Carolina Herrera: 30-50 per cent off selected items

Charlotte Tilbury:

1) Save Dh190 when you buy Charlotte’s Hollywood Bestsellers Bundle worth Dh765

2) Free engraving service / complementary “quick trick” / free transformation when you spend a minimum of Dh500

Christian Louboutin: 30 per cent off selected items

Claire’s: Buy-1-get-1-free on selected items

Coach: Up to 40 per cent ff selected items

COS: Buy 2-get-1 free on selected items

Damas: 30 per cent discount on selected items

Debenhams: Buy-1-get-1-free on the latest fashion and home collections

1) Coast: Buy-1-get-1-free on selected items
2) Evans: Buy-1-get-1-free on selected items
3) Burton: Buy-1-get-1-free on all items

Decathlon: 25 per cent off selected items

Desigual: 50 pr cent off on all items

DKNY: Up to 50 per cent off selected items

Dr Nutrition: Buy 2-get-1 free

Ecco: 30 per cent off selected items

Etoile la Boutique: 30-40 per cent off selected items

Etude House:

1) Get a free lip patch and play stick 101 Pencil with any purchase of Better Lips Talk Lipstick
2) Buy-1-get-1-free on selected items
Eyezone: 30 – 50 per cent off selected items
Gant: Up to 50 per cent off selected items
Gap: Up to 40 per cent off selected items
GC: Up to 40 per cent off selected items
Godiva: 30 per cent off selected chocolates & promotional bundles

H&M:
1) Up to 50 per cent on selected items
2) Buy 3-get-3 free on selected items

Havaianas: Up to 50 per cent off selected items

Hour Choice: Up to 30 per cent discount

Ivy Clothing: Up to 60 per cent off selected items

Jimmy Choo: 40 per cent off selected items

Jumbo: Promotional offers on selected items

Just Kidding: 25 per cent online cashback voucher on full priced items

Justice: Buy-1-get-1-free on selected items

Kenzo: Up to 50 per cent off selected items

Kid’s Puzzle: Up to 50  per cent off selected items

Kiko Milano: 30-70 per cent off selected items

La Senza: Buy-2-get-3 free

Lanvin: 30 to 50 per cent off selected items

Lovisa: Bundle and promotional offers on selected items
MAC Cosmetics: Get a free pouch with minimum purchase of Dh250

Magrabi Optical: 25 per cent off selected items

Massimo Dutti: 30  per cent off selected items

MaxMara: 30 – 50  per cent off selected items

Milano: Buy-1-get-1-free on selected items

Miss Selfridge: Buy-1-get-1-free on selected items

Molton Brown: 25-50 per cent off selected items

Monki: Buy 1-get-1 free on selected items

Mothercare: Buy-2-get-1-free on all fashion and selected home and travel items

MUJI: Up to 50 per cent off selected items

Next: Buy-1-get-1-free on selected items

Nstyle International: 15 per cent off all services and products

NYX: Buy-1-get-1-free on selected items

Okaidi: 40 per cent off selected items

One Piece Concept: 50 per cent off selected items

Penhaligon’s: 25 per cent off selected items

Pottery Barn: Save Dh20 on every Dh100 you spend on wide range of furniture & accessories

Pottery Barn Kids: Save Dh20 on every Dh100 you spend on wide range of furniture & accessories

Pull & Bear: Up to 70  per cent off selected items

River Island: Buy 2-get-1 free on selected items

Roger Vivier: 50 per cent off selected items

Rose Poudre:

1) Free detoxifying treatment for scalp for every wash and blow-dry or wash and air dry service.
2) Mani / pedi service for only Dh130
3) Buy-1-get-1-free wash and blow-dry for only Dh200
4) All organic hair treatments only Dh120
5) Buy-1-get-1-free Goldwell hair treatment for only Dh300

Sacoor Brothers: Up to 70 per cent off

Salsa Jeans: 35-50 per centoff selected items

Sephora: Up to 40 per cent off selected items

Steve Madden: Spend Dh349 get Dh75 voucher, spend Dh99 get Dh100voucher, spend Dh499 get Dh150 voucher

Stradivarius: 30 to 50 per cent off selected items

Strass Haute Couture: 10  per cent discount on Readymade Abaya & 25 per cent discount on our Jalabeya collection

Sunglass Hut: Up to 50  per cent off selected items

Swarovski: Purchase from select collections and get 50% off on the 2nd item from that collection

The Toy Store: 15 per cent discount on all items

Thrifty Car Rental: 50 per cent discount on tariff rates

Tory Burch: 30 – 50 per centoff selected items

Tumi: 25 – 50 per cent off selected items

Urban Male Lounge: 15 per cent off all services and products

Victoria’s Secret: 50 per cent discount on selected lines

Villeroy & Boch: 25 – 75 per cent off selected items

Vision Express: Up to 70 per cent off selected items

West Elm: Save Dh20 on every Dh100 you spend on a wide range on modern furniture, home furnishings & decorations

Women’s Secret: Up to 50 per cent off selected items

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Rumours of a Third Term and a wedding

FOR much of July 2011, as I reported on this page back then, nothing filled me with so much foreboding as a telephone call from Nigeria, or from a fellow expatriate Nigerian in the United States.

Not that I dreaded being woken up at 3 o’clock in the morning by an insistent phone call informing me that the son of my grand-aunt’s younger nephew has secured admission to the Federal University of Kutuwengi’s coveted programme in cassava technology, and that unless I cabled the sum of N100, 000 immediately by way of a non-refundable deposit, the offer would go to another.

I had been given a tutorial by a fellow expatriate Nigerian on how to handle such matters.

“Tell the caller,” my tutor counseled, “tell the caller how genuinely delighted you are that the youngest son of your grand-aunt’s nephew had secured a place in the prohibitively competitive cassava technology programme at UniKutuwengi (UK).

Impress it upon the caller that the young man is even more fortunate in other ways because the vice chancellor of UK is your bosom friend and the professor of cassava propagation, who also happens to be the dean of the faculty of cassava technology, is none other than your favourite brother-in-law.”

Then, the clincher:  “Tell the caller to ask the young man to kindly send for ease of reference, a copy of his letter of admission so that you could cable the deposit directly to your good friend the vice chancellor at UK, or to the professor of cassava propagation.

“You would never hear from them again,” my tutor had assured me.

My discomfiture stemmed from the previously rumoured, speculated, suspected, widely-believed, and finally incipient “Third Term.”

Whenever the phone rang and I identified a Nigerian voice at the other end, I began to have that sinking feeling. I could feel it in my bones that the caller had nothing other than the so-called “Third Term” on his mind.  And I was right for the most part.

The calls usually began on a casual, even languid note, with “Bawo ni?” or “Hao nao?” But I had learned not to be fooled by such a gambit, nor by the preliminaries that followed, no matter how diverting or long-drawn.

Not a moment too soon, the callers got going.

“How is Baba these days?” they would ask casually, almost absent-mindedly.

“Which Baba?” I would reply, spoiling for an opening to play interrogator.

“Baba President,” they would rejoin.  OBJ.”

“How would I know from this distance?  Why don’t you ask Femi Fani-Kayode?”

“Ah!” the callers would exclaim in terror. “He will curse the daylight out of us for daring to ask.”

“No, he won’t,” I would assure them. “As a born-again Christian and an ordained deacon, Femi Fani-Kayode doesn’t curse.  And if you are only asking after Baba’s health and not dabbling into the great issues of state, he will thank you for your interest in Baba and praise you for your patriotism.  He might even pencil you down for a federal appointment.”

“From all that I have read and heard, Baba has not said he is interested in a Third Term,” I  would tell them with as much conviction as I could muster.

“If he is not interested, why can’t he come out straight to say so and thus put an end to all the speculation and all the nasty things people have been saying about him?”

“For reasons of state, no doubt. Raison d’état.  But I can’t speak for Baba. You really must

ask Chief Fani-Kayode.  I can give you his phone number.”

A second invocation of that name was usually enough to dissuade the caller from pursuing this pesky inquiry.

The conversations — such as they were — with callers who opened with a “Hao nao?” usually took a different tack.  No dancing around; they went straight into business.

“Nna, this Third-Term thing is now spreading like bush fire. What’s the latest?”

“My brother, this avian ’flu is a really terrible thing,” I would reply.  “Just imagine, our  people can’t even eat ordinary chicken again.   Our poultry farmers are finished. Hundreds of thousands of birds dead.  And now there is the fear that humans may be afflicted too.  It is really terrible.”

“Na so we see am o,” my brother. Very sad.  But this is about Obasanjo’s Third-Term plot.

“Alleged plot,” I would cut in.

“Alleged my foot,” one such caller shot back, aspirating with a force that almost blew out my eardrum. “Your Yoruba people have endorsed it.  Are you saying they have endorsed a mere allegation?”

“It’s the governors of the Yoruba-speaking states that endorsed it. The South-South, South-East governors have also endorsed it Even Ohanaeze has embraced it.  And it cannot be long before the Arewa people follow suit.  “Senator Ibrahim Mantu who coordinated consultations across the country has said that everywhere he went, he found a strong national consensus favouring a Third, and possibly a Fourth Term.

“The whole thing began like a crazy joke. And now, it looks as if they just might pull it off, like this is some banana republic.  How did they do it?”

“You must ask Andy Uba.  And Tony Anenih, the master fixer. I can give you Anenih’s GSM number.”

No response.

“Hello. . . . Hello. . .”

Still no response.  End of conversation

These were persons hoping to enter party politics one day.  It must have been drilled into them that the fear of The Fixer is the fundamental law of political practice in Nigeria.

Memories of these skirmishes came flooding back when it was bruited the other day that President Muhammadu Buhari might seek a Third Term.  Handbills and posters soon surfaced           in Abuja and elsewhere urging Buhari to bid for a Third Term, even as the Next Level Agenda  for his present and last term as consecrated in the Constitution is yet to gain traction.  A motley crowd of placard-carrying Third-Term protagonists put an exclamation mark on the matter.

The Presidency has disavowed any such intent.  Yet the rumours have persisted.

And I suspect that now, as in 2011, it would be a matter of time before I am inundated with requests for insight and analysis on the matter, even though I do not relate to Buhari the way I related to former President Obasanjo.

But that is the least of my worries.  I am concerned with the far more treacherous terrain ahead.

Lately, they have been linking His Excellency the President and the Honorable Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Intervention and Social Development Sadiya Umar Farouk, romantically.  They even went so far as to put it about that they were to be joined in matrimony last Friday.

This purported heads-up sent the Muslim faithful, all manner of supplicants and those seeking nothing but voyeuristic thrill flocking to the National Mosque in Abuja to witness the historic event.

They all went home disappointed.

In the wake of all this, Buhari’s wife Aisha, who had been away in the UK ended her extended vacation in the UK and returned to Nigeria.

Requests for my reactions to these developments as a veteran public affairs analyst cannot be  long in coming, I fear.

Here, upfront, is my response:  I am not aware of any link between the alleged presidential dalliance and Aisha Buhari’s precipitate return to base.  I have no thoughts, no comments, and  no insights whatsoever regarding these developments, nor what they portend for a Third Term or The Other Room.

I will not let anyone goad me into perdition.

The floods now devouring large swathes of the country are going to keep the Hon Minister for Disaster Relief fully engaged for a long time.

So, rest easy, all ye stakeholders.

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