Rangers Slugger Gallo Showing He’s More Than Just Big Hitter

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ARLINGTON (AP) — Joey Gallo has hit the hardest homer in the majors this season — and some of the longest.

The young slugger who went to spring training not even knowing if he’d make the Texas Rangers roster to start this season has now played all 22 games in place of injured third baseman Adrian Beltre.

There have been majestic home runs, the kind that have come to be expected in his short career. But the 6-foot-5, 235-pound Gallo is showing that he’s more than just a big bopper. He can field the ball, too, and isn’t too bad running the bases when not trotting around them.

“For me, the home runs are going to be there,” Gallo said. “One of the things that always kind of frustrated me was people didn’t realize that I could actually play defense. People didn’t realize that I could run the bases. They just thought I was just a big donkey.”

Gallo went into the Rangers’ day off Thursday tied for the AL lead with seven home runs , all but one of them at least 422 feet. That included the 462-foot blast with an exit velocity of 116.1 mph, according to MLB stats — the one that hit Rick’s Popcorn Wagon on the concourse well beyond the right-field seats, and the first of his two homers in that home game against the Kansas City Royals last Friday.

“He’s the guy that needs to be complimented on everything, just the complete game really, and he’s been playing that way,” manager Jeff Banister said. “We talked about his defense, we’ve talked about the base running, the presence of mind on defense, and then engaged at the plate and putting really good swings.”

The 23-year-old Gallo, who as a kid played on the same Little League team in Las Vegas with Bryce Harper and Kris Bryant, also has four doubles, 16 RBIs, 16 runs scored and three stolen bases. And in the field, Gallo has only one error in 58 total chances while playing every defensive out at third base for Texas.

“I’m just starting to learn to trust my abilities and trust myself more in what I can do,” Gallo said. “I think I used to listen to other peoples’ opinions too much. I wouldn’t think I was good enough to be here because everyone else thought I wasn’t.”

Beltre has been on the disabled list all season dealing with calf issues in both legs, and Banister indicated Wednesday before the Rangers’ 14-3 over Minnesota that the 38-year-old third baseman isn’t seeing significant progress yet in his recovery.

Texas trailed 2-0 against the Twins in the fifth when Gallo made a lunging backhanded stab of Jorge Polanco’s sinking liner that appeared headed to the left-field corner, then threw to second to complete an inning-ending double play.

Texas tied the game in the bottom of the inning, and led for good after Gallo got hit by a pitch to start the sixth and then got struck on the back of his shoulder by a catcher’s throw while scoring on a wild pitch. He walked twice before that plate appearance.

The Rangers picked Gallo 39th overall in the 2012 amateur draft, and their top prospect made an impressive major league debut June 2, 2015, after Beltre went on the DL with a thumb injury. Gallo made the jump from Double-A with an upper-deck homer, a double off the top of the wall and a club record for a big league debut with four RBIs.

Gallo was initially with the Rangers about a month, staying to play some outfield after Beltre returned. He also ended that season on the roster.

After striking out 19 times with just one hit in 25 big league at-bats last year, Gallo appeared headed back to minors this year since the Rangers had re-signed Mike Napoli to fill their void at first base and had a crowded outfield. But then Beltre reported to Arizona training with calf issues that haven’t gone away.

“When spring training started, I didn’t know if I would really have an actual chance to be on the team and make the team and be here,” Gallo said “So just to be here, be contributing to wins for this team, helping this team out, it’s pretty awesome.”

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Immigrants Plan May Day Rallies Buoyed By Trump Opposition

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CHICAGO (AP) — Immigrant groups and their allies have joined forces to carry out marches, rallies and protests in cities nationwide next week to mark May Day, saying there’s renewed momentum to fight back against Trump administration policies.

Activists in major cities including New York, Chicago and Los Angeles expect tens of thousands of people to participate in Monday demonstrations, starting with morning neighborhood protests and culminating in rush hour events downtown. Activists also plan an overnight vigil in Phoenix, a farm workers demonstration outside Miami and a White House rally. In Seattle, pro-immigrant events are expected to give way to rowdier, anti-capitalist marches led by protesters who said they plan to shut down a major freeway through the city.

“We’re seeing an unprecedented amount of enthusiasm and activity,” said New York Immigration Coalition executive director Steven Choi. “It’s driven by the fact that Trump administration has made immigration the tip of the spear.”

Around the world, union members have traditionally marched on May 1 for workers’ rights. In the United States, the event became a rallying point for immigrants in 2006 when more than 1 million people marched against a proposed immigration enforcement bill.

While the current climate surrounding immigration may be similar to 2006 amid President Donald Trump’s hard-line approach to the issue, the immigrant rights movement has changed dramatically since then.

Advocacy groups that in 2006 were united in their determination to flood the streets to make a statement have fractured since then and pursued other efforts, such as voter registration, lobbying and fighting deportations.

However, activists expect a surge in participation this year, in part because immigrant rights groups have worked with Women’s March participants, Black Lives Matter and Muslim civil rights groups who are united by their opposition to Donald Trump. Also, businesses with immigrant ties are closing or allowing employees to take the day off without penalty.

Immigrant groups acknowledged there is some fear among people in the country illegally who are skittish about drawing attention to themselves in visible marches. But organizers are reminding them that it’s an important cause and there’s safety in numbers.

“If you are an immigrant in Los Angeles, the safest place you can be on Monday is in the action in downtown Los Angeles,” said David Huerta, president of SEIU United Service Workers West.

As Trump approaches his first 100 days, he has aggressively pursued immigration enforcement, including executive orders for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and a ban on travelers from six predominantly-Muslim countries. The government has arrested thousands of immigrants in the country illegally and threatened to withhold funding from sanctuary jurisdictions, which limit cooperation between local and federal immigration authorities.

In response, leaders in sanctuary cities have vowed to fight back and civic participation has seen a boost, including February’s “Day Without Immigrants.” The travel ban and sanctuary order were temporarily halted by legal challenges.

“We will not be divided,” Pastor Don Taylor of an interfaith organizing group told Chicago supporters preparing this week for May 1. “It is a moral issue.”

Still, while there is opposition to Trump, activists aren’t focused on a single course of action.

In Illinois, they’re pushing legislative plans to essentially extend sanctuary protections statewide. Outside Miami, advocates are calling for an extension of temporary protected status for Haitians displaced by a deadly 2010 earthquake. In Detroit, the push is for immigrants’ constitutional rights, including due process.

In Los Angeles, organizers expect as many as 100,000. New York could see up to 50,000 participants. Chicago organizers estimate at least 20,000. In Pennsylvania, student groups are calling for strikes to demand a safe place for immigrants on campus, while in Las Vegas culinary workers will take to the casino-lined strip to show support.

In the Chicago area, dozens of restaurants and grocery stores planned to either close or allow workers to attend the demonstrations. In Portland, Oregon, unions, immigrants and others are urging people to skip work, school and shopping to highlight the importance of workers and the community’s strength.

Elsewhere, union leaders have asked employers to let workers participate. Google, for one, asked managers to be flexible in accommodating requests for time-off so employees can join marches.

Adonis Flores, an organizer with Michigan United, plans to participate for the first time on what’s long been known as International Workers Day.

The 28-year-old was brought to the country as a young child from Mexico and doesn’t have legal permission to stay. For four years, he’s received a work permit through an Obama administration program for young people, and doubts Trump’s assurances that his administration won’t target people like him for deportation.

“I don’t believe anything he says and don’t believe anybody should,” he said. “It’s getting to a point where the community is being tired and ready to take action.”

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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‘Purple Rain’ Re-Issue To Feature Unreleased Prince Songs

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — A remastered version of Prince’s landmark album “Purple Rain” will be released this summer with several previously unreleased songs.

NPG Records and Warner Bros. Records announced Friday that two remastered versions of the 1984 album will be released June 23. The labels said Prince himself oversaw the remastering process in 2015 and the two-disc “Purple Rain Deluxe” set will include six unreleased tracks.

Among the unreleased tracks are a solo version of the song “Possessed” and a studio version of “Electric Intercourse.”

An expanded edition will include a third disc of B-sides and a DVD of a 1985 performance by Prince and the Revolution in Syracuse, New York. Both releases are available for pre-order on Friday.

Prince died a year ago, leaving behind a trove of unreleased music at Paisley Park estate in Minnesota.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Chiefs Move Up To Take Texas Tech QB Mahomes In NFL Draft

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs brought just about every top quarterback in this year’s draft to their practice facility over the past few weeks, putting each through an aggressive six-hour interview process designed to test their mental acuity.

As coach Andy Reid put it, “We tried to bury them.”

Patrick Mahomes kept his head above ground better than anyone else.

So when faced with the prospect of trading up to nab the Texas Tech gunslinger Thursday night, Reid and general manager John Dorsey wasted no time. They sent first- and third-round picks this year and their first-round pick next year to Buffalo, climbing from the 27th overall pick to the 10th to acquire the heir apparent to veteran quarterback Alex Smith.

It was only the third time in the common-draft era Kansas City selected a quarterback in the first round, and the first since Todd Blackledge failed to live up to expectations from the 1983 draft.

“He came in here and we drilled him,” Reid said of his new protégé. “We threw the kitchen sink at him and expected him to spit it out. We did that with all those guys in here. It was fun.”

Fun? Try stressful.

super bowl 51 day 5 57 Chiefs Move Up To Take Texas Tech QB Mahomes In NFL Draft

Patrick Mahomes, live from Super Bowl 51 Radio Row with 105.3 The Fan (Photo J.Burkett, 105.3 The Fan)

North Carolina’s Mitch Trubisky went to Chicago second overall, but the Chiefs had their pick of the remaining prospects. The job Mahomes did in his interview, and the prolific numbers he put up for the Red Raiders, made him the choice for Kansas City.

Heisman Trophy winner Deshaun Watson of Clemson went two picks later to Houston.

“Once the trade went through on the TV, I got a call and they said they were going to pick me, and just pure excitement,” Mahomes said. “It’s something I’ve always dreamed of and going to an organization like this is something I’ve always dreamed of as well.”

Mahomes is the second QB to be taken in the first round by a Reid-coach team following Donovan McNabb with Philadelphia in 1999. He also drew comparisons from his new coach to another player who flourished working under him in Green Bay: Brett Favre.

“They’re different players. Brett is a Hall-of-Fame player. This kid has a long way to go before that,” Reid said, “but when you have an opportunity to talk to them and be around him and feel a certain energy, and then you see him practice, you’ll see a certain intensity you like.”

The big-armed son of former big league pitcher Pat Mahomes, the younger Mahomes will try to buck a trend of spread-style quarterbacks from Texas Tech that have failed to thrive in the NFL. Among them is Kliff Kingsbury, who spent the past four seasons tutoring Mahomes with the Red Raiders.

The Chiefs were in the market for a quarterback with Smith nearing the end of his career.

The former No. 1 overall pick of the 49ers, Smith arrived in Kansas City with Reid and general manager John Dorsey four years ago. And he’s played well enough to lead the Chiefs to three playoff appearances, an AFC West title this past season and earn a $68 million, four-year contract extension that could keep him with the Chiefs through the 2018 season.

That timetable is important: It gives Mahomes at least one season and possibly two to learn Reid’s offense from a trusted veteran. And if Mahomes proves to be a quick study, Smith can be released after next season with a relatively minimal impact on the salary cap.

“Right now, Patrick isn’t absolutely ready to play. He’s got some work to do,” Reid said. “But he’s coming into a great room, he has an opportunity to learn from Alex, which will be a great for him. We have to have some patience with him, but he has tremendous upside.”

Much like other Texas Tech quarterbacks, Mahomes posted up eye-popping numbers in a pass-heavy offense geared to putting up points. He started 29 games over three seasons and became the third player in Football Bowl Subdivision history with multiple seasons of 5,000 yards total offense.

He threw for 5,052 yards with 41 touchdowns and 10 interceptions last season.

Mahomes is confident he’ll succeed here other Texas Tech quarterbacks — Kingsbury, Graham Harrell and B.J. Symons — have failed in that he was given the reins of the entire offense in college.

That kind of responsibility is rare, and Mahomes took full advantage of it.

“He’s intelligent, he has great skill, and I just think he’s going to be a great player when it’s all said and done,” Reid said. “We just thought with what we do, Mahomes would fit in well.”

The Chiefs still have their second-round pick and another third-round choice on Friday, and will now turn their attention to defense. They could use a middle linebacker to eventually replace veteran Derrick Johnson and a cornerback to play opposite Marcus Peters.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Dallas Cowboys Select DE Taco Charlton With 28th Pick

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FRISCO (105.3 The Fan/AP) – The Dallas Cowboys have bulked up their defensive unit by selecting Michigan defensive end Taco Charlton with the 28th pick in the first round of the NFL Draft.

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Dine! Uchi

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Chef de Cuisine Alex Astranti gives us a tour of the sleek and modern Uchi.

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Surprise! Johnny Depp Appears As Jack Sparrow On Disney Ride

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Some visitors to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at California’s Disneyland got a surprise: Captain Jack Sparrow himself.

Johnny Depp donned the getup of his swashbuckling alter ego and interacted with riders on Wednesday. Videos taken by park goers and shared on social media show Depp chatting with fans as they passed by on the ride’s boats. He also spoke to a crowd outside.

Instagram Photo

Depp returns to the big screen as Sparrow next month in the fifth film based on the ride. “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” opens May 26, after premiering at Shanghai Disneyland on May 11.

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