Cano could be the anchor for a lineup thats lacked consistency

  • NEW YORK -- Pele is mourning the passing of the beautiful game, a phrase many say was coined by the 73-year-old Brazilian football wizard. Sean Taylor Redskins Jersey . In an interview with The Associated Press, Pele said tactics have become more and more defensive over the past decades since his retirement. Flowing attack has become a rarity and Pele is saddened by that. "Italy always played defence -- in my time, now, always," he said. "But unfortunately today, I think because of the millions, because of the new technology, because of the money from the sponsors, the people, they dont care the way they win." He says the message from coaches is not win, but rather "dont lose." "They dont care about the beautiful game. They dont care about the elegance of football. In my time, we used to think and give a little show." As the World Cup returns to the land of "jogo bonito" (the beautiful game), Pele has a new book, "Pele: Why Soccer Matters." He doesnt expect Brazil to have an easy path to a record sixth World Cup title -- two more than any other nation. "Germany has a very good team, young team, and then Spain. Spain is a team who plays together eight years, 10 years -- same team. Very nice organized team," he said on Wednesday. "This will be difficult. But we must respect Italy. We must respect Uruguay, because Uruguay is there. Argentina is there." Pele was a part of Brazils first three World Cup champions, in 1958, 1962 and 1970, and he scored 77 goals in 92 games. He starred for Santos from 1956-74 and kick-started football in the United States with New York Cosmos from 1975-77. He still keeps an apartment in Manhattan. When he retired, he was considered to have no equal. Then Diego Maradona led Argentina to the 1986 World Cup with amazing darting runs, and to the 1990 final. And in this era, Barcelonas Lionel Messi and Real Madrids Cristiano Ronaldo are scoring at pretty much a goal-a-game rate for their clubs, although they havent won the ultimate prize with the national teams. "To compare Pele with Messi, with Maradona, is difficult because we have different styles," Pele said. If Pele were in charge of a club, who would be the first player hed try to sign? "Im going to say Neymar because he belongs to us. He comes for free," said Pele, referring to the young Brazilian forward Santos sold to Barcelona last summer. "But at the moment," Pele went on, "as I am a forward, as I score a lot of goals, I will decide: Cristiano Ronaldo." Ricky Jean-Francois Redskins Jersey . The England international had both goals in TFCs season-opening 2-1 win over the Seattle Sounders on Saturday. Duke Ihenacho Redskins Jersey . Following the Ford Womens World Curling Championship gold medal match that attracted record-breaking audiences to TSN, the networks exclusive live coverage of the tournament begins Saturday at 7am et/4am pt with Canadas opening draw against Denmark.SEATTLE -- Robinson Cano is trading pinstripes for the Pacific Northwest. The free agent second baseman and the Seattle Mariners have reached agreement on a deal, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Friday. ESPN reported earlier Friday that the contract was worth $240 million for 10 years. The person told the AP that the deal was pending a physical that had not yet been scheduled. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because there was no official announcement. Music mogul Jay-Z, whose Roc Nation has partnered with CAA Baseball to represent Cano, was in Seattle for talks that began Thursday and stretched into Friday. Agent Brodie Van Wagenen of CAA Baseball and Juan Perez of Roc Nation Sports also were in attendance. Cano had spent his entire career with the New York Yankees and was a five-time All-Star. He played in 160 games last season and hit .314 with 27 homers and 107 RBIs. The Yankees had offered $175 million over seven years. New York went 85-77 last season and missed the playoffs for only the second time in 19 years; Seattle went 71-91 and hasnt been in the playoffs since 2001. "He was a great Yankee. He was a great player. I think everybody tried hard to get the deal done. We just never got close enough obviously. We wish him the best. We hope he has a long, healthy career," Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said Friday. "Were going to keep going. Were still looking at all the same guys that we were looking at a week ago or two ago. Were going to continue to improve. Were not done spending." The Mariners werent saying much of anything. "We are not able to confirm any news regarding Robinson Cano at this time. If and when an agreement is completed and finalized, we will announce," the team said in a statement. The deal would be tied for the fourth-richest contract in baseball history and a striking blow from a franchise thats done little to get noticed for the past decade. Only the two deals signed by Alex Rodriguez -- first with Texas and then the Yankees -- and Joey Vottos contract with Cincinnati were worth more. Albert Pujols also signed a $240 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels. Cano posted a .899 on-base plus slugging percentage last season and finished fifth in American League most valuable player voting. Hes been one of the most durable players in baseball for the past seven seasons, missing only 14 out of 1,120 games since the start of the 2007 season. DeSean Jackson Redskins Jersey. Hes a career .309 hitter who has averaged 24 homers and 97 RBIs per season. Cano has hit at least 25 homers and had a slugging percentage above .500 in every season since 2009. Cano could be the anchor for a lineup thats lacked consistency at the plate most of the past decade. Between 2009 and 2012, Seattles offence ranked last in baseball in batting average, and was near the bottom in runs scored and homers. The Mariners showed some pop this past season with 188 home runs -- second-most in baseball -- but 52 of those came from the combo of Kendrys Morales and 41-year-old Raul Ibanez, both free agents. Its the second straight off-season Seattle will have made a massive financial commitment after giving a $175 million, seven-year deal to ace Felix Hernandez last winter. Seattle has plenty of financial room to make significant cash commitments because the only major contracts on the books for 2014 are for Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma, and only Michael Saunders and Justin Smoak are entering arbitration. Helping provide room to increase the payroll is the Mariners investment in a new regional sports network that is expected to net Seattle significant revenue in the coming years and its not a surprise the club was able to make such a staggering offer. But finalizing a deal with Cano wont solve all of Seattles problems. Its a start, immediately adding a legitimate slugger to the middle of a lineup that finally showed some pop last season after years of floundering with one of the worst offences in baseball. The Mariners have plenty of other problems to solve, including adding another established starter to their rotation and finding solutions for an outfield filled with questions. The potential acquisition of Cano could mean a move is made with Nick Franklin or Dustin Ackley. Franklin became Seattles starting second baseman for the majority of last season after an early promotion from the minors. He showed flashes at the plate but slumped badly in the later months of the season and his defence was always a concern. Ackley was Seattles second baseman of the future when he was selected with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2009 draft, but went through his own hitting swoon. Ackley was demoted to the minors to try to find his swing and was moved from second base to playing in the outfield. Cheap NFL Jerseys ' ' '