Entertainment

Here Are 23 Badass Baseball Players To Watch This Season

Baseball is the great American pastime. Nothing beats stadium food, cold drinks and watching the home team take on the arch rivals. However, Latinos really make this sport one that so many people around the world enjoy. Here are some of the Latino players you should definitely be watching this season.

1. Marwin Gonzalez

CREDIT: marwingonzalez9 / Instagram

What better credentials than to be the reigning World Series champ? That’s what this Venezuelan outfielder is for the Houston Astros playing the outfield and also as a utility player. They might just repeat in 2018.

2. Jonathan Villar

CREDIT: jonathanvillar2 / Instagram

This young, up-and-coming, Dominican shortstop knows what it means to be in a winning team when he played for the Astros. Now with Milwaukee Brewers he expects to go all the way.

3. Marcell Ozuna

CREDIT: thebigbear13ozuna / Instagram

The Big Bear, as he likes to be called, is entering into his six season in MLB with the St. Louis Cardinals. Playing out of left field, this Dominican from Santo Domingo has a respectable .276 career batting average in hopes of getting all the way to October.

4. Javier Baez

CREDIT: javy23baez / Instagram

The Puerto Rican boy wonder is having one of the hottest seasons in his young career. The past few years he was plagued by a lack of hitting potential, corrected now for 2018, and the Cubs are having high expectations to get to the World Series again.

5. Willson Contreras

CREDIT: willsoncontreras40 / Instagram

The Venezuelan catcher played a key role in Chicago Cubs winning the World Series in 2016. In spite of his youth, he shows maturity in directing traffic from his field players. His bat has yet to start, but what it does… Watch it!

6. Julio Daniel Martinez

CREDIT: jdmartinez28 / Instagram

JD, as we know him, hails from Miami, Florida, has been a key help for the Boston Red Sox in the start of the 2018 season. He plays right and left field and his bat and running skills are on fire.

7. Jean Segura

CREDIT: elmambodesegura / Instagram

A flashy shortstop if there ever was one, this young Dominican with the Seattle Mariners is showing great promises with his bat, and once on base he is a threat to rival catchers with his speed.

8. Giancarlo Stanton

CREDIT: giancarlo818 / Instagram

Yeah, his departure from Florida to the Yankees was booed by some, except New Yorkers! This Californian who did High School in Sherman Oaks is getting into his best aggressive mode ever. He needed the projection provided by the guys from the Bronx.

9. Jose Peraza

CREDIT: soybeisbol / Instagram

Shortstop for the Reds, this Venezuelan can really fly the bases with his 80% effectiveness stealing. But also, his ability with the bat can bump into the next level with discipline and tenacity.

10. Carlos Gonzalez

CREDIT: cargo5 / Instagram

A respectable .287 batting average has this young Venezuelan steady with Colorado, due to his great scope from right field and over 200 HR. The Rockies are trusting he’ll make his breakthrough this season.

11. Jorge Bonifacio

CREDIT: elboni4 / Instagram

This very young man from the DR has a brother already in MLB which gave him the confidence to stride into big things with the KC Royals. His bat is showing signs of improvement as also his glove and arm off right field.

12. Martin Maldonado

CREDIT: machetemaldonado / Instagram

A solid catcher for the Anaheim A’s, he makes sure everything runs smooth for the So. California team in his second season there, after playing 6 seasons for the Brewers. His hitting suddenly took off in 2017, so there’s high hopes.

13. Yuli Gurriel

CREDIT: el_yuly10 / Instagram

Sure, he won the World Series in 2017 with the Astros, but this 33-yr old Cuban was just a rookie, as per US standards. He plays a crucial 1st base for the reigning champs. His bloodline has a lot of world class baseball from the island.

14. Ender Inciarte

CREDIT: enderinciartem / Instagram

A strong center fielder from Venezuela, Ender is coming off a 2017 that saw him hitting over 200 hits for the Atlanta Braves. His career .293 batting average is enough to rate him a threat at home plate.

15. Jose Altuve

CREDIT: josealtuve27 / Instagram

Small in stature, HUGE in heart, this awe-inspiring Venezuelan was AL MVP last year when he led the Astros to an unforgettable World Series pennant. Beyond baseball, his heart shines with plenty of community outreach and a foundation for kids with cancer.

16. Jesus Aguilar

CREDIT: jaguilarmke / Instagram

Although he hasn’t played much this season for the Brewers, his batting average is way up there, just waiting for the right moment to shine again. He plays first base and has his best years still ahead.

17. Yadier Molina

CREDIT: yadier_marciano_molina / Instagram

He’s the ultimate veteran on the Cardinal’s roster, but this Puerto Rican catcher shows no sign of slowing down. He commands the field from his vantage point, and is lauded by pitchers for his control of their game.

18. Yasiel Puig

CREDIT: yasielpuig / Instagram

After a breakthrough debut in the summer of 2013, things sort of slowed down for this flamboyant Cuban from Cienfuegos. But experience has provided the necessary maturity for Yasiel to wait for the right pitch to put in the bleachers at Dodger Stadium in LA.

19. Aroldis Chapman

CREDIT: _thecubanmissile54 / Instagram

Fireball. That’s all needed to describe the pitches from the flamethrower out of Cuba. He won it all with the Cubs in 2016, and returned to the Yankees where he still is the key closer in the final innings to seal the deal.

20. Gorkys Hernandez

CREDIT: gorkyshernandez / Instagram

A solid left fielder out of Venezuela, he is batting pretty well for the SF Giants and is showing the promise that made him a viable prospect during his year of debut in 2012.

21. Francisco Lindor

CREDIT: lindor12bc / Instagram

Another flashy shortstop from Puerto Rico, he almost made it to the top in 2016, but still has the eagerness to get back there. His high school years were spent in Florida, where MLB scouts found him.

22. Robinson Cano

CREDIT: robinsoncano / Instagram

A seasoned veteran playing second base now for Seattle, he is widely known for his social awareness in the cities where he plays. He was one of the youngest players ever to reach the 1,500 hits plateau with the Yankees in his ninth season.

23. Juan Lagares

CREDIT: jlagares12 / Instagram

He’s commanding LF for the Mets, coming from the Dominican Republic. Although his short career has been plagued by injuries, he shows progress in defending his team from rival runs with a great jump towards balls batted his way.

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Vanessa Bryant Shared The Sweetest Throwback Photo Of Kobe For Her Daughter Natalia’s 18th Birthday

Entertainment

Vanessa Bryant Shared The Sweetest Throwback Photo Of Kobe For Her Daughter Natalia’s 18th Birthday

Stephen Dunn / Getty

Life goes on.

Almost a year after her father Kobe Bryant passed, Natalia Bryant is gearing up for college and celebrating her life in progress. On Tuesday, to celebrate her daughter’s 18th birthday, Vanessa Bryant showered her daughter with tributes and words of wisdom in an Instagram post.

Vanessa posted a handful of tributes to Natalia on Instagram, including old photos of the 18-year-old her father, Kobe.

The late LA Laker, who died last year on Jan. 26 with his 13-year-old daughter (Gianna) and several others in a tragic helicopter crash, could be seen in the photos. In one of the images, Vanessa and Kobe held baby Natalia in an image taken on the Los Angeles Lakers court.

“Daddy’s little princess, Natalia. ❤️🎉🎂🎉#18#BirthdayGirl,” Bryant captioned one of the photos.

In another post, Vanessa expressed how proud she was of the woman Natalia has become.

“Mommy and Daddy are so proud of the young lady that you are. You have displayed so much strength and grace throughout the most difficult year of our lives,” she wrote in the post. “Thank you for stepping in to help me with your little sisters. You’re such an incredible big sister and a beautiful role model to so many people. Thank you for being kind, polite and gracious in everything that you do. You have no idea how happy and proud mommy and daddy are that you’re our daughter. We love you always and forever, forever and always. Happy 18th birthday to our first born, Natalia, our principessa!”

Last week, Bryant revealed that Natalia has college on the mind.

In a separate post shared to Instagram, Vanesa revealed that her daughter has New York on the mind when it comes to getting her Bachelor’s. “NYU is one of her top schools. (@nataliabryant chose not to apply ED to her top 5 schools). I will do my best to keep her in Cali just like I kept her daddy here,” she commented.

There’s no doubt that in the wake of her husband Kobe Bryant and daughter Gigi’s deaths, Vanessa Bryant and her family have received quite the outpour of support from fans. Look up just about any hashtag with their names and you’ll find hundreds of thousands of images of the two deceased Bryant family members and just about as many fan accounts. The images and tributes have meant to be a eulogy to the two basketball players that lost their lives too soon.

Yet, recently Vanessa Bryant revealed that the ongoing support hasn’t always been so positive for her.

In June, Vanessa Bryant opened up about having to take action and remove herself from all the social media love she and her family have received in the five months since her husband and daughter’s deaths.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CBbChSkBeuP/?utm_source=ig_embed

In a post to her Instagram page, the mother of four, sent a note to fans to let them know that she and her 17-year-old daughter, Natalia, had decided to block fan pages in an effort to keep away from the constant pictures of Kobe and Gianna popping up on their “Explore” pages. In her post, Bryant underlined that she was only blocking the accounts to make sure she was continuing to heal and that it was not being done out of malice.

“Thx so much for all the [love]. @nataliabryant and I have unfortunately had to block fan pages because it’s been really hard to go online and constantly see pics of our beloved Gigi and Kobe under every single square of our explore pages. Blocking the fan pages has helped change the algorithm,” Bryant wrote in a post to her Stories on Instagram.

Vanessa continued to explain that “We [love] you all but please understand that we had to do this for our own healing not because we don’t appreciate your [love].”

Bryant’s Instagram page was made to be private soon after her husband’s death likely for similar reasons.

In a separate Instagram story to her own account Vanessa’s daughter Natalia shared, “We hope that people understand although these fan pages have good intentions, they make moving forward harder since they are constant reminders. Blocking the accounts have helped change the algorithm but we can not go public until the fan pages stop. We love all of your sweet intentions and we hope you understand.” 

Understandably, Bryant and her daughter are sheltering themselves from further hurt during this time.

Here’s hoping their fans continue to support them through this decision and understand their motives. Fortunately, while Bryant and her daughter Natalia have made their accounts private, they are still making their content available through other pages. Recently, Bryant revealed that she had decided to pay tribute to her late husband and daughter Gigi by commemorating their lives with tattoos.

Last week, Bryant took to Instagram to reveal she’d made the decision to honor her husband and daughter with two new tattoos.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CBR38QADoyb/?utm_source=ig_embed

Both images were shared with the public via Nikko Hurtado, the artist behind Vanessa’s ink work.

“Shoutout to @nikkohurtado for coming over and helping me get my Gigi’s sweet message transferred on me,” she wrote in a caption to her Instagram page featuring a video of her new tattoo honoring her daughter. The details of the tattoo aren’t totally visible but in the comments, Bryant revealed that the tattoo features her late daughter’s handwriting. “So happy I can see my Gigi’s handwriting everyday ❤️ #mambacita,” she replied.

Bryant also shared a video of herself receiving another tattoo, this time for Kobe.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CBR3vpUjEOf/?utm_source=ig_embed

In a post to her Instagram page, Bryant shared another video of herself. This time the video revealed that she was actively receiving a shoulder tattoo that is meant to honor her husband.

“I wanted my boo boo’s @kobebryant sweet message transferred on me,” Bryant explained in the caption of the photo.

For fans of the Bryants it’s important to note that while Vanessa and Natalia aren’t looking at fan accounts, the art is still available for you to view if it makes you feel better during this time.

Additionally, fans who want to keep up with Vanessa and Natalia and see how they continue to heal can follow friend accounts or stay in touch with us for updates!

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New Lawsuit Alleges that Alex Rodriguez is Guilty of Embezzlement and Racketeering: ‘He is a serial cheater and liar’

Entertainment

New Lawsuit Alleges that Alex Rodriguez is Guilty of Embezzlement and Racketeering: ‘He is a serial cheater and liar’

Photo via Getty Images

It looks like scandal just can’t stay away from A-Rod. The former Yankees all-star is now facing controversy based off of the claims filed in a lawsuit by his former brother-in-law, Constantine Scurtis.

The lawsuit alleges that Rodriguez is a pathological liar and cheater who embezzled millions of dollars through shady real estate deals.

The lawsuit states: “Defendant Alex Rodriguez, a former Yankees baseball player, is a serial cheater and liar. After cheating on his wife, Cynthia, and lying about his affairs, Alex Rodriguez then lied to and cheated his brother in law in their real estate partnership.”

According to Scurtis, he and Rodriguez formed a real estate partnership around the beginning of A-Rod’s marriage to his sister, Cynthia. The initial deal was that the duo would leverage A-Rod’s star power to attract clients and sales and would get 95% of the profits. Scurtis would get the rest of the profits, including acquisition fees when applicable.

Scurtis says that A-Rod sold their joint company without his consent and without giving him any of the profits.

But per Scurtis, in 2008, around the time that Rodriguez’s marriage to his first wife dissolved, A-Rod abruptly booted Scurtis from the partnership. Scurtis alleges that, up until that point, Rodriguez had previously lied to him and assured him that nothing would change in their business dealings.

The lawsuit also alleges that Rodriguez committed various acts of fraud, including concocting a “scheme to profit off of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Ike.”

Hurricane Ike was a natural disaster that resulted in at least 195 deaths and billions of dollars in damage in 2008.

Scurtis says that Rodriguez committed insurance fraud, faking accounting records to claim that his properties sustained significantly more damage than they actually did.

The lawsuit alleges that A-Rod bribed an official who caught wind of the scheme to keep quiet.

“Through their racketeering,” the lawsuit said, “Rodriguez and his co-conspirators have caused Scurtis many millions of dollars in damages.”

Scurtis’s lawyer says that A-Rod will “face a jury on August 2, 2021, to answer claims that he and his co-conspirators engaged in a pattern of racketeering and embezzlement.”

“Scurtis never suspected that the tussle over the day-to-day operation of the business arising from his sister’s divorce would be followed by a systematic and fraudulent effort to eliminate Scurtis’s equity in the venture and strip him of the future financial rewards to which he was rightfully entitled,” says the lawsuit.

It should be noted that this is not the first time that Scurtis has brought a lawsuit against his ex-brother-in-law.

There seems to be no love lost between these two former business partners. Over the years, Scurtis has filed a multiple lawsuits against the Dominican ex-MVP, including a $100 million one in 2015 that included many of the same allegations. It is unclear how that situation ended, but judging by the newest lawsuit, Scurtis’s previous ones have not been successful.

As for A-Rod, he is hitting back at Scurtis’s claims, and filed a countersuit denying the accusations. We guess we’ll just keep our eyes peeled to see how this all turns out.

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