CFL training camps opened Sunday amid the uncertainty of a potential players strike. Veterans reported for the start of two-a-day workouts three days after negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement broke down for the second time in as many weeks. The old deal expired at midnight ET on Thursday, the two sides havent met since and have no new talks scheduled. The CFL Players Association has mailed strike ballots to its members but Alberta labour laws could push the start of a strike into next week. For defensive back Eric Fraser, a union rep for the expansion Ottawa Redblacks, thats a good thing. "Thats a lot of time for the (CFLPA) executive and CFL to sit back down and hammer something out," he said. "I dont think were too far away right now, but tough decisions are going to have to be made on our end and their end and hopefully we can nail something out and everyone leaves the negotiating table a little upset because they think they gave up a little too much." There has been one strike since the formation of the CFLPA in 1965. That was in 74 when a new agreement was reached during training camp without the loss of regular-season games. The 2014 regular season is scheduled to kick off June 26. Despite the huge cloud hanging over the league, Fraser is confident a deal will be reached. "I have 100 per cent confidence there would be no lockout or strike like (2012 in the NHL) in the CFL," he said. "You just cant do it. "A good deal is going to get done here and I think thats positive." The CFL and players met for 17 hours over two days last week but money remains a major stumbling block after the league signed a five-year TV deal with TSN said to be worth a whopping $42 million annually this off-season. That deal alone would reportedly net teams an extra $2.7 million in 2014. The CFLPA is looking for the salary cap -- which was $4.4 million last year -- to increase to $5.8 million, with a $4.8 million minimum. The league has countered with a $5-million cap offer and boosting the average stipend to $96,000 from $92,917. The players have amended their revenue-sharing stance. Instead of requesting specific percentages on gate, television and sponsorship revenues, the CFLPA proposed a fixed cap for at least two years. After the second if league revenues increased by more than $12 million -- excluding the Grey Cup -- the two sides would renegotiate the cap or the CBA would be terminated at seasons end. The league would renegotiate the cap if revenues increased by $27 million or more in the third year. Cohon, who called the CFLs proposal last week its last and best, has repeatedly stated owners wont agree to any revenue-sharing offer because league revenues and profits arent enough for the model to work effectively. And that bothers veteran kicker Paul McCallum, the B.C. Lions player rep. "I dont know which way is up when (Cohon) talks sometimes," McCallum said. "All I know is the finances are what they are -- theyre black and white. "As players we just need to be treated fairly, and thats all were asking for. Were not millionaires here." For decades the CFL suffered financially, something the 44-year-old McCallum knows firsthand. But the veteran kicker feels the CFL is banking on the union cracking this time around. "To be quite honest, over my career weve sort of bent and bent and bent so I guess they think why would we not bend now," he said. "Theyre in for a rude awakening this time. "Enough is enough." Argos centre Jeff Keeping, also a member of the CFLPA executive, is glad to be playing football again but would readily replace his uniform with a suit for the resumption of contract talks. "The players are unwavering . . . we hope to get back to the negotiating table," he said. "Until then were here to play football." Veteran Ottawa quarterback Henry Burris is undeterred about the leagues labour strife but said its time the two sides resume talking. "The people that are in place saying all this stuff in the media, they need to quit all that crap and get to work and do what theyre paid to do and thats to make decisions and get this thing rectified so we can get back out here and do our jobs," he said. "For me thats the bottom line, as a senior member of the CFL, Im telling you guys Lets get this thing done, so we can get out here on the field and do our jobs because were looking forward to an amazing time here in Ottawa and we dont want nobody to spoil this party that we have planned." Toronto head coach Scott Milanovich has contingency plans for a work stoppage but says right now its business as usual. "Any practices we can get is great for the coaches, great for the players," he said. "It just makes the practices we get in even more important that we take advantage to all the minutes and reps we get." Calgary quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell and B.C. running back Andrew Harris are both pretty much taking the same approach. "Its not in my mind, its not in my control," Levi Mitchell said. "No matter what, whatever happens, the day you come back, if it does happen, youve got to be ready to play that day. Were going to come out here and compete and get better every single day and practise like nothings going on." Added Harris: "Were here to work. were here to get better. Youve just got to prepare as if everythings going great and were going to be playing." -- With files from Lisa Wallace in Ottawa, Donna Spencer in Calgary and Joshua Clipperton in Kamloops, B.C. Kyle Long Jersey
.Y. -- The Montreal Canadiens have had few reasons to celebrate this season as they have been mired near the basement of the Eastern Conference. Willie Young Jersey
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.Y. -- That hangover from the Big East tournament is gone for Villanova. NEW YORK -- Scott Kazmir has been so good for the Oakland Athletics, manager Bob Melvin wasnt prepared to see his ace flop so badly. Kazmir was tagged for three homers and allowed a season-high seven runs in the As 10-1 loss to the New York Mets and Bartolo Colon on Tuesday night. "Its almost a shock when you see him give up some runs but he just got some balls up, missed locations with a few of them and they didnt miss them," Melvin said. "Usually hes so unpredictable in his pitches that if he does get a ball up sometimes he gets away with it but he didnt today." A first-round draft pick by New York in 2002 but sent to Tampa Bay in a very unpopular trade two years later, Kazmir struggled from the start in his first start ever in Queens. He entered with the ALs best ERA (2.08) and on a four-game winning streak, but was out after just three innings. His ERA rose to 2.66. Kazmir (9-3) gave up consecutive homers to Curtis Granderson and Chris Young in the second inning and a three-run shot to Travis dArnaud in the third. The left-hander went 22 starts without giving up more than one homer in a game since Aug. 18, with the Indians. Kazmir blamed his lack of command on his troubles, not his first outing against the Mets in New York -- he beat the Mets in September in Cleveland. "Ive never played in Shea Stadium. Id never played in Citi Field so its not really coming back for me," Kazmir said. "I think itd be a little bit different if I had actually played at the big league level with the Mets and had a little bit of history in that regard, but it was just going out here today to take care of business." The As second straight loss ended with reliever Jeff Francis striking out. Melvin had Derek Norris and Craig Gentry on the bench but Gentry was given a cortisone shot in a knee. Norris was out of the lineup after being hit by a backswing on Sunday. "I wasnt going to use him in that type of game," Melvin said of Norris. Colon (8-5) shut down the team that didnt wannt him back this year despite an 18-win season, pitching four-hit ball for eight innings against the AL West leaders.dddddddddddd Signed by the Mets 10 days after the As inked Kazmir in December, Colon won his sixth straight decision. He also singled for his second straight game, much to the delight of the 25,751 in attendance. "Just when you think youve got him figured out hes going to throw something that you have no idea hes going to throw and thats just a testament to how good he is," Stephen Vogt said of Colon. "Obviously Im frustrated that we didnt beat him but obviously it was great to see him." Colon only faced trouble in the first when Yoenis Cespedes followed Brandon Moss single with a double to the wall in centre field for the early lead. Colon gave up a hit to Cespedes in the fourth and another single in the fifth to Coco Crisp, but he otherwise cruised through the best run-producing lineup in the majors. "It feels really good in particular because its a team like the Oakland As, which for me right now is the No. 1 team," Colon said through a translator. Slumping Mets outfielder Chris Young also homered off failed closer Jim Johnson in the fifth for only the Mets fifth four-homer game at Citi Field since it opened in 2009, according to STATS. Granderson and David Wright had RBI groundouts, and Daniel Murphy added a run-scoring single for the Mets, who scored at least 10 runs in consecutive games for the first time since June 28-29, 2011, in Detroit. They beat Miami 11-5 on Sunday. The Mets have won a season high-tying three straight. NOTES: The As activated RF Josh Reddick before the game. He was 0 for 2 with a walk. ... Oakland placed 1B Kyle Blanks on the 15-day DL with a left calf strain. ... Wright tied a career high with an RBI in his seventh straight game. ... First base umpire Joe West was hit in the chest by a line drive but he barely flinched. ... Up next: Oakland LHP Brad Mills (0-0) vs. New York RHP Zack Wheeler (3-7). Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys
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