$1 billion local bank merger announced

first_imgGreensburg, In. — MainSource Financial Group Inc. and First Financial Bancorp have announced a merger.The final deal will give MainSource shareholders 1.3875 common shares of First Financial common stock for each share of MainSource common stock. The transaction is valued at $1 billion. When the deal is official, First Financial shareholders will control about 63 percent of the merged operation, MainSource shareholders will own about 37 percent.The merger will result in a combined company with approximately $13.3 billion in assets, $8.9 billion in loans, $10.0 billion in deposits and $4.0 billion in assets under management, utilizing financial information as of June 30, 2017. The transaction will allow the combined company to better meet the needs of its communities in a rapidly changing banking environment, while providing the efficiencies and scale required to comply with regulatory requirements and costs associated with crossing the $10 billion asset threshold.“By taking the best of both banks, we believe that the combined company will be even more effective in meeting the lending, economic development and financial education needs of the communities we serve,” said Claude E. Davis, Chief Executive Officer of First Financial. “With both companies having proven records of success in organic performance as well as through acquisitions, we see this as a tremendous opportunity to partner with MainSource to create a new company that is even better positioned for growth and continued success.”“We are pleased to partner with a company that has a shared vision, culture and focus on performance,” said Archie M. Brown, Jr., Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of MainSource. “Our client focused approaches and similar business models delivered across corresponding footprints position us to perform well and produce top-quartile results.”Claude E. Davis will assume the role of executive chairman, Archie Brown will be the president and chief executive officer and the company will be headquartered in Cincinnati. The deal is expected to close in 2018.last_img read more

Zidane works players hard during Real Madrid training session

first_img Loading… As ‘AS’ rerports, the plan of Gregory Dupont, the Real Madrid fitness trainer, is to improve his players’ physical state. They have been able to train after being away for several weeks due to the coronavirus.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 While Jovic and Mariano continued training in the gym, the rest of the Real Madrid players worked their socks off at the Sports City in Valdebebas.Advertisement After running several laps, the footballers began training with the ball. Based on the footage Real Madrid shared, you can see some footballers suffering more than others during the session. The footballers carried out intense physical training under the watchful eye of a Zidane who asked for more intensity from his players. Read Also: Rivaldo: Chelsea winger Willian could succeed at Barcelona Promoted ContentThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read MoreCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable Way10 Risky Jobs Some Women DoYou’ve Only Seen Such Colorful Hairdos In A Handful Of Anime10 Asian Actresses Of Irresistible BeautyTop 10 Iconic Personalities On TV NowBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever MadeEver Thought Of Sleeping Next To Celebs? This Guy Will Show You7 Worst Things To Do To Your PhoneWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?14 Hilarious Comics Made By Women You Need To Follow Right Now11 Strange Facts About Your Favorite TV Showslast_img read more

Crystal Palace boss relishes Eberechi Eze capture

first_imgRelatedPosts EPL: Crystal Palace stun sloppy Man U EPL: Red Devils attack Palace Townsend: Eze’s an incredible talent Crystal Palace manager, Roy Hodgson, is delighted with the arrival of new signing Eberechi Eze.Eze has joined from Queens Park Rangers on a five-year deal. “We’re really pleased to be able to welcome Eberechi Eze to the club,” Hodgson said.“He’s a player that we have followed and admired for a long time now, and a player who has enormous potential to build on the last two fine seasons he’s had at Queens Park Rangers which has also resulted in him breaking in to the England Under-21s squad.“Alongside recent signing Nathan Ferguson, we are assembling the pieces of our jigsaw with regard to bringing in some fresh, young players to our squad who will provide the quality and energy we have highlighted as being necessary for us to take the next steps forward.“He is an ambitious and dedicated young man whose future looks extremely bright. I am delighted that it will be with us.”Tags: Crystal PalaceEberechi EzeQueen’s Park Rangerslast_img read more

Tomato Temper-Tantrum Lands FL Girl in Jail

first_imgA Florida teen is behind bars for attacking her family over tomatoes, according to police.Callahan police say 19-year-old Katie Jade Gates became angry when she was denied an extra helping of tomatoes at the dinner table.As the tension built, Gates allegedly threw a water bottle at her grandfather, a cigarette pack at her great-grandmother, and then threatened her grandfather with a knife when he tried to confront her.Family members claim Gates threatened to stab him in his “f-ing face” as she chased the man around.Police were called, and they arrested her at the scene.She is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and aggravated battery on a person over 65.No other information is available at this time.last_img read more

Cricket News Pakistan snap ODI jinx against New Zealand, level series in style

first_imgNew Delhi: Pakistan snapped a 12-match losing streak in ODIs against New Zealand as Sarfraz Ahmed’s team clinched the second ODI at the Sheikh Zayed stadium in Abu Dhabi by six wickets on Friday to level the three-match series 1-1.Read More |Women’s World T20: Lesbian couples give tournament colourful twistNew Zealand had last tasted defeat against Pakistan in this format in December 2014 in Sharjah but here, they were undone by a superb spell of bowling from left-arm pacer Shaheen Afridi (4/38) and a wonderful knock of 88 by Fakhar Zaman.Read More | Women’s World T20: Harmanpreet Kaur’s epic ton creates many recordsThe Blackcaps, leading the series 1-0, chose to bat and they immediately lost Colin Munro for 13 after a fast start. Kane Williamson (1) was run-out and with Goerge Worker (28) and Tom Latham (1) departing in quick succession, the onus was once again on Ross Taylor to steady the ship.Taylor bats throughOn a sluggish pitch, Taylor found an able ally in Henry Nicholls and the pair stitched a 75-run stand for the fifth wicket. However, with both batsmen not able to find the boundary, the pressure mounted.Read More | Harmanpreet Kaur’s ton helps India to win in Women’s World T20Towards the end, Afridi and Hasan Ali bowled with tremendous discipline as they conceded just two fours and two sixes in the last 10 overs. Taylor scored his 43rd fifty but it included just three fours and a six as New Zealand ended up on 209/9.Zaman the starIn response, the left-handed Zaman gave Pakistan a good start in pursuit. There was a scary moment in the game as Imam-ul-Haq (16) retired hurt after he was hit on the helmet by a bouncer from paceman Lockie Ferguson.However, Zaman found good support from Babar Azam, who recently became the fastest to 1000 runs in Twenty20 Internationals. Zaman and Azam took the game away with a partnership of over 100. However, New Zealand had a glimmer of hope when Ferguson picked up three quick wickets in a fiery spell. The pacer accounted for Zaman (88), Azam (46) and Shoaib Malik (10) as New Zealand pushed for an unlikely win.However, Mohammad Hafeez held firm and his calm, unbeaten 27 ensured Pakistan secured a six-wicket win and broke the hoodoo in style. The third and final ODI will be played on Sunday at the Dubai International Stadium. For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more

Orr: Despite season-ending loss, SU has reason to be proud

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments Published on March 28, 2010 at 12:00 pmcenter_img SALT LAKE CITY — Arinze Onuaku sat motionless inside his locker, using a sideline towel to cover his face and act as a barrier between him and the gut-wrenching panorama outside.     A few loud sobs were his only proof of consciousness, aside from his occasional glances behind that towel to see if the press had gone home yet. One of his few interactions with teammates came when Rick Jackson sat down in the next locker over, peering through the steel mesh like a parishioner at confession, offering any signs of hope he could to his battered teammate. Onuaku didn’t feel much like talking Thursday, and understandably so. Syracuse had just had its heart ripped out by Butler. The dream season was over. It was time to hide for a little. There was no opportunity to consider the fact that this thing may have actually been a success. ‘Losing never feels good at this point in the season,’ senior guard Andy Rautins said. ‘For a team that had such high aspirations, I don’t think we’re going to be able to see the good side for a while.’ AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBut this isn’t about Onuaku’s refusal to share his feelings. In moments like that one — moments where your heart stalls like an old generator, where your eyes see only the hazy shade your tears leave behind, where your jaw quivers like a tuning fork as you fight back the overwhelming emotion — there’s little motivation to face the world. For Onuaku and the boys, though, this is more about finding that reason to peel that towel off their heads and come back out. To set aside that lingering sting and realize that this was a successful season — the one no one thought SU could have.  ‘The expectations for the team weren’t very high,’ junior forward Wes Johnson said. ‘The games that we won and winning the Big East outright, we’ve got a lot to be happy about.’Heading into this year, Syracuse was college basketball’s year-old blockbuster, a team that captivated the nation the season prior but had since been forgotten. At the season’s opening, the names on the marquee hyped the likes of John Wall and Kentucky, Scottie Reynolds and Villanova, Sherron Collins and Kansas. The Orange was relegated to the 3-for-$5 bin. SU wasn’t ranked in the AP Top 25 and was picked to finish sixth in the Big East conference. At best, Syracuse would be a fringe tournament team with first-round loss written all over it. Then came Le Moyne. The Dolphins drove down Euclid Avenue and pummeled the Orange’s ego. Reruns on ‘SportsCenter’ made a team considered merely insignificant into a laughing stock. But, like a graduation party slideshow, the good moments began to fall into place. Each triumph seemed bigger than the last one as the afterthought became the topic of conversation again. ‘Like Coach said, we were doubted from day one, from day one everyone doubted us,’ sophomore guard Scoop Jardine said. ‘We proved everyone wrong, won the Big East outright, went to the Sweet 16 without A.O. when people counted us out. Then people jumped back on our bandwagon after Kansas lost, but we didn’t look at none of that. We just took it one game at a time.’Syracuse breezed through a 2K Sports Classic at Madison Square Garden, blowing out a North Carolina team that had, one day prior, taken care of Evan Turner and Ohio State.It waltzed past the Big East conference schedule. In a league that, at its apex, had four teams in the Top 10 simultaneously, the Orange went 15-3. Johnson was made into the poster boy, the cagey forward constantly on the receiving end of those crowd-pleasing alley-oops. Rautins became known as the floor general, the glue that held the team together. Jardine was the spark plug, the reserve force that propelled the Orange to so many of its second-half comebacks. All these stories were written by the ever-expanding number of bodies on press row and witnessed by the spiking attendance. There was something special about Syracuse basketball in 2009-10, there’s no denying that.  And as the Orange players watch the rest of the NCAA Tournament, if they can, this will be the last thing on their minds. While the talking heads jump on the Butler bandwagon, the feeling will continue to fester. Everyone will be talking about the Bulldogs playing at home, about how they embody Gene Hackman’s boys in ‘Hoosiers.’ ‘That’s the most disappointing thing,’ freshman guard Brandon Triche said, ‘losing to a team that you should beat.’But if it can, for one second, the Orange should take that towel off and look around. Think about how they did something nobody else thought they could. Then, maybe, things won’t seem so bad.   Conor Orr is the sports editor at The Daily Orange, where his column appears occasionally. He can be reached at ctorr@syr.edu. last_img read more

Big East teams forced to adjust practice schedules due to Hurricane Sandy

first_imgThis week the weather has challenged football teams on the East Coast almost more than their upcoming opponents.After Hurricane-turned Superstorm Sandy swept up the coast, some Big East teams were forced to adapt, with safety taking precedence over game preparation.“I think it’s in the best interests of everyone in the program to make sure they’re safe first,” Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood said in Monday’s Big East teleconference.For schools in the Northeast such as Rutgers, Connecticut and Temple, their campuses are positioned in the storm’s track. Sandy forced widespread evacuation measures, the closure of New York’s subway system and the shutdown of schools and universities across the region.Football programs are not immune, and Big East teams are taking precautions to ensure that players and coaches are prepared for the damage. If practice or film study time is lost, it’s a sacrifice that must be made.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSituated in Northeastern New Jersey, Rutgers needed to prepare for the storm quickly. The school decided to deflate the team’s practice bubble by midmorning Monday, and Flood said he wasn’t sure if it would be back up and running by Tuesday.Rutgers canceled classes on Monday and Tuesday, and Flood said he planned to have players come in to study film on Tuesday — but not practice.Flood lives near Piscataway in Middlesex, N.J., and knows from personal experience the damage that a freak storm can cause.“The Middlesex area has been hit pretty hard in recent years,” Flood said. “I see it driving in now. I remember the last time we had a hurricane.”Rutgers is fortunate that the team enjoys a bye this coming week before preparing to face Army next Saturday. Without a game to plan for, the Scarlet Knights can go through a standard bye week routine before beginning preparations for Army on Sunday.Temple isn’t as fortunate. Coming off a 47-17 loss to Pittsburgh last Saturday, the Owls are faced with a quick turnaround before traveling to Louisville for a Saturday matchup.Located in Philadelphia, Temple buckled down for the brunt of the storm, canceling classes Monday and Tuesday as well.Owls coach Steve Addazio knew he had to do something to accommodate potential scheduling changes. He had the team meet on Sunday, a rarity for Addazio, for film study and analysis.“The kids aren’t here today,” Addazio said in the teleconference. “Nobody should be out and about in this weather. I’m glad we did what we did.”Addazio said he has never faced a situation that prohibited the team from practicing on a Tuesday, and the superstorm forced this dilemma.“There’s a legitimate possibility we won’t get our practice in,” Addazio said. “We’ll deal with it and find positives in whatever the situation is.”Addazio recalls a time in 1998 when he coached offensive linemen and tight ends at Syracuse and a similar storm came through. Falling trees forced road closures, creating a major disruption on campus. But the team got its practice in, Addazio said.Addazio feels that Wednesday may be later than desired for a team to start physical, full-contact preparation for the week. But Superstorm Sandy presented a unique situation, and the second-year Temple coach refuses to seek out excuses.“Who knows?” Addazio said. “I’m done worrying about it. Whatever we get done, we’ll get done.”Connecticut also braced for the storm, with the university completely shut down Monday along with team facilities. Huskies coach Paul Pasqualoni said he wanted to simply take things as they come.“Obviously the weather here is pretty bad,” Pasqualoni said. “We’ve just got to hang in there and hope that this comes through and lets up. Hopefully by Tuesday afternoon, we can get things going again.”Pitt braces for big testPittsburgh has experienced an up-and-down season in rookie head coach Paul Chryst’s inaugural campaign, mixing highlights such as last Saturday’s 47-17 win over Temple with lowlights like a season-opening loss to Football Championship Subdivision foe Youngstown State.This weekend, the Panthers get a chance to put a major stamp on their season when they travel to South Bend to face No. 4 Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish are coming off a 30-13 win last Saturday over then-No. 8 Oklahoma and are poised to make a run at the national championship under third-year head coach Brian Kelly.Chryst and his Panthers team can expect a raucous environment at Notre Dame where students and fans will be riled up for its 8-0 team’s chances at sustaining its undefeated campaign. Despite the challenges, Chryst doesn’t feel that he has anything to worry about in making sure his team will be ready to play.“It’s a heck of an opportunity,” Chryst said. “It’s going to be a big challenge; we better have a great week of preparation. I think our players will be excited.”Temple charged with quick turnaroundAside from weather-related concerns, Temple is faced with the challenge of traveling to undefeated Louisville on Saturday and making a game out of it. After opening conference play 2-0 in its return to the Big East, Temple has dropped its last two conference games to Rutgers and Pittsburgh by a total of 55 points. In its last six quarters, Temple has been outscored 82-17.Addazio knew coming into the season that his team would find a challenge in sustaining a high level of play for the entire conference campaign. After losing by 30 at Pittsburgh, the Owls shouldn’t find any easier of a time in Louisville, where the No. 12 Cardinals are looking to continue their rise up the rankings.Still, Addazio finds value in the opportunity.“We have to beef up, refocus and keep going,” Addazio said. “We’ll take these situations and grow from them. It’s nothing I didn’t expect; it’s all part of the process.” Comments Published on October 30, 2012 at 11:37 pm Contact Kevin: kmprisei@syr.edu Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Syracuse defense dominates on 3rd down in win at Wake Forest

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 18, 2014 at 8:08 pm Contact Jacob: jmklinge@syr.edu | @Jacob_Klinger_ WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Aside from Wake Forest’s first four drives, the Demon Deacons had a near-impossible time converting on third down.The Syracuse (3-4, 1-2 Atlantic Coast) defense held WFU (2-5, 0-3) to 3-for-15 on third-down conversions. And with Wake Forest’s true freshman starting quarterback out of the game, SU constantly shortened Demon Deacon drives. It ensured the Orange’s halftime lead would never be threatened in SU’s 30-7 win Saturday afternoon and allowed Syracuse to cycle in less-experienced players late in the game.“We was playing our type of football, ready to go, hard-nosed football,” SU defensive end Micah Robinson said.Syracuse readily packed the box throughout the game. And that same blitz-first offense yielded results on every down — just most crucially on third.SU had nine players in the box on third-and-5 on Wake Forest’s fourth drive of the game. Dyshawn Davis got to John Wolford first, just before the Demon Deacons’ quarterback threw the ball straight to SU defensive end Robert Welsh.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWelsh returned the interception for a touchdown. Syracuse led 17-7 with a little more than five minutes left in the half and Wake Forest had already made its last third-down conversion of the game.“What a beautiful day to play football,” SU head coach Scott Shafer said. “… just to feel the growth process with these young men, it’s really a blast, it really is.”On third-and-11 on the Demon Deacons’ eighth drive of the game, left-handed backup quarterback Tyler Cameron rolled to his left under yet another Orange blitz. Linebacker Zaire Franklin shoved him out of bounds at the WFU 38 for SU’s third sack of the game.“Just a good victory under the circumstances of where we are with our personnel,” Shafer said, “so hopefully we can get a couple guys healed up this week before we go down to Death Valley.” Commentslast_img read more

No. 9 USC outdone by Arizona 39-36

first_imgTUCSON — Any hopes No. 9 USC had of playing in Miami for the BCS National Title Game are officially gone.After finding themselves in a 10-0 hole in the first quarter, the Trojans were unable to convert a late Hail Mary attempt as time expired to rally back against Arizona, losing 39-36 at Arizona Stadium.Despite a school-record 345 receiving yards from sophomore wide receiver Marqise Lee, the Trojans’ 13 penalties and five turnovers ultimately led to their downfall.Carlo Acenas“It was a very discouraging loss today,” USC coach Lane Kiffin said. “We made a lot of mistakes and weren’t able to catch up.”The game was filled with penalties and strange calls for USC (6-2, 4-2) from the onset. After receiving the opening kickoff, junior running back Silas Redd appeared to score on a 34-yard touchdown run, but officials ruled he was down after he spun off an Arizona tackler and his elbow touched the ground.Senior quarterback Matt Barkley, who threw for a school-record 493 yards on the afternoon to go with his three touchdown passes, was intercepted off a tipped pass with 9:15 left in the first quarter. A taunting penalty by senior safety T.J. McDonald left the Trojans on the field after what should have been a three-and-out. Arizona quarterback Matt Scott threw an eight-yard touchdown later on in the drive.Lee caught a 57-yard pass on first-and-30 later in the first quarter. But on fourth-and-two, Barkley missed Grimble in the end zone and the Trojans gave the ball back to Arizona (5-3). The Wildcats finished the opening frame up 10-0.“We made plays out there; there’s no question about the playmaking of our guys,” Barkley said. “But we just kept cheating ourselves early in the game.”The second quarter didn’t start much better for the Trojans, as Redd fumbled at the Arizona 10-yard line. The Trojans’ defense held, however, and forced a Wildcat punt.With 11:12 left in the half, Lee caught another deep pass, this one for 50 yards. The Trojans scored with a little more than 10 minutes left when Barkley hit sophomore tight end Xavier Grimble in the flat, after which he took it up field.Barkley was intercepted on the next Trojan drive, though, giving the Wildcats the ball at the 35-yard line. But Arizona failed to convert a fourth-and-five, and again Lee made a highlight reel play on the ensuing possession.Lee took a short slant pass 49 yards, giving the Trojans their first lead of the day at 14-10. Starling intercepted a Scott pass but was stripped by an Arizona player, which gave the Wildcats the ball at the 28-yard line. Arizona made the most of it by hitting a 44-yard field goal to cut the Trojan lead to one. After a couple more big plays from Lee, D.J. Morgan took it in from the four-yard line. USC took a 21-13 lead into the locker room.“We all know he’s a special player,” Barkley said of Lee. “All the yards after the catch and what he can do with the ball.”Things looked as if they might have finally turned around for the Trojans after halftime, as they got off to a fast start in the third quarter. Lee caught a 44-yard touchdown to break the school (260 by R. Jay Soward) and conference records (293 by Oregon State’s Mike Hass) for receiving yards in a game.The Wildcats, as was the theme the entire game, responded with four minutes left in the third, however, as Scott scored on a quarterback draw to make the score 28-20. Sophomore running back D.J. Morgan fumbled on the next drive and the Wildcats capitalized with a touchdown pass from Scott to receiver Jeff Buckner. They missed the two-point conversion, trailing the Trojans 28-26.The fourth quarter, however, was when things fell apart.Arizona took a 32-28 lead with 10:46 left in the fourth after the Trojans failed to convert a fourth-and-two attempt. They scored again on Scott’s third scoring pass of the day with just under six minutes left in the game.“They did what they had to do to win,” junior cornerback Nickell Robey said. “We gave a lot of effort and we played the best game we can play. The effort level we had today was remarkable.”Lee returned the ensuing kickoff 72 yards, and the Trojans scored on a 10-yard touchdown run from Redd. USC converted a two-point try on a pass to Lee, bringing the Arizona lead to just 39-36.That was as close as it would get, though.The Trojans got the ball back with just under a minute left, and had the chance to win the game on a last second Hail Mary, but Lee could not catch it, making the upset official.“You never know. Those are kind of throw-up plays,” Barkley said of the last-second heave. “I don’t think it should have come down to a play like that in the first place. It’s unfortunate that it did.”After the disappointing loss, the Trojans face No. 4 Oregon on Nov. 3 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.“At the end of the day, we didn’t make the plays — all the credit to Arizona,” sophomore cornerback Josh Shaw said. “Now we’ve just got to regroup, come back and we have a big week ahead. Guys are kind of down right now … but we’ll come back.”Kickoff for the next game is set for 4 p.m., and it will be televised on FOX.last_img read more

With the Dodgers, Angels in the playoffs, L.A. could be baseball’s capital

first_imgAnd each time it’s happened, cue up the talk of a potential Freeway Series — an event that could boost baseball’s popularity in the region to off-the-charts levels. Given the superstars on both teams — Clayton Kershaw, Yasiel Puig, Mike Trout and Albert Pujols — and with both teams winning their divisions, might it be enough to make the Los Angeles metro area the capital of baseball after documentary filmmaker Ken Burns made that moniker famous for New York and its three teams in the ‘50s?Legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully said there has always been a major obstacle for Los Angeles: Geography.“New York is the capital of this and the capital of that — I don’t quite get that feeling here — again because of the geography where, in New York, if I went to a ballgame in the Polo Grounds, I’m looking at Yankee Stadium,” Scully said. “It’s just on the other side of the river. The Yankees and the Giants were looking at each other. Here it is more diffused I think.”It’s 30 miles between the two stadiums and sometimes on the I-5, a multi-hour slog. The fan bases extend out beyond San Clemente to the south and into Riverside County, San Bernardino County and up through Ventura County.There is also stiff competition from other franchises in the area that can quickly draw the spotlight. Marty Acosta, a 47-year-old working in East Los Angeles, can’t name a single player on the Los Angeles Dodgers, hasn’t been to a baseball game of any kind in three years and was only vaguely aware they were in the postseason. She’s glad the Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are doing well and she’ll even cheer for them from afar. Dodgers first, though. It was her dad’s team after all.At a coffee shop on Sunset Boulevard just down the hill from Dodger Stadium, Tara Busch and her friend Tiffany Anders said they hadn’t watched an inning all season. Both said, however, they’d take notice of the team getting to the World Series and might take a measure of regional pride if they won.That’s how it is with October baseball as it seems to have a way of drawing people like Acosta, Anders and Busch into the fan fold. Sure, the Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim drew 6.88 million people to games this year — easily topping New York’s Mets and Yankees total of 5.5 million. But having both teams in the playoffs seems to elevate the region’s baseball profile and draw the attention of those who rarely follow the teams closely. It’s only happened three times before this year that both teams made the postseason simultaneously; 2004, 2008 and 2009. David Carter, executive director of the USC Sports Business Institute, said it is “pretty remarkable” that the Angels and Dodgers draw so well given UCLA and USC both have their football teams in the Top 20 and the Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings kick off their season next week. Add in the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers — sans Donald Sterling — and Carter said the baseball teams “almost need to be in the playoffs to remain above the fold in Southern California.”That hasn’t stopped some from boasting of the region’s baseball prowess.Radio station K-EARTH 101 is calling the area “The Baseball Capital of the World” and with both teams owing a quarter of their roster spots to either native-born Southern California players or those who played for colleges in the Los Angeles metro area, few will argue the region is brimming with baseball talent.Tim Wallach, a Cal State Fullerton star and coach with the Dodgers, said the weather makes the area a baseball mecca.“You can play as much baseball as you want to play. There are baseball fields filled every day and you can find a baseball game going on somewhere to watch,” Wallach said. “Weather-wise, opportunity is there for you if you want to watch or play any time of year.”The stars on both teams are young and high-profile, too. Trout has been the American League’s runner-up for MVP twice and is a strong candidate to pick up the trophy this year. Dodger pitcher Kershaw is being talked about as National League MVP and could snag a third Cy Young Award. And Pujols continues to pad his career stats as he tries to get to 600 home-runs before he retires.Add in Derek Jeter’s retirement from New York and no visible, iconic face for the Yankees and it seems the area is ripe to seize some of the baseball spotlight.But it’s being in and capturing the World Series ring that still seems to be the best measuring stick if an area is a center of power for a sport.Acosta’s last baseball game she attended three years ago — she couldn’t remember who played or who won.In 1988, though, she remembered the Dodgers winning the World Series. She was 21 at the time and it wasn’t hard to forget the excitement of the Dodgers defeating the Oakland A’s in five games.She said she would watch a few games with a friend if there was a social gathering and she could even try and learn some of the strategy of the game. The sense of belonging to a group of people with a similar passion, she said, is nice to be a part of.Acosta said she wouldn’t buy any merchandise, but she was pretty sure who she’d root for if this ultimately leads to a Freeway Series.“I might paint my toenails blue,” she said.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more