In difficult times, people usually come together. Problems unite them in the name of a common cause. There are always exceptions. In “Levski” everyone has been looking in a different direction for a long time, and the moments of unanimity are very fleeting. It happened once when Nasko Sirakov asked for the shares, and the second time when the club called on its fans to be a general sponsor for an indefinite period of time. But the hard times at Georgi Asparuhov Stadium are not over, and the storm is already seriously destroying the “blue” ship, in which passengers and crew cannot look at each other. In the week before the fiasco of “Gerena” with “Tsarsko Selo” (0: 1), which led to the weakest start in the history of “Levski” for the championship, the executive director Pavel Kolev was bombarded with a number of awkward questions from Lyubomir Kostadinov. One of Sector B’s torturers used social media to express his concerns publicly. There was no subsequent reaction from Kolev. The owner Nasko Sirakov did not come out to take a stand either. The rift in the relations at Georgi Asparuhov Stadium was also evident on the day of the match. During the match, supporters attacked coach Georgi Todorov. After the defeat, the experienced specialist, who long ago announced that he had taken on this role because of his good relations with Sirakov, was not obliged and in turn waved a finger at the people from the stands.His hint was clear: he would not withstand the criticism for long. At the same time, Todorov once again announced that there were not enough players and threw the ball to Wolf. The main argument of the specialist has its arguments, but given the expected sale and breakup of the current team, its composition looks more than decent. A month ago, the coach did not know who he would rely on at all for the start of the championship. In the end, only the protection was replaced. The attacking trio of Paulinho, Nigel Roberta and Stanislav Ivanov survived. For now. Stein Spiers is also in the squad. Whether the square in question is played at Gerena in the current situation is another question. But even without acknowledging it out loud, the results are indicative. There is no idea in Levski’s game. Perhaps the general problem is that the club as a whole lacks an action plan. In the century-old team, the coach is temporary. As well as at least half of the incumbents. They are for a while and will soon be gone. If at the beginning of the century during the construction of the “blue” dream team of Murray Stoilov was working on “Plan 2007”, now there is no strategy at all. Fans go so far as to attack their players, as was the case with Stanislav Ivanov after the lost match with Tsarsko Selo. A kind of climax in the rupture of the “blue” relationship. Apparently, “Levski” is rotting inside just like the apple that Asen Bukarev talked about 2 years ago. But now everything is more painful, because the problems are visible – finances, results, quarrels, behind-the-scenes interests. And all this behind the facade: “Levski” age-old, clean, transparent, loved, unshakable and something else. Obviously not so wonderful.Vladimir Ivanov, “Trud”
Who stood out in the Orioles’ 4-2 win over the Minnesota Twins to complete a three-game sweep on Thursday night?In the spirit of hockey’s “three stars” system with the addition of home plate for honorable mentions and other notes, we go around the bases after the third game of the 2016 season.1st — Ubaldo Jimenez didn’t look like he would complete seven strong innings early on, but he induced a 1-4-3 double play from Trevor Plouffe to escape a jam in the third inning and turned his outing around from there. The right-hander retired 14 of the final 16 hitters he faced, striking out eight over that stretch. Minnesota hitters were on his fastball early, but Jimenez mixed in his secondary pitches more effectively the second and third times through the order and his split-finger fastball was particularly sharp. Known for his occasional control issues, Jimenez didn’t walk a batter while striking out nine and scattering eight hits. His outing not only allowed the Orioles to remain within striking distance, but he saved a bullpen that had worked 11 innings over the first two games of the series.2nd — Manny Machado was moved out of the leadoff spot for the Orioles on Thursday, but he still served as the catalyst for a lineup that was scuffling against Minnesota starter Phil Hughes for much of the evening. His home run to left with two outs in the bottom of the sixth reminded the rest of the order that a 2-0 deficit was far from insurmountable and the Orioles responded with three more runs over the next couple innings to surge ahead. The first-pitch homer came after Machado was locked in during his previous at-bat, a nine-pitch battle in the fourth that resulted in a line-drive single.3rd — Darren O’Day did have a two-run lead and has proven to be more than capable of handling the closer duties in the past, but he was very impressive in striking out the side to complete the 4-2 victory. The right-hander was also making his third appearance in four days, a heavy workload for this early stage of the season. O’Day recorded six strikeouts in three scoreless innings in the series.Home — Joey Rickard continued his storybook start to the 2016 season with his first major league homer in the bottom of the eighth. The Rule 5 pick received a curtain call for his efforts as the crowd chanted his name repeatedly. … Jonathan Schoop knocked in the go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh with a single to center. … Dylan Bundy made his first major league appearance since Sept. 25, 2012 and pitched a scoreless eighth inning after he had warmed up at several other times during the series. … Caleb Joseph threw out two runners attempting to steal, one of them being Danny Santana right before Joe Mauer homered off Jimenez in the first inning. … After throwing only 22 pitches because of a rain delay on Opening Day, Chris Tillman returns to the hill on Friday where he’ll be opposed by Tampa Bay ace Chris Archer to begin a three-game set.