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The Globe and Mail

Can the Jays possibly live up to expectations in 2013?

Will ESPN reveal their oft named breaking news source? Will L.A. be able to overcome the loss of Beckham and the rise of the Clippers? The Globe's Paul Attfield has a look forward to 2013.

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GOOD YEAR ESPN, aka The Worldwide Leader, will continue to blaze a trail through sports journalism in 2013, mainly through its use of the man – or woman – at the heart of nearly all its breaking-news stories on ESPN.com or its TV networks, A. Source. While no one can pinpoint exactly who this person is, they do seem to have changeling qualities, often appearing as well-known sports journalists from other networks and/or websites. As Fox Sports’s prolific NFL insider Jay Glazer tweeted after having one of his many exclusives appear on ESPN.com: “Just to clear up confusion, my last name is not spelled S-O-U-R-C-E. Unless my mom got it wrong all these years.”

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GOOD YEAR With David Beckham skipping town and the NFL still nothing more than a distant memory, Los Angelinos still have reason to be thankful for their “ballers,” with Tinseltown rapidly becoming the NBA capital of the world. On one hand, there’s the dysfunctional bunch who look nothing like the sum of their parts, and on the other there is … the Clippers. While the 16-time champion Lakers are barely a Susan Lucci short of a daytime soap opera, the once-moribund Clippers enter 2013 as the NBA’s team to beat, with a chance to write a fairy tale every bit as unlikely as the one that ended with the Stanley Cup calling Southern California home.

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BAD YEAR If former Chelsea player Roberto Di Matteo couldn’t even stretch his brief tenure as the team’s coach into the new year, despite winning the FA Cup and a long-awaited Champions League title, what chance does former Liverpool manager and long-time Blues nemesis Rafa Benitez have?

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BAD YEAR The two-time World Series champions have done the easy part, splashing the cash to bolster their lineup in the hope of seeing something other than cobwebs added to the rafters of the Rogers Centre. Now comes the harsh reality that, despite the Blue Jays’ 8-to-1 Fall Classic favourites tag with many bookmakers, pennant races are actually won on the field, not the boardroom, and that if titles were traditionally handed out in the off-season, Bronx cheers would signal the smell of an impending World Series winner, and not merely festive overindulgence.

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BAD YEAR The 14-time major champion, may be returning to the form he displayed before stalling his career, and SUV, against a fire hydrant three years ago, but Tiger Woods is not only battling Jack Nicklaus and his record 18 major titles, he’s also competing against Father Time, too. Only Ben Hogan has won more than four majors after turning 37, the age Tiger turned on Monday, and facing that hungry whippersnapper Rory McIlroy will do little to boost his chances of overhauling the Golden Bear, either.

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