Lawrenceburg, In. — Republican Congressman from the 6th District in Indiana, Luke Messer invites residents to a job fair Thursday, August 9 at Ivy Tech Community College in Lawrenceburg from 1:30 to 4 p.m. Organizers have reserved 30-minutes from 1 to 1:30 p.m. for Veterans only.A variety of local employers will be on hand to talk about employment opportunities.No pre-registration is required.
But Cozart was desperate enough to change “cold turkey, a day or two from playing games.”With a new stance, Cozart homered in his first spring at-bat, which led to a career year that earned him an All-Star appearance – and a donkey. Eventually, it helped net him a three-year, $38-million deal with the Angels to play third base.After not playing an inning at a position other than shortstop throughout his major league career, this spring Cozart, 32, has been learning to play third, which makes it the second spring in a row he’s trying something new.The Angels are hoping this change works as well as that one did.The change Cozart made a year ago might not seem like much. Instead of wagging his bat in the air as he waited for the pitch, he stood more still, with the bat on his shoulder. PreviousLos Angles Angels’ Zack Cozart hits against the Cincinnati Reds during the first inning of a spring training baseball game Monday, March 12, 2018, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)The Angels’ Zack Cozart works out during their spring training activities at the Tempe Diablo Stadium complex in Tempe on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsThe Angels’ Zack Cozart scores past Rockies catcher Chris Iannetta during the fourth inning of Thursday’s Cactus League game in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)The Angels’ Zack Cozart works out during their spring training activities at the Tempe Diablo Stadium complex in Tempe on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)Angels third baseman Zack Cozart has proven to be pretty adaptable, and the former shortstop has spent spring training honing his skills at the hot corner as part of the team’s new-look infield. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)SCOTTSDALE, AZ – MARCH 06: Zack Cozart #7 of the Los Angeles Angels slides into home plate to score against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the fifth inning of the spring training game at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on March 6, 2018 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)The Angels’ Zack Cozart works out during their spring training activities at the Tempe Diablo Stadium complex in Tempe on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)The Angels’ Zack Cozart works out during their spring training activities at the Tempe Diablo Stadium complex in Tempe on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)The Angels’ Zack Cozart during Photo Day at the Tempe Diablo Stadium complex in Tempe on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)The Angels’ Zack Cozart, right, rounds the bases after hitting a home run off Diamondbacks relief pitcher Yoshihisa Hirano during the sixth inning of a spring training baseball game in Tempe, Ariz., Tuesday, March 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)Los Angles Angels’ Zack Cozart hits against the Cincinnati Reds during the first inning of a spring training baseball game Monday, March 12, 2018, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)NextShow Caption1 of 10Los Angles Angels’ Zack Cozart hits against the Cincinnati Reds during the first inning of a spring training baseball game Monday, March 12, 2018, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)ExpandTEMPE, Ariz. — Last spring, Zack Cozart showed up to spring training and he was lost.It’s pretty unusual for a player to be so discouraged at a time of such little consequence as the opening days of spring training, but when Cozart began working out with the Cincinnati Reds last year, he knew something was seriously wrong.“I couldn’t even hit batting practice well,” Cozart said. “I was like ‘There needs to be a change or something to simplify so I’m not thinking so much.’”Cozart, at that time a veteran of five full major-league seasons, heading into his contract year, was frustrated enough to go to his hitting coaches and suggest what felt like a significant change. It’s the kind of thing hitters usually do early in the offseason, not with weeks to go before opening day. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error To Cozart, though, it was something that took three or four months of muscle memory to become comfortable. Eventually, it created an entirely different feel – physically and mentally – at the plate.“It relaxed me,” Cozart said. “Now I’m just kind of sitting there. Mentally I don’t have to worry about the rhythm of my hands. You can just concentrate on seeing the ball and making a good decision on the swing. There were times my hands were up and I was out of sync with my rhythm. There were times I probably didn’t even see the ball because I was so worried about my rhythm.”A career .246 hitter with a .289 on-base percentage before last year, Cozart hit .393 with a .493 on-base percentage in the first three weeks of the season, hot enough for the Reds to move him from seventh to second in the order. Hitting in front of perennial All-Star Joey Votto, Cozart kept drawing walks, which to him was the ultimate sign of his improved discipline.“You’d think they’d always come right after me (with Votto on deck), but once the pitchers saw I was on the attack and having good swings then they are throwing me 3-1 sliders,” Cozart said. “They don’t want to groove it to me. Then all of the sudden I’m walking with Joey coming up. That was the biggest eye-opening thing to me, not swinging at bad pitches.”Seeing Cozart have such good swings in front of him prompted Votto make a public proclamation: if Cozart made the All-Star team, he’d get him a donkey.The whole donkey story began in 2016, when Cozart had been taking his toddler son to a place near the Reds spring training home in Goodyear, Ariz. Southwest Specialty Foods has an “Ass Kickin’” line of hot sauces and chili products. To go with the theme, the location has donkeys, which kids can pet and feed.Cozart and his son, who is now 3, enjoyed the donkeys so much that it became a thing in the Reds clubhouse. And after Votto made it public, it became a hot topic when Cozart did make the All-Star Game in Miami.Cozart, who never doubted that Votto was serious about getting him a donkey, is now the owner of a white donkey named Donald. Because Cozart didn’t have the land or facilities to keep a donkey, Donald currently lives at a petting zoo outside of Cincinnati.Cozart said he’s hoping to someday acquire enough property near his home in the Nashville area to keep Donald, his non-traditional family pet.“They are like dogs,” Cozart said. “If they think of you like you are their family, they are the most affectionate, loving animals, just like dogs.”While Cozart was adjusting to life as a donkey owner, he was putting the finishing touches on his outstanding season with the Reds. He hit .297 with a .385 on-base percentage, 24 homers and a .933 OPS, all career highs.Cozart took those numbers onto the free agent market, where the Angels began to pursue him. The Angels, set at shortstop with Andrelton Simmons, agreed to sign Cozart to have him play second base. As Cozart was on his way to get his physical, though, the Angels had a chance to get Ian Kinsler to play second, so they asked Cozart to move to third. Eager to play for a winner, Cozart was willing to make the switch.The first step in the transition was getting used to balls rocketing at him, so he had a friend of his hit him fungos from close range. He would try to just pick them with one hand.Cozart also talked to Scott Rolen, an eight-time Gold Glove winner at third who was his teammate in Cincinnati. He talked to Eric Chavez, a six-time Gold Glove third baseman who now works as a special assistant to Angels GM Billy Eppler.Chavez and Cozart finally got on the field together in Arizona in early February, and Chavez immediately knew this transition would work.“After the first five balls, I was like ‘Ok,’” Chavez said. “It was quite apparent it wasn’t going to be a problem. … His feet are really fast. His hands are really good. His arm is good. Now it’s just positioning, angles, depth, maybe some lefty spin off the left-handed hitter. He’s going to be just fine.”Those who know Cozart best insist he’ll have little trouble with the switch.“He’ll handle it because he’s a terrific player,” Reds manager Bryan Price said earlier this spring. “If I were a betting man, I’d bet on Zack Cozart every time in that transition.”Price, of course, just saw it. He saw Cozart a year ago transform himself as a hitter, and he expects Cozart to sustain his new level of offensive performance.“His plate coverage is way better,” Price said. “He has the ability to zone pitches better than I’ve ever seen him. He’s not getting himself out on pitchers’ pitches early. He’ll get a good pitch to hit and he won’t miss it. I don’t think that’s cyclical. I think he’s going to be that type of offensive player.”
“I’m happy because I get to break this guy’s face and get paid for it,” Masvidal said this week.MORE: What is UFC’s “Fight Island”?Usman vs. Masvidal, along with the rest of the fights on the UFC 251 card, will unfold on “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi.Here’s all the information you need to keep up with UFC 251 headliner action: After brief period in which it seemed fight fans would lose out on the UFC 251 main event, heated rivals Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal will square off on Saturday evening.Usman was initially supposed to fight Gilbert Burns, but Burns tested positive for COVID-19 and was ruled out of the action. Masvidal then agreed to step up on short notice to challenge the man he’s engaged in public spats with in the past. What time does UFC 251 start today?Date: Saturday, July 11Early prelims: 6 p.m. ET Prelims: 8 p.m. ETPPV main card: 10 p.m. ETUsman vs. Burns fight: 12:15 a.m. ET (approx.)The TV action begins on ESPN at 6 p.m. ET for the early prelims and 8 p.m. ET for the regular prelims. The main card for UFC 251 starts at about 10 p.m. ET and should reach the final fight a shade past midnight.Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal main card start timeThe headline event between Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal starts at about 12:15 a.m. ET but is dependent on how long earlier fights take to complete. The UFC 251 main card kicks off at 10 p.m. with a matchup between Amanda Ribas and Paige VanZant, and there are four fights in the main card before Usman vs. Masvidal.What channel is UFC 251 on?All prelim fights can be watched on TV via ESPN or online using the ESPN app. An ESPN+ subscription is required for the pay-per-view main card.UFC 251 cardMain cardKamaru Usman (c) vs. Jorge Masvidal for the UFC Welterweight ChampionshipAlexander Volkanovski (c) vs. Max Holloway for the UFC Featherweight ChampionshipPetr Yan vs. José Aldo for the vacant UFC Bantamweight ChampionshipJéssica Andrade vs. Rose Namajunas; Women’s StrawweightAmanda Ribas vs. Paige VanZant; Women’s Flyweight PrelimsVolkan Oezdemir vs. Jiří Procházka; Light HeavyweightElizeu Zaleski dos Santos vs. Muslim Salikhov; WelterweightMakwan Amirkhani vs. Danny Henry; FeatherweightLeonardo Santos vs. Roman Bogatov; LightweightUFC Fight Pass PrelimsMarcin Tybura vs. Alexander Romanov; HeavyweightRaulian Paiva vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov; FlyweightKarol Rosa vs. Vanessa Melo; Women’s BantamweightDavey Grant vs. Martin Day; Bantamweight