26 Aug

United States team overwhelms Puerto Rico to win World Baseball Classic

first_imgLOS ANGELES — Team USA manager Jim Leyland arrived at his pregame press conference Wednesday afternoon, looked at the crowd of reporters and said, “we’re trying to make America great again.”What the U.S. accomplished by beating Puerto Rico 8-0 in the championship game of the World Baseball Classic was less cliché and more tangible: It compelled fans and players alike to care about a tournament that began, for the U.S. at least, as a mere exhibition back in 2006. “For the most part, up until this point, the other countries were probably into this event a little bit more than the United States,” Leyland said. “But in talking to our players, I know they’re going to spread the word. I’ve had some players already tell me this is the greatest experience of their life.”The announced crowd of 51,565 was divided in its loyalties but united in anticipation of a close game. Both semifinal games were decided by one run — Puerto Rico beat The Netherlands 4-3 and Team USA beat Japan 2-1.Once Angel Pagan doubled to break up Stroman’s no-hitter in the seventh inning, the championship featured less suspense than any game played this week in Chavez Ravine.Stroman, a right-hander for the Toronto Blue Jays, was removed after allowing the double to Pagan. He walked one batter, struck out three, and was generally masterful in denying solid contact. Not including Pagan’s hit, Puerto Rico put only three balls in the outfield against Stroman all night.“I was confident. I was locked in,” Stroman said. “Luckily we came out with the ‘W’.”When Leyland took the ball from Stroman, the pitcher shot a few glances at the Puerto Rico dugout before nodding to the cheering crowd. It was a subtle reminder of the complex loyalties at stake in the tournament.By virtue of his heritage, Stroman was eligible to play for either Puerto Rico or the United States. His mother, Adlin Auffant, is Puerto Rican. His father, Earl, is a police detective in Long Island. When he announced on Twitter in December that he would pitch for Team USA, Stroman included the mea culpa, “sorry momma.”Some Puerto Rico supporters did not accept the apology and trolled Stroman’s mother directly on social media. The Puerto Rico lineup seemed plenty motivated last Friday, when Stroman started for the United States and allowed four runs in the first inning of a 6-5 loss. The rally felt more ominous because Puerto Rico’s dugout emptied to celebrate each run as if it was Game 7 of the World Series.But in this, the real winner-take-all championship game, Stroman had the upper hand from the outset. He was chosen MVP of the tournament. But Stroman said that beating Puerto Rico added no extra meaning to the victory.“Each and every guy came in with a goal, and that was to win it,” he said.Kinsler provided a minor source of controversy himself. After Tuesday’s game, he said “I hope kids watching the WBC can watch the way we play the game and appreciate the way we play the game as opposed to the way Puerto Rico plays or the Dominican plays.”Kinsler was merely expressing hope that the American players’ passion would rub off on its fan base. Perhaps it did. Commissioner Rob Manfred said that the WBC set ratings records on MLB Network for non-playoff games; the near-sellout crowd at Dodger Stadium provided an electric atmosphere that was audible on television.The United States got contributions from top to bottom. All nine of its starters reached base and eight collected at least one hit. Christian Yelich (2 for 5) singled to drive in Kinsler (2 for 5) in the fifth inning, then scored on a single by Andrew McCutchen (2 for 4). In the seventh inning, the U.S. rallied for three runs with two outs. Brandon Crawford’s bases-loaded single drove in Nolan Arenado and Eric Hosmer. Giancarlo Stanton added an RBI single of his own to provide the final score.The U.S. batted around in the seventh inning, highlighted by Brandon Crawford and Giancarlo Stanton’s RBI singles.Sam Dyson, Pat Neshek and David Robertson each threw a scoreless inning to complete the shutout.Of all the teams in the tournament, Leyland said, “I thought we had the best pitching staff, starters and relievers, and I think that proved to be true.”The U.S. allowed 17 earned runs in eight tournament games, finishing with a 2.15 ERA.Leyland dedicated the Americans’ win to the country’s military personnel twice after the game. The second time, his voice cracked. The 73-year-old manager, now a special assistant for the Detroit Tigers, said he had no plans to wear a baseball uniform again after the tournament. After failing to advance past the semifinals in 2006, 2009 and 2013, Team USA won consecutive do-or-die games against the defending champion Dominican Republic and two-time champion Japan. It then played a flawless game against an all-star laden Puerto Rican squad that hadn’t lost a game in the tournament. Team USA starter Marcus Stroman threw six innings without allowing a hit. Ian Kinsler’s two-run home run in the third inning against Puerto Rico starter Seth Lugo began the rout. The U.S. tacked on two runs in the fifth and three in the seventh to put the game out of reach.In the end, the United States did not need all of its best players to win the tournament, or even to fill Dodger Stadium to the top of the upper deck in March. center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

25 Dec

MINISTER FOR HEALTH OPENS TWO HEALTH CENTRES IN DONEGAL TODAY

first_imgMinister for Health Dr James Reilly has opened two new health centres in the county today.Glenties Primary Care Centre, located in the town centre, represents a €1.7 million investment by the HSE in providing health care in the region.It will feature a GP Practice with a range of HSE health professionals, including Public Health Nursing, Dentistry, Physiotherapy, Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Dietician, Addiction Service and Chiropody. All of the HSE services at the Centre will be available to the population of the area including those attending other GP practices.Dungloe Community Hospital is part of HSE Older Person Services.The hospital has 35 beds including continuing-care beds, respite care beds, convalescent care beds and palliative care beds. Some €500,000 was spent on the new accommodation consisting of 4 single high dependency rooms with en-suite facilities, a patients’ dayroom, a new disabled WC and a hairdresser’s room.An enclosed garden with soft-pour pathways was designed between the new day room and the new four-bedded extension; funding for the garden was provided by local fundraising and the Hospital Golden Jubilee Committee.  MINISTER FOR HEALTH OPENS TWO HEALTH CENTRES IN DONEGAL TODAY was last modified: May 28th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Minister James Reillylast_img read more

20 Dec

Warriors’ Steve Kerr has encouraging news about DeMarcus Cousins’ injury

first_img“He’s doing well,” Kerr … Klay Thompson subscribes. You can too for just 11 cents a day for 11 months + receive a free Warriors Championship book. Sign me up!MINNEAPOLIS — No need for Warriors fans to worry about too much about DeMarcus Cousins.Yes, Cousins will miss his second consecutive game when the Warriors (47-22) visit the Minnesota Timberwolves (32-38) on Tuesday because of a sore right ankle. But Warriors coach Steve Kerr offered some good news about Cousins’ progress.last_img read more

20 Dec

Warriors training camp: 5 key questions for this new-look outfit

first_imgFor the first time in a long time, the Warriors enter training camp with more uncertainty than expectations.In the wake of major departures, an extended Splash Brother rehab and eight new players, here are some of the biggest questions facing the team as it gets set to start training camp this week at its shiny new San Francisco facility.1. Who is the fifth starter?As Klay Thompson continues to rehab a torn ACL, the Warriors will have to find a way to backfill his 34 minutes and 21.5 points …last_img read more

20 Dec

Nine 49ers notes to get you through to tonight’s game

first_imgSANTA CLARA – Patiently idle the past two Sundays, the 49ers (3-0) are back in action tonight as the only undefeated team left in “The Field” to challenge perennial Super Bowl contender New England (5-0). Here are nine talking points to discuss before the 5:15 p.m. kickoff against the Cleveland Browns (2-2) at Levi’s Stadium:1. ON THE COACHING CLOCK: Washington (0-5) fired Jay Gruden this morning, so the 49ers’ Kyle Shanahan now has the longest playoff drought (two seasons) among coaches …last_img read more

28 Oct

a month agoFIFA to intervene as Cardiff and Nantes can’t agree on Sala fee

first_imgFIFA to intervene as Cardiff and Nantes can’t agree on Sala feeby Ansser Sadiqa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveCardiff City have failed to agree a compensation deal with Nantes over Emiliano Sala.The Championship club had originally agreed to pay £15 million for the Argentinian before his tragic death earlier this year.Cardiff have now disputed the figure agreed with the Ligue 1 club.FIFA will get involved this week to find a resolution. About the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

27 Oct

North Texas Trolls Tennessee On Twitter Regarding Field Conditions

first_imgA North Texas fan paints the ground with green paint.north texas trolls tennessee on twitterNorth Texas is in town to take on Tennessee this Saturday, and it appears that the Mean Green aren’t impressed with what they’re seeing at Neyland Stadium. Tennessee’s field doesn’t appear to be in great condition, and people have noticed. North Texas appears to be annoyed enough to make a joke about it on social media too.Check this out:Pretty sure this is what took place at Neyland Stadium on Friday. #GMG pic.twitter.com/IVtS2o1T4o— MeanGreenFootball (@MeanGreenFB) November 14, 2015Here’s more reaction – even Tennessee fans seem upset.You would think an SEC program could take better care of the grass on the field #Tennessee— John Chelf (@JohnChelf) November 14, 2015You would think there’s enough money at Tennessee to fix the field. This is awful.— Please win out (@Rick__Baird) November 14, 2015Time for the Tennessee donors to put a new field in it seems— Austin Comperry (@AustinComperry) November 14, 2015Tennessee currently leads 17-0 in the second quarter.last_img read more

23 Oct

Tanker Headwinds Push SCF into Loss

first_imgzoom Russian state-owned shipping company Sovcomflot (SCF) ended 2017 in loss due to extremely challenging conditions witnessed by tanker markets.The company’s net loss for the year ended December 31, 2017, was at USD 113 million, against a net profit of USD 206.8 million seen in 2016. SCF’s revenue reached USD 1.43 billion, rising by 3.4 percent from USD 1.38 billion reported a year earlier.“2017 proved to be one of the worst years for the conventional tanker market in the last quarter of a century,” according to SCF.Conventional tanker freight rates fell by almost 50 percent year-on-year, reflecting an oversupply of speculative orders following the 2015 market spike, as well as the effect of sustained production cuts by OPEC and other oil producing nations and a backwardation in the oil trade.Set against this background, the group’s time charter equivalent (TCE) revenue dropped by 7.4 percent to USD 1.05 billion in 2017, compared to USD 1.14 billion reported in the previous year, demonstrating the robust nature of its industrial-focused business model.Over 2017, SCF continued to implement its strategy to expand the fixed income, industrial shipping segments of its business with Offshore Services and Gas Transportation increasing their revenues by 48.7 percent and 17.4 percent, respectively. The total share of group revenue from industrial shipping activities amounted to 51 percent of its revenue base in 2017, enabling SCF to achieve a positive operating profit for the year.Profit before tax, when adjusted for the impairment reserve of the fleet and non-operating costs, amounted to USD 10.1 million in 2017, compared to USD 263 million, signifying that the group remained profitable at an operating level despite the severe market conditions affecting its conventional fleet.“Despite the very strong headwinds seen in the conventional tanker markets over 2017, with freight rates down by almost 50 percent reflecting one of the worst years in a quarter of a century, we continued to implement our core strategy of industrialising our business model. Sovcomflot’s growing industrial portfolio (offshore services and gas transportation) enabled us to remain profitable operationally,” Sergey Frank, President and CEO of Sovcomflot, said.last_img read more

28 Sep

What We Learned From The US Womens Soccer Friendlies

When I was asked to write a data-driven “analytical profile” of the U.S. women’s national team (USWNT) before it heads to Canada for the World Cup, I quickly realized something: There wasn’t enough data. I wasn’t that surprised; women’s sports data is severely lacking.Sure, there are goals and assists, but anything beyond basic stats is unlikely to exist for non-World Cup matches. Looking at how a team performed four years ago with a different coach and different players isn’t very informative.We’re left with the USWNT’s three “send-off series” matches against Ireland, Mexico and South Korea. These games received top-notch coverage and provide some rich data.What did we learn about the USWNT during these matches — a 3-0 win against Ireland, a 5-1 victory over Mexico and an uninspiring 0-0 draw against South Korea? With the understanding that the competition and substitutions patterns will differ in Canada, and that three games does not a large sample size make, below are five takeaways from the U.S.’s friendly matches.1. The backline looks ready defensively for the World CupGoalie Hope Solo barely broke a sweat in any of these games; she faced 14 shots (six on goal), made five saves and allowed one goal in 270 minutes. Only two of those shots came from inside the box.Solo’s relative boredom is a testament to the team’s backline, which featured starters Becky Sauerbrunn, Meghan Klingenberg, Julie Johnston and Ali Krieger. Christie Rampone, who will turn 40 during the World Cup, Lori Chalupny and Kelley O’Hara also contributed as substitutes.Overall, the U.S. allowed a total of 68 completed passes in its defensive third in the three games, including just nine into the penalty area. To put that in perspective, the USWNT completed at least 80 passes in the attacking third in each of the three games.The one area where the defense might need to improve is set pieces. Mexico’s lone goal came off a free kick, and the only other shot the U.S. relinquished in the box was off a corner. The outside defenders will also be key attacking up the wing in Coach Jill Ellis’ 4-4-2 formation, an area that was lacking in the U.S.’s final game against South Korea.Here’s the ESPN/TruMedia/Opta shot chart:2. They’re creating opportunities but having trouble finishingThe U.S. averaged more than 23 shots per game, including an average of 16 from inside the penalty area. Both of those stats would have led all teams at the 2011 Women’s World Cup.The good news for the U.S. is that it is creating chances; the Americans created more than 15 scoring chances per game off passes, and all seven of their non-penalty-kick goals were assisted. Most of those chances led directly to a shot from within the penalty box.The U.S. left a number of goals on the table, however, particularly early in games. In the first 40 minutes, they took 30 shots and scored one goal. As a result, they entered halftime tied with both Mexico and South Korea.In the second half against Mexico, the U.S. exploded for four goals, but otherwise they struggled to put the ball in the back of the net. In the other five halves combined, the U.S. scored about three fewer goals than was expected based on the type and location of their shots, according to ESPN/TruMedia’s model for predicting a team’s expected goals. Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd and Christen Press were all held scoreless despite a number of opportunities from close range.3. Possession/tempo will be keyThe United States was one of the most direct teams in the 2011 World Cup, and when Ellis took the job, there were fears that she would continue to focus on long forward passes. Although the U.S. played more direct than they probably wanted to against South Korea, it appears they have taken steps toward a more possession-oriented style in this small sample of games.In the three friendlies, the U.S. had a higher possession percentage (64 percent vs. 53 percent) and pass-completion rate (77 percent vs. 70 percent) than it had in the 2011 World Cup. Besides the lower level of competition, the main reason for the higher percentage is the length of their passes; the U.S.’s average pass traveled 17.4 yards, about 4 fewer than in 2011, and their percentage of long balls (passes of 35 yards or longer) dropped significantly. For context, no team had an average pass distance shorter than 18 yards in the 2011 World Cup.In the game in which the U.S. struggled most, against South Korea, the Americans slowed the pace and resorted to more long balls. As Ellis has noted, it is essential for the U.S. to push the tempo and play at a faster pace, especially since the tournament is played on turf.4. They have options at forwardAlex Morgan was held out of the friendlies with a bone bruise on her knee, which gave Abby Wambach, Amy Rodriguez, Christen Press and Sydney Leroux the chance to start at forward. Morgan is expected to be healthy for the tournament, which gives Ellis choices up top.Wambach, the international leader in goals, is always a threat to score. She led the U.S. with four goals, including two signature headers, in the friendlies. Wambach turns 35 on Tuesday, and she is likely to have a mixed role as a sub and starter at the World Cup, which opens up playing time for others.Leroux enters the World Cup averaging the fewest minutes per goal in USWNT history. In the friendlies she led the U.S. with 16 shots, including 14 in the penalty area, but struggled to get them on target. In limited action, Rodriguez showcased her speed and could also start for the Americans. With so many options at forward, the biggest question will be whether they can develop chemistry. No two forwards completed more than seven passes to each other in the three matches combined, and at various points this year each forward missed time with injury or illness.5. There will be no easy games in CanadaOver the next month, you will hear over and over again that the rest of the world is catching up to the top teams in women’s soccer. The U.S.’s 0-0 draw against South Korea is just one example of how the U.S. could lose to anyone if it is not on top of its game.The U.S. is second in the FIFA World Rankings behind Germany, but in 2015 the Americans already have two ties (Iceland and South Korea), one loss (France) and two one-goal victories (England and Norway) in 10 games. Even in its seemingly “easy” victories against Ireland and Mexico, the Americans struggled to finish in the first half.Although questions remain after the three friendlies, the U.S. heads to Canada with a “title or bust” mentality. Can the U.S. win its first World Cup since 1999? To do so, they’ll need to build on the defensive prowess they’ve shown and find a set of forwards who can convert scoring chances. read more

28 Sep

Ohio State mens basketball sends Michigan back north with a 6449 loss

Going into the Ohio State men’s basketball team’s matchup against Michigan, the Buckeyes had yet to be tested at home. That changed Sunday. The Buckeyes battled the Wolverines in front of a sold-out Schottenstein Center and emerged with a 64-49 victory. Michigan jumped out first with a 5-0 run, but the Buckeyes quickly responded with a 7-0 run of their own to take the lead. In the first half alone, there were seven lead changes and four ties. Neither team led by more than four points throughout the first half after Michigan’s initial 5-0 burst. “We knew going in it was going to be a hard fought battle,” OSU coach Thad Matta said. “We haven’t had those. We’ve had sizable leads going into halftime. Hopefully we’re a better team because of it.” OSU sophomore forward Jared Sullinger picked up two fouls in the first half and was limited to just 12 minutes, but sophomore guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. did his best to make up for Sullinger’s presence on offense and on the boards. With under five minutes remaining in the first half and OSU trailing 19-15, OSU sophomore forward Deshaun Thomas missed a 3-pointer, but sophomore guard Smith Jr. grabbed the rebound and finished inside. On the ensuing Michigan possession, two Michigan players were in position to get an offensive rebound, but Smith Jr. leaped over his taller opponents to get the rebound and found Thomas streaking down the court for a layup. Thomas was fouled and made one of two free throws to cut the deficit to one. After a timeout, it was Smith Jr. who put the Buckeyes back on top, 20-19, with a layup from the left block. Smith Jr. said he was focused on doing the little things to help his team win. “I knew that was going to be our edge, rebounding and just doing the little things,” Smith Jr. said. “I stuck to that early and just got myself in a position where I could get the rebounds.” Smith Jr. had four offensive rebounds and seven total in the first half to go along with nine points. Matta said Smith Jr. is a “jack of all trades” and his versatility causes problems for opposing defenses. “Lenzelle is a winner,” Matta said. “He really understands his role.” With just over a minute remaining in the first half the game was tied at 21, but a 3-pointer from the right corner by OSU senior William Buford gave OSU a 24-21 lead. That score held going into halftime. The Buckeyes, who shot just 36 percent in the first half, started off the second half on a roll, connecting on six of their first 10 shots from the field. With OSU leading 38-33, Buford intercepted a Michigan pass and finished on the other end with a one-handed jam. Buford fist-pumped and the crowd erupted in cheers. The next OSU possession, sophomore guard Aaron Craft crossed over Michigan freshman guard Trey Burke, dove left, absorbed a foul, and finished with his left hand. The sequence gave OSU a 42-33 lead and was part of a 14-2 run by the Buckeyes. A pair of free throws by Deshaun Thomas gave OSU a 13-point advantage, but Michigan wouldn’t go away. Three-pointers from Burke and sophomore guard Tim Hardaway Jr. helped Michigan whittle down OSU’s lead back to seven. But with under five minutes remaining, a Craft steal on the defensive end led to a Sullinger dunk in transition. OSU continued to look for Sullinger offensively as the Buckeye big man converted two more buckets inside to give his team a 12-point lead. Sullinger finished the game with 13 points and five rebounds. The Wolverines never threatened again and OSU pulled away for the victory. Smith Jr. led all scorers with 17 points and also added 12 rebounds, eight of which were offensive. The win moves the Buckeyes into sole possession of first place in the Big Ten and improves their record to 19-3 overall. But Sullinger refused to speculate on his team’s place in the standings. “Game on Saturday against Wisconsin,” Sullinger said. “That’s the biggest focus right now.” OSU next contest is Feb. 4 when the Buckeyes will travel to Wisconsin to take on the Badgers. Tip is set for 2 p.m. read more