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Half-time: Chelsea 0 Corinthians 0

first_imgChelsea have their work cut out in the Club World Cup final in Japan.Brazilian side Corinthians, roared on by more than 20,000 supporters, put them under plenty of pressure in the first half.The European champions, with the fit-again Frank Lampard restored as captain and David Luiz back in the centre of defence, almost went ahead when Gary Cahill’s close-range shot was stopped on the line by keeper Cassio.An error by Cahill then handed a chance to Emerson, who fired wastefully over.And Chelsea had another let-off when Paolo Guerrero wriggled away from Cahill and Luiz before mis-hitting a shot towards Emerson, whose effort from a tight angle struck the outside of the post.But Chelsea finished the half strongly and Cassio had to produce good saves to deny Fernando Torres, Victor Moses and Juan Mata.Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Cahill, Luiz, Cole, Ramires, Lampard, Moses, Mata, Hazard, Torres.Subs: Turnbull, Oscar, Mikel, Ferreira, Marin, Sturridge, Terry, Azpilicueta, Bertrand, Piazon, Saville, Hilario.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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

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Durban is confident it can host Commonwealth

first_img7 August 2015The eThekwini Municipality was confident it would deliver a world-class Commonwealth Games in 2022, said mayor James Nxumalo.In March, Durban submitted its bid to host the mega sporting event. “We are confident that we will successfully deliver a world-class Commonwealth Games should the CGF General Assembly vote for Durban on 2 September 2015,” Nxumalo said on Tuesday.Looking good“The regional clusters of Commonwealth Games Associations from Africa, Asia, Europe and Oceania have visited Durban to experience first-hand the venues, our world-class infrastructure, legacy projects and other components in the Durban bid in order for them to vote from an informed perspective and award the Games to Durban based on merit.”eThekwini has welcomed a recommendation made by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) Evaluation Commission that its General Assembly should vote in favour of Durban’s bid to host the event.According to the Durban 2022 website, a report commends and highlights the many positive impacts of Durban’s bid for the Games.“Durban’s vision supports and contributes to South Africa’s 2030 National Development Plan and is rooted in the desire to engage citizens (especially young people), athletes and the Commonwealth,” it reads.“The Games concept features a compact venue plan centred on the sporting super-precinct of the Moses Mabhida Stadium and adjacent coastline, providing excellent opportunities for innovative sport presentation and enhanced athlete experience. The Opening Ceremony would take place on Mandela Day, 18 July 2022.”We’re ready, but the work continuesDurban Bid Committee chairperson Mark Alexander said this was the first step towards bringing the Games to Africa, although there was still a lot of work that needed to be done. “We are now working tirelessly to ensure that there is a unanimous vote in favour of Durban on 2 September 2015.”Bid Committee chief executive Tubby Reddy added: “We have always maintained that Durban’s bid and the subsequent awarding of the bid must be based on merit.“We have demonstrated that Durban’s proposition was indeed of a world-class standard and that the stringent technical criteria demanded by the CGF have been met by Durban.”About the gamesThe Commonwealth Games is a multi-sport, international event for athletes from many territories that were part of the British Empire.They were first held in 1930 in Hamilton, Canada, where 11 countries sent 400 athletes to take part in six sports and 59 events. The Games take place every four years; the only years they skipped were 1942 and 1946 because of World War II.From 1930 to 1950, the Games were known as the British Empire Games; from 1954 until 1966, they were called the British Empire and Commonwealth Games; and from 1970 to 1974 they took on the title of British Commonwealth Games. At the 1978 Games in Edmonton, the name was changed to the Commonwealth Games.Sources: SAinfo reporter and News24Wirelast_img read more

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South African cricket Test captain steps down

first_img7 January 2016“I am deeply grateful and privileged to have been the Test captain and I wish to thank Cricket South Africa for the honour of captaining my country,” said Proteas Test captain Hashim Amla when he announced his decision yesterday to step down from the role.“It was enjoyable and indeed a great learning experience.”Amla succeeded Graeme Smith in June 2014, and has since then captained the Proteas in 14 Tests. Of these, the team won four, drew six and lost four.Watch the press conference in which he announced his resignation, here:Amla said stepping down was not an easy decision to take. “The more I think about it the more I believe I can be of greater value to the Proteas as a fully focused batsman and senior player at this time of rebuilding our team,” he explained.We respect Hashim’s decision and the manner in which he thought about it and then communicated with me – CSA Chief Executive, Haroon Lorgat— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) January 6, 2016New captain namedVice-captain AB de Villiers agreed to take over the captaincy for the remainder of the Sunfoil Test against England series at PPC Newlands.“I’ve said this before that it is an incredible honour to captain South Africa in any format,” said De Villiers. “The captaincy has obviously come at short notice and is the realisation of a lifelong dream.”His current priority was to lead the team to a memorable series win against England. “ThisTest squad is motivated and determined to turn our performances around and I’m looking forward to taking up that challenge as captain. Hashim is a good friend and close colleague and I am grateful for his support.”Amla also acknowledged the team and his fans. “Throughout my time as captain, whether in good times or tough times, I’ve always had the full support of my team mates, coaching staff and management,” he said. “I want to acknowledge this superb group of people for always being there and for supporting me wholeheartedly.”Hey everyone . Thanks for all your messages and support. It means a lot.— hashim amla (@amlahash) January 6, 2016Amla fast factsNickname: HashDate of birth: 31 March 1983Place of birth: Durban, South AfricaRole: Opening batsmanBatting: Right-hand batterBowling: Leg breaksTest matches: 89Test runs: 6907Test match centuries: 22One day internationals: 126ODI runs: 6008T20 matches: 30T20 runs: 700Support from fansCricket fans around the world have supported Amla on social media:@amlahash All best wishes from an England fan Hashim. Excellent batting this test.— UBF riccardo (@UBFriccardo) January 6, 2016@amlahash Captain, my captain, a legend living in our own time! Good decision from a class act. #ProteaFire— Jax Hough (@JaxHough77) January 6, 2016@amlahash Thank you my captain.you served the nation with pride and hope you will continue to do so.— moeketsi moleko (@olamekx) January 6, 2016Source: Cricket South Africalast_img read more

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James Harden Gets Fouled On 3s More Than Any NBA Team

James Harden has become an occupational hazard for referees. Earlier this month, the Jazz were up seven on the Rockets with just over a minute to play, and Utah players were at their wit’s end with the officials. Following a signal that the Jazz had committed yet another foul, Joe Johnson threw his right hand up in disgust. Rudy Gobert shook his head in disbelief. Rodney Hood, who was charged with the foul, looked for a ref with whom he could plead. Joe Ingles had both palms out, confused as to how so little contact could prompt a call.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/jazz4thfoulagainstharden.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.The whistle marked the fourth time that night that Utah had been charged with fouling Harden in the act of shooting a 3-pointer. And while that might sound unbelievable, it wasn’t even the first time this season that the MVP frontrunner had drawn four shooting fouls from the arc in a game.1He also drew four shooting fouls while attempting 3-pointers during a Dec. 31 victory over the Knicks.Harden has long been great at drawing fouls no matter where he is on the court, but he has taken the art form to new heights on his 3-point attempts this season. After drawing 27 fouls while trying to shoot a triple in 2014-15 and inducing 46 such fouls last season,2According to Basketball-Reference.com’s Play Index. Harden has drawn a whopping 108 shooting fouls from distance this year with 11 games left to play. For context, consider that, outside of the Rockets, no team has garnered more than 73 of those calls.3Amazingly, if you limit Harden to just the 12 games in which he drew at least three 3-point shooting fouls, his 38 fouls drawn in those contests would outpace 21 teams’ totals for the season so far.If you subtract Harden’s numbers from the rest of the league’s, the average NBA player has drawn fouls on 1.6 percent of his 3-pointers this season, according to BigDataBall, which tracks the league’s play-by-play logs. Harden is drawing 3-point shooting fouls at a 16.7 percent clip, or more than 10 times as often. How is he so good at this? PLAYER/TEAMSHOOTING FOULS DRAWN ON 3-POINT ATTEMPTS James Harden: This season’s MVP of drawing 3-point shooting fouls Russell WestbrookOKC482224.6 Lou WilliamsHOU3925012.8 Stephen CurryGSW682223.2 Mike ConleyMEM346236.6 Isaiah ThomasBOS550224.0 “As an opponent, no, I don’t admire it,” Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony told reporters when asked about Harden’s tactics. “As a fan, [I] admire it. Because we as offensive guys, guys who like to score, always try to find tricks that can work in our favor. He found something that’s working for him. So no, as an opponent, I hate it.” (I asked a league spokesman about this issue as it relates to Harden — particularly since the NBA stopped awarding shooting fouls for a similar rip-through move years ago — but he said it’s against league policy to discuss how a particular player is officiated.)Harden isn’t oblivious to the perception that he draws more shooting fouls than he probably should. But the crafty guard makes no apologies, either, saying a defender making contact on a jump shot should merit a foul just like someone bumping a shooter near the basket would. “A foul is a foul no matter how it’s committed,” he told Time in a Q&A this season.Sometimes Harden’s strategy backfires in embarrassing fashion, as he’ll incorrectly anticipate contact and throw up a wild shot in hopes of drawing a foul that never comes.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/hardenflailing.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/hardenflailing4.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.But more often than not, it’s been a worthwhile gamble for Harden and the Rockets to go for the foul. That’s become even more true in the past month, since Houston traded for Lou Williams, the player who’s drawn the second-most 3-point shooting fouls in the NBA this season — trailing, of course, only Harden. I asked Houston general manager Daryl Morey about having both of the league’s top two guys in such an odd category, and he said he and others in the Rockets’ front office had noticed Williams’s unusual ability to draw contact from the perimeter, but that it wasn’t the overriding reason they made the swap with the Lakers.“We knew that both Lou and James are extremely good shooters that are hard to guard. So, going over the screen and being physical with them is one of the only ways to guard them, which causes them to get fouled more than others,” Morey said. “That said, we focused more on their overall efficiency than how people have to foul them to stop them.”Teams will do their best to stop Harden from using the trick once the postseason starts. But if last year’s playoffs are any indication, that may not work, either: Harden drew five whistles on just 42 3-point attempts. Three of those fouls came in one half, in a game against the Warriors.Neil Paine assisted with research for this story.Check out our latest NBA predictions. Nicolas BatumCHA347246.9 Harden has drawn more 3-point shooting fouls than any other NBA team PLAYERTEAM3PT ATTEMPTS3PT FOULS DRAWN3PT FOUL RATE Kemba WalkerCHA502244.8 Damian LillardPOR484255.2 Jeff TeagueIND2012210.9 Harden plays on the Rockets, who have drawn 132 total shooting fouls, including his 108. Stats are for the 2016-17 season as of March 21.Source: BigDataBall Hornets68 Trailblazers41 Goran DragicMIA248249.7 James Harden108 Lakers73 Stats as of March 21. Restricted to players who drew at least 20 fouls on 3-point attempts.Source: BigDataBall Raptors52 James HardenHOU64710816.7% The Rockets star has a couple patterns he uses to consistently get these calls. Unlike Jamal Crawford, who has drawn dozens of perimeter shooting fouls as players barrel into his legs during close-outs, Harden would seem to be the one initiating contact on many of his fouls.In particular, Harden has found a way to turn even solid, respectable defenders into victims. He generally waits until his man puts a hand up to defend, then locks arms with him and jumps to begin a shot, making the defender appear guilty. Harden basically forces perimeter defenders to play with their hands down along the 3-point line.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/harden4.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/harden101.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Back on New Year’s Eve, Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek vented about this after a loss in Houston, saying it’s impossible to defend Harden given his ability to trick officials. “He grabs with his left arm, has the ball in the right hand and wraps his left arm with your hand,” said Hornacek, whose team fouled Harden from 3-point range four times4He drew all four of them in an 18-minute span during the second half. that night while Harden racked up a 53 points, 16 rebounds and 17 assists. “To me, that’s an offensive foul. But he does it fast, quick — it’s hard to see.”Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/usethisharden16.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.The other thing Harden does well: Stop on a dime and pop jumpers just as he’s navigating around screens. That trick makes life hell for the defenders who are sprinting to go over the pick to stay with him. Harden’s world-class ability to stop abruptly means that defenders frequently can’t hit the brakes as quickly as he can, which leads to players running into him from behind, prompting 3-shot fouls. This has been especially true this season, as defenders have tried to stay on Harden’s hip more than usual5Defenses have been guarding Harden more and more closely over the past four years. Opponents have been within four feet of him for 65 percent of his shots this season, up from 51, 61 and 62 percent, respectively, during the 2013, 2014 and 2015 seasons, according to NBA.com. to prevent him from spraying the ball wherever he wants in Houston’s spacious offense. Kyle LowryTOR444306.8 Pacers51 Eric BledsoePHX309237.4 read more

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Cleveland Has Taken The FlyBall Revolution To The Next Level

Kyle Seager182090.0 PlayerPulled HRTotal HRPulled HR % And then 2018: Mike Trout173056.7 Ryon Healy172373.9 Manny Machado182864.3 Maikel Franco192095.0 Source: Fangraphs Rhys Hoskins172568.0 Asdrubal Cabrera2020100.0 Alex Bregman182475.0 Jose Ramirez is baseball’s pull power kingMLB leaders in pulled home runs, along with the share of their total home runs that reflects Here’s Lindor’s swing density map in 2018: Edwin Encarnacion162564.0 Francisco Lindor182962.1 Mike Moustakas202290.9 Eugenio Suarez182864.3 Ramirez, Alex Bregman,5Another emerging undersized, pull-side power threat. Rosario, Carpenter and Betts rank first through fifth in total volume of air balls yanked to their pull side. Their averages on those balls are .593, .500, .600, .649 and .660, respectively. Lindor ranks 14th in volume with a .634 average.“Even though we are not big, it’s something we develop when we get to this level,” Rosario said of pull power. “I think when you feel comfortable at this level, power [develops].”In an era when so many have screamed out at the television for a player to hit the ball the other way, avoiding a defensive shift by pulling the ball — in the air — is the optimum path to offensive efficiency. It allows slap-hitting middle infielders to become MVP candidates.One reason that the Indians don’t preach about launch angle is Cleveland hitting coach Ty Van Burkleo’s philosophy that contact point largely takes care of that. While the launch angles of Lindor and Ramirez have changed dramatically since 2016, for them, it’s the byproduct of timing and leverage, of catching the ball out farther in front of the plate.“If you use the lower half correctly, and sequence the plane correctly, you don’t have to worry about launch angle,” Van Burkleo said. “Contact point is going to dictate launch angle. … If you contact the ball deeper, [the bat] plane is flatter. If you catch it out front, your plane is getting more on line with the ball.The numbers support this. Sportvision analyst Graham Goldbeck found for FanGraphs last August that home run probability is maximized about 10 inches in front of home plate. And to pull a ball, the bat almost always has to make contact out in front of home plate. At that contact point, the barrel is typically going to be on the way up in any swing path.“The barrel is going to drop” after the start of the swing, Lindor said. “It’s heavy. It’s going to drop no matter what.“That’s gravity. I focus on contact point. Launch angle then takes care of itself.”This explains the propensity of these hitters to rip the ball down the foul line — but only partially. Last Friday, facing Baltimore pitcher David Hess, Ramirez did something he has done so often this season: He took a fastball and pulled it into the right-field seats. It was his 37th home run of the season.Lindor and Ramirez — actually the Indians in general — avoid talking about “launch angle,” which has become part of the baseball vernacular since the launch of Statcast in 2015. What they do talk about is contact point.For decades, hitting coaches have talked about using the “big part” of the ballpark, going “gap to gap,” using the “whole field.” And in today’s game, with defenses shifting the infield more than ever, you might think hitters are increasingly incentivized to avoid pulling the ball. But Ramirez and Lindor (and Betts and Carpenter and others like Eddie Rosario and Aaron Hicks) are trying to pull the ball. They are trying to hook and yank pitches down the line for extra-base hits and home runs. After all, the shortest distance to record a home run is down the line.Of fly balls hit to the pull side this season in the majors, 32.7 percent have become home runs, according to FanGraphs. To center field? Just 8 percent. And the opposite field? Just a 3.8 percent HR/FB ratio.Lindor knows this. Before his locker at Progressive Field last week, wearing black sweats and white tennis shoes, he held an imaginary bat in his hand. Lindor mimicked where he wanted his contact point to be — out in front of the plate. That’s where his power is.Lindor noted that he and Ramirez are far from the strongest players on the team. Ramirez ranks 126th in average exit velocity of fly balls and line drives (93 mph) in the majors,4Among players with a minimum of 150 batted balls. according to Baseball Savant leaderboards. Lindor ranks 77th (94.3 mph). Yet they might combine for 80 home runs this season.Lindor, and particularly Ramirez and Betts, have become masters at lifting and pulling. Ramirez’s pull rate on fly balls and line drives rose from 28.5 percent in 2016 to 38.8 percent last season, and it’s at 44.7 percent this season, ranking third in the majors. Ramirez leads all hitters in total volume of line drives and fly balls hit to the pull side. Ramirez also tied Betts for the lead in the majors in pulled line drives and fly balls last season. Lindor ranked ninth. They seem to be reading from the same developmental plan.“We talk,” Lindor said, breaking into his iconic ear-to-ear smile. “[Ramirez] helps me, I help him.”Ramirez has hit 31 of his 37 home runs to the pull side, first in the majors. Carpenter is second, hitting 23 of his 34 home runs to his pull side. Betts is third. Lindor? Eighteen pull-side homers, good for 11th. Didi Gregorius192286.4 Joey Gallo193259.3 Mookie Betts222781.5 CLEVELAND — Few players have changed their profiles as dramatically as Francisco Lindor.As a minor league prospect, Lindor was not the masher who currently sits atop the Cleveland Indians’ lineup. While he was still the fluid and graceful athlete at shortstop that he is today, he was a completely different player at the plate. He lunged at pitches outside the zone. He often made weak contact. When evaluating Lindor as a minor league hitter, scouts typically capped his power potential between 15 and 20 home runs — something fitting for his slight, 5-foot-11 frame.To the left of Lindor in the Cleveland infield this season is an even more unlikely MVP candidate. As a minor league shortstop, the 5-foot-9 Jose Ramirez never hit more than five home runs at any stop. While Lindor was a first-round pick, it wasn’t clear if Ramirez could be a major league regular if and when Lindor pushed him off shortstop to another more bat-dependent position. Ramirez was never a top 100 prospect.In their first couple of years in the majors, neither showed a hint of extreme power potential. Then, a year ago, something happened. Lindor smashed 33 homers in his third season, and Ramirez hit 29 in his fourth.1Of at least 100 plate appearances. This year, Ramirez trails only J.D. Martinez in home runs, and Lindor is 11th in the league.While Martinez is one of many players who have made well-documented swing changes with the goal of lifting the ball in the air, he has always had a big frame and underlying raw power. Among the 336 hitters who have hit at least 25 fly balls this season, Martinez ranks fifth in average fly-ball distance at 350 feet.2Through Aug. 19. He can hit the ball out to all fields. Lindor and Ramirez, though, do not possess such elite raw power. The are tied, ranked 92nd, in average fly-ball distance (328 feet). They have to better direct the balls they do hit in the air to maximize their power.Lindor and Ramirez are also two of the unlikeliest sluggers in the game because of their size. In baseball history, there have been 335 individual seasons of 40 or more homers by 146 different players. Only 17 players 5-foot-11 or shorter have hit 40 home runs in a major league season, according to Baseball-Reference.com. If he hits just three more homers, Ramirez will tie Roy Campanella (1953) and Mel Ott (1929) for second on the list of shortest players to reach 40 homers in a season.3The shortest player? The 5-foot-6 Hack Wilson (1930). Their power-to-size output is even more impressive as players have gotten taller and stronger.“Nobody thought I could do this,” Ramirez told ESPN. “I was too small.”Said Indians assistant general manager Carter Hawkins: “My sense is there was one guy who felt this was going to happen, and that was Jose.”The Indians’ diminutive duo isn’t alone in smashing expectations this season. At 5-foot-9, Boston’s Mookie Betts (27 home runs) is also one of the slightest sluggers in major league history. And though he’s taller, at 6-foot-3, St. Louis’s Matt Carpenter has transformed from an on-base-focused player to one leading the National League in home runs. Those players and others all fit a specific mold, sharing traits that have allowed them to become unlikely sluggers.These players represent the next generation of the Fly-Ball Revolution. While the first stage is to get the ball up in the air, the next and more important step for many hitters is to get to the pull side. Elite contact hitters are learning to raise their offensive profiles, learning that it’s OK to be pull-happy. Some of the game’s smallest players are becoming home run kings. Matt Carpenter233467.6 Jose Ramirez313783.8% One challenge in today’s game for scouts — and projection forecasts — is evaluating future power grades. Power jumps can now seemingly materialize out of nowhere. How do you forecast the next Ramirez? FiveThirtyEight spoke to one NL evaluator who described Ramirez’s trajectory as the most baffling development story of his scouting career.It isn’t just human evaluators. Projection forecasts didn’t buy in to Ramirez or Lindor as power hitters even after their 2017 breakouts. FanGraphs projected Ramirez to hit 20 home runs this year in its preseason forecast. Baseball Prospectus forecast 13. For Lindor, those projections were 24 and 21.“The main thing for me is athleticism,” said the NL evaluator. “You have to have the hand-eye and feel for the strike zone.”Lindor and Ramirez were, and remain, elite contact hitters. They can contact the ball at will and manipulate the barrel and contact point. Since 2016, they have made contact on swings at pitches in the zone at a rate of at least 91.1 percent, ranking in the top fifth of qualified major league hitters.The trait suggests that of baseball’s five tools — hit, run, throw, power, field — the “hit” tool is now of even greater importance. The hit tool, more than ever, dictates how the power tool with develop.“It’s easier for you to go from [contact focus] to the other side, to pulling,” Lindor said.The Indians are placing more weight on contact hitting when working with their prospects, with the idea that they can teach power. Like many teams, the Indians have technology that can capture exit velocities and launch angles in their minor league stadiums and batting cages. Such tools help the teaching and skill-acquisition process. If the hit tool is in place, those tools can help build power.“What’s old is new,” Hawkins said. “I think if you ask any evaluator or coach and said, ‘Hey, would you prefer a guy who can hit the ball 500 feet or a guy that can square up any ball that is in the zone?’ They are taking the later.“It’s not like [power development] didn’t happen prior to it being able to be measured [via Statcast]. There were guys that were tapping into power later in their careers in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, we just didn’t have the launch angle measurements, exit velocity measurements. I think one commonality between all those guys [like Ramirez, Lindor and Betts] is they control the zone really well. None of them are high-strikeout guys. They are extremely low-strikeout guys. They are swinging at pitches they can [damage].”Perhaps the team that has turned high-contact, low-power middle infielders Ramirez and Lindor into power-hitting superstars is on to something. Maybe there’s a road map for hitters of any size in how to go from good to great.Check out our latest MLB predictions. Then consider a data-density map of Ramirez’s swings against fastballs from 2016: Eddie Rosario172277.3 The World Series champion Houston Astros have developed a teamwide philosophy of only offering at the pitches they can damage. The Indians preach something similar.“If it’s a pitch you can’t get your body into a leveraged position [to hit], then you probably want to take it early in the count, or when you are ahead in the count,” Van Burkleo said.For so long, “covering the whole plate” was considered an important hitting characteristic. It was something that was taught to Lindor as a younger player.“Yeah, that’s when I was a slap hitter,” Lindor said with a smirk. “When I try and cover the whole plate, that’s when I get in trouble. … I can cover the whole plate if I want to. I can put the ball in play any time I want. That’s not going to do any good for me or the team.”Lindor is now eschewing pitches he cannot drive. He is becoming more disciplined. He is focused on attacking pitches — often fastballs — he can damage.“I don’t want to cover the whole plate,” he said.When explaining what led to home runs in post-game press conferences this season, Ramirez has often quipped to reporters, “home run pitch.” While Ramirez hasn’t been willing to divulge changes to his approach, he has become better able to hammer pitches he wants to hit.It’s similar to a concept that Reds great Joey Votto defines as pitch funneling — being so patient and discerning that the pitcher eventually gives the batter the pitch he wants to hit. The overall swing rates for Lindor and Ramirez have dropped. They have concentrated their swings in certain zones. They have better avoided getting out in front and rolling over off-speed pitches for ground balls or making weak contact at out-of-zone pitches. They are now two of the best fastball hitters in the game. They hunt fastballs and crush them.Consider a Baseball Savant data-density map, indicating where a batter swings most often, of Lindor’s swings against fastballs from 2016. The rectangular outline represents the batter’s strike zone. Evan Gattis212487.5 Of course, such a transformation is easier said than done. While most ground balls are pulled (hence the proliferation of shifts), fly balls are distributed more equally, with a slight tendency to the opposite field. How do you identify which players can make the leap to launching and pulling? Travis Shaw192576.0 read more

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Will the Ohio State Buckeyes be bowling this year

ANN ARBOR, Mich. ­— Ohio State football is used to success. In Jim Tressel’s 10 years as coach, he led the Buckeyes to eight BCS bowl game appearances and six consecutive Big Ten Championships. The 2011 season was different. OSU won just half of its regular season games, finishing with a 6-6 record and its first loss to archrival Michigan since 2003. It also dropped its final three games of the year. Senior wide receiver DeVier Posey, who was playing his second game of the year after serving two five-game suspensions, said the locker room felt “weird” after the loss. “We’ve never lost to Michigan,” Posey said, “It’s just an eerie feeling. You have a weird feeling in your stomach.” Despite the drop in success this season, the Buckeyes were reluctant to call the season a disappointment. “I think it’s a disappointment in terms of what the fans think and everything,” senior linebacker Tyler Moeller said. “Obviously you want to go out there and win every game. We fought and battled out there. Every game that we have lost, we were in them. We fought them. Sometimes in life that happens.” OSU has the minimum number of six wins to be eligible for a bowl game, but for the first time since 2004, OSU won’t be selected for a BCS bowl. Senior center Mike Brewster said dealing with all the losses has been difficult after having so much success in the past. “It’s hard,” Brewster said. “Just kind of shows you when you’re playing a team sport, decisions you make can affect your teammates.” OSU is still awaiting the decision as to whether or not they’ll be selected to play in a bowl game. Although six wins grants a team eligibility to participate in a bowl, it does not guarantee a team will be selected. Traditionally, OSU has had an advantage in the selection process because of the program’s reputation for traveling well to postseason games and drawing high TV ratings. One report from the Orlando Sentinel said representatives from the Gator Bowl are interested in choosing the Buckeyes to participate in the Jan. 2, bowl in Jacksonville, Fla., and pitting them against the Florida Gators. The hypothetical matchup would pit the team Urban Meyer coached from 2005-2010 (Florida) with the team Meyer will coach for the 2012 season (OSU). According to athletic director Gene Smith, current coach Luke Fickell will coach the bowl game and Meyer will no role in the team’s preparation. No matter what bowl game OSU is selected to or the coaching situation the team faces, junior defensive lineman John Simon said it won’t affect how his team will prepare. “We’re motivated,” Simon said. “We get excited for every game. We’ll make the corrections about this game tomorrow when we watch the tape and get back to work.” Moeller agreed. “Any game that we’re dealt, we’re going to work hard,” he said. “Just as hard as any other bowl game that we had. We’re going to try to win that.” read more

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Diego Simeone will become Inters coach

first_imgAgent Natalia Simeone spoke to the Italian media and said “it is only a matter of time” before the Argentinean leaves Atletico Madrid for the Lega Serie A teamArgentinean manager Diego Simeone has been with Spanish La Liga side Atletico Madrid since 2011. There, he has rebuilt the team into a winning squad in Spain.But maybe he needs new challenges in his career.And sister and agent Natalia Simeone, spoke with La Gazzetta Dello Sport as echoed by Football Italia on how the coach can return soon to Italy.Romelu Lukaku, Serie A, Inter MilanCapello calls Lukaku “a modern striker” Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 The former Italian manager believes Romelu Lukaku is perfectly suited for Antonio Conte’s Internazionale Milan in the Serie A.“Diego said it too, sooner or later, he’ll end up at Inter,” she said.“I think it is only a matter of time. He loves the club, the atmosphere and living in Milan. Inter is a side he would really love to coach.”“I should point out that he is also still very fond of Lazio, too,” she added.“At the end of the day, passion always wins out. Diego has been with Atletico for seven years. He is one of the best Coaches in the world, but he remains when he knows there is still work to be done. And I accompany him.”last_img read more

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Gracia admits yesterday was a bad day

first_imgWatford lost back-to-back matches in the English Premier League for the first time since May 2017 after being beaten yesterday 4-0 by BournemouthYesterday was hell for Watford Football Club. The team not only lost 4-0 but also saw how Christian Kabasele was sent-off and will miss the club’s next match.And for the first time since May 2017, the team has lost back-to-back matches in the English Premier League.“It was a bad day today,” said coach Javi Gracia to the club’s official website.“It was the first game where we haven’t competed at the same level as other games. We didn’t start well. Bournemouth played much better than us at the beginning of the game, winning all the challenges, winning the second balls.”Roberto Firmino, LiverpoolVirgil van Dijk praises Roberto Firmino after Liverpool’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Virgil van Dijk hailed team-mate Roberto Firmino after coming off the bench to inspire Liverpool to a 3-1 comeback win against Newcastle United.“We created some chances with Craig [Cathcart], and had some shots, but after the sending off, the game was very tough for us. We tried to score, but then we conceded another goal and then it was very strange and very tough for us,” he explained.“We conceded more chances, we made more mistakes than in all the games together.”“Maybe it was because we played 60 minutes with 10 men and maybe because we conceded early. After that, the players maybe felt more pressure and more anxious. It was a bad day and we need to improve and come back to the level we have before,” Gracia added.“I prefer not to say anything about the referee because we have a lot of things to improve before we ask about the referee.”last_img read more

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Soldotna Library Receives Donation Of 3100

first_imgThe donation will be spent as follows:$200.00 to purchase new toys for the children’s area.$500.00 to support the Library’s One Thousand Books Before Kindergarten program which enhances pre literacy education at our library.$1,000.00 to support library programs year round.$1,400.00 to be spent on promotional and other materials for the Summer Reading Program 2019. In a letter to the Soldotna City Council from City Librarian Rachel Nash: “Library staff are very grateful for the hard work and support of the Soldotna Library Friends, and for the contributions of our community donors.” The purpose of the Soldotna Library Friends is to support the mission of the Joyce K. Carver Memorial Library through fundraising, advocacy and promotion. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Joyce K. Carver Memorial Soldotna Public Library received a donation in the amount of $3,100 from the Soldotna Library Friends. An ordinance to appropriate the donation was introduced at the Soldotna City Council meeting on Wednesday. A public hearing will be held on May 8.last_img read more