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Town needs affordable housing for seniors

first_imgRotterdam is a nice place to live. Its residents are mostly folks that are getting older or families. I’ve lived here all my life. All around, new apartments are going up — most of them for “seniors” or those “over 55.” That’s great, but most senior citizens can’t afford them. Although some can, let’s focus on the masses who can’t. We live on a very limited income and usually are alone. You really expect a senior to afford $1,200 and up for an apartment? Where do the food, prescriptions and other daily living necessities come in? We worked hard all our lives. Why can’t contractors find it in good conscience to think of the elderly? We are quiet, no parties, no police. We just want to be able to call someplace our home and live our lives there. How about building new apartments for the seniors in Rotterdam that are affordable? Really affordable. Most of us have had to sell our homes or give them up. This would be so wonderful for those that need a place to live.Karen EpliteRotterdam More from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

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World food prices fall sharply in March because of coronavirus, oil slump: UN

first_imgTopics : The dairy price index dropped 3%, driven by declining quotations and slowing global import demand for skim and whole milk powders, while the meat index fell by 0.6%.The cereal price index fell 1.9%, with rice prices bucking the downward trend, rising for the third month running, buoyed by stockpiling spurred by concerns over the pandemic and reports that Vietnam might introduce export bans.FAO said Vietnam had since downplayed the reports.While FAO lifted its forecast for 2019 world cereal production, its estimate for 2020 wheat production remained unchanged at 763 million tons, close to last year’s record level.”[This] coupled with ample inventories, will help shield food markets from turmoil during the coronavirus storm,” FAO predicted. FAO also slightly increased its forecast for cereal production, predicting a crop totaling some 2.721 billion tons in 2019, up from a previous forecast of 2.719 billion and some 2.4% higher than the 2018 crop.FAO’s sugar price index posted the biggest fall, down 19.1% from the previous month. The drop was triggered by a reduction in consumption linked to the virus lockdowns seen in many countries, and lower demand from ethanol producers due to the recent dive in crude oil prices, the Rome-based agency said.The vegetable oil price index slumped 12%, pushed down by sliding palm oil prices which was linked to a plunge in crude mineral oil prices and growing uncertainty over the impact of coronavirus on the market.”Oil prices have fallen by more than half during the past month, which catalyzes a large downward impact on biofuels, which are an important source of demand in the markets for sugar and vegetable oils,” said FAO analyst Peter Thoenes.center_img World food prices fell sharply in March, hit by a drop in demand tied to the coronavirus pandemic and a plunge in global oil prices, the United Nations food agency said on Thursday.The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) food price index, which measures monthly changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat and sugar, averaged 172.2 points last month, down 4.3% on February.”The price drops are largely driven by demand factors, not supply, and the demand factors are influenced by ever-more deteriorating economic prospects,” said FAO Senior Economist Abdolreza Abbassian.last_img read more

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Drug ‘pusher’ nabbed

first_imgILOILO City – A suspected drug peddlerwas nabbed in a sting operation at a public market in City Proper. Bitoon was caught after he sold a sachetof the illegal drugs to an undercover officer for P700 around 6:30 a.m. on Feb.21, it added. Three sachets of suspected shabu wereseized from Raymundo Bitoon of Barangay San Juan, Molo district, a policereport showed.center_img The suspect was detained and chargedwith violation of Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Actof 2002./PNlast_img

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Heavenly Clonmel ride for Dempsey

first_img Press Association David Kelly’s mare took up the running off the home turn and although put under pressure by the Good As Gold after the last, she kept on well to record a winning margin of a length and three-quarters. After finishing second on his last two starts, The Grey Guy gained a deserved success in the Comeragh Handicap Hurdle. The Brian O’Keefe-trained gelding led the into the home straight but the writing looked to be on wall as Fiddlers Way travelled menacingly in behind. However, Robert Tyner’s runner appeared to not quite see out the trip tackling three miles for the first time and the winner held on by half a length. There was drama in the Slievenamon Beginners Chase, which went the way of 15-8 favourite Leighinmohr. Horse No Name blazed a trail and after being joined by the winner turning for home, the pair battled it out on the run in. The result was still in the balance when Paul Nolan’s inmate fell at the last fence, leaving Andrew Lynch to coast home a distance clear of Dawerann on the 15-8 favourite. Sizinguptheamazon (4-1) upset the well-backed Augustin when galloping two and three-quarter lengths clear of the 4-7 favourite in the closing Ardfinnan Flat Race. The claimer has been firing in the winners of late and got a fine tune out of the Keith Watson-trained gelding, who was scoring for only the second time in 29 outings. The 11-year-old was challenged by De Benno and He Rock’s late on, but pulled out some more to win by two and a half lengths from the latter. 2-1 favourite Coolaghknock Glebe fell four out. Watson’s son Marshall said, “That was overdue and no horse in Irish racing deserved it more! “He’ll run in the Ulster National next and stays very well.” Dempsey said, “He got into a great rhythm and jumped from fence to fence. He gave me a great spin. He’s happy bowling along in front and was winging fences. It’s been a great few weeks for me.” Kilford produced a gutsy front-running display to open her NH account in the Irish Stallion Farms E.B.F. Maiden Hurdle. The nine-year-old was quickly at the head of affairs under Harley Dunne and showed a good attitude when challenged by Perfect Woman to pull four and a half lengths clear of the 2-1 favourite. Westerner Point (2-1fav) was popular with the punters ahead of the Lisronagh Maiden Hurdle and didn’t disappoint his supporters as he beat Frankie Ballou by a length and a half. Curragh Na Gold built on some promising efforts in maiden company when justifying 3-1 favouritism in the Carrick-On-Suir Mares Handicap Hurdle. Luke Dempsey continued his excellent run of form with a fine front-running ride on Heavenly Brook (7-1) in the Martinstown Opportunity Handicap Chase at Clonmel.last_img read more

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USC professor named 2010 Eminent Scientist

first_imgA USC professor has been recognized by the International Research Promotion Council for his work with cancer and the human papillomavirus.W. Martin Kast, who teaches molecular microbiology, obstetrics and immunology at the Keck School of Medicine, won the Millennium Golden International Award and was named the 2010 Eminent Scientist of the Year and North American Immunologist of the Year.Man of the year – Professor Martin Kast receives the Eminent Scientist of the Year award for his research in human papillomavirus. – Dieuwertje Kast | Daily Trojan“From my undergraduate through now, I have always had interest in and worked on projects having to do with antiviral immunity,” Kast said.  “In the future I plan to translate our laboratory findings into clinical trials and perform these trials with a team of physicians on the medical campus.”Knowledge about HPV can be used in researching other cancers as well, he said, such as prostate cancer and melanoma. Hopefully, Kast added, the publicity of his award will result in more opportunities for his work.“The award shows that the international research community is appreciative of the work that I am doing in this area and sees the potential of treating woman with this deadly disease in underdeveloped countries,” Kast said. “This will also bring very positive publicity which might lead to funding agencies and more grants to help the research efforts.”More than 500,000 women worldwide are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year, but according to Kast, cervical cancer is completely preventable in developed countries through vaccination.Underdeveloped countries, however, are not able to afford this vaccine, often resulting in death for women with cervical cancer. Kast’s research is aimed at assisting women after they are diagnosed.“Therapeutic vaccines work after the fact that you have a virus or cancer and it tries to manipulate your body and stimulate the immune system so it can fight the infection,” Kast said.  “My research is helpful in giving treatment to cervical cancer after it has infected the body.”Some of Kast’s research focuses on learning how HPV enters the immune system, gets into the cells and escapes from the system, and how to reverse the escape.Kast’s 11-member research team has also contributed greatly to this project, he said.“They physically carry out the experiments and intellectually attend meetings and develop new ideas to see if they can be used in our research,” Kast said.Diane Da Silva, a senior research associate who has worked with Kast for 12 years, said he is very passionate about his work and research.“What is great about Dr. Kast is that he injects his enthusiasm he has for the research into his staff, and gives us independence to develop new ideas and test our hypothesis,” Da Silva said.  “He really cares for all of his students and team members and wants all of us to do our very best and succeed as independent scientists.”Lisa Yan, a second-year graduate student studying genetic, molecular and cellular biology, said Kast’s mentorship has been invaluable during her time in his lab.“There are often times when Dr. Kast would question me until I am speechless, allowing me to realize how much more I have to learn to become an expert in this field,” she said. “His comments and intellectual input into my research has opened my eyes to different aspects of my work. This contribution is priceless.”last_img read more

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NU, Kafka too much for UW

first_imgWideout Andrew Brewer caught six passes and two touchdowns from Mike Kafka in NU\’s 33-31 win.[/media-credit]EVANSTON, Ill. — Whenever Wisconsin arrives at Ryan Field, a place where the Badgers have not won since 1999, it’s a bit like stepping into an episode of “The Twilight Zone.”No matter how well either of the teams involved had been playing before the game, things never seem to go according to plan, with unexpected outcomes being the norm. What makes things even stranger is the sheer amount of red in Northwestern’s small stadium.That’s how things went Saturday, especially for the defense, as the newly unranked Badgers came out on the wrong end of a 33-31 result, which weakened any UW bid for the Capital One or Outback Bowls on New Years Day.“The game we played today is not Wisconsin football,” defensive end J.J. Watt said. “It’s not the way we’ve been playing all year. We really came out in the second half and tried to correct our mistakes, but it was too little too late for us.”Wisconsin’s defense struggled throughout the day, just a week after it had limited Michigan to only 265 yards of total offense and just 71 rushing yards when the Wolverines had been averaging 208 yards per game on the ground.One part of the Wildcats’ success on offense may have actually had to do with an NU coach on the other side of the ball, defensive coordinator Mike Hankwitz. After having coached the Wisconsin defense until he was fired in 2007, Northwestern had a good idea of the usual tendencies of the Badgers’ ‘D.’“They see that defense everyday with coach Hank here,” safety Jay Valai said. “But regardless of what they knew, we’ve got to play more technically sound than what we did.”The Badgers also credited a lot of the knowledge of the Wildcats’ defense to the sheer intelligence of their personnel, since they are students at Northwestern University.UW’s defensive leaders tried to change things up as the game progressed, but it did not seem to matter, as NU continued to call out and adjust to the Badgers’ coverage, whether they actually knew it or not.“We had to make some adjustments and change our verbiage up,” safety Chris Maragos said. “You’re battling a team like Northwestern and they’re guys that aren’t flashy, but they’re in the right spot. They’re smart guys … and they executed well.”The results were not pretty, as the Wisconsin defense had what linebacker Jaevery McFadden referred to as their worst half of the season in the first half of Saturday’s game. In that first half, UW gave up nearly 300 total yards of offense and 27 points as the Badgers headed to the locker room down 27-14.They battled back in the second half, though, holding the Wildcats to just six points in the final 30 minutes of play. Still, they gave up 33 points — the most they have all season — and allowed Northwestern to pick up 437 yards of total offense, including a majority of that coming through an aerial attack led by Mike Kafka that UW just could not seem to stop.One of NU’s best plays that worked all day was what Bielema calls a “bender route” as they find the hole between the linebacker and safety over the middle for a big gain.“[It] was a big play for them,” Bielema said. “Anytime you can get so many yards without any time coming off the clock and they’re able to line back up and do it again, you could definitely see that our defensive guys were on their heels.”Kafka finished 26-of-40 on the day for 326 yards and two touchdowns while only being sacked once in the game. He also did not turn the ball over for the Wildcats.Perhaps the biggest throw of the day, though, came on a trick play. After Kafka got the ball to Zeke Markshausen on a lateral, the 5-foot-11 wide receiver found fellow receiver Sidney Stewart alone downfield for the 38-yard touchdown, which put the Wildcats up 24-14 midway through the second quarter.“On the deep ball, when they did the double pass, I wasn’t expecting the double pass at all,” cornerback Devin Smith said. “I played over the top until I saw the quarterback threw it out. I thought [Markshausen] was taking off to try to run and make a play, but he stepped back and threw it.”last_img read more

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Women of Troy finally find rhythm in Oklahoma

first_imgThe USC women’s soccer team swept through the state of Oklahoma this weekend, beating both No. 24 Oklahoma State and unranked Oklahoma 1-0.The Women of Troy (5-3), featuring a new backline after injuries to senior defender Meagan Holmes and her junior replacement Ashli Sandoval, shut out both opponents and extended their winning streak to a season-high four games.Goal driven · Freshman midfielder Courtney Garcia knocked in the decisive score Sunday to lift the Women of Troy 1-0 over Oklahoma. – Geo Tu | Daily Trojan “We had the baby backline,” USC coach Ali Khosroshahin said about his defense, which has no seniors and only one junior. “The group just seems to get better with every game.”USC started off Sunday’s match with impressive form, forcing Oklahoma goalkeeper Kelsey Devonshire to make four saves in the opening seven minutes.The Women of Troy broke through in the eighth minute when freshman midfielder Courtney Garcia took senior midfielder Marihelen Tomer’s pass and put it past Devonshire and into the net.USC continued to dominate play until the 35th minute, when sophomore defender Chelsea Buehning was red-carded after making a tackle to prevent a breakaway by Oklahoma.Playing with one more player than the Women of Troy, Oklahoma outshot USC by 14 to five in the second half. The Sooners were unable to score, however, as USC senior goalkeeper Kristin Olsen made five saves to record her second straight shutout.“Playing with a person down is always tough,” Olsen said. “You have to make adjustments on the field with your formation and how you go about your attack, and we were able to do that.”USC’s victory over Oklahoma came two days after its upset of No. 24 Oklahoma State, the Women of Troy’s first win against a ranked opponent this season.USC appeared to have fallen behind just more than 10 minutes into Friday’s match in Stillwater, Okla., when Oklahoma State forward Kasey Langdon took a rebound and shot it into the back of Olsen’s net. The play was whistled for offsides, however, and the goal was not counted.The score was even for most of the first half, with both teams registering five shots in the period. USC gained the advantage in the 41st minute, though, when freshman forward Samantha Johnson won a loose ball and fired it inside the far post from 18 yards out.The Women of Troy outshot Oklahoma State nine to three in the second half, but could not add to their lead.The loss for the Cowgirls was their first defeat at home against a non-conference opponent in nearly nine years.“Any time you can go away from home, out of region, and beat a team of Oklahoma State’s caliber, it’s a huge, huge result,” Khosroshahin said. “We still have a lot of growth that needs to be done, but this weekend was tremendous for us.”last_img read more

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Carl Crawford’s RBI double ends Dodgers-Tigers duel

first_imgLeft-hander J.P. Howell (1-0) pitched a scoreless top of the 10th inning for the Dodgers. Pinch hitter Chone Figgins led off the bottom of the 10th with a leadoff walk. With one out, Crawford sliced a line drive into the left-field corner that eluded Rajai Davis. Figgins scored from first base without a throw, giving the Dodgers their first walk-off win of the year.The game was tied 1-1 in the seventh inning when Scherzer took the mound to face Matt Kemp, who worked a seven-pitch walk. The next batter, Juan Uribe, clubbed an 0-1 fastball into the right-field corner. Third base coach Lorenzo Bundy wisely flashed a stop sign, giving Uribe a double and giving the Dodgers runners at second and third with nobody out. Federowicz, fresh up from Triple-A Albuquerque with A.J. Ellis on the disabled list, struck out on three pitches. Pinch hitter Justin Turner punched a line drive into medium center field, just deep enough for Kemp to tag up and score when Austin Jackson’s throw was off-target.Chris Withrow and Chris Perez threw scoreless seventh and eighth innings, respectively, before giving the ball to Jansen in the ninth.The Tigers and Dodgers will finish the two-game interleague series today.Scherzer allowed eight hits and two runs in seven innings, walked one and struck out eight. He never strayed far from his bread-and-butter fastball that touched 95 mph on the radar gun. Haren was a tad better. Miguel Cabrera, the reigning American League Most Valuable Player, hit three ground balls off Haren that never left the infield. “There’s not really one way to pitch him. He can it,” Haren said. “Staying down is probably the most important thing. With me it’s important to mix pitches. It’s just trying to throw what he’s not looking for.”The Dodgers couldn’t score on Scherzer after Gordon’s first home run of the season crept over the right-center field fence. Austin Jackson’s solo home run in the second inning tied the game 1-1.Other than that, Haren was able to keep the Tigers off-balance with an assortment of sub-90 mph fastballs, cutters, sliders and the occasional curve. The Tigers only put a runner in scoring position against Haren once, in the first inning. With Davis on third base and one out, Haren got consecutive ground balls from Torii Hunter and Cabrera to end the threat.Hunter had to leave the game with a contusion on his left knee. In the second inning, the Tigers’ right fielder slid knee-first into the concrete wall in foul territory chasing a long strike by Federowicz. Hunter was slow to get up but stayed in the game for two more innings. Don Kelly took over in right field in the fifth inning.Puig was held out of the game as he recovers from an injury to his left thumb ligament. He was fitted for a splint after meeting with a hand specialist and is still considered “day to day.”Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said that Puig was only available in an emergency.Will Puig be in the lineup Wednesday, as the 23-year-old predicted?“The training staff has something to do with that. I still get to write it out now and then,” Mattingly joked.“We’re going to do what’s best for Yasiel and what’s best for this club. I’m glad he feels good enough that he can be ready to play.” Yasiel Puig declared himself ready to play today, not to any reporters in particular but to all reporters, teammates, and anyone in general passing through the Dodgers clubhouse just after 4 p.m. Tuesday.The rapper/actor Ice Cube read the starting lineup. Dee Gordon hit a home run in the Dodgers’ first at-bat of the game. Puig didn’t play, leaving Carl Crawford to drive in the game-winning run in the Dodgers’ final at-bat.All in all, it was a good day.More accurately, it was a good day to be a starting pitcher. Former teammates, the Dodgers’ Dan Haren and the Detroit Tigers’ Max Scherzer, found themselves on opposite ends of an interleague duel before an announced crowd of 53,231 at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers ultimately won 3-2 on Crawford’s RBI double to the left-field corner in the bottom of the 10th inning.Haren allowed one run over six innings, outdueling the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner. “They have a really tough lineup,” Haren said. “I did some homework the last few days. I executed the game plan with Fed (catcher Tim Federowicz). He did a good job considering I threw a couple bullpens with him in spring training, no games.”Haren’s best efforts were nearly undone.Trying to protect a 2-1 lead in the ninth inning, Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen allowed a leadoff double by Ian Kinsler and a two-out RBI single by Victor Martinez that tied the game 2-2. It was the first blown save for Jansen in three chances this season.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

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Former two-time world champion James DeGale announces his retirement

first_imgFollowing his points defeat to Chris Eubank Jr. last weekend, James DeGale (25-3-1, 15 KOs) has decided to hang up his gloves at 33, with his legacy including becoming the first British boxer to win both an Olympic Gold medal and a professional world title.DeGale won his first world championship when he defeated Andre Dirrell in May 2015, before going on to defend it three times, including a majority draw against Badou Jack. The super middleweight southpaw lost and then won back his title against Caleb Truax over his next two fights.   Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a yearThe former British, European and two-time world champion released a lengthy statement Thursday, announcing his retirement via Twitter. “Today marks 10 years since my professional debut fight on February 28, 2009 and today is the day I am announcing my retirement from boxing. It’s been an unbelievable journey and I’ve had an amazing decade – if I’m honest, the best years of my life – and having started boxing at the age of nine then being selected as part of the England Amateurs squad, I’ve collected many memories along the way. It is hard to admit that I’m not the fighter I once was, but I’m human and along the way, my injuries have taken a toll – both on mind and body and these things have contributed to impact my performance in the ring.”He added: “I lost the fight on Saturday at The O2, but I’m touched to have a good send off from the fans in my home city. The day after the fight, someone said to me that one fight does not determine a legacy. Looking back, if someone had told me at the start of my boxing career, when I was in the England squad, that I would become an Olympic Gold medallist, British and European champion and two-time world champion, I would never have believed them, but I did it and I’d like to think I did it the clean, honest and hard way with discipline and respect to the sport I love. I’m proud to say that I’ve made history as the first ever British Olympian boxer to turn professional and to win a world title and I am also proud to have been a road warrior – to travel wherever I needed to be to fight and to win.  There’s nothing left to prove.”You can read DeGale’s full retirement statement here.last_img read more

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Cubs tuning out the noise as they work toward more wins

first_img“We can’t start to analyze baseball like football. It’s the equivalent of a quarterback dropping back on his first play from scrimmage and missing a guy open on an out pattern,” Epstein said. “That’s where we’re at in the season.”Early or not, the Cubs have shown their weaknesses, and until they start winning regularly, it’s going to stay loud while they try to prevent the buzz from entering the clubhouse. It was quiet there before Thursday’s game, and Heyward sat with a demeanor similar to deGrom’s months prior: relaxed and with the hood of his sweatshirt up over his head, a water bottle balancing on his right leg and his cell phone on his left, watching golf on the TV.“It’s not going to do anything to dwell on how well something is going, or when something may not go well because any moment it can change,” Heyward said. “That’s the humbling part of baseball.” MORE: Watch ‘ChangeUp,’ a new MLB live whiparound show on DAZNModern baseball is covered extensively and intensely, and the players are almost perpetually under a cacophony of feedback. TV, radio, newspapers, websites, blogs, their social media feeds — there is almost no escape from someone opining on their play. And when they’re doing poorly, the noise around the team only intensifies.Eight months after deGrom sat tuning out the TVs behind him, the home clubhouse at Wrigley was funeral-parlor quiet. The TVs — perhaps wisely — were tuned to a golf tournament. A few hours before playing the Pirates, members of the Cubs were scarce. The ones who were around practically whispered as they spoke to each other. The noise around the team had been mostly strident and negative for the two weeks since the season started.But ask and they’ll insist that they hear none of it.“It doesn’t matter. None of that stuff matters. Whether it’s going amazing or it’s going not how you want it to, that’s all going to happen often in the season, so those stories don’t really matter,” Jason Heyward told Sporting News. “The only story that matters is what happens at the end.”They’re bombarded with the noise, though. Kris Bryant shared during spring training that seeing the negativity on Twitter about his 2018 performance motivated him, but just days into the season said that he had deleted his Twitter to tune it all out. Even if they’re not plugged into social media, players still have to avoid everything else.“I don’t watch that s— or listen to whatever. I don’t have Twitter, none of that stuff because really at the end of the day it does not matter,” Heyward said, slowing down to emphasize the final three words.Heyward had a Twitter account but deleted it during the 2016 season when he was struggling mightily at the plate. A Facebook and an Instagram page remain, but nuking Twitter has done a lot to keep his life quiet. Heyward is loquacious about baseball in the clubhouse but guarded about his life off the field. He said that helps him keep things simple and in perspective.The catalyst for success for the Cubs might have to be about quieting the noise around them and keeping it out of the clubhouse as a whole. Sure, rolling out a long winning streak would do a lot to make that happen, but there’s the day-to-day angst to contend with in the meantime. Cubs manager Joe Maddon said before Monday’s home opener at Wrigley that he wants his team to focus more on the day in front of them and push aside the rest.“You’ve got to be careful with semantics, man, because you don’t know how everybody is going to interpret them,” Maddon said in response to a question about his team’s sense of urgency. “I want them to really process today, period. I want to stay in this moment and attack this moment as well as I possibly can.”The question of the Cubs’ sense of urgency sprung from the way the 2018 season ended, and it has been amplified since by their relative absence in the free-agent market during the winter and the sluggish start to the season. But, like Maddon, team president Theo Epstein isn’t in love with using the word “urgency,” either.“I think this entire ‘sense of urgency’ narrative or subject line has taken on a life of its own, and completely outside of the clubhouse,” Epstein said to reporters from the Cubs’ dugout before Monday’s game. “That storyline is completely over inside that clubhouse, and until we start winning it’s going to continue to be perpetuated outside. It was kind of over the first day of spring training. It was an offseason thing.”Epstein characterized the notion of urgency as just one part of the improvements proposed by players and staff after last season ended. They wanted to apply the appropriate amount of focus and preparation every single day, Epstein said. Some of the hyperfocus and overreaction to the first two weeks of games is a result of the sustained excellence over the past few seasons and the expectations to maintain it.“That’s a privilege, it’s not a burden,” Epstein said of the added attention and raised standards. “There are going to be times when you’re not living up to expectations and the heat’s going to be turned up a little bit. That’s the reality of the game and the modern game, the way it’s covered.”Unlike last season, particularly at the end, the Cubs’ primary problem this year has not been the offense. Through Wednesday’s games, they ranked sixth in baseball in wRC+ and slugging percentage. They have scored at least 10 runs in five of their eight games. It has been the pitching that has let them down so far. Through Wednesday, Chicago had the third-worst team ERA in baseball and the highest walk rate, at over 13 percent. If the Cubs are going to right the ship, then the pitchers have to stabilize, Maddon said, but when asked Monday if his relievers were pressing, he was again careful with his semantics.“That group is probably trying too hard. I don’t know if that’s pressing or not,” Maddon said.It’s not urgency, it’s about today. It’s not pressing, it’s trying too hard. Whatever words are used, the Cubs have that noise to quiet, and as Epstein said earlier this week, some of that comes from not overreacting to the small sample size of the early season. CHICAGO — On Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018, Jacob deGrom sat in front of his locker in the visitor’s clubhouse at Wrigley Field with his shirt off and his back to the TVs that hung in the center of the locker room. MLB Network commentators Chris Rose and Kevin Millar were loudly insisting that deGrom couldn’t win the Cy Young because the Mets, 58-74 at the time, weren’t any good. Only once did deGrom turn slightly to acknowledge the on-air debate.In eight innings that night, deGrom struck out 10 Cubs batters and walked just one while giving up one run. The Mets wound up losing 2-1.last_img read more