Bayern Munich frontrunners for Arsenal, Chelsea target Underby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal and Chelsea have a new challenger in their pursuit of Roma winger Cengiz Under. According to ESPN, Bayern Munich have moved ahead of the Premier League duo as they look to replace Arjen Robben.The 21-year-old is currently valued at 50m by the Serie A giants, which Bayern have no problem paying. Fortunately for Arsenal and Chelsea, Under is reportedly keen on a move to the Premier League.Manchester City and Manchester United have also scouted Under, who has scored two goals and provided four assists in 14 Serie A appearances this season. TagsTransfersAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say
Ex-Spurs boss Redknapp: Arsenal, Chelsea NOT title contendersby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp feels there’s three genuine contenders for the Premier League title this season.Liverpool currently sit six points clear of Spurs and seven of Manchester City.And Redknapp believes it is a three-horse race.“I think it’s a three horse race,” he told talkSPORT. “Liverpool are the favourites now which is a big turnaround.“But Tottenham are in great form at the moment and they are genuine title contenders.“Spurs are still in it, you can’t write them off. They are bang there, the way they are playing at the moment.“I can’t see anybody else getting into it.“I watched Arsenal yesterday and they are nowhere near in my opinion.“I know they’ve had injuries, but at the back they are still very poor.“And Chelsea are just so reliant on Eden Hazard. Without him you couldn’t really see them challenging, they’re still short of a frontman.“So really, I think there are three runners and I think it will be very tight.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Image Courtesy: Humberside FireA bulk carrier with 19 crew on board suffered a fire while it was moored at Immingham Docks, UK in the afternoon hours of April 16, according to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).The vessel in question is the 76,602 dwt Navios Orbiter, owned by shipping company Navios Maritime Partners, according to AIS data provided by MarineTraffic and a tweeted image from Humberside Fire.World Maritime News contacted the company for confirmation and more details on the incident.Members of the Coastguard Rescue Team based at Cleethorpes liaised with services on shore at the scene until the fire, which was reported in the ship’s accommodation block, was confirmed as having been extinguished.The relevant authorities launched an investigation into the incident.All crew members were safe and accounted for and there were no reports of injuries at the site.World Maritime News Staff
Willow Fiddler Jorge BarreraAPTN National NewsThunder Bay’s police Chief Jean-Paul Levesque is facing charges of obstruction of justice and breach of trust in connection with allegedly disclosing confidential information about the city’s mayor Keith Hobbs, according to a court document.The OPP announced Wednesday Levesque was charged following a five-month investigation which began with the RCMP’s Ontario branch before it was passed on to the provincial police agency.According to the information sheet filed with the Ontario Court of Justice and describes the nature of a charge, Levesque allegedly disclosed confidential information about Hobbs between Dec. 14 and Dec. 22, 2016. The document does not reveal what sort of information was disclosed.Hobbs recently announced he wouldn’t be seeking reelection.The information sheet also stated Levesque is forbidden from contacting Hobbs, his wife Marisa Hobbs, along with the city manager Norm Gale, members of the Thunder Bay Police Services Board, including Chair Jacqueline Dojack and vice-chair Brian McKinnon, who is also city councilor,and police deputy chief Sylvie Hauth.Levesque is currently on medical leave.Julian Falconer, a lawyer who has battled the Thunder Bay police over its failures around investigating the deaths of Indigenous peoples in the city, criticized the OPP for releasing scant information about the investigating and the charges against such a consequential figure like a city police chief.“You only need to consider all of the displays you have seen by police leadership when they’ve laid big charges that are of public profiles, tables where the items seized in the search and seizure are laid out for the world to see…and the police having a press conference of the allegations,” said Falconer. “Compare and contrast how those situations are handled versus when a chief of police is charged. Is it handled in the same way?”The OPP press release on Levesque’s charges offered no information on the nature of the alleged offences “to protect the integrity of the investigation and the ongoing court processes.”Levesque’s lawyer Brian Gover said in a statement that his client “looks forward to fully responding to the allegations against him, and to his ultimate vindication.”[email protected]@aptn.ca
As my colleagues have pointed out on DataLab, FiveThirtyEight readers are great.The latest example: One perceptive reader saw my article about the slowdown of Major League Baseball games and suggested that the designated-hitter rule might explain why the slowest teams are in the American League, whose clubs play with the DH in their home ballparks. I looked into that last week and found no evidence the DH was slowing down the sport. But that article prompted two more readers to contact me (Alex Hickey, by email, and Jonathan A. Jensen, via Twitter). They’d noticed something I’d mentioned offhand in the post: that the two fastest-paced AL teams from 1997 to 2013 were the Chicago White Sox and Toronto Blue Jays. Those teams have one pitcher in common: Mark Buehrle, the fastest thrower in the major leagues.Since 2008, the first year for which FanGraphs has reliable data, Buehrle has been, by far, baseball’s fastest worker between pitches. Over nearly 1,300 innings, he’s averaged 16.7 seconds between pitches. The next fastest pitcher with at least 150 innings pitched, Ben Sheets, averaged 18 seconds. The major-league average has been 21.8 seconds.Even as just one starter, Buehrle’s blistering pace has shaved significant amounts of time from games. If we assume he was 5.1 seconds faster in delivering each pitch during his career, then he’s spared baseball fans nearly 63 hours of dead time between pitches, and cut between 1.6 and two minutes from his team’s average game length each year since his first full season, in 2001. That’s over all of his team’s games, not just the ones he’s pitched.A difference of two minutes is significant. In my article on the topic, I calculated that the slowest team in baseball over Buehrle’s career, the New York Yankees, added about 14 minutes per game relative to the fastest team, the Oakland Athletics, after controlling for number of pitchers, number of pitches per plate appearance and other factors.Another way of looking at Buehrle’s impact on pace is to check how his teams rank in speed each season. As it happens, I compiled these rankings for my first piece, from 2002 through last season. Buehrle was with the White Sox for the first 10 years of that period, and the White Sox were one of baseball’s three fastest teams in five of those 10 seasons; the White Sox ranked among the 10 fastest teams in all but one season. Then Buehrle went to Miami for one season, and the Marlins went from being the majors’ ninth slowest team to its eighth fastest. Last year, Buehrle moved to Toronto, and the Blue Jays went from the 12th fastest team to the very fastest in the majors.One very preliminary finding from these team rankings: Buehrle’s speed-up effect seems to persist even after he leaves. In the first year after Buehrle’s departure, the White Sox were the fastest team in the majors. Last year, they ranked 10th. And Miami, in its first season after Buehrle’s exit, was the majors’ third-fastest team.That the teams stayed faster after he left may also suggest other factors besides Buehrle were contributing to the quicker pace all along. On the other hand — it’s just speculation — perhaps Buehrle’s teammates have noticed that his fast pace has coincided with a successful and consistent career. His philosophy is that catchers know more about opposing batters than he does, so he rarely shakes off their pitch calls. “They’ve been around the league and have faced these guys,” Buehrle said of his catchers, in an interview with USA Today in 2005. “Sometimes I don’t pay attention to what hitters’ tendencies are. … They see their tendencies, so I just go with what they say.”Another theory about the persistence of Buehrle’s fast pace: Buehrle tries to persuade his teammates to match his fast pace, for his own sake as a viewer of their games. “It’s when I’m sitting out here on these four days in between starts, I’m like, ‘All right guys, I always have a quick game and you guys get out of here quick. I want to have a quick day sometimes when I’m on the bench,’ ” he told the Toronto Star last week.Buehrle might be even faster if he didn’t have to wait for stalling batters. “It’s annoying,” Buehrle told the Boston Globe last year. “Guys don’t even swing the bat, take a pitch, and then they get out and adjust their batting gloves. Some of it might be just habit or routine or superstition that they do it, but you didn’t even swing the bat — why do you have to tighten your batting gloves?”This year is Buehrle’s fastest yet: He’s averaging just 15.8 seconds between pitches. It’s also on pace to be his best season: He’s 4-1 with a 2.16 ERA, even after getting shelled by the Boston Red Sox on Friday. His opponents don’t appreciate his stinginess, but they do like his speed. “When he’s pitching, you can set dinner plans and you’re pretty sure you’re going to make them,” Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones told the Star.
The Tampa Bay Rays are not supposed to be in first place in the AL East. Since 2008, the Rays have never ranked higher than 20th in payroll. This season, the Rays opened with a payroll $176 million less than the Red Sox and $144 million less than the Yankees. There are underdogs and then there are the Rays.Yet, it’s a few weeks into the 2019 season, and the Rays are still in first place. And our projections predict that they’ll be a playoff team. It’s still early, of course, and the Rays’ hot start could cool as more games are played — and they did take a tumble over the weekend against the Red Sox. But they’ve been so successful — going into the weekend, their pitching staff had the lowest ERA and fielding-independent pitching in the majors and no lineup was making more quality contact, for example — that it’s worth trying to make sense of how the Rays are defying the odds. It’s not just homegrown talent and innovative strategies propelling them this year, though the defensive shifts and the reliever openers are still happening. Instead, they’ve found yet another way to win: They’re getting more out of other clubs’ players.Their top two and three of their top six position players this season were acquired from teams via trade during the last calendar year, and the 2.5 wins above replacement (WAR), according to FanGraphs’ measurement, of those three accounts for almost half of the Rays’ position player total. And their top pitcher to date, Tyler Glasnow, was acquired in the same July 31 trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates that brought them their best position player, Austin Meadows.1Meadows was placed on the injured list Sunday with a thumb strain.“We feel very strongly about our ability to get the best out of guys,” Chaim Bloom, Tampa’s vice president of baseball operations, told FiveThirtyEight last summer.Two of those guys — third baseman Yandy Diaz, acquired in a December trade, and Glasnow — provide a glimpse into what the Rays might be doing right, and why this surprising start might be sustainable. Prior to arriving in Tampa, Diaz was known for an excellent batting eye and elite exit velocity. From 2017-18, among batters to put at least 200 balls in play, Diaz ranked 13th in average exit velocity (91.7 mph). But that didn’t translate to power as well as we might have expected. He hit only one home run in 299 plate appearances in Cleveland and had the fourth-lowest launch angle among that same cohort, at 1.9 degrees. (The MLB average this season is 12.3 degrees.) Diaz was pounding ground balls into the turf too often. With the Pirates last season, Glasnow, a once highly touted prospect, found himself in a long-relief role. He had lost his command and his confidence. What the Rays acquired at the trade deadline was a struggling pitcher, but one with intriguing underlying skills: a sharp breaking ball and a fastball that ranked at the top of the “perceived velocity”2Perceived velocity combines actual velocity with extension, or how closely a pitcher releases the ball toward home plate. leaderboard since his debut. Glasnow’s average fastball of 96.7 mph looks like it’s going 99.3 mph because he releases the ball, on average, 7.6 feet in front of the pitching rubber. (He ranks first in the majors in perceived velocity this season.) The data-heavy Rays began with a simple message to Glasnow: Trust that your fastball will still work in the strike zone.“I tried to express to him that he could be really aggressive in the strike zone,” Rays pitching coach Kyle Snyder said. “The guy is 6-foot-8. He throws the ball from 52 and a half feet [from home plate]. He’s an upper 90s guy. It’s an all-power, no-art approach. I just think the more he understood that the hitter in the box had to respect the fastball and cheat to it, the better the breaking ball was going to be.”Glasnow’s share of pitches thrown within the strike zone has increased by 4.7 percentage points this season, the 24th greatest improvement in the majors, just behind teammate and reigning AL Cy Young winner Blake Snell. While it’s early, Glasnow has also had the sixth-greatest decline in walk rate in the sport (5.9 percentage points).Glasnow said the team also wanted him to focus on keeping his fastball elevated and his curveball down, while throwing the latter more frequently.While he and the Pirates had agreed in 2018 to change his approach to one similar to what the Rays are espousing, Glasnow said it was hard to alter how he had thrown since being drafted in 2011. “The [Pirates] were very down in the zone, downhill angle,” he told FiveThirtyEight last September.The Rays reinforced how his elevated fastball and 12-to-6 breaking curve could play together by sharing the same path, or tunnel, before the curveball breaks downward. Making the pitches look similar as they approached the plate would create confusion for batters.“Tunneling is important,” Glasnow said. “It’s definitely more of an emphasis here.”Consider the pitches working in tandem against the White Sox on April when Glasnow struck out 11 over six scoreless innings. His elevated fastball: But the Rays had a plan to get more out of all their batters, particularly those with Diaz’s tendencies. During spring training this year in Port Charlotte, Florida, hitting coach Chad Mottola and the Rays came up with an idea for a practice constraint: They were going to build an on-field wall.They didn’t have what they needed at the spring facility, so they sent a truck 90 miles up I-75 to Tropicana Field, their major league home, to commandeer the netting typically used to shield players and coaches during batting practice. The next morning during batting practice, Rays hitters found a barrier of netting on the infield. They were asked to hit over it — to lift and pull the ball. Another issue last season: Diaz hit 57.1 percent of balls in the air to the opposite field, the fourth-highest mark in the league. That’s not conducive to power: Leaguewide this season, 33.4 percent of fly balls hit to the pull side have gone for homers but just 5.2 percent of those hit to the opposite field.It’s not an ideal batted-ball profile for a player who, well, has muscles like these: “He was never given the opportunity with Cleveland in a way he thought he deserved,” Mottola said. “Letting him know he’s going to be in the lineup no matter how he plays today, that makes you a better player immediately.”This season, the Rays have the second-lowest share of balls hit to the opposite field. (They had the highest share last season.) The Rays rank second in the majors in average exit velocity (90.3 mph), up from 26th last season (87.0 mph). It’s still early, of course, but those are marked changes.The wall — or something — appears to be working. And his whiff-generating curveball, which currently ranks fifth in vertical movement and 15th in swing-and-miss rate among pitchers who have thrown at least 50 curves, falling below the zone: “I saw it on the internet,” Mottola said of the practice, similar to what the University of Iowa called The Great Wall of Groundball Prevention in 2016. “I said, ‘Why don’t we just do it?’ At the major league level, it wasn’t anything more than a conversion starter. For younger kids, it was a way to stimulate thoughts more than anything.”This spring, the Rays’ Great Wall of Groundball Prevention evolved to focus not just on trying to get the ball in the air but also on getting the ball in the air to batters’ pull side. The team also used pitching machines to produce velocity and spin more like what batters would see in actual games.The Rays wanted to move the point at which hitters contacted the ball to out in front of the plate, which would allow them to pull the ball better, Mottola said. After all, that’s where the most power is generated. When Mottola began his coaching career in the Toronto organization in the late 2000s, he watched as Jose Bautista was taught to change his focus and try to pull everything. He became a star.Whether because of the wall or something else, Diaz has changed the way he’s hitting this season. After an offseason of focus on contact point with the Rays, he’s now pulling 41.4 percent of batted balls, up from 28.9 percent last season — the 26th greatest increase in the sport. He’s hit five home runs in 89 plate appearances so far.Diaz never pulled a home run in Cleveland. He has done so three times in Tampa. Glasnow is first in the AL in ERA (1.53) so far this year after posting a 5.79 ERA in his two-plus seasons in Pittsburgh.Glasnow and Diaz have made what appear to be real skill gains since arriving in Tampa. Of course, the sample size remains small early his season, and they will have to prove that their starts are sustainable. But if the Rays are indeed spinning developmental gold, the team may have landed on a path to long-term success.Check out our latest MLB predictions.
The manager was not happy with the 2-1 defeat against Everton, but he knows Danny Ings can contribute a lot to the teamDanny Ings signed for Southampton on August 9th of this year.And ten days later, he scored his team’s only goal against Everton this weekend.This has let to Southampton boss Mark Hughes to praise his work.“Danny looked sharp and could have scored in the first half but it’s actually a fantastic save having seen it since,” Hughes said to the Saint’s official website.Solskjaer slams Man United’s draw: “We should have won” Andrew Smyth – August 31, 2019 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was left to rue another missed opportunity as Manchester United were held to a 1-1 draw against 10-man Southampton.“I thought it was just a close-range miss but he’s actually saved it so credit to their ‘keeper.”Danny Ings scored at the 54th-minute mark after his team was down 2-0.His goal gave Southampton hope but the team didn’t manage to tie the match against Everton.“We got him off and running in the second-half so for him coming to a new club, as a striker you want to get off the mark very, very quickly and that’s what he has done so that’s a positive,” Hughes added.
Pep Guardiola doubts that Luka Modric will join Inter Milan at any stage in the near futureThe Fifa and Uefa Player of the Year had been strongly linked with a surprise switch to Inter in the summer transfer window.However, Modric opted to remain at Real Madrid and labelled a move to Inter as “the most stupid thing in history”.But the Croatia captain continues to be linked with the Nerazzurri, which Guardiola dismissed as a pure fantasy.Capello 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.“There is, what’s it called, fantasy football,” said Guardiola, according to BeSoccer.“When you speak about a player leaving for next year, the market is closed now.”The Catalan coach also downplayed Manchester City’s chances of winning this season’s Champions League.
In a message from the Refuge: “Thank you for making alternative recreation plans and avoiding these areas so firefighters have access and you stay safe.”