He’s back! Chelsea confirm Joe Cole joining academy coaching staffby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea have confirmed Joe Cole is joining the club’s academy staff.The 37-year-old, who retired from playing in November, will work across age groups for the next six months while he continues to study for his coaching badges.Cole, who won three Premier League titles, two FA Cups and the League Cup with the Blues, said: “Looking to the future, I want to stay involved in the game and I feel I can offer a lot as a coach.”To lend my experience to help other young footballers achieve their dreams, just like I did, is a big passion of mine.”Cole was in the Premier League team of the year in the title-winning 2006 season and was also named Chelsea player of the year in 2008.He joined the club from West Ham in 2003, where he was the sixth player signed at the start of the Roman Abramovich era. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
shaq lawson notre dame post gameHeading into Saturday’s contest between Clemson and Notre Dame, there was a decent amount of banter between the two schools – especially from a few members of the Tigers’ defense and the Fighting Irish’s offense. It apparently didn’t end with the game’s final whistle.Following Clemson’s 24-22 victory, defensive end Shaq Lawson told reporters that he trash talked Notre Dame wideout Will Fuller following the Tigers’ failed two-point conversion. He also said that Notre Dame wasn’t “ready for the environment’ at Clemson.Check it out, via TigerNet.com:Clemson, at 4-0, now has the inside track on a playoff berth, should it keep winning. If that happens, the world will be seeing a lot more of Lawson.
A group of lucky kids in NYC got the surprise of their lives this week when a real life superhero joined them at a charity film screening.Kids from Big Brothers Big Sisters NYC and SAY – the Stuttering Association for the Young – had gathered to watch a special screening of the new blockbuster Ant-Man when the film’s star, Paul Rudd, joined them.“It was the first time I could have a screening for kids for one of the movies I’ve done,” Rudd told the NY Daily News. “I know a lot of these kids for years, so it was really fun to stand up there while they were sitting there with their three-D glasses.”Rudd has supported SAY for a number of years.To read more about his visit to the screening, click here.
TORONTO – Shares of Kinross Gold Corp. fell more than 10 per cent in trading Wednesday as the gold miner said the government in Mauritania has requested talks regarding its activities in the country.The Canadian gold miner, which is near completion of its Tasiast mine in Mauritania, said its application to convert its Tasiast Sud exploration permit into an exploitation permit was recently rejected by the government.Kinross said the government rejected the conversion application because it failed to meet feasibility criteria, but that the gold miner disagreed with the decision.Since then, Kinross said it has received a letter from the government reaffirming the rejection and seeking “mutually beneficial discussions with respect to all of the company’s activities in Mauritania.”Kinross chief executive Paul Rollinson says the company is assessing the request.The drop in the stock came despite a better-than-expected profit for its most recent quarter.After the close of markets Tuesday, Kinross, which keeps its books in U.S. dollars, reported a profit of US$106.1 million or eight cents per diluted share, down from $134.6 million or 11 cents per diluted share the year prior.On an adjusted basis, Kinross said it earned 10 cents per share, up from two cents a year ago. Analysts on average had expected a profit of a nickel per share, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.Kinross produced 653,937 attributable ounces of gold in the quarter, down from 671,956 gold equivalent ounces a year ago.Shares in the company were down 69 cents at C$4.65 in trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Wednesday.Companies in this story: (TSX:K)
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Today, September 3, is the last day to take part in the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s survey regarding the services that it provides.The Ministry is looking for public feedback on how it can improve its services across the province, including the provided services within the Peace Region.According to the Ministry of Transportation, the survey is divided into two parts focusing on customer service and the quality of service. The Ministry says the survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete.The deadline to take part in the survey is September 3 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time.The survey can be found online through the Province’s website.
NEW DELHI: The AAP on Sunday declared its last candidate in Delhi for the Lok Sabha polls, with a senior leader saying the announcement was made seeing the Congress’s “irresponsible and indecisive” attitude towards an alliance. Balbir Singh Jakhar will be the Aam Aadmi Party’s candidate for the West Delhi parliamentary seat. Names of candidates for the other six seats were announced by the party on March 2.Elections to the seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi will be held on May 12. The results will be declared with the rest of the country on May 23. Also Read – Gurdwara Bangla Sahib bans single use plasticDelhi minister and AAP leader Gopal Rai said the party has waited long enough for an alliance with the Congress, but seeing the “irresponsible and indecisive” attitude of the grand old party, the AAP has decided to declare the name of its seventh candidate. “The AAP has declared all its seven candidates. We waited for long that all parties would join hands to beat the government but the way the Congress is behaving, irresponsibly, and has been indecisive for the past three months, the AAP has decided to take its movement (for full statehood for Delhi) forward,” Rai said. On Thursday, he had said the AAP will fight the Lok Sabha polls on the issue of full statehood and it is “late now” for talks on an alliance in Delhi. “The country is disappointed with the Congress and our internal survey shows seven percent vote share of the Congress. People feel that the Congress is not serious about Delhi, so the AAP has launched a mega campaign… The Congress is confused and everyone is giving different statements,” Rai said. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderAnnouncing the name of Jakhar, Rai said he has been associated with the AAP since the Jan Lokpal Movement. He was the president of the co-ordination committee All Delhi District Court Bar Association. The other six AAP candidates are Atishi from East Delhi, Guggan Singh from North-West Delhi, Raghav Chadha from South, Dilip Pandey from North-East, Pankaj Gupta from Chandni Chowk and Brijesh Goyal will contest from New Delhi seats.
Mumbai: The Sensex and Nifty opened higher on Friday following firm Asian markets along with gains in the pivotal banking stocks. Sentiments continued to be upbeat on Friday over sustained inflows of foreign funds which has supported the equities and the domestic currency alike. The rupee gained against the US dollar and selling in export-oriented IT and technology stocks was, hence, seen during the early trade. Almost all other sectoral indices traded in the green. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal The Sensex of the BSE opened at 38,452.47 from its previous close at 38,386.75 on Wednesday. Markets were closed on Thursday on the occasion of Holi. At 9.19 a.m., the Sensex traded at 38,502.86 up 116.11 points or 0.30 per cent. The Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) opened at 11,549.20 after closing at 11,521.05 on Wednesday. The Nifty traded at 11,554.95 during the morning trade session, up 33.90 points and 0.29 per cent. Foreign Institutional Investors bought stocks worth Rs 1,771.61 crore on Wednesday while Domestic Institutional Investors sold scrips worth Rs 1,323.17 crore.
Did the Cubs prove tanking works?In many ways, the 2016 Chicago Cubs were an inimitable team. They started with one of the most hyped rosters in MLB history, somehow surpassed even those lofty expectations for most of the regular season, then survived a treacherous postseason to win the World Series and finally set down a burden they’d carried for 108 years. For better and for worse, that’s not a path most franchises are in a position to take.But it won’t stop other clubs from trying to replicate elements of the Cubs’ success. And one major area where they might try to borrow from Chicago’s blueprint is in the reinvigorated notion of the “success cycle.” Longtime friend-of-FiveThirtyEight Jonah Keri introduced the concept in the early 2000s as a way to formalize the idea that teams undergo a cycle of rising and falling, building and tearing down rosters at regular intervals. Keri later disavowed the idea, but it might be on the way back after the Cubs’ rebuilding (or, as the less charitable among us might call it, “tanking”) effort under GM Theo Epstein bore such delicious fruit the past few seasons.At the same time that Epstein was executing his rebuild in Chicago, the Houston Astros were doing something similar (to good effect, with even more success potentially on the way), and the Brewers, Braves and Phillies are currently letting their fields lie fallow. League-wide, just two key characteristics — a team’s payroll and its average age1Weighted by batters’ plate appearances and pitchers’ total batters faced. — explained a whopping 58 percent of the variation in win-loss records during the 2016 season, the highest that mark has been since at least 1998.2When the 30-team era began. Both of those characteristics are strongly associated with how a team tries to manipulate where it is in the success cycleIt’s hard to blame Keri for writing off the success cycle; when he was re-evaluating it after the 2010 season, age and payroll had just gotten done explaining a mere 14 percent of the variation in records. In other words, as recently as a few years ago, the familiar patterns of team-building seemed to have been broken. But in an odd twist, maybe the relevance of the success cycle follows its own cyclical pattern. If that’s the case, the Cubs capitalized on it at exactly the right time. –Neil For a long while, MLB was slouching toward mediocrity — or at least uniformity. In 2014, 23 of the 30 MLB teams won between 70 and 90 ballgames, a relatively narrow range differentiated only by an extra win every 9 days or so. Things got even more compressed in 2015, when a third of the league squeezed itself between 76 and 84 wins, which is far more teams around .500 than usual and indicative of a broader trend in baseball: The spread between the best and worst teams had shrunk rapidly, hitting its lowest level in decades. We can illustrate this by tracking changes in the standard deviation of wins (and wins above replacement) over time — essentially measuring how compressed the range of talent across the game has been.This trend had a number of consequences, including making the sport less predictable and allowing luck to play a larger role in the outcome of the season.But 2016 was the year baseball may have begun to swing back in the opposite direction. Last year, far fewer teams were stuck in that middle range of wins compared to the previous two seasons. More clubs were either clearly good or clearly bad — as symbolized by the symmetry of a league-best 103 wins for the Chicago Cubs and league-worst 103 losses for the Minnesota Twins.Moreover, the correlation between payroll and wins (or WAR) in 2016 was easily the highest it had been for MLB since the late 1990s. Back then, the relationship between money and wins triggered a moral panic of sorts in the commissioner’s office,3With the obvious ulterior motive being to reel in payrolls across the entire sport. so it remains to be seen whether a similar crisis will emerge again 20 years later. But last season’s strong correlation — in conjunction with 2017’s unusually top-heavy projected standings — suggests that teams are getting more of what they’re paying for now than they have in a while, and we’re probably due for less parity as a result. –Neil Will the shift keep getting more popular?Baseball’s swift adoption of the defensive shift stands as one of sabermetrics’ shining achievements, turning what was a seldom-used tactic in the early 2000s into a strategy that was deployed on nearly a third of all balls in play in 2016: But that trend was not to last. The WAR-weighted age ticked upward in 2016, caused in part by the aging of that young cohort. It still remained the second-lowest figure in 30 years, but the abrupt increase suggests that rather than a general youth movement, baseball may have experienced a one-time spike in young talent, one that may lead to a golden generation.The next couple of seasons should provide some clarity. If another class of rookies starts accomplishing amazing things, then perhaps baseball has made a long-term shift toward younger players. In contrast, if Bryant, Lindor, et al. remain dominant, then maybe 2015 was a unique event, the arrival of a new wave of great players who will drag the production-weighted average age up as they get older. Either way, baseball fans are witnessing a major shift in the game’s talent. –RobIs the bullpen takeover here to stay?Postseason fads — which often replicate whatever novel development some team rides to the World Series — are usually quickly dropped in subsequent seasons. (Remember when we thought MLB would be overrun by a horde of speedy, contact-hitting Kansas City Royals clones two Octobers ago?) But last fall’s bullpen craze might be a rare playoff trend with staying power. That’s because the Cubs and Indians’ dominance in relief was just the most visible manifestation of a pattern that’s been building for years.Over the past couple decades, bullpens have become central to teams’ plans. Relievers pitched 33 percent of available innings in 1997; that number reached an all-time high of 37 percent in 2016. More importantly, relievers also generated 24 percent of all pitching wins above replacement (WAR) last season, the most they’ve ever contributed. The latter number has been growing fast in recent seasons, up from just 16 percent as recently as 2005: Are the kids still all right?Kris Bryant burst into baseball in 2015, performing like an All-Star right out of the gate and earning Rookie of the Year honors at age 24. He improved in 2016, elevating his on-base percentage and isolated power on the way to being crowned the National League’s Most Valuable Player (not to mention leading the Cubs to their first World Series title in 108 years).Bryant was emblematic of a larger trend in baseball: the rise of a new generation of talent. Driven by Bryant, Carlos Correa, Francisco Lindor, and a host of other exciting rookies, 2015 featured the lowest average age (weighted by production, as measured by FanGraphs’ wins above replacement) in more than three decades. Will rule changes really speed up the game?MLB unveiled some controversial rules changes this offseason, primarily targeted at speeding up the pace of the game. A couple of new wrinkles concern replays: managers will have only 30 seconds to decide whether to call for a replay, and reviews will be capped at two minutes. The most significant alteration eliminates the ritual of the intentional walk, requiring only a hand signal to send the batter off to first base.The impact of this rule change will be minor because intentional walks are already uncommon and becoming more so. The same goes for the new replay rules, which might shorten a handful of interminable delays per season, but won’t affect most umpire reviews, which don’t last long enough to run into the new restrictions.The real objective in these changes is Rob Manfred’s crusade since becoming commissioner: to speed up the pace of game. But if that’s the goal, Manfred is focused on the wrong things. Since 2008, most of the slowdown has come from players taking their sweet time between pitches, not uncommon events like replays and intentional walks. To truly pick up the pace of play, the commissioner will likely need to deploy an even more radical solution, like adding a pitch clock. But doing so would require the cooperation of the players’ union, which doesn’t want to disrupt the current pace. As a result, Manfred will likely have to chew on the edges without ever solving the underlying problem. –Rob The shift’s popularity has exploded since 2011, with each subsequent season setting new records for how frequently it was used. But given all of this shifting, it’s fair to wonder when the tactic will reach its peak — when hitters will have adjusted enough to keep the defense honest by, say, going to the opposite field, or hitting more fly balls, or even dropping down bunts.We probably aren’t there yet. Even though the league’s batting average on balls in play (BABIP) has stayed relatively constant despite the ridiculous uptick in shifting, there’s also evidence that the shift has hampered the production of the players who face it the most. Then again, Cubs manager — and former shift-master — Joe Maddon used the tactic less than anybody else last season, instead employing a pitching staff who induced unusually soft contact to allow the league’s lowest BABIP. If the rest of baseball ends up copying the champs, maybe the shift will reach a high-water mark after all. –Neil Just when it seemed like Tommy John surgery was becoming a generation-defining problem, it has almost disappeared. Many of the ace pitchers who lost a year to the ailment have returned in force, including Darvish, who has regained most of his efficacy. Even when pitchers suffer ligament damage, doctors are increasingly prescribing less disruptive treatments than the operating table.In prior eras, when one pitching injury died down, another one appeared. Before Tommy John, there were more severe shoulder injuries, which claimed many a young pitcher’s career. With one problem solved, we could be waiting for another crisis to begin. But let’s take a rare opportunity to be optimistic: we could be entering a new golden era of pitcher health! Back to the pessimism: That notion should frighten MLB’s hitters. If pitchers don’t need to worry about their shoulders or their elbows, they could dominate hitters like never before. –Rob Will the offensive renaissance continue?The long ball is back. In the last two years, offense has spiked from a three-decade low, a surge powered almost entirely by home run rates reminiscent of the Steroid Era. And no one is sure why.There are theories. Some have proposed that players are attempting to hit more fly balls, which are more likely to get over the fence. Others have suggested that players are using more granular data to improve their swings. But most explanations don’t survive scrutiny.In a series of articles, Ben Lindbergh and I developed the theory that a different ball is the source of the offensive spike. If a juiced ball is to blame, then MLB’s offensive explosion ought to continue. And since MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has made it a priority to increase offense in the league, runs per game may soar even higher. Still, without knowing definitively why offense has spiked, it’s impossible to say whether the trend will continue. –Rob It’s long been known that a pitcher is more effective out of the bullpen than as a starter, so it’s not too surprising that by shifting a greater share of the workload to relievers, managers have gotten more value out of their ’pens. But the gap in effectiveness between the two types of pitchers is also growing at an incredible rate. In 1995, the first season of the post-strike era, relievers and starters posted basically identical fielding independent pitching (FIP) rates. Since 2012, however, the average FIP for relievers (3.79) has been 0.25 points lower than the average for starters (4.04).That quarter of a run quickly begins to add up to wins, especially as relievers are called upon to pitch more and more — and, increasingly, in more important situations. Toss in the fact that there are more hard-throwing relievers than before, as well as more managers like Cleveland’s Terry Francona — who experimented with the kinds of revolutionary bullpen tweaks SABR-heads have been advocating for decades — and we might find ourselves looking back at 2016 not as the year relief pitching peaked, but rather as just another waystation on the road to total bullpen dominance. –NeilCan we finally measure defense?Since the inception of sabermetrics, defense has always stumped the statheads. Without the detailed data — like pitch location and exit velocity — that’s available to measure pitching and hitting, defensive metrics have been unreliable and inaccurate. Adam Eaton was one of the best fielders in baseball in 2016 … and, according to those same metrics, a below-average defender in 2015.But the future of defensive stats looks brighter: MLB’s new Statcast system can measure everything about a defensive play, from the running speed of the fielder to the exact landing point of the ball. Armed with that new data, MLB’s statisticians have crafted impressive new metrics to quantify the difficulty of every outfield catch over the last two seasons, a huge upgrade on the information we had available before. (Kevin Kiermaier, your Gold Gloves appear to be well deserved.)Still, the stats aren’t perfect. They don’t account for the direction the fielder has to run in, which means that they treat running forward the same as backpedaling. They don’t incorporate any information about an outfielders’ throws, so a strong and accurate arm counts for nothing. And they are only available for the outfield. Statcast still has major issues tracking grounders (losing as much as 20 percent of all balls in the dirt), so for now, the much more complex mystery of infield defense remains unsolved.Perhaps the biggest problem with these defensive statistics is that they are not being released in full to the public. While MLB is providing snippets of the data in leaderboards and tweets, the complete data set is being kept under wraps. Front office insiders I’ve spoken to have pointed to issues with the data’s quality and the influence of teams eager to keep their analytics edge as two barriers to the data set’s full release. At a crucial point in Statcast’s development, it’s reasonable to wonder whether the data stream will eventually become fully public (like PITCHf/x) or whether it will remain a tool primarily for the front office (like the NBA’s SportVU camera system). –RobIs the Tommy John era over?Two years ago, we were in the midst of a Tommy John epidemic. Elbow ailments felled major stars like Yu Darvish and laid waste to pitching staffs. But last year, Ben Lindbergh and I noted that Tommy John surgeries had suddenly dropped. And so far this spring — usually the most active time for players to be diagnosed with elbow issues — the scourge of Tommy John has become almost a nonissue. Is pitch framing still worth anything?Pitch framing was once a darling of sabermetrics, a stat and a method by which catchers could prove that they provided more value to their teams than the guys competing for their roster spots. For many of those catchers, all those frames add up to several wins over the course of a season. At least, they used to. Pitch framing might be be losing its value.In recent articles, Fangraphs’ Jeff Sullivan has argued that as more teams have exploited pitch framing, the gap between the best and worst catchers has shrunk. With no absolutely terrible receivers in baseball any more, the average framing skill jumped and the value of being a great framer has declined. Paradoxically, all the attention paid to the significance of pitch framing has made it less significant.In hindsight, the demise of framing seems inevitable. Modern front offices eagerly target undervalued skills until they aren’t undervalued anymore. Once they discovered framing and learned to target or develop the skill, it was only a matter of time before most catchers in baseball became good at it. Rather than being a bonus, pitch framing is now a prerequisite. –Rob Is MLB’s era of parity over?We tend to think parity in sports is a good thing. A more level playing field means a higher chance that any team could win, after all. But there’s a fine line between a league with a healthy competitive balance and one where every team is just plain mediocre. The first days of spring are the perfect time to kick back, relax and get ready for a new MLB season and all the possibilities it might bring. We’ve previewed all six divisions already at FiveThirtyEight, but we still had some deep thoughts about baseball’s Big Questions. That’s why we’ve prepared a guidebook of sorts for what to watch for in 2017, with an eye on where the game is headed. Here are 10 topics we’ll be thinking — and writing — about throughout the season:
OSU women’s soccer players celebrate during a game against Indiana on Sept. 26, 2014. Credit: Lantern File PhotoThe Ohio State women’s soccer team earned a solid victory over the visiting team, Wright State, on Tuesday with a final score of 4-2.With the season just kicking off this month, the Buckeyes are off to a strong start as they enjoy their second victory in the first two games.The game got off to a strong start for OSU, giving the team plenty of momentum. Within the first ten minutes of play, both senior defender Morgan Wolcott and senior defender Bridget Skinner got past Wright State’s goal keeper, giving Skinner her first goal of the season.Throughout the match, OSU was able to consistently maintain possession, as Wright State did everything they could to match the Buckeyes pace.More attempts were made at the goal by Wolcott and OSU senior defender Nicole Miyashiro, but none were successful before the second half began.The game ended up tied 2-2 in the second half, causing the Buckeyes to focus their efforts on taking back the lead.OSU soon took back control of the game when junior midfielder Nikki Walts netted her first goal of the season putting OSU back on top.OSU relentlessly held possession for the rest of the game, adding a goal from junior forward Nya Cason to harness the lead on route to a victory.Coach Lori Walker said after the game that she is excited for the season ahead, having high expectations for the Buckeyes.“The National Championship is something we can shoot for,” she said. “We work on all of our goals each game, game by game. We’ve been doing well against Ohio teams.”Walker also said she was impressed with the performance of the team’s new players.“The [new] players getting more minutes will definitely help later on,” she said.The next home game for the team is on Friday, Sept. 9, when they will face off against Texas State.
Ohio State lost its only commitment in the class of 2018 Saturday when three-star shooting guard Torrence Watson announced via Twitter that he would be re-opening his recruitment.The Whitfield School product from St. Louis cited a desire not to travel so far from home for school as his chief reason for no longer staying committed to the Buckeyes.pic.twitter.com/qVp9t3B5AQ— Torrence Watson (@TorrenceWatson) August 26, 2017The scouting service 247Sports listed Watson as the 123rd-best prospect in the nation on its composite rankings. The site also ranks him 25th-best at his position and the fourth-best recruit in the state of Missouri.Watson received his scholarship offer from the Buckeyes on June 15 and committed on July 10. He had previously received offers from Iowa State, Tulsa, UNLV, West Virginia, Missouri and Vanderbilt. Butler also offered Watson a scholarship on Nov. 6, 2016, when current-Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann was in charge of the team.