Focus on Cincinnati: Can 49ers handle ‘new’ Bengals?

first_imgDon’t be fooled by another Cincinnati loss on Sunday, these aren’t the same Bengals who’ve wallowed in or near the AFC North cellar the past three seasons.Energized by young (36 years old) and innovative head coach Zac Taylor, who was on Sean McVay’s Rams staff the past two years, the surprising Bengals nearly upset the Seahawks in Seattle, ultimately falling 21-20. They’ve got a new-found passing attack, engineered by first-year offensive coordinator Brian Callahan, the former De La Salle …last_img read more

Dumbest Stories of 2013

first_img(Visited 19 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Here’s a review of some of the “Stupid Evolution Quotes of the Week” and dumbest just-so stories from the past year.In January, an evolutionist claimed that “prune fingers” evolved to help our ancestors grip food underwater (1/10/13).  Another  claimed that lip-smacking in macaques led to human language (1/14/13).  Others claimed that tiny bubbles of fat led to the origin of life; another supported a theory of survival of the dumbest (1/23/13).In February, we were told we are descendants of “a fuzzy, bug-eating, scampering critter” (2/11/13).  Another story claims that ultraviolet vision in birds evolved 11 times, and the appendix evolved in mammals 32 separate times (2/12/13).  Nick Lane said “Life is a side reaction of an energy-harnessing reaction,” claiming the complex ATP synthase machine evolved because life needed it (2/13/13).  On Valentine’s Day, evolutionists told us love is just a cocktail of chemicals (2/14/13).  We also learned about the Mighty Mouse theory of evolution (2/15/13) and the evolution of tatooing (2/19/13).In March (3/13/13), paleoanthropologists enjoyed another romp in Paleofantasy Land (their favorite amusement park), and Nature considered Mao Tse-tung a fount of wisdom for his “virtue of self-criticism” (3/15/13).  Origin-of-life theorists imagined protein big-bangs and comet storks bringing life to earth (3/20/13).  Some evolutionists told stories about the evolution of gambling; another linked frog feet to the origin of human hair; another said polar bears prove survival of the fattest (3/23/13).In April, we chuckled about the evolution of laughter when they said it came from apes tickling each other (4/08/13).  Lucy and Desi had a falling out on tax day (4/15/13).  Darwinists tried to make the most of an unevolved fish, Coelacanth when its genome suggested to them little change in tens of millions of years (4/18/13).  The “power of the primordial soup” was “discovered” in pools of acid around volcanoes; another deduced that life on earth is older than the earth (4/19/13).  Seven new just-so stories graced our 4/20/13 entry, like How the Fish Got Its Butt Fin; we also announced MIT’s new “BAH! Festival” that mocks evolutionary “Bad Ad-Hoc Hypotheses” in a “survival of the funniest” contest….We’re only to April, and we’re too worn out from laughing to continue.  For the rest of 2013, you’ll have to just scour through the “Dumb” category on your own.  Find it under Awards/Dumb on the category bar.  There were some new entries in late December, though: a Neanderthal fossil turned out to be from a medieval Italian (Live Science), and New Scientist claims that the evolution of cussing is what made us human.You have to admit evolutionists are funny.  The typical Darwinist is half storyteller, half divination artist, and half hallucinating alcoholic (drunk on Darwine).  “But,” you say, “that’s three halves.  A whole has only two halves.”  But it all works out, because if the typical Darwinist had another wit, he or she would be a half-wit.  Happy New Year, Darwin Party: we hope you can learn to laugh at yourselves, because you will undoubtedly keep us in stitches in 2014.  Now tell us the story of the evolution of Darwinism.  Tilt!  Short circuit!last_img read more

Without a nation there is nothing to brand

first_imgNation branding challenges and successes faced by Eastern European countries such as Ukraine, Bulgaria and Kosovo, in the wake of political and social change in the region since 1989, were held up as lessons in nation branding.Professor Nadia Kaneva offered the analysis in a presentation titled “The branded national imagination and its limits: Insights from the post-socialist experience” given at a Brand South Africa Competitiveness Forum for South African academia. Held at the University of Pretoria, Tshwane, on 5 October 2016, the forum aimed at in-depth analysis of global and domestic issues influencing the reputation and competitiveness of the nation’s brand.“As communism was ending, the Romanian flag allowed for a discourse around the future of the Nation” says Dr. Nadia Kaneva @Brand_SA forum pic.twitter.com/31tJ98AQhF— Guido van Garderen (@GuidovGarderen) October 5, 2016Presenting at the event were key academics in the fields of business, humanities and political science, from a host of South African universities and tertiary institutions.The goal of the dialogue is to compile all presentations and contributions into a peer-reviewed journal, with a view to positioning South Africa as a thought leader in nation branding. Key to the success of that journal will be the keynote contribution from Kaneva.Bulgarian-born Kaneva is an associate professor in the University of Denver’s media, film and journalism faculty. She is a globally respected and widely published researcher who uses critical sociology and media studies to dissect the commercialisation of politics and culture in Eastern Europe through nation branding and reputation-building.Kaneva’s ultimate conclusion – that in order to be more effective, an imagined nation brand should align closer to and more realistically to the changes in the nation and its people – was honed through extensive research on radical changes in Romania after the fall of communism, post-conflict Kosovo during the 2000s and the relationship between Ukraine and Russia as recently as three years ago.The lessons learnt in the research can be just as easily applied to any nation brand, especially for emerging economies like South Africa, she says.In introducing Kaneva, University of Pretoria deputy dean of humanities Professor Maxi Schoeman highlighted the importance of getting an outsider view on building South Africa’s brand internationally, someone objective enough to weigh up the differences and similarities between the country and nations with similar histories.The science and application of nation branding was now very much part of mainstream academia and an essential tool for governance, Kaneva said at the start of her presentation. As a legitimate interdisciplinary field, the study of nation branding included elements of media and marketing ideas, anthropological study, business theory and sociology.Yet, Kaneva argued, developing and managing a national brand and reputation would always be a highly political and therefore delicate process, the success of which did not always lie in the area of savvy marketing or critical theory.This was evident in post-socialist Eastern Europe countries experiencing the swift changes of political and economic experiments, Kaneva said.Extensive global multichannel marketing campaigns by Romania and Kosovo highlighted each country’s promise in its people and economics in a vastly depoliticised way, focusing on things such as tourism and investment and replacing a more realistic national identity with something more market-oriented, in other words, what “the outside world wanted to see”.In 2009, two years after gaining independence, Kosovo’s first attempt at marketing the country to the outside world was in the form of a television commercial, The Young Europeans. While carrying a positive message of reconciliation and cultural tolerance as well as an eagerness to partake economically in the European Union, it told little about the country and its people to outsiders (investors, tourists) that would differentiate it from any other European nation.While initially successful, there was a negative reaction from citizens, who felt misrepresented by this imagined nation brand. As Kaneva says, a rejection of idealised, imagined branding is ultimately counter-productive to what a country brand really wants to achieve.Watch The Young Europeans:At the crux of the argument, Kaneva says, is honesty with the nation brand, creating an identity that can actually be recognised by the people it is supposed to be representing.Offering solutions to link the imagined nation brand closer to reality, Kaneva highlighted the following:Recognise that nation branding has a political element and embrace it, with all its shortcomings and diversities.Invest in programmes and policy that encourages and grows both citizen engagement and development in the nation and its brand: let people inform the national message.Look beyond the data of perception ratings to formulate effective nation brand evaluation and measurement: outside views, particularly those formulated with data, are important, but other research models are necessary to get the complete picture of a nation.Diminish the focus and use of transnational mass media nation brand advertising; look to niche marketing opportunities for creating a truer, most consistent national image and reputation.Concluding her presentation, Kaneva said that reconstructing and refreshing national identities, particularly for nations with a history of significant political and societal transformation, should always consider the transformations of the people it represented, adding that, “without a nation there will be nothing to brand”.Download full presentationSouthAfrica.info reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SouthAfrica.info materiallast_img read more

Take steps to help women in crisis: NGO to Goa govt.

first_imgPANAJI: Taking a cue from the recent case in which a woman was found confined to a room by her family for years, Bailancho Saad, a women’s collective which played a role in her rescue, has demanded measures such as expediting the formation of a one-stop crisis centre for women and child victims of violence and abuse.The case of Sunita Verlekar, who was locked in a room with the stench of urine, without clothes or electricity, and infested with mosquitoes, has brought to the fore the violation of human rights of women, said Sabina Martins of Bailancho Saad at a press conference on Sunday. Ms. Martins said Ms. Verlekar, who studied up to Class XII (commerce), was married, but was sent back to her maternal home. Family members said she was confined because her mental condition was not stable. A medical examination found her psychologically and physically stable to be admitted to the State-run shelter home of Provedoria, Public Assistance Department. She received ₹2,000 per month from the Dayanand Social Security Scheme in her bank account, which was being withdrawn. This aspect is under investigation, Ms. Martins said. Bailancho Saad has said the government should periodically check the living conditions of people who are termed mentally unstable. Ms. Martins said there should be a mechanism to check if the money from welfare schemes reaches beneficiaries. Ms. Martins also urged the government to expedite setting up the one-stop crisis centre and the State Resource Centre for Women, funds for both of which have been provided by the Central government.last_img read more

Key accused in Akshardham temple attack held

first_imgMore than 15 years after the attack on Akshardam temple in Gandhinagar, the Ahmedabad crime branch on Saturday arrested key accused Ajmeri Abdul Rashid, who had allegedly hatched the conspiracy and fled to Riyadh after the attack.Acquitted by SCRashid is one of the 28 absconding accused in the case and was arrested by the Crime Branch from the city airport as he was returning from Riyadh. His brother Adam Ajmeri was also a key accused. Rashid was awarded the death sentence by the trial court, but the Supreme Court acquitted him along with a few others.In 2014, the Supreme Court had acquitted all six accused who were convicted by the trial court for the terror attack in September 2002. Over 30 pilgrims were gunned down by two terrorists who were subsequently killed by the National Security Guards (NSG) commandos specially flown in from the national capital. Of those six accused, three were awarded the death sentence by the special trial court in 2006 and the Gujarat High Court had confirmed it in 2010.The Supreme Court had slammed the Gujarat police for shoddy investigation in the sensational terror attack case.Interestingly, Ajmeri’s arrest comes two days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the Akshardham temple’s silver jubilee celebrations on Wednesday in Gandhinagar.last_img read more

Terrell Owens To Get Tryout With Seahawks

Maybe there is another shot at the NFL out there for Terrell Owens, the six-time Pro Bowl receiver whose knee injury and disruptive behavior has kept him out of the league the last two years. Reports are flying that the Seattle Seahawks are looking to bring in the troubled Owens for a tryout. The Seahawks are desperate for receiver help, with only Sidney Rice and Doug Baldwin are reliable options at the position.However, Owens tweeted Sunday night that the rumors he would visit Seattle are “not true.”Why Owens would deny reports is a mystery, especially since the Seahawks confirmed a report from KJR-AM in Seattle late Sunday night that Owens would be working out for the Seahawks on Monday. The team is off Monday before returning to practice Tuesday.Owens needs an opportunity in the worst way. He is 38 years old. He has publicly admitted that he has squandered his career earnings made while playing in the NFL.And just two weeks ago, an Atlanta judge threatened him with jail time if he does not make good on back child support.Owens has not played in the NFL since the 2010 season with the Cincinnati Bengals, when he caught 72 passes for 983 yards and nine touchdowns. Things quickly fell apart for Owens during that offseason. He could not find a team to offer him a contract to play even a portion of the 2011 season.He did have 35 catches for 420 yards and 10 touchdowns while playing eight of 11 games for the Allen Wranglers of the Indoor Football League. He was cut and lost an ownership stake in the team in May.Owens clearly still wants to play, though some of that could be financially related with his vast having money problems. But his antics and mouth have prevented teams from even granting him a tryout, which really means, “He isn’t worth the trouble.” read more

201516 NBA Preview The Raptors Are Lucky They Play In An Awful

And here’s what’s in store for the key Raptors in 2015-16 (and beyond): If he can keep taking so many threes, and hitting them, Patrick Patterson will be a valuable kickout option. Jonas Valanciunas is just 23 and has improved his scoring rate each year he has been in the league, but the careers of some of his most comparable big men never really took off. The team’s offseason upgrades could cost Terrence Ross playing time if he doesn’t show big improvement in his fourth season. In a league enamored with dunks, layups and 3-pointers, DeMar DeRozan is a throwback — and not in a good way. He took 57 percent of his shots between 10 feet from the basket and the 3-point line last season — a career high — and hit a career-low 36 percent of them. He was Toronto’s only player to average 20 points per game, but also the least efficient scorer of any 20-point guy in the league. The Raptors need him to take better shots and share more of the offensive burden. Kyle Lowry followed up an excellent 2013-14 season with a better showing to begin last season, as the Raptors started 24-7. But his production fell off dramatically in the second half of the season, and he shot dreadfully in the playoffs. Many of the guards CARMELO sees as most similar to Lowry had already peaked by his age. DeMarre Carroll is the priciest new Raptor, at $60 million over four years. His defense and efficient shooting should help. But none of his previous five NBA teams have asked him to take many shots, and those he has taken usually have been created for him. It’s unclear whether he’ll generate the kind of offense commensurate with a $15 million average annual salary. We’re inaugurating our NBA player projection system, CARMELO, with 2015-16 season previews for every team in the league. Check out the teams we’ve already previewed here. Learn more about CARMELO here. Last season’s Toronto Raptors set a franchise record for wins for the second successive season — then exited the playoffs in the first round for the second successive season, leaving the franchise stuck at just one playoff series win in its 20-year history. So while standing pat this year might have sufficed to win the putrid Atlantic Division for the third straight season, Raptors management instead shook things up, adding new talent to complement a core of 20-somethings that includes Kyle Lowry and Patrick Patterson. The new Raptors, including DeMarre Carroll and Bismack Biyombo, should be particularly valuable in shoring up the team’s shaky defense, which was by far the worst in the postseason at preventing opponents from hitting shots. Toronto’s offense will remain its strength, though it’s not clear who leads the O and who will take the biggest shots: DeMar DeRozan, Toronto’s leading scorer last year, hits too low a percentage of his shots to be the star of a playoff team.FiveThirtyEight’s CARMELO thinks the Raptors will clear .500, but not by much, projecting them to go 44-38: Bismack Biyombo should improve Toronto’s shot-blocking, which ranked near the bottom of the NBA last season.Read more: 2015-16 NBA Previews read more

Baseball Is Finally Realizing That The Save Is Dumb

Baseball’s trade deadline last week provided a referendum on how much value relief pitchers have in today’s game. And the results were fairly clear: Teams just don’t care about saves as much as they used to.This season, we’ve been using our new relief pitching statistic, the goose egg, to track how bullpens are used. And the way relievers are deployed has, in fact, changed. Although it hasn’t been quite as dramatic as, say, the widespread adaptation of the defensive shift in baseball, there’s at least some evidence of teams using their best relief pitchers in smarter ways — using them in the highest-leverage situations, regardless of whether or not a save is on the line. Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, who has been the best relief pitcher in baseball this season, is one prominent example. He often enters games in situations that the goose egg rewards but the save does not — such as when the score is tied, or anytime before the ninth inning.1Yes, a reliever can get a save if he enters the game before the ninth inning and finishes the game. But he doesn’t get any extra credit for pitching extra innings. And he doesn’t get a save if another pitcher closes out the game. (A goose egg is essentially a clutch, scoreless relief inning.)But a series of deadline trades provided evidence on the diminished value that teams place on saves. Plenty of relief pitchers were traded, but teams were seemingly indifferent about whether the pitchers they’d acquired had accumulated high save totals or not. Take the Twins’ Brandon Kintzler, for example, who was picked up by the Washington Nationals for minor-league pitching prospect Tyler Watson and international bonus pool money. Kintzler was second in the American League with 28 saves, and the Nationals have struggled to close out games all season — so you might have expected them to give up a king’s ransom for him. Instead they gave up … Watson, who had been the Nationals’ 27th best prospect before the season and had a 4.35 ERA in Single-A at the time he was dealt.Other pitchers with high save totals, such as the Padres’ Brandon Maurer’ and the Marlins’ A.J. Ramos, didn’t fetch high prices, either. The prospects the Mets gave up for Ramos — pitcher Merandy Gonzalez and outfielder Ricardo Cespedes — were rated No. 14 and No. 23 in their system by Baseball America before the year began. The Mets also traded their own interim closer, Addison Reed, to Boston, nabbing three prospects; but none of them ranked higher than No. 20 in the Red Sox system. It’s not that the teams are giving up nothing for saves, exactly. But we’re a long ways removed from the days of the (infamous) Heathcliff Slocumb trade, when even mediocre closers could bring an elite prospect or two in return.And teams aren’t necessarily privileging the closer’s old role when he switches teams. Kintzler isn’t expected to close many games in Washington; instead, he’s the No. 2 or No. 3 option in the bullpen behind Sean Doolittle, who had just three saves for the A’s at the time he was acquired in July. Maurer will only be the third option in the Royals’ bullpen. Ramos will close out games for the Mets, but only because regular closer Jeurys Familia is hurt and Reed was traded.If teams are looking to goose eggs for guidance instead of saves, the National League leaders are Jansen and the Brewers’ Corey Knebel, who have 33 goose eggs each. Cleveland’s Andrew Miller leads the AL with 31 goose eggs, but he’s now injured, which could allow Tampa Bay’s Alex Colome (30 goose eggs) or Seattle’s Edwin Diaz (29 goose eggs) to pass him.Jansen has been by far the most effective reliever in baseball, as measured by goose wins above replacement (GWAR). He’s maintained a perfect record on the season with no broken eggs,2Jansen did have one rough outing last month, yielding three runs in a game against the Braves, but those didn’t come in a goose situation. our term for when a pitcher has an opportunity for a goose egg but allows an earned run instead, and 33 goose eggs — good for 4.8 GWAR. Miller leads the AL with 3.2 GWAR. A complete rundown of goose statistics follows in the table below. Domingo GermanNYY010-0.4 Arodys VizcainoATL1962+0.6 PITCHER▲▼TEAM▲▼GOOSE EGGS▲▼BROKEN EGGS▲▼MEHS▲▼GWAR▲▼ Cody AllenCLE1863+0.7 Jose TorresSD441-0.9 Jayson AquinoBAL010-0.4 Hector SantiagoMIN010-0.4 Matt BarnesBOS1663+0.4 Daniel StumpfDET214-0.1 Trevor RosenthalSTL2471+0.9 Dan AltavillaSEA331-0.7 Vidal NunoBAL010-0.4 T. J. McFarlandARI621+0.2 Blake TreinenOAK/WAS1061-0.7 Joe KellyBOS724+0.4 Craig KimbrelBOS2340+2.2 Luis GarciaPHI742-0.4 Josh EdginNYM525+0.0 Dan OteroCLE200+0.3 Jeff BeliveauTOR111-0.2 Jake BarrettARI203+0.3 Adam KolarekTB021-0.7 Ryne StanekTB013-0.4 Francisco LirianoHOU020-0.7 Justin GrimmCHC301+0.4 Brett CecilSTL1443+0.6 Wade DavisCHC2011+2.6 Miguel CastroBAL101+0.2 Dellin BetancesNYY1851+1.0 Ryan TeperaTOR2030+2.0 Josh CollmenterATL020-0.7 Danny BarnesTOR742-0.4 George KontosSF863-1.1 Al AlburquerqueKC010-0.4 Mike DunnCOL1002+1.6 Warwick SaupoldDET112-0.2 Rex BrothersATL321-0.3 Yovani GallardoSEA100+0.2 Sergio RomoLAD/TB330-0.7 Brian DuensingCHC300+0.4 Caleb SmithNYY110-0.2 Ian KrolATL623+0.2 Drew StorenCIN323-0.3 Greg HollandCOL2330+2.7 Hunter StricklandSF1741+1.0 Robert GsellmanNYM210-0.1 Joe SmithTOR1611+2.1 Anthony SwarzakCHW/MIL1610+2.0 Brad HandSD2845+2.6 Robert StephensonCIN220-0.4 Hoby MilnerPHI001+0.0 J. C. RamirezLAA020-0.7 Check out our latest MLB predictions. Brent SuterMIL001+0.0 Tommy HunterTB1821+2.0 Ken GilesHOU1233+0.7 Justin WilsonCHC/DET2251+1.5 Corey KnebelMIL3362+2.7 Brad ZieglerMIA512+0.4 Nick VincentSEA2025+2.3 Matt BushTEX1662+0.4 Jordan LylesCOL210+0.0 Brad PeacockHOU101+0.1 Carl EdwardsCHC1563+0.0 Tyler DuffeyMIN1032+0.4 Andrew ChafinARI266-1.9 Jesse ChavezLAA010-0.4 Sean DoolittleOAK/WAS1125+0.9 Joe BiaginiTOR932+0.3 Dominic LeoneTOR426-0.1 Jhan MarinezMIL/PIT320-0.3 Mike MontgomeryCHC1321+1.2 Bryan MitchellNYY010-0.4 Enny RomeroWAS1346+0.4 Adam OttavinoCOL1373-0.4 Bryan MorrisSF300+0.4 Santiago CasillaOAK1672-0.2 Yusmeiro PetitLAA1112+1.3 Doug FisterBOS420-0.1 Wandy PeraltaCIN1131+0.5 Erasmo RamirezTB712+0.7 Tyler WilsonBAL111-0.2 Deolis GuerraLAA720+0.3 Wade LeBlancPIT232-0.8 Sammy SolisWAS120-0.6 Derek LawSF1131+0.5 Ryan GartonTB030-1.1 Tyler PillNYM010-0.4 Brad BoxbergerTB231-0.8 Matt AlbersWAS924+0.6 Seung-hwan OhSTL2154+1.2 Mychal GivensBAL1633+1.4 Michael FelizHOU110-0.2 Jake PetrickaCHW202+0.3 Pedro StropCHC1313+1.5 Paul SewaldNYM642-0.6 Kyle RyanDET210-0.1 Albert SuarezSF310+0.1 Liam HendriksOAK951-0.5 Chad GreenNYY022-0.7 Tony ZychSEA843-0.3 Erik GoeddelNYM110-0.2 Jason GrilliTEX/TOR433-0.5 Koda GloverWAS822+0.4 Taylor RogersMIN1863+0.5 Keone KelaTEX832+0.2 Adam WarrenNYY831+0.2 Frankie MontasOAK110-0.2 Darren O’DayBAL932+0.3 Cory GearrinSF831+0.1 Alec AsherBAL311+0.1 Chris HatcherLAD121-0.6 Dovydas NeverauskasPIT200+0.3 Carlos TorresMIL643-0.6 Sam FreemanATL712+0.7 Phil MatonSD711+0.7 Eric O’FlahertyATL211-0.1 Jose LeclercTEX723+0.4 Mike BolsingerTOR310+0.1 Koji UeharaCHC1553+0.3 Ryan PresslyMIN421-0.1 Edwin DiazSEA2952+2.5 Wily PeraltaMIL120-0.6 Ernesto FrieriTEX010-0.4 Aaron BummerCHW120-0.6 James PazosSEA1034+0.4 Jeurys FamiliaNYM412+0.2 Craig BreslowMIN010-0.4 David HernandezARI/LAA1213+1.4 Dario AlvarezTEX201+0.3 Chad QuallsCOL210+0.0 Kelvin HerreraKC2352+1.8 Shawn KelleyWAS620+0.1 Josh OsichSF325-0.3 Joe JimenezDET010-0.4 Steven OkertSF648-0.6 Matt BelisleMIN1633+1.3 Giovanny GallegosNYY010-0.4 Marc RzepczynskiSEA816+0.8 Craig StammenSD301+0.4 Mark LeiterPHI010-0.4 Ross StriplingLAD641-0.6 Tony SippHOU110-0.2 Grant DaytonLAD112-0.2 Luis AvilanLAD424-0.2 Zach PutnamCHW200+0.3 Pedro BaezLAD1146+0.1 Oliver PerezWAS514+0.4 Travis WoodKC331-0.6 Chris RusinCOL833+0.2 Jacob TurnerWAS520+0.0 Kevin QuackenbushSD120-0.6 Buddy BaumannSD111-0.2 Josh SmithOAK200+0.3 Juan NicasioPIT1068-0.7 Fernando SalasNYM554-1.1 Miguel SocolovichSTL101+0.1 Hansel RoblesNYM742-0.5 Fernando AbadBOS501+0.8 Dan JenningsCHW/TB248-1.2 Chris DevenskiHOU1785-0.5 Jake JunisKC200+0.3 Donnie HartBAL313+0.1 Aroldis ChapmanNYY1312+1.7 Francis MartesHOU110-0.2 Rafael MonteroNYM131-1.0 Oliver DrakeMIL421-0.1 Tony CingraniCIN423-0.1 Daniel CoulombeOAK234-0.8 Kevin SiegristSTL812+0.8 Randall DelgadoARI500+0.8 Chase WhitleyTB641-0.6 Jason MotteATL212-0.1 David RobertsonCHW/NYY1951+1.0 Brandon MaurerKC/SD1870+0.1 Alex ClaudioTEX1535+1.3 Adam MorganPHI200+0.3 Mike MinorKC1743+1.2 Luke JacksonATL100+0.1 Fernando RodneyARI2243+1.9 Ryan MadsonOAK/WAS1831+1.6 Addison ReedBOS/NYM2555+1.8 Matt StrahmKC231-0.8 Sam DysonSF/TEX1982-0.1 Dustin McGowanMIA311+0.1 Nick GoodyCLE001+0.0 Matt GraceWAS112-0.2 Aaron LoupTOR327-0.3 Richard BleierBAL411+0.3 Chris YoungKC100+0.2 Ty BlachSF101+0.1 Evan ScribnerSEA020-0.7 Jumbo DiazTB653-0.9 Andrew KittredgeTB110-0.2 Joe BlantonWAS320-0.3 Ben HellerNYY101+0.2 Jeanmar GomezPHI721+0.3 Sam TuivailalaSTL320-0.3 Ronald HerreraNYY010-0.4 Daniel HudsonPIT644-0.6 Rubby De La RosaARI011-0.4 Bruce RondonDET420-0.1 Tyler ClippardCHW/NYY897-2.0 Drew SteckenriderMIA210-0.1 Alex ColomeTB3063+2.3 Tony BarnetteTEX630-0.1 Hector RondonCHC931+0.2 Jake McGeeCOL1042+0.2 Pat NeshekCOL/PHI1925+2.1 Drew VerHagenDET210-0.1 Goose stats through Aug. 6, 2017 Blaine HardyDET121-0.6 Zach BrittonBAL800+1.2 Justin HaleyMIN110-0.2 Austin BriceCIN300+0.5 Ryan DullOAK523+0.0 Kyle BarracloughMIA1341+0.4 Carlos EstevezCOL100+0.2 Nate JonesCHW410+0.2 Logan VerrettBAL400+0.6 Diego MorenoTB010-0.4 Jacob BarnesMIL2373+0.9 Roberto OsunaTOR2271+0.9 Neftali FelizKC/MIL1050-0.3 Josh FieldsLAD342-1.1 Michael LorenzenCIN2341+2.0 Junichi TazawaMIA530-0.4 Jared HughesMIL941-0.1 Source: Seamheads.com Hector NerisPHI2053+1.1 Alex WoodLAD301+0.4 Jose AlvaradoTB743-0.4 Chris BeckCHW012-0.4 Ryan BuchterKC/SD1463-0.2 David PhelpsMIA/SEA1683-0.6 Matthew BowmanSTL1654+0.5 Stefan ChrichtonBAL010-0.4 Tanner ScheppersTEX101+0.2 Scott AlexanderKC321-0.3 Luke GregersonHOU752-0.8 Mike MorinLAA101+0.2 Jean MachiSEA101+0.2 Brooks PoundersLAA100+0.2 Antonio BastardoPIT010-0.4 AJ RamosMIA1542+0.7 Blake ParkerLAA1531+1.2 Joaquin BenoitPHI/PIT16100-1.3 Casey FienPHI/SEA320-0.3 Kevin McCarthyKC100+0.2 Lucas HarrellTOR001+0.0 Nick WittgrenMIA611+0.5 Heath HembreeBOS945+0.0 Josh SmokerNYM723+0.3 Tom WilhelmsenARI112-0.2 Will HarrisHOU1630+1.3 Robby ScottBOS329-0.2 Joakim SoriaKC2572+1.3 Kenyan MiddletonLAA310+0.1 Ben TaylorBOS101+0.2 Cam BedrosianLAA633-0.2 Mark MelanconSF940-0.2 Jose RamirezATL1442+0.6 Shane GreeneDET1534+1.2 Josh HaderMIL202+0.3 J. P. HowellTOR010-0.4 Brock StewartLAD200+0.3 Blaine BoyerBOS510+0.4 PITCHER▲▼TEAM▲▼GOOSE EGGS▲▼BROKEN EGGS▲▼MEHS▲▼GWAR▲▼ Miguel DiazSD010-0.4 Zach McAllisterCLE111-0.2 Buddy BoshersMIN010-0.4 John AxfordOAK120-0.6 Rob ScahillMIL110-0.2 Boone LoganCLE104+0.2 Kirby YatesLAA/SD831+0.1 Robbie RossBOS100+0.2 Jeremy JeffressTEX131-0.9 Scott ObergCOL623+0.3 Jonathan HolderNYY611+0.6 Trevor HildenbergerMIN310+0.1 Jonathan BroxtonSTL120-0.6 A. J. SchugelPIT100+0.1 Francisco RodriguezDET382-2.5 Parker BridwellLAA001+0.0 John BrebbiaSTL001+0.0 Tony WatsonLAD/PIT2274+0.7 J. J. HooverARI632-0.2 Jarlin GarciaMIA002+0.0 Steve CishekSEA/TB512+0.4 Jim JohnsonATL1983-0.1 Brandon MorrowLAD330-0.7 Greg InfanteCHW011-0.4 Archie BradleyARI2245+1.9 Chasen ShreveNYY623+0.2 Brad BrachBAL2341+2.1 James HoytHOU110-0.2 Casey LawrenceTOR010-0.4 Alex WilsonDET1165-0.5 Felipe RiveroPIT3132+3.5 Tommy KahnleCHW/NYY1471-0.5 Andrew MillerCLE3152+3.2 Chase De JongSEA010-0.4 Kenley JansenLAD3301+4.8 Akeel MorrisATL001+0.0 Xavier CedenoTB013-0.4 Jerry BlevinsNYM1447+0.6 Simon CastroOAK010-0.4 Joely RodriguezPHI524+0.0 Peter MoylanKC803+1.2 Brandon WorkmanBOS410+0.3 Jose AlvarezLAA553-1.1 Bud NorrisLAA1671-0.2 Asher WojciechowskiCIN100+0.2 Johnny BarbatoPIT010-0.4 Emilio PaganSEA120-0.6 Ricardo PintoPHI011-0.4 Austin PruittTB300+0.5 Neil RamirezNYM012-0.4 Tyler LyonsSTL012-0.4 Chad BellDET001+0.0 Raisel IglesiasCIN2410+3.2 Adam ConleyMIA010-0.4 Hector VelazquezBOS400+0.6 Jorge De La RosaARI1151-0.1 Brandon KintzlerMIN2244+1.9 Blake WoodCIN231-0.8 Gabriel YnoaBAL001+0.0 Danny FarquharTB832+0.1 Edubray RamosPHI3110-3.6 Bryan ShawCLE1744+1.3 Jandel GustaveHOU010-0.4 read more

NCAA Tournament expansion Additional bids benefit everyone

The NCAA basketball tournament should expand to 96 teams. It’s the obvious choice.Although it’s only in the discussion phase, the possible expansion from the traditional 65-team tournament to either 68 or 96 teams has its advantages.However, if the NCAA is going to complicate things, why bother with 68 teams? Go straight to 96.There are 347 Division I teams, only 18 percent of which receive a bid to the NCAA Tournament.The expansion would allow for 28 percent of teams to receive bids, and between both the NCAA and NIT tournaments, 37 percent would receive bids.I understand the prestige that comes with a bid, but why not share that honor with more players? To the majority of players who don’t continue their career into the NBA, this is the highest honor they will receive.The expansion doesn’t undermine the exclusiveness of the tournament because it will still exclude much more than half of the teams.It would still place an emphasis on the regular season as well. The pressure during the regular season has room to intensify when an NCAA bid is on the line.Conference champions will be rewarded with automatic bids as usual.Then there are teams who are consistently offered a bid but, because of a mediocre season, they become a team on the bubble.A perfect example is Ohio State. The Buckeyes didn’t make it to the 2008 NCAA tournament but received a No. 1 seed in the NIT tournament.If you look at the recent winners of the NIT, they are almost always a powerhouse school. In the last 22 years, only twice has a team from a mid-major conference won the NIT.The expansion would ensure that teams that are able to compete at the same level are given that opportunity.Smaller conferences have teams worthy of a seed and the expansion allows them to have more than one team make it. Keeping the strongest schools together in the big tournament reserves the NIT for smaller schools that simply can’t compete with the big dogs.Sure, the expansion will create obvious underdogs, but it’s the underdogs that add to the “madness” that is March Madness. Without them, there wouldn’t be Cinderella stories.To the powerhouses of the NCAA, there’s no reason to shy away from the expansion. The competition will be nearly the same. If anything, those powerhouses will be protected from big upsets by a first or second round bye.In the event that the Big Ten expands as well, Ohio State has one more competitor in the race for the Big Ten title. For the growing sport and the growing conference, the expansion is inevitable. read more

Opinion Johnny Manziel should keep starting for Browns in 2015

Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel(2) throws the ball away under pressure by New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams (92) during the NFL game between the Cleveland Browns and the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The New York Jets won 31-10. Credit: Courtesy of TNSJohnny Manziel should be the Cleveland Browns’ starting quarterback for the rest of 2015, regardless of Josh McCown’s health and availability for Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans and Manziel’s performance in that game and beyond. The reasoning is rather simple. Cleveland spent a first-round pick on the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner and it needs to find out whether Manziel will be gold for an organization that has been looking for their franchise quarterback since 1999 or if he will be pyrite. Manziel was originally the backup to McCown all throughout training camp and leading up to the Browns’ season opener against the New York Jets on Sunday.But late in the first quarter, McCown sustained a concussion while diving for a touchdown on a play that ended up being the complete opposite of everything John Elway’s helicopter play was in the 1998 Super Bowl. McCown fumbled inches before crossing the goal line and suffered the concussion that could potentially keep him out of Sunday’s game. Into the game came Manziel, whose performance oscillated between dynamic and dull over the final three quarters. There was his 54-yard laser throw to Travis Benjamin for a touchdown on his first series and the 14-yard scramble for a first down in the fourth quarter. He also had two 20-plus yard runs that got called back due to penalties. But there were many dull moments too, such as the off-target short pass to Brian Hartline that was intercepted and the two strip-sack fumbles late in the game. It was not necessarily a good showing but it was progress, considering the former Texas A&M sensation was nothing short of egregious in the two season starts he made for the Browns late in 2014. After coming to terms with that fact that the callous preparation and backyard-like play style that thrust him into fame during his two collegiate seasons would not work against NFL defenses, Manziel made offseason changes. He checked himself into rehab, worked with private coaches — including ESPN’s Jon Gruden — and improved his film study habits. The Browns’ coaching staff had praised his progression, which was displayed at times against the Jets, but they were content on McCown being their starter. The logic behind wanting to start the veteran — who inked a 3-year, $14 million deal in February — is understood. Let the 36-year-old veteran, who has played for nine different NFL teams since being drafted in 2002, act as a stop-gap quarterback in 2015 (and maybe beyond) to fill the vacancy while Manziel’s development persists or they locate another guy they think could be their franchise quarterback.McCown had looked good in camp and especially on the first drive against the Jets but his ceiling — as well as the Browns’ — is low.Even if McCown played out-of-this-galaxy good in 2015, Cleveland still has a swiss cheese-like run defense, a receiving corp that lacks reliable talent and no starting running back.If every domino fell in place with McCown at the helm, this Browns team would have, at best, been 7-9 or 8-8 — which would likely not be good enough to make the playoffs but rather good enough secure a middle-of-the-road draft pick. Due to his age, McCown is nothing more than a short-term plug for the gaping hole that the Browns have historically had at quarterback. It’s not that the Browns should just give up on 2015 and start Manziel, but the organization needs to see what type of signal caller the 2014 first-rounder can be. He’s exhibited enough progress in camp, preseason games and against the Jets to deserve a shot at proving himself. Backing up McCown could benefit Manziel, but the best way to see if the work he has put in can translate to NFL success is to let him play, not hold a clipboard. He will struggle by missing opening receivers, throwing picks and fumbling. But he will probably throw more passes that resemble the 54-yarder to Benjamin and scramble for more first downs. By playing him in 2015, the coaching staff will have a large sample size to know if improved Manziel is good enough to be their franchise quarterback. If not, they will have to continue their search. Maybe that search will end with some guy named Cardale Jones. read more