Cool Hand Rick

first_imgLet’s face it, I am imprisoned.Granted, I have it pretty good here, though I’ve never stayed at another prison so I have nothing to compare it to.I became pretty familiar with the old Sag Harbor jail, though. Back in the day things were pretty wild, half the town used to stay out until 4 AM drinking and carrying on.It wasn’t unusual to get thrown in the drunk tank, which was right outside the back door of the Sandbar (now Page’s) near Murf’s. The stand-alone brick building is still there, I think.They used it for decades rather than transport prisoners all the way to Southampton like they do now. But it was my idea to make it functional, that is to make it a center square seat for the night’s activities.A friend told me, in the old days, one of the town drunks worked it so a brick could be removed. One night I snuck in and found the weak one. You could drink literally in jail and even run up a tab, since it was difficult to exchange cash. I can remember being up all night and bringing my friend in the clink bacon, egg and cheese sandwich from Eddie Ryder’s luncheonette across the street the next morning. He had no sooner wolfed it down when a cop came by with a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich, also courtesy of Eddie’s; Seems the police were required to provide a meal every eight hours. “Bail” usually meant if you claimed to be sober and promised not to do it again you could go home. And so, you did — until the next Saturday night.That was the summer I met Paul Newman. It wasn’t in the Sandbar but across the street, at Jim Black’s (The Buoy). Newman liked to play pool on the tiny table there, which didn’t even quite fit — there was a tiny pool cue the size of a yard stick for when the wall got in the way. We played for money or beer, but not a lot. There were some good pool players in town.Newman was good, too. Word is he taught himself to play for his role in “The Hustler” and made his own shots in the movie. Not to be outdone Jackie Gleason, who played Minnesota Fats, did likewise. They say the two of them had a few games “just for fun” that ran into five figures and the wee hours.Newman hung around Sag Harbor the whole summer with his wife, Joanne Woodward. They lived in the modest house across the street from Cleveland’s, which became Federico’s.He was a cool guy, and had those blue eyes. He was short, though. Most male Hollywood stars I’ve met are like that — five-foot five or six. They have rugged good looks on camera but are diminutive off. If they ever got in a fight with a Nazi in real life, they would get slaughtered.A couple times the guys went by the house late at night and beeped the horn, trying to get him to come out drinking. He’d come to the door. “Naw, not tonight guys,” he’d say, and wave.One night he couldn’t shake someone’s dog at closing time so he took the critter home. The dog spent the night on the bed and walked home the next morning. The dog became a celebrity when people found out what had happened.Anyhow, now that I’m in jail I’ve been boning up on the best prison movies. Most people think “The Shawshank Redemption” and “The Green Mile” are the best, but I like all the Alcatraz movies, and even Stallone’s “Escape” movies. But “Papillon” and “Cool Hand Luke” are my two favorites. Newman is the coolest prisoner ever, even though his “failure to communicate” gets him in a lot of trouble. (I don’t think he ate 50 eggs, either.) He did say he liked the company in solitary confinement.In “Papillon,” there is a moment when Steve McQueen walks by solitary confinement and an inmate who had been trapped in the cell for a year sticks his head out into light. He was hideous looking after a year of confinement, his teeth rotting and face peeling. “Hey, how do I look?” he asked McQueen, who is visibly taken back by the sight. “Fine,” he mumbles. Then he steps into his solitary cell.That’s the way I feel [email protected] Sharelast_img read more

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Real Madrid Deserved More From Clasico Clash- Vazquez

first_imgFollowing Real Madrid’s Clasico clash with Barcelona, Lucas Vazquez believes the visitors deserved more than just a draw in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semifinals at the Nou Camp.Vazquez was on the score sheet for Real Madrid as they secured a 1-1 draw against eternal rivals Barcelona.It was Madrid who took the lead early in the sixth minute when Vazquez put the ball beyond Ter Stegen from a Karim Benzema square play, but Malcom equalised in the 58th minute to earn Barcelona a draw.Lucas Vazquez though was not completely satisfied after the match.“It’s a bittersweet feeling because the team deserved more,” Vazquez told reporters. “I’m thrilled to have got the goal and helped the team but we lacked that little bit to go on and win it.“I’ll take away our efforts for 90 minutes because everyone ran hard and worked with real intensity, both up front and at the back, and that’s the secret to this group. We have to keep it up.“We’d planned a match where we’d press high up and win the ball back in their half, and we did just that, especially before half-time. Every player is extremely committed, we’re all pulling in the same direction.“Towards the end we had a couple of great chances to make it 1-2 but it wasn’t to be. The tie is wide open and it’ll be a hard-fought game next time out. We will be going all out for a win at the Bernabeu in front of our fans. All together we’ll push to seal a place in the final.”The result leaves everything to play for at the Bernabeu for the return fixture on February 27.Relatedlast_img read more

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Speaking at Local Events vs. National Conferences

first_imgMy husband tells me to get over it. I continue to be surprised by people who reply to me they’re “too busy” to speak at local events or Meetup groups. However, they find time to travel out of state to speak at regional and national conferences.What am I missing?As an event and conference planner for the past seven years for local groups including:Michigan UXPARefresh DetroitMetro Detroit WordPress MeetupWordCamp Detroit 2011 and 2012Detroit User ExperienceInternet User ExperienceHighEdWeb MichiganI’ve been very fortunate to have people in our area accept my invitations to speak at events and conferences. It’s been wonderful to hear their presentations, panels, and workshops. Lately, I’ve noticed several people who have told me they’re too busy to speak at local events are traveling out of state to speak at national events. Which puzzled me. Wouldn’t it be easier to speak locally, where you don’t have to travel, and where you can connect and network with people in your community? Local events are a great place to start speaking, or to test out that presentation you’re giving at a national conference. So I asked some of my friends, including speakers who have spoken at events I’ve organized: What am I not understanding?My friend Misty Mills, who organizes a lot of events, said she didn’t understand it either. It makes more sense to me to make local networking connections and help those in your area than having to leave the state for ‘bigger’ opportunities where you‘re just one of many. While I would speak at a regional/national conference if I was asked, I have also done many local groups and things. I love local stuff.Chris Wiegman, who spoke remotely to our Metro Detroit WordPress group last fall, said he’s surprised at how often it happens. Seems they’re just looking to be part of the ‘cool kids’ who often think themselves above local groups. So sad.Chris is a big believer in supporting and speaking at local events. In a local community, having folks who avoid the community in order to speak solely at more ‘prestigious’ events goes against the whole concept of the community they claim to support. The bigger community may be great, but not at the expense of the locals who are just as important, if not more so.David Brooks, who has graciously spoken at our Refresh Detroit meetups whenever he’s in Michigan, commented he’s seen the trend toward people speaking nationally, and not locally. He’s noticed that attendance for meetups with national speakers is high, but that good presentations on similar topics by people nearby are ignored.Drink tea with the locals, says Dino Baskovic, who also spoke at our Refresh Detroit group. Best advice I ever followed. Dino remarked he personally gets more value out of his local groups. He commented it’s possible companies pressure people to talk nationally rather than locally. David Lingholm, another Refresh Detroit speaker, said that in the local social space, it’s challenging to get respect without a national following. I loved his comment about building and recognizing our local community of talented people:For tech to thrive here, we need to do better job of recognizing talent in our own backyard and nurturing it.So, I ask you, have you noticed the trend for people to speak at national conferences instead of local events? What would make you choose to speak at a national conference instead of a local event? Share your thoughts in the comments. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading…Relatedlast_img read more

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Marshfield’s Shah ties for 15th at third leg of Clover Valley Golf League tournament

first_imgStevens Point wins team title for third-straight meetBy Paul LeckerSports ReporterOSSEO — Marshfield junior Roma Shah shot a 51 to finish in a tie for 15th place at the third leg of the Clover Valley Golf League tournament on Thursday at Osseo Golf Course.Megan Vandehey shot a 60 for the Tigers, who only have two girls on their team and will not figure in the team standings for the CVGL tournament.Stevens Point’s Mary McDonald shot a 38 to earn individual medalist honors, winning the meet by four shots over Wisconsin Rapids’ Cierra Botcher and Point’s Brook Tuszka.Stevens Point won the team title for the third-straight meet with a score of 169, nine shots ahead of second-place Stanley-Boyd.The fourth leg of the tournament will be Tuesday at Greenwood Hills Country Club in Wausau and will be hosted by D.C. Everest.(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)Clover Valley Golf League Meet No. 3Sept. 8, at Osseo Golf Course (Host: Osseo-Fairchild)Team scores: 1. Stevens Point 169; 2. Stanley-Boyd 178; 3. Osseo-Fairchild 199; 4. D.C. Everest 210; 5. Wisconsin Rapids 231; 6. Eau Claire Regis/Altoona 236; 7. Marshfield incomplete.Top 10 individuals and Marshfield finishers: 1. Mary McDonald (SP) 38; 2. Cierra Botcher (WR) and Brook Tuszka (SP) 42; 4. Savannah Anderson (SB) 43; 5. Jessica Barber (SP) and Katie Kiraly (SB) 44; 7. Allison Raffetto (SB), Keila Kittelson (OF), and Mallory Buetow (SP) 45; 10. Ella Koenig (SB) 46; 15. (tie) Roma Shah (MAR) 51; 25. Megan Vandehey (MAR) 60.Overall standings through Leg 3 of 8Team standings: 1. Stevens Point 42; 2. Stanley-Boyd 36; 3. Osseo-Fairchild 30; 4. D.C. Everest 22; 5. Eau Claire Regis/Altoona and Wisconsin Rapids 16; 7. Marshfield 6.Top 10 individuals and Marshfield golfers: 1. Mary McDonald (SP) 30; 2. Jessica Barber (SP) and Cierra Botcher (WR) 26; 4. Katie Kiraly (SB) 23; 5. Allison Rafetto (SB) and Savannah Anderson (SB) 21; 7. Brook Tuszka (SP) 19; 8. Mallory Buetow (SP) and Kelia Kittelson (OF) 15; 10. Ella Koenig (SB) 12; 22. (tie) Roma Shah (MAR) 1.last_img read more

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Team SA profile: Cameron van der Burgh

first_img10 July 2012The South African team for the 2012 London Olympic Games includes one swimmer who is a world record holder in long course events: Cameron van der Burgh, the fastest breaststroke swimmer ever over 50 metres.The current South African swimmer of the year, his consistently high class performances have also been recognised by Swimming World Magazine, which has named Van der Burgh its African Swimmer of the Year for 2009, 2010 and 2011.A look at his international record confirms that he is a world-class talent with the ability to step onto the Olympic podium in London.Aged 24, Van der Burgh has been competing internationally since 2007 and has achieved notable successes on the world stage since then.World Championships bronzeThat year, he competed in the Fina World Aquatics Championships in Melbourne and was immediately among the medal winners, claiming bronze in the 50 metres after swimming the fastest time of the event in the heats of 27.49 seconds.He also shone at the All Africa Games in Algiers in July, doing the double in the 50m and 100m breaststroke.In 2008, Van der Burgh excelled on the Fina World Cup circuit and followed in the footsteps of Ryk Neethling by becoming the overall World Cup winner.During the 2008 series, he broke three short-course world records. He also became the first man to crack the 26-second barrier in the 50m when he won in Stockholm in a sensational time of 25.94.The 100 metres record had stood behind the name of Ed Moses since 2002, but the South African ace lowered that record from 57.47 to 56.88 seconds.10 victoriesHe finished the series with 12 medals in total, 10 of which were gold, with the other two being bronze medals.At the short course World Championships in Manchester, he placed third in the 50m and won silver in the 100m.At the Beijing Olympics, Vand er Burgh recorded an African record of 59.96sec in the 100m heats, which was the fifth fastest time. He was, however, a little off song in the semi-finals and missed out on the finals by one place.His best year, though, was to follow in 2009 and the highlight of his year came in Rome at the 13th Fina World Championships.Competing in the 100 metres first, he swam an African record 59.54 seconds in the heats. He then improved that mark to 59.13 in the semi-finals, which was the second fastest time.In the final, he cracked the 59-second barrier, clocking 58.95, but had to settle for bronze in another African record.World Championships 50 metresThe best was yet to come for van der Burgh, however, in the 50 metres. He set a championship record and African record in the heats, breaking 27 seconds in a time of 26.92.He went even faster in the semi-finals, establishing a world record of 27.74sec to claim his place in the final.Once more, with medals up for grabs, Van der Burgh rose to the challenge and improved on his own world record to capture gold in 26.67 seconds, a mark that stands to this day and is unlikely to be challenged any time soon given the change in regulations regarding swimsuits since that time.In November, he repeated as the overall winner of the Fina World Cup Series, despite being challenged by fellow South African Roland Schoeman in the 50 metres, with Schoeman twice managing to defeat the world record holder.South African flag carrierHe captured two gold medals at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, where he had the honour of carrying the South African flag, defeating a strong challenge from traditional powerhouse Australia, taking the 50m in 27.18 and the 100m in 1:00.10.There was further World Championships success in 2010 for Van der Burgh in Dubai when he claimed gold in the 100m in 56.80sec and silver in the 50m in 26.03sec.Last year, in 2011, Van der Burgh did the double of 50m and 100m golds at the All Africa Games in Maputo, winning both titles with some ease. He also picked up two bronze medals at the World Aquatics Championships in Shanghai.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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Building a Truly Collaborative Enterprise

first_imgOpinions expressed herein are my own and do not reflect that of my employer, Intel Corporation. My other posts can be read here and more about me is available on my website. The benefits of having a highly collaborative enterprise is a given.  It’s not just the positive impact on business results like reduced time to market of products, their quality and improved customer satisfaction; the benefits also translates to better knowledge and people retention, workforce motivation and cohesiveness of the overall organization.  On the other hand, the challenges to ingrain the culture of collaboration within the organization are equally large, if not more.The fundamental level of collaboration does happen in all enterprise.  People share content, files, e-mails, ideas, apps and whatever else is necessary to get the work done.  I call this collaboration by necessity.  This includes demonstration of collaborative behavior when ‘collaboration’ is mandated by the senior management.  Collaboration by choice is when people will proactively start on any task with a collaborative mindset in absence of any mandate, necessity or to fulfill any obligation.  When thinking of creating a collaborative organization start with people centric approach instead of tools and technology.  Don’t be afraid to review and revamp the holy cows of annual performance reviews, rewards & recognitions and career promotions.  Identify the key areas where you would like to see more collaboration and remove any hurdles – process, workflow, budget and tools – that would be a hindrance.  Define a balanced scorecard that would give you an indication of the progress and not just motion.Tools and TechnologyAsk any IT manager or a technologist about how to improve collaboration within the organization, they will come up with a list of tools and technologies that should be deployed that will guarantee improved collaboration.  A fancy looking dashboard will show how many groups have been created, documents and other content shared, comments posted, adoption rate and other indicators that, collectively, are expected to show how much of collaboration is happening within the organization.As someone once said, “Do not confuse motion with progress.  A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make much progress”. The indicators and dashboard have to be developed that reflect the impact on business results.  Have we accelerated the design, development or some other process?  Has the day-1 quality of our product improved?  In order to track return on investment the dashboard has to include hard data that shows a clear and direct impact to business results; e.g. number of support calls dropped by 50% with new product launch compared to previous product launch.Processes and WorkflowIn most cases, when an organization selects tools and technologies for enabling collaboration they compare feature and functions.  In fact, I would go on a limb and say that there never is any mapping done to see if the selected tools will adapt to the processes and workflow of the organization.  It is usually assumed that management mandate, training and change management will encourage users to adapt to the tools instead of the other way around.This assumption works only if the management is also willing to do away with the processes that are a hurdle to frictionless collaboration.  If the processes and workflow are not in sync with the tools, the extra burden of adapting to these tools will erode productivity of the workforce. Yes, there will be some productivity loss during the ramp up phase but in steady state, the collaboration tools and the organization processes should be in sync to be frictionless. People and IncentivesWhile tools, technologies and processes enable or facilitate collaboration it is the people who actually collaborate.  Unfortunately, this fact usually comes as an after-thought to most of the organizational leaders.  On more than one occasion I have read and heard about the typical management chutzpah where they announce restructuring, cutbacks and layoffs on one hand as they ‘encourage’ the organization to become more collaborative and share knowledge on the other!The other irony I see is that in most of the knowledge based industry, where collaboration is of paramount importance and can clearly create a differentiator, the incentives are stacked against it.  Individual performance is rewarded more than the team performance.  Deep expertise is touted more than collaborative results. Teams are scattered around the globe without any globalization strategy in place that is conducive to collaboration. Travel budgets are cut assuming that video conferencing can replace face-to-face highly interactive discussions and team building.  In short, the human and humane aspect is ignored with a faulty assumption that technology can bridge the gap.Increasing collaboration within the organization is about culture shift, management & leadership and people empowerment supplemented with tools and technologies.  The strategy should be thought out at the highest possible level of the organization instead of driving it bottoms up.This shift in mindset and behavior of the organization is complex and requires focused attention from the management.  It cannot happen overnight and, if ignored, will revert back to non-collaborative behavior very rapidly.It can be done and rewards are all worth the effort!last_img read more

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Major League Baseball Is About To Get Random

VIDEO: Rangers vs. Blue Jays is the series to watch Baseball’s playoffs are upon us once again, and as is the case every year, we don’t know much about what will happen. The postseason has a tendency to make fools of us all: Wild cards have won before, they will win again, and even the best team in the league doesn’t have much better than one-in-four odds of winning the World Series. But that doesn’t mean we can’t use all the sabermetric tools at our disposal — including FiveThirtyEight’s MLB Elo ratings — to make an informed guess.Roughly speaking, you can divide this year’s playoff teams into three tiers: On the top, you have three powerful division-winning teams in the Cubs, Dodgers and Red Sox, who together take up 60 percent of the available World Series probability (according to Elo). The next tier consists of the remaining division winners, all of whom are superlative in some respects but also have fairly significant flaws. And finally, you have the wild-card winners — some of which are more dangerous than others, but all of which have to fight through the dreaded play-in game.If you had to pick an eventual champion, you’d choose from the top tier of teams — though even in a year of decreased parity, they’re far from sure things. To sort out the teams within each tier, here’s a deeper look at every club in the playoff field. Tier B — The Good-But-Not-Great Division WinnersCleveland Indians (8 percent)The Indians claimed the relatively weak American League Central, with the Detroit Tigers serving as their only real competition. (Detroit eventually finished 8 games back.) Cleveland did amass 94 wins and posted the fourth-best run differential in baseball, although they also benefited somewhat from good sequencing (as measured by FanGraphs’ BaseRuns) and unexpectedly great performances from guys like Tyler Naquin and Jose Ramirez.Maybe the Indians’ biggest secret weapon is their bullpen. The team’s deadline trade for Andrew Miller gave it a bona fide relief ace; Miller has allowed only five runs to score in 29 innings pitched since coming to Cleveland. Plus, manager Terry Francona has been surprisingly flexible about using Miller in the most important situations, regardless of inning. If Francona can continue his innovative managing into the postseason, the Indians will have a slight but significant edge that the statistical projections don’t fully take into account.Washington Nationals (8 percent)The Nationals are sneaky good. Our Elo-based projections give them only a 16 percent chance of making the World Series, but they had baseball’s third-best run differential during the regular season. The Nats are well-rounded: They ranked among the 10 best in both runs scored and runs allowed per game, boasting a Cy Young candidate in Max Scherzer as well as the sixth-best bullpen in the league, as measured by wins above replacement.So why aren’t their chances better? Part of it is the quality of their competition, both in the past and in the future. They amassed such strong numbers partially by beating up on their NL East rival Braves and Phillies, two of the worst teams in the league according to run differential.1No other division has more than one of the five worst teams in the league, and Washington outscored the two in its division by a combined 66 runs during the regular season. What’s more, their path to the World Series starts with the Dodgers and may also go through the Cubs, two of the league’s top-tier teams. Making matters worse, they lost All-Star catcher Wilson Ramos to injury, and they won’t have Stephen Strasburg in the Division Series either. Add it all up, and Washington has a tough — if not insurmountable — road to the Series.Texas Rangers (8 percent)The most exceptional thing about the Texas Rangers so far this year has been their incredible record in one-run games. They have piled up a 36-11 mark in such contests, helping them win 95 games despite an overall run differential of only +8 on the season. In fact, that mark is the worst among all playoff teams, suggesting that the Rangers have spent the season playing above their heads.It’s easy to assume that because sabermetricians can’t explain one-run performance, it must be random. That would be a mistake: Such performances shouldn’t be completely discarded. But even if you believe that the Rangers have gotten special, sustainable contributions from their bullpen or manager, their .766 winning percentage in one-run games must be at least partially thanks to good fortune — and as a result, they may not be as good as their record suggests. Texas’s best-in-the-AL record gives it an inside track to the World Series, but since the Rangers also sport the worst Elo rating of any team in the entire playoff field, they have a mere 8 percent probability of winning it all, no better than the other second-tier division champions. Tier A — The PowerhousesChicago Cubs (26 percent odds of winning the World Series)The Chicago Cubs won 103 games, the most of any team since 2009 and eight more than any other team this season. But their season has very much been a tale of two halves. Through July 1 the Cubs had racked up a +161 run differential, a number on track to challenge the mark set by the 1939 Yankees as greatest of all time. Since then, in about the same number of games, they’ve only put together a run differential of +91, or a bit more than half as good as they were before.So which version of the Cubs will show up for the playoffs? It might not actually matter. Although having a more dominant team is always better, the randomness of the playoffs means that a great team can always lose. Either version of the Cubs — the record-breakers or the merely ordinary division-winning outfit — would likely be World Series favorites, but neither would have even 50-50 odds of winning it all. Our projections contain a little bit of both versions, and they easily give Chicago the best chance of any team to make, and win, the championship round, at 43 percent and 26 percent, respectively.Boston Red Sox (19 percent)The Chicago Cubs may have captured the lion’s share of the headlines this year, but the Boston Red Sox have been surprisingly dominant. They have the second-best Elo rating of any MLB team heading into the playoffs, 14 points behind the Cubs and 24 points ahead of their nearest competition (the Toronto Blue Jays).Although Boston won only 93 games, fifth-most in baseball, it also faced more difficult opposition in the American League East, which (as usual) featured three playoff-worthy teams. So the Red Sox are probably scarier than their record would indicate — particularly on offense, where they scored an MLB-best 5.42 runs per game during the regular season (topping even the Coors Field-inflated Colorado Rockies). Their major weakness — and the biggest factor separating them from the Cubs’ lofty perch — is mediocre pitching. But the format of the playoffs will allow them to hide their back-end starting pitchers and hand more innings to David Price and Rick Porcello, so expect the Red Sox to pitch a little better in the postseason than they did in the regular season.Los Angeles Dodgers (15 percent)The Dodgers have had the most eventful season of any division champion. Between injuries, broken perfect games, and the near trade and demotion of erstwhile star Yasiel Puig, Los Angeles has had more drama than you’d expect from a 91-win division champion. The injuries have taken a particular toll on the starting pitchers: No single starter for the Dodgers pitched as many as 200 innings during the regular season.With all of those injuries, you might expect the Dodgers to enter the postseason as a depleted husk of their former selves. And yet they are on track to start Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill and Kenta Maeda, a top three that would be the envy of many other contenders. That talented starting rotation helps give the Dodgers the third-best shot at the title — assuming they can stay healthy through the postseason, that is. Tier C — The Wild CardsToronto Blue Jays (6 percent)Of all the wild-card clubs, Toronto has the highest probability of making (and winning) the Series. In fact, their Elo rating is higher than that of several division winners, which suggests that the Jays are a very good team. Toronto’s only fault is that they share a division with the superior Boston Red Sox, confining them to a do-or-die game that could end their postseason before it really begins. Even the most imbalanced matchup in MLB is usually a 60-40 proposition, so the Jays can’t count on a win against the Orioles.If they do win that wild-card game, however, the Blue Jays will see their postseason odds soar. Their starting pitching has been excellent, and their offense is great (as usual). Provided it can overcome Baltimore, Toronto could end up making a surprise run deep into the postseason. The one glaring issue is its bullpen, which ranks second-worst among playoff entrants in ERA. If the starters end up exiting games early, it will expose a relief crew with few reliable arms.Baltimore Orioles (4 percent)The Orioles’ Elo rates them as the second-weakest team of the playoffs, ahead of only the Rangers. However, unlike the Rangers, the Orioles must win a game against the Blue Jays to advance to the ALDS. Elo only gives Baltimore a 44 percent chance in that game against the Jays, and a depressingly low 4 percent probability of eventually winning the championship.The Orioles’ bullpen is good — it has the third-best ERA among the playoff contenders — and especially top-heavy, featuring a rare Cy Young-contending reliever in Zach Britton. But that won’t be enough to get them to the World Series unless their mediocre rotation pitches better. The Orioles didn’t have a single starter post more than three wins above replacement during the regular season, while most of their fellow playoff teams had two or three starters who were at least that good. Savvy bullpen management can only go so far; barring some very good luck, expect the Orioles to make an early exit.New York Mets (3 percent)The Mets are hard to figure out. On the one hand, they limped into the playoffs on the back of two surprisingly productive rookies (Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman) after their rotation collapsed because of injuries. Add to this toll the lingering problems with their starting lineup and it’s hard to believe the Mets could realistically overcome the strong top tier of National League teams to capture a second consecutive pennant.On the other hand, the Mets may have the best bullpen out of all the playoff teams, according to WAR. We know that relievers get a greater share of a team’s innings pitched in the postseason, so the superlative bullpen may make up for their rookie starters. If, that is, manager Terry Collins allows them to: He has a habit of leaving his starters in too long, which can be fatal in the postseason.San Francisco Giants (3 percent)While the Cubs fell in the second half from historically great to merely fantastic, the Giants dropped from probable division winners to meltdown–prone also-rans. Their collapse hasn’t quite been historic, but their second-half statistics don’t bode well for the playoffs (at least, to the very limited extent that second-half performance matters). More worrisome, their bullpen has been atrocious, stretching even Bruce Bochy’s ability to manage around it.Then again, the Giants have a tradition of overcoming regular-season problems to overperform in October, and they still have Madison Bumgarner. Still, when a team’s playoff hopes rest on numerology (it’s an even year!) and repeating one of the greatest postseason performances of all time, it’s reasonable to conclude that they simply aren’t very likely to win the World Series. Elo agrees with that assessment, giving them only a 3 percent shot, even-year magic be damned. read more

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San Diego residents file lawsuit against Californias assault weapons ban

first_img Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter KUSI Newsroom, KUSI Newsroom Posted: August 15, 2019 San Diego residents file lawsuit against California’s assault weapons ban August 15, 2019 SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Three San Diego residents filed a federal lawsuit today challenging California’s assault weapon ban, with the plaintiffs alleging that the state is violating its residents’ Second Amendment rights by itsallegedly misguided definition of assault weapons.The suit, filed on behalf of James Miller, Patrick Russ and Ryan Peterson, as well as the San Diego County Gun Owners Political Action Committee, alleges that the types of firearms banned under California’s definition of assault weapons are lawfully protected under the Second Amendment.The suit calls California’s usage of the term “assault weapons,” “a politically-concocted pejorative term designed to suggest that there is an inherently unlawful or illegitimate basis for owning otherwise common firearmsprotected by the Second Amendment.”The plaintiffs allege that the state has prohibited certain lawful firearms by designating them assault weapons under faulty rationales, such as basing its assault weapon status on the rifle’s ammunition capacity.“The government cannot ban the constitutionally-protected firearms at issue in this case,” attorney George M. Lee said. “We look forward to proving that the state’s statutes, policies, and practices at issue in thiscase are both unconstitutional and irrational.”The lawsuit references U.S. District Court Judge Roger Benitez’s recent ruling that California’s ban on high-capacity magazines was unconstitutional. Benitez later stayed his own order.“This is a straightforward case to protect our clients’ constitutional rights and property,” the plaintiffs’ attorney, John Dillon, said. “The state of California’s ban on these firearms will fail constitutional scrutiny for the same reasons that its ban on firearm magazines did.”Dillon also represents the plaintiffs in another suit filed in San Diego federal court last month on behalf of Matthew Jones, Thomas Furrh and several firearm-advocacy organizations, which alleges that the state’s ban onfirearm purchases for people between the ages of 18 and 21 represents age discrimination and infringes on the rights of law-abiding young adults. last_img read more

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In Other News

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR Fort Hood, Texas, is expected to offer early retirements to shrink its authorized civilian workforce by 113 positions by Oct. 1. After accounting for normal attrition and scheduled reassignments, the post still will need to shed 46 civilian employees by the end of the fiscal year, reports the Killeen Daily Herald. “We’re not the only garrison going through this,” said Keith Gogas, the garrison’s deputy to the commander.last_img

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