Tag: 上海龙凤

  • Angels GM Billy Eppler addresses fan questions in Q&A

    first_imgWhile we are waiting to see if and when the baseball season will start, Angels general manager Billy Eppler took some time on Friday morning to answer questions submitted by fans, via Twitter, email and Facebook.Although Eppler couldn’t answer many of the specific questions about how the baseball season may unfold this year, he spoke in general terms about his optimism that there will be a season, despite the current Covid-19 pandemic.“There are a lot of intelligent and well-thought rational people talking about a lot of different ideas,” Eppler said. “With that type of brain power and those resources, I am optimistic that something can get done.”Beyond that, Eppler addressed his day-to-day life during the quarantine, the draft, the way this year’s team was built and a seminal moment as a young baseball fan. The answers have been edited for length and clarity. A: He actually threw a bullpen today (Friday). He threw 15 pitches today, fastballs only. He threw another one earlier this week, on Monday.Q: Where are we with signing (Andrelton) Simmons to an extension? @AckriteHalo (Simmons is set to be a free agent after the 2020 season.)A: We’ve had internal discussions about Andrelton, more at the start of spring training. With the circumstances of Covid-19 and how baseball and the world were going to change, and what kind of accommodations we would make, we haven’t really had the opportunity to stay engaged on that. Ultimately there haven’t been any conversations with Andrelton or his representatives.Q: What is your approach in the draft? Is it best player available or are you looking for a specific tool/tools in players? @GrifCanningplsA: With the draft we take a best-player approach, but generally we do gravitate to “toolsy” players. We do put a premium on size, speed, strength and athleticism. You can rank in a range, but then once you get them in a range, you use separators, like the interview, the makeup, the statistics, was he in a very strong conference. All of those little elements become separators. Yes, it’s the best player available, but we have some nuance available based off things like makeup, character and injury history and so on and so forth.Q: With a log-jammed corner infield and outfield, is there any merit to Taylor Ward – and his improved bat – picking up a catcher’s mitt again? @danmansometimesA: Good question. With all of our players, we hold individual meetings in the first week of spring training. One of the things that we conveyed to Taylor was that his avenue to making this team is as a corner outfielder. We’re going to dabble with you in center field a little in some games. Don’t be surprised if we throw you out there at the back end of game. And if you do make this team, you will be catcher No. 3. It might be worth catching a bullpen or two as we get deeper into games. You could find yourself back there. (As for playing catcher regularly), we haven’t had those discussions.Q: Knowing that pitching was the main need of this team going into the offseason, what caused your decision to add another high priced bat rather than break up that money for 2 or 3 quality pitchers? @FishkillergalloA: We looked at every single one of the free agents, pitchers and position players. We look overall at what productivity we would expect out of that player. A couple days before Thanksgiving, (Joe) Maddon, myself and (John) Carpino got on a plane and flew to Atlanta to meet with Zack Wheeler. We pursued Wheeler pretty aggressively. Ultimately he and his wife expressed a desire to remain a little closer to the East Coast (signing with the Philadelphia Phillies). Then with Gerrit Cole, we put together something that was at that time the largest free agent contract the Angels had ever handed out. The largest free agent contract for a pitcher ever. We stepped in there very aggressively. We made a hard run at that. We saw how that ended up eventually with the winter meetings. So when we got to that point and Gerrit signed (with the New York Yankees), we pivoted immediately to the next best player on the board for us, and that was Anthony Rendon. Probably 12 hours (after Cole agreed with the Yankees), we already put a framework in place and it felt like we were fairly locked in to (Rendon) at that time. That’s where we felt we were going to get the best return on investment at that moment in time.Q: Does the delay of the season change the potential plans for prospects on their way to the bigs? For instance, if Jo Adell wasn’t going to make the opening roster in March, does the delayed season open that possibility? @FletchWRLDA: That’s a good question. With prospects that were competing for a spot on the major league club, we needed to see them play. That was the way they were going to make their way to the team. If the players still had still more seasoning needed, then we can’t achieve that until they get those tests. The best way to get those tests is to be playing baseball. It doesn’t change the potential plan.Q: If you weren’t a baseball GM, what other career would you be doing? @CanHitWRISPA: I went to one year of law school while I was an area scout. I probably would have continued going to law school and finished that and become some kind of litigator, or using it in some fashion.Q: What was your most memorable or exciting baseball moment growing up? [email protected]: Steve Garvey homer, 1984 NLCS (for the Padres) to push it Game 5. Homer in the ninth at Jack Murphy Stadium. My dad had tickets to the game. I didn’t make the cut. No joke. There were 2 tickets. I was in the parking lot tailgating. Myself and my sisters would sit in the parking lot. They were older so they could make sure I wasn’t getting lost or into too much trouble. I was watching on a black-and-white TV in the parking lot, and Garvey goes deep. I was going nuts in the parking lot. I was 9 years old. That was a really memorable moment. That’s where the hook got set.Q: As a college student studying with the goal of getting into baseball, just how important is this knowledge of computer programming to front offices and what language is most valuable to you and your staff? -Grant CarverRelated Articles Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros center_img Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone Q: What kind of work are you able to do during this time with so many unanswered questions about the season? Are you already working on plans for next season? — Andrew WilsonA: Right now we are holding conference calls with draft prospects. We are doing Zoom calls with candidates for our first pick at No. 10. We are offering them the opportunity to ask us a bunch of questions. It’s a unique time for everybody. I have some empathy for those kids that potentially lost their senior year of high school or their junior year of college. And our quantitative department has plenty of time to get to projects that have been on the board but that we haven’t had the bandwidth or time to complete (under normal circumstances). We’re able to put together some pretty interesting tools and models that ultimately can just make us more efficient. As for next season, I have a depth chart for about two to three years out, and I am always glancing at the columns to the right to see what could be coming.Q: Is there a point where if this season is not looking like it’s going to happen, will Griffin Canning have Tommy John surgery? – @KingJDub25A: Surgery wasn’t recommended in Griffin’s case. It was something that we talked about and ultimately the different physicians we had him see didn’t recommend it. We would not proactively subject him to that surgery unless there was new evidence or a new injury that took place. He is doing good. His throwing program is back to 120 to 150 feet this week, at about 70 to 80 percent intensity. That would put him on track to be on a mound in seven to 10 days.Q: Any update on (Shohei) Ohtani? Where he’s at pitching wise? @Big_Jermmm A: Computer programmming’s a good skill set to have in a front office if you’re going to work on the development or analytics side. If you are going to work in general baseball ops or scouting or in (player) development, it’s not necessary. Most of our programming is done in SQL and R. Having a physics background will really help you. A general statistics background and speaking a second language are also important. There are a number of things. If you can have degrees in all of them, great.Q: How have you been getting through the quarantine when not doing Angels/baseball things?  Any crazy panic Amazon purchases?  What shows are you binge watching?  -Klay ChavezA: I jumped into the Tiger King world. It was fairly entertaining. I finished Ozark. Usually around 8:30 at night, our kids (5- and 2-year-old sons) are in bed and all the dishes are done and the house is relatively quiet, so my wife and I carve out an hour to an hour and a half to put on a show. We have date nights twice a week where we go outside and put on some music to recreate a date without having a sitter come over. 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  • Ministry of Education announces up to $900,000 in transportation funding for the Peace

    first_imgDAWSON CREEK, B.C. – Education Minister Mike Bernier says that province is investing $14.7 million for the new Student Transportation Fund, including a potential $900,000 for the Peace Region.Bernier made the announcement alongside school district officials today at the Dawson Creek school board office. “This funding will help districts provide better bus and transportation services at lower costs to parents,” said Bernier.Under the funding announcement’s criteria, the Peace River North School District will be eligible to receive up to $425,785, while Peace River South district could get up to $441,458. Bernier also says the funding is on-going, not a one time deal.- Advertisement -In order to be eligible for the funding, districts that currently charge parents to subsidize school bus fees must eliminate those fees, and use the funding for transportation services.“I am extremely pleased that Minister Bernier and the ministry have found a way to fund busing for the constituents in my riding,” said Peace River North MLA Pat Pimm. “This is an issue that I have been working very hard on and I am extremely pleased we have got it over the goal line.”School District 60 board chair Ida Campbell welcomed the announcement, saying: “We’ve been working on this issue for a long time and this is great news for parents. Transportation is vitally important in a rural area like ours and we are excited to be able to eliminate fees for bussing thanks to this money from the provincial government.”Advertisement For those parents in SD 60, they will not have to pay for their kids to ride the bus anymore. In an interview with Energeticcity.ca, Bernier said that those who paid will get a refund, and those who haven’t paid yet will not have to pay.In order to be eligible, districts must submit a plan to the Ministry of Education by September 30th that outlines how the funding will be allocated. The amount of funding each school district could get is based on a formula tied to the Ministry of Education’s student location factor. Districts will also be required to report back on the outcomes and the benefits they achieved as a result of the funding.last_img read more


    first_imgSinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Deputy Pearse Doherty has called on the Government to fulfil its pledge to introduce a new personal microcredit scheme to assist people who have no or limited access to loan finance.Pearse Doherty TDThe proposed scheme, which has yet to be formally introduced, was advocated in a report by the Social Finance Foundation and the Central Bank of Ireland, and envisages making loans of between €500 up to €2,000 available to anyone currently ineligible for mainstream banking or credit union loans, subject to repayment capability. The document also proposes that such a scheme be administered through the credit union movement.Deputy Doherty said there are thousands of families and households across this state that are unable to access credit for relatively small amounts which they need to meet sudden financial requirements and unexpected bills. “Scenarios such as the family car breaking down, home repair bills or back-to-school costs can often be a nightmare for families particularly if they have been refused a loan by an institution due to pre-existing debts, a poor credit rating or a perceived inability to repay.”“These families are left with little or no choice but to borrow money from moneylenders at extortionately high interest rates, with even licenced moneylenders charging borrowers as much as 260% interest per annum.”“The report also highlighted statistics which have been handed over to the Department of Social Protection showing that 54.4% of households are unable to afford what is classified as an ‘unexpected expense’, while also claiming that 17% of households are becoming indebted due to the imposition of ‘ordinary living expenses.’”“Sinn Féin believes that a microloan scheme is urgently required to cater for the thousands of people who so desperately rely on different types of moneylenders to meet their financial obligations and to cover the costs of essential expenditure.” “Such schemes exist and operate quite successfully in other jurisdictions and they have been designed to reduce dependency on unregulated moneylending and high interest lenders.”“My party colleague Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh raised this very issue with the Minister before the Dáil summer recess as it’s our belief that a suitable scheme which aims to give financial relief to the thousands who are trapped in this debt cycle must be a priority for any government which is serious about tackling this issue.”“While such a scheme would be of great benefit, it must also be fair to the borrower. This is why when the Dáil resumes next week, I intend to raise this matter with the Social Protection Minister where I will be asking her to give a definitive timeframe as to when she envisages a scheme will be introduced, and for her to clearly outline the specifics of any such scheme including the average term for loans as well as the monthly interest rates which will be applied to them.”MICRO-LENDING SCHEME MUST BE DELIVERED – DOHERTY was last modified: September 17th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalGovernmentloansPearse Dohertylast_img read more

  • The Buckeye Cowboy — Kirby Hidy

    first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest If you have ever been around the Farm Science Review, The Ohio State Fair, The Sale of Champions, The Agriculture Hall of Fame Breakfast, Pork Congress, Power Show or a number of other events around Ohio and saw a salty-haired, mustached man sporting a cowboy hat and a smile, I can almost guarantee  that you met Kirby Hidy.We lost our great friend and co-worker over the weekend and for a man who brought so much life to every conversation he had, it is hard to believe that he is gone. Kirby was in and around Ohio agriculture for decades. He worked at The Ohio Department of Agriculture, The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, WRFD Radio, with me years ago at The ABN, and over the last five years after he and I began working here at The Ohio Ag Net.Kirby was the most simple, yet complex man I have come to know. He didn’t need much. His family and a group of friends he considered family would do.The complexities came from what molded him over time.He was an Ohio boy, who found his love for the cowboy way during the years he lived in Texas. His passions were diverse. He loved horses, The Dallas Mavericks, The Texas Longhorns, wood working, jazz music, disc golf and above all, telling a good story. Some stories he told almost sounded made up from out of the blue. But if you knew Kirby, you knew they were true…with some ad libbed details to add a little color to the picture. What noble cowboy can’t tell a good story?For Kirby, life was all about the people he spent it with. The conversation would most always turn to his wife and three kids and he would beam when he talked about them. He had a way of making every meeting at our conference room table interesting. His wit was so fast sometimes he couldn’t take the toothpick out of his mouth quick enough to get his quip in and make us all laugh out loud.He had a group of friends that he had known for years, some since college, that he would play poker with every month. I can tell you for a fact that it was never about how many chips he was up or down — he was always winning by just being a part of that camaraderie.That is how everyone that came across Kirby Hidy at one time or another should feel. For having met him, we all hit the jackpot. People were the highlight of his life and he most certainly accentuated all of ours.Peace, Love, Dove, Compadre. We will miss you.last_img read more

  • Reliable as ever, Patriots’ Julian Edelman wins Super Bowl MVP

    first_imgPatriots defeat Rams in lowest-scoring Super Bowl ever “He’s a fighter, man, that kid,” Brady said. “I’m just so proud of him. He’s been an incredible player for this team in the playoffs and he just cemented himself, again, in the history of the NFL for what his accomplishments are.”Even when things weren’t working early for the Patriots, Edelman kept the offense going and the clock rolling as a safety valve for Brady. Eight of his catches were for first downs , including a 13-yard grab during the go-ahead touchdown drive with 7 minutes left in the game.“Julian always gives us those kinds of plays,” coach Bill Belichick said. “Tough plays, tough catches, catch-and-run plays, breaking tackles for a few extra yards. He did a tremendous job.”It has been a long journey back to this point for Edelman, who missed all of last season after tearing a knee ligament in New England’s third preseason game. ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss “It’s pretty surreal,” Edelman said, shaking his head. “Tough times don’t last, tough people do. I preach that, and, I guess you have to live to it.”Edelman certainly did Sunday night, earning Super Bowl MVP honors with 10 receptions for 141 yards while helping lift the Patriots to a 13-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption charges“My name was called,” he said. “I was asked to make a couple plays and we were able to do that.”Edelman and Brady made one final connection — at midfield with confetti flying around them. They embraced for several moments — eyes filled with the tears of champions. LATEST STORIES “The hug was just two Bay Area boys that love football, love to compete and are living out our dreams,” Edelman said before taking a second to clarify one small detail.“I think he held me,” the bushy-bearded Edelman said with a big grin. “I didn’t hold him.”It was an incredibly satisfying ending to a big-time comeback season for Edelman, a guy considered by Brady to be like a little brother — some teammates even jokingly say they have a “bromance” — and widely regarded as one of the greatest slot receivers in league history.And, he was at it again against the Rams.Reliable and steady. All night long.ADVERTISEMENT PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug war Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town New England Patriots’ Julian Edelman holds the trophy after the NFL Super Bowl 53 football game against the Los Angeles Rams, Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, in Atlanta. The Patriots won 13-3. Edelman was named the Most Valuable Player. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)ATLANTA (AP) — Julian Edelman was forced to watch only as a spectator as his disappointed New England Patriots teammates trudged off the field a year ago as Super Bowl losers.Catch after catch in this one, Tom Brady’s favorite wide receiver helped make them winners again.ADVERTISEMENT US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrantslast_img read more

  • In The Spotlight – Daniel Rushworth

    first_imgIn the seventh edition of In The Spotlight, Australian Mixed Open player, Daniel Rushworth, speaks about what it means to be playing in the 2011 World Cup, and about his knowledge of Scotland. Name: Daniel RushworthNickname: RushyAge: 31Affiliate: Western SuburbsOccupation: Sport Manager – NSW Touch FootballPosition: LinkDebut for Australia: 1998 M18 (Youth Trans Tasman)/ 2005 Mixed Open All Nations NZCareer highlights so far: 2007 World Cup Men’s Open win over NZ.How you got involved in Touch Football: Through my school teacher Sue Dorrington, who was a former Australian Women’s Open player when I was in High School.Favourite player: Michael Jacono: small, agile, no nonsense kind of player, ready to always roll the sleeves up and dig in and do the hard yards. What does it mean to you to be representing Australia at the 2011 World Cup: It means a great deal to me, it is always an honour to play in the green and gold and something I take great pride in and with the tight knit group we have the excitement is already running high. It also offers an opportunity to take care of some unfinished business, the last time I was a part of this team we had a golden opportunity to knock the Kiwis over in New Zealand at the All Nations in 2005 only for it to slip away in the final, so there is definitely some motivation there.Biggest influence on your Touch Football career: Tony Trad club coach at Western Suburbs and my Father.Favourite sporting moment: Steve Waugh’s last ball hundred at the SCG, a real career defining moment under extreme pressure.What do you know about Scotland: That the weather changes in minutes after being there last year around the same time the World Cup is this year, the people are extremely hospitable and are really interested to learn as much about our sport as possible. I think many of my teammates will be really surprised on what it has to offer.Any superstitions: None.Funniest Australian teammate: Benny Robinson never misses an opportunity.Favourite quote: “It’s science” Anchorman Ron Burgundy.Any travel plans for after World Cup: Heading to the Greek Islands followed by tour around the UK.Stay tuned to the website for the upcoming editions of In The Spotlight, which will feature every Open’s player travelling to the World Cup.  With only 47 days to go until the 2011 Federation of International Touch World Cup, be sure to be regularly visiting the Touch Football Australia website to keep up-to-date with all of the latest news and information. Don’t forget to become a fan of Touch Football Australia on Facebook and Twitter in the lead up to the 2011 World Cup to find out all you need to know about Australia’s World Cup campaign:http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Touch-Football-Australia/384949403384 www.twitter.com/touchfootyauslast_img read more

  • 10 months agoHughton insists Brighton didn’t deserve Bournemouth defeat

    first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Hughton insists Brighton didn’t deserve Bournemouth defeatby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveBrighton boss Chris Hughton insists they didn’t deserve defeat at Bournemouth.The Seagulls were beaten 2-0 after David Brooks found the back of the net for the Cherries either side of half-time.Hughton said, “I thought we were good value to get something from the game. The difference between the two sides was they put their opportunities away and we didn’t.“We were good in the first half and they scored against the run of play. It was very difficult towards the end when we were down to ten men, but certainly before that I thought we were always in the game.“It was a wonderful strike by Brooks for the first goal, but I thought we created really good chances of our own.“If you don’t put your chances away, then you know that a very good Bournemouth side that play with a lot of pace, with two players up front that run in behind, are going to cause you problems.“The chances are the pinnacle moments of any game, but on the balance of play, I thought we deserved more.”On Lewis Dunk’s dismissal, he added: “Initially we had no problems with it, we thought it was two yellow cards, but seeing them again, we feel that [Yves] Bissouma made the first contact, so there’s some doubt about who should have been booked.” last_img read more

  • 6 days agoAIK chief Wesstrom hints offer likely for ex-Liverpool keeper Bogdan

    first_imgAIK chief Wesstrom hints offer likely for ex-Liverpool keeper Bogdanby Paul Vegas6 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveAIK sports chief Bjorn Wesstrom admits they’ve been pleased with trialist Adam Bogdan.Released in the summer by Liverpool, the Hungarian goalkeeper is chasing a deal with the Swedes.And Wesstrom admits they’ve been impressed.”He is training tomorrow and then we will evaluate his time here and then we will obviously talk to him about how he looks at the situation,” he told Fotbollskanalen.AIK are eager to sign a new keeper as a priority. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

  • The ServeAndVolley Works But Womens Tennis Players Arent Using It

    Women at this year’s U.S. Open have displayed incredible athleticism and shrewd strategy. We’ve seen blistering serves and masterful groundstrokes in the nearly two weeks of play. But we’ve been missing a powerful, ancient weapon: the serve-and-volley. The tactic is all but extinct from women’s tennis, despite still being incredibly effective.Through the quarterfinals in Flushing Meadows, on points in which women followed their serve by rushing to the net for a volley, they won a remarkable 76 percent of the time, according to U.S. Open data from IBM. But confoundingly, the strategy was deployed only 84 times — less than 1 percent of all points played.Serena Williams, for her part, flashed the potential of the serve-and-volley in her semifinal win Thursday over Anastasija Sevastova. Williams came to the net five times immediately after serving, taking four of those points.After the match, Williams said she usually approaches the net “only to shake hands,” but she wanted to try something different against Sevastova. It was a reminder of just how potent the tactic can be.The serve-and-volley appears to be used more on the men’s side of late. At this year’s U.S. Open, men served and volleyed 488 times through the quarterfinals, for just less than 3 percent of all points played. Though they couldn’t quite equal the gaudy success rate of the women, they still did very well with the tactic, winning 66 percent of the time. No matter who’s doing it, statistically, the serve-and-volley is an effective way to win points.Why this play is underutilized has long been a topic of discussion in tennis. Some have chalked up the change in tactics to advanced racquets and strings that improve passing shots, while others have blamed slower courts at Wimbledon and this year’s U.S. Open.1Theoretically, slower courts allow players more time to tee off on returns, blowing by net rushers. But there’s no doubt that women have been giving serve-and-volley the cold shoulder.During the late 1970s and ’80s, Martina Navratilova dominated the sport using an attacking serve-and-volley style with monsterous success, propelling her to 18 Grand Slam Championships. Even in the 1990s, serve-and-volley was still in a heyday in the women’s game. To illustrate, look at Wimbledon. It’s a place where serve-and-volley has historically been a favorite tactic because of the ability of the server to dominate on grass, where the ball bounces are low. Returners must put loft on their shots to ensure they clear the net. That’s a feast for a volleyer.Wimbledon first released serve-and-volley data in 1997, and it included tournament totals for the first time in 2002. Jana Novotna served and volleyed her way to the final that year, losing to Martina Hingis. For the tournament, Novotna employed the serve-and-volley 339 times, winning 213 of those points. In the final against Hingis, she used it 76 times — almost as often as the entire women’s field through five rounds at this year’s U.S. Open. It’s an astounding drop of a tactic and a big shift in the way women play tennis.Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam that releases historical data, but we can look at its last 17 tournaments to track the decline of serve-and-volley as a strategy in the women’s game: Assuming the point does not end on an ace or double-fault, serving players essentially have two choices: serve and move forward or serve and stay at the baseline. Since the 2000s, players who prefer to remain mainly at the baseline have taken over tennis, despite the unshakably consistent success rates for serve-and-volley over the years. But the difference between the strategies has been stark at this year’s U.S. Open: Through the quarterfinals, women have won just 48 percent of points at the baseline — 28 percentage points less than the share of points won on serve-and-volley.All sports go through trends. As the games change, different approaches fall in and out of vogue. The Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl last year on the strength of the RPO — run/pass option — in which backup quarterback Nick Foles had the option of handing off or passing. But the play wasn’t new. The option has been around in college football since the 1960s. But it’s taken a backseat as more teams have gone to pro-style offenses.This happens all the time in sports: What’s old becomes new again. Tennis is no different. Strategies experience revivals.Women in tennis have been relegating themselves mostly to the baseline. But perhaps Williams’s use of the serve-and-volley Thursday will spark a new trend. read more

  • Football JT Barretts improving accuracy tight end most improved position and more

    Nine spring practices have come and gone for the Ohio State football team and the depth chart appears more definite just a week-and-a-half before the spring game.Coach Urban Meyer discussed the ongoing position battles and some standout performers in spring practice, while also revealing that sophomore linebacker Malik Harrison has undergone shoulder surgery and will miss the remainder of the spring. Meyer added that Harrison has been “having a tremendous spring” and “will compete for a starting spot” once he is healthy again.Here are five takeaways from Meyer’s Tuesday’s press conference.Barrett improving accuracyComing off a season where redshirt senior quarterback J.T. Barrett completed his lowest percentage of passes in his career, Barrett has been working with co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Ryan Day on improving his accuracy and trying to rediscover the success he found in his redshirt freshman season.Last season, Barrett completed just 61.8 percent of passes, 1.5 percent worse than his 2015 season and 2.8 percent less than his redshirt freshman season.“I thought his freshman year, he was a very accurate player and the last two years weren’t quite as accurate,” Meyer said. “Our deep ball percentage was the best that it’s been since we’ve been here last week. We were charting everything and JT and the boys did a really good job. We didn’t catch all of them, but as far as accuracy, it was almost something like 90 percent and that’s what we’re looking for.”Burrow leading the race for backup quarterbackThere was never really a competition for the starting quarterback job with Barrett’s return, but Meyer offered insight on the battle for the No. 2 at the position.Redshirt sophomore Joe Burrow currently stands out among the quarterbacks to serve as Barrett’s backup in the upcoming season, but freshman quarterback Tate Martell is still taking plenty of reps, Meyer said.“I’d say Joe is ahead of them, but they’re both getting reps,” he said. “Tate had his best day, too, the other day in the scrimmage, so it’s good competition there and that brings out the best in people. We all know what happened a couple years ago where all of a sudden someone taps you on the shoulder and says, ‘You’re the starter. Go beat Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game.’ And they did it. So that position is a key guy.”Offensive-line recruiting has ‘missed’ in the pastPart of the reason the offense struggled to produce at its same level in 2016 was because of an offensive line that did not provide the same level of pass protection that it had in years past.Meyer said that two of his offensive-line classes “didn’t turn out” the way he had hoped, but that he has a trio of offensive lineman who are really coming along in practice and should be able to help improve the play of the line in 2017 .“Yes we have (missed a few). More than a few. You can’t do that. That’s what happens is you have a year like we did last year where guys — you know, true freshmen should have not played then,” Meyer said. “Demetrius Knox is running with the ones and Malcolm Pridgeon is still learning the offense, but Matt Burrell is probably one of the most improved offensive lineman at this point and the other guys are much improved as well. Very pleased with where we are at on the offensive line.”Tight end is most improved position in spring practicesThere has been improvement in the offensive line and the quarterbacks so far, but the position that has stepped up its game in spring the most has been the tight ends, Meyer said.Even with senior tight end Marcus Baugh missing spring practice so far with offseason shoulder surgery, the tight end position has looked promising thus far and has been “the most improved position on the team.”“A.J. Alexander is really coming on and Luke Farrell is a little bit ahead of Jake Hausmann, but they’re both very comparable,” Meyer said.Defensive line will be backbone of the teamThe defensive line will be returning a lot of stars from last season, including all defensive ends and the team will count on them to once again be the backbone of the defense in the upcoming season.With a returning group of defensive ends that include Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year Tyquan Lewis, redshirt junior Sam Hubbard, sophomore Nick Bosa and senior Jalyn Holmes, the defensive line will be “as good as anybody in America,” Meyer said. “I think as of right now, it’s the strength of our team on defense,” Meyer said. “Dre’Mont Jones is really turning into a fine player here for us. On the other side, we’re really hoping Tracy Sprinkle can give us some depth and be the guy that we thought he was going to be before he got hurt.”Meyer added that Hubbard, who finished third on the team in sacks and second in quarterback hits, is “the definition of elite” and works as hard as anybody to perfect his craft.“We call it 10-80-10 around here and it’s elite self discipline, self respect and incredible work ethic, that’s how you identify the characteristics of an elite player and he’s as elite as I’ve ever been around,” Meyer said. Other notes:A battle for the position of kicker will continue on over the remainder of the spring and the summer between junior kicker Sean Nuernberger and recruit Blake Haubeil, Meyer said, with Nuernberger in “much better shape than he’s ever been,” though he will still have to win over the spot.Sophomore wide receiver Binjimen Victor has “a bit of a sore shoulder,” Meyer said, but he’s making progress and has the talent to do “anything he wants.”Meyer said that senior safety Damon Webb is “a much improved player than he was in the spring” and credited Webb’s success to recent weight loss read more