When you’re undefeated and dominating the competition like No. 1 Kentucky is, you’re bound to inspire passionate fans to drum up unique ways to express their love and appreciation. What better way for two fans to show their devotion to UK basketball than with a little Bluegrass tribute?That’s what the Jenkins twins decided to do. They recorded a musical ode to their beloved Wildcats, complete with shout outs of every key player, and jokes about Roy Williams, Rick Pitino and Bill Self drinking vodka. The chorus of the song features the line “We’re going to ‘Nap town on this Big Blue Train.” It’s a reference to Indianapolis, or ‘Nap Town, where the 2015 Final Four will be held.All in all, it’s entertaining in a quirky and hilarious way. [H/T : @KySportsRadio ]
CanniMed Therapeutics Inc. said Wednesday it needs time to review a surprise takeover offer from a rival marijuana producer that sent its share surging on another volatile trading day for pot stocks amid speculation a wave of consolidation is coming.“We advise shareholders to take no action until such time as the board has had the opportunity to fully consider and make a recommendation regarding the unsolicited offer,” CanniMed (TSX:CMED) said in response to the bid made public by Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB) after the close of markets on Tuesday.Vancouver-based Aurora announced an all-share offer valuing CanniMed’s stock at up to $24 per share that it said already has support from shareholders representing 38 per cent of CanniMed’s outstanding shares.Aurora said it submitted a proposal to CanniMed’s board of directors Monday and has given the company until Friday to respond. If the board doesn’t respond, it said it plans to launch a formal takeover bid.But CanniMed said that it has not received a formal written offer from Aurora, adding it would review the terms set out in the press release and respond by the Friday deadline.CanniMed cautioned that it considered Aurora’s estimates of how much the share-exchange deal was actually worth to CanniMed shareholders to be inflated, since Aurora’s valuation per share is based on its stock price as of Nov. 14 after a 125 per cent increase over the preceding 12 trading days.Following news of the proposed deal, CanniMed’s share price shot up $4.50 or 29.4 per cent to close at $19.80, while Aurora closed down $0.19 or three per cent at $6.22.CanniMed also said it is already in talks to acquire marijuana company Newstrike Resources Ltd. (TSXV:HIP), a producer endorsed by members of rock band the Tragically Hip.Marijuana analyst Vahan Ajamian said this latest deal could spark merger and acquisition activity among the around 50 licensed producers in the burgeoning industry ahead of recreational legalization, slated for July 1.“This could spark a wave of consolidation with the larger players ‘gobbling up’ the smaller ones,” said Ajamian in a note.PI Financial Corp. analyst Jason Zandberg said he wasn’t sure if the deal would spark consolidation, but that it make sense to build scale ahead of next July.“If you can build scale, then not only can you guarantee supply numbers, but you also have a bit better negotiating power,” said Zandberg.But he said any deals would likely be shared-based ones within the industry, like Aurora’s proposal, since cannabis stocks have climbed so much in recent months.“The absolute value of the market cap of these companies would scare off a lot of outsiders from buying.”He said the deal looks to make a lot of sense from both sides, but given CanniMed’s response it could go hostile.Current valuations mean that for some companies it would make more sense to simply build their own facilities, said Chris Damas, editor of the BCMI Report.“You can build square footage at a lower price than you can buy it on the stock market, the difference is quite astonishing.”He said CanniMed offered some particular attractions to Aurora, including licensed soft oil gel capsules, a foothold in Saskatchewan and expanded facilities that haven’t yet been reflected in its financials.If Aurora’s acquisition is successful, it would boost its market capitalization to more than $3 billion and would see it serve about 40,000 active registered patients. That compares to 63,000 at Canopy Growth Corp. (TSX:WEED), Canada’s largest marijuana company.CanniMed, previously Prairie Plant Systems, was one of the first medical marijuana companies to be granted a Health Canada licence to produce in 2013.
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Officials with the Peace River Regional District and the provincial government say that progress is being made on getting a nursing school established in Fort St. John.The news comes on the tail of last Wednesday’s announcement that the provincial government had approved the concept plan for major upgrades to the Dawson Creek Hospital. During that announcement, Health Minister Adrian Dix acknowledged the hospital’s staff who “a great place, regardless of what the facilities are like.”“We owe it to them to ensure that they practice the passion of their lives – caring for people – in the best possible facilities,” said Dix. While the newly-renovated hospital might provide a less stressful facility for healthcare workers, B.C. Auditor General Carol Bellringer said earlier this year that new facilities alone won’t solve issues with recruitment and retention of healthcare workers in Northeast B.C.In February, Bellringer released a report which said that Northern Health was not doing enough to recruit and retain registered nurses, especially in the northeast part of the province. As part of her recommendations, Bellringer said that establishing a nursing school in Northeast B.C. would help to better recruit and retain nurses in this part of the province.Weeks before Bellringer released the report, Fort St. John mayor Lori Ackerman said that talks on getting a nursing school established in Fort St. John were progressing, saying she expected to hear back from the provincial government in the Spring.Peace River Regional District Chair Brad Sperling, who was also at last week’s announcement, said that the latest news from the provincial government came at the North Central Local Government Association annual general meeting in Fort Nelson in May.“The program was virtually together and ready to go,” said Sperling. “That was in the beginning of May and they were hoping to have that down there in June. They did ask me if I would be prepared to head down there on a moment’s notice and the Board did approve that. Right now we’re just waiting to hear, but hopefully it’s on its way to the Minister.”
London: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in London for talks with British officials on the status of the special relationship between the nations amid heightened tensions with Iran and uncertainty over Britain’s exit from the European Union. Pompeo will meet Wednesday with British Prime Minister Theresa May and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and will later deliver a speech on the potential for improved U.S.-U.K. ties after Brexit. At his first event in the British capital, a meeting about religious freedom with Hunt and British faith leaders, including Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, Pompeo told participants that the Trump administration is committed to the rights of all people to worship as they please. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: Report”In the United States it’s in our Constitution, the First Amendment, it’s central to our founding,” he said. Welby thanked Pompeo for the administration’s attention to the matter, noting that Christians in the Middle East and Africa and religious minorities everywhere are under threat. But he also sounded a note of caution by telling Pompeo that foreign military inventions often have severe consequences for religious freedoms. “Where the interests of religious minorities are concerned, foreign interventions can often have very serious, long-term (impacts),” he said. Also Read – Iraq military admits ‘excessive force’ used in deadly protestsPompeo didn’t address Welby’s comment. Pompeo arrived in London after canceling a trip to Germany to make an unannounced visit to Baghdad, where he warned Iraqi officials about what he called imminent threats to American interests in the Middle East. Iran said earlier Wednesday that it would partially suspend its compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal from which President Donald Trump withdrew last year. Britain remains a party to the deal and has been working with the other European participants, France and Germany, on ways to salvage the accord in the wake of the U.S. withdrawal.
Benny Kauff191424IND0.98188.82 Ted Williams193920BOS1.045316.91 Albert Pujols200121STL1.013376.89 Tony Oliva196425MIN0.916326.50 Al Rosen195026CLE0.948376.39 Corey Seager201622LAD0.877266.77 Donie Bush190921DET0.69406.43 PLAYERYEARAGETEAMOPSHRWAR Ichiro Suzuki200127SEA0.83886.85 Mike Piazza199324LAD0.931357.21 WAR is an average of Baseball-Reference.com’s and FanGraphs’ versions. Rookie status is determined using current eligibility rules.Sources: Baseball-Reference.com, FanGraphs Kenny Lofton199225CLE0.72756.20 Billy Grabarkewitz197024LAD0.853176.30 Tommie Agee196623CHW0.773226.40 Kris Bryant201523CHC0.857266.21 Remember when New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge was mired in the slump to end all slumps? Or before that, when it appeared no park could contain his titanic blasts? The larger-than-life Judge has a tendency to take us to the extremes, for good and for bad — and sometimes both at once.1Even in kinda-sorta breaking out of his skid earlier this month, the guy had a .939 on-base plus slugging … while hitting just .200.So it was against the backdrop of all that on Monday when Judge reminded us just how insane his rookie season has been, through all the peaks and valleys. Facing the Kansas City Royals, Judge teed off for home runs No. 49 and 50 on the year, breaking Mark McGwire’s 3-decade-old MLB record for the most homers by a rookie. The record is symbolic — a nice, round number to cap off a historically great campaign — but also functional, since few players have hit half as many home runs as rookies and not gone on to turn in pretty good careers. As far as anyone can tell, Judge’s future still looks very bright, weird as this season was.Back when we wrote about Judge’s rookie performance at midseason, he’d easily compiled the best first half to a first season of any player in recent memory. Of course, that was before the month-and-a-half stretch immediately following the All-Star Game, during which Judge hit .179, struck out in 37 consecutive games and generally saw his once-amazing numbers reduced to mere indicators of just how strange things can get in today’s era of Three True Outcomes baseball. (Despite the ridiculously low average, Judge still walked enough for a decent OBP, making it difficult to say quite how poorly he was playing.)But by the time of Monday’s record-breaking outburst, Judge had long since dug himself out of that slump. In September, he has a 1.338 OPS — better than any of his early-season months, even — and has poured it on especially in the last two weeks and change, with four multi-homer games since Sept. 10. According to ESPN’s Stats & Information Group, Judge’s turnaround has coincided with a significant reduction in chased pitches (18 percent since Sept. 3 versus 28 percent between the All-Star break and Sept. 2) and a big hike in hard-hit balls (27 percent of at-bats versus 16 percent).The result has been to recover one of the greatest rookie seasons by a position player in major-league history. According to Wins Above Replacement,2Averaging together the versions found at Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs.com. Judge’s recent heroics have helped him edge out Mike Piazza’s 1993 and Fred Lynn’s 1975 campaigns for fifth place on the all-time list of rookie performances. Although he probably won’t catch Dick Allen’s stunning debut from 1964, which ranks fourth, Judge has still cemented his place among the top rookies ever. (As always, Mike Trout is No. 1, because of course he is.) N. Garciaparra199723BOS0.876306.50 Dick Allen196422PHI0.939298.50 Judge’s place in the rookie pantheonThe best rookie seasons since 1901, according to wins above replacement Fred Lynn197523BOS0.967217.25 Aaron Judge201725NYY1.038507.61 Joe Jackson191123CLE1.05879.23 Carlton Fisk197224BOS0.908226.95 Mike Trout201220LAA0.9633010.53 But forget the fancy stats. Just taken by themselves, 50 homers for a rookie is absurd; even 30 is relatively unheard of, having been done just 28 times in MLB history (including twice this season — more on that later). And the rookie 30-plus homer club makes for pretty good company. Among members who’ve had at least 10 years to bash more homers after their rookie seasons, the average career total is 286 home runs, ranging from Albert Pujols’s 614 on the high side to Jimmie Hall’s 121 on the low. Most didn’t approach Pujols territory, but they did tend to settle in around 200 to 300 career homers: Some names on the list, such as Ron Kittle, Matt Nokes and even current Red Sox left fielder Chris Young, are a little odd. If Judge follows their trajectories, he’ll finish with a career on the journeyman side, far from the halls of Cooperstown. But many more in this cohort ended up being very good ballplayers, including a handful of Hall of Fame-caliber legends — such as Pujols, Ted Williams, Frank Robinson, Piazza and our good friend Mike Trout — sprinkled in. Plus there’s Cody Bellinger of the Dodgers, the likely National League rookie of the year, who also joined the club this season with 39 homers as a rookie, his final story as unwritten as Judge’s.Judge is such a fascinating player partly because of all the highs and lows: How can one hitter be capable of so wide a range of performance? Despite his struggles after the All-Star break, though, Judge’s entire 2017 season was historic. Nobody knows exactly what’s next for the towering slugger — particularly with the ahead-of-schedule Yankees bound for the playoffs — but we’ve already seen enough to know Judge is worth geeking out over for seasons to come.
2003Kentucky2149IUPUI155998.119.9 1991UNLV2187Montana159298.443.1 2012Syracuse2054UNC-Asheville161994.97.5 1987Indiana2007Fairfield147398.066.0 1992Kansas2106Howard141098.937.8 2009Pittsburgh2021East Tennessee St.153696.210.4 2008Memphis2023Texas Arlington144298.111.4 2010Duke2059Arkansas Pine Bluff142298.79.5 2002Duke2193Winthrop141199.522.5 CHANCE THAT NO. 1 SEED WINS … 1996Purdue2050Western Carolina153996.829.5 2013Indiana1986James Madison157494.56.2 2002Kansas2066Holy Cross156197.321.9 1997Kentucky2181Montana157897.727.9 1988Temple2058Lehigh152197.258.2 1988Purdue2015Fairleigh Dickinson150297.562.6 2007Florida2046Jackson St.136598.712.4 1994Purdue2036Central Florida137399.034.2 1988Arizona2003Cornell149497.756.9 1993Kentucky2066Rider142798.835.1 1988Oklahoma2043Chattanooga152995.759.9 1989Illinois2094McNeese St.150998.553.6 2001Duke2149Monmouth154498.623.7 1985Georgetown2135Lehigh125699.7%99.7% 2015Kentucky2158Hampton150399.05.4 2000Stanford2092South Carolina St.141798.424.1 More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed 1985St. John’s1948Southern163687.783.7 1999Auburn1988Winthrop143897.425.7 1991Ohio St.1997Towson153096.540.4 2011Kansas2117Boston U.157098.18.1 1992Ohio St.2038Miss. Valley St.147598.138.3 2015Duke2028Robert Morris155496.45.2 1985Michigan2024Fairleigh Dickinson146198.082.0 1989Arizona2117Robert Morris136099.556.6 2011Pittsburgh2008UNC-Asheville159494.58.3 1987North Carolina2133Pennsylvania149298.869.3 1994Missouri2003Navy141498.333.6 1986Duke2116Miss. Valley St.160797.577.7 1992Duke2209Campbell134599.738.2 2006Connecticut2109Albany153197.916.2 1992UCLA1959Robert Morris148597.036.6 2008North Carolina2141Mount St. Mary’s156398.311.6 2003Texas1919UNC-Asheville127298.419.6 1998Duke2135Radford146298.826.5 2013Gonzaga2032Southern143598.46.7 1995UCLA2059Florida Intl.131399.531.2 1991Arkansas2034Georgia St.144896.639.0 1999Duke2295Florida A&M124899.925.3 2000Michigan St.2125Valparaiso147098.824.7 2011Duke2117Hampton147598.78.2 1998North Carolina2155Navy146498.926.8 2014Arizona2012Weber St.155795.75.6 1990Michigan St.2052Murray St.160794.543.8 1997Minnesota2023Texas St.142398.327.4 2012Michigan St.2029Long Island U.157995.76.9 2006Duke2084Southern143199.116.5 2010Kentucky2029East Tennessee St.152696.59.8 2002Maryland2110Siena154298.321.5 2005North Carolina2095Oakland151098.417.0 1999Connecticut2140Texas San Antonio146898.625.3 1989Georgetown2055Princeton153196.751.9 2015Villanova2086Lafayette149998.05.4 1996Massachusetts2127Central Florida136599.629.4 2009Louisville2059Morehead St.153497.010.1 2014Wichita St.2041Cal Poly153997.45.9 1995Kentucky2115Mount St. Mary’s144399.031.4 2003Arizona2069Vermont148198.520.3 1986Kansas2059North Carolina A&T151797.179.6 2005Washington1964Montana150495.217.4 2001Illinois2030Northwestern St.147598.023.0 YEARNO. 1 SEEDELONO. 16 SEEDELOTHIS GAMECUM. GAMES 1997North Carolina2099Fairfield143399.128.8 2007Kansas2063Niagara161395.212.6 2002Cincinnati2055Boston U.149497.821.1 1994Arkansas2001North Carolina A&T136498.932.7 1990UNLV1989Ark.-Little Rock160794.048.0 2007North Carolina2097Eastern Kentucky149498.413.5 1995Kansas2049Colgate147997.732.0 2004Saint Joseph’s1941Liberty144896.518.9 2004Duke2037Alabama St.133999.318.8 1991North Carolina2108Northeastern155797.241.9 2010Syracuse1986Vermont161992.68.8 2004Stanford2041Texas San Antonio145098.418.5 2007Ohio St.2084Central Conn. St.155097.713.2 2011Ohio St.2115Texas San Antonio152398.78.0 2009Connecticut2024Chattanooga150397.411.1 2001Stanford2113UNC-Greensboro145999.123.4 1993Indiana2130Wright St.155797.935.5 1998Arizona2159Nicholls St.152198.827.1 It’s the sort of statistic that seems ripped from pages of the Washington Generals media guide. Since the men’s NCAA Tournament went to a 64-team format in 1985, No. 16 seeds are winless: an imperfect 0-124 record.No. 16 seeds can be pretty bad basketball teams, of course. Often, they’re teams from small conferences that won automatic bids by winning their conference tournament in a series of upsets after having barely cleared .500 during the regular season. (Small-conference teams that win both the regular season and their conference tournaments will usually wind up with No. 13, 14 or 15 seeds instead.) Furthermore, No. 16s have the misfortune of being matched up against No. 1 seeds, which are theoretically the four best teams in the country.But being bad is one thing; going 0 for 124 is another. My hunch is that No. 16 seeds have been unlucky not to have pulled off at least one upset.Consider that in the 1998 women’s NCAA Tournament, No. 16 seed Harvard (those plucky upstarts) beat No. 1 seed Stanford. And in the men’s tournament, several No. 16 seeds have come close to winning. Two of them, Princeton and East Tennessee State, lost by a single point in 1989 to Georgetown and Oklahoma, respectively. The next year, No. 16 seed Murray State took Michigan State to overtime before losing by four.Meanwhile, plenty of No. 15 seeds have won. Well, not plenty, but seven of them have upset No. 2 seeds. And No. 14 seeds have beaten No. 3 seeds 20 times. These results suggest that 16-versus-1 upsets ought to be possible, especially because there isn’t always a whole lot of daylight separating teams from one seed to the next. As its choices this year made clear, the selection committee is not infallible. Sometimes a team gets seeded as a 16 when it should probably have been a 14 or 15. Sometimes a No. 1 seed should have been a No. 2 seed. If a No. 15 seed can beat a No. 2 seed, then surely a 15-seed that’s mis-seeded as 16 can beat a 2-seed that’s mis-seeded as a No. 1.But we can be more precise about this. In building our NCAA Tournament forecasts this year, we developed an Elo ratings system for college basketball. Although our forecasts for this year blend Elo with several other computer ratings, we can run Elo-based projections for past tournament games going back as far as we like.Here, then, is how Elo would have forecast every past 1-versus-16 matchup on the day it was played. Once we figure out the No. 1 seed’s odds of winning each game, we can simply multiply the probabilities to figure out their cumulative odds of winning all 124. It’s a long table, so scroll down to the bottom for the punch line. 1993Michigan2095Coastal Carolina146398.534.6 2006Memphis1931Oral Roberts162987.114.1 1985Oklahoma1963North Carolina A&T154495.795.4 1994North Carolina2082Liberty145098.433.1 2000Arizona1982Jackson St.139699.024.5 1986St. John’s2006Montana St.154094.470.1 2008Kansas2102Portland St.169895.511.8 2013Kansas2024Western Kentucky149997.76.5 2008UCLA2074Miss. Valley St.135099.512.3 2009North Carolina2103Radford152098.010.8 2001Michigan St.2105Alabama St.145098.522.6 1987Georgetown2015Bucknell148197.364.2 1990Oklahoma2101Towson150498.651.1 2010Kansas2161Lehigh151499.09.7 1997Kansas2194Jackson St.145199.228.6 2004Kentucky2085Florida A&M142199.018.3 This data suggests that No. 16 seeds have in fact been pretty unlucky. On average, Elo would have given the No. 1 seed a 97.6 percent chance of winning each individual game; the range runs from 99.9 percent (Duke against Florida A&M in 1999) to 87.1 percent (Memphis against Oral Roberts in 2006). But given 124 chances to pull a rabbit out of their hats, No. 16 seeds “should” have come away with about three victories, according to Elo. Furthermore, the probability of them having gone winless is only about 5 percent. I wouldn’t call the No. 16s phenomenally unlucky — we’re talking about odds of about 20-to-1 against, not 20,000-to-1 against — but this confirms my intuition that they haven’t caught very many breaks.The good news for No. 16 seeds is that their situation has been improving very slightly. Since the tournament introduced its play-in game in 2001, the average No. 16 to play a No. 1 had an Elo rating of 1504; before that, their average rating was 1470. The play-in games are helpful to the cause of the No. 16 seeds in two ways. First, the truly execrable No. 16s, like Florida A&M in 1999 (which came into the tournament with a 12-18 record in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference), will be routed into the play-in game and will usually lose it instead of wasting one of the 16-seeds’ four opportunities. Second, the play-in winners will have a game of NCAA Tournament experience under their belts. That helps both in real life and for a team’s Elo rating, since Elo weights recent games (and especially recent tournament games) more heavily.So cheer up, Holy Cross, Hampton, Florida Gulf Coast University and Austin Peay State. Yes, you’re probably going to lose by 30 points. But sooner or later, one of you is going to make history.Check out FiveThirtyEight’s 2016 March Madness Predictions. 1996Connecticut2134Colgate146698.829.1 Every No. 1 vs. No. 16 men’s NCAA Tournament matchup, ever 1998Kansas2144Prairie View131799.626.4 1990Connecticut2015Boston U.153396.446.3 By Nate Silver 2012North Carolina2059Vermont162996.07.2 1986Kentucky2029Davidson152495.674.2 2013Louisville2124North Carolina A&T145199.06.8 1995Wake Forest2077North Carolina A&T136199.131.7 1989Oklahoma2028East Tennessee St.151796.254.4 2005Illinois2132Fairleigh Dickinson147599.017.2 2014Florida2086Albany155498.06.0 2012Kentucky2105Western Kentucky147698.57.9 2003Oklahoma1975South Carolina St.147397.820.6 2014Virginia2028Coastal Carolina145197.85.5 1999Michigan St.2112Mount St. Mary’s142898.925.0 2006Villanova2035Monmouth150597.413.7 1993North Carolina2147East Carolina148098.936.2 2015Wisconsin2129Coastal Carolina148498.95.1 1996Kentucky2127San Jose St.157797.830.5 1987UNLV2064Idaho St.150697.367.4 2005Duke2058Delaware St.146998.316.7 Our sports podcast Hot Takedown previews March Madness. 2000Duke2161Lamar137299.624.0 Embed Code
All good baseball teams are built up the middle. At any level, the teams who succeed have a strong core built around their catcher, middle infielders — shortstop and second baseman — and center fielder. Managers and coaches openly admit having good defensive players at those key positions is crucial to a team’s success. But these defensive stars are rare commodities.Look at the world champion New York Yankees. Their ability to win five World Series titles since 1996 is no secret. The core of all those Yankees teams was up the middle. Jorge Posada behind the plate, perennial all-star Derek Jeter at short and Bernie Williams patrolling center field, for all but the last of the Yankees championships.The Philadelphia Phillies, who have been to the past two World Series, are built the same way. Shane Victorino in center, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins up the middle and Carlos Ruiz catching. Those four anchor the team and are in large part responsible for the Phillies’ dominance in the National League.Finding players at those positions as good with the bat as they are with the glove is even more rare. That’s why players like Jeter, Rollins and Utley are regarded as some of the best in the game.Having strength up the middle translates to success in the college game as well.“If you’re strong up the middle, I think it makes your team as a whole more solid,” Michael Stephens said. Stephens is Ohio State’s everyday centerfielder. “Every team in the nation that does really well has strong up the middle chemistry,” Stephens explained.So for the Ohio State baseball team to be able to boast outstanding players at each of the four positions is an incredible feat. The Buckeyes are both strong and experienced up the middle, the perfect storm for a team looking to claim a second consecutive Big Ten title.Stephens patrols center field for the Buckeyes, Tyler Engle and Cory Kovanda make up the middle infield and Dan Burkhart takes on the catching duties. Coach Bob Todd understands the importance of keeping that foursome in the line up. “We need all those guys to stay healthy. They give us quality play out there,” Todd said.The Junior College transfer Stephens is in his second year in the Ohio State program, but his final year of eligibility.The California native spent his first two seasons at Fullerton College — a junior college close to his hometown of Victorville, Calif. Stephens says there were many factors that influenced his decision to come to Ohio State, but one that stands out above the rest.“We travel and we get to play everywhere,” Stephens said. “Going down to Florida in the spring is a huge benefit.”Stephens elected to come to OSU due, in large part, to the amount the Buckeyes travel. He explained if he would have gone to a school like Cal State Fullerton, he would have played a majority of his games in Southern California against the same competition.His decision to come to OSU was to the delight of his teammates.“Stephens is great,” Engle said. “He plays a good center field and he’s clutch at the plate too.”Stephens immediately fit into the Buckeyes lineup and has earned his spot in a talented outfield. Last season he started all 61 games for the Buckeyes and is a key contributor in this his senior campaign.The dynamic duoWhen it comes to middle infielders, experience is the key. And that is exactly what Engle and Kovanda, a junior and a senior respectively, possess. This is the third year the tandem has played side-by-side for the Buckeyes, and their chemistry is evident.“Kovanda and Engle have done a great job defensively for us,” Todd said of the duo.Engle and Kovanda’s connection extends beyond the baseball field.“We’re great friends. We get along great,” Engle said. “With our busy schedules in the spring it’s tough, but we make it a point to hang out.” Their time spent together on and off the field is evident in their play as they combine to be the best double-play combo in the Big Ten.“We’re kind of in each other’s minds,” Engle said. “We both have a lot of confidence turning double plays, even the tough ones.”The backstopWhen talking OSU baseball, the conversation begins and ends with catcher Dan Burkhart.He has become a mainstay behind the plate for the Buckeyes. In his first year with the program Burkhart became the first freshman to start at catcher in nearly two decades. Now, as a junior, he’s collecting accolades on a seemingly weekly basis.Burkhart is the reigning Big Ten Player of the Year and was second-team preseason All-American. As Todd simply stated, “He’s the backbone of this team. There’s no doubt about it.”Burkhart demonstrates why he’s earned that title every game he suits up for the Buckeyes.The catcher handles the pitching staff beautifully, especially ace Alex Wimmers, who was his high school teammate. And Burkhart does it all defensively by blocking balls and throwing out base runners.“He’s a stud. You couldn’t ask for anything else behind the plate,” Engle said of Burkhart. “I wouldn’t have anybody else in the country.”At the plateWhat might be most impressive about the foursome isn’t what they do defensively, but rather on offense. Kovanda, Stephens and Burkhart make up the heart of the Buckeyes order, hitting second, third and fourth.Kovanda is near the top of the team leaders with a .379 batting average and Stephens’ eight home runs are top among the Buckeyes. And although Engle usually fills in the ninth spot in the line up, he’s a consistent contributor and serves as a second lead-off hitter.The foursome’s contributions on both sides of the ball clearly demonstrate that their play will dictate how far the Buckeyes are able to go this season.
Barcelona have officially unveiled Malcom as their newest signing with the Brazilian eager to get started at his “dream” club and he is relishing the prospect of playing alongside Lionel MessiThe winger was officially presented to the media at Nike Football’s headquarters in Portland after joining up with his new teammates at their training camp in America ahead of their preseason tour.Malcom’s moves to the La Liga giants did not come without controversy with the 21-year-old having been set to have joined AS Roma earlier this week after a transfer fee of €36m had agreed on between the Serie A club and Bordeaux.But the move fell through in shocking fashion after Barcelona lodged a superior bid that saw Malcom delightedly take the opportunity to go to the Camp Nou instead.In his first official press conference as a Barcelona player, Malcom was joined by president Josep Maria Bartomeu and sporting director Eric Abidal in the Cog Hill room of the Tiger Woods Center.“I know it’s a challenge to play for FC Barcelona, but this is a dream I’ve had since I was little,” said Malcom on the club website.In a team that features the likes of Messi and Luis Suarez, the highly-rated youngster is aware that opportunities may be hard to come by in his preferred position as a forward.But, even so, the chance to play and train alongside Messi is something that he is very much going to relish.“I’m a forward, and I’m multi-faceted, good in one-on-one situations, I’m very fast, and I can help out defensively,” he said.“Messi is the best player in the world. He’s a legend. And I hope to learn a lot from him.”Malcom joins many other Brazilian greats like Ronaldinho and Rivaldo that became legends during their time at Barcelona.“When I was little, my idol was Ronaldinho. Neymar too. I hope to follow in the footsteps of all the great Brazilian players who triumphed at Barça.”Quiz: How much do you know about David Villa? Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to test your knowledge about Spanish legendary forward David Villa.? Nike HQ ??? #EnjoyMalcom pic.twitter.com/zH7XV17Vp6— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) July 26, 2018Barcelona president Bartomeu revealed that they had held a long-term interest in Malcom.“We’ve been following Malcom since 2014, and our people who scouted him said he was very good,” said Bartomeu.“We’re sure he’s going to have a great season.”Abidal, who himself used to play for Barcelona as a full-back, believes that Malcom’s versatility will prove to be most welcome at the club.“He made the leap to Europe and adapted very well to different coaches and tactics,” said Abidal.“He’s left-footed and can play on both wings. In Brazil he played on the left wing and in Europe he’s played on the right wing. He can also play as an attacking midfielder.”“He’s a goalscorer and can also provide assists.”Malcom has signed a five-year deal at Barcelona that will last until the end of the 2022/23 season.
Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#TurksandCaicos, February 5, 2018 – North Caicos –BackgroundPremier Robinson and Hon Ralph Higgs on Thursday past toured Government Offices on North Caicos. Over the past few weeks, residents of North Caicos have reached out to Premier Robinson and Hon Ralph Higgs, the elected representative for the Twin Islands following the closure of several Government Offices over a period of a few days.The Representatives were informed that the Library, the Clinic and the Immigration Department in Bottle Creek were all closed. On receiving these complaints, both representatives confirmed them to be true with the relevant Department and Ministries. Minister Higgs traveled to the Island on receiving the news and was not satisfied that enough had been done and urgently enough to restore services that continued disrupted or hampered. As Minister with responsibility for District Administration and as the elected representative for the Twin Islands, both Premier Robinson and Hon Higgs thought it best to update the members of the community of Bottle Creek on their efforts following a joint visit on Thursday, February 1, 2018.The Joint text is set out below:We are aware that the Environmental Health Department had conducted inspections and had closed the Offices because of the presence of mold. The unfortunate thing is that the Spaces remained closed in the case of the Library for at least a week before it was cleaned which no doubt heightened the spread and growth of the mold. We were able to see during our Tour that all Offices are now cleaned and re – opened (in the case of the Clinic and the Immigration Department) and being prepared to re – open (in the case of the Library). It is regrettable that the Government – owned Buildings took longer and we are grateful for the quick cleaning carried out by the landlord for the space rented to the Immigration Department.The Bottle Creek Clinic had been temporarily operating from the Library and while efforts were being made to partition for greater privacy, we were informed by the Doctor through our Ministerial colleague that the Building was not suitable. There was a review of several options (2 premises were considered) on the Island for use and with the new Bottle Creek Clinic proceeding as planned, it was determined that it would not be prudent to spend large sums in retrofitting cost for rented accommodations. It was also determined that it was inappropriate for the Clinic to continue to operate from its current facility. Again ROM, Group of Companies (of which Hon Higgs is a partner) offered its accommodation free of cost and a Paper was submitted to Cabinet for approval. Since then Cabinet has approved the use of the Building formerly occupied by Digicel. This Building has been given free of charge for three months while the Ministry of Infrastructure prepare to repair the Clinic that was damaged following the Storm. District Administration, under the Premier’s Office is assisting with the cost for the Clinic’s relocation and preparation of the new temporary site to be occupied this week.We regret the chain of events and the inconvenience to the residents of the Bottle Creek community and we commit to assisting where can. Inquiries were made of the Deputy Governor, Mrs Anya Wlliams who did explain to us to the protocol to be followed once an inspection had been carried out and a determination of the kind made as in this instance. Whilst we recognize the structure in place seeks to remove as it were, political interference in the Public Service, we are of the view that Ministers should be built into certain Protocols and should on an occasion such as this, be officially advised of interruption of government services especially under their Ministries. Since this experience the Minister of Health has asked to be informed. This we believe will allow all ministerial colleagues to assist where they can.Hon Sharlene L Cartwright RobinsonPremier & Minister of FinanceThe Turks and Caicos Islands Related Items:
West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini has backed club-record signing Felipe Anderson despite his lack of form and believes the Brazilian can still turn it around.West Ham fans are unhappy with Anderson’s work-rate, but Pellegrini believes the midfielder will find his form in the Premier League.Anderson signed for West Ham from Lazio in a transfer deal reported to worth up to £42m but has only managed one goal and one assist from 10 Premier League starts.Pellegrini told Sky Sports: “Happy with his [Anderson’s] performance? In a global way, I think I am not happy, I think Felipe is not happy. I think that everyone is not happy because he has demonstrated that he can do more.Report: Rice is committed to West Ham not a United move George Patchias – September 4, 2019 Declan Rice is committed to his West Ham contract and not a move to Manchester United.In an interview reported by football.london, Rice opens up…“He had good moments in part of the game [in the league against Spurs], he also had bad moments, but he is not the first player that needs some time to know what is the Premier League.“But what I don’t have any doubt about with Felipe is his performance or his commitment with the team. He knows his performances must improve and he is giving his best to do it.“I trust a lot in him and he is always a player that can make easy mistakes but can also give you different things.”