Global travel group Flight Centre faces stiff fines after Australia’s competition regulator won a High Court appeal over allegations of price fixing involving three international airlines.The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission took action against Flight Centre in 2012, alleging that it attempted to induce Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines and Emirates to enter price fixing arrangments on six occasions between 2005 and 2009.The airlines had been offering cheaper fares than Flight Centre’s, which had a “Price Beat Guarantee’’ that forced it to beat fares by $1 and offer a $20 voucher.According to the High Court judgment, Flight Centre sent a series of emails to the three airlines between 2005 and 2009 in an attempt to get each airline to stop offering international airline tickets directly to customers at prices lower than those published to travel agents.It went as far as threatening to stop selling the tickets of each airline if that airline did not agree,The Federal Court fined the travel group $A11m in 2013 after finding it had attempted to induce “anti-competitive arrangements or understandings” with the airlines to prevent them from offering international online fares on their websites which undercut the fares on the Flight centre website.However, flight centre appealed the decision and it was overturned by the Full Federal Court which found there was no separate market for booking and distributing airline services and that Flight Centre did not compete with the carriers.The ACCC took the case to the High Court and a judgment delivered Wednesday allowed the appeal. The majority opinion was that Flight Centre was in competition with each airline, despite the fact it was also acting as their agents, and its actions contravened the Trade Practices Act.Each side will bear their own costs because not all of the ACCCs arguments were accepted by the court but the case will return to the federal Court to decide penalties.”The ACCC pursued this matter because we were concerned that Flight Centre’s conduct in this case affected the competitive process,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said in a statement. “At the core of the matter is the question of whether Flight Centre and the airlines are legally considered competitors.“The ACCC has always maintained that they are in competition with one another to sell flights to consumers.”Sims said the decision would provide important guidance for the future application of Australian competition laws where competing offers were made directly to consumers by both agents and their principal.Flight Centre managing director Graham Turner said the company was pleased the long-running saga had been resolved and respected the Court’s decision. However, he was disappointed it had reached this point.”Flight Centre has sought to deliver cheaper airfares to the travelling public for more than 30 years and is not in the business of attempting to make airfares more expensive,” he said.”As an agent that provides considerable advice and help to the travelling public and extensive marketing for airlines, FLT asks for appropriate commissions from suppliers and also reasonable access to all deals that they release to the market.”This is a logical and natural business request for an agent to make to ensure the customers it serves on behalf of airlines are not disadvantaged.”
Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Read Next Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netGame 2 of the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals between Ginebra and Meralco drew a mammoth crowd at Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday.But lost in the shuffle of the 16,159-strong fans who made their way to the Big Dome was the presence of Philippine basketball greats Robert Jaworski and Francis Arnaiz.ADVERTISEMENT Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients The legendary backcourt tandem was side-by-side again among the screaming crowd when their old teams clash for the title in the season-ending conference.As always, Jaworski’s presence drew a lot of attention as fans came in troves to get a photo of the former senator.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutBut it didn’t take long before the public acknowledged Arnaiz, who was smiling as he soaked in the atmosphere from the rambunctious Araneta crowd, that even celebrities in attendance like newscaster Arnold Clavio couldn’t help but ask for mementos.With Jaworski and Arnaiz terrorizing the backcourt back in their day, they led their old Meralco team, then-known as the Reddy Kilowatts, to the 1971 Open Championship in the defunct MICAA. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games View comments LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary LATEST STORIES Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Black challenges locals to make shots, help Durham Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight They then took their partnership in the PBA, as they helped Toyota win nine titles before switching sides to Ginebra, where they won the franchise’s first taste of gold in the 1986 Open Conference.The Gin Kings ended up taking Game 2, 86-76, to grab a 2-0 lead in the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals. MOST READ
QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH MOST READ As per Sole Collector, the new shoe will be called the Kobe 360 and Bryant used the word “lightweight” as the all-encompassing feature.“It’s really a challenging duality,” said Bryant in the report. “How can you create something that is so lightweight, so minimal without compromising stability? Without compromising performance it?”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe Kobe 360 will be Bryant’s fifth line joining the Kobe, Venomenon, Kobe Mentality, and Mamba Instinct lines.“As Kobe continues to push us, this product represents a breakthrough in how shoes are designed and made,” said Parker. LATEST STORIES Read Next Standhardinger or Ravena? San Miguel to pick first in 2017 PBA Draft Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Former NBA basketball player Kobe Bryant attends a promotional event organized by the sports brand Nike, for the inauguration of the infrastructure improvements of a local basketball playground at the Jean-Jaures sports hall “Le Quartier”, in Paris on October 21, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE LOPEZKobe Bryant had already settled into retirement but that doesn’t mean he would stop from being an influence in the sneaker-wearing community.At Nike’s Investor Day in Portland, Bryant joined Nike CEO Mark Parker in announcing his new signature sneaker.ADVERTISEMENT CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa View comments
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.
Junior forward Sam Thompson scans the court during a game against Minnesota Feb. 22 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 64-46.Credit: Ritika Shah / Asst. photo editorEven Michael Jordan needed a Scottie Pippen. A star player can’t carry the team all on his own.As often as individual brilliance dazzles in the sport of basketball — NBA Hall of Famer Wilt Chamberlain scored 67 or more points in losses four times in his career — a balanced attack will more often than not win the day.For the Ohio State men’s basketball team, this presents a problem.Despite leading the Buckeyes in scoring this season with 14.3 points per game, junior forward LaQuinton Ross can’t do it all alone.Since losing Deshaun Thomas to the NBA Draft at the end of last season, the No. 22-ranked Buckeyes (22-6, 9-6, fourth in the Big Ten) have relied heavily on Ross to carry the load.Emerging as the team’s top scoring threat, Ross has encountered comparisons to Thomas throughout the season, something he said isn’t exactly how he wants it.“I try not to look at it that way. I try to be myself,” Ross said Wednesday. “If other people are throwing out the comparison, that’s fine, I don’t get into that a lot. I try to do what I can at Ohio State and eventually, like Deshaun left his legacy, I try to do the same and do mine.”So far in 2013-14, Ross has six games in which he scored 20 or more points. His teammates have only managed one between all of them.Ross said he doesn’t feel the added pressure of scoring in tight situations, especially late in games.“I came into Ohio State as a scorer. I’ve been labeled as that for a long time now so in those situations in games, that’s something that’s almost a talent for me so I don’t feel pressure from it,” Ross said. “I think sometimes during those moments in the games my teammates look for me. I’ve just got to step up to the talent.”Since conference play began, Ross has seen his number called more and more often, in particular when the game is on the line.In the Buckeyes’ six conference losses this season, Ross has shot an average of 24.4 percent of the field goals attempted by OSU as a team, as compared to 19 percent of the total shots taken during wins.But in recent games, Ross has had some of the pressure alleviated with the help of a fellow junior forward.After only managing double digits in two of OSU’s first 13 Big Ten games, Sam Thompson has averaged 15 points in the last two, including a 19 point performance against Minnesota.Thompson said he can step up as the second go-to scorer for the Buckeyes, as long as he keeps playing with intensity.“I just have to continue to be aggressive, continue to make plays,” Thompson said. “Do so within the flow of the offense and do so within the flow of the team, but continue to make plays and I feel like that’s when we’re at our best.”Ross added that having Thompson scoring at a high rate will help him while the team aims for an NCAA Tournament run.“It definitely makes my job a lot easier,” Ross said. “Anytime anybody is pitching in and we’re getting that extra scoring — not even that extra scoring, just people making plays and being aggressive — I think that helps our team out a lot. I think we’re a way better team when everybody is being aggressive and trying their hardest on the offensive end and when we’re playing offense like we play defense.”Thompson has had more of a chance to shine since coach Thad Matta made the decision to put him in the starting lineup in lieu of junior guard Shannon Scott.Matta said Thompson has the ability to be the team’s second scorer, and that will help the team immensely.“It definitely gives us another guy out there that you have to be concerned about in terms of putting the ball in the basket. I think it opens things up in terms of driving opportunities, drive and kicks, even posting the basketball,” Matta said Wednesday. “I think Sam, when he’s playing like that, puts pressure on the defense to rotate more and those are things that all coaches look for. The more, the better.”Matta also said Thompson is on an upward trend as a player, provided he can continue to do what he does best.“The biggest thing he’s got to do is continue to play at this level,” Matta said. “(I’m) not saying getting 20 points or anything like that, but just bring what he has to the table. And it’s not the dunks … But it’s all the other things. Finishing around the basket, making his free throws, knocking down some threes. Those are the things that can complete kind of who he is. Assist-to-turnover ratio and those types of things.”OSU is set to travel to State College, Pa., to take on Penn State (13-14, 4-10) Thursday at 7 p.m.Thompson will be looking to continue his trend as the team’s second scorer against a team that held him to one point Jan. 29 in a 71-70 Buckeye loss in overtime.
Thierry Henry has reportedly agreed to become the new manager of Bordeaux, according to reports in FranceThe former Arsenal and Barcelona forward is looking for his first managerial role after working as an assistant coach to Roberto Martinez at Belgium for the past two years.Now French news outlet RMC claim Henry has said “yes” to taking charge of Bordeaux, who recently fired Gus Poyet following his comments over the board’s handling of the sale of Gaetan Laborde to rival club Montpellier.While nothing is official yet, a final agreement is close to being finalised for Henry to replace the Uruguayan.PSG ultras sent a warning letter to Neymar Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Brazilian superstar Neymar might play today his first game of the season for Paris Saint-Germain and the team’s ultras have warned him.The Frenchman’s former Arsenal teammate Gilles Grimandi could also be joining him at the Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux as an assistant coach.Henry had been previously linked with Aston Villa, before they announced that they will be sticking with current manager Steve Bruce.Bordeaux have lost both of their opening games of the new Ligue 1 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: