Indian Navy performs maiden trials of new DSRV

first_imgIndia’s Western Naval Command recently started the maiden trials of the country’s newly-delivered deep submergence rescue vehicle (DSRV).Delivered by UK-based James Fisher Defence (JFD) as part of a £193 million contract from 2016, the DSRV represents a new specialist capability for the Indian Navy.The navy will receive two such systems, both operated by a crew of three and capable of rescuing 14 personnel from a disabled submarine at one time.According to the Indian Navy, the DSRV carried out underwater mating with a bottomed submarine, at over 300 feet depth, in a test on October 15. On successful mating the DSRV opened its hatches and the submarine hatches and carried out transfer of personnel from the submarine to the DSRV.“These sea trials have proven the newly inducted DSRV’s ability to undertake rescue operations from disabled submarines at sea and has provided the Indian Navy with a critical capability,” the navy said.During the trials the DSRV also dived successfully up to 666 m. This is a record for deepest submergence by a ‘manned vessel’ in Indian waters. The DSRV crew has also carried out ROV operations at over 750 meters and Side Scan Sonar operations at over 650 meters, which are all ‘firsts’ for the Indian Navy.The ongoing trials will also include air transportation of the system by the IAF’s heavy-lift transport aircraft.The DSAR class SRV is capable of diving with a crew of 3 and up to 17 rescuees, while the medical hyperbaric complex can treat and decompress up to 90 personnel at any one time. The launch and recovery system has been designed to handle the SRV in conditions up to and including sea state 6, while a pair of self-contained generators are capable of providing a fully redundant electrical supply to the entire system. View post tag: DSRV Photo: Photo: Indian Navy Share this articlecenter_img View post tag: Indian Navy View post tag: JFDlast_img read more

Half-time: Brentford 0 Birmingham 0

first_imgMarco Djuricin had a number of early chances as Brentford were left frustrated in Lee Carsley’s first half in charge of the club.The Bees striker missed the target from close range twice in the opening 15 minutes before forcing Birmingham keeper Tomasz Kuszczak into two low saves before the half-hour mark.Alan Judge also forced a save from Kuszczak just before the interval as Carsley, who replaced the sacked Marinus Dijkuizen on Monday, made two changes from the side that lost at home at the weekend.Jack O’Connell replaced the suspended James Tarkowski while Ryan Woods came in for Josh Clarke.Konstantin Kerschbaumer was moved to the right-hand side of midfield as Carsley opted for a 4-4-2 system that included Lasse Vibe up front with Djuricin.Brentford: Button; McCormack, O’Connell, Dean, Bidwell; Diagouraga, Kerschbaumer, Woods, Judge; Vibe, Djuricin.Subs: Bonham, Gogia, Yennaris, Barbet, Udumaga, Clarke, Canos.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Geocaching.com Profile – “The Hiders”

first_imgThe HidersKandy and Dann, Wheeler DealersKandy and Dann, Wheeler DealersWheeler Dealers caching career is all about hiding creative and fun geocaches. Kandy and Dann started geocaching in 2003. They’ve hidden more than 1500 geocaches around their Southern California home since then.Kandy says, “We think you need to keep an open mind while placing geocaches. We like hiding caches because it feeds the creativity we have. It also has become a pleasure to be able to add fun to so many people’s lives that come to our area.”Her advice for becoming a great hider is easy to follow, “Study an area, look for any nook and cranny, be ready to do a color match or similar texture and then make it a fun name. We like to have the hint in the name.”Kandy says they like giving geocachers the same experiences that draw them to the activity, “We like Geocaching because we are always looking for an adventure. We have always liked getting out and exploring unknown territory so now we have an excuse to travel the unknown road or trail.”Out of their more than 1500 hides one hide stands out: “Our favorite hide, we were out and about looking for places to put a cache and found a pair of HANDCUFFS  in the dirt. We put them on in an abandoned cement tube with a handle.  We then hunted for a fake severed arm and put the other handcuff on the wrist of the arm and glued an Altoids tin in the palm of the hand.“We named the cache, The thief that got away…[now archived] with a description that we didn’t like people taking  our caches   The arm was finally taken away by someone but the cache made many people laugh and that is why we like placing caches.”Just this year, hiding became more exciting for the Wheeler Dealers team: “Our reward now is the “favorites” votes.  It takes more time to place a cache than to find a cache.  We are pleased that Groundspeak is acknowledging the people that help make it a fun sport for others.” Geocaching Favorites is a new feature on Geocaching.com.What’s your advice regarding creating great hides?Share with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedPadlocks, RFID chips, and secret briefcases: an interview with a geocaching maniacMarch 12, 2019In “Geocaching Weekly Newsletter”The Ultimate Hiding Tool — Swiss Army Knife of Geocache Containers (GC53TZQ) — Geocache of the WeekSeptember 17, 2014In “Community”Time to Phone-a-Friend: Sometimes hiding a geocache takes twoJune 24, 2014In “Community”last_img read more

BW LPG Calls Dorian LPG to the Negotiating Table

first_imgzoomImage Courtesy: BW LPG Owner and operator of gas carriers BW LPG has called Dorian LPG to return to the negotiating table, only weeks after its takeover proposal got rejected.BW LPG sent an open letter to Dorian LPG regarding its combination proposal, under which Dorian shareholders would receive 2.05 BW LPG shares for each Dorian share.Based on BW LPG’s current price of NOK 33.80 (USD 4.17) as of June 25, 2018, BW LPG’s proposal to combine with Dorian represents a value of USD 8.55, a 22.9% premium to Dorian’s unaffected share price of USD 6.96 as of May 25, 2018. On a pro forma basis for the year ended December 31, 2017, Dorian would have contributed 33% of revenue, 38% of EBITDA and 40% of free cash flow while its shareholders would receive a 45% stake in the combined entity.BW LPG informed that the overall market response has been positive and reflective of the significant benefits of the proposed combination, including the creation of a leading VLGC player, significant synergies, increased market capitalization, cash flow accretion, liquidity for Dorian shareholders, and a stronger credit profile.“We urge Dorian’s Board of Directors to respond to its shareholders and engage with us. Since announcing the proposal, we have spoken with many BW LPG and Dorian shareholders and are pleased with the positive feedback we have received,” Martin Ackermann, BW LPG Chief Executive Officer, said.“We were surprised that Dorian’s Board of Directors rejected our proposal without giving us the opportunity to engage in a discussion, and believe a number of the points Dorian’s Board of Directors highlighted suggest a misunderstanding of our business and the proposed combination. We believe that a discussion between Dorian and BW LPG would be appropriate to address any questions Dorian may have about our proposal and we are ready to meet with them,” Ackermann concluded.last_img read more

Inflation angst Businesses face higher labour vendor costs

first_imgNEW YORK — Diners are willing to pay more at Manhattan’s upscale Gotham Bar and Grill, but price increases these days aren’t about snob appeal — the restaurant is contending with higher costs, particularly from rising wages.“We have been forced to raise our prices to offset this expense and our pricing still doesn’t compensate fully for the increase,” says Bret Csencsitz, managing partner in the restaurant located in the Greenwich Village section.Gotham’s hourly wages have gone up along with the city’s minimum wage, which rose $2 an hour to $13 last December and will reach $15 this Dec. 31. The restaurant is also paying more for ingredients, especially eggs and other dairy items that are key dessert components.Higher labour costs due to a tight employment market and rising minimum wages in states like New York are a key factor as some small businesses struggle with inflation and consider whether to pass higher expenses along to customers. Wholesale prices, which reflect what businesses pay for goods and services, rose 0.6 per cent in October, the largest increase in six years. Consumer prices, which the Federal Reserve considers as it determines whether to raise interest rates, were up 2.5 per cent from October 2017. Economists consider U.S. inflation to currently be mostly in check, but individual businesses can feel the impact of higher prices in differing ways, depending on where they’re located, whether they have employees, are in tight real estate markets and face the Trump administration’s tariffs on imports.Owners have varying strategies for coping with inflation. Where possible, they try to negotiate lower prices with suppliers or search for new vendors. They may change products or services to avoid raising prices or keep the increases to a minimum. Others understand when they’re forced to charge more that they may lose some business.Gotham won’t downscale its menu, and while it has raised prices, it’s also absorbing costs rather than lose customers, Csencsitz says.“There is a limit to what the consumer is willing to accept to dine out. We’d rather take a hit on the bottom line,” he says.Just a few years ago, Tom Malesic was able to pay a website developer at his Lancaster, Pennsylvania, internet marketing company $35,000. Now, he says, “we’re lucky to get one at $60,000.”“Our biggest business expense is labour. Our salaries have had to go up substantially to stay competitive and attract the people that we need to be successful,” says Malesic, owner of EZSolution. He also has other rising expenses, including software that’s upgraded yearly and costs more with each enhancement.Malesic has had to raise prices, but rather than implementing an across-the-board increase, he’s created a tiered system, packaging services and pricing them according to what each package offers. Customer response has been positive, he says.“In the last year, we’ve done a better job at repositioning and being transparent about what they get,” Malesic says. “That’s definitely been helpful.”Raising prices is difficult in the printing industry, where many companies have shut down in the past decade, not only because of the recession, but because their business customers no longer send printed documents through the mail.“I had to keep my prices decently low just not to go out of business,” says Joy Gendusa, owner of Postcardmania in Clearwater, Florida. She absorbed the increases by resigning herself to lower profit margins. Now, however, with labour costs up $22,000 a week this year including what she pays for staffers’ health insurance, she’s passing some increases to customers.“We’ve had to raise our prices to afford the creme de la creme of personnel,” says Gendusa, who has 235 employees. She’s also finding ways to diversify; she’s added electronic mailing services that bring in more revenue and are more profitable than printing.When inflation manifests itself in the form of soaring rents, some companies shut down, forcing their small business customers to find new suppliers. When some of Haldora Bjornsson’s fabric vendors in New York’s Garment District closed, she had fewer resources for the silk she uses in custom-made women’s clothes.“Now, there aren’t so many choices, and we are paying a higher cost,” says Bjornsson, owner of Haldora, a store in Rhinebeck, New York.Bjornsson also pays more for thread and buttons and is concerned that Trump administration tariffs could exacerbate the increases. While customers expect to pay more for her clothes — her signature shirt ranges from $258 to $649 — Bjornsson is hesitant to raise her own prices because she doesn’t want to lose sales. The solution, she says, is to scale back the types of fabric she uses.“I make less silk (shirts) than I used to. I’m still using linen and cotton,” Bjornsson says.Owners whose companies require frequent travel are getting hit hard, especially if they’re not flying in and out of major hubs.“I’m finding that coming out of Santa Fe and Albuquerque (New Mexico), the inexpensive flights I used to take are sold out,” says Sarah Boisvert, who takes about five trips a month for her technology training company, Fab Lab Hub. She estimates her travel expenses are up by a third this year. Boisvert flies to cities like Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Tulsa, Oklahoma, and fares are higher than on more heavily travelled routes like New York-Los Angeles. Some tickets she used to pay $400 for now cost $900.But Boisvert, whose company helps train people in skills like 3D printing, gets funding from grants and can’t pass along cost increases. She has to take steps that are hard for a company focused on new technology.“We have to cut elsewhere — delay new equipment purchases, for example,” she says._____For more small business news, insights and inspiration, sign up for our free weekly newsletter here: http://discover.ap.org/ssb_____Follow Joyce Rosenberg at www.twitter.com/JoyceMRosenberg . Her work can be found here: https://apnews.com/search/joyce%20rosenbergJoyce M. Rosenberg, The Associated Presslast_img read more

Moms start companies to fill demand for Spanish books

first_imgNEW YORK — You might have heard of the three blind mice or the itsy-bitsy spider who went up the water spout. But have you ever heard of the little cold and hungry chicks?If you grew up speaking Spanish, the answer is probably yes. But Susie Jaramillo wants everyone to know “Los Pollitos,” a bedtime song about a hen taking care of her hatchlings that’s as familiar in the Spanish-speaking world as “Twinke, Twinkle, Little Star” is to English speakers.The song is the heart of Canticos, a series of bilingual books, companion apps and singalong videos that the Venezuelan-American mother of two dreamed up after she couldn’t find enough Spanish-language books to read to her children. The brand, which debuted in 2016, had its biggest breakthrough this year when Nickelodeon adapted it to develop a series for toddlers on its digital platforms.Canticos capitalized on a growing market for Spanish books in the United States, which the traditional publishing industry has addressed in fits and starts. Small companies are stepping in to fill the void, leveraging social media and strategic retail partnerships to target key customer bases, often ones they themselves belong to.“When I had my first child, I went online and thought: Where are all the board books of these songs that I grew up with?” said Jaramillo, a former co-founder of a Latino-focused New York advertising agency. “We’re always singing the American songs in Spanish, and our songs are great. Why aren’t people singing them in English?”Jaramillo teamed up with fellow mother Nuria Santamaria Wolfe, a former head of multicultural strategy at Twitter, to launch Encantos Media Studios, an entertainment company that released Canticos as the first of its planned bilingual brands.Two other mothers, Patty Rodriguez and Ariana Stein, founded their own publishing company in 2014 when Rodriguez couldn’t sell mainstream publishers on her concept of a bilingual board book series featuring Latino icons and traditions. The company, Lil’ Libros, landed a partnership with Target just five months after publishing its first book, “Counting with Frida,” now the bestseller on Amazon among children’s counting books. The books are now sold at 1,300 stores nationwide.“We didn’t expect this reaction. We were doing it for love. If 100 kids picked up our books, we would have been happy,” said Rodriguez, a senior producer for the radio show “On Air With Ryan Seacrest.”Friends Chiara Arroyo and Celene Navarette were on the book fair committee of their children’s bilingual school in Los Angeles when they noticed the spotty Spanish-language selection. They persuaded Mexican publishers to send some titles, set up two tables and quickly sold out. They founded their business five years ago, selling books at other school fairs and then online.By 2015, they had opened La Libreria, a store in central Los Angeles and nationwide distributor of books from Latin America and Spain.U.S. sales of children’s Spanish-language books rose 6 per cent over the past year to 1.5 million units, according to NDP BookScan. Overall Spanish-language books jumped 15 per cent. But that still represents less than 1 per cent of the overall book market in a country with more than 41 million Spanish speakers.Major publishers and distributors have pursued the Spanish-language market for years with mixed results. Some closed or downsized Spanish-language imprints after sales fell short of expectations during the Great Recession, and as the industry struggled to adjust to the Amazon era that squeezed traditional booksellers.In an internet-driven age of fractured consumer markets, Jaramillo and Santamaria Wolf said strategic partnerships have been key, particularly with brands and retailers like Target, which considers Hispanic mothers a key customer base.Pam Kaufman, president of global consumer products at Viacom/Nickelodeon, said the company had been looking for a baby brand when she was introduced to Canticos at an industry conference. When she showed the videos to her Hispanic colleagues, some teared up.“I thought, OK, we have something here,” Kaufman said. “We are excited about it because it is authentic.”Nickelodeon, which also added a Spanish-language hub to its video subscription service NOGGIN in the spring, is planning a line of Canticos toys, clothing and decor for next year.With sales picking up, major players in the traditional book industry are expanding their Spanish-language business. HarperCollins launched a new Spanish-language division in 2015. Chicago-based distributor IPG, already a key distributor of Spanish-language books, added two publishers from Spain and one from Mexico to its list in November.Arroyo and Navarette, owners of La Libreria, said the rise of dual-language programs in schools is driving interest in children’s books originally written in Spanish.The trouble is keeping up with demand. Latin American and Spanish publishers tend to have printing cycles that are too slow and small for the U.S. consumer market. Often, by the time a school orders a title, the books will have sold out in the original country, Arroyo said.In the United States, a growing number of Hispanic authors are pushing for Spanish translations of their books or weaving the language into stories with bilingual themes.Juana Martinez-Leal wrote both the Spanish and English versions of her award-winning “Alma and How She Got Her Name” and insisted on a publisher that would release them simultaneously, said her agent, Stefanie Sanchez Von Borstel.Of the seven publishers who bid on the book, only two agreed. Candlewick Press released the two editions in April, and the English version is in its second printing. Von Borstel said sales of the Spanish edition have been a little slower, partly because bilingual and Spanish-language books face a tough battle for shelf space.Rodriguez and Stein understand that problem well. Once, they were once stunned to find Lil’ Libros — an American series — upstairs in the “foreign section” of an Oregon bookstore.Stein scooped them all up and marched them downstairs to the children’s section herself.Alexandra Olson, The Associated Presslast_img read more

The Yankees Snapped Up This Offseasons Best Pitcher

But although the Yankees like elite fastballs and Paxton has a good one, New York ranked just 16th in four-seam fastball usage last year. The team often uses velocity to set up breaking balls and changeups, which tend to get more swings and misses than fastballs do. And with this strategy, the 2018 Yankees became just the third staff ever to strike out more than 10 batters per nine innings (10.10), joining the 2017 Cleveland Indians (10.08) and 2018 Astros (10.44).So it won’t be a surprise if the Yankees help Paxton by getting him to rely on his fastball less. Paxton threw it 55.6 percent of the time last season, ranking 26th in usage in the majors.Paxton’s cutter ranked second in the majors, behind Trevor Bauer, in whiffs per swing, at 37.2 percent. The New York Yankees tried to trade last winter for Gerrit Cole, arguably the top starting pitcher available. They were not willing to to meet the Pittsburgh Pirates’ asking price. Cole landed in Houston. Who knows how he might have changed the Yankees’ 2018 season.This offseason, the Yankees again targeted the top pitcher available. This time, they got him.The Yankees acquired left-handed pitcher James Paxton from the Seattle Mariners on Monday evening for a package of three prospects. While he might not be a household name outside the Pacific Northwest, he offers the Yankees the potential for a second legit ace alongside Luis Severino.Paxton ranks near the top of the leaderboard in nearly every rate statistic that indicates pitcher dominance. Since his breakout 2017 season, Paxton ranks sixth in the majors in strikeouts per nine innings (11.1) among pitchers who have thrown at least 150 innings, sixth in strikeout percentage minus walk percentage (23.8 percent) and eighth in wins above replacement per 200 innings (5.7) — a rough measure of what a healthy starting pitcher might provide over a full season — trailing starters Chris Sale, Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom, Corey Kluber, Noah Syndergaard and Severino, plus reliever Blake Treinen, who got a lot of work in last year. In other words, the elite of the elite. He ranks seventh since 2017 in fielding-independent pitching (2.95), which is scaled like ERA but factors out how the defense affects pitchers’ stats, and 34th by a more traditional measure, ERA (3.40).Is it enough to close the gap with the reigning World Series champions, the Boston Red Sox?Yankees GM Brian Cashman said adding Paxton may be just a start.“We’ve got one in the fold,” Cashman said. “And at the very worst we’re looking to add another.”And the same way Cole improved with the Astros last season, the Yankees might also be acquiring a pitcher who could get better in his new home. Even a home as hitter-friendly as Yankee Stadium.The Yankees prize velocity. They led the majors with an average fastball of 95.3 mph last season, and the three hardest-throwing staffs of the pitch-tracking era (since 2007) have played in pinstripes. Paxton’s fastball averaged 95.9 mph last season, ranking 15th among pitchers that had thrown at least 100 innings (Severino was second at 97.9 mph).Paxton has one of the game’s top whiff rates (26.1 percent on pitches that drew a swing) on his fastball and he also allows some of the weakest contact in the game. The average exit velocity of balls batters made contact with against him (89.4 mph) ranked in the lowest 4 percent. Here’s an elevated 97 mph fastball that Paxton threw for his 15th strikeout in a May game against the Oakland A’s: He could benefit from using those offspeed and breaking pitches more often, and he might have a fourth pitch if he keeps to his plan to incorporate a changeup.“Oh, I’ve seen it,” Mariners starter Wade LeBlanc told The Athletic in September. “If he were to throw that pitch in games, it would be the best [changeup] on the team.”The problem with Paxton is less quality than quantity. The ace, who is under club control through 2020, doesn’t always contribute volume, as he’s often on the disabled list.He has never thrown 200 innings in major league season, and his 160.1 innings last season were a career high. He’s dealt with an assortment of injuries, including a forearm bruise this past season. So for the Yankees, he’s not without risk, but the asking price wasn’t as steep as it was Cole.The Yankees did part with left-handed pitcher Justus Sheffield, their No. 1-ranked prospect, according to Baseball America and FanGraphs. Sheffield was acquired in the 2016 midsummer trade that sent reliever Andrew Miller to Cleveland.But Sheffield isn’t the same quality of prospect that Yankees infielders Gleyber Torres or Miguel Andujar were a year ago, according to some analysts, when the Pittsburgh Pirates demanded one of them in exchange for Cole. Some evaluators believe Sheffield might end up becoming a bullpen arm. Others see him as a mid-rotation starter. Sheffield has talent but his command issues continued in 2018. The Mariners might see more potential to work with in Sheffield, and the team also received powerful righty Erik Swanson and outfielder Don Thompson-Williams.After selling his most valuable asset, Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto told reporters that the team plans to take a “step back” in 2019 and then take “two steps forward” later, with a focus on 2020 and 2021.That’s an optimistic assessment.The Mariners faded from playoff contention last season, and their average hitter last year was 29.8 years old, tying them with the San Francisco Giants for the oldest position players in the majors. (Their pitching staff was the 10th oldest at 29.0 years). By some measures, they have the game’s weakest farm system. The Mariners depleted their farm in recent years to upgrade the major league roster, but they have not advanced to the postseason since 2001, the longest drought in the majors. They might be waiting a while longer. As for the Yankees, who won 100 games last season but finished eight games behind Boston, a healthy Paxton will help them close the gap in the AL East.The Yankees starters were fifth in WAR last season and tied for ninth in ERA-, which accounts for park effects and the league run environment. Paxton provides a massive upgrade from New York’s weakest link in Sonny Gray (5.26 ERA). The Yankees’ staff was already good, and now it might be great. Opponents hit .145 versus Paxton’s cutter and .235 against his curveball, including this whiff against Josh Donaldson during a no-hitter Paxton threw against the Toronto Blue Jays in Canada, where he grew up: read more

Whos To Blame For The Nationals Implosion

Yunel Escobar2.320.3 Ian Desmond1.52.8-1.3 How Takedown on the Nationals’ collapseSubscribe to the full podcast on iTunes. We also can’t dismiss the impact of chemistry, even if it can’t yet be measured in any rigorous way. Sabermetricians are normally hesitant to entertain such explanations, but there’s some evidence that things were getting tense in the Nationals’ clubhouse. There was a midseason trade for a notorious veteran (closer Jonathan Papelbon), which preceded a stretch of poor performance. Over and above correlation, however, Papelbon has blown several saves and literally tried to choke the team’s best player in the dugout.A similarly undetermined factor is the team’s coaching, in particular manager Matt Williams. Anecdotally, Williams has seen a number of poor strategic decisions cost his team wins, but we lack a definitive stat to measure managerial performance, even at a basic level.Even in a worst-case scenario, the Nationals should have had enough talent to qualify for a wild card spot. Instead, they’ll be watching the Mets compete for the World Series, and they don’t have any one person to blame. Whether by bad luck, injuries, mismanagement or poor chemistry, the Nationals let a chance at contention slip through their fingers in an unparalleled breakdown. NAMEWARPROJECTED WARDIFFERENCE Where to begin with the Washington Nationals? How does a team that was projected to win 95 games finish so far from the playoffs? How does a team with Max Scherzer and two of the best young players in baseball, Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg, muddle their way through the second half of the season? How does a team allow an inside-the-park grand slam? How does a team watch its imported closer attack its best player and then send the closer back onto the field to finish the game?The Nationals were a consensus pick to win the National League East, both by experts and by statistical analysis. Only 27 other teams since 2003 have had a better win-total projection than the Nationals’ 90.8 this year, according to my calculations.1To calculate this, I used a measure of preseason team strength that my FiveThirtyEight colleague Neil Paine built from a combination of Vegas odds, regressed Pythagorean records from the two prior years, and PECOTA projections. The Dodgers were the only team with a better projected win total than the Nats this season. When you consider that baseball currently lives in an era of unprecedented parity,2In an earlier article, Neil and I found that the spread in team strengths was growing smaller over time, possibly related to the change in playoff structure. the Nationals’ dominance becomes even more pronounced: The Nationals, who were projected to be 1.81 standard deviations better than average, were supposed to be a juggernaut at a time when such teams have become extinct.And yet on Saturday, the Nationals were eliminated from playoff contention. If you examine only teams with preseason win projections as high as the Nationals’ since 2003, just two teams have imploded as much: the 2009 Chicago Cubs and the 2004 New York Mets.3Since this season has not concluded yet, I used the FanGraphs projected full season standings for the actual win totals for the 2015 Nationals and Dodgers. The Nationals are forecast to win 83 games. After adjusting for the smaller spread in team talent in recent years, no team has been projected so high and fallen so far as these 2015 Nationals. But we don’t know exactly why it happened. The breakdown came in a weak division,4All the teams in the NL East combined scored two fewer runs than their opponent per game, easily the worst of any division in the game. and over the second half of the season, the Nationals had the second-easiest schedule in baseball and still managed to run a sub-.500 record.Don’t blame the pitchers, though. The Nationals built a formidable rotation and an adequate bullpen that tallied 20.0 wins above replacement, good for sixth in all of baseball. (All WAR stats in this piece were current as of Monday.) One could argue that even this excellent performance is underwhelming, given preseason hopes. But at least for the starting rotation, the pitching has matched the projections almost exactly.5Using the projection system Steamer, the top five starters were predicted to achieve 15.7 WAR and have managed to get 16.4. Wilson Ramos0.52.8-2.3 Danny Espinosa2.20.31.9 Jayson Werth02.8-2.8 Michael Taylor1-0.11.1 Clint Robinson0.100.1 Anthony Rendon0.93.9-3 Bryce Harper9.74.15.6 Ryan Zimmerman0.63-2.4 Blame the hitters instead. The Nationals’ position players have accrued 19.0 WAR, placing them 15th in MLB, sandwiched between the Texas Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays. Of this total, more than half has been provided by likely-MVP Harper alone. Arguably the most disappointing years belong to second baseman Anthony Rendon (0.9 WAR), shortstop Ian Desmond (1.5), and outfielder Jayson Werth (0). The trio was predicted to produce almost one Bryce Harper’s worth of value (9.5 WAR) but have thus far combined for only 2.4 wins. Close the deficit between their projections and actual production, and it would be like adding another MVP candidate to the team. read more

Beside The Points For Thursday April 26 2018

All newsletters Things That Caught My EyeDraft Day!It’s the first day of the NFL draft, meaning that enormous financial concerns are about to publicly gamble in prime time television, which is always pretty cool. Penn State’s Saquon Barkley is the top running back prospect in this year’s draft and will likely go very early in the evening. But a team betting on a workhorse running back isn’t always the sure bet it was once considered. From 2006 to 2015, there were only three running backs drafted in the top five, and to some extent they never really panned out for their teams. Since then, we’ve had the phenomenal Leonard Fournette and Ezekiel Elliott going each at 4th. Barkley could join them if he joins the Giants at No. 2 or Browns at No. 4. [FiveThirtyEight]‘The Blind Side’ is overIn the aftermath of “The Blind Side,” which extolled the virtues of the left tackle position and lead to a commensurate skyrocketing to the value of those players, teams appeared to undervalue guards compared to tackles. In the 32-team era, 62 tackles were drafted in the first round of the draft compared to 14 guards. That may be changing, since 2013 the total value of draft picks for left tackles has been essentially in free fall since the post-2006 highs. [FiveThirtyEight]Oldest sport adapts to new realitiesThe International Association of Athletics Federations, which governs the world of track and field, will implement new regulations regarding testosterone levels for elite female athletes. Most women have testosterone levels ranging from 0.12 to 1.79 nanomoles per liter, while most men have 7.7 to 29.4 nanomoles per liter. The regulations — which will undoubtably fuel controversy from literally every angle, and that’s okay — will impact women who have testosterone levels above 5.0 nanomoles per liter, and would require them to choose between hormone therapy, not competing internationally, or competing against men. [The New York Times]Try out our interactive, Which World Cup Team Should You Root For?Winnipeg, city of miseryA new calculation for the quantified metropolitan sports misery score that counts not only the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL but also the MLS and Canadian Football League puts the Canadian city of Winnipeg over perennial sports drought cities like Cincinnati and Buffalo to have the most yearning-for-a-win fans. [The 10 and 3]Tsunami of corruptionA draft report published Wednesday by the Independent Review of Integrity in Tennis follows up on earlier investigations from the BBC and BuzzFeed to find evidence of match-fixing in the sport, particularly at lower levels. The report found 20 unnamed high-level players who lost at least one suspicious match from 2005 to 2008. [BuzzFeed]World Cup getting called from statesideFox Sports is rolling out details about its play calling teams for the forthcoming FIFA World Cup in Russia. Given the lack of an American presence at the cup — the United States failed to qualify — Fox elected to pare back its footprint in Russia proper and will have only one of five announced crews actually in Russia. [World Soccer Talk, The Associated Press]Big Number(s)161.4Looking at a stat called five-year approximate value, the hoarde of valuable draft picks held by the Cleveland Browns is truly formidable. Overall, the Browns have a total draft expected value of 161.4, which is head and shoulders above their nearest competitors, the Bills (124.3), Colts (122.1) and Broncos (116.4). The Browns are poised for a guaranteed consequential couple of days, for better or for worse. [The Washington Post]Leaks from Slack: neil:MLB Now talking about 8 teams currently being on pace for 100+ losses…. wonder how that compares to other seasons via something more rigorous like Elo?natesilver:we have two teams projected for 100+, and 2 more for 99plus one at 97 and one at 95seems like a lot for this early in the seasonneil:TankFest ’18Predictions NBA Oh, and don’t forgetThe past few weeks of the Overwatch League have been outstanding We’re launching a sports newsletter. 🏆  Join the squad. Subscribe See more NBA predictions read more

OSU wrestlers look to build momentum as season winds down

The Ohio State wrestling team will have two tough tests this weekend as it faces No. 19 Illinois and No. 4 Minnesota on consecutive days. First up for the Buckeyes is a match at Illinois (3-4-1, 1-3-1 Big Ten) at 8 p.m. Friday. Right after the meet, the team will drive back to Columbus to prepare for the Golden Gophers (13-3, 4-0 Big Ten). The Buckeyes (2-7, 1-3 Big Ten) say they know they’re in for a tough weekend, and they will be looking for upsets throughout it to pull off a victory. “We have to upset a couple of their high-ranked athletes,” coach Tom Ryan said. “We need a couple surprises; the team knows that.” Ryan said he feels his team matches up better with Illinois and feels it has a better chance at victory in the first dual. “If our guys fight,” he said, “we match up fairly well with the rest of the teams.” Peter Capone, a redshirt freshman who wrestles at 197 pounds, said he knows a sweep this weekend would be great for the team. “It would mean a lot,” he said. “It would be huge for the program.” The most difficult part, Capone said, is going to be the travel back from Illinois right after the dual finishes. “It’s going to be hard,” he said. “We’re going to be really tired on the way back.” If the Buckeyes can manage to win both duals this week, Ryan said he believes the team will earn a much-needed confidence boost heading into its final two meets. Redshirt junior captain Sean Nemec, 157 pounds, said the back-to-back duals are different from what he is used to. The team usually will have duals Friday and Sunday, but because of the Super Bowl, Ryan said, this week’s duals are Friday and Saturday. Nemec said the biggest problem for wrestlers is when they aren’t smart about their weight, but to prevent that, OSU will be back in the gym Saturday before it faces Minnesota. “Come back, try and get a little sleep,” Nemec said. “Then come back in, work out a little bit and try to get your weight back down.” While team members say they hope to beat Illinois, they know the odds of pulling out a victory against Minnesota are slim. “You’ve got to have your mind made up before you step on the mat,” Ryan said. “This isn’t something that I’m not going to try to do. I’m going to get this done.” As the 2010–11 season wraps up, the team prepares for the Big Ten Tournament in March. The back-to-back duals will help the team build up its endurance for the tournament, which will have multiple matches in a day. “It’s a good opportunity for our guys to get used to a couple of the key tournaments at the end of the year,” Ryan said. Despite the Minnesota meet being the day after OSU wrestles Illinois, Ryan said, fatigue should not be a factor for his team. “You wrestle for seven minutes,” he said. “We’re not talking about a Hawaiian triathlon. They’ve been training their whole life for this.” Nemec said he believes if his team can manage to pull out victories over the two ranked teams this weekend, it could help the Buckeyes build momentum toward the end of the season. “It’ll be real big,” he said, “especially to get momentum going heading into the end of the season.” OSU will travel to Champaign, Ill., to wrestle Illinois at 8 p.m. Friday; then the team is scheduled to return to Columbus to host Minnesota at 7 p.m. Saturday. read more