first_imgBallyliffin Golf Results:Monday Open 6 April 20151st Noel Quigley (7) 42pts 2nd Paul Ferguson (11) 39pts3rd Mervyn Baird (14) 38pts4th Ben Glover (8) 38pts Gross: Francis Dillon (7) 30ptsCSS: 71Sunday Confined 5 April 20151st Eamonn Sweeney (19) 44pts2nd Robert McCool (15) 42pts3rd Shaun Grant (14) 41pts 4th John O’Brien (17) 41ptsGross: Brendan Devlin (1) 37ptsCSS: 70Saturday Open 4 April 2015 1st Sean Harley (22) 40pts2nd Martin A Gallagher (6) 39pts3rd Michael Deeney (17) 39pts4th Danny McCarron (18) 38ptsGross: May Thallon (3) 35ptsCSS 72Friday Open 3 April 20151st Brendan Devlin (1) 37pts2nd Padriac Conneely (23) 36pts3rd May Thallon (3) 35ptsCSS: 74Ladies5 April 2015 Confined 9 Holes0-181st Marie Gough 17pts OBOT2nd Ann Friel 17pts19-281st Maire Mullan 22pts2nd Sadie Grant (N) 18pts29-361st Geraldine McLaughlin 19pts2nd Rita McCrossan 18ptsForthcoming Events & FixturesSaturday 11th April Open Competition on Glashedy LinksSunday 12th April Confined competition on The Old LinksEntries are now being taking for the Donegal Links Classic (25, 26 & 27 May 2015).& The Great North Links Challenge (7, 8 & 9 October 2015). Call 0749376119.Check fixtures on for our wide range of events over the coming monthsBallyliffin PRO-AM July 24th-26th 2015We are delighted to confirm that the winners will also get a trip to Quinta Do Lago in Portugal staying at the 5* Conrad Hotel with 3 rounds of golf at Quinta Do Lago.Saturday 16th Scratch Cup on The Old Links. To enter contact 0749376119GOLF NEWS: NOEL QUIGLEY IN FINE FORM AT BALLYLIFFIN was last modified: April 7th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:BallyliffingolfNoticesSportlast_img read more

Science explains why you wrongly think that ball is yours

first_imgClick here if you are unable to view this gallery on a  mobile device.Nearly simultaneously, two players grab for a ball.Who got it first?Whether on the playground or sports arena, we think it’s ours, and scientists now know why: We mentally register our own sensations before whatever else is around us. “We have identified what may be a principal cause of arguments in ballgames, and it is about time,” conclude psychologists Ty Tang and Michael McBeath of Arizona State University. …last_img read more

Branding South Africa with one message

first_imgThe purpose of the conference is to ensure that South Africa communicates with one voice both domestically and internationally leading up to and beyond 2010.“We are already looking beyond 2010 to where we want to position South Africa in the next decade,” says Yvonne Johnston, the CEO of the IMC. “A major event such as the soccer World Cup attracts global attention but it has to be supported by strategies and structures to ensure a lasting legacy.”“Our objective is to establish Brand South Africa as one of the most prominent and desirable global brands,” says Johnston.Germany 2006 has shown that making the best of the opportunities offered by such an enormous event entails more than hosting soccer games successfully. The host country must brand itself at the same time, as was done so well by the Germans.Therefore one of the key-note speakers at the conference will be the man who did just that for Germany, Mike de Vries. He is the CEO of the branding company FC Deutschland GmbH.Another speaker is internationally renowned Raul Parelba from Spain, who will focus on the branding and marketing opportunities provided by a major event. He is Director Partner of Trout & Partners, the global positioning specialists.The speakers and their topics include:Minister in the Presidency, Essop Pahad, who will look at opportunities for the continent brought about by the World Cup.The CEO of the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS), Themba Maseko, who will spell out the government’s commitment to and expectations for 2010.Danny Jordaan, CEO of the Local Organising Committee, who will highlight marketing opportunities for local corporates.Thaninga Shope-Linney, NEPAD’s general manager for communications and outreach, who will add to Minister Pahad’s continental perspective on the 2010 World Cup.Wolfgang Grulke, CEO of FutureWorld will look at Africa and South Africa in the 21st century. Yvonne Johnston, CEO of the IMC, will also be speaking at the Conference – spelling out Brand South Africa’s future strategy in her address. She has very high expectations of the Conference, describing it as “a tremendous opportunity for the world view South Africa even more positively and Alive with Possibility than it does now.”This conference is being hosted in collaboration with the 2010 National Communications Task Team.last_img read more

Your Next Souvenir Reveals Mysteries of the Earth

first_imgEarn a Souvenir on International EarthCache DayIs your calendar handy? Circle October 12, put a smiley on it, and write, “We’re finding an EarthCache.” It’s International EarthCache Day, the first Sunday of Earth Science Week and it’s your chance to join the global geocaching community in discovering a unique geocaching experience. Each person who logs a “Found it” for an EarthCache on Sunday, October 12, receives a new digital souvenir for their Geocaching profile. The souvenir will only be available on October 12, so start planning now.EarthCaches take geocachers to a special geological location. You might discover a giant boulder left by a glacier thousands of years ago or stumble upon seams in the earth carved by the Earth’s tectonic plates. There’s no physical container to find with an EarthCache. Questions about the geological site are posed on the EarthCache’s page. You discover the answers, email the owner of the geocache with those answers, log a Found it, write a fun log of your experience and and you’re off to your next EarthCache!Share your International EarthCache Day experiences on the Geocaching Facebook page, and if you’re in the neighborhood, explore the 3rd Annual International EarthCache Event on Vancouver Island, Canada.“The Giant’s Causeway Earthcache” GCPCPX “The Pinnacles” EarthCache in Malaysia (GC19A54)Earn this souvenir by logging an EarthCache on October 12 SharePrint RelatedInternational EarthCache celebration for 2018October 8, 2018In “Events”Earn a new souvenir for International EarthCache DaySeptember 8, 2015In “Geocaching Weekly Newsletter”Confirmed Geocaching souvenir moments for 2019January 9, 2019In “Community” Share with your Friends:Morelast_img read more

Over 20 kg tobacco products confiscated from Lucknow Metro commuters

first_imgIn the City of Nawabs, security officials deployed at the Lucknow Metro stations are on a task to sniff out tobacco from commuters and have weeded out over 20 kg tobacco products in the first two days of its launch. Metro passengers in the city have been trying various tricks to smuggle tobacco and related products inside coaches. “The passengers, who are in the habit of carrying tobacco products, are not ready to give up and try to smuggle it pan masala and other products in their pockets, socks and belts,” a security personnel deployed at the Charbagh Metro Station said.“During frisking while entering Metro premises, officials were able to collect approximately 20 kg tobacco and other related items like pan, pan masala, cigarette etc. from commuters,” LMRC MD Kumar Keshav said. The confiscated items will be handed over to the municipal corporation for disposal.“I am very thankful to commuters for their cooperation in frisking and keeping the metro clean. Lucknow Metro is a green and environment friendly public transport and it is our duty to keep it clean. The efforts of LMRC and public will definitely help in keeping metro a clean public transport,” the MD said.Many of those caught gave excuses that they were not aware that tobacco products were not allowed inside the metro. “Out of five, every third commuter was carrying a tobacco product and was found chewing tobacco. It is a difficult task to check them. But we are on our toes and committed to keep the metro clean,” a security member said. The 8.5-km-long ‘Priority Corridor’ from Transport Nagar to Charbagh, which is part of the Phase 1 of the project, is operational from 6 am to 10 pm everyday.Over 32,000 passengers had boarded Lucknow Metro on the first day of the commercial run on September 6 while the number came down to over 28,000 on the second day.LMRC has set a target to complete the entire 23 km track from Amausi to Munshipulia by March 2019. This includes a 3.5 km underground track between Hussainganj to Hazratganj.last_img read more

LA Tenorio set to break Alvin Patrimonio’s PBA record vs Magnolia

first_imgLacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem All about LeBron: Where does the Lakers star go from here? Interestingly, Tenorio gets to break the record against Magnolia, the only PBA franchise Patrimonio played for, on Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum. Patrimonio, a four-time MVP, now serves as team manager for the Hotshots.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbed Urgent reply from Philippine ‍football chief LA Tenorio. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMore than a decade in the PBA, LA Tenorio is showing no signs of slowing down.On Sunday, the 34-year-old guard appeared in his 596th straight game to match PBA legend Alvin Patrimonio’s league record of consecutive games played.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Trump campaign, GOP groups attack Google’s new ad policy Hong Kong tunnel reopens, campus siege nears endcenter_img View comments MOST READ “Congrats @LA_Tenorio on his all-time record-tying 596th consecutive game played tonight in the @pbaconnect. Hasn’t missed a single game since entering the league as @TheSMBeermen’s No.4 overall pick in 2006. #IronMan,” Fidel Mangonon, the PBA’s chief statistician, posted on Twitter.And it’s not like Tenorio is just showing up for the sake of keeping his streak going. He still remains as one of the best guards in the PBA and one of Barangay Ginebra’s key players.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesOn the same night Tenorio tied Patrimonio, he was also hailed as the Best Player of the Game after helping the Gin Kings take down top team Phoenix, 100-97, in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup.All glory to God for my 596th consecutive games in the PBA! 🙏Salamat sa walang hanggang suporta, sa panalo at sa best player of the game ngayong gabi. 👊 Sobra sobra naman! A beautiful…— L.A Tenorio (@LA_Tenorio) March 10, 2019Tenorio scored a game-high 23 points that went with eight rebounds, five assists and three steals in 38 minutes as Ginebra notched its fourth win in seven outings.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 1 dead, 3 injured in Quezon road crash SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krausslast_img read more

A tragic death and college football’s reckoning over brain injuries amid a new class-action lawsuit

first_imgZack Langston was hauled off the field on a stretcher and brought to the team’s medical room. His mother, who was watching the game, followed close behind – terrified.Langston was a linebacker for Pittsburg State University in Kansas. A remarkably strong kid, he was known as a “wedge-breaker” and a “workhorse”. In high school, he won a “hammer” award for being the team’s hardest hitter. More than 1 million boys play football in high school each year, but less than 2% make it to elite schools like Pittsburg State. Langston was one of them. He was only dehydrated when he was taken out of the game, but as his mother, Nicki Langston, sat by his side, something else seemed amiss. “He’s just laying there on the bed, and all of the sudden tears just start rolling down his cheeks, and he’s still staring at the ceiling,” said Nicki Langston. “I said, ‘Zack, what’s wrong? What’s wrong?’ and he said, ‘I don’t know, I don’t know.’”“I kind of look back now, and I think maybe something was going on then that he wasn’t aware of, we weren’t aware of,” said Nicki. “That was his sophomore year.” He was 20 years old. Ex-NFL player confirmed as first case of CTE found in living person – researchers Topics Just a few years after playing for the “Pitt State” Gorillas, Zack had bouts of depression, rage and anxiety. He stunned his mother and brother when he tossed a barstool across a hotel room on vacation, and worried everyone when, on three occasions, he bought guns. Langston told his mother he believed football had “messed up his brain”, but could not explain how. Just a few years after he graduated, at age 26, Zack Langston shot himself, ending his life but preserving his brain, which he had told his girlfriend he wanted examined. He left behind a two-year-old son, three siblings, a mother, father. He also left behind many questions. “They did the autopsy here at the coroner’s office locally, and said his brain was totally healthy,” said Nicki. “That made things very disturbing, in a way.”In the last decade, American football’s “concussion epidemic” has become an existential crisis for the sport. Lawsuits against leagues at all levels – from elementary school age to the National Football League (NFL) – have flooded courts. Fewer children are playing. Debates and controversies about brain injuries have enveloped the sport as mounting medical evidence shows the long-term effects of heavy contact and collisions. In 2005, a Pennsylvania neuropathologist provoked a backlash from the NFL when his paper explicitly linked the degenerative brain disorder chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, to playing in the NFL. The league tried to discredit the physician, Bennet Omalu, and more recently to influence concussion research with a $16m grant. The latest research connecting concussions to degenerative brain disease came in July, when researchers from Boston University released a study of the 111 brains of former NFL players that had been donated to their “brain bank”: 110 players, or 99%, had CTE. It is no longer newsworthy when stars say they won’t let their sons play the sport, or for former players to divulge struggles with homelessness, chronic depression or drug abuse. But after years of focus on the professional game, attention is now turning to college football, as plaintiffs in a new class action lawsuit seek to bring the same reckoning to college football. Researchers from Boston University, the leading research institution on the topic, found CTE in the brains of 48 of the 53 college football players, the largest such study to date.Nicki Langston, whose son’s estate is now party to the lawsuit, first heard of CTE eight months after Zack’s death in February 2014. Her sister “just happened upon” League of Denial later that year, an award-winning documentary on the NFL’s refusal to acknowledge the dangers of repeated head trauma, despite mounting evidence.CTE’s symptoms are now well documented. “Impulsive, explosive and sometimes violent behavior; depression; and a tendency toward suicidality” is associated with “younger age and an earlier stage of CTE pathology”, the most recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association said.Nicki Langston said: “This was the very first time I’d heard of CTE … I watched [the film], and I called her back afterwards and said: ‘Oh my God, he had every single symptom.’” Reflecting on Zack’s life now, the Langston family believes he could have had as many as 100 undiagnosed concussions through the 13 years he played school and college football.•••What makes this lawsuit more acute than similar lawsuits in the professional league is the odd economic dynamic between college athletes and institutions they play for. Unlike in other countries, US college sports are a multi-billion dollar industry. Schools make millions from television broadcasting contracts and ticket sales. The days around this Thanksgiving weekend are packed with some of the most high-profile games.Elite college football is divided into 11 regions, called conferences. One of those conferences, called the Big Ten, signed a television contract last year worth $2.6bn. By contrast, one of the top academic institutions in the country, Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, spends $2.3bn annually on scientific research and development. Of the 10 largest sports stadiums in the world, eight belong to American college football teams. Professional American football stadiums don’t even make the list. The largest in the US belongs to the University of Michigan, is nicknamed “the big house” and is one of several to hold more than 100,000 people. The football-crazed University of Alabama pays its football coach Nick Saban $11.1m per year.But for all the money earned by the programs, athletes see little. The players, who are mostly black, are considered primarily students, and are not paid. They leave school without the sort of long-term health benefits the NFL players’ union has been able to negotiate.••• The Observer Facebook NCAA Soon after Nicki Langston learned about CTE, she sent her son’s brain to Boston University, a school at the forefront of the “concussion epidemic”, to be examined. Initially, she did not believe it would even be possible to send her son’s brain – he had died months prior – but the local coroner had saved enough of it for Boston University to perform tests. It took eight months for neuropathologists to conclude what Langston already believed: her son had CTE. “I was not at all surprised,” said Langston. “I was totally expecting them to tell me he had CTE. There was actually a little bit of relief – not relief, but closure – to know this was what had been causing his issues and his problems.” Langston is part of a growing group of former college football players and relatives suing the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), which they say failed to properly protect or warn its players of the danger of repeated concussions. Decades of scientific data, from the first peer-reviewed paper on “punch drunk” syndrome in boxers in 1928 through to Omalu’s 2005 article on CTE in a professional football player in 2005, should have provided ample evidence of potential harms, attorneys argue. Read more NFL concussion: researchers hope blood tests can better detect head trauma … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on LinkedIn College football news Support The Guardian Share on WhatsApp Twitter Share on Facebook Share via Email Share on Twitter Some lawyers believe the case could grow larger than the roughly $1bn deal retired NFL players struck with their former employer, intended to care for 20,000 players. Each year, more than 70,000 young men play on teams like Zack Langston’s. “I am indeed very concerned about professional football players,” said Robert Stern, who co-authored the recent study from Boston University. Stern is part of a four member medical committee advising on a current NCAA lawsuit. “But from a public health standpoint, I’m much, much more concerned about the high school and college football players.”Though 91% of the 53 brains of college players examined by Boston University had CTE, it is not yet possible to estimate how many players might develop the disease. CTE can only be diagnosed after death, and the people whose brains were examined by Boston University almost all experienced symptoms during life. “It wasn’t until the early 70s that children from age six on began to experience these hundreds of subconcussive hits per season,” said Stern. “When you put it together, and you look at folks who only played in high school or who only played in college since 1970 … there’s around 12 million americans, at a minimum.”In a separate lawsuit, lawyers have already successfully sued the NCAA to establish a $70m medical monitoring fund for former college players. The current group of lawsuits, to which Langston’s estate is party, is gathering steam to compensate former players and their families. The NCAA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Mothers like Nicki Langston are hoping for more lasting change. She and a small group of football mothers who survived their sons, called Faces of CTE, argue no one younger than 14 should play tackle football. “I absolutely do not feel kids should be playing football, absolutely not,” Langston said.“I’ll drive by football fields – middle schools – and I see these boys out practicing and it just makes me ill … The first time I saw it this season, I wanted to jump out of my car and say, ‘Do you know what you’re doing?’”In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In the UK, the Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is on 13 11 14. Other international suicide helplines can be found at College sports Read more Pinterest Share on Messenger Share on Pinterest Nicki Langston, Zack’s mother, said: ‘I was totally expecting them to tell me he had CTE. There was actually a little bit of relief – not relief, but closure.’ Photograph: Marcus Langston Since you’re here… NFL US sports Reuse this contentlast_img read more

Mr Big confession could put trial of slain First Nations woman in

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe Supreme Court has put new rules in place for the so-called Mr. Big confessions during police investigations making some of them inadmissible.This has put a Saskatoon murder trial possibly in limbo.Douglas Hayes confessed to undercover officers for the 2004 murder of Daleen Bosse, a university student and mother from Onion Lake First Nation.He was expected to hear his verdict later this month but lawyers are meeting with the judge next week to discuss how the Supreme Court ruling affects the case.APTN’s Larissa Burnouf has more on the story.last_img read more

Bored With Balance In Baseball 2016 Could Be Your Year

The arrival of spring training brings with it a number of treats. If you’re a fan, it’s the hope that this might be the year your team wins the World Series. If you’re Yoenis Cespedes, it’s a cavalcade of rides that would make Birdman jealous. And for number crunchers, it’s a fresh batch of projections, ripe for statistical exploration.Those projections — generated by algorithms such as Baseball Prospectus’s PECOTA1Which, I’m obliged to say, was originally developed by FiveThirtyEight editor-in-chief Nate Silver. — endeavor to predict the performance of each major league player and team in the coming season. That’s a tough job, and often a thankless one; if a projection system makes headlines at all, it’s usually for drawing the ire of a scorned team or fan base. (Never underestimate how quickly World Series joy can turn into anger when the computer calls for a sub-.500 record!) But projections are also invaluable because they provide a statistical snapshot, frozen in time, from which we can learn to become more accurate in the future, and suss out potential trends in the game.And this year, PECOTA’s projections spat out something that may prove even more noteworthy than, say, the last-place finish they predict for the defending champion Kansas City Royals. The numbers suggest that MLB’s brief era of balance may soon be over. For the last decade or so, the spread of wins in PECOTA’s projection2As measured by the standard deviation. has been trending downward. That meant the algorithm was forecasting win totals with less variability and more parity. With most teams clustered around 81 wins — a .500 record — it was becoming more difficult to make precise predictions about each team’s finish. Partly for this reason, team-level projections had their most inaccurate season since (at least) 1996.31996 is the earliest year for which we have archival projection numbers. Factors like health and midseason trades, neither of which PECOTA can reliably predict, dominated any differences in talent among teams when it came to determining the outcome of the season.This year, however, PECOTA is projecting a much larger spread in talent. The standard deviation of its forecast win totals is the highest it’s been since 2013, when (perhaps not coincidentally) its predictions were much more accurate. Since a wider spread in team records implies greater confidence about which teams will be good or bad, it’s fair to wonder what’s driving this newfound certitude after such a bad year for the stats.Part of PECOTA’s confidence is based on improvements to the algorithm. For the first time, it’s incorporating the effect of pitch framing, or the ability of individual catchers to quietly improve the odds of a called strike through their receiving skills. A pitching staff’s projected earned run average can go up or down depending on the sleight of a catcher’s glove. So teams with good framers, such as Yasmani Grandal of the Los Angeles Dodgers, will see their projected ERA drop, while those with poor receivers, like the Philadelphia Phillies’ Carlos Ruiz, will allow higher ERAs.But the wider distribution of predicted wins hasn’t been driven completely by tweaks in the algorithms. Las Vegas’s over/under lines tell a story similar to PECOTA’s, forecasting their widest spread in win totals since 2013. Savvy bettors have known about pitch framing for years, so clearly some other factor is driving the change. And the reason may be as simple as a few great teams coming out of rebuilding mode — and several bad ones entering it — at the same time.Fully five teams project to win 90 or more games this season, compared with only three last year and two the year before. Some are to be expected, like the always-dominant-in-the-preseason Dodgers, and others have risen on the basis of defense (Tampa Bay) or pitching (Cleveland). But some, like the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets, simply represent the recent maturation of prospect-heavy farm systems.For instance, PECOTA thinks the defending NL champion Mets will win 90 games, largely on the strength of a young, flamethrowing rotation projected to add about 13 wins above replacement.4With assistance from the good framing of catcher Travis d’Arnaud, of course. And the Cubs figure to win oodles of games no matter which source you use for your projections: PECOTA has them down for 94 wins, while FanGraphs’ projections are even more rosy, calling for 97 victories. Only two other teams in the last four years were projected by PECOTA to win 95 or more games: the 2014 and 2015 Dodgers.5In reality, those L.A. teams won 94 and 92 games, respectively. (By comparison, there were six such teams in the four years before 2014.) Chicago has overwhelmed the projection systems’ conservative streak by following their breakout 97-win season with the best offseason of any MLB team, plus enough reserves of youth, depth and prospect firepower to procure extra wins at the trade deadline if necessary.The common thread is the transition from “building” to “built.” Graduating many of their most promising players to the majors in the last year or so, the Cubs and Mets are now seeing them play some of the best ball in decades. The concentration of so much young talent on so few teams, during an era where young players are more valuable than they’ve been in many years, has clearly played a role in the widening of win projections this season.And at the other end of the spectrum, two teams are predicted to win fewer than 69 games: the Phillies and the Atlanta Braves. After failing to reach .500 these past few seasons, both teams have recently hired new general managers with long-term mandates. The new GMs (Matt Klentak in Philadelphia and John Coppolella in Atlanta) have embraced rebuilding as the new way of things, trading skilled veterans such as Andrelton Simmons to restock their minor league systems with prospects. In particular, the Phillies appear to be in for a rough year, with the worst win total projection of any MLB team since the Houston Astros in 2013. Like the Cubs and Mets at the top of the scale, these rebuilding teams are widening the spread of records at the bottom.Any time teams deliberately move away from .500, in either direction, we should see a more variable league. Projections like PECOTA may be getting more accurate thanks to additions like catcher framing, but a lot of the spread in predicted wins comes down to the old-fashioned distribution of talent across the major leagues. And in a welcome change from recent seasons, this year should give us a handful of great teams battling for playoff spots, instead of a mass of mediocrity. read more

Mens lacrosse Ohio State defeats Loyola Maryland to advance to quarterfinals of

Ohio State players celebrate a goal in the first quarter against Loyola Maryland in the first round of the NCAA tournament on May 14, 2017 at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Sheridan Hendrix | Oller ReporterThe No. 3 Ohio State men’s lacrosse team is moving on to the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament after taking down Loyola Maryland 7-4 in Ohio Stadium on Sunday.The Buckeyes (14-4) failed to score at least nine goals for the first time since April 2, but freshman midfielder Tre Leclaire’s three goals were enough to lift OSU past the Greyhounds (10-6). Redshirt senior goalie Tom Carey made 12 saves on 16 shots on goal.Down the stretch, Loyola put the pressure on a Buckeye defense that allowed double-digit goals in both Big Ten tournament games last weekend. However, Carey and the rest of the defense held their own in the final 15 minutes despite being outshot 9-2.“Just really proud we’ve proven that we can win in different ways,” said OSU coach Nick Myers. “I think today is an example where we say, ‘OK, today is not our day offensively.’ Kind of a message to those guys down the stretch was let us win this game defensively. Get down there, be strong with the ball.”It took nearly seven minutes for either team to get on the scoreboard. Unsurprisingly, Leclaire — the team’s leading scorer and Big Ten Freshman of the Year — was the first to strike with 8:09 remaining on the clock. It was his 42nd of the year.Sophomore attackman Jack Jasinski heads for the goal in the fourth quarter during the first round of the NCAA tournament against Loyola Maryland on May 14, 2017. Credit: Sheridan Hendrix | Oller ReporterLater, sophomore midfielder Logan Maccani made a move toward the goal from behind the net and found junior attackman Colin Chell in the middle of the defense for a one-timer to give the Buckeyes a 2-0 lead before the end of the first.In the second quarter, Loyola put immense pressure on the Buckeye attackman, leading to 11 turnovers from the Scarlet and Gray, and the Greyhounds cranked up the offense as well.They had eight shots on goal in the second quarter compared to three in the first, but only found the back of the net twice as Carey made six saves in the quarter.After trimming the deficit to 3-2, the Greyhounds had an opportunity to tie the game before the half, but Carey made a point-blank save to preserve the lead.“It definitely helps to get a few (big saves) early,” Carey said. “But the defense in front of me played really well and we gave up the shots we wanted to early.A slow-paced first half turned into an intense battle that showcased the teams best players in the third quarter as both sides showed a sense of urgency out of the break.Senior attackman Eric Fannell tallied his 29th goal of the year in the first three minutes of the quarter before Patriot League Player of the Year, and national player of the year finalist, Pat Spencer finally put one past Carey from 6 yards out for this 28th of the season.Leading by a mere goal on two difference occasions, Leclaire seized the opportunities he was given and gave OSU a two-goal cushion at 5-3 and 6-4, which was a margin that was more comfortable that it appeared on the jumbotron in the south end zone.“There were certainly some moments where we felt like we needed to just hunker down and get the next goal,” Myers said. “When we got that two goal lead, I thought that was big.”Senior attack Brendan Fannell takes a shot on the goal against Loyola Maryland during the first round of the NCAA tournament on May 14, 2017 at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Sheridan Hendrix | Oller ReporterOSU’s best player through the entire season proved his worth in his first NCAA tournament game with a hat trick following a nine-goal performance in two games last weekend in the conference tournament.“(Getting the hat trick) was a surreal moment,” Leclaire said. “It was a fun game to play in. A lot of credit to our defense for that, backing us up.”With 12 seconds left, sophomore attackman Jack Jasinski scored his first of the game and removed any doubt of who would advance to play Duke in the quarterfinals next Saturday.The Buckeyes’ offense has carried them to this point, but confidence is riding high with the squad after a convincing showing on defense. Spencer had six shots toward the net, but only one went past Carey. Junior defenseman Ben Randall, who primarily defended Spencer, was a key cog in the wall around the OSU net.“Defensively, I wanted to take away his vision and force him to go to the cage, which I think we did a good job of,” Randall said.After allowing 23 goals in two games last weekend in the conference tournament, the Buckeyes defense took the steps it needed for a deep run in the NCAA tournament.“I think the guys, coming out of the Big Ten tournament, they were a bit disappointed defensively,” Myers said. “This week it was back to basics on that end of the field and I just felt like we just had a really good week of practice. And felt like today was a result of that hard work we put in this week.” read more