Rose of Tralee appearance a ‘bummer’ for these Donegal lads!

first_imgDonegal had many proud moments in the popular Rose of Tralee competition this year.Chloe Kennedy was an inspiration to many as the beautiful Donegal Rose, while Ardara’s Theresa Stanley, the mother of Boston Rose Tanya Stanley, gained great recognition for her fundraising work.Many cries of ‘Up Donegal’ filled the Dome during Tuesday’s live selection night. But one photo emerged on the televised final that had a bit more Donegal ‘craic’ than anyone expected.Viewers were encouraged to send in their photos as they watched programme and cheered on their Roses on social media. Some photos were selected and shown on the screen.A lot was shown from the home of these Donegal lads, Conor, Ciaran and David: They simply said that they were watching the show with an Irish dancing trophy, which was won by their friend Gerard. However, eagle-eyed viewers spotted a ‘badass’ making a surprise appearance in the reflection behind.Presenter Will Leahy, who was looking after the social media features, saw the fun of the unexpected mooner and tweeted:Well done to these ladsAfter their picture was on telly eagle eyed viewers spotted the mooner – Top left corner #RoseofTralee— Will Leahy (@willleahy) August 27, 2019 Advertisement Hector Ó hEochagáin also thought the ‘hole’ thing was very funny: of Tralee appearance a ‘bummer’ for these Donegal lads! was last modified: August 28th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare 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)last_img read more

Temporary speed restriction in place in South Donegal

first_imgDrivers are urged to be aware that the road speed restriction of 50Km/hr is now in effect on the N56 Drumbeigh – Inver Road Scheme between the Frosses Road Junction and Inver Bridge.Caution is advised as road sweeping is in progress Monday to Friday 8am until 6pm.Temporary speed restriction in place in South Donegal was last modified: December 16th, 2019 by Dionne MeehanShare 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:donegalDonegal County CouncilFrosses road junctionInver bridgeRoad RestrictionsSouth Donegallast_img read more

State of the Nation: economy

first_imgSouth African Minister of Finance PravinGordhan“The current global contagion presents us with an opportunity to transform and restructure our economy so that we can take full advantage when the tide turns,” South Africa’s new Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan said in a speech during the State of the Nation debate in parliament. Read the full text of his address:Honourable speakerMr PresidentDeputy PresidentHonourable membersIntroductionMr President, your administration takes office during one of the toughest economic times in living memory. South Africa is facing its first recession in 17 years and we are witnessing global economic conditions last seen during the great crash of the stock market in 1929 and the depression that followed. This is a reality we must accept.Thanks in part to the health of our public finances, this is not a paralytic constraint. We remain committed to the goal of a better life, inclusive economic growth, decent jobs, and dignity and social justice for all our people.Adversity and challenge have always inspired South Africans to reach greater heights. Ours is a long-standing culture of resilience, creativity, and a passion to deliver and to overcome the odds.The new challenge you put to us is to focus on better delivery, and to work together in the spirit of cooperative governance and partnership with all sections of society. We remain mindful that the collective sum of a well-directed programme of action is far greater than the sum of its individual parts.Mr President, you have inspired us to ask the tough questions, to be humble and reflective about our shortcomings. The current challenges require us to find new ways of doing things. We must be willing to shift or transform our paradigms so that we can be more focused and effective in delivering the priorities outlined in the State of the Nation speech.The global economic crisisAccording to the IMF, “The global economy is in a severe recession inflicted by a massive financial crisis and an acute loss of confidence. While the rate of contraction should moderate from the second quarter onward, world output is projected to decline by 1.3% in 2009 and to recover only gradually in 2010, growing by 1.9%. Achieving this turnaround will depend on stepping up efforts to heal the financial sector, while continuing to support demand with monetary and fiscal easing.”The global crisis is not of our making. However, the virus of this crisis affects the entire globe. The damage has spread from the financial sector in developed countries to the real economy all over the world. It is now accepted that the crisis we are facing today can be traced back to the early 1980s with the deregulation of many financial institutions. Some institutions became “too big to fail”. Unconstrained greed and the failure of risk management and corporate governance are hallmarks of this crisis.The impact of the financial crisis on the real economy and the depth of uncertainty have evoked questions and debates about economic models. There are now calls for a fundamental change to the relationship between governments, citizens, capital markets and the rest of the economy. The crisis is challenging conventional wisdom amongst economists, ratings agencies, and the financial sector itself. Deputy President Motlanthe and Minister Manuel have engaged with the G20 and other institutions to develop a global response.South Africa is weathering the stormLike the rest of the world, South Africa has not escaped the effects of the global recession. Since the last quarter of 2008, our economy has been in decline, export earnings have fallen and jobs have been lost. Nonetheless, we are better off than many other countries in the world.The immediate implication for fiscal policy in South Africa is that, despite the best efforts of our Revenue Service, tax revenues, after adjusting for inflation, are expected to decline. Needless to say, there will be limitations to what we can spend. Our ability to borrow from the capital markets is now limited by higher borrowing costs.We are compelled therefore to separate in the programme of action those things that need to be done urgently, from those that will have to await a more favourable economic outlook. We must also ensure that every rand that the government spends achieves the set goals and has the desired impact.In February this year, taking account of the global economic slowdown, government tabled its most expansionary budget in our short history. As a result our economy is weathering the devastating storms only because of tough decisions taken earlier. As we weather the storm we must also address more fundamental issues impacting on job creation.We must “never waste a good crisis”. The current global contagion presents us with an opportunity to transform and restructure our economy so that we can take full advantage when the tide turns. The budget provided for a deficit of 3.8% of GDP and, together with the borrowing requirement of state owned enterprises, the public sector borrowing requirement is set to reach R186-billion.Foremost amongst our responses to the economic crisis is our R787-billion infrastructure investment programme. In general, the major projects are on track and are being funded. The National Treasury is working with Eskom, Transnet, the National Roads Agency and our water authorities to ensure that these enterprises can borrow the required funds in the capital markets with state support, where necessary.The budget also announced a significant step-up in spending on public works programmes. I want to reaffirm a commitment made by my predecessor, Minister Manuel, in this regard. We also welcome the inclusion of a community works programme under the auspices of the EPWP and we will endeavour to support this new stream of projects.Our approach will continue to ensure fiscal sustainability. We will find creative ways of funding government’s programmes. We are determined to root out corruption and inefficiencies. We will ensure that government gets value for the money it spends. We will create better synergies and effective partnerships both within government and with other stakeholders.In addition to these measures, National Treasury is working with other departments to implement recommendations made by the Joint Presidential Economic Working Group in response to the global economic crisis. Job creation is the joint outcome of several things: industrial and trade promotion, labour market arrangements, skills development, macroeconomic management, investment in technology, rural development, land use planning, housing and urban development.Parliament has revived the Appropriation Bill, allowing for the 2009 budget proposals to take effect.Other legislative procedures include the revision of the list of department names in terms of section 14 of the Money Bills Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Act which Minister Baloyi is finalising. Government’s spending programmes for the present year are well under way. We have also identified the need for strategic alignment between state-owned enterprises and development finance institutions in order to maximise capital investment in the domestic economy. The capital resources and delivery mandates of development finance institutions will be better coordinated to facilitate and give impetus to the development programmes in our economy.Better alignment of these institutions with government’s strategic priorities will strengthen our developmental agenda. In the course of this year, I will table proposals to a committee of ministers overseeing our development finance institutions to consider how we can draw private sector financial institutions into appropriate co-financing and risk sharing arrangements, in support of infrastructure investment and broader access to credit.Over the past decade considerable progress has been made, Honourable Speaker, in improving our tax system and broadening the tax base. Government is still required to raise revenue, even in these difficult times. This would require of all of us to pay our fair share of taxes, and stop the abuse of our tax system. I am happy to report to this House that as at 31 May 2009 we have seen a 10% increase in the number of tax compliant employers, demonstrating that even in the face of the crisis more companies are willing to do business legally. The South African Revenue Service (Sars) will intensify its efforts to detect and contest non-compliance.This is in accordance with international best practice: the IRS of the USA has been asked to hire 10 000 more auditors to raise more taxes and combat off-shore tax schemes! It is imperative that we deal with all forms of leakage from the state, especially at a time when every cent needs to be properly used for its intended purpose. Accordingly, the National Treasury will establish a unit to monitor and investigate corruption in public procurement processes. It will focus on both government employees and private sector involvement in these crimes.Our priorities going forwardLet me turn briefly to some of the areas of public expenditure and service delivery that will enjoy priority in the period ahead. One of the strengths of our current fiscal structure is the social assistance system that brings relief to households that would otherwise be without income support. Considerable work has been done by an interdepartmental task team on options for improving both savings and contributory social security in partnership with the financial services sector.I look forward to working with my Cabinet colleagues and this House on a more integrated social security system that encourages savings and broadens the coverage of risk benefits. Of particular importance is the approach we take to financing health services. We face immense challenges in this area, not just because of the burden of diseases associated with HIV and tuberculosis, but also because modern comprehensive health services are expensive and highly complex. We have to find cost-effective solutions to the challenge of providing and managing health services, and we have to find better ways of working together with the private sector in building the infrastructure required, managing services and training professional staff. Following the State of the Nation Address on Wednesday, I have set up a task team at the National Treasury to work with health officials to explore models for broadening public-private partnerships in the health sector.ConclusionWe are fortunate, Honourable Speaker, that our fiscal position is strong, public debt is moderate and the foreign reserve position of the South African Reserve Bank is in good health. These are considerable blessings, due in large measure to the foresight and wisdom of my predecessor. These strengths mean that we are able to continue with the expanding infrastructure investment programme announced in recent budgets and overseen by the boards of Eskom, Transnet, the National Roads Agency and other public entities. And we are able to continue with the broad-based social assistance programmes that are provided for in the national budget.These are fiscal strengths, to which we should add the technological and financial capability of the South African business sector, and the collective vision and mobilising power of organised labour and civil society. To these formidable strengths, Speaker, we can surely add the great disciplines of modernising societies – hard work, a culture of savings, and respect for social institutions and shared family values, nurture of the land and the natural environment – and payment of taxes when they are due.Our development path is about building state capacity, and about strategic alliances with partners with business, labour, civil society; strategic partnerships that may be local, regional or global in their reach. Our development path is about restoring economic growth, decent jobs and livelihoods, and about a clear understanding of the respective roles of government and the private sector that support the dynamic of an enterprise-based economy while continuing to invest in the institutions and enabling arrangements of a just and inclusive society.So, Honourable Speaker we reaffirm our commitment to finding lasting solutions, wiping away the hunger and fear on children’s faces and eliminating the hopelessness and despair of being jobless. That, Honourable Speaker, is our commitment to the people of South Africa.Issued by National Treasury4 June 2009Related articlesZuma: a more prosperous nation State of the Nation address Zuma restructures SA cabinet Full text of cabinet appointment SA celebrates new president Useful linksSouth African National TreasurySouth African Government InformationThe PresidencyDepartment of Trade and IndustryParliament of South Africalast_img read more

3 more militants killed in Pulwama

first_imgBodies of three Hizbul Mujahideen militants were recovered from debris in Pulwama on Tuesday morning, at the end of a 24-hour encounter.“The encounter started on Monday morning and one militant was killed in the initial exchange of fire. The other militants took shelter in houses. “The operation ended around 9 a.m. on Tuesday. Three bodies and three weapons were recovered,” said Inspector- General of Police, Kashmir, Muneer Khan. He said a search operation was on, as the security agencies suspect a “fourth body” could be buried in the debris.Shifting positionsFive houses were seen burning on Tuesday as the militants, who were frequently shifting positions, engaged the security forces in a long- drawn battle. Four security personnel, one a CRPF officer, were injured in the gunfight.“The operation became prolonged as the village Buhmoo is located on a raised ground. They had a dominating position. Room-to-room intervention was not easy. We had to proceed strategically to avoid collateral damage,” Mr. Khan said.Operation delayedThe operation was also delayed as the residents marched along the roads and threw stones. Scores were injured in clashes in the past 24 hours.Meanwhile, two slain militants were identified as Kifayat and Jehangir. The identity of the third could not be ascertained. Reports suggest multiple funerals were held for Jehangir, a resident of Chak Keller in Shopian district, where anti-India and pro-freedom slogans were raised.last_img read more

Volleyball player Arunima Sinha refutes charges of railway police

first_imgThe Government Railway Police (GRP) is allegedly trying to malign Arunima by doubting her claims as well as her status as a national and state-level athlete.The GRP, which is probing the case, doubts all claims made by Arunima including her statement that she was thrown out of the moving train.A broken Arunima said on Tuesday said: “Bearing the pain of losing a leg was lesser than bearing the pain of allegations by the police authorities that my statements are false.”Narrating a first-hand account of the incident in the train, Arunima who is admitted at the AIIMS Trauma centre, said: “Some people were fighting in the train. Suddenly one of the men came up to me to snatch my chain. I tried to ward off the attack and he could only catch hold of my kurta collar. In an attempt to defend myself, I fell down. He kicked and pushed me out in anger. I am happy that I defended myself.”She said the allegation have come as a huge disappointment. “Let me be a sportsperson and let me live… I am mentally disturbed and want to speak to the authorities and ask them how they could do this to me? I am getting aid and financial assistance from the central and state governments. They don’t want me to get this,” she added.”There is no security in the trains. The officials are simply trying to hide their shortcomings by blaming me… When I was brought to the GRPF police station by the railway officials, they behaved inhumanely. No one even asked me who I am or what I do,” Arunima said.advertisement”Different authorities are playing the blame game. Instead of accepting their folly, they are playing politics with my already ruined life,” she said.Arunima’s brother-in-law Om Prakash had earlier on Tuesday discussed all the allegations made by the GRP with Arunima over the phone and later spoke to clarify her stand.GRP additional director general A. K Jain said while Arunima had a superfast train ticket for New Delhi, she was travelling on the Padmawat Express instead.”Arunima missed her train at Charbagh station. She could not decide which train to take so I told her to take another train the next day. But she boarded the Padmawat Express at around 10 pm,” Prakash said.Jain alleged that “there is nothing to substantiate her claim that she is a national or a state-level athlete.”However, Prakash clarified: “She participated in the national golden jubilee football tournament and the international volleyball tournament. We have handed over the supporting documents to the Union sports ministry and the Sports Authority of India (SAI).”Jain, meanwhile, said: “Arunima said she was to reach Noida to appear for the physical fitness test for the post of constable in the Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) on April 12. But no such test was being held on that day.” Prakash, however, said: “She had applied for the post of CISF constable through Allahabad’s Staff Selection Commission and not the ITBP. She made some mistakes in filling up the form. Her physical fitness test was on May 7. We have made this clear to the GRP.”Jain added that “while she told the investigators that she went to the station from her sister’s place, her mobile records suggest that she was at her in-laws’ house before boarding the train.”But this was also contended by Prakash. “This is untrue. She went to the Gayatri mandir, which is about one km away from the house.”  Doctors at AIIMS have postponed her surgery scheduled on Tuesday considering her mental state.last_img read more

Whats Wrong With Sidney Crosby

So, a streak like this isn’t all that uncommon, even among the league’s cadre of great players. But it’s still worth dissecting what’s wrong with Sid the Kid during this particular slump.For starters, the Penguins just aren’t lighting the lamp when Crosby is on the ice. In 19 games this season, they’ve scored only 23 goals during his shifts, and 14 of those have been on the power play. At 5-on-5, they’re notching only 1.5 goals per 60 minutes with Crosby in the game, which ranks 12th-worst among forwards who’ve logged at least 200 minutes. And defensively, the numbers have somehow been even worse — the Pens are yielding a staggering 4.4 goals per 60 minutes with Crosby on the ice during 5-on-5 play. Among that same group of qualified forwards, only his fellow Penguin Conor Sheary ranks worse. (It’s beginning to seem like the Pens have some defensive issues.)But the more troubling sign for Crosby is that he’s just not generating the same level of possession metrics we’ve been accustomed to seeing from him over the years. Crosby’s expected +/- — the plus/minus rating we’d expect a player to have based on the volume and quality of shots his team (and opponents) took while he was on the ice — is easily the worst of his career so far in 2017. For the past three seasons,2The stat is new, so it has only been calculated back to 2014. Crosby’s expected +/- has hovered around 15, but in 2017 it has dipped below zero. And it’s not just a quirk of one model: Crosby’s expected goals +/- at Corsica Hockey has also been in the red. Which is to say that, remarkably, in 2017, Crosby’s play appears to be hurting the Pittsburgh Penguins.To Crosby’s credit, he seems unfazed by his scoring dearth. “No matter who you’re playing against, just try to keep doing the right things and trust they’ll go in,” he told it’s not like Crosby hasn’t had chances to score: In 2017, 61 percent of his possessions have begun in the offensive zone. That’s good for the second-highest percentage of his career, trailing only last year. The number of faceoffs you take in opposing territory can have an immense effect on your possession rates, so Crosby doesn’t have much of an excuse for not not converting some of those scoring opportunities into goals.During a season where goals are up and goaltending is down, you’d expect the most prolific scorer of his generation to be reaping the benefits — but so far, Crosby has been a ghost. As a result, his Penguins are reeling — they’ve lost more games than they’ve won, and if they hope to win a third consecutive Stanley Cup, they’ll need their captain to score some goals. Although some of Crosby’s woes will probably reverse themselves eventually, Pittsburgh will hold its collective breath until that happens. Of course, Crosby’s résumé as one of the greatest to ever play the game means that he is often held to an unrealistic standard. But his relatively precipitous dip begs the question: Are any NHL superstars slump-proof?Looking at the top 20 scorers whose careers started after the 2005 lockout, seven of them had an 11-game stretch that was worse than Crosby’s current skid at some point in their careers. (Crosby’s current teammate, Phil Kessel, had an 11-game streak with Toronto in 2015 where he notched only 3 points and posted a -16 plus/minus.) And now that Crosby has finally joined the club, every single player on the list can gripe about at least one 15-game run where their SGV was below replacement: Source: Jonathan ToewsCHI2017145-3-0.04 STATS DURING 15-GAME SLUMP Paul StastnyCOL2009246-10-0.56 Jeff CarterPHI2007033-11-1.52 Thomas VanekBUF2012224-8-0.48 Zach PariseMIN2016246-14-0.99 Claude GirouxPHI2010134-11-0.99 Corey PerryMDA2006033-6-0.64 Nicklas BackstromWSH2014167-9-0.37 Sidney CrosbyPIT2018437-11-0.17 Anze KopitarLAK2017257-13-0.72 Evgeni MalkinPIT2015/16246-7-0.12 Alex OvechkinWSH2014527-18-0.80 Joe PavelskiSJS2013123-5-0.58 Ryan GetzlafANA201211011-15-0.44 Patrick KaneCHI2009134-8-0.70 PLAYERTEAMSEASONGOALSASSISTSPOINTS+/-SGV Mikko KoivuMIN2006011-4-0.83 Steven StamkosTBL2009167-10-0.30 Jussi JokinenFLA2017101-9-1.35 Phil KesselTOR2015246-17-1.30 It’s time we talked about Sidney Crosby. Crosby is the best hockey player of his generation — and among the best to ever lace up a pair of skates — but he’s been a virtual nonentity on the Penguins’ stat sheet this season. You read that correctly — two-time Art Ross Trophy winner, two-time Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy winner, two-time Hart Memorial Trophy winner, and two-time Conn Smythe Trophy winner Sidney Crosby seems to have forgotten how to score.In his past 11 games, Crosby has scored zero goals, contributed just 3 assists, and has a -9 plus/minus. It’s the second-longest goalless streak of his career — but even during his longest goalless streak in 2011-12, he still dished out 17 assists in those 12 games. More importantly: That streak occurred when he was dealing with recurring concussion symptoms and actually bookends a three-month absence from the team.In terms of overall production, this is by far the worst 11-game stretch of Crosby’s career. We figured that out using a simple regression that estimates a forward’s goals versus threshold1GVT was developed by Tom Awad of Hockey Prospectus and is similar to baseball’s value over replacement player, in that it seeks to determine a player’s value in terms of goals above what a replacement-level player would contribute. based on his scoring stats, plus/minus and time on ice in a given game. Using this metric — which we’ll call “simple goal value,” or SGV — Crosby has been worth 1.1 fewer goals than a replacement-level scrub during this miserable 11-game streak. If you broaden the window slightly beyond his scoreless streak to look at his last 15 games, this has been the only 15-game period of Sid’s entire career where he performed at a below-replacement clip. John TavaresNYI2010044-15-1.64 Everybody’s gotta slump sometimeWorst 15-game stretches according to simple goal value (SGV) for NHL’s top 20 scorers whose careers started after the 2005 lockout, 2005-2018 read more

NCAA Ohio State compliance launch separate investigation of Terrelle Pryor

Following the resignation of Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel, The Columbus Dispatch reported that quarterback Terrelle Pryor — already facing a five-game suspension — is being investigated by the NCAA for receiving discounts on cars and other improper benefits. The report said the NCAA and OSU’s compliance department are conducting a separate investigation of Pryor involving allegations that he received discounts on cars and questioning his relationship with Ted Sarniak, a 67-year-old business man from Pryor’s hometown of Jeanette, Pa., who has been described as Pryor’s mentor. Pryor has been connected with more than six vehicles since he arrived at OSU in 2008, according to the report. Pryor has been stopped three times while driving cars owned by car salesman Aaron Kniffin or a Columbus used-car dealership where Kniffin worked. Kniffin told The Dispatch that he allowed Pryor to drive a car to Jeanette to show his mother. He said Pryor did not purchase the vehicle. OSU spokesman Jim Lynch said he could not comment on the investigation of Pryor. “The university continues to work with the NCAA as they investigate matters involving our football program, and we will continue to do so until the conclusion of the investigation,” Lynch said. “We are unable to comment on specific players’ situations because of federal law.” Pryor, along with teammates Dan Herron, DeVier Posey, Solomon Thomas and Mike Adams, was suspended for the first five games of the 2011–12 regular season for receiving improper benefits, but was allowed to participate in OSU’s 31-26 victory against Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl. It later was revealed that Tressel knew about the infractions and failed to report them. Tressel resigned Monday. A Sports Illustrated report published Monday night said Pryor personally brought in more than 20 items, including helmets, Nike cleats and game pants, to Fine Line Ink, a Columbus tattoo parlor. In 2008, Pryor was investigated for the ownership of a vehicle before he arrived on campus for his freshman year. He later won the starting quarterback job from senior quarterback Todd Boeckman, becoming the first true freshman quarterback to start at OSU since Art Schlichter in 1978. In 2009, Pryor raised eyebrows for his defense of Michael Vick after the NFL quarterback was accused of participating in illegal dog fighting rings. “I mean, everyone kills people, murders people, steals from you, steals from me, whatever,” Pryor said. “I think that people need a second chance, and I’ve always looked up to Mike Vick, and I always will.” Pryor won the Rose Bowl MVP in 2010 and passed for 266 yards and two touchdowns as the Buckeyes defeated Oregon, 26-17. read more

Cincinnati Reds trying to sustain success Cleveland Indians hoping for fresh start

Ohio’s two Major League Baseball clubs had two very different tales to tell at the end of last season. Up in Cleveland, the Indians put together one of the most painful seasons in franchise history, erasing a strong start with an unfathomable 5-24 record in August, putting them at 68-94 for the year and in desperate need of some changes. At the other end of the state, the Cincinnati Reds enjoyed their second National League Central division title in three seasons, finishing with the National League’s second best record at 97-65. While the season would eventually end on a sour note after blowing a 2-0 series lead over the eventual-champion San Francisco Giants in the National League Division Series, the Reds were put in good position to only improve on an already balanced club. For the Indians, it was a mystery to everyone involved what general manager Chris Antonetti’s approach to the offseason would be after the abysmal year. As it turned out, the club decided to open up the checkbook and make a series of unprecedented moves. Never known for spending much on free agents, the Indians signed two of the biggest ones available, first baseman Nick Swisher and center fielder Michael Bourn. That was not all for the Tribe in the free agent market, as they also inked designated hitter Mark Reynolds and starting pitcher Brett Myers to sizeable deals. Antonetti also tried his hand in the trade market, opening the offseason with a minor deal, moving relief pitcher Esmil Rogers to Toronto for utility infielder Mike Aviles, and later making a huge splash, trading right fielder Shin-Soo Choo to the Reds as part of a three-team deal, getting back outfielder Drew Stubbs from the Reds, and top pitching prospect Trevor Bauer from the Arizona Diamondbacks, along with two relief pitchers, Bryan Shaw and Matt Albers. Many attribute this aggressive offseason to new manager Terry Francona, whose presence and influence seems to have ushered in a new era of Indians baseball. Signed as a bit of a surprise move in October following the firing of former skipper Manny Acta, Francona brings with him two World Series rings from Boston and a great deal of respect from around the league. So what can be expected from Francona’s Indians this year? The lineup certainly looks dangerous on paper, blending speed from Bourn, Stubb and Michael Brantley; power from Swisher, Reynolds and Carlos Santana; and all-around hitting from Jason Kipnis, Asdrubal Cabrera and Lonnie Chisenhall. The individual team defense, especially from the outfield, is among the league’s best, and should be able to save the pitchers several runs. The Indians also bolster a strong bullpen, led by closer Chris Perez and set-up man Vinnie Pestano. What will likely keep the Indians out of the postseason, however, is the starting rotation. Their ace, Justin Masterson, had a 4.93 ERA last season, Ubaldo Jimenez has been a disaster since being acquired from Colorado in 2011, Myers did not start a game for Houston or Chicago last season, Zach McAllister is unproven, and Scott Kazmir was last seen struggling for the independent Atlantic League Sugar Land Skeeters after pitching his way out of the MLB. The Indians do have strong depth for the bottom of the rotation at Triple-A Columbus, including Bauer, Carlos Carrasco and Daisuke Matsuzaka, but the holes at the top are just too big for a strong lineup to overcome. Expect the Indians to finish with about 80 wins, though it’s not unreasonable that they could contend for a wild-card spot if Masterson or Jimenez can regain their old form. Moving south, the Reds had a far less busy offseason. Already owning an elite lineup, rotation and bullpen, anything they added would simply be icing on the cake as they go for their second consecutive NL Central title. As a result, the Reds will be putting out a very similar team to the one Cincinnati fans witnessed last season. The only major change is in center field, where Stubbs was swapped with Choo. The rotation of Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Bronson Arroyo, Homer Bailey and Mike Leake is identical to last season’s, as is the bullpen, led by all-star closer Aroldis Chapman, who was considered being moved to the rotation but ultimately stayed in the bullpen, and set-up men Sean Marshall and Jonathan Broxton. The lineup also remains strong, adding Choo to a group that includes all-stars Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce, as well as power hitters like Todd Frazier and Ryan Ludwick, and defensive specialists Zack Cozart and Ryan Hanigan. Visit to read the rest of this story. If a weakness had to be pointed out for Cincinnati, it would have to be its outfield defense. Choo, who struggled in right field for several years in Cleveland, is now being forced to play the more treacherous center field by default. If he struggles, manager Dusty Baker might be forced to explore other options. This could open the door for top prospect Billy Hamilton to make his debut. Hamilton, who stole a minor league record 155 bases last season, is considered one of the most exciting prospects in baseball. There’s not a ton of mystery for how strongly a team as well-balanced as the Reds will perform. St. Louis could challenge for the NL Central title, but it’s hard to imagine the Reds falling short of a wild-card berth. Pencil them in for 88-96 wins and a third trip to October baseball in four years. read more

Ohio State mens basketball ready for constant motion of Americans offense

Junior guard Shannon Scott (3) sets up in defensive position during a game against Morgan State Nov. 9 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 89-50.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorThe Ohio State men’s basketball team is coming off a defensive showing coach Thad Matta called one of the best performances by a team since he’s been at OSU.“I thought we were as tuned in, as dialed in as we could possibly be,” Matta said Tuesday, referring to the 52-35 win against then-No. 17 Marquette (2-1, 0-0) Saturday. “I thought guys used their length, their athleticism, they understood what we were trying to take away … It was probably about as good defensively as we could play.”The Buckeyes held the Golden Eagles to only 18.9 percent shooting in that game, and submitting a similar effort against American University (1-1, 0-0) Wednesday remains the focus. The American Eagles run an offense that has given the No. 8-ranked Buckeyes (3-0, 0-0) fits in the past.“We know they run the Princeton Offense. That’s going to be fun to guard like always,” said junior guard Shannon Scott Monday with a smile. “We just gotta treat them like any other team. Just because they’re not ranked doesn’t mean they can’t come in here and beat us.”The “Princeton Offense” is a style predicated on constant motion, quick cuts behind defenders and solid outside shooting. Matta said it takes extra time to prepare for the offense itself, and the Eagles shoot a high number of shots from beyond the 3-point arc.“It’s just the cutting is unique, you’ve got five guys out there that can shoot,” Matta said. “I think 47 percent of their field goal attempts are threes.”An in-conference foe, Northwestern, also runs the Princeton Offense, and the Wildcats have given the Buckeyes all they can handle in recent memory. Two seasons ago, OSU slipped by to beat Northwestern on the road, 75-73, as then-Buckeye forward Jared Sullinger scored the game-winning basket in the waning seconds. Last year, OSU needed late runs in both games against Northwestern to put them away.“It’s one of those deals where you may give up a lay up, you may give up a (3-pointer) here or there,” Matta said. “But it’s the possession after possession after possession of doing what you’re supposed to do and how you’re supposed to do it. And then in the end, you hope that you can rebound long shots, long rebounds. We gotta scoop those up. We’ve definitely learned our lesson over time playing Northwestern in that regard.”Staying disciplined on the defensive side of the ball is going to be key, as the Buckeyes look to win their fourth straight to open the season.“We have to be really sound on defense. We can’t gamble like we probably would,” Scott said. “I know for myself, I like to be in the passing lanes, I probably can’t do that too much cause they’re going to back-door it. Just playing honestly, defensively. Staying between the man and the basket is a huge key for us.”Tipoff between the Buckeyes and Eagles is set for 7:30 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center. read more

Man Utd interested resigning former defender

first_imgManchester United have reportedly entered the race to sign West Brom captain Jonny Evans at the end of the season, claim The SunJose Mourinho is currently in need of a new centre-back for this summer’s transfer window and has reportedly become interested in the prospect of taking Evans back to Old Trafford.The Northern Ireland international had been strongly linked with moves to both Manchester City and Arsenal during the January transfer window before City signed Aymeric Laporte from Athletico Bilbao and the Gunners decided to not pursue their interest any further.harry maguire, manchester UnitedMaguire says United need to build on today’s win George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Harry Maguire wants his United teammates to build on the victory over Leicester City.During the summer, Harry Maguire was referred to as the ultimate…Currently, West Brom is at the bottom of the Premier League standings and look set to be relegated, which will allow Evans to leave the club at the end of the season for as little as £4m due to a clause in his contract.The Baggies must beat Newcastle this weekend to stand any chance of continuing their bid for survival with the club eight points outside the safety zone with only three games remaining.last_img read more