Music fest in South Africa’s Darling

first_imgEvita Bezuidenhout, famous Afrikaner socialite and alter ego of comedian Pieter-Dirk Uys, is Darling’s most famous resident. (Image: Evita se Perron) The music on offer at this year’s Darling Music Experience will vary from classical and contemporary chamber music, popular choir works as well as jazz interpretations of classical favourites. (Image: Darling Music Experience) MEDIA CONTACTS • Alfred Legner   Darling Music Experience  +27 72 015 1653RELATED ARTICLES • Pieter-Dirk Uys scoops Teddy Award • Jock to grace SA screens again • Building bridges with classical music • Wouter Kellerman: magic on flute • Future of SA’s arts in good hands Wilma den HartighThe West Coast village of Darling is hosting its annual classical festival in February 2012, but don’t expect a highbrow affair.The Darling Music Experience is shifting perceptions of classical music, giving it a contemporary feel and making the music genre more accessible to a wider audience.South Africa’s DarlingThe village of Darling, a quirky little place situated in South Africa’s West Coast region, is a suitable spot for a festival celebrating classical music.The town’s appeal as a cultural hub has much to do with its most famous resident, Evita Bezuidenhout, famous Afrikaner socialite and alter ego of comedian Pieter-Dirk Uys.What started out as a small farming village many years ago, became a trendy little town when Tannie (Afrikaans for Aunty) Evita, South Africa’s most glamorous granny, moved in.Here she opened Evita se Perron, a cabaret venue, restaurant, bar and arts and craft market.Now the town is a popular artistic hangout and home to many of South Africa’s most esteemed musicians, artists, performers and composers.The Darling Music ExperienceThe Darling Music Experience was the idea of three music enthusiasts: David Tidboald, a renowned South African conductor; composer Hendrik Hofmeyr, one of the country’s best known younger composers; and Alfred Legner, a music enthusiast.Legner says that the Darling Music Experience, now in its seventh year, started out as a classical chamber music festival.“But now the festival has become more accessible and diverse,” he says.This year, the main inspiration for the festival is the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and visitors to the festival can expect unusual interpretations of works on instruments such as marimbas and penny whistles.The music on offer will vary from classical and contemporary chamber music, popular choir works as well as jazz interpretations of classical favourites.“Every year we have a good blend of local performers and international music stars,” he says.New artistsLegner says the festival is a great platform for new musicians and performers to showcase their work. Each year, a top local composer is commissioned to write a piece especially for the festival.“This is a very important aspect of the festival,” he says. “In doing so the Darling Music Experience nurtures and showcases the exceptional talent we have in our country.”More than just musicLegner points out that the festival is about more than listening to good music – delicious local food, the town’s inviting atmosphere and well-known Darling wines are part of the experience.“By pairing music with good food and wine we are adding an element of fun. We can’t sell music in the traditional sense anymore,” he says. “We have to sell ambience.”As part of the food and wine festivities, visitors can enjoy an introduction to champagne-making with winemaker Lukas Wentzel.The venues for the concerts are also a step away from the traditional settings, and include beautiful wine estates, Darling’s lovely old Presbyterian Church, village barns, and even a vlei, which is Afrikaans for marsh or meadow.Musical outreachAs part of the festival’s social responsibility efforts, The Darling Music Experience established a musical outreach initiative, known as the “Darling Music for all” programme.The initiative raises funds to pay for music tuition and buy instruments for needy children in local communities around Darling.“The school has grown so much that 40 children are playing musical instruments now,” Legner says.Through the music school and the festival’s unconventional approach to classical music, the genre is losing its traditional, old school appeal.“Established audiences are shrinking. Through the music programme we can create a new audience for classical music,” he says.• The Darling Music Experience takes place from 3 to 12 February in Darling.last_img read more

Were 2016 Ohio soybean yields an anomaly?

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest It’s no secret that soybean yields around Ohio were great and many believe a new state record will be set. Was this year’s successful crop a fluke? The Ohio Ag Net’s Ty Higgins asked that question to Account Manager Troy Putnam for this week’s DuPont Pioneer Field Report.last_img

Standards: California Enters ODF versus OOXML Debate

first_imgA new generation of document creation applications is again sparking a war of competing file formats.  Microsoft’s .doc Word format won the first round and has remained for some time the most popular file format and de facto standard for exchanging editable document files.  But widespread acceptance of XML is forcing that to change.Governments worldwide have expressed their desire to create and exchange documents that are based on internationally agreed open standards.  Governments want to be able to create documents that can be distributed to anyone for over long periods of time.  Many people have identified an XML-based open format as the best available current option for ensuring long-term document retention and access.The OASIS Open Document Format for Office Applications (ODF) was created as an XML document file format.  ODF is a published ISO and IEC standard, approved in May 2006, and it has been heavily promoted by Sun, IBM, and Google.The ODF Alliance cites the following benefits of ODF:Access.  As an open standard, documents in the format should be available in the future by anyone and at any time.Choice.  An Open Standard for the file format allows many vendors to create office suites and applications around the same standard.  It promotes competition and choice.Innovation.  An open standard encourages vendors to compete and to foster innovation.Massachussetts has already adopted ODF as a state standard and now mandates that all state agency documents conform.  In early February, Texas and Minnesota introduced bills that would mandate the use of an open XML-based file format that is “interoperable among diverse internal and external platforms and applications; fully published and available royalty-free; implemented by multiple vendors; and controlled by an open industry organization with a well-defined inclusive process for evolution of the standard”.Today California is also beginning to consider legislation that would require state agencies to adopt an open document format for all document records. Microsoft is fighting back and has created a new file format for their just-released Office 2007 product that is positioned in direct response to ODF.  Office 2007 introduces the OOXML (Office Open XML) file format.  OOXML is a 6039 page specification that was accepted by Ecma International in December.  Microsoft has gotten some support for the format from Intel, Apple, Canon, Novell and The US Library of Congress.But Microsoft is in trouble with acceptance of OOXML as a standard.  It did receive a favorable adoption vote by Ecma last December, but then it advanced to a review stage called the contradiction phase.  A contradiction could be voiced if a country feels that the standard would disrupt another one, or redefine another one, or incorrectly use another one.  Countries have a short period after the adoption vote to voice ‘contradictions’.Twenty countries responded during this phase to raise contractions.  They include:  Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Romania, Singapore, Sweden, and the UK.  Next there will be a vote of acceptance from all countries.  Of the 30 countries carrying some weight in the vote, 16 have raised contraditions.  It seems unlikely, given the number of countries that have voiced concern, that OOXML could be accepted. Microsoft already has a plugin to allow ODF compatibility from Microsoft Office.  And if the pressure continues, Microsoft may find itself in a position where it will need to support ODF “out-of-the-box”.last_img read more

In China, disrespecting national anthem could soon bring 3 years in jail

first_imgChina’s parliament on Monday began considering an amendment to stiffen punishments for showing “disrespect” to the national anthem, which could bring violators as long as three years in prison.A draft amendment for amending the Criminal Law was submitted on Monday at the bi-monthly session of the parliament, or National People’s Congress (NPC), standing committee, reported the official Xinhua news agency.”Violators in this regard may face punishments of up to three years of imprisonment,” Xinhua quoted the draft as saying.This follows a new national anthem law that came into effect on China’s national day, October 1, that cracks down on “inappropriate” use of the national anthem, such as playing the anthem at private functions or for commercial purposes, or modifying lyrics.The law called for 15 days detention for any violations, which the amendment now wants to extend to up to 3 years.The national anthem law said the anthem “shall be sung at formal political gatherings, including the opening and closing of National People’s Congress sessions, constitutional oath ceremonies, flag raising ceremonies, major celebrations, awards ceremonies, commemorations, national memorial day events, important diplomatic occasions, major sport events and other suitable occasions, according to the law.””It is now illegal to use the national anthem during funerals, inappropriate private occasions, commercials or as background music in public places,” the law said.The law said “violators, including those who maliciously modify the lyrics, play or sing the national anthem in a distorted or disrespectful way, can be detained for up to 15 days, even be held criminally liable”.advertisementChina’s anthem, called “March of the Volunteers”, was chosen in 1949 when the People’s Republic of China was established.WATCH VIDEO | Disrespecting national anthem may soon lead to 3-year jail term in Chinalast_img read more

Fincantieri Launches New Bid to Delist Vard

first_imgzoom Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri has rolled out a new proposal to seek the privatization of Vard Holdings via a voluntary delisting from the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited (SGX-ST).Vard’s Board of Directors is about to convene an extraordinary general meeting to seek shareholder approval for the delisting, which is also conditional upon SGX-ST’s approval.The delisting needs to be approved by a majority of at least 75 percent, and not being voted against by 10 percent, or more, of the total number of Vard shares held by shareholders present and voting.Subject to the above conditions, Fincantieri O&G, a subsidiary of Fincantieri, intends to make an exit offer for all the issued ordinary shares in Vard.Under the proposal, Vard’s shareholders will be offered SGD 0.25 in cash for each share tendered in acceptance of the exit offer, for a maximum consideration of SGD 60.9 million (approx. EUR 38.5 million).The offer price is one cent higher than the one proposed in 2016, which minority shareholders declined.Fincantieri said that the offer would be financed through available financial resources.Fincantieri O&G currently holds 936,225,710 shares in Vard, equal to around 79.34 pct of Vard’s total issued share capital.last_img read more

Kiehls Since 1851 Embarks On LifeRide For Breast Cancer

first_imgMaintaining its mission of philanthropy, Kiehl’s Since 1851, the venerable New York-based purveyor of fine quality skin and hair care, returns to Washington DC with an expansion of its charitable motorcycle ride, LifeRide.Kiehl’s LifeRide for Breast Cancer, Benefitting The Brem Foundation will take place over three days, Oct. 23-Oct. 25, riding from Richmond, VA to Washington DC, and around the metro DMV area.This is a new version of Kiehl’s cross-country motorcycle ride inspired by Kiehl’s iconic motorcycle, spirit of adventure, and philanthropic heritage, and will benefit Washington DC’s The Brem Foundation, which helps women find breast cancer early, when they have the best chance for survival. The Brem Foundation educates women about their risk factors and screening options, provides access to diagnostic tests for uninsured women, and funds the only breast-imaging training program that requires community service.The ride will specifically support the foundation’s B-Fund, paying for women to get critical diagnostic tests when they can’t afford those tests. The fund pays for those diagnostic tests within two weeks of a woman’s abnormal screening mammogram, maximizing their chances of finding an early, curable breast cancer.“For Kiehl’s, LifeRide is about making noise about a cause that we passionately believe in, about physically going out into our community and reaching our customers face to face,” said Chris Salgardo, President, Kiehl’s USA, and a motorcycle enthusiast since he was a teenager. “We’re proud to return to DC to make more noise for Breast Cancer because the latest CDC data says that DC still has the highest death rate from breast cancer than any other state in the US. If we can help move those numbers in any way, we will do so.”Kiehl’s President Chris Salgardo will lead the motorcycle riders, including actors Katee Sackhoff, Gilles Marini, and HGTV’s Anthony Carrino, from Richmond, VA to Washington DC, making stops to meet customers, raise awareness for The Brem Foundation, and invite the public to contribute to efforts that provide all women with access to life-saving services. The riders will educate customers with the help of Dr. Rachel Brem, the organization’s Chief Medical Advisor and Andrea Wolf, its President and CEO.“The Brem Foundation could not be more excited to partner with Kiehl’s,” Wolf said. “Together we will use the LifeRide to pave a path to a world where early-detection prevails and far fewer women die from breast cancer.”The ride concludes with a finale at Kiehl’s in Georgetown, and the official announcement of Kiehl’s donation of $10,000 to The Brem Foundation.Kiehl’s LifeRide for Breast Cancer, Benefitting The Brem Foundation is just one of Kiehl’s efforts for Breast Cancer this year. The company also has a national partnership with Bright Pink, a national non-profit focused on the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women, on a limited-edition product to benefit the organization and raise awareness for breast health education.JOIN THE RIDE!The public is invited to join the festivities at the following stops: • MONDAY, OCT. 23, 2017 ◦ Kiehl’s at Dillard’s Short Pump Town Center, 11824 W. Broad St., Richmond, VA, 12:00-1:00 PM • TUESDAY, OCT. 24, 2017 ◦ Kiehl’s at Bloomingdale’s at The Shops at Wisconsin Place, 5300 Western Ave., Chevy Chase, MD, 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM ◦ Kiehl’s Since 1851, Tysons Corner Center, 1961 Chain Bridge Rd., McLean, VA, 1:00-2:00 PM • WEDNESDAY, OCT. 25, 2017 ◦ Kiehl’s Since 1851, 3110 M St., Washington DC, 1:00 PM–2:00 PMKiehl’s customers nationwide can also raise funds and awareness for Breast Cancer prevention and early detection throughout October. • Post a photo blowing a kiss, and tag @Kiehls and hashtag #KISSFORTHECURE. Kiehl’s will donate $1 for every post, up to $35,000, to The Brem Foundation and Bright Pink. • Limited Edition #KissForTheCure Butterstick Lip Duo: 100% of purchase price from the sale of this product, up to $25,000, will benefit Bright Pink, a national non-profit focused on the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women. $32. • Donate in-store. All Kiehl’s retail stores nationwide will be accepting donations for The Brem Foundation and Bright Pink. To find your closest store, please visit the store locator on Kiehls.com.To find out more about LifeRide and Kiehl’s projects to support women’s health, click here.last_img read more

As fish farm protestors wait on decision legal hurdles lie on the

first_imgLaurie Hamelin APTN News A British Columbia court is still deciding if protestors can occupy a fish farm owned by one company in the province.Marine Harvest went to court seeking an injunction against occupiers of Midsummer Island fish farm.But no matter how the case turns out, there are bigger legal battles still to come.lhamelin@aptn.calast_img

No 6 Overall Draft Pick Barkevious Mingo Hospitalized With

No. 6 overall draft pick Cleveland Browns rookie linebacker Barkevious Mingo has been hospitalized after suffering a bruised lung.Mingo, who was drafted from Louisiana State University in the first round in April, was injured in the first half of Cleveland’s 24-6 victory over Detroit on Thursday.The initial diagnosis was that Mingo had a rib injury, but following the game he was taken to the hospital for further examination. Coach Rob Chudzinski said Mingo would be kept overnight.The details on how Mingo was hurt are unclear. The 6-foot-4-inch, 240-pound player jogged to the tunnel with a trainer for treatment after he was injured.And more bad news hit the Browns when running back Dion Lewis broke his leg and is likely done for the season. Cleveland also lost offensive guard Jason Pinkston, who suffered a severely sprained ankle. He left the stadium in a walking boot and on crutches. read more

The Strange Dynasty Of The San Francisco Giants Is Over Yes It

✗ +3 Dodgers1946196642772133.3 Yankees1976198621931127.3 ✓ Over the course of the past decade, the San Francisco Giants put together one of the strangest dynasties in baseball history. And now it is officially coming to an end.The Giants still have five players left over from their 2014 championship season, but the returns have diminished greatly since then. The team is in last place in the National League West; the FiveThirtyEight model currently predicts it to finish 70-92, which would be one of the worst records in franchise history.1Technically the 2017 version was even worse, although that team at least had injuries to blame (and a playoff appearance the year before to suggest a potential turnaround). And it could get worse by season’s end, with ace Madison Bumgarner (among others) on the trade block.The Giants got here in part by trying to extend the dynasty past its expiration date. But who can blame them? When a team’s initial successes defy the odds, it can be especially difficult to know when a downturn is permanent or just a detour along the road to another title. This is especially true of San Francisco, which sandwiched two mediocre nonplayoff seasons in between World Series titles. But we come here not to bury the Giants’ dynasty but to praise it — and imagine how Farhan Zaidi, the new president of baseball operations, might construct another one where the original once stood.So what makes the Giants’ dynasty of the 2010s — and yes, it was a bona fide dynasty — maybe the most interesting ever?Up and downThe simplest answer to that question lies with the team’s every-other-year pattern of success. In even-numbered years from 2010 through 2016, the Giants’ winning percentage was .557; in odd years, it was only .506. But plenty of teams have gone on wild championship roller-coaster rides. The Giants’ version was one of the most memorable because of how unexpectedly it materialized and how difficult it was to get a handle on, even while it was happening.Sabermetrics pioneer Bill James has a method of determining dynastic runs that involves giving out points for seasons of various accomplishments. He keeps a running tally of a team’s dynasty points after each season; whenever a team’s running total hits 10, it automatically becomes a dynasty — of which there have been only 38 in baseball history. ✓✓✓ ✗ Source: billjamesonline.com ✓✓ ✓✓ Cardinals196319712104944.4% ✓✓ +1 ✓✓+2 ✓✓+3 Phillies197619831142825.0 Seasons ✓✓✓✓✓+6 Giants201020163103742.9 ✓✓ ✓+1 Bill James’s dynasty accounting systemWhat an MLB team must do in a season to earn or lose dynasty points ✓✓+4 Yankees19201943106162425.0 +5 Made Playoffs?Won Division?Won Pennant?Won World Series?Losing record90+ Wins?100+ Wins?Dynasty points Keeping in mind that the majority of San Francisco’s dynasty took place in the double-wild-card era, where in theory it is easier to snag an occasional playoff berth to keep the run going, you could argue that a Giants-like run is even harder to pull off now than during the Cardinals’ era (most of which happened when the “playoffs” consisted only of the World Series).If all of this sounds like a knock on what San Francisco accomplished, it’s not. It actually just makes it more fascinating: Only nine teams in history ever won three World Series in a five-year period anyway, and none of those had anywhere near as many ups and downs — nor proved as many doubters wrong — as the 2010-16 Giants did.Growing a dynasty … on top of a dynasty?Surprisingly, that run actually began on the heels of another dynasty, at least according to James’s accounting system. The 2000-04 Giants hit a running total of 10 points as well, despite not winning any championships, because they won at least 90 games five years in a row with two division crowns, a pennant in 2002 and 100 victories in 2003. That team was powered by Barry Bonds at the peak of his historic hitting powers,4And with Bonds allegedly benefiting from performance-enhancing drugs. with help from second baseman Jeff Kent, pitcher Jason Schmidt and shortstop Rich Aurilia. But the club’s performance fell after much of Bonds’s supporting cast signed elsewhere (SB Nation recently made a great video about the bitter Bonds-Kent feud), and the Giants’ main attraction in the ensuing seasons was Bonds’s largely joyless pursuit of Hank Aaron’s all-time home run record.By 2008, Bonds was out of baseball and the Giants were terrible, winning just 72 games. They had just three players who had been ranked among Baseball America’s Top 100 prospects in the previous few seasons: pitchers Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum and Jonathan Sanchez. Their farm system ranked just 23rd in baseball. Practically nothing about the Giants’ situation suggested that another dynasty was around the corner.But as bleak as San Francisco’s outlook appeared to be, the ingredients were largely in place for the run that was to come. To go with Cain and Lincecum, fellow dynasty cornerstones Bumgarner, Posey, Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt would all be drafted in 2007-09, while third baseman Pablo Sandoval and reliever Sergio Romo both made their MLB debuts in the summer of 2008. Nine players were on all three Giants championship squads — Posey, Bumgarner, Cain, Sandoval, Romo, Lincecum, Santiago Casilla, Jeremy Affeldt and Javier Lopez — and of those, six were either acquired by or made their MLB debuts for San Francisco in the 18-month span between May 2007 and November 2008. The team had also hired manager Bruce Bochy away from the division-rival San Diego Padres prior to the 2007 season.The Giants’ penchant for acquiring and developing homegrown talent helps explain a good amount of their success earlier this decade. From 2010 through 2016, only two teams (the St. Louis Cardinals and Tampa Bay Rays) got more total wins above replacement5Averaging together the WAR versions found at Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs. from players who initially debuted with the team than San Francisco did. That group was headlined by Posey and Bumgarner, both of whom were top-10 draft picks, but it also included a fourth-rounder (Crawford), fifth-rounder (Belt) and 18th-rounder (Matt Duffy) who each peaked as 4-win players or better despite their lack of pedigree.Spare parts to the rescueThose Giants were made all the more interesting by the odd veteran pieces that filled in the gaps around the homegrown talent, particularly in the postseason. Journeyman castoffs Andres Torres and Aubrey Huff led the 2010 Giants in regular-season WAR, while that year’s NLCS MVP was Cody Ross (who had been claimed off waivers from the Marlins in August), and the World Series MVP was veteran shortstop Edgar Renteria, who had missed more than half the regular season with injuries.The trend continued in subsequent title runs. Outfielder Angel Pagan rebounded from a disappointing 2011 season with the Mets to produce 4.4 WAR for the Giants in their 2012 championship campaign. Melky Cabrera, on his fourth team in four years, was the All-Star Game’s MVP and hit an NL-best .346 that year before being suspended for performance-enhancing drugs (and recusing himself from the batting crown). Second baseman Marco Scutaro, picked up via trade in July, claimed NLCS MVP honors. After Posey and Bumgarner, frenetic outfielder Hunter Pence, acquired four days after Scutaro, was the Giants’ best player by WAR in 2013 and 2014, posting an 1.167 on-base plus slugging in the 2014 World Series. Even in 2016, obscure third baseman Conor Gillaspie provided playoff heroics when his ninth-inning home run won the NL wild-card game over the Mets.This quirky combination of young draftees and veteran reclamation projects helped each Giants championship team forge a different identity. The 2010 team was widely identified with Lincecum, Cain and eccentric, heavily bearded closer Brian Wilson. The 2012 version had evolved to become Posey’s team (he was named NL MVP) with Sandoval, the “Kung Fu Panda,” inheriting the role of postseason talisman from Wilson. And the 2014 season was all about the dominance of Bumgarner, who became virtually unhittable in October, winning the NLCS and World Series MVPs. Bochy and general manager Brian Sabean continually found ways to retool the roster on the fly, returning it to a championship level even after a 76-win season in 2013 suggested to many that San Francisco’s days of winning it all were probably over.An extraordinary timeThe Giants’ dynasty was also lucky to come along during an era of comparative parity in Major League Baseball. In 2015, my colleague Rob Arthur and I noted that MLB was getting tougher and tougher to predict during the decade of the 2010s, which happened to overlap with the entirety of San Francisco’s run to that point. In particular, the share of variance in team records explained by luck — which tracks with how compressed team records are across the league — had spiked upward to 64 percent that season, the highest mark since right after the 1994 strike.The Giants weren’t particularly dominant on paper during their dynastic years, never finishing higher than sixth in baseball in Sports-Reference.com’s Simple Rating System during any of their championship seasons, but it was the perfect moment to be a good team that gets hot at exactly the right time. Although it is unlikely that San Francisco’s World Series runs were wholly (or even mostly) the product of making the playoffs and having the postseason crapshoot fall in their favor three times, there’s no denying that the Giants’ path was made easier by the lack of super-teams across the rest of MLB.And now, those days are gone. (Not that it would help the current Giants much if they weren’t.) Starting in 2016, the league became very much top-heavy and thus much easier to predict than it had been earlier in the decade. The simultaneous emergence of juggernauts in the Houston Astros, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians over the past few seasons have left the next tier of teams feeling the squeeze. Yes, some of today’s reduced parity also owes to the surplus of tanking teams trying to emulate the championship runs of the Cubs and Astros, but the teams at the top are also just stacked with talent. That has made it much tougher to be a merely solid ballclub with World Series aspirations.The aftermathAfter falling short against the Cubs in the 2016 NL Division Series, the Giants hoped to return to contention with largely the same group plus ex-Nationals closer Mark Melancon (who’d been good the previous season). Instead, Bumgarner injured himself in an early season dirt bike accident, Melancon was terrible, and the team collapsed to 64 wins. Then San Francisco doubled down on reviving its even-year magic in 2018 by trading for 30-something stars Andrew McCutchen and Evan Longoria. It didn’t work: Longoria was a disappointment at 1.2 WAR, McCutchen was traded to the Yankees at midseason, and Bumgarner was injured again. After 73 wins last year and this season’s 20-26 start, and facing Bochy’s retirement at the end of 2019, the franchise has finally begun staring down the specter of a rebuild.It’s easy to look back with hindsight and criticize the moves San Francisco made to try to keep its window of contention open. Well after the 2014 championship, for instance, the Giants signed pitchers Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija and Melancon to long-term deals totaling $282 million, which looks like a terrible waste now — as well as a betrayal of the dynasty’s original homegrown roots.But this was also the same team that rode out a playoff absence in 2011 to win again in 2012, and a 76-win disappointment in 2013 to win again in 2014. As Bumgarner told the L.A. Times before this season, “Pretty much every year we’ve won, we were not expected to win.”The retool-on-the-fly mindset served the Giants well — until it didn’t.As much as the failure of recent big-name acquisitions to recapture their former glory has hurt the Giants, another big factor has been the failure of the team’s homegrown core to age gracefully — and the lack of anything in the pipeline behind it. Although Crawford can still make the occasional spectacular play, he is down from a 5-win player in 2016 to a subreplacement one now, and he’ll make $15.2 million each of the next two seasons after 2019. Belt was worth 4.2 WAR in 2016; now he’s on pace for a more middling 2.2 WAR in 2019 despite his $17.2 million salary, which also repeats in 2020 and 2021. Duffy fell off in 2016 and was traded for Matt Moore, who was miserable for the Giants in 2017 and was himself dealt for peanuts.Even with Bumgarner healthy, the Giants have the league’s worst starting rotation according to WAR. And recent drafts have produced little of note. The farm system ranked 26th in Keith Law’s preseason rankings. Things suddenly look dire again.Rebuilding the next dynastyWith Sabean’s successor, Bobby Evans, removed from his post as general manager last September, the man tasked with rebuilding the Giants now is former Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi, who has gained a reputation as an innovator and a genius since leaving his doctoral program at the University of California, Berkeley to join the Oakland A’s front office under billion-dollar Billy Beane in 2005.Zaidi began shaking up San Francisco’s usual methods with a seemingly endless stream of anonymous signings before the season, in the hopes that at least some of them turn into viable major leaguers. That dizzying roster carousel did not let up once the season got underway, either. The team has started to employ modern pitching tactics like using an opener (which went poorly) and having position players like Sandoval throw mop-up innings (which went well!).But Zaidi has also run into friction six months into his new job. Already a figure of suspicion among Giants fans for his Dodger background, Zaidi was booed by season-ticket holders (granted, at Zaidi’s own urging) during a preseason meet-and-greet after he mentioned potentially using the opener. More seriously, he was openly criticized by Derek Holland after the pitcher was demoted from the starting rotation.Maybe all the constant roster-shuffling and other analytics-minded front-office techniques will pay off for San Francisco in the long run. But for now, the Giants are a bad team that can only get worse. The players are noticing — and so are the fans. AT&T Park was home to baseball’s third-best attendance mark as recently as 2017, but no team has shed more fans per game this season than San Francisco, whose 2019 attendance is down by more than 6,000 as compared with last year.How long will the Giants’ rebuild last? It might take a while to clear the current roster’s worst financial obligations from the books. Even in a world without Bumgarner, the team has $124 million committed to just seven players next year, with a payroll that could balloon to $172 million after arbitration and options are picked up. But as San Francisco’s ill-fated late push to sign Bryce Harper showed, the team hasn’t ruled out shelling out money for talent despite starting a new chapter in franchise history. Zaidi’s tightrope walk between alienating one of baseball’s best fan bases and genuinely refreshing the roster should be interesting to watch over the next few seasons.But it does also mean that the Giants dynasty of the early teens is firmly in the rearview mirror. What San Francisco accomplished then still defies statistical explanation to a certain degree, even acknowledging that most dynasties need an unlikely string of good fortune to build a great roster with long-term staying power. Through a combination of strong starting pitching, an impressive homegrown core and unbelievably shrewd veteran pickups, the Giants put together one of baseball’s most improbable strings of championships ever — a run that will be better appreciated only as it recedes into the realm of history. Now we have to see what Zaidi can do as a follow-up act.Check out our latest MLB predictions. ✗-2 ✓ But every dynasty also has to end. When a team has a zero-point season, its rolling tally drops at least 2 points (it falls by 3 if the team also has a losing record). When the rolling tally dips to zero again, or the team has three straight pointless seasons, the dynasty is definitively over.2And the dynasty’s final season is retroactively set to the last year in which the team picked up any dynasty points.This decade’s Giants officially qualified as a dynasty by hitting 10 points after the 2014 World Series victory, ultimately extending the span of their run from 2010 to 2016 with one additional playoff appearance.3Technically the Giants haven’t had three straight zero-point seasons or a running total of zero yet (their running total was 3 through 2018, which was their second-straight zero-point season), but our model gives them next to no chance of picking up any dynasty points — and thereby extending the run — in 2019. But of those seven seasons, three contributed nothing to (and therefore actively detracted from) San Francisco’s running dynasty total. Among the 38 distinct teams that James’s system considers dynasties, only one — the 1963-71 St. Louis Cardinals — had a higher share of their “dynasty years” contribute nothing to the dynasty itself. +2 Cardinals1926193531731030.0 The weirdest dynasties ever?Among MLB dynasties (as defined by Bill James’s point system), largest share of seasons during a run that contributed zero points to the dynasty In general, a season contributes nothing to the dynasty if the team fails to make the playoffs or win 90 games.Source: Baseball Databank Angels200220091112825.0 -3 Red Sox2002201841851729.4 TeamStartEndTitlesMax Dynasty PtsZero-PtTotalZero-Pt Share Dodgers1973199121381942.1 read more

Graham to arrive at OSU with lofty expectations

“Legacy” is an oft-used word in association with Ohio State football.   It is used to describe the honor and responsibility passed down from OSU teams to their present counterparts.For incoming recruit and quarterback prospect Taylor Graham, the word “legacy” carries a deeper meaning.Graham will be bringing more than just his personal belongings, a Kordell Stewart poster and a laptop to campus with him this fall. He has the exploits of his father, former OSU quarterback Kent Graham, as baggage.The elder Graham, the OSU signal-caller under John Cooper in the 1991 season, went on to a journeyman’s career in the NFL. He played for eight different teams, beginning with the New York Giants and then retiring from the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2002.His son, a 6-foot-4-inch, 211-pound prospect from dad’s alma mater, Wheaton North in Illinois, hopes to have a career that equals or surpasses that of his famous father.Kevin Noon, managing editor of BuckeyeGrove.com, thinks he may have the skills to do just that.“He has the tools to be successful at this level, having an Ohio State and NFL alum as a father to go along with his frame,” Noon said.While he is not the only quarterback recruited for OSU’s 2010 class, the other, Marion Franklin product Verlon Reed, is expected to switch to another position because of his versatile athleticism. That puts Graham in a position to eventually challenge for the same starting position his father once anchored.Graham may not possess the speed or agility of current Buckeye quarterback Terrelle Pryor, or even Reed for that matter, but he is more in the mold of a classic, drop-back passer like former OSU greats Bobby Hoying or, yes, Kent Graham.“He is mobile enough to move around in the pocket if need be, but will never be mistaken as a dual-threat quarterback,” Noon said. “He has a big arm and a great football mind but will still need to work on his touch and decision-making.”In addition to his accuracy and mechanics, he walks onto campus with durability concerns. He broke an ankle just five games into his junior season. Then, with a scholarship offer from OSU already in hand, Graham suffered a PCL tear in his knee and was once again limited to five games his senior year.During those 10 games he was able to compete in, however, he threw for 1,380 yards and eight touchdowns, against just one interception.Noon doesn’t appear overly concerned.“He hasn’t been able to escape the injury bug over the past two seasons, but neither of the past injuries could be classified as ‘chronic,’” Noon said.Graham, who was born at the OSU Medical Center in the literal and figurative shadow of The ‘Shoe, will have quite a tradition to live up to. If he can prove that he can overcome the ‘injury-prone’ label and the added pressure that comes with being a true legacy, someday he’ll get his chance. read more