More than €1000 has been raised by the Letterkenny Institute of Technology Student Union for two Donegal charities. A number of recent events and campaigns including the Student Achievement Awards and the Formal Ball have raised a grand total of €1080.00 for the two worthy charities.At the start of each academic year, two charities are chosen by the students. The charities chosen this year were Multiple Sclerosis Ireland (Donegal Branch) and the Donegal Hospice.Earlier this week, the two charities were presented with a total of €540.00 each.LYIT Student Union thanked the students and staff members who contributed in any way, throughout the academic year, for the two charities.Josephine Wilson, Student Union Administrator LYIT. Grace Boyle, Donegal Hospice. Kathleen Harkin, Donegal Hospice. Paul Lynch, LYIT SU President.William Daly, LYIT SU Welfare Officer. Charlie McLaughlin, MS Ireland (Donegal Branch). Josephine Wilson, Student Union Administrator LYIT. Two Donegal charities receive over €1000 from LYIT Students’ Union was last modified: July 5th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare 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)
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Dickinson Cattle Company (DCCI) of Barnesville, Ohio won the 2015 Longhorn World Championship in Oklahoma City, OK, ending with the fiercest of competition on Oct. 24. The final calculations were in the Cox Convention Center in downtown OKC. This event is the world’s largest and most versatile cattle competition.The TLMA World Championship is a horn measuring event with careful detail to tip to tip measurement and total horn. Measurements are calculated to 1/16th of an inch by a team of experienced horn masters. This event has built momentum for many years and has great influence on Texas Longhorn market popularity. In recent years Texas Longhorn cattle have sold for amounts above $150,000, and many were sporting record wide serpentined spreads.Texas Longhorn cattle are bred for all the same virtues of other cattle breeds, yet serious longevity of production, attractive colors, unassisted calving, large weaning weights and long twisty horns. The horns are an exciting investor factor with multiple opinionated preferences.The Texas Longhorn Marketing Alliance hosts numerous satellite events all across the nation, then the following week the last group of cattle are measured publicly in the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City. Owners who think they have the largest horned cattle participate in this public venue, and like a horse race, only one wins. The TLMA plan lets the best of the best compete all over the nation with all calculations finalized in OKC.DCCI entered two Ohio herd sires Rodeo Max and Clear Point, both prior World Champions. Clear Point won the Largest tip-to-tip in his division and the Greatest Total Horn. Rodeo Max won the Largest tip-to-tip in his division. Clear Point measured 86.5″ at under 42 months and Rodeo Max won with an 85″ measurement at age 11. In a rapidly advancing industry it is difficult for an 11 year old to be this competitive.Dickinson Cattle Company is a family owned ranching business that markets registered cattle, hosts ranch tours for the public and competes in national livestock contests. DCCI has a fully stocked ranch store providing horn products and all natural Texas Longhorn healthy beef. Ranch manager Joel Dickinson reports, “We were very honored that from satellite events nation wide and the final OKC event, our Ohio DCCI bulls won their World Championship Bronzes.”The International Texas Longhorn Association and Texas Longhorn Marketing Alliance co-host the Longhorn Extravaganza at OKC. The Expo turns into a two day 10 ring circus of horn measuring, judged shows, futurities, video presentations, business meetings, marketing booths, vendor “horn” peddlers and an awards presentation/banquet on the final night.Clear Point bred and raised by Dickinson Cattle Co
The registrations for the 48th International Film Festival of India (IFFI 2017), organised by the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in association with government-owned Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG) are now open on the official festival website.The organisers said on Wednesday that the registrations are open on website www.iffigoa.org. The festival also announced that the delegate registrations for film institute students will be at no cost.An annual event in the global festival calendar, the 48th edition of the IFFI will be “Celebrating the Future of Cinema.” The film festival will be held here from November 20 to 28.The 48th IFFI is being led by a Steering Committee comprising of noted Indian entertainment industry professionals, including personalities such as Jahnu Barua, Nagesh Kukunoor, Shoojit Sircar, Shaji N Karun, Anand Gandhi, Piyush Pandey, Prasoon Joshi, Siddharth Roy Kapur, Vani Tripathi Tikoo, Meren Imchen, Ashwini Iyer Tiwari, Bharat Bala and Director, NFDC.In order to enhance the involvement of the Indian film industry, a 40-member Film Preview Committee has been set up comprising industry professionals from across the country. The members include filmmakers such as Vivek Agnihotri, Nitesh Tiwari, Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, Bhaskar Hazarika, actors Gautami Tadimalla, Hrishitaa Bhatt, Pallavi Joshi, noted critics and writers Khalid Mohammed, Saibal Chatterjee and Bhawana Somaaya, among numerous others.The 48th IFFI will showcase the best of recent International cinema, along with special sections such as Retrospectives, BRICS Award-Winning films, Homages and an Indian Panorama Section featuring the best of Indian Cinema produced in the past year, with the aim of providing a platform for young creative minds to interact, view and learn.There will be a host of Masterclasses by eminent film practitioners and Panel Discussions featuring a diverse range of distinguished personalities discussing topics of interest for film enthusiasts.A series of new initiatives and packages will also be unveiled in the coming days, said an official release.
NEW YORK – The New York Times’ Graham Parker writes about the New York Cosmopolitan League and the contribution of the Greek-Cypriots and Greeks in the history of the amateur soccer in the USA.“As the New York Pancyprian Freedoms play their Greek American counterparts on the soccer field below him, Pancyprian founder Philip Christopher is telling a story.“In 1984, the Pancyprian Freedoms had won the right to represent the United States in the Concacaf Champions Cup, a regional club tournament. It was quite an honor for a small New York team, and after they were drawn to face the Honduran club C.D.S. Vida, the traveling party boarded a plane for Tegucigalpa.‘The American ambassador to Honduras came to the airport to receive the American team, and all my boys were speaking Greek,” Christopher said. “He was saying, ‘What are all these kids speaking?’ I had to explain to him that we were the American team, but we weren’t exactly All-American boys.’The Cosmopolitan Soccer League is a regional soccer league consisting of clubs based in and around New York City. Established in 1923, it is one of the oldest soccer leagues in the United States and has contributed greatly to the nation’s soccer history.Currently, the league has four open divisions.The first two divisions require all clubs to also field reserve teams, a requirement that some leagues have abolished, but which the Cosmopolitan Soccer League believes makes its competition some of the strongest in United States soccer. The league also has an over-30 and an over-36 division. The league is USASA-affiliated.FILE – Pancyprians celebrate their advance to the Comopolitan League final 2017. Photo: D. Avlonitis“The Pancyprian Freedoms, too, emerged out of political trauma. Christopher pinpointed the founding of the team to the Turkish invasion of Cyprus on July 20, 1974. He was an expat playing recreational soccer in New York when the invasion occurred, and with a group of friends decided to form a team that they said would not only compete locally, but also would “project the image of Cyprus.” The organization quickly transcended soccer, NYT reports.‘We built the Pancyprian Community Center in Astoria, and from there the club expanded into many more areas than just football,’ Christopher said to NYT.“The Freedoms quickly established a friendly but heated rivalry with the more established Greek American Athletic Association, and another against the Brooklyn Italians.“Our rivalry was crazy,” Christopher said to NYT of games against the Greeks and Italians. “I mean you feared for your life to go to Brooklyn. We had to separate the fans. The Greeks on one side, the Italians on the other. I mean, it was an ethnic sport ——’”Greek American Atlas Astoria, commonly known as New York Greek American, is an American soccer team from New York City that currently plays in the Cosmopolitan Soccer League. The club was formed in 1941 by Thomas Laris and is one of the most successful clubs in America’s annual national soccer tournament, the U.S. Open Cup, winning four times, in 1967, 1968, 1969 and 1974. The team is one of the oldest American soccer clubs in existence and plays its games at the Metropolitan Oval in Maspeth, Queens.Reat New York Times’ full story here.TweetPinShare22 Shares
The Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation Celebrity Poker Tournament will take place this weekend.Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation Celebrity Poker Tournament Proceeds from this event benefit LAPD employees and their immediate family members, who have experienced unforeseen catastrophic circumstances, including death, illness and injury. The Memorial Foundation is the cornerstone of the Los Angeles Police Departments employee wellness program and has granted over $16 million without any direct taxpayer money.The evening will include red carpet arrivals, a celebrity poker tournament, casino games, great food, cocktails, music, photobooth, raffles and auctions. Along with dozens of unique and priceless items in the auction, guests will have the chance to win a 2-seater ride with the legendary IndyCar champion Mario Andretti at the 2017 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach with tickets, pit passes and stay at Renaissance Long Beach, spend the day with MMA fighter Tito Ortiz in training & tickets to BellatorMMA Ortiz vs. Sonnen Fight at the Forum, a stay at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, tour of Jay Leno’s private auto/motorcycle collection, LAPD airship ride, LAPD SWAT Training Day, Training at the Emergency Vehicle Operation Center to learn pursuit & pit maneuvers etc.Hosted by Don Cheadle, celebrity guests are expected to include Christopher Meloni, Danny Masterson, Luke Wilson, Jerry West, Peter Facinelli, Tito Ortiz, Jerry Cantrell, Billy Burke, Andre Reed, Gilles Marini, Camryn Manheim, Lou Diamond Phillips, AJ Buckley, Christopher Judge, Keearan Geovanni, Keesha Sharp, Golnesa “GG” Gharachedaghi, Jason Collins, Jayde Nicole, Michael Paul Chan, Shanna Moakler, Tia Carrera, Tony Denison, and Vanessa Marcil.Saturday, November 19thLos Angeles Police Memorial Foundation Celebrity Poker Tournament & Casino Night PartyRed Carpet: 5pmPoker Begins: 6pmAvalon Hollywood: 1735 Vine St.
The NHL’s “loser point” is the stupidest rule in sports. For the non-puckheads among you, here’s how it works: The NHL awards one point in the standings to a team that loses a game in overtime or a shootout. But teams get two points for winning a game, whether in regulation or beyond. You don’t need a degree in #fancystats to recognize the problem: There are a total of three points to distribute when a game goes to overtime but just two otherwise. So it really pays off to play for OT. As FiveThirtyEight contributors Noah Davis and Michael Lopez documented Wednesday, this encourages dull, passive hockey. Goal scoring falls dramatically in the third period of tied games, right when a game should be coming to its climax.This is more than a minor annoyance; the loser point has already changed the identity of at least one NHL champion. In 2012, the Los Angeles Kings finished with 40 wins and 42 losses; they made the playoffs ahead of the 42-40 Dallas Stars because they accumulated 15 loser points to the Stars’ five. Then the Kings went on to win the Stanley Cup.Fortunately, having a rule as dumb as the loser point means that almost anything would be an improvement. For instance, the NHL could award three points for a win in regulation. An overtime or shootout winner would still get two points. That would at least make each game worth the same amount in the standings.Or you could eliminate the shootout and go back to having ties. The NHL claims that 70 percent to 80 percent of its fans like the shootout but has never made any detailed data on this available to the public. As regular readers of FiveThirtyEight will know, there are lots of ways to manipulate survey questions to produce a desired outcome. Maybe the same consultants telling Donald Trump that he’d make a great presidential candidate are advising Gary Bettman on the loser point.But I have something more radical in mind. Here’s the idea: You keep playing hockey until someone wins. You know, like in the NBA and Major League Baseball and pretty much every other sport but soccer — and like the NHL itself during the playoffs.The usual objection is that this could lead to some extraordinarily long games for two measly points in the standings. What if the Flyers and Penguins play a five-overtime game and the Penguins need to catch a flight to Calgary? Why add even more ice time to a grueling, 82-game regular season?But these cases are rarer than you might think. If you played every NHL regular-season game under playoff rules — 5-on-5 overtime, indefinitely, until someone scores — it would increase ice time by only about 3 percent. In the chart below, I’ve tracked what percentage of overtime playoff games (since 1995) were resolved within a given number of minutes. In the majority of games — 56 percent — someone scored within the first 10 minutes. Only 7 percent of games, meanwhile, required two or more overtimes.Overall, the average overtime game required 13.6 minutes before someone scored. Since 23 percent of playoff games went to OT, that makes the average length of a playoff game about 63 minutes, as compared to around 61 minutes during the regular season.That’s not much of an increase, and if the NHL were concerned about it, it could counteract it by reducing the regular season to 80 games from 82. Then you’d have no shootouts, no ties, no loser point and no overall increase in ice time.Still, maybe we’re concerned about those cases when one team has played a multiple-overtime game and faces off against another on fresh skates. Equivalent cases come up all the time in other sports — baseball, basketball, tennis — and they deal with it. But you could argue that it’s a bigger problem in hockey given the punishing nature of the sport.The solution is to take players off the ice, which will increase scoring. This isn’t a new idea at all — during the regular season, the NHL plays 4-on-4 hockey in overtime, and there have been proposals to go to 3-on-3.But here’s my insight: Goals are scored so quickly during 3-on-3 play that you could play every game to sudden death and pretty much never inconvenience anyone. The players, the referees, the 13-year-old in Winnipeg who refuses to do his algebra homework until the Jets game is finished — they’d all be OK.You may have noticed, in the graphic above, that I drew a smooth curve (labeled “model”) alongside the historical data. The curve is formed by assuming that there’s a 7.4 percent chance of scoring a goal per minute of overtime play, which is the historical rate in the playoffs since 1995. As you can see, the curve “fits” the historical data extremely well. That means the length of overtime games is easy to model.1It also implies that the rate of scoring is fairly constant throughout overtime. If you know the overall rate of scoring, you can accurately guess how many games will require at least two overtimes, for instance.In 4-on-4 play, there’s a 9.1 percent chance of a goal being scored each minute (according to research by Stephen Pettigrew), about 20 percent higher than under 5-on-5 conditions. It’s 3-on-3 action that sees a really radical shift, however, with a 16.8 percent chance of a goal each minute.So what if overtime was played 3-on-3? About 60 percent of games would be resolved within the first five minutes, and 84 percent within the first 10 minutes. Only about 3 percent of overtime games would require double overtime, and fewer than 1 in 1000 would go to triple-OT. The average overtime game would require just six minutes to complete, barely longer than under the current rules.2And you’d reduce the number of overtime games since the loser point would be eliminated — teams would no longer have an incentive to play for OT. And with just three skaters on the ice at a time, teams could give their bench plenty of rest between shifts.The NHL could also adopt some compromise or another. It could play five minutes of 4-on-4 overtime immediately at the end of regulation, as it does now, then clean the ice3During the regular season, the NHL doesn’t bring the Zamboni out and clean the ice after regulation, something you’d probably need to do if you’re going to play more than a few minutes worth of extra hockey. As a fan, I don’t get why the NHL seems to be in a rush to finish overtime games during the regular season — I love the tension that builds up during the pre-overtime intermission in the playoffs. and play an indefinite amount of 3-on-3 overtime if needed. It could declare a tie if no one had scored after a full 20-minute period of 3-on-3 overtime. (Ties would be a rarity, almost like they are now in the NFL.) It could keep removing players from the ice until it was just goalie versus goalie.4The NHL would need to relax the rule that prohibits goalies from advancing past the red line. Would you not stop whatever you were doing to watch Henrik Lundqvist versus Tuukka Rask, one-on-one?Or insert your own proposal: Overtime decided by rock-paper-scissors? Nearly anything would be better than the loser point.
✗ +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
January 1, 2002 Happy NewYear! A rainbow appears after a storm. [Photos and text by: Jennifer Thornton]
The Global BBC iPlayer has secured the rights to two UK sporting events, the Grand National and the London Marathon.This follows the recent signing of rights to the University Boat Race.This month, coverage of the Grand National horse racing event and the London Marathon will be made available to international subscribers within days of their original broadcast in the UK.A package of highlights from the Grand National will be available on the Global BBC iPlayer in Australia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, France, Portugal, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria and Luxembourg. Coverage from the London Marathon will be available in Australia, Ireland, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria and Luxembourg.Matthew Littleford, general manager, Global BBC iPlayer said: “Our subscribers wanted iconic British sport, and here they have it. The Grand National and London Marathon are packed with action, heritage and some of the sporting year’s biggest talking points, and I’m glad that we can bring them to our users around the world.”
Liberty Global-owned cable operator UPC Poland has added kids channel Top Kids HD to its programming line-up.The channel will air a mux of cult cartoons of the ’80s and ‘90s. the channel comes from Michał Winnicki Entertainment, the company behind channels Power TV HD and Adventlure HD. Programmes on the new service will include Inspector Gadget, Dennis the Menace and Babar.The launch takes the number of HD services on UPC Poland’s offering to 87.