SADC defence force chiefs are due to meet in South Africa next week to discuss a maritime safety strategy for the SADC. Rhino poaching SADC maritime safety strategy As part of the agreement, the two countries also agreed to work together in protecting rhinos. The ministers sent a warning to poachers that both governments have declared war on poachers. 3 June 2011 At the signing ceremony, the ministers agreed that SADC countries must work together to stop piracy, which has the potential to negatively affect SADC trade and movements of goods. Combating piracy South Africa and Mozambique are to work together to tackle piracy in the Indian Ocean, especially in the Mozambique Channel and the broader Southern African Development Community (SADC) waters, as well as to combat rhino poaching and other cross-border crimes. “What affects Mozambique also affects South Africa, and we are committed to working with the [South African National Defence Force] in fighting piracy on SADC waters,” said Nyussi. South Africa and Mozambique will also work closely in all military matters, with Sisulu adding that the assets of the SANDF were available to fight piracy and all cross-border crimes. The meeting also noted progress made in land and air border control in relation to stopping illegal activities and cross-border crime. “The South African government will work with all SADC countries to fight piracy,” said Sisulu. “This is our obligation to ensure smooth movement of goods in the SADC waters.” South African Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu and her Mozambican counterpart, Filipe Nyussi, signed a memorandum of understanding in Pretoria this week that makes provision for joint training, sharing of information and intelligence, joint patrols and ongoing support in military developments. “We also need to build stronger ties with all other countries within SADC in order to fight piracy effectively.” Source: BuaNews
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Doug Tenney, Leist MercantileBloomberg News reported on Feb. 28 that the U.S. and China are in the final stages of negotiating a 150-page executive order, which may be ready to be signed by President Trump and President Xi yet this month. Final details are still being hammered out. The pact will include six “memorandum of understanding” points agreed to last month. Those six points are: forced technology transfer and cyber theft, intellectual property rights, services, currency, non-tariff barriers to trade, and agriculture.Late last month, White House Economic Adviser Kudlow indicated the U.S. is on the verge of an historic pact with China. The weariness is readily apparent for all in the ag industry in regard to the months long U.S./China trade issues. Producers have paid with the decimating hit they took to their bottom line with the sharp decline in soybean prices since last June. With the huge amount of selling pressure in recent weeks, it appears traders are looking for specific things to occur, a date to be announced for the trade signing by the presidents, and the actual signing to happen.Winter is still hanging on with claws outstretched. The first weekend of March saw a major cold pattern moving through the Midwest with another in the forecast for the second March weekend. Ohio had snow with that first weekend storm. It is also bringing rain into the U.S. Delta and Gulf States. This cold, wet pattern will prevent timely corn planting in the Delta.The annual USDA Outlook Conference was held last month. Their projection of 2019 U.S. acres included, corn 92 million acres, soybeans 85 million acres, and wheat 47 million acres. Last year the U.S. planted 89.1 million acres of corn, 89.2 million acres to soybeans, and 47.8 million acres to wheat. Wheat acres for 2019 are the lowest in 110 years. The next monthly Supply and Demand Report will be on March 8. The yearly Prospective Plantings Report will be March 29.With March now well underway it is most obvious that plenty of fieldwork needs to be completed before spring planting of corn and soybeans can get underway. Producers knew months ago the time for fieldwork was going to be a gargantuan struggle this spring. Ohio is not unique with field work delays rampant across the eastern Corn Belt. Last fall’s harvest was a slow and difficult one for producers across Ohio as well as the Midwest with many rain delays. Those that finished harvest by mid-December were not able to complete their normal fall tillage work. Others were only able to finish harvest after leaving severe ruts in fields. Those ruts have not been filled in this winter as desired. Soil compaction will be a major issue for years to come, affecting yields while bringing back bad memories along the way. The deluge of rainfall also left numerous producers with unharvested soybeans. That harvest disappointment across Ohio has been further compounded as nearly 10 inches of rain fell during January and February. It was wet across Ohio on March 1.Old crop soybean basis has been weak for months and dimes wider than average at the start of March. Closer examination reveals new crop soybean basis levels have already seen widening take place. Numerous locations across Ohio have seen new crop soybean basis levels widen by a dime or more in January and February.The 30- to 60-day weather forecasts suggest above normal precipitation across the Corn Belt. Expect planting delays, high frustration, and continued grain prices disappointment.
Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Tags:#Facebook#web It’s no secret that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is interested in scooping up more startups in order to bring their talent on board. From Firefox creator Blake Ross’s Parakey (acquired in 2007) through Gmail creator Paul Buchheit’s FriendFeed (acquired in 2009), Facebook has made some very high-profile talent acquisitions already.This Fall, Zuckerberg got early access to his old friend Adam D’Angelo’s new question and answer site Quora and used it to ask: “What startups would be good talent acquisitions for Facebook?” Other users of the site offered suggestions and people voted on those submitted company names. Quora is a tiny new site chock-full of Silicon Valley stars – guess which company was voted the best acquisition target?The winner? Apture.com, the provider of rich multi-media embedded pop-up windows for newspapers and blogs. Founder Tristan Harris is a former Apple engineer who built the first ad server for Wikia, the for-profit arm of Wikipedia, before launching Apture 3 years ago. We’ve given the product a positive review.Apture’s Harris writes by email: “We we’re big fans of Facebook and are super excited about Quora (congrats Adam and Charlie!), but based on the emails that have arrived in my inbox since this article was published I wanted to say that Apture is not for sale. On the contrary we’re actually aggressively hiring engineering to join the team and prepping for the release of the next version of Apture. We’re totally flattered by the vote of confidence from Quora users, but just wanted to set the record straight.”The next most popular suggestion? Austin, Texas location based social networking service Gowalla. Gowalla is run by CEO Josh Williams, who previously built and sold small business invoicing service Blinksale.Those sound like good suggestions and both got votes from other Facebook team members on Quora. Remember, this isn’t about what technologies should be integrated directly into Facebook – FriendFeed has become little more than an occasional test bed for Facebook feed developments. The question is about scooping up teams of red-hot developers.Other suggestions offered include Dodgeball co-founder Dennis Crowley’s new location based social network Foursquare (it’s only a matter of time until Facebook starts doing location check-ins, right?) and social question answering service Hunch, built by Flickr co-founder Caterina Fake and engineering whiz Chris Dixon. Who do you think would make a good talent acquisition for Facebook? Mark Zuckerberg wants to know. Related Posts The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… marshall kirkpatrick A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit
Quenton Nelson looks exactly like a franchise-cornerstone left tackle: Standing 6 foot 5, 325 pounds, Nelson is “built like a bank safe” and blessed with the athleticism and aggressiveness to be a perennial All-Pro. The quarterback’s protector is often called the second-most-important offensive position, so it’s no wonder that Nelson’s in the mix to be the first non-quarterback to be picked in this year’s draft.But one thing does separate Nelson from other highly coveted tackles on draft day: He isn’t a tackle. He’s a guard.How players at one position in the NFL’s otherwise-anonymous quintet of trench warriors became some of American sports’ most-prized athletes is a story so well-known it was turned into a best-selling book, and even a movie: The uniquely gifted protectors of “The Blind Side” emerged in the 1990s to stop the pass-rushing outside linebackers of the 1980s, like eight-time All-Pro Lawrence Taylor.For years afterward, teams trying to land the next Orlando Pace or Walter Jones had no qualms about throwing high draft picks at top tackles. Even less-than-perfect tackle prospects like Michigan’s Jake Long and Central Michigan’s Eric Fisher were deemed “safe” picks at No. 1 overall — because unlike quarterbacks, who are unlikely to play another position well, if those tackles fail to establish themselves as quality starters, teams have the option of kicking them inside to guard.As recently as 2012, guards were still afterthoughts, not worthy of the draft-value (and contract) investment that comes with a high first-round selection. Outstanding guard prospect David DeCastro, whom many evaluators deemed worthy of at least a top-10 pick, didn’t come off the board until No. 24 that year.In the 32-team era,1Since 2002. 62 tackles have been drafted in the first round compared to just 14 guards. On average, those tackles were taken with the 14th pick, while the average guard went between 23 and 24. In fact, after “The Blind Side” was released in September 2006, NFL teams went on a four-year tackle binge, drafting 19 first-round tackles compared to just three centers and two guards.Last season, though, the market for elite tackles seemed to dry up. Only two — Garett Bolles and Ryan Ramczyk — went in the first round, and both were picked in the back end of the round (20 and 32 respectively). After Alabama’s Cam Robinson was taken with the second pick of the second round, which was lower than most expected, no tackles were taken until pick No. 85. To get a sense of how high in the draft tackles have tended to go over time, we can quantify pick position using Jimmy Johnson’s draft-pick value chart, which assigns a point value to every pick in the draft based solely on how early the pick is, not on which player is taken. Last year, the picks used on tackles in rounds one and two were worth a total of 2000 points, the lowest sum since at least 1994. By comparison, the picks used on the six tackles taken in the first two rounds in 2013 were worth more than 10,000 points. The trend of devaluing tackles seems certain to continue in the 2018 NFL draft. After Nelson, tackle Mike McGlinchey (average mock draft position: 22.2) is the next offensive lineman projected to go. But then it’s a run of interior linemen: Center James Daniels (28.5) and guards Isaiah Wynn (28.8) and Will Hernandez (28.9) are all set to be drafted ahead of the only other tackle who’s projected to be taken on the draft’s first night, Kolton Miller (31.2).If Miller doesn’t make it into the first round, it’ll be the first time that fewer than two tackles have been drafted in any first round since “The Blind Side” was released, and it would match the 2005-2006 nadir for high-pick tackles — only three tackles were taken in the first round in each of those two back-to-back draft classes.It’s not like NFL teams suddenly decided that the offensive line isn’t important, it’s more that the value pendulum is shifting away from left tackle. If Nelson goes as high as he’s expected to, he’ll be the third guard picked in the top 10 in the last six seasons (the fourth if you count Washington’s Brandon Scherff, who was drafted as a tackle but has since become a Pro Bowl guard2Washington initially tried Scherff at tackle before switching him to guard in his first training camp.). Before Chance Warmack and Jonathan Cooper went in the top 10 in 2013, no guard had been picked that high in a dozen years.3Leonard Davis went No. 2 overall in 2001 as a guard, though he went on to play both tackle and guard in the NFL.But it’s not just draft capital that teams are investing in a previously neglected position.This spring, All-Pro guard Andrew Norwell signed a five-year, $66.5 million unrestricted free-agency deal that briefly made him the NFL’s highest-paid offensive lineman. Though former New England Patriots left tackle Nate Solder’s four-year, $62 million contract with the New York Giants topped Norwell’s $13.3 million average annual value, Norwell remains No. 2.In 2016, the five biggest free-agency deals4In terms of contracts’ average annual value. given to offensive linemen went to left tackles. In 2017, half of the eight offensive-line contracts worth at least $10 million per year went to left tackles — but the other half went to three guards and a center. In 2018, Solder’s was the only one of the top six offensive-line deals that did not go to a guard or center.So why the sudden change? For starters, the evolution of the left tackle was a response to a defensive revolution that’s been over for a long time; Taylor’s 10-season Pro Bowl streak ended 27 years ago. From Dick LeBeau’s zone blitzes to Jim Johnson’s and Jim Schwartz’s aggressive 4-3s, Wade Phillips’s one-gap 3-4 schemes to Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia’s hybrid/multiple fronts attack, defensive coordinators have as many different ways to send pass rushers at quarterbacks as there are gaps between offensive linemen.According to ESPN Stats & Information Group, 36 percent of the 1,082.5 sacks by front-seven players in 2017 were registered by a player lined up at right defensive end or right outside linebacker. That means even a Hall of Fame left tackle can’t possibly help with at least two-thirds of the pressure that defenses are generating.Then there’s the fact that quarterbacks don’t really have a “blind side” anymore. The heavy use of shotgun formation in today’s NFL allows quarterbacks to keep the whole defense in front of them. According to ESPN Stats & Info, just 13,319 of 32,436 offensive plays (41 percent) were run from under center in 2017– and of those, a quarterback dropped back to pass on just 4,201 plays (13 percent of all offensive plays).The average left tackle, then, will only be called upon to keep his quarterback clean during a traditional dropback about 1/8th of the time he’s on the field.But don’t tell Nelson, Wynn, Hernandez or any of the other guards set to be drafted this weekend that the value of offensive linemen has crashed. They’re about to prove that the NFL has finally figured out that anyone who can get keep a pass-rusher from getting to a quarterback is worth an awful lot — regardless of where he’s positioned on the line.
✗ +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
Billy Price and the Buckeyes prepare to take the field for warmups prior to the B1G Championship game against Wisconsin on Dec. 2 in Lucas Oil Stadium. Ohio State won 27-21. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorBack to back.For the second year in a row, an Ohio State lineman was awarded the Rimington Trophy, which is given to the best center in the nation. One year after Pat Elflein won the award, redshirt senior Billy Price was voted to receive the trophy. He received the honor at the College Football Awards show Thursday night.Price beat finalists Alabama’s Bradley Bozeman and LSU’s Will Clapp for the trophy.The redshirt senior adds the trophy to his list of accolades, which includes the 2017 Big Ten offensive lineman of the year award. The Associated Press named Price a second-team All-American last season and he was named a first-team All-Big Ten honoree. Price was named a Rimington Trophy finalist on Monday and was named to the watch list in May. Both Price and Elflein switched from guard to center for their respective senior seasons.
Captain Manuel Neuer insists that Germany must consider their two remaining group games in the World Cup as “finals” from now onThe reigning champions suffered a disastrous start to the defence of their crown when they lost 1-0 to Mexico on Sunday with a Hirving Lozano first-half goal proving to be the difference at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.Germany will be under an extreme amount of pressure to defeat Sweden this weekend in Sochi in order to avoid a shocking early exit at Russia.Neuer, who recovered in time from a broken foot, to take his place as Joachim Low’s number one goalkeeper for the World Cup insists that the team must take each game now as seriously as a final.“From now on, we only have finals. The players have to show what they can do but I am convinced that we can do it,” said Neuer, according to Punchng.Top 5 Bundesliga players to watch during the weekend Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 11, 2019 With the international activity cooling down for the next month, we go back to the Bundesliga’s Top 5 players to watch next weekend.The German…The 32-year-old is refusing to get overly concerned by the situation and believes that the best remedy is to turn their full focus on to Sweden now.“Complaining about what happened doesn’t change anything, we all know that,” he said.“We have to try to put this behind us as quickly as possible.”Germany are hoping to become the first team since Brazil in 1962 to successfully defend their world title.
Jose Mourinho is certain that Alexis Sanchez must start playing as soon as he arrives in the United States for Manchester United’s pre-season tour after missing their first gameThe Chile international was denied entry into the country after having an application for a US visa rejected.However, the issue has now been resolved and Mourinho is keen to get Sanchez out on to the field as soon as possible with Sunday’s next friendly against San Jose Earthquakes now just two days away.He told the club website: “I don’t even know if he is flying, if he is in Los Angeles or if he is in Manchester – I have no idea about it.“There will be no [Romelu] or [Marcus] Rashford, for sure, and we have to try with what we have.Maguire 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…“It’s not about if he can play, it’s about when he has to. When Martial left the pitch, it was Mata [leading the attack]. When Mata went to the sides, it was a kid that trained with us for the first time this pre-season [Mason Greenwood].”The absence of forwards Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford is having a telling effect on United with Mourinho not certain if they will be available for their opening Premier League game against Leicester City on August 10 with both stars currently away on holiday following their participation in the World Cup.“There’s no Lukaku or Rashford here and probably not even for the start of the Premier League, so it’s about when Alexis lands and when he lands, he has to play because he trained with us for five days before we departed to Los Angeles and we left one fitness coach behind with him to keep training with him. Of course, it’s individual training but when he arrives, he has to play,” said Mourinho.A Juan Mata goal spared United from defeat in their first preseason game against Mexican side Club America with the sides having to settle for a 1-1 draw at Phoenix.
Gary Neville’s latest suggestion about Liverpool seem not to have gone down well with the German boss Jurgen Klopp following his comments.The United legend suggested that Liverpool’s best shot at delivering the first ever Premier League trophy would come if they didn’t try to juggle every competition this term.When asked about Neville’s recommendation at his Friday press conference, the Reds boss laughed it off and claimed he didn’t fully understand Neville’s logic.“Gary should come over and tell me exactly how that would work,” Klopp said. “You bring your kids in the Champions League? That would be funny!“I don’t want to be too critical because I don’t know exactly how he said it but sitting in an office and talking about football is completely different to doing the job, to be honest.Vidic: “Ronaldo is the most professional footballer I’ve seen” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Nemanja Vidic opened up on how a 21-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo’s professionalism left him stunned at Manchester United.“What did he say about Manchester United in that case? The club he’s more interested in. Nothing?“I don’t know exactly what it means but to focus on one competition can only be if maybe you are already out of the competition nearly.“If it’s late in the season that you see you have a chance to do that or do this and all that stuff.“Last year, for example, we had no chance to focus on one competition because we had to qualify for the Champions League and I don’t think that even Gary Neville would have said: ‘Quarter-finals of the Champions League, let City win’.”
The 19-year-old has debuted for Roma against Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League and recently he was called to the national teamNicolo Zaniolo debuted with Italian Lega Serie A club Roma in a UEFA Champions League match against Real Madrid this season.His good performances have also made him shine and was called to the Italy national team too.And the 19-year-old is very excited about this.Karsdorp reveals he had too much stress at Roma Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 The Dutch defender has been with the Gialorrossi since 2017, but he has not enjoyed his time in the Italian Lega Serie A.“I expected a lot less to happen than what actually did. I would like to continue on this path. My debut at the Bernabeu against Real Madrid for the Champions League was crazy, I could not describe it,” he told Gianluca Di Marzio.“My legs were trembling, thank goodness De Rossi was there to give me a hand. Once on the pitch, however, I only thought about playing football.”“I did not expect the call-up to the Italian National Team. I was in front of the TV when I found out. I called my father and we went to Coverciano,” he commented.“I hope that in the future I will succeed, I played with champions like Chiellini and Bonucci and I tried to learn as much as I could although I had little time available. Mancini told me that he believes in me very much and that now he will show me how much I’m worth.”