The Royals May Come To Regret Everything That Happened After This Moment

After a miracle postseason run, the Kansas City Royals’ quest for their first World Series championship since 1985 looks shaky. Combining Baseball-Reference.com’s in-game win probability model with the series win probability numbers I computed for a post on Friday, we can track the odds of each team winning the series at any point within any game thus far.In the top of the third inning of Game 4, the Royals tagged San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong for four runs, opening up a 4-1 lead. As a result, Giants manager Bruce Bochy was forced to bring in reliever Jean Machi from the bullpen early, and Machi promptly walked Jarrod Dyson to load the bases. At that precise juncture — with the bases loaded and two outs in the third inning, leading the game 4-1 and the series 2-1 — the Royals had an 82.4 percent probability of winning the World Series.Machi eventually got out of the jam, and San Francisco cut the lead to 4-2 in the bottom of the third. But two innings later, the Royals again cracked an 82 percent World Series win probability when Eric Hosmer led off the fifth inning with a double.The odds of scoring at least one run are fairly high with a runner on second base and nobody out, and a three-run lead in the fifth inning would have given Kansas City a better than 80 percent chance of winning the game. With a 3-1 series lead and two of the remaining three games (if necessary) at home, the Royals would have had an 88.5 percent probability of winning the World Series.But they failed to score Hosmer in the fifth, then let the Giants tie the game in the bottom of the inning. An inning later, San Francisco blew the game open with three runs, then tacked on four more in the seventh en route to an 11-4 victory.We may eventually look back at those two moments of Game 4 as the high-water marks for Kansas City’s World Series chances. From the latter point on, the Royals have hemorrhaged win probability. Once tied at two games apiece, the series was almost a 50-50 proposition after taking into account where the remaining games were being played and who was taking the mound for each team. Kansas City still could have pushed its World Series win probability to 78.5 percent with a win Sunday night, but the Royals once again struggled to solve San Francisco’s Madison Bumgarner, and their odds of winning the series dropped almost linearly from 50.2 percent at the first pitch to 29.3 percent at the final out (just about where they stood after losing Game 1). read more

The Warriors Dynasty Is Different

CLEVELAND — After three titles in four seasons — two straight with Kevin Durant winning Finals MVP — it seems fair to begin questioning where Golden State sits in the conversation about the best teams of all-time. But the more compelling thing to analyze now might be whether the Warriors are better positioned to win at this level for a longer amount of time than the other modern-day dynasties the league has produced.And in looking at the vast array of things that make Golden State so dominant — from the club’s versatility and balance on both sides of the ball, its unselfishness on and off the court and its largely magic touch from a managerial standpoint — that feels like a real possibility.“Sometimes you come across those dynasties where you’re just outmatched, and it’s just their time,” Cavaliers guard George Hill said after his team had been swept on its home court.Stylistically, it is so difficult — arguably impossible — for anyone to truly replicate what the Warriors do. Even before the addition of arguably the league’s best pure scorer in Durant, Golden State possessed a point guard with the sort of 35-foot range that most players would only see in a practice setting. In the same backcourt, the Warriors had another guard who was arguably an even more accurate shooter, with a release that is the quickest in basketball — so fast that he doesn’t even need to have his feet set before he shoots.Put another way, this is the best shooting team the sport has ever seen. Golden State breaks defenses regardless of how well positioned or prepared they are. The Warriors were the best jump-shooting club in the NBA when left wide open this past season. And a closer look at the numbers shows the Dubs were also the best jump-shooting team in situations where a defender was draped all over them. Because of that, there really is no surefire way to guard this team.More often than not the Cavaliers, like the Rockets in the round before them, sought to use switches on defense to blanket Golden State’s offense. But in Game 2 of the Finals, the Warriors countered that predictable gameplan (and then changed things up in Game 3 in anticipation of a counterpunch), by using dump-off passes to spring give-and-go opportunities, or to set up lobs for JaVale McGee and Jordan Bell, who were often left all alone in the paint.The latter highlighted how the Warriors, in Bill Belichick fashion, have quietly been a chameleon of sorts by relying far more heavily on their bigs than most observers realize — even as they continue to be viewed as a club that relies solely on its dynamite 3-point shooting.Because of that constant evolution and comfort playing with different styles, the challenge of dethroning the champs could become even more difficult for challengers like the Rockets, who are so heavily vested in a singular type of play that it’s too difficult to adjust to something different if that style stops working in the middle of a postseason series.While the young average age of Warriors’ core would seem to be a plus in their quest to become the best team of all-time, they’re actually not all that unusual when it comes to how young they are when compared to modern NBA clubs that have won three titles in four years. TeamYear of Third Title WinTop Four Players By Win ShareAVG. Age Source: Basketball-Reference Lakers1988Magic Johnson, Byron Scott, James Worthy, A.C. Green26 Bulls1998Michael Jordan, Dennis Rodman, Ron Harper, Toni Kukoc33 Warriors2018Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson28 The Warriors aren’t as young as you thinkTeams that won three titles in four seasons by the age of their core players in the last title season, 1976-2018 Lakers2002Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, Robert Horry, Derek Fisher29 Bulls1993Michael Jordan, Horace Grant, Scottie Pippen, B.J. Armstrong27 If there’s something that makes this team different — and gives it better odds of winning for a greater amount of time — it’s that this group of highly talented players doesn’t seem as likely to be torn apart by the retirements, contract issues and jealousies that trouble other clubs in this spot.The Lakers of the late 1980s began running out of steam when then-coach Pat Riley resigned, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar retired and then halted entirely when Magic Johnson abruptly left the game following his shocking HIV diagnosis. No one knows how many consecutive titles the Bulls might have won had it not been for Michael Jordan’s retirements from the Bulls. And the infamous infighting between Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant shortened what likely could have been a longer run of success with the two Los Angeles superstars in the early 2000s.By contrast, the Warriors have already become the new-age San Antonio Spurs, as a number of their players have acted in the best interest of the team by taking much smaller deals than they could have. That attitude, illustrated by Durant, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala1Iguodala did this with his initial deal to join the Warriors. This past summer, he actually maneuvered to have the Warriors pay him more than what they initially expected to fork up. and Shaun Livingston, makes some of the long-term salary math more feasible in a league where these sorts of things can create strain on a star-laden club. (With Curry having just signed a five-year deal last July, and Durant saying he’ll stay with Golden State this summer, the next key player to look at is Thompson, who is slated to be a 2019 free agent. But even that may not be a concern, as he’s reportedly spoken with the Warriors about the possibility of taking a deeply discounted extension that would see him leave up to $50 million on the table.)The players’ willingness to often take less than market value, even for bit pieces like Zaza Pachulia, has allowed the Warriors to improve the roster on the margins each year — sprinkling in specific attributes that the team lacks. With McGee in particular, Golden State took a minimal risk by signing (then cheaply re-signing) a player who had a less-than-stellar reputation around the league, but was incredibly long and athletic — two things the Warriors lacked in a traditional center. Fast forward to this year’s Finals, and the one-time castaway was pestering LeBron James, the best player in the world, anytime he sought to get to the basket.James, whose own upcoming free agency could play a role in nixing the Warriors’ dominance the next few years, pointed out another advantage Golden State possesses: Brainpower. “Everyone’s trying to figure it out: How do you put together a group of talent, but also a group of minds, to compete with Golden State and compete for a championship?” James asked.Ascending teams may not like the idea of waiting out Golden State’s reign. Aside from how young the team’s core is, the players who compose it don’t depend much on raw athleticism. It’s likely they will age gracefully, given how well they shoot from outside and play off the ball.Injuries are a different story, and they can always come into play; particularly with Curry, whose presence has always been a deciding factor with this club. But short of that, the team is full of two-way talent and should be fine on D as long as it’s anchored by Draymond Green and long, versatile wings that make it possible to switch the way the Warriors do. (Still, Golden State would be wise to try to start the process of locating a younger, less polished version of Iguodala, given how different the Warriors looked at times without the 34-year-old this postseason.) The club has ranked in the top 10 defensively each of the past four seasons it reached the Finals.Coach Steve Kerr has made no secret of the other factor that could eventually catch up with his team, which at times struggles with complacency. Specifically, he’s talked about the weight of expectations, and the toll that comes with taking every opposing team’s best shot for years on end. And this season, Kerr said, was the toughest playoff run he’s overseen with Golden State.“I remember sitting in this room three years ago, and it seemed like a dream. This feels more like reality,” Kerr said Friday, perhaps a realization of the fact that titles are now expected as opposed to being hoped for. “And I hope that doesn’t sound arrogant. It’s just that the talent we have, and that’s the experience we’ve gained.”There are any number of things that could turn out to be the Warriors’ downfall. But Golden State also has a handful of factors to hang its dynastic hat on for the time being.— Neil Paine contributed research. read more

Win over Cincinnati a game for the record books

OSU sophomore defensive lineman Joey Bosa (left) forces a fumble from Cincinnati redshirt-sophomore quarterback Gunner Kiel during a Sept. 27 game at Ohio Stadium. The fumble resulted in an OSU safety.Credit: Chelsea Spears / Multimedia editorLed by a redshirt-freshman quarterback and a largely inexperienced offensive line, Ohio State put on one of the best offensive performances in school history Saturday, as it rolled to a 50-28 victory against Cincinnati.The Buckeye offense totaled 710 total yards against the Bearcats, just eight yards shy of the school record.In addition to yardage, the Buckeyes broke the school record and tied an FBS record for first downs with 45 and tied a school record for most plays run with 101.OSU coach Urban Meyer said after the game that the offensive diversity — along with improved line play — is what contributed to the record-setting night.“We’re an offensive line-driven team. And they won the game for us. And they controlled that line of scrimmage,” Meyer said. “They protected our (redshirt-freshman) quarterback. J.T. (Barrett) played well. Other than a dropped third down and a fumble, I was very pleased for the night, offensively.”The explosive and balanced attack could have easily broken the school record, had it not been for a fumble by freshman running back Curtis Samuel and a dropped third-down pass by senior wide receiver Devin Smith, both in the second quarter. Despite the drop, though, Smith scored twice on the night.Smith’s fellow senior, tight end Jeff Heuerman, who recorded three catches for 38 yards Saturday after sitting out the Kent State game because of a foot injury, said the Buckeyes could have played even better.“We did a whole lot as an offense tonight. The crazy part is we didn’t play our best,” Heuerman said after the game. “We left points and yards out there, too. We punted once, but we fumbled and kicked two field goals. Overall, it was a pretty impressive performance.”Perhaps the most impressive performer was Barrett, who totaled 409 yards of offense. His performance left him just three yards shy of the all-time school record for most individual yards in a game, a mark held by Art Schlichter, a quarterback who accumulated 412 yards against Florida State in 1981.Barrett completed 26 of his 36 pass attempts for 330 yards Saturday, and six of those completions were to sophomore H-back Dontre Wilson, whom Barrett found wide open for a 24-yard score late in the third quarter.Wilson said Barrett’s hard work in practice is starting to show during games.“He is playing very well. I always knew he had it in him because he is such a great leader,” Wilson said. “He works really hard and now, he is just perfecting his craft.”Barrett said he attributes his big night to the big guys up front.“All the credit goes to the offensive line,” he said following the game. “They got it started for us and that’s what coach Meyer always talks about is relying on them to keep the offense going.”The Buckeyes seemed to do just that as Barrett was sacked only once, and OSU rushed for 380 yards.Of the 380 yards on the ground, 182 belonged to sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliott in a new career high. But Elliott also said afterward that the offensive line deserves the credit, despite his big stat line.“It all goes to the line. The line made those big holes. It is not that hard to run when you got those gaping holes,” he said.Co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tom Herman said following the game that it did not dawn on him how impressive Elliot was until after the clock hit zero.“I honestly didn’t realize we had run the ball so well until the end of the game,” Herman said. “The guys up front deserve a lot of that credit too. (Elliot) certainly got his pads north and south and was running through arm tackles, and it was fun to watch him run tonight.”Cincinnati coach Tommy Tuberville said he thought his team played hard, but it couldn’t find a way to stop the Buckeye rushing game.“I’m proud of my team for fighting,” he said. “Effort was good on both sides and we played hard. We just got knocked off the ball on zone plays.”The win over the Bearcats marked Meyer’s first-ever win over Tuberville in three tries. Meyer lost twice to Tuberville when both coached in the Southeastern Conference at Florida and Auburn, respectively.The Buckeyes are set to travel to College Park, Md., to take on the Maryland Terrapins on Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for noon. read more

Mourinho compares Lukakus goal drought to a bottle of ketchup

first_imgJose Mourinho used an old metaphor of Cristiano Ronaldo’s in describing Romelu Lukaku‘s current struggles in front of goal for Manchester UnitedThe Belgian striker has found the net only four times in 13 appearances for United and was benched by Mourinho in their latest Premier League encounter against his old club Everton.Following his 25-minute cameo in Sunday’s 2-1 win at Old Trafford, Lukaku has now failed to score in his last nine matches for United.But Mourinho remains unconcerned and reckons that the goals will soon come flooding out for Lukaku – just like shaking a ketchup bottle.“I think one of the best scorers in football had funny words about it,” Mourinho told Sky Sports.“It was when Cristiano Ronaldo was speaking about the ketchup bottle and when you [shake it]. The goals are coming and coming and coming.Romelu Lukaku, Serie A, Inter MilanCapello calls Lukaku “a modern striker” Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 The former Italian manager believes Romelu Lukaku is perfectly suited for Antonio Conte’s Internazionale Milan in the Serie A.“I believe with Lukaku that this will happen, but the reality is that, at this moment, it’s not happening.“There have been lots of matches in which he’s not scored a goal, and not just scoring but also the performances, the happiness in the performances, I think is the problem.“But he’s a good player, a good boy, and I think the best way to do it is to just keep working and the moment will arrive.”Ronaldo once used the ketchup bottle metaphor in 2010, where he was going through his own goal drought ahead of that summer’s World Cup in South Africa.The Portuguese star explained at the time that goals are like “ketchup – when it comes out (of the bottle) it all comes out at once”.last_img read more

I would have been bored in Madrid Batistuta

first_imgThe legendary Argentinean footballer says he would have won more titles in bigger clubs, but he doesn’t regret playing for “small” teams.In a career that spanned from 1988 to 2005, Argentinean striker Gabriel Batistuta played in seven different clubs.He started his professional career with Newell’s Old Boys in his native country, but a year later he moved to River Plate.In 1990 he was transferred from Los Millonarios to Boca Juniors, before jumping to Europe in 1991 as he signed with Fiorentina in the Italian First Division.In 2000 he moved to Roma, with a small loan in 2003 to Internazionale Milan, and he concluded his career in Qatar’s Al-Arabi from 2003 to 2005.Would he have won more trophies with bigger clubs? The answer is yes, but to Batistuta, the answer is more complex than that.“A football player is treated like a product,” he was quoted by Gianluca Di Marzio.“When I was in Florence, top clubs were looking for me like Real Madrid, Manchester United and Milan, but in the end, I preferred the calmness and atmosphere of Fiorentina.”“I would make the same decision, if I would have gone to Real Madrid I would have won a lot,” he explained.Romelu Lukaku, Inter MilanLukaku backed to beat Ronaldo in Serie A scoring charts Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Former Inter Milan star Andy van der Meyde is confident Romelu Lukaku will outscore Cristiano Ronaldo in this season’s Serie A.“I would have even scored more than 200 goals, but I would have been bored.”“Same thing with Milan. I didn’t want much, but I feel like a winner,” he said.“It’s because I did it in a way that made Fiorentina fight against stronger teams.”He ended up scoring 271 goals in 507 matches for all his seven teams.He also scored 54 goals for the Argentina national team in 77 games.Te felicito @Crespo en este nuevo desafío de tu brillante carrera deportiva. Te deseo lo mejor como DT de @CAB_oficial !!!⚽️ pic.twitter.com/RNyFQDjnZZ— Gabriel Batistuta (@GBatistutaOK) December 19, 2018last_img read more

San Diego County fights for Amazons second headquarters

first_img KUSI Newsroom, October 10, 2017 KUSI Newsroom Posted: October 10, 2017 SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to send a letter to Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos indicating a strong interest and willingness to explore possible incentives for the company if it builds its second headquarters in the region. The vote was unanimous with Supervisor Greg Cox saying the new headquarters could be built in unincorporated areas of the county. No mention was made as to what the incentives could be. Amazon’s mega-project has been a magnet for cities, states, provinces and counties that see the economic boost the online retail giant’s headquarters would bring to their localities.The company plans to spend more than $5 billion on what it calls HQ2, which would provide 50,000 new high-paying jobs and support thousands of construction and other related positions. That’s about 15,000 more jobs than the region’s life sciences industry, a key economic sector, according to a county staff report. Amazon already has a large presence in San Diego after leasing more than 100,000 square feet of office space in University City. But San Diego has stiff competition in the bidding war. New Jersey is working on legislation that would provide $5 billion in tax breaks and the City Council in Stonecrest, Georgia, near Atlanta, voted to de-annex 345 acres of land and call it the city of Amazon if the company moves in. Los Angeles and Irvine have expressed interest as well. The local bid is being coordinated by the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp. Amazon is expected to announce a winner next year.  San Diego County fights for Amazon’s second headquarters Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

Rep Hoitenga sponsors October office hours

first_img State Rep. Michele Hoitenga of Manton announced her October office hours schedule for the residents of Wexford, Mecosta and Osceola counties.“I encourage everyone to attend local office hours,” Rep. Hoitenga said. “In order for me to be an effective representative, there needs to be open communication. Although I cover three counties, I work hard to make sure everyone has the chance to voice their opinions and concerns involving state government.”The office hours schedule is as follows:Friday, Oct. 139:30 to 10:30 a.m. at Jennifer’s Roundabout Restaurant, 4642 N. M. 37 in Mesick;11 to noon at Cheryl’s Landing, 1749 North Blvd. in Cadillac;12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at Seven Slot Grille, 113 N. Chestnut St. in Reed City; and2 to 3 p.m. at Moe-Z-Inn, 249 N. Cass St. in Morley.No appointment is necessary. Anyone unable to attend is encouraged to contact Hoitenga’s office at (517) 373-1747, or email at [email protected] Categories: Hoitenga News 29Sep Rep. Hoitenga sponsors October office hourslast_img read more

Rep Brann Grant program invests in veteran service offices

first_img08Feb Rep. Brann: Grant program invests in veteran service offices Categories: Brann News State Rep. Tommy Brann of Wyoming cosponsored legislation encouraging Michigan counties to establish and maintain veteran services through a new grant program.Under this legislation, each county with a veteran service office that satisfies pre-approved requirements would receive $25,000, plus an additional amount based on the number of veterans in the county. To continue receiving the grant, an established county veteran service office must meet benchmarks for staff performance and reporting while maintaining the previous year’s funding level.“This grant will help the state do a better job providing services for our veterans,” Brann said.  “Veterans will now be able to have access to services and benefits throughout the state no matter where they live.”Under the current veteran’s benefits system, the state supplies the Veteran Service Coalition with a grant to provide benefit services to veterans. Depending on the county, a Veteran Service Officer may only be available for a few hours each month at a single location. This bill provides incentives to counties to develop or enhance a tool for providing sufficient services for veterans.Currently, there are 11 Michigan counties without a veteran service office. This could be due to the number of veterans in the area, lack of funding or because the county partners with neighboring counties.The measure, House Bill 5536, will be formally read into the record next week.####last_img read more