Kalamazoo artist painting for Alpena Wildlife Sanctuary

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisALPENA, Mich. — Richard Jordan is an outdoor painter visiting Alpena for two weeks. His work is being funded by the Alpena Wildlife Sanctuary. They sponsor an artist every year whose artwork will be housed in the proposed wildlife sanctuary interpretive center.Mark Beins, coordinator for the Alpena Wildlife Sanctuary Artist in Residence Program, believes Jordan will offer a great piece the sanctuary. “It’s usually the artist that chooses the piece to be donated to the Sanctuary, but actually he’s going to let us do the choosing which is fairly generous.”Jordan explained that Island Park is a gem in Alpena. “I must say the Alpena Wildlife Sanctuary, this island in particular, is an artist’s dream.” He is trying to paint at least one picture per day while he’s here, and it takes him about three hours for each painting.He has to be quick, otherwise the lighting from the sun could affect his artwork as it moves across the sky. “You’ve got to decide at one point where you’re going to fix shadows and fix light and stay there. Even though the light is changing, you can’t chase it, you’ve got to decide and keep your light at one point.”Jordan has created hundreds of paintings as director of the Plein Air Artists of Western Michigan, a group that paints outdoor landscapes year round. He will show his previous paintings and how he creates his art, Thursday at 2 p.m. at Art in the Loft. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisContinue ReadingPrevious Man dies on Long Lake after rescue effortsNext New undersheriff greeted with pushback regarding paylast_img read more

Kobe Bryant believes Russell Westbrook shares his competitive personality

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error He will carve up any defense that stands in his way, no matter how many people that represents.He will score at a prolific rate, leading many to admire his greatness while also questioning whether that disrupts team play.He will fulfill all these amazing feats with a scowl on his face.Sounds like another day for Kobe Bryant dominating on the basketball court. But the Lakers’ 36-year-old star has remained sidelined for the past two months with a season-ending right shoulder injury. Instead, another player with ties to Los Angeles has carried that identity. Westbrook has posted nine triple-doubles this season, including four in consecutive games, a feat second only to Michael Jordan with seven in 1988-89 and tying Magic Johnson’s feat from 1986-87. After winning this year’s All-Star MVP award, Westbrook averaged 34.3 points. 10.2 rebounds and 11.4 assists, a clip that only Jordan matched in the past 50 years. Westbrook also became the fourth player along with Bryant, Wilt Chamberlain and Elgin Baylor to score at least 45 points with five rebounds and five assists in back-to-back contests.But all of those statistics do not capture the emotion Westbrook shows when he plays. He will bark at teammates. He will draw imaginary guns out of an imaginary holster after making a key basket. He will frown and scowl through the good and bad moments.“Russell is more animated than Kobe,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said. “But both of them play with the same type of passion. They both love what they do and they play like it’s their last game every single night. I respect that.” So does Bryant, who hardly sees any coincidence why Durant and Westbrook show some of his mannerisms. “They watched me growing up and saw how I dealt with criticism,” said Bryant, who played with Westbrook in NBA All-Star games (2011-13) and on the U.S. Olympic team (2012). “I just put my head down and kept playing. They’re cut from the same cloth.”Thunder coach Scott Brooks has seen up close how Bryant and Westbrook have matching patterns. Brooks coached the 2011 Western Conference All-Stars when Bryant played through a broken nose after Miami guard Dwyane Wade accidentally delivered a hard foul. Soon after the game ended, Brooks learned that Bryant actually suffered a mild concussion.This season, Westbrook needed surgery after teammate Andre Roberson accidentally kneed him strongly enough to form a dent in his right cheek. Westbrook missed only the Lakers’ loss to Oklahoma City three weeks ago, causing Brooks to jokingly describe Westbrook as “part machine.”Brooks then turned serious, explaining how Bryant and Westbrook “share that DNA” and “are not looking to make friends on the court.”“All the games he played up to the last couple of years, he played a lot of games most players would not have played,” Brooks said of Bryant before turning to Westbrook. “He brings effort every single night. I don’t think people criticize people that don’t do that every night enough. We skip that and say, ‘It’s part of the schedule’ or ‘they’re battling a sore back.’ “No, you have to come and play the game every single night. Russell does that every single night.” Instead, the criticism surrounding Westbrook shifts elsewhere. It involves his shot selection, which, incidentally, mirrors what followed Bryant for most of his 19-year NBA career. “There’s a balance,” Scott said. “I like him taking aggressive shots that are good shots. He knows the difference. Every great player will take some tough shots. And every great player has the ability to make tough shots.”Bryant would know, one of the many traits he and Westbrook share as they pursue greatness through their unyielding drive and personality.center_img His name is Russell Westbrook, the former UCLA and Leuzinger High standout who will surely give the Lakers (18-50) headaches when they visit the Oklahoma Thunder (40-30) on Wednesday at Chesapeake Energy Arena.He may replicate his league-leading 27.5 points per game. He may leave the Lakers gasping for breath with his lightning-quick speed. And when Bryant presumably watches the game from his Newport Beach residence, Westbrook will remind the Lakers’ star of himself. “Russell is probably the closest one to me in terms of playing with a chip on your shoulder,” Bryant said earlier in the 2014-15 season. “It’s his intensity. He just plays with a rage that’s not very common. He just plays with a lot of aggression.”Bryant’s Hall of Fame credentials include his five NBA championships, his third-place standing on the league’s all-time scoring list and his career-high 81-point game. But Bryant’s lasting images also will include his clenched jaw, his furrowed eyebrows and his sharp tongue. Meanwhile, the 26-year-old Westbrook has helped the Thunder stay afloat in his seventh NBA season without a consistently healthy Kevin Durant (sore right foot).last_img read more

New fuel pipeline for Moz and SA

first_imgThe new 450km pipeline will alleviate pressure on inland fuel supply in South Africa. (Image: South African Qualification & Certification Committee) The proposed route of the new pipeline. (Image: Petroline Holdings)Janine ErasmusConstruction on a R5.8-billion ($620-million) fuel pipeline between the Mozambican port of Matola in Maputo province and Kendal in South Africa is due to start later in 2009. The 450km-long pipeline will transport up to 3.5-million litres per year and is expected to prevent potential fuel shortages in South Africa.The multi-product pipeline will take just six months to build, as project operator Petroline intends to have it up and running as early as possible in 2010. Petroline is a locally-registered company that also owns the sections of the line that run through South African soil.When complete the pipeline will facilitate the importation of petrol and diesel from Mozambique, which has extensive natural gas and coal reserves but no oil reserves. Of the pipeline’s total capacity of 3.5-million litres of fuel and diesel, a maximum of 1.5-million litres will be diverted to Nelspruit while the remainder will be transported to Kendal.“Our aim is to have this project operational before 2010,” said Mateus Kathupa, CEO of shareholder Petróleos De Moçambique (Petrómoc), “in order to have an additional capacity in terms of oil supplies to South Africa.”Matola is closer to Johannesburg, South Africa’s busiest city, than the port of Durban which is the traditional entry point for fuel imports.The pipeline will travel 64km from the existing coastal storage facility at Matola in Mozambique to the South African border at Komatipoort. It will then run for a distance of 135km between Komatipoort and Nelspruit in Mpumalanga province, followed by the 249km stretch to Kendal. At its final destination there is the possibility of the pipeline joining with the current Transnet Pipelines network for inland distribution of fuel.The refurbishment and upgrade of Matola port is part of the project, as are new tank storage facilities at the Nelspruit depot.Annual revenue from the new pipeline is expected to exceed R7.5-billion ($800-million).Mozambique-South Africa co-operationThe Mozambican-South African consortium Petroline Holdings received its licence to build the pipeline from the National Energy Regulator of South Africa at the end of March 2007.Petroline has four major shareholders – these are the Woesa Consortium which holds 25%, Gigajoule International with 20%, Petrómoc with 40% and Companhia De Desenvolvimento De Petróleo Moçambique which holds 15%.Construction of the pipeline was originally scheduled for September 2008 but was delayed because the environmental impact studies have not yet received final approval. According to Katupha, issues such as compensation to people who live on land across which the pipeline will pass have yet to be resolved.Five studies have been undertaken, three in South Africa and two in Mozambique. In South Africa the national Department of Environmental Affairs is working on the project and in Mozambique it is the Ministry of Coordination of Environmental Affairs that must give the go-ahead. Approval is expected no later than May 2009, following which construction will begin apace.Fast-growing economyIn December 2005 South Africa suffered severe fuel shortages which impacted on many sectors of the economy. Airlines lost revenue because their planes were grounded, while many farmers suffered losses because they could not harvest at the optimal time. Motorists had to drive to several locations before they found a functioning service station.The Moerane Report of 2006, under the leadership of Advocate Marumo Moerane, investigated the crisis and found that one of the major causes of the shortage was the lack of adequate pipeline capacity in South Africa. This caused disruptions in the chain of supply.Additionally the Moerane commission predicted that the current economic growth rate in South Africa meant that there was a strong possibility of fuel demand outstripping supply capacity by mid-2009, as inland supply routes were not up to the task.The new pipeline is expected to alleviate much of the shortage in capacity and go a long way towards ensuring that such a crisis will not happen again.Since it operates in both South Africa and Mozambique, the pipeline presents another prime opportunity for integration and development between countries in the Southern African Development Community.Because the direction of flow can be reversed, the line could also be used to ferry fuel products to out of South Africa for distribution to neighbouring countries such as Botswana.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Contact Janine Erasmus at [email protected] linksHighest global quality fuel in SA Infrastructure development in SAThe Southern African Development CommunityUseful linksPetroline HoldingsPetrómocNational Energy Regulator of SANational Petroleum Institute, MozambiqueMinistry of Coordination of Environmental Affairslast_img read more

RFID Hoaxes and Hexes

first_imgcurt hopkins Tags:#Internet of Things#Op-Ed#web 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…center_img Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… The human capacity to find hidden meanings in things has given us poetry, physics and software. It’s also given us superstitions, conspiracy theories and hoaxes. Given that this capacity is enduring it shouldn’t come as any surprise that each new thing that comes along is inflected by it, and that includes technologies.RFID is radio frequency identification. It’s setting a small transmitter at a certain frequency, setting a reader to recognize that frequency. That’s it. The implications as we have outlined, can include tracking wine inventory and sushi freshness. But there are other implications, ones rooted in, say, less demonstrable realities. RFID, to some, is the number of the beast. Cattle Rustling, RFID & The End TimesWhen we wrote the first article on the possible use of RFID as a way to stop an increase in cattle rustling, it was, predictably, not the most wildly popular of our posts. No Facebook connection, for one thing. But suddenly, it shot up in page views. We researched it and found out that our post had made its way onto a website that featured a news feed for those who are certain the world is about to end. We could not figure out why. Then it dawned on us. Between the red heifer some believe will usher in the Apocalypse, and the assignment of numbers to human subjects of the anti-Christ, we were good to go. The flaw in the logic that assigns a particular evil to a particular technology is that any technology can be rendered into numbers. Anything from language to music to a printing press to a computer can be assigned numbers or produce them. I wouldn’t bad-mouth anyone’s religious expectations, but it’s straight out syllogism to presume they are dependent on the technologies that just happened to be of recent vintage. Plus, just a sample of the different recent technologies that have been assigned an apocalyptic role in addition to RFID include magnetic strips, barcodes, computer chips and biochips.Three RFID HoaxesMoney Replaced With Implanted Chips. This refers again to the fears behind Christian teleology. Biochips were going to take the place of money. The chips were to be planted in the body. This is close in approach to the idea of paying with your smart phone. The only problem is that it’s not true. The giveaway is the fact that those who “revealed” this plan manage to confuse and conflate biochips, RFID and magnetic cards. The U.S. Government Tracks Homeless with Chips>. If the fact that it was an April Fool’s joke to the Politech mailing list weren’t enough, the fact that it was supposedly Health and Human Services behind this that should have been. Police Will Use RFID Rifles to Tag Dissidents. An artist, Jakob S Boeskov, cobbled together a convincing-looking rifle and toted it to an Chinese arms and armament conference, describing it as a way to non-lethally and permanently tag any trouble-makers in a mob situation. Practically everyone bought it. It turns out it was a “Fictionism” art event. Why was it accepted? The gun looked cool. It was performed in a context where such a thing might be valued. It was reported on by journalists looking for an angle – this was certainly one. The reasons these tech hoaxes found a purchase on our imaginationFirst, the people who reported them, whether professional journalists or not, either wanted to believe them or didn’t do due diligence in researching them. Second, professional journalists do not always explore and explain complex technologies as well as they should. For one thing, often times, we are excited about them and that can cloud the need to delve into their implications. For another, this stuff is hard. It can be hard for us to get our heads around, much less yours. (Neither of the foregoing are excuses, by the way. If anything, they are self-indictments.) Second, this is an extremely complex era, in which changes in technology are matched by changes, challenges and crises in politics and environment. Even if it is not approaching a “singularity,” it all seems to be getting faster almost exponentially. This drives people to seek explanations. When we fail at expressing the nature and limitations of technology as technology journalists, others fall in to breach the gap. Sometimes they do an excellent job. Sometimes they make a mess. last_img read more

After Barcelona losses, Real Madrid only has Champions League left

first_img1 dead, 3 injured in Quezon road crash Hong Kong tunnel reopens, campus siege nears end Madrid’s biggest threat against Barcelona was the speed and dribbling skills offered by Vinicius Junior. But the 18-year-old Brazilian forward failed to finish off his scoring chances and got little help from the team’s veterans. Benzema squandered his opportunities and Gareth Bale was jeered by segments of the crowd when substituted on Saturday.The hosts are without suspended center-back Sergio Ramos, while Ajax has won its last three games by at least three goals.“Goals come in patches,” said Madrid manager Santiago Solari. “We’ll keep plugging away. We can’t let our teamwork, solidity and commitment slip.”Here is a look at this week’s other three Champions League matches:PSG VS. MANCHESTER UNITEDADVERTISEMENT P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbed Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem LATEST STORIES AP PhotoBARCELONA, Spain — Two demoralizing defeats to Barcelona have left Real Madrid with just one chance to salvage its season by winning a record-extending fourth consecutive Champions League trophy.But it must do without the goals of Cristiano Ronaldo, the star striker who fueled its title run before leaving for Juventus at the end of last season.ADVERTISEMENT PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Trump campaign, GOP groups attack Google’s new ad policy Madrid failed to score against Barcelona in two “clasico” matches at its Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in the past week. Barcelona eliminated Madrid from the Copa del Rey semifinals with a 3-0 victory on Wednesday, and three days later left Madrid 12 points adrift in the Spanish league with a 1-0 win.Madrid could do with rediscovering its scoring form to avoid another calamity when it hosts Dutch side Ajax in the return leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie on Tuesday. The visitors won the away leg in Amsterdam 2-1 thanks to goals from Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption charges“We gave it our all (against Barcelona) but weren’t decisive enough in the box,” defender Dani Carvajal said. “On Tuesday, we need to lay it all on the line. They (Ajax) have had a good rest and we saw what they can do in the first leg. I hope the fans back us because we want to give them something to cheer.”Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund also need to overturn defeats by Paris Saint-Germain and Tottenham to advance. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Harry Kane scored a late penalty to salvage Tottenham a 1-1 draw with Arsenal on Saturday.FC PORTO vs. ROMARoma and FC Porto are in crisis before they meet on Wednesday, with the Italian visitors holding a slim 2-1 advantage.Roma was beaten 3-0 by city rival Lazio in the derby on Saturday to seriously damage its chances of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.“We really need to focus on Porto so we can get through to the quarterfinals,” Roma captain Daniele De Rossi said. “If we do that, it will also change our vision of the season and our current form.”Porto is also reeling after losing 2-1 to Benfica on Saturday, a defeat which let its fierce rival take the lead at the top of the Portuguese league.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbed MOST READ United faces the daunting task Wednesday of retrieving a 2-0 loss against a PSG side led by the in-form Kylian Mbappe.The 20-year-old France forward is helping PSG supporters forget all about Neymar. Mbappe scored in the first leg at Old Trafford, and found the net twice on Saturday at Caen. He has now netted in all five domestic league games since the club lost Neymar and Edinson Cavani to injury.“The coach said we had to win this game to prepare well for Manchester’s visit and that’s what we did,” said Mbappe, who took his tally to 24 goals in 21 French league games.Mbappe will hope to profit from more open spaces as United chases the game without suspended midfielder Paul Pogba.PSG can also count on Cavani, who has resumed full training.DORTMUND VS. TOTTENHAMAfter such a promising start under new coach Lucien Favre and an overhaul of the squad, Dortmund’s season is unraveling.Its 3-0 first-leg loss at Tottenham came after the side was knocked out of the German Cup and held to two draws in the Bundesliga.Nothing has happened since to suggest Dortmund can recover on Tuesday. It has only one win from seven games across all competitions and has allowed Bayern Munich to draw level on points atop the Bundesliga after surrendering what was once a nine-point lead.“We’re scoring goals against ourselves,” Marco Reus said after the side’s shock 2-1 loss at Augsburg on Friday. Jordan Clarkson, Kevin Love lead Cavaliers over Magic SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte View commentslast_img read more

Feds to change tax law to allow grandparents to access Canada Child

first_imgOTTAWA – The federal government will make changes to federal law to ensure payments to grandparents who are caring for their grandchildren in Prince Edward Island and other provinces are not clawed back.Finance Minister Bill Morneau and National Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier announced today the government will put forward amendments to the Income Tax Act to clarify eligibility for the Canada Child Benefit.These changes will ensure grandparents and other caregivers receiving payments through provincial assistance programs will continue to receive their full Canada Child Benefit.In December, grandparents in P.E.I. caring for grandchildren became eligible for a new provincial financial assistance program for children in need of protection from parental harm and who require out-of-home care for safety reasons.But in February, they were alarmed to learn the federal government might claw back their Canada Child Benefit if they received the provincial payments of $700 a month — something P.E.I.’s Family and Human Services Minister Tina Mundy called “unacceptable.”Lebouthillier says government will now make a clarifying adjustment to ensure grandparents or other care providers who step in to take care of a child under kinship programs in P.E.I. and all provinces and territories are eligible for the federal child benefit.last_img read more

Colonel dies in Ggn road accident

first_imgGurugram: Colonel Preet Singh who was the serving colonel in the Indian Army lost his life in Gurugram on Monday due to a road accident. Colonel Preet Singh was deputed in Bathinda and was a part of seven engineer regiment.According to the law enforcement, the Army officer who had been awarded sena medal was travelling in the Army vehicle Tata Storme when the Maruti Swift hit his vehicle from the rear side that caused in the massive crash. On Thursday Colonel Singh was cremated with full military honours. The Army officer used to reside with his family in Sector-22 Palam Vihar. His father Raghuveer Singh is a retired judge while his wife Swati Singh is a professor at Delhi University. He had two children a son and a daughter. His son Samayan was eight years of age while his daughter Diksha was just a year old. On average, there are nine accidents that occur daily in Millennium City. In 2014, there were 1180 cases of accidents leading to 430 deaths. In 2015 the cases slightly reduced to 1140 but the death toll was higher at 435 while in 2016 there were 1201 incidents of accidents leading to 420 deaths. In 2018, there were 460 people who had lost their lives on the roads of Gurugram. Officials also indicate that the visibility further decreased during driving heavy vehicles. Other factors resulting in the deadly mishap are fatigue, overspeeding, drunken driving and overloading. To prevent fatalities caused due to mishaps, the Haryana government introduced Haryana vision Zero. The campaign has resulted in reducing the number of accidents in major cities of Haryana including Gurugram.last_img read more

Light rains likely in Delhi

first_imgNew Delhi: Delhiites are likely to get some relief from the scorching heat on Monday as the weatherman has forecast light rains. The Safdarjung observatory, recording of which is considered the official figure for the city, said the minimum temperature settled at 25 degrees Celsius. The maximum temperature is expected to hover around 39 degrees Celsius. The relative humidity recorded at 8.30 AM was 63 per cent. The weatherman has predicted cloudy sky with possibility of rain, thunderstorm or dust storm. On Sunday, the maximum temperature settled at 39 degrees Celsius while the minimum temperature was 25 degrees Celsius.last_img

Where Have All The Crafty Pitchers Gone

After Moyer’s retirement, the reigning kings of slow-pitch became Jered Weaver of the Angels and Mark Buehrle of the White Sox and Blue Jays. Buehrle especially belongs squarely among the crafty lefty lineage, alongside Moyer and Glavine; however, he retired after the 2015 season. Over the past two years, in particular, we’ve seen a distinct lack of outlier starters at the bottom of the velocity rankings, the place where the craftiest of pitchers once lurked.To call a pitcher “crafty” is a kind of backhanded compliment. After all, if a guy has overwhelming velocity or electric stuff, we would just talk about that as an explanation for him getting hitters out. (Strikeouts may be fascist, but they are also impressive.) However, Moyer, Buehrle, Hudson and — especially — Maddux and Glavine worked the formula out to perfection. In fact, the 1990s were a heyday of sorts for finesse pitchers, with perfect games from Kenny Rogers and David Wells to go with regular All-Star appearances from the likes of Andy Ashby, Brad Radke and Charles Nagy. None were big strikeout artists, but all were very good pitchers nonetheless thanks to a combination of sharp control, smart situational pitching and keeping the ball in the ballpark.Yet as baseball’s overall velocity bar has raised and preventing home runs has become more difficult, there’s evidence the control-and-command approach has progressively lost its effectiveness. While breaking pitches such as sliders and curves are moving more sharply than ever, it’s not the crafty junkballers of yore who are benefiting most from it.Bill James once broke pitchers into equally sized “power,” “finesse” and “neutral” groups based on their rates of strikeouts plus walks per inning (theorizing that high-velocity pitchers get lots of strikeouts and walks — think Nolan Ryan — while our crafty group doesn’t record much of either). If we do that for qualified starters each season since 1950, we can see the balance of leaguewide pitching wins above replacement1Averaging together the values from FanGraphs and Baseball-Reference.com. has tilted strongly in favor of power pitchers since the early 1970s: Pitching has always been about throwing a baseball really hard — there’s a reason so much of the game’s mythology grew around how quickly hurlers like Walter “Big Train” Johnson and Bob Feller could get the ball from the mound to home plate. But for those who lack overwhelming stuff, there’s another core aspect to pitching: the art of throwing strikes and tricking batters into getting themselves out. Velocity makes a pitcher’s life easier, of course, but plenty of greats from history have thrived on guile instead of a dominating fastball.The craft of finesse pitching, however, might be a dying one in today’s game. A few, such as Arizona’s Zack Greinke and the Cubs’ Kyle Hendricks, have managed to remain effective with a slow fastball and pinpoint control. But the number of star pitchers following that formula has dwindled in recent seasons, in conjunction with the ever-increasing velocity of the average pitch across Major League Baseball. Just a decade ago, we saw Jamie Moyer gutting out complete-game shutouts with an 81-mile-per-hour fastball at age 47 (!) — but are the Moyers of 2019 now getting squeezed out of the sport?Moyer, the southpaw formerly of the Phillies and Mariners (among other teams), was plainly a special pitcher no matter how you measure him. He won only 34 games by his 30th birthday yet still managed to finish with 269 total victories before retiring in 2012 at the age of 49. But Moyer also exemplified a very particular kind of hurler: the prototypical “crafty lefty” who gets by on smarts and makes the best of less-than-stellar velocity readings. In 2002, the earliest year of pitch-speed data at FanGraphs, Moyer — then a youthful 39 — averaged just 82.8 miles per hour on his fastball. (He and Tim Hudson were the only non-knuckleballers with an average fastball under 83.) It was a radar reading that only went down with the passage of time.Back then, though, 11 percent of qualified starters clocked in under 85 mph on average, and 70 percent threw under 90 mph. Moyer even had Hall of Fame company at the bottom of the velocity list, including the likes of Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine. But things changed by the mid-to-late 2000s, when Moyer was perennially the only qualified starter anywhere near the low 80s. In 2010, roughly 1 percent of qualified starters averaged under 85 mph, and only 29 percent were even averaging under 90 mph. Today, nobody averages below 85 mph — Hendricks is baseball’s softest-tossing qualified starter at 86.7 mph — while 16 percent of starters are above 95 mph on their average fastball: Aside from briefly closing the gap a few times over that span — specifically in the mid-1980s and the late 1990s, aka the Moyer and Maddux eras — the finesse pitchers have consistently lost ground value-wise to the hard throwers. The 2017 and 2018 seasons were the first two since 1950 in which the net gap in WAR share between power- and finesse-type starters was at least 18 percentage points in consecutive years. Of the 20 most valuable starters of 2018 by WAR, only one (Miles Mikolas of the Cardinals) was classified as a finesse pitcher; the other 19 were all either power (12) or neutral (7) pitcher types.What accounts for the trend? For one thing, balls in play are at an all-time low, setting a new MLB record for the fewest per game in each of the past five seasons. (We’re down to just 24 balls in play per contest in 2019 so far.) Although most pitchers have little to no control over hits allowed on balls in play during a given season, there are legitimate differences in skill that emerge over entire careers. And part of the crafty-pitcher archetype involves inducing a disproportionate amount of weak contact that fielders can more readily turn into outs.“I didn’t really have swing-and-miss stuff,” Maddux told Dan Patrick in an interview this year. “I wasn’t really worried about giving up singles, but I did what I could to keep the ball in front of the outfielders, not walk anybody and make them get three singles to score.”When there are fewer balls put in play to be had, that formula has less of an effect.There’s also the matter of teams turning to increasingly younger pitchers in recent seasons. Since just about every indicator of power pitching — from pure velocity to strikeouts — is strongly correlated with possessing a younger arm, it makes sense that as young pitchers account for a larger share of the value across MLB, so too will a larger share of WAR be associated specifically with power pitchers (and a smaller share associated with finesse pitchers). Which direction does the causation run? It isn’t totally clear, but it doesn’t especially matter. Whether teams are prizing youth or velocity, it’s squeezing out pitchers who lack either (or both) attributes.“If you look at pitching these days, everything is max effort,” Moyer told the Orange County Register in January. “Look at the younger generations — high school, college, minor leagues, everybody’s trying to light up a radar gun, throw 100 mph. Our bodies aren’t made to perform in this game as a pitcher at max effort.”Although Bartolo Colon, who pitched last season at age 45 as another exemplar of craft triumphing over stuff, the game is generally trending against pitchers like him and Moyer, in many ways.With all of this, it’s fair to wonder whether it would even be possible to dominate with an arsenal resembling, say, Maddux’s, in the modern game. The two-seamer, Maddux’s bewildering weapon of choice, has fallen quickly out of favor in the last decade or so, and a peak-era fastball that barely scraped 90 would rank among the slowest in the league today. Maddux’s specialty, changing speeds, can still be as disruptive as any tactic (just ask Cincinnati ace Luis Castillo). But it’s telling that Maddux himself recognizes what worked in his era might not be as effective now.“I was taught to throw strikes and get hitters out in the strike zone,” Maddux told Patrick. “And now, pitching has kind of turned the other way, where they try to get hitters out outside of the strike zone. I don’t know if I would have adapted to that or not. I’d like to think I could, but who knows what would have happened?”Perhaps the craft of pitching is making something of a comeback this season, with more finesse-oriented pitchers such as Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu of the Dodgers and Masahiro Tanaka of the Yankees off to great starts already. Certainly, there always will be a place for pitchers who can transcend the radar gun with intelligence and skill. But just the same, the obsessive quest for velocity in today’s game will probably continue to squeeze out the soft-tossing finesse archetype of yesteryear. Sadly, that means it will be harder than ever for crafty, Moyer-esque pitchers to carve out a place in baseball.Check out our latest MLB predictions. read more

Businesses around OSU not worried about game day sales without Tressel

Jim Tressel is officially the former head coach of Ohio State football and the impact of his resignation will be felt far beyond the towering walls of Ohio Stadium. Many campus area businesses said game days are also big paydays. According to a 2005 study published in the “Journal of Sports Economics,” OSU athletic programs generated an estimated $100 million for the local economy in 2003. But with the football program in turmoil, will football Saturdays still be a windfall for local businesses? Michael Weisgarber, a fourth-year in English and history, said he attended almost every home football game last season. Next year, however, he is considering sitting out some games because of the scandal. “A lot of the popularity of the football team has to do with image,” Weisgarber said. “I think Tressel is pretty integral to that image.” John Miles has been working the register at Tommy’s Pizza and Subs on West Lane Avenue for five years and he said it’s not easy to predict if a lot of fans will skip games and impact sales. “It’s hard to say, it might drop off a little, but nothing major,” Miles said. Tommy’s often does about $2,000 of business on a Friday, but game days can bring in $10,000 to $15,000, Miles said. During the University of Southern California game in 2009, that figure was about $17,000. But Tommy’s has been serving pizza and subs to the OSU community for more than 25 years, and Miles said it is confident business will remain strong, even without the Senator at the ‘Shoe. “I think people care more about the school than Tressel,” Miles said. That is true for Nathan Rodriguez, a fourth-year in electrical and computer engineering. Rodriguez said he goes to a couple games every year. “I don’t see myself being any less likely to go,” Rodriguez said. “I still will go to a couple games.” Buckeye Donuts on North High Street is another game day favorite and owner Jimmy Barouxis said it’s common for the restaurant to serve more than 1,000 customers. “It definitely matters how well the team is doing,” Barouxis said. “As the tension and excitement builds when the team is doing well, we definitely do more business.” Barouxis said game-day business might drop off by a few percentage points now that Tressel is gone, but the donut and sandwich shop will be fine. “We’re not worried,” Barouxis said. “We’re just going to keep doing what we’ve been doing.” Some businesses are even hopeful their sales will improve. Leah Reynolds is a Columbus artist who sells prints of hand-drawn portraits of Tressel and former OSU football coach Woody Hayes through the online crafts site, www.etsy.com. Reynolds said page views for her Tressel prints went up after the embattled coach resigned. Her online store sells full portraits as well as cards and magnets that feature the legendary OSU coaches and other artwork. “Right before football season I sell more Woody Hayes and coach Tressel prints,” Reynolds said. “If you live (in Columbus), you have to be a fan.” Reynolds said she has no intention of taking down the Tressel prints. “They won’t go off (the website),” Reynolds said. “There will still be Tressel fans, just like there are still Woody Hayes fans.” The artist said some people might buy the Tressel prints as a gag gift for a Buckeye fan. But Reynolds isn’t dwelling on the past, in fact she is already working on her latest piece: a portrait of coach Luke Fickell. “I will absolutely have a print of him (Fickell),” Reynolds said. “I’m planning on getting that up just as soon as I can.” read more