Global honours for South Africa’s Didata

first_img18 May 2012 South African services and solutions provider Dimension Data (Didata) has been hogging the honours lately. The company, recently named global partner of the year by US communications firm Polycom, has now added US IT giant Cisco’s partner of the year award to its trophy cabinet. “The Global Partner of the Year award presented to Dimension Data recognises its outstanding achievement as a Cisco channel partner in the Middle East and Africa in 2011,” Edison Peres, Cisco’s senior vice-president for worldwide channels, said at the company’s channel partner conference, held recently in San Diego, California. Michael Abendanon said Didata had been working with Cisco for 21 years, and that the award validated Didata’s “global breadth, technical excellence, and execution capabilities across 51 countries in all Cisco theatres”. Earlier this month, at a similar conference held in Orlando, Florida, Didata was named both global and EMEA system integrator partner of the year by Polycom, the global leader in open standards-based unified communications. “We are working hard to make Polycom RealPresence video and voice collaboration widely available for people throughout the world, and we couldn’t do it without partners like Dimension Data,” said Ron Myers, Polycom’s senior vice-president for worldwide channels. “In both established and emerging markets worldwide, we’re proud to be represented by the best this industry has to offer.” SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

7 Do’s and Don’ts for App Preview Videos If You Want a Shot at Going Viral

first_imgMore companies are relying on apps to succeed, whether the app is the primary source of revenue or whether it’s merely an extension of the business. In any case, social media is one of your greatest tools for finding new potential customers and keeping your existing users up-to-date; with the right visual content, you could potentially even go viral, reaching millions of new users with a single promotional asset.But how can you create a video that accurately demonstrates your app while still maximizing that potential reach?The New iOS App StoreEverything starts at the app store, which you should consider the hub of your app video marketing campaign. App stores not only provide the best (and most popular) discovery tool for new apps, they also set the standards for what users expect of videos.The iOS App Store, for example, recently went through some changes that have redrawn what’s expected of app producers. In addition to offering more in-depth search features and more discovery elements, Apple has introduced preview videos—auto-playing videos specifically intended to show off the main features and functionality of your app.Why Videos Are So Important for App SuccessSo why are videos so important for your app’s success? The statistics don’t lie. As many as 64 percent of web visitors are more likely to purchase a product if they’ve seen a promotional video for it, indicating the sheer impact potential that an app video can have. And because videos are becoming so popular, more users are relying on them to make purchasing decisions; 57 percent of consumers view a product video before finalizing their purchase.Part of the reason for this reliance on video content is the confidence users feel when making a purchasing decision; if they’ve seen the product in action and feel they have an accurate idea of what to expect, they’ll be less concerned about the possibility of getting less than what they paid for. On top of that, human beings simply process visual data better than other forms of data, processing images more than 60,000 times faster than text.“Videos are crucial nowadays; we live in such a fast paced society that people don’t have time to read. Aside from giving you information a video can also provide an experience that text or images just cannot – simply put there is no way to replace an enticing app store video – only the video would give you the full experience; and therefore, the only way to remain competitive is to quickly jump on the trend,” says Eddie Nuvakhov, CEO of LNC Productions.Plus, videos are easy to share. Videos relay information far quicker than text and are user favorites, so they’re more likely to be shared than other forms of content. If you produce a video that truly resonates with users, social channels will make it easy for that video to circulate to new audiences.Do’s and Don’tsSo what does it take to produce a video that could achieve that social success?1. Choose your partner carefully. Unless you have direct experience creating app videos or other marketing videos, you’ll need to work with an outside expert to perfect your approach—but not all video marketing firms are alike. “Sometimes people do not understand the importance of a well crafted video – a video asides of being a communication device it’s also a strong representation of your brand. My advice is to stay away from screen recording and take the opportunity to do something more, rely on a partner with experience and you will definitely end up seeing a higher ROI that you could achieve on your own, ” says David Levy, Nuvakhov’s business partner.2. Target the right audience. Everything depends on audience targeting. You wouldn’t sell your app the same way to a teenage girl and a middle-aged man, so think carefully about the content, the tone, and the distribution method of your promotional material.3. Don’t add more than you need. Users don’t generally have the patience to watch the full content of a minutes-long video. They might also turn away if your video doesn’t immediately grab them. Accordingly, it’s in your best interest to keep your video as short and concise as possible, getting users’ attentions within the first few seconds.4. Make the video useful with and without audio. Apple’s new App Store auto-plays without audio, so make sure your video is optimized for both an audio-heavy and audio-absent experience. That way, you’ll appeal to the greatest percentage of viewers.5. Don’t neglect the App Store guidelines. Pay close attention to the App Store guidelines. You’ll need to make sure your content falls in line with Apple’s standards, and ensure it’s formatted properly before you upload it.6. Build a video portfolio. Don’t rely on just one video to do all your work for you. Create a video portfolio you can use for a variety of different marketing and advertising applications.7. Choose the right social channels for promotion. Finally, choose the right social channels to distribute your videos; chances are, your audience favors one platform over another, and catering to that platform will give you a much higher ROI than simply broadcasting your video wherever you can.Videos make it easier to demonstrate exactly how your app works to an audience hungry for more visual content. If you put the effort into differentiating that video from those of your competitors, while staying true to the functionality of your app and making users excited about it, you could potentially reach thousands—if not millions of people. Frank Landman Frank is a freelance journalist who has worked in various editorial capacities for over 10 years. He covers trends in technology as they relate to business. Uber vs Lyft: Battling for Supremacy CEOs in Troubled Waters (with Myriam Joire from…center_img A Review of Instagram Marketing by Matthew Lucas Related Posts 4 Ways You Can Make Your Workplace an Engine of…last_img read more

Pacquiao conqueror Horn wins top Aussie award

first_imgFrontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Pacquiao pulled out of a planned rematch in Australia later his year, with Horn close to finalizing another opponent to defend his World Boxing Organisation welterweight title.Englishman Gary Corcoran is shaping up as the most likely challenger, with the fight expected to be in Brisbane in December, local reports have said. Read Next Kings open title defense vs vengeance-seeking Bolts MOST READ BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City LATEST STORIES READ: Horn stuns Pacquiao for unanimous decision winIn recognition, he walked away with ‘The Don’ award at the annual Sport Australia Hall Of Fame dinner in Melbourne on Thursday evening.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutNamed after cricketer Donald Bradman, prior winners of the prize include swimmer Ian Thorpe, runner Cathy Freeman, cyclist Cadel Evans, hurdler Sally Pearson, golfer Jason Day and last year’s recipient jockey Michelle Payne.“It is massive,” Horn said, calling it a career highlight. Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony PLAY LIST 00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games View comments Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH “I can remember growing up being inspired by previous winners such as Cathy Freeman and Ian Thorpe.“To know I am potentially inspiring the future generation of athletes like these guys have done for me is an incredible feeling.”Horn said he still sometimes found it hard to believe he took down one of the world’s greatest ever fighters, who has won world titles in an unprecedented eight weight divisions.READ: Jeff Horn’s vision comes to fruition with win over Pacquiao“Many days I have thought to myself, did that really happen? It’s been very hectic since the win but recognition and awards like this certainly help,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT Jeff Horn. PHOTO FROM SPORTS AUSTRALIA HALL OF FAME INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTSYDNEY—Boxer Jeff Horn’s stunning upset of Filipino great Manny Pacquiao has earned him one of Australia’s top sporting honors as the most inspirational athlete of the year.The unheralded 29-year-old stunned the boxing world with a unanimous 12-round decision over Pacquiao in Brisbane on July 2 in a hotly contested result that rattled the Philippines.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

Marijuana producer Aphria lowers cash portion of offer for Nuuvera

first_imgLEAMINGTON, Ont. – In an unusual move, licensed marijuana producer Aphria Inc. is cutting the amount of cash it is offering for cannabis company Nuuvera Inc. — from $1 to 60 cents per share — as Nuuvera seeks to fully acquire its subsidiary Avanti Rx Analytics.Leamington, Ont.-based Aphria said Tuesday it reached an agreement with Toronto-based Nuuvera to the lower the price but did not elaborate on why.Nuuvera said in a separate release it agreed to the amendment “in order to fund” its own acquisition of the remaining 49 per cent interest of Avanti — which provides research and testing services to the cannabis industry — for an estimated $43 million.The company did not explain why receiving less money from Aphria would help fund its own transaction.“The acquisition of Avanti is an important step in the history of Nuuvera and is expected to result in synergies at the combined Nuuvera/Aphria which will enhance the value of the arrangement to shareholders of Nuuvera,” said Ronald Schmeichel, Nuuvera’s chairman, in a statement.Neither company could not be immediately reached for further comment.Nuuvera said it entered into a letter of intent to acquire the remaining interest of Avanti from a single minority shareholder. As part of the deal, Nuuvera also anticipates acquiring Avanti’s facility in Brampton, Ont.The original agreement was valued at $826 million, according to Aphria and Nuuvera’s Jan. 29 release. The revised offer, with the reduced cash component and using Aphria’s latest closing price of $14.06, based on 80.13 million outstanding Nuuvera shares would be valued at $447.9 million.Under the amended deal, Aphria is offering 60 cents in cash plus 0.3546 of an Aphria share. Nuuvera noted in its release “the consideration has been reduced… provided that the cash consideration will be increased to the extent the company’s unrestricted cash exceeds the revised required level.”Shares of Aphria and Nuuvera have fallen since the original deal was first announced on Jan. 29. Under the initial agreement, the licensed producer offered $1 plus 0.3546 of an Aphria share for each Nuuvera share. That would value the offer at roughly $8.50 per share, based on Aphria’s 10-day volume-weighted average price for the period ended Jan. 26 of $21.15. Nuuvera’s 10-day volume-weighted price for the same period was $6.51.On Friday, Aphria shares closed at $14.06 on the Toronto Stock Exchange while Nuuvera shares closed at $5.56 on the TSX Venture Exchange. Based on Friday’s share price, Aphria’s amended offer of 60 cents in cash plus 0.3546 of a common share would be valued at $5.59 per share.Aphria’s stock was up $1.13 or 8.04 per cent to $15.19 in early afternoon trading on Tuesday, while Nuuvera was up 14 cents or 2.52 per cent to $5.70.Aphria said Tuesday it also sought and received consent for the reduction from shareholders who had signed lock-up agreements, that together with Nuuvera shares already owned by Aphria represent approximately 65 per cent of Nuuvera’s outstanding shares and over 57 per cent of the requisite minority shareholders of Nuuvera.Aphria added that its board of directors received an opinion from its financial adviser, Cormark Securities Inc., that said as of Feb. 19 the amendment is “fair, from a financial point of view, to Aphria.”Nuuvera noted its board also obtained legal and financial advice from Canaccord Genuity Group Inc., which concluded that as of Feb. 19 that “the consideration to be received by Nuuvera shareholders is fair, from a financial point of view, to such shareholders.”Aphria said the deal is expected to close in April, on schedule.Companies in this story: (TSX:APH, TSXV:NUU, TSX:CF)last_img read more

Contrasting poll narratives

first_imgThe ensuing long-drawn general elections are just around the corner. Manifestos or not, narratives in public meets and through the media are for everyone to see. Let us first take the party and alliance in power. There are four pillars to the BJP/NDA narrative. First, there is the pitch for a visibly strong nation high on nationalism and pro-active military action as illustrated through the Balakot strike post Pulwama massacre and reiterated through the Mission Shakti recently. On March 27, 2019, India conducted Mission Shakti, an anti-satellite missile test, from the Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Island launch complex. This was a technological mission carried out by DRDO. The satellite used in the mission was one of India’s existing satellites operating in lower orbit. The test was successful and achieved all parameters as per plans. The test required an extremely high degree of precision and technical capability. The significance of the test is that India has tested and successfully demonstrated its capability to interdict and intercept a satellite in outer space based on completely indigenous technology. With this test, India joins an exclusive group of space-faring nations consisting of USA, Russia and China. Second, there is the pitch for a stable government led by a strong-willed leader Narendra Modi and his version of BJP ably assisted by party president Amit Shah. This underplays the fact that BJP is the leading power among 24 parties in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). There are a few more strong BJP leaders like Nitin Gadkari and Rajnath Singh with a mass base, and there has been a litany of conflicts, major and minor, with alliance partners leading to Shiv Sena, Paswan’s LJP and Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) being accommodated with a long rope. Alliance partners are temporarily fine as they expect a Modi-driven almost Presidential type of campaign will reap rich benefits. Third, there is an unmistakable tilt towards using the communal lingo in the polls with every passing day. The way Hindu-Muslim rhetoric is being used by the PM himself with reference to the Samjhauta blast alleged miscarriage of justice and about the strong Muslim electorate in Wayanad which Congress president Rahul Gandhi has picked up as his second seat, it is obvious that the ferocity of communal card shall be more aggressive down the line; as is seen in the speeches of UP CM Adityanath. Fourth, the BJP leadership is harping on the dynastic roots of Rahul Gandhi and several other regional political leaders of other opposition parties, and that the opposition alliances are all opportunistic and weak. And, interestingly, there is a fifth narrative, and it is a narrative in absentia. There is virtually no discourse on the very things which brought Modi to power in 2014 or have highlighted while in power; no talks on corruption at high-places, black money from abroad, double-digit GDP growth, benefits of demonetisation, digital or start-up India missions, Namami Gange, bullet train, Beti padhao beti bachao, multi-layered GST, et al. Now, let us look at the main opposition to the government. After bumbling on opposition alliances in Delhi, Haryana, Andhra, Bengal, Telangana, and being left out of UP, etc., Congress is now settling down with alliances in Bihar, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu in place. But this is surely a month late. With initial noises of a Mahagatbandhan, Congress seems to have got the successes in recent state elections a bit too much in the head. The scar of being left out of the UP battle has led them to put the two best faces, Priyanka Gandhi and Jyotiraditya Scindia, to sweat it out in the sweltering summer heat and dust of Uttar Pradesh. Even the friends wonder why are they not best used in MP, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan. Having apparently fumbled, the Congress narrative is picking up steadily now with the promise of its mind-boggling NYAY scheme (Nyuntom Aye Yojana) in which, if voted to power, it promises to ensure minimum income of Rs 12,000 a month for the poorest 5 crore families (20 crore people) incurring an expense of Rs 3.6 lacs crores a year, thereby ensuring the universal concept of Basic Minimum Income in India, along with all other welfare measures like MGNREGA, NRHM, etc., which cover rural, urban and tribal poor. This surely has brought back the narrative on their side, along with the promise of directly elected mayors across India to ensure better urban governance and people’s control over the same. And, ahead of BJP, Congress has now come out with their manifesto too. Apart from NYAY, the promises in the manifesto include commitment to legislate women’s reservation bill and reserve one-third of all government jobs for women, double education outlay at every level, free and compulsory school education up to Class XII in public education, review AFSPA, omit Section 124A of the IPC that is known as the Sedition Law, fill up around 30 lacs of jobs at various levels of the government, separate Kisan budget, legislate Right to Healthcare Act, GST 2.0 with a single moderate tax-rate, implement Forests Rights Act for tribal welfare in letter and spirit, abolish opaque electoral bonds, stringency against hate crimes, establish Environment Protection Authority, enact Right to Homestead Act for the rural homeless, et al. With this, Congress has surely moved ahead with an ‘inclusive development’ campaign narrative. It, however, remains to be seen how far its candidates and cadre can take these promises – music to every Indian ear – down to the grassroots.And the contrasting narratives of both the parties show some positives, in spite of the communal undertone in the ongoing campaign. While BJP scores heavily on the national pride and power front, Congress scores on specific aspects of inclusive justice, especially through its NYAY scheme. Congress will be forced to talk about handling cross-border terror, its possible outlook towards Kashmiri militancy in today’s context, and sprucing up the military arsenal of the nation. It has already got a dossier on national security prepared by the army officer who led the post-Uri surgical strikes, Lt Gen DS Hooda, and has promised in the manifesto to upgrade defence budget and military modernisation. On the other hand, unabated communal rhetoric may not pay desired dividends to BJP and the revival of Ram Janmabhoomi movement did not meet much enthusiasm of the people at large in spite of a well organised Kumbha Mela to launch the same. The Congress approach will require the rulers of the day to turn to a more development-focused narrative especially with regards to jobs, basic income, women’s issues, health and education, among other things. That surely is good for the nation. As electioneering goes ahead, it is also expected that a re-thinking on the role, independence and neutrality of the Election Commission and the media, apart from the fundamental premises of the Constitution, shall emerge. And, that, to my mind is another good outcome of this largest festival of democracy in the world: the Indian General Elections (along with assembly polls of several states too). (The author is a media academic and columnist, currently the Dean of School of Media, Pearl Academy, and earlier the Dean of Symbiosis and Amity Universities. The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

PU Chitra wins 1500m gold Dutee clinches 200m bronze

first_imgDoha: P U Chitra defended her 1500m title to give India its third gold medal while Ajay Kumar Saroj and Dutee Chand won a silver and a bronze in men’s 1500m and women’s 200m respectively on the fourth and final day of the Asian Athletics Championships here on Wednesday. Chitra overtook Bahraini runner Tigest Gashaw just a few metres before the finishing line to win the race in 4 minute 14.56 seconds at the Khalifa Stadium. This was India’s third gold of the championships after Gomathi Marimuthu (women’s 800m) and Tejinder Pal Singh Toor (men’s shot put) won a yellow metal each on the second day on Monday. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhGashaw clocked 4:14.81 for the silver while another Bahraini Mutile Winfred Yavi took the bronze in 4:16.18. “Got a little nervous towards the end being next to Bahraini runner (Gashaw Tigest). She beat me to third place in Asian Games. “I had to really push hard in the end,” said the 23-year-old Chitra who had won a bronze in the Jakarta Asian Games. Chitra had won gold in the 2017 edition in Bhubaneswar in 4:17.92. Her male counterpart, Saroj clocked a season best time of 3 minute 43.18 seconds to clinch a silver behind Bahrain’s Abraham Kipchirchir Rotich who clocked 3:42.85. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterDutee, who had finished a disappointing fifth in the 100m final on Tuesday after smashing national record twice, clocked 23.24 seconds to win the bronze in the women’s 200m. After falling behind in the first 100m, she covered a lot of ground in the final 100m stretch and got past three competitors at the finish line. Salwa Naser of Bahrain expectedly took the gold in 22.74 while Olga Safronova of Kazakhstan was second in 22.87. The 23-year-old Dutee, who had won a 200m silver in the Jakarta Asian Games, still missed the World Championships qualifying mark of 23.02. She has a personal best of 23.00. “I am really very happy. I missed a medal in 100m & relay. I put too much effort in 100m, was not sure of medal in 200m. Just did my best & I am happy,” Dutee said. In the women’s discus throw, Navjeet Kaur (57.47m) and Kamalpreet Kaur (55.59m) came up with disappointing shows to finish fourth and fifth respectively.last_img read more

Is It A Clown Question To Ask Why Bryce Harpers Stats Are

Historical playersYearsAgesPosYear 1Year 2Year 3 current playersYearsAgesPosYear 1Year 2Year 3 Andre Ethier2007-0925-27RF+4-11-11 Fielding Runs vs. Avg Matt Kemp2009-1124-26CF0-31-6 Jeff Francoeur2007-0923-25RF+20-3+4 Luis Matos2003-0524-26CF+9-8-2 Fielding Runs vs. Avg When Bryce Harper was introduced by the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday in Clearwater, Florida, and slipped on a red pinstriped No. 3 jersey, the amount of fanfare that greeted him hadn’t been seen since the team traded for Roy Halladay in 2009. The club reportedly sold 100,000 tickets to regular-season games within hours of Harper’s signing. The Phillies hope it ushers in an era of sustained competitive baseball with Harper as a $330 million keystone. After all, what made Harper so promising was not only his talent but also his relative youth, as a 26-year-old free agent.Harper should still be productive in the near term and deliver important wins for the Phillies (after the signing, FiveThirtyEight’s projections for the 2019 season bumped the Phillies up to 84 wins, from 82, although other sites have been more bullish). But as we wrote last week, Harper’s consistency is a concern. Historical comps for a player with Harper’s unusual and volatile career to date suggest that he might have already peaked and that star-level players, in general, have reached their peaks by age 26. Since we are already in the habit of raining on the parade in Philadelphia, let’s look under the hood at Harper’s underlying stats and see where the specific problems may reside.For starters, Harper’s defensive metrics fell off a cliff last season.According to an average of Defensive Runs Saved (which Baseball-Reference.com uses for its defensive WAR) and Ultimate Zone Rating (FanGraphs’s metric of choice), Harper was the second-worst right fielder in the game (-12 runs saved compared with average) and the fourth-worst center fielder (-9 runs saved). Harper played 860 innings in right and 477 innings in center last season. And if Harper becomes more and more a one-dimensional player, in an era in which his power hitting stands out less, he loses relative value.But perhaps those concerns are a little overblown. Although baseball’s defensive metrics are getting better all the time, they are still prone to big swings between seasons. In 2017, before the big decline last season, Harper was actually 3 runs better than an average right fielder. His 24-run drop ranks second-worst among outfielders under age 271As of June 30 of the season in question. who played the same position for the same team in back-to-back years between 20022The first season of granular, pitch-level data at FanGraphs. and 2018, trailing only Matt Kemp (who fell from being exactly average in 2009 to 31 runs below average in 2010). In the season after that, Kemp still wasn’t good — he was -6 relative to an average CF — but he at least reclaimed some of the ground he’d lost in his annus horribilis.As it turns out, that’s a pretty common story if we look at the rest of the outfielders who met our qualifications from above and dropped off by at least 15 runs in a season since 2002: Jay Bruce2010-1223-25RF+180-3 Mike Trout2012-1420-22CF+15-5-9 The fates of outfielders with Harper-esque defensive dropsPlayers who had a decline of at least 15 defensive runs* relative to average in a season since 2002, were younger than 27 and played in the same position for the same team Nick Markakis2008-1024-26RF+17-5-8 Odubel Herrera2017-1925-27CF+6-11? There were some other players who experienced the same kinds of defensive declines and responded by changing positions entirely. (Such as Mark Teahen, Adam Eaton and Marlon Byrd.) But among those who stayed at the same position, they averaged to be about half as bad (relative to average) in the following season as they’d been in the decline year, regaining about 20 percent of their previous form.In the end, though, the Phillies are paying Harper to produce runs and hit homers. So perhaps the more troubling trend of Harper’s for the Phillies is his failure to address holes in his swing.Harper’s ability to make contact has been in decline. Last season, his rate of contact on pitches in the strike zone was the fourth-lowest among qualified hitters, dropping from 84 percent in 2017 to 78 percent in 2018. His strikeout rate rose by 4.2 percentage points, the 24th-greatest increase in the majors. Since 2015, his 15-game rolling average regarding contact ability (on all pitches) has been volatile but gradually declining.According to Statcast data from Baseball Savant, Harper’s whiff rate against fastballs3Four-seam fastballs, two-seam fastballs and sinkers. increased from 15.2 percent in 2016, to 20.2 percent in 2017 to 26.4 percent last season (ranking as the 36th-highest whiff rate in 2018 among 352 batters to offer against at least 200 fastballs). Against fastballs 95 mph and faster, Harper’s whiff rate increased from 18.8 percent in 2016 to 22.0 percent in 2017 to 31.5 percent in 2018.Harper has always had a weakness against up-and-away fastballs. Since 2015, he has swung and missed at a 40.7 percent rate when offering at up-and-away four-seam fastballs.Last season, Harper swung at 111 four-seam fastballs in those zones and whiffed 52 times, a 46.8 percent rate.While defensive metrics can still be somewhat volatile from year to year,4Even among players who stayed at the same position in back-to-back years, the correlation between a player’s percentile rank at his position in defensive runs per inning from year to year is 0.36 since 2002. a player’s contact rate is much “stickier”5The same correlation for a batter’s strikeout rate in back-to-back seasons is 0.79. — suggesting that big changes in the ability to make contact are more likely to represent a real change in skills and not just random variance.It’s not all bad news at the plate, however: Against fastballs,6Again, four-seam fastballs, two-seam fastballs and sinkers. Harper hit .306, with a .651 slugging percentage, according to Baseball Savant data.Because Harper was effective when making contact against fastballs, perhaps he was trading the ability to make contact for more power. What he has not done is change his swing plane, according to launch angle data. His average launch angle was 14.5 degrees in 2015, 14.6 in 2016, 13.6 in 2017 and 13.9 in 2018. His pull rate did spike, jumping from 35.5 percent in 2017 to 42.3 percent in 2018.Harper has elite plate discipline. He has elite power. But not every player who has made power gains in recent years — see Mookie Betts, Francisco Lindor, Justin Turner and Jose Ramirez — has had to sacrifice contact. And the best, most efficient offensive performers typically do not trade contact for power.What’s concerning is that even though some traits age well, like plate discipline, power generally does not. So if Harper’s defense continues to decline and he’s limited to a corner outfield position and continues to lose contact ability — if he becomes a Three True Outcomes hitter — he probably won’t age as the Phillies would like. He would likely morph from a highly sought-after asset, a 26-year-old star free agent, to the type of player easily found (a Three True Outcomes corner outfielder).Because Harper was a prodigy in part as a result of relentless work and practice at a young age, he may have fulfilled his potential soon after his arrival in the majors. But he doesn’t have to be Trout-like to justify his contract. At $25.4 million per year, the Phillies are not paying him as an elite superstar. And if Harper helps Philadelphia add another World Series banner to Citizens Bank Park in the not-too-distant future, then it will likely be $330 million well spent regardless of how well he ages. * According to an average of the defensive metrics found at Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs.Minimum 700 innings in all years. Ages are as of June 30 of the season in question.Sources: Baseball-Reference.com, FanGraph Bryce Harper2017-1924-26RF+3-20? From ABC News: read more

Klopp not available right now for Germany

first_imgBut the Liverpool coach would “think about it” one day if the Nationalmannschaft needs him one day and he’s availableFor Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp being concentrated and focused is something he’s proud of.And asked today if he would ever manage the Germany National Team, The Reds boss was quick to replay.“If I am asked one day and I am available then I would think about it,” he told Welt am Sonntag in his native country.Reported by Goal.com, the German manager is focused on only one thing right now.Roberto Firmino, LiverpoolVirgil van Dijk praises Roberto Firmino after Liverpool’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Virgil van Dijk hailed team-mate Roberto Firmino after coming off the bench to inspire Liverpool to a 3-1 comeback win against Newcastle United.“But am I thinking about it right now, in my current situation when I am tied to Liverpool for the next four years and because Germany has just played a bad World Cup? No,” he said.“I’m not available,” he promptly added.Germany had their worst FIFA World Cup participation this summer, having failed to qualify from the Group Stage into the Round of 16.But both Germany’s coach Joachim Löw and Klopp, have a four-year contract with their teams.last_img read more

Juanfran Atleti are the club of my life I would like

first_imgAtletico Madrid full-back Juanfran hopes to renew his contract at the club that means the most to himThe former Real Madrid youth player has spent the last eight years with city rivals Atleti but will be out of contract at the end of this season.However, Juanfran remains a key member of the team and produced a great performance in their 1-0 La Liga win over Levante on Sunday.“Atleti are the club of my life, I would like to stay,” said Juanfran, according to Marca.“My hope is that the club renews me and that they still see me as a valuable player, who can put in a level of performance adequate of the team and our coach.FC Barcelona, Valencia CFMatch Preview: Barcelona vs Valencia Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Is derby time in La Liga, as Barcelona welcomes Valencia to the Camp Nou Stadium tonight at 21:00 (CET).“I will never create a problem here regardless if whether I leave in the summer or in future years, this club will always mean the world to me.“I hope to do whatever the best thing is for the club and I am sure that Diego Godin and Filipe Luis will do the same, they care about the club like this too.“The players are never the most important thing about Atleti but I believe my presence here can benefit the team going forward.”Juanfran has made 325 appearances for Diego Simeone’s side across all competitions.The 34-year-old’s time at the Spanish capital has seen him win La Liga, Copa del Rey, Supercopa de España, Europa League (2x) and UEFA Super Cup (2x).last_img read more

Pogba believes United has rediscovered itself

first_imgManchester United footballer Paul Pogba believes that his team is back to the place they belong, thanks to interim coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.After Jose Mourinho was sacked as manager of Manchester United, the board of directors appointed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as interim coach.And with him, the Red Devils have won their six matches played so far.This is why footballer Paul Pogba believes his team is returning to the place they belong, thanks to Solskjaer.“The way we are playing we have more possession of the ball. We know more where to attack and where to go. We have more of a pattern of play and more of a structure,” Pogba told Sky Sports News.Harry Maguire, Manchester UnitedLiverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.“That makes it easier for everyone. So I would not say it is only myself. Yes, I have scored a few goals and had a few assists but it is all the team [that deserves credit].”“It was great for us. It was great to show we are coming back and getting closer to the top,” Pogba said. “We needed points and we showed that we could beat a big team,” he added.“I wouldn’t say [we had] luck because you create your own luck. David did his job and I thank him for that.”“I think the team performance was great. We played against a good team. You cannot say they are not a good team because they have top players,” Pogba commented.“It was a great game and it was a good victory for us.”last_img read more