Facebook Twitter Oil Drops almost 3 Percent for Lowest Close of the Year Oil futures settled with a loss of nearly 3% on Monday, with weaker-than-anticipated quarterly economic growth and monthly industrial production numbers from China adding to festering worries about global demand for the commodity.May crude oil fell $2.58, or 2.8%, to settle at $88.71 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after a low at $87.86. The settlement was the lowest for a most-active contract since late December, according to FactSet data.Bearish news flow for oil is “due almost entirely to lower demand expectations,” said Michael Peterson, managing director of energy research at MLV & Co.Oil’s decline on Monday was also part of a broad commodity selloff, with gold dropping more than $140 an ounce.China said gross domestic product rose 7.7% in the January-March quarter, slower than growth of 7.9% in the fourth quarter, and below expectations for an 8% gain in separate surveys from Dow Jones Newswires and Reuters.The report of slower activity for the major energy consumer came after the International Energy Agencyand the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries reduced each of their own global oil-demand estimates for the year slightly. Oil futures fell by 1.5% last week.Among the data from China on Monday, March industrial production increased 8.9% from the year-earlier period, missing the Dow Jones Newswires forecast for a 10% gain. The growth was the weakest in more than a year, slowing from a 9.9% average rise for the January-February period.“Indeed, 2013 is starting to look eerily like 2012: Last year, a ramp-up in economic activity through the first few months proved short-lived, precipitating a mid-year slump and an aggressive policy response. Unfortunately, the cost of repeating this strategy looks to be prohibitively high,” economists at IHS told clients Monday.“Another year of propped-up growth via state spending and a credit deluge would, we fear, push China dangerously close to proving [former premier] Wen Jiabao correct — that the current economic model is ‘unsustainable.’ If something is unsustainable, at some point, it won’t be sustained,” the economists wrote.Still, analysts at the Kilduff Report pointed out that the China data was “not horrific, so the reaction seems outsized. The data point on oil was, after all, for demand growth.”On Friday, oil dropped $2.22, or 2.4%, to $91.29 a barrel, the lowest close for a most-active futures contract since March 6, according to FactSet data. The decline came after soft U.S. retail-sales and consumer-sentiment reports.London-traded May Brent crude also suffered on Monday, falling $2.72, or 2.6%, to end at $100.39 a barrel on ICE Futures.Among other energy products, May gasoline futures shed over 4 cents, or 1.6%, to $2.76 a gallon. Gasoline futures last week fell 2.2%.Source: www.marketwatch.com SHARE Facebook Twitter Previous articleGroup Distorts Resistance Data To Blame FarmersNext articleNASS Issues First Indiana Crop Report Andy Eubank Home Energy Oil Drops almost 3 Percent for Lowest Close of the Year By Andy Eubank – Apr 15, 2013 SHARE
Meanwhile, Cricket Ireland have described as “vicious” and crass, an article in today’s Zimbabwe Herald relating to John Mooney.The piece appears to sneer at Mooney’s battles with depression and alcohol, and holds him personally accountable for a controversial catch that cost Zimbabwe victory in Saturday’s World Cup clash.Cricket Ireland say they have contacted the ICC to assess what route to take. Ireland still have one more chance to reach the quarter-finals of the Cricket World Cup despite being thrashed by India.They lost by eight wickets in Hamilton.Ireland need to beat Pakistan on Sunday, or hope the match is rained off, if they’re to reach the last-eight.
Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter PreviousAngels outfield prospect Jo Adell ascended through three levels of the team’s minor league system in 2018 and is considered one of the most promising all-around talents in the sport. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Los Angeles Angels outfielder Jo Adell takes live batting practice on the lower fields during spring training workouts at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)Los Angeles Angels outfielder Jo Adell takes a break during live batting practice on the lower fields during spring training workouts at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsLos Angeles Angels prospect Jo Adell warms up during spring training workouts at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe on Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)Angels manager Joe Maddon has been impressed by his first spring-training glimpses of top prospect Jo Adell. “I saw what everybody’s talking about,” Maddon said. “He got loud. He’s going to get loud for many years.” (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)Los Angeles Angels prospects Jo Adell, left, and Brandon Marsh head to the lower fields during spring training workouts at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe on Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)Los Angeles Angels outfielder Jo Adell poses for a portrait during Spring Training Photo Day at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)Jo Adell #59 of the Los Angeles Angels during a MLB spring training baseball game against the San Francisco Giants at Tempe Diablo Stadium on Saturday, February 23, 2019 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Jo Adell #59 of the Los Angeles Angels during a MLB spring training baseball game against the San Francisco Giants at Tempe Diablo Stadium on Saturday, February 23, 2019 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Angels outfield prospect Jo Adell ascended through three levels of the team’s minor league system in 2018 and is considered one of the most promising all-around talents in the sport. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Los Angeles Angels outfielder Jo Adell takes live batting practice on the lower fields during spring training workouts at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)NextShow Caption1 of 9Los Angeles Angels outfielder Jo Adell takes live batting practice on the lower fields during spring training workouts at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)ExpandTEMPE, Ariz. — This time last year, Jo Adell was in his first big league camp, essentially just to get a taste.Now he’s back, but this time with an outside chance to make the team.“I feel more relaxed,” the Angels’ top prospect said. “I think guys are more comfortable with me. I’m more comfortable. I’m just getting in and getting to work… I’m going to go get after it, and whatever happens is going to happen.”Adell, 20, is coming off a rollercoaster season, one that began with an injury in spring training that cost him two months, followed by an ascent from Class-A to Double-A to Triple-A. He finished up with a stint in the Arizona Fall League and then a spot with Team USA in an Olympic qualifying tournament. Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros The Angels, of course, have higher aspirations for Adell, who is listed as high as No. 2 in all of baseball in prospect rankings. He is the best prospect to come through the Angels system since Mike Trout.Manager Joe Maddon said a recent live batting practice session against Dylan Bundy demonstrated Adell’s potential.“He really squared some stuff up, right on it,” Maddon said. “I saw what everybody’s talking about. He got loud. He’s going to get loud for many years.”Asked how far Adell is from being ready for the majors, Maddon said: “Not far. I gotta see it in games. Practice is one thing. The game exposes exactly what needs to be worked on.”General manager Billy Eppler has several times referred to the difficulties Adell experienced after he got to Triple-A last summer as evidence that he might need a return visit to iron out some issues.Adell hit .308 with a .944 OPS last season at Double-A, before hitting .264 with a .676 OPS at Triple-A. He was not credited with any homers at Salt Lake, although he hit two in a game that was rained out before it could become official.Adell said it took him some time to adjust to the higher quality of pitching.“There’s nothing that’s going to be laying there over the plate,” Adell said. “They are going to nitpick around the zone. Don’t miss a fastball. Don’t miss those pitches that you can drive. Capitalize on those mistakes. They are only going to make a couple, so you gotta make do with them.”The speed with which Adell makes those adjustments will determine when the Angels bring him to the big leagues.There has been speculation that the Angels would be sure to keep Adell in the minors at least 15 days, because that’s the amount of time would get them another year of control before Adell is eligible for free agency.However, it’s worth noting that there will be a new collective bargaining agreement after 2021, and the rules may change. Also, the Angels didn’t take the opportunity to manipulate Shohei Ohtani’s service time in 2018. He had a terrible spring, and no one would have questioned if they’d started him in the minors, but they put him on the Opening Day roster.Adell said he’s trying not to think about any of that.“I can’t have an expectation for something that I can’t really control,” Adell said. “It’s out of my hands.”ALSOShohei Ohtani threw off a mound on Sunday, a small step toward preparing to pitch this season. Ohtani is not scheduled to pitch in regular season games until mid May. The Angels are limiting his innings this season and they’d prefer to have him available at the end than the beginning…Anthony Rendon rejoined the team on Sunday after being away for the birth of his daughter. Rendon may be able to play in his first Cactus League game as soon as Tuesday, Maddon said.Related Articles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield Adell was the star of Team USA, hitting .394 with three homers in 33 at-bats in the tournament in Japan.“It was busy, man,” Adell said. “It was good. Playing with Team USA is pretty awesome. You can’t really give that experience up.”Adell said the atmosphere was electric in Japan, and also he enjoyed the urgency of a tournament.“It was all about the winning,” he said. “It wasn’t about individual performances. It was like playing postseason baseball.”The team failed to qualify for the Olympics. They’ll have one more chance in a tournament next month in Arizona, although Adell still isn’t sure if the Angels will let him play in such an event just days before Opening Day. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error
18 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 reporter
More 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. 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Frontrow 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.ADVERTISEMENT
LEAMINGTON, 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)
The 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)
Doha: 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.
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: