Sellas Tetteh continues as Sierra Leone coach

first_imgGhanaian Sellas Tetteh is to continue as caretaker coach of Sierra Leone after his loan agreement was extended.He will take charge of Sierra Leone’s upcoming matches against Gabon.The games are on the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying schedule but no points are on offer as Gabon are hosting January’s finals.”After the Gabon matches we will decide whether to make it permanent or not,” Abu Bakarr Kamara, of the Sierra Leone Football Association, told BBC Sport.The Ghana Football Association have replaced Tetteh as coach of their under-20 side with the appointment of Mas-Ud Didi Dramani.Tetteh, who has previously coached Black Stars and Rwanda, was initially loaned to Sierra Leone for three months after the search for permanent coach was put on hold by the football association. That initial loan expired last October after Leone Stars were eliminated in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers by Chad.Coach Tetteh, who rose to prominence when he won the 2009 Under-20 World Cup with Ghana, was in charge of Leone Stars’ last three games.As well as the overall loss to Chad he also managed a draw with African champions Ivory Coast in a 2017 Nations Cup qualifier.The matches upcoming matches against Gabon will be played in Franceville on 25 March, and in Freetown three days later.The tie on 28 March will be the first time the Leone Stars have played on home soil since they hosted Seychelles in Freetown in a 2015 Nations Cup qualifier 20 months ago. Sierra Leone together with their neighbours Guinea and Liberia were banned by the Confederation of African Football from hosting international matches because of the outbreak of Ebola.All three countries have now been cleared to host matches.–Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @JoySportsGH. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img read more

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Letterkenny group plants the seeds to end the scourge of polio

first_imgPolio is a crippling and potentially fatal infectious disease usually affecting children under 5 years of age for which there is no cure, but there are safe and effective vaccines. It can be spread person to person, typically through contaminated water. Though the disease is eradicated from most of the countries, it still affects some of the most marginalized sections and poorest people in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria.In spite of the success, if we fail to completely eradicate this highly infectious disease, there is a good possibility of it reappearing in the coming decades. Therefore the main purpose of World Polio Day in October is to celebrate this great achievement but continue to spread the word, not the disease. However, until we end Polio forever with vaccinations, every child remains at risk.The Rotary Club in Letterkenny are delighted to be involved in supporting the Polio Campaign and were busy last October planting Purple Crocus corms in Ballymalcool Park adjacent to where the 2017 bulbs were planted near Ballymacool House.The purple colour is symbolic with the colour of the Polio vaccine used by volunteers, and the Purple Crocus is used by Rotarians worldwide raising awareness on the Rotary fight against Polio.This work was completed in association with Town Gardener David Donnelly and his staff and thanks to them for their dedication. The signage is now complete thanks to Joe Bonnar Metalcrafts Ltd for their support in this regard, which was unveiled today 9th April, with Mark Patton, Bonar Metalcrafts in attendance, David Donnelly (Town Gardener) & some of his dedicated crew, as well as Rotary Club President Sharon Black & fellow Rotarians.It is intended to enlarge the Crocus area on an annual basis, which will remain a symbolic reminder to us all of the ‘End Polio’ campaign for many years to come.Letterkenny group plants the seeds to end the scourge of polio was last modified: April 9th, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:letterkennypolioRotary Clublast_img read more

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17 days agoArsenal defender Mustafi laughs off ‘irrational’ criticism: I’m mentally strong

first_imgAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Arsenal defender Mustafi laughs off ‘irrational’ criticism: I’m mentally strongby Freddie Taylor17 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveShkodran Mustafi has laughed off a poll naming his as the world’s second worst defender.The Arsenal stopper finished behind Manchester United’s Phil Jones in a survey conducted by Spanish newspaper Marca, who asked 150,000 people who was the world’s worst defender.But Mustafi says he isn’t bothered by the poll results.”In the first two years after my move to Arsenal in 2016, things went very well for me,” Mustafi told German outlet Speigel. “But shortly after Christmas 2018 there was a kink. I’ve made a few mistakes and they’ve created a mess that I’ve never experienced before.”Mustafi added: “There were days when I really doubted something about myself. But at some point I realised that I am mentally strong.”Something my wife said helped me a lot: ‘If you were really as bad as people are making you out, you would never have been a World Champion and Arsenal player, something must have brought you here’. Since then I can handle it better.”I’m self-critical enough to realise that I made mistakes. I can also deal with tough criticism. “But the criticism has become escalated and irrational. I have become a target. At some point, people even blamed me for a defeat I had not played in at all.” last_img read more

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Postmedia Q2 loss falls as costcutting tax credit offset lower revenue

first_imgTORONTO – A $17-million interactive digital media tax credit from the Ontario government helped pare Postmedia Network Canada Corp.’s second-quarter net loss to $1.3 million from a loss of $28.5 million a year earlier.However, Postmedia executive chairman Paul Godfrey said that was the last quarter for the tax recovery because newspapers were specifically excluded in the 2015 Ontario budget.Instead, he hopes continued lobbying of all levels of government will lead to financial support and “ultimately the preservation of distinctly Canadian brands and voices.”Godfrey singled out Quebec, which announced in its recent budget that it will spend about $36 million to help newspapers in the province, including about $19 million to aid their transition to digital platforms.“We are hopeful that this may inspire support from other provincial governments and even perhaps our federal government to help made-in-Canada industries level the playing field,” he said during a conference call.Federal Heritage Minister Melanie Joly unveiled a cultural strategy in September that lacked measures to boost newspapers. She said Ottawa had no interest in bailing out industry models that are no longer viable.Ottawa was called upon to tax foreign companies selling digital subscriptions in Canada, create a $400-million fund to help finance reliable news and information and provide a five-year tax credit to partially offset digital investments by print outlets.Feburary’s federal budget included $50 million over five years to support “local journalism in underserved communities,” and plans to explore new models that would allow private and philanthropic support for “non-profit” journalism, including allowing Canadian newspapers to receive charitable status.Postmedia’s net loss for the three months ended Feb. 28 was down despite a continued decline in revenue at its newspaper operations as the company continued its focus on cutting costs, partially through the closure of several community newspapers between November and January.The Toronto-based company, which owns the National Post and numerous other paper and digital publications, said its operating expenses were down 21 per cent or $36.2 million.The company said it was granted the $17 million media tax credit in February after refiling its tax returns relating to previously recognized compensation expenses between September 2012 and April 2015.Excluding the tax recovery claim, expenses excluding depreciation, amortization, amortization, impairment and restructuring decreased 11.1 per cent or $19.2 million.Those positives offset a 10.8 per cent decline in revenue to $157.6 million, which was down $19.1 million from last year’s fiscal second quarter.Print advertising revenue was down $16.3 million, or 18.8 per cent, while print circulation revenue was down $4.6 million or 7.9 per cent.Godfrey said that the revenue declines from its legacy business had slowed and the company “is making some progress” from its digital advertising initiatives.“I didn’t take this job to attend a funeral at some point in time,” he said, noting other newspapers are facing similar challenges.Digital revenue — which includes national and local display advertising, classified advertising on Postmedia’s newspaper and other websites such as canada.com and canoe.com, and subscriptions — totalled $26.4 million in the quarter, up 10.1 per cent from the same time last year.Shortly after the quarter ended, the Competition Bureau obtained a warrant to search one of Postmedia’s offices as part of an investigation into an asset-swap with Torstar Corp., owner of the Toronto Star and other publications.No charges have been laid and the allegations included in the court documents have not been proven in court. Torstar and Postmedia have said they do not believe they contravened the Competition Act and they are co-operating.Under the agreement announced by the two companies in November, 41 newspapers changed hands and 36 were closed, mainly in Ontario regions served by multiple publications. Nearly 300 jobs were cut as a result.In documents used by the bureau to obtain warrants to search several offices of the two companies, the watchdog alleged they conspired to divide up sales, territories, customers and/or markets for advertising or flyer distribution in certain regions.The bureau also said the companies had lists of which Torstar and which Postmedia employees would be terminated and agreed to a transitional services agreement.Postmedia said Wednesday that it had incurred $3.5 million of severance costs over the six months ended Feb. 28, mostly in its first quarter ended Nov. 30. Over the two quarters, it also recorded about $1.7 million in provisions for onerous leases and contracts and $500,000 in acquisition costs related to the Torstar transaction.— With files from Ross Marowits in MontrealTorstar holds an investment in The Canadian Press as part of a joint agreement with a subsidiary of the Globe and Mail and the parent company of Montreal’s La Presse.Companies in this story: (TSX:PNC.B, TSX:PNC.A, TSX.TS.B)last_img read more

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Ivanka Trump Apple CEO Tim Cook to visit Idaho schools

first_imgWILDER, Idaho — Ivanka Trump, President Donald Trump’s daughter and White House adviser, is scheduled to visit a southwestern Idaho school district with Apple CEO Tim Cook.White House officials say the visit on Tuesday is part of Ivanka Trump’s workforce development initiative that includes science, technology, engineering and math — also known as STEM education.She and Cook are scheduled to visit the Wilder School District west of Boise.Apple in 2016 donated iPads to all students and teachers in the district as part of a program to help students lacking access to technology. The school district is one of southwestern Idaho’s poorest.Wilder Superintendent Jeff Dillon in a letter to parents says the district will showcase how it is combining learning and technology.The Associated Presslast_img read more

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Grande Prairie RCMP seek publics assistance in locating missing youth

first_imgGRANDE PRAIRIE, A.B. – Grande Prairie RCMP are asking for the public’s assistance in locating 15-year-old Dana Buckley.According to RCMP, Buckley was last seen in the Grande Prairie Area on July 21, 2019.Buckley is described as: Female5’4″Approximately 120 lbsLong brown hairRCMP say there is a concern for her well-being.Anyone with information on Buckley’s whereabouts is being asked to call the Grande Prairie RCMP at 780-830-5700 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.last_img

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Huawei says no legal case against Australia, for now

first_imgSydney: Chinese telecoms giant Huawei said Friday it had no immediate plans to mount a legal challenge over Australia’s decision to bar the company’s equipment from the 5G network Down Under. A day after taking Donald Trump’s administration to court for banning US federal agencies from buying Huawei products, the firm said no such move was envisaged in Australia. “Whilst we have our differences with the federal government, we would still rather work cooperatively,” a company spokesman told AFP. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in Sep “A legal challenge is not a priority at this moment.” Australia in August announced guidelines on contracts to build fifth generation mobile networks in the country which effectively barred Huawei and another Chinese giant, ZTE, from the project. Canberra cited intelligence agency warnings against the “involvement of vendors who are likely to be subject to extrajudicial directions from a foreign government”. As Huawei has grown, fears have emerged that the company could effectively provide the Chinese state with a switch to cut critical infrastructure during a crisis. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to Customs While Huawei insists it is a private company, its founder Ren Zhengfei is a 74-year-old former People’s Liberation Army engineer. And while there are no formal ties with the state, in practice large Chinese firms and the ruling Communist Party are intricately interlinked. In 2015, Beijing passed a law obliging its corporations to aid the government on matters of national security. That, coupled with Beijing’s more muscular foreign and security policy overseas, has raised concerns among members of the Five Eyes intelligence sharing collective. All five members — Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand and the United States — have taken at least some steps toward limiting Huawei’s role in sensitive infrastructure. But at the same time, Huawei has become enmeshed in local economies. The company says its business in Australia alone is worth Aus dollars 650 million and has 700 employees, and its equipment is used directly or indirectly by half the population.last_img read more

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The Kohinoor of Indian cricket

first_imgThe Kohinoor, the famous Indian diamond in Persian means, the ‘Mountain of Light’. Presently, it is set in the crown of Queen Elizabeth and exhibited in the Tower of London. India has been vociferously asking for it to be returned, unfortunately, without much success. The Indian Premier League (IPL) is the Kohinoor of Indian and World cricket and truly a mountain of light for any young aspiring cricketer. Indian cricket needs to ensure that this gem does not lose its shine and glitter for years to come. The International Cricket Council (ICC), one gathers from some of their recent press reports, seems to be wanting to control and monitor the IPL and the other T20 leagues that have mushroomed in other parts of the cricketing world. The Indian board needs to be firm in keeping this gemstone away from any possible raiders. Also Read – A special kind of bondThe franchise-based tournament, that had its inception in 2008, has proven to be a phenomenal success, not only for the cricketers but also for the millions of cricket fans. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) with IMG brought about a sparkling gem, the IPL, that revolutionised Indian cricket. The commercially viable league has attracted innovative marketers and corporate honchos. This should, in the next decade of the IPL, from the way it’s blossoming, bring forth technological brilliance for followers and viewers of the game. Also Read – Insider threat managementThe IPL has been a blessing for the present as well as for the past cricketers. Cricket-related jobs that once were non-existent have now become lucrative options for cricketers from all around the globe. The money that is being poured into the league has brought in professionalism into every aspect of the game. The buzz that the 2019 IPL has already created is phenomenal for Indian cricket. The popular cricket platform has cricket legends past and present dissecting performances and analysing it to the hilt. Cricket has touched the masses like never before. The T20 format was looked upon as a cricket circus, entertainment to enjoy and thereafter to forget. One never ever imagined that the 3+ hours cricket tournament would be considered in the same vein as Bollywood movie entertainment. The suspense that emerges from a make belief story of the cinema world would give way to a real-life tale on the cricket field. The performers, in this case, are not actors but real life heroes. The script, in this case, was not written on paper but made in heaven. The actors were cricket players with none of them being portrayed in the leading role. The 2008 IPL was the blockbuster that created a classic which India had never experienced before, especially in the world of sport. T20 Cricket became simple to follow and it soon became a family drama enjoyed by everyone. The shorter format made the game more uncertain and the cricket critics, who revelled in their knowledge of cricket and records, were no more seen as somebody special. The mathematics of cricket was made simple through the number of overs that a team played. Runs scored was all that mattered and in whatsoever manner, a player and team could. Cricket was shortened timewise and there was a definite outcome at the end. The IPL 2008 was, what one can term, as blessed in many ways. The phenomenal century in the first match by Brendon McCullum for the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), owned by Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, truly established the IPL as a thriller. Rajasthan Royals (RR), the final winners, brought additional spice to the league after their nail-biting victory against Chennai. The team was never ever thought of as one of the favourites to win and therefore, the result was ideal for popularising the tournament. Shane Warne, the master spinner, captained the side in the John Wayne style of a leading actor. His star performer from India was Yousuf Pathan, whom he communicated with more by body language than words. However, the icing on the cake was an unknown Indian cricketer from Goa, S. Asnodkar, who at that time became a household name. The young cricketer brought in the Indian family warmth and hospitality when he had Shane Warne and the RR team in Goa for a meal at his house. This was just the script the IPL required to showcase friendship, camaraderie and a feeling of oneness amongst the players themselves. Since then, Indian cricket has had many unknown faces becoming stars overnight. Jasprit Bumrah, considered the best-limited overs bowler in the world at present, is one of them. The IPL highlighted the performance of many young batsmen especially the likes of Paul Valthaty, Manish Pandey, Rahul Tripathi, Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson, Robin Uthappa, Mandeep Singh and Naman Ojha. Some of them did make it to the Indian side, but most remained as a one-off success. However, unknowingly, the maximum benefit that Indian cricket has derived is from the bowlers. Jasprit Bumrah, Yazvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Pragyan Ojha, Mohit Sharma, Axar Patel, Jayant Yadav, Vinay Kumar, Dhaval Kulkarni, Kunal and Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Manpreet Gony, Jaydev Unadkat, Siddarth Kaul have all played for the country. The IPL has been instrumental in bringing these talented Indian cricketers to the fore. The established Indian cricketers, as Virat Kohli has rightly stated, should play to enjoy the IPL. However, there are still two batting slots to be filled up for the World Cup. The IPL fever cannot be underestimated, the field is open for an Indian batter to become the darling of this crowd. An unknown superstar being catapulted onto the world stage would be just what dreams are made of for an aspiring cricketer. (The writer is a former Test cricketer. Views are strictly personal)last_img read more

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What If An Evil Commissioner Turned Hank Aarons Homers Into Singles

Last week I wrote about Hank Aaron, who recently celebrated the 40th anniversary of his record-breaking 715th home run. I concluded that Aaron would still have been a great player — and would very likely have made the Baseball Hall of Fame — even if all of his home runs had been counted as singles instead.Or at least — that’s almost what I wrote. What I actually wrote left a lot of room for interpretation (emphasis added from original):What if Aaron had never hit a home run? What if those 755 round-trippers had fallen for base hits instead? (If we’re trying to isolate the effect of his power, that seems like the fairer way to do it, instead of turning them into popups or something.) Would he still be a Hall of Famer?If all of his homers had been singles, Aaron would still have his 3,771 hits.The ambiguity is over the means by which we’re turning Aaron’s home runs into singles. When writing the original post, I’d imagined that this was accomplished by some sort of accounting trick. After Aaron retired, some Evil Commissioner decreed that all of Aaron’s homers would be counted as singles in baseball’s record book (like how the NCAA sometimes retroactively forfeits a team’s wins after it’s determined to have used an ineligible player); but it wouldn’t have changed what happened on the field.But what if the change had occurred on the field instead? So as not to violate any laws of physics, we can imagine it happened by means of a ground rule. Before Aaron made his major league debut, our Evil Commissioner decreed that any ball hit over the fence in fair territory by Henry Louis Aaron would be counted as a single rather than a home run. This rule applied to Hank Aaron and only to Hank Aaron. Everybody knew about the rule, including Hank Aaron, the pitchers who faced Hank Aaron, and the teams who employed Hank Aaron, and they were free to adjust their strategies accordingly.1A couple of complications: First, is Aaron allowed to hit inside-the-park home runs? Sure, let’s let him; he hit only one during the course of his career anyway.Next, what happens to the baserunners when Aaron hits a ground-rule single? Do they advance only one base? This would make Hank Aaron’s ground-rule singles less valuable than regular singles, since baserunners sometimes advance from first to third or score from second on a base hit. So let’s imagine that our Evil Commissioner decrees that a set of Strat-O-Matic dice shall be thrown by the umpires when Hank Aaron hits a ground-rule single. The baserunners will then be allowed to take an extra base in accordance with league-wide averages for runner advancement.This thought experiment is starting to get a bit complicated. Still, it gets to the point that the economists Scott Sumner and Tyler Cowen have made, which is that changing the ground rules for Aaron would have changed the way he and the pitchers who faced him approached the game. It thereby might have affected the rest of Aaron’s batting line and not just his home runs. There are several such effects to consider.Aaron would have drawn fewer walksThe number of walks drawn by a hitter is partly a function of his plate discipline and partly a matter of how much the pitcher fears him. The reason to risk walking a hitter, as Cowen notes, should be largely a function of his extra-base power. There’s not much reason to pitch around a singles hitter and give him a free pass to first base when most of the time the best he’s going to do is get to first base anyway by means of a base hit.This is clearest in the case of intentional walks.2Or at least it should be obvious in theory; whether it’s quite so obvious to pitchers and managers is another question. I was surprised to discover that singles hitters like Ichiro Suzuki and Wade Boggs each led their league in intentional walks multiple times during the course of their careers. Some of these intentional walks may have been prudent if first base was open and there were runners in scoring position. But I’d guess that many of them were not very smart. Still, the aggregate trend is suggestive of rational behavior. In the 2013 season, the correlation between a hitter’s rate of intentional walks drawn and his isolated power was .44. The correlation between intentional walks and his rate of singles per at-bat was essentially zero (.03).Aaron’s unintentional walks would probably also have declined if he weren’t allowed to hit home runs. According to data compiled by Fangraphs, the percentage of pitches thrown in the strike zone to major league hitters varies between about 40 percent and 55 percent. The hitters on the low end of the range are power hitters (Ryan Howard, Prince Fielder, Vladimir Guerrero, Pablo Sandoval); those at the top end are singles hitters (David Eckstein, Jason Kendall, Chone Figgins, Juan Pierre). A homerless Hank Aaron would have seen considerably more strikes.Aaron would have hit for a higher batting averageSeeing more pitches in the strike zone would have made it easier for Aaron to make contact. From 2009 to 2013, the league batting average for at-bats that concluded on a pitch thrown within the strike zone was .291; for pitches outside the strike zone, it was just .175.3Players were also 3.6 times more likely to hit home runs on at-bats that concluded on pitches thrown in the strike zone, although that doesn’t help Homerless Hank. (This research was provided to me by Mark Simon of ESPN Stats & Info.)A quick calculation from these figures shows that if Aaron finished an additional 10 percent of his at-bats on pitches thrown inside the strike zone, he’d boost his career batting average by 12 points (from .305 to .317). However, that’s a crude estimate. We’d also have to consider how Aaron and the pitchers and defenses who faced him would have changed their whole approach to the at-bat.There’s reason to think that Aaron would have adapted to these conditions more readily than his opponents. He was a smart and versatile hitter; Sports Illustrated’s 1958 scouting report described how Aaron was very difficult to defend because he could hit to all fields and leg out infield hits (emphasis added from original):Man who excites the experts is Henry Aaron, of the loose, free swing. Called “best wrist hitter in baseball,” he’s actually an arm hitter, lashing pitch with masterful coordination of forearms, biceps, wrists and bat. Slumped through June but has had best record in league since then. No set way to fix defenses against him, since he hits to all fields, bunts beautifully, is fast enough to beat out infield hits. He’s also a good, if lackadaisical, outfielder, with a fine arm. The team’s big man.Furthermore, we have some experimental evidence on cases in which Aaron had an incentive to hit for contact. He performed very well in these situations.Singles increase in value relative to home runs when there are runners in scoring position. For his career, Aaron hit .322 with runners in scoring position.4Aaron accomplished this by means of hitting more singles; 20.4 percent of his at-bats with runners in scoring position concluded with singles, compared to 17.6 percent with the bases empty. His rate of extra-base hits was largely unchanged. Note that there is not a strong systematic tendency for players to hit for a higher average with runners in scoring position. In 2013, major leaguers hit .255 as a group with runners in scoring position, compared to .253 for all at-bats.Singles become more valuable still when there are runners in scoring position and the score is tied late in the game. In these cases, either a single or a homer will usually score the go-ahead run and win the game, so the hitter should be hitting for contact and the pitcher should be trying to prevent contact. I looked for at-bats on Baseball-Reference.com’s Play Index when Aaron hit with runners in scoring position in the seventh inning or later of a tied game. It’s a small sample — just 139 at-bats. But Aaron hit .331 in these situations for his career.Another natural experiment comes from cases in which home runs aren’t necessarily less valuable, but are harder to hit. Of the ballparks Aaron played at regularly during his career, the one least conducive to home runs was almost certainly Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, where the left field and right field power alleys were 392 and 395 feet away from home plate, respectively. From 1954 (Aaron’s debut season) until the Pittsburgh Pirates’ last full season in Forbes Field in 1969, the Pirates hit 65 percent more home runs in road games than at Forbes Field. They also hit for a slightly higher batting average in Forbes Field than on the road, although the difference was modest (.267 versus .259).How about Hank Aaron? He adapted wonderfully to Forbes Field, hitting .338 for his career in 639 at-bats there. That’s a little bit better even than Pirates great Roberto Clemente (.329), whose game was tailor-made for Forbes Field.Aaron might have seen less playing timeThe no-homers ground rule might have made teams more reluctant to employ Aaron, especially toward the end of his career. After breaking the home run record as a member of the Atlanta Braves, Aaron played two farewell seasons as a designated hitter for the Milwaukee Brewers in 1975 and 1976. He hit just .234 and .229 during those seasons. The Brewers were terrible back then, but they might not have had much patience for Aaron if he didn’t compensate for his poor batting averages with occasional home runs.It’s also plausible that the start of Aaron’s major league career would have been delayed, but this case is more debatable. Aaron’s potential as a singles hitter would have been evident quite early. He began his professional career as a 17-year-old in the Negro Leagues, where he hit .366 in recorded at-bats as a member of the Indianapolis Clowns. Purchased by the Braves for $10,000, he then hit .336 and .362 in minor league seasons in 1952 and 1953.5Furthermore, the Braves had an opening for Aaron since they had traded the veteran outfielder Sid Gordon at the end of the 1953 season. Press accounts from the time do not seem to mention Aaron’s emergence as a motivating factor for the Braves to trade Gordon, though it may have played into their thinking.Aaron might have stolen more basesIn the comments on my original post, some readers noted that if Aaron had hit more singles, he’d have had more opportunity to steal bases. This is true — although I also have Homerless Hank drawing fewer walks and perhaps getting less playing time than the real Aaron, which would counteract his increased rate of singles.It’s probably the case, though, that Aaron could have stolen more bases if he’d wanted to. He was reasonably fast early in his career, as the Sports Illustrated scouting report mentions. But the stolen base was not in vogue in the 1950s and Aaron rarely attempted to steal. Steals became a much more popular strategy in the 1960s, however, and Aaron proved to be a proficient base-stealer. He stole 240 bases during his career and was successful on 77 percent of his steal attempts, leading the National League in stolen base percentage in 1966 and 1968. His high rate of success suggests that Aaron may have left a few opportunities on the table. Perhaps if he had been cast as a singles hitter, his teams would have expected him to be more active on the bases. He presumably also would have hit first or second in the batting order rather than third or fourth, which means he’d reach base more often with second base open.Aaron might have hit doubles and triples at a higher rateIf Aaron had only been credited with singles on balls that cleared the fence, he would have had reason to swing for the gaps more often in an effort to hit doubles and triples.In general, however, it’s not all that easy for players to try to hit doubles. The league leaders in doubles change quite a lot from year to year and the lists mostly comprise good overall hitters who play in stadiums like Fenway Park that are conductive to doubles. Still, none of those hitters faces incentives where doubles are actually more valuable than balls hit over the fence. As the scouting reports and batting splits makes clear, Aaron could hit to all fields and was smart about adapting his approach to the situation. I imagine that he’d find a way to hit a few more doubles and triples.Summing upThe real Hank Aaron hit for a .305/.374/.555 “slash line” (batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage). If all his home runs had been changed to singles after the fact, his line would have been .305/.374/.371 instead. But this doesn’t account for the changes Aaron and the pitchers might have made as they adapted to the ground rule.It’s just a guess, of course — but I imagine that Aaron would have hit somewhere in the .320s as a result of seeing more strikes and changing his approach to make more contact. His slugging average would have gone up accordingly, perhaps also boosted by a few extra doubles and triples. However, he would have drawn fewer walks, which could offset any gains in his on-base percentage. I envision his slash line as being something like .325/.375/.405, which is reasonably similar to Rod Carew’s.I don’t think Homerless Hank would have been in any jeopardy of failing to notch 3,000 hits. He may even have reached 4,000. The real Hank Aaron had 3,771 hits, and I have Homerless Hank hitting for a higher batting average. I also have him drawing fewer walks, which means more opportunities to put the ball in play. In fact, a .325/.375/.405 batting line would translate to roughly 4,150 hits given the number of plate appearances Aaron had. That would put him in striking distance of Ty Cobb, who had 4,189 hits. (Pete Rose surpassed Cobb’s record in 1985 and finished with 4,256 hits.)I also imagine that Homerless Hank wouldn’t have been very productive in the last couple of seasons of his career; his batting average over his final three seasons was .244. Teams don’t normally have much interest in singles hitters who hit .244. Still, they sometimes find spots for players who are pursuing career landmarks; Rose was somewhere between marginally productive and counterproductive after the age of 40, and yet he got (and gave himself as player-manager) another 2,469 plate appearances. If the Braves or the Brewers had been so generous to Aaron, it’s possible the Home Run King would have ended up as baseball’s Hit King instead. read more

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Football No 10 Ohio State searches for revival opportunity against Nebraska

Ohio State sophomore running back J.K. Dobbins (2) carries the ball downfield in the fourth quarter of the game against Minnesota on Oct. 13. Ohio State won. 30-14. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorOhio State needed a bye week more than pretty much any team in the nation.Following a 49-20 loss to Purdue, which came after disappointing outings against Minnesota and Indiana, the Buckeyes were left with various areas to improve before they had to face another opponent.Now, head coach Urban Meyer wants to move past the defeat and into his team’s next matchup.“We’re in the grind,” Meyer said. “This is all about getting ready for Nebraska, and moving forward.”Senior offensive tackle Isaiah Prince is not exactly forgetting about the loss to the Boilermakers: he is using his anger and taking it into Saturday.“If I lose, it’s a bad day for me. Whether it’s a video game, a rep, I don’t like losing. So yeah, I’m mad,” Prince said.  “I just want to see the Buckeyes play angry and pissed off, and let everybody know we’re still here.” Nebraska comes in with a two-game winning streak against Minnesota and Bethune-Cookman after losing its first six games to start the season.Head coach Scott Frost is in his first season with the Cornhuskers after leading UCF to an undefeated record, including a victory over then-No. 7 Auburn in the Peach Bowl.Frost has brought his offensive coaching ability to Nebraska, with the Cornhuskers ranking in the top 50 in the NCAA in rushing, passing and total offense.Freshman quarterback Adrian Martinez has gained momentum as the season progressed, breaking 400 total yards in three of his past five contests. On the season, Martinez is up to 1,656 passing and 408 rushing yards, completing 66.3 percent of his throws for 15 total touchdowns and six interceptions.Meyer said Martinez is an “elite guy” that offers a dual-threat ability, and who has “done a great job” over his past two games.Martinez’s main weapon is redshirt sophomore wide receiver JD Spielman, who has 53 catches for 686 yards and seven touchdowns.Spielman has been compared to Purdue freshman wide receiver Rondale Moore, who caught 12 passes for 170 yards and two touchdowns against the Buckeyes two weeks ago. Meyer said Spielman is “very close” to Moore, and a “very talented guy.”Junior safety Jordan Fuller covered Spielman often in Ohio State’s matchup with Nebraska last season in the nickel, and he said he remembers the talent the then-redshirt freshman could bring.“Really talented guy, quick and fast, so we definitely gotta keep our eyes on him,” Fuller said. “He enjoys space, though, so don’t give it to him.”Defensively, Nebraska has struggled in all fronts, but mostly in the passing game. The Cornhuskers allow the 20th-most passing yards with 272.0 per game. This has given teams the opportunity to light up Nebraska’s defense for 33.4 points a game, 29th-worst in the nation.The Cornhuskers had allowed 24 points or more in every game this year prior to their 45-9 win over Bethune-Cookman.PredictionNebraska has some playmakers to work with on the offensive end, and Spielman could find some space in the middle of the field if Ohio State has yet to make any adjustments since the Purdue loss.Martinez could find success in the option game, much like Penn State redshirt senior quarterback Trace McSorley did in his record-breaking performance against the Buckeyes a month ago.But Nebraska ran into Ohio State at the wrong time.After losing to Iowa by 31 last season, the Buckeyes came out a week later and annihilated a then-No. 12 Michigan State team 48-3, scoring 35 unanswered points less than 25 minutes into the game.If Ohio State squeaked out a close victory over the Boilermakers before the bye, maybe Nebraska had a chance. But as it stands, the Cornhuskers are running into a buzzsaw, coming up against a Buckeyes team that is both better on paper and incredibly angry.Even if all of that wasn’t enough, the lackluster pass defense will not do Nebraska any favors against redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins, and only time will tell if sophomore running back J.K. Dobbins and redshirt junior running back Mike Weber will finally break loose on a subpar Cornhusker rush defense.If Ohio State comes out as mad as it did against the Spartans last year, this will get ugly, fast. If not, the Buckeyes are still the much better team, and should be able to handle any scares the Nebraska offense could give.Wyatt Crosher: 52-10 Ohio StateColin Gay: 49-14 Ohio StateEdward Sutelan: 42-21 Ohio StateRachel Bules: 45-10 Ohio State read more

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