Women’s basketball: Drake lights up Wisconsin with outside shooting

first_imgThis is not the type of result Wisconsin women’s basketball head coach Bobbie Kelsey had hoped for in year five.Wisconsin (1-1) fell to Drake (2-0) Wednesday night 89-70 at the Kohl Center.After defeating the Badgers last year and entering the game with a win against Iowa State, Drake looked like the well-oiled machine Wisconsin hopes to become.Drake started the game hot, scoring the first eight points, and never trailed at the Kohl Center en route to the win.The Badgers defense forced 23 turnovers on the night, but allowed the Bulldogs to shoot 43 percent from beyond the arc in what proved to be the deciding factor.Drake star Lizzy Wendell paced all scorers with 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting, causing problems for the Wisconsin defense throughout the night with cuts to the lane and mid-range jump shots.Wendell’s presence on the inside allowed teammate Paige Greiner to knock down 4-of-6 three pointers that deflated the Badgers any time they seemed poised at a comeback.Kelsey was not pleased with the attention to detail Wisconsin showed on the defensive end.“Some of it was miscommunication on our part,” Kelsey said. “We talked about what we wanted to do in timeouts and we would have one person messing it up — not paying attention. When that happens you get somebody coming in late, they get open shots and that’s it. And against this kind of team you can’t have mental errors like that. You have to know what you’re doing, five people out there working together, on the same page, and we don’t have that.”For the Badgers, senior Nicole Baumon led the team in scoring with 18 points and Michala Johnson also had a strong night with 12 points and 5 rebounds.However, when a team shoots above 40 percent from downtown and has a 29-point advantage in bench points, it is hard to keep up with the pace.After the game, Kelsey was searching for answers in her effort to limit Drake’s long ball.“That’s totally on the people on the floor,” Kelsey said. “You have to pay attention in the huddle and you have to be on the same page. They took total advantage of that and they didn’t miss.”last_img read more

Ismail Vali – Sweden: The survival of the fittest

first_img Submit Share Share Betsson outrides pandemic challenges as regulatory dramas loom July 21, 2020 Confirmation came this week that the licensing process for the new national gambling code in Sweden has been delayed until 1 August.SBC News took the opportunity to speak to industry consultant Ismail Vali about the number of operators he expects to populate the market, industry benchmarks for gaming legislation, and how to retain players when bonuses become non-permissible as a retention tool.SBC: At the recent Betting on Football Conference, you spoke about the rush to “get in before the gates close” in Sweden; how do you see the situation developing from the current position of around 500 casinos, and nearly 300 sportsbooks?IV: Sweden remains one of the world’s most attractive gaming markets, online and brick and mortar – that’s due to its status as a developed market with high disposable adult income. It has also acted as the Lone Star in the Nordics for many of the publicly traded gaming operators to be in, at least, to maintain the appearance of having “Nordic Operations”.Whilst regulation has been talked about for several years now, and the ex-monopoly operator, Svenska Spel, has done much to raise awareness, politically especially, about unfair competition and a lack of social responsibility from the “offshore operators” – both salient points to be fair – not much has, in fact, been done to legitimise and regulate the Swedish market.Many operators still labour under the misapprehension that offering betting and gaming to Swedish players, to date, was “illegal”. It is not and won’t be until active legislation is passed and enforced.Unlike the USA, there has been no discussion of “clean hands” operators, who did not offer service in Sweden prior to regulation, being the ones who will benefit from a future licensing regime. Many operators then went “all-in on Sweden” in the space of this regulatory vacuum, and offered all the products they could, via whatever media channels they could, somewhat regardless of costs, competitive advantage or any USP for being in Sweden.All this has combined to create the current free for all, prior to regulation, with a glut of operators across all products. The recently announced regulatory regime, with applications being accepted from August 1st, 2018, and enforced regulations from January 1st, 2019, now gives the market a clear finish line to cross, as the gates of gaming control are, clearly, about to close shut.This matters from a market presence and share perspective given the huge number of competing operators in Sweden currently. The period from now, until the end of the World Cup, itself just prior to the licence application date, means operators have to compete aggressively for players simply to prove their ability to stay in the Swedish market.Many firms, if failing in the imminent race to regulation, will not be given the internal sign-off to apply for regulated status in the market, especially since the discipline of being publicly traded means having to admit and forecast matters:How much of the market is aware of your brand(s)How much of the market you have gained, with what marketing budgetHow much you forecast to retain, for the next quarter, and how much you believe you can grow, beyond thatAt what profit margin are you running, with the added impact of taxation, and fees for regulation, compliance and social responsibilityThe costs for licence application in Sweden are not particularly high, which will likely encourage a glut of entrants by August 1st, in line with the huge number of current operators. This will, in my view, not be upheld over the long term, and the future regulated Swedish market. The gates will close, on New Year’s Eve this year, I believe, with a large number of operators, in the hundreds easily, for the first year of regulated Swedish operations.Thereafter? An amended marketplace, with advertising rules, fewer media channels openly available (via embedded deals for the big budget brands), and a brutal new discipline from bonus retention deals becoming unavailable, will, inevitably, lead to a thinning of the herd and a position likely by two years after regulation where the marketplace is populated by between 50-100 operators.In line with this, there will likely be a consolidated top 10 scenario for the operators who get the next eight months right, and succeed in being top of mind, and top of monetary performance, through adapting to the specific Swedish market conditions.SBC: Many countries have been inspired by Danish and UK models when enacting gaming regulation; how much of what we see in Sweden will be reflective of these regulatory successes?IV: Both the UK and Danish models have one unifying feature – listening to operators, respectfully.Of course, any imposed system, which needs to be mindful of player protection and social responsibility, is not going to be universally “admired” by the industry, but that is the historical position of our business since well before the online distribution channel emerged – we have to take regulation, taxation, player protection and social responsibility not just seriously, but to the heart of our business as usual approach to any market.In the short term, there is going to be a margin Impact – in my view, a good thing, since it returns the business to the historical constant of focusing upon ‘little but often’ revenue from your players and moves away from the boom/bust cycle of simply opening new accounts with unrealistic and disbelieved deposit bonuses.A hand-in-glove approach by regulators, where they work with the industry, to improve and perfect what become, I hope, industry benchmarks for operators is the ultimate goal of any of the new wave of gaming regulation – both the UK and Denmark have shown the path here, but much work remains to be done.SBC: What is your advice for retaining Swedish players without the promise of bonus money?IV: Many operators have been shocked by this draft legislation clause, stating that bonuses will not be permissible as a retention tool under regulation. That surprise is only a result, in my view, of our own me-too, copycat marketing efforts of recent years, as an industry.We all have the same games; similar or identical access to the marketplace for advertising and all copy one another’s offers, pretty much down to the terms and conditions.It is unsurprising that the audience respond to this as they did with banking – tons of offers for NEW customers lead to promiscuous account swapping; then impacting upon the retained base, who you need to then bonus to keep in the building.It’s no way to run a sustainable business.Coming from many years in the poker sector, with insane levels of competition from the early 2000’s when I experienced the shift from one operator – ParadisePoker – to hundreds in a matter of months, we learned to dedicate our marketing to as broad an audience as possible via “must play promotions” – similar to the concept of “must-see TV” that networks like HBO and Netflix have perfected.Analogous to US TV Networks, operators have to create in online betting and gaming, within their core markets, one of the biggest branded “TV Channels” around, in order to matter in the market and survive the post-regulatory shift.As an industry, what we need to focus upon now, I would suggest, is the quality and event status of our “shows” – in other words, our promotions are key.Every day, on every dot country variant of their sites, across all products, operators promotional offering needs to feature “must notice”, “must be able to find”, and “must play” potential, in the same way that shows like Game of Thrones are classed as “must watch TV”, and available across a number of platforms for viewing.Players have to feel they are, potentially, missing out on “something” by not locating, logging on, staying connected to, and playing with your brand.It’s not just about the cash they could win or lose…it’s about the culture they take part in by playing with your brand, and the cultural phenomenon you’re building with, and for, your growing audience.This commitment to the mass market, free to play offers and promotions to encourage awareness, trial and engagement, and segmented offers and incentives for the players once you had the data to really know them, was the only way to gain and retain “membership” of your brand, and target the top 10, and hopefully, the number one position, which with the teams and brands I had at the time I was Chief Marketing Officer, we were able to do with both ParadisePoker, and PokerStars, globally.I use the word “membership” deliberately – seeing the audience as just potential “customers” encourages the “get and go” attitude from many of today’s online gamblers, and our industry response to them as “new depositing customers”, valuable only for their first month’s activity, and largely seen as “lapsed or lapsing” thereafter. Seeing them as “members” of your branded entertainment offering, across all products, shifts the manner in which you meet, greet, gain and retain them.Ismail Vali can be contacted at [email protected] LeoVegas hits back at Swedish regulations despite Q2 successes August 13, 2020 StumbleUpon Related Articles Spelinspektionen reminds operators of AML responsibilities July 2, 2020last_img read more

‘Zulu Tea’ creates a stir in the UK

first_img4 February 2003Deep in the KwaZulu-Natal heartland is an estate producing one of the most exclusive teas in the world. And Ntingwe tea is not only creating a stir among British connoisseurs – it’s also bringing employment to an underdeveloped area, and encouraging local “outgrowers” to grow tea on their own land.The Province’s development agency, the Ithala Development Finance Corporation Limited (Ithala), established the Ntingwe Tea Estate in 1987 in a remote part of KwaZulu-Natal, near Nkandla – an area with unemployment and illiteracy rates of up to 60%.According to Ithala, Ntingwe, the only employer of significance in an otherwise underdeveloped part of the province, produces leaf which is fetching top prices on the London Tea Market and is being sold as a speciality tea in the United Kingdom and the United States.Ntingwe tea is rated among the five best teas in the world, according to Arnold Adhihetty, a senior buyer and blender at Taylor’s of Harrogate, which markets Ntingwe tea in the United Kingdom, selling it as a pure tea under the estate’s name – in teabags marked “Zulu Tea”. Yorkshire Gold, a blend of Ntingwe tea and other varieties, is a second retail brand.Johannesburg tea and coffee agent WM Cahn told the Sunday Times last year that South Africa’s tea export market is worth about R84-million a year, and that demand for Ntingwe tea is exceeding supply.A company spokesman told that Sunday Times that the product was proving so popular with the British that 98% of WM Cahn’s Ntingwe stock had already been sold, “and the season is not yet over” – adding that WM Cahn had established ties with a number of buyers internationally and was looking to expand into the US, Europe and Pakistan.Ithala says it has so far invested over R40-million in this commercial venture, which is rich in development spin-offs, “including job creation, provision of potable water and electricity, the development of creches and schools, and the promotion of a small business sector within the communities surrounding the estate.About 300 ha of a suitable 585 ha has been planted so far, of which 200 ha of mature tea is already being harvested. As a foreign exchange earner, the estate is expected to generate around R450 million over the next 30 years. In the current financial year, 364 tons of black tea is expected to be produced, with these volumes progressively increasing to 1 750 tons by the year 2014.While this is almost exclusively exported for the speciality tea market, “local demand for a pure, high-quality tea is growing, and Ithala is looking to make a percentage of its production available in South Africa”, Ithala says on its website.Ntingwe employs more than 200 people on a permanent basis, with a further 430 being employed seasonally, with total employment envisaged to grow to about 1 200 when the estate is in full production.Ithala is also actively promoting an empowerment programme in areas surrounding the estate, establishing tea “outgrowers” on their own land, who will ultimately supply the estate’s on-site processing plant with leaf.“Already five farmers, each planting 0.125 ha with 1 000 tea plants, are participating, and the estate has received a further 55 applications which are currently being processed”, Ithala says. It is expected that outgrowers will eventually farm up to 0.4 ha each, with Ntingwe laying down parameters for them to ensure that the quality the estate has established is maintained.Although the area in which Ntingwe is developed has a high agricultural potential, this has never been realised in the past due to remoteness from input supplies and markets. The development of the tea estate has unlocked the potential of the region, and started a development process which will continue to gain in momentum as the expansion of the estate continues.SouthAfrica.info reporterlast_img read more

‘Other Aguilar’ Raymond earns Cone’s praise in Ginebra win over SMB

first_imgGlobe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH View comments John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Read Next PBA IMAGESFor once, it was the other Aguilar, who shone in the spotlight.The seldom-used Raymond Aguilar provided Barangay Ginebra a big lift on Sunday, helping the Gin Kings snap their three-game slide after a 100-96 win over the June Mar Fajardo-led San Miguel Beermen.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PHcenter_img Aguilar finished with 16 points and made such a big impact in close to 30 minutes of action that his head coach Tim Cone couldn’t stop himself from raving about the former National University slotman’s performance.“I can’t talk enough about Raymond Aguilar — the other Aguilar, for once. He was just phenomenal,” Cone said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutWith Cone not putting Japeth Aguilar as Fajardo’s primary defender in a move to keep him from getting into foul trouble, the tall order of defending the reigning four-time MVP was now on Raymond.And the 32-year-old big man went on to defy his coach’s expectations and gave Fajardo all he could handle while also giving a boost offensively. MOST READ 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police 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 Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Fajardo shrugs off SMB’s first loss “He guarded June Mar all game long. We didn’t want to put Japeth on June Mar because we didn’t want Japeth to get in foul trouble, so that chore went to Raymond. And then, he hit big shots and made big plays on his own,” he said. “It was amazing. He played out of his mind tonight and I can’t thank him enough at this point because we really needed a big game from somebody.”Aguilar’s breakout performance was just the kind of game Cone needs from the Gin Kings, especially with the team cautious in breaking in Greg Slaughter back from his injury.“The good thing about what we’re going through now is we’re developing trust in guys that we’re not used to trusting. Guys like Raymond are stepping up and playing big for us,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMClast_img read more

Nebraska regulators to vote on TransCanadas Keystone XL pipeline next week

first_imgLINCOLN, Neb. – A decision on the last major regulatory hurdle for TransCanada (TSX:TRP) in its nine-year quest to complete the Keystone XL pipeline will be made next week.The Nebraska Public Service Commission says in statement that a vote on the application will be held during its meeting on Nov. 20.Approving the project would allow TransCanada to gain access to holdout landowners’ property using Nebraska’s eminent domain laws.The pipeline would transport oilsands oil from Alberta through Montana and South Dakota to Nebraska, where it would connect with existing pipelines that feed Texas Gulf Coast refineries.Opponents say the pipeline would pass through the Sandhills, an ecologically fragile region of grass-covered sand dunes, and would cross the land of farmers and ranchers who don’t want it.South Dakota and Montana regulators have already approved the project.Environmental groups had persuaded former U.S. president Barack Obama to deny federal approval in November 2015. But President Donald Trump resuscitated the project in March, declaring that Calgary-based TransCanada would create “an incredible pipeline.”The Nebraska commission had been required to make a decision by Nov. 23, and must decide whether the project serves the public’s interests, based on evidence presented by lawyers and through public hearings earlier this year.The elected commission is comprised of four Republicans and one Democrat.Company officials have said their preferred route is the most direct way to transport oil and that rerouting the pipeline would add millions of dollars to the project’s $8-billion price tag.last_img read more

Japans economy shrank in JulySeptember as trade falls

first_imgTOKYO — The Japanese economy has shrunk at an annualized rate of 1.2 per cent in July-September, as consumer spending, investment and exports fell.Cabinet Office preliminary data released Wednesday showed seasonally adjusted gross domestic product — the total value of a nation’s goods and services — dipped 0.3 per cent in the third quarter from the previous quarter.Dragging on growth for the world’s third-largest economy was diminished trade, with exports falling 1.8 per cent and imports dropping 1.4 per cent, the data show. Consumer spending and company investments were also down.The economy grew for the previous April-June quarter, but contracted the quarter before that. That contraction, in the first quarter, ended the longest straight period of expansion for Japan in nearly three decades.The Associated Presslast_img read more

US scientists to climb Everest collect data on climate

first_imgKathmandu: A team of American scientists flew to the Mount Everest region Wednesday to study how pollution has impacted the Himalayan mountains and glaciers that are melting due to global warming. The team led by John All of Western Washington University plans to spend the next two months in the region collecting samples and study the ice, snow and vegetation. In May, the team members will try to climb the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) high Everest, the world’s highest mountain, and its sister peak Mount Lhotse. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US The team plan to bring the samples and data and study with local university and government agencies in Nepal. They’ll compare the current data to data the professor collected on a 2009 visit. They plan to study the color and mineral content of the snow and ice on higher elevation of the mountains while collecting plans and other vegetation on the foothills. “We are looking at how climate change has effected vegetation, we are looking at how climate change has effected the snow and water availability for local people and how it is effecting local people,” All told The Associated Press before leaving the capital, Kathmandu. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls They are going to use instruments to reflect light off the glaciers to determine how much dirt is on the surface. “The more dirt there is, the more pollution accumulated on them and the more light absorption there is, and thus the larger impact on the glaciers, it is going to melt quickly,” he said. A year after his research expedition to the Everest region in 2009, he climbed to the summit. A research trip in 2014 ended after the deaths of 16 Nepali Sherpa guides in an avalanche brought an early end to the climbing season. In May 2014, he fell 22 meters (72 feet) into a crevasse on a different mountain, breaking ribs and his right arm. He crawled out of the hole despite his injuries before being rescued the next morning. He managed to use his ice axe to work his way out of the hole, but had to move very slowly due to his broken bones. His teammates were in lower camps and would take two days to get to him. “I want to try to make a difference and I feel like I should do something good for the world,” All said.last_img read more

PG India guilty of Rs 250 cr profiteering

first_imgNew Delhi: The GST profiteering investigation arm has found leading FMCG firm P&G India guilty of not passing on GST rate cut benefits to the tune of about Rs 250 crore by a corresponding reduction in prices.Based on a complaint filed before the standing committee, the Directorate General of Anti profiteering (DGAP) investigated the books of accounts of P&G India pre and post November 15, 2017, and concluded that the consumer goods manufacturer has not lowered prices of certain of its products despite cut in GST rate to 18 per cent from 28 per cent. “The DGAP report has concluded profiteering worth Rs 250 crore by P&G. The National Anti Profiteering Authority will pass a final order on the quantum of profiteering after hearing the company’s views,” an official said.last_img read more

Shohei Ohtanis Value Has No Precedent

The derby for Japanese baseball superstar Shohei Ohtani has nearly reached its long-awaited conclusion, after the pitching-and-hitting phenom narrowed his list of preferred teams down to seven. (Notably, the list doesn’t include either the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox — Ohtani is reportedly leaning toward smaller-market and/or West Coast clubs.) If MLB’s best two-way player since Babe Ruth1Or at least Wes Ferrell. is on his way, we’ll know soon which uniform he’ll wear while revolutionizing the game.On the field, scouts are sold on Ohtani’s potential (if not his durability) as a top pitcher, as well as his speed and raw power as a hitter. And the statistical projections think he’ll be very good no matter what position he plays. According to the ZiPS system, developed by ESPN’s Dan Szymborski, both Ohtani’s ERA and his on-base-plus-slugging projections figure to be about 20 percent better than league average2Relative to park and league. over his next five seasons in the big leagues. For context’s sake, only 58 hitters and 79 pitchers met either of those qualifications over the preceding five seasons. Ohtani has the potential to hit both benchmarks.Of course, there’s also a lot of uncertainty around Ohtani’s projection to the American game, as is always the case with players whose backgrounds are in the different flavor of baseball being played in Japan. To get a sense for which other players from Japan had numbers similar to Ohtani’s, I looked at Clay Davenport’s translated Japanese-league statistics for native-born players with at least 700 MLB plate appearances or 200 innings pitched. (Specifically, I used the peak-adjusted version of Davenport’s stats, which accounts for a player’s age and tries to peg how good he’ll be in his prime.)3Davenport’s 2017 numbers are not updated yet for Ohtani, but I estimated the adjustment using Davenport’s 2016 data and Ohtani’s statistics at Baseball-Reference.com. I then ran Bill James’s Similarity Scores for each set of statistics — after converting them all to a per-season format — to give us the pitchers and hitters whose body of work most resembled Ohtani’s before arriving in America. Kenta Maeda3.804.1131202254.415.12.50.8856 Hideki Matsui.82217.1.28732420651065.843967 K. Kawakami4.321.8131202224.415.42.41.0859 NAMEERAWARWLSVIPERASO/9BB/9HR/9SIMILARITY Peak-adjusted statistics take into account a player’s age and project his numbers to a player’s prime seasons. The per-season adjustment converts all numbers to 600 plate appearances.Sources: ClayDavenport.com, Baseball-Reference.com Kazuhiro Sasaki3.143.96535963.879.33.51.2884 As for Ohtani’s batting stats, only two hitters — fellow outfielders Hideki Matsui and Kosuke Fukudome — stand out as being highly similar to their younger counterpart, and they also represent two potentially divergent paths for Ohtani’s performance at the plate. After a 10-year MLB career spent mostly with the Yankees, Matsui ended up being the greatest Japanese power hitter ever to play in the U.S. (and the second-best position player, behind future Hall of Famer Ichiro Suzuki). Ohtani’s power stats in Japan were every bit as impressive as Matsui’s were before he arrived stateside; in terms of translated stats, the former has the latter beat on home runs and doubles per 600 plate appearances, in addition to slugging percentage and OPS. But it’s important to note that Fukudome’s numbers weren’t too far behind, and his MLB career is largely viewed as a disappointment.It’s also worth pointing out that few hitters who profile as powerfully as Ohtani have even tried to make the leap from Japan to the major leagues. Japanese position players have more frequently been cast from a similar mold as Ichiro, whose game was based around speed and hitting for average, not blasting monster home runs. (At least, not outside of batting practice.) So on the batting side, Ohtani will be exploring territory still somewhat uncharted by past Japanese prospects — a matter made even more complicated by scouts’ assessments that his swing needs shortening and concerns that he won’t be able to make the proper adjustments unless he gets a lot of reps against MLB-caliber pitching.But even if he ends up being more like a mashup of Matsuzaka and Fukudome than Darvish and Matsui, Ohtani would still have plenty of value because of the unique dual role he could fill. A league-average pitcher in 150 innings plus an average hitter with 100 plate appearances would be worth 1.8 wins above replacement (1.5 with his arm and 0.3 with his bat).4Ohtani might get around 55 plate appearances in the course of throwing 150 innings as a starting pitcher, so this assumes he’d also get a few extra PAs a week as a fielder or pinch-hitter. Those stats alone would fetch nearly $20 million on the free agent market — and that’s without even considering the ways in which Ohtani might “break” the very framework of WAR itself.Systems like WAR are designed to judge the value of pitchers’ batting relative to other pitchers, so the total offensive WAR for pitchers in a given season adds up to about zero. (Because pitchers tend to be horrible hitters, this essentially means the per-inning position adjustment for pitchers is astronomical compared even with that of catchers, the nonpitching position that gets the biggest positional boost.) If he spends a decent chunk of time in the field and/or proves to be a solid hitter, Ohtani could force the curators of WAR at Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs to do some mathematical gymnastics, weighting his position adjustment and offensive production for the plate appearances he gets at pitcher and in the field. Or maybe they’ll just calculate two separate versions of batting WAR for Ohtani — one that treats him like a pitcher and another that considers him a position player. Either way, WAR wasn’t designed with a player like Ohtani in mind.There’s also the added benefit of Ohtani’s bat off the bench as a pinch-hitter or a designated hitter on days he isn’t starting, which would give his team extra roster flexibility. This was previously discussed when considering the ways in which FiveThirtyEight favorite Ben Zobrist frees up roster space by playing a bunch of different positions; when studying the matter, Baseball Prospectus’s Russell Carleton found that Zobrist’s versatility probably earned his then-team, the Tampa Bay Rays, a couple of extra runs per year. The value of converting a pitcher’s roster spot into a functional hitter/position-player on some of his off-days is probably even greater, and it might play into the decision of which league Ohtani ultimately ends up joining.In the American League, Ohtani would presumably play DH to save the wear and tear on his body in between starts, though the intrinsic value of a DH is the lowest of any position (therefore raising the bar for his hitting production), and he wouldn’t get in any extra trips to the plate on days he was pitching. In the National League, Ohtani could hit for himself during starts, make better use of his above-average fielding skills on off-days and need less impressive hitting stats to produce value. (Plus, if he ever came out of the bullpen, he could even be the rare reliever who stays in the game when his lineup slot comes up.) For those reasons, it does seem like the NL would offer more opportunities for Ohtani’s unique repertoire of skills to add value.But that’s all speculation at this point. The truth is, the MLB hasn’t seen a two-way player like this since the days of Wes Ferrell and Red Ruffing, each of whom played most of their careers before World War II. Baseball has gotten so specialized that it’s been assumed that no pitcher — not even the Carlos Zambranos, Mike Hamptons or Madison Bumgarners of the world — would ever be a viable regular hitter again. But Ohtani could prove all that wrong if his translated numbers, well, translate. No matter where he ends up signing, it’s going to be ridiculously entertaining to watch it all play out. So Taguchi.7172.6.2572554388910.650858 Koji Uehara2.6613.1131132174.065.91.61.2893 Kenji Johjima.7216.1.2802931439668.750736 Yu Darvish3.4219.2171102503.726.72.90.6949 H. Iwakuma3.4214.2131302324.345.02.40.8865 Masato Yoshii4.626.299111654.524.62.80.9841 Kosuke Fukudome.7544.3.2853410117611810.830947 Who will Shohei Ohtani pitch like?Translated, peak-adjusted per-season Central and Pacific League statistics for Japanese-born pitchers with at least 200 MLB innings pitched Takashi Saito2.349.5101161894.695.92.81.2827 Kazuhisa Ishii4.440.8101101944.817.74.51.1809 Tsuyoshi Shinjo.6683.3.23724711371139.651850 Kazuo Matsui.7015.4.28826108409133.754843 Hideki Okajima3.094.7554914.817.24.41.1780 Akinori Iwamura.7204.8.273248125912610.764831 S. Hasegawa3.707.9111402255.253.92.91.1789 Shohei Ohtani——18902183.348.13.00.61000 Hiroki Kuroda3.4522.1121302224.834.82.81.1821 Ohtani’s pitching numbers bore a strong resemblance to those of Yu Darvish and Masahiro Tanaka, two of the most highly touted — and successful — Japanese imports of the past decade. Of course, they might also represent the best case scenarios for how Ohtani’s career will play out on the mound; for example, Daisuke Matsuzaka’s track record was only slightly more dissimilar, and he ended up being pretty average over his time in MLB. And the matter of Ohtani’s durability can’t be dismissed — these numbers are projected to a full season of work, but Ohtani never pitched more than 160⅔ innings in a season in Japan, and he was limited to 25⅓ innings in 2017 because of various injuries. However, my old colleague Ben Lindbergh has shown that Japanese pitchers tend to age better (and hold onto more of their value) than comparable MLB pitchers, reputation be damned. And in general, the pitchers on the list above that graded as more similar to Ohtani ended up having the better major-league careers. Statistically speaking, there’s little to quibble with in Ohtani’s pitching résumé. Who will Shohei Ohtani hit like?Translated, peak-adjusted per-season Central and Pacific League statistics for Japanese-born hitters with at least 700 MLB plate appearances NAMEOPSWARAVG2B3BHRBBSOSBOPSSIMILARITY Shohei Ohtani——.29542423561326.8781000 Masahiro Tanaka3.5612.7171112563.726.32.20.7948 MLB CAREERTRANSLATED JAPANESE STATS Hideo Nomo4.2423.9161402644.318.44.60.9872 Hideki Irabu5.153.4111122024.337.33.90.8859 Norichika Aoki.7389.9.2972175616621.765917 M. Kawasaki.6091.7.27416112417129.676788 D. Matsuzaka4.459.0161202433.917.12.90.8919 Tomo Ohka4.2611.04701095.764.35.60.9773 MLB CAREERTRANSLATED JAPANESE STATS Ichiro Suzuki.75958.9.33227710515027.856921 H. Takahashi3.991.3101121964.875.33.21.2807 Akinori Otsuka2.446.06327793.079.72.90.8928 Tadahito Iguchi.7396.5.251226124712225.688788 Peak-adjusted statistics take into account a player’s age and project his numbers to a player’s prime seasons. The per-season adjustment converts all numbers to 68 games + starts.Sources: ClayDavenport.com, Baseball-Reference.com read more

Ohio State mens soccer falls 10 to Oakland

OSU sophomore defender Austin Bergstrom pushes the ball up the pitch during a game against Akron Sept. 24 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. OSU lost 3-1.Credit: Ben Jackson / For The LanternComing off two wins against ranked teams, the Ohio State men’s soccer team’s focus was to not fall into a trap against a supposedly weaker squad.“If your aspirations are to go farther and compete maybe for a Big Ten championship or hopefully gain an NCAA Tournament bid, if you believe you can do that, you cannot let down against a team like Oakland,” OSU coach John Bluem said Monday.Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, a let down is exactly what happened.OSU (4-4-3, 2-1-0) fell to Oakland (3-5-1) in Rochester, Mich., by a final score of 1-0 Wednesday evening.The Grizzlies struck in the first half when senior forward Joey Tinnion received a pass off a misplay by OSU and put it past OSU redshirt-senior goalkeeper Alex Ivanov for the game’s lone score. The goal was Tinnion’s second of the season.The Buckeyes had their chances throughout the game, but were unable to get anything on the board.OSU took 12 shots, but only two of those were shot on goal. Overall, Oakland outshot OSU, 13-12, including a 4-2 advantage in shots on the mark.OSU’s slow day on offense came days after a six-shot-on-target, three-goal game against Michigan State last Saturday.Oakland has now won three straight games after beginning the season with five consecutive losses and a draw.The loss was the first for the Buckeyes against the Grizzlies in 14 all-time meetings. OSU was previously 11-0-2 in the series, including a 4-0 victory in Columbus last season.Before the game, OSU had found itself at No. 13 in the NCAA RPI rankings on top of receiving four votes in the coaches poll coming off its two wins against ranked opponents.The Buckeyes’ next shot to get back to their winning ways is set to come at home when they host No. 10 Indiana on Sunday. That game is scheduled to kick off at 2 p.m. at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. read more