Oakland Athletics edge Texas Rangers in chippy game

first_img What A’s winter ball performances can tell us about the second base race Homer Bailey allowed nine earned runs to a strong Houston Astros team in his previous start for the A’s. Two games later, the A’s began a relatively treacherous three-game homer-less streak (they’d just broken a 21-game streak with at least one home run).Related Articles Player to be …center_img Former Oakland A’s lefty Brett Anderson finds new home with Brewers last_img

Mandela: a champion for women’s rights

first_imgNelson Mandela believed South Africa’s freedom would not be achieved if women remained oppressed. This Mandela’s Day presents a great opportunity to advance women’s rights by volunteering at a women’s shelter and even teaching children about women’s rights amongst other activities. (Image: Brand South Africa) • Sello Hatang CEO Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory +27 11 547 5600 www.nelsonmandela.org • Milestones in Mandela’s long walk • Mandela: champion of public health • Index to boost women’s rights • Want to grow Africa’s economy? Include women • Mandela left his mark on many homes Aneshree NaidooThere is a common misconception that feminists are hysterical, man-hating women who burn their bras. But the reality is far different; in fact, one of the world’s greatest leaders, Nelson Mandela, was a passionate feminist. He believed fervently in the ideology’s core commitment to the social, economic and political equality of women.When Mandela became South Africa’s first democratically elected president in 1994, he realised the dreams of millions of black South Africans for political and social equality. He took that dream one step further, when, at the opening of the first democratic parliament in 1994, he said: “Freedom cannot be achieved unless women have been emancipated from all forms of oppression… Our endeavours must be about the liberation of the woman, the emancipation of the man and the liberty of the child.”In 1995, he ratified the United Nations Convention to End All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, which South Africa had signed in 1993. Ratifying a UN convention legally binds signatory countries to put its provisions into practice. This convention is often referred to as the International Bill of Rights for Women.The rights of South African women of all races were enshrined in the country’s world-leading Constitution. Mandela signed the final draft on International Human Rights Day in December 1996. It states: “The state may not unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds, including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth.”At the time, recognising the role of women in the struggle against apartheid, and as human beings in their own right, he said: “As a tribute to the legions of women who navigated the path of fighting for justice before us, we ought to imprint in the supreme law of the land, firm principles upholding the rights of women.”The Constitution recognises the rights of women and gender equality, and underscores the rights of homosexuals and transgender South Africans to live lives free from discrimination. Women in the struggle against apartheidWhile the most visible heroes of the fight against apartheid were men like Mandela, South African women, when they rose up, did so in unprecedented numbers and made sure their voices were heard. As early as 1913, black women were protesting against laws that restricted their movements, while women of Indian descent took a stand against laws that would delegitimise their marriages performed under Hindu and Islamic rites. Black women again raised their voices against a government crackdown on home brewing of beer in the 1930s and 1940s.But it wasn’t until 9 August 1956 that the entire world heard the voices of South Africa’s women. On that day, thousands of women of all races marched on the Union Buildings in Pretoria singing in isiXhosa: “Wathint’ abafazi, wathint’ imbokodo” (You strike the women, you strike a rock). Observers on the day estimated that between 10 000 and 20 000 women from across the country gathered to present their objection to the pass laws, which had been extended to include women. These laws severely restricted the freedom of movement of black South Africans; broke up families and created chronic economic hardship, especially for black women.The protest, disciplined and inclusive, shattered the myth that women were politically immature or inept, and in his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, Mandela described the marchers as “courageous, persistent, enthusiastic, indefatigable and their protest against passes set a standard for anti-government protest that was never equalled”. He honoured the Women’s March participants by declaring the day of the protest – which had been unofficially declared Women’s Day by the Federation of South African Women – an annual public holiday. Walking the talk on women’s rightsMadiba did not just talk the talk; he actively promoted women into his cabinet, and today South Africa’s parliament is one of the most representative in the world. Women make up 44% of the cabinet, not far off from the government’s goal to reach 50-50 gender parity by 2015. Female representation in parliament jumped from just 2.7% during apartheid, to 27% after 1994.While in office, Madiba also recognised the importance of primary health care for women and children. Under his watch, free public health care for pregnant women and for children up to the age of six was introduced. The health care offered to women includes access to reproductive health care, free contraception and abortion. In 1998, free public care was extended to people with disabilities.Recognising that poverty disproportionately affected women and children, especially as a result of apartheid destroying the traditional family structure among black South Africans, he expanded the social security system for more poor children and women. Today, more than 16 million poor South Africans have access to social support. Continuing the fight for women’s rightsAfter retiring from public office in 1999, Mandela, as a global statesman, continued to advocate for women’s rights. In 2006, he received Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience Award, which recognises leaders who advance human rights. On receiving it, he said: “Women and girls need safe environments to learn and to work. At the moment, discrimination and violence exacerbate their lack of access to the very tools they need to make their own rights a reality. If girls do not have a safe and non-discriminatory environment to pursue education or gain employment, the consequences reverberate throughout their lives, denying them the choice and freedom we take for granted.”Mandela’s actions brought women’s rights in South Africa a long way from the days only white women were granted the right to vote under the Women’s Enfranchisement Act of 1930. But while women’s rights are ensured on paper, in reality – much like in the rest of the world – they remain difficult to claim in everyday life. Attitudes about women’s supposed inferiority run deep in virtually all the world’s cultures and women’s rights organisations work continuously to raise awareness that women’s rights are truly human rights. Fight for gender rights this Mandela DayInternational Nelson Mandela Day is a great opportunity to join in the struggle to advance women’s rights by raising awareness of how discrimination and violence against women and children negatively affect society. Consider volunteering at an organisation – the Southern African NGO Network, or SangoNet, has a list of groups that work in the fields of women’s rights and gender rights – or try out these activities:Follow, read, or tweet your stories or experiences of sexism or misogyny with the #YesAllWomen hashtag on Twitter.Join the social media campaign being run by Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust to fight rape culture.Visit the international or South African Everyday Sexism websites to learn more about women’s daily experiences of sexism and misogyny to understand some of the struggles women face.Volunteer to answer calls at a women’s shelter.Volunteer to help out at a women’s shelter.Encourage your children’s schools to teach pupils about gender and women’s rights.Expose your children to inspiring women and women’s history through books and movies.Invite a speaker to your school to talk about women’s and gender rights.last_img read more

Court sides with ag retailers on process safety management standard

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The D.C. Court of Appeals last week ruled the Occupational Safety and Health Administration violated the Occupational Safety and Health Act when it issued an enforcement memorandum on July 22, 2015, redefining the “retail facility” exemption to the Process Safety Management Standard.The Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) and The Fertilizer Institute, which brought the suit to court, are pleased with the decision.“OSHA made a bad decision in regulating ammonia in response to an ammonium nitrate incident, and the agency made that decision incorrectly,” said Daren Coppock ARA President & CEO. “Although ARA could only challenge on the procedural point and not the decision itself, we’re still very pleased to see the Court rule in our favor and to provide this relief to our members.”Ag retailers are exempt from PSM until OSHA completes a notice-and-comment rulemaking process regarding PSM, which could take several years to finalize. ARA is currently reviewing the court’s decision and will provide additional analysis once our assessment is complete. For now, retailers can celebrate a victory on the legal front.“It’s a big win. Given the significant economic costs and absence of any safety benefit, the court made the correct decision,” said Harold Cooper, ARA Chairman. “The retail exemption has been in place for more than 20 years and OSHA should not have redefined it without an opportunity for stakeholders to comment.”Cooper said this could have easily gone another way.“As an industry, ag retailers tend to be complacent about regulations that come our way. We keep our heads down and do what’s required,” he said. “But this rule would have limited farmers and retailers options through an agency’s improper regulatory overreach. Thankfully, ARA was uniquely prepared and positioned to defend our industry. They gave us a vehicle to fight and win this battle.”last_img read more

Ohio Ag Weather and Forecast, March 4, 2019

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Cold air is the main topic of discussion this week, but also of note will be the fact that we really only have one significant precipitation outbreak to worry about for the next 10 days. Once we get into the extended 11-16 day period, we have a much more active pattern developing.The first half of this week will be bitterly cold. Strong north winds bring in arctic air again. Highs today and tomorrow do no better than the teens and low 20s, although tomorrow we probably see more of Ohio in the 20s than today. We stay below normal on temps through Wednesday. Strong north and northwest winds tomorrow bring a chance of lake effect snow to north central and especially northeast parts of the state. In those areas, we can see minor accumulations, except northeast Ohio, where several inches of lake effect can fall tomorrow, and even off and on today. Generally, though, the rest of us will see clouds and sun in various ratios through the period. Thursday features cloudy to partly sunny skies, but scattered snow showers are back, this time with about 40% coverage statewide. We think that a coating to an inch or less will be the best possible accumulation but are emphasizing the “or less” part of that statement. There just is not much moisture to work with here. Thursday will be the first day we start to see some temperature moderation meaning we should be less cold…although likely not close to normal yet. Friday will feature partly to mostly sunny skies, and finally a push to normal and event slightly above normal temps.Wind really pick up for Saturday. We have plenty of sun to start but will see clouds build ahead of our next system’s arrival. Expect south winds at 20-40 mph through the day Saturday. Rain and thunderstorms develop Saturday night and that continues through Sunday mid to late morning. We expect 100% coverage of rains from half to 1.5” Some of the rain can be heavy, although we think that it will take a line of thunderstorms to put you into the upper half of the range. The map at right shows 24 hour rain totals from Saturday night through Sunday night.  We should see some clearing by late Sunday afternoon.Monday and Tuesday of next week will be cooler than the weekend, but still should be able to be termed “seasonal”. We expect partly to mostly sunny skies for those days. Clouds start to increase overnight Tuesday night into Wednesday.Kicking off the extended 11-16 day forecast period Wednesday afternoon, we have rain arriving and continuing through Thursday. Rain totals will end up at .25”-.75” over 90% of the state. These rains are relatively gentle, but just last a little longer than some of our recent systems. We follow up the system with a colder day for next Friday, and some lake snow potential up in the far northern part of the state. We should see a mix of clouds and sun elsewhere. Another significant warm up kicks off for Saturday the 16th, and with strong south winds, we expect another strong storm to come through shortly thereafter. Rains start Saturday night and precipitation goes through Sunday. AT this point we will leave open the potential for a changeover to snow in this storm. Some models say yes, but trend shows that the cold air over the past few events has waited for the strongest part of the system to pass before moving in. Either way, we are projecting liquid equivalent precipitation at anywhere from .3”-1.1” and coverage at 90%. It turns significantly colder again behind that system for the Monday and Tuesday, the 18th and 19th. In that cold air mass, we can’t rule out a little bit of flurry activity.last_img read more

How to Shoot Cinematic Real Estate Videos

first_imgReal estate videos are highly specific projects that can have a huge impact on the targeted audience. Here are the must-take steps to creating cinematic real estate videos that actually sell property.Cover Image via RUHM Luxury MarketingReal estate is a visual medium, so photos and video are crucial to sales. This includes everything from home sales, luxury office space, or extravagant vacation rentals. Pictures are crucial to websites that showcase homes for sale, hotels, and even places listed on sites like Airbnb. But often, real estate agents find themselves needing to showcase bigger properties in bigger ways. This is where real estate video has seen huge growth.In this post, we will cover the basic rules of real estate video production and the three main types of real estate videos. By the end, you will have a solid understanding of what it takes to make a must-see real estate video that really impresses your potential buyers.The Basic Rules of Real Estate Video ProductionFor your typical real estate property, aim to keep the final video under three minutes. Don’t waste your buyer’s time, as many are just flying through listings until they find something that catches their attention. The video can be longer if the property is a multi-million dollar facility that has plenty to show off. That said, it still should not go over eight minutes. A real estate video that has a length over 10 minutes is a waste of time and investment.Now that you know you should be sticking to a tighter schedule, be sure to only highlight key features and amenities. It’s easier to put the type of fixtures in the description than it is to show them in the video. You can even throw in a quick voiceover that talks about some of the tiny details like the floors and windows.Image via ShutterstockBe sure to shoot wide as often as possible. Close up shots of decor and furniture are not helpful, as those things don’t come with the property. Viewers should be able to see the entire room and imagine their own belongings inside. Give a feel for the space, not the material items already inside.While the property should be the main focus, you can include some quick shots of the neighborhood and nearby stores or restaurants. By doing so, you add incentive to living or working in that area. That said, don’t get carried away with everything outside of the property. Your goal is to sell the real estate in the video. Keep your focus there.Image via ShutterstockWhen it comes to cinematic real estate videos, the toughest part is lighting. This includes natural lighting, built-in property fixtures, and lighting kits. To really WOW the buyer, the lighting needs to match the ambience. You will find that shooting during the middle of the day in a home with huge windows is going to be a pain.The trick to lighting comes down to the time of day and proper color temperature. The golden hour is the best time to shoot property, because this allows your viewers to see inside and outside of the windows at the same time. Otherwise, you will have blown out windows – meaning the windows will be full of bright white light.If a room doesn’t have enough light, use a lighting kit to fill the room. We have previously covered the fundamentals of lighting and color temperature. That said, you don’t have to have a big, expensive kit. There are plenty of cheap alternatives to adding the right amount of light. Just make sure the lighting is complementary to the room. A bedroom should have a warm inviting feel, not be harshly lit to look like a hospital operating table.Image via RUHM Luxury MarketingNow that we have covered the inside of the property, what about outside? The best thing to do, once again, is to shoot wide. This doesn’t work for every property, as is depends on the look of the neighboring properties. The best look will come from setting the camera up on a tripod. You can also shoot wide at a low angle to give a very impressive look to any facility.You may be tempted to use a drone to capture impressive aerials. You really shouldn’t do this. Drones should only be used if you have an FAA Section 333 exemption. Your work on these videos classify as commercial work. This makes drone use illegal — at least until new drone regulation passes. You face a penalty from the FAA when using a drone in commercial work.While on the subject of penalties, don’t forget to license your music! Don’t spend all that time making a real estate video for it to be pulled by YouTube for a copyright violation. Luckily for you, you already found this site. The added benefit of using a PremiumBeat track is a song’s multiple use. Meaning if you absolutely love one of our songs, you just have to license it one time — then you can use it in all of your real estate videos. Three Types of Real Estate VideosImage via ShutterstockThere are essentially three different types of real estate videos – which really tie into the property value. The more expensive the real estate, the more luxurious the video should be. Standard real estate videos with use either a slide show or virtual tour, where high-end homes and vistas will often use a documentary-style approach.Now, you can certainly make a documentary-style video for a standard home, but a real estate agent won’t have as much return on their investment. The reason the documentary approach is used on expensive homes is the larger budget to sell the home.Needless to say, any real estate video should accomplish two main goals. It should showcase the property for sale, which should in turn help sell it quickly.  It should also create a call-to-action to send potential buyers to the real estate agent. Even if the property featured in the video sells right away, the real estate agent can potentially get more customers that are looking for similar properties. The call-to-action can be as simple as listing the real estate agent at the end of the video or throughout the video on lower thirds.1. Slide ShowThe slide show is the easiest and most popular style of real estate video. In fact, a majority of these videos only use photographs. Since they are so simple, you’ll need to make your slide show real estate videos stand out. Add motion graphics to make the video pop. If you don’t have much experience, try using a template.Our friends at RocketStock make excellent After Effects templates. You literally just drop your photos and videos into the template, and you have instant added production value. Here is an example of their Skyline template, which was designed for property promotions.2. Virtual TourThe virtual tour showcases an entire home, room by room. This can be done with photographs and/or video. It can also be done in 360 degrees, which allows buyers to experience the home themselves.In this video from Stockworth Realty, the call-to-action immediately shows up in the beginning with a contact and phone number. Then the real estate video jumps into a nice brief intro to the property. You will then see that a majority of the video is shot wide, while the close ups only give a look at detail — like the granite countertops.There is also plenty of movement on a slider. This keeps the shots from being too static. If you aren’t going to be moving the camera — then you should probably just take photos. The video then ends with a second call-to-action to visit the website and lists the agent’s contact information. All of this is done in under three minutes. It’s an excellent example of what a real estate video should be.These virtual tours are really the best type of real estate video in terms of return on investment. They require more work than a slide show, but don’t cost nearly as much as a documentary-style real estate video.For more on these types of virtual tour real estate videos, check out this tutorial from our friend Dave Dugdale. He covers his experience making his first real estate video. He confirms that these videos should come in under three minutes, while balancing the right amount of footage inside the home versus outside the home. He also talks about using actors in the video, but not using faces so viewers can picture themselves in the property.3. DocumentaryThe documentary-style real estate video is best for luxury properties. This style does not really work for smaller homes, because it requires you to film a lot of material. The overall cost of production is very high. That said, these videos are the most popular and likely to go viral.In this video from RUHM Luxury Marketing, we are given a full tour of the home and surrounding area, all while following an incredibly charismatic and funny host. The video spoofs many home and garden cable television shows, but does so while still focusing on selling the home. The script was expertly written, mixing necessary information, humor, and some fun notes.This video does break the previously mentioned three minute rule, but the property has so much to offer and showcase that the length is justified. There are many wide interior shots on a slider, close-up shots of the beautiful wood floors, and tons of great footage of the nearby beach and retail outlets. RUHM Luxury Marketing produces some of the best real estate documentary videos, and this video is one of their best.In comparison, on of the most popular real estate videos ever is the tour of Michael Jordan‘s home. The property went up for auction, and the following tour was developed to drum up interest in the sale. The video comes in at almost nine minutes, just going over the ultimate 8 minute guideline we previously set. That said, the home and career of a basketball legend has more to offer than your typical home for sale.The real estate video still follows the same real estate video guidelines. It opens with a call-to-action, mentioning the auction company, auction date, and contact information. Nearly every shot is either wide or super-wide. A host and the listing agent take you through the entire home. This video does focus on the furniture as well, but that’s because all of the furnishing come with the purchase of the property.The video replaces the surrounding neighborhood footage with career highlights, but odds are you won’t have similar footage to work with. The outro repeats the call-to-action while adding additional information to the properties sale. Even a property as fantastic as this uses the same selling techniques constantly listed above.Ever shot any real estate videos? Share your process in the comments below!last_img read more

Coffee Farmers Looking to Boost Demand

first_imgStory Highlights “We would like to expand the coffee industry so that the pharmaceutical industry, the beauty and cosmetic sector and gastronomy will look to the hills of East Rural St. Andrew as the source of sustenance,” she said. Mrs. Holness was speaking at the press launch of the Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on January 23. Member of Parliament for East Rural St. Andrew, the Most Hon. Juliet Holness, says coffee farmers in the area are looking at various options to expand the industry. Member of Parliament for East Rural St. Andrew, the Most Hon. Juliet Holness, says coffee farmers in the area are looking at various options to expand the industry.She noted that there is understanding among the farmers that “beans alone will not cut it and they have to explore various options for the product”.“We would like to expand the coffee industry so that the pharmaceutical industry, the beauty and cosmetic sector and gastronomy will look to the hills of East Rural St. Andrew as the source of sustenance,” she said.“We’re (also) expanding knowledge around the use of intellectual property safeguards, so that our associated brand and its value are not lost in the process,” she added.Mrs. Holness was speaking at the press launch of the Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on January 23.The three-day event, from March 23 to 25, will be held at the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) training ground in Newcastle.Mrs. Holness noted that the farmers of East Rural St. Andrew, where a large amount of coffee is cultivated, are looking forward to the event.“The farmers are serious about the reputation of the Jamaican coffee, the taste of our coffee and the sustainability of our coffee for our people,” she added.Meanwhile, Chairman of the Jamaica Coffee Exporters Association (JCEA), Norman Grant, said his organisation views the festival as very timely and as a perfect fit for the expansion of the industry.He said statistics from the Coffee Industry Board (CIB) indicate that the local industry was estimated to value between US$50 million and US$60 million in 2017.He commended the Ministry of Tourism, as well as the Linkages Network, for “taking on this project so we can share this superb coffee story that began in (Jamaica) in 1728”.“It will be our task (JCEA) to pursue market development and diversification, product expansion and proliferation, as well as brand development and positioning, to proudly take the world’s best coffee, the Jamaica Blue Mountain… (globally),” he said.During the coffee festival launch, Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, presented Mrs. Holness with a 2017 Report on The Development of the Berry Industry in Jamaica.Mrs. Holness, in turn, presented the Tourism Minister with a box of strawberries from farmers in her constituency.The coffee festival is expected to bring together local and international coffee connoisseurs, coffee suppliers, foodies and other interested parties.The main target markets are local and regional, with emphasis on the Cayman Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, and Barbados. At the international level, emphasis will be placed on the United States, United Kingdom, Europe and Canada.Among the festivals features are business development workshops for farmers and a culinary trail.Other stakeholders in the staging of the event include the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, and the Rural Agricultural Development Authority. (RADA).last_img read more

Jio to be in top 100 most valuable global brands in 3

first_imgNew Delhi: Billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s telecom venture Jio will be among the 100 most valuable brands globally within three years, says a report. The ‘Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands 2019 report’ by communication services provider WPP and market research firm Kantar Millward Brown ranked Amazon the world’s most valuable brand ahead of Apple and Google. While, Life Insurance Corp (LIC) and Tata Consultancy Service (TCS) have entered the list as new entrants. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalJio has been featured in global 100 disruptive power brands. “Jio disrupted the Indian telecom provider category with its deep discount prices for data consumption. It forced competitors to lower their prices and drove category consolidation,” the report said. All telecom consumers not only Jio customers have been benefited from Jio’s action, it added. Stating that meaningful disruption is the key to scalable relevance, the report said Jio “will enter the Top 100 within three years at current growth rate.”last_img read more

Kelvin Sampson Takes Over For Kevin McHale

Kelvin Sampson, the former coach of Indiana, has taken over as interim Houston Rockets coach Kevin McHale, who took a leave of absence on Saturday to deal with a family matter.Sampson said McHale called him Saturday afternoon and asked him to coach the team.”Hopefully whatever the family matter is, it gets taken care of,” Sampson said. ”That’s the most important thing.”There is no timetable for the return of the second-year coach and Hall of Fame player.Rockets general manager Daryl Morey didn’t provide any further details on the specifics of the situation, but expressed his concern for McHale.”Kevin is a devoted family man who is needed back home in Minnesota at the moment,” Morey said. ”The Rockets organization will keep Kevin and his family in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”Sampson said he addressed the players in a film session Saturday afternoon and that he hopes they can use this setback as a positive.”Oftentimes in life we have things happen to us, and we have to make decisions on how we’re going to react to them,” Sampson said. ”This is one of those times. We lost our leader. I think we can use this as a catalyst to bring us together and fight for him.”Sampson was thinking more about McHale than worrying about his task of coaching Houston against the Pistons before Saturday night’s game. He said the fact that there weren’t high expectations for the Rockets entering this season makes stepping in easier.”I don’t think it’s that challenging,” he said. ”We have a young team and we have a new team. I think it would be a lot more challenging if we were … the No. 1 ranked team in the league. That might be a little more challenging. We’re still growing.”Sampson is in his second season with the Rockets after spending three years as an assistant with the Milwaukee Bucks. read more

To Beat The Warriors You Gotta Draft Like The Warriors Good Luck

SA2008-1115Kawhi Leonard17.027.4 DET1994-973Grant Hill18.126.3 Despite those odds, plenty of teams manage to look smart in the draft every year. The Warriors themselves had a terrific series of drafts between 2009 and 2012, when they picked up Green, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson in rapid succession. That group generated about 25 more points of VORP than they should have based on where they were picked, giving Golden State one of the shrewdest four-year stretches of drafts in the lottery era: DET1985-8827Dennis Rodman12.828.6 NO2002-054Chris Paul24.728.4 CLE1985-887Kevin Johnson12.934.7 Early in the draft, the curve is steep. The average No. 2 pick is worth only about 80 percent as many VORP in his first five seasons as the average No. 1, and players only get less valuable from there. Each additional pick produces a lot less than the slot before, emphasizing how costly every random tumble in the lottery can be.But let’s say our theoretical team gets its hands on a collection of valuable draft picks. What are the odds that it will take the right player at each slot? According to my research, there’s about a 70 percent chance that a team won’t take the best player available with any given pick at or near the top of the draft. Of course, the haul is still usually decent even if a team doesn’t nail its pick perfectly — but at the same time, “decent” doesn’t really help build a Warriors-killer.VIDEO: Why the No. 1 pick is such a valuable crapshoot Only at the most extreme edge of young talent, where the sample of historical examples is limited, do we see the potential upside usually associated with a group of highly drafted prospects playing together. (Think of the 2009-10 Oklahoma City Thunder, one of the greatest collections of pure talent ever assembled, coalescing into an NBA finalist within a few seasons.) Short of that, it’s tough to improve more than normal reversion to the mean would predict by simply stocking up on a bunch of kids with raw draft pedigree. Future stardom is unpredictable (again, see teams’ lack of consistency in getting better-than-average return on picks), and young players in particular tend to amplify one another’s flaws when playing together.But if our hypothetical Warriors-killer does manage to survive the lottery, make the right picks in the draft, get those prospects on the court together and then max out their potential, the model predicts the upper bound for its eventual peak Elo would be 1762. That’s roughly where the Warriors will be starting from next season (after reverting their final 2016-17 rating to the mean), and it’s also roughly the same Elo carried at season’s end by the 2015-16 Cleveland Cavaliers — not coincidentally, the last team to unseat the Warriors in the playoffs.A lot has to go right to get to that point, and most teams who travel down that path will fall short. But the Warriors will also feel the tug of parity soon — however gently — and at the same time, some team will eventually clear all the hurdles and build the challenger to Golden State’s throne. There’s a decent chance that journey starts in Brooklyn tonight, at the draft. * Value Over Replacement Player. Based on draftees’ first five NBA seasons, versus the average expected VORP for the slot where each player was picked. Players who were traded at the draft are assigned to the team that acquired them.Source: Basketball-Reference.com LAL1993-9610Eddie Jones14.027.8 In the age of superteams and super-duper teams,1Whether today’s stars want to admit such things exist or not. the Golden State Warriors built the ultimate doomsday machine when they added Kevin Durant in free agency last summer. Winning a championship this year seemed — and ultimately was — inevitable. But before KD put pen to paper, Golden State had captured one title and set the all-time wins record. And it was done with a roster largely built through the draft. The Warriors were the poster children for how to build a team through savvy scouting and player development, not reckless spending.Likewise, we can make a pretty good guess that the team that one day unseats Golden State will not be a creaky monument to Russian oligarchy, but rather more organic. So on draft day, let’s imagine how a team might build through the draft, stockpiling young talent and maxing out their collective potential. Could such a team rise to the Warriors’ level? Maybe. But everything would have to go right for our team, from lucking out in the lottery to nailing its picks and then developing them into stars. In other words, to beat the Warriors, you have to do what the Warriors did.First things first: It isn’t easy to jam-pack a roster with a bunch of promising young players. Even an aggressive tanking effort like Sam Hinkie’s “Process” in Philadelphia can’t guarantee that the lottery balls will fall the way they’re expected to. Indeed, the Sixers under Hinkie suffered below-average lottery luck. Meanwhile, other teams can always swoop in and snag the top pick (think the Cavaliers). Although Philly still managed to draft some high picks over the years — including, finally, a No. 1 choice in Ben Simmons last year — it didn’t get as much out of the draft as its fans might have expected when the Process began.And because the value of a pick diminishes so rapidly from No. 1 down, any unfavorable bounce in the lottery could derail our imaginary rebuild before it begins. Here’s the expected value for each pick slot — as measured by players’ Value Over Replacement Player (VORP) over the course of their first five NBA seasons — since the lottery era began in 1985: BEST PICK TOR1997-009Tracy McGrady13.526.1 And this methodology probably underrates the drafting job done by former Warriors general manager Larry Riley — and his replacement, Bob Myers, who made the team’s best pick when he drafted Draymond Green 35th overall in 2012 — since it looks at only the first five seasons of a player’s career. Curry, for instance, didn’t reach his full game-breaking potential until his sixth season in the league.But just as studies have found in other sports (most notably the NFL), there isn’t much consistent skill to making better-than-average picks in the NBA draft. The correlation between a team’s per-pick return on investment2As measured by VORP over expectation for each draft slot. in one three-year period and the next is only 0.014 — a practically nonexistent relationship.3I used three years because that’s about half the reasonable lifespan of an NBA GM gig. Even the Warriors picked big-man bust Ekpe Udoh sixth overall in between the first rounds in which they snapped up Curry and Thompson.With all these factors stacked against teams built around touted draft picks, it’s no wonder they have a spotty record of converting potential to results. Using the same method of evaluating talent bases as my colleague Kyle Wagner and I created for this story about the Minnesota Timberwolves, I measured how many highly drafted young players each team4Going back to the start of the NBA’s modern expansion wave in 1988-89. had on its roster at the same time. I then built a model using that data to predict how a team might fare over the next five seasons based on its young talent. For most teams in recent history, it’s tough to see much of a relationship between young talent and how much the team’s Elo rating5Essentially, FiveThirtyEight’s way of measuring how well a team is playing. improved, above and beyond what we’d simply expect from ordinary reversion to the mean.To show this, let’s give our team a starting Elo of 1400, basically where the Warriors themselves were after the 2011-12 season. Here’s what that model would predict its peak Elo to be over the next five seasons, depending on how much young talent it currently has: CLE2002-051LeBron James27.429.5 TEAMDRAFTSPICKPLAYERVORP* OVER EXPECTEDTOTAL VORP OVER EXPECTED The best four-year draft runs, by Value Over Replacement Player, 1985-2016 SEA1986-8917Shawn Kemp11.825.9 GS2009-1235Draymond Green15.824.8 read more

Womens soccer McVicker sees injury as stepping stone

Entering its game against Minnesota, the Ohio State women’s soccer team had high hopes for its season-opening run. Those high hopes were shattered on one serious play during the seventh minute, when redshirt senior goalkeeper Jillian McVicker tried to make a save.McVicker collided with a Minnesota player, and sustained fractured ribs, a punctured lung and a lacerated kidney. She was quickly removed from the field and taken to a Minnesota hospital,where she remained in intensive care for two days before being downgraded to standard care.“Ohio State senior goalkeeper Jillian McVicker is being held at a Minneapolis hospital through the end of the week for further treatment and testing after suffering an injury Sunday at Minnesota,” the athletic department said in a statement from an OSU spokesperson on Friday.McVicker has appeared in over 50 matches for the Buckeyes since joining the team in 2012. McVicker is a former assistant sports director for Lantern TV and also reported for The Lantern during the 2016 Spring Semester.After being released from the hospital on Saturday afternoon, she and her family drove back to Columbus, stopping in Chicago along the way before arriving back at OSU on Monday.Although not the first time the Metuchen, New Jersey, native has sustained an injury, this time, was different from the rest.OSU senior goaltender Jillian McVicker flexes as she recovers in her hospital bed in Minnesota. Credit: Courtesy of Jillian McVicker“I knew that it definitely wasn’t my muscle or anything. I just came out, I knew there was going to be a collision but I just had to get the ball,” McVicker said. “When I came out, I thought I had the wind knocked out of me at first, and then I couldn’t breathe for like a minute.”According to McVicker, her doctor said this type of injury is most common after being involved in a car crash, not with a sport like soccer.The injury has effectively ended the OSU career of McVicker, with a little over a month left in the regular season. Although her time as a Buckeye athlete has been cut short, she has still maintained a positive attitude and high spirits. “All the adversity I have faced, whether it be from injury or typical adversity that every athlete goes through, you just have to keep your head up and keep your mind on the process,” McVicker said. “Take it day-by-day and step-by-step. Which is actually very ironic because that’s exactly what I’m doing in my rehab right now.”As part of the healing process, McVicker can only lift things under 10 pounds, while limiting the amount of overall movement she has throughout the day.On social media, McVicker has received an outpouring of support from family, friends, teammates, players from other teams and, most notably, former United States Women’s National Team midfielder Julie Foudy. McVicker, a four-time OSU scholar-athlete and three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, has appeared in over 60 matches during her career with the Buckeyes. She is a double major in strategic communications and journalism, and will be graduating this December.After graduation and her injuries have fully healed, McVicker has intentions to continue her playing career outside of OSU.“I definitely want to graduate and want to look at playing overseas in Germany professionally or in America,” McVicker said. “I’m going to probably try to get an agent and figure that out once I graduate. It’s definitely not the last time I’m going to put on my keeper gloves and my jersey again.”Although she will no longer be lacing up her cleats for the Scarlet and Gray, McVicker said she will be embracing her new role of cheering her team on. Without the redshirt senior in the net, the Buckeyes will now be looking to the sideline when when she returns. From here on out, the focus of McVicker is to rally the troops to continue the team’s success. “Although this injury happened to me, my main thing for this season is for my team to be successful,” McVicker said. “Yes, this is horrible and I wouldn’t wish this upon anyone. But at the same time, all of my energy and everything when I get back is to prepare my the team the best I can in my new role.” read more