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WEEKENDS “READERS FORUM”

first_img WHAT’S ON YOUR MIND TODAY?FOOTNOTES: Our next “IS IT TRUE” will be posted on this coming Monday?Todays READERS POLL question is:  Who do you feel is the most effective Vanderburgh County Council member ?Please take time and read our newest feature articles entitled “HOT JOBS” and “LOCAL SPORTS” posted in our sections.If you would like to advertise in the CCO please contact us City-County [email protected] 2015 City County Observer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributedFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img

ONE 5.0 Bluetooth wireless earbuds offer noise cancellation and hands-free calls » Gadget Flow

first_imgWith a comfortable in-ear design, the ONE 5.0 Bluetooth wireless earbuds give you all the functions you need. In fact, these Bluetooth earbuds offer noise cancelation so you’re never distracted by annoying sounds around you. Plus, you’ll love the hands-free calling experience you get thanks to their integrated microphone. Compatible with both Android and iOS gadgets, these earbuds use Bluetooth 5.0 wireless connectivity for efficient transmission. What’s more, they offer 3D surround sound, so you’ll love them for gaming. Simply take your earbuds out of their box, and they automatically pair with the last device. When you put them in their charging case, they power off automatically. You can use these Bluetooth wireless earbuds together or separately, and you can take them everywhere thanks to their portable size. Finally, made of silicone, these earbuds fit so comfortably that you can wear them for hours on end. – Advertisement –last_img read more

Church of England endowment fund divests from Wonga

first_imgThe Church Commissioners, whose £6.1bn (€7.7bn) endowment fund finances the Church of England’s activities, as well as some of its pension obligations, have sold the fund’s indirect holding in Wonga, the controversial payday lender.The investment was held within the fund’s venture capital portfolio as part of a shareholding in US-based Accel Partners, a global private equity firm specialising in technology companies.It was uncovered a year ago by the Financial Times, a particularly embarrassing revelation as it followed a public vow by Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury – head of the Church of England – to “compete [Wonga] out of existence”.The Commissioners said they had not made any profit from their investment exposure to Wonga. They said the holding, valued at £75,000, represented much less than 0.01% of the value of the payday lender. They also emphasised they had no direct investments in Wonga or any other payday lenders.The 12-month gap between the discovery of the holding and its eventual sale shows the difficulties involved for investors extricating themselves from unlisted assets.It is estimated that if the Commissioners had had to sell their entire venture capital holdings, they might have lost £3m-9m in removing the exposure to Wonga via a secondaries deal.The Commissioners said: “We are pleased another way forward has been agreed, given our fiduciary duties to clergy pensioners and to all the parts of the Church we support financially.”They declined to give further details as to the precise nature of the deal, but they added: “We believe venture capital to be a good and useful instrument with significant potential to serve the common good. It gets new businesses up and running and supports the economy and jobs.”The Commissioners have recently tightened their ethical restrictions for direct investments and will announce new controls on indirect investments later this year.They have also created a new post to lead the implementation of the Commissioners’ ethical investment policies and responsible investment commitments. This post will be assumed in August by Edward Mason, currently secretary to the Church’s Ethical Investment Advisory Group, which shapes investment policy.last_img read more

It’s great to be back,Onyekuru in cloud nine after bouncing back from illness

first_img Loading… Onyekuru  After being released from the hospital, the 22-year-old was at the stands to watch Galatasaray’s 2-1 home win over Denizlispor on Saturday, January 18, 2020. Onyekuru returned to Galatasaray after his underwhelming six months at Monaco. The Nigerian first played for Galatasaray while on loan from Everton in the 2018/2019 season. Read Also:Onyekuru sets target at Gala, to return against Demirspor Onyekuru scored 16 goals in all competitions to help Galatasaray to a league and cup double that season. He then joined on a permanent deal before his return on loan again to Turkey. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Galatasaray Football Club of Turkey forward, Henry Onyekuru, is excited that he is back in full swing and ready to be playing again for his club. The Nigerian player expressed his heart-warming praises to the Lord for spearing his life and with the new hope that he would succeed in his career. The Turkey-based player stated in his twitter handle: ‘It’s a blessing to be back doing what I love! 2020 started with little setback due to illness but I’m 100% now. Let’s get started! God is Good’. Onyekuru recently returned to training after surviving a bout of illness. He was hospitalised for more than a week in Turkey due to malaria just after he sealed a loan move back to his former club Galatasaray. Promoted Content5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks8 Superfoods For Growing Hair Back And Stimulating Its GrowthBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For Them5 Reasons Why The Black Widow Solo Movie Will Be AwesomeBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever MadeWho Earns More Than Ronaldo?You’ve Only Seen Such Colorful Hairdos In A Handful Of AnimeDazzling Wedding Looks From Different Countries In The World7 Universities In The World With The Highest Market Value7 Worst Things To Do To Your Phone2020 Tattoo Trends: Here’s What You’ll See This Year6 Best Movie Cars You Could Own But Probably Can’t Affordlast_img read more

Angels win on walk-off in Shohei Ohtani’s spring training debut

first_imgTHE GAME: Zach Gibbons had a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the ninth inning to lead the Angels to a 6-5 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday afternoon at Tempe Diablo Stadium. The Angels have split their first two games of the spring, with both being decided in the bottom of the ninth.PITCHING REPORT: After right-hander Shohei Ohtani gave up two runs in 1-1/3 innings, striking out two, the Angels turned the game over to a group of relievers, including a few who are likely to be part of their big league bullpen. … Right-hander Jim Johnson pitched a perfect inning in his Angels debut. … Right-hander Blake Wood gave up two runs. One scored on a bloop single that dropped in shallow left, over a drawn-in infield. He then gave up a double off the left-field fence. … Right-hander Noe Ramirez pitched a scoreless inning.PreviousA bat boy delivers balls to the umpire during the Angels’ game at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)The Angels’ Michael Hermosillo steals second as the Milwaukee Brewers’ Mauricio Dubon awaits the throw in the second inning at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)Former Angels’ Jose Molina and Vladimir Guerrero share a laugh after the ceremonial first pitch before the Angels’ game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsThe Angels’ Shohei Ohtani throws to the plate during his Cactus League debut against the Milwaukee Brewers at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)The Angels’ Michael Hermosillo heads to first in the second inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)The Angels’ Luis Valbuena scores past Brewers’ catchers Manny Pina on a Martin Maldonado single in the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani is welcomed into the dugout after the first inning during his Cactus League debut against the Milwaukee Brewers at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)The Angels’ Colin Walsh drops a pop fly against the Milwaukee Brewers at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani throws to the plate during his Cactus League debut against the Milwaukee Brewers at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)The Angels’ Jose Fernandez can’t get the Milwaukee Brewers’ Keon Broxton out at second on a fourth inning steal at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani listens to the National Anthem with his teammates before his Cactus League debut against the Milwaukee Brewers at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)The Angels’ Michael Hermosillo strikes out swinging in the fourth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)The Angels’ Eduardo Paredes throws to the plate against the Milwaukee Brewers at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)The Angels’ Noe Ramirez throws to the plate against the Milwaukee Brewers at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)The Angels’ Martin Maldonado chats with Jose Molina before their game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)The Angels’ line up on the rail for their Cactus League home opener against the Milwaukee Brewers at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)The Angels’ Martin Maldonado catches a foul ball by the Milwaukee Brewers’ Manny Pina in the first inning at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)An Angels’ fan gets tossed a ball during their game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)The Angels’ Blake Wood throws to the plate against the Milwaukee Brewers at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)The Angels’ Colin Walsh (51) and Michael Hermosillo can’t reach this pop fly against the Milwaukee Brewers at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)A Brewers’s fan watches their game against the Angels at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani greets owner Arte Moreno before making his Cactus League debut against the Milwaukee Brewers at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)Angel fans look for baseballs during their Cactus League home opener against the Milwaukee Brewers at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)Two Brewers fans catch a nap in the outfield during the Angels’ game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)Angel fans look for autographs at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)Angel fans look for autographs at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)Angel fans look for free t-shirts before the Cactus League opener at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)A Power Player throws out free t-shirts before the Angels’ game at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)Shadows and seeds in front of the dugout before the Angels’ game at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)A bat boy delivers balls to the umpire during the Angels’ game at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)The Angels’ Michael Hermosillo steals second as the Milwaukee Brewers’ Mauricio Dubon awaits the throw in the second inning at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)NextShow Caption1 of 29The Angels’ Michael Hermosillo steals second as the Milwaukee Brewers’ Mauricio Dubon awaits the throw in the second inning at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)ExpandHITTING REPORT: Luis Valbuena yanked a double down the right-field line, accompanied by his customary bat flip. In his next trip, he bunted against the shift for a single. Valbuena had bunted for hits four times in 2016, but none in his first year with the Angels, in 2017. … Martin Maldonado drove in two runs with a bloop single in the first inning. … Jahmai Jones had a hit that got past the right fielder and went for a triple.DEFENSE REPORT: Catcher Martin Maldonado threw out one of two runners trying to steal. He also made an errant throw that led to a run when he was trying to nail a runner moving up on a wild pitch… Center fielder Jones appeared to lose a fly ball in the sun, allowing it to drop for a triple. UP NEXT: Angels (Garrett Richards) vs. Padres (Bryan Mitchell), Sunday, noon PT, Tempe Diablo Stadium, Fox Sports West/KLAA (830 AM) Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

It takes Oliver’s Village to raise a child

first_imgHigher education costs are often out of reach of the average South African matriculant; but David Sellar wants to help change this.In 1 April 2001, he started the non-profit organisation Oliver’s House in Benoni in Gauteng to bring skills development, education, training, job creation and early childhood development assistance to poorer communities in the city.The Oliver’s House pre-school works with 210 children from the Zenzele informal settlement south east of Johannesburg and provides a safe, caring and loving learning environment“David is one of my friends and when I wanted to start an NGO (non-governmental organisation) he came to me with the idea that started our organisation,” said Terence Ferreira, chief executive officer at Oliver’s House.“Our initiative is to help our students with improvements on mainly maths and science but we also look very closely into creative arts and farming,” said Ferreira.Oliver’s House works with communities in Etwatwa, Wattville, Daveyton and along the East Rand.A SELF-SUSTAINING COMMUNITY“We have only two teachers at the moment and they have to go through our 90 students that come in for lessons,” said Ferreira, “however we are trying to improve our level of teaching and hopefully we will have more to give out to the students.”The Oliver’s House education centre provides free assistance in maths and science for Grade 11 and Grade 12 students who’ve failed the grades and want to pass their supplementary exams.“Each day we see the realities of educational inequity juxtaposed against the concrete evidence that when students in low-income communities are given the opportunities they deserve, they excel” said Ferreira.“These students are the keepers of all South Africa’s potential and promise; we must work together to build the foundation of their success and provide them with the tools they will need to compete in tomorrow’s global economy,” he said.The centre provides students with access to an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) programme, offering access to the internet and free computer skills courses for those students who don’t have access to the technology at home or at school. This improves their chances in the job market.The centre also rewards pupils who excel: “Those who come out at the top of our class get to take home a computer,” says Ferreira. The education centre is led by Charles Mahlangu, who is also one of the teachers at the centre.The Nomthandazo Children’s Care Centre is led by the founder Ndazi Mtshwene, with eight caregivers.The Oliver’s House pre-school works with 210 children from the Zenzele informal settlement south east of Johannesburg and provides a safe, caring and loving learning environment.“With a good foundation before starting school anyone can accomplish anything they desire and that is why we would love to help build inspiration from an early age” said Ferreira.The organisation also runs a feeding scheme in Zenzele, providing free meals to children and families in the settlementThe organisation also runs a feeding scheme in Zenzele, providing free meals to children and families in the settlement. “Who can learn or work on an empty stomach?” asks Ferreira.The organisation also has plans to build Oliver’s Village, with an HIV/Aids clinic, an organic farm and food forest, a children’s daycare facility, a community hall, a skills development village, children’s homes and an amphitheatre and learning centre.The village will be environmentally friendly, using bio-gas, solar energy and an on-site generator for cooking and heating. The plot boasts a borehole producing 20 litres of high-quality water per second with additional rain and storm water harvesting systems, and grey water treatment systems.The plot caters for two acres of grassland, two acres of food forest, one acre of food gardens, six acres for housing, the HIV/Aids clinic, classrooms, a playground and the amphitheatre.“We would like to have more volunteers but mostly sponsors so that we can help create a country that works together; our journey to that idea is still taking its baby steps; we can make it if everyone works side by side.” said Ferreira.PLAY YOUR PARTTo learn more about Oliver’s House visit its website, call 011 748 6500, or email [email protected]last_img read more

Creamline rallies past Perlas to sweep PVL elims

first_imgChurch, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Valdez is in Japan with the national team as they prepare for the Southeast Asian Games and AVC Asian Women’s Volleyball Championship. Francesca Raqraquin put up a game-high 23 points to lead the Cool Smashers while Vargas and Pau Soriano added 16 and 12 points, respectively.Kathy Bersola led the Perlas Spikers with 22 points.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next A loss to Bali Pure in its match against Pocari Sweat will ensure BanKo Perlas of at least a playoff for the fourth spot.Rosemarie Vargas capped off Creamline’s furious 21-9 rally with an off-the-block kill to finish the match and preserve the Cool Smashers’ perfect card. FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars“We always tell our players to calm their nerves because this is a no-pressure game for us,” said Creamline assistant coach Oliver Almadro who reserved a semifinals slot since it etched a 5-0 record. “Coach Tai, however, told us to win the game.”“This sweep just shows how talented our players are and we just don’t depend on Alyssa [Valdez], she’s our leader but other players are capable of stepping up.” FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ MOST READcenter_img Lastimosa, Mallari team up as NLEX rises to 4-0 DILG, PNP back suspension of classes during SEA Games Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ LATEST STORIES Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: 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 City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Creamline Cool Smashers. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netCreamline entered the semifinal stages of the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference with an immaculate slate after capping off its elimination round campaign with a come-from-behind win over BanKo Perlas, 21-25, 25-22, 26-24, 28-26, Sunday at Filoil Flying V Centre.The Cool Smashers ended the preliminary stages with a 7-0 record while the Perlas Spikers (3-4) moved to the brink of elimination. ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. last_img read more

Working relentlessly to improve quality of rails SAIL

first_imgNew Delhi: State-owned SAIL on Thursday said it was working relentlessly to further improve the quality of rails. To achieve this, the PSU has adopted measures like reducing the hydrogen content in rail steel, the company said in a statement. The Nickel-Copper-Chromium (NCC) corrosion resistant rails that SAIL-Bhilai Steel Plant developed and supplied for coastal areas have successfully undergone field trials. SAIL has supplied more than 1.8 million of wheels of various dimensions to the Indian Railways in last six decades.last_img

Mike Trout Is The MVP — And Still On Track For The

PLAYERWAR Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout is widely acknowledged to be the best player in baseball and has been for quite some time. But for all his gifts, awards recognition has been hard for Trout to come by. Although Trout has led the American League in wins above replacement (WAR) for each of the past five seasons,1Ever since he first became a full-time player in 2012. he had only won MVP honors once going into Thursday night’s award announcement — and victory there was far from assured.Unlike in the past, though, when Trout’s horrid teammates were held against him in favor of some lesser player on a winning team, the voters broke with tradition and went for the player with stellar individual numbers. In winning the MVP, Trout became just the sixth player from a losing team to take home the hardware. It was a victory for the new ways of player evaluation and a more modern take on what the “valuable” part of MVP really means.But even if Trout hadn’t won the award, he could have taken the same solace he could last year: MVP or not, but he’s still tracking to be the G.O.A.T.Through every single age in which he played a full season,2Not including his age-19 season in 2011, when he logged only 40 games after a July call-up. Trout has been the all-time career leader in Baseball-Reference.com’s WAR for position players. It was true through age 20, age 21, age 22, age 23 and — after posting 10.6 WAR in 2016, a performance that basically matched his previous single-season peak — age 24. No player has ever started his career on this kind of tear — not Ruth, not Cobb, not Mantle, nobody. PLAYERWAR 5Ken Griffey Jr.37.0 Most career WAR through each age since 1901, among position players.Source: Baseball-Reference.com 2Mel Ott11.42Mel Ott17.9 5Al Kaline8.95Al Kaline15.4 WAR Through Age 24 Mike Trout is (still!) the G.O.A.T. at any age 2Ty Cobb25.52Ty Cobb36.0 As a result — and in concert with MLB labor mechanisms that force young stars to either play for peanuts through their arbitration years or lock themselves into long, below-market extensions (as Trout did in 2014, re-signing with the Angels through 2020) — Trout has produced a ton of surplus value for the Angels, relative to what he’s been paid. According to FanGraphs.com, Trout’s production would have been worth about $357 million on the open market since his MLB debut, a span over which he was paid only about $24 million.That’s why speculation that the Yankees are loading up for a Trout trade breaks down upon examination. At a glance, why not ship Trout away from a rebuilding team where his WAR is being wasted (aside, of course, from Angels fans who like to watch him play) to a huge market that has the prospects for a blockbuster deal? The answer: It would take a monster package of young talent to justify trading away a player who so outperforms his contract and probably will continue to do so for the next several years.If we apply Tom Tango’s simple WAR projection system with an average future value of $8.6 million per win,3Starting with a rough cost-estimate of $8 million per WAR next season, with 5 percent annual growth until 2020. the final four seasons of Trout’s contract figure to see him generate 32.5 WAR, for a market value of $282 million,4Including the yearly minimum salary of about $500,000. and be paid $122 million. So it probably won’t be until Trout’s next contract that the cost-benefit tradeoff of having him around begins to make a trade realistic for either the Angels or the team they’re negotiating with.At that point, the math gets a little silly. Even in the first year of his next deal, Trout’s WAR projects to be worth so much on the open market (roughly $75 million) that he’d need a truly paradigm-shifting contract — one that would basically double the highest annual salary of anybody in the game right now — to not be underpaid. With superstar free-agent deals, the question often isn’t whether they’ll be paid more than they’re worth, but by how much. Trout, however, is so good that it might be hard for him to earn fair market value even in his big post-prime payday.For now, that means Trout is probably stuck carrying the Angels. In the past, that would have also meant his chances of contending for the MVP were slim, despite his incredible individual numbers. But perhaps Trout’s win Thursday also signals a change in the way voting will be conducted going forward. The MVP electorate has been skewing more progressive for a while, in terms of its willingness to use sabermetric tools, and there’s nothing more open-minded than giving the MVP to the leader of a 74-88 team.But maybe it was also about Trout’s own particular greatness. No player has ever been so good at such a young age; it was likely that future generations would have looked at his repeated MVP snubs and wondered what the hell the voters were thinking to deny him the AL’s top individual award, over and over. 4Mel Ott23.54Mel Ott31.4 1Mike Trout48.5 WAR Through Age 20WAR Through Age 21 a 3Ty Cobb9.53Ty Cobb15.7 1Mike Trout28.61Mike Trout37.9 5Alex Rodriguez22.95Ken Griffey Jr.30.1 3Mickey Mantle40.9 2Ty Cobb46.7 1Mike Trout11.41Mike Trout20.7 WAR Through Age 22WAR Through Age 23 3Ted Williams23.63Ted Williams34.2 a 4Bryce Harper8.94Ken Griffey Jr.15.5 4Alex Rodriguez38.0 read more

7 Burning Questions For The MLB Stretch Run

Now that the MLB All-Star Game is over — with hometown favorite Shane Bieber winning MVP (despite not even being the most valuable pitcher on his own team) — the baseball world can finally turn its attention toward the stretch run of the season, in games that actually count. 2019 has given us some interesting twists already: For all the division races that have gone mostly according to expectations, there are several others that definitely haven’t, and the same goes for unexpected breakout players cropping up among the old standbys. So with a little help from our MLB Elo ratings and probabilities, let’s take a look at the important questions that will be answered in the second half:Can Cody Bellinger hold off Mike Trout?A healthy Mike Trout is usually a strong pick to lead the majors in WAR. From the Los Angeles Angels outfielder’s first full MLB season in 2012 through 2018, Trout finished first among hitters in WAR four times in seven chances. The only exceptions were 2015 (when Bryce Harper rattled off what looks like one of the all-time fluke seasons), 2017 (when Trout was injured for a big part of the season) and 2018 (when both happened — Trout was hurt and Mookie Betts also had an all-time great campaign). The 27-year-old Trout has already passed numerous Hall of Famers in career WAR, so it makes sense that it would take either an injury or a historic rival season to dethrone him from his customary spot atop the league leaderboard.This year, Trout is healthy, which is a big part of the equation. He’s also having one of his best-ever seasons at the plate. But this time, the rival performance is an all-time great one being served up by Dodgers right fielder Cody Bellinger, who is on pace for 10.8 WAR by season’s end (which would rank among the top 30 or so seasons by a batter in MLB history). Bellinger streaked ahead of Trout relatively early in the season and hasn’t looked back — though maybe he should start checking the rearview mirror. With a .476 weighted on-base average to Bellinger’s .303 over the past 14 days, Trout has now pulled within 0.07 WAR of his Dodger counterpart on the season. And on top of his stellar numbers, Trout is also one of the most consistent players in baseball history, so he’s likely to get to his usual (astronomical) WAR level by the end of the year. The real question is whether Bellinger can continue to keep pace with this crazy career year of his own.Can the Twins hang on to the AL Central?The Minnesota Twins have easily been the most surprising team of the season thus far, staking themselves to the majors’ third-best record (56-33) and a 5½-game lead over the Cleveland Indians in the AL Central. Before the season, our model thought Cleveland had the edge in talent over Minnesota, even if the Tribe had allowed their gap over the rest of the division to narrow since 2018. But that gap ended up being much smaller than anyone imagined — perhaps even nonexistent! In addition to its superior record, Minnesota has vastly outperformed Cleveland in terms of run differential (+116 to +27) and total wins above replacement1Averaging together the two versions found at Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs. (31.3 to 19.6).Even so, our Elo ratings think the Indians are gaining on the Twins recently, especially after Cleveland trimmed Minnesota’s division lead from 11 games on June 15 to half that in a little over three weeks. Our model still gives Minnesota a 78 percent chance of resisting a Cleveland surge, and some of the Tribe’s problems aren’t going away soon. Injured ace Corey Kluber hasn’t pitched in months, and fellow starter Carlos Carrasco recently announced that he had been diagnosed with leukemia. But it’s also fair to wonder whether third baseman Jose Ramirez — an MVP candidate in 2018 — will continue to be one of baseball’s most disappointing players in the second half, as well as if some of the most unexpectedly good Twins (Jorge Polanco, Mitch Garver, Jake Odorizzi, etc.) will stay as hot going forward. If the teams play more to the form our model had originally predicted, this could be a very intriguing battle.Who will win the National League Central?At the All-Star break, the NL Central is baseball’s only division with a leader up by five games or fewer. (It’s only the second case since the six-division era started in 1994 where just one division was within five games at the break .) The FiveThirtyEight predictions make it even clearer how tight this division is: the Chicago Cubs lead with just a 42 percent probability of winning the Central — making them the only current division favorite with less than a 70 percent chance to win — and four teams have a double-digit probability, including Chicago, the Milwaukee Brewers (26 percent), St. Louis Cardinals (14 percent) and Pittsburgh Pirates (11 percent). (Even the cellar-dwelling Cincinnati Reds still have a 7 percent shot at the division title.)The Cubs would seem to have the edge in the second half, however. They have a +55 run differential, while two of their four division rivals have actually been outscored this season. (The Brewers have a -17 scoring margin, and the Pirates have one of -36; the closest competitor to Chicago is actually Cincinnati at +27, even though the Reds have the worst record of all four Cub rivals.) The Brewers have the best individual player of the division in right fielder Christian Yelich (on pace for 8.8 WAR), and they sent five players to the All-Star Game, tied for the second-most of any MLB team. But they’ve also seen their share of letdowns, headlined by Lorenzo Cain and Travis Shaw. Whichever NL Central teams lose out on the playoffs, one thing’s for sure: they will be disappointed, given how close they were with two and a half months left in the regular season.How wrong was I about Washington?About a month ago, I wrote that the NL East race — which once looked like a four-team battle between the Washington Nationals, New York Mets, Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies — had been winnowed down to just the Braves and Phillies. Well, one of those teams has kept winning: Atlanta is 11-6 since June 18. But Philadelphia promptly went 8-11 over that same span, while Washington has gone 14-4 and increased its Elo rating by 8.4 points, sixth-most in baseball behind the Pirates, Giants, Athletics, Yankees and Orioles.As a result, the NL East race has shifted — if slightly.It still looks like a two-team race, and the Braves are still at the top. In fact, Atlanta’s odds of winning the division have only gotten even better over the past month, rising from 59 percent to 72 percent. But the Nationals now have the second-best chance of winning the East, at 19 percent, with the Phillies dropping down to 9 percent. Washington is also now likely to make the playoffs (58 percent), while Philly has just a 38 percent chance of getting into the postseason. The teams are separated by just a half-game in the standings, but there’s no question Bryce Harper’s old team has played better than his new one in the first half of 2019.2Washington has the superior run differential and WAR tally, in addition to a 16-point edge in Elo. The degree to which Washington can threaten the Braves depends on how much they keep proving me wrong.How top-heavy can baseball get?Our model currently predicts that four teams — the Yankees, Dodgers, Astros and Twins — will finish with at least 98 wins (with three of those cracking triple-digits). If that happens, it would be the most 98-win teams in a single season since 2002, when five teams broke that barrier. At the same time, five teams are projected for 98 or more losses (including four tracking for triple-digit defeats). If that holds up, it would tie last season for the most such teams since 1977.This kind of thing is nothing new in the modern world of MLB, where the tanking trend has led to a bunch of bottom-feeders waving the white flag while a bunch of powerhouses destroy them. But even by those recent standards, the 2019 season could break new ground in top-heaviness. It might make for some less-than-compelling regular season contests down the stretch, particularly once rosters expand in September — but it could also lead to multiple titanic postseason matchups between teams with gaudy records, particularly in the AL.Will the home runs ever let up?If the 2019 season is remembered for anything, it seems likely that it will go down as the Year of the Home Run. (Until the next Year of the Home Run, that is.) So far this season, 1.37 balls have left the yard on average every game, which would shatter the all-time record (set in 2017) by nearly 9 percent if it holds up in the second half. 25 of 30 teams have hit at least 100 homers before the All-Star break, while 35 different players hit at least 20 bombs, and nine have hit at least 25. Overall, the 3,691 home runs smashed so far are, according to ESPN’s Stats & Information Group, the most in a first half in baseball history. (The previous record was 3,343 in 2017.)With August, traditionally one of the most homer-heavy months, still remaining to be played, it seems likely that the all-time record for most dingers in a single MLB season will be obliterated. Love or hate the homer-centric style of baseball being played in today’s game — let’s ask Justin Verlander what he thinks — the long ball is more fundamental to the fabric of the sport than it’s ever been, and it shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.Will the champs even make the playoffs?The Boston Red Sox have turned things around some since their abysmal start to the season, winning 18 of their past 30 games (a 97-win pace per 162 games). Although staff ace Chris Sale continues to struggle (5.96 ERA in the last month), the 2019 Sox have at least mostly begun to resemble the fearsome team that dominated MLB essentially from wire to wire a season ago. But is it too little, too late?According to the FiveThirtyEight model, Boston has less than a coin flip’s chance (47 percent) to make the playoffs heading into the season’s home stretch. That number includes almost no chance of winning the AL East (6 percent), both because the rival New York Yankees have played so well and because the Tampa Bay Rays have exceeded expectations (again) and are on pace to win 92 games according to our model. That leaves the Red Sox in a numbers game for the AL’s other Wild Card slot, which is looking like it will go to the Indians — who themselves have been squeezed by the upstart Twins. In other words, some quality AL team will be left out of the postseason, and right now that team is looking like the defending champs, thanks to their early season World Series hangover.Check out our latest MLB predictions. read more