Month: September 2019

That Weird Jon Lester Trade Wasnt That Weird

This year’s Major League Baseball trade-deadline fire sale mostly went to script, headlined by the Jon Lester/Yoenis Cespedes mega deal where the Oakland A’s and Boston Red Sox helped each other out in the usual fashion: One got to clear millions in salaries off the books while gaining a few parts, and the other obtained a high-impact starter for its championship run. The wrinkle in this case is that the team doing the dumping is big-market, big-payroll Boston, and the one gearing up for the post-season is small market, small-payroll Oakland.For a good breakdown of this trade, see Jonah Keri’s piece in Grantland. Here’s a quote that had me laughing at my desk:It’s hard to blame GM Ben Cherington for embracing the fire-sale approach. … Even if Lester leads the A’s to World Series glory, it still looks like the Sox made out like bandits in this deal.So one team may substantially increase its chances of winning the World Series, while the other makes out like bandits! Keri is absolutely right though: The reason these fire-sale deals are so common is because they benefit both sides. When a team’s competing for the playoffs, winning now is much more valuable, and when a team’s out of contention, money is more valuable.You know who understands this? Oakland General Manager Billy Beane. In competitive years under Beane’s tenure (when the A’s finished first or second in their division), the A’s have made July deals gaining them a net total of 9.61 wins above replacement (relative to the players they had to give away), while taking on an extra $16 million worth of salary for those years (of which, the A’s would pay a remainder, depending on the terms of the trade). Note: Yes, that is an pretty good money-to-WAR ratio, but it’s what would you expect. Conversely, in years when the A’s have not been in contention, Oakland has sold a net of 12.25 WAR, while shedding the remainder of $46 million worth of salary.For the small-payroll team to be the fire-sale buyer is rare, especially with as large a pay gap as exists between the Red Sox and Athletics (more than $79 million). Since 1996, just $21 million worth of salary obligations (or remainder thereof) have gone to the small side of a payroll gap that big (about 1.2 percent of contract value for all trades conducted in the period), and those were offset by those teams shedding $109 million. In other words, poor teams typically trade big contracts for little ones.Overall, since 1996, bigger payroll teams have sent $736 million in present-year salary to smaller payroll teams. The bigger payroll teams have taken on $1.02 billion, meaning the poorer teams netted close to $300 million.That said, the Oakland/Red Sox deal isn’t unusual if we ignore payroll and just look at the standings. Oakland currently holds the top spot in the AL, the Red Sox are in 13th. For trades between teams with at least a 12-spot gap between them in the standings, $161 million in salary shifted to the better teams in exchange for just $7 million going the other way. Overall, the team with the better position in the standings has taken on about $1.35 billion dollars in salary while shedding just $413 million. Meaning, the lower ranked teams have netted nearly $900 million in fire-sale trades (almost triple what poorer teams have done).Let’s look at this in chart form. I’ve plotted all the contracts traded in July from 1996 through 2013 (plus Lester’s) below, with the size of the players salary for the given season represented by area of the bubble:There are four quadrants representing the four basic types of trades. Quadrants kitty-corner from each other are essentially trade partners — e.g. when poor teams find themselves in the better competitive spot, they seem to be pretty willing to spend money to go after wins (435 million) and are even less willing to give away assets (112 million).For fun, I ran a regression from pay gap and standings gap to the size of contract changing hands and found that pay gap is actually borderline insignificant after you account for standings (for fellow nerds: t-Stat of 6.5 for standings gap, just 1.6 for payroll gap).In other words, while the A’s-Red Sox trade appears to be extremely unusual (a fairly large outlier on the chart above), it’s not because small payroll teams just don’t usually make trades like this. It’s because small payroll teams aren’t usually in position to make trades like this. read more

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Mo Farah Challenges Usain Bolt to a Race for

The fastest man in the world, Usain Bolt, has been challenged to a race for charity by Great Britain’s distant runner Mo Farah, but the race may take the sprinter out of his comfort zone.“It’d be great to be able to do a distance where people vote in what distance will be suitable, and then get a judge and then come in the middle with that distance and train for it,” said Britain’s Farah, who won the 5,000 and 10,000 meters at last year’s London’s Olympics. “Bolt, are you up for that? Come on, you got to do it.”With no one else to beat on the track, Bolt – who won the 100 and 200 in world-record time at the 2008 Beijing Games, then defended those titles at last year’s Olympics –  is considering Farah’s challenge.“That sounds fun. It’s going to be hard, but for me it’s charity, so it’s just all about fun and enjoyment,” Bolt said. “For me, I’m up for anything if it’s possible.”The issue with this challenge is deciding on a fair distance. What would you consider a fair? Give us your opinion. read more

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Kobe Bryant Says Hes 100 Percent Healthy Wants Voice

Kobe Bryant, who has been quiet for months, said Thursday on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live that he is healthy and prepared to return to the NBA in top form next season.Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers’ superstar guard, missed all but six games of this season because of a fractured knee and torn Achilles in his left leg.“From a health standpoint, (I’m) 100 percent,” Bryant said. “I started doing a lot of on-court training and so I’m back into my routine. Then I’ll start lifting and start doing the running, which I hate. By the time the season comes around, I’ll be ready to go.”He expects to have many new teammates, and the team is amid a coaching search, one in which he hopes to have a valued opinion.“On the last two (hires) they didn’t,” Bryant said, referring to Mike Brown and Mike D’Antoni, who both did not last the length of their contracts. “On the third one, I’m hoping they do.”D’Antoni was offered a buyout to leave the Lakers and accepted it. Bryant’s response? “I didn’t care,” which can be interpreted as code for he wanted a change.Bryant said he and the Lakers brass, Jim and Jeanie Buss, share an “open-door policy” and communicate regularly.  As for a new coach, Bryant said, “Honestly, it’s not really about whether the players like the coach or not. It’s really about getting results. Liking somebody and those results don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand.“Sometimes when a coach is driving you, you don’t necessarily like it, but it’s a part of the process, and then once you win, everybody is buddy-buddy after that.”“Jimmy and Jeanie both, they’re just really determined and excited about the possibilities of next season and rebuilding this and building on their father’s legacy and everything that he’s accomplished,” Bryant said. “And they’re taking the challenge extremely, extremely seriously. They’re both on the same page and they want nothing but excellence here, so I have no doubt that we’ll make it happen.”Ever the optimist, he said he expects the Lakers to return to prominence soon.“I do,” said Bryant, who will be 36 soon. “We’ll make changes, for sure. There’s certain characteristics that you have to build your team around in speed and length and rebounding and defense. We’ll make those adjustments.” read more

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The Final College Football Playoff Rankings Contradict History

The field for the inaugural College Football Playoff (CFP) was finally set Sunday, but — in true college football style — it wasn’t without controversy. The 12-person CFP selection committee chose Alabama, Oregon, Florida State and Ohio State, arguably snubbing Big 12 co-champions Baylor and (especially) TCU.The last four teams standing are exceptional. The Ducks, Crimson Tide and Buckeyes rank Nos. 1, 2 and 3, respectively, in ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI). And although the Seminoles have been unconvincing throughout the season, it would have been difficult to justify leaving the undefeated, defending national champion out of the playoff — No. 10 FPI ranking be damned. So, the committee may well have made the best decision it could have, according to its mandate to select the nation’s four best teams.But by ranking TCU third (ahead of both Florida State and Ohio State) the week before the conference championships, the committee also set itself up to violate the precedent of how college football rankings have always worked. That’s why, even after previous No. 5 Ohio State rolled over No. 13 Wisconsin 59-0, the FiveThirtyEight College Football Playoff model — which is based on a historical analysis of Coaches Poll voters’ tendencies — saw little chance that TCU would drop from third place to fifth or lower in the committee’s final rankings.Using the traditional media polls as a guide, that was a reasonable assumption. Since the advent of the Bowl Coalition in 1992, only four times (in 214 opportunities) did the third-ranked team in the AP poll drop below fourth place the week after it won a game over an FBS opponent. All four of those teams (Florida State in Week 1 of the 2002 season, Ohio State in Week 3 of 2003, Tennessee in Week 1 of 2005 and Ohio State in Week 2 of 2008) posted victory margins that underwhelmed their pregame FPI expectations. By contrast, TCU beat its pregame expectations by 19 points in thrashing Iowa State. (And it bears repeating that none of those cases took place any later than the third week of a season, when you would expect voters to still be sorting out the order of teams.)And yet TCU did drop in the committee’s rankings — from third place to sixth, below Florida State, Ohio State and even Baylor (whom the committee had controversially slotted beneath TCU in every previous edition of its rankings, seemingly ignoring the Bears’ head-to-head victory over the Horned Frogs on Oct. 11). It was a stunning fall that, for better or worse, seemed to contradict the way college football teams traditionally move in the rankings.TCU’s exclusion also broke with tradition from another standpoint. Using poll data since 1992, I ran a logistic regression attempting to predict whether a team would finish the regular season in the AP’s top four based on various “résumé” statistics provided by ESPN’s Stats and Info Group. The factors that emerged as significant were a team’s winning percentage (modified slightly by Laplace’s Rule of Succession), its average points-per-game margin, its strength of schedule (according to the average FBS team’s expected winning percentage against its schedule using FPI), and whether it won its conference or not.This year, those criteria would have yielded the following probabilities of making the top four (assuming the committee would follow the pollsters’ traditional logic):(Note: Baylor and TCU were co-champions of the Big 12; for the purposes of the regression, they were each treated the same as a team that was sole champion of its conference.)It’s not outside the realm of plausibility that historical voters would exclude TCU and include Ohio State on the basis of their résumés alone (this method shows there was a 16 percent chance that would happen). In fact, the real AP poll dropped TCU from fourth to sixth, with two teams (Baylor and Ohio State) hurdling the Horned Frogs.It is, however, another way to underscore that the playoff committee may be rethinking the way college football teams have been ranked at the end of the season. As FiveThirtyEight’s editor in chief, Nate Silver, wrote in his final assessment of the committee’s selection, the sport’s old algorithm rarely entailed a top-to-bottom reassessment of the field this late in the year (voters usually just made slight adjustments to teams’ rankings after losses or big wins; otherwise the current rankings were basically enslaved to the previous rankings). The committee’s final rankings, on the other hand, suggest it sorted the teams from scratch after the conference championships, with no allegiance to its previous choices.That’s not necessarily a bad thing. But, like the existence of a playoff in the first place, it’s a new thing. read more

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Why The Warriors Are So Tough To Beat

The Warriors were 17-4 during the regular season with average shooting. That equals a .810 winning percentage — tops in the the NBA — or the equivalent of a 66-16 record over an 82-game schedule.The reason for the Warriors’ strong record with average shooting is simple: They also play great defense. It gets overlooked because they play at a frenetic pace, but the Dubs held opponents to a .514 TS% during the regular season, the third-best figure in the league after Chicago and Portland.It can get even worse for opponents, and it often does: The Warriors went 46-3 with good shooting during the regular season. But “pretty good” shooting — average shooting, even — is usually plenty good enough for the Warriors. They’ll need to throw up a lot of bricks the rest of the way. Otherwise, James — as brilliant as he’s been — may become the first finals MVP in a losing cause since Jerry West in 1969. Through the first three games of the NBA Finals, the storylines were intricate and rich:Could LeBron James carry one of the worst supporting casts in recent finals history to an NBA title?Was James’s experience — and sheer force of will — trumping the Golden State Warriors’ youth?Was Steph Curry just in a shooting slump, or was he rattled by his scary injury against the Houston Rockets?Could the Cleveland Cavaliers keep playing stifling defense, or might Golden State’s smallball lineup be its ace in the hole?Were Cleveland’s poor finishes — it was outscored by a combined margin of 105-84 in the fourth quarter and overtime of the first three games1And if you include Game 4, it’s now been outscored 132-96 from the fourth quarter onward. — the sign of a spent team?Was Kevin Love’s injury (suffered in the opening round against the Boston Celtics) the ultimate example of Bill Simmons’s Ewing Theory? And maybe Kyrie Irving’s injury too?Is Matthew Dellavedova the Australian Tim Tebow?Does God hate Cleveland?But after a 103-82 Golden State win in Game 4, it all seems so simple.The Warriors are really, really good. You have a shot at beating them if their shooting goes ice-cold. Otherwise, it’s next to impossible.Let’s review the series from the standpoint of true shooting percentage (TS%), a relatively simple stat that gives appropriate credit for 3-pointers and free throws along with 2-point shooting attempts. Golden State led the NBA with a .571 TS% during the regular season, while Cleveland (.557) ranked fourth. The adjacent table lists each team’s TS% in each finals game so far, along with its percentile rank as compared to all NBA games during the 2014-15 regular season.Game 4 was the first time we’ve seen the Warriors shoot like they typically did during the regular season. Their .579 TS% was close to their regular-season average, and — since an average Golden State performance is so good — ranks in the 77th percentile as compared to all NBA games.But the Warriors’ defense has also been very good. It held Cleveland to a .409 TS% in Game 4, which ranks in just the 1st percentile. And it kept the Cavaliers to a .441 TS%, in the 6th percentile, in Game 2 on Sunday night.Wait — didn’t the Cavs win Game 2? They did (in overtime). The team with the higher TS% wins about 85 percent of the time2Based on the 2014-15 regular season. — this was one of the exceptions. Cleveland was able to take seven more field-goal attempts and 15 more free-throw attempts than the Warriors as a result of rebounding, turnovers and fouls. You can win as the slightly less efficient team when there’s a big differential in those categories.Still, Cleveland wouldn’t have won Game 2 had Golden State shot a little better. If the Warriors had hit shots at the NBA average TS% of .535 (never mind that the team’s TS% is typically way better than that), they’d have scored an additional eight points and won 101-95.And that’s the thing: The Warriors don’t have to shoot the lights out to win. If they shoot as well as the average NBA team, they’re very likely to win also.In the next chart, I’ve tracked each team’s record based on its TS% during the regular season. I divide games into three categories, which include about a third of regular-season games each:Good shooting — a TS% of .560 or higher.Poor shooting — a TS% of .510 or lower.Average shooting — anything in between. read more

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Why Denvers Gary Harris Could Be The Next Kawhi Leonard

Of course, none of this is to say that Harris will continue ascending the way Leonard has during his fifth and sixth seasons, when he went from scoring 16.5 points a contest to 25.5 points while managing to become more efficient despite a heavier offensive load. Without Harris becoming more of a one-on-one threat, which Kawhi has become stellar at in relatively short order, it’s more sensible to compare his offense to Golden State’s Klay Thompson or Washington’s Otto Porter, who play better off the ball than with it.Should Harris develop a more aggressive brand of offense, though, there’s reason to think he could find success with it. While he’s not built like Leonard — one of the NBA’s strongest players, and just one of four NBA wing players last season to record more and-1s than he had shots blocked — Harris is far stronger than he looks and doesn’t shy away from contact. The former All-American high school football player is one of three guards, after James and Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons, who shoots 70 percent at the rim — elite company for strength around the basket.Malone said Harris has been diligent every summer about taking direction from coaches and staff each offseason to continue improving. But Harris told me it was simpler than that for him. “Really, I just want go out there to play and have fun,” he said. “It’s not about me going out and saying, ‘I’ve got to go out and be better than I was last year.’ If you put in the work, it’s going to show itself.”And if Harris continues to improve and show his work to this extent, it may be only a matter of time until just about every basketball fan knows who he is.Senior writer Neil Paine contributed to research for this story.Check out our latest NBA predictions. DENVER — Kawhi Leonard is indispensable to the San Antonio Spurs — or at least that’s how he’s now perceived. His mysterious injury not only threatens to snap the Spurs’ two-decade-long playoff streak, but there’s a chance it could also derail the club’s future by driving Leonard away.If there’s an irony in how monumentally important Leonard is to the Spurs’ chances now, though, it’s that he was still relatively anonymous to the casual basketball fan just four years ago, despite performing at a fairly high level on one of the league’s best teams at that time. It wasn’t until June 2014, when Leonard earned NBA Finals MVP honors, that he began drawing broader attention en route to becoming a bona fide star, one whose health could shift the tenor of a conference finals series.Now, another player — Nuggets shooting guard Gary Harris — quietly appears to be on a similar trajectory. From afar, nothing Harris does seems truly spectacular. But zoom in just a little, watch a handful of Denver’s games, and you’ll see elements of Harris’s consistent, well-rounded skill set start to stand out. Just the way Leonard’s once did.“When I got here, there were questions about whether Gary Harris was an NBA player,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone told me, a reference to Harris’s rookie season, in which he shot just over 30 percent from the field.1While part of that poor performance was due to his over-reliance on threes, Harris was one of just three rookies since 1960 to have shot that poorly on 200 attempts or more. The thought seems comical now, as Harris is serving as both Denver’s best on-ball defender and its leading scorer.For a while, Harris was far stronger on the defensive side of the ball, where it’s harder for the average fan to notice excellence. A solid scorer, by contrast, handles the ball more and gets his name called while the camera pans to his face every time he finds the bottom of the basket. Forcing a missed shot or denying your man the ball on the other end, however, usually isn’t enough to garner that same attention. So that may partially explain why the 23-year-old Harris flies under the radar.At 6 foot 4, he doesn’t force teams to alter entire offensive schemes the way that the 6-foot-7 Leonard, a two-time Defensive Player of the Year, can. Yet Harris constantly seems to find ways to disrupt the league’s best wing players.Harris ranks ninth in the NBA in deflections per game — the same ranking Leonard held last season — hounding volume scorers as they come around screens and illustrating nearly perfect timing as he swats down directly on the ball just as a player is lifting up to launch his shot attempt. Harris’s quick hands and defensive persistence are pretty much the only things that prevent the Nuggets, who surrender more layups than anyone except Orlando, from having the worst defense in basketball. With Harris on the court, Denver surrenders 107.4 points per 100 possessions, which would tie for 20th among the league’s 30 teams. With Harris on the bench, the Nuggets allow 110.6 points per 100 possessions, a rate that would tie for dead last.It’s incredibly difficult to draw the types of defensive assignments that Harris typically gets without committing a lot of fouls. But just like Leonard did in his fourth season, Harris has collected more steals than fouls so far this year, a feat that only elite defensive shooting guards and small forwards generally manage.Harris could be named an All-NBA defender in the coming years without changing much about his game. But to achieve true stardom, he will likely need two things: More scoring — he’s still pretty limited in creating looks for himself — and more wins for the Nuggets.“If we make the playoffs, a lot more people are going to see and know who the hell Gary Harris is,” said Malone, whose team is locked in a crowded playoff race. “It’s funny: Last year, Nikola Jokic wasn’t going to be a part of All-Star Weekend. Then he puts up 40 points at Madison Square Garden and gets a phone call from the NBA the very next day. ‘Hey, we want you to be part of All-Star Weekend!’ So, we know Nikola and how special he is. And I think the same is true of Gary.”Harris has shown true scoring progress every year since his dismal rookie campaign. The former Michigan State star has gone from 3, to 12, to 15 and now 18 points per game; he has become one of the league’s best offensive threats in transition; and he’s on track to shoot 40 percent from the 3-point line for a second straight year. He moves incredibly well without the ball and has perhaps the team’s best on-court chemistry with Jokic, the face of the Nuggets and one of the league’s most skilled young big men.2Through Monday night’s games, Harris was logging a ridiculous 64.3 effective field-goal percentage off Jokic’s passes, according Second Spectrum and NBA Advanced Stats — a rate that’s on par with the most efficient scorers in the NBA. Similarly, Jokic posts a 62.1 effective field-goal rate off Harris’s passes, a figure that narrowly outpaces that Stephen Curry’s overall rate.Harris’s development on offense bears similarities to Leonard’s rise. Through their first four seasons, their numbers looked identical — 12.2 points and 2.1 assists on 47 percent shooting and 37 percent from 3 for Harris3Harris’s fourth year is still ongoing; 12.3 points and 1.8 assists on 50 percent shooting overall and 37 percent from 3 for Leonard.Perhaps even more important: The two men play with an unusually quiet, workmanlike approach, and they are among the most consistent players in the NBA on a night-to-night basis. “He just puts his head down and goes about his business. He doesn’t talk about it much — he just goes out and does it, and we’re fine with that,” says Denver guard Will Barton, whose locker is next to Harris’s. (Harris’s noticeably quiet disposition, along with the Nuggets’ struggles to really break through on TV with local fans,4During the ride to the arena in Denver, my Uber driver, a self-described huge NBA fan, admitted he didn’t know who Harris was. undoubtedly contributes to why Harris isn’t better known around the league yet.)In Harris’s case, one could argue that his consistency on both ends has him on the cusp of joining the elite. Using effective field-goal percentage, a stat that accounts for 3-pointers by looking at the number of points generated per field-goal attempt rather than just shots made per attempt, the chart below illustrates how often the league’s starting shooting guards and small forwards have good shooting nights compared to bad ones. Unsurprisingly, Kevin Durant and LeBron James are at the very top of that list. Leonard rates fifth. And right behind him is Harris at No. 6. read more

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Gallery OSU vs Northwestern

After a tight game, the Ohio State Buckeyes came out on top of the Northwestern Wildcats by  a score of 24-20 on Oct. 29. Buckeye Head Coach Urban Meyer and the team line up to come out of the tunnel to face off against Nortwhestern on Oct. 29. The Buckeyes won 24-20. Credit: Mason Swires | Assistant Photo Editor

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Board of Trustees to discuss athletic compliance boosters

The Board of Trustees will meet today to discuss Ohio State’s Athletic Compliance Office.Though the board will delve into a number of different compliance concerns, an evaluation of OSU Boosters will lead the discussion.“Boosters and booster groups are consistently an area of primary concern amongst compliance officers across the country, and Ohio State shares these concerns,” according to a university report.The report cites both the size and abundance of booster groups as reasons for potential risk.Because these groups operate on their own and use only their own resources, policing them can be difficult, according to the university.The compliance department, which concerns itself with the enforcement, monitoring, procedures and education of NCAA and Big Ten rules, listed several consequences that would stem from potential noncompliance. Not the least of which was the possibility of a diminished university reputation that the board said would affect “all aspects of campus life” and “would significantly affect philanthropic giving.”To combat the difficulty of enforcing rules among the widespread booster groups and to avoid potential sanctions, the compliance office is considering models used by other universities with similar concerns.These schools, according to the report, “elected to consolidate their booster groups within the athletic department” to increase the ease of communication between the university and its boosters.The report made mention of two Big Ten institutions, Indiana University and the University of Michigan, which have recently been under NCAA scrutiny for major compliance infractions. Following the infractions “at both institutions, significant financial resources were spent as defended their name and reputation,” according to the report.Following today’s discussions, the compliance office will offer its suggestions to the director of athletics as it deems appropriate. read more

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Outstanding Ohio State womens rowing aims for 3rd straight championship

It was 49 degrees and windy. The river in front of Griggs Reservoir Boathouse was cold and full of debris.It’s unlikely that it’s the first place many people want to be at 8 a.m. on a Monday morning, but the Ohio State’s women’s rowing team was out on the water.The Buckeyes’ expectations are high this season, as they are ranked No. 1 in the College Rowing Coaches Association/U.S. Rowing preseason top 20, and have two consecutive championships under their belt. OSU backed up those preseason accolades with 18 wins in its first 22 races of the season, spanning across four meets.Annie Jachthuber, a freshman rower, said the team is incredibly dedicated to the sport and the high stakes motivate them to work hard every day.Jachthuber added that she has been rowing since her senior year in high school, where she tried many different sports. But she said rowing was her favorite because of the team dynamic.“I don’t do things for myself; I like to do things for other people,” she said.After Monday’s practice, Jachthuber walked into the boathouse, which opened in 2011, and through a white hallway lined with pictures of the team’s past successes. There are two types of pictures: Those with the smiling faces of champions, and action shots filled with faces of concentration.Jachthuber turned through a doorway and joined the other rowers in the OSU team room, which is full of floor-to-ceiling windows that face the waterfront in the middle of the boathouse.Coach Andy Teitelbaum, who has been with the rowing program since its birth in 1995, stood in the center of the room surrounded by his team, all of it bathed in the morning light reflected off the water. He dished out final words before the team huddled together, putting their hands in for a last hurrah before the rowers headed off to class.When asked how he feels about the team’s current rank and the pressure to perform, he jokingly said he was “outraged.”But then Teitelbaum laughed, saying he is filled with pride and that the team performs in “tremendous fashion.”With a wide smile he added, “This group is outstanding.”Teitelbaum said the road to the two championships and the team’s current standing have been humbling and that he is quite pleased with the status of his team.Jachthuber echoed her coach’s feelings and said one day her grandmother called and asked if there was ever a time when Jachthuber did not feel like pushing herself. She said she had replied, “No.” She said the dedication of the other girls and the solidarity while practicing drives them all, no matter how unfavorable the elements might be.“I love being a part of something bigger than myself,” Jachthuber said. “You do it for each other.”With seven meets standing between the Buckeyes and the Big Ten Championships on May 16, OSU is set to return to the water against Minnesota on Saturday. Fittingly, the races are set to begin at 8:15 a.m. in Columbus. read more

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Football Chris Worley the quarterback of a confident defense

OSU redshirt junior linebacker Chris Worley (35) flexes after a tackle during the Buckeyes’ 31-0 loss against Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl on Dec. 31. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorOhio State redshirt senior linebacker Chris Worley is filled with confidence. Moving to the middle linebacker spot, Worley now has the opportunity to lead the Buckeye defense after a very successful 2016 season.Worley was a big part of the record-breaking OSU defense a season ago. In 2016, as the Buckeyes’ weak-side, or WILL, linebacker Worley was fourth on the team with 70 tackles, recorded 4.5 tackles for loss and had an interception.A former three-star recruit out of Glenville High School in Cleveland, Worley is used to moving around to different defensive positions throughout his college career.“I moved to SAM (strong-side linebacker) and battled with a first-rounder until the end of the first game honestly,” Worley said. “That speaks a lot about Darron (Lee), but it also speaks a lot about myself. That was a battle that I’ll never forget because it made us both better. That’s two positions right there, then I can also play Mike (middle linebacker) or WILL (weak-side linebacker) and play it as well as the best of them.”Worley said the versatility is what it took to get him on the football field.“The only thing I did was put my head down and just went as hard as I could and coach Meyer told me, ‘I don’t know what you’re going to play, but if you just keep going, next year you’ll find a way.’ And that’s what I did,” Worley said. “That’s where I’m at right now. It was a struggle, but at the end of the day, it made me better.”With the amount of experience Worley has at multiple positions on the defensive side, OSU linebacker coach Bill Davis had no hesitation at putting him in the middle.“That Mike ‘backer’ is our quarterback,” Davis said. “He has to understand everybody’s job, he has to line them up. One of the things about a Mike ‘backer is you not only have to line up others, you have to be able to do your own job after, and not everybody can do that. Chris is outstanding and getting everybody and himself lined up.”The role of the defensive “quarterback” is much more than getting his teammates lined up in the game. It defines Worley’s role as a leader of the defense. The vocal aspect of being a leader is something that Worley has always had, but did not want to bring out in the past.“I didn’t want to be the biggest loudmouth and wasn’t even really touching the field in the ways that I wanted to,” Worley said. “But sometimes it’s better to go under the radar and help the team in any way they need you. But, I feel like now I’m in a position to be more vocal.”Worley’s responsibility of leading the defense is especially critical now that linebacker Raekwon McMillan has left for the NFL. Associate head coach and defensive coordinator Greg Schiano feels that Worley will fill those shoes nicely.“We lost what I think is a man’s man in Raekwon McMillan,” Schiano said. “Just a really fine football player and a smart football player. We needed to make sure that we could try and replace him with a guy that has that kind of presence about him. I really am impressed with (Worley) in two days.”Junior linebacker Jerome Baker is not worried about Worley being the unquestioned leader of the defense.“Worley’s going to do his job,” Baker said. “I just gotta do my job, and make sure he can trust me the same way I trust him.”The expectations are high for the Cleveland native. However, this is the opportunity that Worley has been waiting on for a long time.“It’s something that I’ve always wanted,” Worley said. “I’m a grinder. I like to hit people. So just to give me that more ammunition in my toolbox to just go kind of hurt some people, that’s what I like to do. It’s a blessing to be in this position and it’s up to me to sort of live up to expectations.”Worley might have high expectations for next season. However, his confidence is not going anywhere.  “I feel like I’m one of the most dynamic players in the country,” he said. read more

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Baseball Ohio State begins ninegame homestand against Northern Kentucky

Scouting Northern KentuckyThe Norse have had a rough time getting things going this season, compiling a 12-22 record that includes an abysmal 6-19 road record. The one thing that has gone well for the Norse this year has been their ability to produce at the plate. As a team, they are batting .275 with 36 home runs so far this season, including a pair of hitters with eight home runs and four regulars batting above .300. The team has scored a total of 211 runs, averaging 6.21 runs per game. Its star bat this season has been junior first baseman and pitcher Trey Ganns. Ganns has eight home runs, while his .310 batting average is sitting as the team’s second-highest among starters. Ganns, the team’s cleanup hitter, has demonstrated an acute ability to clean up the bases, leading the Norse with 32 RBIs this season.Scoring runs has not been an issue for the team. Rather, the issue has been keeping the opponents from scoring runs of their own. Across 287.2 innings the season, the Norse have posted a team ERA of 6.41, which ranks 260th out of 295 Division I programs. Pitchers have struggled to limit contact, having surrendered 364 hits this season (.370 opponents’ average). Finding More Consistency in the OffenseThe Buckeyes’ inability to keep the bats going for extended periods of time has been cited by coach Greg Beals as the chief issue for the team.After the team took two of three against Penn State with a combined 16 runs over the final two games of that series, the OSU offense mustered just two combined runs against a pair of midweek opponents in Cincinnati and Eastern Michigan, and was shut out by Michigan State in its first of the three games in the past weekend’s series. “We’ve been working really hard just with our offensive approach,” Beals said in a press conference last Thursday. “The two midweek games, we didn’t score enough runs to win the game, especially Wednesday night’s game, we pitched the ball really, really well.”Though his team has shown a lot of signs of struggle, Beals said he believes the talent is there for his team to start putting it all together, and he hopes his bats can click in opportune moments.“Each of the guys in our offensive lineup have shown signs of greatness, and we’ve got to find a way to get that out more consistently, and it’s an approach thing that we’ve got to do,” Beals said. “We’ve got to make sure that we are locked in on the pitches we are going to get and be consistent in that approach throughout an at-bat and be able to string some quality at bats together to produce some runs.”The Buckeyes hope to get that offense going again when they take on Northern Kentucky on Wednesday with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m. Then-junior outfielder Tre’ Gantt is greeted by teammates outside the dugout after scoring a run over the weekend in the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge in Surprise, Arizona. Credit: Courtesy of Press Pros MagazineOhio State (15-21, 4-8) has been on the road for a while.It’s had some midweek home games mixed in there, but the past two weekend series have been on the road for the Buckeyes.Now OSU is getting a chance to enjoy some home cooking with its second nine-game homestand of the season, which will kick off on Wednesday with a matchup against the Northern Kentucky Norse (12-22, 6-6 Horizon League).The Buckeyes found little success the last time they played nine consecutive home games, amassing a 4-5 record and a 1-4 record in conference games. read more

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Football Wyatt Davis leads new group of starters on Ohio State offensive

Ohio State then-redshirt freshman offensive lineman Wyatt Davis (52) looks to block a Husky in the first half of the the Rose Bowl Game featuring Ohio State and Washington in Pasadena, Calif. on Jan. 1. Ohio State won 28-23. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorOffensive guards don’t typically block defensive ends.But asked after the Spring Game who on the offensive line is making the biggest impression, Ohio State junior defensive end Chase Young pointed to redshirt sophomore offensive guard Wyatt Davis.“I think Wyatt, right now, is the leader of our O-line,” Young said. “He calls the shots, has the most respect. Definitely, Wyatt Davis is the big dog on O-line.” It appears Davis is emerging as a leader up front and impressing his teammates, even at a distance.Ohio State’s offensive line needs leaders. Four starters are gone from this past season, including two All-Big Ten selections in offensive tackle Isaiah Prince and center Michael Jordan.Young’s been a driving force behind Davis’ emergence as a leader up front. The two exchange occasional good-natured trash talk, motivating each other before drills. “Me and Chase have this thing where we go back-and-forth, talking, messaging to each other before practice,” Davis said. “I hate losing to the defense during practice, so I definitely had to come up and be vocal.”Davis entered Ohio State as a five-star recruit, but offensive linemen rarely start their first season at the collegiate level. Jordan is the lone exception during Urban Meyer’s seven-year head coaching tenure at Ohio State.Davis closed 2017 with a redshirt, and hovered near the two-deep in 2018 before enduring a trial by fire after injuries to offensive guards Brady Taylor, Branden Bowen and Demetrius Knox. His first career start came in the Big Ten Championship against Northwestern.That’s more experience than most in the Buckeyes’ hampered offensive line room. Enough that he’s the clear choice to start at right guard in 2019.“Last year, I would probably say I felt like a young guy, but going into my third year in this, I feel like me and Josh [Myers], and a couple of the older guys need to step up,” Davis said. “Pave the way for all the young guys that came in.”Myers, a redshirt sophomore center, is another projected starter. Center is a position that often calls for a vocal leader along the offensive line, usually the player to set pass protections and communicate blitz pickups.Davis is a fan of Myers’ development in that area.  “Josh has done a great job being vocal this year too. You can really see it with how he carries himself,” Davis said. “He’s a lot more confident in everything he does, and that confidence, it rains through the whole unit.”Head coach Ryan Day called the offensive line his greatest concern in his press conference immediately following the Spring Game. Understandable, given the departures and overall lack of experience.Meanwhile, Young said the defense “dominated” the offense in spring practice, something Davis has been hearing in his ear for almost two months.It gave Davis and Myers a sense of urgency to get the position group where it needs to be, and it’s led to their emergence as leaders.“We need to regroup, watch the film, work hard in the summer workouts, try to strive to get better each day, and as it gets closer to football season, really perfecting our craft,” Davis said.Davis believes his limited reps won’t hinder his leadership ability.“Even though we don’t have all the game experience, I still feel like we can go out on that field and lead,” Davis said.Raising your voice to dictate scheme doesn’t require game experience. Being there when a newer player to the program asks a question, helping along and setting an example can all be done without game experience.And Davis said he wants to be there when the younger players need him, including redshirt freshman offensive tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere.Offensive line coach Greg Studrawa wants his veterans to know all five line positions, making it easier to assist younger athletes with the playbook. Davis learned tackle quickly, allowing him to help Petit-Frere, who is in competition to start at right tackle beside him.“If he ever has a question about what to do on a play, I’ll be able to help him,” Davis said. Improvements are already being made under Davis’ leadership. Ohio State returns far greater depth on its defensive line, with three 2018 starters and a number of role players back for another season in Columbus.With a young offensive front facing off with a tested group at defensive line, players either get better or get beat.Young believes the former is happening.“Every day the whole D-line goes out, and we try to make the O-line better,” Young said. “We’ve definitely seen improvement from the beginning of spring until now.” read more

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Call for tougher rules over drone danger to livestock and wilflife

first_imgCurrent Civil Aviation Authority rules state that drones must be kept within a pilot’s line of sight, not flown above 400 feet and kept away from aircraft and airfields, as well as from animals and livestock.But these rules re being frequently flouted and ignored, with what landowners fear could be fatal consequences.They cite recent examples which have seen animals panicked by drones, including a police horse which died after being spooked while in its paddock.Allan Buckwell, of the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) said: “Drones have been flown in close proximity to livestock. Animals can be easily frightened by drones, which can cause injury to them and others.”Mr Buckwell, chairman of the CLA’s Kent branch, said current regulations do not go far enough to protect landowners and their animals.The CLA is calling for the Government to work with the CAA and representatives of the drone industry to draw up tougher new regulations and has submitted proposals to the European Aviation Safety Agency. It has yet to receive a response.“It is evident that because drones have only been widely available for a comparatively short time and the growth in the market has been so fast, the law has not kept pace with the changes and current regulations do not go far enough,” said Mr Buckwell.He added: “In the meantime the CLA is urging those operating drones for recreation to use common sense when operating them in order to ensure both public safety and privacy at all times.”Last October Fimber, a 14-year-old horse with West Yorkshire Police died after he vaulted the fence of his paddock and collided with a wooden post after appearing to be spooked by a drone.Officers later discovered a radio-controlled Walkera Runner 250 drone at the site near Wakefield, after it was spotted by a police helicopter crew. Animals can be easily frightened by drones, which can cause injury to them and others.Allan Buckwell, Country Land and Business Association Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Spooked by a drone? Fimber the police horse, before his death Drones flown too close to fields and woodland run the risk of creating panic among livestock and wildlife and even endangering passing member of the public, landowners have warned.Countryside estate and land owners have now called for tougher rules to deal with drones being flown in the vicinity of fields and animal enclosures.They fear it is only a matter of time before somebody is seriously injured by animals stampeding after being spooked by a drone flying overhead. Detective Superintendent Simon Atkinson said at the time: ”We have reviewed CCTV footage which shows Fimber bolting seemingly in reaction to something nearby. This resulted in him being seriously injured and led to his death. We cannot discount that this drone was involved.”There is a possibility that Fimber was reacting to the drone landing nearby or being close to him when he bolted with tragic consequences.”The owner of one Oxfordshire farm has grown increasingly concerned about the use of drones close to her livestock.Lydia Otter, of Pennyhooks organic beef farm, which also has a learning centre for young people with autism, has spotted drones flown from nearby fields landing on her cow sheds and fears the herd could be panicked.She said: “The drone user had not been given permission for the drone to be flown in the area either by Pennyhooks or the neighbouring farm.“We house 70 organic Angus cattle, cows, calves and finishers in and around the cow kennels, with some in adjoining open yards. The potential for panic and injury for the cattle was a serious concern, particularly if the out-of-control drone had landed in the open yard rather than the kennel roof.”Mrs Otter added: “Although this incident took place outside of term time with usually 60 young people with Autism Spectrum Condition working on the farm, there is serious concern about the potential alarm and even injury that could have been caused if this had have happened during term time.”Environmentalists have warned that plans by the online retail giant Amazon to deliver parcels using drones could disturb birds and wildlife along their flightpaths.A study has shown that drones can cause animals significant stress. Although they may appear to ignore strange airborne objects, in fact, their heart rates rocket.The study, by scientists at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul, showed that despite the bears’ apparently calm demeanour, their heart rate soared to up to four times the usual rate, a sign of significant stress.The hidden impact occurred even when the drones were in the air for just five minutes.DRONES: The rulesAnyone can fly a drone without a special licence as long as it is not being used for commercial purposes, such as filming, and it weighs less than 20kgs.However, there are regulations drawn up by the Civil Aviation Authority which must be followed when using unmanned aircraft.These state that drones must be kept within the pilot’s line of sight and must not be flown above 400 feet.Furthermore they must be kept away from aircraft, airports, airfields and all No Fly Zones. They should also be kept away from animals and livestock.Drones fitted with cameras must not be flown within 50 metres of people, vehicles, buildings or structures, or within 150 metres of congested areas or large gatherings such as concerts and sports venues. Spooked by a drone? Fimber the police horse, before his deathlast_img read more

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Care home fees soar by one quarter as quality plummets report finds

first_imgExtortionate, unfair fees and continued budget cuts to local authorities are leaving many families with a heart-breaking raw deal.George McNamara, Alzheimer’s Society Overall worst care: (% of care homes, nursing homes and domiciliary care rated good or outstanding)West Yorkshire 66.1 %Greater Manchester 68.8%Staffordshire 71.4%Northumberland 72.5%Isle of Wight 73.7% Care home fees are spiralling and yet quality is falling – an awful combination reflecting a care home sector in really rapid decline.Caroline Abrahams, Age UK Best care homes (% of care homes rated good or outstanding)Herefordshire 92.1%Worcestershire 89.3 %Northamptonshire 88.5%Shropshire 88.4%Warwickshire 88.2 % Overall best care: (% of care homes, nursing homes and domiciliary care rated good or outstanding)Herefordshire 92.1 %Worcestershire 89.3%Northamptonshire 88.5%Shropshire 88.4%Warwickshire 88.2% In one case a family only had to lodge a single formal complaint about poor care before they were stopped from visiting Credit:John Stillwell Elderly care  Most expensive nursing  home, fees per week (figure in brackets is price in 2015)Rutland £1200 (£597)Wiltshire £1,196 (£843)Surrey £1,186.19 (£841.90)Berkshire £1,177 (£969.10)Essex £1,082 (£668.20) Best nursing homes (% of nursing homes rated good or outstanding)Rutland 100%Herefordshire 91.7%Northamptonshire 84.7%Isle of Wight 84.6 %Warwickshire 82.4% They were given a poor rating if they had been found by CQC to be failing, requiring improvement, or non-compliant.Data on fees came from mystery shopper price data collected by Trustedcare.co.uk, an online directory which reviews care providers, and means families can look up details of individual care homes, and their ratings.Mark Walford, the company’s chief executive said: “The data shows once more that there is a complex mix of factors that affect the quality and cost of care, and that there isn’t a strong correlation between areas of affluence and local care quality as one might expect, despite a strong link to price of care.“Instead, factors such as local employment markets, local authority commissioning rates and the level of co-operation between local NHS and social care teams are sure to play into the mix.”He said findings from CQC inspections provide “only a snapshot of the service at a moment in time” whereas the website meant people could read about the experiences of those in care homes, and the views of their loved ones.Caroline Abrahams, Age UK’s charity director said: “Care home fees are spiralling and yet quality is falling – an awful combination reflecting a care home sector in really rapid decline.“This is of huge to concern to Age UK, as it will be to many thousands of older people and their families, as well as to everyone in the sector who is working so hard to try to keep going and sustain high quality services – it seems increasingly against the odds.”She said the care home sector could not sustain being “battered indefinitely” and was becoming less fit for purpose every day. Care home fees have soared by almost a quarter in just one year while the quality of services has slumped, new figures show.League tables comparing the prices and ratings of residential care across the country show costs have risen sharply.It follows hikes in fees amid reduced funding from local authorities and increasing pay for staff after the introduction of higher minimum wages.Last night experts said families were facing a “heart-breaking raw deal” and being forced to “pay through the nose” for substandard services.The research shows that the most expensive care homes are in Buckinghamshire and in County Durham, both at £907 a week, followed by Oxfordshire, Surrey and Warwickshire. In Durham, average care home fees doubled in just one year, from £492 last year, the figures show.center_img Worst care homes (% of care homes rated good or outstanding)West Yorkshire 69%Greater Manchester 69%Staffordshire 69.2%Northumberland 69.9%Isle of Wight 70% In one case a family only had to lodge a single formal complaint about poor care before they were stopped from visiting  George McNamara, head of policy at Alzheimer’s Society said: “This report shows yet another huge crack in the social care system where some of the most vulnerable people in society with the most complex needs are expected to pay through the nose for crucial care.”“Extortionate, unfair fees and continued budget cuts to local authorities are leaving many families with a heart-breaking raw deal.”The most expensive area – Rutland – saw average weekly prices went from £597 a week to £1,200.Areas with some of the most costly homes – such as Surrey – were among those with the highest proportion of care homes found to be failing.And those with some of the least expensive homes, such as Northamptonshire, were found to be among the best for quality of care. Shropshire ranked second best for care home quality, with costs at the mid-point of the table, the research shows.Fees for care homes rose by 23 per cent in one year, from an average of £558 to £686 – a rise of more than £128. Meanwhile fees for nursing homes saw a 34 per cent rise, from an average of £692 to £925 – a jump of £233.And prices for residential care jumped by 13 per cent, from £15.01 to £17.02 an hour.The counties with the best care services overall were Herefordshire, followed by Worcestershire and Northamptonshire. The worst were West Yorkshire, followed by Staffordshire and Greater Manchester.Services were ranked as good if they had been rated good or outstanding by CQC in their latest ratings, or as “compliant” using a previous inspection regime. Most expensive care homes, fees per week (figure in brackets is price in 2015)Buckinghamshire £907.33 (£707.75)Durham £907 (£491.70)Oxfordshire £900 (£754.39)Surrey £866.20 (£748.60)Warwickshire £855 (£630.10) On average, fees for care homes rose by 23 per cent in one year, the study found.Meanwhile nursing home prices increased by 34 per cent, with a doubling in fees in some parts of the country.In many places, there is little relationship between the cost of care, and the quality of it. Many affluent areas charged more for care, without providing better services, the study suggests.Overall, the proportion of care services given a good or outstanding rating fell by 10 per cent in just one year, the analysis by Trustedcare.co.uk shows. The areas that charged most did not necessarily have the best homes, the study found Credit:Alamy Worst nursing homes (% of nursing homes rated good or outstanding)West Yorkshire 47.6%Bristol 48.4%Greater Manchester 56.2%Berkshire 57.4%Merseyside 57.6% Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

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Benedict Cumberbatch This could be last time I play Sherlock Holmes

first_imgBest man Holmes as best man to Watson and MaryCredit:BBC/Hartswood films Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s (New Year’s Day) first episode of three, he said: “This new series goes to a place where it will be hard to follow on immediately.“We never say never on the show, but in the immediate future we all have things we want to crack on with, and we’ve made something very complete as it its. So I think we’ll just have to wait and see” Holmes cast “I’m grateful that I and my family have our health and that I’m still doing the work I love, so it’s a golden moment. Of course, I now have extra responsibilities and I do have to make certain decisions about the future because there are more people in my life who are important to me”.For Cumberbatch, it seems, life mirrors art, with recent changes in Sherlock Holmes’ personal life reflecting with those in his own – although the actor was careful not to draw too close a comparison. Abbington, Cumberbatch and Freeman return for a fourth – and possibly final – series of the hit showCredit:BBC/Hartswood Filmscenter_img Holmes “He’s let care into his life”, Cumberbatch explained. “He cares about John Watson and his wife Mary, and the newborn daughter Rosamund Mary they introduce in the new episode.“Sherlock feels very protective towards the three of them, even though he’s not a natural when it comes to babies. I hope my skills and interaction with my own child are more engaged that his are!”Martin Freeman returns as Holmes’ redoubtable sidekick Dr Watson, just a week after it was announced he and partner Amanda Abbington, who also appears in the forthcoming fourth series, have separated.“I adore him,” Cumberbatch told The Daily Mail. “Well, he’s quite grumpy, but he’s adorable as well – he’s direct and nice and great fun to be with even when he’s grumpy because then it’s just fun to wind him up”. Detective Inspector Lestrade (Rupert Graves), Mary Watson (Amanda Abbington), Dr John Watson (Martin Freeman), Mrs Hudson (Una Stubbs), Mycroft Holmes (Mark Gatiss), Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch), and Molly Hooper (Louise Brealey) in the new seriesCredit:Todd Antony/Hartswood Films Benedict Cumberbatch has given his strongest hint yet that the new series of Sherlock, will be the last – with contrasting family fortunes one possible reason for the decision.The Hollywood star, who turned 40 in the summer, suggested that despite enjoying a “golden moment” in his career, his priorities may have changed following the birth of his son. Cumberbatch and wife Sophie Hunter, a theatre director, became parents for the first time with the arrival of Christopher last June, with a second child due in the spring.He added: “The older I get, the happier I am. Yes, work is going well, which is nice, but I’ve also had a very rich couple of years personally.last_img read more

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Prince Philip and Tom Cruise share a joke as Hollywood royalty pays

Tom Cruise cut a relaxed figure with his hands in his pocketsCredit:Jonathan Brady /PA The event marked the 75th anniversary of the Outward Bound Trust – supported by Cruise – which helps young people from all walks of life develop and reach their potential through outdoor pursuits.It also offers courses for young people to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. The pair both support the charityCredit:Jonathan Brady /PA TOm Cruise Duke of Edinburgh Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The Duke of Edinburgh, Lord Kirkham (centre) and Tom Cruise at Buckingham PalaceCredit:Jonathan Brady/PA The Duke has been patron of the Trust since 1999 and was previously the charity’s chairman of trustees.The dinner was attended by supporters of the charity, including deputy patron Lord Kirkham, the founder and chairman of sofa retailer DFS. It was the moment Hollywood royalty met a genuine Prince.Film star Tom Cruise appeared to get on remarkably well with Prince Philip after they were introduced to one another at a charity dinner at Buckingham Palace. Duke of Edinburgh and Tom Cruise The Duke of Edinburgh, Lord Kirkham (centre) and Tom Cruise at Buckingham Palace Cruise, 54, and the Duke of Edinburgh were pictured laughing together after the Mission: Impossible actor was presented to the 95-year-old Duke on Wednesday evening.The actor looked relaxed as he chatted to his royal host, even having his hands in his pockets at one stage.  read more

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Police escort passengers off easyJet plane after heated row over Gibraltar

first_imgHere’s how the internet reacted to the Gibraltar row. EasyJet added “the flight was met by police on arrival due to two passengers behaving disruptively”.“EasyJet’s cabin crew are trained to assess and evaluate all situations and to act quickly and appropriately to ensure the safety of the flight,” the airline said. The row comes after Spain was accused of using Brexit to make a “land grab” for Gibraltar under official guidelines for negotiations drawn up by the EU. Gibraltar Police escorted two ‘disruptive’ passengers from an easyJet plane following a heated argument over Gibraltar’s post-Brexit future.The row broke out between Gibraltarian and Spanish passengers on the plane and they were met by police upon landing at Gatwick Airport yesterday, it is claimed. An eyewitness on the flight from Gibraltar told The Sun it was a “really heated argument” over the current situation in Gibraltar.  A fisherman flies the Spanish flag during a protest in the Bay of GibraltarCredit:AFPcenter_img “The cabin crew were keeping them apart and trying to stop [them] from getting at each other,” the man, speaking anonymously, told the newspaper.“It was unnerving and things only calmed down as we got ready to land at Gatwick, but even when we arrived police came onto the plane.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The passenger added he didn’t hear the group of Spanish passengers answer back after an outburst from a woman living in Gibraltar. A spokesperson for Sussex Police said: “Police were informed at 12:55pm on Tuesday of disruptive passengers onboard an EasyJet flight from Gibraltar.“Officers boarded when the plane landed at Gatwick ay 1.30pm. Two people were taken from the flight and given words of advice about their behaviour.”last_img read more

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Selfies have ruined the smile historian claims

first_img “Technology has made it interesting for the culture of the smile,” he told the Hay Festival.  Selfies have ruined the smile because grinning has been replaced by pouting, a historian has claimed. The historian said that when selfie-sticks were first being used, people would smile “and the face becomes… “The world of the selfie, the wonder of narcissism, the selfie-stick and the way that seems to make the smile absolutely everywhere. It is the way in which we establish our authenticity in the world.” Professor Colin Jones, author of The Smile Revolution, said that technology had brought about a cultural change to the way people smiled and that the “duck face” pose was now replacing the “Cheshire cat“.last_img read more

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Tinder launches crackdown on tiger selfies following pressure from animal charities

first_img“We urge you to take down your tiger photos, tag your friends to do it too, or simply join the conversation on social with #NoTigerSelfies.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The company wrote in a blog post: “It’s time for the tiger selfies to go.”More often than not, these photos take advantage of beautiful creatures that have been torn from their natural environment. Wild animals deserve to live in the wild. “We are looking to you, as part of our Tinder community, to make a change. Take down your tiger photos, and we will make it worth your while by donating $10,000 to Project Cat in honor of International Tiger Day.”The app manufacturers then advised users post pictures of themselves enjoying nature in other ways. The dating app Tinder has asked users to stop taking selfies with tigers after pressure from animal activists.Campaigners pointed out that there are more tigers in American zoos, roadside attractions and backyards (an estimated 5,000) than there are left in the wild (an estimated 3,200). Many Tumblr blogs and Instagram sites mock the large number of app users who advertise themselves with pictures of tigers. These include: planting a tree, walking to work, volunteering at an animal shelter, conserving water by drinking rosé and enjoying a summer sesame falafel bowl at your favorite vegan eatery. Tinder then said: “See? It’s that easy—and we promise that your profile will be just as fierce without the drugged animals.last_img read more

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Angling world mourns the death of Britains biggest carp

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The Parrot, so called because of its narrow mouth which resembled a bird’s beak,  is now in the hands of a taxidermist and will be proudly mounted on a wall at the fishery when it is dried out and stuffed, a process that can take up to two years.Dean Fletcher, a 54-year-old greengrocer from Caversham, Berks, who caught the carp at its top weight in January 2016, said: “The Parrot was a true one off so it’s terribly sad to hear that he’s died.”Obviously he was the biggest around and one that so many wanted to record as a catch. It a massive loss to the carp world.”As the record holder I obviously have very fond memories of him, catching him was a very special moment.”The Parrot’s size and reputation grew over the years and after the 2010 death of legendary carp Two Tone, which weighed 67lbs 14oz, The Parrot became the country’s top carp. Mark Hibbs, fisheries manager and head gamekeeper with The Parrot  Mr Hibbs said the last fortnight had proved tricky for fish, because of the weather and the fluctuating water pressure that can cause problems with oxygen levels. Mark Hibbs, fisheries manager and head gamekeeper with The Parrot Credit:MarkHibbs/BNPS Although there are larger freshwater fish, they tend to be catfish which are no longer recognised by the Angling Trust’s British Record Fish Committee, as so many are imported and could not technically be described as British. Others are deemed to be farmed as they are fed to a certain weight and then placed in lakes for anglers to catch. In the angling world, he was something of a celebrity – Britain’s biggest carp, the one one obsessive fishermen spent years trying to catch.And as news of The Parrot’s death spread on Thursday, fishermen were in mourning, paying moving tributes to the mighty 68lb 1oz mirror carp.Mark Hibbs, manager of the Wasing Estate fishery in Berkshire, home to the fish since it was bought, weighing just 12lb, in 1997, said he was “absolutely gutted,” describing The Parrot as a “once in a lifetime fish.”Mr Hibbs received the dreaded call at 6am on Wednesday when an angler pulled the record-breaking carp from his lake.A post mortem confirmed it had died from natural causes, as expected, given the 25-year-old specimen’s age.”People travelled far and wide for a glimpse of The Parrot, he was the fish everyone wanted to catch,” he said.”Having caught him myself, I know first hand what a wonderful fish he was. He was a greedy fish, probably because of his size, and was caught three to six times a year.” The subject is a thorny one amongst the angling community, with great debate raging about what should constitute a British fish.When angler Tom Doherty caught a record carp, Big Rig weighing 70lb 4oz last year, he received death threats amid claims the fish was not originally a British carp and was “farmed” before being put into the lake. For those reasons, it was rejected by the British Record Fish Committee. Big Rig too, died last month.Angler’s paying tribute to the Parrot online, included Harry James, from Coventry, who wrote: “A sad day indeed, such a beautiful carp… a real loss.”Daniel Bragan, from Tadley, Hants, added: “Sorry to hear this awful news – a sad day in carp fishing. RIP The Parrot.” I’m gutted the biggest carp in the UK died today RIP Parrot— Peter L Davey (@Peterldavey) 2 August 2017last_img read more

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