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The Nationals Yankees Dodgers And Cubs Cant Possibly Be This Mediocre …


The 2018 MLB season may not even be a month old, but it’s never too early to start overanalyzing how teams have looked so far. That’s especially true this season, when many of the clubs slated to be favorites going into the year have stumbled a bit coming out of the gate. Most of these teams will probably be fine in the end — seriously, it is still very early to know anything about how the season will play out — but just the same, it’s worth checking on which aspects of their struggles should disappear in due time and which might be cause for real anxiety.Washington Nationals (10-12)What’s gone wrong: For a team supposedly built around pitching, Washington currently ranks fifth-to-last in the National League in adjusted ERA — though it hasn’t been the fault of the Max Scherzer-led starting rotation. No, the blame rests with a bullpen that collectively boasts a 5.78 ERA and has performed even worse in clutch situations. (Witness the Nats’ epic meltdown against the Mets last Wednesday.) Some bad early-season defense isn’t helping either, and despite Bryce Harper’s raw feats of power, the offense isn’t hitting enough to make up for the 4.6 runs Washington is allowing per game.Cause for concern? Maybe. The Nats’ bullpen and defense were nothing special last season, either — they ranked 19th and 17th, respectively, in wins above replacement.1Averaging together the versions of WAR found at Baseball-Reference and FanGraphs. Closer Sean Doolittle has been fine so far, however, and setup men Ryan Madson and Brandon Kintzler are not as bad as they’ve looked in the early going. This lineup should get on track, too, when Daniel Murphy and Adam Eaton return from injury — or when Michael Taylor and Ryan Zimmerman break out of their April slumps. (We’ve seen Zimmerman hit poorly before, but he rebounded last season and has been hitting the ball hard in 2018, despite his bad results so far.)New York Yankees (11-9)What’s gone wrong: For all their immense hype going into the season, the Yankees have been pretty “meh” starting out, scoring only 13 more runs than they’ve allowed (113 vs. 100). Prized new left fielder Giancarlo Stanton is striking out constantly, particularly in front of the home fans at Yankee Stadium, while the team’s pitching has been average at best. They’re wasting a great start to the season by shortstop Didi Gregorius; he’s looked like an MVP over the past three weeks, but the Yankees barely have a .500 record to show for it.Cause for concern? Probably not. Although Stanton is pressing at the plate like some batters have been known to do in the pressure-packed New York media market, swinging at more pitches overall and whiffing on fastballs over the plate especially, he’s simply too good a hitter to not adjust eventually. (The ball he smoked at home on Friday might be a sign of things to come.) Likewise, scuffling starters Masahiro Tanaka and Sonny Gray should be better than the 7.22 ERA they’ve combined for so far, and a bullpen that ranked second in MLB in WAR last year is due for an improvement. Regression to the mean can work both ways, of course — Gregorius probably hasn’t fully made the leap to MVP level, for instance — but the Yankees should also benefit from better luck going forward: According to BaseRuns, which smooths out differences in the timing of offensive and defensive events, New York has been baseball’s fifth-best team so far, despite its record.Los Angeles Dodgers (10-10)What’s gone wrong: For one thing, Los Angeles’s offense is down this year, dropping from second in the NL last year to sixth in 2018, according to adjusted on-base plus slugging percentage. The Dodgers miss the production of third baseman Justin Turner, who fractured his wrist in spring training and has missed the entire season, and many of their other top hitters (Chris Taylor, Corey Seager, Yasiel Puig, the now-injured Logan Forsythe, etc.) are off to subpar starts. But an even bigger problem has been L.A.’s bullpen, which ranks 22nd in WAR a year after finishing fifth. Closer Kenley Jansen, usually the best reliever on the planet, sports a 6.23 ERA, and he’s already blown twice as many saves this year as he did all of last season.2Granted, Jansen only blew one save last season. But it was in 42 chances! This year, he’s blown two in five tries.Cause for concern? Sort of. The Dodgers’ hitting issues should sort themselves out eventually — they’re still projected by FanGraphs to score the fourth-most runs per game in the NL over the entire season, and they ought to be even better than that once Turner comes back in May. The bullpen question may be longer-lasting, however, given Jansen’s struggles. Although he brushed off early concerns about his performance (and he recorded a pair of scoreless innings over the weekend), there were questions about Jansen’s velocity in the spring, which have only amplified a month into the season. According to BrooksBaseball.com, Jansen’s sinker is averaging only 93.6 mph this April, compared with 95.7 mph last April and 94.9 two Aprils ago. We know that unexplained changes in velocity may indicate the kind of injury or mechanical problem that leads to cold streaks or prolonged absences, and we also know how important Jansen was to the Dodgers’ bullpen last year (he accounted for 48 percent of their relief WAR by himself). If Jansen suffers a down season, it would seriously affect L.A.’s chances of returning to the World Series.Chicago Cubs (10-9)What’s gone wrong: The Cubs are scoring plenty and they’ve already enjoyed a few memorable moments in 2018 so far, including this ridiculous eighth-inning comeback against the Braves the Saturday before last. But their starting pitching and defense — i.e., the twin cornerstones of Chicago’s 2016 World Series run — have been surprisingly mediocre thus far. Although veteran lefty Jon Lester has basically been his usual solid self, none of the other rotation members have lived up to their previous track records, from club mainstay Kyle Hendricks to newcomers Yu Darvish and Tyler Chatwood and second-year Cub Jose Quintana. And if Cub pitchers used to generate easily fieldable balls in play, that’s no longer the case: The team is below average in defensive efficiency and ordinary in various other fielding metrics. (When even Jason Heyward is showing up as a negative in the field, your defense has problems.)Cause for concern? Defensively, not really. Heyward may have lost a step in the field — which is worth keeping an eye on — but Chicago started slow on defense last season, too. They eventually managed to finish near the top of the advanced-metric leaderboards when all was said and done. But there might be real cause for concern in the subpar performance of the Cubs’ rotation, even after taking defense out of the equation. Chicago’s starters rank seventh-worst in fielding-independent pitching so far this season, continuing a three-year slide from fourth-best in 2016 to 10th-best last year, and now 24th-best in 2018. The optimist’s case is that this group is too talented to keep pitching so poorly — and walking so many batters, specifically — but the Cubs will have a hard time fending off the Cardinals and Brewers in the NL Central (much less reclaiming their superteam status) if they don’t start getting a lot more out of their rotation soon. read more


Whirlpools hightech oven uses augmented reality to help you cook


first_img Whirpool and KitchenAid show off connected cooking at… 1:30 Chris Monroe/CNET Whirlpool is bringing augmented reality to an oven. The Whirlpool Connected Hub Wall Oven is on display at CES 2019. At first glance, the front looks like an ordinary glass door, but it’s actually a 27-inch LCD screen. The touchscreen works with Whirlpool’s Yummly app so you can find recipes based on your preferences and get step-by-step instructions right on the oven door. Don’t get too excited though: This cool-looking appliance is just a concept for now. 0 All the cool new gadgets at CES 2019 85 Photos Now playing: Watch this: CES 2019: See all of CNET’s coverage of the year’s biggest tech show.CES schedule: It’s six days of jam-packed events. Here’s what to expect. Smart Home Post a comment CES Products Augmented reality (AR) Whirlpool Share your voice CES 2019 Tags The screen can supposedly show the calendars of every member of your family and suggest meals based on how much time everyone has for dinner. It’ll even coordinate multiple recipes and instruct you when to take certain steps in order to make sure everything finishes at the same time.The oven uses augmented reality to show you which rack to use and where to place it after you’ve picked a recipe. It will also tell you which settings on the oven are appropriate. During cooking, you can use the screen to look at your food and even zoom in so you don’t have to open the door and let out the heat.The Connected Hub Wall Oven was developed by WLabs, Whirlpool’s experimental microfactory. Whirlpool hasn’t yet specified plans to bring it to production, let alone an eventual price and release date. Since the oven essentially integrates a giant smart display into the glass of your appliance, and even adds augmented instructions and the ability to check on your food on top of that, it could be a super useful addition to a smart kitchen when and if it does come to fruition.last_img read more


Minor girl murdered after rape


first_imgA minor girl was killed after she was suspected to be raped by unidentified persons at Gachhabari village in Tangail’s Madhupur upazila on Friday, reports UNB.The deceased was identified as Liza Akhter, daughter of Mizanur Rahman of the village.Locals said Liza had been missing since Friday afternoon after she went to take bath in a nearby river.Later in the night, locals spotted the body in the bush beside her house and informed police.On the next morning, police recovered the body and sent it to Tangail General Hospital for autopsy.Liza could have been raped before being murdered, said Shafiqul Islam, officer-in-charge of Madhupur police station.A murder case was filed with the police station in this regard, said the OC.last_img


Seat Pleasant Citizens Help Police Fight Crime


first_imgBy James Wright, Special to the AFRO, jwright@afro.comIn the early 2000s, Seat Pleasant was in the waning days of the crack epidemic that started in the 1980s but the city was still not a popular place to live.A group of citizens, led by resident Pamela Boone, decided that the Seat Pleasant Police Department needed help in fighting the city’s crime rate. She, Rogers Reynolds and other residents formed the Citizens for Public Safety Advisory Council (CPAC) to support the police department and encourage citizens to get involved in fighting crime.Pamela Boone, chairman of Seat Pleasant’s Citizen’s for Public Safety Advisory Council, decided to get involved in helping the police in her area several years ago. (Courtesy Photo)“We have been in existence for a number of years,” Boone, who has lived in Seat Pleasant since 1983, told the AFRO. “There were five of us and we approached [former] Seat Pleasant Police Chief Elliott Taylor about forming a group and he supported it.”Boone, a retired human resources supervisor with the FBI, said at the time there were no community organizations, such as a civic association, where citizens could bring their issues about the police department to except the Seat Pleasant City Council and its mayor. In Prince George’s County, most municipalities and unincorporated areas have civic or citizens associations to address those concerns outside of local elected leaders.Boone said the residents of Seat Pleasant did not have a formal way of working with the police and her neighbors and the “residents wanted that.”“We created CPAC to bridge the gap between the community and the police,” she said.Seat Pleasant is located in the central western part of Prince George’s County, bordering the District of Columbia’s Ward 7 sharing Eastern Avenue. The city has 4,769 residents that are 91 percent Black, 5 percent Latino and 2 percent White.Seat Pleasant consists largely of working-class and low-income residents with a large number of senior citizens. Its crime rate is largely the same as nearby municipalities like Capitol Heights.Seat Pleasant Police Chief Devan A. Martin recently reported crime is down in the city due to the use of technology and stronger community engagement by his police officers. He noted that violent crime is down 21.5 percent, residential burglaries are down by 33.3 percent, robberies of commercial establishments and citizens are down by 70 percent and homicides/murders are down by 75 percent.Martin also noted vehicle impounds increased by 38.38 percent and calls for service have increased by 3.50 percent. Property crime is up 19 percent due to thefts from automobiles and stolen vehicles.Seat Pleasant Mayor Eugene Grant believes in CPAC. “At the heart of a successful community is an engaged citizenry,” Grant said in a statement to the AFRO. “The efforts and leadership of residents like Pamela Boone has been tremendous. Through her leadership she has helped to bridge the gap between civilians and the police department.“CPAC has been instrumental in disseminating information to the general public. They host forums, set up information booths at community functions and volunteer where needed.”CPAC is in the process of becoming a 501(c)3 so it can raise money and set up an organizational structure to further its mission, Boone said.last_img read more


Journeys and bonds


first_imgPavitra Bandhan is a journey of two strangers Aashima and Girish, who are not suppose to meet by any means but destiny brings them not only under the same roof but also binds them in a relationship of lifetime. Aashima is a small town girl, born and brought up in a middle class nuclear family. Her father is a mill worker and he had to struggle his entire life to make two ends meet. Aashima loves her family and follows her family values religiously. She is young, kind hearted and generous girl for whom her family is the priority. She wants to share the burden of her father and wants to build a home for him.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’On the other hand Girish Roy Chowdhury is the owner of saree mill in which Aashima’s father is an employee. Girish hails from an influential family in Murshidabad and has built his empire with his own hard work and persistence. His principles are based on the experiences of the life. Though Aashima and Girish belong to different worlds , are different personalities but similarity between them is they live for their families. As the story unfolds we will see the journey of these two strangers, with their share of trials and tribulations , coming from different worlds, different mindsets but as destiny has it but will always be bonded by the thread of love , sacrifice and devotion that is why it will hold the title of being a Pavitra Bandhan- Do Dilon Ka. Yash Tonk, Hritu Dudhani, Yamini Thakur, Shabnam Sayeed, Shailley Kaushik, Munni Jha, Shalini Arora, Rajat Dahiya are main cast in this serial.The serial will be aired every Monday-Friday, 9 September onwards at 8.30 PM only on DD National.last_img read more


Space Theatre at Science City to transform into 2D3D digital unit


first_imgKolkata: Visitors of Space Theatre at Science City will soon have a unique viewing experience in terms of content and technical quality with the switch from 2D analogue to 3D digital. The theatre which remained shut since March 1, 2017, due to renovation, will be unveiled with a new avatar by the middle of January 2019.”The time has come to switch to digital with the advancement in technology. We had been running the content in analogue format for 20 years. There will be six projectors in place of the old standalone projection system — the sound quality will be world class. The pioneering German manufacturer of optical systems Carl Zeiss is implementing the entire project,” said Subhabrata Chaudhri, director of Science City. The total project cost is around Rs 20 crore. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe six new projectors that will replace the old system have been procured from Christie, the US-based manufacturer of projectors and digital cinema devices. The 23m tilted dome is being designed and installed by Astro-Tec Manufacturing of the US. “Back in July 1997, when the dome was inaugurated for the first time, it was in seismic zone II compliant but now it has been made seismic zone IV compliant,” a senior official said. The air conditioning system and the sitting arrangement will also witness a change in the new dome though there will be no change in the capacity. There will be a total of 360 seats with more leg space and better reclining ability. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed”There will be 8 to 10 shows per day and the price of tickets for the show is expected to go up with the viewing experience seeing a total change. The latest digital content will be screened in ultrahigh definition and also in 3D, giving viewers the feel of ‘being there’,” a official said. Space Theatre at Science City is India’s first and the first film that was screened was Serengeti, which documents the journey of more than two million wild beasts, zebras and antelopes over 500 miles across the Serengeti plains in Tanzania. Science City, which operates under the National Council of Science Museums, had sent its proposal for an upgrade to the Union ministry of Culture in September 2015. The approval came in March 2016.last_img read more