Is Baseball Moving Beyond Old Guys In The Dugout

Craig Counsell is not a normal manager. Earlier this week, Counsell was named the new manager of the Milwaukee Brewers after Ron Roenicke was fired. Counsell is 44 years old and a former utility infielder for the team; before this week, he had never managed at any level. But what’s most surprising — and what makes him atypical — is that Counsell only hung up his spikes four years ago.Since the early days of baseball, the population of managers who were former MLB players1Eighty-five percent of managers appeared in at least one game at the major-league level. has been getting older and further removed from their playing days.2The following analysis uses data from Sean Lahman’s database. That’s partly because player-managers went extinct, but the pattern continued even after Pete Rose, the last player-manager, left baseball. In 2011, the trend hit its peak, with the average manager-who-used-to-be-a-player more than 23.5 years removed from the end of his major-league playing career.Now, though, young managers are experiencing a mini-boom. Counsell is a good example: He didn’t pay his dues in the traditional manner, working his way up through the minors like Joe Maddon or serving as apprentice to an established coach, like Don Mattingly did with Joe Torre. He spent the four years after his playing career working in the Brewers’ front office as a special assistant to General Manager Doug Melvin.Three years ago, the St. Louis Cardinals’ Mike Matheny was the new kid on the block only six years after he retired. One year later, the Detroit Tigers hired Brad Ausmus, three years off his last appearance in the majors. Similarly, last year the Tampa Bay Rays hired Kevin Cash to fill Joe Maddon’s vacated position, four years after Cash had last played for the Boston Red Sox. Thanks to all these greenhorns, the average manager was only 18.5 years removed from his playing career in 2014, five years less than in 2011. This is the largest three-year shift in manager experience levels since 1950, when managerial positions varied rapidly. We may be seeing a historic inflection point.So despite the long-term trend, the ranks of baseball’s managers have been given a recent infusion of youth. We’ll need more data before we can tell if these counterexamples are part of a genuine reversal of a century-long progression or just a handful of qualified youngsters who happened to come on the market at the same time. If the swing toward recently retired players holds, we’ll have to face the intriguing and as-yet-unanswered question of why front offices suddenly prefer youth over experience. read more

MichiganOhio State Is Actually Worth The Hype This Year

201210510 Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group 11975201620332025Ann ArborOSU, 21-14 201570.620 2018354 22006198520372011ColumbusOSU, 42-39 This offense is also Harbaugh’s best at generating big plays. Starting running back Karan Higdon was on the brink of leaving for the NFL draft after last season, but good thing for Michigan that he stayed. The senior has already eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark and has five carries of 40-plus yards, tied for the second most of any player in the Big Ten. Junior transfer Shea Patterson, the best quarterback Harbaugh has had in Ann Arbor, leads the Big Ten in Total Quarterback Rating (84.0) and ranks second in yards per attempt (8.54).3Behind only Haskins. Patterson’s running ability is another wrinkle for an offense with little difficulty finding the end zone.The team scores on a conference-best 47.7 percent of drives, which is on pace to be the eighth-best mark by a Big Ten team in the past 15 years. Michigan also seldom gets stopped at or behind the line of scrimmage, besting last season’s rate by 8.2 percentage points. Wisconsin (23.9 percent) is the only Big Ten team stopped in its tracks less than Michigan (25.7 percent). In turn, 43 percent of offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton’s plays have gone for 5-plus yards, the program’s highest rate since 2010. Overall, the Wolverines are picking up 6.29 yards per play, by far the most of any team since Harbaugh arrived. 201510011 52003194519741960Ann ArborMich., 35-21 SeasonGames20+30+40+50+60+70+80+90+ 71970195619341945ColumbusOSU, 20-9 31997206519522007Ann ArborMich., 20-14 2017145920531100 101961186720161939Ann ArborOSU, 50-20 92016188519961939ColumbusOSU, 30-27 201875.112 Source: SportSource Analytics Michigan’s offensive efficiency and national rank in the category under Jim Harbaugh 20173617 ELO 201745.676 Source: SportSource Analytics 81948207118271941ColumbusMich., 13-3 2013905 20168111 201673.717 61977193519571946Ann ArborMich., 14-6 SeasonOffensive EfficiencyRank The Buckeye defense is getting gutted by the big playThe number of plays given up at various lengths by Ohio State this season compared with previous years under Urban Meyer 201513391911103310 2016134822443000 This year’s chapter, which pits twin 10-1 programs against each other, checks in with the fourth-highest harmonic mean, trailing only the 1975, 2006 and 1997 showdowns. It’s the best matchup between the schools during the College Football Playoff era. Among the nine other epic showdowns in the top 10, the results have been mostly spilt: Ohio State winning five, Michigan winning four.Here are two keys that could decide the outcome this year:Will Michigan’s pass defense lock down Ohio State’s throw-heavy scheme?Ohio State’s pass-at-all-costs offense squaring off against Michigan’s solve-your-problems-with-aggression pass defense is about as ideal a strength-against-strength, identity-against-identity matchup as we can get.In his previous six seasons with the Buckeyes, Urban Meyer typically favored an offensive blueprint shaded toward the run game. He had never had a rushing attack rank outside the top 20 in yardage. Despite returning J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber, his two leading tailbacks from 2017, this season’s squad has fallen out of the top 50.However, that yardage can be found through the air, with the Buckeyes passing the ball on 51.5 percent of team plays, well above their average of 40.6 percent from 2012 to 2017. For a program largely recognized by its rich tradition in the backfield — Ezekiel Elliott, Eddie George, Archie Griffin and Maurice Clarett, to name a few RB standouts — this year has been an anomaly. It’s been 32 years since Jim Harbaugh last led the Michigan Wolverines to a win over the Ohio State Buckeyes. Ever since the consummate Michigan Man made good on his guarantee in 1986, the maize and blue have largely been muzzled by the scarlet and gray. To some degree, Harbaugh must have returned to his alma mater for games like Saturday’s. But he has fumbled each of his three chances at the Buckeyes.This week represents his best opening. Las Vegas sportsbooks installed the Wolverines as 4-point favorites, despite the fact that Michigan has won just two of its past 17 games against its rivals to the south.1The Buckeyes’ 2010 victory was vacated because of tattoo-gate. Expectations loom large for Harbaugh and his team, which may be the more talented squad for the first time in more than a decade. Some have already designated the upcoming game a referendum on his tenure, even though no program this season has rewritten its post-Week 1 narrative more than Michigan has. In fact, according to our Elo ratings, no team has improved more since the preseason than the Wolverines.Saturday’s matchup is the 115th installment of one of college football’s richest rivalries. This one features a cornucopia of College Football Playoff implications: The winner’s playoff chances will spike to between 59 and 67 percent, according to our model, while the loser will be virtually eliminated from contention. Additionally, of course, the winner of the game will play for a conference championship.Like nearly every entry in this rivalry, the stakes Saturday are high — and there will be no shortage of talent on the field. So to check this game’s true matchup power, we looked back at the Elo ratings for Michigan and Ohio State at the time of each meeting since 1897, and we averaged those Elo ratings using the harmonic mean.2We used the harmonic mean instead of a straight average to eliminate situations in which one team was performing substantially better than the other. 201415412216127421 RKseasonMichiganOhio StateHarmonic MeanLocationResult 20131449231277320 201212452414107620 Two of Ohio State’s four worst games since Meyer arrived, as defined by expected points added on defense, have come this season. And while the Wolverines’ offense isn’t exactly Alabama’s, it’s easily the best unit Harbaugh has had at Michigan. SeasonPassing offense rankRushing offense rank 201811583521117653 Meyer has never coached a team that relied on the passing game to the degree it does this season. Despite having yet to complete its regular-season slate, his team already has set a school record with 452 passing attempts and 3,954 passing yards. Only five teams throw more on average, and most of those employ Air Raid systems.But it’s difficult to argue that the lopsided offensive approach isn’t working. Ohio State has compiled 13 games since 2012 with more than 19 expected points added on passes, and six of those have come this season. Dwayne Haskins is completing a Big Ten-best 69.3 percent of his passes and will likely be a Heisman finalist, having set 12 school records this season. The Buckeyes lead the Big Ten in both total offense and scoring offense, with 11 more touchdowns than any other team in the conference. As Harbaugh succinctly put it when asked about the Buckeye passing attack, “It’s really good.”But Saturday will be Haskins’s toughest assignment. In early October, the sophomore tied a school record with six touchdown passes in a win over Indiana. Michigan has allowed seven passing touchdowns all season.Under the tutelage of defensive coordinator Don Brown, the Wolverines’ defense is smashing its competition. Harbaugh and Brown have trotted out some elite defenses over the past three seasons, but this year’s is likely the best one yet. Opposing quarterbacks average a passer efficiency rating of 88.7 against the Wolverines, a mark that if maintained would rank sixth lowest by any team since at least 2004. Michigan is also holding opposing quarterbacks to 4.91 yards per passing attempt, which would also be the sixth lowest mark over that same stretch.Teams not only fail to generate big plays against Michigan, they also fail to get past the line of scrimmage. Less than 30 percent of opponent plays gain 5 or more yards against the Wolverines, the lowest rate in the country, while a whopping 41.4 percent of opponent plays are stopped at or behind the line of scrimmage, a mark that ranks third highest. Brown brings the heat, too: Only six teams generate a higher pressure rate on opposing quarterbacks than Michigan (39.1 percent).Haskins may be completing 26.7 passes per game on a clip hovering around 70 percent, but no starting quarterback has completed more than 19 throws in any game against Michigan or connected on more than 56 percent of passes. Over the past five conference games, Brown’s seek-and-destroy defense is holding quarterbacks to 9.4 completions per game on a clip south of 40 percent.Can Ohio State stop the big play?If last week is any indication, no.The Maryland Terrapins produced three touchdowns exceeding 25 yards, two of which that went for at least 75, in a 52-51 overtime loss. “Alarming is the right word,” Meyer said of his team’s inability to prevent gashing offensive plays. Then, on Monday: “Obviously, it wasn’t good.”Ohio State has either set or is on pace to set single-season worst marks under Meyer in big plays allowed from virtually every distance. Plays given up at … (in yards) Ohio State has gone to the air this seasonHow the Buckeyes’ offense has ranked each year under Urban Meyer in rushing and passing, 2012-2018 2014529 Few Michigan-Ohio State games have been biggerThe best Michigan-Ohio State games based on the harmonic mean of each team’s pregame Elo rating 42018197419541964Columbus? Of course, perhaps the most tantalizing storyline is the one most difficult to measure. Ohio State hasn’t lost to Michigan in the Horseshoe since 2000, and, at least lately, the Wolverines seem to mutate into a far worse version of themselves in the annual rivalry. The Buckeyes’ real advantage in this game may be found on the psychological side, as the team has grown accustomed to upstaging that school up north. Harbaugh and the Wolverines have a chance to rewrite the script, with everything on the line Saturday in Columbus.Neil Paine contributed research.Check out our latest college football predictions. read more

TCI Digicel spreads holiday cheer to SNAP Center

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#TurksandCaicos, December 27, 2017 – Providenciales – In the midst of preparing for one of the busiest seasons of the year, the Digicel team shifted their focus towards spending meaningful moments and spreading holiday cheer with the students from the Special Needs Association of Providenciales (SNAP) Center.As a community-centered organization, and one that believes in empowering the people of the Turks &Caicos Islands, the Digicel team was thrilled to be a part of the Christmas experience this year for these students.   All sixteen kids at the S.N.A.P. center were given gifts from Digicel for Christmas, including remote control monster trucks, Moana and Dora dolls, fragrance gift sets and much more.Commenting on the success of the outreach, Regional CEO for Digicel, Sinead O Marcaigh, said, “We all had a great time bringing the joy of Christmas to our little friends here.   At this special time of year, it is even more important for us to let them know that we still care.”The initiative is very dear to Marcaigh who shared, as “I’ve been working with children with special needs for over 30 years.  It was great to spend time with these children who are often forgotten.  Their smiles are genuine and they long to have a normal life like anyone else.  So I was more than glad to join the team and be part of making their Christmas a bit brighter.”In a hearty show of gratitude, the students treated the Digicel team to a few songs, showing off their musical prowess, followed by lots of hugs.  Their teachers received treats as a token of appreciation for their tireless work and dedication in ensuring that the students receive the best possible education and early stimulation.Press Release: Digicel Related Items:last_img read more

Valverde doesnt think Boatengs signing is controversial

first_imgAhead of the clash against Sevilla in Copa del Rey, manager Ernesto Valverde wanted to come out in Kevin Prince Boateng’s defense.FC Barcelona’s new transfer is a controversial one, Kevin Prince Boateng has a bad reputation and he even needed manager Ernesto Valverde to come out and defend him from critics on Tuesday.The Ghana international has always been involved in scandals that are directly related to his personal life, the man is very active outside of the pitch and he constantly is part of several tabloids for things that are completely unrelated to football.However, nobody has ever doubted of his skills as a football player and Barcelona signed him because of how good a forward he is.During his time at Las Palmas, it was clear that he was the major star in a modest squad and the manager from that club never had a single disciplinary problem with him.Manager Ernesto Valverde has been questioned about how controversial Boateng’s arrival is, he immediately responded by defending the player and reassuring everyone that the club doesn’t see those problems and only cares about the player’s quality.Something very similar happened with Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal at the start of the season, he did have some minor issues but they were quickly discarded by amazing performances.📡 Starting at 5.00pm CET, Ernesto Valverde’s press conference #CopaBarça👉 🔵🔴 #ForçaBarça— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 22, 2019The club expects the same from Kevin Prince, they know he is a colorful guy outside the pitch but they have no doubts that he agreed to play for Barcelona because he feels that he can help the squad improve this season.Valverde did mention other examples like Vidal when he was asked about Boateng, he also spoke a little bit about Munir’s exit from the club, a move that prompted Boateng’s arrival.“Since I’ve been here, all of them are controversial signings, and then…? said Valverde via Goal.“[About] Arturo Vidal, Paulinho, you talked a lot, with Arthur also, then he also gives us a great performance. Things always end up going well.”“The departure of Munir [El Haddadi] is a matter of the club, and we would like to have strikers in the team who score 15 goals, but that’s not been the case. Boateng arrives for a few months.”David Villa, FC BarcelonaTop 10 players who played for both Barcelona and Valencia Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to talk about the best players who represented both Barcelona and Valencia, prior to their La Liga encounter at Camp Nou this evening.“He knows the trade, a player who, having made a career in other positions, now plays as a number nine, he knows La Liga and the role he is playing in.”“He was available, Munir left, the club thought he was the best option and I hope he helps us a lot.” “We trust in the presumption of innocence,” Valverde added.“We do not want to fight with him, but want him to help us and to score goals. In Las Palmas he had a great year.”👑 When the King meets the Prince 🤝@kingarturo23 & @KPBofficial— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 22, 2019The upcoming Copa del Rey match for FC Barcelona will be quite challenging, they won’t have Lionel Messi after Valverde decided to rest him for this match but they will have Kevin Prince Boateng.There is a major chance that the new arrival will make his debut for Barcelona at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium, this will be the perfect opportunity for him to prove that he wants to succeed at FC Barcelona and he wants the club to execute that €8 million buyout clause by the end of the loan they made with Serie A’s Sassuolo.Barça’s upcoming calendar will be quite complicated as they play Sevilla on Wednesday, they travel to Girona for a Catalan Derby, then they receive Sevilla in the second leg of this Copa del Rey’s quarterfinal, then they play Valencia at Camp Nou, and they finally travel to San Mames to face Athletic Club Bilbao in La Liga.After all those very complicated matches, Barcelona plays against Real Valladolid in La Liga before traveling to France, where they will play against Olympique Lyonnais in the Champions League’s Round of 16.👀 Do you want to see how the team received @KPBofficial?📷🎥 👉 🔴🔵 #EnjoyPrince— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 22, 2019Which of the stories about Kevin Prince Boateng do you remember the most? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.last_img read more

House panel discuses Mars 2021 manned flyby mission

first_imgMars. Image: NASA Citation: House panel discuses Mars 2021 manned flyby mission (2014, March 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from US, France sign deal for 2016 Mars lander Nonprofit Inspiration Mars Foundation, led by Dennis Tito, the first space tourist, originally planned to send two astronauts to Mars and land on the Red Planet in 2018. That idea has been scraped as the timeline was found to be too short. Instead, the foundation is now planning to send two astronauts (likely a married couple) on a flyby, in 2021. The years are chosen based on when the Earth and Mars are closest to one another. To achieve that goal, the Foundation believes it needs help from NASA—specifically, they want a slightly different form of NASA’s Orion spacecraft based on a design by Orbital Science’s Corporation, with the addition of a front module for hosting solar panels. They’d also like the whole thing boosted into space by the Space Launch System, a big rocket that NASA is developing for several projects, one of which would ultimately be a trip to Mars.Tito and his group have apparently convinced committee head Lamar Smith of the desirability of the plan as he testified at the meeting, suggesting that if the U.S. doesn’t get to Mars in one of the near-window opportunities, China or Russia will likely get to the planet first. Other lawmakers at the meeting expressed skepticism of the short time frame while others suggested the cost of such a mission might be better spent on other projects.Also at the meeting were experts in the field, many from NASA. Some supported the mission while others expressed reservations. NASA has plans of its own to get to Mars, but is looking at a longer timeframe. There are still issues to be worked out, such as how to protect astronauts from radiation during such a long mission (the Foundation’s plan calls for a 501 day mission) and the development of support systems.The committee didn’t reach a consensus on the overall idea or the feasibility of the project, as it appears to be the first of many meetings—for its part, NASA itself has not commented on the proposal. For these reasons, it’s not clear just yet if the Foundation’s plan will be approved. It’s likely many more details will have to be worked out before the idea can be seriously considered. ( —The U.S. House of Representative’s Science, Space and Technology Committee has met to discuss the virtues and possibility of asking NASA to assist a private foundation in conducting a manned spacecraft mission to the planet Mars in the 2021.center_img Explore further © 2014 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more