0Shares0000Romelu Lukaku faces a late fitness test ahead of FA Cup final © AFP / Paul ELLISWATFORD, United Kingdom, May 18 – Jose Mourinho will wait until the last minute before deciding whether Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku is fit to feature in Saturday’s FA Cup final against Chelsea.Lukaku has missed United’s last three matches after suffering an ankle injury against Arsenal in April. The Belgium striker is in a race against time to be fit for the Wembley showdown with his former club.And United manager Mourinho, possibly hoping to keep Chelsea guessing, said on Friday that he remains uncertain if Lukaku will be available.Mourinho will be able to call on French forward Anthony Martial, who has recovered from the knee injury he sustained in training.“Martial is fit. Lukaku we have to wait until the last moment. I don’t want to lie and say he doesn’t play or vice versa,” Mourinho told reporters at United’s hotel.It would be a significant blow to United’s hopes of winning the FA Cup for a record-equalling 13th time if Lukaku is unable to pass his late fitness test.Since Lukaku was sidelined, United have lacked a cutting edge and they scored only once in their last three games of the season.The 25-year-old energised United with a goal spree at the start of the season after arriving from Everton in a £75 million ($101 million) deal.Lukaku has scored 27 times for United in all competitions this season, making his first season at Old Trafford a success overall.But he went through a sustained barren patch — with one goal in 12 games — after opposing defences began to sit deeper to stop the Belgian hurting them with his pace.Mourinho was also forced to defend Lukaku from criticism by United fans frustrated at what they perceived as a lack of effort from their muscular forward.Lukaku got back on track at the start of 2018, but had scored just once in his last five appearances before picking up the injury that leaves his Cup final hopes of a knife-edge.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
The AL East has been really tough to winSince 2010, the most and fewest number of wins for the winner of each MLB division, with the average number of wins (per 162 games) required 2008Tampa Bay Rays1096673 2017Cleveland Indians937111 2019Tampa Bay Rays11611715 WAR Rankings by category YearTeamHittingRunningDefenseStartersBullpenOverall These Rays go to 11MLB teams who ranked among the top 11 in every subcategory of wins above replacement — across offense, defense and pitching — since 1995 NL Central1049095.3 1996Texas Rangers1039763 AL Central1028894.2 AL West1058896.6 2016L.A. Dodgers9951146 2002Anaheim Angels9211164 It’s tough to find a more successful baseball club over the past decade-plus than the Tampa Bay Rays, owners of a 1,035-901 record — fifth-best in MLB — ever since their stunning breakout in 2008. The Rays went to the World Series that season and made the playoffs in three of the five years that followed, creating a blueprint for other teams hoping to win on similarly microscopic budgets. Even this year, the Rays sit 10th in our Elo team rankings despite ranking 30th in payroll.But for all of those wins, Tampa Bay has had some lousy luck in actually getting to the playoffs. The Rays have made only three postseason appearances this decade — and none since 2013. Only three teams in the expanded wild-card era (since 2012) have won 90 games but failed to play in the postseason: One of those was the 2013 Texas Rangers; the other two were Rays clubs, in 2012 and 2018. And this year’s team, on pace for 95 wins, has just a 54 percent chance of making the playoffs, according to the FiveThirtyEight model. What do the Rays have to do to get some postseason love around here?Some of Tampa’s troubles simply have to do with playing in the cutthroat American League East, where the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox are together currently spending more than twice as much on players as the rest of the division combined. Whether in terms of the average victories necessary to win the division or even just the bare-minimum requirement, those numbers have consistently been higher for the AL East than any other division in baseball this decade: 2001Seattle Mariners111951 AL East1089397.3 DivisionMostFewestAverage NL East1029096.1 NL West1049194.8 Winner’s Wins (per 162 games) 2002Seattle Mariners3410856 Source: Baseball-Reference.com In every division except the AL East and NL West, a 90-win team has had at least had some chance to come out in first place this decade. But in the AL East, no fewer than 93 wins have been required to win the division, and seldom fewer than 91 have been needed to make the playoffs, period.1Two 89-win teams — the 2016 Blue Jays and Orioles — and one 87-win team — the 2015 Yankees — have made the wild card this decade out of the AL East. By my accounting,2Using a logistic regression on team data since 1995, with a dummy variable for the extra wild-card slot MLB added in 2012. being in the AL East makes it 8 percentage points tougher for a 90-win team to make the playoffs than being in another division would make it, 10 percentage points tougher for an 89-win team and 12 percentage points tougher for an 88-win team.That sweet spot around 90 wins happens to be where Tampa tends to often find itself, and it’s tough to make the playoffs from that zone when you’re in the AL East. Last year was a great example: The Rays went 90-72 but were precluded from winning the division (the Red Sox won 108 games) or even finishing in second place (the Yankees won 100 on the number). That left only one solitary playoff spot even up for the Rays to battle for, and it was snapped up by the 97-win Oakland Athletics. Baseball’s seventh-best team by wins above replacement,3Using our JEFFBAGWELL metric to blend WAR from Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs. sporting a record that would normally earn a playoff slot 81 percent of the time in the double-wild-card era,4Once again, according to the logistic regression I ran. ended up missing the playoffs by seven whole games.But the Rays have found ways to miss the playoffs even when the Yankee/Red Sox hegemony was partially broken. Back in 2012, New York was good (95 wins) but hardly dominant, and Boston deteriorated completely under the not-so-watchful eye of Bobby Valentine, going 69-93. Meanwhile Tampa Bay had the fourth-most WAR in baseball, led by star seasons from Ben Zobrist (5.7 WAR) and David Price (5.5), plus solid years via players ranging from the expected (James Shields, Evan Longoria) to the out-of-nowhere (Jeff Keppinger??). By WAR, that was one of the most talented teams the Rays have ever produced. But they underperformed relative to the record their underlying stats say they “should” have had — according to BaseRuns, they should have made the playoffs with a 95-67 mark — wasting a red-hot 36-22 finish over the last two months of the season to end up three games shy of Texas and Baltimore for the wild card.The disappointing Red Sox will miss the playoffs this season as well, possibly finishing as many as 10 games behind the rival Rays. Although the Yankees have dominated this season, tracking for 105 wins, you would think 95 wins could at least buy the Rays a wild-card appearance, in a wide-open year with Boston out of the picture.And yet, here Tampa Bay is again, fighting for its playoff life on a nightly basis over the final few weeks of the season. Once again, the Oakland A’s — in many ways the West Coast mirror image of the Rays — are almost assured of one wild-card slot, putting themselves on pace for 97 wins by season’s end. And after the Minnesota Twins unexpectedly dominated the AL Central race, the Cleveland Indians’ only playoff hopes essentially rest on the same wild-card spot Tampa Bay has been eyeing all season. In the mega-top-heavy AL, one misfortunate team could win 95 games and still miss the playoffs entirely.5And the team that makes it would promptly haves to face a gauntlet of three hundred-win teams, and a 97-win one.If that team ends up being Tampa, it would obscure what has been maybe the most quintessentially Rays-y season of them all, in terms of doing more with less. The team’s best player by WAR (with 5.1) has been pitcher Charlie Morton, who had 1.5 career WAR to his name before joining the Astros in 2017; he is easily obliterating his previous career-best WAR (3.2 in 2018) this season at age 35. Left fielder Tommy Pham (3.9 WAR) had previously displayed his talent with 6.2 WAR in 2017, and shortstop Willy Adames had up-and-coming star potential. But the rest of Tampa Bay’s expected stars — such as pitcher Blake Snell and center fielder Kevin Kiermaier — have been merely OK, if also injured and/or underwhelming.Instead, the Rays have succeeded with a mishmash of acquired prospects (Austin Meadows, Tyler Glasnow), unheralded youngsters (Brandon Lowe), seemingly random pitchers (Ryan Yarbrough, Yonny Chirinos, Emilio Pagan), retread veterans (Travis d’Arnaud) and other spare parts. They still use the opener, still shift a ton and still play relievers in the field before putting them back on the mound. They’ve fought through key injuries to rank fifth in the league in WAR per game, and through Sunday they were tracking to become just the eighth team since the 1994 strike to rank among MLB’s top 11 in WAR from every phase of the game — hitting, fielding, base-running and pitching (both starting and relieving):6Yes, “top 11” is arbitrary. Who cares? This is an impressive all-around team season! 2019 Rays’ rankings are through Sept. 15.Source: Baseball-Reference.com, FanGraphs.com (Fittingly, the 2008 Rays — the team that started it all — are also in that club.)If Tampa Bay does end up missing the playoffs, it would go down as one of the best teams ever to fit that criteria. Its current Elo rating of 1543 would tie last year’s Rays for the second-best among nonplayoff teams of the double-wild-card era (trailing only the 2012 Rays), and its 0.303 WAR per game would easily be the highest of any nonplayoff team since 2012. The last team to miss the postseason with as many WAR per game was the 2011 Red Sox, who fumbled away their playoff hopes with one of the most infamous collapses in baseball history.But if the baseball gods know what they’re doing, they would maybe consider giving the Rays a break this time around. The franchise has already seen several of the hardest-luck nonplayoff seasons in recent history — and this year’s might be the cruelest postseason snub of all, given how many wins the Rays might rack up in vain. After so many years spent knocking on the door with records that usually belong in the postseason, it seems like it’s time Tampa finally gets in.Check out our latest MLB predictions.
Middlesbrough have announced the shock signing of ex-Chelsea star John Obi Mikel on a short-term dealThe Nigeria captain, who featured at last summer’s World Cup in Russia, previously spent 11 years at Chelsea in the Premier League before leaving for Chinese club Tianjin TEDA in a free transfer in January 2017.But Mikel had been keen to return to England with his girlfriend, Olga Diyachenko, and their twin daughters still living in London.This had allegedly captured the interest of Crystal Palace along with a number of Championship clubs.But in the end, two-time Premier League winner Mikel has agreed to a shock move down at Championship promotion hopefuls Middlesbrough.Tony Pulis’ side are currently fifth in the standings and, crucially, in a playoff spot and Boro will now hope Mikel will be able to aid them in their bid for a return to the Premier League after nearly 10 years away from the English top-flight division.“I’m pleased to get him in. He is a man with a lot of experience and quality,” Pulis told the club website.“He has a winning mentality and he wants to be here be a part of what we are looking to achieve.”Boro have also signed Rajiv van La Parra from Huddersfield earlier in the month in a season-long loan deal.Chelsea hat-trick hero Tammy Abraham hopes for more Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Tammy Abraham hopes this season will be his big breakthrough at Chelsea after firing his first hat-trick for the club in Saturday’s 5-2 win at Wolves.Mikel managed six goals and 13 assists in 372 appearances for Chelsea across all competitions during his 11-year stay at Stamford Bridge.The Nigerian midfielder won two Premier League titles for the club along with three FA Cups, an EFL Cup, Community Shield, Champions League and the Europa League.Now Mikel will be hoping to make his mark at the Riverside Stadium after making only 31 appearances in the Chinese Super League for Tianjin TEDA, which also saw him claim three goals and three assists.The 31-year-old could make his debut for Boro in Saturday’s FA Cup fourth-round match against Newport County.🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆Pretty much says it all 👊Facts and photos from @mikel_john_obi’s career so far ➡️ https://t.co/9vIdr7gYoB #UTB pic.twitter.com/JTOOJ2bAKJ— Middlesbrough FC (@Boro) January 24, 2019
California responds?? pic.twitter.com/8HCXoGXc87— Jerry Brown (@JerryBrownGov) April 11, 2018 Updated: 1:39 PM KUSI Newsroom KUSI Newsroom, Governor Brown accepts federal funding to add National Guard staffing April 11, 2018 SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — Responding to President Donald Trump’s call for deployment of the National Guard to the U.S.-Mexico border, a defiant Gov. Jerry Brown announced Wednesday he will commit 400 troops to the state’s effort to “combat transnational crime.”In a letter to federal authorities, Brown said the National Guard troops would be added “statewide,” so it was unclear exactly how many of those 400 troops would actually be sent to the border. He said the state’s transnational-crime effort currently includes 250 personnel statewide, including 55 at the border.“But let’s be crystal clear on the scope of this mission,” Brown wrote. “This will not be a mission to build a new wall. It will not be a mission to round up women and children or detain people escaping violence and seeking a better life. And the California National Guard will not be enforcing federal immigration laws.”Republican governors in the border states of Texas, Arizona and New Mexico have already deployed a combined 1,600 National Guard troops to the Mexican border in response to Trump’s call for added staffing. Trump made the request last week, with the federal government paying the cost of the troop deployment. He said the troops were needed because of “lawlessness thatcontinues at our southern border,” and he wanted increased security while he continues his push to build a wall along the entire border.Until Wednesday, California was the only border state that hadn’t responded to Trump’s request.In his letter, Brown took issue with suggestions of chaos at the border.“Here are the facts: There is no massive wave of migrants pouring into California,” he wrote. “Overall immigrant apprehensions on the border last year were as low as they’ve been in nearly 50 years, and 85 percent of the apprehensions occurred outside of California.”He said the federal government funding of 400 National Guard troops will allow the Guard “to do what it does best: support operations targeting transnational criminal gangs, human traffickers and illegal firearm and drug smugglers along the border, the coast and throughout the state.”“Combating these criminal threats are priorities for all Americans –Republicans and Democrats,” Brown wrote. “That’s why the state and the Guard have long supported this important work and agreed to similar targeted assistance in 2006 under President Bush and in 2010 under President Obama.” Posted: April 11, 2018 Categories: California News, Local San Diego News, Politics Tags: Jerry Brown FacebookTwitter
February 21, 2019 Student athlete concussions and lack of certified athletic trainers KUSI Newsroom KUSI Newsroom, Updated: 8:27 AM Posted: February 21, 2019 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – A new study published in the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Journal of Athletic Training suggests student athletes who attended high schools with a low availability of athletic trainers are 50 percent more likely to have a sports-related concussion that goes un-identified, un-assessed or mismanaged.The situation is even more concerning in California because the state remains the only one in the nation that does not regulate the athletic training profession, meaning anyone, regardless of education or certification, can act as an athletic trainer and treat serious injuries like concussions, with potentially dire consequences including permanent disability and death, according to the study.Currently, the California Athletic Trainers’ Association (CATA) is working on legislation that will be introduced this year that would protect the public by requiring licensure for athletic trainers in the state. Under the bill, individuals must be certified by the Board of Certification before they can call themselves “athletic trainers” and provide health care.According to the study, while parents may think they’re taking the necessary precautions to safeguard their children against injury on the playing field, the truth is, if there isn’t a qualified athletic trainer overseeing their student athlete’s care, the child is at significantly higher risk of sustaining a serious injury. Categories: California News, Good Morning San Diego, Health, Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter