Pune: The recently concluded International Diabetes Summit at the city-based Chellaram Diabetes Institute (CDI) shed light on the use of PCSK9 inhibitors (PCSK9i) to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart attacks.The PCSK9i are a new class of injectable drugs that reportedly reduce ‘bad’ cholesterol levels by up to 60% when combined with a statin (another class of drugs prescribed to help lower cholesterol levels).“Statins are said to reduce the risk of heart attack by 25% to 30%. These block the enzyme that control production of LDL cholesterol. However, they do not completely remove the risk of heart attacks, which makes research of new products necessary,” said Dr. Vinaya Simha, consultant, Endocrinology, and assistant professor, Department of Internal Medicine at the U.S.-based Mayo Clinic.Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, abbreviated as LDL-c, is considered the ‘bad’ variant of cholesterol as it contributes to plaque deposition, leading to the hardening and narrowing of arteries or ‘atherosclerosis’ (thickening of artery walls owing to accumulation of white blood cells).Function of the drugsThe drugs inactivate a protein in the liver called proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9). The protein de-activates the receptors on the liver cell surface that transport LDL into the liver for break down. Without these receptors, more ‘bad’ cholesterol remains and accumulates in the blood.PCSK9 inhibitors may be used alone or in combination with statins to lower the ‘bad’ cholesterol levels in patients who cannot tolerate any statin drug.Dr. A. G. Unnikrishnan, CEO and chief Endocrinologist at CDI, said, “Controlling cholesterol level with diet and exercise is important. PCSK9 inhibitors are not available in India as of now, [but] they seem to be a promising mode of reducing risk of heart attacks.”PCSK9 inhibitors are currently under clinical trial in India.
Maoist leader Kundan Pahan, facing 128 cases including that of murder of senior police officers and carrying a reward of ₹15 lakh on his head, surrendered before the police here on Sunday.The CPI (Maoist) Jharkhand ‘regional committee secretary’ is an accused in the killing of special branch inspector Francis Indwar in 2008 and looting of ₹5 crore from a cash van of a bank. He was also allegedly involved in the Baliba ambush in Saranda and killing of DSP Pramod Kumar in 2008 in Ranchi district, Ranchi Senior Superintendent of Police Kuldip Diwedi said. Kundan Pahan said he had realised that he had “wasted” 20 years and would now help in development works in the State.
The North Queensland Touch Football Championships will be held this weekend in Townsville, on Saturday, 6 June and Sunday, 7 June. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the championships, testament to the strength of North Queensland Touch Association.42 teams from across the region will compete in the 10 divisions on offer. Also participating in the championships will be Australian Men’s 30’s World Cup champion and former NRL great, Scott Prince, who will play in the Townsville Men’s 27’s team. Based on performances over the weekend teams will be selected for the 2015 National Youth Championships and 2016 National Touch League.Several special guests will also be in attendance over the weekend including Australian Men’s Open coach, Tony Trad, Australian Men’s Open captain, Steve Roberts and Touch Football Australia High Performance Manager, Wayne Grant. All three will be conducting coaching workshops and skills sessions over the weekend, with Roberts also playing for the Mt Isa Open Men’s team versus Townsville on Saturday afternoon. For further information and to keep up to date with results from the weekend please visit – http://nqtouch.com.auRelated Links2015 NQ Champs
zoomIllustration. Image Courtesy: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license Keppel Offshore & Marine has, through its subsidiary Keppel Singmarine, embarked on the development of an autonomous tug, to be operated by Keppel Smit Towage. The tug is expected to be one of Singapore’s first autonomous vessels when the project is completed in the fourth quarter of 2020.To develop the autonomous tug, Keppel O&M has secured a grant of up to SGD 2 million (USD 1.47 million) from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) under its Maritime Innovation and Technology Fund (MINT FUND).This follows the Memorandum of Understanding signed by Keppel O&M, MPA and the Technology Centre for Offshore and Marine, Singapore (TCOMS) in April 2018 to jointly develop autonomous vessels for a variety of applications including undertaking harbour operations such as channelling, berthing, mooring and towing operations.The project will involve modifying a 65 MT tug by retrofitting advanced systems such as position manoeuvring, digital pilot vision, as well as collision detection and avoidance. An onshore command centre will also be set up to remotely control the tug.“Autonomous vessels are the next exciting phase of development in the maritime industry and in Maritime Singapore. Here, we are constantly looking out for the next new technology to pilot and testbed in an effort to develop Maritime Singapore to be more efficient, productive and technologically advanced,” Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive of MPA, said.As part of the project, Keppel O&M, through its technology arm, Keppel Marine and Deepwater Technology (KMDTech), will work with MPA and TCOMS to develop various technologies and be the system integrator for the autonomous solutions.
San Francisco: The upcoming Google Pixel smartphones — Pixel 4 and 4 XL — would feature a new Motion Mode for action scenes, an enhanced Night Sight feature and would offer 8x zoom, reports suggest. Search engine giant Google is expected to refresh its Pixel series with the launch of the two smartphones late in October. The new Motion Mode is said to allow users to capture high-quality action shots with moving subjects in the foreground and blurry backgrounds, The Verge reported on Friday. Also Read – Swiggy now in 500 Indian cities, targets 100 more this year The Night Sight feature would include speed-related enhancements, allowing the phone to take better pictures at night. For 8x zoom, it is unclear whether the camera would feature optical zoom or a combination of both optical and digital. Google Pixel 4 is expected to sport a 5.7-inch OLED display with Full HD+ resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate. The larger Pixel 4 XL will have a 6.3-inch OLED display with Quad HD+ resolution and the same 90Hz refresh rate. Also Read – New HP Pavilion x360 notebook with in-built Alexa in India According to reports, the Pixel 4 device would come with a square camera module at the back which would house a dual rear camera setup while until now all Pixel models only had a single camera sensor at the back. Reports also suggest that the phones would either have an in-display fingerprint sensor or a 3D face unlock module at the front, or both. The bottom edge of the phone may feature two external speakers with a USB-C port in between.
Seven residents were nominated for the Youth Award which is given to an individual under the age of 19 who has made a positive contribution to the community on a volunteer basis. Mustafa Rashid won the award last year. This years nominees are:• Emma Lavigne• Jaycee Bird• Trinity Douglas• Mohammed Faisal• Desirae Wiebe• Landon Tolsma• Hunter FaminowFour residents were nominated for the Mayor’s Citizen of the Year Award. The award recognizes an individual that has achieved positive notoriety outside our community for their actions, is recognized as leaders or role models by their peers, or has won international, national, or provincial titles or awards for their efforts. Cindy Dettling won the award last year. This years nominees are:• Steven Cooper• Alan Yu• Adam Reaburn• Ella Fraser Sue PopeskuBonnie AndersonJoan PattersonCatherine RuddellIrene Gut23 residents are nominated for the Recreation Award, which recognizes an individual or a group for their volunteer efforts in the promotion, organization, support, and/or motivation of sports, recreation, and leisure pursuits including healthy and active living. Bo Hedges won the award last year. The nominees this year are:• Connor Bull• Shannon Garbe• Rebecca Pruden• Mike Hamre• Neil Evans• Crystal Cup• Paul van Nostrand• Justin Donally @ Five Star MMA• Chantelle Yates• FSJ Disc Golf Sports Club• Clint Warkentin• Marissa Jordan• Jenna Hildebrand• Gail Weber• North Peace Cricket Foundation• Paul Kalas• Lee Hartman• Broyden Bennett• Sterling Middleton• Darren Snider• Lori Coulter• Dan Turner• Annika HedicanSix residents were nominated for the Literacy Award. The award recognizes special contributions of an individual or group that has made an outstanding contribution towards promoting in areas including literacy, language, multiculturalism and community issues in Fort St. John. Morgan Churchill won the award last year. The nominees this year are:• Irene Gut• Kim Boettcher• Mona Khanbabaei• Matt Preprost• Karen Sutherland• Teachers of Dr. KearneyThe largest number of nominees went to the Humanitarian Award bringing in 28 nominees. The Humanitarian Award recognizes an individual or a group of volunteers whose actions, commitment, volunteer leadership, service and community spirit have made a difference in the lives of those in the community. Faisal Rashid won the award last year. This year the nominees are:• Trevor Bolin• North Peace Pride Society• Amanda Trotter• Alan Yu• Tina Neufeld• MCC Thrift Shop• Allyson Sperling• Natalie Braun• Women’s Resource Society• Russell Eggleston• Brenda Baumeister• 100 Women Who Care• North Peace Sr. Housing Society• Steve Brousson• Jen Pimm• On our Way Home• Esther Haab• Fillanthropy Movement• Edwina Nearhood• Elizabeth Calder• Tami Peters• Gord Sandhu• Laurie Cardinal• Brian Baldry• Troy Henderson• Bob Corbett• Bonnie Isenberg• Roxanne Chmelyk FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The 11th annual Fort St. John Community Awards Gala will take place tomorrow night at the Lido Theatre.There are 83 Fort St. John residents nominated for the six awards. Thursday night’s gala will feature live entertainment from Adam Winn, as well as special guest speakers Doug Peterson and the Crystal Cup Organizing Committee.The Cultural Award is given to an individual or a group for their volunteer efforts in historical, visual, performing, or literary arts. It was won by Russel Eggleston last year. The award received five nominees this year: The Gala is set to kick off at 7:00 p.m. Thursday.
Islamabad: Pakistan’s seriousness to act against proscribed terror outfits and its efforts to curb money laundering and terror financing were questioned by members of a regional affiliate of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) at a meeting held in China, according to a media report. A 10-member delegation, led by Finance Secretary Mohammad Younas Dagha, attended the two-day meeting of the Asia-Pacific Group (APG) of the Paris-based FATF in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou where it defended Pakistan’s efforts against money laundering and terror financing. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: ReportAccording to a Dawn report, some participants, particularly those from India, raised very tough questions about Pakistan’s seriousness to act against proscribed organisations and effectiveness of internal controls. On May 3, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said India will ask the FATF to put Pakistan on a blacklist of countries that fail to meet international standards in stopping financial crime. The APG will submit to the FATF its analysis of the compliance report submitted by Pakistan at the meeting, which concluded yesterday, and the progress made since the group’s on-site inspection in Islamabad and Karachi in March, the report said. Also Read – Iraq military admits ‘excessive force’ used in deadly protestsThe APG report will become the basis for the FATF to decide whether to exclude Pakistan from its grey list or not. The delegation briefed the meeting about Pakistan’s updated actions against currency smuggling, proscribed organisations and tightening of financial and corporate sector systems and operational effectiveness, the report said. Giving examples of the measures taken by it, Pakistan cited arrests of key operatives of some proscribed outfits, putting more such groups and their affiliates in the list of banned outfits, blocking their accounts and financial flows and taking control of their assets. In March, bowing down to international pressure, Pakistan launched a major crackdown on Jaish-e-Mohammad, Jamat-ud-Dawa, Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation and other banned outfits and took over the control of their assets throughout the country. The Pakistan delegation said the country was very close to accomplish the milestones set under the FATF action plan well before the September deadline. It also said the government recently revised its national risk assessment of the corporate sector, strengthened customs procedures on borders and inland movement of funds and assets. Besides, internal control of the banking and non-banking financial institutions, insurance companies and stock exchanges has been strengthened to curb the possibility of money laundering and terror financing. The delegation cited the creation of a specialised directorate of Cross-Border Currency Movement (CBCM) in Islamabad to maintain a database of currency seizures. The APG had earlier flashed contradictory situations and poor coordination among stakeholders, including law enforcement agencies, in fighting money laundering and terror financing in Pakistan. Last month, it expressed serious reservations over insufficient physical actions on ground against proscribed organisa tions to block flow of funds and activities.
The New York Times on Wednesday published an op-ed with the headline “Don’t Let Statistics Ruin Baseball.” Some of the baseball nuts at FiveThirtyEight staff couldn’t contain themselves after reading it. Here’s an edited transcript of our Slack conversation.cwick: This is the kind of thing that gets our attention around here. A sample of the op-ed: “Thanks to ‘Moneyball’ and stats-driven fantasy leagues, advanced statistics have changed how fans think about the game. On the whole that’s a positive trend — but not when the numbers begin to eclipse a more nuanced appreciation of baseball.” Nate, you created FiveThirtyEight for all sorts of reasons, but surely it has no more sacred duty than to respond to this piece. What’s a sabermetrician to think about this op-ed?natesilver: One litmus test for any writer: Does he know his subject? Steve Kettmann might know a lot about baseball, but he doesn’t know very much about baseball statistics. For instance, he describes how wins above replacement compares a player against “some hypothetical median player, the ‘replacement.’” Actually, it compares him against a replacement-level player, who is way worse than the median major leaguer.He doesn’t describe fielding independent pitching (FIP) correctly. Its goal is not to provide a “broader measure of a pitcher’s performance than the traditional E.R.A.” Rather, it’s to measure how effective a pitcher is independent of his defense (fielding) — as its name implies!On the other hand, he favorably cites “a previously obscure statistic: batting average against relievers.” That statistic hasn’t become much less obscure — it’s not something that we stat geeks are talking about very much. And that’s because we know it’s probably just random noise. Batting average is noisy enough, let alone when you cut the sample size by two-thirds.The point being, the better advanced statistics are all about deepening our understanding of how the game is played. If a pitcher has a 2.85 ERA, is he really good — or is it the defense behind him? That’s what FIP can tell us (although there are better ways now to account for the impact of positional defense).By contrast, when statistics were cited in, say, the 1980s or 1990s, they were mostly just trivial crap. “Claudell Washington is 6-for-25 on cloudy days against left-handed relief pitchers with runners in scoring position.” Shit like that. Totally useless and distracting. And there were dozens of them on every broadcast.carl: Nate’s response shows how these debates are always about which numbers people arbitrarily approve and which ones they don’t. You can’t have baseball without numbers. How would you count strikes, outs, runs and wins?cwick: Right, there have always been stats in the game because the game is such a structured one. Baseball happens in discrete steps. There’s an action and there’s an outcome. Pitcher throws, it’s either a ball, a strike, a foul, a hit, or an out. (Or some other possibility I’ve overlooked.) That creates stats that are robust and complete. Stats can’t help but bubble up and out of those.benm: As I understand it, he is all for statistical advancement of baseball to enhance understanding of the game and quality of competition and other more utility-based purposes, he just objects to the obsession with statistics from an aesthetic perspective. He compares it to listening to a symphony: There’s nothing wrong with understanding how the tuba works or how many clarinets you need, but when you’re there in the audience, you should just let the music wash over you and appreciate it.I find watching baseball tedious in part because I feel like nothing I’m seeing in front of me matters — and I can trace this back to when I was young and learned the factoid that the difference between a good hitter and a bad hitter was “one hit a week.” So if I had a more robust appreciation of the non-statistical aesthetic quality of baseball, it might make it easier to enjoy a game.But the other way it cuts is that, without statistics, I probably wouldn’t be interested in baseball at all. Like many people, my fandom started out with baseball cards. Fast-forward 30 years, and while I’m not as nutty about the game as some of my colleagues, I still take time to follow the fascinating statistical developments in the league, and can appreciate Mike Trout or Billy Beane’s greatness in a way that has something of an aesthetic aspect for me.carl: Like with so many of these pieces, the headline and opening are more radical than the author seems to really be. For example, this is pretty hard to argue with, unless you’re a straw man: “There is a risk that numbers become an end in themselves, and arcane stats proliferate. A good rule of thumb is that the more a stat relies on abstraction, the less likely it’s going to be consistently useful to a wide audience.”rarthur: I agree with @carl. These pieces always boil down to, “This is the exact, right, perfect amount of numeric detail that should be permitted in the game.” And it’s never clear why we should have stopped at batting average/RBIs/saves, as opposed to moving on to more accurate and more descriptive statistics.carl: The related point is that the stats that seem “traditional” (to use his word) just have to do with familiarity, not how arcane they are. The definitions of saves — which itself seemed radical to some when it was introduced — RBIs and pitcher wins are arcane and arbitrary.cwick: @carl, I hear you, but I think there are some passages in here that are pernicious in their misinterpretation of sabermetrics. “When it comes to watching a matchup of, say, the Mets pitcher Matt Harvey and Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins, statistical analysis is about as helpful in deepening an appreciation of the human drama unfolding before us as it would be for a Pavarotti aria.” PITCHf/x data and Stanton’s BABIP have a ton to tell us about that matchupcarl: @cwick, that’s only pernicious if we assume that statistical analysis can’t help us appreciate an aria. The jury is out on that. Where’s opera’s Bill James?cwick: @carl that’s a story for you!ollie: You’ve all nailed the statistical points. I’d like to mention something else. Kettmann seems very concerned with our attention spans. Let’s take his analogy of music, and going to the symphony to hear Mahler’s Ninth. I need to pay attention. To clear my mind. How would I enjoy it otherwise? But if I knew that disease plagued Mahler’s mother and 13 siblings, or that he had an abusive father, or that he was obsessed with death, and that the last line of that symphony’s score reads “ersterbend” — German for “dying away” — I’m going to appreciate the piece of music more, not less. This echoes how I feel watching Anthony Rizzo bat knowing that he had an OPS+ of 163 against lefties last year, or whatever. Statistics are a complement, not a substitute.rarthur: Right, @ollie. Above and beyond that, I would never presume to tell a music theorist that it was incorrect to be thinking about notes and scales while listening to an aria. You can enjoy it the way you want to. If you prefer not to know the statistical underpinnings of baseball, no one is forcing you to learn them.natesilver: @rarthur: Actually the music theorists are pretty damned interesting when you corner them at a party!carl: @ollie and @rarthur — totally agree. His implication is that quantitative context is less valuable — less artistic, less charming — than qualitative context. That’s personal taste.cwick: Well, Kettmann’s point is that it’s becoming increasingly difficult not to pay attention to the stats, @rarthur. Which I sympathize with — I’m the words guy at a numbers site! But his argument comes across as a Luddite’s. “The art of hitting a baseball starts with emptying the mind. As Jonathan Fader, a psychologist who works with Mets players, told me: ‘Essentially, what we’re trying to do in sports psychology is helping people to not think.’ Fans and writers need to adopt a similar attitude.”natesilver: Some of this is just plain old anti-intellectualism. Us nerds want to understand how the world works. Statistics are one way to do that, but not the only one. @carl, you’ll remember when we were at the US Open last year and I was constantly peppering you with tennis questions. Some of them were stats-y questions and some weren’t. I just wanted to learn more about tennis. I’m curious about the world, both as a “fan” and as a journalist.carl: Yeah, @natesilver, I think we nerds are fine with people who don’t want to understand the sport or opera or whatever they’re watching. They should be fine with those who do. We can all sit side by side and enjoy the game. Except for those terrible tweeting/texting/Googling press-box reporters.ollie: Or the guy on his phone at the symphony, @carl.carl: @ollie probably checking operareference.com.carl: Which is available. We should buy it before Sean Forman does.cwick: opera-reference.com, obvs. (God, that might be the nerdiest joke I’ve ever made.)carl: Also available.benm: I know that a musician may appreciate Bach in a way that I can’t. But I think the visceral experience is still very immediate for them, so I don’t think that would be inconsistent with Kettman’s argument. I presume that in his ideal world, we all understand these stats but don’t let them be the main thing we appreciate when watching. They should be more like butter or MSG than like steak or fish.natesilver: @carl: I’m totally fine with the dude who just goes to the game with his friends and drinks about 5 beers and cheers when the home team hits a home run. Sometimes that’s me! I’m NOT fine with journalists who are incurious about the world, however.david: I think Ben hit on something important. This argument — and I can understand both sides — reflects opposing approaches to life. Some people appreciate these events — whether Mahler, Springsteen, or baseball — at the purely sensual, aesthetic level, and don’t see any need for their cerebral cortex to interfere in that appreciation. Others need to find deeper patterns and hidden movement in everything they see, and those patterns are usually there to be found. Each approach is legitimate, but the two sides will never really understand each other.rarthur: I would challenge the idea that the two sides can’t understand each other. At its best, baseball (or perhaps sports more generally) bridges the gap and allows you to experience both a statistics-driven and purely aesthetic enjoyment. In the World Series Game 7 last year, as Madison Bumgarner pitched inning after inning, I was simultaneously trying to calculate whether it was a good idea to bring him back out and also just enjoying how awesome, how calm, how controlled he was. And I was thinking about him pitching up in the zone, and about how Sal Perez was tired and injured, and everything all at once.natesilver: On one level, I agree with Kettmann about the aesthetics of actually going to a sporting event. Some of the scoreboards — like the new Jumbotron at Wrigley — are overkill. They rarely abide by good principles of information design, which usually means clean, somewhat minimalist presentations that fit naturally into their environments.carl: My ideal world would not be one in which I or Kettman or anyone else decides how we should appreciate baseball, music or anything else. I think in our current, suboptimal world, there are plenty of ways for him and for like-minded fans to avoid the statistical distractions he dislikes — apparently, according to @natesilver, by avoiding Wrigley.natesilver: @carl: It’s really about distractions in general, and not statistical distractions. I like going to soccer games because it’s a very clean experience. At the World Cup at Maracanã in Rio, there weren’t a lot of statistics. But there also weren’t a lot of distracting PA announcements, or cheap gimmicks, or anything else.So give me a clean experience at the ballpark — I really don’t need to see Bumgarner’s FIP on the center field scoreboard. But also give me a fast Wi-Fi connection in case I’m in “curious nerd” mode and have something I want to look up.cwick: @natesilver’s prescription for baseball’s future: Wi-Fi in stadiums Bonus Podcast: Nate Silver Talks with Steve KettmannAudio Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/natesilver_stevekettmann.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.This conversation will also air in this week’s episode of “Hot Takedown” — FiveThirtyEight’s new sports podcast. We reached out to Steve Kettmann for a response to our conversation. It’s below:Thanks for seeking me out and asking me to offer a response. I see far more common ground between the view I articulated in the piece and your arguments than I might have expected. For example, I loved the discussion of how knowing more about Mahler only adds to the experience of listening to the music — but I’d point out that usually you read the program (and the biography) before the lights go down and the music starts. My piece does not argue against having statistical analysis in mind during the watching of a game; it argues against not even bothering to watch the game, because the action on the field is considered irrelevant. Benm states directly he finds “watching baseball tedious in part because I feel like nothing I’m seeing in front of me matters.” Wow! We can all enjoy baseball, even with differing perspectives on how best to understand it, but anyone who says they find watching events on the field to be “tedious” to me does not really love baseball, they love the playground of numbers the game provides. Are the players just numbers to you? That’s seriously what you’d like people to believe? I don’t buy it. My reference to Jonathan Fader and the mental side of baseball is characterized as anti-intellectual, because I talk about the importance of “not thinking.” It does not bother me if the esteemed crew responding to my op-ed has other areas of interest than the question of how baseball players do what they do, but in fact the mental side of performance is the big uncovered story in baseball and in sports. More and more teams, in all sports, are hiring mental-strength coaches and counselors. Ignore all of this, if you like, but others might find it thought-provoking.Nate Silver accuses me of being “incurious about the world” for daring to question how much is too much. I was an Oakland A’s beat writer for the San Francisco Chronicle from 1994 to 1998 and had a front-row seat to watch the unfolding relationship between the young Billy Beane and his mentor, Sandy Alderson, who introduced Beane to Bill James and Eric Walker and advanced statistical analysis. I’ve spent four years researching that period for my book “Baseball Maverick,” published this week by Grove Atlantic.My argument in the Times is in part based on a distillation of what Alderson himself would say. Alderson believes that the human side matters; that you learn from close study of advanced statistics, but you also tune into human elements. Talking today with Jonah Keri for his podcast, Alderson observed “most analysts believe the intangibles are subsumed in the numbers. But I’m not sure that’s the case.”Look, we’re all media savvy here and understand writers write articles, editors write headlines. I think, as I observed, that the application of advanced statistical analysis to baseball is a boon to the game, and is providing tremendous energy that is shaping the way the game is played — and the way the game is understood. Where I part ways with some of you is simply in whether it’s worth watching the games themselves: I was lucky enough to spend a summer at the New Yorker working with the great Roger Angell, and I will always be a fan of his close observation of the details of a baseball game. I’m saying: Can’t we have it all? Love stats, but don’t forget also to love the quirky little details of a baseball game as it develops in real time. Editor’s Note: For the record, all of us (except maybe benm) enjoy watching baseball.
After sending Ohio State baseball packing in a Thursday night game, the Purdue Boilermakers scrapped their way to a Big Ten title – literally. The Boilermakers defeated Indiana, 6-5, Saturday at Huntington Park to clinch the school’s first Big Ten Baseball Tournament championship since the tournament began in 1981. The Boilermakers took a 6-5 lead against the rival Hoosiers in the ninth inning, but a chaotic scene ensued when Purdue second baseman Eric Charles slid into third base and was tagged out to end the inning. After the play, players from each team left their respective benches and started a brawl in front of the Indiana dugout. Indiana coach Tracy Smith said it was an incident where testosterone got the best of players on each team. “The young whippersnappers wanting to buck up, all of them on both teams,” Smith said in a postgame press conference. “I’m 47 years old, so I kind of sit back and think someone is going to get hurt, me. You just realize that you’re dealing with 18, 19, 20-year-old kids who don’t have a lot of perspective.” Smith said it was tough for his team to refocus and try to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth after the fight, but was more worried about the ramifications the fight had on the Big Ten conference. “To me, it was not good for our conference,” Smith said. “How it started, how it happened in the middle and how it finished I think is a big-time black eye for our conference. I’m embarrassed for our conference, but it was important that win, lose or draw, Indiana was going to shake hands at the end of the game because that’s much more important than a baseball game.” After the game, no Indiana players were made available for comments and when the Purdue players spoke, coach Doug Schreiber told them not to answer questions about the brawl. Before the fight, Schreiber was coaching Purdue from the third base coaching box and was caught in the middle of the brawl. A punch was thrown and hit an Indiana player during the fight. During the postgame press conference Schreiber was asked if he threw the punch. “Absolutely not,” Schreiber said. “I had a hold on Charles. I had a hold of Charles the whole time, guaranteed. If anybody wants to say or prove anything else, bring it on. That’s very unfortunate and people are going to say things; that’s absolutely not the truth. I grabbed my player and was holding my player and he was defenseless.” Schreiber said he will not allow people to think he threw the punch. “Anybody who wants to implicate that, I’ll go after legal issues,” Schreiber said. “Guaranteed, 100 percent if they want to try to defame me. That’s ridiculous.” During the game, Charles was kicked out for a flagrant slide, as Schreiber said the umpires described it to him, but no other players were removed after the fight. Both coaches said more suspensions might be forthcoming. Despite the fight, Purdue emerged the regular season and tournament champs, a feat never accomplished by the Boilermakers. The No. 15 Boilermakers (44-12, 17-7 Big Ten) won the regular-season championship and many of the Big Ten’s individual awards as well. Schreiber won Big Ten Coach of the Year and junior catcher Kevin Plawecki won Big Ten Player of the Year and was named to the First Team All-Big Ten team. Senior pitcher Joe Haase won Big Ten Pitcher of the Year and First Team All-Big Ten honors. The Boilermakers won their first regular-season title since 1909 and Plawecki said it was nice to win the tournament. “It feels good because we won the conference in the regular season,” said Plawecki, the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. “Then for us to come out and win it in the tournament, you can’t really ask for much more but to come out and prove it that way.” Senior outfielder Andrew Dixon said winning the tournament left him speechless. “We’ve had a great year so far,” Dixon said. “Our goal at the beginning of the year was to break the wins record and we did that. Next goal was to win the Big Ten outright and we did that. Next was to win the Big Ten Tournament and we did that (Saturday). So we’re just checking things off the list and we’ll see what happens moving forward. We’re really excited with what we’ve accomplished so far, but in no means are we ready to be done.” Purdue was selected as a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament and will host a regional in Gary, Ind., according to a release from the Big Ten on its website Monday. Purdue will play Valparaiso in the opening game of the NCAA Regionals, which begin Friday. During Purdue’s run through the Big Ten Tournament, the Boilermakers knocked off Ohio State (33-27, 11-13 Big Ten) 5-4 Thursday for their first win of the tournament. The loss was OSU’s first loss of the tournament. Then a 6-2 loss to the Michigan State Spartans knocked OSU out of the tournament. OSU scored first, with two runs in the top of the fifth, but the Spartans scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game. The Spartans scored three more runs in the bottom of the sixth to take a 5-2 lead and added another run in the eighth. The Buckeyes, playing their third game in 24 hours, were out of starting pitchers and turned to true freshman Trace Dempsey against Michigan State. The start was just the second of Dempsey’s career and he went four and two-thirds innings allowing two runs on five hits and four walks with two hit batters. OSU coach Greg Beals said he was proud of the effort the team gave, but was disappointed with how the season ended. “Game two didn’t go the way we wanted to,” Beals said. “We started to run out of gas. Tough 24 hours, going from 7:05 (Thursday) to noon (Friday), a doubleheader. I was really proud with how our guys competed in this tournament, but I felt like we ran out of gas (Friday) and that’s no excuse.” The Michigan State game was the second game Friday for the Buckeyes. Game one was a 6-2 win against Nebraska. Junior shortstop Kirby Pellant led the Buckeyes with two triples. The Buckeyes lost to Purdue Thursday night in a 5-4 game against the No. 1 seed. The Buckeyes were tied 2-2 in the seventh before Plawecki hit a go-ahead two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning. Purdue added an insurance run in the eighth and the Buckeyes scored one in the ninth to make it a 5-4 final. For the No. 6-seed Buckeyes, the tournament began Wednesday with a 12-5 win against No. 3-seed Penn State. The Buckeyes trailed 5-1 going into the sixth inning before scoring two in the sixth, three in the eighth and six in the top of the ninth inning. The tournament was Beals’ second tournament appearance in as many years with OSU. In the 2012 tournament the Buckeyes went 2-2, compared to 1-2 the year before. Beals said he is pleased with the direction of the program, but expects more from his team. “On a scale of one to 10, I’d call it a six,” Beals said of how successful a season it was for OSU baseball. “I think par, maybe. I have very high expectations and we need to keep working for that. We need to get tougher; we need to get physically tougher. We need to get mentally tougher, we need to get deeper in our program and if we have more depth and we’re going to do that. With depth we’ll get physically tougher, and practices will be harder with more competition in practice. We just need to beef up the depth in the program in my opinion.”
Gareth Southgate is ready for talks with the FA over a new deal after guiding the Three Lions to the World Cup semi-finals.Southgate and the FA agreed on a contract worth about £2.5 million a year, plus bonuses, to succeed Sam Allardyce in 2016. His current contract will run out in 2020 but has a built-in break option after the World Cup.A source close to the FA said: ‘Gareth is set to sign a new contract and both sides want to get a deal agreed quickly.’The option would have allowed the FA to replace Southgate on the cheap if he had failed to deliver on their expectations. But, after leading England to the nation’s best World Cup since Italia 90, Southgate is in a strong position, and the FA are keen to extend his deal.Crouch: Liverpool could beat Man United to Jadon Sancho Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Peter Crouch wouldn’t be surprised to see Jadon Sancho end up at Liverpool one day instead of his long-term pursuers Manchester United.It could be worth up to £5m a year, including bonuses, to Southgate and ensure he will lead the country through the 2020 European Championship and the Qatar World Cup in 2022. The FA are also set to thrash out a settlement to release them from a £6m image rights contract.England players’ commercial work has been organized for the last decade by 1966 Entertainment, an outside agency whose contract runs until 2030.Following the World Cup in Russia, the FA want to work directly with England players rather than having to go through a third party for all sponsorship matters.A source close to the FA said: ‘It is in the interests of all parties to agree to a deal, so we need to come to a figure which compensates 1966 for loss of revenues.’