About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Argentina coach Scaloni reveals injury for Man City striker Agueroby Paul Vegas12 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester City striker Sergio Aguero has been carrying a calf injury and has not been in full training.The problem was revealed by his Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni, who left him out of the national squad for the current international break.Scaloni did not reveal the nature of the injury, but he hinted that it is nothing serious by saying he expected Aguero to join up with Argentina for the next international fortnight, which is next month. He said, “(Lionel) Messi is not here due to suspension. “Sergio Aguero is not here because he’s been carrying a problem and has not been training 100 per cent with his club. Surely both will be here next month.”
MPost BureauNew Delhi: Former Supreme Court judge Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose was Tuesday appointed as the country’s first Lokpal, the anti-corruption ombudsman, according to an official order.Former Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) chief Archana Ramasundaram, ex-Maharashtra Chief Secretary Dinesh Kumar Jain, Mahender Singh and Indrajeet Prasad Gautam have been appointed as non-judicial members of Lokpal. Justices Dilip B Bhosale, Pradip Kumar Mohanty, Abhilasha Kumari and Ajay Kumar Tripathi have been appointed as judicial members in the anti-corruption ombudsman. These appointments were recommended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led selection committee and approved by President Ram Nath Kovind. Opposition parties have been accusing the Modi government of delaying the appointment of Lokpal.
Los Angeles: Captain Marvel star Brie Larson has said it is amusing to her that some people are not able to comprehend that her film has crossed over USD 1 billion mark at the global box office. The film, which feature Larson as Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel, is Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first tentpole to be fronted by a woman. During an interview at the Women in the World conference in New York City, the 29-year-old actor said she initially felt the pressure to deliver when she started shooting for the project but believes the notion that women-fronted films cannot get good openings at the ticket window is “bogus”. “We put unnecessary pressure on ourselves. I understand film history. I know that the film industry started with a majority of women. It started with women filmmakers. “This weird idea that women maybe can’t open movies or are not important to storytelling or the female story is not high art, it’s bogus. I don’t want to for a second buy into it,” Larson said. The actor said she is “grateful” to have broken the “glass ceiling of normalising the concept that women can also make a billion dollars.” Larson is set to reprise her character in Marvel’s upcoming Avengers: Endgame, which is set to bow out on April 26.
Over the years, bullpens have eroded the workloads of starting pitchers. This season, relievers have accounted for the greatest share of pitching workload in Major League Baseball history: They have completed 41.1 percent of total innings through Wednesday, up from last year’s record of 40 percent. There are a variety of reasons for this trend, including teams becoming more aware of how starting pitchers tend to do worse each time through the opposing lineup and the increasing specialization of the sport.For more than 40 years, relievers had outperformed starters on a per-inning basis. But this season, through Wednesday, starters’ ERA is 0.02 points lower than that of relievers. Starters have not posted an ERA superior to that of relievers since 1973, but that gap has shrunk rapidly, and this year it could be potentially erased. As recently as 2012, the overall ERA of relievers was half a run better than that of starting pitchers.Perhaps this suggests that the sport has reached the limits of bullpenning and specialization — there are too many relievers employed. Through Tuesday, 492 different pitchers who primarily serve in relief have appeared in games this season.1At least 90 percent of games pitched as relievers. That already breaks the record set last season (488) and is up from 381 relievers in 2010 and 297 in 1998, the first season that MLB had 30 teams.This change in personnel may explain relievers’ decline in performance the first time through opposing lineups, relative to starting pitchers, a trend that Ben Clemens at FanGraphs documented in May and has continued into the summer. For the first time this century, starters have been better than relievers in their first time through the order in back-to-back seasons. Craig Edwards, also of FanGraphs, found there have been more low-leverage innings this year and poorer performance within them,2According to Leverage Index (LI), which is a measure of the relative “pressure” a player has faced. speaking to less meaningful baseball and more poor teams. Those innings have presumably been pitched by lesser relievers, diluting the group’s overall performance. There have been fewer meaningful innings this season — and also a greater volume of lesser-skilled relievers.A key decision for managers in today’s game is deciding whether to stick with a starter a third time through the lineup or to use the bullpen. And the gap between starters in that position and relievers has shrunk to its lowest level since 2005, as relievers have an advantage of only 49 points of opponent OPS this season compared with a 64-point edge last season and a century-high, 88-point difference in 2007, according to Baseball-Reference.com.Another reason for the convergence between starters and relievers is that starting pitchers are gaining relative skill. For the first time in the pitch-tracking era, which dates to 2007, the average fastball velocity of starting pitchers (93.3 mph) is less than 1 mph (0.8 mph) slower than that of relievers (94.1 mph). In 2012, relievers’ average fastballs were 1.7 mph faster than those of starters, and the difference has generally been shrinking since. Relievers’ overall fastball velocity has even declined this season, for the first time since 2008. Moreover, starters so far in 2019 have posted a higher difference between their strikeout rate and walk rate (14.5 percentage points) than relievers (13.9 percentage points). This is the first time starters have had a greater difference than relievers in the two rates since 1986.New technology is also allowing pitchers to improve the efficiency of their pitches. Starting pitchers also generally have a greater variety of pitches — and better command — than relievers, which is arguably one reason why they are starting pitchers and not relievers. If starters close the velocity gap, where relievers have traditionally held an advantage, they are closing a significant portion of the performance divide.Perhaps the game has swung too far in favor of relievers. Managers might want to wait a little longer on that call to the bullpen, or at least consider whom they are calling upon.Check out our latest MLB predictions.
A week after suffering a quadriceps strain that caused him to miss playing time, quarterback Terrelle Pryor put up career-high passing numbers against Indiana. Pryor threw for 334 yards, topping a previous career high of 266 yards against Oregon. “Obviously it means something, I’m human,” he said. “We all have statistics we want to get.” Pryor reached the milestone in less than three quarters of work, as he exited the game when the Buckeyes led 38-0. Despite its significance, Pryor was more concerned with adding to the number in the win column than piling up yardage, he said. The team was quick to share the praise. “I think the combination between the (offensive) line protecting well, Terrelle making his reads and knowing his coverages and the receivers running great routes, it’s all going well,” center Mike Brewster said. Coach Jim Tressel agreed it wasn’t all Pryor’s doing. “The key to the passing game is protection,” he said. “I thought our guys up front did well. I thought our blitz pickup was good.” The leg injury to Pryor, the team’s leading rusher entering the game, might have factored in to the gaudy passing numbers. “I wasn’t comfortable running at all. I really wanted to stand in (the pocket),” he said. “I threw some good balls.” The team did not call any designed runs for Pryor and encouraged him not to scramble. “We did talk a little bit more this week in some film session about hanging on (to the ball longer) … because we did feel like we could protect,” Tressel said. The extra time allowed Pryor to complete 24 of his 30 passing attempts. “He was putting the balls on the money,” running back Brandon Saine said. “I think he was going through his progressions and doing what he knew how to do.” Preparation was also important. “From the film, it looked like we would get a lot of zone coverage from them and not a lot of man coverage,” wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher said. “We knew what was coming and how to prepare.” That film study allowed OSU to take what the defense was giving them en route to three touchdowns through the air. “The pass was working well, so we felt like we were (going to) pass it more,” Brewster said. That won’t always be the case. “We can have that success throwing the ball anytime, but that’s not the style of play we always want to play,” Pryor said. When the Buckeyes do play that style, teammates trust their quarterback. “When Terrelle is passing as good as he’s passing,” lineman Justin Boren said, “we’ve got a Heisman trophy candidate in the back field.”
The Ohio State men’s volleyball team struggled to find its footing against some of the nation’s elite teams, which gathered at the Outrigger Invitational in Honolulu this past weekend. While OSU improved to 2-0 on the season with a 3-2 win against host the University of Hawaii Warriors Thursday, the Buckeyes (2-2) dropped back-to-back showdowns against No. 7 Penn State and No. 5 UCLA. Against the Nittany Lions, OSU was swept 3-0 (24-26, 17-25, 22-25) Saturday as an evenly-matched first set was not enough in the end for the Buckeyes, which failed to take advantage of leads throughout the match. But in their contest with the Bruins, victory seemed to be within reach for OSU. During the deciding fifth set, the Buckeyes led multiple times, including a 12-9 advantage that left three points away from pulling off the upset. UCLA, though, stormed back, winning six of the next seven points, and handed OSU its first defeat of the year, 3-2 (25-17, 22-25, 25-18, 18-25, 13-15). The Buckeyes had better luck against the unranked Warriors, which took OSU to five sets before finally conceding the match, 3-2 (22-25, 25-23, 20-25, 25-17, 15-12). Redshirt sophomores setter Peter Heinen and opposite Andrew Lutz and sophomore outside hitter Michael Henchy led the charge against Hawaii to help put the team at 2-0 on the season heading into the top 10 matchups that stood ahead for the Buckeyes. Next weekend the Buckeyes will look to stop its current losing streak when they travel to Loretto, Pa. to take on Saint Francis (PA) at 3 p.m. in a rematch of the first game of the season, a 3-0 victory for OSU.
The OSU men’s basketball team huddles up during the pregame of a Dec. 30 game against Iowa at the Schottenstein Center. OSU lost, 71-65. Credit: Jon McAllister / Asst. photo editorThe start of the conference schedule is usually when the season’s most important business begins — a string of unfamiliar teams replaced by old rivals.But for the Ohio State men’s basketball team, the change in competition wasn’t a welcome one. The beginning of the Big Ten season got off to a losing start as the No. 20 Buckeyes fell at home to Iowa by a score of 71-65.The Hawkeyes (10-4, 1-0) were on top of things from the tip, going on an early 8-0 run before eventually leading 17-5 less than four minutes into the game.Meanwhile, the Buckeyes (11-3, 0-1) put Iowa on the free throw line twice in the opening minutes. OSU wouldn’t get a chance at the free throw line until there was just over six minutes to play in the opening half.Matta said his team practiced hard the day before, but they didn’t seem to bring the same type of play to the court on Tuesday.“They stunned us early by pushing the ball up the floor, and that led to 17 points in the first four minutes. We were in a hole that we were fighting the entire game,” Matta said. “For whatever reason, we didn’t have the energy or the juice we needed.”OSU senior forward Sam Thompson said the way Iowa opened the game was down to the Buckeyes’ poor execution on the other side of the ball.“We let them dictate what they wanted to do,” Thompson said. “We always pride ourselves on defense and we didn’t have the type of activity and communication that we needed to early in the game to really impose our will on the game.”After the quick start, Iowa continued to keep OSU at bay with a high shooting percentage from the field. The Hawkeyes made six of their first seven shots.At the other end, the Buckeyes missed four straight attempts until redshirt-freshman guard Kam Williams entered the game at the 16:02 mark and immediately made an impact with the team’s first three-pointer. Williams followed that play with a steal and an assist to Big Ten Freshman of the Week, guard D’Angelo Russell, but sophomore guard Peter Jok put home an offensive rebound on the ensuing possession to respond for the Hawkeyes.Second-chance points were a theme for Iowa, as they had nine in the first half to OSU’s two. Those putbacks came off eight offensive rebounds, five more than the Buckeyes had in the same span.Thompson said Iowa’s performance on its offensive glass also had a trickle-down effect on OSU’s offensive output. The Buckeyes entered Tuesday’s game tied for first in the Big Ten in three-point percentage at 42 percent, but the Hawkeyes held them to only 25 percent.“(Iowa) rebounded the ball, they scored the ball. It’s hard to get out in transition, it’s hard to get our rhythm, it’s hard to get the threes that we’ve been getting all season when we’re taking the ball out of bounds, when we’re setting up after a dead ball,” Thompson said. “We gotta do a better job of defending and rebounding, and allow that to translate into our offense.”Iowa’s junior forward Jarrod Uthoff led all first-half scorers with 12 points while Thompson led the Buckeyes with seven. Russell and Kam Williams were the only Buckeyes with more than one assist in the opening 20 minutes.OSU sophomore forward Marc Loving shot just one of three from the field in the first half, and said Iowa’s defensive play made things difficult for him and his teammates.“You gotta give credit to Iowa. They played very hard, they created a lot of turnovers and we were stagnant in the first half,” he said.Thompson started the second half with a floater for the Buckeyes, and the home team had seven of the half’s first nine points. Iowa, however, continued to be the superior team on the glass, and they held a 12-point lead a little over halfway through the period.The senior also completed a three-point play with 7:51 left in the game to cut the Iowa lead to seven. Over two minutes later Loving hit his second three-pointer to pull the Buckeyes to within six.Russell, who was on the floor with four fouls, hit a three-pointer with 3:25 to go to cut the Iowa lead to three. The Hawkeyes come straight back with five points of their own to push the margin back to eight, before another Thompson three-point play put the Buckeyes down five.The Buckeyes were led by Thompson with 17 points on six for 11 shooting.Uthoff and senior forward Aaron White both had 18 points to lead the Hawkeyes who defeated the Buckeyes in Columbus for the second straight year. White led all players in rebounds with nine, while Loving led the Buckeyes in that department with six.The deficit was still five with under a minute left as OSU forced Iowa into a shot-clock violation. The Buckeyes then missed their next three shots, including a jumper by Russell that effectively ended their chances at a comeback.Matta said his team will have to look at the film and try to pinpoint why mistakes were made in the zone defense scheme.“We can’t make the mistakes we made defensively. It was mind-boggling the things we did in the zone that we haven’t done all year, and you’re saying ‘Why now? Why would you guard it that way when we’ve never practiced it that way?’ And that’s a concentration, that’s a focus,” Matta said.The Buckeyes are set to return to the floor on Saturday as they host Illinois. Tipoff is set for 3:30 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center.
World Cup is just a few days away and England coach Gareth Southgate is facing far “more difficult” decisions for England’s World Cup opener as players impress even more.Preparation for Russia has been as smooth as it has been impressive in recent weeks, with comfortable warm-up victories complementing fine work on the training field and increasing team spirit away from it. Southgate’s side honed their skills at a sold-out Elland Road on Thursday evening as they followed the win against Nigeria by beating Costa Rica in a manner more stirring than the 2-0 scoreline suggests.Marcus Rashford and Danny Welbeck secured victory from another injury-free evening, giving the England manager a welcome selection headache ahead of the Group G opener against Tunisia on June 18.“It’s more difficult,” Southgate said, according to Sport.“No question. There’s some serious decisions to take – but in a good way.“If I was sitting here thinking ‘blimey, we have got nobody to play there and nobody to play there’ then it would be a very different situation.“We asked the players to give us competition for places. I can’t start complaining when they do.”Southgate explains why he started Jadon Sancho Taimoor Khan – September 11, 2019 Jadon Sancho was given a start ahead of Marcus Rashford in England’s win over Kosovo and the manager explained why he went down that…Man-of-the-match Rashford shone brightest in Thursday’s audition, scoring an exceptional opener and playing with confidence at a buoyant Elland Road.England are still excited about yesterday’s match and we know this from their recent tweet. Worth watching over and over and over and… ?#threelions pic.twitter.com/24YMGjlnut— England (@England) June 8, 2018
Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has revealed he never questioned the qualities of Anthony Martial’s following the French forward’s resurgent form.Martial’s purple patch in front of goal means he is one of United’s key players this season despite playing a cameo role earlier this season.The former Monaco man has rewarded his manager’s faith, scoring five goals in his last six games in all competitions and is currently enjoying his best run.“I never gave up,“ Mourinho told the Evening Standard. “I never gave up my feelings that this was the right way for him, even if he had to go through difficult moments.Mourinho: “Lionel Messi made me a better coach” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho believes the experience of going up against Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi at Real Madrid made him a greater coach.“I knew that for him to become a really top player, he needed to overcome some barriers that I put on the road for him. It is up to his talent because he has phenomenal talent.“It was just a question of him understanding what a top player is because there is a big difference between a top talent and a top player.”Martial has been rewarded with his first call-up to the France squad since the friendly with Spain in March, having missed out on Didier Deschamps’ final 23-man squad in Russia.
Sergej Milinkovic-Savic’s agent claims the player is enjoying life at Lazio suggesting he won’t be leaving the club in the January transfer window.Milinkovic-Savic has been a subject of transfer speculation with both Milan clubs keen on his services despite renewing his Lazio contract.“Sergej is really, really happy at Lazio,” the former Chelsea striker told Football Italia via lalaziosiamonoi.it.“He showed how much he loves the club and fans by choosing to stay, despite having many offers.“All young players have ups and downs. He had a tough start to the season, but game by game he’s improved, getting back to his usual levels in the last month.Match Preview: SS Lazio vs AS Roma Boro Tanchev – August 31, 2019 Lazio will host Roma to the Olimpico Stadium in the first Derby della Capitale of the 2019-20 Serie A campaign.“People often forget that he’s not a striker. His job isn’t to score. He does a lot for the team during a game.“He won’t leave Lazio this month, that’s 100 percent certain. It’s not right to talk about him possibly moving away every time.“He has a long contract with the Biancocelesti, he’s happy with them and above all, he’s not for sale this month.“We must respect Lotito as the President. Lazio are also a great club, with all due respect for other sides.”