Where Have All The Crafty Pitchers Gone

Pitching has always been about throwing a baseball really hard — there’s a reason so much of the game’s mythology grew around how quickly hurlers like Walter “Big Train” Johnson and Bob Feller could get the ball from the mound to home plate. But for those who lack overwhelming stuff, there’s another core aspect to pitching: the art of throwing strikes and tricking batters into getting themselves out. Velocity makes a pitcher’s life easier, of course, but plenty of greats from history have thrived on guile instead of a dominating fastball.The craft of finesse pitching, however, might be a dying one in today’s game. A few, such as Arizona’s Zack Greinke and the Cubs’ Kyle Hendricks, have managed to remain effective with a slow fastball and pinpoint control. But the number of star pitchers following that formula has dwindled in recent seasons, in conjunction with the ever-increasing velocity of the average pitch across Major League Baseball. Just a decade ago, we saw Jamie Moyer gutting out complete-game shutouts with an 81-mile-per-hour fastball at age 47 (!) — but are the Moyers of 2019 now getting squeezed out of the sport?Moyer, the southpaw formerly of the Phillies and Mariners (among other teams), was plainly a special pitcher no matter how you measure him. He won only 34 games by his 30th birthday yet still managed to finish with 269 total victories before retiring in 2012 at the age of 49. But Moyer also exemplified a very particular kind of hurler: the prototypical “crafty lefty” who gets by on smarts and makes the best of less-than-stellar velocity readings. In 2002, the earliest year of pitch-speed data at FanGraphs, Moyer — then a youthful 39 — averaged just 82.8 miles per hour on his fastball. (He and Tim Hudson were the only non-knuckleballers with an average fastball under 83.) It was a radar reading that only went down with the passage of time.Back then, though, 11 percent of qualified starters clocked in under 85 mph on average, and 70 percent threw under 90 mph. Moyer even had Hall of Fame company at the bottom of the velocity list, including the likes of Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine. But things changed by the mid-to-late 2000s, when Moyer was perennially the only qualified starter anywhere near the low 80s. In 2010, roughly 1 percent of qualified starters averaged under 85 mph, and only 29 percent were even averaging under 90 mph. Today, nobody averages below 85 mph — Hendricks is baseball’s softest-tossing qualified starter at 86.7 mph — while 16 percent of starters are above 95 mph on their average fastball: After Moyer’s retirement, the reigning kings of slow-pitch became Jered Weaver of the Angels and Mark Buehrle of the White Sox and Blue Jays. Buehrle especially belongs squarely among the crafty lefty lineage, alongside Moyer and Glavine; however, he retired after the 2015 season. Over the past two years, in particular, we’ve seen a distinct lack of outlier starters at the bottom of the velocity rankings, the place where the craftiest of pitchers once lurked.To call a pitcher “crafty” is a kind of backhanded compliment. After all, if a guy has overwhelming velocity or electric stuff, we would just talk about that as an explanation for him getting hitters out. (Strikeouts may be fascist, but they are also impressive.) However, Moyer, Buehrle, Hudson and — especially — Maddux and Glavine worked the formula out to perfection. In fact, the 1990s were a heyday of sorts for finesse pitchers, with perfect games from Kenny Rogers and David Wells to go with regular All-Star appearances from the likes of Andy Ashby, Brad Radke and Charles Nagy. None were big strikeout artists, but all were very good pitchers nonetheless thanks to a combination of sharp control, smart situational pitching and keeping the ball in the ballpark.Yet as baseball’s overall velocity bar has raised and preventing home runs has become more difficult, there’s evidence the control-and-command approach has progressively lost its effectiveness. While breaking pitches such as sliders and curves are moving more sharply than ever, it’s not the crafty junkballers of yore who are benefiting most from it.Bill James once broke pitchers into equally sized “power,” “finesse” and “neutral” groups based on their rates of strikeouts plus walks per inning (theorizing that high-velocity pitchers get lots of strikeouts and walks — think Nolan Ryan — while our crafty group doesn’t record much of either). If we do that for qualified starters each season since 1950, we can see the balance of leaguewide pitching wins above replacement1Averaging together the values from FanGraphs and Baseball-Reference.com. has tilted strongly in favor of power pitchers since the early 1970s: Aside from briefly closing the gap a few times over that span — specifically in the mid-1980s and the late 1990s, aka the Moyer and Maddux eras — the finesse pitchers have consistently lost ground value-wise to the hard throwers. The 2017 and 2018 seasons were the first two since 1950 in which the net gap in WAR share between power- and finesse-type starters was at least 18 percentage points in consecutive years. Of the 20 most valuable starters of 2018 by WAR, only one (Miles Mikolas of the Cardinals) was classified as a finesse pitcher; the other 19 were all either power (12) or neutral (7) pitcher types.What accounts for the trend? For one thing, balls in play are at an all-time low, setting a new MLB record for the fewest per game in each of the past five seasons. (We’re down to just 24 balls in play per contest in 2019 so far.) Although most pitchers have little to no control over hits allowed on balls in play during a given season, there are legitimate differences in skill that emerge over entire careers. And part of the crafty-pitcher archetype involves inducing a disproportionate amount of weak contact that fielders can more readily turn into outs.“I didn’t really have swing-and-miss stuff,” Maddux told Dan Patrick in an interview this year. “I wasn’t really worried about giving up singles, but I did what I could to keep the ball in front of the outfielders, not walk anybody and make them get three singles to score.”When there are fewer balls put in play to be had, that formula has less of an effect.There’s also the matter of teams turning to increasingly younger pitchers in recent seasons. Since just about every indicator of power pitching — from pure velocity to strikeouts — is strongly correlated with possessing a younger arm, it makes sense that as young pitchers account for a larger share of the value across MLB, so too will a larger share of WAR be associated specifically with power pitchers (and a smaller share associated with finesse pitchers). Which direction does the causation run? It isn’t totally clear, but it doesn’t especially matter. Whether teams are prizing youth or velocity, it’s squeezing out pitchers who lack either (or both) attributes.“If you look at pitching these days, everything is max effort,” Moyer told the Orange County Register in January. “Look at the younger generations — high school, college, minor leagues, everybody’s trying to light up a radar gun, throw 100 mph. Our bodies aren’t made to perform in this game as a pitcher at max effort.”Although Bartolo Colon, who pitched last season at age 45 as another exemplar of craft triumphing over stuff, the game is generally trending against pitchers like him and Moyer, in many ways.With all of this, it’s fair to wonder whether it would even be possible to dominate with an arsenal resembling, say, Maddux’s, in the modern game. The two-seamer, Maddux’s bewildering weapon of choice, has fallen quickly out of favor in the last decade or so, and a peak-era fastball that barely scraped 90 would rank among the slowest in the league today. Maddux’s specialty, changing speeds, can still be as disruptive as any tactic (just ask Cincinnati ace Luis Castillo). But it’s telling that Maddux himself recognizes what worked in his era might not be as effective now.“I was taught to throw strikes and get hitters out in the strike zone,” Maddux told Patrick. “And now, pitching has kind of turned the other way, where they try to get hitters out outside of the strike zone. I don’t know if I would have adapted to that or not. I’d like to think I could, but who knows what would have happened?”Perhaps the craft of pitching is making something of a comeback this season, with more finesse-oriented pitchers such as Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu of the Dodgers and Masahiro Tanaka of the Yankees off to great starts already. Certainly, there always will be a place for pitchers who can transcend the radar gun with intelligence and skill. But just the same, the obsessive quest for velocity in today’s game will probably continue to squeeze out the soft-tossing finesse archetype of yesteryear. Sadly, that means it will be harder than ever for crafty, Moyer-esque pitchers to carve out a place in baseball.Check out our latest MLB predictions. read more

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BAHAMAS Prime Minister Minnis Left For CARICOM

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, February 26, 2018 – Nassau – Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert Minnis, pictured accompanied at LPIA by Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson, departed today for the 29th Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in the Republic of Haiti.  The meeting, scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, in Port-au-Prince, will comprise high-level consultations this weekend, leading up to the main CARICOM assembly.(BIS Photos/Peter Ramsay) Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img read more

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Inside UBMs New Life Sciences Group

first_imgUBM bought Advanstar for close to a billion dollars late last year, and the company isn’t wasting any time in taking advantage of the 150 events and 30 publications it got in the deal. “These are highly complementary businesses,” says Sally Shankland, CEO of UBM Americas, the parent group of the new Life Sciences division. “We can now reach the full spectrum of medical specialties in the United States and take advantage of synergies between the various pieces and have businesses that are working together in more substantial chunks.” Update: A spokesperson has since clarified that while the businesses don’t overlap, there are a few specific roles that do. As a result, there will indeed be a small number of positions eliminated. Less than five, says the spokesperson. While most of the portfolio comes from Advanstar, the merged group becomes the largest source of medical print advertising in the U.S., has 500,000 print subscribers and generates more than 1.5 million monthly unique visits. Combined revenues are around $120 million. It’s starting with the life science space. Brands from medical, dental, pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and veterinary sectors, previously managed separately under Advanstar, UBM Medica and UBM Canon, are being coupled into one Life Sciences group. Tom Ehart will oversee the division as senior managing director. Touting the importance of print stands in sharp contrast to the path UBM Tech, another group under Shankland’s purview, has taken. UBM Tech laid off 60 to 70 employees and killed its print magazines in 2013 as part of a pivot toward a digital- and events-driven strategy. Shankland wasn’t involved in the decision making on that move—she was named CEO of UBM Americas in September—but says the situations aren’t exactly comparable. “The legacy UBM medical businesses are primarily digital in a few select specialties,” she says. “The Advanstar businesses have print and don’t have any brands in [those specialties]. We’re bringing both complementary products and access to market niches that they didn’t have access to.” Synergies often go hand-in-hand with layoffs, but Shankland says she’s not anticipating any changes to staff as a result. She emphasizes that the businesses are complementary, not overlapping. “Audiences are different,” she says. “The tech audience was one of the first to move away from print, for obvious reasons. There are a lot of people in the medical space who still read print, still prefer print. Things like medical images show really well in print, and can be more difficult to look at via other media. Print will continue to play a role in the medical space.”last_img read more

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Google pages will shut down on April 2

first_img Review • Updated Google+ for Android is almost perfect 4:02 Google Google+ Now playing: Watch this: Google+ On April 2, you can say goodbye to Google+. Adam Berry / Getty Images Google+ content will start vanishing on April 2, the company said Wednesday.We’ve known the search giant planned to “sunset” the consumer side of its also-ran social network since its October admission that the personal data of up to 500,000 users was exposed between 2015 and March 2018.Originally, Google said the service would close in August 2019, but it announced last month that the date had been moved up to April after a new bug revealed further vulnerabilities in the platform. Share your voice Internet Services Security News • Google to remove auto-syncing between Google Drive and Google Photos Tags ‘Hey Google’ was posted far and wide at CES 2019 0 18 Photos On Feb. 4, you’ll lose the ability “to create new Google+ profiles, pages, communities or events,” the company said in an email to users early Friday.Now you’ve got an exact deadline for saving any photos or videos you put on it. At that time, the company will shut down your Google+ account and start deleting pages, photos, videos and other content.Disappearing sooner are the Google+ API developer tools, which lay at the heart of the security breach. They’ll cease to be on March 7, Google product manager David Conway wrote in a blog post.Companies using Google+ needn’t worry though, since Google will continue to support the enterprise side.First published Jan. 31 at 7:00 a.m. PT.Update, Feb. 1 at 7:29 a.m. PT: Notes Google’s email to users regarding profile creation. Post a comment Google+ is taking a dirt nap early How To • How to make a Google Duo audio call with your Google Home devicelast_img read more

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Apple Memoji get accessories makeup and stickers

first_img $999 0 $999 See All Apple also introduced Memoji stickers you can use in messages, similar to the ones available from Snapchat’s Bitmoji. The stickers will work in Apple’s Messages, as well as other services, like WeChat. The service will work with any device with an A9 chip or later. Jun 30 • iOS 13 and iPadOS public betas: How to download and install them now Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) See It See It • WWDC 2019 WWDC 2019 iPhone Update Apple Event Apple made the announcement at its World Wide Developers Conference in San Jose, California.The event comes as software and services are taking on even greater importance for Apple. The company still sells millions of iPhones every quarter, but sales aren’t soaring like they used to. People are holding onto their phones for longer, which makes it important to give them services that get them paying monthly. Apple has made augmented reality, mobile payments, streaming music and other areas key focuses over the past couple of years. It’s the company’s App Store, though, that makes up the bulk of Apple’s services business. For that business to keep growing, Apple needs developers to continuously update their apps and create new services.This is a developing story. Follow our WWDC liveblog, and see all of today’s Apple news. Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR Fifty shades of shades? James Martin/CNET Apple will let you make your iPhone Memoji look even more like you, the company said on Monday at its WWDC 2019 developers conference.Apple introduced new features to let you further customize your avatar. You’ll be able to give yourself accessories, like a hat, glasses or, of course, Apple AirPods. The upgrade will also give more choices for skin color, facial hair and makeup. And you’ll be able to use Memojis in profile photos.  3:32 Jul 5 • RIP, iTunes. This is what happens to your Apple music now CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Tags Memoji get a makeover Aug 19 • iOS 13 and iPadOS: How to join the beta, use the best new features on your iPhone and iPad Jun 14 • Apple Music vs. Apple Podcast vs. Apple TV: What’s the difference? See It reading • Apple Memoji get accessories, makeup and stickers Apple iPhone XS See it Boost Mobile Sprint Post a comment Apple Share your voice Best Buy $999 Mobile Now playing: Watch this: Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X $999last_img read more

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Only Black WomanOwned Beef Jerky Manufacturer in the Country is a Supplier

first_imgJachin, AL (BlackNews.com) — Marjorie’s Beef Jerky is currently shipping to Major League Baseball teams (including to Cincinnati Reds pitcher, Amir Garrett, who loves the products) and NASCAR. In addition, the Black woman-owned company also received a major order to supply products to NFL training camps. The brand, launched by African American entrepreneur Michelle Timberlake, has over 250 VIP celebrities as customers.To celebrate her most recent accomplishments, for the next 30 days, Marjorie’s Beef Jerky is being offered at $5.50 per bag with a minimum order of 6 bags. Shipping is $8.25 for 6-12 bags. Michelle welcomes everyone to try the delicious six flavors by offering this product for an amount barely above the wholesale price. Her goal is to bypass the middleman by getting enough customers to allow the price to remain low.Michelle Timberlake, founder of Majorie’s Beef Jerky; and her daughterMarjorie’s Beef Jerky is made with all-natural ingredients. Its unique flavor is fresh, and its a good source of protein, especially before or after workouts at the gym. A 3-oz. bag is only 150 calories! It’s also good to pair up with appetizers and beverages, and makes as a great gift to send in a care package to those in the military or in college.About Marjorie’s Beef Jerky, Inc.Marjorie’s Beef Jerky, Inc. was established in 1991 by Michelle Timberlake. Both Michelle and her Vice-President and close friend, Mr. James Martinez, named the company after her mother, Marjorie Leona Dawson, who was her #1 beef jerky fan, and who, before she passed away, convinced Michelle to put her beef jerky out on the market.Marjorie’s Beef Jerky, Inc. is the only Black woman-owned beef jerky company in the United States. For more information and/or to place an order, visit www.MarjoriesBeefJerky.comOr follow them on Facebook and also Instagram and YouTube.last_img read more

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Interplanetary precision laser could reach to Mars and beyond

first_img More information: Yijiang Chen, et al. “Active laser ranging over planetary distances with millimeter accuracy.” Applied Physics Letters 102, 241107 (2013). DOI: 10.1063/1.4810906 (Phys.org) —Currently, precision laser ranging is limited to the Earth-Moon distance. These systems are based on passive laser ranging, so that the signal deteriorates as 1/R4 over distance R. In a new study, physicists have designed a system that has a range thousands of times this distance due to the fact that it is based on active laser ranging, where the signal deteriorates as only 1/R2. The new system also has the potential to achieve sub-millimeter accuracy, yielding an overall performance improvement that is more than three orders of magnitude better than today’s state-of-the-art space ranging systems. Explore further Birnbaum explained that the laser itself is not any more powerful than those in use today.”The lasers themselves do not need to be very powerful,” he said. “Commercially available lasers have enough pulse energy, and the light intensity as it leaves the transmitter can be low enough that it is even eye-safe. The key is to have a very sensitive receiver and a method to pick out the ‘signal’ photons from all the background light.”The scientists tested the approach with lab experiments and field testing on Earth. They measured deviations in actual distance of no more than 0.14 mm, well below the goal of 1 mm precision. Although fluctuations due to atmospheric turbulence in Earth’s atmosphere will add a small amount of error, the scientists think that this error can be limited to less than 1 mm.The biggest challenges to realizing the long-range, high-precision laser include synchronizing the transceivers and overcoming a background of stray light. The researchers plan to overcome these challenges by using a new synchronization scheme involving interplanetary laser communications, along with using short pulses with a low repetition rate. In the future, they’d like to test the system on a somewhat larger scale.”Having demonstrated this technique in the lab and between two terminals in the field, we’d like to next perform ranging between a transceiver mounted on an airplane and one on the ground,” Birnbaum said. “Then we could move on to ranging between a ground terminal and a spacecraft.”This giant leap in laser ranging could have many applications. One of the first may be to solve the puzzle of the composition of Mars’ interior. Since the 1970s, scientists have been trying to find out if the interior is liquid or solid, but their attempts have been thwarted due to limitations of RF ranging precision. If the new laser ranging approach were applied to a future mission to Mars, particularly Mars Landers, it has the potential to resolve this open question.Interplanetary precision laser ranging could also enable new tests of fundamental physics, including tests of the equivalence principle, the apparent acceleration of the expanding universe, and the possible existence of extra dimensions. The laser system could also enable tests of gravity, which could lead to the discovery of a violation or extension of general relativity, or the presence of an additional long-range interaction. Finally, the laser system could enable various tests to be performed on the planets and other solar system bodies, which could shed light on their evolution, atmospheres, oceans, and ring material. These measurements are currently based on RF ranging techniques, which have limited precision. © 2013 Phys.org. All rights reserved. Journal information: Applied Physics Letters Citation: Interplanetary precision laser could reach to Mars and beyond (2013, July 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-07-interplanetary-precision-laser-mars.html The scientists, Yijiang Chen, Kevin M. Birnbaum, and Hamid Hemmati at the California Institute of Technology’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, have published their paper on the long-range, high-precision laser system in a recent issue of Applied Physics Letters.”In principle, this approach could be scaled up to any interplanetary distance by increasing the size of the telescopes,” Birnbaum told Phys.org. “We calculated that ranging from Earth to Mars or Jupiter should be achievable with quite modest telescopes of 1 m in diameter on Earth and 15 cm on the spacecraft.”In the new laser ranging scheme, there is one transceiver at each end of the distance to be measured. Each transceiver transmits and receives laser pulses. The pulses are time tagged when transmitted and when received, and the time it takes the pulses to travel between transceivers is used to measure the distance between the transceivers. As the scientists explain, having these “active transceivers” is key to the long-distance range.”Radio frequency (RF) techniques are limited by uncertainties in the intervening medium that can slow down the radio wave by a variable amount,” Birnbaum said. “The effects of the medium—that the gap between the spacecraft and the ground terminal is not a completely empty vacuum—are smaller at optical frequencies.”Compared to current optical technologies, the key is that we use an active transceiver. Currently, optical ranging is done by bouncing light off of a passive target, a reflector. This is very effective for ranges up to the Earth-Moon distance, but it is simply not reasonable for interplanetary distances because the planets are thousands of times farther than the Moon. The amount of light falls as 1/R4, so the signal would get trillions of times weaker if you tried to use the same passive system to measure the range of the planets. We use active transceivers with lasers at both ends, so each end can see a much brighter signal.” Space-time diagram of active laser ranging between the Earth and a planet. In order to achieve long-distance laser ranging, the system uses active transceivers with lasers at both ends, so each end can see a much brighter signal than with passive transceivers. Credit: Chen, et al. ©2013 AIP Publishing LLC Developing a new laser to detect methane leaks 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

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Care for your expensive jewellery

first_imgAfter spending your hard earned money on precious jewellery, it is important to store it and handle it properly tpp. When you invest in real pearls, don’t forget to wrap them in mulmul cloth and sit down to wear your emeralds because if they fall, they break easily, suggest experts. 4Never directly spray perfume on jewellery.4Kundan (uncut diamond) jewellery always needs to be stored in plastic boxes with sponge or cotton as it reacts with the other chemicals and turns the stones black. Avoid any kind of chemical contact with your jewellery. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf4Emeralds are the softest stones. It is advisable to sit before wearing them so that they do not fall and break.4Basra (real) pearls must always be wrapped in a mulmul cloth. Avoid wearing them in summer as the pearls may loose shine due to sweat.4Wipe the jewellery pieces once you remove them before putting it into the box. Ideally, store the jewellery them in a box with multiple slots or store them separately in boxes they came in to avoid scratching. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive4Do not clean the jewellery with soap and water, except diamonds. 4You can use an eraser to wipe out stains from the jewellery.4Clean you jewellery at regular intervals. This will keep them clean, shining and always new. Not all jewellery products or stones are cleaned the same way.4Gold is a soft metal and can get scratches easily. Try protecting them from scratches and visit you jeweller from time to time for proper polishing and maintenance.4Avoid wearing delicate jewellery while cooking, gymming, swimming, or any household chores. Also, avoid extreme exposure to heat and light as gemstones such as kunzite can fade or discolour.4Always put on your jewellery last when dressing after make-up, cosmetics perfume lotions to avoid damage to delicate items.last_img read more

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