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The Cardinals And Diamondbacks Are Now On Very Different Paths

Before Wednesday’s trade headlined by Paul Goldschmidt, the Arizona Diamondbacks and St. Louis Cardinals were relatively even on paper. But today, the two clubs inhabit completely different neighborhoods.Arizona and St. Louis ended last year separated by 25 points in Elo rating, and the teams entered Wednesday just two games apart in FanGraphs’ projected standings for 2019. With the trade of the six-time All-Star, the clubs have seemingly chosen different paths. The Diamondbacks appear ready to join the Seattle Mariners as teams that contended in 2018, fell short and have elected to become less competitive to restore their depleted talent bases. The Cardinals add a star talent with the hope that they can close the gap in the National League Central and return the club to the postseason after a three-year absence.The Diamondbacks are in a division with the powerful Los Angeles Dodgers, who are loaded with cash and talent and are heavy favorites in the NL West. Arizona already lost one key free-agent pitcher in Patrick Corbin, who agreed Tuesday to a deal with the Washington Nationals, and free-agent center fielder A.J. Pollock also figures to land elsewhere. The club has also expressed interest in trading ace Zack Greinke, whose contract accounted for 25.8 percent of the club’s opening day payroll this past season — the second-highest share in the majors. It’s a reminder that such contracts can hamstring teams’ abilities to build complete, competitive rosters.Conversely, the Cardinals do not have a clear super team in their way in the NL Central. The Cubs might have limited ability to improve this offseason, but the FanGraphs’ forecast has the Brewers regressing in 2019. The Cardinals entered Wednesday projected for four fewer wins than the Cubs, three more wins than the Pirates and six more wins than the Brewers. After the trade, the FanGraphs projection had the Cardinals picking up three wins to be just one game behind the Cubs and nine games better than the Brewers. (The Diamondbacks fell from 82 to 80 wins.) The Cardinals have been stuck in the standings purgatory — winning 88, 83 and 86 games the past three years — where no club wants to reside, but they could break that streak this year.The Diamondbacks went for it last year on the heels of a 93-win season and in the final year of control over Corbin and Pollock. St. Louis is now in a similar situation, as contributors like Marcell Ozuna, Miles Mikolas and Michael Wacha are free agents after 2019. Goldschmidt is under control for just one season before entering free agency. For the Cardinals, this is a win-now move.And what St. Louis received in the deal is not only one of the game’s best hitters but also one of its most consistent.In wins above replacement,1Using FanGraphs’ metric. Goldschmidt finished the past three seasons at 5.1, 5.2 and 5.0. He’s been worth at least 4.3 WAR every season since his first full year in 2012, when he finished at 2.8. Goldschmidt’s career slash line is .297/.398/.532. His slash line this past season? .290/.389/.533. He’s played in at least 155 games in five of the past six years.Goldschmidt, 31, is still near his physical prime and offers consistent star power for a club sorely lacking it. St. Louis thought it was landing a star in Ozuna last winter, but he had a mildly disappointing season. Since 2016, the only Cardinals to deliver seasons of 4 WAR or better were Matt Carpenter (5.0) and Mikolas (4.3) this past season and Tommy Pham, who was traded to Tampa Bay last season, in 2017 (6.1). Goldschmidt’s 4.3 projected WAR is a big upgrade over the Cardinals’ weakest projected starting infielder, Jedd Gyorko (1.7 WAR) — who could be supplanted in the lineup by Carpenter moving from first to third. And Goldschmidt may not even be the Cards’ final step: Ownership hasn’t ruled out a pursuit of Bryce Harper.While there is not a young star in the trade package, Goldschmidt didn’t come cheap. Some executives liked the return for Arizona, which included young major leaguers in pitcher Luke Weaver and catcher Carson Kelly, infield prospect Andy Young and the Cardinals’ Compensation Round B selection in the 2019 draft. The deal gives the Diamondbacks youth and a number of controllable years.The Diamondbacks had the fifth-oldest groups of batters (at an average of 29.2 years old)2Weighted by games played. and pitchers (29.6) last year. According to FanGraphs, Arizona entered the offseason with the game’s 26th-ranked farm system. Teams prize young, cheap, controllable talent — and now more than ever before, they are willing to endure deep, painful rebuilds to accumulate high draft picks and signing bonus pool space. The Astros and Cubs created a model to get to super-team status that other teams are following. Those clubs took rebuilding to extreme degrees, stringing together multiple 95-plus-loss seasons, but those paths resulted in World Series titles.The Diamondbacks consider themselves to be retooling rather than entering a deep rebuild, though that might be an optimistic assessment: Arizona third baseman Jake Lamb, outfielder David Peralta and starting pitchers Robbie Ray and Taijuan Walker are all eligible to become free agents within the next two to three years.Kelly and Weaver immediately fill needs on the major league roster. They are not prospects that are years away from the majors, though they also lack star-level upside.3The Diamondbacks were in the market for a catcher after free agent Jeff Mathis signed with the Texas Rangers. “There are decisions that you want to do and there are decisions you feel like you have to do,” Diamondbacks GM Mike Hazen said of Wednesday’s trade.More than ever, teams seem comfortable entering retooling periods, but not every rebuild is a successful project. For the Cardinals, perhaps they’ll have to consider such a path down the road. As for 2019, they’re going for it. read more

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Torrance Gibson suspended for 2016 season

Torrance Gibson checking into the team hotel before 2016 fall camp. Credit: Sheridan Hendrix | Lantern PhotographerJust a week after OSU coach Urban Meyer announced redshirt freshman wide receiver Torrance Gibson had practiced for the first time in 10 days, Gibson has been suspended for the entire 2016 season for a violation of team rules.Gibson took a redshirt last season after injuring his ankle. It was rumored another key factor in the decision to redshirt the former No. 6 athlete in the class of 2015 was problems with Gibson in the classroom.Gibson played in the 2016 spring game for the Gray team scoring twice in his first action in Ohio Stadium. read more

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Scotland boss believes in Tom Cairney

first_imgScottish national team manager Peter Grant praised the 27-year-old ahead of the national team’s next two matchesFor Scotland national team boss Peter Grant the chance to have Fulham midfielder Tom Cairney on his team is a great opportunity.The national team will play a friendly against Belgium and then will start the UEFA Nations League against Albania.“The biggest skill he’s got is the fact he is comfortable in possession of the ball. Fulham play in a certain style, they have done it for the last few years, and Tom fits into it fantastically well,” he said to STV.“He is very much a creator of opportunities, he is also a goalscorer and he has proved that over the past couple of years – player of the year and Championship team of the year.”“I think the Costa Rica game, we didn’t see the best of him. You need people running by Tom so he can step in and get on the ball,” he added.ScotlandScotland needs a hero: Billy Dodds Manuel R. Medina – September 10, 2019 According to former striker, Billy Dodds his country needs a hero to inspire future generations as the team’s hope to qualify to the EURO 2020 is small.“We have got to build a team round about the facts that help these guys be at their best.”“To create space, other people have got to move out your space, and give the ball early. He picks up fantastic spaces between the lines and turns and faces the opposition,” he added.“In that particular game we didn’t do that quickly enough, we passed square first half. To get the best out of Tom you have to have the right players round about him, and that’s what we think we have.”“He is more than capable and the great thing he is playing at the highest level, playing against top international players week in, week out,” he commented.“That can only make you think better. He is training with a group of players now at Fulham which is much stronger than last season, we spent £104million.”last_img read more

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Review Valencia – Juventus

first_imgFelix Brych was in the center of attention in Valencia, as he sent off Cristiano Ronaldo and showed three penalties. Miralem Pjanic converted two of them in Juventus’ 2-0 win. Valencia starting lineup: Neto, Ruben Vezo, Gabriel Paulista, Jeison Murillo, Jose Luis Gaya, Daniel Wass, Dani Parejo, Carlos Soler, Goncalo Guedes, Rodrigo, Mitchy Batshuayi Juventus starting lineup: Wojciech Szczesny, Alex Sandro, Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci, Joao Cancelo, Sami Khedira, Blaise Matuidi, Miralem Pjanic, Cristiano Ronaldo, Federico Bernardeschi, Mario MandzukicIn the 11th minute, Mario Mandzukic had a nice chance to score after being left alone at the far post during a cross, but sent the ball over the bar. In the 17th minute, Sami Khedira had an even easier chance to score. Ronaldo sent a great cross with his left foot. Bernardeschi got at the end of it at the far post and sent the ball back to a wide open Khedira in the middle. He could pick and choose where to shoot and somehow managed to miss the entire net. It was a huge opportunity for Juventus, their second in the opening 20 minutes.Gigantic chance number three came in the 21st minute. Neto made a mess of Alex Sandro’s cross. He made a great save on Bernardeschi’s attempt to fix his mistake initially, but then dropped the ball straight to Matuidi. The Frenchman fired a shot which was blocked by an alert Jeison Murillo. Valencia was very lucky to avoid being down. Seconds later, Khedira dropped to the ground complaining of a leg injury. Massimiliano Allegri was forced into making his first change – Emre Can for Sami Khedira.Rumour: Juve put a price on Pjanic George Patchias – August 28, 2019 Juventus have put an 80 million Euro price tag on Miralem Pjanic.According to Tuttosport, and Caliciomercato, the Italian giants are ready to sell there…Tears of anguish were dripping from Cristiano Ronaldo’s face in the 30th minute when he received a shocking red card for patting Murillo on the head. The Colombian was the one who provoked Ronaldo and the Portuguese reacted somewhat angrily, but he didn’t deserve a straight red. It was an incredibly frustrating decision by an experienced referee such as Felix Brych. Where is VAR when you need one?In the 39th minute, Batshuayi stole the ball from Chiellini inside Juve’s box, made a great turn and fired a shot directly at a ready Wojciech Szczesny. Just as Valencia were starting to gain confidence, Juventus took the lead. Another Alex Sandro cross came to a unmarked Joao Cancelo, who missed a volley at first, but then reset himself on the left foot and rocked the cross bar. The rebound was headed away by one of Valencia’s defenders and it came to Parejo, who raised his boot way too high and kicked Cancelo in the face, leaving no choice to Brych but to show on the penalty spot. A really clumsy challenge by The Bats’ captain. Miralem Pjanic took responsibility in the absence of Ronaldo. Neto got a hand on the ball, but it wasn’t enough. Pjanic’s effort was too precise. 1-0 Juventus.In the 50th minute, Brych awarded another penalty to Juventus. This time around, it was a rather generous one. Murillo got tangled with Bonucci during a corner kick, yet the referee saw enough to show on the spot for a second time. Pjanic stepped up and hit the exact same spot again, only this time with even more power. 2-0 Juventus. Ruben Vezo, who was cautioned moments earlier for a foul on Matuidi, was replaced by Denis Cheryshev in the 57th minute. In the 65th minute, Szczesny had to stretch to save Carlos Soler’s long-range effort headed towards the bottom right corner.Following the subsequent corner kick, Douglas Costa replaced Miralem Pjanic. In the 70th minute, Marcelino made two more substitutions, taking off Batshuayi and Guedes and sending Kevin Gameiro and Santi Mina onto the pitch. Juve were doing their best to strangle the life out of the game and they were succeeding. Rodrigo should’ve scored in the 80th minute. Dani Parejo found him from a corner kick, but the Spanish international hit the ball with his shoulder instead of his head. Seconds later, Soler had another attempt on goal go begging.Allegri’s team was defending with ten men behind the ball and blocking every shot Valencia’s players took. Douglas Costa dribbled past Gabriel and stung the hands of Neto in the 85th minute. The Brazilian stayed on the ground following Gabriel’s robust challenge and couldn’t continue. Center back Daniele Rugani was the one who came in his stead. Rodrigo missed another free header in the 93rd minute. Two minutes later, Brych gifted a penalty to Valencia, but Parejo failed to capitalize. The miss summed up a miserable night for the captain and his teammates. After six minutes of stoppage time, the game was over. Marcelino has a lot to think about, as his team was outplayed and beaten by an undermanned Juventus.last_img read more

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Emiliano Sala wreckage pictured after plane cushions found on beach

first_imgWreckage believed to be from the ill-fated plane conveying new Cardiff City signing Emiliano Sala has been found on a beach near Surtainville on the Cotentin Peninsula.Investigators said earlier on Wednesday that two seat cushions that had washed up were likely to belong to the aircraft.The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) was advised by its French counterparts on Monday that part of a cushion was found on a beach near Surtainville on the Cotentin Peninsula.The AAIB said in a statement obtained via The Mirror:AAIB responds to Sala’s family request to recover the plane’s wreckage Manuel R. Medina – August 14, 2019 The Air Accidents Investigation Branch says they already explained their decision not to recover the plane’s wreckage to Sala’s family and the pilot’s.“From a preliminary examination, we have concluded that it is likely that the cushions are from the missing aircraft.”It went on: “Since we opened our safety investigation on Tuesday 23 January, we have been gathering evidence such as flight, aircraft and personnel records, and have been analyzing radar data and air traffic tapes.“We have been working closely with other international authorities and have kept the families of those involved updated on our progress.”last_img read more

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Study offers clues about how conodonts used earliest vertebrate teeth

first_img( —Researchers from the University’s of Bristol and Birmingham in the U.K. have made progress in identifying the ways that a conodont used its teeth—the earliest ever found in a vertebrate. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the team describes how they used 3D modeling developed for use in testing I-Beams for use in construction to reveal the inner details of the teeth. Conodonts were a very early type of vertebrate—an eel-like creature that lived approximately 200 million years ago. Researchers only know of their existence because of teeth they left behind. But until now, it wasn’t known how the teeth might have been situated on the organisms (they had no jaw) or for what purpose they might have been put to use.In this new effort, the researchers were able to create virtual images of one species of conodont—Panderodus acostatus using a special type of tomography on teeth that have been found. Doing so revealed several different types of teeth which apparently served different roles for the early sea creature. In the 3D recreations, the different sets of teeth were color-coded to set them apart from one another. The teeth, all situated on the head of the creature were spaced apart as occurs with modern animals e.g. incisors, molars, etc. One set of teeth, for example, had a circular cross section which meant they could have been bent or twisted, indicating that they were likely used to hold prey in place. Another set of teeth were more narrow and sharper, obvious hints that the organism had a cutting, piercing or slicing ability. Because there is no other evidence available it’s not clear how the teeth might have worked in conjunction with other body parts however. Also, the researchers still don’t know exactly how the teeth were kept anchored to the body as it’s assumed the rest of its tissue was soft. Modern animals have teeth anchored to bone, such as the jaw or facial plate. In order to make use of its teeth, P. acostatus would have needed a strong base to hold its teeth in place or an ability to reproduce them rapidly if they were lost. Citation: Study offers clues about how conodonts used earliest vertebrate teeth (2013, August 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from More information: Cutting the first ‘teeth’: a new approach to functional analysis of conodont elements, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Published 14 August 2013 DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2013.1524AbstractThe morphological disparity of conodont elements rivals the dentition of all other vertebrates, yet relatively little is known about their functional diversity. Nevertheless, conodonts are an invaluable resource for testing the generality of functional principles derived from vertebrate teeth, and for exploring convergence in a range of food-processing structures. In a few derived conodont taxa, occlusal patterns have been used to derive functional models. However, conodont elements commonly and primitively exhibit comparatively simple coniform morphologies, functional analysis of which has not progressed much beyond speculation based on analogy. We have generated high-resolution tomographic data for each morphotype of the coniform conodont Panderodus acostatus. Using virtual cross sections, it has been possible to characterize changes in physical properties associated with individual element morphology. Subtle changes in cross-sectional profile have profound implications for the functional performance of individual elements and the apparatus as a whole. This study has implications beyond the ecology of a single conodont taxon. It provides a basis for reinterpreting coniform conodont taxonomy (which is based heavily on cross-sectional profiles), in terms of functional performance and ecology, shedding new light on the conodont fossil record. This technique can also be applied to more derived conodont morphologies, as well as analogous dentitions in other vertebrates and invertebrates. Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society B © 2013 Explore further Stem cells grow fully functional new teeth 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