Evolution Fits Any Data

first_imgAt first blush, it might seem a wonderful thing when many different kinds of evidence can be explained by one simple, elegant theory.  Actually, though, too much confirmation can be a theory’s downfall.  When a theory explains too much – even opposite things – it really explains nothing.  For instance, everything in the universe can be explained by the phrase, “Stuff happens.”  Such a theory is useless, even if true.  That’s why any theory that explains too much should be looked at askance.  Here are some recent observations offered in support of the theory of evolution: Antibiotic resistance:  Evolutionists debating creationists have pointed to the evolution of antibiotic resistance as an example of evolution occurring right before our eyes.  The idea is that bacteria never encountered modern antibiotics till they were synthesized in the early 20th century, so they must have quickly adapted by natural selection to the new environmental challenge.  A paper in Nature just showed, however, that resistance to antibiotics is ancient.1  Canadian researchers sequenced DNA from permafrost said to be 30,000 years old, and found genes for four kinds of antiobiotic resistance already there; in fact, the gene to resist vancomycin was present, and looked similar to modern variants. The discovery of antibiotics more than 70 years ago initiated a period of drug innovation and implementation in human and animal health and agriculture. These discoveries were tempered in all cases by the emergence of resistant microbes. This history has been interpreted to mean that antibiotic resistance in pathogenic bacteria is a modern phenomenon; this view is reinforced by the fact that collections of microbes that predate the antibiotic era are highly susceptible to antibiotics…. This work firmly establishes that antibiotic resistance genes predate our use of antibiotics and offers the first direct evidence that antibiotic resistance is an ancient, naturally occurring phenomenon widespread in the environment. This is consistent with the rapid emergence of resistance in the clinic and predicts that new antibiotics will select for pre-existing resistance determinants that have been circulating within the microbial pangenome for millennia. Rather than falsifying a key argument for evolution, though, this has been taken as further confirmation of it.  “These results show conclusively that antibiotic resistance is a natural phenomenon,” the authors said, “that predates the modern selective pressure of clinical antibiotic use.”  It just puts the “selective pressure” in the past instead of under our eyes. Endless variation most beautiful:  The lab plant Arabidopsis thaliana (water cress) has been scrutinized every which way.  Now there are genomes for dozens of varieties.  Michael Bevan wrote for Nature about what geneticists are learning from comparative genomics.2  He began, Charles Darwin wrote of the “endless forms most beautiful” of species that have arisen from natural selection. But his words also apply to the genetic variation within species such as the highly adaptable plant Arabidopsis thaliana (Fig. 1). The first analyses of the sequences of multiple genomes of A. thaliana, including one on page 419 of this issue by Gan et al., have now been published. These studies provide a foundation for identifying the factors that shape genome change, and for mapping genome-sequence variation among a wide range of A. thaliana varieties that represents the plant’s diversity. But while Bevan and Gan et al.3 welcomed the new information on genetic diversity of this plant, they did not entertain thoughts that the variability could have been designed (i.e., for pre-programmed adaptability), nor did they consider the question of why, after presumably millions of years of variation, these plants are still members of a single species.  How appropriate, therefore, was it for Bevan to apply Darwin’s line to the phenomenon? Time dilation:  Researchers proudly announced a new robust Tree of Life for mammals.  The report in PhysOrg shows Mark Springer (UC Riverside) smiling happily beside his computer screen.  With teammates from Texas A&M, Springer got the fossils and the genetics to match in what had been a problematic phylogeny.  “This is the first time this kind of dataset has been put together for mammals,” Springer boasted.  In the body of the article, however, was this curious admission: To date divergence times on their phylogeny of mammalian families, Springer and colleagues used a “relaxed molecular clock.” This kind of molecular clock allows for the use of multiple rates of evolution instead of using one rate of evolution that governs all branches of the Tree of Life. They also used age estimates for numerous fossil mammals to calibrate their time tree. But if the calibration is applied to a relaxed clock, it would seem that this is an exercise in circular reasoning: using evolutionarily-assumed estimates for fossil dates to stretch or compress the dates for evolutionarily-assumed ancestral lines.  Visions of Salvador Dali’s The Persistence of Memory come to mind. Fluctuating climate:  As the old joke goes, if you don’t like the weather in [name your city], wait five minutes.”  This can be expanded in evolutionary time to, “If you can’t evolve in your local climate, wait a million years.”  Sure enough, PhysOrg announced to readers, “Climatic fluctuations drove key events in human evolution.”  To support this idea, a notion was introduced called variability selection.  “Variability selection suggests that evolution, when faced with rapid climatic fluctuation, should respond to the range of habitats encountered rather than to each individual habitat in turn; the timeline of variability selection established by Dr. [Matt] Grove [U of Liverpool] suggests that Homo erectus could be a product of exactly this process.”  That’s because, he explains, Homo erectus was a “generalist,” something like a jack of all climates.  Other putative ancestors apparently took the latter option of the slogan, “evolve or perish.”  While suggesting things, Grove also suggested that recent global warming may outrun humans’ ability to evolve.  That shouldn’t be a problem, though; maybe “relaxed molecular clocks” (see previous item) could be applied to match evolution up with “variability selection.” Forward, backward, or lateral pass:  Another article on PhysOrg exclaims, “Fluid equilibrium in prehistoric organisms sheds light on a turning point in evolution.”  Since “Maintaining fluid balance in the body is essential to survival, from the tiniest protozoa to the mightiest of mammals,” evolution was faced with a crossroads.  In the new tale, “Swiss researchers have found genetic evidence that links this intricate process to a turning point in evolution.”  Old cells couldn’t pump sodium out of their membranes effectively.  This put them behind an evolutionary roadblock.  Bernard Rossier (U of Lausanne) figured out how they broke through: a certain subunit of a gene for pumping sodium “appeared” and the rest was history: “the team found that the beta subunit appeared slightly before the emergence of Metazoans (multicellular animals with differentiated tissues) roughly 750 million years ago.”  Rossier couldn’t quite figure out when the emergence appeared: Dr. Rossier said that although it is possible that the genes for ENaC originated in the common ancestor of eukaryotes and were lost in all branches except the Metazoa and the Excavates, there is another possibility. There could have been a lateral transfer of genes between N. gruberi and a Metazoan ancestor, one that lived between the last common ancestor of all eukaryotes and the first Metazoans. Either way, evolution explains it, and evolution wins.  With this vital piece of their machinery now in place, the first eukaryotic cells that emerged could pump their sodium, maintain fluid balance, and diversify.  Giraffes and redwoods could not be far behind; after all, what’s a few more million years?  That’s plenty of evolutionary time for things to emerge and appear. Under the sea:  According to PhysOrg, evolutionary detectives are getting warmer. Their goal is to explain a profound mystery: About 3.8 billion years ago, Earth was teeming with unicellular life. A little more than 4.5 billion years ago, the Earth was a ball of vaporous rock. And somewhere in between, the first organisms spontaneously arose.  Pinpointing exactly when and how that shift happened has proven a difficult bit of interdisciplinary detective work. A team of Stanford geologists hasn’t quite solved the problem, but they’ve come closer. By examining the geology and environment of the early Earth, the researchers demonstrate the plausibility of one theory: that life originated above serpentinite rock on the ocean bottom. Because the necessary conditions only existed for a few million years, the findings provide a potential timestamp for the appearance of the Earth’s first organism. Whether or not this represents scientific progress, though, is an interesting question.  Their scenario relies heavily on imagination: “Serpentinite was likely present when life arose,” the body text states further down.  “Unfortunately, the geological record only reliably goes back approximately 3.8 billion years, making a definitive statement impossible.”  (This calls into question the above claim that the scientists examined the geology and environment of the early Earth.) Their scenario relies on acid gradients providing an energy source for any organisms waiting in the wings to appear on stage.  “This leaves a relatively brief window for the origin of life, at least by this mechanism,” one researcher said.  The article ended, “Smoking-gun evidence in support of the origin-of-life theory remains hard to come by.”  To top it off, a researcher gave his opinion of this scientific theory founded on imagination: “It’s conceivable that a biologist might get lucky, but I’m not holding my breath.” In spite of this questionable display of confirmation for evolution (which can be considered representative, looking back through years of similar examples in Creation-Evolution Headlines), wrath remains at a fever pitch against alternatives to Darwinian evolution.  An interesting article in PhysOrg claimed that many scientists do not have a problem mixing science and religion – provided the religion completely disallows even an unspecified “designer” any active role in the process of evolution.  “Nearly all of the scientists – religious and nonreligious alike – have a negative impression of the theory of intelligent design,” the article stated about results of a poll among scientists.  The venom against anyone disbelieving evolution was sizzling in an article on Techie Buzz reviewing a new Canadian book for children about evolution, entitled “Evolution: How We and All Living Things Came to Be,” by Daniel Loxton.  In the review, Debjyoti Bardhan started by ranting against the religious right in America, described as “a powerful Christian creationist lobby sitting in the various corridors of power… well-funded, politically powerful and extremely motivated, ready at a moment’s notice to take steps against anything deemed remotely anti-Christian.”  Standing in stark contrast are the truth-seekers, scientists who study evolution: “evolutionary theory has continued to grow, just as scientific truth does.”  Bardhan and Loxton repeated several boilerplate memes: that evolutionary theory is as well established as Newton’s theory of gravity, that evolution is science and anything else is religion, that “intelligent design” (always with scare quotes) is a rechristened avatar of Creationism, etc.  Ironically, Loxton’s book uses the evolution of drug-resistant bacteria as evidence. “Not one piece of evidence has disproved evolutionary theory,” Bardhan asserted.4  Indeed; how could it?  Evolution explains everything.  Whether a theory that explains everything is a good scientific theory is a completely different question. 1.  D’Costa, King et al., “Antibiotic resistance is ancient,” Nature 477  (22 September 2011), pp. 457–461, doi:10.1038/nature10388. 2.  Michael Bevan, “Genomics: Endless variation most beautiful,” Nature 477 (22 September 2011), pp. 415–416, doi:10.1038/477415a. 3. Gan, Stegle et al., “Multiple reference genomes and transcriptomes for Arabidopsis thaliana,” Nature 477 (22 September 2011), pp. 419–423, doi:10.1038/nature10414. 4. Bardhan suggested a falsification test for evolution: “Not one piece of evidence has disproved evolutionary theory, despite there being extremely easy ways to do so (‘Just find a fossil rabbit in the Precambrian’, as J.B.S Haldane put it).”  It is true that no Precambrian rabbits have turned up yet; however, other fossil discoveries nearly as unexpected have, and yet evolutionists found ways to incorporate the damaging evidence (for examples, search for “Precambrian rabbit” in our search bar).  It is doubtful, therefore, that a real Precambrian rabbit would actually disprove evolutionary theory. There is only one explanation for these observations: (1) evolutionism cannot be falsified, (2) evolutionary theory assumes what it needs to prove, (3) evolutionists continue to maintain such passion about their theory, and (4) evolutionary theory relies on miracles: things originate, appear, emerge, develop, and arise.  The explanation: evolution is a religion masquerading as science. On that topic, learn about Darwin’s religious views in this new article by Richard Weikart on American Thinker.  Coupled with Richard Dawkins’ oft-quoted statement that Darwinism allows one to become an intellectually-fulfilled atheist, it’s no wonder that Darwin’s disciples are so militant in their faith and energetic about keeping the real motivations hidden behind a facade of false-front scientific evidence to support their religion.(Visited 52 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

A Geocaching Beginner’s Guide – Geocache Container Pictures

first_img SharePrint RelatedSame Spot, Same Container, 10 Years LaterMarch 28, 2013In “Geocaching.com Videos”Groundspeak Weekly Newsletter – July 13, 2011July 13, 2011In “Groundspeak’s Weekly Newsletter”9 Tips for responsible cache maintenanceJune 6, 2017In “Learn” A geocacher’s study guideGeocaching adventures can take you to new vantage points, down scenic roads and into long-forgotten forests. You’ll search through both new parks and familiar neighborhoods. The adventure is in the journey, but the real thrill can begin when you close in on the coordinates.Geocaches can be recycled containers like pill bottlesWhen you uncover a geocache, a hidden story is revealed: who traveled to this location and the adventure they had along the way. But the exact appearance of the container you’re looking for is often a mystery. The geocache page will usually tell you the size of the geocache, but sometimes you’ll encounter an “other” or a “not chosen.” They’re the wildcard size for geocache containers.Some geocache containers are easier to find than others…At the top of this page, you’ll see eight geocache containers. Odds are you’ll encounter geocaches of this size most often. They’re all small or micro geocaches. More than 70% of geocaches listed on Geocaching.com are either listed as “micro” or “small.”There are hundreds of variations on geocache shapes, from whimsical (think a small yard gnome in the woods) to devious (think of a fake security camera attached by magnets to the side of a building).The most interesting geocache containers are often the ones you’ve never encountered before and likely will never see again. Keep your eyes and your mind open when you’re geocaching.  If you’re stuck, geocache pages often include helpful hints. Previous logs and pictures can also offer clues to find the geocache.If you have more questions, check out the Geocaching 101 page. You can also post a question on the Geocaching Facebook page for the community to answer. To see clever geocaches being discovered, check out this video below for a look at 5 Geocaches in 30 Seconds.[vsw id=”OW9bi5_b-Wc” source=”youtube” width=”425″ height=”344″ autoplay=”no”]Share with your Friends:Morelast_img read more

a month agoLeicester defender Evans: Newcastle will be tough

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Leicester defender Evans: Newcastle will be toughby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveLeicester City defender Jonny Evans expects a tough “challenge” against Newcastle United.Evans believes Newcastle will adopt the same gameplan that earned the Magpies victory last time out for their upcoming fixture. He said: “Our experience of Newcastle last year was that they sat in and defended deep, and we found it difficult to break them down.“That was a challenge that when the manager came to the club, he wanted to help us in that aspect – of setting our team up and being able to work teams that are going to sit in against us, which is becoming quite a common theme.Newcastle did that very well against us last year, so I think they’ll come with the same game plan.” last_img read more

CP Rail train operators on strike signal workers reach agreement

first_imgMONTREAL – Canadian Pacific Rail’s more than 3,000 train operators walked off the job late Tuesday night while a second group of workers reached a tentative contract settlement with the rail company.The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference said its workers walked out at 10 p.m. EDT as negotiations continued with the assistance of federal mediators.That announcement came just minutes after CP Rail said a tentative deal had been reached with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers for 360 signalling workers who were also poised to walk off the job at 10 p.m.The Teamsters said the strike by its members began despite “best efforts to reach a negotiated settlement,” adding it is “willing to remain at the bargaining table during the strike.”It also said commuter train services in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver are operated by Bombardier, not Canadian Pacific, and Teamster members who operate trains in those cities are Bombardier employees and will not go on strike.As a result, said the Teamsters, commuter train services would not be affected by the walkout.Via, however, had already cancelled passenger rail service starting Tuesday morning in Ontario between Sudbury and White River.CP Rail has said it will use qualified management staff to handle signalling and switching tasks so trains can continue to operate.However, the strike could force the railroad to shut down its freight service at a particularly bad time for grain farmers. Shippers had said they expected talks would fail, resulting in the third CP Rail strike since 2012.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said earlier in the day that the federal government would not be rushed into introducing back-to-work legislation, preferring instead to employ various levers to motivate both sides to reach a settlement.Trudeau also said his government would not do as the Conservatives did and favour employers.“Quite frankly, we have companies that have gotten used to the fact that in certain industries, the government in the past was very quick to legislate against unions,” Trudeau said during a conference in Toronto.“We are not going to do that.”If eventually forced to intervene, said Trudeau, the Liberal government won’t be giving the advantage to employers.Even before the strike began, the livelihoods of Canadian grain farmers were already threatened because shipping was severely disrupted over the past winter due to extreme cold.“You always hope for a miracle but we’re pretty sure there’s going to be a stoppage,” said Wade Sobkowich, executive director of the Western Grain Elevator Association, which represents the country’s largest exporters.He said there was little that could be done to prepare other than to notify farmers that deliveries will have to be rescheduled and tell overseas customers they could receive late shipments.“We’re just coming off of a year where we had poor rail service even though we didn’t have a work stoppage and we are trying to maintain relationships with our customers,” he added.The train operators voted 94 per cent in favour of strike action to back their contract demands in early April and voted 98 per cent to reject CP’s final offer last Friday.Both unions gave the railway notice over the weekend that they plan to walk off the job to support contract demands.— Companies in this story:(TSX:CP, TSX:BBD.B)last_img read more

Expedite auction of mines with explored mineral reserves Ficci

first_imgNew Delhi: Industry body Ficci has called for expediting auctions of mineral blocks with known or explored reserves, highlighting that the average of such sales has nosedived to around 15 mines per year after the amendment in the Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation Act. The chamber in a presentation to Niti Aayog stated that “around 300-400 minerals concessions per year used to be allotted prior to 2015 which has reduced on an average to around 15 per year post-amendment in the Act (MMDR Act in 2015)”. It recommended that auctions should “be expedited for areas with known/explored mineral reserves.” According to sources, officials from Rio Tinto, Tata Steel, Vedanta and apex mineral body Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI) among others who were part of the presentation. However, for areas with no or minimal known/explored mineral reserves, it said the first-cum first-served system must be adopted with the provision of first right of refusal for granting mining lease, Ficci said. To ensure transparency in the mineral sector, the Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill was passed by Parliament in 2015.last_img read more

28 pc polling in 8 Lok Sabha seats of MP till noon

first_imgBhopal: An average 28.01 per cent voter turnout was recorded till Sunday noon in eight Lok Sabha seats of Madhya Pradesh, an election official said. Voting was underway since 7 am in a peaceful manner in Bhopal, Morena, Bhind, Gwalior, Guna, Sagar, Vidisha and Rajgarh constituencies in the third phase of elections in the state, state Chief Electoral Officer V L Kantha Rao said. “During mock poll conducted before the actual voting began, 30 to 40 electronic voting machines (EVMs) were changed because of some technical problems,” he said. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange framework The voting figures till noon were: Morena 24.29 per cent, Bhind 21.99 per cent, Gwalior 22.96 per cent, Guna 34.11 per cent, Sagar 30.3 per cent, Vidisha 33.8 per cent, Bhopal 26.15 per cent and Rajgarh 32.39 per cent, he said. Long queues were seen at several booths across the eight constituencies, he said. In Bhopal, Congress veteran Digvijay Singh is locked in a battle with BJP candidate and 2008 Malegaon blast accused Pragya Singh Thakur. Also Read – Trio win Nobel Medicine Prize for work on cells, oxygen Congress general secretary Jyotiraditya Scindia is seeking a re-election from Guna seat, where he cast his vote at a booth early in the morning. His opponent is BJP’s K P Yadav, who is contesting his first parliamentary election. Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar, who is the sitting MP from Gwalior, is contesting from Morena seat this time. Altogether 138 candidates, including 14 women, are in the fray for these eight Lok Sabha seats, of which seven were won by the BJP in 2014. Total 18,141 polling booths have been set up where over 1.44 crore people, including 32,909 service voters, are eligible to exercise their franchise, the official said. Lok Sabha elections to 29 seats in the state are being held in four phases. The first (in six seats) and second phases (seven seats) were held on April 29 and May 6. Voting for the last phase in eight seats will be held on May 19 and counting of votes will take place on May 23.last_img read more

The Cubs Pitchers Are Making Their Own Luck

Midseason is rapidly approaching, and the Chicago Cubs are still making the rest of Major League Baseball look bad. They’re World Series favorites by a mile according to our Elo predictions — which also have them pegged for 104 wins — and they’ve outscored their opponents by an average of 2.3 runs per game, the most of any team through 70 games since the legendary 1939 Yankees.The Cubs have excelled on offense, scoring the third-most runs in the majors, but to an even greater degree the team owes its extreme success to run prevention. Chicago’s current 2.73 team ERA would be the lowest full-season1So, not counting the strike-shortened 1981 campaign. figure in the designated hitter era (since 1973), and the lowest relative to the MLB average since World War II.This Cubs staff is pretty good at making guys miss — it ranks fifth in the majors in K-BB rate — but that alone isn’t enough to explain such a microscopic ERA. Chicago has also allowed a .254 batting average on balls in play, 42 points below the major-league average and 19 points lower than the next-closest team. If the Cubs were to finish the year that far below the norm, their BABIP would also be the lowest relative to average since World War II. As a byproduct, the gap between Chicago’s ERA and its Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) is 0.64 runs, the widest positive gap in the majors.We know of three things that could contribute to such a separation. One is flat-out luck, but the others are a good defense and a pitching staff that induces especially fieldable batted balls. Prior to the advent of Statcast, MLB’s new radar-based motion-tracking system, it was almost impossible to separate the latter two elements, parsing out a pitcher’s impact on batted balls from that of his fellow defenders. But now we can start to unravel those relationships and assign partial credit to each possible factor at work.To do that, we built a couple of models. The first model estimated each MLB pitcher’s effect on the exit velocities and launch angles he allows by comparing his rates to the same hitters’ numbers against all other pitchers.2Specifically, we used two mixed models that incorporate effects for each batter, pitcher and park to predict exit velocity and launch angle. Because 20 to 25 percent of batted balls are missed by the tracking system, all models in this piece imputed missing Statcast data using the average of similarly classified batted balls and outcomes. Then we calculated what would happen if we replaced each team’s actual pitchers with a staff full of generic arms that allowed league-average exit velocities and launch angles. The difference between those actual and generic figures gives us a number of runs attributable to each pitching staff’s contact-management skills, i.e., its tendency to allow batted balls that do less damage.Next, we modeled fielding on a team-by-team basis by estimating how much each batted ball “should” have been worth (in terms of linear-weight run value) based on its exit velocity and launch angle.3This was a random forest model, as described in an earlier piece. Then we compared those estimated values to the actual values of the same batted balls.4Using a separate model to adjust for ballpark effects. If a batted ball with an exit velocity and launch angle that would typically produce a single actually yielded an out, the model credited some of the difference to the defense, which we assume prevented the single through some combination of good range, good hands and good positioning.Finally, we combined those two values into one total figure to see how many runs each team has saved on its balls in play, relative to a team with average contact-management and defense. TEAMFIELDINGPITCHINGTOTAL Angels-6.42.4-4.1 Braves3.1-5.4-2.4 Diamondbacks4.6-23.4-18.8 Reds1.8-49.9-48.1 Pirates-6.815.58.7 Dodgers2.927.330.2 Royals0.5-12.6-12.0 Cardinals6.413.419.8 RUNS SAVED Rangers18.5-6.212.3 Indians6.7-7.1-0.4 Nationals-3.816.312.6 Phillies-3.9-31.2-35.1 Marlins5.3-2.82.5 Twins-12.1-39.0-51.1 Yankees-11.215.84.6 Blue Jays14.16.520.6 Brewers-10.9-3.4-14.4 Giants6.717.524.2 Red Sox9.7-3.85.9 Padres2.4-9.2-6.8 White Sox3.125.428.5 Mariners-0.27.67.4 Cubs12.644.557.1 Mets-4.026.422.3 Rockies9.8-24.9-15.1 There’s a moderate, statistically significant relationship5A correlation coefficient of 0.44. between a team’s ERA-FIP gap and our estimate of its runs saved from contact management and defense. Add in sequencing (as measured by Left on Base Percentage), and we can explain about 60 percent of the difference between a team’s ERA and its FIP. The rest can be chalked up to random variation, plus a variety of smaller factors6Such as the way pitchers influence other batted-ball characteristics (i.e., spray angle), the tendency of good pitch-framing catchers — such as the Cubs’ Miguel Montero and David Ross — to produce more favorable counts and make batters swing at bad pitches (which can’t be hit as hard), and the ability of batters and pitchers to restrict the running game (the rare area in which the Cubs don’t excel). and, admittedly, other unknown elements that we can’t conceive of or are unable to calculate using current data.According to our models, the Cubs’ defense — aided perhaps by data-driven positioning, if not frequent infield shifting — has been the third-best in baseball, behind the Rangers and Blue Jays. But fielding is a relatively small piece of Chicago’s run-preventing puzzle. Its pitching staff’s collective ability to manage contact leads the next-best team by close to 20 runs. As a group, Cubs pitchers have depressed exit velocity by 0.4 miles per hour and launch angle by almost 2 degrees, relative to average.7As of June 19.That leads to a larger takeaway from our models: Leaguewide, the impact of pitchers’ contact management is more than twice that of defense, which seems to contradict the traditional defense-independent pitching theory that most pitchers have little ability to prevent hits on balls in play. (It’s probably no coincidence that the career leader in Inside Edge’s Soft Contact rate is fabled bat breaker Mariano Rivera.) In other words, much of what appears to be good or bad defense might really be good or bad contact management, which can produce easier (or more difficult) fielding opportunities that make certain fielders look better or worse than they are. In theory, only a Statcast-derived defensive stat could account for this heretofore-camouflaged effect.Exit velocity is meaningful even over small samples, but at this early stage of the Statcast Era, we still don’t know enough about how pitchers control contact to say whether the Cubs’ BABIP is sustainable, or if it stems from a conscious pitching (or even pitching-acquisition) approach. As with any extreme observation, it seems safe to expect some regression to the mean for Chicago’s pitchers. Still, we can conclude that the Cubs’ historically low BABIP through their first 69 games isn’t merely luck. One way or another, the Cubs have earned a lot of those outs. Tigers-10.69.9-0.7 Includes games through June 19Source: MLBAM, PitchInfo Astros-10.310.0-0.3 Rays4.2-19.6-15.4 The Cubs Are The Best At Controlling Contact Athletics-5.7-8.8-14.5 Orioles-2.7-4.9-7.7 read more

Ohio State womens soccer falls to Michigan State 21

Then-OSU freshman forward Nichelle Prince makes a pass during a game against Eastern Michigan Aug. 25, 2013. OSU won 2-1 in OT.Credit: Lantern file photoIn a hectic final minute of play, the Ohio State women’s soccer team suffered a heartbreaking loss against Michigan State, 2-1, on Thursday.The Spartans got on the board during the opening minute of the game after junior forward Allyson Krause put in a rebound that slipped past the hands of redshirt-freshman goalkeeper Megan Geldernick.OSU tried to respond in the 19th minute with a strike from freshman midfielder Nikki Walts but redshirt-senior goalkeeper Courtney Clem made a diving save to maintain the lead. The Buckeyes came close again in the 43rd when junior forward Katelyn Kraft missed a 15-yard shot wide left.Michigan State held on to enter halftime with a 1-0 lead. The Spartans also held a 10-9 lead in shots while the Buckeyes had a 5-3 lead in shots on goal.OSU came into the second half looking to tie the score but struggled against the Michigan State defense. Sophomore forward Nichelle Prince almost tied the game in the 75th minute but Clem deflected it off the crossbar.In the final minute, a foul against the Spartans gave the Buckeyes a chance with a penalty kick. Senior forward Kayla Varner struck the ball past Clem to even the game, 1-1.Seconds later, senior forward Paige Wester stunned the Buckeyes with a header off a cross from freshman forward Jamie Cheslik. The last-minute shot gave Michigan State the 2-1 victory.OSU ended the game leading 18-17 in shot attempts and 10-5 in shots on goal. The team fell to 5-8-2 overall and 2-5-2 in Big Ten play.Up next for the Buckeyes is a trip to play against No. 24 Michigan.“Obviously we always want to win the Michigan game,” freshman midfielder Sydney Dudley said. “It would be a big momentum booster and also just get our mentality right.”The team is looking forward to the game for the atmosphere surrounding the rivalry and will try to avenge a 2-0 loss against the Wolverines from last season, senior midfielder Ellyn Gruber said.“It’s always fun playing Michigan,” Gruber said. “It’s a good environment there and there’ll be a lot of fans and it’ll be fun.”“It’d be a nice little revenge after losing to them there last year,” Varner said. “It’d be nice to go into their home stadium and beat them.”“We thought that we were done with our season after that so that feeling we do not want again,” Gruber added.The Buckeyes are scheduled to take on the Wolverines on Sunday at 2 p.m. in Ann Arbor, Mich. read more

Marcelos wife hints at Juve switch

first_imgReal Madrid defender Marcelo could be the next in line to join Serie A giants Juventus next season following the capture of former team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo last summerAccording to reports in Spain, Marcelo will wrap up a deal with the Old Lady if they make an offer in the winter transfer windowAnd the Brazilian’s wife Clarice Alves has fuelled transfer speculations about his husband’s move to Turin.“Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid farewell was bad for us”, she said (as reported by Calciomercato).Jose Mourinho, Lionel MessiMourinho: “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.“We used to spend a lot of time together. I know his mum very well and I know Georgina too. She is marvellous.“My son is a very close friend with Junior, the son of Cristiano Ronaldo. His farewell from Madrid left us empty”.It’s reported that Madrid are not willing to let the Brazilian go for anything less than € 50 million.In addition to that, the Old Lady may only sign Marcelo if Alex Sandro is sold in the summer.last_img read more