Related Posts (Click the image for a larger version.)Cartoon produced by John Atkinson / Wrong HandsLede image via Shutterstock Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Step into the Wayback Machine for a moment. How did we ever catch up with old friends, check our location, track professional contacts, publish our thoughts for others to read, and look at cat pictures before the Internet?Oh, right. A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Tags:#social media Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… david hamilton
Punjab Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu has written a letter to Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal asking for an effective mechanism to prevent accidents on railway tracks.Mr. Sidhu told reporters in Amritsar that in the letter sent to the Railway Minister, he has demanded that fencing on the pattern of the Mumbai-Pune highway should be done on the railway tracks in densely populated areas.“I have also suggested installing of CCTV cameras and alarms besides constant patrolling on the railway tracks,” he said.Mr. Sidhu said that during the pasts two years several accidents have taken place in northern India on rail tracks, claiming about 50,000 lives, which makes it important for the Union Ministry of Railways to take some effective measures.Mr. Sidhu said that till now monetary assistance has been provided to 41 persons of the Amritsar train mishap so far. “The Punjab government is fully committed to provide every assistance to the families affected by the tragedy,” he said.Mr. Sidhu added that those indulging in petty politics over the Dussehra day tragedy should shun their destructive approach and help the victim families in every possible way.
Multiple people sent me this question as Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon is once again hitting his pitcher eighth in the batting order. Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell is reportedly considering doing the same, and many other managers have dabbled with the strategy over the years. Maddon picked it up from fabled lineup-tinkerer Tony La Russa, but does it work? Does it even matter?A lot of interesting research has been conducted on the subject. Most notably, co-authors Tom Tango, Mitchel Lichtman and Andrew Dolphin examined the question in their great sabermetric manual “The Book,” where they used a markov chain-based lineup simulator to measure the effect of slotting a pitcher-caliber (i.e., terrible) hitter into various lineup spots. Although it hurts the offense to give more plate appearances to such a poor hitter, Tango and co. found that the damage was offset by the benefit of giving the nine hole to a “second leadoff hitter”: a reasonably competent hitter (often with similar skills to a traditional leadoff man) who would often come up before the top of the order, setting the table for those hitters far more frequently than the pitcher would.One of my longtime favorites, Baseball Prospectus’s Russell Carleton, performed some follow-up research several years later. Carleton used a markov simulator similar to the one used in “The Book,” but he also tried to account for the way hitting the pitcher eighth increases the likelihood that a manager will have to make a tough pinch-hitting decision when the starter’s spot comes up in the mid-to-late innings of a close game. And in Carleton’s final analysis, the problems that decision causes cancel out the benefit of the second leadoff man, making it basically a wash. Hitting the pitcher eighth is different, and maybe even a little cool, Carleton wrote, but the research shows it doesn’t add (or subtract) much in the grand scheme of things. POSPLAYERAGE2017 WARPREV. CAREER WAR CFJacoby Ellsbury330.729.7 SPLuis Severino230.61.5 RFAaron Judge252.4-0.4 RPAdam Warren290.53.8 LFAaron Hicks270.81.4 WAR here is an average of the wins above replacement systems found at Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs.com. 2017 data current through May 3.Sources: Fangraphs.com, Baseball-Reference.com, Seamheads.com DHMatt Holliday370.747.3 2BStarlin Castro271.012.1 SPMichael Pineda280.610.1 RPAroldis Chapman290.513.9 Weighted by each player’s contributions to New York’s bottom line,4For this, I used WAR but also added in wins generated below the replacement level — yielding a total “wins added” for each player. (This was necessary because some teams — such as the 1979 A’s and 2003 Tigers — nearly finished an entire season with subzero WAR totals, which would have thrown off their averages.) the typical member of the 2017 Yankees went into the season with 13.2 lifetime WAR — a pretty ordinary total, considering the age of their roster. (Since the dawn of the expansion era in 1961, the average WAR for a team with the same age as the Yankees is 12.9.) That makes this group especially abnormal for New York, where there’s always an enormous budget for importing accomplished talent. By this measure, this is the least-pedigreed Yankee team in 25 years: This is also the youngest Yankee squad since the 1992 edition. That team only won 76 games, however, while this year’s version is conservatively on track for 88 wins with a solid chance at the postseason.The Yankees tend to exceed expectations a little anyway, winning about five more games per season on average over the past decade than would be predicted from the ages and credentials of their players alone. (Such are the benefits of a stingy bullpen and good pitching-staff management, along with having the payroll to fill gaps midseason.) But if this year’s team keeps playing to its early-season form, it would find itself punching above its weight class more than any Yankees team since the 1998 version that exploded for 114 wins and kicked off a dynasty.With 18 former or future All-Stars, though, those Yankees weren’t exactly lacking in star power. They’d already won the World Series two seasons before, and 1998 was the third straight year that the team posted 90 or more wins. By contrast, it’s been five years since the current Yankees cracked that threshold. There’s still plenty we don’t know about this year’s team, but it’s safe to say they’re not the reincarnation of the ’98 Yankees.And history tells us that while any team has the potential to catch lightning in a bottle, those that lack the underlying talent to back it up will almost certainly enjoy only fleeting success. Since 1961, the average team who outplayed their track records as much as the Yankees have thus far crashed back to earth the following season.5If the Yankees maintain their current winning percentage for the rest of the season, they’d finish with 106 wins, but we’d expect them to play like a 92-win team next year. And that’s looking at teams who elevated their play over an entire season, whereas the Yanks have only run hot for a month. That’s why projection systems still see New York as playing only a little better than .500 ball the rest of the season, despite the scorching start.All of which is to say, the Yankees still probably haven’t arrived quite yet, but it’s only a matter of time before they do. Even if New York’s less-pedigreed contingent cools off over the rest of the 2017 season, they should get a boost from hard-hitting catcher Gary Sanchez, who is scheduled to return from injury soon. And the team’s combination of the No. 2-ranked farm system and the No. 2-ranked payroll in baseball could easily have the Yankees cracking 90 or even 95 wins within a couple seasons. According to Matt Swartz’s research on the relationship between farm rankings, payroll and wins, the second-ranked farm system is worth four wins above average two years into the future and the second-ranked payroll is worth 11 wins, which would add up to a 96-win season.That Yankee squad will probably be headlined by current pinstripers like Judge and Sanchez, but also prospects like Gleyber Torres, Clint Frazier and James Kaprielian, none of whom have made the majors yet. By banking that gaudy April record, though, the Yankees have placed themselves squarely in the early-season playoff discussion, which is a conversation they should be a big part of for the foreseeable future.Too many eggs in the pitching basket?The New York Mets’ ongoing spate of pitching injuries this season — culminating Sunday with Noah Syndergaard’s torn right latissimus muscle, which will keep the flamethrower out indefinitely — had me wondering whether it was possible for a team to lean too heavily on the fragile arms of major league hurlers. (After all, how does a team go from being lauded for its pitching depth to relying on a catcher to chew innings in a month?)In other words: Is building a team around pitching value inherently riskier than banking on hitters? I looked at this a couple of ways. First, I measured the year-to-year correlation in a team’s batting/fielding WAR and its pitching WAR6Per 162 games. going back to 1961. The verdict: Pitching WAR (with a correlation of 0.48) was slightly less reliable than position-player WAR (0.53) — though it’s a small difference at best.The other thing I did was check to see if pitching-heavy teams were more prone to collapse — which I defined using several thresholds for declining records — in the following season. (Specifically, I ran a series of logit regressions testing whether the percentage of a team’s WAR that came from pitching was associated with an increased risk of declining by at least five, seven or 10 wins the next year.) It turns out there was no significant relationship between how much a team relied on its pitching staff and how likely it was to go down in flames in the future.There are certainly other ways to look at this, but my quick-and-dirty research suggests that the Mets’ policy of relying on pitching wasn’t necessarily a flawed one. They just appear to have picked the wrong group of pitchers to count on.Juiced-ball watchLast year, our own Rob Arthur and Ben Lindbergh noticed that balls had been flying out of ballparks at a ridiculous clip since late in the 2015 season, and they found evidence that changes to the baseball itself could be responsible. Here, Ben notes that we could be in for even more dingers this season: CAustin Romine280.5-0.9 SPMasahiro Tanaka280.410.8 RPDellin Betances290.48.5 SSRonald Torreyes240.40.6 3BChase Headley331.125.9 These aren’t your typical star-studded Yankees Give pitchers a chance (to hit eighth) LFBrett Gardner331.028.4 Welcome to Full Count, our new(!) weekly baseball column. Have anything you want me to write about? Email or tweet me at email@example.com or @Neil_Paine.The summer of 2017 was supposed to be one of the last opportunities for New York Yankees haters to bask in pinstriped mediocrity. Although the Bronx Bombers went into the season with baseball’s second-best farm system and an intriguing mix of veterans and kids at the big-league level, they were also sellers at last year’s trade deadline — for the first time in ages. General manager Brian Cashman had even sold management on the idea of a long-term rebuilding plan (at least, long-term by Yankees standards). New York was going to be dominant again in the near future, the thinking went, but probably not this year.Fast-forward to a month into the season, however, and the next great Yankees team appears to have arrived ahead of schedule. At 17-9, New York has the third-best record in the majors, and its underlying metrics are even more striking — according to wins above replacement,1Using an average of Baseball-Reference.com’s and FanGraphs.com’s WAR metrics. the Yankees have played at a 117-win pace (!) in the early going.2A team WAR of 11.2 in 26 games works out to about 70 over a full season; since the replacement level is set at 47 wins per 162 games (a .294 winning percentage), that adds up to 117 wins.But the fact that the Yankees are winning baseball games is not as fascinating as who they’ve been winning with. The players driving New York’s early run are either middling veterans (Aaron Hicks) or unproven youngsters (Aaron Judge). When you sort the roster by how much each player has contributed so far this season,3According to WAR. only two of their top five players (third baseman Chase Headley and left fielder Brett Gardner) had even a baker’s dozen of career WAR to their names before this year. The Yankees’ lack of pedigree is highly unusual for a franchise that famously seeks out (and overpays for) pedigree. It also suggests that the team probably won’t be able to sustain this breakneck pace. But whether their early 2017 results are real or not, they’re providing a preview of things to come for the franchise — even if that future might eventually involve a different supporting cast.For most teams, you can make a pretty good guess about how they’ll do simply by looking at the track records of the talent on hand. The Detroit Tigers, for instance, are a moderately old team whose WAR have come from moderately accomplished players, so it’s no surprise that they’re hovering around .500. But the Yankees are bucking that trend so far. For every Headley (25.9 career WAR before 2017) and Gardner (28.4 WAR), the Yanks are powered by many more players like Judge, the breakout second-year slugger who had -0.4 WAR while hitting .179 last year. In fairness, Judge was a well-regarded prospect despite his slow career start — he cracked the Baseball America Top 100 list in preseason — but that wasn’t true of other team leaders such as Hicks, Luis Severino, Starlin Castro, Michael Pineda, Austin Romine and Ronald Torreyes. Not old, but not exactly babies either, none had done much to suggest that greatness was around the corner.
Aug 31 • Verizon vs AT&T vs T-Mobile vs Sprint: Choose the best 5G carrier First published at 4:37 a.m. PT.Updated at 5:01 a.m. PT: Adds more detail. Post a comment See It See It Apple iPhone XS See It Phones Apple Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) Best Buy $999 Boost Mobile reading • Another clue points to Apple revealing iPhone 11 on Sept. 10 See All $999 Aug 31 • Apple iPhone 11 launches Sept. 10, Disney Plus in big demand Share your voice See it A Sept. 10 iPhone 11 reveal is looking ever more likely. Angela Lang/CNET CNET predicts that Apple will announce its iPhone 11 models on Tuesday, Sept. 10, and code hidden within iOS 13’s seventh beta seems to add fuel to that fire. A screenshot of the update, called “HoldForRelease” shows an iPhone’s home screen with that date on the calendar, iHelp BR reports.The Brazilian Apple fan site noted that it found a similar screenshot in 2018, before the iPhone XS models’ Sept. 12 reveal. The company is expected to unveil a trio of fresh iPhones, which might use the “Pro” naming convention, this September and one analyst predicted they’ll be released by the end of that month.Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Aug 31 • Your phone screen is gross. Here’s how to clean it Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X • $999 CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR $999 0 iOS 13 Rumors Apple Tags Aug 31 • iPhone 11, Apple Watch 5 and more: The final rumors Sprint
.Cyclonic storm Fani may hit Bangladesh on Saturday morning, state minister for disaster and relief Enamur Rahman quoted a Met official as saying.The state minister held a meeting with Met officials at the conference room of his ministry on Wednesday afternoon.Speaking to Prothom Alo, Enamur Rahman said the cyclone may hit Khulna, Satkhira and Mongla on Saturday morning. He said the ministry has opened control rooms in 19 coastal districts and 56,000 volunteers have been kept standby.As part of the preparations, 200 mts rice, 41,000 packets dry food and cash Tk 500,000 have been sent to the deputy commissioners of the each 19 districts, he said.Meanwhile, authorities in Chattogram have taken all necessary preparations as the extremely severe cyclonic storm ‘Fani’ over the West-central Bay and adjoining area moved northwestwards further over the same area.Maritime ports of Chattogram, Cox’s Bazar, Mongla and Payra have been advised to hoist local warning signal No. 4.Chattogram district disaster management committee held a meeting on Wednesday to take all the necessary preparations to face the cyclone.The authorities have taken decisions to open cyclone centres and control rooms and keep medical team standby to fight the cyclone.Water transports from Chattogram to Sandwip and Hatia have been suspended due to the cyclone.Acting district commissioner Delwar Hossain said 2,739 cyclone centres have been prepared to face Fani. Chattogram’s civil surgeon Azizur Rahman Siddique told Prothom Alo that 284 medical teams have been kept standby to fight ‘Fani’. The storm was centred at 6:00pm Wednesday about 1205 km southwest of Chattogram Port, 1160 km southwest of Cox’s Bazar Port, 1060 km southwest of Mongla Port and 1070 km southwest of Payra Port, said a special weather bulletin here this noon.It is likely to intensify further and move in a north or northwesterly direction.Maximum sustained wind speed within 74 kms of the storm centre is about 160 kph, rising to 180 kph in gusts or squalls, the bulletin said, adding that sea will remain very high near the cyclone centre.All fishing boats and trawlers over the North Bay and deep sea have been advised to remain close to the coast and proceed with caution so that they can take shelter within short notice. They are also advised not to venture into the deep sea.