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first_imgOAKLAND — The Slim Reaper exited and the grim reaper took his place, poised to take this Warriors dynasty with him into the long goodnight.But Golden State fought him off, beating the Rockets 104-99 without Kevin Durant but behind an inspired fourth quarter run that had Oracle Arena rocking like it was 2015 all over again.The Warriors are now armed with a 3-2 lead in this best-of-seven series with their arch-rivals. They guaranteed that they will play another game in Oakland.But they are …last_img read more

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first_imgThe Long Run initiative encourages companies to run their operations ina sustainable and eco-friendly way. Davison’s Camp in Zimbabwe’s HwangeNational park (formerly known as Wankie), is one of Wilderness Safaris’ 52 international destinations. The company’s Children in the Wildernessprogramme helps youngsters whose livesare troubled by poverty or illness toexperience nature at an educational camp.(Images: Wilderness Safaris) MEDIA CONTACTS • Olivia PasiniZeitz Foundation+39 3333102034 RELATED ARTICLES • SA scholar named a Charlotte fellow • New drive for Gauteng tourism • Ugandan eco-project up for award • Game park facelift to boost tourism • Responsible tourism at Buffalo RidgeMark ReidSouth African tour operator Wilderness Safaris has become the first tourism industry-based signatory to the Zeitz Foundation’s Long Run conservation initiative, and also the first from the African continent.Established in 2008 by business entrepreneur and CEO of global sportswear manufacturer Puma, Jochen Zeitz, the Zeitz Foundation is a non-profit organisation headquartered in Kenya.The foundation’s flagship programme, the Long Run, was launched in 2009 with a philosophy of taking action today to ensure a better tomorrow. Sustainability is a top priority, achieved through a holistic balance of conservation, community, culture, and commerce, or what the Zeitz Foundation calls the 4Cs.These four principles are at the heart of the Global Ecosphere Retreat (GER) certification system, for certified Long Run destinations which embody the 4Cs in their operations.Leading the way in sustainable tourism In May 2011 JSE-listed Wilderness Holdings Limited not only became the first African and South African supporter of the Zeitz Foundation’s Long Run scheme, but also the first in the tourism industry.Along with other brands such as Sefofane Air Charters and the Safari and Adventure Co., Wilderness Safaris is a thriving component of the group.Established in 1983, Johannesburg-based Wilderness Safaris has, over the 28 years of its existence, built a business on sound ecotourism and conservation – in essence, acting today for a better tomorrow.Offering marine, wildlife and heritage safaris in seven countries – Botswana, Namibia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Seychelles and South Africa – and managing over 7.1-million acres of land in eight of Southern Africa’s 11 biomes, Wilderness Safaris views care of the environment as a top priority.The company acts from the belief that the world’s wilderness areas will save humankind, and is actively involved in protecting wilderness areas and biodiversity, getting local communities involved, and working to make a difference in Africa.Of the 2 700-plus people the company employs, more than 85% come from the remote rural communities in areas where Wilderness Safaris works. The company has made a concerted effort to understand their employees’ backgrounds, perceptions and culture, as these are central to its success.The company runs a number of programmes, including community- and climate-related projects, the Wilderness Safaris Wildlife Trust, and Children in the Wilderness – all with the goal of good governance. Its conscientious and green-minded approach to business has earned awards from National Geographic, Condé Nast, the Telegraph (UK), and the World Travel and Tourism Council, among others.In a recent press release, Wilderness Safaris CEO Andy Payne said: “The reason Wilderness exists is to conserve pristine wilderness areas and the flora and fauna that they support. We believe that in conserving these areas, and including the local communities in this process, we will make a difference to Africa and ultimately the world.”Payne added that cultural and biological diversity is what makes the earth an interesting place, and that by joining The Long Run, the company hopes to spread the message that long-term success depends on sustainable business operations.Conservation, community, culture, and commerceConservation is a key factor in the operation of all Long Run destinations, which continually strive to support the sustainable use of natural resources. This in turn safeguards the integrity of the ecosphere. Conservation efforts common to all destinations include efficient management of energy, water and waste; land planning; and carbon footprint reduction, among others.GER certified destinations value the people they work with, and their activities are aimed at improving the lives of all communities associated with the company. Community activities include addressing fair working conditions, local and regional relations, social ventures, social accountability, and support for small and medium enterprises, among others.In the cultural sense, the Long Run initiative aims to strengthen intercultural relationships, while preserving cultural heritage and boosting awareness of cultural diversity. The initiative encourages a range of cultural activities, ranging from local cuisine and architecture to film and music, from crafts to sculpture, as well as sport, which is a valuable and known tool for promoting social cohesion and cultural interaction.Commerce affects not only a destination’s sustainability prospects, but also the people who live in a particular ecosystem and who must be able to earn a decent living. Sustainable commercial enterprises provide a steady source of income, and also allow for investment into schemes that uphold the 4Cs. Long Run destinations are involved not only in eco-tourism, but also in non-tourism activities such as reforestation, agriculture and horticulture, wildlife management, and livestock ranching.last_img read more

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first_imgParenting can be frustrating especially when faced with children who are not quite getting it right. I am talking about kids who may be messy, disorganised, rude, with no sense of time or just terrible in math, not coordinated enough to play sports and so on. It can be tough for parents-the constant arguments, shouting matches, daily battles can leave everybody drained.This is not what you had signed up for when you had thought of becoming a parent one day! The feeling of burnout, self doubt, guilt and a creeping sense of regret! Not many parents will admit to this forbidden feeling but there is truth in this harsh sentiment. According to a study cited by happiness expert Daniel Gilbert in his book, Stumbling on Happiness (Vintage, 2005) the mothers’ sense of satisfaction decreases after giving birth to a baby and only increases when their children leave home. Parenting is a lot of hard work but ask any parent what gives them maximum joy and they will point to the little imp running her down with his screams and demands. Paradoxical but so true!So what are we supposed to do about it? Just resign ourselves to this cycle of life and or what Gilbert calls “belief transmitter network”? No way! I like to take an approach (with a few slips every now and then) which I call Parents as Coaches. Let me walk you through it.Respect the brain. One things is clear: each child is wired differently and it is extremely important that we learn to respect that. If we take different skills like reading, writing, playing football, dancing, time management, anger management, each child can be put somewhere or the other in the continuum for each. However, when the child falls low on these skills, we become very judgemental calling them lazy, sloppy, clumsy, dull, cranky without understanding that they really cannot help it.advertisementCoaching step by step. That does not mean we give up and say, “That’s what she was born with and that’s where she will stay.” Start with theskill that you feel your child needs to work on and break it into small easy steps. So, for example you want your child to become more independent in getting ready for school. Make a list of things she needs to do the previous night and in the morning. Break it up into a daily drill checklist for each chunk-packing bag, arranging uniform, bathroom must-dos, breakfast time. Put it up on the tack board, and supervise at each step initially and as she becomes more confident, you can step back. Praise them for every bit of effort they put in the right direction.Connect, play, practise and mastery. Dr Edward Hallowell (Delivered from Distraction, Ballantine, 2006) describes these four necessary steps for coaching-making sure you connect emotionally with your child, involve play at every step of skill training, let them practise till they attain mastery. Staying calm and being patient is crucial (clichd but true). Children are designed to be noisy, messy, bouncy, cranky, pushy, fidgety, yes, all that and more. I personally have found this approach very empowering. Once I wear the coach’s hat, then I do not see the difficult child trying to make my life difficult, instead I just see a struggling learner in need of some skilled training. He cannot help himself but I can!last_img read more

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first_imgMANILA, Philippines—Far Eastern University produced a season-opening upset after sweeping National University, 25-12, 25-18, 25-17, in the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball tournament Saturday at Filoil Flying V Center.Richard Solis led the Tamaraws with nine points while John Paul Bugaoan and Jude Garcia added eight points apiece.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes Rough start for Lady Bulldogs as main setter goes down with injury in first game Bryan Bagunas had 15 points to lead the defending champions who played without setter Kim Dayandante who was deemed ineligible three days before the start of the tournament.In the other game, University of the East brushed off University of the Philippines in four sets, 20-25, 25-10, 25-22, 25-21.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesClifford Inoferio led the Red Warriors with 14 points while Lloyd Josafat added 13 points with Al-jhon Abalon and Geric Ortega had 10 points apiece.John Mark Pillente put up a game-high 17 points to lead the Fighting Maroons. Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes View comments SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss LATEST STORIESlast_img read more

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first_imgSEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte MOST READ Jones finished uneventfully and remained unbeaten since 2009, winning a decision for the fifth time in his last seven fights.Jones won 48-44 on all three scorecards.Jones has been the UFC’s 205-pound champ for long stretches of the past eight years, but also has been stripped of his belt twice. After doping suspensions and other woes limited Jones to just two fights in a nearly four-year stretch of his prime, he returned to the cage at UFC 235 just nine weeks after beating Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232 last December to reclaim his belt.Smith, a tough veteran fighter from Texas, got a title shot when Jones decided to make a quick return to the cage. Although Smith had won three consecutive fights, he was a heavy underdog at the Vegas sports books, but Jones emerged with respect for Smith’s fighting spirit.“I have never had anyone talk to me while I’m hitting them,” Jones said. ”(Smith was) saying like, ‘That was nice,’ or, ‘Was that all you’ve got?’”ADVERTISEMENT P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbed Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 1 dead, 3 injured in Quezon road crash Trump campaign, GOP groups attack Google’s new ad policy Ben Askren, Woodley’s close friend and training partner, survived an opening-minute beating and rallied to choke out Robbie Lawler midway through the first round of his own UFC debut.Jones (24-1) had little trouble in an expert display of his all-around brilliance against the overmatched Smith (31-14), who had no answers for the likely pound-for-pound champion of mixed martial arts.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesJones dominated on his feet, against the cage and on the ground until he got in trouble in the fourth round when his knee struck Smith’s head while the challenger was in a downed position. Referee Herb Dean deducted two points from Jones, who apologized to Smith after the bell.“This MMA thing is really hard,” Jones said. “Some days you’re going to look amazing, and some days at work you’re not going to perform at the level you hold yourself to.”center_img Hong Kong tunnel reopens, campus siege nears end Anne Curtis headlines Araneta City’s Christmas tree lighting PLAY LIST 03:07Anne Curtis headlines Araneta City’s Christmas tree lighting00:50Trending Articles01:52UFC: McGregor set for Nurmagomedov showdown02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss LATEST STORIES Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbed LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 02: Jon Jones (R) and Anthony Smith trade punches during their light heavyweight title bout during UFC 235 at T-Mobile Arena on March 02, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jones won by unanimous decision. Isaac Brekken/Getty Images /AFPLAS VEGAS — Jon Jones defended his light heavyweight title with a unanimous decision victory over Anthony Smith at UFC 235 on Saturday night, overcoming a two-point deduction for an illegal knee to Smith’s head in the fourth round.Kamaru Usman claimed the UFC welterweight title in the penultimate bout at T-Mobile Arena, dominating Tyron Woodley in a one-sided unanimous decision victory.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t expect to puff away at next year’s Tokyo Olympics View commentslast_img read more

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first_imgManchester City Super Sterling knows how to make Guardiola go crazy Sam Lee Last updated 1 year ago 06:49 11/30/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(8) Pep Guardiola Manchester City Getty Images Manchester City Premier League Southampton Raheem Sterling Leroy Sané Manchester City v Southampton Opinion The winger has scored three late winners in his last three games and has a habit of sending his manager into raptures on the touch-line For a man who’s seen his teams score plenty of goals over the years, Pep Guardiola doesn’t celebrate like a madman too often. Raheem Sterling can make him do it, though.Sterling 25/1 to be PL top scorerThe winger’s 95th-minute screamer is the third time he’s had Guardiola jumping for joy this season, and the second time in four days.  Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player In fact, given his goal against Feyenoord last week which secured top spot for City in their Champions League group, he has now scored late winners in his last three games.In all, he has now scored 13 goals this season, and his goals have won City 9 points in the last 10 minutes of games in the Premier League and Champions League.City have now won 19 games in a row in all competitions, and you could argue that it was Sterling’s first last-minute winner which triggered it off. Guardiola certainly believes so.Raheem Sterling Manchester CityIt was at Bournemouth for the third game of the season when Sterling first sent Guardiola, and the travelling support, into raptures.In his press conference the day before, Guardiola seemed genuinely worried about his side’s lack of cutting edge in front of goal. He said he hoped something would click and, by magic, City would start scoring a hatful of goals.Sterling then bobbled in a scrappy winner in the 97th minute, handing City a hard-fought win and, seemingly, that spark Guardiola was looking for. When it was put to Sterling in a Uefa press conference that that moment was a turning point in City’s season, Guardiola, sat next to the England man, nodded his head profusely.The Blues certainly went on a fine scoring run after that, hitting 32 in their next nine games. In recent weeks, though, they have been a little more sloppy.Even if his form would still see him walk into any other team in the league, Kevin De Bruyne’s radar has been a little off. Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero, post-car crash, have been rusty at times, too. City’s matches have seemed that little bit tougher. The 5-0s and 6-0s are now 2-0s and 3-0s. Or 2-1s.And those 2-1s are because Sterling has carried on doing what he’s been doing all season. Not just goals, either. At Leicester earlier in November, he was instrumental in City’s opener in a way that brought to mind David Silva’s playmaking talents. There has been an all-round improvement to the England man’s game.At Huddersfield on Sunday, it was somewhat scrappier, but the fact he was in the box to see the ball bounce up off his knee and into the net proves he knows exactly where to be, and when to be there.Guardiola has drilled that into his players and Sterling has clearly taken it fully on board; many of his 13 goals have been tap-ins. That is not a suggestion his goals have come easily, but that he is carrying out his orders to the tee.Guardiola certainly enjoyed it as he jogged around the John Smith’s Stadium, just as he had at Bournemouth back when the sun shining.And then there are goals like Wednesday’s, which prove he has far more to his game. Brimming with confidence, he must have weighed up the shot from the corner of the box when he cut inside onto his right, with his team about to surrender two points to Southampton. He declined at first, however, shuffling the ball to De Bruyne. When he got it back, though, there was no doubt in his mind. Fraser Forster had been enjoying his best performance of the season, but he was helpless as Sterling’s curling, looping effort evaded him and dipped tantalisingly under the crossbar and in.Cue pandemonium. The City fans went wild but, more notably, so did Guardiola. The Catalan was wild-eyed with joy, jumping up and down with as much vigour as he has shown in his time in England.Indeed, he nearly overstepped the mark when he went onto the pitch to celebrate, pointedly, in the direction of referee Paul Tierney. Nicolas Otamendi Manchester City Southampton“I think all sports create special moments and tonight in the last breath we enjoyed the celebration,” he said after. “In the locker room all the people, all the staff, how happy they were. I wanted to run after Raz but I am not quick enough.”There was time only for Southampton to restart the game before Tierney blew for full-time. The celebrations resumed. Guardiola and his staff bounced up and down in the technical area. Benjamin Mendy, always the ringleader, joined in, getting in the thick of it and trying to get his phone out to capture the moment.Last-minute winners are always looked back upon at the end of the season, perhaps as key moments in a club’s season.City have now had two in a week. Just as Manchester United, as leaders of the chasing pack, thought their luck might be in, the Blues struck in dramatic fashion. Better said, Sterling struck. His goal here means City have now had the joint bet ever start to a top-flight campaign. If he carries on like this, Guardiola will be dancing even more come May. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

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first_imgUPDATE as of July 22 at 11:30 a.m. – The flood watch for the Pine River has ended.  The Pine River and tributaries have peaked at the 5 to 20 year return period flows. The Peace River and tributaries have peaked yesterday or are peaking today at about the 2 year return period flows. The rainfall is easing and the river levels are receding now or expected to recede later today. No major flood risks are expected in this region recently though small rises of river levels are still possible.FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Heavy rainfall in the B.C. Peace has caused river levels to increase.The River Forecast Centre has upgraded the forecast for the Pine River and it’s tributaries to a flood watch.  Based on the current modelling, the Pine River and tributaries are expected to peak at the 10 to 20 year return period flows Saturday night or Sunday morning, similar to peak levels reached in June 2016.  The Peace River is also expected to see moderate increases in water levels. The public is cautioned to stay clear from rivers and the unstable riverbanks during this high water period.Real-Time Hydrometric Data that shows the increase in the river flow of the Pine River at East Pine.The River Forecast Centre is also maintaining a high streamflow advisory for the Peace Region, including the Kiskatinaw, Pouce Coupe and Dawson Creek rivers and their tributaries.The River Forecast Centre will continue to monitor conditions and update this advisory as conditions warrant.For more on flooding in Chetwynd, click here.  Caribou Road Services is also working to contain flooding in the South Peace.  Click here for details about that.last_img read more

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first_imgDehradun: Congress president Rahul Gandhi launched his party’s campaign for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in Uttarakhand on Saturday, saying Prime Minister Narendra Modi was posing for cameras at the Corbett National Park for a documentary when CRPF jawans were being killed in Pulwama.At a rally here, in which BJP veteran and former Uttarakhand chief minister Bhuvan Chandra Khanduri’s son Manish Khanduri joined the Congress, Gandhi also said his party would introduce a scheme of guaranteed minimum income for the poor if elected to power. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity!”Immediately after the Pulwama attack, in which 40 CRPF jawans were killed, the Congress had said it was with the government and the country. I had cancelled all my programmes. “Everyone knows what Narendra Modi was doing when our jawans were being killed in Pulwama. He was posing for the cameras to shoot for a National Geographic documentary,” Gandhi said to loud cheers from a large gathering at the Parade Ground. “Modi shoots for three-and-a-half hours on a day something like Pulwama happens and he still talks about patriotism,” the Congress president added. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killedThe ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had rejected the charges when they were first levelled by the Congress. On the issue of the Rafale fighter jet deal, Gandhi reiterated his charge of Modi backing industrialist Anil Ambani in getting a related offset contract, a charge repeatedly denied by the government. “All of you must have heard of Anil Ambani. Can he make an aeroplane? He cannot even make a paper aeroplane as children do,” he said, holding up a piece of paper. “Still, Modi took him along with him as part of his delegation to France to ensure that he got the deal worth Rs 30,000 crore,” he added. Gandhi asked why the defence deal, negotiated by the previous UPA regime at Rs 526 crore per aircraft, was finalised by the Modi government for Rs 1,600 crore apiece. Reiterating the “chowkidar chor hai” (the watchman is a thief) barb, the Congress president said he had posed four questions to the prime minister in Parliament on the Rafale deal. “The prime minister delivered a long speech lasting one-and-a-half hours in Parliament, but failed to answer even one of my questions. All he did was keep looking up, down and sideways. Why? Because he is guilty,” he said and asked the youth of the state to pose the same questions to Modi when he comes to Uttarakhand for campaigning.last_img read more

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christina: We should also remember that base stealers were 23 for 26 against Jake Arrieta, as well, so this isn’t just a Lester problem. I can see arguments that Willson Contreras might help control the damage in games that don’t feature the Lester-David Ross battery, but we’ll see.neil: Sounds like we shouldn’t be surprised if Cleveland’s baserunning makes life difficult all series for what is otherwise a scary good Chicago rotation.christina: They’ll need to try, because they only thing that’s going to take that Cubs’ defense down a notch is the friction multiple baserunners and men in motion can create. Play a static, big-inning offense where you wait around for hits, and the Cubs will find ways to kill your scoring opps. Russell-to-Baez-to-Rizzo is going to merit its own poetry.rob: The defensive skill of the Cubs infield is a major factor that stops potential base runners. It’s all too easy to get caught in a TOOTBLAN* with Javy Baez’s creativity on one side of second base and Addison Russell’s sure hands on the other. In that way, it will be strength against strength.(* Ed. note: That’s “Thrown Out On The Basepaths Like A Nincompoop,” for the uninitiated.)christina: I’m also wondering which Arrieta or Kyle Hendricks we get. That could shape the series. Take Hendricks: The Indians are the best team in baseball at killing pitches 90 mph or slower. They’re third in baseball in OPS against off-speed pitches. If anyone is going to get to Hendricks in his magical year, it might be the Indians.rob: I agree that Hendricks and Arrieta are less sure bets. Generally, a major strength of all of the Cubs pitchers is that they suppress batted ball velocity. I believe that’s a genuine skill that the Chicago rotation possesses, but it also seems like a skill that’s more variable than say, throwing 98 mph fastballs that your opponents can’t catch up to. So I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if the Cubs have a couple of disastrous starting pitching outings and get BABIP’d to death.neil: All right, let’s close this out with some official predictions. Who ya got, and in how many games?rob: I’ll take the Cubs in 6. They are the better team, and one thing we only briefly alluded to is how tired and tattered Cleveland’s rotation is. I think the Cubs will dampen Cleveland’s bullpen advantage by overworking them, and that will be enough to close the Indians out. But not easily.christina: It’s really tough, because while Cubs in 5 is probably the safest choice, there are so many things that could go wrong with that (or even just extend the series) that I’m sticking with my prediction over on ESPN.com: that the Indians find a way to win in 7. Because, how safe are the safe bets? But I’ll admit, there’s also an element of my wanting this to be an epic series, to give us something to remember beyond one of these two teams’ “curses” ending.neil: Indians in 7? Christina, I knew you were a Chicagoan, but now I see you either are not a Cubs fan, or the most quintessential Cubs fan possible.christina: Hah. Funnily enough, people mistake me for a White Sox fan, but I’m agnostic. (I’ve stuck with the team of my childhood, the A’s — hence my bitterness about Mr. Lester in 2014.) When I polled Chicagoans last week on Twitter, the second-largest group beyond the 39 percent of Chicagoans who call themselves Cubs fans who think they’ll win it all was the 31 percent who said they’re Sox fans who hope they blow it.Besides, if the Cubs win, I can claim I didn’t jinx it, right?neil: Very true, you are zigging where those not-so-covert Cubs fans we saw everywhere on Saturday night are zagging.christina: I did the double-reverse, anti-curse, non-jinx prediction. Shazam!neil: Well, I’ll split the difference and say Cubs in 7. That feels like the way this season is, and always has been, destined to end — though as we know, sometimes real baseball gets in the way of destiny, narratives and whatnot.Either way, though, it looks like one of the more entertaining on-paper World Series in recent memory. I can’t wait! VIDEO: Cleveland fooled us twice In preparation for the World Series, which starts Tuesday night, we invited ESPN MLB writer/editor Christina Kahrl and our own baseball columnist, Rob Arthur, into Slack to chat about the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians. As usual, the transcript below has been lightly edited. neil (Neil Paine, baseball editor and sportswriter): Well, we’re finally down to two teams, the Cubs and the Indians, both of whom have long championship droughts on the line. So my first question for the room is just a big-picture one: How did these teams stack up in the overall sabermetric numbers during the regular season?rob (Rob Arthur, baseball columnist): Both teams were good, but the Cubs were also great, fantastic, amazing and 10 other superlatives on top of that. In the first half of the season, they had as good a run differential as any team ever — right up there with the 1927 Yankees. They were merely dominant in the second half, but in either half Chicago was better than Cleveland: the Cubs had a +91 run differential in the second half alone, which is only 10 less than the Indians racked up all season. And, remarkably, some measures (such as cluster luck) suggest this Cubs team got unlucky.Which is not to say that the Indians were a bad regular-season team — they had the fourth-best run differential in baseball. But they also probably got a little fortunate from a cluster luck perspective, and their pitching, while solid, was also weakened due to injuries by October. So this matchup is probably a bit lopsided in favor of the Cubs, at least if we go by regular-season numbers.christina (Christina Kahrl, ESPN.com baseball writer and editor): I would think whatever metric you used, you’re going to get happy answers about the Cubs and Indians that don’t involve a stack of head-scratchy one-run outcomes or players having extraordinary seasons outside their expected range of performance. (Well, except maybe Tyler Naquin’s strikeout rate.) But across 162, these were two very good teams. Outside of the Cubs’ sporadic offensive disappearances, we’ve seen two of the best regular-season teams also play well in October. If not for injuries to the Indians’ rotation, you could have seen that these two teams belonged here months ago.There are interesting distinctions, of course. The Cubs and Indians both walk plenty, but the Indians aren’t in quite the same class when it comes to power production. But they’re both very balanced offenses, with good amounts of contact (call it BABIP or just execution on balls in play), power, patience and speed. The fun gets into the differences between how Cleveland manager Terry Francona used his bullpen to compensate when the rotation melted down, and how the Cubs churned through relief combinations before trading for Aroldis Chapman at the deadline. To some extent, both teams are where they are because of how well their answers worked out.neil: So we’re not seeing fluky teams! These two teams might legitimately be some of the very best in baseball! Seems like a departure from recent World Series history.christina: And yet — maybe it’s because I’m in Chicago — because of those injuries in the Indians’ rotation, folks are already anticipating a walkover. The last 15 years or so should perhaps suggest a little less overconfidence on this score. I can’t help but think of the 2006 or 2011 Cardinals as notable examples of underdog winners.rob: Right, and given that it’s only seven games, anything can happen.neil: Yeah, I was gonna ask because Rob mentioned that it was “a bit lopsided” — in baseball, that still doesn’t really mean either team is very likely to win over the other. At most maybe it’s 60-40, or 65-35, for the favorite?christina: Well, the Cubs should be favored, for all sorts of reasons about how awesome they are (not just because the Indians’ rotation is a shambles). And I think you’re right in terms of how far that lean should be. But I also remember “October unbeatable” Jon Lester losing a must-win game in 2014, so I tend not to believe in absolutes.rob: Yeah, and interestingly, everything from betting markets to our Elo ratings to FanGraphs’ simulations puts the probability between 60 to 70 percent for the Cubs. So that speaks again to the randomness of baseball — I think it would be hard to argue that the Cubs aren’t better than the Indians, but despite that edge they only have about a 2-in-3 chance.christina: To put it another way, this series doesn’t feel like the 1998 World Series, where there was almost no reason to watch unless you were a Yankees fan.neil: Hey! Those Padres had a pretty good seas… — ah, I can’t finish that thought. It was a rout. But this one, less so, it sounds like.Now, have we seen anything during the playoffs to make us think either team is better or worse than the yearlong numbers would indicate?rob: Yes, I think it’s fair to say that the Cleveland bullpen — and Francona’s clever use of it — gives the Indians a strong advantage that isn’t reflected in their regular-season numbers. The Cubs don’t really have anything comparable to that; although their bullpen is strong, Chapman doesn’t seem comfortable outside of the eighth or ninth innings. (Even then, he’s looked shaky at times.) I don’t think we can say with much confidence how much exactly fireman Andrew Miller is worth, in terms of series win probability. But I think he probably keeps things to closer to 60-40 than 70-30, as some outlier predictions would put it.christina: I do wonder how well the Cubs will do if the Indians get to their ’pen in the fifth, sixth or seventh innings. The Indians’ lineup has many strengths — it’s front-loaded with Carlos Santana leading off, it’s deep, and Francona isn’t afraid to use his bench. So in those middle-inning matchups, especially during games with the DH, I wouldn’t bet on Joe Maddon securing advantages as easily as he does against some NL opponents. A lot depends on whether the Indians get to the Cubs’ starters early — running up pitch counts, making them work from the stretch — and then forcing the game into the hands of relievers like Justin Grimm or Carl Edwards.neil: Speaking of the managers, this seems like it’s going to be a battle of two extremely smart, saber-savvy tacticians — perhaps the likes of which we’ve never seen before.christina: Well, let’s be fair, Howser vs. Herzog in 1985 was pretty awesome.neil: If you wanted Whiteyball, you got it with last year’s Royals. This year — well, it’s not exactly Moneyball that these two teams play, but maybe something in the same tradition at least.christina: But to your point, yes, it’s going to be a very interesting series in that regard, watching a couple of brilliant skippers with histories of putting players in a position to succeed. For those folks who say “managers don’t matter,” here are two great tacticians who are also extremely smart about how to manage people across six months, and who get the difference between managing the regular season and managing in October.rob: Yes, although Maddon’s strength seems to lie in the parts of baseball that still aren’t visible to us: chemistry, the clubhouse and getting the best performances out of players. Francona is probably good at that, too, but bullpen management is a visible manifestation of his skill, whereas the best we can do to quantify Maddon’s ability is look at how his teams consistently have positive run differentials.christina: Yeah, I wouldn’t put either over the other as far as people management. “Tito” and Maddon both deserve their reputations.neil: So, aside from the battle of managerial wits and the two bullpens, what else will you be keeping an eye on as key matchups in the series?rob: Christina mentioned above that Lester’s been incredible in the playoffs. That’s true — he’s Bumgarner-esque — but he has a critical weakness: the yips that prevent him from throwing over to first. In theory, that should make it easy to steal bases on him, but opponents have been curiously reluctant to exploit Lester’s flaw. The Dodgers tried — and failed — to do so, largely by dancing around between first and second, and Lester turned in another awesome start. But I do wonder if Francona’s tactical savvy can translate into more stolen bases and potentially weaken the Cubs’ best starter.neil: Do the Indians have base runners who might especially be able to take advantage of something like that?rob: The Indians had the third-best baserunning team in the majors, according to FanGraphs’ metrics. The Dodgers were 11th, although they had some good base stealers who just failed to convert. Jeff Sullivan posited that it’s a mental block for potential base stealers, as they are so unused to getting leads of 25 feet (or more!) that they don’t know what to do with them. That’s why I think it will mostly be a matter of Francona getting the base runners to actually take off, and not the skill of the base runners themselves. Almost any major leaguer should be able to get to second base before the throw when they have a 35-foot lead, as some of the Dodgers’ baserunners did: read more

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The best 8-start stretches of Tony Romo and Dak Prescott’s careers Dak Prescott9/11/1611/6/1630438.562.080.2 15Colt McCoy2010274+2.8+24.150.1 19947-1-01741 6Matt Leinart2006343+4.4+31.058.7 8Mike Glennon2013327+8.3+33.856.9 DATE RANGESTATS DURING 8 GAMES 10Russell Wilson2012287+5.0+27.353.4 5Matt Ryan2008273+9.9+30.961.8 Tony Romo12/6/099/26/1035333.761.177.2 13Teddy Bridgewater2014327+2.1+27.452.1 20146-2-01585 Best rookies through first 8 starts, 2006-2016 11Sam Bradford2010353+3.9+31.252.7 PLAYERYEARPLAYSAVERAGEREPLACEMENTTOTAL QBR Tony Romo9/21/1411/23/1426036.656.980.0 Source: ESPN Stats & Info Source: Pro-Football-Reference.com 4Cam Newton2011381+18.8+48.563.5 12Derek Carr2014327+1.3+26.652.6 9Andy Dalton2011306+4.8+28.455.7 Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is sailing into uncharted territory for a rookie passer. Prescott shined again in Dallas’s 35-10 rout of the Cleveland Browns Sunday, completing 21 of 27 passes for 247 yards (9.1 per attempt), three touchdowns and zero interceptions. According to ESPN’s Total Quarterback Rating (QBR), Prescott had the NFL’s top quarterbacking performance of the week,1Pending stats from Monday night’s Seahawks-Bills tilt. the second time in nine weeks he’s claimed top honors. All told, Prescott’s first eight starts are easily the best of any rookie signal-caller since ESPN began tracking QBR in 2006: PLAYERSTARTENDPLAYSPAAPARTOTAL QBR Tony Romo11/6/1112/24/1127334.055.376.1 Tony Romo9/23/0711/18/0731042.867.082.1 1Dak Prescott2016304+38.5+62.080.2 19936-2-01734 Romo’s 2007 stretch was actually preceded by two additional excellent starts (if we included overlapping stretches, parts of ’07 would show up as three of Romo’s top four stretches), so Prescott has to keep this up for a few more games to truly match Romo’s best stretch, but through eight games, he’s right there.3It’s also worth noting that Romo’s best stretch came early in his career — his second year as starter — so Prescott’s best days could be front-loaded as well.Prescott’s no mere game manager, either. In addition to ranking highly in QBR, he also ranks highly in stats that focus more on production — meaning yards, touchdowns and first downs. According to expected points added (EPA) relative to both the league average and the replacement level, Prescott’s current eight-start run is better than all but one of Romo’s eight-game stretches — that same 2007 period mentioned above. Rather than riding his teammates’ coattails, Prescott’s play has been one of the driving forces behind a squad that ranks second in offensive EPA but only 14th in EPA on both defense and special teams. 19965-3-01662 PAA = Points above averagePAR = Points above replacementResults were filtered to remove stretches that included games contained in a higher-ranking stretch.Source: ESPN Stats & Info POINTS ABOVE… 2Andrew Luck2012399+23.3+54.467.0 YEARRECORDELO RATING Although we don’t have QBR before 2006, Prescott also has the third-highest adjusted yards per attempt of any qualified2Minimum 100 pass attempts (or about 12.5 per team game). rookie passer through his team’s first eight games since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. He trails only Mark Rypien and Dan Marino, and although those two produced their numbers in a less passer-friendly environment than today’s NFL, they also threw less than half as many passes as Prescott has. Given all that, it’s tough to find a QB in history whose career has gotten off to a faster start than Prescott’s.Prescott has played so well, in fact, that he’s put the return of incumbent Cowboys starter Tony Romo on hold — perhaps indefinitely.As a stathead, I never bought into those silly arguments that Romo isn’t clutch, or that Dallas could never win a Super Bowl with him under center. Underneath all the hot takes he attracts, Romo has been one of his generation’s finest quarterbacks and one of the most efficient passers of all time — even after adjusting for the high-octane passing environment of the modern game. In terms of individual accomplishments, Romo has few quarterbacking peers.And yet, the case can be made that Prescott’s first eight starts have been as good as any eight (consecutive) starts Romo made in his entire career. According to QBR, Romo’s best set of eight straight starts came in 2007, between Weeks 3 and 11 of the 2007 season, when Romo posted an 82.1 mark on QBR’s 0-to-100 scale while throwing to Terrell Owens. That was the sole eight-start stretch of Romo’s career that was better than the only eight NFL starts Prescott has ever made: 7Ryan Tannehill2012289+0.5+23.158.4 19927-1-01663 14Marcus Mariota2015324+5.9+31.251.6 20167-1-01595 19957-1-01723 Speaking of which, the Cowboys are also off to one of their best starts in recent memory. This is the first time Dallas has won seven of its first eight games since 2007, and only the second time since 1995, the last time the team won the Super Bowl. And the Cowboys’ current Elo rating (our pet metric for estimating a team’s strength at a given moment) through eight weeks is the third-highest it’s been since Dallas’s dynasty days of the mid-1990s.Prescott is hardly the only Cowboy having a great season. Running back Ezekiel Elliott also leads the NFL in rushing yards, helping to power the second-best rushing attack in the league according to EPA. And, given his track record and what we know about his recovery so far, Romo would likely also be successful if he were slotted into Dallas’s lineup. (Though individual football players are often so interconnected with each other that it’s difficult to predict what will happen to the team when personnel changes.)But right now, Prescott has made just about as strong a case as possible that the Cowboys should stick with him going forward. Not only has he produced one of the best-ever first halves by a rookie QB, but he has also instantly played as well as Romo ever has. Now the only question is what he has in store for the back half of Dallas’s schedule. 19974-4-01579 20096-2-01617 3Robert Griffin III2012320+18.7+43.763.6 Best Cowboys teams through 8 games by Elo Rating, 1992-2016 20077-1-01619 read more

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