Jerome Thomas could have a future at West Brom, according to Albion coach Kevin Keen.Thomas impressed during a recent loan spell at Leeds, whose manager Neil Warnock is keen to take him to Elland Road on a permanent basis.But Keen believes the Wembley-born winger may have a pivotal role to play during the second half of the season.“Jerome went to Leeds and got himself fit,” said Keen.“He could have a massive part to play here because of the injury situation. He could become a mainstay of the team.”Thomas came on as a substitute during the Baggies’ 1-1 draw at QPR in the FA Cup.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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
adam popescu A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Tags:#web#Weekly Wrap-ups Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Who does the gold medal go to in social media Olympics coverage? Why is Apple suing every Android maker in sight? What is the underground Twitterverse? After the jump you’ll find more of this week’s top news stories on some of the key topics that are shaping the Web – Location, App Stores and Real-Time Web – plus highlights from some of our six channels. Read on for more.Social Olympics: Does The Gold Medal Go To Facebook, Twitter or Google+Yesterday we looked at how online media is covering the London 2012 Olympics. We gave our virtual gold medal to the New York Times, for its sleek design and muscular content. Today we review the major social media sites: Facebook, Twitter and Google+. To continue the Olympics theme, we award each of the three a different colored medal. Which one gets the gold? MoreThe Number That Shows Why Apple is Suing Every Android ManufacturersThe eyes of the technology world are focused on the epic patent struggle between Apple and Samsung – the latest iteration of Apple’s frantic legal battle against everything Android. MoreCharting the Underground Twitterverse [Infographic]How bad is the underground Twitter economy? According to security vendor Barracuda Labs, pretty bad. MoreMore Top StoriesDefusing the Corporate Social Media Timebomb.According to survey results from the Altimeter Group, nearly “two-thirds of companies surveyed say that social media is a significant or critical risk to their brand reputation.” MoreBurn After Calling: Disposable Phone NumbersThere’s always a pause after someone asks, “Can I have your number?” Someone’s silently wondering if complying will mean trouble. What if you didn’t have to worry about about that? MoreSocial Revolution: Crowdsourcing For ChangeIn the world of technology, we’re used to upheaval. In fact, we rely on it to drive innovation and improvements. So why can’t we use technology to solve some of the underlying problems we all agree need to change? MoreWhy Lenovo Believes in Windows 8 Tablets – Even if Acer Doesn’tJust hours after Acer’s CEO complained that Microsoft’s Surface tablet would generate a “negative impact” on the tablet market, Lenovo announced its own entrant to the Surface market, the ThinkPad Tablet 2. Clearly, Lenovo sees a market for a Windows 8 tablet that Acer does not. MoreAmber Case’s Illustrated Dictionary of Cyborg AnthropologyHumans, dogs, bees and even the computers themselves all use information technology to extend themselves. We’re all cyborgs. We may not realize it, but we are. MoreGoogle Shows Off Its Latest “Baby Steps” Toward Becoming the Star Trek ComputerOn Wednesday, Google announced new natural-language voice search on iOS, new, touch-friendly Web interfaces for its answers, and an ambitious, voluntary experiment to bring your Gmail messages into search results. Google wants to be like the Star Trek computer when it grows up, letting us ask questions naturally about anything and get a compelling answer right back. MoreMicrogrids and Solar Power, the Answer to India’s Power CrisisAs India experienced its worst power failure ever last week, leaving 600 million people without electricity, disrupting the operation of hospitals and public services and shutting down transportation in key regions vital to the country’s economy, New Delhi will have to face up to some critical power realities. MoreReadWriteWeb ChannelsStart10 Ways Startups Can Track Trends: And Why Itâ€™s So Important8 Indispensable Qualities For Your First Startup Hire Want Your Startup to Succeed? Stay HomeBizDear Marissa Mayer: Don’t Change YahooAmazon Gets Ready for Sales TaxesEnterpriseFollow ReadWriteEnterprise on Twitter.The New Microsoft Office: 20 Things to Like, Not Like and Worry AboutUtilities and Other Industries Not Ready for Big Data, Say New Oracle ReportsDonâ€™t Believe the Doomsayers: Microsoftâ€™s Q4 Results Are Good News CloudWhat’s Killing the Printer Business?Is a VMware/EMC Cloud Spin-Off in the Works?HackFollow ReadWriteHack on Twitter.Copyright Enforcement Irony: Hip Hopper Lord Finesse Silences YouTube Rapper Dan BullMobileFollow ReadWriteMobile on Twitter.Tablets & PCs: One Industry or Two?ReadWriteWeb CommunityYou can find ReadWriteWeb in many places on the Web, a few of which are below.ReadWriteWeb on FacebookReadWriteWeb on TwitterReadWriteWeb on Google+ReadWriteWeb on LinkedInReadWriteWeb on PinterestSubscribe to the ReadWriteWeb Weekly Wrap-upWant to have this wrap up delivered to you automagically? You can subscribe to the Weekly Wrap-up by RSS or by email. Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting
Given the inanity that is our current patent system, it’s not surprising that innocent patent holders can look like trolls. Such might well be the case with SightSound Technologies, a subsidiary of General Electric, which has spent years in patent lawsuits with Apple, CDNow, Bertelsmann, Napster and others. As SightSound’s CEO Scott Sander argues in a letter to The Wall Street Journal editor, “true innovators [can be] so burdened by the cost of the very patents meant to protect them that they themselves must become an ‘assertion’ entity.” Or, in other words, a patent troll.But when is a patent troll not a patent troll? And is it ever right to become a patent troll as an allegedly defensive maneuver?Is Being First Enough?According to Sander, SightSound owns a portfolio of 50 patents related to media downloads, and claims to have been the first to sell both music (1995) and movie (1999) downloads. Of course, a quick Google search reveals that others were offering subscriber-only music downloads before 1995, e.g., Compuserve, and the Internet Underground Music Archive was offering free downloads in 1993. Movies? They were available for free before 1999 and some organizations like the American Film Institute offered movies on their website.But let’s not let historical accuracy get in the way of a good argument.The reality is that under U.S. patent law, SightSound didn’t need to be the first to file for a patent, nor did it need to be the first to make its patent-pending product available to the public. While the U.S. has recently joined the rest of the planet in adopting a “first to file” rule for patents, formerly the only requirement was that you be able to demonstrate that you were the first to invent. Courts have sided with SightSound against both CDNow, N2K, Roxio, Bertelsmann and Napster, but Sanders asserts “We now find ourselves defending our patent rights against Apple, which copied our business, our technology, and our innovative pricing model, all of which were presented by us directly to the future infringer in 1999.”Compelling, yes? Well, maybe. If you look at SightSound’s website, you won’t find the obligatory customer case studies. In fact, the website is heavy on assertions that it was first to do this or that, with descriptions of its core technology, and little mention of actual products. On its news page, the company links to a series of court victories. Trolling, much?Yet this is where defining a “troll” becomes difficult.Just What Is A Troll, Anyway?Most characterize patent trolls as non-practicing entities (NPEs), that is, companies that don’t actually build anything beyond lawsuits and cease-and-desist letters. In Sander’s mind, the definition needs to be enlarged:SightSound raised capital precisely because its patents protected its first-mover position. We used that capital to hire talented engineers attracted to the prospect of launching not just a company, but an entire industry. We were subsequently forced to defend our patents endlessly in court against larger, well-funded, heavily lawyered infringers. An infringer with a $100 billion war chest can make a mockery of the current patent system as much as trolls do.To Sander, a patent troll might also include larger companies who can afford to steamroller smaller rivals, no matter the validity of their patents. The reality of our system is that few can afford to litigate their patent portfolios, and hence larger companies with deeper pockets invariably win any long-term patent suit (and given the pace of U.S. courts, they’re always long-term).A Clear Test Of TrolldomSander proposes that we eliminate the ambiguity with a bright-line test: “Is the patent owner the first to invent, the first to file and the first to make the product or provide the service? If so, it cannot be a troll.”What do you think? I personally like the test, but it’s hard to square it with SightSound’s history of litigation. Because that also makes a company a patent troll in my mind: if they’re more interested in litigating than building, to me they’re a troll.Sander says it’s a troll purely out of necessity, but does that hold up with you? A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#patent troll#Patents#SightSound Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts Matt Asay 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market
The Jammu and Kashmir unit of the BJP on Saturday said the party was open to a debate over Article 35A of the Constitution, which confers special status to permanent residents of the state, as protests continued against the August 6 Supreme Court hearing on petitions challenging the provision.The apex court is hearing a batch of petitions in the matter, including the one filed by an RSS-linked NGO ‘We the Citizens’, seeking quashing of the article.“The BJP is open to a debate with anyone or any political party on whether or not Article 35A is in the interest of the people of the state. We are extending an open invitation,” the state BJP chief spokesperson Sunil Sethi told reporters here.He said over the last few days, the political climate in the state has heated up over Article 35A and some political parties, especially those active in Kashmir, have taken an “anti-national and anti-people” stand on the issue.Targeting the National Conference (NC) and the Congress, Mr. Sethi said people in the Valley are being misled over Article 35A by being told that it is for their betterment and in the interest of the state.“The continuation of Article 35A will not have any benefit for the state. The central government has pumped crores of rupees into the state over the last 70 years but the development has not been as it should have been,” he said.He said Article 35A has acted as an obstacle in the state’s development because it did not allow outside investment.“Investors do not come here to set up Infrastructure. The youth are not getting the jobs,” he added. The BJP spokesperson alleged some politicians want to maintain the position for vote bank politics.Responding to a statement by the NC’s provincial president Devender Singh Rana that the special provision was introduced by Maharaja Hari Singh to safeguard the interests of the state, Mr. Sethi said the situation was different from what it was now when the law was enacted.“It was a princely state and not a part of India at that time. After accession, Jammu and Kashmir became part of India,” he said.“When we are a part of India then what is the need for separate provisions and that too when it has created hurdles in the development and is also discriminatory in nature,” he added.Accusing Mr. Rana of playing politics over the name of Maharaja Hari Singh, Mr. Sethi said it was the NC and the Congress who conspired to send the king out of the state and did not allow him to return till death.As a result of Article 35A, West Pakistan refugees, who came to the state in 1947, have been denied the right of being state subjects, which was promised to them, and local girls who marry outside the state lose their right over property, he said.“Jammu and Kashmir is not for foreigners but West Pakistan refugees are Indians and can live anywhere in the country, but not Rohingyas and Bangladeshi nationals,” he said.“My appeal to the people of Jammu and Kashmir is to understand the real purpose of Article 35A. It is like an iron chain which is keeping us from moving forward. If the state subject laws change, it will benefit the state,” Mr. Sethi said.He said if the article is repealed, new laws could be made to pave way for industrial growth and to prevent outsiders from settling in residential areas.Article 35A, which was incorporated in the Constitution by a 1954 Presidential Order, accords special rights and privileges to the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir and denies property rights to a woman who marries a person from outside the state. The provision, which leads such women from the state to forfeit their right over property, also applies to their heirs.
Also joining in the contest were San Sebastian’s RK Ilagan, EAC’s Sidney Onwubere, Letran’s Jerrick Balanza, Lyceum’s Spencer Pretta, JRU’s Karl Bordon, Arellano’s Brylle Meca, and St. Benilde’s Matt Johnson. SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Read Next Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netAlmel Orquina shrugged off flu and came out of nowhere to win the Three-Point Shootout Friday in the 2017 NCAA All-Star at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.The Mapua sophomore shot 15 points in the final round, with the title-clinching basket coming from the moneyball of the fourth rack to fend off Perpetual’s Jack Hao, who had 10 points, in the championship round.ADVERTISEMENT “I didn’t really expect this. I still feel weak, but I was able to recover,” shared Orquina. “In my mind, I just wanted to enjoy this because this is my first time.”The sniper said that wins like these are big for the cellar-dweling Cardinals as they look for a silverlining in preparation for the second round.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“For me, this is really important. We’re already playing bad, so at least, awards like these allows us to redeem ourselves a bit,” he said.Orquina dethroned defending champion AC Soberano of San Beda, who only had 14 in the first round. Federer edges Youzhny in 5 sets at US Open; Nadal needs 4 MOST READ WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES View comments
FILE PHOTOMore than improving its standings, Cignal HD will be looking to cheer up injured leader Jovelyn Gonzaga when it battles Sta. Lucia Realty on Thursday in the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga Grand Prix at Filoil Flying V Centre.Cignal coach George Pascua reported that no fracture had been found on Gonzaga’s right knee which she injured last Tuesday in losing to runaway leader F2 Logistics.ADVERTISEMENT Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Winless Victoria Sports-UST is hoping to hop off the basement when it takes on Iriga City in the other match.A win by the Tigresses would revive their chances of making the quarterfinals as only one squad will get eliminated.Rachel Anne Daquis suited up for Cignal HD after missing two games but her presence hardly mattered after F2 Logistics scored a 25-22, 25-13, 25-12 rout to occupy solo top spot.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES View comments Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice “This is a major challenge for us,” said Pascua, “This is the perfect time for us to step up together and play as a team. We know Jovelyn really wants to win. She’s a fighter. We have to help her emotionally by winning this match for her.”Underrated opposite hitter Mylene Paat is expected to fill in Gonzaga’s shoes as they take on the struggling Lady Realtors.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutOne more thing going against the HD Spikers is the fact that they have lost three of their last four matches, while the Lady Realtors are bent on scoring a win that would put them up the elimination ladder.But Sta. Lucia is likely to also miss a key player as import Marisa Field is out due to knee injury for two games. QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Kris Aquino ‘pretty chill about becoming irrelevant’ Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Oiling machine fuels success of PH bowlers Read Next MOST READ
TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Phelan admits he was reluctant to return to Man Utdby Paul Vegasa day agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United assistant Mike Phelan has admitted he was reluctant to return to the club.Phelan left the club in 2013 but was offered a role in Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s backroom staff last December.He told The Athletic: “I was down at Burnley College doing a coaching day and out on the pitch. About 3 o’clock, I finish and turn my phone on.”There is a call from Ole and another from Ed Woodward. Ole offered me the job and there was no real discussion. ‘Yeah, I’ll do it.'”Going back into Carrington, I was really, really nervous. We’d won the league by a canter when I left. But I didn’t know what to expect.”I had heard a lot of things in my time out about how it was operating. I just thought, ‘I’ll be myself.”And it was like I’d never been away. Surreal. We just brought back a bit of a feelgood factor.”
New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday approached the Supreme Court of India with a petition against the protection of arrest granted to former Income Tax official, SK Srivastava, who was earlier this year compulsorily retired by the Central government on charges of corruption.The Orissa High Court had granted the controversial former civil servant protection from arrest in a CBI case, where the agency had accused him of passing income tax appeals orders in favour of certain assessees and backdating them to an earlier date, in exchange for undue favours. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The CBI had on Wednesday mentioned the matter to a bench headed by Justice NV Ramana, who subsequently allowed the matter to be heard. Soon after Srivastava was compulsorily retired along with several other senior officers of the Income Tax department, the CBI had registered a corruption case against him and raided 13 of his premises, recovering jewellery worth Rs 2.47 crore, Rs 16.44 lakh in cash and watches worth Rs 10 lakh. The probe agency had also found Rs 1.3 crore in bank accounts belonging to him and his family members along with incriminating documents and electronic evidence, officials had said at the time. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KSources here had said that Srivastava had employed a private individual by the name of Amardas to write and type up the appeal orders for him when he was posted as CIT Appeals 1 in Noida and held additional charge of Appeals 2 in Noida in exchange for a monthly salary. In fact, officials here said that Srivastava had decided on 104 IT appeals out of which 13 cases were out of his jurisdiction and purportedly uploaded the orders sometime June 2019, backdating them to December 2018. The CBI has alleged that Srivastava accessed the internal ITBA system of his office between June 11 and June 13 with his RSA token to upload the backdated orders. An RSA token is a personalised pass key issued to officials which allows them to access the ITBA system. Srivastava, a 1989-batch IRS officer, was compulsorily retired on June 10. Moreover, he allegedly manipulated the dispatch records to show that he had dispatched these orders on June 7 when in fact, they were dispatched on June 14. Sources here added that the appeals orders were suspected to be passed in exchange for undue favours.
When Bryce Harper was introduced by the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday in Clearwater, Florida, and slipped on a red pinstriped No. 3 jersey, the amount of fanfare that greeted him hadn’t been seen since the team traded for Roy Halladay in 2009. The club reportedly sold 100,000 tickets to regular-season games within hours of Harper’s signing. The Phillies hope it ushers in an era of sustained competitive baseball with Harper as a $330 million keystone. After all, what made Harper so promising was not only his talent but also his relative youth, as a 26-year-old free agent.Harper should still be productive in the near term and deliver important wins for the Phillies (after the signing, FiveThirtyEight’s projections for the 2019 season bumped the Phillies up to 84 wins, from 82, although other sites have been more bullish). But as we wrote last week, Harper’s consistency is a concern. Historical comps for a player with Harper’s unusual and volatile career to date suggest that he might have already peaked and that star-level players, in general, have reached their peaks by age 26. Since we are already in the habit of raining on the parade in Philadelphia, let’s look under the hood at Harper’s underlying stats and see where the specific problems may reside.For starters, Harper’s defensive metrics fell off a cliff last season.According to an average of Defensive Runs Saved (which Baseball-Reference.com uses for its defensive WAR) and Ultimate Zone Rating (FanGraphs’s metric of choice), Harper was the second-worst right fielder in the game (-12 runs saved compared with average) and the fourth-worst center fielder (-9 runs saved). Harper played 860 innings in right and 477 innings in center last season. And if Harper becomes more and more a one-dimensional player, in an era in which his power hitting stands out less, he loses relative value.But perhaps those concerns are a little overblown. Although baseball’s defensive metrics are getting better all the time, they are still prone to big swings between seasons. In 2017, before the big decline last season, Harper was actually 3 runs better than an average right fielder. His 24-run drop ranks second-worst among outfielders under age 271As of June 30 of the season in question. who played the same position for the same team in back-to-back years between 20022The first season of granular, pitch-level data at FanGraphs. and 2018, trailing only Matt Kemp (who fell from being exactly average in 2009 to 31 runs below average in 2010). In the season after that, Kemp still wasn’t good — he was -6 relative to an average CF — but he at least reclaimed some of the ground he’d lost in his annus horribilis.As it turns out, that’s a pretty common story if we look at the rest of the outfielders who met our qualifications from above and dropped off by at least 15 runs in a season since 2002: The fates of outfielders with Harper-esque defensive dropsPlayers who had a decline of at least 15 defensive runs* relative to average in a season since 2002, were younger than 27 and played in the same position for the same team There were some other players who experienced the same kinds of defensive declines and responded by changing positions entirely. (Such as Mark Teahen, Adam Eaton and Marlon Byrd.) But among those who stayed at the same position, they averaged to be about half as bad (relative to average) in the following season as they’d been in the decline year, regaining about 20 percent of their previous form.In the end, though, the Phillies are paying Harper to produce runs and hit homers. So perhaps the more troubling trend of Harper’s for the Phillies is his failure to address holes in his swing.Harper’s ability to make contact has been in decline. Last season, his rate of contact on pitches in the strike zone was the fourth-lowest among qualified hitters, dropping from 84 percent in 2017 to 78 percent in 2018. His strikeout rate rose by 4.2 percentage points, the 24th-greatest increase in the majors. Since 2015, his 15-game rolling average regarding contact ability (on all pitches) has been volatile but gradually declining.According to Statcast data from Baseball Savant, Harper’s whiff rate against fastballs3Four-seam fastballs, two-seam fastballs and sinkers. increased from 15.2 percent in 2016, to 20.2 percent in 2017 to 26.4 percent last season (ranking as the 36th-highest whiff rate in 2018 among 352 batters to offer against at least 200 fastballs). Against fastballs 95 mph and faster, Harper’s whiff rate increased from 18.8 percent in 2016 to 22.0 percent in 2017 to 31.5 percent in 2018.Harper has always had a weakness against up-and-away fastballs. Since 2015, he has swung and missed at a 40.7 percent rate when offering at up-and-away four-seam fastballs.Last season, Harper swung at 111 four-seam fastballs in those zones and whiffed 52 times, a 46.8 percent rate.While defensive metrics can still be somewhat volatile from year to year,4Even among players who stayed at the same position in back-to-back years, the correlation between a player’s percentile rank at his position in defensive runs per inning from year to year is 0.36 since 2002. a player’s contact rate is much “stickier”5The same correlation for a batter’s strikeout rate in back-to-back seasons is 0.79. — suggesting that big changes in the ability to make contact are more likely to represent a real change in skills and not just random variance.It’s not all bad news at the plate, however: Against fastballs,6Again, four-seam fastballs, two-seam fastballs and sinkers. Harper hit .306, with a .651 slugging percentage, according to Baseball Savant data.Because Harper was effective when making contact against fastballs, perhaps he was trading the ability to make contact for more power. What he has not done is change his swing plane, according to launch angle data. His average launch angle was 14.5 degrees in 2015, 14.6 in 2016, 13.6 in 2017 and 13.9 in 2018. His pull rate did spike, jumping from 35.5 percent in 2017 to 42.3 percent in 2018.Harper has elite plate discipline. He has elite power. But not every player who has made power gains in recent years — see Mookie Betts, Francisco Lindor, Justin Turner and Jose Ramirez — has had to sacrifice contact. And the best, most efficient offensive performers typically do not trade contact for power.What’s concerning is that even though some traits age well, like plate discipline, power generally does not. So if Harper’s defense continues to decline and he’s limited to a corner outfield position and continues to lose contact ability — if he becomes a Three True Outcomes hitter — he probably won’t age as the Phillies would like. He would likely morph from a highly sought-after asset, a 26-year-old star free agent, to the type of player easily found (a Three True Outcomes corner outfielder).Because Harper was a prodigy in part as a result of relentless work and practice at a young age, he may have fulfilled his potential soon after his arrival in the majors. But he doesn’t have to be Trout-like to justify his contract. At $25.4 million per year, the Phillies are not paying him as an elite superstar. And if Harper helps Philadelphia add another World Series banner to Citizens Bank Park in the not-too-distant future, then it will likely be $330 million well spent regardless of how well he ages. Luis Matos2003-0524-26CF+9-8-2 Matt Kemp2009-1124-26CF0-31-6 Fielding Runs vs. Avg Jeff Francoeur2007-0923-25RF+20-3+4 Mike Trout2012-1420-22CF+15-5-9 Jay Bruce2010-1223-25RF+180-3 Historical playersYearsAgesPosYear 1Year 2Year 3 Bryce Harper2017-1924-26RF+3-20? current playersYearsAgesPosYear 1Year 2Year 3 From ABC News: Fielding Runs vs. Avg * According to an average of the defensive metrics found at Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs.Minimum 700 innings in all years. Ages are as of June 30 of the season in question.Sources: Baseball-Reference.com, FanGraph Andre Ethier2007-0925-27RF+4-11-11 Nick Markakis2008-1024-26RF+17-5-8 Odubel Herrera2017-1925-27CF+6-11?
The legacy of the rivalry between Ohio State and the University of Michigan is historically centered around football. However, ill will and passion for beating the other team holds no barrier between sports. The OSU women’s tennis team celebrated that thrill of victory defeating Michigan Friday afternoon, 5-1.OSU and Michigan came into Friday’s match ranked fourth and 10th nationally, according to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s rankings.After reaching the semifinals of the ITA National Indoor Championships before losing to North Carolina, the win against the Wolverines was a nice rebound for the Buckeyes.Starting off in doubles, OSU was awarded the doubles point after winning two of three matches to take the early 1-0 advantage.The senior duo of Sandy Niehaus and Gabriella De Santis won a close set by tiebreaker, 7-6 (7-2). Seniors Miho Kowase and Ferny Angeles Paz 6-1 victory compensated for Michigan’s lone doubles win over Buckeyes sophomore Francesca Di Lorenzo and junior Anna Sanford, 6-3.Three-time ITA national champion and top-ranked Di Lorenzo led the way first for the Buckeyes, disposing of Michigan sophomore Brienne Minor in straight sets, making quick work and another point for the Buckeyes, 6-1, 6-2.Kowase followed with another victory for the Buckeyes to stretch the lead to 3-0, defeating Michigan junior Mira Rider-Hook in similar fashion, 6-0, 6-3.Needing only one more point for the clincher and the match victory, OSU needed just one of four remaining singles matches to capture the win.They’d get two out of three wins, with De Santis winning 6-3, 6-3 and Angeles Paz finishing off freshman Valeria Patiuk 6-3, 6-1, with the final score being 5-1 OSU and the two remaining matches being abandoned.“You couldn’t ask for anything more, to be able to rebound and a chance to play Michigan at home in a couple days. So, it’s something that these guys definitely get up for and try to move on from the tough loss,” OSU coach Melissa Schaub said. “We’re going to come in here and fight hard. We were just able to get it done in front of our fans.”Di Lorenzo echoed her coach’s sentiment about bouncing back for a team win against a top-ten opponent in rival Michigan.“It feels really good and it was a quick turnaround, having to play Michigan, they’re our rival and they’re an unbelievable team and very competitive and strong,” she said. “Although we had a tough loss last weekend, we’re going to have to come back stronger and forget about it and just learn from it and move on, and I think that’s what we did today.”