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Protesters hopeful on ticket prices

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first_img Press Association Football Supporters Federation (FSF) chief executive Kevin Miles attended the meeting with Scudamore along with representatives of fans’ groups from Liverpool, Manchester United, Tottenham and Arsenal. Miles said: “I’d like to say we’ve won an immediate reduction in all Premier League ticket prices – that’s not the case but we have been able to express, in the meeting and in terms of the numbers outside, the strength of feeling on the issue of ticket prices. “We got a response that was ‘willing to listen’. They shared some of our concerns and agreed to ongoing dialogue to try to come up with some solutions. We regard this as the start of a process rather than the end.” The Premier League continues to grow in wealth with a new three-year £5.5billion global television rights deal coming into effect from the start of the 2013-14 season. Calculations revealed by the FSF show that the increased revenue would be enough to cut the price of every ticket at every game by £51.30. The Premier League has previously said it encourages “stretch pricing”, where a range of prices are offered to ensure those with lower budgets are catered for. A statement read: “The Premier League today met with a group of supporters who took part in the demonstration outside our offices. It was a positive meeting in which we listened to the group and answered their questions. “In the meeting we explained that keeping attendances high is our top priority and that encouraging the attendance of locally-based supporters and incentivising away attendance are key parts of that. “While it is for individual clubs to set their ticket prices, we agreed with the group that we would further encourage stretch pricing at our clubs in order to make Premier League football available to a wide range of supporters. We recognise the commitment of attending fans and look forward to further discussing the matters raised with the Football Supporters’ Federation.” A group of fans believe they have made positive progress in their campaign for lower Premier League ticket prices following a protest in London.center_img Supporters from across the country gathered to demonstrate outside Premier League headquarters on Wednesday afternoon while a delegation met with the competition’s chief executive Richard Scudamore inside. Disgruntlement over the rising cost of attending matches, particularly away matches, has grown in recent years and notably commanded attention after Manchester City’s visit to Arsenal in January. City returned around one third of the 3,000 tickets they were allocated for the game after fans baulked at the £62 price. last_img read more

Accused Chinese Mar-a-Lago Intruder Wants to Represent Herself at Trial

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first_imgA Chinese woman charged with illegally entering President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort wants to represent herself in court.This morning a federal judge is set to rule on whether Yujing Zhang can fire her public defenders and represent herself. Zhang has pleaded not guilty to charges of trespassing at Mar-a-Lago and lying to Secret Service agents. Agents arrested the 33-year-old in March 2019 after they say she lied her way past several security checkpoints and onto Mar-a-Lago property. She later told the club’s receptionist she was there to attended a United Nations Chinese American Association event; an event which did not exist.Once detained, agents say they found Zhang carrying four cellphones, an external hard drive and a thumb drive with computer malware; prosecutors later said when the thumb drive was tested a second time the malware could not be detected.In her hotel room, investigators say they also found $8,000 in cash, nine USB drives, five SIM cards and a device that could possibly be used to detect hidden cameras.Last week, the assistant federal public defender wrote in court documents that Zhang would not meet with a psychologist but has appeared mentally competent in interviews with her attorneys.If convicted, Zhang faces up to five years in prison.Her hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday at the federal courthouse in Fort Lauderdale.last_img read more

How position players pitching became baseball’s new market inefficiency

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first_img“I think it comes about because of the specialization,” Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi said, “and you go through your seven or eight relief pitchers quicker than you used to.”According to research by the website FiveThirtyEight, teams used approximately 1.5 relief pitchers per game on average until about 1980. By the late 2000s, complete games were nearly extinct and teams were using three relievers per game. Meanwhile, roster limits did not change. Managers were still limited to 25 active players prior to Sept. 1 each year, but the demand for relief pitchers was never higher. Something had to give.Every team had between seven and nine relief pitchers on its roster as of Wednesday, according to Roster Resource. Each bullpen featured the kind of specialists Zaidi had in mind – a left-hander who only pitches to left-handed hitters, for example.“You might burn through those guys in eight innings and suddenly you need somebody else for the ninth,” Zaidi said.Some teams are better at rationing relief innings than others. The Angels are one of eight teams who have not sent a position player to the mound – other than Ohtani, of course. The Dodgers avoided using a position player until last Tuesday in Philadelphia when Kiké Hernandez took the mound in the 16th inning of a tie game. New York Mets pitcher Jose Reyes released the ball at an ungraceful sidearm angle. The 54-mph tumbler was recorded as a curveball, but it’s tough to say for sure. The baseball hit the batter, Ryan Zimmerman, with so little force that Zimmerman could actually smile and pretend to charge the mound before jogging to first base.Reyes threw three more pitches Tuesday night, all strikes. It was the first, and hopefully last, pitching appearance in the long career of a 35-year-old infielder. The Mets lost to the Washington Nationals 25-4, and Reyes was stuck with a 54.00 earned-run average.Excluding the Angels’ two-way star Shohei Ohtani, position players have made a record 46 appearances this season through Tuesday, according to Baseball Reference. Last year produced 36 such appearances, up from 26 in 2016. The reason behind the trend isn’t obvious because, naturally, position players are not very good at pitching. After Reyes’ gem, and excluding the nine starts by Ohtani, position players this year have a cumulative ERA of 6.00.So why do they keep getting the ball? Hernandez’s teammates swear he could pitch a baseball 93 or 94 mph if he wanted to, but his fastball averaged 77 mph that night. Manager Dave Roberts said he told Hernandez to “just throw strikes” and Hernandez acceded, apparently ot knowing his own control.Hernandez induced a flyout on his first pitch, walked the next two batters, then surrendered the game-winning home run to Trevor Plouffe. He is now 0-1 with a career ERA of 81.00. Roberts knew the risk – Hernandez had never pitched in a professional game – but he also had a new game to prepare for less than 12 hours later.When a manager runs out of pitchers or is on the losing end of a lopsided game, does the risk of sending a position player to the mound outweigh the risk of taxing his actual pitching staff further?“Part of baseball is you have to live to fight the next day,” Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “You really do. When we’re making that decision, that’s really what it’s about.”Counsell sent two position players to the mound in an 11-2 loss to the Dodgers on July 22 in Milwaukee: Hernan Perez pitched the seventh and eighth innings, and Erik Kratz pitched the ninth. Neither allowed a run.To the Dodgers hitters who had to face Perez and Kratz that day, it strained the definition of fun.“It’s completely different from what you’ve been seeing for years,” said Cody Bellinger, who lined out to left field against Perez.“It’s never really fun facing a position player,” Max Muncy said, “because you never know: are they just going to lob it over the plate? Once they get a strike on you, are they going to suddenly start – because every position player has a good arm – you never know if they’re going to rear back and throw it 90, start breaking off curveballs on you.”Sidearm curveballs at 54 mph, perhaps.That game in Milwaukee wasn’t even the most prolific for position players on a mound. Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon used three position players to finish an 18-5 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on July 20: Tommy La Stella, Victor Caratini and Ian Happ.Three position players had not pitched in the same game since 1979. Is there a tipping point in sight?“I think maybe this is a trend that we’ll see more two-way players,” Zaidi said. “You have obviously the high-end two-way player, like an Ohtani and like the kid (minor leaguer Brendan) McKay with Tampa. There are guys kind of on the bubble of major league rosters around baseball who have really strong two-way abilities.”The Dodgers tried to create a two-way player of their own. Outfielder Brett Eibner appeared in 17 major league games last year. He then returned to Triple-A and tried his hand as a pitcher, a role he thrived in at the University of Arkansas. Before he could even get into a game, Eibner suffered a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow and had Tommy John surgery, ending his season.Eibner only resurfaced last month in the Texas Rangers’ system – as a pitcher.“Unfortunately that didn’t work out with Brett,” Zaidi said, “but I would’ve liked to have had him on the bench in the 16th inning in Philly.”The Dodgers already have one of baseball’s most capable two-way players in their organization. As a pitcher, his career ERA is 3.56. As a batter, his average is .271. He even spent a full season as an outfielder in Japan. However, there are no plans for him to get in a game anytime soon. At 92 years old, special advisor Don Newcombe might not even get to pitch the 17th inning.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

La Russa to stay with Cardinals

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first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.“You’ve got to be honest, he’s probably the one guy who has issues with me,” La Russa said. “You hope he’s healthy, understand we have issues, and don’t let it get in the way.” A year after winning the World Series, the Cardinals endured a disappointing 78-win season. General Manager Walt Jocketty, who hired La Russa in 1995, was fired earlier this month. The 63-year-old La Russa never courted offers from other teams. He would have preferred the new GM give the OK for his return, but La Russa said it was important to finalize his status heading into free agency. Team chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said all the GM candidates he’s talked to have said they’d have no problem working with La Russa. “I’m real pleased it worked out,” La Russa said. “I’m thrilled to be back.” La Russa has led St. Louis to seven playoff appearances, six NL Central championships, two pennants and the 2006 World Series win over Detroit. His Oakland team won the 1989 World Series. DeWitt said he expects to hire a new GM by the end of the World Series. The candidates are all currently assistant GMs, including former Jocketty top aide John Mozeliak. Joe Girardi spoke with George Steinbrenner and they quickly found common ground: Northwestern football. “I talked to him about their 5-3 record and that they were one game from bowl eligibility and that was big for Northwestern, so we had some laughs about that,” Girardi said. Girardi is a Northwestern alumnus, and from his days as a catcher for the New York Yankees, he knew the owner is a former Northwestern assistant football coach. On Monday, they talked on a different level, with Girardi becoming the first person to interview as a potential replacement for departed manager Joe Torre. He struck a Steinbrenner-like tone. “I wouldn’t expect anything else from the players in New York or for myself but to be the best,” Girardi said. Yankees bench coach Don Mattingly, scheduled to be interviewed today, is considered the favorite. New York first base coach Tony Pena is slated for a Wednesday interview. “I choose not to place odds on anyone or to think that one person has an advantage over another,” Girardi said. Sometime in the future, once the biting sting of defeat eases, the Cleveland Indians will look back on a 2007 season that began in falling snow and ended with a stunning collapse. They’ll savor all the good moments. Not just yet. “Maybe in a week or so I’ll be able to reflect back and be like, `Wow, we had a pretty good season for a team that’s come a long way,”‘ Indians pitcher C.C. Sabathia said. “But right now it still hurts.” On Monday, just hours after their October odyssey stopped one win shy of the World Series with a Game 7 loss in the AL Championship Series at Boston, the Indians gathered for the final time at Jacobs Field. Silence replaced the usual laughter in the clubhouse. “We’ve got a lot of great young players,” first baseman Ryan Garko said. “We have a lot of kids. This is our first full season, myself included. We learned a lot about ourselves and what it’s like to play in the big leagues. We could be having games and seasons like that for a long time to come. Hopefully, we can keep getting back to the playoffs and Game 7s – and win a few.” ETC.: Baseball investigator George Mitchell, also a director for the AL champion Red Sox, denied providing information for a story that Indians pitcher Paul Byrd used human growth hormone. Before Game 7 on Sunday, Byrd acknowledged using HGH after the San Francisco Chronicle reported he spent nearly $25,000 on the drug and syringes from 2002-05 – before HGH was banned by Major League Baseball. Girardi starts Yankees interviews Indians are still hurting Around the leagues Royals: Trey Hillman is one of the few big league managers who has never coached or played in the majors. Will that matter? “It all depends on what you believe is major league baseball,” the new Kansas City skipper said, somewhat defensively. “In my humble opinion, I’ve been a major league manager for the last five years. We get after it in Japan.” After being introduced as the Royals’ 15th full-time manager, Hillman got ready to return to Japan to manage the Nippon Ham Fighters in their defense of Japan’s World Series championship. Red Sox: Boston is a 2-1 favorite to win the World Series and end the magical run of the Rockies. “Colorado is a real Cinderella story,” said Jay Kornegay, director of the sports book at the Las Vegas Hilton. “We’re just not sure when it’s going to strike midnight.” Las Vegas oddsmakers put the Red Sox at minus-$2, meaning every $2 bet will win $1 if Boston wins. Colorado is plus $1.70, meaning every $1 wins $1.70 if the Rockies take the Series. Rockies: Team officials said their computer system for online-only World Series ticket sales was the target of an “external malicious attack” that required a temporary suspension of ticket sales. The team said they have a backup plan that will allow online ticket sales to resume at noon today. Mariners: Seattle overhauled its coaching staff, hiring Mel Stottlemyre, Jim Riggleman and Norm Charlton. Stottlemyre, a former pitching coach with the Yankees and Mets, took the same position in Seattle. Riggleman, an ex-manager in the majors, will be the bench coach. Charlton, who spent 13 seasons as a relief pitcher in the big leagues, is the bullpen coach. Braves: Cardinals executive Bruce Manno was hired as assistant general manager of the Atlanta Braves in Frank Wren’s first move as GM since taking over after John Schuerholz stepped aside. Miscellany: Major League Baseball and Fox Sports executives don’t have to wonder about the ratings a World Series between small-market teams from Cleveland and Colorado would have drawn. Instead, they can bask in strong viewership numbers for the ALCS won by the Red Sox. Sunday’s Game 7 drew an 11.7 rating, which was 8 percent better than the 10.8 earned by last year’s NLCS Game 7 between the Cardinals and Mets. It was the highest-rated LCS game since 2004. The series attracted an average 7.4 rating, a 37 percent increase over the 5.4 for the four-game sweep by the Tigers of the A’s in last year’s ALCS.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! From news services Tony La Russa tended to his many pets on the West Coast for a week or so, and made up his mind. He wanted to keep managing. Now, he’s hoping the St. Louis Cardinals can make an equally quick decision on hiring a general manager. La Russa agreed Monday to a two-year contract to stay in St. Louis, confident the Cardinals can still be contenders. Whether he ever works out his rift with Scott Rolen, that remains to be seen. last_img