MLB Draft 2019: The five best things you probably didn’t see

first_imgMORE: Live 2019 MLB Draft tracker for Rounds 1-10Here are some: A packed houseIn years past, Studio 42 hasn’t really been Studio 54 when it comes to action and population. In 2019, it was the opposite.For those unfamiliar with Studio 42 — a replica baseball stadium that doubles as a TV studio for MLB Network — it comes complete with seats that are … sittable. While only four players attended this year’s draft, there was barely an empty seat in the house among media, family members and others. The MLB Draft is growing, or at least it seems to be.Swish and the Crash Test Dummy dap it upOakland A’s players have a very particular persona. Usually loud, exciting and with more energy than a Labrador, Oakland is one of the few franchises that has a palpable attitude.Nick Swisher, the player rep for Yankees, and Eric Byrnes, player rep for the A’s, exchanged a big-time bro hug and a few words before the draft got underway. I wish I was a fly on the wall for that conversation. It probably went something like this:Swisher:  BRO!Byrnes: DUDE!Swisher:  BRO!Byrnes:  DUDE!Swisher:  BRO!Byrnes:  DUDE!Swisher:  BRO!Byrnes:  DUDE!I’m surprised the universe didn’t implode from the sheer force of  bro  that happened between the two, but it was very clearly an exciting, animated conversation. Use your imaginations for the rest.MORE: Watch ‘ChangeUp,’ a new MLB live whiparound show on DAZNByrnes gets pumped for Giants pickAs previously mentioned, Eric Byrnes is a pretty excitable man. That was especially apparent when the Bay Area team opposite his A’s made its pick. Byrnes was admittedly biased when Hunter Bishop’s name was called. He stood up, fist pumped and clapped his hands, visibly excited for Bishop.Byrnes said he saw Bishop play at his alma mater, Arizona State, in his freshman year and knew then he was going to be a special player.Well, Byrnes is a soothsayer, apparently.The Big Unit’s fashion statementOn the night of the draft, it was about 75 degrees and sunny in Central New Jersey. Shorts and T-shirt weather, really. But the second you step inside of Studio 42, it’s like Mr. Freeze’s secret lair in “Batman & Robin.” It’s an icebox. It takes a special type of dude to rock a leather jacket in June, and it’s safe to say that Randy Johnson is special. Johnson, Hall of Fame pitcher and player rep for the Diamondbacks, decided to suit up in none other than a polo and leather jacket, striding through Studio 42 before and during the draft, too cool for school. While everyone else was wearing suits and ties, Johnson couldn’t have been more Johnson.The Fonz. Danny Zuko. Randy Johnson.Jack and Jackson snap a photoWashington’s first-round pick, Jackson Rutledge, is an absolute unit. I was in awe at the size of that lad.  The 6-8 righty pitcher was thrilled to join the Nationals, getting an opportunity to speak with team reps Jack McKeon and Johnny DiPuglia for a photo opportunity DiPuglia snapped a pic of the towering Rutledge with the noticeably shorter McKeon. Just before DiPuglia grabbed a second photo, he lowered the camera and said, “He’s a little taller than you, Jack.” The peanut gallery laughed.Deadpan humor is the best humor. SECAUCUS, N.J. — The MLB Draft might not have the pageantry, glitz or glamour of other sports drafts, but it still lends itself to cool stories for the die-hard baseball nerds.Amateur players, Hall of Famers, notable baseball folks and big-time personalities take to Studio 42 for the draft every year, but it’s what you don’t always see on TV or in pictures that makes for some of the best stories.last_img read more

Who is Isaiah Simmons & what is his position? Five fast facts about Clemson’s do-it-all 2020 NFL Draft superstar

first_imgThe former Clemson defensive superstar will be going high in the first round to make more big plays all over the field for his new team. For those NFL teams who don’t feel comfortable to take Simmons because they don’t know what position he should play for them, consider it their loss.Sporting News talked to Simmons before the draft as part of his partnership with Oikos Triple Zero and its new “Flex your Cry-ceps” ad. In conjunction with the campaign, Simmons will be among several top draftees attending a virtual after party DJ’ed by Shaquille O’Neal on Instagram Live at 10 p.m. ET on Thursday night.MORE NFL DRAFT:Full pick order | Top 100 players | SN’s latest mock draft”As an athlete, everybody’s locked into everyone’s physical strength, but as I’ve been going through this process and preparing for this moment, I’ve really thought about the emotional strength as well,” Simmons said. “it really hit home for me. It’s the ‘Cry-ceps’ — you can’t do better than that.”While we wait to see whether Simmons sheds tears when getting the call to the NFL while being surrounded by a small group of family and friends on Thursday night, here’s what you need to know about the dynamic all-around defender:What position does Isaiah Simmons play?Simmons (6-4, 238 pounds) was recruited to Clemson from Olathe, Kansas, as a defensive back. After redshirting as a freshman, he proved his worth as a coverage safety right away but also showed signs he could do much more with his tackling and ability to get to the quarterback.That brought up the idea to switch his “regular” position to linebacker in 2018. He responded with 89 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, an INT and a TD to help the Tigers win a national championship. Last season, he stuffed the stat sheet at a whole new level of dominance with 104 tackles, 7 sacks, 3 interceptions and a forced fumble in another 15-game slate.Simmons graduated in December, on top of winning the Butkus Award as the nation’s best linebacker. That made it an easy choice to enter the draft after peak accomplishments at Clemson.He knows what word best describes himWhen asked to sum up his best quality, Simmons went to the label given to him by every draft evaluator in 2020: “There’s no other word but versatile.”Simmons’ transition from safety to linebacker had a final wrinkle where he called upon to extend and play other positions too to maximize certain defensive sets. from end to cornerback.”My last season at Clemson was the first time we did that,” Simmons said. “It was kind of experimental week to week and what I actually was going to do. The experiments were all successful.”Simmons also was blessed with amazing instincts to diagnose and make plays all over the field, something many young NFL players can’t be taught.”It was mainly just natural. The more I learned about the positions, the more natural it was for me,” Simmons said. “It wasn’t just about learning what I did, but also learning what everyone else did.”Isaiah Simmons NFL Combine highlightsSimmons, in addition to measuring extremely well, ran the 40-yard dash in 4.39 seconds, vertical-jumped 39 inches and broad-jumped 11 inches in Indianapolis. If indeed the 2020 Combine was “Underwear Olympics,” one should consider Simmons among the top “decathletes” in the 2020 draft class. Simmons’ 40 tied for No. 6 across positions, matching some of the speediest wideouts and cornerbacks. He was tied for 11th overall in the broad jump. With Clemson able to conduct a Pro Day, too, his kept up his impressive numbers there.”I understand that was definitely being evaluated for two different positions,” Simmons said of his pre-draft process. “I did everything I possibly could to stay ready and prepared for safety or linebacker, whatever a team was thinking about me needing to play. I felt I was already ready more so than needing to get ready for that.”He likens his game to two NFL safetiesSimmons has paid attention to linebackers who play like safeties in the NFL — and also vice versa. “It wouldn’t say I watched a lot of guys when I was young, but now it’s Derwin James and Tyrann Mathieu, because they play simliar roles with their versatility.”He doesn’t care about the naysayers and will play anywhereTo borrow from his Clemson coach Dabo Swinney, “it’s crazy” to think Simmons is being downgraded by some teams who overlook his elite bottom-line playmaking and are getting caught up in not being able to slot him into a particular traditional spot in their defense. “I am not frustrated by that,” Simmons said. “If an NFL coach doesn’t think that I fit in his system, it is what is. I know I’ll find a home somewhere.”As for what position becomes his primary home, he’s just looking forward to pick up where he left off doing everything for Clemson. “I feel very comfortable,” Simmons said. “I have no doubts I can do it.” Is Isaiah Simmons the top linebacker prospect in the 2020 NFL Draft? Or is he the best safety prospect in the class?Who cares?last_img read more

Gas Pipeline Application

first_imgIf approved, the project would ship as much as 4.2 (b) billion cubic feet per day through a pipeline from the Cypress area (southwest of Pink Mountain) to the Ridley Island Terminal, near Prince Rupert.  The proposal now undergoes a 30-day screening stage. The project has been in the planning stages for the better part of three years and includes input from the aboriginal and local communities that would be impacted.  “This marks a key milestone for our project, and a step towards growing new markets for B.C.’s abundant natural gas supplies” according to Spectra President Doug Bloom.  “The application reflects detailed scientific, technical, heritage research and fieldwork.”However, before the pipeline receives final approval, it will still need a second-round of public feedback including the thoughts of the federal and provincial levels of government.- Advertisement -To date, there’s been no mention of a timeline, should the project go ahead.last_img read more

China Lifts Ban on US Poultry Imports

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Todd NeeleyDTN Staff ReporterOMAHA (DTN) — Poultry exports from the United States to China will resume after the Chinese government lifted a four-year ban on Thursday, as the nation struggles to meet protein demands in light of the African swine fever outbreak.The lifting of the ban is effective immediately. China imposed the ban in 2015, responding to avian influenza outbreaks in the U.S.; the U.S. has been free of avian influenza since 2017.The news was welcome relief for U.S. poultry producers. The National Chicken Council, National Turkey Federation and the USA Poultry and Egg Export Council released a joint statement following the announcement.“Lifting the ban has been a top priority of the U.S. poultry industry for the past four years,” the groups said. “We thank President Trump, Agriculture Secretary (Sonny) Perdue, U.S. Trade Representative (Robert) Lighthizer, Treasury Secretary (Steve) Mnuchin, congressional leaders and their staffs, all of whom have worked tirelessly to reach an agreement with China and ensure the poultry industry has access to this market.”At its peak, annual poultry exports from the U.S. to China was a $71 million market for turkey and a $722 million market for chicken. The groups said renewed access to the Chinese market could result in $1 billion annually for “chicken paws alone.”In addition, they said there could be another $1 billion of potential exports of other chicken products, including leg and breast meat. Turkey exports could generate another $100 million in sales and poultry breeding stock at least $60 million more.“America’s poultry producers are committed to raising high-quality, nutritious products, and we are extremely pleased that we will once again have the opportunity to share these products with Chinese consumers,” the groups said.Lighthizer and Perdue issued statements regarding China’s decision.“The United States welcomes China’s decision to finally lift its unwarranted ban on U.S. poultry and poultry products,” Lighthizer said. “This is great news for both America’s farmers and China’s consumers. China is an important export market for America’s poultry farmers and we estimate they will now be able to export more than $1 billion worth of poultry and poultry products each year to China. Reopening China to U.S. poultry will create new export opportunities for our poultry farmers and support thousands of workers employed by the U.S. poultry industry.”Perdue said, “After being shut out of the market for years, U.S. poultry producers and exporters welcome the reopening of China’s market to their products. America’s producers are the most productive in the world and it is critical they be able to sell their bounty to consumers in other parts of the globe. We will continue our work to expand market access in important markets like China as well as other countries, to support our producers and U.S. jobs.”The U.S. exported more than $500 million worth of poultry products to China in 2013, prior to the 2014 avian influenza outbreak.The U.S. is the world’s second-largest poultry exporter, with global exports of poultry meat and products of $4.3 billion last year.Todd Neeley can be reached at [email protected] him on Twitter @toddneeleyDTN(SK/CZ)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Want To Comment On YouTube? You’ll Need A Google+ Account First

first_imgselena larson The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos YouTube announced a new way of filtering out annoying comments on videos. Starting this week, YouTube comments will be powered by Google+, Google’s social network.The video site is notorious for users who down-vote videos en masse or post vicious replies, so YouTube is taking action to provide higher-quality comments and conversations.YouTube declares that it’s making comments better by integrating Google+. It will prioritize comments from recognizable profiles, like the video creator or friends. Posted comments can be shared privately or in users’ Google+ circles, and additional moderating tools will give video creators the ability to block phrases or auto-approve comments. “The grand idea is to try and turn these one-off comments into conversations that you really care about,” said Matt McLernon, a spokesperson for YouTube.But There’s Another Agenda HereWhile this seems like an effort by YouTube to improve the user experience, it is also a thinly veiled attempt by Google to bring Google+ services to the mainstream. Google has already integrated its social network in most of its products with the hopes of increasing engagement, provoking annoyance among some users. YouTube will be one of Google’s largest platforms to force its users to sign up for a Google+ account.Google+ may be the web’s second-largest social network behind Facebook, but that could be due to the fact that almost everyone with a Gmail account has a Google+ account, too. Whether they’re using them or not is another story.YouTube users who don’t already have a Google+ account will have to sign up for one using a Gmail address in order to participate in page discussions and, eventually, to comment on videos.YouTube said that users can register with either a Google+ profile or page so they can still use anonymous usernames. “On the Google+ side, you enter as much information as you like,” McLernon said. “On the YouTube side you can use a Plus page, so if you want to be awesomeperson5000, you can do that.” YouTube claims that the majority of YouTube commenters are already Google+ users, so many people might not even notice a difference. But with over one billion monthly unique users, there is bound to be a significant amount of people that registered with alternative email addresses. The company is risking a user revolt by mandating all commenters be Google+ users, as many people are already unhappy that the service is being forced on them. YouTube will begin rolling out the changes on channel pages today, with the exclusive Google+ commenting and linking system due globally later this year.Image via BrianDHawkins on Flickr Related Posts Tags:#Google#YouTube center_img Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditlast_img read more

Sarovar dam-hit fishermen grapple with altering breeding patterns

first_imgHundreds of farmers, potters and fishermen from 178 villages that were submerged by the backwaters of the Narmada, marched to the office of the Narmada Valley Development Authority in Bhopal demanding rehabilitation and alternative employment on Saturday.Ever since the Sardar Sarovar dam downstream was filled to the brim, the Narmada has developed an erratic current and an unstable course, posing a challenge to fishermen in Madhya Pradesh. “When the backwaters swelled, the catch dwindled dramatically. And now, several species have become extinct in the river,” says Mansarovar Verma, 53, a fisherman of Chikhalda village in Barwani district. “We don’t want contractors from outside to take over water bodies. Local fishermen have a traditional right to them,” said Medha Patkar, of the Narmada Bachao Andolan, who led the rally and then staged a dharna with the protesters.Fall in catch “Water has entered forests, and dead leaves are detrimental to fish. Furthermore, garbage from submerged villages has caused a large-scale pollution of the river,” said Mr. Verma.He now catches 2-4 kg of fish a day, earning only up to ₹400 a day. Three months ago, he netted 8-10 kg, bringing home ₹1,000 a day. “We want compensation or land for the loss incurred. We don’t want to work for a fishing contractor, who’ll set terms for us,” he said. Earlier, a drop in the water level after the monsoon gave them an opportunity to cultivate muskmelon and watermelon on the river banks around the month of January. After the water level rose, this too became impossible. The government has opened 32 societies for fishermen in Dhar, Barwani and Khargone districts, which share the river’s banks, to dispel the fears about contractors taking over fishing. Several species, including ‘mahseer’, has gone extinct.last_img read more

A note from the editor For nine years Disability

first_imgA note from the editor:For nine years, Disability News Service has survived largely through the support of a small number of disability organisations – most of them user-led – that have subscribed to its weekly supply of news stories. That support has been incredibly valuable but is no longer enough to keep DNS financially viable. For this reason, please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support its work and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please remember that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring, and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS… Disabled people who use UK airports have questioned a report which found significant improvement in the provision of assistance to passengers over the last year.The Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) third annual report into the assistance provided at the UK’s 30 biggest airports ranked 16 of them as “very good”, and just one – Manchester (see separate story) – as poor.Last year, just six airports were ranked as “very good”.Disabled passengers are entitled to free assistance when travelling by air under European Union regulations, and CAA is the regulatory body that monitors the quality of this assistance.The CAA report for 2017-18 points out that Heathrow, which last year was rated “poor” but is now said to be “good”, had invested £23 million in its assistance service, through new equipment, new technology and additional resources.Gatwick, Stansted and Birmingham were all classified as “needs improvement”.CAA said that more than four-fifths of disabled passengers surveyed said the quality of assistance provided in 2017-18 was at least satisfactory, but one in 10 said it was “very poor”.The regulator also said that the airports often criticised airlines – which usually fund the assistance service through local agreements – for being “more focussed on cost saving than in ensuring a high quality assistance service”.The CAA report adds: “If this is happening it is not consistent with the brand values of major airlines.”Responses from disabled passengers on social media suggested CAA’s report had exaggerated the quality of airport assistance services.They were responding to disabled peer Baroness [Tanni] Grey-Thompson (pictured), who had asked disabled people who use airports what their experiences have been.Most of those who responded – although not all – were scathing of the services they have received at UK airports.One, tweeting at @strictlywheels, said she had to complain “probably every other time we fly”, with a lack of consistency and wheelchairs being treated “appallingly”.Another, Tom Staniford, @tomstaniford, said the service was “mostly awful”, due to “poor quality, slow service, lack of care [and] ignorance”.British wheelchair basketball player Billy Bridge, @Billy_Bridge8, said he flies frequently but in the last four or five years he has experienced just one smooth journey.He said: “Airports just can’t seem to grasp how much easier they can make flying for disabled people.”Disabled academic Professor Tom Shakespeare, @TommyShakes, was one of the few who said his experiences had been “almost always positive”, although he said he always takes himself to the departure gate, rather than relying on the airport’s assistance service.But another, @celticchickadee, told Baroness Grey-Thompson that airports “seem to be struggling more and more with capacity”, either because of cutting staff or failing to keep pace with demand.And @prettytwitten said: “I don’t complain every time I have a bad experience or I’d be complaining every time I went somewhere. There is always something.”Ruth Murran, @ruth_murran, added: “My good experiences are because of individuals, rather than the system.“I am fortunate in being able to wheel myself to the gate so can mostly avoid being patronised. Hate the uncertainty and unpredictability.”Baroness Grey-Thompson told Disability News Service said she believed the quality of airport assistance was “getting worse” and was “too variable” and that the CAA figures did not reflect the experiences of disabled passengers.She said that flying was “one of the few time times I feel disabled”.She said: “From the people who’ve been in touch with me, many don’t complain because they’re exhausted by the whole process, or it is too hard to do so.“It all depends on people as well as the process and understanding what disabled people’s needs are.“Personally, I’ve had more challenges flying in the last two years than the previous 20.”She added: “The lack of understanding about how important it is to bring a personal mobility aid to the gate still astounds me.“They should be brought in a timely manner and disabled people shouldn’t be made to feel grateful for getting on or off a plane.”Baroness Sugg, the aviation minister, said in response to the CAA report: “It’s essential that passengers with reduced mobility or hidden disabilities get the service they deserve every time they fly. “The CAA has stepped up its work in this area and plays an important role in showing where improvement still needs to be made.“I welcome the progress made by airports to improve accessibility and will continue to work with all of the aviation industry to make flying easier for disabled passengers.”last_img read more