Baseball Miscalls

first_imgWhen you watch a baseball game today, it takes as much as a half hour longer because of all of the delays to let the re-call umpires in New York decide a play.  There are so many cameras either on the field or in television booths that can produce slow-motion pictures of what is going on.  The human eye does not have slow motion, so the umpire must make that quick call.  Even the best ones miss one or two.The umpire pool is also more diluted today because of the increased number of teams.  Therefore, the percentage of mediocre officials is going up.  The umpires are also very conscious of the fact that they are being watched, and this might lead to quick decisions that end up as missed calls.The fact that the home plate umpire positions himself to one side or the other of the catcher means he sees one side of the plate better than he does the other.  That makes it harder to see the far side of home plate.  The final thought is that stars get preferential calls–even though the umpires deny this to their grave.  Ask Joe Morgan and Greg Mattox about this.last_img read more

NBA All-Star Saturday Night: Come see if another man can fly … over a car

first_img NBA All-Star weekend: L.A. is already the center of the hoop world AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersGriffin won the Slam Dunk Contest at the 2011 All-Star Weekend with the greatest stunt in the history of the NBA’s annual midseason celebration. Technically, it was just another dunk off a lob pass from one Clipper to another. The car added an element that catapulted Griffin to superstardom, though.Griffin went on to become Rookie of the Year, a five-time All-Star, a pitchman, the face of a franchise that was on the rise and, ultimately, a tradeable asset. The Clippers dealt him last month to the Detroit Pistons in a franchise-altering move.So much has changed in the seven years since that career-defining moment. Griffin won’t be a participant in either the dunk contest Saturday or the game Sunday at Staples Center. A new generation of dunkers has emerged, including former Lakers leaper Larry Nance Jr., now with Cleveland.Larry Nance Sr., won the 1984 dunk contest in Denver, the NBA’s first.Victor Oladipo of the Indiana Pacers, Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz and Dennis Smith Jr. of the Dallas Mavericks also are entered in the premier event on All-Star Saturday Night. The NBA also will conduct a skills contest and a 3-point shooting contest. For NBA All-Star Weekend, here’s our lineup of All-Southern California NBA All-Stars Spencer Dinwiddie of the Brooklyn Nets, Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons) Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers), Buddy Hield (Sacramento Kings), Al Horford (Boston Celtics), Lauri Markkanen (Chicago Bulls) and Jamal Murray (Denver Nuggets) also will compete in the Skills Challenge.Harris averaged a career-high 18.1 points before the Clippers acquired him from the Pistons. Overall, he’s averaging 18 points on 45 percent shooting, plus 5.3 rebounds and 2 assists in 54 games in 2017-18, including six with the Clippers.In addition to Harris, Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards), Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns), Wayne Ellington (Miami Heat), Paul George (Oklahoma City Thunder), Eric Gordon (Houston Rockets), Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors) and Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors) will compete.Gordon is the defending champion. The younger Nance would have been a hometown favorite, but the Lakers traded him and Jordan Clarkson to the Cavaliers in exchange for Channing Frye, Isaiah Thomas and a first-round draft pick at the trade deadline Feb. 8. Nance is still likely to get a lot of support, though.Two Clippers highlight the other events.Guard Lou Williams will participate in the Skills Challenge and forward Tobias Harris, acquired along with Avery Bradley and Boban Marjanovic and two draft picks in the Jan. 29 deal that sent Griffin to Detroit, will compete in the 3-point Contest.Williams is the league’s leading scorer while playing n a reserve role, averaging 22 points. Overall, he’s averaging career-bests of 23.2 points and 5.3 assists while shooting 37.8 percent on 3-point shots and 89.5 percent from the free-throw line.Related Articles LOS ANGELES — The last time it was here a man jumped over a car and dunked a basketball.Baron Davis piloted a KIA onto the Staples Center court as a choir assembled at midcourt to sing, “I Believe I Can Fly.” Blake Griffin accepted a lob pass through the sun roof from Davis, soared over the hood and slammed the ball through the basket as the raucous sellout crowd roared.Charles Barkley then dared on TNT to say it wasn’t that great of a dunk.Come on, man. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Fireworks, Ammonium Nitrate Likely Fueled Beirut Explosion

first_imgBEIRUT (AP) — Fireworks and ammonium nitrate appear to have been the fuel that ignited a massive explosion that rocked the Lebanese capital of Beirut, experts and videos of the blast suggest.The scale of the damage — from the epicenter of the explosion at the port of Beirut to the windows blown out kilometers (miles) away — resembles other blasts involving the chemical compound commonly used as an agricultural fertilizer.But the compound itself typically doesn’t detonate on its own and requires another ignition source. That likely came from a fire that engulfed what initially appeared to be fireworks that were stored at the port.Online videos of the disaster’s initial moments show sparks and lights inside the smoke rising from the blaze, just prior to the massive blast. That likely indicates that fireworks were involved, said Boaz Hayoun, owner of the Tamar Group, an Israeli firm that works closely with the Israeli government on safety and certification issues involving explosives.“Before the big explosion, you can see in the center of the fire, you can see sparks, you can hear sounds like popcorn and you can hear whistles,” Hayoun told The Associated Press. “This is very specific behavior of fireworks, the visuals, the sounds and the transformation from a slow burn to a massive explosion.”Jeffrey Lewis, a missile expert at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California, offered a similar assessment.“It looks like an accident,” Lewis told the AP. “First, there was a fire preceding the explosion, which is not an attack. And some of the videos show munitions what I could call popcorning, exploding like ’pop, pop, pop, pop.’”He added that “it’s very common to see fires detonate explosives.”“If you have a fire raging next to something explosive, and you don’t put it out, it blows up,” he said.The white cloud that accompanied the massive blast appeared to be a condensation cloud, often common in massive explosions in humid conditions that can follow the shock waves of an explosion, Lewis said.Orange clouds also followed the blast, likely from toxic nitrogen dioxide gas that’s released after an explosion involving nitrates.Experts typically determine the power of the blast by measuring the crater left behind, which appeared massive in aerial footage shot on Wednesday morning by the AP.The Beirut blast, based on the crater and glass windows being blown out a distance away, exploded with the force equivalent to detonating at least 2.2 kilotons of TNT, said Sim Tack, an analyst and weapons expert at the Texas-based private intelligence firm Stratfor.What initially started the fire at the port remains unclear. Beirut was sunny before Tuesday’s explosion, with a daily high of 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit).Lebanese Interior Minister Mohammed Fahmi, in comments to a local TV station, made no mention of ignited fireworks but said it appeared the blast was caused by the detonation of more than 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate that had been stored in a warehouse at the dock ever since it was confiscated from a cargo ship in 2014. That amount could cause the explosive force seen in the blast Tuesday, Tack said.Based on the timeline and the size of the cargo, that ship could be the MV Rhosus. The ship was initially seized in Beirut in 2013 when it entered the port due to technical problems, according to lawyers involved in the case. It came from the nation of Georgia, and had been bound for Mozambique.“Owing to the risks associated with retaining the ammonium nitrate on board the vessel, the port authorities discharged the cargo onto the port’s warehouses,” the lawyers wrote in a 2015 article published by shiparrested.com. “The vessel and cargo remain to date in port awaiting auctioning and/or proper disposal.”It remains unclear what conditions the ammonium nitrate had been stored in — or why tons of an explosive chemical compound had been left there for years. Lebanon already was on the brink of collapse amid a severe economic crisis that has ignited mass protests in recent months.The devastation surrounding the port resembled other ammonium nitrate explosions, such as the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and a 1947 ship explosion that struck Texas City, Texas.It also is unclear what conditions a possible shipment of fireworks at the port had been stored in. Fireworks are very common in Lebanon, used to celebrate religious occasions and weddings.While military explosives are generally safe to transport, common “cheap pyrotechnics” made in China are often of very low quality and can ignite very easily, especially in hot weather, said Hayoun, the Israeli explosives expert.The “end result,” he added is that “hundreds of tons of energetic materials” were detonated to create a explosion of this magnitude.“It started definitely with fireworks,” he said.last_img read more

Ja All-Stars, Brazilian greats on show at Stadium

first_imgToday’s ‘Share the love’ football friendly, between a Brazilian All Stars team, and a Jamaica All Stars XI at the National Stadium, has been described as a ‘once in a lifetime spectacle for local football lovers,’ by event organiser Andre Virtue.He has called on the public to come out and get a chance to witness ‘quality and skill’ from world class players on home soil.”Rivaldo, Dunga, Edmilson, Paolo Sergio, Viola, Ze Carlos, these are big names and world champions.. So they will see quality, skill football and lots of excitement,” he told The Gleaner ahead of this evening’s game which kicks off at 7:30.Virtue noted that initially many people doubted that the event was real when they heard the names that were down to participate but the Brazilians touched down in the island yesterday.FANTASTIC FEELING”This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, so it is just for the public to come out and see the world greats playing here and see us rubbing shoulders with our heroes. It’s a beautiful opportunity and football will win, that’s why we call it share the love because we want love and peace and no more violence.Former Brazil defender Edmilson, who won the 2002 FIFA World Cup, said it is a fantastic feeling being able to reunite with some of his teammates ahead of their clash with the Jamaica All-Stars team.The squad is made up of Brazil’s legendary players from the 1990s and early 2000s and includes Rivaldo, Edmilson, Ze Carlos, Edilson, Paulo Sergio, and Dunga who won the 1994 World Cup as captain.”In one word, it’s fantastic. We can feel again, the same atmosphere we felt when we played (in the past),” Edmilson said.LOOKING FORWARDThe former Barcelona man said that he is looking forward to the game because he knows that the spectators will not only be cheering for Jamaica but also the Brazilians.”I feel so happy to be here. I know Brazilian football inspired so many people around the world and I want to give the same inspiration to everyone here in Jamaica,” Edmilson added.The Jamaica squad includes former Reggae Boyz such as Walter Boyd, Ricardo Gardner, Ian Goodison, Donald Stewart and Andy Williams.Meanwhile, a host of top young local players will get the opportunity to match up against their idols of the past and Virtue hopes the experience leaves a lasting impression on these players”Alex Marshall, Jahwani Hinds, Chevon Stewart, Gregory Messam Jnr, Malique Howell, Duhaney Williams, Zhelano Barnes. These are the future of our football, so we are giving them a chance to rub shoulders with these greats and hopefully it will inspire them to greatness,” he said.last_img read more