LCS SEASONTEAMS ABOVE .500TEAMS AT OR BELOW .500 Since League Championship Series format began in 1969. Includes all LCS seasons for which at least three of the “Final Four” teams were at or below .500 through 40 games, two years later.Sources: ESPN, Retrosheet, Lahman DB 2007Red SoxDiamondbacks, Indians, Rockies The only group that may have fallen further, faster were the LCS participants from 1985 — the Blue Jays, Royals, St. Louis Cardinals and L.A. Dodgers — all of whom were at or below .500 through 40 games of the very next season. Of those four, only the Jays rallied over the remainder of the season to finish with more wins than losses. (At 86-76, they finished in third place and never really sniffed the playoffs after the rough start, though they were arguably the AL’s best team from mid-May onward.)The same scenario — one team ultimately recovering from the slow start — may play out this season. Although the Cubs are in this unenviable group for now, it’s probably just an early bump on the road to another fine season. (Even if their once-mighty defense isn’t what it used to be.)But the other three have bigger problems that might prevent them from clawing their way back onto the winning side of the ledger. Even after their recent upswing, the Blue Jays still occupy last place in the AL East, which might be baseball’s toughest division. Similarly, K.C. is last in the AL Central despite making strides over the past week-plus. And the Mets are in significant disarray from both an injury and a performance perspective. None are tracking for a winning season, according to FiveThirtyEight’s Elo projections.Baseball is fundamentally more unpredictable than sports such as the NBA (looking forward to that third consecutive Warriors-Cavs final?) or even the NFL (for all its vaunted parity). But it’s still surprising to see these four teams struggle after being, until very recently, the cream of the game’s crop. Since the League Championship Series format began in 1969, it’s tough to find a “Final Four” of baseball that’s fallen on harder times two years later than 2015’s quartet of the Kansas City Royals, New York Mets, Chicago Cubs and Toronto Blue Jays. Through 40 games of a season, this is the first time ever that all four LCS participants from two years prior were .500 or worse: 1983OriolesWhite Sox, Dodgers, Phillies 1984PadresCubs, Tigers, Royals THROUGH 40 GAMES, TWO YEARS LATER… Baseball’s 2015 “Final Four” have fallen on hard times 1992BravesAthletics, Pirates, Blue Jays 2015—Cubs, Royals, Mets, Blue Jays
Then-junior Mikael Torpegaard defeated Minnesota’s Matic Spec, 6-4, 6-4 in a match on April 14. Credit: Courtesy of OSU AthleticsThe No. 3 Ohio State men’s tennis team defeated Nebraska 7-0 Sunday afternoon to remain undefeated in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes (21-2, 7-0 Big Ten) won the doubles match and dominated the six remaining singles matches to sweep the Cornhuskers (9-10, 0-7 Big Ten). In his first Big Ten match of the season, redshirt senior Riley Reist joined senior Mikael Torpegaard to put the Buckeyes up 1-0 with a 6-2 doubles win. Torpegaard followed up on the doubles win with another victory in his singles match, winning 6-2 and 6-1 against Nebraska junior Toby Boyer to extend the Buckeyes’ lead to 2-0. “I felt like in doubles I served well and I try to carry over that momentum every time I play,” Torpegaard said. “Usually when my serve is on I win comfortably so it was great to have that happen today.” Redshirt sophomore Alex Kobelt also capitalized in his first conference match of the season for the Buckeyes. He rolled over Nebraska freshman William Grattan-Smith, winning 7-5 and 6-0.Ohio State pushed the lead to 3-0 when sophomore J.J. Wolf finished his match with 6-1 and 6-3 set victories.“I just tried to focus on getting that first point in the game,” Wolf said. “When you start up in the game early it’s easier to finish them out and that’s one of the things our coach tells us to work on and I did that most of that match.” Buckeyes sophomore Kyle Seelig picked up another win for Ohio State in a dominant 6-1, 6-2 performance versus Cornhusker freshman Isaac Nortey. Ohio State will continue conference play when it takes on Illinois at home at noon Saturday for the top spot in the Big Ten.
Ohio State assistant coach Chris Holick (6) embraces and greets players Malik Jones (5), Tyler Cowles (12) and Dominic Canzone (33) after the top of the fifth inning in Ohio State’s 2-1 win against Cal State Northridge in extra innings on Mar. 16 in Bill Davis Stadium. Credit: Ebo Amissah-Aggrey | Lantern ReporterThe Ohio State baseball team strives to rebound from a three-loss weekend in Texas.Ohio State (5-3) will face off against Bethune-Cookman (3-4) in a four-game series in Daytona Beach, Florida. The Buckeyes are coming off a weekend of sloppy baseball that plagued the team, losing three of the four games played. The team only walked five batters during the first weekend, but 24 runners reached base on balls the second weekend. The Buckeyes also committed seven errors in Texas. These statistics showed up on the scoreboard, as Ohio State surrendered more than three times the amount of runs they allowed opening weekend. “We need to get back to playing clean baseball: throwing strikes, taking care of the baseball, doing the things that need to be consistent on a championship ballclub,” Beals said.The opening weekend was defined by dominant pitching, which struggled to shine in the second weekend. Sophomore pitcher Griffan Smith, who picked up his second win this season, is not alarmed by the performance of the pitching staff in Texas. “It’s a long season,” Smith said. “This is the game of baseball. You’re going to give up hits. You’re going to give up runs. Some days you’re not going to have your stuff.”Echoing this calm mindset, senior left fielder Brady Cherry will lean on his past experiences to help guide the team through rough patches this season. Cherry has been on Buckeye squads that have made the NCAA tournament and on a team that lost more games than it won. “I can use that kind of experience to help guys, especially if they’re struggling right at the beginning, because I know I have been there a lot in my career,” Cherry said. “Just being able to let them know that it’s not the end of the world. It’s not the end of the season.” Cherry, who came into the season batting a career .240, leads the 2019 team with a .379 average. He has also launched three home runs so far this season. There is opportunity for the Ohio State offense to thrive against a Bethune-Cookman team that is allowing more than 10 runs a game. The Wildcats also have hit 20 batters and thrown 11 wild pitches in only seven games this season. Junior pitcher Anthony Maldonado has been a bright spot on the mound for the Wildcats, with a 3.27 ERA and nine strikeouts in two starts this season. On the offensive side, redshirt senior infielder Brandon Wilkes has hit .500 this season to go along with seven RBIs. Wilkes has six of his eight hits and all seven of his RBIs in the past two games. Overall, the Wildcats are struggling at the plate. The team has a .217 batting average and only two home runs on the season. Bethune-Cookman has also been severely beaten on the base paths this season. The team has only stolen one base, while allowing 22 stolen bases on 24 attempts. Ohio State came into this season with a lot of questions that needed answers. The first two weeks have shown the potential of the team, but it also shed light on the inconsistency a young team can bring to the table. “I’m excited for us to get back out and get into the third weekend of the season and really identify ourselves and how good we’re going to be,” Beals said.The Buckeyes will begin their series at 7 p.m. Friday. This will be followed by a 6 p.m. Saturday game, a 4 p.m. Sunday contest and a 1 p.m. finale on Monday.
New West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini has hinted that he will be making more signings this summer following Andy Carroll and Winston Reid’s injury blows earlier this monthBoth players have provoked old injuries during the club’s pre-season training program at their camp in Switzerland and have now been sent home, upon confirmation that they will likely be out for the next three months.Since his appointment in May, Pellegrini has been busy in the transfer market for West Ham and has already acquired eight new players with the midfielders Felipe Anderson and Jack Wilshere the latest recruits.But Pellegrini has suggested that more may be on the way in wake of Carrol and Reid’s latest injury setbacks.Report: Rice is committed to West Ham not a United move George Patchias – September 4, 2019 Declan Rice is committed to his West Ham contract and not a move to Manchester United.In an interview reported by football.london, Rice opens up…“We are obviously very sad to hear that Andy and Winston have suffered setbacks,” the Chilean told Football London.“This is a big blow for them and us, but we hope to see them back in action as soon as possible.“It does mean that we have lost two senior players in key areas, though, and we’ll continue to work hard with the owners to make further additions to strengthen the playing squad, beyond the five new signings already confirmed.”Pellegrini will take charge of his first competitive game at West Ham on August 11 in a trip to Liverpool for their opening game of the Premier League season.
Newcastle centre-back Jamaal Lascelles has insisted he is only focusing on Newcastle after reported interest from West Ham for his services.Newcastle has already rejected two bids from the Hammers for Lascelles, who made 33 appearances for the Toon Army last season, contributing 3 goals in the process. ? PLAYER OF THE YEAR: @Lascelles16 has been named Newcastle United’s official Player of the Year for the 2017/18 campaign.Read more: https://t.co/2OFa5KSK8x #NUFC pic.twitter.com/CHjPsaX8s9— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) May 23, 2018Virgil van Dijk praises Roberto Firmino after Liverpool’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Virgil van Dijk hailed team-mate Roberto Firmino after coming off the bench to inspire Liverpool to a 3-1 comeback win against Newcastle United.The English defender was a key part of manager Rafael Benitez side which managed to comfortably avoid relegation in the clubs first season back in the top flight.“I’m just concentrating on playing football, on playing for Newcastle,” Lascelles said, as reported by Sky Sports.“Get this pre-season out of the way and starting the first game of the season against Tottenham hopefully flying.”The 24-year-old went on to credit Benitez for his impact on the team and on him personally as a player during his spell on Tyneside.He continued: “When I came here the first season it was quite frustrating, in and out of the team and on the bench for most of it, but again the minute the manager (Benitez) came in he’s been fantastic for me and he’s been fantastic for the club and the city and everyone as a whole,”“I definitely think he’s had a huge impact on my development as a player and as a man and I definitely feel like I’m still growing and I want to give 100 per cent next season like I did last season.”
AS Roma director general Mauro Baldissoni has confirmed that UEFA have reduced the ban after they appealed, and fans can now attend their first Champions League away match.Roma were originally given a fine €50,000 after the clashes at their semi-final defeat to Liverpool in Anfield last season.The club’s director general Mauro Baldissoni was delighted with UEFA’s decision to reduce the ban and he spoke to Roma Radio this morning to confirm the news, according to Football Italia.“I am satisfied to announce that UEFA have reduced the ban on appeal, so the new verdict is just one match as a suspended sentence,” Baldissoni said.England and Bulgaria on a collision course over racism George Patchias – September 13, 2019 England’s concerns over racism in Bulgaria has sparked a furious row.Recently England manager Gareth Southgate expressed his concern over racist abuse being aimed at…“That means for the first game, it will be possible to follow Roma away from home. Obviously, we invite the supporters to behave properly.“We have also lodged an appeal for the three-month ban to President James Pallotta. It seems excessive, as he was just letting off steam about refereeing decisions. The verdict will be delivered at the end of September.”
France’s teenage superstar Kylian Mbappe is an even greater forward than Cristiano Ronaldo, claims Inter Milan defender Stefan de VrijThe Dutchman was pleasantly surprised when Ronaldo completed a €112m move from Real Madrid to Juventus this summer.De Vrij expects Ronaldo have a great impact in the Serie A and remembers him well from the time he faced off against the five-time Ballon d’Or winner at a warm-up game for the Netherlands against Portugal before the 2014 World Cup.“I confess, at first I did not believe he was coming to Italy,” He told Corriere dello Sport.Vidic: “Ronaldo is the most professional footballer I’ve seen” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Nemanja Vidic opened up on how a 21-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo’s professionalism left him stunned at Manchester United.“But when they [the media] kept saying it, then I started to take note. For Italian football, his arrival in Serie A was positive because it gives a great boost to the whole competition.“I played against him with the national team in a friendly against Portugal before the 2014 World Cup. It finished 1-1 and he scored on a corner.”But, when asked who he rates as the greatest forward he has ever played against, De Vrij said: “That’s Mbappe.”De Vrij recently met Mbappe at the UEFA Nations League, where the 19-year-old scored the opening goal for France in their 2-1 win over the Netherlands.
The team returned to winning ways after a 3-1 victory over Southampton in the last match of 2018 for the English Premier LeagueAfter two consecutive defeats in the English Premier League, Manchester City is back to winning ways by beating Southampton 3-1.And for footballer Raheem Sterling, this is because the team is motivated.“It’s a massive step and what we needed to do. We had two poor games and we knew we needed to win here today to give ourselves a chance,” said Raheem to the club’s official website.Liverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.“But we were really motivated to give ourselves a chance and that’s what we did.”“We had to bring that level that we know we can bring – we had a bit of luck but we played some great football and controlled the game which we know we can do,” he added.“Now it’s down to us to keep this focus and go onto the next one.”
Most of the tax would end once the bond for the station is paid off, but .05 percent would remain in place in order to fund ongoing maintenance costs for the building. In the ballots casts on Tuesday; 386 votes, were cast in favor of raising the city’s sale tax, and 218 votes, opposed the increase in tax. Absentee and mail in ballots will be tallied by Friday.