Bush did not answer a question about whether the United States would have reacted militarily if those captured had been Americans. The president said he supports British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s efforts to find a diplomatic resolution to the crisis, now in its second week. Bush would not comment about Britain’s options if Iran does not release the hostages, but he seemed to reject any swapping of the British captives for Iranians detained in Iraq. Britain, however, appeared to be easing its stance, emphasizing its desire to talk with Iran about what it termed a regrettable situation. “I think everyone regrets that this position has arisen,” British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett said at a European Union summit in Bremen, Germany. “What we want is a way out of it.” CAMP DAVID, Md. – President George W. Bush on Saturday said Iran’s capture of 15 British sailors and marines was “inexcusable” and called for Iran to “give back the hostages” immediately and unconditionally. Bush said Iran plucked the sailors out of Iraqi waters. Iran’s president said Saturday they were in Iranian waters and called Britain and its allies “arrogant and selfish” for not apologizing for trespassing. “It’s inexcusable behavior,” Bush said at the Camp David presidential retreat, where he was meeting with the president of Brazil. “Iran must give back the hostages. They’re innocent. They did nothing wrong.” It was the first time that Bush had commented publicly on the captured Britons. Washington has taken a low-key approach to avoid aggravating tensions over the incident and shaking international resolve to get Iran to give up its uranium-enrichment program. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
19 June 2014The German government has signed five agreements committing €414.26-million (about R5.89-billion) to development projects in South Africa.The agreements were signed by Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene and German Ambassador Horst Freitag in Pretoria on Friday.The new contributions will bring Germany’s total financial and technical aid to South Africa to just over R14.4-billion since 1992.According to the Treasury, the aid has gone towards empowerment, skills transfer and the building of institutional capabilities, with the cooperation maturing over the last 20 years into a partnership focused on climate change and energy, HIV/Aids prevention and good governance.“South Africa is one of our most important global development partners,” Freitag said following the signing. “Our development cooperation is an integral part of our broader cooperation in the political, economic, social and cultural spheres, bearing testimony to a successful partnership between countries of the northern and southern hemisphere in a changing world.”Nene welcomed the support from Germany, saying he was looking forward to the successful implementation of the agreements, all of which are aligned to priorities listed in South Africa’s National Development Plan (NDP).“On behalf of the citizens of South Africa, the recipients of your support, we would like to express our gratitude for the long-standing partnership with the German government, and hope to strengthen the collaboration going forward,” Nene said.Source: SAnews.gov.za
Manchester United Van Nistelrooy scores on Man Utd return against Barcelona legends Chris Myson 02:15 9/3/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Getty Images Manchester United Barcelona Premier League The Red Devils secured a 5-3 aggregate win over their legendary Catalan adversaries, with the likes of Patrick Kluivert and Edwin van der Sar involved Ruud van Nistelrooy scored as a Manchester United legends team beat their Barcelona counterparts 5-3 on aggregate after a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford.A star-studded game on Saturday, the proceeds of which will go to the club’s foundation, saw Van Nistelrooy, Edwin van der Sar, Dwight Yorke and Louis Saha among the big names to turn out for United.The Barca side contained Edgar Davids, Eric Abidal, Edmilson, Gaizka Mendieta and Patrick Kluivert. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! ‘I’m getting better’ – Can Man Utd flop Fred save his Old Trafford career? Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Van Nistelrooy delighted home fans with a trademark penalty, before Danny Webber also netted for United in the first half, with second-half Barca goals from Luis Garcia and Mendieta giving the Catalans a draw on the day.FT: #MUFC 2 Barcelona 2 (agg 5-3).The #LegendsAreBack game finishes all square with @RvN1776 & @DanielWebber81 scoring for the Reds. pic.twitter.com/JLUKNdktcB— Manchester United (@ManUtd) September 2, 2017A 2-2 draw & a 5-3 aggregate victory for #MUFC over Barcelona in the #LegendsAreBack game at Old Trafford.Report: https://t.co/fXKyHcDIXL pic.twitter.com/pWLtxDW7uI— Manchester United (@ManUtd) September 2, 2017Former United manager Alex Ferguson was among those in the stands as the two sides held a minute’s silence ahead of kick-off to pay their respects to the victims of recent terror attacks in Manchester and Barcelona.United, who were managed on the day by Andy Cole as a replacement for Bryan Robson, won 3-1 in the Camp Nou leg of the tie in June.Ruuuuuud! #LegendsAreBack pic.twitter.com/iPekpPTcXx— Manchester United (@ManUtd) September 2, 2017Great to see all the lads… 2-2 & undefeated as Gaffa @ManUtd pic.twitter.com/zxwu7PrwMe— Andrew Cole (@vancole9) September 2, 2017Good to be back at Old Trafford, @VdSar1970? #LegendsAreBack pic.twitter.com/b6NVrTHvIS— Manchester United (@ManUtd) September 2, 2017Old Trafford#LegendsAreBack#BarçaLegends#ForçaBarça pic.twitter.com/lK28c8YdfX— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) September 2, 2017
Chelsea Chelsea Team News: Injuries, suspensions and line-up vs Liverpool Nizaar Kinsella Click here to see more stories from this author Chelsea correspondent Last updated 1 year ago 22:15 11/23/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) ROLAND HARRISON/AFP/Getty Images Chelsea Premier League Liverpool Antonio Conte David Luiz Michy Batshuayi The Blues face a tough test as they travel away to Anfield with a short gap after their long Champions League away trip Chelsea travel to Liverpool on Saturday after back-to-back 4-0 wins in the Champions League and Premier League, but they will have little rest between their matches.Some of Antonio Conte’s team didn’t get to sleep until around 06:00 after their longest ever European away trip on Wednesday, as they went to Azerbaijan and flew back immediately after their 4-0 win over Qarabag.Jurgen Klopp’s men could be in better physical shape as they got back from Sevilla 24 hours before Chelsea. The Blues were at least able to rotate a number of big-name players in their match in Baku, however. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player CHELSEA INJURIES Michy Batshuayi remains doubtful for Chelsea’s match on Saturday after suffering an ankle injury while away with the Belgium national team. Charly Musonda and Kenedy could also be out with minor injuries but Victor Moses is expected to return from a grade three hamstring tear to face his former club. Conte has stated that he is planning on leaving Moses into the match from the bench on Saturday in his press conference on Friday afternoon. “His condition is good,” Conte said. “For sure he needs a bit of time to recover the best form. Tomorrow he is in our squad. I think I want to bring him on the bench and then to decide, to decide if there is the necessity to put him inside or not.”I’m very happy because now he’s fine. He’s fine. But he needs a bit of time to find the best physical condition.”Chelsea have a clean bill of health apart from that but Conte is unhappy with the fixture schedule, which threatens to exhaust his side.“We had to work during the flight to prepare the game against Liverpool,” Conte said. “But I must be honest, we started before [Qarabag] to prepare for the game against Liverpool.“For sure, to have only one day to rest and prepare this big game is not simple. I think also it’s not right. I don’t want to complain about this situation, but this is the reality.“Now we have to travel for five-and-a-half hours. And then try to rest for one day and prepare the game against Liverpool, another big game like the City game.”CHELSEA SUSPENSIONS Chelsea have no suspensions for the upcoming match against West Bromwich Albion. Antonio Rudiger is only one caution away from earning a one-match suspension for receiving five domestic yellow cards. The cut-off this season is after 19 league games, so to escape bans then all Chelsea players need to avoid accumulating five bookings until they play Everton on December 23. POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UP Alvaro Morata, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Gary Cahill and Andreas Christensen were rested for the match in Baku and a number of players were substituted, which gave an insight into the team that Conte might select. Morata 23/20 to score anytimeChelsea will likely go for a 3-5-2 line up and recall Bakayoko while leaving out Pedro and Willian. Christensen, Morata and Cahill will all likely return to the starting line up while Zappacosta should continue with Moses not fully fit. Hazard, Marcos Alonso and N’Golo Kante were substituted against Qarabag and they will also start at Anfield. LIVERPOOL TEAM NEWS Joel Matip is the latest doubt for Liverpool, who displayed their defensive frailties as Sevilla mounted a comeback from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 on Tuesday. Adam Lallana could return for the Reds after a sustained period of injury. Nathaniel Clyne has a long-term issue and won’t be available for the match. He has a back problem and will be out for three months. BEST OPTA MATCH FACTS Chelsea haven’t lost any of their last five Premier League visits to Anfield (W2 D3), since a 1-4 loss in May 2012. This will be the 55th meeting between these sides in all competitions since the turn of the century – the most played fixture among sides within England’s top four tiers. In their last match against West Bromwich Albion, Marcos Alonso became the 42nd different player Cesc Fabregas has provided an assist for in the Premier League – only Ryan Giggs (45 players) has assisted a higher tally of teammates than Fabregas. 15 of Chelsea’s Premier League goals have been scored by Spanish players this season – only two teams in the Spanish Liga have seen more of their goals scored by Spaniards than this tally in 2017-18; Real Sociedad (18) and Valencia (16). Alvaro Morata has had a hand in 12 goals in his first 11 Premier League games for Chelsea (eight goals, four assists), more than any other Blues player in the competition’s history. Mohamed Salah has netted nine goals in the Premier League this term; the most by any Liverpool player in their first 12 appearances in the competition. He appeared 13 times in the Premier League for Chelsea and scored just twice. TV CHANNEL & KICK OFF TIME The match on at 17:30 GMT on Saturday and it will be shown live in the UK on BT Sport. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Liverpool boss Klopp: As soon as he wants, Mourinho can walk back into managementby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says sacked Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho can quickly jump back into management.Klopp says the 55-year-old losing his job is not as serious as it would be for a coach in the lower divisions.“I have to say, on our level – and it’s not that I don’t feel for him or whatever – if a manager got the sack in the Championship or in League One or League Two, that’s a bad moment, because you don’t know if they will get another job and stuff like that,” he said.“If Jose wants to have another job, he has it in two days. That’s really easy.”Klopp claims Mourinho is still “an outstanding manager”, because of everything he has achieved.“He has all my respect,” he said. “He was unbelievably successful.“Nobody can take away from him all the things he won and I wish he has that in his mind when he leaves and not a few other things, which happened in the last few months.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
CLEMSON, SC – AUGUST 31: Two Georgia Bulldogs helmets sit on the field prior to the game against the Clemson Tigers at Memorial Stadium on August 31, 2013 in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)Today has been full of injuries in the college football world, but Georgia cornerback Rico McGraw’s has to be the weirdest. On the sideline after a play, special teams coordinator Mike Ekeler got very fired up, and gave McGraw a celebratory slap to the helmet, which apparently injured the freshman defensive back.Rico McGraw injury https://t.co/SfpAvZRMmq— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) November 14, 2015After the play, former Bulldogs superstar Todd Gurley joked about not being surprised. Apparently Ekeler is always a pretty high-energy guy.We all knew happy Coach Ekeler would injure a UGA player one day…— Logan Booker (@LoganMBooker) November 14, 2015Same Thing I told him when I was there lol https://t.co/A1Re33TPa7— Todd Gurley II (@TG3II) November 14, 2015Obviously this is a freak injury, and we hope McGraw is okay. Ekeler might have to go with celebratory handshakes for a while.
chevin calloway iowaChevin Calloway, a four-star cornerback recruit from Dallas, Texas, has announced his decision to play for the Iowa Hawkeyes in 2017. Calloway’s announcement was supposed to come this past Friday, but given the tragedy involving the Dallas police department, he chose to push it a few days. Calloway announced the news live on Periscope.Calloway is a 5-foot-10, 180-pound player who is ranked as the 15th-best athlete in the state of Texas. Here’s a screenshot of him wearing an Iowa hat after the announcement.pic.twitter.com/x4kekz2vOM— Chevin Calloway (@_chev1_) July 11, 2016Boom – Chevin Calloway #Hawkeyes pic.twitter.com/2fH6Zk04xZ— Hawkeye Images (@webcentrick) July 11, 2016Calloway, according to 247 Sports, had offers from nearly every major program – including Alabama, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma and more.
zoom Monaco-based dry bulk shipping company Scorpio Bulkers has entered into two separate agreements with unnamed parties to acquire one Kamsarmax and three Ultramax dry bulk vessels.As informed, the ships will be bought for USD 90 million, of which USD 77.1 million is payable in cash and the remaining consideration is in the form of approximately 1.592 million common shares of the company to be issued to one of the sellers.All of the Ultramax vessels were built at Chengxi Shipyard in China. Two of them were delivered in 2014 and one in 2015.The Kamsarmax bulk carrier is a resale unit whose construction will be supervised by the company and which will be delivered from Jiangsu New Yangzijiang Shipbuilding in China in the second quarter of 2018, Scorpio Bulkers said.The cash component of the vessel acquisitions will be funded by cash on hand, as well as new debt facilities which are currently under discussion with the company’s lenders.In September, Scorpio Bulkers also entered into agreements with Golden Ocean Group Limited (GOGL) to buy six Ultramax vessels.Following the completion of its recent acquisitions of nine Ultramaxes and one Kamsarmax, the company will own or finance lease 56 vessels. In addition, Scorpio time charters-in one Ultramax.On the back of an improvement in dry bulk rates, Scorpio Bulkers managed to cut its net loss for the period ended September 30. For the third quarter of 2017, the company’s GAAP net loss was USD 10.7 million, compared to a GAAP net loss of USD 21.3 million reported in the same period a year earlier.
For years sabermetrics has theorized that pitchers can’t control what happens after a batter strikes a ball. Whether it bloops in for a hit, rockets its way to an outfielder’s glove or lands just inches outside the foul line, it’s a consequence of the batter and the defense, but not the pitcher. That argument is what led to Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP), a statistic that attempts to quantify a pitcher’s performance only for the events for which we know the pitcher has definite responsibility (walks, strikeouts and home runs — in sabermetrics parlance, the “Three True Outcomes”). FIP throws out base hits completely on the basis that they are partially a product of the defense.But now we have Statcast. The new technology that collects data on the position and velocity of the ball and the players on the field is beginning to change what we know (or thought we knew) about all sorts of things — pitching included. And that’s raising new questions about how much effect a pitcher can have on a ball once it’s put in play. The answer might be: a lot.But first, let’s talk batters. Last week, I used Statcast to show that harder-struck pitches tend to fall for hits more often. That, generally, makes hard contact good for the hitter and bad for the pitcher. Obviously, some hitters are better at hitting the ball hard. What Statcast tells us is that some pitchers are better at making batters hit the ball softly.That’s not to say pitchers hold the upper hand. In my models1Specifically, I used a linear random effects model with the R package lme4. The model was specified as follows:Batted ball velocity ~ (1|hitter) + (1|pitcher) + (1|ballpark).In total, batter explains 3 percent of the variance in batted ball velocity, while pitcher explains 0.6 percent and park 0.03 percent. of batted ball velocity that incorporate the pitcher, batter and ballpark, the batter’s effect dominates the pitcher’s. A ball’s exit velocity after a bat strikes it is about five times more the batter’s doing than the pitcher’s. This fact seems to partially vindicate FIP — batters really are the ones in control.At the same time, the pitcher’s effect is not negligible.2Deriving a p-value in a random effects model is tricky. However, the random effect for pitchers significantly improves the model by AIC, improves out-of-sample prediction accuracy, and is larger than expected under a null distribution derived from permutations. While the best batters increase batted ball velocity by as much as 7-8 mph, the best pitchers suppress it by 1.5 mph compared with the average pitcher.That has real significance: Such a decrease roughly equates to a 13-point decrease in batting average on balls in play (BABIP) for a given batted ball.3This number comes from a logistic regression of exit velocity for each batted ball. Over the course of a game, the pitchers who can best decrease exit velocity save about a quarter of a run (on average). A quarter of a run doesn’t sound like much? Multiplied over a season, all those quarters of a run add up to about one win of value.4Run expectancy numbers are derived from a linear regression of linear weights value per pitch on batted ball velocity. Linear weights values come from Pitch Info.So that means FIP is flawed as an overall value metric, at least for some pitchers. Who are those pitchers? Here’s a table of all 485 pitchers with batted ball data this season as of the writing of this article.5This amounts to 17,768 batted balls. You may notice that most relievers are close to zero on this list. That’s because the model does not have enough data per reliever to be certain that they are altering velocity heavily, so it regresses their readings to the mean. Search for your favorite pitcher and see how many miles per hour he takes away from or adds to the average batted ball. The five best pitchers in the league: the Baltimore Orioles’ Wei-Yin Chen (balls leave the bat 1.63 mph slower than average when Chen pitches); the Chicago White Sox’s Chris Sale (1.56 mph); the Los Angeles Angels’ Garrett Richards (1.53 mph); the St. Louis Cardinals’ Adam Wainwright (1.46 mph, before he experienced a season-ending injury April 25); and the Houston Astros’ Dallas Keuchel (1.40 mph). Many of these pitchers are bona fide aces, most obviously Sale, Richards and Wainwright (Clayton Kershaw also lurks in ninth place). These players are not only adept at managing contact, they are also skilled strikeout artists. FIP accurately tabs them as great pitchers even without information about their contact-controlling abilities.These pitchers control their opposition’s quality of contact partly by driving the hitters into bad counts. In pitcher’s counts, hitters tend to put weak, defensive swings on the ball, resulting in glancing contact. About 15 percent of pitchers’ exit velocity suppression comes from controlling the count.6This estimate is derived by incorporating count into the model as a fixed effect and then determining how much the pitcher’s estimated random effect decreased. Richards, for example, has reached two-strike counts in 92 of his opponents’ plate appearances, compared with three-ball counts in only 38; in the former, hitters have a .271 BABIP, whereas in the latter, they have a .333 BABIP.7The league difference is a bit smaller, but still significant: .291 BABIP with three balls, .281 with two strikes.Chen is an intriguing case. The best at suppressing batted ball velocity, Chen also has the largest gap between ERA and FIP among qualified starters. In fact, Chen has put up a sizable gap between his ERA and FIP in three of the four years in which he’s pitched in MLB. Lacking batted ball velocity in years prior, we cannot say that his skill is consistent, but his results appear to be.FIP doesn’t only fail to credit the pitchers who manage their opponent’s batted ball velocity, it also fails to blame bad ones who consistently get hit hard.The league’s bottom five in that respect: the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Vance Worley (1.43 mph added to a ball’s exit velocity, compared with average); the Tampa Bay Rays’ Nate Karns (1.39 mph); the San Francisco Giants’ Tim Lincecum (1.16 mph); the Kansas City Royals’ Yordano Ventura (1.11 mph); and the San Diego Padres’ James Shields (1.06 mph). Just as the best pitchers tended to be better than average even by FIP, these five are worse. And while the aces use the count to their advantage, these pitchers are liable to find themselves in hitter’s counts, which causes some of their problems in the first place.Their exit velocity stats are also worse because they serve up pitches down the middle of the plate. Batters crave these meatballs and can punish them for extra-base hits and home runs. When I took pitch location out of the model, the pitchers’ effects on batted ball velocities fell by 20 percent on average.8Location was added into the model with a quadratic term for horizontal and vertical coordinates after adjusting for the count.Ventura, the Royals’ young flamethrower, is a conspicuous member of this worst-in-the-league list. Like Worley and Karns, he tends to throw his four-seam fastball more often than the league average.9Using pitch tags generously supplied to me by Pitch Info. That’s significant because fastballs tend to get hammered the hardest (even adjusting for count and location). Ventura, and other fastball-heavy starters, run the risk of allowing harder contact and more hits.The idea that pitchers can, in fact, influence their BABIP is not new. Shortly after the initial publication of DIPS, Tom Tippett (currently employed by the Red Sox) wrote about how the best pitchers seemed to be able to control the probability that their struck pitches would fall for hits. Tippett had only anecdotal examples such as Pedro Martinez and Greg Maddux, so the sabermetric community coalesced on the idea that they could be exceptions to a very reasonable rule.Now that we have Statcast’s data, we can see otherwise. No one will mistake Wei-Yin Chen for Pedro Martinez, but it appears that Chen can repeatably depress his opponent’s batted ball velocity, and a statistic such as FIP will fail to credit him for that skill.10Fortunately, new statistics such as Baseball Prospectus’ DRA (Deserved Run Average) do take into account all the events in which a pitcher plays a part. In fact, individual pitchers’ DRAs better correlate with the velocity suppression effects I calculated than their FIPs do, indicating that DRA is capturing some of this skill. Statcast’s data is beginning to challenge not only our views of specific players, but also some of the fundamental precepts of sabermetrics.Special thanks to Baseball Savant for the batted ball data; Pitch Info and Harry Pavlidis for the use of pitch tag data; and Jonathan Judge, Greg Matthews, Harry Pavlidis and Dan Turkenkopf for helpful comments and feedback.CORRECTION (May 22, 11:38 a.m.): An earlier version of this article stated that Wei-Yin Chen had a sizable gap between his ERA and FIP all four years in which he pitched in the league. That wasn’t true in 2013, when his ERA was slightly higher than his FIP.
Former Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert insists the high expectations surrounding the club is hindering its progress.Paul Lambert who also managed midlands rivals, Wolverhampton Wanderers as recent as the 2016-17 season, has suggested that managing Aston Villa is a difficult task due to the expectancy levels at the club.The Villans are currently spending their third campaign in the Sky Bet Championship and after a poor start to the season, former Brentford manager Dean Smith has been appointed as a replacement for Steve Bruce.Smith who will be joined by former Villa defender has been tasked with trying to earn the club a return to the Premier League but Lambert, who had a three-year spell at Villa between 2012 and 2015 feels that the new manager will come under immediate pressure.Lambert told Sky Sports News, as quoted by Sports Mole: Aston Villa explains why they spent so much money on players Manuel R. Medina – September 6, 2019 According to Aston Villa’s chief executive, the team needed to spend £144.5 million on 12 players in order to stay competitive.“It’s difficult because of the expectation level really. The club was trying to get sold [when I was there] but the fans have got the history of a European Cup-winning football club.“You’ve got that, a big fanbase behind you, who every time expect you to be up there.”Villa are currently placed 15th on the Championship standings.