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Robert De Niro: Trump is potentially ‘ crazy ‘



Robert De Niro: Trump is potentially ' crazy '

According to Robert De Niro, president Donald Trump is potentially medically “insane,” who presented a strange anecdote that the President stood before a helicopter and sweated without asking for a handcraft.

“When I saw him waiting for somewhere in front of the helicopter to speak, sweating and sweating and not-I said that he doesn’t even know what he’s-at least he should ask somebody for a stick or something and dry out.

“It’s very weird,” De Niro said on Sunday morning at CNN.


Brian Stelter, a host of the CNN’s Reliable Sources, then asked De Niro whether he thought President Trump was a actor playing a part or a performer. De Niro slowly nodded before saying “Somehow I believe he is… but in some ways these other Fox pundits too, because I don’t really think they’d buy into this folly.” “This guy shouldn’t be President, time.” When he got up there and slandered, I remember that Tony’s. “De Niro shot back,” Fuck ’em. Stelter replied: “This is cable, so it isn’t a breach of the FCC, but it’s always Sunday morning. De Niro said, “In this nation, this man is like a gangster. I wonder why you decide to go that way. He came along, and said stuff, accomplished stuff we say again and again. This is awful. We are in an awful position. We’re in an awful position, and this man just goes on without stopping.

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Rajesh is a freelancer with a background in e-commerce marketing. Having spent her career in startups, He specializes in strategizing and executing marketing campaigns.

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Miranda drives in four as Saints rout Indianapolis



Miranda drives in four as Saints rout Indianapolis

Jose Miranda went 3 for 5 with a home run and four RBIs, and four Saints pitchers held host Indianapolis to two hits as St. Paul cruised to an 8-0 win on Thursday at Victory Field.

Batting leadoff and playing second base, Miranda hit a two-run double in the fifth and a two-run homer in the Saints’ four-run sixth inning, raising his batting average to .341. BJ Boyd drove in St. Paul’s first two runs with a second-inning double and a groundout in the fourth.

Derek Law started and allowed one hit and struck out six in four innings without a walk. Winner Chandler Shepherd (7-6) and Vinny Nittoli each pitched two scoreless innings, and Robinson Leyer pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to secure the Saints’ sixth win in their past nine games.

Left fielder Jimmy Kerrigan went 3 for 4 with two runs for the Saints.

James Marvel (5-7) took the loss for Indianapolis, charged with all eight runs — five earned — on nine hits and two walks in six innings. He fanned two.

Phillip Evans and John Nogowski had the Indians’ only hits, both singles.

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Hochul suspends state hiring freeze



Hochul suspends state hiring freeze

ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) — The state hiring freeze implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic has been lifted through the end of the fiscal year.

Gov. Kathy Hochul made the announcement Thursday morning. It comes after she released an updated State Financial Plan, which her office says projects “$2.1 billion in revenue above projections as the economic recovery beats expectations.”

To summarize what the suspension of this hiring freeze means, state agencies can now hire without getting a waiver from the Division of the Budget. Hochul says agencies should prioritize hiring for their core missions and manage resources with prudence.

“As we continue to combat the pandemic, we must keep New York moving forward and that includes building our workforce to ensure we can support New Yorkers at the highest level,” Hochul said.

Between March 2020 and August 2021, Hochul’s office says the number of full-time workers in executive agencies went from roughly 118,000 to approximately 107,500.

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New Missouri health director on state law limiting health officials’ authority: ‘This is one that haunts me’



New Missouri health director on state law limiting health officials’ authority: ‘This is one that haunts me’

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The state’s new health director said the new law limiting the authority of public health officials worries him. Another concern of his – vaccination numbers.

Less than three weeks into the job, Don Kauerauf told reporters Thursday that masks work. He said there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution but believes the state health department should provide baseline guidance for schools and communities to follow.

To date, only 46.6% of Missourians are fully vaccinated, a percentage the director for the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) said needs to increase.

“Still Missouri is well below where we should be in vaccinations, we’ve got to get better,” Kauerauf, the former assistant director for the Illinois Department of Public Health, said. “That’s going to be our key. Those people that are hesitant, get them vaccinated.”

Kauerauf took over as the director of DHSS on Sept. 1, after Dr. Randall Williams was asked to resign in April. He said a mandate is a political decision and instead wants Missourians to take personal responsibility.

“The word mandate is a word I cannot stand,” Kauerauf said. “I think in the public health world, when you start saying the word “mandate,” you’re basically acknowledging that everything else has failed.”

He told lawmakers Wednesday he wears a mask because of his daughter who has various cardiac conditions and special needs.

“I wear a mask and I would recommend to anyone to wear a mask if you’re in those areas where there’s a chance of passing or receiving the virus,” Kauerauf said. “We know it does work, the mask does provider a barrier.”

The new director stressed to reporters during a media call the importance of local decisions, which is why a new law in Missouri has him concerned.

“This is one that haunts me,” Kauerauf said about House Bill 271. “This is the one I’m worried about, public health is not politics.”

HB 271 limits local orders restricting businesses, churches, schools, or gatherings to 30 days under a statewide emergency unless approved by a majority vote of the local governing body, like a city council. If there is no emergency, then the restriction or order could only last for 21 days unless approved.

“Public health is going to happen after COVID and if we’ve lost that local respect of the system, how are we going to recover from that?,” Kauerauf said. “It should be a concern to all us is that loss of respect, and we cannot set a public health system back.”

Kauerauf praised the state’s vaccine incentive program, MOVIP which has received 45,000 entries according to DHSS, saying it came at the perfect time.

“This program most certainly provided vaccinated at the most critical time for Missourians that if we did get a certain percentage of the population that got vaccinated because of this MOVIP, it was at the right time when the Delta Variant was first taking off in this state,” Kauerauf said.

Even with the incentive program, he said the state is seeing a rise in vaccinations when a community is being ravaged by the variant.

“It’s clear the importance of vaccinations,” Kauerauf said.

He said the state health department is working to release new guidance to schools and local communities but did not elaborate on the ideas. Instead, Kauerauf said the goal is to keep kids in school, especially after seeing the test results of the assessment for students released by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education earlier this week.

“That’s alarming and understanding that some of the core math subjects where they’ve had some of the greatest decreases,” Kauerauf said. “We are going to have some documentation that we are working on now for schools, to provide some clear ideas to achieve that keep kids in schools, allowing the locals to customize to the point where it’s really addressing the needs of that community.”

According to the Missouri Hospital Association, nearly one in three Missouri children ages 12 to 17 have been vaccinated, but earlier this month, a record of 1,133 children under 18 tested positive for COVID, a record-setting number.

Kauerauf said he has been married for 26 years to his wife that is also in public health, as the chief of communicable disease for the Illinois Department of Public Health, and has triplets who are 22 years old.

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Young, stacked U.S. team faces familiar battle in Ryder Cup



Young, stacked U.S. team faces familiar battle in Ryder Cup

The Americans would seem to have a lot in their favor at the Ryder Cup.

They are on home soil at Whistling Straits along the Wisconsin shores of Lake Michigan. A full house is expected, along with louder than usual cheering for the Stars & Stripes because of COVID-19 travel restrictions for European-based fans.

As for the players? Younger than ever, to be sure, but no less stacked. The Americans have eight of the top 10 in the world ranking — Europe only has Jon Rahm at No. 1 — on a team that has won twice as many majors.

This is nothing new, of course. With one exception, the Americans always bring a better collection of players to the Ryder Cup.

They just rarely leave with the precious gold trophy.

“We have the best players this year,” said Paul Azinger, the lead analyst for NBC Sports who still uses pronouns as if it were 2008 when he was the U.S. captain. “And obviously, they (Europe) roll in with the most confidence and maybe the best team.”

The trick is getting the American players to realize that. At the last Ryder Cup in France three years ago, the U.S. was just as loaded with nine major champions on the 12-man squad who had combined to win 10 of the last 16 majors.

They got smoked again.

“I feel like on paper, from head to toe, the world ranking, I would say we’re a stronger team,” U.S. captain Steve Stricker said. “But I don’t think our guys feel we’re better. They know deep down how hard it is to beat them.”

All that matters on paper are the results. Europe has won nine of the last 12 times in the Ryder Cup. And while the U.S. still holds a 26-14-2 advantage dating to the start in 1927, that’s not the real measure. Continental Europeans did not join the fray until 1979, and since then they are 11-8-1.

Europe, with Padraig Harrington now at the helm of the juggernaut, tries to extend its dominance at the 43rd Ryder Cup, which was postponed one year because of the pandemic.

Three relentless days of matches Sept. 24-26 will be held at Whistling Straits, the cliffside course with 1,000 or so bunkers that has hosted the PGA Championship three times in the last 17 years. American players, it should be noted, have been runner-up in all three.

Why do the Europeans keep winning the Ryder Cup?

They relish the role as underdogs. They seem to play with a chip on their shoulders, perhaps because the Americans don’t — and probably should — have one on theirs.

“That’s our advantage, I guess, in a way, right?” Ian Poulter said in a SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio interview. “That we have delivered when perhaps we shouldn’t have delivered. And this is the magical question that gets asked all the time. That’s what has the American press scratching their head. That’s what has the American team scratching their heads at times. On paper — on paper — the U.S. team should have delivered.

“It’s for us to enjoy and for the American team to figure out,” he said. “There is a level of magic sauce which we’ve been able to create over the years.”

Europe is bringing winning experience to Wisconsin.

Lee Westwood ties a European record by playing in his 11th Ryder Cup at age 48. He joins Sergio Garcia, already with the highest points total in history, on a short list of those who have played in Ryder Cups over parts of four decades. Garcia has contributed 25 1/2 points, the same amount as this entire U.S. team combined.

Whatever experience the Americans bring are mostly bad memories. Their lone victory in the last decade was at Hazeltine in 2016 against a European team that had six rookies. Only one of them, Matt Fitzpatrick, made it back on another team.

The six rookies are the most for the Americans since 2008 when they won at Valhalla.

Those include Collin Morikawa, who was an amateur when the last Ryder Cup was played and since then has won two majors, a World Golf Championship and led the U.S. standings in his first year of eligibility. It includes FedEx Cup champion Patrick Cantlay and Olympic gold medalist Xander Schauffele, who were a formidable team at the Presidents Cup in Australia two years ago.

“I think it’s a good time for a younger influx of players,” Schauffele said, “and really excited to run with these guys.”

And while the veterans include Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth — the only Americans to have played at least three Ryder Cups — they also include Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau, who have made their dislike for each other abundantly clear over the last few months.

DeChambeau has stopped talking to the press after he was criticized for saying he wasn’t vaccinated because he’s young and healthy and would rather give it to people who need it (even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said there is no shortage).

He also has endured heckling, with fans calling him “Brooksy” to get under his skin.

Koepka, meanwhile, injured his wrist hitting a tree root beneath the turf at East Lake. He plans to be at Whistling Straits and said he would be ready to go, though at what strength won’t be known until he gets there.

A week before the matches, Koepka was quoted in a Golf Digest interview as saying the Ryder Cup week is hectic, odd and takes him out of his routine because of the team element. Azinger read the interview and suggested if Koepka doesn’t love the Ryder Cup, he should give his spot to someone who does.

This is the drama Stricker can do without as he leads a team desperate for a win. He said he spoke to Koepka and DeChambeau in the last month and they assured him they would put their differences aside.

That’s never been a problem for Europe, which has not been immune to personality conflicts over the years. It just never shows inside the ropes, in uniform, with a 17-inch trophy at stake.

“You have your favorites, guys who get along with, some you get along with a little worse,” Garcia said. “I can’t speak for the Americans — I don’t know what happens there — but it feels like when we get in the team room, everyone takes their armor off and puts it aside. You can feel that. Everyone is happy to put their arm around everyone else and try to help. It’s just the way it is.”

Maybe it’s that European magic sauce. Whatever it is, it’s been working.

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MassMutual fined for failing to monitor GameStop saga’s ‘Roaring Kitty’



MassMutual fined for failing to monitor GameStop saga’s ‘Roaring Kitty’

State regulators are fining MassMutual $4 million and ordering it to overhaul its social media policies after accusing the company of failing to supervise an employee whose online cheerleading of GameStop’s stock helped launch the frenzy that shook Wall Street earlier this year.

The settlement announced Thursday by Secretary of the State William Galvin centers on the actions of Keith Gill, who was an employee at a MassMutual subsidiary from April 2019 until January 2021.

His tenure ended as GameStop’s stock price suddenly soared nearly 800% in a week, with hordes of smaller-pocketed and novice investors piled in, to the shock and awe of professionals.

Gill’s job at MassMutual was to create educational materials for current and potential customers, but regulators say he was also posting more than 250 hours of videos on YouTube and sending at least 590 Tweets about investing and GameStop through accounts unaffiliated with the company.

Regulators cited those messages, alleging MassMutual failed to monitor the social media accounts of Gill and other employees who were registered as broker-dealer agents in the state, and therefore subject to certain supervision requirements.

The MassMutual unit where Gill worked prohibits broker-dealer agents from discussing generic securities on social media.

In his online messages, Gill would often talk about why he owned and was optimistic about GameStop’s stock, even though it had been struggling for years. He used the nicknames “Roaring Kitty” and “DeepValue,” with an expletive in the middle of the latter one, and he amassed tens of thousands of followers.

Gill, and the red headband he wore in many of his videos, became such central characters in the GameStop phenomenon that he testified in a Congressional hearing about it. There he professed once again, “I like the stock,” a statement that became a rallying cry for GameStop investors in forums across the internet.

Regulators also said MassMutual failed to have reasonable policies and procedures to monitor the personal trading of its registered agents, among other things. To watch for excessive trading, for example, the MassMutual unit where Gill worked had a rule to flag transactions of $250,000 or more in a single security made across all the accounts by registered representatives.

Regulators say Gill sold $750,000 worth of GameStop options and bought $703,600 of GameStop stock in one day during January, but his employer’s trade surveillance system didn’t flag either of the trades.

In the settlement, MassMutual neither admitted nor denied state regulators’ findings. It said in a statement that it’s “pleased to put this matter behind us, avoiding the expense and distraction associated with protracted litigation.”

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High school football: Growing numbers, culture contribute to St. Agnes’ consistent success



High school football: Growing numbers, culture contribute to St. Agnes’ consistent success

St. Agnes’ football program featured 26 players when Tom Flood took over five seasons ago.

Now, the 2-0 Aggies have nearly 70 players out for the team.

The growth is largely a result of three factors: A school growing in enrollment, three consecutive section final appearances and, perhaps most important, a culture kids gravitate toward.

Senior quarterback Isaac Schmidt said kids at school see the “brotherhood” that lives within the football program, and it’s something they, too, want to be a part of.

“I honestly think it’s because of the sense of unity that we have,” said senior defensive back and athlete Caleb Flood, Tom’s son. “We started out with 26 kids, now we have 25 freshmen and five eighth graders. They just want to be a part of something bigger than themselves, and I think we offer that.”

St. Agnes coach Tom Flood watches during practice in St. Paul on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021, Flood has led the Aggies to section championship games in three straight seasons (Jace Frederick / Pioneer Press)

Tom Flood gave his senior class a lot of credit for the culture that exists within the program. They’ve done the things necessary to build it. Caleb Flood noted much of the team is in the weight room — run by defensive coordinator Sam Thompson — every day in the offseason. They’ve also embraced what the program is all about: winning.

But the Aggies’ definition of winning, Tom Flood noted, is different than simply going off what the scoreboard reads.

“It’s walking off the field going ‘I left everything I had on the field tonight for the guy next to me,’ ” he said. “That’s winning. That’s what it’s about.”

It’s Henry Tibesar filling in at quarterback last season after Schmidt went down with an injury, then playing left tackle this fall as a junior, because that’s what the team needed.

That mindset is what Flood got players to buy into early in his tenure. Current seniors credit leaders from the 2018 squad — Conrad Tibesar, Terrell Jones and others — for establishing a standard they could carry forward.

“Lucky for us, we came in as freshmen with a pretty strong senior class, with guys who understood what they wanted and what they wanted from Coach Flood,” Caleb Flood said. “So for us to be able to see that for four years, to be able to imitate that and be able to build off that was huge. We just install that into the young kids who come into the program every day, and it helps out a ton.”

Tom Flood said the Aggies have 30 players on their “C squad” at the moment and estimated three-quarters of them had never played football before. He loves that. Flood’s son, Caleb, played soccer in eighth grade before joining the football team as a freshman.

He encourages all kids to get out of their comfort zone in high school and try new things. If football is one of them, then awesome. The program implemented Tackle Bar football — at the urging of St. Agnes athletic director Mike Streitz — years ago, and Flood has become a big proponent of it, noting it allows kids to immerse themselves into the sport at a gradual rate and eases safety concerns parents may possess.

Any new kids, Schmidt said, quickly learn what it means to play football for the St. Paul Catholic school and embrace a more mature, goal-oriented approach.

That has indeed led to results. St. Agnes has gone 23-7 since 2018, with three of those losses coming to Minneapolis North — a perennial state title contender — in the Class 2A, Section 4 final.

“You’ve got to aspire to be that,” Tom Flood said. “If you want to beat them, you’ve got to aspire to be that, and part of that is getting more kids out, more kids playing football and being part of that.”

You can’t win a section title, he noted, with just 26 kids. Not against the likes of the Polars, anyway. But St. Agnes appears to be reaching a point where it can compete with the best. Not only do the Aggies have growing numbers, they also have talent.

They aren’t stocked with beef up front, but 295-pound senior lineman Dominic Smith is a large, agile, talented lineman. Flood and Schmidt could play at the collegiate level, as could running back John Patros.

And there are many more talented underclassmen, from sophomore linemen Daniel Koontz and Cadman Foley and the Simmons brothers — De’Vaun, Elijah and Elonzo.

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St. Agnes senior quarterback Isaac Schmidt launches a ball up to the sky during a kick return drill at practice in St. Paul on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021. (Jace Frederick / Pioneer Press)

Perhaps St. Agnes, which hosts St. Croix Lutheran at 7 p.m. Friday at Concordia-St. Paul — can give Minneapolis North a run for its money this season in the playoffs. But if not, so be it. Caleb Flood said the team’s goal is simply to improve every day. Schmidt noted the culture that’s been established in the football program has permeated into the school building, noting that every year he’s been at St. Agnes has been even better than the year prior.

That’s another win for the Aggies.

“The wins and losses aren’t what’s really important in this program,” Tom Flood said. “As long as these kids are growing as young men and building character, I could care less what the score is.”

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Body of New Yorker missing since 2015 believed found at Grand Canyon



Body of New Yorker missing since 2015 believed found at Grand Canyon

TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Capital Region Vegan Network will host its first-ever vegan food festival—VEG OUT—happening Sunday, September 19, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., surrounding Monument Square in downtown Troy,

The event is outdoors, free to attend, and open to the public. This is the second VEG OUT event, but the first area vegan festival to be hosted since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

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Study finds Black St. Louisans subjected to police force 4 times more than white people



Study finds Black St. Louisans subjected to police force 4 times more than white people

ST. LOUIS – Despite a decrease in “use of force” incidents involving St. Louis police, a report finds Black people were subjected to force 4.3 times as often as white people per year.

The report from the Center for Police Equity and co-authored by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department examined policing practices and behaviors over a seven-year period. The ultimate goal is to create a national database on police behavior with standardized data collection, to spur data-driven reforms to improve public safety.

The department provided the CPE with data on pedestrian stops, vehicle stops, and use-of-force data from 2012 to 2019. In turn, the CPE checked to see if Black people “experience frequent or burdensome police contact at a greater rate than other groups.”

Black people make up 47.5% of the population of St. Louis City, whereas white people are 42.9% of the city.

According to the CPE, the three most commonly used types of police force during the reporting period were: weaponless force; Taser point, display, or discharge; and firearm point, display, or discharge. Regarding police use of a firearm, the report did not break categories down any further than that.

Pedestrian stops decreased by 82% from 2012 to 2019. However, Black pedestrians were stopped approximately 2.3 times as often as white people on average. African Americans made up 70.4% of all pedestrians stopped during the reporting period.

According to the report, neighborhood characteristics also play a significant role when it comes to racial disparities in pedestrian stops. In neighborhoods where crime and poverty rates are average, police stopped Black and white pedestrians in equal measure. However, in neighborhoods with less poverty, Black individuals were more likely to be stopped than white people.

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Vehicle stops increased 11.6% from the end of 2016 to the end of 2019. During that time, Black drivers made up 65.4% of all vehicle stops, whereas white drivers accounted for 32.3% of the stops.

St. Louisans can respond to the report at a virtual town hall on Sept. 23 at 6 p.m. The CPE is co-hosting the town hall with the St. Louis Violence Prevention Commission, Department of Public Safety, and Mayor Tishaura Jones. Community members can RSVP for the town hall by clicking here.

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Seattle Mariners land All-Star Game earlier than expected



Seattle Mariners land All-Star Game earlier than expected

SEATTLE — When the Seattle Mariners started down the path of bidding for the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, the target was 2024 or later to host for a third time.

When MLB came back to the club earlier this year asking if 2023 was a possibility, the Mariners quickly kicked into gear.

“I think with some of the shuffling that went on, (2023) became the more viable alternative,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday. “And I have to say, the Mariners did a fantastic job in terms of the up-tempo, the preparation. It takes a lot to pull off an All-Star Game, a lot of preparation and planning and (Mariners Chairman) John (Stanton) and his people did a fantastic job getting ready sooner.”

Seattle was formally unveiled as the host of the 2023 midsummer classic Thursday, making the announcement inside the Space Needle with Hall of Famers Ken Griffey Jr. and Edgar Martinez looking on.

Seattle’s first All-Star Game was in 1979 at the Kingdome, and it hosted again 22 years later in 2001 at Safeco Field.

Twenty-two years later, the game will be back at what’s now T-Mobile Park.

“I believe that the 2023 All-Star Game will give us the opportunity to celebrate the entire region,” Stanton said. “I think you have to agree to me, looking out the window today, there is no nicer place in America than Seattle in the middle of summer.”

Seattle’s turn as host will make for three straight years when the game is played in the Western half of the country. This year’s All-Star Game was moved to Denver from Atlanta in April after Manfred made the decision to relocate the game because of a Georgia voting law that critics say will negatively affect communities of color. His decision generally was denounced by conservatives and praised by liberals.

The 2022 game will be held at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. It was originally scheduled to be there in 2020 before being canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Manfred said he was “not in a position” to comment on any conversations about a future game in Atlanta and commended Seattle on being ready to host quicker than expected.

“John and his people did a fantastic job getting ready sooner. You know our deepest hope is for baseball to return to its traditional kind of apolitical stance,” Manfred said. “We’re about entertaining our fans, having an inclusive environment that everybody can come and enjoy our games.”

Seattle’s bid was led by senior vice president Randy Adamack, who has been with the franchise for 44 of its 45 seasons.

Adamack said 2023 was part of the initial conversations but originally some of the “pieces of the puzzle weren’t fitting together.” There was talk of possibly looking at 2027 for the game and a chance to celebrate the 50th year of the franchise.

Adamack said when MLB reached out asking if 2023 was a possibility earlier this year, the biggest complication was securing hotels. Adamack estimated Seattle’s initial bid book was about 120 pages, much of it about hotel space.

“It all came together in the last couple of months, and here we are,” Adamack said.

A key element to Seattle’s bid was a partnership with First and Goal, which operates Lumen Field across the street from the Mariners ballpark. The home stadium for the Seattle Seahawks and Sounders, and the area surrounding the two venues will be used extensively for fan activities.

“The other thing that is important to MLB is having the city support, the county and the state support, and we were able to communicate that in real tangible ways,” Adamack said. “Having the corporate support in the city to make it happen for the business community, the sports community, it’s a lot of entities and a lot of people coming together.”


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He said, she said: Starts/sits for Week 2



He said, she said: Starts/sits for Week 2

Pity the fool (like me) who has Saquon Barkley. The NFL schedule-makers did this guy coming off an ACL injury no favors scheduling two games in the first five days of the season for the Football Giants.

Hopefully you didn’t start him. It’s just too risky now. If you’re reading this in print Friday morning, you’ll know.

But honestly be wary of any Giants at the moment.

The Barkley situation is difficult because when/if healthy, he’s a rare talent. If he’s your third or fourth choice at RB, your team is loaded and you’re playing in a league full of dopes.

So here’s how I’m gonna go with my half of this article: Guys who should be starters, all things considered, but you should bench because of their Barkley-esque situation. The starter recommendations are for players not obvious choices. The Vikings should run like crazy to help limit Arizona possessions, but Dalvin Cook should be in your lineup if they’re playing 13 people on defense.

QB: Aaron Rodgers? More like Errin’ Rodgers! (Thank you, thank you very much.) He had a historically bad game last week, and he’s home against the Lions, a team he has owned through the years. But something ain’t right about that boy. Avoid until we find out what it is. SIT!

They grow up so fast. Justin Herbert set a rookie TD record last year, and the Chargers will play their first game at SoFi in front of an appreciative crowd. The Cowboys look like they’ll be without their two best pass-rushers. Herbert will have a field day. START!

RB: How long til Pittsburgh’s Najee Harris breaks out? I say Sunday at 1 p.m. against the Raiders. Vegas played an OT game Monday, now venture across the country for an early start. Harris should crush this. START!

If you have an option — and you probably don’t — consider pining Ezekiel Elliott. If Dallas falls behind (they will) then they’ll return to the pass-happy traits of the last two years when Dak Prescott has been taking snaps. Elliott will start for almost every team manager in fantasy, but I don’t think he has a big day. Hope I’m wrong. SIT (reluctantly)!

WR: With Odell Beckham Jr. still not ready, that increases the pressure on Jarvis Landry, who is basically a possession reciever. I think the Browns struggle passing the ball. SIT!

Tampa is so loaded. Mike Evans. Chris Godwin. And last week Antonio Brown looked like Pittsburgh-era AB. It’s not fool’s gold, he’s still capable of being elite. START!

TE: I just have a feeling Jonnu Smith is gonna do things this week. START!

Robert Tonyan is a fake and his QB might be a flake. SIT!


AI: It’s time to hit the waiver wire and make some GM moves on who to start and who to sit. It’s not always about playing the best, most flashy guy. Sometimes you have to bench a top-tier player strictly because of who they’re going up against, defensively, or other week-to-week team factors that could hurt their overall performance. So — with that being said — here are my starts and sits for QB, RB, WR and TE this week:

QB START: Josh Allen
He didn’t have the debut we expected, but that doesn’t mean Allen (the QB taken No. 2 in the majority of fantasy drafts) and Co. can’t turn things up a notch against a beatable Dolphins defense. (Yes, I know the Patriots lost to Miami, but the loss was mostly due to offensive penalties, red zone inefficiencies and the obvious fumble). Don’t sleep on the Bills this week.

SIT: Daniel Jones
The Giants just didn’t look good Week 1. I can’t say I’m *that* surprised by this, but nonetheless, I think it’s important to say (as Bruce stated above talking about Saquon) stay away from Giants players in fantasy. Just not a risk worth taking at this point until we see differently.

RB START: Chris Carson
People always sleep on Carson, but he tied for 10th overall this past Sunday — with 19 touches. Plus — for PPR leagues — he’s a factor in the passing game.

SIT: Ezekiel Elliott/Damien Harris 

Ditto on what Bruce said about Elliott. No need to repeat, but absolutely in agreement here.

Harris … not sure what his productivity will be this week after the fumble heard round the league. He hit 100 yards rushing last week, but the Patriots are so unpredictable with their offensive scheme — may be best to sit Harris this week in the wake of the mistake.

WR START: Antonio Brown
I kicked myself last week when I benched Brown — even though I knew he’d have a solid season opener. Tom Brady absolutely loves the guy and kept saying all offseason/preseason that Brown looks the best he’s ever looked. He got 25 points for my bench Week 1 (full-point PPR), so he has officially been flexed in for Week 2.

SIT: Robby Anderson

Robby Anderson is up against a tough New Orleans defense. You could start him, but I would give a guy like AB a start over Anderson this week just because the sheer productivity may not be there against a tougher opponent in the air.

TE START: Jared Cook
I just picked Jared Cook off of waivers because I had Robert Tonyan as my No. 1 TE. Yuck. Cook is a lock to have a solid week as TE1 if you need him to start Week 2 against a passive Dallas defense.

SIT: Rob Gronkowski

Oh, Gronk. I also picked him up off waivers for the weeks I feel Brady will go to his OG guy the most. But this week — sit him. I think he’ll be productive enough, but your starter you drafted will most likely get you more points for this week. Give him some rest.

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