Connect with us

News

Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes urgently trying to regain form: ‘It’s gotta happen quick’

Published

on

Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes urgently trying to regain form: ‘It’s gotta happen quick’

Matt Barnes knows he doesn’t have much time to figure things out, but he feels like he has pinpointed some of the issues that have led to his struggles.

As the Red Sox inch toward the wild card game and a potential postseason run, they’re doing so without a set closer. Barnes, an All-Star after a dominant first half, lost the job thanks to an awful August before testing positive for COVID-19. Now healthy and pitching in meaningful games again, Barnes and the Red Sox know the veteran could be a huge boost to the playoff push if he can at least come close to regaining his early-season form.

But with a week to go in the regular season, he knows time is not on his side.

“I don’t have many games to figure this (expletive) out,” Barnes said before Friday’s series opener against the Yankees. “It’s gotta happen quick. That’s the crazy part about baseball. You can be going really, really good and then one day, it’s gone. You can be going really bad and literally the next day, it’s back. It clicks and you’re back and it’s good. We’re going to keep moving. I know we don’t have a lot of time to get that done, but I’m going to keep doing my thing and keep working towards getting back to that spot.”

Entering Friday, Barnes had made two appearances since being activated from the COVID-19 IL. He struck out two in an encouraging return last Friday against the Orioles, but he took a step back Wednesday against the Mets. Replacing Chris Sale in the sixth inning of a lopsided game, Barnes recorded just one out as he walked two. Only eight of his 21 pitches were strikes.

Manager Alex Cora noted that Barnes’ velocity had been down, but the biggest key for Barnes is to get back to attacking the strike zone and getting ahead early in counts, which led to his success in the first half. But it’s not for a lack of effort.

“I’m trying to attack the strike zone,” Barnes said. “I’m not trying to throw balls on purpose. I don’t even feel like I’m trying to nibble, I feel like I’m trying to go right after guys and it’s just out of sync right now. It’s spraying. I think I’m getting rotational, getting too high on my front side which is forcing me to rush and then kind of start yanking.”

Barnes is optimistic, though. He, the coaching staff and his teammates have noticed those mechanical issues while watching video over the last few days and Barnes said that he’s felt really good during bullpens and warming up before his appearances.

“I think it’s just translating that into the game,” Barnes said. “I went back and watched some video after I was done (on Wednesday). I felt like we picked up on a couple of things, so I was working on that today. Listen, it’s been a grind for me for a little while. Luckily the offense is doing their thing, the starters have been doing their thing and the bullpen has been really rock solid for the last month, month and a half. I’m grinding right now, but we’re not going to stop. We’re going to keep working and keep moving forward.”

On Friday night, Barnes translated the work into an encouraging step forward. He worked around a two-out double from Giancarlo Stanton to throw a scoreless sixth inning against the heart of the Yankees’ order. He struck out two, didn’t issue a walk and 16 of his 23 pitches were strikes, though he only threw five fastballs.

Cora knows what he has when Barnes is at his best, and they’re hopeful that he can unlock it over the next week.

“We’ll keep working with him,” Cora said. “Hopefully we can get him back on track because we do believe that obviously when he’s right, he’s one of the best relievers in the big leagues.”

Whitlock progressing

Garrett Whitlock, who’s on the 10-day injured list with a right pectoral strain, is feeling better, Cora said. He’s not throwing yet, but the hope remains for the star rookie reliever to return before the end of the season.

“We’ll see how he’s reacting to treatment but he’s been feeling well, he’s been feeling better,” Cora said. “We’ll map it out. As soon as the medical staff feels like we can move ahead and do the next step, we’ll do it.”

Schwarber gets another nod

After hitting two home runs Wednesday against the Mets, Kyle Schwarber was back at first base for his sixth start at the new position for him. Cora has been pleased with how he’s handled it.

“He’s been OK,” Cora said. “I know everybody talks about that play in Seattle, but he’s been solid. He’s moving around and getting used to it, he’s been really good. We’re very pleased with the progress and we feel comfortable playing him at first base.”

Nathan Eovaldi made his 200th career start on Friday night. His 31st start of the season is the most since he made 33 with Miami in 2014. … Alex Rodriguez was chatting with Bobby Dalbec on the field prior to Friday’s game. Rodriguez is in town to call Sunday night’s game on ESPN.

google news

News

Apple once threatened Facebook ban over Mideast maid abuse

Published

on

Apple once threatened Facebook ban over Mideast maid abuse

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Two years ago, Apple threatened to pull Facebook and Instagram from its app store over concerns about the platform being used as a tool to trade and sell maids in the Mideast.

After publicly promising to crack down, Facebook acknowledged in internal documents obtained by The Associated Press that it was “under-enforcing on confirmed abusive activity” that saw Filipina maids complaining on the social media site of being abused. Apple relented and Facebook and Instagram remained in the app store.

But Facebook’s crackdown seems to have had a limited effect. Even today, a quick search for “khadima,” or “maids” in Arabic, will bring up accounts featuring posed photographs of Africans and South Asians with ages and prices listed next to their images. That’s even as the Philippines government has a team of workers that do nothing but scour Facebook posts each day to try and protect desperate job seekers from criminal gangs and unscrupulous recruiters using the site.

While the Mideast remains a crucial source of work for women in Asia and Africa hoping to provide for their families back home, Facebook acknowledged some countries across the region have “especially egregious” human rights issues when it comes to laborers’ protection.

“In our investigation, domestic workers frequently complained to their recruitment agencies of being locked in their homes, starved, forced to extend their contracts indefinitely, unpaid, and repeatedly sold to other employers without their consent,” one Facebook document read. “In response, agencies commonly told them to be more agreeable.”

The report added: “We also found recruitment agencies dismissing more serious crimes, such as physical or sexual assault, rather than helping domestic workers.”

In a statement to the AP, Facebook said it took the problem seriously, despite the continued spread of ads exploiting foreign workers in the Mideast.

“We prohibit human exploitation in no uncertain terms,” Facebook said. “We’ve been combating human trafficking on our platform for many years and our goal remains to prevent anyone who seeks to exploit others from having a home on our platform.”

This story, along with others published Monday, is based on disclosures made to the Securities and Exchange Commission and provided to Congress in redacted form by former Facebook employee-turned-whistleblower Frances Haugen’s legal counsel. The redacted versions were obtained by a consortium of news organizations, including the AP.

Taken as a whole, the trove of documents show that Facebook’s daunting size and user base around the world — a key factor in its rapid ascent and near trillion-dollar valuation — also proves to be its greatest weakness in trying to police illicit activity, such as the sale of drugs, and suspected human rights and labor abuses on its site.

Activists say Facebook, based in Menlo Park, California, has both an obligation and likely the means to fully crack down on the abuses their services facilitate as it earns tens of billions of dollars a year in revenue.

google news
Continue Reading

News

HelloFresh, EveryPlate and more now part of extended onion recall

Published

on

You may need to toss your onions as salmonella outbreak has been linked to the vegetable

If you haven’t already thrown out your onions, you should check your vegetables again.

The Food and Drug Administration has extended the onion recall, caused by a salmonella outbreak, to several more brands. The salmonella outbreak was first reported last week and initially only included fresh whole red, white or yellow onions imported from Chihuahua, Mexico and distributed by ProSource.

The recall now includes onions from HelloFresh, EveryPlate, Potandon Produce LLC and Keeler Family Farms.

HelloFresh said in a statement on Saturday they recommended disposing of onions received during the specified time period

“HelloFresh has been informed by one of its ingredient suppliers that it is conducting a voluntary recall of its onions due to the potential presence of salmonella bacteria,” the company said. “Please discard all onions received from July 7, 2021, through Sept. 8, 2021.”

The CDC is still working to determine if other onions and suppliers are linked to the outbreak.

Officials said recently both individuals and businesses should check onions and if it is unknown where they are from, throw them away. It is also recommended to wash and sanitize any surfaces that may have come in contact with these onions.

google news
Continue Reading

News

Just what are “The Facebook Papers,” anyway?

Published

on

Just what are “The Facebook Papers,” anyway?

The Facebook Papers project represents a unique collaboration among 17 American news organizations, including The Associated Press. Journalists from a variety of newsrooms, large and small, worked together to gain access to thousands of pages of internal company documents obtained by Frances Haugen, the former Facebook product manager-turned-whistleblower.

A separate consortium of European news outlets had access to the same set of documents, and members of both groups began publishing content related to their analysis of the materials at 7 a.m. EDT on Monday, Oct. 25. That date and time was set by the partner news organizations to give everyone in the consortium an opportunity to fully analyze the documents, report out relevant details, and to give Facebook’s public relations staff ample time to respond to questions and inquiries raised by that reporting.

Each member of the consortium pursued its own independent reporting on the document contents and their significance. Every member also had the opportunity to attend group briefings to gain information and context about the documents.

The launch of The Facebook Papers project follows similar reporting by The Wall Street Journal, sourced from the same documents, as well as Haugen’s appearance on the CBS television show “60 Minutes” and her Oct. 5 Capitol Hill testimony before a U.S. Senate subcommittee.

The papers themselves are redacted versions of disclosures that Haugen has made over several months to the Securities and Exchange Commission, alleging Facebook was prioritizing profits over safety and hiding its own research from investors and the public.

These complaints cover a range of topics, from its efforts to continue growing its audience, to how its platforms might harm children, to its alleged role in inciting political violence. The same redacted versions of those filings are being provided to members of Congress as part of its investigation. And that process continues as Haugen’s legal team goes through the process of redacting the SEC filings by removing the names of Facebook users and lower-level employees and turns them over to Congress.

The Facebook Papers consortium will continue to report on these documents as more become available in the coming days and weeks.

“AP regularly teams up with other news organizations to bring important journalism to the world,” said Julie Pace, senior vice president and executive editor. “The Facebook Papers project is in keeping with that mission. In all collaborations, AP maintains its editorial independence.”

google news
Continue Reading

Trending