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Column: Willson Contreras gets last look at Chicago Cubs fans on an emotional day: ‘I’m always going to keep them in my heart’

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Column: Willson Contreras Gets Last Look At Chicago Cubs Fans On An Emotional Day: ‘I’m Always Going To Keep Them In My Heart’

Players come and go at Wrigley Field, and some of the lucky ones get the send-off they deserve.

Such was the case Tuesday for Willson Contreras in the final home game for the Chicago Cubs catcher before the Aug. 2 trade deadline.

While the Cubs haven’t outright said their most popular player would be traded, everyone in the crowd of 30,978 seemed to understand this would be the end.

Contreras was treated to a long standing ovation before his first inning at-bat, stopped for a moment to wave with his helmet, then blooped a single to center on the first pitch. He received another standing O before his final at-bat in the seventh, and pumped his fist before striking out to end the inning.

After the Cubs beat the Pirates 4-2 win for their sixth straight, Contreras was the last player to leave the field, getting bear hugs from longtime teammates Kyle Hendricks, Jason Heyward and Ian Happ, while manager David Ross hugged and lifted him up off the ground like a beer keg.

After one last look, and one final salute from Cubs fans, Contreras was gone.

The show of love, he said, was “awesome” and something he would never forget.

“It makes me feel like if I have to walk away from this team, I’m going to walk away with my head up high,” he said. “I know that I did everything I could to make this team better from Day One when I was called up in 2016.”

Not every departing Cubs star gets a chance to say goodbye the way Contreras did on a gorgeous afternoon at the corner of Clark and Addison streets.

Sure, Ernie Banks received a standing ovation before a crowd of 18,505 at Wrigley before his first inning at-bat — an infield hit — in what would be his final game Sept. 26, 1971. But most leave without the fanfare.

Sammy Sosa walked out on his team at the start of the final game of 2004 and was dealt to the Baltimore Orioles during the offseason, never to return to the ballpark he once owned. Because of the pandemic, Jon Lester’s last game in a Cubs uniform came in front of an empty stadium during the 2020 postseason. Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant weren’t in the lineup for their final game at Wrigley last July, with Rizzo asking for the day off — a decision he likely regrets.

But Contreras’ probable exit has been talked about for months, and at this point it would be a complete shock if he remained a Cub past Aug. 2. He hasn’t received an offer on an extension, but said Tuesday if he got one in the next week he’d definitely “look at it.”

“The hope is there,” Contreras said of staying a Cub. “But at the end of the day, they’re going to make a move, they’re going to do it. I don’t want to overthink (the possibility of) staying here, because I’m 70/30 right now.”

As he spoke about his future, someone’s baby began crying in the clubhouse, lightening the mood.

Contreras didn’t rule out returning next year if he is dealt, though that also seems like a long shot. Either way, he handled his lame duck status well all season, though the emotions came flooding out in the last 24 hours.

“I could tell (Monday) he was distracted in-game,” Ross said before Tuesday’s game. “There definitely are thoughts on his mind. It would be unnatural not to be for him. I don’t think any of us really knows what’s going to happen, what the future holds. … He’s an emotional guy. He wears it on his sleeve.”

Several other Cubs may also have played their last game at Wrigley, a day in which Keegan Thompson threw seven strong innings for the win. Ian Happ’s status also is also iffy, and the veteran outfielder was touched by a gesture from his left-field bleacher fans, who autographed a ball for him.

“They’re there every day no matter what, no matter the weather, from April till now, and they care so much,” Happ said. “That was really meaningful.”

But even Happ knew this day belonged to Contreras, who began his long stay in the organization in 2009. From homering on the first pitch he saw in 2016 to his frequent spats with the rival Milwaukee Brewers, Contreras’ Cubs career had been anything but dull.

Many have forgotten he received sparse playing time in his first month with the Cubs, playing behind Miguel Montero and Ross, who was Jon Lester’s personal catcher. The thinking when Contreras was called up from Triple-A Iowa in June 2016 was that he’d get a brief look and return when rosters expanded in September.

“That was the floor,” then-team President Theo Epstein said. “Bring him up as a third catcher, get his feet wet and see how it goes, knowing that we can easily send him back down. But we always were transparent about leaving open the possibility that he might take off and hit the ground running. And he certainly has, which is great.

“But he has willed himself, no pun intended, into this position. He’s obviously playing himself into a position to take on real responsibility and help the team win. So he has earned a spot on the team.”

Though hyped as the catcher of the future, Contreras still had to wait his turn. Former manager Joe Maddon wouldn’t separate Lester and Ross, and said Contreras would have to learn his craft playing part-time.

“He’s young, he’s learning,” Maddon said that July. “You keep him fresh mentally and physically, and he’s going to look like that all year. You don’t want to put too much on his plate right now. I’ve been through that before also, where the new kid on the block, everybody wants a new flavor. And all of a sudden the flavor can lose some of its edge if you expose it too often.

“So just let him play. Let him be Willson. Let him be 24 years old. He’s going to be here many years and he’s going to be really good.”

Maddon, who was so close with Contreras some called the catcher “Joe’s son,” helped build the rookie’s confidence. After Contreras posted a 1.004 OPS in September, it was apparent he already was the best of the three catchers.

Ross’ memories of Contreras’ rookie season were of a kid that did “a lot of smiling, fit in really easily, showing off the absolute cannon he had.” And, of course, the home run on the first pitch he saw against the Pirates.

“He’s got a knack for the moment,” Ross said. “He wants that.”

Ross retired after the Cubs won the 2016 World Series, Montero was released during the summer of ’17, and Contreras made the first of his three All-Star appearances in 2018. While he always was well-liked, it wasn’t until Rizzo, Bryant and Javier Báez were dealt that Contreras became the most popular player on the team.

It’s why the probable exit has been so difficult to understand. Contreras love the Cubs. The Cubs love him. But it won’t matter in the end.

“I have a lot of things in my head right now about the fans,” he said Tuesday. “But it’s nothing but love. … The love and support they showed me from Day One was priceless. I’m always going to keep them in my heart.”

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Erik ten Hag orders Manchester United stars to undergo extra training after Brentford humiliation as ex-Chelsea star admits he mocked Christian Eriksen’s decision

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Erik Ten Hag Orders Manchester United Stars To Undergo Extra Training After Brentford Humiliation As Ex-Chelsea Star Admits He Mocked Christian Eriksen'S Decision

Manchester United players had their day off canceled by Erik ten Hag following a humiliating loss to Brentford.

The Dutchman was furious with his side’s performance in the 4-0 loss which left the Red Devils bottom of the Premier League table after two games.

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Ten Hag called his players for extra training

It was a nerve-wracking experience for the Man United players, who reportedly felt the ex-Ajax boss’ wrath in the dressing room at half-time in the defeat.

Ten Hag and scores of stars including Cristiano Ronaldo, David de Gea, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bruno Fernandes have been criticized for the result as a former top club’s decline continues.

But, in an attempt to immediately right the wrongs of Saturday night, their new manager halted plans for a Sunday off and called in his stars for extra practice, according to the Times.

Although the club would have returned to Manchester late last night, Ten Hag was back in his office early this morning before his players arrived.

But former Premier League striker Tony Cascarino believes Ten Hag’s decision to change his goal kicking style during the Brentford game was inane.

He told the Weekend Sports Breakfast: “I get frustrated when I hear about a certain style of play because if the team you’re playing against is good at stopping you, don’t try to stop it.

No Man United Player Came Out Of The Game Well And Their Day Off Was Canceled

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No Man United player came out of the game well and their day off was canceled


“Man City can do it and Liverpool can do it, because their players are much more capable. Alisson sometimes, with me as a Liverpool fan, my heart is in my hands thinking, ‘wow, what the hell? what are you trying to do there?’

“But there are very few teams in the world that can play that way and get away with it. Barcelona could and have done for years, the Real Madrid midfielder can have the ball in almost any position because they are all so experienced and so good with the ball.

“The counter-argument to that, if you’re supposed to do that, and that’s the idea, you just keep doing it, well, why in the second half did they throw the long ball almost every time.

“If you’re supposed to play this way, why did you take a different attitude in the second half? If you’re supposed to play that way, you stick with that idea, but they can’t, they’ll be beaten badly every week if that’s the case.

Not only that, Cascarino revealed he was laughing at a role switch for summer signing Christian Eriksen.

Eriksen Played Different Roles In His Two Games For Man United

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Eriksen played different roles in his two games for Man United

The Dane, who arrived on a free transfer after six months with United winners Brentford, played a false nine role in the opening weekend defeat to Brighton before playing as a deep midfielder against his former club.

Eriksen then erred for the second goal as part of his goal kick tactic.

And Cascarino, when asked what he thought of the role change, replied: “Well, I laughed.

“He went from centre-forward last week to starting midfield this week. He’s the coach for me.

Eriksen Made A Mistake In The Build-Up To Brentford's Second Goal

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Eriksen made a mistake in the build-up to Brentford’s second goal

“I watched Eriksen for 10 years, I saw him against the Republic of Ireland in an international match and he ruined us.

“I watched him for Brentford, Tottenham and other clubs and thought ‘what is his best position?’ It’s like a midfielder who takes the ball and he’s always looking for space.

“You can sometimes play him deeper because he can pick up the ball and use it, but I prefer him to create and shake things up in the forward areas.”

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Countries urge Russia to withdraw troops from Ukraine nuclear power plant

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Countries Urge Russia To Withdraw Troops From Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant

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Dozens of countries, including the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom and Turkey, called on Russia to withdraw its troops from Ukraine’s nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia and surrounding areas in a joint statement on Sunday.

“We urge the Russian Federation to immediately withdraw its military forces and all other [unauthorized] personnel of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, its immediate surroundings and all of Ukraine so that the operator and the Ukrainian authorities can resume their sovereign responsibilities,” the countries said.

Ukraine and Russia have each pointed to the bombing of the facility, which is Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.

FILE PHOTO: Six power units generate 40-42 billion kWh of electricity, making the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant the largest nuclear power plant not only in Ukraine but also in Europe, Enerhodar, Zaporizhzhia region, in the south -eastern Ukraine.
(Photo credit should read Dmytro Smolyenko/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

Communication lines, radiation monitoring sensors, a nitrogen-oxygen station and other parts of the plant have been damaged by explosions in recent days.

RUSSIAN OFFICIALS INSIST ‘ACCIDENTAL’ AIR BASE EXPLOSIONS, SATELLITE IMAGES SHOW NEARLY IDENTICAL CRATER

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia of “trying to intimidate people in an extremely cynical way”.

“Every Russian soldier who either shoots at the factory, or shoots using the factory as a cover, must understand that he becomes a special target for our intelligence agents, for our special services, for our army,” he said. he said Saturday night. He called the tactic “nuclear blackmail”.

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Zelenskyy, said Russian forces were targeting the part of the plant “where the energy supply [the] southern Ukraine is stored.

A Russian Serviceman Stands Guard In The Territory Outside The Second Reactor Of The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant In Energodar On May 1, 2022.

A Russian serviceman stands guard in the territory outside the second reactor of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Energodar on May 1, 2022.
(ANDREI BORODULINE/AFP via Getty Images)

Ukrainian nuclear company Energoatom said on Sunday that a plant worker was killed by Russian bombing near his home in Enerhodar.

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Russian forces have controlled the plant since early March, but Ukrainian personnel continued operations, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

“Any military action that jeopardizes nuclear safety, nuclear security, must cease immediately,” IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said this week. “These military actions in the vicinity of such an important nuclear facility could have very serious consequences.”

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Chicago White Sox move 3 games over .500 for the 1st time since April 17 after sweeping the Detroit Tigers

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Chicago White Sox Move 3 Games Over .500 For The 1St Time Since April 17 After Sweeping The Detroit Tigers

The Chicago White Sox were in third place in the American League Central when they began a stretch of 19 straight games against sub-.500 teams July 26 in Colorado.

The Sox trailed the division leaders, at that time the Minnesota Twins, by four games and were 48-48.

The string wrapped up Sunday, and while they didn’t take full advantage by going on a tear, the Sox are tied for second in the Central with the Twins — 2½ games behind the first-place Cleveland Guardians — after defeating the Detroit Tigers 5-3 in front of 32,154 at Guaranteed Rate Field.

The Sox completed a three-game sweep of the Tigers and are three games over .500 (59-56) for the first time since they were 6-3 on April 17.

“It was a good sweep for us,” Sox starter Lance Lynn said. “We have to start winning games, we have to start winning series and then we can sweep the team, especially with the team coming in (the Houston Astros). Hopefully we can keep riding high.

“We have a good team coming in this week, so we have to keep playing good baseball.”

The Sox went 11-8 against the Colorado Rockies (1-1), Oakland Athletics (2-1), Kansas City Royals (3-4), Texas Rangers (2-2) and Tigers (3-0). With Sunday’s win, the Sox swept a home series for the first time this season.

“We got results for our effort,” Sox manager Tony La Russa said of the series. “There are times it’s been frustrating because the ball has been hit hard, but we hung with it. We hang with it very well. Hopefully we get rewarded.”

There were some injury hurdles during the 19-game stretch. The Sox lost shortstop Tim Anderson for about six weeks with a sagittal band tear on his left middle finger and played the final two games of the Tigers series without center fielder Luis Robert, who left Friday’s game with a sprained left wrist.

“He’s improved,” La Russa said of Robert. “And we just have to wait until Monday to see. He feels better. He did more work with it. If it’s not (Monday), it should be soon after.”

AJ Pollock, inserted in the leadoff spot with Anderson out and playing center field with Robert sidelined, got the offense rolling with a solo homer in the third to cut a deficit to 2-1.

“You look at his credentials,” La Russa said of Pollock. “He’s a quality big-league hitter and big-league defender. He saw the need when Tim was missing. If he had to hit second, third or fourth, he’d do that too.”

Pollock doubled leading off the fifth and scored the tying run on a double by Eloy Jiménez. José Abreu singled, giving the Sox runners on the corners with one out.

Tigers starter Tyler Alexander appeared to get out of the inning when Andrew Vaughn hit a grounder to short. Vaughn tossed his helmet after crossing first base, thinking the Tigers completed an inning-ending double play.

“I was running as fast as I could,” Vaughn said. “Just trying to beat it out and didn’t think I did.”

But Kody Clemens didn’t hold on to Willi Castro’s throw to first. Jiménez scored on the play, putting the Sox ahead 3-2.

Vaughn added a solo home run as part of a two-run eighth.

In addition to the timely offense, the Sox got solid pitching from Lynn, Jimmy Lambert, Jake Diekman and Kendall Graveman.

Lynn allowed two runs on five hits with seven strikeouts in six innings.

“We won the game, so that’s all that matters,” he said.

He kept the focus on the offense.

“Offense keeps doing their thing,” Lynn said. “Starting to put some things together, especially with runners in scoring position, and getting that big hit. It’s part of the gig. We just have to keep going and hopefully make a run at this.

“We have a tough opponent this week. They are a playoff team and we just have to go in and keep putting quality at-bats and make quality pitches and see what happens.”

Vaughn referenced starting pitcher Johnny Cueto’s “we need to show the fire that we have — if we have any,” statement Wednesday in Kansas City while assessing the weekend for the Sox.

“Johnny said it best: ‘I want some more fire,’” Vaughn said. “We got some fire. It was good.”

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Japan Q2 GDP 0.5% q/q (expected 0.7%)

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Japan Q2 Gdp 0.5% Q/Q (Expected 0.7%)

Japan’s economic growth data from April to June 2022.

This ForexLive Snapshot economic data

Economic data

Economic data usually comes in the form of daily press releases. This information is extremely valuable for retail and institutional traders, given the influence of this data on exchange rates. Most major economic events published are reported by sovereign governments around the world. Moreover, several economic data points are released by private organizations which can also move the market. Overall, when new information becomes available, the value of a currency pair changes to reflect a new equilibrium potentially created by traders. This information that changes the value of a currency pair can ultimately take many forms, with economic indicators or data being the primary drivers. Why Economic Data Matters in Forex Economic data is an important barometer that investors can use to measure the performance of an economy. This in turn can influence exchange rates. For example, the stronger the economic data, the more growth is likely to increase in the country, causing a currency to strengthen. If the gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the United States is high, it will help drive up the US dollar. The reverse is also true. Generally, weaker economic data can predict slower growth. The attempt of traders, when trading economic data, is to gauge how economic indicators are perceived against expectations. Before almost every economic release, the market typically assesses the median expectation reflected by analysts and economists. These known variables are simply expectations, and the unknown is the actual version. Since currency pairs can move significantly based on new data, traders always try to anticipate where the actual numbers will arrive when they come out. Changes to economic data will also filter out potential interest rate changes by a central bank. Overall, economic announcements from the United States and the Eurozone are highly watched as they will influence the perceptions of market participants who help guide interest rates and other monetary policies of the Federal Reserve or the European Central Bank (ECB) respectively.

Economic data usually comes in the form of daily press releases. This information is extremely valuable for retail and institutional traders, given the influence of this data on exchange rates. Most major economic events published are reported by sovereign governments around the world. Moreover, several economic data points are released by private organizations which can also move the market. Overall, when new information becomes available, the value of a currency pair changes to reflect a new equilibrium potentially created by traders. This information that changes the value of a currency pair can ultimately take many forms, with economic indicators or data being the primary drivers. Why Economic Data Matters in Forex Economic data is an important barometer that investors can use to measure the performance of an economy. This in turn can influence exchange rates. For example, the stronger the economic data, the more growth is likely to increase in the country, causing a currency to strengthen. If the gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the United States is high, it will help drive up the US dollar. The reverse is also true. Generally, weaker economic data can predict slower growth. The attempt of traders, when trading economic data, is to gauge how economic indicators are perceived against expectations. Before almost every economic release, the market typically assesses the median expectation reflected by analysts and economists. These known variables are simply expectations, and the unknown is the actual version. Since currency pairs can move significantly based on new data, traders always try to anticipate where the actual numbers will arrive when they come out. Changes to economic data will also filter out potential interest rate changes by a central bank. Overall, economic announcements from the United States and the Eurozone are highly watched as they will influence the perceptions of market participants who help guide interest rates and other monetary policies of the Federal Reserve or the European Central Bank (ECB) respectively.
Read this term calendar, access it here.

The times in the leftmost column are GMT.

The numbers in the rightmost column are the “previous” result (previous month/quarter, as applicable). The number in the column next to that, where is a number, is the expected consensus median.

The real one is in the box drawn on the photo.

Note that the deflator is a inflation

Inflation

Inflation is defined as a quantitative measure of the rate at which the average price level of goods and services in an economy or country increases over a period of time. It is the rise in the general price level where a given currency is effectively buying less than it has in previous periods. In terms of valuation of strength or currencies, and by extension foreign currencies, inflation or its measures are extremely influential. Inflation stems from the global creation of money. This money is measured by the level of the total money supply of a specific currency, for example the US dollar, which is constantly increasing. However, an increase in the money supply does not necessarily mean that there is inflation. What leads to inflation is a faster increase in the money supply relative to the wealth produced (measured with GDP). This thus generates pressure from demand on a supply that is not increasing at the same rate. The consumer price index then increases, generating inflation. How Does Inflation Affect Forex? The level of inflation has a direct impact on the exchange rate between two currencies on several levels. This includes purchasing power parity, which attempts to compare the different purchasing power of each country according to the general level of prices. By doing so, it helps to determine the country with the most expensive cost of living. The currency with the higher inflation rate consequently loses value and depreciates, while the currency with the lower inflation rate appreciates in the forex market. Interest rates are also impacted. Inflation rates that are too high push interest rates up, which has the effect of depreciating the currency on the exchange. Conversely, too low inflation (or deflation) pushes interest rates down, which has the effect of appreciating the currency on the foreign exchange market.

Inflation is defined as a quantitative measure of the rate at which the average price level of goods and services in an economy or country increases over a period of time. It is the rise in the general price level where a given currency is effectively buying less than it has in previous periods. In terms of valuation of strength or currencies, and by extension foreign currencies, inflation or its measures are extremely influential. Inflation stems from the global creation of money. This money is measured by the level of the total money supply of a specific currency, for example the US dollar, which is constantly increasing. However, an increase in the money supply does not necessarily mean that there is inflation. What leads to inflation is a faster increase in the money supply relative to the wealth produced (measured with GDP). This thus generates pressure from demand on a supply that is not increasing at the same rate. The consumer price index then increases, generating inflation. How Does Inflation Affect Forex? The level of inflation has a direct impact on the exchange rate between two currencies on several levels. This includes purchasing power parity, which attempts to compare the different purchasing power of each country according to the general level of prices. By doing so, it helps to determine the country with the most expensive cost of living. The currency with the higher inflation rate consequently loses value and depreciates, while the currency with the lower inflation rate appreciates in the forex market. Interest rates are also impacted. Inflation rates that are too high push interest rates up, which has the effect of depreciating the currency on the exchange. Conversely, too low inflation (or deflation) pushes interest rates down, which has the effect of appreciating the currency on the foreign exchange market.
Read this term indicator. The negative result is his 6th consecutive fall.

After:

  • GDP growth q/q for the 3rd consecutive quarter
  • business capex +1.4% q/q, strongest growth since Q1 2020
  • exports +0.9% q/q, up for the third consecutive quarter
  • component of private consumption also up for 3 consecutive quarters

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Yankees bullpen recovers from recent struggles – The Denver Post

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Yankees Bullpen Recovers From Recent Struggles - The Denver Post

BOSTON — With Scott Effross making the save on Saturday night, the Yankees have recorded a 10-man save this season. That’s the most by any team in the majors and after Clay Holmes’ recent struggles, that leaves the Bombers looking for guys to finish games now.

“I mean, it will evolve. We’ll see,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said ahead of Sunday night’s series finale against the Red Sox at Fenway Park. “I feel like we’ve got a handful of guys who can do that. It would probably be great to get to a point where we just say, okay, Clay, you’re back in there, bit imported.

“But I also feel like they’re all capable of getting back-end releases,” Boone added. “We want to put them in the best positions for them to be as successful as possible.”

Effross was effective in the Yankees’ 3-2 victory on Saturday night. Lou Trivino has closing experience and Boone said Wandy Peralta would be an option.

Aroldis Chapman has made nine consecutive scoreless appearances after a struggling season and a half. The 34-year-old has been used with great care since returning from the injured list, where he spent six weeks with an Achilles problem and worked to sort out his labour.

“He could be,” Boone said of Chapman.

Jonathan Loaisiga, who made five saves last season when Chapman struggled, has been inconsistent this season. Their most reliable relievers aren’t there right now. Michael King is out for the season after fracturing his elbow and Ron Marinaccio, who had gained Boone’s trust for high-leverage innings, is in Triple-A due to a roster crunch.

“They all can be. They’re all in play. They’re all in play, depending on where we are on any given night, their availability, and our position in the lineup,” Boone said. “We’re just going to kind of figure it out.”

Since the All-Star break, the Yankees have taken the lead seven times, just behind the Rockies in the majors. Prior to the All-Star break, the Bombers were tied with the Braves for fewest (11) in the major leagues.

SEATED HICKS

After going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts Saturday night, Aaron Hicks wasn’t in the lineup Sunday night. The switch-hitting center fielder has struggled to get power this season and his last month has been particularly tough. Over the past 28 days, Hicks has hit .184/.296/.184 with a .480 OPS. His last extra-base hit came on July 9 at Fenway when he homered for only the sixth time this season.

“I know he did some things yesterday in his pre-game work to try to make some adjustments and find some things in terms of hands and pace. Yeah, it’s just something that’s been kind of a struggle all year for us, it’s that extra hit,” Boone said. “He drives the ball so well. He’s still working his way down the base, which is good. So we have to keep working to try to unlock a bit more.

Hicks, who is in the fourth year of a seven-year contract worth $70 million, hit 27 home runs in 2018. He’s struggling to find that form again. He’s also been hit hard by injuries, requiring Tommy John surgery in 2019 and then wrist surgery which cost him most of the 2021 season.

HELP IS COMING

Giancarlo Stanton is scheduled to do all pre-game practice with the team on Monday before playing against the Rays, which includes outfield balls and live batting practices, Boone said.

Stanton could play in minor league rehab games this week, Boone added.

The slugger has been on the disabled list since July 24 with left Achilles tendonitis.

The Yankees could use his bat. Stanton has 24 home runs and 61 RBIs, but was on four 0-for-10 games with seven strikeouts before moving to the IL.

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Trump’s shifting explanations follow a familiar playbook

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Trump'S Shifting Explanations Follow A Familiar Playbook

WASHINGTON — He first said he was “working and cooperating with” government agents who he said improperly entered his home. Then, when the government revealed that the FBI, during its search, had recovered nearly a dozen sets of documents marked classified, it suggested that the agents had planted evidence.

Finally, his aides claimed he had a ‘standing order’ declassifying documents leaving the Oval Office for his residence, and that some of the material was protected by solicitor-client and executive privilege. .

These are the changing explanations former President Donald J. Trump and his aides have given for what FBI agents found last week during a search of his residence at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Washington. Florida.

Mr. Trump and his allies framed the search as a partisan assault while amplifying ever-changing arguments about the handling of sensitive documents and failing to answer a question at the center of the federal inquiry: why was he keeping documents , some still marked classified? , in an unsecured Florida resort after authorities had been trying to get them back for a year?

But the often contradictory and unsubstantiated defenses perpetuated by Mr. Trump and his team since the FBI raid follow a familiar playbook by the former president. He has used it for decades, but especially when faced with the investigation of whether his campaign in 2016 conspired with the Russians and during his first impeachment trial.

In both cases, he claimed victimhood and mixed some facts with a blizzard of misleading statements or lies. His lawyers have denied linking his administration’s suspension of vital military aid to Ukraine to Mr. Trump’s desire to investigate Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son, Hunter Biden.

When information contradicting that defense appeared in a forthcoming book by Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, John R. Bolton, Mr. Trump’s lawyers began insisting that he didn’t had not linked the aid to the investigations, but that if he had done so, it would not have been a culpable offense.

Among the multiple investigations Mr. Trump is currently facing — including a state probe in Georgia and two federal grand jury probes, all related to his efforts to cling to power at the end of his presidency — as well as civil and criminal investigations in New York linked to his business – the federal probe into his handling of sensitive documents from the White House has emerged as one of the most potentially damaging.

A search warrant made public on Friday revealed that federal agents had recovered top-secret documents when they searched Mr. Trump’s Florida residence earlier in the week as part of an investigation into possible security violations. the Espionage Act and other laws.

Among the 11 sets of documents seized, some were marked as “classified/TS/SCI” – short for “compartmentalized top secret/sensitive information”, according to an inventory of materials seized during the search. These types of materials are intended for viewing only in secure facilities. The inventory of documents included other items, some labeled “confidential”.

The stunning revelation underscored the seriousness of the Justice Department’s investigation months after the National Archives and Records Administration said it uncovered classified information in documents Mr Trump kept after he left office.

“What he is not allowed to do is possess the documents; they are not his,” said Jason R. Baron, former director of litigation at the National Archives for more than a decade. “There should be no presidential records at Mar-a-Lago, whether classified or unclassified or subject to executive privilege or subject to solicitor-client privilege.”

Documents covered by executive privilege are supposed to be kept in government.

A spokesperson for Mr. Trump did not respond to a message seeking comment.

Mr. Trump used Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified documents, as shown in a Justice Department investigation into his email practices in 2015 and 2016, as a political argument during his first campaign. He is considering another national campaign for 2024, and whether he mishandled the nation’s secrets could be problematic for him, even without an investigation.

After National Archives officials tried for several months to retrieve documents from Mr. Trump, he turned over 15 boxes of documents in January. The following month, the National Archives confirmed the discovery of the classified information and referred the matter to the Department of Justice.

Over the next few months, officials learned that Mr. Trump still had additional equipment at Mar-a-Lago that some of his advisers urged him to give up.

Mr Trump described handing over the 15 boxes as “an ordinary, routine process”. But administrations have been required to turn over documents to the National Archives before leaving office for more than 40 years, under the Presidential Archives Act that was created in response to President Richard M. Nixon’s attempt to take his documents and records with him after resigning in disgrace.

Kash Patel, a former Trump administration official, later justified the handling of the documents by claiming that Mr Trump had declassified them before he left office – a claim echoed by the former president this week.

During an appearance on Fox News on Friday night, right-wing writer John Solomon, one of Mr. Trump’s representatives for interacting with the National Archives, read a statement from the former president’s office saying Mr. Trump had a “standing order” during his presidency that “documents removed from the Oval Office and taken to the residence were deemed declassified the moment he removed them.”

This allegation would not resolve the investigation. Two of the laws mentioned in the search warrant executed this week criminalize the taking or concealing of government documents, whether or not they relate to national security. And laws against taking material containing restricted national security information do not depend on the material being technically classified.

Mr Bolton, who served as Mr Trump’s third national security adviser for 17 months, said he had never heard of the standing order Mr Trump’s office claimed to have put in place . It is, he says, “almost certainly a lie”.

“I was never made aware of such an order, procedure, policy when I arrived,” Mr Bolton said, adding that he was never made aware of it while working there and that he had never heard of such a thing afterwards. “If he were to say something like that, you should commemorate it, so people know it exists,” he said.

Additionally, he pointed out, secure facilities for viewing sensitive material have been built at Mr. Trump’s clubs in Florida and New Jersey, where he often spent weekends as president. which means they would not need to be declassified. And if they were declassified, Mr. Bolton said, they would be considered subject to requests for public registration.

He continued, “When someone starts cooking up lies like this, it shows a real level of desperation.”

The claim that documents held at the Florida residence have been declassified also undermined a claim made by one of Mr Trump’s lawyers in June. In a written statement, the attorney’s team said all material marked as classified and stored at Mar-a-Lago had been returned to the government.

This week, Mr Trump again accused the Justice Department of acting as a tool for his political opponents, a familiar tactic for a former president who had repeatedly tried to politicize the department during his four years in office. power. Describing the FBI as corrupt, Mr Trump suggested his agents placed incriminating material at Mar-a-Lago during the search and demanded that they turn over documents he said were protected by executive privilege.

Such politically motivated accusations prompted Attorney General Merrick Garland to defend the bureau’s officers during brief remarks earlier this week. Mr. Trump’s unverified accusations also came as the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security released an intelligence bulletin last week that warned of an increase in threats against federal law enforcement after the search of Mar-a-Lago, including general calls for “civil action”. war” or “armed rebellion”.

nytimes

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