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Mets ace Max Scherzer no fan of new PitchCom system: ‘It should be illegal’

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Mets Ace Max Scherzer No Fan Of New Pitchcom System: ‘It Should Be Illegal’

Major League Baseball introduced PitchCom this year, a system that allows catchers to call signs for their pitcher electronically, sending the call directly to their ear rather than doing it the traditional way by putting down fingers for everybody to see.

One of their best pitchers ever is not a fan.

“Here’s what I’ll say about PitchCom,” Max Scherzer said after twirling seven sparkling innings in the Mets’ win over the Yankees on Wednesday. “It works, yeah, does it help? Yes. I also think it should be illegal. I don’t think it should be in the game.”

Scherzer was using the technology for the first time on Wednesday, something he said he did at the behest of catcher Tomas Nido. His reasoning for not liking it wasn’t because the electronic communication can be hard to hear, or because the wearable technology is uncomfortable, but rather because it takes away an old school element of baseball.

“Stealing signs is part of the game,” he said. “For me, I’ve always taken pride in having a complex system of signs and having that advantage over other pitchers. The fact that we’re taking this out of the game and putting in technology, now you can’t steal signs on something, the pitcher can’t have an advantage of having a complex system. It’s part of baseball, trying to crack somebody’s signs.”

PitchCom was instituted in the first place to improve pace of play. The thinking from the league office is that instead of the catcher running through a series of signs, pressing a button is way quicker. It also eliminates the process of a pitcher shaking off pitch after pitch, or stepping off the mound because they think a base runner has picked up on the signs. That typically led to a conference between pitcher and catcher, another thing that added to the time of game.

“Does it have its desired intent of speeding up the game a little bit? Yes,” Scherzer acknowledged. “I also think it takes away part of the game.”

Birthdays always seem to have a way of providing clarity in life. This whole spiel came on Scherzer’s 38th birthday, and it doesn’t sound like his 39th trip around the sun will include very much PitchCom. When asked if he’ll go back to it in the future, he was extremely non-committal.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I’ll continue to think about it. I might.”

If the Mets, say, meet up with the Astros down the line, perhaps Scherzer will change his tune.




Biden starts summer vacation with his family in South Carolina – The Denver Post

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Biden Starts Summer Vacation With His Family In South Carolina - The Denver Post


KIAWAH ISLAND, South Carolina (AP) — President Joe Biden arrived in South Carolina on Wednesday to begin what is expected to be at least a seven-day vacation with family members.

The first couple planned to be at Kiawah Island, known for its private beach and golf resort, until Tuesday, according to notices from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The White House did not respond to requests to provide details on Biden’s vacation schedule, activities or when he planned to return to Washington. The president will be staying with a friend on the island that the family has used on previous visits, according to a White House official.

Biden, accompanied by First Lady Jill Biden, left the White House in motorcade for Joint Base Andrews outside the capital, where Air Force One was on hand to take them to Joint Base Charleston. Biden was dropped off at a private home in a gated community next to a golf course on the island.

Biden was joined on Air Force One by his son, Hunter Biden, daughter-in-law Melissa Cohen and grandson Beau.

While Biden is in South Carolina, the House is poised to vote to approve a bill packed with Biden’s priorities, including the largest investment in history to fight climate change, some 369 billion dollars over the decade. The measure would cap prescription drug costs at $2,000 out-of-pocket for Medicare beneficiaries and help about 13 million Americans pay for health insurance by extending subsidies provided during the coronavirus pandemic.

The White House objected when Biden considered signing the bill, saying it was intended to help ensure the House approved the measure.

Biden’s 2021 vacation plans have been muddied by Washington’s legislative calendar, a rise in COVID-19 cases and the chaotic withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan.

Summer vacation is a presidential tradition. George W. Bush often spent the month of August clearing brush in the 100-degree heat that scorched his central Texas ranch. Barack Obama worked on his golf game on the island of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. Donald Trump spent time at home on his private golf club in central New Jersey.

In the past, the White House has stressed that the president is never truly released from the responsibilities of his post – and that he will continue to consult his aides and follow his daily national security briefing, regardless of his location.

And sometimes presidents have had to make life-changing decisions while on vacation, including Bush’s response to Hurricane Katrina that flooded New Orleans in 2005. Bill Clinton ordered airstrikes against terrorists in Al- Qaeda from Martha’s Vineyard in response to bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. And Bush’s father, President George HW Bush, planned the US response to Saddam Hussein’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait from his family’s beachfront compound in Kennebunkport, Maine.


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St. Paul school board to seek new contract for ‘highly effective’ superintendent

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St. Paul School Board To Seek New Contract For ‘Highly Effective’ Superintendent

The St. Paul school board announced Wednesday that it will negotiate a third contract with Superintendent Joe Gothard.

Gothard, 50, was running the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage district when the St. Paul board hired him in 2017 to succeed Valeria Silva.

In a performance review last month, the school board rated Gothard “highly effective” in four of six areas: strategic plan implementation, communications, community engagement and operations.

They rated him as “effective” in teaching and learning and in ethical and inclusive leadership.

“Overall, the Board finds the Superintendent to be highly effective in his role and acknowledges more growth is both necessary and possible,” the board said in a written summary of Gothard’s latest performance review.

The board identified three “key areas for growth”:

  • “Development of monitoring reports for student outcomes”;
  • “Evaluate impact of implementation of culturally relevant instruction on students”; and
  • “Explore and implement tools of community engagement that are culturally responsive.”

The seven-member board said it voted unanimously to pursue another contract with Gothard.

“I don’t see anyone at this time who should be there but you,” board member Jeanelle Foster said during Wednesday’s board meeting.

Gothard said he “definitely took note” of the areas for improvement.

“It’s a great honor to lead the students, staff and community,” he said. “It’s something I do not take for granted.”


Student enrollment was falling when Gothard took over, and it’s continued to drop during his tenure, even before the coronavirus pandemic. Five schools closed in June as part of a consolation plan that was less ambitious than Gothard recommended.

Meanwhile, Gothard has continued Silva’s high-priced campaign to renovate schools throughout the city, which recently was projected to raise the district’s total outstanding debt to $860 million by 2026 compared with $393 million a decade prior.

Before extended school closures related to the pandemic, the district had made modest progress in reading proficiency but its math scores continued to fall.

The district under Gothard has restored a middle school model that gives students more time for electives.

At the high school level, all schools are moving to the same block schedule this year while also making ethnic studies a graduation requirement and reducing the total number of credits needed to earn a diploma.

Conflict with the teachers union has continued under Gothard. In 2020, a teacher strike cost students four days of school. In both 2018 and 2022, negotiators reached deals on new teachers contracts the day before strikes were planned.

In response to the pandemic, the district has focused on learning loss at the elementary level.

A lack of bus drivers has been a major problem for the district since schools reopened last year, resulting in start-time changes with little notice and inconsistent service for many schools. Only three of 10 high schools are getting yellow bus service next year, with teens at the other schools getting Metro Transit passes.

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Wolves inquire about signing Metz midfielder Boubacar Traore but face European competition

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Wolves Inquire About Signing Metz Midfielder Boubacar Traore But Face European Competition

Wolves have inquired about the signing of Metz midfielder Boubacar Traore, according to talkSPORT.

Bruno Lage is keen to strengthen his options in the middle of the park.


Traore made 28 appearances for Metz last season

The Midlands club missed out on signing Joao Palhinha to Premier League rivals Fulham earlier in the window.

Now Wolves have inquired about another midfielder in Traore, who is a long-term target for the club.

However, it is understood that Lage’s side will face competition from clubs on the continent.

The 20-year-old has made 28 appearances for Metz, who play in Ligue 2, and only made his debut in May 2021, but has already impressed in France.

So far this summer, Wolves have definitely signed Goncalo Guedes, Nathan Collins and Hwang Hee-Chan.

They began their Premier League campaign with a 2-1 loss to Leeds on the opening weekend.

The Work Of The Wolves In The Window Is Not Yet Finished


The work of the wolves in the window is not yet finished

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Column: Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds face a tough task to turn the Field of Dreams sequel into a hit

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Column: Chicago Cubs And Cincinnati Reds Face A Tough Task To Turn The Field Of Dreams Sequel Into A Hit

The inaugural Field of Dreams game between the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees one year ago turned into an instant classic.

The TV presentation, the sight of “Field of Dreams” star Kevin Costner leading the players through the cornfield to the ballpark in Dyersville, Iowa, the sounds of crickets chirping and the game itself all lived up to the hype.

It’s probably unfair to judge Thursday’s Field of Dreams game between the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds against the success of last year’s, especially because both teams are well out of contention in the National League Central.

But every sequel inevitably gets compared with the original, and other than “The Godfather Part II” and perhaps a handful of others, it’s almost impossible to replicate something that worked to perfection.

The Cubs, naturally, are excited to be part of MLB’s biggest in-season event besides the All-Star Game, knowing they’re following in the footsteps of a classic.

“It’s a little part of history,” Cubs shortstop Nico Hoerner said Wednesday after homering in a 4-2 win over the Washington Nationals at Wrigley Field. “Eight thousand people is going to be small, but I feel like everyone there is going to be excited to be there. Just awesome all around.”

Tim Anderson’s walk-off home run capped the Sox’s 9-8 win over the Yankees in the inaugural game, which most thought would be a one-time event until the Cubs-Reds matchup was announced shortly afterward.

“I watched it last year,” Cubs third baseman Patrick Wisdom said. “I saw how special it was. And then when I saw that we were part of it this year, I was just super excited.

“And then to see my name on the (MLB) poster, it was really cool for me. Just honored to be a part of that. … I know it’s going to be a long day but something I look forward to.”

Seiya Suzuki, who like many players hasn’t seen the 1989 film and was born after it was made, isn’t all that knowledgeable about its place in American movie lore. But he knows it’s a big deal to baseball and it puts the Cubs on a national stage again.

“I have never watched the movie before, but obviously it’s great (playing) in a really historical stadium,” Suzuki said through an interpreter. “I haven’t had the chance to be able to play in a countryside stadium as well, so I’ll get a different perspective. I’m very excited.”

The second Field of Dreams game apparently will be the last one until at least 2024, according to White Sox Hall of Famer Frank Thomas, part of the ownership of the Field of Dreams site. Thomas told the Des Moines Register that construction on the site caused MLB to take a pass next year.

“It’s a lot going on,” Thomas said. “They don’t want to come back if the stadium’s not prepared.”

The Cubs and Reds will fly in and out of Iowa on the same day, missing the fun of staying overnight in a roadside motel that advertises free HBO on the marquee. That would make for a more realistic Iowa experience. But remember the star of the show is the cornfield, and the visuals of playing in a ballpark surrounded by corn is the only thing that matters.

The 2021 game drew almost 6 million viewers for Fox, making it the highest-rated regular-season telecast since 1998. Now the network has the unenviable task of making everything seem new and interesting. Costner reportedly won’t be on hand to repeat his dramatic pregame walk, and holding a Field of Dreams game without Costner is like making “Casablanca” without Humphrey Bogart.

But who knows what Fox will have up its sleeve?

The network already has announced Cubs left fielder Ian Happ and Reds first baseman Joey Votto will be mic’d up for the game and able to talk to each other on the field.

A Twitter rumor Wednesday suggested the network was testing a hologram of the late Cubs broadcaster Harry Caray for the telecast.

Hopefully there won’t be a repeat of the All-Star Game telecast, in which David Ortiz preened in the dugout during the action under the premise he was “interviewing” players. But Ortiz and Álex Rodriguez were featured in the promos for the Field of Dreams game, so we can probably expect the worst.

After watching eight of the 16 combined hits by the Sox and Yankees leave the yard and land in the corn last August, there’s no doubt Wisdom, Votto, Suzuki, Franmil Reyes and others will be swinging for the fences. Because the game is meaningless in the pennant race, they might as well go for broke and give Fox its corn fix.

The Field of Dreams game undoubtedly will be the last time anyone besides Cubs and Reds fans are interested in this matchup, at least until one or both are contenders again. From the looks of things, that could take a while.

Thursday’s game may not match up to the original, and Iowa may not be heaven.

But for one night, we can dream.


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Fat NYC rat gets stuck on Brooklyn sidewalk

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Fat Nyc Rat Gets Stuck On Brooklyn Sidewalk

He lost the rat race.

A round rodent got stuck in a Brooklyn sidewalk as it exited the subway, causing a pedestrian to accidentally step on the head and scream in horror, a witness said Wednesday.

“That rat couldn’t fit through the hole. RIP fatso”, Dylan Wells posted on Twitterwith a photo of the unfortunate creature.

Wells was on his way to work at Victor’s Mediterranean restaurant in Gowanus around 11 a.m. Wednesday when he spotted the roly-poly rat washed up on Third and Atlantic Avenues, he told the Post.

“I walked past it twice: the first time, I had a debate with a woman to find out if he was still alive. Obviously that was not the case,” he said.

When he returned around 4 p.m., the beady-eyed rodent was still there.

The round rat couldn’t make its way through the sidewalk.
Dylan Wells

“The second time I was behind a woman wearing flip flops, on her phone, not paying attention and she stepped on her head and screamed,” he said.

Wells said the big rat was probably trying to climb through a crack or tunnel under the sidewalk near a construction site when it encountered its creator.

“I guess he was under the pavement and he couldn’t put his head in the hole and then his body got stuck and he died,” he said. “Maybe he was too big.”

He added: “I wonder if there are a lot of rats living under there now because it’s blocking [the hole].”

The city should get rid of the rat quickly so more people don’t “eek,” he said.

The sighting comes amid the Big Apple’s worst rodent infestation in more than a decade, and about a week after a group of residents sued the city for allegedly fueling the problem by allowing outdoor dining. outdoors in times of pandemic.

The city did not immediately return a request for comment.

New York Post

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Brian Daboll returns to New England where it all started to face Bill Belichick, Joe Judge

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Brian Daboll Returns To New England Where It All Started To Face Bill Belichick, Joe Judge

In Brian Daboll’s first game as an NFL head coach Thursday night, he’ll be coaching against both his mentor, Bill Belichick, and his Giants predecessor, Joe Judge, a former New England Patriots colleague.

Daboll insists this somewhat emotional and awkward preseason homecoming is not front of mind.

“Obviously he [Belichick] is a mentor of mine, but I haven’t sat there and been like, ‘Oh, this is the first game,’” Daboll said Tuesday. “I know my wife and kids are gonna try to get out to it. But he’s coached what, 750 games? This is the first preseason game for me. I’m just trying to do right by my team. Not really worrying about me.”

Daboll sure knows his Patriots’ history: Belichick has coached 739 regular season games in the NFL in 47 seasons as a head coach and coordinator, 803 including playoffs.

Daboll should know it, too. He started his NFL journey here as a defensive assistant under Belichick in 2000, and was a part of five Patriots Super Bowl teams.

So he says his focus is much more on the details of the Giants’ road trip, fundamentals and playing a clean game than on coming back to Gillette Stadium.

Meanwhile, Daboll said he hadn’t even addressed Judge’s presence on the Patriots’ sideline Thursday with the Giants’ players, many of whom had fought for Judge the past two years in New Jersey.

Daboll said coaching against old friends and former players in this league is old hat.

“It’s just kind of the nature of the NFL,” Daboll said.

This is not just any other game, though.

Slot corner Darnay Holmes called it “just another game” but admitted he wouldn’t be a Giant without Judge, who drafted him in the 2020 fourth round out of UCLA.

“I’m excited to see him, because he’s the reason why I’m in this building,” Holmes said. “Salute to that guy, salute to [former GM Dave] Gettleman, salute to those who came before me. And at the end of the day it’s another opponent, another match. We’re just excited to see where we’re at as a team and coaches.”

Some players also have thrown some shade at Judge and the previous staff for coaching too hard.

Free safety Xavier McKinney, Judge’s 2020 second round pick out of Alabama, has made multiple references to “not being afraid to make a mistake or mess up” under Daboll and new D-coordinator Wink Martindale — an allusion perhaps to both Judge and former DC Pat Graham.

Center Jon Feliciano, who wasn’t even here last season, said in June that “you can just kind of tell people get a little scared when they mess up.”

Their implication clearly is that they believe Daboll is more constructive than destructive — though it’s odd hearing players on one of the NFL’s worst recent teams say that it’s a relief being able to mess up.

They will learn quickly that Daboll won’t tolerate mistakes either.

He also comes from the Belichick tree, from which Giants ownership has plucked two consecutive head coaches (after interviewing Matt Patricia and Josh McDaniels in 2018).

Then there are the texts. Oh, the texts.

Former Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, of course, alleges in a lawsuit that Belichick accidentally texted Flores that he was the Giants “guy” two days prior to Flores’ in-person interview for the vacancy after Judge’s firing.

Belichick allegedly intended to text Daboll instead. Flores therefore referred to his Giants interview as a “sham.”

Giants co-owner John Mara said at the March owners’ meetings in Florida that no one from the Giants, including Mara, had spoken to Belchick about the hiring process.

“I haven’t spoken or communicated with Bill since we played them in the preseason last summer,” Mara said then. “And to my knowledge, nobody in our organization communicated with him.”

Belichick, known for being terse, said “can’t comment on it.”

Now Judge is an offensive assistant under Belichick trying to bounce with Mac Jones as his QB after getting the plug pulled abruptly on a long-term rebuilding plan in New York.

And Daboll, after building one of the league’s top offenses with QB Josh Allen in Buffalo, is a Giant trying to rehabilitate Daniel Jones and build a sustainable product with time that Judge was promised but ultimately not given by Mara and Steve Tisch.

It’s an intricate, complicated, messy web of connections. On Thursday, they’ll probably all be relieved just to play some football.

And Daboll and his family, just for a moment, should be able to appreciate how far he’s come.


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