Pitchers Are Slowly Adapting To The Home Run Spike

For the past two years, baseball’s power surge has turned anonymous middle infielders into 30-home-run hitters and made power-happy rookies look like the second coming of Babe Ruth. The long ball has become so ubiquitous that it’s hard to recall that just three seasons ago, pitchers ruled the earth. In 2014, MLB was mired in a dead-ball era similar to the one it faced in the 1960s through early 1970s, when the league was forced to lower the height of the mound in pursuit of some offense.Today, regardless of where you place the blame (my money is on a juiced ball), baseball is on track to shatter nearly every dinger-related record. So in our third consecutive year of increasing offense, our attention now turns to the players serving up those homers: When and how will pitchers adjust to the fact that so many batters are launching shots over the fences?For a long time, the strategy for facing a slugger was clear. “The best way to limit slugging percentage was to throw down and away and off the plate,” said former MLB catcher and current Chicago Cubs coach John Baker. Baker played from 2008 to 2014, at a time when the bottom was falling out of the strike zone and offense was dropping with it. In 2013, 36.5 percent of throws crossed the plate less than two feet off the ground, and hitters racked up a slash line of just .210/.295/.298 against those pitches. Meanwhile, hitters did considerably better against pitches more than three feet above the plate: .210/.351/.348.Then the league adjusted. More recently, “the guys that are the best guys in the world right now all seem to have this [Mike] Trout-type low-ball swing,” Baker said. Nowadays, the same low pitches that once got hitters out are getting slugged at a rate 20 points higher than in 2013 (.212/.301/.321). While production high in the zone is still decent (.203/.351/.362), the gap between the two types of pitches has closed significantly.1Data is up to date through July 17, 2017. It seems as though a wave of young players entered the league with their swings geared to combat the knee-high strike, and that trend reduced the pitch’s effectiveness.But for every hole in the zone that the league’s batters close, another one opens. “It goes in waves, the pitching changes its philosophy, and the hitting changes up, and the pitching adjusts, and on and on,” Baker said. With batters adopting uppercut swings to generate loft even on low pitches, it stands to reason that pitchers could go even higher in response. Previous research has shown that when a fly-ball hitter meets a high strike, the result is often a popup or weak contact. I looked at the median height of all four-seam fastballs month by month to see whether pitchers are giving that strategy a try. By and large, hurlers have adopted the elevated approach. But the home run surge began in 2015, and fastball height only started increasing noticeably this July. Even as recently as 2016, when home runs were up about 15 percent compared to 2015, it appeared that pitchers were still aiming low in the zone. Complicating matters, the strike zone has been shrinking at the bottom. In the last few months, umpires have been more reluctant to call strikes down at the knees, bringing the strike zone closer to its 2013 height. It might be that pitchers are adjusting upwards in reaction to fewer low strike calls, rather than anything hitters are doing.There’s no question that the low-strike strategy is entrenched. “They’ve taught the same thing in pitching for a hundred years: Be down, and they hit the ball on the ground,” said Chicago Cubs pitcher Jon Lester. Lester has had an above-average ground ball rate over his career, but his ERA has spiked this season to 4.03. But pitchers across the league are giving up more runs this year, and as a result, Lester is on pace for similar levels of overall production (as measured by wins above replacement) as he generated last year. Because the dinger revolution seems to be affecting everyone equally, pitchers including Lester and Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw are seeing career highs in long balls allowed even though they’re matching their career norms in value. Cubs swingman Mike Montgomery pinned some of the reluctance to adjust on the evenness of the change across the league: “The thing is, it’s a fair playing field.”Lester said that he sometimes makes height adjustments for specific hitters, but only one or two guys per lineup. He declined to name an opposing batter who he would target this way, but said that his teammate Ian Happ might be a candidate if Lester ever faced his fellow Cub. Armed with better scouting reports than the public has available, pitchers might be revising their approach to deal with the home run surge on a player-by-player basis, in ways that wouldn’t move the overall median pitch height very much.While pitchers have been slow to expand the zone upwards, they have adjusted in other ways. Four-seam fastballs are usually the pitch of choice to generate pop-ups, since they naturally rise (relative to other pitches). Baker characterized MLB as moving from a “sinker/slider” league to “reverting back to the fastball/curveball game it was before.” The use of four-seam fastballs was declining for years until the home run surge began. Since September 2014 (the lowest point in the usage of four-seam fastballs), pitchers are throwing about 10 percent more four-seamers. In addition to leading to fly balls, heater usage is also associated with additional swinging strikes compared to sinkers. As allowing contact becomes increasingly dangerous for pitchers, it make sense that they’d aim to keep the batter from touching a pitch, which might be the surest way to limit the damage.There is no one-size-fits-all strategy to avoiding home runs. “Everything is specific to individual situations,” Baker said. A high fastball might work well against some batters, but it might also be the wrong move in some contexts. With the breeze blowing out at Wrigley, even a weak fly ball has a chance at making it over the fence, so the optimal pitching strategy varies from day to day.Still, the increase in home runs demands new tactics, even on windy days. Between the shifting strike zone, evolving hitting philosophies and changes to the ball, the league is challenging pitchers to adjust to several new factors at once. “That’s the fun part,” Montgomery said. “How are you going to be the one to adapt and survive?”If all else fails, they could just raise the mounds again. read more

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The Eagles Offense Needed To Be Virtually Flawless And It Was

In Super Bowl LII on Sunday night, the New England Patriots racked up 613 yards, the most ever for a team in the Super Bowl. Tom Brady threw for 505 yards, which was the most by a quarterback in playoff history. The Patriots didn’t punt once in the entire game. It was a masterclass in offensive execution, and it was all for naught.The Philadelphia Eagles’ 41-33 win over New England will be rightly remembered for the triumph of backup quarterback Nick Foles over a Super Bowl legend. But perhaps more remarkable was that the Eagles needed to be virtually flawless on offense to keep pace with New England, and they succeeded.Defensive coordinators Matt Patricia and Jim Schwartz, who both received heavy head-coaching buzz this hiring cycle, watched helplessly on the sidelines as the offenses combined for 1,151 yards. Forget Super Bowl records or even playoff records, that’s most total yards in any game in NFL history.Between Foles’ downfield passing and the inside/outside power-running combo of LeGarrette Blount and Jay Ajayi, the Eagles piled up 538 (hey, FiveThirtyEight!) total yards themselves and were able to counter the league’s most prolific offense each time it landed a punch. After averaging just 5.3 yards per pass attempt across six regular-season appearances1Not counting an appearance in Week 8, when he entered the game with a minute left so that he could kneel twice and run out the clock. and three starts in relief of starter Carson Wentz, Foles burned the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship for 352 yards at a 10.7 yards-per-attempt clip. Whatever changed in Foles — or whatever magic spell head coach Doug Pederson cast — was still in force Sunday when Foles threw for 373 yards against the Patriots defense, averaging 8.7 yards per attempt. He also showed a willingness to test the Patriots defense downfield, connecting on 11 of 19 throws of 10 air yards or more.After the teams traded red-zone stops on the first two drives, Blount set the tone with a bruising 36-yard run. On the very next play, Foles went for the jugular with a 34-yard touchdown strike to receiver Alshon Jeffery. It was one of five passes — and two scores — where Foles connected for 20 more yards. To put his development this past month in perspective, he only had three such passes in the regular season. The effectiveness of the Eagles’ run game set the table for Foles’s downfield feast. Repeated zone runs and outside stretches kept the Pats defense honest — and running horizontally — while Foles attacked vertically. Four Eagles combined to gain 164 yards on 27 carries, averaging 6.1 yards per attempt, while Foles completed 28 of 43 passes for 373 yards and a 88.6 Raw QBR. Pederson’s creativity shows up in the box score; five Eagles had at least seven touches — and two others had at least 70 yards, a receiving touchdown or both. Yes, that includes Foles: Pederson’s balance and aggression broke the Patriots’ bend-but-don’t-break defense. As expected, the Patriots still made halftime adjustments; the Eagles averaged over 2 yards more per play in the first half than in the second half. But they were still devastating on third and fourth down, keeping drives alive by converting 12 of 18 tries. Per ESPN Stats & Information Group, Foles was practically perfect in conversion situations, posting an 11.4 yards-per-attempt average, two touchdowns and 99.9 Raw QBR on 15 attempts.Yet it was a sloppily played game. Mistakes — including three missed first-half kicks, two failed two-point conversions, Brady’s dropped QB throwback and a host of blown coverages — took some of the shine off what was otherwise a sterling offensive performance by both teams.Besides his dropped pass on the option — which, to be fair, was not a good throw from Danny Amendola — it’s hard to put any blame on Brady, who put up his best statistical effort in eight Super Bowls. In fact, according to ESPN Stats & Information Group, he became the first quarterback in NFL history to lose any game while posting 500+ passing yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. No Super Bowl-losing quarterback has played better.Yet Brady raised the ire of the entire footballing internet after the game, when he was quoted as saying the Eagles made “one good play”: As the full context of the quote reveals, though, Brady was spot-on: Brandon Graham’s fourth-quarter strip sack of Brady was the only consequential defensive play of the game, and it came at the perfect time to short-circuit Brady’s now-routine postseason heroics. Fittingly, it was also the only sack by either team in the game, which tied a Super Bowl low mark.Pederson has to be credited for his amazing coaching performance, winning it all after completely remaking his offense to suit his backup quarterback. The same is true of general manager Howie Roseman, who not only survived his power struggle with deposed head coach Chip Kelly but also won the Super Bowl two years later.But most of the credit should go to Foles, who deservedly won the Super Bowl MVP award after getting jerked around by Kelly, the Eagles and the rest of the NFL. Despite contemplating retirement after being cut by the Rams in 2016, Foles stayed humble and hungry and returned the team that drafted him in 2012.His patience, and theirs, resulted in a Super Bowl payoff for a fan base that desperately needed a championship.CORRECTION (Feb. 5, 2017, 2:25 p.m.): A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the number of Eagles who had fewer than seven touches but who had at least 70 yards or a receiving touchdown — it was two, not three. read more

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Ohio State womens basketball notches first win against Cincinnati

After a tough loss against then-No. 7 Notre Dame in the Carrier Classic, the No. 20 Ohio State women’s basketball team came out firing and blazed past Cincinnati in their home opener at the Schottenstein Center. Wednesday night’s 87-49 victory gave the Buckeyes their first win of the year and Cincinnati’s coach Jamelle Elliott said OSU’s loss to Notre Dame might have served as some extra motivation. “They had a chip on their shoulder,” Elliot said, “and you could tell tonight.” The Buckeyes shot 77.3 percent from the floor in the first half and had a 42-21 lead going into halftime. Senior guard Tayler Hill led the charge with 21 points, while redshirt senior guard Amber Stokes and sophomore guard Raven Ferguson each scored 16 apiece. The Buckeyes defense stymied the Bearcats all game long and held them to 29.7 percent shooting from the field overall. “Our defense against Notre Dame was good and tonight’s defense was very good,” said OSU coach Jim Foster. “I think we’re solid defensively at the guard position.” Stokes said not only was their defense efficient tonight, but they had a strong overall game right from the tip off. “It felt better than the Notre Dame game from the beginning,” Stokes said. “The defense was good and everyone was getting their shots, so that makes for a fun game.” This year, the Buckeyes seem to be quick and precise, as they exploited the Bearcats’ defense with hard, dribble penetrations that set up wide open three-point shots, or with pick-and-rolls where players seemed to snipe in accurate passes. “We are such a faster team this year,” Ferguson said. “With Amber and Tayler on the court, you need to be moving and keep the ball moving at all times.” Hill was happy the way her team was able to score Wednesday, but said they still have a lot of work to do in order to perfect their offensive scheme. “According to the score, I think tonight went really well,” Hill said. “We rushed on the ball a little too much in the beginning, but that is something we can fix at practice.” Coming into this year, many people wondered who would step up to take some of the scoring burden off of Hill, especially after losing their dynamic point guard in Samantha Prahalis, who was drafted No. 6 overall to the Phoenix Mercury in the 2012 WNBA Draft. Stokes and Ferguson might be the front-runners to fill the void. Stokes, however, said the strength of their team is unity. “I thought my game was good, but it could have been better,” Stokes said. “We held Cincinnati back and our defense was solid. Everyone was helping each other out and we had one another’s back, and we kept a good rotation. I am proud of the way we played.” Hill also noted how unique the team’s chemistry is, echoing Stokes comments about everyone having each other’s backs. “The team chemistry has been the best since I have been here,” Hill said. “We all want to see one another play well and are very supportive of one another. We are very close and I think that shows on the court because we trust each other very much.” Foster said he is excited about the group of players he has this season, not just because of their versatility and athleticism on the court. “From day one I’ve liked this group,” Foster said. “They’re unselfish and can be a lot of things this season.” The Buckeyes will return home to face Winthrop at St. John Arena on Saturday at 2 p.m. read more

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Ohio State mens basketball looks to build on 2game winning streak with

Junior guard Sam Thompson takes a shot during a game against Penn State Jan. 29 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU lost, 71-70.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorBig Ten basketball — especially this season — can mess with any team’s confidence because of the conference’s competitiveness.The Ohio State Buckeyes are no exception to difficulties and frustrations the conference can provide, having won their first two Big Ten contests before dropping five out of six.Now, OSU (18-5, 5-5) has won back-to-back road games against top 20 opponents — a 59-58 win against then-No. 14 Wisconsin Feb. 1 followed by a 76-69 victory against No. 17 Iowa Tuesday — and the feelings around the team have been a bit on the lighter side.“The mood is way better. I mean in the gym, we go to the weight room … the mood is better,” junior forward LaQuinton Ross said Friday. “In the locker room, everybody’s laughing, where like a week ago, you come in there and it’s sad in there. You can almost put on some gloomy music in there, it’s been real bad in there for us.”The two wins against ranked opponents on the road, though, has gotten things back to where they should be, Ross said.“I think winning — winning cures all,” Ross said. “We was down, we was at our lowest point this season when we lost those couple games, but I think right now, it’s looking good for us.”While the team’s confidence might be on the upswing, its coach doesn’t want the team to head into a Saturday matchup with Purdue (14-9, 4-6) with the attitude that just because the Buckeyes are returning home, a win is guaranteed.“The fact that you’ve won two games on the road and you’re coming home, I know in this league means absolutely nothing if you’re not ready to play at the level you need to play at,” coach Thad Matta said Friday. “There’s no rhyme or reason with why teams are winning right now. It’s just, ‘Hey, whoever plays best for that 40 minutes.’”OSU was able to hold off the Boilermakers, 78-69, in West Lafayette, Ind., Dec. 31, but had its hands full with sophomore center A.J. Hammons, who scored 18 points and snatched 16 rebounds. Hammons also blocked five shots, doing his best to clog up the lane.OSU junior center Amir Williams will likely shoulder the bulk of the responsibility of containing the 7-footer, but taking him out of the game is a team effort, Ross said.“He clogs up the lane. So we’re going to have to find ways to spread him out, get him out of there,” Ross, who scored a game-high 25 points in the win against Purdue on New Year’s Eve, said. “He’s a real big dude. So we gotta work on getting him off the block, and we also gotta give Amir help down there.”A big reason for the Buckeyes’ recent success could be the change in their starting lineup, as junior guard Shannon Scott has been replaced with junior forward Sam Thompson. Scott has come off the bench to average 10 points in the Buckeyes last two games, seeming to be more aggressive than before and give OSU another option offensively.“I think I got my edge back a little bit. I know coming off the bench gotta bring a spark to the team, so I feel like now that’s my role,” Scott said Friday. “And if I’m able to do that by being aggressive, I gotta keep doing that every game.”The Buckeyes have been able to finish off the two close victories on the road by making big plays down the stretch as well as hitting their free throws. That late game confidence for the Buckeyes was missing during their tough run of losses, Matta said.“We’ve been right there in every game that we haven’t won and shots haven’t fell for us in the timely fashion that we needed them to,” Matta said. “I’ve always told our guys and I’m telling them now in late game situations: Be as confident as you possibly can. Take and make a great shot. We’re perfectly fine with it.”Tipoff between the Boilermakers and Buckeyes is set for 6 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center. read more

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Football Joshua Norwood transfers out of Ohio State

OSU Gray redshirt sophomore Joshua Norwood (28) breaks up a pass intended for OSU Scarlet senior wide receiver Austin Mack (11) during the Spring Game at Ohio Stadium on April 15th, 2017. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Social Media EditorOhio State redshirt sophomore cornerback Joshua Norwood is transferring from the football program, a team spokesman confirmed to The Lantern. Norwood’s departure was originally reported by Tim May of the Dispatch.Norwood is the eighth Buckeye to leave the program since the end of the 2016 season, joining transfers offensive linemen Evan Lisle, Tyler Gerald and Kyle Trout, and wide receivers James Clark, Torrance Gibson and Alex Stump. Quarterback Stephen Collier announced his retirement from football in January, as well.A member of the 2015 recruiting class, the Valdosta, Georgia, native redshirted his first season in Columbus, then played limited minutes in 11 games in 2016, accumulating eight tackles, one tackle for loss and one pass breakup.He has three years of eligibility remaining.Norwood’s transfer brings the Buckeyes down to the NCAA’s 85 scholarship limit for the 2017 season. read more

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Mens Volleyball Ohio State eliminated in MIVA tournament with defeat to No

Redshirt sophomore Jake Hanes smacks the ground out of frustration after sending the ball out-of-bounds during Ohio State’s loss to George Mason on Jan. 18 at St. John Arena in Columbus. Credit: Ethan Clewell | Senior ReporterIn a fitting end to an odd season, the Ohio State men’s volleyball team could not continue its recent five-set magic, falling in four sets to No. 10 Loyola Chicago in the opening match of the conference tournament, 15-25, 25-20, 14-25 and 22-25. The loss eliminates the Buckeyes (10-19, 5-10 MIVA) from the Midwest Intercollegiate Volleyball Association tournament and any chance at a bid for the NCAA tournament. The Ramblers (20-7, 12-2 MIVA) move on to face No. 14 Purdue Fort Wayne in the semifinals Wednesday. Heading into the fourth set, it seemed Ohio State might find its late-set heroics again and come out with a victory. Sophomore opposite hitter Jake Hanes crushed a kill to bring the Buckeyes and the Ramblers’ even at 21 late in the fourth set, but three straight points, including a block and a kill by senior middle blocker Paul Narup and an ace by senior outside hitter Collin Mahan propelled Loyola Chicago to a 25-22 fourth set victory. Mahan led the Ramblers with 14 kills, three aces and 11 digs. Junior middle blocker Kyle Piekarski led the team defensively with six total blocks, adding an ace and nine kills. In familiar fashion, Ohio State struggled out of the gate in the first set. After jumping out to an early 4-3 lead, the Ramblers ran away with the first set, scoring 11 of the next 17 points. Hanes contributed a kill and two aces in hopes of cutting into the lead, but Loyola Chicago responded with five straight points of its own, including kills by Piekarski, Mahan and senior outside hitter Will Tischler, setting the Ramblers up with a 22-13 set lead. The teams traded the final four points, giving Loyola Chicago a 25-15 first-set victory. Three of the Ramblers’ eight aces came in the first set and their stellar efficiency, hitting at a .652 clip, helped stifle any hopes of an Ohio State comeback. But the Buckeyes would not go silently. Right on cue, Ohio State came alive in the second set. A five-point run, including a kill and an ace by Hanes and a kill by freshman outside hitter Sean Ryan turned a 6-4 deficit into an 8-6 Ohio State lead. The Buckeyes continued to add to their lead, courtesy of kills by Hanes and multiple errors by Loyola Chicago, but kills by Piekarski and Narup brought the Buckeyes’ lead to one, 16-15. Ohio State answered with a four-point run featuring back-to-back aces by Hanes, reestablishing a five-point cushion which the Buckeyes would carry to the end of the set, winning 25-20, before falling in the next two sets. Ohio State finished the 2019 campaign with a 10-19 record, finishing 5-10 in the Midwest Intercollegiate Volleyball Association. read more

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Southgate knows 19 or 20 names for England World Cup squad

first_imgEngland manager Gareth Southgate has revealed that he now knows about “19 or 20” players that will be included in his final 23-man squad for the World CupAfter a rather controversial VAR decision had awarded Italy a late penalty, which Lorenzo Insigne scored, England were denied an almost certain victory at Wembley, after Jamie Vardy had put them ahead before the break.Southgate’s side won their first friendly against Holland 1-0 with the latest international break having represented some of the players’ final opportunity to prove themselves to the coach ahead of the final selection for the World Cup.“There have been some strong performances from individuals that have cemented… not their place in the squad, 19 or 20 of those were pretty clear, (but) it’s often who are the next ones in if we get a problem in a particular area,” said Southgate, according to Sky Sports.“The things we’ve tried, we’ve learned a lot. What’s really pleased me is the guys are solving problems on the pitch themselves: changes of formation from the opposition, patterns of working their way through different pressing tactics.Jadon Sancho, Borussia DortmundCrouch: Liverpool could beat Man United to Jadon Sancho Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Peter Crouch wouldn’t be surprised to see Jadon Sancho end up at Liverpool one day instead of his long-term pursuers Manchester United.“That’s a real plus, and will only improve the more we work together. I’m looking forward to the lead-in to a fantastic and exciting tournament for us.”Southgate was pleased with their previous four friendlies against the likes of Brazil, Germany, the Netherlands and Italy, which has seen them collect positive results.“We’ve played four of the biggest football countries in the world, and been competitive in every game,” he said.“Our patterns of play have become far clearer, and we’ll improve on that.”last_img read more

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Egypt name provisional 35man squad for World Cup

first_imgEgypt have announced their provisional 35-man squad list for this summer’s World Cup in Russia, reports allAfricaHead coach Hector Cuper has naturally named national hero Mohamed Salah in the squad with the Liverpool star expected to lead the attacking line for the country.Also selected are the United States based defender Amro Tarek and the experienced goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy.Arsenal’s Mohamed Elneny has been surprisingly included, despite being out with an ankle injury right now.The national team will meet up in Cairo on May 23, before beginning their warm-up match against Kuwait two days later and will then face Colombia in Bergamo, Italy on June 1.The Pharaohs will later meet Belgium for their final international friendly in Brussels on June 6.Paulo Dybala reveals a falling out with Jorge Sampaoli Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – July 12, 2019 After having a relatively good Copa America performance with Argentina, Paulo Dybala came out to reveal a fall out with Jorge Sampaoli.We’ve discussed how…Egypt will be making their first appearance in the World Cup for 28 years and have been drawn in Group A with hosts Russia, Uruguay and Saudi Arabia.Egypt 35-man provisional World Cup SquadGoalkeepers: Essam El Hadary (Al Taawoun, Saudi Arabia), Sherif Ekramy (Al Ahly), Mohamed El Shennawy (Al Ahly), Mohamed Awwad (Ismaily), Amer Amer (Al Intag Al Harby)Defenders: Ahmed Fathy (Al Ahly), Ahmed Elmohamady (Aston Villa, England), Mohamed Abdel Shafy (Al Fateh, Saudi Arabia), Ahmed Hegazi (West Bromwich Albion, England), Omar Gaber (Los Angeles FC, USA), Ali Gabr (West Bromwich Albion, England), Saad Samir (Al Ahly), Karim Hafez (Lens, France), Ayman Ashraf (Al Ahly), Mahmoud Hamdy (Zamalek), Amro Tarek (Orlando City, USA), Hamada Tolba (Al Assiouty)Midfielders: Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal, England), Abdullah El Said (KuPS, Finland), Mahmoud Abdul Razek “Shikabala” (Al Raed, Saudi Arabia), Mahmoud Hassan “Trezeguet” (Kasimpasa, Turkey), Ramadan Sobhi (Stoke City, England), Tarek Hamed (Zamalek), Hossam Ashour (Al Ahly), Sam Morsy (wigan Athletic, England), Amr Warda (Atromitos, Greece), Moamen Zakaria (Al Ahli Jeddah, Saudi Arabia), Walid Suleiman (Al Ahly), Mahmoud Abdel Aziz (Zamalek)Forwards: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool, England), Mahmoud Abdel Moneim “Kahraba” (Al Ittihad, Saudi Arabia), Marwan Mohsen (Al Ahly), Amr Gamal (HJK Helsinki, Finland), Ahmed Hassan “Kouka” (Sporting Braga, Portugal), Ahmed Gomaa (Al Masry)last_img read more

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Hazard says Cole convinced him to join Chelsea

first_imgThe Belgian superstar has thanked publicly his former teammate for the idea to join the English Premier League clubEnglish legendary footballer Joe Cole has announced his retirement today.And with it, Belgian superstar Eden Hazard has taken some time to thank him for everything, especially for helping decided to join Chelsea.“I spoke to him before I signed for Chelsea. Every day, seriously, he was telling me that Chelsea was the best club for me,” Hazard told Chelsea’s Twitter account.“He said Chelsea was a big club where you can win trophies every season. For that reason I signed, so thank you, Joe Cole!”Premier LeaguePremier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…Cole and Hazard were teammates in French Ligue 1 club Lille.They spent the 2011-2012 season [email protected]: ‘I spoke to him before I signed for Chelsea. Every day, seriously, he was telling me that Chelsea was the best club for me. He said Chelsea was a big club where you can win trophies every season. For that reason I signed, so thank you, Joe Cole!’ pic.twitter.com/gKV0yN40Ma— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) November 13, 2018last_img read more

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Speech By the Hon Attorney General on the Opening of the Supreme

first_img Turks and Caicos Laws now available online Attorney General announces 14 Law Reforms for 2016 Related Items:attorney eneral, rhondalee knowles Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppMy Lady Chief Justice, Judges of the Supreme Court, distinguished guests, President of the Bar Council and Colleagues at the Bar, Ladies and Gentlemen.I am pleased to rise to move a motion for the opening of the Supreme Court for the 2015 session after a long abeyance in this practice. On this ceremonial occasion, it is perhaps timely to recall the origins of this event in the Middle Ages in the United Kingdom. For the legal fraternity, this traditional gathering commemorates the principles of defending access to justice and the rule of law. I commend My Lady Chief Justice for reintroducing the practice as such events “… reminds all of those actively involved within the legal system of the need to uphold these principles internationally, as well as at home, for the benefit of society.”With your Ladyship’s leave I propose in moving the motion, to make a few observations by way of a brief retrospective on 2014 as well as a look at some of the work before us.2014 can only be described as another daunting year for the legal profession in the Turks and Caicos Islands. A year in which there was more than the usual share of challenges. Fortunately we were more than able to rise to each challenge and to dispassionately and calmly meet matters head on.My Ladies, 2014 was characterized by continued good work, co-operation and endeavour in a number of areas by stakeholders in the legal arena and significant further progress towards systemic improvements.Access to Law – Work is almost completed on the current Law Revision which has a revision date of 31st December 2014 and is intended to be issued before the end of the first quarter of 2015. In this regard, the question of greater access to the laws of the Turks and Caicos Islands is being explored to provide a solution that would allow more ready access through the use of modern technology whilst at the same time maintain the integrity of the authorized versions of the Law which would be used in the Court room setting.Legislation – I am pleased to report in a bid to give effect to the Government’s Legislative Agenda, that the Legislative Drafting division had another very active year and with the cooperation and involvement of members of the legal profession, associations and the general public a number of important pieces of legislation were progressed. We are grateful for the assistance of all those who participated in the consultation process with respect to the very many pieces of legislation which were considered throughout the year, including legislation dealing with the better regulation of Not For Profit organizations.The hardworking staff of the Legislative Drafting division consists of three drafters and one legislative systems administrator with a vacancy in one of the drafting positions. That small team produced 24 Ordinances and some 50 pieces of subsidiary legislation.Of note:1. The Abolition of Bearer Shares which was done by a December 2013 Ordinance which took effect in the first half of 2014.2. Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance 2014 which provides for the implementation of the United Nations Convention respecting the suppression of the financing of terrorism and the United Nations Security Council resolution on terrorism and generally to make provision for preventing and combating terrorism. The Ordinance is modelled after the UK Terrorism Act 2000 and the Terrorism (Jersey) Law 2002.3. Rehabilitation of Offenders Ordinance 2014 – provides for the rehabilitation of offenders who have not been reconvicted within the specified rehabilitation period. This is to ensure that people do not have lifelong blots on their records because of relatively minor offences in their past, which may impact negatively in such persons acquiring employment or other services. The intention of the Ordinance is to exclude any prejudice which may occur because of disclosures of person’s relatively minor past convictions or offences; and to aid the reintegration and resettlement of ex-offenders into employment by not requiring them or any other person to disclose or answer questions regarding their spent convictions.4. Financial Intelligence Agency Ordinance 2014 – established an independent agency to assist in the detection, prevention and control of financial crimes; by receiving reports of suspicious transactions from financial institutions and other persons; analysing that information and disseminating it to law enforcement authorities and relevant bodies.5. Invest Turks and Caicos Islands Agency 2014 – established the Invest Turks and Caicos Agency as a corporate body with legal personality to assist the Government in encouraging business and commercial development in the Islands.6. Dormant Accounts Ordinance 2014 – makes provision for financial institutions to report dormant accounts to the Permanent Secretary, Finance and to transfer monies in accounts that have not been used for more than 7 years, called “dormant accounts” to the Government, subject to claims for repayment by the owners of the dormant accounts. Prior to the enactment of that Ordinance, all inactive accounts were managed by banks. The Ordinance was based largely on the Cayman Islands Dormant Accounts Law 2010 but consideration was also given to the BVI Dormant Accounts Act 2011 and the Republic of Ireland Dormant Accounts Act 2001.Additionally, a heavy legislative drafting programme is being prepared for the year 2015 in order to give effect to the Government’s Legislative Agenda.Some of the proposals to be implemented by legislative measures include-1. New Domestic Insurance provisions2. Trust law reform3. Immigration law reform4. Important criminal law and procedure reforms5. An Employment Bill to repeal and replace the current law with substantial reforms6. Small Medium Enterprise proposals to encourage local business7. An Attorney General’s Reference Bill to enable questions to be referred to the court8. New and substantial anti Domestic Violence provisions9. More elaborate provision to provide for the Maintenance of Children10. Detailed Family Guardianship Custody and Access to Children provisions11. Better provision for Child (Care and Adoption)12. New provisions relating to Child and Juvenile JusticeAs well as the completion of work on the long consulted new Legal Profession provisions to reform the law in this area to provide for better accountability and effectiveness in areas such as the training of local attorneys and continuous education generally, handling client accounts, requirements relating to good practice for insurance coverage, solvency and discipline.International obligations – As for international obligations, during 2014 the Turks and Caicos Islands completed negotiations and signed a FATCA agreement with the United States of America, was a member of the early adopters group along with all of the Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies following recent developments in the new international Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information in Tax Matters. We saw the beginning of the National Risk Assessment of our financial services industry using the World Bank tool, which is a self-assessment ahead of the next round of peer assessments by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force. I wish to personally thank the members of the Bar and the private sector generally for their participation and ongoing commitment.Crime – On the crime front, we note the continued extensive work of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Police in meeting the many challenging situations over the past year. In so doing I take this opportunity to thank the outgoing DPP JoAnn Meloche who has served the Islands with energy and determination during her tenure and has seen the progressive development of the Office of the DPP which may be her enduring legacy. Additionally, I wish to offer our sincere gratitude to the outgoing Commissioner of Police Colin Farquhar who has led the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force through the numerous challenges faced by them and the Islands during his tenure. At the same time, I welcome the incoming Commissioner James Smith to the post and extend to him our good wishes for a smooth transition.I also take this opportunity to commend the DPP and the Commissioner and their respective teams of Officers for their strenuous efforts in fighting crime and overseeing law and order.Administration of Justice – Turning now to the administration of justice, our gratitude goes out to the former Chief Justice Edwin Goldsbrough for his competent service to the Islands as head of the Judiciary. With the appointment of My Lady Chief Justice we have already begun to see the fruits of some of the energy referred to by His Excellency Governor Beckingham in his speech at the swearing in. Noting that a new Judge of the Supreme is shortly to arrive and other efforts at reforming the administration of the judiciary are already underway with plans to promote important law reforms, many of which coincide with areas of law reform already being considered. Other areas of welcome reform which are being considered include the publication of statistics and better financial management. On the issue of facilities, we saw the opening of an additional and much needed courtroom on Providenciales, however, it is noted that the increasing reliance on video-conference or remote testimony, in both domestic as well as mutual assistance in criminal matters cases, would be greatly hampered if these facilities were not of an acceptable standard or were not well maintained. My Lady, the Government is committed to ensuring the proper resourcing of the courts and it is hoped that improvements in this area will shortly be realized.The volume of civil and commercial litigation has markedly increased and important work on establishing an accessible repository of judicial decisions which would be greatly assist civil and commercial litigators needs the support of the bar to succeed. All levels of the Courts have been incredibly busy and notwithstanding some challenges, it is obvious that the judiciary has worked assiduously during 2014 and has accomplished much.Personnel side – My Ladies, I am pleased to say that two additional civil/commercial attorneys and one additional drafter are due to be hired within my Chambers in the first quarter of 2015. I am equally pleased to announce that Mrs. Wynante Adrien-Roberts has today taken up her position as Deputy Attorney General following the February 2014 vacancy. Mrs. Adrien-Roberts is a thoroughly qualified and experienced attorney having been solicitor general in Dominica for many years before moving to the private bar. Mrs. Adrien-Roberts will focus on training and development within my Chambers and will undoubtedly be an asset to my already stellar team.We recognize that while change is underway in some areas, there are still steps which need to be taken towards full implementation of others in 2015. The challenges of dispensing justice are numerous and supporting each other is our strength. Together we ought to stand up in our various roles as the judiciary, the legal service and the private bar and make a difference.My Ladies there remains only for me to reiterate the continued commitment of the Government in ensuring the required resources for the smooth administration of Justice, and of my Chambers to providing quality service and our assistance in whatever way we can to facilitate the efficient conduct of the business of these Courts, valuing the independence of the Judiciary as a corner stone to the rule of law and in moving the motion for the opening of the Supreme Court 2015 to wish for your Ladyships, Magistrates, Court Staff, and all here present, a prosperous and productive New Year.I now formally move the motion for the opening of the Turks and Caicos Islands Supreme Court for the year 2015. May it so please you my Ladies.Rhondalee Braithwaite-Knowles, OBEHon. Attorney General5th January 2015 Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Recommended for you Sexual crimes trending higher for 2015last_img read more

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