ST. PAUL, Minn. — Erik Karlsson is starting to hit the right notes with his new band.As Karlsson struggled to find his groove through his first six weeks with the Sharks, it became clear that the two-time Norris Trophy winner needed time to figure out how to make music with his new teammates and vice versa.Heading into game No. 35 against the Minnesota Wild Tuesday, Karlsson acknowledged that he’s feeling more comfortable with his new team. At the same time, he insists his best hockey is yet …
Saving money is key, but life can be hardMaine’s National Public Radio affiliate recently aired a report on Mainers living in tiny houses, including one couple who found it was cheaper to build a tiny house than it was to buy and renovate an old home. Their $75,000 mortgage covered the land, building, and all site work.Ben and Sarina Speed of Franklin, Maine, lived with their two home-schooled children in a house measuring just 640 square feet, but then expanded it to about 1,000 square feet when it proved too cramped.“We’re home for huge chunks of the day and we need to play and do our projects and not be right in each others’ faces all the time,” Sarina Speed told MPBN. “I think if I had designed the house slightly differently back when we first built it I wouldn’t necessarily have to add on. But hindsight is 20/20.”Jake Ryan, a Portland, Maine, architect, gave up living in a tiny house for another reason — missing a sense of community.“I moved out of my tiny house because it was lonely,” he said. “And I missed people. You know, ‘hermit poet’ only lasts so long.” Lots of people are just plain curiousWriting in The New Yorker, Vauhini Vara said that she expected to find thousands of “rabid” evangelists for the tiny-house movement when she attended the jamboree.“Instead, I found that many of the tens of thousands of people at the jamboree were like me: curiosity-seekers who live in normal-sized houses or apartments and were there, it seemed, mostly to reinforce their own sense that living in tiny houses was sort of weird,” she wrote.Vara toured a 173-square-foot home designed to house a family of four. In the main room, there was a Murphy bed that retracted into a wall when not in use and another bed in a loft reached by a ladder. Salespeople and builders were enthusiastic, but Vara also touched on two challenges for tiny houses.One is that many local jurisdictions don’t allow them as permanent living quarters because they are on wheels, and are thus considered to be RVs, or because they don’t meet certain provisions of local building codes.Just as challenging is a cultural bias in favor of bigger dwellings. In another New Yorker article in 2011, Alec Wilkinson said the rise of the tiny-house movement was based in part on the rhetoric that big houses were wasteful “debtors’ prisons” while little houses were “luxurious” because their owners could live there debt-free and spend more time enjoying themselves.But, Vara points out, once the U.S. economy began to recover, the size of newly built houses started to go up again. Nearly half of all single-family homes built last year had four or more bedrooms, while the median size was 2,453 square feet. Nearly 40,000 people turned up for the first ever Tiny House Jamboree earlier this month in Colorado Springs, Colorado, for a taste of what it would be like to live in a house with a footprint no bigger than 400 square feet.9News, a Colorado NBC affiliate, reported that visitors represented all 50 states and 10 countries. The three-day weekend festival also drew 22 professional builders who specialize in these diminutive designs.Long lines queued up at houses as small as 100 square feet as people waited their turns to get into buildings big enough for only two or three at a time.Interest seems to be growing in the tiny house movement, either because buyers want something less expensive than a conventionally sized home or because tiny houses are more attractive environmentally. Appearances by tiny house advocates on Oprah, CNN, and HGTV shows have helped spread the word.“In the last couple of years there has been a big uptick in the idea of just being free,” said Lane Van Horn, a tiny house builder with Stoke Collective. “There’s been a really big shift to just smaller, more simple living.”Shedding unnecessary possessions is another draw, but Van Horn admitted the lifestyle isn’t for everyone.“It’s not as easy as just shifting places,” he told the television station. “It’s a whole lifestyle shift. It’s the whole idea of choosing what you do need and what you don’t need to survive.”
About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly buzzing: I do this for our fansby Carlos Volcanoa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveNapoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly was floating after their victory over Champions League opponents Liverpool.Koulibaly was outstanding for the 2-0 win.He said at the final whistle: “I arrived late to pre-season training as I was at the Africa Cup of Nations and Kostas Manolas had joined a new team, so it took us a while to learn how to play together and we conceded a lot of goals, but we’re improving.“I try to give 110 per cent to these fans, as they give me so much love and I want to repay them. “I throw myself into challenge for them, as I want to take the Napoli colours to the top, so it fills my heart when they cheer for me.”
Actor Kat Graham has teamed up with PETA to reveal the neglect and filthy conditions that hens face on egg farms in a breaking new video exposé.The footage, which was captured by eyewitnesses on three egg farms near Vancouver, shows hens stuck in mounds of feces teeming with maggots and left for dead; others suffering from extensive feather loss, injuries, and illness; and birds forced to live inside cramped cages next to the rotting corpses of their deceased cagemates.“When PETA showed me this video of these poor abused hens, I was so heartbroken,” says The Vampire Diaries star and singer Graham. “And then, I got mad. This cruelty and neglect are commonplace on egg farms all over the world. Please, please help these gentle birds and millions like them — it’s easy. Don’t eat eggs. They’re a product of intense suffering. You can help stop the abuse by going vegan like me.”PETA notes that more than 320 million hens are held on egg farms in the U.S., with an additional 20 million being held in Canada. This video footage was captured in April at Abbotsford facilities that on-site documents identified as Cloverhill Farms, Jaedel Enterprises, and Sonmark Enterprises.
LAS VEGAS – Apparently, prison is not so comfortable for Floyd Mayweather Jr. Go figure.His lawyers are claiming that the undefeated champion boxer may never fight again if he’s not released from jail he entered earlier this month.The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports Mayweather’s lawyers filed an emergency motion Monday asking that he serve the remainder of his three-month jail sentence in house arrest.Lawyer Richard Wright says Mayweather’s health is deteriorating by being confined to his cell 23 hours a day and restricted from working out. Jailers are keeping him from the general inmate population because of his celebrity status.The motion says the boxer’s doctor believes the conditions could do irreversible damage to Mayweather’s physique.Bill Cassell, a spokesman for Vegas police department that oversees the jail, confirmed the boxer is in administrative segreation, confined to his cell all but one hour a day. The 60 minutes a day he gets is by himself is in a recreation area that does not include training facilities, such as weights.“He’s in adminstrative segreation for his safety and the safety of the other prisoners,” Cassell said. “Whether that changes is up to the judge today.”
After several weeks of involved trade discussions that would send prized Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton to either the San Francisco Giants or St. Louis Cardinals, the baseball world was thrown a curveball Friday when it was reported that Stanton rejected both deals — and that the New York Yankees had swooped into the bidding. According to multiple reports, and assuming Stanton approves the deal, the Yankees had done on Saturday what the Giants and Cards couldn’t: They reeled in the game’s top power hitter.There were only two hitters last season who hit more than 50 home runs in MLB. Now, the Yankees have both of them: Stanton and fellow right-handed behemoth Aaron Judge. There’s reason to think Stanton will like hitting in Yankee Stadium as much as his new teammate. According to The Baseball Gauge’s park adjustments, Marlins Park was the third-most-difficult home run-hitting park for right-handed batters last season, which had the effect of depressing righty homers by about 20 percent relative to an average MLB ballpark.1The full-season park factor listed by The Baseball Gauge is 0.90, implying a 10 percent drop, but that number also reflects that a team plays half its games on the road, in (presumably) neutral parks. So the effect in Marlins home games alone would be about 20 percent. You read that right: Stanton smashed an MLB-leading 59 bombs — the most in baseball since 2001 — and took a serious run at Roger Maris’s pre-steroids HR record despite playing in one of the game’s most difficult parks for right-handed power hitters. There’s a reason Stanton was named NL MVP even though his team finished 20 games out of first place — it was one of the great individual seasons of this millennium.If you use The Baseball Gauge’s adjustment and extrapolate Stanton’s 2017 homers to a typical park, he’d project to have hit about 66 homers — easily shattering Maris’s mark. What’s more, Yankee Stadium ranked as the third-most-favorable park in baseball for right-handed home run hitters last season. Continuing our exercise above to project Stanton’s season into Yankee Stadium, he would figure to have hit around 73 homers (!!!) if he’d played in the Bronx instead of Miami. Now, the obvious caveats apply: Park factors are imperfect measurements that don’t account for each park’s exact dimensions, instead inferring the effect in a somewhat noisy way by looking at the change in home runs between a team’s home and road games. But even so, Stanton is probably going to get some kind of assist in his power numbers simply by upgrading his park situation.The real question for the Yankees is whether that boost will be enough to offset the tug of regression to the mean. Stanton had the best season of his career in 2017, and not just in the HR column, where he set a new career high by 22 homers. He also reached new career marks in isolated power, strikeout rate, on-base plus slugging and wins above replacement,2Using an average of the WAR models found at Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs. in addition to playing 150 games in a season for the first time since 2011. There’s a very good chance that last season was the best we’ll ever see out of Stanton, who still has at least 10 years and $295 million left on his gargantuan contract. It would be unfair to expect him to reproduce anything close to that level of performance, particularly given his history of injuries.According to WAR, Stanton was worth 7.2 wins at age 27 last season, the first time he ever broke the seven-win barrier in a single season. Since 1920, 66 hitters have cracked 7 WAR for the first time between the ages of 25 and 29 (provided they also put up at least 20 career WAR from their rookie season through their breakout season).3Stanton has 34.6 career WAR through 2017. Those players had that big year at an average age of 27.2 — roughly the same as Stanton last year — so they make for a good sample from which we can draw a comparison for Stanton’s next few seasons. Comparable players*276628.06.027.65.04.44.13.63.020.2 *Average for 66 comparable players.Sources: Baseball-Reference.com, FanGraphs PLAYERAGEPAWARPREV. HIGHCAREER WARYR+1YR+2YR+3YR+4YR+5NEXT 5 YRS. What’s in store for Giancarlo Stanton’s Yankees career?For players whose first 7-WAR season came between ages 25-29, average statistics in that season and each of the next five seasons, 1920-2017 IN FIRST 7-WAR SEASONWAR IN… G. Stanton276927.26.434.6?????? For our historical group — which includes the likes of Frank Robinson, Manny Ramirez and Tony Gwynn — the drop was relatively steep from their career-best season. On average, they fell from 8.0 WAR that year to 5.0 the following season, with the total diminishing over each of the next five years in a predictable aging pattern. Only 10 of the 66 ever had another season as good as their breakout campaign. Granted, Stanton’s big year was slightly less out of place with the rest of his career, so he’ll probably feel the pull of regression a bit less than other players might. And a batter who produces between 3 and 5 WAR is no bum — quite to the contrary, 5 WAR is roughly the border where All-Star seasons start to take shape.Plus, the Yankees might not even need Stanton to reproduce his 2017 in order to have a great season next year: Their run differential suggests they were roughly as good as the 104-win L.A. Dodgers last year, despite winning “only” 91 games. New York would have been formidable without Stanton, and with him (plus Judge, Gary Sanchez and others), they’ll be a right-handed power-hitting squad the likes of which the game may never have seen before.But at the same time, Stanton will probably not reach the heights of his performance from 2017 ever again — meaning the Yankees are getting a very good player but probably not one with perennial MVP potential. After all, there’s a reason they call it a “career year”: You only get one of them per customer.Either way, after several relatively quiet offseasons, general manager Brian Cashman and the Yankees seem to be returning to their big-ticket superstar roots. Now we’ll see if they can also revive the tradition of winning World Series.
As we approach the end of the NBA’s regular season, awards conversations are all the rage. As usual, the two most talked-about races are for Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year. Whether it’s “Get Up” or The Jump, Sports Illustrated or CBS or NBA TV, or even NBA players themselves, everyone’s got an opinion on who should take home the hardware at the end of the season.The Rookie of the Year debate, at this point, pretty much boils down to the Mavericks’ Luka Doncic, who stormed out of the gate and grabbed onto front-runner status fairly quickly, and the Hawks’ Trae Young, who started off terribly but has been shining during the season’s second half.But lost among this debate is this: The entire 2018 NBA rookie class — or at least the top five picks — deserves an award. Collectively, they are having the best debut season of any group of top five picks in more than 25 years.Doncic (pick No. 3) is carrying averages of 21.2 points, 7.7 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game while acting as the primary facilitator and scoring option in Dallas. He is only the second rookie in NBA history to average at least 20, 7, and 5 in those categories, and the other is Oscar Robertson, who did so during the 1960-61 season.The man whom Doncic was traded for on draft night,1The Hawks drafted Doncic and traded him to the Mavericks in exchange for Young and Dallas’s top-five protected 2019 first-round pick. Young, has been nearly as productive, albeit less consistent, in his debut season for Atlanta. Young’s season-long numbers of 19.0 points, 3.7 rebounds and 8.1 assists per game are strong.2He’s one of only three rookies to have gone for 19, 3 and 8 per game. Those numbers, though, are dragged down by his poor start to the year. Since the All-Star break, he’s averaging 25.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 9.2 assists a night, with shooting numbers that are far better than those he was posting earlier in the season as he struggled to adjust to the NBA game.Two of the first five picks in a given draft looking this good, this early, would be impressive on its own; but Doncic and Young are not alone in their shining debuts. The other three players selected in the top five — the Suns’ DeAndre Ayton (No. 1), the Kings’ Marvin Bagley III (No. 2) and the Grizzlies’ Jaren Jackson Jr. (No. 4) — have each been pretty damned good this year too.Ayton has been a monster offensive force for Phoenix from Day 1, and he is already one of the league’s best post scorers and offensive rebounders. Among rotation players averaging at least 2 post-ups per game, per NBA.com, Ayton’s 1.03 points per play on post-ups ranks third, behind only Joel Embiid and LaMarcus Aldridge. Ayton’s offensive rebound rate, meanwhile, ranks 22nd among the 263 players who have qualified for the minutes per game leaderboard. And he’s been improving on defense throughout the season.Bagley is averaging 14.8 points and 7.4 rebounds per game off the bench for the surprisingly frisky Kings. And he’s been even better since returning from a five-game, injury-related absence in early March, posting 18.5 points and 8.2 rebounds a night with an improved shooting line. He has a diverse, varied face-up game and is working to stretch his jumper, and given his athleticism and quick feet, his defense could eventually come around as well.Memphis shut down Jackson in late-February due to a quad injury, but before his season ended he averaged 13.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.3 combined steals and blocks in just 26 minutes a night. He did all that despite being, at 19 years old, the second-youngest player in the league.3The Lakers’ Isaac Bonga is about a month younger than Jackson, and Bonga has played less than 100 minutes this season. Jackson also knocked down 35.9 percent of his threes and carried an above-average usage rate and true shooting percentage, which is wildly impressive for a player whose primary contributions were expected to come on the defensive end of the floor.So how does this season’s top five stack up against past classes? The chart below plots the collective win shares and win shares per 48 minutes for the top five picks in each draft class from 1979 through 2018 (otherwise known as the three-point era) during their respective debut seasons. Note that only players who played during the season immediately following that year’s draft are counted in this analysis; because we’re looking at the top five picks as a class, if a player did not debut with the rest of his class, it doesn’t make much sense to count him along with the others. For example, Ben Simmons was the No. 1 overall pick in 2016, but he did not play during the 2016-17 season, so he counts for 0 minutes and 0 win shares toward the total of that draft class. Simmons was excellent as a rookie once he did step on the floor, but it also would not make sense to group him with the 2017 draft class, because he was not drafted in 2017. Likewise, the same logic applies to Simmons’s Sixers teammate Joel Embiid, who was drafted in 2014 but did not debut until two years later.4It also applies to Jonas Valanciunas (stayed in Europe for a year before coming over and joining the Raptors); Blake Griffin (injured); Ricky Rubio (Europe); Greg Oden (injured); Danny Ferry (went to Italy for a year because he refused to play for the Clippers); David Robinson (naval service); and tragically, Len Bias (an overdose-caused death). 1982WorthyCummingsWilkinsGarnettThompson0.129 The top-five picks in the 2018 draft are in HOF companyThe five NBA draft classes with the highest win shares per 48 minutes Year1st2nd3rd4th5thWS per 48 min 1979JohnsonGreenwoodCartwrightKelserMoncrief0.137 1992O’NealMourningLaettnerJacksonEllis0.118 Hall of Fame inductees in boldSource: Basketball-Reference.com Draft pick 2018AytonBagley IIIDoncicJackson Jr.Young0.102 1984OlajuwonBowieJordanPerkinsBarkley0.174 As you can see, the 2018 class fares extremely well in both win shares — which represent Basketball-Reference.com’s attempt to divvy up credit for team wins to the individual players on the team — and win shares per 48 minutes. The 21.1 win shares collectively accumulated by Ayton, Bagley, Doncic, Jackson and Young ranks eighth among the last 40 draft classes during their respective debut seasons, while their win shares per 48 average of 0.102 makes this class one of just six to exceed 0.100 win shares per 48.One of those six classes (2009) saw only three players actually take the floor during their debut season, thanks to an injury that knocked Blake Griffin out for the year and Ricky Rubio’s contract with Barcelona that kept him in Spain for two years before he arrived stateside. Hasheem Thabeet, James Harden and Tyreke Evans saw varying degrees of success during their respective rookie years and ended up posting a collective average of 0.108 win shares per 48 minutes, but they also combined for only 11.9 total win shares, far fewer than the other five classes that stand out in this analysis, each of which exceeded 20 total win shares.It’s worth noting, then, who was actually taken in the top five in those five NBA drafts (1984, 1979, 1982 and 1992). It’s also worth noting that just a single class between 1992 and 2018 saw its top five post a win shares per 48 average better than 0.100, meaning it’s been nearly a generation since we saw an actual top five class debut with a performance as good as the one we’re seeing from the most recent draft class. Among the 20 players selected in the top five of those four drafts, eight are currently in the Basketball Hall of Fame. Another four — Bill Cartwright, Sidney Moncrief, Terry Cummings and Christian Laettner — made at least one All-Star team during their career. And six more became long-term rotation players. Only Greg Kelser and Bill Garnett failed to pan out at all, as they wound up out of the league entirely within a few seasons.That’s an incredible hit rate of solid NBA players, and bodes well for what we should expect from Ayton, Bagley, Doncic, Jackson and Young in the future. It’s obviously far too early to predict that any of these players will be enshrined in Springfield one day, but the future certainly appears bright, and it seems likely that the 2018 draft class will be remembered as one of the best in quite some time.Check out our latest NBA predictions.
Ohio State redshirt sophomore tight end Luke Farrell (89) carries the ball downfield in the first quarter of the game against Rutgers on Sept. 8. Ohio State won 52-3. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorOhio State has a tendency to recruit highly-touted tight ends. Of the four tight ends looking to make an impact for the Buckeyes this season, redshirt junior Rashod Berry, redshirt sophomore Luke Farrell, redshirt sophomore Jake Hausmann and freshman Jeremy Ruckert, three of them were rated in the top 10 of their position in their respective recruiting classes. With that, all four players came in with a similar mindset: to change the view of the role tight ends have in the Ohio State passing game. First comes an expectation for a part of the game that many tight ends were not familiar with coming into college: blocking. In high school, Berry said he never blocked as a tight end. However, when he entered the position room at Ohio State, the expectation remained. “As a tight end in high school, you don’t block,” Berry said. “It’s a natural thing. If you got it, you got it, if you don’t, you don’t, it’s going to take time. It took time for me, but once you get it, it’s muscle memory that you are not going to miss.” For Berry, he didn’t have it. The redshirt junior said he was not excited about that part of his position. However, knowing blocking was the only way he would see the field as a tight end, Berry began to work, repeating rep after rep, learning the basics. He created an attitude each block he made against a mat in practice. “You have to have the mindset, ‘I’m about to kill this dude,’” Berry said. “‘I’m about to hit this block.’” In the mind of offensive coordinator and tight ends coach Kevin Wilson, blocking is everything. With the running game stagnating with the rise of redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins and the passing game, Wilson has utilized two-tight end sets, using both Farrell and Berry, with one on the line of scrimmage, the primary position, and one as what many consider to be a fullback, blocking for the runner. This is the part of the tight end position that is crucial to the overall success of the Ohio State offense. “As coach Wilson likes to say, ‘You run into a lot of problems when you don’t have a tight end that can block well,’ whether it’s in protection or in perimeter running, running the quarterback too much and getting hits on him,” Farrell said. “He feels and we feel that it’s crucial for our offense for what we want to do.” Berry has a different approach to his blocking skill. Recruited as a tight end out Lorain, Ohio, in the 2015 class, Berry moved to the defensive line for the 2016 season, playing 10 games at defensive end. He was moved back to the tight end position prior to the start of the 2017 season. With experience at both positions, Berry thinks he has a unique ability to pick up blocks other tight ends might not catch. “Just knowing what a D-lineman is going to do just because I did it,” Berry said. “It’s helping me on the blocking side, helping me where the linebackers are going to be at.” The Ohio State tight ends, according to Farrell, are expecting to do everything evenly, excel in the blocking game and in the passing game. Berry said the passing game is going to come. However, the blocking aspect at tight end is a thankless job. But it’s one Berry has embraced, celebrating each time he makes a big block to secure a score for his teammate. “That’s my passion for the game,” Berry said. “When the game is on the line or even if it’s not on the line, just seeing my teammates score, it’s excitement for me, doing what I can for the team.”
Lucas Digne is undergoing a medical at Everton’s training base ahead of his transfer move from FC Barcelona.The French left-back is closing on a £20million move to the Toffees after both clubs agreed on a transfer fee on Sunday night. Digne arrived on Merseyside on Monday as he seeks to get his career back on track at Everton after spending the last few years as second fiddle to Jordi Alba in Barcelona.The former Paris Saint-Germain defender was previously on tour with the Spanish champions in the United States and was an unused substitute during their penalty shoot-out win over Tottenham Hotspur.The Catalan club confirmed Digne’s departure on social media, according to Sky Sports:“Digne has traveled back to Barcelona with the club’s permission to finalise his departure from the club.”The former Lille man paid tribute to the Catalan club on Instagram, saying:Top 10 players who played for both Barcelona and Valencia Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to talk about the best players who represented both Barcelona and Valencia, prior to their La Liga encounter at Camp Nou this evening.“I want to say thank you very much to the club and everyone associated with the club.”“Thanks to the players, the staff, the physios and everyone that makes the club a family,”Digne made 46 appearances for Barcelona since joining from PSG two years ago and was also a part of France’s 23 man squad to the UEFA European Championships in France.The left-back missed out on the chance to play in the World Cup after he was dropped from the team due to lack of appearances at club level for Barcelona.Digne becomes new manager Marco Silva’s second summer signing after Brazilian winger Richarlison signed for the club last week from Watford.
Arsenal boss Unai Emery insists that Aaron Ramsey remains important to him, although he will not get involved with his contract talksThe 27-year-old midfielder’s current deal will expire at the end of the season with latest reports suggesting that a new offer by Arsenal has been withdrawn.The Gunners have also allegedly decided to part with Ramsey in the winter transfer window should no further progress be made at that point.Speaking ahead to Arsenal’s home game against Watford on Saturday, Emery gave his take on Ramsey’s situation at North London.Virgil van Dijk praises Roberto Firmino after Liverpool’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Virgil van Dijk hailed team-mate Roberto Firmino after coming off the bench to inspire Liverpool to a 3-1 comeback win against Newcastle United.“There are three elements, three aspects. One is the player and also the player with their family and representatives. The other is the club and the other is the squad. My focus is always on the team,” said Emery on the club website.“My focus is preparing with the players and only thinking about the match tomorrow.”Asked whether he considers Ramsey to be important, Emery replied: “For me, every player is very important with their relation with the team. I consider each player an important space in the squad.”