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Likely Orlando hiring unlikely to sit well with Trojan faithful

first_imgDismissed earlier in the offseason by Tom Herman in an attempt to rebuild the Longhorn coaching staff in Texas, Orlando landed a spot as the linebackers coach/assistant head coach at Texas Tech before reports arose of his interest in USC.  As the dust settled and celebrations ceased after the Trojan basketball team’s dramatic 21-point comeback win over a tough Stanford team at Galen Center last Saturday, reports emerged regarding USC’s defensive coordinator search. Weeks after parting ways with Clancy Pendergast following a 49-24 drubbing at the hands of a mediocre Iowa Hawkeyes offense in the Holiday Bowl, the Trojans are now expected to hire Todd Orlando as their next defensive coordinator. On top of all of this, Pendergast’s lack of a grip on recruiting has caused talented local recruits in recent years to slip through the hands of the Trojans, such as current Oregon defensive lineman and former top-ranked recruit Kayvon Thibodeaux and incoming LSU defensive back Elias Ricks among others. Jimmy Goodman is a senior writing about USC sports. His column, “The Point After,” runs every other Thursday. Working as a defensive coordinator at five schools over the past 15 years, Orlando has overseen a fairly boom-or-bust slate of defensive units. According to Bill Connelly’s SP+ rankings, a system by which all FBS units are equally rated based on opponents and game flow to judge defensive efficiency, Orlando has had seven teams finish in the top 27 while six units clocked in at 53rd or worse.  It appears that the only slam dunks coming from USC these days are at the hands of superstar freshman forward Onyeka Okongwu, and while I deeply admire the way that USC basketball has quietly turned into a pacific powerhouse this season, it’s clear that its football counterparts can hardly get an easy win with Trojan fans lately. Despite gaining a reputation for strong initial coaching performances during year one, his defenses have seen a great deal of regression. At Texas, Todd watched as a unit that dominated the Trojans last September and finished that season as the 14th best defense in the nation crumbled due to injury and inflexibility and fell to 68th at the time of his firing in 2019. Possibly the most troubling aspect of the Orlando hiring, however, is the eerie similarities he shares with the departed Pendergast. One of the most important factors in Clancy’s firing was a perceived lack of flexibility and inability to properly develop defensive talent. Running a converted 3-4 defense, Pendergast relied heavily on skilled pass rushers such as Uchenna Nwosu and Porter Gustin, but when the proverbial pass rushing well ran dry, Pendergast did little to adjust.  The Trojan defense, among other issues, has become a middle-of-the-road pass rushing team despite the aggressive approach. Considering the youth and inexperience of the defensive backfield for USC in 2019, this was a death knell. center_img Until then, the easy scores will remain on the hardwood. After publicly failing to lure Los Angeles Rams linebackers coach and former USC assistant Joe Barry to the coordinator job, USC quickly pivoted to Orlando with the hopes of injecting new life into the defense and bringing a new face to a battered Trojan recruiting effort. In many ways, Orlando mirrored this behavior and reputation at Texas. According to Anwar Richardson, beat writer for the Longhorns Rivals site, “Todd Orlando didn’t adjust his defensive scheme to suit the talent, players were not developed, and he was not a high-level recruiter.”  Though he’s certainly not the first choice of many armchair athletic directors — former Seahawks defensive coordinator and Trojan alum Kris Richard was nothing if not the fan favorite — Orlando ultimately appears as another suspect coaching decision for a staff rife with mediocrity and second guessing. That said, it is difficult to argue the merits of fresh blood. For as much as stability, consistency and continuity are great to have in theory, this is a time of upheaval at USC. No one wants a constantly rotating door, but it is clear that the old guard of Heritage Hall is being slowly and painfully churned out in favor of an era of transparency, clarity and — as President Carol Folt and Athletic Director Mike Bohn often point to — integrity. If anything can be sure, the USC fanbase is not sold. As is the case with pretty much anything the Trojans do these days, seeing is believing.  In the simplest terms, this would appear to check every box of what the Trojans should theoretically be avoiding in a Pendergast replacement.last_img read more

Dodgers’ Kiké Hernandez ready to embrace single-position role

first_imgSince he joined the Dodgers, Hernandez has a .990 fielding percentage in 81 games at second base. The franchise leaders at the position (minimum 300 games) are Jackie Robinson and Mark Grudzielanek at .983.“It allows me to show my full potential because I’m just working at one spot,” Hernandez said. “I can just focus on being as good as I can be at only one position instead of trying to get really good at six, seven different spots.“In another way, it gives me a little bit more comfort at the plate hitting, not having to move around and focus on those two parts that much. I’m excited and happy. I’m also going to try to stay here for a few more years.”Roberts said Hernandez’s biggest area of improvement has been his approach against right-handed pitching. Last year 12 of his 21 home runs came against right-handed pitchers. He previously had nine career home runs against right-handers and 19 against lefties.There’s an echo of Turner’s transformation there too; only a dramatic swing change allowed him to become an everyday player. During his first spring training as a third baseman, Turner said he would miss the variety of playing different positions. Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season “Clayton’s always going to poke holes in something,” Roberts said. “Today would probably be the curveball. But for me, the way the ball was coming out, the depth of his slider, threw some changeups – I was very encouraged.”Kershaw will begin the season on the injured list. There is no precise timetable for his return.“We talked about a few-week kind of plan,” Roberts said.ALSOIn addition to Buehler’s start Sunday, the rest of the season-opening rotation has been set: Hyun-Jin Ryu will pitch against the Diamondbacks on Opening Day (Thursday), followed by Ross Stripling (Friday) and Kenta Maeda (Saturday). Julio Urías will start Monday’s series opener against the San Francisco Giants. … Stetson Allie, Dustin May, Kevin Quackenbush, Josh Thole, Paulo Orlando, Daniel Castro and Ezequiel Carrera were officially reassigned to the Dodgers’ minor league camp. There are officially 28 players on the Dodgers’ spring training roster. … Uniformed personnel will wear a patch in memory of Don Newcombe beginning on Opening Day and throughout the 2019 season. … Newcombe, the 1956 MVP who founded the Dodgers’ community relations department and served as an advisor in his retirement, died Feb. 19 at age 92. Hernandez, however, isn’t nostalgic for his super-utility label.“Maybe I’ll miss playing short,” he said, “but that’s about it.”THE SIMSPitching to teammates for the final time this spring, Walker Buehler impressed in a four-inning simulated game at Angel Stadium. Buehler’s upper-90s fastball was typically overpowering, and the right-hander declared himself ready for his regular-season debut Sunday afternoon against Arizona.Buehler had been delayed early in spring by a dead arm. Now, he said, “we’re right to where I would have been last year.”Clayton Kershaw, who threw a two-inning sim game, could not say the same. The left-hander threw all his pitches, but their spin fell short of midseason form.Related Articles How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire ANAHEIM — It’s easy to forget, but in the two seasons before he became a Dodger, Justin Turner did not spend the majority of his innings in the field at any one position. In his first season in Los Angeles, Turner was a backup at first, second and third base. It wasn’t until Don Mattingly declared him the primary starter at third in 2015 that Turner knew which glove to bring to the field without first checking the lineup card.So it is for Kiké Hernandez in 2019. Last year, he appeared at every position except catcher. Now he’ll only need his second baseman’s glove for the foreseeable future. In a professional career that began in 2009, Hernandez said, “I haven’t really had that.”Manager Dave Roberts recently made the switch, declaring Chris Taylor his super-utility fielder. Hernandez’s bat might have won him the job. He sports a .278 batting average, .344 on-base percentage and .500 slugging percentage in spring training (through Sunday) compared to Taylor’s .185/.254/.370.But Hernandez is also the team’s best fielding second baseman, at least in Roberts’ opinion. His potential impact in the field cannot be overlooked as he transitions to the new role.center_img Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start last_img read more

Ranney Students Present ‘Man of La Mancha’ Friday and Saturday

first_imgTINTON FALLS – Ranney International Thespian Troupe No. 630 presents Man of La Mancha, at 7 p.m. through March 9 in RSPA Panther Hall.The five-time Tony Award-winning show will be directed by John Doyle, with musical direction by Tess Nielsen, performing arts director, and Kevin Cotter, conductor.“To reach the unreachable star…” best describes the dramatic and song-filled message of the musical adventure that retells the story of Don Quixote and his quest for truth and valor.Performed with a live orchestra, the imaginative storyline creates a highly theatrical experience, making it a must-see production for all ages. The Impossible Dream is but one of many inspiring tunes that complement the equally poetic script.Tessa Payer from Wall portrays Antonia and Jack Fink from Middletown, Dr. Sanson Carasco, in the Ranney School production of Man of La Mancha.Inspired by Miguel de Cervantes’ 17th-century masterpiece, Man of La Mancha is an epic story of knight-errant Don Quixote (Noah Goldstein ’14), his servant and trusty sidekick Sancho (George Timmins ’15), the leader of the muleteers, Paco (Ben Puvalowski ’13) and the woman of his dreams, the lovely Aldonza (Peri Rohl ’16) also affectionately known as Dulcinea. Taking place during the Spanish Inquisition, the play is filled with drama, suspense and passion.The Ranney School performance is appropriate for all ages. Tickets are $10 at the door.last_img read more

Mallard’s Source for Sports Team of the Week — Louie’s Steakhouse

first_imgPowered by the clutch pitching of Ken Anderson and some timely hitting, Louie’s Steakhouse upset defending champion Jackson’s Hole 12-6 in the final of the Nelson Mixed Slopitch Championships at Queen Elizabeth Park. The win avenged a loss by Louie’s to Jackson’s during the 2011 final.Staff and management at Mallard’s Source for Sports would like to add to the celebrations with Team of the Week honours.The team includes, Tom Trubetskoff, Maurice Penner and Craig Theissen.Middle, Arlene Anderson, Edi St Arnaud, Loni D’Andrea and Nikita Gardner.Front, Ken Anderson, Stacey Miller, Wayne Germaine, Ashley Germaine, Ethan Whitford and Cory Whitford.last_img read more

STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN – THURSDAY MARCH 12, 2015

first_img-30- SPEEDY DEMONICA MAKES STAKES DEBUT IN IRISH O’BRIENDemonica makes her debut on Santa Anita’s unique downhill turf course when she runs in Saturday’s $100,000 Irish O’Brien Stakes at about 6 ½ furlongs–a race which is part of the Golden State series for California-bred or sired fillies and mares, age four and up.It will also mark the stakes debut for the California-bred daughter of First Defence trained by John Sadler for the C R K Stable. She is coming off four straight grass races at a mile or longer, winning twice on the front end, as is her wont.“I don’t know if there’s much speed in there, but she’ll probably be in front,” said Joe Talamo, who has ridden her in her last four races and retains the mount Saturday. “Last time she ran well but that was when the turf was real soft from recent rain. She still held on pretty well (finishing fourth by three lengths), so I think she’ll like the cutback in distance.”The Irish O’Brien: Bert’s Melody, Brice Blanc, 8-1; Demonica, Joe Talamo, 6-1; Warren’s Gussie, Edwin Maldonado, 6-1; Go West Marie, Gary Stevens, 2-1; Qiaona, Rafael Bejarano, 6-1; Velvet Mesquite, Mike Smith, 9-5; and Star Field, Tiago Pereira, 6-1. Elvis Trujillo16419191312%$1,114,650 Fernando Perez14414171410%$632,810 Jeff Bonde2990331%$322,480 Richard Mandella4888917%$561,916 Richard Baltas54129422%$478,028 Martin Garcia11123151221%$1,690,580 Mike Smith8617191220%$2,071,181 FINISH LINES: Trainer Steve Knapp plans to give Grade III Las Flores winner Harlington’s Rose a slight break after her win under Joe Talamo Sunday and look for a race late next month. “There are no races for her now anyway,” said Knapp, whose previous graded stakes win came when $50,000 claim Icantgoforthat took the Grade II Monrovia Stakes in 2003 . . . Tom Quigley‘s guest handicappers this weekend in the East Paddock Gardens at 11:20 a.m. will be Peter Fornatale, Daily Racing Form Contest Editor, Saturday, and Jonathon Kinchen, seventh-place finisher ($59,000) in the 2015 NHC event, Sunday . . . Through 44 racing days, perennial Southern California riding champ Rafael Bejarano has opened his biggest lead yet in Santa Anita’s standings, 50-29 over runners-up Kent Desormeaux and Tyler Baze . . . Eerie racing rarity: Crimson Giant, owned by Bryan Carney who recently sold his popular watering hole called “The Hundred to One Club,” finished 13th and last in Saturday’s Santa Anita Handicap. No surprise there. Beaten more than 31 lengths, the same margin by which Secretariat won the 1973 Belmont Stakes, Crimson Giant went off at odds of–you guessed it–100-1. Tyler Baze22229232713%$1,611,754 Victor Espinoza14226282018%$1,791,408 (Current Through Sunday, March 8) Kent Desormeaux14929271819%$1,638,860 John Sadler9412151313%$812,066 Gary Stevens8313131416%$1,230,648 ‘SHIP AND WIN’ PROGRAM EXPANDS IN CALIFORNIA APRIL 2“Ship and Win,” an incentive program to attract out-of-state horses to race in California that met with fine success over the past four seasons at Del Mar, will expand to take in the entire Southern California racing circuit beginning April 2.The arrangement, which will apply to horses starting at Santa Anita, Los Alamitos and Del Mar, will guarantee a $1,000 appearance fee and a 30 percent enhancement to all purse money earned in their initial start for horses not raced in California the past 12 months.Funding for the program will come from the three Southern California racetracks, the Thoroughbred Owners of California and the California Marketing Committee, which is tasked with promoting racing in the state.“Horse recruitment and increasing field size are top priorities for TOC,” said Joe Morris, the ownership group’s president. “We supported the ‘Ship and Win’ program at Del Mar the last four years and believe it will be equally successful year-round for Southern California.”Southern California’s exceptional weather, year-round racing in a relatively compact area, the attractive venues and substantial fan base are strong selling points to out-of-state horsemen. Its top riders and lucrative purse offerings add further luster to that formula.“It’s been a very good program for my owners and my horses,” said trainer Mark Casse, who brought in a large string of runners to Del Mar for the first time last summer with the “Ship and Win” program providing a key push. “It’s a major expense to ship out there, so the bonus monies certainly helped. And now that we’ve seen that we can come and compete well, we’ll be bringing out more horses this year, including some of our better 2-year-olds. Several of my owners have never raced in the west with the exception of the Breeders’ Cup, so this has opened a door for them to try California.”In his first season at Del Mar, Casse started 38 horses at the summer meet and won five races and over $600,000 in purses. He had 13 “Ship and Win” horses who made 25 starts and accounted for two wins, seven seconds and five thirds.“Ship and Win” is not just for out-of-town horsemen, though. Local trainers and owners have tapped into its lure and more are expected to go outside the state to bring back runners this year with the expansion set to begin.Trainer Bob Hess, Jr. had a stellar summer at Del Mar in 2014 with 15 wins and nearly $600,000 in purses. He had 16 different “Ship and Win” horses in his barn and they accounted for six victories, a pair of seconds and a third.“I’m a big fan of ‘Ship and Win’,” said Hess. “We have the best stage in the country for presenting horse racing, but we need to get people aware and involved in being part of it. A program like this is a part of the puzzle, part of how we actually get people to realize how good it is to race in California.”Southern California’s three racing secretaries – Rick Hammerle at Santa Anita, David Jerkens at Del Mar and Bob Moreno at Los Alamitos – are all strong supporters of the expansion of the program. Santa Anita will kick-off the year-round “Ship and Win” on April 2 and race through June 28. Los Alamitos picks it up from there from July 2 to July 12. Del Mar’s summer session then goes from July 16 to Sept. 7. Each of the tracks finishes out the year with additional meets – Los Alamitos (tentatively set for 9/10 to 9/20), Santa Anita (9/24 to 10/25), Del Mar (10/29 to 11/29) and Los Alamitos (12/3 to 12/20).Racing officials at the tracks can be reached about the program either on-line or by phone: Santaanita.com (626 574-6473); Delmarracing.com (858 792-4230); Losalamitos.com (714 820-2658). Further information about “Ship and Win” also can be found on the Calracing.com website.PAPER WORK SNAFU COSTS PEDROZA STAKES MOUNTMartin Pedroza, about to serve a three-day suspension issued by the California Horse Racing Board, on how he missed riding Private Zone in Saturday’s Grade II Gulfstream Park Handicap:“The Gaming Commission in Florida told me my license there had temporarily been suspended and it was no big deal for us to renew it. So we did everything we needed to do and sent the paper work to them at the last minute, but it was in a stack with other applications, from Black Jack dealers to waitresses, you name it.“Just because I was a jockey, I had no priority, and the paper work wasn’t read in timefor my license to be approved. Everybody here tried to help, the stewards from here, the stewards from there, Mike Smith . . . But I never thought I needed to do something about my license being temporarily suspended then, because I never thought I was going to Florida anytime soon, so we let it go. It was kind of our fault.”Formerly trained by Doug O’Neillbut now trained by Jorge Navarro, Private Zone finished second by a half-length as the 6-5 favorite under Carlos Marquez Jr.Pedroza’s long-time agent, Richie Silverstein, said he is “hoping to” regain the mount on three-time Grade I winner Private Zone in the future. Mike Puype78711119%$350,346 Martin Pedroza14014201810%$602,484 TrainerSts1st2nd3rdWin%Money Won Steven Miyadi3175223%$213,620 Tiago Pereira981291312%$404,268 Flavien Prat10310121110%$567,386 SANTA ANITA STATISTICS Drayden Van Dyke16217182110%$1,114,916 Joseph Talamo18921203211%$1,448,340 Brice Blanc4272417%$287,640 Corey Nakatani11019111617%$930,678 Brandon Boulanger1056586%$200,416 Peter Miller11520221317%$1,117,956 Jerry Hollendorfer13426182019%$3,024,008 JockeyMts1st2nd3rdWin%Money Won Bob Baffert8318151122%$1,673,492 Santiago Gonzalez80891210%$484,614 Rafael Bejarano19950302525%$2,308,138 Doug O’Neill12815122012%$782,114 Peter Eurton6711111016%$636,416 Felipe Valdez53810915%$253,828 James Cassidy5486915%$318,600 Mark Casse53105719%$775,868 Mark Glatt5489915%$412,522 FILLY ON WINNING MENU FOR CELEBRITY CHEF FLAYDEMONICA RETURNS TO SPRINT IN IRISH O’BRIENPOPULAR ‘SHIP AND WIN’ PROGRAM STARTS APRIL 2PAPER WORK DELAY COSTS PEDROZA STAKES MOUNT Mario Gutierrez8361077%$362,380 Ron Ellis4583718%$322,030 Philip D’Amato571210921%$568,340 FLAY STAYS IN ‘KITCHEN’ WITH FILLY’S HEAT Renowned celebrity chef Bobby Flay hopes the filly he owns, Dame Dorothy, serves upanother victory when she runs in Saturday’s Grade I, $400,000 Santa Margarita Stakes for older fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles.A $390,000 daughter of Bernardini bred in Pennsylvania, Dame Dorothy will be seeking her sixth win from seven career starts for trainer Todd Pletcher. She won her first four starts, was third in the Grade III Comely at Aqueduct at nine furlongs on Nov. 29, then captured Gulfstream Park’s Sunshine Millions Distaff at seven furlongs on Jan. 17.“It seems like she shipped in here in great order,” said trainer Mike McCarthy, former assistant to Pletcher who is babysitting Dame Dorothy for the nation’s second-leading money winning trainer through March 10 with $2,890,154, behind only Jerry Hollendorfer at $3,362,670.“She trained super this morning,” McCarthy said. “She galloped a mile and looked lively.”The Santa Margarita: Legacy, Joe Talamo, 20-1; Cassatt, Kerwin Clark, 3-1; Dame Dorothy, Rafael Bejarano, 5-2; Thegirlinthatsong, Mike Smith, 9-2; Tiz Midnight, Martin Garcia, 4-1; Uzziel, Kent Desormeaux, 12-1; and Warren’s Veneda, Tyler Baze, 2-1. A. C. Avila2572328%$208,298 Michael Pender3866316%$172,240 Thomas Proctor4166315%$491,028 Hector Palma2564124%$141,000 Edwin Maldonado971181211%$437,824last_img read more

STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN – FRIDAY MARCH 18, 2016

first_imgBrice Blanc535579%32%$488,835 Mark Glatt7898812%32%$416,765 Carla Gaines4273217%29%$557,560 (Current Through Thursday, March 17) Abel Lezcano6573411%22%$495,999 Rafael Bejarano23655432523%52%$2,317,512 TrainerSts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won Robertino Diodoro2867321%57%$181,500 Fernando Perez1501416209%33%$776,549 Peter Miller11412121711%36%$579,355 Clifford Sise, Jr.2064130%55%$436,885 Martin Garcia11317111115%35%$984,949 Doug O’Neill16024222215%43%$1,240,513 JockeyMts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won Mike Puype70712510%34%$352,935 Jerry Hollendorfer12319121515%37%$1,226,771 Drayden Van Dyke1381315219%36%$846,162 Gary Stevens58129821%50%$1,449,548 Kent Desormeaux10116231916%57%$1,423,455 Tiago Pereira9461066%23%$410,034 Bob Baffert8818141320%51%$1,399,060 NYQUIST, BEHOLDER STRUT THEIR STUFF            Santa Anita’s “Winter Meet of Champions” showcased a pair of them Friday when Nyquist and Beholder worked towards future engagements, undefeated male two-year-old champion of 2015 Nyquist for the Florida Derby on April 2 and three-time Eclipse Award winner Beholder for the Grade I Vanity Stakes on June 4.Nyquist and Beholder join undefeated two-year-old female champion of 2015 Songbird and 2014 Horse of the Year California Chrome as titlists who are scheduled to race or have already started at the Winter Meet.Nyquist went five furlongs on Santa Anita’s work tab in 1:01.40 under exercise rider Jonny Garcia.Trainer Doug O’Neill had a one-mile clocking for Nyquist.“I got him in 1:46 and change and the last eighth in 11 and three,” said O’Neill, who ships the bay son of Uncle Mo owned by Paul and Zillah Reddam to Florida for a highly anticipated throw-down with the unbeaten Kiaran McLaughlin-trained Mohaymen on March 28.“This is the first time I’ve been on her (to work this year),” said Beholder’s regular rider Gary Stevens, who was up for a four furlong drill in 48:40, breezing, after the 7:45 a.m. renovation break. “But I’ve been watching her work.“She looks different, she feels different, she’s stronger, smarter. Dick wanted her to go 48 and change, she went in 48 and two, galloped out (five furlongs) in a minute, and out three-quarters in (one) 15, pulling up, so she’s coming along good. She’s happy, I’m happy.“She made my day.”Trainer Richard Mandella has mentioned the Grade I, $400,000 Vanity Mile on June 4 as a starting point for Beholder, winner of 11 of 12 lifetime starts at Santa Anita, but subsequently left the door open for a start prior to the Vanity.“I couldn’t be happier with how she’s going,” Mandella said. “She couldn’t be doing better. I had her going a half in 48 and galloping out (five furlongs) in a minute and four-fifths.A race before the Vanity that might fit the bill for the six-year-old daughter of Henny Hughes would be the Grade III, $100,000 Adoration Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on May 8.“We’ll just see how it’s going,” Mandella said. “We’ll see what’s up.”BLINKERS ON FOR TARA’S TANGO IN GRADE I SANTA MARGARITATeam Hollendorfer seeks Grade I status for Tara’s Tango when she runs in Saturday’s $500,000 Santa Margarita Stakes for older fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles. She will wear blinkers in a race for the first time in her 10-race career.The four-year-old gray daughter of Unbridled’s Song owned by Stonestreet Stables overcame a slow start to capture the Grade II Santa Maria Stakes Feb. 13 under Martin Garcia.With Garcia at Oaklawn Park Saturday, Rafael Bejarano rides Tara’s Tango.“She lost a lot of ground in the Santa Maria,” pointed out Dan Ward, assistant to Jerry Hollendorfer. “Garcia suggested blinkers after the Santa Maria to see if we can improve her and keep her more focused.“She has three good works with the blinkers, so we’re very optimistic.”Tara’s Tango will be going nine furlongs for the first time. The only Santa Margarita entrant that has raced that distance is Penwith, having done so four times, with her best finish a third by a neck in the Grade II Demoiselle at Aqueduct on Nov. 30, 2013.Living The Life makes her 11th straight stakes start in the United States when she runs in the Santa Margarita. The Irish-bred mare trained by Gary Mandella made her first start in the U.S. in an overnight race on Aug. 7, 2014.Since then it’s been a string of stakes through Feb.13 in the Grade II Santa Maria, in which the six-year-old daughter of Footstepsinthesand finished a game third, beaten just over a length, after leading into the stretch.“She’s really happy,” Mandella said. “She came out of the Santa Maria really well and she’s been training good. That was her first time going long on dirt, so I’m hoping there’s still a little more room to improve.” The Santa Margarita: Living The Life, Flavien Prat, 8-1; Tara’s Tango, Rafael Bejarano, 2-1; Penwith, Mike Smith, 2-1; Moyo Honey, Drayden Van Dyke, 12-1; All Star Bub, Martin Pedroza, 15-1; and Taris, Gary Stevens, 8-5.Lavender Chrissie was scratched. JET LAG NO PROBLEM FOR ESPINOZAVictor Espinoza heads for Dubai Monday on a plane ride that might consume 18 hours.He could sleep all the way.Espinoza departs from LAX at 3:30 p.m. to pilot 2014 Horse of the Year California Chrome in the $10 million Dubai World Cup on March 26. Winner of Santa Anita’s George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award and nominated to the Hall of Fame for the second straight year, Espinoza is scheduled to arrive in Dubai at 7 p.m. Tuesday night, March 22.California Chrome is Espinoza’s only mount.“He’s the best-traveling jockey I’ve ever had,” said his agent, Brian Beach, who has represented riders for 27 years, among them Hall of Fame members Kent Desormeaux, Julie Krone, Mike Smith, Alex Solis and Gary Stevens.“Victor is usually asleep by the time we hit the gate before the plane takes off. He slept all the way from LAX to London on the trip to Royal Ascot two years ago,” Beach recalled.“He didn’t get up to eat or anything on a flight that took 11 and a half hours.”Espinoza understandably is looking forward to reuniting with California Chrome, who was second in the World Cup last year.“He’s better than before,” Espinoza said of the California-bred son of Lucky Pulpit. “He’s stronger physically, which is natural as a horse gets older.“He has more strength and his body is thicker. I like the way he’s coming up to the race. He’s had two good preps and he likes the track.“The prep was easy, and I didn’t want it to be too hard. That’s the reason I wanted to bounce out of there from the one post and get him comfortable outside of the two leaders.“I was focused on him stretching his legs and doing what he wanted, and that was it.”California Chrome’s trainer, Art Sherman, on hand at Santa Anita last Saturday to saddle Mucho Chrome to a third-place finish in the fifth race, said California Chrome is doing well in Dubai, where his son and assistant, Alan, is riding shotgun as usual awaiting Pop’s arrival.Art leaves for the Middle East on Sunday.Espinoza, winner of the Kentucky Derby the last two years and five of the last six Triple Crown races thanks in large part to American Pharoah’s Triple Crown sweep last year, is scheduled to resume riding at Santa Anita Thursday, March 31, following his venture to Dubai.Beach, meanwhile, will remain stateside, wishing Espinoza good luck from afar.“I’m staying here to look for a Derby mount,” the agent said.FINISH LINES: Exaggerator has been galloping the past couple days following his third-place finish in the San Felipe Stakes last Saturday in preparation for the $1 million Santa Anita Derby on April 9. “He had a very light week, which is typical after the race,” trainer Keith Desormeaux said. “He’ll probably breeze next Saturday, a week from tomorrow.” . . . Trainer Gary Sherlock has San Felipe fourth-place finisher Uncle Lino also pointed to the Santa Anita Derby, likely joining the first three finishers in the San Felipe, Danzing Candy, Mor Spirit and Exaggerator . . . Bob Baffert has Mor Spirit galloping, but said he has “no plans” for undefeated three-year-old Malibu Sunset, who worked six furlongs Thursday 1:14.80 . . . Kudos to jockey Felipe Valdez and his agent Brandon O’Bryan on winning Thursday’s sixth race aboard odds-on favorite Shiny Nugget for trainer Hector Palma. It was only the second mount for Valdez since he was sidelined three months ago with a broken collar bone suffered in a mishap at Los Alamitos. Valdez is the older brother of Palma assistant Jose Sanchez Valdez . . . Correlation, a 3-year-old Forestry filly trained by Richard Baltas, is a first-time starter entered in Saturday’s 10th race. Santa Anita oddsmaker Jon White notes that Correlation also was the name of a quality three-year-old colt in the 1950s. “The late Noble Threewitt trained Correlation, who won the Florida Derby and the Wood Memorial in 1954,” White said. “Bill Shoemaker rode him in the Wood and Florida Derby and also rode him in the Kentucky Derby. Correlation was the favorite in the Kentucky Derby, but he finished sixth. Determine, a little gray colt that had won the Santa Anita Derby, was the Kentucky Derby winner that year. Correlation did go on to finish second to Hasty Road in the Preakness.” . . . Congrats to Stephen Young on by nailing 70-1 shot Generosidade in Sunday’s San Luis Rey Stakes to advance to The Stronach Group’s Handicapping Challenge that starts Saturday. The live money contest event with a $4,500 buy-in ($3,000 bankroll and $1,500 prize pool) and takes place at Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita. There is a 100 percent payback of all prize pool monies, with up to $300,000 in total prizes based upon the 200 entries. For more information, visit santaanita.com . . . Rafael Bejarano has a 55-44 lead over Santiago Gonzalez in the jockeys’ race, but the battle for top trainer is still thistight, with Phil D’Amato one up on Doug O’Neill, 25-24, through 48 days. Richard Baltas9717151318%46%$1,156,659 Martin Pedroza85119713%32%$311,800 CHAMPS NYQUIST, BEHOLDER IN SMART WORKSBLINKERS ADDED FOR TARA’S TANGO SATURDAYESPINOZA LEAVES MONDAY FOR CHROME, DUBAI EXAGGERATOR POINTED TO SANTA ANITA DERBY SANTA ANITA STATISTICS Michael Machowsky3576420%49%$282,761center_img Victor Espinoza77119614%34%$815,000 Vladimir Cerin4295521%45%$324,934 Philip D’Amato12225212220%56%$1,381,655 Patrick Gallagher3464618%47%$497,993 Jeff Bonde3673519%42%$182,780 John W. Sadler76139617%37%$792,379 Hector Palma3863516%37%$153,307 David Lopez14422111815%35%$665,451 Kristin Mulhall4597320%42%$373,955 Steven Miyadi5710121018%56%$340,422 Santiago Gonzalez25144333218%43%$1,804,231 William Spawr3585423%49%$226,897 Peter Eurton8413211215%55%$971,537 George Papaprodromou4584618%40%$235,580 Tyler Baze23123353410%40%$1,280,791 J. Keith Desormeaux42761017%55%$314,279 Flavien Prat22738403417%49%$2,350,276 Jeff Mullins2876125%50%$195,099 Alonso Quinonez715967%28%$265,535 Mario Gutierrez17320312312%43%$1,246,204 Joseph Talamo20525232512%36%$1,816,889 Edwin Maldonado15228151518%38%$955,295 Mike Smith851181413%39%$1,546,415 Agapito Delgadillo881110813%33%$323,967 Ron Ellis2662323%42%$178,215last_img read more

Why Is Bryce Harpers Old Team Ahead Of Bryce Harpers New Team

For seven years, Bryce Harper was an integral part of the Washington Nationals both on and off the field. Harper remains the team’s fourth-best player by wins above replacement1Averaging together the versions of WAR found at Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs. since the franchise moved from Montreal to Washington in 2005, trailing only Ryan Zimmerman, Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg. In 2015, he had one of the all-time great individual seasons by a batter, notching 9.7 WAR. At the same time, Harper was the face of the franchise in the press and probably the most famous player in baseball. When it became clear that Harper was leaving D.C. last winter, it looked like Washington had a huge void to fill — a concern only exacerbated when Harper went to the division-rival Philadelphia Phillies in a record-setting deal.And yet, more than halfway into the Nationals’ first post-Bryce season, they appear to be just fine. While the Atlanta Braves are very likely to win the National League East, Washington is on track to snag the NL’s top wild card slot with 87 projected wins (according to the FiveThirtyEight forecast) and a 66 percent playoff probability. The Phillies, meanwhile, are only tracking for 83 wins and have just a 31 percent chance at the postseason. How is it possible that Harper’s old team has not only survived without him, but outperformed his new team up the Northeast Corridor?For one thing, Washington always had a very underrated core outside of Harper — starting with future Hall of Fame pitcher Max Scherzer, who currently leads the major leagues in pitching WAR2All stats through games of July 17. after finishing second in each of the previous two seasons. Scherzer began 2019 somewhat slow, but he’s been building a truly dominant campaign ever since; his fielding-independent pitching of 2.02 is 54 percent better than the MLB average and his strikeout rate of 12.6 per nine innings is one of the best in baseball history. If Scherzer maintains his current pace for a 9.6-WAR season — once he returns from injury — he would have the majors’ best pitching season since Randy Johnson in 2001 (and one of the 40 best of all-time).Scherzer isn’t Washington’s only stellar starter, either. Strasburg and Patrick Corbin are on pace for 5.8 and 5.3 WAR, respectively, helping make the Nationals’ rotation the most valuable collection of starting pitchers in baseball this season. Add in a strong group of position players — including veterans such as Anthony Rendon and Howie Kendrick, plus up-and-comers like 20-year-old phenom Juan Soto (whose late home run stunned the Phillies in a Nationals win last week) and rookie Victor Robles — and the talent cupboard was far from bare in D.C. despite Harper’s exit.Not everything is going perfectly right for the Harper-less Nats, of course: 26-year-old shortstop Trea Turner, who played like an All-Star (4.4 WAR) last season, is having a down year due to an early season injury and poor performance on defense. (Blending together the defensive metrics from Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs, Turner grades out as -9.2 runs worse than an average shortstop this season, after being basically average over the previous two years.)3This might also indicate a hiccup in the defensive metrics, which has been known to happen sometimes. Outfielder Adam Eaton has been mediocre at the plate (.752 on-base plus slugging), and veteran second baseman Brian Dozier, who signed with Washington in the offseason, is hitting .231 and appears to be well past his prime. The team’s defense remains a weakness, and its bullpen has been very shaky (24th in relief WAR) beyond closer Sean Doolittle.But all told, the Nationals have only suffered slightly on offense — their hitting WAR has gone from ninth last year to 13th this year — without Harper’s presence at the plate, and they’ve actually improved their leaguewide ranking in overall WAR from 11th with him in 2018 to 10th without him in 2019: If the talent surrounding Harper in Washington was always underrated because of the gravitational pull of his star power, Harper’s own impact was probably always a bit overstated. That isn’t to say Harper is not a very good player; at age 26, he has already been roughly as good in his career as, say, Harold Baines (who at least some people thought should be in the Hall of Fame). But as my colleague Travis Sawchik and I wrote in March, Harper is also a flawed superstar — and he has played almost precisely to that form this season.Looking at his previous three seasons, a reasonable expected baseline for Harper’s 2019 value for Philadelphia could have been set at about 3.1 WAR — three times his WAR from 2018 (2.4), plus two times his WAR from 2017 (4.7), plus his WAR from 2016 (2.2), divided by six. And lo and behold, if you prorate Harper’s current output (1.9 WAR in 95 games) to a full season, it comes out to … 3.2 WAR. Although there is a growing feeling among some Phillies observers that Harper’s Delaware Valley debut has been a disappointment, he has performed almost exactly how you might have predicted.The only letdown might be this: Harper’s monster 2015 season did still imply some probability of an MVP-caliber performance — moreso than from the typical 26-year-old who’d had 9.3 WAR over his previous three seasons. So 2019 appears to be another season of Harper not converting what small chance there was of him ever reaching that hyper-productive ceiling again.Harper’s path to that 3.2-WAR pace has been slightly different than usual. His strikeout rate continues to climb (somehow much faster than the MLB-wide rate), from 18.7 percent of plate appearances in 2016 to 26.2 percent so far in 2019, and his isolated power (.220) is the lowest it’s been in three seasons. Harper’s walk rate, which ballooned to 18.7 percent last season, is back down to 15 percent — more in line with his career rate of 14.8 percent. But his StatCast batting metrics have stayed relatively steady; his average exit velocity is actually up from MLB’s 82nd percentile to its 90th. Harper’s OPS has dropped from .889 to .845 on the season, thanks in large part to the decline in plate discipline, but he’s also hitting the ball just about as hard as ever. (He’s also heating up in July, with a .885 OPS this month, so we’ll have to keep an eye on Harper for a potential second-half surge.)The best sign for Harper might be that his defense — which was conspicuously bad last season according to the advanced metrics — is back to being solid. Again averaging together the fielding values at FanGraphs and Baseball-Reference, Harper was 20.2 runs worse than average while playing mostly right field last season. That number was way out of step with his previous track record (4.3 runs above average over the previous two seasons) and easy to identify as a place for positive reversion to the mean in 2019. So sure enough, Harper has been 4.7 runs better than the average right fielder this season, which is enough to offset his OPS drop and leave him on pace for slightly more WAR in 2019 than in 2018.Despite playing almost precisely to expectations, Harper is still just the fourth-best player on the Phillies, however, behind catcher J.T. Realmuto, first baseman Rhys Hoskins and pitcher Aaron Nola. (Shortstop Jean Segura and surging jack-of-all-trades Scott Kingery aren’t too far behind, either.) Philadelphia also has had its share of legitimately disappointing players, from starters Nick Pivetta and Vince Velasquez to outfielder Odubel Herrera (who was suspended for the season for domestic assault earlier this month), while injuries have largely robbed Philly of expected contributions from relievers David Robertson, Pat Neshek and Seranthony Dominguez.The Phillies started the season with more (healthy) talent on paper than its current 83-win trajectory would suggest. But not by much. Harper’s fame always made his departure from Washington — and arrival in Philadelphia — feel more consequential than it actually was. The Nationals have survived without their erstwhile star because they made years of shrewd decisions filling out the roster around him. The Phillies have held steady this season4They ranked 19th in total WAR in 2018 … and rank 19th again this year. in part because of bad injury luck and other underwhelming performances — but Harper can’t be included in that group, even if he isn’t playing to his ceiling. He’s been about as good as usual, and that was neither enough to tank Washington’s season in absentia or save Philadelphia’s by addition.Check out our latest MLB predictions. read more

Budget Passed called Green Awesome by PNP Leaders

first_img Related Items:awesome, budget, green, passed, pnp, premier rufus ewing, washington misick Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Recommended for you Opposition Leader responds to Throne Speech  11 days later; says PDM Govt plan puts TCI in ‘deep doo doo’ Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 25 Mar 2015 – The $225 million dollar budget presented by the PNP Administration is passed in the House of Assembly and Premier Rufus Ewing wasted no time last night in wrapping up debate on the proposal. Shortly before 8pm, after hours and hours of contributions by the members, the country’s leader called it a long day and called for an adjournment and for the House members to reconvene at 9am Wednesday. It was seconded and agreed. As did many of the members on his side of the aisle, there was lots of praise for the Finance Minister, Hon Washington Misick on delivering the fiscal plan and bringing the country into a state of surplus. Hon Misick called the budget, the ‘green budget’ – humorously citing that everyone will see benefits from the allocations whether PNP or PDM. “It is neither yellow nor blue, I am attempting to present the green budget…”The government side was slammed repeatedly for under spending, for what members called mirrored allotments and for taking credit for the Interim Administration’s strategies which are now bearing fruit. The government side also challenged the nation to watch and see, that this fiscal year there will be spending and fulfillment of campaign promises including a significant hike in monies for scholarships abroad and at home at the Community College, millions devoted to infrastructural enhancements, a quarter of a million earmarked for Civil Service training and $9 million pegged to raises for the public sector resulting from a pay and grade review exercise. In his wrap up, the premier called it an ‘awesome’ budget. TCI Country Leaders condemn vicious memes Olive branch extended by Opposition Leader, says it is time for Turks and Caicos leaders to unitelast_img read more

Sheriff says no credible threat at San Marcos High School

first_img Categories: Local San Diego News Tags: San Diego Sheriff’s Department FacebookTwitter KUSI Newsroom, February 19, 2018 Sheriff says no credible threat at San Marcos High School Posted: February 19, 2018center_img Updated: 4:57 PM 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN MARCOS (KUSI) — A social media post originally believed to have threatened a school shooting at San Marcos High School today sparked an investigation that found there was no specific threat made to the school, law enforcement and school district officials said today.Despite the unfounded threat, sheriff’s deputies from the San Marcos substation planned to patrol the high school and nearby campuses in the San Marcos Unified School District today “out of an abundance of caution,” authorities said.The district notified parents of the potential threat Monday night in emails, phone calls and online postings, telling families of “social media rumors of a possible shooting at San Marcos High School.”“Law enforcement is actively investigating,” SMUSD Superintendent Melissa Hunt said Monday night in her messages to parents. “Deputies will be posted at the school tomorrow.”This morning, district officials said that “after hours of investigation and cooperation from social media outlets, there is no evidence of a credible threat to San Marcos High School.”The rumors began circulating on Snapchat, according to San Diego County sheriff’s Sgt. Daniel Deese. “Detectives investigated the threats and found images and wording related to a recent arrest in South Carolina regarding a school shooting threat,” the sergeant said. “With cooperation from the social media outlet, it appears there were no specific threats targeting San Marcos High School, but images from the South Carolina incident were reposted.”In a follow-up message on Facebook, the district said “the rumor was based on a photo of a freshman in South Carolina who posted a threat last week. Kids saw it in our district and reported it to authorities.”The South Carolina incident in question appeared to be a posting made by a high school student there following last week’s shooting in Parkland, Florida, which left 17 people dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.In the hours after the deadly Florida shooting, the South Carolina ninth-grader posted a photograph of himself wearing a mask and holding what appeared to be an assault rifle with the caption “Round 2 of Florida tomorrow.”According to local media reports, that student was arrested and the weapon in the photo was determined to be an Airsoft pellet gun that looked like an assault rifle. District officials in San Marcos thanked the community members who reported the potential threat and said the incident was handled as it should have been.“Both our staff and law enforcement responded as we would expect in these circumstances,” the district said in a Facebook post. “We want all of our students to be safe and carry on with their education.” Not all parents were happy with the district’s response to the incident.Before the full explanation was given as to the threat, dozens of parents said on Facebook they would keep their children home from school. Other parents demanded more transparency once an explanation was given and said the district’s notifications Monday night only served to spread alarm.“Your calls and emails caused district wide panic and fear,” parent Tracy Faris wrote in a response to the district on Facebook.“I am extremely upset with how this entire thing was handled in the district!” wrote parent Kelley Crawford Kerscher on Facebook. “School should have been canceled today. In light of everything going on in schools these days, this year, you can’t invoke that kind of fear into parents and students throughout the district and then say, `false alarm, all good … see you soon.”’The shooting scare came at a particularly sensitive time less than a week after the deadly Florida shooting. It also came during the same school year during which a series of threats rocked the Poway Unified School District.In early October, a student at Poway High School texted friends that “there would be a shooting at the school” and posted an image of the conversation on social media, though authorities investigated the claim and ultimately said the threat was unfounded. Roughly two weeks after that threat, near the end of October, students at Meadowbrook Middle School in Poway were found on consecutive days to be carrying “hit lists” containing the names of classmates and faculty at the school. KUSI Newsroom last_img

3yearold boy hospitalized after being bitten by rattlesnake in Allied Gardens

first_img Posted: October 5, 2018 October 5, 2018 3-year-old boy hospitalized after being bitten by rattlesnake in Allied Gardens KUSI Newsroom Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter KUSI Newsroom, SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – A 3-year-old boy was hospitalized as a trauma patient Friday after he was bitten by a rattlesnake in the Allied Gardens area.Dispatchers received reports of the bite about 9:45 a.m. in the 6800 block of Easton Court, located off Waring Road, San Diego Fire-Rescue spokeswoman Monica Munoz said.The boy was taken to Rady Children’s Hospital and animal control was contacted to get the rattlesnake, Munoz said. last_img read more