Three big things: Tradition beats innovation as Giants down Rays

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO–The game of baseball is changing before our eyes.No team exemplifies that better than the Tampa Bay Rays. Perhaps no franchise struggled to accept that more than the San Francisco Giants.But as baseball evolves and the sports embraces modern analytics, technology and strategies, there’s still a place for tradition. In a 6-4 win over the Rays on Saturday, the Giants were able to prove that for at least one day, their approach can still work.As the Giants improved to 3-6 and …last_img read more

How We S’posed t’ Get Paid fer This Green Stuff?

first_imgI teach the NAHB Certified Green Practitioner class, and it’s a wonderful gang of skeptics and beleaguered tough guys I’m faced with every time. These guys don’t sign up for the class until they’re ready and eager to learn, they want to build tighter, healthier, more durable and efficient homes. But they are convinced that the customer isn’t ready to pay for it. The bottom line is, they aren’t ready to sell it, and if they can’t get the contract signed at a price that supports the effort of stepping up to Certified Green building practices, this whole movement is dead in the water.There are two themes at work here. First, green building is not an upgrade, it’s a differentiator. To a certain extent, “green” is just a handle that we put on durable energy- and indoor-air-quality—focused building. If you are a conscientious builder, you are probably pretty close to building green already. So when builders are just getting started on green certification, I encourage them NOT to try to build the next house green before finding out just how close to green the last house was.We need to stop dancing around the discussion that you don’t want to have with our customer. “I can build you the very worst-performing, D-minus type, barely legal home (code minimum), or I can go green, but green will be more expensive.” We’re not going to have that conversation—you wouldn’t be reading this unless you’re already building a much better-than-code home because both you and your customers demand it.So when you run the last house you built through the on-line calculator at, you are going to find out that, but for a few cans of low-VOC paint, having a pizza lunch to get all the trades together to go over the plans before construction, a legitimate Manual J calculation from your HVAC guy and some CRI labeled carpet, you could have certified that last house Green and Energy Star just for the cost of the report cards. And the only thing that costs extra out of all that was the pizza, the Manual J and the report card.Green isn’t an upgrade — it’s the way quality builders build houses. We would no more offer our customers discounts for letting us build to the lowest standard allowable by law than we would charge extra for building a house good enough to let us sleep well at night. Green-building certification is simply a way to put a meaningful number on just how well-built a home really is under the granite countertops and the fancy trim details. It’s what differentiates the good builders from the mediocre ones.Back to the class. We had an experienced green builder there who was just banging his head against the wall. “I know,” he says, “but I talk to them about the HERS ratings and the blower door numbers and ERVs and low VOC everything we use, and their eyes just glaze right over.” This guy was so passionate and so frustrated. And I can relate; I’m a shelter nerd too — I think energy-recovery ventilators are just fascinating. My customers find this amusing, I think.The regional marketing director from the giant national building company had the answer that makes the second theme for this story. “You’re trying to sell the features, when what they are interested in are the benefits.” Customers don’t really care what you do to make the house better than the one across the street; they care that you are conscientious enough to build them a home that uses less energy, is more comfortable, has cleaner indoor air, conserves water in times of drought, is more durable, and requires less maintenance on the weekends.This is what “green” means to them. It helps if it gives them a warm and fuzzy feeling when they talk about how green their house is at the family reunion and if it looks like it will hold its resale value better than the energy hog across the street with the smelly carpet. But it’s about the benefits to their family, not the methods you employed to achieve them, and it’s the same for the small custom builder, the small production builder, and the national giant.So we’re not selling green features, we’re selling differentiation and benefits. As green builders, we don’t just say we’re conscientious about the details, we prove it with third-party testing through Energy Star and a Green Building Certification program. We bring value through our green building systems and products, which have measurable benefits for the family that will live in this house.Green building is not an upgrade (from brown to green); it is what differentiates your company from those who don’t care enough to build green. The customers don’t care about what you do to make their house green, they care about how living in a green house will benefit their family.last_img read more

GMS Vales VLOC Demolition Sale Fails

first_imgzoom Brazilian mining giant Vale’s recent sale of a very large ore carrier (VLOC) for demolition has reportedly failed, according to a report from GMS, a cash buyer of ships for recycling.“The sale of the VLOC failed to its intended cash buyers and the vessel is now being re-introduced for sale,” GMS said.The vessel in question is the 251,200 dwt Ore Brucutu, which was said to be sold to a Bangladeshi shipbreaking yard for USD 338 per LDT, a total of USD 9.8 million for the 29,122 LDT ship, data from VesselsValue shows. The 30-year-old Capesize has a market value of USD 8.6 million.In early December, Vale concluded the talks with shipping company Polaris Shipping for the sale of four Capesize bulk carriers for a total of USD 140 million, equivalent to USD 35 million per vessel, which will be received by Vale upon the delivery of each ship.Following the sale of the ships, Vale’s owned fleet counts 11 bulkers with a total size of 2.9 million dwt.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more

Royals vs Orioles Tops Our List Of Comeback Clashes In League Championship

3. 1995 ALCS: Seattle Mariners (90.0) vs. Cleveland Indians (87.2); harmonic mean 88.6. If I were ranking the series subjectively instead of by a formula, this one would stand out along with Royals-Orioles. The 1995 ALCS fits the template of two notoriously terrible franchises hitting their stride at the same time. The Indians had a winning record just once from 1982 to 1993, and 1995 was their first postseason appearance since 1954. The Mariners had posted a winning record just twice in franchise history and had never made the playoffs before. 9. 1982 ALCS: California Angels (85.1) vs. Milwaukee Brewers (83.7); harmonic mean 84.4. The Angels had been mediocre rather than awful for most of the 1960s and 1970s; they’d reached the ALCS only once before (in 1979) but also never lost more than 95 games in a season. The Brewers were terrible from 1969 (when they began as the Seattle Pilots) to 1977 but were due for a breakthrough by 1982, having posted winning records in each year from 1978 to 1981. 7. 2002 ALCS: Minnesota Twins (86.7) vs. Anaheim Angels (83.7); harmonic mean 85.2. The Twins won the World Series in 1987 and 1991, but they were terrible for most of the intervening seasons before making the playoffs again in 2002. The Angels had been following their usual Atlanta Hawks-esque pattern of being slightly below .500 and never making an impact in the playoffs. In fact, 2002 was their first postseason appearance since their classic series against the Red Sox in 1986. 8. 1989 NLCS: San Francisco Giants (86.3) vs. Chicago Cubs (83.0); harmonic mean 84.6. The Cubs have appeared in the NLCS three times — in 1984, 1989 and 2003 — and all three of those cases appear on this list. However, the 1970s and 1980s, what gets factored into their 1989 WALT score, weren’t quite as bad as some other eras for the franchise. The Giants had reached the NLCS in 1987, but that had come after awful play in the early 1980s. 6. 1991 NLCS: Atlanta Braves (91.0) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (81.0); harmonic mean 85.7. Atlanta and Pittsburgh would meet in the NLCS again in 1992, which is remembered for Francisco Cabrera’s walk-off single. But their 1991 series also went to seven games and featured four games decided by one run. It ranks slightly higher according to WALT since the Braves made the playoffs for just the second time since 1969 — and after having averaged 96 losses per season from 1985 through 1990. 2. 1984 NLCS: San Diego Padres (91.7) vs. Chicago Cubs (87.2); harmonic mean 89.4. This has been a painful list for Cubs fans. The ball that went through Leon Durham’s legs in the decisive fifth game of the 1984 NLCS is not remembered as well as a similar play by Bill Buckner in the 1986 World Series (or the Steve Bartman incident in 2003). But it was every bit as consequential; the error improved the Padres’ probability of winning the series by 20 percent — about as much as Buckner’s play did given that the Mets and Red Sox still had a seventh game to play. However, the Padres rank as the slightly worse team by WALT: 1984 was their first playoff appearance and just the second time they finished with a winning record. 2014 ALCS: Kansas City Royals (92.1) vs. Baltimore Orioles (87.7); harmonic mean 89.8. It’s almost certainly just a coincidence, but the other series on this list have given us more than their fair share of extraordinary moments. Here’s hoping the Orioles and Royals will give us a few more. 4. 1969 NLCS: New York Mets (104.5) vs. Atlanta Braves (75.1); harmonic mean 87.4. Before 1969, the Braves hadn’t made the postseason since 1958, when they did so in Milwaukee. But they had been a winning team for most of the 1960s — the high rank of this series is despite them rather than because of them. Instead it was the “miracle” Mets, who had averaged a record of 56-105 between their inaugural year in 1962 and 1968, who went on to win the NLCS and the World Series. 5. 2003 NLCS: Florida Marlins (88.1) vs. Chicago Cubs (85.6); harmonic mean 86.8. Between 1909 and 2002, the Marlins and Cubs won only one World Series between them, and that went, in 1997, to Florida, who had come into existence as an expansion franchise only four years earlier. But the Marlins blew up their roster a year later and had a losing record for the next five seasons before winning the World Series again in 2003. The Cubs, meanwhile, missed their moment in 2003 in about the most painful way imaginable. But don’t worry, bleacher bums: Your team is going to win the World Series in 2015, according to “Back To the Future Part II.” The Baltimore Orioles and Kansas City Royals meet Friday night in Baltimore for Game 1 of the American League Championship Series, and they’re no strangers to the ALCS. The Orioles will be making their 10th ALCS appearance — only the New York Yankees (15 appearances) and the Oakland A’s (11) have made it more often. Kansas City will be appearing for the seventh time.But both franchises’ glory days came long ago. The Orioles last made the ALCS in 1997 and averaged a 73-89 record between 1998 and last season. The Royals last made the ALCS in 1985 and were respectable for the next few years, but Kansas City had an average record of 68-94 from 1996 to 2013.How unusual is it for two such moribund franchises to get their act together and meet in the League Championship Series?In baseball, there’s a precedent for pretty much everything — so there are some other examples like this, such as the Seattle Mariners and Cleveland Indians in 1995. Still, the Orioles-Royals series qualifies as being as underdog-y as any other since the ALCS and NLCS began in 1969.To identify cases in which two franchises with long losing track records met in the LCS, I took a weighted average of each team’s loss totals for the 20 seasons prior to the year it appeared in the championship series. We can call this figure WALT, for Weighted Average Loss Total. In calculating WALT, the most recent prior season is given a weight of 20, while a season from 20 years ago is given a weight of one. (Loss totals are prorated to a 162-game schedule.)Then I took the harmonic mean of the WALT score for the two teams to appear together in each LCS. The harmonic mean places more emphasis on the lower of the two values. What this means is that a series will rank higher if both teams have been bad, as in the case of the Orioles and Royals, rather than if one has been awful while the other has been OK.Here are the 10 most underdog-y championship series as rated by this measure:10. 2007 NLCS: Colorado Rockies (87.8 WALT) vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (81.8 WALT); harmonic mean 84.4. The 2007 NLCS featured the novelty of two 1990s expansion teams facing each other. But the Diamondbacks had gotten off to a quick start, winning the World Series in 2001. The Rockies had struggled more, having reached the playoffs just once before 2007. read more

Pedro downplays injury concerns

first_imgChelsea winger Pedro played down concerns over a potential injury that he sustained in the club’s 1-0 win over PAOK in the Europa LeagueThe former Barcelona star played the full 90 minutes as Chelsea began took home all three points in the opening game of their Europa League campaign in Greece.But in the final moments of the game, Pedro appeared to sustain a nasty shoulder injury after colliding with the PAOK goalkeeper.However, Pedro has posted an update on his well-being on social media.“Good start in the Europa League. Everything’s ok despite the incident at the end of the game. Come on Blues!!” he wrote on Instagram.Chelsea coach Maurizio Sarri had said last night that he was unsure over whether or not Pedro would be available for the club’s next game against West Ham United in the Premier League on Sunday.A goal from Brazilian winger Willian sealed the win for Chelsea on Thursday night against PAOK.Roberto Firmino, LiverpoolVirgil 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.Pedro has scored three goals in seven appearances across all competitions for Chelsea this season.last_img read more

Johnstone An Ibrox exit is probably the best for former Rangers

first_imgFormer Rangers footballer Derek Johnstone says it is time for the club’s former captain Lee Wallace to move on from the club after struggling for playing time under a new manager, Steven Gerrard.Derek Johnstone in an article posted on Evening Times described Wallace as a passionate lover of Rangers but has to move on at this point in his career.The article read: “Lee Wallace has become a Rangers man, he is very passionate about the club and he loves the club. But it is probably time for him to move on from Ibrox.Some people can have short memories in football and you forget what Lee did for Rangers during their troubles. He should always be thanked for that.“Now, though, he has to think about himself and he should be looking to leave Rangers for the good of his career so that he can go away and play football.“Lee isn’t up chapping the manager’s door every day asking why he isn’t playing and he will fully understand the situation right now.Rangers is still behind Celtic: John Hartson Manuel R. Medina – September 3, 2019 According to the former Celtic player, there’s still a massive gap between his ex-club and Rangers in the Scottish Premier League.“I have no doubt that he would want to stay at the club but if someone comes in for him this month he should think about taking the opportunity to get back on the park. He has to seriously think about it.“He will want to play week in week out but that isn’t going to happen for him at Rangers. So a move is the best thing for him.“I know there has been talk about a return to Hearts in the past and, without having spoken to Lee about it, I am sure that would interest him.“He has been linked with a move down south as well and he won’t be short of offers if he decides that now is the time for him to leave.“He has been on the sidelines for a while now for a number of reasons and he hasn’t played enough football for a player of his quality over the last year or so.“If Steven Gerrard can’t guarantee him regular football, which he certainly can’t, then it is probably for the best that Lee moves on. If he does, he will do so with the thanks of the Rangers support.”last_img read more

Willock The linesman crushed my hattrick dreams

first_imgJoe Willock took a swipe at the linesman in Arsenal’s 3-0 third-round win at Blackpool suggesting he denied him the chance to bag an FA Cup hat-trick.Willock,19, bagged a brace before half-time to put the Gunners in control of an entertaining tie.The young midfielder thought he had bagged a treble 10 minutes from time only for it to be ruled out for offside against Sead Kolasinac.“It’s a brilliant day for me on a personal note but I’m proud of how we did as a team as well. I don’t think the scoreline reflects how well we played,” Willock disclosed via FourFourTwo“I always try to get in the box and make myself available for crosses or rebounds, so it was good to get two goals.“The linesman crushed my dreams with the hat-trick but that’s football and hopefully I can get another opportunity soon.Joe Willock, Arsenal, Premier LeagueJoe Willock talks about playing against his childhood idols Manuel R. Medina – September 12, 2019 Arsenal youngster, Joe Willock, explains how he has always admired Luka Modric and how he wants to show he can be one of the best players at his club.“Hopefully the boss keeps believing in me and giving me opportunities. I’m always eager to play, so I’ll always do my best if I’m picked.”Joe Willock goal👦— Ahmad (@AhmadAWR) January 5, 2019last_img read more

The tie that binds

first_imgIt is that day of the year again when brothers all across the country get an over-dose of love. With people increasingly moving away to other cities to pursue education and careers, Raksha Bandhan is a time when dear ones are missed. One courier company is making sure that the brothers get their rakhis well in time. Called the ‘Rakhi Express’ the service allows you to send the rakhi in a special envelope with a personalised card.  Though the new age tradition of e-rakhis still goes strong. Speaking about deliveries – Rakhi this year seems to have brought about some crazy gifting options – while you could stick to the usual loot of chocolates and sweets, phones, tablets, ipods are also big.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Rumour has it that brothers are gifting cosmetic surgery options. Women today seek lasting results from non surgical quick cosmetic procedures like Botox and hyaloronic acid based dermal fillers like Juvederm. ‘During festive seasons like Raksha Bandhan, a lot of people come for beauty enhancing treatments. Mostly they want quick procedures that have minimal downtime. Some procedures that meet this requirement are dermal fillers like Juvederm that help revitalize skin, give volume and help clear fine lines and wrinkles,’ says Dr Indu Ballani.last_img read more

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