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Statoil Kicks Off at Byrding

first_imgStatoil and its partners have started production on the Byrding field. Byrding is an oil and gas field north of the Troll field in the North Sea, with recoverable volumes estimated at a good 11 million barrels of oil equivalent.The partners have invested around NOK 1 billion in Byrding, which is a reduction from the original estimate of around NOK 3.5 billion.“Good utilisation of existing infrastructure has resulted in a cost-effective development that will add profitable resources to the Troll field,” says Gunnar Nakken, senior vice president for the operations west cluster in Statoil.Statoil increased its share in Byrding from 45% to 70% when the company acquired Wintershall Norge’s share of 25% in October 2016.Licensees in Byrding are Statoil Petroleum AS (70%, operator), Engie E&P Norge AS (15%) and Idemitsu Petroleum Norge AS (15%).The Byrding development includes a two-branch multilateral well drilled from the existing Fram H-Nord subsea template, through which oil and gas are flowing to Troll C.The multilateral well is around seven kilometres long and is split in two branches after a few kilometres.After processing on Troll C, the oil is routed in existing pipelines to Mongstad and the gas via Troll A to Kollsnes.last_img read more

UP prof dies of COVID-19

first_img “Our Medical Director has just received word from DOH (Department of Health) that the Congressional staff who passed away less than an hour ago tested positive for COVID-19,” he added. MANILA – A professor of the University of Philippines (UP) and a staff of a House of Representatives member were among the latest casualties of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Joey Bautista, lead singer of classic pop-rock band Mulatto, also died due to COVID-19 on Thursday, his wife Belinda Bagatsing confirmed in a post on her Facebook page on Friday. He was cremated on the same day. “We are deeply saddened to announce that a member of the Congressional staff of one of our Members passed away less than an hour ago,” Montales said on the 65 years old staff who has medical conditions. “Our prayers and sympathies are with the family of Dean Baviera,” it added. Meanwhile, a staff member of a lawmaker who tested positive for COVID-19 also died on Saturday morning, House of Representatives Secretary General Atty. Jose Luis G. Montales said in a statement. UP Diliman announced Saturday the passing of Dr. Aileen Baviera, a leading Chinese studies expert and former dean of the UP Asian Center has passed away due to severe pneumonia caused by COVID-19. She was 60. “It is with deep sadness that we inform you that Dr. Aileen SP Baviera, Professor and former Dean of the UP Asian Center and one of the country’s foremost sinologists, passed away today, March 21, 2020, 3:55 a.m., at the San Lazaro Hospital from severe pneumonia caused by COVID-19,” the bulletin read. Bagatsing also requested everyone who had been around her and Bautista in the last 30 days to monitor themselves and have a checkup if they don’t feel well. The DOH on Saturday confirmed there were 77 new positive COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 307. The death toll due to COVID-19 in the country is 19 and 13 patients have recovered from the disease./PNlast_img read more

Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski out for season

first_imgELLSWORTH — New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will miss the remainder of the 2016 season after undergoing back surgery Friday.Gronkowski, who initially suffered a pulmonary contusion to his lung during the team’s 31-24 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Nov. 13, missed the team’s Nov. 20 game against the San Francisco 49ers. He returned against the New York Jets on Nov. 27 but left that game early after experiencing what the team referred to as “significant back and leg pain.” He was officially placed on injured reserve Friday.Gronkowski, who is in his seventh season with the Patriots, previously missed time during the 2012, 2013 and 2015 seasons after a combination of back, arm and knee injuries. Prior to being drafted by the Patriots, he had also undergone back surgery during his junior season at the University of Arizona in 2009.“Obviously, we’re all disappointed,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said during his Friday press conference. “Nobody has worked harder than Rob. … Hopefully, things will work out as positively as possible with him.”This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textThe Patriots selected Gronkowski in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft. He made the Pro Bowl in 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015 and was also named an All-Pro in those same seasons. He was named the NFL Comeback Player of the Year during the Patriots’ most recent Super Bowl-winning season in 2014.last_img read more

Volleyball travels to Northwestern with confidence

first_imgKRIS UGARRIZA/Herald photoThe Wisconsin volleyball team travels down to Northwestern today to compete in their fifth Big Ten match of the season.The No. 21 Badgers (12-4, 2-2 Big Ten) are hoping to carry over their success from last weekend when they went 2-0 against Ohio State and Michigan.“Absolutely that momentum is important,” head coach Pete Waite said. “Momentum is important because it brings confidence. Just the fact that we were down two sets and came back over the next three says a lot about the character of the team and the confidence that they have in each other. Going into this match we hope to build off those last two.”“It is just all about competing and going out there and working hard,” sophomore setter Nikki Klingsporn added. “To gain momentum it all starts from point one, and we have to seize the momentum from the first serve.”Though the Wildcats (6-9, 0-4 Big Ten) have lost their last five matches — including all four of their Big Ten contests — the Badgers believe they will need to bring their “A” game to NU to come out with a victory.“Oh, definitely, I think they are a good team,” Klingsporn said. “We can’t take any team in the Big Ten lightly, because any team is capable of beating you, especially them being at home; it will be a great match up.”The Wildcats are led on offense by middle blockers senior Chelsy Hyser and sophomore Sabel Moffett. The dangerous middles rank one and two, respectively, in kills, and NU channels their offense through them.“They are a dangerous team,” Waite said. “It is not like they have been laying down for people; they have been battling the whole way, and they have some great, quick athletes we have to prepare for. Chelsy Hyser is one of the fastest middles in the conference, and they just run a very fast offense. They are a team that is definitely dangerous there at home.”UW will enter the match against the Wildcats more at ease than it has been in the past few weeks. The Badgers admitted to feeling a little pressure to win last weekend, after starting out Big Ten play 0-2.“It was kind of a relief,” Klingsporn said of sweeping last weekend. “We know that we can do it, but losing those first two kind of set us back a little bit. We have been working really hard, and it feels great to know our work is paying off in the Big Ten.”Despite the two big wins last weekend, the Badgers believe improvement is needed in all areas of their game.“We still need to cut down on the little errors that we make every once in a while,” Klingsporn said. “Our passing was a lot better, but it can still improve. We need everyone to improve on their game, and that will help the team aspect. In this league you need to improve every week if you want to continue winning.”“In every position we need to be a little more clean with what we are doing,” Waite echoed. “If we can keep improving, then we will be fine.”last_img read more

What can Brown do for UW?

first_imgJEFF SCHORFHEIDE/Herald photoWith the emergence of redshirt freshman running back John Clay as a complement to junior P.J. Hill, the Wisconsin football team has one of the most potent ground attacks in the country. This season, Badger backs have rushed for 1,803 yards, second in the Big Ten only to Penn State.This hasn’t benefited everyone, however. One player who is seeing much less playing time this year than expected has been sophomore running back Zach Brown.Last season as a freshman, Brown saw a significant amount of playing time — especially on the road — when Hill was dealing with nagging injuries and former back Lance Smith was unable to travel with the team to road games.Brown rushed for 568 yards on the year, including 250 in his start at Minnesota, and five touchdowns. The yards he put up a season ago were the fifth-most in Badger history for a freshman running back.This year, however, Brown has carried the ball just 46 times, though he has been productive with the chances he’s received, rushing for 251 yards and three touchdowns.While his playing time has been reduced from a year ago, Brown has remained positive.“I just keep working hard, knowing that at any time, I could be back to where I was last year,” Brown said. “I just practice hard and keep on moving forward. I had a great year last year, and although I’m not getting the ball as much as I was last year, I want to show that I can still get better.”Wisconsin running backs coach John Settle sees the situation in the same light as Brown does.“He’s been the ultimate professional,” Settle said. “Coming into camp this spring, he knew there were a lot of talented guys competing for his position, including John Clay. He understands that not everyone can start, and he’s fortunate enough to have a role and he’s doing the best he can in that role.”Though Hill continues to get the bulk of Wisconsin’s carries, he has seen what his teammate has been capable of doing as a backup.“He goes out and works hard,” Hill said. “His work ethic hasn’t changed. I don’t think he’s troubled by not getting as many carries because he knows he’s going to play on Saturdays. As long as he goes out there and handles whatever role he has, he’s satisfied.”Brown, who attended Royal Palm Beach High School in Florida, was ranked as one of the top 50 running backs in the nation. Unlike Clay and Hill, Brown does not have the size to mimic their running styles. Instead, the Badgers use Brown’s 5-foot-11-inch, 207-pound frame in a way that utilizes his speed and quickness to the fullest: third-and-long situations. With the defense spread out to defend the pass, Brown is free to dash and dart more than he would be in short yardage situations.“His role is to come in on third downs and help us move the chains, whether it be on draw plays or pass protection,” Settle said. “He’s in the game in tough situations. Usually when he’s in, it’s ‘move the chain’ time. If he’s in on third down and we hand him the ball, we expect a conversion.“If he’s in there to protect the quarterback, we expect him to block his guy. The more he helps us on third downs, the more opportunities he’s going to get.”Hill sees Brown’s role the same way.“When they put the ball in Zach’s hands, he becomes a very quick guy,” Hill said. “He gets the ball down the field very well. He gets less carries, but with the carries he gets, he does a lot with them and puts us in a good position to score points.”Although this new role for Brown may equate to less playing time, the sophomore has accepted his role and is happy with it.“John [Clay] is more into the running game this year than I am, but I like my role being in on passing situations,” Brown said. “The role is good for me because I feel like I help the team and am very effective at that position.”last_img read more

Rossier remembered for her commitment to USC

first_imgFollow Yasmeen Serhan on Twitter @YasmeenSerhan Those who knew of Trustee and Rossier School of Education namesake Barbara J. Rossier, who died Aug. 11 at age 78 after a battle with lung cancer, remember her most for her unwavering commitment to education.For those who knew Rossier personally, however, her commitment to education was matched only by her commitment to the Trojan community.To USC graduate Blessing Waung, class of 2010, Rossier was not only an incredible university figure, but also a personal mentor.“I met her at Town and Gown when I was a sophomore,” Waung said. “You’d think that she would be so intimidating because she was a trustee and a namesake, but she was the warmest, most genuine woman.”In September 1998, Rossier and her husband, Roger, made a $20 million donation to the university’s School of Education — the largest gift ever made to an education school in the nation at the time.“They wanted to leave a legacy of education,” Waung said. “That was the defining word of her lifetime — education.”The school, which was renamed the USC Barbara J. and Roger W. Rossier School of Education in honor of the groundbreaking donation, has risen to 17th in the nation in graduate schools of education, according to U.S. News & World Report.“The entire Trojan Family mourns the passing of Barbara Rossier,” President C. L. Max Nikias said in a statement. “With her extraordinary energy, unshakable integrity and abiding commitment to providing excellent educational opportunities for everyone, she was an inspiration to us all.”A proud Trojan, Rossier received her master’s degree in educational guidance in 1962, her Master of Education in 1970 and her Doctor of Education in 1971. Her involvement with the university, however, didn’t end at graduation. A university trustee since 1999, Rossier served for 20 years on USC Rossier’s Board of Councilors. She was also a member of the Alumni Association Board of Governors and the USC Associates Board of Directors.Waung met Rossier through her sorority, Gamma Phi Beta, of which Rossier was honored as an alumna initiate. Rossier’s involvement, however, spanned the university.In 1992, Rossier received the USC Alumni Association’s Alumni Service Award. Four years later, she was honored with the USC Rossier School of Education’s Recognition of Outstanding Service in Education (ROSE) Award.From her cardinal and gold Smart Car to attendance at every football game, Rossier’s commitment to the university was unwavering.“[The Rossiers] were just so genuinely proud to have served the school together,” Waung said. “Above all else, they were so proud to be Trojans. They would go to all the football games. They went to conferences everywhere from South Korea to Antarctica to support the university’s endeavors.”To Waung, Rossier’s legacy represented what it truly meant to be a member of the Trojan Family.“We talk about the Trojan Family, sure, and when you see someone from USC you can relate to them,” Waung said. “But when you treat them as one of your own, I feel like that’s what she taught me.”Rossier is survived by her husband and their two sons, Dan and Steve.last_img read more

Analysing How Ferrari Are Behind Impressive Mercedes in 2017

first_imgFerrari have refused to succumb and it surely is not over just yet, but the 2017 Formula One season looks to be a forlorn conclusion already after an incredible slump in results for the Scuderia since returning from the summer break.Lewis Hamilton will have his first shot at clinching his fourth driver’s championship when the Formula One goes to Texas this weekend, six weeks after Sebastian Vettel flew into Monza on top of the standings!A series of factors have culminated in the position Ferrari find themselves and I will be analysing the major topicsUntimely and Self-inflicted UnreliabilityFerrari’s procedures and inept attention to details helped them set a standard in the F1 in terms of reliability as they won 8 constructor’s championships and 6 driver championship at the turn of the century but recent hiccups with the SF70-H has put all that into question in a season they dominated from the start.Vettel and Raikkonnen have had just two mechanical-related retirements this season, but the timing of the failures in practice and qualifying have proven to be damaging, with Mercedes being so strong.Turbo problems left Vettel starting at the back in Malaysia while Raikkonnen didn’t even start and that was followed the next week by a €59 faulty spark plug which ensured Vettel’s race ended in Japan before it had even begun. Sergio Marchionne has admitted the team needs to rump up its quality control procedures.“It’s a problem we’ve probably ignored over time because it was never of much importance,” the Ferrari president said. “But now we’ve had at least three occasions where we’ve really seen the devastating impact on performance. We’ll fix it.”Not Taking Chances“We got a lot further than people thought.”Vettel said after the race in Japan. Rightly so, as Ferrari have won’t more races In 2017 than they did in the last three season combined. But for the SF70-H that has shown so much pace, 4 wins out of 16 is surely a miserly return. The less adaptable W08 from Mercedes has won 10 races while Red Bull who started the season over a second slower than the Ferrari are two race wins behind the Scuderia.Ferrari had the pace to win in Austria and Belgium but failed to do so and lost to Valterie Bottas in Russia despite having their two drivers on the first row from the start. 1 win in 10 races since they dominated Monaco says alot.Costly Driver mistakes Driver mistakes are inevitable over the course of a season as seen with Lewis Hamilton in the first half of the season when Bottas clearly outperformed him. By contrast, there hasn’t been any race where Kimi Raikkonnen outperformed Sébastien Vettel this season. But Vettel has also been as faulty as his car.Singapore readily comes to mind where he started on pole but crashed into Max Verstappen and team-mate Kimi Raikkonnen to effectively ensure that Ferrari left the Marina Bay with no points. If Vettel had kept his cool and finished on the podium ahead of Hamilton, he would have had an extra 38 points going into USA.In Baku he bumped into Hamilton’s leading Mercedes and with Hamilton subsequently having issues with his headrest, Vettel’s 10 seconds stop-and-go penalty for the unnecessary collision cost him the win in Azerbaijan.This errors have surely proven costly.Coming short in the ‘number twos’ battleThe Vettel-Hamilton battle for the title has relegated the contribution of the ‘second drivers’ for both of their teams. A little wrongly so, as their performances have been an understated yet important factor in the respective positions of the championship leaders.Ferrari’s last World champion has played a compliant role in the team’s desire to make their next champion. This was obvious in the tactics deployed in Monaco as Ferrari romped to victory. Raikkonnen was also immense in Hungary, playing the supporting cast role to perfection when Vettel lost his steering.Bottas’ results over the course of the season has proven crucial to the Silver Arrows dominance, by extension Lewis Hamilton. The Finn was just 19 points behind Hamilton when they went in for the summer break although his struggle for pace since Spa means his title challenge right now is purely academic.He has finished in front of Vettel (5) more times than Raikkonnen has Hamilton (3) and leads his countryman 10-4 on podium finishes. Even more crucially, Bottas’ two race wins in Austria and Russia were in front of Sébastien Vettel, costing the Australian an extra 14 points.Mercedes have a 145-point lead on Ferrari in the constructor’s championship and should wrap that up in the US this weekend, Bottas being very key to that haul as well. A fourth consecutive constructor’s championship for Mercedes and a largely expected title win for Lewis Hamilton will condemn Ferrari to a ninth consecutive season without a Formula One championship victory.As is aforementioned, Ferrari have made giant strides in 2017 but they need their car on the road more for next season and they need both drivers clicking on top gear.The home-stretch of the Formula One starts in Texas for the US GP from October 20 to October 22.RelatedMalaysia GP: Make Or Mar For Ferrari in F1 BattleSeptember 29, 2017In “Formula One”Formula 1: 2017 Summer ReviewAugust 9, 2017In “Sports”The 2017 Formula 1 Pirelli Magyar Nagydij PreviewJuly 29, 2017In “Sports”last_img read more

Wellington police notes: Friday, Jan. 25 – Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013

first_imgSaturday, January 26, 2013•8 a.m. Officers investigated a burglary and theft in the 900 block of S. Blaine, Wellington.•3:13 p.m. Jason T. Helpingstine, 34, Wellington was arrested and confined on a Sedgwick County Warrant for failure to appear.•6:27 p.m. Officers investigated illegal registration and no proof of insurance in the 500 block S. H, Wellington.•6:36 p.m. Stetson L. Schmidt, 19, Belle Plaine was issued a notice to appear charged with illegal registration and no proof of insurance.•7:18 p.m. Officers investigated criminal trespass of a known suspect in the 500 block E. 3rd, Wellington.•7:18 p.m. Officers investigated a child in need of care in the 500 block E. 3rd.•10:48 p.m. Non-Injury accident at 15th & A, Wellington involved a vehicle operated by Sarah E.M. Cornelius, 36, Sedgick, Kans. and a fixed object/pedestrian sign owned by the city of Wellington.•10:49 p.m. Sarah E M Cornelius, 36, Sedgwick, was arrested, charged and confined with possession of marijuana. Sunday, January 27, 2013•1:59 a.m. Taylor R. Zabel, 23, Wellington was arrested and charged with theft in the 2000 block E. 16th, Wellington.•10:03 a.m. Officers investigated a theft in the 2000 block E. 16th, Wellington.•3:16 p.m. Juvenile female, 16, Wellington was arrested and confined on a warrant through Hutchinson Police Department for Runaway from Placement. She was confined and transported6:00 p.m. Officers took a report of a known suspect who ran away in the 900 block E. 16th, Wellington. Wellington Police Notes for Friday, Jan. 25 to Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013Friday, January 25, 2013•12:15 p.m. Officers made an outside agency of a known suspect assist for a commitment order.•12:30 p.m. Tyson S. Haines, 24, Wellington was issued a notice to appear charged with dog at large, no tags and no rabies shots.•1:30 p.m. Officers investigated criminal damage to a recreational slide in the 800 block of W. Hillside.•2 p.m. Officers investigated a forgery and theft by deception in the 1100 block of N. A.•2 p.m. Officers investigated a forgery and theft by deception in the 1400 block of E. 16th.•2 p.m. Officers investigated a forgery and theft by deception in the 2200 block of E. 16th.•2 p.m. Officers investigated a forgery and theft by deception in the 1400 block of E. 16th•2 p.m. Officers investigated a forgery and theft by deception in the 900 block of W. 8th.•4:07 p.m. Officers investigated a theft in the 600 block N. Delrose, Wellington.•5:10 p.m. Officers investigated a theft in the 800 block W. 8th, Wellington.•9:16 p.m. Officers took a report of suspicious activity in the 800 block S. G, Wellington.last_img read more

Sidney Crosby: Sporting News’ NHL Athlete of the Decade

first_imgThe Penguins’ captain dominated the 2010s — labeled “The Next One” before he even played an NHL game, he’s filled that role in many ways over the span of 10 years. Kicking the decade off with his “Golden Goal” that won the Canadians the gold medal in the 2010 Winter Olympics, Crosby didn’t stop rolling.SN’s ATHLETES OF THE DECADENFL | NBA | MLB | College football | College basketball | Men’s soccer | Women’s soccer | Men’s boxing | Women’s boxing | Men’s MMA | Women’s MMADespite battling concussions and multiple injuries over the course of 10 years, he’s still managed to produce at more than a point-per-game pace in each season, while accumulating a number of individual and collective accolades. After hoisting the Stanley Cup back in 2009, he went on to lead Pittsburgh to two more titles in 2016 and 2017 while winning the Conn Smythe as the MVP in both Stanley Cup campaigns. Beyond his championship trophies, he’s also added two Rocket Richards, an Art Ross, a Hart and more.In 670 games since the beginning of the 2009-10 campaign, he’s recorded 319 goals and 517 assists, good for 836 points, which leads all skaters. He even has more than second-place holder Patrick Kane (through Dec. 8) — and in 100 fewer games.That being said, when thinking of the best player throughout the 2010s, the decision is unanimous and obvious, as “Sid the Kid” continues to defy expectations, overcoming adversity and revolutionizing the game of hockey.MORE: SN’s NHL All-Decade teamBy the numbers2 Stanley Cups 2 Conn Smythe Trophies2 Rocket Richard Trophies1 Art Ross Trophy1 Hart Memorial Trophy1 Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award3 First All-Star Team selections3 Second All-Star Team selections3 All-Star GamesWhat they’re saying:”You look at the things he’s accomplished both as an individual and with his team; that’s something I don’t think many people are going to argue with. He’s a special player, he’s a generational player and how he carries himself too is something that I think goes a long way and how he represents himself and the Penguins and in a broader scheme of things, the NHL, he’s a role model for kids and you see no matter where kids are they’re wearing Crosby jerseys. That’s something that transcends whatever team he plays for.” — Kyle Palmieri, New Jersey Devils”I have a ton of respect for him. I think he’s elevated the game of hockey and he’s been the face of the NHL for the past 15 years. Obviously, he’s the best player in the league, and what he’s done in Pittsburgh. Just playing against him in the playoff series with Ottawa, I think we played them twice in the playoffs, and all the times in the regular season — he battles, he competes but he’s a lot of fun. I really enjoyed it and always respected him and thankful for the opportunity I had to play against him.” — Kyle Turris, Nashville Predators”Sidney Crosby missed so much time with concussions and other injuries but still came out of the decade with two Olympic gold medals and two Stanley Cup rings. When his team — Canada or the Penguins — needed him, Sid was clutch. Crosby had the “golden goal,” the 2016 and 2017 Conn Smythe Trophies and the distinction as the best hockey player in the world.” — Stephen Whyno, Associated Press”Sid has been the best player in the last decade because of his ability to adapt and become even more complete in his all-around game. The skillset and offensive numbers came at a time when scoring was down league-wide. The NHL needed a player like 87. The rules and gameplay have changed numerous times over his career. It affected most, but Sid redefined himself and found how to adjust, and become the most complete player this generation has seen.” — NHL Network analyst/former teammate, Mike Rupp”He’s obviously I guy that I looked up to when I was younger and what he’s done and how he plays, I feel like he does it all. The leadership he brings, you can tell just the way he’s playing. Tough opponent and a tough player to play against but I would say fun challenge. It’s every time you step out on the ice against him you want to make sure you raise your level of compete and it’s always a fun challenge, always fun to go against one of the best.” — Mika Zibanejad, New York Rangers”Tough, not fun [to play against him]. … He’s an unbelievable player, one of the best to ever play the game. Just playing against him, it’s so hard as a defenseman to play against him. He does everything well, there’s nothing he can’t do so that’s well deserved. Everything he’s accomplished is pretty unbelievable.”  — Roman Josi, Nashville Predators.  Next decade belongs to: Connor McDavid, center, OilersThis one’s just as obvious: Connor McDavid. Why? Well, he’s Connor McDavid.The Oilers captain — and the youngest to wear the “C” in NHL history — is an all-around player with multiple traits that make him one of the best players, and superstars, in the National Hockey League at just 22-years-old. His lightning-fast speed, playmaking ability, vision and scoring ability has led him to two Art Ross Trophies, one Hart and three NHL All-Star Games and First All-Star Team selections.Not to mention, McDavid’s been a point-per-game player since his rookie year in the league; even during his rookie season when he suffered a broken clavicle early on in the 2015-16 season, he still managed 48 points in 45 games and has since followed up with three-straight 100-plus point campaigns. This year, he became the first player to hit the 50-point mark, accomplishing said feat in less than 30 games while putting him on pace for 133 points. The 2010s offered one of the best decades in hockey. From the Chicago Blackhawks’ early domination to Alex Ovechkin’s goal-scoring to back-to-back Stanley Cup championships for the Pittsburgh Penguins, rarely in years past has the sport been more thrilling.However, one player stands out more than others as the best player to lace ’em up during the past decade — and it was an easy, and unanimous vote among the Sporting News’ hockey staff: Sidney Crosby, NHL Athlete of the Decade.last_img read more

If MLB loses the 2020 season, a salary cap should be part of its vision for the future

first_imgIn no other major American team sport is success tied so inextricably to market size. To put it in language any fan can understand: There are no Green Bay Packers in Major League Baseball. There are no New Orleans Saints. There are no Kansas City Chiefs. And there never will be.Unless — hold on for a second, because saying this out loud has been known to send certain segments of the baseball community into apoplexy — the team owners and players association agree on revenue sharing and a salary cap.RIVERA: MLB an embarrassment to players, fansBig-league baseball is the only one of the five male major leagues that operates without a cap and with big-market teams blessed with bountiful local TV deals. It is the only one that has evinced no sense of partnership among the players and owners both within the confines of the COVID-19 pandemic and through broader recent history.They are not “in this together,” working to grow their game. They are on opposite sides of a chasm filled with mistrust, rancor and greed. They are so focused on counting the money they all make (for now) they have lost sight of the health of the enterprise that generates that wealth. That is why baseball is the one sport in which the past six weeks have been spent not on safely resuming competition and presenting a 2020 season for those who still care but, instead, with acrimony and a dearth of solutions.Perhaps if baseball does manage to wreck this entire season it can at least use the opportunity to address its future by evening out the competitive advantages enjoyed by big-market teams with true financial distribution among its teams and a bargaining agreement that establishes a salary floor (the Orioles were planning to pay only $65 million in 2020, while the Yankees paid more $250 million) and a ceiling, with the budget for this tied to a particular percentage of revenue. Like the NFL, NHL and MLS.It is no coincidence MLB is the one league among those whose profile is declining. This is not just a sports-talk radio perception. This is reality. While other leagues were reaching all-time highs, the NBA at 21.49 million, the NHL at 22.18 million and Major League soccer at 8.6 million fans in attendance in 2018-19, MLB attendance plunged 13.8 percent from its 2007 high.When the 1980s dawned, the World Series was drawing more than 40 million viewers on average. That dwindled to audiences in the 30 million neighborhood through the 1990s, but by this past decade the Series audience only surpassed 20 million once, when the Chicago Cubs won for the first time in more than a century. From 1980 to 2019, the average audience for the Fall Classic plunged by 67 percent. During that same period, the Super Bowl audience increased by 47 percent. Chicago Cubs’s advocates will defend the game against any onslaught of facts. They will point to increased revenues and payrolls and team values. If money is the game, baseball is winning, because those baseball fans who remain, mostly in the biggest cities, are nothing if not loyal and have made MLB Advanced Media a raging success.But there also was a time in the 1990s when newspapers still were so robust they routinely recorded profit margins above 20 percent; the Buffalo News recorded a margin of 34 percent one year. More than 2,000 newspapers have disappeared since 2004. That’s how things can change for an industry that miscalculates its appeal and fails to innovate to broaden its audience.Of course, baseball is in no danger of shedding teams or closing its doors. It is seeing its audience become both smaller and older, though, and neither is healthy for the future of a business.MORE: Manfred flip-flops on chances for MLB season in 2020A lot of criticism of the sport focuses on length of games and other cosmetic issues. Young people are said to find its frequent pauses to be tedious. Here’s the catch, though: When a baseball game is consequential, its pace can amplify the tension to magnificently excruciating levels.That is baseball’s enduring appeal, but it is missing for too large a portion of the audience. It has become not much more than a nice night out in a significant number of cities. Too many of its games don’t matter, because too many of its teams have no chance. big markets, bathing in local television revenue, can buy their way out of so many problems. The New York Yankees have not had a single losing season since 2000. They’ve averaged 94.3 wins per year. The Kansas City Royals, Pittsburgh Pirates, Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds don’t have 20 winning seasons combined in that stretch, and they endured a total of 59 losing seasons. Each of them owns a losing overall record in this century.In that period, the top five markets have averaged 13 winning seasons per team — there are eight of them, because New York, Chicago and LA have two teams each — and won six World Series. Every one averaged more than 80 victories.The bottom five markets averaged six winning seasons per team over those two decades. They earned one World Series title, Kansas City’s 2015 triumph. Only the Cleveland Indians won more than 80 games on average. The Pirates, Royals and Reds averaged fewer than 74 victories.MORE: Why MLB needed (and still needs) the 1998 home run raceThe NFL has had six Super Bowl champions from outside the top 25 markets since 2000, and another four outside the top 15. That’s half the championships. Only three were won by teams from top-10 cities. Market size offers a minimal advantage, if any. It’s entirely about executing: scouting, drafting and signing by the front office, prudent decisions relative to the cap, hiring the right coach, building a winning culture and the players delivering on all of that. In baseball, nine of the 20 World Series champs came from top-10 markets, and another seven from inside the top 15. That’s 80 percent won by the biggest cities. This is by design, not coincidence. Big-market wealth means never having to say, “Oops, I was wrong.” It means being able to just write off a mistake and replace that player with another highly paid free agent.All of this works great if you’re a fan of the Yankees or Dodgers, or if you’re Scott Boras. It’s terrible if you’re a fan of nearly half the teams in the league.The thing about those big-market teams keeping so much of their television money to themselves: No network would pay millions to watch those teams play intrasquad games. Competition is the product baseball is supposed to be selling, but it is in woefully short supply. If you were paying attention on Dec. 10, 1988, if you were around to pay attention, you recognized the event that commenced baseball’s long, gradual decline to its current calamity. On that day, the New York Yankees announced they were selling the rights to broadcast their games on local television for $500 million over 12 years.It was at that moment — or, to be more accurate, when the deal went into effect in 1991 — baseball became the sport in which greatness was available for a price. Success no longer was so much about who had the best scouts, the best developmental system and the best manager to handle all the best players who grew through the system. It became more about which teams made beaucoup bucks from their local TV deals. (Getty Images) (Getty Images)last_img read more