to go further The 2020 pandemic has challenged press freedom in Africa Zimbabwean court must free imprisoned journalist who is unwell Organisation The Supreme Court declared The Daily News illegal on 11 September 2003, because the daily had not registered with the Media and Information Commission as required under the press law. The newspaper had refused to register because it contested the constitutionality of the AIPPA. Police acted on the judgment on 12 September, shutting down the daily and closing its offices. The High Court on 22 January gave the newspaper permission to reappear, but on 6 February, following the Supreme Court ruling that upheld the constitutionality of the press law, the Daily News decided to temporarily halt publication. Its journalists had already put in their accreditation requests to the media commission. Reports The government Media and Information Commission on 10 February refused to accredit the journalists as long as the newspaper was not officially authorised to appear. The decision came within days of the Supreme Court ruling upholding the constitutionality of a particularly harsh press law. Reporters Without Borders expressed dismay at the sheer relentlessness of a government campaign against the independent media, as journalists from the independent Daily News were refused accreditation. February 11, 2004 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Daily News journalists denied accreditation The anti-freedom legislative framework ultimately blocked any form of free expression, it added, pointing out that the law also banned foreign journalists from working permanently in Zimbabwe. RSF_en Help by sharing this information November 12, 2020 Find out more News Receive email alerts Follow the news on Zimbabwe The government Media and Information Commission on 10 February refused to accredit the journalists from The Daily News. The decision came within days of the Supreme Court ruling upholding the constitutionality of a particularly harsh press law. Zimbabwean journalist Hopewell Chin’ono denied bail November 27, 2020 Find out more ZimbabweAfrica ZimbabweAfrica News September 1, 2020 Find out more “The Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) forces Zimbabwean journalists and media to be accredited and authorised by a media commission, the members of which are appointed by the government. This is an unacceptable situation because it prevents the existence of independent media”, said the international press freedom organisation. The commission chairman Tafataona Mahoso said that the simple fact that the journalists were employed by the Daily News made their accreditation impossible. News
LOS ANGELES — The Warriors’ championship fabric started to tear.The Warriors labored without Stephen Curry to guide them because of an injury. The Warriors struggled without Kevin Durant after fouling out. The Warriors became anxious, exhilarated and then anxious as Klay Thompson struggled with his shot, rediscovered it in crunch time and struggled again. And the Warriors saw Draymond Green fight through rustiness before having heated words with Durant on the bench.Yes, there is plenty to …
While attempting to tell us how fairness evolved for selfish reasons, evolutionists want to push for the “common good.”An editorial in Science Magazine begins with a stern warning:Humanity is at a crossroads. Do we continue trends of preceding decades that lift people out of poverty and extend life spans, but in the process run down the planet’s natural capital? Solutions to this profound problem will require greater cooperation among people. The rise of market fundamentalism and the drive for growth in profits and gross domestic product (GDP) have encouraged behavior that is at odds with pursuit of the common good. Finding ways to develop a sustainable relationship with nature requires not only engagement of scientists and political leaders, but also moral leadership that religious institutions are in a position to offer.The two authors, scientists of Indian descent (one at Cambridge, one at Scripps), have climate change on their mind. In their view, the “common good” consists of mitigating the effects of global warming through international treaties, to which all other groups (scientists, politicians, and religious leaders) must submit. They see “market fundamentalism” (notice the loaded word) as the enemy of the common good. Their article is heavily doused with the “sustainable/unsustainable” concept frequently used to support globalist agendas. To decide if something is sustainable or not, though, relies heavily on complex data and modeling that conservatives and liberals often see very differently. Liberals, for instance, claim that the earth is past “peak oil” so that current utilization rates are “unsustainable” as are the carbon emissions they generate. Conservatives respond that new sources of oil continue to be found and new technologies are making its production cleaner, believing that market forces will take care of alternative energy production if and when they supersede the affordability of hydrocarbons.Science Magazine only presents one side. To Dasgupta and Ramanathan, there is only one common good, and that is leftist globalism. Religion must be co-opted to support their vision of the common good, even if it means reducing life spans and slowing the efforts to lift people out of poverty. It’s not that they don’t care about the poor; they just believe that exploitation of resources at “unsustainable” rates by greedy capitalists is plunging the world into a crisis that will make everyone poor, unless we find “ways to develop a sustainable relationship with nature” which, presumably, gets by without modern technologies and large families:Environmental problems are manifest at scales from the global, such as climate change, to the local, such as declines in availability of fresh water and forest products in villages in the poor world. High fertility rates in the poorest regions exacerbate pressure on local systems and contribute to the persistence of poverty. Unsustainable consumption, population pressure, poverty, and environmental degradation are intricately linked, but this is appreciated neither by development economists nor by national governments who permit GDP growth to trump environmental protection in their policies.Conservatives and libertarians argue that technology offers the best hope for the poor; it’s government coercion and corruption that’s the problem. An acre of wasteland can be transformed into a productive paradise when people have the freedom to use their gifts and talents, because market forces will require that human self-interest be channeled into making products others will want to buy. It doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game, with rich getting richer and poor getting poorer. From Adam Smith to Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek, conservative economists have shown how freedom solves the “tragedy of the commons” and generates the most wealth for the most people, whereas coercive governments often hurt the most people while wrecking the very resources liberal theorists want to make “sustainable.” 20th century examples abound (communist Russia, China, North Korea, Cambodia, Tanzania).What’s notable about Science Magazine’s article is its very one-sided presentation of the problem and its solution, without any opportunity for comeback arguments by conservative scholars. Where is the debate? One might think that “science” requires airing of all the evidence, and a balanced presentation on controversial issues. That is not evident here: it’s all one sided, using the language and arguments for global coercion to solve a problem framed by an ideology that arrogates “science” to itself. Notice how Dasgupta and Ramanathan simply dismiss Adam Smith, passing the buck to other references as their authorities:Because the socioecological processes giving rise to this state of affairs aren’t self-correcting (5), there is urgent need for collective action from the community level to the international level. Studies on resource allocation in nonlinear systems have shown that Adam Smith’s famous “invisible hand” cannot, even in theory, be expected to come to the rescue (8, 9). Natural and social scientists have done their part in documenting the irreversible environmental damages (albeit with large uncertainties) that we have inflicted and in spelling out specific mitigation actions (1). The transformational step may well be a massive mobilization of public opinion by the Vatican and other religions for collective action to safeguard the well-being of both humanity and the environment.For their authorities, they reference themselves! They also cite Paul Ehrlich, who has been demonstrably wrong on many of his doomsday predictions. The only other reference is to David A Starrett, a Stanford economist whose 1987 book Foundations in Public Economics doesn’t have any reviews on Amazon.com; his assumption-based theories appear to be of interest only to academics (example), and lack the track record of free-market economists. So why do the authors cite these few as authorities for such audacious claims that market economics cannot work? This is picking and choosing evidence in a very unscientific way. The authors also use buzzwords of globalism: transformational, collective action, international, sustainable, and mobilization. Does this one-sided political-economic advocacy piece belong in a “Science” magazine?Their solution is for governments to take inventory of their assets, and then for internationalists to decide how they are to be allocated (i.e., redistribution of wealth). History shows that has never worked: governments get bigger, corruption increases, and the poor suffer more (see, for instance, Jay Richards‘ 2010 book, Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem). Religious leaders appear in their article only as useful idiots who can use their powers of persuasion to push the global agenda: “The transformational step may well be a massive mobilization of public opinion by the Vatican and other religions for collective action to safeguard the well-being of both humanity and the environment.” They get downright moral about this. Since they believe “there is a need to reorient our attitude toward nature and, thereby, toward ourselves,” they look to the Pope and other religious leaders for the “moral leadership” that can “mobilize people to act” according to their perspective on what is the common good. Clearly, they would not be happy if religious leaders used their moral leadership to mobilize people against the global agenda and toward individual liberties endowed by the Creator, as expressed in America’s Declaration of Independence.Does Evolution Even Have a Common Good?What makes Dasgupta and Ramanathan’s opinion piece seem especially out of place is the context: Science Magazine is also a one-sided outlet for Darwinian evolution. All the talk about a common “good” and “moral leadership” must be derived from evolutionary theory, with no filching from Judeo-Christian presuppositions. Can it be done?A recent attempt was made by evolutionists at Georgia State. In “Research Shows Human Sense Of Fairness Evolved To Favor Long-Term Cooperation,” a press release tells how Dr. Sarah Brosnan and Dr. Franz de Waal have spent the last decade working with primates to discover the secret of fairness evolution. Their work bears direct relevance to the preceding article about global cooperation:“This sense of fairness is the basis of lots of things in human society, from wage discrimination to international politics,” Brosnan said. “What we’re interested in is why humans aren’t happy with what we have, even if it’s good enough, if someone else has more. What we hypothesize is that this matters because evolution is relative. If you are cooperating with someone who takes more of the benefits accrued, they will do better than you, at your expense. Therefore, we began to explore whether responses to inequity were common in other cooperative species.“They found through experiments that a number of species appear upset if another individual gets a bigger reward for the same task, but the “sense of fairness” requires more than that: it requires recognizing unfairness when you get more than the other individual. Without elaboration, the article asserts, “Thus far, this has only been found in humans and their closest relatives, the apes.”More detail on this study is provided by Rachel Kendal, a Senior Lecture at Durham University, in The Conversation. Her conclusion is announced right in the headline: “The human race evolved to be fair for selfish reasons.” As could be expected, the Darwinian explanation for morality is rooted in selfishness: survival of the fittest—only in this case, it’s survival of the fittest population (inclusive fitness), not fittest individual.Kendal first dismisses the fairness our parents taught us. External rules don’t cut it. “In fact, children do not need encouragement to be fair, it is a unique feature of human social life, which emerges in childhood,” she claims. That’s Darwin’s puzzle:Biologists are surprised by this tendency to behave fairly. The theory of evolution by natural selection predicts that individuals should behave in ways to maximise their inclusive fitness. So behaviours are only selected, and hence evolve, if they ensure the survival and reproduction of the actor or kin whom contain copies of the actor’s genes. However, the behaviour displayed by children seems to be at a detriment to themselves, especially when those who benefit from their selfless behaviour are not the children’s kin.Not to worry; evolutionists are clever with imagination. Kendal turns to Brosnan and de Waal’s theory. She repeats their assertion that many species, including dogs, birds and fish, will appear agitated if another gets a bigger reward for an equal task. The flip side, expressing displeasure at getting a larger reward than a neighbor, is rare: “Such inequity aversion, at a cost to oneself, has only been recorded in humans and chimpanzees.” So what’s the Darwinian explanation?Brosnan and de Waal propose that the motivation to seek equal rewards, despite disadvantaging oneself, is to prevent dissatisfaction of the co-operative partner and avoid any negative outcomes that may follow. The main negative outcomes are the likelihood of conflict and loss of future advantageous co-operation with the partner.Also, one’s reputation is tainted, reducing the chances of forming future beneficial partnerships. When we humans “play fair” we are doing so, according to Brosnan and de Waal, not due to a motivation for “equality for its own sake but for the sake of continued cooperation”.Because humans also have large brains, they can ponder the benefits of self-control. Because we have language, we can express our fairness policies in regulations. Nevertheless, it is striking that only chimpanzees and humans show this ability. How did that come about? “Because responsiveness to advantageous inequity is only seen in humans and chimpanzees, Brosnan and de Waal hypothesise that its evolution, since the split from other primates, was the starting point for the eventual development of the advanced sense of fairness displayed by humans.” It’s strange, then, that chimpanzees show so much violence toward one another, if their social evolution favored cooperation (see BBC News, “Murder comes naturally to chimps”).Kendal ends by undermining any intrinsic meaning or value from altruistic actions. It’s all disguised selfishness:The many heroic and selfless actions of individual humans, for example rescuing strangers in mortal danger and money or blood donation, are inspiring and admirable. Yet, however distasteful to contemplate, it is likely that these individuals gain in terms of their reputation and future cooperation from others, known as indirect reciprocity. If extreme prosociality is a “costly signal” indicating ones worth to future mates, it makes sense that highly visible individuals, such as celebrities, may feel the most pressure to act charitably.But is this an explanation or a just-so story? A unique attribute of humans (and perhaps of chimpanzees, depending on how well designed the experiments are in the absence of language) has been “explained away” as a product of inclusive fitness: you are unselfish toward strangers because you might need their cooperation some day, and you strategize that kindness is the best policy for getting dates so that you can pass on your genes. Why isn’t this a law of nature for all animals, then? Why is it not seen in lower primates and in dogs, fish, and birds? Ah, the evolutionist says: it’s because chimps and humans have big brains. Yet other animals have large brains relative to their body sizes. Well, then, it somehow got selected when chimpanzees split from other primates.This is not only unfalsifiable, it’s mystical. None of these evolutionists has identified a mutation or variation that first led Chimpanzee A to take offense at being given a larger reward than its neighbor. If that was a spontaneous mutation due to unguided, physical causes, it would have had to cause Chimp A to be so much fitter that its mutation would spread rapidly through the whole population, without any plan or forethought. Simultaneously, all the other chimps without the mutation would either have to die off, or want to mate with Chimp A because somehow their brains recognized that it was a nice thing for Chimp A to express displeasure at getting a smaller reward. It’s not clear how any of this can fit a blind mutation-selection theory. Can that really explain why people cross the world to help the poor? Are we to believe that is why Medal of Honor winner Michael Murphy exposed himself to enemy fire to save his comrades, because he thought they would cooperate with him later and make him more attractive to the ladies? It sure didn’t help Murphy pass on his genes.Tying This All TogetherReturning to the Science Magazine paper (and assuming that Dasgupta and Ramanathan are evolutionists, which is highly likely if they are respected at Scripps and Cambridge), we must conclude that they are acting selfishly. Their pretended altruism to help the poor and save the world is a mechanical ruse, thrust on them without their control, determined by an evolutionary past that rewarded acts of “fairness” that have nothing to do with the meaning of fairness. In short, their genes are making them talk that way so that they can attract females and pass on their genes. Since the evolutionary explanation is self-refuting, all this talk by Dasgupta, Ramanathan, Kendal, Brosnan and de Waal can be dismissed as nonsense.Do you see why recognition of self-refuting propositions provides a shortcut to sound conclusions? You didn’t need to read all their fluff and worry about whether it made sense. By their own presuppositions, it is all nonsense.* Next time, look for that, and you can save a lot of time. We went into detail as a training exercise so you can learn the principles.Now, go be altruistic in the power of the spirit of God, your Maker, who endowed us with awareness of His righteous character by making us in His image. He also provided the ultimate empirical evidence of unselfish love by taking upon Himself our guilt and punishment on the cross, leaving an empty tomb, so that trusting in His great act of love, we might live forever with Him in great joy (Romans 5). The Bible, thus, provides logical consistency, understanding, and evidence. Given the root meaning of science (knowledge), which view should be considered the more “scientific”?*If the authors want to argue for redistribution of wealth from sensible presuppositions, we will listen to their arguments on stipulation that God’s word is the final authority for all thought, morality, and action. (Visited 32 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
19 September 2013 South Africa’s overall crime rate continues to decline, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said at the release of the 2012/13 national crime statistics in Pretoria on Thursday. Mthethwa said that the level of contact crime in South Africa decreased by 4.2% in 2012/13 compared to the year before, by 16% compared to four years ago, and by 38.2% compared to nine years ago. The country’s murder rate, however, was up slightly, by 0.6%, compared to the previous year – even though it as still 16.6% down on four years ago and 27.2% lower than it was nine years ago. Attempted murders, meanwhile, spiked by 6.5% year-on-year in 2012. Mthethwa said that rapes were down by 0.4% compared to a year ago, and by 3.3% compared to the levels of four years ago, but that these figures were still unacceptably high. Overall, crimes against women decreased by 11.1% compared to four years ago, from 197 877 to 175 880 cases. Mthethwa said there were 896 298 serious crime arrests in 2012/13 compared to 777 140 in 2011/12. Convictions for serious crimes totalled 352 513, compared to 307 580 the year before. Mthethwa said the year had been characterised by growing unity in action against crime, together with a focus on improving living conditions for all, especially the poor. He said the statistics showed that police interventions were having the desired results, but that there was still a long way to go to rid South Africa of crime. “Our journey since apartheid gives us confidence that we will reach a crime-free society,” he said. Source: SAnews.gov.za
Yuki Bhambri at Davis Cup 2014 (AP Photo)India’s agonising wait to return to the World Group continued as the hosts lost 2-3 to Serbia in the rain-hit playoff tie after Yuki Bhambri surrendered tamely in the decisive fifth rubber against Filip Karjinovic in Bangalore on Monday.Krajinovic turned out to be a hero for the Serbians with his 6-3 6-4 6-4 win as the 2010 champions reclaimed their place in the World Group.The result means that India will now again fight it out in Asia/Oceania zone in the 2015 season. The last time India had made it to the World Group was in 2011, interestingly losing to Serbia in the first round.Yesterday, till the rain forced suspension of play in the second reverse second singles between the number two players, Yuki was fighting tooth and nail following Somdev Devvarman’s inspiring win over Dusan Lajovic.However, Yuki did not look the same fighting player today as he failed to rein in his unforced errors and failed to grab his chances. Twice Yuki had the opportunity to break Krajinovic and turn it around but he failed to do so.Coming to the courts this morning, trailing 4-6 4-4, dropping serve was the last thing Yuki needed but he did exactly that and when he had a chance for redemption in the next game, he could not do so.He squandered two break points when Krajinovic was serving for the second set. Krajinovic though played like a man possessed as he saved the breakpoint with a fiery ace. The Serbian was precise in his stroke-making and hit winners at will.advertisementPlaying a live fifth rubber for the first time, Yuki was far from convincing in his effort as he dropped serve in the first game of the third set at love as Krajonovic raced to a 3-1 lead.Yuki’s serve deserted him as he won only four points in three service games. He saved himself from falling further by saving two break chances in the fifth. The set went with serve and Krajinovic sealed the tie without any fuss.In the 114-year-old history of Davis Cup, there have been only 51 instances when nations have came back from 0-2 to win the tie and India have done that only once when they beat Brazil in 2010 in Chennai. Somdev had won the fourth rubber then and Rohan Bopanna the fifth.On Saturday, Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna had brought India back with their stunning win in the doubles after the hosts lost both the singles on Friday.Somdev then pulled off a majestic win in the fourth rubber over Dusan Ljovic to lock the tie 2-2.
MONTREAL – The Montreal Port Authority says it has crossed a key milestone in its plans to grow its container-handling capacity in order to stay competitive with large American ports.The authority says it has submitted its plans to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and will be part of a public consultation, with information sessions beginning at the end of the month.It says for several years it has been planning a container terminal on its land in Contrecoeur on Montreal’s South Shore, a land reserve it acquired between 1988 and 1992.The MPA says this is a strategic location for container handling because of its favourable geometry, nearby rail and road networks and the proximity of the markets it serves.The MPA says the project submitted to the assessment agency will make it possible, when completed, for the port to handle 1.14 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) per year.Project lead Daniel Dagenais says the additional port space will allow the MPA to make the most of the economic and commercial opportunities arising from emerging markets, the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement and the Quebec Maritime Strategy.Melanie Nadeau, director of communications for the Montreal Port Authority, says the project’s value is estimated at $750 million.
Construction and non-construction contractor’s workforce from the Peace River Regional District made up 28 percent or 791 of the workers which is up from January’s numbers of 697.The number of apprentices employed on the project decreased from 102 in January to 93 during the month of February.The number of Indigenous working on the Project increased from 293 in January to 313 in February.Women working on the Project saw a slight increase from 381 in January to 391in February. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – B.C. Hydro has released the latest Site C Dam Project employment numbers for the month of February 2019.The number of people working on the Site C Dam Project increased from 3,186 in January to 3,494 in February.The total number of workers from B.C. was 2,185 which is 77 percent of the workers.
NEW DELHI: As many as 118 FIRs and daily diary (DD) entries have been registered till date against various political parties and others for violation of the model code of conduct in the run up to the Lok Sabha polls, the poll body in Delhi said on Friday . The statistics surveillance team of Delhi’s chief electoral office constituted to keep an eye on the expenses of political parties, has seized Rs 1.21 crore in cash. “A total of 118 FIRs or DD entries have been lodged till date in connection with the violation of the model code of conduct. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder”Out of these, 14 are against the Aam Aadmi Party (six FIRs and four DD entries), 12 against the Bhartiya Janata Party (eight FIRs and three DD entries), Four against the Congress (all DD entries), one against the Bahujan Samaj Party (one DD entry) and Samajwadi Party (one DD entry), and 86 against others or non-political (entities),” the CEO office said in a statement. Delhi CEO Ranbir Singh had told reporters on Friday that social media was being aggressively monitored to check any violation of the poll code and experts are also assisting the election team. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsThe office of the Delhi CEO said more than 2.7 lakh posters, banners and hoardings have been removed since the poll code came into force. “As many as 30,533 posters, banners and hoardings were removed from areas under the New Delhi Municipal Council, 43,075 from East Delhi Municipal Corporation areas, 2,411 from Delhi Cantonment Board, 90,415 from South Delhi Municipal Corporation, and 92903 from North Delhi Municipal Corporation areas,” the statement said.
San Diego Padres1999-03.44343310 For years as general manager of the Phillies, Ruben Amaro Jr. tried everything possible to avoid dismantling the championship core that he and his predecessors1Former GMs Pat Gillick and Ed Wade, who in the 2000s had one of the best runs of scouting, drafting and developing prospects by any eventual champion ever. had built in Philadelphia. It was an irrational cause: Some smart observers had seen Philly’s troubles coming even as the team was winning 102 games in 2011, and by 2013, it was difficult for anybody to deny the Phillies’ need to rebuild. Yet, Amaro still did. “People think we’re going to blow up this team,” he told CSNPhilly.com that June. “We’re never going to be in the position of blowing up. There’s no blowing up.”Despite his efforts to stave off the inevitable, Amaro was fired in 2015, and the teardown commenced in earnest. But his hesitation to change course showed how awkward the decision can be to strategically steer a franchise onto a different path. Fast forward to now, and the Phillies are at the other end of the cycle, with current GM Matt Klentak facing a similar dilemma in the opposite direction: How to shift from rebuilding back to actually winning some ballgames? Just like the decision to start a rebuild in the first place, the timing on trying to contend again can be difficult to get exactly right.Certainly, the Phillies have been busy executing their own version of the multi-year renovation projects that yielded World Series wins for both the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros over the past two seasons. In a little more than a half-decade, Philadelphia has gone from breaking 100 wins to racking up nearly 100 losses per year. The team has slashed payroll from nearly $200 million to well under $100 million and has gone from one of MLB’s oldest rosters to its youngest — replenishing its minor-league talent base along the way.In that sense, it was a textbook rebuild. Over the past few years, Philly’s farm system has already turned out plenty of quality players, from rookie home-run machine Rhys Hoskins to World Series-winning reliever Ken Giles2Who was traded to Houston for Vince Velasquez in late 2015. and breakout starter Aaron Nola. Still more prospects are coming through the pipeline this season, including touted shortstop J.P. Crawford and four other members of Baseball America’s Top 100 prospects list.If the hallmarks of a franchise overhaul are cost-cutting and building up organizational talent, few teams have ever done it so thoroughly as the Phillies of recent vintage. To measure the magnitude of team restoration projects, I calculated a running total of what I’m calling “rebuild points” for each club since 1988.3I picked that year because it basically marked the beginning of the modern era of MLB economics, after the collusion cases of the mid-1980s were resolved and free-agent salaries took off. A team gets a rebuild point if it finishes .500 or worse in a season in which it does any of the following: gets younger as a team,4Based on the average age of its hitters (weighted by plate appearances) and pitchers (weighted by innings). improves its ranking in Baseball America’s farm system rankings or reduces its payroll. Teams can get multiple rebuild points in the same season if they do more than one of the above.Clearly, this isn’t the only way to measure the depth of a team’s rebuilding effort. But according to this metric, only five teams since 1988 have racked up 11 or more rebuild points in any five-season span5Discarding overlapping five-year periods that had fewer rebuild points. — and one of those is the recent Phillies: Colorado Rockies2012-16.42833410 Chicago White Sox2013-17.44134411 Houston Astros2010-14.38044412 * For years when the team had a .500 record or worseOverlapping five-year segments were excludedSources: FanGraphs, Baseball-Reference.com Seattle Mariners2010-14.44633410 Chicago Cubs2010-14.42734411 Philadelphia Phillies2013-17.42734411 Years in which team …* Philadelphia Phillies1995-99.44933410 Baltimore Orioles2000-04.43642410 Detroit Tigers1994-98.41634310 California Angels1992-96.45433410 Tampa Bay Devil Rays2001-05.39243411 TeamYearsAvg. RecordGot YoungerImproved FarmCut PayrollRebuild Pts Pittsburgh Pirates1993-97.45433410 Baseball’s most extreme five-year rebuildsMLB teams that accrued the most ‘rebuild points’ (for reducing a team’s average age, improving its farm system or cutting its payroll), for five-year spans since 1988 It’s not a bad list to be on. The Astros of 2010-14 are at the top, and they used their time at the bottom to build a champion. As did the 2010-14 Cubs. Also on the list are the Tampa Bay (née Devil) Rays, who built the pennant-winner that lost to Philly in the 2008 World Series. And while the book isn’t written on the current White Sox, they’ve zoomed up the farm-system rankings in recent years and could be positioned for success in the next decade, with top prospects such as Eloy Jimenez leading the way.It didn’t take too long for the historical teams with 11 or more rebuild points in particular to get very, very good again: Within three seasons, they won 60 percent of their games on average, good for 97 wins over a full schedule. But in their first season after the rebuild period — the equivalent of Philadelphia’s 2018 season — that number was still just 50 percent, or 81 wins per 162 games.6Granted, that was up from 43 percent during the final year of the five-year rebuild, so the teams were already making strong progress. In other words, even among a group that was eventually successful, the turnaround wasn’t instant. And yet the Phillies have spent this offseason loading up on older players as though they were a few key pieces away from contention: They signed ex-Indians first baseman Carlos Santana (who turns 32 this season), snagged a couple of free-agent relievers in their 30s — Tommy Hunter (31) and Pat Neshek (37) — and are rumored to be kicking the tires on former Cubs starter Jake Arrieta (32).Even after those moves, most statistical projections call for Philly to finish with something like 75 to 80 wins this year, which would put it on the outside of contention for the wild card (much less the division crown). It’s not beyond the realm of possibility for a rising team in that range to take analysts by surprise — hello, Minnesota! — but it doesn’t happen often. Add in how exceptionally top-heavy MLB is projected to be this season, and you could argue that the Phillies would have been better served by biding their time and building from within for at least one more season.That said, even the most masterful rebuilding projects have their limits. Research shows that the relationship between a team’s farm system and its future record is nowhere near as reliable as we sometimes like to think it is — and that it certainly isn’t as strong as the tie between a team’s payroll and its ability to add production on the open market. There’s also an argument for the necessity of franchise culture-building with veterans like Santana — bringing in players from successful teams may help install a winning attitude for locker rooms whose youngsters have only ever known losing. And then there’s the fact that the Phillies are in a position to start spending a lot of money again: They finally got out from under the final salary commitments of the previous regime and are flush with cable-TV contract cash. It was only a matter of time before Philadelphia started to flex its financial muscle again.That part of the equation can start yielding big benefits in a hurry. To measure the interplay between a team’s budget and its backlog of prospects, I built a regression model that works within the framework of this farm-system analysis by economist and MLB consultant Matt Swartz. In essence, it uses a team’s payroll and its recent prospect rankings from Baseball America to predict how many games it will win, via production from two sources: younger players who haven’t yet reached free agency and veterans who are signed on the open market. Although smart front offices have realized that the former group is a lot more cost-effective than the latter, once a team has a few good farm classes stored away, spending on the latter group can be a powerful way to really shift back into a contending gear.According to my model, a team in Philadelphia’s current situation could ramp up its spending within five years to match the Phillies’ payrolls during their late 2000s/early 2010s heyday7Philadelphia payrolls were about 40 percent higher than the MLB average from the 2004 season through the 2014 season, peaking at 81 percent above average in 2011. and expect to hit about 92 wins by 2022 even if it gradually allows its farm system to slip into the league’s bottom five within five years. By contrast, a comparable team that takes a slower approach, keeping its farm system strong8Generally staying among the Top 10 farm systems throughout. but spending more modestly9Never going more than 20 percent above league average on payroll. wouldn’t even crack 86 wins after five years. Why? Because after banking those good prospect classes (which the Phillies have already done), there are more diminishing returns on maintaining a solid farm system than there are on spending sheer amounts of money at the major-league level.In other words, developing a strong base of young talent is a good way for budding dynasties to start, but it’s what happens next that truly determines a franchise’s fate. Klentak and the Phillies have gone through the first stage of that process, overhauling the organization in just about as dramatic a way as any modern team has. Now they’re just starting the second stage — and with Philadelphia linked to speculation about next winter’s big-name free agents (namely, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado), this could only be the beginning. Although no rebuilding plan is ever foolproof, don’t be surprised if Philadelphia’s version puts them in the same conversation with the Cubs and Astros before long.
Sue Stimmel, the only women’s lacrosse coach in Ohio State history, announced her resignation Wednesday.In her 15 seasons at OSU, Stimmel accumulated a 122-111 record, and an overall career record of 198-130 with her six seasons coaching at Denison University.She led the Buckeyes to NCAA tournament appearances in the 2002 and 2003 seasons, as well as an ALC Championship in 2003.“She will be sorely missed,” OSU athletic director Gene Smith said in a press release. “We appreciate the great work she has done to start and establish our women’s lacrosse program. She is truly an outstanding person, and we thank her for all she gave the student-athletes and Buckeye Nation.”Senior captain Rachael Cornicello said Stimmel’s decision came as a shock to the team.“She hadn’t said anything during the season about it so that’s why we were a little surprised,” she said. “But we’re trying to see good in it and we still love her as our coach.”Cornicello said her teammates are keeping their heads high and hoping that the program will change for the better.“The sport in general has changed so much even in the past five years, so maybe someone who could bring new ideas to the program would be good,” she said.Though the team is looking to the future, Stimmel will assuredly be missed.“Sue happens to be a very funny person,” said Cornicello. “So her humor will be something that we’ll miss along with her dedication to the team. This has really been her life for the past 15 years. Her dedication to the sport reflects in how we play.”Stimmel attributed her decision to leave to her desire to move on and pursue other professional opportunities.“I want to thank The Ohio State University and the athletics department for the past 15 years,” Stimmel said in a press release. “Building the program has been a truly amazing experience, one that gave me the opportunity to work with wonderful student-athletes and exceptional people. I believe the time has come for me to move on to new challenges and to explore other opportunities.”What these opportunities may be is thus far unclear.“I really don’t know what her plans are,” said Cornicello. “I can definitely see her coaching somewhere in future. She’s so dedicated to the sport and it’s something that makes her happy.”