Governor Wolf Warns Tax Bill Deficit Opening for Cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security November 30, 2017 SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Healthcare, Medicaid Expansion, National Issues, Press Release, Public Health, Statement Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today wrote Pennsylvania’s United States Senators to warn that the $1.5 trillion deficit created by the Senate Republican’s tax bill will open the door to cuts to programs like Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security. Further, Governor Wolf, a former CEO, told the Senators that large corporations and the wealthy win under the plan, while many middle class Pennsylvanians will have their taxes increase.“This bill is not a bill that will help hard-working middle-class Pennsylvania families. Large corporations and the wealthy are the clear winners under this plan,” Governor Wolf wrote. “It isn’t just higher taxes that will hurt the middle class. Because this bill irresponsibly increases the deficit by $1.5 trillion, I fear that some in Congress will use this as an excuse to try to make devastating cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other programs that are vital to Pennsylvanians. Slashing these critical programs so that the top one percent become wealthier and corporations increase their profits is unacceptable.”Read full text of the letter below. You can also view the letter on Scribd and as a PDF.I write today regarding the tax bill that the Senate will vote on in the coming days. I have serious concerns over the priorities of this bill. This bill is not a bill that will help hard-working middle-class Pennsylvania families. Large corporations and the wealthy are the clear winners under this plan. Over 60 percent of the tax cuts in this bill will go to the wealthiest one percent of taxpayers. Large corporations will see a 15-point reduction in their tax rate. By 2025, individuals making under $30,000 will see a tax increase. By 2027, individuals under $75,000 will see a tax increase. By eliminating the state and local tax deduction, nearly 1.8 million Pennsylvanians, half of whom are making under $100,000, will no longer be able to deduct their state and local property taxes. The bottom line is that millions of Pennsylvanians will credibly have their taxes increase under this bill. It isn’t just higher taxes that will hurt the middle class. Because this bill irresponsibly increases the deficit by $1.5 trillion, I fear that some in Congress will use this as an excuse to try to make devastating cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other programs that are vital to Pennsylvanians. Slashing these critical programs so that the top one percent become wealthier and corporations increase their profits is unacceptable. Do not put billionaires and millionaires ahead of your hard-working constituents. I urge you to vote no on this bill and work on real, meaningful tax reform that will benefit the families in Pennsylvania that need it the most. Thank you for your consideration. Governor Wolf’s Letter to Senator Toomey on Senate Republican’s Tax Bill by Governor Tom Wolf on Scribd
UK pension scheme average funding levels slid further into the red last month, when global financial markets reacted strongly to the country’s vote to leave the EU, with an extra £89bn (€105bn) of pensions money being wiped out and another 131 schemes falling into deficit.Figures from the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) showed the aggregate deficit of the 5,945 schemes in the PPF 7800 Index was estimated to have ballooned during June to £383.6bn – its highest level recorded – from a deficit of £294.6bn at the end of May.The PPF’s update – on the latest estimated funding position of the defined benefit (DB) schemes potentially eligible for entry into the lifeboat scheme – revealed that the average funding ratio for schemes worsened to 78% at the end of June from 81.5% at the end of May.This is close to the lowest level ever recorded of 76.5% in May 2012. Total assets at the schemes grew to £1,363.4bn over the month from £1,295.8bn, but liabilities had fallen to £1,747.0bn from £1,590.4bn.The update may underestimate actual deficits since it is based on schemes’ section 179 liabilities – the premium that schemes would have to pay to an insurance company to take on the payment on PPF levels of compensation – which the PPF says may be lower than full scheme benefits.The number of schemes in deficit rose to 4,995 by the end of June from 4,864 at the end of May.Meanwhile, 950 schemes were in surplus at the end of June, down from 1,081 at the close of the previous month.Andy Tunningley, head of UK strategic clients at asset manager BlackRock, said: “UK pension scheme funding has never been in a more perilous state.”The big fall in funding to near the lowest ever level came in the wake of the result of the UK’s referendum and the ensuing perfect storm of heightened volatility and collapsing bond yields, he said. “Our long-held view is that most pension funds are exposed to too much interest-rate risk and should be increasing their liability hedge ratios,” Tunningley said. Tunningley said there were two main reasons why UK pension fund portfolios had to be de-risked in the post-Brexit environment.He said a significant slowdown in UK growth and material likelihood of a recession next year could threaten the financial outlook of pension scheme sponsors.On top of this, the path of future UK interest rates is now likely to be even lower for even longer, he said.“If scheme sponsors are less able to increase future scheme contributions due to financial strain, pension scheme asset risk should be reduced,” he added.Tunningley said BlackRock had halved its UK real growth forecasts to 1% a year for the next five years, and that market pricing placed the next interest rate rise from current levels toward the end of the decade. “Delaying a decision to hedge liability risk is less rewarding, because we do not expect rates to rise in the current uncertain environment, and more risky, as Japan and Europe have shown there could be much further yet to fall,” he said.
Fiorentina defender Marcos Alonso will join Sunderland on loan for the rest of the season on January 1. “I was looking for a player in that position on the left side and I hope he will help us and everybody will like him. “I am delighted that everything is agreed.” Alonso will become Poyet’s first signing since he replaced Paolo Di Canio at the helm in October. Press Association The former Bolton full-back has completed a medical on Wearside and will officially join the Black Cats’ squad when the winter transfer window opens. Manager Gus Poyet said: “I can confirm Marcos is going to be with us for the rest of the season on loan from Fiorentina, which is something very important.
— Niele Ivey has been introduced as the new women’s basketball coach at Notre Dame, succeeding Muffet McGraw. Ivey has been preparing for the job much of her adult life. She helped lead the Fighting Irish to a national championship as the point guard in 2001 and was an assistant coach on the Notre Dame team that won the title in 2018. She was on the Memphis Grizzlies staff last year after 17 seasons at Notre Dame. McGraw spent 33 years as head coach of the Irish before retiring Wednesday.NCAA-ATHLETE COMPENSATIONNCAA moves toward allowing athletes to be paid sponsorsUNDATED (AP) — The NCAA is moving closer to allowing Division I college athletes to earn money from endorsements and sponsorship deals they can strike on their own.Recommendations that would permit athletes to earn money for their names, images and likeness are being reviewed this week. A decision could come as soon as next week. The issue has dominated college sports for several years. California recently passed a law clearing the way for athlete compensation, prompting the NCAA to take a fresh look at its regulations. Incentive deal to move Carolina Panthers to S.C. approvedUNDATED (AP) — A county in South Carolina has approved a deal loaded with tax breaks for the Carolina Panthers to move their headquarters and practice site.News outlets report that the York County Council approved the deal in a 4-3 vote after listening to public comments during their virtual meeting on Monday. It follows a series of moves the state has made to attract the team’s headquarters. They’ll continue to play their games in Charlotte, North Carolina.The approved deal will give the Panthers relief from all property taxes in the City of Rock Hill for 20 to 25 years, according to the York County Council.The Panthers first announced the move to Rock Hill last June during a celebration with Panthers owner David Tepper and several South Carolina politicians including Gov. Henry McMaster. In other NFL news:— The Buffalo Bills have picked up the fifth-year option on cornerback Tre’Davious White’s contract, according to a person with knowledge of the decision. ESPN.com first reported the move. By exercising their option, the Bills retained White’s rights through the 2021 season. White’s salary will bump up to about $10 million, based on an average of the top 32 salaries at his position. White has been a starter since being selected in the first round of the 2017 draft out of LSU. He finished tied for the NFL lead with six interceptions last season.— Kicker Zane Gonzalez has signed a one-year contract to stay with the Arizona Cardinals. The 24-year-old Gonzalez was a restricted free agent and was offered a one-year tender in March. He was open to shop for other offers but ultimately re-signed with the Cardinals in a deal announced on Thursday. Gonzalez is in his third NFL season after playing in college at Arizona State. He was 31 of 35 on field goals last season and 34 of 35 on extra points.COLLEGE BASKETBALL-NEWSGonzaga junior Kispert makes himself available for NBA draft Selectors will work from their homes as a safeguard against the coronavirus. Prospects will be at their homes, too. Commissioner Roger Goodell won’t be sharing hugs with any of the 32 first-rounders as usual. Instead, he will offer his congratulations remotely.Fifty-eight prospects will take part remotely with video kits supplied by the NFL that will record their reactions to being selected. The kits include two cell phones, two light stands, a pair of tripods, a headset for interviews and a microphone. One of the phone cameras will be on the entire time until the player is selected, while another will be used for interviews with ESPN, the NFL Network and Goodell.LSU quarterbacks Joe Burrow and Ohio State defensive end Chase Young are expected to be the top picks.The draft wraps up Saturday. NFL-NEWS The study was a collaboration between the Global Athlete advocacy group and the Ryerson University Ted Rogers School of Management in Toronto.VIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTS‘Kentucky Derby at home’ will be online partyUNDATED (AP) — Churchill Downs will recognize the first Saturday in May with a “Kentucky Derby at Home” online party, highlighted by a virtual Derby featuring 13 former Triple Crown winners in an effort to raise $2 million for COVID-19 relief.The 146th Kentucky Derby was postponed from May 2 to Sept. 5 because of public health concerns about pandemic, the first time horse racing’s marquee event won’t run on its traditional day since 1945. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditNFL-DRAFTVirtual NFL draft kicks off Thursday nightUNDATED (AP) — The virtual NFL draft begins Thursday night. And not since the NFL draft became a televised event in 1980 has it been stripped to the basics like this one. UNDATED (AP) — Gonzaga star Corey Kispert has entered his name in the NBA draft, but has left open the possibility of returning for his senior season. Kispert announced Thursday on Twitter that he doesn’t plan on hiring an agent, which would allow him to return to the Bulldogs.Kispert was a finalist for the Julius Erving small forward of the year award last season. He averaged nearly 14 points per game last season and led tIn other college basketball news:— Michigan guard Franz Wagner says he is returning for his sophomore season. Wagner started 27 games last season, averaging 11.6 points and leading the team in steals. The 6-foot-9 German missed the first four games because of a fractured wrist. Isaiah Livers is testing the NBA draft waters, but Wagner decided not to go that route. Michigan also announced that forward Austin Davis had surgery on Monday on his right shoulder and is expected to recover fully. He could be ready to return in early October.— Purdue graduate transfer Matt Haarms has chosen Brigham Young over Kentucky and Texas Tech. He will be eligible to play basketball immediately. Haarms was one of the top transfers after announcing he was leaving the Boilermakers after his junior season. He narrowed his choices to BYU, Kentucky and Texas Tech earlier this week. The 7-foot-3 center from Amsterdam averaged 8.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2 blocked shots per game while shooting 63% last season. MLB-MINOR LEAGUE CONTRACTIONMLB, minors term talks constructive, stop sniping for nowNEW YORK (AP) — The tone of talks for a new agreement governing the relationship between baseball’s major and minor leagues took a positive turn when the bickering sides met electronically for about an hour and later issued a joint statement that termed the session “constructive.”Negotiators for the governing body of the minor leagues asked questions during Wednesday’s session about what the administrative structure would be if Major League Baseball takes over their operation next year, according to a person familiar with the talks. The person told The Associated Press that the sides did not address MLB’s proposal to cut the minimum total of affiliated minor league teams to 120. That is the most contentious issue in talks to replace the Professional Baseball Agreement that expires after this season.In a joint statement Thursday, the sides said “The parties are continuing their discussions, with the goal of concluding a mutually beneficial long-term agreement in the near future.” He retired after the 2016 season, ending a career in which he called Dodgers games for 67 years.OLYMPICS-COLLECTIVE BARGAINING SURVEYStudy: Olympians should push for collective bargainingUNDATED (AP) — A study of Olympic spending patterns concludes that athletes who compete at the games are woefully underpaid. It says they would be best served by banding together to create the sort of collective-bargaining arrangement commonly found in the pros.The study of the worldwide Olympic bureaucracy’s finances concludes there’s far more money available for athletes than what they receive. It says the IOC averages $1.4 billion a year in revenues and spends only about 4% of it on athletes. Leagues such as the NFL and the Premier League spend between 40% and 60% of their revenue on players. April 23, 2020 MLB-DODGERS-SCULLY HOSPITALIZED92-year-old Vin Scully hospitalized after fall at homeLOS ANGELES (AP) — Retired Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully has been hospitalized after falling at his Los Angeles-area home.The team says the 92-year-old fell Tuesday and was taken to the hospital for observation. Scully is resting comfortably and is expected to be released soon.Scully jokes that he won’t be doing anymore “head-first sliding,” which he never liked. The computer-generated Derby created by Inspired Entertainment will feature past Triple Crown champions using data algorithms, including historical handicapping information for each horse to determine the probability of potential finishing positions. Participants who choose the winner will have the chance to win a Kentucky Derby VIP Experience. The virtual Derby will be shown May 2 on NBC during a special broadcast featuring the 2015 Kentucky Derby, when American Pharoah began his Triple Crown run.In other developments related to the coronavirus pandemic:— Minnesota football coach P.J. Fleck is taking an unpaid week, along with about 200 other leaders in the university system in response to the budget crunch caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. President Joan Gabel announced the furloughs earlier this month.Fleck confirmed Thursday on a video conference call with reporters he’s taking part. Fleck’s 2020 salary is $4.6 million.— Colorado athletic director Rick George said he and 11 head coaches will take pay cuts for the upcoming fiscal year in light of the budget impacts caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The salaries for George along with football coach Karl Dorrell, men’s basketball coach Tad Boyle and women’s basketball coach JR Payne will be reduced by 10%. The other eight varsity head coaches will have their salaries reduced by 5%.— New York’s public university system announced plans Thursday for an esports tournament that will have students competing for $20,000 in prize money for their schools’ student emergency funds. State University of New York Chancellor Kristina Johnson said the three-week tournament beginning Monday will help students impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The health crisis has forced SUNY’s 64 campuses and universities to shift to remote instruction for the remainder of the academic year and forced many students out of jobs. Associated Press Update on the latest sports — New York Jets chairman and CEO Christopher Johnson and his family are making an additional $2 million donation to support the COVID-19 relief response in New York and New Jersey. The Johnson family and the Jets last month made a joint $1 million donation to multiple local United Way agencies to help combat the pandemic. The latest contribution, announced by the Jets on Thursday, will provide funding to the Food Bank of New York City, the EMS FDNY Help Fund, the Community Food Bank of NJ and the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund.— The European track and field championships in Paris have been canceled. Local organizers and the French track federation say the biennial event scheduled for late August could not be postponed for one year. They cited uncertainty about the sport’s 2021 calendar and the French economy. The decision came hours after the Paris Diamond League event was postponed with no alternative date. France was to host track’s European championships for the first time since 1938. The 2022 edition is being held in Munich, Germany.— German soccer could resume on May 9 if regional politicians sign off on the league’s plan. The state governors of Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia have said May 9 would be acceptable but other state officials have signaled they would prefer the middle or end of May. League CEO Christian Seifert says “if the state governors and the federal government decide that this day is May 9, then we would be ready on May 9.” Seifert says games could be held with a limit of 213 people in the stadium and up to 109 in the surrounding area.,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6
Late Alex Akinyele As the body of the late former Chairman of the National Sports Commission (NSC) Chief Alex Akinyele is interned today, Minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare, has said that said beyond graveside oration, President Muhammadu Buhari is irrevocable committed to honouring sports men and women, coaches and administrators that have contributed to sports development in the country.Already, a powerful delegation from the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports is not only in Ondo to pay their last respect, the Minister is personally involved with the burial ceremony of the late Ondo High Chief.In a condolence message by the Special Adviser, Media to the Minister of Youth and Sports, John Joshua Akanji, Dare paid glowing tribute to heroes and heroines that have brought glory and honour to Nigeria including the late Akinyele. The minister said henceforth recognition for such persons must go beyond mere rhetorical statements and empty promises.“We must learn to honour athletes, coaches and administrators that committed their lives to the service of the nation. Chief Akinyele was an epitome of service and patriotism. He exemplified what genuine service to the country meant. His personal charm was infectious and hard work quite motivational. He tried to use his position to impact on the society. He was simply a true Nigerian hero.“Sports remains our greatest unifying instrument, public relation tool and could be the biggest source of revenue if properly harnessed,” observed the minister.He admitted that so many heroes have died unheralded and in penury.“We must celebrate our athletes and administrators while they are alive.”According to Dare, “Akinyele was a pace setter, astute administrator, accomplished technocrat, consummate business man who left his mark in the sands of time.The Minister affirmed that Akinyele led an exemplary life worthy of emulation. “He was a man who abhorred failure, set his goals and ensured that they were accomplished. He presided during great epochs in Nigerian sports like the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations victory, the Atlanta 1996 Olympics feat amongst others.“He was meticulous and a stickler to details. He never believed in impossibilities.”Dare further described him as humane, humorous, urbane and honest in his views.“While some viewed him as too cosmopolitan, he was a grassroots man who was at home with his people, no wonder he held the title of Lisa of Ondo Kingdom,” recalled Dare.Before his foray into sports, the late Akinyele brought panache, glamour , professionalism and respect to Public Relations practice as the pioneer President of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR).His contributions to public relations practice continues to evoke fond memories when he worked at the Nigerian CustomsAs Minister of Information under General Ibrahim Babangida, Akinyele developed the template that led to reforms in media practice in Nigeria.He was stylish in his dressing and a great orator.Born on April 24th 1938 in Ondo town, Chief Akinyele was educated at the University of Ife. He died on November 15th 2019.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Published on December 30, 2014 at 10:42 pm Contact Sam: email@example.com | @SamBlum3 Briana Day scoured over the stat sheet in front of her.On it were 28 forced turnovers, four players who scored in double figures, 19 fast-break points and a career-high seven blocks for herself.She had only been asked about the team’s overall defense during the postgame press conference, but the box score showed evidence of Syracuse’s most complete game of the season.“I’m impressed,” she said with a smile on her face.No. 21 Syracuse (10-3) wrapped up its nonconference season in convincing fashion, routing Central Connecticut State (4-7) 74-43 in the Carrier Dome on Tuesday night in front of 508 fans. Eleven players scored for the Orange, which was a season-high, and six players recorded a steal. And SU head coach Quentin Hillsman, who always dwells on areas of improvement, had relatively little to complain about.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“We’ve had moments where we were a little unstable with our lineups or our players on the floor,” Hillsman said, “but for the first time I can honestly say that we have our team.“… We’re going to be a really good basketball team.”Syracuse did what it’s always done to get wins. Score, and then press. On Tuesday, that formula was simple.It started with Syracuse up 9-2 and the Blue Devils inbounding on the sideline. Point guard Alexis Peterson tipped away the pass and drove it up the court for an uncontested layup.It finished when guard Cornelia Fondren picked off a pass in the backcourt, dribbled up the floor until the last second before dumping it off to wide-open guard Danielle Minott, who put in an easy two points before being fouled hard on her way down by CCSU’s Kaley Watras. Her free throw made it 64-38 with 5:35 left in the game.The Blue Devils had cut the Orange’s lead to just six with 2:55 left in the first half, but SU closed out the frame with a 10-0 run and pulled away effortlessly after the break. In total there were 32 points off turnovers for the Orange, which was relentless in its transition offense.“Together as a team we are coming together,” SU guard Brittney Sykes said. “This is one of the most complete gams we’ve had. … We were just trying to work as a team together in the press.”Syracuse had been shooting nearly 27 3-point attempts per game coming into Tuesday night. But against CCSU, it shot only 18.Hillsman, who is normally a proponent of shooting at any open opportunity said that there weren’t many to take. The Orange did such a good job in transition that it was getting more high-percentage shots as well as getting to the line.The 43 percent shooting from the field was SU’s third-highest on the season.“When you’re turning people over, obviously you have numbers in transition,” Hillsman said. “You’re able to attack the rim a little bit more.”Hillsman said that he didn’t think his team came back from the Christmas break as polished as he’d like it to be. In the first two practices, the players were “out of sync.” In the first half against Cornell, it was the same.On Tuesday morning, just hours before taking on the Blue Devils, Hillsman ran a practice. He said he wanted to make sure his team was ready and not taking anything for granted in its final matchup before hosting No. 4 Notre Dame on Sunday.“I felt going into our last game that we just wasn’t ready,” Hillsman said. “That was my fault. So I took the opportunity to get us ready.“I think that this game shows that we got ready.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+
Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters has announced the launch of a new wire service dedicated to esports coverage. The Reuters Esports Wire will have global coverage of the industry which will include news, player transfers and acquisitions, sponsorship deals and coverage of the “largest esports tournaments”. The content itself will be provided through a deal in partnership with sports text provider “Field Level Media”. ”Esports has grown increasingly popular around the world and demand for coverage of the sport has never been stronger,” said Josh Duboff, Reuters Senior Product Manager, Sports & Entertainment Verticals. “This offers us a unique opportunity to be at the forefront of offering coverage of the sport to global media customers as they see a rising interest in the competitive gaming industry from their audiences.” The planned coverage is somewhat all encompassing, with news being provided on every facet of esports both on a business to business level and business to consumer level. Currently, the news that Reuters pushes to clients reaches over one billion people every day. Field Level Media provides sports news, analysis and event coverage in North America through an expansive network of journalists. It’s hard to say at the moment who will be involved in the esports side, and whether it’ll be names familiar to the industry. Reuters currently pushes over 2.2 million articles a year through newswires and esports will become the latest product which it looks to sell. The page states that tournaments and leagues “scheduled to be covered” will be: Overwatch, League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offense, Dota 2, NBA 2K and select others”. No Offensive, Reuters, but Counter-Strike: Global Offense is a title that we’re yet to hear about. Esports Insider: Bar the small blip on the spelling of CS:GO in the paragraph selling the product, it’s big news to see Reuters come in. Hopefully the content is of good quality and anyone that decides to use or consume it becomes better educated about this wonderful industry.
The only way Ohtani can get in the lineup as the DH is when Pujols is able to play first. Pujols said he’s fine with the increased time in the field.“That’s my job,” he said. “I don’t care. Whatever they need for me, I’ll be there. This is not about Albert Pujols. This is about the Angels organization and how can this team be better. Whatever it takes I’m going to do that.”PREPARED FOR COLDOhtani’s third major league start is going to present a new challenge. The temperature is expected to be in the 30s when he takes the mound on Sunday afternoon.“Hopefully it will be warm, but if not I will be prepared for pitching in the cold weather,” Ohtani said.Ohtani grew up in the northern part of Japan, where cold weather is common. The climate is similar to the northeast United States. However, his professional team in Japan, the Nippon Ham Fighters, played in a dome. Many teams in Japan play indoors, so Ohtani said he could not recall pitching in a game with conditions like those that are expected on Sunday.Nick Tropeano, who grew up in New York, said the key to pitching in the cold is work up a good sweat inside, before even hitting the field. He also said a pitcher can take advantage of the conditions by pitching inside more, because the sting of a ball on the handle will hurt hitters even more.ALSOIan Kinsler was not in the lineup on Saturday night, which Scioscia said was planned in advance. Kinsler had been on the disabled list with a tight groin, before returning to play on Thursday and Friday. The cold weather also factored in the decision to give Kinsler the day off. Scioscia said Kinsler could play on Sunday…The Angels are finally expected to debut their six-man rotation sometime next week, Scioscia said. The Angels used nine starters in their first 15 games, but they have only five on the current roster. Unless the Angels want Ohtani to pitch on less than six days rest, they will need to add another starter sometime next week. Parker Bridwell is the most likely candidate. Jaime Barría is not eligible to be recalled until April 22, barring another injury.UP NEXTAngels (Shohei Ohtani, 2-0, 2.08) at Royals (Erik Skoglund, 0-1, 9.64), Sunday, 11 a.m., Fox Sports West, KLAA/830. Pujols, however, did not have any issues over the past winter, and a result he reported to spring training saying he had lost about 15 pounds.The logical assumption is that his early season hot streak is related to his physical condition.“I’m feeling great,” Pujols said after Friday’s game.Added Manager Mike Scioscia: “I just think you are seeing him comfortable in the batter’s box. That could be related to a lot of things. He always works hard on things. He’s always trying to get his swing where he wants, and right now he has it there. He’s swinging the bat very well.”Pujols’ health is vital to the Angels on two fronts. Besides being more productive at the plate, Pujols has been able to play first base more. He’s already started nine times at first, more than the six he started all last year. KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Before there was Shohei Ohtani, and before there was Mike Trout, there was Albert Pujols.Although Pujols may be down the Angels current depth chart of stars, he is nonetheless showing encouraging signs of bouncing back from the declining numbers of the past couple years.Pujols had his fourth multi-hit game in the past five on Friday night. Over his previous 10 games, he has hit .341 with two homers and an .892 OPS. The hot start has him already within 13 hits of the 3,000-hit milestone.The Angels had been operating under the belief that much of his trouble in 2017 — a career-worst .672 OPS — was because of two years worth of injuries to his feet. Not only did that cause discomfort, but the injuries interrupted his workout regimen and caused his conditioning to deteriorate. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error
“They weren’t joking around,” Scott said before the Lakers’ 107-101 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday at Staples Center. “I got a wake-up call real early that this was how it’s going to be. I better be ready for it.”Scott routinely absorbed elbows from former Lakers forward Michael Cooper. The Lakers assigned Scott to cover Johnson. Nearly all of Scott’s teammates ignored him.“The great thing is I was from here so I had a lot of support,” said Scott, who grew up in Inglewood and starred at Morningside High School. “But I would go home and think these dudes are crazy.”Those crazy dudes eventually became Scott’s friends after recalling he never backed down during practice. It also helped that Scott made the NBA’s All-Rookie first team in the 1983-84 season. Scott then became a part of the Lakers’ three NBA title runes in 1985, ’87 and ’88.“It was good because it obviously helped me grow,” Scott said. “It has gotten to the point where you formed everlasting relationships, too. After a while they respected who I was and what I could bring to the table.” Since then, Scott has adopted that demanding touch with coaching stints in New Jersey (2000-04), New Orleans (2004-09), Cleveland (2010-2013) and with the Lakers (2014-present).“I like pushing buttons,” Scott said. “I like messing with young guys. It’s fun. I like to see what they can do and how much they can take. I want to see if they will accept the challenge or not. I’ll do it in a playful way, but I’m still trying to find out what they’re made of.”Is the current generation of players sensitive to such criticism?“It would be like calling them soft. Yeah,” Scott said, chuckling. “Most of them are too sensitive.” Challenge accepted?One of those players apparently did not include Lakers rookie forward Anthony Brown. Scott approached Brown at morning shootaround on Tuesday and offered some playful albeit biting words about his mindset.“Scaredy cat or something like that,” Brown reported.Scott said that in hopes of sparking Brown’s offensive production. Despite starting in Kobe Bryant’s place on Tuesday against the Nets, Brown posted only two points on a 1-of-6 clip in 26 minutes. That marks even a slight drop from his season averages of 3.8 points on 31.5 percent shooting in 19.5 minutes through 26 contests.“I’d like him to be more aggressive and confident,” Scott said. “Defensively, he has a world of confidence he can guard most people he has to guard. I want that to translate on the other end as well.”Scott also observed Brown “is passing up shots or hesitating to take shots that are open for him.” Scott also admitted it may not help Brown only averages 4.2 shots per game amid limited playing time and playing with high volume shooters, such as Bryant, Lou Williams, Jordan Clarkson and Nick Young. “That might have a little to do with it,” Scott said. “We don’t run a ton of plays for him. He doesn’t get as many opportunities as he probably would.”Brown admitted that factoring in, while focusing more on his five recent absences.“I haven’t been playing forever. So I’m finding my way,” Brown said. “It’s not the confidence. I’m trying to figure out where I fit within the grand scheme of things. I know if I’m open, I’m going to shoot the ball.”Still, Brown took no issue with Scott’s criticisms. Brown also accepted Scott’s challenge to have a shooting contest at some point on Friday, though he mused that Scott has often gotten two shot attempts while his player only receives one. “I’m not going to turn down a challenge,” Brown said. “The challenge is bringing something out of me and using that as a levee for that.”Being cautiousInstead of lighting up the crowd with a ferocious dunk, Larry Nance Jr. will only spark buzz during Wednesday’s game in Denver by signing autographs for a crowd that might feature plenty from his alma mater. The Lakers determined Nance will miss one part of their three remaining slates of back-to-back games to minimize soreness in his right knee. Nance played on Tuesday against Atlanta where he posted six points and five rebounds in 17 minutes off the bench. He also threw down a two-handed dunk and one-handed dunk. But Nance will sit out on Wednesday in Denver despite University of Wyoming fans likely making the two-hour trek to see him. The Lakers also have a pair of back-to-back games against Memphis (March 22) and in Phoenix (March 23) as well as Washington (March 27) and in Utah (March 28). Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error LOS ANGELES >> The Lakers’ embattled coach has held long practices unforgivingly. He has critiqued his young players openly both in person and through the media. Scott has not hesitated adjusting roles for D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle even if they represent the franchise’s long-term future.But there marked another time that Byron Scott seemed just as unpopular in Los Angeles. That moment also convinced Scott that his stern approach remains necessary a generation later.The Lakers acquired Scott from the former San Diego Clippers a few months after he was selected fourth overall in the 1983 NBA draft. But that deal entailed the Lakers trading Norm Nixon, who helped Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar win two of the Lakers’ first five NBA championships in the Showtime Era.That left Scott initially without any locker-room allies.
“It’s tough because he’s such a great competitor and he’s so instrumental in us getting here,” McVay said earlier this week of Rath (via NFL.com) “We love him. I know the players and coaches miss him when he’s not here with us, but he’s with us in spirit. He’s done a great job of helping us get to this point and he knows that.”Rath became a viral sensation when NFL Network shared a video of compilation of clips that showed Rath repeatedly pulling McVay out of the way of the referees walking on the sideline. Related News Rath is expected to make a full recovery. In the meantime, assistant strength and conditioning coach Dustin Woods will fill Rath’s role. “Dustin will be my backup get-back guy, so he’ll be pulling me back,” McVay said of Woods. “And hopefully, I have a little bit more self-control.” Rams coach Sean McVay will be without one key member of his staff as Los Angeles takes the field against the Patriots in Super Bowl 53 on Sunday. Ted Rath is the Rams’ director of strength training and performance who also is known as McVay’s personal sideline spotter or “get-back” coach. He makes sure McVay stays out of the way of the referees. He did not make the trip to the Super Bowl due to medical reasons as he’s recovering from a recent procedure. Super Bowl 53: Tom Brady releases epic hype video with help of Patriots legends As the game plays on, Sean McVay and his “Get Back Coach” tango on the sideline.Expect more of this at #SBLIII 😂@RamsNFL #NFLFilmsPresents: Get Back Coach airs this Tuesday at 6pm ET on @FS1! pic.twitter.com/5FMyWH4gzT— NFL Films (@NFLFilms) January 21, 2019″I literally have to spend most of my time while the offense is on the field standing right behind Sean and ripping him out of the way when the official’s about to run into him just so we don’t get a penalty,” Rath explained in January. “There is an art to it. It is kind of like a dance. Maybe tango? Like a side step into the path of an official and then remove back.”