There are plenty of possibilities for Dodgers

first_imgThe Dodgers might re-sign Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner.But the odds are against it.They might trade for Chris Sale or Justin Verlander.But they probably won’t. Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and his staff will no doubt be involved in conversations involving those players and many others. As much as any team in baseball, the Dodgers have both the financial resources and prospect stash to make things happen. Friedman’s philosophy is to stay “nimble” and “opportunistic” when it comes to talent acquisition and the Dodgers’ well-stocked farm system gives them ample chips to be at the forefront of any auction.But the Dodgers’ focus this winter seems less about making significant additions to the roster and more about maintaining what they have already built — an uncommonly deep roster with flexibility and a more manageable payroll.“Yeah, that’s a really, really good team,” Friedman said of a 2017 roster with the same elements intact that produced 91 wins in 2016 and fell two games short of reaching the World Series.That group would return with the prospects of improved health, Friedman points out – how could it not be better than last year’s? — and added maturity for the young players who made such critical contributions.But there is a strain of wistfulness in Friedman’s comments. He is aware just how unlikely it is that the Dodgers will be able to put last year’s band back together.Jansen, Turner and Rich Hill are all free agents this winter. The Dodgers would like to re-sign all three and team officials insist their ability to do so will not be restrained by debt service or luxury-tax penalties – only by the same kind of good sense that stopped their bidding for Zack Greinke at $160 million last winter.That was only good for third place behind the San Francisco Giants and Greinke’s new employer, the Arizona Diamondbacks, who have spent much of the past year regretting that $206 million decision.The Dodgers are closing in on re-signing Hill to a multi-year deal that would lock him in as Greinke’s replacement behind Clayton Kershaw in the rotation. When it comes to Jansen and Turner, however, market forces are working against the Dodgers this winter as well.Jansen is in a two-horse race with Chapman to set new pay standards for a closer. The target is set at five years and $100 million – the kind of early-winter pie in the sky that only seems absurd until someone offers it. Of the very limited number of top hitters available on the free-agent market, only Turner offers premium defense as well.So far, the Dodgers have elected to slow-play their pursuit of Jansen and Turner. That might need to change soon. The need to gauge the chances of re-signing either – and the search for alternatives – could gain some urgency in the next week as the Winter Meetings intensify conversations.“I think the right to be a free agent is a significant one that players earn,” Friedman said. “We’re trying to be as respectful as we can. But obviously, we have to make sure that we’re in good position as well. So at some point I expect conversations to progress – and I don’t even mean just with our internal guys, with external free agents and on the trade front. I think it’s been a little quieter this month as opposed to past years with the CBA negotiations and the unknowns surrounding it. But I expect things to pick up quite a bit in the next few weeks.”Chapman and, more affordably, Melancon (as well as potential trade target David Robertson of the White Sox) offer alternatives if Jansen leaves the Dodgers for bigger money elsewhere. At this point, it’s hard to imagine realistic options for replacing Turner that don’t take the Dodgers backwards.“Short term or long term?” Friedman responded to that. “Look – I think there are a lot of interesting players on the market. Some on the free agent market, some on the trade market. And we’re continuing to have conversations to see what makes the most sense for us.”Dodgers’ to-do list• Re-sign Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner – or not.The Dodgers would like to re-sign both but the market for each (and good sense) might make that unrealistic, particularly in light of the new CBA’s increased luxury-tax penalties for high-payroll teams.• Find alternatives.If Jansen and/or Turner won’t be back in 2017, the Dodgers need to find someone to close games and/or play third base for them in 2017. Finding replacements won’t be easy. The closer options drop off dramatically after free agents Aroldis Chapman and Mark Melancon. The options at third base are even less attractive.• Settle on a second basemanRe-signing an aging Chase Utley and pairing him with a younger right-handed bat (Kiké Hernandez, Charlie Culberson) is one option. But acquiring someone like Ian Kinsler, Brian Dozier or Josh Harrison would better address the Dodgers’ deficiencies against left-handed pitching.• Trade Yasiel Puig.The Dodgers might finally be ready to part ways with their problem child – even though his value has never been lower.• Restock the bullpenJoe Blanton emerged as the Dodgers’ most reliable setup man last season. But the 35-year-old is a free agent. Regardless of who closes games for them in 2017, the Dodgers will look to restock the relief corps in front of him. They might sign Aroldis Chapman and trade for Andrew McCutchen.But probably not.Maybe they’ll sign Mark Melancon and trade for Brian Dozier.Or maybe not.As the Dodgers head to baseball’s annual Winter Meetings in National Harbor, Maryland — “a census-designated place and development along the Potomac River” outside Washington, D.C. — they will, as usual, be featured prominently in the haze of rumor and speculation that will settle over the sprawling Gaylord Resort playing host to Major League Baseball’s movers and shakers.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Women’s Basketball Cruises Past Evansville, 89-53, To Advance To MVC Semifinals

first_imgStory Links Preview Next Game: Box Score (HMTL) Live Stats 1350 ESPN Des Moines Valley On ESPN3 Listen Live Watch Live Full Schedule Roster center_img MOLINE, ILL. – The Drake University women’s basketball team never trailed in an 89-53 rout of Evansville on Thursday night in the quarterfinals of the 2016 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament at iWireless Center. Every Drake (22-8) player scored in the game, led by freshman Sara Rhine’s (Eldon, Mo.) game-high 17 points, as Rhine just missed her fifth career double-double with nine rebounds while sophomore Maddy Dean (Jordan, Minn.) added 16 points. Junior Lizzy Wendell (Blue Springs, Mo.) scored 14 points, for her 75th-consecutive game of reaching double digits. Junior Caitlin Ingle (Runnells, Iowa) added 11 points and a game-high seven assists. Evansville (3-28) finished just 18-of-63 (28.6 percent) from the floor and made just seven three-pointers. Drake limited the Purple Aces’ leading scorer, junior Sara Dickey, to just four points as Dickey was 1-of-14 from the floor and 0-of-10 from behind the three-point line. Drake avenged its loss to Evansville in last season’s quarterfinals. Drake raced out to a big lead in the first quarter with a 15-0 scoring run that includedmaking four three-pointers. Senior Emma Donahue (Naperville, Ill.) had the game’s first points just 35 seconds in with a three-pointer and five other Bulldogs made one three-pointer in the first quarter. Drake connected on eight of its first 10 three-pointers, never being threatened again by Evansville, as the Bulldogs would lead by as many 42 points late in the third quarter. Rhine was the only Bulldog to not make a three-pointer on Thursday as the team hit 12. The Bulldogs tied for the fourth most three-pointers in a single MVC Tournament game. Donahue ended the game with nine points, six rebounds and two assists. As a team, the Bulldogs made 37 field goals and 25 assists.  Wendell added three assists, two steals and one block in just 22 minutes. Drake advances to Saturday’s semifinals, where it will play the winner of No. 3 Missouri State and No. 6 Indiana State. Those two teams play the final game on Friday night. Saturday’s game will start at 4:05 p.m. The Bulldogs are making their first trip to the semi’s since 2014.Print Friendly Version Photo Gallery Box Score (PDF) vs. Missouri State 3/12/2016 – 4:00 PMlast_img read more

Fashion week wows Jozi

first_imgA striking outfit by designer Tiaan Nagel for his summer 2009 collection. A creation by Anisa Mpungwe, winner of the 2008 Elle New Talent award. A suit from Ephymol, owned by formertop male model and now leading designer Ephraim Molingoane. (Images: Sanlam SA Fashion Week) MEDIA CONTACTS • Estelle Cooper Media liaison: Sanlam SA Fashion Week +27 11 705 1714 [email protected] RELATED ARTICLES • SA fashion goes to New York • African fashion takes Paris • Elizabeth Arden’s new SA face • Miss World returns to SA Khanyi MagubaneLoincloth & Ashes, De Beers diamonds, velvet lingerie, indigenous craftwork, clothes for Barbie … These were some of the ingredients that went into the sumptuous Sanlam South Africa Fashion Week (SSAFW).Held in Johannesburg from 16 to 19 September, the event was an opportunity for leading South African designers to showcase their winter 2010 collections to fashion critics, magazine editors, stylists, design students and everyday fashion addicts.Included in the stellar line up this year were the winners of the 2009 Mercedes Benz Art Award, designers Black Coffee, as well as Gideon, Tiaan Nagel and Lisa Jaffe, Abigail Betz, Clive Rundle, Life and Ephymol, David Tlale, Ruby and the duo who make up Two.A popular show on the first day was the special collection designed to commemorate the 50th birthday of Barbara Millicent Roberts, more widely know as Barbie.Thirteen established designers such as David Tlale, Stoned Cherrie and Craig Port were commissioned by the organisers, along with Mattel, the makers of Barbie, to create a classy but fun and whimsical collection in line with the doll’s image.The top designers were joined by a selected number of design students from the University of Johannesburg’s Department of Fashion Design, whose winning designs were selected to be part of the show.The Barbie Collection also included jewellery from the De Beers Southern Africa Shining Light collection.On 17 September leading lingerie designer Ruby also showcased an edgy collection characterised by velvet underwear and vests, as well as, low-cut French cut knickers with striking bows.Newcomers to watch at fashion week were designers Anisa Mpungwe and Gugu Msomi, the former head wardrobe mistress of popular South African soap opera Generations.Since winning the 2008 Elle New Talent award, Mpungwe has been creating a name for herself.Her label, Loincloth & Ashes, has sold very well at the clothing chain stores of the Mr Price group. She was invited to design a clothing collection for the retailer.According to Msomi, her Gugulam label is designed to be a brand of clothing that glides with the body.Speaking of her collection, Mpungwe says her 16-piece Midnight collection combines the elements of “wholesome comedy and creepy horror,” she says.According to Gugulam’s website, the dresses will fit all the occasions of life “…dresses to sit in, and stand in, and walk in; dresses to dance in, and flirt in, and talk in; dresses in which to do nothing at all; dresses for winter, spring, summer, and autumn.”Bringing crafts and fashion togetherA 2006 partnership formed between SSAFW and the Department of Arts and Culture, the Fashion Fusion Project, once again saw top designers collaborating with crafters from different parts of the country.The initiative has empowered 900 crafters, and assisted 40 designers to develop collections with a uniquely contemporary “made in South Africa” look and feel.Another success story which has come out of the Fashion Fusion Project since its inception, is the export of cotton/linen fabric batik, printed by Sizakele, who are a Pretoria based group of crafter for use by a former South African designer who now lives in New York.A fashion and accessories exhibition comprising 120 stands were on hand to further delight and entice visitors.This part of the event was primarily aimed at pleasing the finicky tastes of fashion die- hards, who prefer to buy directly from the designers.Most designers exhibiting their clothes showcased their 2009 summer collections.A love for fashionThe Sanlam SA Fashion Week is a celebrated annual event that has contributed in launching many designers’ careers in South Africa.Established in August 1997, renowned and respected fashion stalwart and show producer, Lucilla Booyzen, seized the opportunity after South Africa’s 1994 democratic dispensation to produce a fashion event that would unleash South African talent.The first event took place inside a large marquee, placed in the middle of what is now known as the Nelson Mandela Square.At the time, 17 relatively unknown designers showcased their collections and since then, the event has claimed its place as the premier event on the fashion calendar.Fashion journalists were also recognised for their work during the 2009 Sanlam Fashion Journalism Awards during fashion week.Each of the finalists in each of the two categories of the awards – fashion writing and fashion editing, were selected by a panel of leading journalists and radio personalities.The 2009 judging panel comprised of the newspaper City Press’s editor Ferial Haffajee, Laurice Taitz, publishing and media consultant, Jenny Crwys-Williams, literary critic and Talk Radio 702 show host, Kassie Naidoo, whose a creative director at advertising agency, King James RSVP (Johannesburg), as well as fashion commentator and trends analyst, Dion Chang.Each category winner received a prize to the value of R25 000 (US$ 3 000) each, to be used for a trip to an international fashion event, or a trade fair in 2010.Queries or comments? Email Khanyi Magubane at [email protected]last_img read more

Passive Hot Air from Everyday Materials

first_imgAt the Unity, Maine, headquarters of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA), engineer Jay LeGore has harnessed the power of the sun to replace about 200 gallons of propane a year.Located far from fire hydrants, MOFGA’s exhibition hall was still required to have sprinklers to meet fire safety codes. The large, timber-framed structure, which sees 60,000 visitors each year during the Common Ground Country Fair and also houses the association’s offices, sits in the middle of a former potato field, with no fire hydrants nearby. Instead, 15,000 gallons of water are stored in pressurized tanks in a building adjacent to the exhibition hall.To keep the tanks from freezing, the shed had been heated with a propane-fired furnace. To save fuel while serving as an experiment and example for demonstrations, Jay designed and built a wall-mounted solar air heater. Narrow vertical slots at each end of the collector allow air to flow from inside the shed, through a two-inch channel formed between the outside of the shed wall and black painted metal roofing panels that are horizontally installed. An inch and a half away from the metal panels are double-wall polycarbonate panels, commonly used for glazing greenhouses.The metal panels get hot enough so that, on the 75°F day I was there, the air coming from the collector was noticeably warmer; a thermostat said 85°F. More important, after two long, cold winters without any other source of heat, the temperature in the shed never went below 40°F.A squirrel cage blower forces air through the solar heater channels. I asked Jay why he hadn’t taken advantage of the stack effect and reduced electricity use by installing slots at the top and bottom of the panel instead of at the ends where a fan was required to move the air. He said that the stack effect would work great during the day, pulling in cooler air at floor level and releasing warmed air at the top of the panel, but that at night, the cycle would reverse and actually pull heat out of the building. Flaps could be used to stop that process, but in the interest of keeping things as low-tech, passive, and reliable as possible, the horizontal, fan-assisted arrangement was a better solution. He added that photovoltaic panels could have been used to power the fan, but the initial cost would have been prohibitive and the payback period too long; also, the shed was already tied to the grid.The total cost for the system, which could be used for supplemental heating in workshops, barns, basements, commercial buildings, or other spaces where south-facing windows would not be preferable? About $1,000 for the panel components, and another $1,000 for the squirrel cage blower and control equipment. The payback period is about three years.last_img read more

Underestimating the Value of Being a Great Salesperson

first_imgYou have a great offering. Your competitor also has a great offering.You have a tried and true sales process. Your competitor has a tried and true sales process, too.You are using the latest and greatest sales methodology. Your competitor is also using the shiny new “new” thing.Your sales force automation is a modern marvel. Everything you use is integrated into a beautiful, sleek interface with custom dashboards. Your competitor’s SFA is a dead ringer for yours. Only the company logo is different.You are equipped with the best technology that money can buy. Well, how about that. Ditto your competitor; they’re equally well equipped.The Difference: You.We tend to overestimate the impact of some things on sales results and greatly underestimate what’s most important. In any sales organization where the above statements are true, they’re true for every salesperson on the sales team. That means the difference in results is something else, even in your sales organization.The difference that makes a difference is you, the salesperson. It’s helpful to have a great offering, an effective sales process, good methodologies, and great technology. But it isn’t a substitute for the value created by a great salesperson sitting face-to-face with their dream client.If you want to improve something that will immediately and irrevocably improve your sales results, you start with the greatest asset you will ever have for producing results: You. You becoming the best ever version of yourself will do more to improve your sales results than anything else.QuestionsWhat do you substitute for developing your sales skills?What accounts for the difference in sales results between salespeople in the same organization? Different organizations?If you could change one thing that would massively improve your results, what would you change?How much does the salesperson account for in the decision to buy?last_img read more

Six Houses Completed Under Indigent Housing Project

first_imgMinister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, is reporting that six homes have been completed under the Indigent Housing Project.He also informed that construction is to begin on four more houses in early January 2019, with each home being constructed at a cost of $1.8 million.Minister McKenzie was speaking to the media recently, following a visit to inspect the progress of the indigent house being built in Lime Hall, St. Ann.“The Ministry is putting the finishing touches on two houses being constructed for two residents, one here in Lime Hall and one in Beecher Town, St. Ann, as part of Local Government and Community Development Month activities and the Indigent Housing Project,” he stated.He also underscored that construction of the homes, which are being done in partnership with the National Housing Trust (NHT) “are a part of the Administration’s thrust to improve the quality of living for citizens who rely on the state for support.”The Minister informed that the houses being constructed in St. Ann are slated to be completed prior to the Christmas holidays.Mr. McKenzie noted that residents and other stakeholders have been supportive of the initiative.“I am very happy with the support that we have received, not just from the community here in Lime Hall, but we have gotten support from both sides of the political divide. We have had Mayors coming from across the country to be a part of the construction process, we have also had the councilors in St. Ann coming and giving support, spending at least an hour and putting some work in,” he stated.The Local Government Minister informed that the Ministry will also be furnishing the homes constructed in Lime Hall and Beecher Town.For his part, Senior Executive Architect in the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, Dane Guthrie, informed that the homes are a “comfortable  200 square feet, which consist of a bathroom and a kitchen area.”“They are studio units which allow for bedroom and living (room) space. They have a tropical design with slope roofs which allow for rain water harvesting, high ceilings and cross ventilation,” he stated.In the case of the home in Lime Hall, which was being constructed on a hillside, Mr. Guthrie noted that a sloping staircase is to be built to allow for “easy access to the unit”.The Indigent Housing Project will see the construction of 28 homes across the island, with two concrete structures being built per parish.last_img read more