In his first attempt to bring his team back in the waning moments of an NFL game, Washington’s Robert Griffin III had more than the Tampa Bay Bucaneers’ defense to contend with: He was playing on the road, so the crowd was a factor. And then, all of a sudden, the headset in his helmet to communicate with the coaching staff went dead.Not good.And not surprising to the Redskins’ Santana Moss.“Happens every time,” Moss said. “No lie. I’ve been in the league 12 years, I’ve been in plenty of games, and the home team goes, ‘Oh well.’ ” Then he mimicked yanking an imaginary plug out of a wall.Whatever the reason for the technical difficulty, Griffin had to take Moss and the Redskins all the way down the field, and do so with only the single play he ran onto the field with after a touchback stopped the clock with 1:42 to play and the Redskins down 22-21.And he did. Griffin, using arm and legs, methodically moved the Redskins down the field for the game-winning field goal by Billy Cundiff as time expired.Before Tampa Bay’s Connor Barth kicked a field goal to put his team up late in a second half in which the Redskins had scored zero points, backup Rex Grossman turned to Griffin on the Washington sideline and said, “You want them to make this so you can lead the team down the field and win.” Griffin laughed and said, “Yeah, I also want him to miss this field goal.”Above all, Grossman’s position shows just how much the Redskins think of RG III.“Every week,” Grossman said after the game, “the way he handles himself. The way he translates what he learns – it’s extremely impressive. As a whole, that’s the most impressive thing to me. Not the plays he makes, but the total sum of what he’s been doing. It’s the whole [expletive] thing.”
Right now, Ortiz’s Hall of Fame odds are right on the boundary. If he decided to retire tomorrow, his current JAWS total of 42.6 would yield a 25.4 percent prediction for the Hall, about a one-in-four shot. But Ortiz is in a critical part of the curve: Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS system projects that he would add another 7 WAR (for a JAWS score of 46.2) if he played through 2019, and with that boost he would be almost a coin flip to make the Hall, with a predicted probability of 46.3 percent. Although he may not realistically be able to add that many WAR anyway — projections are an imperfect science — each small contribution boosts his chances substantially.Obviously, this methodology is a simplified way to quantify Ortiz’s Hall of Fame prospects. In addition to his prodigious regular-season achievements, Ortiz is a postseason hero who helped lead Boston to a curse-breaking World Series win. He also has the specter of a positive steroid test hanging over his record — which can be enough for some Hall of Fame voters to deny a player, regardless of his on-field contributions. So Ortiz’s case comes down to a lot more than just his JAWS total.But at this point in his career, every little bit helps. With a place in Cooperstown on the line, maybe Ortiz will reconsider his decision to retire and keep slugging away for another couple of years. At age 40, David Ortiz is off to the second-best offensive season of his long and distinguished MLB career. He’s also set to retire at the end of the year, no matter how well his 2016 season with the Red Sox ends up going.“My body, man,” Ortiz explained to Yahoo’s Jeff Passan. “My body’s pretty beat up. Remember, if you look at guys my size, they don’t last. I noticed that seven or eight years ago. That’s why I needed to start doing things right. I lost 25 pounds. I started eating better, do things better. But let me tell you: It’s not easy, man.”He makes a compelling case. But for the purposes of building a Hall of Fame résumé, Big Papi might also be making a strategic error in hanging up his spikes: A few more years of even modest production could mean the difference between enshrinement and not.To judge Ortiz’s Hall chances, I used Jay Jaffe’s JAWS score, which balances the peak and total wins above replacement for each player relative to the average for his position — in Big Papi’s case, first base. (Yes, Ortiz has spent most of his productive years as a designated hitter, but since the position has existed since only 1973, JAWS lumps Ortiz in with first basemen.) My model uses logistic regression to turn a first baseman’s JAWS score — and whether he was a known performance-enhancing drug user1This part is based on my informed judgment about whether mainstream baseball writers consider the player associated with PEDs. It also applies to only top-40 players at the position since, realistically, almost everyone below that level has a near-zero chance of getting into the Hall — so marking them as steroid users or not wouldn’t make a difference. — into a probabilistic prediction of whether he’ll be inducted in Cooperstown someday.2I also manually marked three players as certain Hall of Famers, though they aren’t yet eligible: Albert Pujols, Jim Thome and Miguel Cabrera, all of whom are well above the typical thresholds for induction.
Phil Jackson is no longer leading the New York Knicks’ front office, agreeing to leave the organization Wednesday. In the video above, Neil Paine discusses Phil Jackson’s legacy with the Knicks.Read more: At Least Phil Jackson Didn’t Leave The Knicks In Ruins
Senior Vice President and Athletic Director Gene Smith sits down with The Lantern on Jan. 24. Screenshot by Colin Hass-Hill | Assistant Sports DirectorOhio State’s 31-0 loss to Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl came as a shock to many. What happened after the Fiesta Bowl wasn’t surprising to anyone.Ryan Day and Kevin Wilson were hired to co-coordinate the offense while former coordinators Ed Warinner and Tim Beck took on other opportunities. Day will coach the quarterbacks and Wilson will coach tight ends on top of their duties as offensive coordinators. Warinner was named Minnesota’s offensive line coach and Beck will coordinate Texas’ offense.OSU Senior Vice President and Athletic Director Gene Smith told The Lantern in an exclusive interview that those discussions of revamping the coaching staff happened immediately after the game in Glendale, Arizona.Smith said Meyer approached him to talk about staffing after the conclusion of the Fiesta Bowl. Meyer and Smith worked out a schedule over days of meetings, pinpointing selective dates when Meyer wanted to have matters concerning his staff completed.“(Urban Meyer) began to talk about people and who he wanted to get, and so we went through that process and he kind of had a vision of what he thought he needed to do,” Smith said.One of those people was Wilson, whom Meyer has known for a long time. Wilson resigned from his head-coaching position at Indiana University on Dec. 1 during his sixth season with the Hoosiers amid “philosophical differences” with Indiana Athletic Director Fred Glass. Multiple reports cited Wilson’s treatment of players, including one player who told the Indianapolis Star that Wilson forced him back during an injury.Smith said the first thing discussed regarding Wilson was the terms of which he left Indiana.“We talked about that from the beginning before (Meyer) even made the call (to Wilson),” he said.Meyer and Smith discussed, at length, how they would vet Wilson before offering him the position. The two assembled lists of people who could talk about Wilson as a coach and as a person. The first name on Smith’s call list was Glass, who Smith said is a good friend of his.“(Glass and I) kind of went through the details of what happened there and I felt comfortable at the end,” Smith said.“Urban and I came together and we talked about what we found out and we felt comfortable. Kevin sat at this table and we had a good conversation on what happened there, and how it’s going to work here. He was thoroughly vetted and we had a good, candid conversation. He’ll fit our culture fine.”Smith declined to share details on the conversations he had with Glass or Wilson to respect their privacy.Smith said he also reached out to people who were at the University of Oklahoma when Wilson was the Sooners’ offensive coordinator from 2002 to 2010. Smith added that his one-on-one, sit-down conversation with Wilson was “phenomenal” and Meyer’s familiarity with Wilson’s career helped him decide that the former Indiana coach was ethically suited for the job.Regarding the other hired coaches, Smith expressed his excitement for Day and new linebackers coach Bill Davis, who replaced former co-defensive coordinator Luke Fickell.“Ryan Day is, like, off the chain and Kevin Wilson is like a mad scientist. They’re really, really good people and they fit our culture,” Smith said. “We had Bill Davis in mind and he was already here (as a defensive analyst). And so that was a benefit for us.”Editor’s Note: This is Part 1 of The Lantern’s conversation with OSU Senior Vice President and Athletic Director Gene Smith. Part 2 will print in Thursday’s paper.
It’s no secret that the Ohio State men’s basketball team wants to run its offense through Evan Turner. Coming off a season in which he led the team in nearly every offensive category, the junior will again be the Buckeyes’ focal point, but from a new position.Turner, who spent the majority of his first two years as a forward, is expected to transition this season into OSU’s point guard position.However, his move to the point creates a log jam on the Buckeyes’ roster. Both P.J. Hill and Jeremie Simmons played significant time at the position last season and there is debate where each will fit in this year. Perhaps the easiest and most likely solution for Simmons, a senior, is to move him to shooting guard. The former junior-college transfer is thought to be one of the better outside shooters on the team, and said he expects to see time at both positions.“[The coaches] still want me to play some point guard because I can handle the ball,” Simmons said, “but I think I’ll play a little more wing this year.”It is also possible that because the Buckeyes plan to have a faster pace on offense this year, both Turner and another point guard could be on the court simultaneously, Simmons said.“I like the up-tempo ball,” he said. “We can have two point guards out there at the same time because it’s like the spread offense. Everybody can bring up the ball.”For Hill, also a former junior-college transfer, competing for play time is nothing new. He entered last season as a third-string point guard, behind both Simmons and Anthony Crater. But when Crater transferred out of the program after just 10 games, Hill found himself in competition for the starting spot.In the team’s 26th game of the season, and the 49th game of Hill’s career, the senior made his first start. After waiting his turn for nearly two years, he appeared to be ready to take the reins as the Buckeyes’ point guard. Now Hill might have to take a back seat again. It is inevitable that as Turner takes over the position, Hill will see less playing time than expected, but he said he fully supports the change.“Evan, he’s real versatile and he can do a lot of stuff for us,” Hill said. “Coach [Matta] believes that, and I believe too, that wherever coach puts him at will be best for the team and will make us successful.”While some may see the move as a demotion for Hill, he said being designated to a backup role is more positive than negative.“It definitely doesn’t take away from my game,” Hill said. “It actually adds to it, because it makes me work harder and then be more productive in the time that I’m on the court.”Even though Turner will start at point guard, Matta said he expects the team to use him at nearly every position on the floor. As Turner moves through the lineup, there will be chances for Hill to make an impact.If there was an argument to be made for Hill’s playing time, he made it himself during the team’s summer exhibition games in Canada. In the Buckeyes’ 90-39 win over the University of Windsor, Hill shot seven of nine from the field and recorded 18 points in just 20 minutes of play.Hill’s 18 points were more than he has ever scored in a Buckeye uniform, but just like he has done in the past, Hill has embraced his role on the team, no matter what it is. “I’m just going to get in where I fit in,” Hill said. “When I come in the game I’ll just be productive as usual. I’ll bring energy and just try to make a big impact.”Regardless of when and where Hill and Simmons end up playing this season, the Buckeyes will live and die with the play of Turner at the point, and Hill expects Turner to thrive at his new position.“Evan is such a great player and he can not only create for himself, but he can create for others,” Hill said. “Good things happen when he has the ball. He’s a very special player.”
A senior clergyman has been suspended by church elders after he was arrested on suspicion of voyeurism at a shopping centre.The Very Rev Martin Thrower, 55, has been banned from the pulpit for now by the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich in Suffolk after he was detained by police.The churchman’s shocked wife Pauline said the arrest had caused his family “great sadness” but insisted they were all standing by him with “unconditional love”. Whilst this has come as a shock to us as a family we are all supporting Martin with unconditional love at this difficult time.Pauline Thrower Mr Thrower in front of St Mary’s Church, Hadleigh, SuffolkCredit:Su Anderson/Archant Mr Thrower, a widely-respected figure in the local church, has been rector of Hadleigh with Layham and Shelley for the last seven years.The father-of-three also holds the important regional positions of Dean of Bocking and Rural Dean of Hadleigh.Mr Thrower was arrested on August 4 at the Buttermarket shopping centre in Ipswich. He hasn’t been charged over the serious allegations but has been bailed to return to Suffolk Police HQ in Martlesham, near Ipswich, in October.John Howard, spokesman for the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, said: “I can confirm that The Very Rev Martin Thrower, Rector of Hadleigh, Layham and Shelley, and also rural dean of Hadleigh, has been arrested by Suffolk Constabulary for voyeurism.”He has been suspended from all offices within the diocese until further notice. We have made arrangements to look after his church duties and to offer support to his parishes at this difficult time.”Mr Howard added: “We will make no further comment while the police investigation is ongoing. Our thoughts and prayers are very much with everyone affected by this situation.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Mrs Thrower told the East Anglian Daily Times: “It is with great sadness that we find ourselves in the situation we are now in.”Whilst this has come as a shock to us as a family we are all supporting Martin with unconditional love at this difficult time.”Mr Thrower has led the church in Hadleigh since 2009 and leads a team that has been doing a lot of work in the local community.His determination to shake up St Mary’s in Hadleigh sparked controversy three years ago as he said he wanted to remove many pews to create a more flexible space.The Victorian Society objected to his radical scheme. But Mr Thrower, who has three children got his way after winning permission from church leaders and the work was carried out.His church has since been used by a much wider variety of community groups as a result of his pioneering blueprint.One of these is the Porch Project for youngsters aged from 11 to 20, who meet there twice a week for leisure groups.Although it is backed by St Mary’s and meets there, it is a separate organisation and supports 300 youngsters in Hadleigh.The market town has regularly been slammed for a lack of activities for young people.At the time of the firestorm over the pews in 2013, Mr Thrower insisted: “Churches weren’t built with pews in.”They were built to be the community space, to have the market in and host big meetings and we have an aspiration to return the building to being the true parish church.”
Dr Shinskey said: “Books with these sort of features are very popular with parents who hope the interactive feature will aid learning and enjoyment of reading.“However, if parents want their children to learn factual information about the world from books, it doesn’t appear to help to make books more toy-like by adding 3D features.“This seems to enhance their tendency to treat books as just another type of physical toy, rather than a tool for learning.“As the findings suggest young children can find these features in a book distracting we would recommend having a range of books available so children learn to love reading as well as learning more about the world around them.”The research was presented at the British Psychological Society’s Developmental Psychology Section annual conference. They are meant to make learning more fun and interactive, but lift-the-flap books could significantly harm a toddler’s chance of learning words, a new study suggests.Picture books for children often include unusual textures or pop-ups, which are thought to encourage engagement and keep youngsters interested.But researchers found that when toddlers have to hunt for a word or object they are less likely to remember it.In tests with 31 toddlers, those who used books with lift-up-flaps were half as likely to remember words compared to those using normal books. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Dr Jeanne Shinskey, a senior lecturer at the Department of Psychology at Royal Holloway, University of London said: “Many educational picture books for toddlers often feature manipulatives like flaps or texture to encourage interaction, but do these actually help toddlers to learn new words?“We wanted to test how a commercially-available book with or without flaps affected two-year-olds’ learning of a new word for an unfamiliar object.”For the experiment the toddlers were split in to two groups. Each group were asked to look through a book with a researcher that contained nine food objects including a new fruit they had not seen before – a starfruit. We would recommend having a range of books available so children learn to love reading as well as learning more about the worldDr Jeanne Shinskey Children were half as likely to remember the word starfruit when using flap books The books were exactly the same but one had lift-the-flaps and the other had these sealed.Around 68 per cent of the youngsters who looked at the book without flaps correctly remembered the starfruit at the end of the session compared to just 30 per cent of those who were given books with flaps.
Let’s test this. Describing a meat dish as ‘British lamb’ but making it from New Zealand lamb is…— Herdwick Shepherd (@herdyshepherd1) February 12, 2017 @waitrose can you explain this ?? British meals made with NewZealand #lambs 👿👿👿 #buybritish ?? pic.twitter.com/FOQXinBFMq— rattycastle (@rattycastle) February 12, 2017 Waitrose is to rebrand some of the ready meals in its “British” range because they use meat from New Zealand.The microwaveable meals will instead be labelled “Classic”, after criticism from consumers.The change will only affect recipes containing lamb, such as the Lamb Hotpot and Shepherd’s Pie. Products made from pork, beef and chicken will keep the “British” branding, as all the meat used in those comes from the UK. The problem was first noticed last year, at which stage stickers were places on the front of the packs to make it clearer that the lamb was from New Zealand.Now the supermarket chain is to go further with by rebranding the packaging.”We are about to re-launch the range with the branding “Classic”, removing the large ‘British’ reference from the front of pack,” a spokesman for the supermarket said. “This was only ever supposed to denote the origin of the recipe but we understand why confusion has arisen.” The supermarket is now looking into getting more British meat into its ready meals.The National Farmers Union (NFU) President Meurig Raymond told the BBC: “We made our concerns very clear to Waitrose right from the beginning on this product.”The inclusion of the word ‘British’ in the brand name despite the meat being sourced from New Zealand is misleading for shoppers – and it’s frustrating for British farmers, especially those who produce lamb Waitrose could have sourced.” A farmer from the Lake District had started a poll on Twitter at the weekend asking whether the previous lamb labelling was acceptable or not.It attracted over 4,000 votes in 12 hours, with 97 per cent of respondents voting “Unacceptable (and a lie)”. @skier517 Hi Trish, ‘British’ is the name of the range of meals denoting the origin of the recipe. We understand why confusion has arisen.— Waitrose (@waitrose) February 13, 2017 Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
Dr Chris Moulton, vice president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said: “Waiting times in A&E are going through the roof. We have got an older population, with increasingly complex needs, but not enough beds so we are seeing more and more cases stuck in A&E.”“It has been getting worse and worse for years but we are now seeing this rapid deterioration because it’s like an elastic band,” he said.“The NHS can stretch and stretch but now the elastic is close to snapping,” the A&E consultant added, highlighting concerns that death rates are higher in crowded casualty units.Liz McAnulty, Chairman of the Patients Association, said: “These figures are shocking, and reveal a serious degradation in patient experience and safety over a very short period of time.”She expressed concern that the elderly were being forced to endure some of the worst delays, with previous figures showing the longest waits are among pensioners.It comes amid fears of shortages of doctors this weekend, amid accusations that some locum doctors have run an “organised campaign” to hold the NHS to ransom by threatening not to work unless given higher rates of pay.Agency doctors say new tax rules which came in last week and attempt to clamp down on tax avoidance will leave them worse off. “Since Theresa May became Prime Minister the decline in standards for NHS patients has been unbelievable,” he said. “Behind each of these statistics is a patient suffering and in discomfort.”An NHS England spokesman said: “We have just announced a series of measures for implementing the next steps of the Five Year Forward View aimed at relieving the intense pressures A&E departments have come under this winter. We expect these to have a direct and significant impact on the numbers of patients having long waits for a bed.” The NHS can stretch and stretch but now the elastic is close to snappingDr Chris Moulton, Royal College of Emergency Medicine Experts said the provisional figures, published by NHS Digital, reflect major bed shortages across the NHS. A target to treat 95 per cent of A&E patients within four hours, or else admit them to a hospital bed, has only been hit once since 2014. It comes as the NHS plans for an expected rise in A&E pressures over the long Easter weekend, with many GP practices closed for four days.Jonathan Ashworth shadow health secretary, said the new figures were “astonishing and totally unacceptable”. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. MORE than 100,000 patients have been left in Accident & Emergency departments for more than 12 hours in recent months, amid a five-fold increase in delays, NHS data reveals.The disclosures triggered warnings of a “serious degradation in patient safety” as the NHS is braced for a surge in A&E pressures over the long Easter weekend.The Royal College of Emergency Medicine said waiting times were “going through the roof” with warnings that “the elastic is close to snapping” in some parts of the health service.The statistics show that over a three-month period, 105,718 patients spent at least 12 hours at major casualty units – almost twice the figure last year, and a rise from 19,322 such cases four years ago.The figures from NHS Digital covering all A&Es show 48,000 delays in January alone.Yet health officials announced just 985 such delays – because NHS England only discloses the cases where a doctor has taken the decision to admit a patient to hospital.Now the UK Statistics Authority is to investigate why health officials only publish such cases, amid concerns that a wealth of delays have gone ignored.Patients’ groups said the latest disclosures covering the period from November to January – were “shocking” – amid warnings that A&E pressures could spike again over the four day weekend ahead, as GP surgeries close.