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.
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.
Darjeeling: A man was arrested from Bagdogra Airport in Siliguri, with nearly one and a half kilogram of gold which he was trying to smuggle out. The gold was found hidden in his rectum.The man was scheduled to board an afternoon Air Asia flight to Delhi. While going through security check, the handheld metal detector of the security personnel began to beep while frisking his lower body. This aroused the suspicion of CISF personnel. He was then asked to walk through the doorframe metal detector. He was then interrogated by a CISF team and asked whether he had any metal implants in his body. When he replied that he did not have any implants, he was handed over to the Central Excise and Customs officials. During further interrogation, he broke down and admitted that he was carrying gold in his rectum. 9 gold biscuits wrapped in three black plastic packets were extracted. The recovered gold is worth around Rs 50 lakh. On January 15, one Gaurav Singh had been arrested from Bagdogra with gold biscuits weighing 900g.
Sponsor Advertisement How fast prices rise…and to what heights…is always 100% in the hands of JPMorgan et al.The gold price declined a few dollars during early morning trading in the Far East…and then bounced along the $1,550 price mark until shortly after the London open.From there it rallied back to unchanged going into the 8:30 a.m. jobs numbers in New York. The subsequent rally got hammered instantly…and the gold price didn’t do much until around half-past lunchtime EDT. The it rallied slowly from there, closing on its high tick of the day…something you only see happen a small handful of times a year.Gold finished the week at $1,582.30 spot…up $28.70 from Thursday’s close. Gross volume was an immense 215,000 contracts…so this rally did not go unopposed by JPMorgan et al.The silver price action was slightly different. It declined in price [in fits and starts] right from the open in the Far East on their Friday morning. The low price tick [around 26.75] came at the London open and, with the exception of the usual shenanigans at the release of the jobs numbers, silver rallied for the rest of the day, closing virtually on its high.Silver finished the Friday session at $27.35 spot, up 45 cents on the day…and net volume was around 33,500 contracts.The dollar index opened in Japan on Friday morning at 82.72. It rallied as high as 82.87 up until 9:00 a.m. in London…and then down it went. The index fell like rock at the release of the jobs numbers, but someone with deep pockets was there to catch a falling knife. The index continued to decline until shortly before 11:00 a.m. in New York…and then rallied a bit going into the 5:15 p.m. close. The dollar finished the Friday session at 82.49…down 23 basis points from Thursday’s close.It should be apparent by now that, for the most part, the currencies are trading virtually independently of what the precious metal prices are doing.The gold stocks gapped up at the open, but ran into selling pressure immediately. By 11:30 a.m. Eastern time, the gold stocks were down over a percent…and every subsequent rally attempt above the unchanged mark got sold off as well. The HUI finished down 0.80%.If you’re looking for an explanation as to why we didn’t have a blockbuster rally in the gold stocks on the excellent price action we had yesterday…I don’t have one…and there was no correlation between what was going on in the gold shares and the stock market as a whole, either.Most of the silver stocks fared much better, although a fair number of the large cap silver producers that make up Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index finished well into the red…and it closed down 0.15%.(Click on image to enlarge)Here’s the long term Silver Sentiment Index chart to give the performance of the silver stocks some perspective.(Click on image to enlarge)The CME’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 664 gold and 108 silver contracts were posted for delivery on Tuesday within the Comex-approved depositories. In gold, the only two short/issuers were Canada’s Bank of Nova Scotia with 473 contracts…and JPMorgan with 191 contracts in its client account. There were only two big long/stoppers of note…and that was Barclays with 362 contracts…and HSBC USA with 298 contracts. If I had to bet ten bucks…I’d be happy to bet that these firms are the ‘Big 4’ Commercial short holders in gold.In silver, the only short/issuer of note was Jefferies with 102 contracts…and only long/stopper worth mentioning was Canada’s own Bank of Nova Scotia with 98 contracts. The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.There were declines in both ETFs yesterday. In gold, an authorized participant withdrew a smallish 29,020 troy ounces from GLD…and the withdrawal from SLV was a very chunky 5,797,056 troy ounces. I would guess that this big withdrawal was plain vanilla liquidation, although Ted Butler may have something else to say about it in his weekly review later today.There were no reported sales from the U.S. Mint yesterday…which I find hard to believe considering the awesome retail demand that I’m hearing lots about…including what’s going on in our own store. Maybe one of the reasons there hasn’t been any new silver eagle sales is that they don’t have any blanks to make them with. To add fuel to this fire, one major U.S. silver wholesaler that we deal with is not taking orders for 1-ounce silver rounds until further notice. I’ve heard other rumours within the wholesale silver delivery system that are even more interesting, but I consider them to be hearsay…and I’m not about to spread them in this space.Over at the Comex-approved depositories on Thursday, they reported receiving 701,219 troy ounces of silver…and shipped 782,614 troy ounces of the stuff out the door. The link to that activity is here.The Commitment of Traders Report numbers in both silver and gold were bang on what Ted Butler said they would be in his mid-week column…”If I had to guess, I would say around a 4,000 to 5,000 contract net reduction in silver…and a 15,000 net contract reduction in gold [hopefully more than this in each market]. That’s through Tuesday’s cut-off: [Wednesday’s] action will undoubtedly reduce the total Commercial net short position even further.”In silver, the actual decline in the Commercial net short position was 5,538 contracts, or 27.7 million ounces. The Commercial net short position is now down to 92.51 million ounces. Ted says that JPMorgan’s short position in silver is “around” 100 million ounces. This means that JPMorgan Chase is short over 100% of the Commercial net short position in silver. This is a preposterous situation…and I would guess that Ted will have more to say about this to his paying subscribers in his weekend review later today.There were new records set all over the place yesterday. The net long position in the Non-Commercial category in silver is down to 8,146 contracts…or 40.73 million ounces…a number so low I have no living memory of it being lower. Neither does Ted…and he’s been at this for close to thirty years. The raptors [the small commercial traders other than the Big 8] are holding a record long position as well. He’ll have much more to say about all of these records in his column.In silver, the Big 4 are short 192.4 million ounces of the stuff…which works out to 35.3% of the entire Comex silver market on a ‘net’ basis, once all the market-neutral spread traders are subtracted from the total open interest. The ‘5 through 8’ traders are short an additional 56.1 million ounces of silver, which works out to 10.3% of the entire silver market on a ‘net’ basis. So of the 35 traders that hold short positions in the Commercial category of the COT Report, 8 of them are short 45.6% of the entire Comex silver market. That leaves the balance of 54.4% divided up between the remaining 27 traders…about 2% of the market each. JPMorgan is short about 18.3% of the entire Comex silver market [on a ‘net’ basis] all by itself.As bad as these numbers are, just a few months ago, JPMorgan’s ‘net’ short position in silver was double that amount.In gold, the Commercial net short position declined by 15,951 contracts, or 1.60 million ounces. The Commercial net short position now sits at 14.25 million ounces.The Big 4 are short 9.72 million ounces of gold, which represents 27.7% of the entire Comex short position in gold on a ‘net’ basis. The ‘5 through 8’ traders are short an additional 5.05 million ounces of gold, which represents an additional 14.4% of the entire short position in Comex gold. Of the 50 traders holding short positions in the Commercial category in the COT Report in gold, the Big 8 are short 42.1% of the entire Comex futures market. This leaves 42 traders splitting up the 57.9% of the short position in gold that remains…barely over a percent each.The Big 3 in gold and silver…are JPMorgan Chase, and most likely Canada’s Bank of Nova Scotia in number two position, followed by HSBC USA.Here’s Nick Laird’s most excellent “Days of World Production to Cover Short Positions” chart for the current COT report. You will note that palladium has overtaken silver in the number one position. The eight largest short holders are short 128 days of world palladium production vs. 118 day of world silver production…and 113 days of platinum production. Gold is down to 62 days.(Click on image to enlarge)Here’s the same chart from the prior week. Although they look similar, just note the difference that have occurred between last week’s report…and the one from yesterday posted above.(Click on image to enlarge)Now for the April Bank Participation Report. This is the one day per month when the long and short positions of the U.S. and non-U.S. banks area broken out from the Commitment of Traders Report numbers. Since these reports come from the same data set, one can compare apples to apples…and you can see just how much the banks [mostly U.S. banks] totally dominate the short side of the precious metals futures market in real time.In silver…as of Tuesday, April 2nd…‘3 or less’ U.S. Banks were short 120.4 million ounces of silver. That’s a decline of 37.9 million ounces from March’s BPR. JPMorgan Chase is short approximately 100 million ounces of the 120.4 million…and I’m guessing that the other 20 million ounces is held short by HSBC USA…and the tiny balance by Citigroup. These three banks [two actually, because Citigroup’s position is so tiny] are short 22.1% of the entire Comex futures market in silver on a ‘net’ basis.In silver…there are 14 non-U.S. banks that were net short 47.1 million ounces between them…a smallish increase of 890,00 troy ounces from the March BPR. It’s my guess that Canada’s Bank of Nova Scotia holds the lion’s share of that 47.1 million ounce position…certainly more than 50 percent of that number. That leaves the other 13 non-U.S. banks short the rest between them, so in the grand scheme of things, their positions are immaterial.As I’ve said before…and I’ll say it again…it’s my belief that there are only three big players in the silver market on the short side…and they are JPMorgan Chase, Canada’s Bank of Nova Scotia…and HSBC USA. And as I’ve also said before, I’m fully prepared to print a retraction and apology if I these financial institutions can prove that they are not holding these short positions in the Comex silver market.Here are the five critical charts for the Bank Participation Report in silver for April. The first three charts are pretty self-explanatory…and charts 4 and 5 where the ‘juice’ is, require a bit more study. Note the big jump in the short position of the U.S. banks in August of 2008 when JPMorgan’s short position it acquired from Bear Sterns showed up in the report for the first time…and in October when the non-U.S. bank, Canada’s Bank of Nova Scotia was brought in from the cold.(Click on image to enlarge)In gold, 4 U.S. banks are net short 4.17 million ounces in April’s Bank Participation Report. That’s down from 4.6 million troy ounces they held net short in the March Report.In gold, 21 non-U.S. banks are short 4.45 million ounces…a smallish increase of 1.13 million ounces since the March BPR. Once again, it’s my guess that the biggest short holder in this category by far is Canada’s Bank of Nova Scotia…as you can see how the non-U.S. bank short position blew out in October of 2011 on the chart below when the CFTC announced that a new non-U.S. bank was now required to report their futures and options position in the BPR. You can read the details on the announcement on the home page of the Bank Participation Report here.(Click on image to enlarge)I don’t have the time to compute these figures for platinum and palladium, but it’s a good bet that it’s “all the usual suspects” that are short these metals as well…especially the U.S. banks. They’ve been shorting the platinum and palladium rallies all the way up for the last six months or so…and only in the last few weeks have they done the dirty and smacked their prices as well in order to force technical fund long selling…but that hasn’t changed a thing on the charts, as JPMorgan et al keep piling on the shorts in these two metals. The BPR charts for platinum and palladium posted below, tell all.(Click on image to enlarge)(Click on image to enlarge)Here are your two cute pictures for the day… Aben Resources (TSX.V: ABN) is a Canadian gold and silver exploration company with a focus on developing properties in the Yukon and Northwest Territories. The Company owns a 100% interest in the 18,314 acre Justin Gold Project located in SE Yukon. A 2,020 metre diamond drill program was carried out in 2011 to test never before drilled zones. Aben made a significant new greenfields gold discovery when it intercepted 60m of 1.19 g/t Au in hole JN11009 at the POW Zone. Additionally, a new high grade silver-copper zone was discovered at the Kangas Zone with hole JN11003 returning 1.07m of 7320 g/t Ag (234 oz/ton) and 3.52% Cu. Aben carried out an aggressive exploration and drill program in 2012 to follow up on the initial discoveries. The first drill hole in 2012, JN12011, returned 46.4m of 1.49 g/t Au and extended the gold mineralization at the discovery zone 85 metres laterally. The Company has four other prospective Yukon and NWT projects in its portfolio along with a seasoned management and geological team. Aben’s chairman, Ron Netolitzky, is credited with exploration success on numerous properties including three Western Canadian gold and silver projects which became producing mines. Please visit our website to learn more about the company and request information.
– — Editor’s note: Does central planning really work? Will it ever? Agora founder Bill Bonner isn’t convinced…at least not on a large scale. And in today’s essay, he’ll tell you exactly why. Bill originally wrote this essay on May 13, 2016, in his Diary. (And make sure to check your inbox tomorrow…the stock market and our offices are closed in observance of Memorial Day but we’ll be publishing a special Casey Daily Dispatch that we think you’ll find extremely valuable.) By Bill Bonner, editor, The Bill Bonner Letter Central planning is a necessary feature of life. We have to plan our day… our year… our business… our vacations… our budgets – we plan for everything in our lives. And generally speaking, the better we are at planning… and at following through on our plans… the better things go. Naturally, we assume that this sort of planning will be helpful at all levels – from our personal schedules to an agenda for the entire nation. But there’s a problem: Planning requires detailed knowledge of our goals and resources. Along Came the Feds… If you’re going to build a factory, for example, you need a lot of information. You need to know where, when, how, and why, covering a vast range of issues. How much will it cost? How long will it take? What will it make? How will the goods be delivered? Where will employees come from? How much will they earn? Etc., etc. You do that planning as best you can – sometimes right, sometimes wrong – and always knowing that you’ll have to live with the results. But then, along come the feds. And they’ve got their own plans… “You can’t build a factory there,” they say. “We’re raising the minimum wage,” they add. “You’ll have to get a license… a permit… clearance from the FDA, EPA, FBI, TSA, NSA, DOJ, SEC, NLRB… “And, oh yes, your product must be sold at the price we set…” Uh-oh. The problem is not one with planning, per se, but with a conflict of plans. You have your plans – based on specific information about what you want to do and what you have to work with – and the feds have theirs. You want to spend your money; the feds want to take it away to fund their own projects. You want to live in St. Petersburg. They want to put you in a gulag in Siberia. Shot to Hell You save money for your retirement. You plan ahead. You calculate how much you need, and for 20 years you hold back enough… sticking to your plan until your 65th birthday. Then here comes the Fed… cutting interest rates so drastically that your entire plan is shot to hell. By edict – with no vote from you or anybody you ever voted for – roughly $8 trillion in interest payments has been confiscated from savers and handed to debtors… making them richer at your expense. When you put your plans forward, they are based on a free give-and-take with the rest of the private sector – raising the money you need, buying the resources necessary, and hiring workers. Nobody is forced to do anything. It is all voluntary; everyone involved believes he comes out ahead. But along come the feds. They tell you their plans take precedence. They have the Gestapo, the NKVD, the Stasi, and the ATF behind them. You can negotiate and persuade with customers and suppliers. The feds simply levy fines… put you in jail… or worse. It doesn’t matter what you want or what you think: You go along… or else. Families, businesses, and small towns, too – all must bend to the will of the central government. And then what? Inevitably, the central planners in Washington, Moscow, London, and Paris make a mess of things. Growth slows. Money is lost. Wars are launched. People are killed. Who pays the costs? The central planners? Not on your life. The costs of their errors and shenanigans are always imposed – by force – on the people whose own plans were disrupted: investors, taxpayers, consumers, and communities. The “fatal conceit,” says Hayek, is that they believe they can make a better world by interfering with private plans and imposing their ideas about how the world should work. Recommended Links Wishful Thinking And democracy…? It is like a pair of twins – one scam and the other wishful thinking… and often hard to tell them apart. We want to think that the common people – in their wisdom – will always make the right choice, after they’ve exhausted the wrong ones. You fool all of them some of the time, as Abe Lincoln said (and proved), but you can’t fool them all the time. But what we see in history is that most people are ready for almost any kind of mischief, day or night. There is nothing so stupid, murderous, and counterproductive that they won’t get up to it sooner or later. “But at least they get what they deserve,” you might say. Surely public policy will reflect the will of the people, won’t it? Well, even it did, it would still be repulsive and ineffective. Even with the support of 51% of the population, central planning would still disrupt the plans of the other 49% – leading to mass larceny, less output, and involuntary servitude. But there is almost no chance that central planning on a national scale will be understood and supported by a majority of the people anyway. How many people understand the Fed’s zero-interest-rate policy? How many support the wholesale rip-off of America’s savers for the benefit of the rich? Studies have proven that no matter whom you elect, the central planners work for the Deep State, not for the voters. They continue pursuing their self-serving agenda… no matter what you want. And since their agenda involves taking wealth and power from the many and giving it to themselves, there is almost no chance – were it fully understood – that the majority of voters would support it. So, if you think the nuisances and indignities imposed by the feds will stop – just because you elect Hillary or Donald – you’re probably mistaken. Regards, Bill Editor’s note: As you may have heard, Bill recently announced a new service unlike anything he has ever done before… In short, he has agreed to invest $5 million of his family’s money in the recommendations of just one of his analysts. Over the 10-year period from 2005 through 2014 – which included the financial crisis of 2008 – this analyst outperformed the book value of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRK) by nearly 2-to-1. If you invested $100,000 in his advice in 2004, you would have been sitting on over $480,000 ten years later. And now, you can get access to this man’s model portfolio, with all the research and recommendations he prepares. You’ll even have a small window to invest in each security 48 hours before Bill does. To learn more, click here. Bill Bonner: “Mark June 1 on Your Calendar” “This Wednesday, one of my top analysts is releasing a brand new stock pick…a pick that I’m investing six figures in before the week is out. Click here for all the details—including how to get in on it before I do.” Rickards: The Case For “Penny” Gold — [“Not Safe For TV”] If you’ve seen me on CNBC, the History Channel or read my new book…you likely know that I firmly believe gold will soon reach $10,000/oz. But here’s what I didn’t tell them… I’ve discovered how you could have turned every $1 move in gold into $192 of pure profit. Here’s the case for “Penny Gold.”