A’s observations from day two of MLB Winter Meetings

first_img— Rumors about how the A’s might address the second base opening … LAS VEGAS — After a quiet opening day of winter meetings, the A’s activity at winter meetings began to heat up on day two.— Chris Herrmann was signed to a one-year to possibly serve in a platoon role with Josh Phegley at catcher next season. A’s GM David Forst did not rule out the possibility of adding another catcher in addition to Herrmann, but said he’d be comfortable entering the regular season with the current platoon.last_img read more


San Jose Sharks’ home opener is a stinker

first_imgCLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile deviceSAN JOSE — Not even the return of defenseman Erik Karlsson — or the excitement that usually comes with playing a home opener — could provide a spark to the Sharks against the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday night.By the time the Sharks did show some fight, it was too late.The Sharks allowed two goals in the first period and two more in the second as the Golden Knights skated away with a 5-1 win at SAP Center to sweep …last_img read more


SA exports to Africa on the increase

first_img26 October 2012 With the continued gloomy outlook in eurozone countries and a slowdown in growth in a number of developing economies, a rapidly growing sub-Saharan Africa holds clear opportunities for South African businesses, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Thursday. Tabling his Medium Term Budget Policy Statement in the National Assembly in Cape Town, Gordhan said opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa had benefited many South Africa mining, manufacturing and retail companies. The IMF’s World Economic Outlook, released earlier this month, estimates that sub-Saharan Africa will grow by 5% this year and 5.7% next year – compared to growth of just 1.3% in advanced economies and 5.3% in developing countries this year. South Africa’s exports to the EU fell 0.9% year-on-year in the second quarter, while exports to the US remained flat, and those to China and India grew by just 1.1% and 0.7% respectively. By contrast, exports to Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries grew 2.7%.SADC now SA’s second-largest export market Gordhan said the SADC was now South Africa’s second-largest export market after the EU, which is expected to account for 21% of South Africa’s exports this year. The SADC region is expected to account for 12.2% of SA exports this year, up from 9.8% in 2000 and putting it just ahead of China, which the National Treasury expects will account for 12% of SA exports this year. The Medium Term Budget Policy Statement says the share of manufactured exports to the southern African region (21.8%) have increased rapidly over the past few years on the back of demand for chemical products, machinery and appliances, particularly mining equipment. It says that, with strong growth forecast for the next five years, the SADC region could become South Africa’s biggest market for manufactured exports.Fall in exports, rise in imports Overall, South Africa’s export volumes fell by 6.3% in the second quarter compared with the same period last year, after a decline of 1.5% in the first quarter. Over the first eight months of the year, the value of exports of platinum fell by 21.9%, while exports of coal and chemical products remained robust. In the first eight months of the year, however, imports increased by 20%, driven by strong increases in oil, machinery, vehicles and appliances. Imports are now 4% above 2009 levels, while exports are 13% below their highs. With the fall in exports and rise in imports, South Africa’s current account deficit has widened sharply over the past year and is expected to average 5.9% this year, up from 3.3% in 2011. Over the next three years, the current account deficit is expected to moderate to 5.5%. Source: read more


Controversial breezes…

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest As an outdoor writer and radio show host, I get the opportunity to “field test” new gear on a regular basis. I did just that during the recent deer firearms season with a product called Stand-Guard offered by Cleveland-based Spencer Gear LLC ( Stand-Guard is a collapsible dummy designed to be placed in a treestand when it’s not occupied by a hunter. The intention is to offer the appearance of a hunter-sized-and-shaped object “manning” the stand 24/7 to allow the local whitetail population to become used to seeing something up there, and not suffering any adverse consequence — such as an arrow through the lungs. At least until a real hunter shows up to replace the fake form.The Stand-Guard also serves as a distant visual warning to other hunters that the stand is “occupied.” At least to those not bold enough to walk close enough to identify it as a fake — and hunters carrying binoculars who can see from afar that the form is made of fabric and doesn’t actually resemble a hunter much when viewed up close.It was for that secondary sentinel benefit that, on the weekend before gun week, I hung my blaze orange-camo-clad Stand-Guard field-test sample in a treestand along a fencerow in the “back 40” of a farm where I have permission to bow hunt. The elderly landowner does not allow gun hunting, although his neighbors do, and by placing the hi-vis dummy in my stand I hoped it might help him keep wayward gun hunters off his property that week. Trespassing hunters is an on-going problem for the old-timer, especially during firearms season, and he doesn’t get around as well as he used to in order to patrol his property this time of year.Except, apparently, on bluebird days like we experienced during the recent deer gun week. On one such afternoon, Jim jumped atop his tractor after announcing to his family that he was “taking a spin around the place” and chugged off.Fast forward to the following weekend, when I stopped by the farmhouse to drop off gifts on my way to retrieve the deer-stand dummy. I found Jim working in his shop, and mentioned that I was headed to the far side of the property to fetch the fake — which I had neglected to tell him about.“So that WAS yours!” he bellowed, taking me aback. “When I spotted that guy up there I pulled right up to the tree and started yelling at him that I didn’t allow gun hunting and to get the heck down out of that tree! He ignored me, and I got even madder, yelling that he wasn’t even ‘man’ enough to answer me!“I was hot, I’ll tell you, as mad as I’ve been in years!” Jim continued, as I shrunk in my boots. “About then a breeze blew up and I noticed the fella’ started to flutter.”Following a battery of apologies and explaining what I had done, and why, we shared a good laugh. Me more than Jim, I fear, but I won’t really know until I go knocking on his door for permission next year.Weighing-in on the Lake Erie Wind Farm ProjectSpeaking of breezes, a small wind farm demonstration project in the planning stages, to be located on Lake Erie, eight 10 miles northwest of Cleveland, may be a sign of what the future holds for thousands of acres of Lake Erie waters. Those on different sides of the issue recently weighed in at a public hearing in Cleveland City Council Chamber. The six-turbine, 20.7 megawatt demonstration project is North America’s first freshwater offshore wind project, which includes a plan to build more than 1,000 wind turbines on the Lake.One national organization, with more than 18,000 dues-paying members in Ohio, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) is urging recreational boaters to have their voices heard on the Icebreaker Wind project by the state’s utility regulator, Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO).“We have BoatUS members who see the growth of wind farms as a positive fishing benefit, while others have valid safety concerns,” said David Kennedy, BoatUS Government Affairs Manager. “Regardless, boaters have a right to use these waters, so we’ll need a pragmatic solution to managing these shared resources. No matter which side you are on, Ohio wants to hear your comments, and we urge you to do so.”To provide comments to PUCO, you can go to the Ohio Public Utilities Commission website at and fill in the form. On the form “company name” field, enter: “Icebreaker Wind Project Case no. 16-1871-EL-BGN Icebreaker Windpower.”BoatUS has been around for more than half a century and is the nation’s largest organization of recreational boaters with more than a half-million members. Visit for more information.last_img read more


Win over Sri Lanka feels bittersweet, doesn’t mean much: Faf du Plessis

first_imgSouth Africa, at last, exhibited colours of confidence as they resgitered a comprehensive win over Sri Lanka at the Riverside Ground in Chester-le-Street on Friday. The Proteas defeated the Islanders by 9-wicket but the winning captain admitted that the victory did not feel like it meant much.South Africa are already out of the World Cup semi-finals race, as before facing Sri Lanka, they had a solitary win in the tournament. After losing to Pakistan on Sunday, they joined Afghanistan to become the second team to get eliminated from the contention for the last four.However, against Sri Lanka, South Africa had no baggage of pressure and had nothing to lose as they dished out a clinical performance from both bat and the ball to win the game with 11.4 overs to spare. But, as Faf du Plessis said, it was loo late for it.”It feels bitter-sweet, it doesn’t feel like it means that much. It’s a little bit too late,” Faf du Plessis said in a post match interview.South Africa suffered their first World Cup 2019 defeat to hot favourites England and later slumped to Bangladesh, who were termed a weaker side to the Proteas on the paper. Faf confessed that the defeat to Bangladesh actually hampered their confidence.”The basics of batting were shown today. We’ve batted well all through the tournament, but we just didn’t have guys batting through. Hashim gave us a good foundation, one big partnership makes it look so much easier. We hadn’t done that consistently in the tournament. I think Bangladesh was the one that really took the wind out of our sails.”advertisement”England are a very good team and they were too good for us on that day. Bangladesh played an unbelievably good game and that sucker punched us and we almost took the hangover of that game into the next game. The first week really put us back, but we knew that was the case and we can’t hide from that.”Chasing down 204, Faf du Plessis and Hashim Amla discovered their lost touch as the two stictched 175-run stand for the second wicket and also got their personal best scorers. Faf du Plessis scored 96*, whereas Hashim Amla amassed 80 to guide their side home.On the bowling part, Dwaine Pretorius, who came in for Lungi Ngidi, chipped in with 3 wickets while Chris Morris too picked 3 to all-out Sri Lanka for 203.Also Read | World Cup 2019: Swarm of bees invades pitch during SL vs SA matchAlso Read | Myth buster: India’s bowling, not batting, their main strengthAlso Seelast_img read more


Stars Attend Point Honors New York

first_imgCelebrities and 400 guests experienced an inspiring evening at The Plaza last night, in support of Point Foundation (Point), the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) students of merit.Ronan Farrow and Thomas RobertsCredit/Copyright: Dia Dipasupil/GettyThe annual Point Honors New York event raises funds for Point’s higher education scholarships, as well as mentoring and leadership programs.Influential journalist Ronan Farrow was presented with the Point Courage Award by MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts, himself a past Point honoree. The Point Courage Award recognizes those who have advocated for the future of the LGBTQ and allied community and believe investing in today’s potential will produce a brighter tomorrow. Farrow said:“Being a part of the LGBT community – which recognized that reporting I was doing early on and elevated it, and has been such a stalwart source of support through the sexual assault reporting I did involving survivors who felt equally invisible – that has been an incredible source of strength for me. LGBT people are some of the bravest and most potent change agents and leaders I have encountered, and the most forceful defenders of the vulnerable and voiceless, because they know what it’s like to be there.”Laura Benanti at Point HonorsCredit/Copyright: Dia Dipasupil/GettyActor and singer Laura Benanti was introduced by fellow Broadway star Celia Keenan Bolger, who presented Benanti with the Point Impact Award. The award recognizes an individual making a significant impact on improving the LGBTQ and allied community. Accepting the award, Benanti said:“Now, more than ever, we need organizations like the Point Foundation to support, protect, energize and mobilize those of us who were not born rich, cis, white men…Thank you again for this tremendous honor. I promise to do my best to make an impact for LGBT youth every day.”Actor and musician from FOX’s hit series, “Empire,” Jussie Smollett, performed a set of uplifting songs, while comedian Michelle Collins hosted the festive evening. Additional celebrity attendees included Jason Collins, Tamron Hall, Eileen Kelly, Andrew Kennan-Bolger, Don Lemon, Valerie Smaldone, and others.“The many generous sponsors and supporters Point is fortunate to call friends, all sincerely believe that the source of our nation’s strength and potential is its youth,” said Jorge Valencia, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Point Foundation. “Everyone joining us tonight, from our honorees to each audience member, is helping Point empower the next generation of leaders our world needs.”Sponsors for Point Honors Presenting: Wells FargoPremiere Sponsors: Cadillac, Hilton, HSBC, Janssen Infection DiseasesPrincipal Sponsors: Merrill Lynch, Time WarnerNational Media Sponsors: The Advocate and Pride.comLocal Media Sponsor: Gay City NewsFriend of Point: Winston Art Grouplast_img read more