Baseball Has Become A Prisoner Of Technology

Technology unleashed baseball’s Analytics Era, and now it’s holding the sport prisoner.

AJ Hinch, Alex Cora and Carlos Beltrán are casualties, a triple play of hubris. At the cutting edge with the Houston Astros, now they have been cut. Their sign-stealing system exposed, all three managers were deposed within a whirlwind 72 hours this week that raised questions about the prevalence of the sport’s rule breakers.

What’s next in a game grappling with innovation and plagued by paranoia?

Video rooms and dugouts are now monitored by Major League Baseball, like proctors pacing an exam room to stifle students’ temptation to cheat. Bench and bullpen telephones are monitored, Big Brother in the commissioner’s office listening in to assure compliance. Television feeds in clubhouses were ordered to be delayed by a minimum 8 seconds last year to prevent prying eyes from decoding signals in real time.

Should hitters be blocked from reviewing their plate appearances between at-bats? Sure, it helps them detect flaws in their approach. But they also might see a sequence of the catcher’s fingers that tip pitches.

These are the types of questions MLB executives in the sport’s new Rockefeller Center offices are thinking about as spring training approaches. Commissioner Rob Manfred’s one-season suspensions of Hinch and Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow signaled the harsh repercussions.

“It’s a serious problem for baseball, the merging of technology and an ancient game. It seems to me that cheating — and this was clearly cheating — had to be stepped on very firmly,” former Commissioner Fay Vincent said. “Technology presents a challenge as well as an opportunity, and it also seems to me that cheating has become endemic throughout our culture, and this is a very good sign for baseball to say we’re not going to put up with it.”

Infield shifts, upper cuts and quick hooks became the norm in the 2010s as programmers prevailed over scouts. Paranoia proliferated, fear opponents had found the secret sauce to success, within the rules or not.

Already worried about dwindling attendance, accusations of tanking, lengthening games and the rise of the Three True Outcomes, executives fret over how to rein in some of the most competitive people on the planet who drive billion-dollar businesses with the goal of outsmarting each other to come out on top.

Hinch’s decision not to stop his Astros’ players from stealing signs cost him his job, and Manfred questioned Luhnow’s protestation that he knew nothing. Cora was Houston’s bench coach in 2017 and Beltrán the Astros’ senior player, a Crash Davis type seeking one last moment of glory at age 40 and in his 20th big league season rewarded with his first title ring.

But their roles as renegade ringleaders caught up with them, both identified by Manfred as culprits. Cora had gone on to become Boston’s manager and led the Red Sox to the 2018 World Series championship. Beltrán was hired by the Mets in November. When Oakland pitcher Mike Fiers went public in November to The Athletic about sign stealing during his Astros days, he wound up taking out 10% of the big league managers, exposing a dark side ambition that became a blemish.

“That sort of behavior is not acceptable,” Red Sox chairman Tom Werner said.

Boston jettisoned Cora one day after Manfred’s report. CEO Sam Kennedy maintained “it was ultimately an easy decision for the Red Sox and for Alex.”

While Cora appears certain to be suspended for his actions in Houston, Beltrán was not disciplined because he was a player at the time of the transgression, not part of management. Mets executives delayed their decision until Thursday, leaving the appearance of uncertainty.

“Make no mistake, it’s been difficult for everyone involved,” general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said.

Baseball lore includes Koppett’s Law, named after the late reporter Leonard Koppett, who decreed that the most likely outcome is the one that causes the greatest inconvenience to the most people. It is cited when postseason results lead to cumbersome travel.

Moore’s Law has become of even more import. Gordon Moore, co-founder of Fairchild Semiconductor and CEO of Intel, wrote in 1965 that the number of transistors in an integrated circuit would double every year, a figure he revised in 1975 to every two years.

Algorithms have led to fixation on velocity, spin rates and launch angles, created handheld devices used to measure mechanics from the majors down to youth ball. Teams worry whether zoom lenses are spying on them. Some clubs have been rumored to sweep clubhouses on the road, leery of listening devices.

From the Black Sox who threw the 1919 World Series, to the Color Barrier that didn’t end until 1947, to Pete Rose’s gambling and the swollen Steroids Era sluggers of the 1990s and early 2000s, tarnish has been a part of baseball along with triumph. This time, it’s high tech that has awakened low motives.

Source: togel online via pulsa


Recycle A Christmas Tree For The Birds

Don’t know what to do with your evergreen Christmas tree once the holidays are over? The Solid Waste Division is collecting trees for mulch for the Audubon Center and ZooMontana now through January 21st. Call 247-8633 for details and collection sites. Or consider “recycling” your tree as a habitat for the birds. Once the decorations have been removed, place the tree in a corner of your yard.

Finding shelter may not be easy for songbirds during winter. If there are limited natural evergreens or shelter, birds may seek manmade houses or brush piles that can provide refuge from the winds, rains, ice or snow of winter. In addition, the brush piles will offer protection from predators. The branches or perches can be alive or dead for birds to use as a pre-landing spot for access to bird feeders and bird baths. The closer to the feeders you place the branches, the better they work.

Many birds and other animals will find your tree to be a cozy shelter. Ground-feeding birds, like the Dark-eyed Junco love the cover a brush pile provides. This lively bird is a ground dweller and feeds on seeds and small fruits in the open. It also moves through the lower branches of trees and seeks shelter in small shrubs. The Dark-eyed Junco, is much more visible when snow covers the ground, finding seeds that have dropped from your bird feeders.

It’s a great way to bring a great variety of entertaining and educational birds and other wildlife to your backyard. When you recycle your tree, the whole family will enjoy watching the antics of the birds and other wildlife that come to the tree throughout the winter months. Happy Bird Feeding!

The city’s annual MulchFest event will be held on Jan 4. And 11, allowing New Yorkers to bring their trees to a designated chipping location and bring the mulch from their tree back home.

You can drop off your holiday trees at one of dozens of locations from 10 a.M. To 2 p.M. Check the NYC Parks website for their list of sites across all boroughs.News

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Organizers say more than 28,000 trees were recycled last years.

Residents should remove all tree stands, tinsel, lights and ornaments from trees before putting them out on the curb for collection. Trees should not be placed in plastic bags.

All that pertains only to real trees, though. If you’ve got a fake, the city says you should sell or donate it. You can also leave it out for pickup on your regularly scheduled recycling today. 

New York City’s Department of Sanitation will also be collecting trees curbside starting Jan. 6 until Jan. 17.

The trees will be chipped into mulch, to be distributed to parks, playing fields and community gardens throughout the city.


Many Chances To Recycle Christmas Trees, Help La Fisheries

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Louisiana residents who had real Christmas trees to celebrate the holidays are being asked to now help the state’s fisheries.

Jefferson Parish is seeking volunteers to help with its annual Christmas tree recycling program. It’s the parish’s 30th year doing the project.

Volunteers, especially people with shallow draft boats, are needed Feb. 1 to help move the trees out to Goose Bayou, according to Seamus Riley with the parish’s Coastal Management Department. The staging area is at Cochiara’s Marina in Lafitte and begins at 9 a.M.

The parish collects trees from residents and uses them to protect Louisiana’s coastline. The trees are used to build wave-reducing fences and to fill in man-made canals, The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate reported.

Since the program started, the wave-reducing fences have been constructed along 15,500 linear feet of shoreline, officials said, and six abandoned oil and gas canals have been filled near the town of Jean Lafitte.

In 2019, more than 6,000 Christmas trees were collected in Orleans Parish and airlifted by the Louisiana National Guard into the Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge. The annual project is funded by the City’s Office of Resilience and Sustainability.

Only natural trees can be recycled. Artificial, flocked or painted trees can’t be used as part of the programs. Before putting trees at the curb, residents should be sure to remove all lights, tinsel, garland, ornaments and tree stands, officials said, and the trees shouldn’t be put in plastic bags.

In Orleans Parish, trees will be collected Jan. 8 through Jan. 11, while Jefferson Parish will pick up trees Jan. 9 through Jan. 11.

Trees are being accepted now at the St. Tammany Parish Fairgrounds in Covington and the Old Levee Board property at 61134 Military Road in Slidell during daylight hours. Parish spokesman Ronnie Simpson said the trees are typically used in projects with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Big Branch.

Trees also can be taken to Pennington’s Hardware and Screenprinting in Madisonville to be recycled through Southeastern Louisiana University.

In St. Bernard Parish, curbside pickup of trees will run from Jan. 6 through Jan. 8. Residents can also drop off trees at the Parish Road Transfer Station in Chalmette or the E.J. Gore Station in Violet from Jan. 6 until Jan. 20.

The St. Charles Parish Public Works Department will do curbside pickup Jan. 9-11. Residents can also drop off trees in designated areas at the East Bank Bridge Park in Destrehan and the West Bank Bridge Park in Luling until Jan. 10. The trees will be used for coastal restoration in the Bayou Gauche area, parish officials said.

In Plaquemines Parish, trees will be picked up curbside through Jan. 17. Residents also can drop off trees at compactor locations in Belle Chasse or Port Sulphur. All trees from Plaquemines will be used as part of the Jefferson Parish tree recycling shoreline project.

Starting Jan. 6, trees can be dropped off at the Hammond maintenance facility, 18104 U.S. 190, next to Piggly Wiggly in Tangiapahoa Parish. Trees will be accepted through Mardi Gras. The Southeastern Sustainability Center in Hammond, will collect trees from Jan. 6 through the end of the month. And, beginning Saturday, trees will be accepted in Manchac at the drop-off site outside Middendorf’s Restaurant.

The trees will be used by Southeastern Louisiana University’s Turtle Cove Environmental Research Station, which is on Pass Manchac between Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas.