FiveThirtyEight More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed Embed Code Welcome to the latest episode of Hot Takedown, FiveThirtyEight’s sports podcast. On this week’s show (May 24, 2016), we talk about the surprising NBA conference finals and wonder if the conventional wisdom about the best NBA teams was wrong. Then, we talk to ESPN’s Michael Wilbon about his piece on The Undefeated that argues that African-Americans aren’t interested in discussing sports analytics. Finally, Carl Bialik joins us to talk about the French Open and whether Roger Federer’s absence will have an effect on the outcome of the tournament. Plus, a Significant Digit on Ichiro Suzuki, the Miami Marlins veteran closing in on 3,000 hits in the Major Leagues.Neil Paine says the Warriors’ loss to the Thunder in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals was historic.And ESPN Stats and Info says the key to the Thunder’s win was their smaller lineup.Ben Morris writes that season series matter when it comes to predicting the playoffs.In the East, Neil Paine writes, the Cleveland Cavaliers are obliterating the competition.Neil Paine also says the Cavs won’t need any help beating the Raptors.But that was before Kyle Lowry helped the Raptors level things up in the series.Michael Wilbon writes in The Undefeated that blacks are not feeling the sports analytics movement.Carl Bialik writes that Roger Federer’s absence from this year’s French Open is the first time he’s missed a Grand Slam in 17 years.Could Rafael Nadal’s slump be at an end, asks ESPN’s Johnette Howard.Tom Ley in Deadspin says Ichiro Suzuki still rules.Significant Digit: 40. That’s the number of hits Ichiro Suzuki needs to reach 3,000 in the Major Leagues. He had 10 hits in just three games this week. If you’re a fan of our podcasts, be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts and leave a rating/review. That helps spread the word to other listeners. And get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments. Tell us what you think, send us hot takes to discuss and tell us why we’re wrong.
Anchored by a legendary lineup of hitters dubbed Murderers’ Row, the ’27 Yankees scored 975 runs and allowed only 599, outscoring foes by 2.4 per game (which also ranks No. 2 all-time). Babe Ruth had one of the finest seasons of his career, setting a single-season home run mark, which wouldn’t be broken until 1961. And Ruth wasn’t the only slugger in the lineup: Lou Gehrig (also a member of those dominant ’39 Yankees), had his best season, as well. Altogether, four members of that vaunted batting order would go on to make the Hall of Fame.But as historic a run as the 1927 Yankees had, we are now seeing what might be an even better Cubs team. Through 53 games — about a third of the season — only four teams accrued a higher run differential than this year’s Cubs squad: the 1902 Pittsburgh Pirates, 1912 New York Giants, 1929 Philadelphia Athletics and the 1939 Yankees. (Through 53 games, the ’27 Yankees’ +124 margin ranks 10th all time.) And if the Cubs continue their outstanding individual performances, they’ll crush the 1927 Yankees’ record for most WAR in a season — by about six full wins. Especially after accounting for the increase in parity over MLB’s history, this Cubs run stands out as startlingly impressive.The Cubs have stumbled slightly from their unsustainable 24-6 start, but they are still outscoring the opposition by 2.6 runs per game. If they can continue at that level, Chicago will surpass the ’27 Yankees’ total run differential around the 145th game of the season, giving them another 17 games to challenge the ’39 Yankees’ all-time record. So even as we remember the greatness of 1927 Yankees, we are also witnessing history unfold with this season’s Cubs team. Our colleagues at ESPN are spending much of this year on an innovative history project documenting the 1927 season of the New York Yankees. A look at the numbers explains the focus on that legendary team, and it’s difficult to overstate their dominance. Sure, the Yankees racked up 110 wins that year and easily swept the World Series, but even those accomplishments don’t fully do the team justice. More than just crushing opponents, the Yankees left them in shock. Opposing first baseman Joe Judge summed it up best: “Those fellows not only beat you, but they tear your hearts out.”According to FanGraphs’ wins above replacement, the ’27 Yankees’ 66.3 total WAR makes them the best team of the modern era.1Going back to the American League’s first major-league season in 1901. By a more conventional metric like run differential, their +376 scoring margin ranks second–best in baseball history, trailing only the 1939 Yankees’ +411 mark. Both are good statistics for encapsulating a team’s overall dominance — its ability to tear out hearts, if you will — and hardly any teams have posed a threat to the ’27 Yankees’ legacy in the last 89 years.But they could potentially have company this season in the form of the Chicago Cubs.
The Ohio State men’s hockey team will be searching for its first-ever Big Ten conference win Monday, as the team fell to the Michigan Wolverines, 4-3, in overtime Friday in Ann Arbor.The game saw the Buckeyes (8-5-0, 0-1-0) come back from a one-goal deficit three times against the No. 3-ranked Wolverines (9-2-1, 1-0-0).A goal from sophomore forward Anthony Greco with 3:13 left in regulation tied the game at 3-3 and sent the teams into overtime.Michigan sophomore forward Andrew Copp netted the game-winning goal with 1:22 left in the extra session.Despite the loss, OSU coach Steve Rohlik said the effort was something to be noted of the Buckeyes in the tough matchup.“Our kids emptied the tank, we played hard and there were some chances on both sides,” Rohlik said in an OSU press release. “We just came out on the short end. You always have to learn from things and we’re going to learn from this and get better.”The teams were tied, 1-1, after the first period, and Michigan had a 3-2 advantage heading into the third.Freshman goalie Logan Davis, in his third start between the posts for the Buckeyes, had a career-high 34 saves, including one on a second-period penalty shot from Michigan freshman forward Evan Allen.OSU converted on both of its power play opportunities, while the Wolverines had one goal on four power plays, the first power play goal allowed by the Buckeyes in 27 opportunities.The Buckeyes are set to close the two-game series with Michigan Monday in the Schottenstein Center. The puck is set to drop at 7:05 p.m.
Junior middle blocker Dustan Neary runs to return a ball during a game against Loyola (Chicago)April 11at St. John Arena. OSU lost, 3-1.Credit: Logan Hickman / Lantern photographerThe Ohio State men’s volleyball team couldn’t muster a win in its last regular season game.OSU ended its regular season schedule with a 3-1 loss against No. 1 Loyola (Chicago) Friday at St. John Arena.The Buckeyes (11-15, 6-8) took on the Ramblers (24-1, 14-0) Friday for the second time this season. The previous match also ended in a loss for the Buckeyes, as they fell, 3-0, Feb. 1 in Chicago.The Buckeye defense was strong throughout the match but could not hold its own against Loyola’s offense.Defensively, OSU doubled up Loyola in blocks, 10-5. Junior outside hitter Michael Henchy and junior middle blocker Dustan Neary — the reigning Men’s Intercollegiate Volleyball Association Defensive Player of the Week — led the way up front, each getting in on five blocks.Redshirt-junior setter Peter Heinen said the Ramblers played to their strengths of solid serving and scoring near the antennas throughout the game to come out on top.“Loyola has great service pressure and two of the best pin attackers in the country,” Heinen said, referring to sophomore Thomas Jaeschke and junior Cody Caldwell, who finished with 19 and 18 kills respectively.This season OSU has struggled getting all of the new players to work together, with eight freshmen and three redshirt-freshmen on the roster, and that has been a main issue this year, Heinen said.“We struggled with our consistency. That is going to happen when you have so many freshmen playing key roles, and we are still working to try and figure that out. When we have been able to put together a consistent effort from everyone on the floor, great things happen,” he said. “The ability is there, we just need to find a way to bring it every point.”Senior libero Michael Piechowski said another season-long struggle has been playing at a steady, high level.“Our struggle has been our consistency in matches and really staying aggressive against every opponent. As you know, our team is very young and we have a lot of freshmen. I would say our biggest improvement has been their ability to come ready to play and bring it,” he said.Senior middle blocker Jonathan Newton agreed, saying the players vary by matches.“Some games we will have one player playing good and another having an off game, and that has thrown us off during games. Like our coach said, we just need everyone to play the 80 percent level of good volleyball all the time and we will be able to beat anyone,” Newton said.OSU also celebrated its seniors in their last match of the regular season and in Columbus. The honored players included libero Danny Baker, Newton, Piechowski and Heinen, who will not be returning to OSU next year.Next up for the Buckeyes is the MIVA tournament, and their first match is set for Saturday against Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne in Fort Wayne, Ind.
It is a scene evoking thoughts of an idyllic family life many fear is being killed off by long working hours and smartphones.But new research suggests that the prospect of gathering the family around a table to share a meal is enough to bring most parents out in a cold sweat – and many would rather just relax with their children by watching television.Findings by Mintel, the consumer trends specialist, show that two thirds of British parents describe family meals as “quality time” and half think of it as a “bonding” experience. Family meals at Downton AbbeyCredit:CARNIVAL FILMS/ITV But any bonding might, it seems, have more to do with adversity as not even a quarter of parents (23 per cent) said they think of dining together with the family as relaxing.By contrast more than six in 10 (62 per cent) chose watching television together as form of family relaxation and almost half (47 per cent) of mothers surveyed agreed that it was an activity which brings their whole family together.The findings challenge the once common argument that television threatens family life by discouraging parents and children from spending “quality” time together. They echo remarks last Christmas by the Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Rev Nick Baines, who argued strongly for the merits of festive television as a “shared experience” for families. Overall 79 per cent of those polled said the female partner in their household handled household chores on a typical weekday compared with only 36 per cent citing the male partner. But when it came to spending time with children the proportions were 48 per cent and 33 per cent. Richard Cope, Senior Trends Consultant at Mintel, said: “Today’s parents are more attentive, but feel time starved and more distant than past generations.”While eating dinner together as a family is seen as being ‘quality time’ and a bonding experience, so too is watching television, but where it comes top is in helping families relax – relaxation is something that almost two thirds of respondent associate with TV viewing.” While eating dinner together as a family is seen as being ‘quality time’ and a bonding experience, so too is watching television, but where it comes top is in helping families relaxRichard Cope, Mintel The research, presented at ITV’s “Family Planning” conference in Leeds also shows that while women still shoulder the burden when it comes to housework, men are gradually narrowing the gap when it comes to childcare and reading bedtime stories. 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.
Michael’s boyfriend, Fadi Fawaz, tweeted a black and white photograph of the him being embraced by Michael with the caption: “The Truth is out…”Fawaz also hit out at the negative publicity he endured in the weeks following George’s death and in particular the leaked 999 call of his attempt to revive the singer after finding him lifeless in bed.He tweeted: “All the nasty comments, press and 999 were very cruel and unnecessary whatsoever, Now I hope to receive some real LOVE x.” In some cases, it is an inherited condition. Otherwise, it can be caused by viral infections, uncontrolled high blood pressure, problems with the heart valves or excessive drinking. George Michael died of natural causes from dilated cardiomyopathy with myocarditis and fatty liver, a coroner has said.The 53-year-old was found dead at his home in Goring-on-Thames on Christmas Day.Darren Salter, Oxfordshire’s senior coroner, said in a statement: “Inquiries into the death of George Michael have been concluded and the final post-mortem report received.”As there is a confirmed natural cause of death, being dilated cardiomyopathy with myocarditis and fatty liver, the investigation is being discontinued and there is no need for an inquest or any further inquiries.”No further updates will be provided and the family requests the media and public respect their privacy.” The Truth is out… pic.twitter.com/F07TxE8T2a— Fadi Fawaz (@fadifawaz) March 7, 2017 Michael, who rose to fame as the frontman of Wham! and had chart-topping hits including Last Christmas and Freedom, suffered health scares and fought drug addiction for years.Dilated cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscle. It becomes stretched and thin, which affects how blood is able to pump around the body. Floral tributes outside the home of George Michael in Goring-on-Thames, OxfordshireCredit:Steve Parsons/PA Myocarditis is inflammation in or around the heart and is usually caused by a viral, bacterial or fungal infection.Symptoms include pain or tightness in the chest which can spread to other parts of the body. Ridgeley said: “On Christmas Day 2016, the greatest singer-songwriter of his generation, an icon of his era and my beloved friend George Michael was lost.”He described Michael as a “supernova” and that his death “felt like the sky had fallen in”.At the Grammys, Adele performed a slowed-down version of Michael’s song Fast Love after restarting her first rendition, saying the tribute was “too important”. Tributes were paid to the singer at the recent Brit and Grammy awards ceremonies.Coldplay frontman Chris Martin sang alongside Michael’s rendition of his ballad A Different Corner at the Brits while clips from his career were played.The performance followed a tearful speech from Michael’s former Wham! bandmate Andrew Ridgeley and the band’s backing singers Helen DeMacque and Shirlie Holliman, otherwise known as Pepsi & Shirlie. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is caused by a build-up of fat in the liver and is usually seen in people who are overweight or obese.A different type of fatty liver disease is caused by excessive drinking and is known as alcoholic fatty liver disease.Michael’s former partner Kenny Goss has previously said he believed the pop superstar’s body “just gave up”. 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.
The dancers of the Royal Ballet are considered to be among the very best in the world.But when choreographer David Dawson’s latest work at Covent Garden drew poor reviews, those dancers found themselves at the centre of an extraordinary written attack.An online commenter purporting to be Dawson’s choreographic assistant, Tim Couchman, said the failure of the production was down to the Royal Ballet stars with their “inflated” egos, refusal to practise and non-stop moaning behind the scenes. So bad was their behaviour, the comment read, that they should be “shrunken with shame”. A top-class professional [does not] bicker and moan about things theythink are impossible before they’ve even tried them He went on: “To me, personally, a top-class professional is someone who endeavours to present the art as authentically as possible. They are open to understanding the techniques required to achieve an artist’s particular style and vision, whether they like them or not…”A top-class professional makes the effort to learn the physicality, and musicality, properly and precisely. They observe, listen and practice, and they practice repeatedly until they master that which is strange and difficult [sic]. “They retain the information, come to rehearsals prepared, they focus hard, and deliver the work consistently, without deflecting corrections and coaching advice. They do not bicker and moan about things they think are impossible before they’ve even tried them.”He signed off: “And a top-class professional (not to mention true artist) would never ever be satisfied with scraping though at the last minute, shrunken with shame, knowing they didn’t really do their best.”Only when ALL cast members behave as top-class professionals, can a work of art hope to reveal it’s fragile truth. But when time is tight, when egos are inflated, when hearts are closed and minds are unfocused, all that can happen is the promulgation of lies. And the art is lost, and we will never know.” Tim Couchman, assistant choreographerCredit:Telegraph Choreographer David DawsonCredit:Angela Sterling Dawson is acclaimed in Europe and was the first British choreographer to create a new work for the Mariinsky Ballet. He trained at the Royal Ballet School, as did Couchman, who helps to stage Dawson’s productions around the world.The production in question, The Human Seasons, takes its name from the Keats poem of the same name. It was first staged by Dawson in 2013 and is currently part of a triple bill. The other two works, from different choreographers, were well-received.The principal dancers and soloists taking part include some of the Royal Ballet’s star names: Marianela Nunez, Claire Calvert and Eric Underwood. The Human Seasons performed by the Royal BalletCredit: Alastair Muir The Royal Ballet’s production of David Dawson’s The Human SeasonsCredit:Corbis via Getty Images A top class professional puts the needs of the scene before the needsof the self Critics were unimpressed by the production but the harshest review was on The Arts Desk website, which said the dancers “make a game stab at it, like the top-class professionals they are” but that the production had no redeeming features. “Everything that is vapid and dreadful about contemporary ballet is present and correct,” it said, adding that Calvert had been “manhandled like a sack of flour by six male dancers”.A comment submitted underneath the article at midnight under the name of Tim Couchman, although it could not be verified, said: “As the stager of The Human Seasons, I would like to say that the ballet you saw was not, in truth, The Human Seasons – it was, as you say ‘a game stab at it’. And if you’d been privy to the staging process, your assumption that all the dancers are ‘top-class professionals’ might perhaps have been challenged.” For his part, Dawson said in a tweet – since deleted – that he would be taking his work elsewhere because he was so furious about the reviews.”London critics can be delighted to know that I have decided not to show my work any longer if I can help it,” he wrote. The tweet ended with the hashtag #respectgoesbothways. As the Royal Ballet reeled from the accusations, Dawson issued a conciliatory statement addressed to the dancers and the company’s director, Kevin O’Hare.”Dear dancers of the Royal Ballet, Kevin O’Hare and all his team at Covent Garden,” it read.”I would like you to know that you have my greatest admiration and respect. It has been a true honour and a privilege to work with you and to share the stage with the superb Crystal Pite and Christopher Wheeldon [the other choreographers in the triple bill].”Thank you for your art.”The final performance is on Friday. Couchman could not be reached for comment.The Royal Ballet declined to comment. 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.
But what next for Jeremy and his potential to become a father after being left on the shelf? Researchers are still seeking a suitable partner for him, but Jeremy is said to have embraced his role as a “loveable uncle” and has been observed playing with the baby snails.While he remains on the market for a mate, Jeremy is said to have been “remarkably unphotogenic” lately and will not pose for pictures.Perhaps he just does not want to come out of his shell. They are seeking to study a gene that also affects body asymmetry in other animals – including humans.Research using these snails could offer the chance to develop our understanding of how organs are placed in the body and why this process can sometimes go wrong. “The irony is, it’s like that thing where maybe you introduce your best friend to a girl you’re interested in,” Dr Angus Davison, a biologist at the University of Nottingham who is also Jeremy’s keeper, told Radio 4’s Today programme. “The two snails got together.”Snails mate face-to-face, sliding past each other on the right hand side so their genitalia can meet.To copulate, “lefty” snails must beat one-in-a million odds to find a mate with compatible sex organs.Jeremy has had the benefit of the match-making skills of researchers, who want to study the genetics of left-sidedness and continue to hunt for a partner for Jeremy so they can study his offspring. Love is a hard game to play when you are a rare “lefty” snail.Jeremy the garden snail’s rare genetic mutation means his shell spirals anti-clockwise – leaving his sex organs on the wrong side.Researchers at the University of Nottingham sought to help the sinistral mutant in finding a suitable mate by launching a worldwide hunt. But the search has spectacularly backfired – after Jeremy found himself on the losing side of a gastropod love triangle.At first, things looked promising when two potential left-coiling partners were found for him by a snail enthusiast in Ipswich and farmer in Mallorca.But it has since emerged that Jeremy has been overlooked by his potential lovers. Instead of mating with Jeremy, the other “lefty” snails – called Lefty and Tomeau – have paired up and procreated together.Their first batch of eggs together was laid in April and now a total of 170 babies, which are each right-coiled, have been born. Jeremy in his role as loveable uncleCredit:BBC 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.