Last month, the Baseball Hall of Fame announced that nobody was elected in this round of Pre-Integration Era Committee balloting — the second straight year that one of the Hall’s era-based Veterans Committees failed to induct a player from before 1973. 1920s2811.0+17.011.3+16.7 1870s01.0-1.01.0-1.0 1970s1727.3-10.328.3-11.3 DECADEACTUALEXPECTEDDIFFEXPECTED W/ PEDSDIFF 1930s2818.1+9.918.8+9.2 Although players who produced the bulk of their WAR before the 1970s make up only 62 percent of the all-time MLB population, they represent 79 percent of all player inductees. Conversely, the 38 percent of players who made their mark since have yielded only 21 percent of Hall members. If we expect legendary talent to crop up in proportion with the playing population of an era, the Hall of Fame hasn’t been paying attention for a half-century.Then again, maybe it isn’t valid to assume Hall of Fame-caliber careers occur in lockstep with the number of players hitting the absolute minimum for consideration. To check whether there was simply a disproportionate number of great players in action before the ’70s, I ran a logistic regression on all Hall-eligible players, predicting whether they would be inducted based on their career WAR relative to the average for Hall of Famers at their position (a la Jay Jaffe’s JAWS).Based on the production of each era’s players, my regression predicts 124 Hall of Famers to emerge before the 1970s; in actuality, 169 players have been elected from that time frame. We would also expect 91 players from the ’70s or later to be inducted; thus far, only 46 have gotten the nod. This implies that recent decades of baseball history, what the Hall refers to as the “expansion era,” have been shortchanged by about 45 Hall of Famers relative to earlier epochs of the game. That conclusion isn’t based on an arbitrary cutoff — these are the standards set by the Hall’s own past selections.Of course, the matter of steroids can’t be ignored. So could the expansion era’s shortfall simply be attributed to voters’ unwillingness to enshrine players (such as Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens) whose performances would otherwise warrant a Hall of Fame nod? To account for this wrinkle, I added a variable in the regression for whether the player had ever been implicated in the use of performance-enhancing drugs.1Using the same criteria my colleague Walt Hickey and I employed here: Was the player ever suspended for PED offenses, linked to the Biogenesis scandal or named in the Mitchell Report, or did he have a failed drug test leaked to the media? The resulting formula drops Bonds and Clemens down to matching zero percent Hall likelihoods, but it still says the expansion era is about 42 Hall of Famers short of what we’d expect. 1890s1510.2+4.810.5+4.5 For players from the late 1990s and the 2000s, the gap occurs partly because recently eligible players have spent less time on the ballot (and therefore have had fewer chances to be inducted) than their predecessors. But under the Hall’s new rules reducing the years of ballot eligibility, they’ll never get as many cracks at the ballot as players did in the past. And besides, even if we throw out the 1990s and 2000s completely, it doesn’t explain why the ’70s and ’80s are also a collective 23 Hall of Famers shy of what we’d expect.Instead, the biggest explanation boils down to what Bill James called the “expansion time bomb.” Expansion began as early as 1961, with the additions of the Los Angeles Angels and Washington Senators,2Now the Texas Rangers. and six more teams were added by 1969. By 1998, MLB had roughly twice as many teams as it did in 1960.James argued that the Hall of Fame wouldn’t have been affected by expansion at all for about 25 years — and even then the consequences were small, for the time being — but that the effects compounded over time as the ratio of highly accomplished players (according to both traditional and advanced gauges) to inductees grew. Expansion gives more players the opportunity to build Hall of Fame-caliber careers, but it creates a backlog if the voters are slow to account for this by inducting a commensurate number of players. And from the numbers above, it’s clear that the Hall has never quite figured out the expansion time bomb, a problem that continues to grow each year.The good news is that everybody’s ’90s darling, Ken Griffey Jr., will be a lock to represent the decade in this year’s voting, and he’ll probably be joined by Mike Piazza (who was ever so close to induction last year) and other contemporaries. Further, a big change to the makeup of voters — writers who haven’t covered the game in 10 years are no longer eligible for Hall voting — could open the floodgates to more recent players.But for now, the last half-century of baseball has been neglected by the Hall of Fame, and voters have a lot of inducting to do before it’s fairly represented relative to other eras.Read More:Griffey In His Prime Was The Second Coming Of Willie MaysMike Piazza Was More Than A Big Bat 1980s2030.6-10.631.4-11.4 1950s1814.4+3.614.7+3.3 HALL OF FAMERS 1910s1210.8+1.210.8+1.2 1990s930.5-21.525.7-16.7 1960s2123.0-2.023.7-2.7 2000s02.9-2.92.6-2.6 Szymborski is right. Relative to their share of the overall population of Hall-eligible MLB players, those who produced the majority of their wins above replacement before the 1970s — particularly those from the pre-integration era — don’t need their own committee because they’re already wildly overrepresented in the Hall of Fame. In the chart below, we looked at all players retiring in 2009 or earlier with a minimum of 10 career WAR and tracked how many among that group were elected to the Hall. We ballparked 10 WAR as a lower limit because the lowest WAR total for any Hall member whose career wasn’t severely truncated by segregation was Tommy McCarthy’s 14.6. 1940s1310.6+2.410.8+2.2 1880s1312.5+0.513.0-0.0 1900s2112.1+8.912.4+8.6
Hrithik Roshan in Super 30TwitterHrithik Roshan recently held a special screening of Super 30 for his friends and relatives in Mumbai and after the screening, the reactions from the audience brought tears to Hrithik’s eyes.Super 30 is being hailed for Hrithik’s honest performance and its storyline. As soon as the screening of the film got over, there was a silence in the cinema hall as everyone was just coping with their emotions. Audience then stood up and gave a standing ovation.Looking at audience’s overwhelming reaction, Hrithik couldn’t hold back his tears. Everyone in the hall hugged the actor after watching the film and spoke about his incredible performance. The atmosphere was highly overwhelming and a moment to behold, for one and all.In Super 30, Hrithik will be seen essaying the role of mathematician, Anand Kumar, who trains students for IIT-JEE in Bihar. The movie also features Mrunal Thakur and Pankaj Tripathi in important roles. The movie will hit the screens across India on July 12.
Election Commission building file photoThe company that made 9.3 million sub-standard national identity cards for the election commission (EC) has been given a second chance.The EC signed a new deal with Smart Technologies (BD) Limited on 15 July, asking it to deliver quality cards by the next three months.”They made a mistake. We’ve recommended the fine be realised from the security deposit. However, we’ve signed a new deal with them considering the fact that they had incurred some losses,” said Md Saidul Islam, director general of national identity card registration cell.The EC had wanted to give youths who became voters after 2012 these identity cards and appointed Smart Technologies to deliver the cards. The company won the tender despite bidding the highest, Tk 90 million, and yet they produced cards printed on paper.As per the contract, this company was to deliver the cards by December 2017, a deadline it failed to meet as well.Smart Tech finished the job in February this year, but the EC investigations found that the printed cards were of low quality.The cards were not printed using the best machinaries, rather at different shops in Agargaon area, where the EC office is located.To this end, a report was published in the online edition of Prothom Alo on 19 June, which led to the steps.Joint secretary of EC secretariat Abdul Baten said the whole course of the task will now be carried out under the EC supervision and necessary equipment will be set on the 11th floor of the EC building to facilitate the process.The low quality cards Smart Technologies had produced will be destroyed in presence of the top EC officials while 60 skilled staff of the company will regularly be at the EC office to supervise the work, the official said.The managing director of Smart Technologies Zahirul Islam said, “We did a mistake last time, which affected the goodwill of our company. This time we will be very professional and we will not produce any card without the EC’s permission.”
The entrance to the operation room area of a clinic is seen during a blackout in Caracas. Photo: ReutersHardly anybody likes hospital food but in Venezuela, it’s so awful-monotonous, starchy diets cooked in filthy conditions, and newborns fed intravenous solution for lack of baby formula-that experts call it an actual health risk.Take Carla Lopez, 40, who has been hospitalized for three months to treat open wounds on her foot as a result of diabetes.Lopez should go easy on pasta and rice-but that’s all she gets.“I eat whatever they give me,” Lopez said as she waves away flies buzzing over a plate of rice and lentils at University Hospital in Caracas. It is pretty flavorless stuff as the hospital is out of salt.An excess of starch causes her blood sugar levels to shoot up.Even if she were out of the hospital, she could not afford, say, a kilo (2.2 pounds) of chicken, which costs 1.5 times her monthly salary in this oil-rich but economically ravaged country saddled with runaway inflation.Lopez says that for breakfast, she gets a kind of cornmeal patty known here as an arepa, and for lunch, it’s either pasta or lentils with rice.“In the evening, they serve you another arepa-a small, skimpy one,” said Lopez.Back in better times, this hospital used to have different cooks for different medical problems, said nutritionist Gladys Abreu.Now, everybody gets the same fare, and not much of it: 40 grams of rice and 25 grams of legumes.“That is hardly enough for a small child,” said one staffer in the hospital kitchen.Another hospital employee who asked not to be named complained that garbage piles up at the facility, an imposing 11-story building that is 60 years old.Indeed, a nearby trash bin overflows with detritus.The National Hospital Survey, published in March by the opposition-controlled National Assembly and by an NGO called Doctors for Health, said 96 percent of Venezuela’s hospitals fail to feed their patients adequately, or do not feed them at all.The poll covered 104 state-run hospitals and 33 private ones.Intravenous solution as milkAt the Concepcion Palacios maternity clinic, also in Caracas, doctors stopped providing formula for newborns because there was no money for it.Parents can provide their own, but one mother, Yereercis Olivar, who just gave birth to her second child, cannot afford formula.She could not nurse the baby, either, because they were separated to protect the child from the chicken pox that Olivar came down with while pregnant. It has left her skin covered in blisters.Olivar was desperate, so she started trying to extract milk from her breasts with a syringe.It took three days for that excruciating method to kick in and provide milk.During that time, the baby lived “only on serum”-the kind used in intravenous solutions to keep adults hydrated. It was fed to the child from a baby bottle.Baby formula, like so many basic goods in Venezuela, is available only on the black market and a can of it costs around 50 million bolivars, or $15. That is nine times the average monthly salary.The hospital survey said 66 percent of Venezuela’s maternity wards have no formula to give to babies.The decline into hellish health care conditions has been swift in recent years, said Olivar, whose first child was born at the same hospital in 2016. It was better back then: she could not nurse her child, but there was baby formula.Now, “there are cockroaches in the area where they prepare the baby bottles,” said Silvia Bolivar, a nurse with 25 years on the job.From holes in the walls and ceiling, water leaks and rodents scamper, she added.The health ministry ignored a request from AFP for comment on this story.Patients going hungryOn the sixth floor where she is being treated, Olivar says she has heard nurses protesting for the past six weeks to demand better pay and working conditions.Posters on the wall say nurses also want better food for sick people.President Nicolas Maduro said the crisis in Venezuela’s hospitals has been aggravated by US sanctions against his government.He says this punishment prevents the country from buying medical equipment and medicines, 80 percent of which are in short supply, according to labor unions.“It is hard when patients come to us, trembling and on the verge of fainting, to say they are hungry,” said nurse Bolivar.At the maternity clinic, the baby bottles smell bad. There is no soap to wash them and the sterilization machine is broken.Dark mold covers containers of rice and pasta that is fed to mothers.Both there and at the University Hospital, the floors and bathrooms are dirty. There is no disinfectant. Cleaning is done with water and rags.Lopez, the lady with complications from diabetes, does not know how much longer she must remain in her decrepit hospital room, which is furnished with broken chairs. Her foot is not getting any better.But it’s not all gloom: her hospital roommate gave her a bouquet of sunflowers to brighten things up.
A crane removes a container from a ship at the Port of Baltimore’s Seagirt Marine Terminal on March 1. (AP Photo/Patrick Semanksy)Federal authorities seized 147 pounds of cocaine from a shipping container at the Port of Baltimore earlier this month.Customs and Border Protections officers found the drugs using non-intrusive techniques to scan a shipment of lumber from Brazil, the agency said, according to Baltimore CBS affiliate WJZ. Upon opening the container, they discovered two gym bags bearing 57 bricks of the white, powdery substance, valued at more than $4 million.“Narcotics interdiction remains a top Customs and Border Protection enforcement priority, and this case illustrates how CBP officers leverage non-intrusive imaging technologies to intercept dangerous drugs and to help keep our communities safe,” Dianna Bowman, CBP area port director for the port of Baltimore, said in a statement.According to WJZ, the cocaine seizure was the port’s largest since officers uncovered more than 300 pounds of the drug in a refrigerated container from Ecuador in 2007.