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Baseballs Kids Are All Right


When Derek Jeter retired last year, the pundits puzzled over who would be the next “Face of Baseball.” Jeter was the guy on the Wheaties box, after all. And more broadly, Jeter’s retirement seemed to close one era of baseball and open another. Without an elder statesman, the game belonged to the kids. But would there be enough excellent, prodigious young players to replace Jeter’s cohort? We already have an answer: The kids are damn good, and they’re part of one of the most significant youth movements in baseball in the past 25 years.Baseball’s excellence is supremely concentrated in its young players at the moment. To get a sense for the balance of power in MLB, I calculated the average age of all position players in the league while weighting each player’s age by how good they were in a given year (using wins above replacement1FanGraphs’ version.). For example, the age of an MVP-type player counts for roughly eight2Here, I am contrasting an average MVP-level of performance — about 8 WAR — with a below-average player’s performance — about 1 WAR. times as much as a below-average scrub because he’s eight times better according to WAR. So, if the MVP is young, he’ll pull the weighted average down toward him. By weighting the ages in this way, we get a sense for where in MLB the production comes from — specifically, whether it arises from the grizzled veterans or the youngsters.The youngsters are winning.Since the early 2000s, the MLB’s weighted age has consistently fallen, hitting its low point (of 27.76) this year. This graph tells us that in recent years, more of the positive value in the league has been coming from younger players.The twin faces of the youth movement are undoubtedly Bryce Harper and Mike Trout, still only 22 and 23, respectively. Despite the best efforts of opposing pitchers, Trout is performing at his now-routine MVP level. Harper seems to have finally discovered consistent success with an overwhelming power stroke. But Harper and Trout have been joined by a generation of super-prospects who are outperforming even the loftiest expectations. Kris Bryant is the most obvious, but others include Joc Pederson, Carlos Correa, Mookie Betts and Addison Russell.There are several ways that baseball’s production could be getting younger, but it turns out that there are two straightforward explanations. One is that the oldest players have become less productive. The second is that the youngest players are on pace to create a tremendous amount of value.Let’s start with the veterans. Players ages 333Roughly the oldest 15 percent of players in MLB. and up have produced only 24 WAR so far this year, on pace for the second-lowest total of the past 25 years. Over a full year, that prorates to 54.8 WAR, which is less than half the total achieved by the equivalent group of players around the turn of the millennium.It’s not clear what is driving older position players down. One possibility is that new pace-of-play rules are making it harder for older hitters to make use of their experience. On the other hand, older position players seem to be getting worse not only at hitting, but also with the glove — and even on the base paths.There could be a connection between the fluctuating pattern of production by older players and the steroid era. Certainly, some of the confirmed steroid users managed to be productive well into their 30s, suggesting that steroids might confer their beneficial effects especially upon older hitters. But in the absence of data on who used what steroids when and how, it’s difficult to pursue this idea beyond a hypothesis. Regardless of the cause, it looks as though the current trend of age and production is more of a return to the norm of the early 1990s than a novelty.At the same time, we are witnessing a historic youth movement. Just as the very old players have gotten worse, the youngest have become much better. Players 24 and younger4Roughly the youngest 15 percent of players in MLB. have produced 48.7 WAR this year, which puts them on pace for about 110 WAR in a full year. If it holds, that would be the most WAR put up by this age group since 2007.That year saw a generation of future stars cement their place in the league. David Wright, at that time 24, had his best season, an MVP-caliber effort. Wright was joined by a host of talent, from Troy Tulowitzki to Jose Reyes to Miguel Cabrera. In total, 13 young hitters put up WAR values greater than 4, in the neighborhood of All-Star-level performance. Many of those players, and even some of the tier below them, have gone on to become superstars.Young players have traditionally relied upon their defense to build their value, and this year is no exception. The 24 and under group typically performs anywhere from 100 to 500 runs below average on offense but makes up for it to some extent with 100 to 200 runs from their defense.5I am also including the FanGraphs positional adjustment here. Less than halfway through this season’s games, young position players have been worth 93 runs defensively. Prorated to a full season, this would be the best defensive performance for that age group since 2001, when the overall value of the youngsters was near its low point.Except today’s kids can do something those 2001 ones couldn’t: rake. With an average mark of 94.6, young hitters are putting up the best Weighted Runs Created+ (wRC+) since that marvelous 2007 class (which was at 99.2). The average wRC+ is set at 100, so the young players are adding decent hitting to their superlative defense. Much of the hitting stems from a power surge: The young hitters are racking up a slugging percentage of .400, slightly better than the league average of .397.6Relative to the league average, this is the second-best number in the past 25 years (second, of course, to 2007).The young players are even providing value with their baserunning. Reds speedster Billy Hamilton, 24, leads the way, but the group is already up to 27.1 runs of baserunning value (Hamilton alone is responsible for nearly a third of this number). If it holds over a full season, that will be the best mark since 1990.Some of these statistics will not hold up over the length of a full season because of injuries or regression to the mean, of course. And many of the averages will be distorted by September call-ups. But two-thirds of the total WAR in this year’s young group comes from the 10 best players, all of whom are firmly ensconced in starting roles.A wave of young talent has arrived, just as the old veterans are fading into irrelevancy. Whether your preference is for Nolan Arenado’s slick glove work, Harper’s absurd power or Bryant’s eyes, we are witnessing the rise of a generation of future superstars. read more


Vice Media Hires Cory Haik Former Mic Publisher as Chief Digital Officer


first_img ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Haik started her career at the Times-Picayune’s NOLA.com website, where she was managing editor. In 2006, she shared in two Pulitzer Prizes with The Times-Picayune for staff coverage of Hurricane Katrina, for breaking news and public service. She also served as assistant managing editor for the Seattle Times’ website, where she also shared in a staff Pulitzer in 2010 for the coverage of police officer shootings. She holds a masters of arts in communication theory degree from the University of New Orleans and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Nicholls State University. Vice Promotes Cliff Gulibert to Oversee Digital Video as Executive Producer (EXCLUSIVE) Popular on Variety Vice Media’s Doug Jossem on Ending Their Seven-Year Relationship with HBOcenter_img Vice Media has recruited Cory Haik, former publisher of digital news start-up Mic, as chief digital officer to lead the youth-culture company’s global internet businesses.Haik will be based at Vice’s Brooklyn headquarters and report to CEO Nancy Dubuc. She most recently worked at Mic, which last fall laid off virtually its entire staff before being acquired by Bustle Digital Group for a reported price tag of $5 million.As Vice’s chief digital officer, Haik will focus on global audience growth and development, platform partnerships and digital product innovation. She is tasked with creating expanded partnerships and reach for the some-1,500 pieces of content Vice produces on a daily basis, in collaboration with the company’s editorial, video, distribution, product and audience teams. Haik commented, “Digital media has come into its own, and the opportunity to help bring together Vice’s global offerings and develop strategy for how current and future audiences will consume its groundbreaking storytelling is a privilege. This is a business I love deeply, and Vice is a brand I am so proud to be a part of.”Prior to Dubuc’s appointment a year ago, Vice Media had employed an executive with the “chief digital officer” title — Mike Germano, who was fired in January 2018 after an internal investigation into sexual harassment allegations against him.Haik joins Vice Media as the company tries to turn the ship around with Dubuc at the helm. Earlier this year, it cut about 250 employees, or 10% of its staff, after missing revenue targets. Disney has written off $510 million of the value of its effective 21% stake in Vice Media — indicating Vice is worth much less than the $5.7 billion valuation it had two years ago — while Vice also this month raised $250 million in debt financing from a group of new investors including George Soros’ investment fund.In its digital business unit, Vice this month relaunched vice.com, which merges all of its content under one umbrella and eliminates the separate web “channels” for topic verticals like Vice News, Noisey and Munchies — a move the company believes will boost its overall audience engagement.Vice’s digital properties reach over 300 million people globally per month across multiple platforms, including 110 million in the U.S., according to the company’s estimates. At its NewFronts event for advertisers, Dom Delport, Vice’s president of international and chief revenue officer, said the company would exclude traffic from third-party affiliated sites from its overall comScore metrics as of May 15, a bid to build credibility with advertising clients.Haik was most recently publisher of millennial-focused news company Mic, which she first joined in early 2016. Prior to that, she worked at the Washington Post, acquired in 2013 by Jeff Bezos, for five years, most recently as executive director of emerging news products. “Having been on the front lines of digital for the last 20 years, Cory is the total package and a perfect fit for Vice as we build our executive team,” Dubuc said in announcing her hire. Relatedlast_img read more


A boost to Jammu and Kashmirs culture


first_imgThe recently held J&K Food, Craft & Culture Festival 2016 at Dilli Haat, in the national Capital, highlighted that the state’s rare distinction to wear varied caps, given the wide spectrum of weather, terrain, topography, wind, snow, water, mountains, heritage, handicrafts could become individual, collective or combined focuses of the world of Tourism.Jammu and Kashmir is one of the most beautiful destinations in India. However, this paradise on earth has always been in controversy due to terrorism and political turmoil. There are many other things about this beautiful land to talk about such as its picturesque landscape, the gorgeous people, and their attractive art and crafts. Tourism has been one of the most revenue generating industries in Jammu and Kashmir. With the rise in tourism, the handicraft industry of Kashmir is also getting a boost. Srinagar, Leh, Jammu City, Rajauri, Gulmarg, Udhampur, Kathua, Kupwara, Badgam, Kargil, Pahalgam, Anantnag, Pangong Lake to name a few are the most beautiful places in the state. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfJ&K’s Secretary, Tourism and Floriculture, Farooq A Shah said the tourism sector can generate employment for 70 per cent population of Jammu and Kashmir, which has flourishing horticulture and handicraft industries, and urged the tourism partners to lend priority to the state.He said that the purpose of the festival is to promote Jammu and Kashmir as a winter tourism destination.The state has world-class golf and winter sports facilities “on par with that in the USA” in Gulmarg and Pahalgam, he said, adding the state tourism department will organise a “snow festival” to promote winter sports from January 22. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive“We are making efforts to attract diversified tourists… those who are interested in sports, heritage, pilgrimage, craft, cuisine and so on. So our focus is on tapping onto the massive tourism potential the state has.”“Jammu and Kashmir in itself is the world. We assure the tourists that we will shower them with our unparallelled traditional hospitality,” he said.The state is focusing on promoting winter destinations like Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Sonamarg.“We are here to promote winter destinations like Gulmarg Pahalgam and Sonamarg which are world famous destinations for hosting winter related activities,” he said.The vision is to make tourism one of the principle engine of economic development in the state by positioning it as a leading global destination by the year 2025. It also contributes to economic and social well-being of the people of Jammu & Kashmir by providing employment opportunities, inclusive development and promotional policies with an aim to achieve internationally competitive tourism sector focused on sustainable growth. The aim is to also develop Jammu & Kashmir as a dynamic, sustainable and most-favoured tourist destination – offering high quality experience to tourists by providing congenial development framework for facilitating and accelerating investments and improving livelihood opportunities at the local level.  It is also aiming to devise strategies for increasing arrival of domestic and international tourists, therefore giving a boost in the national economy by benefitting the citizens.last_img read more