Lewis Hamilton on Sunday afternoon took a record sixth British Grand Prix victory in a thrilling race featuring a crash between Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel.Battles throughout the field created a dramatic race – by far the best of the year so far – as Hamilton benefited from a safety-car period to take a lead he never lost after Valtteri Bottas had held back an early attack from his Mercedes team-mate.Behind them, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Red Bull’s Verstappen staged a duel for the ages in disputing third place for the first third of the race. Lewis Hamilton Their exquisite driving would have been the talk of the day had it not been for the collision between the Dutchman and Leclerc’s team-mate Vettel, for which the German four-time champion was given 10-second time penalty and two penalty points on his super licence.Hamilton’s victory extends his championship lead to 39 points at the effective halfway point of the championship, but the discussion will focus on Vettel, and what many will perceive as yet another error in the heat of battle – the latest in a series over the past year.Bottas converted his pole position into a lead at the first corner, but Hamilton challenged hard over the first two or three laps, the Finn just managing to hold him off.On lap four, Hamilton appeared to have taken the lead, going for the outside at Brooklands then cutting back and passing Bottas around the outside of the 180-degree corner of Luffield.But he ran a little wide on the exit, Bottas came back at him on the inside and took the lead back into the 180mph Copse corner.Their fight settled down, Hamilton sitting just over a second behind, until Bottas stopped for fresh tyres on lap 16, his decision to go for the same medium compound he had used at the start committing him to a second stop.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Crop input prices are a topic of considerable discussion. Here is another perspective by comparing changes in input prices during the three multiple year price decline periods that have occurred since 1970. The current period has notably larger declines in fuel and fertilizer prices; similar changes in seed, chemical, and machinery prices; and a notably larger increase in rent. The latter underscores the need to renegotiate rents. It also raises a question, “If farmers, by not aggressively negotiating lower rents, are indicating financial stress is less than it appears?”Three multiple year declines in crop revenue and price have occurred since 1970. The index of prices received by U.S. farms for all crops peaked in calendar years 1981, 1996, and 2012 before declining for multiple years. The index bottomed in 1986 and 2000. Calendar year 2016 may or may not be the bottom of the current decline. The crop price index is used because no similar index exists for revenue. Also used in this study is the index of prices paid by U.S. farms for six input categories — ag services and rents, chemicals, fertilizer, fuels, machinery, and seed. Percent change in these indices is calculated relative to the average value for the three years ending in the peak year. A three-year average smooths the influence of individual years and reflects that changes in input prices generally lag changes in output prices. The price data are from QuickStats (US Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service). Crop pricesThe index of all crop prices received declined by 13% from 1981 to 1986 to 17% from 1996 through 2000. The current decline is at 13%. Thus, the current decline is not abnormally large or small relative to prior multiple year declines, although this observation could change as more time passes.Input pricesPrice behavior of the six individual input categories differs across the decline periods (see Figure 2). Price of fuels varies the most. It increased 38% from 1994-1996 to 2000 but has dropped 41% in the current period. This variation reflects that the crop sector is a relatively small component of the demand for fuels. Price of fertilizer decreased in each period, but its decline is notably larger in the current period. In contrast, chemical, seed, and machinery prices increased in each period, with the percent increases similar for the two most recent periods. The ag services and rent price index is up 20% in the current period compared with a 5% increase from 1979-81 to 1986 and a 1% decline from 1994-96 to 2000. A price index for rent alone is available since 1990. It declined by 6% from 1994-96 to 2000, but has increased 24% since 2010-12. Because price change varies by input category, behavior of a composite index of crop sector inputs was also examined. Such an index is also first available for 1990. Despite the variation among the individual inputs, the composite index has increased by a similar 8% and 9% for 1994-96 to 2000 and 2010-12 to 2016, respectively.Comparison with a stable crop price periodIn assessing Figure 2, a question arises of how input prices have changed during a stable period of crop prices. This period was identified by starting with the 2005 calendar year, which predates the price increases that began during the 2006 crop year. The earliest year with the same all crop price received index is 1984. Compared with the 1984-2005 period, the only input whose price is increasing faster during the current period is ag services and rent (see Figure 3). This observation implies that, as a group, input prices are increasing less rapidly during the current period of crop price decline than during a stable period of crop prices. However, it is also consistent with the previous discussion of larger increases in rent during the current decline period.Summary observationsThe current multiple-year decline period is characterized by a notably larger decline in fuel and fertilizer prices than during the multiple year declines of the early 1980s and late 1990s.Fertilizer is the input that most consistently adjusts downward with declines in crop prices. This feature works to the advantage of corn since it is the most fertilizer intensive U.S. field crop.Chemical, seed, and machinery prices are behaving similar to earlier multiple-year decline periods.Rental rates have increased notably more during the current period than during the earlier periods.This finding lifts up the need to understand why rental rates have behaved differently in the current period of crop revenue and price declines. For example, have farmers used the relatively large savings from lower fuel and fertilizer prices to maintain land rental rates?This finding underscores the need to understand how financial stress varies by share of farmland rented?This finding nevertheless underscores the need to focus on rental rates in future cost adjustments.Since farmers negotiate rent, rental rates raise a question of whether financial stress among farmers is less than it appears to be?Critics would rephrase the last question more pointedly as, “Since farmers negotiate rent, rental rates raise a question of how much financial stress are farmland renters inflicting on themselves?”A managerial lesson from the current period of crop price declines is the need to create and adopt crop leases that are more responsive to market conditions and thus share farm gains and losses more appropriately between farmers and farmland owners.The answers to these questions are important for policy deliberations. In particular, should society intervene with additional assistance beyond that already being provided, if, as is the common storyline, that the purpose of farm programs is to largely benefit farmers not owners of land?
Vespa PrimaveraItalian two wheeler manufacturer Piaggio has made a name for itself in the Indian market by introducing the newly styled Vespa. Now the company is determined to provide Indian customers with greater quality and premium scooters. In the first step towards this, the launch of Vespa Elegante has been confirmed for September 16, 2014.Pricing (estimated)Rs 80,000 (ex-showroom)Vespa Elegante is being launched in the country as a limited edition model. Piaggio India has specifically chosen to launch this scooter just before the festive season in India. It will be the company’s second limited edition model in the country, the first being called Esclusivo.The Elegante will be the most premium offering by the Italian manufacturer in India. It will sport an all new design like its Primavera. Vespa Elegante will be available in VX, LX and S variants in India, along with the limited edition Esclusivo. Exteriors Styling on the new scooter will be retro in nature. We believe that it will come with split seats, chrome embellishment, a triangular headlight upfront, tubeless tyres and disc brakes.EngineVespa Elegante will be powered by a 125cc single cylinder engine, same as the VX125. This engine will be capable of producing 9.91 bhp power and 10.6 Nm of peak torque. Italian engineers have provided a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) gearbox, but it will not have fuel injection.
A long drive, deep over the outfield wall … without a boost from performance-enhancing drugs.It’s an old-time ideal that Adrian Beltre of the Texas Rangers has played out over and over again. Earlier this week, he smashed two home runs, closing in on a relatively exclusive honor: membership in the 400 home run club. (Beltre needs one more dinger to become a card-carrying member.)In our view, and according to advanced stats, Beltre should be a Hall of Famer someday. But we worry that he won’t be because his conventional stats lack that Cooperstown shine.Why do we think Beltre should be enshrined alongside the likes of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Bill Mazeroski (more on him in a minute)? Beltre is a rarity — a player who excels at both offense and defense. And in both cases, that excellence is best illustrated using sabermetric measurements.1His offensive bona fides are also clear from such traditional statistics as home runs, of course. Among third basemen, Beltre, with his nearly 400 long balls, ranks fifth all-time; three of the four ahead of him are either already in Cooperstown or are locks to make it someday (Chipper Jones).For instance, in terms of per-plate appearance rates, Beltre ranks in the 80th percentile of his peers2Qualified hitters (according to Fangraphs’ leaderboard) who played between 1998 and 2015. in isolated power, the 70th percentile in contact rate, the 50th percentile in speed and the 82nd percentile as an overall hitter. (His only real offensive weakness is a 27th-percentile walk rate.) And those are just the rate statistics; Beltre’s durability has also seen him notch the second-most at-bats of any active player and the 53rd-most of any player ever.That longevity is a big reason why Beltre ranks ninth all-time in offensive wins above replacement (oWAR) among third basemen. Only one non-Hall of Famer, the easily forgettable Toby Harrah, ranks higher, and Beltre should pass him (plus Home Run Baker) this season, assuming that Beltre’s 2015 oWAR resembles his yearly output over the past five seasons. In fact, based on projections from Baseball Prospectus, there’s a good chance that the only players ahead of Beltre in oWAR by the end of his career will be offensive juggernauts Wade Boggs, George Brett, Chipper Jones, Eddie Mathews and Mike Schmidt.And defensively, Beltre’s advanced numbers are among the best ever. Per defensive WAR (dWAR) and defensive runs saved above average (DRAA),3Defense is harder to measure than offense, and traditional measurements have a way of propping up horrible defenders (see Jeter, Derek). But advanced statistics such as dWAR and DRAA (which is based on video-tracking data for recent seasons and estimated “zone ratings” for years before that) seem to capture defensive skill well. All modern players in the top 10 for DRAA have won at least one Gold Glove, and all but two have won at least four. Beltre is the second-best defensive third baseman in baseball history. Only Brooks Robinson, whom Reds manager Sparky Anderson had nightmares about after Robinson’s unforgettable defensive performance in the 1970 World Series, ranks better. According to dWAR, only 19 other players (across all positions) in baseball history were more valuable defensively than Beltre has been.The defender most like Beltre at this point is Mazeroski, who made it to the Hall almost entirely on his defense. Beltre, by contrast, combines Mazeroski-like defense with vastly superior offensive stats and greater durability.Yet, we worry about Beltre’s fate because his traditional measurements lag behind his advanced ones. The case against Beltre starts by saying that his nearly 400 home runs may be somewhat devalued by the steroid era — more than half of the club’s 51 members hit the majority of their home runs in the 1990s or 2000s — even if Beltre has never been implicated for steroid use. And Beltre’s other impressive credentials (four Gold Gloves, four Silver Sluggers and four All-Star Game nods) are good, but not great. Eric Chavez, for example, will only see Cooperstown as a visitor, but he won six Gold Gloves at third base. In addition, Beltre is unlikely to hit above .290 for his career or win a most valuable player award, and he has never won a World Series (only playing in a single Fall Classic).Simply put, Beltre’s conventional résumé falls short of Cooperstown’s traditional benchmarks. While there is no generally accepted baseball equivalent of Basketball-Reference.com’s Hall of Fame probability metric, Bill James developed a few good ways to gauge a player’s traditional statistical portfolio: the Hall of Fame Standards and Monitor tests, as well as the Black Ink and Gray Ink tests. Together, those metrics measure how well a player met certain (admittedly arbitrary) benchmarks that, historically speaking, are strongly correlated with Hall of Fame induction.In the “Ink” tests — which measure how often a player led the league and finished among the top 10 in important statistical categories — Beltre sits well behind the typical Hall member. He does fare somewhat better in the other, benchmark-based calculations (though he still ranks below average in both the Standards and Monitor tests), and at just 36 years old, Beltre still has time to add to his totals. But overall, he may not even have a coin flip’s chance at the Hall of Fame, according to traditional gauges. A logistic regression between the James metrics and Hall of Fame enshrinement for the eligible players on Baseball-Reference.com’s leaderboards4With additional variables for a player’s era and whether a player was publicly linked to steroids. would assign Beltre a mere 18 percent chance of induction if he retired today.But our hope is that Hall of Fame voters are slowly moving past the older considerations. If they look instead at Beltre’s advanced numbers, they’ll see a Hall of Fame worthy outlier. Look at the Jaffe WAR Score system, or JAWS.5For those curious, the eponym behind the number is Sports Illustrated’s Jay Jaffe. Built on the foundation of WAR, JAWS attempts to strike a balance between players who compiled value over a long period of time (think Paul Molitor, whose JAWS was 57.5) and those who burned brightly for a shorter span of seasons (think Jackie Robinson, whose JAWS was 56.8). And the difference between Beltre’s actual JAWS and what we’d predict from his conventional credentials6As measured by a regression using the James metrics. is stark.Beltre is one of only 10 non-Hall of Famers7Among either eligible players who were not elected or those ineligible for induction. in major league history to produce a JAWS rating above that of the average Hall of Famer, despite a predicted JAWS below the average Hall of Famer.8Predicted JAWS is designed so that its average equals the average JAWS.How can there be such a big difference? It’s partly because predicted JAWS doesn’t take into account defense (because it’s using conventional stats) and actual JAWS does. As we noted previously, defense is very hard to measure in a conventional sense. That’s especially the case at third base, where people can’t even agree on the best skill set for the position. It used to be impossible to say what exactly a player’s defensive range was, for instance. That’s why James’s metrics don’t make much of an attempt at incorporating defense, with the exception of taking into account a player’s position and where it sits on the defensive spectrum.But now we can understand how valuable Beltre is defensively. And we know that his mixture of offensive and defensive production for a third baseman is very rare.The question left is whether Hall of Fame voters will see things that way, conventions be damned.
Gary Neville has been talking about the treatment of Raheem Sterling in light of alleged racist abuse the winger suffered at the hands of a Chelsea fan.The former Manchester United captain divulged his own struggle in trying to help Sterling through excessive criticism during Euro 2016.“There’s been times on this show when we’ve avoided taking on this subject. It’s not undertones, it’s blatant (racist media coverage of Sterling),” Neville said, according to Daily Mail.“Ashey Cole was the only one (from when I was playing) – he’s had to escape this country, he’s almost like a football refugee – to get away from the way he was treated.”Neville also went on to discuss the difference in the way he believes black players are covered in the media.Chelsea hat-trick hero Tammy Abraham hopes for more Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Tammy Abraham hopes this season will be his big breakthrough at Chelsea after firing his first hat-trick for the club in Saturday’s 5-2 win at Wolves.“When Lambert and Vardy came into the team, it wasn’t like that when Welbeck and Rashford came into the squad.”“The evidence is quite heavy in terms of the white players and black players that came into the England squad.”“What can football do? It can show zero tolerance – what Chelsea have done, those players will never set foot in a football stadium again.”“Raheem’s been strong enough to come out of it. He’s made it through the three years of media horror, intrusion, vilification.”
Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby (R), who is widely expected to become chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee following Sen. Thad Cochran’s retirement April 1, is considering leading the defense appropriations subcommittee as well, reports CQ. “I have a great interest in defense. I’ve been on that committee a long time. I was on the Armed Services Committee for eight years before I came to appropriations,” Shelby said Tuesday. Cochran (R-Miss.) currently chairs both the full committee and the defense subcommittee.Photo by Tech. Sgt. Lee Osberry Dan Cohen AUTHOR