Progress MS-06 launches; mission to remove Pirs module delayed – NASASpaceflight.com

June 13, 2017 by Chris Gebhardt

Roscosmos has launched the Progress MS-06 resupply mission to the International Space Station. Liftoff occurred at 15:20:13 local time (05:20:13 EDT) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Wednesday, 14 June 2017 with docking following on Friday. This mission was tomark the first time a major element of the ISS will be deorbited. However, the Pirs docking compartment removal has been delayed to next year.

Progress MS-06 launch preparations:

Given the launch campaigns of late for Roscosmos to the International Space Station, processing of the MS-06 Progress mission has been relatively uneventful and quite smooth.

In all, Progress MS-06 is the 158th Progress mission since the program began in 1978 for resupply efforts of the Salyut 6 space station and the 69th Progress mission to the ISS, counting the two Progress flights that were not designated as resupply missions because they delivered module elements to the Station.

One of those two Progress non-resupply flights occurred in 2001, when a modified Progress delivered the Pirs docking compartment to ISS.

Including this launch, 69 Progress missions have launched to ISS to date, with Progress MS-06 (or Progress 67 as it is known to NASA) the 66th attempt of a Progress family vehicle to successfully reach the Station, following the Progress 44 launch failure in August 2011, the Progress 59 launch mishap in April 2015, and the Progress 65 launch failure in December 2016.

Following retirement of the Soyuz-U carry a rocket in February, Progress MS-06 as a few previous Progress missions have utilized the Soyuz-2.1a rocket for lift off.

Following various construction milestones, system checkouts, and cargo loading, the Progress MS-06 vehicle was fueled with its propellants and compressed gases at the filling station at Baikonur on 31 May 2017.

After fueling operations were complete, technicians transferred the vehicle to the Spacecraft Assembly and Testing Facility (SC ATF), where was installed onto the assembly jig for final pre-launch processing.

In the SC ATF, engineers successfully mated Progress MS-06 to its support structure mount that will allow it to ride safely atop the third stage of the Soyuz 2.1a rocket.

Following the Designers Inspection, which clears the way for final launch processing, Progress was encapsulated into its payload fairing on 7 June.

On 9 June, engineers transported the encapsulated Progress to the Launch Vehicle Integration and Test Facility (LV ITF), where Progress was mated atop its Soyuz rocket.

The entire vehicle rolled out to launch pad 31/6 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan via rail transport on 11 June.

Progress MS-06 launched at 09:20:13 GMT (05:20:13 EDT 15:20:13 local time at Baikonur) on Wednesday, 14 June 2017.

After an 8 minute 45 second ascent, the Soyuz-2.1a rocket delivered Progress MS-06 into its initial orbit to begin a two-day, 34 orbit rendezvous with the ISS.

At the time of writing, NASASpaceflight.com has not been able to confirm why Progress MS-06 is conducting a two-day rendezvous instead of the fast track, four orbit docking profile used again since earlier this year after confirmation that the new ground communications tracking center at the Vostochny Cosmodrome was completed.

Most likely, however, the two-day rendezvous is part of an overall effect of crew compliment reduction on the ISS now that the number of people onboard Station has been reduced to three for the next two months.

MS-06 and the two-day ISS rendezvous:

Once Progress MS-06 is deposited into its initial orbit, the vehicle will perform primary health checks with the Vostochny Cosmodrome in eastern Russia before passing out over the Pacific.

If all is well aboard Progress, the vehicle will perform its first orbit raising maneuver, the DV1 burn, at 08:53:03 EDT (12:53:03 GMT) on 14 June.

The DV2 burn will follow shortly thereafter at 09:31:30 EDT (13:31:30 GMT).

The two burns will cumulatively change Progress MS-06s velocity by 62.03 m/s and raise and circularize Progress orbit to better match that of the International Space Stations.

A third burn, DV3, will follow on Thursday morning at 06:55:09 EDT (10:55:09 GMT) and will finalize Progress orbit via a delta-V shift of 4.00 m/s.

On Friday morning, docking operations will commence when the SCAN S-bd / C2V2 / HTV PROX / Cygnus PROX / Cygnus S-bd GS / Dragon S-bd GS rendezvous systems of the USOS (United States Operating Segment) are taken to inhibit to prevent any interference with Progress automated docking system and its communication with the RS (Russian Segment) of the ISS.

Inhibiting those systems will occur at 01:20 EDT (05:20 GMT) on 16 June while Progress MS-06 is 2,700 km from Station.

Progress will then initiate its automated docking sequence three hours later at 05:19:06 EDT (09:19:06 GMT), with the Impulse 1 burn of 15.147 m/s at 05:42:44 EDT.

Impulse 1 will change Progress trajectory to prepare the craft for proximity ops with ISS and to begin aligning it properly for the flyaround maneuver late in the approach timeline.

Further preparations on Station will continue with the handoff from the USOS Motion Control System (MCS) to the RS MCS at 05:54 EDT.

Impulse 2, delta-V: 1.575 m/s, from Progress will follow at 06:04:13 EDT (10:04:13 GMT).

The ISSs three person crew will then activate the Zvezda Service Modules (SMs) Kurs-P communication system at 06:07 EDT, followed by activation of the Kurs-NA system on Progress at 06:08 EDT.

Progress will then perform the Impulse 3 burn (delta-V: 25.01 m/s) at 06:27:11 EDT (10:27:11 GMT).

The SMs Kurs-P system will begin tracking Progress range from the ISS when the two craft are separated by 45 km which should occur at 06:37 EDT.

A final Kurs system communications check between the ISS and Progress MS-06 will follow at 06:50 EDT once Progress has closed to 15 km.

The SMs VHF-2 transmitter will be activated at 06:55:46 EDT for TORU (Teleoperated Mode of Control) command link when Progress is 9 km from ISS, with Progress VHF receiver turned on at 07:05:56 EDT for TORU command link at a range of 3 km from Station.

TORU is the backup, manual docking system that Fyodor Yurchikhin, Expedition 51 Commander, will use to dock Progress MS-06 to the Station should the crafts or Stations automated Kurs docking system fail.

Progress will then perform the Impulse 4 maneuver, imparting a delta-V shift of 5.396 m/s at 07:07:37 EDT (11:07:37 GMT).

TORU command link test between ISS and Progress will follow seconds later at 07:07:56 EDT.

The ballistic targeting point will be established at 07:09 EDT.

Impulse 5 is scheduled for 07:11:59 EDT, altering Progress speed by 5.633 m/s, followed by Impulse 6 (delta-V: 1.564 m/s) at 07:14:58 EDT.

Progress will then begin its flyaround maneuver of the ISS to align itself with the aft docking port of the Zvezda SM at 07:17:43 EDT (11:17:43 GMT).

The flyaround will end at 07:26:44 EDT, at which point Progress MS-06 will perform stationkeeping (maintaining relative position with Station) as the crew and Mission Control Moscow review all data points from MS-06 and verify its alignment with SMs aft docking port.

Under the pre-established timeline, Progress MS-06 will pulse its thrusters at 07:32:21 EDT (11:32:21 GMT) to begin the final 10 minute 9 second approach sequence.

Using its onboard computers, automated docking systems, and navigational aides, Progress MS-06 will guide itself to a planned docking at 07:42:30 EDT (11:42:30 GMT).

At the moment of docking, the RS of the Station will inhibit ISSs attitude control, placing the Station in free drift to help equalize dispersions between Progress and the ISS created by the energy of Progress contact with the docking mechanism.

Those dispersions should dissipate in time for all the hooks on Progress to drive into the ISS at 07:56 EDT creating a hard dock between the two craft.

The ISS will then be taken out of free drift and will reorient to its nominal attitude before the RS hands back motion control to the USOS at 08:35 EDT.

Eventual farewell to Pirs, preparing for the MLM Nauka lab:

While Progress MS-06 will dock to the International Space Station on the aft end of the Zvezda Service Module, the original plan was for the vehicle not spend all of its time at the ISS at that port.

Once Progress 2,398 kg (5,286 lb) of payload which consists of crew supplies, equipment and several satellites, two of which were built by schoolchildren hadbeen removed and the Stations disposal equipment packed inside, the ISS crew was to close and seal the hatches between Progress MS-06 and the Station and prepare it for undocking.

The original plan called for the vehicle to be undocked from the aft portion of this Zvezda Service Module and re-dock over the course of a couple of hours to the Progress docking port on the Pirs docking compartment.

However, this redock plan has been moved to a later flight, namely Progress MS-09 at the end of 2018.

The maneuverrelates to the plan to remove the Pirs module from ISS in order to make room for the MLM (Multipurpose Laboratory Module) Nauka for Russia, which has been heavily delayed the latest delay relating to a contamination concern.

Nauka Russias primary research lab for the Station requires the docking port Pirs is currently using.

Nauka is tentatively scheduled to launch in 2018 aboard a Proton-M rocket.

Pirs itself was delivered to ISS in 2001 via a modified Progress vehicle and is currently attached to the nadir port of Zvezda.

For its eventual removal, the now-future Progress will begin a process that no other spacecraft has yet performed the removal for destructive deorbit of a permanent module of the International Space Station.

At the end of its mission, the future Progress mission will pulse its thrusters, while keeping its docking clamps firmly latched onto Pirs, and will pull the docking compartment away from the International Space Station.

In this manner, Pirs itself will undock from the Station, with Progress acting more like a tugboat to safely maneuver the module away from the vicinity of the ISS.

Progress will then maneuver, with Pirs still attached, toward a destructive reentry into Earths atmosphere that will see the first major element of the International Space Station deorbited.

The reason Roscosmos has chosen to remove Pirs from the Station has nothing to do with the compartments overall life expectancy, usefulness, or performance.

It was entirely related to making room for the much-delayed MLM.

(Images: Roscosmos, NASA)


Progress MS-06 launches; mission to remove Pirs module delayed - NASASpaceflight.com

Facebook researchers progress on teaching AI chatbots to negotiate – ZDNet

Facebook researchers say they have made progress in training chatbots to negotiate.

The social networking giant's Facebook AI Research (FAIR) group published a paper to show how bots can be used to plan ahead in a conversation and adapt negotiation strategies.

Facebook's overall goal is to create chatbots that can reason, converse, and negotiate so its personal assistant can compete with rivals such as Google (Google Assistant), Amazon (Alexa), Apple (Siri) and Microsoft (Cortana) to name just a few.

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In a blog post, Facebook noted that chatbots can hold short conversations and carry out simple tasks. But meaningful conversations is a challenge because the chatbot has to combine its knowledge of the world while understanding the conversation.

Facebook, which open sourced its code and published a paper, is hoping the research leads to better negotiations, intelligent compromises and novel sentences. Facebook, which in April rolled out a limited version of its bot, noted:

In order to train negotiation agents and conduct large-scale quantitative evaluations, the FAIR team crowdsourced a collection of negotiations between pairs of people. The individuals were shown a collection of objects and a value for each, and asked to agree how to divide the objects between them. The researchers then trained a recurrent neural network to negotiate by teaching it to imitate people's actions. At any point in a dialog, the model tries to guess what a human would say in that situation.

Unlike previous work on goal-orientated dialog, the models were trained "end to end" purely from the language and decisions that humans made, meaning that the approach can easily be adapted to other tasks.

Read also: MasterCard sees Facebook Messenger as a commerce, bot vehicle for Masterpass

Facebook's chatbot paper lands just as some analysts are questioning whether the company's AI efforts are actually making it into products. For instance, Edison Investment Research analyst Richard Windsor said in a research note that Facebook's digital assistant lacks AI in production. Windsor said:

Facebook M has been in beta for over 18 months and has comprised of a combination of automated responses and human interactions where the vast majority of the tasks have been carried out by humans. The problem with using humans of Digital Life services is that it is very expensive to scale the service for 2 billion users especially when the service will be funded by advertising. This why Facebook is working as quickly as it can to develop its in house expertise and while it remains a laggard in AI, it has shown some progress.

For example, at its developer conference, it showed some good progress on machine vision enabling its apps to recognize the world they can see through the smartphone camera. It also made Facebook M available to US users and most recently in Spanish to users in Mexico and US.

However, what has gone live is only a small part of the grand plans that were announced in 2015 which had an always on, all knowing bot with which the user could do almost anything.

In a nutshell, Facebook's research team is working toward that do-it-all bot, but it has some work to do.

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Facebook researchers progress on teaching AI chatbots to negotiate - ZDNet

Trump’s Conflicts of Interest in Mexico – Center For American Progress

Business deals gone wrong

In 2006, President Donald Trump and Los Angeles-based real-estate development company Irongate announced plans to develop a Trump-branded resort in northern Baja, Mexico, to be called Trump Ocean Resort Baja Mexico. Trump and the developers spent two years marketing the resort and selling units. In short order, more than 80 percent of the condo units were sold, collecting a total of $32.5 million in buyer deposits. However, the resort was never built, although the Trump Organization still reportedly collected $500,000 in licensing fees.

As the Los Angeles Times reported, every bit of [the deposits was] spent by the time Trump and his partners abandoned the project in early 2009 as the global economy was reeling. As a result, many of the condo buyers sued Trump and his partners for fraud, with most of them accusing Trump and two of his adult children, Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr., of duping them into believing that Trump was one of the developers, giving them the confidence that it was safe to buy unbuilt property in Mexico, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Trumps have denied any wrongdoing, and in 2013, they settled the fraud lawsuit against them, the terms of which are confidential. Trump Organization Chief Legal Officer Alan Garten called claims that buyers were deceived Categorically untrue. For their part of the fraud suit, the developers agreed to pay condo buyers at least $7.25 million and likewise admitted no wrongdoing.

Related to this failed resort, in October 2016, a Mexican government official and former congressman, Jaime Martnez Veloz, filed a criminal tax fraud complaint with the Mexican federal government against Trump and the Baja resort developers. The complaint alleges that Trump and his partners avoided paying Mexican taxes on their $32.5 million predevelopment sales revenue.

In January 2017, on the same day President Trump signed an order to speed up the U.S.-Mexico border wall construction, Reuters reported that Martnez broadened the complaint to include allegations that Trump violated Mexican law by, as a foreigner, seeking to buy property within 31 miles (50 km) of the U.S. border to develop the Trump Ocean Resort Baja project and to question whether Trump was issued a visa in relation with the project, in compliance with Mexican immigration laws. Mexicos attorney generals office confirmed that it was investigating the complaint, and neither the Trump Organization nor the White House responded to Reuters requests for comment.

In another deal, this one in 2007, Trump signed an agreement with Mexican businessmen Pedro Rodriguez and Rodolfo Rosas Moya to bring the Miss Universe pageant to Mexico. The business arrangement was worth millions of dollars, but Trump claimed that he was not fully paid according to the agreement, believing he was owed $12 million. Trump reportedly sued Rosas Moya and won but was unable to recoup the lost cash, which has been a source of considerable anger for him.

In 2015, in a series of tweets, Trump noted, The Mexican legal system is corrupt, as is much of Mexico. Pay me the money that is owed me nowand stop sending criminals over our border. In addition, Trump called on people: Dont do business with Mexico! As reported by the Daily Beast, [Trump] seemed to connect his own legal problems with his desire to build a giant barrier between the United States and Mexico, writing Mexicos court system corrupt. I want nothing to do with Mexico other than to build an impenetrable WALL and stop them from ripping off U.S.

This interactive map of the world spells out President Donald Trumps and his familys conflicts of interest in 25 countries around the globe.

In February 2016, on the same day that Trump gave a speech at a campaign rally in South Carolina in which he excoriated Mexico for the loss of American jobs and businesses, a law firm in Mexico City filed trademark applications on behalf of the Trump Organization. In October 2016, the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property approved one of the trademarks, and about a month after Trumps inauguration, it approved three more trademarks. According to reporting by the Associated Press, The Mexican trademarks cover a broad range of business operations that can roughly be broken down into construction; construction materials; hotels, hospitality and tourism; and real estate, financial services and insurance. They are all valid through 2026.

Trump previously held the same four trademarks, but those expired in 2015, and in total, Trump has at least 20 trademarks in Mexico. In speaking with the Associated Press about the trademarks, Trump Organization chief counsel Alan Garten said that the Trump Organization was not being granted anything we didnt have before, as the original trademarks came years before [Trump] even announced his candidacy. Garten went on to say that the trademarks, which were originally intended to pave the way for business in the country and to prevent others from trademarking the name and using it for their own gain, are now purely for the latter defensive purpose.

According to both Trumps July 2015 and May 2016 financial disclosure formsneither of which were verified by regulators and therefore may not include all of his foreign deals or assetsTrump owned, had ownership interest in, or was a managing member of several companies related to business in Mexico, including the following:

Mexico demonstrates that, again, because of Trumps many conflicts, his foreign policy views and positions continue to be influenced by his business interests. President Trump seems to want to build a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico at least in part because he believes that he is owed money. The fact that such a wall would be wildly impractical, cost tens of billions of dollars, and potentially spark a trade war that could cause the loss of thousands of American jobs doesnt seem to register with him even as an afterthought.

Carolyn Kenney is a policy analyst on the National Security and International Policy team at the Center for American Progress. John Norris is a senior fellow at the Center.

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Trump's Conflicts of Interest in Mexico - Center For American Progress

Community House opening as ‘work in progress’ – Bloomington Pantagraph

BLOOMINGTON Its been in development for six months, but the proposed Jefferson Street Community House will officially open Friday as a work in progress, said the director of resource development and community engagement for Mid Central Community Action.

A grand opening event for the joint project among the Bloomington Police Department, Community Action, and the West Bloomington Housing Collaborative is scheduled from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, said Matthew Drat.

When we talk about it being a work in progress, we mean two things, he said. First, we still have to make the house ADA compliant. We have to finish the restroom and we will be installing a ramp. So, there is still work to be done. But more importantly, it is another step toward working with the neighborhood to improve the community as a whole and we think we have seen great strides in that during the last six months.

We are very happy that the house is open and it will serve and strengthen our community relations with people at a neighborhood level, said Bloomington Police Chief Brendan Heffner. We will be there to hear issues and concerns and to focus on crime prevention by speaking to neighbors on a regular basis so the neighborhood kids can see us in an everyday, human light.

Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner said the house will serve the purpose for which city officials intended.

This will prove to be an exciting project and asset to the west side, Renner said. I think it will do really great things to improve our relationship between our police and the neighborhood. Its a form of community policing and everybody gets to know everybody.

To help alleviate those concerns, the Jefferson Street Community House Advisory Council was formed. The group included a number of neighbors who provided input on the project.

We learned a great deal from that and much more than just what the house should be for the community, Drat said. We learned from neighbors about their needs for transportation and health care and the everyday problems they face. There are individuals who live and work in the community and they need to have their voice heard and so already, through this project, I think we have accomplished that and will continue to hear those voices as we go forward.

While several neighbors originally opposed the project, others said they think the mood has changed since the project was originally announced.

I think some people jumped to some conclusions and thought it was going to be different than what it turns out it is going to be, said Millie McMillian, who lives in the 600 block of West Jefferson. There were worries that the police were going to be jailing people there, but from what I hear, its just going to be a place for community events and neighbors to interact with police officers.

Fridays event is open to the public and will have games, youth activities and food, Drat said.

Follow Kevin Barlow on Twitter: @pg_barlow

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Community House opening as 'work in progress' - Bloomington Pantagraph

Trump touts ‘amazing’ progress, basks in praise of his Cabinet – The … – Washington Post

President Trump outlined some recent accomplishments at a combined meeting on June 12. (The Washington Post)

President Trump on Monday used his first full-fledged Cabinet meeting to try to make a case that, despite the Russian investigation and other distractions, his administration is racking up accomplishments at a record clip.

Never has there been a president, with few exceptions case of FDR, he had a major depression to handle who has passed more legislation and who has done more things than what weve done, Trump, referring to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, said during the meeting at the White House.

I think weve been about as active as you can possibly be at a just about record-setting pace, Trump said.

The meeting was also notable in that Trump allowed his Cabinet members, in full view of the media, to take turns praising him and his policy agenda.

We thank you for the opportunity and blessing . . . to serve your agenda, White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said in remarks that were echoed by other senior members of the administration.

Tom Price, the secretary of health and human services, also lavished Trump with praise, saying what an incredible honor it is to lead his department at this pivotal time under your leadership.

I can't thank you enough for the privileges you've given me and the leadership that you've shown, Price said.

While Trump has issued a flurry of executive orders, Congress has yet to pass any of his marquee agenda items, including a revamp of the Affordable Care Act, a tax-code overhaul or an infrastructure package. Most bills that Trump has signed have been modest in nature, including several rolling back regulations adopted in the closing stretch of President Barack Obamas tenure.

Conservatives have also touted the confirmation of Trumps first pick forSupreme Court justice, Neil M. Gorsuch.

[Analysis: Trump is blaming Democrats for his own failure on nominations]

Trump began the meeting by berating Democrats for taking longer than he wanted to confirm his Cabinet picks and accused them of being obstructionists on his high-profile agenda items.

If we had the greatest bill in the history of the world on health care, we wouldn't get one vote from the Democrats, because they're obstructionists, Trump said. That's what they want to do. That's the game. They think that's their best political gain.

During the meeting, Trump also announced that he would hold a news conference in two weeks to lay out his administrations plan to fight the Islamic State terrorist group.

He said his administration had already taken steps to cut off funding for terrorist groups.

We are stopping the funding of terrorism, Trump said. You have to starve the beast, and were going to starve the beast.

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Trump touts 'amazing' progress, basks in praise of his Cabinet - The ... - Washington Post

Mariners Progress Report: Stayin’ Alive – Emerald City Swagger

Jun 7, 2017; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners catcher Mike Zunino (3) celebrates after hitting a walk-off two-run homer against the Minnesota Twins during the ninth inning at Safeco Field. Seattle defeated Minnesota. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle Mariners: 2017 MLB Draft preview by Nick Lee

Cue the Bee Gees, the Mariners continue to stay alive.

Seattle just wrapped up a successful 7-4 homestand. They did drop two out of three to the hated Toronto Blue Jays but that was preceded by a sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays and a series win over the Minnesota Twins.

The Mariners finished 3-3 in the six games this week against two surging teams. The Ms are surging themselves as they are 6-4 in June and are now just two games under .500. They are just two games back of the Rays and Indians for the second Wild Card spot.

Jun 10, 2017; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager (15) hits an RBI-single against the Toronto Blue Jays during the second inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The week started off perfectly with a 12-3 drubbing of Minnesota which included home runs by Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager as well as a three-RBI day from Danny Valencia. It trended downward from there, leading to an eventual shutout by the hands of the Blue Jays on Sunday.

Ben Gamel stayed hot and wants to stay in the lineup despite the return of Mitch Haniger. He hit .348 in the six games this week.

Mike Zunino continued to show improvement. He had one of the best games of his career on Wednesday night. He homered in the third inning and then came up to bat with a runner on and two outs down by one in the bottom of the ninth. He swatted an opposite-field walk-off home run, the first of his career. He also scored three runs in that game.

Valencia cooled off in a big way this week, hitting .105 with just two hits and eight strikeouts. Another cooling bat has been Taylor Motter, who hit just .136 with zero extra base hits this week.

Jun 9, 2017; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners relief pitcher Edwin Diaz (39) reacts after getting a strikeout to end a 4-2 victory against the Toronto Blue Jays at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

As a staff, the Mariners had a 3.00 ERA this week. That is surprising with only winning three of the six games and having the strong lineup of Toronto in town. James Paxton came back down to earth as he allowed seven earned runs in his two starts this week and was pulled after four innings on Sunday.

The best start of the week came from Sam Gaviglio on Friday night. The Mariners stifled the Blue Jays and won the first game of the series 4-2 thanks to his six strong innings. He allowed just one run, walked three and struck out five. Edwin Diaz came in and pitched like a madman, striking out two in a perfect ninth inning to secure his 10th save of the year.

Another highlight of the bullpen came in Sundays loss. After Paxton was pulled after four innings, Emilio Pagan came in long relief and gave the Mariners exactly what they needed. He went four shutout innings and struck out five, giving the Mariners opportunities to get back in the game.

Felix Hernandez made his second rehab start over the weekend and even took a no-hitter into the fifth in Tacoma. He could hasten his comeback with that performance and maybe take the mound again for the Ms this coming weekend in Texas.

According to MLB.com, the Mariners won Bullpen of the Week after allowing just two earned runs in 20 2/3 innings.

Jun 11, 2017; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners left fielder Ben Gamel (16) steals second base against the Toronto Blue Jays during the sixth inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Defense/Baserunning: B

Robinson Cano committed the only two errors of the week on one play in Thursdays 2-1 loss to the Twins. Other than that, the Ms were solid as they have been most of this season. They are up to +8 Defensive Runs Saved as their athletic outfield continues to pay dividends.

Seattle stole five bases this week, two coming from the ultra-speedy Jarrod Dyson, who is second in the AL in stolen bases. Gamel, Motter and even Seager got into the mix as well. Seattle needs to continue to put pressure on opposing defenses with this weapon.

Player of the Week: Kyle Seager (2 HR, 7 RBI, .364 avg, 1.122 OPS)

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Mariners Progress Report: Stayin' Alive - Emerald City Swagger

Loving author on how slow racial equality progress can be: We still have that kind of politics – Salon

Author Sheryll Cashin believes that the future holds the hope for better race relations in the United States. But her optimism isnt merely dependent on population trends. What will matter, she told Salon in a recent phone interview, is how well we can adapt to being culturally dexterous that is, more willing to learn about and accommodate cultural differences and accepting of the notion that diversity requires negotiation and compromise.

Cashin discussed this concept at length in her new book Loving: Interracial Intimacy in America and the Threat to White Supremacy, published by Beacon Press. The nonfiction book hit shelves on June 6, a few day before the 50thanniversary of the 1967 Supreme Court ruling in Loving v. Virginia that struck down laws banning mixed-race marriages in 16states.

That decision and the relationship between Mildred and Richard Loving is at the center of Cashins book, but it doesnt comprise the entirety of its message. I really want to underscore this:You dont have to marry or sleep with or adopt a child of another race to acquire dexterity, Cashin said. Friendship, I think, an authentic friendship is enough for people to acquire insight. Thats a form of intimacy that I think has as much potential to have impact as anything else because increasingly people have someone of a different race ethnicity in their life, even if its at work, your co-worker. Thats powerful, and its radically different.

Even as socially polarized as we seem to be now, the concept of spending time with people of other races, whether in a platonic sense or romantically, is not as unusual as it was in the 1950s or the 60s. Cashin, for her part, noticed that interracial couples have become more visible in public in recent years as well. She began contemplating writing Loving, she said, a few years ago, although she originally envisioned it as fiction. I had this idea of representing some of the things that interracial couples have to get over, she said.

In the culture at large, the share of newlyweds in interracial marriages has grown sharply. A recent report by the Pew Research Centerhas indicated that 1out of every 6 U.S. newlyweds today is married to someone of a different race or ethnicity. The report further indicates that in 2015, 1out of every 10 married Americanshad a spouse of a different race or ethnicity amounting to about11 million people.

And this is reflected in the latest U.S. Census Bureau statistics indicating that ethnic minorities will become the majority of the U.S. population in 2044. More than half of the births in the U.S. since 2013 have been to people of color.

The Georgetown University Law professor, however, is under no illusion that interracial romances and marriages will overcome the anxiety and tension surrounding race relations. Loving, in fact, looks much further backwardinto our nations history all the way back to the 1600s.

Looking at the whole history of interracial marriage, regulation of it, banning of it, I didnt realize that it has a longer history than anything else and a more formidable role in constructing white supremacy, Cashin said. People have been obsessed with this idea for a very long time.

Anti-miscegenation law was created to solve a class conflict between wealthy planters and poor, white indentured servants, she continued. They created whiteness. What they wanted to do is divide poor white people from potentially being allies with other struggling people, with bonded black people. That political function, this dog-whistling divide and conquer it continues to this day. We no longer have anti-miscegenation laws, but we still have that kind of politics.

In a sense, Cashin is hoping that calling attention to this aspect of interracial relationships will help further the cause of Americans moving toward more harmony intheir social and political lives. My hope is that as with each passing decade its just going to get easier and easier for a center-left coalition of culturally dexterous whites and people of color to become a political majority, she said. My hope is that that political majority starts to dismantle the structures of supremacy, one of which is ghetto isolation.

Added Cashin: I wanted to make that clear. If we dont have an intentional effort to dismantle mass incarceration, to really tackle these enduring structures, some of that stuff and the othering is going to continue.

And there will still be pus back, even as Americans make strides. This is a country whereMildred and Richard Lovings story was made into a film, Loving, widely released in November 2016. These days television and film productions are expected to feature racially diverse casts as a matter of course. This season, in fact, is featuringthe first African-American Bachelorette on ABC and an interracial teen romance Everything, Everything in movie theaters.

Nevertheless it wasnt so long ago that internet trolls created a furor over seeing an interracial couple featured in a Cheerios commercial. And yet, that example helps Cashin make her case. In authentic friendships, when we like someone and spend time with them, were probably going to sit down and eat with them. That can be very powerful. So yes, invite someone over for a meal.

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Loving author on how slow racial equality progress can be: We still have that kind of politics - Salon

Progress Sports Editor honored at OPA awards – Claremore Daily Progress

The Sports Editor of the Claremore Progress received statewide recognition on Saturday night at the Oklahoma Press Association's Better Newspaper Contest Awards ceremony.

For the second year in a row, Rick Heaton's work was recognized as the best written and produced sports section among newspapers of similar size throughout the state.

Heaton received recognition along with a first place award plaque during the association's annual convention held on Saturday night at the the Skirvin Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City.

Heaton is also an award winning photographer, taking top honors of the OG&E Oklahoma Press Association Photo of the Month 15 times. He has been with the Claremore Progress since June of 2015, having previously spent 11 years at the Owasso Reporter. In his 27 years in the field, Heaton worked at three newspapers in Kansas before coming to Oklahoma the Andover Journal-Advocate, the Arkansas City Traveler and the Goodland Daily News. He is married to wife Pam of 18 years. They have two sons, Chase (wife Kayla) and Dustin, and a granddaughter Alexis Blake (5).

In the daily divisions, three of Community Newspaper Holdings papers, The Norman Transcript, Stillwater News Press and the Tahlequah Daily Press, claimed the Sequoyah Award, which is the highest honor in the OPA Better Newspaper Contest.

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Progress Sports Editor honored at OPA awards - Claremore Daily Progress

Steve Johnson, Mischa Zverev progress at Stuttgart Open (Jun 12, 2017) – FOXSports.com

STUTTGART, Germany (AP) Seeded players Steve Johnson of the United States and Mischa Zverev of Germany progressed to the second round of the Stuttgart Open on Monday.

Johnson, the No. 5, rallied to defeat German wild card Maximilian Marterer 3-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4, and Zverev, the No. 6, had little difficulty against Malek Jaziri, beating the Tunisian 6-3, 6-1 in under an hour.

Also at the grass-court tournament, Yannick Hanfmann defeated Hungarian qualifier Marton Fucsovics 6-3, 7-5, and Jan-Lennard Struff, another German, defeated Slovakian qualifier Lukas Lacko 6-4, 7-6 (3).

Top seeds Roger Federer, Grigor Dimitrov and Tomas Berdych have byes to the second round, as does the No. 4, French wild card Lucas Pouille, who next plays Struff.

This is the third year the event is being played on grass.

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Steve Johnson, Mischa Zverev progress at Stuttgart Open (Jun 12, 2017) - FOXSports.com

‘Equality’ marchers push for progress on LGBT rights – CNN International

The march Sunday was vibrant, in attire and color.

There were rainbow pride flags, trans pride flags, even American and Puerto Rican flags with rainbows as their stripes.

The energy was palpable, even as they lined up; sporadic cheers would overtake the crowd, interrupting percussive protest chants.

And then it suddenly got quiet. Soft singing soon overtook the soft fluttered of flags in the breeze

"Oh, say can you see..." The national anthem.

More and more joined the chorus as the song neared its apex, roaring towards the final lines.

As it concluded, the crowds let up a thunderous cheer. The march had begun.

Wayne Pawlowski and Ted carried one of those bright rainbow pride flags near the front of the parade. Ted declined to give CNN his full name; he knows that his marriage and his sexual orientation could get him fired.

Wayne and Ted have been together for 35 years, married for nine of them.

"There's a lot of basic rights that we as gay people don't have that a lot of Americans do and take for granted," said Ted. "We need to change that."

But Ted, 62, and Pawlowski, 71, have a unique historical artifact their rainbow pride flag.

They flew it at the capital's first ever LGBT protest on October 14, 1979. And they've brought it to every single Pride celebration and protest they've ever gone to since.

Jasmine and Nette Archangel made the trip North from Louisiana to be here they brought their whole family. For them, the march was about being visible.

"We want our family to be normalized, not just tolerated," said Nette, 32. "Our family's made out of love."

Last year, the couple made a big move from rural Louisiana into New Orleans, a place they feel "more accepted."

Jasmine, 33, is a bit more shy.

"I want my sons to know no matter what they decide to do, we love them regardless," she says through a smile.

The Archangels weren't the only family to travel from Louisiana. Erin Crisham and Monica Herbert brought their 3-year-old son Cullen to the march.

"We want to make sure that voices are still being heard," said Crisham. "Legislation continues to progress and not stall."

Crisham, like many in the community, saw a number of LGBT rights victories. Now, with a new President at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, they want to maintain that progress.

"We don't want to see anything stay stagnant," she said. "We don't want to see anything take steps back. We really want to see things continue to move forward."

The community won those hard-fought victories by the grassroots organizing of their organizations. They rapidly and fundamentally shifted American public thought on a variety of LGBT issues by coming out to their families, friends and coworkers and pressuring their politicians.

So how will the community pressure continued progress on LGBT issues in President Donald Trump's America?

They'll stay involved and start at home, just like they always did.

Crisham and Herbet are going to work with local LGBT family organizations just like the Archangels. And they agree with the Archangels; their family needs to be treated like anyone else's.

She says sometimes people just aren't used to having different types of families around them. It's a matter of getting them used to it.

"Sometimes, we're the educators for that," she said.

For Ted, it's simple. He's going to make sure he's at the ballot box each election voting for pro-gay candidates, "whenever we can."

His husband Wayne is going to support the organizations that helped make marriage equality the law of the land.

"We are going to go back to Florida tomorrow," he said. "The first thing we're going to do is send more donations (supportive organizations including Human Rights Campaign and the American Civil Liberties Union) ... the organizations that fight for us in ways that we can't individually."

Clayton Whitehead, 29, agrees. He sprained his ankle playing flag football earlier in the week but did not let that, or the crutch he has to walk with, stop him from marching.

The march was, "only the beginning."

"We have to get involved at the local level," he says. "Have the courage to speak up. Go to your community meetings. Your council meetings. Vote in your local elections. Those are just as important as our national elections."

Lou and John Thompson, both 69, came to Washington from Conway, Arkansas, for their first Pride and their first political protest.

They held a sign that reads, "We love our (single) gay son!" Their son Brock's sign read, "I love my (annoying but well-meaning) straight parents!"

"We need to make a stand at times," said Thompson, who thinks now is not the time to be silent. "In our churches. City council. Just every little opportunity that you get to make a stand, I think you need to say something."

Brock Thompson agrees.

"We're going to march every day if we need to," he says, beaming.

CNN's John Bena contributed to this report.

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'Equality' marchers push for progress on LGBT rights - CNN International

LETTER: Pattern for Progress supports RUPCO project – The Daily Freeman

Dear Editor,

The Landmark Place Senior and Supportive Housing residences advocated by RUPCO is an important opportunity to modernize a historic building, generate revenue for Kingston, help the citys revitalization and assist those in need.

Hudson Valley Pattern For Progress is a regional planning and policy organization. Our highest priority is our Urban Action Agenda, which assists in the transformation of urban centers, including Kingston.

It is clear this recognizable structure will not return to commercial use.

So, an alternative use is not only appropriate, but needed. RUPCO cites that by 2020, Kingston will be short 2,300 units of affordable housing. This project proposes 66, a small but important step.


Pattern For Progress supports the zoning change and RUPCO, a reputable community-first organization. We believe discussion would be more constructive if opponents worked with RUPCO to craft a project that addresses their concerns, be they security, supervision or other concepts. RUPCO will listen. RUPCO cares. Thats why it has undertaken this project in the first place.

Kingston has impressively taken many strides. Its vibrancy is appealing; its tech and arts centers are alluring. But poverty and other concerns still exist. You cannot wish them away. There is a moral obligation to say, There are residents of Kingston that need our help. That is what strong cities do.

The community should consider the zoning change and invest its time not in a contentious, possibly legal battle, but instead working to achieve the best project possible.

Jonathan Drapkin

President and chief executive officer, Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress

Newburgh, N.Y.

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LETTER: Pattern for Progress supports RUPCO project - The Daily Freeman

Adam Eaton says he is making progress following ACL surgery … – Washington Times

Adam Eaton is moving around better. He can place some weight on his left leg. Most of the time he is still using crutches to help carry the burden during his rehabilitation from ACL reconstruction surgery.

Eaton was placed on the disabled list April 29 with what was initially called a left knee strain. He actually had tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Eaton chose the patellar tendon graft to fix the injury.

Washington announced the timeline for his return to be 6-9 months. Among the early steps in the recovery process are reactivating the quadriceps muscle, re-establishing full extension of the leg or hyperextension, if it was in place prior to the injury then building quad strength and harmony for the muscle to fire when asked. After that, its a strengthening progression that allows the leg to carry more weight, move faster and, usually in what has become a commonplace surgery, return to its normal state.

Eaton said he is ahead of schedule to some degree. He already has full extension and has found it odd that he had to retrain his quad to do what was always a normal function because of muscle memory.

Ive never had an experience where Ive told my leg to lift and it doesnt lift, Eaton said Sunday. Its really a surreal feeling. I have to tell my quad to contract to hold me knee in place. Its definitely a grind.

When asked if there was damage to the knee beyond the ACL tear, Eaton declined to comment. Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo had said previously that surgeons repaired other ligament damage and the meniscus in addition to the ACL.

Eaton chose to do his rehabilitation work around the team. He said he watches a lot of baseball he doesnt have much of a choice, at this point and hopes his presence around the team can be beneficial.

Just in the sense that Im dedicated to them, just as theyve been dedicated to me, Eaton said. The trade this offseason probably wasnt the most popular one. I love the city. I love the people within the organization. I love everyone that was involved.

When the team goes on the road, Eaton continues his rehabilitation work. He said physical therapy and occupational therapy combine to take about 3-4 hours per day, six day per week.

I think I do a very good job of focusing every single day, Eaton said. But, at times my mind wanders about big picture. Not even just this year. Not even just next year. But, the longevity of my career and how it may be shaped with my injury.

Prior to the injury, Eaton helped create a formidable duo atop the Nationals order where he hit in front of Trea Turner. Eaton had a .393 on-base percentage when he was injured. He has been replaced by Michael A. Taylor, who hits at the bottom of the lineup.

Sitting around has been a new experience for Eaton after being a fleet athlete throughout his life.

Its been the experience of a lifetime, hopefully I dont have to go through it again, Eaton said.

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Adam Eaton says he is making progress following ACL surgery ... - Washington Times

Is progress being made toward paying players a percentage of the … – NBCSports.com

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During the 2016 offseason, we explained that nothing in the labor deal prevents players from getting paid a percentage of the salary cap. This approach would protect great players against significant jumps in the spending limit (and, in turn, the market) creating the impression that the player is being underpaid in the latter years of the contract.

Some have tried to get there, starting with former Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis in 2010 and, more recently, continuing with Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins last year. To date, no player has gotten that sort of term.

Jason Cole of Bleacher Report recently noted that [s]ome agents and people within [the] NFLPA are increasingly suggesting that star players tie their contracts to a percentage of the cap. Itll happen only when a great player has maximum leverage, presumably upon hitting the open market and creating a land rush for his services. It probably also needs to be a franchise quarterback.

While most big-money, long-term deals are meaningless beyond the first couple of years, a franchise quarterback tends to continue to play every year of his contract, until its time for another. To date, however, no true franchise quarterback has tried to get the out-year protection that comes from tying compensation to cap percentage. Not Aaron Rodgers (who refuses to admit hes underpaid because to do so would be to admit he did a subpar deal four years ago), not Peyton Manning in 2012 (when teams were lining up to get him), not Tom Brady at any time, not Ben Roethsliberger, not Drew Brees, not Russell Wilson, not Andrew Luck (who may not be a true franchise quarterback yet, but who had plenty of leverage when he did his second deal), not anyone.

Theres still no guarantee that a player would get that term. Its believed that the highly-influential Management Council has encouraged teams to resist, which makes the refusal to tie wages to cap percentage arguably collusion, if there were ever a paper trail to prove it.

Cole mentions Odell Beckham Jr. and Derek Carr as current star players who potentially could get a piece of the cap to account for future spikes, but Beckham is two years away from having his best leverage (unless hes willing to hold out from mandatory activities and ultimately skip games) and Carr has one more year before he can put the Raiders on the verge of the Cousins-style year-to-year franchise-tag dance.

Its really not all that controversial of a term, which makes the refusal of teams to do it even more confusing. The team and the player would set the salaries and guarantees for the first two or three years of the contract, and then starting in the third or fourth year of the deal hell have a set salary along with a roster bonus or some other payment aimed at bringing his total pay for the year to a certain percentage.

For example, if the Raiders were to sign Carr to a contract worth $25 million per year (which would represent 14.9 percent of the 2017 salary cap of $167 million), Carrs contract would ensure that, come 2019 or 2020 (and beyond) hed always be making 14.9 percent of the total cap.

If Rodgers had included such a term in his 2013 contract worth $22 million per year, which represented 17.8 percent of the $123 million salary cap in the year it was signed, hed be making $29.72 million this year. Instead, hes making $13.65 million.

Accounting for his signing bonus, Rodgers actually is at $20.3 million this year. Still, thats nearly $10 million lower than where he could have been if the deal had fully accounted for what has become a 35.7-percent hike in the cap since Rodgers signed.

Of course, a term like that could make a team more likely to squeeze a player to take less or to simply cut him in latter years of the deal, given his overall cash and cap burden. But getting a crack at the open market because the team thinks the player is making too much is always better than being tied to a team by a contract that doesnt pay nearly enough, and having no way to improve the situation without alienating fans who always applaud owners for trying to make more money and consistently chastise players for doing the same.

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Is progress being made toward paying players a percentage of the ... - NBCSports.com

England’s young stars rule the world, but must progress to senior team – ESPN FC (blog)

England have won their first major trophy since 1966, after Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over Venezuela.

Three points from England's 1-0 win over Venezuela in the U20 World Cup final.

England are world champions

For the first time since 1966, England are champions of the world, albeit at youth level, after a 1-0 win over Venezuela in the Under-20 World Cup final in South Korea. Dominic Calvert-Lewin, the scorer, and Freddie Woodman, the goalkeeper who saved a second-half penalty, were England's heroes in a pulsating final against an exciting Venezuelan team who have defied expectations even more than Paul Simpson's Young Lions.

This tournament has captured the imagination of the English public, and the jubilant scenes at the final whistle, when England's bench sprinted onto the pitch for a mass embrace, and the beaming trophy presentation, showed what it meant. This is not just youth football; it could prove hugely significant for English football.

England went into the game as favourites and had the best of the opening exchanges but Venezuela nearly took the lead after 25 minutes with an effort that would have gone down as one of the great World Cup final goals at any level. Mimicking a technique made famous by his namesake, Ronaldo Lucena thumped a dipping, swerving free kick against the post from a full 40 yards. Woodman was not alone in expecting a cross, but he would have struggled to save the effort even if he hadn't been 6 yards off his line.

The Venezuelan defence was having difficulty in dealing with England's two Dominics -- Solanke and Calvert-Lewin -- at the other end, and the latter opened the scoring with a goal that demonstrated England's superior strength and composure in the final third. The Everton forward won a high ball against his man and, although his first effort was saved one-handed by Wailer Farinez, he tucked in the rebound for England's first World Cup final goal since Geoff Hurst scored with "some people on the pitch."

England sensed blood before the half was finished as Calvert-Lewin got in behind again, only for Farinez to save with his legs.

On 52 minutes, Venezuela made a significant change, with Yeferson Soteldo replacing the ineffective Ronaldo Chacon, and with his very first touch, he dissected England's defence with a pass, leaving Sergio Cordova one-on-one with Woodman. His tame finish was smothered by the goalkeeper, who also held on to a header shortly afterward. The diminutive Soteldo helped put Venezuela on top and on 72 minutes came Woodman's moment, saving Adalberto Penaranda's penalty brilliantly after Jake Clarke-Salter was penalised. Venezuela pushed for a leveller, with even Farinez trying his luck in the dying seconds when up for a corner, but England held on to claim a historic victory.

VAR works

The most high-profile incident in the short history of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) trials was another positive advert for the technology. On 72 minutes and with Venezuela on top, Clarke-Salter clipped the heels of Penaranda and the referee immediately pointed to the spot. England's players implored him to consult the video assistants and he did, but replays showed it was the correct the decision. Woodman dived the wrong way but brilliantly kept out Penaranda's spot kick with a firm hand, and the Malaga forward seemed so stunned he failed to react to the rebound.

While Penaranda can hardly have savoured the extra wait, consulting the video assistants took barely a minute and ensured the correct decision at a pivotal moment in a World Cup final. There will always be detractors, people who fear further interference by a faceless official behind the scenes, and the questionable decision to uphold a red card in Italy's quarterfinal win over Zambia proves that there are still problems to be ironed out.

But this tournament has gone a long way towards suggesting that VAR works. It's time to have the conversation about introducing it to men's football -- and Serie A is leading the way by applying for FIFA approval for the start of the upcoming season.

England must translate success to senior team

This was England's first World Cup final appearance at any level since 1966 and the achievement of Paul Simpson's squad should not be underestimated. England have enjoyed relative success at youth level before, however, notably losing to Germany in the final of the European Under-21 Championship in 2009, but failed to build on these at senior level.

While Germany's youth team from that final went on to form the core of their World Cup winning team in 2014, England's stars from that tournament -- Theo Walcott, Micah Richards, Kieran Gibbs et al -- have largely failed to live up to their potential. A huge challenge for the Football Association, and English clubs, is to ensure the same fate does not befall this U20 team.

Key to that will be opportunities at club level and England's heroes will hope to use this triumph as a springboard. The closest thing to a Premier League regular in England's World Cup winning squad is captain Lewis Cook, who may have made more than six appearances for Bournemouth last season were it not for injury.

Cook's midfield partner Joshua Onomah, England's most impressive player in the final, is a good example. The Tottenham player made just four substitute appearances in the Premier League last season but this experience can only be a positive for him. He and his teammates will hope to use it and play more next term.

Dominic Solanke, who won the Golden Ball for the Player of the Tournament in South Korea, will jump ship from Chelsea due to a lack of first-team opportunities. It has to be hoped he will find more of a home when he completes his switch to Liverpool on July 1.

Dan is ESPN FC's Tottenham correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Dan_KP.

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England's young stars rule the world, but must progress to senior team - ESPN FC (blog)

Cam Gibson rewards Tigers’ patience with progress – The Detroit News

Tigers outfield prospect Cam Gibson is in his second season at Single-A West Michigan.(Photo: Robin Buckson / Detroit News)

Maybe because they had learned earlier lessons about rushing players think of big-bonus outfielder Daniel Fields the Tigers these days are taking their time with promotions and upgrades.

It might have paid off in the 2017 rise of Cam Gibson, a 23-year-old outfielder who was asked to repeat a second season at Single-A West Michigan.

Gibson is batting .275 in his last 10 games and has nine home runs for the Whitecaps. On the year he has a .331 on-base average and .786 OPS. He tracks balls in the outfield with range reminiscent of his dad, Kirk, who three decades ago was a Tigers centerpiece on some elite teams that in 1984 won Detroits last world championship.

This progress Cam Gibson has made in 2017 is not, say his bosses, the product of a one-time Michigan State baseball star overmatching his pitching competition. Its simple development that, perhaps within a month, will see Gibson heading for a stiffer challenge at Single-A Lakeland.

Gibson ripped a double and had another hard-hit out in Fridays game against a starting pitcher from Daytona, Tony Santillan, who was firing a 99-mph fastball during Fridays game at Comstock Park. He had another single and a pair of RBIs in Saturday nights Whitecaps triumph.

This can happen when swing adjustments and simple maturation move a player from so-so prospect to a youngster the Tigers could eventually see in the big leagues, even as a fourth outfielder.

Hes adjusted his stance, and his hands set-up, and hes trying to limit excess movement trying to be more direct to contact, which hes doing better, said Bruce Fields, the Tigers roving batting instructor who was taking in the Whitecaps-Dayton series this weekend, and whos been monitoring Gibson for two years.

Hes hitting the ball hard and more consistently. His swing hasnt been in and out like it was last year. Last year, hed show you a couple of good swings, then lose it for a while, then show you another good swing.

Now you see that hes hitting the ball harder. With a little air under it. Hes improved his swing greatly from last year.

Gibson was a fifth-round pick in 2015 following his junior year at East Lansing. He batted only .221 last year at West Michigan, his first full season of professional baseball. It was not the start Gibson or the Tigers had in mind.

Rather than push him reflexively to high Single-A Lakeland in 2017, the Tigers decided to cool the timetable, not only with Gibson, but with one of his old Spartan teammates, first baseman Blaise Salter, a 6-foot-5, 245-pound, right-handed batting first baseman who last season worked at Single-A Connecticut. Salter is batting .319 for the Whitecaps, with an .859 OPS, five home runs and 48 RBIs in 60 games.

Put it this way, Fields said, speaking of Gibsons follow-up at West Michigan. When you repeat a league you expect better results. What Cam has shown is what was expected. Hes given us better results, been more consistent with his swing. Hes added the bunt (for base hits) game, as have some of the other young guys there.

Numbers dont lie, Fields continued. Let me ask you this: If this were another organization, any other organization, and you had a couple of kids one hitting .325, .330, another with a league-lead in RBIs what would you say?

Fields was speaking here of Salters RBIs, as well as another of manager Mike Rabelos outfield colts, Jacob Robson, an eight-rounder (Mississippi State) from last Junes draft, who is batting .321 for the Whitecaps and alternating outfield spots with Gibson and with Danny Woodrow, a 12th-round pick (Creighton) last June.

All of the outfielders have speed. All can and do play anywhere in the outfield.

A little fireplug, Fields said of Robson, an Ontario native who grew up in London and now lives in Windsor. He gets after it. Plays hard. I just love the way he goes after it.

Woodrow after watching him last night his swing is definitely improving. You see a better plane and path. Hes hitting hard, firm ground balls and using the whole field. And hes repeating his swing. At least he did last night.

Gibson, of course, is a left-handed batter, 6-1, 195, with an arm similar to his fathers (a bit beneath average) and defensive range that could help push him to Comerica Park

The Tigers hope for obvious reasons Gibson can make the cut. A defender with his range could be of immense help in a home ballpark that has surplus acreage. He also could decongest basepaths the 2017 Tigers too often tend to clog.

Gibson had 26 steals in 2016. He has 12 swipes in 2017. The Tigers would prefer seeing 30-plus by the time he wraps up his 2017 venture. Speed and power theyre difficult to ignore in a Tigers system hurting for position options.

I would say Gibby, if you were to grade his power, probably is slightly below average but hes got pop, Fields said. Its mostly pull power, but he has hit a couple of deep balls to right-center and center, and if hes doing that, hes making progress.

Obviously, the next step is you want to see it at the next level (Single-A Lakeland). You want to see if he can repeat his swing at that level. Well see where it goes.

This is where the Tigers are perhaps taking different tacks from some older, less strategic days when the likes of Daniel Fields, who had gotten a $1.6 million bonus from the Tigers, was rushed to high Single A and never spent a day getting a base at West Michigan.

The Tigers have different approaches these days. Gibson might be an eventual salute to more prudent development and patience.



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Cam Gibson rewards Tigers' patience with progress - The Detroit News

Decades-long American chestnut restoration efforts show progress – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Decades-long American chestnut restoration efforts show progress
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
In the late 1980s, after more than 20 years of inactivity, another wave of restoration efforts began, and a recently published paper offers positive signs on the progress. It's a cautious optimism, said co-author Sara Fitzsimmons, the director of ...


Decades-long American chestnut restoration efforts show progress - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

News Outlets Aren’t Covering Economic Progress, Trump Says – The Daily Caller

President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday that the fake news [mainstream media] isnt covering the great stock market performance and low unemployment that have occurred since election day.

The [fake news mainstream media] doesnt report the great economic news since Election Day. [Dow] up 16 percent. [Nasdaq] up 19.5 percent, Trump tweeted. He added that the oil drilling and energy market is way up, and regulations are way down.

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News Outlets Aren't Covering Economic Progress, Trump Says - The Daily Caller

Jacoby Ellsbury making some progress – Newsday

Jacoby Ellsbury again is making progress in his recovery from a concussion, but not to the point that hes game-ready.

Joe Girardi said the centerfielder, who has been on the disabled list with a concussion and neck sprain since May 25, will not travel with the Yankees on Sunday night when they head to the West Coast for the start of a seven-game trip that begins Monday night in Anaheim. Instead, Ellsbury will go to Double-A Trenton, where he will work out with the club but not play in games.

That is not to say Ellsbury isnt feeling better. The headaches that had started to go away returned June 2 in Toronto, and he has been restricted to light exercise since then. That activity has been moderately increased in recent days because the headaches have not been as frequent.

He has been riding the bike, he has run on the treadmill, he is not sprinting yet, Girardi said. But hes played catch, so were starting to see progress.

Though Ellsbury certainly helps the Yankees outfield depth, all signs are that he will not be put back into the starting lineup immediately after he returns. Thats because Aaron Hicks entered Saturday nights game with a .318/.426/.584 slash line, 10 homers and 34 RBIs.

After watching Hicks hit two home runs Friday night, Girardi said his playing time wont decrease significantly when Ellsbury returns. Hes going to play a lot, thats the bottom line, Girardi said of Hicks. Hes going to continue to get a ton of at-bats.

Greg Bird (right ankle bone bruise) entered Saturday night hitting .280/.438/.360 in eight rehab games but still could be a little ways from returning.

I dont have a timetable on when hes coming back, Girardi said. Looking at the numbers, hes doing OK. Our people have determined hes not ready to come back yet. Could it be sometime soon? I guess it could be, but I dont have a date yet. Hes been off for a while and needs some at-bats.

Aroldis Chapman threw 18 pitches in a simulated game Saturday in Tampa with his fastball sitting at 97-98 mph, according to Girardi. He said Chapman will pitch for high Class A Tampa on Tuesday and Double-A Trenton on Friday and perhaps be back Saturday with the Yankees.

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Jacoby Ellsbury making some progress - Newsday

Injured Texas Rangers pitchers making progress | Fort Worth Star … – Fort Worth Star Telegram

Fort Worth Star Telegram
Injured Texas Rangers pitchers making progress | Fort Worth Star ...
Fort Worth Star Telegram
Cole Hamels threw a bullpen session Saturday during the Rangers' game at Nationals Park, and A.J. Griffin played catch before the game.

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Injured Texas Rangers pitchers making progress | Fort Worth Star ... - Fort Worth Star Telegram

Progress to report at last – Bangor Daily News

It was great to be at the homestead again. After nearly six months of very little progress, Saturday was spent putting up siding. I think that we made some great progress and am super excited with what we accomplished.

My Dad has been plugging away on the siding for a month now. He took a little tumble near the end of May, so my Mom and I were adamant that he needed to rest for a bit. It scared me and filled me with all kinds of emotions. My initial reaction was he was not going to be working on my house ever again. After talking with my parents and knowing my Dad as I do, there is no way he could ever sit still. If he wasnt working on my house, hed be doing something else on the Farm. Possibly something more dangerous.

Today was spent working on the siding. My Dad found the most amazing little clamps. They fit on the piece of siding that we just installed and then we sit the next piece right onto the clamps. You dont have to measure or level the pieces at all. Its amazing. I cant imagine putting the Hardie plank on without them. (Ill have to get a photo of installing a piece). Were using screws to put it up, which I highly recommend.

The pieces of siding are 12 feet long and made of cement. They are hard to move as they break easily. I learned the hard way that there is pretty much just one way to move them. Oops.

We worked on the back side first and got up to about the window. Then we moved to the front of the house when it was in the shade. We got just about to the bottom of the window on the front as well. We are still able to do a bit more with the staging. I think that we will probably end up renting a lift to do above the windows near the peak.

There are times that it seems like we still have so far to go, but then I think of what weve accomplished in the last year. It was funny. My Dad was on the staging thinking about the best way to approach the windows and I was sitting on the ground next to my Mom. My Mom said remember when we were inside sitting on the slab, trying to find a bit of shade under one of the few beams that we had up? Now, the exterior is nearing completion.

I had a big frustration with my townhouse, but I am just trying to roll with the punches and not get down. I know that Gods sovereign plan is perfect and that He is teaching me lessons every day in this journey. My friend Elizabeth is in a similar situation so I know that I am not alone. Maybe Im supposed to be renting my current place?

Over the past few months, Ive been able to save a bit of money so I am going to proceed with what I am able to afford. Im on vacation this upcoming week so I am hoping to make up for lost time and make lots of progress.

After 15 years in college athletics, the last seven as an assistant athletics director, I was burned out with 70-hour work weeks and extensive travel. I resigned my position and accepted a position in marketing at a small, vibrant college in my hometown of Unity, Maine. In the process I wanted to go back to my childhood where we raised polled Herefords, had a Christmas Tree Farm and spent many hours outside. I decided I wanted to build my own home on beautiful farmland that my family owns. With help from my Dad, the most talented person Ive ever met, we are building my home together. I have decided to blog my experience the ups and downs, the joys and frustrations. What was once an open field will one day be my home! The dream in my head is becoming reality. I can just see the lambs frolicking in the field, chickens in the barnyard and going running with my Alaskan Malamute!

Excerpt from:

Progress to report at last - Bangor Daily News