GRAND BLANC, Mich. – Bonuses totaling $39,500 have been paid by Chevrolet Performance to IMCA drivers winning 2016 track championships while competing exclusively with crate engines.One hundred and twenty-one different drivers in the IMCA Xtreme Motor Sports Modified, Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod, Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center Southern SportMod and IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock divisions won a total of 158 track titles with crate engines this season.Bonuses of $250 per track championship were mailed this month from the IMCA home office. This was the third season in the latest three-year bonus agreement with Chevrolet Performance, which has now awarded some $200,000 to eligible drivers over the course of the bonus program.“This has been a lucrative program for our members since its inception over a decade ago and we appreciate the support Chevrolet has shown IMCA racers during that time,” noted IMCA Marketing Director Kevin Yoder. “We’ll continue to structure this program to put cash in the pockets of IMCA drivers and recognize track championships.”The 52 crate-powered Modified drivers winning 66 track titles and $16,500 in bonuses were:$1,000 – Ricky Stephan.$750 – Cory Sample.$500 – Chaz Baca, Steven Bowers Jr., Jordan Grabouski, Michael Johnson, Tyler Limoges, Mitch Morris, Chris Nieman and Marlyn Seidler.$250 – Chris Abelson, Jacob Adler, Russell Allen, Drew Armstrong, Randy Brown, Tate Cole, Eric Dailey, Justin Elmer, Albert Gill, Kevin Green, Matt Guillaume, Travis Hagen, Clint Hatlestad, Jared Hoefelman, Jeff Hoegh, Billy Kendall, Shawn Kilgore, Eddie Kirchoff, Shawn LaRocque, Ronn Lauritzen, Red Monson, Nate Moore, Adam Morris, Travis Olheiser, Shawn Reed, Kyle Rohleder, Kody Scholpp, Dylan Sherfick, Mike Strobl, Regan Tafoya, Gary VanderMark, Rob VanMil, Josh Vogt, A.J. Ward, Tim Ward, Jeff Waterman, Mark Wauge, Johnny Whitman, Billy Wilker, Jason Wolla, Kyle Yeack and Chris Zogg.Forty-one Northern and Southern SportMod drivers earning track championships and shares of $13,250 in bonuses included:$750 – Nick Meyer, Tony Olson and Jesse Skalicky.$500 – Brian Cooper, Matt Looft, Clint Luellen, Kyle Prauner, Doug Smith and Tyler Soppe.$250 – Jason Andrews, Jordan Barkholtz, Chris Birmingham, Lance Borgman, Todd Boulware, Karl Brewer, Austin Charles, Todd Cooper, Brian Davidson, Chuck Delp, Rick Diaz, James Digiovanni, Junior Flores, Shawn Hand, Randy LeMieux Jr., Johnathon Logue, Cody Malcom, Chris McKellar, Ryan Moser, Adolfo Noriega, John Oliver Jr., Robby Rosselli, Jeff Schmuhl, Tom Schneider, Zach Schulz, David Siercks, Dalton Simonsen, Nick Spainhoward, Austin Svoboda, Kevin Tabor, Jeremy Van Ede and Nelson Vollbrecht.Shares of $9,750 in bonuses went to these 28 Hobby Stock drivers:$750 – Tim Church and Cory Probst.$500 – Shannon Anderson, Brady Bencken, Andrew Bertsch, Cody Nielsen, Phil Reid, Lukus Wassom and Jason Wilkinson.$250 – Dana Brandt, Andrew Burg, Nate DeSive, Dustin Griffiths, Benji Irvine, Jason Kohl, Corey Madden, Myles Michehl, TeJay Mielke, Rusty Montagne, Matt O’Hair, Jim Robinson, Leevi Runge, Aaron Shearn, Tony Slothower, Daniel Smith, Ryan Sutter, Mike Watkins and John Watson.
Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said fans shouldn’t give Schooling a rough ride at the event from August 19-30 — and told them to remember that the swimmer’s mother is Malaysian.“No booing, no jeering,” he was quoted as saying in the New Straits Times newspaper Friday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“That is not what the SEA Games is about. Tensions will run high, cheer for your team but don’t jeer others.”He added Malaysians should not “dwell on this too much, it is important to remember that Joseph Schooling’s mother is Malaysian”. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief MOST READ View comments Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LATEST STORIES UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Kings’ Randolph arrested on pot charge at LA housing project LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games Singapore’s bronze medallist Joseph Isaac Schooling poses on the podium of the men’s 100m butterfly swimming event at the 2015 FINA World Championships in Kazan on August 8, 2015. AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER NEMENOVMalaysia’s sports minister has urged fans not to boo Olympic swimming champion Joseph Schooling at the Southeast Asian Games, after the Singaporean sparked a furor by vowing to “teach (Malaysians) a thing or two”.Schooling, who won Singapore’s first gold medal at last year’s Rio Olympics, caused controversy with his remarks last week, before insisting he meant no offence and that his comments were taken out of context.ADVERTISEMENT PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games PLAY LIST 03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH00:50Trending Articles01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding K-pop star Jung Joon-young convicted of gang rape, spycam crimes Read Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Schooling, who stunned his idol Michael Phelps to win 100m butterfly gold in Rio last year, is likely to play a starring role in Kuala Lumpur after he swept nine gold medals at the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore.
Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Read Next LATEST STORIES K-pop star Jung Joon-young convicted of gang rape, spycam crimes Rod Ebondo. PBA IMAGESSeeing his herculean effort go down the drain, Rod Ebondo opted to move on rather than dwell on Centro Escolar University’s sorry 65-61 Game 1 loss to Flying V in the 2017 PBA D-League Foundation Cup semifinals on Thursday.“This is basketball. We can’t say anything about it. It just happened,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH PLAY LIST 05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief The Congolese big man did all he could, firing 20 points and 27 rebounds in the defeat. Unfortunately, he had the ignominy of being the one to commit the charging foul on Gab Banal in the waning seconds that took the fight out of the Scorpions.Still, Ebondo lauded CEU’s efforts after they came just within breaks away from dealing Flying V its first loss of the conference.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“We just wanted to give them their first loss. We really played hard, but we just have to move on and adjust next game. We want to be more mature, especially in the end game,” he said.Ebondo also seeks to be more of a veteran as he wants to calm his fellow teammates in the clutch. PBA opens doors to 2017 draft applicants Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH MOST READ “Our team has many young players and sometimes, they panic in the crucial moments of the game. But next game, we will just try to be more confident so maybe we can force a Game 3 and go to the Finals.”The Scorpions now that if they want to extend their stint in the Foundation Cup, they have no choice but to fight harder in game 2 on Tuesday.“In basketball, nothing is impossible. We just have to deal with it and focus on the next game. This is a do-or-die for us,” he said. “We just have to come back stronger. We hope that we give our best and play hard to force a Game 3.”ADVERTISEMENT View comments
Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary This was Nadal’s second China Open title in four trips to the final. He won his first in his Beijing debut in 2005.“In 2005, I never will believe that I will keep playing tennis in 2017,” Nadal said.Nadal leads Kyrgios 3-2 in career meetings, and 2-1 this season. Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games LATEST STORIES “I was playing very high intensity the whole match, changing the directions and not making many mistakes,” Nadal said.Kyrgios offered Nadal eight break points in the first set with Nadal taking two service breaks.Kyrgios was angered by a line call in the first set and his complaints eventually cost him a penalty point at the start of the eighth game.Kyrgios didn’t make it onto the board in the second set until he was serving with Nadal already leading 5-0.“In the semifinal I played well, obviously beating Alex (Zverev),” Kyrgios said. “It’s a typical type of week for me: beat a player well, then pretty much no-show.”ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients Garcia also won her final in straight sets.“She played amazing tennis,” Halep said of Garcia. “She deserved to win today. She was better.”For Halep, the loss was particularly disappointing as she was unable to back up her guaranteed debut in the No. 1 ranking on Monday. She secured the top spot on Saturday with her semifinal victory over French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko.Halep’s best opportunity to rebound against Garcia ended when she failed to make good on any of the nine break points she had at 3-3 in the second set.“For sure it definitely turned the second set,” Garcia said. “This game was definitely very important.”In the second-set tiebreaker, the unseeded Garcia jumped out to 4-1, and on a first match point at 6-3 with Halep serving, the Romanian netted a forehand. Garcia fell to her knees in celebration.She is enjoying an 11-match winning streak, having captured her first title of the season at Wuhan last week. This is the second time she’s won a career-best 11 straight matches.“It was such an amazing two weeks,” Garcia said. “It went so fast.”Garcia saved a match point in her three-set quarterfinal victory over third-seeded Elina Svitolina of Ukraine.The last time Kyrgios played a No. 1 it was also against Nadal. In that 2014 fourth-round encounter at Wimbledon, the then 144th-ranked Kyrgios emerged a four-set winner. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Read Next MOST READ Hamilton wins Japanese GP to move closer to F1 title Rafael Nadal of Spain returns a shot to Nick Kyrgios of Australia during the men’s singles final match of the China Open tennis tournament at the Diamond Court in Beijing, China. APRafael Nadal beat Nick Kyrgios of Australia 6-2, 6-1 Sunday(Monday Manila time) in the China Open final to win his sixth ATP title of the year, and Caroline Garcia defeated soon-to-be-No. 1 Simona Halep 6-4, 7-6 (3) in the women’s event.Top-ranked Nadal, who was tied with Roger Federer and Alexander Zverev at five titles this season, picked up his 75th career singles trophy with the win in Beijing.ADVERTISEMENT Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City The 15th-ranked Garcia, who lost to Halep the two previous times they played, won her second consecutive WTA title. The Frenchwoman will make her top-10 debut when the new rankings come out on Monday.The 31-year-old Nadal’s six trophies this year include a record 10th title at the French Open and a third at the U.S. Open. The last time the Spaniard won at least six titles in a year was in 2013 when he captured 10 trophies for the season.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutKyrgios started Sunday struggling with his serve and never found a confident range throughout the match. His first-serve percentage mostly languished under the 50 percent mark.In contrast, Nadal always looked in charge and saved all four break points he faced. BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight View comments
Mapua takes a 12-day breather before facing JRU on August 22. NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games DILG, PNP back suspension of classes during SEA Games LATEST STORIES View comments Andoy Estrella. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netAs if Mapua’s roster couldn’t get any more depleted, coach Atoy Co had to face another wave of bad news as top guys Andoy Estrella and Leo Gabo fell to injuries prior to the Cardinals’ game against San Beda on Friday.ADVERTISEMENT For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Ebondo, Scorpions move on from tough semis Game 1 loss Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo “Unfortunately, they got injured in our practice. Wala na nga akong players, nai-injure pa (I no longer have any players, and even the ones I have still get injured),” the PBA legend rued as his rotation dwindled down to just eight men.Estrella has been the Cardinals’ leading scorer, averaging 16.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 4.5 assists, while Gabo, who was still able to play minimal minutes in the game, has been netting 10.8 markers, 3.2 boards, and 3.4 dimes.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsStill in disbelief with the turn of events, Co shared that it was disastrous practice session on Thursday for his Mapua squad.“Gabo got (his ankle) sprained when he landed in our scrimmage. Andoy inadvertently pushed one of his teammates and (Almel) Orquina landed on his knee. He didn’t hear any pop, but after that, he had a hard time walking,” he said. MOST READ NGCP on security risk: Chinese just technical advisers Co suspected that Estrella suffered an MCL injury, as he kept his team’s leading scorer off of Mapua’s game on Friday. Gabo, meanwhile, fought through the pain but could only muster two points in the four minutes he played in the game.Their absence were truly felt in the Cardinals’ 66-55 loss to the Red Lions, which sent them to their fifth straight defeat and further down the cellar at 1-6.Though Co got a huge boost in the emergence of Christian Bunag, who racked an eye-popping 20 points and 18 rebounds, the mentor knows that won’t be enough as he hopes to get more surprises from his line-up.“From the start of the season, all I wanted is to have a good showing, not necessarily winning. Winning is a bonus. But I always tell them that we will play good basketball,” he said.“We have to play good basketball, disciplined basketball, take the open shot and not the hurried shot. There are losses that are still good shows. It’s basketball, there will be winners and there will be losers. It’s just that we lack the manpower.”ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next
TagsTransfersAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Real Madrid target Eriksen sends Tottenham message: They know what I wantby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveChristian Eriksen says Tottenham know what he wants from a new contract amid interest from Real Madrid.The Spurs ace has less than 18 months to run on his current deal and talks over an extension have stalled.It is believed the club will hold out for £225 million for the Real Madrid target. However, Eriksen is seemingly keen to re-sign with Tottenham, but only if they meet his demands.He told TV3 Sport: “[The future is] not something I’m thinking of. I focus on playing football, and there are many battles you have to think about which must be won.”Responding specifically to Madrid’s interest, he added: “It is not the first time that there have been rumours, and when the newspapers write something, it is not something we are masters of. If there is nothing concrete, then I just comment on rumours.”I think people know what I want, and I know what they [Tottenham] would like. There is a nice dialogue so there is nothing [new] there.”
Mumbai: Despite the many a policy thrust on helping small businesses like the Mudra and 59 seconds loan schemes, the share of the state-run banks in loan disbursals to the MSME segment has plunged to 39 percent in December 2018 from a high 58 percent five years ago, says a report. According to a report by the Small Industries Development Bank of India (Sidbi), the government’s specialised vehicle to uplift the sector, and credit information company Cibil Transunion, the plunge is due to the asset quality woes plaguing the state-run banks. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalAnd the loss of the state-run banks has been the gain of private sector banks and non-banking financiers, which in the meanwhile, grew at a much faster clip, leading to an increase in their market share to 33 percent in December 2018 from 22 percent in December 2013, and up to 21 percent from 13 percent, respectively. The report did not quantify the credit disbursals in absolute terms though. It can be noted that the government has been giving a lot of focus to the MSME segment through schemes like Mudra and another one under which loans are passed in just 59 seconds, which was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year with much fanfare. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostThe massive fall in the credit share of state-run banks is striking as normally, government schemes are driven on the back of state-run banks. “Going forward, we expect that state-run banks would be able to claw back some of their lost share as they come out of the prompt corrective action (PCA) framework of the Reserve Bank,” the report said Thursday. The PCA is the special provision wherein the Reserve Bank restricts a lender’s activities due to various reasons including high non-performing assets. From an NPA perspective, the MSME segment showed an improvement in the quarter to December 2018, and Sidbi chairman and managing director Mohammad Mustafa considers this, along with credit growth, as a promising indicator. The overall credit to the MSME segment grew 19.3 percent per annum during the five years ending December 2018, the report said. Managing director and chief executive of Transunion Cibil Satish Pillai said growth of this magnitude needs to be monitored carefully as rapid acceleration in debt build-up may indicate prospective stress in the system. Lenders should monitor their portfolios constantly for loan stacking, leverage and debt build-up, the regulators must keep systemic risks in check, he added.
Gumla/Lohardaga (Jharkhand): Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das has said the grand alliance of opposition parties wants to oust Narendra Modi from power as the Prime Minister has never compromised on corruption. Canvassing for Union minister of State for Tribal Affairs and sitting MP Sudarshan Bhagat in Lohardaga (ST) Lok Sabha seat in Gumla on Thursday, Das said since the prime minister knows about poverty, his battle against corruption is uncompromising. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details Referring to the Congress, the JMM and the RJD, the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ partners, the chief minister asked, “How can Rahul Gandhi (Congress president) and Hemant Soren (JMM working president) know about poverty as they are born with silver spoons in their mouth?” They talk about tribals, but back out when steps are taken in the interest of the indigenous people, Das claimed. “These (allies) are the same people who looted sand, gave it to a Mumbai-based contractor, indulged in coal scam and fodder scam,” the BJP leader alleged.
Brighton: Manchester City held off a titanic challenge from Liverpool to become the first side in a decade to retain the Premier League title by coming from behind to beat Brighton 4-1 on Sunday. A 14th straight league win ensured Pep Guardiola’s men pipped Liverpool by a solitary point as the Reds’ long wait to win the league continued despite a 2-0 victory over Wolves at Anfield that saw them post the third highest points tally in Premier League history. Also Read – We will push hard for Kabaddi”s inclusion in 2024 Olympics: RijijuCity remain on course to complete the first ever domestic treble in English football in the FA Cup final next weekend as goals from Sergio Aguero, Aymeric Laporte, Riyad Mahrez and Ilkay Gundogan saw the visitors recover from Glenn Murray’s shock opener. For 83 seconds Liverpool fans were able to dream, but City showed why they are champions and have racked up a remarkable 98 points, just two shy of their record century of points last season. Liverpool applied as much pressure as they could with their own nine-game winning run to end the season and went in front early against Wolves to raise the tension inside the Amex Stadium. Also Read – Djokovic to debut against Shapovalov at Shanghai MastersCity had not conceded in their previous four games, but Brighton were playing on their nerves as they sought revenge for defeat in their FA Cup semi-final last month. Ali Jahanbakhsh flashed a shot just wide of Ederson’s right-hand post before the moment that was celebrated as wildly 270 miles north at Anfield as it was on the south coast. Pascal Gross’s dangerous in-swinging corner was powered home by veteran striker Murray at the near post on 27 minutes. This was the first time City had failed to score first in a league game since early December and the first time they had trailed at all in the 14-game winning run that has carried them to the title. However, Brighton’s lead and Liverpool’s hope lasted just over a minute. Aguero scored the sensational last-gasp goal that ended City’s own 44-year wait for the title in 2011/12 and his goals have been a constant of their now four Premier League triumphs in eight seasons. David Silva’s wonderful flick freed the Argentine in behind the Brighton defence and Aguero made no mistake with a powerful low finish. The brief shock of going behind sparked City into life as Mathew Ryan was then forced into saves at his near post from Bernardo Silva and Mahrez. However, Brighton were undone from a simple set-piece when Mahrez’s corner found Laporte completely unmarked to head City in front seven minutes before half-time. The champions still had nervy moments to see through as Ederson only just scrambled Lewis Dunk’s dipping free-kick over the bar with the last action of the first half. And the Brazilian goalkeeper was lucky not to concede a free-kick yards from the City goal line when he collected a back pass from Laporte. Yet, 27 minutes from time they had the breathing space they desired in a moment of magic and redemption for Mahrez. The Algerian has failed to make a big impact in his first season since joining for a club record Euro 60 million from Leicester. Until now his most noteworthy moment was a late missed penalty in a 0-0 draw at Anfield in October that could easily have cost City the title. Instead, he scored the goal to ensure Liverpool were denied at the end of a remarkable title tussle by cutting inside Dunk before firing into the top corner on his weaker right foot. Nine minutes later Gundogan added the icing on the champions’ cake with a glorious free-kick from 25 yards. Liverpool may have fallen just a point short, but the Anfield faithful were determined to remind the world that Sunday’s 2-0 win against Wolves in their last domestic game of the season wasn’t the end of an incredible campaign for Liverpool. Jurgen Klopp’s side hope to turn the agony of their title near-miss into the ecstasy of a sixth European Cup when they face Tottenham in the Champions League final on June 1. Tuesday’s incredible 4-0 win against Barcelona that erased a 3-0 first leg deficit and sent Liverpool to their second successive Champions League final, ensuring their last shot at winning the title for this season didn’t feel quite so painful. Sadio Mane’s double gave them 97 points — the third highest total in Premier League history behind only City’s tallies this season and last. Liverpool, beaten only once all season in the league, also equalled the club’s top-flight record of 30 wins, set over 42 matches in 1978-79, after recording a ninth consecutive league victory. No wonder Liverpool were given a standing ovation when the final whistle sounded. Ninety minutes earlier, under picture-perfect blue skies, fans arrived at Anfield more in hope than expectation. Many Liverpool supporters were decked in the hastily made replicas of the ‘Never give up’ t-shirt Mohamed Salah wore during the post-match celebrations against Barcelona on Tuesday, while the PA system blared out Journey’s ‘Don’t stop believing’ before kick-off. But, with even the most diehard Kopite expecting City to win at Brighton, the mood around Anfield was one of pride in Liverpool’s season rather than genuine belief the afternoon would end in a title party. With Liverpool and Tottenham’s Champions League heroics showing anything is possible, Klopp had insisted one more football miracle couldn’t be ruled out.
In my article Friday about what’s slowing down Major League Baseball games, I use a relatively new stat called “pace.” It’s a measure of how much time elapses between pitches in the same plate appearance, making use of the PITCHf/x tracking system installed in every major league park. It can be applied to pitchers for all batters they face; and to batters for their plate appearances.One thing we already knew about pace is that it’s remarkably consistent from year to year. FanGraphs makes it possible to test that with a tool for calculating correlation between the same statistic across seasons. Pace’s year-to-year correlation is 0.859 among the 1,554 pairs of consecutive pitcher seasons for which FanGraphs has pace stats — from 2007 to 2013 for pitchers with at least 40 innings each season. That’s far higher than strikeout-to-walk ratio, which has a year-to-year correlation of 0.528; Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP), an ERA-like stat (0.443); winning percentage (0.081); and other fielding stats. The correlation persists over a gap of more than one season: It’s 0.757 from one season to another three years later.That suggests that the biggest factor affecting pace is the pitcher. Pitchers can change catchers, teams or leagues; face a mix of batters; and pitch in front of a different defensive alignment or in different contexts. Yet their pace of play stays largely the same from season to season.This is evident in the leaderboard: Five of the 10 slowest pitchers with at least 100 innings last year were among the 10 slowest in 2012.Like other new stats, pace is a work in progress. For example, there are two versions — one on FanGraphs, the other on Baseball Prospectus — akin to the competing versions of wins above replacement. FanGraphs registers more average time, typically, which BP’s Ben Lindbergh attributes to his site’s exclusion of pickoff attempts.One mystery is whether pace is associated with other pitching attributes. In a quick check using the FanGraphs correlation tool, it looked like pace was modestly correlated with FIP and Win Probability Added. But that was probably because relievers tend to have better stats than starters, and also a slower pace. There’s no reason to think one causes the other. When I restricted the sample to only pitchers with at least 150 innings pitched — thereby excluding most relievers — I found there was essentially no correlation between pace and FIP or WPA. Pitchers don’t seem to get any particular value out of a slow pace, though it’s possible they would have worse results if they had to hurry between pitches. In the spirit of their deliberate play, we won’t rush to judgment.