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Published on April 3, 2018 at 11:57 pm Contact KJ: email@example.com | @KJEdelman Facebook Twitter Google+ On a windy day in Boca Raton, Florida last month, Syracuse head coach Younes Limam had a feeling the weather conditions would create trouble for his team. So, before SU’s matchup against Florida Atlantic on March 13, Limam told his players to “trust their feet, move their feet,” because wind makes the balls move in funky directions.Will Hicks, SU’s assistant athletics director for athletic performance, was there listening to Limam. That’s when he had an idea.As Limam spoke, Hicks thought back to a drill he utilized with the SU football team in the early 2000s. The exercise begins with Hicks dropping two tennis balls in front of him. The players then grab the balls, one in each hand, before they bounce on the ground twice. Prior to the match, the players gathered to try it out. Hicks believed that the drill could guide the Orange tennis team to a win, even in unfavorable conditions. And it did.Hicks’ ball-dropping drill is a mix of increasing reaction time while expanding movement and focus. It’s become central to the pre-game ritual for No. 25 Syracuse (14-3, 6-3 Atlantic Coast). Since its introduction to the team’s weekly routine three weeks ago, the Orange has gone 5-1, including wins against No. 44 Clemson, No. 48 Louisville and No. 3 Georgia Tech.“When you’re moving during the drill you got your juice,” Hicks said, “and it makes everything you do much better.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThere are two parts to the exercise. The first component focuses on the team as a whole, while the second is more individualistic. Players gather in a circle, either in the middle of Manley Field House or on center court before the match. Hicks tells the team to “get rowdy.” Players clap their hands and yell at one another. It’s a boost for the team, Hicks said, and gets everybody involved.One player gets singled out, and she must line up parallel to Hicks. While the rest of the team cheers on, Hicks yells out a number, usually one to four, to signify the number of claps the player must enact before grabbing the balls. A couple of seconds later, he drops two tennis balls in front of the participant. The goal is for the player to grab the balls one-handed — without letting them bounce twice. Whether they catch the balls or mistime their grab, the partaker must run to the back of the circle and keep their feet moving.“The energy is infectious,” Hicks said.Daily Orange File PhotoBefore its place in women’s tennis, Hicks carried out similar “get off” drills for defensive linemen on the football team. Linemen would get in a stance and attempt to catch a tennis ball that was dropped by Hicks. He toyed with the height of the drop and how far away the player would have to be from him. One of the first participants in it was Syracuse football legend Dwight Freeney.“I’d drop it one yard away from (Freeney),” Hicks said, “and gradually get back to keep him on his feet. It’s the same type of philosophy with tennis. You see it, react to it, and get to the point where you don’t even think about it.”There are several benefits to the drill. For one, it keeps the central nervous system focused and forces a person to expect constant feet movement, Hicks said. On that same note, Limam said it can modify a player’s attitude and can keep their body from getting cold before a match. Players like sophomore Miranda Ramirez enjoy the challenge because it keeps them “mentally sharp and pumped up.”While Hicks’ job is to prepare SU tennis players for the mental and physical toll of a tennis match, his willingness to mirror his practice schedule with coaching input has helped the team tremendously, Limam said.“If you build it for success,” Hicks said, “you get more with sugar than you do with others. You get a great player.” Comments
MLB’s 2018 suspension against Astros’ Yuli Gurriel gets negative reaction on social media HOUSTON — Houston Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel will be suspended five games without pay in 2018 for making a racist gesture and remark toward Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish in Friday’s Game 3 of the World Series, Commissioner Rob Manfred announced Saturday.After hitting a home run against Darvish in Game 2, Gurriel was caught on camera saying the word Chinito – Spanish slang for a person of Asian descent – and pressing his fingers against his eyes. Darvish, who was born in Japan, said the action was disrespectful to people “all around the world.”Related Articles Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Whicker: MLB does the wise thing in Yuli Gurriel case In announcing the suspension, the commissioner offered four reasons why Gurriel would not be forced to miss any time for the remainder of the World Series.“First of all, I felt it was important that the suspension carried with it the penalty of lost salary,” Manfred said. “Secondly, I felt it was unfair to punish the other 24 players on the Astros’ roster. I wanted the burden of this discipline to fall primarily on the wrongdoer. Thirdly, I was impressed in my conversation with Yu Darvish by his desire to move forward, and I felt that moving this suspension to the beginning of the season would help in that regard. Manfred declined “to characterize the conversations with the union, beyond the notion that the union was supportive of the general proposition that this type of behavior was not appropriate in our game.”Gurriel, 33, was born in Cuba. This is his first season of professional baseball in the United States. He spent a portion of the 2014 season playing in Japan, and said that his actions were in part motivated by his lack of success against Darvish and other Japanese pitchers.But Gurriel reiterated in a private meeting with Manfred that he intended no disrespect – comments that he echoed through an interpreter after Friday’s game.“Mr. Gurriel to his credit quickly realized that his behavior was wrong,” Manfred said. “He expressed remorse. I met with him today. He reiterated that remorse, and he assured me that he will be offering a private apology to Mr. Darvish.”Darvish wrote on his Twitter account that “I believe we should put our effort into learning rather than to accuse (Gurriel). If we can take something from this, that is a giant step for mankind.”MLB has suspended players for anti-gay slurs in recent years: Matt Joyce and Kevin Pillar received two-game suspensions this season, and Yunel Escobar received a three-game suspension in 2012.But this combination of a racial pejorative and an insulting gesture was new, at least for this decade and this commissioner. Manfred said he decided to go beyond the precedent established by the earlier suspensions “as a statement of our disapproval of this behavior.”Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who was born to a Japanese mother and an African-American father, said he had no issue with Gurriel’s suspension waiting until next season.“I just really don’t want to take the focus off this series,” Roberts said. “Major League Baseball handled it the way they felt was appropriate. We support it and we’re trying to move on.“I don’t want any asterisks with him not being in there. I want the best team to win and to have it decided by the 25 players they have on the roster.”Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow said in a written statement that Gurriel’s forfeited salary will be donated “to the Astros Foundation and to a charity directly supporting diversity efforts.” “Last, when I originally began thinking about the discipline, I thought that delaying the suspension would allow the player the opportunity to exercise his rights under the grievance procedure. It now appears, and I have every expectation, that he will not be exercising those rights.”Gurriel will also be forced to undergo sensitivity training in the offseason, Manfred said. Had he been suspended immediately, Gurriel would have had the right under baseball’s Collective Bargaining Agreement to appeal the suspension and play during the World Series in the meantime. Video: Is Astros’ Yuli Gurriel making racist gesture about Dodgers’ Yu Darvish? Astros’ Yuli Gurriel apologizes for racist gesture after homer off Dodgers’ Yu Darvish
There have been some developing storylines across the NFL landscape over the past few days with some surprise performances, unexpected injuries, and a pretty shocking suspension for a player that was listed in this article the last couple weeks. We approach a six-team bye week in Week 10, so there are plenty of streaming options (Derek Carr, Brian Hoyer) and players to consider (Zach Pascal, Kalen Ballage, Ronald Jones, Kareem Hunt) as we push toward the fantasy playoffs. We’ve got all the FAAB advice you need to bid on the right waiver pickups and sleepers going forward.DOMINATE YOUR LEAGUE: Get the Fantasy Alarm NFL Season Pass! Week 10 Fantasy Football FAAB targets: QuarterbackDerek Carr OAK; FAAB Bid: 5-8%: Carr actually leads the league in completion percentage among qualified quarterbacks, and he has seven touchdown passes in his past three games with at least 285 passing yards in each outing over that span. He’s had some problems with fumbles as of late, but he’s thrown just four interceptions all season, and the Raiders remaining schedule isn’t terrible. They still play the Chargers (twice), Bengals, Jets, Chiefs, Titans and Jaguars. The establishment of the Oakland running game has really helped Carr find a groove in the passing game, and the Raiders are in the midst of three straight games at home. There’s also the narrative this is the Raiders’ last season in Oakland, and they want to go out in style. He’s not quite a top-12 quarterback the rest of the season, but he’s worthy of being a streamer with some upside. This is the best he’s looked in a few years.Brian Hoyer; FAAB Bid: 1-2%: If Jacoby Brissett (knee) is out, Hoyer is the ultimate streamer this week against the Dolphins, especially if you’re without Tom Brady, Carson Wentz, or Deshaun Watson. He threw three touchdowns Sunday and still has a great offensive line protecting him. It’s hard to believe the Colts have gone from Andrew Luck in the preseason to Brian Hoyer in Week 10, but they’re still in the playoff picture. The Colts are also without T.Y. Hilton (calf) for a couple more weeks, so it’s not like Hoyer has the greatest weapons at his disposal. But at least he has a matchup against the Dolphins this week.WEEK 10 NON-PPR RANKINGSQuarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | KickerWeek 10 Fantasy Football FAAB targets: RBRonald Jones II TB; FAAB Bid: 8-12%: It’s pretty clear he’s the lead back in Tampa Bay. However, a modest bid is largely in order for Jones, who has been very inconsistent even with more work than Peyton Barber and Dare Ogunbowale. Jones rushed for 67 yards and a touchdown in Week 9. The offensive line isn’t very good, either, but at least the Bucs are out of the woods in terms of the brutal travel they’ve had to endure. Next week they draw the Cardinals at home, and it will be Tampa’s first true home game since Week 3. You can’t trust Jones enough to start him, but he’s a FLEX play in deeper leagues next week, and he can be owned based on his workload in this backfield.Kareem Hunt CLE; FAAB Bid: 6-8%: Hunt is now clear to return after serving his eight-game suspension, and he’s ready to make his Browns debut. He barely qualifies as a waiver wire target since he’s just under 60 percent owned in ESPN and Yahoo leagues, but we’ll still give him some attention because he’s an immensely talented player with some off-field problems. He’s kept a lower profile so far this season and is ready for a fresh start. How much work does he get? It’s tough to tell. The Browns have no reason to take the ball out of Nick Chubb’s hands, and it would take a serious injury to Chubb for Hunt to be an automatic start. The talent alone is enough to roster Hunt so if people are dropping him, and you have an obvious “drop” on your team like Frank Gore per se, then go for it.Bilal Powell/Ty Montgomery NYJ; FAAB Bid: 6%: Le’Veon Bell had to get an MRI on his knee on Monday, and while the severity of his knee injury is still a little unclear, you should probably look to handcuff him if he is out. And even if you do cuff him, can you really feel that great about a lesser running back in the Jets offense? Bell, as talented as he is, only has two touchdowns to go with 415 rushing yards through eight games. The volume of targets in the passing game with Sam Darnold embracing an easier schedule seemed like Bell could get better as we enter the second half of the season, but this news of an MRI should have Bell owners worried. Powell has been playing more than Montgomery lately, so it seems likely he would get the bulk of the carries, but both of these backs could factor into the offense.Kalen Ballage MIA; FAAB Bid: 5-6%: Even this much seems like a heavy bid for Ballage, but when Mark Walton gets suspended four games, you almost feel obligated to give him a look. Walton has been leading the team in carries and touches the last couple weeks, and the Dolphins just traded away Kenyan Drake. I hope they kept the receipt because the backfield is a mess right now. Ballage hasn’t been a very good runner, but the opportunities will be there for him if the Dolphins don’t bring in anybody else. And he is a goal-line vulture, so that’s just one more thing you can hang your hat on.MORE WEEK 10:Waiver pickups | Snap counts | Trade values | Fantasy playoff SOSDerrius Guice WSH; FAAB Bid: 3-5%: Guice (knee) is now in the 21-day window for the Redskins to activate him off IR and on to the 53-man roster. The most likely scenario for Guice is that he’ll make his return in two weeks against the Jets since the team is on bye in Week 10. Guice has been marred with injuries in his brief career, but he’s a great talent that showed a lot of promise in the preseason. When he does return he’ll have to contend with Adrian Peterson, who has at least 75 rushing yards in four straight games. The workload may be hard to come by at first, but Guice is available if you’re in need of some depth at the running back position.Ryquell Armstead JAC; FAAB Bid: 1-2%: This is more of a food for thought recommendation for Leonard Fournette owners because it isn’t an awful idea to handcuff Fournette if you can afford the bench spot. Fournette missed 11 games between 2017 and ’18 and while he’s healthy this year, and productive, we have to be weary of his injury history. Fournette is seeing about 20 carries and five-to-six targets per game. If anything happens to him and he goes down, most of that workload should go to Armstead, who has looked pretty good at times. For this reason you should also look to handcuff Alexander Mattison in Minnesota considering Dalvin Cook’s injury history, but Armstead is more widely available.Honorable Mentions: There are a few guys here worth keeping an eye on. I’ve mentioned Ty Johnson in the past, and I do like that he led the Lions in carries and touches on Sunday against the Raiders. He didn’t do too much with the rushing workload, but not many can in Detroit. J.D. McKissic could be worth looking at in PPR formats. He had four carries for 32 yards to go with three receptions for 40 receiving yards and a touchdown on Sunday. There is always a slight fear that Detroit could bring somebody in. Most recently, Jay Ajayi came in for a workout with Detroit last Friday. He hasn’t signed as of right now, but the Detroit backfield is clouded with mystery as always. Lastly, Trey Edmunds is worth keeping an eye on as well, but his value is also dependent on James Conner. Edmunds saw a dozen carries and turned it into 73 rushing yards in Week 9. You can’t bid too much for a guy like Edmunds because he would need a lot to go his way. If anything, he’s a deeper league addition.Week 10 Fantasy Football FAAB targets: WRJamison Crowder NYJ; FAAB Bid: 12-15%: Crowder’s under 60 percent owned and is a PPR value the rest of the season. The schedule is an easy one for the Jets going forward, and while Darnold still had his struggles on Sunday against Miami, Crowder saw a solid amount of work. He caught eight-of-nine targets for 83 yards and a touchdown and has 28 targets in his last four games. He looks to be the top option in the Jets passing game and while that may not excite too many people, Crowder can be a WR3 play in PPR formats.Zach Pascal IND; FAAB Bid: 7-8%: Pascal is worth adding whether Jacoby Brissett or Brian Hoyer is playing quarterback in Indy. With T.Y. Hilton (calf) out the next couple weeks, there’s an opportunity for Pascal to excel. He has three touchdowns in his past three games. Hoyer really seemed to favor Pascal once he came in, so hopefully this is a connection that can continue to develop in the coming weeks with Brissett potentially out in the short-term.DeVante Parker MIA; FAAB Bid: 7-8%: Preston Williams is out for the year, and it’s hard to not notice what Parker has been doing. Parker has upside, shown by his four touchdowns in the past five games. The Dolphins don’t necessarily have a terrible schedule coming up. Yes, they’ll play the Bills once again, but they also draw the Colts, Browns, Eagles, Jets, Giants and Bengals through Week 16. Parker could be a FLEX play down the stretch if he can keep finding the end zone.Hunter Renfrow OAK; FAAB Bid: 5-6%: Here’s a guy that’s available in virtually every fantasy football league. Renfrow has gradually been getting more involvement in the Oakland offense over the past couple weeks, including touchdowns in back-to-back games. You can’t expect the touchdowns to become a consistent pattern, especially when there are larger targets in the offense like Tyrell Williams and Darren Waller. But there’s no reason Renfrow can’t be a solid PPR option for the Raiders. This is all speculation since this was his first game with at least six targets since Week 2, but keep in mind the next four games are against the Chargers, Bengals, Jets and Chiefs. Those are some favorable matchups for the Oakland receivers.Keelan Cole JAC; FAAB Bid: 2-5%: A lot of people are speculating that Nick Foles could return after Jacksonville’s bye week and take over the starting quarterback job from Gardner Minshew. The Jags at least have options. If they go with Foles, Dede Westbrook is a popular add off waivers if he’s available. Those two had great chemistry in the preseason, but Westbrook was inactive for Sunday’s game because of a shoulder injury, and Cole stepped up and had a nice game to the tune of five catches on six targets for 80 yards. Cole’s not the biggest add of the week, especially since he’s off next week, but if Westbrook’s injury sidelines him for quite some time, then Cole is a solid deep-league addition.WEEK 10 PPR RANKINGS: Running back | Wide receiver | Tight endWeek 10 Fantasy Football FAAB targets: Tight EndRyan Griffin NYJ; FAAB Bid: 4-5%: I wasn’t wildly optimistic about Griffin after his two-touchdown performance in Week 8, but I’m feeling better about him this week after he saw eight targets. Chris Herndon still hasn’t played (although he was active in Week 9 and didn’t see the field), but when he does return his presence will impact Griffin’s numbers a bit. And yes, Herndon is still worthy of a waiver claim although it’s frustrating for those who have been sitting on him. For now, Griffin is a good add on a week-to-week basis. Griffin almost came down with another touchdown on Sunday, but it was overturned after review showed he didn’t have control of the ball. He still finished with six catches for 50 yards.Darren Fells HOU; FAAB Bid: 3-5%: Fells made the article last week after a two-touchdown game, and despite the fact he had just one catch for one yard on Sunday, it did come on a touchdown reception. So, he now has five touchdowns in his past five games and six touchdowns in his past seven games. At this point with tight ends, you’ll take any kind of production if you don’t own any of the studs at the position. The Texans are off in Week 10 and then they have some difficult matchups on the horizon. In the short-term you can turn to the other guys on this list, but don’t sleep on Fells after Houston’s week off.Mike Gesicki MIA; FAAB Bid: 2-5%: With the way the tight end position has gone this year, it should come as no surprise that a TE from the Dolphins cracked this article. And fantasy football is a bit of a reactionary game, but Gesicki has a decent schedule the rest of the way, and you just hope Ryan Fitzpatrick can keep the Fitzmagic alive a little longer. Gesicki caught all six of his targets on Sunday for 95 yards, but he still hasn’t found the end zone this season. This is what the Dolphins were hoping to get when they drafted Gesicki in the second round of the 2018 draft. Will the games always be this good? No, we’re still talking about the Dolphins here. But the schedule is a bit soft going forward, and consistency has been hard to find at tight end. Even if he cools off you can drop him for another player. WEEK 10 DFS LINEUPS:Y! cash | Y! GPP | DK cash | DK GPP | FD cash | FD GPPWeek 10 Fantasy Football FAAB targets: D/STIndianapolis Colts (vs. MIA): This is the obvious D/ST to stream for Week 10, but it’s not as obvious as it once was. The Dolphins haven’t been pushovers lately, and Ryan Fitzpatrick looked good last Sunday, albeit against the Jets. But the Fins will be without Preston Williams and Mark Walton next week. On ESPN standard scoring for D/STs, the Colts have at least eight fantasy points in their last four games. For a streamer, that’s all you’re really looking at, and you can easily get that this week from Indy.Baltimore Ravens (at CIN): If the Ravens can put up 12 fantasy points against the Patriots, just imagine what they can do against the Bengals. They held the Patriots to 342 yards of offense and forced some crucial turnovers Sunday night. This isn’t the same dominant defense we’re used to from Baltimore, but it’s getting better. After totaling negative fantasy points in Weeks 3 and 4, the Ravens have scored 44 points in their past four games. They’re certainly playable this week against the Bengals, but you may consider dropping them with matchups against the Texans, Rams, and 49ers on deck.
The federal program providing emergency loans to small businesses has run out of money.Iowa Senator Joni Ernst supports providing the program an additional $250 billion in federal funds.“As of Tuesday, there were more than 22,000 loans that had been approved with small businesses receiving $3.5 billion so far,” Ernst said Thursday, “and that’s just the state of Iowa.”Senate Democrats say they support putting another quarter of a billion dollars in the small business loan program, but they’re asking for more money for hospitals as well as states and local governments hit with pandemic-related expenses. Republicans like Ernst say a discussion about that assistance can wait and the senate needs to quickly pass a simple bill that just provides more money for small businesses.“No political gimmicks, just a simple ask to put more money in this program,” Ernst said. “Unfortunately, politics got in the way.”Congress originally approved $350 billion for what’s called the “Paycheck Protection Program” since the small business loans will be forgiven if 75% of the loan is used to pay workers. The $350 billion ran out today.Also today, Iowa GOP chairman Jeff Kaufmann blasted a pro-Democratic group for running an ad that criticizes Ernst. The ad features a doctor who’s the spouse of a former Iowa Democratic Party leader. Ernst is seeking reelection in 2020.