Willie Mays (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball has named its World Series Most Valuable Player award after Willie Mays.The decision was announced Friday, the 63rd anniversary of Mays’ back-to-the-plate catch in deep center field at the Polo Grounds for the New York Giants against Cleveland’s Vic Wertz in the World Series opener. The Giants went on to sweep the Indians.The Series MVP award began the following year when it was won by Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Johnny Podres.San Francisco Giants’ Willie Mays is all set for a workout at the baseball club’s training camp at Casa Grande, (AP Photo/RDS)Now 86, Mays played in 24 All-Star Games during a 22-year-career with the New York and San Francisco Giants, and the New York Mets.
In Week 4’s Monday Night Football matchup, Washington takes on Kansas City. The contest is an interesting clash of quarterback styles: Washington’s Kirk Cousins is one of the league’s best deep-ball passers, while Kansas City’s Alex Smith is a master of the screen pass. Which style will prevail? To find out more, watch the video above.
RFBowling-0.1Armas+0.3Barfield+0.7Hays+0.0 Baltimore’s place among the worst opening day lineupsAmong American League teams since 1973, the four worst opening day lineups according to the sum of players’ established wins above replacement (WAR) levels Only three teams in our sample — the 1977 and 1982 Toronto Blue Jays and the 1980 Oakland Athletics — had lower established WAR levels for their starting lineups on Opening Day than the Orioles will have this season. 1BAult+0.0Newman+0.7Upshaw-0.4Davis-1.0 PosPlayerWARPlayerWARPlayerWARPlayerWAR 1977 Blue Jays1980 Athletics1982 Blue Jays2019 Orioles CCerone-0.2Heath-0.3Whitt+0.4Sisco+0.1 2BGarcia-0.6Picciolo-0.8Garcia-0.2Villar+1.8 Established level is calculated as a weighted average of WAR from the previous three seasons.Sources: Baseball-Reference.com, FanGraphs DHVelez+0.7Essian+1.6Mayberry+1.8Santander-0.2 SSTorres+0.3Guerrero-0.3Griffin-1.1Martin+0.0 One of those teams, the ’77 Jays, was an expansion club that won just 54 games. But the two others finished around .500, meaning there are limitations to predicting off a lineup’s previous MLB track records. Of course pitchers can come to the rescue, as they did for Toronto in 1982 (led by the underappreciated Dave Stieb). Also, young players can emerge in dramatic breakout fashion: Rickey Henderson had done little as a rookie for the 1979 A’s before erupting for 8.3 WAR in 1980, for instance.But it’s tough to find the next Stieb or Henderson waiting in the wings to save Baltimore this year. De facto staff ace Dylan Bundy had a 5.45 earned run average last season, while the top prospect in the Orioles system, outfielder Yusniel Diaz, is starting the year in the minors and probably won’t be a full-time contributor until 2020. Among those actually in this lineup on opening day, outfielders Cedric Mullins and Austin Hays and catcher Chance Cisco probably have the best breakout potential. In fact, FanGraphs currently projects Mullins for a team-best 1.8 WAR, thanks to a combination of power and speed that could make him one of the few Orioles worth watching this season.New Orioles general manager Mike Elias told BaltimoreBaseball.com earlier this month that he wants the rebuild to go quickly: “This team finished last last year with a bad record,” he said. “I want to get out of that phase as quickly as possible, and so every decision that we’re going to make is going to be towards accelerating our advancement to be a playoff-caliber team again. I see no reason to stretch that out, drag it out beyond what we have to.”For now, though, this Baltimore lineup looks like it will battle the Miami Marlins for the saddest collection of mediocre veterans and anonymous prospects in the game. In each case, you’ve probably never heard of half of these guys, and the ones you do know are way past their prime. (Or never had a prime.) We’ll just have to see if this ragtag group can rally together and win the pennant anyway — or more realistically, rally to avoid 115 losses this time around. Total-0.5+1.4+1.8+2.1 The 2018 Baltimore Orioles were so bad that we questioned whether they belonged in the major leagues at all. They were our runaway pick for worst pro team of the year, going far beyond the many wannabe Astros and Cubs who’ve jumped on the tanking fad in recent seasons.Amazingly, things might get even worse this year. Since the middle of last season, Baltimore has traded away established veterans Manny Machado, Jonathan Schoop, Zach Britton, Kevin Gausman, Darren O’Day and Brad Brach, and watched as others such as Tim Beckham, Caleb Joseph and Adam Jones departed in free agency as well. Now there are only three remaining members of the Orioles’ lineup with even two years of MLB service time heading into 2019: Jonathan Villar, Trey Mancini — both average players at best — and Chris Davis, who had arguably the worst individual season in MLB history in 2018 when he hit .168 (in 470 at-bats!) with a .539 on-base plus slugging and -2.9 wins above replacement (WAR).1According to our usual 50-50 blend between the WAR versions found at Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs. Davis’ untradeable contract means the Orioles are stuck with him, so they’ll pencil his name in on opening day no matter how bad he was last season.And those are the guys in the starting lineup who can be remotely labeled as household names. The rest is filled out with either youngish players who are past “prospect” status or journeymen plucked off the scrap heap. Taken as a whole, the 2019 Orioles’ roster basically recalls this scene from “Major League”:(No word on whether Baltimore owner Peter Angelos secretly built this team of cast-offs so he can move the team to Miami.)There have been a few teams who went into a season with less apparent talent than Baltimore — but not many. Using Baseball-Reference.com, we gathered data for each American League team’s opening day lineup since 1973 (to include every team who used the designated hitter full-time) and calculated those players’ established WAR track records going into the season.2To find a player’s established level of performance, we multiplied his WAR from the previous season by three, doubled his WAR from two seasons before and added it on, then added his WAR from three seasons before, and divided by six. This is an old Bill James invention for roughly projecting how much you can expect out of a player (in any given stat) based on the previous three years of performance. The track records for these Orioles — to the extent they have track records at all — place the team at or near the low-water mark at each position relative to all other AL opening day starting lineups since 1973: 3BMcKay-0.5Klutts-0.1Mulliniks-0.3Nunez+0.9 LFScott+0.0Henderson-0.4Woods+0.6Mancini+0.6 CFWoods-0.1Murphy+0.7Moseby+0.5Mullins-0.1
Not every player has taken quite the same path as Dwight Howard, who ranks No. 18 in the 2010s and is now on his seventh team of the decade after being traded away from the Wizards this summer. But James, for instance, has played for three teams this decade — the Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers — while only one No. 1 player of the previous three decades — Kevin Garnett, who starred for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Boston Celtics during the 2000s — played for more than one team. The reality of today’s league is stars hop teams far more often than their counterparts did in earlier eras, controlling their own destinies rather than letting team executives slide them around like pawns on a chessboard.It’s a trend NBA commissioner Adam Silver seems keenly aware of — if powerless to change, particularly with regard to the many deals that appeared to be made before the league’s mandated free-agency period was set to begin.“My sense in the room today was, especially when it comes to free agency and the rules around it, that we’ve got work to do,” Silver told reporters last week, after the league’s board of governors meetings. “And as I said, it’s still the same principles of fair balance of power and a sense that it’s a level playing field. I think that’s what teams want to know. I think they’re put in difficult situations because when they’re sitting across from a player and whether it’s conversations that are happening earlier than they should or frankly things are being discussed that don’t fall squarely within the collective bargaining agreement, it puts teams in a very difficult position because they are reading or hearing that other teams are doing other things to compete.”Even incentives put into place to theoretically curb player movement, such as larger maximum contracts (both in guaranteed length and total money) for players re-signing with their most recent teams, have failed to stop them from packing up and leaving town. Durant, for instance, left $57 million on the table to sign with Brooklyn rather than return to Golden State. Leonard gave up at least $80 million (!!) — if not even more — relative to what he could have gotten from a supermax deal with the Spurs, and about $30 million compared with what the Raptors could have given him by signing with the Clippers.Today’s stars, as ESPN’s Rachel Nichols perfectly put it, can’t be bought. They’ve proven that they’re willing to give up mind-boggling sums of cash in order to make their own decisions.Is all of this good for the league? Judging from the reaction on social media or in search traffic — where the NBA got playoff-level attention during the first week of July — the game’s popularity has seldom been higher, and the craziness of this offseason has only helped. I’ve said before that, if you view the modern NBA through a player-focused lens, it makes the most sense as a gigantic real-life soap opera. The concept of franchises is just incidental to all that, merely providing structure for the individual drama.Of course, if you are a fan of a team, it hurts to see your favorite players leave. The Raptors did everything they possibly could to retain Leonard’s services, but they reportedly had practically no chance of re-signing him even as they were winning the title. Although the players should owe no loyalty to team owners (err, “governors”) beyond the contracts they sign, from a fan’s perspective it seems to make little sense to root for any specific NBA team. Even if a team is lucky enough to acquire a superstar, it’s far from guaranteed he would stay more than a season or two in today’s climate.But the other side of that coin is that it’s more possible than ever for downtrodden teams to land a superstar in the first place. The Nets and Clippers have spent more of their histories as laughingstocks than contenders, particularly since both were seen as the “little brothers” in their markets (behind the Knicks — LOL — and Lakers). The franchises were not traditional free-agent destinations. But as stars become more focused on setting up the right situation for themselves and the players they want to play with, even teams without a history of snagging big-name players can make themselves an attractive option. It’s a different way of doing business — but in today’s era of superstar team-hopping, it might just be the new normal.Check out our latest NBA predictions. Dear NBA Diary,Remember when NBA players wearing different jerseys was new and novel? When you’d experiment with weird trades in NBA Live’s franchise mode, knowing that nothing so crazy as, I don’t know, Russell Westbrook in a Houston Rockets uniform or Kevin Durant as a Brooklyn Net would actually happen? And when the first wave of truly wild moves — such as LeBron James joining the Miami Heat in 2010 — did actually happen, do you remember the way our minds were blown as we imagined superstar combinations we’d never seen before?All of that is old news in 2019, now that we’ve seen countless Big Threes and even Hamptons Fives. If James signing to play with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh was groundbreaking and Durant joining the Golden State Warriors still managed to shock, we’re pretty desensitized to huge names heading for new places by now. Yes, Kawhi Leonard becoming an L.A. Clipper was a big story, but mostly because of what it means for next season’s championship chase — not because the idea of him in a different jersey was all that tough to comprehend. (We’d just finished watching the longtime Spur win a title in a Toronto Raptors jersey anyway.)This is the era of player empowerment, as it’s recently been designated, and NBA players are placing a major premium on freedom of movement and choice of teammates. You can see this in the sheer number of different franchises for which top players suit up, relative to in the past. From the 1980s through the 2000s, a top 25 NBA player of a given decade (according to consensus Wins Created)1Which combines Box Plus/Minus, Win Shares and Player Efficiency Rating into a single consensus measure of player performance, scaled to absolute wins added. played for 1.99 teams during a 10-year span, on average. During the 2010s, however, the average top 25 player has played for 2.76 teams. And that bump in franchises played for holds across most of the ranking slots from No. 1 to No. 25, if we plot them out in a chart: Keep track of the chaotic NBA offseason with our Free Agency Diary.
Welcome to The Lab, FiveThirtyEight’s basketball podcast. On Monday’s show (May 21, 2018), Neil and Kyle discuss where each conference finals series stands. Did Golden State’s resounding Game 3 win really change the tenor of that series? And what changed to allow LeBron James and the Cavaliers to run the Celtics out of the building in that series’s Game 3?The Lab will be back with another episode later this week. In the meantime, keep an eye on FiveThirtyEight’s NBA predictions, which are updated after every game. By Neil Paine and Kyle Wagner More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed Embed Code
OSU Sophomore forward Jae’Sean Tate (1) dribbles the basketball during a game against the Michigan Wolverines on Feb. 16 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won 76-66. Photo Credit: William Kosileski | Lantern Photographer Just about any coach appreciates the service of a star player, one who can strike fear in the opponent and take over a game at any given moment. It’s something that can be a huge asset in winning basketball games, especially against a conference rival.However, as the Ohio State men’s basketball team proved Tuesday night at the Schottenstein Center against Michigan, the one-man wrecking machine is not the only means to that end.Despite its leading scorers only putting up 13 points, OSU (17-10, 9-5) used double-digit scoring performances from five players to take care of Michigan (19-8, 9-5) 76-66 in the Big Ten matchup.“This was a great team win,” OSU coach Thad Matta said. “Guys made big plays when we needed them down the stretch. Some of the best teams I’ve had had like five guys averaging close to double figures.”Junior forward Marc Loving had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds while sophomore forward Jae’Sean Tate added 13 points of his own, as OSU shot 54 percent to Michigan’s 39 to grab just its second win this season against a team ranked in the top 50 of the RPI.“I thought Marc was really dialed in,” Matta said. “The biggest thing I liked tonight was the way he got rebounds. He was out of his area, getting boards.”In the first 12 minutes of the game, seven different OSU players scored, with only freshman point guard A.J. Harris and redshirt sophomore shooting guard Kam Williams connecting more than once. While the team knew it would need someone to pick up more of the scoring load at some point, it could not argue with the results, as it took a 21-16 lead into the under-eight-minute timeout.“We wanted to come out and prove to ourselves that we could play well from the beginning,” Loving said. “We got out to a great start, and it’s always a sense of pride beating the team up north.”The miniature takeover finally arrived for the Buckeyes in the waning minutes of the first half, in the form of Tate.The sophomore scored three inside shots in the final two minutes of the half, including an and-1 bucket with 14 seconds left to help OSU grab a 36-28 lead at the half.In addition to Tate’s nine points, OSU received a significant contribution from its bench, where it led Michigan in points 14-5 in the first half. That was led by Harris’ and Williams’ six points each.OSU shot 50 percent in the opening 20 minutes, including buckets from eight of the 10 players to see the court, while Michigan was held to 33 percent. The Wolverines were led by junior guard Zak Irvin’s six points and four rebounds. He shot just 1-of-6 in the opening 20 minutes, though.Sometimes when one team shoots very hot in one half and the other can’t buy a bucket, the extended rest from halftime and the change in hoops to defend, turns that trend around completely.That was not the case as the teams geared up for the second half on Tuesday.The first-half percentages held the same in the early minutes, with OSU making three of its first six shots and Michigan making two of six. That enabled the Buckeyes to take a 10-point lead and forced the Wolverines into a quick timeout.A 7-0 run by the Wolverines to cut OSU’s lead to seven points briefly quieted the Schottenstein Center crowd of 17,088, but a 3-pointer on the other end by Loving followed by a Michigan travel quickly reset the tone of the game in the home team’s favor.“My teammates and coaches encouraged me to keep shooting,” Loving said. “They have a lot of confidence in me, so I feel like I should have a lot of confidence in myself.”And that is how the second half continued to go, with Michigan simply unable to sustain the offense needed to stick around, while OSU received solid contributions across the board.“Our mindset was totally different, our togetherness, and it showed,” Tate said. “We stayed with it, we actually grew up today, we showed we can keep a lead.”Redshirt sophomore center Trevor Thompson was the star of the second half for the Buckeyes, scoring 10 second-half points, including a pair of alley-oop finishes. Much like the first half, he was one of seven Buckeyes to score. “I think it’s difficult to guard us because we have that team that can — any given night, a guy can give you 20,” Tate said. “So I think it’s hard for another team to guard us. Nights like this, I think everybody’s happy.”Junior forward Mark Donnal ended up being Michigan’s top scorer, finishing with 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting.A major deficiency that the Scarlet and Gray cleaned up on Tuesday was free-throw shooting. Coming into the game shooting just 65.7 percent from the line as a team, OSU was 16-of-23 (73.9 percent) against the Wolverines.Senior guard Caris LeVert, one of the top players for the Wolverines, was unable to play on Tuesday with a leg injury. He indicated he would be good to go the day before the game after returning from the injury in the game prior, but the game-time decision by Michigan coach John Beilein was to hold him out.At halftime, former OSU guard Evan Turner had a video package played on the jumbotron before his No. 21 was unveiled in the Schottenstein Center rafters. Turner, with tears gathering in his eyes, addressed the crowd with a speech. He gave credit to several of his OSU teammates and coaches, as well as his family, for getting him where he did.“I really do appreciate every nice thing my teammates did for me and the Ohio State University did for me, it really doesn’t go unnoticed,” Turner said.The 2009-10 national player of the year sat courtside with current Boston Celtics teammate and fellow OSU alumnus Jared Sullinger. Other players who played with Turner at OSU, including Greg Oden, Dallas Lauderdale and Mark Titus attended the game, while William Buford, Jon Diebler and Matta prepared video statements.The Buckeyes’ next contest is set to come on the road in Lincoln, Nebraska, on Saturday to duel with the Cornhuskers. Tipoff against Nebraska is scheduled for 7 p.m.
OSU junior safety Malik Hooker (24) carries the ball after an interception during the buckeye spring game on April 16 at Ohio Stadium. The grey team beat scarlet 28-17. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo EditorOn a sunny Saturday afternoon in Columbus, Ohio State’s three quarterbacks combined to go just 31-of-56, including four interceptions.On a normal day, it would be fair to see that as a negative for the team. But fortunately for OSU coach Urban Meyer, the defense that was stifling his quarterbacks happened to also be his own.While the final score of OSU’s annual intrasquad spring game is largely irrelevant, there are still various measures of value that the coaches and players take away from the scrimmage.A lot of those gains came from the defense of both the Scarlet and Gray teams. And since that side of the ball lost eight starters from last year’s Fiesta-Bowl-winning team, Meyer and his staff have to be pleased. “I will probably watch the film and get sick to my stomach, but, no, what I saw today was the future is bright at Ohio State,” Meyer said. Defensive lineWith Scarlet starting quarterback J.T. Barrett wearing a black no-contact jersey, the Gray defensive line was reverting to its elementary school recess days, playing two-hand touch. Still, it was an impressive performance, as the defense picked up five sacks.Redshirt freshman defensive tackle Davon Hamilton had three sacks, while fellow redshirt freshman defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones added another. The fifth did not come from a lineman, but from sophomore cornerback Denzel Ward.Not to be outdone, the Scarlet team picked up four sacks of its own, led by two from redshirt freshman defensive tackle Jashon Cornell. Redshirt sophomore defensive tackle Dylan Thompson tacked on another, while the fourth was credited to the team.“I liked our defensive line,” Meyer said. “(Redshirt sophomore) Mike Hill, Dre’Mont Jones were all over the field today. Jashon Cornell played well.”On a throwing-heavy day, the line also did its part preventing big gains on the ground. Combined, the sides rushed for 129 yards.“I think they’re talented, very eager, we have an excellent D-line coach, and the good thing, they’re allowed to spend time with our players now in the summer,” Meyer said.A highlight in the game came from Scarlet linebacker Jerome Baker, who made an acrobatic, one-handed interception. But despite the gravity-defying athleticism, the sophomore was quick to give the credit to the line in front of him.“Our D-line did their job, and I came up with the pick,” he said.Linebackers Sixty-six percent of the Buckeyes’ starting linebackers from a season ago have bid farewell to the program, opening gaping holes on the depth chart for young players to fill. It just so happened that one of those players looking to fill that spot, Baker, made one of the game’s most electrifying plays, as far as spring games go. Baker’s one-handed snag might have caught OSU fans unfamiliar with the Cleveland native off-guard, but it didn’t shock some of his teammates. “I wasn’t too surprised,” said junior Dante Booker, a fellow linebacker. “I’ve seen him do it before in practice. He’s just an athlete.”Redshirt junior linebacker Chris Worley is another player who will see his workload increase drastically this fall. The 6-foot-2 Worley nearly started two seasons ago, but Meyer opted to start then-redshirt freshman Darron Lee. The rest, of course, is history. Yet Worley was quiet on Saturday, tallying just one tackle. Booker, on the other hand, had an impressive day. He was active throughout the scrimmage, registering seven tackles, four of which were solo. Right now, the linebackers on the roster have the necessary tools, but they’re inexperienced. Barring injury, McMillan will be a mainstay. Other than that, there are players that need to prove themselves. “We’ve got a lot of young guys in the mix,” Booker said. “We have them in the rotation so I feel like they got experience playing in the stadium. We’ll continue working in the summer.” SecondaryBesides the aforementioned Baker interception, the defenses combined to come up with three more: two by redshirt sophomore safety Malik Hooker and another by redshirt sophomore cornerback Marshon Lattimore.With OSU’s two starters at cornerback from last season away from the field on Saturday — redshirt junior Gareon Conley is recovering from an injury and Eli Apple entered the NFL draft — Lattimore said he saw the scrimmage as a chance for the young corners to make a name for themselves.“We’re replacing some pretty good players,” Lattimore said. “But we still can play. We still can be right there with them, I feel like. But we still have a long way to go, you know, they had experience. But I feel like we’re just as good as players they were.” In addition to his two interceptions, Hooker led all players with 10 tackles. With over 100,000 fans in attendance, a national spring game record, Lattimore said coming up big in a game like that means a lot regardless of if the stats are soon washed from the record books.“It’s great, no matter if it’s practice,” he said. “You’ve got to go at it the same way, whether it’s practice or a game. It’s just exciting to have teammates go crazy when you make a play. I love that.” The completion of the spring game also marks the end of spring practice. With a summer of work ahead of them, the Buckeyes are excited about the progress they have made with their lineup of 16 new starters, but they acknowledged that a lot of work still has to be done.“We’re young. We’ve just constantly got to get better. Every position has to get better,” Baker said. “We’re young, inexperienced, but we’re very talented.”The regular season for OSU is set to begin on Sept. 3 with a matchup against Bowling Green at Ohio Stadium.
Patience is a virtue. And many professional sports franchises seek out virtuous athletes who don’t stray on the edge of the law. In the NFL, character plays a major role. Just ask Ben Roethlisberger, Michael Vick or Adam “Pacman” Jones. More and more, teams avoid high-risk athletes who pose off-the-field threats. The NCAA suspended Oklahoma State’s Dez Bryant, widely projected as the NFL Draft’s top receiver last April, for the final 10 games of the season after he met with former NFL cornerback Deion Sanders. The interaction was determined to be a violation of NCAA rules. Once pinpointed as a Top 5 pick, Bryant tumbled to the Dallas Cowboys, who selected him 24th overall. Coincidence? Hardly. Bryant’s situation is just one example of the transgressions running rampant across college athletics. Georgia’s A.J. Green, tabbed by many as the best receiver prospect in college football, is serving a four-game suspension for selling his own jersey on eBay. Reports indicate he made about $1,000 on the game-worn uniform. So only the university can profit from Green’s gear? He can’t see a penny of it? That’s the straight-edged policy the NCAA institutes to prevent widespread financial madness. Aside from the athlete’s relatives, how many people would pay for a game-worn field hockey jersey? If all student-athletes are to be treated as equals, then star football players can’t be earning a profit that’s unattainable for a rower or volleyball player. Green likely chose eBay as his selling medium because of the high demand for his product. But since the revenue that football brings schools dwarfs the money that other sports make, shouldn’t the athletes see a cut? What if the family of a star athlete can’t provide sufficient monetary support? I sat down with Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith and discussed this very issue. Many people identify athletic directors and NCAA bigwigs as the villains, poaching every nickel and dime spent to see the kids play. But the same kids that are the reason 100,000 people fill stadiums across the nation are the same ones that will earn millions on the next level. Smith was actually in favor of allowing the athletes to earn a portion of the sales of their merchandise. His caveat, however, was that the athlete had to graduate to ever get his or her hands on the account. “Should we be able to allow kids to sell jerseys or their likenesses and make money? I believe that,” Smith said. “But I believe that money should be saved in an account for them for when they graduate. If you open that door and you allow every kid to monetize their persona, holy smokes.” “So I’m good with it if we said, whatever a kid’s jersey value is you sell it, but you take a portion of that money because you have expenditures, you take the profit from it, and put it in an account. I wouldn’t give it to them unless they graduate.” The concept makes sense. The star athletes who don’t need all four years of college game experience — and who don’t want to risk injury — jump to the next level and the money in their account is returned to the school. It sounds like a feasible plan, though one would be naïve to expect agents and boosters to keep from finding ways to trump the system. And that’s why the NCAA enforces such strict policies. Every other scenario includes far too many loopholes, exceptions and gray areas. Smith’s idea would work, but only in a perfect world. And what we currently have is an imperfect setup in an imperfect system. So, the best college athletes can do for now is just have patience and wait for that first, legal paycheck, whether from the NFL or a job post-graduation.
Maybe I’m a pessimist, but the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl doesn’t matter for the Ohio State football team. The Jan. 2 game against the University of Florida is just the season finale of a sub-par drama. You see, bowl games normally have some combination of three purposes at OSU: 1. They’re a celebration for a successful regular season and a chance to send the seniors out on a happy note. 2. They can give momentum to the players returning for the next season and build excitement for what’s to come the following year. 3. They bring notoriety to the program. For the Buckeyes, the Gator Bowl matchup doesn’t have any purpose. By normal OSU standards, the season was a failure. The team has already lost as many games (six) in the 2011-12 season than they have in the previous three years combined. For the first time since 2003, OSU lost to arch-rival Michigan. And, the season was riddled with scandals and suspensions. This season isn’t one to celebrate. It’s one to forget. Even if the Buckeyes win, any momentum the team builds will be about as useful as a refrigerator in the arctic as OSU prepares to enter the 2012-13 season with a postseason ban. And no offense to the Gator Bowl, but let’s call this game what it is. It’s a matchup between two normally elite programs going through a transition stage put together because of OSU’s recent hire of Florida’s former coach, Urban Meyer. Whichever school wins this game will shove the trophy in the back of its trophy case behind its BCS hardware. Fans are feeling the same way. Ticket sales have been sluggish for both teams, but multiple reports have claimed that travel packages for the bowl game are selling slower than at any time in recent memory. The fact is, fans don’t want to celebrate the season either. Most of them wish OSU had self-imposed a bowl ban this year so the program could have avoided a ban next year when the Meyer era began. I’m sure people will tune into the game, I’m sure the players will play hard and I’m sure many of the coaches going into their final game on staff will do their best to make the best out of a bad situation. But at the end of the day, the outcome and the game itself is meaningless.
Ohio State women’s gymnastics coach Carey Fagan was named the National Coach of the Year Monday after her squad finished in the top 10 nationally. OSU ended its season with a fourth-place finish in the second session of the NCAA Championship Semifinals Friday at Gwinnett Arena in Duluth, Ga. The Buckeyes posted a score of 196.525, leaving their first trip to the NCAA Championship Semifinals since 1990. “I’m really happy with the way the team handled the pressure of competing at the NCAA Championship,” Fagan said in a press release. “They did what we have done all season and it feels great to be ranked in the top 10. I am so happy for our seniors and the leadership they have shown all year. It has been a history-making year for the program, and I am so proud of what we accomplished.” Fagan wasn’t the only one reaping the awards. Assistant coaches Bill Lorenz and Meredith Yonushonis were named Co-Assistant Coach of the Year and sophomore Sarah Miller earned second-team All-America honors. The Buckeyes finished .625 points short from qualifying for the Super Six Team Finals. Alabama (197.675), Florida (197.650) and Arkansas (197.150) advanced to the team finals Sunday. OSU started on bars in the first rotation, recording a 48.975. Two seniors led the way for the Buckeyes; posting a pair of 9.825s were senior co-captain Taylor Jones and senior Alyssa Marohn, each tying for 20th place. Senior Casey Williamson scored a 9.80. Junior Colleen Dean and sophomore Victoria Aepli finished out the score with a 9.775 and 9.750, respectively. In the second rotation, the team moved to beam, recording a 49.225. Miller led the Buckeyes with a 9.900 to tie for sixth place. Senior co-captain Nicole Krauter, sophomore Melanie Shaffer and Marohn all finished with a 9.850, tying for 17th. Shaffer’s score was a season high on the event while Freshman Sarah Grady scored a 9.775. On floor, the Buckeyes drew a pair of 9.850s from Dean and Miller, who tied for eighth place and led the team to a 49.150 on the event. OSU’s scores on floor were spread out by .50 points, with Jones and Shaffer scoring a 9.825. Sophomore Alex DeLuca and Williamson each posted a 9.80. OSU finished on vault, recording a 49.175, which was .10 shy from the season high in the event. A trio of 9.850s from Krauter, Marohn and Miller led to a tie for 17th. Dean recorded a 9.825 and Jones rounded out the team score with a 9.80. The only all-around competitor for OSU, Dean scored a 38.575.
The upcoming 2012 football season will see a third coach at the helm of the Ohio State Buckeyes since 2010. Transitioning through three head coaches in three different seasons could seem like a daunting task, and for some players it was, but OSU football’s new leader got the attention of players quickly. In 2010, Jim Tressel was knowingly fielding a team with ineligible players and was later forced to resign on May 30, 2011. Last season, Luke Fickell led the Buckeyes to a 6-7 record and an appearance in the 2012 Gator Bowl. Fickell remains with the Buckeyes as the team’s co-defensive coordinator for what many OSU fans likely hope is the only head coach they’ll see for the foreseeable future – Urban Meyer. Meyer has been at OSU for about six months and players said his impact was felt from the moment he took over. Junior defensive back C.J. Barnett said he wasn’t sure what to expect from Meyer, especially after coming off of a more “laid-back atmosphere” under Tressel and Fickell. “He definitely got our attention right off the bat,” Barnett said. “But it’s been great ever since, things have been highly intense and very motivating.” Meyer decided to make some big moves since being named OSU’s 24th head coach. He did not retain the services of offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Jim Bollman and hired in Tom Herman from Iowa State to be the new offensive coordinator, a position he held with the Cyclones for the last three years. He also let go defensive coordinator Jim Heacock and hired Everett Withers from North Carolina. He appointed Withers as assistant head coach and co-defensive coordinator and Fickell will serve as defensive coordinator. With the departure of Bollman, Meyer brought in Ohio-native Ed Warinner to be his offensive line coach and co-offensive coordinator with Herman. Junior offensive lineman Corey Linsley said Warinner’s arrival has brought a more enthusiastic attitude than what Bollman had. “Both coaches are great technicians but that’s what Bollman was known for,” Linsley said. “Coach Warinner is a little bit better at playing low and being enthusiastic in practice. He’s been great at getting us going and I think that’s helped us a lot.” Senior tight end Jake Stoneburner said spring drills were a work in progress and at times it was difficult because they had to learn an entirely new offensive scheme. “Our heads were spinning, it was like being a freshman all over again,” he said. But he said things have been coming together recently and he’s excited for this season because it’s the type of offense he’s always wanted to a part of. Stoneburner also said he thinks the offense will be able to get off at least 20 more plays a game due to the no-huddle pace Meyer has incorporated. “Last year we would just huddle, break it, run a play, then slowly get back (to the huddle). Not that that was a bad thing, because we won a lot of games doing it, but as long as we’re (the offense) in shape, then we’re going to wear a lot of defenses down,” he said. When Tressel was still at OSU, he was known for his belief that the punt was the most important play of the game. According to senior punter and place kicker Ben Buchanan, Meyer has brought a new punting strategy to the special teams unit. Buchanan said Meyer likes to directionally punt and focus on pinning the ball into the corners, which requires different blocking schemes than what the team was doing before. “It’s exciting moving from the spring into the summer because in the spring, we didn’t have any idea of what we were getting into,” Buchanan said. “Last year, it was a totally different unit, a totally different scheme. Having those things (new schemes) in place for the spring as work in the summer months is going to make it a lot easier to be successful.” The Buckeyes have three months remaining until they find out if Meyer and some of the new coaches on the staff have been successful in their tutelage when they open up 2012 at home against Miami (Ohio) Sept. 1.
Members of the OSU wrestling team stand near the team bench during a match against Kent State on Nov. 13. OSU won, 38-3.Credit: Emily Yarcusko / For The LanternAfter taking down then-No. 9 Virginia on the road with a convincing 30-7 victory, Ohio State wrestling is set to take its 4-1 record to Las Vegas.The seventh-ranked Buckeyes are set to compete in the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Collegiate Wrestling Invitational on Friday and Saturday at the Las Vegas Convention Center.There are 39 teams competing in the competition from across the country and 11 of them are ranked in the top-25 of the USA Today/National Wrestling Coaches Association poll.OSU will likely be competing with heavy hearts after the death of former teammate Kosta Karageorge, whose body was found near campus Sunday afternoon after he was reported missing last Wednesday.In an email to The Lantern, coach Tom Ryan said the team is dealing with Karageorge’s passing emotionally and it still needs time for healing.But Ryan said despite the tragedy, the team will keep a solid attitude and learn a lot about its make up in Las Vegas.“We will be challenged by several schools. Minnesota has a full lineup and will be our biggest challenge,” Ryan said. “Most importantly are the individual matchups that occur. We will face many tough opponents at various weight classes that will be a great barometer for us. Plenty to be learned out here.”Minnesota (5-0) is ranked No. 2 and boasts top-20 wrestlers in eight of 10 weight classes, including top-ranked 197-pound competitor Scott Schiller, a senior from West Fargo, N.D.The Buckeyes are confident they can still compete at a high level even with their minds on things outside the sport. Freshman Kyle Snyder said the team did a great job of pulling off its road victory against Virginia after a tough loss to Virginia Tech on Nov. 23.“I was really impressed with how quickly the guys on the team were able to put the (Virginia Tech) loss behind and focus on competing against Virginia,” Snyder said in an email. “Sometimes it’s hard bouncing back from a loss or wrestling after you’re frustrated with a previous performance.”Snyder continued his impressive freshman season with a 20-6 victory against Virginia’s freshman Chance McClure to improve to 8-0. At 197 pounds, Snyder could face the toughest test of the young season against Schiller if the seeding allows for the matchup.Ryan said Snyder is one of the most committed student-athletes he’s ever coached and his attitude is “contagious” and rubs off on the others.“He is relentless in all that he does with a deep-rooted passion to be his very best,” he said. “It’s a pleasure to be around people that take pride in being prepared every day for any challenge.”Three-time national champion Logan Stieber will be competing for the Buckeyes at 141 pounds. Stieber improved his career record to 95-3 after pinning 9th-ranked Joe Spisak in Charlottesville, Va.Big Ten opponents Indiana and Michigan will also be competing this weekend. Ryan said each chance at facing top competition gives OSU an opportunity to grow as a team.“The college wrestling season is a marathon,” Ryan said. “It’s early still. As the season progresses every match is a chance to sharpen each athlete.”Start times for the invitational have yet to be announced.
Ohio State senior guard Kelsey Mitchell (3) dribbles past defenders in the second quarter against Michigan State on Jan. 27 at the Schottenstein Center. The Buckeyes beat the Spartans 78-62. Credit: Alyssia Graves | Assistant Sports DirectorThe South Florida women’s basketball team gave No. 13 Ohio State a hint of what was to come for the rest of the Sunday afternoon’s game in the first quarter. The Bulls jumped out to a 31-13 lead by the end of the opening quarter behind 18 points from junior guard Kitija Laksa.The Buckeyes pulled back within 12 points at the beginning of the third quarter, but could not complete a comeback and fell 84-65 to South Florida to end their four-game win streak. Ohio State has lost four of its past eight games.Laksa made 15-of-27 shots, including 8-of-13 3-pointers, and scored 41 points, nearly half of her team’s points. Maria Jespersen aided her, dropping 20 points and grabbing 14 rebounds. Just two players scored more than eight points, despite South Florida scoring 84 points. Senior guard Laia Flores added 11 assists.South Florida shot 46 percent from the field, compared to Ohio State’s 42 percent shooting. The Bulls did most of their damage from beyond the 3-point line and on second-chance opportunities.The made 11-of-22 3-pointers, while the Buckeyes shot 6-for-20 from 3-point range. The Bulls outrebounded Ohio State 46-26 and grabbed 15 offensive rebounds. South Florida had 17 second-chance points. No Buckeye had more than six rebounds, including redshirt forward Stephanie Mavunga, who averages a double-double.Mavunga kept Ohio State in the game offensively, though. She went 13-for-16 from the field, scoring 28 points. Mavunga also blocked four shots.No other Ohio State player managed to deal much damage offensively. The rest of the road team shot 13-for-45 and scored a combined 37 points. Senior guard Kelsey Mitchell scored 19 points, but hit just 6-of-15 shots and went 2-for-8 from beyond the arc. For the first time this season, redshirt senior guard Linnae Harper scored less than 10 points. She had five points on 2-of-10 shooting.South Florida held a 19-13 assist advantage. Ohio State turned the ball over just six times, but forced the Bulls into 11 turnovers.
Junior forward Mason Jobst (26) becomes a wedge between Michigan’s Quinn Hughes (43) and Dexter Dancs (90) Jan. 26, 2018 at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus, OH. Credit: Ethan Clewell | For The LanternThe No. 6 Ohio State men’s hockey will battle arch-rival No. 11 Michigan for the fifth time this season when it meets the Wolverines in the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Nationwide Arena.The Buckeyes swept the regular-season series against the Wolverines for the first time since the 1985-86 season. But senior forward Matthew Weis doesn’t see the sweep mattering now with one game separating the teams from the conference final.“Zero. It doesn’t mean anything,” he said. “We got one more game left, it’s do or die. So, I think that’s all our focus is on.”After getting past Michigan State in the quarterfinals, the Buckeyes will go from playing in a three-game series to single-elimination games, which means teams can’t afford a slip-up in focus. Ohio State head coach Steve Rohlik does not foresee that being a problem.“It’s Michigan, that’s really all you got to say,” Rohlik said. “We were fortunate enough to get some bounces and win a few games this year against them. They are playing as well as anybody in the country right now.”The Wolverines are one of the hottest teams in the country, winning seven straight games and taking care of Wisconsin in a quarterfinal series sweep in Ann Arbor, Michigan.Powering Michigan’s recent success are senior forward Tony Calderone and junior forward Cooper Marody. Calderone leads the conference with 23 goals and Marody tops the Big Ten with 32 assists.“Obviously, you look at their top line, Cooper Marody and Tony Calderone. They do a bunch of their scoring,” Weis said. “So, I think, obviously, just be aware when they are out on the ice, but, like I said before, they’re a great team.”A good aspect for any championship-caliber team chasing a title is its depth, and the Buckeyes have six players with double-digit goals. Their top scorers junior forward Mason Jobst (19 goals), sophomore forward Tanner Laczynski (15 goals) and Weis (11 goals) have been difference makers in recent weeks.Even when those players have faltered in scoring, others have picked up the slack with senior forward Christian Lampasso (10 goals) and junior forwards Dakota Joshua (13 goals) and Freddy Gerard (11 goals) giving the team balance.“When those guys are going, we are as confident as any group. When they’re not going we are still pretty confident,” junior defenseman Sasha Larocque said. “We got good depth and we know that, having those guys as hot as they are right now, is huge for us.”This weekend will have a different feel to it than last week because the Buckeyes aren’t playing in the cozy confines of the Schottenstein Center. Instead, they will take on the Wolverines at Nationwide Arena, the home of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets.“You know it’s an NHL rink and I think, for all us, our goal is to finally hopefully get there,” Weis said. “I mean, it’s pretty cool to play there, but at the end of the day, you just got to look at it as just another game. We got to do our thing to get the ‘W.’”The puck will drop at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and the winner will take on the victor of the other semifinal game between Notre Dame and Penn State.
This summer she scaled the Matterhorn in Switzerland with her brother James in memory of her fiancé’s late brother, who died in 1999 while descending Mount Everest.Meanwhile her husband-to-be has previously completed the gruelling Marathon Des Sables, and the pair have done a 50-mile swimming and running race together.”I think we do exhaust most people,” she joked. Miss Middleton, who recently became engaged to hedge fund manager James Matthews, also revealed that early on in her relationship she had impressed him with a “special dinner” – a dish of halibut with roast tomato and herb dressing.She said the couple prefer to eat at home rather than dine out at expensive restaurants and spend their spare time living an active lifestyle. Pippa Middleton has previously written a book of party-planning tipsCredit:Tim P. Whitby /Getty Her first book Celebrate: A Year of British Festivities for Families and Friends included such tips as playing pass the parcel at a kids’ party and to hold a barbecue in the summer. It was largely panned by critics, earning just one star in The Daily Telegraph. “I believed in it and can’t blame anyone else, but maybe it might have been better if I had waited a bit longer before doing it,” she said. I believed in it and can’t blame anyone else, but maybe it might have been better if I had waited a bit longer before doing itPippa Middleton on her first book Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Pippa Middleton and James Matthews at WimbledonCredit:Anthony Devlin/PA She was widely ridiculed for her debut book, a collection of painfully obvious top tips for party planning. Now Pippa Middleton, the sister of the Duchess of Cambridge, has risked further mockery by admitting she has not tested all the recipes in her new healthy cookery book herself. The book Heartfelt, which was produced to raise money for the British Heart Foundation, includes a range of recipes vetted by dieticians to keep salt and sugar levels low. And while Miss Middleton, 33, tried out some of the dishes on her family members including her parents and sister, she concedes that she has yet to make some of them herself – despite being the book’s author.”I would like to say I have made every single one, but I have definitely done a good 80 per cent of them,” she said in an interview.”I made a lot of the dishes at home.”Speaking about the critical reception of her first literary offering, she told the Daily Mail that at the time she had not yet “earned the right” to write such a guide.
He said: “We think they will have difficulty recruiting because of the poor salary and terms that new officers are having to face.”What we are saying is you can’t have all that reform if you don’t have a structure in place to deal with all the issues in our prisons now.”They are offering cream tomorrow but what about today?”An investigation has been launched into the disturbance, which erupted shortly after 5pm on Sunday. Stock picture inside a cell at Bedford PrisonCredit:Ros Drinkwater/Alamy A serious disturbance this evening at Bedford Prison…— Danny Shaw (@DannyShawBBC) November 6, 2016 The Government’s prison reform plans have been questioned in the wake of a riot which saw up to 200 inmates go on the rampage.Scores of prisoners flooded the gangways in chaotic scenes at HMP Bedford on Sunday, with the disturbance finally resolved six hours later. A Prison Service spokesman said: “Specially trained prison officers and staff from the emergency services have successfully resolved an incident involving a number of prisoners at HMP Bedford.”An investigation into this incident will take place. We are absolutely clear that prisoners who behave in this way will be punished and could spend significantly longer behind bars.”There were no injuries to prison staff but two inmates were treated for injuries that were not thought to be serious. Police outside the prisonCredit:Greg Chappell/Twitter Speaking outside the jail, he said: “The prisoners were running it last night not the screws. When I was inside I had to break up fights because there wasn’t enough staff.”Bedford Prison is falling apart, there’s cockroaches everywhere, the floors peeling off… it’s an absolute state. When you put people under that much strain they’re going to bite.”They took batons, raided safes with all the drugs and phones, and merged A and B wings. Boys were getting locked in their own cells.” Emergency services were at the sceneCredit:Geoff Robinson Mr Johnston said he spent four months inside the jail for dealing drugs and got out in October.HMP Bedford, which has been on its current site since 1801, holds around 500 inmates, according to a HM Inspectorate of Prisons report published in September. Specialist riot officers were deployed at the category B prison in Bedford town centre, with police cordoning off an area outside and emergency services on stand-by.Some guards were forced to retreat to a “safe place”.Unverified footage supposedly from inside the facility posted online revealed chaotic scenes with scores of prisoners shouting and bellowing in walkways and gangways.Former inmate Tyler Johnston, 21, said prisoners took batons, raided safes containing phones and drugs, and locked other prisoners inside cells during the riot. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Locals shared pictures of the sceneCredit:Greg Chappell /Twitter The watchdog found inmates claimed it was easier to get drugs than clothes or bedsheets at the prison, where standards had deteriorated to “unacceptable levels”.Shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon said on Twitter: “More troubling news concerning our prisons. The Justice Secretary needs to do more urgently to tackle crisis.” Our thoughts are with everyone at HMP Bedford Prison, our volunteers are on duty this evening if anyone needs support following the events.— Bedford Samaritans (@BedfordSams) November 6, 2016 The incident came days after Justice Secretary Liz Truss announced a programme of measures aimed at halting a rising tide of violence across the estate in England and Wales.It includes a recruitment drive to add 2,500 new prison officers to the frontline by 2018.But Steve Gillan, general secretary of the Prison Officers Association, argued the reforms are “all future work”.
Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. The way Bubba should lookCredit:Deadline David Barrett, the dog’s owner from Prestwick, Ayrshire, wrote: “No chance has my dog just scranned (eaten) the whole turkey for tomorrow? There’s the culprit she can’t move.”He said that Bubba had suffered no ill effects, but was about to be put on a strict New Year diet.He added: ”It was a turkey breast and mum cooked everything and sat it on the bottom tier of a two tier table and put tin foil and a dish cloth over it. She just couldn’t move. It was pretty big, a whole turkey breast.”The turkey was meant to feed three people. Luckily, Mr Barrett’s aunt had two turkeys and was able to deliver one to the family to save Christmas dinner. All that was left for Christmas dinnerCredit:Deadline The social media post of the gluttonous pooch has since attracted almost 10,000 retweets and 24,000 likes on Twitter.Aimei Melvin wrote: “She’s the same shape as the turkey, oh my god.”Jamie Connolly said: “Oh my god I am screaming. I actually have tears you must be so mad.” Another Twitter user said Bubba “looks like she’s about to burst.” It’s not unusual after tucking into Christmas dinner to feel bloated and barely able to move. Sometimes a quick lie down and a nap can help after all that excess.It certainly seemed to help Bubba, the dog that stole her family’s turkey before collapsing on the floor.The five-year-old Chi Apso found the meat on Christmas Eve, wrapped in tin foil under a tea towel, and had left only a tiny fragment by the time she finished.Her owners found their bloated pet lying on her side and posted an image on Twitter that has been re-tweeted thousands of times.
heresa May shakes Chinese President Xi Jinping hand Credit:Matt Cardy/PA China and Britain need to seek common ground while shelving differences and respect each other’s core interests, Chinese President Xi Jinping told British Prime Minister Theresa May, following a recent dispute over Hong Kong.China said last month a joint declaration with Britain over Hong Kong, which laid the blueprint over how the city would be ruled after its return to China in 1997, was a historical document that no longer had any practical significance.In response, Britain said the declaration remained in force and was a legally valid treaty to which it was committed to upholding.China says no foreign country has a right to get involved with Hong Kong as it is an internal affair for China, and has also reacted angrily to six-monthly reports the British government gives to Parliament about Hong Kong.Meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in the German city of Hamburg on Friday, Xi told May that bilateral relations should be cultivated on the basis of “consolidating strategic mutual trust”, China’s foreign ministry said on Saturday.”Both sides should uphold the principle of mutual respect and equality, and respect each other’s core interests and major concerns,” the ministry cited Xi as saying. “Both sides must seek common ground while shelving differences.” There was no direct mention of Hong Kong in the statement.On Wednesday, British Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific Mark Field met Chinese ambassador Liu Xiaoming in London and made clear Britain’s commitment to the joint declaration, Britain’s Foreign Office said.”This declaration, registered with the UN, remains in force until July 2047. As a consequence, the minister did not accept the Chinese government’s position that this was purely an historical document,” the Foreign Office said.While China and Britain have a history of disputes over human rights and the future of Hong Kong, ties have warmed in the past few years and economic links have grown in what both countries call a “golden age”, though Britain upset China last year by putting on hold a nuclear project it later approved.China is high on Britain’s list of countries with which to sign a free trade deal once Britain leaves the European Union.Xi told May that the two countries should deepen cooperation in the finance and nuclear energy sectors, China’s foreign ministry added, without giving details.
Police were called just before 7am to reports of a bus hitting a building in Lavender Hill, near Clapham Junction train station in south-west London.Two passengers were rescued after being trapped on the upper deck of a bus after it smashed into a shop in a busy London high street.A total of nine people suffered minor injuries when the bus hit the building in Lavender Hill, near Clapham Junction railway station in south-west London shortly before 7am on Thursday.The bus involved was the number 77 travelling towards London Waterloo. AVOID. LAVENDER HILL! Looks very SERIOUS. 🐻 pic.twitter.com/lXl7qRJ0zt— Richie Bear (@flaneurbear) August 10, 2017 We have a number of ambulance crews and @LAS_HART on scene at the incident in #LavenderHill. More information will follow. https://t.co/he1oXNomyr— London Ambulance (@Ldn_Ambulance) August 10, 2017 Witness Maude Grant tweeted: “Looks like they are still trying to get people off the bus on #lavenderhill!!!!”Another wrote of how he avoided the train due to the Waterloo upgrade, and got the bus instead – ending up at the scene of the crash.He tweeted: “Avoid the they said. Get a bus instead. OK, off to Clapham we go….. To see a bus ploughed a shop in Lavender Hill.”Glass lies shattered across the ground and paramedics can be seen tending to people on the top deck.London Fire Brigade, London Ambulance Service and the Metropolitan Police are in attendance.London Fire Bridgade tweeted: ‘Two fire engines and three fire rescue units are at the scene of a bus which has crashed into a shop in Lavender Hill in Battersea.’ Tony Akers, TfL’s Head of Bus Operations, said: “At around 7am this morning, a route 77 double-decker bus collided with a building in Lavender Hill. The driver and one passenger have been taken to hospital, while a number of passengers were treated at the scene. Our thoughts go to everyone involved. Andrew Matthews, 34, of Wandsworth Town, said he was one of around a dozen passengers on the bus.He told the Press Association: “I was on the top floor at the back, fortunately. The Metropolitan Police said in a statement: “Police were called at approximately 06:55hrs on Thursday, 10 August to reports of a bus in collision with a building on Lavender Hill at the junction with Haltenburg Gardens, SW11.”Officers, the London Fire Brigade and London Ambulance Service are in attendance.”The driver has been taken to a south London hospital. A number of passengers were treated by LAS at the scene.”Two passengers remain trapped on the upper deck.”The road is currently closed to traffic.” Officers are at the scene of a collision involving a bus on Lavender Hill in #Wandsworth – a number of passengers have been treated by LAS.— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) August 10, 2017 “Everybody shouted ‘fire, fire’.”I went on to the bus. I talked to her and was holding her hands.”She was pinned. I wouldn’t have been able to get her out.”She was so scared because people were shouting fire. There was a lot of smoke.”Photos on social media show the vehicle on the pavement and smashed into the front of the Poggen Pohl Kitchen Design Centre.Poggenpohl UK managing director Simon Richmond said: “We are relieved that no one from our team was injured as the showroom had not yet opened for the day, but our thoughts are with the driver and passengers on the bus as we understand there have been casualties.” “I noticed the bus drifting. I heard a smash and saw the roof of the shop going through (the bus) from the front left. It went to the fourth or fifth row.”I wedged myself in, bracing myself.”As soon as the bus came to a stop there was yelling, screaming.”I noticed a lady wedged in the front right-hand side. She was screaming for help. There was a lot of blood.”Witnesses reported seeing smoke coming from under the bus.Solange Morin, 33, lives close to the scene and was hoping to catch the bus before she saw it crash.She said: “I saw this woman (in the bus) shouting and banging on the glass. “Emergency services and our staff remain on the scene and a full investigation is already underway.”Wandsworth Police tweeted: “Avoid Lavender Hill #SW11 Bus has gone into a building. We have no further at this time.” Two women were trapped on a bus, which crashed into shops on a busy Battersea high street during rush hour.They have now been rescued.The driver has been taken to hospital and a number of passengers were treated at the scene.Witness Matthew Corner tweeted: “Bus crash on Lavender Hill looked awful. Hoping no one is badly hurt. Emergency services doing an excellent job. Lavender Hill.”Two fire engines and three fire rescue units were sent to the scene. He added that he hoped business would return to normal soon, but that the showroom had been severely damaged. We have now treated 10 patients following incident in #LavenderHill. Three patients have been taken to hospital for further treatment. https://t.co/yCGkMbZA9T— London Ambulance (@Ldn_Ambulance) August 10, 2017 Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
Sir David Attenborough has been making nature programmes for 75 years Credit:BBC But he said he hoped he would be able to tell if he was no longer up to the job, before he was asked to step down. David Attenborough has said he will finally stop making nature documentaries when he can no longer climb the stairs.The 91-year-old broadcaster who has been making programmes for 75 years, once claimed he would never retire from filming.But speaking to the Radio Times, he admitted that when he can no longer meet the physical demands of directors, he will stand down.In his latest film, Attenborough and the Sea Dragon, which explores the a new species of ichthyosaur found in the fossil beds of Dorset’s Jurassic Coast, he was asked to repeatedly walk up a tall spiral staircase.“I did it at least six times because of these bloody directors,” he said. “‘Could you turn a little sooner? Could you look over here? Could you walk down the steps, as well as up?’“If I can’t walk up and down steps any more, that will stop me. Yes, I do dread not working, although there are things I can do without running up steps six times – books to be written, things I’ve never got round to. But at the moment it seems to be all right.” “I would like to think I would be able to detect when I couldn’t find the right words any more. If I think I’m not producing commentary with any freshness, or which is apposite or to the point, I hope I would be able to recognise it before someone else told me.“I spend a lot of time fiddling with the words. I write a commentary, and feel it’s finished, then go back over it the next day and find it full of infelicities, clumsiness and redundancies. If I thought I was turning in substandard work, that would stop me.” Sir David said 2018 is already looking “pretty full” with “a couple of Natural Worlds, an overseas project and another big series” on his to-do list. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.