Jim France follows brother as Le Mans’ starter

first_imgLE MANS, FRANCE (June 22, 2013) — It was cold and blustery Saturday afternoon, the day’s first smattering of rain riding the 30-mph winds as the 24 Hour of Le Mans start neared.Not really the best conditions for racing – or flag-waving, for that matter. But Jim France soldiered on – and held on – taking his place in the starter’s stand with a full-sized French flag. As if inclement weather really mattered on this day, when Jim France got to do what his late brother, Bill France Jr., did in 1976, right here at Le Mans.Now, two Frances have waved the French flag to start the world’s biggest sports car race. It’s unprecedented, this brotherly piece of Le Mans trivia. Flag passed from 1976 starter Bill France Jr. to GRAND-AM Road Racing founder last_img

Jaguars in training at indoor facility at LBI

first_imgWITH the adverse weather affecting all outdoor activities, Cricket Guyana Inc. has decided to utilise the board’s indoor cricket facility at LBI in preparation for the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Super50 competition scheduled to start later this month in Barbados and Antigua.According to a release from the board, the decision to use the indoor facility is due to the persistent rainfall which left the Guyana National Stadium in Providence in a condition not conducive for play.The two trial matches scheduled for January 6 and 7 have been rescheduled for a later date.Currently, the 28 players for the two trial matches along with the Academy players are in training.The 28 players invited are: Shimron Hetmyer, Leon Johnson, Assad Fudadin, Raymon Reifer, Devendra Bishoo, Veerasammy Permaul, Keon Joseph, Paul Wintz, Christopher Barnwell, Chanderpaul Hemraj, Taignarine Chanderpaul, Romario Shepherd, Tevin Imlach, Anthony Adams, Gudakesh Motie, Robin Bacchus, Anthony Bramble, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Ronsford Beaton, Rajendra Chandrika, Vishaul Singh, Jonathan Foo, Sherfane Rutherford, Royston Crandon, Clinton Pestano, Steven Jacobs, Eon Hooper and Kevon Boodie.last_img read more

Concern is real for Dodgers’ tailspin

first_imgSometimes an answered prayer can be a curse, not a blessing. It was only a few weeks ago that I had some great concerns about the state of my Los Angeles Dodgers. I was terrified. The club was coming off of a historic 52-9 run over a 61-game stretch. The bats were blazing, pitching was on lockdown mode and the Dodgers had amassed a 20-game lead on second-place Arizona in the NL West. With every home run, walk-off hit and shutdown pitching performance, I cringed more and more. I feared that the Dodgers may have been using up all of their “mojo” far too early in the campaign. Everything about this team a few weeks ago just felt too magical — it was all too ideal. Too much good was floating around the team in the dog days of summer. In casual conversations with colleagues and friends, I actually proposed the notion that the Dodgers needed a bit of controversy and failure. I pled for the Dodgers to undergo a stumbling block; a little five-game losing streak would do us some good, I thought. Maybe Yasiel Puig could even get into it with a teammate in the clubhouse and throw a punch or something? That would be a nice little storm that would rattle the heavenly ambiance which this team had. Everything was too rosy and perfect in Dodgertown. Well, it’s safe to say that my wish has been granted beyond measure. The Dodgers did in fact undergo that five-game losing spell I hoped for. The team dropped five consecutive contests at the end of August, which included getting swept by the Arizona Diamondbacks out in the desert. While others began to squirm in their chairs and on social media about the mini winning drought, I was calm and collected, assured that this team needed a healthy taste of defeat.On Sept. 1, Clayton Kershaw did snap the Dodgers’ losing streak with six innings of shutout baseball against the San Diego Padres in his first start off the disabled list. Los Angeles came away with a 1-0 win in San Diego that night. What has followed that game has been a cataclysmic pitfall in the eyes of many Angeleno sports fans. Since Sept. 2, the Dodgers have lost 10 consecutive games, the longest losing spell of any team in the majors this season. The undisputed best team in baseball for the majority of 2017 has played the poorest baseball of any team in the bigs over the past two weeks. This Dodgers team, which pulled off the winningest 50-game stretch in the majors since 1912 (43-7), is the same team which has lost 15 of its last 16 contests overall. In fact, Los Angeles has become the first team in Major League history to have both a 15-1 and a 1-15 stretch in the same regular season. That’s not the type of history you typically want to make. The 20-game division lead which the Dodgers had over Arizona on Aug. 26 has since dwindled to nine games. While the chances of a division title choke-job by the Dodgers are nearly impossible with only 19 games remaining this season, Los Angeles doesn’t want to see that gap with the Diamondbacks get any smaller. However, despite the immense struggles of late,  it must be noted that the Dodgers (92-57) still hold a four-game lead on the Washington Nationals (88-55) for home-field advantage. Looking at some of the numbers for this team, you can see why this team has spiraled the way it has. Over the past 16 games, this Dodger offense has hit at an anemic .200 clip while averaging only 2.4 runs per game. Over that span, the Dodgers haven’t been much better on the mound, either. In addition to not receiving production from offensive catalysts like Cody Bellinger and Chris Taylor, the Dodgers’ newly-acquired Curtis Grandson has hit a brutal .085 since being acquired by the team on Aug. 19. Also, many Dodger fans have been quick to note that the team is 7-17 since Adrian Gonzalez rejoined the club on Aug. 18. Over the same stretch, the Dodgers haven’t been much better on the mound, either. In his last start on Sept. 7 against the Diamondbacks at home, Kershaw wasn’t anywhere near his usual self — allowing four runs in only three and two-thirds innings of work. Overall, the Dodgers’ pitching staff has accumulated an ERA of 5.81 over the past 16 games.Now, is it time to completely hit the panic button? No. The Dodgers are still the owners of the best record in all of baseball. And with 19 games remaining, there is still a good chance that this team will hit the 100-win mark for the season if they find a way to play .500 ball through the finish line. But let me balance my optimism with some necessary pessimism: No team has ever won the World Series after undergoing a 10-game losing streak in the regular season.  All I wanted for my Dodgers was a healthy dosage of turbulence. But what I have seen instead is a brutal nosedive into the earth as the regular season’s conclusion nears, and a pressure-packed postseason commences. Angel Viscarra is a junior studying broadcast and digital journalism. His column, Viscarra’s Vice, runs Tuesdays.last_img read more

Dodgers’ rotation shuffle lands Kenta Maeda in the bullpen for now

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO – The atmospheric river that drenched the Bay Area on Friday washed Kenta Maeda all the way out of the Dodgers’ starting rotation.Maeda was scheduled to start Friday’s postponed game. It would have been his second start of the season. Maeda struck out 10 Giants in five scoreless innings a week ago.He will move to the bullpen now and won’t get another start until next weekend at the earliest. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said left-handers Alex Wood and Hyun-Jin Ryu will start the two-game series against the Oakland A’s at home Tuesday and Wednesday. That series is bracketed by off days Monday and Thursday.“With the weather there had to be some changes obviously,” Roberts said. “It takes some give from each one of these guys. For us to have seen Kenta out of the ‘pen helps. “It’s one of those things – with the off days, with the rain, we kind of have to make some adjustments.”Between the rainout and a pocket of off days on the schedule, the Dodgers will play just four games in an eight-day span. Wood will have five days’ rest before his start Tuesday. Ryu will have eight days off before his second start of the season on Wednesday.Roberts said Maeda will be folded back into the rotation at some point during the Dodgers’ series against the Arizona Diamondbacks next weekend.If anyone from the rotation needs to move to the bullpen, the right-hander is an obvious choice. Maeda was dominant in a bullpen role during the Dodgers’ postseason run last fall. Deployed almost exclusively against right-handed hitters, he allowed only one run on five hits while striking out 10 in 10-2/3 innings.He made his first relief appearance of this season in the seventh inning Saturday, preserving a tie with one scoreless inning. Maeda gave up a leadoff double and an infield single but struck out Buster Posey and Evan Longoria to escape without damage. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img But any move to the bullpen is a costly one for Maeda. His contract with the Dodgers includes a low base salary ($3 million plus a $150,000 roster bonus) and relies on a series of bonuses for games started and innings pitched to boost his take-home pay. Those bonuses will be more difficult for him to reach if he spends time pitching out of the bullpen.“I know we value his starts as does he,” Roberts said. “But for this short period of time, to have him be out of the ‘pen, I think it makes the most sense for everyone.”JANSEN STILL SEARCHINGDespite the rainout Friday, Roberts said most of the Dodgers made their way to AT&T Park for workouts or treatment.Kenley Jansen was one of them. The struggling closer said he was at the park most of the afternoon Friday, playing catch, throwing briefly off the mound in the batting cage and watching video.Jansen acknowledges now that a minor hamstring injury in early March combined with a light workload this spring combined to throw off his mechanics and led to his poor start, characterized by diminished velocity. Jansen said his video work Friday was focused on watching his outings from May and June of last season – “that’s when I was really dealing,” he said.Jansen said he could see that he had gotten “lazy” with his front leg – the one with the injured hamstring – and was over-rotating to try to generate power. His stride, usually one of the longest in baseball at 7 feet, has also been compromised and shortened significantly.Jansen said he took this knowledge into his throwing sessions and tried to recapture the muscle memory from last season.“For now, I’m just going to focus on hitting my spots,” he said. “The velocity will come. It might not come tonight or tomorrow. But in the next two weeks, it will come.”Jansen showed only slight improvement Saturday. He escaped the 12th inning without giving up a run despite allowing back-to-back singles to start the inning. His cutter was mostly 90-91 mph but did touch 92 mph. It had been 88-89 mph in his first two appearances this season.PROUD PAPAReliever Josh Fields returned from paternity leave and was reinstated to the Dodgers’ roster Saturday.Fields left the team in order to be with his wife for the birth of their first child, a son named Harrison Kane Fields. Harrison checked in at 8 pounds and 1 ounce. The birth went off without any complications, said Josh Fields who made it home in time for Harrison’s arrival on Wednesday.UP NEXT: Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw (0-2, 2.25 ERA) at Giants LHP Ty Blach (1-1, 5.79 ERA), Sunday 1 p.m., SportsNet LA (where available)last_img read more