Part of previous Athletics’ rebuild, Chad Pinder offers guidance, perspective and versatility

San Jose Mercury - Fri, 08/19/2022 - 17:45

OAKLAND — Chad Pinder was in the starting lineup for the Athletics Friday night, batting fourth and playing left field against the Seattle Mariners.

No surprise, really, because Pinder is one of the most versatile players in the major leagues, having played every position on the field except catcher and at one time or another having hit in every spot in the batting order in his eighth season.

It’s one of the reasons Pinder is the last man standing, having joined the A’s for the first time in 2016 and having spent his entire career watching his team go from also-ran to the playoffs only to reinvent itself this year by shedding salary and starting over.

Veterans Jed Lowrie, Stephen Piscotty and Elvis Andrus were released, joining the exodus which began in spring training with the trades of Chris Bassitt, Matt Chapman, Matt Olson and Sean Manaea. The year before it was Marcus Semien and Liam Hendriks, who departed in free agency.

Before the A’s (43-76) began a 10-game homestand with a three-game series against the Mariners (65-54), Pinder took a few minutes to reflect on the changes that have seen his team in the last place in the A.L. West since May 4.

Pinder arrived as a 24-year-old rookie in a 69-93 season in 2016, playing in 22 games. He played 87 games in 2017 when the A’s were 75-87. Both seasons he also spent time in Triple-A Nashville, much in the same way so many A’s this season are bouncing between Las Vegas and Oakland.

“I think about it in terms of 2016 and 2017 with where we’re at this season and the turnover,” Pinder said. “Now I’m seeing it from a different lens. It stinks to lose guys that are my friends that were let go recently. You lose some buddies, but it’s bitter-sweet because you get to see the career beginnings of a lot of new guys. It’s their first time in their big leagues and an opportunity.”

When Pinder arrived, he listened and watched veterans such as catcher Stephen Vogt, Lowrie, Semien, Yonder Alonso and Rajai Davis. Vogt came back this season after being traded in 2017. Lowrie returned as well before being released. Pinder is the only one to have been on the roster since 2016.

“Vogter was someone I leaned on early, even going back to spring training when I’d be back and forth,” Pinder said. “It’s full circle being with him now.”

Instead of being the rookie asking the questions, Pinder, 30, has become the sage that answers them and provides guidance.

“If there’s something that needs to be addressed, I’ll address it, whether it’s playing on the field or conducting their business in the weight room or the clubhouse,” Pinder said. “But for the most part these guys have been outstanding. They’re learning, they’re competing and they’re grinding.”

Athletics manager Mark Kotsay said earlier this season Pinder’s leadership and clubhouse influence may have exceeded that of Olson and Chapman even if his numbers weren’t comparable. He’s happy to have Pinder and Vogt to provide examples for a team that has seen 27 rookies make their major league debuts.

“They know the value and the definition of what it means to be an `A’ at this level, how to carry yourself, and what it means every game, every day,” Kotsay said. “Having them here in that leadership role and pass it down and pass it forward is awesome.”

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - MAY 18: Oakland Athletics Chad Pinder (10) pitches for the first time against the Minnesota Twins in the ninth inning of their MLB game at the Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)Chad Pinder pitched an inning against Minnesota on May 18, meaning he’s played every position except catcher in a big league game. Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group

Pinder has discovered that whatever he’s giving in terms of knowledge, he’s getting back in terms of youthful enthusiasm. After signing a one-year contract worth $2.725 million, he’s interested in coming back to help with the rebuild.

“It gives me a little spark on days when I need it, to see the young guys getting after it,” Pinder said. “They’re hungry. They come to work and they’re fun to watch. They do everything they can. While losing absolutely sucks, and it’s not fun for anybody in the organization, there are opportunities for a lot of good things to happen over the next two months.”

Pinder, hitting .236 with 10 homers and 35 RBIs in 80 games, endears himself to the club for his willingness to play any position and fulfill any role. When Pinder pitched an inning earlier this season as a staff-saving measure, it meant the only position he hasn’t played in a big league game is catcher.

“I’d love to do it,” Pinder said. “I’d love to be able to say I’ve knocked out all nine.”

Kotsay won’t rule it out, bringing it up to bench coach Brad Ausmus in a half-serious manner.

“I did say jokingly to Brad the other day, if we have to pitch a position player again, we might make Pinder’s year and put him behind the plate,” Kotsay said.

As if on cue, Pinder emerged from the dugout runway.

“What do you think, Chi?,” Kotsay said. “Put you behind the plate? Is that an option right now?”

Said Pinder: `Oh, it is.”

NOTABLE

— All-Star pitcher Paul Blackburn said he’ll wear a cast on his middle finger for six to eight weeks to treat an injured tendon sheath on his throwing hand. Although pleased he’ll need no surgery, Blackburn is disappointed he wasn’t able to get back on the mound after some disappointing outings.

“Going from how my year started to how it’s been the last month and a half, I wanted to finish how I started and I’m not going to have an opportunity to do that,” Blackburn said.

— The A’s called up right-hander Norge Ruiz from Triple-A Las Vegas, a Cuban-born right-hander who will make his major league debut should he get into a game. Ruiz was 5-1 with a 3.83 earned run average for Las Vegas in 30 appearances.

“He’s earned it this season, throwing the ball really well in Vegas,” Kotsay said. “He’s got a plus fastball and a really good slider. So we’re excited about getting a look at him.”

Related Articles

In five seasons in the minor leagues, Ruiz, 28, has pitched in 113 games with 36 starts with a 5.08 earned run average.

To make room on the roster, Domingo Tapia was optioned to Las Vegas. Tapia pitched 2 1/3 innings of relief in Thursday’s 10-3 loss to Texas, giving up one earned run after coming in for starter Zach Logue. Ruiz gives the A’s an arm they could use immediately Friday night should it be necessary.

LINEUP

Nick Allen 2B

Jonah McBride 2B

Sean Murphy C

Chad Pinder LF

Shea Langeliers DH

Seth Brown RF

Sheldon Neuse 3B

David MacKinnon 1B

Skye Bolt CF

Cole Irvin P

 

 

 

Categories: Local News

Hiker dies in fall at Oregon’s Multnomah Falls

Seattle Times - Fri, 08/19/2022 - 17:45

Fire officials say a hiker fell and died near Multnomah Falls east of Portland.
Categories: Local News

Swimmers voice concerns about focus of Cal’s McKeever probe

San Jose Mercury - Fri, 08/19/2022 - 17:43

Multiple current and former Cal women’s swim team members said they are surprised and concerned that attorneys conducting an investigation into allegations that Cal’s head coach Teri McKeever bullied swimmers for decades have not asked them about Jennifer Simon-O’Neill, senior executive associate athletic director and the coach’s longtime close friend, or about athletic director Jim Knowlton’s handling of repeated credible complaints about McKeever’s alleged abusive behavior.

Knowlton and Simon-O’Neill, the swimmers, parents and their supporters maintain, enabled McKeever’s alleged bullying by repeatedly ignoring or dismissing complaints from swimmers, parents and other administrators and university employees about the coach or defending McKeever and her coaching methods.

Current and former Cal swimmers, their parents, and a former university administrator have also questioned the independence of the investigation of McKeever, citing conflict of interest concerns about the firm, Munger, Tolles and Olson, hired by the university to conduct the probe.

Brad Brian, a former all-conference Cal baseball player, is chair of Munger, Tolles and Olson, the firm’s top position. Brian is one of the Cal athletic department’s leading fundraisers and recently led a campaign to build beach volleyball and softball facilities for the school, according to the university. He is one of only two recipients of the Robert Gordon & Ida Sproul award for the “most outstanding contribution to the university,” according to Cal and Brian’s Munger, Tolles and Olson bio.

Allegations that McKeever bullied swimmers for more than a quarter-century along with other abuse cases involving Golden Bears coaches suggest that the university has a “systemic problem” that the Berkeley Faculty Association said needs to be “urgently” addressed by the school’s administration.

The Berkeley Faculty Association released the statement to the Southern California News Group in response to questions about Cal’s handling of the McKeever case as more than 50 current and former Golden Bears swimmers and their parents as well as former Cal administrators, coaches and employees continue to push for the firing of athletic director Knowlton and Simon-O’Neill, who until May supervised the women’s swimming program.

A former Cal administration official said top athletic department officials were aware of McKeever’s alleged abusive behavior toward athletes “for years.”

The swimmers and their supporters are also critical of Cal chancellor Carol Christ and Michael Drake, president of the University of California system, for not intervening in the McKeever matter.

“The silence speaks volumes,” said the former Cal administrator.

McKeever, who has guided the Golden Bears to four NCAA team titles, was placed on paid administrative leave on May 25, the day after the Southern California News Group reported that the coach has routinely bullied athletes throughout her 29-year career at Berkeley.

To date 36 current or former Cal swimmers and divers, 17 parents, a former member of the Golden Bears’ men’s swimming and diving squad, two former coaches, a former Cal administrator and two former Cal athletic department employees have told SCNG that McKeever, the only woman to serve as head coach of a U.S. Olympic swim team, routinely bullied swimmers, often in deeply personal terms, or used embarrassing or traumatic experiences from their past against them, used racial epithets, body-shamed and pressured athletes to compete or train while injured or dealing with chronic illnesses or eating disorders, even accusing some women of lying about their conditions despite being provided medical records by them.

“Your number one job as an administrator is to protect the student athlete, the kids. There’s no way (athletic department officials) didn’t know if there’s that much information there, this was an avalanche,” a former university administrator said. “Everybody can’t be wrong. (Athletic department officials) were enabling Teri with their refusal to shut it down.

“This has to stop!” the administrator continued, their voice raising. “This has gone on for years.”

Swimmers and parents have also alleged that McKeever revealed medical information about athletes to other team members and coaches without their permission in violation of federal, state and university privacy laws and guidelines.

Nine Cal women’s swimmers, six since 2018, have told SCNG they made plans to kill themselves or obsessed about suicide for weeks or months because of what they describe as McKeever’s bullying.

“The Berkeley Faculty Association is deeply alarmed by allegations of abuse towards student athletes by coaches,” James Vernon, BFA chair, wrote in a statement to SCNG.”The cluster of cases around football, women’s soccer and swimming suggests there is a systemic problem that urgently needs to be addressed by campus. It is all the more disturbing given that the Chancellor continues to subsidize the athletics program $25 million a year, leaving aside the huge debt burden of the football stadium, while there is such an urgent need for more Title IX and mental health staff on campus.”

The Berkeley Academic Senate said in a statement to SCNG that “the interactions that have been described in the press are deeply disturbing and antithetical to UC Berkeley’s values as an educational institution. Yet it is also a fundamental value that all members of our community are entitled to due process when accusations are made against them and that due process is an important aspect of civil society. The Senate supports the university’s processes for reporting and addressing incidents of bullying. An investigation of the allegations against Teri McKeever is underway. We believe the investigation team has appropriate distance from the campus to be independent and the experience to provide a thorough and fair accounting of events. We look forward to an appropriate resolution in due time.”

Members of the Golden Bears’ women’s team have been told they will be coached by Dave Durden, Cal’s men’s head coach, and that the two programs will be merged at least for the foreseeable future, according to five people familiar with the situation. The move has not been announced by the university.

“Dave Durden will be acting as the Director of Cal Swimming which allows him and his staff to work directly with both the women’s and men’s swimming and diving programs while the current coach is on leave,” Cal spokesman Dan Mogulof said. “When programs are combined, the NCAA permits an additional coach to be on staff to support both programs, and that is what we are doing.”

U.S. Center for SafeSport investigators have also interviewed multiple current and former Cal swimmers as part of a separate probe into allegations that McKeever, the only woman to serve as head coach of a U.S. Olympic swimming team, repeatedly violated SafeSport rules regarding bullying, physical, verbal, and emotional abuse and retaliation.

Cal retained Munger, Tolles and Olson in May. The investigation, according to the university, is being led by Hailyn Chen and Lauren Bell. Chen succeeded Brian as co-managing partner at the firm.

“I’m a proud alum of UC Berkeley and a supporter of Cal Athletics and gender equity,” Brian said in a statement. “I had nothing to do with our firm being hired to investigate the allegations against Coach McKeever, have played no role whatsoever in that investigation, and haven’t discussed the investigation with anyone at Cal. Partner Hailyn Chen, a national leader in investigations involving allegations of abuse, is leading the investigation. I am confident that Hailyn will conduct a thorough and neutral investigation.”

Christ and Knowlton have not been in contact with Brian since the McKeever investigation was launched, Mogulof said.

“The university never has, and never will seek to influence an investigation’s outcome,” Mogulof said. “We have a profound and non-negotiable institutional interest in learning the truth about serious allegations of misconduct and policy violations.”

Current and former swimmers and their parents have criticized what they describe as a lack of urgency with the investigation. Some of McKeever’s alleged victims said it has taken weeks for Munger, Tolles, and Olson and longer still to schedule interviews. Swimmers said they were told that investigators did not have their contact information, although the women had previously been contacted by Cal fundraising and alumni organizations.

“It is understood there is a strong desire for quick, concerted action,” Mogulof said. “Yet, as per the laws and policies that govern how we operate, and as per the norms that govern judicial and investigative processes on our campus and across our country, everyone is entitled to due process, and everyone’s right to privacy is protected. We do not have the ability to circumvent those laws and policies. Once all that is entailed in due process is completed, the leadership of the university is more than ready to be held accountable for ensuing decisions. For now, we wish to reiterate, that when the current leadership of Cal Athletics and the campus are made aware of allegations that policies have been violated, or of complaints about employee behavior, they respond quickly and appropriately, either through managerial intervention or through referral of the matter to appropriate campus investigative offices, when required.”

A former Cal swimmer said she spent nearly an hour of a 2 1/2 hour interview explaining to investigators how college swimming worked. While some women interviewed by investigators have said they felt heard, others have said the interviews were more focused on damage control and limiting the university’s exposure in anticipation of lawsuits. One swimmer, who said she planned to commit suicide because of McKeever’s bullying, said she was shocked and enraged when an attorney questioned whether she was actually suicidal.

But current and former swimmers also expressed frustration that investigators’ questioning has primarily focused on McKeever and not on Knowlton and Simon-O’Neill, who the swimmers maintain enabled and defended McKeever.

Four Cal seniors on the 2021-22 roster met with Knowlton and Simon-O’Neill last spring and alleged bullying and verbal and emotional abuse by McKeever, according to three people familiar with the meeting. Knowlton told the swimmers that McKeever was just a hard, tough coach who they would appreciate in the coming decades, according to the three people.

Knowlton, a former West Point hockey player and career Army officer, has repeatedly talked about the importance of the student-athlete experience since being hired by Cal in 2018.

“Clearly, they’re just paying lip service to that,” the former administrator said. “Nearly 40 kids at Cal, all sharing something similar and awful, a desperate cry for something to be done. Jim and Jenny failed to protect them.”

Simon-O’Neill has often been referred to as “Title IX Jenny” around the Cal athletic department, according to swimmers and former Cal athletic department employees, a reference for her advocacy for women’s sports and women coaches.

“But when it came to protecting women,” the former administrator said, “nothing was done.”

Current and former Cal swimmers said when they went to Simon-O’Neill with allegations about McKeever’s abusive behavior the administrator either dismissed their complaints or cited McKeever’s record of winning NCAA and Pac-12 titles and producing Olympians.

“There has to be repercussions for this or else it just continues,” said a parent of a current Cal swimmer. “For Simon-O’Neill it certainly seems like the fox guarding the hen house in the most obvious way. (Simon-O’Neill) was there as part of the protective scheme.

“I don’t know how you don’t blame the leader of the organization. This looks like the defense of a coach who grew up with coaching philosophies that are no longer acceptable in modern swimming.

“It’s not like this came out of nowhere. Why didn’t the university do anything?”

RELATED:

UC Berkeley swimmers allege coach Teri McKeever bullied and verbally abused them for years

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UC Berkeley places swim coach Teri McKeever on administrative leave

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Categories: Local News

Ron DeSantis Rallies With Doug Mastriano and J.D. Vance

N.Y. Times - Fri, 08/19/2022 - 17:30
Appearing with right-wing candidates in Pennsylvania and Ohio, the Florida governor signaled his desire to take over Donald Trump’s political movement. Whether Republican voters want that to happen remains to be seen.
Categories: Local News

Two men charged with murder in fatal July shooting outside Renton bar

Seattle Times - Fri, 08/19/2022 - 17:23

Kendale Jimerson and Devaughn Dorsey are charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Aaron Coe, 34, outside Cheers Bar & Grill in Renton.
Categories: Local News

At age 116, the steam-powered Puffin gets a thorough checkup

Seattle Times - Fri, 08/19/2022 - 17:16

At the Center for Wooden Boats on Lake Union, Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) inspector Andy Worline checks out the pressurized boiler on the Puffin, a 116-year-old wooden steam-powered vessel. The State of Washington L&I boiler program ensures public safety by performing regular inspections and issuing operating permits for more than 116,000 […]
Categories: Local News

Column: The Franmil Reyes effect helps the Chicago Cubs rally past the Milwaukee Brewers 8-7 —their 8th win in 11 games

San Jose Mercury - Fri, 08/19/2022 - 16:59

The Chicago Cubs on Friday began a stretch of 14 games in 17 days against the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals, facing off against the two teams battling for the National League Central crown.

It’s a chance for David Ross’s team to prove its recent run of success is no fluke and for the Cubs to have some say in a race they’ve been out of since falling nine games on May 8.

“We’re going to find out what we’re made of,” second baseman Nick Madrigal said. “As of late we’re playing some great baseball. We have some good teams coming up, but I’d run this team out there with anyone now.”

The Cubs started the stretch on the right foot Friday, staging a 8-7 comeback win over the Brewers before 39,962 semi-engaged fans at Wrigley Field.

The Cubs have won eight of their last 11 games, though mostly against the likes of rebuilding teams such as the Cincinnati Reds, Washington Nationals and Miami Marlins. Now the games carry more weight, and the Cubs responded with the kind of emotion you see from teams fighting for a playoff spot.

With jet fighters flying over Wrigley practicing for this weekend’s Air and Water Show, the perfect weather streak continuing for its second straight week and beer-cup stacking taking precedence over the action in the bleachers, Friday was the kind of day in which the action on the field took a back seat to the simple pleasures of enjoying a day game at Wrigley Field.

But those who bothered paying attention were treated to a great back-and-forth game that included three Madrigal hits, home runs from Patrick Wisdom and Christopher Morel and another triple by Franmil Reyes, who quickly has become a fan favorite.

Reyes legged out his second triple in only nine games with the Cubs in the first inning, then scored on Ian Happ’s infield hit. Reyes had only three career triples in 481 games with the San Diego Padres and Cleveland Guardians.

Is it the shoes?

“Just taking advantage of what the game gives you,” Reyes said. “That’s one more thing that shows people you have to hustle every time. If I didn’t get to third and stayed on second, I wouldn’t have scored on the infield single Ian had there.”

The addition of Reyes and the return of Madrigal from the injured list have coincided with the Cubs’ hot streak. Standing together they have the feel of a fun-sized candy bar stacked next to a giant-sized bar, proving the game can be played by players of all shapes and sizes.

Reyes has 14 hits in his first nine games as a Cub, the most since Nicholas Castellanos had 15 in his first nine games in 2019.

“This new opportunity, there are many players that don’t get a second chance,” Reyes said. “I’m very blessed to have gotten it.”

The Cubs trailed 2-0 out of the gate but led 4-2 after two innings. They trailed 5-4 in the fifth but took the lead back on Wisdom’s two-run home run off Aaron Ashby. After the Brewers reclaimed the lead by scoring a pair of runs off reliever Kervin Castro in the sixth, the Cubs responded with Morel’s go-ahead, two-run home run off Hoby Milner in the bottom of the inning.

Michael Ricker, Mark Leither Jr. and Brandon Hughes closed it out with three scoreless innings.

Cubs starter Keegan Thompson endured his third subpar performance in four outings, allowing five runs on six hits and three walks over 3 ⅔ innings. The Brewers hit three home runs off Thompson, whose ERA has risen from 3.16 to 3.97 since the start of August, mirroring the end of last season. After moving to the rotation a year ago, Thompson posted a 7.11 ERA over his last five starts, increasing his overall ERA from 2.21 to 3.38.

“He’s probably got some fatigue setting into the season,” Ross said. “We’ll take a big-picture look at that and make sure everything is on the up and up, health-wise.”

Thompson might get a rest down the stretch with Wade Miley potentially returning from the IL soon. Kyle Hendricks is heading to Arizona for a rehab assignment and deserves an opportunity to get a couple of starts in September to enter the offseason on an up note.

With the summer coming to a close, what matters most for the Cubs is getting their minds right for what they hope will be a turn-the-corner season in 2023.

Morel, one of the bright spots of this season, has three home runs in his last eight games. He said Reyes’ presence has helped the Cubs become a unit. Reyes was playing baseball with his kids after the game, watching his young daughter run around as if it were her playpen.

“You’ve been able to see it, right?” Morel said through an interpreter. “He came in, he’s making us feel more united, more like a family. You see his enthusiasm. Every time he’s here he talks to us, tells us to give our all every day and things will flow. And you can see they’re flowing.”

Morel then performed an impression of Reyes talking about hitting the triple, lowering his voice a few octaves and saying, “I’m trying.”

Reyes also struck out three times, and that swing-and-miss problem was one of the reasons the Guardians gave up on him. But Reyes wasn’t frustrated, saying he just missed on some pitches.

“Everything is good,” he said. “Tomorrow a new mentality. Same plan. I’m crushing it.”

Whatever works.

()

Categories: Local News

Mets can put Phillies away for good this weekend — or let them back in it

San Jose Mercury - Fri, 08/19/2022 - 16:57

PHILADELPHIA — Nobody said it was easy.

The Mets are enjoying their best regular season since 2006 and are on pace to win 100 games for just the fourth time in franchise history. But they enter the weekend with a slim 3.5 lead over the Braves in the National League East, leaving no guarantee that their blistering pace will lead to a division crown or first-round bye in the re-formatted playoffs.

They now have four games with the Phillies in roughly 48 hours. Friday’s night game precedes a doubleheader on Saturday before a day game on Sunday, and their manager was asked for his thoughts on it all.

“It’s all a challenge,” Buck Showalter said. “I think pitching as much as anything. I think the key is not getting ahead of yourself and letting the game dictate what goes on.”

As much as the “One game at a time” and “Control what you can control” clichés get mindlessly recited ad nauseum, everyone in the organization knows how tight things are getting. Philadelphia is ten games out of first place coming into the weekend, but a strong performance both takes the Mets down a peg and puts the Phillies right back in it.

“You try not to talk about it, just embrace it,” Showalter said of the division race. “It’s a chance to separate yourself in challenging times.”

To help them out in Philly, the Mets have brought along some pitchers on the taxi squad. David Peterson is one, and he will start one of the games in Saturday’s doubleheader. The other three — Jose Butto, Nate Fisher and Rob Zastryzny — are extra insurance due to the rash of injuries that have hit the pitching staff. If Taijuan Walker (back spasms) is unable to go on Sunday, the 24-year-old Butto is a likely fill-in.

Showalter provided a quick update on Walker and Tylor Megill, whose biceps tendonitis have kept him out of action since June 16.

“All those guys are progressing well,” Showalter said. “We haven’t finished our evaluation on Tai yet today. I know he felt a lot better [on Thursday]. We’ll see how the progress is. He’s not really there yet.”

By the time Megill gets back, it behooves both him and the team to use him as a reliever. The Mets will be nearing the postseason by then, and Megill’s starter pedigree and blazing fastball would certainly play up out of the bullpen. Of course, if Carlos Carrasco’s oblique becomes a longer issue than the team anticipated, Megill could also slide back into the rotation. Having a pitcher of his caliber (whenever he’s healthy) waiting in the wings is a good problem to have, just like being asked if any of the star players who’ve gotten the Mets this far are going to get some rest during this jam-packed weekend.

“We’ll take each game and see how everybody’s feeling physically,” Showalter said. “[We’ll] get input from everybody and see what our best chance is to put our best foot forward.”

There’s also one school of thought that believes playing this many games so close to each other, especially against a division opponent, can provide an advantage in the familiarity department.

“I don’t know about advantage,” Showalter guffawed. “It seems like we just played these guys. We’ll get done with our four games and let somebody else worry about them for a while.”

RUF STREETS OF PHILADELPHIA

Darin Ruf, who was drafted by the Phillies in 2009 and played parts of five seasons there to begin his career, is back in the City of Brotherly Love. Showalter said that he thought he discovered a statistical gem before realizing that his newly acquired DH has been around these blocks before.

“I do a thing where I look at how people do in different ballparks,” Showalter began. “Without thinking, I glanced through and saw that Ruf had 25 home runs. I had to remind myself that he played here before.”

FINDING NIMMO SOME DAYS OFF?

Brandon Nimmo has played 100 games for the first time since 2018. Friday night’s contest was his 111th of the season, and with him being both the team’s leadoff hitter and center fielder, he’s getting a lot of reps on both sides of the ball.

Showalter said that even though Nimmo has had a heavy workload, the stage that Nimmo’s career is in allows him to power through.

“I see all the work he does. I think you’re seeing a player really understand playing with a certain pace. He’s just really maturing as a baseball player. It’s been fun to watch, especially with some of the things I’d heard in the past that had been a challenge for him that he seems to have been able to overcome so far.”

Asked to elaborate on those challenges, Showalter said it’s always been about health.

“Just staying on the field. He had some injuries [in the past] that he really hasn’t had to deal with this year. He’s been a guy that everybody can really count on.”

PLAUSIBLE DENIABILITY

Tomas Nido (COVID-19) and Luis Guillorme (groin strain) are being left to their own devices for the time being. Nido was forced to drive from Atlanta to New York as to not infect anybody else, while Guillorme is currently rehabbing away from the team. Showalter gave a rundown of his most recent conversations with them.

“Entertaining,” he said with a smirk. “Tomas and Luis, I should learn not to ask them about what they’re doing in their rehab, and just say ‘How’s it going?’ Nido’s almost back to New York now. They’re doing good.”

()

Categories: Local News

Ukrainian Strikes May Be Slowing Russia’s Advance

N.Y. Times - Fri, 08/19/2022 - 16:49
A new strategy of attacks on logistical targets in Russian-held territory is having an impact, analysts say, symbolically as well as militarily.
Categories: Local News

King County declares public health emergency over monkeypox outbreak

Seattle Times - Fri, 08/19/2022 - 16:48

King County has declared a public health emergency over the local monkeypox outbreak, freeing up resources for public health agencies.
Categories: Local News

Washington school shooter sentenced to 40 years

Seattle Times - Fri, 08/19/2022 - 16:38

A man who shot one classmate to death and wounded three others five years ago in a Spokane high school apologized to his victims before he was sentenced to 40 years to life in prison.
Categories: Local News

Letters: Secondhand smoke | Cohen’s refusal | Honorable path | Trans win | Chain of custody | Nuclear deal

San Jose Mercury - Fri, 08/19/2022 - 16:30

Submit your letter to the editor via this form. Read more Letters to the Editor.

Hayward should pass
smoke-free housing law

A smoke-free multi-unit housing policy should be implemented as soon as fall by the Hayward City Council. The policy would ban smoking in multi-unit housing such as apartments, condos, duplexes and townhomes to protect Hayward residents who don’t smoke.

Secondhand smoke comes from smoking devices such as Juuls and smoke released from the burning end of a cigarette. Being exposed to secondhand smoke can create health problems and/or worsen the condition of those who have certain illnesses. In 2020, Hayward received an “F” from the American Lung Association for its smoke-free housing grade; Hayward was the only F in this category in Alameda County.

The health and safety of others living in multi-unit housing from secondhand smoke should be prioritized now rather than later by passing the policy as soon as possible.

Paula Carreon
Hayward

Cohen’s refusal
to debate is a bad sign

Malia Cohen’s refusal to debate fellow state controller candidate Lanhee Chen tells you all you need to know about her.

In the world’s oldest democracy, we value leaders who can stand up for their ideas, who can be transparent and who can take the concerns of voters seriously. Lanhee Chen is willing to do all of these things in a public forum: to defend his plans for the controller’s office, to let voters hear his ideas and address the needs of all citizens in this great state.

Cohen would rather cower behind extraneous political attacks on her Twitter page. She is unwilling to give her time to speak to all Californians, address our needs and show initiative for the office of controller. If she is unable to be a transparent leader now, I can’t imagine she would act any differently in office.

Drew Smith
San Francisco

Taking honorable
path is easy

David Brooks worries unnecessarily that there may be “no honorable way to alter our course.” (“Did the FBI just reelect Donald Trump?” Page A13, Aug. 14) Nonsense. Every one of us, elected or not, has the power to choose an “honorable course.” Simply behave honorably:

Honor your oath of office. Honor the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, our system of checks and balances. Honor democratic principles: one person, one vote. Honor the rule of law, equal justice and equal responsibility under the law. Honor truth, facts, science, honesty, humility, integrity, service, self-sacrifice for the common good. Vote for honorable people.

Reject self-aggrandizement, lies, fearmongering, greed, violence, racism, cheating, manipulation of your thinking or denial of due process.

Act in accord with the guidance of your “better angels” — your conscience, the quiet voice of the Holy Spirit, the “Light Within,” your inner sense of rightness, your best self.

The “honorable course” is a simple choice. As Yoda would say, “Choose wisely.”

Victor Ortiz
Walnut Creek

ADA ruling a win
for trans people

Re. “Fed appeals court: ADA protections cover ‘gender dysphoria,’” Aug. 16:

The ruling on Kesha Williams is a big step forward for trans rights. Society is not static. In the rapid development of our society and culture, the law should be adjusted accordingly. Just as Williams’ case is a continuation of the ruling in Bostock, there will be other cases that will be a continuation of the Williams decision in the future.

While gender identity disorder is protected under the ADA, transgender people also need to be respected in their lives. This is not a separate group, but a part of our society. What we need to do is to understand and accept each person’s choices. Using the correct personal pronouns for trans people is a good place to start.

Haowen Wu
Pleasanton

Intelligence chain of
custody must be probed

Intelligence information that reaches the president often takes years to obtain and corroborate at great expense and great risk. Lives are endangered and sometimes lost. Besides the obvious and egregious dereliction of oath, exposing classified intelligence poses grave danger to the nation. For the nation’s security, several questions must be answered about the documents at Mar-a-Lago.

Who removed the documents from the secured storage location? Who packed them to be shipped? Who transported them and how (AF1 or truck on I-95)? Who unloaded and stored them upon arrival? Who had access to the storage location? Who has handled or reviewed them since they have been stored? Have any documents been removed from the storage area? If so by whom and where did they go? Each step in this process could have resulted in classified information being taken or misused. A complete chain of custody investigation must be completed.

Barry Gardin
Hayward

U.S. must rejoin
Iran nuclear deal

Re.  “Some optimism for Iran nuke deal arises,” Page A4, Aug. 17:

Related Articles

I would urge members of Congress to renew efforts to restore the nuclear deal with Iran before the republic aligns itself with Russia and China.

America doesn’t need an enemy in the Middle East and attempts must be made to undo the damage inflicted by the Trump administration.

Timothy Charles
Fremont

Categories: Local News

Biden Prepares Actions to Cut Emissions After Signing Climate Bill

N.Y. Times - Fri, 08/19/2022 - 16:14
Regulations from the E.P.A. and elsewhere will help the president meet his aggressive climate goals, administration officials say.
Categories: Local News

16 more states hope to weigh in on Idaho abortion lawsuit

Seattle Times - Fri, 08/19/2022 - 16:12

Sixteen more states are asking to weigh in on the U.S. Department of Justice’s lawsuit against Idaho over its strict abortion ban.
Categories: Local News

Group Seeks to Block Abortion Vote in Michigan, Citing Typography

N.Y. Times - Fri, 08/19/2022 - 16:08
The effort is aimed at keeping a constitutional amendment to guarantee abortion rights off the ballot. A voting access measure is also being challenged.
Categories: Local News

Big Ten Players Wonder Where They Fit Into a $1 Billion TV Deal

N.Y. Times - Fri, 08/19/2022 - 16:05
Student-athletes are excited for the exposure their league will receive, but paying players looms large.
Categories: Local News

Wendy’s restaurants linked to E. coli outbreak

Seattle Times - Fri, 08/19/2022 - 16:00

The CDC isn't telling people to avoid eating at Wendy's or to stop eating romaine lettuce and said a specific food hasn't been confirmed as the outbreak source.
Categories: Local News

Letters: Disguising greed | Respect native sites | Governors’ failure | Fallow orchards | Rejoin deal | Transfer savings

San Jose Mercury - Fri, 08/19/2022 - 16:00

Submit your letter to the editor via this form. Read more Letters to the Editor.

Real estate jargon
disguises greed

Regarding the redevelopment of Cambrian Plaza (“Cambrian Village project approved,” Page B1, Aug. 12), San Jose City Councilwoman Pam Foley said, “It’s going to activate a space, a huge piece of land that hasn’t been activated for a long time. It really needs to be freshened up dramatically.”

Who talks this way? Only people in the real estate business could “activate” and “freshen up” land. Activate is real estate-ese for “make us a pile of money.” Activating land means throwing asphalt, concrete, steel, glass and lots of people on it and walking away with an over-stuffed bank account that will allow them to vacation in someplace with less activated land.

I have this radical notion that if you leave land in its natural state it somehow activates all by itself into plants, trees and animals. Spare us the cute real estate lingo and give us back our land, minus your activation.

Scott Duncan
Santa Clara

Asian-Americans must
respect native sites

As a Watsonville community member, this is my appeal, especially to various Asian American communities in Santa Clara County regarding Verne Freeman’s question in his article “Mixed conclusions on mine proposal,” on the front page July 30. “What is the price we have to pay for all of that?”

I am a native of Japan from Iwata City, which has been the Sister City of Mountain View since the 1970s. My hometown has several thousand years of history with spiritual ceremonies and festivals similar to those of many East Asian countries. Our ancestors did not commit horrible atrocities against the indigenous people here in California as White people and Mexicans did. But I believe that we have a responsibility to respect the indigenous people’s religion and support them to protect their sacred places such as Juristac.

Let’s speak up on this important issue for all of us.

Takashi Mizuno
Watsonville

Governors have failed
to lead on water

Our Gov. Gavin Newsom is great at talking but does nothing when it comes to our state’s need to store more water in new reservoirs or in underground aquifers.

We citizens passed a bond issue in 2004 to spend billions building two new reservoirs and upgrading current reservoirs.

But Gov. Jerry Brown, Newsom and our Legislature have accomplished nothing since 2004. And that is due to the failure of both of our governors to lead and push our Legislature and state agencies.

Our lack of winter rains and snows will be permanent because global warming has heated up the Pacific Ocean, which influences our weather, and that will continue for decades.

Eventually, the only answer will be to build water pipelines from the mouth of the Columbia River into the Shasta and Oroville reservoirs.

And that will require federal legislation. Otherwise, our future is a desert.

Brian McCormick
San Jose

To save water, fallow
almond orchards

We all know almonds use a lot of water to grow, 1.1 gallons per almond. What you may not know is 70% of California’s almonds are exported. We are in a severe drought so why are we exporting our water?

Seems to me one of the easiest and most environmentally positive things that can be done is to buy up the almond orchards. No expensive and energy-intensive desalination, no new dams flooding open space. Just buy up almond orchards then let them go fallow. Seems pretty simple to me.

William Ortendahl
Santa Clara

Rejoining Iranian nuke
deal critical for U.S.

Re.  “Some optimism for Iran nuke deal arises,” Page A4, Aug. 17:

As an Iranian-American computer scientist, I care about diplomacy with Iran.

Because of my personal experience living during war, eight years of the Iran-Iraq war, and then witnessing other devastating wars, I believe we, the whole world, should do our utmost to prevent wars, via diplomacy, and build trust and international cooperation and understanding.

Rejoining the nuclear deal would be a clear demonstration that the United States is ready to turn away from the foreign policy failures of the past and is instead committed to rebuilding its credibility on the global stage. It would show that we are still capable of solving pressing global challenges through diplomacy. Never before has that been more urgent.

Omid Madani
San Carlos

Transfer energy
savings to children

Re. “New law offers energy savings,” Page A1, Aug. 18:

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I would like to take advantage of the excellent price-saving opportunities available under the provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act but cannot because they only apply to those with a significant taxable income. Being long retired, I no longer owe the IRS enough each year to qualify.

Suggestion: Permit any earned tax credits to be legally transferred within a family. We have three grandchildren in college now and transferring my potential tax saving would greatly help paying tuition while helping to save the planet.

Ron Johnstone
Santa Clara

Categories: Local News

Kaiser Permanente mental health workers continue strike for fifth day

San Jose Mercury - Fri, 08/19/2022 - 15:50

OAKLAND — Hundreds of striking therapists and other mental health professionals amassed outside the downtown Kaiser Permanente business offices on Friday, the fifth day of a strike to demand that the health care provider boost staffing — just months after medical technicians and housekeepers held their own direct action.

About 2,000 therapists and counselors began their pickets in San Jose, San Francisco, Sacramento and Fresno on Monday and have been joined by union supporters from across Northern California since then.

The strike left some patients without immediate access to mental health resources as Kaiser officials warned that “some non-urgent appointments may be rescheduled,” and that it “will continue to prioritize urgent and emergency care.”

The strike is expected to continue next week and comes as the Bay Area sees a surge in health care worker strikes for better wages, working conditions and staffing. This year strikes dealt a blow to services at several Bay Area hospitals, including nurses at Stanford and Sutter Health hospitals and nurses’ assistants, aides and surgical techs at Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City. Kaiser technicians, phlebotomists and housekeepers also walked out and held a strike back in November.

The strike at Kaiser was spurred by a failed bargaining session that ended last Saturday without a deal between the health care provider and its Northern California psychologists, social workers, marriage and family therapists, and chemical dependency counselors. While the union said that it agreed to a wage offer from Kaiser this past weekend, other issues pertaining to staffing and working conditions kept the two sides from striking a deal.

“We’ve picketed all over Northern California this week; now we’re coming together to demand that Kaiser executives stop disrespecting the care we provide, and treating our patients as second class,” said Natalie Rogers, a therapist in Santa Rosa.

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 19: Natalie Rogers, a therapist based in Santa Rosa, speaks before fellow Kaiser Permanente mental health providers at Kaiser???s Corporate Headquarters after marching from Oakland Kaiser Medical Center in Oakland, Calif. on Friday, Aug.19, 2022. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 19: Natalie Rogers, a therapist based in Santa Rosa, speaks before fellow Kaiser Permanente mental health providers at Kaiser???s Corporate Headquarters after marching from Oakland Kaiser Medical Center in Oakland, Calif. on Friday, Aug.19, 2022. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group) 

In a statement to this news organization, Kaiser Permanente Northern California spokesperson Karl Sonkin said the hospital has worked throughout the week to “ensure that we are able to meet our members’ mental health needs.” Sonkin said despite some cancellations, about half of Kaiser’s patients are receiving their care from mental health community providers who are not involved with the strike.

Union researchers say 20,000 patients could be impacted — since each clinician can have anywhere from six to 10 patients per day — whether because their appointments have been rescheduled or they have to seek care from a new provider.

Kaiser has been reaching out to every patient affected by appointment cancellations and offering another internal care provider or a provider from the health care system’s network of contracted community providers, Sonkin said. He said more than 30% of Kaiser’s clinicians “have been caring for members this week, with more returning each day,” and added that psychiatrists, clinical managers and other licensed clinicians have stepped in to meet with patients needing care.

“This strike and this disruption to patient care does not need to happen,” Sonkin said. “While NUHW claims it is fighting for increased access to care, its primary demand is for union members to spend less time seeing patients. Our patients cannot afford a proposal that significantly reduces the time available to care for our patients and their mental health needs. We were very close to an agreement last week; unfortunately, union leaders were intent on this strike.”

Sonkin said the health care provider is encouraging the union to “return to the  table as we remain committed to reaching a fair and equitable agreement that is good for our clinicians and our patients.”

Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis joined striking mental health care workers in Oakland on Friday. She issued a statement Thursday saying she applauds the strikers’ effort to “shed light on the issues plaguing our mental health care system and to provide patients with the quality care they deserve.”

Click Here if you’re unable to view the photos on your mobile device.

  • OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 19: Kaiser Permanent patient Laura Bramble...

    OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 19: Kaiser Permanent patient Laura Bramble shows a statement, "Mental Health Is Health" as she speaks before Kaiser Permanente mental health providers at Kaiser's Corporate Headquarters after marching from Oakland Kaiser Medical Center in Oakland, Calif. on Friday, Aug.19, 2022. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

  • OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 19: Kaiser Permanente mental health care...

    OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 19: Kaiser Permanente mental health care providers march towards Kaiser's Corporate Headquarters from Oakland Kaiser Medical Center in Oakland, Calif. on Friday, Aug.19, 2022. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

  • OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 19: Kaiser Permanente mental health care...

    OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 19: Kaiser Permanente mental health care providers take part in a picketing line at Oakland Kaiser Medical Center in Oakland, Calif. on Friday, Aug.19, 2022. Later, they marched on Broadway to Kaiser's Corporate Headquarters to hold a rally with speakers including State Sen. Scott Wiener. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

  • OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 19: Kaiser Permanente mental health providers...

    OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 19: Kaiser Permanente mental health providers arrive at Kaiser's Corporate Headquarters after marching along Broadway from Oakland Kaiser Medical Center in Oakland, Calif. on Friday, Aug.19, 2022. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

  • OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 19: Sal Rosselli, president of the...

    OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 19: Sal Rosselli, president of the National Union of Healthcare Workers, speaks before Kaiser Permanente mental health providers at Kaiser's Corporate Headquarters after marching from Oakland Kaiser Medical Center in Oakland, Calif. on Friday, Aug.19, 2022. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

  • OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 19: Kaiser Permanente mental health care...

    OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 19: Kaiser Permanente mental health care providers begin to march from Oakland Kaiser Medical Center to to Kaiser's Corporate Headquarters in Oakland, Calif. on Friday, Aug.19, 2022. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

  • OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 19: State Sen. Scott Wiener speaks...

    OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 19: State Sen. Scott Wiener speaks during a rally with striking Kaiser Permanente mental health providers at Kaiser's Corporate Headquarters in Oakland, Calif. on Friday, Aug.19, 2022. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

  • OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 19: Kaiser Permanente mental health care...

    OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 19: Kaiser Permanente mental health care providers march along Broadway from Oakland Kaiser Medical Center to Kaiser's Corporate Headquarters in Oakland, Calif. on Friday, Aug.19, 2022. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

  • OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 19: License Marriage Therapist Jason Lechner...

    OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 19: License Marriage Therapist Jason Lechner and his pet Templeton, 2, take part in a march in rally at Oakland Kaiser Medical Center in Oakland, Calif. on Friday, Aug.19, 2022. Kaiser Permanente mental health care providers marched on Broadway to Kaiser's Corporate Headquarters to hold a rally with speakers including State Sen. Scott Wiener. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

  • OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 19: Sal Rosselli, left, president of...

    OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 19: Sal Rosselli, left, president of the National Union of Healthcare Workers, introduces State Sen. Scott Wiener during a rally with striking Kaiser Permanente mental health providers at Kaiser's Corporate Headquarters in Oakland, Calif. on Friday, Aug.19, 2022. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

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