Mets’ Offensive and Pitching Comparisons to National League Average Since 2011

By Ethan Marshall

The Mets’ 2017 season has been nothing short of a disaster thus far.  Until recently, the team was getting solid pitching every day, but little to no run-support.  Now, while the team has been scoring runs, the pitching has faltered.

It’s commonly believed for a baseball team to be successful, they  need a combination of good hitting and solid pitching.  Before the Mets were a playoff team each of the last two seasons, they were a bottom-of-the-barrel team in the National League for quite awhile.  The charts below examine the Mets’ team batting averages (BA) and earned-run averages (ERA) since 2011 to those of the league averages in that same time frame.

The data below suggests a team built like the Mets can be successful with slightly below-average hitting as long as the pitching is superb.  The data shown confirms the saying: “Good pitching beats good hitting.”

 

Capture
Data Source: Baseballreference.com

 

Capture2.PNG
Data Source: Baseballreference.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Data Visualization Assignment

By Ethan Marshall

 

The data visualization of the members of Congress throughout the United States in January of 2015 is effective at communicating information.  The names of the representatives, their party affiliation and pictures of them are all provided.

The graphs under the map of the US break down the percentage of specific genders, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, age and education throughout the country and Congress.  The graphs further break down the categories by showing the percentage of Democrats and Republicans who fall into this category.

For example, while 50.8% of the US population is female, they make up just 19.5% of Congress.  However, 32.5% of Congressional Democrats are women while 9.3% of Congressional Republicans are women.  Through this, we see that a majority of the women in Congress come from the Democratic party.  While they only make up about one-fifth of all of Congress, women account for almost one-third of all Democratic representatives.

The way in which the graphs break down the members of Congress by these categories helps to prevent misleading information.  Rather than just saying 13.7% of Congressional representatives are younger than 45, the percentage of the US population that falls under this category is provided, as well as how much these representatives make up of their party.

The graphs show that in most cases, people that can be put under certain categories aren’t represented as much in Congress as the population they make up.  This is particularly evident for people without college education.  While they make up 42.4% of the country’s population, only 0.4% of the members of Congress don’t have a college degree.  The graph shows that American voters prefer their representatives to have a higher degree.

The graphs show diversity is a big issue for Republican representatives.  All the Republicans identify as heterosexual.  95% of the Republicans are white, and 90.7% of Republicans are male.

The article does show that many people may be represented in Congress more than they may have thought.  While African Americans make up 12.6% of the country’s population, and 8.6% of the members of Congress are African American, 18.4% of the Democratic representatives are African American.  The US Congress is diverse on the Democratic side, but not for the Republicans.  The lack of diversity for Republicans in Congress brings down the total percentage of different minority groups being represented.

 

 

 

Video Story Project

By Ethan Marshall

Jimmy Anton works at Holiday Farms supermarket in Glen Head.  He has been working there since the supermarket was a Waldbaum’s.  He’s spent almost a decade working there, stocking shelves, handling shipping and helping customers.  He’s seen both employers as well as fellow employees come and go over that span.  One reason as to why he’s been able to keep his job for so long is that he is a very hard worker.  Hailing from Peru, Anton, came to America in hopes of making a living here.  He hopes to one day have his own house and start his own family.  Right now, he’s just trying to be a good employee, making sure he finishes all the work he’s expected to do.

My video story on Jimmy’s responsibilities at work can be found here.

Live Tweet of Islanders vs. Rangers 2/16/17

By Ethan Marshall

Twitter handle: Piazzafan1000

Oakley vs. Dolan: Knicks Family Feud:

By Ethan Marshall

 

Why can’t we all just get along?  The feud between New York Knicks owner James Dolan and former Knicks star Charles Oakley shows no signs of ending.  Since their altercation at Madison Square Garden, which resulted in Oakley’s ejection from the stadium, the feud between the two has gotten so bad that NBA commissioner Adam Silver and Michael Jordan had to get involved in attempting to put an end to the feud.  While both have apologized over the incident, there is still clearly tension between them.  While there have been differing accounts of exactly how the feud started, the fact is that Dolan had Oakley ejected, arrested, and banned from Madison Square Garden.

There having been differing stories as to how Oakley ended up getting into a verbal altercation with Dolan, and a physical altercation with security.  Shortly after the incident, the Knicks issued a statement saying “Charles Oakley came to the game tonight and behaved in a highly inappropriate and completely abusive manner.  He was a great Knick and we hope he gets some help soon.”

In an Instagram interview with a bar, Oakley gave his side of the story.  “We sat down, tried to have a good time and we were asked to leave the building.  I asked why and [a security guard] said, ‘You have to leave because someone ordered you to leave.’  I [told him], ‘I am a Knicks fan, I’ve been here four and a half minutes, I played here for 10 years, I love the Knicks, I love New York.  I wish them all the luck and success on the basketball court, I don’t know why I am not welcome at the Garden,'” Oakley said.  Oakley said he shoved one security guard and knocked another reaching for him away because he felt threatened by the fact that a large amount of security guards were around him.  “Somebody walking up on you, you have to protect yourself in all manners.  I’ve been in situations like this before, I’ve been jumped before.  In my mind, if you see seven, eight, nine, ten guys coming at you, you have to brace yourself and be ready for the challenge.  That’s what I was thinking,” said Oakley.

Dolan and Oakley have had a history with each other in the past.  Prior to this incident, Oakley had been in a state of exile from the Knicks organization.  Oakley had previously blamed Dolan as the reason for his estranged relationship with the Knicks.  In an interview with The New York Times published last November,  Oakley said Dolan didn’t like him.  He went on to say “I had at least 15 people try to set up a meeting.  He won’t meet.  I want to sit down to talk to him.  I want me and him in a room.  And lock the door.”  In a 2015 interview with the New York Daily News, Oakley talked about how Dolan disliked him.  “As hard as I played for that motherf—, and he don’t want to talk with me?  Everybody in New York liked me except this one guy…He’s a bad guy,” Oakley said.

Despite the fact that the two sides apologized to each other during their meeting with Adam Silver and Michael Jordan, Oakley has since said that he’s still not over the incident. Even though Dolan lifted the lifetime ban on Oakley from coming to the Garden, Oakley still wants Dolan to publicly apologize to him.  Recently, Oakley compared Dolan to former Clippers owner, Donald Sterling, who was forced to sell the team after audio leaked of him making racist comments.  Additionally, Oakley said that despite his ban being lifted, he may not return to the Garden for a long time, if at all.

oakley5a
Charles Oakley pushing away one of the Garden security members confronting him.  Photo credit: Paul J. Bereswill/Marc Berman/New York Post.

 

Many current and former NBA players have expressed their opinions on the feud.  On Monday’s Inside the NBA, Charles Barkley called the feud “probably the silliest, most BS thing I’ve ever seen in my 30 years in the NBA.  It’s a bad look for the Knicks.  It’s a bad look for Charles Oakley.  It’s a bad look for the NBA.”  Barkley’s co-host Kenny Smith said, “I think Oakley, even though he was wrong in the incident, he did deserve better treatment.”  LeBron James, Chris Paul, and Dwyane Wade voiced their support for Oakley, with the former even reaching out to Oakley to make sure he was alright.  The three objected to the way the Knicks treated Oakley in their statement following the incident.  Draymond Green went as far as to say that James Dolan had a “slave-master mentality” toward Charles Oakley.

Days after the incident, the Knicks brought in former players Latrell Sprewell, Bernard King, Larry Johnson, Kenny Walker, Bill Bradley, Gerald Wilkins, John Wallace, Herb Williams, and Vin Baker to come to a Knicks game and sit with Dolan as a means of damage control.  In addition to being upset at these players for turning their backs on him, Oakley is also upset with former teammate Patrick Ewing for not coming out to publicly defend him.

 

6 Patriots Don’t Intend to Visit White House

Six members of the 2016-17 Super Bowl champion Patriots don’t intend to visit the White House.  Running back LaGarrette Blount, defensive end Chris Long, defensive tackle Alan Branch, line backer Dont’a Hightower, tight end Martellus Bennett, and safety Devin McCourty are the players who revealed this week they don’t plan to meet with the controversial President of the United States, Donald Trump.  It’s worth noting that the president has close relationships with quarterback Tom Brady, head coach Bill Belichick, and team owner Robert Kraft.

In the case of Bennett, McCourty, Long, and Blount, they have cited the current president as the main reason as to why they don’t intend to visit.  “I just don’t feel welcome in that house.  I’m just going to leave it at that,” Blount said in a radio interview this week.

Bennett and McCourty have been hard critics of Trump for awhile, with Bennett posting his dislike for the president multiple times on social media.  The two players also raised their fists in protest during the national anthem before a game this season.  “It is what it is.  People know how I feel about it.  Just follow me on Twitter,” Bennett said after revealing his intention not to visit the White House.  McCourty told Time Magazine “Basic reason for me is I don’t feel accepted in the White House.  With the president having so many strong opinions and prejudices, I believe certain people might fell accepted there while others won’t.”

Long revealed on Twitter Thursday his intention not to attend after receiving an open letter from Chuck Modiano, a writer for The New York Daily News.  In the letter, Modiano urged Long to publicly refuse the invitation to the White House.  Shortly after receiving the letter, Long tweeted out “Oh Chuck.  Planned on skipping, hadn’t been asked.  Don’t need an open letter explaining my own words to me.  Not *joining* anyone.  My call.”

As for Hightower, he said he doesn’t feel like going because he has already visited it before when his Alabama team won the college football championship.  Hightower didn’t attend the trip to D.C. in 2015 when the Patriots won that Super Bowl as well, citing the same reason.  Branch said he doesn’t plan to attend because he wants to spend time with his family.

A 7th Patriots player may end up not going to the White House as well.  Super Bowl LI hero James White revealed that he has not made up his mind of whether or not to go yet.  Due to the multiple sexist and xenophobic comments made by Donald Trump during his presidential campaign as well as after the election have drawn criticism from many different athletes and coaches.  Assuming the president remains in office for the next four years, it may become common for more athletes, especially the more diverse ones, to refuse to visit the White House due to their opinions on President Trump.

Brady Leads Pats to Epic Super Bowl Comeback Victory

Super Bowl LI will likely go down as one of the greatest Super Bowls of all time.  Tom Brady and the Patriots erased a 25 point deficit.  The Patriots outscored the Falcons 19-0 in the fourth quarter, tying the game with about a minute left in regulation.  After winning the coin toss and electing to receive, Brady led the Patriots downfield on the opening drive of overtime.  Running back James White clinched the victory for the Patriots on a 2-yard touchdown run.  Brady and Belichick won their 5th Super Bowl, 34-28.

Both quarterbacks had outstanding performances.  Falcons QB Matt Ryan ended up 17 for 23, with 2 touchdown passes and 284 yards.  Tom Brady was 43 for 62, with 2 touchdowns and a Super Bowl record 466 yards, winning Super Bowl MVP.  According to Jeremy Bergman of NFL.com, there were at least 30 Super Bowl records made or tied in this game between the Patriots and Falcons.

Despite the fact that Super Bowl lived up to the expectation of being a high-scoring game, the first quarter ended scoreless.  With the Patriots within field goal range on the second play of the 2nd quarter, linebacker Deion Jones was able to force a fumble on Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount, which was recovered by the Falcons.  Matt Ryan was quick to take advantage of the turnover, hitting Julio Jones on the first two plays of the drive for a combined 42 yards.  The drive concluded with a Devonta Freeman 5-yard touchdown run.  After forcing a three-and-out on the Pats, the Falcons again drove downfield, scoring on a Matt Ryan touchdown pass to tight end Austin Hooper.  The Patriots were finally able to put together a long drive after this, thanks in large part to 3 holding penalties by the Falcons defense, all on third downs.  However, on a 3rd and 6 from the Atlanta 23, Tom Brady’s pass to Danny Amendola was picked off and returned for a touchdown by Robert Alford, putting the Falcons up 21-0.  The Patriots were able to quickly drive downfield again on their next possession, but were only held to a field goal by the Falcons defense.  The game appeared to be over by halftime, with the Falcons ahead 21-3.

NFL: Super Bowl LI-New England Patriots vs Atlanta Falcons
Cornerback Robert Alford runs past a diving Patriots QB Tom Brady on his 82 yard pick-six.  Photo Credit: Ira Miller/ The Sports Xchange.

After each team began the second half with three-and-outs, Matt Ryan again drove his team downfield, concluding the 85-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown pass to running back Tevin Coleman.  At this point, many felt that the game was over, with the Falcons ahead 28-3 with about 8:31 remaining in the third quarter.

At this point, it looked as though Tom Brady came back to life, leading his team downfield and hitting running back James White for a 5-yard touchdown pass.  Unfortunately for the Pats, kicker Steve Gostkowski hit the right upright on the extra point attempt, keeping the score at 28-9 with 2:12 remaining in the third.

After a failed onside kick and a penalty by the Patriots, the Falcons took over near field goal range.  However, offensive tackle Jake Matthews was called for offensive holding on the second play of the drive, pushing them out of field goal range.  2 plays later, Matt Ryan was sacked by Kyle Van Noy, resulting in a wasted opportunity by the Falcons.

Tom Brady opened the 4th quarter by once again leading the Pats downfield.  However, the Falcons defense was able to limit the drive, thanks in large part to 2 sacks by defensive tackle Grady Jarrett over the span of 3 plays.  The Pats settled for a field goal, cutting the lead to 28-12 with 9:48 remaining.  Perhaps one of the biggest moments of the game occurred on a 3rd and 1 for the Falcons from their own 36.  Running back Devonta Freeman completely missed linebacker Dont’a Hightower rushing in, and he was able to knock the ball loose from Matt Ryan, with the Patriots recovering the fumble at the Atlanta 25.  Brady quickly drove the Patriots deep into the red zone before hitting Danny Amendola for a 6-yard touchdown pass.  The Patriots were able to convert on the two-point attempt on a direct snap to running back James White, who ran up the middle and into the endzone.  All of a sudden, the Patriots were only trailing 28-20 with 5:56 remaining in the 4th quarter.

The Falcons took over from their own 10 yard-line.  On the first play of the drive, Matt Ryan hit a wide-open Devonta Freeman on a short pass, who then ran downfield with nobody around him before finally being brought down at the Atlanta 49 for a 39-yard gain.  2 plays later, it looked as if the Falcons were about to seal the victory when wide-receiver Julio Jones made an incredible catch near the sidelines, somehow managing to keep both feet in-bounds and putting the Falcons in field goal range at the Patriots 22.  However, after a 1 yard loss on a run, Matt Ryan was sacked by Trey Flowers, bringing the Falcons back to the Patriots 35.  It looked as though the Falcons were able to make a field goal try more manageable when Ryan hit Mohamed Sanu for a 9-yard gain, but Jake Matthews once again cost his team a huge opportunity when he was called for holding on the play, pushing the Falcons back to the Patriots 45.  After an incompletion, the Falcons were forced to punt the ball away with 3:38 remaining in the 4th.

USP NFL: SUPER BOWL LI-NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS VS ATL S FBN USA TX
Julio Jones makes a circus catch over Patriots defender Eric Rowe while managing to keep both feet in-bounds.  Photo credit: Andrew Joseph/ USA Today.

After converting on a 3rd and 10 from their own 9 yard-line, the Pats were able to keep their drive alive.  Later in the drive, on a 1st and 10 from the Patriots own 36 and 2:28 left on the clock, Julian Edelman, doing his best David Tyree imitation, made one of the greatest catches in the history of the Super Bowl, retrieving a batted football after it bounced off the leg of a falling Falcons defender, and somehow managing to hold on after bobbling it while also making sure it didn’t hit the ground.  Brady continued to lead the Pats downfield, leading to a 1-yard touchdown run by James White with 1:00 remaining.  The Patriots were able to convert on the 2-point attempt on a pass to Danny Amendola, tying the game 28-28.

NFL: Super Bowl LI-New England Patriots vs Atlanta Falcons
Julian Edelman is somehow able to hang onto the football.  Photo credit: Mike Cole/ NESN.

The Falcons were unable to get anything going in the final minute of regulation, leading to the first overtime in Super Bowl history.  The Patriots won the coin toss and naturally elected to receive.  Brady quickly drove the Patriots offense downfield, eventually ending up at the Falcons 2-yard-line after a pass interference call.  On the next play, Brady was very close to having his own Russell Wilson moment, when he under-threw a pass meant for Martellus Bennett.  The ball went off the hands of Vic Beasley of the Falcons, who missed a golden opportunity to possibly save the game for his team.  On the very next play, running back James White was able to push his way to the goal-line for the winning touchdown, completing one of the greatest comebacks in NFL history.

capture_20170205_212516
Running back James White is just able to reach the endzone for the Super Bowl winning touchdown.  Photo credit: Ryan Phillips/ The Big Lead.