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.”

 

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Data Source: Baseballreference.com

 

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Data Source: Baseballreference.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“What it Would Take to Build Trump’s Border Wall” Video Critique

By Ethan Marshall

 

This non-broadcast video on CNN’s website examines how a border wall between the US and Mexico can be built, using special effects and animations to help the viewer better understand the information being provided to them by correspondent Jason Carroll.

The sequencing, edits, shot composition, and sound are combined throughout this video in order to maintain the viewers’ interest and make it easy for them to understand what’s being told to them.

The video usually uses wide and extreme wide shots of the Carroll talking to the viewer so that the body of water separating the US and Mexico can be seen by the viewers.  Using a shot of that includes the body of water as a border rather than a fence makes the viewer realize that Trump’s wall wouldn’t just be running along the middle of nowhere.  There are natural obstacles that need to be taken into account in building the wall too.

The editing of the video includes animations showing where the wall would go through, how a strong and stable wall can be made, and the cost of the wall.  By providing a visual aid, the viewer is able to better understand what is being discussed than if the shots consisted only of Carroll standing in front of the body of water.

The composition of the shot of Carroll standing in front of the border helps to make the viewers realize just how much distance there is separating the US from Mexico in that area.  While Carroll states that the body of water only separates the US from Mexico by 100 miles, the extreme wide shot makes Carroll look dwarfed by the natural border behind him.

The loud volume in which Carroll speaks to the viewer throughout the video keeps the viewer drawn into his voice.  Carroll’s voice isn’t annoying enough to push potential viewers away, nor is it monotone enough to bore viewers.  He is able to sound as though he is intrigued by the details he is providing to the viewers.

In my opinion, this video is able to be successful for, among other reasons, the smart and creative ways the sequencing, edits, shot composition, and sound is used.  One of the main points Carroll is trying to make to the viewer is that while it is possible in theory for the wall to be built, it would be a long and arduous process for it to be done.  Carroll finishes the video with a humorous stat about how much the wall would cost: nothing, because Mexico is going to pay for it.  It’s a way of him saying how ridiculous this idea is in the first place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ulises “Uli” Chavez Photo Story

Born in San Salvador, El Salvador in 1997, Ulises Chavez was separated from his parents at a very young age.  His parents moved to New York when he was just an infant, with the goal of raising enough money to one day have Uli brought to America to be with them.  After spending the first nine years of his life being raised by his aunt and two uncles in El Salvador, Uli’s parents were finally able to raise enough money to arrange for Uli to be reunited with his parents in America in 2007.  Uli and his then-16-year-old cousin were driven across the U.S.-Mexico border, and brought to Long Island, New York.

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Today, Uli spends most of his time working at Holiday Farms, a supermarket in Glen Head, New York.  He is trying to make and save enough money to afford to go to college.
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Uli says he enjoys living in America much more than El Salvador.  “You get more rights [in America].”   
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One of Uli’s many responsibilities at Holiday Farms is stacking the shelves.
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In order to get to the items, Uli needs to use a cutting tool to quickly and neatly open the bags of goods.
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Stacking the shelves requires Uli to carry many different goods from the back room to the aisle they are supposed to be in.  When the shelves are completely filled, the leftover products are brought to the back room until the shelves need to be restocked again.  In this picture, Uli is using a U-shaped wagon (referred to as a U-boat) to push the leftover goods to the back room. 
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Occasionally, Uli is called upon to change the machines used to recycle plastic bottles, glass bottles and cans.  He has to drop off the recyclables at a loading station in the back of the store, where a truck picks it up and takes it to a recycling plant.

 

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When the cardboard compactor in the back room begins to overflow, it is Uli’s job to empty it out and move the giant cardboard stack to the loading station, where it will be sent to the recycling plant.
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The process of moving the cardboard stack includes multiple steps.  First, Uli needs to get a big wooden pallet, and place it next to the compactor.
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Next, he needs to insert thin metal wire through the back of the compactor, before tying the wires together in the front.  This allows for the compacted cardboard to stay together when it is moved.  
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Then, the metal plate holding the cardboard in place is lifted with the push of a button, allowing for the cardboard to fall on the pallet.  After this, a forklift is used to move the cardboard on the pallet to the loading area.
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While Uli hopes to one day attend and graduate from college after he saves enough money to be able to do so, he says his ultimate goal is to become an electrician, as well as to get married and have a family in Long Island.

 

 

 

 

Trump-Obama Photo Critique

By Ethan Marshall

The New York Times article examines President Trump’s recent claims that Former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump’s phones in Trump Tower last year.  The pacing of the story varies in that it starts with providing background information on the issue discussed in the article.  The article then provides quotes and reactions from Trump and his associates, as well as, Obama’s associates.  The article then goes over the process it would take for the president to even be allowed to wiretap someone, as well as, the restrictions the president faces in doing this.  Next,  the article goes over Trump and his cabinet’s connections with Russia over the past two years.  In addition, the article mentions where Trump may have gotten this idea, citing a recent Breitbart article, which made these claims without any evidence, and a conservative radio host expressing this conspiracy theory.

The first photo is a wide shot of Obama and Trump sitting across the aisle from each other during Trump’s inauguration.  The photo displays the rift between the president and his predecessor.  The photo reflects the distrust the two have with each other.  The positions in which Obama and Trump are located and facing also reflects the political state of the country, with Obama on and looking to the left, and Trump on and looking to the right.  The caption works with the image to tell the story in that the two had a rocky relationship before Trump took office.  While the two seemed to get along after Trump took over as president, Trump’s bitterness towards Obama has seemed to return with his allegation of Obama spying on him last year.

The other image is a creative shot of Trump Tower in New York City.  The image is taken from a distance from the floor, in order to display the sign of the tower, as well as, the armed security guarding it.  The photo supports the caption in that it provides the location in which President Trump claims his predecessor wiretapped him (without any evidence).  The fact that the image is taken from the floor makes the security and the building look intimidating to whoever looks at the image.