MLB Rumors: Rays Interested in Dallas Keuchel, Craig Kimbrel Amid Yankees Buzz

Houston Astros starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel delivers in the second inning during Game 3 of the baseball American League Division Series against the Cleveland Indians, Monday, Oct. 8, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Dermer)

David Dermer/Associated Press

The Tampa Bay Rays are “staying in touch” with free-agent starter Dallas Keuchel and reliever Craig Kimbrel, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and Josh Tolentino.

Rosenthal and Tolentino also confirmed a report from MLB Network’s Jon Heyman that said the New York Yankees have interest in Keuchel.

After entering this past offseason as two of the top free agents, both Keuchel and Kimbrel remain unsigned two months into the 2019 season after being tendered qualifying offers from their previous teams. Any team that signs a player that declined a qualifying offer would have to surrender a draft pick (as well as the money associated with the pick’s slot value).

However, those stipulations disappear at midnight ET on June 2.

Keuchel went 12-11 with a 3.74 ERA and a 1.314 WHIP in 34 starts (204.2 innings) for the Houston Astros last season. The 31-year-old is 0-4 with a 5.74 ERA in five career starts at Tropicana Field, and he is 3-2 with a 2.45 ERA in five career starts at Yankee Stadium.

The southpaw has two All-Star selections, an American League Cy Young award, four Gold Gloves and a World Series championship on his resume during his seven seasons with Houston.

Keuchel told Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown earlier this month that he will not settle “out of principle” and is willing to wait until June 2 to sign if necessary.

Kimbrel, meanwhile, helped the Boston Red Sox win a franchise-record 108 games during the 2018 regular season en route to a World Series title. The closer went 5-1 with 42 saves last season, posting a 2.74 ERA and a 0.995 WHIP while striking out 96 batters in 62.1 innings.

Having spent three years in Boston, Kimbrel has experience pitching in the AL East. He has a 1.23 ERA in 15 career outings at Tropicana Field.

According to Rosenthal and Tolentino, Tampa Bay views Kimbrel as a bigger priority than Keuchel even with starter Tyler Glasnow (6-1, 1.86 ERA) expected to miss more than a month with a mild right forearm strain. The Rays currently have the majors’ top pitching staff.

Meanwhile, the Yankees roster has been depleted by injuries, both on the mound and in the field. Luis Severino, James Paxton and CC Sabathia are all currently on the injured list.

Still, New York (32-17) entered Saturday with a 2.5-game lead over Tampa Bay (29-19) in the AL East. The Rays do, however, sit four games up in the wild-card race.

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What should Australia do with its old coal mines? This UK charity has a wild idea


May 26, 2019 17:07:22

It’s a barren industrial site in the middle of pristine native bushland, but talk is now turning to what can be done to rehabilitate this Anglesea coal mine after Alcoa closed its coal-fired power station in 2015.

Representatives from UK-based charity Eden Project are in Australia to share their $150 million vision for the site with local residents, in the hope they can secure community support for a large eco-tourism development.

The concept plan includes a 100-hectare lake to replace the open cut coal mine and an educational centre, including physical exhibitions and virtual reality, to teach visitors about the natural world.

Eden Project co-founder Sir Tim Smit said it was a chance to transform a “formerly poisonous large mine” into something beautiful.

“We’re going to create a love-child between the world’s greatest science centre and the greatest gallery of your imagination,” he said.

“I want to make people see the world in a different way so that when they go home they see everything around them with a respect and awe that they never thought they would.”

It’s a model that has proven successful in the past, with the Eden Project’s award-winning transformation of a disused clay mine in Cornwall, south-west England, attracting more than 1 million visitors each year.

As a social enterprise, they reinvest their profits into the charity’s educational projects.

Eden Project chief executive David Harland said the proposal included low-impact buildings which would nestle into the landscape, creating “a temple to the natural world”.

“This is going to be best practice of a mine rehabilitation, it should be an exemplar of how to do it,” he said.

Mr Harland said the Eden Project’s vision for the Anglesea site revolved around the four elements which had shaped the surrounding landscape — earth, air, water and fire.

“The things that people are interested in are the things that are too small or too big to see that are actually controlling our lives,” he said.

“They might be in the earth, things like microbes, they might be lunar systems and tidal systems.

“We want to bring that to life in both a real way with beautiful plants of course, but also probably with some augmented and virtual reality toys as well.”

Victorian Planning Minister Richard Wynne said major environmental and other challenges would need to be overcome before this “speculative proposal” could progress further.

“As with any project of this scale, it would then also require significant consultation with the community, and be subject to rigorous planning and environmental regulations,” he said.

Surf Coast Shire councillor Margot Smith said council was excited about the calibre of the proposal.

“It’s bold, and it actually sounds like it can really honour the values that we’ve got in this area around the environment.”

The Eden Project says initial projections suggest it would create 300 ongoing jobs.

It’s expected it would be funded by social investors, without the need for government subsidies.

“It’s early days but we think we’ve got a model that’s going to work,” Mr Harland said.

“We’re not relying on state funding, there’s of course going to be a little bit of infrastructure I suspect around roads and so on.

“Generally the reaction has been really, really positive. People of course have got concerns around things like traffic and noise.

“We’ve got to listen.”

The proposal will now go through a community consultation period to refine the design before any plans are submitted.

With thousands of mine sites across Australia, communities around the country will be watching with interest to see whether this ambitious project can get off the ground.









First posted

May 26, 2019 16:44:19

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Sydney’s driverless Metro train line opens, but the doors don’t


May 26, 2019 16:27:14

The doors on one of Sydney’s new Metro driverless trains failed to open this afternoon, causing delays and huge queues, marring what the New South Wales Government hoped would be a day of celebration.

Key points:

  • The driverless Sydney Metro train line officially opened on Sunday with commuters offered free travel to celebrate
  • There have been teething problems, with one train overshooting the platform causing a 15- to 20-minute delay
  • More than 22,000 people have worked on the project, which will extend to Bankstown by 2024

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian was beaming on Sunday morning at Tallawong station in Sydney’s north-west as the country’s first driverless train took off five years after the project began.

It is part one of the State Government’s $7 billion North West Metro train network — Australia’s biggest public transport project.

There were cheers as the train started, and cheers again when Ms Berejiklian and 300 special guests arrived at Chatswood station, in Sydney’s lower north shore.

But the celebration soon turned to stress for workers on the line at about 1:00pm today when one of the trains overshot the platform at Macquarie Park station.

It was realigned and then the automatic doors failed to open, forcing workers to manually open them.

The offending train was taken off the service — and commuters were taken off the train — causing delays and massive crowds at some of the stations around Sydney.

There were lines around the block at Castle Hill station and reports of a “crowd crush” at Chatswood.

A Sydney Metro spokesperson said it was putting on extra services to clear the backlog, but at 3:00pm on Sunday there were reports of “15- to 20-minute” delays.

The trains were operating normally at 3:00pm but there were still large queues at most of the stations.

The queues are expected to remain for most of the day.

Speaking earlier in the day, Ms Berejikilian said the Government had “defied all the cynics” who said the project would never happen.

“In the early days, when I spoke to local residents, the parents used to say it’d be fantastic if our kids could catch the train to university or high school,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“And some of the ones who’d been here for a long time said ‘I don’t think I’ll ever see it in my lifetime’.

“Well I’m glad to prove them wrong … it’s here, and it’s the start of something really special for New South Wales.”

To celebrate the opening, the New South Wales Government offered free travel for all commuters on the line on Sunday, with huge crowds coming out to ride on the new trains.

The system has Australian-first technology, like screen doors attached to the platforms of all of the network’s 13 stations, which open automatically after the train has stopped.

At full operation, trains will run every four minutes in each direction at peak times, with the ability to run up to every two minutes in the future.

The Metro line is currently being extended from Chatswood to Bankstown, and by 2024 Sydney will have 31 Metro stations and 66 kilometres of standalone Metro railway.

But the real test of the new system will come on Monday, when commuters use it for the first time during peak-hour operations.

The trains will also stop running at 9:00pm from Wednesday to Sunday over the first few months to allow an ongoing review of the operations and early maintenance.





First posted

May 26, 2019 14:39:44

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Nets Rumors: Kyrie Irving, D’Angelo Russell Could ‘Thrive’ Together in Brooklyn

BROOKLYN, NY - MARCH 30: D'Angelo Russell #1 of the Brooklyn Nets and Kyrie Irving #11 of the Boston Celtics hug after the game on March 30, 2019 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

Some within the Brooklyn Nets organization believe guards Kyrie Irving and D’Angelo Russell “could not only coexist but thrive” while playing alongside each other, according to the New York Post‘s Brian Lewis on Saturday.

This comes after SNY’s Anthony Puccio reported Irving, who grew up in New Jersey, is “strongly considering” the Nets as a potential landing in free agency.

Irving can opt out of his contract this offseason, while Russell will be a restricted free agent.

Irving is a six-time All-Star who thrives with the basketball in his hands. He averaged 23.8 points on 48.7 percent shooting for the Boston Celtics this season, adding 6.9 assists and 5.0 rebounds per game. 

Meanwhile, Russell continued his upward trajectory by establishing new career highs in scoring (21.1 points per game), field-goal percentage (43.4 percent) and assists (7.0 per game). That breakout season not only earned him his first All-Star selection, but it helped the Nets snap a three-year playoff drought.

Pairing Irving and Russell would give Brooklyn one of the most talented backcourts in the league. However, both stars are accustomed to playing point guard. In 2018-19, Irving had a usage rate of 28.3 percent and Russell was at 30.8 percent. Both of those were among the top 25 in the league, with Russell’s figure franking 10th.

That’s not to say the two couldn’t play together; there would just need to be some adjustments.

Irving has shown in the past while playing alongside LeBron James in Cleveland that he can still be effective while sharing the responsibilities of running an offense. It was as James’ teammate that Irving hit one of the biggest shots in league history to win the 2015-16 NBA title.

It’s worth noting that Irving and Russell already have a solid relationship, as a March Instagram post by the Nets star indicates. Puccio noted the two shared a high school coach, Kevin Boyle.

Irving said in October that he planned on re-signing with the Celtics, but a tumultuous season led to him to backpedal on his commitment, as he told reporters “Ask me July 1” when approached about his impending free agency in February. Along with Boston and Brooklyn, the New York Knicks and the Los Angeles Lakers are among the teams likely to show interest in Irving.

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PM unveils new ministry as Coalition prepares for majority government


May 26, 2019 15:44:52

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has reshuffled his cabinet and stamped his renewed authority on the Coalition, after delivering a majority government.

Key points:

  • Senator Arthur Sinodinos will be recommended as Australia’s next Ambassador to the United States
  • Senator Mitch Fifield will be recommended as Australia’s next Ambassador to the United Nations
  • Both appointments would trigger casual vacancies and could see the return of Senator Jim Molan

Many senior positions remain unchanged although Melissa Price will no longer serve as Environment Minister and will be replaced by Sussan Ley.

Mr Morrison has announced Senator Arthur Sinodinos will become Australia’s next ambassador to the United States, replacing Joe Hockey when his term ends.

He will also recommend Mitch Fifield become Australia’s Ambassador to the United Nations, with Paul Fletcher to take over his communications portfolio.

Linda Reynolds will become Defence Minister replacing the retired Christopher Pyne, as previously flagged by the Prime Minister.

Stuart Robert will be promoted to Cabinet and Minister for Government Services and also oversee the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Bridget McKenzie will become the nation’s first female Agriculture Minister replacing David Littleproud, who will now focus on the natural disaster and emergency management portfolio.

The remodelled frontbench follows the retirements of senior government ministers before the election.Those who departed included Indigenous affairs minister Nigel Scullion, jobs minister Kelly O’Dwyer and defence minister Christopher Pyne.

Ken Wyatt becomes the first Aboriginal person to hold the Indigenous Affairs portfolio.

The Yamatji-Wongi-Noongar man previously served as Indigenous Health Minister.

Reshuffle gives failed candidates a lifeline

Mitch Fifield’s exit follows three years in the communications portfolio — overseeing ABC, SBS, and the National Broadband Network — and 15 years in Parliament.

The Liberal Party will choose his Senate replacement, creating the possibility Sarah Henderson could be handed a political lifeline after losing the seat of Corangamite.

Unlike the dual citizenship resignations, the party will be able to choose a replacement, rather than it automatically going to the next candidate on the senate ballot.

Arthur Sinodinos will take charge of managing Australia’s relationship with the Trump Administration and will be in Washington throughout the 2020 US Presidential campaign.

His exit could allow Senator Jim Molan to remain in the Upper House after he was dumped to an unwinnable position on the Coalition’s NSW Senate ticket ahead of the election.

Attorney-General Christian Porter will become Leader of the House, taking responsibility for Parliamentary tactics and the Government’s day-to-day business in the chamber.

Frontbenchers continuing in their roles include Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, Foreign Minister Marise Payne, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, Health Minister Greg Hunt and Education Minister Dan Tehan.










First posted

May 26, 2019 15:29:21

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Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill resigns


May 26, 2019 14:29:06

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has resigned.

After seven years in the top job Mr O’Neill told a media conference in Port Moresby that recent movements in Parliament had shown a “need for change”.

He has handed over leadership to Sir Julius Chan, who will become prime minister for the third time.

The announcement follows weeks of high-profile defections from his Government to the Opposition.

On Friday, one of Mr O’Neill’s key coalition allies abandoned him.

The Opposition bloc has since been saying it has 62 MPs in its camp, which would give it a majority in Parliament.

The resignation will be formalised when Mr O’Neill visits the Governor-General.

Earlier this month, he staved off an attack on his leadership by adjourning the country’s Parliament for three weeks ahead of a planned vote of no confidence in him.

Despite insisting it would have a majority, the Opposition bloc that was trying to oust Mr O’Neill fell short of the numbers.

Having resisted calls to resign for weeks, Mr O’Neill has now accepted that he no longer has the support to maintain his leadership.

Sir Julius previously served as prime minister between 1980 and 1982 and from 1994 to 1997.





First posted

May 26, 2019 14:04:28

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