– ‘Wake up!’ –Her leaden-footed and lethargic performance — she only really got fired up in the first game of the second set yelling at the ground when she won a point — provoked one spectator to cry out: “Wake up Serena!”“Actually I did hear it,” she said. “I definitely wasn’t asleep. But I did hear it.“Actually sometimes the comments help me, whether they’re good or bad. It didn’t bother me at all.”Williams, who had her close friend Meghan, Duchess of Sussex cheering her on from the Royal Box, said she did not know if as age advances she is getting more tense about winning another Grand Slam.“Now, you know, in my 20s — I’m always expected to win, but it’s a different circumstance for me,” she said.“Seems like every Grand Slam final I’m in recently has been an unbelievable effort to get there.“It would be interesting to see how it would be under different circumstances.“The only thing I can say is today I think my opponent played unbelievable.”However, if anyone thought that such a humbling defeat might prompt thoughts of retirement Williams had a message for them.“I feel like I’m still incredibly competitive or else I wouldn’t really be out here,”“For the most part, I feel like I’m on the right track.“I’m just going in the right direction in terms of getting back to where I need to be.”Share on: WhatsApp Serena Williams says Billie Jean King is wrong to tell her to just focus on tennisLondon, United Kingdom | AFP | Serena Williams delivered a stinging rebuke to fellow tennis legend Billie Jean King who said she should focus on tennis and stop behaving like a celebrity and fighting for equality.King — who was no stranger to fighting for equality for women players when she was starting out — may feel justified after Williams was played off the court in the Wimbledon final on Saturday.She was beaten 6-2, 6-2 in less than an hour by Simona Halep, who had lost on nine of the 10 previous occasions she had played the American.King had said that running a business, looking after a child and battling for equality for women and ethnic minorities, could largely all be dealt with by her staff while she focussed on tennis for a couple of years.The 75-year-old told the BBC earlier in the tournament that Williams should give up being a celebrity for a year: “Just stop all this insanity.”Williams, though, hit back on Saturday.“The day I stop fighting for equality and for people that look like you and me will be the day I’m in my grave,” said the 37-year-old in response to the question.King later replied, telling Serena via Twitter: “I would never ask anyone to stop fighting for equality.“In everything she does, Serena shines a light on what all of us must fight for in order to achieve equality for all.”On court, Saturday’s blowout was the third time in the past year that Williams has failed to take the chance to equal Australian Margaret Court’s Grand Slam titles record of 24 — her stated goal on returning from giving birth to her daughter Olympia.Losses to Angelique Kerber in last year’s Wimbledon final and then a meltdown in the US Open final against Naomi Osaka, after which she says she went to see a therapist, were painful enough.Nevertheless, Williams refused to accept that the record may elude her.“I don’t know,” she said. “I mean, I don’t really think about it. I just go out there and play, see what happens.“That’s kind of how I’ve been in my whole career. You know, I never thought about time in general.“I feel like I’m just really on this journey of just doing the best that I can, playing the best that I can when I can.”
…on the streetsThe minibus operators have been ordered to remove the psychedelic “wraps” they’ve used to cover their buses in clear violation of the colour-schemes that were laid down decades ago. Each region’s buses were allocated a specific combination of colours along with a 2-digit numbering system that were to facilitate their identification. For instance, buses from one region needed Police permission to ply another region’s routes, but with this explosion of colours — like Phagwah all year round — it’s impossible to figure what’s what!So, dear reader, you may ask what’s the fuss, since the law’s so clear and it’s being flagrantly (not to mention “colourfully”!) broken. Well, this is symptomatic of what is wrong with everything in Guyana. Rules are made here evidently just for the sake of making rules, since they’re immediately broken with impunity by folks from the very top; and, not surprisingly, the rest of society follows suit.Take the farce at City Hall over the censoring of the Town Clerk on his amazing imitation of a tin-pot dictator. The same folks constituting the City Council – including the present Mayor –censored the previous town clerk with such abandon you’d think she was XXX-rated!! Yet, for the incumbent, they’ve suddenly had an epiphany that it can’t be done!! What does the man-in-the-street (or the bus driver to “South”) think?But why stop at the mayor playing fast and loose with the law? Let’s go right to the source – the top of the political heap – the President of the entire Republic!! The Constitution of the land – the HIGHEST LAW!! — was explicitly changed to compel him to select the GECOM Chair from lists provided by the Opposition Leader. And what did he do? From the very beginning, he signalled he’ll do whatever he damn well pleases, based on his “perception” of who’s “fit and proper”! And then, after leading the Opposition down the garden path, he went and did exactly what he wanted in the first place!! To hell with the highest law of the land!!So the bus drivers and every other Guyanese are just following in the footsteps of the President: going by their PERCEPTION of the law!! How loud you can play your music on the road or in your yard? Whatever your perception is, dude!! And ditto with how you drive on the road, or pay your taxes, or whatever.Now, don’t get your Eyewitness wrong; he’s not EXCUSING the lawlessness that’s evident in every facet of national life, he’s merely EXPLAINING its genesis, so if we really want to get back to the straight and narrow, we know where we have to start —Vote folks into office who’ll follow the law!!…in “thiefin” utilitiesThe news that someone in Buxton set a GWI bus ablaze when a crew was disconnecting folks not paying for water as required by the law, doesn’t surprise your Eyewitness. It’s just another example of the “follow the leader” in crime syndrome explained above. And while “thiefin” of water and electricity is done in all communities, some figures released by GPL some time ago clearly demonstrated the highest percentage takes place in “PNC communities”.Now while this “calling a spade a spade and not an ‘agricultural implement’” may offend some, we have to return to the source of the behavior, so that we may rectify the same. Point of the matter is: from the moment it first started — the mass electrification in the country outside of Georgetown in 1968 – the PNC also decided to rig elections. Their supporters probably decided if their big ones could thief an election to live high off the hog, why can’t they steal some electricity and water to eke out a living?!!Solution? No more rigging, and vote them out!!…and “labour figures”After spending two hundred million ($200,000,000) in just two surveys in six months, the Govt announced unemployment is 12%!! They said out of 550,831 employable persons, 277,068 are employed.Ummm…isn’t that like 50% unemployed? We know there are pensioners and senior students, but 38%?
The monsoon continued to bedevil commuters as intense showers lashed Pune city and district along with other parts of western Maharashtra in the past 48 hours.Heavy downpours coupled with thunder from late on Monday evening and throughout Tuesday led to waterlogging and traffic snarls in a number of areas in the city and its suburbs.According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), more rainfall accompanied by thunderstorms was expected in parts of the State on Thursday and the intensity was expected to reduce by the end of September 27.The city’s Shivajinagar area received more than 46 mm rainfall in a single hour during the intervening night between Monday and Tuesday. The area received another 87.3 mm rainfall between Tuesday and Wednesday, while the Pashan area received 71.8 mm rainfall during the same time.“Despite the retreat of the monsoon at hand, there have been robust bouts of rain. The midnight showers of Monday and Tuesday are the result of a local instability generated by a rise in the daytime temperature,” said Dr. Anupam Kashyapi, head, Weather & Air Pollution Monitoring Unit, IMD.He said rising temperatures and high moisture levels during the day gave way for convective activities in the night, which led to heavy showers accompanied by prolonged lightning.People working in the Hinejwadi IT Park area had a nightmarish ride back home on Tuesday and Wednesday owing to tremendous waterlogging at the Sayaji pass, causing traffic to crawl.Given the sheer intensity of rain, there were reports of trees toppling in some parts of the city. Other parts of western Maharashtra, including some tehsils in Satara, Sangli and Ahmednagar districts, too, were hit by steady spells of rain.
China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucena Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ LATEST STORIES Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netGilas Pilipinas will be parading a 17-man roster for the Jones Cup in Taipei with Ray Parks as a late addition to the team.Initially, the 24-year-old Parks wasn’t part of the lineup bound for Taipei announced by national team coach Chot Reyes last week.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Perlas embracing tough challenge at Fiba Asia Women’s Cup View comments Parks, who is also included in the team’s Southeast Asian Games lineup, saw a lot of minutes during Gilas’ tune-up games against PBA teams the past week and on Wednesday, team manager Butch Antonio confirmed the versatile guard was indeed added to the roster.The 6-foot-4 Parks, however, said he has yet to informed whether or not he’s part of the “exact lineup.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars“He (Reyes) talked to me about it. He just wants to bring me along and see how everything goes. We’ve been showing up in practice, so he just wants to keep this core group together,” Parks said. “I have to wait for comment if I’ll be in the exact lineup playing in the Jones Cup, but for sure I’m going on the trip.”“I can’t say much about it. It’s really up to him. I’ll wait for his final word.” Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next El Nido residents told to vacate beach homes
Australia’s best Youth Touch Footballers will assemble on the Sunshine Coast for the Touch Football Australia (TFA) National Youth Camp at the Currimundi Recreation Centre, Currimundi, from Thursday 28 June – Sunday July 1 2007.93 National squad members from the six Federation of International Touch (FIT) Youth Divisions will be put through their paces by National Youth Coaches and some of Australia’s leading Open age Coaches and players during the four day program.The National Youth Squads comprising 18 Years Boys, Girls, and Mixed squads, and National 20 Years Men’s, Women’s, and Mixed squads will be exposed to fitness testing, skill development, game play, tactical briefs, sports science, and mentoring sessions during the camp.The camp is Australia’s first step in regaining the FIT Youth World Cup that was relinquished to New Zealand at the most recent Youth World Cup that was played at Quad Park on the Sunshine Coast in 2005.The National squad players will be working towards the National Youth Championships in Coffs Harbour from 19-22 September 2007, where squads will be reviewed again.Players have their long-term goals firmly on selection in the National Teams for the next FIT Youth World Cup to be played in Auckland New Zealand in January 2009.Local Sunshine Coast Australian Women’s Open World Cup player, Peta Rogerson will attend the camp as a role model with fellow 2007 FIT World Cup representatives Australian Women’s Open Captain Sharyn Williams, Australian Open Men’s Captain Gavin Shuker, and Gary Sonda.The quartet of role models played starring roles in the Australia’s retention of the FIT Open World Cup played in Stellenbosch South Africa in January 2007. The six National Youth squads will participate in a range of on and off field activities aimed to introduce and immerse them in the successful culture of Touch Football Australia’s High Performance program.
Another sign of the hard times in Alberta; people are really starting to tighten the purse strings when it comes to charitable donations.The latest figures from Statistics Canada show total donations reported by Canadian tax filers fell almost three per cent in 2016 to $8.9 billion.The largest decrease was in Alberta: a drop of 10.7 per cent.The next biggest drop was Prince Edward Island at a little more than five per cent.Even with the decrease, Alberta still had a higher number of people making donations, about 21 per cent, than the national average, 20.5 per cent, and the second highest median donations at $470 compared with the national median donation of $300.Donors in Lethbridge had the second highest median charitable donations in the country at $620.Calgary United Way COO Beth Gignac said the trend of year over year declines continued in 2017.She explained the economic turbulence means a lot of people are out of the work force, and now rely on agencies they would normally donate to.“What we’re doing and have been doing over the past year is working with our agency partners to talk about ways in which we can think our way through this problem together,” she said.That includes working with corporate workplace partners and getting the message across that even a small contribution can have a big impact.Gignac said the greatest challenge as an organization, given what’s happening, is to still be able to provide sustainable funding to the 104 agencies they support.
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is wrong when he suggests global warming can’t be happening if it’s really cold outside.He points to a “brutal and extended cold blast” in the Eastern U.S. during Thanksgiving week and wonders aloud to his Twitter followers, “Whatever happened to Global Warming?” In fact, he is confusing short-term weather patterns with longer-term climate change. A scientific report put out Friday by his own administration rejects as folly any notion that a particular plunge in temperatures can cast doubt on whether Earth is warming.Explaining his decision not to punish Saudi Arabia for the killing of a U.S.-based journalist, Trump also exaggerates the value of Saudi investments in the U.S. and expresses thanks to the kingdom — then himself — for spurring a recent decline in oil prices. Those claims are off the mark.A look at his recent rhetoric, also covering the courts, midterm elections and more.OIL PRICESTRUMP: “So great that oil prices are falling (thank you President T). Add that, which is like a big Tax Cut, to our other good Economic news. Inflation down (are you listening Fed)!” — tweet Sunday.TRUMP: “Oil prices getting lower. Great! Like a big Tax Cut for America and the World. Enjoy! $54, was just $82. Thank you to Saudi Arabia, but let’s go lower!” — tweet Wednesday.THE FACTS: Heaping praise on Saudi Arabia, then himself, for lower oil prices is a gross oversimplification. Oil prices, which peaked Oct. 3, have been falling on the realization that U.S. sanctions against Iran would not create a shortage and on fear that slower economic growth internationally will depress energy demand.Although the U.S. is now the world’s biggest oil producer, Saudi Arabia remains the biggest exporter. As a so-called swing producer with the ability to adjust production up or down relatively quickly, it can indeed influence the price of crude. But the market is far more complex than Trump suggests. Canada is actually the leading source of U.S. oil imports, for example, with Saudi Arabia second.___CLIMATETRUMP: “This is the coldest weather in the history of the Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC, and one of the coldest Thanksgivings on record!” — tweet Thursday.TRUMP: “Brutal and Extended Cold Blast could shatter ALL RECORDS – Whatever happened to Global Warming?” — tweet Wednesday.THE FACTS: Trump is conflating weather and climate. Weather is like mood, which changes daily. Climate is like personality, which is long term.The climate is warming, which still allows for record cold spells.On Friday, the White House produced the National Climate Assessment by scientists from 13 Trump administration agencies and outside scientists. It amounted to a slap in the face for those who question whether climate is changing.“Climate change is transforming where and how we live and presents growing challenges to human health and quality of life, the economy, and the natural systems that support us,” the report says. It details how global warming from the burning of coal, oil and gas is hurting each region of U.S. and different sectors of the economy. The report said the last few years have smashed U.S. records for damaging weather, already costing nearly $400 billion since 2015, and projects increased deaths and disease.The White House report swept aside the idea, already discredited, that a particular plunge in temperatures can cast uncertainty on whether Earth is warming. It says more than 90 per cent of current warming is caused by humans: “There are no credible alternative human or natural explanations supported by the observational evidence.”“Over shorter timescales and smaller geographic regions, the influence of natural variability can be larger than the influence of human activity,” the report says. “Over climate timescales of multiple decades, however, global temperature continues to steadily increase.”In other words, there are cold days in a warming climate.___THE COURTSTRUMP: “Justice Roberts can say what he wants, but the 9th Circuit is a complete & total disaster. It is out of control, has a horrible reputation, is overturned more than any Circuit in the Country, 79%, & is used to get an almost guaranteed result.” — tweet Thursday.TRUMP: “It would be great if the 9th Circuit was indeed an “independent judiciary,” but if it is why … are so are so many opposing view (on Border and Safety) cases filed there, and why are a vast number of those cases overturned. Please study the numbers, they are shocking.” — tweets Wednesday.THE FACTS: He’s incorrect in suggesting that rulings by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco are reversed by the Supreme Court more frequently than those of any other federal appeals court. His description of the “shocking” number of overturned cases in the 9th Circuit belies the nature of the appeals system.When the Supreme Court hears a case, it is more likely to overturn it than not. It does so about two-thirds of the time.In the last term, the Supreme Court overturned 100 per cent of the decisions of the 1st Circuit in Boston, the 3rd Circuit in Philadelphia and the 6th Circuit in Cincinnati. For the 9th Circuit, 86 per cent were overturned.Over the past five years, the Supreme Court overturned a greater percentage of rulings from the 3rd Circuit (92.3 per cent), the 6th Circuit (85.1 per cent) and the Atlanta-based 11th Circuit (81.8 per cent) than from the 9th (77.4 per cent), according to The Associated Press’ analysis of statistics from the legal website Scotusblog.The 9th is by far the largest of the 13 federal courts of appeals, covering Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. That means that in raw numbers, more cases are heard and reversed from the 9th year in and year out. But that does not make it the most frequently overturned.On Monday, U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar, who’d been nominated by Democratic President Barack Obama, temporarily barred the Trump administration from refusing asylum to immigrants who cross the southern border illegally. That set off Trump’s ire. Any appeal is likely to go to the 9th Circuit.Trump’s tweets took issue with an unusual rebuke from the U.S. chief justice, John Roberts. Roberts spoke up for the independence of the judiciary after Trump branded Tigar an “Obama judge” and said “We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges.”___THE ELECTIONTRUMP, on his impact on the midterm elections: “Look at Florida. I went down to Florida. Rick Scott won and he won by a lot. I don’t know what happened to all those votes that disappeared at the very end. And if I didn’t put a spotlight on that election before it got down to the 12,500 votes, he would’ve lost that election, OK? … They would have taken that election away from him.” — interview with “Fox News Sunday,” broadcast on Nov. 18.THE FACTS: Trump is exaggerating the vote margin of Scott’s victory in Florida’s Senate race as being “a lot.” He’s also suggesting without evidence that his own efforts prevented Democrats from engaging in voter fraud.Scott, Florida’s Republican governor, edged out Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson in the closest Senate race in the nation in the midterm elections — by a margin of 10,033 votes, or 0.12 percentage points. It also was the closest Senate race in Florida since at least 1978, according to the Florida’s Division of Elections website. It required two recounts — by machine and by hand — as mandated by state law due to the razor-thin margins.Trump asserts without evidence that the attention he brought to the Senate race prevented Democrats from “taking” that election from Scott, hinting at voter fraud by suggesting votes “disappeared at the very end.”Despite Trump’s repeated claims after the Nov. 6 election of Florida races being potentially “stolen,” the state agencies charged with investigating potential fraud have said no credible allegations exist. It’s not uncommon for vote tallies to change in the days after Election Day as local officials process remaining mailed and provisional ballots. In Florida, Scott saw some of his lead dwindle after the Democratic strongholds of Palm Beach and Broward counties continued to count votes.___SAUDI ARABIATRUMP: “After my heavily negotiated trip to Saudi Arabia last year, the Kingdom agreed to spend and invest $450 billion in the United States. This is a record amount of money. It will create hundreds of thousands of jobs, tremendous economic development, and much additional wealth for the United States. Of the $450 billion, $110 billion will be spent on the purchase of military equipment from Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and many other great U.S. defence contractors. If we foolishly cancel these contracts, Russia and China would be the enormous beneficiaries — and very happy to acquire all of this newfound business.” — statement Tuesday.THE FACTS: He’s greatly overstating the value of expected Saudi investments in the U.S.The arms package, partly negotiated under the Obama administration, mixes old deals, some new business and prospective purchases that have not been worked out.The Pentagon said last month that Saudi Arabia had signed “letters of offer and acceptance” for only $14.5 billion in military purchases and confirmed Tuesday that nothing further has reached that stage.Those letters, issued after the U.S. government approves a proposed arms sale, specify its terms. Much of that $14.5 billion involves a missile defence system, a contract that appears to have advanced more than other significant investments but not been completed.Moreover, the State Department estimated last year that if the full $110 billion in prospective arms business is fulfilled, it could end up “potentially supporting tens of thousands of new jobs in the United States.” That’s a far cry from the 500,000 to 600,000 jobs that Trump has said the arms deal is worth.Details of the package have been sketchy, with no public breakdown of exactly what was being offered for sale and for how much. The government’s Congressional Research Service has described the package as a combination of sales that were proposed by President Barack Obama and discussed with Congress and new sales still being developed.Meanwhile, there has been no verification from either country that “the Kingdom agreed to spend and invest $450 billion in the United States,” as Trump put it in his statement. White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters did not respond to a request to explain the figure.___TRUMP: “Saudi Arabia would gladly withdraw from Yemen if the Iranians would agree to leave. They would immediately provide desperately needed humanitarian assistance.” — statement Tuesday.THE FACTS: This seemingly benign view of Saudi intentions in Yemen does not square with reality on the ground. A Saudi-led blockade is at least partly responsible for widespread starvation in a country where three quarters of the population needs life-saving assistance. It’s the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. The U.S. has scaled back support for the Saudi-led coalition fighting Iranian-backed rebels and is pressing for a cease-fire.The international aid group Save the Children estimated Wednesday that 85,000 Yemeni children younger than 5 have died of hunger and disease since civil war broke out in 2015. The United Nations says more than 1.3 million Yemeni children have suffered from severe acute malnutrition since the coalition went to war against Houthi rebels.___9-11TRUMP: “Of course we should have captured Osama Bin Laden long before we did. I pointed him out in my book just BEFORE the attack on the World Trade Center. President Clinton famously missed his shot. We paid Pakistan Billions of Dollars & they never told us he was living there. Fools!” — tweet Nov. 19.THE FACTS: There was nothing original or clairvoyant in the reference to bin Laden in Trump’s 2000 book. As part of his criticism of what he considered Bill Clinton’s haphazard approach to U.S. security as president, his book stated: “One day we’re told that a shadowy figure with no fixed address named Osama bin Laden is public enemy Number One, and U.S. jetfighters lay waste to his camp in Afghanistan. He escapes back under some rock, and a few news cycles later it’s on to a new enemy and new crisis.”Trump’s book did not call for further U.S. action against bin Laden or al-Qaida to follow up on attacks Clinton ordered in 1998 in Afghanistan and Sudan after al-Qaida bombed the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The U.S. attacks were meant to disrupt bin Laden’s network and destroy some of al-Qaida’s infrastructure, such as a factory in Sudan associated with the production of a nerve gas ingredient. They “missed” in the sense that bin Laden was not killed in them, and al-Qaida was able to pull off 9-11 three years later.In passages on terrorism, Trump’s book correctly predicted that the U.S. was at risk of a terrorist attack that would make the 1993 World Trade Center bombing pale by comparison. That was a widespread concern at the time, as Trump suggested in stating “no sensible analyst rejects this possibility.” Trump did not explicitly tie that threat to al-Qaida and thought an attack might come through the use of a miniaturized weapon of mass destruction, like a nuclear device in a suitcase or anthrax.___Associated Press writers Seth Borenstein, Robert Burns and Josh Boak in Washington, Jill Colvin in Palm Beach, Fla., and David Koenig in Dallas contributed to this report.___Find AP Fact Checks at http://apne.ws/2kbx8bdFollow @APFactCheck on Twitter: https://twitter.com/APFactCheckEDITOR’S NOTE _ A look at the veracity of claims by political figuresCalvin Woodward And Hope Yen, The Associated Press
The lone driver of the Ford, a 36-year-old man also from the Peace Region, sustained only minor injuries.Police are continuing to investigate the cause of this collision.Anyone with information regarding this collision is being asked to call the Peace Region Traffic Services in Dawson Creek at 250-784-3700, citing file 2019-3847.Police will not be releasing any further information at this time.The Highway was closed and has since reopened. DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – Dawson Creek RCMP, Peace Region Traffic Services and Emergency Services responded to a fatal collision this morning, Wednesday, June 5, at approximately 7:50 a.m. on Highway 97 between 229 and 235 Roads south of Dawson Creek.According to RCMP, upon arrival, it was determined that a collision occurred between a northbound Ford F550 service truck and a southbound Jeep Cherokee.RCMP say the lone driver of the Jeep, a 59-year-old woman from the Peace Region, died in the crash.
Aroldis Chapman walked into the visitor’s dugout Monday at Huntington Park a few hours before a game against the Columbus Clippers with a toothpick in his mouth and a gold chain around his neck. Behind the smile and glamorous appearance is a 22-year-old man trying to find his way into major league baseball and American culture. Chapman left Cuba on July 1, 2009. He left his mother, father, two sisters, girlfriend and newborn child behind to pursue his dream of pitching in the major leagues. At 21 years old, Chapman was thrust into a new world surrounded by a language he did not know and a culture he did not understand. Before coming to the United States, he petitioned major league baseball to become a free agent. After much hype and demand for the Cuban phenomenon, the Cincinnati Reds signed Chapman to a six-year, $30.25 million deal on Jan. 10, 2010. When spring training began, Chapman hoped to make the major league club in Cincinnati, but after a back injury hindered his progress for a couple of days, the Reds decided to send Chapman down to their AAA-affiliate, the Louisville Bats. His demotion to the minors has not deterred him. “I would have liked to break into camp with the team, but being here has made me happy as well,” said Chapman, who has trainer Tomas Vera translate his Spanish to English. “I am happy here and I know I have to work and make the adjustments on all my pitches.” While Chapman works in the minors to develop his pitching skills, he is slowly learning the details of American baseball. “For example, we had our first game in Toledo,” said Rick Sweet, Louisville’s manager. “He wanted to know who we played the next day. He didn’t understand that we play the same team four days in a row. We gave him a schedule, which told him we go to this city, and each city has its own team.” Sweet acknowledged that Chapman is a work in progress. “He handles [pressure] very well,” Sweet said. “He needs to learn the game of baseball, our style. It is different. We need a ton of work on the fundamentals because I don’t think they’ve done that in Cuba. He’s got a lot to learn and he’s handling it well.” American major league baseball is fundamentally and organizationally different from Cuban baseball. The Cuban season is only 90 games. In the minor leagues, the Louisville Bats are scheduled to play 143 games, and all major league teams play 162 games. This means that Chapman has to prepare to make anywhere from 10 to 15 more starts than usual. In a league that has grown more conservative with pitch counts and innings pitched, Chapman does not seem worried. “I don’t have any concerns about my conditioning,” Chapman said. “I have been preparing really well. I have been working hard and I don’t want to have any problems. I know this is a long season, but I know I will be ready and OK.” Chapman, along with Washington Nationals prospect Stephen Strasburg, has been the focus of much media attention. Both pitchers have been clocked at over 100 mph on multiple occasions, and their potential and talent level is comparable. But, as Strasburg can just concentrate on baseball, Chapman needs to learn fundamentals as well as understand the American way of life. “The hardest part [in America] has been off-the-field things,” Chapman said. “I have to be able to adapt and I am going through that. Baseball has been normal for me. I have more problems adapting outside [baseball]. There has been a lot of stuff to learn.” Though Chapman will have to battle off-the-field perplexities, he shouldn’t have a problem transferring his previous pitching success to America. In his professional debut on Sunday, Chapman pitched 4 2/3 innings, giving up one unearned run, while striking out nine batters. In addition, the stadium radar gun showed he hit 100 mph five times. “I don’t know if I have seen that total in my career,” Sweet said. While integrating himself into American society has been difficult, Chapman feels this is the right thing to do. The only problem is that it comes at a personal price. “I feel great. I am playing on the best baseball [stage] in the world,” Chapman said. “This is what I really want and that makes me feel gracious and happy, but the day I will be completely happy is when I have my family with me.”