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Music
The Best Releases of May: Music Staff Picks

Squid – Bright Green Field Long before the release of their debut LP, Squid has been making waves in the post-punk community with their own brand of angular and uniquely provocative songwriting that has set them apart from peers in the genre. With the often deranged and purposely erratic vocal delivery of singer Ollie Judge and the driving pseudo-punk melodies conducted by the rest of the band, there is no doubt the group has emotional, musical, and lyrical potency. In their most recent works, including the two singles they released in 2020 and their latest LP, Squid has begun to incorporate … Continued

News
Vaccines in Iowa: How are we doing?

As of April 5th, all Iowans are eligible to receive vaccinations. Previously, state guidelines restricted vaccines to high-risk groups such as essential workers, adults aged 65 and up, or people with pre-existing medical conditions. Now that eligibility has expanded, securing an appointment may be a difficult task. (image via Global Gazette)

Sports
Iowa Spring Practice: QB’s duel, youth arrives, and defense shines

Not since Iowa beat Illinois 19-10 on Senior Day in 2019 had the Hawkeyes played in front of home fans outside of friends and family. That streak ended Saturday morning as Iowa held it’s first of two open practices this spring with fans in attendance. Fans arrived as early as before 7 AM to get the first chance to see their Hawkeyes in person since November of 2019. Many were pleased with the results, but it would’ve taken a natural disaster to ruin the moods of the black and gold this weekend. “Certainly is great to be back in Kinnick … Continued

Determining Cards’ Pitching Attack By Quality of Contact

Based upon my last article, I feel the Cardinals could make a strong approach to the “modern bullpen approach”. In this article, I will discuss the difference between players who will pitch to start an inning, and the players who will pitch when there are runners on base, based upon quality of contact. Thanks to the people at Statcast, there is a measure for this, called expected weighted on base average(xwOBA). xwOBA measures the wOBA of a given player, along with their exit velocity and launch angle, giving more points to players who make outs, but hit the ball hard … Continued

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A hitter striking out a lot means the hitter is not a good hitter right? Well, it depends on what one is evaluating on a given hitter. I used to think that strikeouts greatly affected my judgement on a player. I would generally look at walk-to-strikeout ratios as a basis of determining how effective the player was at hitting. Not putting the ball in play does nothing to help a team win. My thinking differed slightly when MLB.com’s Mike Petriello mentioned on Friday’s show of “MLB Now” on MLB Network that strikeouts are not that important anymore. There may be something … Continued

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The longest running independent baseball league is the Frontier League, and its 25th season concluded Saturday. The Schaumburg Boomers(66-30) became the first team in the Frontier League to garner its third title(2013,2014). They defeated the opposing Florence Freedom(61-35) in four games in a best-of-five series that began Tuesday. Many in the industry had expected Schaumburg to win it all with excellent hitting and pitching. In fact, Schaumburg was second in the Frontier League in Weighted On-Base Average(wOBA) with a .345 clip, 21 points above league average. Also, Schaumburg was first in the league in Opponent’s wOBA allowing only a .300 … Continued

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For the first part of this article, to learn about Park Factors, OPS+, and FIP-, click here. Digging into the park factors, other than Penn State, there were no large changes that caused a park to go from a pitcher’s park to a hitter’s park and vice versa. They went from a 97 park factor(slight pitcher’s park) to a 116 park factor(hitter-friendly). Nebraska is no longer the most hitter-friendly park and Purdue remains as an extreme pitcher’s park with a 63 park factor rating. There are seven teams who have a pitcher-friendly park and six teams who have a hitter-friendly … Continued

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NCAA Baseball can have sabermetrics, too. The “sabermetric revolution”, or the application of using objective methodology to determine and understand player performances, is swirling all around Major League Baseball. Statistics such as  On-Base Plus Slugging Plus(OPS+) for hitters and Fielding Independent Pitching Minus(FIP-) with pitchers, among many more sabermetrics. All these unique stats determining player performance are great ways to understand the game of baseball from a unique perspective. The MLB and everyone working with it/alongside it make these stats easily available. I thought to myself, why not do some digging and research to have these metrics present in NCAA … Continued

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Your legacy lives on, Jackie. April 15th, 2017 marks the 70th year in which Jackie Robinson broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier, becoming the first African-American player in the game. In 1997, the MLB officially retired number forty-two. Since 2009, Major League Baseball has praised Jackie for his efforts, declaring April 15th Jackie Robinson Day, in which all players will wear the number forty-two in his honor. Why is he so important in the baseball culture? Well, aside from his talents to become the first African-American player in the MLB, he also resembled a person with great character as well as … Continued

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USA! USA! USA! Team USA can finally scream “We Are the Champions” after high expectations to win the World Baseball Classic. It did not come easy though, as Team USA had to beat highly-skilled opponents in the Dominican Republic, Japan, and WBC runner-up Puerto Rico in consecutive games. Team USA was aided greatly by their starting pitching, going 3-1 with a 1.25 ERA in the tournament. Puerto Rico did not stand a chance against Marcus Stroman, who no-hit them through 6 innings. Some key hitters for Team USA were Brandon Crawford and Eric Hosmer, who both had an OPS over a … Continued

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Time to get excited, because the World Baseball Classic is back in action. Many stars from the MLB are committing to their respective countries or heritages, as this may be the most profiled World Baseball Classic to date. Some stars include Manny Machado of the Baltimore Orioles (Dominican Republic), Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros (Venezuela), Adrian Gonzalez of the Los Angeles Dodgers (Mexico), and Nolan Arenado of the Colorado Rockies (USA). While most are excited that baseball is back and would rather wait for the MLB season to start, hear me out. The World Baseball Classic is a great … Continued

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