Month: September 2019

Ryan Madson And The Dodgers Are Faltering When It Matters Most

BOSTON — For the second-straight chilly night in Fenway Park, Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Ryan Madson faced one of baseball’s great psychological performance tests. And for the second-straight night, Madson failed.A pitcher, the defense, dictates the action in baseball, which makes the game unusual. Standing alone in the center of the infield, a pitcher can get in his own way — and he can single-handedly let a game get away. And for a second-straight World Series game, Madson checked both of these boxes as he couldn’t command the ball. With each miss outside the strike zone, the pressure and decibel levels increased in the cramped, 106-year-old ballpark.Madson inherited two base runners on Tuesday in Game 1 of the World Series and three on Wednesday in Game 2. All five scored. They were the decisive runs Tuesday and again Wednesday in Boston’s 4-2 victory. The Red Sox now enjoy a 2-0 lead in the series, which heads to Los Angeles for Game 3 on Friday.When Madson entered Wednesday with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning, it was the most crucial point in the game. Leverage index is a stat designed to weight the importance of every plate appearance in a game as it relates to potential win expectancy swings, with an average plate appearance at a mark of 1.0. A plate appearance in a one-run game in the ninth inning has a greater leverage-index value than that of a one-run game in, say, the second inning. The leverage index of facing Steve Pearce with the bases loaded and two outs, leading by one run, was 4.17 — the highest of the game and second-highest of the series.Madson, who walked just 16 batters in 52⅔ regular-season innings, began his Game 2 outing by missing badly above the zone with his first two pitches against Pearce. The crowd roared. Red Sox fans began chanting his last name, perhaps sensing weakness. Wearing just a short-sleeve T-shirt under his game jersey, Madson jumped up and down at the back of the mound to try to warm himself in temperatures that had dipped into the low 40s, feeling colder with the wind chill. But he missed twice again above the zone to walk Pearce on five pitches, forcing in Christian Vazquez and tying the score at 2-2.“I really liked him against Pearce,” said Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts. “He’s done it time and time again for us.”Madson also entered, and faltered, in a high-leverage situation Tuesday. His first pitch in Game 1 was a wild pitch against Pearce, whom he walked on four pitches.“The ball is not going where I want it,” Madson said after the game. “It’s kind of a crapshoot with inherited runners. You can be good at it for a long time and then a bloop hit, or a walk like tonight, it’s not automatic. I don’t know if it’s mechanical or physical or emotional. There is a lot of elements going in there. You just have to regroup and start over again.”Among Dodgers pitchers, Madson has pitched four of the five highest-leverage situations through two games. The Dodgers’ best reliever, Kenley Jansen, hasn’t pitched in the series. While teams have been aggressive in employing relief pitchers this postseason, Roberts has not yet used his best reliever when there have clearly been crucial situations. Instead, a pitcher the Dodgers had claimed off waivers and traded for on Aug. 31 — who had a 5.28 ERA in Washington and a 6.48 mark in a limited sample in L.A. — got the call.1In a small sample of postseason work, Madson had been effective for Roberts entering the World Series. Madson also did strike out 13 batters in 8⅓ regular-season innings with the Dodgers .After walking Pearce on Wednesday, Madson missed with his first pitch to the following batter, J.D. Martinez, and then Madson threw a fastball that found the zone. But Martinez, hobbling on a right ankle he injured Tuesday, sliced it down the right-field line for a two-run single. Boston took a 4-2 lead that held as the final score. The leverage index of that plate appearance? 3.6. It marked the second-greatest leverage index of the game after the Pearce at bat.Madson told reporters before the game that the cold weather affected his grip in Game 1, referencing the sticky stuff that has become a sticky subject this season.“Grip is essential, obviously, in a breaking ball,” Madson said before Game 2. “And a lot of times with the cold weather, I’m not saying anybody uses anything, but if you use anything, a lot of times it’s not as effective in cold weather.“I didn’t use anything [Tuesday], but I didn’t throw any breaking balls. But [Wednesday], I’m going to make sure I’ve got what everybody uses, the essentials out there again. I didn’t think it was going to be as difficult as it was [Tuesday].”Whatever he did, Madson had a tough time again Wednesday.Interestingly, Madson’s four-seam fastball had an average spin rate of 2,289 rpms on Tuesday and 2,196 on Wednesday, and that pitch’s velocity was 95.5 mph on Tuesday and 94.8 on Wednesday — not far removed from his regular-season averages of 2,250 rpms and 95.9 mph. So while his command wavered, his underlying stuff was nearly the same.The Red Sox had no trouble with the cool conditions Wednesday as their relievers again dominated, averaging 98.4 mph on all fastballs. Starter David Price and the bullpen retired the final 16 Dodgers they faced.Price took another step toward shedding his reputation as a postseason choker after burying some of his postseason demons in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series — his first win in 12 career postseason starts. He did it by adopting a new plan, throwing his change-up at a career-high rate and shelving his cut fastball. He used a similar approach Wednesday and did not allow a hit through the first three innings. He often went in with his fastball and down and away with his changeup.He gave up two runs in the fourth but returned for a scoreless fifth — going where no starter had gone in Game 1 — and even posted a scoreless inning in the sixth.Price now has two postseason wins in his last two starts. A week ago, Price couldn’t win in the postseason. So there’s hope for Ryan Madson.Check out our latest MLB predictions. read more

Tom Bradys Statistical Place In The Pantheon Of NFL QBs

17Jake Delhomme+4812337Matt Hasselbeck+22607 11Jim Plunkett+6547731Bernie Kosar+25207 20Dan Marino+4023640Joe Namath+19573 15Brett Favre+502035Troy Aikman+2071 8Drew Brees+8710528Doug Williams+29832 4Joe Montana+795124Daryle Lamonica+3008 19Daryle Lamonica+4287939Bob Griese+19743 10Dan Fouts+686330Matt Schaub+2379 18Boomer Esiason+394438Mark Brunell+1935 8Ken Anderson+712628Roman Gabriel+2564 9Drew Brees+686329Jeff Garcia+2442 16Kurt Warner+434436John Brodie+1978 2Tom Brady+1192122Sonny Jurgensen+3145 11Ben Roethlisberger+561531Joe Namath+2371 1Peyton Manning+1379121Trent Green+3512 14Philip Rivers+520434Bart Starr+2155 20Len Dawson+354640Bert Jones+1852 9Steve Young+7104529Len Dawson+28991 14Bart Starr+6197034Dan Fouts+23589 3Tom Brady+13135523Eli Manning+38401 13Aaron Rodgers+6203133Donovan McNabb+23794 5Steve Young+785425Donovan McNabb+2837 Of course, any good ranking of quarterbacks should also give credit for performance in the playoffs, and Brady’s trump card over Manning has always been the postseason. But here’s where the twist comes in: After crediting playoff passing value over average (according to the same formula described above) with weight given to each game according to how much it changes a team’s probability of winning the Super Bowl relative to the average regular season game — a form of leverage index for the importance of football games — Brady passes Manning but is surpassed by two others: Joe Montana and our old friend Kurt Warner: 6Aaron Rodgers+754526Jim Kelly+2669 A vast amount of column space was spent this week debating whether Tom Brady had finally ascended to No. 1 in the all-time pantheon of quarterbacking greatness. (Many of the articles argued that, yes, Brady is now the best ever.)These assessments leaned heavily on the fact that Brady is tied with Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw for the most Super Bowl victories of any quarterback. But even Patriots fans have to acknowledge that “count the rings” isn’t the most nuanced argument in the world. So, what do the numbers say about Brady’s legacy?The common narrative is that early-career Brady wasn’t a statistical monster, to the point that his playoff wins over Peyton Manning in 2003 and 2004 were held up as victories for clutch, gritty winners everywhere. But the truth is that, in addition to his gaudy record as a postseason starter, Brady was one of the league’s top five to 10 regular-season quarterbacks statistically even before his transformation into a passing efficiency god in 2007.In other words, the “clutch game manager” phase of Brady’s career was never as game manager-y as his detractors made it out to be. And ever since, he’s been as efficient a regular-season QB as any in NFL history.To measure QB performance, I used Chase Stuart’s formula for passing value, which compares a quarterback’s adjusted net yards per attempt (ANY/A) to the league average after adjusting for home-field advantage, weather effects and strength of schedule. By that metric, the late-career version of Brady owns practically every stretch of the best consecutive peak passing regular seasons in the Super Bowl era:Now, some of that is due to sheer passing volume; while shorter schedules have been prorated to 16 games, today’s passers drop back so much more often per game than their predecessors did that they have more chances to add value. Even so, Brady’s stats have risen far above those of his peers (including Manning) during the peak of his career once all the aforementioned adjustments are made.In terms of total career regular season value, however, Brady does not rank No. 1 among Super Bowl era quarterbacks — his 11,921 adjusted yards of value over average ranks second to Manning’s 13,791-yard mark: 1Joe Montana+20768021Mark Rypien+39538 5Peyton Manning+12247425Colin Kaepernick+35337 4Terry Bradshaw+12641024Ken Anderson+37520 2Kurt Warner+14377922Phil Simms+38564 3Dan Marino+1035423John Hadl+3094 16Joe Flacco+5043836Erik Kramer+23353 QUARTERBACKWEIGHTED VALUEQUARTERBACKWEIGHTED VALUE 7Fran Tarkenton+742127Carson Palmer+2620 7Brett Favre+10093527Jim McMahon+32416 QUARTERBACKREG. SEASON VALUEQUARTERBACKREG. SEASON VALUE 12Ken Stabler+6337232Philip Rivers+24280 Why? Under the leverage-weighted scheme, playoff games are given an incredible amount of emphasis. Wild card games are worth about 26 times as much as the average regular season game; that multiplier becomes 51 for the divisional round, 102 for the conference championship games and a whopping 205 for the Super Bowl (you can read more about this math at the end of the post).Because of the extreme weighting given to playoff games, Brady loses ground to Montana, whose three best Super Bowls were each at least 47 adjusted yards of value better than any of Brady’s Super Bowls. (Montana’s worst Super Bowl was also better than three of Brady’s Super Bowls.) Warner also gets a massive boost from his Super Bowl performances in 2000 and 2009 — the latter of which ranks as the single-best passing game of the Super Bowl era after adjusting for the strength of opponent and the leverage of the game — in addition to big games at lower rungs of the playoff ladder. Adding in the postseason hurts Brady.So, is Brady the best all of time? At his regular-season peak, he might very well be. And if he has a few more great seasons, he could pass Manning on career value over average. But for now, Montana reigns supreme among Super Bowl-era QBs when playoff performance is included in the calculations.Here’s how the math works out: The average regular-season game moves a team’s chances of winning the Super Bowl by about 0.24 percentage points. That’s because every team starts out with a 1 in 32 chance of winning it all, which inevitably moves to either zero (for the 20 teams who miss the playoffs) or 1 in 12 ( for playoff teams) once all 16 games are played. Meanwhile, the Super Bowl swings each team’s chances by 50 percent — either up from 50-50 to 100 percent, or down to zero. 10John Elway+7059330Mark Sanchez+28016 15Roger Staubach+5680335Joe Theismann+23474 12Tony Romo+540632Jim Hart+2303 17John Elway+430037Daunte Culpepper+1936 18Russell Wilson+4311838Randall Cunningham+20142 13Roger Staubach+530333Phil Simms+2161 19Bob Griese+356439Matt Ryan+1865 6Troy Aikman+11564826Jeff Hostetler+33862 read more

Buckeyes move to 20 North Carolina up next

Center Dallas Lauderdale saw his first action of the season when he entered the game midway through the first half, and made his presence felt immediately with a thunderous two-handed dunk. He followed it up with a blocked shot moments later to the applause of the Buckeye faithful who were happy to have him back. After an impressive performance in their first regular-season game, the Buckeyes allowed the JMU Dukes to keep the score close throughout the first half of their second-round matchup in the 2K Sports Classic tournament, before pulling away in the second act. Turner, fresh off of his triple-double performance against Alcorn State, had another huge night. He finished with 24 points and 17 rebounds and showed once again why he was chosen to the Preseason All-Big Ten team. David Lighty also contributed with 14 points, two of which came on an acrobatic reverse lay-up in which he was fouled hard. Next up for the Buckeyes are the defending national champion North Carolina Tar Heels Thursday at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Back-to-back three-point shots by Jon Diebler and David Lighty with just over two minutes gone in the second half injected life into the Buckeyes and they never looked back. Evan Turner continued to dominate as the Ohio State men’s basketball team rolled to a 72-44 victory over James Madison University Thursday night. read more

Weekly football picks Week 12

The weekly picks race is heating up. James Laurinaitis tightened his grip on first place with a 3-0 week, pulling ahead of the pack by two games. Defending champion Quinn Pitcock checks in two games off the pace at 23-12. There’s a three-way tie for third place now, as Zack Meisel pulled even with Dallas Lauderdale and Justin Zwick after correctly predicting South Carolina to beat Florida last Saturday. This week, Meisel is by himself in choosing Iowa to knock off Ohio State. Everyone likes Wisconsin to top Michigan, and the participants are split on the outcome of Virginia Tech-Miami. read more

Defending champion Ohio State wrestling team enters new season with bullseye on

Coach Tom Ryan lifts the the Buckeyes’ national championship trophy as fans applaud during a national championship celebration for the OSU wrestling team on March 28 at St. John Arena. Credit: Lantern File PhotoWhile the Ohio State football team has begun its quest for a second-straight national title, the wrestling team is right on its heels in pursuit of its own repeat.After guiding the squad to its first national title in school history last year, head coach Tom Ryan and assistant coach J Jaggers both agree that there’s one thing this year’s team cannot do: be complacent.“We’ve got a big bullseye on our back now,” Jaggers said. “We’re kind of new to the party, we’re the most recent people in the club.”Ryan said he had fears about the dangers of falling into traps that many defending championship teams can face.“The one thing you always fight is complacency,” Ryan added. “Sometimes it’s unnoticeable, so you really have to look closely.”Both coaches said that the loss of four-time national champion Logan Stieber will not be easy to overcome, but incoming freshmen might be able to fill the void.“With elite level programs, the names change but the tradition continues, I’m thinking,” Ryan said. “So, there will be a different guy in there, but if the system and the process is being followed, we’re in a position to win it again.”Ryan tabbed Ke-Shawn Hayes, Myles Martin and Kollin Moore as three freshmen to watch this season.“For us to be back on top and to stay on top, we’ll need lots of points from those guys,” Ryan said. “And they’re all capable of it.”Jaggers also singled out Hayes and Martin as wrestlers who could make some noise in the upcoming season.“They are 100 percent the guys that we thought they were going to be when we recruited them.” Jaggers said. “They have looked phenomenal, and they’re just into it. They seem to fit our culture and what we’re looking to do.”The wrestling team is set to take the mat for the first time of the 2015-2016 season on Sept. 29 with its annual Wrestle Offs event at St. John Arena, which will feature members of the squad competing against each other. read more

Baseball Ohio State hopes to snap threegame skid in midweek matchup against

OSU freshman infielder Noah West (8) hits a home run during the first game of their double header against Minnesota on Mar. 25. Credit: Ed Sutelan | Lantern reporterIn the Ohio State baseball team’s first taste of Big Ten play for the season, little went right for the Buckeyes. Over the three-game sweep at the hands of the Minnesota Golden Gophers, the Buckeyes surrendered a total of 26 runs on 41 hits and managed to produce only 12 runs on 19 hits over the weekend.With another chance to pick up some wins in conference play this upcoming weekend against Purdue, the Buckeyes must first gain some momentum against the 11-11 Ohio University Bobcats at home on Tuesday. Coach Greg Beals believes the team is currently missing that one hit and that his offense will need to start finding some consistency in order to find its stride again.“Offensively, we’re always searching. We need to get better,” Beals said. “I thought we had some quality at-bats, but … we’re missing the hit when we really need one.”Scouting Ohio UniversityOSU has not been playing its best baseball of late, but OU has itself been finding difficulties making it into the win column. After starting the season 11-7, the Bobcats have lost each of their past four games, including a three-game sweep at home to Butler University.The 11 wins the team has compiled at this point have been derived largely from the success of its pitching staff. As a unit, the team has a combined ERA of 3.65, Of the nine pitchers who have contributed double-digit inning totals to the team so far, only one has an ERA north of 3.50 while five of the pitchers have sub-3.00 ERAs.A big reason the team’s pitching staff has found so much success so far is its ability to miss bats. In 202 innings pitched this season, the Bobcats have struck out 199 batters (8.87 batters per nine innings) and have held opposing hitters to a measly .243 batting average. While the pitching staff has been able to keep runs off the scoreboard, the Bobcat offense has had an equally challenging time bringing runners across the plate. The lineup does not have a single batter with a batting average over .300 and, as a unit, the team is batting just .254. OSU has struggled to make consistent contact, as well as the inability to make much out of the contact it makes. While the team’s on-base percentage is at .333, its slugging percentage is actually a point below, sitting at .332 on the season. They have 10 home runs, less than half of the 22 accumulated by the OSU offense. The star on the team this season has been redshirt junior pitcher and designated hitter Michael Klein. As a batter, Klein is slashing .299/.371/.517 with team-leading totals in walks (nine), hits (26), RBI (13) and slugging percentage. He is also tied for the team lead in batting average and home runs (four).On the mound, Klein has been the top starting pitcher for the Bobcats. Klein has the lowest ERA of any of the weekend starting pitchers at 2.19 and has allowed just 22 hits and six walks with 27 strikeouts in his 24.2 innings of work.Injury-riddled Bullpen Needs Arms to Step UpThe Buckeyes were missing two key arms in their bullpen over the past weekend, and it certainly did not help an aspect of the team that has struggled this season. With redshirt junior starting pitcher Adam Niemeyer out with an elbow injury, sophomore pitcher Connor Curlis was forced to shift from bullpen arm to starting pitcher on Saturday. Redshirt junior relief pitcher Kyle Michalik was also out over the weekend with an ankle injury. His status for Tuesday’s game against OU remains uncertain.After his team’s bullpen was unable to keep the game close in Saturday’s 15-5, Game 1 blowout, Beals said his team needs to get healthy soon in order to help alleviate some of the woes of the pitching staff.“We’re a little banged up in our pitching staff and when we put together the travel roster opening day, there’s four guys that as far as the pitchers, the 12 pitchers, there’s four guys that we had on that opening day travel roster that were not available to us this weekend,” Beals said. “So we need to get healthy to help us on the mound, so that we can keep ourselves in ball games better than we did there in Game 1.”Junior relief pitcher Seth Kinker is currently the only healthy Buckeye reliever owning a sub-3.00 ERA and one of only three arms with a sub-4.00 ERA.And as one of the leaders in that bullpen, Kinker is trying to help the inexperienced arms develop that relief mindset of trusting their stuff and being ready for any moment to be brought into the game.“Some of the leaders in the bullpen have also brought everyone together and we’re talking about certain situations where your name is going to be called and you need to be able to step up and command that situation,” Kinker said.Kinker also emphasized that the only way pitchers will develop confidence in their skill is by continuing to work on it and gaining experience on the mound.“You’ve got to be out there to get that confidence. And the only time you get that confidence is going day in and day out, working day in and day out and in the end, you’re going to find that confidence in your stuff,” Kinker said. “Rather than going out there, not being ready for that situation. I think that everyone just needs to calm down a little bit, it’s the first weekend. We’re going to find that confidence here in a little bit.”The two teams will look to get back to their winning ways on Tuesday with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m. at Bill Davis Stadium. read more

Football Ohio State picks up commitment from 4star offensive tackle Ryan Jacoby

With 2018 national signing day in the rearview, Ohio State has turned its attention to the 2019 class. That focus paid dividends Thursday when the Buckeyes landed their second commitment in the class from four-star offensive tackle Ryan Jacoby.Jacoby announced his pledge to the program on Twitter, joining fellow four-star offensive tackle Doug Nester, the first commitment of the Buckeyes’ 2019 class.— Ryan Jacoby (@Ryan_Jacoby) March 1, 2018Jacoby is ranked the 353rd-best prospect in the nation, according to the 247Sports composite rankings. He slots in as the No. 39 offensive tackle and is ranked lower than Nester, the 57th-best player in the country and the No. 10 offensive tackle. A Mentor, Ohio, native, Jacoby is the 10th-best player in Ohio, according to the 247Sports composite rankings. Several highly ranked Ohioans — including fellow Mentor product Noah Potter, a four-star defensive end — are sought-after Ohio State targets. Just five players in the Buckeyes’ 26-person 2018 class played high school football in Ohio.Jacoby’s and Nester’s commitments are important because Ohio State has struggled to maintain offensive tackle depth. A majority of its offensive linemen play on the interior. Even in the 2018 recruiting cycle, the Buckeyes landed just two offensive tackles — five-star Nicholas Petit-Frere and four-star Max Wray. However, Wray might eventually slide inside and play guard.Ohio State’s two-person class ranks 29th in the country and fifth in the Big Ten. read more

Football Ohio State and Washington use Rose Bowl as own playoff game

University of Washington head coach Chris Peterson and Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer shake hands prior to a press conference at the Residence Inn LA Live on Dec. 31. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorLOS ANGELES — Two years ago, Ohio State’s Urban Meyer and Washington’s Chris Petersen had something in common: both were head coaches of College Football Playoff teams. By the time 2016 turned into 2017, both coaches were going home after losing in the playoff semifinals, leading to the second-consecutive national championship game between Alabama and Clemson. Two years later, both coaches were in the same boat again, representing their respective conferences in the Rose Bowl, the historic bowl game initially meant to match up the conference champion from the Big Ten and the conference champion from the Pac-12. For the second straight season, the Pac-12 and the Big Ten have had to hold their own playoff game — the 2017 Cotton Bowl between Ohio State and USC and this season’s Rose Bowl.Neither conference has been represented in the College Football Playoff since both the Buckeyes and the Huskies were eliminated in the 2016 semifinal. As practice continued in preparation for the game, Ohio State players took time to watch the games they aspired to be in: the College Football Playoff semifinals. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins said he watched the first half of the Notre Dame/Clemson game and then turned it off. Junior safety Jordan Fuller said he watched bits and pieces of both games, but not every minute. Fuller said, with being left on the outside for the second straight season, it was hard to watch. “It kind of killed us, but we can’t blame them for leaving us out,” Fuller said. “I think if we were in there, it would have looked a little different.” But Meyer believes playoff spots are not determined entirely by a committee. It’s up to what the players do on the field, an idea he said permeates throughout his program. “It’s very simple,” Meyer said. “You want to get to the playoff, don’t lose a game.” The Ohio State head coach said the committee had a difficult decision to make each time his team was on the bubble, and that there are problems with inconsistencies of schedule strength and league schedules. But this is not something he has not mentioned to his players. It’s not something the members of the committee room, including Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith, has asked his opinion about in the room. Meyer continued to say that the playoff is always up to his team, mentioning the two bad losses that seemingly kept his team at arm’s length from a spot — a 55-24 road loss to unranked Iowa in 2017 and a 49-20 road loss to unranked Purdue in 2018. This is something Petersen dealt with when he was the head coach at Boise State prior to the start of the playoff system, saying that if his team did not lose, took take care of its own business, it was going to work out in his favor. But Petersen said that is a hard thing to accomplish and that those teams that do should be rewarded. “To have the kids having their A game every Saturday is really hard to do in the competitive environment that we all play in,” Petersen said. “And for those teams that can do it, then they need to go to that playoff.” Haskins will not hide the fact that he thinks Ohio State deserved a shot either in the Orange Bowl or the Cotton Bowl this season. But as he watched the game, he was not thinking of what could have been. He used it more as a rallying cry. “I thought we should have been in it, but take it out on Washington,” Haskins said. read more

Briton lives off nuts and raw fish for days after boat trip

first_imgA group of conservation workers have told how they spent five days stranded in a Mexican jungle, surviving on raw fish and a handful of peanuts after their boat capsized.A British member of the group, Rachel Bradley, 31, said that to keep from starving they used mosquito nets to catch tiny fish and swallowed them after removing the heads.The group of four were on a river expedition through the Yucatan Peninsula in south eastern Mexico when their adventure went wrong. After hurtling over waterfalls and emerging each time covered in leeches, the explorers found themselves being pushed further and further into the heart of the 4.7 million acre (1.9million hectare) jungle.“The water just kept flowing faster and faster,” said Ms Bradley, from Stockton in Teesside. “But at this point it was too late to go back.”When two of the four boats flipped over and were lost, their food, first aid equipment and GPS navigation system also vanished.The group anchored the remaining boats together using vines to stop them floating off and examined the food they had left. She added: “Throughout it all there was that feeling of ‘what if nobody comes?’“I just kept feeling guilty for my family back in Stockton, in case I didn’t come back.”Jon Bonfiglio, who was leading the expedition, said: “We were not naive idiots going over a cliff edge.“We sat down with locals and talked to them about the river, but people told us there was only one waterfall, even the local people didn’t know of all the waterfalls or the perils. I had no inkling of what we were getting into.”Mr Bonfiglio, from Gibralter, had to spend the entire five days in his underpants, having stripped off to jump into the water and help another member of the group into a boat after their craft capsized.He said: “I was virtually naked throughout the whole thing, I lost all my clothes and had to stay in my underpants.”It was like all the best horror films, it started beautifully, the river was meant to be placid and gentle, no one mentioned the rapids and waterfall.”They were eventually rescued by a man named “John of the Gods” who took them to a nearby home where they showered and rested. “My legs were all cut from the palm leaves and I had bruising on my bum from sleeping on a branch,” said Ms Bradley, who also had an eye infection but did not need hospital treatment.“We ended up being a very close group,” added Mr Bonfiglio. “No one shouted at each other but there was the unspoken, ‘What happens if they don’t find us today? What happens if they don’t find us tomorrow?’” Ms Bradley said: “I had a couple of bags of peanuts left and we rationed them to five peanuts a day.“We were forced to use mosquito nets to catch little fish that were no bigger than your thumb. We had to bite their heads off and swallow them whole.”Without basic supplies, they had to sip dirty river water and with the jungle submerged at that time of year, sleeping arrangements were made in tree branches.She said: “We realised the best way of being found was just to stay still.“Lying in a tree for a couple of days wasn’t the plan when we went out, but we thought the safest place was just staying put and hoping someone could find us.” Rachel said they were eventually rescued by a man called “John of the Gods” Rachel said they were eventually rescued by a man called “John of the Gods” Credit:KTD Media Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Jon Bonfiglio is the director of the Clipperton Project which takes explorers through some of the world's most remote areas Jon Bonfiglio is the director of the Clipperton Project which takes explorers through some of the world’s most remote areasCredit:KTD Medialast_img read more

Record number of cancelled urgent operations in NHS hospitals

first_imgBut a spokesman for NHS England said that anyone who needed to be in hospital would be found a place.“As in previous years we have well-rehearsed plans in place this winter to maximise bed availability and minimise the potential for cancelled operations, but we do recognise we are going into this winter facing the highest demand ever,” he said.A Government spokesman defended the level of NHS funding.”The NHS is busier than ever but hospitals are coping well with increased winter demand – supported by an additional £400 million to manage seasonal pressures,” he said. “We are committed to delivering a safer seven day NHS which is why we have invested £10 billion to fund the NHS’s own plan to transform services in the future”. “Waiting for an operation is stressful enough even when everything goes smoothly, to be told that your operation has been delayed heaps even more strain on patients,” said Norman Lamb, who was a health minister in the Coalition Government.As well as turning patients away from A&E departments, the health service regulator has also asked hospitals to postpone non-urgent operations, such as hip replacement and cataracts, in order to free up more beds.Bosses were given a deadline of Monday December 19 to reduce occupancy from 95 per cent to a recommended safe limit of 85 per cent.The emergency measure was put in place after top NHS officials found “significant gaps” in winter planning at a number of hospitals.The November figures show dozens of hospitals were so busy they did not have a single paediatric intensive care bed free.The overall occupancy rate of paediatric critical was 88.4% in November,compared with 76.4% the previous month and 88.1% in November last year.Mr Lamb urged Chancellor Philip Hammond to boost funding for the NHS, warning it was “being stretched to breaking point”.The Liberal Democrat said the new data represented a “damning indictment” of the Government’s “failure to properly fund the NHS”.”Now patients are paying the price for the Government’s short-sightedness, with record levels of cancelled operations and hospitals being stretched to breaking point. They come in the same month managers were told to turn away thousands of patients from accident and emergency in a bid to stave off a seasonal crisis.NHS England records show 446 urgent operations were cancelled in November, a rise of 24 per cent on the previous month and an 84 per cent hike on November 2015.Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust coped worst with patient demand in November, the data shows, cancelling 48 operations.Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, about which Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt recently said there were serious safety concerns, was forced to cancel 42 urgent operations.Next worse were Oxford University NHS Foundation Trust, which cancelled 31 urgent procedures, followed by North Bristol NHS Trust and Barts Health NHS Trust, which each cancelled 28. Overstretched hospitals were forced to cancel more life-saving operations last month than at any time since official records began, new data reveals.Almost double the number of urgent procedures such as heart surgery were delayed in November than during the same month the year before.MPs said the figures showed hospitals in England are “close to breaking point” even before most parts of the country are hit by severe winter weather, which traditionally exacerbates demand for services. Waiting for an operation is stressful enough even when everything goes smoothlyNorman Lamb MP, former health ministerlast_img read more