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How my soccer clubs are doing?

Previously posted about the expectations of the clubs I follow.

Where are we now?

QPR: "At the low end for QPR is the practical goal of AVOIDING relegation. Given their financial limits due to FFP fines, they aren't going to be bringing in pricey players or even non-pricy players. They will need to make do with their in-house talent of which there are some promising young ones. So if they stay up in the Championship, the season would have to be called a success! If the young players bloom, the high end of the expectations would be to finish in the upper half of the bottom half. There are 24 teams in the Championship so the bottom half is 13-24 and the upper half of that is 13-18. If they get to 18, they should throw a parade around Loftus Road!"

They are currently in 10th place! Can they keep it up?!

LFC: "Man City is still the biggest fish among the big six and remains the favorite to win the Premier League. Thus, a lively race for the title (win or lose) would b…

Dodgers 2018 and 2019 - contracts and plans

Hats off to the Red Sox on winning the 2018 World Series.

In the final analysis, they won on each front: starting pitching, relief pitching, and hitting.

And thanks for the memories to LA Dodgers 2018. It was a rough season of injuries but they managed to pull together enough pieces to make a run all the way to the World Series.

What is 2019 looking like?

Starting pitching: 
Buehler – the new #1
Hill – solid competitor, veteran presence, the number 2 starter
Kershaw – he can opt-out but am thinking Dodgers will extend him a couple of years at reduced cost, but clearly his health issues will need to be looked at carefully and he may need to adjust his pitching style. Perhaps, needs to pick up a fourth pitch? He is now the #3 starter
Ryu – how much effort to make to re-sign him for a couple more years?
Urias – he might be ready to start next year?
Stripling – did he run out of gas but could he return to starting next year or train to be a set-up guy? Maeda – might be time to move him? Lo…

California Electricity - what does 100% renewable mean?

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Skinny version: 100% renewable sources for electrical generation is a good goal but there are some practical challenges to making it happen because of the variable nature of solar and wind production of electricity. In order to make it work, other more consistent renewable sources have to be developed, battery storage capacity dramatically increased, and as a final backstop traditional forms of electrical generation will probably have to be retained at some level. Below, an attempt to look at the numbers.

The California Independent System Operator's (ISO) mission as described on their web page: The ISO manages the flow of electricity across the high-voltage, long-distance power lines that make up 80 percent of California’s and a small part of Nevada’s grid. The nonprofit public benefit corporation keeps power moving to homes and communities.

One would figure this source would offer a realistic view of the California electrical system and how we are doing in terms of renewable …

Expectations: FFF, Elfsborg, Liverpool FC, QPR, LA Galaxy, LAFC

Time for the expectations round up!
Starting up their seasons are QPR and Liverpool FC.
At the low end for QPR is the practical goal of AVOIDING relegation. Given their financial limits due to FFP fines, they aren't going to be bringing in pricey players or even non-pricy players. They will need to make do with their in-house talent of which there are some promising young ones. So if they stay up in the Championship, the season would have to be called a success!
If the young players bloom, the high end of the expectations would be to finish in the upper half of the bottom half. There are 24 teams in the Championship so the bottom half is 13-24 and the upper half of that is 13-18. If they get to 18, they should throw a parade around Loftus Road!
As for Liverpool FC, after all the big spending, the low end is closing in on the high end of expectations. Man City is still the biggest fish among the big six and remains the favorite to win the Premier League. Thus, a lively race for the…

LAFC 2 LAG 2 in match #2 of El Trafico

MLS put out this video to recap the drama leading to the first match and highlights from the match itself.


MLS | El Trafico - Chapter 01 from EVO Films USA on Vimeo.

Here is the highlight package from last night's match.


LAG managed to "steal" a draw.

Down 2-0, they removed Cole, a defender, and added Pontius, an attacker. They also took out Kitchen, the defensive midfielder, and put in Lleget a more offensive minded midfielder. LAG went all in to equalize.

The Galaxy brain trust has a lot to think about. In both matches, LAG was over-run in the first half. They spent lots of money for defense and against fast teams like LAFC they can't keep up. In the end, LAG has go into offense mode and open things up and hope to outscore the opponent. Against weaker opposition that works. But against the top tier that will probably not end well. LAFC is still a work in progress and eventually they will get to the point where the 2-0 lead will be enough and they will make LAG pay w…

QPR - what next?

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Breaking news: QPR Financial Fair Play (FFP) settlement reached.
Brief background:

QPR overspent in violation of FFP rules during its 2013-2014 season when they won promotion to the Premier League. QPR has been in a legal battle with the English Football League regarding the monetary fines for the FFP violationQPR has now agreed to a settlement that includes monetary fines and inability to make transfers in the 2019 January window.

The English Championship season is done with the exception of promotion playoffs.

Wolverhampton and Cardiff City have won promotion.

Barnsley, Burton Albion, and Sunderland have been relegated.

Fulham has defeated Derby County to advance to the promotion finals.

Aston Villa plays Middlesbrough tomorrow to determine the other finalist.

Meanwhile, QPR finished 16th.

With the FFP penalties that have been hanging over their heads (now official as of July 27, 2018), they are constrained financially. Thus, the club's realistic aspirations at this point in thei…

World Cup 2018

Who is going to win?

Show me the numbers!

The stat heads over at 538 say Brazil, Spain, and Germany are the favorites.

The FIFA world rankings have Germany, Brazil, and Belgium as the top three.

If the Bovada odd's makers know anything, they have Brazil, Germany, and Spain listed 1-2-3.

If history is any guide:
2014 winner Germany (no one has defended a title since Brazil won 1958 and 1962)
2010 winner Spain (won 1 time so far)
2006 winner Italy (they didn't qualify this year)
2002 winner Brazil (won 5 times so far)
1998 winner France (won 1 time so far)

Looking further back into history, the only other nations to ever win a World Cup:
Argentina (1986, 1978)
England (1966)
Uruguay (1950, 1930)

From listening to sports people, Brazil, Spain, and Germany are the clear favorites. But in breaking news today, the manager of Spain has just been sacked.

Getting some mention are Belgium and France for having a collection of solid top level players.

Also mentioned are Portugal and Argentin…