By now, it’s pretty commonly suspected — and not just by bitter pitchers, either — that MLB’s recent home run surge can be traced back to a supply of zippier-than-usual baseballs. The research of our colleague Rob Arthur and The Ringer’s Ben Lindbergh backs up that theory, regardless of what Commissioner Rob Manfred has to say on the matter.And with apologies to those poor, beleaguered pitchers, we say: Good! Who doesn’t enjoy the old-fashioned fun of watching baseballs be launched into the atmosphere? (Judging from the ratings for last week’s Home Run Derby,1Which aired on ESPN — the company that owns FiveThirtyEight. nobody — that’s who.) As a celebration of the long ball, then, we used data from ESPN’s Home Run Tracker to plot out just how far MLB’s hitters have bashed the ball over the years.(All data in this story was up to date as of the All-Star break. Inside-the-park home runs and homers without distance information have been excluded from the data.)Anyone who watched Aaron Judge’s performance at the Derby could be excused for thinking that baseballs can, in fact, exit the solar system. The true distances that home runs travel are less than interstellar, of course — though still impressive. According to the Home Run Tracker, which has data going back to 2006, major league batters have crushed 56,785 tracked homers over the last 11.5 seasons, adding up to a grand total of 22,599,628 feet — or 4,280 miles.To put that number in perspective, let’s do a little geography experiment. If we started in Cooperstown, New York, home of the Baseball Hall of Fame, and laid the distances of every home run in that span end to end heading east across the Atlantic Ocean as the crow flies, we would reach the border of Mali and Mauritania in northwestern Africa. Head south and the homers reach the northern corner of Chile, near its borders with Peru and Bolivia. Head north, the homers easily clear the pole, with the last one landing somewhere near Russia’s Bolshevik Island. Across the country, Mike Trout has been busy trying to make his team’s “Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim” moniker legit with his home runs. With a little over 14 miles’ worth of bombs to his name, Trout has already homered enough distance along Interstate 5 to land in Los Angeles County — and about halfway to downtown L.A. Only a guy who might end up being baseball’s greatest player could reconcile the most absurd team name in sports back to some semblance of reality. No discussion of Trout would be complete without a comparison to Bryce Harper, his longtime rival. At 24, the Washington Nationals right fielder is the youngest player with at least 10 miles of career home runs, and he’s on pace to add nearly three miles this season alone. He’s already hit enough to reach the D.C. suburb of Bethesda, Maryland, to the north or Mount Vernon to the south; give him enough years, and he might get to Baltimore. (Or — if the rumors are right — Staten Island.) Because of the home run surge, that circle is growing more rapidly than ever. Already this season, hitters have driven the ball 1,337,266 feet, or 253.3 miles. That’s 69 percent of the yearly average distance between 2006 and 2016, and as of the All-Star break, we were only 55 percent of the way through the schedule. At that pace, this season will eventually see 466 miles of home runs be hit; that would easily be the most in any season since 2006, and it would be a 10 percent increase over the previous high of 425 miles, set in 2016.Among players whose entire body of homering work falls within the Home Run Tracker era, the biggest bopper is Seattle Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz. Cruz has mashed 297 tracked home runs over a cumulative distance of 121,805 feet, or a hair over 23 miles. String those together, and that’s enough to travel from Safeco Field in downtown Seattle south to Tacoma. At age 37, Cruz is the elder statesman of this era’s long bombers. But it might not be long before he is surpassed by Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins, who’s already hit nearly 18.5 miles’ worth of home runs in just 7.5 seasons of action. Stanton’s average homer has traveled 414 feet — tops among anyone with at least 100 home runs in our data set — helping him rack up enough total distance to reach from Marlins Park to the Everglades or Biscayne National Park. (Sadly, though, even Stanton is unlikely to hit the 90-plus miles of home runs necessary to reach Cuba.) Speaking of New York City, we don’t have a Judge map yet because he’s only hit 34 career home runs (for 2.7 miles — basically the distance from Yankee Stadium to Central Park). We’ll have to wait and see just how far he can mash the ball in the years to come.Likewise, we don’t have data for most of Barry Bonds’s record-breaking career, either. But if we assign each of his 762 career dingers the 2006-17 MLB average of 398 feet (which, given homers like this, might be far too conservative an estimate), Bonds would have ended up with about 57 miles of homers in his career. (That’s roughly the distance between AT&T Park and Santa Cruz, California; it’s also over 10 times the height of Mount Everest.)Cruz, Stanton and company still have many more miles to go before catching up to that lofty total. But the way today’s hitter-friendly baseballs have been flying out of parks, maybe we’ll see somebody get to 60 miles of home runs before too long.Check out our latest MLB predictions. read more

31 Aug / 2019

Lyrical delight

first_imgGhazal poetry has got the power to relax the mind, body and soul when trivial and unimportant matters take up most of our time. To bring forth the smooth amalgamation of words and music, Mridula Satish Tandon is going to present ‘Soch Se Saaz-o-Aawaz Tak’ in the national capital. One can experience the enchantment of the ghazals of poet Farhat Shahzad and the talented versatility of the popular ghazal singer, Shakeel Ahmed, who will bring fresh and original compositions along with evergreen favourites to delight the audience. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Farhat Shahzad will be giving a tribute to the long association with Ustad Mehdi Hasan and will also announce the soon to be launched book of ghazals by Farhat Shahzad in Devnagri script.The program is presented as an ongoing initiative by SIET to provide visibility to contemporary poets and to give access to the public to a rich and creative literary world.Farhat Shahzad is a name which stands tall in the pantheon of poets. His ghazals create an imagery and a tracery of emotions which speaks to each individual as his ethos seems to arise from the humanity, which is the cultural hall mark of the Ganga Jamni tehzeeb of Indian civilization Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixFarhat Shahzad shot to a meteoric fame and celebrity in 1985 with the release of an album Kehna Usey. The wildly popular new album Kehna Usey, comprised of nine ghazals, sung by ghazal maestro Mehdi Hassan, and  all the sensational nine ghazals in the album were  written  by Farhat Shazad. The world of music discovered a new star in him. Shahzad had earned highest respect in the world of music and poetry when he first forayed into this genre. Ustad Mehdi Hassan  did three exclusive albums based on the poetry and ghazals of Shahzad sahib and included his work in many other composite selections.  Ghulam Ali has produced two albums exclusively of his poems. The famous Sufi singer Maqbool Sabri has exclusively used Farhat Sahib’s ghazals in two albums.Farhat Shahzad’s poetry has been sung by and celebrated by all our legendary ghazal singers of contemporary times, Mehdi Hassan, Jagjit Singh and Ghulam Ali. Lata Mangeshkar also sang his ghazal in her album Saadgi. The only duet between Lata Mangeshkar and Mehndi Hasan uses his lyrics Tera Milna Bahut Achha Lage Hai. Shakeel Ahmed is considered a specialist in Ghazal gayaki. His popularity as a composer and singer spans beyond India, to countries like Pakistan, Kuwait, Dubai, Hong Kong etc. He has performed to packed audiences across different countries where his performances have been made memorable by his melodious and soul stirring renditions. Shahzad’s rendition of ghazals is marked by the intricacies of classical notations. He possesses an exceptional voice noted for range and sensitivity. His excellence and finesse in voice control and modulation, ability to deliver emotion convincingly, discernment in projecting the sentiment expressed by the poet, crisp and clear voice coupled with his impeccable diction of both Hindi and Urdu languages have won him accolades of the discerning listener everywhere. Shakeel Ahmed too combines a deep knowledge of Music with a passion and feel for the subject which imbues his rendering of ghazals with an intense but easy understanding of the emotions conveyed by the lyrics.When: December 6 Where: Amaltas Auditorium, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi RoadTiming: 6.30 pm onwardslast_img read more

first_imgLong back in 2005, MF Husain had once scribbled a line on an exhibition catalogue at Kumar Gallery- “Am I the relic of British Empire?”, which he did in the margin of a picture of his own work- a flamboyant self-portrait in full regalia juxtaposed with images of Mother Teresa, Lord Ganesha and polo players – that was titled ‘Relics of the Empire’.A collateral event of India Art Fair 2016, the group show titled ‘Celebration’ will be held in the national Capital from January 25 till February 5. The show, where oil on canvas once again will find a place in a group show at Kumar Gallery, also coincides with the 60th year of Kumar Gallery. Around 45 paintings will be showcased by modern masters and renowned artists. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The earliest work in the show is a1938 oil on canvas by Ram Kinkar Baij titled ‘Toilet’ (seated nude lady with maid combing her hair). Then, there is a late 1940s Jamini Roy depicting the finesse of his folk-based lines in a tempera work titled ‘Man with Hookah.Some of the other highlights of the show are a 1996 Rameshwar Broota titled ‘Scripted in Time’ (also the largest in the show at 70 by 90 inches), a 1984 acrylic on canvas titled ‘Radha in Vrindavan’ by KS Kulkarni and a striking work titled ‘The Foreman’ from 1961 by FN Souza. The show also includes never-seen-before works by Husain (a self portrait 1969), Paysage (1958) by SH Raza, rarely seen impastos on paper by Sohan Qadri and an oil on canvas titled ‘To The Market’ (1961) by NS Bendre.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe exhibition will also include artworks from the show and astute essays by art critic Keshav Malik, compiled in a comprehensive book of 200 pages. It will also have some of the early shows of modern masters at Kumar Gallery in the 1950’s and 60’s and most candid images of bonhomie amongst Indian artists, critics and their mentors, the Kumars. Captured at various events over the last six decades, these images in the book serve both as visual documentation of historical importance as well as reflect on the evolution and growth of modern Indian art. The show will also be a reflective of Kumar Gallery’s impeccable art collection. Sunit Kumar said: “This is the sixth edition of ‘Celebration’ show but this time, the emphasis is on modern masters whose aesthetic merit is not only publicly acknowledged but who are also academically most sound, the true avant garde of Indian modern art”.last_img read more