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Multiple Reasons

J.A. Happ gives multiple reasons for his latest Yankees’ flop – New York Post

August 6, 2020 | 4:02am

J.A. Happ didn’t look good for much of last season, and he’s been dreadful through his first two starts of 2020.

The 37-year-old had his second straight ugly outing in Wednesday’s 11-7 loss to the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park, the first game of a seven-inning doubleheader.

He allowed a homer to Bryce Harper in the top of the third and seemed rattled by it, as he ended up walking six batters in his brief outing.

“I’ve got to make them put the ball in play,’’ Happ said. “I’ve got to force the issue better than I did today.”

He called the walks “uncharacteristic” and admitted frustration with home plate umpire Angel Hernandez: “I did hit some [spots in the strike zone] and didn’t get [calls]. That’s just a fact, but that happens. I’ve got to move on.”

J.A. Happ
J.A. HappAP

With the stop/start nature of the Yankees’ schedule so far this season thanks to their series against the Phillies being postponed last week and another postponement Tuesday due to Tropical Storm Isaias, their rotation hasn’t been in much of a rhythm. And with Wednesday’s doubleheader in Philadelphia slated to be followed by another one at Tampa Bay on Saturday, it might be a while before that happens.


Aaron Boone said Wednesday Jordan Montgomery would make his second start of the season Thursday against the Phillies, followed by Masahiro Tanaka at Tampa Bay on Friday. Gerrit Cole will start one of the games versus the Rays on Saturday, with a bullpen game likely for the other game. And James Paxton will start the series finale Sunday.

Paxton was on the field at Citizens Bank Park before Wednesday’s doubleheader in Philadelphia working with new pitching coach Matt Blake. Paxton has had two bad outings to start the season and said he’s been working on his mechanics, trying to stand taller on the mound. He admitted following his last start he was “concerned” about his drop in velocity, which has gone from 95 mph last year to about 91 mph so far this season.


The opening game on Wednesday — a makeup of Tuesday’s game scheduled for New York — was the first time the Yankees served as the home team and hit last in a ballpark other than Yankee Stadium since they beat the Angels on April 15, 1998, at Shea Stadium. That was the result of Yankee Stadium being shut down by the city when an expansion joint fell in the Stadium bowl two days prior. The rest of that series was made up at Yankee Stadium later in the season.

— Additional reporting by Ken Davidoff in Philadelphia.

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Reasons Unemployment

3 Reasons Unemployment Could Stay High Through the End of 2020 – The Motley Fool

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The U.S. has been grappling with double-digit unemployment since April. Here’s why that may continue all the way into 2021.

Maurie Backman

In April, the U.S. jobless rate hit 14.7% — the highest it’s been since the Great Depression. May’s numbers initially seemed more encouraging, dipping to 13.3%. But a deeper dive into that May data reveals that unemployment that month may have been underreported, and that the true jobless rate could really be closer to 16.3% — an uptick from April.

Still, as the economy opens up, many are hopeful that the jobless rate will slowly but surely decline so that it looks much less scary by the end of the year. But here are three reasons why we may be looking at double-digit unemployment well into 2021.

Man sitting on floor reading book

Image source: Getty Images.

1. The potential for a second wave of COVID-19 infections

While many states have eased stay-at-home restrictions, which paves the way for more businesses to open back up and add jobs, a number of states are already seeing spikes in infection rates. In fact, health experts have been warning since the start of the pandemic that reopening the country too soon could result in a second wave of COVID-19 that not only forces another great lockdown, but thwarts any hopes of a rapid economic recovery.

Even if only some states experience that second wave, the result could be that those who are currently jobless stay that way for the rest of the year. Worse yet, it could cause an uptick in new job loss, at least at a local level.

2. Incentives for jobless Americans to stay out of the workforce

Right now, Americans on unemployment benefits are entitled to an additional $600 federal weekly boost on top of their normal benefit. The purpose of that boost is to help laid-off workers replace as much as their income as possible. In fact, some low or even moderate wage-earners are receiving more money from unemployment than they did at their previous jobs.

That $600 weekly boost is currently set to expire on July 31st, but lawmakers have been fighting to extend it all the way until 2021, and there’s a good chance they’ll succeed, at least to some degree (meaning, there will be some amount of supplemental unemployment income on top of state-paid benefits). As such, out-of-work Americans may not rush to return to the labor force. Why would they, when they can earn a higher wage from the safety of home?

3. Child care constraints

Although some smaller child care centers have stayed in operation throughout the pandemic, and others are beginning to open their doors once again, it’s still unclear to as whether school will be back in session this fall. Since many people rely on schools to provide child care so they can work, it stands to reason that many may have no choice but to stay unemployed should schools remain shuttered, or open in a manner that’s not conducive to holding down a job.

There’s already talk that if schools reopen, it may involve scattered schedules and a mix of in-person and remote learning. That would, in turn, leave parents with full-time jobs unable to go back to those roles that can’t be done remotely.

It’s too soon to tell how unemployment levels will fare in the coming months, but we do know this: Right now, we’re deep in the throes of a full-blown recession, and until progress is made on the COVID-19 treatment or vaccine front, our opportunity to fully recover may be limited. As such, it’s not unreasonable to assume that we’ll still be grappling with high levels of unemployment by the time 2020 comes to a close.


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embrace Reasons

Six reasons to embrace potential madness of 2020 MLB season with negotiations nearing finish line – CBS Sports

Given the latest news on the Major League Baseball negotiating front, and it’s looking likely that the 2020 season will feature 60-something regular season games and an expanded postseason that includes more than half the league (16 teams). 

Knowing this, we can deduce some possibilities. 

  1. In a shortened season, the chance of “fluky” playoff teams is much higher than it is in a full marathon of a season. 
  2. With so many fewer games, managers will work games with much greater urgency. 
  3. With a higher number of playoff teams and a first round likely to only be a three-game series, the possibility of something like an not-very-good No. 8 seed taking out a No. 1 seed is exponentially higher than that of a wild-card team taking down a top seed in years past. 

You can see where this is headed, right? 

There is a good chance that baseball purists everywhere will be up in arms about how the 2020 champion wasn’t a “legitimate” champion. Fake season! 

Please. 

We always knew the 2020 season would be different. We can’t escape that. 

Fluky stuff happens anyway, though. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when I say “1987 Minnesota Twins.” I’m betting the overwhelming majority of people would say “World Series champions” instead of “85-win team that had a negative run differential who somehow beat a 98-win team in five games in the ALCS.” 

How about the 1981 World Series? “Dodgers over Yankees,” right? Not “strike-shortened season that determined the playoffs in such a way the team with the actual best record in baseball (Reds) missed the playoffs.” 

The Giants won three titles in a five-year span in the 2010s and they were never the best team in the regular season. We don’t remember them as anything other than the Even Year Dynasty. 

Hell, the 2017 and 2018 champions are stained with the sign-stealing scandal. We all witnessed them win the World Series. 

Flags fly forever. The fans bases mentioned above got to experience those titles with just as much fun and joy as, say, Yankees fans in 1998.

We know the 2020 season is going to be the weirdest we’ve ever seen, so let’s just look at it with a glass-half-full approach and enjoy the madness. That’s what I’m planning on doing. 

Some of it will be extra fun, too. Here are six things to look forward to:

1. Managers going harder for individual games

With fewer games to play with, managers are less likely to take an approach of “sacrifice the rest of today in order to set up tomorrow” with pitching. They’ll be more aggressive in using their best relievers and probably won’t have to worry a ton about workload. In September we might even see a bunch of starters used in relief like they are in playoff games. Among position players, regulars will get fewer days off and the notorious “getaway day lineups” will rarely be seen. 

2. No pitching workload limits

Some inning limitations are more high-profile than others, but just to throw out some endpoints for the purposes of illustration: Starting pitchers who haven’t pitched more than 125 innings in a regular season are generally held to around 150 innings. If they are only going to get around 12 starts this season, however, we likely won’t see any workload limits outside of injury. A good example here is Athletics‘ 22-year-old lefty Jesus Luzardo. Due to a spring training injury last season, he only worked 55 innings between the minors and majors. The A’s would then be likely to want to limit him to something like 100-110 innings this season. If he gets 12 starts, he’d need to average 8 1/3 innings per start to get to 100.

3. A big wave of prospects? 

Due to such a short season, the likelihood that there won’t be any minor-league action and the possibility that service-time manipulation will be a huge CBA topic after the 2021 season, I believe it’s possible some top prospects get called up who never would’ve been considered for an MLB debut in normal circumstances.

MacKenzie Gore is the Padres‘ top pitching prospect. He dominated High-A last season before getting five starts in Double-A. Perhaps they decide to see how he’ll fare in the big-league rotation at age 21? 

Jo Adell hit .308/.390/.553 in Double-A and saw action in Triple-A. He’d look nice next to Mike Trout in the Angels‘ outfield. 

The No. 1 overall pick in 2018 was Casey Mize to the Tigers. He made 15 starts in Double-A last year. Oh, and they also had the No.  1 pick this year and took college slugger Spencer Torkelson. Would they dare? Hey, TV ratings are going to matter more than ever with no fans in attendance and the Tigers have been unwatchable the last few years. 

We could do this with lots of teams (the Orioles and Adley Rutschman? Jarred Kelenic with the Mariners? Would the Rays give it a go with wunderkind Wander Franco?). 

4. The possibility of ridiculous rate stats

Can someone hit .400 in 60 games? You bet. A .500-plus on-base percentage or .750-plus slugging? Sure! Could someone like Jacob deGrom post a 1.35 ERA? He had a 1.42 ERA in his last 13 starts last season. 

5. The heightened chances of fluky upsets

How many teams are definitely contending types under the 162-game, 10-playoff team format? I picked 14 with several question marks. In a sprint like we’re about to see, though? I mean, I only counted six AL among those 14 and we need eight playoff teams in that league. Could the Angels win the eight seed and take down the top-seeded Yankees in a three-game series? Absolutely! Could the eight-seed Padres topple the No. 1 Dodgers? For sure, it’s definitely possible. 

6. The bickering among fans afterward

Here’s a preview of twenty-nine fan bases on social media after a champion is crowned: “FLUKE! DOESN’T COUNT! FAKE SEASON!”

The fan base of the champion: ?

I’ll certainly be entertained. 

I’m ready. I’m ready for all of it. The madness, the flukes, the ridiculous upsets we don’t see in other seasons, some outlandish rate stats, the new blood, the works. I’m so ready. 

Are you? 

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Reasons stimulus

9 reasons why your stimulus check isn’t here: Dead ends, form issues, more – CNET

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The IRS has been sending stimulus checks for over a month. Where’s yours? 


Angela Lang/CNET

For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

If you’re not among the tens of millions of Americans who’ve already received their coronavirus stimulus payments, you’re probably asking what’s causing a delay with your check. After all, the federal government authorized the money as part of a package intended to help offset the pandemic’s worsening economic effects and you’d like to spend it. We’ve found some possible barriers that may be holding up your payment with the IRS. 

If and when your 2020 relief check does come from the IRS, it’ll arrive either through direct deposit to your bank account (if you set that up before the May 13 deadline) or in the mail (you’ll get a paper check or a mailed prepaid debit card). It’ll be your money to spend, free and clear. The IRS said it’ll step up its payment schedule through the end of June and has already sent more than 150 million checks so far. In addition, a bill for a second round of stimulus checks for up to $1,200 is in its first stages of negotiation, though that doesn’t mean it’s a done deal.

Keep track of the coronavirus pandemic.

The payment process hasn’t always been smooth sailing. CNET readers have relayed situations where the IRS indicated their checks were mailed or deposited weeks ago, with no checks in sight. In another example, they submitted their banking information using the IRS Get My Payment portal in April and still couldn’t see the status of their payment. If you’ve checked the IRS tool and haven’t found the answers you’re looking for, here’s what else might cause a delay.

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You won’t get a stimulus check if you aren’t eligible

Check this first. You’re eligible to receive a stimulus payment if you:

  • Are a single US resident and have an adjusted gross income less than $99,000.
  • File as the head of a household and earn under $146,500.
  • File jointly without children and earn less than $198,000.
  • Are the parent of child aged 16 or younger.

The IRS has scheduled your payment for later in the year

While the IRS has sent out 152 million payments as of May 22, it still has more to go. In April, the IRS estimated (PDF) it could take up to 20 weeks to send every payment out and it is prioritizing the payment schedule by sending checks to those with lowest incomes first. Depending on your adjusted gross income, you may have weeks and possibly several months to wait, according to the IRS plan.

The IRS started processing your paper check before you submitted your direct deposit information

If the IRS was already preparing to mail your paper check when you provided your banking information online, you’ll still receive your check in the mail. The IRS said it can typically take up to 14 days to receive the payment in this situation.

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You’ll want to check your inbox.


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Your bank had trouble processing the direct deposit

If your bank couldn’t process the electronic money transfer from the IRS, the payment was returned and the IRS is now mailing your check to the most current address it has on file, either from a 2019 or 2018 tax return or one from the Postal Service.

The IRS still intends to send your payment through the mail

The IRS made a big push to get everyone who was eligible for a check signed up for direct deposit by May 13. The benefit of direct deposit, the IRS said, was you’d get your check quicker than through the mail. Now that the deadline is passed, the IRS said it will start sending paper checks and debit cards to those it doesn’t have banking information for, from the end of May through June.

The banking information the IRS has for you is out of date or no longer valid

The IRS said it’s using banking information from your 2018 or 2019 tax return to send your payment. Some tax preparers, however, set up temporary accounts for their clients to receive their returns, such as to a prepaid debit card. If this is the information the IRS has for you, the agency said the payment will be returned and reprocessed. 

If for whatever reason, the banking information the IRS has for you is not valid, the agency says it will mail you your check. The IRS said to check its Get My Payment tool for updates.

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You owe child support

If you are past-due on child support, the IRS said your payment may be reduced or completely deducted. If that happens, the Bureau of the Fiscal Service will send you a notice.

A claimed dependent is not eligible for a payment

Parents who are not married to each other and do not file a joint return cannot both claim a qualifying child as a dependent. The parent who claimed their child on their 2019 return may receive the payment. Likewise, dependent college students do not qualify for a payment.

You need to file a nonfilers form

If you are eligible for a payment but because of low income didn’t need to file a tax return for 2018 or 2019, you may need to use the IRS’ nonfilers tool to give the agency your information. If you think that is you, head to the IRS’ website, check the requirements and then provide some basic information to get your stimulus check.

To assist you with potential problems regarding your payment, the IRS added 3,500 telephone representatives to help navigate common issues. The representatives won’t be able to help with specific problems with your payment, however.

As you try to discover the status of your stimulus check, here’s what we know about a second round of stimulus checkshow best to use your stimulus check and how to avoid being scammed.

Coronavirus reopenings: How it looks as lockdowns ease around the world


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Reasons Warren

3 Reasons Why Warren Buffett Is Fearful in Today’s Market – The Motley Fool

The Berkshire Hathaway chief surprised observers by bailing out of some stocks during the biggest crash in over a decade.

Jeremy Bowman

When the coronavirus crisis first started, market watchers were eager to see if Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B) would make a big move. The Berkshire chief has lamented for years that stocks and companies are too expensive, and he hasn’t “bagged an elephant” since his 2015 acquisition of Precision Castparts. The end of an 11-year bull market seemed to present a perfect opportunity from him to make use of the $137 billion Berkshire’s squirreled away.

After Berkshire’s shareholder meeting earlier this month and the company’s 13-F filing revealing its first-quarter stock moves, we now know that Buffett has not made any big purchases. In fact, he’s done the opposite. Buffett’s been a net seller of stocks, ditching his stake in the four major airlines and cutting back on holdings of Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase, even though he’s historically been a fan of bank stocks.  

The man who famously said “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when they are fearful” now seems fearful. Based on his recent comments, we have some sense why.

Warren Buffett at a Berkshire Hathaway meeting

Image source: Motley Fool.

There’s a ton of uncertainty out there

Buffett has consistently expressed long-term optimism through the crisis, but he has been more cautious about what the near term holds. In comments at Berkshire’s shareholder meeting in early May, Buffett said:

When we started on this journey, which we didn’t ask for, it seemed to me that it was an extraordinary wide variety of possibilities on both the health side and on the economic side. There was DEFCON 5 on one side and DEFCON 1 on the other side, and nobody really knows, of course, all the possibilities that there are, and they don’t know what probability they are. But in this particular situation, it did seem to me that there was an extraordinary range of things that could happen on the health side and an extraordinary range in terms of the economy.

Buffett went on to acknowledge that the worst-case and best-case scenarios had been eliminated, but there’s still a wide range of possibilities out there — which makes it particularly difficult for a value investor like Buffett to make smart buys, as there’s a wide range of possibilities in future cash flows and earnings. Despite his faith in airlines, for example, Buffett believes that the industry has fundamentally changed. Demand will be down for the foreseeable future, which is especially problematic for an industry with high fixed costs.

Buffett’s right about the uncertainty. Even with the recent announcement from Moderna about a successful phase 1 vaccine trial, we don’t know if there will be an effective vaccine within the next year or two, or even ever. We don’t know if there will be another wave of infections and if businesses will have to close again. The future is especially hard to predict right now.

Prices are still too high

It’s not surprising that Buffett, who has complained about the market being overvalued for the last several years, would still believe that stocks are overpriced. Though prices are still down double-digit percentages from February’s highs, the near-term earnings picture has significantly deteriorated, and the uncertainty clouds the ability to make an accurate forecast.

Asked why Berkshire had not acted as a lender of support as it did several times during the financial crisis, taking favorable stakes in the form of preferred stock and warrants, Buffett said, “Well, we haven’t seen anything attractive.” Buffett added that the Federal Reserve stepped in to support businesses that may have otherwise come to Berkshire for help, saying, “But that means that a lot of companies that needed money and probably should have done their financing a little earlier, but they’re perfectly decent companies, got the chance to finance in huge ways in the last five weeks or thereabouts.”

Buffett said he was getting calls from companies in distress, but didn’t find any of them appealing, so Berkshire has held its purse strings.

Sometimes it pays to wait

Buffett is no fan of market timing, saying that he doesn’t know anyone who can do it, but he did observe that in the last crisis he may have acted too soon. Referring to the purchases Berkshire made in the fall of 2008, Buffett said “Now it turned out that we would have been a lot better off if we’d waited four or five months to do similar things.”

The Berkshire chief also made some of his best deals toward the end of the crisis. For instance, in 2011 he bought $5 billion in preferred stock in Bank of America, yielding 6%, a deal that has netted the company more than $20 billion, including some investments in B of A later on. 

Buffett may sense that better opportunities will present themselves as the crisis plays out. It’s only been about two months since the shutdowns started, so for struggling businesses liquidity is likely to be tighter a few months from now that than it is today.

Cautiously optimistic

Buffett retained his usual optimism about the American economy, saying, “We haven’t faced this exact problem. In fact, we haven’t really faced anything that quite resembles this problem, but we faced tougher problems. The American miracle, the American magic has always prevailed, and it will do so again.”

Indeed, over the long term, U.S. stocks and the economy have always bounced back and continued to grow — and over a five or 10-year horizon, the coronavirus may prove to be just a dip. But Buffett’s cautious tone was noticeable, and it’s clear that there’s a high level of uncertainty ahead. 

Whether Buffett will go elephant-hunting this year remains to be seen, but for now the Oracle of Omaha seems content to keep his powder dry.


Jeremy Bowman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Berkshire Hathaway (B shares) and recommends the following options: long January 2021 $200 calls on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), short Janua

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