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Daniel Norris: Justin Verlander helped me through post-surgery struggles

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Detroit Tigers pitcher Daniel Norris got a major assist from an old friend as he worked his way back up from core surgery.

Former Tiger Justin Verlander helped him out with his struggles from afar, and had a unique perspective to offer since he went through the same thing a few years back.

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“He’s a good human,” Norris said. “That’s first and foremost. He’s an amazing friend.”

“When he found out I was having that surgery, which was very similar to his, he would check in periodically,” Norris said. “He would give me almost pointers on what to expect.”

Verlander had core surgery in 2014, and struggled with the same kind of issues with self-doubt and mechanical problems such as velocity drop.

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“It just doesn’t come back right away; it’s not there,” Verlander said on Monday while in the visitor’s dugout before his Houston Astros took on the Tigers. “For me, to have that surgery, opened my eyes to how I need to prepare myself to take care of my body to allow myself to be successful for the rest of my career. I’ve made major adjustments since then. I’m sure (Norris) has as well.”

Norris noticed a drop in his fast ball velocity, despite throwing as hard as he was able.

“There were so many times during rehab last year when I was so upset, banging my head against the wall,” Norris said. “And there were times where I was like, ‘I might never pitch again.’

“I was two months out of surgery and had a setback. I was like, ‘What the heck? I’m doing everything I can to get back.’”

“What the heck is wrong with me?” Norris wondered.

“In ’15, 16, ’17, my average fastball was 94,” Norris said. “And now, it’s been 90 for the better part of a year and a half. It’s something that is stripped from you….(Verlander) went through the same freakin’ thing.”

Norris has worked himself back into form, just as Verlander said that he would.

“That’s big,” Norris said. “He told me it takes time to learn but learn how to pitch through it. I have definitely found solace from him, through this rehab process.”


Demolishing homes in Detroit decreases gun violence, says U-M study

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Detroit’s demolition program has faced its share of criticism. But a new study shows that it’s also produced positive results. A collaboration between the University of Michigan and Harvard University, the study found a correlation between home demolitions and a decrease firearm violence.

For years, thousands of Detroit homes were abandoned due to out-migration and foreclosure. Many had deteriorated to a point where they could no longer be saved. In recent years, the city of Detroit and community groups like Detroit Blight Busters have worked to tear down these homes to decrease blight in the city, but also out of the belief that it would decrease crime.

The new study in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine seems to back up these claims. It found that there was an 11 percent drop in homicides and injuries caused by firearms in areas where demolitions took place. The authors also found that, up to a certain point, the more demolitions there were in an area, the greater the drop.

One of the study’s authors, Marc Zimmerman of the U-M School of Public Health, said that there are intangible benefits to demolitions as well, as they make residents feel that the neighborhood is being cared for.

“The process of cleaning up neighborhoods can be infectious for creating optimistic feelings and perceptions about the neighborhood, which is a vital first step in making a street busy with positive social interactions,” Zimmerman said in a release.

Other notable findings from the study are that in areas where more than 12 demolitions took place there wasn’t a significant reduction in crime, and also that the strongest correlations occurred in areas with the highest concentrations of non-Hispanic white residents.

“The largest effect might come from dispersing the demolition effort throughout the city, rather than concentrating the effort on removing all abandoned structures in a few areas, given limited resources,” said co-author Jonathan Jay, a scholar with the Firearm Safety Among Children and Teens coalition based at U-M.


White Sox expect P Rodon back in mid-2020

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The Chicago White Sox said Saturday that left-hander Carlos Rodon is expected to return in the second half of the 2020 season following Tommy John surgery this week.

The 26-year-old starter underwent a successful operation Wednesday, the team said.

Rodon was 3-2 with a 5.19 ERA in seven starts this season, striking out 46 batters in 34 2/3 innings.

He went on the injured list on May 2, one day after feeling elbow tightness while giving up three runs and five hits in 3 2/3 innings against the Baltimore Orioles. He was torched for eight runs and nine hits in three-plus innings in his previous turn against the Detroit Tigers.

Chicago's first-round pick (third overall) in 2014, Rodon is 29-31 over five seasons with a 4.08 ERA.

--Field Level Media


the game within the game

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pokemon baseball

illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Let me tell you cats something real quick. The last time I was at a baseball game was when the Tigers were in Boston earlier this season (more on that shortly, when I have a hot second to catch my breath and upload the rest of these freakin’ cartoons). There was a fair amount of baseball and a lot of heat and a Bostonian gentleman who recognized my 2009 All Star Game jersey in the security line out front, expressed surprise at seeing it, then saw that it was a BRANDON INGE jersey and said, “Inge… Brandon, right? You don’t see a lot of those!” No sir. No, sir, you do not, but I very much appreciate your recall of short white third basemen refugees from the catcher’s mitt.

I also almost (literally) ran into Al Avila in the Fenway Park concourse, which was cool, but Mr. Avila, please do not stop on the ramp and block the way. C’mon now.

But I’m not cartoon-ically ready to talk about all that just yet. What I want to talk about is the fact that THERE WAS SO MUCH POKEMON GO.

Seriously. There were people playing Pokemon Go all over the park. Outside the park, in the concourse, in the aisles, in their seats. People were coming down the stairs playing Pokemon Go while looking over the shoulders of people in grandstand seating playing Pokemon Go, so that they could confirm that that other person was in fact playing Pokemon Go, and maybe to see what creature that person was pursuing (??), or whether they were battling for a ‘gym’ (????) or doing whatever one does at a ‘Pokestop’ (????????).

There were definitely more people playing Pokemon Go in Fenway Park than there were people scoring the game on paper scorecards.

pidgey at the park

Image obtained via Pokemon-Go-capable seatmate.

I don’t even have Pokemon Go on my phone (I couldn’t download it even if I wanted to; my phone is too old and is not supported by newer apps). But since my seatmate does, I was privy to the madness and the wonder of Pokemon at the Park. There was so much happening! There were small creatures in the stadium, not entirely unlike mantises! The gym was constantly changing hands! People had something to do between innings that did not involve spilling extremely expensive beer on each other! Of course people were also staring at their phones during the actual gameplay, sometimes, and missing out on some pretty decent baseball so that they could superimpose digital monsters on the very real Green Monster….


I cannot remember ever seeing anything like this, where so many people were interested not just in the game that was happening on the field, but in playing a separate game in the stands, one that was in some ways its own thing, but in other ways was dependent on the particularities of Fenway Park (moving around to catch different Pokemon; the intensity of activity that was a direct result of the number of people in the park at one time; the pleasure of seeing your Pokemon not just on a digital landscape, but actually putting its butt in Justin Verlander’s face; etc.). I know that it is cool to poop all over the entire phone-tethered existence of which Pokemon Go is a part, but this seemed more fun and communally entertaining than anything else. These folks were delighted to see Pokemon at the baseball game, more so than they would have been to see Pokemon at the local CVS. That was cool and I have to say that I, a non-participant, did enjoy seeing it.

The focus on phones also prevented a few more people from doing the wave. Good outcomes all ’round, I say.



Oilers sign Tomas Jurco to a one-year deal

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Ken Holland is diving into the bargain bin, adding a familiar face in Tomas Jurco to a one-year contract. The deal will apparently be a shade over the league minimum at $750k.

Jurco was a second-round pick of Holland’s Red Wings back in 2011. He played parts of four seasons with the Red Wings, scoring 39 points in 159 games with Detroit before getting dealt to the Blackhawks in 2017 for a third-round pick. He spent last season with the Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes organizations, helping the AHL Charlotte Checkers win the Calder Trophy with an impressive 18 points in 18 playoff games.

Though he hasn’t been able to put it together at the NHL level, the 26-year-old was once a highly-touted prospect. Given his good run with the Checkers in the AHL last year, Jurco is certainly worth a risk. The contract is just a shade above the league minimum, so if it doesn’t work out, at the very least you have yourself a good winger to play in the AHL who can be called up as an injury replacement. At best, maybe you’ve found a diamond in the rough.


Bio Roundup: Sage Postpartum Help, Biogen Bids Adu, Heart Beats & More

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Xconomy National — 

One group of people in dire need of medical relief got good news this week. The first drug for postpartum depression was approved. With its complicated logistics, side effects, and potential high cost, it won’t be for everyone who experiences the condition—1 of every 9 U.S. women giving birth. But at least it’s an option. That’s more than Alzheimer’s patients and their doctors can say about aducanumab, the latest high-profile, high-cost failure in that frustrating field.

We reported on both those stories and a lot more, including clinical ups and downs and new fundings. Also this week: Reports from the American College of Cardiology conference in New Orleans and changes at the top of companies large and small. The world might be a bit less Roundup-Ready after this week, but we trust you’re still ready for our roundup.


The litany of Alzheimer’s failure continues. Biogen (NASDAQ: BIIB) said it would halt all work on aducanumab because two massive Phase 3 trials were unlikely to have any positive effect. The shutdown prompted a sell-off of Biogen shares. The news was abrupt but not shocking. No Alzheimer’s drug that targets the buildup of amyloid protein in the brain has succeeded. A hint that the trials weren’t going well came a year ago, when Biogen said it had to add more patients.

—Even in the wake of aducanumab’s failure, Biogen partner Eisai doubled down on another amyloid-busting Alzheimer’s drug, BAN2401, announcing that it has started a 1,500-patient Phase 3 trial meant to support an approval filing. BAN2401 posted promising Phase 2 results, but they were rife with caveats.

—The FDA approved brexanolone (Zulresso) from Sage Therapeutics (NASDAQ: SAGE), making it the first marketed medicine specially for postpartum depression, which afflicts hundreds of thousands of women in the U.S. each year. Brexanolone faces challenges. At a cost of as much as $34,000 per course, it requires a 60-hour continuous infusion in a health facility, and patients must be constantly monitored for loss of consciousness and a drop in oxygen levels.

—A year ago, two famous academic gene-editing groups each revealed new ways of diagnosing disease with CRISPR gene-editing technology. Now, each group has its own startup. Sherlock Biosciences this week spun out of the Broad Institute with $35 million in funding. Last year Mammoth Biosciences launched with technology licensed from the Jennifer Doudna lab at UC Berkeley.

—Ahead of the highly anticipated April 12 shareholder vote on Bristol-Myers Squibb’s (NYSE: BMY) proposed buyout of Celgene (NASDAQ: CELG), activist shareholder Starboard Value filed a presentation repudiating the deal. Bristol posted its own slideshow to defend the deal.


—Researchers presented data from a 400,000-person study of the Apple (NASDAQ: [[AAPL]]) Watch’s ability to detect atrial fibrillation. Far from conclusive about the watch’s utility as a medical device, the study sparked both concern and cautious optimism among heart doctors at the American College of Cardiology conference in New Orleans. Stat took a deeper dive.

—Also at the ACC: More impressive data from the REDUCE-IT study of fish-oil pill Vascepa, made by Amarin (NASDAQ: AMRN). In September, the study showed a 25 percent reduction in the risk of heart attack and stroke, a remarkable result. (In November, the full data set exposed unanswered questions.) This week researchers said Vascepa lowered the risk of first and subsequent cardio events by 30 percent.

—The New England Journal of Medicine published the results of a Phase 1 study of a blood-clotting antibody meant to reverse the effects of the anti-clotting drug ticagrelor (Brilinta). If successful, the experimental PB2452 from PhaseBio (NASDAQ: PHAS) might be useful when ticagrelor patients need surgery or are suffering from a dangerous bleed. Shares climbed 70 percent.


—The FDA approved a regimen of chemotherapy and Roche’s immunotherapy atezolizumab (Tecentriq) for newly diagnosed patients with advanced small cell lung cancer, an aggressive form of the disease often tied to smoking.

—GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK) said that by year’s end it plans to ask regulators to approve its experimental multiple myeloma treatment GSK2857916. The drug targets cancerous B cells that carry the protein BCMA. Several other anti-BCMA programs, including some using … Next Page »


COMMENTARY: A Tale of Two Graduations

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By Julianne Malveaux, NNPA Newswire Contributor

I love graduations! I thoroughly enjoy the sense of achievement and possibility that permeates the air. Graduations signify an ending, but the term “commencement” is used to signify beginnings since they are not only an opportunity to mark completion, but also to mark the beginning of a new chapter of life. In some ways, commencements, regardless of the college or university, with the pomp and circumstance, the ritual robes, the rousing speeches, the tearful families. The two commencements I attended during this graduation season shared those characteristics, but in many ways, they could not have been more different.

I attended the commencement at the University of the District of Columbia because my dear friend and fearless leader, Rev. Jesse Jackson received an honorary degree. Congresswoman Maxine Waters also received an honorary degree and delivered the commencement address. Nearly a month later, I attended the commencement ceremony at Dartmouth College, where my beloved godson, Matthew Elijah Brown, earned his undergraduate degree.

Dartmouth is located in bucolic Hanover, New Hampshire, miles away from anything that resembles an urban space (Boston is more than 2 hours away). Its student body is overwhelmingly white, with nonwhite students (which includes African American, Latin, Asian American, Native American, and others) representing less than 15 percent of the population. The cost of attendance at Dartmouth exceeds $60,000.

UDC an urban, land-grant HBCU, has several campuses, including a flagship campus in upper Northwest, DC and a community college not too far from Union Station. Its student body is predominately minority. Tuition at the flagship campus is a bit over $5000. Most UDC students are part-time students; most Dartmouth students attend full-time. The UDC student body is predominately female, while Dartmouth didn’t admit its first women to the college until 1973.

While Congresswoman Waters was the commencement speaker at UDC, the cellist Yo-Yo Ma was the commencement speaker at Dartmouth. I’m not sure what my expectations were of the cellist, but he exceeded them! He delivered provocative and challenging remarks in a still, soothing voice, reminding students that they have a power that should never be abused. He challenged students to be human beings before they are professionals or careerists. Most interestingly, he urged stillness. He said, “Learn to listen to the voice in the wilderness. Learn to be the voice in the wilderness.” What a message to give a group of young people who will easily earn six figures upon graduation, many headed to Wall Street, Silicon Valley, and the venture capital world! If I didn’t know any better, the gentle Yo-Yo Ma could have been delivering a rebuke to the current inhabitant of the House that Enslaved People Built and the many other conformists who do not embrace the value of humanity. “Practice your humanity daily,” the cellist said. He offered solid and stirring advice in an extremely graceless age. And then he played the cello.

While Yo-Yo Ma didn’t mention the name of the cretin in the House that Enslaved People Built, Maxine Waters, calling for activism certainly did. Like Yo-Yo Ma, she encouraged students to find their voices. The fiery Congresswoman urged them to activism. She took on hypocrisy in tones far more strident than Yo Yo Ma’s, but she was equally inspirational. And while Yo Yo Ma didn’t tackle public policy much, Waters did, focusing on the oppressive legislation that has been characteristic of this administration.

The similarity in the two commencement addresses lay in the call for self-awareness, disruption, humanity, and focus. While many students don’t remember their commencement speaker, it is unlikely that students at either UDC or Dartmouth will forget the speakers they experienced. And while the students are demographically different, one can hope that the call to “practice humanity” is one that will be heeded. It is, perhaps a sign of the times, that graduates have to be urged to practice humanity, but so much of our world is inhumane, placing profits over people, that the admonition is appropriate.

There are more than 4000 four-year colleges and universities in our nation. The students graduating from Dartmouth and UDC represent a small fraction of the total. The UDC students, many nontraditional, are more likely to shoulder student debt than the Dartmouth students. But both sets of students will face challenges, and both have the responsibility, as Maxine Waters urged, to find a cause and tackle it. And, in the words of Yo-Yo Ma, to “practice humanity.”

Julianne Malveaux is an author and economist. Her latest project MALVEAUX! On UDCTV is available on For booking, wholesale inquiries or for more info visit


Composer writes a symphony for survivors of sexual abuse, including himself

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The Quietest of Whispers, a symphony inspired by the experiences of sexual abuse survivors, will be performed at Central Michigan University this Sunday evening. Composer Evan Ware joined Stateside to discuss how the hundreds of girls and women who came forward as survivors of Larry Nassar's abuse influenced the work, and how music has been a tool for his own healing as a survivor.

Support for arts and cultural coverage comes in part from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.


Detroit's Something Cold is celebrating 10 years of industrial wave and fog juice

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Local Pick

Posted By Jerilyn Jordan on Wed, Jun 19, 2019 at 4:53 PM

Is it cold in here or is it just the 10-year anniversary of Detroit’s foggiest party in town?

Both a social club and a record label specializing in minimal synth, post-punk, and coldwave, Something Cold has been filling Detroit’s sinus cavities with fog juice, and its ear cavities with broody industrial sounds, for a decade. To celebrate its ongoing monthly vinyl residency and the countless parties and performances it's hosted all around town, Something Cold is keeping it close to home at UFO Factory, where it's been making Thursdays frosty AF for the past few years.

Music begins at 10 p.m. on Thursday, June 20, at UFO Factory; 2110 Trumbull St., Detroit; No cover.

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Tags: Detroit synth, Goth wave, Detroit industrial, Image


FAMU law school names new interim dean

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Nicola Boothe PerryNicola Boothe Perry

By The Florida Courier

ORLANDO – A 15-year-veteran of Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Law has been named interim dean of the Orlando campus. Nicola Boothe Perry, associate dean for academic affairs, will serve as interim dean while a nationwide search continues for a permanent dean.

Since 2017, Professor LeRoy Pernell had served as interim dean. Previously, he was dean of the law school from 2008 to 2015. Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Maurice Edington thanked Pernell for his years of dedicated service and expressed his appreciation to Boothe Perry for assuming the leadership mantle.

“I am grateful that Nicky Boothe Perry has agreed to step in and assist with our ongoing efforts to improve the operations and enhance outcomes at the College of Law,” Edington said. “She is a distinguished scholar and a very capable administrator, who is highly respected by her peers and colleagues. I look forward to working with her and her team; she has my full support.”

Boothe Perry joined FAMU law school as a visiting professor in 2004 and gained tenure in 2013. Promoted to full professor in August 2017, the Florida State University College of Law graduate was named associate dean for academic affairs five months later.

On Tuesday, Boothe Perry thanked Edington for trusting her with this important role.

“I am humbled to be afforded this opportunity to continue to support the University in this capacity,” said Boothe Perry, who earned a bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sports Sciences degree from the University of Florida.

“I look forward to serving FAMU and the College of Law in its quest to develop legal professionals and community leaders committed to equitable justice and the rule of law.”

Reopened in 2002, the FAMU College of Law received full accreditation from the American Bar Association in 2009 and full reaccreditation in 2014.

This article originally appeared in the Florida Courier