NEW YORK (AP) — Having finalized a $110 million, four-year contract with the New York Mets, Yoenis Cespedes declared: “God willing, I will finish out my career with this team.”
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson quickly interjected: “God willing, and a no-trade clause, by the way.”
Acquired by the Mets at the July 31 trade deadline in 2015, Cespedes helped the team reach the World Series, became a free agent and signed a $75 million, three-year contract that allowed him to opt out after one season and $27.5 million. The slugger hit the open market again, then agreed to a deal that calls for a $22.5 million salary next year, $29 million in each of the following two seasons and $29.5 million in 2020.
“This is the third time that we have acquired Yoenis in the last 17 months, and it appears that two legal separations have only strengthened the marriage,” Alderson said at a Citi Field news conference Wednesday evening.
Cespedes was the second free-agent regular retained by the Mets this offseason. Second baseman Neil Walker accepted a $17.2 million qualifying offer.
The video board on the wall in the interview room featured a photo of the Cuban outfielder and the hashtag “YOGotHim,” a variation of last winter’s “GotYoBack.”
New York was 52-50 when it acquired Cespedes in 2015, finished 90-72 and reached the World Series for the first time since 2000.
This year, the Mets were 47-38 when he injured his right quadriceps on July 8, then went 13-23 as he hobbled and spent time on the disabled list. After he returned, the Mets closed with a 27-14 surge to finish 87-75. They made the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the second time in team history.
“When Yoenis Cespedes plays for the Mets, the Mets win,” Alderson said. “With all of the analysis and mathematics that litters professional baseball today, that’s a pretty straightforward statistic and compelling one that I think everybody can understand.”
Cespedes had 31 homers and 86 RBIs in 132 games this year as the Mets earned a berth in the NL wild-card game, which they lost to San Francisco.
“The way I’m treated, just the way the fans support me and this team, it really makes this place feel like home,” the two-time All-Star said through a translator.
Obtained from the Detroit Tigers in 2015 for pitcher Michael Fulmer, the AL Rookie of the Year this season, Cespedes had 17 home runs and 44 RBIs in 57 games with the Mets down the stretch, helping them reach the World Series for the first time since 2000.
This year, New York drew nearly 2.8 million to Citi Field, its highest home attendance since the ballpark’s first season in 2009. The team’s live SNY broadcasts averaged 264,000 viewers, the network’s best since 2008. Cespedes’ star power was pointed out by his agent, Brodie Van Wagenen.
“He got a nice book from Brodie that showed us all the back pages,” Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon said. “New York wants a winner. He obviously makes us win … and he obviously put butts in seats.”
While the previous agreement between Cespedes and the Mets was reached in January, talks had a much faster pace this offseason.
“Both sides had a desire to have this thing resolved sooner rather than later,” Van Wagenen said.
But a no-trade provision was essential to Cespedes.
“I’ve experienced that now several times with Oakland, Boston, Detroit and then coming here,” he said. “I didn’t like that feeling of just when I was starting to get comfortable with a team that I could be gone.”
To ease the strain on his legs, the Mets now intend to play Cespedes strictly in left field. Previously they used him in both left and center — he was playing center field when he strained his quadriceps this year.
“It will help keep me fresh throughout the season,” he said.
Cespedes was criticized by some for playing golf while hurt. The Mets didn’t press for any restriction on the links, but Alderson did offer: “There is no free club membership in the contract.”
NOTES: Cespedes didn’t engage a question about the death of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro. “That’s just not a topic I’m ready to speak about right now,” he said. … With a crowded outfield that also includes Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce, Michael Conforto and Juan Lagares, the Mets will explore possible trades. They are looking for bullpen help. “We’ve come a long way from no outfield to an overcrowded one,” Alderson said. … To open a roster spot for Cespedes, the Mets traded pitcher Logan Verrett to Baltimore for $50,000. Verrett, a 26-year-old right-hander, was 3-8 with a 5.20 ERA in 12 starts and 23 relief appearances this year.
December 10 is Human Rights Day, which commemorates the day in 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We’ve unlocked a Channel One News video that explains how Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Four Freedoms” speech sought to move Americans to join the war and laid the framework for the declaration. A slideshow goes deeper into the subject. Follow this free lesson plan to help your students understand the impact of a single speech and a single document.
Ask students to listen carefully to this excerpt of FDR’s “Four Freedoms” speech (NOTE: external link) and work with a partner to identify and/or guess:
Review these words with students before proceeding with the lesson plan.
Original Air Date: December 10, 2015
Use these discussion prompts for whole-class, think-pair-share or small group discussions.
When President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered his annual State of the Union speech on January 6, 1941, Europe was at the mercy of Nazi Germany. Hitler had invaded Poland in 1939, and his army defeated the French army in a matter of weeks. By 1941, Britain alone stood against him. Britain’s Prime Minister Winston Churchill called on Roosevelt for help.
But Americans were reluctant to get involved in an overseas war. Many were still reeling from the First World War, in which nine million soldiers lost their lives. Roosevelt wanted to help Britain — and hoped his State of the Union speech would convince his fellow Americans that they should, too. “We know that enduring peace cannot be bought at the cost of other people's freedom,” he argued.
In his powerful speech, Roosevelt outlined four freedoms to which he believed all people were entitled. The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom of speech and religion to all American citizens. Roosevelt argued that everyone in the world should have those same freedoms, too.
People all over war-torn Europe were forced to go without necessities such as food, clothing and housing. Roosevelt insisted that everyone was entitled to freedom from poverty, or “want.” As most Europeans lived in constant fear of military invasions and airstrikes, Roosevelt proposed a worldwide reduction in armaments to provide people with the freedom from fear.
Roosevelt tried to persuade Americans that these four freedoms were worth fighting for. But it wasn’t until Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor eleven months later that America entered the war. Slowly, the balance of power shifted to the Allied forces. Nazi Germany eventually surrendered in May of 1945, bringing a close to World War II.
Only after the six-year war ended did the world fully comprehend the tremendous devastation and atrocities that occurred. To ensure such acts never occurred again, world leaders met to ensure basic individual rights for all people. They established the United Nations and began drafting its founding document — which would eventually become known as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Following President Roosevelt’s death in 1945, his widow, Eleanor Roosevelt, chaired the Universal Declaration of Human Rights drafting committee. She often cited the four freedoms when advocating for its passage, and they provided the foundation for the document when the U.N. officially adopted it in 1948.
The UDHR looks beyond the world of war, declaring the right of all individuals to live in a peaceful environment. While Roosevelt expressed these views more than 70 years ago, his words still ring true today. Freedom to say what you think and to believe what you want. Freedom from extreme poverty and protection from violence and war. Do you believe these four freedoms are worth fighting for?
Identify each of the four freedoms. Then answer the following questions about each freedom:
President Roosevelt’s 1941 State of the Union speech argued that people all around the world were entitled to four basic freedoms. What are the four freedoms he identified in his speech? Explain what each one means in your own words. Which one do you think is most important or relevant today? Why? Use information from today’s lesson and your own ideas to explain your reasoning.
View the complete text of the Universal Declaration Of Human Rights (NOTE: external link).
Read the Preamble to the UDHR and answer the following:
Next, work with a partner to analyze two articles of the UDHR and present your response to class. For each article, be prepared to answer:
Exit ticket: Do you think that President Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms are a realistic goal? Why or why not?
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KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — In Western Michigan’s final home game of the season, Justin Ferguson injured his ankle and had to be taken off on a stretcher. The crowd began clapping and teammates came over to hug the senior safety. And then Ferguson, who was able to sit up slightly, began motioning with his arms, reaching them forward and pulling them back.
Rowing the boat.
It began as a curious catchphrase for a program that needed any publicity it could get, but now Western Michigan’s “row the boat” mantra has become a recognizable rallying cry to college football fans around the country — the “Roll Tide” of the Mid-American Conference. Not only have players bought into coach P.J. Fleck’s quirky motivational tactics, fans have also embraced the team’s philosophy and identity — especially now that the 13th-ranked Broncos are taking an undefeated record into Friday night’s MAC championship game against Ohio.
While Ferguson was being taken off the field during WMU’s 55-35 win over Toledo last week, the crowd chanted “row the boat” in support.
“I think it just shows how far this culture’s come,” Fleck said. “It shows that if you believe in something bigger than yourself, yeah, you might get made fun of, you might get laughed at, people might sit there and snicker, drill holes in your boat. But they can drill all they want at 12-0.”
When Fleck was hired after the 2012 season at age 32, he became the youngest coach in the Bowl Subdivision. He’d played at MAC rival Northern Illinois and was an assistant with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but his resume was relatively short. It was his personality that set him apart right away. When she hired Fleck, WMU athletic director Kathy Beauregard said he could bring “limitless energy, passion, enthusiasm and opportunity” to the program.
Correct on all counts.
Quarterback Zach Terrell was a redshirt freshman during Fleck’s first season.
“We were probably both very unimpressed when we first met each other,” Fleck said. “He probably looked at me and said, ‘How did you get this job?’ And I looked at him and said, ‘How did you get here?'”
Fleck wanted Terrell to show more leadership, and the quarterback has blossomed since then. His stat line this season is like something from a video game: He’s thrown for 3,086 yards while completing 72 percent of his passes — with 30 touchdowns and one interception. It helps to be able to throw to receiver Corey Davis, who last week became the career FBS leader in yards receiving.
After going 1-11 in Fleck’s first season, the Broncos are 28-10 since, including the 12-0 mark this season that includes wins over two Big Ten teams.
“That’s just a testament to Coach Fleck and this entire staff,” Davis said. “They believed in us when we didn’t even believe in ourselves. They stayed with us, and we kept rowing, kept our oars in the water, and here we are.”
The Broncos entered this season as MAC favorites, even though Northern Illinois had represented WMU’s division in the conference title game for six straight seasons. Now WMU could make it to a major bowl if it wins the league title. Although Fleck won’t say much publicly about the playoff rankings — the Broncos are No. 17 this week — he and his team have had high hopes since January.
“We set incredibly high expectations and pressure on our players,” Fleck said. “We showed them exactly what they could do this week, on a screen, and said, ‘If you want this, here’s what you’re going to have to do, and it’s going to be harder than you’ve ever imagined from January to August — let alone August through December.'”
Fleck’s success has turned him into a popular name for open jobs as this season draws to a close. There is now a major opening at Oregon, and Fleck’s name has also come up in speculation about the Purdue job.
Beauregard said recently that Fleck had not spoken with other schools about coaching jobs, and Fleck says he tries to be open and honest with his players about the topic.
“We’re a very close-knit family here, and I believe they deserve to know what’s going on and what the truth really is,” he said. “I can’t hold them accountable for not telling me everything when I don’t tell them everything.”
No matter where he ends up next season, Fleck and his team have been on quite a journey.
“We don’t let the outside noise and pressure and different things really get in the way of the way that we operate each and every day,” Terrell said. “This culture was set from day one from Coach Fleck. We conduct ourselves in the same way that we did when we first started. We just change our best, and we continue to grow higher each and every day.”
More AP college football: www.collegefootball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP—Top25 .
Follow Noah Trister at www.Twitter.com/noahtrister
BALTIMORE (AP) — A tutor at a Baltimore school slammed a 7-year-old boy against a wall, leaving the child with injuries his parents report will require surgery, police said Wednesday.
The incident was recorded on school surveillance video and occurred Monday at City Springs Elementary/Middle School, authorities said.
Police spokesman T.J. Smith said at a news conference officers obtained warrants after reviewing the video.
The child was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Lateekqua Jackson, the boy’s mother, told WBAL-TV that her son is bruised, swollen, cut and is missing teeth.
“My son told me that (the tutor) threw my son into a wall,” Jackson said. “My son had dreams about it all last night. He’s still shaking in his sleep.”
Timothy Randall Korr, 25, of Baltimore, the tutor, was arrested Wednesday and charged with child abuse, assault, reckless endangerment and neglect of a minor. He was at Baltimore Central Booking and Intake Center awaiting a hearing before a court commissioner.
It could not immediately be determined if Korr has a lawyer.
School officials said in a statement that Korr worked for Baltimore Curriculum Project, a contractor. Korr has been fired, a spokesman for the project said.
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily on Wednesday:
Hess Corp., up $6.91 to $55.96
The price of oil jumped as OPEC countries moved closer to a deal to cut production.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc., up $7.54 to $219.29
Banks climbed as members of President-elect Donald Trump’s economic team talked about ways to make lending easier.
Duke Energy Corp., down $2.60 to $73.77
Bond yields rose and companies that pay large dividends similar to bonds, including REITs, traded lower.
Autodesk Inc., down $2.60 to $72.66
The design software company gave a weak revenue outlook for the current quarter.
Splunk Inc., up 24 cents to $57.62
The software company reported better third-quarter results than analysts had expected.
American Eagle Outfitters Inc., down $2.35 to $16.56
The teen clothing retailer forecast a disappointing profit in the current quarter, which includes the holiday shopping season.
Guidewire Software Inc., down $1.84 to $55.71
The provider of software to the insurance industry forecast weaker-than-expected profit and sales.
GoPro Inc., up 15 cents to $9.98
The company said holiday sales of its newest action video camera are strong, and said it will cut 200 jobs to reduce spending.
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Parties to the Syrian conflict have systematically disregarded the laws of war, showing time and again that they are willing to do anything to gain military advantage, the U.N. humanitarian chief said Wednesday.
Speaking via video-link from London, Stephen O’Brien told an emergency meeting of the Security Council that was nowhere more apparent than in the besieged city of eastern Aleppo with nearly a quarter of million people trapped inside.
“There are no limits or red lines left to cross. The rules of war — sacrosanct notions borne out of generations of costly and painful lessons and set more than 150 year ago in the First Geneva Convention — have been systematically disregarded in Syria,” O’Brien said.
O’Brien said some 25,000 people, most of them women and children, have been displaced from their homes since Saturday and that it is likely thousands more will flee in the coming days as Syrian forces step up their attack.
He said there was no longer any properly functioning hospital in eastern Aleppo, which has been under siege for nearly 150 days and that most of the people trapped inside don’t have the means to survive much longer.
He called on the Syrian government to allow the U.N. and its humanitarian partners unrestricted access to deliver food and medical aid.
Staffan de Mistura told the council that over the last two weeks, government forces have recaptured almost 40 percent of the area in Aleppo previously held by opposition groups forcing thousands to flee.
He said that his office has received credible reports of opposition groups preventing civilians from fleeing areas under their control. Also, he expressed concern that many fleeing the city, who are perceived to have links to the opposition, were being detained by government forces.