Trinity keeps heteronormative marriage system

first_imgThe controversy surrounding the Trinity College student marriage system continues as efforts by the College’s JCR Council to reform the system were comprehensively defeated.A motion, which was put before the Trinity JCR on Sunday 9th November, specified, “This JCR would introduce a ‘free marriage’ system instead of the current marriage ballot,” aiming to reform a marriage system labelled “antediluvian”, “past it” and “no longer fit for purpose” by students speaking to Cherwell.The current Trinity marriage system operates through a random ballot. In effect, every marriage is ‘arranged’, with the JCR President responsible for drawing names from a hat. The system is designed to promote an inclusive college atmosphere so that no-one feels ostracized by the college marriage system.This term, however, students have criticised the ballot system, calling it “heteronormative”, “thoughtless”, and “oppressive”. One Trinity student told Cherwell, “This system seems to me far too rigid. There isn’t enough flexibility — what if I end up with someone I can’t stand?” Another explained, “This actually makes me quite angry. The college assumes we have no social skills and have to be forced together — it’s all very medieval.”In 3rd Week’s JCR meeting, one student reported not having met his college father for two years, whilst others pushed for the introduction of an opt-out system, arguing a sizeable bloc opposed college marriages altogether.Tensions flared over whether it was better to have college parents who were friends or for them to be chosen randomly so as to be more diverse. Another claimed that he had never met his wife before their ‘forced’ marriage, and one man claimed his parents had never met.The marriage ‘opt-out’ system was adopted 30 votes to seven following the meeting.However, subsequent attempts to reform the system have come unstuck. On Sunday 9th  November Eleanor Roberts proposed that Trinity JCR switch to a ‘free marriage’ system.They issued the following guidance, “Every member of the JCR will be free to marry whomever they want, with marriages arranged solely by the prospective couples. Marriage proposals may be made at any time from the start of Hilary Term of first year onwards.“Each second year who has not opted out of the college children system will then be assigned, independent of marital status, one college child from the same subject.”However, the motion failed with 18 votes for and 39 against. The defeat seems to suggest that the agitation expressed by some quarters of Trinity is far from representative of its entire JCR. One first year student present at the vote informed Cherwell, “This is a victory for democracy — it just goes to show those who shout loudest don’t always win.”Eleanor Roberts, Trinity JCR President, told Cherwell that she could not “comment on the opinions of JCR individuals regarding the results of these motions”.The motion’s failure was met with consternation amongst LGBTQ campaigners across Oxford. Annie Teriba, co-editor of NoHeterOx**, which campaigns for gender and LGBTQ equality, told Cherwell, “I would like to think that  opposition to the proposal was based on the concerns raised in the 2nd Week meeting that an opt out system will leave students with apathetic parents.“Still, gendered marriages force non-binary people to be mis-gendered; that is not okay. They still contribute to a heteronormative culture in which queerness is seen as beyond the realm of the acceptable. Trinity, at the very least, please de-gender your balloting process.’An anonymous Trinity student suggested, “Many members of Trinity JCR are frankly outraged by this decision. It’s oppressive and suggests that a mixed gender family is the only viable unit.”She added, “Many of my friends were stuck with people they didn’t particularly like as spouses — I feel like our complaints have just been railroaded.”last_img read more

Pie firm rebrands to avoid legal dispute

first_imgA Cardiff pie shop has been forced to rebrand following a trademark dispute with another pie business, owned by members of the same family.Previously, the two pie shops, both known as Clark’s Pies – on Bromsgrove Street in Grangetown and Cowbridge Road in Canton – operated under a ‘gentleman’s agreement’, as two separate companies, but using a mutually agreed trademark. Both businesses were run by descendants of the founder Mary Clark.However in 2005, a new trademark was registered to the Clark’s Pie family in Grangetown, which excluded anyone in Wales using the words ‘Clark’s Pie’, including the business trading on Cowbridge Road.The trademark ‘CLARPIE’ is stamped on the bottom of Clark’s Original Pies.In June 2010, the two outlets announced a proposed merger, but the Cowbridge Road outlet pulled out of the deal, and went on to rebrand itself as Mary Clark’s Pie Company in May 2011 in an attempt to “retain some reference to the trading heritage of the business, its family name and create a separate identity from the shop in Grangetown”.Clark’s Pies in Grangetown then said they felt this led to a lot of confusion and might damage its brand, adding it had no choice but to take legal action. Its decision prompted the Mary Clark’s Pie Company shop on Cowbridge Road to rebrand as Victoria Park Pie Company.Amanda Rosoman of Clark’s Pies in Grangetown, a great grand-daughter of original founder Mary Clark, said: “Being such a tight-knit family business, it’s incredibly sad that we have had to take action against our former partnered outlet, but the survival of the original Clark’s Pie brand, which my great-grandmother founded almost 100 years ago, is of the utmost importance.“Unfortunately, the confusion that ensued following the rebrand of Mary Clark’s Pies forced us to take legal action to prevent any further damage to our original Clark’s Pies brand.”Ceri Dutch-John, also a great grand-daughter Mary Clark, from Victoria Park Pie Company, added: “This has been a very hard decision, because legally we’re in breach of trademark law and, to prevent the risk of any further legal action being taken against us, we’ve made the difficult choice to relinquish trading under our family name.”last_img read more

Creating that loving feeling: Building loyalty by making it easy

first_img 52SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Cynthia Campbell Cynthia is a Credit Union Development Educator (CUDE), she holds a BS in Business Administration and an MBA from Elmhurst College in Illinois, and a master’s degree in Adult … Web: www.balancepro.org Details Remember that scene in Top Gun when Tom Cruise sings, “You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling” in the bar? All of us are working so hard to create that loving feeling and make sure our members never lose it. In this increasingly complex and fast moving time, making it easy to use the credit union is the clearest path to creating that love that lasts.One example of this is my Delta Gold AMEX card. Yes, I know it is not a credit union card and I do have a bit of guilt about that. While my mortgage, HELOC, checking and savings are all with a credit union, as a frequent flyer I am rewards chaser and I could not find a credit union credit card with rewards that match my lifestyle. I think I will talk more about that in my next article. Anyway, I booked a trip to Key West last August and ten days before my trip, in mid-December, I received an email from them letting me know I was ready for my trip. They used data they already had about me, airline and hotel purchases made with the AMEX card, to provide additional service. They informed me that they updated my file to reflect my travel and there was no need for me to contact them to let them know I would be making purchases from Key West. They reminded me to download their mobile app and enable push notifications to enable them to alert me of potential fraudulent activity on my account and, in many cases, allow me to resolve concerns instantly. Guess which card I used on vacation?Whenever I have an experience that causes me to have that loving feeling with a company and pledge my loyalty, I ask myself, “How can credit unions create that Tom Cruise moment for their members?”Let’s look at this email through the lens of offering more value to the credit union member.Big Data – Credit unions already collect a ton of data on their members. Data can come from applications, transactions, and conversations. Many credit unions use “big data” to send targeted promotional offers to specific members which is great for growing the credit union. Fewer credit unions use “big data” to increase service and reduce member effort, like AMEX did in the example above. How might your credit union use the data you collect to better serve the member?Digital Strategies and the Omni-Channel Experience – The email I received had links to their website, a link to download their mobile app, and a toll free phone number specific for gold card holders. I had channel choices and I have used all three channels, which are all integrated with each other. The power of a well designed website and easy to use mobile app allows me to take care of my needs 24/7. It makes my life easier when I can serve myself, not to mention that it increases operational efficiencies because it frees up staff to help members who need more consultative services. Are your website and mobile app easy to use? Is your call center well versed in these digital channels? Have you watched a member use your website and mobile app? Is it as intuitive as your web designer thinks it is?Ease of Use – When we reduce the effort the member has to exert to join the credit union, apply for a loan, or resolve a problem it creates loyalty. That increases when we anticipate their unspoken needs. When was the last time your credit union looked at the critical member experiences with the goal of understanding the member journey? Doing this can help you identifying the pain points and focus on making using the credit union effortless.Credit unions chase that loving feeling that leads to loyalty because loyal members use more products and services and thus are more profitable. The member experience is more than a smile during a transaction. It starts with your website, the first place people go to research your credit union’s products, it continues with the smart use of “big data” and wins the hearts of members by making their financial life easy. Make 2016 the year that your members melt into that loving feeling for your credit union through that powerfully easy member experience..Filene Research Institute has studied these important topics and invites you to explore them too. Below are some Filene Research Institute resources for your exploration.Big DataBig Data and Credit Unions: Machine Learning in Member TransactionsRightsizing Big Data for Credit UnionsDigital Strategies and the Omni-Channel Digital Lessons From Amazon: Credit Unions and the Online ExperienceOnline and Mobile Channels: Strategies of High-Performing Credit UnionsChannel Delivery for TomorrowChannel Costs and Member BehaviorFilene’s Digital Strategies Advisory ServicesEase of UseMember Effort Benchmarking: Measuring Ease of Use – Report available January 27th at Filene.OrgFilene’s Member Journey Advisory Serviceslast_img read more

Fire engulfs home of Kennedy in Kingshill

first_imgLocalNews Fire engulfs home of Kennedy in Kingshill by: – September 26, 2011 Firefighters attempting to extinguish the fire this afternoon while neighbors looking on.Information reaching Dominica Vibes News indicates that the home of Kennedy better known as “Larry” in the village of Upper Kingshill has been engulfed by fire.Eyewitness reports indicate that the fire started between 1:00 and 1:30 pm this afternoon at which time the owner of the house was not present.Eyewitness reports also indicate that the house has been completely gutted by the fire and it is not clear whether items were salvaged.Dominica Vibes News are trying to reach the Fire Department for further details and clarification and will provide the same as soon as they become available.Dominica Vibes News Share Sharing is caring! Sharecenter_img Share Tweet 34 Views   2 commentslast_img read more

MESSENGERS OF PEACE

first_imgAs we commence our weekly article for 2017, we offer you a heart full of peace. January brings the New Year and the annual right of starting over such as adopting resolutions, setting goals and looking ahead. Like many people, I look at January as a time of renewal, a time to look back, take stock and also look ahead.Looking back, it is our hope that Liberia as a nation would spend more money this year on peace consolidation initiatives than it would spend on its military defense program because we would all benefit on programs that socially uplift young people and women.Forward looking, Twenty Seventeen is a critical period that would make or mar our peacebuilding and peace consolidation efforts. It would make Liberia, if it conducts a free, fair and transparent election in which all accepts the results of the elections. On the hand, it would mar and erode the peace progress over the last fourteen years if the conduct of the elections is contested and the results are unacceptable to all.The participation of young people in the democratic process is crucial, as young people of voting age need to share their views, participate and vote. We need to keep our democracy alive if we want our democracy to thrive. The upcoming Presidential elections should be a pinprick to our collective conscience, reminding us that broad and peaceful involvement by all of us is a sure way that peace is sustained.There’s an old Japanese saying that “for want a nail the steed was lost and for want of a steed, the horse was lost and for want of a horse the message was lost, for want of undelivered message the war was lost.” It is on this note that we would like to encourage as well as mobilize all young Liberians to turn their passion for development (in 2017) into a passion for ensuring peace in Liberia. Young people need to come up with a new strategy for peace, as the generation coming behind would ask what we did to ensure global peace.Throughout the rest of the year, the operations of our 20 volunteers in MOP-Liberia will gradually evolve from encouraging young people to contribute to this column (for which a sum of L$10,000 would be given monthly to each published article), to several capacity building programs for youths, including peace summer camp, peace entrepreneurship and managing other programs for the peaceful conduct of the presidential and parliamentary elections in October 2017. This article would remain incomplete if we remiss to acknowledge The Liberian Daily Observer for the platform created through ‘Dialogue among Peace Messengers’ to promote peace in Liberia. On love, peace and war, Martin Luther King Jr. said “I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.” In the End, he went on to say, “We will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends” Until next week when we come to you with part 2 of “Harnessing the latent energy of youth for peaceful elections”, it is peace above all else, peace first, may peace prevail in our time.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Facebook Forms New Safety Advisory Board

first_imgSocial networking site Facebook has just announced the formation of the “Facebook Safety Advisory Board,” a group of five Internet safety organizations that will council the company on all issues related to online safety. The board members will review Facebook’s current safety-related procedures and documentation as well as make suggestions regarding best practices and other procedures. Although the company has sought council from many of the participating organizations in the past, this new board formalizes those relationships so Facebook can gather even more feedback as to how they can improve safety on their site. Facebook is Determined Not to Go the MySpace Route What killed MySpace? One could argue it was a combination of factors, but at the top of the list was spam, cyberbullying and sex offenders. A friend request from a pretty girl on MySpace was, at best, spam for an adult-oriented business and, at worst, an attempted virus attack. Cyberbullying, a crime that affected as many as a third of all teen Internet users as of 2007, became even more of a hot topic when a particular incident led to the suicide of a 13-year-old girl. And even though MySpace kicked out 90,000 registered sex offenders in February of this year, it wasn’t actually good PR for the company; concerned parents were shocked there were that many in the first place. Meanwhile, MySpace visitor counts declined to the lowest levels ever this year.Facebook is determined not to go the same route as its predecessor when it comes to online safety. From day one, the site has been more careful about who can join their network than MySpace ever was. Based on a “real-name” culture, Facebook users have to sign up with their real names, not their nicknames. They can’t set up fake profiles, either. In addition, the company recently announced a series of privacy controls for its users, which will allow even more protections regarding what content is shared and with who. And as the Facebook press release noted, the company has been working to keep sex offenders off the site and has participated in various task forces and campaigns regarding online safety. About the Global Advisory BoardWith the formation of this new advisory board – which includes members from Common Sense Media, ConnectSafely, WiredSafety, Childnet International and The Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) – Facebook hopes to stretch their safety initiatives even further than before. The first task the board will address is an overhaul of the safety-related content hosted on the site’s Help Center. Currently the page details Facebook’s policies regarding safety, privacy and abuse, but the Q&A section only contains 12 questions. The overhaul will expand this one-page help center to become what the company describes as “a comprehensive resource with specific educational content for parents, teachers, and teens.”Future initiatives will involve addressing other safety and privacy concerns, especially those affecting young children. Facebook says it plans on meeting with the advisory board regularly. Hopefully, that means that Facebook will vet new features through the board prior to launching in order to avoid privacy disasters like the all-too-revealing Beacon advertising system of the past. However, the company will need to be careful about letting safety concerns stifle future innovation. Keep in mind that hundreds of thousands of users declared the Facebook News Feed, now one of the site’s most valuable features, an invasive and unwanted breech of trust when it launched. What would the council have said about the News Feed? Make it opt-in only? That would have dramatically changed what Facebook is today, if so.Still, Facebook today seems like a company that’s smart enough to toe that thin line between between innovation and disaster, likely in part due to its missteps in the past. Meanwhile, the new advisory board should help the company sustain their continued growth by making sure that new users have the resources they need to feel safe and protected. Related Posts A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Tags:#Facebook#news#NYT#web center_img Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification sarah perezlast_img read more

Small Camera, Big Potential: GoPro Hero 4 Black

first_imgGoPro for a documentary? We share our initial thoughts on the Hero 4.For quite sometime I have resisted the urge to purchase a GoPro. As a filmmaker I just didn’t see the need for it most of the time. However as I began to work on more  documentary projects my interest was piqued. Is a GoPro suitable for doc filmmaking, and if so, in what ways?Going into my latest documentary film production I finally decided to take the plunge and purchase a GoPro Hero4 Black. I do not regret the purchase. Not for a second. Here is a nice in-depth review of the Hero4 Black from MW Technology.Please note that while I will be sharing my experience with the Hero4 Black, I will not be sharing footage at this time per request of the director of the documentary.Digging Into The Camera And Finding Its LimitsI really wanted to push the limits of the camera and see what it could do at each setting. I found the controls of the camera easy enough, but relied heavily on the GoPro App to control the camera. This worked great. The picture quality in the app is not exactly what the final product will look like, but its streaming over a wi-fi signal and is to be expected. Plus it gives you access to control all the settings and even look back at what you had just shot.Now the image quality for 1080 and 1440 looked great for such a small form factor, but it was identical to what I had seen GoPro’s produce before, particularly in the 2012 documentary film Leviathan. So, I jumped into 2.7K and began filming in wide and medium mode. Medium mode got rid of the wide angle lens look and made the image look a bit more in conjunction with DSLRs we were using for the shoot. The only HFR I used on the shoot was 50fps in 2.7K, which impressed me quite a bit especially after just filming some 48fps 3k footage back in October for another film.While I ended up using 2.7K for the most part I did use 4K for some travel sequences. I was warned ahead of time by another filmmaker to not run 4K for a long period of time. I started by filming at 4K for just over 7 minutes but quickly found out what he was talking about – the camera was incredibly hot to the touch (which could likely damage it). From then on I would film between 2 to 3 minute bursts, which is not ideal for documentaries, but worked to keep the camera temp from becoming an issue.Battery Draining Can Be An IssueGoing back to the use of 4K and the GoPro app – while I found both to be an awesome upgrade, it drains the battery like there is no tomorrow. The GoPro app drained the battery of my iPhone so much that I just ended up keeping it on a car charger during the travel sequences. I see a purchase of the GoPro LCD Touch BacPac or new iPad Mini in my future for sure.I also found the batteries of the Hero4 Black to be very short on life. In one day, or five hour span, I went through all four batteries that I had purchased for the shoot. It also took at least two hours to fully charge the batteries. Worth noting that a lot of that battery drainage is due to me filming in 2.7k and 4k at high frame rates.GoPro App and Wi-Fi Connectivity Is ImpressiveConnecting to the camera over wi-fi through the GoPro App is impressive. There is a little lag between the camera and the app, but its minimal and the range exceeded my expectations. Between 20 to 30 yards the connection to the camera is decent, but once you get to around 50 yards I found that I would easily lose preview and connectivity. The app itself is easy to control and allows you to fully explore that options of the camera.Within the app you can set your resolution, FPS, Field of View and Protune, which opens up a bevy of options. You can adjust the white balance between 3000k to 6500k. The color temp can be set to GoPro Color or flat, which is what you want for grading. then you can set your ISO from 400 to 6400. There are also a number of other feature and tools that will help with time-lapse and multi-shot photography.Rethinking Future PurchasesAfter spending a lot of time using the Hero4 Black, and coming out of that time extremely impressed with the camera, I have given a great deal of thought to my next camera purchase. With several projects upcoming within the new year, I’ve had to look at purchasing an additional 4K camera to run next to the RED Scarlet. For some time I had been looking at the Blackmagic Design 4K Production Camera, however its lack of any HFR has kept me from that purchase. But with the Hero4 Black’s ability to capture a great image in HFR 2.7K I feel confident that I can now save that money, buy the BMPC and go into my next shoot with complete confidence.In the end the GoPro Hero4 Black is great little camera that packs a serious punch. There is so much potential for filmmakers when using the GoPro like the ability to get amazing crane and high moving shots with the Phantom by DJI or capturing Steadicam type shots with the 3-axis gimbal Feiyu FY-G3.But future potential isn’t just strictly for filmmakers. With the introduction of the Oculus Rift the Tutorial Bay began testing a way of using the GoPro in a unique way. Using a combination of the Oculus Rift, GoPro Hero4 and Adrunio, Tutorial Bay was able to create the very first third-person image capturing setup.Have you had any experience with the GoPro Hero 4? Share in the comments below.last_img read more

D-League: Akari-Adamson bounces back, fends off late rally from Go for Gold

first_imgRead Next PBA IMAGESAkari-Adamson survived a late flurry from Go for Gold to take the 98-92 victory Tuesday in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup at Pasig Sports Center.Sean Manganti chipped in 14 markers, eight coming in the payoff period to halt the uprising from the Scratchers, while also collecting seven boards and two dimes in the bounce back win.ADVERTISEMENT NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC AKARI-ADAMSON 98 — Espeleta 24, Manganti 14, Lojera 13, Lastimosa 12, Ahanmisi 11, Sarr 10, Catapusan 4, Buenaventura 3, Bernardo 2, Hill 2, Macion 2, Mojica 1, Camacho 0, Longalong 0.GO FOR GOLD 92 — Alejandro 19, Salem 15, Dixon 12, Gutang 12, Casiño 9, Domingo 6, Gaco 6, Leutcheu 6, Pasturan 3, Naboa 2, Pili 2, Young 0.Quarters: 32-18, 56-40, 74-60, 98-92. AFP official booed out of forum Falcons coach Franz Pumaren isn’t worried too much on how his side blew the large lead admitting that they are still “groping for form.”“We’re process of experimenting. We have six new guys in our team and we’re trying to make sure they all get minutes,” he said as Akari-Adamson rose to 2-1. “That’s why we’re here, so that we can explore what the players are capable of doing and preparing us for the bigger leagues.”Alejandro dropped 11 of his 19 points in the payoff period fightback as he shot 5-of-7 from three, while Salem flirted with a double-double with his 15 markers, nine rebounds, and four assists.Go for Gold, which fell to its second defeat, dropped to a 1-2 slate.The Scores:ADVERTISEMENT Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games PLAY LIST 03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City LATEST STORIES Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises It was Jonathan Espeleta, though, who set the tone for the Falcons, firing 19 of his 24 points in the first quarter. He also had five rebounds and two rebounds.Kurt Lojera chipped in 13 points, five rebounds, and four assists, while Jerom Lastimosa had 12.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutEspeleta couldn’t do anything wrong in the opening frame as his early explosion allowed Akari-Adamson to grab an 18-3 start which extended to 25, 69-44 in the third quarter.J-Jay Alejandro and Matt Salem, though, helped Go for Gold fight back and trim the deficit down to just six, 86-80, with less than four minutes to play before Jerrick Ahanmisi and Manganti sealed the game shut John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Gilas Pilipinas pressed for time again 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting View commentslast_img read more

Baseball Positions Are Starting To Lose Their Meaning

This means that individual defensive efforts are becoming less and less involved in the outcome of games. For example, the combined assists and putouts of shortstops have declined by 13 percent since 2007, from 21,495 in 2007 to a projected mark of around 19,000 this season. Second basemen saw 23,704 combined chances in 2007 compared with 21,057 last season. Center fielders caught 12,829 fly balls in 2007. They grabbed 11,437 last season.If there are fewer defensive chances available, teams can make the argument that it’s more valuable to chase runs, particularly in an era of launch angle, juiced balls and smaller stadiums.This season, 68 players have made “primary” position changes, playing the majority of their innings at a different position than they played last season. Thirty of those players graduated to more difficult defensive positions — both of those marks are five-year highs. Players who moved up the defensive spectrum include Manny Machado, who moved from third base to shortstop in Baltimore earlier this season and stayed at short when he was traded to Los Angeles last month. The Cubs at times dispatched Kris Bryant to center field in 2015, ’16 and ’17. The Reds experimented with moving their top prospect, Nick Senzel, from third to shortstop this spring. The Indians, whose pitchers set a record for strikeouts last season, played second baseman Jason Kipnis in center field at the end of the regular season and in the American League Division Series against the Yankees — Kipnis hadn’t played center regularly since he played at Arizona State.The Indians have also sent Lonnie Chisenhall and Brandon Guyer to center field over the past two years. “There are always trade-offs between offense and defense,” Bloom said. “When there are trade-offs, you try to take note of all those factors, including the environment, and make the best assessment you can.”The decline of balls being put in play is not the only leaguewide trend testing the traditional value and labels of defense. This era of specialization has required the erosion of primary positions.Individual pitchers are absorbing fewer innings. Roles are changing. They Rays introduced “the opener” earlier this season, a new label attached to a relief pitcher who starts a game but only appears for an inning or two. For several seasons, the Rays have rarely let their starting pitchers work through an opposing lineup three or more times. Only 15 pitchers reached 200 innings last season, which tied 2016 for the all-time low mark. More roster spots are being occupied by bullpen arms to absorb innings and seek favorable in-game matchups. Position-player roster spots are further stretched by the popularity of platoons.“You see teams using more platoons, defensive replacements late in games,” Kipnis said this spring. “You put in the offensive guy early, you get the lead … and he comes out for a better defensive player. It’s kind of the reverse of having a pinch-hitter come in late, basically.”The Cubs’ Ben Zobrist is the 21st-century poster child of defensive versatility. He wasn’t just a glove-first utility player asked to fill in around the diamond earlier in his career in Tampa Bay; he was a star-level bat who could play about anywhere on the field.“I think one of the things that made Ben so successful here was his willingness and selflessness to go do it and be an upper-echelon player,” Bloom said. “It set an example for a lot of guys in the league.”This season has seen a record number of Zobrists. Six players have appeared in at least one game this season at every position other than pitcher and catcher: Marwin Gonzalez, Enrique Hernandez, Yadiel Rivera, Sean Rodriguez, Andrew Romine and Hernan Perez.Last year, 25 players played at least 10 games in left, right and center field, an MLB record. The number of players to play at least 10 games at second, third and shortstop in a given season is on the rise, too, with a record 20 players doing so in 2016. The top 12 such seasons have all occurred since 2000. A record 27 players played at least 10 games at third and shortstop in 2016, and the 24 players to do so in 2017 tied for second all-time.Oakland infielder Jed Lowrie has played every infield position in his career and both second and third this season. “You are still going to want your elite defenders in the middle of the field,” he told FiveThirtyEight. “That’s where the majority of the action happens. But versatility allows a team to match up in more favorable ways.”Also warping the traditional idea of positions and labels is alignment.Defensive shifts have become a common part of the game and changed the meaning of what it is to play second base or shortstop. This trend began when the Brewers and Rays ushered regular infield shifts into the game in the early 2010s. When shortstops are routinely playing on the right side of second base and second basemen are sometimes playing shallow right field, they cease to become traditional shortstops and second basemen. And alignment has only become more extreme, creative and aggressive. In April, Seattle second baseman Robinson Cano began a pitch 221 feet away from home plate against Texas slugger Joey Gallo, which was the farthest back an infielder had aligned in the Statcast era, according to Daren Willman of Baseball Savant.2The average second baseman stands 151 feet from home plate.In 2015, MLB teams played four-man outfields on 17 occasions, according to Statcast data. There were nine instances of four-man outfields in 2016 and seven last season. This year? The number has jumped to 194. The Rockies, Cubs, Twins, Dodgers, Orioles, Mariners and Astros have all experimented with this tactic.There are limits to versatility and stretching labels. Russell Carleton found for Baseball Prospects earlier this month that the defensive spectrum might need rethinking, arguing that positions are skill-specific and that the penalty of moving some players to more challenging positions is greater. “Each position is its own box and the boxes are a lot less similar to each other than we might have thought,” Carleton wrote. Carleton found that over a 162-game season, sliding an “emergency” shortstop up the spectrum cost a club about 26 runs — more severe than the generally accepted penalty of 20 runs surrendered between position leaps on the spectrum.Certain positions require certain skills and physical traits. Second baseman and shortstops require quick and capable hands to turn double-plays and react to line drives and grounders hit in excess of 110 mph off the bat. To competently man the position, shortstops should be able to make a throw to first from the deep hole between shortstop and third. Still, given the right strikeout and ballpark environment, and with enough offensive production, moving certain players up the spectrum can add value.“I don’t think we’ll get to the point where those elite skill sets and athleticism won’t be prized,” Bloom said. “It think that’s always going to be something teams look for.”But where those players play, and what we label them, will likely continue to evolve. The game is changing more quickly than ever, and so are positions as teams attempt to adapt. Just as the Brewers brought defensive shifts to the NL earlier in the decade, they now have the game thinking about the nature of positions, labels and trade-offs once again.Check out our latest MLB predictions. On Aug. 3, shortly after being acquired by Milwaukee in a deadline deal from Baltimore, Jonathan Schoop found himself in an unusual position on the Miller Park infield. For just the third time in his six-year career, he was starting at shortstop. He wasn’t alone that day. His middle-infield teammate, Travis Shaw, was starting just his fourth game at second base — a position he had never played as a professional before this season.The Brewers had a surplus of corner bats entering the year, and they added even more at the trade deadline, bringing aboard third baseman Mike Moustakas from Kansas City. At this point, they have more starting-caliber infielders than positions available. This is all part of a grand Brewers experiment as they chase a playoff spot: Trade defense for offense and cram as much power into their infield as possible.In other major sports, positional labels have become less and less important, so why not baseball? In the NBA, centers and power forwards now routinely shoot threes, in part to increase their offensive efficiency. Defensive versatility, the ability to switch, is more and more valued. In the NFL, teams like the Patriots have valued positional versatility. And position labels are increasingly becoming irrelevant in professional baseball.“I do think you are seeing a greater willingness by teams to expand the definition of what’s possible and not be as bound by the way things have always been,” Chaim Bloom, the vice president of player development for the Tampa Bay Rays, told FiveThirtyEight.This is more feasible now in part because of the current baseball landscape. Strikeouts continue to climb: 22.1 percent of plate appearances this season have ended in a K, which would set a new record. Strikeouts are up half a percentage point over last season — equivalent to more than 800 balls taken out of play. Moreover, a record number of home runs were hit last season, and while while home run rates are down, 5,000-plus balls will be hit out of ballparks by the end of this year.Strikeouts and home runs are putting a considerable damper on the number of batted balls put in play, which were down 14.5 percent last season compared with 1980.1Adjusted for the number of teams in the majors. Since 1998, when the game expanded to 30 teams, there’s been an 8.8 percent decline, and the decline was 7.8 percent since 2008. The trend is expected to continue again this season. read more