Summary of “Home Field Disadvantage”

According to data gathered by Baseball for All, approximately 100,000 girls play baseball at the junior level making up about 2 percent of total players.
Not to play baseball in the major leagues, but to play professionally.
The two most prominent former AAGPL players to attend were Maybelle Blair, who played for the Peoria Redwings, and Shirley Burkovich, who played for the Rockford Peaches, the team popularized in A League of Their Own.
Before the United States played Canada on the second night of the Super Round, Blair and Burkovich made their way down to the field.
“Women have played baseball forever. Girls are playing now.” On August 19, 2014, Mo’ne Davis was on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
Instead of playing on the world tournament-size field set by WBSC’s own regulations, the World Cup was played on a field 325 feet in every direction.
At the same time, no one seemed to know the tournament was happening despite the fact that the professional women’s softball team, which normally plays in that stadium, average around 2,500 fans at each of their 25 home games every year.
There is a village of people fighting for women’s baseball in America: the Rockford Peaches, the players, the parents of players, the fans.

The orginal article.

Summary of “It’s Time To Get Real About Digital Transformation.”

For these leaders, and others like them, the challenge has been to use digital transformation to establish or maintain product leadership.
How do you build a product leadership organization?(Hint: Digital transformation isn’t about going paperless).
Declarations like, “Many factors, such as the economy or the desirability of your products, that can affect a company’s success as much or more than its digital capabilities” or “It is multi-faceted and diffuse, and doesn’t just involve technology” don’t tell us how to do things differently.
It’s my strong opinion, backed by dozens of interviews, that companies embarking on a digital transformation are trying to apply company level strategies to a product level problem.
Once the product organization has established it’s own Product Vision and Product Strategy, the executive leadership needs to support that with the company-level capabilities and resources.
In the first year or two of a companies life, it’s very common for the CEO to also have the original product vision and to lead the day-to-day product conversation.
With the support of the CEO the company needs to focus it’s transformation efforts on the product level.
Warning: Product Experience Teams will only work if you have a clear Product Vision, a Product Strategy, Priorities and Metrics to measure outcomes.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why 536 was ‘the worst year to be alive'”

Ask medieval historian Michael McCormick what year was the worst to be alive, and he’s got an answer: “536.” Not 1349, when the Black Death wiped out half of Europe.
In Europe, “It was the beginning of one of the worst periods to be alive, if not the worst year,” says McCormick, a historian and archaeologist who chairs the Harvard University Initiative for the Science of the Human Past.
Temperatures in the summer of 536 fell 1.5°C to 2.5°C, initiating the coldest decade in the past 2300 years.
At a workshop at Harvard this week, the team reported that a cataclysmic volcanic eruption in Iceland spewed ash across the Northern Hemisphere early in 536.
Ever since tree ring studies in the 1990s suggested the summers around the year 540 were unusually cold, researchers have hunted for the cause.
Three years ago polar ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica yielded a clue.
Either way, the winds and weather systems in 536 must have been just right to guide the eruption plume southeast across Europe and, later, into Asia, casting a chilly pall as the volcanic fog “Rolled through,” Kurbatov says.
A century later, after several more eruptions, the ice record signals better news: the lead spike in 640.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How the Chicago Bulls Soundtracked Michael Jordan’s Dynasty”

Among the Bulls faithful, no introduction custom was more sacred than the goosebump-inducing announcement of their basketball god: “From North Carolina, at guard, 6-6, Michael Jordan!” With His Airness’s star in perpetual Jumpman-like ascent and national TV broadcasting the intro as the Bulls hoarded six championships in the ’90s, “Sirius” became a bona fide cultural phenomenon-not simply the soundtrack to one of the NBA’s most dominant dynasties, but a kind of sonic surrogate for sports triumph writ large.
David Brenner: The Bulls of the early ’80s had been, more often than not, one of the worst teams in the NBA. Then, of course, they drafted Michael Jordan and the team’s fortunes changed dramatically.
I told Bulls management, “People come out to see the stars-both the guys who play for the Bulls and the great players on the opposing team, like Dr. J, Magic, and Kareem. I want to make sure there’s a certain amount of respect given to these guys when I introduce them.” The Bulls said, “That’s all well and good, but make sure the big-time energy comes when you introduce the Bulls players.” I said, “Oh, absolutely.” So I started using the Pink Floyd instrumental “On the Run” from Dark Side of the Moon, which I had used at the radio station as a music bed for call-in contests.
My wife said, “That’d be a neat job. Why don’t you call the Bulls and see if they’re interested in giving you an audition?” I said, “I’d never get a job like that. But I’ll call.” A guy I happened to know at the Bulls said, “Send in a tape.” At that time, I worked as the campus recreation director at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
So the lights went out, the music started, the guy gave me a nudge and said, “Go.” I blurted out, “Aaaand now, the starting lineup for your Chicago Bulls!” The Bulls were touting Chicago Stadium as the noisiest arena in the NBA at that time, so I figured that I needed to give a good yell.
Edwards, speaking to the Chicago Sun-Times in 1992: Any time we’ve gotten a Bulls home game on TV out here , whether it’s NBC or cable, just as the Bulls introduction sequence starts, I make some lame excuse to my wife and kids and leave the family room until the intros are over.
Telander: Michael Jordan once told me Chicago Stadium gave the Bulls a five- to 10-point advantage.
J.A. Adande asked me, “How are you going to introduce him?” I said, “I assume the Bulls are gonna announce Michael Jordan how they always announce Michael Jordan.” But I hadn’t heard anything official.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How the Flyers Created Gritty, the Internet’s Most Beloved Mascot – Adweek”

The Flyers introduced Gritty at a private team media event on Sept. 13 and then officially set him loose Sept. 24 at an event with 600 kids.
With the costume built-and delivered just days before his first appearance-the team realized the performer behind the mask was taller than expected, leaving Gritty with what Heller called “Flamingo legs.” The solution? Put Gritty in a pair of hockey trousers.
Due to the unwritten rules of the mascot code, the Flyers couldn’t reveal who plays Gritty but said he came highly recommended by Dave Raymond, the original Phillie Phanatic.
According to Schwab, it’s “Not his first mascot rodeo.” While the marketing and social media team plans many of Gritty’s antics, Schwab credits the performer for bringing Gritty to life and creating viral moments on the fly like body-slamming a pile of stuffed shark toys at the aquarium before a game against the San Jose Sharks.
As the internet rage storm against Gritty started to dissipate and the tide turned to praising Gritty during his first actual day in existence, one of the pivotal moments came on Twitter.
“What’s a topic of interest and does it fit with Gritty and how do we play off of it?” The team uses Slack to kick around ideas and workshop them.
So at one month, Schwab said the team made that happen, posing Gritty with a sign that read, “BB Gritty 1 month old 9 lbs. 5,136 oz.”
Despite the incredible success, the Flyers do have one regret: Because they didn’t land on a final design until so close to the season, Tilger said, it didn’t leave the team enough time to produce Gritty merchandise.

The orginal article.

Summary of “4 Ways to Pressure-Test Strategic Decisions, Inspired by the U.S. Military”

Every leader wants to avoid major strategic mistakes in a complex world, it’s hard to anticipate all the forces that might impact your goal.
In the heat of battle, strategic planning that’s incomplete or simply wrong causes leaders to revert to on-the-spot decision making.
The same is true in business, and the techniques the military has honed can help executives anticipate problems and change course when necessary.
At Merck, where Jay served as Chief Strategy and Business Development Officer and President of Emerging Businesses, “Alternate realities” were used to prevent “Team think,” which frequently occurs when organizations believe the conventional view of a situation is the correct one.
For a long time, the military used planes primarily to increase visibility of topography and troop movements, but starting in the early 1900s, the military began using planes to delivery ordinance and to conduct warfare.
Frequently, these are ancillary assets or capabilities that are often considered to be a “Cost of doing business.” These could include a controlled global supply chain, unique abilities to test compounds, proprietary communication channels with key constituents, unique manufacturing machinery, etc.
Consider inviting a senior leader to judge the readout, and offering a cash bonus or team recognition for the winning team, or both.
At Merck, the strategic initiative group often came up with alternate decisions and actions on key business issues.

The orginal article.

Summary of “World’s oldest intact shipwreck discovered in Black Sea”

Archaeologists have found what they believe to be the world’s oldest intact shipwreck at the bottom of the Black Sea where it appears to have lain undisturbed for more than 2,400 years.
The five metre vessel, thought to be ancient Greek, was discovered with its mast, rudders and rowing benches all present and correct just over a mile below the surface.
“A ship surviving intact from the classical world, lying in over 2km of water, is something I would never have believed possible,” said Professor Jon Adams, the principal investigator with the Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project, the team that made the find.
The ship is believed to have been a trading vessel of a type that researchers say has only previously been seen “On the side of ancient Greek pottery such as the ‘Siren Vase’ in the British Museum”.
The team reportedly said they intended to leave the vessel where it was found, but added that a small piece had been carbon dated by the University of Southampton and claimed the results “Confirmed [it] as the oldest intact shipwreck known to mankind”.
The team said the data would be published at the Black Sea MAP conference at the Wellcome Collection in London later this week.
It was among more than 60 shipwrecks found by the international team of maritime archaeologists, scientists and marine surveyors, which has been on a three-year mission to explore the depths of the Black Sea to gain a greater understanding of the impact of prehistoric sea-level changes.
The documentary team made a two-hour film that is due to be shown at the British Museum on Tuesday.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Origins of All 30 NBA Team Names”

Why is a team in Los Angeles nicknamed the Lakers, and what’s a team called the Jazz doing in Utah? Here’s the story behind the nicknames of all 30 teams.
Team owner Walter Brown personally chose Celtics over Whirlwinds, Olympians, and Unicorns as the nickname for Boston’s Basketball Association of America team in 1946.
According to Michael Leo Donovan’s book on team nicknames, Yankees to Fighting Irish: What’s Behind Your Favorite Team’s Name, the Pacers’ nickname was decided upon in 1967 by the team’s original investors, including attorney Richard Tinkham.
When the team relocated to Memphis before the 2001-02 season, FedEx was prepared to offer the Grizzlies $100 million to rename the team the Express, but the NBA rejected the proposal.
Team founder Ned Irish reportedly made the decision to call the team the Knickerbockers-supposedly after pulling the name out of a hat.
In 1970, Portland was granted an expansion franchise in the NBA and team officials announced a name-the-team contest.
Another popular entry was Trail Blazers, whose logo is supposed to represent five players on one team playing against five players from another team.
The ownership group of Toronto’s prospective expansion team conducted extensive marketing research across Canada in 1994 and held a nationwide vote that helped team officials come up with a list of potential nicknames.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Present Is Prologue: What to Watch for in the Upcoming NBA Season”

The 82-game NBA regular season may drag along at times, but it’s what you make of it.
I’m watching the 2018-19 NBA season with an eye on how the present will set the slate for the future.
Ler is expected to play in the Wolves’ season opener on Wednesday, but team owner Glen Taylor “Came to an agreement” with Butler that the front office will continue to seek a trade, The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski reported Sunday.
A productive exhibition season can be predictive of a successful young career-whether it was Nikola Jokic in 2015, Joel Embiid in 2016, or Kyle Kuzma and Donovan Mitchell last year.
Losing Redick would hurt a roster that’s thirsty for floor spacers to surround its young centerpieces-none of whom are credible outside threats entering the season.
Part of me even wonders if Shamet, who can seamlessly operate within an offense on and off the ball, might help fill the void that Fultz left last season better than Fultz can this season.
Even higher-profile players like Hassan Whiteside and Cody Zeller are getting into the fun, attempting a combined six triples after only five last season.
The 2018-19 season is about far more than this season.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What to Do If Your Team Is Too Busy to Take On New Work”

When I have asked “Why can’t we do more with our existing budget?” the answer is usually, “My team is telling me that they’re all too busy with existing initiatives and do not have capacity to take on anything new.”
As a leader, how do you know whether your team really needs more resources, or whether they could be working more efficiently?
Eliminate Work: Are there tasks that the team is doing that are no longer needed?
In one of my past organizations, we uncovered that team members were spending up to 40% of their time on internal projects rather than customer-facing projects.
To figure out why, we asked team members to provide the names of all their projects, the purpose of these projects, when the projects had started, and how close they were to completion.
As a result, team members continued to work on projects that were inconsistent with our current business goals.
These changes allowed each team to launch more campaigns.
Our team members were able to engage with a larger number of customers to meet our growing needs.

The orginal article.