Walk talk: He’s not gonna take it

White Sox hitting coach Greg Walker insists that the team isn’t struggling as much at the plate as many believe. (US PRESSWIRE)

DETROIT – The Chicago White Sox opened the season on fire, pounding out 23 runs in their first two games and 40 in the first five. In the last 11 games, the Sox are hitting just .201 with 32 runs scored.

Pardon hitting coach Greg Walker for being a little irritated at not being chatted up when times were good and being under fire since they’ve turned.

“Actually, our scuffles are way overblown,” Walker said. “We’re averaging five [4.7, in fact] runs a game . We’re fourth in the league in runs scored. We’ve got a couple of high-profile guys who haven’t got going yet. One of them got operated on a week ago [actually April 6]. I’m not worried. We’re good. We’re  red bull hatsaveraging five runs a game and we got two of our big boys not even started. I’m just sort of sick of the negative s—, I really am. We’re not that bad.”

Overall, the White Sox are hitting .251, with a tumbling .710 OPS. Just two regulars, Carlos Quentin (1.107) and Paul Konerko (.943) are producing beyond expectations so far.

Both Walker and manager Ozzie Guillen have pointed to the fearsome starting pitching the White Sox have faced over the past week as a reason for the offensive cooling.

“We faced the toughest pitching,” Walker said. “You [media] said that, and you guys are smart. Sit down and figure out who is going to be [pitching] in the All-Star Game … Have we faced any of them? Or all of them? We’re good. We’re doing good. We’ve scored more runs off these tough guys than anyone  Los Angeles Dodgers caps else is doing off any of them. We have had a tough stretch against tough pitching. We scored some runs off them. We’re battling. We’re not giving them away.”

Guillen is fond of praising the offense’s “battling,” as well, often citing long at-bats that may even end in an out. But there is a fallacy in the “facing aces” argument—it’s Chicago’s poor showing against them that helps build their cases as aces. 

Rallying behind the offense is fine and predictable, but to round up everyone the White Sox are facing, including raw rookie Tyler Chatwood of the Los Angeles Angels, is disingenuous. Even Walker realizes there are some limits.

“There’s been one game where I was disappointed in our focus and effort, the second game against Anaheim [vs. Chatwood on April 16],” he said. “Other than that, our guys have been there battling, got a couple high profile guys scuffling a bit. But overall, we’re scoring runs. We’re doing fine. When we do get everyone healthy … overall, I don’t look at this as being a negative situation as it’s been portrayed. I don’t see it that way.”

Dunn’s Feel

Adam Dunn
 is first on the list of White Sox fan’s concerns, first because of his health (due to his April 6 appendectomy), second due to his struggles at the plate since.

“I’ve been up, and I’ve been down,” the affable slugger said. “It will even itself out.”

Dunn has 22 strikeouts and carries a .620 OPS into Saturday’s action. His .293 on-base percentage is nearly 100 points worse than his .380 career mark, an indication the DH is pressing. Last year, Dunn swung (and missed) at many more pitches, in a situation he ascribed to the Washington Nationals’ anemic offense. Through the first three weeks of the season, Dunn when healthy has been pressing, clearly indicated by his poor OBP.

“Hey, the guy was a dominant force until he had an appendectomy,” Walker said. “He’s had, what, six, seven, eight days back? Sit around and watch. He’ll be fine.”

Dunn struggled to elucidate on his slump, saying that he just didn’t have the “feel” at the plate he’s used to. He pointed to his seventh inning, second-to-last at-bat in Friday’s loss to the Tigers as a “good” one despite the foul pop out to second baseman Ramon Santiago, while his final plate appearance (a K vs. Jose Valverde in the ninth) as “[expletive].”

Walker sees the same thing, although he ascribes it to poor “timing and direction” by Dunn.

“His timing is off,” Walker said, insistently. “He’s a big man. He’s got a lot of moving parts. He’s got to get his timing back. Because his timing is off, He’s been getting beat and cheating, trying to get the fastball. When he starts hitting fastballs, watch out, because a lot of people are going to pay.”

Dunn said that despite his hitting woes being a “feel” thing, “there is some stuff Walk sees” that the two work on together. But mostly, the gentle giant knows it’s a matter of him getting his own act together.

“You never can tell when the switch flips,” he said. “It’s not always a solid gapper or a home run. Last year, it clicked for me when I took a pitch for a ball. Then I drew a walk, and I was off to the races.”

Feeling more and more comfortable, Dunn nonetheless warns of expecting too much, too soon.

“Baby steps, brother,” he said, laughing in self-deprecation. “I’ve got to hit the ball first. But I’m getting there.”

Fond memories of Motown

It was last August—August 4, the rookie will remind you—thatChris Sale walked into the clubhouse for the first time as a member of the Chicago White Sox. And it was here—no, a few locker stalls over, the rookie is quick to point out—that Sale’s legend began.

“Detroit is definitely a special place, the first ballpark I walked into as a major-leaguer,” Sale said, recalling with a laugh at how green he was just a summer ago.

Konerko was walking him through all getaway day protocols, Sale recalled, but otherwise, his call-up was just a blur.

“On the plane ride I didn’t sleep a wink,” he chuckled. “I must have gone to the bathroom six times. My mind was going a mile a minute. Everything was going so fast.”

Sale didn’t make his major-league debut until the next series of the road trip, August 6 in Baltimore—one of just three poor outings  New York Yankees hatshe had of his 21 appearances in 2010). But the southpaw had no concrete expectations upon entering Comerica Park.

“Every scenario was going through my mind on the way to Detroit,” he recalled. “But once I made it here, I was just excited to be pitching for the White Sox in a major league game.”

He knew no one on the White Sox at the time, and took out his checkbook to tip the clubhouse attendants on getaway day. Now, he’s part of the fabric of the team, so much so that Edwin Jackson interrupted the start of our interview to introduce himself as Sale’s new agent, “and Chris doesn’t speak on Saturdays.”

Sale laughs at how far he’s come in the game—although still designated as a rookie and with just 29 career appearances under new era monster energy hats his belt—playfully poking me jokingly on the shoulder on reflection: “Now, it’s all just easy for me!”

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Scuffling White Sox can disrupt Burnett’s roll

Classify it as unexpected but true: A.J. Burnett would’ve been 4-0 through his first four starts were it not for a Mariano Rivera blown save. That’s a bit surprising, considering Rivera is so consistent and Burnett is coming off a season in which he posted a 5.26 ERA.

Improved this season, even if he’s yet to go more than 6 1/3 innings, Burnett (3-0) is scheduled to start on Monday in the opener of a four-game set between theNew York Yankees Hatsand White Sox at Yankee Stadium. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. ET.

“I’ve got to go deeper in that game,” Burnett said after Tuesday’s 6-5 loss to the Blue Jays, which the Yankees led, 5-3, headed into the ninth. “My pitch count was good going into that [sixth] inning, and I threw way too many walks. I got away from things and tried to muscle up on pitches today instead of being free and easy. I’ve got to go further in that game and save the bullpen.”

Right-hander Phil Humber, the White Sox starter on Monday, has had similar trouble pitching deep into games this year, having not recorded an out in the seventh inning. Humber is to make his fourth start and sixth appearance of the season, and since he joined the rotation — his first two appearances of the season were in relief — the deepest he’s gone is six innings.

The series marks the end of thewhite sox hatssecond-longest road trip of the season, an 11-gamer that hasn’t gone well so far. Chicago has lost 10 of its last 11 overall, and Sunday’s 3-0 loss to the Tigers marked the 11th time the White Sox have scored three runs or fewer this season.

Sitting in last place in the American League Central, Chicago can’t look to its recent history against the Yankees for optimism. The Yankees have won 18 of their last 26 meetings against the White Sox, and dating to 2001, New York has won 41 of the last 67 between the two clubs. The Yankees took four of six from the White Sox last season, including two of three at 59fifty hatsStadium.

New York’s offense has been rolling — it pounded out 15 runs on Saturday against the Orioles and entered Sunday leading the Majors in homers and multihomer games. There have been just two games this season in which the Yankees have not homered.

White Sox: Santos may have chance to close
• Right-hander Sergio Santos could be the next White Sox reliever given a chance to finish games.

Since Chris Sale was unable to protect a three-run ninth-inning lead on April 13 and Matt Thornton blew his fourth save, the White Sox have not needed a closer. Santos hasn’t allowed a run in seven appearances entering Monday and has struck out 13 in 9 2/3 innings.

“It’s something that I haven’t really done, so I’m looking forward to doing it if I get that opportunity,” the 27-year-old Santos said. “It takes a certain amount of confidence and belief to tell yourself that it’s no difference.”

Yankees: Granderson comfortable in two-hole
• Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson hit second on Sunday for the second time in as many days, and he homered in the top of the first inning. Granderson already has seven homers on the season.

Granderson said his approach doesn’t change drastically wherever he bats, but patience is key when he’s in the No. 2 spot.

“Whatever the leadoff guy does, if he possibly makes a first-pitch out, then I’ve got to go ahead and be a little patient,” Granderson said.

• TheNew York Yankees Hatsare in a stretch in which they’re scheduled to play 16 games in 16 days through May 8.

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How to Clean a New Era 59FIFTY Cap

New Era Wholesale 59Fifty Hats are the highest quality athletic caps on the market. They are manufactured by New Era, who has been in the hat business since 1920. For over 90 years, New Era has dedicated itself to building the perfect baseball cap, and that’s why they are the “Official Cap of Major League Baseball.”

New Era 59FIFTY caps are of such high quality, it’s important to know how to take care of them so they last as long as possible.

Using preventative action and keeping your New Era 59FIFTY cap clean, is the first step to giving your cap a long life. When you aren’t wearing your New Era cap, keep it in the closet or covered with a clean t-shirt or cloth to keep dust, lint, dirt or pet hair off.

Unfortunately, through hard play on the field, wearing your cap socially, or through normal wear and tear, your New Era 59FIFTY cap will get dirty.

New Era caps can often cost from $33.00 to $45.00, so here are some helpful solutions to safely clean your New Era 59FIFTY cap without compromising the shape, size, or color.

1) Dust and Lint: Dust and lint are the most common and easy type of dirt to remove from your New Era cap. Rolling pins with reverse tape that are used to remove lint from clothing work the best. Give yourself something firm and rounded that will fit inside the cap so you will have something solid to press against with the tape, and start rolling over the dust and lint. It’s easiest and most efficient to use the rolling pin tape, but some good masking tape or duct tape would be a good alternative.

When trying to clean a white or light colored cap this way, double check your rolling pin or the edges of your tape to make sure they are clean. It’s any easy mistake to make that will make your cap dirtier than when you started if your tape or rolling pin are dirty.

2) Fingerprint Stains: Fingerprint stains are another common problem that need to be cleaned. Fingerprint stains are most common on light colored New Era caps on the bill, where people grab with their fingers to take their cap on and off.

Some steps of preventative action would be to push your Wholesale New Era Capsoff your head from underneath the bill and try not to grab the outside of the cap when taking it off. Also, always make sure your hands are clean before putting your cap on, or taking it off.

For when your cap does get dirty, you want to start with the most mild soap or cleaning detergent you have available and dilute it with warm water, to help protect the color of your New Era cap. Wet a washcloth in the cleaning solution you’ve made, and lightly scrub the dirty area of your cap. Repeat as necessary.

For white caps, you can use warmer/hot water and a more concentrated soap solution to get out deep fingerprint and dirt stains.

3) Sweat Stains: Sweat stains are another common problem with New Era 59FIFTY caps, especially, if you are active when you wear them. Unfortunately, for sweat stains, they are mostly around the whole cap, so spot cleaning isn’t going to work as well. It’s best to handwash sweaty caps in warm soapy water and to lightly scrub the sweat stains with a soft cloth. If you submerge the Wholesale hats in water, the shape might be slightly affected. If you’re gentle with the cap and use minimal water, the shape shouldn’t be affected very much.

An alternative to handwashing your New Era cap to get the sweat stains out would be to put it on the top shelf of the dishwasher. If this is a cap worn for athletic purposes, this method is perfect. The shape will be slightly rounder at the top but it won’t matter because it’s going to get dirty again the next time it goes on the field anyway.

*** Before you soak your hat in warm soapy water, you will want to look at the material of your New Era 5950 cap. Most Wholesale Fitted Caps New Era 59FIFTY caps are made out of 100% wool or a wool/cotton blend. Wool and cotton shrink after you get them wet and they dry out. If your cap is made with wool and/or cotton and is already a tight fit, you might not want to try this method.

Always let your New Era cap dry out naturally instead using a clothing or hair dryer to help minimize shrinking, and to help maintain the shape of your cap.

4) Deep Dirt/Ink/Paint Stains: Unfortunately, there’s not really any safe way to get these stains out of a New Era cap without compromising some of the color or stitching due to extreme chemicals and scrubbing required to get some serious stains out.

Again, light color caps have these types of stains more often because the stains standout more against the light background and they’re harder to completely get out.

With something serious, like an ink stain, on a white colored hat, it’s best to go with a “one-two punch.” That is, give it a good soapy scrubbing in warm water dilute the stain, then hit with a direct drop or two of bleach directly on the stain. Repeat this as many times as needed, but sometimes, there’s nothing you can do to clean a stained cap, without ruining it in some other way.

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New Era Caps – The Top Choice of Celebrities

New Era Caps is a company with a very rich history that dates back to New York in 1920. Wholesale New Era Caps are the only caps worn by players in the MLB and minor leagues and also is the top choice of the NHL, NBA, and most major colleges in the US. Any time you turn on the TV it seems, you will see either athletes or celebrities wearing these caps. Everyone from rappers to news anchors can be seen wearing New Era Caps while out in public. Obviously the news people don’t wear the hats on the job but if you’ve seen them in public, they often sport their favorite team’s cap. Celebrities such as Jason Lee (My Name Is Earl) are rarely seen without their favorite team cap on.

Wholesale 59Fifty Hats is probably the most common brand created and distributed by New Era Caps. These are “fitted” so they fit your head much better and don’t have those irritating little snaps that cheaper brands may have. There are 9 different sizes available so everyone can wear them. This is the style that you will catch most rock stars, hip-hop artists, and celebrities wearing while out on the town. Some of the more common MLB hats you’ll see celebrities wearing are for the New York Yankees Hats, Boston Red Sox, or LA Dodgers. These are all very popular teams that are based in large cities where celebrities tend to hang out. Also the Red Sox have long been a favored underdog team for almost 50 years until just recently so their popularity has boomed even more. 

In addition to sports teams, New Era Caps come in many other styles that people love. You can find all kinds of logos, brand names, or even comic book characters on them so they make a great gift for friends, family, or even yourself. 

While the New Era Hats styled for baseball teams are definitely the most popular, it’s the college hats that can really show people what you are all about. Having pride in your college can be very important and is also a great conversation starter. If you are ever in New York or LA and happen to see a celebrity wearing the same college cap as you, you instantly have something to introduce yourself with instead of saying “I loved that last movie you were in” because they get that all the time.

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Arsenal Transfer Prospects: 8 Deals Arsene Wenger May Look to Make This Summer

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 12:  Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger looks on during the FA Cup sponsored by E.On Sixth Round match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford on March 12, 2011 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Imag
Clive Mason/Getty Images

The English Premier League has come to a halt this week due to the commencement of internationals and Euro 2012 qualifiers. The short period would either come as a welcome relief or a frustrating diversion of focus from the compelling task at hand for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

The Arsenal tactician has endured a horror month which saw the  New Era Hats Gunners defeated in the Carling Cup final by Birmingham City, eliminated from the UEFA Champions League fourth round and FA Cup quarterfinals by Barcelona and Manchester United, and lose sufficient ground on first-place United in the English Premier League to leave the North London giants five points off the top of the table.

To cap it off, key players Cesc Fabregas, Johan Djourou and goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny all succumbed to injury.

With the need for the Gunners to diminish their notorious five-season trophy drought at an all-time high, fans and critics alike have pointed the finger at Wenger as his team are only left in one competition. During their recent demise, Arsenal’s lack of depth was made glaringly obvious as fringe players and deputies  Wholesale Fitted Caps failed to enforce the necessary impact of their injured counterparts.

In a frantic period where games come thick and fast for a side like Arsenal due to their consistent involvement in the later stages of Cup competitions, a side aiming to succeed needs quality replacement of high calibre.

On paper it appears that way, but unfortunately  Wholesale Fitted Caps no such transfer was made in the mindsets of players. Thus the case there has now been an intense increase of demand from the Arsenal faithful for Wenger to implement changes into his youthful squad.

Many feel the Frenchman has relied upon the prospects of cheap youngsters, who Wenger nurtures and develops before exposing them to the Wholesale Cheap Hats  tough English football, for too long now, and need to finally utilize the evident funds to secure the services of quality players in order to break the silverware absence.

With this in mind, here are eight deals Wenger can look to make in the upcoming transfer window

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Rose Prince on Waitrose, daffodiles and the school run

Little Olivia Errington picked too many daffodils in a public park, when her mother was not looking, and got told off. Not by her mother, no. A relative of a local Poole Borough councillor bypassed the not insignificant resource of parental control and chose instead to call the police on the six-year-old and her two sisters. The terrified girl now fears the park, and, I suspect, links the sound of nee-nah, nee-nah with an unrepeatable expression uttered by her dad when plod arrived on the scene.

I bet that Olivia’s mother, had she spotted her daughter picking the flowers in time, would have gently said, “Just pick a few, darling, leave some for everyone to enjoy.” Parents who think a park a good  Cheap Red Bull Hats place for children to play tend to be like that. Nice types who want to oxygenate their kids in a lush setting, and get them away from the Wii. To the self-righteous Conservative councillor Peter Ward, however, the Errington’s were “people ripping up public property.”

He’s right on one count – parks are ours, yet they must be places where children can pick more than their noses. A walk in the park is a chance for parents to give a few hints on what you can and can’t gather from nature, even teach a little survival. “Don’t eat that,” mothers cry, when small hands reach for a poisonous berry or fungi.

Yet councils are so obsessed with display, there is precious little for the cadet hunter gatherer. Our local 200-acre park has just one elderflower bush. Wild garlic and nettles are not permitted to flourish – so we can’t show the children the joys of these weeds when added to a spring soup.

This year locals have been asked to contribute funds to plant 50,000 bulbs, creating a spectacle we’d be punished for touching when it comes into bloom. As for those banks of bedding plants, regularly and expensively replenished, they only remind me of my grandmother’s collection of florally inspired rubber bathing hats. The cost of all this ornament would easily fund a picking garden, a few brambles and a community orchard.

In spite of the doubts held by the burghers of Poole, and their ham-fisted daff squad, most families do not want to shave every living thing off the surface of their park, and they will obey signs to keep off the grass or leave a something wild and rare alone. Children that learn the lore of the public larder and florist are surely less likely to become a nuisance to nature later on. The lessons they learn are theirs to pass on, too. Picking off a few councillors who understand beauty to be only skin deep, however, is a cut that should be made.


Waitrose aspiration

Oh, Mark Price, managing director of Waitrose, do not venture not into the choppy waters of food snobbery when you worry that the chain is perceived as too “posh.” Such statements are bound to cause  Wholesale Baseball Hats offence to present Waitrose shoppers – well aware that they shop in a posh supermarket – and to those who aspire to shop there and secretly wouldn’t mind being thought a bit posh, too. It is not possible to escape the fact that food is a status symbol in Britain. What we eat is who we are, but we like it left unsaid rather than be labelled.

Waitrose’s new customers, lured by the TV adverts presented by the pretty posh, football club owner Delia, and chef-boffin Heston Blumenthal, would be a bit surprised to find aisles stacked with foods ideal for “high tea.” I believe Mr Price is really saying, “We sell cheap food, too.” But that is to misunderstand the divide between bourgeois eating habits and well, the other kind. Waitrose is an upmarket shop because it promotes and sells a lifestyle that includes being better educated about food and cooking.

Our customs divide us on the food front, not always money – odd as it sounds. A supper of Delia’s perfectly cooked cous cous is not expensive, but to serve it flags an interest in food that is eclectic and reflects new interests, as well as skill. Luring shoppers on the basis that it is all about money, and not changing our ways is pointless. Like most people, I’d like to be posh on the cheap.


Does it take a House of Commons inquiry to discover why a multinational food conglomerate would say one thing and do another having swallowed the canapé that was Cadburys? The practice  Cheap Hats  of acquiring companies on the promise that everyone’s job is safe then changing course to make mass redundancies is not new, and it seems nothing can be done to stop it. The hard world of big food business has a very unpalatable side but consumers can make a difference. The brave move would be to boycott the products of the regime, just as many did with South African grapes during the Apartheid era. All it takes is to choose another cheese slice than one made by Kraft. That should send Krafty Irene (Rosenfeld, Cadbury’s new boss) over here to explain herself.


Hello Elle, the school mum from hell, clacking her way across the playground in (yet another) new pair of heels. Ms. McPherson’s children are not shown in the school run glamour shots that do much to promote the model’s lingerie line, but I imagine eyes rolling heavenward and silent wishes that mum would dress like the others. Trouble is, she does. Mothers at my local private prep are regularly spotted teasing their hair and sloshing mascara on to their lashes in their rear view mirrors, just ahead of dropping the little ones. That’s fine. As long as all these birds of paradise send their children to the same schools, the rest of us can turn up to ours’ looking like woodpigeons.

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White Sox | Philip Humber favorite to earn bullpen spot

Chicago White Sox SP Philip Humber is now a favorite to earn a spot in the bullpen or as the fifth starter if SP Jake Peavy (lat) isn’t ready for the regular season, according to the Chicago Tribune’s Cheap New Era Hats  Mark Gonzales. Humber recently learned a cut fastball while working with bullpen coachRed Bull Hats  Juan Nieves. “We’re looking for that type of guy, and he’s throwing the ball well,” manager Ozzie Guillen said. “He’s moving forward New Era Hats .  He took a big step, a huge step. Hopefully in the next couple of starts, he continues to do it.”

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Fox Shox Revenue Rises 40 Percent in 2010

WESTPORT, CT (BRAIN)—Fox Racing Shoxreported a 40 percent revenue increase in 2010 as the rebounding economy spurred higher OEM sales in the mountain biking category, the company’s parent company,  New Era Hats Compass Diversified Holdings, said on Thursday. 

Net sales rosefrom $121.5 million in 2009 to $170.9 million. 

OEM sales increased by $41.7 million in 2010—rising from $92.5 million in 2009 to $134.2 million in 2010. Of that increase, $28.8 million came from the mountain biking sector and $12.9 million from the Fox Racing Hats  powered vehicle sector. The company attributed the increase in sales in the mountain bike sector to the rebound from the impact of the global economic recession in 2009, which created excess inventory in the industry. 

International OEM and aftermarket sales  New York Yankees Hats were $113.6 million last year compared with $84 million the year before, an increase of $29.6 million, or 35.2 percent. 

During a conference call with financial analysts on Thursday afternoon, company executives said they expect Fox’s revenue to stabilize this year after five consecutive quarters of double digit revenue growth. 

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Christchurch Quake May Have Killed 100 Foreigners

As many as 100 foreign nationals may have perished in the earthquake that struck Christchurch last week, the New Zealand government said as the mission to rescue survivors officially became a search for bodies.

Search teams in the South Island city’s central business district will start recovering bodies as no survivors have been rescued since Feb. 23, Civil Defense Director John Hamilton told reporters today. Foreigners from as many as 20 countries may be among the deceased, Foreign Minister Murray McCully said.

The death toll from last week’s 6.3-magnitude temblor climbed to 161 with more than 200 people missing, New Zealand police told reporters today. The earthquake, the second to hit Christchurch within six months, devastated the city’s central business district.

“We now face the reality that there is no chance that anyone could have survived this long,” Hamilton said. “We cannot ever rule out the possibility, however small, of a miracle survivor.”

Police have released the names of 13 victims, including two Israeli citizens. Seventy people were rescued from the central business district, most in the 24 hours after the quake. Teams are preparing to enter Christchurch’s iconic cathedral to search for bodies in the ruins of the 130-year- old building. As many as 22 bodies may be entombed in the rubble.

A steel support has been secured to the cathedral’s brick wall, Fire Service assistant national commander Russell Wood told reporters today. One of the collapsed spire’s supporting walls may be removed to allow rescuers to search the building and surrounding rubble, he said.

Heritage Sites Damaged

Almost 700,000 people a year visit the cathedral to admire its stained-glass windows and climb the spire. A third of all those who visited Christchurch last year said they did so to look at heritage sites such as the cathedral, according to Tourism New Zealand.

The city, modeled after Oxford in England by mid-19th Century settlers, drew 519,000 tourists who flew in from abroad last year, or 21 percent of all visitors to the country, according to Tourism New Zealand.

Buildings in the central business district were damaged by a 7.0-magnitude temblor that struck on Sept. 4. The estimated repair costs for Christchurch may be as much as NZ$20 billion ($15 billion) after both earthquakes, Prime Minister John Key said this week.

Key said yesterday he expects the central bank to cut interest rates as the nation grapples with the aftermath of the deadly earthquake.

“We’d certainly welcome” a rate cut, Key said in an interview in Wellington. “The market has priced in a cut from the Reserve Bank. That would probably be my expectation, that the Reserve Bank would cut, but it’s for them to determine that.”

To contact the reporter for this story: Phoebe Sedgman in Wellington atpsedgman2@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Iain Wilson iwilson2@bloomberg.net

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BYU’s hopes of No. 1 seed fade with loss to New Mexico

PROVO, Utah — BYU players said they will continue to support former teammate Brandon Davies “like a brother” despite transgressions that got the starting forwarded kicked off the nation’s third-ranked team.

There was no denying the Cougars were a different team in Wednesday night’s 82-64 loss to New Mexico. It was their first game without Davies, who on Tuesday was dismissed from the team for the rest of the season for violating the university’s honor code.

BYU guard Jackson Emery (4) looks for an open teammate as New Mexico guard Kendall Williams (10) defends during the first half Wednesday. (AP Photo)

The Salt Lake Tribune is reporting that Davies engaged in premarital sex, a violation of the clause that says students must remain chaste and virtuous.

“He told us he was sorry and let us down,” BYU guard Jimmer Fredette said after the game in which he scored 33 points but was only 1 of 9 from 3-point range. “We told him it’s OK. Sometimes in life we make mistakes. We’ve got to play through it.”

No one discussed details of what occurred with Davies but BYU coach Dave Rose discussed the school’s controversial honor code.

“Everybody who comes to BYU, every student if they’re an athlete or not an athlete, they make a commitment when they come,” Rose said of a code that also forbids use of alcohol and coffee and requires students to be honest and attend church regularly. “A lot of people try to judge if this is right or wrong, but it’s a commitment they make. It’s not about right or wrong. It’s about commitment.”

Rose said Wednesday’s lopsided loss was more than about missing Davies, the third-leading scorer and leading rebounder for the Cougars (27-3, 13-2 Mountain West Conference) who was replaced in the starting lineup by junior James Anderson, who had only one rebound and four points in 11 minutes.

Rose gave New Mexico a great deal of credit.

Phillip McDonald scored 26 points, hitting 5 of 8 from beyond the arc, to lead New Mexico (19-11, 7-8), which beat BYU for the second time this season.

Drew Gordon and Kendall Williams added 15 apiece for the Lobos, while Gordon had 16 rebounds.

The Cougars were outrebounded 45-29 and went 20 of 59 from the field, including a season-worst 5 of 26 from beyond the arc.

“It was everything,” Fredette said. “We didn’t play well. They shot the ball very well. They played very good.”

Despite looking down and battered, Fredette tried to stay positive.

“We don’t have time to worry about it,” he said, noting the Cougars close the regular season Saturday against Wyoming then have the Mountain West tournament next week in Las Vegas. “We’re going to be fine. Lots of good teams come off emotional games and lose the next one no matter (who they’re missing). We’re going to be all right.”

Davies awaits a decision by an honor code committee that will decide his future both at the school and whether he could play next season.

Rose was optimistic things would turn out OK for Davies, who went to school officials and acknowledged his transgressions.

“I think Brandon’s heart is in the right place, and I think that he wants to continue his education here at BYU, but there are a lot of things that are yet to be determined,” Rose said.

Asked if he thought Davies would play basketball again, Rose said, “I believe so.”

The Cougars can still claim a share of the Mountain West regular-season title if they finish 14-2. But the number they really want is the coveted No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

That looks like a long shot now even though the Cougars still have a national player of the year candidate in Fredette.

Fredette was 10 of 26 from the field in a game that saw BYU try to find the right combination on the court without Davies.

BYU started Anderson in Davies’ place but Rose quickly went to Plan B and inserted Kyle Collinsworth.

Not much seemed to work as BYU’s inside game disappeared. The Cougars made just 8 of 30 shots in the first half and were outrebounded 25-14 as the Lobos took a 42-26 lead.

“We found a lineup that we were really comfortable playing, a lineup we started the (previous) 20 games,” Rose said. “Now we need to find the next comfortable lineup. Tonight we could not find it.”

Falling behind so quickly then taking so many perimeter shots didn’t help.

The Cougars came in averaging 83 points a game and shooting 38 percent from 3-point range. They finished 5 of 26 on 3-pointers.

A three-point play by Charles Abouo pulled BYU within 48-37 with 14:41 left, and Fredette had a chance to cut it even further. But he missed a 3-pointer and McDonald countered with a 3 to bump New Mexico’s lead to 51-37. The Lobos’ 11-0 run continued with a 3-pointer from Jamal Fenton.

“We beat them at the 3-point line, which is a shocker,” New Mexico coach Steve Alford said. “I didn’t anticipate us beating them at the 3-point line, but holding them to five 3s that’s a big key. So defensively we did what we wanted to do and offensively we made some shots. And when this team makes shots, we’re pretty good.”

New Mexico, which beat the Cougars 86-77 on Jan. 29, were ready at the opening tip.

The Lobos hit their first four shots and six of their first seven in taking leads of 10-2 and 27-12.

“Obviously with the news it was tough to deal with,” Abouo said. “We care a lot for our guys. (Davies) is like a brother to me. We just have to move forward. We don’t have time to think about the negative things. We had a good New Mexico team coming in here but obviously our thoughts and prayers were with Brandon.”

With Davies gone, more of the burden fell to guards Jackson Emery and Fredette. But they were a combined 5 of 17 in the first half.

New Mexico shot 50 percent in the first half and finished 9 of 20 on 3s.

The partisan BYU crowd tried to keep the faith, with signs that read “Believe” and “We Still Got Jimmer.”

The Cougars have little time to regain the momentum after losing Davies, who was third on the team in scoring behind Fredette and Emery.

“We’ll regroup,” Rose said.

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