Ray Fosse, All-Star Catcher Bowled Over By Pete Rose, Dead At 74

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HuffPost 14 October, 2021 - 07:25am

How did Ray Fosse die?

Fosse died Wednesday after a 16-year bout with cancer. OAKLAND, Calif. — Ray Fosse, the strong-armed catcher whose career was upended when he was bowled over by Pete Rose at the 1970 All-Star Game, has died. He was 74. The SouthernMarion native, former MLB catcher Ray Fosse dies after 16-year cancer battle

How old is Ray Fosse?

Oakland Athletics broadcaster and former MLB catcher Ray Fosse died on Wednesday. He was 74 years old. Oakland Athletics broadcaster and former MLB catcher Ray Fosse died on Wednesday. NBC Bay AreaRay Fosse, Longtime Athletics Broadcaster and Former Player, Dies at 74

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Ray Fosse, Oakland A’s champion player and longtime broadcaster, dies at 74

Athletics Nation 14 October, 2021 - 02:06pm

Longtime big-league catcher and broadcaster Ray Fosse died on Wednesday after a 16-year battle with cancer, according to the Oakland Athletics. Fosse was 74 years old.

The Athletics released the following statement about Fosse's passing:

Oakland A’s statement on Ray Fosse: pic.twitter.com/88iUI6XEL3

Fosse had long been a fixture on Athletics broadcasts after retiring from playing. He announced he was stepping away from the booth in August after more than 35 years on the job with the following statement:

"Along with my wife of 51 years, Carol, today we share that I have been silently battling cancer for the past 16 years. Given my current medical condition, I am taking a step away from the A's and NBC Sports California effective immediately, to focus on my treatment and to be with my family during this time. My wife, Carol, and I extend our gratitude to the baseball community, and community at large, for your thoughts and prayers."  

Fosse enjoyed a 12-year career in the majors as a catcher. He broke into the big leagues with Cleveland in 1967 and he later made the All-Star Game in 1970 and 1971. Fosse's inclusion in the 1970 contest has become ingrained in the sport's memory because of Pete Rose's decision to barrel over Fosse. That collision left Fosse  with a fractured and dislocated shoulder -- injuries that plagued him the rest of his career, particularly on the offensive side of the ball.

Fosse would nevertheless go on to enjoy a full career because of his sterling defense. He would make stops with the Athletics, Seattle Mariners, and Milwaukee Brewers. He finished his career with a .256/.306/.367 line (90 OPS+) and 61 home runs. Fosse won a pair of Gold Glove Awards and received downballot consideration for the 1971 American League Most Valuable Player Award. 

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LaFleur Should Get the Tight Ends More Involved | Zone Coverage

The Mercury News 14 October, 2021 - 12:00pm

While the team continues to find ways to win, including surviving a whirlwind of missed kicks against the Cincinnati Bengals last Sunday, the offense isn’t the fine-tuned machine it was last season. The Packers dominated the “gold” zone last season, scoring touchdowns on a league-high 80% of their visits. They currently rank 27th in the league at 55% this season.

While many factors can explain this drop-off (regression, an injured offensive line, playcalling), one missing factor is that the tight ends aren’t scoring. So far, the tight end group is virtually invisible on the stat sheet. Where has the group been this season, and what do they need to do more of moving forward?

Right now, Green Bay’s offense runs off of two principles: throw the ball to Davante Adams or run the ball. And, for now, it’s working. Adams is feasting on defenders and looks even better than last season. LaFleur can use Madden logic: Keep running the same plays until they stop working. If you can simply feed the ball to the best receiver in the league, by all means, do it.

— Zach Kruse (@zachkruse2) October 11, 2021

But that isn’t sustainable all year long. The Packers are a few weeks away from entering the crucible of their season, with games against the Arizona Cardinals, Kansas City Chiefs, Seattle Seahawks, Minnesota Vikings, and Los Angeles Rams. Despite his “stats are for losers” quip Wednesday afternoon, LaFleur will need to improve his playcalling to contend with these good teams, and also the Vikings.

One of the best ways to do this? Get the tight ends more involved.

Despite a lack of big plays from the position group, the tight ends have a vital role on offense: blocking. With David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins missing significant time against some frightening defenders, the Packers’ tight ends offered additional blocking help. Marcedes Lewis, in particular, is already like having a sixth offensive lineman on the field.

Green Bay’s offense compensated for its banged-up offensive line by throwing more quick, short passes and relying on screens. But in the red zone, the playcalling is lackluster, including empty sets or running the ball straight down the middle to no avail. LaFleur needs to get the tight ends, especially Robert Tonyan, more involved. This isn’t the players simply not executing but rather a lack of opportunity. The entire position group has only 14 catches on 23 targets, good for 146 yards and one touchdown.

Big Bob is averaging only 3.4 targets per game. While replicating his 11-touchdown reason was an unrealistic task, Tonyan’s reliable hands and sheer size should garner more focus from Aaron Rodgers and LaFleur. John Egan wrote how Tonyan opens the offense by being a scoring threat and his blocking skills. It’s time to start capitalizing on that threat and remind opposing defenses what he can do. The illusion of complexity is a core LaFleurism, and after being used mainly as a blocker thus far, Tonyan is due for a big game.

In the words of Lil Wayne, “Throw a pass to Tonyan, simple Madden science.”

As usual, Marcedes Lewis makes the most of every opportunity in the passing game. Lewis has four catches for 60 yards on five targets, with three catches being first downs. In the madness of the Bengals game, Lewis’s 20-yard screen set up Randall Cobb’s big gain to put the Packers in range for a field goal that (finally) ended the game. No one expects the 37-year-old tight end to be used much in the passing game, but he puts in the work at every opportunity.

Green Bay felt good enough with Josiah Deguara and Dominique Dafney to release the suspended Jace Sternberger from the roster. So far, injuries robbed the Packers of both their tight ends. Deguara faced a long road to recovery after last year’s torn ACL, further complicated by a concussion this season. Since his return, he’s struggled to get anything going as a blocker or in the passing game (one reception on one target for four yards) and hasn’t looked completely recovered.

It appeared Green Bay was preparing Dafney for a more significant role as an H-back after clearly liking what they saw last season. A hip injury sidelined that growth as Dafney joined the ever-growing IR club. However, things are looking up, as Dafney was designated for return on Wednesday.

Tight end could be a need for the Packers next year and beyond. Tonyan is a restricted free agent, Lewis will be 38 (but probably still really good), Degaura and Dafney are relative unknowns, and Sternberger is already gone. But for now, Green Bay needs to work with what they have. The tight ends excelled at keeping Rodgers protected with the offensive line beat up. With some key players returning, LaFleur needs to get them more involved in the passing game as well.

The Packers are 4-1 and winning games week after week despite the offense not truly clicking in the way we know it can. The offense can take that next step by going deeper into his playcalling bag and getting the tight ends more involved, especially in the red/gold zone.

The Green Bay Packers turned back the clock and eked out another close win on Sunday. On a day where head coach Matt LaFleur urged his players […]

Henrietta Lacks family seeks justice: Grandchildren sue biotech company

The Cincinnati Enquirer 14 October, 2021 - 09:17am

"HeLa" cells have led to several medical breakthroughs.

The family of Henrietta Lacks, an African American woman whose cells were collected from her body and used for medical research without her consent in 1951, is seeking justice for their relative.

On Oct. 4, the 70th anniversary of her death, Henrietta Lacks' family filed a federal lawsuit against Thermo Fisher Scientific claiming unjust enrichment and nonconsensual use of her cells and tissue samples.

"This whole notion of her cells are being sold even to this day as chattel property when everyone benefits from it but her own family. Her own flesh and blood. It reminisces of days of slavery when they sold black people as chattel property and we never got to benefits from our labor, our contributions," Crump said.

In subsequent experiments with her tissue sample, scientists discovered that Henrietta's cells reproduced and thrived outside of her body -- a discovery that helped shape medical innovations.

Those cells were named, "HeLa" after Henrietta Lacks. HeLa cells have led to several medical breakthroughs including the polio vaccine, coronavirus vaccines, cancer treatments, AIDS treatments, zero gravity in space, and more.

The family members say they have not received any profit from the research and use of Lacks' cells. They say they believe the time is now to be compensated and they are aware they will have to fight as many as 100 defendants, the first being Thermo Fisher.

"Thermo Fisher Scientific's business is to commercialize Henrietta Lacks' cells—her-living bodily tissue—without the consent of or providing compensation to Ms. Lacks" the lawsuit states. "All the while, Thermo Fisher Scientific understands—indeed, acknowledges on its own website—that this genetic material [is] stolen from Ms. Lacks."

Christopher Seeger, another attorney for the Lacks family, said that other companies also will be targeted for commercializing Lacks' cells.

Thermo Fisher Scientific, he said, "shouldn't feel too alone because they're going to have a lot of company soon."

Lack's story emerged about a decade ago with the release of the book, "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks."

Her story gained more national attention with the release of "The Life of Henrietta Lacks" movie. Oprah Winfrey starred as Henrietta's daughter, Deborah Lacks, and Renee Elise Goldsberry portrayed Henrietta.

Ron Lacks is the estate's executor and the oldest grandson of Henrietta. For years he has been inspired by his mother's resilience to keep Henrietta's name alive and he is using this inspiration to fight for his family's ownership of his grandmother's legacy.

"Every time, I walk into my mother's room, she gives me strength because I know I'm doing it for her. She started this in 1973. She started this, so when I walk into her room and feed her, change her, I know I'm doing this for her." Ron Lack told ABC News. "When you fighting for your family, you come off with all guns blazing, you don't stop until you succeed or they knock me down," he added.

Johns Hopkins University states on its website that it has "never sold or profited from the discovery or distribution of HeLa cells" and that the university does not own the rights to the HeLa cells.

The university also claims it has helped the Lacks family broker an agreement that requires scientists to receive permission to use Henrietta Lacks' genetic blueprint.

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Lightning look to raise compete level after Opening Night loss

Let's Go Tribe 14 October, 2021 - 09:11am

Through their initial analysis following the loss and confirmed the next morning in video review, there was one area particularly concerning for the Bolts: compete level.

For a team that prides itself on outworking the opposition and being hard to play against - and seeing that style rewarded with Cup championships each of the past two seasons - Tuesday's resounding defeat was a harsh reminder teams aren't just going to succumb to the Lightning based on reputation alone.

Tampa Bay will have a target on its back this season, more so than last year when it only had to play seven other teams during an abbreviated 56-game regular season. Now every NHL team will get at least two chances to line up and prove themselves against the defending back-to-back champs. 

The Lightning have to be prepared for a Pittsburgh-like effort from their opponent every night they take the ice this season.

"We didn't compete and they beat us to every puck," Lightning forward Mathieu Joseph said Wednesday. "We lost way too many battles. We just weren't in sync. That's not our team. That's not how we've been playing the last few years."

Tampa Bay held a concise, spirited practice Wednesday at AMALIE Arena before boarding a charter flight bound for Detroit to play its first road contest of the season tonight against the Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena. Much of the session revolved around raising the team's compete level while also supporting teammates engaged in battles.

"A lot of it was kind of being connected in the D zone, helping each other out," Alex Killorn said about the practice. "It seems like a lot of times (against Pittsburgh) players were on islands trying to battle three guys on their team and it's too hard to do in the NHL. I think you look at today, we were all coming back five men in the zone. When we were cutting out, we were flooding five men. I actually really liked our practice."

The Lightning had their seven-game Opening Night win streak snapped with Tuesday's defeat to the Penguins. The Bolts haven't lost their first two games to open a season since going 0-1-2 to begin 2009-10.

Tampa Bay has prided itself in recent years on bouncing back with a positive performance after a sub-par one. Over the last two Stanley Cup runs, the Lightning were undefeated in games following a loss, going a combined 14-0.

"At the end of the day, it's one game and you have to turn the page because we're playing again (Thursday)," Joseph said. "We've got to regroup and turn the page on that game and see what we did wrong and try not to repeat it next game. You have to have a short memory. There's 82 games, and tomorrow's another day and we have to show up to the rink and play."

There's a delicate balance the Lightning coaching staff must walk between urgency considering how soundly the Bolts were defeated in all aspects of Tuesday's loss and patience for a team that's proven its championship mettle each of the last two seasons. 

The Lightning know they were bad on Tuesday night.

The coaching staff reminded them of that Wednesday but also reinforced all of the habits that made them the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions.

"It's definitely something you take notice to and try to fix because there were a lot of different parts of our game as a group, players, coaches, everyone, that we weren't happy with," Lightning assistant coach Jeff Halpern said. "As far as our process and how we go about our business, hopefully we learn from that and there's a message to it as well. We cleaned some things up and we move forward."

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