This Yankees lineup is so much more than just Oriole killers

The Orioles pitching staff extends batting practice into games. They provide a Fantasy Island-like ambience to opposing lineups — dreams come true.

Gleyber Torres has enjoyed the hospitality most, with 13 homers in his first 16 games against the Orioles — or as many as Jackie Bradley Jr., Marwin Gonzalez and Adam Jones have all season.

Facing these Orioles warps reality and distorts statistics. The Yankees enter Tuesday collectively hitting .301 with a 1.031 OPS, averaging 8.06 runs for the first 17 games against Baltimore this season. The Yankees are 15-2 in those games, and if Yankee fans are looking for an uplifting comparison, this is akin to what the Red Sox did against the Orioles last year en route to a title.

Boston hit .295 with a .920 OPS, averaging 6.68 runs per game in amassing a 16-3 record against Baltimore in 2018. The Yanks went a very good 12-7 against those Orioles. But this was partially how the Red Sox created a gap to win the AL East despite the Yankees’ 100-victory season.

But for the Yankees, the reason to feel good about their offense is not tied up in bludgeoning one of the worst pitching staffs in history. It’s that this lineup has produced even after subtracting the Orioles.

The Yankees are averaging an MLB-best 5.96 runs per game. Remove Baltimore and the Yankees are at 5.61, which would still be third in the majors (thanks to Lee Sinins of MLB Network research).

The Yankees were averaging an outrageous 3.47 homers per game against the Orioles. It was 1.53 vs. all others, not far off the 1.65 last year when they set the major league homer record.

The latest report card for this batting order follows the Orioles, when the Yankees take a U-turn away from Fantasy Island. The next three series — 10 games — are against the Indians, A’s and Dodgers. Los Angeles led the majors in ERA by better than two-tenths of a run, the Indians were third and the A’s sixth. The Dodgers ranked second in surrendering the fewest homers per nine innings, the A’s were third and the Indians sixth.

The Indians, who are in the Bronx for four games over the weekend, had the best second-half ERA (2.89) in the majors. The Yanks’ nine-game West Coast trip has three at Dodger Stadium in the middle, where L.A. starters’ ERA was 2.54 — eight-tenths of a run better than any other rotation.

This will offer the Yankees a touch of October in August, another chance to gauge if their offense will handle a playoff season that distinctly will not include the Orioles. So far the Yankees lineup has handled all comers well. They had a streak of not being shut out of 202 games that stretches back to last season.

But for the Yankees, their distribution has been better this year than it was last season. Remember that if you score two runs and 10 runs, the average is six runs, but you are probably a .500 team because you lose most times you score two. In 2018, even while racking up those 100 wins, the Yanks were held to three runs or fewer 28.4 percent of the time. It was 23.3 percent this year.

Part of that reflects that run scoring is up this year overall. But the Yankees have just made themselves a tougher offense to hold down inning after inning for two reasons: 1) there are just no soft spots and 2) they have added batting average while not losing power.

The Yankees had 14 players with more than 160 plate appearances (no one else had more than 79). Of those 14, a dozen had an OPS-plus of 103 or better. Remarkably none were Miguel Andujar or Giancarlo Stanton, who tied for second in Yankee OPS-plus last year at 131 (minimum 160 plate appearances).

Among players with 325 plate appearances, two new Yankee additions, DJ LeMahieu (.338) and Gio Urshela (.332), ranked 1-2 in the AL in average (Urshela was 21 plate appearances shy of qualifying). The Yankee collective average was .271 this year compared to .249 in 2018 (.266 this year vs. the non-Orioles). The additional batting average has provided different ways to score without homers and to get on base in front of the homers.

Essentially the Yankees have had a long lineup with a greater variety of ways to generate runs. That has enabled them to live well on Fantasy Island. But the Orioles disappear from the 2019 schedule for good after Wednesday. And we will see if this offense can maintain the fantasy.

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Did Miley Cyrus Share Too Much About Her Marriage With Liam Hemsworth?

Miley Cyrus announced her split from Liam Hemsworth over the weekend. “Liam and Miley have agreed to separate at this time,” a rep for Cyrus told People. “Ever-evolving, changing as partners and individuals, they have decided this is what’s best while they both focus on themselves and careers. They still remain dedicated parents to all of their animals they share while lovingly taking this time apart. Please respect their process and privacy.”

Since the split, Cyrus has been spotted with Brody Jenner‘s ex, Kaitlynn Carter. Hemsworth, meanwhile, is spending time with his family. He told Daily Mail Australia: “You don’t understand what it’s like. I don’t want to talk about it, mate.”

While Cyrus has gone on record to say she’s not interested in marriage and has previously referred to her relationship as “complex,” the news still comes as a shock to fans. While no official reason has been given, Cyrus was known to share a little too much information about her marriage. Could this trait have been the downfall of their relationship?

How long have Liam Hemsworth and Miley Cyrus been together?

Cyrus and Hemsworth started dating in 2009 after they met on the set of their first movie together, The Last Song. They had an on-again-off-again relationship for the next couple of years before Hemsworth popped the big question and they confirmed their engagement in 2012. About a year later, their relationship hit its breaking point after there were reports of Hemsworth kissing another girl, and the couple broke up once again.

For the next three years, the couple stayed separated. Cyrus had even tried to move on by dating Arnold Schwarzenegger’s son, Patrick Schwarzenegger, for a brief period. Cyrus and Schwarzenegger’s short-lived relationship only lasted for about a month. Shortly after that, Cyrus came out publicly and said that she considers herself to be pansexual.

In 2016, after a three-year split, Cyrus and Hemsworth got back together and were soon announcing that their engagement was back on. They got married on December 23, 2018, at Cyrus’ farmhouse in Tennessee.

What personal information has Miley Cyrus shared about her marriage?

When it comes to the personal aspects of their marriage, Cyrus doesn’t seem to have a limit to what she is willing to share with others. After Cyrus and Hemsworth had tragically lost their Woosley home due to wildfires, Cyrus went on the Howard Stern Show to tell her fans just how heroic her husband was. She had said while the fires were slowly creeping up on their home, Hemsworth had gone back and grabbed up all of their animals to make sure that they were safe. To show her gratitude for saving the animals, Cyrus had said: “He got a lot of action for saving those animals…We had to make sure that he knew I was very thankful.”

During the same interview, Howard Stern asked Cyrus how she and Hemsworth handle being apart for so long, which she replied: “That’s what FaceTime is for. Cybersex.”

She is also not shy about letting her fans know just how big her husband’s package is. One Instagram poster had listed a man’s important qualities as being empathetic, tall, and has a good d**k game. The post then stated that no man has all of those qualities, which Miley responded by saying: “Mine does! Don’t give up!”

Is Liam Hemsworth embarrassed by Miley’s TMI game?

There have been several reports that have claimed that Hemsworth has been upset with Cyrus because she shares too much information about their personal life and it embarrasses him a lot. However, Gossip Cop has confirmed that all of the stories that are circulating around Hemsworth being embarrassed is not true. So far, Hemsworth hasn’t publicly came out and made any comments about his wife’s habit to overshare sometimes.

It’s hard to say how Hemsworth feels about the fact that Cyrus shares so much personal information, but being that he has known her for over a decade, it is safe to say that he is probably not surprised by the fact that she has shared too much information at times. We also think that if Hemsworth did have a severe problem with what she is saying, then she probably wouldn’t be sharing as much.

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‘He would’ve loved it so much’: Aussie’s emotional bid for Emmys glory

For Sydney-born musician Jasper Leak, the highlight of his professional career is entwined with personal grief.

In March 2017, just a month or so after he began working as music supervisor on Quincy, the intimate Netflix documentary on music legend Quincy Jones, his father Bill – The Australian's renowned, controversial political cartoonist – died suddenly, aged 61.

Jasper Leak, right, with fellow Australian director Alan Hicks.Credit:Adam Hart

"Unfortunately, he wasn't able to see Quincy," says Jasper from his home in Los Angeles. "He was so excited that I was working on the project… I know he would've loved it so much, and got such a kick out of me hanging out with Quincy."

Last month, Leak, 35, was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Music Supervision for his work on the documentary. The category will see him battling counterparts from Russian Doll, Better Call Saul, Fosse/Verdon, and last year's winners The Marvelous Mrs Maisel.

"I have no expectations because, really, everything after the point I got the job I'm looking at as a bonus," he says of the surprise honour. "But I'd be lying if I said I’m not hoping for a win; I'd be incredibly proud."

Leak is nominated for Outstanding Music Supervision at next month’s Emmys.

Music has been a lifelong focus for Leak. As a teenager he studied at Sydney's Conservatorium High School ("It was always a priority for my parents that my brother [Johannes] and I have access to good teachers and not miss any opportunities when it came to art," he says), before moving to New York in 2005 and L.A. several years later, where he worked as a touring musician and wrote and recorded with Sia.

He was brought into Quincy by co-director Alan Hicks, another Australian Leak had previously played in jazz bands with, and who helmed the project with Quincy's daughter, actress Rashida Jones. Hicks had previously directed a documentary on bebop trumpeter Clark Terry, titled Keep On Keepin' On, which initiated his relationship with Quincy and later Rashida, who was a "big fan" of the film.

"Al approached me with the idea to score the documentary but only using music from Quincy's pre-existing catalogue; just using his own music to help complete the picture of who he was as a person," says Leak.

"It was incredibly daunting, and as an idea it was overwhelming."

He delved into Quincy's discography – over 3000 songs and 300 albums, working chronologically from Jones' mid-'50s work as a sideman for Lionel Hampton and Dizzy Gillespie, as an arranger and conductor for Ray Charles and Frank Sinatra, as a producer for Michael Jackson – a process that took several months.

"I wish I'd clocked it accurately," he says of the mammoth task. "I listened to everything. I looked at it as a job, like, the best job ever. I sat there for eight hours a day, five days a week, until I had worked my way through the entire discography from start to finish."

He created a database that broke down Jones' songs, and even isolated parts of songs, into keywords that Hicks could pull on when needed for the film.

"People don't remember or refer to music using track names; they use different descriptors. I knew there was never going to be a time when Al said, 'Hey, can you get me track 7 from Sinatra at the Sands'," Leak explains.

"We came up with a list of words – things like 'gritty', 'funky', 'dirty' or 'bluesy', or emotions like 'nostalgic', 'optimistic', 'upbeat', 'cool'… It became an established vocabulary we could all draw on."

The film, as much as it is a general attempt to capture a towering music legend's enduring legacy, is also intensely personal, peppered with anxious scenes of Jones battling ill health in hospital and on stage, and Rashida and her siblings privately worrying over an ageing parent's twilight years.

Jasper felt the obvious parallels.

"It's interesting, I did really have Dad in mind throughout this process," he says, talking of Leak not as the divisive figure whose provocative work stirred free speech headlines, but as an encouraging parent – with an inspiring collection of jazz LPs – who directed his children to a life in the arts.

"The more I worked on it and the more I got a sense of the tone of the documentary, in a lot of ways I look at it as a touching tribute from Rashida to her father. Having just lost my father, that's something I think is very special."

Quincy is streaming on Netflix. The 71st Primetime Creative Arts Emmys will be awarded on September 14 and 15.

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How much should you spend on an engagement ring?

Proposals can be nerve-racking.

Not only do you want the moment to be special, but there’s also the added pressure of whether your partner will say yes or no.

Hopefully you’re pretty confident about the answer, but do you know what kind of ring they’d prefer?

Unless they keep a secret wedding ring collage on Pinterest or you’re buddies with their best friend, it can be a tricky one to figure out.

Furthermore, there’s the question of money – and how much one should spend on a ring their partner will wear forever.

People are divided on the topic, as can be seen in popular ring shaming groups on Facebook.

One woman was mocked for her ‘tiny’ wedding ring, while another was told her rose quartz stone piece looked like ‘a pimple popper blister’.

Another poor bride-to-be was shamed for having been given a ring that resembled a ‘prolapsed butthole’ – ouch.

Tradition dictates that someone must spend at least three months’ salary on the ring, but this could vary dramatically depending on how much a person earns.

However, experts say that there’s a new trend among couples, with most spending around a month’s salary.

‘We find that while some people are fairly traditional and try to stand by the three-months-wage rule, the amount couples are prepared to spend on a ring in recent months has actually mellowed out quite significantly to around a month’s salary – perhaps to allow more budget for things such as the wedding itself, or instead putting the money saved towards a house deposit,’ said Craig Bolton, executive director at Goldsmiths.

‘That said, there are still those who go above and beyond when it comes to getting engaged, and we have found that a number of our customers are keen to spend up to a year’s salary on the ring.

‘While we encourage those planning to pop the question to find a ring that they know their other half would wear with pride, it’s important to set yourself a feasible budget too and not do anything too extravagant just because you believe that is what others expect of you.

‘One thing we have found, which has certainly increased of late, is that a few of our customers are actually now using “place holder” rings, and then coming in to store with their other half post proposal to pick out a ring together.

‘In fact, in a recent survey we ran, we found that almost a third of UK consumers would be prepared to pay the difference for the engagement ring they actually want.

Engagement ring trends for 2019

  • Within engagement rings we are seeing a slight shift back to the classics and more delicate styles are peaking among UK consumers.
  • Practicality has been a key concern for some time now, and that is certainly still the case for 2019 – designs that can be worn in hands on jobs or at the gym are very popular.
  • There has been a noticeable increase in queries around the ethical aspects of rings (such as whether a diamond has been ethically and sustainably sourced), especially from younger generations.
  • Engagement rings with more than one stone are now much sought after, and it seems three is the magic number (the additional stones are not necessarily always diamonds) – halo rings are also increasingly popular.
  • In regards to metal, of course it is always down to personal taste, however, for 2019, yellow gold is a popular choice among our customers.

Source: Goldsmiths

It’s not just personal preference or tradition that influences how much people spend on engagement rings.

External factors, such as the state of the economy, can also play a part.

Research from Protect Your Bubble, released in July 2018, revealed that spending declined during Brexit with an average spend of £785, while in 2018 there was a major boost as that figure rose to £1,483.

‘Depending on who you speak to you will often hear that you should spend one to three months’ salary on an engagement ring, but I have to say we’re not too sure this flies anymore,’ Tim Ingle, co-founder of Ingle and Rhode, tells

‘We’ve found that couples’ priority is no longer how much a ring costs, but where the ring has come from. People care about quality and provenance over cost, and young couples have different priorities now, which don’t necessarily centre around money but sustainability and ethics.

‘As consumers become increasingly aware of issues such as climate change and plastic pollution, they’re looking to behave and shop more sustainably; and this definitely feeds into the purchase of something as important as a wedding or engagement ring.

‘Couples would rather know that the diamond in their ring is conflict-free, or the gold is recycled or Fairtrade, rather than know that it cost them a certain number of months’ salary.

‘People are willing to pay for sustainability if neccessary, but to use one to three months’ salary as a ballpark is unrealistic and outdated. Ultimately, consumers should spend what they’re comfortable with, and what they can afford, in line with their wider priorities and ethical principles.

‘We’ve noticed a real trend for traceable diamond engagement rings as a result, as truly ethical diamonds can be traced right back to their mine of origin, so customers know that their diamond is 100% conflict-free.

‘Rose gold is also proving extremely popular at the moment, perhaps because a wealth of celebrities have gone for pink and rose gold engagement rings this year, which seems to have reignited their popularity.’

You’ve heard from the experts – now let’s see what the public thinks.

We did a quick poll and almost half of those who voted agreed that less than £1,000 is a perfectly acceptable amount to spend on an engagement ring.

Meanwhile, 21% agreed one month’s salary is fine, and 15% agreed on three months’ salary or anything over £1,000, respectively.

‘Definitely whatever you can afford – it’s not the price of the ring that showcases people’s love, it’s all the little things each of you do for each other that no one else sees!,’ one person commented.

You know, she’s not wrong.

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