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Brandeis University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1949 | Waltham, MA

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Fencing: Judges hold their own against stiff competition

(02/13/18 11:01am)

Riding the momentum of their dominance at the Northeast Fencing Conference Meet in late January, the Brandeis men’s and women’s fencing teams entered the month of February ready to continue their winning ways. However, the Judges have faced stiff, sometimes nationally ranked competition through their first two meets of the month. The teams persevered nonetheless and posted respectable records despite their formidable opponents. The men’s team went a combined 4-5 while the women went 3-6. 

The Cleveland Cavaliers may have rewritten their season after a series of bold trades at the deadline

(02/13/18 11:00am)

This past week, the Cleveland Cavaliers threw caution to the wind and made a series of surprising roster moves that have at once reshaped their team and the National Basketball Association as a whole. Months after acquiring star point guard Isaiah Thomas from the Boston Celtics, it had become clear that Cleveland’s revamp project was faltering in irresolvable ways. Many are wondering if Cleveland’s moves — sending out guards Iman Shumpert, Isaiah Thomas, Derrick Rose and Dwyane Wade, along with forwards Jae Crowder and Channing Frye, and bringing back a young group of long and athletic players made up of forward Larry Nance Jr. and guards George Hill, Rodney Hood and Jordan Clarkson — will be enough to get them out of the East and over the hump against the Golden State Warriors, who most believe will have an easy path to a fourth consecutive Finals appearance. Though it is impossible to predict how the rest of Cleveland’s season will unfold with any degree of certainty, one does not need to dig deep to conclude that this move has made the Cavaliers younger, more defensively adept and overall, significantly better. 

An unually quiet MLB offseason has owners, players and fans feeling an uncomfortable sense of deja vu

(02/06/18 5:46pm)

Will we have professional baseball this summer? For the first time since 1994, that threat is looming. Back then the issue revolved around the owners proposed implementation of a salary cap, thus limiting the ability for players to demand higher and higher salaries. Owners believed that small market teams would be left in the dust without local revenue sharing, and a salary cap. After owners withheld a required a payment to players pension and benefit plans, and an antitrust legislation failed to be passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee, the players and the players association saw no other option, but to strike. Players walked out for 232 days, 948 cancelled games, and the first cancelled world series since 1904. This go around, the focus is again on player salaries but under a different lense. Never in the history of the famed MLB Hot Stove has an MLB offseason been so slow.  Nearly every single marquee free agent remains on the market, with few signings imminent. Only Lorenzo Cain’s 5-year, $80 million deal with the Milwaukee Brewers can be pointed to as a big time signing, but even then the $100 million threshold seems to be a blip on the horizon. Salaries increased 23 percent in 2017 coming off the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, as all seemed good between owners and players. So what’s happening now that threatens the all important relationship between owners and players? On the heels of an era marked by massive sums of money being committed to players for longer, and longer periods of time. Case in point: Reigning MVP Giancarlo Stanton’s 13-year, $325 million monstrosity. Teams have seen these immense investments turn out poorly too many times, and it seems teams may have had their fill, but is that the whole story? In the last few days, high powered agents have released statements tip-toeing around one of the most feared word in sports, collusion. Collusion is why Pete Rose and the Black Sox were banned for life. In this case, collusion is referring to the possibility of owners colluding together to collectively holdout from signing free agents with the possible gain of reduced salaries. Understandably, the notion of ownership collusion is seen as fighting words in the eyes of players and the players association. Those in baseball operations are frustrated by the lack of funds granted by ownership to sign the scores of free agents on the market, and as some agents have suggested, all it takes is a spark before the pot boils over. Brodie van Wagenen, who represents Robinson Cano, Ryan Zimmerman and Yoenis Cespedes among others, as well as super agent Scott Boras, who represents some of the biggest names available this offseason including Eric Hosmer, J.D. Martinez and Jake Arrieta, have both spoken out against the perceived injustices they feel the owners have placed on players. Ironically, it seems the molasses-slow offseason has had an effect on ticket sales, as some teams are seeing slight declines from this point last year, but that could all be explained by other phenomena. The players association has been coy regarding perceived plans for a spring training boycott so far, but the growing sense from players and agents points in a different direction. Recently at the Dodgers Fan Fest, All-Star closer Kenley Jansen offered a stark point of view: “Maybe we need to go on strike, to be honest with you.” The threat of a strike looms, and while it is highly unlikely any regular season games are cancelled, there is growing sentiment that a strike to begin Spring Training may be in play. As the days go on and players remain unsigned, that sentiment grows.

Judges split UAA games in weekend road trip

(02/06/18 5:47pm)

The Brandeis women’s basketball team left the University campus this weekend, travelling to Case Western Reserve University and Carnegie Mellon University. A less successful weekend than the last one, the Judges won one game and lost one, resulting in an updated record of 12-7, 4-5 in the University Athletic Association. The team looks ahead to next weekend when they return home to play Washington University in St. Louis on Friday, and the University of Chicago on Sunday.

Judges sweep weekend games

(01/30/18 11:03am)

The Judges have dominated in the past week of play, conquering Case Western Reserve University and Carnegie Mellon University, both University Athletic Association competitors. The victories improved their record to 11-6 overall and 3-4 in the conference. The team looks ahead to their next game on the road against UAA competitor Carnegie Mellon on Friday.

Individual runners shine at BU and Tufts

(01/30/18 11:02am)

The Brandeis Men’s and Women’s track teams participated in both the Boston University Terrier Classic and the Tufts University Branwen Smith-King Invitational which took place this past weekend. While the teams did not place well among some stiff competition in the Tufts meet, the Judges had some individual studs on the weekend. Two school records were set and three runners had top five NCAA Division III performances. The meet at BU was non scoring, but runners posted individual qualifying times. 

Both teams dominate NFC championship

(01/30/18 11:01am)

The fencing teams finished their Northeast Fencing Conference campaigns on Sunday with impressive showings at Boston College. The men clinched their third NFC crown in four years with an undefeated 10-0 record, and the women finished a strong third place with a 9-3 record, besting some of the top programs in the region. As the Judges finish their NFC campaign, they are tied with Boston College with an overall record of 19-3. 

Hideki Matsuyama looks to win his third straight Phoenix Open and improve his No. 5 PGA ranking

(01/30/18 11:00am)

Golf is about to get rowdy. Starting Jan. 29 and going through Feb. 4, the Waste Management Phoenix Open, dubbed “the greatest show on grass,” is taking place in Scottsdale, Arizona. The tournament is famous for its notorious 16th hole, a par-3 which, with the addition of stadium seating, turns into “the Coliseum.” It’s one of the reasons this tournament has one of the largest galleries of any tournament in the world. Tiger Woods was famously showered with beer by adoring fans after he aced the 16th in 1997.