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Rays Make Another Interesting Swap With Padres

Hunter Renfroe joins the 2020 Tamoa Bay Rays season lineup.

Hunter Renfroe joins the 2020 Tamoa Bay Rays season lineup.

If you got déjà vu from the Rays recent trade, it’s understandable considering how similar this deal is to another trade the two teams made only a month before. In January Tampa Bay made a shocking deal to trade outfielder Tommy Pham to San Diego in exchange for outfielder Hunter Renfroe and second base prospect Xavier Edwards. Just a couple weeks later the Rays traded another established Major League player to the Pads in relief pitcher Emilio Pagan for another Padres outfielder in Manuel Margot. Also headed to the Bay is catching and outfield prospect Logan Driscoll who had a slash line of .340/.458/.797 in the Northwest league. He’ll start the 2020 season in Class-A Bowling Green for Tampa Bay. 

Why did the Rays make this trade?

Fans may be curious as to why the Rays traded Pagan, the team’s leader in saves with twenty. For starters, Tampa Bay felt confident in their many bullpen arms, including Nick Anderson, Colin Poche, Diego Castillo, and Oliver Drake. They’re also counting on a rebound year from Jose Alvarado, who struggled after a scorching start last season. On top of that if guys like Brent Honeywell and Anthony Banda can fully recover from Tommy John surgery and be effective, it’s safe to say Tampa Bay will have a deep enough bullpen. 

The fact the Rays had four outfielders before this trade occurred also makes it interesting. Margot is a defensive outfielder, primarily in centerfield, with a very similar profile to Kevin Kiermaier but from the right side of the plate. However, Margot is coming off a year in which he hit .330/.420/.466 clip against lefties, making him an ideal platoon with Kiermaier, who struggles against left handers. Outfielder Randy Arozarena, acquired from St. Louis this offseason, is affected the most by this deal as instead of having a chance to be the fourth outfielder on the Opening Day roster, Margot will take that spot. Chances are Arozarena will start the year in Triple-A Durham.

General Manager of the Rays Erik Neander told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times that they had been on Margot for a while, and had tried to acquire him with prospects. When that didn’t work the Rays resorted to trading from a place of depth to acquire a needed position player. Neander also told Topkin, “We feel really good about where we stand right now.” At the end of the day this trade sends a message to Tampa Bay: We want to win now. 

Why did the Padres make this deal?

This one’s a little easier to explain. The main reason for San Diego agreeing to this is they wanted to bolster an already solid bullpen. MLB Network rated Padres closer Kirby Yates as the top relief pitcher in baseball and now they can throw Pagan into that mix, which should be lethal. Having a strong bullpen will be crucial for San Diego as they will need to eat up innings to back a very young and inexperienced starting rotation.

However there are negatives to this deal for San Diego as centerfield is wide open for the Pads. Without the rangy Margot in center the outfield defense takes a significant hit. Newcomers such as Trent Grisham and former Ray Tommy Pham may have to plug that hole for the Friars, both of which are used to playing the corner outfield positions. The Padres took a risk in the outfield to strengthen the ‘pen, and only time will tell if it was worth it.

What’s next for Tampa Bay?

That’s a tough question with the always innovative Rays’ front office. After the Jose Martinez trade most Rays’ fans, including me, felt the Rays were pretty much set with their roster heading into Spring Training other than a few minor league signings. Clearly we were wrong as the Rays made another significant trade only days before pitchers and catchers reported. 

However, with only about two weeks before the Rays’ Spring Training opener, I just don’t see the Rays making another big trade, especially one that removes current players from the 25-man roster. Although Tampa Bay’s front office has a knack of making surprising trades so I wouldn’t completely rule it out. One thing is for certain, the Rays want to win, and now. If they can make another trade to improve the roster significantly for the right cost, they’ll do it.

About the Writer
Photo of David Fackson
David Fackson, Staff Writer

David is a junior and is a Staff Writer for the Durant PawPrint Newspaper. He is a huge baseball fan, specifically a Rays fan who loves writing about the...

Twitter Q&A: 2020-2021 Rays Season

Fans are rallying with excitement for the upcoming baseball season. Tickets are already on sale, more information is provided at mlb.com.

Tampa Bay Rays

Fans are rallying with excitement for the upcoming baseball season. Tickets are already on sale, more information is provided at mlb.com.

The baseball season is almost upon us, so what better way to get ready than to answer your fan questions? I asked fellow fans on twitter and many students at Durant High School to send me any questions you have regarding the upcoming Rays season, and as the old saying goes, “Ask and you shall receive.”

Do you foresee anymore trades being done before opening day?

[email protected] on Twitter

I’d be shocked if the Rays made a major trade that really shakes up the clubhouse in the next month or so. After the Martinez trade it seems like the 25- man roster is set and ready to rock. Other than a few minor league signings and invitations to Spring Training I don’t see the Rays making anymore moves leading up to March 26th.


Do you think the Rays have a good starting rotation for this upcoming season?

[email protected] on Twitter

I’d be willing to argue Tampa Bay has the best starting rotation in baseball led by the three-headed monster of Charlie Morton, Tyler Glasnow, and Blake Snell. They also have a very solid back of the rotation including Ryan Yarbrough, Yonny Chirinos, Brendan McKay and possibly Brent Honeywell, depending on his progression from Tommy John surgery. What’s going to determine if the rotation lives up to its potential will be health. If the Rays can avoid the avalanche of injuries they experienced last season with the starting rotation they have a real shot of doing some serious damage this season. Expect there to be managed workloads on both Glasnow and Snell to avoid injury in 2020.


What do you think the Rays fallback plan is if Mike Zunino doesn’t work out?

[email protected] on Twitter

There’s no getting around it, Mike Zunino had a horrendous year on offense in 2019. However his defense was still spectacular, possibly being the reason why the Rays re-signed him this offseason. Tampa Bay has faith in him rebounding, but if he continues to struggle with the bat the Rays could opt to give Michael Perez the primary catching job and make Zunino the backup. If Perez struggles to produce at the big-league level Tampa Bay could give Kevan Smith or Chris Herrmann a shot, both of which recently signed minor league contracts with an invite to spring training. Another route they could go down is acquiring a catcher from another team, like they did last season stealing Travis d’Arnaud from the Dodgers. If the Rays want to hoist the World Series trophy, they are going to have to figure out the catching position one way or another.


Do you think Nate Lowe has a future on the team with Choi and Martinez?

[email protected] on Twitter

After acquiring Jose Martinez from St. Louis, the first base position is extremely crowded with Choi, Lowe, and now Martinez all needing playing time. Martinez can play outfield but his defense is shaky and could fit better at first base. If he struggles with the glove in the outfield but is effective at 1st then Lowe will be in trouble as both Choi and Martinez are under control for a few more years. On top of that they make the perfect platoon as Choi hits righties and Martinez rakes lefties. If this is the case then I don’t see how Lowe could fit on the current roster and could be dangled as trade bait for a midseason need the Rays have, such as a catcher.


Will Brent Honeywell be worth the wait? 

[email protected]_ on Twitter

Absolutely, yes, he will. Not only does he provide depth to an already deep pitching staff, the guy throws a screwball, which is unheard-of nowadays.  He’s been rated highly on every prospect list for years now and is rated as the 91st overall best prospect according to MLB Pipeline. He’s going to be fun to watch, that I can assure you.


Do you think we’ll see an opener being used as often as we saw it last season?

[email protected] on Twitter

Assuming the health of the rotation, I just don’t see the Rays using as many openers as last season. The opener was born out of necessity and now that the Rays have a full and healthy (hopefully) rotation the opener won’t be as necessary as it was in previous seasons. It may make an appearance here and there but don’t expect one or two per week like 2019.


Do you think Wander Franco will be called up this year?

[email protected] on Twitter

I’d be very surprised if we see him in a Rays uniform this year. Keep in mind the kid is only 18, going to be 19, and hasn’t played in Double-A yet. It’s very unlike the Rays to rush a prospect, even one of Franco’s caliber, to the big leagues. He’ll start the year in Class-A Advanced, play a few games and be promoted to Double-A very early in the year. I don’t think it’s outlandish to say he’ll be in Triple-A by year’s end and be on the Rays’ Opening Day lineup card in 2021.


Who will be the most surprising player to watch this season?

-Zander Fisk, Junior at Durant High School

The easy or more popular choices would be Hunter Renfroe or Jose Martinez but I’m going to go out of the box a little here with Randy Arozarena. In the trade that sent Liberatore to the Cards the Rays got Martinez, but they also got the less talked about Arozarena. He’s pegged to be the fourth outfielder on the Opening Day roster if he impresses during Spring Training. First of all, the kid can flat out fly, automatically making him a fun guy to watch. He can also hit for average, he’s got a cannon and Gold Glove caliber defense. The power is still developing but the tools he has right now makes him a very intriguing player for 2020.


Will the Rays win the A.L. East?

[email protected] on Twitter

Looking at the roster right now, if the Rays can stay healthy, I truly believe the Rays can and will win this division. They have a top three starting rotation in all of baseball and the best bullpen, both of which led the league in ERA last season. In addition they have a newly revamped lineup with more power and a young core of guys who are hungry to win. If Tampa Bay can figure out how to win at Yankee Stadium and bury the Red Sox like they did last year, nothing is stopping them from claiming their first A.L. East title since 2010.

About the Writer
Photo of David Fackson
David Fackson, Staff Writer

David is a junior and is a Staff Writer for the Durant PawPrint Newspaper. He is a huge baseball fan, specifically a Rays fan who loves writing about the...

MLB faces major scandal

Owner of the team Jim Crane, was dissapointed, and had higher expectations for the members of his organization.

Yi-Chin Lee

Owner of the team Jim Crane, was dissapointed, and had higher expectations for the members of his organization.

On Monday, January 14th the Houston Astros were handed one of the harshest penalties in baseball history since the Black Sox Scandal of 1919. Eight White Sox players were given life bans for throwing a World Series for money from gamblers, who were betting against the White Sox in the Fall Classic.

The Astros, who were being investigated for cheating electronically using a centerfield camera to decode signs given by the opposing catchers, then banging on a trash can to tell the Houston batters that an off-speed pitch was coming.

Commissioner Rob Manfred caught the Red Sox in 2017 using a smart watch to get signs from the Yankees and were given a light suspension and fine. Manfred declared that if he caught a team cheating electronically again the penalty would be massive.

On Monday night he didn’t disappoint as Astros’ manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were both suspended a year from baseball, the Astros lost all their first and second round draft picks for 2020 and 2021 and were fined 5 million dollars, the most a team can be fined under the MLB constitution. 

The report released by Major League Baseball Investigation Unit, stated that the main perpetrators included but were not limited to current managers Alex Cora of the Red Sox, who was the bench coach at the time, Carlos Beltran of the Mets, who was the designated hitter for Houston, as well as Hinch and Luhnow.

Cora and Beltran both actively participated and relayed signs to the dugout and batter, while no evidence linked Hinch and Luhnow to participating in the cheating, the two still made no efforts to stop the activity. No players were suspended by MLB for the scandal, thus Beltran was not penalized.

Once Manfred announced the penalty the Astros immediately fired both Hinch and Luhnow as owner Jim Crane had “higher standards for the city and the fans.”

The Boston Red Sox, who were also being investigated for electronically cheating, followed suit as they fired their manager Alex Cora on Tuesday, before MLB released Cora’s punishment.

According to Major League Baseball’s report Cora ran the cheating operation in Houston, as he relayed the signs from the monitor in the clubhouse to a player or coach in the dugout, who would then proceed to bang on a trash can to inform the batter of the incoming pitch.

After leaving Houston to manage the Red Sox in 2018 he continued to cheat in Boston using a similar system, and proceeded to win the World Series. 

After the Astros and Red Sox both let go of their respective managers for a clean slate the Mets were feeling pressure from their fans to fire their manager Carlos Beltran, who had just been hired this offseason and hadn’t even managed a single game.

Finally, on Thursday, January 16, Beltran reportedly “stepped down” from being the manager of the New York Mets, ending the fallout of this cheating scandal which took three managers and a general manager who may never work in baseball again.

It’s very obvious this wasn’t an accident, this was a refined system used for cheating electronically and directly influenced the outcome and the integrity of the game. Reaction from the baseball world was split, reporters such as Ken Rosenthal and Jayson Stark felt the penalty was plenty harsh. “The goal of this punishment was to prevent teams from doing this again, I think this accomplished that,” Stark said on MLB Network.

However former players such as David Freese felt MLB needed to go further as on Twitter he simply said, “Should’ve taken the ring,” referring to the 2017 World Series title the Astros won, their only title in franchise history and it will forever be tainted by this scandal. 

It was a momentous day for baseball, one we had never seen the likes of and hopefully never have to see again. When the integrity of the game comes into question it’s the commissioner’s job to restore it, and the punishment handed out to Houston will hopefully deter other teams from trying to cheat electronically and never force fans to question whether the game was played fairly again.

Scandals like these don’t just make the Houston Astros or the Boston Red Sox look bad, it’s much bigger than that. It makes the game of baseball look bad, its reputation tarnished. Yes it was a sad day for baseball, the Astros, A.J. Hinch and Jeff Luhnow, but most of all it was a sad day for the fans. A day that made them question the fairness and integrity of this great game, the game they love. It was hopefully a day we never have to experience again.

About the Writer
Photo of David Fackson
David Fackson, Staff Writer

David is a junior and is a Staff Writer for the Durant PawPrint Newspaper. He is a huge baseball fan, specifically a Rays fan who loves writing about the...

Swinging for the fences: 2019 Rays season Overview

The+Rays+celebrate+their+valiant+efforts+throughout+the+eason.

The Rays celebrate their valiant efforts throughout the eason.

The 2019 MLB season found the Rays in a familiar spot: a few new faces, a few returning players, and fewer fans in the stands in St. Pete’s Tropicana Field. Little did 2019 AL Manager of the Year Kevin Cash know that 2019 would be the first time the 22-year-old Rays would make it to the postseason since 2013.

The Rays season began on an optimistic note with a series win against eventual 2019 World Series runner up, the Houston Astros.  However, a rash of injuries swept through the Rays’ clubhouse mid-April, sending Blake Snell (fractured right toe), Austin Meadows (right thumb sprain), Joey Wendle (hamstring sprain), fan-favorite Ji-Man Choi (calf tightness), and veteran Matt Duffy (pulled hamstring) to the Injured List (IL). Surprisingly, Kevin Kiermaier, known for his extended annual stints on the IL, avoided getting injured, but did miss games in the middle of the season with a variety of injuries. The Rays ended April with a 19-12 record, including a sweep against the Red Sox.

The Rays won 16 of their 27 games in May, including two series against the New York Yankees and a series against the Cleveland Indians.  Riley Brown, a sophomore at Durant High School, says that the Yankees were the toughest opponent for the Rays to face this year, alluding to the few games the Rays won against their division opponents.  Tampa Bay also led sweeps against cross-state rivals, the Miami Marlins, and international opponents, the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Rays avoided their common summer slump, winning more than half of their games in June.  However, behind the scenes, Rays’ ownership was exploring a future deal with Montreal (who lost their MLB Franchise when the Expos became the current Washington Nationals), due to low profit from low attendance at Tropicana Field.  Stadium deal rumors, such as this, have become a common headline in Tampa for many years, so much that Rays’ fans are accustomed to the threats to draw baseball away from the west coast of Florida.  The rumors have yet to amount to any action.

Grant Greenwell, a sophomore at Durant says “[the Rays] are probably gonna move pretty soon or are gonna be a two-city team at least.”  Rays fans have mixed opinions on the matter.  Austin Haley, a Durant Chemistry teacher, says that he hopes the rumors will result in reopening talks to keep the Rays in Florida, but at a better location.  However, the Rays need a lot more than a few passionate fans to keep them in Tampa Bay.

Despite the stadium drama, Rays’ players remained focused on the game and managed to get three players elected to the AL All-Star game on July 9: utility player, Brandon Lowe, Charlie Morton, and rookie sensation, Austin Meadows.  Lowe and Morton were unable to play in the game due to an injury and the pitching schedule, but Meadows represented the Ray, entering the game in the 4th inning playing outfield for three innings and an at bat.

Facing the second half of the season, the Rays had one thing in mind: the playoffs.  Rays ended July playing the Red Sox for the fourth time in 2019.  Tampa Bay swept the Olde Towne Team at Fenway Park in four games, leading them into August on another high note, being the first team to win eight games at Boston in one season since 1966.  Catcher Travis D’Arnaud had an outstanding July, batting .304 and hitting 25 RBIs.

With a pitching staff largely on the IL, the Rays managed an impressive performance in the post season push.  The Rays relied on an innovative pitching approach with an “opener”, but without many of their starters, their approach was limited.  The offense managed to drive the Rays to 17 wins in 27 games.  Rays’ shortstop Willy Adames continued his stellar sophomore year, hitting .304 with 28 hits.

Rays’ fans, players, and coaches were watching the Wild Card standings, knowing their performance in September would control their post season fate.  Their pitchers were finally getting healthy and batters were swinging for the fences.  September began by completing a sweep against the Cleveland Indians, followed by 15 more wins.  Left fielder Tommy Pham closed out the season setting five 2019 team records, including 25 stolen bases and 33 doubles.  The last win in the regular season came against the Toronto Blue Jays on September 27.  Not only did the Rays beat the Blue Jays 6-2, they clinched one of the two Wild Card spots, followed by an extensive champagne celebration in Toronto’s visitor’s locker room.  The Rays would be playing in October for the first time since 2013.

Austin Haley, “[the Rays’] run differential was great this year,” and contributes that to their offensive success.  Throughout regular season, the Rays were only outscored in the month of August and outscored opponents 796-656 overall.

The Rays faced the Oakland Athletics in the Wild Card game on October 2nd, sending Charlie Morton to lead the defense for the first five innings, but they didn’t have to rely on their pitching and defense alone.  Yandy Diaz, returning third baseman, had an excellent performance hitting two back to back homers.  Avisail Garcia and Tommy Pham contributed to the offensive assault leading the Rays to a 5-1 victory over the Athletics, taking them to the American League Divisional Series.

After one day off, the Rays flew to Houston for the first two games of the series.  Rays fans weren’t giving up hope, even after dropping the first two games to Houston, being outscored 9-3.  Back on their home turf, the Rays challenged the Astros in a spectacular offensive show.  Kevin Kiermaier, who had had a rather quiet bat in the regular season, matched Altuve’s solo homerun with a three-run homer in the bottom of the second.  Aces Ji-Man Choi, Austin Meadows, Tommy Pham, Brandon Lowe, and Willy Adames contributed seven more runs bring the final score to 10-3.  The Rays were making a comeback.

The fourth game was just as exciting for Rays’ fans.  Justin Verlander would be pitching on three days’ rest for the first time in his career-a major mistake by Astro’s management.  Started by Diego Castillo, the Rays pitched a shutout through eight innings spoiled by a solo homerun by Houston catcher Robinson Chirinos.

Unfortunately, a sharp eye from the Astros’ dug out ended the Rays’ post season battle.  The Astros decoded Tyler Glasnow’s pitching positions, allowing them to read the pitch before it was thrown.  The Astros’ beat the Rays 6-1 in the decisive game 5 of the ALDS.  The Rays would be heading home after an impressive and unexpected fight with the Houston Astros.

Nevertheless, the Rays saw their regular and post season performance as a team victory.  In an interview with ABC, Eric Sogard voiced his praise for the 2019 Rays saying, “I think we surprised a lot of people. We believed in ourselves the whole way, we believed we could have done it. We went up against the best team, we gave them a fight in five games.”

The Rays performance this year was not about winning the World Series; it was about perseverance, fighting, and impressing every baseball fan.

About the Writer
Photo of Lily Belcher
Lily Belcher, Editor in Chief

Lily Belcher is a junior at Durant High School and is the Editor in Chief for the PawPrint. She is freelancing for the Osprey Observer this year and hopes...

How Dress Codes affect students differently.

Rose Lynn, student at MacArthur High School in Oklahoma making a statement about her school's dress code.

Today News

Rose Lynn, student at MacArthur High School in Oklahoma making a statement about her school’s dress code.

Dress code has been a long-term debate on whether it’s fair and unbiased, and students are beginning
to make their voices heard.Most school dress codes are the same, no tank tops, no shoulders, bottoms be fingertip length, and if you wear leggings, your shirt must cover your butt.

These policies are meant to ensure that there is no disruption to the learning environment, however, this does not seem to be the case for many schools nation-wide. Many students, especially females, are stepping out claiming that dress code policies are biased, sexist, and make them feel as though they are “distractions” instead of students.

This is shared by Oklahoma teen, Rose Lynn, pictured above, in 2015 as reported by Jordi Lippe-McGraw on TODAY. Lynn attends MacArthur High School in Oklahoma. One December morning she went and put on an outfit she believed to be appropriate based on the dress code. This outfit included a loose shirt, lengthy cardigan, and leggings. While at school that day she was sent home for said outfit and told that it was “deemed inappropriate and distracting” as reported by TODAY.

She did not let that stop her, she returned to the school wearing leggings and a lengthy white t-shirt that had stated in black marker ink “It doesn’t cover your crotch, you’ll distract the boys.”

This is what administration said to her before sending her home previously. She then later posted a picture of her outfit on social media along with a paragraph describing what happened and her opinion on the matter, and finished with a statement that read, “So once again, society has failed to advocate for young ladies, by confining them in a box, where they are stripped from their since of self-respect and self-expression.”

She also made claims on how her school is biased saying that is if she was “skin and bones or overweight” she would have been overlooked, but the fact that she is curvy is part of the reason she was singled out. And she isn’t the only teen to claim this.

A middle schooler in Maine has shown her determination in making her voice heard. At the time of the beginning of her movement, Molly Neuner, 11, of Portland, Maine, was sent home multiple times for the clothing she wore after
being told she would be a “distraction” towards males by at least two teachers, as reported by Danielle Waugh of NBC New York. After being told this, she claimed that “It just made [fellow students] feel uncomfortable”.

When she returned home, she discovered a hashtag that would not only inspire her, but many others. She returned to school the next day trying to make a statement. She did this by wearing a spaghetti strap tank top and wrote on her arm the hashtag “#iamnotadistraction.”

After seeing this, many students followed her lead by writing the same hashtags on their arms. After catching
the attention of multiple news outlets, schools began realizing that dress codes may be in need of reviewing.

When asked, Durant students did not hesitate to respond to the questions, “What is your opinion on school dress codes? Do you believe that they are biased or make females feel as they are a distraction?”

Senior Laura Bergman responded with the statement, “It’s stupid and teaches girls and boys to feel uncomfortable in their skin. It also teaches girls and boys what they should sexualize.”

Senior Gabbi Mora gave a similar response, “honestly, school dress code isn’t fair. Some girls show up breaking it every day and aren’t caught, but the second some innocent girl has her fingertips one inch past their shorts, it’s a problem, I don’t think it’s fair whatsoever.”

However, not all students agree with these statements. Emma Adcock, Junior, claims that “I believe if we didn’t have one then girls would be getting pregnant left and right. Dress codes protect both sexes.”

Students at Durant remain on both ends of the spectrum, and hopefully the new policies in place this school year are what we need. By updating the school dress code for the school year of 2019-2020, students can finally come to an agreement on what we need and what is to excessive, making guidelines that keep everyone happy, and no longer cause females to feel as if they are more of a distraction and less of a student.

About the Contributor
Photo of Faith Miller
Faith Miller, Staff Writer

Faith Miller is a senior at Durant High School and is a Staff Writer for the Durant PawPrint. This year will be her fourth season on the varsity Durant...

Disney Bans Smoking and Over-sized Strollers in its Theme Parks

Smoking+regulations+are+now+in+affect+at+Disney+theme+parks.

Disney

Smoking regulations are now in affect at Disney theme parks.

Earlier this year, Florida’s Disney theme parks concluded that the toleration of designated smoking and large strollers would be banned from their facilities. Claims state that the announced ban will allow for guests to have a more enjoyable time in each park. The removal of such will allow for guests to move along more freely without the feeling of being congested by others who are taking up too much space.

While the ban has set to be in effect as of May 1st, Disney has also reported that loose and dry ice, generally carried by a guest containing the ice in a cooler, to also be banned. The report states the the loose and dry ice ban is in effect immediately after announcement.

Various sources have expressed their views on the matter and while some believe that the new policy is a plausible decision, others have expressed their annoyance with the ban.

According to the New York Times, the President of the International Theme Park Service, Dennis Speigel, stated that the Disney theme parks chose the “right course.” He continued to explain that in a family-oriented setting, nobody wants to encounter a person smoking.

Alongside the distraction of a smoking individual in a family-crowded facility, smoking in general poses a health risk toward the other guests inside the Disney parks themselves.

At Durant High School, 12th grader, Kyle Harper, explained that those who are smoking in the theme park create a hazard toward guests who have a difficulty breathing or struggle with asthma-related symptoms.

“Including myself, it’s not fair for those who have to worry about other people spreading hazardous smoke in the air at a theme park like Disney, where they should be able to enjoy their visit without worrying about symptoms acting up,” Harper said.

Even though smoking may be an enjoyable way for people to relax at their favorite theme park, other guests are put at an unfair risk. With the new rule being put in place, Disney hopes  that their action will allow all of its guests to feel safe from hazardous chemicals that put their health at risk.

According to a New York-based study in 2007, provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,  scientists concluded that the implementation of laws prohibiting smoking in restaurants, bars and other indoor workplaces would reduce the amount of hospital admissions for myocardial infarction in 2004.

Disney’s new rules will completely reduce the number of guests who are victim to secondhand smoking on theme park property.

In addition to the composed health risks, guests who are victim to secondhand smoking would face congestion within the theme parks due to guests taking up space to smoke. Confirmed in an interview by the Tampa Bay Times, the communications manager at Walt Disney World Resort, Lisa Mendillo, stated that designated smoking areas will no longer be available to guests to clear space in the park.

Another ban taking place to clear up the congestion within the walkways of Disney parks is the prohibition of oversized strollers. Strollers that exceed a width of 31 inches or a length of 52 inches will now be prohibited nder Disney’s new restrictions.

Photo credit to FavoriteGrampy.com
Among the list of banned strollers, the infamous “wagon stroller” (pictured above) is no longer accepted into Disney theme parks. Photo by FavoriteGrampy.com

Similarly to the smoking ban, the banning of oversized strollers will allow Disney fans to walk more freely among the parks.

Durant High School seniors, Delton Newsome and Omar Gonzalez, shared their views on the current circumstance of oversized strollers in Disney parks.

“A larger stroller could be used to contain important supplies that a parent may need to provide aid to their kids,” Newsome stated.

While it is important for a parent to meet the needs of their children, Newsome agreed with the Disney’s restriction because certain strollers may be excessive. Restricted oversized strollers allow for guests to walk around the park with more ease.

“The rule is justified for those who want to walk around the parks more freely because too many families take advantage of the walking space that Disney provides for every guest,” Gonzalez added.

In order to make the parks safer and easier to maneuver to guests, Disney’s new restricts are now in affect until bigger issues arise. For more information regarding Disney’s park restrictions and policies, visit the official Walt Disney World website.

 

 

 

Opinion: Animal testing is wrong

Opinion: Animal testing is wrong

Sixty-eight percent of U.S. households, or about 85 million families, own a pet. I’d bet that everyone in this room with a pet probably loves it, and if anything were to happen to them you’d be heart broken. Why does this change when the poor, innocent animal is put in the hands of a merciless scientist.

The tradition of Animal testing is cruel and inhumane. According to Humane Society International, animals used in experiments are commonly subjected to force feeding, forced inhalation, food and water deprivation, prolonged periods of physical restraint, the infliction of burns and other wounds to study the healing process, the infliction of pain to study its effects and remedies, and “killing by carbon dioxide asphyxiation, neck-breaking, decapitation, or other means.” [47] The Draize eye test, used by cosmetics companies to evaluate irritation caused by shampoos and other products, involves rabbits being incapacitated in stocks with their eyelids held open by clips, sometimes for multiple days, so they cannot blink away the products being tested. It’s awful how these animals are treated and how the people who treat them this way get off harm free because it’s in the “name of science.

Even with all the cruel and inhumane testing, animals are very different from human beings and therefore make poor test subjects. The anatomic, metabolic, and cellular differences between animals and people make animals poor models for human beings. [52] Paul Furlong, Professor of Clinical Neuroimaging at Aston University (UK), states that “it’s very hard to create an animal model that even equates closely to what we’re trying to achieve in the human.” Alternative and more effective methods such as in vitro (or in glass) testing, such as studying cell cultures in a petri dish, can produce more relevant results than animal testing because human cells can be used.

To further show the irrelevance animals should have in drug testing, the 1950s sleeping pill thalidomide, which caused 10,000 babies to be born with severe deformities, was tested on animals prior to its commercial release. Later tests on pregnant mice, rats, guinea pigs, cats, and hamsters did not result in birth defects unless the drug was administered at extremely high doses. Also, 94% of drugs that pass animal tests fail in human clinical trials.According to neurologist Aysha Akhtar, MD, MPH, over 100 stroke drugs that were effective when tested on animals have failed in humans, and over 85 HIV vaccines failed in humans after working well in non-human primates.

In conclusion, animals don’t deserve the cruel, unnecessary treatment that these drug testing labs put them through. All their suffering is put to waste in the need due to the lack or relation between humans and these lab animals.

Controversy Over Kaepernick’s Nike Ad is Unnecessary

Nike+ad+featuring+Kaepernick.

Courtesy of ABC News

Nike ad featuring Kaepernick.

Tampa Bay, Fla.–After the release of the controversial Nike ad featuring ex-NFL star Colin Kaepernick, the brand has been experiencing mixed reviews.

Kaepernick was the face of the National Anthem protest movement back in 2016. He kneeled during the singing of the National Anthem for what he deemed as the wrongdoings against African Americans and minorities in the United States.

However, the negativity towards Nike after their release of the recent ad featuring Kaepernick is not widespread. It is mostly coming from more politically conservative people, who also protested against Kaepernick’s cause back in 2016. President Trump also spoke about the topic.

“Just like the NFL, whose ratings have gone WAY DOWN, Nike is getting absolutely killed with anger and boycotts,” Trump tweeted shortly after the announcement of the deal. This statement is, however, very false, as Nike’s value actually skyrocketed to six million after the release of the ad which is the highest their value has ever been.

The ad reads: Believe in something even if it means sacrificing everything. This speaks to Kaepernick’s role in the protests back in 2016. Kaepernick sacrificed his career as a NFL quarterback because he believed so strongly in equality for all races in America.

Negative feedback targeted towards Nike as a result of the ad’s release have included actions such as several universities removing all Nike branded sports uniforms and products from their campuses as a form of boycotting the company. Also, many people began to upload pictures and videos of themselves defacing Nike products such as socks and shoes. A large number of the postings included people stating they would switch their allegiance to companies such as Adidas, Brooks or Converse–despite Converse also being a Nike owned company.

The negative response to the ad is unnecessary, due to the fact that it simply is that–an ad. Not only is it simply an ad, but it is an ad promoting a positive message about persuading a dream regardless of the criticism of others.

Even the president, who did not agree with the Anthem protests, stated: “As much as I disagree with the Colin Kaepernick endorsement, in another way . . . it is what this country is all about, that you have certain freedoms to do things that other people think you shouldn’t do, but I personally am on a different side of it.”

This quote further proves how this whole ordeal over a simple ad is unnecessary, even by someone who doesn’t agree with the circumstances of the face of the ad. We, as Americans, need to learn to accept others regardless of what we believe because it will make America what it was meant to be–a democracy.

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