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August 29, 2013

Oil briefly surges past $112 in hectic trading

Filed under: economics, term — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 11:24 am

The price of oil briefly surged past $112 a barrel Wednesday before giving up most of its gains while the U.S. seemed to edge closer to intervening in Syria’s civil war.

The U.N.’s special envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, said Wednesday in Geneva that there was evidence that some kind of chemical “substance” had been used in an attack that may have killed more than 1,000 people near Damascus.

Brahimi also said that any military strike against Syria needed to gain approval from the 15-member U.N. Security Council.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Tuesday that American forces were ready to act on any order by President Barack Obama to strike Syria in response to the alleged use of chemical weapons in the conflict.

By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark oil for October delivery was up 97 cents to $109.98 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Earlier in the session, oil rose as high as $112.24.

On Tuesday, the Nymex contract jumped $3.09 to close at $109.01 a barrel. Still, the price remains far below its record close of $145.29 a barrel, reached on July 3, 2008.

The price of oil is has surged more than 15 percent in the last three months on concerns over the civil war in Syria and unrest in Egypt. Neither country is a major oil exporter, but traders worry that the violence could spread to more important oil-exporting countries or disrupt major oil transport routes.

“Syria’s political-economic-military links to Iran, Hezbollah and Russia underline the threat of unintended chain-reaction resulting in wider regional instability. Threat of supply disruption is not insignificant,” said Vishnu Varathan of Mizuho Bank Ltd. in Singapore in a market commentary.

Other analysts, however, said the developments in Syria were being used as an incentive to reconsider the status of the global oil markets — with other factors accounting for rising prices.

A report from JBC Energy in Vienna said there was a “clear risk of an overreaction in the current situation,” especially as Syria was only producing around 70,000 barrels of oil a day. Instead, it pointed to Libya’s export cuts of at least 1 million barrels a day due to production outages and labor conflicts at shipping ports as a more probable price driver.

When Libya’s oil production stopped completely during the revolution in 2011, oil rose by $20 a barrel over the span of two weeks.

While reports of ample global supplies were recently the norm, JBC Energy said current developments — such as low spare capacity in Saudi Arabia, stockpiles falling in the U.S., disappointing supply developments around the world and signs of an improving global economy — pointed to tighter markets.

“In sum, there are surely risks to the upside of oil prices, but they have not much to do with Syria, which has only been a catalyst for reassessing markets,” JBC said.

Brent crude, the benchmark for international crudes, was up $1.20 to $115.56 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading on Nymex:

— Heating oil added 2.79 cents to $3.1935 per gallon.

— Natural gas lost 1.4 cents to $3.52 per 1,000 cubic feet.

— Wholesale gasoline rose 3.73 cents to $2.95 per gallon.


August 21, 2013

Industry Minister James Moore denies ‘courting’ Verizon

Filed under: economics, online — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 9:08 am

Officials with Industry Canada and U.S. wireless giant Verizon met in New York in late May but the session was at the U.S. operator’s request and was not part of an attempt to entice Verizon north, Industry Minister James Moore said Tuesday.

“It’s not true, we have not,” he said when asked about an assertion by Rogers Communications that Industry Canada has gone to extraordinary lengths to court Verizon Wireless as part of its goal to promote strong cellphone competition across Canada.

“There was only one meeting,” he told the Star in an interview Tuesday. “Verizon contacted us to ask (for) basic information about the auction and telecom policy,” he said.

“Courting is usually when you cross the dance floor.”

He added that Verizon did not seek favours or inducements and that he had not personally met with anyone from the company.

Moore said while Verizon is the focus of established wireless providers Rogers, Telus and Bell, it is not the linchpin of the government’s strategy to encourage a fourth competitor in each region of the country. “Our policy will succeed whether Verizon comes or not,” he said.

Speculation about a possible entry of Verizon surfaced in June in a report that said the company had made a $700 million offer for Canadian wireless upstart Wind Mobile and was in talks with fellow new entrant Mobilicity. Verizon has said only that is has considered expansion into Canada among many options, while another report last week said the company has shelved, at least temporarily, any plan to set up shop here.

Moore said he believes Verizon is basing its decisions on a business case, adding that Canada is challenging due to its size, consumer expectations, existing brand loyalties and protections — and requirements for heavy capital outlays to build rural networks.

“It’s not an easy market place for somebody to just walk in,” he said.

The minister is meeting with consumer groups and journalists across the country in response to an advertising and public relations blitz by the established telecom providers, who say the government’s wireless rules are skewed toward new entrants at the expense of incumbents.

The so-called big three, along with unions representing some of their workers, say Verizon operations in Canada might lead to higher prices, slower wireless speeds, less rural coverage and could even compromise the security of consumers business cards.

The Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, for example, wants a review of “national security concerns,” relating to a Verizon move here, saying Verizon has worked closely with the U.S. National Security Agency to collect personal data on millions of its U.S. customers. Verizon has declined comment.

Meanwhile, NDP Opposition Industry critic Chris Charlton is calling on the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology to hold Parliamentary hearings on Canada’s wireless rules and its upcoming auction of the airwave spectrum that boosts performance of mobile devices.

It’s a call supported by telecoms, including Bell, and Moore did not rule out the possibility. A spokesperson for the minister said the request is being reviewed by the committee chair David Sweet.

Moore said the twice-delayed auction will proceed as planned in January under rules that set aside two blocks of spectrum for new entrants versus one for incumbents.

The minister acknowledged the structure could lead to incumbents being unable to secure spectrum, which Rogers says could hinder its ability to deliver the highest speed wireless services.

Moore also stood by the government’s decision to effectively block the purchase of Mobilicity by Telus in order to prevent spectrum from a struggling company being passed along to an incumbent with a dominant market share.

Financially distressed Mobilicity has said is in acquisition talks with “multiple parties” and Wind Mobile CEO Anthony Lacavera last week said he was revising efforts to combine Wind and Mobile as a home grown fourth competitor.

Moore said he met with Mobilicity two weeks ago and a further meeting could take place if requested. Mobilicity, which Tuesday said it was partnering with a Vancouver-based reseller, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


August 16, 2013

MLB set to expand video replay in 2014 pending owners vote in November

Filed under: economics, legal — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 12:32 pm

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y.—Major League Baseball is expanding its video review process next season, giving managers a tool they’ve never had.

Commissioner Bud Selig calls it a historic moment for the game in a press conference in Cooperstown after two days of meetings with representatives of the 30 teams. The proposal is to be voted on by the owners in November.

Managers will be allowed one challenge over the first six innings of games and two after the seventh inning until the end of the game. Calls that are challenged will be reviewed by a crew in MLB headquarters in New York City, which will make the final ruling.

MLB vice-president Joe Torre gave the replay presentation to representatives from all 30 teams on Wednesday and it was discussed Thursday morning.

A 75-per-cent vote by the owners is needed for approval and the players’ association and umpires would have to agree to any changes to the current system.


August 11, 2013

Remembering the Christie Pits riot: DiManno

Filed under: economics, term — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 3:20 pm

Joe Black’s father was a mild-mannered man who owned a small confectioner’s near Christie Pits. Unusual for the time, the store had a telephone.

On the evening of Aug. 16, 1933, the elder Black obligingly let a youth into his store who said he desperately needed to make a call. The fellow was carrying a long steel rod. As Mr. Black hovered nearby, he overhead the teenager trying to summon anti-Semitic reinforcements for the melee that had shockingly broken out across the street.

“My dad took the guy’s arm, pulled it up behind him until you could hear it crack, dislocated the arm completely,’’ recalls the son, now 87 years old, but with vivid recollections of that chaotic night.

“I have memories of everything.”

This was one time that Toronto’s Jewish community would not stand for the abuse, the Jew-baiting, which was quite prevalent in the city in those years just before World War II, when Adolf Hitler had just taken power in an economically flattened Germany and Nazism was ascendant.

This one time, Toronto’s Jews — the teen boys, at least — fought back, with help from Italian lads (the late Johnny Lombardi among them) who’d been equally resented and unwelcome as “foreigners’’ in what was an insular, xenophobic town sometimes called the Belfast of Canada because of its militantly Protestant character and the flamboyant annual Orange Parades.

Working-class youth of Scottish and British stock were just as socially and financially frozen out of the landed gentry privileges personified by the Eaton family — “they ran the city,” snorts call-me-Joe. (At Eaton’s, Jews were hired only for jobs where they wouldn’t deal with the public; a Jewish woman, for example, would not be considered for the elevator-operation position.)

But the white trash had kikes and wops to look down their noses at, as the two largest “ethnic” demographics in the ’30s.

Swastikas and Heil Hitler salutes were not an unfamiliar sight in Toronto. Neither Jews nor Italians were permitted to swim at the city-run Sunnyside pool. They weren’t welcome, either, during that hot summer of ’33, at public beaches in the east and west.

Temperatures and tempers were seething.

It all broke at the end of a softball game at Christie Pits between a Catholic youth team from St. Peter’s Church, and Harbord Playground, composed mostly of Jewish boys but also some Italians.

The rumble erupted when a clot of boys from the self-styled Pit Gang, who’d been sitting on the “camel’s hump’’ — a knoll just south of the baseball diamond — unfurled a large white quilt featuring a black swastika. Young Joe, 7

July 26, 2013

More development coming to Botanical Heights

Filed under: Uncategorized, economics — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 10:24 am

The husband-and-wife team of Brent Crittenden and Sarah Gibson make a living designing, constructing and renovating buildings in what could be considered iffy neighborhoods.

Their Urban Improvement Construction, founded in 2005 and known as UIC, took on projects in parts of Benton Park and Forest Park Southeast. In 2010, UIC and its companion firm, Central Design Office, began an ambitious $20 million remake of a broad swath of Botanical Heights, formerly known as McRee Town, a long-troubled neighborhood of abandoned houses, drug sales and crime.

Three years later, the effort is paying off. Iffy is becoming spiffy. On Tower Grove Avenue, a popular restaurant occupies a 1930s Standard Oil gas station with a restored glazed-brick exterior. A French pastry shop is across the street.

Work is moving ahead to renovate old homes and build new ones on McRee Avenue and nearby streets.

That particular area, rebranded Botanical Grove, got a major boost in 2012 when City Garden Montessori, a charter school, moved into a 1940s warehouse developed and rehabbed to UIC’s design.

UIC’s latest endeavor in the area is Tower Grove Mews, a $3 million project of offices, restaurants and apartments in a cluster of structures on Tower Grove Avenue.

“It’s really an eclectic mix of buildings,” Crittenden said.

The project’s name is fitting, in that mews is defined as a group of buildings originally containing stables converted to apartments.

One structure, built in 1898, was a carriage house for a pharmacy once housed in an adjacent building. The pharmacy now is the offices for the Central Design Office and the UIC; Crittenden, Gibson and their three daughters also live in the building’s upstairs apartment.

The carriage house will be redone as a taco bar. Nearby storefronts will get a printing company to replace a similar business that closed last year, plus a shop for making and selling children’s clothes.

Gibson and Crittenden, both architects, will move their offices from the one-time pharmacy to the former stables of a coal company built nearby when the mineral was delivered by horse-drawn wagons. Metal rings used to tether horses are still embedded in the walls.

A bakery café called Loafers will move into UIC’s current office. The café owner, Ted Wilson — baker at The Good Pie, a Neopolitan pizza place — will occupy the upstairs apartment, Crittenden said.

“What we want to see is a little food district,” he said.

There’s more.

Ten market-rate apartments are being built in the remainder of the old coal company building. Some of the loft-style units will get patios. And on a vacant lot around the corner on McRee, Crittenden and Gibson will build the couple’s next home of their own contemporary design.

Sarah Coffin, associate professor of urban planning and real estate development at St. Louis University, said Botanical Grove was a textbook case of an “agglomeration economy.” Put another way, businesses cluster and layer in growing neighborhoods.

Establishment of bars leads to better bars, which are followed by restaurants and, finally, stores, which come last because they often carry large inventories, Coffin said.

The Grove entertainment area on Manchester Avenue is another example of a developing agglomeration economy, she said.

Crittenden said he hoped to complete The Mews by the end of the year.

The result will be growth of development between the huge Washington University medical complex to the north and the Missouri Botanical Garden to the south.

Crittenden said more redevelopment was needed but added that he believed enough progress had been made to disprove claims by “the cynics” that the area was a lost cause.

In addition to couples with children at the City Garden school, Botanical Grove is drawing empty nesters and other new residents. The average price for a new home in the area is $300,000, he said.

“People can see it, touch it and are willing to take the leap,” Crittenden said.

Mary Beth Bussen said Thursday that she planned to open by late fall her Union Studio children’s clothing business in a Mews storefront.

Bussen, who lives nearby in the Shaw neighborhood, said the Mews would be “an important connection for a lot of reasons.” The project will help link areas along Tower Grove Avenue and become a gathering spot for the immediate neighborhood, she said.

“Man, it’s really fun to be a part of (this new project),” Bussen added.

Maggie Wheelock, a painter and illustrator, will share Union Studio space, where Bussen will produce her designs in cotton and linen for children’s clothing. Removing boards from the storefront is part of the project.

“There will be as much natural light let into the space as humanly possible, which is my request,” she said.

Crittenden said he was eager to complete the Mews and hoped to do more redevelopment in the immediate vicinity.

“I’ve been looking at it out my living room window for five years,” he said.


July 3, 2013

Mark Carney: Best-paid central banker

Filed under: economics, marketing — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 5:32 pm

Expectations are high that the much-lauded former Bank of Canada governor will be able to work magic with the U.K. economy. In a time of deep austerity, he must balance the need to control inflation with demands to boost lending to households and businesses.

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As he begins a five-year term Monday — succeeding Mervyn King who has retired — Carney takes charge of an institution with a much bigger to-do list than his predecessor.

Not only does the Bank of England set interest rates and manage asset purchases — known as quantitative easing — it has also recently taken on responsibility for regulating banks and the British financial system.

Hiring the “perfect candidate” — in the words of U.K. finance minister George Osborne — comes at a price, however.

Carney’s total package is worth about $1.3 million, including pay, allowances and housing costs.

That catapults the Harvard-educated economist and former , Fortune 500) banker to the top of the central banker pay league, ahead of Hong Kong Monetary Authority CEO Norman Chan, who made about $1 on line pay day loans.2 million in 2012.

Carney was forced to defend his pay deal earlier this year when testifying before British lawmakers — perhaps not surprising given Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke received a salary of just under $200,000 last year.

“I’m moving from one of the least expensive capital cities in the world — Ottawa — to one of the most expensive capital cities in the world,” Carney said in February.

While central banks differ in how they report senior executive pay, Carney is head and shoulders above European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, who has to juggle the needs of the eurozone’s 17 different economies when directing monetary policy.

Supermark: Mark Carney joins Bank of England

Draghi earned a salary of about $488,000 last year, but also had use of an ECB official residence.

Carney’s nearest rival outside Asia is Thomas Jordan, head of the Swiss National Bank, who made about $1.17 million last year, including pension contributions.

The Bank of England holds its first monetary policy meeting under Carney’s leadership Thursday. Some analysts expect him to bide his time before making what could be the most significant change at the bank with the introduction of Fed-style guidance on interest rates.

“We expect the BoE to adopt Fed-style guidance on interest rates in August, when the BoE has to provide an assessment of the merits of that policy,” noted Berenberg Bank chief UK economist Rob Wood.


June 23, 2013

Nabiullina Seeks Growth Options With Russia Economy Losing Steam - Bloomberg

Filed under: economics, finance — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 11:44 pm


May 20, 2013

Feds again delay San Onofre nuke restart decision

Filed under: economics, mortgage — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 10:10 pm

Federal regulators have indefinitely delayed a decision on the proposed restart of the shuttered San Onofre nuclear power plant in California, raising new questions Monday about whether the twin reactors will produce electricity again.

The seaside plant between San Diego and Los Angeles has been dark since January 2012, after a small radiation leak led to the discovery of unusual damage to hundreds of tubes that carry radioactive water.

Operator Southern California Edison wants permission to restart the Unit 2 reactor and run it at reduced power in hopes of stopping vibration and friction that was blamed for damaging tubing.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission delayed several earlier target dates for a ruling. Its website on Monday listed no date for a restart decision _ only “to be determined.”

Agency spokesman Victor Dricks had no comment.

Last week, the NRC’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board sided with environmentalists who have called for lengthy hearings on the restart plan after concluding that firing up the plant would allow Edison “to operate beyond the scope of its existing license.”

A statement from SCE spokeswoman Jennifer Manfre noted that NRC Chair Allison Macfarlane indicated earlier that no decision would be made until at least mid-June on the company’s request to change its operating license to run at lower power.

“SCE continues to adhere to the established regulatory process,” the statement said payday loans with no fax. The company “cannot restart Unit 2 until the NRC says that it is safe to do so.”

Last month, SCE’s parent, Edison International, raised the possibility of retiring the plant if it can’t get one reactor running later this year. The company also disclosed that costs tied to the long-running shutdown had hit $553 million.

Edison is facing a tangle of regulatory obstacles that include a separate state investigation into who should pay for the trouble _ customers or shareholders.

Meanwhile, anti-nuclear activists and some lawmakers have said restarting the plant would lead to a disaster.

Friends of the Earth, an advocacy group challenging the restart, believes no decision can be made “until all the safety issues raised by the board are addressed,” spokesman Shaun Burnie said in an email.

Even with San Onofre sidelined, state power officials predict that there should be adequate power supplies in California this summer, but heat waves or wildfires that damage transmission lines could lead to potential shortages.

San Onofre is owned by SCE, San Diego Gas & Electric and the city of Riverside.


May 17, 2013

Stocks flip between gains and losses; Cisco climbs

Filed under: economics, money — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 4:30 pm

Cisco Systems led the Dow Jones industrial average slightly higher Thursday after the technology company reported higher sales. Mixed corporate earnings and economic reports kept the major stock indexes flipping between slight gains and losses.

Shortly after noon, the Dow was up 12 points at 15,288. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was up less than a point at 1,659.

The news on the economy Thursday wasn’t encouraging. Applications for unemployment benefits rose last week, and manufacturing slowed in the mid-Atlantic region. The manufacturing report from the Philadelphia branch of the Federal Reserve sent bond prices up in morning trading and turned stocks lower, but not for long.

“We’ve been seeing a lot of that this year,” said Scott King, an investment adviser at Unified Trust Co. in Lexington, Ky. “The news isn’t great, yet the market holds tight.”

Cisco jumped 13 percent, or $2.68, to $23.87. Cisco turned in quarterly results late Wednesday that beat analysts’ expectations, with the help of better revenue from the U.S. and emerging markets.

The networking equipment company sells its routers, switches, software and services to corporate customers and government agencies around the world. As a result, Cisco’s performance is often considered a gauge of how the technology industry is doing.

The Nasdaq rose 8 points to 3,479, a gain of 0.2 percent.

Wal-Mart fell 2 percent, the biggest drop among the 30 Dow stocks. The world’s largest retailer turned in weaker sales and a dim forecast for profits. The company blamed bad weather and delayed tax refunds for earnings and sales that fell short of what analysts had expected. Wal-Mart’s stock lost $1.68 to $78 business card.11.

Companies have reported record quarterly profits this earnings season. Seven of every 10 in the S&P 500 have trumped analysts’ earnings estimates, according to S&P Capital IQ. Earnings have climbed 5 percent over the year before.

But revenue has looked weak: six out of every 10 companies in the S&P 500 have missed forecasts, and revenue has edged up just 1 percent. Without higher sales, companies are getting more of their profits from laying off staff and other cost-cutting moves.

If the market is going to keep climbing this year, King said, sales will have to start rising. Analysts are looking for that to happen as economic growth gains strength later this year.

“It’s hard to see how companies can squeeze more earnings growth out of cost savings,” King said. “At some point, the economic numbers and revenue have to pick up.”

The Philadelphia branch of the Federal Reserve reported that manufacturers in the region said business conditions have slumped this month. Orders for manufactured goods and shipments have been weak.

In Washington, the Labor Department reported that the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits rose last week to 360,000. That suggests companies are laying more people off, just one week after applications for benefits hit a five-year low.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note sank to 1.88 percent from 1.94 percent late Wednesday. It’s a sign that traders are shifting money into low-risk investments like U.S. government debt.


May 4, 2013

Blue Jays

Filed under: economics, mortgage — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 5:01 pm

It was a surprising recall and an unlikely major-league start for Ricky Romero on Friday at the Rogers Centre. It wasn’t supposed to be this soon. The Jays’ 28-year-old lefthander remains a work in progress, with a single minor-league start under his belt on the way to his necessary rebuild. But the club decided he was ready to begin the next segment of his career. Romero’s results were mixed.

Facing the Mariners, replacing a disabled Josh Johnson, he lasted just four innings in a 4-0 loss facing the M’s ace, Felix Hernandez. After three shutout innings, looking re-energized and confident, Romero went back out and threw 37 pitches in the fourth, with two visits by a trainer — one for what may have been a blister and the other when his left arm was in the way on a hard comebacker by Jesus Montero. But the best news, the news that matters most to Romero at this point, is that he’s back.

The Jays have avoided any comparisons to the past, the Roy Halladay rebuild, for the obvious reason of not putting pressure on their current down, but not out, still improving starter. But the relationship between the reconstructing Romero and his current minor-league instructor, Dane Johnson, bears a striking similarity to that of their former star, Halladay, and his mentor, the late Mel Queen.

Nobody is suggesting that Romero will ever bounce back to match Halladay’s career numbers — the very comparison the Jays are trying to avoid — but the most important thing for the L.A.-born lefty’s rebuilt psyche is that he’s back in the majors with a new outlook and a new delivery.

The 50-year-old Johnson has been the organization’s minor-league roving instructor since 2004. On March 27, the day after Romero was given the devastating news of his demotion following another failed spring training start vs. the Pirates, Johnson, a second-round pick by the Jays in 1984, was handed the important assignment of fixing what was broken with the two-time opening day starter.

Every day in April, from 9:30 a.m. to noon, in addition to his normal duties seeing kid pitchers at the Jays’ extended spring camp, Johnson and Romero worked alone. Much has been made of several publicized Romero fixes — a more direct line to the plate and hands that never are raised above his head anymore — but there were other factors as important, many involving routine.

“Taking a step back and breaking down throwing programs,” Johnson said of the most difficult part of the rebuild. “Breaking down where the ball should come from, how he’s going to cross the T’s and dot the I’s in his throwing programs and how he was going to work around all the things that needed to be implemented in his delivery online payday loans.

“They came pretty quick, because No. 1 he’s a smart guy. No. 2 he’s a good athlete. No. 3 he’s a pro and when he realized himself that, ‘Hey, I do have to do these things to be able to be effective and throw strikes,’ it started the flow a little bit. He saw the progress. We had little victories along the way. He saw the results and took them into his games and he repeated it and he reaped the benefits of it.”

A lot of the change and the ability to convince Romero of the need for the change came in the video room, finding old video as a kid pro, comparing it to the success of 2011 and the failure of 2012.

“I went back to 2005-06,” Johnson explained. “I broke out the analog equipment. We got those tapes, not necessarily implementing them, we saw an explosive young kid at that particular time who got out over his front side and drove the ball with real great extension.

“That reminded him of a lot of things when he got into his throwing programs of what he could do, what he has to do. Again, it was more attention to detail on his throwing programs, on his (bullpen) sides, on his deliveries, paying attention to those. The focus now seems taken off the mound and going to home plate. Hopefully he has enough reps under his belt doing the things properly, technique-wise, mechanical-wise where he can worry about the hitter and what’s going on at home plate.”

Thus it was that a more confident Ricky Romero strolled with J.P. Arencibia from the bullpen to the dugout after the anthems had been played and then moments later headed out to the mound with a renewed confidence in what he could accomplish against major-league hitters — if he threw strikes.

“The first inning is going to be huge, the first hitter is going to be huge,” Johnson predicted. “Hopefully those go well and we’ll roll from there and I think you’ll see, if that continues to roll, I think you’ll see the guy getting back on the mound and working with good tempo and repeat his pitches.”

Romero’s first was a confidence boost. He retired Canadian leadoff man Michael Saunders on a 3-1 grounder to second base, allowed a line drive single to Kyle Seager, then had Kendrys Morales roll over on a grounder to short for an inning-ending double play. In his mind, he was back.


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