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New Mexico fends off San Diego State 68-61 for MWC title, automatic berth in NCAA Tournament – CBSSports.com

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New Mexico fends off San Diego State 68-61 for MWC title, automatic berth in NCAA Tournament – CBSSports.com


LAS VEGAS (AP) Jaelen House had 28 points, Jamal Mashburn Jr. scored 21 and JT Toppin posted a double-double to propel sixth-seeded New Mexico to a 68-61 victory over No. 5 seed San Diego State in the championship game of the Mountain West Conference Tournament on Saturday at the Thomas & Mack Center, earning the Lobos an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.



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San Diego, CA

The Juan Soto Trade Has Helped Both The Yankees And The San Diego Padres

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The Juan Soto Trade Has Helped Both The Yankees And The San Diego Padres


The San Diego Padres are a month into life after All-Stars Juan Soto, Blake Snell and Josh Hader. Things are just fine.

The Padres are again in contention in the NL West, and while they lost big bat Soto in the December trade with the New York Yankees, not only are they more balanced after adding starters Dylan Cease and Michael King but also they doing it economically.

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It started with general manager A.J. Preller’s decision to move Soto, which while it seemed inevitable on one level was met with some raised eyebrows.

“At the time, you probably see it (trade) the other way, I’m not going to lie, because I didn’t see up close what these guys were capable of doing.” Fernando Tatis Jr. said, alluding to Cease and King.

“But the more I keep seeing them, they bring the team to a whole different level. We are a really good baseball team. We are a team that can do the big things. This year we are proving ourselves we are having success doing the small things. With that balance and that pitching.

“There is a long road to go. It’s a matter of if we can keep doing the small things and keep ourselves in balance.”

The Padres made the smart fiscal play in trading Soto, who a month into his $31 million walk year is bashing his way toward a top-tier free agent deal, perhaps in the $50 million per year range.

Soto, in his age 26 season, will be the prize in a market that is expected to be as robust as it has been with recent young superstars including Shohei Ohtani, whose 10-year $700 million free agent contract signed last winter is the highest in major league history, even at its $461 million adjusted value due to his extensive deferrals.

At the same time, San Diego already had dedicated big money to run producers Manny Machado ($350 million), Fernando Tatis Jr., ($340 million) and Xander Bogaerts ($280 million), all locked up through at least 2033.

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The Soto deal enabled them to assemble potentially one of the best rotations in the NL, with Cease and King joining Joe Musgrove and Yu Darvish as a foursome capable of cranking out quality start after quality start.

The Padres acquired King and pitching prospects Ian Thorpe, Jhony Brito and Randy Vasquez in the seven-player deal with the Yankees. They then flipped Thorpe in a package to acquire Cease from the Chicago White Sox.

The moves also helped them save a boatload of money while replacing Snell. Cease and King will make a combined $11.5 million this season, about a sixth of what Snell will get after signing a two-year, $62 million free agent deal with San Francisco that includes a opt-out provision after this season.

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Both Cease and King have one more year of arbitration eligibility, which will make them quite affordable again in 2025. Each is three years younger than Snell, who has two more Cy Young Awards than he has complete games in a nine-year career.

Musgrove is signed through 2027 after agreeing to a five-year, $100 million deal last August. Darvish, signed in 2023, is due $83 million through 2028.

Which means that the Padres are still spending money, but the cost of doing business in the wake of their offseason decisions has decreased drastically.

Their $161 million active payroll is just below the major league average, and it is lower than NL West rivals the Los Angles Dodgers ($228 million), the Giants ($197 million) and defending NL champion Arizona ($167 million).

Completing the makeover, closer Robert Suarez has converted all eight of his save chances while taking over the ninth inning from Hader, whose five-year, $95 million free agent deal with Houston was the largest for a closer. Suarez signed a five-year, $46 million contract last season that includes an opt-out after 2025.

Hader made it clear to the Padres that he preferred only one-inning stints, and he pitched more than one inning only once in his 1 1/2 seasons with them. Suarez had two four-out saves and one five-out save in his first 10 appearances this season.

“He’s embraced his role, and … wow,” Tatis said of Suarez. “He’s blowing doors to everybody. Hitters know his fastball is coming and they still can’t hit it.”

Suarez has thrown his 98 mph fastball 87 percent of the time this season, according to FanGraphs.

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Cease, who was second in the AL Cy Young voting in 2022, is 3-1 with a 1.82 ERA in his first five starts this season after winning 3-1 at Colorado on Monday, when he gave up one and struck out eight. He has given up 11 hits in 29 2/3 innings, is averaging 10.6 strikeouts per nine innings and leads major league qualifiers in opponents’ batting average (.113).

King was roughed up in a 7-4 loss at Colorado on Tuesday, dropping to 2-2 with a 4.11 ERA, but took a no-hitter into the seventh inning of his previous start at Milwaukee. He is building on a 2.33 ERA he had in nine nine starts with the Yankees after being moved into the rotation in mid-August.

Tatis had one word to describe the two newcomers.

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“Nasty,” he said.

Musgrove, Cease and King were among the top 15 in the NL in innings pitched entering Tuesday, an indication of what they have meant to the team.

“If were are going to go out and grab quality innings and be able to help the team compete, let’s start there,” San Diego manager Mike Shildt said. “That’s a big portion of those guys’ responsibilities that take the ball at the beginning of the game. Both of those guys have done that very, very well.

“They do the things that allow you to get deep in games. They hold runners. They control counts. They have multiple pitches they can throw multiple times for strikes. It’s also clearly helpful to our bullpen to keep those guys fresh as well.”



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FEMA releases snapshot of San Diego flood assistance

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FEMA releases snapshot of San Diego flood assistance


Three months after the January flooding and two months since the Presidential Major Disaster Declaration, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has released a snapshot of the help it has provided over 60 days.

Why it matters

FEMA stopped taking applications for assistance on Friday, April 19. Agency spokesman Gerard Hammink said to date, FEMA has received more than 7,000 applications for help after the January 22 floods.

So far this year, there have been 27 federal disasters declared across the country.

“It’s really hard to compare disaster to disaster. But if you just look at that number (for San Diego) … you can just really see the need that was out there,” Hammink said.  

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Hammink noted most of the grant money has already been distributed to the victims.

By the numbers

Currently, more than 2,898 households have been approved for FEMA grants, and over $22 million in federal assistance approved.

$18.3 million of that was in housing grants covering home repairs and rental assistance.

“There are about $9 million in grants for those essential critical home repairs and then there’s another about $9 million in temporary rental assistance,” Hammink said.

Almost $3.9 million was also approved for other essential needs, including medical expenses and lost personal possessions. For example, Hammink said, “If someone needed their car to get to work, just to function, we have done grants to help them replace that.”

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Closer look

FEMA is still working through applications and the approval process.

Hammick said home inspection requests have risen in the last couple of days, “That’s a good thing, because that means that more home inspections were ordered as more applications were processed,” Hammick said.

He noted grants are not approved until home inspections are done to verify damage.

Looking ahead

While grant applications are closed, homeowners and renters can also apply for Small Business Administration loans. Unlike grants, however, these loans need to be paid back in 30 years.

To help streamline the application process, both FEMA disaster recovery centers in Mountain View and Spring Valley have been converted to SBA Disaster Loan Outreach Centers.

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Lizzie Zelter's Art Exhibit “Wall Plates” Makes the Familiar Strange | San Diego Magazine

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Lizzie Zelter's Art Exhibit “Wall Plates” Makes the Familiar Strange | San Diego Magazine


When he and I were small, my younger brother used to claim he could see without his glasses. He’d press the tips of his thumbs and forefingers together, leaving a tiny diamond of space to peer through. With everything else blocked out, he’d say, a once-blurry sliver of a scene would shift into sharpness.

San Diego artist Lizzie Zelter knows that trick, too. 

Courtesy of Lizzie Zelter

A 2022 graduate of Columbia University’s painting MFA program and the founder of new La Jolla gallery Two Rooms, the 27-year-old, New York–born artist has long been fascinated with space. Her immersive paintings offer an accessible but slightly off-kilter experience of the world: real-life rooms and buildings made strange by tweaks in dimension or color.

Wall Plates, a series of works on view at Tijuana’s Sala de Espera gallery through May 4, is something else. “I had this one light switch cover, and I started realizing it worked as a viewfinder,” Zelter recalls. “I would hold it up in my studio and I would see through it. Little sections of the world would come into focus. I started collecting them because I thought they were an interesting object—something we see every day and don’t really think about.”

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The collection became the focal point—no pun intended—of her latest work. The solo show (the first of Zelter’s career) depicts 12 oversized wall plates, the nondescript, usually plastic frames that hide electrical wiring. 

“Making paintings based off of objects versus places was an exciting shift for me,” Zelter says. Still, place has its, well, place. The holes in each plate offer glimpses of worlds beyond, some familiar—a chain-link fence, a skeletal tree—and some strange, a smorgasbord of texture and color.

Though they are cartoonishly large in scale, there is something sobering and even frustrating about the way they block you out from the paintings’ inner worlds. It’s a narrowing of scope in the tradition of Georgia O’Keefe, who used animal bones, camera viewfinders, and even a piece of Swiss cheese to tighten her visual perspective.

Work that denies you full access has obvious resonance at Sala de Espera, an abandoned hospital converted to a living space (gallery co-owner Luis Alonso Sánchez dwells there) and art gallery in a border town. 

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Uproot and Replant painting by San Diego artist Lizzie Zetler as part of her Wall Plates art exhibit at Tijuana gallery Sala de Espera
Photo Credit: Daniel Lang

The wall plates—domestic objects so common they usually disappear—become portals to places you can neither visit nor fully witness. Only one work, Uproot and replant, brings the inner world’s textures to our side of the wall, muddying the sense that the dimension beyond the plate is one entirely separate from our own.

“There is a lot of power or possibility in switching the focus,” Zelter adds. “I hope it has this kind of layered read about the dangers of flattened representations of spaces.”

After all, there’s a problem with my brother’s trick. Reducing the world to a pinprick isn’t really seeing—not when a whole story exists just past it, blurred beyond recognition.

See Wall Plates at Sala de Espera (Avenida de la Televisión, #2681 Col. Juarez, Tijuana, BC, Mexico) through May 4.





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