Adjusting To A ‘New Normal’

BIRMINGHAM, AL — In just a matter of weeks, schools throughout the Birmingham metro will begin the 2020-21 school year, which in any other year would be a normal process, but 2020 has proven to be anything but normal with the COVID-19 pandemic still ongoing.

School systems in the area have had to shift gears multiple times as new information comes out regarding the spread of the virus, and administrators are forced daily to prepare for more change and uncertainty.

Some school systems, such as Trussville, Mountain Brook, Hoover and Vestavia Hills will begin the year with staggered schedules for upper grades. This means that half of the students who elected for the in-school learning option will attend school in person at a time, with other half learning from home. The students will alternate attending classes in the building and at home on a given day.

Jefferson County Schools and

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Kenley Jansen considers himself ‘a complete pitcher’ after adjusting to velocity drop

Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen pitches against the San Diego Padres on Aug. 4. <span class="copyright">(Gregory Bull / Associated Press)</span>
Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen pitches against the San Diego Padres on Aug. 4. (Gregory Bull / Associated Press)

Gas continues to leak from the propane tank.

Kenley Jansen’s fastball velocity is down.


Clayton Kershaw now throws harder than Jansen and Kershaw has about a billion innings on his left arm.

When Shohei Ohtani of the Angels threw fastballs that registered speeds in Jansen’s range, the two-way player was mortified enough to subject himself to a MRI examination.

In previous seasons, Jansen downplayed his diminishing velocity by arguing that speed of his trademark cutter was less important than its movement.

Six appearances into this pandemic-shortened season, Jansen is making an entirely different case.

“I feel like I’m a complete pitcher now,” Jansen said in an online videoconference. “I have three pitches. I can pitch.”

Imagine that: Jansen, the classic thrower who used to pound cutter after cutter after cutter, now

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