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McCaffery: Baseball should slow the speed-up efforts

Even if three innings used to take longer than the French Open, baseball has gone too far with its fixation on storming off the stage.

Some recent speed-up ideas have been great, such as limiting the times a manager may shuffle onto a field at the approximate speed of three kids walking to summer school, just so he can tell a major league pitcher something that a major league pitcher should have known before he became a major league pitcher.

But how about ordering managers – and more forcefully, ego-maniac coaches – to keep their sorry selves in the dugout between the first pitch and the High Hopes sing-along? You want to make a lineup change? Do as the coaches do in other sports, and tell the guy to go into the game. Try that.

Baseball also did a nice job of ordering backup pitchers to face at least three hitters until the end of an inning. But it should have made them behave as any other substitute in sports behaves and be ready to compete without a look-at-me warm-up exhibition.

In the regular season, extra innings have been downgraded from being gripping to being the signal for the custodial crew to broom the spent popcorn. Overtime is the best part of any game in any sport, yet baseball treats it like it’s an intrusion.

There is a reason baseball was considered a pastime. It was allowed to unfold at a relaxing pace. But rather than try those other ideas, the curators began ordering pitchers to throw before the subtleties that made the sport different are permitted to marinate – where the fielders were stationed, pitch selection consideration, daring basepath leads, the gyrations of a third-base coach sending signals. Baseball should embrace drama, not dismiss it in order to get everyone out of the park.

Give the sport some props for effort. But sometimes a head-first-sliding hustle play results in an out, too.

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Get the 24 hours of Le Mans?

• • •

When was the last time you heard about a college athlete being academically ineligible? … In other matters:

  • The Flyers didn’t win the Connor Bedard lottery. But they did better. They preserved their soul when John Tortorella refused to tank games for more lottery tickets.

  • In Switzerland, an athlete who can play multiple positions is praised simply as an army knife.

  • Trust me, I was as furious as anyone when I saw the Jaguars’ Week 11 draw.

  • Just let us know when some over-hyped sports team does accept a White House invitation without first creating a stir. It will be simpler that way.

  • Fabulous news for the good citizens of Chinatown. By the time the Sixers move into that new arena across the street, they will be tanking again. So traffic won’t be an issue, after all.

  • There are too many weekday afternoon baseball games.

  • The A’s are about to move to a 30,000-seat stadium in Las Vegas. They could have sold more tickets, in other words, had they never evacuated Shibe Park.

  • Exactly who demanded so much lacrosse on TV?

  • There must be at least one more sport that Josh Harris can invest in and not win a championship.

  • If anyone should not be resentful that it doesn’t take an NHL expansion team long to compete for a Stanley Cup, it would be Flyers fans.

  • Now that Joel Embiid has won that MVP award, what are Sixers fans expected to talk about during the next regular season?

  • Sports uniforms are like quarterbacks. If a sports team has too many, it doesn’t have any at all.

  • Re: Bark in the Park Nights. The only time dogs should be welcome in a sports facility is when they are chasing a mechanical bone.

  • In what should be encouraging to Matt Klentak, Sam Hinkie, Bryan Colangelo and Chuck Fletcher, Daryl Morey is one max-contract to James Harden away from soaring to the top of the list of Philadelphia general managers whose names have become punchlines.

• • •

Ed Sheeran’s hair. I don’t get it.

• • •

The act is deceitful. The act is tired. The act is going to end poorly.

What act?

The video-board act at Sixers games, that’s what act.

Specifically, it is how the big screen is used to re-run plays that officials seemed to miss-call against the home team. And it’s about how – in the classic phrasing of the late, great Moses Malone – the directors will repeat and peat and peat the video, sending the crowd into a rage.

There is nothing in sports worse than basketball officiating, not even the Phillies’ defense. But this is about a nuisance bar that sells alcohol and then selectively turns a 25-yard contraption into a propaganda delivery device to try to convince the customers that they are being cheated. And often it is is done while multiple nuts with microphones are screaming, “Make some noise.”

What could possibly go wrong?

Basketball deserves better.

The fans deserve better.

The refs? Yeah, some of them deserve better, too.

• • •

Parking meters that don’t accept coins. I give up.

Contact Jack McCaffery at             

Source: Berkshire mont

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