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College Baseball is Painfully Slow

College baseball is clearly in need of major surgery – a time-indectomy

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North Carolina State University’s baseball team was one game away from reaching the 2021 finals, a ‘best of three’ for the NCAA championship. Then it was bounced from the tournament because of COVID-related matters. A terrible decision!

Tonight Vanderbilt, which benefited from the decision, plays Mississippi State in Game Two of the finals. I am leery, however, of watching the entire game. Why?

Molasses Moves Faster

In 2015, I had intended to watch an entire college baseball game: the second game between Villanova University and the University of Virginia in the finals. The game was well played. However, with a starting time of 8 p.m. eastern, at 11:30 p.m. the game had only progressed 7½ innings.

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You might think that the run total was enormous. It was only 3 to 0, in favor of Virginia. I finally turned on the DVR, and went to bed. In the morning, I watch the rest the game, which took another 22 minutes.

Six years later, the game remains as slow as ever. Can college baseball take a clue from major league baseball? People do not want to sit for 3 to 4 hours for a typical game.

Out with the Old

College baseball needs to change a variety of long-standing rules and traditions. Here are my suggestions:

* No more four pitches to intentionally walk a batter. Throw one pitch wide, and then wave the batter to first base.

* No more batters walking to first after four balls or an intentional pass; they must run as if they had gotten a hit, or face a delay-of-game warning. Two delay-of-game warnings for a non-pitcher and the player should be tossed out of the game.

* No more teams strolling on and off the field before and after innings. They must run out and run back.

* In each inning, reduce pitcher warm-ups before facing batters by two pitches.

* Reduce all visits to the mound by 30 seconds, whether it’s the team manager or in-fielders.

* Reduce relief pitcher warm-up prior to them facing their first batter by three pitches unless a relief pitcher is pressed into service due to an injury to the current pitcher. Otherwise much of a reliever’s warm-up occurs in the bullpen anyway.

* Allow batters to step out of the box twice, maximum, per time at bat. No more pauses between every other pitch.

* Allow the pitcher to step off the mound twice per batter, maximum. No more floating around and deciding when to throw the next pitch.

Here is a big change but it’s needed to counter those batters who are skilled at fouling off pitch after pitch: on a batter’s third foul ball, declare him out by strike out, much like a failed bunt attempt.

The Missing Ingredient

Now, the most vital element of all: in any game, 150 pitches or so will be thrown by each side for total of 300. With ten seconds less per pitch, on 300 pitches, that equates to 3000 seconds or 50 minutes. Thus, games can be shortened by 50 minutes when pitchers have ten less seconds than they currently have to throw the next pitch.

College baseball, as it presently stands, is a slow, plodding game, and is losing fans. Typical major league baseball games, 30 years ago, took 2:36 and then also started to see ever-longer games.

As for college baseball today, no less than major surgery – a time-indectomy – is needed.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



 
 
 

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Life

Where Do You Draw the Line on Medically Enhanced Competitors?

What are the limits to someone incurring surgeries to perform better or gain favor from contest judges

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In Denmark this month, a transsexual woman was awarded the top prize, “Miss Universe Denmark.” Despite this otherwise attractive individual’s talent, a whole set of questions ought to be considered.

What is the mission and value statement of the agencies and the respective countries that hold such competitions? In the case of a female beauty contest, is it not to reward those of the feminine gender who have shown not merely beauty, but brilliance, public service, poise, and appropriate demeanor?

Procedures for All Occasions

If somebody undergoes one or more specific medical procedures that enable them to enter the contest, does that change the overall mission? If not, what are the limits to someone incurring surgeries to gain greater favor from contest judges and the viewing public?

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What about breast enhancement? What about dental implants to create a perfect smile? What about rhinoplasty to make a rather plain nose more attractive? What about any of the other procedures widely available today that a contestant could undertake to increase the chances of victory?

If someone is undergoing a sex change operation, and we have to assume that other enhancements were involved in the total transformation, why not open up the ranks of such contests to anybody anywhere who has any kind of procedure?

Spring Forward, Fall Back

When Oscar Pistorius, the South African sprinter who runs on springs, was competing in national and international competitions, many people felt it not fair to allow this individual to compete. He lost his feet at 11 months due to a congenital defect, and we all sympathize. However, shouldn’t he be competing against others who have similar mechanical enhancements?

What if a manufacturer is able to create springs in place of feet, enabling average sprinters to proceed noticeably faster than the best sprinters in the world? Where does that leave-footed sprinters? Should they remove their feet? Absurd, you say? Well, then, should they just give up?

Many years ago, Tiger Woods underwent an operation to improve his vision. He did not have poor vision at the time. He had 20/20 vision. He had it altered to make his vision even stronger than 20/20. Was that acceptable? The Professional Golfers Association didn’t seem perturbed. Have other golfers undergone the same procedure? Have other athletes undergone other procedures to enhance their ability to compete?

The Fine Line

When and where do you draw the line? Performance-enhancing drugs have been outlawed in professional weightlifting, Olympic weightlifting, and other such contests. This is also true in all other major sporting events. On occasion, however, the tests are not conclusive. Some cheaters sneak by. And some win contests as a result of performance-enhancing substances that went undetectable.

Suppose people can alter their bodies via surgery, substances consumed, or any other means that will enhance their ability to compete. How are others who have not had such advantages and do not finish in the winner’s circle supposed to feel? Have they not been denied a fair and equal opportunity to compete?

In virtually every instance, competitors in such national and international events have devoted long hours and many years of their lives to hone and refine their capabilities, techniques, and approaches to their respective endeavors.

Speak Up Before the Mass Absurdity

Riley Gaines is a female swimmer who has been outspoken about the dangers of having biological females competing against who was originally a biological male such as NCAA champion Lia Thomas. And then there are a host of locker room issues with which to grapple. Gaines is as articulate a spokesperson for this topic as you’ll ever encounter. Few others have the guts to speak up as she has. My guess is that a large “silent majority” feels the same way as she does.

What’s needed now, more than ever, is for legions of female athletes to make themselves heard. It is not enough to simply say, “I did my best, it was an unfair advantage for the winner, but I guess I’ll just move on.” A generation of young female athletes is waiting in the wings.

Even when females do speak up, as Martina Navratilova has done, you have others on the Left, such as the perpetually annoying Megan Rapinoe, who voice opinions against their own gender. Unfortunately, one cranky Megan Rapinoe, supported thoroughly by the Leftist media, drowns out the voices of many opposers. It shouldn’t be that way, but it is.

Stand Up and Walk Out

Pundits have suggested that female athletes can regain control of their respective sports via mass walkouts. In other words, do not compete when a competitor who has gone through puberty as a male is wreaking havoc at female events.

Suppose female swimmers take their places on the blocks and as the horn sounds to start the race, they turn and simply leave the pool area. Let Lia Thomas win by default and finish alone in the pool. That would make a great news story that would be impossible to ignore.

Really, a couple of mass walkouts should do it.

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Family

Game Face: What Does a Female Athlete Look Like?

“For women to become strong is a deep part of the revolution.” Gloria Steinem

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The endorsements below are for Jane Gottesman’s 2001 book, Game Face: What Does a Female Athlete Look Like? It was published before the ‘woke’ transgender stampede. Keep in mind that not a single house Democrat voted to protect the sanctity of sports for biological women.

Before the Stampede

“Whether you’re from the generation of drum majorettes or Title IX, the athletes of Game Face will inspire you. For women to become strong is a deep part of the revolution.”
—Gloria Steinem

“A powerful image seizes a moment in time and yet tells a story of a lifetime. There is no better proof of this then Jane Gottesman’s Game Face. Game Face captures the essence of being a female athlete. And it also does much more. It shows that sport unites us all because it belongs to us all.”
—Anita L. DeFrantz, International Olympic Committee First Vice President

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“Game Face is a first. Together these photographs give a face to the critical mass of people who have made women’s sports part of the popular landscape.”
—Billie Jean King

“Game Face is a tribute to the beauty of competition, to the dedication, skill and enthusiasm female athletes are finally encouraged to display. Every one of these women is a winner and so is each of the photographs.”
—Dick Schaap, ABC Sports

“Inspiring! Game Face is proof that a picture is worth a thousand words. This book looks at women’s sports from a refreshing perspective. Talk about feeling empowered—I’ve got my Game Face on!”
—Robin Roberts, ESPN anchor

How About Today?

Hmmm… what do you say we interview these endorsers today and catch them in their own hypocrisy?

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