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MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred Discusses How To Speed Up Game

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MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred Discusses How To Speed Up Game During TV Appearance On NESN

Major League Baseball has a pace of play problem. This problem has driven a good number of casual fans away from the game altogether. The commissioner’s office has made attempts as of late to try and combat the issue. But these attempts have done little to improve the pace of play issue.

On Wednesday, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred addressed questions surrounding a pitch clock, mound visits and the increased use of technology, while also expressing optimism that the two sides could reach an agreement.

“There’s actually a playing rule provision in the basic agreement as to how you change a playing rule,” Manfred said. “I’m hopeful that we’re gonna have some nice positive conversations about our ideas, some ideas I know Tony [Clark] and the players have and hopefully get a set of changes for next year that’ll help us a little bit on the pace of play.”

One possible solution involves equipping pitchers with ear pieces in order to reduce the number of mound visits, something Manfred supports.

“Some of those things in terms of using technology, are worth thinking about,” Manfred said. “In terms of not changing the game, still giving the manager the ability to communicate, but moving things along.”

When asked whether giving umpires mics to better communicate what happens during replays, he sounded a bit hesitant.

“I think it would be fan friendly on the one hand,” Manfred said. “I think our hesitancy with it, it’s another delay in the game and obviously we’re trying to avoid those things.”

He stopped short of saying that he would like to see pitchers required to face more than one hitter, indicating that rule changes need to be careful not to mess with a game’s outcome.

“I’d like to get at the real dead-time issues first,” Manfred said.

Tanner founded Trifecta Network in Spring of 2016 and has been the Chief of Content for the Network since that time. Currently Tanner covers all the sports teams in Boston and has contacts in many of the teams in the city. Before starting Trifecta, Tanner was a Site Expert for the FanSided site Chowder and Champions before leaving to cover Boston teams on the ground as a member of the media for Trifecta.

MLB

Shohei Ohtani Picks Angels, Already Headed Towards Disaster

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Japanese sensation Shohei Ohtani is taking his talents to the lovely city of Anaheim. Ohtani is being heralded as this generations Babe Ruth with the ability to both pitch lights out and hit the long ball. Ohtani made the decision like many top Japanese stars have done in the past and take his talents to Major League Baseball.

Many teams competed for his services but the center of attention wanted to go to a small market with no real expectations of winning. What he ended up choosing is a fairly large market but with no real expectations of winning anything anytime soon.

It will be interesting to see how the Angels use Ohtani. One common line of thinking has been that an American League team would use Ohtani as a designated hitter on days he doesn’t pitch. The Angels already have Albert Pujols, who is essentially a full-time DH. But despite being called a slugger he only managed a .672 OPS last season so who knows if he can even hit at a major league level.

With many of these Japanese stars, you really have no idea how they will perform till they get over here and actually play. All signs are pointing towards a failure of epic proportions though with there being a slim chance he pans out as a hitter.

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MLB

How the NBA has Posterized the Modern Age

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Nobody watches sports on TV anymore, right? The instant gratification, that technology offers us, overpowers our interest to consume sporting events in their entirety.

It’s like choosing a home-cooked meal over astronaut food – consuming highlights on Twitter is SO much more efficient than watching the whole game.

Analysts have deduced, from declining NFL TV Ratings, that the audience for sports is dwindling. Excuses manifold have been made in an attempt to explain this seemingly inexplicable phenomenon.

You hear things like social media, those darn video games and even Reefer Madness. Others point to rule changes and a degrading “on the field” product. Some have even conjectured that recent political controversies have dissuaded a large portion of the NFL audience from watching telecasts of the game.

There are no days like the good ol’ days!

But the NFL is not the only sports league to be afflicted with declining ratings.

In fact, America’s favorite pastime, baseball, has all but lost the viewership of the younger demographics. This is the part of the population that will buy merchandise. They actually care about who’s “in”.

The average MLB fan is now 100 years old.

I joke, but this is not a huge exaggeration. The average MLB fan is now 53 years old, while the NFL’s average fan is not much younger – at 47 years old.

Two of the major sports leagues have hopelessly seen their popularity diminish, over the past few decades. So one would presume that this trend has spread across the rest of the Sports World. But the NBA has actually prospered during this window of media volatility.

The NBA’s season-opener has increased, in Nielsen TV Ratings, by about 63% since 2015. And the average basketball fan is only 37 years old. 

Somehow basketball has managed to appeal to the younger audience that is umbilically attached to electronic distractions. Yes, the very same distractions that have syphoned away the attention of these fans from the other sports leagues.

This must suggest that the NBA is communing with some wizard who is giving Adam Silver and his subordinates total clairvoyance, right? Well, the NFL and the MLB should stop searching for their Magic 8-Ball. It’s not out there.   

The NBA’s continued success is easy to explain: It is the league of Pop Culture. Therefore the NBA is both the cure and the symptom. And it is the only institution that is impervious to the ever-changing winds of digital time.

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Boston Red Sox

Minimum Expectations for the 2018 Red Sox

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Last year, it was Chris Sale; in 2016, the exorbitantly expensive David Price was all the hype. Both of these roundly heralded saviors produced the same underwhelming results. Another short-winded trip to the playoffs; another bummer of a year.

The Red Sox simply cannot afford a third consecutive first-round exit, in the 2018 postseason. And it seems that Dave Dombrowski knows this. In an attempt to prevent car-flipping anarchy in the streets, he fired the overseer of all this recent failure (his direct subordinate) – John Farrell.

Now the Sox will be heading into next season with a newfangled remedy. No, it’s not a hundred-million dollar player. This time around, management has received the upgrade. It’s the newly hired manager, Alex Cora, who will be charged with the burden of resurrecting one of the most venerated franchises in professional sports.

On Monday, Cora was formally introduced to Boston as the new manager (or scapegoat).

Good luck, buddy! You’re gonna need it.  

Should Boston fans really expect an appreciable change to be affected by just one man? After all, this is exactly what we’ve done, to no avail, for the past few years. And if Cora really represents the end-all-be-all solution, what is a realistic accomplishment for him, and his club, in the first season of his tenure?

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