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Baseball Survived These 5 Changes — It Will Survive Instant Replay, Too 0

Posted on April 23, 2014 by Danielle Ward
Thanks to instant replay will baseball arguments soon be a thing of the past?

Thanks to instant replay will baseball arguments soon be a thing of the past?

A baseball manager is having a meltdown and starts yelling before he even leaves the dugout. He leaps onto the field, gesturing wildly, and strides across the field until his face is inches away from the ump’s. He may toss his hat in disgust, shout some expletives and get thrown out of the game. The manager meltdown is a revered baseball tradition, but instant replay could be taking it away.

In addition to using pure gut instinct to decide whether to ask for an instant replay, managers have to know which plays are the most statistically important. They don’t want to burn up their single replay on an unimportant play. Fans who love to bet on baseball will be watching just how well managers handle their instant replay strategies. It’s something that could recharge the game, just like many changes from the past have done.

Of course, baseball isn’t a sport whose fans thrive on change. Additions like gloves, batting helmets and numbered uniforms, at one time, were enough to initiate some serious fan meltdowns. Let’s take a look back at how baseball has coped with big changes in the past. If the past is the best predictor of the future, instant replay will work out just fine. Read the rest of this entry →

Baseball’s Beginning 0

Posted on April 23, 2014 by Scott Huntington

Before it became America’s pastime, before all of the performance-enhancing drugs, before the Babe, before the Big Red Machine, and even before the Yankees wore pinstripes, baseball began. Like many things that began long ago, the origins of the game of baseball are unclear. Although the puzzle may not be entirely complete, we certainly have plenty of pieces which show us the path that was taken to get to how baseball is played today. From its roots across the pond to the development of more modern rules, baseball’s genesis was not one simple event in sports history.

Ted-Williams-WWII-Baseball-Korea-Air-Force-Photos-09

Rounders

Just as football developed from an alternative way to play rugby, baseball wasn’t created out of thin air. Instead, it came from an old English game known as “rounders”. Rounders was derived from the sport of cricket, but with some obvious differences, such as running in a more circular path rather than a straight back and forth one. As baseball’s ancestor, rounders lent its diamond shape to the modern game, as well as having a pitcher located within the diamond, though in rounders the pitcher is called the “bowler”. Read the rest of this entry →

Top 5 Sports Betting Events for Summer 2014 1

Posted on April 11, 2014 by Brian Braindeaux
Some people credit sports betting as a key to increased interest in some sports.

Some people credit sports betting as a key to increased interest in some sports.

Summer 2014 is going to be a good one for sports-lovers everywhere.

The 2014 FIFA World Cup will turn up the heat big time in June and the temperature won’t go down till September, when the finals of the US Open Tennis championships take place.

In between, there will be plenty of action to satisfy fans. The Men’s golf US Open starts on the same day as the World Cup finals and less than two weeks later, the NBA Draft will give us plenty of excitement to keep us pumped throughout the season.

FIFA World Cup (June 12 – July 13)

Soccer will kick off the 2014 summer sports extravaganza. Millions of fans worldwide will be glued in front of their TV screens watching the most-eagerly anticipated sporting event in the world.

The 2014 FIFA World Cup finals will be broadcast from 12 different stadiums in beautiful Brazil and will see 32 national teams battling it out over a full month of matches to earn the title of world champions.

With Brazil, arch-rivals Argentina and reigning champions Spain featuring highly in the bookmakers’ lists, it’s tough to pick up a definite winner for now.

Make sure to keep on top of the latest news and rumours to learn about the teams’ strategies and the latest odds. Soccer betting offers a wide selection of bets including half-time and full-time scores, match and round winners, and of course, tournament winners.

Golf Men’s US Open (June 12 – June 15)

The US Open is the biggest professional golf tournament on the PGA and European Tour calendar and this year’s edition promises no less excitement that previous years.

Over 150 players will converge at the No. 2 Course in Pinehurst, North Carolina, where the tournament is being held for the third time in its history.

Tiger Woods is being touted as the most likely to take the title at the US Open even though he hasn’t won a title in a long time, with Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott coming in second and third place respectively according to the bookmakers’ preferences.

Justin Rose, the current champion, is languishing behind with the odds not being in favour of him retaining the title. Read the rest of this entry →

Hoyt Wilhem: Knuckleball Workhorse 0

Posted on April 07, 2014 by Dean Hybl

The April Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was 29-years-old when he made his major league debut, but still managed to pitch for 21 years and become the first pitcher in MLB history to appear in more than 1,000 games.

Hoyt Wilhelm made his professional baseball debut as a 19-year-old in 1942, but after serving in World War II (earning a Purple Heart during the Battle of the Bulge) and then spending five years in the minor leagues it wasn’t until 10 years later that he would make his major league debut. Read the rest of this entry →

40 Years Ago: Hank Aaron Becomes Baseball’s Home Run King 0

Posted on April 07, 2014 by Dean Hybl
It was 36 years ago this week that Hank Aaron became the all-time home run king.

It was 40 years ago that Hank Aaron became the all-time home run king.

Given how much emphasis sports put on championships, it may seem a little strange that the most significant home run in Major League Baseball history was not hit during the month of October, but instead was struck in early April by an aging player on a team that wouldn’t come close to reaching the postseason.

Such was the case 40 years ago, on April 8, 1974, when Hank Aaron forever cemented a place for himself in baseball lore with his record breaking 715th home run.

Every die-hard sports fan has a number of moments that are forever etched in their subconscious memory – to the point that even years after the fact they can recall not just the special moment, but also where they were and what they were doing at the time.

Though I was only six-years old, the night when Aaron set the home run record is one of those moments for me.

My family was paying special attention to the record because we had family friends who were from Atlanta and thus big fans of Aaron and the Braves. “Hammerin’ Hank” had tied the record during the season opener in Cincinnati and there seemed to be little doubt that he was going to set the record during the home opener, which was being shown on national television by ABC. However, for a while there was some doubt whether we would be able to see it.

It was a stormy Monday night in my hometown of Keysville, Virginia, thanks to a powerful early spring thunderstorm that brought lightning, thunder and heavy rains. There was no such thing as cable television in our town in 1974 and because we were about 75 miles from the closest television station, even with having an antenna on the roof we never really had crystal clear reception. The general practice at that time was also to unplug the television during electrical storms so that the TV wouldn’t get zapped. Read the rest of this entry →

2014 Major League Baseball Preview: Is Money the Answer? 2

Posted on March 30, 2014 by Dean Hybl
Despite hitting 86 home runs the last two seasons, Chris Davis is still one of the most underrated players in baseball.

Despite hitting 86 home runs the last two seasons, Chris Davis is still one of the most underrated players in baseball.

Several major league baseball teams spent the winter spending money like a drunken sailor in hopes of moving to the top of the league. Yet, as we prepare for the 2014 season the teams expected by many to contend are a combination of big money and middle payroll teams.

For now, the Los Angeles Dodgers have surpassed the New York Yankees as the team with baseball’s highest payroll. However, that doesn’t mean the team in the Bronx is suddenly being frugal. The suspension of Alex Rodriguez hacked a large salary off their payroll, but the Yankees made up for that by signing Japanese pitching star Masahiro Tanaka and high money free agents Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann.

While several teams in recent years have been able to make the playoffs without high payrolls, once the playoffs begin the higher payrolls have generally had an advantage. That was quite obvious last season in the two playoff series that went to a decisive game. The higher payroll Cardinals and Tigers each started a seasoned veteran in the fifth game of their division round playoff series (Adam Wainwright and Justin Verlander, respectively). Their opponents, the Pirates and A’s, each started a rookie who wasn’t even in the major leagues when the 2013 season started.

Having a high payroll is no guarantee that a team will make the playoffs, but big off-season spending has certainly put several teams in a position to contend.

Below are a few thoughts heading into the 2014 season:

Baseball’s Most Underrated Player
In the last two seasons Baltimore Orioles slugger Chris Davis has hit 86 home runs, driven in 223 runs and scored 178 runs, yet ESPN’s recent player rankings didn’t have him listed among the top 25 players in the game. The Sybermetrics disciples have become so enamored with WAR and other made-up stats that they have forgotten that driving in and scoring runs is the name of the game. As a team, the Orioles have been generally dismissed despite having two consecutive solid seasons, but they have a very potent offensive and if David has another strong season the O’s could again be in contention throughout the season.
Read the rest of this entry →

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Hoyt Wilhem: Knuckleball Workhorse
      April 7, 2014 | 8:51 pm

      The April Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was 29-years-old when he made his major league debut, but still managed to pitch for 21 years and become the first pitcher in MLB history to appear in more than 1,000 games.

      Hoyt Wilhelm made his professional baseball debut as a 19-year-old in 1942, but after serving in World War II (earning a Purple Heart during the Battle of the Bulge) and then spending five years in the minor leagues it wasn’t until 10 years later that he would make his major league debut.

      Read more »

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