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Sports Then and Now



Proof Positive Why Baseball Needs Replay 0

Posted on October 25, 2012 by Rick Swanson

Replay Will Cut Down On This.

The non-call at second base during Game One of the NLCS was another example of not using replays to make the right call.

Clearly Matt Holliday was past the bag, and he used a barrel roll into Marco Scutaro. Any competent umpire should have called runner interference, and ruled it a double play.

How could Rich Gedman be called for being out of the baseline (in 1988 ALCS) for what he did, when Holliday was past the bag when he started to slide?

He should have been ejected and banned from the next game.

One look at the replay and you could see he broke the rules. It was a dirty play. Umpires need to follow the rules, and then don’t.

If you looked at a replay you can tell in one look if he made the wrong call.

Just give each manager three chances a game to use instant replay.

If you get them all right, you can keep using them all game.

Each time a manager throws the red ball on the field he will be challenging a call. No need to argue, just toss the red ball and we all get to use instant replay.

The umpires will turn and everyone in the park will watch the big screen and in 10 seconds there will be four angles of the questionable play, and at the end of ten seconds the ball, glove, and player will be frozen on the screen.

The umpire will either raise his hand in an out signal or signal safe with both hands.

Read the rest of this entry →

Major League Baseball 2011: Year of the Pitcher, Part 2 0

Posted on May 11, 2011 by Dean Hybl

Justin Verlander tossed the second no-hitter of the season last Saturday.

The Major League Baseball season is barely a month old and it is already clear that the pitching dominance that was evident a year ago is going to stick around for a while. In fact, if 2010 was known as the “Year of the Pitcher”, 2011 looks to be “Year of the Pitcher – Part 2” and unlike most movie sequels where the second attempt usually falls short of the original, this sequel might be even greater than the first one.

The no-hitters thrown during the last week by Francisco Liriano and Justin Verlander offer just a taste of what could be an unlimited amount of pitching excellence.

When analyzing the numbers, it really is amazing how drastic offensive performance has declined across major league baseball over the last five years and is now more in line with what was seen 20 years ago and in some cases as far back as the pre-designated hitter era.

That leads to the question of whether what is being experienced is really a case of the quality of pitching rising to greater heights or merely a re-balancing of the game to where it would have always been had it not been for the performance enhancing drug era.

But whatever the reason, there is no denying that the statistics for pitchers are improving and those for hitters are declining.

Consider that so far in 2011 the average number of runs scored per team per game is 4.19 and the league-wide batting average is .249. The last time the league-wide average for runs per game was comparable was in 1992 when the average was 4.12 and the league-wide batting average was .256. The league-wide Earned Run Average (ERA) was 3.75.

Just two years later, in what is considered to be the start of the steroid era in 1994, the league-wide average jumped to 4.92 runs per team per game and the league-wide batting average was .270. The ERA for the league also jumped to 4.51.

Just as recently as 2006, teams were averaging 4.86 runs per game with a .269 average while the league-wide ERA was 4.53.

After a league-wide ERA of 4.08 a year ago, the best in the league for a season since 1992, hurlers across baseball are on pace this season for an ERA of 3.82.

If the current league-wide batting average of .249 continues for the entire season, it will be the first time since 1972 when the league had an average below .250. During that season, the league hit .244 while teams averaged 3.69 runs per game and .65 home runs per game. Read the rest of this entry →

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Billy Kilmer: Hard-Nosed Quarterback
      September 2, 2018 | 7:32 pm
      Kilmer

      Billy Kilmer

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month began his NFL career as an athletic running quarterback, but he endured a near fatal car accident to completely change his game during a career that spanned nearly two decades.

      Anyone who is familiar with former NFL quarterback Billy Kilmer probably remembers him as the portly, un-athletic, but very tough quarterback for the Washington Redskins in the 1970s. However, during his first two NFL seasons, Kilmer was primarily used as a running quarterback and running back for the San Francisco 49ers.

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