Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Yesterday, I wrote about the toughest calls in sports, now let's talk about the toughest decisions that have to be made in sports management. These decisions generally come from the "Rules Committee" of any sport. Actually, 'tough' is the wrong word. 'Dumb' is a better description.

The spirit is willing but the flesh is...scared. Baseball wants to eliminate home plate collisions because of the danger to the players but they don't know how to do it. Okay, it's a wonderful idea, but what did that erudite committee come up with?
## A runner may not go out of his way to run into the catcher when trying to score.
    This makes sense except how many times does a runner ignore the plate or the base path just to knock over the catcher? Why would a runner do that? He doesn't want to get hurt any more than the catcher does.
## A catcher may not block the plate to prevent the runner from scoring, unless...stay with me now...he has the ball or is attempting to catch a throw. Isn't that how the collisions take place anyway? Oh, they throw in that when the only way to catch the throw is to be in the baseline, but again, that's where the throw is supposed to be. If the catcher isn't in the baseline, the runner isn't going to try to hit him and if the throw isn't near the plate, the catcher is going to go after it and not be in the baseline.
So basically the new rule is - "There can be no collisions at home plate...unless there has to be."Which reminds me of one of my frat brothers saying at a meeting, "If you're gonna do, do it. If you're not gonna do it, don't do it." Maybe he was involved in this rule change.

I believe there is a standing rule in college football, "If it doesn't help Nick Saban at Alabama,  you can't do it." Saban doesn't run a hurry-up offense at 'Bama, so he's lobbying for a rule change that would force offenses to delay the snap of the ball for at least 10 seconds between plays so the defense can substitute players. Saban claims it's a safety issue, but teams that run it have no such problems. I guess when he says "safety," he means it will be safer for Saban to win games.

Okay, there is no hand-checking on defense anymore. Mugging is okay, but don't hand-check. Belly-bump him, back a player out the way, but keep those hands where I can see them. In the meantime, we'll try to figure out the difference between a block and a charge.  If there is one.

Opening day of the 2014 baseball season is 33 long days away. I always claim that I'm not going to watch any meaningless, pre-season games, because they have no bearing on the season or the strengths or weaknesses of any of the teams.  But, I end up doing just that. So, bring it on, baseball, and take advantage of me with a sport that's been in my blood since Mickey Mantle blasted his first homer back in 1951.

"A Winter Olympics curler was injured. How? He screamed so loud he broke a rib?"  -- Brad Dickson
"Now that the Sochi games are over, most casual American sports fans can stop ignoring the Olympics, and start ignoring the NHL and NBA regular seasons."  -- Janice Hough
"Kazakhstan finished last in the medal count with 1 bronze at Sochi. Richard Petty said they would have won it all if no one else showed up."  -- TC Chong
"Richard Petty has accepted Tony Stewart’s challenge to race Danica Patrick. At 76, it’ll be interesting to see what wears out first: Richard or his turn signal."  -- Gary M
"Three competitors in the skicross quarterfinals crashed as they crossed the finish line. It was immediately voted “Favorite Winter Olympic Moment” by American NASCAR fans"  -- Brad Dickson
" I just awoke from the mother of all psychedelic nightmares. Don Cherry was wearing  Norwegian curling pants."  -- RJ Currie
"After Adelina Sotnikova’s gold-medal performance in Sochi, The Russian skater said she was inspired by her family, her coaches and what happened to the losing — and now missing — Russian men’s hockey team.”  --  Conan O'Brien
"Southern Miss says it will list incoming football recruit Picasso Nelson as a defensive back. In other words, they’ve already painted him into a corner."  -- Dwight Perry
"I wouldn't say Winter Olympic figure skating scoring was skewed toward Russian competitors, but you got extra points for identifying a photo of Khrushchev."  -- Brad Dickson


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