Alexander: Fans respond on how to fix baseball

first_img• Heil also suggested a seven-second pitch clock; hitters entitled to one timeout (i.e., stepping out of the box) per at-bat; relievers getting from the bullpen to the mound in no more than 30 seconds to make the next pitch, with no warmups; one baseball per half-inning (rather than a new ball every time one hits the dirt); and an All-Star Week that would also encompass the trade deadline and maybe the draft, too.Time, it seems, is of the essence.• Tom Cryer, maybe with Shohei Ohtani in mind, suggested allowing a player to be listed as both a pitcher and DH, similar to the NCAA rule, or alternatively allowing a DH for any player, not just the pitcher. Further, he favors limiting extra innings to a three-inning limit and then going to a home run derby to break ties. He didn’t specify whether the losing team would get a pity point, as do overtime losers in hockey shootouts.• Tim Mellin of Highland Park suggested an “open” DH rule: Five or six DH slots available, to be used wherever the manager deemed appropriate, similar to the softball rule where the player who is pinch-hit for can return in the game.• Russ Allison is awaiting expansion to 32 teams and a universal DH, and is in favor of radical realignment based on geography: Imagine a West Division with the Dodgers, Angels, Giants, Padres, A’s, D-Backs, Mariners and a Portland expansion team, for example. “Yes, maybe one step backwards (won’t feel ‘special’ to have LAA-LAD 4 times a year) but several steps forward,” he wrote. “And an attendance rocket straight up … total upside. LONG overdue.”• Vince Scipioni would bypass both the Commissioner’s office and Players Association: No more corporate ownership of teams; players’ base salary limited to $1 million a year (with advertisers making up the rest), maximum ticket prices at $25 and parking at $12, elimination of all cable/internet broadcast deals in favor of over-the-air telecasts, elimination of replay review, uniform changes only at 25-year intervals … well, you get the point. And so much for baseball’s version of capitalism.• Fred Singer of Huntington Beach wrote: “Have each team bat for three innings at a time. After three outs in the first inning, clear the bases and keep going, rinse and repeat. So much time is wasted getting players on and off the field 18 times a game.” Trust me, with all of the advertising dollars involved, there’s as much chance of that happening as of me becoming President.• Edward Lamoureaux, an Angel fan who is also a professor in the Department of Interactive Media and Department of Communication at Bradley University, has the same gripe I do with MLB.TV’s home market blackout policy, but a particular beef: “I do mind being blacked out of Angel games when they play in Chicago or St. Louis … when the Angels go to Chicago, I don’t want to be forced to go to a TV in my home with cable so I can watch the Sox or Cubs broadcast. Sometimes I’m not at home by a TV, often I’m not in a room with a TV, and I never want to listen to their calls.”Sounds fair.He also suggests altering the umpire rotation so umpires who are weak on balls and strikes don’t work the plate; making arguing balls and strikes no longer an automatic ejection, and not legislating shifts, writing: “Anyone who can’t bunt or hit the other way, and who isn’t hitting over .275, should be punished.”• Lamoureaux and Dirk Wilder of Trabuco Canyon take aim at hitters’ habit of messing with their batting gloves between pitches. “Velcro is responsible for slowing the game down,” Wilder wrote.Related Articles Actually, it’s all Nomar Garciaparra’s fault, but I get the point.• Lastly, Greg Johnstone of Ladera Ranch suggested that games could simply end in ties after four or five extra innings, and no gimmicks such as starting each extra inning with a runner at second. “Neither team wins when a game extends to 18 innings, and how many fans are left in the stadium at this point.”Those of us who witnessed Game 3 of last year’s World Series – with Dodger Stadium still nearly full in the 18th – might feel differently. Then again, the Angels exhausted their pitching staff in a 16-inning loss to Baltimore last month and went on to lose 12 of 14 and pretty much spiral out of the wild card race.At this point, they probably wouldn’t [email protected]@Jim_Alexander on Twitter There seem to be some common threads in the responses to last week’s “Fixing Baseball, Part II” column:I received 20 emailed responses and a couple via Twitter. The majority were from, shall we say, veteran fans. There seemed to be common agreement that games take too long, and that analytics and their spawn (such as shifts, launch angles, homers and strikeouts at the expense of putting the ball in play, and the nightly parade of relief pitchers in the late innings) have made the game less appealing.Oh, and ticket prices are too high and the TV coverage leaves something to be desired. That about cover it?By the way, the idea that older fans seem most willing to care, and to comment, should be a loud wakeup call to MLB executives. It says either (a) the younger generation is perfectly fine with the game as it is played today, or (b) younger fans don’t care enough to weigh in. My suspicion is (b), and if that’s the case nicknames on the backs of uniforms aren’t nearly enough. (Especially when you can’t see them, as will be the case this weekend, but enough of that rant.) Photos: Lakers defeat Trail Blazers in Game 4 of first-round playoff series Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook and other NBA stars pay tribute to Kobe Bryant center_img Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone Along those lines, the most intriguing suggestion came from reader Mark Heil: “Hire WWE writers. WWE understands that story lines drive interest. Baseball has become too much of a hometown sport. People don’t care the way we used to about other teams … What’s missing? The stories to make us care about the different cities. Matchups. Who is pitching against who? Add drama. Hire people to call up talk radio stations and ask the brainless homers if they saw what happened in Los Angeles last night? Root, Root, Root for the hometown – yes, but be realistic about how your team compares.”My only hesitancy would be that 162 games worth of “Monday Night Raw” would wear everyone out, players and fans alike. That said, this goes back to the sport’s inability to tap into personalities and promote its best players to a wider audience.And maybe the issue isn’t so much how they advertise, but where – specifically, maybe promoting the game to people who aren’t already watching it. Heil suggested slipping players or teams into video games or hosting “a contest on Minecraft about designing the best stadiums or replicating a stadium.”I’d hire him.Anyway, some other ideas: Horse dies after injury during workout at Del Mar On Mamba Night, the Lakers make short work of Blazers to take 3-1 series lead last_img read more

Wellington Rec Rap: Oct. 14-31, 2013

first_imgTrick or Treat Down the Street will be held downtown on Thursday, Oct. 31st. The WRC is offering local businesses and organizations (not located in the downtown area), free booth space at the Memorial Auditorium, to hand out treats and toys. Time has changed this year, the event will be held from 4:00-6:00 pm.  The Monster Mash Halloween Dance will be held at the WRC on Saturday, Oct. 26th from 8:00-10:00 pm for middle schoolers. Buy Back Door Passes at school during the lunch hour on Thursday, Oct. 24th and the WRC on Friday, Oct. 25th. The fall Paintball Trip for 6th-12th graders is set for Friday, Oct. 25th, (no school!). We’ll leave the WRC at 11:00 am and return at 4;00 pm. Bring snacks and wear long sleeves, etc. for trip. Date ChangePlease note correction to the Halloween Fun Fest. Date has been changed to Thursday, Oct. 24th instead of Friday, Oct. 25th as shown in the fall brochure. Same time; 7-8:30 pm for 3 year – 4th grades at the WRC. The following is the Wellington Rec Rap for Oct. 14 – 31, 2o13:Little Chefs; Yucky Yummies for 3-5 year olds will be held on Monday, Oct. 14th from 10-11 am at the WRC.For ages 14 and up, Give Cookies the Royal Fall Treatment participants will decorate cookies for Halloween and Thanksgiving feasts. Class will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 15th from 6-8 pm at the WRC. Great Value! Take Home Kits will include decorated cookies, pastry tips and bags, flooding sticks, a cookies cutter, recipe cards and tube bottle.Crown Uptown, “Cats”, Thursday, Oct. 17th. Do not miss the rare opportunity to see this unique musical! $60 registration includes transportation, admission to the play and a catered dinner.Air Rifle will take place on Saturdays at the Armory, Oct. 19th-Nov. 16th, from 10-11:30 am.center_img Kids explore different glazing techniques on 3 projects in Glazed and Confused, Friday,Oct. 25th from 10:00-11:15 am at the Elsass Art Center. Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. There are no comments posted yet. Be the first one! Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Try for a chance to be awarded  2 tickets to see the Chiefs play! Purchase Chance Tickets at the WRC and the home football game on Oct. 25th, 1 for $5, 3 for $10 or 7 for $20. A winning ticket will be drawn during half time of the Oct. 25th game.last_img read more

Bethlehem festive as pilgrims come back

first_img“If you can’t be with family, it’s good to be here where it all went down,” said 23-year-old David Collen of Hickman, Neb., who is studying the Middle East at Tel Aviv University in Israel. Tiago Martins, 28, from Curitiba, Brazil, said the new peace talks had prompted him to visit Bethlehem for the first time. “The idea that it’s a Christian city makes me more calm, and I think going to the West Bank is more comfortable since Annapolis,” Martins said. Priests and monks, tourists, Palestinian families and police mingled in Manger Square outside the Church of the Nativity, the site where tradition holds that Christ was born. Vendors hawked beads, inflatable Santas, roasted peanuts, cotton candy, steamed corn and Turkish coffee while city residents watched the festivities from balconies and rooftops. A four-story cypress tree, strung with lights and red and gold ornaments and topped with a yellow star, towered outside the church. Children strolling through the square wore red-and-white Santa Claus hats, with some in full Santa regalia. Balloons bobbed from vendors’ stands and strings children clutched in their hands. After nightfall, the square was lit in a sea of red and yellow lights and Christmas stars. “This year is much better than the last seven years for tourism,” said shopkeeper Jacques Aman, whose wooden handicrafts shop offered crosses, rosaries and nativity scenes. “The atmosphere is better in general. There is relative calm, from the security standpoint.” Palestinian scouts, some wearing kilts and berets adorned with pompoms, marched through the streets playing drums and bagpipes. Throughout the evening, choirs and orchestras performed hymns and Christmas carols in a multitude of languages. Years of violence have contributed to the departure of a growing number of Christians from Bethlehem. Johnny Giacaman, a Bethlehem native who now lives in the United Arab Emirates but returned this year to visit his family, is among the people who have left. “There is nothing for young people here,” he said, standing outside his family’s gift shop. “Christians are leaving in high numbers. I am an example. If this continues, in five to 10 years the Church of the Nativity will be a museum.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! BETHLEHEM, West Bank – Encouraged by renewed peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, Christian pilgrims from around the world converged on Jesus’ traditional birthplace Monday to celebrate Christmas – a palpable contrast to the sparse crowds of recent years. The mix of people included festive American tourists, clergymen in brown flowing robes and Palestinian scouts wearing kilts and playing bagpipes. “I’m Catholic. I always wanted to see the beginning of Christianity, the whole history. It’s something you grow up with,” said Kristin Obeck, a 37-year-old schoolteacher from Richmond, Va. Despite the festive atmosphere, a heavy police deployment, the presence of Israel’s separation barrier and unease among Bethlehem’s ever-shrinking Christian population served as reminders of the lingering tensions in the region. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan ClarksonIn the years following the 1993 Oslo peace accord, Bethlehem attracted tens of thousands of tourists for Christmas. But the number of visitors plummeted after the outbreak of the second Palestinian uprising in 2000. Tourism has begun to recover in recent years as fighting has slowed. This year, it got a boost from the renewal of peace talks last month at a summit in Annapolis, Md. Israeli tourism officials said they expected some 20,000 visitors to cross from Jerusalem into neighboring Bethlehem, an increase of about 50percent over last year. Tourism workers handed out sweets and flowers to pilgrims, and smiling Israeli soldiers posed for pictures with travelers. Bethlehem’s governor, Saleh Tamari, said all of the town’s 5,000 hotel rooms were booked. last_img read more