Review Category : National Sports

Report: MLB Proposes Shorter Inning Breaks

BananaStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Major League Baseball is seeking to shorten the length of games.

The MLB has submitted a proposal that would require pitchers to, “finish their warm-up pitches and be ready to make their first pitch of an inning 30 seconds before the end of all between-inning commercial breaks,” according to ESPN’s Jayson Stark. Hitters would also be required to be ready sooner as well.

Complaints have increased over the past decade over the length of games, as game times have consistently been over three hours. In the same period of time, ratings have seen a consistent decline.

“The average time of a Major League Baseball game this year was 12 minutes longer than just four years ago,” Stark said. “So they are looking for ways to pick up the pace.”

Before any changes will be made, Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Player’s Association will explore other measures to speed up games. Pitch clocks will be installed at Double-A and Triple-A parks as a trial study, but will not be used in Major League parks.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 1/20/15

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) –NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder 94 (21-20) – Miami Heat 86 (18-23)

Top 25 Men’s College Basketball: (9) Iowa State 77 (14-3) – Kansas St. 71 (11-8)

Davidson 77 (13-4) – (22) Dayton 60 (15-3)

NHL: New York Rangers 3 (27-13-4; 58pts) – Ottawa Senators 2 (18-18-9; 45pts)

Edmonton Oilers 5 (12-26-9; 33pts) – Washington Capitals 4 (24-13-9; 57pts) SO

Detroit Red Wings 5 (27-11-9; 63pts) – Minnesota Wild 4 (20-20-6; 46pts) SO

Tampa Bay Lightning 4 (30-14-4; 64pts) – Vancouver Canucks 1 (26-16-3; 55pts)

Philadelphia Flyers 3 (19-22-7; 45pts) – Pittsburgh Penguins 2 (26-12-7; 59pts) OT

Montreal Canadiens 2 (29-13-3; 61pts) – Nashville Predators 1 (30-10-5; 65pts) OT

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Doug Marrone Joins Jacksonville as Assistant Head Coach

Banana Stock/Getty Images(JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) — Former Bills head coach Doug Marrone is heading to the Jacksonville Jaguars to become an assistant head coach and offensive line coach.

The 50-year-old Marrone opted out of his contract with Buffalo on New Year’s Eve after spending two seasons roaming the sidelines, where he compiled a record of 15-17. He will receive his entire salary of $4 million for the 2015 season from the Bills because the team changed ownership during his tenure.

Marrone previously served as an offensive line coach with the New York Jets (2002-2005) and New Orleans Saints (2006-08). He became head coach at his alma mater, Syracuse, in 2009, leading the Orange to a 25-25 record in four seasons and two victories in the Pinstripe Bowl.

The Jaguars allowed an NFL-high and franchise-record 71 sacks last season.

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Doug Marrone Joins Jacksonville as Assistant Head Coach

Banana Stock/Getty Images(JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) — Former Bills head coach Doug Marrone is heading to the Jacksonville Jaguars to become an assistant head coach and offensive line coach.

The 50-year-old Marrone opted out of his contract with Buffalo on New Year’s Eve after spending two seasons roaming the sidelines, where he compiled a record of 15-17. He will receive his entire salary of $4 million for the 2015 season from the Bills because the team changed ownership during his tenure.

Marrone previously served as an offensive line coach with the New York Jets (2002-2005) and New Orleans Saints (2006-08). He became head coach at his alma mater, Syracuse, in 2009, leading the Orange to a 25-25 record in four seasons and two victories in the Pinstripe Bowl.

The Jaguars allowed an NFL-high and franchise-record 71 sacks last season.

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Joe Barry to Run the Defense in Washington

David Lee/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(AUBURN, Va.) — The Washington Redskins are turning to Joe Barry as their new defensive coordinator. He’ll replace Jim Haslett, who departed after five seasons in the nation’s capital.

Barry spent the past four seasons as the linebackers coach for the San Diego Chargers. The 44-year-old will be in charge of turning around a Redskins defense that finished 20th in total yards and 29th in points per game allowed last season.

Barry previously was the defensive coordinator for the Lions (2007-08), where under his direction Detroit finished the 2008 season winless, allowing 517 points.

In 2014, the Redskins had 36 sacks and seven interceptions en route to a 4-12 record.

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Cubs’ Jon Lester Against Newly-Proposed Pitch Clock

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images(CHICAGO) — With Major League Baseball experimenting with a pitch clock for pitchers, Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester thinks its a terrible idea.

“If you [use a pitch clock] you take the beauty out of the game,” he said Friday night at the Cubs’ fans convention. “There’s such a cat-and-mouse game as far as messing up hitters’ timing, messing up pitchers’ timing.”

“Different things that fans and people that have never played this game don’t understand. I feel like if you do add a clock it just takes all the beauty away from the game. I think you’re going down a path you don’t want to go down,” he continued.

Major League Baseball will try implementing pitch clocks at the Double-A and Triple-A this season in an effort to speed up the game.

After it was already tested in the Arizona Fall League, it could be coming to the Major League level in the upcoming years.

The penalty for exceeding 20 seconds was a ball added to the hitter’s count. Games were shortened by about 10 minutes.

In 2014, the average game lasted 3 hours, 8 minutes.

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Cubs Acquire Outfielder Dexter Fowler from the Astros

Brian D. Kersey/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The Chicago Cubs continue to load up this offseason as they’ve acquired outfielder Dexter Fowler from the Houston Astros.

In exchange for Fowler, the Cubs sent Houston second baseman Luis Valbuena and reliever Dan Straily.

Fowler, who is set to be a free agent following the 2015 season, brings a veteran presence at the top of the Cubs’ lineup.

“Our biggest needs were left-handed hitters and guys that get on base. Fowler fits that role for us,” Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said. “He controls the strike zone really well. It gives us much needed depth in center field and in the outfield. We felt we were a little unbalanced in our depth in the outfield as opposed to the infield.”

“Hopefully we get a much more grinding offense going forward,” he added.

In 116 games for Houston this past season, Fowler hit .276 with eight home runs, 35 RBIs, and 61 runs scored.

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Lions Will Part Ways with Center Dominic Raiola

Scott Boehm(NEW YORK) — The Detroit Lions are parting ways with one of the longest tenured players in franchise history as the team has informed center Dominic Raiola he will not return for the 2015 season.

Raiola has spent his entire 14-year career with the Lions. He started a franchise-record 203 games for the team, and missed just one game since 2008.

That one missed game came in the 2014 regular season finale when he was suspended for stomping on the ankle of Chicago Bears defensive lineman Ego Ferguson.

Once taking over the starting center spot in 2002, Raiola firmly cemented his status as a stable figure for the team on and off the field. Raiola was dominant in 2013. According to Pro Football Focus, he didn’t allow a single sack that season. In 2014, they rated him as the No. 37 center in the NFL as he allowed four sacks.

Kenny Zuckerman, Raiola’s agent, has confirmed that his client wants to keep playing football next season.

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Report: Bruins to Host 2016 Winter Classic

A.J. Messier/NHLI via Getty Images(BOSTON, Ma.) — The NHL’s Winter Classic has a set destination for 2016.

The Boston Bruins will host the Montreal Canadiens in Gillette Stadium, according to WEEI.com. Gillete Stadium is home to the New England Patriots.

The Bruins previously hosted the Winter Classic in 2010 at Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox.

The 2015 Winter Classic was held in Nationals Park between the Washington Capitals and the Chicago Blackhawks, which Washington won 3-2. Capitals winger Troy Brouwer won the game with 13 seconds to go on a power play goal in the third period.

The news is expected to be officially announced at the NHL All Star game this weekend in Columbus, Ohio.

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Patriots Wilfork Rescues Motorist After Sunday’s Game

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images(FOXBOROUGH, Ma.) — New England Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork has had a few moments this season that have been defined as heroic.

After Sunday’s win over the Indianapolis Colts, Wilfork had a truly heroic moment when he helped pull a woman out of her car after it overturned on Route 1 outside of Gillete Stadium.

“Some good times and I was just lucky to help, that was it,” Wilfork said. “I don’t want anything from it. If I saw it a million times, I’d do it a million times.”

The accident occurred shortly before 1 a.m. Monday morning when Wilfork and his wife noticed the overturned car. After calling for police assistance, Wilfork climbed onto the car and pulled the woman out with one arm.

Police then arrested the woman for driving under the influence of alcohol and negligent operation of a vehicle.

Teammates of Wilfork found out about the story through news reports Monday afternoon.

“You’re not really surprised with a guy like Vince,” wide receiver Matthew Slater said. “He’s been a pillar here in this franchise and a character guy, and really when you get to know the man, he’s all about giving back. He has such a big heart, and he cares about the people in this community.”

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