The Bracket Yard Daily, March 18, 2021: Pace of Play, Betting, Sister Jean
Some things can’t be rushed.
We set the illuminated members of the baseball media straight again, and why the NCAA is perking up over sports gambling in the Thursday Daily.
Top Sports Stories
|[MLB] Is Pace of Play Really a “Crisis” for Baseball?|
Sports Illustrated yesterday called Major League Baseball’s “pace of play” issues a “crisis,” citing an example of a slowed-down late inning in Game 6 of the 2020 World Series. The sport is too slow and it will drive away the younger generation who have the attention span of a tsetse fly is the battle cry.
I would fully expect that the same people complaining about this also complain about how the last minute of a close basketball game takes 20-25 minutes and is all free throws and fouls, right? No, it seems time and time again like it’s just baseball.
We first went at this four years ago and we feel the same way about it now as we did then. They have already done quite a bit to trim down the length of games, like at-bat clocks, waiving the intentional walk, and restricting trips to the mound. Make it faster, they said. Maybe the people saying this are just bored with the sport? It’s an inherently slow game. You are not going to cut the game’s length in half so stop pretending that’s what it’s going to take to make it beloved. The hysterical whining is getting a little much.
|[CBB] NCAA Worried About Sports Betting|
The 2021 NCAA Tournament is here, and it’s the first tournament in two years. It’s also the first NCAA Tournament since a wave of states have legalized sports betting, the host state Indiana included. In total, about 20 states have legalized sports gambling in on a state or local level, most of them within the last three years. The stern, bureaucratic eyes of the NCAA will be watching this one with care. Why? For one thing, they want to make sure that nobody is shaving points.
It’s a valid concern: the integrity of sports and its association with gambling have sometimes come into focus, like in 1979 with Boston College basketball. Both the NCAA and Indiana’s gaming commission will have their eyes on the books.
|[CBB] Sister Jean Is Going Back to the Big Dance|
How could this end any other way? Sister Jean Schmidt, the centenarian good luck charm of Loyola Chicago basketball, will be at the 2021 NCAA Tournament in person. She is fully vaccinated and plans to adhere to social distancing protocol, but we could not do this tournament without her. Welcome back to the Dance.
Games of the Day
[CBB] The First Four gets played in one night: Texas Southern vs. Mount St. Mary’s (5:10 EDT), Drake vs. Wichita State (6:27 EDT), App State vs. Norfolk State (8:40 EDT), and UCLA vs. Michigan State (9:57 EDT).
5 Good Sports Links
- [NHL] “Ralph Krueger’s firing was inevitable as Sabres fall to laughingstock status,” The Athletic (John Vogl)
- [NFL] “Baltimore Ravens Player Arrested in Arlington,” ARLnow
- [CFB] “What a college football 64-team playoff bracket would look like in 2021,” ESPN (Chris Low)
- [MLB] “Illinois appellate court rules a woman hit by a foul ball at Wrigley Field can pursue a lawsuit against MLB,” Chicago Tribune (Herbert G. McCann)
- [NFL] “Lawyer says lawsuit filed against Deshaun Watson, who says he looks forward to clearing name,” ESPN (Sarah Barshop)