It was 26 years ago all-time MLB career hits leader and 17-time All-Star Pete Rose was banished from professional baseball for partaking in the sport’s greatest sin: gambling on the game. Although he would deny this allegation for 15 years, it was proven that Rose bet on the Cincinnati Reds between 1987 and 1989, while he was the team’s manager. Everything was laid out in the Dowd Report, a 225-page document prepared by lawyer John M. Dowd at the request of then MLB Commissioner, Bart Giamatti. The document included alleged betting records, bank records, telephone records, and transcripts from witnesses. Though Rose eventually admitted to gambling while he was the Red’s manager, he always denied he bet on games while he was a player, even as recently as this April when he stated on Michael Kay’s ESPN radio show, “[I] never bet as a player: That’s a fact.”
Pinned as America’s Pastime, baseball’s popularity has slowly been losing traction over the years in favor of other sports; mainly football and basketball. While the lack of offense in the MLB in recent seasons is a contributing factor, another reason is due to the average length of a game. In 1950, the average length of a professional baseball game was a very manageable 2 hours and 21 minutes; by 1990 it had increased to a long, but still somewhat manageable 2 hours and 51 minutes. Fast forward to last season, and the average time of a game had increased to an absurd 3 hours and 8 minutes. Why have games gotten so long as of late? It is large in part due to pitchers like David Price, who on average takes 27 seconds between throwing pitches, and hitters, such as David Ortiz who constantly steps out of the batter’s box and paces around over the course of an at-bat.
How is MLB Going to "Attempt" to Speed the Game Up?
To keep baseball television ratings from continuing their downward spiral, Major League Baseball has proposed, and in some cases implemented various rules to help speed up the game in 2015. New to this season is a timer that limits the amount of time between half-innings to two minutes and 25 seconds (2:45 for nationally televised games). Another rule being introduced requires hitters to keep one foot in the batter’s box for the duration of an at-bat, unless they swing or call a timeout. Players who fail to adhere to this rule will receive warnings, while habitual rule breakers will be subject to fines, according to MLB officials.
The 3 Oldest Continually-Operating Professional Baseball Fields in the U.S.
1) Fenway Park – 4 Yawkey Way, Boston, MA
Fenway from Legend's Box by User Jared Vincent on Flickr - Originally posted to Flickr as Fenway-from Legend's Box. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
Groundbreaking took place on 25 September, 1911, for the famed home of the Boston Red Sox, and the first official game was played at the new stadium on April 20, 1912 against the New York Highlanders (though an exhibition game between the Sox and Harvard College had been played on April 9). Prior to the construction of Fenway, the Sox played at the Huntington Avenue Grounds (upon which the athletic department of Northeastern University now resides), but then-owner John Taylor conveniently was able to move the ballpark to a parcel of land owned by his father in the Fens area of Boston – a real estate deal that was fortuitous for the Taylor family and the Fens neighborhood.
In celebration of Opening day and our AMAZING April Baseball Promotion, we're listing off...
Our Favorite Songs about Baseball
Take Me Out to the Ball Game sung by Edward Meeker, 1908
The 2014 World Series began last night with Game 1 in Kansas City. After just five batters, the Giants already had a 3-0 lead and never looked back, taking a one game to none lead in the series. For the Royals, losing the first game of the World Series hurt, but would losing Game 2 be the death-blow to their chances of being crowned champions?
Yes - Game 2 is a must-win for the Royals
No one wants to lose the first two games of a postseason series, but losing them on your home field hurts even more. The Royals have the home-field advantage in the series thanks to the American League's win in this season's All-Star Game (a ridiculous reason, but that's a discussion for a different day), and if they lose Game 2, that will completely blow a great opportunity. San Francisco's AT&T Stadium is one of the toughest stadiums to play in for a road team in Major League Baseball, and winning at least two games there would be a tough task.
Since the league went to the 2-3-2 format for the World Series, there have been 13 teams that lost the first two games of the series at home. Of those teams, eight of them ended up getting swept and only three ended up going on to win the series.