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What's Trending Wednesday: New Season, New Rules

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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.

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Ballparks That Have Stood the Test of Time

The 3 Oldest Continually-Operating Professional Baseball Fields in the U.S.

1) Fenway Park – 4 Yawkey Way, Boston, MA

Fenway Park

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.

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Music Monday: Take Me Out for Opening Day

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

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What People Are Talking About

Furious 7 Won’t Stop

The seventh installment of the Fast and the Furious franchise, Furious 7 just nailed down an unprecedented $15.8 million on early Thursday previews. Projections for the full opening weekend performance at the Box Office for the film are estimated to be in excess of $160 million, which would land it among the biggest opening weekends of any movie ever. We’ll have to wait until Monday to see the final results, but we’re pretty sure the film world will be impressed, though the Best Picture Oscar prediction from star Vin Diesel is dubious at best.

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Everything You Need to Know about TIDAL

Tidal Logo

Photo courtesy of Radio Survivor

On March 30, 2015 at 5 p.m. EDT, to much fanfare and anticipation, the music streaming service Tidal was launched – or rather, relaunched. Mogul and rapper Jay Z has spearheaded the initiative, and the amount of star power packed into his press conference was impressive, but what does the revamped Tidal service mean for the music industry, and more importantly, for the consumer?

TIDAL: A Brief History

Scandinavian tech company Aspiro, which was founded in 1998, launched TIDAL in 2014, a complement to their other streaming service WiMP, which was launched in 2010. Throughout Aspiro’s history, the company has acquired various smaller tech startups, numbering at least 13 in total between 2000 and 2008. As of January 30 of this year, Aspiro announced a $56 million takeover bid from Project Panther Bidco, Ltd. Project Panther is indirectly owned and controlled by Shawn Carter, aka, Jay Z. While some shareholders objected to the takeover, claiming it undervalued the growth potential of Aspiro, the bid was accepted on March 13, 2015, with over 90% of shareholders in favor of the acquisition.

TIDAL itself is a relatively young streaming service. What differentiates it from other similar streaming services is that it boasts lossless audio streaming and HD video (currently available only to TIDAL HiFi subscribers), with over 25 million tracks and 75,000 music videos at its disposal at this point in time, with plans to increase the media library. Unlike many other competitors, however, TIDAL is a subscription-only service. Their base-plan, TIDAL Premium, will cost you $9.99 per month, with an option to upgrade to the more high-definition TIDAL HiFi for $19.99 monthly.

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