Category Archives: Sports

How the MLB’s revisions improve the game

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At the beginning of September, Major League Baseball announced three new changes that will alter how the game is played. Starting next year, the MLB will implement a pitch clock, increase the size of the bases, and enforce limits on the shift.

The new pitch clock will make it so that pitchers must begin their motion within 30 seconds between batters, 15 seconds for batters with no runners on base, and 20 seconds for batters when there are runners on base.

Pitchers will have two disengagements (pickoffs and step-offs) per batter, and if a third pickoff is unsuccessfully attempted, the runners will advance a base. However, if runners advance, the pitcher will get 2 more “disengagements.”

With a similar pitch clock in Triple-A ball this year, the average play time decreased by about 21 minutes.

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The MLB has been trying to make the game shorter for years and, in trying to do so, has made the game worse with the implementation of runners starting on second base in extra innings.

However, they have finally figured it out with the new changes. The new pitch clock will only increase the pace of play while keeping traditional aspects of the game, and this simple revision will make the games quicker and more exciting.

The MLB will also increase the size of the bases from 15 square inches to 18 square inches. This adjustment should lead to fewer injuries and more stolen bases.

With bigger bases, the injuries to players as they run to 1st base or slide into 2nd or 3rd base should be less frequent. Bigger bases also mean that the distance between bases is less, so there should be more attempted and successful stolen base attempts.

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This adjustment can only be beneficial to the players and fans of baseball and is another great change made by the league.

The final modification made is the new limits enforced on the shift. Teams will now need four infielders, with two on each side of 2nd base. Teams can add additional infielders by moving outfielders to the infield, but they must have four players within the outer boundary of the infield and two on each side of 2nd base.

Whether or not the league should enforce limits on the shift or not has been one of the most polarizing debates in recent years. However, implementing a limit on the shift allows for pull hitters to be better.

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Being able to hit everywhere on the field is a special skill that makes some hitters special. This change is bad for the league as it encourages players to not work on the craft of hitting everywhere on the field and lowers the skill level of the league.

However, implementing these restrictions on the shift should lead to more hits, making the game even more exciting.

The three revisions by the MLB will make the league more exciting and safer and generally good for the league. While implementing restrictions to the shift will reduce the consequences of being a pull hitter and lowers the skill level of the league, the other changes are significant for the league as they make the games shorter, safer, and more exciting.

Jimmy Thomas is a senior member of the Multimedia Journalism class.

How bad calls from NFL referees continue to decide the outcome of games

In a forever-changing game, there is one reoccurring problem that has NFL fans like myself shaking their heads in disappointment. That problem is that on almost a weekly basis, at least one game is plagued with terrible calls that, on some occasions, have even decided the winner of a game. While some may argue that this is a common problem that can’t be solved, there is no doubt that bad calls in important division games and playoff games have fans calling for a solution. In this piece, I will provide examples of the worst cases in which NFL referees’ bad calls have decided essential games.

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Roughing the Passer

Many would argue that the quarterback position is the most critical position on the field. Increasing the frequency of roughing-the-passer calls prevents the league’s star QBs from being injured and calling to the backup QBs. In the wake of this, these calls’ consistency is questioned. NFL fans have seen times when a seemingly legal hit is called roughing the passer, and an illegal hit is not called. The official rule is that any hit to the legs or around the head area warrants a roughing the passer call. Defenders are allowed “one step” toward the QB after the ball is thrown, and more than one step warrants a roughing the passer call. Defenders also cannot hit a QB with their full body weight. While these rules seem fair and straightforward, NFL referees have shown otherwise.

One example of a bad roughing the passer call was a week 5 matchup of the 2022 regular season between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Atlanta Falcons. While the Falcons were trying to make a comeback late in the 4th quarter down six, star Defensive Tackle Grady Jarrett made a huge play, sacking QB Tom Brady. Jarrett wrapped up Brady and spun him to the ground, a seemingly ordinary sack that would have forced a Buccaneers punt on 4th down. This was flagged for roughing the passer and gave the Buccaneers a first down, allowing them to chew the rest of the clock out and stall out a Falcons comeback.

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Pass Interference

Another penalty that causes controversy for NFL referees is the pass interference calls. Like the roughing the passer penalty, pass interference gets called on an inconsistent basis where sometimes it gets called when it shouldn’t, and other times it doesn’t get called when it should. Pass interference rules state that a defender cannot initiate illegal contact that causes an unfair chance for the WR to make a play on the football. Holding, pulling, pushing, tripping, grabbing the facemask, and tackling the WR are examples of what would be called pass interference.

An example of a missed call was the 2018 NFC championship game, late in the 4th quarter, a wheel route throw from QB Drew Brees to Wide Receiver Tommylee Lewis was disrupted early from a hit by Rams Cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman. Instead of a pass interference call that would have set up the Saints’ offense with first and goal, they faced a 4th and long and had to settle for a field goal. Brees would throw an interception in overtime and allow a game-winning field goal to send the Rams to the super bowl. Many fans believe the Saints got cheated out of a super bowl appearance based on this one play alone.

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Catches and Non-Catches

NFL referees seem to have different ideas on the criteria for what is a catch and what is not. While roughing the passer and even pass interference have been more recently arising problems, the catching criterion is a problem that has been ongoing for a long time. The NFL states that if a receiver maintains possession going to the ground and the ball comes out after, it is a catch, but if the receiver doesn’t maintain control and the ball hits the ground, it is not a catch. While it can usually be determined if a receiver has possession or not, there are some cases in which a ruling is disagreed upon.

One example was a 2014 NFC divisional game between the Packers and Cowboys. With time winding down and the Cowboys finding themselves at a 4th down, QB Tony Romo takes a deep shot to WR Dez Bryant, which is caught. Bryant took a few steps towards the end zone with the ball securely in his hands before going to the ground, where the ball popped up but back into his arms. This was initially called a catch but was overturned after a review. This was especially surprising because, in terms of reviews, NFL referees need a clear view that the initial call was wrong, which there appeared to be none. Under the “rules” set by the NFL for catches, this should have been a catch.

It is clear from these calls that NFL referees have made that something needs to change. Two of these instances were in the playoffs and were the deciding factor in both games. NFL fans agree that action needs to be taken to prevent this from happening again because bad calls happen more than they should.

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Stephen Avara, Junior

Stephen Avara is a junior member of the Multi-Media Journalism class.

Interested in watching MSJ Varsity Basketball? Here’s how you can sign up and watch for free

It’s official! The Multimedia Journalism class and InstaGaelNews are teaming up for an inaugural live stream collaboration. Introducing IGN Sports! The varsity basketball games will be live-streamed for the first time, featuring live commentary, multi-cam views, and other stats starting this season.

Fans can now subscribe, for free, to the team’s brand new page on the app called GameChanger. (Please note: only certain games will be live-streamed through GameChanger. Away game streams will depend on the opposing team’s ability to do so.) Here is how you can sign up to follow the team.

How to sign up for GameChanger

To get notified when games are being live-streamed, and to see scores and videos, follow the instructions listed below to get started for free (Note: these instructions do not work for a laptop or desktop. You must sign up on your mobile phone or tablet with the GameChanger app).

  1. Download the GameChanger app in either the Apple App Store or Google Play
  2. Create an account if you are new to GameChanger. If you are an existing user, sign in to your GameChanger account.

  3. Select “Find Your Team” and search “Mount Saint Joseph Gaels.”

  4. Click on the profile with the “Gael” logo and click “Join Team.”

  5. Click “Join Team” and select “I’m a fan.”

  6. Enjoy the IGN Sports live stream at select games!

If you are following the team, you are notified when IGN Sports goes live on game day. For outside family members, friends, and other viewers, the link to the GameChanger stream will also be shared on the day of the game via IGN’s Instagram. You can view the live stream on any computer, phone, or tablet on the day of the game without having to create an account!

The IGN Sports team is excited to share this brand-new opportunity with the Mount community. Make sure to tune into the Gael’s first home game, and IGN Sports debut live stream on Tuesday, November 29, 2022, at 6PM when MSJ takes on the St. James School of Hagerstown in their first home matchup.

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Subscribe to us on YouTube to watch the live stream!

https://www.youtube.com/@instagaelnews8734

Why LIV Golf is growing despite the efforts of the PGA Tour

Beginning in May 2020, the PGA Tour saw a massive increase in viewers and attendance. Across the summers of 2020 and 2021, the PGA saw some of its highest TV ratings and a staggering 30% increase in views on NBC. All aspects of business looked good for the league, with the COVID-19 pandemic pushing the growth of golf in the United States.

However, it was not all that pretty on the inside. Players disapproved of the hard-ball tactics by Jay Monahan, the PGA Tour commissioner. His unwillingness to assist the stars; the players’ frustration over course rulings painted a negative picture among professional golfers. 

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And so, with the founding of LIV Golf in October 2021, Greg Norman gave players an escape from the harsh and neglectful PGA. He launched the brand with the hopes of signing international stars to participate in the monthly invitationals. Norman found immediate success, signing fifteen of the world’s top 100 players in April. 

Though the more laid-back environment proved a large part of the players’ decisions, Norman received tremendous financial support from the Saudi Arabian government. The kingdom provides all the guaranteed contracts and purse money for each tournament. For players on the bottom tier of professional tours, this supplied a substantial raise from their usually volatile salary. 

All of these factors make life for professional golfers much easier. Usually, players outside the top 100 struggle to obtain fair wages for their families. At most PGA tournaments, the competitors that finish toward the bottom only make about $50,000. If you add tournament entry fees and playing expenses, some players barely squeak by with a profit. However, the LIV Golf tour allows every player to make decent money and support their families.

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In addition, a less-demanding schedule allows older players to spend more time with their families. The PGA Tour only provides a two-week offseason and hosts a tournament every weekend during the season. LIV Golf organizes tournaments once or twice a month, permitting players to go home and see their families.

The simpler and quicker format of LIV Golf makes playing golf more enjoyable for all players. A shotgun start—where everyone tees off at the same time—decreases the amount of time on the course. Players can play five-hour rounds and leave instead of having to wait so long to tee off. 

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Through COVID, the PGA Tour looked to grow the game of golf but did not listen to the needs of its players. However, LIV Golf provided an escape for frustrated competitors and created a more player-friendly atmosphere. They exposed an ignorant organization and gave players a modern, more enjoyable experience on the golf course.

Alex Kwas is a sophomore member of the Multimedia Journalism class.

“Our goal is to be playing on Nov 18 at Navy-Marine Corp Stadium”

Mount Saint Joseph Football started their conference schedule with a dominant 40-0 win over Loyola Blakefield, a 35-14 win over Gilman, a 23-7 win over McDonogh, and a 33-22 win over defending champion, Calvert Hall. The Gaels have clinched home-field advantage for the first round of the playoffs. Junior Quarterback Winston Watkins has thrown for 10 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, helping push the Gaels to victory.

Photo of #51 Nick Paxton, #3 Bryce Cox, #6 Winston Watkins

In an interview with The Baltimore Banner, Head Coach Dominic Damico said, “We’ve had really good preparation (for the conference season),” he said about a team that lost a close game to St. Ignatius of Ohio before suffering a 52-14 setback to Washington Catholic Athletic Conference power Our Lady of Good Counsel. “We were ready to play.”

The Gaels’ defense gets the first-down stop.

Many believe the Gaels have already faced the best teams they will face all year. The loss to Good Counsel really helped motivate MSJ. With their wins against Loyola Blakefield, Gilman, McDonogh, and Calvert Hall they are currently the number #1 seed in the A Conference.

The Gaels prepare for battle.

The Gaels starting defense has been stellar, only allowing 29 points in A-Conference play. With these dominant performances, it’s hard to deny the excellent form of the Gaels’ defense, with a combined 128 tackles and 20 sacks this season by Sahir West, Deshaun Merrick, and Nick Paxton.

Through 4 games, the Gaels have dominated their opponents. The Gaels this year have a mission in mind and are focused on reaching their ultimate goal – a championship. Coach Damico says the reason for this start is that “We have a great group of seniors who have bought into the culture, they practice hard and play hard in the game.” He also added, “The focus of this group is getting better every week.”

The Gaels led on the field by #11 Sahir West.

With this new focus and constant improvement, Coach Damico said, “we have set the bar very high for this group; our goal is to be playing on Nov 18 at Navy-Marine Corp Stadium.” Also, with the added motivation of a first-round exit last year, they have shown they want to take what’s theirs.

Nicholas Paxton is a Senior Member of the Multi-Media Journalism Class.

Predicting the outcome of the 2022 World Series

We would love to hope that the 2022 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Philadelphia Phillies will be entertaining. However, it is clear who the favored team is.

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This isn’t the first time the Astros have been in this position. In fact, they’ve been in the World Series for 3 of the last 4 years. The Astros clearly have the experience and are seeking revenge after losing the last two that they were in. With that being said, I got the Astros in 5.

To back up my prediction, the Astros are coming into the World Series extremely hot after going 7-0 in the previous series. They swept the Al East division-winning Yankees and also swept the Mariners. The Phillies beat the St. Louis Cardinals in the Wild Card series 2-0, beat the Braves in a 4-game series, 3-1, and beat the Padres in a 5-game series 4-1. The Phillies haven’t stopped playing since the start of the playoffs, and that can be a good thing. They are coming in fresh and ready to play. The Phillies won it all in 2008 and look to add their 4th franchise World Series title.

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Other than the Astros having the advantage because they’ve been here before, they have been on fire. In general, the Astros are a big rally team, and when they’re hot, they stay hot. The Astros have many hot postseason batters coming into the series, with Yuli Gurriel leading the team in batting average with .367. Astros’ possible Rookie of the Year and ALCS MVP Jeremy Pena has been on fire lately, batting .303, and he has also been outstanding in the field. Nearly the whole Astros lineup is hitting well, while the Phillies are a little less consistent.

The Phillies have been really fun to watch this postseason with a lot of big and clutch plays. They’ve hit 16 home runs total, with Rhys Hoskins and Bryce Harper having a combined 10 home runs. Although that is impressive, you can’t rely on clutch and well-timed home runs to win a World Series. Bryce Harper had been extremely impressive this postseason, batting .419 and winning the NLCS MVP. Harper is really the only hot/consistent bat in the lineup right now. Hoskins has been hitting a lot of home runs but is only 8-44. Kyle Schwarber has hit a few towering shots but is only batting .200.

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Overall the Astros are just a more experienced, consistent hitting team. I would be surprised if the Phillies pulled this one out, especially with their limited pitching. Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola have really only been their dominant pitching this postseason, so if they want to win, other guys will have to step up big-time.

Tyler Martin is a junior member of the Multimedia Journalism class.