Game length in Major League Baseball (MLB) began increasing, with the 1988 New York Yankees being the first team to average over three hours per game. From 2004 through 2014, MLB games had increased from an average of 2.85 hours to 3.13 hours. This was in spite of decreases in scoring, with MLB teams scoring 4.1 runs per game in 2014, down from 5.14 in 2000.
In college baseball, the Southeastern Conference experimented with a 20-second pitch clock during the 2010 season, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association instituted the pitch clock before the 2011 season for when no runners are on base. During the 2014 season, the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball instituted its own changes. These included a 12-second pitch clock, reducing timeouts, warm-up pitches, making intentional walks automatic by signalling the umpire, rather than throwing four intentional balls. The Arizona Fall League began using a pitch clock in 2014 and the Double-A and Triple-A levels of Minor League Baseball followed suit in 2015. Those levels saw a 12-minute reduction in game times.
Towards the end of the 2014 season, Commissioner of Baseball Bud Selig announced the formation of a committee to examine the issue. John Schuerholz chaired the committee, which also included Sandy Alderson, Tony Clark, Rob Manfred, Joe Torre, and Tom Werner. Manfred, having succeeded Selig as the Commissioner in 2015, instituted rule changes to MLB before the start of the 2015 MLB season to address pace of play, including having batters remain in the batters box and the installation of time clocks to limit the time spent around commercial breaks. In 2015, MLB had a committee discuss bringing back the bullpen car.
Prior to the 2017 MLB season, the rules were amended to allow a manager to order an automatic intentional walk. MLB and the MLB Players Association (MLBPA) discussed the possibility of introducing the pitch clock at the major league level for the 2018 season. MLB opted against imposing it unilaterally, over the opposition of the MLBPA. Before the 2018 season, MiLB took major actions, including adding pitch clocks at all levels, beginning each extra inning with a runner on second base, and restricting the number of mound visits for full-season Class A through Triple-A teams. Also, the Arizona Diamondbacks of MLB announced they would introduce their first bullpen car in 2018.
Minor League Baseball expanded its pace of play initiatives in 2019 by requiring Double-A and Triple-A pitchers to face a minimum of three consecutive batters until the side is retired or the pitcher becomes injured and is unable to continue playing. Also, the number of allowed mound visits was reduced: Class A (9 visits), Double-A (7 visits), and Triple-A (5 visits).
The merger of the American Basketball Association (ABA) with the National Basketball Association (NBA), after multiple attempts over several years, occurred in 1976. The NBA and ABA had entered merger talks as early as 1970, but an antitrust suit filed by the head of the NBA players union, Robertson v. National Basketball Ass'n, blocked the merger until 1976.
As part of the merger agreement, the NBA agreed to accept four of the remaining six ABA teams: the Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, New York Nets and San Antonio Spurs. The remaining two ABA teams, the Kentucky Colonels and the Spirits of St. Louis, folded, with their players entering a dispersal draft.Baseball rules
The rules of baseball differ slightly from league to league, but in general share the same basic game play.Beanball
"Beanball" is a colloquialism used in baseball, for a ball thrown at an opposing player with the intention of striking them such as to cause harm, often connoting a throw at the player's head (or "bean" in old-fashioned slang). A pitcher who throws beanballs often is known as a "headhunter". The term may be applied to any sport in which a player on one team regularly attempts to throw a ball toward the general vicinity of a player of the opposite team, but is typically expected not to hit that player with the ball. In cricket, the equivalent term is "beamer". Some people use the term, beaner, though that usage is discouraged because of the negative connotations associated with that usage.Bullpen car
The bullpen car, also known as a bullpen cart, is used in professional baseball to bring relief pitchers into the game from the bullpen to the pitcher's mound during a pitching change. Bullpen cars were used in Major League Baseball from 1950 through 1995, and returned to use in 2018. They have been used in Nippon Professional Baseball since the 1980s.Double-A (baseball)
Double-A (or Class AA) is the second highest level of play in Minor League Baseball (MiLB) in the United States after Triple-A. There are thirty Double-A teams in three leagues at this classification: Eastern League, Southern League, and the Texas League. The modern Double-A classification was created in 1946 with the renaming of Class A1, which then contained the Texas League and the Southern Association. After the Southern Association disbanded in 1961, the Eastern League and the original South Atlantic "Sally" League were bumped up to Double-A in the 1963 minor league reorganization. The SAL changed its name to the Southern League in 1964.George Duncan (golfer)
George Duncan (16 September 1883 – 15 January 1964) was a Scottish professional golfer. He was also a golf course designer. His much sought-after professional teaching and swing analysis skills lead to him being referred to as "the pro's pro." He won the 1920 Open Championship.Golf
Golf is a club-and-ball sport in which players use various clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a course in as few strokes as possible.
Golf, unlike most ball games, cannot and does not utilize a standardized playing area, and coping with the varied terrains encountered on different courses is a key part of the game. The game at the usual level is played on a course with an arranged progression of 18 holes, though recreational courses can be smaller, often having nine holes. Each hole on the course must contain a tee box to start from, and a putting green containing the actual hole or cup 4 1⁄4 inches (11 cm) in diameter. There are other standard forms of terrain in between, such as the fairway, rough (long grass), bunkers (or "sand traps"), and various hazards (water, rocks) but each hole on a course is unique in its specific layout and arrangement.
Golf is played for the lowest number of strokes by an individual, known as stroke play, or the lowest score on the most individual holes in a complete round by an individual or team, known as match play. Stroke play is the most commonly seen format at all levels, but most especially at the elite level.
The modern game of golf originated in 15th century Scotland. The 18-hole round was created at the Old Course at St Andrews in 1764. Golf's first major, and the world's oldest tournament in existence, is The Open Championship, also known as the British Open, which was first played in 1860 in Ayrshire, Scotland. This is one of the four major championships in men's professional golf, the other three being played in the United States: The Masters, the U.S. Open, and the PGA Championship.Golf equipment
Golf equipment encompasses the various items that are used to play the sport of golf. Types of equipment include the golf ball itself, implements designed for striking the golf ball, devices that aid in the process of playing a stroke, and items that in some way enrich the playing experience.Intentional base on balls
In baseball, an intentional base on balls, usually referred to as an intentional walk and denoted in baseball scorekeeping by IBB, is a walk issued to a batter by a pitcher with the intent of removing the batter's opportunity to swing at the pitched ball. A pitch that is intentionally thrown far outside the strike zone for this purpose is referred to as an intentional ball.
Beginning with the 2017 season, Major League Baseball has removed the requirement to throw four intentional balls. In MLB and in amateur baseball, such as high school and college games, and in most levels of Little League Baseball, the manager of the team on the field now simply asks the plate umpire to let the batter go to first base.Joe West (umpire)
Joseph Henry West (born October 31, 1952), nicknamed "Cowboy Joe" or "Country Joe", is an American professional baseball umpire in Major League Baseball (MLB). Born in Asheville, North Carolina, he grew up in Greenville and played football at East Carolina University (ECU) and Elon College. West entered the National League as an umpire in 1976; he joined the NL staff full-time in 1978. West has worn uniform number 22 throughout his career. As a young umpire, West worked Nolan Ryan's fifth career no-hitter, was on the field for Willie McCovey's 500th home run, and was involved in a 1983 pushing incident with manager Joe Torre.
A few years later, West was the home plate umpire during the 1988 playoff game in which pitcher Jay Howell was ejected for having pine tar on his glove. In 1990, he threw pitcher Dennis Cook to the ground while attempting to break up a fight. West resigned during the 1999 Major League Umpires Association mass resignation, but was rehired in 2002. Since then, he has umpired throughout MLB. In a 2004 playoff game between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, West's crew made a controversial decision that necessitated police presence to calm the crowd. He served as crew chief for the 2005 World Series, and officiated in the 2009 World Baseball Classic.
In 2010, West attracted media attention after he publicly complained about the slow pace of a game between the Red Sox and Yankees. He also worked the game that year in which Albert Pujols hit his 400th career home run. West has worked several no-hitters, including a 2012 perfect game by Félix Hernández. As of 2016, he has the longest tenure of any MLB umpire. West has appeared in six World Series, three All-Star Games, ten League Championship Series (LCS), eight League Division Series (LDS) and two Wild Card Games.
West is president of the World Umpires Association (WUA). As the organization's president, West helped negotiate the largest umpiring contract in baseball history. He works with a sporting goods company to design and patent umpiring equipment endorsed by MLB. West is also a singer and songwriter, and has released two country music albums. He had a small acting role in the comedy film The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! and a cameo appearance in the television crime drama The Oldest Rookie. He plays golf on the Celebrity Players Tour.Official (tennis)
In tennis, an official is a person who ensures that a match or tournament is conducted according to the International Tennis Federation Rules of Tennis and other competition regulations.At the highest levels of the sport, a team of up to eleven officials may be on court at any given time. These officials are broken up into categories based on their responsibility during the match. Contrastingly, many tennis matches are conducted with no officials present directly on court.Pacific Coast League
The Pacific Coast League (PCL) is a Minor League Baseball league operating in the Western, Midwestern, and Southeastern United States. Along with the International League and the Mexican League, it is one of three leagues playing at the Triple-A level, which is one grade below Major League Baseball. It is officially named the Pacific Coast League of Professional Baseball Clubs, Inc. Its headquarters are in Round Rock, Texas.Upon its founding in 1903, the Pacific Coast League fielded six teams from the Pacific States of California, Oregon, and Washington. Today, the league is composed of 16 teams across 12 states stretching from Sacramento, California, to Nashville, Tennessee, and from Tacoma, Washington, to New Orleans, Louisiana.
The PCL was one of the premier regional baseball leagues in the first half of the 20th century. Although it was never recognized as a true major league, to which it aspired, its quality of play was considered very high. A number of top stars of the era, including Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams, were products of the league.
In 1958, with the arrival of major league teams on the west coast and the availability of televised major league games, the PCL's modern era began with each team signing Player Development Contracts to become farm teams of major league clubs.
A league champion is determined at the end of every season. The San Francisco Seals won 14 Pacific Coast League titles, the most in the league's history, followed by the Los Angeles Angels (12) and the Albuquerque Dukes and Portland Beavers (8). After the season, the PCL champion plays in the Triple-A National Championship Game against the International League champion to determine an overall champion of Triple-A baseball. The Omaha Storm Chasers and Sacramento River Cats have each won two national championships, more than any other PCL teams.Par (golf scoring format)
This article is about the scoring system "Par", that is commonly used in Australian club golf as an alternative to Stableford and normal stroke play. The Par (score) page provides a general definition of par on a golf hole.Par is a scoring system used mostly in amateur and club golf. It involves scoring (+, 0, −) based on results at each hole. The objective is to have an end score with more pluses than minuses. The result on each hole is always based on one's handicap-adjusted score.For ease of explanation, assume a player's handicap gives him/her one stroke per hole (e.g., an 18-hole handicap of 18). This player, playing to his/her handicap on a given day, will average a bogey on each hole. Playing 'to' ones handicap is expected and so there is no reward or punishment due when a bogey five is recorded on a par four. Thus, a 0 (zero) is recorded. A double-bogey six (one over what's expected from a player on a nine handicap, would incur a penalty of a minus '−'. A four (a genuine, unadjusted par) is one better than a '9-handicapper' would be expected to score and would earn a plus '+'. However, for this golfer, sixes and above still incur just one minus '−'. Likewise, fours and below earn just one plus '+'. At the end of the round, pluses and minuses are reconciled (a minus cancels out a plus). If a player finishes with two pluses, s/he is 'two up' or 'plus two' (+2). The opposite applies if s/he finishes with two minuses − 'two down'; 'minus 2'; '−2'.
The Par format's main disadvantage is that there is no reward for a handicap-adjusted eagle (or even better). Par's main advantage is improving pace of play in large club competitions.Pedro Báez
Pedro Alberys Báez (born March 11, 1988) is a Dominican professional baseball pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball (MLB).Pitch clock
A pitch clock is used in college baseball and Minor League Baseball to limit the amount of time a pitcher uses before he throws the ball to the hitter. This is one measure that has been introduced to improve the pace of play.Rob Manfred
Robert D. Manfred Jr. (born September 28, 1958) is an American lawyer and business executive who is the tenth and current Commissioner of Baseball. He previously served as the Chief Operating Officer of Major League Baseball (MLB) and succeeded Bud Selig as Commissioner on January 25, 2015.Stableford
Stableford is a scoring system used in the sport of golf. Rather than counting the total number of strokes taken, as in stroke play, it involves scoring points based on the number of strokes taken at each hole. Unlike traditional scoring methods, where the aim is to have the lowest score, under Stableford rules, the objective is to have the highest score.
The Stableford system was developed by Dr. Frank Barney Gorton Stableford (1870–1959), to deter golfers from giving up on their round after just one or two bad holes. It was first used informally at the Glamorganshire Golf Club, Penarth, Wales, in 1898, and first used in competition at Wallasey Golf Club in Wallasey, England, in 1932. Between his membership of the Glamorganshire and Wallasey Golf Clubs, Stableford was a member at Anglesey Golf Club North Wales, for most of the 1920s.Stableford can have the added benefit of speeding up the pace of play, as once it is no longer possible to score a point, players do not have to complete the hole but can simply pick up their ball and proceed to the next hole. It is a popular form of the game, especially at club level and particularly in the United Kingdom, as it is still possible to record a competitive score despite having the occasional bad hole.Switch hitter
In baseball, a switch hitter is a player who bats both right-handed and left-handed, usually right-handed against left-handed pitchers and left-handed against right-handed pitchers.Triple-A (baseball)
Triple-A or Class AAA is the highest level of play in Minor League Baseball in the United States and Mexico. Before 2008, Triple-A leagues also fielded teams in Canada. A total of 30 teams play in the Triple-A International League (IL) and Pacific Coast League (PCL), with 14 teams in the IL and 16 in the PCL. The MLB-independent Mexican League fields 16 teams. Triple-A teams are typically located in large metropolitan areas that do not have Major League Baseball teams, such as San Antonio; Austin; Columbus; and Indianapolis.
Interleague play between the International League and Pacific Coast League occurs twice each season. In July, each league's All-Star team competes in the Triple-A All-Star Game. In September each league's regular season champions play each other in the Triple-A National Championship Game to determine an overall champion of Triple-A baseball.
The Triple-A classification was created before the 1946 season. Prior to then, the top level of the minors had been designated as Double-A since 1912. The modern Double-A classification also dates to 1946, when the former Class A1 level was renamed.