Is It A Slippery Future For Baseball?

Is It A Slippery Future For Baseball?

Is a change in baseball manufacturing standards leading to increased offensive play?
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It is officially that time of the year again. Fall. Carved pumpkins adorning the porches of homes, candy sales in every supermarket in America, crisp Autumn air on the morning commute, and the beloved spooky atmosphere. Fellow sports fanatics know that fall has a very much underappreciated phenomenon starting in the sweet month of October, the World Series of Major League Baseball. A staple of North American sports, Baseball is an American tradition right up there with apple pie and muscle cars.

The 2017 MLB season kicked off in April, as custom. Highlights of the year include the dominant play by the Dodgers, a historic winning streak from the Indians, and the continuous battle between Mike Trout and Bryce Harper as the poster child best player in the league. The regular season was packed full of excitement, or agony, depending on which club has your loyalty. More casual fans of the sport skip out on a vast majority of the season until the playoffs roll around in October. Diehard fans know that October baseball is the highest quality baseball anyway. This year’s postseason has been a rollercoaster spectacle, one of the greatest in recent memory.

As beloved and sacred as baseball is, it is not without its fair share of controversies over the years. The infamous Chicago “Black Sox Scandal” of 1919, to the age of performance enhancing drugs, baseball seems to find itself in more trouble than most other North American professional sports organizations. This year was no exception as reports have surfaced of baseballs manufactured by league standards have changed from their usual. Complaints from pitchers and their coaches were first voiced in the summer, their concern was that the baseballs were too slick to throw an effective slider pitch. They theorized this was an impactful factor in 2017 having the most home runs in a single season. Interestingly enough, at around the same time, MLB commissioner Robert Manfred declared his desire to see more excitement in offensive play in the game. More hits and more homers will lead to more viewers and discourage people from leaving games early that didn’t have enough excitement.

This trend of higher hit and the home run percentage has lasted well into the playoffs, culminating in game five of the world series seeing Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw allowed six runs in a 13-12 extra-inning loss. While high homerun counts might attract more casual fans to the game it leaves an interesting ultimatum for front offices in the league; instead of pouring mega contracts to one-star pitcher, or do you instead fill your bullpen with an abundance of pitchers and rotate them more often in-game to keep the throws strong and fast? It is possible that rather than slick or juiced up baseballs the increase in offensive play is a result of better hitting by players. For such a trend to happen so quickly and have such a lasting impact well into the world series is foreign to the sport.

If either the Dodgers or Astros lose the series due to a bad slider from a good pitcher, this controversy will be closely monitored in the coming season.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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12 Things Texans Hate About Oklahoma

We all know Texas is the superior state, but just why do we Texans hate Oklahoma so much?
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So, everyone on the planet knows that Texas is indisputably THE BEST state in this glorious country and because of this, we Texans deem every other state inferior. It also may seem that we have a 'rivalry' with Oklahoma (although, it's no contest which state is superior). However, this rivalry is actually more of a disdain and for many good reasons. That being said, here's a list of 12 credible, bona-fide reasons that Texans hate the state of Oklahoma.

1. The Constant Wind

Everyone has heard that the wind is constantly blowing in Oklahoma, but you don’t realize how annoying that is until you live here. You think you walk outside looking good, but the wind is like, “Haha, not today.” Also, it’s not the kind of cool breeze that’s refreshing on a hot day; if it’s cold outside, the wind is freezing cold, if it’s hot outside, the wind is a gust of hot, humid air.

2. No Buc-ee’s

If you haven’t heard of the amazing-ness that is Buc-ee’s, then you are missing out. Buc-ee’s is the most awesome gas station. They have everything, and by that, I mean everything. They even have Comfort Colors tanks with the Buc-ee’s logos, as well as the cleanest gas station bathrooms you’ll find anywhere. Unfortunately, unless you’ve ever driven to south Texas, you’ve possibly never heard of Buc-ee’s, which is a real shame.

3. Narrow Lanes

First off, the roads in Oklahoma are absolutely atrocious. The first grievance on this list is that the lanes are just too small. You think I’m going to be able to fit my dually truck and horse trailer in between these lines? Yeah, I don’t think so, that Prius barely fits.

4. Slow Speed Limits

On the subject of roads, the highways here have an average speed limit of 55. You have to get on a toll road to even have a speed limit of 75. That would not fly in Texas. How do you expect to get anywhere quickly if you have to go 55 mph? That’s child’s play. Texas boasts the highest speed limit in the United States, something we utilize to its full potential.

5. No HEB

HEB, aka the BEST grocery store on the planet, probably in the universe, but I cannot confirm, only has stores in Texas. And even then, the northernmost store is all the way in Burleson. I mean, you can buy Whataburger’s fancy ketchup by the bottle; what more can you ask for?

6. OU

The Red River rivalry is a well-known rivalry between OU (University of Oklahoma- Sooners) and UT (University of Texas- Longhorns). Admittedly, there is a lot of division between Texans on this issue, but if you’re a diehard Texan, then chances are you hate OU simply on principle.

7. Majorly Lacking Major League Sports Teams

As a Texan, we’re used to having our pick of major league sports teams, whether it be football, basketball, or baseball, and trash talking other Texans that root for the rival team is half the fun. All Oklahomans have are the OKC Thunder, and I guess hockey, but who really follows that any way? It’s America, football is king here and baseball is the national pastime.

8. Eternal Road Construction

Road construction is a necessary evil; it’s always going on. However, at least in Texas, you see actual progress. In Oklahoma, roads are cut down to one lane for months on end with no visible progress to be seen.

9. Increased Sales Tax

According to taxfoundation.org, the combined state and average local sales tax rate for 2015 is 8.77% in Oklahoma compared to 8.05 %. This seems like something really petty to add on to this list, but hey, I don’t want the government any more money than it has to. Also, when you start being an actual adult, Texas is one of seven states that does not charge state income tax.

10. No Coastline

Oklahoma is landlocked. For a Texan, whose home state boasts 367 miles of coastline (the 6th highest in the United States), this is stifling.

11. Mite Infestations

Apparently, this past summer and fall, there was an outbreak of mites that like to bite people. They were worse than mosquito bites and quite frankly, a pain in the butt to deal with. If you walked across any patch of grass, chances were you woke up with an itchy, red sore from this microscopic

12. It’s Just Not Texas

Any Texan can tell you, as we are know for our rather fanatic state pride, that there’s just something about Texas that feels like home. And no matter how many great things a city has to be proud of, nothing will ever replace Texas. Everything’s better in Texas and there’s no denying it.

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5 Most Underrated Sports People Should Consider Watching

The common five sports that are underrated.

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There are sports that get more attention than others. That is because of the amount emphasis that people put on particular sports. There are some sports that are underrated because some people don't understand the sports or they think that it is just boring. Today I am going to address some of the things that people say about the common five sports that I think are underrated.

1. Golf

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Golf is so underrated as a sport. I have heard all kinds of reasons why people don't watch golf. They say it's boring and hard to watch, it takes too long for a round to be played, and no one can watch golf for 3 hours. As a person who watches a lot of golf, I can offer some insight into the sport.

The people who say golf is boring I have found don't know about golf. They don't understand the scoring or they don't know a lot of the golfers. It is easier to find a golfer or golfers and follow them. I found it easier to watch once I found golfers (86 to be exact) to follow and watch.

2. Racing

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There are many forms of racing; NASCAR, INDYCAR, IMSA, F1, etc. If a person really understood and looked there is a type of racing for everyone. If you like a variety of racing or racing tracks than INDYCAR is the type of racing for you. If you like road courses and street courses than F1 and IMSA is the racing for you. If you like motorcycles, guess what Moto GP is the racing for you. It is an intense and exciting form of racing using motorcycles. There is also supercross which is also as cool as Moto GP.

I know that people believe that racing is too long but if you think about it all sports are over 2 hours longs (I.e., football and basketball). Once you find a type of racing that you like or find interesting it is easier to watch racing. The time does not mean anything because if you think about it all sports are long. If you use they go round in circles all day, well basketball and football run up and down a court or field all day. It is the same amount of strategy and mental preparedness that goes into racing like any other sport.

3. Hockey

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Yes, hockey. Unfortunately and fortunately it has to compete with football and basketball. Not just professional football and basketball, but also college basketball and football. Hockey is another sport that can be long. If you don't live in the big cities than it gets hard for the hockey teams to compete.

Hockey is a fun sport because of the exciting play and the rivalries in hockey. There are a lot of rivalries from the Original Six to division/conference rivalries.

There is not only ice hockey, but also field hockey. Field hockey does not get enough recognition because people commonly confuse it with lacrosse. Its nothing like lacrosse, it more like ice hockey in a sense that there is a good amount of body contact in field hockey as well.

4. Baseball

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Baseball takes TOO LONG!!! But baseball is action packed and has great rivalries. As a person who grew up in Connecticut, I know rivalry. The rivalries within New York and the rivalry with Boston. As a person who had two older brothers who played baseball, it has been my whole life. I can honestly say that baseball can be fun and interesting. You have learned about the sport and pick a team, and once you do that you will enjoy it.

5. Archery

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I know what everyone thinks when they hear archery, summer camp. But as a competitive sport, it is actually really fun. From the longbow to the compound and recurve bow, the sport, which you learn how to play, is really fun and entertaining. The scoring and the technique of the sport is pretty self-explanatory.


There are a ton of sports that are underrated, but these are the five common ones that I hear people talk about. People do not watch these sports because they do not understand the sport or they are not aware of the most popular people in sports.

I know when I first started watching and following these five sports I looked up with are the most popular people in that particular sport. I found the team or player that I liked in each of these sports and fell in love with the sport. I am a person who loves all sports (I have to in order to fit into my family), it just these sports get a bad rep and I wanted to address it.

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