For some of us up in Northern climes it’s hard to realize that spring training is just around the corner; in just 30 short days pitchers & catchers will begin reporting to their clubs in Florida and Arizona to start the process to be in game shape for another great season. And what a season we have coming up, here are some of the more interesting stories going on around the league:
• For all participants on Major League Madness, this is the first year in their LIVES that Derek Jeter won’t be donning the pinstripes and taking his familiar position at Short Stop. Even for this Blue Jay fan blogger, it’s going to be different not having The Captain leading the way for the Yanks.
• The Milwaukee Brewers are kicking off a strange promotion: The Timeless Ticket. For only $1,000 you are guaranteed a single seat to ten future Brewers games. From home openers, to game seven of the World Series, to that Wednesday afternoon game in August that you simply MUST attend…
• Some of the “timeless” elements of baseball may be disappearing in 2015. A committee has made recommendations for the following changes which will be tried out by select non-Major League teams at some point this season. There is no commitment to adopt these proposals, only to try them out. The recommendations include:
o Hitters must keep one foot inside the batter’s box at all times barring exceptions like foul balls, wild pitches or if the umpire grants him some time out.
o Pitches must throw a pitch within 20 seconds of receiving the ball. Clocks in the dugout will countdown the time.
o Teams will have a maximum of 2:30 to change pitchers with the clock starting as soon as the reliever enters the playing field.
o Teams are limited to a maximum of three mound visits per game, not including pitching changes.
o Pitchers no longer have to deliver four balls for an intentional walk. The manager can simply signal to the umpire.
All of these changes will make a difference (can you imagine a sub four hour Yankees/Red Sox game?!) but the questions to follow will be if they make the game better. One of the most beloved aspects of the old ballgame is the fact that it is indeed timeless…
• The Baseball Hall of Fame (HOF) class of 2015 was announced two weeks ago and though there are no managers this year, the four going in are without question the cream of their crop! Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz & Craig Biggio create a group of one of the most intimidating, loud mouthed, consistent and hard working players in the last 20 years.
This summer on Major League Madness, you won’t need a Timeless Ticket to see the Brewers on our Major League Madness East & Midwest – 21 days and Major League Madness – 13 days programs; and you’ll see the biggest induction class to the HOF in the last 50 years if you are on Major League Madness East & Midwest – 21 days or Major League Madness East – 8 days.
So what are you waiting for? There’s only 30 days left until the players check in: come check out the amazing itinerary of baseball games, amazing restaurants, exciting activities and even the HOF induction ceremony all on Westcoast Connection Major League Madness program. Let’s all get ready to “Play Ball!”
The Westcoast Blogger