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Why do they allow ...?, plus other stuff

Tri High School sophomore Chloe Gentry, the C-T Area Softball Player of the Year for 2019, hurls the ball to a Lincoln batter during the semifinals of Sectional 56 this past May. Gentry takes only one warm-up pitch before facing the opposing team’s line-up in an inning. Why do baseball pitchers have to take several, especially when they are under a pitch count?

By DAVID RISLEY - drisley@thecouriertimes.com

As you can see from today’s sports pages, neither I nor my sports correspondents covered any local sporting events Wednesday or Thursday because there were none scheduled.

Our primary focus at this newspaper is covering local sporting events and then bringing the details to you. We were back at it Friday night and will continue today.

That being said, this gives me an opportunity to address some issues that have been preying on my mind for a while.

I’ve covered a lot of baseball (and softball) games this spring and summer and have watched more on TV.

My first question is, “Why do baseball pitchers have to take so many warm-up pitches before an inning starts?”

Supposedly, the pitcher already has warmed up in the bullpen before taking the mound and couldn’t have cooled off that much while his team was at bat.

The only time I see several warm-up pitches perhaps being needed is if a regular position player, let’s say a centerfielder, has been called in to the mound to pitch and hasn’t thrown any warm-up pitches yet. He should be entitled to several, but that’s it.

Many pitchers at several levels are on pitch counts. Why aren’t those warm-up pitches they take counted against their total? They should be.

In most softball games I’ve seen this past season, the softball pitcher takes one warm-up throw and then the players are ready to start the inning. Why can’t baseball do the same?

I think one thing softball has going for it is that the speed of the game is so much faster than that of baseball. Games end quicker and don’t drag out as long. One reason for that is the lack of warm-up pitches in softball.

Also, I think there should be a time limit in the number of seconds it takes for a pitcher to fire the ball toward the plate against a batter or to one of his fielders if an opposing runner is on base.

How long? Perhaps 15 or 20 seconds. This also would speed the game up.

I also would like to see a run rule in Major League Baseball like there is in many of the levels below it. I don’t foresee it coming into play all that much, as all the players are professionals and are in the same ballpark in their skill levels.

It would be something like a team would be declared the winner of a game if it is 10 or more runs ahead at the end of seven or eight full innings. This also would speed games along.

I watched some of the play from Wimbledon on my day off from work on Independence Day. I’ll admit that when you, I, or somebody else watches professional individual sports, all we’re doing is watching wealthy players try to add to their bank accounts, and there’s not much else in it for us except watching some good play from time to time.

My question is (and I’ve brought this up before in a past RR&R column), “Why are men being paid inequitably at Wimbledon and the other grand slam tennis tournaments?”

The pay is equal for both men and women, but the work for that pay is not. Women have to win only two out of three sets to win a match and advance while men have to win three out of five sets. That’s not fair and it’s not right.

Either make the women win three out of five sets to win or drop the requirement for men so that they have to win only two out of three sets.

You can’t have it both ways, folks. Otherwise, you’re saying it’s OK to discriminate against men but not OK to discriminate against women. There should be no discrimination, period. Why can’t people see this?

I read in the July 3 Indy Star (I do peruse other newspapers) that the governor of Arizona, Doug Ducey, is pretty disgusted with Nike about cancelling the release of the shoe featuring an early design of the U.S. flag, commonly known as the “Betsy Ross flag” shoe.

Ducey apparently tweeted, “Words cannot express my disappointment at this terrible decision. Instead of celebrating American history the week of our nation’s independence, Nike apparently has decided that Betsy Ross is unworthy and has bowed to the current onslaught of political correctness and historical revisionism.”

Apparently Colin Kaepernick (remember him?) contacted Nike and told it that he and some other people found the “Betsy Ross flag” offensive and a symbol of white nationalism.

Really? The Betsy Ross flag? Come on.

Ducey said that Arizona will now withhold incentive dollars that it had offered to Nike to open a manufacturing plant outside of Phoenix.

“Arizona’s economy is doing just fine without Nike,” Ducey further tweeted. “We don’t need to suck up to companies that consciously denigrate our nation’s history.”

Would Kaepernick and people who feel as he does prefer we never had an American Revolution and a Declaration of Independence?

If so, we probably never would have had heard of Kaepernick because he wouldn’t have ever been a former quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers NFL franchise. He’d be playing soccer somewhere in the British Isles.

Look, the USA isn’t a perfect country and never was. But it has tried to right some of the injustices of the past. I say, “Bravo for Governor Ducey.” Like Ducey, I’m getting my fill of a lot of stuff, too.

May God bless the United States of America! If this were such a bad country, why do we have so many people who want to get in it and so few who want to leave it?

David Risley is sports editor of The Courier-Times and likes living in the good ol’ USA.