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Report: Pitch clocks coming to baseball, and that might not be all

Published: Wednesday, September 13, 2017 @ 5:17 PM

Good news on the baseball pace-of-play front: Longtime baseball scribe Ken Rosenthal reports at The Athletic that players and MLB are working together to bring about changes soon. 

Manfred is convinced that a clock is part of the solution, along with reduced mound visits and tighter innings breaks, sources say. Baseball introduced the clock at Double A and Triple A in 2015, and many current major leaguers who competed at those levels found it to be largely nonintrusive, according to one union official. The stakes in major league games, though, are much higher, and players are “taught to slow the game down when the kitchen gets hot,” the official said.

This comes after some contentious exchanges earlier in the year in which MLB commissioner Rob Manfred threatened to impose changes regardless of the players’ acceptance. 

RELATED: Pace of play is much more important than length of game 

With the great American Pasttime getting even slower this year, it’s nice to see the players could be coming to their senses and being open to things that can make the game more appealing to a wider audience without compromising what makes it great. 

They played the game for about 130 years without pitchers walking around the mound and the batter stepping out after every pitch. They can learn to do so again. 

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Dayton’s Benjamin to play Tulane senior in first round of NCAA championships

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 6:20 PM

Dayton tennis player Jordan Benjamin. Photo courtesy of University of Dayton
Staff Writer
Dayton tennis player Jordan Benjamin. Photo courtesy of University of Dayton(Staff Writer)

Dayton Flyers junior Jordan Benjamin will face Tulane senior Constantin Schmitz at 8 a.m.  Wednesday in the first round of the NCAA tennis championship at Wake Forest University. The bracket was announced Tuesday.

Benjamin will be the first UD tennis player to play in the national tournament.

» RELATED: Benjamin makes UD history

Benjamin finished the regular season 16-0 in dual matches. He’s 20-1 overall in singles play. He was named A-10 Performer of the Year. He ranks 121st in the International Tennis Association Division I rankings.

Schmitz, a native of Germany, ranks 15th in the nation. He’s 28-8 in singles play.

“I’ve been training hard these last couple days, and I will continue to do so in the upcoming weeks,” Benjamin said earlier this month. “My goal is to win a couple rounds. The dream would be to win it all, but you’ve got to make some small goals. I think these first couple rounds will be very winnable. I have to stay focused, prepare very well and let my tennis do the talking.”

Benjamin or Schmitz will play Georgia Tech’s Carlos Divar, who ranks 55th, or Memphis’ Ryan Peniston, who ranks 36th.

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Lorenzen expected to return to Reds bullpen on Wednesday

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 5:43 PM

Reds reliever Michael Lorenzen is introduced before a game against the Nationals on Opening Day on Friday, March 30, 2018, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff
Staff Writer
Reds reliever Michael Lorenzen is introduced before a game against the Nationals on Opening Day on Friday, March 30, 2018, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff(Staff Writer)

Relief pitcher Michael Lorenzen, who has spent the entire season on the disabled list, should rejoin the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday after making three rehab appearances with Double-A Pensacola.

Lorenzen was in the Reds clubhouse on Tuesday before the start of a three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Great American Ball Park.

» RELATED: Reds add another rookie to roster

“It feels good to almost be back,” Lorenzen said. “I think all parties are happy. I think the training staff is sick of me arguing with them and debating with them when I should be back. I’m excited to finally be here and see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

A right shoulder strain sidelined Lorenzen in spring training. He allowed one hit and no runs in four innings with Pensacola. His two-inning outing Sunday was the last hurdle before his return.

“I feel great with one day off,” Lorenzen said. “I feel good to go (Tuesday).”

» PITCHING STRUGGLES: Starters continue to hold Reds back

Lorenzen said it was the Reds’ decision to not activate him Tuesday. The move is expected to come Wednesday. He said he wanted to pitch three weeks ago. He has felt great for a while now.

“I want to be out there seeing the guys play,” Lorenzen said. “ It’s tough to watch. With (Jared) Hughes and the leadership in the bullpen, they were able to do a real good job without me.”

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Only one player missing from start of Bengals OTAs

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 2:19 PM

The Ohio riverfront was again the site of football Monday when the Bengals began 2018 OTAs outside Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati.

The Cincinnati Bengals opened voluntary OTA practices Tuesday with 90 of the 91 players on the roster present.

The only one missing was defensive end Carlos Dunlap, who has not been be present for any of the voluntary offseason team activities the last six weeks.

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Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis downplayed Dunlap’s absence, saying “it’s not a story.” Lewis said he has been in contact with Dunlap but does not know if the nine-year veteran, who is entering the final year of his contract, will attend the mandatory minicamp June 12-14.

“I haven’t asked Carlos whether he will be here for minicamp,” Lewis said. “It’s not a story. It’s not a big deal.”

By not attending OTAs, Dunlap is forfeiting a $300,000 workout clause in his contract.

›› 6 things to watch for in Bengals OTAs

Among the players who were limited in Tuesday’s practice were safety Shawn Williams, who participated in position drills but was limited to running sprints between plays during 11 on 11 drills, tackle Jake Fisher and tight end Tyler Eifert.

Fisher missed the final eight games of 2017 with a heart issue, while Eifert missed the final 14 games with a back injury that required surgery.

›› Two Bengals rookies share inconceivable bond

Rookie center Billy Price, the first-round pick from Ohio State, participated in install drills but no active 11-on-11 plays as he recovers from the torn pectoral he suffered at the Combine.

Two players who only did side rehab work were tight end Tyler Kroft and rookie wide receiver Auden Tate, who was a full participant in rookie camp for the two practices that were open to the media.

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Fans say Brandi Chastain's Hall of Fame plaque is a bust

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 11:57 AM

What You Need To Know: Brandi Chastain

American soccer legend Brandi Chastain is one of the most recognizable women athletes in the world. But sports fans were scratching their heads after viewing her plaque as she was inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame on Monday night.

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In their minds, Chastain’s bust was, well, a bust.

Ann Killion of the San Francisco Chronicle, who wrote inscription for the plaque, called the rendition “shameful” and tweeted that Chastain’s plaque makes Cristiano Ronaldo’s plaque “look perfect.”

“Brandi Chastain is one of the most beautiful athletes I’ve ever covered. How this became her plaque is a freaking embarrassment,” she tweeted.

Chastain was inducted during a ceremony at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco. She has won two Olympic gold medals and two World Cup titles with the United States women’s soccer team.

Chastain was diplomatic about the plaque, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

“It’s not the most flattering,” Chastain said. “But it’s nice.”

On a lighter note, social media posters were having a field day. Some compared Chastain’s likeness to Gary Busey, Rex Ryan, Jimmy Johnson, Jerry Glanville, Peter King, Jerry Lewis, John Goodman, Bill Belichick and even Mickey Rooney. Others were comparing it to a hideous rendition of another soccer legend, Cristiano Ronaldo.

“Cristiano Ronaldo sculptor: Eh, this isn’t too bad. Brandi Chastain sculptor: Hold my chisel,” The Washington Post tweeted.

“I don’t know about Brandi Chastain, but they nailed Mickey Rooney,” Jason Davis tweeted.

There are no plans to redo the plaque, Andy Savick, the vice president of finance and administration for BASHOF told the Mercury News. He told the newspaper that images on the plaques are “representations” and not intended to be photographic likenesses. 

Chastain’s bust was on a more favorable view at the 1999 World Cup. She scored the game-winning penalty kick and celebrated by sinking to her knees, ripping off her jersey to reveal her sports bra while clenching her fists. The photograph of that moment has become an iconic moment of celebration in sports history.

There are no plans to redo the plaque, Andy Savick, the vice president of finance and administration for BASHOF told the Mercury News. He told the newspaper that images on the plaques are “representations” and not intended to be photographic likenesses. 

Chastain’s bust was on a more favorable view at the 1999 World Cup. She scored the game-winning penalty kick and celebrated by sinking to her knees, ripping off her jersey to reveal her sports bra while clenching her fists. The photograph of that moment has become an iconic moment of celebration in sports history.

Here are some other infamous renditions of athletes. How does the Chastain plaque measure up?

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