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Robots Set to Steal the Show, and the Soul, from America’s Pastime

Backlash against the changes are likely, given that Major League Baseball’s video review rules were subject to fervent and heated discussion just some years ago.

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baseball

When it comes to iconic, American imagery, nothing quite beats a day at the ballpark.

We as Americans have grown up hearing the stories, nay, legends surrounding some of baseball’s greats.  Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, and even the ornery and ugly Ty Cobb are all household names whose personalities can be interwoven to create a tapestry of archetypal characters here in the US of A.

Our nation’s children will, almost undoubtedly, swing a bat or a stick at a ball, or a makeshift version of one, at some point during their upbringing.

Heck, many of us would be fine with including a question about the rules of baseball in the citizenship test for would-be American citizens; that is just how intrinsic the game is to our national identity.

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Naturally, this means that a great many fans will be disappointed or angered when changes are made in the way the game is played, broadcast, or officiated.

Such is the case in the Minor Leagues here in America, where not only are adjustments being made to the field itself, but robotic umpires are set to begin calling the game.

The 60-foot-6-inch distance between the front of the pitching rubber and the back point of home plate has been standard since 1893, but Major League Baseball reached a three-year deal to experiment in the Atlantic League, an eight-team circuit that occasionally produces big leaguers. Infield defensive shifts will be limited. Pitchers there will have to get used to 62 feet, 2 inches this summer.

Plate umpires will wear earpieces and be informed of ball/strike calls by a TrackMan computer system that uses Doppler radar. Umps will have the ability to override the computer, which considers a pitch a strike when the ball bounces and then crosses the zone. TrackMan also does not evaluate check swings.

Backlash against the changes are likely, given that Major League Baseball’s video review rules were subject to fervent and heated discussion just some years ago.

Unlike that situation, the electronic umpire will be used at nearly all times, leading many to believe that the soul of the game itself could be irreparably harmed.

Opinion

NHL Player Suspended for Providing Fake Vax Card to League Officials

This is getting out of control.

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While 2020 may have been the year of the coronavirus, 2021 has certainly been the year of the mandate.

Now that several COVID-19 vaccines have been approved for use in people of all shapes and sizes, the US government has begun a fairly stern campaign to force these inoculations on the general public.  Not only are all federal employees now required to receive a coronavirus vaccine, but also any private company employees who work somewhere with more than 100 people on staff.

Several sports leagues have also begun mandating vaccinations, including the NHL, but not everyone is playing along.

San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane has been suspended for 21 games without pay by the NHL on Monday for an “established violation” of the NHL/NHLPA COVID-19 protocol.

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Sources confirmed earlier this month that Kane was being investigated over allegations that he submitted a fake COVID-19 vaccination card to the NHL and the Sharks. While the NHL and the NHLPA do not have a vaccine mandate for the 2021-22 season, vaccinated players have far fewer restrictions on them than do unvaccinated players — including the ability to play games in Canada without a mandatory quarantine.

According to the NHL, Kane was suspended for “an established violation of, and lack of compliance with, the NHL/NHLPA COVID-19 Protocol.” The money he’ll forfeit goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund, per the terms of the collective bargaining agreement.

Kane released a statement apologizing for his actions, stating, (in a hostage-like manner), that he would be seeking counseling during his downtime to help him make “better decisions”.

While 2020 may have been the year of the coronavirus, 2021 has certainly been the year of the mandate. Now that several COVID-19 vaccines have been approved for use in people of all shapes and sizes, the US government has begun a fairly stern campaign to force these inoculations on the general public.  Not only are all federal employees now required to receive a coronavirus vaccine, but also any private company employees who work somewhere with more than 100 people on staff. Several sports leagues have also begun mandating vaccinations, including the NHL, but not everyone is playing along. San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane has been suspended for 21 games without pay by the NHL on Monday for an “established violation” of the NHL/NHLPA COVID-19 protocol. Sources confirmed earlier this month that Kane was being investigated over allegations that he submitted a fake COVID-19 vaccination card to the NHL and the Sharks. While the NHL and the NHLPA do not have a vaccine mandate for the 2021-22 season, vaccinated players have far fewer restrictions on them than do unvaccinated players — including the ability to play games in Canada without a mandatory quarantine. According to the NHL, Kane was suspended for “an established violation of, and lack of compliance with, the NHL/NHLPA COVID-19 Protocol.” The money he’ll forfeit goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund, per the terms of the collective bargaining agreement. Kane released a statement apologizing for his actions, stating, (in a hostage-like manner), that he would be seeking counseling during his downtime to help him make “better decisions”.

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News

NCAA Football Coach Canned After Refusing COVID-19 Vaccine

This, after failing to receive a religious exemption.

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The further we delve into 2021, the more it is beginning to feel as though the unvaccinated are wearing some sort of viral scarlet letter.

For months on end, we’ve been hearing stories about our neighbors, friends, family, and others being treated like second class citizens on account of personal medical choices that they’ve made regarding the coronavirus pandemic.  In a nation that otherwise celebrates freedom, in all of its forms, this latest societal segregation not only feels out of place, but a little but filthy as well.

Now, in one of the most high profile cases of discrimination against the unvaccinated, one NCAA football coach has been fired after first being denied a religious exemption from receiving the vaccine.

Washington State football’s Nick Rolovich and four assistants are out of the program after failing to meet a mandate that required state educational employees to receive the coronavirus vaccine by Oct. 18, the school said.

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Rolovich, Ricky Logo, John Richardson, Craig Stuzmann and Mark Weber were not in compliance with Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s proclamation on state employees getting the vaccine, and the sides began the “separation process” based on the terms of their contracts.

School officials released rather bland statements on the subject.

“This is a disheartening day for our football program. Our priority has been and will continue to be the health and well-being of the young men on our team. The leadership on our football team is filled with young men of character, selflessness and resiliency, and we are confident these same attributes will help guide this program as we move forward,” Washington State athletic director Pat Chun said in a news release.

Washington State President Kirk Schulz added: “While much has been made of the relatively small number of university employees who are not complying with the Governor’s mandate, we are immensely gratified that nearly 90 percent of WSU employees and 97 percent of our students are now vaccinated. WSU students, faculty, and staff understand the importance of getting vaccinated and wearing masks so that we can safely return to in-person learning and activities.”

Rolovich was the highest paid state employee in Washington, earning more than $3 million per year.

 

The further we delve into 2021, the more it is beginning to feel as though the unvaccinated are wearing some sort of viral scarlet letter. For months on end, we’ve been hearing stories about our neighbors, friends, family, and others being treated like second class citizens on account of personal medical choices that they’ve made regarding the coronavirus pandemic.  In a nation that otherwise celebrates freedom, in all of its forms, this latest societal segregation not only feels out of place, but a little but filthy as well. Now, in one of the most high profile cases of discrimination against the unvaccinated, one NCAA football coach has been fired after first being denied a religious exemption from receiving the vaccine. Washington State football’s Nick Rolovich and four assistants are out of the program after failing to meet a mandate that required state educational employees to receive the coronavirus vaccine by Oct. 18, the school said. Rolovich, Ricky Logo, John Richardson, Craig Stuzmann and Mark Weber were not in compliance with Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s proclamation on state employees getting the vaccine, and the sides began the “separation process” based on the terms of their contracts. School officials released rather bland statements on the subject. “This is a disheartening day for our football program. Our priority has been and will continue to be the health and well-being of the young men on our team. The leadership on our football team is filled with young men of character, selflessness and resiliency, and we are confident these same attributes will help guide this program as we move forward,” Washington State athletic director Pat Chun said in a news release. Washington State President Kirk Schulz added: “While much has been made of the relatively small number of university employees who are not complying with…

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