With another week in the books, it’s time to take a look at the winners and losers in the wide world of sports.
Winner: Washington Capitals
The Capitals landed top defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk heading into the NHL trade deadline on March 1. While they relinquished a couple of top prospects and a first-round pick to the St. Louis Blues to acquire the defenseman, Shattenkirk will be a difference maker on the blue line.
The right hander’s ability to move the puck and create offense will provide a tremendous boost to an already stacked Capitals team. Although Washington is only guaranteed his services until the end of this season, they needed to make a big splash in order to go after a championship.
A Stanley Cup title has been elusive to Washington despite finishing near or at the top of the league consistently in recent years. This move shows that the club is going all in for the playoffs this year in search of the franchise’s first championship. They are definitively the team to beat.
Winner: Napheesa Collier
The sophomore has transformed into a scoring machine down the stretch, capping off the regular season with a career-high 39-point performance against UCF. Collier added this to the 31 points she put up against Temple last week.
Collier is heating up at the right time with the Huskies poised to make another postseason run.
Winner: Katie Lou Samuelson
In UConn’s season finale, Samuelson tallied her 1,000th career point, joining a club of 13 other Huskies to reach that milestone. Like Collier, she played well toward the end of the regular season, bringing optimism heading into tournament play.
Samuelson can also celebrate a year full of accomplishments, reaching both individual and team milestones. As a sophomore, she has been able to become a more integral part of the squad.
Loser: Major League Baseball
Since becoming commissioner, Rob Manfred has been invoking many changes diminishing the integrity of baseball. He has made multiple attempts to speed up and modernize the game in an attempt to reign in more fans. Instead, he is ruining the game for the loyal fans already devoted to it.
People often complain that baseball is too slow and boring. Baseball executives like Manfred take this as a challenge to create a whirling, fast paced game that everyone loves. The reality is that baseball is not for everyone. People who cannot handle waiting a few seconds for the next pitch to be thrown should switch the channel. Why does Manfred feel he needs to tailor the game to these people when baseball has an unbelievably extensive following throughout the world?
And within the nation, baseball is labeled “America’s National Pastime.” The sport may not have the hits, speed and constant scoring that others like football may, but the atmosphere and anticipation during a baseball game is like no other.
Baseball is simply different. Teams do not run back and forth across a field like every other sport, and there is no clock signaling when the action will be complete. Many viewers cannot stand the lulls between each pitch, but a true fan understands the intensity that continues between each play.
Manfred hopes to add a pitch clock to MLB games in the near future, limiting the amount of time a pitcher can spend between pitches. With this, baseball would be on a timer, just like every other sport. The unique nature of the game would dissipate, and the pitcher’s ability to control a game would be yanked away.
Beginning with the 2017 season, MLB will institute an automatic intentional walk, meaning pitchers will no longer need to physically throw the pitches. The manager will call for the intentional walk from the dugout, and the batter will immediately proceed to first base. This just takes away from the integrity of the game, all to save a few measly seconds.
With the coming of so many changes to the game, Manfred is trying to fix something that is not broken. Attendance throughout the majors has never been better. The 2016 World Series was one of the most exciting of all time, illustrating how strong the state of the game remains. Baseball executives should not turn the sport into something it is not.
Dylan Barrett is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.