TAKE ON PIRATE SPORTS
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Travel day curfew
policy is flawed
All rights reserved.
Mobile Alpha version of this page.
The sports cliché goes that a tie is like kissing your sister.
As a friend of mine liked to say, I’ve kissed many sisters, just none of
them were my own.
Still, the point is that a tie just leaves a certain emptiness about the
outcome of a contest, especially in baseball.
Football has gone to overtimes to stay away from tie games. It’s never a
problem in basketball either.
Saturday’s 4-4 tie between East
Carolina and Houston ended that way when the game reached the three and
a half hour mark. The time was predetermined to get the Cougars back on
the road to Raleigh to catch their flight back home.
Anyone that has ever coached youth league baseball knows all about time
limits. The problem is that baseball is simply a sport that should not
be put on a clock.
Baseball is timeless. It’s nine innings, sometimes more as was the case
Games can fly by or take forever to play. Some pitchers work quickly.
Others slow the game down, so much so that rules have had to change over
the years to force those pitchers have to pick up the pace of play.
The unwritten rule is that if you’re going to play a long game, you’d
better not play it on travel day.
Pirate coach Billy Godwin was frustrated when he talked to the media
after the tie game.
“I don’t know if I have a reaction,” Godwin said shortly after umpires
called the game a 4-4 tie. “I think it is the first time in my coaching
career I’ve had a tie game. It’s disappointing because we play to win.
We don’t play to tie or lose, but I’m proud of our guys for bouncing
back after being down three. We just couldn’t get anything going.”
One of the problems with Saturday’s tie was that many in the Clark-LeClair
Stadium seats had no idea that the game was ending after the 12th
The first announcement that I heard came after the third out in the
12th, when the umpires waved their arms, and the public address
announcer told the crowd that the game had ended because of the time
I understand that teams have to get back on those travel days. My
thinking is that three and a half hours is too short of a time window
for such important games. Non-conference games have no such restrictions
for the most part. The games that matter most, though, can end in ties.
Why not make it a four and a half hour window for such a “time limit”?
Or five hours should be plenty of time to get in a game. After five
hours most teams might want to throw in the white flag anyway.
If Saturday’s game had started at 9 a.m. instead of 10 a.m., then there
would have been a four and a half hour window. What’s the difference in
starting at 9 a.m., especially if it gives you a better chance to decide
Any parent whose child has played any sport has faced 9 a.m. games on
many occasions, I’m sure. Most have had games scheduled for as early as
East Carolina's six-game winning streak comes to an unceremonious end.
The Pirates blew out the Cougars in the first two games but just
couldn’t get over the hump late in game three.
East Carolina never got anything going offensively late in Saturday’s
game, going down in order in innings 9-12. It was almost like the
Pirates had run out of hits after two days during which the offense was
Next up is a five-game week with the Pirates visiting Elon, hosting Old
Dominion and then hitting the road in Conference USA play at Memphis.
Despite the tie, East Carolina is still very much in the Conference USA
race, just a half game behind Central Florida for first place. UCF would
also own the tiebreaker over East Carolina because the Knights won the
series against the Pirates.
Baseball should never be put on the clock.
If it is, the playing window should be expanded to avoid more “kissing
E-mail Brian Bailey.
Brian Bailey Archives
04/10/2012 03:07 AM