Times, They Are a-Changin’

Written by Posted On Sunday, 02 May 2021 00:00

If you were around in 1964 when Bob Dylan wrote and performed “The Times They Are a-Changin’” you will surely remember how times were changing! The Vietnam War was raging. The US was still adjusting from JFK’s assassination. Free speech pods were springing up on college campuses. As an inner-city high school principal, we were trying to help kids grow, yet understanding their fears and uncertainties. Then along comes Bob Dylan supporting the many changes that were happening. Do we need Dylan now?

In sports, many changes happened in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Some local schools just finished a shortened football season  (it’s April!). Now as we begin the 2021 Major League Baseball season the suggestion has surfaced that the MLB move the pitcher’s mound!

What in the name of Abner Doubleday is going on? The MLB game is “a-changin’.” They recently changed the extra-innings rule to place a runner on second base to start an extra inning in order to prevent the game from going through several extra innings to get a winner.

Now they are moving the pitcher’s mound back a foot – from 60-feet, 6-inches to 61-6.

What in the name of Abner Doubleday is baseball, which has traditionally held to its time-old standards, doing? Well, MLB is concerned that the 60-6 is too close when pitchers are consistently throwing in the high 90s MPH and many at or near 100. Moving the pitching rubber 12-inches reduces the speed of the pitch 1.5 MPH and gives the batter one one-hundredth of a second more time to decide whether to swing or not. Will the home run rate jump off the charts?

MLB says this “test” will start on Aug. 3. Test? You will recall that MLB lowered the pitching mound from 15 inches to 10 inches in 1969 to help the hitter. The mound is still at 10 inches! It’s all about helping the hitters and increasing the offense. As the Zen master says: “We’ll see.”

Will the NBA follow MLB? Raising the basket from 10 feet to 12 feet has been suggested since I was in high school, but no action so far. NBA players now, and have been for some time, play their game above the rim. Will raising the bucket to 12 feet hurt the smaller players? Does it matter to Steph Curry at 6-foot-3 whether it’s 10 feet or 12?  Are you kiddin’ me?

Will you log-in on about changes you’d like to see in professional sports?

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Dr. Jim Tunney

Jim Tunney had an exemplary career in sports. A former high school coach, teacher, principal and district superintendent, he had a 40-year career in officiating football and basketball.

Thirty-one of those years he was an NFL Referee working a record twenty-nine post-season games including four Super Bowls, ten NFC/AFC Championship games, six Pro Bowls and twenty-five Monday Night Games.

He officiated some of the most memorable games in NFL history. His book Impartial Judgment: “The Dean of NFL Referees” Calls Pro Football As He Sees It, chronicles his NFL career.

As a Professional Speaker, he is Past President of The National Speakers Association and a Charter Member of its most prestigious group – The CPAE Speakers Hall of Fame. Jim holds every professional designation of the NSA, including the Oscar of Professional Speaking – The Cavett. NSA named him Philanthropist of the Year in 2007.

Dr. Tunney (a doctorate in Education from the University of Southern California) continues to serve his community as  Trustee Emeritus of both Monterey Peninsula College and York School; where he once served as Headmaster. In 1993, he founded the Jim Tunney Youth Foundation to support local community programs that develop leadership, work skills, wellness and self-esteem in youth. He and his wife Linda live in Pebble Beach, California. They have six children and sixteen grandchildren.

As an author he has written and/or co-authored thirteen books: Impartial Judgment, Chicken Soup for the Sports Fan’s Soul, Speaking Secrets of the Masters, You Can Do It!, Super Bowl Sunday, Insights into Excellence, Lessons in Leadership, Build a Better You and his most recent book, It’s the Will, Not the Skill.

If you are looking for a keynote speaker who educates, motivates and entertains with a lifetime of stories about leadership, team building and sports 831-595-3258.

tunneysideofsports.com/

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