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Report: MLB may adjust strike zone and intentional walks

Report: MLB may adjust strike zone and intentional walks

If the playing rules committee of Major League Baseball approves, there could be two noticeable differences in the big leagues as soon as next season.

According to ESPN, MLB's competition committee ruled in favor of two new measures at the owners meetings: an adjustment to the strike zone and the elimination of actually throwing pitches for intentional walks. The strike zone would be raised, while teams could just award an opposing batter a free base, rather than physically throw four pitches outside of the zone.

The strike zone, according to ESPN, would be raised from the bottom of the kneecap to the top of a player's knees. This would be a minor adjustment that could boost offense and cut down on strikeouts. Entering Sunday's games, MLB was averaging eight strikeouts per team per game, the highest rate in MLB history. That number has gone up over the years. In the 1990s the average strikeouts per game never reached seven and in the 80s it never reached six.

Runs per game are up slightly this season at 4.29 per contest. But that's still below where that number has been in the past. In 2006 MLB teams averaged 4.86 runs per game and in 2000 it was 5.14

Walks, though, are also up at 3.21 per game compared to 2.90 in 2015. Raising the strike zone would theoretically increase the odds of batters drawing walks.

In getting rid of throwing pitches for intentional walks, the intent would be to speed the game up slightly by eliminating wasted time. That part of the proposal seems like a no-brainer. What's the point of going through the motions to intentionally walk a batter?

The strike zone part is certainly more controversial. Hitters may love the idea of not having to swing at low pitches, but pitchers will probably think otherwise.

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Did Max Scherzer's dance moves cause the Junkies' broadcast to lose power?

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Did Max Scherzer's dance moves cause the Junkies' broadcast to lose power?

Watching Max Scherzrer rack up Ks during a game is a usual sight for fans.

Dancing is not.

On Wednesday while the Sports Junkies were broadcasting at Nats Spring Training in West Palm Beach, we got a taste of what the back-to-back Cy Young Award winner has to offer on the dance floor. 

With just about a week left until their season kicks off, manager Dave Martinez hired a DJ for the day's workout, saying he wanted to "turn it up a notch." 

Well he turned it up a few too many notches, causing the back end of the complex where the Junkies were broadcasting to lose power.

While the Junkies were put in a pickle because of said DJ, we were able to get a glance of Scherzer dancing to Drakes' "God's Plan."


It's nice to see the usually lazer-focused pitcher let loose.

While Scherzer's dance moves didn't actually cause the Junkies to lose power, it's nice to think they were too much for the ballpark to handle. 

106.7 The Fans Sports Junkies simulcasts on NBC Sports Washington every weekday morning from 6:00 to 10:00 am ET. You can stream the Sports Junkies right here

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The sound of Bryce Harper's first spring training HR is beautiful


The sound of Bryce Harper's first spring training HR is beautiful

It's that wonderful time of year again — when baseball teams flock to warmer climates for spring training and the regular season is practically around the corner — and Bryce Harper is already killing it.

It took the Washington Nationals a few games to brush away their offseason cobwebs and get back into gear, but since the beginning of March, they're riding a five-game win streak as of Sunday the 4th.

They are 6-4-1 in spring training going into Monday's matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Since Thursday, the Nats have taken down — in order — the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, defending World Series champion Houston Astros, the Detroit Tigers and the Mets again. Sunday's 6-2 win against the Tigers was in large part thanks to Harper's bat, as the star of the team drilled his first home run of spring training. 


Turn up the volume for this one because the sound of Harper's contact with the ball is just beautiful — and perhaps enough to get you pumped for the March 29 opener.

Harper blew this ball away in the bottom of the third for a two-run homer with Howie Kendrick on base. He also had a single in the fourth and finished the game with three RBI.

Gio Gonzalez was the winning pitcher for the Nats.