Lance McCullers was not happy with ESPN's coverage of the new pace of play rule.
1. Major League Baseball announced Monday that, in hopes of speeding up the pace of play, teams will be limited to six mound visits per nine innings. Astros pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. doesn't seem to be a fan of the new rule or of ESPN's coverage of the new rule.
He also has some aggressive opinions about ESPN programming.
In fairness to ESPN, they do air MLB games. So saying they ignore baseball doesn't seem like a fair criticism. When it comes to the "shitty" First Take show, however, well, who can argue with McCullers on that one? The show loves that McCullers gave them this attention, but he's still a hero for the call out.
As for the pace of play issue, Joe Buck hit the nail on the head in a series of tweets yesterday. The problem isn't the length of the game, it's the pace of play. Limiting mound visits helps in a very small way. The real issue is batters stepping out of the box after every pitch and pitchers taking a stroll around the mound before every pitch. That's what needs to be tackled more than anything.
Limiting the number of mound visits is a start but IMO these new rules to speed up MLB play whiffed. It isn't overall time of game that should even be the issue. It is pace of the action once the inning starts. Now it's step in step out, step on step off, adjust- over and over...— Joe Buck (@Buck) February 20, 2018
I admit I am biased and conflicted. BUT again - IMO - shaving off seconds for commercial breaks is purely cosmetic. Is that the problem? A pitch clock has merit, call strikes, be ready to hit - this condenses the action and adds some pace to the game.— Joe Buck (@Buck) February 20, 2018
And when the breaks are cut short, it eliminates the dramatic pieces talented television people (not me) can put together to help build the drama. It cuts replays going to break, or you get missed first pitches on the other end of the break. To save minutes?— Joe Buck (@Buck) February 20, 2018
From what I gather - the powers at MLB understand all of that but they hit a dead end trying to explain pace of the game to the MLBPA. They want it to remain as is. Something has to give in that battle for the future of the game. Again - just my opinion.— Joe Buck (@Buck) February 20, 2018
2. Today is Rihanna's 30th birthday. Sadly, Joel Embiid has said his pursuit of the pop star is over.
It still feels like this is a good day to remember when the Sixers star was smitten and tried to use Twitter to make his case.
BREAKING NEWS: Moving on from kk to Rihanna— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) July 22, 2014
SOURCES: Rihanna is considering JOEL EMBIID’s offer— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) July 22, 2014
Had a great dream about Rihanna last night NO LIES!!!!!— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) August 4, 2014
3. New Giants third baseman Evan Longoria is embracing his "Dad Bod" and dropping great replies on Instagram.
4. If you want to add some spice to your spring training viewing, BetDSI Sportsbook is offering a bunch of Tim Tebow and Russell Wilson prop bets.
Will Tim Tebow be added to an MLB roster in 2018?
Will Tim Tebow play in an MLB game in 2018?
First player to reach Triple-A minor league baseball
Russell Wilson +150
Tim Tebow -200
Will Russell Wilson record an at-bat during 2018 Grapefruit League?
Tim Tebow total strikeouts during 2018 Grapefruit League
Over 7.5 (-150)
Under 7.5 (+120)
Tim Tebow batting average during 2018 Grapefruit League
Over .160 (-130)
Under .160 (+100)
Will Tim Tebow record a hit during 2018 Grapefruit League?
Will Tim Tebow hit a home run during 2018 Grapefruit League?
5. Reds first baseman Joey Votto made some headlines yesterday because he said he got fat over the winter.
Apparently, this is Votto's idea of being fat.
As a fat person, I now hate Joey Votto.
6. RANDOM WRESTLING VIDEO OF THE DAY: The WWE announced yesterday that Jeff Jarrett will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this year. Here's a great clip of the time Jarrett was supposed to sing on Monday Night Raw, which never happened, causing Gorilla Monsoon to lose his mind.
SI.com writer, Jimmy Traina. Get the link to a new Traina's Thoughts each day by following on Twitter and liking on Facebook. Catch up on previous editions of Traina Thoughts right here. And check out Jimmy Traina's weekly podcast, "Off The Board."
IN CLOSING: ESPNews aired Yankees batting practice live on Monday. The nation's hate for the Evil Empire will reach new heights this season.