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Contest #1 – What effects will the new MLB rules AND the new scheduling have in 2023. The more specifics you list, assuming they are accurate, the more likely you are to make the top five submissions. Winners will be chosen by the readers of MillersTime.

Joe Higdon, Matt Wax-Krell, Nick Nyhart, and Justin Stoyer made it to the ‘finals’

While Nick Nyhart (No. 3) came in second in the voting and was also on target with his answers, Matt Wax-Krell (No. 2) was overwhelmingly voted the winner with this answer:

*New rules will work well.

*Players will adjust quickly (and already have in Spring Training), and fans will like them. It will make the game more like it was 40+ years ago when game times were short, pitchers didn’t wait 30 seconds to throw a pitch, and there4 was more action (more SBs, 2Bs, 3Bs, etc.)

*The new rules will be considered a success, but won’t address the issue of too many Ks.(True)

*Average game time gets down to 2:46 (in fact, it was 2:38 minutes in 2023).

*A player steals 50+ bases for the first time since 2017 (three in fact did).

For a good article on the effects of the rule changes, see: Whole New Ballgame: MLB’s new rules changed everything – The Athletic.

Matt has his choice of one of these two terrific books by my favorite baseball writer, Joe Posnanski – The Baseball 100 or his just published Why We Love Baseball. Plus, a MillersTime Winner T-shirt, if he doesn’t already have one. (The other three of you can get a T-shirt if you send me your size and home address)

Contest #2 – Are you a ‘homer’ or not? (a sports fan who is so blinded by their loyalty to their home team that they can’t be objective about the team’s prospects for the coming year:

a. Name your team

b. What will their season record be?

c. Where will they end up in their Division at the end of the season?

d. Will they make the 12 team playoffs?

e. If so, how far will they go in those playoffs?

f. What will be the reason for well or how poorly they do this year? Be as specific as possible.

This Contest was the closest of the three with nine fans definitely NOT HOMERS: Bill Barnwell, Jeff Friedman, Joe Higdon, Robert Higdon, Larry Longnecker, Ed Scholl, Brian Steinbach, and Dawn Wilson. The rest of you need to shape up and face reality.

Bill Barnwell and Nick Lamana tied for second. They each get copies of Joe Posnanski’s new book, Why We Love Baseball or his The Baseball 100. (Send me you home address, which book you want, and your t-shirt size.)

Jeff Friedman (Red Sox) and Joe Higdon (Nationals) are the Winners as each knew their teams were going to be hopeless and showed why. They can join me for a Nats’ game in DC, or I’ll try to join each of you for any regular season game elsewhere. In either case, I’ll pay for the tickets, and you buy the beer. (Jeff and Joe contact me about scheduling a game.)

All nine of those listed above as NOT HOMERS are welcome to a MillersTime Winners T-Shirt if you want one. (Please send me you t-shirt size and your home address.

Contest #3 –

a. Who will be the four teams playing in the League Championship series in 2023?

b What two teams will actually make it to the World Series?

c. How many games will the WS go?

d. Which team will win the WS?

e. What are the reasons that team will win?

About half of those submitting answers were only able to name ONE of the four teams in the Championship Series!

Only two of you, Ron Davis and Monica McHugh, were able to name two of the four.

And NO ONE had either of the teams in the World Series!

So I escape with not having to sponsor anyone for next year’s WS, but Ron and Monica can choose a Nats’ game to attend with me where I’ll pay for the tickets, and they can pay for peanuts and beer.