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Ties in baseball would be better than MLB’s extra-inning silliness

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Ties in baseball would be better than MLB's extra-inning silliness

It’s time to end the extra-inning silliness. 

Because apparently this needs to be said, the primary problem with the length of baseball games is not the occasional 15-inning game. It’s the nine-inning games that take four hours. We can pretty much all agree on that, right? 

Yet, MLB seems determined to make extra innings the scapegoat — likely because it’s the only thing that can be easily controlled — so for the second year in a row runners are magically appearing on base to start every inning after the ninth. The quicker runs can score, the quicker games can end. Because that now seems to be the goal. Less baseball. Sheesh. 

And now, in an MLB partner league, games that extend into extra innings are going to end with a home run derby. Yep. The Pioneer League announced that plan on Tuesday. Here’s the explanation of the sudden-death home run duel. 

To avoid the excessive strain on our pitching staffs, the Pioneer Baseball League will not have extra innings, but rather will employ a first-of-its-kind “Knock Out” rule that resolves tied games with a head-to-head, “sudden death” home run duel. Under the rule, each team designates a hitter who receives 5 pitches, with the game determined by the most home runs hit. If still tied after the first “Knock Out” round, another hitter is selected for a sudden-death home run face-off until a winner is declared.

Fun? Sure. I admit, I’d enjoy watching that end a Pioneer League game.

MORE: MLB is right to not officially recognize Madison Bumgarner’s seven-inning no-no

But is that how we’re really considering ending Major League Baseball games? The only reason a partner league tries a rule like this is at MLB’s request, remember. We’re really going to determine full Wins and full Losses by the result of a five-pitch home run derby? 

Seriously? 

Imagine fighting and clawing your way back from, let’s say, a 7-1 deficit to tie the game in the ninth inning, only to lose because your designated slugger only hit two homers on five pitches and the other team’s slugger hit three on those five pitches. And imagine missing out on the playoffs — those spots are determined by single games all the time — because of that. 

Nine innings of effort, gone. Poof. 

That’s not baseball. That’s a carnival. Why not just set up a dunking booth in center field and put the managers on the splash seat? Actually, that would be LOTS of fun.  

The home run derby is only slightly more ridiculous than the current Magic Runner setup. The fundamental element of Major League Baseball has always been the batter-pitcher duel, a head-to-head contest that takes place over and over in the same game. The pitcher does everything in his power — hours and hours of practice, with hours of video and scouting work — to keep the batter from reaching base safely. The batter does everything he can — hours and hours of practice, with hours of video and scouting work — to reach base safely. 

Starting in the 10th inning, though, MLB has suddenly decided none of that matters, that it’s just going to freely give out what had to be earned for more than a century of competition: a spot on second base. And, yeah, it does create a bit of instant drama. I’ll admit that. But it’s artificial. It’s not baseball. 

Look, any rule that made baseball possible in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season was fine. No complaints there. But we’re back to a 162-game schedule for 2021 and hopefully for many decades in the future.

Here’s the honest truth: I would rather have MLB games end in a tie starting in 2022 than continue the current “magic runner” setup or implementing a home run derby to determine wins and losses. 

My first preference, of course, would be for the century-long setup — play regular baseball until one team wins — to be reinstalled, but if MLB is absolutely resolved to eliminate 15-inning games, ties are the better baseball option. 

If the game’s tied after nine innings, let’s play two (or three) more straight-up. If nobody is ahead after 11 (or 12), the game ends in a tie. Simple. Non-gimmicky. And how much fun would those two (or three) drama-filled extra innings be? I’m excited just thinking about it. 

And, I know, the idea of a tie isn’t going to sit well with most baseball fans. It’s a soccer thing, and occasionally an NFL thing. It would take some getting used to. I’m not thrilled with it, either, but MLB isn’t presenting us with other good options. 

MORE: Are these five hot-starting teams for real?

Let me ask it this way: Would you rather — as a player or fan — have your team end its season with, let’s say, a 95 wins, 52 losses and 5 ties or 95 wins and 57 losses because your team lost five extra-inning games to, essentially, a gimmick (magical runner or home run derby)? At least the ties were reached by playing the sport as it’s meant to be played. It’s one thing to lose an extra-inning game the traditional way, it’s another to lose it because baseball put in rules to help games end more quickly. 

Because here’s another truth: Games don’t reach extra innings by accident. If a game is tied after nine innings, it’s because those teams played an even game (though the paths there can, obviously, vary widely) and that should be rewarded. Ties are earned.

The NHL has tried lots of overtime options in the past few years, adding in the shootout and reducing OT to 4-on-4 and now 3-on-3. But for every game that is tied at the end of regulation, both teams earn a point. They get something for their efforts.

I’m not advocating for a points scenario in MLB. That’s not necessary. A team that’s 89-70-4 gets the last wild-card playoff spot over a team that’s 89-71-3. Half-games count.

Ties over gimmicks. Let’s make it happen. 

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What channel is UFC 262 on tonight? How to watch, buy Oliveira vs. Chandler on pay-per-view

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Oliveira vs. Chandler purse, salaries: How much money will they make at UFC 262?

It’s strap season for Michael Chandler and Charles Oliveira.

After spending the majority of his career with Bellator MMA, the three-time lightweight champ has an opportunity to capture the vacant UFC lightweight championship on Saturday against Oliveira.

MORE: Sign up to watch the UFC 262 PPV, exclusively on ESPN+

Chandler has a hungry and ready opponent in the No. 3-ranked Oliveira: Looking for his first UFC title, the veteran enters this fight on an eight-fight win streak, his last bout a unanimous decision win over Tony Ferguson at UFC 256.

Here’s what you need to know about Saturday night’s UFC event.

What channel is UFC 262?

  • Early prelims: UFC Fight Pass
  • Prelims: ESPN/WatchESPN
  • Main card: ESPN+ (pay-per-view)

The main card of UFC 262 will air exclusively on ESPN+, with early prelims kicking off the show on UFC Fight Pass, moving to ESPN for the prelims.

As with all UFC PPVs and ESPN, the show will air exclusively on ESPN+ at a PPV cost.

What time does Charles Oliveira vs. Michael Chandler start?

  • Early prelims: 6 p.m. ET
  • Prelims: 8 p.m. ET
  • Main card: 10 p.m. ET

The early prelims and preliminaries are expected to start at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. ET, respectively. The main card starts at 10 p.m. ET. Oliveira and Chandler are expected to make their ring walks around midnight. 

How much does UFC 262 cost on PPV?

  • Date: Saturday, May 15
  • Network: ESPN+

The main card will be broadcast exclusively on ESPN+, meaning you need an ESPN+ subscription to catch the fight. On top of the subscription, there is a price for the event:

  • For current yearly subscribers, the price is $69.99 on the ESPN+ app.
  • Current monthly subscribers can get UFC 262 and an upgraded bundle at a discounted rate of $84.99. They can also purchase the event itself for $69.99.
  • New subscribers will be able to pick up a yearly recurring subscription and the PPV for $89.98, which is a savings of more than 30 percent.

Click here to learn about the different pricing and bundling options with the ESPN+ platform.

UFC 262 fight card

Early prelims

  • Gina Mazany vs. Priscila Cachoeira, women’s flyweights
  • Kevin Aguilar vs. Tucker Lutz, featherweights
  • Christos Giagos vs. Sean Soriano, lightweights

Prelims

  • ​Lando Vannata vs. Mike Grundy, featherweights
  • Andrea Lee vs. Antonina Shevchenko, women’s flyweights
  • Jordan Wright vs. Jamie Pickett, middleweight
  • Ronaldo Souza vs. André Muniz, middleweights

Main card

  • Charles Oliveira vs. Michael Chandler for vacant UFC lightweight championship
  • Matt Schnell vs. Rogério Bontorin, bantamweights
  • Tony Ferguson vs. Beneil Dariush, lightweights
  • Katlyn Chookagian vs. Viviane Araújo, women’s flyweights
  • Shane Burgos vs. Edson Barboza, featherweights

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What time is UFC 262 today? PPV schedule, main card start time for Oliveira vs. Chandler

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What time is UFC 262 today? PPV schedule, main card start time for Oliveira vs. Chandler

Khabib Nurmagomedov’s retirement from UFC has left a massive void in the UFC’s lightweight division — one that Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler will seek to fill on Saturday.

The division’s Nos. 3- and 4-ranked fighters, respectively, will face off at the Toyota Center in Houston to become just the third non-interim lightweight champion since Conor McGregor took it from Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 in 2016.

Both Oliveira (30-8-1, eight KOs) and Chandler (22-5, 10 KOs) are coming off multiple wins, setting up a new era-establishing fight for the lightweight division. Will Oliveira earn the belt 11 years after first fighting under the UFC banner? Or will Chandler, fighting for only the second time under UFC since transferring from Bellator, take it?

We can’t wait to find out. With that, here’s everything you need to know to watch UFC 262, including the expected start time for the main event.

MORE: Sign up to watch the UFC 262 PPV, exclusively on ESPN+

What time does UFC 262 start today?

  • Early prelims: 6:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. PT
  • Prelims: 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT
  • PPV main card: 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT
  • Oliveira vs. Chandler: 12:15 a.m. ET (approx.) / 9:15 p.m. PT (approx.)

The main card for UFC 262 is projected to start at 10 p.m. ET. Depending on how long the four prior fights on the card last, Oliveira and Chandler will make their ring walks at roughly 12:15 a.m. ET.

What channel is UFC 262 on?

The early preliminaries and first half of the prelims will stream on ESPN+; the second half of the preliminaries will move to ESPN. After that, the main card can only be watched via PPV on ESPN+.

Click here to learn more about ESPN+ pricing and bundling options.

UFC 262 card

Main card

  • Charles Oliveira vs. Michael Chandler (lightweight championship)
  • Tony Ferguson vs. Beneil Dariush (lightweight)
  • Katlyn Chookagian vs. Viviane Araujo (women’s flyweight)
  • Shane Burgos vs. Edson Barboza (featherweight)
  • Matt Schnell vs. Rogerio Bontorin (bantamweight)

Prelims

  • Jacare Souza vs. Andre Muniz (middleweight)
  • Lando Vannata vs. Mike Grundy (featherweight)
  • Andrea Lee vs. Antonina Shevchenko (women’s flyweight)
  • Jordan Wright vs. Jamie Pickett (middleweight)

Early prelims

  • Gina Mazany vs. Priscila Cachoeira (women’s flyweight)
  • Kevin Aguilar vs. Tucker Lutz (featherweight)
  • Christos Giacos vs. Sean Soriano (flyweight)

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What time is the Preakness today? Post time, TV channel, horses & more to watch 2021 race

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What time is the Preakness today? Post time, TV channel, horses & more to watch 2021 race

The second jewel of the Triple Crown is up for grabs on Saturday.

The 2021 Preakness Stakes, which will run at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, will help determine whether Medina Spirit can become the first horse since Justify in 2018 to win the Triple Crown. Even if the horse does win Saturday’s race, however, that lofty accomplishment might not be guaranteed.

LIVE: Follow for updates from the 2021 Preakness Stakes

That’s because Medina Spirit returned a test positive for 21 picograms of betamethasone after its win at the 2021 Kentucky Derby. Pimlico decided to let the horse race on Saturday but, if a second test confirms the first, then Churchill Downs will invalidate Medina Spirit’s Derby win and grant runner-up Mandaloun the retroactive victory. The retesting results aren’t expected for several weeks.

Mandaloun is not part of Saturday’s race at the Preakness Stakes.

Just another tantalizing tidbit for bettors and sports fans alike ahead of Saturday’s race, which will include 10 horses and jockeys — including prohibitive morning-line favorite Medina Spirit (9/5 odds).

With that, here’s everything you need to know about the 2021 Preakness Stakes, including the post time and how to watch the event.

MORE: Watch the Preakness Stakes live with fuboTV (7-day free trial)

What time is the Preakness Stakes today?

  • Date: Saturday, May 15
  • Post time: 6:50 p.m. ET
  • TV coverage: NBC

NBC Sports will cover the Preakness Stakes starting at 2 p.m. ET and transfer coverage to NBC at 5 p.m. The race has a scheduled post time of 6:50 p.m. ET at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.

What channel is the Preakness Stakes on?

NBC has full broadcast rights for each of the Triple Crown races, including the Preakness Stakes. Viewers can also stream the race on NBC via fuboTV, which offers a seven-day free trial.

PREAKNESS STAKES: Full draw and odds for 2021 race

Preakness Stakes horses 2021

Post position Horse Odds
1 Ram 30/1
2 Keepmeinmind 15/1
3 Medina Spirit 9/5
4 Crowded Trade 10/1
5 Midnight Bourbon 5/1
6 Rombauer 12/1
7 France Go De Ina 20/1
8 Unbridled Honor 15/1
9 Risk Taking 15/1
10 Concert Tour 5/2

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