Tagged: Bud Selig

Rangers-Giants Game 4: Orange Is The New Black

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Orange was everywhere today, given the confluence of the Giants and Halloween. I’ve never been a fan of orange. I don’t wear it. It’s not my color. In fact, I said to Michael before we sat down to watch the game tonight, “If I see another pumpkin, I’ll go mental.” Just as the words were out of my mouth, into my inbox landed an email from Friend of the Blog Audrey, along with this photo.
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I quickly changed my mind and said, “Now that’s a pumpkin I could love.” Thanks, Audrey. Great carving job and even better accessorizing.
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Speaking of carving up, that’s what young Madison Bumgarner (with a name like that he has to be good) did to the Rangers’ vaunted offense. Vlad Guerrero played the role of Pat Burrell tonight, looking especially awful at the plate. But “Bum” was tough on everybody. And he’s only a kid! It must be so satisfying for the Giants organization to see their prized prospect meet expectations. And now the World Series could be all over tomorrow – if, by some chance, Cliff Lee has two bad outings in a row.
Meanwhile, Bud Selig has been talking about expanding the playoffs by adding two more wild card teams. How does everyone feel about that? Here’s how I feel about it: NO THANKS.
“Oh, come on,” you’re saying. “It would give teams like the Royals and the Pirates a chance to compete for a championship.”
No, it wouldn’t. It would simply prolong the baseball season – something I wouldn’t mind under other circumstances – by diluting the talent pool. And I’m not just griping because the Yankees get into the playoffs so often; I’d feel the same way even if they didn’t. I wasn’t in favor of the wild card concept in the first place, just as I wasn’t crazy about the DH. But I came around to the idea that the best teams in each division would play each other with a “wild card” team rounding out the math. Adding two more teams does what, exactly? Push the games into December? Give more fans in more cities a chance to buy more tickets and more merchandise? Boost the TV ratings?
The whole notion is making me tired. I’m off to sleep. Let me know what you think.

So the problem with baseball is “slow mannerisms?”

The answer is yes, according to this MLB.com article about ways that Bud Selig and his committee are hoping to pick up the pace of the game. Apparently, no one minds that some clubs like the Yankees take a lot of pitches or even that nationally televised games have a ton of commercials. What Selig and his group are looking at are the stalling mannerisms of the players. You know, like Jeter and how he sticks out his right wrist to call time?
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Honestly. I’d miss it if he were suddenly forced to stop doing it – and not just because he’s a Yankee. I love the players’ mannerisms. No, not the excessive stepping out of the box to adjust batting gloves, blow a bubble or spit.
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MLB can set limits on how many times a hitter steps out and how long he stays out. But what about pitchers? I say let them continue to have their funky deliveries.
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But by all means restrict those with tendencies to walk around the mound or massage the ball to death or dig themselves a really big hole.
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I guess what I mean is that I understand the desire to speed up the game, and I share it to some extent. What I’d hate to see happen is to take away the individuality of the guys who play the game, their quirkiness. Can you even think what the sport would be like if we didn’t have the pleasure of watching batting stances like these? (I know, I know. A lot of these guys aren’t on the Phillies anymore, but hey – we’re starting a series against them Tuesday night! This blog is providing a stealth scouting report!)

Happy Endings

I was very heartened to see the reconciliation of Jim Joyce and Armando Galarraga today in Detroit. Tears and handshakes and shiny new Corvettes are the stuff happy endings are made of. It seemed as if good will was restored, if not the perfect game itself, and – romantic sap that I am – I loved it.
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The Yankees’ series against the O’s had a happy ending too, as CC, Joba and Mo took care of business, Cano, A-Rod and Granderson continued to flaunt their bats, Jorge once again gave us a bona fide hitter in the DH spot and even Brett Gardner homered. What’s not to love right now if you’re a Yankee fan? 
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There’s only one more happy ending I’d like to see come true, and it involves my fellow bloggers over at “It Is High, It Is Far, It Is Caught...” A labor of love on the part of its contributors, particularly respected author, humorist and Syracuse Post-Standard reporter Hart Seely, known on his blog as “El Duque,” “It Is High” has made me laugh every single day since I first discovered it. It pokes smart fun at every aspect of Yankeeville, especially John Sterling and his “Thuuuuuu Yankees win” calls. But my favorite feature has been their hilarious “Yankeeographies,” which are original videos about various not-so-great Yankees – from Carl Pavano (“The Bronx Buttocks”) to Richie Sexon (“The Yankee Mayfly”). Well, now the unthinkable has happened: MLB has removed all their videos from YouTube for copyright infringement – without any notice. Read this recent New York Magazine interview with “El Duque” and you’ll get the gist. I’m a published author. I understand copyright infringement. But how can Major League Baseball not love a blog that celebrates the game with humor, never letting it take itself too seriously? I appreciate that MLB hosts my blog, but their banning of my friends’ work upsets me. I want the decision overturned – and soon.
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Sorry- No Internet Service/No Post/Leave Comments!

UPDATE: I’M BACK!!!!

My stupid Internet service came back on this morning – no idea what caused Cox Cable to shut us down, but it happens all too frequently. I had a lot to write about last night too. Bummer. I was so frustrated when I started last night’s blog and couldn’t get on. So at 10:30 pm, I literally drove down from my house up in the hills – in dense fog – to the nearest town, which is called Summerland, and sat in the parking lot of a restaurant where there was wireless service and typed the post title on my iPhone – just to let everyone know I hadn’t retired in mid-season like Ken Griffey Jr. When was the last time a player did that? Mike Schmidt. Right?
Galarraga? OMG. He was robbed! I know Jim Joyce apologized, and Armando showed a lot of class with his response, but maybe Bud Selig should overturn the call, since Joyce admitted it was a mistake, and give the kid the perfecto? Sure, other teams would start clamoring for every botched decision to be overturned, but this was a special case in my humble opinion.
The Yankees? They’re beating the teams they need to beat. Simple as that. Hughes was fantastic, Cano is just on fire, Grandy is showing why Cashman went out and traded for him, and it’s great to have Posada back.
Right now, I’m just happy to be online. Me without Internet service? Not a pretty sight. It’s good to be back among the living. Will get right to the comments.

Do We Have To Open At Fenway?

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Now that the #5 starter thing has been dealt with, I started thinking ahead to the Real Thing – the moment when the Yankees actually kick off the regular season. I got so excited until I reminded myself that we open at Fenway….and then my stomach turned.
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Won’t it be snowing in Boston? 
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Or, at the very least, won’t it be too cold for the ESPN Sunday Night extravaganza? Speaking of which, I guess most people have already seen ESPN’s commercial featuring Swisher. I watched it today, courtesy of River Ave Blues.
Okay, the truth is I prefer to ease into The Rivalry instead of jumping right into it. We should be playing Baltimore first, or maybe Toronto, since they have a retractable roof. And let’s face it – having to listen to Red Sox fans chanting “Yankees suck” isn’t my idea of a great time.
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Plus, the Sox usually beat us early in the season, and if this upcoming series is true to form they’ll sweep us. Yeah, I know. We’ll return the favor in August and September, but still. Isn’t there any way the Yankees can wriggle out of this date with destiny? Here’s what I was thinking…
1) We get a note from the team doctor.
Dr. Stuart Hershon could simply say the team has a headache.
2) The series really does get snowed out.
The weather has been crazy this year. Anything’s possible.
3) The Red Sox players go on strike and refuse to play.
They did it in 2008 when the coaches weren’t getting paid as much as the players for their trip to Japan.
4) The grass at Fenway is invaded by gophers, and the holes would pose an injury risk.
5) Bud Selig, acting on the advice of his special committee, suddenly decides to realign the division and put the Red Sox in the AL Central.

I’m out of excuses. Anybody else have one?

Who Are You Telling To Hurry Up?

I mean, really. Did everybody see this item on Yahoo Sports, via the AP?

Major League Baseball made one recommendation without waiting. It’s directly calling the Yankees, the Dodgers and Boston slow pokes, and telling them to speed up.

The Yankees (3:08), Red Sox (3:04) and Dodgers (3:02) played the longest nine-inning games last year, STATS LLC said; the MLB average was 2 hours, 52 minutes. Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon(notes) was fined $5,000 for slow play and the champion Yanks drew the eye–and ire–of baseball for holding incessant mound meetings in the postseason.

“We have hitters that see a lot of pitches. The Red Sox have hitters that see a lot of pitches. We haven’t played the Dodgers so I don’t really know. But that’s going to be a part of it,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

“We do whatever we can. We tell the players what to do, but if you’re going to score runs and see lots of pitches and there’s pitching changes, the game’s going to be longer. But we’re doing everything we can to adhere to the rules,” he said.

There aren’t any threats about what will happen if they don’t comply. Will the prompts help? “We told those three the same thing last year,” MLB vice president of on-field operations Bob Watson said.


So that’s what the committee Bud Selig convened came up with in the way of recommendations? To bark at the Yankees, Red Sox and Dodgers for playing too slowly?

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I’m not saying the typical Yankees game isn’t long. I’m not even saying some of the games aren’t like watching paint dry. But we’re talking about a team that takes a lot of pitches and, in certain instances, makes a lot of pitching changes. It’s called playing smart. And longer games mean more baseball for fans to watch and enjoy, not to mention more time for vendors to sell beer and hot dogs. So what’s the problem? What difference does it make how long the games last? One of the beautiful aspects of the sport is that there’s no time clock. If we, the fans, aren’t complaining…and if the players themselves don’t mind sticking around the ballpark… why should the MLB owners care? Why?

What’s Baseball? Chopped Liver?

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Seriously. After reading yesterday’s New York Times article announcing that the Super Bowl was the most watched show in television history (not the most watched sports show, but the most watched show of any kind), I had to ask myself why the World Series doesn’t approach such spectacular numbers.
Sure, there were good reasons why the Saints-Colts game drew a huge audience.
* The two quarterbacks offered a nice head-to-head story arc.
* The heavy snow kept people indoors and in front of the TV.
* People watch the Super Bowl for the ads.
* There are Super Bowl parties.
And then there’s the fact that the football season boils down to one dramatic contest as opposed to a series of 4-7 games. But it was this comment by Rich Sandomir that got me thinking: “Football is engaging us more than ever.” Is that true? And if so, what is baseball doing about it?
On this blog we’ve talked about ways MLB could improve the sport itself. But what about the marketing of the sport? Why aren’t there World Series parties and better ads and more human interest stories in the media about the individual players so that people who aren’t diehards can still appreciate the games? 
I don’t like seeing baseball trounced by football, so if Bud Selig wants to hire me to help market the sport, I’m available. How about the newly created position of vice president in charge of fans? Just leave me a comment, Bud, and I’ll get right back to you.

Why Was I Excluded From Bud Selig’s Advisory Committee?

Bud, Bud, Bud. How could you?

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Sure, you look appropriately ashamed right now, but I’m still reeling from your slight. Ever since I read the announcement that you had convened a group of 14 baseball people to meet in mid-January to discuss ways to improve the game, I’ve been hurt and angry. Why? Because my name does not appear on the list of attendees! I want an explanation!
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I mean, take a look at the group you put together. For starters, they’re all men.
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La Russa, Leyland, Torre, Scoscia, Frank Robinson, plus a handful of former and current general managers as well as columnist George Will. Nothing but men. Do you not think women are capable of offering opinions in an appropriate forum and in an appropriate manner?
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Do you have the highly unfair misconception that female fans are nothing but inarticulate, beer-swilling party animals?
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Do you buy into the notion that women are too easily distracted to sit in their seats for an entire nine-inning game?
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If so, Bud, let me straighten you out immediately. We are knowledgeable. We are passionate. And, most of all, we have the ability to cross party lines and team affiliations.
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The other thing is you neglected to put a single blogger on the committee. Yes, George Will writes well, but so do we. We’re not all eight-year-old boys sitting in our basements with our little toys. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
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In your statement about the commission, you said you were open to talking about everything at the meeting – from the pace of the game to umpiring and instant replay. “There will be no sacred cows,” you vowed.
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So here are a few subjects I’d like to talk about:
* No weird off days during the playoffs.
* No blind umps either.
* No Fox blackouts on Saturdays.
* No charge for MLB.TV since it never works right anyway.
* No Yankees games on ESPN on Sunday nights/getaway days.
* Free YES Network on cable stations in California.
* No red caps on Yankees – not on Memorial Day, July 4th or any other day.
* Fox/TBS required to broadcast pre-game ceremonies during playoffs.
* Baseball season lasts 365 days a year.
Now that I’ve stated my case, I’ll be looking for my invitation to the January meeting in Phoenix. I assume it’ll be emailed to me? I really hope so, or I might have to take matters into my own hands.
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The Off-Day Blues

The Yankees didn’t play tonight, so I was completely lost. I know, I know. I could have done something constructive with my free time. Like write, read a book, or learn more about the health care debate. Instead, I pined for the pinstriped ones – especially for Friday night’s game and the probability that Jeter would break Gehrig’s record. It was pathetic.
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At some point I realized that if I was this bummed out by one night off from baseball, I’d be a basket case when the season was finally over. And that’s when it dawned on me.
Why can’t they play all year long?
 
Seriously, what would be so bad about keeping the season going? Nothing. That’s what. Well, not counting possible injuries caused by over-exertion. But that’s why there are trainers and team doctors and James Andrews.
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Anyhow, I sat down at the computer and wrote a message to Bug Selig, telling him that I’d really appreciate it if the sport didn’t take the winter off. OK, it’s not a message to Bud. It’s a love letter to the Yankees. And I was basically wasting hours at the keyboard that I’ll never ever have back.
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I could kick myself – or my husband for letting me use his iMovie software.
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So indulge me. I’ll get better at these videos, I swear. Yes, this one will bore you to tears, but I’m just a beginner. And if I don’t figure it out, I’ll take piano lessons or start knitting or, God forbid, become interested in football.

Exclusive: Home Run Derby Proven To Cure Insomnia

This Just In….

The results of a groundbreaking study of randomly selected baseball fans strongly indicates that the 2009 Home Run Derby not only relieved the symptoms of insomnia but promoted a deep and restful sleep.
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Scientists cited several reasons for the Derby’s unexpectedly soporific effect on humans:
1) the lackluster performances by the participants as compared to the 2008 contest.
2) the seemingly endless multi-rounds format.
3) the “back, back, back” from ESPN’s Chris Berman.
4) the realization that the event was basically batting practice with a lot more media.
That said, the group conducting the study was quick to praise the Derby’s winner, Prince Fielder, and issued congratulations to him, his team and his family.
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The group further stated that the 2009 Home Run Derby was equal to, if not better than, the following remedies for sleeplessness:
watching grass grow
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watching paint dry
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taking meds.
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Upon learning of the group’s findings, Major League Baseball immediately contacted She-Fan seeking ways the Derby could keep people awake during future events. I was flattered to be consulted about such a weighty matter, and offered a few suggestions.
“First, guarantee the viewing public that a Bronx Bomber is participating,” I said. “Yankee fans will be eager to see him succeed; Yankee haters will be on the edge of their seats hoping he’ll fail. If he’s a polarizing Yankee, so much the better.”
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“Second, make the contest more challenging by blindfolding the hitters.”
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“Third, encourage the hitters to take the rivalry seriously in order for a brawl to ensue.”
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“And finally, consider bringing back home runs hitters from the Great Beyond. A Derby that pits Ruth, Gehrig and Foxx against each other would be incredibly entertaining for those of us who never got to see them play.”
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Bud Selig seemed intrigued by my ideas and said he would give them serious thought. He also asked me to stand by in case the All-Star Game turned out to be equally dull as dishwater. Then he pressed his palms together and prayed that the National League would win in extra innings.
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