Tagged: Bud Selig

Rangers-Giants Game 4: Orange Is The New Black

Giants.fan.jpg
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.
pumpkin.audrey.JPG
I quickly changed my mind and said, “Now that’s a pumpkin I could love.” Thanks, Audrey. Great carving job and even better accessorizing.
applause.gif
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.
Advertisements

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?
jeter.timeout.jpg
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.
arod.spits.jpg
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.
el.duque.delivers.jpg
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.
deep.hole.jpg
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.
joyce.galarraga.jpg
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? 
post-yanks.jpg
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.
Bud_Selig.jpg

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?

fenway_park_0603052.jpg
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.
stomachache.jpg
Won’t it be snowing in Boston? 
fenway_winter_big_381.jpg
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.
redsox fans.jpg
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?

dog.bark.jpg

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?

chopped.liver.jpg
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.