Monday, February 19, 2018


It's Spring Training, the time when every team is a potential champion - at least according to the media. Even the players are strutting about, proclaiming the virtues of their team. As usual, there will be the contenders and the pretenders.
There will be the five elite teams and the one sleeper. Houston, Dodgers, Cleveland, Washington and Yankees.will contend. The Angels, Boston, Cubs and Arizona will put up a fight but probably won't make the World Series. The Brewers and Twins were last years sleepers. This year, I think it will be the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Yanks will be a lot of  fun to watch with all the big bats in the lineup. And I mean BIG. Mike Lupica, NY Daily News, describes them this way. "They're not built to break records. They're built to break windows."  This should be fun.

Money, money, money
I don't believe it. I thought that this year, Scott Boras would finally learn that he's NOT the smartest man in baseball. Teams would no longer be willing to pay out big bucks and long term contracts to players just to get the one or two good years out of them. We made it all the way to spring training before Boras found that "one dumb owner." It was San Diego. They just signed Eric Hosmer to a deal that qualifies them as this year's "ODO."  5 years @ $20 million per year plus 3 more years @ $13 million per year.This for a guy 28 years old. He  has averaged 20 homers a year with a  batting average of .284 over seven years. Good numbers but is that really worth $139 million? Of course, we're talking about a team who traded for Chase Headly without a gun to their heads. There are still a lot of decent ballplayers still unsigned and some of them will remain that way. Even Scott Boras has to be scratching his head.

Let's use our heads (What am I saying?)
Can we please bring some sense of reason to baseball's suggestions on how to shorten the games?  They have suggested putting a man on second to start every inning after the 10th. Start every inning after 12 with the bases loaded and no outs.
They want a pitch clock and a batting clock. These are too hard to control. There are so many parameters that it will take a Philadelphia lawyer to figure out when to start them and when someone has violated the rule. You want to speed up the game without corrupting the basic sport? Two simple rules:
1) Limit trips to the mound to one per inning, whether it's the coach, manager, catcher or infielder. Unless there's and injury, a second visit means the pitcher is out of the game. Fake the injury and manager is also ejected.
2) Keep the damn hitter in the box. I don't care about swings and misses, foul balls or looking for signs. Keep him in the box.
While we're at it, eliminate Instant Replay and Challenges. There's 15 minutes a game right. there. Even with the arguments. Besides, I like arguments.  
As Groucho Marx said, “Outside of the improvement, no one should notice a thing.”

Another suggestion
I am not a fan of play-by-play broadcasters and analysts in the booth. They all need to fill every minute with words which end up being just blather. Please shut up. We can see the same thing you see. We don't need you to explain it. And stop with the "cute" terms. The player did not "go vertical." for cripes sake. He JUMPED. Why do we need so many people to announce the game? That's easy to fix. Just make the booths smaller.  A lot smaller.
Your screaming does not make the play more exciting.  Listen to Bode Miller analyze skiing. Very calm and informative. Please tell us the truth. Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir are not afraid to say that some skating judging is absolutely insane. We know it, we saw it, too. It's not blasphemy to voice that opinion. I like their outfits, too, but Johnny is going to have to explain his hair. How can it grow three inches overnight?

Patriots coach Bill Belichick, was asked by reporters what the difference between this Super Bowl and his previous seven: “This one is in Minnesota.”
"Fontbonne of St. Louis beat Greenville (Ill.) 164-154 in overtime Wednesday night, breaking the NCAA Division III record for combined points.In other words, they scheduled a D-III men’s basketball game, and the NBA All-Star Game broke out."  -- Dwight Perry
"The Canadian women’s hockey team defeated the United States at the Winter Olympics. These Canadians were mostly late bloomers. Some of them didn’t pick up a hockey stick until they were 9 months old."  -- Brad Dickson
" So this is how you judge Slope-Style Skateboarding: The winner was determined by who came as close as possible to killing himself while remaining standing on his board."  - Phil Mushnick
"Team Norway at the Olympics got 15,000 eggs instead of the 1,500 they ordered. So far the Norwegians are clean of PEDs, but their cholesterol is off the charts."  -- RJ Currie
"One problem with Winter Olympics is just when we begin to figure out what, for example, a good slalom run looks like, the events are over."  -- Janice Hough

"Serena Williams won the Australian Open a year ago while eight weeks pregnant. I think we’ve finally found something that Roger Federer can't do on a tennis court."  -- Bob Molinaro
"The Yankees have acquired the baseball rights to the Seahawks’ Russell Wilson. Imagine how the Jets and Giants feel, knowing that the Yankees have the best QB in New York."  -- Brett Miller
"Striking strippers in New York canceled plans to perform in Philadelphia this past week after they were told the poles there were coated with Crisco and hydraulic fluid."  -- Tony Chong
" Ex-Nebraskan Molly Schuyler won the Wing Bowl by downing 501 chicken wings, an average of 16.7 wings per minute — breaking the old record held by a garbage disposal."  -- Brad Dickson
"Among Oregon’s football recruits this year: Habakkuk Baldonado, a defensive end from Clearwater, Fla. Talk about mixed reviews: He’s rated a three-star recruit by 247 Sports but only one star by the National Association of Copy Editors."  -- Dwight Perry
"Wait a minute, how did  Shaun White get to be 31 years old? I didn’t know they allowed snowboarders to be over 30."  -- Janice Hough
"A brawl broke out in a professional rugby game in the country of Georgia, complete with punching, kicking and bloodshed. Then things got really violent: they played rugby."  -- RJ Currie 


No comments: