I’ve stated in the past that the state of MLB is excellent. Excellent parity, fairness, and competitiveness. Nothing can be perfect, and I’m sure many would disagree with me.
However, as I’ve said in the past, if I were the supreme dictator of MLB, there are a few things I would do (that some might consider drastic) to improve MLB, increase parity, competitiveness, and fan interest.
Here’s the list:
- Raise the mound back to pre-Gibson days (from 10 inches now up to 13-15 inches).
- Remove the designated hitter rule.
- Stop interleague play.
- Shorten the season.
- Roll back expansion: prune teams that have a record of poor performance and low fan interest.
The basis of all of these recommendations stems from my belief that there is not enough quality pitching to go around, diluting the talent pool, and making it hard for mid- to small-market teams to compete for the very limited resource of quality pitching.
So, instead of taking the socialistic approach of salary caps and luxury taxes, I think it’s better to take a market-based approach and make a scarce commodity less scarce.
But I want to focus this post on the last item on the list: pruning of entire teams. I believe that this will make it easier for the remaining teams to compile a decent pitching staff, but forget that for a second. The more important question is: which teams? How about these:
- Kansas City Royals
- Tampa Bay Devil Rays
- Florida Marlins
- Baltimore Orioles
How did I pick these? First, I decided that attendance was a good measure of fan interest. But not all parks have the same capacity, so percentage of total seats sold should work okay. Second, I used “wins” to determine the performance of a team. More wins = better performance. Finally, I added those numbers together and sorted the teams. (See attached Excel sheet for details).
I only did this for 2006–it would be more useful to do this for, say, the last 10 years, and pick the 4 teams who appeared on the bottom 4 the most.
Or maybe both Florida teams are “combined” into one team that plays in, say, Orlando. And then Colorado (next on the list) can be pruned instead.
I know you’ve often said to yourself:
Self, I’d really like one of those jockstraps that baseball players use to protect their jockular regions. How on earth can I get a player to give me one?
Well, look no further! In conjunction with MySpace user fat20 (whose motto is “the Schwagg is HERE!!!!” and who is currently in a “silly” mood), I present to you 3 easy steps to getting a ballplayer to give his athletic supporter to you, the supporter of athletes.
First, drink heavily. I mean REALLY drink. Buy drinks from the fans around you if the vendors won’t sell to you anymore. Bring along a flask. Take a still and make your own vodka. Whatever it takes to get as drunk as possible.
Second, insult the player of your choice to the best of your ability. Don’t hold back. Here are some examples:
- YOU SUCK
- SHOULDN’T YOU BE ON THE D.L!?
- TOO OLD FOR CENTER
- YOU’RE A BIG DUMB DOO DOO HEAD
- YOUR MOTHER IS A WHORE
The last one is particularly effective if both of his parents have cancer and you use it right around the time MLB is set to raise money to help fight cancer.
At this point, the player should be verbally responding to you and telling you that you aren’t worthy to touch a thread on his jockstrap. Yes, the very same sweet jockstrap that you hope to score.
Third and finally, receive jockstrap in a plain brown bag! This is the most critical step, as discretion is strongly advised against.
Hold up the jockstrap and show everyone in the park that you are a real class act!
Next, swing it around wildly like a madman while screaming and wobbling around drunkenly like a crazy homeless man. Some words you can yell include:
- DSFARGEG!!! (remember, you are drunk)
- I WANNA RAPE CONDI RICE AND THE QUEEN
Finally, get a picture taken of you holding the jockstrap along with your douchey friends. Make sure to stand up and disrupt all the other fans in the park as much as possible.
Congratulations! You are the proud owner of an autographed, game-worn jockstrap. More importantly, you have a moment that you can treasure for generations as you pass down the fine traditional of drunken heckling among your prodigy.
I hope you enjoyed this brief tutorial, and good luck in your future jockstrap endeavors.
Two years ago, I gave up baseball. It was plagued with cheaters, steroids, and bad decisions. I stopped watching it, I stopped supporting it, I even stopped supporting MLB products. Last month I received a phone call.
The local PeeWee league president called, telling me that there was no coach for my cousin’s PeeWee team and the team would be killed, and he’d be put on another team. I always wanted to coach, I knew the logistics and the game very well, and always wanted to be the man to make the decisions that could win or lose the game. With no employment, I had the time; did I have the dedication? After some thinking I called the league president back and told him I’d take over the team. I recieved my team’s equipment, shirts, hats, picture forms, and roster and went to work.
PeeWee baseball is played by 6, 7, and 8 year-olds after finishing a year at the T-Ball level. It’s not exactly professional all-star baseball, but it’s a start.
At this point, most other teams have been practicing for weeks. Also, after looking at our roster I can see that we have all 7-year-old first-year players. Compared to the other teams, that’s a huge disadvantage.
It seems everything is against us, younger kids, less practice time, yellow jerseys!
Part 2, Coming Soon
Today is the 60th anniversary of the first black player in Major League Baseball: Jackie Robinson.
In honor of Jackie Robinson, Ken Griffey, Jr. is wearing #42, Robinson’s number, during the game today.
Irish Elk also shares a neat story about Jackie Robinson’s days in the minor leagues before the call-up to the Dodgers.
Let’s play another game of madlib!
This madlib comes from Eric Wynalda, and was featured during lunch today on ESPN.
Here is the quote that was shown on ESPN:
Fill in the blanks!
Warning: there may be massive amounts of obscenity below in the comments.
Can you smell the peanuts? Can you feel the sunshine? Can you hear the crack of the bat? Yes, sports fans, it’s that time again! Time for baseball!
So, what are the Reds looking like for 2007?
The Reds didn’t lose much in the offseason. Most notably, they no longer have Jason LaRue behind the plate, as his really low batting average and high salary didn’t make a lot of sense when you have David Ross to call on. His defense will be missed. Rich Aurilia also decided to go back to the Giants, which is a major offensive loss.
The Reds also didn’t resign Royce Clayton (thank God), so they signed Alex Gonazalez to play short. His bat isn’t stellar, but his defense is well-known.
There’s a full offseason transaction log at RedReporter. With that, here’s a breakdown of what’s going on around the Reds in 2007:
The Reds managed to resign Arroyo through to 2010, much to shock of everyone who thought he’d be on the first plane to Boston the second his contract expired. With Harang signed to a 4-year contract as well, the top of the rotation is looking excellent. 3-5 is where it gets sketchy. Kyle Lohse will probably be #3, and Eric Milton will be #4 for the last year of his contract, barring any shocking changes. I predict that #5 will go to Matt Belisle, who may finally be getting it together. The Reds could really use another solid starter in this rotation.
Amazing Eddie Guardado was signed, but due to his injury, he probably can’t play until well into the season. David Weathers is back again, hopefully he can as decent as he was last year. Majewski may start the season on the DL, but Bill Bray will still be there. The biggest pickup for the Reds is Dustin Hermanson, who was injured last year but had an amazing season with the White Sox in 2005. He’s looking very recovered in spring training and could be the go-to man for closer. The bullpen is still a pretty big question mark, but I think there is some hope here.
David Ross is starting. His defense was very shaky last year, but there’s no question his offense is there. Valentin is still a great #2 catcher and maybe even a better pinch hitter. Chad Moeller was also picked up as well, meaning the Reds are again going to carry three catchers.
With Edwin, Gonzalez, Hatteberg, and Phillips, the infield is looking good. Edwin improved his defense significantly last year, and the rest of the group get high defensive marks. Gonzalez will probably be in the .250 batting range, but the rest of the infield are all solid at the plate.
Some major changes in the outfield this year. Ken Griffey Jr. will be playing right field. This is a really big deal, and I think something that might keep Griffey in the season a little longer than normal. Which is good. Adam Dunn is still in left, and he’s been working extra on his batting this year. Let’s hope he can set a personal record for least amount of strikeouts in a season.
Center field. Well. I figured this would probably be a Freel/Denorfia platoon. However, the Reds picked up Josh Hamilton on a rule #5 draft in the offseason. This guy has been the story all over baseball in spring training. He was signed as a #1 draft pick some years ago to a record signing amount, but then pissed it away to a cocaine addiction. Since then he’s become a Christian, got himself clean, and is tearing it up. Behold:
I don’t put a lot of stock in spring training stats, but he has hit .400 in spring training in 60 at-bats. He is right at Adam Dunn’s offensive level. Plus, he can run like the wind and throw like Paul O’Neill. Freel is probably my favorite Red, but if Hamilton doesn’t start in center field, it would be a crime.
I haven’t taken much of a look at the rest of the NL Central, but I’m pretty excited about the Reds this year. See you at Opening Day!
Who exactly is the worst quarterback ever to get the honor to play in the Super Bowl? Is it Rex Grossman (who will get the honor this year?) You tell me.
I’m sure I could comb through 40 years of boxscores and come up with some great, or not-so-great players to win this honor. What’s the fun in that though, I want to hear the readers respond.
Your job: think back to any Super Bowl, give me the starting QB that didn’t deserve to be there.
I’ll get you started.
- 2003 – Brad Johnson – Tampa Bay
- 2001 – Trent Dilfer – Baltimore
- 1992 – Mark Rypien – Washington (Won Game MVP)
Well, February is almost here and already I’m jonesin’ for some baseball. Maybe I’ve been out of the current-gen of sports games for too long, but I just saw this trailer for MLB 2K7, and it blew me away.
Note that the original trailer was in HD, which may or may not translate very well to YouTube. Even without HD, you can tell that the mannerisms, details, and interface of this game is very impressive.
Today’s big headline? No one predicted these two teams would make it to the Super Bowl and play for the championship. That’s not the headline. The real headline is that two black coaches made it to the Super Bowl…
Another reason why I hate the media. Let’s take a great story of the underdog team Chicago Bears playing through the dirt and somehow beating 18 other teams to make it to the Super Bowl, and turn it into something racial.
Who really cares if both coaches are black? The media looks at it as the big story when the real story is how these two coaches both had amazing seasons.
Shame on you ESPN, MSN, and NBC10. I don’t even read or watch the news but somehow heard mention of race on those three mediums. I’m sure other networks are playing up the race angle too.
The more I read stories from the media, the more I want to fly out and punch them in the neck.
[Note from editor: this is the first post to mgroves.com that was actually not written by me. The author is a friend of mine who will be introducing himself shortly. In the meantime, enjoy his rant.]
I was recently reading a story from MSN/Foxsports about Jason Kidd’s recent relationship problems and came across the following. I’m not going to bore you with the whole story but here’s an excerpt.
“Jason Kidd filed for divorce from his wife today on the grounds of extreme cruelty over a long period of time,” Kidd’s attorney, Madeline Marzano-Lesnevich, said in a statement Tuesday. “As this is an extremely difficult personal matter, I ask that the privacy of the Kidd family be respected.”
I continue to read down until the article is over and then read this…
“The Kidds’ home phone number is unlisted. An after-hours message left for Joumana Kidd’s lawyer was not immediately returned.”
What the blue hell?
- Jason Kidds marriage shouldn’t even be in the news, it’s nobody’s business.
- Even if Jason Kidd was listed, why the hell would he want to speak to you about his failed marriage?
Why can’t they just respect the man’s wishes and be left alone, what impact does this news have on the world and why should anyone care about it? Let’s look for more of this crap.
“The Miami Dolphins have asked the Jets for permission to speak to offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer about their head-coaching vacancy, a league official told The Star-Ledger last night. The official requested anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the discussions.”
Who’s this league official that he has to spill his guts to a MSN reporter like a 13 year old school girl? Doesn’t anyone believe in honor and giving their word anymore?
From this moment on, I will never visit MSN or Fox Sports again. I’m done.