Sunday, March 31, 2013

What I would change about the game...

                                    With opening day already in the books (a rather hum drum affair between the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers...although, the Astros won...the first of 43 wins they'll get this year ), I thought I would do a piece on what needs to change in the game.  Granted, most, if not all of these things probably won't change, no matter how much I stomp my feet, but maybe if I get enough people to sign a petition....sorry, that won't happen either.  Hey, even things you love have some elements you wish would change; here's mine about baseball.

1. Designated hitter: While I'm too young to even remember a world without a D.H. in the American League, I always have felt a little weird about it.  Installed in 1973 by commissioner Bowie Kuhn and Oakland A's owner Charles O. Finley (who also wanted to implement the "Designated runner", which his team actually had for two years with Herb Washington in '74 and '75, although it never caught on ), the D.H. has been a fixture not only in the majors, but in college and the Minors too, which I have a big problem with.  I mean, if half of these pitchers coming out of the farm league are going to the N.L.,  wouldn't it behoove the teams to have the pitchers hit?  Either that, or have the D.H. in the National League.  Having two rules just seems counterproductive.

2.Interleague play: When this whole Interleague jazz started, I didn't care one way or the other; then Bud Selig decided to have an Inter league game every day, which seems a little convoluted for such a marginal idea.  Used to be, you'd only see teams in the other league if they were on a National game or World series; now, you can see them throughout the year, thanks to ESPN and MLB Network, so interleague seems unnecessary.  Trying to create rivalries doesn't necessarily create them, and a Tampa Bay Rays v.s. Arizona Diamondbacks game- two teams with almost no history- is not exactly gonna put the asses in the seats.

3. FOX T.V.: With the news that Tim McCarver was retiring at the end of the 2013 season, many  are wondering what over- analysing, former ballplayer will replace him.  Thing is, McCarver used to be pretty good when he was doing Mets games; maybe too much exposure to that blowhard Joe Buck made him get into some bad habits. (btw, If Joe Morgan comes out of retirement to replace him, I will go to the nearest tower with a rifle ) The two announcers aside, I think the biggest problem is the station itself; whether it's baseball, football or (I'm assuming) NASCAR, every broadcast gets stretched out with more commercials than should be legal, half of them whoring their own network shows.  If I see one more American Idol contestant sing the National Anthem, I'm gonna puke. Even when the Saints were in the playoffs in New Orleans, a city rich with musical history, they still had a AI hack do the anthem. On the contrary, when the NBA All Star game was played in New Orleans a few years back on CBS, the Neville Brothers and Harry Conick JR. performed.

4. Scott Boras: Not to pick on him, as there are other culprits out there, but he's the most notorious agent out there. I know it's America, and we live in a capitalistic society, but when I see some of these ridiculous contracts, I have to say something. I won't list the players he represents, although I know A-Rod was one of the most notorious.  I remember watching the 2007 World Series btw the Red Sox and the Rockies, when the subject of his contract came up. ( most likely a Steinbrenner move to steal the Sox's thunder). It eventually turned into an extension of an already ridiculous contract he signed with Texas seven years before.  Turns out, he was roided up then, and is paying for it now, .physically-wise.  I long for the days when players other than Yankees' players stuck with their teams forever.

5. Playoff system: Back in 1995, when the Wild Card made it's debut, I was a little skeptical; my entire life I had been used to just the ALCS and the NLCS, the winner of both to meet in the World Series.  I was actually born the year that system was installed, 1969.  Of course, my dad and brothers would talk about the last "real"  pennant race in 1968 btw the Tigers and Cardinals.  The irony of me bitching about this, is that my team won in 2004 as the Wild Card's not really the Wild Card that I have a problem with (although the second one is a little annoying), it's the 3 divisions in each league.Can't they still do it with two divisions in each league, and pick the two non division-winning teams with the best records as the Wild Card?  That way, incidents like the Padres going 82-80 winning the N.L. West, are less likely to happen. That team was the closest anyone came to being .500 or below. It's happened in other sports; The Seahawks a couple years back went 7-9, as did the Buccaners in the late '70s.  In Hockey, the Minnesota Northstars had a sub .500 record and went to the Stanley Cup finals back in the early '90s.

                         Of course there's more;usually little nitpicky things ( I was gonna have a whole Bud Selig section, but his presence is felt throughout here...)...and there's obviously a lot about the game I love, which will probably be next week's entry...let the arguements comence...

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