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Posts tagged with Mlb

JAW’s Raw Topics

I originally was going to write a two page rant on the continued ridiculousness of the BCS but I’m just not mentally prepared to get that fired up right now. Instead, I will comment on a few topics that have me riled up in general, the BCS just being one of them.

THE BCS Once again, I think it has come to the point where this system doesn’t work. It’s not that I think Alabama is undeserving. They are deserving. So is Oklahoma State and Stanford. That these teams don’t get a shot is just stupid. This is the only sport where the national champion is crowned on opinion and not on the field of play. If LSU should beat Alabama again (hopefully this time at least one team can score a touchdown), LSU will be crowned champ without them having to play either of the other top teams. That the BCS should take the coaches’ poll into account in their standings is enough to make their system illegitimate. Coaches have their own agendas and they are so busy, how can they have the time to make educated decisions on the votes. It is a stupendously stupid system.

The crazy part is that they could use the BCS bowls as the quarterfinals games. Each bowl would be guaranteed two premium teams. The NCAA then could pick a location for the semifinals and final game much like the Final Four. Think about the money that would pour in for that spectacular event. It would be gigantic. One more thing – use the top eight teams. There will always be those 9th, 10th, etc. teams that are left out and that will lead to great discussions every year, much like the NCAA tournament. This is a win-win situation. Plus, these games would take place during the winter break and the players wouldn’t even have to miss school. No-brainer!

THE HOT STOVE LEAGUE I love this week in December because it brings baseball back into the limelight, even for just a few days. What I hate though, is the irresponsible spending from some of these teams. Some of these contracts are ridiculous. I understand how good Albert Pujols is. I get it. I do not understand how the Angels, or any team, can give a player who is going to be 32 years old by Spring Training a ten year contract. No matter how good he may be over the first 5 or 6 years, what can they expect as a return for the last few years, especially from a player who has had a few nagging injuries accumulating over the last few seasons. This doesn’t even touch upon the $254 million involved. The market, which may have involved 5 teams, dictated this amount but that doesn’t make it any less silly.

It also sucks that mainly just two teams, the Marlins and Angels, have made most of the big splashes this winter. It just shows how far apart the teams are in baseball. The new CBA will hurt the small market teams, in my opinion, in the long run and it will make baseball have an even bigger competitive imbalance.

THE NBA WILL RESUME SOON Does anyone really care? That’s not fair. The NBA has lots of fans. Just don’t count me in their number. In my opinion, the NBA is the worst evolution of the game of basketball. The court and lane need to be larger and the rim should be higher. The players are so much bigger than they were even 20 years ago and the bodies are too big for the space, leading to a brutal style of play I think is unwatchable.

I have an interesting fact. Since 1980, only 9 teams have won the NBA championship, three of those only won once. Six teams have won the other 28. There is no balance in the NBA. Many perennial losers have only themselves to blame for their woes because year after year they are lottery teams and year after year they draft players with potential and leave the proven and talented players to the already successful franchises. It has been happening for decades now and it drives me crazy. The young high schoolers and one-and-done college players that are big impact players are the exceptions, not the rule. This league needs a huge make over and the new CBA isn’t the answer. If one sport was in desperate need of contraction, it is the NBA. I don’t know exactly which teams should go but there are too many teams.

THE QUARTERBACK PROBLEM If every NFL team has three quarterbacks on its roster, this means there are 96 quarterbacks in the NFL. If Peyton Manning ever returns, there are 4 elite qbs (Manning, Brady, Rogers, and Brees). There are about 15 to 16 average or slightly above average qbs and another 12 to 16 or so below average or pedestrian field generals out there. You do the math. That leaves around 60 quarterbacks on rosters that really aren’t good enough to play in the NFL. Yet the teams have little choice. Quarterback is easily the shallowest position in football. Now you understand why having a good to great quarterback is essential to continued success in the NFL. There is no real solution because there just isn’t enough talent to fill the out the rosters. Teams just have to hope their starters don’t get hurt and if they do, the back up doesn’t kill their chances of winning games. Players like Tyler Palko and Caleb Hanie are forced into service and their teams have little or no chance of success. This position, so important to teams’ success, just isn’t deep enough for every team to have one good quarterback, let alone 2 or 3. Teams just have to get lucky and strike gold here.

Thanks for reading my rants and letting me vent a little.

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The DH and Interleague Play

I must warn everyone ahead of time. This could really disintegrate into a petulant tirade. There a few subjects I am very passionate about and this is one of them. While I try to maintain somewhat of an open mind on most topics, this isn’t one of them. Even if I disagree with the opinions of those on the opposite side of most discussions, I usually try to see the validity of their arguments. I cannot for the life of me see any positives to the other side of this issue. I will never be convinced otherwise. Just to add to the craziness, I do understand there are those who disagree with me on this subject who are just as passionate and close minded about their own positions.

I loathe pitchers batting in the National League. There, I said it. I cannot see any positive aspect to pitchers grabbing a bat and futilely swinging away at the plate. Pitchers do not bat at any level after high school – not college, not in the minors – except for in the National League. It is an antiquated rule from an era long gone and it skews stats and equitable competition.

Because of this gigantic difference in rules between the American League and the senior circuit, I also hate interleague play. I find it less and less intriguing each season. Other than when the Royals play the Cardinals each year, I cannot see where there is any positive aspect to teams from the two leagues playing with inequitable rules.

From a statistical standpoint, pitchers batting are a complete waste of time. Using stats from the 2011 season, designated hitters had 8,684 at bats and batted .263, had an on base percentage of .337, slugged .427, with an OPS of .764. The pitchers’ slash line in 5,069 AB is .141/.175/.182/.357. AL pitchers slash line is even worse - .119/.137/.162/.299. DHs had 303 home runs and pitchers hit 28. DHs struck out 140 times less than pitchers in 3,795 more at bats and walked 733 more times. On the other hand, pitchers did win the sacrifice bunt battle 636 to 5. Oh, how exciting! AL hitters batting 9th only sacrificed 161 times.

I think these stats clearly support my position. I just don’t see the point. Pitchers batting are worthless and boring. People who actually like to watch this insomnia-inducing baseball always fall back on their lone arguments – it’s real baseball and it adds strategy. My retort is equally intelligent – BALONEY! Watching batters hit .141 is not real baseball and any idiot can make a double switch. Maybe a tiny bit more of game management is needed but not so much that anyone who knows even a modicum about the sport couldn’t figure it out.

This whole rant was set off because MLB may increase interleague play from 18 games to 30. I wouldn’t care near as much if the leagues played by the same rules. They use the same umpires; why not use the same rules? Most AL teams use the DH as an integral part of their hitting line-up. Most DHs hit in the middle of the line-ups. To ask teams to play without, in some cases, one of their top two or three hitters is just asinine. Blubbering defenders of the NL will come back with a point about players being complete and being able to play the field – BALONEY! Most DHs can play the field but teams have younger or better fielding options at their positions. TEAMS ARE BUILT THAT WAY. They are playing by the rules. Teams should never be asked to sit one of their best players. AL teams are forced to sit one of their best hitters so a pitcher, many of whom haven’t hit since they were in high school, can step to the plate and hit a whopping .119 and an OPS under .300. How is that fair or equitable? No matter how anyone tries to defend it, argue it, twist it, or turn it, the answer is that it is not fair. Period.

Now MLB, in all of their infinite wisdom, wants AL teams to play 9 percent of their games without their DHs. Absolute nonsense! The National League needs to get over itself and add the designated hitter. If Major League Baseball wants to continue to push this brutal agenda of 30 interleagues games, then fine. Have all the games played by the same rules. And while we are one the topic of interleague play, MLB needs to realize that teams need to be playing divisional opponents in September, not teams from the opposite league. This may be the absolute dumbest product of expanding interleague play. Oh, how the Red Sox will howl the year when the Yankees get to finish up a season with the Pirates in Yankee Stadium with the divisional championship on the line with the winner not having to participate in a play-off play-in game. Whoever thinks this is a good idea (I’m looking at you Bud Selig) is an idiot.

I know I am not alone in my frustration and confusion with Major League Baseball on the topics of the DH and interleague play. I know I am not the only person who seldom watches NL games because watching pitchers bat is like watching paint dry. I know there are those who still refuse to give up on a dinosaur type of baseball and completely disagree with me. All I can say to that is that you, and the National League, are wrong and you are only holding baseball back. No other major sports have games where teams play each other under different set of rules than they normally play. There is a reason for that – it is idiotic and nonsensical. MLB, join the 21st century and rid the world of pitchers trying to hit. Do it for the good of baseball.

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