Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Here's a Quick Solution

-Kevin Gregg: We want to get outs, right? There's no reason to sign this guy. He has NEVER been under 3.40 for a full year. He has been walking guys at an alarming rate or giving up homers at an alarming rate his entire career.

That was a classic line from last offseason.  I only like to re-hash old posts when they make me look smart.  But this guy is a joke.  Friday night's game was pretty silly with Gregg going after Ortiz three times.  Shows how good relief pitchers like Gregg actually are - they have a target as large and as immobile as David Ortiz is, and he still repeatedly misses hitting him.  That's disgusting.  And this is the third team in the American League East now with whom the Red Sox have had multiple brawls since 2001.  They've had multiple altercations with the Yankees, Orioles, and Rays. 

Since the historic Red Sox fireworks in 2004, the Yankees have had bench-clearing incidents with each of their AL East cohabitants, including a melee with the Rays in spring training.  This makes me think: If baseball is committed to ridding the game of violence, what can they do?

How about bringing back the traditional schedule?  Currently, these teams play each other nineteen times, which is more than enough time for each team to exact revenge on each other over and over and over again.  If you think there won't be violence between the Red Sox and Orioles in their next series later this month, you're wrong.  I'm not going to pretend that sparks don't fly outside the division, but if the Sox and Angels go at it in April, they have a few months to diffuse it.  With the traditional schedule, they'd probably have plenty of time to diffuse it anyway.

I cited the year 2001 because that's the year the unbalanced schedule started.  Due to the unbalanced schedule and the commissioner's office to perpetuate natural rivalries like Marlins-Mariners, baseball has sprung all sorts of leaks, with the popping up of intra-division brawls, especially in the second half of the season (remember how much the Reds and Cardinals love each other?) being just another symptom of a stupid problem.

Bringing back the traditional schedule would solve the following, the last of which also has some relevance tonight, because I bet you're not staying up any later than you otherwise would tonight.

1.  Intradivision violence and overall violence.
2.  The lost art of the west coast trip (something discussed last summer).
3.  Players crying about the DH despite a $180 million payroll.
4.  The cheapening of intradivision rivalries.
5.  Lack of parity in schedule strength for wild card and interleague considerations.
6.  The "foreign" aspect of the All-Star Game and World Series.  Free agency will continue to water this down, but that's somewhat inevitable.  This is a quick and easy fix.  But you're not watching tonight because it's just not as cool anymore.  There's no pride and no sense of league supremacy.  Dumb interleague games are a reason for that.

I've written it before, but only probably about two of these six problems before tonight.  But it's time to get rid of the interleague experiment and time to abolish the unbalanced schedule.


Anonymous said...

it wasn't the main point of your post, but i'm glad you brought up the ortiz altercation. some are more justified than others, but team's clearly don't care for the way he is playing the game. some instances are more justified than others, but there are enough instances total where the general sentiment seems to prevail. it's almost like he could get away with this stuff when he was a superstar, but now teams are like hey man, have to face reality. even though he's having a terrific season, not good enough to act however he wants when hitting. this is hardly anything important, but interesting to point out nonetheless, how teams seem to take note of this stuff.

- pf

Anonymous said...

as for the substance of your post, you bring up some interesting points. on the same general topic but slightly off center, the thing i think needs to be changed is last night's game. i don't understand having home field in the world series (a very important thing) decided in this one game by guys from all different teams, many of whom have no stake in the playoffs/world series at all. even the guys who do play for teams that have a stake, it's an all-star game, to recognize the players, for the fans to have some fun, for the players to have some fun, a break from the season. you can't guarantee that everyone is really playing hard because of this incentive of home field. and even if you could, teams do far too much themselves to have the best record in baseball (a good standard for home field in my opinion because of the length of the season - if you have the most wins over that sample you have definitely shown yourself deserving of home field) to have it decided more arbitrarily in this game.

Anonymous said...


I just think that you don't like David Ortiz because of his history with the Yankees.

--the Gunn

Anonymous said...

i'm not a big fan of ortiz, but only in a baseball sense and because he is a member of the red sox. i have nothing against him beyond that or particular to him personally - he seems like a generally affable guy - so it's not like he rises to the level of athlete that i have a true distaste for.

but my point is entirely separate from that. i'm just objectively noting the fact that he's had altercations with multiple teams over similar issues - this is indisputable - and that probably isn't a total coincidence. both his actions and some of his comments this season suggest that ortiz thinks he's better than he is. he's hardly the first nor will he be the last player to whom this has happened, but it is a reality.

whether or not i take note of this is inconsequential. the important point is that teams are taking note. you can get away with certain things when you're one of the best bats in the game. teams take exception when you are no longer than player but still act like it.

like i mentioned earlier, nothing overly important. but it is interesting to note.