Halfway through the 2014 MLB season I have a few thoughts.
1. Milwaukee belongs in the American League
2. Houston belongs in the National League
3. MLB should not outsource promotion of its game to its individual members. Though revenues, including television, are at an all-time high, the game is now a regional game. One has only to look at its demographics and official and unofficial polls showing NFL is now the official pastime of the U.S. Mr. Selig; this is not okay. Even in multi-team towns such as New York you find regionalism. Many Mets fans will not watch a Yankee game unless it is versus the Mets (a point about this later) and will in some cases refuse free tickets to a Yankee game because it is not their team. Take this example and apply it to the two faux leagues (a point about this later) and their teams and you have regional affiliations to specific teams but not a greater hold by an organization.
4. Interleague is played out. It was hokey to begin with but I was able to forgive it because it drew casual fans to the game, helping it grow. The casual fan is gone and interleague is still around and all-consuming; it needs to go away.
5. Though I protested loudly against it I am now a strong proponent of the expanded playoff format. Although, it gives my Yankees a false sense of accomplishment; blow the thing up already and admit we do not run an adequate farm system with regard to development.
6. MLB reminds me of New York, New York. When I was a child there were two leagues, National and American, and the two were separate but under the same house. Chest high strikes in the American League. Wider strike zones in the national league. Higher scoring in the AL and lower ERAs in NL. When I was a child New York, New York, consisted of five boroughs. Today, there are Three-and-a-half. 1. Manhattan/Brooklyn/Queens-West 1/2. Queens East 2. Bronx 3.The separatists (Staten Island). The past 20 years has seen the homogenization of the boroughs to the point Brooklyn is no longer a residential haven with affordable living but is Manhattan East and Western Queens is Brooklyn north. Sad, there is no distinction. The MLB has two leagues in name only; it may as well adopt the NBA format and call it western and eastern conferences. PLEASE DON’T; I MAY BE A LITTLE OVER DRAMATIC. That would annoy me more than Eastern Athletic Club getting rid of its basketball gym; it has two unique features differentiating it from its competitors, basketball gym and pool, and it wants to rid itself of one to be more like its competitors while charging substantially more than its competitors; >>>!!!! Okay, back to MLB.
7. I expected a Tony Gwynn tribute.
8. Bring Junior back!!!!!!!!!!!
9. Can’t wait to read Ken Griffey Sr.’s book.
10. Go Yankees!
I guess I had these thoughts before the season too.
July 18 Revision
I forgot the reason I began this post was to rant about the All-Star Game.
It’s not a true all star game if everyone has to play. This is not little league, everyone does not have to play and everyone does not need representation. There should be little fight from the players on this front as you’re not losing earnings because the number of all-stars would remain static but instead of forcing a representative from every club you force representation of Game’s actual stars. How many stars are denied every year due to this anti-meritocratic rule requiring each club have representation? Ridiculous!
Going back to an earlier point; everyone selected as an all-star does not need to play. You got your bonus now sit your butt down and enjoy the show. I want my starters (as long as the fans didn’t screw up the voting) to play a good seven to nine innings.
If there is to be a requirement to make the game count it should call for managers managing the game as though it were a game and leaving the positing players on the field. I’ll accept limiting the starting pitchers to five innings; my one concession.
As a child I was disappointed when Junior, Mattingly, Biggio, Bagwell, Frank Thomas, Bonds, Jackson, and others didn’t play the full game (yes, I’m imposing upon each of them) and as an adult I’m disappointed when Puig, Trout, Jeter, Abreu, Cabrera, Harper, and others don’t play the full game.