Results tagged ‘ Bud Selig ’

Philosophizing the Proposed Playoff Profit-Pumping Plan

On Wednesday, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal tweeted that MLB has decided to go ahead with the new 10-team playoff format starting with the 2012 season.  The official announcement has not yet been made.

The new format means that each league will have two Wild-Card winners instead of one, those with the best records after the division winners.  Those 2 Wild-Card teams will then play a one-game playoff to determine who moves on.  Please excuse me while I throw-up…

Bud Selig seems determined to be the most hated guy in the baseball universe once again.  Congrats, Bud.  You win 1st prize in my book.

Basically, a team who previously had no business being in the playoffs now gets to be in the playoffs.  In my opinion, this demeans the hard work of all the division winners.  One Wild-Card per division was already slightly annoying but two worse.

What is the point of winning your division when you now may have to play a mediocre team who may, simply by a stroke of luck, knock you out before you get a chance to play the best of the best?  At least if you get beat by a good team, you can live with that.  But to get beat by a team that should not even have been there?  That is truly depressing.

Because as baseball fans know, it is not always the best team that wins.  Injuries, scheduling, weather and pure luck play a big part sometimes.  This new format increases the odds tremendously that an average team will catch a break and push a more exciting team to an early exit.

And then think about the logistics of such a schedule.  Baseball has already struggled in recent years with weather delay’s and postponements in October; this adds a new wrinkle to that conundrum.  And how are they going to sell tickets for this one-game playoff?  Because you probably will not know who the two Wild-Card teams are until very close to the last day of the season.

But more importantly, it is unfair.  The new system caters to rich teams.  As a Phillies fan, you cannot say I am biased on this issue…we have a huge payroll.  This system gives big market teams a BIG advantage.  For example, how would you like to see BOTH the Yankees and the Red Sox, who are consistently at the top of their division and of the AL, make the playoffs every year?  You can now be pretty confident that at least one of those teams always gets in.

The Red Sox had a horrible September last year, winning only 7 games.  But under these new rules, they would have been in the playoffs anyway.  That is ridiculous.

I am sure there are plenty of people out there who think this is great.  It offers more excitement with the one-game playoff and a chance for more teams to “profit,” in more ways than one.  Because no matter what reasons MLB gives us for the change, the bottom line is always the bottom line.  That is, more ticket sales, more TV ratings…more MONEY.  It is always about the money.

I wish MLB would not insist that this is for the betterment of the game and the enjoyment of the fans.  Do not insult our intelligence…it is and always has been about the profits.

Maybe no one is really complaining yet…but just wait until the Yanks and Sox both make the playoffs for fans of low-market teams  to start crying foul.  And as always, feel free to disagree with me :O)

Thoughts to Ponder…

In my previous post, I posted a few silly interview questions I came up with to ask major league ball players that would be highly entertaining, but have zero chance of ever being asked or ever receiving an honest answer on. So instead of asking the players, I asked the readers to give their opinion.  Here are a few fun responses from Jersey Josh, a fellow MLBlogger:

- (Not that this will ever be a reality but…) Would you agree to a pay for performance structure throughout baseball instead of the current guaranteed contracts?  Why or why not? JOSH:  I think any ballplayer would pimp slap me into next week if asked that one. The union wouldn’t allow that one, they don’t have performance based vesting contracts, just “appearance” based ones (games started, plate appearances, etc).

- Which teammate, current or former, do/did you dislike the most and why?  JOSH:  Dykstra probably owes everyone money.

- In a fight between Bud Selig and Satan, who wins and why?  JOSH:  Selig would postpone the fight indefinitely on the grounds that Satan cannot pass a drug test. (#1 answer, in my opinion :O)

Thanks to Josh for playing along!

 

 

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3 Extra Home Games For Phillies

The June 25-27 series against the Blue Jays was scheduled to be held in Toronto.  However, due to security concerns surrounding the G20 Summit, the games will be moved to Philadelphia.  The Jays will still be the “home” team and American League rules will apply, which means a DH will be used.

Commissioner Bud Selig consulted both teams before making the decision, which is in the best interest of all involved.  And while the move will no doubt favor the Phillies more than the Jays, it is better to be safe than sorry.  And knowing that Selig probably hates the Phillies for beating his precious Brewers in the 2008 NLDS makes this even sweeter.  I hope making this announcement will haunt Selig’s dreams for years to come  (insert evil laugh here) ;o)


canada shirt.jpgNow we just have to hope that a crazed Blue Jays fan does not decide to hop onto the field during the game looking for a cheap, Taser Gun thrill that can only be found in silly Philly.  You know how those Canadians are; with all that free health care, danger is no obstacle to some hardcore entertainment. ;o) OHHHHH Canada!  I may have to move…

As for tickets, the Phillies will announce those plans in a few days; season ticket holder get first crack, followed by partial season ticket holders.  This should be interesting…

 

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2:00am Heroics Put Phillies One Win Away

The Phillies are 1 win away from advancing to the NLCS against the Dodgers after beating the Rockies last night 5-4.  They hold a 2-1 advantage in the series and also have the chance today to win 2 post-season games on the same day; last night’s game ended at 2:15am this morning and tonight will be a 6:07pm start time.  The Phillies finally got a prime time slot, since everyone else is done with their NLDS series.  Gee thanks, MLB, she says as she holds her eyes open with toothpicks…

This win was a true team effort with contributions up and down the line-up.  Chase Utley hit a solo homer in the 1st inning and the Rockies answered with 2 runs later that inning.  The Phillies took the lead again in the 4th with 3 runs.  It may have been more, but Pedro Feliz hit into a 1-2-3 double play with the bases loaded and no outs.  But Carlos Ruiz picked his teammate up and knocked an RBI single to give the Phillies the lead again. 

The two teams traded runs again in the 6th and 7th innings, but the Phillies took the lead for good in the 9th with some small ball.  Jimmy Rollins led off with a hit and Shane Victorino bunted him over.  Chase Utley hit a dribbler for a single and moved Jimmy to third; Ryan Howard knocked him in with a sac fly.  So the Phillies gave the ball to Brad Lidge who, despite making us all bite our fingernails again, got the save.



P9213509 Lidge.jpgLidge seems to have his confidence back, which is great news.  If the Phillies are going to win, they need him.  The pitching overall on both sides was shaky, but bad umpiring did not help either.  JA Happ got squeezed at the plate for his short 3 innings of work where he allowed 3 runs and was prematurely pinch hit for in the 4th when the potential to add on runs arose.  Happ throws pitches that move a lot in a diagonal pattern across the plate.  The ball passes over the plate and ends up in the catcher’s mitt towards the back corner of the plate.  The ump last night was watching where the ball ended up instead of where it crossed the plate and missed tons of calls.

But the ump did that on both sides and both starters were forced out of the game in under 4 innings.  Blown calls have been the story of this entire NLDS, not just the Phillies and the Rockies.  It even started with the Twins-Tigers 1 game playoff where a batter was clearly hit with a pitch but no one called it.  And it continued last night with the ball-strike calls and even the “dribbler” Utley hit in the ninth.  If you watch the replay, the ball hit Utley in the leg and therefore should have been foul.  Instead, it was a hit.  But both the Phillies and Rockies were victims of bad calls, so I guess in the end it evened out.

It does make you wonder though, how are these umpires continually allowed to affect the outcome of such important games?  Did you write your letters to Bug Selig last night as I suggested?  If so, it was a VERY big pile.  Anyone else out there tired of the bad calls and no accountability here?  Feel free to vent in the comments.

But the Phillies won the game and that is what really matters.  And they did it in the most awful conditions; game time temperature was 35 degrees, which ties for the coldest post-season game on record.  The game also took 4 hours and 6 minutes.  Yikes!  No sleep for me, but at least I am not grouchy ;O)

In other news, Scott Eyre was hurt in the game; he twisted his ankle coming off the mound.  No word yet on his condition, but we hope he is ok!

Cliff Lee gets the ball tonight and hopefully, he can repeat the amazing performance he had in Game 1.  Go Phillies!

Photo by Jenn

 

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Happ Will Pitch; Fans Will Gobble Up No-Doze

Bust out the No-Doze folks; tonight’s 10:07pm start time will be a real challenge for us East-Coasters with jobs to get up for on Monday.  But the good news is, JA Happ will start the game instead of Pedro Martinez since yesterday’s game was postponed due to bad weather.  Happ has gotten an extra day to rest and recover from being hit just below the knee with a line drive in Game 2.  He only faced that one batter so should be fresh and ready to go tonight.PA040202.jpg

Not that Martinez was a bad idea, but his recent neck/shoulder injury and the fact that he has not pitched a full game in a month were factors in the decision.  Plus, Happ is a lefty and the Rockies have struggled against left-handed pitching.  Happ has also been the most consistent starter for the Phillies all year long.  In fact, if you look at the numbers, there is no doubt:

W

L

ERA

G

GS

CG

SHO

IP

H

R

ER

HR

BB

SO

J Happ

12

4

2.93

35

23

3

2

166

149

55

54

20

56

119

C Lee

7

4

3.39

12

12

3

1

79.2

80

35

30

7

10

74

P Martinez

5

1

3.63

9

9

0

0

44.2

48

18

18

7

8

37Bottom of Form

J Blanton

12

8

4.05

31

31

0

0

195

198

89

88

30

59

163

C Hamels

10

11

4.32

32

32

2

2

193

206

95

93

24

43

168

 

Happ has the best W-L record, the best ERA and is tied for the most complete games and shut-outs.  Lee and Martinez were not with us the whole year so some stats are hard to compare, but if you boil it down to ERA alone, Happ has been the most dependable.

All that is left now is for the fans to stay awake long enough to see if Happ can lead the team to a win.  Here are a few suggestions on how to stay up until wee hours of the morning:

·        No-Doze

·        SUGAR – sour-patch kids are great for this.  You will be bouncing off the walls in no time.

·        Smack your neighbor every time a Phillies batter strikes out -  you will probably get hit back, keeping you alert.

·        Scream “Bulls…t!” really loud every time a TBS announcer gets something wrong.  Of course, this may happen a lot, so be careful you do not lose your voice.

·        Run around your living room in circles while chewing gum and rubbing your belly…send me video ;o)  I am trying to stay awake too.

·        Ice cubes in odd places…use your imagination.

·        Every time an umpire blows a call, write an angry letter to Bug Selig.  While bomb threats are probably not appropriate, do feel free to use your favorite cuss words.  And keep a stack of paper on hand…the letters may start to pile up.

·        When the announcers mention Manny Ramirez (which should happen approximately 5.6 times per non-Dodgers broadcast), drink another RedBull.

·        And if none of that works, draw up a plan to sue Ryan Howard for no particular reason and teach your children a valuable lesson in extortion techniques.

Good luck to everyone out there in their quest to defy this ridiculous MLB scheduling!  Remember, we will all be suffering together :O)  Go Phillies!

Photo by Jenn

 

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Sounding Off For JC Romero

With JC Romero’s impending 50 game suspension, Bud Selig came out yesterday and said absolutely nothing about it.  What he did say was how he’d like to be remembered as the guy who tried to clean up baseball and talked about how the criticism affects him.  In an article on MLB.com, Selig was quoted as saying, “I don’t want to hear the Commissioner turned a blind eye to this or he didn’t care about it,” Selig said in a telephone interview with Wallace Matthews of Newsday. “That annoys the you-know-what out of me. You bet I’m sensitive to the criticism. The reason I’m so frustrated is, if you look at our whole body of work, I think we’ve come farther than anyone ever dreamed possible.”  Selig also said that he would “would have to think” about suspending Alex Rodriguez, who admits to steroid use from 2001-2003.

He is going to “think” about it?  Romero.jpgIt is my impression that Mr. Selig “thinks” about very little these days, except for saving face on his part.  As for his sensitivity to criticism, perhaps he should channel that emotion into something more positive?  Say, doing the right thing instead of crucifying a man who has done nothing wrong for fear of looking soft?

The only thing JC Romero is guilty of is not dialing some vague 800# to triple and quadruple check on the supplement he took.  After Romero’s suspension, the drug company came out and apologized, saying the supplement would cause a false positive for steroids.  Then, a few days later, the FBI shut that company down for illegal practices.  Not to mention that the MLB Players union told Romero it was ok to purchase supplements, such as the one he took, at GNC.  He had multiple people check the label and all agreed nothing in it was a banned substance.

A 50 game suspension is the same punishment that would be given to an actual cheater;  someone like Alex Rodriguez, who DID take a banned substance.  And yet, Romero gets 50 games while Selig has to “think” about whether to suspend A-Rod?  Mr. Selig’s moral compass has clearly gone astray.

Not only does this hurt the Phillies as a team, but that is really the least of the issues.  What about Romero’s reputation and good standing in the community?  What about his family and friends?  What about the fans who support him?  Mr. Selig seems to take a stance of ‘screw them all, I will do whatever I want.’  Who is Selig accountable to?  Can the fans protest and have HIM suspended?  Why are some men held above the law of the land and others must pay for someone else’s mistakes?

Bud Selig has one chance to redeem himself and gain the credibility he so obviously desires; reduce the suspension on Romero.  Do the right thing.  Someone once told me that it was not hard to do the right thing; knowing what the right thing is becomes the actual challenge.  Once you know, it is easy to do what is right.  Mr. Selig:  You know.

 

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Roid Rage

I don’t know about all of you, but this latest MLB steroid leak has got me in a RAGE!  I totally feel like throwing a Snow Globe at Bug Selig.  Need some inspiration…

I think Christian Bale must have gotten the news before all of us, because as you will hear, he was more outraged that anyone.  Talk about having a bad day (WARNING: The F-Bomb is about to fly…):

104 MLB Players tested positive for steroids back in 2003 during what was supposed to be a confidential survey.  So what happens now?  Some freak decides to leak possibly the biggest name in baseball; Yankee’s Alex Rodriguez.  I am sick to my stomach with this news.  And on top of that, now will all have to sit here Thumbnail image for screaming2.jpgand wait for the other 103 names to be announced.  It is a sad, sad day in baseball. 

Everyone say it with me now:  Aaaaarrrrggggghhhhhh! (insert your own F-Bomb here)

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And It’s Still Raining…

Welcome to October on the East Coast!  Thanks to Mother Nature, the Phillies – Rays game 5 continuation has been postponed once more.  
CharlieBrown.jpg
As of this moment, they are tentatively scheduled to play on Wednesday, 10/29 at 8:37pm.  And of course, we must preface that with, “weather permitting.”  Bud Selig has made a royal mess out of this, giving the Rays unfair advantage – they get a clean field and good weather for the 6th inning, unlike the Phillies’ Cole Hamels, who had to pitch in a downpour for the 6th, giving up the tying run as a result.  Anyone think Selig is still holding a grudge over us beating the pants of his Brewers?  He should have called the game after the 5th.  He intended to have the game continued for the full 9 innings, regardless of the score anyway, so NOT stopping it in the 5th with the 2-1 Phillies lead was inexcusable.  The conditions were horrid.

Hamels can still win the game if the Phillies manage to score in the bottom of the 6th when play resumes.  But they are still having issues with runners on base.  Chase Utley came up with the bases loaded and 2 outs in the 4th and grounded out to first.  And then with NO outs in the 5th and 2 men on, Shane Victorino flied out, Pedro Feliz popped out and Carlos Ruiz followed suit.  So far in Game 5, they have left 9 runners on base and only recorded 4 hits.  They will need to step it up, like they did in game 4, if they are going to win and close this thing out at home.  And so we wait…Philadelphia fans are known for their patience J 

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Phillies Gag On The Milwaukee Brew

Sorry Phillies fans…you can put away the brooms.  Never mind a sweep…this was a game full of missed opportunities tonight for the Phillies.  Perhaps they were all indulging in that famous Milwaukee brew before the game?  The offense certainly looked drunk at the plate and the umpiring was equally horrid.  The Phillies had the lead-off hitter get on base 4 innings in a row, from the 3rd through the 6th, and only came away with one run in the 6th.  Many hitters looked anxious and swung too many times at first pitches and pitches out of the zone. 

Jamie Moyer had a rough day as the home plate umpire did not give him any consistency and was calling balls and strikes seemingly depending on his mood.  The strike zone was all over the place; an environment which does not favor Moyer’s pitching style, or anyone else’s for that matter.  In fact, I would go as far as to say that the umpire was so bad, it looked like he was paid off by Bud Selig
Bud Selig.jpg the MLB Commissioner who is also the previous OWNER of the Brewers and native of Milwaukee; Selig just happened to be in attendance tonight.  Oh, and by the way, the MLB Commissioner essentially signs these guys pay checks.  Hmmm…Food for thought.  Anyway, Moyer lasted only 4 innings, giving up 2 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks.  By the end of the 4th, Moyer had thrown 90 pitches.  Clay Condrey was put in as relief in the 5th and also struggled.  He gave up one run on 2 walks and a hit.  Chad Durbin and Scott Eyre combined for a scoreless, although adventurous, 6th inning, but Eyre came back in for the 7th and gave up a run. 

The only Phillies who appeared slightly interested in winning this game were Ryan Howard, Shane Victorino and Jayson Werth.  Werth was great in the field, even gunning down Corey Hart at first base as Hart singled but wandered too far off the bag.  At the plate, he was 2 for 4 and scored a run.  Howard had the only RBI in the game and Victorino showed his usual hustle.  The rest of the group did not make productive outs, they did not swing at good pitches and in all, they left 7 men on base.  The only positive I can see is that maybe, after having their collective butts kicked tonight, this will be a wake-up call for the team, especially the offense.  They did win the first 2 games, but scored in only one inning in each of those wins.  This has not been the explosion of offense that we all know this team is capable of.  Werth, Victorino and Howard have been carrying these guys this last month and it is about time that everyone else pitched in.

The Phillies attempted a rally in the ninth, but Pedro Feliz hit into a double play with the bases loaded and no outs.  Ryan Howard scored on the play.  But then, the Brewers manager came out to complain that Victorino didn’t slide into second base and the umpires then took the run away and sent Howard back to 3rd!  Then Carlos Ruiz proceeds to ground out for the last out of the game.  So, let me just understand this – if you complain, you get a call in your favor that was NOT originally called by the umpires?  Wow.  That decision has to come from the ump immediately after the play; not just because a manager complained that it was not called.  Not to mention, Shane DID attempt to get out of the way of the fielder – he did not interfere.  According to the rules, all the runner has to do is attempt to get out of the way.  You are not required to slide.  That was a horrible call either way.  Between this and the home plate ump’s strike zone, this was the worst umpired playoff game I have ever seen.

This 4-1 loss leaves the series record at 2-1 in favor of the Phillies, but they need to take care of business tomorrow.  As much as I like attending playoff games, I’d rather not have to see the Brewers force a Game 5.  Tomorrow’s game is at 1:07pm and I assume we will be starting Joe Blanton, although no official announcement has been made as of yet.  These guys had better stay off the sauce and get back to form!  The NLCS awaits them…all they have to do is perform to their abilities.  I will be biting my nails along with all of you tomorrow afternoon.  Go Phillies!

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