Tuesday, May 30, 2006

What you trying to prove?

First of all I would like to congratulate Barry Bonds on hitting home run number 715 and overtaking the babe to take the number two spot on the all time home run list.

Second of all I would like to instruct the world's media and any baseball fans who have a problem with Bonds to wake up and smell the Vino.

Seriously, I'm fed up with hearing "he's so arrogant", "he is a bad role model", "he is a drug user" etc etc etc. What if he is all these things? He has just hit number 715 and there is nothing you can do about it.

Do you know what I think? I think you are all scared.

I think you're scared that because this man has surpassed the Babe with his home run record that it will somehow endanger the legacy of Mr Ruth.

I think you're scared that Bonds has somehow cheapened Ruth's career and nothing could be further from the truth. The media, the fans, and indeed Barry himself has made sure that he will never be remembered as the enigmatic and revolutionary player that Ruth was.

Bonds' manner with the media and subsequently the way those behind the cameras portray him means that he has become the symbol for everything that is wrong with the game.

If you hate Bonds, then fine, go ahead and hate him, but reiterating the same points over and over again will not take away the fact that he has hit more home runs than the biggest player to ever play the game.

It's futile and petty to keep preaching to the converted.

One hundred years from now it may well be the case that every statistic that the Babe ever achieved could be completely destroyed by better players but we all know that it won't really mean a thing.

No one could ever take away what the Babe means to the game and what he did for the sport. His legacy will live on and will remain one of the biggest chapters in the book of baseball.

So please all you Bonds haters, shut up, you've made your point and the vast majority of us agree with you.
If you really don't like Bonds stop giving him all the publicity and attention that he wants.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Colorado v Toronto : Whoop-Dee-Doo

Its that time of year again and interleague play is upon us which means another diatribe on how much I hate it.

What is the point of interleague play exactly? In most games its a two game swing as you not only win but cause someone else in your league to lose, thus doubling your advantage. When teams like New York and Boston play this becomes even more significant but when you have The Yanks playing The Mets all you get is a win, you don't press home any advantage against a rival.

Basically, interleague play is just a gimmick. It doesn't actually add to MLB, all it does is boost PR with the handful of big local matchups, but for every Bay Area or I-90 match up there are a dozen Colorado/Toronto or Boston/Philadelphia games that no one really cares about but are merely there for the sake of interleague play. Also, so much is made of the ChiSox v Cubs but do you really think the Sox would rather beat the Cubs or do over the Twins, Indians or Tigers?

Another thing we lose out on are the non-divisional rivalries. Because of the added fixtures involving teams in the other league, sides with old rivalries based on decades of competition either in the old two division scheme or post-season play, don't see each other as much as they maybe would if interleague play didn't exist. Being a Toronto fan its bad enough the Leafs don't play the Wings too often anymore but the Jays don't face the Royals that much and those games always used to be interesting (well, when the Royals weren't the worst team in baseball at least).

I know that people will talk about how attendances are always high during interleague but is there a practical benefit to it? Does anyone else miss the lack of a track record to look back on when teams match up in the World Series? I know free agency means that a lot of players have spent time in both leagues and there is a level of familiarity anyway but its not the same as two teams being familiar with each other. Also, the World Series used to be the best team in the AL playing the best team in the NL but now that is slightly sullied because you are not just going to face teams from your league but a selection of teams from the other and who knows how good or bad your luck will be in terms of who you get to play? You think the likes of St Louis and Houston aren't grateful for games against KC? Similarly, you know Washington and Florida aren't best pleased with seeing the Yankees and BoSox. Its all a crap shoot. If we're going to have teams play interleague then why not just go the whole hog and have everyone play everyone at least once? Its the only way we can make this fair as right now the schedule is always going to benefit some teams more than others and do we want Wild Cards decided by virtue of one team having to play Florida and one getting San Francisco? I'd rather the playing field be level.

So whats so good about interleague play? It messes up the schedule, skews the standings, cheapens the World Series, takes away from more traditional rivalries and generally ruins the balance of play but I guess so long as there are bums on seats and the people of New York are happy then its OK.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

How's Delmon Doing? He's Very Lucky

Delmon Young has been suspended for 50 games for his petulent bat throwing antics and all I can say is he's very, very fortunate thats all he got. He also has to do some community service too (50 hours) but is this really the sort of message we want to send out? I'm sure it won't help ease the friction between minor league baseball and the minor league umps.

I have long been a fan of Mr Young and have been going on and on for a few years now as to just how good he could be (I did the same thing with Rick Ankiel so a jinx may be in action) but even I can't believe he wasn't done for the year. Not only has he thrown a bat at an umpire but he also has a history of bad conduct towards the officials and he needs someone to really give him an attitude check before he blows his career away before its even started.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

About Time!!

At last after over four years of limbo and abuse the Nationals/Expos have finally got a new owner as a group headed by real estate moguls Theodore and Mark Lerner secured the team for a reputed $450m.

The group will likely take full control of the team after the owners have their quaterly meetings on the 17th and 18th of May.

Maybe now the team can actually look to build upon the young nucleus they have and put the infrastructure back together so they can get back to being the organisation that produced the likes of Randy Johnson and Moises Alou amongst many others.