Posts Tagged ‘bud selig’

Major League Baseball To Play Global World Series?

January 7, 2010

Never hesitant to expand the game of baseball globally, Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig is working with Japanese baseball commissioner Ryozo Kato to play a Global World Series.

The idea is that the World Series winner from Major League Baseball would play the Japanese baseball champions in a Global World Series. When and where these games would be played is still up for debate, but Selig and Kato met in Milwaukee to get the ball rolling on this concept.

This idea does have some steam as both Selig and Kato seem eager to get something done before Selig steps down in 2012. While I think the concept is great, I have my doubts as to whether or not something like this could be pulled off.

I just don’t see how Selig can make an entire team fly across the world to play another series of games after playing through spring training, a 162 game schedule, and potentially 19 playoff games. That is a hard sell.

Do you think the free agent pitcher, who is set to make maybe $60 million on the open market is really going to play in that series? Do you think a GM like Brian Cashman or Ruben Amaro Jr. is going to let his young pitchers throw an additional 10 or 15 innings?

Highly unlikely.

And lets not forget that players from the United States aren’t too keen on playing in the World Baseball Classic and that’s a volunteer event. Do you know how many players declined playing in that event for the U.S. before they came up with the final team? It was in the seventies.

My point being that the majority of the players just want to play for their team and that’s it. Players want to rest after the season and more importantly, they don’t want to risk injury, which could cost them millions in the long run.

If something like this does get pulled off, I can see where the World Series winner would send over maybe half their roster and fill the other half with minor league players. This would defeat the purpose of what the event is supposed to be–the two best teams in the world playing each other.

I like the concept, but this is going to be hard to pull off.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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Wanting On-Field Changes, Bud Selid Forms Study Group

December 16, 2009

When someone mentions the term “study group” to me, the first thing I think of is college.

I think of four or five friends getting together to study a subject they have very little interest in and after 15 minutes saying screw this and play Madden.

Hopefully Bud Selig’s “study group” is a little more productive.

The Commissioner of baseball announced today he is formulating a special committee or study group for on-field matters. These on-field matters include the expansion of instant replay, expanding the first-round of the playoffs, scheduling, the pace of the game, and the umpire’s strike zone.

Selig has put together a study group

Here are the members of the committee who will be discussing these matters:

Tony LaRussa: Manager, St. Louis Cardinals

Mike Scioscia: Manager, Los Angeles of Angels of Anaheim

Jim Leyland: Manager, Detroit Tigers

Joe Torre: Manager, Los Angeles Dodgers

Andy MacPhail: President for Baseball Operations, Baltimore Orioles

Mark Shapiro: General Manager, Cleveland Indians

Terry Ryan: Former General Manager, Minnesota Twins

John Schuerholz: President, Atlanta Braves

Paul Beeston: President, Toronto Blue Jays

Dave Montgomery: President, Philadelphia Phillies

Chuck Armstrong: President, Seattle Mariners

Bill DeWitt: Chairman, St. Louis Cardinals

Frank Robinson: Hall of Fame player and currently works in the office of the commissioner.

George Will: Political Communist

I have a couple of thoughts on all of this.

First, I love the idea, and I love the fact that Selig does his best to try to improve the game. I have said it before and I will say it again–Selig always works on improving the game of baseball.

That is one thing you can not fault him on.

I would expect that some changes come out of this meeting. Changes to instant replay and pace of the game seem to be the easiest to implement.

Pace of the game came under question when Jorge Posada seemingly went to the mound on every pitch during the postseason. I always believed that there should be a maximum of two visits per pitcher per game.

That visit includes trips made by the catcher, pitching coach, or manager to the mound. On the third trip by any of the above during a game, the pitcher has to be removed.

If you have to visit a pitcher more than twice in a game, then that pitcher is probably not having a good night.

My other thought on this is why are there no current players in this meeting? Wouldn’t the people who play the game know what changes need to be made?

If I am Selig, I would much rather get input from a Curtis Granderson or a Carlos Pena than George Will. Why on earth is Will involved in this? For some reason this guy has Selig’s ear and I still haven’t figured out why.

When I think of Will, I think of that great Saturday Night Live skit in the 80’s when they did “George Will’s Sports Machine.” Dana Carvey played Will, Corbin Burnsen played Mike Schmidt and Jon Lovitz played Tommy Lasorda.

Will kept asking Schmidt and Lasorda questions they couldn’t answer. Questions like “The precarious balance between infield and outfield suggests a perfect symmetry. For $50, identify the effect of that symmetry.”

It was just classic. That skit makes me laugh every time I see it.

The group will meet for the first time during the Owner’s Meetings next month in Phoenix.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Bud Selig To Try To Tighten Playoff Schedule

November 19, 2009

I’ll put this one in the “I’ll believe it, when I see it” category.

In a recent interview, Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said he wants to tighten the playoff schedule in 2010. Anyone who has watched the postseason recently, knows there are too many off days between games and series.

Los Angeles Angles of Anaheim manager Mike Scioscia was very critical of the playoff schedule when his Angels played just eight games in 20 days.

Say what you want about Bud Selig, but there is one thing you deny–he always addresses baseball’s problems and does his best to try to fix them.

Does he always do things the right way? No, absolutely not. Are there major problems in baseball? There is no question.

But Selig is not afraid to admit there is a problem and I really do believe he does his best to try to fix the issue. This is unlike NBA Commissioner David Stern, who believes his league is perfect and thinks a ref fixing games is water off a duck’s back.

While I believe Selig would prefer to have a best-of-seven League Championship Series played in nine days and even more day playoff games, he is not calling the shots here. The TV networks are.

See, the networks are paying baseball and not the other way around. Anyone who works in sales will tell you the client is always in control.

And if the client spends $3 billion like FOX and TBS does to broadcast baseball games, then they are REALLY in control.

If TBS feels they can get higher ratings and more money from their advertisers on a Wednesday night instead of a Saturday night, how can baseball say no you can’t do that?

And the reality is, a network like TBS uses baseball to plug their crappy shows that nobody watches like Frank TV and The George Lopez Show. TBS wants the most eyeballs possible to advertise their own programs.

That’s why there is an unnecessary off day between Game Four and Five of the AL & NLCS. FOX and TBS can get a better return on their investment by having two games on two separate days at 8:00 pm, rather than having one game at four and one at eight on the same day.

I have no idea what the compromise is between baseball and the networks. But I would be shocked if Selig gets the networks to shorten the schedule next year.

Like I said, I’ll believe it, when I see it.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @theghostofmlg

Sabathia, Rodriguez Give Yankees 3-1 Series Lead

October 21, 2009

So much for CC Sabathia not being able to pitch in the postseason huh?

On just three days rest, New York Yankees’ ace CC Sabathia dominated the feeble Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim lineup and Alex Rodriguez hit yet another homerun, as the Yankees crushed the Angels last night 10-1 to take a 3-1 lead in their best-of-seven ALCS.

The Yankees celebrate after a Game 4 win

The Yankees celebrate after a Game 4 win

However, before I get to my observations of last night’s action, I have to talk about something else first. I hate to talk about something outside the game itself, but in this case–it’s necessary.

Major League Baseball has a serious umpiring issue.

Throughout this postseason we have seen some atrocious umpiring and last night it came to a head. There were three brutal calls that is turning the baseball postseason into a circus.

In the fourth, Scott Kazmir appeared to pickoff Nick Swisher at second base, but Swisher was called safe. Swisher was tagged about a foot before the base with umpire Dale Scott looking right at the play.

I find it hard to believe he could miss something so easy.

In the same inning, Johnny Damon hit a ball to centerfield. With Swisher now on third, he attempted to tag-up on the ball. Hunter threw the ball home, but Swisher beat the play.

Swisher was called out because third base umpire Tim McClelland deemed he had left before Hunter caught the ball. Replays showed Swisher did no such thing.

This was a clear and blatantly obvious make up call.

McClelland said “In his heart he felt Swisher left early.” Really? In your heart?

I want to know what your eyes tell you, not your heart. In my heart, I am married to Jennifer Aniston. The reality is that is not the case.

I didn’t know umpires are making calls with their hearts these days.

The very next inning, McClelland was at the center of attention again. Swisher hit a ground ball back to Darren Oliver. With Posada at third, he broke for home.

Oliver threw the ball home and had Posada in a rundown. Mike Napoli ran Posada back to third and Robinson Cano, who was on second ran to third base.

Both runners were standing by third base and not on the bag. Napoli tags both runners, but somehow Cano was called safe. What???

I can handle bang-bang calls at first base. Those get missed all the time and in my opinion is completely understandable. Those calls come down to a half a second either way.

I can tolerate that.

But what I, and I think most baseball fans can’t tolerate, is obvious missed calls. It’s ridiculous.

Bud Selig really needs to address this issue. He can’t let this fester like he did with the steroid issue. Selig has a tendency to let things linger until it gets to a point where it becomes a mockery.

This is why David Stern is such a great commissioner for the NBA. Say what you want about him, but if there is an issue, he addresses it and sweeps it under the rug.

Stern had a referee (Tim Donaghy) possibly throw games in his league, which is the most egregious thing in sports. Stern addressed the issue and it really became a non issue.

To this day, I still can’t believe what a non issue it was. Do you know why it was a non issue? Because Stern cut it off at the head before it festered.

This is what Selig needs to do. He needs to address this issue and recognize that there is a problem before it gets out of hand.

And here is another thing that vexes me about baseball umpires and umpires or referees in general. Why are they all older than my dad (59)?

Why aren’t these umpires younger? Why can’t a 30-year-old be an umpire in the major leagues?

I would think younger umpires would be sharper, quicker and more attentive than a guy who is 65-years-old.

If someone could give me a logical explanation for that, I would love to hear it.

Baseball is held in higher standards in America than football or basketball (I don’t mention hockey because Gary Bettman has made that league irrelevant).

Get new umpires. Use instant more instant replay. Do what whatever you need to do.

Just fix it!

Now let’s get to the game. Here are my observations from last night:

How awful was Scott Kazmir last night? Did he talk to Steve Trachsel before the game? I never want to hear him talked about as an “elite starter” ever again.

CC Sabathia was great last night. After getting in a little bit of trouble in the fifth and sixth, he settled down and get out of the jams.

He finished strong by getting the final six batters in the seventh and eighth.

Sadly as great as Alex Rodriguez has been, if the Yankees don’t win the World Series, he will still be blamed for it. It’s sad, but is true.

I have been watching baseball for 25 years and I can’t remember a time where there have been so many pitcher-catcher meetings on the mound. It’s a trend that I would like to have come to an end.

The Angels won the game in Tim McClelland’s heart.

The Angels don’t have enough “hot” players in their lineup right now to beat the Yankees.

How bad has Juan Rivera been in this series? He is the human rally killer. His double play in the sixth ended the game for the Angels.

It’s amazing how talent can make Joe Girardi look like a good manager.

Where was Jorge Posada’s head last night? Running off the field with two outs and not scoring from second on a double. Very odd game for Posada.

Some team is going to give Chone Figgins a four-year, $42 million deal and regret it from the first day. I am not a fan at all.

Hero for Game 4 – CC Sabathia

Goat for Game 4 – Scott Kazmir

Series MVP – CC Sabathia

Game Five is Thursday at 7:57 ET.

The World Baseball Classic And The Affects On Pitchers…

January 20, 2009

Bud Selig has done a lot of good things for the game of baseball since he became acting commissioner in 1992. Selig realigned the divisions, introduced the Wild Card, helped baseball get through the strike of 1994 and was instumental in formulating a revenue sharing model. However, Selig has done a couple of things over the years that I have questioned. Home-field advantage in the World Series is decided by the winner of the All-Star game, introducing inter-league play(I believe it takes away from the World Series ), he allowed the steriod-era to happen and most recently he organized the World Baseball Classic 

Much like Inter-league play, the World Baseball Classic is good for the fans but not good for Major League Baseball. Fans are intrigued by the World Baseball Classic because not only will the World Baseball Classic give fans the opportunity to see their favorite MLB players play for their respective country but the tournamant will also give fans the opportunity to see the top players from across the world who they may not be familiar with. Remember in the 2006 World Baseball Classic, the world was first introduced to Daisuke Matsuzaka and Kosuke Fukudome.

That being said, the World Baseball Classic is a bad idea for Major League Baseball. The main reason….PITCHING. A major league pitcher whether a starter or reliever, is the most unique position and most precious commodity in sports.  General Managers spend millions on trying to find it by any which way possible. Whether it be signing a major league talent, scouting Japan or the Dominican Republic or by going to the local High School General Managers are always looking to improve their clubs through pitching. So when you have that pitching you have to take care of it like you are taking care of your baby.

The pitching position is such a precious commodity because with just one pitch and one tweak of the arm, your career could be over. Just ask Mark Prior. What the World Baseball Classic asks pitchers to do is throw unnecessary pitches at a time when most pitchers are not ready to throw….In Spring Training. 

I am sure Cubs ownership is thrilled with the fact that injury-prone Rich Harden will be pitching for team Canada, I am sure the Reds ownership are doing jumping jacks in their office because their 2 young guns, Edison Volquez and Johnny Cueto are pitching for the Dominican Republic and I really think the Twins are beyond ecstatic that their ace Fransisco Liriano, who is coming off of Tommy John surgery is pitching for the Domincan Republic as well.

How worried should these teams be? Let’s take a look at team USA’s pitching staff from the 2006 World Baseball Classic and compare their respective era’s in 2005 and 2006

Player                                                  2005          2006

Jake Peavy                                            2.88              4.09

Dontrelle Willis                                    2.63              3.87

Al Leiter                                                6.13             DNP

Roger Clemens                                      1.87              2.30

Todd Jones                                             2.10              3.94

Brian Fuentes                                         2.91              3.44

Joe Nathan                                             2.70               1.58

Huston Street                                         1.72               3.31

Brad Lidge                                             2.29               5.28

Chad Cordero                                         1.82               3.19

Scot Shields                                           2.75                2.87

Mike Timlin                                           2.24                4.36

Gary Majewski                                       2.93                4.61

As you can see, except for Joe Nathan every pitcher who tossed for team USA in 2006 had a higher era than they did in 2005. I don’t think this is just a mere coincidence. When pitchers are taken out of there routine at the beginning of the season, it affects them for the entire season.

I hope team USA’s pitching staff in 2009 World Baseball Classic fairs better in the regular season than predecessors. If not, Mr Selig will have a tough time convincing anyone, especially owners the World Baseball Classic is a good for Major League Baseball.