Saturday, January 23, 2016


Since nobody wants to trade and the only "name player" in serious negotiations is Yoenis Cespedes, the baseball pundits are forced to come up with their own story lines and what better theme than telling us how baseball should change. Some ideas are good, some are minor and some will never happen. Here are some of the more prominent ones.

** A 28-man rotating roster. 28 roster players but only 25 can be declared active for a game. Good points: more players available for the manager to use. Yesterday's starting pitcher, who wouldn't be available anyway, can be taken off the active list and replaced with a player who could help. Problems:   How do you account for accrued Major League time? It means 3 more players that need to be paid at the ML level. This one will probably kill that idea.
** Move the trade deadline to Aug 15th instead of July 31st. Good points: Teams will have a better idea if they have a chance or not and teams that do will go after players more aggressively. This one should work.
** Limit the mound visits in a game to two only. If a manager wants to change pitchers, he can stand at the top of the dugout and signal (no visit is charged). What conversations take place during these visits anyway? "How are you feeling?" "I can't feel my arm, coach. Take me out." "Can you get this guy out?" "Only if I hit him in the head." "Hey! Throw strikes." "Wow. I never thought of that, skipper."
Catchers and infielders can visit for only 15 seconds without a 'visit' being charged. If the game goes extra innings, an extra 2 visits will be allowed.
Boy, do I love this one.
** Eliminate the "save" statistic. It's the most worthless stat in baseball, including the WAR and all the cybermetic defensive numbers. I understand the need for a pitcher that can close out a game, but the stat itself is artificial. Managers won't bring in their 'closer' unless it's a save situation. The three-run limit is even dumber. A closer could face as many as EIGHT batters and still get credited for a save. Yeah, that's the way to close out a game.
Jayson Stark suggests "Relief Points." A reliever gets one point for closing out a 3-run lead, two points for a 2-run lead and three points for a 1-run lead. The best part is that a reliever in the 7th or 8th inning would also be eligible for points, providing he completes an inning. He would lose a point for each run he might allow. This gives the set-up men some well-deserved recognition and can really make three relievers interchangeable. 
I suggest we call these points "Gossages" after a reliever who actually SAVED games by pitching as many as three innings to close out a win. 
I love this one, too, but it'll never happen. Having a "closer" lets the manager off the hook when it comes to making a pitching change. 

It seems that the NL may adopt the Designated Hitter  for the 2017 season. I like this for three reasons. 
1) It helps to keep some aging stars, who can still hit but can't play in the field, in the game.Where would David Ortiz have been for the last four years without this?   2) Never mind that 99% of pitchers look ridiculous at the plate, what happens when they get on base and get hurt? I'm not swayed by the people who claim the managers manipulation of his roster is one of the most intriguing part of the game. Who are they kidding? That manager is guessing just like you.   3) It eliminates the unfairness when teams from each league play each other. One team will always have an advantage. This is especially unfair when you get to the playoffs.

It's time for pro football to get really serious this week end. Four teams fighting for a spot in the Superbowl. I don't do a lot of research for football, so here is a strictly emotional prediction for Sunday's games. 
Arizona over Carolina. I like the Cardinals colors better.
Denver over New England. I know, this has little chance but I'm rooting for one last hurrah for Archie Manning's oldest. 
If these teams win, I' be crowing from the roof tops. If they lose, I'll get lots of sympathy.

"The Cleveland Cavaliers, 30-11, have fired coach David Blatt. Wait a minute, the Cavs had a coach besides Lebron?"  -- Janice Hough
"A Berlin zoo has been feeding old Christmas trees to its elephants, presumably while they cheered on Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay. After all, they are Packer-derms."  -- RJ Currie  [RJ calls this his "Groaner of the week]
"A St. Louis sports-talk radio host announced he was shipping a 30-pound package of manure to Rams owner Stan Kroenke, who’s moving the NFL team to Los Angeles.In a startling reversal of fortune, Kroenke spent the week looking out for No. 2."  -- Dwight Perry
"Some scientists said a universe where time moves backward is theoretically possible. So finally, some good news for Laker fans."  -- Conan O'Brien

"ESPN’S OTL reports that the NFL sent three top health and safety officers to challenge the NIH on their proposed study on football and brain disease, even though the league has denied involvement. “I am shocked” said nobody."  -- Janice Hough
" It's reported that referees at the New England-Kansas City NFL playoff game forgot some game balls back at their hotel. You know it's been a bad year for NFL officiating when officials are forgetting game balls and botching an overtime coin flip."  -- Brad Dickson
" Patriots coach Belichick is extremely Social Media challenged. He recently accused a reporter at a post game press conference of being on “Snapface”; and thinks that “Tweeter” is the name of that bird on The Bugs Bunny Show."  -- TC Chong

"Former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson has endorsed Donald Trump. Maybe Iron Mike is hoping to one day have the president’s ear."  -- RJ Currie
"The largest prime number yet — 22,338,618 digits — was discovered when:

a) a computer at the University of Central Michigan spit it out. b) agent Scott Boras announced one of his clients’ next salary demand."  -- Dwight Perry
"St. Louis Rams defensive end William Hayes said he doesn’t believe dinosaurs are real. Then someone introduced him to Brett Favre."  -- Brad Dickson




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