Friday, May 25, 2007

I know this is a baseball blog and that I don't know shit about basketball, but I had to call attention to this absurd column in today's Times. William Rhoden suggests that in an effort to make the Knicks more competitive, David Stern should allow the Knicks to dump four bad contracts and move under the salary cap. His argument is that the success of a big-market team like the Knicks is too important to the NBA to have them continue to be burdened by their own bad decisions. I don't think he's going far enough. Why should any of the league rules get in the way of a Knicks championship? Why should Portland have the first pick in the draft? Give it to New York. Heck, why should the NBA's biggest star be stuck in small market Cleveland? Put him on the Knicks! Stern should just mandate that the Cavs trade LeBron for, um, Steve Francis.

Monday, May 21, 2007

In the Northeast and Midwest, a four-day difference in Autumn can indeed mean a major difference in the weather. One of these years, the World Series will be played in Boston, New York, Cleveland, Chicago, Minnesota (after their new open-air stadium opens) and be struck by a freak snowstorm or heavy rains causing massive delays like what happened in Cleveland this year in early April.

Obviously, poor weather occurs in late October as well, but pushing the Fall Classic into November only increases the possibility of poor weather delaying the Classic's finish and ensures that even without snow or rain, fans who attened will be uncomfortable, particularly those with children.

Now, there is always a dither and dather that these kinds of moves are made for the ratings. Well, football gets big ratings for a lot of reasons other than the start times of its games, however, it is worth noting that the AFC Championship, NFC Championship and Super Bowl are all played in the early or late afternoon and garner monster ratings. In fact the one area where the NFL has been hurt in recent years, ratings wise, is Monday Night Football, which is the football telecast that starts the latest 9:15 EST.

And slightly off-topic, the NBA Finals generally out-drew the World Series, tv ratings-wise, during the Jordan era, the NBA fell behind, but not by very much, in the early 2000's during the Lakers run, beginning with the lowest-rated NBA Finals since the 70's, Spurs-Nets in 2003, the NBA Finals fell far behind the World Series, save for a brief bump with a Lakers appearance in the 04 Finals.

And finally, if ratings for the World Series continue to stay flat or trend downward (which they are), why not try a Sunday World Series start at 6 instead of 8:30, particularly if West Coast teams aren't involved?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

That might be the most bizarro Mets lineup I've seen in a long time. Newhan at 2B? Franco at 3B? What's next, LoDuca in CF?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The World Series is starting on a Wednesday and finishing in November.
This doesn't sound like such big news, but I think there could be a bigger story lurking in the background. All the media coverage seems to be focusing on the Wednesday start (good for baseball - ratings will increase), the November finish (bad, but is four days really that big a difference?) and to a lesser extent, the extra days rest in the earlier rounds.

The extra rest is a little troubling to me, but maybe it won't be permanent. Pushing the World Series back four days gives MLB enough room to expand the first round of the playoffs to 7 games. My hunch is that after a test run this offseason, MLB will talk to the union about expanding to 7 games next season. The schedule would work perfectly. All series would be 2-3-2 with days off after games 2 & 5. The two leagues could stagger their starts and still wind up with at least two games off before the World Series.

I think a switch to 7 games makes all the sense in the world. Obviously, God didn't divine that 7 is the perfect amount of games to deterine which team is superior, but it's clear that more games = less random. And I don't see any reason to make the first round outcome more random than the later rounds.

Friday, May 11, 2007

In honor of the Mets big weekend series against the Brew Crew, I present:

Pee Your Pants For The
Excellent article by Jeff Passan (who's an excellent writer) about Mike Marshall and his wacky pitching techniques. I understand why the baseball establishment is so skeptical about Marshall, but every time I read about him, I can't help but think that some team could gain by giving Marshall a few minor leaguers to work with. I can see why a team wouldn't trust him with their top prospects, but what would a team have to lose by sending a few C type prospects to work with? Just a few C type prospects.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Rickey going for his. Take THAT, little kid:

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Frickin Giuliani!,barrett,76566,2.html/1

He has his own 1996 World Series ring!