The Same?

April 9, 2009

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Loving to see Baseball back.  But am I back in love with my Boston Red Sox?  As many of you guys know, I boycotted the Red Sox after the trade of Manny Ramirez.  I felt like both the Red Sox and Manny were to blame, but in no way should it of ever come to the trade of the greatest right-handed hitter in our modern history.  Regardless, I boycotted the team from July 31st on, of course I was watching in the ALCS, but held strong to my boycott.

Going into 2009, I was ready to be a fan again.  I got myself all set up for last night’s game, cheese and crackers, frosty glass, and tuned into Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy for the first of many Red Sox telecasts.  

But something was lacking.  Either 1 or 1a of the brightest lights in baseball (Yankees are right there) Boston has a HUGE personality for the superstar, a sold-out stadium every night, and a monstah payroll.  

Gone are the personalities, the talent, the flaymboyance.  Pedro, Manny, Orlando Cabrera all out the door.  Derek Lowe is in the ATL and Ortiz should put his Boston real estate on the maket as soon as he can.

Bottom line is this, the Red Sox have turned into a machine, a cookie cutter team that is good, but we are yet to see if they will produce a Championship.  Something that Pedro, Cabrera, and Manny all did in a city that hadn’t tasted the World Series trophy in 86 years.  Manny twice.

The Major League Baseball Season is a novel, so would you want it to be a 900-page look into Karl Marx thoughts or To Kill a Mockingbird?

I will have to wait and see.

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World Baseball Classic

March 9, 2009

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I really like the WBC.  I am a huge; no make that an obsessive fan of Soccer’s World Cup, Olympic basketball, and the Hockey World Championships.  Anytime you can pit the best players in the sport against each other with the entire world watching, it cannot be a bad thing.

Sports are so world wide, that you can’t define a sport by one country.  Sure Canada is hockey land, but the Canadians didn’t even medal in the 2006 Olympics.  Sports are an interesting way to look at Globalization.  The roots can be traveled to the Dream Team of 1992 fame, the mega-stars who toyed with European teams and promoted the heck out of the “sporting business”

That is why we shouldn’t be shocked that the good ‘ol, apple pie eating, US of A didn’t win the World Baseball Classic last time, an honor conquered by the Japanese.  Sports are forever universal.

But globalization aside, how can we make the WBC better, a better draw to the average fan?  Most MLB teams do not like the idea of their big stars facing live action so early in their season.  Teams are wary of an injury that may cripple their chances for October glory.  All true statements.

I think owners are the most cautious when it comes to pitchers.  When the WBC rolls around, it is played so early in the spring, that most fireballers are just getting warmed up.  All in all, owners are more willing to let field players play because the WBC simply serves as Spring Training with a little bit more luster.

So here is the solution, all pitching should be minor leaguers, players trying to catch on, and college or high school phenoms.  Let the WBC be the defining moments for up and comers.  How could MLB say no to a young 19-year old college kid who no-hit the Dominicans and now is on the bump in Fenway?  They absolutely couldn’t.   

That move would make the WBC relevant and something to look forward to.