In a perfect world, one would not begin the New Year with an apology. But here goes: I've made plenty of jokes in the past about the Rally Monkey. I had never written about New York Gov. David Paterson until zinging him in my Christmas column for improperly accepting Yankees World Series tickets. Problem was, never even thinking about the fact that Paterson is African-American, I trotted out another Rally Monkey joke. Plus, I referred to him "Peterson" instead of "Paterson." A couple of readers rightly jumped on me, and all I can say is, I apologize for the typo in his name, and especially for the unintended tasteless joke. Didn't mean it that way, but that's how it turned out, and, ugh. My bad, and my regrets. On with this week's letters. ...
FROM: Rick B.
Re: Christmas tidings for those naughty and nice around MLB
As an ex-New Yorker, I don't think Gov. Paterson has served the state well. However, the rally monkey to me came across as racist. I don't know what you meant, but it's what and how it was said.
See above. That may be the last Rally Monkey joke for me.
FROM: Eric B.
A. NY Governor is David Paterson, not Peterson. B. James Brown lyric is, "Sometimes I feel so nice, I want to jump back, and kiss myself." You conflated I feel good with the true lyric and jump up instead of back. Don't channel the Godfather unless you can feel it.
I thought I was feeling it. Turns out, maybe I really didn't know what I was feeling that day.
FROM: Andrew S.
Hope your Christmas was a joyous one for you and yours, Scott. Always enjoy reading the musings from one of baseball's tireless columnists! My Christmas wish for the O's: Don't mortgage the farm system, but somehow find a way to make a splash still this offseason if for no other reason than to show the big boys in the AL East the Birdies are coming back to roost.
I could feel the nostalgia and frustration in Orioles owner Peter Angelos' statement Wednesday congratulating former O Robbie Alomar for election to baseball's Hall of Fame.
FROM: Kurt K.
First off, a Merry Christmas to you and your family! I normally don't respond to articles, but I wanted to let you know that your "Christmas tidings for those naughty and nice around MLB" article was great! It was very well written and I really like you stressing the importance of class and sportsmanship. Those are some of what is great about the game of baseball. These things seem lost in the other pro sports. Anyway, keep up the good work. Merry Christmas from Switzerland, Kurt.
If it's up to me, the behavior of Detroit's Armando Galarraga and umpire Jim Joyce will be remembered for a long, long time. The way each man handled such an unfortunate situation was the highlight of the 2010 season.
Re: If playoffs ain't broke, don't fix 'em with expansion
It is either playoff expansion or a salary cap. I guess Bud Selig sees this as an alternative because he knows the league will never have a salary cap, at least not under him, and it allows small-market teams to make the playoffs.
It's too easy, though, isn't it? And this solution only patches a surface wound. No depth there.
FROM: Terry F.
Baseball has a tight postseason? How do you figure? Baseball teams playing in the World Series have more off days than they have scheduled game days in October. How is that a tight schedule? I would characterize it as a laid-back schedule. Teams play when they get around to it. Personally, I believe that baseball's current post-season is a total disaster.
I was writing in relative terms, Terry. It had been tight up until a couple of years ago, and comparatively speaking, it's far more tight than, say, the NBA. But that was part of the point of the column, too: It needs to be tightened even more, and it needs to REMAIN tight.
FROM: Frank D.
As usual, terrific writing and a very good solution. However ... unlike you, Selig isn't competent, nor logical. He is the worst commissioner in the history of North American sports. This cretin has canceled a season, stood idle while steroids have ravaged the sport's credibility and records and has allowed for unprecedented spending without a real obstruction, tipping the balance in favor of a handful of teams. He has taken the All-Star Game, once a fun event, and turned it into a game where an exhibition determines home-field for the sport's crown jewel. He's a weak, incompetent joke.
Your punches are harder than anything I saw thrown in The Fighter last week.
The problem with baseball IS the Yankees & Red Sox. I was once a big-time baseball fan. Seeing other teams compete every year made the game fun and varied, but over the last 15 years, seeing the Yanks & Sox every post season truly made the game boring. Is their rivalry and press coverage any different than say, Brangelina? Or Kate Gosselin? Lindsey Lohan? Over-saturation kills everything.
Baseball seems to think that shoving those two teams down our throat is good for the game. It's not. I'm a football fan first now, primarily because in any given year, with some good draft choices, a team can compete for a playoff spot and be contenders for a long time. Sadly, no matter how well the Indians, Padres, Royals or Pirates draft, their window to compete is short and their rebuild to contender status long. Baseball = boredom these days. Give me the NFL.
I think the next poll we do should be asking how many folks think the Yankees and Red Sox need to check themselves into rehab, prefarably in an adjoining room to Lohan.
FROM: Christopher from Toronto
Love the piece and I think you're bang on. Leave things the way they are. If one game could tell us something, the season would be 82 games.
I'll have you know that I think "bang on" is a very underrated term that I wish were used far more often. "Wanker", too.
FROM: Nathan P.
Money will ruin the baseball regular season one day. How do you think guys get paid $150 million contracts over five years? It's all about advertising. The NBA ruined its regular season; the season should be shortened to 40 games. The NFL will expand to 18 games, which is way too long. Just accept it. It's too bad that's the way it is: a pennant used to mean something. Now most people don't know what a pennant is.
I think I had one hanging on my bedroom wall once upon a time. ...
I am a huge fan of baseball. But, as far as expanding the playoffs go, let's get real. This isn't hockey or basketball, where every lame team gets in.
Or, perhaps, the NFL, where the Seahawks not only qualify, but host a playoff game with a 7-9 record? Interesting how there is very little outrage about that.
FROM: Frank L.
Re.: Cleveland loses a true, rare legend in Feller
Your article was right on after the initial sentence -- but the opening was insulting. To mention a hero in the truest sense of the word [Bob Feller] with a draft dodger [John Wayne] is very distasteful. Marion Morrison had no place in that article. You have really ruined my day and possibly many other vets of WWII.
A Feller fan since 1937
Say what you want about Marion Morrison. But where Wayne is concerned, I was simply comparing Feller to some of the same values people in general associate with the characters Wayne played. That part of it holds up.
FROM: Jerry K.
As a lifelong Indians fan whose first game in 1946 at age 8 was pitched by Bob Feller, I say you summed it up perfectly. Especially as to CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee, who are not bad guys but are corrupted by the owners' greed.
Alex, I'll take "Corruption for $100 million plus, please". ...