Posted on: April 4, 2012 10:48 am

Bud Selig needs to be treated fairly

Just about every baseball fan loathes Bud Selig. It's evident in the comments section of about every article that is about him. As a big baseball fan as myself, I despise the man at times like anybody else. That said, I judge him fairly as he has done one thing that has been great for baseball that no other commissioner in the last few decades can claim.

Now I'm only in my 20s, so I was spared from experiencing the infamous baseball strike that happen in 1994. Since Selig came in during the strike, there hasn't been a lockout, or a threat of a lockout at all during his tenure. He has been the first commissioner in decades to bring stability between the players and owners. Before Bud Selig came in, the last 4 commissioners from Bowie Khun to Fay Vincent had labor issues. There was a strike in 1982 that shorten the season into two halfes. Then the players constantly threaten to strike from the mid 80s to the 1994 strike when they finally walked out. The mistrust between the players and the owners and the MLB dates back to the 60s and 70s when ownership and players confidence of the league to be run smoothly was non existent.

While the players did strike briefly in 82, it wasn't until the 1994 strike when the World Series was canceled that MLB was brought onto it's knees. The image of the 1994 strike was basically millionaires arguing amongst each other on who should have more money. Fortunately, the MLB elected Bud Selig to handle negotiations between MLB and the players union, and a deal was reached before the 1995 season.

The affects of the strike was evident at the beginning of the 1995 season with poor attendance and constant booing at the most vocal players; however, as Bud Selig remained in the commissioner position, he eventually restored baseball's brand and help the sport to contiue growing. It was mostly due to keep the peace between the players and owners which is no easy task.

That is why I believe Bud Selig should be treated fairly instead of people demagoguing him. He isn't perfect by any means, especially with changest to the All Star Game and MLB postseason which I'll tackled in a later post. But for all the questionable things he has done, he has honestly kept the peace and game stable for almost 2 decades. That right there is a major accomplishment itself.

p.s.: I will go back and edit my grammar and spelling mistakes later as I am short on time this morning.
Category: MLB
Posted on: April 10, 2011 10:21 am

Cardinals need a closer first

Overall the Cardinals have several issues. Their offense has been lackluster, and if it wasn’t for the starting pitching, there is no way the Cardinals would be hanging around in most of their games so far this season. I will keep in mind it’s April, but the closer position is very ominous right now. Already Franklin has blown 3 saves with 2 against the Giants in the last two days, and one against San Diego on Opening Day. I will mention that Colby Rasmus drop the ball that caused the blown save, but keep this in mind that the ball was hit to the warning track and not an easy play. I’m not trying to defend Rasmus, but so far majority of Franklin’s outs seem to be deep pop outs.

I was at Opening Day and the first two outs were deep pop outs that were fortunately hit right at an outfielder. But if I’m a coach and I’m relying my closer getting majority of his outs as deep pop outs, I would be worried. On Friday he got his first two outs, and then struggled trying to get the third out. After last season, and seeing Franklin so far this season has made it evident he isn’t the answer to the closing position. Sadly besides his good campaign in 2009 in which he had 38 saves and an ERA of 1.92, he hasn’t been a spectacular reliever. If you look at his Seattle days, his lowest ERA was in 2001 with a 3.56. Otherwise his ERA floats in the 4s as his career ERA is a 4.04. And at the age of 38, he isn’t reliable to be a closer anymore. 

While the Cards may have offense problems, they are finding ways to get leads! Then Franklin has came and blown the lead 3 times already. As I said it is April, but if he was 8 years younger and had a better track record of closing I will be a little more lenient on him. But he is 38 with only 3 years as a closer under his belt, and that has been his career in St Louis from 2008-now. What kills me as a fan is the Cardinals seem to do this with the closer position more frequently. A few years ago the same thing happen Jason Isringhausen who cost us a lot of games during his final tenure in STL. They have no solution to fix it. The Cardinals solution to Franklin is Motte who has one pitch, a fastball down the middle. What a joke! As fans we can complain about the lack of offense production, but keep in mind Holliday is due back soon. But if our bullpen can’t close a game, then it doesn’t matter if we have the lead as our lovely pitching staff to close the game. Teams that lack offense, but did well with pitching is San Diego. Heath Bell can close games and keep that win for the Padres which is why they finish second last year. I believe The Cardinals have the talent to make a run to the postseason, but as long as the closer position is a black hole of blown saves, then the Cardinals season is doom. 
Posted on: January 6, 2011 1:18 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2011 4:06 pm

Hall of Fame voting is hypocritical

I think yesterday’s voting showed that sports writers were hypocritical in their voting. I understand that the hall of fame voters want to take a strong stance against steroids which should be commernable. I am not saying Mark McGwire should of been voted in the hall of fame. It was obvious he cheated, and I am glad he didn’t get many votes. But the voters throughout the years haven’t hold up the same integrity. A great example was Gaylord Perry. A great pitcher, but was caught throughout his career for “doctoring” his ball with various substances such as tobacco juice to vaseline. A rule initiated by MLB back in 1908 was created to prevent the pitcher from tampering the ball. In 2007, they updated it with all positions included. Since the pitcher has been accountable since the early 20th century, a player that played from the 60s to 80s should be held accountable, but he wasn’t. Now Gaylord Perry is in the hall of fame even though he violated the rules to get ahead. Since steroid players violated the rules to get ahead, what’s the difference?

I believe there isn’t a difference. I know voters have change throughout the years, but saying they are keeping the integrity of the hall of fame intact is bogus. There have been other pitchers who doctored the ball, racists, and other players who caught violating the rules and not holding up the integrity of baseball. When voting for a player to the hall of fame, I can understand the voters not supporting a player who got caught with steroid use and was in the Mitchell Report. But saying they are doing this to protect the integrity of baseball is a lie as there have been questionable players from questionable eras in baseball who are a part of the hall of fame. Also what about a player who played during the steroid era, but never failed a test or was in the Mitchell Report. 

That brings up Jeff Bagwell. Here is a player who had a career 449 homeruns, .297 batting average, and 1,529 RBI’s over a 14 year span. Those are all solid numbers, especially since he only played for 14 years and not to the upper teens or 20 years like some hall of famers have. Yet, he only got about 41% of the vote. Luckily this is his only first year on the ballot, but you can see how the voters voted this time around. They didn’t vote much for a player who was considered a power hitter during the steroid era. Even though Bagwell never failed a test, he has been linked to the steroid batters because of his power numbers. I think that is so unfortunate, and I hope that in the near future he makes the hall of fame as he didn’t cheated, but was in an era full of cheaters that have dragged him into the muck.

 I am going to contradict myself that even though I was happy that McGwire didn’t get many votes, I do believe steroid players should eventually be in the hall of fame. The reason I say that is that these players had some great years before they started using steroids. Barry Bonds is a good example of being a great player before he started using steroids. From his beginnings with the Pirates up to the early 2000s, Bonds was actually skinny and did more than just home-runs. He had a career 514 stolen bases, most of which was in the 90s. He used to be an overall good hitter and a speedy player that showed natural ability. He used to only average about 30 home runs a year when he was with the Pirates and Giants in the 90s. Otherwise he stole more bases and got more hits instead of home runs. He wasn’t accused of steroid use until later in his career. I do believe he had about 12 to 14 years of playing legitimately. I do believe that these players who got caught with steroids should be look at more closely as their entire career achievements wasn’t due to steroids, but due to their actual natural talents. 

I just want to close out that I do believe that steroid caught players who are on the hall of fame ballot should be looked at more closely. Their entire career achievements wasn’t accomplished by steroids. Some players didn’t got accused or caught until their final years. Those players took steroids because they felt like they wanted to stay at a high level, and I don’t condemn that, but those first 10 years or so of great baseball without any acquisitions or evidence of steroid use shouldn’t be held against them. I also hope that steroid players who are retired try to set an example to younger players don’t make the same mistakes they did, and all admit their wrong doings and try to help MLB stop steroid use. If these players are trying to correct the problem, and restore integrity, then I believe they are a valuable asset to baseball and should be praised for it. Finally, I hope the writers don’t connect all players who played in the steroid era to cheating as not every great player cheated.
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