Category:MLB
Posted on: February 20, 2009 7:32 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2009 11:30 pm
 

Bud Selig " The real shame on the game"

Bud Selig has the temerity to say that A-Fraud "shamed the game". This is the absolute height of hypocrisy. This is the guy who stood blindly as a bystander allowing this to fester in 1998 when it was widely speculated that steroids was a part of the game.

Rick Helling, a former 20 game winner, spoke numerous times about this at various union meetings. The MLBPA of course ignored his pleas because they didn't want to kill the golden goose. At least they could hide behind the excuse of "protecting" their players. This is of course untrue since the health and reputation of their players would later be sullied like never before.

This commissioner did nothing to stem the tide. He bristles at the recent criticism which was long overdue, cowardly saying the union would fight him tooth-and-nail and that prevented him from tougher measures. What a weak argument! Real leadership involves taking on those who are wrong-headed and doing what is right no matter what the obstacles are. He was too scared and lacked any moral imperative and integrity. He's a gutless fraud who only when consistently humiliated by the congress which threatened to shut down his game and impliment testing, then decided to be "proactive". Proactive? No, more like reactive. He has the gall to state he's done more with testing than anyone else. What? You've got to be kidding me! If he was left to his own devices, guys like Joey Cora would look like Hulk Hogan! You hear that brotha?

There are 103 more names on that "confidentiality" list. MLB should have a massive investigation to determine what MLB employee(s) and players(as has been levied by Radomski) gave away the information on A-Fraud. That lies at his feet since he's the head of MLB and it's offices. However, has he stepped up here? No, the coward issues a statement that A-Fraud has "shamed the game." How can he possibly make a statement like that given his background and culpability here? That's like Marv Albert speaking out against Charles Barkley. Marv, like Bud has no moral ground. He's as bad, if not a worse sinner.

I believe that Bud Selig is the worst commissioner in the history of MLB and IMHO all of N.American sports. He is 100% responsible through his complacency and ignorance for the steroid era and the absolute denigration of the 2 hallowed HR records at the hands of cheaters like Bonds. If A-Fraud breaks the record an even bigger and more exposed cheater would hold the mark. He can't feign ignorance. He's the commissioner. If he didn't know, he was more stupid than he looks. I find that next to impossible.

Selig already was responsible through his weakness, lack of diplomacy, intelligence and foresight for the elimination of the 1994 baseball season. No season in the history of baseball was ever lost and it came under his watch. He has also taken a once fun exhibition baseball game played at mid-season and made it the deciding factor in who gets home-field for the sports greatest event.

This cretin is also making 17 million a year to drag the sport through the mud on a yearly basis. Canceled seasons, steroids scandals and payrolls over 200 million have all come on his watch. A sport which once was America's game has become America's joke. It's spring training and all anyone is talking about is A-Fraud. Now, the Bonds trial is heating up. Another black eye on the 17 million dollar weasel. Next up, Selena Roberts expose. Dance around that, Buddy boy. If you can, join Dancing with the Stars.

Now Selig is talking of suspending A-Fraud. Well, why doesn't he just do the proper thing and suspend permanently the man( or whatever he is) who allowed this mess to happen and fester over the last decade? Why doesn't he just look in the mirror and say, I am to blame. Then hold a press conference and resign ASAP. No one would miss him expect those he's enabled. The sport would be stronger in one fell swoop. That would be the only honorable thing he's ever done as commissioner. Quit Bud and let a real leader and man take over. You're neither. You are a disgrace and a coward.

Well, I've said my peace here. I hope baseball in 2009 can be about what is on the field, not what went on in some bathroom or locker stall. Baseball will survive, but it should have never reached this point. One day when a real leader is running the sport, we'll truly know how bad Bud Selig was. I just hope that day is coming soon...   real soon.

 

Category: MLB
Posted on: January 1, 2009 11:04 pm
 

My salary cap solution and some other thoughts.

I'm unbelievably disgusted by this off-season's insane and quite frankly reckless spending by teams led by the Yankee$. It has tempered my enthusiasm for the upcoming year. I only hope it leads owners with some backbone to stand up and say that's enough. I know it's years away, but the next CBA may include one. If I was running the sport and could impliment my cap it would look like this...

First of all, I'd have a ceiling and a floor. There would be no wiggle room or allowances. Let's start with the ceiling shall we...

The cap would be 150 million.  Once implimented there would be a hard fast date (April 1) and all teams must be at or below that number. If not, they would be fined the amount they are over the cap and they couldn't sign any free-agents or make any trades that would't bring them under . The only moves they could make would be to bring up pre-existing minor league players. They couldn't circumvent the system by making a trade, then putting them in the minors for a short period. No deals unless you are under the cap with that deal. None. It's the minors only. If a team wasn't under by the season's end, they'd lose 2 draft picks and the same rules would apply about trades and free-agents until they hit that number or less. I'd put all the fine money in an escrow account and use it for: former MLB players medical bills, urban youth baseball programs, umpire training and buying tickets so families and underprivileged kids could go to the games free or at a reduced rate.

The floor would be 50 million. Teams under that number would be fined the amount they are under the cap. They couldn't make any trades that reduce salary, only add to it. If they were still under that number by season's end, they'd lose one draft pick and I'd put their team on a contraction list. This would increase their spending since they'd be paying a certain sum anyway. They'd also hate to lose a draft pick. Contraction would be a threat no one wants.

You know the union wouldn't go for this. So I'd make some concessions. I'd increase revenue sharing to make up the difference. I'd have the owners involved in a revenue sharing plan which would bridge the gap. After the Yankee$ spree, even some big markets may see the need for this. If the players still balk, I'd lock them out. Let's see if those big money guys will have the stomach to wait out a whole year. Lets see if those who got the short-end because of the few that make the real money will stick by their overpaid brethren. All they have to do is see how the NFL and NBA players are doing with a cap. They seem fairly content and are getting excellent deals. The cap doesn't hurt the players, it actually helps the majority. The great players will get their money, but a handful of teams can't horde them, making competition fairer.

Once this is resolved, I'd then expunge all of Bonds HR records and re-install Maris and Aaron as the HR kings. I' d move the Brewers back to the AL Central and KC to the West evening out the leagues and giving the AL West 5 teams. I'd bring the DH to the NL. I'd eliminate that inane rule about the winner of the All-star game and award home-field in the WS to the team with the best record. If they have the same record, I'd go to head-to-head, then inter-league record to break it. I'd also institute mandatory Sunday afternoon games for the LCS and WS. Saturday night's games would start @ 7:35 EST and all playoff games had to start at or before 6:05 EST during the week. This gives the youth a true opportunity to see the sport at it's height without sacrificing sleep for school. I'd also ban Clemens, Sosa, McGwire, Bonds, Palmeiro and others who took PED's from HOF ballots. Any writer who writes in one of them in protest would be denied MLB credentials indefinitely.

Baseball is a unique sport and should keep some of those things that make it special. However, the insane payrolls have to go. A cap is the only way to stop the owners from themselves. This year should be the impetus for sparking that discussion internally and finally realizing it's the only solution to equity and financial stability. My cap is just one suggestion. Sure there are flaws, but at least it's an idea. It's time for the owners to step up. You know their commissioner won't and can't. MLB is rudderless. I hope people in the front offices and owners boxes are as mad as me. I love a big market team and am disgusted. How do the fans from those small market teams feel? I'm betting disgust is a mild word to describe it.

 

 

 

 

Category: MLB
Tags: Mets
 
Posted on: December 23, 2008 5:39 pm
Edited on: December 25, 2008 4:53 pm
 

The Yankee$ are a disgrace.

Their reckless spending is disgusting. 400+ million on 3 players. All were grossly overpaid. They were because the Yankees don't care about that joke of a tax MLB tried to pass as some preventive measure. The Yankees don't care about taxes. They just care about being able to acquire players at will to feed their obsessive need for attention. Yeah, attention.

For all those who say, they just want to win, that's a crock. Since 2000(their last title) their payroll has risen from 92 million to over 220 million. That's more than double! How many world championships have they won? How many Series have they lost since then? How much money have they thrown at overrated cheaters like Giambi, Clemens and Pettitte? It's not about winning. It's about attention. They crave it like a petulant 3 year old. They're a disgrace. They're a bunch of spoiled brats whose parents encourage their bad behavior. Yankee pride? What a crock! Their pin-stripes should be green with dollar signs at the end. It's not pride, it's greed. They're not the Yankees, but rather the Bankee$.

It's official, the Yankees have won the off-season. They've won the jersey sales. They've bought themselves another backpage during the final week of the NFL season. They'll trot out Teixeira in a press conference. They'll say all the right things that delusional Yankee fans love to hear. They came to wear the pin-stripes. It's about tradition. It's about winning. However, they're lying through their teeth. It's about money and attention. The Yankees always win that game. When 2009 is over and they are again trophy less, then what? Will they use injury excuses? Will Girardi be the reason? Maybe it's the new Stadium and the loss of tradition and my personal favorite myth, the ghosts of Yankees past? Perhaps it was because of an extra west coast trip or too many rainouts? Anything, but the truth. The truth is teams win titles, not a group of mercenaries. This group should be called the Hessians.

Yankee tradition? That died in 2000 when the season ended. The only tradition they have is overspending, whining and destroying the salary structure. Enjoy the off-season Yankee fans. You'll go in everyone's favorite. However, some team will come out of the blue to ruin their season. It may be the regular season. It may be in the playoffs, but someone will. That's your new tradition. Spending money and failing to bring home the prize. Hey, there is always next year. They can then spend 500 million to lose again.

Category: MLB
Tags: Mets
 
Posted on: September 29, 2008 9:44 pm
Edited on: September 30, 2008 1:31 am
 

2008 Mets

I must admit I'm still reeling from this recent collapse. However, I am not as mad as last year at the players. I believe this year, they had a lot to overcome and most of that was due to their GM's poor decision-making and lack of forsight. This season is not to be blamed on Randolph or Peterson like last year was. This year is all on Omar Minaya. 100% of the blame falls on him.

Instead of feeling the heat, the Mets wimpy ownership gave him 4 more years after 2 collapses. That galls me to no end. They are basically saying 2nd place is good enough and losing on the last day is a success in their eyes. I find that to be a symptom of an ownership with low expectations and a lack fo respect for their fan base. They sent out a pathetic e-mail last year apologizing and guaranteeing Omar would fix the problems. He didn't. He filled one hole, but left 2 others gaping. No good Gm does that. In the remainder of this blog, I will state why I feel this is so.

Minaya needed to fix the rotation and went after Santana. That was a no-brainer and luckily the Yankees-Red Sox game of chicken aided Omar. His package was far less in terms of potential than either of those teams, but those teams lack of incentive to close the deal and the Twins desire to get him out-of-the league helped him. Nonetheless he got it done. Omar got his man, signed him, then sat back, wiped his hands and said I'm done. He made no major moves after that.

What about the pen that faded down-the-stretch? Omar's answer? Sanchez after a 1 1/2 of inactivity would get back his arm strength and be a solid set-up guy like in early 2006.  What if he failed? Well, he had Aaron Heilman. Yep, the same guy who gave up the GW HR to Yadier Molina a light-hitting catcher to lose game 7 of the 2006 NLCS. Yep, the same guy who faded down-the-stretch losing key games to the Phillies including a huge one on September 12 to start the Mets slide. I remember that game vividly because I was there. The feeling of dread when he came in was palpable. Then there was his trust in Scott Schoeneweis a converted starter who failed miserably in 2007 giving up huge HRS left and right. Omar had time to move him this off-season, but failed. This will be Omar's story the remainder of 2008. It's one of missed opportunities and failure. He also had Feliciano and Smith who when used as specialists are fine, but when misused are pedestrian pitchers. What did Omar add to this at best questionable pen? You guessed it Matt Wise. Who you say? Exactly. Then Wise pitches poorly early on, gets hurt and is gone for the year. His replacement? Carlos Muniz. Who? Exactly. Lastly, he had a good, but oft-injured and streaky closer in Wagner. Surely a 37 year old pitcher with past injury problems would hold up, right? Sure. So did Hernandez and Martinez. Where was the Linebrinks? Where were the Bell's and Lindstroms. Oh, I forgot, the latter were traded for guys like Jason Vargas and Ben Johnson. Who you ask? Exactly. Where were the Wheeler's, Mahay's or Bradford's? What about Fuentes who supposedly was talked about for Heilman? Think having Brian set-up and ready to step-in if the closer went down would have been nice insurance? You think a good GM would have a plan including at least one or 2 of these guys or type of guys. Not Omar. He was sticking by a pen which at best coming in was mediocre and had huge question marks. Good GM's don't hope for the best, they take action and insure those question marks are at a minimum. Omar failed miserably here and we all know the results.

Some will say how was he to know Wagner would go down? He couldn't, but the guy is 37 and has been oft-injured and had stated this could be his last year. He also knew Heilman's fragile psyche and Sanchez's lack of velocity. He knows of Smith and Feliciano's limitations and strengths. He knew Muniz was a Triple A pitcher and nothing else. He had all off-season to get a Linebrink, Mahay, Wheeler, Bradford, Fuentes or even a Street. He knew Colorado and Oakland both liked Aaron as a potential starter and with 3 years left on a very affordable deal, he was highly marketable still. Sell high, buy low. Omar waited and now Heilman is totally devalued. He who hesitates is lost. What about the deadline?  Wagner was aching, but perhaps could last the year. Why not get a Rauch? He was available and the D-backs got him for little. The Mets could have offered at least that much and secured him. Rauch filled in for Cordero and had 17 saves for a bad team that rarely gave him the chance. Imagine him setting up, then stepping up here? Omar didn't. Street was displaced as the A's closer. They had Ziegler and Devine. The Mets could have dangled Heilman and a lower minor leaguer. The word  was Beane wanted Pelfrey or Niese was to get something from t he Mets. It's not the end-all-be-all. Minny wanted Reyes, but did they get him? No. You negotiate. Omar leaked that to avoid making the deal. He had a built-in excuse not to negotiate hard. Instead he waited and did nothing. Then after Wagner went down and his pen bled like Chuck Wepner, he decided to make moves. Wow, did he ever! Luis Ayala the 4th best reliever on the worst team in baseball. Ricardo Rincon a Mexican league cast-off. Then finally Al Reyes that stiff who was beat up in a Ybor City nightclub and released by the Rays. You talk about your 3 amigos? More like los 3 stooges! They did little or nothing. Ayala had 8 saves, blew 2 and lost other games or gave up tack-on runs when he wasn't closing. Yesterday was yet another great example. Reyes never threw a pitch for the Mets and Rincon was hardly used and when he was, he stank. Omar's blue print for the pen was a disaster and he never made the alterations a good architect would, . In fact, he made it so bad, the whole thing came down.

What about LF and 2B? Here's where Omar's brillance shone the most. That's for Alou and Castillo's agent and banker. He gave these 2 oft-injured, aging stiffs a collective 30 million and they combined to hit 3 HRS(all by Castillo) and knock in less than 40 runs. They also left gaping holes at 2B and LF which were filled by: Double A players playing out-of-position(Murphy and Evans), a no hit, good field Triple A player in Reyes, a 38 year-old player in Easley, also oft-injured and of course that great 11 year vet Ramon Martinez. Did Omar trade for Orlando Hudson? Did he deal for Raul Ibanez when it was apparent Alou went down for the season(again)? Did he add a Randy Winn or Jose Guillen? No, he rolled-the-dice with Fernando Tatis. That was one roll that didn't come out craps, but in the end he too succumbed to injuries and wound up on the DL, or as I call it, Club Met.

Finally, there was the managerial situation. Randolph did nothing down-the-stretch in 2007, his players disliked him and had little/no  respect for him, but he stays? Why was he allowed to remain? Then after failing in the first 2 months, he was continually told he was their guy and only stopped being that when he cracked and showed how paranoid and utterly incompetent he was. His incredibly idiotic and misguided remarks about race, the fans and his own network did him in. To the Wilpon's the record didn't matter, it was the bad publicity. So in the middle of the night Omar flies cross country to fire him. The Mets were scorned and laughed at by the media and late night talk show hosts for over-a-week. Again, that's on Omar and his bad judgment.

So after all these errors, 2 collapses, the Randolph fiasco and the fact in 4 years his team that has had payrolls ranging from 110-140 million, they have: one playoff appearance, one  90- win season and 1 playoff series victory. Instead of being forced to earn his pay and be held accountable, ownership gives him a 4 year deal, pats him on the back and tells the fans we are on the right path. What?

Either the Wilpon's are the dumbest people on the planet(hard to imagine with Hank Steinbrenner around) or they just don't care. Omar tells them what they want to hear. He extolls a farm system which he depleted so much, he couldn't make moves by his own admission. Not one farm club made the post-season. He whines about injuries when the Rays and Red Sox had far more serious ones and addressed their problems through trades and promotions from actual systems with talent. He fed the Willingpon's a line of crock that they bought. They are owners who care more about perception and building a stadium dedicated to another team 3,000 miles away then bringing home a championship to some of the most loyal fans in professional sports. IMHO, they spat on the fans and then patted them on the head. Their arrogance knows no bounds and the only word to describe it is hubris. The only word to describe their extension is insulting.

This 2008 season that saw the best pitcher since Seaver pitched for the Mets(Santana), 3 players accumulate 100 RBI(Wright, Beltran and Delgado), score 799 runs and overcome a 34-35 start,  ended in utter failure. Don't blame the players as much as the architect who was not adept enough to give the good ones the help they needed. They deserved so much more. We the fans deserved so much more. In the end Omar didn't get what he deserved( to be fired) and every Met fan should be irked. I am and this is my response. 

Category: MLB
Posted on: July 27, 2008 3:05 pm
Edited on: July 27, 2008 3:11 pm
 

Salary Cap

Waiting for Thursday's trade deadline to pass has made me mull over a salary cap again. As I watch teams like Pittsburgh fork over talent for prospects and as salary dumps and watch Oakland trade 2/5's of it's starting staff to keep payroll down, I become more and more convinced it is the only solution. I know the MLBPA will fight it to the death and they will. However, in the end it will not stop the best players from earning big money. It will simply balance out the talent between the teams and not create a league were 6-8 teams can stock-pile talent. MLB could compromise by giving the players more revenue sharing and bolster their pensions.

The luxury tax is a joke. There must be a hard-fast cap. With the cap should come a floor. That way teams like Florida, Tampa, KC and Pittsburgh can't have 25 million dollar payrolls. I suggest starting @ 125 million at the top and 50 million @ the bottom. Then raise the floor and keep the ceiling. No team should be spending more than 125 million. No team should spend less than 50 million.

People will say, look at Florida and Tampa this year. They're at or close to the top of their divisions. That's true, but it took Tampa 10 years to be competitive. That's 10 years of the #1 or at least top 5 pick in the draft. Florida often was in the same boat. Sure Florida won in 2003, but outside of them who has won the WS? Let's take a look, shall we...

2007- Boston

2006- St.Louis

2005- Chicago(AL)

2004- Boston

2003-Florida

2002- LA/Anaheim

2001- Arizona

1998-2000- NY Yankees

 

That means in the last decade 90% of the champions have been from large market teams( St.Louis certainly isn't a small market). Some of those teams had sane payrolls, but they all(except Florida) could or were willing to spend money to get talent and weren't hamstrung by cheap ownership or poor attendance and TV revenues. Since the 2000, the payrolls have gone insane. The Yankees had a 92 million dollar payroll in 2000, now have one that exceeds 200 million! They just went out and added 10 million + to that! How many teams can afford to do that? 10 maybe? You are looking at the: Yankees, Mets, Angels, Dodgers, Cubs, White Sox and Red Sox for sure. Then perhaps the Cardinals, Braves and Tigers. That's 11 out of 30. That's not a good % folks.

A major problem is the commissioner Bud Selig. He is simply horrendous. The guy has allowed a strike to wipe out a season + and also oversaw the greatest disgrace to the game since the 1919 Black Sox scandal. He's spent more trips to Congress then any ball park. The MLBPA has humiliated him over-and-over. He cannot get anything through without kissing their tuchus. So as long as he is there, this won't happen.

When will it happen? When the owners grow some and bring in a guy who can. I say the perfect guy is.... Rudy Guilaini. Who was a tougher prosecutor than him? Who has more respect as a leader? He could come in and get it done. He loves baseball(though he would be forbidden from wearing his Yankee cap) and knows how to get things done. All will benefit. Salary dumps will still occur, but far less frequently. Baseball would have 30 teams capable of adding, not 11 or 12. It would be better balanced and the playing field evened.

Well, that's it for now on talkin' baseball. I hope this blog gave you some insight and perhaps sparks some conversation. I'm more than happy  to read your comments pro and con. After all this is talkin' baseball. Play ball!

Category: MLB
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com