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OK Baseball, You've Had Your Fun

July 12, 2006

Enough already. You’ve had your fun. Can we go back to the old arrangement now, please?

Of all of Bud Selig’s bright ideas, the home field advantage in the World Series being determined at the All-Star Game brainchild is the lamest. It was lame the second it came out of Bud’s mouth, it was lame on the chalkboard, and it’s lame now. Lame, lame, lame, lame, lame.

And before giving in to the natural tendency to blame Trevor Hoffman for the National League’s latest mid-summer humbling, and of course Phil Garner, who’s pre-game poop talk cost him all claim to the name “Scrap Iron” from here on out, let’s give credit where credit is due.

Bob Brenly and Joe Torre, geniuses both, are the two guys. They’re your culprits. How in the world do you run out of players in a baseball game without sustaining a single injury? Absolutely unreal. Brenly and Torre are your guys. Never let them forget it.

Look, there is absolutely no relationship between the All-Star Game and the World Series. Not now, not ever. Nor should there be. You don’t improve one fine tradition by messing with another. It’s a retarded concept. Yeah sure, the Series is still great, seemingly impregnable from attack, but this All-Star Game deciding home field for the Series thing has got to stop right now.

And what do you say we adios interleague play as well, while we’re at it. And the Tampa Bay Devil Rays too. Whose idea was the Tampa Bay Devil Rays? If upon further investigation, I find that Bob Brenly and Joe Torre are responsible for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays too, so help me, I don’t know what.

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays exist solely to develop and trade their best players for other teams’ crap. Their supposed best players, anyway. The franchise serves no other purpose whatsoever. Phil Garner can have Aubrey Huff. A perfect reward for losing the All-Star Game.

On the bright side, according to Bud Selig, baseball is in its “golden age.” Cool. That’s gotta be a good thing, right?

Besides, if Selig wants to abandon the “renaissance” he’s been saying baseball is in since the Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa chest bump was in vogue, in favor of “golden age,” why the bleep not. Knock yourself out, commish.

With or without home field advantage, the NL clearly needs something. Or someone. Like oh, I don’t know, how about a league president? A leader to stand up for the group of teams once known as The Senior Circuit. What’s Bill White up to now?

No, it’s not an original idea, but it’s a better concept than victory at an exhibition deciding home field for the most important sporting event on the planet. The actual most important sporting event on the planet, by the way…

Talkback: Your comments are always encouraged.

Police Blotter: So it looks like Barry Bonds is going to be indicted for some crime or other. That's nice. Whatever. I'm just glad that the origin of the old grand jury "would indict a ham sandwich” crack has finally been reported. That’s the real story here.

Let’s give it up to the New York Daily News, for first publishing the 1985 line, coined by former New York State chief justice Sol Wachtler, and to sports writers Michael O’Keefe and T.J. Quinn for mentioning it in a recent piece…

A Matter of Opinion: Jon Heyman, in his SI.com Daily Scoop column: “In any case, it's too bad for Philly that it couldn't pull off the promising three-way trade talked about this winter that would have sent Abreu to Baltimore, Miguel Tejada to Houston and Brad Lidge, a bigger difference-maker than Nixon, to Philadelphia.”

Uh, hello? Brad Lidge, “difference-maker?” For the opposing team, maybe…

Game Not Over: A little perspective wouldn’t be a bad idea right about now. Eric Gagne is not going anywhere. His doctors are here, his trainers are here, and for the moment, his broken right wing is here, in Los Angeles. What, you think some other club will be handing out millions of guaranteed dollars with the hope, that maybe, with a little luck, Gagne will pitch in 2007. Like, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, perhaps. Come on.

The Dodgers will be the first to know about Gagne’s condition, every step of the way. They’ll even have an idea while he’s still under contract. Chances are, Gagne will be offered some form of a deal, incentive-laden or otherwise, to rehab with and eventually pitch in some capacity for his old club. So in the meantime everybody, let’s just keep the histrionics to a minimum…

Forget Greg Maddux: If Barry Zito or John Smoltz can’t be had, Paul Byrd is a nice solution. And Roberto Hernandez for the pen. Relatively easy deals to make…

Props to the Pads: As much as we love to belittle the organizations to the south, we have to complement the San Diego Padres for a job well done. Of course, we’ll continue to rag on the Angels as long as is humanly possible, but Padres, you da men.

As of right now, today, the Padres are the best team in the NL West, and the second best team in the whole league, behind the Mets. There's no way to understate their three-month start. San Diego’s pitching staff, top to bottom, beats the rest of the NL’s, their offense is improving, and they know they can come back to win late. The Dodgers cured them of whatever insecurity existed there.

That said, it's a two game lead, and the first half doesn’t mean squat. Anything can happen in the second half, and probably will. The general managers control a ton. May the best man win…

Covergirl: Man, was I excited to hear that Fergie was on the cover of next month’s Cosmo; I raced out to get one. And I’m thinking, whoa, the last I saw of Fergie, he was tossing his helmet to the sky after homering against Houston to bring the Dodgers back from three down with three to play. 1980, I think it was. And now he’s this hot chick…

Oblique or Obtuse: It hasn’t been widely reported elsewhere, but BaseballSavvy.com has it under pretty good authority that the most popular excused-absence excuse in baseball today, by far and away, is the “strained oblique.” “Flu-like symptoms” and “visa problems” have dropped to two and three respectively…

Statue for Sandy: The Koufax in bronze campaign continues. Please Vote “Yes on 32.” And tell a friend…

Remember, glove conquers all….




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