April 7, 2003
Snowing in April
First of all, thanks to everyone who emailed me to say they enjoyed reading the "chat" session between Craig Burley, Kent Williams and myself yesterday. It's definitely something we'll do again in the future (and other bloggers out there too maybe, if they're interested in spending 3 hours in a chat room with me) and I'm glad so many of you liked reading it.
Yesterday was April 7th and a bunch of scheduled games got canceled...because of snow! If you think that is weird, check out some of this stuff...
And then you have this dandy...
Pedro Martinez - 15 IP, 0.60 ERA, 0 Wins
There is something that just aint right about that.
Boston Runs Scored:
When Pedro starts - 4, 1
When anyone else starts - 9, 7, 14, 8, 12
When Pedro starts - 27.00 ERA
When anyone else starts - 3.96 ERA
Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling and Greg Maddux have combined to make 8 starts and they have 0 wins.
B.J. Ryan has pitched a total of 2 innings this season and he has 2 wins.
No wonder it is snowing in April.
As long as we're looking at the pitchers, we might as well check in to see what the hitters are up to...
Reggie Sanders - .444/.474/1.111 with 108 Homers, 297 RBI, 108 Runs and 216 Hits
Last Year: .250/.324/.455
Jeromy Burnitz - .318/.375/.591 with 162 Doubles and 189 Hits
Last Year: .215/.311/.365
Shea Hillenbrand - 347 RBI
Last Year: 83 RBI
Rey Ordonez - 216 RBI
Last Year: 42 RBI
The Detroit Tigers are on pace for:
162 Runs Scored
972 Runs Allowed
.133 Batting Average
.179 On-Base %
.183 Slugging %
54 Caught Stealing
1,593 Hits Allowed
243 Homers Allowed
405 Doubles Allowed
108 Triples Allowed
Look on the bright side though, it can't get any worse, right? RIGHT?!
I am pretty sure that if you check back in about 3 weeks, the Alex Gonzalezes won't be slugging 1.000, Greg Maddux will have his ERA back in triple-digits and Shea Hillenbrand will no longer be on pace for 347 runs batted in. I am not sure, however, that the Tigers won't still be OPSing at around .400! (Just kidding Tigers fans...well, sort of).
Okay, enough with the silly stats...
I won't go into what he talks about, because you should go read it, but I will give my opinion on the DH.
First of all, anything I say should be prefaced by the fact that I was born in 1983 and began paying attention to baseball around 1991, which means I have never been alive at a time when there was not a DH. It should also be noted that my team is the Minnesota Twins, who play in the American League and with a designated hitter.
With all that said, here's what I think about the DH...
I like it. I like watching Edgar Martinez play. I like the fact that there isn't a spot at the end of the lineup that has a guy that'll be lucky to get a hit 15% of the time. I like the fact that the Twins can give Jacque Jones a day off in the field and still let him bat 4 times. I like that when the number 9 hitter comes up with a man on first base he doesn't bunt every time.
The main thing I like about the National League is that, late in games, managers are pretty much forced to use pinch-hitters and their bench, which is obviously a result of not having the DH. However, I'd rather keep that bench full and the manager sitting on his hands than watch a pitcher flail away or bunt 3 times during the first 7 innings of the game. There is certainly added strategy in the National League, but I do not think it is as prevalent or interesting as many people make it out to be.
But more than what I like about it or what I don't like about, the thing I hate about the designated hitter is that it only applies to 47% of the teams.
In my opinion, you cannot continue to play hundreds of "inter-league" games each and every season and keep the two leagues separate in such a crucial aspect of the rules.
You should also know that I hate inter-league play. I would love it if the Twins and Cincinnati Reds never play again. The Yankees and the Mets are fun, but really, is it so special that we had to completely alter the rules of a sport that has been around for over a century or subject the country to Padres/Rangers games every year because the White Sox and Cubs play in the same state?
My first choice would be to get rid of inter-league play, or as I prefer to call it, "Stupid Inter-League Play." If that happened, I would have absolutely no problem keeping the DH in one league and not in the other. As it stands now though, the American League plays tons of games against the National League every single year.
Forcing teams from different leagues to play each other throughout the season and simultaneously maintain very different rules for playing the game is just crazy. The Western and Eastern Conference teams from the NBA play each other during the regular season, just like the AL and NL teams do in baseball. Yet they have identical rules. Same with the AFC and NFC for football and the West and East for hockey.
Baseball used to be special in this regard, because they didn't "mix leagues" during the regular season and I think that's why so many people loved the World Series and the all-star game. However, I think that baseball (stupidly) gave up their right to have a crucial difference between the 2 leagues when they started having the teams from different leagues play each other hundreds of times during the regular season.
So put me down in the "Yes to the DH" camp. But more than that, I am in the "Make the Two Leagues Play Under the Same Rules" camp. And even more than that, I am in the "Get Rid of the F@#$%ing Inter-League Crap" camp.
Just get rid of the stupid inter-league play. Then we can stop worrying about the DH, we can go back to a time when the World Series teams were meeting for the first time and we can add a little bit more intrigue to the all-star game, which would in turn negate the "need" for another idiotic Bud Selig idea: awarding homefield in the World Series to the all-star game winner.
And I am sure I will get flooded with emails, including some from my own family members (I am looking at you Jon!) telling me that I am just some dumb kid that doesn't understand the strategy involved in the National League or the excitement it adds to the game. Well, I am a dumb kid, there's no doubt about that. However, I have been following baseball like a stalker since I was about 14 or so and I have watched hundreds and hundreds of National League games. I like the strategy, but I also like not watching Al Leiter swing at a changeup and miss by 40 feet.
Okay, end of rant. Commence emailing...
Philadelphia (Wolf) -130 over Atlanta (Marquis)
San Diego (Peavy) +180 over San Francisco (Moss)
Kansas City (Affeldt) -130 over Detroit (Bonderman)
Baltimore (Daal) -120 over Tampa Bay (Parque)
New York (Pettitte) -180 over Minnesota (Mays)
Total to date: - $315
W/L record: 12-14
*****Comments? Questions? Email me!*****