Category Archives: Change


At the Winter Meetings following the World Series, major league teams must decide on the 40 players they want to protect in a special draft that is commonly referred to as the Rule Five Draft.

The rule is basically a good idea as it prevents teamsimages (25) from stockpiling players in their farm systems and it gives hope to minor league players who may be languishing behind a all star major leaguer playing the same position. Depending on age when they signed, players become eligible after three or four years

Historically, players such as Roberto Clemente (above) who as we know turned into the steal of the Century for the Pirates, R A Dickey (left),download (9) Dan Uggla, and Jose Bautista (below) revitalized their careers after being taken in this draft. Last year, the Rangers caught lightning in a bottle when they selected images (26)Delino Deshields who became the Texas Rookie Of The Year. For major league teams, the price of a selection is a mere $50,000…….but there’s a catch……
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When you look up a profile of Joe Torre, you quickly realize that he has been successful in every facet JOE TORREof his career, and never has that been true more than in his current position as MLB’s Chief Baseball Officer. As a player, he finished a distinguished career withi (1) a .297 batting average, appeared in nine All Star Games, and won a NL Batting Title in 1971. Then, as a manager he won four Championships more than 2,300 games. Culminating his career as a manager, he was rewarded with a plaque in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium. (left) Oh, and by the way, he’s also a member of the Baseball Hall Of Fame.

And from the looks of things, he’s just getting warmed up. Since 2011 (his first year as a baseball executive), joe-torre-jpghe has presided over the introduction and refinement of instant replay, the creation of the “Buster Posey Rule” for collisions at home plate, the adoption of the 20 second rule designed to speed up games, and is now poised to lead the way with the adoption of a “Chase Utley Rule” requiring a runner to be sliding directly at second base when attempting to break up a double play. 
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The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees
all citizens the right to a speedy trial.  Chase Utley
received that and more from Joe Torre on behalf of Major League Baseball. His suspension of Utley for games 3 and 4 of the Series against the Mets which resumes tonight is now going through the appeals process covered under the Players Bargaining Agreement, based on the premise that Union lawyers need time to prepare a case for Utley.
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If MLB is going to insist on playing a prolonged schedule of 162 games, they should at least do everything they can to insure that every game played “counts”.  1371As things sit now, you could have a good argument in saying that the REAL season 150px-Houston-Astros-Logo.svgdoesn’t begin until August 1st when the trading deadline has passed and teams have tweaked their roster to the point they believe they need to be at to make “a run” to the finish and steal a Playoff  spot in spite of how they have performed until then (hello Rangers and Blue Jays).

The Pittsburgh Pirates won 98 games during the regular season, and yet they have vanished from the Playoffsimages-3 following a one game playoff against the Cubs and Jake Arietta images-2who pitched the game of his life with a “Namath like” guarantee beforehand.  I’m not taking sides here because if the Pirates had won, the Cubs  would have gone home with the third best record in the Majors with 97 wins.

The point is this…….only two of the three teams with the best  record over the course of the season are still in the hunt. The teams in the National League Central are being punished for being really good because they are the powerhouse Division right now. But, that can change as it has over the past few years when the American League East was stacked with the same kind of talented teams.

I’m not a mathematician and I don’t get paid to do this, but surely the suits at MLB can figure this out so we have a better chance of seeing the best of the best in the Playoffs and (ultimately) the World Series. 

In the meantime, the Yankees images-14who won 87 games over the course of the season and would have qualified  (with more wins than – for example – the Rangers) for a “Playoff” spot under different circumstances as well as the aforementioned Pirates who have packed their bags and are  heading home. 

MLB images-31 and specifically Rob Manfred (right) has tweaked the Playoffs before, most recently with the addition of two Wild Card teams who play a one game shootout at High Noon. Very dramatic ( a real show in prime time for television $$$),  but does it really do the game justice………or….. (and they’ll never admit this) is the April through July “season” merely an extension of the Spring Training season. It’s a valid question and it needs to be answered.

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I don’t like to whine when I do this, but I’m sitting on my back deck in Catskill N.Y. The temperature is 57 degrees and AccuWeather says the wind chill is about the same. Trust me, it’s not. The East Coast is always damp at this time of the year and the chill as they say here “goes right through you”. Meanwhile……..

2015 Major League Baseball Playoffs begin this Tuesday, October 6, and will conclude 6a00d8341c630a53ef010535c99713970c-800wiNovember 4th if the World Series goes seven games around the same time as the NFL season is beyond its half way point. If any of the East Coast teams venture forward in the Playoffs (Toronto excepted because they have a domed venue), it’s likely – again- that we won’t be seeing the best of the best able to perform at their best because pitchers will be struggling to get a firm grip on the ball especially for breaking balls, while hitters will be praying to God they don’t hit one off the end of the bat that numbs their hands and arms for a few minutes or so.

This is supposed to be the Fall Classic, but it’s not. It turns instead to a grind to watch (much less attend) these games. They start late and end the next working day past or close to midnight – forget the kids – the future fans of tomorrow – it’s the television ratings that matter.

The owners insist on a prolonged 162 game schedule – over six months – which I don’t mind because I can’t get enough baseball – and I get it – COLD-BASEBALLthe East Coast is not the center of the universe anymore – but isn’t it time to reduce the schedule back to where it was at 154 games? Sometimes, less is more. And if the almighty dollar rules baseball, as it does the NFL, then maybe this should be a chance (fat chance maybe) for the owners to step up and demonstrate that they mean what they say……….that it’s really all about the fans. I’d like to go to the Yankees one game playoff….I’m a fan…..but there’s no way I’m going to sit there and freeze my butt off. Don’t believe me?……watch on TV how many empty seats the fat cats leave empty…..

If you’ve gotten this far, thank you. I promise I won’t do this again. 
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