Tag Archives: Chicago White Sox

PARITY BE DAMNED – MLB HAS IT RIGHT

Parity is something discussed incessessantly in professional sports. How can you make things “even” between competing teams. This discussion explains from the quintessential baseball movie “Moneyball”

imageIn 2012, Major League Baseball expanded it’s number of teams making the playoffs from 8 to 10. This resulted in each of the thirty teams having a one in three chance of securing a spot in the postseason.

At the same time, the National Football league allows 12 of its 32 teams in the playoffs. This results in 37.5% of the teams making the cut, or three out of every eight teams. More teams get in than in baseball, but not nearly as many as in the parity driven NBA……

If you play in the National Basketball Assosciation, your team has an astounding one out of two chances to be in the postseason and maybe that explains why they drag on for two months.image

 

Baseball has it about right and any further moves to add more teams into the mix will only serve to water the playoffs down further by creating superficial fan interest in teams that are simply not very good to begin with.

In other words, don’t fix something that ain’t broke………..and besides……this format is thriving……

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LOOKING THROUGH THE CRYSTAL BALL……

It’s always fun to be present at this time of the year as we approach the renewal of a baseball season when all things are bright and Spring Training becomes a memory that is soon lost in the posting of standingsimage      that actually count as the long season begins.

Because at this time of the year, all thirty teams have hope that is not only the breadth of spring in the air, but also the promise that yesterday is no more and this is a brand new season that holds mystery and intrigue that could imagelead to places yet unknown……..

But rather than joining the ever expanding list of “predictors “, I thought it might be a better conversation to ask some questions that are relevant and designed to provoke some thought…….

Answers are free. Correct answers cost five bucks each………

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WHEN THE BUSINESS OF BASEBALL CRUSHES BASIC HUMANITY

I have often used this space to shine a spotlight on the fact that the players who entertain us are not robots. imageThey have families, medical maladies, personal lives, good days and bad days – just like the rest of us. They often get traded and sold, put on waivers, released, sent down to the minors only to be recalled and then sent down again on the whim of a general manager. They are also held in captivity by the team that signed them for the first six years of their career. And more to the point here, they’re away from their spouses and children for a minimum of six months, returning only during home stands that are increasingly becoming more brief.

For most us, imagefamily is what grounds us. It trumps everything, including the work we do to raise and support our family. Even the most conservative and “stingy” employers know it is wise (in the long run) to back off and give an employee some space when a family issue arises. So given that context, how then are we supposed to understand what is going on in Chicago over the past few days with Adam LaRoche and the White Sox?

Even while the story continues to unfold, there are certain things that we know to be true…… And none of them put White Sox management or baseball in general in a good light…………

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PREDICTIONS……DON’T EVEN BOTHER….

I’m bored already with the endless cascade of so called “predictions ” about the 2016 season even before Spring Training officially begins. Two days ago, for instance, the USA Today crowned the Nationals, Giants, and Boston among others as Division winners. The New York Mets don’t even make the cut for the playoffs.

All of what they predict may turn out to be true, but if we step back and remember that 162 games remain to be played , it does get kind of ridiculous…..no?

What is the use, for example, of predicting anything when injuries play as much a role in a team’s success as home runs and batting averages? And yet, we can expect a continuing barrage of these procrastinations from media who need to fill print and talk radio space…

But here are the questions they should  be asking…… And not answering…..

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WHO REMEMBERS…….. BILL VEECK – BASEBALL’S MASTER SHOWMAN

This is Chapter Three in a developing series titled “Who Remembers…..” that aims to highlight colorful and influential personalities in the game of baseball.

WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE PROFILED NEXT…………..

Bill Veeck never had an at bat in the big leagues. Bill Veeck never even wore a major league uniform.  And yet,image he carved out a niche in the game that (arguably) will never be matched. He was called a “Master Showman” and the title was not always used as a compliment. The P.T. Barnum of baseball – the man who seemingly would do anything to get fans to attend his team’s games and even more insure that they would enjoy themselves once they did. Now, years later when baseball owners are largely a staid and stoic lot, we can look back on the legacy of a man whose biography was titled “Veeck As In Wreck”, and in spite of his critics, earned himself a plaque in the Baseball Hall Of Fame………

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THE NOT SO CURIOUS CASE OF YOENIS CESPEDES

Of all the ingredients that General Managers consider before enacting a free agent signing, the imageafterthought always seems to be the “intangibles” associated with the player. Those little things that mean a lot over the course of a long season……..does he play loud music in the clubhouse…….is he always the last one to board the team bus………..does he have mental lapses in the field…….does he have a stable family life………what kind of car does he drive and how many cars does he own…….all of this comes into play, or should at least when you’re thinking of dropping $100 million on not just a ball player but a person as well. Which brings us to the not so curious case of  Yoenis Cespedes ……

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