Tag Archives: MLB all star game


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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Let it be said that as far back as last year and during spring training this year, I was one of those naysayers who took Carsten Charles Sabathia to task in columns like this one for not being able to make the transfer from flamethrower to pitcher. 

Battling serious New York Yankees v Boston Red Soxknee surgery, personal demons, 330 lbs, and a diminished 89-90 mph fastball seemed to be an overwhelming set of circumstances for anyone to overcome.

Tellingly, his manager and teammates never faltered and remained in his corner both publicly and within the clubhouse. They believed in his character and stalwart tendencies when he’s on the mound. 

And in one of the most compelling human stories of the season thus far, C C Sabathia has pitched his way to being a bona fide candidate for the American League All Star Squad.

He’s this year’s Renaissance Man………..

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I filled my All Star ballot today and a couple of things occurred to me. One thing imageI can’t figure out is why I’m allowed to vote 35 times. I’ve never been able to vote more more than one once in any other election I participated in (maybe that’s because I never lived in Chicago but that’s neither here nor there). But, thirty five times! Jeez. Well, maybe that’s nitpicking but here’s what concerns me more……

Presumably imagelike most fans, I found myself trending to players with the best numbers this year. But what if it were 2001 when Cal Ripken was playing his final season and hitting .239 going against the Red Sox phenom Xander Bogoerts who’s hitting .343 and having a career year. Ripken at the time was a sure fire Hall of Famer and Bogoerts may end up there too – but really? You would have had to vote to for Ripken, no? And Ripken being Ripken did rise to the moment giving fans an All Star Game memory imagein his final at bat that night (watch here).

Same with Derek Jeter in 2014. How could he not be in the starting lineup for his final All Star game even though by comparison to his career numbers he was merely a shell of himself. 

Which brings us to this year’s ballot…..

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