Monday, April 28, 2014

What Exacty can Silver do?

When a commissioner is brought on board to run a league they have to get the blessing if not of all the owners, at the very least the majority of owners. So in essence the commissioner is a direct employee of the owners. Allegedly, Donald Sterling (owner of the Los Angeles Clippers) over the weekend came out with egregious, racial remarks towards African American and Los Angeles Lakers great Magic Johnson. The question is what can new NBA commissioner Adam Silver can so? In my 20-someodd years of watching professional sports I've never heard of a commissioner forcing an owner to sell his/her team. Owners have been suspended from leagues, but never has been forced by a commissioner to sell. Have owners been the "bad guy" absolutely, have owners taken leave from their teams sure, but a commissioner can't force anything but a suspension.

Fellow owners and fans can be a more driving force against Donald Sterling, on the other hand. If fellow owners put pressure on Sterling maybe that can force him out. Fans can stop buying Clippers gear or stop going to the game, that can be another option (but fans will still go to Clippers game since the Clippers are in a tight playoff showdown with the Golden State Warriors). So what exactly can anybody do to make this alleged racist understand that he has to change his point of view? If the commish doesn't have the power to curtail Sterling's influence on his team and his wife can't force him out then the best thing is a suspension and yet Sterling still wins because he'll probably continue to get paid off the backs of people he doesn't even like.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

If Everyone is Doing it is it Really Wrong?

Yankee pitcher Michael Pineda got caught with pine tar on his neck last night against the Red Sox and ex-pitchers are coming out of the woodwork defending Pineda saying that pitchers have always used one substance or another to help grip a baseball in cold weather. Ironically, last night Red Sox pitcher John Lackey is seen licking his hand rubbing his forearm and then rubbing up a baseball he was about to deliver, but he wasn't caught. Is it fair for pitchers to get away with rubbing foreign substances on any baseball before it's delivered? No, that's why Pineda was tossed once the umpire noticed that it was pine tar on his neck. There are rules against doctoring baseballs and Pineda broke it as did Lackey for all I know.

My issue is why is this not more looked after? Apparently there are pitchers all over the league putting stuff in places to help conceal the foreign substances that they're going to use when they're rubbing down a baseball. There has to be more oversight over this. A pitcher in the Astros bullpen was caught spraying his forearm with something before he went out onto the mound in a game earlier this season and no one bats an eye. Pitchers are cheating and apparently it's ok with MLB, the umpires, and even the opposing players because it's a wink wink secret because my pitcher is doing it too. Red Sox manager John Farrell didn't want to go and complain to the umpire, Red Sox and Yankee players were smirking about it and if it weren't because it was so obvious Pineda probably gets away with it... AGAIN, hopefully this opens Joe Torres' eyes and something happens to level the playing field.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Better to be a Homer or a Bandwagon fan?

Considering the list of teams that I am a fan of I can see how someone can consider me to be a bandwagon fan, but how much worse it to being a bandwagon fan than it is to be a homer. A homer (for those that don't know) is a fan who is a fan of every team from the place that they're from. So for example, a New York homer would be a fan of the Yankees, Mets, Knicks, Nets, Rangers, Giants, Jets, and even the Islanders yes that's a lot of teams, but that's New York for ya. So is it better to be a fan of 8 teams or being a die hard fan of a team that isn't in New York? That's the dilemma that I face on a regular basis. I've got to defend my fandom of all the teams that just so happen don't play in NY. I'd rather be a dedicated fan of one team that so happens to play outside of the city limits than in one night cheering for two different teams whose fans don't even like each other.

A bandwagon fan (to me at least) would be a fan who becomes a fan because said team is constantly winning and the fan would then hop to another team once the initial team starts to lose. If a fan becomes a fan and continues to be a fan even when the team starts to lose then how can that be a bandwagon fan? I've been a proud fan of these teams for 15 years plus, that beats the "bandwagon" label. But a homer is a homer. A homer will defend these local clubs because that's what makes sense to them so if they have to defend the Mets and the Yankees at the same time they will because that's what they feel like they have to do.

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Mess in the West

A while back I made the case for the Golden State Warriors as my title favorites thinking that the addition of Andre Iguodala would catapult them into the title, but then they decided to allow over 100 points per game and turn the ball over like they don't want to play offense. And now with David Lee's nagging injury and Andrew Bogut disappearing from time to time I'm not sure how far the Warriors are going to go. The Oklahoma City Thunder are looking more and more like a football team with two quarterbacks and when you have two quarterbacks in the NFL you really have none. I don't like Russell Westbrook playing along side Kevin Durant, but yet the Thunder need Westbrook if they want to win the title this year and beyond.

Which brings me to the quiet yet most consistent team in the West in the San Antonio Spurs. Coach Popovich has the Spurs going again at one point reeling off 19 wins in a row; something Coach Pop didn't really care much about removing his stars (Tim Duncan and Tony Parker) with three minutes remaining in the 3rd quarter without having them come back into the game when the Spurs could've walked away with their 20th straight win and a win over a competitor who they can see in the playoffs. The goal for the Spurs all year has been to win the title they missed out on last year when Ray Allen made the 3-pointer that started the Spurs' downfall and what that means to Coach Pop is if he has to rest his stars against top notch opponents he will no matter what the commissioner has to say about that.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

To Cap or Not to Cap... That is The Question

Miguel Cabrera signed a huge 30 million per year extension with the Detroit Tigers. The same Detroit Tigers offered Max Scherzer 144M over 6 years. The Dodgers have a 200+ million dollar payroll and signed their ace Clayton Kershaw to the richest deal for pitchers. The Yankees shelled out an amazing amount of money for Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann, Masahiro Tanaka  and Jacoby Ellsbury to bounce back after they missed the playoffs for only the second time since 1996. In no other sport can there be such reckless spending on players. In the NBA and NFL teams have to keep an eye on the salary cap because that's the most they can spend in baseball teams laugh at that notion.

It isn't because the owners wouldn't want a salary cap, but it's because the MLB player's union is the strongest union and would never allow for a salary cap to be imposed. And to an extent if the players aren't getting paid then the owners are pocketing all that money and the players would tend to suffer. There will never be a lawsuit against MLB as there was against NFL because players are compensated like no other players in any other sport. I wouldn't want to see a salary cap in MLB even if it means salaries will rise though the roof because it's too late to open Pandora's box.     

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Turf Sucks this Isn't a Secret

For years players have complained about how it's terrible playing on turf. About how the ball goes faster on turf than on natural grass, and how turf is the worst on joints. Jose Reyes has become the latest victim of playing on turf. As many injuries as Jose Reyes had when he played in Queens on none turf it seems like he can't play 1 game without limping or grabbing at his joints. Last night on Opening Day against the Tampa Bay Rays Jose Reyes, while playing on Tampa's turf, strained his hamstring causing an early season DL stint for Jose. One of the exciting players in the majors is sitting for 15 games because the evil turf monster.

Toronto and Tampa are the only teams in the majors that use artificial turf and are the only ones that are still enclosed domes. When are these closed dome stadiums are going to find a suitable replacement for turf? You can't tell me there hasn't been any advancement in the field of fake grass which would help athletes stay on the field. So now it's going to take 15 games for one of the most exciting players in the majors to come back, play on turf, and then get hurt again thanks to the turf monster.