Thursday, July 24, 2014

Baseball is Really Unfair Right Now

It sucks being a pull hitter in the majors. When opposing defenses line up with more than two defenders on one side of the field it is damn near impossible for a hitter to get a regular hit. Regular hits (aka singles) make up a large chunk of hitter's batting average and having all these defenders on one side is unfair to hitters. It already is one sided with all these power arms coming out of everywhere to pitch, throwing 95+ mph on a regular basis and now hitters can't even enjoy a hitting single because there are 3 defenders on one side. The argument that hitters should adjust the way they hit to punish these shifts is nonsense. A major league veteran whose whole career was built on the line drive or ground ball to left or right for a uptick in batting average isn't about to start bunting to left or right side. So it shouldn't be a surprise that offense is down to a historic low now that defensive shifts are robbing hitters left and right of hits that would help infuse some more entertainment and action into a game that is mostly described as "boring".

A 2-1 or 1-0 game is the most entertaining baseball game to me, but it never hurts to watch an action packed 8-3 or 11-9 ball game from time to time. Watching David Ortiz, Brian McCann, and others struggle with getting on base is not what their fans want to go watch or their front office is paying them for. When offense is down fans don't watch and complaints about how long games are flair up and defensive shifts are partially to blame for why. I would gladly get rid of shifts and let defenses play the way they traditionally have been with shading one way or the other. Shading is when a defender takes a step or two in a certain direction to help cover up a hole, but to have him swing all the way around to the other side is insane. It's time to make baseball a bit more fair and more fun to watch.   

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The New Generation of NBA Player

It wasn't too long ago when NBA players seemed to be playing well into their 30's some into their early 40's. Now with kids getting into the league younger and younger they're becoming the seasoned vets in their 20's. The worst thing, in my opinion, the NBA did was let players hop straight from high school into the association. Not only are they not really NBA ready they're 18/19 years old meaning the clock starts on their careers and they'll be out before they even notice. Dwayne Wade is 31/32 years old and he just might've signed his second to last deal in the NBA. Sure Wade played basketball with reckless abandon and that may have taken some years off his career, but I still think if more players waited until their body, and more importantly minds were NBA ready they'd last a lot longer.

Kobe Bryant has been in the association for 19 years. That's something to marvel at and he just might be the last player to last so long. Let's not forget that Kobe has been to Europe on numerous occasions to get special treatments on both his knees just so he can get another chance at getting that elusive 6th championship. Michael Jordan who Kobe is usually compared to also played 19 years, but he spent 3 years out of the sport between his 1 year of minor league baseball with the White Sox and the 2 years before he decided to join the Wizards, so in total Jordan was around the sport for 20+ years. Today's player plays in a softer NBA and yet they don't last as long as the old school guys who played in the rough and tumble times.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Who's Gonna be the First Domino to Fall?

With about a month to go before the MLB trade deadline there are several tight races throughout the majors and not many teams are already out of the race, but in a handful of cities the writing should already be on the walls. The question is who's gonna be the first to throw in the white flag on this season? These teams have plenty to offer teams that are in the race, but are they ready to tell their fans that this year doesn't matter anymore? How does Ruben Amaro tell Phillie fans that this year is over? The passionate fans in Philadelphia aren't really keen on losing especially after their recent runs of success. The Diamondbacks began the season with inspirations to at least compete against the highly funded Dodgers and the scrappy Giants, but unfortunately the DBacks all them injuries were too much to overcome.

So who throws in the towel and start selling off pieces? And by pieces I mean players (because at the end of it all that's what players really are... pieces). The Phillies and the DBacks are just 2 of about a handful of teams who should up the "For Sale" sign. Chase Utley could help a contender, any veteran not named Goldschmidt can help a contender, any of the countless veterans on the Cleveland Indians could help a contender as well. What fan base would show up when their team is in "sell now" mode? Maybe the most dedicated or maybe those trying to save a buck or two, but I'm waiting on that first white flag before the gates swing open.