Oct 28, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; MLB commissioner Bud Selig at a press conference before game four of the 2012 World Series between the Detroit Tigers and the San Francisco Giants at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

I've Got Them Low Down, West Coast Swingin', All-Star Breakin' Blues

It happens this time almost every year to me. This year it’s been especially acute. I got them low down, west coast swingin’, All-Star breakin’, Bud Selig hatin’ blues.

When I messaged the team last night letting them know what I planned on writing about, telling them I was in a fit of anger over just about all things Red Sox and baseball in general and if they so chose to throw another log onto my raging bonfire then go ahead, fellow BSI writer John Fahrer did just that. Now my panties are really in a bunch. With each message we exchanged I grew more incensed until I had to take a full day off to get some perspective. It didn’t work. Bailiff, let the list of grievances be read.

All-Star Voting
It all started with the All-Star selection process, an annual Bud Selig voting vomit fest like no other in professional sports. The absurdity of the process has escalated continuously and this year culminated in 35 votes per device? Oh, I’m sorry little man, you only have one computer. Good luck competing with technology addicted device hogs like, well, OK – like me. My point is I didn’t vote 35 times on every device. I voted once on one device. This isn’t American Idol. Which brings me to my next rant…

Jul 3, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano (24) smiles after scoring a run during the sixth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

In What Alternate Universe Should Robinson Cano Start Ahead of Dustin Pedroia?
Call me a homer. This is a no brainer. If you want the best player starting at each position this isn’t even close. Pedroia is having an MVP-type season on a team that finished dead last in 2012 and is in first place in 2013. He leads or is in the top three on his team and indeed all second basemen in the majors in nearly every statistically significant offensive category with the exception of homers and OPS. His fielding has been nearly flawless. Yet Yankee boy Cano gets the nod. Here’s how it should go.

Let the fans have their orgiastic voting ways on as many devices as they can muster but each position must have at least two players no matter how many votes are cast. The same thing goes for pitchers although by definition you’ll possibly need 12-15 of them to get through the night. Not every team gets a player on the squad. Sorry. If you’re not good enough you don’t make the team just because Houston and Miami need representation. After all the players are chosen and the dust settles, the respective managers of each team choose the starting players. That’s how it’s done in baseball. The managers assess the talent and choose the best. Done. And speaking of doing it…

Jul 9, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners designated hitter Kendrys Morales (8) celebrates in the dugout after hitting a 2-run home run against the Boston Red Sox during the 1st inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox Are Doing It Again
The Red Sox left Fenway Park with a decent cushion and a west coast schedule that favored at least a .500 split. After a win Friday night in Los Angeles, the Sox have lost three in a row, matching their highest losing streak of the season and have looked awful doing it.

The Red Sox are starting to feel the hot breath of the streaking Tampa Bay Rays (6 game win streak and in second place just three games back) on their neck with both the Orioles and Yankees in hot pursuit.

Why am I not surprised? I’ve been watching them since I was six years old. This is invariably what happens. A great first half is now in peril as Boston stumbles down the path to the All-Star break. Am I leveraging hyperbole to make my miserable point? Yes. Is there a kernel of truth in my rant? I think you know the answer, especially with Boston’s injuries piling up like cordwood. Sox, on this road trip, this Bud’s not for you. And speaking of Bud…

Bud Selig is Killing Baseball. No Really, I Mean It…
I know the owners love him because he makes them lots of money but there are so many reasons to wish Bud Selig would go away.

1. Inter-league play is a terrible idea. It doesn’t inspire fans or further baseball’s reach nationally. It’s hard to imagine that any fan’s passions will ever get inflamed over a Red Sox/Padres or Yankees/Rockies “rivalry”. Rivalries are regional and divisional, not manufactured. So what does MLB do in the face of these realities? Why expand inter-league play of course and painfully spread it out over the season instead of ripping the band aid off during the usual two week torture chamber in the first half of each season.

2. Handing all-important home field advantage to the league whose all star team wins the All-Star game is not only just plain dumb but profoundly unfair. A baseball team who scratches, digs and claws their way through a 162-game schedule and wins the war of attrition with the best record in baseball deserves home field advantage if they make it to the series. If they don’t make it to the series then the team with the best record of the two series contenders gets home field advantage. Bud, it’s easy and it’s fair. No contrivances. No artificial drama. Let the All-Star game return to what it once was; a grand exhibition game.

3. World Baseball Classic. A monumentally bad idea that continues distract from MLB spring training, teams gelling and fuels bad blood when a key player gets injured. Statistically, players in the WBC are slightly less likely to get injured than their non-WBC counterparts. Give truth serum to Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi and ask them how they feel about Mark Teixeira‘s wrist. Yeah, I thought so…

I feel better. Well, not really.

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