Monday, July 9, 2012
Posted by el duque at 7:30 AM
(NOTE: Ironically, this occured on the new Spider-Man weekend, reminicent of Selig's great but short-lived 2004 money-making spitball: MLB would sell logo ads for Spider-Man 2 on all bases in all MLB parks for one big happy weekend. But no ads on home plate, dammit; Bud was too much of a traditionalist for that. The plan was shot down by none other than the late George Steinbrenner, the man other cities were duty-bound to hate, because he broke ranks and paid fair market value for stars, whose owners were willing to sell. But, hey, when talking about the work of billionaires, who wants to remember such trivia...?)
Last night, Terry Francona - who last winter traded jobs with Bobby V - practically pretzeled his spine to blather about what a great job Valentine has done, keeping the Redsocks only 2 and a half games out of the Wild Cards race. (Why do they still call it the Wild Card? There are two.)
Listen: Francona is not a bad man. But obviously, it would be a flat-out pussy scenario for him to criticize his successor. He just can't do it. All he can do is praise and blather. So ESPN - (the network that covets Yankee broadcasts, by the way) - has happily scrapped the ability of its announcers to dissect the Redsocks, preferring instead to marvel over the magical state of baseball today - which is that everybody - everybody! - is still in some sort of race.
Look at Seattle, the butchers who sold us Michael Pineda. They are 15 games below .500... but only 10 out of the Wild Cards race. Hell, in August of '79, the Yankees were deeper in the hole against Boston. Ten games is a burp. The whole first half of the season was like suburban yuppy T-ball for six year olds: Nobody keeps score, and everybody wins! Everybody is doing a great job! Everybody is a champion!
"Great for baseball... great for baseball... great for baseball..." was ESPN's human centipede tape loop theme last night. Great for baseball... great for baseball... Everybody's challenging for the Wild Card! (As if there is just one.) And then, we'll have the one-game playoff! "And I'll tell you something else about this... it is GREAT FOR BASEBALL..."
Yeah, right. As long as nobody cares about the first four months.
Hell, if it's all about beating the NFL in September, why not open the playoffs to everybody? Let minor league teams participate. Let's become the NCAA tournament, with brackets. Or no - wait - here's an idea: Emulate pro wrestling. Have the champions wear THE BELT, until beaten - by the newest champ.
I love this. It's 2004, and I'm a-spitballin' young turk in Bud Selig's war room: Wait, wait, I got it, I GOT IT:
Can we make the bases run 30-second Romney attack ads?