Wednesday, May 12, 2021

"Baseball finds itself at a crossroads."

Damn straight. 

ESPN is vowing to confront problems faced by the National Pastime... with the future of the game at stake.

(Problem #1: The Yankees need a LH bat.)

Thanks to Buhner's Ghost.


29 comments:

TheWinWarblist said...

Fuck ESPN.

13bit said...

Fuck ESPN, indeed.

And here's the thing: baseball is just a mirror of who we are as a country.

Until we somehow get past our shallowness, greed and navel-gazing sense of entitlement, privilege and self-importance, baseball will founder in the shallow waters of that sewage pond just south of Boston Harbor.

Until we heal as a nation, baseball will continue to rot with greed, incompetence and, dare I say it, incontinence...yes, my friends, until we become human again, we will be shitting our spiritual pants, starting micro double-headers with men on base, testing dead balls - could not resist - and sucking at the teat of the almighty dollar.

Fuck you, Brian, Hal and Booney. Sounds like a some bad WWII USO tap dance act: "Brian, Hal and Booney will now dance for you while Veronica Lake pulls herself together in the dressing room..."

TheWinWarblist said...

Oh oh Veronica Lake! I shall engorge my genitalia!

HoraceClarke66 said...

Love me some Lake.

DickAllen1964 said...

After reading this, my first thought is:

Fuck Rob Mannfredo.

Get this old, uglywhite guy who wears suits he inherited from Bud Selig off the podium at the annual draft and let each team have its own reps up there for the photo op: bring back Curt Flood. Let Willie Randolph hand a jersey to the newest Yankee. Hell, if you can get Willie Mays up there, just do it.

The sport is being flushed down the toilet by old white guys who are hiding behind some phony ideas about tradition (which is another word for racism) while fleecing all of us for that extra nickel.

Jimmy Kimmel interviewed that chucklehead George W Bush about his ownership stake on the Rangers. When asked how much he made off the sale, W chuckled and rolled off an astronomical sum. That is some of my money he’s laughing about.

But no more. I’m not spending a nickel more until I see the game change in a way that makes it worth watching. Right now the owners are just swapping seats on the titanic while stuffing their pockets.

And one last thing: fuck Buster Olney.

DickAllen1964 said...

After reading this, my first thought is:

Fuck Rob Mannfredo.

Get this old, uglywhite guy who wears suits he inherited from Bud Selig off the podium at the annual draft and let each team have its own reps up there for the photo op: bring back Curt Flood. Let Willie Randolph hand a jersey to the newest Yankee. Hell, if you can get Willie Mays up there, just do it.

The sport is being flushed down the toilet by old white guys who are hiding behind some phony ideas about tradition (which is another word for racism) while fleecing all of us for that extra nickel.

Jimmy Kimmel interviewed that chucklehead George W Bush about his ownership stake on the Rangers. When asked how much he made off the sale, W chuckled and rolled off an astronomical sum. That is some of my money he’s laughing about.

But no more. I’m not spending a nickel more until I see the game change in a way that makes it worth watching. Right now the owners are just swapping seats on the titanic while stuffing their pockets.

And one last thing: fuck Buster Olney.

TheWinWarblist said...

Oh my gods, yes! Please please fuck Buster Fucking Oleny!

Kevin said...

Racism is a problem? In baseball? Uhhhhh, oookaaay, we all have the right to our own cloud. But let's go back to basics, shall we? Baseball is a fucking game, played by millionaires, for the further enrichment of billionaires. It is not emblematic of big Societal Issues (yes we had segregation, but Jackie Robinson, and let's not ever forget the role the Dodgers played, ended that disgrace, but that was seventy-four years ago). ESPN has made a huge amount of money pontificating about inequalities and "problems" in sports for years. IMHO, mostly carrying agendas for their big business overlords. Recall the drumbeat that it was "unfair" that the Yankees could somehow buy those rings in the nineties because of "unfair" monetary advantages. They of course ignored the money the Dodgers, Cubs, Red Sox were banking, and the Yankees' being a laughing-stock for fifteen years. So, in the name of fairness we windup with a de facto salary cap. All of these so-called "problems" are manufactured to keep our attention away from ownership collusion, OR let's call it for what it is, "collusion". Just play the fucking game, and stop the micro-management.

HoraceClarke66 said...

I would say you're right, Kevin...except that IMHO, what the game needs is MORE micro-management. In a manner of speaking.

First, make it faster. Make the batter stay in the box, make the pitcher throw the ball in a reasonable amount of time. If this takes a pitch clock, so be it, but I'd love to just give the umps carte blanche.

As it is now, pitchers stalling to freeze the batters is a TACTIC. The batter retaliate by stepping out. It's as if every NFL team tried to try draw the other team offsides on every play. BASTA! Pitch, hit already! Like the man said: Play ball!...

HoraceClarke66 said...

Second, make it better. Get back to the intricate, clever game we all loved. Don't fill your roster with 13 pitchers—teach pitchers to pitch to contact.

Don't tell your hitters to hit into the shift! Teach them to hit to the opposite field, bunt, and put on plays. And while you're at it, teach them to protect the plate with two strikes...


HoraceClarke66 said...

Third, make it honest. One and done on doping. Sure, you can re-test the fatal sample and whatnot all you want. But one and done.

The juicing is what has driven everything else we hate about the new game. Let's get rid of it. And while we're at it, take out all those stadium weight rooms...

HoraceClarke66 said...

Fourth, get rid of the gimmicks. No more seven-inning doubleheader games, no more guys-on-second-base to start an inning.

Let baseball be baseball again. Let it be freaky and peculiar, rather than super-homogenized like everything else in American life.

So the game lasts a little longer. So what?...

HoraceClarke66 said...

Fifth, have some self-respect. No more weekend night games because football is on, or other adjustments like that. Have some faith in your product, and let's see more day games...

HoraceClarke66 said...

Sixth, reach out. Yeah, I agree that baseball is much less racist than it used to be. But it could do much more.

Start Little Leagues and other youth leagues in predominantly Black areas. Build and maintain fields, provide coaches, get stars in to these neighborhoods to preach the game.

Look, if any group prefers football, or basketball, or (gasp) even soccer, it's not exactly a blight on our society. But why concede the field to these other sports?

How about baseball "ambassadors" going to neighborhoods and saying, 'Yeah, yeah, I know your really prefer football or basketball or that sport where you do the kicky thing with the feet. But guess what? You're not 6-7, you're never gonna make a fortune as a soccer star in this country, and if you play baseball you can walk away with all the money you can eat, and STILL retain the ability to walk and maintain your mental faculties.'...

HoraceClarke66 said...

Seventh, respect the fans. Make going to the ballgame a joyous experience. Make it a fun time, with the game easy to get to, enjoyable once you're there, and much more affordable.

All right, I've had my say. 'Go now and sin no more!'

DickAllen1964 said...

Okay, so there’s no racism in baseball.

How many non-white owners are there?

How many non-white managers?

How many non-white coaches?

And lastly, there was a time when the diamond was populated by some of the greatest African-American players of the 20th century. Now, their numbers have dwindled, and it’s not a coincidence.

Baseball only has two colors: green and white.

Anybody who doesn’t see the plantation problem, not only on baseball, but in all American pro sports, has their head up their ass.

DickAllen1964 said...

Okay, so there’s no racism in baseball.

How many non-white owners are there?

How many non-white managers?

How many non-white coaches?

And lastly, there was a time when the diamond was populated by some of the greatest African-American players of the 20th century. Now, their numbers have dwindled, and it’s not a coincidence.

Baseball only has two colors: green and white.

Anybody who doesn’t see the plantation problem, not only on baseball, but in all American pro sports, has their head up their ass.

Kevin said...

@Dick Allen: So by your logic basketball and football is racist because there are very few white players anymore.?.? Athletes will gravitate to where the money best suits there skills and temperaments. Insofar as ownership is concerned there are more than enough Black billionaires to start their own leagues. So in short, cut it out already. White racism running conspiracies in pro sports is crazy talk. Especially considering how many millionaire/billionaires Black players who have been "held down" by tyranny of evil men.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Sure, there's racism in baseball, Dick Allen. Particularly in the stands.

But I think baseball was much, much more racist 50-60 years ago—when there were many more Black players. I'm old enough to remember when white writers and owners got mad because your namesake wanted to be known as "Dick Allen" instead of by a child's name. Similar racist nonsense went on all the time.

I'd love to see a Black owner—or five, or ten—today. But if they existed, would there be more African-Americans playing the game? I don't think so.

I think baseball is just much less popular than it used to be in the Black community—just as it is less popular amongst white people, too.

There is a huge preference for football and basketball now—and considering how baseball is played and presented, that's not surprising.

Kevin said...

Guys "came up" playing stickball way back in the day. Guys play on rocky fields, using rudimentary bats, and as Mariano has talked about, using cardboard for gloves. So why would spending large amounts of money in the inner-city cause Black inclusion? You either want to play a "game", or not. Sports are, and hopefully always will be discretionary off time for kids. Excepting of course the poor devils who are driven by crazy parents. I'll put it another way: Sports shouldn't be used as some kind of litmus test, or mirror for whatever ails us as a Society. My exception is that too many people spend too much time, thought, and money on games. Hell, I feel guilty about going to any sports events (or concerts) even though I can afford it.

Kevin said...

Horace, I believe that when teams start to take advantage of the shift it will largely disappear. Part of that will happen when players unilaterally start going the other way, and bunting to the point that owners will realize that rbi's count, and they start paying for it. It IS AMAZING that no team has worked at filling the "new inefficiency". Oh, that's right. The Fucking Rays. Man, those guys must be geniuses with all their nuanced algorithms. Maybe The Brain can hire a few more mathematicians for their analytical dept.

Kevin said...

PS, weren't people just pissing and moaning because there were too many homeruns and scoring? Or was that some kind of a lucid dream I had?

HoraceClarke66 said...

I know, Kevin. I hated how one-dimensional the game had become...and now they've gone and made it just as one-dimensional WITH LESS SCORING!

Most runs still seem to score on homers. Now, there are just fewer of them. THIS IS NOT THE CHANGE WE WANTED!

HoraceClarke66 said...

And I agree that sports are often over-burdened with societal ills, Kevin.

But I still think that baseball needs to compete. Everything about how children grow up is different than when we were kids.

Play dates? We would have died of embarrassment. And while we loved Little League, we mostly played everyday, on sandlots, without adult supervision.

But that's all gone now, and baseball should recognize that reality.

Get kids on the fields—many of which are just sitting vacant in my neighborhood, at least. Promise them ice cream, barbecue, FUN. Get across that they don't have to be the tallest or the biggest to be the best, unlike so much of basketball or football. Get it across to their parents that they won't get as injured as they would playing those other games.

And I don't mean just Black urban neighborhoods. Get out and sell the sport everywhere.

Yeah, we didn't need any urging. We also didn't have cellphones or computers loaded with games and porn. (I don't know if I would have graduated high school if I could have gotten porn in the privacy of my room when I was 15.)

It's a different world. Baseball needs to get out there and compete. Get kids running around, getting in better health and enjoying themselves. Build up a bigger talent pool and a fan base for the future.

I don't really see a downside. But most of all—first of all—improve the game on the field NOW, so kids will want to play it.

Kevin said...

For your consideration: Back in the early eighties I suddenly noticed that NOBODY was playing Anything on the school fields! WTF? My friends and I still played on Saturdays. After some thinking it dawned on me. The regular kids were all at the video arcades, or at home with their Ataris. The Real jocks were playing organized sports. This, btw, coincided with the THICKENING of America. Well that's how it played out in Miami, Fl.

Did anything like this happen up where you guys grew up?

HoraceClarke66 said...

I didn't notice it that early. But yeah, kids stopped playing outside as much. Probably having all our food dipped in corn oil didn't help, either.

Kevin said...

Well, Miami is kinda sluggish anyway. Between corn oil and the lard used in Hispanic and Southern cooking.....

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