Countdown to the end of 2023 Season

Monday, November 8, 2021

Ye olde scribe, Bob Klapisch: "I wonder if commissioner Rob Manfred understands how much MLB suffers from having two of its legacy franchises – the Orioles and Pirates – turned into junkyard scavengers. Nor does he seem to be aware that shrinking the minor leagues robbed so many communities of their pipeline to baseball."

Over the years, I have come to live by my THREE  EL DUQUE IRON RULES OF HUMAN INTERACTION. 

They are:

1. Sometimes, when everyone says it's raining, it's raining.

2. Nobody talks about the jailbreak, until the jailbreak.

3. You never have enough pitching, pitching, pitching... 

I'd like to devote today's sermon to No. 1 - embodied in a thumb-sucker in the Newark Star-Ledger, (aka by the venerable Bob Klapisch, arguably the planet's reigning Gammonite. Klapisch warns that baseball is not only headed for a labor lockout, but a major fan crisis.

If you think the Braves-Astros World Series was a must-watch, think again. Aside from last year’s pandemic series, the 2021 Classic was the least-watched since total-viewer tallies became available in the early 1970s.

Here at IT IS HIGH - when not admiring the laser-beam Yankee acumen of Ralph Nader - you'll hardly need a magnifying glass to find the blistering torrents of anger, betrayal, distrust and fury over the modern state of baseball. 

In fact, everywhere, you see fans, writers, coaches and innocent bystanders demanding that MLB do something about the endless strikeouts and walks, about over-shifts that crush hitters, about five-hour games and - coming fast - the looming civil war that will pit billionaires against millionaires. 

Sometimes, when everybody says it's raining, it's raining.

And baseball is about to get flooded.

But Klapisch devotes much of his article on the matter of tanking - the modern method for building a successful MLB franchise. These days, by mid-May, front offices have already begun to tank - shedding salaries, trading stars, and losing for the sake of a receiving higher draft pick and more luxury tax revenues. In so many ways, it is the cruelest thing a franchise can do to its fans. 

Come August and September, suddenly there are 8-9 meaningless games on the schedule every night. They’re no match for the NFL on Sundays. Or Monday nights. Or Thursday nights.

Klapisch quotes Oakland A's manager Billy Beane ("Mr. Moneyball," whom some blame for the current predicament), who says MLB needs to revamp its draft order. If teams don't try to win, they should not be rewarded with the top picks.

Unfortunately, from most indications, MLB is about to launch an international draft - adding Latino teenagers to the pool. This would eliminate one of the last financial advantages that high-spending teams have in securing young talent. 

So, pssssst... anybody for a jailbreak? 


13bit said...

The Yankees can suck it. There is no passion in that organization, no will to win. They are schmucks.

MLB is a sack of shit and Manfred is a tool, a pawn, a flunky - a kept man/woman who parts his cheeks for Hal and his ilk. He's a nothing.

This country has become dumbed-down, imbecilic, intolerant and angry, just like this post that I'm composing.

And Ralph Nader, not for nothing, is a hypocritical, bloviating megalomaniac who should have dropped dead in 1999, but manages to live on and crawl out of the woodwork every few years to drool on his worshipping hordes.

Fuck baseball, one of the last things I really cared about. I'm not bitter...

JM said...

There's a riot goin' on in cell block number 9.

ranger_lp said...

They should do what the NHL and NBA does with the entry draft...make it a weighted lottery so the worse record doesn't necessarily get the first pick. The lottery is good for ratings...lots of viewers watch the NHL or NBA lottery. I can't tell you how loud my scream was when the NY Rangers got the first overall pick 2 years ago. I think it's still echoing in my house...

HoraceClarke66 said...

Bitty, don't forget Nader's previous, ridiculous run for the presidency in 1996!

Really, it's amazing how many people in this country don't understand the difference between advocating for a cause and what used to be called "practical politics."

Nader's previous consumer and safety efforts were great, saving countless numbers of Americans from rip-offs and early deaths. Holding political office? That's a whole different ballgame, and his inability to understand the difference has really cost us.

HoraceClarke66 said...

As for Klapisch...yeah, he's more than a bit of an idiot. A few years ago, Coops suckered him into writing an adoring book, focused around how smart he was to sucker Derek Jeter out of Giancarlo Stanton.

What do these terms even mean, anyway? ARE the Orioles a "legacy franchise"? I mean, since they spent the first 51 years of their existence as the St. Louis Browns?

It has now been 38 years since the O's have so much as been in a World Series—and 42 years since the Bucs got there. All of which implies that there is much more wrong with both franchises than simply the size of their markets.

During those same years, the likes of Tampa Bay, the Marlins, the Cardinals, Oakland, Cincinnati, Minnesota, Cleveland, San Diego, and Kansas City have all been in and/or won the Series, strongly implying that something else is wrong here...

HoraceClarke66 said...

...And what does any of this possibly have to do with the terrible World Series ratings?

I agree that gutting the minor leagues was a horrible idea. But as Duque says here, the real problem is that the style of play in MLB has become nearly unbearable. Until that is addressed, everything else is so much Klapischian verbiage.

Goat said...

Poor, deluded moron, Barney.

Stat Boy never learns.

Kevin said...

Sarah Lawrence, a statistician wannabe gal needs to be immediately culled from this site. And I happen to believe that she's not always wrong. Such crazy anger is managed for 4-5 days max, then this garbage starts. Who knows, maybe she got stood up at the prom?