Dec 23

Dec. 23.10: On this Date ….

It would have happened eventually, but on this day in 1975 arbitrator Peter Seitz announced a landmark decision in favor of the Players’ Association. The decision made Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally free agents. Baseball, as we knew it, would never be the same.

Seitz was immediately fired by John Gaherin‚ chairman of the owners’ Player Relations Committee.

So, I guess you can thank Seitz for all the Jason Bay stuff.

When people discuss the economics of baseball, free agency immediately comes to mind, but what really spikes the salaries and movement is the arbitration system, which is totally out of whack. Free agency at least allows for negotiation, but arbitration is an either-or proposition.

There are several things I would change about the current economic system, beginning with arbitration. I would give the arbitrator the leeway in determining a compromise figure. I’ve never been a fan of the idea of a salary cap. The luxury tax isn’t a deterrent to limiting the spending. But, if they are going to have a luxury tax, there should be some spending minimum for the hands-out teams (Kansas City, Pittsburgh).

Oct 28

Commentary: I believe Selig, but ….

Message to Bud: Don't pray for it, make it happen.

Message to Bud: Don't pray for it, make it happen.

Bud Selig said it and I believe him.

After Carlos Pena’s single drove in B.J. Upton with the tying run, and the grounds crew practically following him across the plate, Selig said he would have not allowed the Phillies be crowned champions with a rain-shortened victory.

“It’s not a way to end a World Series,” Selig said. “I would not have allowed the World Series to end that way.”

I believe he wouldn’t. He would have played his “best interest in baseball,” card and done the right thing.

Giving that, why couldn’t he have done the right thing earlier? Perhaps not start the game at all, given the forecast? Or, once it started, said, “if we have to stop this, we won’t have a rain-shortened winner?”

The late start times and scheduling are other matters he needs to correct. My thinking is the World Series is the ultimate. It’s baseball’s showcase event, and it should be treated that way. Too often MLB lets those who don’t love it make the decisions and that has to stop.

If Selig’s words are to be believed, he must follow them up with actions that mean something. So far, his legacy as commissioner has been the steroids era, interleague play, new divisional alignments and a work stoppage that killed the 1994 World Series.

Time to change that for the better. Schedule the Series start times so people can see the game, and if worse, to give you more leeway time with the weather. If you don’t like playing this late in October, then you’re going to have to do something about shortening the playoffs?

Since you won’t reduce the number of games, then you must alter the regular season schedule. I have already suggested in these pages to have at least one day-night doubleheader a month. That would give you six days to play with. There are things that can be done, and in the end they won’t hurt as bad as the embarrassment that was last night.

Oct 27

Baseball after Midnight ….

What's keeping you up tonight?

What's keeping you up tonight?

Greetings late night friends.

With the hope of a classic World Series now dashed and the Rays on life support, the Hot Stove Season is days away. We got a head start on it tonight as much of the conversation was about the Mets and their numerous holes.

If you want to analyze the Series or weigh in on the Mets, feel free. This is your late night message board. Post and I’ll catch up with you in the morning.

Oct 26

There’s something about a Sunday ….

Have a good day. Enjoy your music.

Have a good day. Enjoy your music.

Kris Kristofferson sang a song, “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down.” I’m listening to it now. Soft, sad and sweet.

Shredded wheat for breakfast. Heading to the mall to pick up my suit. Moving kind of slow this morning. Long night.

I didn’t think they’d play last night. Great, great game. Last night is why I love baseball. I just wish the people who ran the sport and the televising of it loved it like those who blogged with me last night.

That’s a game everybody should have seen. Too bad much of the country missed it. You have to know there were those who flipped on FOX and flipped it off after seeing a sit-com. Others watched college football. Others just went to sleep. The World Series is your showcase event and people miss it.

I’ll be watching tonight, but before I’ll watch Giants-Steelers.

If there’s anything on your mind before then, here’s your message board. Talk soon. Later, JD.