Things I’d Like To See

I’m ba-aack. 🙂  If anyone is still checking this blog, I apologize for my absence.  I burned out on blogging with my regular author platform and one more thing to post was just too much.  But right now I’m counting down the days until pitchers and catchers report to spring training (Feb 18th) and I’m going to kick off my season with the things I’d like to see in baseball.  Not that I will, but still, a girl can dream, right?

  1. I’d like to see the end of the designated hitter.

    Let’s play
    baseball the way it was meant to be played, please and half the fun of
    watching a game is laughing at the way pitchers bat.

  2. I’d like to see baseball go back to a more balanced schedule.

    Maybe in the beginning it was cool to play the arch rival team in the division, but after this many years, it’s kind of a yawner.  Oh, the White Sox are playing the Twins again.  They were just here last week.  What’s playing at the movies.  It was much more fun when teams played each other evenly and it gave a better representation of who were the best teams.

  3. I’d like to see interleague play go away.

    I’m probably alone on this one, but having the American and National League teams play each other in the regular season has diminished the World Series and the All Star Game IMO.  Instead of these events being special, they’ve become just one more series of games between the AL and NL.

That’s just a quick wish list.  I might come up with other things as the season goes along, but for right now, this will do.  Let’s play ball.  Soon!



Yesterday, the Chicago Cubs clinched the NL Central Division title!  Whoo hoo!!!

Of course, I didn’t get to see the game.  Here in Minnesota, we were forced to watch the Twins embarrass themselves playing Tampa Bay.  I followed the Cubs the best I could on the computer, but that wasn’t easy either since MLB’s Gameday wouldn’t work for me and I couldn’t get WGN radio to play on my laptop either.  😦  Is everything blacked out for Fox?

Anyway, within minutes of seeing the final score, I flipped over to WGN television and watched their coverage of the after game celebration and saw some highlights.  I thought they could have done a better job of this–more locker room/players and a lot less coverage of the chick dancing at the Cubby Bear.  I think the cameraman must have been infatuated or something because every time they cut over, we saw the same chick and the camera rarely panned away from her.  Frankly, who cares about the dancing woman?  Let’s have more player interviews, more coverage of the team going out to share the celebration with the fans still in Wrigley, and more highlights.

Thankfully, today’s game was on WGN and I was able to watch the pregame coverage of yesterday’s celebration.  It wasn’t enough, but it was better than what I saw live yesterday.  It’s tough to follow a team from another city!

The Big Z

Last night, Carlos Zambrano of the Chicago Cubs threw the club’s first no hitter since 1972.  I would have loved to have seen the game.  The entire thing, not merely the last three outs of the ninth inning, but I couldn’t.

ESPN in its infinite wisdom decided that instead of watching the Cubs/Astros game–a game with playoff implications for both teams–that all of America would rather see the Chicago White Sox play the fourth place Detroit Tigers.  Um, yeah, right.  If they’d been smart, they’d have kept their trucks driving north and shown the game that any child could have told them would be the better of the two.

So instead of being stressed out watching the Big Z go inning after inning without giving up a hit, I was forced to follow it on MLB’s Game Day feature.  It was good enough to let me know what was going on, but it’s not the same as watching the game.

Thanks ESPN.  You just rock.  Or something.

You Have To Beat the Bad Teams

This has been a frustrating week to follow the Minnesota Twins.  While they split a four game set with the Angels–more than acceptable since the Angels are headed for the playoffs–they didn’t do well in Seattle, losing 2 out of 3.

The Twins have hopes of making it to the playoffs, but to do that, they have to beat the bad teams.  Like Seattle.  I didn’t get to watch any of the games since they start so late and I get up so early for the Evil Day Job (EDJ), but most of them were winnable games.  This is where the good teams throw it up a notch and make the pitch to retire the other side, or get the one base hit they need to score that runner off second–something the Twins don’t appear to be doing.

The only thing in their favor is that the White Sox have played just as poorly lately.  I was just watching them play the Red Sox tonight, and barring a big inning, it looks like they’re going to lose another in Boston.  That makes it even more important that the Twins win tonight in Oakland and take the opportunity that they’re being given.

Ya gotta beat the bad teams.  That’s all there is to it.  If the Twins can’t do that, they’ll be watching the playoffs from their offseason homes.

Down the Stretch: Patti’s Picks

Things are shaping up to be exciting as we head toward the playoffs.  With the exception of the American League West, every division has some good races happening.  I’m going to go out on the limb and predict who wins their respective divisions.

American League East:  Tampa Bay and Boston.  As of this moment, Tampa Bay has a 5.5 game lead over the Red Sox.  The Sox can’t be dismissed, but the Rays not only have the best record, they show no signs of slowing down.

My pick:  Cinderella wins the division.  Makes for some good press stories and it’ll be fun for fans to see this underdog in the playoffs.

American League Central:  Minnesota and Chicago White Sox.  The Twins lost Johan Santana, and my favorite player, Torii Hunter, this last off season.  No one expected them to do anything, not even anyone in Minnesota.  The question is are they playing above their ability or are they for real?  The Twins are young and hungry–the White Sox in general are not young. 

My pick:  Minnesota.  Hey, I grew up and still live in the Twin Cities, who else am I going to pick?

American League West:  This is the division that really isn’t in question.  The only thing that’s up for grabs is whether or not the Los Angeles Angels will have the best record in baseball.

National League East:  New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies.  It was a three-team race, but the Florida Marlins have fallen 6 games back.  They’re not completely out of it, but I don’t like their odds.  The Mets had a terrible start this year, so bad that their manager was fired.  They’ve turned things around since then and lead the division by 1.5 games right now.  Philadelphia surprised the Mets last year and took the division out from underneath them, can they do it again?

My pick:  New York Mets.  Johan Santana traditionally turns it up another notch in the second half of the season and in the Phillies games I’ve seen this year, they seem inconsistent.

National League Central:  My beloved Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers.  This was another three team race for a while, but St. Louis has fallen 8 games back and I don’t think they have the horses to get back in the race.  Both the Cubs and the Brewers are going for broke this year.  The Cubs are a veteran team that isn’t getting any younger and Milwaukee will be losing part of their team to free agency at the end of the season.  It’s do-or-die time for them. Milwaukee made a key acquisition getting C.C. Sabathia and the Cubs countered by getting Rich Harden.

My pick:  Cubs.  Did you think it was going to be anyone else after looking at my page?  This team hasn’t won a World Series in 100 years.  It’s time, and if Boston can break the curse of the Bambino, the Cubs can break the curse of the goat.

National League West:  Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers.  The Dodgers picked up Joe Torre as manager and Manny Ramiriez before the trade deadline.  The Diamondbacks have had injuries, but their pitching has been strong and consistent.

My pick:  I’d like to see the Dodgers, but I think it’s going to be Arizona.  They seem to be a more complete team at this point.

There you go, my choices to win their respective divisions.  We’ll see how right or wrong I am come October.

Broadcasters: The Best and the Worst

Since subscribing to the MLB package, I’ve gotten to watch quite a bit of baseball and I’ve seen a lot of different broadcasting teams.  There are definitely some I need to watch on mute and others that I love.

My choice for best broadcast:

Los Angeles Dodgers – Vin Scully

I’m indifferent about the Dodgers, but I watch all their home games anyway just to listen to Vin Scully.  He’s knowledgeable about baseball, does his homework on the players for both teams, his commentary is interesting, and he’s well-balanced in his comments.  I’m losing sleep on the weekends because of that Pacific time thing.

Honorable Mentions:

Arizona Diamondbacks  I was impressed with their fairness during a game early in the season with the Colorado Rockies.  When I found out Mark Grace was the color guy, I knew why.  The man is class all the way.

Atlanta Braves  They were better with the late Skip Caray at the mike, but Joe Simpson is interesting and the play-by-play guy who replaced Skip isn’t bad.

Chicago Cubs  Before Len and Bob, I wouldn’t have put the Cubs on this list, but Bob Brenley had interesting insights being both a former player and manager and Len is interesting as well. 

My vote for the worst broadcast in the MLB goes to:

Chicago White Sox  “It’s 2-1 bad guys.”  The Sox are the “good guys” and the opposing team is always the “bad guys.”  I don’t know if it’s possible for a broadcast team to be any more obnoxious than this one and they make no attempt to even try to be impartial.  I find them impossible to listen to and never, ever turn the sound on if I’m forced to watch them.

I was hoping to add some dishonorable mentions, but after remembering the White Sox announcers, all others pale in comparison. 

I’m Ba-aack

I had a book due to my publisher on July 1 and I had to take a break from blogging to have enough time and energy to finish it, but it’s turned in and I’m back!

So because of my deadline, I’m late commenting on the idiot remark made by Hank Steinbrenner about putting the DH into the National League.  Uh, no.  The DH is an abomination on baseball and we should return to pitchers batting in the American League, like God and Abner Doubleday intended.  If your pitcher isn’t enough of an athlete to run the bases, then it’s time to either 1. change your conditioning program or 2. find some pitchers that can run without doing injury to themselves.

Geez, quit your whining.  The damn Yankees suck anyway.  Guess you should have bought a few more aging veterans.

Okay, you might have guessed I have a strong opinion about the DH–you’d be right.  I grew up in an American League city with the DH, but I love National League ball so much better than the American League game.  There’s more strategy, more excitement, more thrills and chills.  Let’s face it, bases loaded, 2 out, and the pitcher at bat is much more of a nail biter than bases loaded, 2 out, and the DH at bat.

Now if we could just go back to more daytime baseball games and scheduled doubleheaders on Saturdays, life would be beautiful.