Do I have your attention?
There are a few things I would change about the game of baseball – most fans probably have a list, a DIFFERENT list from mine, of course. I’m not going to complain about anything huge or complex. Getting the owners and players to agree on a major change is like planning a tea party with Republicans and Democrats, Bostonians and New Yorkers, Cats and Dogs, North-Siders and South-Siders, Big Markets and Small Markets, Disco and Rock-n-Roll…
Instead, my complaint is EASILY fixed.
Napolean had Waterloo, the Trojans had a giant wooden horse, Custer had his… uh… Last Stand.
Selig has the All-Star Game.
Seriously, Selig. Do you spend the offseason dreaming up new ways to screw an exhibition game up?
Bud Bundy, it is April 27th. And the All-Star ballots are already released? Every year, deserving players are left off the roster because more popular players are voted in. But what the hell are people supposed to base their vote on in April? Spring Training? Three weeks of games? Holy hell. But that’s not the ultimate kick in the groin… every year brings new embarrassing All-Star ballot selections.
Here are the Chicago Cubs on the 2011 All-Star Ballot
C – Soto
1B – Pena
2B – DEWITT
3B – Ramirez
SS – Castro
OF – Soriano, Byrd, Fukudome
Wait, what? For those who (thankfully) have not watched a lot of Cubs baseball this year: DeWitt has started 1 game for the Cubs this year. Darwin Barney has started 18 games at 2B. Are you KIDDING me? This means the list was compiled before the START of the season, considering Barney won the job before Opening Day.
Here are some other fun and exciting names on the ballot:
– Chase Utley – 0 games played.
– Kendry Morales – 0 games played.
– Brandon Belt – already optioned to the minors (I’m sure he’ll be back, but still…)
– Ivan Rodriguez – who has lost the starting job to Wilson Ramos
– Brad Emaus – a rule V pick who has been sent from the Mets back to his former team the Blue Jays who have traded him to the Rockies – but is listed as a Met
I’m sure there are more, feel free to chime in with any moronic ballot picks from other teams.
No matter what method is chosen, some player will be injured or traded after the release – but this is ridiculous. It’s very simple, Budrick. Here are two improvements that should be implemented post-haste. But since you are likely a Lame-Duck Commish, you couldn’t care less – which is a pity.
Start All-Star voting on June 1st. Release ballots ON June 1st. Finalize ballots a week before – ideally using players who are actually playing the position for the team, and haven’t been injured for the entire season – revolutionary, I know. And please don’t give me any crap about printing paper ballots for fans at games requiring more lead time. This is 2011, Mr Bud. If 95% of the voting isn’t already done online I would be extraordinarily shocked. Oh, and this won’t solve everything, but it might help with fewer Fukudome’s being voted in. A few more fans might actually look at a couple months worth of performance before voting.
Allow any all-star starter (you know – those guys voted in by the fans) to come back into the game once, if the game goes into extra innings. Currently the manager can designate one position player to reenter (plus a catcher if a catcher is injured). If a guy like Ortiz gets a hit in the ninth: I think the fans, the manager, the players, the media, the announcers and even God himself would prefer a pinch runner – instead of saving a future hall of famer (ARod) on the bench just in case he’s needed in extra innings. Give the managers a bit more flexibility. And who wouldn’t like to see an extra inning game with Hanley Ramirez or Evan Longoria coming back in to pinch hit. This is not a normal game. You’ve already bent the rules a bit. Don’t make the managers hold players back, just in case. It also may allow a few more extra innings to be played without having to punt and call a tie game.
Pretty simple fixes Bud. Fix it. Your legacy, fair or not, to the average fan will forever be dominated by your personal Waterloo Trojan Horse Last Stand: the annual All-Star Debacle.
I have an extremely low tolerance for stupidity. Usually however, my response is to simply roll my eyes. This required a bit of therapeutic ranting.
It almost made me forget the Cub and Blackhawk losses from yesterday. Almost.