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Sports Then and Now



Calls To The Hall: The Morals Of Cooperstown 4

Posted on November 29, 2012 by Rick Swanson

When it comes to electing the upcoming class into the baseball Hall of Fame, we are going to either change the record books or let in everybody that cheated.

The fact that Roger Clemens is up for nomination is going to cause us to see who really gets in and who is left outside looking in with Pete Rose.

Watching Clemens when he was in New Britain, CT in 1983, there was talent on the mound, that had Cooperstown in my mind instantaneously.

That day when he threw a shutout to win the Eastern League Championship, I said “someday I will see him win the World Series for Boston.” When I went to Game Six in 1986, my dream was close to coming true.

He won 192 games in a Red Sox uniform and nobody has worn his number 21 since he left for Toronto in 1997.

The greatest pitcher in Red Sox history, and he threw it all away for a syringe a decade later

How could using PED’s in the 1995-2007 era be any different than those that used greenies from the 50′s until 2011?

We let Gaylord Perry in the HOF and he admits he cheated from day one.

Craig Nettles even had super balls come out of his bat, and how many times has cork been found inside one?

Cap Anson might have been the biggest bigot of his era, and he kept color out of baseball for 64 years, but baseball let him into Cooperstown.

Tom Yawkey did not have a man with color on his team until Pumpsie Green a decade after Jackie Robinson, but he too is enshrined.

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GM’s Have Much To Discuss At Baseball’s Winter Meetings In Nashville 0

Posted on November 26, 2012 by Rick Swanson

Besides Hot Stove banter there is much that can be discussed at next week’s GM Meetings in Nashville, TN

With the MLB Winter Meetings in Nashville rapidly approaching, here a few meetings that Bud and his crew should schedule.

The first meeting should be with Bud and every team in the American League. In 2013 there will be 15 teams in the AL, and we need to take a new vote on the DH. Lets say that Houston will vote to eliminate the DH since they never had one. Do you think there are seven other teams that would vote the same way?

The next meeting should be regarding the new schedule.

It might be too late to scrap the model adopted by baseball and change to a more balanced schedule in 2013, but it certainly is early enough to start on the 2014 schedule.

In 2013 each team will play 19 divisional games and 20 interleague games with six teams.

In 2014 a balanced schedule would have each team play 18 divisional games and 20 interleague games with five teams. Eliminating rivalry games every year, will allow baseball to rotate a complete division with all teams playing in every park every three years.

Balanced schedule:

72 Interdivisional – four teams 18 games each
70 same league- ten teams seven games each
20 interleague- one complete five team division four games each

The next meeting will be called Wild Card improvements.

The first thing should be to change the Wild Card Game into a series, WCS. Changing it into a three game series will make it more exciting for fans, and each team will have at least one home game.

Rules for tie breakers also needs modifying. If both teams qualify for post season, then they should never play a game in which the losing team advances, like what would have happened this past season if the Yankees and Baltimore tied.

The next meeting will be called instant replay.

Here is the proposal.

Each team will be allowed three wrong challenges per game.

Each team will have a red ball that would signify a challenge. When a team throws the challenge ball across the foul line, a challenge will start.

The challenge must be made within five seconds of the original call by any umpire. Any umpire call, except balls and strikes could be challenged

After the red ball crosses the line, the four umpires will have 30 seconds to watch replays while staying on the field, using the giant screen in every park.

After 30 seconds each umpire will signal their call. If the result is 2-2 then the original call stands.

All replays will be shown in every park, including balls and strikes.

Umpire Strikezone Scores will be included in every boxscore.

The next meeting will be for rule changes.

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Thoughts About Baseball: The Balanced Schedule & 2012 World Series Ratings 0

Posted on November 10, 2012 by Rick Swanson

Crosstown rivalries like the White Sox and the Cubs won’t be the only imbalanced part of the 2013 MLB schedule.

The Balanced Schedule

The 2013 MLB season will be like none other in history. For the first time there will not be an even number of teams in each league. At least one inter-league series will take place all season long. All divisions will have teams playing inter-divisional rivals 19 games each.

There will be twenty inter-league games that will be divided rather unevenly by playing six teams; four teams three games each, and two teams four games each.

The sixty-six games remaining will be divided up with some teams six games (four teams) and others seven (six teams).

This 2013 schedule is not balanced at all.

If baseball is going to have twenty inter-league games, why don’t they divide up the games by playing one complete division four games each?

The first year the American League East would play the National League East, and the next NL Central, followed by NL West.

Every three years every team would play in every park.

The proper way to divide up twenty games is to play four games with five teams.

The 142 games that remain should be divided up with 72 divisional games, or 18 games each and 70 same league games would then be divided up seven games each.

Here is the complete balanced schedule for 2014.

72 Interdivisional – four teams 18 games each
70 same league- ten teams seven games each
20 interleague- one complete five team division four games each

Here is the unbalanced one MLB will use in 2013

76 Interdivisional – four teams 19 games each
66 same league- ten teams six teams seven games, four teams six games
20 interleague- six teams, four teams three games, two teams four games

If you compare the 2013 schedule to this 2014 model which one would you prefer to play?

Now if we could change the Wild Card one game playoff to a three game Wild Card Series, use instant replay, and get rid of the DH, baseball would be the perfect sport.

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Proof Positive Why Baseball Needs Replay 0

Posted on October 25, 2012 by Rick Swanson

Replay Will Cut Down On This.

The non-call at second base during Game One of the NLCS was another example of not using replays to make the right call.

Clearly Matt Holliday was past the bag, and he used a barrel roll into Marco Scutaro. Any competent umpire should have called runner interference, and ruled it a double play.

How could Rich Gedman be called for being out of the baseline (in 1988 ALCS) for what he did, when Holliday was past the bag when he started to slide?

He should have been ejected and banned from the next game.

One look at the replay and you could see he broke the rules. It was a dirty play. Umpires need to follow the rules, and then don’t.

If you looked at a replay you can tell in one look if he made the wrong call.

Just give each manager three chances a game to use instant replay.

If you get them all right, you can keep using them all game.

Each time a manager throws the red ball on the field he will be challenging a call. No need to argue, just toss the red ball and we all get to use instant replay.

The umpires will turn and everyone in the park will watch the big screen and in 10 seconds there will be four angles of the questionable play, and at the end of ten seconds the ball, glove, and player will be frozen on the screen.

The umpire will either raise his hand in an out signal or signal safe with both hands.

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