A.K.’s 3 Cents
Things in Baseball I Don’t Get
Its summertime and as I wait for the NFL season to get started I’m stuck as a sports fan with not that many choices.
Watching baseball all my life, at 33 years of age, I have slowly grown tired and disgruntled on some aspects of the game, besides being a Dodgers fan and not being able to see them win a World Series since 1988 (I was 8 years old), here are some complaints.
For starters, what’s the deal with pitchers having to hit in the National League? I think baseball is a skill position game, the pitcher is the most important skill position and shouldn’t have to be put in a situation to hit; the designated hitter should be in both leagues.
The pitcher hitting is just an out, watching them bunt or try to bunt and strike out doesn’t help either. They don’t get there fair share of batting practice and shouldn’t anyways, they should just concentrate on getting the ball across the strike zone. A lot of people would say it’s a strategy concept, to see what the manager does in the situation, I’ve seen the bases loaded with a pitcher at the plate, and it sucks.
Next you got the all-star game, a great exhibition turned into a game that counts for something, whatever happened to having the best record and having home field advantage, now as a contending team your fate of having home field during the World Series is left to chance. Back in the old days you use to have to go to a game and stuff the ballot box, with your votes for your favorite players, now you can do it through the internet, I have mixed feelings on that one, I think your giving power to the geeks with that, but I’m a geek so let’s move on.
A lot of people scoff at Interleague baseball, I for one can say okay that’s a cool idea, being a Dodger fan I enjoy watching a freeway series against the Angels. Just keep it to interesting city or classic rivalries; nobody cares to see the Houston Astros play the Red Sox. Yankees/Dodgers fine. On the other hand maybe there trying to develop new rivalries, just finished watching the Pirates and Oakland Athletics,zzzzz.
Is it just me or is the art of the complete game just gone out the window? This day and age over protective managers/pitching coaches and there dreaded pitch counts, which has created an influx for more set ups guy becoming apparently important, before the closer, starters are protected and only pitch 6 to 7 innings tops, now I don’t want my ace to get hurt, but back in the old days pitchers use to throw over 100 pitches in games and managers wouldn’t be so quick on the hook. Nowadays pitchers are overprotected like the quarterback in football, the dreaded 100 plus pitch count by the 5th inning, forget about it, he won’t be in there for the 6th. Granted if he’s just blowing up out there, you got to take him out but if he still has the game in hand, what’s the deal?
I remember Don Drysdale through 200 pitches in a 20 inning game and got the win and the complete game, well maybe that didn’t happen but you know what I’m saying, keep him in. what happened to the great stat of the complete game, when did the set up guy come into play, and do we even have solid closers anymore? Guys that “slam the door” any more, you’re lucky if they don’t give up a run, or mess up the starting pitchers chance to win the game. When its 7th inning stretch time, it’s time to bring in the middle guy, a dude who gets a lot of money to to pitch maybe 2 innings, 6 outs, to get to the “closer”, another over paid guy that only has to get 3 outs, wow.
Stop the witch hunt on PED’S who cares, if these players are going to the trouble of using performing enhancement vitamins maybe they just want to make the game more exciting to watch. Nobody gave a lick in 1998, when the homerun record was being thrown out the window, until after the fact. You’re telling me Mickey Mantle or Roger Maris wouldn’t try some ped’s if it was out during the old days. Classic hypocritical malarkey let it go on and then point fingers later, if you really want to bust players then start from the minor leagues, how many of those guys are on something? Nobody cares because there not making the big bucks yet, I guess.
Lastly maybe the season is too long, 162 in this day and age of attention deficit disorder and music by some dude name Pitbull, maybe we should shorten the season, a nice 102 games? At this rate the boys of summer become the boys of fall/autumn with the World Series being spaced out and almost going into early November, with the addition of the wildcard games. I almost forgot what the hell with the idea of instant replay? I get the umpires are blind and make horrible calls, but human error is a part of the game like hot dogs and foul balls into the crowd.
Have a difference of opinion? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter akfunhouse, Facebook da AK show, or call up my podcast on Friday Night Funhouse, 5pm pacific, 8 pm eastern on the vocnation.com!
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