Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

An ugly situation in Queens

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I’d rather be talking about the remaining pennant races, making playoff predictions or showing off some cool baseball cards.

I’d probably even have more fun trying to guess Sandy Alderson‘s plans for improving the Mets this winter.

But I keep coming back to a story that broke last week.

At SI.com, columnist Emma Span rightly criticizes outgoing MLB Commissioner Bud Selig for turning a blind eye towards a troubling situation in Queens.

I’m not talking about the Mets’ payroll – as a fan, I wish they’d do more to acquire the talent they need to become a pennant contender, but I don’t pretend to understand enough about high finance to know whether the team is in violation of baseball’s “internal economic rules.”

Former Mets executive Leigh Castergine‘s lawsuit against the team and Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wilpon alleges that she was discriminated against and ultimately fired for being a single mother.

The Mets issued a statement saying that the claims in the suit are without merit.

I believe in due process, and that’s really the only reason I can continue to be a Mets fan while Jeff Wilpon maintains an important leadership role with the team.

Continue reading “An ugly situation in Queens”

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Melky Cabrera & what to do about baseball’s cheaters

Melky Cabrera Giants 2012
San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera
Melky Cabrera made news on Friday by asking to be disqualified from the National League batting title race.

“To be plain, I personally have no wish to win an award that would widely be seen as tainted, and I believe that it would be far better for the remaining contenders to compete for that distinction,” Cabrera wrote in a letter obtained by The Associated Press.

More than a month after receiving a 50-game suspension for a positive PED test, Cabrera still has the highest batting average in the National League. His .346 average is eight points better than Andrew McCutchen‘s .338 and 11 points higher than Buster Posey‘s .335.

Cabrera’s request opened the door for baseball to change the rules governing the qualifications for winning a batting title, but it also raises other questions that might cause more awkwardness than the possibility of a cheater receiving an individual award.

Continue reading “Melky Cabrera & what to do about baseball’s cheaters”

Posted in Uncategorized

Fred Wilpon, Johan Santana & 38 days until spring training

Johan Santana pitches at Citi Field in June 2010 (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Fred Wilpon made comments to the media on Thursday at the quarterly owners meetings in Arizona. According to Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal, Wilpon is optimistic about meeting the challenges facing the Mets and expects to keep majority ownership of the team. “We have to have a good team,” Wilpon said… but he offered no specifics about how soon that was likely to happen.

Costa also got some fairly nauseating quotes from MLB Commissioner for Life Bud Selig.

I think I liked it better when we didn’t hear from Fred Wilpon.

Yesterday’s other news focus was Johan Santana‘s rehab. I remain hopeful that the Mets’ one-time ace will pitch in major league games at some point this season, but until he’s pitching every fifth day in actual games, I’m just not interested in Santana’s rehab program.

We’re 38 days from the start of spring training. Original Met Roger Craig was the first New York Mets player to wear #38; the recently-departed Chris Capuano was the last. Other notable Mets to wear #38 include 1970s closer Skip Lockwood, 1980s starter (and 1990s Minnesota Twins closer) Rick Aguilera, 1997 inaugural Subway Series hero Dave Mlicki, and the lamentable Victor Zambrano.

 

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Astros to the AL, more teams make the playoffs in 2013

The Houston Astros will play their final season in the National League in 2012. The change will allow each of baseball’s six divisions to have five teams, at the cost of requiring interleague play throughout the entire season. If the move allows the schedule makers to make sure that each team in a division plays the same schedule as their opponents, I’m in favor of the move. Otherwise, I don’t see the point.

Opening Day 2007 - Astros
Photo credit: M Glasgow

I’m sure that Astros fans have an opinion on the move, and maybe fans of other National League Central teams have some feelings about their team having less competition for a division title. It doesn’t make a difference to me.

The other big change coming to Major League Baseball in 2013 is one I’m very happy about. I’ve hated the idea that wild card teams go into the playoffs on even footing with the division champs ever since the wild card system debuted.

My preferred way of dealing with this situation – eliminating the wild card – just isn’t viable. But Bud Selig‘s plan to add a second wild card team in each league and force them to play a one-game playoff to advance is almost as good. A wild card berth will be much less attractive to teams if they could be knocked out in one game, and the division winners will gain an advantage in the next round because the wild card teams that advance will have already used their best pitcher.

Having a third of the teams in Major League Baseball make the playoffs every year isn’t ideal, but it’s not a bad compromise. (Now please don’t screw it up by making the wild card playoff series a best-of-three affair to unnecessarily drag out the post-season schedule.)

What do you think about the Astros’ pending move and the upcoming playoff format changes?

Posted in Autographs, Uncategorized

A nice idea, but…

Earlierjackie_robinson_day this week, Major League Baseball celebrated the anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s Major League debut. The Mets showed off the Jackie Robinson Rotunda at the still-under-construction CitiField and held pre-game ceremonies.

They also had every player, coach and manager Willie Randolph wear number 42 on their jersey. All the Washington Nationals wore number 42 as well. (I assume that every other team did the same thing, but I only watched the Mets game.)

Paying tribute to Jackie Robinson is a nice idea, but I think Bud Selig and the powers that be have forgotten why the players wear uniform numbers. It’s so the the fans can tell who’s out there on the field.

Hopefully they can come up with a different idea before next April 15.