Wednesday, July 13, 2005

All Star Idea

I'm not a baseball fan, but I watched the homerun derby last night and had a blast. That was definitely a show that Abreu put on. I had the game on tonight for a good while too, and something kind of hacked me off. Francona was talking about how he wasn't going to "empty the bench" unless it was a blowout, but that he'd like to see it so that he could get everyone into the game.

Now, I'm sorry...this isn't a regular season game with a normal roster. You're not taking out your best player to put Bobby Higginson in the game. This is the freakin' All Star game with (theoretically) the 20 whatever best players in your league on the same team. There's no real "emptying the bench". That's called "going to the next stud".

I understand wanting to win the game, especially nowadays with homefield on the line for the winning league, but doesn't seem right to me that Carlos Guillen last year gives up his all-star weekend to represent his team and his league in the all-star game and he doesn't even get to play. I'm sure if you told him "Hey, come along, join in the festivities, but you're not playing" he would've said thanks but no thanks.

These guys play a freaking lot of games. It doesn't make sense to me for a player who is willing to be honored and give up his 5 day break--time he could spend with his family--only to ride the pine. The Blog That Yost Built believes that baseball should implement a Little League policy for the all-star game. Everyone has to get in. They don't have to go all out and say they have to play 6 outs and bat or anything like that, but everyone should get in. Pitchers for at least a batter, positional players for at least an inning or an at-bat.

Then--because the game actually does mean something now and winning is important--invoke softball rules, allowing players to re-enter the game. That way, everyone gets a shot to play, and the manager can have whatever lineup he wants out there for crunch time.

Very rare I'm going to mention baseball in this blog, but that was just something that irked me tonight. As a side note, this very issue bugs me in NHL 2k5 when I have to have players scratched in the All-Star game.

TSN's sources told them that Mike Babcock reached a deal with the Wings. Good thing. Boy would Ken Holland's face have been red if he didn't renew his head coach's contract in favor of another guy who ended up going elsewhere. It would almost be like if he were to sign a goalie to a huge contract only to have his other high-priced goalie come out of retirement and force him to put the first goalie on waivers a half-dozen times throughout the season only to see the second goalie incur a season-ending injury, requiring him to bring the other guy back up from the minors, then have his doofball coach start a third goalie in the playoffs, knee-jerk back to the first guy after the third guy lost a game, and then lose in the second round. Man that'd be embarassing.

In other hockey news, Bob McKenzie (aka the best hockey writer around) says the NHL is still considering using the big nets for the upcoming season. So much to the point that they're trying to figure out if it's possible to have enough of them made before the season starts in October. I don't like it. Try the other stuff...shrink the goalie gear, take out the red line, bring back the tag up offsides, enforce obstruction, enlarge the blue line...and see how that works before you enlarge the nets and we have to start qualifying stats as being "in the big net era".

It's still incredible to me how long these bargaining sessions are lasting. TSN also said today that the NHL and NHLPA were meeting still after midnight EDT. That's yet another 12+ hour session which once again begs the question I asked in the last post....why not do this sooner? Dumbasses.

Courtesy of this link from Canada. Apparently the mother of a 14-year-old girl hockey player is suing to allow her daughter to be able to change in the boys locker room. What dude? If they end up allowing this, they should make the mother sign a release stating that she will not sue once her daughter is harassed or one of the players sneaks a digital camera into the locker room and she ends up plastered on the Internet. How does she think this is a good idea? People amaze me. I also amaze myself that I made it through this entire section of my post without any immature comments about said girl. They'll all come out when I tell my roommate about that article tomorrow though!!

I was having a discussion with someone at work today about the upcoming NFL season and he said he thinks the Lions have the best WR corps in the NFL. I understand the optimism of Lions fans coming into this season, but let's keep it in perspective. I had another friend tell me he's thinking Super Bowl. Your team has won one playoff game in 40+ years. Let's not start doing the high-jump before you can walk.

While the Lions have put together a collegiate all-star team on offense (Harrington, Jones, Williams, Williams, Rogers) it remains to be seen if they can do it in the pros. Harrington is more of a miss than a hit at this point. Jones looked great last year as did Roy Williams but they both have to stay healthy and show they can do it more than once. Mike Williams has sat for a season and is yet to catch a pass in the NFL and Charles "China Doll" Rogers is taking over for Fred Taylor as the variable in the "It's not football season til xxxxx is hurt" jokes.

As for the "best WR corps in the NFL" comment--even if you ignore the Colts, Raiders, and a few other teams that I'm much too tired to think of right now--a team in their own division who I'm very biased towards has a pair of Pro Bowl WRs in Javon Walker and Donald Driver.

The Lions have a boatload of talent (especially adding Pollard to the mix and the fact that they've got Jeff Garthia behind Harring.....poor choice of words....backing up Harrington if he falters. That said, the most proven guy of the 5 that I mentioned above only has done it for half a season. And it's not like you're talking about the 1996 Packers or 2000 Ravens on defense. Lions fans should be very disappointed if they don't at least contend for a playoff spot, but to me, making the playoffs is a successful season for them.

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