Common Sense in Baseball?

Before the Vancouver Canucks beat the San Jose sharks last night, I was afraid I might have to step in. Common sense, or anyone’s perception of it, often does not tally with the reality of sports, but if the land-locked Sharks had won it would have been too wrong… Vancouver is one of the warmest cities in Canada but still spends half the year with temperatures around freezing, whereas in San Jose they decorate the place with palm trees…nuff said.

So with the Canucks’ victory I can turn my attention back to baseball and in the name of common sense, insist on the following:

– Put a major league franchise in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. This is the home of world baseball. Everyone there is obsessed with it, every game would sell out, and the Dominicans, per capita, are just way better at baseball than people from any other country. Current Dominican League champions, Tigres del Licey, could replace the Marlins in the NL East.

– Contract the Rays and Marlins. They have five fans between them who all moved down from New York anyway. I’ve explored this before, so I’ll move on…

– Stop calling the World Series the World Series. It isn’t. It’s the USA Series. Or the Richest league in the world…Series. They used to call it the World’s Series, almost implying that America was providing a service to the rest of the world by hosting such a thing…which it kind of is…but because it’s so annoying to try and say it, they dropped the apostrophe and the ‘s’. Now it just sounds arrogant and delusional.

If they insist on keeping the name, then the English Premier League in football should be renamed the World(‘s) Premier League. After all, England invented the game and has more of the best players and money in its league than any other country.

– Mandatory mention of Satchel Paige any time people talk about the greatest pitchers, or greatest strikeout/deceptive delivery/long-lasting pitchers in history. Dude had over 3,000 strikeouts and 250 wins in his combined Negro and Major League career spanning 39 years, another 700+ wins in non-league games…and NEVER gets mentioned.

– Ditto Josh Gibson for hitting. With approximately 800 home runs in all forms of baseball and a career batting average somewhere north of .350, Gibson was such a feared slugger that Babe Ruth was referred to by some fans at the time as the “white Josh Gibson”.

– Stop calling the 1990’s the steroids era. Or start calling the 1970’s the amphetamines era. Or the 1940’s the alcohol era…or the 1910’s the scratched baseballs era…or the 1960’s the massive strike zone/low mound era…or everything pre-1960’s the massive ballparks era. Accept that statistics are an entertaining mangling of reality and move on. For example, if Barry Bonds had played home games in the old Polo Grounds stadium in New York used by Giants, Yankees and Mets teams for 76 years, his hilariously juiced 73 home run total of 2001 translates into a measly 31 over 153 games. Babe Ruth hit 32 home runs out of the Polo Grounds in 1921…in just 77 games.

– Textbooks that educate children about financial mismanagement will have to include the tale of the 1999 New York Mets and owner Fred Wilpon. That year, they wanted rid of an under-performing, overeating, clubhouse toxin called Bobby Bonilla, but they still owed him $5.9million.

So they did him a deal. They’d keep the money owed until 2011, when they’d start paying him $1.2million per year…for 25 years. And how would they fund this, you ask? Simple, by throwing the $5.9million into Madoff’s Ponzi scheme and hoping to turn the whole deal into a profit for the franchise. It’s probably not a huge shock that the Mets are now over $400million in debt, or that Bobby B, wherever he is right now, must be unable to contain his laughter.

Now that’s all sorted I’ll go back to the hockey – I need to make sure the Sub-tropical Lightning lose to the Freezing-in-winter Bruins in the Conference Finals…


One Comment Add yours

  1. Mrs Reynolds says:

    Great. Anytime Paul writes about baseball it is an up and jumping happening happening. It is full of reality and great fun.
    This is surely the main selling point of baseball for a family, it is fun and a great place to go to together.
    After that is settled, you may well draw people into the game and the stats.
    All the best,
    Mrs R.


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