RANTS AND RAVES
Is it just me, or has anyone else been thinking that Roger Clemens is tarnishing his HOF credentials by this annual retire re-sign routine?
Someone likened it to a high priced madam selling services to the highest bidder. While that analogy may be a bit crude, it is true that fans might begin to wonder what his motives really are. The Yankees are paying a ridiculous sum for a 44 year old six inning pitcher who has to win at least 14 games for their payout to payoff. As of this date, they are already 8 ½ games back of the hated Red Sox. By the time he is ready to pitch sometime in late May or early June it may already be too late.
While the east coast media may ignore what goes on here in the Midwest, it won’t be long until they will have to comment on the Milwaukee Brewers shortstop. In the mold of a previous Brewer HOF shortstop , Hardy is putting up numbers that are in line with other All-Star shortstops in the game. Yes, New York has two of the best in Jeter and Reyes which is why Hardy will continue to get overlooked. But as of today, he leads the National League in home runs (12) AND RBI (35) and is hitting .325. Yet I’m sure Reyes and Rollins will get more All-Star Game votes (see Rant)
We all know that this is a popularity contest. Starters get in who are not deserving because fans cast huge numbers of votes for them. Thus worthy players are left out. It won’t change and I’m not sure there is a better way if baseball wants to keep having the fans vote. But some other changes could be made. First, the old-fashioned rule that each team needs to be represented. While it made sense when there were sixteen teams up until 1961, there are now nearly twice as many, yet there are the same number of players on the roster. It’s time to retire this rule and put only worthy players on the team and while we are at it increase the rosters to 30 players. Second, there needs to be a place in the All-Star game for non-closers. In this age of bullpen specialization, set-up men are an important part of in-game strategy. They should be recognized for this. Each league should set aside two spots for set-up men much like the NFL does with special team players.
Speaking of pitchers, there continues to be an impressive young crop again this year. Tom Gorzelanny, Cole Hamels, Joakim Soria, Brian Burres, Matt Cain, Carlos Villanueva, Pat Neshek, Philp Hughes and James Shields to name a few. And Tim Lincecum will also join this list after a few more starts.
Rant…Barry Bonds and Race
The topic of my previous blog. National media are trying to create a controversy by intimating that fans are against Bonds breaking the record based on race. This is ludicrous. The player he is chasing is black and earned the record legitimately. If this were Ken Griffey, Jr and not Barry Bonds, it wouldn’t even be an issue. Barry Bonds is no worse than Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmiero, Sammy Sosa and others who cheated.
Rave…Gil Meche and Braden Looper
If there is one player this year who is making me and a few of the so-called experts eat their words, it is Gil Meche. He has been outstanding so far for baseball’s worst team. He still may not be worth $11 million, but so far he hasn’t been a slug either (3-1 1.91 ERA). Runner-up: Jason Marquis.
And what about Braden Looper? Never started a game until this year and he is keeping the Cardinals afloat with an impressive and consistent season thus far (5-2 2.29 ERA).
The next blog will continue more rants and raves from the 2007 Season thus far.