Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Happy New Year!

I have to say I'm a lot more hopeful this year than last.  May this be the year our beloved president, his family, and close associates all go to prison for the rest of their lives. 

And MLB eliminates the shift.

Happy New Year to you and yours. 

36 comments :

VincentS said...

Happy New Year, Ken. And I second BOTH sentiments! Death to analytics!

Nate said...

Happy New Year Mr. Levine and may I cosign;
from your keyboard to Jah's to do list 2019....Seen!!

Peter said...

I agree with you Ken but feel I must add a note of caution: are we really sure President Pence would be any better? Ok, he doesn't spout the inane, moronic, childish, thin skinned garbage that Trump vomits on his Twitter account every day, but he would probably be as destructive as him if not worse.

As nice as it would be to see Trump behind bars, given his past tendency to fold when under pressure (for example, settling the lawsuit against him over Trump University fraud rather than going to trial), in all likelihood he would resign the presidency and run if it looked like he's gonna go down. This is ultimately a spineless gutless man who will always take the easy way out. He would resign and probably henceforth refuse to attend any event that has the attendance of all living former presidents.

He's a manbaby, a sad, pathetic figure who doesn't even have the respect of the people who work for him. He's ridiculed by members of his own cabinet, and his trophy wife is probably counting the days till he quits so she can file for divorce.

The old Doc said...

Sounds like a case of obsessive rumination disorder.

Ty said...

So that's it? No other resolution?

Dave Bismo said...

Hope the second part comes true! Happy New Year!

MikeKPa. said...

I'm with you on the killing the shift. Amazing these great players, with big egos, won't adjust their swings to beat it. Spent New Year's Eve trying to switch away from one preening celeb co-host to the next (Jenny McCarthy, Chrissy Tiegen, Andy Cohen). NBC ended a bad year on a bad note - missing the Times Square ball countdown. Props to Ryan Seacrest, whom I usually don't like, manning up and going without an umbrella the entire night. Ditto the performers who went on with the show in the rain. Hope 2019 is a great one for you and your readers.

Patrick said...

Here's to President Pence.

KLAC Guy said...

Pence is the ultimate tool. If Trump is impeached or resigns, it will be a battle in Congress. Pence will sit on the sidelines and occasionally make a meaningless comment.

Dhruv said...

Happy New Year Ken :)

KLAC Guy said...

While I hate the shift as much as you do, if players would learn to bunt against it or simply go the other way once in a while, the shift would disappear.

Anonymous said...

Along with the shift, how about the DH. About time the American League started playing baseball again.

Anonymous said...

I have a potential Friday question for you, or maybe you have already addressed this at some point and I can't find the post (I looked). I love vintage sitcoms (and for example like the old Paul Lynde Show, but just for Paul Lynde's mannerisms and comical reactions, I think the rest of the show is pretty blah). But anyway having discovered that one, and rediscovered so many old shows on Antenna TV, plus all of the shows I've watched over the years, I've watched so many main female characters get arrested mistakenly for prostitution, so many characters get locked or stuck together in storerooms or elevators, or have a ghost of Christmas past visit in a dream, or have an item donated in error to a charity sale that contains that envelope of money ... What do you think has been the most overused story premise in sitcoms? If I like and care about the characters, I don't mind so much, but some shows seem to really rely on overused story lines. Thank you, Ken. I really do enjoy reading your opinions. Julie, Burlington, Iowa

Curt Alliaume said...

Good prioritizing.

Darryl Musick said...

Keep the shift, lose the president.

Matt said...

MLB should not get rid of the shift. A player in the field should be able to stand anywhere they want to, it is up to the batter to hit it where they ain’t.

Liggie said...

I understand they're discouraging bunting, full stop. You're giving up an out when you bunt, and giving up an out is absolute sacrilege to the analytics crowd and the Earl Weaver three-run homer crowd. Sigh.

Mike Bloodworth said...

Happy New Year, Ken.

Without the shift how would baseball get capital letters? "mlb" doesn't look right.

But seriously, as for politics, I just hope the TRUTH comes out either way.

Just a reminder, impeachment is only the bringing of charges; kind of like a trial. There's no guarantee of anything. President Bill Clinton was impeached, but he was NOT removed from office. Impeachment proceedings may actually benefit Trump in the long run.

My big worry is that the Democrats will become so obsessed with "getting Trump" that the house will ignore other important issues facing the nation.
That's what happened to the Republicans during the Obama administration. They spent so much time trying to hinder him that they didn't accomplish anything of their own. I hope we're not looking at a repeat of that situation.

For my final rant: Yet another year that I won't be able to watch the ROSE BOWL! I really hate the fact that the game was pulled off of broadcast television (ABC) and put on cable. (ESPN) Thanks Disney. Parent company of both. I'm not a socialist, yet the only reason I can see for this move is corporate greed. Somebody somewhere must have thought, "Hey! We can make a lot more money if we do it this way." Hope you choke on it. That's a little mean, but you get the idea.
Watching the "PEZ Bowl" or the "Depend Underwear Bowl" or "Kraft, Jet-Puffed, Marshmallow Cream Bowl" just doesn't have the same impact.

HAPPY NINETEEN EVERYBODY!!
M.B.

Dr Loser said...

Technically,Ken, there is no such thing as "the shift." There's infield shifts (a dazzling variety), outfield shifts (a brutal reminder to certain sluggers that right-center exists as a thing) and so on. And MikePA's argument that shifts are a bad thing precisely because hitters don't adjust is a bit ... carty-horsy.

Baseball already has a built-in bias that favours defenders with range who run really fast. I propose that we bring it back to the game we all enjoyed as fat little kids, by adopting the same principle as handicapped horse racing. Ten pounds of lead shot per $30 million of contract should do it, I think.

Harper and Machado aren't going to like it, but then again they've both benefited from the shift, so I see this as fair.

Mike H. said...

Ken, it's not the shift that's the problem. The shift is just strategy. Strategy is good! The players, and teams, have to want to adjust. Getting rid of the shift is like saying "ok, we don't want our players to have to adjust, so no more sliders either."
As far at the Prez goes, Yeah I'm all in on that.

slgc said...

Here's what will kill the shift - teaching hitters how to bunt to third when it's not being covered.

The problem is with batters who refuse to learn situational hitting!

DrBOP said...

My little community in North Ontario Canada got a BIG surprise during our annual Beaver-Drop New Year's Eve festivities. The REAL Santa Claus surprisingly attended wearin' a bright red tuxedo and top hat....but he kept stressing that he was overjoyed to be spending New Year's Eve PARTICULARLY in Canada! As the evening rolled on, this became his mantra.
He finally copped to his jive when approached by Dj Beaver-Drop for beginning to freak people out. In essence, this Santa-Endorsed video will explain Santa's fixation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QA30sgqsRY

Santa's evening proceeded to rock-on in a most invigorating manner
after his secret was out. He especially LOVED the Rudolph-Red Brownies (TM) The evening culminated down at the lake where everyone welcomed 2019 with our fireworks display:

The Holiday Clown-Face Shit-Show Smoking-Gun Festival Of Lights

It was far-out, man!

Tom said...

Let the fielders shift. Professional hitters should be able to adjust. Besides, if fielders had to stay in their "traditional" positions, first basemen would still be standing virtually on the bag all the time -- as was the case until Charles Comiskey moved to his right and covered more of the infield in the 1880s. Hitters adjusted.

Loosehead said...

Oh yeah, and World Peace.

Peter said...

A host for the Oscars still hasn't been announced.

Ken, your country needs you!

DyHrdMET said...

I have a Friday Question - I started watching CHEERS from the beginning. There was an early episode in which the TV showed a clip of a Yankees-Red Sox game and I heard Jon Miller's voice calling the action (this is the episode in which Carla insults and assaults a Yankees fan). Was there any trouble getting an actual TV broadcast of a game, or was it recreated for you? Was Jon Miller calling that game or did you have him come in and dub the play-by-play. And was there any issue even just using Red Sox logos and Yankees logos (and later Celtics logos, etc.) on episodes?

Anonymous said...

It is late but appropiate for the day.
Cheers.
Loved the episode where Paul discretely eggs other denizens into taking a "Polar Bear Plunge" on New Years Day in Boston after talking about his tradition of doing so in his youth.
After they left I beleive Coach asked Paul where he grew up and the answer was
Honolulu

Janet Ybarra said...

Don't think Pence is not dirty with some of this stuff. He oversaw the transition. We may not have heard much yet but I think we will.

Janet Ybarra said...

Doesn't the shift totally like cancel what the players have/should have learned about their positions.

It should go.

Bart Gerardi said...

I think the shift is fine, Ted Williams had no problem with it. Hit it where they ain't.

If MLB starts dictating where players can play (other than between the lines) then all sorts of stuff could happen. No more pulling the infield in -- player safety. No more double-play depth, causes too many double plays. "No Doubles" defense? Hell, we love doubles.

Meh, leave it alone.

McAlvie said...

I'm starting the year cautiously hopeful, but we have a long way to go.

Anonymous said...

Ken, If you have not seen this Daily Kos story yet, you will love it. Trump has inadvertently handed Pelosi a loaded gun. 1822324/-Trump-gave-House-extra-129M-to-help-investigate-Hillary-Now-Pelosi-has-it?fbclid=IwAR213Ol-9Wz7shhtlgnb0aOTEO6w_0TDKEoZHsw2XkbZVFDyLQSq3PAJHTk Julie, Burlington, Iowa

Anne Elliot said...

The shift is one of the coolest things they do in baseball. Why on earth would you want to get rid of it? That one game where they had 4 players lined up between first and second base was a beautiful thing to see. It shows the players adjusting to the situation, and challenges the batter to bunt to third for heaven’s sake.

bruce said...

My 2019 wish in the form of an adapted oldie:


And so it was that later
As the Mueller told his tale
That his face, at first just orange
Turned a whiter shade of jail

mike said...

I don't understand why hitters can't or won't go the other way to beat a shift. But I think Teddy Ballgame is a bad example, for as I understand it, he rarely went the other way and had an 'I'll show them' attitude and kept pulling ropes into the teeth of the shift. But since no one is a Ted Williams, just slap it to the opposite field already! If you can't, how about working on your weaknesses as a player? Now THAT'S sacrilege!

mike said...

And oh, yeah, let's hope the dems go full on pit bull progressive so we can address militarism, inequality, climate, and the other issues we've neglected. Soft blob of protoplasm Pelosi doesn't have the guts to even mention the 'I' word except to denigrate it, despite the literally dozens of impeachable offenses already committed by agent orange.