Friday, October 28, 2016

Friday Questions

Getting ready for another weekend of my play, GOING GOING GONE at the Hudson Theare in Hollywood. Come join us.

And now, since it’s Friday…

Jerod Butt starts us off:

I seem to remember cartoons featuring the title of the episode or half-episode at the beginning. I recently satrted watching PITCH and I noticed an episode title under the show title. It seems that this practice is almost non-existent in live action shows.

Why isn't this a more prominent practice?

The title often gives away the plot or a surprise in the episode so I never show them on air.

But now you can go on line or your TV provider menu will generally have the episode title listed. So if you’re really interested that information is available.

Some series had fun with titles like FRIENDS. All of their titles began with “The one with…”

In FRASIER, my partner David Isaacs and I spoofed them by calling an episode "The one where Lilith came back" and "The one where Sam shows up."

OrangeTom asks:

I noticed this week that one of my favorite sitcoms--almost criminally underrated if you ask me--The Middle has been moved from its Wednesday time slot of seven years to Tuesday. Is this ever a good thing for a show late in its run or is it more of a gentle hint from the network to the producers that time is not on their side?

Depends on the show and the network’s need. There are two general explanations for why a network moves a show that’s performing well.

One is because they have faith the show can hold its own and its viewers will follow. They can use it to shore up another night or time slot.

The other is that the network has a new show they want to see get the maximum exposure so they slot it after a big hit (like MODERN FAMILY) to increase its chances. In that case, the original show gets put out to pasture.

Personally, I think the time slot is less important today than it was in the past. People DVR shows or stream them or binge-watch. I watch THE MIDDLE and didn’t even realize it’s broadcast on Wednesday night.

From MikeK.Pa.:

You always write such nice, glowing tributes of people who've passed on. How nice that Emyli gets to enjoy this. Question: Are stage managers attached to particular theaters or do they go wherever they're needed?

Both. Some stage managers are attached to theaters or theater companies, but even then they can work freelance. My stage manager for A OR B? when I did it at the Falcon Theatre was Dale Cooke. He was fantastic and does most of the productions they do there. But I know Dale works at other venues as well. Same with Emyli. She’s associated with several prestigious local theater companies.

In hiring these people it’s all about availability.

And finally, with the World Series going on (and my play about baseball) this FQ from Mark:

If you were baseball commissioner what would you do to change the game? From the games themselves to how the league is organized and run.

I would eliminate interleague play. Who gives a shit if the San Diego Padres play the Tampa Bay Rays? The big draw of course is so baseball could have marquee match-ups like the Dodgers and Yankees. But this September, with the Yankees in the wild card hunt and the Dodgers in a pennant race, when the two teams met in New York they drew crowds of 20,000 a game. Jesus. If the Yankees and Dodgers can’t draw what hope is there for the Twins vs. the Diamondbacks?  This would require moving one team to a different league to even the number of teams in each league.  But so what?  Teams have moved before.  The Milwaukee Brewers used to be in the American League and the Houston Astros used to be in the National. 

Another thing, those September call ups. Now teams can expand their rosters to 40. I would say that’s fine but for each game you are only allowed to use 25 players. You must declare which 25 before game time. It’s nonsense that when you get down the crucial final weeks teams can bring in fifteen different pitchers and seven pinch-runners.

I would insist the World Series games start earlier so that kids can watch and the East Coast can see the end of games.  That Dodger-Washington clinching game of the NLDS was absolutely thrilling.  But if you lived on the east coast you were staying up until 1 AM to see it. 

I would not play regular season games in outside venues. No games in Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, etc. These games are too important. You might not think so in May but come the end of September there are teams that go on or go home based on one game. Teams that have to travel to Japan or Mexico are at a disadvantage.

And it doesn’t have to be a foreign country. When I was with the Padres we played a weekend series in Hawaii. The Cardinals had to travel all the way from St. Louis to Hawaii. MLB needs to find other ways to promote its global presence.
I would insist that the commissioner approve all local TV deals. And if the deal doesn’t provide for at least 80% of the market to receive the games I would veto it. The Dodger-Time Warner deal is disgraceful. 70% of the LA market could not watch Vin Scully in his last few years. That’s mind boggling to me.

I could go on and on with changes I’d make, but here’s an example: No more walk-up music. Just get in the batters’ box and hit. Players don’t need individual themes.

What’s your Friday Question or suggestion for baseball?


Unknown said...

Agree on moving up the World Series. No games in November. What if there's four inches of snow/ice in Cleveland or Chicago (very possible)?

Also, the games are way too long. A four hour game? Seriously? Too much time between pitches.

Make designated hitter for both leagues or do away with it. (Personally, I like it.)

Definitely start the games earlier. (This is more of a beef with college basketball, which squeezes in two games on TV at 7 and 9, but still applies to baseball. If kids are your future, then focus times around them.

Rick said...

Actually eighty-five percent of the people who "can't see" the Dodgers in Southern California could have/can remedy that by switching to Time Warner (now Spectrum) from Direct TV like I did.

I understand that those people didn't want to make that change.

But if someone has made the decision that they prefer the advantages of Direct such as the greater access to NFL games to viewing Dodger games, it's absurd for them to proclaim that they're the biggest Dodger fans around and how they were deprived of Vin Scully's final seasons. That was their choice.
(Except for the fifteen percent who live in areas which which don't have access to Time Warner/Spectrum: they have a real complaint.)

Andrew said...

You wrote a play about baseball?

Is it any good?

Kevin Johnston said...

I totally agree that interleague play in major league baseball is a bad idea. I do have a Friday question that may have been asked before. When a show has a character talking to the President of the United States, we always hear just one end of the conversation. Have you, or any writer you know, ever considered having some fictional president heard at the other end of the call?

I think it'd be fun to have the show's character talking to President Palmer or President Bartlet. It's just an idea.

The Bumble Bee Pendant said...

Baseball Basebol
Here's how we fix baseball:

STAY IN THE HITTER'S BOX. That was supposed to be the rule this season but as the season wore on, players would keep only one foot in the box. And take their time. ugh...

25 players on the roster for that day, including September. I agree with Ken on this.

BTW, Walk-up music is for the fans, not the players.
Interleague is necessary. It evens out the leagues at 15 and therefore there is always an interleague game going. Why is that important? When the AL was 14, and the NL was 16, the teams in the AL west had a 1 in 4 chance of winning the division. Teams in the NL Central had a 1 in 6 chance. Very unfair to players and fans alike.

Baseball has proven that it takes more than money to win, vs organizational skills.
While top payrolls obviously helps, it doesn't mean that translates to wins.

Of the top 10 payrolls at the beginning of 2016, 'only' 5 made the playoffs. The #24 Payroll team, the Indians, are in the World Series. #2 Yanks, #4 Tigers did not make the playoffs. Teams like the Phillies (#9) and Angels (#7) were near the bottom of their divisions (more than 20 games out of 1st place).
Last year's winners, the KC Royals were #16 in 2015 (and the 2015 NL winners, the Mets were #21).

Anonymous said...

I say get rid of the DH. There's way more strategy involved in National League baseball.

Also, limit mound visits. Most playoff games this year have gone a reasonable length but if you watch a Yankees-Red Sox game in mid-May, it'll take 5 hours for a 9 inning game because the catcher visits the mound after every pitch, or so it seems.

Fred Vogel said...

1. Do away with the All-Star game.
2. Limit pitching changes during an inning.
3. Go back to when it was the National League and American League, no divisions. No inter league play, balanced schedule, top four teams in each league get into the playoffs. 1:00 starting times for the World Series.
4. Ability to trade draft picks.
5. Knock off the uniform tearing, Gatorade tossing antics that occur after every walk-off hit. Show more class and respect for the other teams.
6. More organ music.
7. DH's for both leagues or none at all.
8. Train and hire more qualified umpires. This group is pathetic.
9. Yes, I'm an old fart...what of it?

Dave Creek said...

I really wish TV shows would go back to broadcasting episode titles. Refer to "The Trouble With Tribbles" and a TREK fan knows immediately which one it was rather than, "You know, the one where the furballs nearly take over the Enterprise." I remember TWILIGHT ZONES such as "Time Enough at Last" and "To Serve Man."

We wouldn't think of a short story or a song not having a title, so TV episodes should broadcast them, as well.

Astroboy said...

I certainly understand the all arguments against this, even the absurdity of it, especially with so many teams, but I want to go back to just the two leagues, American and National, no divisions and no play-offs. At the end of a 162 games the team with the most wins in each league goes to the World Series (and since there are so many teams now, the 162 game season isn't as important, let's go back to a 154 game season). And if there is a tie for first, a one game play-off (one game only). I understand this is back to the old times with fans stuck with teams that would never get a chance in Hell of going to the World Series, but the world just made more sense back then! LOL.

Astroboy said...

Oh, and no designated hitters (of course).

Jon B. said...

Baseball must be in good shape if the September roster expansion is high on your list of things to change.

Todd Everett said...

Pretty much all episodic TV comedies and dramas DO have titles, even though they aren't broadcast -- if I want info on tonight's MacGyver, I hit the "info" button on my remote, learn that it's called called "Wrench," and look it up by that title in IMDB.

Tonight's Blue Bloods is "Whistleblowers." A "Family Guy rerun this aftenoon is "The Tan Aquatic with Steve Zissou." I could go on.

Rod said...

Hey Ken--Did you happen to see this skit on SNL last week?

James said...

I would insist that the commissioner approve all local TV deals." The commissioner works for the owners. If he blocks the Time-Warner deal, I suspect he wouldn't remain commissioner for very long. Even if the other owners might publicly complain about the Dodger deal, they're all going to think, "he could kill my TV deal, too."

Baseball (actually all sports) needs an independent commissioner who can rule without being completely beholden to either the owners or the players.

R Baugh said...

Wow so many old baseball traditionalists here.

Interleague play is fine, the NL and AL are arbitrary divisions based on history, a history that doesn't really matter anymore. The leagues should be combined into 4 geographical leagues of 8 teams each. Yeah, I know that means expansion, and yeah to the traditionalists out there that means lower talent, but really not by that much.

In 1994 Andrew Zimbalist an economist of baseball wrote the great book "Baseball and Billions" basically he found that relative to population today it would take many more than 32 teams to equal out the possibility that any one would be a baseball player. The sport is harder to get into as a percentage of the population than ever. Now you may say "but the other sports take talent away" even considering this, the international nature of baseball and the better prepared fundamentally(American players specialize at baseball at such young ages) that players are today means that talent is condensed and expansion can be considered without a noticeable decline, in fact it might lead to a little less pitching ability and maybe more contact.

So expand to 4, 8 team leagues with 3 teams each in the playoffs. The two non league winners in each league play a best of 3 series to play for league championship. Then we get a LCS of best of 7, and then a Semi Final Round and then the World Series.

Interleague play will be widespread with every team playing at least a two game series against every other team. With geographical leagues and the bulk of the schedule being played regionally the travel for interleague games will not be too overwhelming. Fans in each city should get a chance to see Mike Trout at least every two years.

I would cut two weeks out of spring training and start the season early. Probably allow 28 man rosters for the first month. Northern teams that do not have domes, well better playing baseball in March cold than November, college teams in cold climates open their home schedules in mid March, MLB teams can as well. This would be to start the playoffs one week earlier than now and to offer a few more off days during the regular season. I would make all teams schedule at least 1 home traditional double header, Memorial Day or 4th of July, depending on team.

So many other things could be done, but a complete rethinking of the structure of the sport and the minor leagues as well needs to be considered.

Jahn Ghalt said...

Ken, Here's a Friday Question:

In your Huffington Post eulogy for Larry Gelbart you told some nearly unbelievable stories about how fast he was churning out polished first drafts under time pressure

(for instance a 100% rewrite of Blame it on Rio over a weekend)

You wrote:

For rewrites we would dictate to our assistant, Ruth, who was lightening quick. There was a big Radar speech. Larry started pitching and was just on fire. We were in stitches. Ruth broke in, telling him to slow down. Even she couldn’t write that fast. Larry said, “Just get half” and kept going. The half she didn’t get was better than anything else on television.

Why not use a cheap portable cassette recorder to get the "other half"?

Does anyone work that way? Did he? And if not, why not?

(guess that was FOUR questions)

MikeN said...

The night games are delivering higher ratings but killing future audiences.

John in Ohio said...

1. DH in both leagues. Chicks dig the long ball, and pitching around a shitty #8 hitter to get to a shittier hitting pitcher is simply ridiculous.

2. Figure out a way to move post season play up in the month of October, and make it more accessible to kids who cannot stay up so late. Playing baseball at 11PM in winter temps is nonsense.(I know these things will never happen.)

3. Put Houston back in the NL and get rid of inter-league play. Fix the schedule so that teams play everyone in the league an equal amount (or close) of times. Right now, teams play division opponents 19 times, and may only visit other cities once. This has ruined long time rivalries such as Yankees v. Cleveland, or Detroit. It's terrible.

4. Make horrible umpires accountable. Laz Diaz, Joe West, Angel Hernandez (and others) are all terrible umps who actually purposely escalate tensions with players. They need to be fired.

5. If you shift your infielders, you must shift your outfielders, too. (Just kidding about this one, but I hate the shift.)

6. Allow managers to wear something other than uniforms (call it the Connie Mack rule.)

gottacook said...

Dave Creek: Of course, a number of famous titles of Twilight Zone episodes had already been short-story titles: "Time Enough at Last" (Lynn Venable), "To Serve Man" (Damon Knight), "It's a Good Life" (Jerome Bixby), "Third from the Sun" (Richard Matheson), etc. In many of these cases, the original stories were even better than the adaptations.

DougG. said...

I understand wanting to move up starting times for the World Series so the kids can watch but the advertisers aren't concerned about them. They're more concerned with the adults in the room because they're the ones who will (or won't) be buying the products/services advertised during the games. They know more adults will be watching in the evenings than at 4:00 when they're still at work.

I have no strong feeling about the DH. Either have it in both leagues or neither. It just seems ridiculous that the World Series is played with different rules depending on which stadium it's in.

Stop deciding home field advantage by using the result of an exhibition game in July. To me, if they wanted to fix the All-Star Game they should allow free substitution throughout the game. After all, it's an exhibition game that doesn't matter. (Ok, technically it does matter for the World Series but it shouldn't.) Viewers who care about the game might stick around knowing that any number of starters might return to the game later on. Then you wouldn't run out of players.

Batters shouldn't be allowed out of the batters box unless the pitch thrown also ends up in the batters box as well. Games take forever because a batter watches a pitch, doesn't swing but still steps out of the box anyway.

Graham Powell said...

I agree with most of your suggestions, but if we eliminated walkup music, we would never have been treated to Manny Ramirez striding to the plate to the strains of Afroman's "Because I Got High" (100% true btw).

Pat Howard said...

Like your baseball thoughts

Jahn Ghalt said...

Anonymous Fred Vogel said...

4. Ability to trade draft picks.

This looks like a great idea - in that it might encourage even more wheeling and dealing with the talent pool.

5. Knock off the uniform tearing, Gatorade tossing antics that occur after every walk-off hit. Show more class and respect for the other teams.

This a fine as a suggestion but as a rule, it sucks. As a rule it would push MLB closer to the No Fun League, which would be no fun at all.

John in Ohio said...

On baseball..

I would like to see 2 more teams to make it an even 32. Purists won't let you completely redesign the leagues/divisons, but it should be done. Even without that, still get to 8 4 team divisions. When there are 4 team divisions, there are 8 teams for the playoffs at the end, and you can do away with the wild card.

Cut regular season games and/or schedule double headers to get them in. The goal being to get baseball starting the second week of April and done by mid September. Won't happen, but baseball is not a winter game. It shouldn't be played in the snow, which is likely enough in early April and late October.

If you don't like the shift, get players that can actually hit the ball with accuracy. All it takes is a few hits to the empty spots to stop that shit.

Speed the damn games up!! Starting at 8 wouldn't be nearly so bad if it ended earlier. Thank God the Wednesday game started at 7 since it was still midnight before it was over. It would have been 1 AM for a 9 inning game. That's just stupid.

On show episode titles ...
The best ones are the ones that make no sense before you watch the episode, but if you have seen the episode you know exactly which one it is. I agree that you don't want to see the episode title if there is a spoiler in it, but shame on the writer at that point (now). Back in the day, you had no idea that there would be streaming services that even during binge watching put the episode title up on screen at the beginning , let alone when you are picking an episode to watch and have to scroll through to find one. Also, please give them titles. Episode 1.4 is not descriptive enough for me to remember where I was binging when netflix has decided to clear out the tags for where I was 6 months ago when I back burnered a series. And then I read the description of the episode and spoilers abound.

The original John in Ohio.

Cap'n Bob said...

I agree with John in Ohio regarding the DH (he's for it in both leagues) and would add these considerations. The NL games become more of a manager's sport than a player's because of the manipulations required when a pitcher has to hit.

In interleague play, which I'm not crazy about, it gives an advantage to the NL teams. They're used to their pitchers hitting and the AL isn't. The addition of a DH to an NL team playing in an AL park also favors the NL team, who suddenly have another bat in the lineup.

The idea of the pitcher taking an at bat hearkens back to 19th century rules and isn't relevant in today's baseball, which depends so much on specialists on the mound.

I would also get rid of poor umps, and I see the day when radar will be used the calling balls and strikes.

Anonymous said...

Ban Fox and ESPN from televising baseball. It's unwatchable on both networks. And get rid of the DH. It's not baseball

Louis Burklow said...

I agree with the people calling for the DH in both leagues. I'm a NL fan but I don't like watching pitchers hit and suspect most fans don't either. Not too sure the foreign games bother me but the season does need to start earlier. In fact, I'm tired of season creeps by all the major sports leagues. Why does the Super Bowl need to be played in February now or the Stanley Cup in June?

I also strongly agree with the need for a commissioner with veto power over TV deals. Maybe the owners are not bothered by this but they need to think about the long-term damage of the Dodgers-TWC deal. I'm a Dodger fan but can no longer see their games on TV unless they play on ESPN on Sunday night. Now I find myself (when the Dodgers have yet another underwhelming playoff appearance) thinking they deserve it for the way they've treated their fans. At this rate I suspect it won't be too much longer until I'm not much of a Dodgers fan. Could I be the only one who feels that way? And to the person who said we had a choice and must not be big fans because we stuck with DirecTV or Dish - do you really believe MLB should be telling people which cable or satellite service to subscribe to? I don't but I wonder how long it will take baseball to realize this is not a great way to treat fans.

Also, now that we've finally gotten rid of that windbag Tim McCarver, can we force legacy hire Joe Buck into early retirement too?

VincentS said...

THANK YOU KEN FOR SAYING YOU WOULD ELIMINATE INTER-LEAGUE PLAY! This is an unnecessary gimmick whose time is long past. I wreaks havoc on the schedule and lessens the drama of the World Series. How thrilling it was to have a World Series where two teams who never played each other in the regular season meet face to face.

DrBOP said...

Hmmmm.....22 out of 27 comments are baseball related.

Suggests that more baseball posts would increase your followers to stunning heights, bring you fame beyond the net, and return you to the pinnacle of family esteem.

Or not.

At least it would keep some of us baseballs freaks smilin' ;^)

Currently watching WS pre-pre-pregame......can't imagine Whitey Ford being interviwed before game time (I guess Casey would be RIGHT people really pay 5 grand and up to go to a game to keep their heads down missing the actual action.....TWELVE BUCKS A BEER!.....and this article says that Buck loves Kyle:

H Johnson said...

I agree with all your baseball suggestions.

I say kill the DH. Players hit and the pitcher is playing.

I like that baseball is a thinking mans sport. I like that it's slow too. It used to be relaxing to watch a nine inning game. I don't need stupid songs and graphics every time someone strolls to the plate. Maybe play it when they hit a dinger.

They should start the games earlier.


Buttermilk Sky said...

I support all your suggestions for improving baseball. Also, could we please eliminate interviews with players and managers during the game? Baseball is slow, but it's not that slow, and they almost never have anything to say that couldn't be said before or afterward.

bob said...

Eliminate the DH, as Ron Darling once said when a pitcher was put in as a pinch runner, if you're a baseball player you play baseball, position doesn't matter. The DH doesn't play baseball, they can'y field. Also stop referring to baseball as offense and defense. They play the field and they hit and run the bases. What exactly are they defending?

dgwphotography said...

How I would improve baseball:

1. Get rid of the DH.

2. Increase active rosters to 27. This will mollify the players union for losing the DH, and allow for more position players on the roster with the increased depth of pitching staffs.

3. Get rid of interleague play.

4. Move the Astros back to the NL so there are an even number of teams in each league.

5. Grade umpires, and move poorly graded umpires to the minors.

6. Decrease the schedule to 154 games, leaving Mondays and Thursdays as mandatory days off, except for one Nationally televised game on those nights. Those teams would then get Tuesday and Friday off.

7. Get rid of the All-Star game deciding home field advantage in the World Series. It was a moronic idea.

i could be a bob said...

DH: Most teams carry 12 or 13 pitchers x30 teams're talking about 380 pitchers in the majors. I can think of maybe 6 NL pitchers who can hit the ball well.

SIX out of approximately 380 pitchers. Do not eliminate the DH, that would be the stupidest thing ever. Make the NL use the DH. Double switches only fascinate manager nerds.

I am indifferent to interleague. The ratio of "interesting matchups" to the dreary Colorado vs Tampa Bay matchups is staggering. The Selig idea had it's time and now it's up.

I'm all for limiting September rosters. I wonder if there are stats about game lengths in Sept vs rest of the season.

Whether MLB cares, baseball players take mental days off, and it includes the All Star break. Why they place importance to that game is one of the stupidest Selig decisions ever.

Why they can't schedule ONE World Series day game. Just give us one. On a weekend. Not with an odd mid afternoon TV approved start time, because baseball blows with severe shadows.

I don't think MLB gives a shit that playoff games go too long and onward beyond east coast bedtimes. Even if they eventually use a pitch clock in the playoffs, I doubt any umpire would call a ball because a pitcher violated the clock.

Charles H. Bryan said...

Honestly, I miss the steroid era.

MikeN said...

How hard would it be to grandfather the DH? Say that after 10 years, only people who had previously played DH will be allowed to DH, with both teams getting one as long as there is someone on the roster. After about 25 years, DH is gone.

Unknown said...

I've been watching the new NBC show Timeless. The male lead is very attractive and I said to my wife, "they will come up with a reason to get him shirtless very soon." And in the second episode it happened. My question is how is the decision made to put actors in situations where they are shirtless or in a bra and panties? Is there pressure from the network, producers, writers who really want to see the female lead in a bra and panties?

mike said...

Get rid of the damned dh. It has increased offense only minimally and takes away too much strategy. It would be easy to grandfather, and any pitcher should, at the very least, be able to bunt on demand. Or, they could take BP once in a while! Rather than the NL adopting this loathsome ploy, at least they still play actual baseball. It's nice to have one holdout to the way the game should be played.
No more dawdling! Stop hitters from stepping out every pitch.
What about a taunting rule like in football? WAY too much celebrating over every picayune thing. Have some class, don't make it look like you never scored a run before.
No more interleague, agreed.
Get rid of the replay! Takes up way too much time, and the effort to replace umpires with machines stinks. A system of merit with incompetent arbiters sent down might work, in order to improve.

VP81955 said...

If we're going to have interleague play, use the visiting league's rules. Let Detroiters see the pitchers bat; let Denver fans see the DH. And unless we're going to add two more teams for four eight-team leagues, keep interleague play. Pittsburgh at Arizona is as lackluster on the surface as Tampa Bay at Cincinnati.

Unknown said...

Have to put my $0.02 in, living in Chicago. Since we have 2 teams in Chicago, interplay is a little more spirited. There is an actual cup they compete for, the BP Cup (sponsored right after gulf oil spill). Doubt the players care too much about who has the cup that year, but fans do....but only a little. More about who was/is better team that year.
Reading all the posts, seems like a split about DH. So keep it the way it is, AL, DH. But I prefer pitchers bat, it is part of the game. In little league/high school, there is no DH. Besides, during practice what else does a pitcher have to do, he should be doing batting practice. Can't throw the whole time. Other players have plays, fielding, pitchers just throw, put them in the cage to get that bat going.

Jahn Ghalt said...

Some great (and some curious) comments here.

@(The original) John in Ohio:
Going back to 154 games would not be so horrible, IF they don't add more playoff games (possibly excepting best-of-seven division series). In Anchorage I always wondered at the supposed "first day of spring" on calendars and opening day while I looked around at snow. Avoiding snow and double-headers would be a good thing.

I’d like to see a batter consistently bunt against the right kinds of shifted defenses. This especially makes sense with lefties dumping toward 3rd vs. left-handed pitchers (for the same reason we don't see lefty infielders). Bunting 0.500 vs. "the" shift is still hitting and slugging 0.500

We get nearly all the Mariners games up here so by now I'm "used to" the DH. I'm on the fence but incline to the idea that DH's and pitchers should have to field, hit, and run bases - just as veteran NBA players should have to play defense. "Incline" because it was great to have veterans like Big Papi and Edgar extend their careers with their big bats. Still, I really enjoy seeing pitchers displaying all the "tools" - like DeGrom for the Mets. He's a converted shortstop who has almost a decent enough bat to play "everyday" and good wheels. Having a superior glove on the mound is cool, too. But (a big BUT) too many pitchers will never develop a good stick and it's sad to see them in the batter's box (Jamie Moyer looked especially helpless) so after the 48-year-old AL experiment, there are good arguments either way.

I like interleague games. It's obvious that fan's will grow to like matchups like Mets/Yankees, Cubs/White Sox, Giants/A's, and Dodgers/Angels, where players can sleep in their own beds and commute to the game (not so sure about the LA and Bay Area traffic, though). A bonus for the Mariners has been that their regular NL "rival" (the Padres) has been a nice source of wins.

James (Ollinger) wrote:

Baseball (actually all sports) needs an independent commissioner who can rule without being completely beholden to either the owners or the players.

I'd be interested to see this idea fleshed out - what does "independent" mean?

SCOTUS justices are independent. How would an "independent" MLB commissioner be hired and fired? What powers should he have? How would such powers be established and revised. This stipulates that thirty private entertainment businesses should have external oversight. I'd like to see another challenge to MLB's anti-trust exemption - which is almost as improper as general funding of baseball parks and other private sports venues.

Jahn Ghalt said...

Cap'n Bob wrote:

(interleague play gives) an advantage to the NL teams

Insofar as AL pitchers can't get away with not running, not bunting, and not hitting-in-general for in parts of ten interleague games each year, this is true. But it's interesting to note, it ain't much of an "advantage". NL Interleague records have ranged between about .410 and .490 for the past ten years - the average is .454


(using the DH) favors the NL team, who suddenly have another bat in the lineup.

Which bat is "another bat in the lineup?"

Determining WS home-field using the All-Star Game result is crap. In 2002, the Managers and Selig "decided" to not decide a winner, then added insult to make the ASG "relevant".
If I were an ASG Manager I would praise every player at a press conference, remind everyone that to be selected as an All-Star is a great honor, and then state that we would play to win - so some players will not actually take the field just like half the players in every game.

In 2002, the Managers and Selig failed to invoke a contingency that every little league coach knows. Out of pitchers? Easy, bring in a strong-armed position player and tell to get it over the plate and to trust his fielder to get the outs. Out of players? Bring in an outfielder and juggle the defense to put the last-pitcher-standing in right field.

How much fun would it be to get two crooked numbers to settle the game?