One week until every team is in first…..at least for a day
One week until the Angels begin life with the best right handed hitter in the game
One week until the beginning of Chipper Jones’ farewell season
One week until Stephen Strasburg tries to recapture his rookie year magic
One week until the Pirates try to end a streak of 19 straight losing seasons
One week until Paul Konerko is just 4 homers away from 400
One week until the Theo Epstein era begins in Chicago
One week until Prince Fielder questions money over Comerica Park’s 420ft Center Field fence
One week until the ‘Carlos Zambrano Meltdown Watch’ starts
One week until Bobby Valentine tries to prove he’s the smartest guy he knows
One week until Kenny Williams questions why he traded Sergio Santos
One week until Kansas City fans look at the starting lineup and say “who’s that?”
One week until Magic Johnson wonders what $2 Billion just bought
One week until the fans actually listen to the starting lineup announcement
One week until Ryan Braun tries to prove it was all legit
One week until the Houston Astros become National League lame ducks
One week until the New York press declares the Mets out of the division race
One week until a first pitch ball outside will get a huge cheer
One week until I duck my head when an F-18 skims the top of Wrigley after our National Anthem
One week until the Red Sox don’t eat fried chicken during the game
One week until this passion we call baseball begins
One week until Opening Day!!!
Yesterday I made a complaint about the All-Star Game, most specifically the number of players on the two teams.
Because of injuries and pitching rules and just some players not wanting to go to the game, 84 players have been named All-Stars this year. That’s just too many.
But it’s not fair to just sit back and complain about something without at least making some attempt to suggest a better/different way of doing things. So here are a couple of suggestions, all which have some level of fault, which will make the Mid-Summer Classic classic again.
Reduce Roster Size: We do not need 34 players per team. This is one baseball game, not a best of 7 series. A roster of 28 players is more than enough. I would have 18 players, two for each position including DH, and 10 pitchers. If this means that some players will play 7, 8 or even 9 innings, so be it. If Hank Aaron and Willie Mays and Carl Yastrzemski and Dave Winfield and Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn, all HOFers, can play 9 innings so can Rickie Weeks and Josh Hamilton.
Players Should Select Starters: Yes I said it, take away the fan vote, at least for the starters. Let the players from each league vote in the starters. Or weight the two sets of votes, fans and players, equal. Top two from each position get in. Which leads directly to the next “fix”.
Not Every Team Needs Representation: Send only the best players to the game. Kansas City’s Aaron Crow is a fine young pitcher, but I’m pretty sure I could find 10 better pitchers that I would want on my all-star roster.
The Best Fix: Move the game to Monday night. This isn’t the 1940’s, players don’t have to take a train from one side of the country to the other to get to the game. Schedule all Sunday games before the ASG as day games. Players can then get to the ASG site on Sunday night for the Monday game, then give all players the next three days off, T-W-R, resume play across the league on Friday. Let’s face it, the biggest beef most of the players have is losing out on the 3 days rest. So give it to them. We get a good game on Monday night while the players are still in baseball mode and they get their 3 day break.
Will the real Lou Piniella rookie card please stand up?
In 1962 Lou Piniella was signed as an amateur by the
Cleveland Indians but soon afterward was drafted by the Washington Senators in
the 1962 first year draft.
Here is Lou’s first card. A 1964 Topps.
In the summer of 1964 Lou was traded from Washington to
Baltimore. That fall Lou made his first big league appearance playing 4 games for
the Orioles. He was 0 for 1.
Piniella spent all of 1965 in the minors and then was traded
by Baltimore to Cleveland in March of 1966. Lou was called up to play with the
Indians in September that year. He played in 6 games, getting 6 plate appearances.
He went 0-5 with 1 run scored and 1 rbi from a sac fly. Here is his second
rookie card, a 1968 Topps.
Following the 1968 season an expansion draft was held for
the newly formed Seattle Pilots. Lou was drafted from the Indians with the 28th
pick. Here is his third rookie card, a 1969 Topps.
Notice the same picture was used in both the ’68 and ’69 cards.
On April 1st, 1969, before ever playing a game for the Pilots, Seattle traded Lou to the
Kansas City Royals for John Gelnar and Steve Whitaker. In 1969 Lou played 135
games for the Royals making 539 plate appearances, hitting .282 and winning the
Rookie of the Year award.
So…. Lou has three different rookie cards and none of them
are for the team he wins the Rookie of the Year award for.