Congratulations to the Boston Red Sox. Great win but horrible series to watch. I was not to far off with the Varsity versus Junior Varsity theme now was I. Let’s get to this week in baseball.
Torre Coast to Coast
I figured after how things ended in New York, Joe Torre was not going to walk away from baseball. Instead he decided to move from one storied franchise to another. According to ESPN, Joe Torre was hired Thursday to manage the Los Angeles Dodgers, taking the job two weeks after walking away from the New York Yankees. He takes over a team that finished fourth in the NL West this season and hasn’t won the World Series since 1988. Torre’s contract is for three years and slightly more than $13 million.
Interesting move here. Of course there is Torre-love in LA and there should be. Excitement however, should not be muddled by ridiculously high expectations. Case in point. This we do know, Joe Torre is a winner. We know being a winner in NY means winning the World Series. What does it mean to the Dodgers? Will Torre turn already-good Dodgers to a long time playoff team, just like he has done for Yankees in past decade? This will be fun to watch play out.
The Future of Instant Replay
A limited use of instant replay will be formally recommended by general managers for the first time next week, some GMs are predicting privately. There would be nothing binding about the recommendation, assuming that the GMs vote that way in their meetings in Orlando, Fla., next week, and it is unclear if or when Major League Baseball would implement a system. According to baseball insiders, some general managers say that sentiment on the issue has shifted from a split of opinion to a solid majority in favor of instant replay, and they expect that will be reflected in the votes taken at their meetings.
When I read this I think of two things, 1) I see baseball trying to implement some sort of NFL review system, where a manger gets one or two reviews a game. 2) That immediately leads me to think of the Wild Card playoff game, Matt Holiday sliding into home diving past Michael Barrett, the umpire slowly giving the safe sign and in the midst of Colorado’s celebration, Bud Black throws the challenge flag.
No thank you.
That play was exciting to me. I know what I am going to hear from Cubs fans, what if the Cubs lost that way, wouldn’t you want the instant replay? My response will still be no. Baseball is already a slow moving game. It is a 162-game regular season, costly and inaccurate calls against teams balance out. In my mind, there is something unique and thrilling about the human element of the game of baseball.
As everyone knows, former Senator George Mitchell investigation on baseball steroid use it expected to be released soon. It promises to be a bombshell. OK, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but we do know it will include many names; names which have so far not been disclosed publicly; names of well-known players.
This could get really nasty and messy. Take this scenario. Player A is called out for using steroids, OK now what? What will Major League Baseball do? don’t forget about the players that have already been named. What will be the punishment? An obvious answer is suspension, but you know as fast as that first suspension is handed down, the Players Association will be there. Very messy indeed. I just hope this investigation is less witch hunt and more plan of action on how to get performance enhancers out of the game of baseball for good. I can dream, cant I?
Who Said It?
Speaking of performance enhancers, I may have to consider renaming my Who Said It, closing to guess what stupid thing Barry Bonds said this week. As luck may have it Bonds was in the news again as I was writing my column and of course he is not happy.
Barry Bonds would boycott Cooperstown if the Hall of Fame displays his record-breaking home run ball with an asterisk. By the way, that includes the introduction ceremony. He will not have any part of it.
I won’t go. I won’t be part of it,” Bonds said in an interview with MSNBC that aired Thursday night. “You can call me, but I won’t be there.”
Of course Hall of Fame vice president Jeff Idelson declined to comment. And of course, Bonds says he has nothing to hide, he says and I quote, I will look you in the face. I have nothing to hide, nothing. So look all you want to. What do you think; does the record breaking home run ball deserve an asterisk?