Happy Hanksgiving!This week we celebrate the things we are thankful for here in America by eating its native fowl and spending time with family. It has kept me from getting a new post up for a few days, and until the holiday is over will probably mean sparse posts. I call it Hanksgiving since Hank Sr is from here, and it adds a nice local feel to the holiday!
Thank You WBCThanks to the World Classic and winter ball, I have yet to fully freak out about not having baseball. Always a good thing.
Samurai JapanI learned Japan has an excellent team and watched them hold Cuba to three hits in the first of the matchups between the two teams. I saw Samurai Japan behind Yomiuri Giant Sawamura playing game two vs the Cuban team.
|Cool logo, had to use it again!|
The Cuban team looks like they miss the presence of the defectors badly, and it makes one wonder what team Cuba could have been. I have met a few former members of the Cuban national team and they all share a common trait - all the Cuban players I have met have a passion and drive to compete that seems to go beyond that of some of the other players.
I suppose there are many factors for it, and I cant point out a single tangible thing that gives me that impression. But the proof is between the white lines and I think everyone can see it when a player has that kind of respect for the game.
|Team Cuba has to rely on the talent that is left|
Turkey Time for BortnickTyler Bornick's season finally ended this past weekend. Borty has been with three different teams for two different organizations and each of them made the playoffs. After being dealt from the Biscuits roster to the Diamondbacks he was assigned to Reno. The Aces ended up winning the triple-A championship and Tyler headed to the Arizona Fall League where his team was turned back in the final game of the championship series. Thats a span of nine straight months of play, and if you have seen Bortnick play you know he just doesn't slow down.
|Tyler Bortnick - full time baseball player|
Promotions Time!There are promotions, and then there are PROMOTIONS!
Sometimes a team has a great idea and it really works, getting everyone interested and looking on - players on both sides as well as the fans in thee stands. The Biscuits have had a few really good ones, the Win a Date with Wrigley comes to mind as being one the fans talked about and the players seemed to have good time with.
|Now THIS gets fans attention!|
This year the Biscuits big promotion is to give away flat screen tv's. I wonder if anyone gives away televisions that arent flat screen these days.
I was hoping for something with a little more life to it, not that I am against giving away electronics, but I would love to get a chance to see Fred McGriff or Wade Boggs. Also there are a slew of local notables who could be given a nice recognition day in their own hometown.
The giveaways could be more team-centric, but the recent years SGA stuff has been heavy with the sponsors logo to the point of being more of an advert than a team item.
RULES WE COULD USEBack in the 1860s when they got together to standardize the rules of the game, they had some ideas that were tabled for unknown reasons. A few of them are rather viable options and would lend a new twist to the game or improve the flow of the game. The head of the original rules committee, Albert Spalding, knew that picking up the pace was important and helped design the rules with an eye toward rhythm of the game.
"Two hours is about as long as any American can wait for the close of a baseball game, or anything else for that matter."
|Albert Spalding knew games were too long|
I am in favor of doing the small things to speed the game up, especially some of those long eastern division AL rivalries that take five hours. I stop short of time limits like the ones used in Japans NPB, which were enacted to save power usage in the wake of their power plant issue after the tsunami. But I think a few of the old rules could show some usefulness!
Such as the old rule of 21 runs - back in the first days of the game teams played until one team scored twenty one. I think its a no brainer that we should implement this rule again. Any time a guy comes across and scores run #21 the game should end. First inning, third inning, seventh or ninteenth it shouldnt matter, the game should end there.
I think it is better than the DH, there would be whole seasons played that never used the rule. But on occasion it would come into play and save one team a few innings of bullpen wear and tear and save the other team a small portion of dignity.
|Only he knows what the strike zone really is|
The other olde timer rule I think would be a great addition to the game, at least worth trying in an exhibition game, is for the umpire to keep the balls and strikes a secret during the at bat. It was considered when Spalding chaired the rules meeting but not added to the standardized rules, however it was one of the many variations on the game being played in the early days.
I think it would speed games up, with less debate over strategy pitchers would pitch to contact or try to overpower hitters - both leading to a faster pace. Players and managers would have less to argue than when each pitch can be criticized as it happens. Umpires would have their power back, taking away the need for the umpire strike zone ratings.
But we should implement this after Joe West retires. That guy is terrible and poster boy for showboating umpires that need to be roped in by the league office!