Thursday, November 12, 2009

For Shame, MLB

The big news of baseball's GM meetings wasn't any trades of a player signing (baseball saves this for the winter meetings usually). The news was that there will still be limited instant replay in MLB for next season on home run calls. The bigger story was that the GM's didn't even put it up for a vote or even having a discussion about the issue. After a playoff season where almost daily there was a bad call by an umpire which a replay could correct it, the MLB GM's decided that it's not important enough to bother with.

Once again, baseball continues to live in this little world where they think they are better than everyone and whatever they do is okay because it's baseball. The NFL is the most dominant league and they continuously make changes to improve the sport. Why can't baseball? This sport continues to drive fans away and it starting to show in TV ratings. Sports Media Watch compared the ratings of the World Series and the NBA Finals and while the total rating was easily won by baseball, the NBA demographic figures tend to go in their favor, including a win in the 18-34 demo. So make no mistake, baseball is starting to decline in the minds of younger Americans. One way to stop this trend is to have your group of officials be a group that we don't think of as inept (NBA definitely falls in this category after the Donaghy mess). If you can't, then give your officials the eraser known as replay.

Here's my plan: maintain home run calls and fair/foul as reviewable in any situation, then I'd give each manager one opportunity a game, with no penalty, to review any out call they may think is wrong. Balls and strike won't be reviewed. Voila, you have a replay system, plus you can use an umpire to control the replay and have MLB review it at the same time like they do in hockey. Unfortunately, MLB doesn't care about the integrity of the game and is perfectly fine going into another playoff where they will have to answer questions why a call was missed. I hope MLB thinks about this if/when the time comes that the American sports fan decides enough is enough with baseball, especially those fans in small-markets.

Also, since it's Thursday and the NFL Network has begun is Thursday Night Football package, I'm going to give you that pick on a mid-week post separate from my regular BOTW and NFL/College Picks. Plus, I have a pick for tomorrow's huge West Virginia/Cincy game.

SAN FRANCISCO (-3.5) over Chicago- I was torn on this one, since this is like a "Loser Leaves Town" Match, but I think the Niners are still good enough to compete with the Cardinals, while the Bears have no defense and neglect Matt Forte too much for my liking (in a related story, I have Forte in fantasy).

NFL Record: 69-59-1

CINCINNATI (-9.5) over West Virginia- The Bearcats need to keep winning games and probably win them big to impress the polls, while the Mountaineers aren't that good on the road.

College Record: 39-53-1

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