Baseball needs starters for openers
Games ending after midnight doesn’t cut it
Good Morning, all. I hope your week is off to a great start.
Are you enjoying the World Series? I have not watched one game to its conclusion. They are too long, averaging well over three hours in length and in a couple of cases over four hours (and not one game has gone extra innings). The Astros and Braves, combined, have rolled out 15 or 16 pitchers in a couple of games. Yawn!
At the risk of sounding like a dinosaur, baseball was a better game when starting pitchers pitched deep into a contest. One of the reasons - and there are many - games are lasting too long and putting a nation to sleep is because of numerous pitching changes. Long gone are the days when a Sandy Koufax dominated a World Series or Steve Blass pitched a complete game to clinch a World Series.
I’m not saying you should not use relievers, but like everything else in the game, it seems, compelling story lines are being destroyed in the name of analytics and algorithms. I like Brian Snitker, and although I understand why the Braves’ manager pulled Ian Anderson in Game 3, while he was pitching a no-hitter through five innings, I don’t have to like it.
Suggestions are already being advanced to resurrect a starter’s importance and hopefully this issue will be discussed during negotiations between the players’ association and the owners. There is talk of adding the designated hitter to the National League. With that rule as a backdrop, a club would be penalized and lose the DH, if a manager yanked his starting pitcher too soon. Granted, there would be parameters, but it is worth the discussion. If baseball wants to prevent becoming a club sport, for openers, it would behoove it to discuss the resurrection of the starter.
The soundtrack of my baseball life
The baseball broadcasting world lost a great one on Saturday with the passing of Jerry Remy, the former All-Star player and iconic Boston Red Sox television broadcaster.
When I was growing up and rooting for the New York Yankees, the soundtrack of my baseball life was Phil Rizzuto, Frank Messer and Bill White, the Yankees’ broadcast team. These days, you can listen to old time baseball radio broadcasts and even watch some old time baseball telecasts on You Tube. To that end, imagine my delight, when the Classic Baseball channel posted the radio broadcast of the first game of the Yankees-Red Sox July 4, 1973 doubleheader at Yankee Stadium.
I attended that twin bill and had seats with my buddies in the upper deck, on the railing behind first base. They were among the best seats in that historic venue and I think I paid $4.50 to sit there. The Yankees, in first place, lost both games, in heartbreaking fashion to the arch rival Red Sox, who began the day at .500 six games behind New York. I remember the details of that doubleheader as if it was played yesterday, and although the mind can be a tricky thing, most of what I heard on the broadcast proved, that at least in this area, my memory was right on. (Just don’t ask me what I had to eat yesterday.)
The first game (and even the second) was why baseball was a passion for me. The starting pitchers pitched into the ninth. There were clutch hits, great plays, sloppy plays and numerous twists and turns. Now, after nearly a half century, being able to listen to a game at which I was present was quite a treat. In each case, the broadcasters worked without partners. White called the first three innings, Messer the middle three and Rizzuto the last three. All of them transmitted the excitement of the game, with precise play-by-play. In my opinion, White should be in the broadcasters’ wing of the Hall of Fame, Messer was a pro and Rizzuto was in his prime, long before reading birthdays and talking about cannolis on the air. His play-by-play was impeccable.
The broadcasters all mentioned who was celebrating birthdays on the 4th of July, but - and perhaps they were not aware of this - failed to mention it was George Steinbrenner’s birthday. It was the first season of Steinbrenner’s ownership of the Yankees.
The game itself took 2:09 to play. It was baseball the way it oughta be. Click here to listen.
Will the Yankees hire Hyer?
Tim Hyers announced over the weekend that he is leaving the Boston Red Sox as the club’s hitting instructor. His contract was up and the Red Sox wanted him to stay on the job but the highly-regarded Hyers wanted to pursue other opportunities. Let’s just say, if that opportunity means becoming the New York Yankees new hitting coach, I would not be shocked.
Are the Cowboys for real?
Could this be the season the Dallas Cowboys play like the Dallas Cowboys? If ever a team was ripe for defeat - road game with a backup quarterback - this was it. But Cooper Rush led a late-game comeback and “America’s team” delivered a thrilling 20-16 victory.
I don’t know about the Super Bowl, but if you told me Green Bay and Dallas will meet in the NFC Championship game, you wouldn’t get an argument from me.
Well that is it for today. As always, thanks for subscribing and have a tremendous week.