The Baltimore Orioles are a disgrace
MLB needs to address competitive balance, now!
Good Morning, all. I hope you are having a pleasant week.
The Baltimore Orioles are a disgrace. Let me repeat that. The once, proud Baltimore Orioles of Earl Weaver, Frank Robinson, Jim Palmer, Boog Powell and Cal Ripken, Jr. are an embarrassment to Major League Baseball. In fact, they typify a huge problem MLB needs to confront.
The Orioles have now lost 18 straight and would have a hard time beating the Bad News Bears. The losing streak comes on top of a 15-game losing streak earlier in the season. This is what happens when you get the analytical, whiz kids, who never held a baseball bat in a competitive game in their lives, and hand them the keys to the franchise. In this case, the culprit is Orioles GM Mike Elias, who has been on the job since 2018. He is the latest of a disturbingly, growing line of executives who enjoy radically tearing down a franchise to its roots in the "hopes" they can build it back to a perennial, championship contender. Instead, these whiz kids are destroying the game, ruining its integrity. If MLB doesn't do something quick to address this issue, they might as well relegate the game to a college, club sport.
There is no guarantee, tearing a franchise to its foundation is going to result in a club annually contending for a World Series title in three or four years. But there is a guarantee that the game's competitive balance will become a laughingstock, if a club is totally torn down to its roots.
Last week in the newsletter, I wrote how the first step baseball needs to take to address this issue is to institute a salary floor - a minimum amount a club must spend on players' salaries. It is something the players' association has advocated. Coincidentally, the day after the newsletter was published, the owners announced they were offering such a salary floor, but the association rejected the proposal because it included a soft, salary cap lower than the current one. The working agreement with the association expires on Dec. 1 and a floor needs to be part of any settlement. So does reducing the number of regular season games (162 to 150?) and expanding the playoffs. The players are opposed to playoff expansion, but that is a negotiable point too.
Meanwhile, baseball has a major integrity issue that is making a mockery of the current standings and playoff race. And it's not only the Orioles. The Cubs recent double-digit losing streak ended last week, but they have still lost 13 straight games at home. A 13-game losing streak at the friendly confines of Wrigley Field? Again, they are another club, tearing the roster down to its studs. This is wrong and must not continue. Whether it is the Orioles, Cubs, Pirates, Nationals, you get the idea, the commissioner must put a stop to this. Charging Broadway Show prices to watch a summer stock production is not only unfair to the fans and the game's credibility, it is borderline criminal.
Name the only MLB player to hit the most home runs in a single-season at two positions? Answer below.
End the preseason
I confess. I do not watch NFL exhibition games. Yes, I know the NFL demands that the games that don't count should be termed "preseason" games but what else should they be called, when coaches don't play their regular season starters? On Sunday the New York Giants played the Cleveland Browns in an exhibition game and both squads employed their second and third stringers. Of course, the idea is not to get your regular players injured. Better, I guess, to have them get injured when the games count in the standings.
I am old enough to remember when the NFL played six exhibition games (too many) and coaches played their regulars. In the 1960s, the New York Giants would pack Yale Bowl with their annual August game with proceeds going to charity. As a kid, I remember my dad taking me to watch the Giants and Lions in an exhibition contest on a hot, August afternoon. It was a great game and the crowd got into it.
I understand times change, but if the coaches are going to make a mockery of the games, just bag the entire exhibition schedule and extend the regular season.
Alex Rodriguez. In 2002 Rodriguez slugged 57 home runs for the Texas Rangers, as a shortstop, and in 2007 he belted 52 home runs for the New York Yankees, as a third baseman.
Well that is it for today. As always, thank you for your support and have a terrific week.