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In regards to expanded playoff, Lincecum doesn’t know where Selig’s “head is at”

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Tim Lincecum smiles during a news conference before practice for the NLCS MLB baseball series in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, October 15, 2010. REUTERS/Tim Shaffer (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

Not everyone is on board with baseball commissioner Bud Selig’s idea of expanding the current playoff format.

“It doesn’t seem very fair, and personally, I don’t know where his head is at,” said Giants’ ace Tim Lincecum in an interview last week. “Players like it the way it is. It’s dog-eat-dog. People know they need to win 11 games to win the World Series.”

I for one like the idea of an expanding the current playoff pool, although not if it’s going to be a one-game format like some have suggested. Anything can happen in one game and as Lincecum points out, it’s not fair that a team goes through a 162-game jaunt to make the playoffs, only to be knocked out in one game because its pitcher had an off day. That’s not right.

But I can’t be alone in the thinking that adding two more teams (one from each league) to the current playoff pool is a bad thing. It’s good for the game for several reasons, none bigger in that it’ll keep fans interested (and stadiums packed) through August because they know their team has a shot at making the postseason. (This is assuming of course that their team isn’t 15 games out of first place.)

Lincecum isn’t alone in criticizing Selig’s idea, as Yankees’ first baseman Mark Teixeira has sounded off about the news as well.

From the New York Daily News:

“For a team like us, I don’t like it,” Mark Teixeira said. “We battle all year long in a very tough division; if you win the division and have to have five or six days off before the start of the playoffs, or you win the wild card and still have to play another one- or three-game series just to get into the playoffs, it doesn’t make much sense.”

Hey, I get why this would upset the players. They don’t want to have to win more games in order to reach/win the World Series and they don’t want extra days off. They like the current format and want to see it left alone, which I get.

But from a fan’s perspective, if Selig figures out a way to add two more teams and a new five-game series (not just a one-game series), then I’m all for it. Maybe I’m in the minority though.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @TheScoresReport. You can also follow TSR editor Gerardo Orlando @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom, and you can follow TSR editor Anthony Stalter @AnthonyStalter.

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Dodgers’ executive blasts Selig’s decision to have MLB assume control over team

A Los Angeles Dodgers batting helmet in the dugout before the Dodgers 6-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on April 20, 2011. Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig announced Wednesday the league office is assuming control of the Los Angeles Dodgers, in the wake of a report team owner Frank McCourt is struggling to pay bills. UPI/Jonathan Alcorn

A day after Bud Selig announced that Major League Baseball would assume control over the Los Angeles Dodgers, club executive Steve Soboroff has come to the defense of current owner Frank McCourt.

From ESPN.com:

Soboroff, the Los Angeles civic leader and former mayoral candidate whom the Dodgers hired Tuesday as vice chairman, said Thursday the Dodgers are in good shape financially and Selig’s move was “irresponsible” and came as “a shock.”

Soboroff cited the Dodgers’ potential 20 year, $3 billion television deal with Fox as evidence McCourt has sufficient funds to operate the team.

“All this momentum is building and then all of sudden this letter comes in and says, ‘You don’t have any money. You don’t have this or that.’ I think it was irresponsible,” Soboroff said.

Soboroff also expressed frustration Thursday with the way Selig handled Wednesday’s announcement and the lag time before appointing an overseer.

“To me, if you’re going to send somebody out here to take something over, you don’t write a letter that says, ‘Gee whiz, here’s all these problems with you and here’s everything else, but don’t worry, later on in the week we’re going to send somebody else out,’” Soboroff said. “You do it the same day. … What are you supposed to do for four days?”

I’m not going to pretend that I know even half of what’s going on with this situation with Frank McCourt, Major League Baseball and the Dodgers. It’s not like I’ve been in a room with the McCourts over the past decade and taking diligent notes on their spending habits. I just can’t know everything about everything – even if I pretend to. (And trust me, I do pretend to.)

That said, it’s not like Selig isn’t within his rights to want to know what the hell is going on with one of his teams. Thanks in large part to the acquisition of Manny Ramirez, the Dodgers have had some recent success under McCourt (not World Series success mind you, but success nonetheless). But there are some ugly reports out there about McCourt’s spending, which include the fact that he gave himself a $5 million salary and his ex-wife $2 million (which is according to evidence at their divorce hearing). There was also a report that they gave a six-figure free to Vladimir Shpunt, a self-described scientist and healer in Boston, to send positive energy across the country to the Dodgers. (Shpunt might want to check the coordinates on that positive energy, because he may have mistakenly sent it to the Giants last fall.)

So while I don’t blame Soboroff for coming to McCourt’s defense, I don’t think Selig is off his rocker in wanting to do a little investigating into the Dodgers’ financial books. As baseball’s commissioner, he owes it to the game and to the fans in L.A. to make sure that everything is on the up-and-up and that McCourt does have his club’s best interests at heart (financially speaking).

Selig won’t take Barry Bonds’ name out of the record books – not that it matters

Former San Francisco Giants baseball player Barry Bonds leaves the Federal Court House after his perjury trial at the Phillip Burton Federal Building in San Francisco, California April 8, 2011. REUTERS/Stephen Lam (UNITED STATES – Tags: CRIME LAW SPORT BASEBALL HEADSHOT)

Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig told the media on Thursday that he won’t consider taking Barry Bonds’ name out of the record books in wake of the slugger’s conviction of obstruction of justice last week. This will make a lot of fans angry, but it shouldn’t.

There was a huge outcry from fans that wanted to see an asterisk next to Bonds’ name in the record books when he broke Hammerin’ Hank’s home run mark in 2006. But that was never going to happen, and neither was Selig striking Bonds’ name from the record books altogether.

But the fact that Bonds hit 762 home runs in his career only has meaning because we as fans give it meaning. If we refer to Bonds as the current home run champ, then that 762 becomes much more than a number. But if we refer to Bonds as the cheater that pumped himself full of drugs in efforts to break Aaron’s record, then that 762 holds about as much weight as the needle that Greg Anderson used to inject the former slugger.

Don’t get it twisted: What Bonds did, matters. How he accomplished what he did, matters. The fact that he cheated, matters. But that 762 number? Means nothing. It’s a question at someone’s trivia night. In fact, I didn’t even know the exact number before I started writing this piece. I had to look it up, which should tell you how much it means to me.

Do true baseball fans wish that Aaron’s number were still at the top of the record books? Yes, but in some ways, it still is. Nobody refers to Bonds as baseball’s all-time home run leader unless they follow it up with a “But…steroids.” And there’s a large contingent that refuse to even mention Bonds’ name when the record is mentioned. They’ll still refer to Hank Aaron as the all-time home run champ and will continue to do so until they take their last breath.

It would be nice if Selig stepped to the plate and made a statement for once. It would be nice if he gave Bonds his middle finger and said: “Not in my record books, buddy.” But he wasn’t and isn’t going to do that. Baseball is run by conservative men who make conservative decisions. Selig wasn’t going to rock the boat with something like this, just like he will never allow someone as flamboyant and aggressive as Mark Cuban to come in and purchase one of his ball clubs.

But as long as we the fans don’t allow Bonds’ 762 to have meaning, then Hank Aaron will always live on as the true all-time home run champion.

Is time really the only thing keeping MLB from expanding instant replay?

If time is the only reason why baseball won’t use instant replay for close calls like the one Jim Joyce regrettably got wrong on Wednesday night, then Bud Selig should be embarrassed. (He should be embarrassed for a lot of things actually, but let’s just stick with this instant replay topic.)

Think about it: the biggest argument against expanding instant replay to calls around the base paths is that the game would be slower than it already is. But that can’t be a genuine argument, can it? If Joyce and the rest of the umpire crew had another 30 seconds to check a video monitor underneath Comerica Park, then Armando Galarraga would have a perfect game on his resume.

Thirty seconds. One minute – whatever. It doesn’t take long for umpires to use instant replay to figure out if a home run was actually a home run and it wouldn’t take long for them to determine whether or not a runner was safe on one of the base paths. The league (and some fans for that matter) is so concerned that a game would take too much time to complete that it’s willing to live with a wrong call like the one Joyce made.

That’s almost laughable when you think about it. If it takes three hours and forty-five minutes to finish a game with instant replay and three hours and thirty minutes without it, does the extra 15 minutes matter? Would an extra 30 minutes matter? If it does, then whom would it matter to? The fans? It’s not like they’re being strapped to an electric chair and held at gunpoint to stay for an entire game. If they want to leave, they can leave. If they want to turn to another channel, they can turn to another channel. It shouldn’t really affect them in the end.

Getting the calls right should be the only thing that Selig and baseball should care about. And if time is the one thing that is holding MLB back from expanding instant replay, then the league is in luck because time just happens to be endless.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Bud Selig thinks the steroid era is over

After Mark McGwire came out Monday and admitted to taking steroids during his playing career, baseball commissioner Bud Selig felt the need to recently proclaim that the steroid era is over.

From the New York Times:

“The use of steroids and amphetamines amongst today’s players has greatly subsided and is virtually nonexistent, as our testing results have shown,” Selig said in a statement. “The so-called steroid era — a reference that is resented by the many players who played in that era and never touched the substances — is clearly a thing of the past, and Mark’s admission today is another step in the right direction.”

Selig noted in the statement that in 2009, there were only two positive steroid tests in major league baseball out of 3,722 samples.

If only two positive tests came out of 3,722 samples, then the testing is a joke or players are finding better ways to mask the performance-enhancing drugs. There’s just no way those figures are correct and Selig should be ashamed of himself for actually believing that.

Selig wants everyone to move on because he doesn’t want his name to be synonymous with the steroid era. Well, too bad. He decided to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the problem over the past two decades and now he must pay for it.

I think baseball is finally moving in the right direction by having stricter testing in place. But that doesn’t mean I think the steroid era is over and instead of trying to rush the process, Selig should come to grips with the fact that it’s going to take the game a long time to get clean again (if it ever does, that is). He wants everyone to just forget about what happen and move on, but true baseball fans can’t and won’t allow that to happen.

Guys like Selig and McGwire need to slow down, take a step back and realize the magnitude of what they saying. They need to realize that fans are tired of having the covers pulled over their eyes and don’t want to be patronized with comments like, “the steroid era is over.” Because it’s not.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

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