Author Archive

How the MLB Can Fix Their Image and Seasons by Eliminating Interleague Play

MLB Opening Day was a national day of celebration for many diehard baseball fans loyal to the sport and their team. Unfortunately for the casual viewer, the whole process was a tad confusing, and, as Horsehide Chronicles wrote, this calls for change. 

Unfortunately for Bud Selig and the league, this is just another problem with their game to be added to the list. It is common knowledge that the All-Star Game is a joke with stars choosing to sit out and the home field experiment looking more and more like a bust. 

The playoff expansion looks like a great move on paper, but the logistics now have the MLB looking at potential November dates if in-climate weather pushes any World Series games back. Imagine playing in New York in November. The series may get called off until next spring. 

While these three examples are not the only reason baseball is struggling, they are some of the biggest ones at this time. The ironic thing is that the MLB seems to be doing very little to work out these issues while one solution would be relatively painless to implement—eliminate interleague play for good. 

Interleague play has had mixed results for the league, and the basic conclusion is that unless you are in New York or Chicago, the experiment has not done much. Yankees-Mets is great for New York, but Yankees-Red Sox draws in the entire country. 

Furthermore, it eliminated the novelty and spectacle of the All-Star Game. Before interleague play, the two leagues were almost like the AFL-NFL pre-1970, and the World Series determined who was the better league.

The All-Star Game was then a chance to do similar—match stars against one another and allow fans to see players they may never have even heard of. 

Now, NL-AL intermingling is all too common, and the All Star game has been severely hurt by it. 

Therefore, I say eliminate interleague play in order to fix the previously stated issues and give baseball new life. 

Aside from reinvigorating the All-Star Game, the schedule of the MLB would be drastically different without interleague play. Next season, with 15 teams in each league, interleague play will have to be implemented every week in order to balance the schedule. Keep the Astros in the NL Central, and instead eliminate the additional 18-21 games teams play with interleague.

While the NL Central would be cut 18, everyone else would lose 21, thus add on an additional series based on last season’s results. For example, the Phillies would play the Diamondbacks once more in Philladelphia since Philly had more wins.

This then cuts everyone’s schedule to a mere 144 games, ending the season in mid-September rather than early October. For those saying there should be more games, there are three options: keep listening to me and see how the schedule will be pushed back, add two series for rivalries and get 150 or tell the MLB that three days each month can be scaled back. 

If you chose the first option, thank you and get ready to see this all come together. Now that the season is down to 144 games, this Opening Day fiasco must be fixed. The MLB needs to centralize its efforts to one day and one continent.

The best option would be a weekend series starting on Friday night, but some may say why compete with the Masters? 

In that case, move the season back to the second Friday in April. Make it a weekend affair with games opening across the nation on Friday afternoons and nights. If you wanted to take a page out of the NFL’s book, have the first game of the season be played Thursday night with the reigning champs unveiling their banner and getting their rings. 

This then moves the 144 game schedule that formerly ended in mid-September towards the end of the month with enough time to play play ins and Wild Card games in the month. This leaves all of October for the NL and AL Championship Series and World Series.

Everything could be done by mid October and suddenly the Opening Weekend is perfectly scripted, the All Star game is more relevant, and the season ends right where it should end.

Sound too perfect? Yeah I thought so. That’s why I am not the commissioner. 

Read more MLB news on

Wave The White Jolly Roger: Lament Of The Pittsburgh Pirates

The crack of the bat. The smell of freshly cut grass. Wishing you were in Florida or Arizona. These are the sweet memories and wishes all baseball fans start to have right around this time of the year.

Regardless of what popular opinion may say, baseball is still the American pastime. It’s why their athletes get paid more than any other sport and the Yankees are the No. 1 sports brand name in the world.

But unfortunately, in all sports there must be team that loses while one wins. For Pittsburgh Pirates fan like myself, this is the natural order of things. Natural order also states that the Pirates cannot win more than 80 games each year for the past 18 seasons.

That’s right, I have yet to live through a Bucs winning season.

So then throwing the obvious question of “why am I a Pirates fan?” aside, the next question is, will the Pirates break this streak in the 2011 season?

The answer is no.

The Pirates lineup includes Andrew McCutchen, Pedro Alvarez, Neil Walker and and Jose Tabata, who are all young players who have proven that .290, 25 HRs and 75 RBI are possible when given playing time.

The problem is that when you have a young lineup, there needs to be veterans who can not only teach, but be the consistent rock during slumps with these young potential stars. I’m not saying you need former MVPs, just players like Xavier Nady or late-years Brian Giles: not necessarily fantastic, but consistent and dugout leaders.

The Pirates don’t have that as of now. Possibly Ronnie Cedeño or Lyle Overbay, but history has taught us that when these players come to Pittsburgh, expect their production to drop off the Mount Washington overlook (ex. Jeromy Burnitz and Randall Simon).

Furthermore, teams who succeed with young, potential-laden lineups succeed due to solid and consistent pitching.

Pardon me if you think Ross Ohlendorf, Paul Maholm, Daniel McCutchen, Brad Lincoln and Charlie Morton make up a consistent pitching staff. Ohlendorf went from 11 wins to just one this past season and will more than likely be the Opening Day starter.

I would have hope in the Pirates’ pitching scouting abilities, but the ghosts of Kris Benson, Jimmy Anderson and Ryan Voglesong haunt me.

So then the natural follow up becomes: How does this happen for 18 consecutive years? An optimist will say it is the curse of Andy Van Slyke (or Barry Bonds, your choice) upon which the Pirates pick the wrong players to hold on to and let go.

Keep Kevin Young and dump Jason Kendall is one example that still burns me.

Another is to dump Todd Richie and keep Jimmy Anderson. Some will say Brain Giles, Jason Bay (who was part of the Giles deal) and Freddy Sanchez may have left regardless of midseason loyalty, but that doesn’t mean trading them for future and permanent Double-A players is smarter.

More recent moronic Pirate trading includes dumping promising prospects for a multitude of younger prospects with less potential. Dumping Jose Bautista (the same who just hit 50 HRs) and Nate McClouth (I know, injured and did little, but still an All-Star, gold-glove player) for players to be lost in the Pirates farm system puzzles everyone.

Now, I truly lament because the management does not care. Recent reports show the Pirates still make a good deal of money off of this Triple-A team due to eternal optimism by baseball junkies like myself.

Ouch. That kind of manipulation of the system should be illegal.

Unfortunately, it isn’t. The Yankees may manipulate revenue sharing at one end, but the Pirates management is just as bad at the opposite end.

So, to all Pirates fans, I say let us all wallow in eternal misery. Until Mark Cuban breaks down Bud Selig and buys his hometown Bucs, we will be subject to a perversion of what Pittsburgh baseball should be. I cry at the thought of Willie Stargell and Roberto Clemente could have been forced to watch their former champion Pirates now.

While some may be excited for this glimpse of summer’s glory, we all look at the dreary Pittsburgh sky and realize that this may actually be better than actually watching the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Read more MLB news on

Copyright © 1996-2010 Kuzul. All rights reserved.
iDream theme by Templates Next | Powered by WordPress