27 June 2012

51. Fair Ball

Fair Ball - Bob Costas

I had to take a short road trip a few days ago and threw this book into the CD player for the ride. I am glad I did. Bob Costas would get my vote for Major League Baseball commissioner. I like the way he thinks.

This book was not a bunch of baseball stories turning ballplayers into larger than life heros. This book discussed what Bob would do to fix some of the problems with MLB as he sees it. Well, as he saw it in 2000 anyway.

I liked it. I think his ideas for revenue sharing were sound, though the owners will never go for it without twisting their arms. I think his ideas concerning salary caps were sound, though the players union will never go for it without twisting their arms. Maybe if, like he says, both sides thought of the game rather than themselves it would work.

His comments about realignment were great. Some of the crackpot ideas are just ridiculous. Especially the radical realignment into strict geographical regions. I hate it. I am glad he sees it the same way. Realign into two fifteen team leagues with five per division...Houston moves to the AL West. I get it. I like it.

I love his comments on the wild card playoff spot. I hate it too. It takes so much away from the pennant races in each division. I love the idea of winning each of the three divisions to get into the playoffs with the number one team getting a bye in the first series. All the teams would be busting butt to be that number one team all year long.

As far as the DH? Yeah, there was a time for it. That time has passed. Lose the chump and make the pitchers hit. It adds so much to the strategy of the games. That is what baseball is all about.

He also said something that made a lot of sense concerning a great team compared to a crappy team. It comes down to the same result of a seven game series ending 4-3. If a crappy team adds all the wins after splitting 4-3 all year long you will end up with 60 something wins. Bad teams do that.  If a great team does the opposite and wins 4 of each 7 game series it will end up with 60 something losses. Prescisely what a great team ends up with, 90-100 wins. So, the difference in the best and worst teams comes down to winning or losing ONE game in each series all year long....and that is why the baseball season needs so many games to figure out who really is the best. That is also why the wild card should be eliminated. It allows chump teams a second chance with no risk. Silliness.

I love baseball!

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