Alms for the Poor (or Trying to Feed 10,000 Voices)
I like Mike Quade. I really do. I just wish I could identify at least ten players on his team. I’m having a hard time recognizing my Cubs. The disabled list is filling up like the Titanic. Is Tony Campana an actual professional baseball player!?! Is Blake DeWitt!?!??
I’m a Cubs fan… but I don’t talk about it in public. During Cubs games, I often find myself calling an old friend, folding laundry, reading a book, picking up new hobbies like bird watching.
The Ricketts bought the team hoping to make money and they’re… NOT. They keep trying to borrow money, but that’s not working either.
Between the b.s. landmark status they can’t get around, Alderman Tom Tunney’s rooftop issues and the fact that they STILL don’t have their own TV station, the Cubs can’t make any money to save their pinstripes. Stupid decisions keep being made because Hendry is baseball-impaired, so I say we at least grab some damn coin somewhere.
Cut down the ivy and put up billboards. NO ONE WILL CARE. JUST DO SOMETHING.
Because people aren’t coming. They can’t do it anymore. Most of us would prefer hanging out at the filling station or a Mexican carwash.
Do the Cubs really think money will just show up like Kreskin would will it in his mind?
Maybe they should just sell some Ohio State college football memorabilia instead.
As a fan of Michigan sports and especially University of Michigan football, I can’t help but experience an inordinate amount of glee in the problems currently roiling the Ohio State football program. You can say I’m a bad person for feeling this way but if you ask a Buckeyes fan, I’m sure they’ll admit to feeling the same way when Gary Moeller was forced out as the coach at Michigan. Sure, you’d like to be able to beat a team on their own terms but when they’ve got your number, it’s a little satisfying to see the person responsible for that get the boot.
And it’s not just football. With the Tigers playing in the same division as the Indians and the Indians currently whipping everyone’s butts, it’s just one more reason to dislike Ohio. But maybe I should be a little more empathetic and feel sorry for Ohio. After all, there must be some truth to this graphic:
So, Ohio, I’m going to go easy on you. You’ve had a rough year with LeBron leaving town and Tressel’s sweater vests hiding a growing laundry list of sins. But when the dust settles and Tressel gets forced out, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t going to have a drink to celebrate. Same goes for when the Indians come back to earth.
That’s right… 29 years and 1095 days ago, my crotchety and oft curt colleague, Mr. Krause, came into the world wielding a Chet Lemon inscribed Louisville Slugger and a Kirk Gibson mustache (at least, that’s how the story goes).
And since Mr. Krause is always giving me a hard time for posting gratuitous pics of scantily clad beauties on a baseball-politico blog, I thought I would take some time to post gratuitous pictures that he would like:
And let us not forget… if it has reason behind it, it ain’t that gratuitous, which should give me a free pass to post pictures of hot chicks here for as long as I deem necessary.
Anyway, holla at Al. Tell him you love him (if you love him, that is). And make sure you dig on that gnarly photograph I recently snagged from his folks’ place.
Hate me. Don’t hate Al. Not today anyway.
Oh man. Can I tell you how much I love that minor league tirade? This guy just understands that bigger is better. And the thing is, if they’re going to toss you, you might as well make it worth it. Why kick dirt when you can throw a base? Why toss your hat when you can toss the entire contents of the dugout? That is the reason why I love America.
And I also love America because of college sports. In general, NCAA football and basketball provide much more drama and interest than do their professional counterparts. Yeah, that’s a factless, baseless blanket statement but my name is on this blog so I can write that. However, most other major college sports pale in comparison to their older brothers. Nowhere is this more true than baseball. Quick, tell me who won the College World Series last year? Yeah, I didn’t think so. And who won tonight’s CWS finale? No one cares. And there’s a reason for that.
Unlike football and basketball, there’s a different route to the pros for baseball players. It’s a much more (dare I say?) European system of small feeder clubs nurturing talent at different levels in order to prepare them for the big leagues. Like the big European club soccer teams do in Africa and Brazil, MLB constantly scours the developing world, trying to get an edge by finding hot new talent in some Latin American backwater. Then, they throw them into the minor league crockpot, set it to simmer and see how it all turns out.
Even homegrown talent is developed in a similar fashion. Do people get excited for a Derek Jeter to head off to the University of Michigan for a year before turning pro? No. He signs with the Yankees and they develop him in their minor league affiliates before bringing him up to the parent organization. So, if no exciting players show up in college baseball, why should we care about the sport?
Simply put, we shouldn’t. At least in college basketball or football, we get to see guys play for one or two years before they head off. Syracuse doesn’t win the 2003 NCAA basketball championship without Carmelo but that was all they got from him. Similarly, Ohio State doesn’t beat Miami in 2002 Fiesta Bowl without Maurice Clarett but that didn’t stop him from heading straight to the NFL (although his life since has been somewhat less than stellar).
So, should we care about this inequity in the sporting system and does it really matter? It seems pretty obvious that the different sports need different systems. Football and, to a lesser extent, basketball are homegrown sports that rely on colleges to develop players and provide them with greater exposure before they begin their professional careers. Baseball, like soccer, is a more international game and so the collegiate development system just doesn’t work. It’s unfortunate for fans of the game but when there are already so many MLB teams playing 162 games a year, the allure of collegiate baseball just seems unimportant. In the end, these systems, kind of like the American primary election system, seem to have fundamental flaws. But, when you consider the alternatives, I guess we’re doing a pretty good job.