Thursday, May 25, 2006

Contraction in baseball

There are a couple of franchises Major League Baseball has been talking about moving; the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and the Florida Marlins. Here is my take on that…..Just disband the teams, blow them up, and hold a dispersal draft. I don’t have anything against the teams, other than the fact they are terrible, it is just that first of all, they aren’t drawing fans. The other day in Florida for the Marlins game, what did they draw, 6,000? The Marlins are a team who has been good in the past, winning a couple of World Series titles, but every two years they hold a fire sale and get rid of their talent, then start rebuilding yet again. How in the world is a team supposed to keep its fans if they don’t know who will be on the field from one second to the next, much less from year to year? This is a team you would think would draw decent crowds with the Cuban population in Miami. They are baseball addicts in Cuba, but even the Cuban fans don’t come to the games. Why? Because it is a terrible team with terrible ownership.

Here is another thing about the Florida teams. Has anyone noticed the quality of pitching has gone down the tubes since the latest round of expansion? Now, I am just too lazy to look up the figures, but the league ERA has to have gone up over the years. Look at this year and the number of 10-9 or 13-10 games we are seeing. Those aren’t baseball scores, they are football scores. Now I could be a total cynic and say that ERA’s are going up because of steroid juiced ballplayers like Barry Bonds, but for once I won’t go there. Pitching in the majors is just terrible!!! Do you know why? There are too many of them out there, so the quality has gone down the toilet. If Selig goes with his original plan from a few years ago and contracts a couple of teams, the quality of play goes up, and with the higher quality of play, revenue will go up as well. No longer will Major League Baseball have these pathetic crowds of 6,000 for a game, because fans will actually care again since the games will be better. I know the player’s union won’t buy into this because it will mean the loss of a few hundred jobs per team, and the cities where minor league teams reside will suffer as well, but I really feel that for the sake of the game, this just has to be done.

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