Tag Archives: Major League Baseball

Ken Burns’ The Tenth Inning

HOWARD MEGDAL: I’ve spent the past two days considering why, despite covering more recent territory, the latest edition of Ken Burns’ documentary Baseball felt more remote. And I think the answer is a change in the way he told the story.

THOMAS DELAPA: The extra inning of Ken Burns’ winning Baseball series felt less like a fall classic than a classic forties film noir: A foul sense of doom and gloom was ever lurking on-deck, despite the two decades of on-field drama and brilliant heroics. The lurking gloom, of course, was steroids, Major League Baseball’s crippling scandal that made the Black Sox cheaters look like bush leaguers.

STEPHON JOHNSON: We live in an era where everyone re-contextualizes an event within minutes of its occurence. Despite the obvious difficulties in painting a picture and telling a story, Burns succeeds with The Tenth Inning. Continue reading

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MLB Salary Floor

HOWARD MEGDAL: I don’t see a salary floor as anything other than a good thing for baseball, with a pair of resulting economic pressures leading to improved competitive balance.

CHRIS PUMMER: There’s no question that some teams are spending too little on their payrolls. That was evident even before financial information was leaked that showed some teams pocketing revenue-sharing money instead of reinvesting it in their product.

But a hard salary floor just isn’t the way to go. Continue reading

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Javier Vazquez: 2011 Bargain?

BRAD GOLDBACH: Javier Vasquez is a free agent after this season, but with the way he has pitched for the Yankees this season, you would think that nobody would go after him. But, he would be a 2011 free agent bargain…if he is signed by an NL team.

CHRIS PUMMER: If his velocity and peripheral numbers bounce back, Vazquez might prove to be a value for someone. But that’s only because he’s scaring off the big money. Continue reading

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Jon Miller

JUSTIN JARRETT: It’s a shame that a generation of baseball fans is likely to remember Jon Miller as the guy who worked with Joe Morgan — and thus a guy who was too often subjected to the mute button — rather than one of the best play-by-play announcers of his time.

Miller gets a bad rap for his association with the universally-hated Morgan, but no one can argue against his voice or his knowledge of the game, and he certainly compares favorably to most of today’s national play-by-play guys.

SAM BORDEN: The best play-by-players are the ones that can overcome and shine through their often weaker analysts. I’m not a huge Miller guy, though I think much of it comes from the stuff he gets wrong — which, I imagine, often stems from him getting older. If I’d been more cognizant of him when I (and he) was younger, than maybe my view would be different.

ERIC NUSBAUM: I am one of those children of the West Coast. I grew up in LA listening to Vin Scully and devoted a great deal of my youthful energy to hating the San Francisco Giants. And yet I find myself a fan of Jon Miller. Continue reading

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Prince Fielder’s Value

JUSTIN JARRETT: The Milwaukee Brewers are eventually going to face a tough decision regarding Prince Fielder, and their best bet would be to sign him to a multi-year extension.

Fielder will be arbitration eligible after this season, and with his power numbers showing little sign of letting up, he’s bound to command a fat (no pun intended) paycheck for 2011, if it gets to that point.

KRYSTEN OLIPHANT: It’s obvious now that the Brewers plan to keep Fielder, and I only half-way disagree with their decision. Continue reading

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African-Americans in Baseball

JESSICA BADER: Every year, as Major League Baseball commemorates the anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the sport’s color barrier, the massive baseball punditosphere tends to ponder the declining percentage of baseball players who are African-American (now generally around 10%, a far cry from the nearly 30% in the mid-1970s). The increase in foreign-born players is often cited as a major factor, as is the expense involved in participating in organized youth baseball. While these are undoubtedly significant contributors to the sparse African-American presence in the major leagues, I think the college and minor-league structure of baseball as compared to the other major American sports plays a major role that is often overlooked.

JASON CLINKSCALES: The decline of an African-American presence in baseball is one of the sorest subjects in all of American sports. Honestly, just like anything else dealing with race in America. The sport that rightfully venerates Jackie Robinson and Larry Doby for painfully, but successfully ushering in a new era in the game and society has found its percentage of black baseball players decline sharply over the last decade. To its credit, Major League Baseball hasn’t sat on its hands, but if it’s serious about kicking those numbers up again, they could use a LOT more help from their amateur partners in the NCAA. Just as other sports have been able to cull talents in the amateur ranks prior to their arrival in the big leagues, baseball could use a bit more of effort from college programs to recruit just as heavy as their counterparts in basketball and football. Continue reading

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Bud Selig’s Legacy

DAVE TOMAR: As we spend the next several decades debating how this era in baseball should best be understood, the fact that we even have to have this debate is a credit to Selig’s general shittiness as a commissioner. If the steroid scandal was Watergate, than most assuredly, Bud Selig is Richard Nixon; a guy who nobody ever really wanted to give the job to, who weaseled his way in by default and who royally blew it in nearly every capacity.

JASON CLINKSCALES: Allan H. “Bud” Selig is a phenomenally difficult guy to defend.

It can be argued that Selig is the most controversial figure in North American sports. After all, in his commissionership, Major League Baseball has been bruised by a ubiquitous performance-enhancing scandal, a strike and cancellation of the 1994 World Series, growing payroll disparities between franchises, an embarrassing contraction debate, several promotional snafus and bias towards a handful of big-market teams. Yet, despite all of those glaring issues, revenues in Major League Baseball have grown yearly as the game slowly, but surely caught up with modern times. Continue reading

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