Bud Selig … baseball’s Monty Burns?

Commissioner Bud Selig is VERY well-compensated for … ummm … whatever it is he does …

Selig made $14.5 million last year

"Baseball commissioner Bud Selig earned as much last year as some
of the league’s top players.

Selig received $14.5 million in the 12 months ending Oct. 31, according to
Major League Baseball’s tax return, which was obtained by the Sports Business
Journal.

The publication, citing unidentified sources, said Selig received a $6
million base salary, an equal amount in a bonus and the remainder in expenses
and personal fees."

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Well …. I guess he DID have a better than Carl Pavano …

Opening night rockers (not John)

The Cardinals show they know how to open the season right …. I think …

Is the "Speedwagon" being led by Budweiser Clydesdales?

"The Budweiser Clydesdales will open the pre-game ceremonies promptly
at 6 p.m., taking the field in a tradition that makes Opening Day in
St. Louis unlike any other in Major League Baseball…."

The national anthem will be sung by classic rockers REO
Speedwagon…"

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REO Speedwagon is actually a very appropriate choice, given their baseball-tinged lyrics …

They had a song lyric for the Pirates pitchers:
"I just can’t fight this fielding anymore …"

They had a song lyric for the hitters who could only handle dead red fastballs:
"Roll with the change-ups …"

And then there was the one for a particular Devils Rays (and former Cub) pitcher:
"I’m gonna keep on lovin’ Ryu …"

“Your attention … ladies and gentlemen …. pinch-hitting for Swindal …. “

Steve Swindal may NOT be the next top dog of the Yankees after all

" … Jennifer, filed for divorce from her husband, Steve Swindal, in the
family law division of Hillsborough County Circuit Court on Tuesday.
Swindal was arrested last month on suspicion of driving under the
influence, and the divorce would end any chance he had of succeeding
Steinbrenner in running the Yankees, as Steinbrenner had said he would do in June 2005."

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So who should be next in line for the job? 

My vote?   Waylon Smithers

2007 BP “Predictatron”

The Baseball Prospectus crew has put up their 2007 "Predictatron" contest, where you can enter your guesses for the season records of all the teams, and maybe win a decent prize. 🙂

Predictatron rules

So here is my entry ….
*** means "mortal lock" …. a team you guarantee to win less than 72 or more than 90 (worth double the "points" of all your other choices)
<– means "division winner" selection

<~ means "wild card" selection

American League East    
Baltimore Orioles 66 – 96
Boston Red Sox 92 – 70 <–
New York Yankees 90 – 72
Tampa Bay Devil Rays 71 – 91
Toronto Blue Jays 86 – 76
American League Central    
Chicago White Sox 83 – 79
Cleveland Indians 91 – 71 <~
Detroit Tigers 94 – 68 <– ***
Kansas City Royals 68 – 94
Minnesota Twins 85 – 77
American League West    
Anaheim Angels 93 – 69 <–
Oakland Athletics 87 – 75
Seattle Mariners 75 – 87
Texas Rangers 83 – 79
National League East    
Atlanta Braves 82 – 80
Florida Marlins 70 – 92
New York Mets 87 – 75 <~
Philadelphia Phillies 88 – 74 <–
Washington Nationals 60 – 102 ***
National League Central    
Chicago Cubs 87 – 75
Cincinnati Reds 79 – 83
Houston Astros 73 – 89
Milwaukee Brewers 89 – 73 <–
Pittsburgh Pirates 70 – 92
St. Louis Cardinals 81 – 81
National League West    
Arizona Diamondbacks 85 – 77
Colorado Rockies 73 – 89
Los Angeles Dodgers 90 – 72 <–
San Diego Padres 87 – 75
San Francisco Giants 65 – 97

YOUR PLAYOFFS:

American League Division Series:
Anaheim Angels over Cleveland Indians in 5 games
Detroit Tigers over Boston Red Sox in 4 games

National League Division Series:
Milwaukee Brewers over Philadelphia Phillies in 5 games
Los Angeles Dodgers over New York Mets in 4 games

American League Championship Series:
Detroit Tigers over Anaheim Angels in 6 games

National League Championship Series:
Milwaukee Brewers over Los Angeles Dodgers in 6 games

World Series:
Detroit Tigers over Milwaukee Brewers in 5 games

My reasoning for these picks will come in a future post (or not).

Pinheaded decision-making?

Biggio can’t wear charity pin on his cap

"Craig Biggio was angry at the commissioner’s officeThursday night after he was told to stop wearing a pin on his cap that bears the
logo of a foundation that helps children with cancer.

The Houston Astros star said he has worn the bright yellow, sun-shaped pin,
featuring the logo for the Sunshine Kids foundation, on his hat during spring
training games for the past 20 years without a problem. He is the national
spokesman for the foundation and is very active in its work. "I’m not a disrespectful person and I don’t disrespect the game," Biggio
said. "But I’ve been wearing this pin for 20 years because it puts smiles on
20,000-something cancer patients’ faces."

Biggio said someone in the commissioner’s office contacted the Astros about
instructing him to remove the pin, but he wasn’t sure who it was. He said
Houston general manager Tim Purpura was sent a fax with a picture of Biggio from
Wednesday night’s game.

"Major League Baseball does a lot of good things, but this is one of the
stupid things," Biggio said.

The 41-year-old second baseman, who is 70 hits shy of 3,000, said he wears
the pin in spring training because many of the pictures for baseball cards are
taken during those games and the children like seeing the pin on those cards.

"That’s what it’s about," he said. "If somebody wants to sit in an office
and feel good about themselves, they should feel real bad about this one. They
didn’t think about all the cancer kids that get enjoyment out of it."

Biggio said he was told before the game that he couldn’t wear the pin, and
the umpires approached him on the field to make sure it was gone.

Astros manager Phil Garner was also unsure who contacted the team about the
pin.

"The league has a code where they watch what’s on the uniforms and I don’t
know the full extent of it, but evidently the Sunshine Kids pin is not part of
it," he said."

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Now …. I can sort of see a need for SOME standards as to what you can and can’t wear on the field.  If Biggio was wearing a "Ku Klux Klan" pin on his cap, there would certainly be some uproar.  Legally speaking, Biggio is at his "job", and there is a "dress code" for the job.  But this smacks of pettiness and over-regulation.

Let’s also remember that a few years ago, MLB was willing to deface the bases during regular season games with Spiderman logos in a promotion for the movie, till they got enough negative publicity about it.  So there seems to be a bit of a double-standard.

Anyhow …. if you’d like to contribute to Biggio’s cause, visit The Sunshine Kids website.

Will (should) Mauer stay at C?

Joe Mauer, the Twins All-Star catcher and reigning AL batting champ, has been diagnosed with a stress reaction (the pre-cursor to a stress fracture) in his left leg.  Given his special talents with the bat, and his height (6’4"), there has been talk of eventually moving him out from behind the plate.  The wear and tear of the position is bad enough for anyone, but the toll is greatened based on the height of the backstop.

Add to those considerations the unforgiving artificial turf in the Metrodome (which certainly hasn’t helped players like Torii Hunter and ex-Twins Shannon Stewart and Cristian Guzman), and the injury risk is heightened further.  Given that the Twins will be moving into their new stadium in a couple of years, its doubtful that the present turf will be replaced.

So, can the Twins afford to leave Mauer behind the plate?  History seems to say "no".  Below is the list of most games appeared in for players 6’4" or greater.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

G    HT
Johnny Edwards 1392    6’4"
Sandy Alomar Jr. 1353    6’5"
Tom Haller 1199    6’4"
Jody Davis 1039    6’4"
Eddie Taubensee 871    6’4"
Paul Casanova 811    6’4"
Jim Pagliaroni 767    6’4"
Larry McLean 761    6’5"
Bob Tillman 725    6’4"
Bob Melvin 627    6’4"

Not the most auspicious list … is it?

Mauer has been behind the plate for 268 games to this point.  The clock is ticking.