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Personal Finance Link (Joe West is a Disgrace Edition)

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I'm fully ensconce in baseball season having caught almost all of the first 6 Red Sox games. That streak should end tomorrow as the game is scheduled to start around the time I grab lunch at work. Probably some of the biggest news to come from the first six games is that Umpire Joe West called the Red Sox-Yankees games a "disgrace to baseball" due to the slow pace of their games.

His exact quote was:

"They're two of the best teams in baseball. Why are they playing the slowest?" West asked the New Jersey Bergen Record. "It's pathetic and embarrassing. They take too long to play."

I'm going to join the party and call Joe West a disgrace to baseball. When you become an umpire, you sign on to be in the background of the entertainment, not the foreground. Putting that aside, maybe he should take a minute to think about why the games are slow:

  • National Television = More Commercials - The Red Sox-Yankees games, as baseball's biggest rivalry, are almost always on national television. Several players have said they were ready to bat, but they had to wait for commercials that aren't part of local television.
  • High On-Base Percentage - I heard today that the Red Sox-Yankees are tied for having the two best on-base percentages over the last few years. More base runners means longer games. Each guy that reaches base is one that didn't get out... and the pitcher has to start again with a new hitter. Pitchers also work slower with men on base.
  • Hitters are patient - The Red Sox and Yankees have some of the most patient hitters in the game. They take a lot of pitches until they find the ones they want. Combine that with the high on-base percentage and pitchers are going to get tired by throwing a lot of pitches... cue the pitching change and more commercials. The Red Sox - Yankees games of last week saw each team average using 5 pitchers a game.

In the end, if Joe West wants quick games of baseball, he can umpire me and a few friends play against either the Red Sox and Yankees. I guarantee they'll strike us out quite quickly. There's a reason why games of chess between two great opponents take time.

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12 Responses to “Personal Finance Link (Joe West is a Disgrace Edition)”

  1. If you truly enjoy watching a sport, is a 4 hour game WORSE than a 3 hour game? I’m too much of a fan to grasp that logic. More baseball = good.

    Also, even if West had been right, it’s not his role to comment on such matters, That’s dictator Selig’s job.

  2. To follow up with the non-sports equivalent about complaining about games that are too long … imagine going to a Springsteen concert and having one of your friends say this:

    “You know, I love The Boss … but really, he could have made the concert a half hour shorter and it would have been even better. Really, I would have liked fewer songs …”

    Doesn’t make much sense, does it?

  3. Mr. GoTo says:

    Major league baseball is slowing down in general because lard-asses are slowly replacing actual athletes. C.C. Sabathia is a prime example.

    I can’t watch MLB at any speed unless my nephew is pitching.

    • Lazy Man says:

      I actually think that MLB is moving towards faster more athletics players. The Red Sox and Yankees are sporting young fast players like Ellsbury and Gardner. The Devil Rays have a lot of players who are also fast and athletic. Yes, there are some C.C. Sabathia’s, but is he really any worse than Cecil Fielder (except that Cecil was a hitter)?

  4. or Babe Ruth :)

    It’d be fun to to do statistical analysis of this assertion … except that the data is bogus. Fernando pitched at “180 pounds” for his entire career, I think.

    There are a few bulky guys these days, but I’m not sure that it’s substantially higher than it has been in the past. Name an era, and you can name same fat/slow players.

    • Lazy Man says:

      Who is this Babe Ruth you speak of? ;-)

      I think with all the science behind sports (even without the steroid stuff), today’s athletes would be far better than the ones in the past. It feels like the level of competition is raise with the chance of being mega-rich.

  5. Mr.GoTo says:

    Sadly, every time a see an alleged MLB “athlete”, all I can think of is HGH and other chemical enhancements. I know that’s over-the-top thinking but the MLB has no credibility left. They ought to blow the league up and start from scratch.

    • Lazy Man says:

      I think the new league would have the same problem of not being able to test for HGH. That’s kind of like not liking a bridge, tearing it down, and building back the exact same way. Nothing is going to be different except that you did a lot of work for nothing.

  6. There’s also the thought that drug USE isn’t necessarily higher than it was in previous decades, just that more people are being caught.

    From the stories former players tell, greenies were heavily used in the ’60s. Cocaine was a drug of choice in the ’80s (and several players did get caught).

    It would be nice if they had blood testing instead of just urine, though.

  7. J. Money says:

    Am I allowed to say I like the Yankees here? ;)

  8. I have nothing to add (I don’t follow sports) except I found that last comment lol-worthy.

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