I don’t get it? Help Me Understand

These are just thoughts about the game and other stuff.  Mix in if you like.

  • Why is the season 162 games long?  Don’t forget that Spring Training is a month and a half as well.
  • The NL West should go on alert now that Jed Hoyer and Jeff Moorad are in town.
  • Did the Astros really trade Lance Berkman and Roy Oswalt?  I never thought Drayton would do it.
  • Looks like baseball might need to come up with the Darwin Awards.  Here are some of my picks.  Kendry Morales hits a homer and then hits the DL.  Coughlin goes on DL when he gets hurt throwing pies.  Pitchers are still getting hurt trying to beat up things likes doors who aren’t alive.  Grant Balfour goes on the DL after tickle fighting with the pitching coach.  What do you have?
  • Why does the All Star game give home field advantage in the World Series?  Must be a ton of money.
  • How come Brett Myers and Corey Hart signed extensions so soon after the trade deadline?  My guess is that they become more attractive to teams at the non-waiver deadline because of cost certainty.
  • Speaking of deals, I don’t know if I am into the 3 year deal anymore.  I definitely don’t like back-loaded deals for teams.   That just makes it more difficult for teams to deal a guy if he stinks in a couple years.
  • Seriously, why are there 162 games in a season?
  • Baseball bats that I used while I played cost $720/dozen.  That means that the piece of wood in my hands cost at least $60 a bat.  I think maple bats are closer to $80/bat.
  • How come Adam Dunn is a trade target in the media every single year of his existence and he never gets traded?
  • Why is base running so terrible in the big leagues?
  • Why do teams play “no doubles” defense late in the game when they are winning by 1 run.  Doesn’t that give the offense a better chance to get a base hit?
  • How come Joe West is always on Sportscenter?

Those are just some thoughts.  What are you seeing in the game that makes you scratch your head?

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42 Comments on “I don’t get it? Help Me Understand”

  1. Jake says:

    How come the myth of small market teams is perpetuated? Aren’t all owners billionaires and able to buy players if they want, regardless of the revenues they take in for their market?
    How come most 3B coaches are clueless when it comes to deciding whether or not to send runners to the plate? If there are less than two outs and the top of the order is coming up and your team is down by four runs, is that the time to gamble?

    • Rob says:

      All owners’ pocketbooks may be basically equal, but the TV contracts are not. The Yankees and Sox have their own networks, while the Pirates probably get beaten in the ratings by a rerun of The Office. Owner wealth and ticket revenue are just a small part of the budget that teams use to acquire players.

      Morgan, I’d like to know how much players pay attention to trade rumors about themselves, and whether they judge the return that they get when they are traded. Do you think Lance is wondering if he’s only worth two minor-leaguers?

    • Jake I am taking you to the Big Leagues with this one! Check out the next post.

      Morgan

  2. Steve says:

    In a stat happy sport, why are there stats for 3rd base coaches (successful send ratio), and for umpire strike zone accuracy (questtec agreement %)

    - would like your insights into Ozzie G’s comments about the different treatment of latin players in the minors.

  3. Karen says:

    The one that has me scratching my head is not that the Astros traded Oswalt and Berkman, but that they also included cash in the deals. I’m well aware of the “unholy alliance” that Ed Wade still has with the Phillies–in a way, it’s almost like the Astros have become Phillies south with all of the former Phillies in the organization–but did the Astros really need to send cash to the Yankees to trade Berkman? I’m trying to figure out the logic behind trading players to dump salary (which appears to be the case) and then including cash in the transaction.
    And I agree that the 162 game season is too long. I’ve heard discussions about extending the first round of the playoffs (the divisional round) to seven games…and already the World Series goes into November. Before they even seriously consider extending the first round, they should shorten the season to 154 games. It worked until 1960, so there’s no reason why it couldn’t work now.
    About Joe West on Sportscenter…perhaps because Lt. Frank Drebbin (Leslie Nielsen’s character in the “Naked Gun” movies) isn’t a real umpire–otherwise, he’d be on Sportscenter every night.
    The “no doubles” defense–it reminds me so much of the “prevent defense” in football, which often prevents a team from winning. I can understand guarding the line late in the game in certain situations, but not always. You have to rely on the pitcher, too.
    Finally–my question is, why don’t we have a team payroll minimum? There really isn’t a salary cap (although the Yankees seem to pay a penalty every year for excessive spending), but there really isn’t a minimum team payroll. Perhaps if teams had to pay a fine for NOT meeting the minimum threshold there would be more competitive balance.

    • Tom says:

      The problem with a minimum salary floor is that teams may inflate a player’s salary in order to meet the minimum. If a team could not get a higher quality player to fulfill the required salary floor, they would have pay a lesser player more money, therefore inflating player salaries, possibly to the point where smaller market teams are priced out more than they are now.

      What I don’t get is why major league baseball is so expensive. I shouldn’t have to pay $150 for a pair of decent seats to a ball game. I live in the northeast and the three teams near my home are all way too expensive. As a result, I have started following the local AA team. It’s a fraction of the cost and I find it a lot more entertaining to watch and to follow the players development.

  4. Rick #9 says:

    Really bad fundamentals in the field, in addition to the bad base running you mentioned. Outfielders don’t get themselves in the proper position to catch the ball on the run in order to get the ball in quicker to the IF. Throwing the ball to the wrong base. Mental lapses.

  5. Mike Trozzo says:

    Id love to see a smaller schedule, although the constant of checking scores each night sure is fun…when the astros are winning

  6. Must be a ton of money.

    Probably answered many of your questions right there…

    As far as the schedule, my guess is that the “more is always better” mantra was too important in the 60s during the start to the expansion age. Even then, the National League’s rapidly expanding schedule in the 1800s is interesting enough. They slowly moved from 60 games to as many as 154 between 1876 and 1892.

    I doubt they were focusing on statistical trends and sample sizes to determine winners. It just seems that the inertia of the rise of baseball set in an institutional value for how many games should be played during the course of the season.

    Plus, if you were to lower the number of games played each season, would players take a pay cut for doing less hypothetical work? If they extended the season longer (please, no), would the players demand more money?

    I would bet many players would fight lowering contracts even if the season went to back to 154 or 140, but if the season went to 170, they’d demand more money. Nature of the beast in trying to get the paycheck.

  7. Bret Sanders says:

    I can’t believe Roy and Lance are gone either, but I sure have enjoyed watching the young guys play this past week. They look like they are having fun again.
    I love watching the superstars every now and then, but give me young guys playing hard and still playing the game becuase they love it and I’ll take that every day over watching guys getting paid big $$ and not putting out the effort.

  8. Bret Sanders says:

    Also, the All-Star game has no place deciding home field advantage in the World Series. At least not as long as the managers treat it as an exhibition. All-Star game should either rotate between AL and NL every other year or go to the team with the best overall season record.

    Just the fact that probably everyone reading this knows who Joe West is is not a good thing.

  9. Brade says:

    1. Why does the DH still exist? Seriously, who are the people who actually like this? I haven’t met one.

    2. Why do certain stolen bases not count because of “defensive indifference”? Yeah, I’m sure if the guy was just standing halfway between 1st and 2nd, you wouldn’t try to tag him out. I say ALWAYS award a stolen base if a guy takes it.

    3. First round of playoffs should be best of 7, like all the rest. Especially since, as you say, teams play 162 regular season games. Why should someone go home because another team has a 3-game winning streak–that barely even qualifies as a “streak.”

    4. The best players should go to the HOF, even those who played in the steroids era. McGwire and Bonds and Sosa, even if they were “juicing”, were still clearly superior at their craft.

    5. Blackout restrictions on games, especially for those who buy the MLB package on DirecTV, are infuriating. My favorite team is the Braves, I live in Greenville SC, and I am forced to watch Braves games on standard def “Peachtree TV” half the time for games that are in HD on ESPN or the other team’s channel, but those are blacked out for me. Since I’m paying so much extra money to support the league, I’m utterly confused why this is the case.

    6. Why did Sunday Night Baseball add the “3rd wheel” commentator? John and Joe were perfect as it was.

    7. As others have said, no way should the All-Star Game determine home field in the World Series. Please stop this ASAP.

    Yep, that about sums up my biggest beefs.

    • mos says:

      I hate watching the NL, personally. I want to see a pitcher pitch, and a hitter hit. I get nothing from watching the 9th (or 8th, if the manager is slightly smarter than average) batter strike out every time up. Yes, there are pitchers who can hit. No, they are not as good as a dedicated hitter.

    • John says:

      1. I agree with mos with wanting to watch a pitcher pitch and a hitter hit. I’d also like to add that considering how inferior most pitchers are at hitting and baserunning (since I assume they get very little practice with that), they are much more susceptible to injury than everyday players. I hate seeing a great pitcher hit the DL because he doesn’t know how to slide properly. [Many Astros fans may recall the interleague game with the Yanks in 2008 where Chien Ming Wang's season (and, to this point, his career as a good, reliable pitcher) came to an end.]

      2. I agree with you here; if a runner takes a base on a pitch, he stole that base, give him credit. I also wonder, why is the defense so indifferent? If you’re up by a handful of runs (and the runner on first will not tie the game), you’re at the point where you just want to get outs as quickly/easily as possible. Why not try to steal an out? If the offense tries to run while they trail by a bunch, they deserve to lose a baserunner!

      3. Again, I agree. Even most best-of-7 series are somewhat of a crapshoot based on a hot pitcher or one or two timely hits. The best-of-5 series just perpetuates this. (I actually think that you should have to win at least SIX games to win a series, and you must win by at least two games. Like the final set in tennis. I know how complicated this would be, but I think it would help alleviate some of the randomness from playoff winners.)

      4. I agree extremely. To add to that, while they may not have been “performance enhancers” to the extent of HGH, etc., the stuff (“greenies,” etc.) that many players used in the 70′s and 80′s were, in fact, “performance enablers.” I don’t see how that is so much different.

      6. I hope you were being sarcastic. I’m all for any 3rd (or even 4th) wheel in the booth with Miller & Morgan. That would leave less time for those two buffoons to speak.

      7. I agree with you and most people in that the All Star Game should not have any influence on how the World Series is played. The ASG was and always should be a fun exhibition game. The team with the best record after 162 games should get home field in the World Series.

      8. There was no #8. I’m using this space to acknowledge the fact that I skipped #5. That was on purpose.

  10. K9 says:

    How can a simple game be so infuriating– and yet we love it so much!

  11. Steve Buffum says:

    > Why is base running so terrible in the big leagues?

    Jhonny Peralta.

  12. Mountaineer9 says:

    What has me baffled is that the Astros said they were not going to pick up Berkman’s option for 2011. I was still shocked that they traded him.

  13. Mike says:

    1. Why do coaches view save opportunities only being in the 9th inning? If Rasmus, Pujols, Holliday are up in the 8th inning. That’s the game right there.

    2. When will baseball get it’s grace back? You touched on it with the base running question? Everything is power now. Power at the plate. Power on the mound. Seems defense is lost, and baserunning, ect..

    3. How are some talent evaluators still employed? Houston Astros for example. They over value draft picks every year…that is the players they actually sign. Some scouts place way too much emphasis on projectability or body type. At some point you have to ask yourself, is this kid good enough right now? Why do they think they can see the future, and project what a kids body will turn into?

    4. I have a question for you Mo. I used to love the fact that you signed autographs from the dugout to the right field foul pole before what seemed to be every game I was at. Was that mandatory for certain players, or did you just enjoy the opportunity to do that?

    5. Why does it seem like some pitchers with great stuff get lit up, and never establish themselves in the big leagues. Yet others with what seem to be average stuff can put up very consistent numbers. Ezeqial Estacio come to mind.

  14. Joe Walton says:

    Why aren’t catchers, as a group, the best hitters in baseball? They see more pitches in more circumstances than anyone. Yet they can’t translate that into hits.

    If I remember the 162 game schedule came about with expansion and trying to keep a balanced schedule. With the advent of the almost random schedule it no longer makes sense. But what owner would would put up with fewer games now that it is established.

    Almost every league but the NL uses the DH. But, just because a million people say a foolish thing is so does not make it one bit less foolish.

    • Travis says:

      Catchers experience extreme fatigue from going from a squat to standing. Also their hands take a beating, imagine taking 100 90mph fastballs to your catching hand then trying to grip a bat.

  15. Mike Gross says:

    162? That exact number was likely determined by balanced schedules. In 1960, each league had 8 teams, which meant you would play each of your 7 opponents 22 times, for a total of 154 games. In 1961, the AL expanded to 10 teams. Changing to 162 meant you could play each of your 9 opponents 18 times. An even number meant same number of games home and away. The NL did the same thing when it expanded to 10 teams a year later.

    Now, why it’s still 162 after further expansions and realignment, I don’t know. Probably a combination of avoiding baseball in the winter and another 61* controversy.

    • Joe in Birmingham says:

      My thoughts on the 162 game followed Mike Gross’s explanation. When the leagues expanded to 10 teams and everyone played every other team an equal nuumber of games and they wanted the same number of games at each team’s home, they eiher had to go up to 162 games or down to 144 games. They pikced 162.

      Once they shifted to three divisions in each league with unbalanced schedules and interleague play, the number of games didn’t matter. By then however baseball schedulers stayed with the 162 games since no one told them to do anything differently.

      At least that’s my theory.

  16. Joe says:

    Morgan,

    Your list raised another question for me – who pays for the bats? You? The team? Does the bat manufacturer give them to players (or at least some players) free as a marketing tool?

    Love your stuff. Thanks.

  17. lisa gray says:

    1 – Why is the season 162 games long? Don’t forget that Spring Training is a month and a half as well.

    - cuz owners get more money
    ST is 6 weeks because owners get more money from selling tickets to that too

    2 -The NL West should go on alert now that Jed Hoyer and Jeff Moorad are in town.

    - and until the dodgers get sold and a better GM runs the giants, pads are gonna be good

    3 – Did the Astros really trade Lance Berkman and Roy Oswalt? I never thought Drayton would do it.
    - i hear tell that roy and lance got tired of all of drayton’s LIES about winning and wanted to leave and then drayton got to save a bunch of $$$ which made him happy

    4 – Looks like baseball might need to come up with the Darwin Awards. Here are some of my picks. Kendry Morales hits a homer and then hits the DL. Coughlin goes on DL when he gets hurt throwing pies. Pitchers are still getting hurt trying to beat up things likes doors who aren’t alive. Grant Balfour goes on the DL after tickle fighting with the pitching coach. What do you have?

    - wondering why athletes are made of glass
    i don’t know anyone who tore musceles in his/HER side from sneezing
    – and of course, females don’t do incredibly stupid stuff like iron their shirts while wearing them

    5 – Why does the All Star game give home field advantage in the World Series? Must be a ton of money.

    - because bud selig wants to have people think that the ASG is just as important as it was BITGOD before every game was on MLB and interleague play completely RUINED any interest in watching opposing league players play.

    6 – How come Brett Myers and Corey Hart signed extensions so soon after the trade deadline? My guess is that they become more attractive to teams at the non-waiver deadline because of cost certainty.

    - brett myers because ed wade is a groupie about ex-phillies and refuses to believe that a guy who is throwing 1 ERA run better than his career average is having an unusuaL BLIP IN THE STATS!!!!
    - corey hart was signed because i hear tell that FA/good players with at least some NTC are refusing to go to milwaukee (apparently deficient in slutty females of the slim and young persuasion – and why be a professional athlete if you can’t be a male slut?)

    7 – Speaking of deals, I don’t know if I am into the 3 year deal anymore. I definitely don’t like back-loaded deals for teams. That just makes it more difficult for teams to deal a guy if he stinks in a couple years.

    - yeah, you are correct. trouble is that teams with owners who are willing to spend will give big contracts to better players and it is hard enough for most teams to get the best players as it is – remember the carlos beltran fiasco? he wanted to go to the yankees – most money, most glory. guys who PREFER houston like berkman are not usually the very top players

    8 – Seriously, why are there 162 games in a season?

    - same reason there are no scheduled DH
    more money for the owners

    9- Baseball bats that I used while I played cost $720/dozen. That means that the piece of wood in my hands cost at least $60 a bat. I think maple bats are closer to $80/bat.

    - you cannot seriously be grousing about this
    this is change in the parking meter for you guys

    10 -How come Adam Dunn is a trade target in the media every single year of his existence and he never gets traded?

    - he was a trade rumor person in cincy because the brennamans and jeff brantley HATE him because he only hit .260 (who cares about slugging or on-base? BA and RBIs are the ONLY stats anyone who is a True Fan shold care about) and he did the very worst thing a ballplayer can POSSIBLY do, which is walk. walking means you are not a Real Man and REAL men always prefer to swing at pitches out of the strike zone to prove their manlinesshood because popping up and grounding out are always better than (shudder) walking
    - he is a trade rumor NOW because he is a 1B who can actually hit with power and he doesn’t play for one of the media’s designated Glamour Teams, and why should the last place Nats get to have good FA players who WANT to be there? ruins all The Stories

    11 – Why is base running so terrible in the big leagues?

    - because it isn’t paid, praised OR prized (who cares about runs scored? or even runs SAVED by defense) and because for so long guys were apparently encouraged not to take any risks because of the homerrific times
    - the only people who actually pay attention to ballplayers who are very good at not running into outs/taking the extra bases are us icky blogging stat geeks sitting in our underwear in our mama basement (not that there is such a thing as a basement in houston, mind)
    - unfortunately, larry walker and jeff bagwell and albert pujols, 3 of the best baserunners i have seen in my lifetime, are never talked about that way. only the home runs, like that is the only thing in baseball that matters (besides web gems – and they don’t show the adam everetts who make the most difficult play look ordinary instead of twisting/jump throwing etc)

    12 – Why do teams play “no doubles” defense late in the game when they are winning by 1 run. Doesn’t that give the offense a better chance to get a base hit?

    - you got me on THIS one, especially when it comes to guys who almost never hit doubles down the line. i guess they figure that most guys don’t/can’t steal bases and they’d rather have a guy on first than second

    13 – How come Joe West is always on Sportscenter?

    because he is ENTERTAINMENT, and the 4 letter likes that the best. what are they gonna do with a really good ump who calls games well, isn’t a jerk and hasn’t blown a high profile call or tossed players out for swearing when they have a swinging K

    my turn

    1 – why is it necessary for media types to portray every single one of us fans who uses any stat but ERA, RBI and BA as something bad – as well as FAT, stinky MEN who are completely socially inept???!!! and why is TLR, who is one of the first managers to use stats/computers portrayed as Old Skool Guy who manages by his feelings of the minute (like a GIRL???!!!)

    2 – why can’t we get rid of the *(%#@! DH, which really isn’t a position for Old Guys any more, but is rotated among the regulars? and anyone bother to check the stats of “regular” DHs besides david ortiz? not real too much better than pitchers.
    - even the PLAYERS don’t like the DH

    3 – why do we have to continue to pretend that canseco, bonds and mcgwire are the ONLY hitters who used roids and that using roids turns ALL manny alexanders into barry lamar? and for that matter, why are we having to pretend that barry lamar wasn’t a HOF player LONG before he (suppsoedly) went near any roid?
    - why are we having to pretend that roger clemens was the only pitcher who (supposedly) did drugs? why is it ok that pettitte used but not ok that roger used?

    4 – why are the media insisting that 5 years after roids were banned, that THIS YEAR’S decrease in homers are due to the ban of 5 YEARS ago, like it wasn’t working the previous 4 years?

    5 – why won’t the umps enforce the time limits of batting/pitching? (and yes i DO know how much time commercials take)

    6 – most important – about mlbam -
    if you are in a “territory” claimed by a team, in many places you CAN’T watch the game because the network does not broadcast the game they have supposedly paid to broadcast – try finding an astros game in dallas
    - if the problem is that the network doesn’t get viewers, fine, then have the viewer pay PER GAME and that fee goes to the network.

    7 – why do ML teams designate a few pets to pimp and not really bother to try to develop as many young players as possible? why let almost everyone rot? why not hire the BEST coaches/managers?

    8 – why don’t teams take infield any more? why don’t they really use ST to work on fundamentals?

    and that’s for starters (sorry if this was too long)

  18. lisa gray says:

    oh yeah

    ticket prices

    are whatever the market will bear. people unfortunately think that if baseball players were once more turned into slaves to the team and paid peanuts that seats would be cheap.

    no, the owners would just pocket the profits

    - the seat prices are also high because corporations buy a lot of them and deduct them from taxes. that wasn’t true BITGOD

    and the carl crawfords and DLees would play some other sport

  19. teamlittleguy says:

    Random thoughts …

    On the three year contract thing, I don’t get why so many journeymen players are getting long term deals these days. Seems like any fellow who’s had an erratic performance from year to year would be a high risk signing in terms of value.

    Personally, I like the 162 game schedule. By drawing it out over such a longer period of time, I think you bleed out more statistical flukes and variations. I guess the regular season and perhaps ST could be cut marginally, but I would not like to see it cut much.

    Why do fans vote 25 times a day for a guy who’s having an off year simply because he plays on “their” team — and then complain when sometimes sketchy picks get made for the All-Star Game by the manager?

    And finally …

    Wouldn’t it be awesome if Carl Childers (Sling Blade) did play by play? — “Ensberg hit that ‘un right fer right between them fellers standin out there in that grass. Ummm hmmm. That one boy done give out tryin’ to chase it down. I reckon it done bounced off that wall out thar and scored them boys what was standin on them pillas. Mmmmm. That boy with the girl’s name musta had extra mustard on his biscuits. 5-1 Astros. Ummm hmmmm.”

    • teamlittleguy says:

      Morgan: one more thing – I’d love to get your take in a future post on “the book” when it comes to managerial decisions. The reason I ask is due to a spirited discussion on another blog I go to about a tough loss the Braves suffered last night.

      In the game, Billy Wagner was brought into the game in the ninth tied 2-2 and he surrendered the winning run. On the blog, folks are saying “the book” says that at home in a tie game you either bring your closer in in the 9th inning or you don’t pitch him at all.

      My take (not based in the fact that they lost) is that it might be better to pitch someone else in that spot for two reasons –

      1: Wags is 39 years old, so why pitch him in a game he cannot save unless it’s absolutely necessary … and
      2: The Braves’ bullpen has been lights out all year, so it’s not like he’s the only reliable option.

      Anyway, if you think it’s good fodder for a future post, I’d be curious as to your take on “the book.” Thanks!

  20. Jaz says:

    The Adam Dunn news never stops. Looks like the Nats put him on waivers today….

  21. Eric Jones says:

    Oh my lord did you see your buddy Miles throwing shutout ball for the cards in the 8th inning?????? It may be time for a position change!!!

    Not going to answer them all Morgan but I’ll bite.

    •Why is the season 162 games long? I don’t know but it sounds like a good number to me. (Probablly what the commish said when he heard the idea in the first place.)

    •Did the Astros really trade Lance Berkman and Roy Oswalt? Drayton did it and I’m glad he did…you can only be “CHAMPIONS” for so long before you have to rebuild and start all over. Who knows, maybe they will be back in the twilight of their careers.

    •Why does the All Star game give home field advantage in the World Series? Selig had to do something after the tie game. What a dope.

    •How come Brett Myers and Corey Hart signed extensions so soon after the trade deadline? They couldn’t get what they wanted for Myers from the Mutts. Have you seen this team lately??? They may be closer than you think.

    •How come Adam Dunn is a trade target in the media every single year of his existence and he never gets traded? I can’t imagine that any team really wants a guy that strikes out so much for a playoff run…..what would the Nats eve get in return for a guy like that?

    •Why is base running so terrible in the big leagues? No hustle….guys are overpaid. Not that they don’t deserve it. But its a lot easier to be a fat cat….if you really are fat :o)

  22. Jason says:

    Why do the schedules have to be so unbalanced?

    Why can’t we work out a way so that there are 15 teams in each league and 5 teams in each division?

    Why does the AL seem to be so much better than the NL recently?

    Why doesn’t Adrian Gonzalez learn to push bunt down the 3rd baseline when the defense plays the pull-shift on him?

    Why 25 men?

    Why don’t we see many baserunners colliding with catchers on plays at the plate in recent years?

    Why do pitchers trade out balls that hit the dirt on a bad pitch but keep using balls that land as hits?

  23. Ashitaka says:

    Well, I’ll answer the ones I think I have something semi-intelligent to say about…

    “Why is the season 162 games long? Don’t forget that Spring Training is a month and a half as well.”

    I think Spring Training is really long, but I fully support the 162 game season. It’s probably easy for me to say because I’m not a player, but I can’t get enough. The final day of the season is the saddest day of the whole year for me, and the winter basically involves a lot of boredom and depression for me. If anything, the season isn’t long ENOUGH…but again, I’m not a player, just a rabid fan, so I’m extremely biased.

    “Did the Astros really trade Lance Berkman and Roy Oswalt? I never thought Drayton would do it.”

    If they had been smart, they’d have done it after 2006. The value for Berkman and Roy would have been at it’s absolute peak then, and if Drayton hadn’t cheaped out on the drafts so much, that combined with good drafting, and we’d be contenders right now. Instead, they gave a one-dimensional player like Carlos Lee an unspeakably-horrific contract, and now we’re hamstrung by it. Better late than never I suppose, I’m glad Ed Wade has talked some sense into him (although he’s still delusional on the radio, talking about how we’re not rebuilding and we’re going to be champions, ugh).

    “Why does the All Star game give home field advantage in the World Series? Must be a ton of money.”

    Because Bud Selig cares about one thing; the almighty dollar.

    “How come Brett Myers and Corey Hart signed extensions so soon after the trade deadline? My guess is that they become more attractive to teams at the non-waiver deadline because of cost certainty.”

    My guess is that it’s because they don’t want to have not traded them AND then lose them to free agency. Milwaukee gets a pass in my opinion because of Hart’s untimely injury, which certainly hurt his value. On the other hand, owners these days still seem to be crying poor about the economy and seem unwilling to take on large contracts, so it’s actually the guys that are signed short-term that seem to have the value.

    “Speaking of deals, I don’t know if I am into the 3 year deal anymore. I definitely don’t like back-loaded deals for teams. That just makes it more difficult for teams to deal a guy if he stinks in a couple years.”

    I will NEVER understand back-loaded deals. What on earth was McLane thinking when he agreed to pay Carlos Lee $19 million a year for three years into his mid-thirties? Absolute insanity. Length, dollar amount, age and track record are the four most important things to look at in my opinion, so I don’t mind a three-year deal in an of itself if the price is reasonable, the player getting it has a good track record and he won’t be too old during the years he’s under contract.

    “Why is base running so terrible in the big leagues?”

    I can only guess it’s because there’s just no emphasis placed on it. I wonder this all the time. Carlos Lee ended a huge rally ending by making the third out trying to stretch his hit into a TRIPLE tonight. Carlos Lee! Trying for a triple! With two outs!!! I just wanted to slam my head through the TV screen. Ugh.

    “How come Joe West is always on Sportscenter?”

    Because he’s an egotistical, narcissistic self-promoter, and a disgrace to the umpiring profession, and he should have been fired several years ago. It’s disgusting. It’s clear the man is biased and holds grudges and takes out vendettas in his came-calling. Announcers, players and managers regularly call him out on it (the Mark Buehrle debacle earlier this year, for example).

  24. Eric says:

    Adam Dunn has been traded. In 2008 the Reds sent him to the Diamondbacks.

  25. K9 says:

    - is it coincidence or grand plan that many former Astros go to philly?
    -Adam Dunn has been placed on waivers. Too bad he can’t stay in Washington, there’s hope of rebuilding that team.
    - there is talk of shortening spring training to have the season over by November.
    Do you think 162 is too short or too long? Did you want a nice, round even number?
    I’d go for a longer season.
    - what on earth possessed Lance to go to the Yankees (ick)??! Have you talked to him about his determining factors to go there? I’m curious what the 8 teams were and which 4 he said yes to.
    The good part is we have increased odds of seeing him play- we get so few Astros games :(
    – I agree with whoever said ‘defensive indifference’ should be banned. Tag the dude OUT!
    - I disagree with whoever said Jon and Joe were perfect. I can’t stand listening to those two! They yammer nonstop about absolutely nothing! And not one thing relevant to the game.
    - that’s another one– how the play by play guys can determine if we watch the game or not.
    Cardinals guys, no. Astros guys, yes. TBS probably not, ESP if buck Martinez is involved.
    Rangers guy, yes. Dan shulman, yes. Gary Thorne, yes. Jon and Joe no.
    Wonder if anyone knows or cares about the tv audience or just the live ones….
    - my hubby still thinks sac bunts are a waste of an out. Makes him completely crazy.

    I think that’s it.

    K9

  26. Mark Mitchener says:

    And, once you’ve decided on the somewhat arbitrary figure of 162 games…

    If two play-off rivals have the same win-loss record, why do they go ahead and play a 163rd?

    Is there no fathomable way they can be separated by any head-to-head stats from the numerous regular season games they’ve played against each other? Eg most runs scored?

  27. eskillian says:

    It was time for Oswalt and Berkman to go. Time to rebuild. I like the Oswalt trade, but I’m not to keen on the Berkman trade. At least he’s with a team that has a good chance at a World Series.

    I’d like to see you expound on how terrible base running is in the big leagues. I’m not disagreeing at all. I just want to read details.

  28. Dan Hulse says:

    Hey Morgan,

    Great meeting you and watching the Astros game this past Saturday, small world! Looks like a great fit for Brett at 1B.

    I agree, the MLB schedule is crazy.

    Take it EZ,
    Dan

  29. Tim says:

    Why do batters so frequently take called third strikes with men on base and the game on the line? Swing the stinking bat.

  30. John says:

    “The accounts and descriptions of this game may not be reproduced in any form without the expressed written consent of Major League Baseball.”

    If you really read into that, that essentially means that I could get sued for the following scenario: My friend calls me and asked me what happened in the Tigers game. I say “Armando Galarraga lost a perfect game with two outs in the 9th on an infield single, but the replay on Fox Sports Detroit shows that the umpire clearly missed the call.” That’s it. I produced my account of the game without consent, I broke the law.

  31. Les says:

    * Why is base running so terrible in the big leagues?

    The steroid era of the long ball negated it as top priority for success in my opinion, as it probably did other elements of the game.

  32. Slim says:

    Morgan?
    More than a week?
    No comment responses?
    You ok?
    Have you spoiled us?

  33. Jeff says:

    I have a question for you Morgan. Reading your blog, you have shown a great mind for strategy and the social game in the clubhouse. It seems to me that someone with your baseball smarts would make a fantastic manager if you were given a chance. Have you ever thought of managing?


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