MLB Clubs Undermine Own Chances at Title

by Moonlight Graham

In 2003, in an attempt to regenerate fan interest just a year after a lack of available pitchers forced MLB Commissioner Bud Selig to declare the All Star Game a tie, Baseball’s hierarchy decreed that the Mid-Summer Classic would now determine home field advantage in the World Series. It wasn’t already bad enough that the rosters were watered down by the requirement that each team, no matter how bad, must be represented; now, a player from a second division club could have a hand in deciding the outcome of the sport’s premier event months in advance.

While the move was and is opposed by many, I never really had a problem with it.  Not because I agree with the concept; it’s completely ridiculous to think I’m staying up that late to watch Garrett Jones of the Pittsburgh Pirates face Kansas City Royals’ closer Joakim Soria because I’d like the Mets to have home field if they get that far.  However, because the old system of alternating the privilege was also completely without merit, I figured, “Who cares?”  Until I realized that the new policy actually gives mindless fans the opportunity to hurt their team’s shot at a championship; often at the prompting of it’s own front office. We’ve all been to the ballpark in the early part of the season and heard the huge pitch to vote for the hometown boys.  Actually, you don’t even have to attend a game anymore, as on-line balloting has given everyone a voice.  “Send Joe Blow to Los Angeles for the All Star Game”, blare the ads.  “Forget the stats, vote for our guys!”  On the surface, a nice marketing strategy, but one that could prove fatal to a championship run.  Continue reading »

by Moonlight Graham

It happens every spring.  MLB clubs head into the new season filled with all of the promise and excitement that a new year brings.  Injured players are healthy, dissapointing performance are forgotten and optimism rules the day. Unfortunately, many also begin the new campaign focused more on finances than the standings and thus, head into battle without a full arsenal of weaponry.

Without going into all of the legal issues surrounding the MLB arbitration process, suffice to say that the most important element is service time; specifically, days on a Major League roster.  If a rookie that would normally be eligible for arbitration after two years is held back until the end of May, he cannot be credited with the service time required for a full season.  Therefore, the big payday usually gained through arbitration is delayed by a full calendar year. Continue reading »

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