Open Thread — The Future Begins Today

On such a momentous and important day, it is understandable that BCC participants will want to express their feelings about the decisions which are being made right now and which will influence the future for years and maybe even decades.

The owners of major league baseball teams have convened their annual meeting today at Dana Point, California.  There are serious issues under discussion, such as payroll caps, strategeries for increasing revenues, and who gets stuck with ManRam.

Please feel free to discuss these important issues, and let’s remember to keep it civil.  At the end of the day, we’re all one big happy dysfunctional family.  (Except for Yankee fans, who were excommunicated from the family long ago.)

 

 

Comments

  1. Steve Evans says:

    There’s no room for civility following a Phillies victory.

  2. Mark Brown says:

    Steve, I still can’t believe the Phillies beat out the Mets during that last week of the regular season.

  3. Baseball? Is that some sort of team sport?

  4. I live quite a ways up a hill in Salt Lake City (the Avenues). I don’t drive anymore. The public transportation system is virtually unusable.

    The genius Republicans at the county clerk’s office put our Democratic precinct’s polling place in a building behind the state Capitol. That’s only a few hundred yards away from my house. Except that there’s a major canyon — Memory Grove — between the Avenues and the Capitol. So people like me who don’t drive have to walk all the way down to the valley floor, then hike all the way up to the top of Capitol Hill. Only to find that they have moved the polling place, without putting signs or flags at either the old or the new polling places.

    And it’s raining. Hard. And it’s cold.

    Those damned Republicans did their best to disenfranchise me this year, but I got there, and I voted. And I am cold and wet and sneezing. But I voted, and I voted against every damned incumbent on my ticket.

  5. Token Average Member says:

    I’m going with the Reds but I wish they had a stronger bullpen.

  6. Mark, I have to say that the Phillies beating the Mets was even better than their winning the World Series.

  7. Mark Brown says:

    Ardis, you live right there? I think I probably 7 or 8 people who are in your ward.

    Look at it this way: At least you got your exercise. Also, what is your opinion of the deesignated hitter rule?

    BruceC, calling baseball just another team sport is like calling Joseph Smith just another yokel from upstate New York.

  8. Ardis,
    You have separate polling places in Utah? Where do the independents/3rd parties have to go to vote? Tooele?

  9. I heart Ardis.

  10. World Series? I thought baseball ended the second real sport season started (re football) can’t believe tech beat texas. That was an awesome game.

  11. Mark Brown says:

    Matt, as I have said before, there are sports celestial and sports terrestrial and sports telestial. And I believe that one can move in between. And for those who die in ignorance, there is the possibility that their descendants may attend a baseball game for them by proxy.

  12. If anyone lives in SLC and hasn’t voted, there are a couple of Democratic-leaning judges I hope you choose to retain.

  13. And if you’ve execommunicated Yankees fans, I really hope you’ve included Red Sox fans (or at least disfellowshipped them).

  14. I’m a Chief Wahoo denizen, myself.

  15. Mark Brown says:

    queuno, the followers of the Steinbrenner heresy have ex’ed themselves. They have left the True Baseball, but they just can’t leave it alone.

  16. nasamomdele says:

    True baseball is in a great apostacy. Not until the second coming of Tommy Lasorda will baseball be restored to its fulness.

    Voting Red, baby!!!

  17. Mark Brown says:

    nasamomdele,

    Voting Red, baby!!!

    So, is that the Reds or the Red Socks?

  18. Now why couldn’t we have talked about baseball for the last few months instead? This way all of us can agree on a few basic truths, both the Mets and Yankees suck.

  19. Well, if you have to talk about baseball, Dana Point is a better place than most to do it.

  20. Mark, I have learned during my relatively long life that baseball is the sport of gods. These days, I find the NBA completely unwatchable, and the NFL increasingly boring, but baseball on all levels gets more and more interesting to me. I am undecided on the salary cap issue — sometimes I think some kind of cap that is stronger than the rev. sharing regime is necessary to provide more balance — other times I take a free-market, let the strong survive approach. I am willing to be persuaded to either side.

    As for Manny Ramirez, I predict whoever gets stuck with him will regret it.

  21. Ardis, my sympathies.
    Please post somewhere the explanation of the separate polling places. I have voted in 7 states, and this is incredible, beyond belief, incomprehensible to me???

    Continuing your threadjack, in Ohio all 3 registered voters at my house got his/her own official postcard telling us where to vote. For FOUR years after we moved 2 miles there has been a bright banner on the top 3/4″ of the cards that shouts, “YOUR POLLING PLACE HAS CHANGED!” When they switched us from the high school to the eelemantary school they did the same thing for a while. Both parties also sent us postcards telling us where to vote.

    And yeah, the Reds are sad.

  22. Geoff, considering the Rays made it to the World Series with one of baseball’s lowest payrolls while the Mets and Yankees sat at home disproves the necessity of a salary cap. Though one could argue for a salary floor to force teams like the Royals to spend the money they receive from revenue sharing.

    And the salary cap has ruined the NFL. I’ve never seen a more mediocre league.

  23. Mark Brown says:

    Geoff, in regards to the revenue sharing plan, wasn’t it great to see Tampa Bay in the World Series? They have the second to lowest payroll in MLB.

    And what made it even greater is that they won the division that had two of the top highest, NYY and Boston. Schweeet.

  24. I don’t think that could happen. I have facial hair.

  25. My poor Cubs. Oh well there is always next year….

  26. I don’t think Ardis is saying there is a different polling place for Democrats. That would be ridiculous. I think she is saying that her precinct consists primarily of Democratic voters, and an inconvenient polling location unfairly disenfranchises them.

  27. Steve Evans says:

    You make it work, Tim!!

    I see now that my insights have been censored, Matt Evans-style. This is clearly the work of Stapley.

  28. My poor Cubs. Oh well there is always next year….

    …and the next…and the next…and the next…and the next…and the next…and the next…and the next…and the next…

  29. Tim,

    If you want sports teams only in cities of a certain size, I would agree with you. But there is no way that Green Bay or Jacksonville could compete without rev sharing.

    Also, yay for Tampa Bay finally dragging itself out of the cellar.

  30. You can have revenue sharing without the hard cap. Green Bay generates more revenue than both the Giants and the Jets.

  31. J. Michael says:

    I think Ardis is saying that her precinct is predominately Democrat, while those who made the decision to move the polling station are Republicans. The parties do not have separate polling stations in Utah. Although it is an intriguing idea.

  32. How about eliminating a round of playoffs so the world series isn’t played in a snowstorm in Boston someday? How about an independent commissioner?

    I am in favor of a salary cap. The very occasional smart recruiting, player development and management by the smaller market teams is just that – occasional. And how much is A-Rod making now?

    I am apathetic about the DH rule. It used to be, back when there were two leagues, they could make their own rules. I find the AL’s DH rule a charming reminder of a simpler time.

    Stupidest comment by an owner this year: “We’ll be here until Thanksgiving if that’s what it takes.”

    Bless you, Mark, for bringing up this important subject today.

  33. I’m for some sort of payroll cap…I’m not sure how.

    Every salary negotiation has unequal power — Wall Street got 1 of every 3 corporate dollars according to one Nobel winner in economics. Some estimate that the head of AIG made over 1.5 billion last year through his privately owned companies providing services to AIG. So the “what is fair” argument just doesn’t justify the large salaries — it is just an outcome of unequal negotiation power.

  34. Tim, sure. Because real estate much, much more expensive in NY, as is local licensing and so forth. But doesn’t the average player for GB make less than the average player for either NY team (he asks, not actually knowing the answer)?

  35. How about eliminating a round of playoffs so the world series isn’t played in a snowstorm in Boston someday?

    I didn’t like the Wildcard round at first but now like it. Instead they need to start the season in mid-March and play in southern stadiums or domes for 2-3 weeks. Or play more double-headers.

    The very occasional smart recruiting, player development and management by the smaller market teams is just that – occasional.

    Not really. The Twins and A’s consistently outperform their payroll. As do the Marlins and now the Rays. The DBacks almost made the playoffs. And look what happened to Detroit this year. #2 payroll and nothing to show for it.

  36. Ardis, you go girl!

    Baseball can not be the celestial sport, otherwise the Mariners here could not have had the first $100 million plus payroll team to lose more than 100 games.

    Actually, sports here in Seattle in general suck right now. The Sonics are now the Oklahoma Thunder, the Seahawks have managed to lose all but two games, I’ve told you about the Mariners, and college football, well, they just fired the UW coach after losing to Notre Dame.

    The True Celestial Sport is basketball, although you would have a hard time recognizing it in the NBA these days. Else why are all of our standard plan buildings built around a basketball court?

  37. Baseball can not be the celestial sport, otherwise the Mariners here could not have had the first $100 million plus payroll team to lose more than 100 games.

    You can’t buy your way into heaven.

  38. Tim J, Steinbrenner proved that years ago.

  39. Bro. Jones says:

    I’m in DC. I am surrounded by the Orioles and the Nationals and have nowhere to turn. I am empty and alone.

  40. Steve Evans says:

    Bro. Jones, at least you’ve got venerable Camden Yards. Good stadium.

  41. Thomas Parkin says:

    “Actually, sports here in Seattle in general suck right now.”

    That’s an understatement.

    Sonics: moved to Oklahoma (!)
    Mariners: 100 losses
    Seahawks: 2-6 (Seattle’s last hope. FAIL.)
    UW football: 0-8
    WS football: 1-7

    ouch

    ~

  42. Please post somewhere the explanation of the separate polling places. I have voted in 7 states, and this is incredible, beyond belief, incomprehensible to me???

    I don’t understand this. In Utah if you early vote you can go anywhere you want that’s most convenient for you. Why on election day do you have to go to a designated place?

  43. But the word on the street is that Griffey Jr. wants to come back to finish in Seattle. Who cares if he makes a huge impact on our numbers. The man is a god in Seattle and I’d love to have him back.

    - M’s fan in NYC

  44. Steve Evans says:

    You can hate Obama if you want, but the man thinks straight when it comes to sports — he called for the end of the bowl system and instead playoffs for college football. AMEN!

  45. Re#42 jjohnsen – Early voting is a little more time consuming for the polls to process. This is due to measure to prevent fraud. But that is fine since it is done early and the polling places have time to do it right. On election day there is not enough time to do it right. The results are reported the same day, not enough time to audit and fix problems. So safeguards are put in place so the polls don’t have to take the time to check their results. One is to require people to vote at designated polling places.

    There are other ways of doing it that would make this problem moot. Each has it’s own set of problems. But this is the system we’ve got.

    Ardis, I admire your dedication. Your problem is far worse than mine was. I just moved from a “one party state”. The district I lived in was predominantly of the “other” party. My polling place was 7 miles outside my district!

  46. You can hate Obama if you want, but the man thinks straight when it comes to sports — he called for the end of the bowl system and instead playoffs for college football. AMEN!

    He came off as a radio talk show host: propose an seemingly simple solution without addressing the complex realities and inequities that have to be fixed first…

  47. LOL.

  48. I think Lavell Edwards put it best when he testified in front of Congress a few years ago — the system is set up now to funnel money to the big schools. Why should we expect that a playoff will be configured that ever includes the WAC, the MWC, etc.?

    Before a playoff is instituted, the NCAA should address the bowl structure, conference alignment, and fairness in scheduling, at a minimum. If not, you’re just replacing one set of inequalities for another set — all designed to keep the money with a certain subset of schools.

  49. I voted for Dell Schanze. Tee hee.

    (Not that I like him; but I want Huntsman to know that not everyone in Utah thinks he’s the bee’s knees.)

  50. My wish list for a playoff:

    1. 16 teams. All 11 conference champions are automatically included, plus 5 teams that lost their conference championship game (see #3).

    2. All independents must join a conference. Including (especially) Notre Dame.

    3. Realign conferences into equal sizes. Every conference must have a championship game.

    4. The Big-10 and the Pac-10 need to decide which they love more, a shot at the national championship or the Rose Bowl.

    5. Playoff games are played around the country, at neutral sites. (If you’re Florida, you should be able to win a game in the snow.)

    6. Non-conference games are not scheduled on the basis of “money” or “before conference games”. Let’s see Alabama play at Boise State or Wyoming in November. (Southern schools are big chickens.)

    Basically … if you want a playoff like the NFL, run it like the NFL.

  51. You can hate Obama if you want, but the man thinks straight when it comes to sports — he called for the end of the bowl system and instead playoffs for college football. AMEN!

    He did? That just solidifies my support for the man.

  52. CJ Douglass says:

    I’ve never enjoyed waiting in line this much.

  53. You can hate Obama if you want, but the man thinks straight when it comes to sports — he called for the end of the bowl system and instead playoffs for college football. AMEN!

    Sure, but I heard that when he was campaigning in Big 10 country he said he favored the bowl system.

  54. Notorious flip-flopper.

  55. StillConfused says:

    This will be a very interesting time indeed. I am a small business owner with not much disposable income. My part time file clerk supports the Obama tax hikes. However, if my taxes are raised, she will be the one laid off. It is interesting to have such a unique little microcosim (sp?) in my work place.

  56. Hey, I have issues with the Bowl System, too. But compared to an poorly designed and implemented playoff?

    Sometimes the best short-term change is no change.

  57. StillConfused says:

    #49 — Super Dell is running for office?? Gag!!

  58. queno, come on. The Big 10, Pac 10 and the SEC teams have enough fake games as it is–the Ball States and the Toledoes and the Central Michigans and so forth. We don’t need any more. Saying the WAC is a real respectable football conference is rather like saying that the Big East is a serious conference in football–the teams (ahem, Rutgers, WVU, BYU, Utah, Boise) look great until they play real teams (Georgia, Florida, OSU, PSU, Texas, USC, etc.).

  59. You’re proving my point, TMD. Why is the SEC so scared of playing a team like Ball State on the road in November? Why at home in September?

    The only reason that teams like in the MWC and the WAC have “weak” schedules is because teams in the SEC and Big-12 are gutless and won’t play them on fair terms.

    (Mac Brown is a prime example – cancelling a contract a few years ago to play a road game in Hawaii because it would be a distraction to his schedule.)

    The Gators and Tide and all the rest are chickens..alad.

  60. (Lest you think I’m just a mid-major homer … I grew up in Big-10 Country and I think it’s appalling how they won’t play anyone. Stop playing D1AA teams…)

  61. If there is one thing we should take from this baseball season, it is how a team can rise from lowest of lows to the up reaches of the celestial baseball kingdom by simply rejecting the Devil (if in name only).

  62. Put me on the record as being in favor of a 12 or 16 team playoff.

  63. Eric Russell says:

    queuno #50:

    I’d do a 16 game playoff with the 11 conference champs, but the other five slots ought to be the highest ranked in the BCS standings.

    Notre Dame doesn’t need to join a conference – if they want to just try to contend for one of those five at-large spots, I think everyone would be cool with that.

    Equal-sized conferences is unrealistic and probably unhelpful.

    Why is the SEC so scared of playing a team like Ball State on the road in November?

    Money and tradition. They dislike playing away games at small schools because it means small revenues. And playing your non-conference schedule largely before your conference schedule is tradition. I think any SEC team would happily trade a conference game for any non-bcs game – even if it were away in November.

  64. Kevinf…..too bad about Seattle sports. On the brighter side, I have heard that no college football stadium has more scenic views (looking outside the stadium of course) than at UW. I live in TN and would love to attend a game there someday. Maybe now is the time to get in cheap. I have in-laws there.

  65. Ooh, I see a shot taken at SEC football. This Gator knows there is nothing to prove with the out of conference schedule. The in conference schedule in enough. Add FSU for us.

  66. Hey, I have issues with the Bowl System, too. But compared to an poorly designed and implemented playoff?

    Who said it would be poorly implemented? Obama will hold over those on staff that can help with a good design, he’s not afraid of a non-partisan playoff system. And I’m with bbell, would there be anything more exciting than a December and January full of playoff games between 16 teams?

    #49 — Super Dell is running for office?? Gag!!

    When I saw the ballot I did a double take, he’s even listed as Superdell in quotes.

  67. Not sure if anyone mentioned it, but Glenn Beck and Orrin Hatch are throwing out the “hanging by a thread” comment as pertaining specifically to today.

    See my blog and Beck’s site for more.

  68. And for a hilariously scary video of SuperDell at the GOP convention see here (I swear this is not a Rick Roll):

  69. I voted, so now I have the right to complain for the next four years. Heck, I’ve had the right to complain since 1976.

  70. Steve Evans says:

    This one’s good too — I swear it is not a Rick Roll.

  71. Adam Greenwood says:

    For those who like the designated hitter rule, that is just the wort of thing they would like.

  72. StillConfused says:

    What is the whole Rick Roll thing? My son has set that up as the music on hold on my phone system and thinks it is the funniest thing ever. I really must be missing something.

  73. Latter-day Guy says:

    Cthulhu for president. Why choose the lesser evil?

  74. Adam Greenwood says:

    Er . . sort.

  75. #60 – “Stop playing D1AA teams…” – or at least beat them, Michigan!

    I just wish we had a pro team of some kind. The Reds might make it into the CWS in a few years, but I don’t think the Bengals have a shot at a BCS game.

  76. dammit steve

  77. We of the SEC appreciate that some people are frustrated with our out of conference schedule. However, when you play in THE BEST CONFERENCE IN AMERICA it is sufficient to demonstrate that you are good. And I look forward to Florida crushing Florida State fairly soon.

  78. Queno, may I introduce you to state politics? Most of the big 10 schools are state schools–as are most of the DII schools they play. It’s all about state politics.

    Also, frankly, if there would be a championship, we’d need to re-do conferences and demote lots of teams to DII–most of the WAC and Big East and pretty much all of the Big Sky conference, to start with. There’s not way that WAC or big sky or big east get auto-ins to such a system, none at all. That’d be even worse than what we have now.

  79. You’re right, TMD. Boise State would never beat Oklahoma, especially if they could recruit and pitch a legitimate chance to play in a championship game. It’s absolutely inconceivable now; no way it could happen if the greedy ones opened the door and allowed real competition. Closing the system is the truly benevolent thing to do.

  80. Left Field says:

    One of the biggest things the owners have done to mess up the game is to pretend that there is just one big happy “MLB” league. The World Series is supposed to be a grudge match between champions of rival leagues, not just the last round in a “league” championship.

    I’ve even seen references to the World Series as being part of playoffs! A couple of years ago, I remember the TV announcers asked a trivia question regarding the playoffs. Naturally, I tried to come up with an answer from the LCS and DS. It turned out that the answer they had in mind was from the World Series! I was stunned. Since when is the World Series part of the playoffs?

    One of the problems created by Selig and the other owners is that nowadays, if you’re not a fan of the Phillies or Rays, you’re not expected to give a flying fig about the World Series. It used to be that everyone cared about the Series because it was a chance to cheer their league champion against the rival league. I simply can’t imagine what the owners thought to accomplish by making the Fall Classic into just another league championship like the Super Bowl.

  81. Money and tradition. They dislike playing away games at small schools because it means small revenues. And playing your non-conference schedule largely before your conference schedule is tradition. I think any SEC team would happily trade a conference game for any non-bcs game – even if it were away in November.

    Ah. So it’s all about tradition. So then why mess with the mythical national championship? It’s just fine.

    (Oh, wait. It’s really about money, not competition.)

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