TheLongTalk knows nothing about baseball, but 108 years seems like a long, long, long time to go without a title… so, congratulations Chicago Cubs… it only took you a century, and 7 games, and 10 innings.
Ever have a favorite players jersey only to see them do something that lands them on the trading block and never to return to your team? Philadelphia fans would know a thing or two about owning a Barkley jersey after he left, or Iverson when he was gone, or Van Horn, or Iggy, or any plethora of their super stars that left for other teams. Perhaps you’re the Colts fan with the Marshall Faulk jersey who watched him go on to win a championship with the greatest show on turf, or a Cardinals fan who watched and wore a Cardinals Boldin jersey as he won his first ring with Baltimore and is chasing a second as a member of your rival 49ers.
If you have ever been in that awkward position wearing a players jersey who no longer is part of that team (and that player is possibly despised by that organization) who would you have swapped out your jersey for?
I for one have a Dwight Howard for the Magic, Manny Rameriz for the Dodgers both of which I’d love to swap in for different players with those organizations. Either swap them in for a legends jersey or a current young gun who hopefully stays with the organization or at least leaves on amicable terms.
This should be a fun one. If you could own any team in any league who would it be? This one is tough for me, there are 7 teams I would want to own (1) the Pittsburgh Steelers, (2) the Pittsburgh Penguins, (3) the New York Yankees, (4) the Pittsburgh Pirates, (5) the Utah Jazz, and (6) the Chicago Cubs, and (7) the New Orleans Hornets. The Steelers are my favorite NFL team, but they are already run so well and have arguably the best ownership in the league, I would love to continue that tradition as an owner, but since they are already doing so well I shall pass. The New York Yankees are my favorite baseball team and if you owned them they would make you lots of cash. My second favorite MLB team is the Pittsburgh Pirates and I would love to take over that team and help provide a winning tradition. I would just like to own the Cubs because they would make you a ton of money and it would be cool to be the owner who ended the billy goat curse. The Pittsburgh Penguins are my favorite NHL team (see a trend?) but I would pass on owning a hockey team. I love the Utah Jazz, they are my favorite NBA team, when I was growing up I wanted to be John Stockton, you will not find a bigger John Stockton fan out there than #12, (part of the reason my identity on here is #12 is because of Jon Stockton). I would want to own the New Orleans Hornets, not because I now live in New Orleans, but so I could move the team to Pittsburgh, they need an NBA team for me to root for.
However, if I had to pick one team to own it would be the Utah Jazz. I’ve seen the Steelers win multiple championships, the same with the Yankees, and a few years ago I got to see the Penguins win, but never the Jazz. I would want to own the Utah Jazz and I would bring them the championship Salt Lake City has been dying for. I wouldn’t have let Mes Matthews go just to save a few bucks and that also goes for Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver, Ronnie Brewer, and Eric Maynor. I also would’ve drafted differently. I want to own the Utah Jazz and lead them to hanging a championship banner by the rafters. Maybe I’ll go play the mega millions, $640 millions might be enough to buy them, but probably not after taxes.
Anyways, if you could own and sports team, who would it be?
Thinking about baseball today, TheLongTalk realized that America’s Former Favorite Pastime doesn’t have to be so lame. It could be exciting, it could be entertaining, it could be bigger then Football. If only everyone would listen to TheLongTalk…
Here’s what’d make Baseball better…
- 7 Innings: Shorten the game and more people will watch. 3 plus hours is to long, especially when most of it is spent watching pitchers adjust their junk.
- Batter/Pitcher Play Clock: You got 15 seconds to swing or pitch. Fail to pitch in 15 and it’s a ball. Fail to swing, or at least finish banging the dirt out of your cleats, and it’s a strike.
- Peg the Runner: When TheLongTalk was a kid playing kickball the defense was allowed to peg the runner with the ball and it counted as an out. It was risky, miss and your runner is almost assured another base if not a run… but connect and it’s super fun. This would be way more thrilling at Baseball’s high speed.
- Get Rid of the Dead Weight: If you don’t take the field you can’t take the plate.
- Bonus Ring: Add a big Bonus Ring somewhere near center field, next to the wall. Hit it through and your get two points instead of one.
- Contact at Each Plate: Instead of the runner and the catcher being the only people that get to play full contact Baseball, let each basemen into the action.
- 5th Inning Field Trip: Let fans in the front row come onto the field at the end of the 5th inning, just to walk around a little. Ticket sales, and prices, would go through the roof.
- Toss It Back into Play: Allow fans to toss the ball back into play within 5 seconds and it’s still live… it doesn’t count as a catch, but you can still throw the runner out. Think about this in the playoffs… hometown fans would be scrambling for loss balls in order to toss them back to their team and visiting fans would be trying to hide them. It offers the potential for European Soccer Fan levels of hostility.
- Hat Catch: If an outfield can catch the ball in his hat, it counts as two outs.
That’s just a few ideas off the top of TheLongTalk’s head and it seems like anyone of them would make the MLB 500% cooler. You’d have to change things for each one, but change can be good. The minor leagues should at least give some of these a try.
Only half joking,
In light of Derek Jeter’s rumored $51 million dollar deal, I got to thinking again on a subject I’ve had numerous conversations about – are player salaries worth it?
To me, there are two ways of looking at the issue.
- These are just athletes. Not teachers or police or doctors. Of course there salaries aren’t worth it. How could they be? They get paid more in a season than a normal person could ever hope to make in a lifetime – all to play a game.
- Salaries should be considered in terms of Return on Investment.
Let’s explore #2 a little further. Let’s use Jeter for our example – a guy I like even though I’m not a huge Yankees fan, but I digress.
So, let’s say Jeter gets paid $17 million a year, which seems like a boatload of money, especially for a 36-year old shortstop. Some quick Googling leads to estimates of around $200 million a year in ticket sales – JUST ticket sales. Granted, the Yankees pay a lot of other guys a lot of money also, but you can most certainly make the case that the $17 million is well worth it – purely from a business point of view.
Granted, the largest payroll in baseball doesn’t always lead to a championship. According to CBS Sports, the San Francisco Giants 2010 payroll was less than half that of the Yankees, and they walked away with the hardware in the end.
So, are players salaries worth it? From a business point of view, of course they are.