Thursday, June 3, 2010

Do The Right Thing

June 3rd, 2010
New York, NY

Sports presents an ongoing emotional battle for all traditionalists. Constant rule changes, technological advances and the maturation of any sport means that like a living, breathing organism, sports constantly change.

For some people, this means that a sport might lose it’s magic and they lose interest.

For some, it makes it impossible to compare greats from era to era, allowing for constant debate about who “the greatest” might be.

For some, it means you might have to redefine your personal rules about how you judge greatness, winners and losers.

Mr. Black is one of those people.

Last night, Armando Gallaraga was perfect for 29 outs. The problem was that Jim Joyce wasn’t. As a traditionalist, I hate the use of instant replay in baseball. Human nature is part of the game, and my response to anyone saying that one call can cost someone a game is, “score more runs.”

But as a traditionalist, I also love that the Commissioner has total control over the rules of baseball. Kenesaw Mountain Landis demanded that he have “absolute power” to govern baseball as any way he saw fit as Commissioner for the betterment of the game. To this day, that power still stands.

Our current baseball commissioner can change the rules DURING a game (see the 2002 All-Star Game), and in the case of Gallaraga’s perfect game, what Bud “The Slug” Selig should exercise his absolute power. The answer is to overturn the call, not as a correction of the umpire, but to recognize the historical achievement of Gallaraga in a case where there is no statistical significance to the decision. He can be clear that there is not rule change, and that human error will be always be part of the game, but on a case-by-case basis where a win or loss isn’t involved, the commissioner, and only the commissioner can change a call.

C’mon, Bud. Do the right thing. For the first time.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Getting Back Into the Swing of Things

June 2, 2010
New York, NY

So after an 11-month hiatus, Mr. Black is looking to get back to writing about sports. To be 100% honest, the amount of work required to write regularly and not have every post be total drivel was a little surprising. But like an aging quarterback well past his prime (looking at you Brett Farve), I’m coming back for one more try.

Anyway, there’s too much good stuff going on in the sports world right now so let’s get this going.

The Biggest Losers
Quite a few big losers over the last few weeks, so here are a few highlights.

Eddy Curry
After making around $60 million dollars in nine years, he’s been considered a waste of money for years but after being ordered by the court to pay $1.2 million dollars for a bad loan it’s reached shocking levels. The only thing more shocking than a single person wasting $60 million is the 85% interest loan which is what led to the court order.

Eddy, a little free financial advice: First, save at least 10% of your income for retirement. Even without interest that would mean you have $6 million in the bank and could easily get out of a tight situation. Second, fire employees who aren’t pulling their weight and have your best interests in mind. You had a personal chef that was pulling down $6,000 per month, but you still weighed over 300 lbs. It’s in their best interests and yours that you stay healthy. Then you’ll both have jobs for more than one more year. Finally, don’t take on interest rates that are higher than your free throw percentage. Especially if you’re points per game is around the prime rate.

Roger Federer
Most boring professional sport just got even more boring.

Roger Federer’s streak of 23 straight quarterfinals in Grand Slam tournaments has been broken by some guy from Sweden with too many vowels in his name. We will call him Sven. The loss leaves Rafael Nadal and Sven as the two top seeds. Roger’s reaction in his press conference was, “I guess I’ll try and keep the quarterfinal streak going.”

There is absolutely no personality or passion in the men’s game. It’s just flat out boring, so very, very boring.

The Florida Marlins
But a least tennis isn’t embarrassing. The Florida Marlins however, are a different story. After having their star player dog it and have the cliché verbal feud with the manager, they are now selling the tickets from unsold seats from last weekend’s perfect game.

Wait, what’s wrong with a franchise selling what’s a nice keepsake for the hardcore baseball fan? Nothing, if you don’t mind your franchise profiting off it’s own failure. The perfect game was thrown against the Marlins, so essentially the team is taking advantage of it’s own ineptitude.

Mr. Black smells a small-market moneymaker here. Look for the Pirates to get even worse this year so they can have 162 different records set against them, and they can sell all the tickets to fans of the opposing team.

Mr. Black will try to motivate again tomorrow and talk about a few winners, and kick off some World Cup discussion.