|Quick Hits with Daniel|
Written by Daniel Paulling (Contact & Archive) on September 25, 2008
Perhaps the biggest news of the week was that the New York Yankees have been elimated from postseason play for the first time since 1993. The Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox are likely to win the division and wild card, respectively.
What brought about the Yankees’ demise?
The most obvious reason (excuse, for those Yankee haters among you) was injuries. They were without Chien-Ming Wang and Philip Hughes for large portions of the season. Jorge Posada and Hideki Matsui missed time with assorted injuries. This was too much for any team, even one that spends $200+ million on its payroll.
The Yankee dynasty ended a while back, but missing the postseason is big news for them.
Yankee Stadium to be Imploded
It must’ve been a tough decision for someone, but it was the right decision to destroy Yankee Stadium. The Yankees are making a sound financial decision to move into a better ballpark (i.e. one with more revenue options), and Yankee Stadium shouldn’t be kept standing just to appease fans.
Look no further than the old Tigers’ stadium in Detroit. It has become an albatross for the city and it’s falling apart. There’s no reason to let the Stadium suffer through years of decay. It’s the right move to bring it down and move on. We’ll never forget the Stadium.
Todd Jones Retires
Baseball bids farewell to an old warrior in the form of Todd Jones. I don’t know what’s better about the guy, the fu man chu or the fact that he writes for Sporting News magazine. Jones is a standup guy, and it’s a shame to see his career come to an end like this.
At least Jones will continue his column with The Sporting News.
The National League MVP race has been a tough one with several candidates out there: Manny Ramirez, Albert Pujols, David Wright, or Ryan Braun.
But really, there is only one serious candidate: Pujols. Consider that this man leads the NL in on-base percentage and slugging percentage. Sure, he has Ryan Ludwick protecting him in the lineup, but Pujols is the best hitter the senior circuit has to offer.
Hank Steinbrenner’s Rant
You might’ve heard something concerning Steinbrenner Jr.’s rant about the Dodgers making the postseason and the Yankees missing out. You also might’ve heard sports news outlets draw comparisons that ridicule the Yankees for letting Torre go or “insulting” him with a multi-million dollar contract offer that he ultimately rejected.
But you know what? Steinbrenner Jr. has a point. Teams are getting into the postseason with horrible records, and we saw what a bad team like the Cardinals could do in 2006. They didn’t deserve to win the World Series, but they did.
Now, there’s no way for MLB to institute some sort of rule that requires teams to have a certain winning percentage to enter the postseason, but let’s just hope these teams are improved in the future. It’s pretty embarrasing when a team who barely won more than 81 games reaches October.
An Answer to the Wild Card Problem
Here’s a solution to the wild card “problem” that’s been passed around a bit and that I think is pretty good. Add anoher wild card team to the postseason, and make the two wild cards play a winner-take-all game. This would force them to pitch one of their better pitchers, if not their ace, and make things more fair for the teams that won the division titles. It’ll also allow for more competition approaching October as another fan base gets the excitement of a meaningful September.