All Star selection criteria and tobacco use is a couple of this week’s issues. Join us as the gang gives their opinions on various Baseball issues.
MLB RT 26 June 24, 2014
1. Should MLB ban all tobacco products while on the field or in the dugout and bull pen?
Archie: I think the time has come for everyone to accept the fact that tobacco does no good and only has harmful consequences with its use. I see no reason at all to allow its consumption to continue in the club house, on the field, in the dugout, in the bullpen or any other public venue where young kids see the pros using tobacco.
Joe: I guess they should… as much as some athletes claim not to be role models for kids they really are seen that way by kids. So, if they are chewing and spitting, then guess what, a lot of kids will wind up chewing and spitting. As far as smoking tobacco on the field or elsewhere… I think that is already banned. No?
Stephan: My gut says no on this. Yes I know that athletes are supposed to be “role models” to the kids. But this has been a long known thing in baseball since the turn of the 20th century. I don’t see the harm in it, other than the harm that it will cause the player. I think it is their choice. I don’t think MLB should ban it, or get involved.
Sandy: I say yes. I know chewing tobacco is legal, but its also lethal. Players have a right to us it, but not while at work. Employers have all kinds of rules and this is no different just because its baseball. Some players have already stopped because of Tony Gwynn’s death. I would hope players wouldn’t think that it couldn’t happen to them.
2. What, if anything, would you change about the All-Star game selection criteria?
Archie: The bullshit ballot box stuffing. If I wanted to take the time to generate hundreds of online accounts with MLB.Com I could vote 25 times each for those players I want to see in the game. IF I can do that so can everyone else. And the sad fact is, some people do. AND at the same time I am voting for those I want to see play for the NL I can also vote AGAINST those I do not want to see in the other league; or vice versa. I think they should totally take away the fan voting or restrict them to only choosing the starters from a predetermined list of those already selected to go to the game.
Joe: Eliminate the fans voting. It’s nothing but a ballot box stuffing ritual
Stephan: You can only select players who have played a certain number of games. I have thought before that maybe the “fan vote” should be just a part of the selection process, while the media would vote as well. However, I don’t like to get the media involved. I don’t think if a player has been on the DL for longer than X amount of time, they should be able to be on the ballot.
Sandy: Everything, first of all its an All-Star game, not a popularity contest. When you let kids vote they don’t always pick the best players over their favorite players. Also you shouldn’t have to have every team represented, if they don’t have an all-star, too bad. They should have a computer program that picks the players based on stats, that way players can’t whine about being snubbed.
3. Should players have to be on the All Star roster to participate in the Home Run derby?
Archie: Absolutely not. I mean; if we are going to have a home run contest why not have the most prolific homerun hitters in the league participating. I would love to see El Oso Blanco participate. But he probably will not make the NL AS team.
Joe: Naw… sometimes a guy can be a prodigious HR slugger but do little else that would merit being an All Star. Doesn’t mean they should be banned from the HR contest, in my opinion.
Stephan: No. Why would it matter. I mean keep in mind this is basically a popularity contest. You would be putting too much in the fans hands by not selecting a particular player who can hit a home run. Leave this one alone.
Sandy: No, I think the HR derby is a separate event.
4. Who would you select as your ASG starting pitchers for each league?
Archie: Even though Kazmir and Tanaka have slightly better records, I would give the start to King Felix of Seattle for the AL. In the ASG you need a prolific strike out type of pitcher to set the tone of the game and I think he would do just that.
Joe: For the AL I got the Yankees’ Manshiro Tanaka… 11-2 W/L record, 119 strikeouts to only 17 walks, 2.10 ERA and 0.952 WHIP.
For the NL I got the Reds’ Johnny Cueto, the won loss record is not exactly glossy but that’s more a commentary on Cincinnati’s lack of a timely offense than Cueto’s pitching. He also has 119 strikeouts to only 27 walks, 1.86 ERA and 0.3844 WHIP.
Stephan: Clayton Kershaw for the National League. Masahiro Tanaka for the American League
5. Which has more of an effect on the field; Ownership or Management?
Archie: We have seen huge payrolls produce nothing for years with teams like the Chicago Cubs. For that reasonI am going to go with Management on this one. I will use Atlanta as my model team for representation. Back in the day when Ted Turner bought the team in 1977 he tried to turn things around by introducing the team nationally and providing enough funding that the team could get the occasional hired gun to help. They continued to maintain the home grown talent they developed. But even with larger payrolls and ownership interest it still took several years before they reaped the rewards of a pendant in 1982. But then they slumped right back into the cellar of the NL West. It was not until the team hired John Schuerholtz as General Manager and moved Bobby Cox down to the dugout that the team began to excel. Bobby was able to work directly in the game with the players, something he was more suited to. After that, the Braves became perennial contenders.
Joe: Depends who the owner is. Bottom line the owner can always trump whatever management decides but some owners are less hands on than others. For the most part, in MLB, I think the owners are content to take a back seat and let the front office do its job. But, if they wanna strut their stuff every so often they will do so. For instance, since George Steinbrenner passed away, his son, Hal, tends to shun the spotlight but has on occasion asserted himself when it came time to sign one or two players. So, it’s a qualified answer of management has more of an effect but, eventually it’s the owners who control the purse strings and signs the checks. So, take that for what it is worth.
Stephan: Tough question. I mean if you think about it. The owners have really nothing to do with what goes on on the field of play. However, the owners make those decisions to PUT those players on the field. So if we are talking about fielding a team, then its all about the owners. If you are talking about what goes on in the game situation, it would be the manager.
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