Sunday, April 24, 2011

Alex Rodriguez, Bud Selig and Dice-K

Last night, Alex Rodriguez hit his 22nd Grand Slam, passing Manny Ramirez and is now just one behind Lou Gehrig's all-time record of 23.  ARod may have had his ability in the "clutch" questioned over his career, but 22 grand slams show, if the bases are loaded, he's one of the greatest threats in baseball history.

Last week, Bud Selig announced the expansion of the baseball playoffs.  This is good because it will make teams compete through the end of the season because it will be better to win your division instead of just settling for the Wild Card.  It will also prevent a team in 3rd place in their division while the division winners of the other 2 divisions make the playoffs with worse records.  Granted, it doesn't happen to often, but it has happened more and more as of late.  Expanding the playoffs is bad though, because unlike the other major sports where half the teams make the playoffs, making the playoffs in baseball is tough to do.  The playoffs shouldn't expand, but Selig and Company want money, and this is the next logical step.  Just make it a one and done game - punish the Wild Card teams by having them use their Aces in that game and finally give an advantage to the team with the best record.  Until now, there's been no real benefit from facing the Wild Card team in the first round, maybe that will change.

Also last week, Bud Selig said all the records by Barry Bonds and the other big headed, back full of acne, steroid users would stand.  I'm torn on this.  It's good because it's hard to tell who actually used PEDs so you wouldn't punish everyone.  However, you need to punish who you can.  The baseball Commisioner has what's called "best interest of baseball" power.  Kenesaw Landis did this in 1920 banning the Chicago White Sox members who took money to throw the 1919 World Series for life.  Gambling was huge back then and a major problem in baseball but Landis was willing to put the best interests of baseball ahead of anything else.  Selig, needs to man up and do the same with those who have tested positive or admitted to using PEDs (whether that use was knowingly or unknowingly, simply to "recover from injury and get back quicker" or whatever lame excuse the players offer).

Daisuke Matsusaka is on a roll for the Boston Red Sox right now.  But if I was a Red Sox fan, I wouldn't get too excited.  Dice-K is not a very good pitcher because he allows too many baserunners.  Right now, he's able to strike guys out, but don't be surprised if in his next start he reverts to form.  That's been his biggest problem in his career - lights out one start, lights don't even come on in his next.

So, do you agree or disagree?  Comment below.

Welcome to Rich Stowe's Diamond Thoughts

Welcome to Rich Stowe's Diamond Thoughts.

First, a little about me.  I grew up in a small town in northwestern Connecticut, then spent ten and a half years in the United States Air Force.  I've always been a sports fan, mainly the New York Yankees, New York Football Giants and UCONN Huskies sports.

About five years ago, I joined a site called FanNation and met some great people and sports fans.  We would sit around all day discussing sports.  I started blogging my thoughts about sports on that site.  Eventually, two of the guys I knew from that site, Zach Bigalke and David Snipes, started their own sports site called Informative Sports and I started writing for them and I was hooked.

It was for Informative Sports that I realized I love to analyze baseball stats and compare players, whether it's comparing players through different eras or players from today, I couldn't get enough.  I realized that you couldn't just look at the individual stats blindly, you had to understand why the stats were what they were, was there something in the era that affected the stats and what did the stats actually mean.

Last year, Informative Sports merged with a new, up and coming site, called The Sports Nickel run by Brian Guerra and Robert Menn.  It was there that my writing really took off.  My greatest players by position series was reposted and updated and I continued my weekly Rich's Rants series I started on Informative Sports in which I tackled what ever topics of that week I had strong feelings about.

Then, back in February of this year, I also started writing for Bleacher Report.  Since then, I've written just under 30 articles for them.  I'm a MLB and New York Yankees Featured Columnist on that site now, where I write two or three articles a week.  My strength is in baseball history and analysis, so that's what the majority of my articles are about, though I will write about current topics when needed.

I love to discuss sports with knowledgeable fans.  I'm opinionated, but if you can back up your opinion with actual facts and intelligence, you might be able to change my opinion.  Even though I'm a Yankee fan, I do my best to keep any bias or homerism out of my writing.  Just because I love the Yankees, doesn't mean I won't call them or the players themselves out when needed.

So, what is Rich Stowe's Diamond Thoughts going to be about?  Well, while my main writing will be for Bleacher Report, I hope to use this as an outlet for those thoughts about baseball that don't fit well into an article on their own or just random thoughts I may have about baseball.  I also hope to get into discussions with my readers about the topics I write about or baseball in general.  I'll do my best to respond to any comments left here or through email.  Feel free to email me any questions or comments you have, any suggestions for player comparisons etc.

I look forward to expressing my thoughts and I hope you at least find them interesting or thought provoking.