Archive for the 'United States' Category

MLB Owners Gutting Baseball

Tuesday, June 16th, 2020

Optics are not everything, but in the case of major league baseball it certainly is damaging. By their actions on a number of fronts you would think MLB owners are trying their best to gut baseball. Fortunately, there are other leagues in Japan, Korea and Taiwan that are doing their best to keep baseball thriving.

The first act owners have done to make myworld suspicious about their love of baseball more than their pocket book is by attempting to take more control of the minor leagues. Many minor league teams were doing quite well running baseball clubs. Major league owners could not help but notice that and wanted a piece of the action. The suit by minor league players complaining about the paltry sum they were getting paid by major league baseball was an excuse the owners used to take control of the minor leagues because they “wanted to see the minor league players paid more”. The pandemic seems to have destroyed the minor leagues and given the owners the opportunity to take control of the process as they had hoped. Less communities will now see minor league baseball in their town. Owners have made promises of a Dream League, but at this point myworld sees just empty promises.

The next action the owners took to show their greed is to reduce the major league draft to just five rounds. Any player not drafted could be signed by any major league team, but not for more than $20,000. What a bargain. That seems to run counter to their goal of paying minor leaguers more. It also busted a lot of young players dreams of becoming professional baseball players. Now you have to wonder where in the popularity spectrum baseball will be for youth who choose a sport to play. The owners of MLB are doing a good job of making their sport the fourth most popular in the United States among the youth of America.

The third action was the negotiation process with the players. It was obvious to myworld that the owners were not making any serious effort to offer the players a deal because a) they were not interested in having a season in 2020 or b) they were trying to stall so that they could play as few games as possible. The players called their bluff and said “When and Where” and the owners are still stalling because they do not want to play, unlike all the other professional leagues that appear to have no problem playing without fans or minimal fans. The NBP will start their opening games on June 19 with no fans. There has been no public spat about money.

Good luck after the 2021 season when the new collective bargaining agreement has to be negotiated. Myworld has not seen so much hate among players to the owners since the many work stoppages that occurred a couple decades ago. The peace has been broken. Rob Manfred does not seem to be doing a very good job of keeping the ship sailing towards those peaceful seas, but more so moving it back to the harbor of two decades ago where work stoppages were common as the owners attempted to break the union. My hope is that the owners who do not want a season in 2020 attempt to sell their clubs so we can get new owners who truly enjoy baseball. And get a new commissioner who can move baseball in the right direction.

The owners claim it is impossible to make a profit in the baseball business but to date no owner has been willing to open their books to prove that statement true. My response to them is “Open the Books.” My bet is that no owner will agree to do so. It is a pandora’s box that will expose the lies.

So at this point myworld will only be reporting on baseball in countries that love to play the game. That appears not to be the case in the United States. They only love to play the game if they can shower their pockets with money.

That is my rant for the day. It felt pretty good to let it out.

Indiana Dream Team

Monday, June 15th, 2020

Again, not a lot of superstars on this team but some Hall of Famers from the early years. As the years have passed there seem to be fewer people from Indiana playing baseball. Below is a roster of a Dream team from players born in Indiana. To qualify these players have to be born in Indiana, have played major league baseball and have that playing time happen after 1920.

Starting Lineup

Cy Williams CF
Don Mattingly 1B
Gil Hodges LF
Ron Kittle DH
Scott Rolen 3B
Chuck Klein RF
Milt May C
Dickie Thon SS
Billy Herman 2B

Bench

Dick Dietz (C), Craig Counsel (UTL), Jeff King (3B/1B/2B), Kenny Lofton (OF), Max Carey (OF), Sam Rice (OF)

Starting Pitchers

Tommy John, Freddie Fitzsimmons, Bob Friend, Dizzy Trout, Don Larson

Bullpen

Dan Plesac, Ron Reed, LaTroy Hawkins, Drew Storen, Tim Stoddard, Tommy Hunter

A number of old time Hall of Famers sitting the bench as back up outfielders. A lot of speed on the bench. Gil Hodges can also act as a third catcher. The starting pitching lacks a Hall of Fame ace or a shutdown closer.

Georgia Dream Team

Wednesday, June 10th, 2020

The quality of the Dream Teams are getting less so the motivation for putting them together is disappearing. Georgia has some decent players, including Ty Cobb, who barely qualified for this list. To qualify a player has to be born in Georgia, have played in the major leagues and a significant amount of that playing time happened after 1920. Cobb had about ten years of playing time after 1920 so we can include him. Below is the Dream team roster for the state of Georgia.

Starting Lineup

Jackie Robinson 2B
Ty Cobb LF
Johnny Mize 1B
Frank Thomas DH
Buster Posey C
Russell Branyon 3B
Mike Cameron CF
Marquis Grissom RF
Bucky Dent SS

Bench

Brian McCann (C), Wally Joyner, Tony Phillips (Utl), Ron Fairly, Rondell White, Moises Alou

Starting Pitchers

Kevin Brown, Tim Hudson, Adam Wainwright, Spud Chandler and Blue Moon Odom

Bullpen

Todd Jones, Matt Capps, Kenny Rogers (long), Jonathon Broxton, Blaine Boyer, Chris Hammond

The team probably has one too many first baseman. Wally Joyner could always be put in for defensive purposes. Frank Thomas is more a DH and don’t know a lot about the defensive play of Mize. Shortstop is a little weak and the outfield lacks power bats. Lots of speed on this team. The starting pitching is one short of above average pitchers. Bullpen looked weak so I used Kenny Rogers as a long man, but he could also be used in the rotation. Bullpen has no real dominant closer.

Under 15 World Cup Scheduled for Tijuana in October

Friday, June 5th, 2020

Tijuana, Mexico is becoming a hot spot for baseball. First it was announced that the Women’s World Cup of Baseball would be played there November 12-21. Now the WBSC has made it a double header by announcing that the Under 15 World Cup will be played in Tijuana on October 30 to November 8. That is back to back World Cup events held in one city.

In the last World Cup held in 2018 the United States defeated Panama, while Taiwan finished third. The teams that will be competing in this 15 and under World Cup are:

Africa: South Africa
Americas: Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Panama, United States and Venezuela
Asia: Taiwan and Japan
Europe: Germany and Italy
Oceania: Guam

Michigan Dream Team

Thursday, June 4th, 2020

This team lacks superstars. Some solid players but the leading homerun hitter on this team has yet to reach 300 career homeruns. No pitcher has reached 300 wins. A lot of vanilla on this team. These are players who were born in Michigan and played in the major leagues.

Starting Lineup

Ron LeFlore DH
Kiki Cuyler CF
Kirk Gibson LF
John Mayberry 1B
Jim Northrup RF
Chris Sabo 3B
Ted Simmons C
Bobby Grich 2B
Mike Bordick SS

Bench

Bill Freehan (C), Jason Varitek (C), Charlie Gehringer (@B), Tom Tresh (UTL), Merv Rettenmund (PH-OF), Charlie Maxwell (OF/1B)

Starting Pitching

Hal Newhouser, John Smoltz, Frank Tanana, Jim Kaat, Bob Welch

Bullpen

Mike Marshall, Bill Campbell, Phil Regan, Dick Radatz, Steve Howe, Billy Pierce

Charlie Gehringer instead of Bobby Grich at second is a flip of the coin. You would gain in average but lose in power. Rettenmund probably does not belong on the team based on his numbers, but he was such a good pinchhitter. The Michigan area has depth at catcher so we decided to use three catchers. John Smoltz may be the best closer so you could use him in the bullpen and bring someone like a Jim Abbott to fit in the rotation. Do you take the fireballing Tanana or the pitcher who relied on finesse in his later years.

Women’s Baseball World Cup Scheduled for November

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020

It was originally scheduled for September 11-20 but had to be cancelled because of the corona virus. It has now been scheduled for November 12-21 in Tijuana, Mexico. Twelve teams will be competing in this event. They are:

Americas: United States, Canada, Mexico and Venezuela
Asia: Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines
Europe: France
Oceania: Australia
Wild Card: Cuba, Dominican Republic and Netherlands

Japan is the defending champion and has won the last six events. They have not lost a game in their last 30 contests. Taiwan lost in the finals to Japan. Canada defeated the United States for the bronze medal. The 2018 games were played in Vierra, Florida.

Massachusetts Dream Team

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020

With a lot of these Dream teams by state or country, finding players to fit in the outfield is easy. Not for Massachusetts. They do not seem to really be set for outfielders. They also have a number of Hall of Famers who played in 1920 or earlier who had to be eliminated from the team. Below is the Dream team for Massachusetts. To qualify for this roster you have to be born in Massachusetts, play in the major leagues and play that baseball after 1920.

Starting Lineup

Leo Durocher 2B
Jeff Bagwell 1B
Tony Conigliaro RF
Steve Balboni DH
Mickey Cochrane C
Richie Hebner 3B
Mark Sweeney LF
Mike Yastrzemski CF
Greg Gagne SS

Bench

Jim Hegan (C), Rabbit Marnville (Utl), Pie Traynor (3B), Mike Pagliarulo (3B), Paul Sorrento (1B), Jerry White (OF)

Starting Pitching

Tom Glavine, Vic Raschi, Dick Donovan, Ken Hill, Mark Fidrych

Bullpen

Wilbur Wood, Jeff Reardon, Steve Bedrosian, Mark Wohlers, Turk Farrell, Stu Miller

Too many corner infielders. It would be nice to convert one of them to at least play LF. Using unproven Mike Yastrzemski as a starter and Jerry White as the only reserve outfielder shows the lack of depth in this area. Pie Traynor could probably start over Richie Hebner at third, since he has the Hall of Fame threads. The starting rotation lacks depth so myworld took two good years from Mark Fidrych. The bullpen can eat a lot of innings and you have Wilbur Wood and Turk Farrell who can also start.

Pennsylvania Dream Team

Friday, May 29th, 2020

This was a surprise Dream team filled with Hall of Famers. Many of the Hall of Famers played prior to 1920 and my world wanted to keep this team more in the modern era. This team is composed of players born in Pennsylvania who played in the major leagues with most of their playing time occurring after 1920.

Starting Lineup

Nellie Fox 2B
Ken Griffey Jr. CF
Stan Musial LF
Reggie Jackson RF
Mike Piazza C
Frank Thomas DH
Dick Allen 1B
Buddy Bell 3B
Dick Groat SS

Bench

Roy Campanella (c), Eddie Stanky (Util), Vic Wertz, Jack Clark, Gene Tenace, Hack Wilson

Starting Pitching

Mike Mussina, Herb Pennock, Sam McDowell, Jamie Moyer, Curt Simmons

Bullpen

Bruce Sutter, Sparky Lyle, Gene Garber, Bobby Shantz, Gary Lavelle, Bob Purkey

This team is loaded with catchers and first baseman. Tenace could do some catching and Lance Parrish was left off the team. Not a lot of depth in the infield. No real shortstop to cover for Groat. The bullpen has two good closers in Sutter and Lyle but after that it gets a little thin. That made room for two long men in Shantz and Purkey. This team will score a lot of runs with their power bats.

Illinois Dream Team

Saturday, May 23rd, 2020

The state of Illinois has an impressive Dream team. Below is the roster that could be created for those players born in Illinois who played in the major leagues.

Starting Lineup

Rickey Henderson LF
Kirby Puckett CF
Fred Lynn RF
Jim Thome 1B
Greg Luzinski DH
Robin Yount SS
Gary Gaetti 3B
Jim Sundberg C
Red Schoendienst 2B

Bench

Tom Haller (C), Lou Boudreau (Utl), Ben Zobrist (Utl), Ted Kluszewski (1B), Shawn Green (OF), Wally Berger (OF)

Starting Pitcher

Robin Roberts, Red Ruffing, Bret Saberhagen, Denny McClain, Rick Reuschel

Bullpen

Jason Isringhausen, Scott Garrelts, Jason Frasor, John Wyatt, Dan Stanhouse, Dutch Leonard

Ben Zobrist would probably start at second base for the most part, but we put him at utility to add flexibility to the lineup. Phil Masi seemed to have better numbers as a catcher, but we were more comfortable with Tom Haller for the bench role. The starting staff is strong though it really lacks an ace from a dream team perspective. Denny McClain had two amazing years, which was enough to get him in the rotation. The bullpen really lacks a shutdown closer. This might be a middle of the pack kind of dream team if it had to play games with the other dream teams.

Dream Team Maryland/Virginia/DC

Tuesday, May 19th, 2020

Originally, myworld looked at a dream team for Maryland because we knew one of the greatest players of all time was born in Maryland. The roster was a bit short so we opened it up to Virginia and Washington, D.C. Most who live here think of it as one metropolitan community anyway. So below is the Dream Team for the Maryland/Virginia and D.C. area.

Starting lineup

Brady Anderson CF
David Wright 3B
Babe Ruth LF
Al Kaline RF
Jimmie Fox DH
Cal Ripken SS
Mark Texeira 1B
Gene Alley 2B
Brandon Inge C

Bench

Todd Hundley (C), Don Money (Utl), Maury Wills (Utl), Harold Baines (OF), Juston Upton (OF), Brian Jordan (OF)

Starting Pitching

Lefty Grove, Justin Verlander, Vic Willis, Bobby Witt, Danny Neagle

Bullpen

Josh Hader, Billy Wagner, Steve Farr, Mike Williams, Jeremy Jeffress, Johnny Klippstein

The lineup is very strong one through seven. The catching is weak and I might want to switch Wills to second base. It is hard to put him there now because he was primarily a shortstop. I could move Ripken to third but that would force Wright from the lineup. Putting Wills in the lineup would allow Brady to bat second and would really lengthen the power in the lineup. Alley would probably make a better utility player than Wills. The bench is not strong. After the first two starters the rotation takes a big dip in talent. The bullpen has a couple good lefty closers, but then it takes a big hit after that. So this team will need to score a lot of runs with its starting lineup to win and hope the pitching staff pitches just good enough to support the lineup.