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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Conference Realignment

Well, it's official.  College athletics should just pay the players like semi pro.

The fans don't matter, the regional history doesn't matter.  All that matters is how much can we leverage these young people to help us get.

The NCAA should just void the TV contracts and do their own realignment.  Take it out of the commisioners' grubby little hands and level the playing field.

As for the concerns of the teams that may be left over from the potential dissolving of the Big 12, here is my answer.

Reform the Big 8.

Seriously, you will still have 4 schools with some considerable history and, at minimum, the start of a very solid basketball conference.  There are a number of schools who are outgrowing the small conferences and would love to have a better shot at a conference with a BCS affiliation.  They could likely take their pick from.

1. Boise State
2. BYU
3. Utah
4. TCU
5. Houston

and those are just the bigger ones.  If they wanted to really get cute and try to build a big basketball or an unbalanced conference like what the Big East did, there are number of smaller schools that have put together very solid basketball programs who could really use the extra money from moving up a conference.

They could walk in and take their pick from the teams in the Missouri Valley.  If they started with Northern Iowa, Wichita State, and Creighton they would be near guaranteed a tournament level team every year from those 3.  And that was before those teams joined a conference with a legimitate TV contract. 

There is also third option.  Go get 4 of the 5 listed above for full conference membership, and then invite Northern Iowa, Wichita State, Creighton, and another team of your choice and you will have the Big 12 again...well at least during basketball season.

In time, those schools could work towards restarting/promoting their football teams untill they are D-I, mirroring what happened at UConn and you will be right where you were.  Don't forget, after all, that a number of the Big 12 schools were originally part of Missouri Valley (Oklahoma State and KU to name 2). 

Yeah, it's going to hurt, and it sucks if it happens, but it's not the end of the world.  And for those of us in wichita, we would finally get to see K-State and KU have to play WSU.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

General Regurgitation for a Thursday

Why General Regurgitation?
Well, what better could a Thursday deserve?  All it does it sit there and tease you because it's not quite Friday.  I mean, at least Wednesday reminds you that the week is half over, and you are on the downhill slope towards the weekend.

Thursday just sits there with a full workload reminding you that the weekend is not yet here.  It's just cruel, and so....Regurgitation.

1. That should have been perfect game

-Armando Galarraga pitched the game of his young career. 

-He got robbed on what was a much closer call than people are making it out to be.

-That umpire stepped up, took the blame and showed why he has been so respected by the players            throughout his career.

-This is going to be the impetus that gets the call for replay in baseball going, which could prove to be a huge mistake.  Yes, I understand the logic.  The calls need to be made right, but think about what instant replay has done for the pace of the NFL.  People already complain about the pace of baseball games.  You cannot institute instant replay without adjusting some of the other rules to increase the speed of the game.  So, without some changes to counteract the replay delays, replay will drag the game to a crawl. 

Here are a couple of changes which I think would help.

- Called pitches according to rules violations for delay of game.  Just imagine calling a strike on a batter for standing outside the batter's box too long jacking around with the pine tar.  Or a ball for a pitcher who stands there rubbing on the ball trying to get a scuff.

-Then we limit the substitions to get rid of all this "situational substitution" nonsense.  The idea that a pitcher should have career where he never pitches to more than 3 people at a time is rediculous.  You limit the subs, you get pitchers who need to keep their pitch counts down.  So, they throw strikes, you have shorter at-bats, and the games go faster.

-Umpires have more leeway to eject players for confrontational arguments.  This is the manager's job, and it should stay there.

-The manager should not enter the field of play outside of a game function.  That is, if a manager enters the field to challenge a call without using a replay, he opens himself up to a potential ejection.  Let's get rid of all this crap with people going out and yelling at the umpires.  If we are going to improve the system to get the calls rights, let's not waste time crying that the call wasn't right.

While we're at it, let's limit what replay can be used for and how often. 
- It cannot be used for balls and strikes.
      The Umpire's strike zone is a huge part of the game, and these are the best in the world and they are already graded by the league.  Reviewing balls and strikes would just undermine their authority, and their are already enough arguments.
- It can only be used X numbers of times her game due to the request of a team
- It can otherwise only be called for due to umpire's request

2. What the hell is going on with all the out-of-this-world pitching performances this year?

Normally, we are lucky to see 2 perfect games in a decade.  Prior to this year, there were 18 in the history of baseball...yes in OVER 100 YEARS.  We have had 3, and yes I am counting the one noted above, in the first half of this year.

This cannot possibly be due to the supposedly "newly clean and steroid free" nature of baseball.  It's just not possible because it is too late in the season for the wear of a season to have thinned the abusers out. 

After all, what did steroids do?  They allowed people to train harder, developing their bodies further, which did 2 things.

   1.  Increase strength, allowing for some outs to become hits.

   2. Allowed people to recover from and avoid injuries that they would have otherwise received.

Assuming that this is true as has been put forward, repeatedly, and with evidence, then it seems to me that the greatest benefit from Steroid abuse would be seen the later into the season that we get.  It is only June.  And, if baseball is clear, that means that pitchers are off of it too, and I have always thought the pitchers who gain so much of their talent from leg strength would benefit as much, if not more, from Steroids than hitters would. 

So, if the playing field is now even, why is it so uneven? 

My theory is that it is not even.  Due to the steroid era, the fields have been changed.  The fields that are being built are huge, gargantuan cathedrals to the purity of the game.  That is, people can hit it out so easy, so we are going to back up the fences to make it harder.  You combine that with the cleanup that has removed those extra feet from long flies, and a whole lot of runs are now outs.

Funny how I haven't heard anyone talking about that.  My prediction is that we are going to start seeing more and more "National League Style of play".  Think 1985 cardinals.  Run, Run, Run, slap. 

Enjoy those no-hitters while you can boys.  This game is about to get fun again.