Defend the Indefensible - The Wild Card [aka BUSH LEAGUE: Bush's Baseball Boners]

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George W. Bush in 1993, when the then-Texas Rangers Boss was the only owner to vote against baseball adding the wild card:

"I made my arguments and went down in flames. History will prove me right."

Leeeter van den Hoogenband (Leee), Monday, 6 September 2004 18:52 (fourteen years ago) link

Traded: Sammy Sosa, Wilson Alvarez and Scott Fletcher to the White Sox for Harold Baines and Fred Manrique.

Earl Nash (earlnash), Tuesday, 7 September 2004 00:15 (fourteen years ago) link

My favorite Sosa-related trade of all time is the one where the Sox managed to get rid of him for MVP caliber slugger George Bell.

Gear! (Gear!), Tuesday, 7 September 2004 00:24 (fourteen years ago) link

JOHN SMOLTZ FOR DOYLE ALEXANDER

JOHN SMOLTZ FOR DOYLE ALEXANDER

JOHN SMOLTZ FOR DOYLE ALEXANDER


I want to cry

Reed Moore (diamond), Tuesday, 7 September 2004 00:26 (fourteen years ago) link

Wilson Alvarez was the third part of the Sox solid starting pitching staff with McDowell and Fernandez in the mid 90s. He hurt his arm and was never quite the same.

Earl Nash (earlnash), Tuesday, 7 September 2004 02:44 (fourteen years ago) link

Threw a no-hitter his first start, didn't he?

oops (Oops), Tuesday, 7 September 2004 16:47 (fourteen years ago) link

Can someone explain to me why several notable Hispanics have the first name Wilson? I'm thinking Wilson Alvarez and Wilson Delgado in MLB, and Wilson Cruz from TV's My So-Called Life. Anyone?

jaymc (jaymc), Tuesday, 7 September 2004 17:14 (fourteen years ago) link

moms were big Heart fans

Gear! (Gear!), Tuesday, 7 September 2004 17:21 (fourteen years ago) link


or of the League of Nations.

Dubya was RIGHT about the wild card -- giving you yet another meaningless NYY-BOS race this year -- but for the wrong reason... he didn't want the Rangers making extra intradivision West Coast trips.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 9 September 2004 12:58 (fourteen years ago) link

On the wild card ruining the old school pennant races: it irks me that everyone who mentions this fails to account for the unbalanced schedule and expansion teams. As if NYY and BOS records would be exactly the same as they are today if they'd had to play every team the same number of times under the old league structure. Someone at BP was guilty of just slapping the old division templates on the 2004 team records in an article bemoaning the wild card, which surprised me. How can one make that assumption?

mattbot (mattbot), Thursday, 9 September 2004 13:15 (fourteen years ago) link

I agree that one can be overly simplistic on the topic, but "reform" should be geared toward making first place more beneficial in the postseason scheme, along the lines of proposals by Bob Costas and dozens of other less hyped pundits.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 9 September 2004 13:58 (fourteen years ago) link

Dr. Morbius OTM. For a start, they've got to stop with five-game series. That's just ridiculous. It's nothing but a means for mediocre teams with two good starters and a favourable playoff schedule to overcome teams with far more depth (yes, 2001 DBacks, I'm looking at YOU!)

Barry Bruner (Barry Bruner), Thursday, 9 September 2004 14:52 (fourteen years ago) link

I'm up for two more playoff games and I am sure the TV people feel the same way.

Earl Nash (earlnash), Thursday, 9 September 2004 15:04 (fourteen years ago) link

Not to mention the way they throw in non-sensical off-days in the Division Series (to avoid simultaneous games for broadcast purposes) so it's not like the season would be extended any further into October.

Personally, I think they should also shorten the season to 154 games when they lengthen the DS to seven games. (but now I've gone way off topic)

Barry Bruner (Barry Bruner), Thursday, 9 September 2004 17:30 (fourteen years ago) link


154 games = less revenue, i.e. dream on!

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 9 September 2004 17:56 (fourteen years ago) link

Exactly. But it's nice to dream. And I do think it would be better for the game.

Barry Bruner (Barry Bruner), Thursday, 9 September 2004 20:25 (fourteen years ago) link

this might make you even less hopeful about the state of the game, depending on your politics.

gygax! (gygax!), Monday, 13 September 2004 19:33 (fourteen years ago) link

bleh.

maura (maura), Monday, 13 September 2004 19:50 (fourteen years ago) link

"He loves baseball. When I have the occasion to see him, boy, he's ready to talk baseball."

miloauckerman (miloauckerman), Monday, 13 September 2004 20:11 (fourteen years ago) link

Billionaires in supporting GOP non-shocker.

Barry Bruner (Barry Bruner), Monday, 13 September 2004 20:23 (fourteen years ago) link


The Millionaires like him too... One's opinion of Mussina's "smarts" may take a dive here, and check that Posada quote!

Are the Mets the GOP's team?

By Marty Noble
Newsday

August 31, 2004

The Mets' clubhouse, though more than a few long home runs from midtown, is nonetheless within the limits of the city that traditionally has embraced the Democratic Party. It is, however, a Republican stronghold. Most clubhouses in major league baseball are.

Months after the interleague play portions of their schedules were completed, the American and National Leagues again operate under one banner. They are the Bush Leagues.

Political persuasion may not be evident this week while the Mets, Yankees and the Republican National Convention are in town, occupying the city's three largest sports arenas. Players rarely wear their political allegiance on their sleeves.

"But I'd be surprised if it isn't 4 or 5 to 1 Republican in the game," Mets catcher Vance Wilson said last week. "Not everyone is involved or up to date on what's going on, but of the ones who are, I'm sure it's heavy Republican."

The Grand Old Party appeals to those in the grand old game, if only because of their affluence. The average salary of a major league player, $2,549,363, connects more with Republican ways and the have-lots of the world.

The Mets clearly lean to the right. Pitcher Al Leiter has ties to Mayor Bloomberg and, along with teammates Tom Glavine and Todd Zeile, has been invited to attend the GOP convention Thursday night when President Bush is to speak. Leiter occasionally has tossed his support, though never his cap, into to political arena. Delegates from the convention have been invited to take batting practice with Piazza, Leiter and Zeile today at Shea Stadium.

And Mike Piazza, the highest profile Mets player, smiled broadly Sunday when he announced to the clubhouse "the GOP has invaded the island." In the past, Piazza has acknowledged having the seeds of political aspirations.

The Yankees, also a veteran team, but a more guarded one, don't readily reveal their affiliations -- if they have any at all.

Yankees pitcher Mike Mussina, like Piazza a native of Pennsylvania, says he pays little attention to other game in town.

"Nope. Never have," say Mussina, a Stanford graduate. "I don't have any interest in politics." "I'm not from here," Yankees catcher Jorge Posada says. "I don't know what a Democrat is a Republican. I don't know what's good for or what isn't good for me. Out of the 25 guys in here, I'd say 10 vote. Ten could be pushing it.

"When November comes, I'm in Puerto Rico. Where I am, I don't have a television. November, December, January, I don't know what's going on. That's the best way."

Not to Tony Clark, Posada's teammate, a Met last season and one of the two Players Association representatives. "I watch CNN on a regular basis and that's how I keep up to date on what's going on with the race," Clark says. "I don't follow politics regularly but when it comes close to the election it becomes more newsworthy and I see what's going on. I am a registered Democrat but I don't strong feelings on either candidate."

Glavine was the National League player representative for years. He is a bright, well-read man, reared in Massachusetts — Kennedy country, who had more than passing interest in politics. But he hadn't voted in a presidential election until 2000 and was a tad embarrassed when he had to register at age 34.

"My parents are Democrats, but I was brought up in a conservative household," Glavine says. "But I didn't pay as much attention as I probably should have.

"I'm intrigued now, more than I participate. When you're married and have children, you take on more responsibility and need to pay attention. It's a natural progression. I didn't pay attention when I was 18. Logically, probably, you should wait till you're 28 to vote."

Glavine once toyed with the idea of running for local office, where he now lives in Alpharetta, Ga. "There might have been a day when I could have won the job. I'm not so sure anymore [since he left the Braves]. And I'm not sure people think athletes deal in reality."

The other Mets have different levels of interest. Mike Stanton says his participation is "financial" and that is fueled by his perception that "the other side [the Democrats] always screws it up." Leiter has become a C-Span addict, charting attendance at Senate roll calls. "My wife thinks I'm pathetic," he says. He watches "The O'Reilly Factor" to get his nightly fix of conservatism, he has campaigned for Bloomberg and Hall of Fame pitcher/senator Jim Bunning.

And he already knows how to fence-sit.

"I don't absolutely agree with the president. But the Republican platform is more suitable for me than the other one," he says.

Wilson says he is a "free-thinking Republican" from John McCain's great state of Arizona; Steve Trachsel, an Orange County native, says "I'm still a Republican, but both sides make me sick" and wonders whether "smart Democrat" is an oxymoron; rookie Danny Garcia has grown 'tired of all the bashing" since his fiancé made him more politically aware.

Zeile keeps his politics private, but he was delighted by his 30-minute political dialogue with rookie David Wright last week.

Wright, 21, says "Politics, it's exciting. I've voted in every, minute election we've had at home." He lives as Yankees reliever Tom Gordon believes we all should.

"[Politics is] something that a lot of Americans should care about," Gordon says. "I do have my views, but I like to keep them personal. But I do feel that it's important for all Americans to play a role in what's going on and to make sure it's a fair election."


Copyright © 2004, Newsday, Inc.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Monday, 13 September 2004 21:48 (fourteen years ago) link

At least Stanton's up front about his motives.

miloauckerman (miloauckerman), Monday, 13 September 2004 22:21 (fourteen years ago) link

giving you yet another meaningless NYY-BOS race this year

but as a trade-off you get a fantastic 5-team Ntl League wild card race.

oops (Oops), Tuesday, 14 September 2004 03:29 (fourteen years ago) link

B-b-but only East coast races matter!

Leeeter van den Hoogenband (Leee), Tuesday, 14 September 2004 03:52 (fourteen years ago) link

Logically, probably, you should wait till you're 28 to vote."

WTF is logical about that??

jaymc (jaymc), Tuesday, 14 September 2004 04:56 (fourteen years ago) link

>but as a trade-off you get a fantastic 5-team Ntl League wild card race. <

Yeah, a battle of attrition among 4 or 5 massively flawed .550 teams, as opposed to a loser-goes-home showdown between a pair of .600 blood rivals. I know which I prefer.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 14 September 2004 12:15 (fourteen years ago) link

one month passes...
How about another Wild Card World Series?

gygax! (gygax!), Wednesday, 20 October 2004 19:16 (fourteen years ago) link

ok since it's at least the second time i've seen it brought up: why does this matter? cuz it proves the wild card works or something? it's not like the sox (or stros, even) were underdogs here.

John (jdahlem), Wednesday, 20 October 2004 20:29 (fourteen years ago) link

As I mentioned above, if they did away with five-game series, you'd get fewer wild-card teams going to the series, since a seven-gamer reduces the chances of an upset by a flawed team.

Lately, the wild-card winners have been quite good though (which can't be said for the teams in the wild-card races we were complaining about when this thread was started.

MindInRewind (Barry Bruner), Wednesday, 20 October 2004 20:35 (fourteen years ago) link

I see pros and cons. The biggest con is that it "makes a mockery" of the regular season schedule, even though MLB is far from being the joke that hockey and basketball are. The biggest pro is that it gives hope to teams that toil in perenially dominated divisions like the East ones.

Baked Bean Teeth (Baked Bean Teeth), Wednesday, 20 October 2004 20:46 (fourteen years ago) link

I think it's just the five-game series that makes a mockery of the regular season schedule.

MindInRewind (Barry Bruner), Wednesday, 20 October 2004 20:49 (fourteen years ago) link

We should just do away with the regular season then.

Thermo Thinwall (Thermo Thinwall), Thursday, 21 October 2004 15:35 (fourteen years ago) link

fourteen years pass...

Otm

Got your butt drank (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 18 June 2019 22:15 (one month ago) link


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