Tagged: World Series

Thank you, Maggs!

The Tigers play so far this season has me disappointed beyond words, but that’s another post for another time.   Today I want to talk about something the Tigers’ front office is doing right.

Earlier today, it was announced, in conjunction with the Tigers organization, that Magglio Ordonez will officially retire from baseball Sunday; thereby retiring as a Tiger. I for one couldn’t be happier.

I wrote in an earlier post how the acquisition of Pudge Rodriguez was the front office’s first step in returning the Tigers to relevance.  That being said, the front office’s second step, and perhaps a greater step towards on-field improvement, was the signing of Magglio Ordonez.  That’s no disrespect to Pudge; but it was widely accepted that his best years of his career were behind by the time he signed with the Tigers.

The signing of Ordonez was at the time an even greater risk than that of Pudge.  After the injury that saw he and the White Sox part ways, Magglio was viewed as viewed as a player with loads of potential, whose injuries had made him something of a liability.  Through some brilliant foresight, the Tigers were careful to word Ordonez’s contracts with statistical benchmarks and performance incentives – protecting them should he fall victim to the injuries that plagued him through his White Sox tenure.    One trip to the World Series, one AL Central title (which should have been two) and one AL Batting title clearly illustrate the Tigers gamble paid off.  I’m sure Hawk Harrelson was shouting “Dad-gummit” on October 14, 2006 when Maggs did this:

That was quite simply the greatest moment in the history of Comerica Park and the the team’s wake up call to the baseball world.

I’m hoping the family has tickets for Sunday, and are planning to take a lot of pictures…

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MLB: Pull the WBC off of ESPN ASAP!

I know the Korea / Venezuela game taking place tonight is a blowout – and inevitably, baseball announcers tend to talk about other things duirng a blowout; but Jon Miller (Giants guy), Joe Morgan (players and players’ union guy) and Steve Phillips (front office guy) spending 1 1/2 innings complaining about the World Baseball Classic is totally unacceptable.  Major League Baseball needs to insist that they not be allowed to announce future WBC games; or perhaps even pull the WBC off of ESPN and instead air it the MLB Network exclusively!

First off, I like the  World Baseball Classic.  I love seeing players – both familiar and unfailiar – represent their respective countries.  Perhaps even more than that i LOVE then intensity that foreign fans bring – not only in baseball – but also in other international sporting events.

To hear Joe Morgan get on his player/union member soapbox and lament that “it’s too much” to ask American players to participate during spring training  makes me sick.  I understand that MLB plays a much longer season than any of the other participating countries; but we are talking about professional athletes who make more money per year, per season, per week, per game, per AT BAT than I make in a year!  Once a member of the players’ union, always a member of the players’ union…

Look, I don’t expect announcers to be total yes men and pimp whatever Bud Selig decides to sell. I respect each pf their opinions.  In many ways,  I agree with Mr. Morgan.  But when announcers are complaining about the format of a tournament that they are covering during the event itself, it makes me want to change the channel.

 Remember the big stink when Joe Buck said that he really didnt watch any baseball beyond the games he covered and that more American probably find “Desperate Housewives” more exciting?  That was in an interview, off season if I recall correctly.  Imagine if he had said that on-air, live, during the World Series

my take on the MLB Network

190px-MLB_Network_Logo.pngI was probably as excited about the MLB Network’s January 1 launch as the next MLB blogger when I first heard about it during last year’s post season.  When we moved into our new home in December, I made sure we’d receive the MLB Network as part of Comcast’s digital TV package ( OK, we mainly went digital so my son could watch Noggin!). 

MLB Network has promised to provided balanced coverage of all 30 MLB teams, but they have thus far failed.  I know, it’s only January this year’s hot stove is unusually cool, but do we REALLY need to see Red Sox Memories  and the ’04 and ’07 World Series replayed EVERY week???  How ’bout a special about 2008’s best story – the Rays?

I get it chowderheads, the Red Sox won the World Series in 04 and in 07 – the only team to do so twice this decade.  Fenway sells out every game and the Sox have the highest road attendance in MLB – they are clearly America’s favorite team today.  But seriously, if I wanted this much Red Sox coverage, I would put on ESPN.

On the bright side – I love the “Seasons” show (I’ve seen 86,  95 and 01).  Ken Burns’s Baseball should be required viewing, and the specials on Hank Aaron and the Negro Leagues have lived up to their names. 

I’m looking forward, of course to the WBC coverage and I’m especially pleased to hear that MLBN will be covering the Carribean Series.  This will probably be the first time most American fans get to see the game from South of the Border.  That, and MLBN will be able to finally begin broadcasting, recaping and analyzing games