The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland Tennessee (TN) and Bradley County Tennessee (Tn).

Of Bradley County Tn.

AUGUST  2012


Hi, Mr. Selig .... It's me Again

by Jerry Keys

Do you remember when you were a teenager and you were around a group of people you wanted to be accepted by? For the sake of an example, you tell a really funny joke and everyone thinks it was hilarious. You keep that joke in your back pocket and several days later, you tell it again. It is still humorous, but not as funny as before. By the time you tell it a third and fourth time, everyone is pretty tired of it.
The same can be said for Bud Selig. Over the past twenty years, he has instituted numerous changes to the baseball landscape. I am sure it is no secret I do not think much of him as a commissioner. Do not get me wrong, some of the things he had done, I admit I would agree with. The split into three divisions in the AL and NL was a novel idea. I was not too wild on the additional playoff spot in each league in the beginning. But if you looked at the teams which finished not too far above .500 winning a division; while a second place team posted ten to fifteen (or more) additional wins, but just happened to be in a strong division, I started to agree with the idea.

Jerry Keys

The inter-league play was an awesome idea....fifteen years ago. Anyone notice how many west coast trips Atlanta makes now? Atlanta had one real trip, in late April and revisited San Diego later in the year while also making a venture to Seattle for the inter-league series. With four new teams added since the old AL/NL East and West I know it is impossible to re-tool the schedule to where you played three weeklong series on the west coast. In addition, none of the three teams they visited in California twenty years ago are in their division.

After the leagues return to balanced teams in each league next year (how many Houston fans just go crazy about 'ol Selig?), why not either reduce the inter-league number of games or do away with them all together? Maybe it would be a welcome change to face an NL opponent (Dodgers) more times than you would an AL adversary (Yankees). If all we seem to hear from Selig is the purity of the game and all of these retro-jersey about taking it a step further?
It was announced last fall there would be an additional team added to the number of play-off teams. I do have to admit, I was aghast it would be a one-game play-off with the other wild card entry. I was honestly under the impression (at that time), it would be yet another extension of the post-season. As we end the month of July, there were six teams within five games of the AL wild card slots (currently held by the A's and Angels). In the NL, there are two (two NL wild card slots are currently held by the Pirates - yes, the Pirates - and Braves).
The trading deadline ends July 31st. Teams can still make trades long after the date, but there is a bit of red tape involved. Because the playoff possibilities are now open to more teams, how about pushing up the trading deadline to at least August 15th or better served, the 31st? This has been an arguing point for a number of years. But as we well know with Selig, he tries to fit round pegs into square holes. Expanding the playoffs in the NFL made more sense with only a sixteen team regular season schedule. Baseball has almost as many team now qualifying for extended play with a 162-game schedule.

I, Bud Selig, ever make an error in judgement? Never!

All I'm saying, Selig, is make some type of effort to make the regular season more meaningful. If you don't watch out, the baseball post-season will be as deluded as the NBA's. I know the days of two Hall of Fame aces going at it on the last day of the year for the division are long gone (1982, AL East, Brewers vs. Orioles, Don Sutton went up against Jim Palmer) but there has to be a point where you say 'maybe things have gone a tad too far...we just had an 80-82 team clinch the last wild card.'

It seemed just yesterday we were hearing about the choice words spoken between Derek Jeter and the Yankee brass. Whooda thunk he would come out of the gates this year on a tear. Of course he has tailed off since the torrid spring, but he still has a logical chance of eclipsing his high mark for hits in one season, 219 in 1999. It would be a safe bet to estimate a dozen or two infield grounders he once beat out, he doesn't anymore.

Last fall I listed certain names he would pass this year. One name I did not include was Willie Mays. With two months to go, Jeter is 68 hits behind Mays. Barring an injury, it would be a safe bet Jeter will surpass Mays and possibly near the 3,300 hits mark. Being ancient, I remember the last years of Pete Rose and Carl Yastrzemski. The only familiar name for young fans Jeter has not passed is Paul Molitor, and he retired in the late 1990's.
Rose is still over a thousand hits ahead of Jeter so it would be an outcry to even consider his mark. But only a bit more than 550 hits ahead of Jeter is Hank Aaron, a very legitimate milestone to catch. But then again, Rose played 24 years, Jeter is in his 18th.

For years I never thought Tom Glavine or Randy Johnson would even come close to 300 wins. They both surpassed 300.

1974 Topps Willie Mays.
His last active card.

Do I think Jeter can pass Rose? No, I do not, but as history shows, I can be wrong.