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

Of Bradley County Tn.

MARCH  2014

                            The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland and Bradley County Tn.







Expanded Retirement Sentencing

by Jerry Keys

There has been recent speculation about major league baseball following the same format as the NFL. The NFL has two conferences with four divisions of four teams in each. To accomplish this, baseball would need to add two additional teams and one extra division in each league. Teams would then be rearranged into a more geographical alignment. Around half of the teams would remain in-division with their historic rivals; whereas others would not be known until the two new expansion teams were named.

But who would be the two new teams? History tells us there has been rumors of a team in Las Vegas, New Orleans, and Nashville. I would like to propose a couple of cities. Why not either establish a new franchise in Montreal again or give them back their team in Washington. Award Washington a new team. The old Expos had poor attendance, but did you ever see Olympic Park from 1976? The Atlanta Braves moved into Turner Field in 1997, after the city hosted the 1996 Summer Olympics. They have plans to move northward to a new stadium in a couple of years. Turner Field's shelf life for the Braves will be twenty years. The Expos used the 1976 Summer Games park for nearly thirty.

Jerry Keys

Two new teams would give expansion revenue to current team owners. The two expansion teams in 1993, Florida and Colorado, may have been the first in sixteen years, but there were rumblings about why the idea of expanding was brought up in the first place. "In June 1991, Fay Vincent declared that the American League would receive $42 million of the National League's $190 million in expansion revenue and that the AL would provide players in the National League expansion draft (involving the Colorado Rockies and Florida Marlins). In an attempt to win support in the American League and balance the vote, Vincent decreed that the AL owners were entitled to 22 percent of the $190 million take. This decision marked the first time in expansion history that leagues were required to share expansion revenue or provide players for another league's expansion draft. Vincent said the owners expanded to raise money to pay their collusion debt."

Vincent was the then commish of baseball, who was ousted by the owners in favor of a 'temp commish,' Bud Selig. We all know how Selig turned out.....don't we? But fees aside, what about moving the Houston Astros back to the National League, where they belong? I would guess, fifty years in the NL would be considered tradition. Personally, I would love to see the Milwaukee Brewers placed back into the American League, where they belong, but this was Selig's little 'pet project.' Leave the Brewers in the NL. For that concession, resurrect the franchise in Montreal. Fans there would not care if they were in the AL or the NL. Toronto would not have had a chance at a new team in 1977, had not Montreal been the first Canadian team with a franchise in 1969. Plus two teams in the AL from Canada, would be classified as a regional rivalry.

One team down, one to go. Everyone today in the media harps about 'global economics,' so what about a team in Mexico? What, attendance would be poor? Okay, place the team in Mexico City, problem solved.  Two new teams, both international. Realign the divisions and keep rivalries intact. Who wouldn't like an AL East of the Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays and Expos? An AL West of Seattle, Oakland, Mexico City, and Texas? A NL South of Atlanta, Miami, Tampa, and Houston? Yes, I admit this may take a league crossover. But it is something to consider.

Expand the playoffs. I'm pretty certain owners will love this! Have the same set up as the NFL, four division winners, two wild cards. The best two teams in each league receive a first round bye and home field advantage in the next round. First round, no more one-game playoffs, not cool to play 162 games and have one game decide it. Extend first round series to a best-of-three. Keep the division series at best-of-five, league championship and World Series at best-of-seven. But, that'll push baseball into November. I'm not finished. Increased playoff games mean more revenue (okay and to keep baseball out of November, and in fact end the season around the middle of October, each team will schedule ten doubleheaders (fans smile...owners grab their wallets and object). Hey, it's just a thought!

Derek Jeter announced he will retire after the 2014 season. Much has been written of this and I would like to shy away from the commonalities. Until he was injured for virtually the entire 2013 season, many predicted (me included) he would gather enough hits to end up in 3rd place all-time, behind only the immortal Pete Rose and Ty Cobb. This will not be the case. I was always a Jeter fan. What changed me from a fan to an admirer was his dedicated play on the field. The play made against Oakland in the 2002 playoffs let me know, he was a once in a generation player. His contract squabble with the Yankees irritated me. My thoughts are posted on earlier The People News issues and when he returned with a solid 2011, I was glad for him. He was worth the contract. When 2012 came, I learned Jeter has a certain desire you do not see from most athletes today. '12 was one of the most productive seasons in his career.

I watched his hit totals rise, saw players he was passing. Every hit was a milestone. His entire career was played after the devastating strike of 1994-95. Jeter sat on the same bench Don Mattingly did in 1995. Jeter was surrounded by veteran superstars, but still carved out his niche.

Jeter could have played well into his forties as a high-end and complementary role-player and reached hit totals unimaginable at one time. But he decided to call it a career and get on with the rest of his life. Yes, it's depressing but you have to accept it for what it is. Baseball has been the oxygen for him since he was 'knee high to a junebug.' I have a high amount of respect for Mike Schmidt, Frank Robinson, Hank Aaron and Cal Ripken. Jeter is in this class now. Jeter is also the first player younger than me to receive this. Due to age, I am more skeptical of things now than I was at seventeen. But even with all the additional barriers, Jeter entered my consciousness as one of the all-time greats. Derek, thank you for the years.

Almost three years ago, after a game between the Giants and Dodgers, Bryan Stow was nearly beat to death
. The link provided goes into more detail. A question I have is, with 24 hour care, rehabilitation, therapy, nurse and doctor care, who pays for this? The two guilty men? Hard for them to, being in jail. The Los Angeles Police Department? Best I recall there is no law stating the police have to be at a sporting event before and after. What about the Los Angeles Dodgers? Well, the general manager of the team, nor a player, or anyone on the Dodger payroll attacked Mr. Stow. So who pays?

Did the Dodgers have a security service in the parking lot where the attack happened? Did the team contract out the security service to a local agency? If so, is the agency at fault? The Dodgers paid someone, either way. So aren't they liable for Mr. Stow's medical cost? But what if Mr. Stow started the altercation by verbally accosting the two men. Okay, who was guilty of physical contact? Not Mr. Stow. When Angela Cumming was given a platform to speak at the UT-Chattanooga campus, she was provided protection by UTC security. Even though a vast majority of on-lookers disagreed with her speech, UTC was still obligated by law, to offer protection.

What would have occurred if UTC security was not provided and an on-looker hurled a rock at Cumming's head? Who would have been held liable for her medical bills afterward? Back to Los Angeles, whether or not the team issued their own security or contracted it out, someone had to have liability insurance. Let's bring in the insurance companies and what we have here is no one taking responsibility and no one paying Mr. Stow's medical costs. Had I attended a game at Dodger Stadium and while enroute to the stadium, I unveiled a semi-automatic weapon. I would be swiftly detained, while I ask, 'who says I can't carry a weapon on this property?' The reply would be the Dodger organization. This is a parking lot, but still considered private property. Well, I think my first question about Mr. Stow was answered.

In this day and age of corruption, greed, and idolatry it is very refreshing to see numerous fans, players, and former players hold benefits to assist the Stow family in covering the already insurmountable medical bills. His attorney estimated his medical cost will exceed $50,000,000. In April of 2013, Mr. Stow's insurance company, "stopped paying for his full-time care in a residential rehabilitation facility and he moved into his parents' home in California." Stow was able to return to his parent's home in June. He is currently suing the Dodgers for compensation. The trial is expected to start in May.

I was never a fan of Tim Flannery. He was a utility player for the San Diego Padres throughout his eleven year career. Since 2007, Flannery has been a coach for the Giants. He has donated his time and money holding numerous benefit concerts with his band to raise funds for the Stow family. Flannery retired as a player twenty-five years ago, but I consider him one of my favorite players. I was just a quarter century late. Thank you Tim.

Anyone wishing to donate to the Bryan Stow Fund can contact the Giants at 415-972-2000.