Saturday’s segment is a day to touch on as many issues as possible.
It’s hard to imagine that pitchers and catchers will be headed to Lakeland soon. So there is much to contemplate as Spring Training nears.
Kurt and Holly don’t share their Saturday topics and it’s only for the readers’ benefit. It almost always translates into a wide array of thoughts.
I have an unpopular perspective on Hall of Fame eligible players presumed to be PED users. Some of the greatest players to have ever played the game are guilty of cheating their way to some lofty numbers and accomplishments. But we have travelled through many eras of baseball and we should not be ignoring these stars of the game who cheated, as if they didn’t exist; they still have their place in the Hall, as dark as that hall may be.
The Commissioner of Baseball continues to look for ways to shorten the game. It has to be much more difficult to have that lofty position during a time when it is so hard to please and keep the interest of today’s fan. Few fans still appreciate the value of the game within the game which mostly takes place between pitches, when ballparks are obliged to play music as if nothing is going on.
In evaluating new changes to the game to make it more appealing to a changing fan base, I might recommend a session of What Went Right and What Went Wrong. Is the Commissioner happier with the game now that most collisions at second base and home plate have been eliminated? At a time when it has never been more important to make the game more desirable to watch, removing excitement for fear of injury never seemed like the smartest of ideas in the interests of entertainment.
A recent analysis was done using a variety of measuring tools indicating that Victor Martinez is the worst baserunner in baseball. One of the biggest reveals is that VMart essentially can only run from one base to the next which helps, in part, to explain 2016’s significant differential between the team’s high overall batting stats and the middlin’ success they have in getting those runners in. Will this be the year that Brad moves Victor down in the batting order in order to boost the chances of scoring?
The World Baseball Classic is going to be a significant factor in fans’ decisions about traveling to spring training given that the US and Dominican Republic teams are the only teams of note playing in the US (Miami). If you want to see Miggy, Ian, KRod, Rondon, Leyland, Omar and VMart (along with a significant number of top players from other teams), they will be gone (almost a full month) save for a handful of days at the very beginning and very end of spring training. Sadly, one of several factors contributing to my decision not to go to Lakeland this March.
Former GMs in a round-table discussion all agreed that it is important for the team and manager to emphasize to their veteran players the importance of setting standards for the rest of the team. Younger and newer players look to the veterans to set the tone and emulate them in behavior and play. The former executives mentioned hustle, running out hits, mental fortitude, attending practices and work ethic are the biggest issues where veteran standards are most needed.
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