Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What can you get for 2 cents?

You can get my thoughts on the new CBA between Major League Baseball and Major League Baseball Players Association. The new 5 year deal runs through December 1, 2016 and will give baseball a 21 year streak of labor peace.

In your face NFL and NBA!

The commissioner and the union got a deal done before the old deal expired. I'm not talking about Giamatti, but I don't want to mention that other guy on this blog. I can't stand him, even if he did help get the deal done.

Here are some of the highlights of the new CBA:

1. Houston Astros move from the National League Central to the American League West in 2013. I don't like this one. I think the proper move would have been to move the team that was moved TO the N.L. back to the A.L. That would be Selig's Brewers. That was NOT going to happen.

2. Two more Wild Card teams will be added to the playoff mix as early as next season. The Wild Card teams in each league would most likely face each other in a one-game playoff to advance to the Division Series. MLB now has until March 1 to determine whether the playoffs will be expanded for the coming season. I'm on record as not being a big fan of change, but I'll reserve judgement on this one. My initial impression is that it WILL be an exciting play-in game, but it's going to screw up the rotation for the team that gets in and may give the team they end up playing a little advantage.

3. Blood testing for HGH with a 50-game suspension for a first failed test, 100 games for a second and lifetime ban with the right to seek reinstatement for the third. If it works, I'm all for it. Get the cheaters out of baseball.

4. A raise in the minimum salary from $414,000 this year to $480,000 in 2012, and ultimately to more than $500,000. How many players does this really affect? I'm not sure of the number of players making the league minimum, but it's a heckuva lot more mone than I make so I'll just sit here and be jealous.

5. A luxury tax on teams that spend above an aggregate figure for players signed through the annual First-Year Player Draft and the near elimination of Draft-pick compensation for the signing of free agents. This is one of the biggies from what I hear, but I won't pretend to understand it or even really care at this point. The whole structured salary based on draft slots...all this gives me tired head. I guess that wasn't even 2 cents worth was it?

6. Subject to MLB discussions with the umpires' union, the expansion of instant replay to include fair and foul calls on balls hit down the line in addition to others trapped by fielders. Replay has been used only to review home runs -- fair or foul, in or out of the park. I'm all for getting calls right as long as they can do it in a timely manner. Baseball games are slow enough. On that subject, I'd like to see them put a stop to the theatrics that go on BETWEEN pitches by some batters. Is it necessary to adjust your batting gloves after EVERY SINGLE PITCH!? I think not.

7. Restrictions for the first time on the use of smokeless tobacco on the field or in dugouts. Players are still allowed to chew, but while they're in an area where they can be picked up by a television camera, the protocol now is for them not to have pouches or tins of tobacco visible in their uniform back pockets. I don't care about this one either way. Both of my sons know from the way we've raised them that tobacco is nasty. I'd rather they limit the use of parabolic microphones so I (and my son) don't have to hear Chris Carpenter yell G**D*** after every bad pitch or hit. He's not the only one either.

That's my 2 cents. I'm interested in hearing yours, either in the comments or as a blog post of your own.


  1. I have heard a lot of people saying that the Brewers should move back to the AL. I am not one of them.

    Historically it might make sense, but geographically it does not even come close.

    My choice would have been San Diego to the AL West and Houston to the NL West to keep the NL in Texas. The Padres don't fit in with the old school rivalry (Dodgers,Giants) and the new school rivalry (Rockies,DBacks) and could give the Angels a good rival.

    For #2, what is wrong with giving the division winner an advantage? I think they should get one for winning a division. They should set it up to where the wild card winner always plays the team with the best record regardless of division as well.

    I have no real opinion on 3 and 4.

    5 will mean a bigger gap between the haves (big market) and have nots (small market) in the long run. shot draft pick coming in...will be Boros pricey...Pitt, KC, SD, and others have to pass on drafting him because they can't afford the tax...Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, etc. draft him late in round 1 and pay him #1 overall money because the extra tax is nothing to them.

    6 But what will the pundits bitch about if all the calls are right?

    7 Smokeless tobacco may be gross to see, but it is a legal product for adults to use. This is bad because it is another example of slowly taking away our freedom. For the record, I do not now nor have I ever regularly dipped. Tried it twice and threw up twice,

  2. I posted my take, for what it's worth, which is probably more like one cent.

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  4. hiflew - #7) At first I was 110% with you on the tobacco thing and I agree with losing our rights. (At least for now we still have our guns)

    But then I got to thinking. I think this rule is you can't chew at work. Children can and are influenced by what they see. I work in a hospital and there is no smoking on the grounds (I don't smoke anyway). I have to follow the rules at work. I can smoke all I like "on my own time" but it sends the wrong message to customers of the hospital to be smoking in a healthcare facility.

    Does that make sense? They aren't losing their individual right, just the right to do it at work.

    On the Brewers non-move, teams have moved around all over in the history of baseball. I don't think it matters much either way. New rivalries and traditions will spring up over time.

    I'd actually like to see the DH go away. AND I GREW UP AN AL FAN (Royals). Baseball is best when players have to play both sides of the ball.

    Thats my 1 cent worth.

  5. On the tobacco thing...
    First - HiFlew - I'm exactly like you, I've dipped twice, thrown up twice! Chewing tobacco a couple other times - no throwing up there, but it still makes me feel nausea.

    I agree with Kyle - though I'd ammend the comment to say "They aren't losing their individual right, just the privilege to do it at work." Ultimately, if baseball determines putting rules in place helps them make money, they should do it. Frankly, the main thing I hate is that the owners have to collectively bargain this at all - they are the employees, I don't get to tell my bosses what I can and can't do at work.

    All that said - I am really glad they didn't say 100% you can't chew during the game. Cutting around the edges on this is OK to me - it's good to clean up the image a bit.

    I honestly can't make the most logical argument for it, but there's just something very BASEBALL about an chewing tobacco.

    This sort of goes against a lot of what I think about the whole tobacco in society thing - I am 100% for them taking it out of every restaurant and bar in the US. But that's because smoking impacts other people. Chewing tobacco is different.

  6. My San Diego Padres in the American League? That sir, is crazy talk.

    My thoughts from two years ago...

    "I am not a fan of the three Division leagues. First change would be to go back to two Divisions per league. Two 8 team NL Divisions and two 7 team AL Divisions. That being said, I am not in favor of moving franchises, but I don't have a problem with jumping leagues.

    NL West - Padres, Dodgers, Giants, Diamondbacks, Rockies, Royals, Astros and Rangers
    NL East - Mets, Braves, Phillies, Pirates, Cubs, Cardinals, Nationals and Reds

    AL West - A's, Angels, Mariners, White Sox, Twins, Brewers and Tigers
    AL East - Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Orioles, Indians, Rays and Marlins

    Explanation of league jumpers: Rangers get Astros as an in Division rival. Royals get Rockies as an in Division rival, and play St. Louis more regularly. Brewers go back to being the Twins rival. Marlins get the Rays as a rival, and get the boost from visiting Yankees and Red Sox ticket sales. Trust me, they need all the help they can get. Drawback - Tigers get screwed on geography."

  7. Brewers back in the A.L. where they belong! I'm crochety and I like it!