Let them play

I have been a baseball fan my entire life. When you cut me, I bleed Dodger Blue. I can remember stats and significant dates in baseball history as clearly as I can recall birthdays and anniversaries in my family.
I hate the DH, I wish they’d raise the mound. I sing “Take me out to the ballgame” when I watch the games on TV.
I buy the Baseball Prospectus each year.
I calculate player’s OPS.
I play roto every season.
I keep score during most games I watch, and I save my scoresheets in a folder in my closet.
When I play softball, I hear Vin Scully and Harry Carry calling the game in my head.
Yeah, I am a baseball fan.
I watch the All Star game. Every year. If I’m not going to be home, I tape it, and if I catch a replay of a classic game on ESPN, I’m lost for the duration.
Yeah, I’m a baseball fan, and I am furious. I mean, vein-popping, ear-steaming, teeth-gnashing, hair-pulling furious.
Just when I thought that Bud “King Jackass” Selig couldn’t do more damage to the game, just when I thought that we’d nearly hit rock-bottom, he calls the freakin’ All-Star game!
A major comeback by the AL, amazing individual efforts from players on both teams, towering home runs and extra innings, the hated Barry Bonds being robbed of a homer in the 2nd only to hit a two run shot in the third.
The first game in a decade that is TRULY exciting and Selig calls it.
No winner, no MVP. Randy Johnson couldn’t even be bothered to show up.
Those fans who paid their money to watch a game tonight in Milwaukee expected to see a full game. With a winner and an MVP ceremony. That’s what they paid for, and that’s what they deserved.
What they and we got was a nice big “thanks for your money, now please leave.”
I don’t buy this idea that the game doesn’t mean anything, so the players shouldn’t give their all. Maybe it doesn’t mean anything to the players, but it sure means a lot to us fans. Sure, it doesn’t count towards anything in the standings, but we baseball fans wait each year for this mid-summer classic, when the best of the best show us what they can do. It is supposed to be an honor to play in the All Star game. It is supposed to be a time when the owners and players give something back to the fans.
Major League Baseball should be ashamed of itself. During a year when Selig has talked of contraction, players are threatening to strike, and the spectre of steriod abuse looms large over each and every ballpark, this game was an opportunity for Baseball and it’s players to transcend the controversy and just play, the way we all play in sandlots and back fields and vacant lots all across America.
Instead, they showed us what they’re really made of, and it’s outrageous.
I have been a baseball fan my entire life, but I promise you this: after tonight’s disgraceful ending to an otherwise magnificent game, if there is even one day of strike or lockout, I’m done.
Let them play, Bud. Let them play.

165 thoughts on “Let them play”

  1. Wil, you may be a ‘fan’, but if you don’t understand that his hands were tied, that he had to call the game, then you really don’t understand baseball.
    This is not co-ed softball. It’s a big business, everyone knows that. When you run out of pitchers, you call the game. Hopefully, changes will be made that will prevent this from happening again. But condemning the calling of this game shows a great ignorance of baseball in general.

  2. For those who keep ragging on Selig, where is the outrage for the players. I didn’t see any of them complaining about the game being called (most had left the stadium anyway).
    It’s time for the fans to strike baseball.

  3. Will,
    Baseball is a great sport but run by people.
    Calm down and maybe catch a game with less hype.
    You will still sing take me out to the ball-game.
    F.G.

  4. Well said, and especially since you’re actually a fan. So many people have been talking smack about the way the game ended, and I always have to stop them to ask “Did you even watch the game? Do you even know who Barry Bonds plays for?”. The answer is invariably “no, didn’t watch it, and isn’t Bonds a Yankee?”
    I just want them to get rid of interleague play during the regular season and for Selig to resign, and for players like Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter to take pay-cuts and just shut up and play. I’ll still watch, even if they strike, but I hate to watch the game lose fans. If the majors fail, all the rest will fail, too.
    Michele

  5. Dave:
    I call BS on that. If as you say the only solutipon was to call the game, then OK — do it by the rules of baseball. Ties are not prescribed for. I’ll say it again, Selig should have told Brenly and Torre, “if and when either of you feels you cannot field a complete team, you may forfeit the game.” The debacle was created by the idea that everyone had to get a few seconds of playing time, regardless of the game situation. These guys were ignoring the game itself, paying no attention to the likely possibility of extra innings as they went along. If that had happened, we wouldn’t be all over Bud Selig’s case for this (just for the multitude of other things he’s screwed up), we’d be laughing at the boneheadednes of Bob Brenly’s having to forfeit the All-Star Game and extend the AL’s winning streak. (what’s that? Nobody knew the AL had a winning streak? Oh, right nobody cares who wins the All-Star Game anymore…)

  6. Can’t disagree with you on this. It seems to me that the All Star game is the one game where they could say once everybody has played that players can start coming in again.

  7. I disagree, Wil. The All Star game is the only time fans get to see the best players in the game all together. It is just a 3-day break, and these players’ main concern has to be the pennant race, not an exhibition game. The fans came to see these great players play, and thanks to the 14 innings, they got to see them all. I think the fans got their money’s worth and more, and perhaps it was even fitting that it end in a tie.
    As to the strike, the Red Sox will probably have the best record in the game when a strike ends the season. The Curse of the Bambino lives yet!

  8. So what, you all feel that the last 2 pitchers should be forced to continue untill one of them has to quit due to injury? Wow, that’s the spirit …

  9. Wil, I agree that the game was a travesty, but I do not disagree with the calling of the game after both teams ran out of pitchers. I don’t think the pitchers that were left should have been forced to endure more risk of injury. The problem was not the way they were used, but the pitchers before them. The starters should pitch three innings if they can, not 2 or 1, and relievers should be able to pitch two. The managers should not choose so many closers to round out the staff; they should choose starters or middle relievers and maybe 1 closer at most, maybe 2.
    I also feel it should be mandatory that players who are elected to start in the All-Star Game should do so unless they are injured.
    Given the situation, I think Selig did what he had to do (loathe though I am to defend him).
    As for baseball and potential legal problems-this is why I play APBA. When today’s players act like jerks, I can get out my game and let the stars of yesteryear perform again, and ignore these bozos.
    Allen

  10. Wil,
    If you can bleed Dodger blue, then cut me and all you will see is Yankee Pinstrips. Baseball is ingrained in my family: my mother grew up in the Brox, down the street from Yankee Stadium, she could hear the crowds at night. I booked it back from college in Wash DC to make it back to Jersey on a fine October night just to haul my butt to Game 4 of the ’99 World Series. I ran around like a chicken w/ is head cut off when the Yankees won the Subway Series.
    I read the paper and hard the game was called. What, did some one die? Murdered? Rain? Mets players smokin’ it up again? No. Farkin’ RAN OUT OF PLAYERS. Ran out of players my ass! It bullshit a pitcher couldnt suck it up for a few more pitches…go through the rotation again! They only pitched 2 innings! And no MPV? What the fark??
    Sure. Fine. Whatever. Selig, you suck. Nice way to honor Ted Williams memory. Jackass.
    ~Ann

  11. Baseball lost me as a fan during the last strike. But when I heard what happened during the All Star game it was just confirmation for me that I was right all along. You got a bunch or money hungry, imbecilic morons running Major League Baseball and it will NEVER get better! Don’t hate me, Wil!
    :-$

  12. Good Ole Bud – he’s as f***ed up as a soup sandwich and he keeps outdoing himself.
    Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes… it rains. As fine a quote on baseball as you’ll ever find but notably absent is sometimes you tie.
    And Monkeyboy, go right on bleeding Dodger blue… My Diamondbacks are dragging your boys behind the woodshed for a good old fashioned switchin’ — in your own house – for shame.
    -Rook

  13. Wil,
    I agree with you totaly about the game what a travisty to baseball. On a second note I hope you are now over it enough to post again soon it has been 5 days and I am getting withdraw. I need some new scoop -lol- Hope to hear from ya soon.
    -Matt.

  14. it’s all about money!…the game has been left behind…in the future the new york yankees will tour the country…like the harlem globetrotters do now…and pound the hapless local competition…but you can’t blame the yankees for getting the best players money can buy…they can afford it!…and there’s no rule against it…sort of like enron and worldcom…baseball will never come clean…until it’s called out!…d. burr

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