Category Archives: Basketball

MLB losing touch with fans

A couple of days ago MLB approved a couple of rule changes for the upcoming 2013 season as explained in this article.Normally when I hear about rules changes, I’m ready to jump right into the article and update my knowledge of the rules in the sport. With this article, I was also struck by a sense of disappointment as MLB once again proved to me that they are out of touch with the fan’s and their expectations of the game.

Frankly, I don’t care about banning the third to first move or adding the seventh coach to the dugout during the game. Along with the on field interpreter rule, if those are the only rules that MLB could come up with this season, they are more out of touch than I ever thought. There are so many other problems that are holding up the progression of the game in America to worry about the assistant hitting coach being in the dugout.

We have been for about five years that MLB continues to look into the use/expanded use of instant replay, but yet we continue to hear week after week during the season about blown close calls that could have been easily and quickly reversed with replay.

The NFL went through the same kind of issues with incorrect calls on close plays back in 1997. The NFL was able to implement an “experimental” system for the preseason in 1998 with full implementation in 1999. It only took 1 year to put in a replay system, yet we are waiting year after year for MLB to get their act together to modernize the game. This modernization of the NFL coincided with major increase in popularity of the game while baseball continue with their slow downward trend.  Most every other sport in the world uses some form of reply in their top tier professional league with the exception of soccer, but they are even investing in goal line technology. The young and middle aged people now a days know that these game are judged by the human element and that nobody is perfect, but if the technology exists to quickly correct the play/call, it should be used.

The main argument against instant replay from the anti-replay people is “The game is already running long, this will make the game run longer”. My reply to that is, the game is already being held up by the manager auguring the call, replay would take 2 minutes or less to correct the call which would be far less than the time the manger spends yelling at the umpire.

Another argument against instant reply is that “It will interrupt the flow of the game”. That is another weak comeback as the flow of the game has already been ruined when the player or manager is arguing the call.

Proponents of instant replay are not talking about stopping the game every five minutes to use instant replay. We are talking about 1-2 calls a game at most that need to be reviewed. Just give each manager 1 challenge per game just like in Little League. MLB seems like they would rather save 2 minutes during the game from not using replay and would rather receive negative publicity for 2 days on all the major sports cast shows.

People who are against replay do not truly care about the game and its future. They care about a past vision of the game, they are trying to hold onto something from their past and not look into the future. They want to remember the game for the black and white images that they see from time to time, but those images are in the past and can never be recaptured.

Another rule that needs to be changed is the DH rule between the two leagues. Most people want the DH to be used in both leagues, but personally I don’t care how MLB want to address the issue as long as the rule is consistent between the two leagues especially since there is an odd number of teams now in each league.

It is time for Bud Selig to step down as commissioner. The game has passed him by, he is dragging the progress of the game down while other sport continue their rise in popularity. It should not take to genius to make the needed rule changes in a quick manner to help the game.  He always says there are logistical and financial issues with these types of changes, but it has not stopped other sports from quickly put in similar major rule changes. If your focus is on the first to third move or how many people are in the dugout, the game has passed you by and you need to past the reigns to somebody else.

This will not be the last time you will hear me talk about MLB rules, instant replay or Bud Selig, as long as the game continues to fall behind other sports. All I can do is hope that someday baseball will wake up and listen to the fans as they walk away from the game.

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Milwaukee Bucks: Another losing season ahead and Skiles is gone

Another year of hearing the excuses from players, another year of hearing statements from  Scott Skiles how the team is trying. That all changed Tuesday with the “Mutual” parting of ways with the Bucks. Personally I was never a fan of Skiles before he even coached his first Bucks game with too many question marks.

The team has not been consistently winning along with an underfunded roster, aging arena in a odd location. With the elections over which replaced Herb Kohl, it will be interesting if he sells the team since there will be less oversight to completing a transaction.

The losing is also caused by the poor draft choices in recent years including:

  •  Jimmer Fredette, who we trade right away to get for a bunch of players including Stephen “I don’t want to play for Milwaukee” Jackson
  •  Larry Sanders who has not fully developed
  • Joe Alexander who never developed who was apart of the John Salmons trade
  • Yi Jianlian who stated he did not want to go to a city like Milwaukee, but lets just draft him anyway. Then lets trade him to New Jersey for Richard Jefferson, who also did not want to play for Milwaukee.
  • David Noel…. Who? Exactly!
  • Andrew Bogut, when he was on he was on, and an above average player. Unfortunately Bogut’s primary starting position was “Bench – Injury”
  • T.J Ford, I can remember watching this guy in college, and I can remember my reaction when we drafted with guy…. “Nooooooooooooooooo!”. It was like watching two cars driving towards each other and you knew they were going to hit each other. But the occupants are totally clueless that something bad is about to happen.
  •  Marcus Haislip, 89 games in 4 years, says it all, another non-developed pick

Until the chain of issues is broken like during the late 90’s – earlier 2000’s. This streak of losing will continue. I personally do not want to the see the Bucks leave town, nobody does. The economic impact another would be a blow to the Milwaukee area. But if we continue to lose and Kohl does sell the team, we might not ever see NBA basketball back in Milwaukee. 

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Some NBA players need a reality check

Another set of Christmas games done for another years but not without players complaining that they should not have to play so they can spend time with their families. Now I’m not against people being with the ones they love for the holiday’s but I’m getting tired of NBA players wanting their cake and eating it too.

Ron Artest (Metta World Peace) decides to let everybody know his discontent for playing on Christmas as many other players have said in the past. The thing NBA players forget is playing on Christmas is where the money is for the TV networks, teams, players and sponsors. Without that money, they can not get paid as much as they want to get paid.

TV networks are able to put their premier games on Christmas with the maximum audience which generates the most sponsorship money, teams can fill their seating on this day and sell their merchandise, players get maximum exposure to sponsors or possible sponsorship opportunity. Sometimes based on your profession, you need to suck it up and do things that your not quite fond of or want to do. My father always had to work during the Forth of July for while the machines were shut down. That meant that we never got to go to any fireworks shows, but that was the fact I had to accept growing up.

It is time for the NBA players to stop acting like they have no common sense do what they do best, play basketball. I know today this is a shorter post, but the items in life that should be common sense should not take many words to state.

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More Conference Realignment, has everybody gone crazy?

I just recently posted about conference realignment here, but it appears that we are not done yet. Now the Non-FBS football school of the Big East have a problem with the current alignment of the teams in the conference, so what do you do? Start a new conference. A new conference with new teams and knowing with how things are going, the seven breakaway teams will probably accept inventions to other conferences and additional teams will need to be found for the breakaway seven.

Has everybody gone crazy? Yes. Is there a way to end the craziness? Yes. Do I think that anybody will do anything about conference realignment? No. It’s time to do something about all this conference realignment, the straw that broke the camels back for me was when TCU left the Big East conference before even leaving the conference they were in currently.

There is so much moving so fast, people are going to lose focus and just give up watching. NASCAR went through a similar kind of issue back in the early 2000’s and still occurs today. Up and through the early 2000’s, drivers and teams were easily identifiable year after year. You knew that Rusty Wallace always drove the #2 Miller Genuine Draft//Miller Lite car, Terry Labonte drove the #5 Kellogg’s car, Ricky Rudd drove the #10 Tide car. I could go on forever, but the point is, that drivers, teams and sponsors were changing even if the car was successful. This made NASCAR confusing, at least for me, to follow since there was little to no consistency. This is one of many reasons that I barley watch NASCAR now.

The college conferences are going the route of NASCAR, people can not identify with their conference, the teams have no chance to build up rivalry, when conference games are played, they are just another game. The conference names do not even identify with the teams that are in them, Boise State will play in the Big East?

My solution, a sort of draft like thing needs to occur. Just have a draft of all the Division 1 teams and agree not to move for five years. Then, set a ceiling on the number teams in a conference so that the Big 10 does not turn back into the Big 14 as it will now. Another idea would be to break all the Division 1 schools into regions, then you will not have Boise State playing East coast teams in conference.

Whatever the solution is, someone needs to stabilize the ship in conference realignment before the fans start tuning out.

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Big Fine for Spurs; What a Joke

Friday, the master and commander of the NBA David Stern has decided if you don’t play the lineup he wants when she says so, you pay the consequences. A $250,000 fine for not playing the right players in a game the Spurs almost won against the Heat.

In general, I have agreed with the way Stern has run the NBA making it one of the largest commercialized sports leagues. I have agreed with how he has expanded the number of teams, cleaning up the image with the Dress Code and the policies in cleaning up flopping. The fine set by Mr. Stern sets a different tone for the league, sit the wrong player the wrong night and pay the price.

His logic is it was not in the best interest of the league, the people paid to see the top players and this was the only time the Spurs were visiting Miami. It makes you wonder what will be next for fines? Don’t play Lebron or Kobe at least 40 minutes and get fined? Don’t play Kobe at the Shooting Guard but at Power Forward and incur another fine since the people were paying to see him play Shooting Guard?

Additional reasoning for fining the Spurs, whether Stern wants to say it or not, was due to the game being on “National Television”. In today’s televise everything climate in sports today, there is no such thing as National Television. People now only follow their local team because they can with most to all games on some local TV station. Going back 30 to 40 years ago, in order to get your fix of basketball, you had to rely on the National TV game, but those rules do not apply today. While I don’t have numbers to back this up, I bet the only people that were watching that game were mostly fans of the Spurs or Heat.

Teams in other sports sit players all the time without the fear of their commissioner. Bud Selig should be fining the heck out of MLB teams when they traditionally play their backup players on Sunday day game or do not call on a bench player/bullpen pitcher on any given night. Same concept, would not the fan have purchased the tickets with the understanding that their favorite player(s) might not be playing that day. In the NFL, teams that have cinched playoff positions have rested players in front of the playoff with no penalty.

I’m sure on the tickets the Heat fans brought it did not say “Tim Duncan vs. LeBron James”, it stated “San Antonio Spurs vs, Miami Heat”. When you purchase a ticket to any sport you are purchasing to see a sporting contest, not a player. If you want to ensure you see a player in person you buy a ticket to any personal appearance he might make in public outside the sporting world. Because you are purchasing a ticket to the appearance with the understanding he will be there.

I have traditionally agreed with the choices Stern has made, but this one leaves me a little shaky on the NBA and what the future holds. Lets hope this is only a blip on the radar and not a trend to a possible downfall in NBA.

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NCAA to step up on violations, Ya Right

There is once news story that occurred back in October that I want to circle back to. The NCAA announced they were increasing the penalties and would punish coaches more for violations. I see this as more for show than a way to control the sports they oversee. Since the dawn of time, people have always have been trying to circumvent rules and when a rule is created, another loophole or way to circumvent is found.

This also occurs with the NCAA rules, cheating will still occur, coaches will just get better at cheating. There is no penalty that the NCAA can enforce that can deter cheating with the exception of the so called “Death Penalty“. This would directly clean up the NCAA sports and reinstall confidence in college sports. No college want to see any of their money making sports cease as it would cut the revenue their athletic departments need.

The sad thing is, the NCAA will more than likely never enforce the Death Penalty for any revenue generating sport (Football and Men’s Basketball and to a lesser degree Women’s Basketball and Baseball) since this has a domino effect in today’s cash grab world of college sports. If the NCAA would have to cancel all the games of one school, that is a loss of money for the other schools the violating school would have played which causes a shortfall in their budget, lost TV revenue, and lost money for the NCAA.

That is why we will never see the Death Penalty, the NCAA would rather see a games played and ban the teams from the bowl games or tournaments, since there are extra teams to take the violating teams place, there is no loss of revenue across multiple channels, just for the violating school.

In this case, I don’t know what the answer is to solve the problem. The head of the house (NCAA) does not want to punish the kids (Colleges) too hard that they resent them since the kids are the future and take care of the head of the house with their money, but the head of the house does not want child protective services (Government, Congress) to step in and toss the house.

What to do, what to do?

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Bucks in First

Saturday, the Bucks won, which brought their record up to 6-2. I never thought that this season would have started this way. I know there is a long way to go, but 6-2 and in first place.

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