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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Leagues, Divisions, Schedules, Teams, Interleague...etc

I've read a blog or two in recent weeks, and this morning a discussion sparked up on twitter that I am particularly fond of discussing.  Not because I think I have all the right answers, or even have a couple of the right answers--I think the topic is an awful lot of fun to discuss.  So, I'm hopeful that we can engage in a fuller, more-than-140-at-a-time, fun, educated, informed (...etc) discussion about...

My friend Tom at @CardinalsGM tweeted the following, which summarizes greatly what I'm hopeful we can discuss here via comments, "Both leagues and divisions should have equal number of teams. This is a no-brainer, and foundational to fairness." & also said he'd "cut 2 teams, return to 2 division in each league, & free a team to relocate to NYC". 

I came across a blog over at redbirdrants.com (if you're not familiar, you should definitely check it out!) that had this particular thread going.

So, leave your comments below.  Link to other articles on this topic, or just let your opinions fly...this should be a really good time!  I'll start by addressing this morning's tweets, and the redbirdrants blog fits in nicely along the way.

My comments this morning on twitter were pretty much along the lines of:

You'd have to add 2 teams in the AL for it to happen, as taking 2 from the NL would never fly with MLB owners.  Another tough sell would be eliminating a playoff round (as @CardsChic mentions), MLB is currently talking about adding a round (ka-ching), so it seems the ship has already sailed...in the opposite direction.  While certainly not perfect, there are plenty of things to be said about unbalanced leagues & divisions.

What say you?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

UCB Progressive Game Blog: MIL @ STL 05.07.11 - bot 8

This blog was written as part of a United Cardinals Bloggers project, the "Progressive Game Blog".  My responsibility was to write about the Cardinals half (bottom) of the 8th inning of the game on Saturday, May 7 vs. MIL.

Double.  D.

What else really can be said about the bottom of the 8th?  Thanks to a base hit up the middle by Daniel Descalso, Yovani Gallardo was unable to extend what, up to that point, had been 7 innings of no-hit baseball.  Descalso's single would prove to be the only hit the Cardinals could come up with in Saturday's 4-0 loss to the Brewers.  I suppose the take-away today is that "at least we weren't no-hit".

Insanely, Jamie Garcia came close to throwing a perfect game against this Milwaukee ballclub the night before, and while Gallardo was carrying a no-no into the 8th against the Cardinals today, Justin Verlander did the same, only finished his no-hit bid, against the Toronto Bluejays.  Outstanding performances all the way around!  Crazy how good the pitching has been the last two nights in St. Louis on both sides--Kyle Lohse takes a REALLY tough loss today, after a phenomenal performance, giving up only one run in 8 innings.  Mama said there'd be days like this.

The Cardinals scored six runs on Friday night, but went hitless after the 4th inning of that contest.  The drought extended through the first 7 on Saturday, making for eleven consecutive innings without a hit--hardly a recipe for winning under any circumstances.  Though, I suppose the silver lining is that those eleven innings were spread out over two games.  (Not exactly the same thing as a Jimmy Rollins hitting streak, but I'll take it)

So, in a nutshell, here's what the bottom of the 8th looked like...

Descalso singled on the 3rd pitch he saw, breaking up Yovani Gallardo's no-hitter.  Then, Tyler Greene stepped in, and in between a couple of pickoff attempts, worked the count to 3-0 before bunting foul to strikeout.  Gotta execute there.  Given that Greene couldn't move the runner over, TLR decided to pinch hit John Jay for Lohse (who, at 107 pitches was likely done for the day anyway, given what the Cardinals lineup had done up to that point in the day).  Jay grounded the ball to Rickie Weeks at 2B (and broke his bat doing so, if I recall), who took the fielder's choice, and got the lead runner, Descalso, out at 2B.  So, with two outs & Jay on 1B, Nick Punto dug into the box.  He took a ball, then swung at the next pitch he saw, flying out to LF, Ryan Braun to end the 8th.