Archive - Feb 11, 2007

Date

Ahhh, spring training. A time for doubt, self-pity, hopelessness, and the bitter, burning anger that comes from realizing your heydays are now so far behind you, they’re barely specks in your rear view mirror. At least, that’s what I imagine spring training means to fans of the Royals and the Pirates, and, if you take away the heydays part, to loyalists of the Rockies and Devil Rays. (A Cubs fan feeling sorry for other teams’ fans—pretty funny, huh?) Ever since I first became acquainted with it, I’ve been fascinated by the tiered structure of professional soccer in places like England and Italy, where clubs compete for championships only within their tiers, the top finishing teams at the end of each season are promoted to the next level for the subsequent season, and the bottom finishers are demoted or “relegated” to the next lower rung on the ladder. Such a system would be completely unacceptable in Major League Baseball for a thousand reasons. One of the most obvious is the travel burden it would impose on a team from the West Coast, say, if it was in a division with nine teams from the east. But logic aside…

Some quick reviews of what's going on elsewhere: Gonfalon Cubs looks at the possibility of a 98+ win season, and the connection between declining Cubs attendance and the off-season spending spree Cub Town uses the cool Sparklines to play guess the hitter and pitcher Bleed Cubbie Blue is down to number 9 on its All-time Great Cubs list, with Fergie Jenkins Cub Fan Nation has several funny Cubs-related photoshops CubsHub previews the 2007 Cardinals Goat Riders of the Apocalypse has a very good, funny look at the career arc of Bobby Hill. The View from the Bleachers asks Who Should the Cubs Draft? come June Allcubs.com prefers baseball without Sosa Our own Cubnut mourns the retirement of Jeff Fassero at A Hundred Next Years Regarding the role of bloggers and baseball, Bleed Cubbie Blue and Temporary Bleachers both have good commentaries. Pittsburgh Lumber Company, one of our fellow MVN blogs, previews the 2007 Cubs Also: I just saw the King of the Hill episode about The Jack and his Aces, little did I know that it was about legendary Softball pitcher Eddie Feigner, who has passed away John Smoltz, great advocate for Traditional Values, is getting a divorce Bernie Williams looks like he's going to lose out in the Yankees' roster crunch ESPN has been subpoenaed in the Harold Reynolds wrongful termination lawsuit. Regarding the termination of most of the Baseball Tonight crew: I'm in favor of it. The Hardball Times matches song titles with the state of Baseball entering 2007 Project Prospect compares Hughes and Bailey to once-prospects Prior and Beckett And Baseball Musings live-blogs from the Sports Business Conference at MIT
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