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The game of baseball has been repeatedly berated by yours truly for the various problems that allow a team such as the New York Yankees to effectively buy championships. The lack of revenue sharing and salary caps encourages excessive spending by wealthy teams.
As the summer means a quiet time on Dartmouth's social scene, many students are forced to look for more creative and original ways of entertaining themselves.
On the plane ride home from my current off-term dwelling in Los Angeles, I knew there were several things I wanted to take care of over the short Easter weekend with my family. I was naturally looking forward to spending some quality time with the 'fam,' having a nice Easter dinner, and taking a good Midwestern break from the hectic life of Tinseltown. The one thing I wanted to make sure I slotted in between church and Easter dinner though, was an afternoon spent with the old man, down at the ballpark. My dad and I rolled on downtown, picked up a few bleacher seats from a scalper, and found our seats amongst a group of elderly choristers from Great Britain who were enjoying a game of baseball for the first time. Needless to say, after an inning of explaining to one older gentleman how a run is scored, we decided to relocate to another section.
It seems like just yesterday when the New York Yankees walked away with the World Series title once again, yet ball clubs have already begun to make the trek to the warmer climes of Florida and Arizona for Spring Training.
By now I'm sure most everyone has become sick of the different stories surrounding the Super Bowl. The story and successes of Ray Lewis have become ingrained in all of our minds and pretty soon we just might forget that he may have killed two young men.
I remember when I was a young lad of eight or nine and my father and I were sitting at our kitchen table trying to think of a good name for the little league baseball team we were putting together. We wanted something original, and didn't want to revert to the name of a professional ball club.
Every other Sunday evening when I relax on my couch in hopes of writing this column, my initial impulse tells me to write something humorous and witty, something that will force the reader to enjoy the words I write. I search the Internet in hopes of finding some information that will point me in the direction of comedic epiphany, but rarely does this actually happen. Most of the time my lack of patience and time forces me to settle for a boring discussion of the most recent developments in the game of baseball, and with the season well over, I am often limited to tedious topics such as the effect of new managers on their teams.
The 2000 Major League Baseball season has ended with the New York Yankees repeating as World Series Champions, and it is already time to start looking towards next season. While it will be several weeks before free agents begin to stir up the market, it is already time to start thinking about what managerial decisions will do for some of the teams. Six new managers were hired last week, and all inherit ball clubs with good potential. Interestingly, four of the six have never managed in the big leagues before, and three have never managed at any level. In a game where the old-boy network often prevails, the inexperience of these six managers is rather extraordinary. Let's take a step-by-step look at the effect each of these skippers will have on his new team.
Who wasn't ecstatic when the Yankees clinched a berth in the World Series with a win over the Seattle Mariners and became the second half of the first Subway Series in 44 years. "Hopefully, everyone will enjoy it because we're talking about the best city in the world and the two best teams in baseball performing on the best stage in America," said Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman following the Yanks' 9-7 win. Let's analyze this statement.
Flipping through the television channels last week trying to find something decent to watch at four in the afternoon, I settled on Game One of the Braves-Cardinals series. I saw the Cardinals destroy Greg Maddux in the first inning for six runs and ultimately hold off the Braves for a 7-5 victory. And I could only hope that the Cards could maintain that intensity and become the first team since 1990 to make sure the Braves failed to advance to the National League Championship Series.
Monday evening, as I sat on my couch watching the Olympics (which I tend to constantly do), I noticed a teaser for the upcoming series between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves. The advertisement glorifies the three game series as a pivotal point in the race for a berth in the postseason.
I have a problem with the direction of the game of baseball. Although there are a variety of different things I feel the need to gripe about, there is one that I find truly irritating -- the home runs.
It has become apparent to the baseball community that Major League Baseball needs to realign its divisions in order to produce more intradivision games and better September matchups among contenders, and to take advantage of natural regional rivalries.
As we move past April and into May, I feel it's necessary to take a quick glance back on a month that has witnessed the expected and unexpected, devastating offense and superb pitching. Albeit April is not necessarily representative of the course of the entire season, it looks at this point that my predictions for the NL are right on, and those for the AL completely missed.
Saturday evening, several friends and I were sitting in my dorm room watching a muted "Sportscenter" on ESPN (yes, I have cable in my room) as the stereo was turned up, and probably irritating the guy next door. Some of us were paying attention to the TV while others were off doing something else. Stanley Cup highlights came on. Nobody stirred. Recaps of NBA games didn't grab anyone's attention. Highlights of the Cards-Rockies game caught my attention because I'm from St. Louis, but no one else really cared.
Add another chapter to a storybook career. Saturday night Cal Ripken became the 24th player to reach 3,000 hits in his career, and just the 7th to reach 3,000 hits and 400 home runs.
Once again, the focus of the American League will be the AL East. The continuing saga of the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox will propel sports analysts around the country to ask, "Is this Boston's year?" More so than ever this is the year to wonder whether Boston can escape the dreaded Curse of the Bambino, but the Bosox will first need to slip past the most formidable team in baseball.
As the 2000 Major League Baseball season commences, look to the National League to once again provide far superior competition to that of the American League. After a remarkable 1999 season that again produced a home run flurry, validated the wild card, and temporarily reaffirmed the ability of a small market team (Cincinatti) to succeed , the 2000 season will surpass even the excitement of last year.