Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Random Stuff

A few things bouncing around my head as I wait for the first big Free Agent signings.

Zack Greinke was awarded the AL Cy Young award yesterday. It was an exciting example where the voters actually got it right. They didn’t go with the big guy with the big name on the big team. They went with the most dominant pitcher, even if he didn’t win as many games as others did. Every once in a while the voters get their stuff in order and make the right call. I remember a stretch when Dave Stewart was robbed of Cy Youngs because of this voter flip-flop. It seemed like whenever he had the most wins, the award would go to the better pitcher. If he was the better pitcher, the award went to the guy with the most wins. This year, the voters thought it over, and gave it to the guy who most deserved it. I wonder if that will carry over to the rest of the awards this year.

The Sox announced that they would be raising their ticket prices on some tickets this season. This was hardly a surprise. They didn’t raise the prices last season in a bow to public relations. You just knew they weren’t going to take a hit two years in a row. But, they made it a soft blow. Some tickets were raised a small amount. It wasn’t so bad. It’s especially not so bad if they use the extra income to sign a power hitting left fielder, or extend the contract of a newly acquired Cy Young runner up. When they raised ticket prices after signing Manny, I certainly didn’t complain.

It’s not exactly Red Sox related, but I had to toss out an opinion on the “Fourth and Two” call. Maybe I can wind it in to the Sox at the end, but we’ll see. I loved the call! I loved it when I saw the offense run back on the field. I loved it then. I still love it now. It showed confidence. It showed power. It showed that the Patriots were the ones calling the shots. It was what the Pats did on every play during the 2007 season. On that play, they had two options. Go for it, or punt it. If they punted it, they would have given Manning the ball needing to go, what, 70 yards in two minutes. After watching the game up to then, there has to have been at least a 50% chance that Manning would march right down the field for the score. So, the Pats went the other way. They figured that there was at least a 50% chance that they’d get the two yards. If they missed it, they game Manning two minutes to drive 30 yards. How come all the people pointing to the number of three and outs the Pats defense put up don’t think they could have done it there? So, there must have been a 25% chance that the Pats could stop Manning from scoring, even on the short field. So, looking at the decision…a punt gives Manning a 50% chance of scoring. Going for it, gives Manning a 37% chance of scoring. I’ll take those odds. Plus, the big thing that doesn’t get mentioned much...they made it! The Patriots got the two yards they needed. Only a criminal spot by the official stopped the Patriots from keeping the ball, and ending the game as planned. So, does it still count as risky, or a bad call when you think you can do it, and then do it? Which brings us to the replay I’m begging for baseball to use. Football does it wrong. They limit the number of challenges since it takes so long. They tie it to the number of time-outs a team has left. So, because the Patriots had no time outs left, they couldn’t call for an official to easily change the spot of the ball. Basically, the Patriots needed to save a time out just in case they got completely hosed on a crucial play in the game. How crazy is that? That’s why baseball needs the “guy in the booth” replay. An extra official needs to be watching on TV, so he can quickly, without being asked, check a replay and get the correct call. In the Pats case, the blunder was followed by a change of possession time-out. An official in the booth had all kinds of time to check out the play. The rules just wouldn’t let the Patriots ask. Sports need to make sure they get things right. Obvious errors can’t be affecting important games.

Just a thought.

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