Sunday, May 7, 2017

MLB Week 4 - The British May be Right

By Dan Howard
Staff Writer

A couple of weeks ago NBA commissioner Adam Silver was asked his opinion about top teams resting their players, while the scum sucking bottom feeders, like the Los Angeles Lakers, would seemingly purposely lose to try to improve their draft standing. Silver’s reply was thought provoking. He mentioned the English Premier League, arguably the top soccer league in the world, relegating, in other words, kicking out the three worst teams in the league every season. He wondered aloud if a system like that would work here in the United States.

The way it works in England is that the bottom three teams are replaced the following season by two of the top teams in the Football League Division One, the third is determined by a playoff.

What does that have to do with the Reds? If relegation was in place last season, the bottom three teams in baseball were, the Minnesota Twins, the San Diego Padres, and our Cincinnati Reds.

Relegation would probably work well in the NBA, with the scum sucking bottom feeders, like the Los Angeles Lakers, getting bounced to the D League while being replaced by the best of the D League.

As far as resting players, the answer is simple, reduce the number of playoff teams from sixteen, over half of the league, to eight. Less teams in the playoffs mean better competition for those spots, seems simple, eh?

You probably can tell that I’m not a scum sucking Lakers fan.

In researching relegation for this article, I was quite surprised to find out that relegation was used during the amateurism era of baseball from 1857 to 1869. Of course, that portion of the amateur era ended when Harry Wright founded the Cincinnati Red Stocking baseball club in 1869.

Without a doubt, amateur baseball is a strong as ever, with nearly all youngsters who play cast a hope of one day turning profession, as I did when I played from 1975 to 1982.

Completely Useless Trivia; one of my teammates on an All-Star team I played for in 1982 was Willie Blair, who pitched for several major-league clubs during his professional career.

Instead of Eric Thames petitioning MLB to play every game against Cincinnati, I believe that his Milwaukee Brewers are requesting that they play all 162 games against the Reds.

Amir Garrett’s 12 strikeouts in his most recent start, a 2-0 loss on Monday April 17 vs Baltimore, tied the modern franchise record for strikeouts in a game by a lefthanded rookie. Dennys Reyes also had 12 strikeouts on August 20, 1998 at Pittsburgh.

Useless Trivia; Gary Nolan holds Cincinnati’s modern club record for strikeouts in a game by a rookie 15, completed on June 7, 1967.

Have a blessed week.

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