Wooden's World of Baseball

Saturday, January 10, 2009

First Post of '09

So it's been a little more than a week since the MLB Network has made its debut, and while there's a lot to love, there's a whole lot more left to be desired.

Being old enough to remember when "Baseball Tonight" was a tight, 30-minute highlight show, my initial hope was that that format would return with the signature original show "Hot Stove."

Instead, it's more like an hour-long version of the Fox pregame show, which last month was reported to be on the chopping block. A few other thoughts...

  • The rerunning of the Ken Burns series was a no-brainer, but the Ray Liotta-hosted "Epic Moments" is thisclose to hero worship

  • WAY TOO MUCH about the Red Sox, Yankees, Dodgers thus far; Seriously, there are more than two dozen other teams

  • Is there any room for a more serious discussion of baseball issues? I get that steroids and gambling are taboo topics, but what about the banning of maple bats, or the current winter leagues?
Shifting gears to the Hall of Fame announcement on Monday... the good news is that there will be a player induction ceremony this summer. The question is: Who will join Rickey Henderson on the podium on July 26?

My personal hope is that Jim Rice and Bert Blyleven will join Henderson, but with the BBWWA, it's never a certainty. After all, at least one voter we know of (Corky Simpson) didn't vote or him, claiming he "wasn't a Rickey guy" and that he "hadn't properly researched the situation." But he will not be alone, after all, 23 voters left both Stan Musial and Willie Mays off the first ballot, too!

Finally, it's interesting to see the near-collusive effect of the economy on free agency. Or at least that's the claim. It looks more and more like teams are waiting out the arbitration period and, knowing that the WBC will put the squeeze on spring training, hoping to get a flurry of signings on the cheap. My personal forecast is that the we're going to see a record number of one-year contracts this year, perhaps even a few with mutual options for the second year.

But I can't say I'm all that saddened that Manny Ramirez hasn't been signed yet, and I'll maintain the same opinion I had last July: the real winner in that three-way trade was the Pittsburgh Pirates.


  • If it means never seeing either Jeanne Zelasko or Kevin Kennedy on my TV ever again,I can tolerate being without a pre-game show!!!

    By Blogger Shawn, at 1/12/2009 8:09 PM  

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