Monday, June 1, 2009

Answers to Some of Baseball's Mysteries

My sister recently posted a few pertinent "mysteries of baseball" she'd like answered. So, like the no-it-all that I am, I answered them:

Why was she able to watch the Cubs/Dodgers game last night on ESPN? or Why was it not subject to baseball's arcane blackout rules?

If a local TV station in one of the markets MLB considers you in (MLB considers Ames, IA to be in Cubs, White Sox, Twins, Brewers, and Royals territory) were also televising the game (as often happens for ESPN Monday or Wednesday Night Baseball), the ESPN broadcast would’ve been blacked out in deference to the local broadcast (which you probably wouldn’t have gotten from your local cable co. and therefore been screwed.) Anytime the ESPN or FOX telecast is the only telecast of the game (as it almost always is for ESPN Sunday Night Baseball or FOX Saturday Baseball), it will not be blacked out.

(I'm sure there's even more complicated subtleties to that, but it's a reasonable dumbed down explanation as far as I can tell.)

Why is recent call-up Jake Fox riding the pines when he was hitting over .400 in Triple A?

Fox hasn’t exactly been “riding the pines”. He has 7 AB’s in the 4 games since he got called up including an 0 for 3, 3 strike out performance yesterday. If he’d started he’d have had a chance at a golden sombrero. Why hasn’t he been playing more? There’s a big difference between Triple A and Major League pitching, and he’s not exactly stellar defensively.

Why does Lou Pinella still have a job?
(I should add as background that my sister will never forgive Lou Pinella for getting the manager's job over her personal favorite Joe Girardi.)

Lou still has a job because the team’s problems are not Lou’s fault. The team has less talent this year than last not only because of off season moves that depleted more than augmented, but because the team’s mainstays are getting older. Add injuries on top of that, and there’s not much that can be done. Frankly I’m amazed we’re a game above 500. That said, once healthy this team could sneak in as a wild card, but I find that to be a long shot. It would take some wheeling and dealing at the trading deadline to turn them into a contender.

Also, in Lou’s 2 seasons as manager he’s won 2 division titles. The last Cubs manager to win back to back titles of any kind was Frank Chance. (Whereas Girardi didn't even make the playoffs last year with the best team that money could buy aka the Yankees.)

This team’s nucleus is on its last legs. Maybe once Rickets takes control of the team he can retool it if not outright rebuild it. Either way, I wouldn’t expect Lou to be fired anytime soon.

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In 1789, the governor of Australia granted land and some animals to James Ruse in an experiment to see how long it would take him to support himself. Within 15 months he had become self sufficient. The area is still known as Experiment Farm. This is my Experiment Farm to see how long it will take me to support myself by writing.