Thursday, July 17, 2008

MLB All-star Whine ('08 vintage)

The last all star game at Yankee stadium was a historic midnight oil-burning 15 inning 4:40 contest, finally won by the American League.

Aside from the drama of the lengthy stalemate and the THREE errors of Dan Uggla, the story was the whine of having to use pitchers more than the expected 1-2 innings. Afterwards you would have thought they were asking them to pitch six innings, shine the shoes of the opposite team, sell cotton candy in the upper deck and then move a set of barbells up to Bud Selig’s attic.

“It’s unreasonable to ask these guys to pitch this much in an All Star Game—it’s ridiculous!” bemoaned the ESPN gallery. The announcers were talking about these multi-million dollar world class athletes like they were fragile antiques likely to break if used too much.

Are you kidding me?! These pitchers are world class athletes in their twenties. How dare they be expected to play a few innings in an all-star game? After all, they are only in unbelievable physical shape and getting paid multiple millions to play baseball far less than 12 months a year.

To be fair we should have expected employers in the U.S. to allow their employees Wed. morning off since they had to stay up and watch that game til 1pm. “It’s unreasonable to expect to stay up that late and still go to work the next day—it’s just too much!!” Yes, we laugh at the ridiculousness of that thought, but it’s not an unrealistic parallel.

Let’s get some of the baseball greats in a round circle discussion: Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Lou Gehrig. Explain to these ghosts what the life of an MLB pitcher is like in lifestyle, salary, endorsements etc and ask them if pitching a few more innings in an all star game that the whole country is watching is unreasonable.

Enough already---let’s just expect MLB players to be big enough boys to play a few or few more innings if duty calls. I don’t think it’s too much to ask of a multi-million dollar world-class athletes.