Pastime: Can Baseball Stop Slipping From The Top Spot


Well we’re a week away from the beginning of baseball season, and to me this signals an important transition in weather. If you can play baseball at Fenway Park then the horrible New England winter weather is most likely over; and thank god for that. But something is truly troubling to me, and that is that it feels like Baseball is being replaced, as our national pastime by football. We’re seven days away from baseball season, and all anyone can talk about is the NFL draft. And look, I don’t blame them this is one of the best draft classes of all time, but hey the boys of summer are back, and its time to hit the diamond not the gridiron. To me there are many contributing factors to why this is happening, but I wonder could the two co-exist as the national pastimes.

First of all lets look at baseball. Baseball is a pastoral game developed in the 1800’s and eventually moved into the cities of America in the early 20th century with the massive industrialization and urbanization . You could go see a game for a little money. Up until they started playing multiple night games a week Chicago Cubs fans would leave work mid-day to watch the Cubs play nine innings, and return to work.

But now things like this are impossible with the average ticket costing a literal arm and a leg, and unless you have a group-on your not getting into the stadium without shelling out a hefty amount of cash. First of all you have your ticket. Then you have transportation you have to figure in gas, tolls, parking, and possibly trains and buses. Then when you get in the stadium everything is incredibly expensive. One beer and a hot dog can run you up to $20. Ridiculous if you ask me. But it’s like this in every sport, but the thing about baseball is that they have the longest schedule out of all the Major Sports. Thus attending a baseball game multiple times a week has become a far off dream for many baseball fans.

Fortunately as a Red Sox fan we usually don’t have to see Fenway Park barely full, but other teams can barely get fans in the door. Why? Because of the expense and frequency. Think about it if you go to a game do you want to spend a king’s ransom to see the Astro’s play terribly against whatever team they’re playing against, or do you want to go see the Rockets who have one of the highest winning percentages in Basketball play against any team in the NBA? Easy choice…

As for frequency I would say that 162 games is too long of a season. The typical MLB season lasts 180 days. This leaves players only 18 off days, and about 15 off days if they’re partaking in All-Star Game festivities. This frequency to me is what is deterring fans from getting into baseball, as it is just too hard to keep up with if you have a life. Plus the scheduling is quite confusing with teams playing 19 games against four opponents in own division which adds up to a whopping 76 games. They then play 6 games against 11 opponents in other divisions within their league which adds up to 66 games. And then there are 20 inter-league games. To be able to schedule that must be quite the task, let alone being a casual fan or someone new to the game.

Now lets look at Football where there football is a 16 game schedule. This makes football an easy thing to keep tabs on, and every Sunday (or Monday and Thursday) is an event. As a fan you know your team is playing that day, and you know against which team, and you’ve been breaking down the matchup all week in your head, and probably are planning on watching multiple games, as you want to watch your players on your fantasy team play.

Now these two sports are like comparing apples and oranges, but lets look at one of the other contenders for America’s national pastime, Basketball. The NBA is interesting because it’s regular season is almost half the length of the MLB’s. During the regular season, each team plays 82 games, 41 each home and away. A team faces opponents in its own division four times a year which adds up to 16 games. Each team plays six of the teams from the other two divisions in their own conference four times which adds up to 24 games. They then face the remaining four teams three times which adds up to 12 games. Every team also plays all the teams in the other conference twice adding 30 games.

Now this cut in frequency is something that baseball should consider. 82 games might be a little low, but somewhere around the 110-120 mark would not be bad, and it would allow more rest for players, and would increase attendance at many parks. I’d also beef up the MLB playoffs, as they are quite boring we all know which pool of teams are going to be a viable choice for the playoffs by June, but by adding a longer playoff it would make the game more interesting, and would make playoff races better, as teams would be fighting even harder to make it into the playoffs.

This would make baseball go through the roof, and bango we have our national pastime back, and it can co-exist with Football….




WELL THANK GOD! The Bruins are back starting tonight on the road in Buffalo. Even with Tuukka not making the trip I think that the Bruins are going to put a loyal beat down on the last place 16 and 34, Sabres . I mean the olympics was fun, and all but it felt like a twisted all-star game every time you’d turn on the TV so thank god the boys in Black and Gold are back!

Here’s The Final Medal Count….

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Now that the Sochi Olympics are over you probably thought that I’d be done with my whole, “I hate Russia. I don’t care if they say that they’re not communists. The KGB is alive and well” schpele. Well you would be wrong… I mean look at the final Medal count. This had to be fixed. I mean Putin must have been embarrassed that his country which was hosting didn’t top the charts. Thus he fixed the games, probably threatened some judges, and eventually Russia ended up with the most Gold and Silver medals, and the top total Medal count. There’s no way that is not fixed. I smell a conspiracy here, and there’s only one man that can be behind it.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin ri

(Sorry for the permanent damage done by this image)

Well The Celtics May Suck Now, But Bill Russell Just Owned Lebron James off of The Court

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Bill Russell, may have just turned 80 last week, but the former Celtic Center is still sharp as a tack, and when he felt like he and his amazing accomplishments were being disrespected he made this statement:

“Hey, thank you for leaving me off your Mount Rushmore. I’m glad you did. Basketball is a team game, it’s not for individual honors. I won back-to-back state championships in high school, back-to-back NCAA championships in college. I won an NBA championship my first year in the league, an NBA championship in my last year, and nine in between. That, Mr. James, is etched in stone.”

In that short paragraph, Russell who won 11 championships in 13 year with the Celtics really summed up how disrespectful James is. Not only is James a traitor, but as we all know he’s a chump. He may have a few rings now, but that does not make him the best ever. It makes him notable, and how his career goes from here on out will write that legacy, but until then James should bow down to, Russell who was one of the greatest players of all time and attempt to make a humble apology, if that is possible for him to even think up. As the adage says the balls in your court, Lebron. Now you need to choose what you do with it.


Thank You Derek Jeter

mrnovember2By Zach Besaw

When I was young I was raised to be a Red Sox fan. I can distinctly remember the old t-shirt that my cousin wore religiously. It had two lines that went like this “I root for the Red Sox, and whoever beats the Yankees.” There was no statement more true across Red Sox nation. There is no love lost between the Sox and the Bronx Bombers. However, through the animosity, there has always been a hint of respect between these fan bases. No player exemplifies that respect more than one Derek Jeter. He is one of the few players of the past century who has managed to gain the mutual respect of all of those who follow Major League Baseball.

Derek Jeter has 3316 hits. That is good for ninth all time, and he is a mere four hits away from passing Hall of Famer Paul Molitor. He has 256 home runs, 1261 runs batted in, and 348 stolen bases in his 19 year career. He has been an All Star 13 times, has five gold glove awards, and a World Series Most Valuable Player Award. He has both a Roberto Clemente Award as well as a Lou Gehrig Memorial Award. Oh, and he has five World Series Championships. He would be elected into the Baseball Hall Of Fame on the first ballot with all these statistics and awards, but what sets Jeter apart from the rest of the crowd is simple. He is the consummate.

The best contrast for Jeter may have been right next to him for the last nine years. This is not meant to bash on Alex Rodriguez, but rather to compare the two. Rodriguez has three MVP awards, almost 3,000 hits, and 654 home runs. But he has been exposed as a liar, and someone who is totally self absorbed. Recently Rodriguez dropped his lawsuit against Major League Baseball and is currently set to serve a 162 game ban without pay, for his performance enhancing drug use. The ruling was handed down by Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention Treatment Program. It is here that the difference between Rodriguez and Jeter lies. When Rodriguez was accused of steroid use the baseball world was surprised but not shocked. If Jeter was accused of using PEDs and found to be guilty the baseball world would be flipped on its head.

Jeter is on my short list of players that, if they were ever found guilty of using PEDs, would make me lose my faith in baseball. Other players on that list include the recently retired Chipper Jones, Joe Mauer, and Dustin Pedroia. It is sad, really, that those few people are the only ones that would shock me if they were found guilty of steroid use. The steroid era of baseball will forever live in infamy, but Jeter has always been the clean face baseball has needed.

On February 13th, 2014 Jeter announced that this will be his last season playing Major League Baseball. It will be his 20th season playing for the Yankees. Last season injuries limited him to only 17 games. This season he is supposedly healthy and he comes into spring training as the Yankee’s everyday shortstop. The Yankees themselves have reloaded. They no longer have Rodriguez and his bum hip at third. They let Curtis Granderson leave in favor of signing Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran. They brought in a former All Star in Brian Roberts at second base. And they signed arguably the best all around offensive catcher in the game not named Buster Posey in Brian McCann. As the cherry on top they signed pitcher Masahiro Tanaka out of Japan for seven years and 155 million dollars. It is safe to say that the Yankees have reloaded.

Jeter announcing his retirement before the season is not unprecedented. The past two seasons have seen All Star Game stalwarts Chipper Jones and Mariano Rivera do the same. By revealing that they plan to retire before the season it has allowed the baseball world to pay their respects to these transcendent players. My one hope for Jeter this season is that he is not the Yankee’s weakest link and that the season is not riddled with injuries. It is apparent that Jeter is not the same as he once was, but one more season of inside-out singles and clutch performances is all the baseball world can ask for. That would be a truly great ending for the one and only, Derek Jeter.


Why We All Love Zdeno Chara

(Wall Street Journal) –Which athlete has been the most photographed at the Winter Games? It might be 6-foot-9 hockey player Zdeno Chara. Athletes including Canadian pairs skater Kirsten Moore-Towers, U.S. skater Ashley Wagner and Japanese ski jumper Atsuko Tanaka have posted photos to Twitter and Instagram with the Slovakia and Boston Bruins defenseman, who also happens to be the tallest player in NHL. On Monday afternoon, Chara visited the Iceberg Skating Palace with some Slovakian teammates to watch short-track speed skating. When asked what he thought about being so popular among his fellow athletes, Chara demurred. “I don’t know,” he said. “If that’s the case, I feel very honored.” Chara said the requests for photos wasn’t a bother for him. “Every athlete who is here as an Olympian is a hero to me,” he said. Slovakia’s hockey team begins its Olympic run against the U.S. on Thursday.

Well who would think that the most photographed man during the olympics would be the Bruins’ own, Zdeno Chara. And most star athletes would probably gloat about it, yet Chara stays humble and just lets it roll off like its no big deal this says a lot about him as a player, and a lot about his personal charchter and the brand of athletes that we have in Boston. Class for days.


Sochi Medal Update

Well here it is. A week into the Olympics and the U.S. is at a very low 4th place in the standings. What does this mean? Well duh it means we have to crush everyone in our path. Win a medal in all events wether it be Gold, Silver, or Bronze. We need to win. The U.S. is the greatest nation in the world and the best sports nation so lets keep that going. I mean we crushed the Germans in both World Wars. This means we can certainly do it again.


Bill Simmons & Jalen Rose Reveal Their Rosters For The #SprintCeleb Game

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Starting Friday the NBA will be taking over one of my favorite cities, New Orleans, LA. But one of my favorite things about All-Star weekend is the Celebrity game. Now unlike the MLB’s Celebrity softball game, which is fun only when Jenny Finch shows up, the NBA All-Star Celebrity game is worth watching (as apparent by ESPN givivng it a nice 7 o’clock slot. Now this year we have a great coaching match up with Bill Simmons & Jalen Rose (Go Blue.) But this year we also have some great celebrities, including two-time MVP Kevin Hart; Victoria’s Secret model, actress and philanthropist Erin Heatherton; “America’s Got Talent” host Nick Cannon; ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike” hosts Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg; Jesse Williams (“Grey’s Anatomy”); Columbus Short (“Scandal”); Michael B. Jordan (“That Awkward Moment”); U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan; three-time NBA Champion and ESPN NBA analyst Bruce Bowen; “E! News” anchor Terrence Jenkins; NBA TV’s “NBA Inside Stuff presented by Samsung Galaxy” co-host Kristen Ledlow; ESPN anchor Stan Verrett; and WNBA stars Skylar Diggins of the Tulsa Shock and Elena Delle Donne of the Chicago Sky.

Now These are how the teams stack up:Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 9.43.57 PM

So the real question is, who do you got?