Monday, October 27, 2008

World Series Notes

Although I haven't gone through and scanned all the major league ballparks, the Tampa Bay Rays must have the ugliest ballpark in the MLB (especially with the absence of the Expo's old haunt*). I thought it odd at first since the Buccaneers have one of the nicest looking arenas in the NFL, but then I figured the design was due to the sometimes horrific weather patterns in Florida during baseball season. That still doesn't completely excuse the fact that the arena looks like it should be storing shipping containers instead of entertainment.

In a word: warehouse

I've stated before that I'm not the biggest baseball fan, but over the years I've acquired a taste for playoff level professional baseball. It would be impossible to expect that major league players could go all-out in every one of the 162(!) games they play every season, but that changes in the playoffs when games go from being vaguely important in some way, to critically important in every way. Every pitch and every 'at bat' is critical and ripe with tension.

That brings me around to the DH rule. I've always been cool to the idea, seeing it as a sanctioned form of cheating. However, I've warmed to it through this series of playoff games due to horrible batting by the pitchers. I don't mean that they're bad compared to their teammates, I mean they're downright awful by any comparison. They don't even look comfortable holding the bat and seem eager to get the ordeal over with so that they can go back to hiding in the dugout. I've felt quite sorry for these guys and have come around to thinking that they don't deserve that humiliation just for the sake of strict rules interpretation. Sure, the pitcher for the Phillies hit a home run last night, but that's the exception that proves the rule since the last home run hit by a pitcher during the World Series was 34 years ago. What's the point in that, really? Ready to wait another 34 years for the next World Series pitcher-hit home run?

*Interestingly enough, the proposed design for a new Rays stadium bears a striking resemblance to the deadly old Expos stadium.

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