Back to baseball, but first …
I feel like we should move on from the NBA and NHL now and give baseball a little bit of the spotlight. At least until football picks up in July. However, this story out of the NBA about owners not being called owners anymore has me scratching my head.
In case you somehow missed it, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said this week the league has “moved away” from the term owner and is now referring to the people who own the teams as "governors." They say this is in deference to the predominantly African-American players who populate the league and might be offended by the term which comes perilously close to being connected to slavery.
Now in my humble opinion, this is a case of political correctness run amok. If you own something, then you should be able to call yourself whatever you want, including owner. I feel like this is even more evident when you’re talking about the billionaires who own professional sports teams.
It appears perennially injured superstar Giancarlo Stanton is back in his safe space. The New York Yankee slugger lasted exactly four innings in his first game back from a torn bicep before hurting himself again. This has always been my problem with Stanton. The power is tantalizing, but he struggles far too much with staying healthy. The Yankees were supremely lucky to get 158 games out of him last year. I feel like they are now seeing the real Stanton and will have to deal with his aches and pains for as long as he remains with the team.
I am intrigued by the idea that the Tampa Bay Rays might split their home games between Tampa and Montreal. There is no doubt that Tampa does not deserve a baseball team. They don’t have the stadium nor the fan base to deserve one. But why stop with just Montreal? How about San Antonio? Or Portland? Or Austin? There are lots of big metropolitan markets out there just aching for professional sports. Why not have the Rays play 25 games in each place? It would make naming the team kind of hard, but I promise you it would give them way more of a fan base than they currently have.
Who do you like among the All-Star Game finalists? New York Yankees fans did a heck of a job stuffing the ballot box and have the team’s entire infield eligible for the final vote. Honestly, I don’t think any member of the quartet deserves to start the game, but I am a Red Sox fan so … Seriously though, I still don’t like the fan voting thing, especially with internet voting.
Back in the day, when you had to go to the park to get a vote, it seemed all right to let fans pick who got to play in the Midsummer Classic. But now, any person with an internet connection can vote for whomever they want to, as many times as they want to. This is how Gio Urshela has worked his way into the all-star conversation.
I think the game in the 21st century would be much better served by letting the players pick, or having someone in the league decide. That way, you would be guaranteed a game featuring the best players each league has to offer, rather than simply the popularity contest it is now.