November 12, 2008

On the tip of my mind

by Dan Bilicki In: Baseball, Basketball, Football, Ice Hockey

Just a few things on my mind that aren’t really big enough to deserve their own individual posts today.

I have already aired my grievance over the NFL’s “Keep your here as long as we can,” rule which prevents the public from watching 1 p.m. games past 4:10 p.m., even if they’re headed to overtime or have just been extended for whatever reason. But now there’s another sport that has invoked this rule. Apparently ABC switched the final 34 laps of their race last weekend to ESPN2 so they could air America’s Funniest Home Videos. That might be a new low in broadcasting when a live event of a major sport with championship implications is taken off the air for AFHV. This is one reason why there’s not four major North American sports any more.

Evan Longoria and Geovany Soto surely deserved their rookie of the year honours but I do have one quarrel with the voting. How did Alexei Ramirez get the shaft like that against Longoria? The Rays third baseman was a unanimous choice for the win (Soto lost one vote to Joey Votto) while hitting .272-27-85 while the White Sox  second baseman put up a line of .290-21-77. I think that having that kind of power out of your 2B is a lot more valuable than your 3B. I’m also not so sure about Soto over Votto, but that just may be my anti-Cubs bias.

Baseball’s Gold Glove awards are as much about reputation as they are about actual fielding. It’s the same way with Pro Bowl voting for NFL offensive linemen but what can you really do to fix this? Scraping the Gloves isn’t feasible and having fans vote isn’t going to solve this popularity contest. While the managers currently vote, the better solution may be to have the players vote. And at the very least, can they have individual outfield awards (LF, CF and RF) instead of just giving it to three CFs and calling them OFs?

If I was paying attention to what was going in the NHL, I would comment more on it. I didn’t even see Tom Kostopolous crush the Leafs Mike Van Ryn into the boards from behind but if I had to say anything about it: That’s what you get Toronto; a little karma payback for employing Ryan Hollweg who does the same on a more frequent tilt.

At least the city of San Francisco has a bright spot sporting-wise: Tim Lincecum won his first Cy Young of what may be many to come. He beat out Brandon Webb and CC Sabathia and really deserved the award for being so dominant that he piled up 18 wins a team that won only won 72 games. Webb may have won 22 games with a better team but Little Tim’s ERA of 2.62 (to Webb’s 3.30) and 265 Ks (to Webb’s 183) tilt the scales greatly in the Giants ace’s favour. And while CC was arguably the most dominant pitcher in the NL, he was only there for a half a season and didn’t deserve to win because of that.

Oh boy are the Spurs in trouble with Tony Parker out for a month. Already down Manu Ginobili for an extended period, they could not afford this injury. I do have a feeling the Spurs will be in the mix come playoff time though and being without those two stars will just put more of a burden on Tim Duncan to be great, something he can handle. It also makes my pick of Duncan for MVP all the better.

Finally, just so you know, the CFL’s Eastern Division Final this weekend while feature the Edmonton Eskimos visiting Montreal. That’s right EDMONTON, the second furthest west team in the league, will be in the Eastern final. Can any Canadian sport be run properly?

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