In June Major League Baseball teams launched their team-centric All-Star Game marketing campaigns. Last week team's stepped up their PR as the deadline closed in Thursday night. The effort generated a single-day record 3.8 million votes. But, for all the hype and hometown pride, the Major League Baseball All-Star Game is pathetic.
In 1964, the Cincinnati Reds signed 28-year old Frank Robinson to a one-year, $50,000 deal.
Robinson finished fourth in the National League Most Valuable Player voting that season, playing in 156 games, hitting .306 with 29 home runs, 96 RBI and an on-base percentage was .396 (not bad for a power-hitting, middle of the lineup guy). The Reds finished tied for second in 1964 with a 92-70 record, losing the division by a single game to the St. Louis Cardinals. In hindsight, Robinson was a steal.
Whenever I see a sports publication comparing teams (or players) from different generations I want to scream. You can't compare Babe Ruth and Henry Aaron, the 1927 New York Yankees and the 1998 New York Yankees or today's "what if ..." scenario offered up by NESN, the Boston sports network.
Will Roger Clemens get inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown? That is the reverberating question following Monday’s not guilty verdict in Clemens’s perjury case.
The Baseball Hall of Fame ballot states: Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.
This is what the New York Mets were expecting: a middle-of-the-lineup right-handed power hitter who'd hit 30+ home runs and drive in 100+ runs; an above-average defensive left fielder with a strong throwing arm; a clubhouse leader and team player.
On Wednesday, Fox Sports radio station 104.3 WYKE in Florida invited me on their afternoon show to preview the Mets-Rays game that evening. The 10-minute interview lasted nearly 30 minutes, not because of anything I said or did, but because Richard and Bryan (the show's hosts) took a serious interest in R.A. Dickey. They're not the first -- and if he continues to pitch the way the has over his first dozen starts of the 2012 season -- they won't be the last to make Dickey the focus of sports talk radio conversation.
There is something to be said for a team that has a difficult time finishing. This can play out in a single game, a series or an entire season. If you're familiar with the recent history of the New York Mets finishing is a sore subject. The 2006 Mets couldn't finish the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Championship Series. One year later, the Mets could finish the regular season. In 2008, same thing: strong start, failure at the finish line.
The 2012 Mets are having their own struggles trying to finish.
Johan Santana threw a career-high 134 pitches Friday night. Of course, he tossed a no-hitter against the St. Louis Cardinals and etched his name in New York Mets franchise history as the first pitcher to no-hit an opponent.
Life is good -- near perfect -- in Flushing.
So why is Mets manager Terry Collins so anxious?