Monday’s Seven Casual Contemplations

It’s Monday, time to start your work day off right with some random thoughts, ideas, rants and ramblings from the past 7 days in the world of sports. However, it’s a holiday Monday up here in Canada. Happy Victoria Day everyone! Long live the Queen. Sucks to be American today, eh. Anyways, exclusive to Painting the Black, here are your Monday Morning Casual Contemplations.

Robot Umpires

Brett Lawrie’s childish, dim-witted, foolish or whatever you want to call it outburst against umpire Bill Miller on Tuesday really brought MLB umpires under the microscope. Lawrie was not wrong for being upset at Miller but his over the top reaction was wrong. His throwing of the helmet in his direction was just plain dumb.

Miller screwed up big time but that doesn’t mean robot umpires are the answer. I am not in favour of robot umpires. I’m not sure why because I am tired of human umpires and their, at times, seemingly limitless strike zone as I outlined in my Monday casual contemplations 3 weeks ago. Tennis has brought in video review but the line judges still exist. However, controversy is something that tennis has lost with the implementation of the challenge system. Controversy that made John McEnroe famous. The Brett Lawrie story was big news last week and brought a lot of press to Major League Baseball, which is always good for a league trying to compete with the more popular sports of the NFL and NBA.

Nonetheless, the inconsistent interpretations of a strike zone have always been and still are too much. Umpires are given too much leeway. It’s not part of the charm of baseball. The plate is there to determine what is inside and what is outside. There should be no varying interpretations of that.

If the MLB is willing to rein the umpires in and create a more consistent inside-outside zone that matches home plate then robot umpires are definitely not the answer.

Too Many Timeouts

Almost every time I watch a basketball game I think to myself the same thing – there are too many timeouts. The plethora of timeouts hurts the flow of the game. Teams do not need 6 timeouts a half. They don’t need a timeout to attempt to halt the momentum of an opposing team’s 10-0 run. Figure it out on the court. Baseball suffers from a similar issue with catchers constantly visiting the mound that slow the game down to a snail’s pace.

6 timeouts plus the TV timeouts is ridiculous. You cut that number in half and it would really help the game. It’s pretty much unbearable towards the finish of close 4th quarter games. I’ll tell my non-basketball watching brother there’s a minute left in the game. He knows that probably means 5 or 10. It doesn’t have to be that way though if they would reduce the number of timeouts. I guess the amount of commercial breaks is an issue but that is something I could care less about.

Don’t get me wrong, I love watching basketball. However, fouls slow the pace of the game enough as it already is. I would love watching the game even more if there wasn’t this overabundance of timeouts.

Drew Brees Suck it Up

I know what Drew Brees has done for the Saints franchise. He won a Super Bowl. He’s the face of the Katrina rebuild. Thanks in large part to Drew Brees, the Saints gave the city of New Orleans something to root for after all was lost. As Brees argues, he outplayed his $60 million contract. That cannot be denied.

However, Drew Brees is the one being so difficult in his contract negotiation. Management shouldn’t be the side forced to get a deal done. People are saying that the front office needs to take care of Brees, particularly because of the unstable environment the Saints find themselves in. No, they don’t have to take care of him to the tune of his asking price of $23 million. Come on, they were the only ones who took care of him when no one else would.

Drew Brees is being selfish. This is so hard for me to say about the guy who was my desktop background for the better part of the last 2 years but it’s true. He was my favourite football player. From the man who is painted as the ultimate selfless competitor, it’s shocking that he is unable to be the bigger man to help his own franchise out. Hell, by Brees refusing the Saints (low-ball???) offer of $18 million, the Saints were unable to keep his all-pro left guard Carl Nicks. Forget helping your team out, help yourself out Drew.

Tom Brady and Peyton Manning (when he was in Indy) chose to take less than their market value for the greater good of the franchise. What’s wrong with Drew Brees? Whether his motives be selfish or unselfish for taking a bit less money, Drew Brees should compromise with the Saints.

I’ll never forget this quote from Chipper Jones who never was among the 4 highest players in the MLB. Chipper said that “Nowadays, so many players play the game for the 1st and 15th [pay days], but I never have. Certainly, I want to be compensated fairly for what I do, but I wasn’t going to hold the organization over a barrel. And I never wanted to be a player who makes so much money that we can’t stay competitive on the field. That was my main concern.”

Drew Brees was lucky that the Saints were willing to take a chance on him in the first place. He says that he deserves more because he outplayed his contract. So $18 million a season isn’t fair for a guy living in a city where so many people are still feeling the devastating effects of Katrina?

You know what’s “extremely frustrating” Drew?

It’s you.

Dale Hunter’s Plans

Dale Hunter surprised most everyone this past week by stepping down as the coach of the Washington Capitals. After hearing of his decision to step down the first thought that came into my mind was that he planned it this way all along. Dale Hunter had no intentions of coming back to Washington. He said it was a difficult decision but he knew a while ago that he was going home to London.

That’s why he didn’t have to worry about the repercussions of benching Ovechkin and Semin. In his mind, he knew this was a one and done situation. He could coach the way he wanted and not have to answer to management, the fans or the media because after a few short months the stress would be over.

Will Rhymes

On Wednesday, Will Rhymes was innocently hit on the right arm with a pitch. Well, it seemed innocent. He went on to pass out at first base. Fortunately, he was okay and was back in the lineup Sunday. Since Rhymes was not seriously injured, the story has not gotten much press.

I feel though that this is exactly the incident that exhibits the dangers of throwing at people simply to uphold the baseball code. I wrote about the stupidity that surrounds old time baseball after the Cole Hamels fiasco. This wasn’t one of those upholding the baseball code moments and Rhymes was not hurt badly. But if someone can pass out from getting hit on the arm, what could happen if someone got hit on the head in the wrong place? The human body is a sturdy machine but freak accidents do happen. I said it before and I’ll say it again, let’s pray to God that it doesn’t take a death or fatal injury for the MLB to step up and be intent on creating a culture change in the game.

NBA Seeding

I don’t know why the NBA still doesn’t re-seed after each round. The March Madness style bracket is just more fuel to the fire of those who think the regular season is meaningless. We shouldn’t even be talking about the trouble the Miami Heat are having with the Indiana Pacers right now because they should be playing the 76ers. Top teams have to be rewarded for a good regular season. Boston rested its players and ended up with the 8 seed in the 2nd round.

Re-seed. It’s not very difficult.

American League Imbalance

The Toronto Blue Jays sit at 3rd in the American League East but only one team outside of their division has more wins than the Jays. Of course, that would be the Texas Rangers.

I giveth thou, the American League.

Bonus (Shameless?) Contemplation!

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About Chris Ross
Questions, comments, suggestions? Send yours to cross_can15@hotmail.com. Follow me on twitter @paintstheblack

2 Responses to Monday’s Seven Casual Contemplations

  1. Jsportsfan says:

    You took the words right out of my mouth when mentioning timeouts during an NBA game. It is the main reason why I sometimes don’t watch the game, especially during the regular season. 3 timeouts per team per half, just like the NFL is the solution. MLB should adopt a timeout rule as well, but I don’t think that will ever happen. Good post. Love these Monday morning muses.

  2. Batting helmets bounce like footballs, never in the direction you want them to.

    Before you complain about time outs at the end of a game, keep in mind, in another month, they’re be no basketball on TV at all and we’ll be begging for the return of those last, extended few minutes.

    And I was watching that Rhymes incident live the other day. I’m not sure I had ever seen anything like it.

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