I don’t care if I’m wearing out this path, some refuse to allow baseball to be destroyed without a fight.
Thus, as another absurdly played season winds down, I’ll not quietly suffer that The Game’s practicality, for no good reasons, is practically dead.
Here, managers Aaron Boone and Luis Rojas appear to be nearing their season-long goal:
Regardless of whether their teams make the playoffs, make sure that with the final out of the regular season, their relievers — whatever’s left of them — are well rested, ready to go the next time they’re summoned, even if it’s in March and for some other team.
Both Boone and Rojas have spent this season doing what most now do: Tossing in winning hands by quickly removing effective relievers to find the one who will be blasted. Often, managers of both teams will do it in the same game, thus it becomes a battle between the backward.
It’s the equivalent of raising and folding on the same round of betting in poker. To merely name one “my closer,” even if he weekly changes due to ineffective pitching, still compels Rojas and Boone to call for him come the perilous ninth inning, or in this ridiculous season’s frequent cases, the final scheduled inning, the seventh.
Yes, sticking with a winning hand is not brain surgery, and thank goodness for that or we’d be stomping around with bolts in our necks.
While such leadership broaches the broadest boundaries of sensible, here-and-now baseball, it persists en masse. And with the exception of baseball fans who can’t suffer the ruin, managers, GMs and baseball’s media seem good with it. Can they be that detached, or are they just obdurate, sticking and stuck with their demonstrably wrong blessings of a ludicrous formula, a la analytics?
How long can the baseball media, once relied upon to question dubious authority on behalf of clout-less fans, be a silent accomplice to such illogical destruction?
Just recently, their teams in desperate playoff pushes, we watched Boone and Rojas virtually demanded defeat.
The Sept. 4 home loss to the Orioles — the Orioles! — was one of scores of Boone-directed farces repeated the past few seasons.
First, reliever Clay Holmes struck out the four batters he faced. With the DH eliminating pinch hitting for pitchers, Boone nonetheless yanked him for Wandy Peralta, who allowed four hits and two earned runs while recording one out.
Next entered Lucas Luetge. He faced five batters, allowed no hits.
Still, as if it were a spring training game, Boone yanked him for unsteady Aroldis Chapman, his off-and-on closer, to pitch the ninth. Chapman threw a wild pitch, allowed a hit, a walk and the losing run.
The Yankees lost, 4-3 — in nearly four hours. Spectators risked being ticketed for loitering. It wasn’t merely a loss to a bad team, it was another dull, senseless loss.
Monday, the Mets also lost, 4-3, the same way. Against the moribund, surrendered Nationals, Rojas pulled three consecutive relievers who’d allowed one hit among them after each pitched just one inning.
He had to have his reliably unreliable closer, Edwin Diaz, get into the act. Diaz retired one batter in allowing two walks, two hits and two runs to blow the save and the game.
And Rojas and Boone have made it abundantly clear that they’d do it again, and again. And again.
The Game has changed? No, it hasn’t. The people running and ruining it have. They’re delusional. But based on media compliance, you’re not supposed to notice. It’s a secret.
Players love making $$$ off signing autographs
Several readers were disappointed to see the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies on MLB Network immediately followed by an ad selling Derek Jeter commemorative bats.
Disappointed, but given that Jeter’s last season as a Yankee was spent trying to suck every nickel out of his fans’ pockets, few should have been surprised. Ah, that classy Farewell Luncheon, at which his devoted were charged $2,500-$4,500 to pose with him for autographed photos.
Oddly enough, that brings us to Douglas Kennedy, son of Robert Kennedy, who recently declared his support for the parole of his father’s assassin, Sirhan Sirhan.
Doug Kennedy was a rookie Post news-side reporter when he accompanied me to a news conference at which the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs announced a settlement with Hall of Famer Johnny Bench for false advertising.
Bench, a frequent salesman of his autograph on home-shopping shows that appeared in NYC, had allegedly made fabricated claims or was party to claims about the value of his autograph, which he’d sell on these shows for what he huckstered as a fraction of their value.
One claim included the come-on that the purchase of Bench’s autograph on a few baseballs would one day be worth so much, their resale would fully fund the college education of the purchaser’s child. To watch and hear Bench try to sucker his fans this way was nauseating.
Kennedy was appalled, not at Bench’s unconscionable avarice, but that anyone found anything wrong with Bench’s bogus claims.
Who’d have thought the day would arrive when Dennis Rodman became an advocate for common sense? During a “Full Send” podcast posted on Sept. 1:
“It’s just very hard to watch [the NBA] once you’ve played the game the way we played it. Intensity, just competitiveness. But now it’s more like, you know, I don’t want to watch players coming down shooting 50 footers. That’s not basketball.”
‘K’ nearly half the time? Great season!
Last week, after reporting that Rays catcher Mike Zunino had hit his 28th and 29th home runs at Boston, Suzyn Waldman piped, “What a great season he’s having!”
Given that this is the home run-or-strikeout era, perhaps she’s right. But as of Friday, Zunino’s 29 HRs were accompanied by a .208 batting average and 119 strikeouts in 288 at-bats, a staggering K percentage of 41.
Celebrated Gonzaga basketball coach Mark Few was busted and handcuffed for DUI on Monday. What makes his arrest different from, say, the recent DUI collar of Mets acting GM Zack Scott, now deactivated? Well, with 15 NCAA Tournament appearances under Few (aided by a steady reliance on foreign recruits), he would have had to commit a major felony, or receive only an NIT invite, to suffer serious consequences.
NBC/Golf Channel’s LPGA coverage, on Oct. 1-3, will “make history,” according to NBC Sports. All its announcers and the telecasts’ producer will be women. History? Seems more like gimmickry, tokenism, an insult to women as it is conceived by concoction rather than conviction.
Another ill-gotten record. Two Saturdays ago, Presbyterian College (S.C.) squeaked past NAIA foe St. Andrews (N.C.), 84-43, when QB Ren Hefley threw an FCS record 10 TD passes.
NBC’s Cris Collinsworth, as heard on Thursday’s Cowboys-Buccaneers NFL opener, remains a post-play genius. He has the Mike Francesa-like clairvoyance to have seen what was going to happen — right after it happened! Here’s an idea: occasionally tell us before it happens.
Sunday: Jets-Panthers, CBS, 1 p.m. Andrew Catalon (improving) with James Lofton (concise, candid, underrated) and Tiki Barber (unnecessary). Broncos-Giants, Fox, 4:25. Two ex-ESPNers, Adam Amin (pedestrian) with Mark Schlereth (short stories long).