I love America and everything, and free speech is a fabulous concept, but the problem with it is that, because of its pesky guarantees, the police can’t come and drag people who write stuff like this into a dank cell and let them spend their final years someplace where they can’t bother anyone:
In their offseason meetings, the people who run the game should shorten
the regular season and expand the playoffs — and not just by adding two
extra wild-card teams, the current popular notion.
Instead of a 162-game regular season followed by three rounds of
playoffs for eight teams, baseball should have a 148-game regular season
with four rounds of playoffs for 16 teams . . . Making the tournament 16 teams would bring baseball equal to the National Basketball Association and National Hockey League.
I could refute the column point-by-point, but let me merely say this: anything designed to mimic the NBA and NHL playoffs is, by definition, a bad idea. Let me also add that any playoff system that would have had the 2010 New York Mets making the postseason is, by definition, awful.
Serious question: do basketball and hockey writers sit around and think up ways to “fix” things that aren’t wrong with their sports all the time like baseball writers do? And if they do, are they as half baked as the kind we see in baseball?
Either way, I should start doing this. I try to post 20 things a day here, and it’s not always easy. If I were to just make up dumb stuff like this all the time, I’d be done before lunch and I’d have all of my afternoons free.
The Kansas City Star has covered the death of Yordano Ventura and its aftermath in a thorough, thoughtful, respectful and admirable fashion and it has all been compelling to read, even if it’s often been difficult to read. Their latest story may be the most difficult, though it is nonetheless essential.
It covers the final year of Ventura’s life which, sadly, was tumultuous. He had become estranged from his family. He was married to a woman who, at the time of the ceremony, was still married to her first husband and whose family, allegedly, later made threats against Ventura that we’re only now learning about. This includes allegations of armed men accosting Ventura at his home near the Royals spring training facility a year ago. An incident which led to him missing time due to “flulike symptoms,” but which, in reality, caused him considerable mental distress. He was again threatened, it is claimed, in Kansas City during the season. There is also an allegation that Ventura attempted suicide via an overdose of Benadryl, though that is disputed.
Beyond that, there is an arc to the end of Ventura’s life which sounds unfortunately familiar. It’s a story of a young man whose life changed dramatically in a very, very short period of time and who struggled at times to process the changes. Were it not for a fateful drive on a dark and winding road one night in late January, they all could’ve been things that, as his career matured, he could look back on as learning experiences. Now that he’s gone, however, they form the final, tragic chapter.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.