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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Home field/rule advantage in finals (World Series) even if it does not go seven games? And what about the integrity of grooving pitches in the All Star game? If you're not playing to win, then don't keep score.

For some time I've been pointing out that the real advantage of getting that extra home game in the tournament finals, also known as the World Series, is that there is also the advantage of the designated hitter (DH) rule since the dopey Major Baseball League (MBL), over which feeble minded commissioner Allan Huber "Bud" Selig presides, has that rule only in the American Conference but not in the National Conference and the home team determines whether the DH rule applies.

I've maintained that this double advantage applies only in the unlikely case that the finals goes the maximum seven games, figuring that before that the games are spit evenly.  However, I just read an article that suggests that starting at home with the rule advantage is an advantage itself and that it gives the home team a big advantage for the series even if it goes fewer than seven games.

2014 MLB All-Star Game has more meaning than you would think for playoff aspirants

By Thomas Boswell  July 16, 2014  Washington Post

... the past five years, the team with home field also won the title...

In those five World Series, three were closed out on a home field in a Game 6 or Game 7. And in the other two series, the winner took a two-games-to-none lead at home and won the title with a one-sided stomping. Ambush ’em at your home yard to start or else close out before your howlin’ mob...

the all-star winners holding an 8-3 World Series advantage so far ...

What wasn’t cool was Wainwright’s in-game interview with pool reporters when he said he had deliberately grooved two pitches to Jeter — his first and third pitches — to help him get a hit.
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Adam Wainwright September 14, 2013
by Johnmaxmena2
via Wikimedia Commons
Say what?  Adam Wainwright grooved pitches for Derek Jeter?  In a game that counts?  Is Jeter going to write a book about that to inspire kids?  Where is Selig's sense of justice?  Where is his protection of the integrity of the game?  Did Selig even reprimand Wainwright?  Alex Rodriguez is approaching 100 games served of his full season PED suspension and Selig allows a player to do something substantive to lose the All Star game?  What the heck?

What if Verlander grooved one for Jeter as McLain did for Mantle?  Sunday, April 20, 2014

Suppose ... Justin Verlander, former Cy Young award winner, is about to face the Yankees iconic captain Derek Jeter in what everyone assumes will his final time at bat.  Verlander calls his catcher out to the mound and tells him that he is going to groove a pitch, throw a real meatball, and let Jeter get a hit, hopefully a home run...

on Sept. 19, 1968 ... Denny McLain indicated to Mickey Mantle and delivered a meatball intended for The Mick to hit out in what was understood to be his final plate appearance in Detroit...

Allan Huber "Bud" Selig, commissioner of the Major Baseball League (MBL) and zealous protector of what is righteous, might be faced with a real dilemma.
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If you're not playing to win, then don't keep score.  I associate that with 1960 Cy Young award winner Vern Law.  It always made sense to me.  Pulling players just to get other players into the All Star game is bad enough but grooving pitches is unacceptable.  Even a dullard like Selig should understand that.

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