The other day I was in the mood to listen to some good tunes and so I put on Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. Frankie Valli was not part of the band. It was great to hear this wonderful piece but I had the same problem with it that I have for the rest of life–Autumn came too soon.
Usually it is about this time of the year that I begin to feel the stirrings like a bear coming out of hibernation in anticipation of the coming of spring training for baseball players. That feeling isn’t there yet; in fact, it has been replaced with apprehension for what the 2020 season will bring. The big deal now, of course, is the revelations of sign stealing on the part the World Champions of 2017 and 2018. It’s not just that, however. There is a bit of sour taste about many things having to do with where the game seems to be headed and where it has recently been. I’m bummed.
Mike Fiers did the right thing. Traditionally, in our win at all costs culture, that means that he is due for some shunning and name calling and retaliatory actions. There are also many in the game who will support him and be thankful that the ugliness has been exposed, but maybe not enough. So I think it’s time for a change. I don’t know if he is healthy enough at age 82, or if he is willing enough after all that he has been through, but I’d like to see our old friend Fay Vincent become the commissioner of baseball again.
What we need is to totally ban all electronics on the field, in the dugouts, and in the clubhouses during the games. Clay Bellinger can see how Madison Bumgarner struck him out between games, not during them. Pat Neshek can watch Manny Machado take him deep tomorrow, not today. While we are at it, give those monstrous scoreboards a rest too, as well as those incredibly stupid electronic ribbons around the park suggesting where we can get heartburn after the game and all of that other useless information.
Look, if a pitcher takes his cap off and scratches behind his left ear every time he is going to throw a breaking ball, a smart player or coach will pick up on that and use it. Fine. There needs to be room for intelligence in the game. The kind of stuff that the Red Sox and Astros have been busted for is way too much though. And let us not kid ourselves for a split second that they have been the only teams to participate.
The current regime of bosses in the big leagues is not up to the task. We need someone who actually loves the game to boss the bosses. We don’t need Rob Manfred or Bud Selig or somebody like them who calls the game a product. We don’t need a typical CEO type like those cockroaches from Apple or Google or Microsoft who like to hire PR slobs to bullshit the public. No, we need Fay Vincent. He succeeded Bart Giamatti, who died from a heart attack while dealing with the Pete Rose mess. Vincent was such a good commissioner that he got sacked. Giamatti died September 1, 1989. Vincent took office right before the big Loma Prieta earthquake that interrupted the World Series between Oakland and San Francisco. Fay Vincent did away with Ford Frick’s ruling that put Babe Ruth and Roger Maris side by side as single season home run record holders and left Maris alone at the top until all that stuff Bud Selig doesn’t want to talk about even today. Fay Vincent wanted to shitcan the DH. That alone is good enough for me. He also pleased many right thinking citizens by banning George Steinbrenner from baseball for life after George paid a low life 40grand to dig up dirt on Dave Winfield. Winfield was suing George at the time because Steinbrenner reneged on a contractual agreement to fund Winfield’s foundation. All of these good acts had to be rewarded so the owners , led by Peter O’Malley, Jerry Reinsdorf and Bud Selig, gave Vincent a no confidence vote by 18-9 and he resigned in 1992.
Come back, Fay. Or, if he can’t, maybe Bob Costas. Somebody with integrity. Please.