The Once Great Migration

I never really realized it until recently, but have you ever noticed how as players get older and stop producing at “elite” levels, they move out West.  Whether the player gets injured or just gets old, they do, in fact move.  I’ll give you some examples of that in a bit.  All I’m saying is that the East has the better players than the west.  The AL and NL East have the best teams; the AL and NL West have the worst teams; and the AL and NL Central are somewhere in the middle.

Obviously, there are some exceptions to the rule.  The East has some pretty pathetic teams.  Most notably, the lowly New York Mets, and the ‘wrong place, wrong time’ Baltimore Orioles.  The San Francisco Giants, the reigning WS champs, and the ‘slug you to death’ Texas rangers are in the West.  Meanwhile the Central has the most diverse pool of teams.  The fact that are 11 teams, rather than ten or  nine, may lend to that fact.

The Central divisions of Major League Baseball are, like I said, the most diverse.  In the NL, there are some teams that make me scratch my head and others that make me rip out my hair.  The Cubbies, who haven’t won a World Series in OVER 100 YEARS, the Pirates, and the Astros, all make me scratch my head.  I was worried that the Astros might in fact break the Mets’ record 40-120 season.  Thank god that prestigious honor still belongs to New York.  The other half of theleague, being currently, the Brewers, Reds, and Cardinals, all knwo how to play baseball.  The AL Central is in a constant state of flux with the royals 5th, Tigers in 1st, Whitesox, Indians, and Twins somewhere in the middle.

NOW, enough with the teams, let’s get to the players.  I find it to be remarkable how older players just move out there.  Some players start in the West, get good, and move East, then move back.  It’s funny.  I’m going to try and give you a full team of examples, so here goes.  These players don’t have to still be playing, just fit my description.

Catcher:  Mike Piazza, Todd Hundley
First Base:  Jason Giambi, Mike Sweeney
Second Base:  Aaron Hill, Kelly Johnson
Third Base:  Robin Ventura, Jorge Cantu
Shortstop:  Miguel Tejada, Nomar Garciaparra
Left Field:  Manny Ramirez, Hideki Matsui
Centerfield:  Andruw Jones, Vernon Wells
Right Field:  Carlos Beltran, Reggie Jackson

Starters:  Randy Johnson, Nolan Ryan, Greg Maddux, Scott Kazmir, David Wells
Relievers:  Francisco Rodriguez, Heath Bell  Mets Rejects both…..

Now, just before I go, I want to point out that the New York Mets recently put David Wright on waivers.  He was claimed by the Colorado Rockies.  David Wright would join the 3B list if a trade gets completed.  Being the die-hard Mets fan that I am, you might think, ‘WHY would he want David Wright to be traded?!’  I mean, the Mets trading Wright would be like the Yankees Trading Jeter, or the Giants trading Lincecum, or the Nationals trading Ryan Zimmerman!  Well, my reader friend, because if the Mets can get one of or both of the following prospects, I would do it: the Tulsa Drillers’ Drew Pomeranz and/or Alex White, also of the Drillers.  Here’s the deals I would do:

David Wright

Mets give:
David Wright           for               Drew Pomeranz and a PTBN

or

David Wright, Jefry Marte, PTBN             for                 Alex White, Tyler Matzek

The Mets need young pitchign and speed.  And I’m willing to pay David Wright for it.  If any deal goes down, though…  the Mets have sent David Wright on the “Once Great Migration.”

                               

The Beauty of Minor League Baseball

The game of baseball has always been a way of bringing people together and giving them something to watch and enjoy. For years fans could go with their families and get some peanuts and cracker jacks and maybe even a program for the hardcore fan. At one point in time believe it or not you could get 5 tickets, food , drinks and souvenirs for a family of 5 at a price under $50. Now a days that kind of bargain is unheard of. Now try $200 to $300 for just the tickets and food and thats not even putting the price of parking into the equation.

Family at the Ballpark

Here is a little question for you to answer. Where can you go to a fantastic ball park , watch a great game with great fans for an affordable price ? The answer my friends in Minor League Baseball ! In my area , Rockland County NY everyone loves the game of baseball and goes to games frequently. Which is why an independent league team , The Rockland Boulders, have come to this baseball crazed area .Tonight (July 2nd , 2011) I went to my second Boulders game.

 I went with my boy Moze Nation and some other guys to watch the Boulders host the Newark Bears. We started the game along the 3rd base side of Provident Bank Ballpark but soon realized that we had to sit with the real fans in the best section of any ballpark!…. The Bleachers! We worked our way out there stopping for some hotdogs, sodas and some other ballpark favorites but once we got there we soon realized why Minor League baseball is so great. We were the only people in the section ! A whole section for 4 guys who are looking to kickoff their summer in an amazing fashion! We started chanting and banging and just flat-out having fun. Soon 4 more boys came over and joined us, followed by more people. By the 7th inning we had at least 30 people(including the usher) chanting and screaming for the Boulders players. We also got to know the outfielders quiet well (RF , Tommy Giles and CF, Sean Smith) getting them to dance and answer questions and even sign a few autographs.  We even did a rendition of the infamous “Rollcall” performed by the best baseball fans in history, The Bleacher Creatures ! (Only difference was that we referred to ourselves as the “Rockland Rockers”). As we chanted the players names 1 by 1 going around the field they all smiled and were very appreciative of the audience and attention that they were getting , despite making a fraction of what the pros are making.

Provident Bank Ballpark

Which is another HUGE reason that Minor League is so much more entertaining than Major League baseball. If we had done what we were doing in Provident Bank Ballpark at any big league stadium we would’ve been thrown out within 20 minutes of us entering. Not because we were swearing (Which we were not) but because we were interacting with the players and being slightly disruptive. At least 80% of major league players are jerks; It is a proven fact ! With these minor league guys who aren’t earning as much in salary , endorsements, or bonuses they are purely there to entertain and most of all have fun playing America’s pastime. 

Well there is my opinion ! Now I wanna hear yours ! By voting in our poll on which is more entertaining ? MLB or Minor League ?I am also interested in your comments or thoughts on the institution of Minor League Baseball!