Some Random Opinions

School’s out for summer as Alice Cooper so famously sang, and people will start vacationing soon.  Father’s Day is next week, and the guys at Cleveland Sports Perspective had some things to get off their chests.

The Heat Thing.
Tonight is Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals (apparently now called the ECF by the NBA marketing folks), and most people in this town are hoping for an elimination of the Miami Heat.

Most people nationally (read…ESPN) think folks in Cleveland feel that way because LeBron James left the Cavaliers in free agency.  At least for us, that’s not the case.

That is still a sore subject, but it’s more than that.  It’s the way the Miami players carry themselves.  They act like rock stars, even though, they’ve won nothing as of yet.  The whole party after the signings of James and Chris Bosh was gauche.

The four letter network’s Doug Gottlieb, who is an excellent basketball analyst said yesterday that fans should “get over it”.  Why?  When people act like jerks, and never acknowledge it, why should we forget.  Because they are good?

It’s the old school people who can’t stand the Heat, because they represent the “AAU mindset” in basketball.  All purists who love the sport, not just those from Cleveland, hope either the Celtics or Thunder deprive the Heat, with the love they receive from ESPN, a title.

Those teams have great players, but they arrived via trades or the draft.  It’s the same reason most baseball fans hate the Yankees, no one likes the perception that you can buy a championship.

Interleague Play in Baseball
If one more person tells you there is more strategy in the National League game, please feel free to slap them in the face.  It’s simply not true.

If there is less than two out and a runner on base when the pitcher comes up, the manager is going to have him bunt.  What’s the strategy there?  It always happens.

Oh, and the argument that when to take the pitcher out of a game doesn’t hold water either.  An American League manager has to make a decision, the NL skipper is forced to pinch hit late in a game he is trailing in.  That kind of makes the decision for him.

Fans of the Senior Circuit seem to think you need a PhD from M.I.T. to pull of a double switch.  In reality, you just take out the guy who made the last out and put him in the pitcher’s spot.

It’s not rocket science, and watching a guys who have batting averages of around .125 hit instead of a legitimate hitter isn’t entertaining.  The whole world of baseball uses the DH except the National League.  Why should everyone else conform.

The Leadoff Man
Heard some people arguing today about whether or not Michael Brantley should return to the #1 spot in the batting order, now that he’s hitting.

Why?  Because he’s fast and plays centerfield?

The job of the leadoff hitter is to get on base.  Shin-Soo Choo does that almost 38% of the time.  Brantley does it 32.5% of the time.  Why would you make a change?

The argument would seem to be the Choo can hit homers and drive in runs.

However, Brantley’s slugging percentage is three points higher than Choo’s, and he has 11 more RBI’s than the rightfielder.

Traditional baseball people might flip-flop the pair in the batting order, but right now Manny Acta has it correct.  Shin-Soo Choo should hit first, and Brantley in the middle of the order.

JK/MW/KM

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