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Leave Baseball Alone

by Tom King

As the Boston Red Sox celebrate by going worst to first and winning their 3rd World Series Title in the last 10 years there are some rumblings by baseball bloggers that the grand old game needs a facelift. That it is too slow, too long, too boring for today's society of attention span deprived zombies. I call bulls#*t. The game is fine.

Every at-bat in playoff games is meaningful and when a team like the Red Sox grinds out at-bats, taking pitch after pitch to wear down the opposing pitcher, the tension is palpable. And if you are not entertained by that then that's on you. These games, while not mistake free, ceratinly were entertaining and not just to fans of the two teams. The tv ratings have never been higher and grew from each series to the next. And that's with many of the games on Fox, who believe that shots of the fans are more important than what's on the field. We missed seeing the pickoff of Kolton Wong to end a game because the camera's were focused on the stands. The games are the thing...the players are the thing...everything else is (or should be) secondary.

A writer in Sports Illustrated this week is suggesting a major change to the game to make it more"exciting". He suggests that once a game managers would be able to designate a 'bonus at-bat" so that they could send their best hitter to the plate even if it wasnt his time to bat. The thinking being that guys like David Ortiz would bat in the most critical situations. At first blush the idea might hold some excitement but to my way of thinking it would take a major plus away...the idea that at anytime some unlikley hero could emerge. If this radical idea was implemented there would have been no Al Weis...no Buddy Biancalana...no David Freese...none of the unlikely heroes of playoffs past.

The game is fine...it's the fans that need to adjust...and the networks. Commercial breaks during the World Series were longer than normal...if you want to shorten games why not start there?

The Bucks may have to make a roster move. They have lost their top two point guards just as the regualr season has started and cannot seriously expect to go an extended period with Nate Wolters and Gary Neal running the show. You gotta like how they battled back in the 2nd half against the Knicks on opening night...and that's with getting nothing from the foul plagued Larry Sanders. They take on the Celtics tonight.

As the fall high school season winds down the Wausau East girls are salvaging something for the school. The volleyball team is one win away from State as they face Chippewa Falls Saturday night at Marshfield. And the swim team won their 11th straight Wisconsin Valley Conference meet on Thursday and head into tournament action this week.

Central Wisconsin football teams still in action tonight include Nekoosa at Columbus, Amherst at Westbay, Stratford hosting Arcadia, Edgar at home with Webster, Athens at Hurley, Iola-Scandanavia at Algoma, Greenwood-Granton at pepin-Alma, Owen-Withee at Glenwood City, Pittsville at Independence, Loyal at New Lisbon, Almond-Bancroft at Lake Country Lutheran.

Happy Birthday to Lyle Lovett who turns 56 today. Here are a couple of his good ones

That's Right, You're Not From Texas-Lyle Lovett (1996) from his Road To Ensenada album comes this ode to his home state and some smokin Texas swing from his Large Band.

 My Baby Don't Tolerate-Lyle Lovett (2003) title track from the album and here he is live with a couple of his buddies who he tours with (John Hiatt & Joe Ely). They played the Grand Theater along with Guy Clark a few years ago and it was a great night of music.