Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Sayonara, baseball tradition

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Sayonara, baseball tradition

    By Furman Bisher | Tuesday, March 25, 2008, 08:57 PM

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    Baseball used to be a game played with nine men to a side, two managers, four umpires, and the major-league season always opened in Cincinnati. Come to think of it now, that would be sort of like “Gone With the Wind” opening in Valdosta. But Cincinnati had a deal, see.

    The first “major league” baseball game was played in Cincinnati on June 1, 1869. The locals, the Red Stockings, eked out a 48-14 victory over Mansfield, whoever Mansfield was. So, several years ago — even the league office isn’t sure when — it became a custom that every major-league season opened in Cincinnati. Nobody played before the Red Stockings, now shortened to Reds. It was just that way. That’s how baseball is, very long on tradition. It just gets into a habit it likes and stays there.

    Well, not any longer. Money can change any habit. Eight springs ago the Mets and Cubs opened the season, not in Cincinnati. Guess where? Tokyo. That Tokyo, the guys who gave us Pearl Harbor. Some people don’t like you to bring that up, trade with Japan is so hot. But I’ve got a long memory. I saw what a few bombs can do to our property.

    Oh, well, ‘scuse me. It’s just tough to get away from it when you turn on your TV in the morning there are the Boston Red Sox playing the Oakland A’s in the Tokyo Dome. Not only that, but the Red Sox pitcher is Daisuke Matsuzaka, who didn’t grow up in Wampole.

    Why not? A Japanese newspaper chain, Yomiuri, foots the bill for this Oriental excursion. Yomiuri is not exactly the Chicago Tribune of Japanese baseball. Yomiuri owns several teams. The Tribune owns only one team, and that team hasn’t been in a World Series since World War II. (Sorry to have to bring that up again.) Yomiuri’s team has been the Yankees of Japan, and I’m not sure, but I think they call themselves the Giants.

    About Cincinnati and its dibs on opening day, that went on for years. Then the major leagues expanded from coast to coast, cramping the schedule. Television came in spreading money around like fertilizer, and things began to change. The Reds no longer had a monopoly on opening day. So they were allowed to throw the first pitch before anybody else. That privilege is gone now, but one priority remains — the Reds are always allowed to open the season at home. So much for tradition, of which about all that remains is that the baseball hides are actually sewed together by hand by ladies in some Latin American country.

    They no longer play a Hall of Fame game in Cooperstown. The All-Star Game ends when the commissioner says it’s time to go home, even if the score is tied. World Series games start about my bedtime. The schedule is so jacked around that the Braves open the season with a one-game “series” in Washington, where a new ball park is being opened. There, one other tradition still prevails: Presidents still throw out first balls. George Bush gets to start the last game of his eight-year career on the mound.

    It would be my guess that in Japan, emperors don’t throw out first balls, or even have any kind of presence at such a sweaty game. I saw a game in the Tokyo Dome once, but it was more dome-shaped then. It now appears to have gone oblong to oblige the new long-ball society. Managers are interchangeable, it seems. Bobby Valentine is still managing a team in Japan, and Trey Hillman, who managed five seasons in Japan, is now managing the Kansas City Royals, which, on the surface, appears to be a demotion.

    So that’s where major-league baseball stands today, geographically. Not here in the USA, not in Cincinnati, not even in Kauai, but on the other side of the International Dateline. Heaven only knows where it’s headed next. They tell me they’re building a state of the Soviet stadium in Vladivostok, complete with a video screen as high as the sky, and beer sales. Oh, I forgot tell you this about Cincinnati’s sin. The Red Stockings were expelled from the league in 1880 for selling beer at the park. Think of that!

    http://www.ajc.com/blogs/content/sha...ra_baseba.html
    35
    Opening Day should be in Cincinnati
    28.57%
    10
    Opening Day should be in the USA (or Toronto, ON)
    45.71%
    16
    Opening Day can occur internationally but not on regular basis
    17.14%
    6
    Opening Day should be international whenever possible
    0.00%
    0
    I don't care
    8.57%
    3
    Unlike most other team sports, in which teams usually have an equivalent number of players on the field at any given time, in baseball the hitting team is at a numerical disadvantage, with a maximum of 5 players and 2 base coaches on the field at any time, compared to the fielding team's 9 players. For this reason, leaving the dugout to join a fight is generally considered acceptable in that it results in numerical equivalence on the field, and a fairer fight.

  • #2
    The fact that this is a commentary written by Furman Bisher tells you all you need to know about it. Oh, no, Cincinnati didn't have Opening Day! Well, that's not good for Cincinnati, but that's about it.

    And he's talking about the Braves' schedule being messed with starting in Washington? The Braves had to do the exact same thing back in 2001, play one game at a stadium and then fly to Atlanta for their home openers.

    I'll give you guys one guess where they had to start the season.
    Last edited by SamtheBravesFan; 03-25-2008, 10:15 PM.
    46 wins to match last year's total

    Comment


    • #3
      Yawn at anything Bisher writes. He's a hack.

      Who cares? I don't care if opening day is in Cincy ever again. I'd just rather Opening day was the same day for every team in MLB. No one team should get any 'priveledge' to it.
      Originally posted by Domenic
      The Yankees should see if Yogi Berra can still get behind the plate - he has ten World Series rings... he must be worth forty or fifty million a season.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Westlake View Post
        Yawn at anything Bisher writes. He's a hack.
        I'd call him a flowery prose heartstring-tugger, but yeah, that is pretty much what a hack is.
        46 wins to match last year's total

        Comment


        • #5
          Yeah I agree. What does a 90 year old know about tradition.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Old Sweater View Post
            Yeah I agree. What does a 90 year old know about tradition.
            Uh huh. All I saw in that article was a man who is bitter about something not being "normal".
            46 wins to match last year's total

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Old Sweater View Post
              Yeah I agree. What does a 90 year old know about tradition.
              Definitely. That's exactly what we said.

              Maybe it's lines like this...

              "That Tokyo, the guys who gave us Pearl Harbor."

              That's some pathetic baseball writing. I guess being old helped him write that gem, huh.

              Tradition this, tradition that -- maybe we should go back to foul balls not being called strikes. I'm sure Bisher would like that too. As we all know, the past was always right in what they did, the 13th and 19th amendment be damned. Maybe i'm going too far, but the point is the same, tradition should be taken at face value -- not every tradition is a good one, and some guy whining about the Opening Day being in Japan because of something like Pearl Harbor is just ridiculous and shows and the keyboard should have been taken away from him long ago.

              I was whining about Opening Day too, but only because I have to wake up at 5 AM to watch the Sox play.
              Last edited by Westlake; 03-25-2008, 10:39 PM.
              Originally posted by Domenic
              The Yankees should see if Yogi Berra can still get behind the plate - he has ten World Series rings... he must be worth forty or fifty million a season.

              Comment


              • #8
                I have the 1957 ML schedule in front of me. Heres how that season opened:

                Monday April 15th
                Baltimore at Washington

                Tuesday April 16th
                AL
                Washington at New York
                Boston at Baltimore
                Chicago at Cleveland
                Detroit at Kansas City
                NL
                New York at Pittsburgh
                St Louis at Cincinnati
                Milwaukee at Chicago
                Brooklyn at Philadelphia (night game)

                Wednesday April 17th
                AL
                Detroit at Kansas City
                NL
                St Louis at Cincinnati
                New York at Pittsburgh

                Secondary openers:
                Thursday April 18th
                AL
                New York at Boston
                Washington at New York
                Cleveland at Detroit
                Kansas City at Chicago
                NL
                Pittsburgh at Brooklyn
                Philadelphia at New York
                Cincinnati at Milwaukee
                Chicago at St Louis (night game)

                Friday April 19th
                No games scheduled

                Saturday April 20
                same as April 18th

                Sunday April 21st
                same as April 18th, except each match up is a doubleheader.

                Just in this season:

                Season opened in Washington and not Cincinnati (I believe that this was a common tradition in this era, with the President throwing out the first pitch, but not from the mound, ala George W Bush)

                There are six series that consist of a single game.

                Two openers are held at night.

                Baltimore has two seperate series at Washington.

                All eight of the secondary series openers have an off day during the series.

                Opening at a different venue then Cincinnati and single game series are nothing new. Single game series were especially common when the four eastern teams of the NL were playing each other, before the franchise shifts removed the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by EdTarbusz View Post
                  I have the 1957 ML schedule in front of me. Heres how that season opened:

                  Monday April 15th
                  Baltimore at Washington

                  Tuesday April 16th
                  AL
                  Washington at New York
                  Boston at Baltimore
                  Chicago at Cleveland
                  Detroit at Kansas City
                  NL
                  New York at Pittsburgh
                  St Louis at Cincinnati
                  Milwaukee at Chicago
                  Brooklyn at Philadelphia (night game)

                  Wednesday April 17th
                  AL
                  Detroit at Kansas City
                  NL
                  St Louis at Cincinnati
                  New York at Pittsburgh

                  Secondary openers:
                  Thursday April 18th
                  AL
                  New York at Boston
                  Washington at New York
                  Cleveland at Detroit
                  Kansas City at Chicago
                  NL
                  Pittsburgh at Brooklyn
                  Philadelphia at New York
                  Cincinnati at Milwaukee
                  Chicago at St Louis (night game)

                  Friday April 19th
                  No games scheduled

                  Saturday April 20
                  same as April 18th

                  Sunday April 21st
                  same as April 18th, except each match up is a doubleheader.

                  Just in this season:

                  Season opened in Washington and not Cincinnati (I believe that this was a common tradition in this era, with the President throwing out the first pitch, but not from the mound, ala George W Bush)

                  There are six series that consist of a single game.

                  Two openers are held at night.

                  Baltimore has two seperate series at Washington.

                  All eight of the secondary series openers have an off day during the series.

                  Opening at a different venue then Cincinnati and single game series are nothing new. Single game series were especially common when the four eastern teams of the NL were playing each other, before the franchise shifts removed the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants.
                  So, in other words, the season didn't always open in Cincinnati and Bisher is basically fuming that Japan has the "Opening Day" this year.
                  46 wins to match last year's total

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Wow. I think yall completely missed the point of the column. The almighty $ has taken precendence over tradition, and slowly our "American" game is being turned into something else. And what is your response? "He's a hack." All in the name of expansion and change! Change is good! Right?

                    I know some of you may not feel as rooted in traditions as I do, but please come up with something better than "he's a hack" or "bitter old man". Seriously, this isn't a "who moved my cheese" situation.

                    Understand that I'm not saying "we should keep it in Cincy... blah blah blah." I'm just saying that yall are going over board here. You're taken minor lines in the article and giving the far more substance than is really there. You are using absurd analogies to "prove" your point (i.e. go back to the ways of the 19th century, etc.). But as I have already said, I really think you missed the point.
                    Last edited by BradC34; 03-25-2008, 10:45 PM.
                    Baseball writer

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by SamtheBravesFan View Post
                      So, in other words, the season didn't always open in Cincinnati and Bisher is basically fuming that Japan has the "Opening Day" this year.
                      I'm with Bisher about the season opening in Japan. I think it's ridiculous to play regular season games in Japan.

                      I looked at openers from 1945 to 1959 on retrosheet and most years all 16 teams opened on the same day. In 1949, the season opened at Braves Field and Griffith Stadium. Maybe Cincinnati was rained out but the NL didn't open in Cincinnati that year. In 1957 and 1958, the season began with stand-alone openers in Washigton.
                      Last edited by EdTarbusz; 03-25-2008, 10:56 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BradC34 View Post
                        I know some of you may not feel as rooted in traditions as I do, but please come up with something better than "he's a hack" or "bitter old man". Seriously, this isn't a "who moved my cheese" situation.

                        Understand that I'm not saying "we should keep it in Cincy... blah blah blah." I'm just saying that yall are going over board here. You're taken minor lines in the article and giving the far more substance than is really there. You are using absurd analogies to "prove" your point (i.e. go back to the ways of the 19th century, etc.). But as I have already said, I really think you missed the point.
                        Him being a hack has nothing to do with this, i've just thought he was a hack for a while now, I thought that was pretty transparent. And I didn't miss the point -- I dont think it should be in Japan either, but his reasons are ridiculous. How DARE MLB try and make money!! It's not a business!! Oh wait, it is...

                        Originally posted by EdTarbusz View Post
                        I'm with Bisher about the season opening in Japan. I think it's ridiculous to play regular season games in Japan.
                        Ditto. His main point is fine, but the article is terrible, as usual.
                        Originally posted by Domenic
                        The Yankees should see if Yogi Berra can still get behind the plate - he has ten World Series rings... he must be worth forty or fifty million a season.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BradC34 View Post
                          Wow. I think yall completely missed the point of the column. The almighty $ has taken precendence over tradition, and slowly our "American" game is being turned into something else. And what is your response? "He's a hack." All in the name of expansion and change! Change is good! Right?

                          I know some of you may not feel as rooted in traditions as I do, but please come up with something better than "he's a hack" or "bitter old man". Seriously, this isn't a "who moved my cheese" situation.

                          Understand that I'm not saying "we should keep it in Cincy... blah blah blah." I'm just saying that yall are going over board here. You're taken minor lines in the article and giving the far more substance than is really there. You are using absurd analogies to "prove" your point (i.e. go back to the ways of the 19th century, etc.). But as I have already said, I really think you missed the point.
                          The problem is there is no such thing as an absolute baseball "tradition" other than nine vs nine, a baseball, 90 feet, three bases, a home plate, and nine innings. To some, baseball tradition is two eight team leagues and no divisions. But I grew up watching baseball in the mid 1970s. My baseball "tradition" is 26 teams and four divisions, no wildcard, five game league championship series, bright colored unifroms, elastic waist bands, KC Royal power blue road unforms, ugly Giants' hats with the orange bill, 90-100 SB speed merchants, $0.25 baseball card packs, the Saturday Game of the Week, and Monday Night Baseball. All these "traditions" are long gone. When the wild card was first introduced I absolutely hated it. I thought it was the stupidest idea to reward mediocrity. But I got over it. It's brought more fans to the game and created more drama in September. My love for baseball hasn't changed. The 1977-86 era will ALWAYS be special to me because I was a kid watching baseball through kid's eyes. But I do enjoy the game today, just in a different way. Do I like MLB opening the season in Japan? I haven't really given it much thought. I'd probably say "no" I don't think it's a good idea in general given that the players don't enjoy the long trip.
                          Last edited by Honus Wagner Rules; 03-25-2008, 11:51 PM.
                          Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Am I crazy or is there a real particular hostility to this year's Opening Day?

                            Newsflash: this is the THIRD time we've had Opening Day in Japan, and we had an Opening Day in Mexico some time ago as well.

                            That paragraph about Pearl Harbor is the most bizarre non sequitur I've read in a sports column in a long, long time--not to mention one of the most offensive.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Personally, I don't mind regular season games in Japan (I'd prefer they be spring games, but whatever...)

                              I saw something today that said Bud's interested in opening in Europe. If you're going to open somewhere around the globe, make it different places. They've opened in Japan a few times now. So if they're going to open somewhere around the globe, go to Europe instead of Japan

                              On a different note, people at the game were having a great time

                              Finally, that comment about Pearl Harbor was extremely ignorant. That was over 60 years ago. It's a different generation. They can't control the past, don't blame them
                              Originally posted by bhss89
                              "Hi. My name is John. I'd like you to meet my fastball. Can you catch up to it?
                              Didn't think so. I'll see you again tomorrow night around the top of the ninth."
                              Originally posted by ChineseDemocracy
                              Why can't they just air the doubleheaders? Those programs aimed at children are crap anyway.

                              Comment

                              Ad Widget

                              Collapse
                              Working...
                              X