Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday's fish fry

Tigers 8, Nationals 3: the Tigers have now won 6 straight. Perhaps they're beginning to hit; one key stat from yesterday's game was that Detroit pounded out 19 hits. Another key stat: Jeremy Bonderman pitched well, and perhaps shows signs of becoming a reliable starting pitcher again. The Tigers need him.
Rangers 6, Marlins 4: the Rangers have now won 5 straight. And the win yesterday completed a 3-game sweep on the road. Their pitching has been decent. But don't overlook the impact Vlad Guerrero has had on this Ranger team. The Angels (understandably) thought him done after last season, what with all his injuries. But the Rangers took a flyer on him. And he's hitting well over .300, with 15 home runs (including one last night) and nearly 60 RBIs.

So NFL Commish Roger Goodell and others are talking about, soon, instituting an 18-game regular season and doing away with 2 pre-season games. I say hallelujah--more good football, fewer meaningless exhibition games in which starters hardly play. But apparently many NFL players don't see it the same way:
"The Ravens' Lewis criticized the plan, telling the NFLPA website that players "are not machines" -- a sentiment that was echoed a day later in the Giants' locker room. The overwhelming concern there was injuries, with players fearful that a longer season means more injuries and shorter careers. You can see why: Coaches who can afford to coast the last week of the regular season don't rest starters because they want to look at their backups; they rest them for fear of injuries that could impair their playoff chances, and Wes Welker, please step forward."

But look, guys--1] players get injured in pre-season games, too. 2] So the chance of injury is there every day, all the time--even in practice. Yes, there's a chance you could get injured. But remember you get well-compensated for what you do. 3]Look, the pre-season just isn't working. The "games" are boring. They're not effectively getting teams ready to start the regular season. One NY Giants player in the linked piece above argues that younger players need the pre-season to try and impress the coaches and make the team. But surely practices and off-season OTAs can help with that, and can help players get ready for a long season.

I think some of the players' concerns should be addressed. But I have no doubt that two extra regular season NFL games, along with doing away with two exhibitions, would be a huge hit with fans; and what they want should be part of this, too.