I can't remember the start of a season that seems so wide open. There are so many teams that have made big moves this off season. The addition of the second wild card team will keep races interesting to the end. It is a great time to be a baseball fan!
OT - Happy Opening Day
It is great to be a baseball fan...unless your team is the Orioles! If they are lucky, they will find a way to NOT lose 100!
I have adopted the Rays as my secondary team...they have found a way to compete in the AL East without a $150-$200 Million payroll.
Maybe one day baseball will get it right: salary cap and balanced scheduling!
If baseball implemented a salary cap, something like a fourth of the league would be bankrupt. They need to make a rule that teams spend their share of the luxury tax on players and facilities and not just the owner's bottom line. I do agree on the balanced scheduling idea and there should be more interleague play. I don't need to see the Yankees play the Red Sox 18 times a year, unless they go 18-0 of course.
You will have to further explain how a cap would force 7 to 8 teams into bankruptcy. A cap would moderate spending and spread players across the league and not just to the same 6-8 teams. I also feel a salary floor would be necessary like the NFL has established.
I have seen numbers that show the bottom of the league surviving on the money they get from the league luxury tax. Even if you moderate spending, bad teams will still be bad because they make poor decisions not just because they don't have money to spend (see the Browns in the NFL!). Plus I don't want to see a salary cap in baseball. That would prevent my team from paying bad players/contracts like AJ Burnett to go away. Wait, I didn't just prove your point did I? Strike that last comment.
While I agree that no matter the rules in place, teams will have to make quality decisions in order to compete for championships... I just cannot get past the disparity between the "haves" and "have nots" in MLB. Now the Orioles for example have made some terrible signings over the last decade (Belle, Will Clark, Mike Gonzalez, and on and on) and others that I feel were not "that bad"...they just didn't work out (Javy Lopez and Miguel Tejada), HOWEVER it is hard to compete in the AL EAST when you are working with a salary of about $80-$90 Million and the Yankees & Red Sox are spending nearly double that (or more).
Before the NFL had a cap, the same 6-7 teams competed for a SuperBowl every year...being a NINERS fan I loved it. We had an owner that didn't care about making money...he just wanted championships and was willing to pay whomever whatever it took to improve the team (see 1994 when he basically BOUGHT THE SUPERBOWL: Deion Sanders, Ken Norton, Ricky Jackson, etc). However, 1/3 of the league had no chance of competing and that was not good for business. The salary cap killed the 49ers franchise and put them in "cap hell" for the better part of a decade while they learned to operate within the "new" rules (actually lost a draft pick or to in the process because of trying to work around the cap and got caught).
I used to LOVE baseball and tomorrow, on my birthday, I will head out to Camden Yards for Orioles Opening Day,which is also the 20th anniversary of Camden Yards Opening (the stadium that changed everything). Unfortunately, after tomorrow the only excitement that I can hope for in Baltimore is for them to ruin the Yankees or Red Sox season like they did last year...walk off win that knocked the Red Sox out of the playoffs. That was the closest thing to playoff baseball that we have witnessed in Baltimore in over 14 years and without either a change in rules or change in ownership "philosophy" that might be the closest we get for another 14 years!
ENJOY OPENING DAY (ESPECIALLY TO THE FATHERS THAT WILL BE TAKING THEIR KIDS FOR THE FIRST TIME)! It is a MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE!
149 days until MICHIGAN and Team 133 kicks off in BIG D!
What about the Rays? In 2011, they had the second lowest payroll of any MLB team. They won the AL Wild Card. As of last year at least, the Orioles had the 3rd highest payroll in the AL East yet still finished dead last. (This is all according to CBSSports figures, fyi.)
Money helps teams win. There's no doubt about it. But there's obviously a lot more to it than that. Plus, there's a big difference between buying top free agents and developing awesome players from within. The Yankees have obviously done their share of purchasing players (CC, Tex, A-Rod, etc.). But at the same time, a lot of their big players came up through the Yankee farm system - Jeter, Rivera, Cano, Posada, Pettite, as well as guys like David Robertson, Brett Gardner, Phil Hughes, and several others. So yes, the Yankees have the money to pay those guys to stay, but they are also the ones who developed that talent to begin with.
Of course there are the A-Rods and CCs of the world, but every team has some of that. I mean, look at Fielder's contract. If the Tigers win the World Series this year, then you could have the same "bought the championship" argument. They now have the 5th highest payroll in the MLB.
The Rays are always one or two bad seasons away from being what they were for most of their existance: a de facto AAA team that developed prospects who would end up playing for teams with larger payrolls. When the Rays contend, they can afford to keep decent players, but they still couldn't keep, for example, Carl Crawford, because he would take up around 25 percent of the payroll at his true market value.
Until Joe Madden arrived and they had their breakthrough year in 2008, the Rays would unload vetarans for minor league prospects at the trading deadline every year. Every year, fans would go to the games, get to "know" the lineup, and then watch their favorites shipped out of town just in time for other teams to play games that really mattered.
Every year, fans had to get used to a new lineup, and every year, they knew that anyone who was "too good" would be gone by September.
I am in favor of a hard cap, but it won't happen. Small market teams only exist to be tomato cans for the large market teams. As long as MLB is making a lot of money, things will continue as they are.
The Rays are an aberration. I hope they will stay that way, but logic would dictate that they can't compete with teams who three to four times their payroll forever.
The Rays are definitely an exception to the norm, if only for the fact that they have the 2nd lowest payroll and can compete (and win) in the toughest division in baseball. But how much of an exception are they really? Let's look at the 2011 payrolls for the teams that got into the postseason last year.
Tampa Bay: 29th
St. Louis: 11th
3 of 8 teams (~38 percent) in the postseason were in the lower half of the league in payrolls. The same percentage was true for the 2010 season. That's not as lopsided as you might think. It seems to suggest that although it is certainly harder to compete with smaller payrolls, it might not be as much of an abberation as you suggest.
It's also Happy RIP Kurt Cobain day. I'm more excited about baseball.
"Happy RIP Kurt Cobain day" I like it.
Should be a great season. There were so many big names moving around I will probably watch many teams I wouldnt normally want to.
Go Yankees! - I know I might get a neg for this one. My first mit was with Don Mattingly's autograph in it and I have been a fan of the Yankees ever since. I have watched Tigers baseball since I was a kid thanks to my step father being from Michigan.
You don't ever need to explain why you root for the greatest baseball team ever (or the greatest team money can buy, for you haters out there).
Do you two also root for the house in blackjack?
just kidding. Happy Opening Day everyone. The Yankees still suck.
Rooting against the Yankees is like rooting against Tom Brady. Just because they win more, are better looking, and richer than your team doesn't make them suck. I still +1'd you. Your anger makes me laugh and is what being a fan is all about.
I think everyone knows where I stand on this issue
The juxtaposition of your username and avatar illustrate a thought I was having. If you think of all the advantages Michigan has as the best academic and athletic institution around as "payroll", then we are the Yankees of the NCAA. I'm just glad that our leaders, like the Yankees, are not happy resting on their laurels.
save goes for the Red Wings and the NHL. Hypocracy knows no bounds.
Tigers: Yankees :: Illinois: Michigan
Tigers aren't exactly poor. Aren't we the third highest payroll...
They were a couple years ago. They're tenth now. But I still don't feel sorry for the Tigers
They were 10th in 2011. They are 5th this season.
oh, I don't have any anger. I dislike most of the players on the Yankees and the organization as a whole but I'm not angry about it. I've never been upset because the Yankees have won, that would be a lot of days and a lot of seasons that I ended up upset.
I won't neg you. It takes a strong man to admit he's a Yankee fan.
This is one of my favorite days of the year. JV on the bump and Prince plays his first game with the Tigers. I can not wait! We are under 5 hours til game time.
Everyone! I don't mind seeing the Tigers win, but Go Cubs!!!! Gonna be a long year!
Cubs fan here as well. Can't wait to go to the Cubs/Tigers series in Chicago this summer. The three game set in Detroit three years ago could have gone a bit better.
Tigers tie club record with eight HRs as Rogers wins No. 200
Would love to see them come out of the gate strong.
Does anyone have a good proxy/stream link? I'm not good at locating them. I'm in-market and stuck at work.
It might be on FirstRow...but MLB is notoriously strict about unauthorized feeds. :(
I saw this morning that the Tigers game is on ESPN2 and also FSD. Who is going to spurn the WWW for Mario and Rod? Besides this guy I mean.
How can you do the Rod Allen drinking game without Rod?
Rod Allen drinking game? I needz instructionz
Drink everytime he says something stupid. You're going to be hammered by time its the Tigers' half of the first inning.
"Stupid"?! I believe you mean brilliant, insightful, or just plain hilarious. They named a damn Gwyneth Paltrow movie after a phrase he coined for crying out loud. Embrace the man for the modern day Confucius that he is.
Frankly I used to really like the guy. When he doesn't feel the need to fill every second of air time with noise he is insightful and respects the intelligence of his audience. Alas, in the last few years he doesn't seem capable of shutting up... You want a truly irritating color guy? Jim Price needs to contract some (hopefully painless) ailment that renders one completely mute. I've never heard a guy so desperate to insert himself into what is happening on the field (or apparently into Al Kaline's pants). I could go on on for hours on this subject. Suffice it to say, he wrecks baseball on the radio.
I love RA. I will go all Section 1 Freep style on FSD if they ever axe him.
That's a lot of drinkikng.
For the people who are going downtown and dont have tix....Where are you gonna watch the game?
Go get 'em Tigers! (And Tiger)
Can someone PLEASE post a stream for the game that is NOT ESPN3 (it is blacked out in Michigan). I would greatly appreciate it!
firstrowsports dot EU will have every single game this season in every sport except college hockey. Bookmark it and never ask this question again, haha.
Go Tigers, pound thos Sox
My Tigers side is excited, for very good reason. All this hand-wringing about defense will be moot if the boys score 12 runs a game.
My Cubs side knows we'll have to endure some more whuppin' but that at least someone who has a plan is driving the bus. You have to go through it to get to it.
So I will be toggling back and forth betwen Comerica and The Friendly Confines. As Ernie (Banks, that is) says, "Hey hey, let's play two today."
The NL Central got a lot weaker this year with no Pujols, Larussa, or Fielder and the Reds will always find a way to mess themselves. I think this could be the year for the Cubs.
I shall likely be glued to the radio this afternoon, attending the game in spirit only. I am very excited about the 2012 campaign and the potential this team has to own the AL Central Division.
I must admit, the temptation to "work" from our lunchroom (which has a plasma TV) is strong today.
Have a most excellent Opening Day, Detroit as well as all of Tiger Nation!
I have to listen online, too lazy to get the MLB TV package for Mario and Rod. Listen frequently to Dan Dickerson and Jim Price. They're pretty good.
All you Michiganders relish your Tigers. Opening day isn't the same when I'm stuck in Chicago and I hate the Sox and am indifferent about the Cubs AND I'm at work. Until I get a slingbox (not likely soon due to cost/logistical issues) I won't see much of them this summer.
/cue sad trombone
with Hawk Harrelson as my 'home market' announcer. My condolences.
I upgraded to MLB.TV premium pretty much just so I wouldn't have to hear him when Seattle goes to Chicago. So, that's like 6 games tops a year. It was worth the extra 20 bucks.
On the North Side and must say Hawk's call of a game makes any other homer announcer seem completely impartial by comparison. HH is total caricature of a professional announcer.
MLB.TV, dude. Well worth the price of admission, especially if you have a PS3 or Xbox 360 and can watch it on your TV.
The NL East should be interesting this year. The Phillies should still be very good thanks to their pitching, but they won't be as dominant as in years past with injuries to guys like Ryan Howard and Chase Utley. A lot of people are expecting big years from the Nats and possibly even the Marlins too, and Atlanta should compete as always. I normally don't follow the NL too much, but this could be an interesting division race. The same is true for the AL East, as Toronto is expected to improve this year as well. Should be a good season!
The dredded double post. My appologies.
will end in RED OCTOBER. Reds have locked up Joey Votto for 10 years, Aroldis Chapman throwing flames, and a solid rotation of Cueto/Latos/Arroyo/Leake/Bailey. I'm fired up!
Yeah, but are you getting league mvp Votto or inner ear infection/wtf is up with Votto? Plus this means bye bye Phillips. He'll be gone by the trade deadline. Plus you still have Baker waiting in the wings to throw a wet towel on the season if things are going too well. I'm glad for your enthusiasm, and I actually root for the Reds as my NL team, but they always seem to come up just short since they got rid of Sweet Lou (ex Yankee, just sayin).
A small market like Cinnci can't carry the weight of these MLB mega deals, IMO.
Though I'm stuck in Nashville working all day and can't see the game live in person or on tv, I'll be listening and gamecasting every chance that I can. Unfortunately, wedding and honeymoon festivities will be using much of my PTO this year and baseball mini-vacations will take a hit in 2012. Got to save a few days for A2 visits!
I'll be semi-content going home, firing up the PS3, and watching the archived game with an Oberon in hand. Feels almost like home...
Please never compare the tradition, national significance, or entertainment value of MLB and PGA again. The most I've ever been interested in golf is when I was waiting to see which porn star/diner waitress claimed to sleep with Tiger next. The "may have been Cuba" comment is gold though.
I think the fact that there are several baseball threads and no Masters threads on the front page answers that question. The Masters is also the only show in town if you're a golf fan where "opening day" is spread over 15 games and two days (or two weeks, depending on what you count). So, I would not take your bet about the ratings because I'm sure the Masters would be higher. I wonder if it would be higher than the combined ratings of the top 3 or 5 mlb games though.
Sunday at the Masters, if it's Tiger in contention or someone else intriguing, like McIlroy at the US Open last year. Otherwise opening day. This year Opening Day probably wins anyway, with Prince's first game as a Tiger, and JV on the mound. Go Tigs
For a real comparison.
Its like when NASCAR claims to have the highest attendance each weekend yet CFB and NFL blow it's doors off.
this isn't opening day. there are 4 opening days this year because the baseball schedulers are a bunch of idiots. how can i argue that opening day should be a national holiday when there are 4 of them? i can see looking past the opening in japan and even the special day opening the new park in miami. but half of the teams open tomorrow. it's so stupid!
It should be Opening week...How can there be 4 opening days!?
Please, go easy on us, Tigers. We are but fragile souls.
Can anybody make any suggestions on how to watch the game today on an iPhone? I don't believe you can to it through the MLB app because of blackout restrictions. Correct me if I am wrong.
Not sure of watching the game, but I did hear that the Iheart radio app will have have most if not all the games available to stream the radio broadcasts.
Great match up to start the season. Lester vs. Verlander. Steak and eggs. Let's go Sox.
Let's hope Lester has a HUGE bounce back year after last year's chicken and beer fiasco. Best part of this year might be no Lackey. Any year where Dustin Pedroia is in your line up is going to be a good one. Laser shows abound. Go Sox!
Lester is a good kid. I blame Lackey and Beckett for corrupting him last year with their shitty attitudes. This team was so hard to root for last year. I'm worried that they didn't make enough changes on the roster. Francona wasn't the problem in my opinion.
No one likes Lackey and Beckett is...moody. Lester has always been a guy to look up to. He beat cancer and developed into one of the best left handers in the game. He's always seemed like a leader and he seems genuinely determined to prove that last year was an aberration. I expect a big year from him.
I'm still upset about Francona. May be they did need a change, but Bobby V doesn't really inspire me at all. This team has too much talent not to get back to its winning ways though.
One of several days of the sporting year that needs to be a national holiday, and will be when I'm dictator for life. Plus any day when you get to watch Justin Verlander pitch is a special one. Even more so against Bahstan. Eat 'em up, Tigers.
Any good iPhone apps to listen to the tigers game today?
but I am going to the Durham Bulls opener tonight. We have season tickets and its fun and relatively inexpensive. I really only watch baseball during the playoffs if I'm not at a Bulls game. Going to the park that much kind of kills the tv experience. Something about sitting in front of all that grass, talking to the players, eating peanuts, popcorn, cracker jacks and drinking micro-brews that tv doesn't come close to.