OT - Happy Opening Day

Submitted by MGoPietrowski on April 5th, 2012 at 8:02 AM

It's like Christmas day for us baseball fans. I've been up since 5:00 am.

Here's to Olde Detroit and the Tigers bringing the trophy back to the Motor City. 

And if you pull for any other team, out of the good nature of Opening Day, good luck to you as well, and may the baseball gods smile on your favorite club from their lofty thrones!

Happy Opening Day, MGoCommunity!

Comments

74polSKA

April 5th, 2012 at 8:09 AM ^

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!

sportzfan81

April 5th, 2012 at 8:22 AM ^

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!

74polSKA

April 5th, 2012 at 8:42 AM ^

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.

sportzfan81

April 5th, 2012 at 8:54 AM ^

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.

74polSKA

April 5th, 2012 at 9:04 AM ^

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.

sportzfan81

April 5th, 2012 at 11:29 AM ^

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!

StateStreet

April 5th, 2012 at 12:30 PM ^

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.

Tater

April 5th, 2012 at 12:43 PM ^

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.

StateStreet

April 5th, 2012 at 1:42 PM ^

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
Texas: 13th
Yankees: 1st
Detroit: 10th
Philadelphia: 2nd
St. Louis: 11th
Milwaukee: 17th
Arizona: 25th

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. 

SamIam

April 5th, 2012 at 8:11 AM ^

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 Tigers!

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.

74polSKA

April 5th, 2012 at 8:59 AM ^

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. 

MN Go Blue

April 5th, 2012 at 8:16 AM ^

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.

lbpeley

April 5th, 2012 at 8:41 AM ^

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.

jmdblue

April 5th, 2012 at 11:29 AM ^

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.