Knowing that I have just reduced the number of eyes on my blog significantly by the mere mention of baseball, I am going to plow ahead anyway.
I wanted to do a season ending wrap-up, now that the awards for 2021 have been given out, and the season is over. Beginning December 1st, the CBA, (Collective Bargaining Agreement), between the players and management will also expire, and I thought I would bring everyone up to date on what to expect with that development.
Let's start with the positive and recap the awards and how I did with my predictions back before the season started.
As is usually the case with me and predictions, there was a wild swing and a miss. I did get a few things right, sort of like how often a blind squirrel finds a nut. For the Cy Young Award, I picked Lucas Giolito of the White Sox and Jack Flaherty of the Cardinals as winners. Not even close. Neither got one vote, however Robbie Ray of Toronto and Corbin Burnes of Milwaukee were the winners.
For Most Valuable Player, my picks of Mike Trout and Fernando Tatis Jr., were closer. Tatis actually came in 2nd to Bryce Harper of Philadelphia and Mike Trout was hurt all year, which kind of hurts your chances to win, so the writers did the next best thing and selected his teammate, Shohei Ohtani as the unanimous winner in the AL. I did have Vlad Guerrero in the finals and he did make that.
Rookie of the year is always a crap shoot as you just never know who will actually get called up and who will pan out. I was spot on in the AL as my selection of Randy Arozarena was the easy winner, while in the senior circuit, Jonathan India, of the Reds, had an unbelievable year to win there.
As for the final standings, playoffs, and World Series winner, it was a mixed bag for me there too. In the American League my playoff teams all made it except for Oakland who were beaten out by Boston, The White Sox were my only correct division winner but they did not make it to the World Series as I had hoped, Houston was the AL representative.
In the National League, Atlanta was my only division winner there, and my playoff selections took a beating. The west was upside down as the Giants had just a remarkable season but in the end the Atlanta Braves were the NL representative in the World Series. They went on the beat Houston in six game 4-2.
I will try again in 2022, if we have a season, (more on that in a second), but you can expect that I will be just as far off in 2022 as I have been in the previous 50 years of predictions.
Speaking of stupidly rich people fighting over more money, let's talk CBA. The owners are determined to break the union, which will never happen no matter how many times they try, by threatening to lock the players out, again, in 2022 if they can't agree on a new contract.
The players are determined to make sure that they take every last nickel from the owners, in their effort to kill off the game, by demanding that younger players have a chance to earn more money, sooner in their career, then they can now.
The two primary issues that are going to be fought over in this negotiation are, as always, more money and a bigger share of the teams revenue, and service time for the younger players. The owners want to hold onto both longer, and for a greater share, than the players feel comfortable with.
There will be tears. There will be posturing. There will be outright lying. And, like always, in the end, the players will prevail, and the owners will continue to bring in enormous amounts of cash anyway. This means, once again, the only people who will be hurt with all this, are the fans. You know, the people paying these clowns so they can live in mansions and fly private planes.
There will be several secondary issues that will be addressed also. MLB wants to increase the number of playoff teams from 12 to 14. This will happen.
MLB wants to use larger bases, restrict the number of pickoff pitches, and move the pitching rubber back one foot. These will not happen.
MLB wants to institute a pitching clock, restrict shifting of the infield, add the DH to the NL, and use an electronic system for balls and strikes. These will happen, although I'm unsure on the electronic umpire one.
What I am not unsure about is that MLB will thankfully eliminate the runner on 2nd base nonsense in extra innings.
Commissioner Rob Manfred is fixated on speeding up the game for some reason. I think he has dinner plans that he is missing and that is why he is always trying to ruin the game by speeding it up. I have often said that the DH actually slows the game down because it creates more offense which makes for longer games. Guess what? I was wrong.
Using this past World Series, since there were three games in the AL park and three games in the NL park, I was able to see if a DH had any effect, and much to my surprise the games with a DH were shorter and had fewer runs scored.
Obviously this is a way too small sample, but I'm guessing it is probably not far off from the actual. Games were thirteen minutes shorter and three runs fewer with a DH. Go figure.
So, that wraps up my baseball wrap up for 2021. We may see the next season delayed a few weeks, but don't expect any long lock out this time. Too much money is at stake for both sides to delay the season too long.