First of all, congratulations to the Boston Red Sox for coming back from a 3-1 deficit to win the American League pennant. They seem to have patented the process of coming back from way behind. Now I hope they Pound the Rocks!
22 people voted in my poll about how the Diamondbacks season would end: 2 thought they would lose the division series, 10 thought they would lose the NLCS, two more thought they would go on to the World Series but lose, and eight optimistic souls thought they would win it all. Oh well, wait till next year!
Next poll asks voters to focus their crystal balls on Randy Johnson. Come on over and make your prognostication on what he will do next year. The best time to do this would be before noon Pacific Time, as the poll is only open for 100 views a day.
A review of Eric Byrnes’ year will come later. I’m still crunching the numbers.
Fourteen of 23 voters voted against my realignment plan, posted 6/17, which made much more geographical sense, but called for one league, everybody having the DH, and abolishing the division series. Five voters thought it was a sensible plan, but the moneyed interests won’t go for it. Two people thought it was such a great idea that I should be the next commissioner of baseball. And two others just weren’t sure what to make of it.
Now that we’re in the home stretch, the next poll is for folks who follow the D’Backs. How will the season end for the Snakes?
Fifteen people voted on my poll about what should be done with Mark Reynolds once Chad Tracy came back from the DL. The plurality (6/15) thought he should continue to play every day until he slumps. A third of the voters (5/15) thought he should play third base with Tracy moving to first, thus effectively benching Conor Jackson. A fifth of the voters (3/15) thought he should be platooned with Tracy. One voter thought he should be sent to Triple-A, which in effect would be a promotion for him because he came to the Diamondbacks from Double-A.
Tracy has been back for about a week, and we’ve seen Reynolds play third instead of Tracy, Reynolds play third and Tracy play first instead of Jackson, and Tracy and Jackson starting with Reynolds coming off the bench or not playing. In other words, the diplomatic Bob Melvin is trying to accommodate everyone. Conor Jackson made the decision to bench him in favor of Reynolds at third and Tracy at first a difficult one because, just as Tracy was about to come off the DL, Jackson started hitting again. The loser for playing time in all of this may be Tony Clark, who was Jackson’s backup at first. But Melvin said that he wants to see Clark start at least once a week to keep him sharp. We’ll see how that works.
The next poll asks your opinion about the realignment plan I posted on June 17. When the post drops off the recent posts list, I’ll put a link to it so that you can find it. Be aware that, as of today, my subscription poll runs out and so I’m going back to the free poll that only has a 100 views a day. If you miss the opportunity to vote because the poll has been disappeared for a time, just come back another day to cast your ballot.
UPDATE: June 18, 2007 The poll is temporarily closed pending a glitch arising from the fact that the paid subscriptions has run out and I want to revert to the free poll. Sorry for the inconvenience. You can express your opinion by leaving a comment.
Thirty-two voters participated in the poll about Byrnes’ lineup hole. Ten voters thought he should bat second. Six voters thought he should bat lead-off. So half the voters thought he should be at the top of the lineup.
Another six voters support the idea of moving him around depending on the pitching. Three voters thought he should bat third. Another three opted for the cleanup position. And two voters apiece thought he should bat fifth or sixth.
Thank you to all who participated. The next question is what should be done with Reynolds once Tracy gets off the DL.
Forty-nine people took part in this poll. Slightly more than half of them (25) expect Arizona to keep Byrnesie all season. He’ll be needed for a playoff bid.
Five voters thought he would be gone by Opening Day.
Six expect him to be dispatched by the All-Star Break.
Seven think the D’Backs will continue building for the future by dealing him to a playoff contender nearer the non-waiver trade deadline of July 31, while another 6 voters see more of a Shawn Green-type August deal. They voted that he’ll be gone by the 31st day of the 8th month. (Fifth month for those of you whose calendar begins with April).
Thank you to everyone for voting.
The new poll asks where you think Byrnes should bat.
Our apologies for taking so long with this. We can’t find the results of the Bonds poll. What we can remember of it, the "Winner" was that Bonds should retire now. Following close behind was the option that he should take a pay cut to sign with the Giants again. A vote or two went to the option that he should be a DH in the AL. No one voted for Bonds signing "wherever he can get the biggest bucks."
As for the poll "My No. 1 Thought on Money in Baseball is…," 36 people voted.
6 voted for MLB’ers are overpaid for playing a kids game.
3 voted for What the stars make is fine, but the average players are overpaid.
2 voted for Players should make whatever they can; an injury could end it.
5 voted for Players’ salaries are OK ‘cuz it’s how the free market works.
0 voted for Players’ salaries are OK ‘cuz the owners are even richer.
11 voted for there should be a salary cap like other sports. This was the top vote getter.
1 voted for Free agency and salary-dump trading ruin team cohesion.
0 voted for Free agency and salary-dump trading ruin player-community links.
0 voted for Too many players choke or coast after signing the big deal. We were surprised no one voted for this.
8 voted for It costs too much to go/take my family to a game.
We note that a salary cap will not hold ticket prices down, which is what we think a lot of people who want a salary cap hope such a thing will do. The NBA has a salary cap and last December Eric Byrnes paid $2,000 for 4 tickets under one of the baskets. (He said this on KNBR, which is how we know). That was a bit more than face value which was $450 a piece. He said he wasn’t sure he could justify doing that again, even though he made "a pretty good living."
Speaking of Byrnesie, the new poll is about him. He’s going to sign a 1-year deal wit the D’Backs and he’s going to have to go through an arbitration hearing to get the 5 Million he wants (and deserves). So, the question is when, if at all, you think he’ll be traded. The MLB article, "Whose farm system will shine in ’07" is one of the inspirations for this poll.
It’s definitely a better one than last year, when Eric Byrnes had just gotten non-tendered by the Baltimore Orioles and I was literally sick about it. As grim as the weather that day. This year, it’s colder than last and it is actually raining as opposed to threatening last year. But Byrnes knows he has a place to play next year, and although he’s going to arbitration with the D’Backs, he has some sort of nice raise coming to him after the fine 2006. So I am in a much better mood.
Here is some other really good news. Boston Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester goes for his last chemotherapy today. So let’s hope that from now on, the things beginning with C that he has to focus on are Curves, Changeups and Contention for Championships.
The time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is my heaviest work period at KPFA. I am one of those people who helps keep the news department running while others take holidays and vacations, i.e. as a part-timer with no paid holidays or paid vacations, I pick up as many subbing hours as I can. So I haven’t had time to write as often as I did before. However, I intend to give my opinion on some of the off-season signings. Maybe Zito will have picked a team by the time I do that. I will be a little delayed in giving myself a Solstice present., But that present, results of which I will share with you, will be the time to fully analyze the fine 2006 Eric Byrnes turned in and to write up what I think he needs to do to make 2007 even better.
I also want to write an article about the cost of baseball tickets. I’m going to put my journalistic research skills behind this one, so it probably won’t get done until sometime in March, given everything else I have to do. Whether it ends up here or someplace else won’t be determined for a while yet, but it is something that I want to do and I’d love to have your help. If you have written about ticket prices in your area, please point it out, I might want to quote you. If you haven’t written a piece, but have opinions on the subject, you can leave a comment on this blog or send me an email at kellia[at]rise4news.net. If you do that latter, let me know if you are willing to be quoted by name, (just a first name and city is fine). I generally figure people who email me when they could leave a comment on the blog want to be incognito.
The basic contention of my article is that despite the increase in attendance, the experience of live baseball is being taken away from many fans because tickets are so expensive. Maybe more people can go because they have been able to become season’s ticket holders, but others, the walk-up types, like me, who can’t afford that are being more and more left out. Have you reduced your baseball attendance because of ticket expense? If you go as part of a family, has the family reduced its attendance, or split up games so that part of the family goes some times and the other part of the family goes the other times? Are you a young person whose allowance can’t keep up with rising ticket prices? Do you depend on a program sponsored by a player or by your local team, or a community organization in order to get tickets? Are you an adult who now has to put tickets on a credit card when you used to be able to pay cash? How has the success or lack thereof of your local team impacted ticket prices? Etc, Etc. Let me know what you think.
If you don’t want to give details about your experience, you can at least vote in my poll about money in baseball. Are high player contracts to blame for high ticket prices or would it be possible to pay players market rate and still bring ticket prices down? Do you attend games of other sports that have salary caps? Haven’t those prices gone up, too?
Speaking of money in baseball, the Giants and Barry Bonds are hammering out the details of a one-year, $16 million deal. I’ll give you the results of my Barry Bonds poll as soon as I can find them. They’re around here somewhere…
I’d most prefer in the World Series TV booth…
No. of voters:
Thom Brennaman 0
Joe Buck 8
Eric Byrnes 19
Luis Gonzalez 3
Tim McCarver 2
Jon Miller 5
Joe Morgan 3
Jose Mota 0
Lou Piniella 2
Suzyn Waldman 1
None of the Above 2
Apologies to fans of Joe Girardi. We didn’t know that Fox was going to give him a TV tryout until after we started the poll.
And on that note, DTLFL is taking a little offseason of its own. But we are leaving you a Barry Bonds poll, since he is no doubt the biggest name in this year’s Hot Stove League.
Some Voting Machines Chop Off Candidates’ Names
By Leef Smith
The Washington Post
Tuesday 24 October 2006
Computer glitch affects voters in 3 jurisdictions; error cannot be fixed by November 7.
U.S. Senate candidate James Webb’s last name has been cut off on part of the electronic ballot used by voters in Alexandria, Falls Church and Charlottesville because of a computer glitch that also affects other candidates with long names, city officials said yesterday.
Although the problem creates some voter confusion, it will not cause votes to be cast incorrectly, election officials emphasized. The error shows up only on the summary page, where voters are asked to review their selections before hitting the button to cast their votes. Webb’s full name appears on the page where voters choose for whom to vote.
Election officials attribute the mistake to an increase in the type size on the ballot. Although the larger type is easier to read, it also unintentionally shortens the longer names on the summary page of the ballot.
Thus, Democratic candidate Webb will appear with his first name and nickname only – or "James H. ‘Jim’" – on summary pages in Alexandria, Falls Church and Charlottesville, the only jurisdictions in Virginia that use balloting machines manufactured by Hart InterCivic of Austin.
"We’re not happy about it," Webb spokeswoman Kristian Denny Todd said last night, adding that the campaign learned about the problem a week ago and has since been in touch with state election officials. "I don’t think it can be remedied by Election Day. Obviously, that’s a concern."
Every candidate on Alexandria’s summary page has been affected in some way by the glitch. Even if candidates’ full names appear, as is the case with Webb’s Republican opponent, incumbent Sen. George F. Allen, their party affiliations have been cut off.
Jean Jensen, secretary of the Virginia State Board of Elections, who said yesterday she only recently became aware of the problem, pledged to have it fixed by the 2007 statewide elections.
"You better believe it," Jensen said. "If I have to personally get on a plane and bring Hart InterCivic people here myself, it’ll be corrected."
Absentee voters casting ballots in advance of the Nov. 7 election first noticed the problem. Election officials have been forced to post signs in voting booths and instruct poll workers to explain why some longer names appear cut-off.
Election officials in Alexandria said they have been vexed by the problem since they purchased the voting machines in 2003. Although the problem has raised eyebrows among confused voters, elections officials said they are confident that the trouble has not led voters to cast ballots incorrectly.
"This is not the kind of problem that has either shaken our confidence in the system overall or that of the vote," said Alexandria Registrar Tom Parkins. "There have been far worse problems around the country."
James T. "Jim" Hurysz, an independent candidate who’s running to unseat incumbent Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.), sees it somewhat differently. His name has been shortened on the summary page to "James T. ‘Jim.’"
Moran is the one lucky James in Alexandria whose last name made the summary page, although without the "Jr."
"That situation is not acceptable," Hurysz said. "There’s enough voter confusion as it is."
Jensen said Hart InterCivic has created an upgrade for their firmware and recently applied for state certification to apply the fix. That process, she said, can be time-consuming because of security measures in place .
Hart InterCivic officials yesterday said they hoped to correct the problem by next fall.
This news has fans of Brandon Webb hoping that Hart InterCivic did not handle the balloting for the 2006 NL Cy Young Award.
The poll statement was: Brandon Webb will NOT win the 2006 Cy Young Award…
There were 33 votes.
3 votes – because the D’Backs are out of contention.
8 votes – because a starter with better numbers will win.
5 votes – because reliever Trevor Hoffman will win for "Lifetime Achievement"
17 votes – Are you kidding? Of course, Webby’s gonna win it!
The new poll asks your opinion on Eric Byrnes’ hairstyle during his recent appearance on ESPN. (Yes, that "silly question" time of year has arrived!) There’s a picture above the poll in case you didn’t see him on TV.