Tuesday, June 17, 2008

what an idiot

Instead of just posting a link, I decided to display the entire AP article. It's just chock-full of idiotic goodness.

Published: June 17, 2008

The Yankees’ loss of their ace, Chien-Ming Wang, for up to 10 weeks prompted the team co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner to chastise the National League for playing without a designated hitter.

“My only message is simple,” Steinbrenner said in Tampa, Fla. “The National League needs to join the 21st century. They need to grow up and join the 21st century.”

Steinbrenner said he was angry and added: “I’ve got my pitchers running the bases, and one of them gets hurt. He’s going to be out. I don’t like that, and it’s about time they address it. That was a rule from the 1800s.”

Making a rare appearance on the bases at an N.L. park in Houston on Sunday, Wang pulled up rounding third and hobbled home on a Derek Jeter single.

“This is always a concern of American League teams when their pitchers have to run the bases and they’re not used to doing it,” Steinbrenner said. “It’s not just us. It’s everybody. It probably should be a concern for National League owners, general managers and managers when their pitchers run the bases. Pitchers have enough to do without having to do that.”

I was watching Baseball Tonight on ESPN last night, and John Kruk (while biting his tongue about the DH issue) made what I thought was an appropriate comparison when he suggested that "if one of his pitchers slipped in the shower, is he gonna shut off the water in all the stadiums?" I think that's a fair question.

Maybe Mr Steinbrenner and his front office staff should petition for the end of interleague play. That's one even I would get behind. Better yet, maybe the AL should secede from MLB and form their own, separate league where they could do whatever the hell they want.

One more thing to Mr Steinbrenner: Pitchers are athletes just like position players. They SHOULD be able to swing the bat, run the bases, and slide under a tag with some semblance of competence. They do have a special role, I agree, but the fact that they are pitchers does not excuse them from learning the rest of the game and contributing to their team's success when they step off the mound. My suggestion is that you encourage the rest of your pitchers (and other AL pitchers) to do warm-ups and take batting practice with the rest of the team even when they're not in an NL park. It will strengthen the team and make the pitcher a better all-around player, not to mention loosening him up so that he can avoid injuries when he's walking in from the bullpen or lifting a bottle of Gatorade.