Touching 'Em All: Drafts, Congress, and Nicknames
Credit: Business Insider
Welcome to Touching ‘Em All, a new weekly column with some of the latest in baseball news. Things are always happening, and it’s always good to keep in the know of what’s new and current in the great game of baseball. Here are 5 things you may have heard about this week:
1. The MLB Draft - Out of the big four sports in the USA, Major League Baseball’s draft is probably the least hyped draft out of all of them. For starters, the draft takes place during the season, as opposed to the others which take place during the off-season. Also, pretty much all of the players taken in the MLB draft won’t see the majors for a couple of years, because developing big league talent is a very time consuming process these days. But, the draft came and went, and some big names like Hunter Greene, (a shortstop who was drafted as a pitcher who reaches 100 mph out of high school) were taken early. Most of these names won’t be known to many people until a couple of years down the road, but the draft brings hope to everyone for a brighter future.
2. The Attack at the Congressional Baseball Game - Every year, Republican and Democrat politicians gather to play a baseball game. It’s become a tradition in which all members of Congress can agree on one thing, and that’s having a great time with America’s National Pastime. I have no desire to turn this into a political debate, because I blog about baseball. But there was an attack on the Republican team during a practice session, where several people were injured after a gunman opened fire. I know politics are a very touchy topic these days, but baseball games are meant to be a way to escape the world around you, get together with your peers, and become a kid again for a few short hours. I won’t take sides here, but an attack on a baseball game is an attack on America, no matter what side was victimized. Thoughts go out to the families of those affected by this horror.
3. Is baseball still too slow? - Every year, pace of play becomes a topic of conversation within the higher ups in the league. Every year, I scream to let it go. Baseball is the only major sport without a clock (well, not anymore, technically). Finding new ways to hasten the game is like trying to make your cake bake faster by turning the temperature up in your oven. The new rule about intentional walks is stupid. First time I saw it live (Aaron Judge was walked, just wanted to mention Aaron Judge), I was more confused than annoyed that I was robbed of watching the big guy swing. Throw the pitches, it takes approximately 1 minute to walk a guy. What’s one measly minute gonna do in the grand scheme of things? One way of quickening up games that I do like is not holding up the game for managers to challenge. Either do, or don’t. Don’t waste our time by deciding.
4. Relaxed Uniform Policies on Player’s Weekend - Wearing nicknames on the back of jerseys? Cool. Bright colored equipment? Heck yeah. Personalities being released unto the masses? Bring it on. If you look at beer league softball, you’ll always have those personalities on the field and off that make the game as enjoyable as it should be. Why not have that shared with the fans on baseball’s biggest stage? I’m all for this idea, and I think it should become an annual thing, if it works as I think it will.
5. Yasiel Puig Flips the Bat and the Bird - At the Dodgers’ 7-5 win in Cleveland on Tuesday, Yasiel Puig opened the scoring with a 2-run homer in the top of the 2nd. After touching home plate, he greeted some fans with an “obscene gesture”. Puig has a reputation already, and it’s not gonna go away. He’s a star in the spotlight, playing for one of the biggest teams in one of the biggest markets in baseball. He really should know better than to flip off some fans in a road park. He was subsequently suspended for one game, rightfully so, and I really hope he one day learns a lesson and grows up.
What other stories should I cover in Touching 'Em All? Let me know in the comments.