Butch Rogaine Recaps the First Half
of the Baseball Season



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Issue #54

     There are a few things that deserve serious pondering in baseball but seem to get ignored:

It doesn't matter if the Expos win the World Series

     Every baseball magazine and newspaper makes an unnecessarily big deal about how great and unexpected it is that Montreal acquired Bartolo Colon and (at press time) was trying to get Cliff Floyd. Who cares if Montreal can somehow manage to win with less money, or that it's a small market team able to use its minor league talent to obtain established players? They can get to the World Series and it will prove nothing. Contraction is necessary for teams whose fans don't support them whether they win or not, whether they have money or not. Montreal is such a town. George Steinbrenner could own the Expos and field a team consisting of this year's Yankees, and no one would go to watch them. He could field the Devil Rays in New York and more people would go to see them than they would in Tampa. It's a fact of life that some areas love baseball more than others. Yes, baseball is a product and a business, but in essence it begins as a boy's love. A fan is the kid who follows his team through thick and thin and is rewarded when they get it all together. He stays that way when he grows up. The teams that deserve contraction don't have real fans. They have people who are casual spectators that attend and watch games only when their teams are winning. Who needs fans like these or the teams they root for? Kill a few teams and make the rest strong enough that even the poor teams with good fans have a chance to field 2 or 3 good pitchers instead of using the diluted talent pool available now. Sorry to all you reporters and wannabe fans who are doe-eyed about a team "dying." Rest in peace!  

Japan Has Come Far Since Hiroshima, Not!

     Wow, Ichiro! Ishii! Sasaki! Nomo! Will the plethora of Japanese baseball players kicking ass in the U.S. ever end!? Yes. There will be no more than ten good Japanese players tops in the majors by the end of this decade. Why? Japan's population is mostly small, and it has taken years for them to develop the few players currently in the majors. It's not a stereotype, it's a fact of life. Weightlifting is completely foreign to all foreigners, which is why there's no big Japanese power hitter in the bigs. There's also not a single powerful foreign player in any sport in the U.S. Dirk Nowitzki is a string bean, Yao Ming and Wang Zhi are puny 7 footers. The foreign player is a novelty, because he has the disadvantage of not being raised in America with the same work ethic that U.S. players have instilled in them by their peers, their culture, and their economic situation. Is there a German basketball player playing on the black top with hopes of buying his momma a house and paying off her debts? No. Are there Japanese parents saying, yeah, our mediocre son is gonna follow his dream to be a baseball player instead of going into business school? No. Despite all the baseball madness in Japan, the culture doesn't place sports on a pedestal akin to other ways of making a living. Nothing wrong with that, but it's a point to mull. Plus, baseball in Japan is like golf and tennis in the U.S. – only rich kids can afford to waste their time learning a foreign sport instead of hitting the books or the workbench.

Jammin' in the Mets Bullpen?

     I know why the Mets suck this year. It's all that weed they're growing in the home bullpen at Shea. It's causing relievers to have seizures, Piazza to say he's straight, and more importantly, it's giving Mo Vaughn the munchies.

Steinbrenner Wants a Strike

     George Steinbrenner knows what happened after the last baseball strike: his team won a ton of World Series. Now that they've lost for the first time in years, he's hoping the labor dispute will make Johnson and Schilling too old to make it back to the Series.

Cubs Suck (What's New)

     Yeah, Don Baylor was a bit of a grouch, but that doesn't explain how Moises Alou, Fred McGriff and Sammy Sosa along with a decent rotation of Wood, Lieber, Clement, (and now Prior) couldn't be in contention for a playoff spot. It's just stars not coming together to perform. Sosa has done all he can, but he can't carry the team all year.

Team and Player Predictions for the Second Half

     Go read some over-researched magazine or website and choose the opposite of everything they say.

Butch Rogaine wonders why it's called the mid-summer classic when it comes only 19 days into summer.
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