Thoughts on Rory,NFL Free Agency and the Kentucky Wildcats for Monday


Rory McIlroy isn't in any way like Tiger, but when he tosses a club into a pond he still needs to be held to the same standard.

As hard as I am on Tiger Woods, I’m a little disappointed that the sports media world hasn’t been a little harder on Rory McIlroy after he chucked his 3-iron into pond on the par five fifth hole at Trump Doral. One ESPN writer even went so far as to say “it wasn’t all negative.” Wait a minute… Why do we crush Tiger Woods for moments of anger that are a simple as a curse word but McIlroy gets a pass? Sorry but if you’re going to continue to push golf as a game of honor then demand it from all players not just some.

National Football League’s free agent frenzy is underway with some surprises and some some very expected moves. Ndamukong Suh will reportedly sign the richest deal for a defensive lineman ever on Tuesday when the formal signing can begin. Suh will get $60 million in guaranteed money as heads to the AFC East to play for the Miami Dolphins. The Raiders were thought to be major players for Suh but in the end the first rumored team to want him has gotten him.

Randall Cobb surprised a few people with his decision to stay in Green Bay for less money.

In a bit of a surprise, Randall Cobb re-signed with the Green Bay Packers after it appeared there was no way they would be able to afford him. The Raiders reportedly offered him as much as $11-12 million per season but Cobb made a decision that far too many players do not. He chose less money and the chance for team success over anything else. Cobb continues to catch passes from Aaron Rodgers and will benefit from having other talented receivers around him.

I’m not sure I understand what the Philadelphia Eagles are up to in terms of their running back situation. They traded LeSean McCoy who is arguably in his prime years and now are rumored to be looking at former 49ers’ running back Frank Gore who is absolutely on the downside of his career. Granted, if they sign Gore, he’ll make much less money than McCoy would have but at the same time isn’t McCoy a better fir for the Chip Kelly offense?

No pun intended by this but what a tough break for the San Francisco Giants who have lost outfielder Hunter Pence for six to eight weeks. Pence, who played in all 162 games last season was struck on the forearm which fractured while he was batting. The defending champion Giants really have no room error in their quest to return to the playoffs. With the Dodgers already poised to be the division’s best team, the much-improved Padres will not be easily dismissed in 2015 either.

The Kentucky Wildcats achieved a perfect 31-0 regular season on Saturday with a win over SEC rival Florida. The arguments will be far and wide as to whether the team needs to lose in the SEC Tournament in order to capture the National Title. My take is that there will be pressure on these kids one way or another. They’ve been the overwhelming favorites to win the title since the season began and losing in the conference tournament will not make a bit of difference in the amount of pressure these players will face. Should UK lose somewhere in the next four weeks, the hindsight will be ridiculous. Just let the kids and John Calipari navigate the waters. There will be rough seas ahead one way or another.

Usually by this time in the NBA season I have a firm grasp on who I think will win the title but to be honest, I think any team in the Western Conference is capable of winning the championship while in the East I have faith only in the Hawks and Cavaliers.


2015 National League Pennant Odds

Bryce Harper and the Nationals are favorites to win the 2015 NL Pennant.

Washington Nationals 13/4 – The addition of Max Scherzer rocketed the Nationals to the top contenders in the National League and rightfully so. He will eat innings which will help the bullpen. The offense is solid, but not spectacular in my opinion but I do like skipper Matt Williams a lot because he knows how to generate some runs.

Los Angeles Dodgers 19/4 – Brandon McCarthy makes the starting rotation deeper but did the bullpen and offense get any better? I think the Dodgers challenge but any dropoff could result in Don Mattingly going bye-bye.

Chicago Cubs 6/1 – Joe Maddon instantly adds wins to this team and adding some more talent to the already talented youth doesn’t hurt either. Can they live up to higher expectations? Time will tell.

San Diego Padres 13/2 – The addition of James Shields will give the pitching staff a much needed boost and the offense will be better as well. The problem is the division where the Giants and Dodgers aren’t going to go away anytime soon.

St. Louis Cardinals 13/2 – Although some extra pitching would have been nice in the offseason, the Cardinals did add Jason Heyward to the outfield and the line-up. I see no reason why the Cards aren’t right where they usually are in the end.

Madison Bumgarner will need a repeat performance if the Giants are to repeat as the champs.

San Francisco Giants 17/2 – The defending champs aren’t fond of odd-numbered years and their pitching staff, outside of Madison Bumgarner is a little questionable. Plus, who replaces Pablo Sandoval?

New York Mets 14/1 – Michael Cuddyer comes over from Colorado so while we can expect his numbers to drop a bit he is still a solid upgrade. There are capable players on this team so if the pitching can come through the Mets could be a challenge in the East.

Pittsburgh Pirates 14/1 – The Battling Buccos have to replace Russell Martin behind the dish and that won’t be easy. He was a great leader and was well-liked by the fans. A.J. Burnett returns to the rotation but will they get enough out of the starters this year?

Miami Marlins 16/1 – This team will have a very exciting outfield which should put butts in seats. The questions will be mostly about pitching and whether the Marlins will have enough of it to stay with the Nationals.

Cincinnati Reds 28/1 – After competing in recent years the Reds will take a significant step back. They lack any real depth and should they stay healthy could be a factor but they dumped too many guys to consider them.

Atlanta Braves 33/1 – The Braves unloaded a lot of players recently and seem to be throwing in the towel for this season and maybe next year as well.

Milwaukee Brewers 33/1 – The Brewmasters started so hot last season but then the roof collapsed and they were caught by St. Louis and Pittsburgh. I don’t see any type of start this year resembling what they did in 2014.

Arizona Diamondbacks 50/1 – This team is destined for the basement in the National League West unless they can best the Rockies which is debatable. The Padres got better and there’s no way they are in the same league as the Dodgers and Giants.

Colorado Rockies 75/1 – The Rockies have very little pitching and the offense is going to rely too heavily on just a couple of guys for them to be taken seriously in 2015.

Philadelphia Phillies 75/1 – It’s a fantastic baseball city that probably deserves better but I don’t see much hope in sight. This is going to be another long year especially in a division with three top, improved teams.

Who I like… As much as I hate going with the favorite, I think Washington gets over the hump behind a monster pitching staff and wins the pennant.

2015 MLB Player Props

The Major League Baseball 2015 regular season starts in just over one month. Odds makers have just released an array of different props that can be bet on for the season.

Bookmakers have released MLB World Series futures, divisional odds and win total, but now there are player specific props to wager on as well.

One prop bet that is always the most popular is the player who will hit the most home runs. Last season that player was Nelson Cruz in the American League with 50 and Giancarlo Stanton with 37 led the National League.

Stanton this season is the favorite at +600 to lead the majors in home runs. According to Bovada and betonline, Stanton is +600, Jose Abreu is +800 and Chris Carter is +1800.

A number of other key statistical offensive categories are available to make future bets on.

The league leader for hits has an over/under of 213.5.

Last season just one player Jose Altuve had 200 or more hits with 225. Odds makers such as topbet and have Altuve leading the majors in hits but with just 195.

The batting average leader in the league is set at .341 for the over/under. Altuve led the league in batting average last season as well as in hits. He finished at .341, with Victor Martinez at .335 in second and Michael Brantley at .327 in third.

The number of home runs has an over/under of 43.5. No individual hitter is expected to hit over 41 home runs this season. Since 2001, the number of homes has continually dropped.

The most RBIs are set at 124.5 for the over/under. Last season the top RBI man was Adrian Gonzalez for the Los Angeles Dodgers with 116 and just 12 hit the 100 RBI mark. Both Stanton and Miguel Cabrera are expected to have 104 RBIs in the season making them co-favorites in that category.

The leader in stolen bases for this season has an over/under of 63.5. Dee Gordon of Miami and Billy Hamilton of Cincinnati will be the top two in stolen bases. Gordon led the league last season with 64 stolen bases, while Hamilton tied Altuve for second at 56.

From hitting to pitching, the league leader for wins is set at 21.5. Last season the most wins were 21 by Clayton Kershaw, while Johnny Cueto and Adam Wainwright recorded 20 apiece. Just one pitcher in the last five seasons, Justin Verlander in 2011 with 24, has won 22 or more games.

The most saves in the league is set at 47.5. Fernando Rodney last season led the league with 48 saves. Five top relievers in the league are predicted to record only 35 saves this season, which is astronomically low. After all, in 11 of the last 14 seasons, at least one pitcher has had 48 or more saves.

Boxing, Baseball and More on My Saturday Docket

Finally! Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather,Jr. will meet in the ring May 2nd.

Although it’s coming about five or six years too late, the two greatest boxers of this generation are finally going to meet inside the ring rather than through social media. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. announced yesterday that he and Manny Pacquiao will meet on May 2nd.

The unbeaten Mayweather turns 38 years old this week while Pacquiao is 36. I see no reason why this won’t be a great fight but I would be remiss if I didn’t suggest it would have been even better several years ago. Sadly, the reason why this match has taken so long to happen is why boxing has suffered in the last 20 years and we have promoters to thank.

But to be fair, its’ been far more than that that’s delayed this fight. Everything from networks to types of drug-testing to who gets what split of the pot has kept this event from happening. HBO and Showtime have agreed to produce the fight together and it looks like it will cost viewers about $90 for the fight via pay-per-view.

Right now Mayweather is listed at -275 and Pacquiao is at +220 and I don’t think that will change a lot. Regardless of who the money pushes towards this will be the richest fight in the history of the sport and it’s about time.

Commissioner Rob Manfred continues to put his mark on baseball in the short time he's been in charge.

Hurry-Up Offense in Baseball?

New Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has wasted no time in putting his stamp on the game. Already Manfred has suggested banning the defensive shift to combat pull hitters, wants to shrink the strike zone starting in 2016 and now wants to speed up the game.

As much as I’m a baseball purist, I think the new rules are needed. Batters continue to take more and more time in between pitches and while that might just be a few seconds, that adds up over the course of a game. Batters will now have to keep at least one foot in the batter’s box between pitches unless authorized but the umpire to do otherwise.

MLB’s goal is to speed up the game not so much for those at the stadium but for the television audience. Teams will be advised that there will no longer be a long delay once the networks come back from commercial. Instead, pitchers and batters will need to be ready to go when the commercial break is over.

I don’t think what Manfred and MLB are asking is impossible nor is it ridiculous. Watch film from games 40 years ago or more and you’ll see batters rarely leave the box and pitchers rarely leave the mound. Why we’ve gotten away from that I have no idea but I welcome the changes and I anticipate they’ll make the baseball viewing experience better.

NASCAR Suspends Kurt Busch

Perhaps the hand of NASCAR was already played thanks to the National Football League when it came to domestic violence. With the NFL and NASCAR sharing many fans, the country’s top racing circuit followed the lead of the NFL and suspended racer Kurt Busch following a court’s ruling that Busch smashed the head of his former girlfriend into the wall of their motor home.

The ruling comes just two days before the Daytona 500 and the official start of the 2015 NASCAR season. Busch and his lawyer, Rusty Hardin who you may remember represented Roger Clemens, called the decision “disappointing” and that the “this is a travesty of justice.”

The bottom line is that NASCAR could not sit on this. It was already public and many were watching with very keen interest to see how the “good ole’ boys” would handle domestic violence. For now, they are doing things the right way.

Odds Makers Release 2015 MLB Divisional Odds

Odds makers online are gearing up for the start of Major League Baseball’s 2015 regular season on April 5. On opening day, the Chicago Cubs host the St. Louis Cardinals. The divisional odds were released this week giving bettors plenty of time to review the numbers and make a pick they feel has the most value.

The American League East has been called the most competitive division top to bottom in baseball by odds makers at Bovada and topbet.

While the Boston Red Sox are the favorites to win the division with 2 to 1 odds. All of the five teams in the AL East are priced 5 to 1 or lower.

The other two divisions in the American League appear wide open, as there is only one team in both the AL Central and West with odds of double digits. The Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tiger are the co-favorites of the AL Central with 2 to 1 odds. The Los Angeles Angels are 3 to 2 to win AL West division, but just barely in front of the 8 to 5 Seattle Mariners.

In the National League East, the Washington Nationals are clear favorites at 1 to 4 to win the division, with the Miami Marlins a distant second at 5 to 1.

In the NL Central, the odds on favorite is St. Louis at 10 to 11, but Pittsburgh is 5 to 2 and Chicago 4 to 1.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are a clear favorite to win the NL West. The Dodgers are 2 to 5, while the San Francisco Giants are a distant 5 to 1 with the San Diego Padres 7 to 2.

2015 MLB Divisional Odds

RED SOX 2 to 1
BLUE JAYS 11 to 4
ORIOLES 4 to 1
YANKEES 9 to 1
RAYS 50 to 1


TIGERS 2 to 1
INDIANS 2 to 1
WHITE SOX 9 to 1
ROYALS 13 to 1
TWINS 25 to 1

ANGELS 3 to 2
A’S 5 to 1
RANGERS 6 to 1
ASTROS 20 to 1

MARLINS 5 to 1
METS 6 to 1
BRAVES 35 to 1
PHILLIES 100 to 1

CARDINALS 10 to 11
PIRATES 5 to 2
CUBS 4 to 1
BREWERS 12 to 1
REDS 15 to 1

DODGERS 2 to 5
GIANTS 5 to 1
PADRES 7 to 1
ROCKIES 50 to 1

Washington Nationals Top Win Totals Board for MLB

With Major League Baseball pitchers and catchers arriving for spring training, the start of the 2015 season is just weeks away.

Odds makers recently released their 2015 MLB win total for the season. Sure enough, bettors with fistfuls of cash are ready to put down their wager on the over/under for win totals.

Early money starting coming in on the UNDER for the Boston Red Sox at 86 wins, which pushed their total down to 84.5.

The Washington Nationals received interest as soon as the list was released Sunday night. The Nationals had the highest win total of all 30 MLB teams at 93, but was bet on to 94 according to Bovada and

Nearly every team received some action, with over 68% of the wager coming on middle wagers. One was Cleveland, at one house you could have the OVER at 81 for the Indians and at another the UNDER was 84.5, which according to topbet and betonline, created a window of opportunity of 3.5 games.

For many, one of the toughest teams to figure out is the New York Yankees. They have a veteran lineup with Rodriguez, Beltran, Teixeira and McCann, but their rotation following Tanaka is iffy. If Sabathia is able to come back healthy, he could help. However, Michael Pineda missed four out of the last five seasons.

The Yankees win total opened at 81.5 wins.

Another difficult team to put a handle on is the Houston Astros. The Astros are trending upwards but its young talent is hard to judge. George Springer played close to 70 games last season and had 20 home runs, but how will he be over a complete season?

However, they will be in one of the best top to bottom divisions in baseball with the Angels, A’s, Rangers and Mariners all vastly improved.

Houston opened at 75.5 wins on most sites, but on others, the Astros opened at 73.5.

The San Diego Padres were another team hard to pick a total for as they added pitching during the offseason and outfielder Matt Kemp. The Padres opened at 85.5 wins, which is higher than at other houses.

The Kansas City Royals opened as low as 79.5 in one house and as high as 83 on another. Odds makers believe the public will like the OVER on Kansas City, but one believes the Royals might not win more than 70 games this season.

Highest win total – Washington Nationals – 94

Lowest win total – Philadelphia Phillies – 68.5

Bullets Are Back for a Frigid Sunday

Zach LaVine is a worthy slam dunk champion but wouldn't it be nice if some actual stars participated?

I’m not sure where you are on this Sunday in February but I hope you’re warmer than I am. It’s always a real eye-opener when you look at the digital readout on the counter and it says “minus.” Ya, that’s not good but let’s talk some sports.

-I stopped watching the slam dunk competition a long time ago because it got stale and rarely did any of the game’s top stars actually participate. With that thought in mind I give you last night’s Slam Dunk Champion Zach LeVine of the Minnesota Timberwolves. I just watched his dunks and I admit, they were pretty darn spectacular. The problem is that most casual NBA fans have no clue who LeVine is. He averages about seven points per game. I’d rather watch LeBron take on Kevin Durant in H-O-R-S-E.

-The New York Jets yesterday decided not to extend running back Chris Johnson who now becomes a free agent. Johnson becomes just another one of those running backs who had a couple of big seasons and then petered out.

-Major League Baseball is apparently toying with the idea of shrinking the strike zone for 2016. Since new MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred took over, he’s mentioned outlawing the defensive shift against pull hitters and now wants to make the already small strike zone even smaller. If you want more offense Mr. Commissioner then how about having umpires use the original strike zone? Then maybe hitters would be more apt to swing more often?

If this man recruits your son, I'd look elsewhere.

-By trade, most college football coaches are salesmen. They have to sell themselves, their school and their program in order to get the talent they desire. That said, if Louisville Head Coach Bobby Petrino ever sent so much as a post card to my son I’d send it back express with a big middle finger on it. Many high schools in South Carolina have now banned Petrino after he pulled a scholarship offer promised to a player. Yes, it’s a business, but it doesn’t have to include people like Petrino. Just look at the way he’s conducted himself wherever he’s been.

-UFC President Dana White has a growing problem whether he is willing to admit it or not. More and more of his fighters are testing positive for everything from cocaine to performance-enhancing drugs. These aren’t his middle of the road fighters either. Guys like Jon Jones and Anderson Silva have tested positive after recent fights and White has to recognize that this isn’t a good look for his sport.

-NBA Commissioner Adam Silver addressed the state of his sport yesterday and he touched on a couple of issues that I think fans will like. First of all, he wants to tweak the schedule to get players more rest and that includes cutting back on preseason games. He also appears to be open to altering playoff seeding as well but that may take awhile. My hope is that Silver also decides to cut back on regular season games period. There are too many games that are meaningless especially ones where the top players are getting rest.

-I have no idea how the game of cricket is played in terms of rules but I can tell you that India defeated Pakistan in the 2015 Cricket World Cup. What I find most interesting is that these are two countries that politically, ethnically and religiously despise each other. Yet once again sports has shown that nations can get along for a little competition every once in awhile.

Washington Nationals Top World Series Futures Heading to Spring Training

Spring Training will start soon across South Florida and the desert southwest, even though it is the dead of winter in the majority of the U.S. A number of teams will start reporting this week to their spring training facilities with the pitchers and catchers reporting first.

In just a few short weeks, the teams will be ready to start their spring training schedules and prepare for the 2015 season.

According to one online report, many of the Major League Baseball’s 30 teams will have pitchers and catchers reporting starting today February 12 and all camps are open officially starting February 20.

The upcoming season could see big changes for teams, as the offseason was busy with a number of trades and big free agent signings.

According to Bovada and, the team with the best odds to win the World Series is the Washington Nationals. The Nationals hit the jackpot this past offseason when they signed Max Scherzer to a $200 million seven-year deal. When Scherzer is added to a staff that is considered by most one of the league’s best, many teams will dread three- and four-game series with Washington.
One of big surprises on the futures board for the World Series is the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs made significant changes during the offseason, including signing Joe Maddon to manage the club. However, the club is 16 to 1 and in front of teams such as Kansas City, Baltimore, the Yankees and Detroit and that is a big stretch.

According to topbet and betonline, the Cubs have been cellar dwellers the last two seasons and next to last the two seasons prior to that.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are second on the list due to their strong starting rotation that compares with that of Washington. When the Dodgers and Nationals meet, the over under could be low as 1 or 2. Just kidding, but that just underscores the strength the two pitching staffs have.

The season is long, injuries are always a play away and these odds will be adjusted up and down like a yo-yo between now and October.

2015 World Series Odds

Washington Nationals 6 to 1
Los Angeles Dodgers 13 to 2
Los Angeles Angels 10 to 1
St. Louis Cardinals 12 to 1
Boston Red Sox 14 to 1
Seattle Mariners 14 to 1
Chicago White Sox 15 to 1
San Francisco Giants 15 to 1
Chicago Cubs 16 to 1
San Diego Padres 18 to 1
Detroit Tigers 20 to 1

Sports in America Twenty Years From Now

Twenty years from now I see soccer becoming the dominant sport in America like it or not.

Welcome to 2035! Jump on board the time machine with me as I give you my thoughts on what sports in America will look like 20 years from now.

The biggest change overall will be the rise of soccer. If you read my column regularly then you know this just destroys me but it’s what I see happening. The world is a smaller place now because of technology and social media and the most recent World Cup proved just how crazy Americans are getting over soccer.

The vast majority of the fan base right now is kids, teens and twenty-somethings with smatterings of older adults thrown in here and there. If you advance things 20 years, that means the current fan base will be a prime mixture of fans in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s.

Soccer has long been treated as a red-headed step-child in America but with the fear police assaulting football, I see it growing by leaps and bounds.

Speaking of football, I have a gut feeling participation nationally will continue to drop as parents keep their kids from playing for health reasons. Far be it from me to tell any parent how to rule over their child but I believe much of what has happened to “make the game safer” has largely been blown out of proportion.

I also believe that college football will actually become bigger than the National Football League. I feel this way because the NFL will continue to lose viewers. Recent polls have shown that men over 50 is the largest demographic that is no longer watching pro football.

That speaks volumes because if they stop watching then their kids will become less interested as well. The pro game in general has become a shell of its’ former self with the violence of the game all but removed and defense becoming an after-thought as everything favors offenses today.

If the NFL moves teams to Europe I also predict that will quicken the pace of its’ demise.

The NBA will need to have more personalities twenty years from now as LeBron will be long gone from the court.

My crystal ball sees the National Basketball Association staying popular but it faces some challenges. First and foremost the game must have personable stars that provide the face of the league. LeBron James is clearly that face today but Michael Jordan set the bar so high I wonder if it is unreachable. I have yet to see a player with Jordan’s ability to be an assassin on the court and be friendly off it has been unmatched.

I also think the NBA will shorten its’ season. We are seeing a rise in star players spending more time on the bench for rest and for minor injuries. Fans will demand this going forward.

Major League Baseball will continue to see Latin players flood the rosters. This is not a bad thing in any way. MLB’s biggest issues will be keeping the games as short as possible as well how to deal with pitching injuries that are on the rise. Don’t be surprised if MLB contracts a few teams in an effort to keep competitive balance high.

I also see contraction in the National Hockey League where some teams just aren’t filling seats. The NHL will finally have some personalities and players that will draw fans in that haven’t normally been there in the past. The game itself is in good shape, but it will need to do more to draw in those fringe fans and I think it will once Gary Bettman is no longer the commissioner.

Al in all, sports will continue to dominate our lives but I see changes coming and for me personally I’m not real crazy about them.

New Baseball Boss Swings and Misses in First Major Interview

New MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred is suggesting the game does away with significant defensive shifts. Not the best way to start his tenure in my opinion.

Commissioners of professional sports in America do not have easy jobs. While being the leader of the National Football League would mean more to me than being President of the United States, I realize it can be a daunting and thankless job.

I believe that the best way for any new commissioner to come into his or her new assignment is to do so quietly and without much fanfare.

While National Basketball Association Commissioner Adam Silver certainly could have never expected he’d be facing the crisis he did with LA Clippers’ former owner Donald Sterling, he did so with grace and suitable forcefulness.

New Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has decided that coming into his new post quietly was apparently not an option.

In a recent interview, Manfred expressed his willingness to ban the practice of defensive over-shifting. This is what is done to combat heavy pull-hitters in the game. My initial was one of curiosity but the more I thought about it the more I couldn’t help but wonder “what in the wide world of sports would motivate this move?”

It would be a good idea for Manfred to pay attention to the messes Goodell has found himself in.

Well, let’s look to the current sport in the country that holds the title of “America’s Pastime” and that would be the National Football League. If you didn’t think Commissioner Roger Goodell was all about money then you must have missed former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue’s comments. But that isn’t what I’m getting at.

Goodell’s affect on the NFL has been one of increasing revenue and for him, that’s meant increasing offensive output. More scoring appeals to average fans and it appeals even more to those millions who participate in fantasy football.

Now go back to Manfred’s proposal to eliminate the shift in professional baseball. If he gets his wish and players are forced to cover “zones” on the diamond, that means pull hitters will gain a decided advantage in hitting. More hitting means more offense which in turn means more runs. And who doesn’t love more scoring right?

If you aren’t following here’s the example. Batter A is a dead-pull hitter and is right-handed. Many baseball managers will put the “shift on” sliding the third baseman to the fair/foul line… Will slide the shortstop towards the third baseman’s natural position… Will slide the second baseman to the left of second base, or more towards the shortstop’s natural spot.

The first baseman therefore is the only infielder to the right side of the diamond. The outfield will naturally shift as well meaning the left fielder goes to the line, the center fielder moves well left and the right fielder moves towards center.

Commons sense tells the manager that if Batter A is a dead-pull guy and you’ve got all of your defense over there to defend him, then he’ll have the pitcher work to get the ball hit there.

Now imagine shifts like this aren’t allowed. A dead-pull hitter now has just the third baseman, shortstop and left fielder to contend with while in a shift, he has the center fielder and the second baseman added to the equation.

Is Manfred’s suggestion the worst idea in the world? Now, it probably isn’t in the grand scheme of things but this is not the way I would imagine he wanted to put his first stamp as commissioner on the game. If Manfred can learn anything, perhaps he needs to keep an eye on those NFL offices in New York City where they can’t do anything right.

Baseball has a prime opportunity to regain some favor with basic fans but drastically altering the defense of baseball isn’t a good way to do it.