Festivus 2022: The airing of grievances, sports edition

 

Festivus Yes! Bagels No!

Festivus is back again and like most family celebrations, it’s sure to be a humdinger.

My aluminum pole, with its high strength-to-weight ratio, has again been pulled out of the crawl space and is ready for another Festivus miracle.

This season we’ll jump right into the good stuff, with my favorite tradition, the “airing of grievances” as we pay homage to the classic TV show “Seinfeld.”

Over the past 12 months, the sports world helped me build a running list for this year’s piece. I have a lot of problems with athletes, owners, leagues and fans. Now, you’re gonna hear all about it.

Sporting events should not start at 8 p.m.

Ok, this one is for all the sports journalists who work in print. But the 8 p.m. starts have to end. We’re looking at you Pac-12, Dodgers and anything related to the West Coast. Lets get real folks, not one person on the East Coast is going to stay up to watch a trashy college game, or the Dodgers play against the Rockies in June… well, who would want to watch the Rockies anyway.

Robot umpires

Yes, the bots are coming and they’re coming to a ballpark near you. Major League Baseball has instituted the Automatic Ball Strike system, or ABS at the minor league level.

For the longest time I have been against the ABS system and still am. But the lame pitch tracker you see on television is not accurate. It doesn’t help when announcers and former players hate on umpires during broadcasts. It is time for fans, players, beat reporters and broadcasters to enjoy a piece of humble pie and understand how hard the job is.

CHSAA is always looking for officials folks, give them a holler and sign up for some games if you think it’s easy.

Major League Baseball needs to focus on getting the best umpires on the field and not keeping older guys around until they retire in their 60s.

Don’t worry about the bots MLB, find more guys like umpire Pat Hoberg.

If you don’t know the name, he was the home plate umpire for Game 2 of the 2022 World Series, and called a perfect game.

Baseball writers got it wrong on Hall of Fame with Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens

The gate keepers to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, got it wrong and have for a numbers of years, flexing their muscles believing they know who did steroids and who didn’t. Keeping a hall of fame caliber player out because it’s personal is a bad way to cast a vote. Below is my list of players from the past couple years who need to get the call to the hall.

  • Barry Bonds
  • Roger Clemens
  • Gary Sheffield
  • Fred McGriff (2023)
  • Andruw Jones
  • Jeff Kent
  • Billy Wagner
  • Don Mattingly

The Golf Channel broadcast schedule

Sorry, Golf Channel, but you have dropped the ball.

Golf fans like myself want to watch full round coverage of PGA Tour guys since they are the best players in the world.

As talented as the Korn Ferry, LPGA or the Senior tour… I mean, “Champions” Tour players are, fans of golf want to watch the best, not sure that’s too much to ask for.

Nobody wants to listen to Brandel Chamblee and Co. ramble on the talking screen. Give us live golf and lots of it.

WATCH: Fans give Sam Ryder a beer shower after he cards an ace on No. 16 at Waste Management Phoenix Open

The Greenest Show on Grass delivered at the Waste Management Phoenix Open in 2022.

The highlight of the event was when fans rained down beers on Sam Ryder following his ace on the 16th. It was a sight to behold. Let’s just hope fans don’t keep going overboard with throwing beers in the future. I’m cool for an ace moment, but a random hole out or making a big putt is going to be a no for me.

The event is fun, but has turned into a spectacle over the years.

The NBA is a joke and the All-Star Game needs a revamp

It has been said before but the NBA is truly a joke.

The game today is not as much fun to watch. Players travel all over the court, shoot from Denver to DIA distances, play no defense, can’t touch guys and let half the league in the playoffs.

The sad reality is, they have some of the best athletes around. I would love to see some old school basketball from the 80’s and 90’s played today.

The ASG needs to be fixed as well. Take a page from the NFL and do something worth while. The dunk contest is missing the best dunkers, and not many folks want to see a 192-188 score of a game.

And don’t forget LeBron James is the biggest flopper/whiner in the league. He will never be Jordan or Kobe.

LIV Golf vs. PGA Tour 

Professional golfers justifying going to a rival golf league to grow the game or spend more time with family is pretty funny.

LIV Golf is nothing but a money grab. I would have more respect if players just said, “Hey, I am going for the money.” I get it, but at the same time Saudi Arabia, which backs LIV Golf financially, was home to 15 of 19 plane hijackers who flew planes through the Twin Towers in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001.

I guess some professional golfers have forgotten the saying “Never Forget.” I hope when it’s all said and done those players are banned from playing in majors.

Phil Mickelson is also a clown for his comments on the Saudi Golf League/PGA Tour. Like his sponsorships, he has lost all respect from fans.

MLB rule changes and free agency 

I have the strong belief that Rob Manfred hates the game of baseball and is just a politician to the owners. The rule changes coming in 2023 will be bad for baseball. The fact baseball wouldn’t self govern on the field to solve the shifting problem is how we got here.

MLB decided to change the rules because players wouldn’t take what pitchers gave them. No bunting or lining the ball through open holes. No-no, they said, we’ll just pull one into short right for a 4-3 putout. It’s laughable really, what’s next? Maybe we should ban curveballs since players can’t hit them anymore.

The free agency contracts are getting out of hand. The guaranteed money, opt-outs and lack of revenue sharing all make for successful big markets and not much left for the little guys like the Rockies.

I would love to see a salary cap with revenue sharing across the board. It would make for a better MLB experience.

Thanks, Rockies 

Coors Field being cashless is sad for an old school guy like myself. Cash is king no more.

Telling fans they can exchange their cash via a paid-for card is not a win for anyone. This isn’t Disney Land and nobody wants Monfort bucks.

Here’s the law on the books regarding cash at retail businesses.

MLB All-Star Game uniforms 

The flashy new MLB All-Star Game uniforms are a bad look and were made just for MLB to make a couple extra bucks selling jerseys and hats.

The ASG was always classic with teams wearing their home and road unis. That pride of wearing your team colors needs to be brought back… And while we are on the topic of the ASG, only all stars should be there. No reason for over-the-hill players with subpar numbers being on the team. We’re looking at you Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina.

Broncos Country, Lets Ride

Alright Broncos Country, we may not be riding right now but at least we have new owners and not the bickering Bowlen kids. Hey, they all made off like bandits with a couple million hondos 💰

If one thing comes from the Walton-Penner ownership group, it is a shot at bringing back the Classic D logo.

Condoleezza Rice is also pretty cool.

City of Aurora water conservation

Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman needs to put his money where his mouth is. In front of the Aurora Municipal Center, aka “The Taj Mahal,” there is a large pasture of green grass that should be turfed over.

To say it is an active recreation area or gets used by the city is laughable. It may get used for a handful of events, but those same events can be conducted with artificial grass.

All the medians in Aurora with the lush green stuff with half dead trees due to harsh winters and magnesium chloride need to be zeroscaped.

Until that happens, this avid golfer doesn’t want to hear about our water issues from city employees.

Related:
Grass lawns, golf courses and fountains could face limits under Aurora water-saving proposal
Aurora, home builder reach agreement on water for new golf course that could be city’s last

MLB baserunners 

Attention MLB players, the oven mitt is stupid and you look like a fool. Y’all need to get back to playing old school baseball and stop being so soft.

You want to look cool, go out and show me the “Rickey Henderson triple.”

 

Fans don’t ask enough for memorable balls. No, I am not talking about Aaron Judge’s 62 homer.

Rockies rookie Ezequiel Tovar’s first homer came against the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw in L.A. and the fan just asked for a signed ball from Mookie Betts. Having been around professional baseball and the money associated with it, I would have wanted a few thousand dollars to go with some signed game used swag… minimum.

Just being honest about it, would love to see more fans take advantage and profit from it. As players always say, “this is a business”… well don’t be upset when fans start asking a small fortune for milestone baseballs.

Astros no-hit Phillies in Game 4 of World Series

Celebrating combined no hitters is not official in my scorebook. All that was accomplished was a special complete game.

Imagine asking Bob Gibson, Jack Morris or John Smoltz to give you a solid six innings.

It is time to get rid of some of the analytics and get back to playing real baseball.

 

Deion Sanders: “We Coming”

Have to say I didn’t have Neon Deion and the Buffs on my 2022 bingo card at all this year

I wish Coach Prime the best. My guess is he will be successful and turn the program around. Unfortunately, I don’t think he will finish his contract out.

The southern man who loves grits and warm weather might not pull a Midnight Mel Tucker on the Buffs, but I’m sure he will find himself a higher paying/warmer weather job down the road.

Hope I’m wrong on this one, but CU has always been a pitstop for successful coaches.

“College Football has become eBay”

Dan Patrick and the boys summed the state of college football on a recent show when talking about NIL and how much players are being paid nowadays.

Collegiate student athletes are just looking for an education and a paycheck… a BIG paycheck.

Paul Klee: Sports were the perfect arena to expose COVID mania

The 2022 season started off hot with a column from Paul Klee on sports and Covid. It’s worth a read.

Throwback quote of the year

Quote of the year goes to Michigan State coach Tom Izzo when asked about the handshake line after Juwan Howard and Greg Gard started a brouhaha following the Michigan vs. Wisconsin game.

Tweet of the year

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