Sunday November 13, 2011
Jonathan Hacohen: Ask the Reports is back! After some thought and re-branding: we have decided to drop the E-mailbag moniker and to keep this section as “Ask the Reports”, which will appear every weekend. E-mails is but one form you can reach MLB reports. You can follow us on Twitter and tweet and direct message your questions and comments. You can “Like” us on Facebook and write on our wall. You can also leave all questions and comments at the end of each article and page on the website. With social media exploding as it has, we are truly connected in so many ways.
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Let’s get to your questions:
A: This is an older question which I answered directly to the reader but wanted to share with the readers. As many of you know reading my work, I am not the biggest proponent of the Designated Hitter. I don’t hate it per say- but I am a bigger of fan of the National League game. I have read in baseball circles that Major League Baseball is working toward switching up the DH in interleague games. Meaning there will be a DH in National League parks and no DH in American League parks. An exciting move should it come to fruition, that fans should very much enjoy. The best pro-DH argument that I have heard is that the pitchers for the most part have little ability to hit and it is time to take that part of the game. While that is true on some levels, having pitchers hit forces NL managers to use more strategy in games. There are some strong hitting NL pitchers out there and the bottom is if pitchers know they will have to hit, they will just have to improve themselves in that department. Ultimately I do not think the DH is going anywhere in the AL. The players’ union will not allow MLB to get rid of it, as it will cost many older players their jobs. But by the same token, given the tradition of the NL- I do not see the DH being used in that league either. But if I had my way: get rid of the DH and play “real baseball” across the board. That is my two cents, for what its worth.
Q: I have a question Mr. MLB reports Writer: Where did the game of baseball first develop? What country, year, how did it take off, etc. Someone asked me this yesterday and I had no idea. Mark
A: Great question Mark. Thank you for the question. I have read many great accounts on the subject. However I will rely on Wikipedia for this one:
“The first published rules of baseball were written in 1845 for a New York (Manhattan) “baseball” club called the Knickerbockers. The author, Shane Ryley Foster, is one person commonly known as “the father of baseball”. One important rule, the 13th, stipulated that the player need not be physically hit by the ball to be put out; this permitted the subsequent use of a farther-travelling hard ball. Evolution from the so-called “Knickerbocker Rules” to the current rules is fairly well documented.
On June 3, 1953, Congress officially credited Alexander Cartwright with inventing the modern game of baseball, and he is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. However, the role of Cartwright himself has been disputed. His authorship may have been exaggerated in a modern attempt to identify a single inventor of the game, although Cartwright may have a better claim to the title than any other single American.
Cartwright, a New York bookseller who later caught “gold fever”, umpired the first-ever recorded U.S. baseball game with codified rules in Hoboken, New Jersey on June 19, 1846. He also founded the older of the two teams that played that day, the New York Knickerbockers. Cartwright also introduced the game in most of the cities where he stopped on his trek west to California to find gold.
One point undisputed by historians is that the modern professional major leagues that began in the 1870s developed directly from amateur urban clubs of the 1840s and 1850s, not from the pastures of small towns such as Cooperstown.”
A: Not even close my friend. Not even close. Pujols did meet with Marlins’ officials this week and was reported to have received a contract offer. But no- there is no contract in place. The expectation is that Pujols will be staying in St. Louis. He has won 2 World Series titles with the Cardinals, including last year’s championship. He has played in St. Louis for his entire career. All else being equal, no other teams will offer Pujols more money than the Cardinals. Even if the difference is give or take $20 million, the man will receive a $200 million dollar deal. He lives in Missouri, he has roots in the community. Pujols is a Cardinal for life.
Q: Do you follow any other sports? I love baseball, but football is great also. Cindy
A: Sorry: baseball only here. In my younger days I did keep up with the three other major sports. But life always came back to baseball for me. 162 games, plus spring training and the playoffs. It is a long season. But for a baseball fan like myself, there never seems to be enough baseball. I will go watch another sport if invited. But you will never find me watching another sport on television. To be able to write about baseball everyday- the focus has to be on one sport. Baseball consumes me. I would not have it any other way.
Q: Growing up in Cleveland as an Indians fan, my grandfather was also a fan of the Dodgers. I remember going over to his house and watching a Dodger game on tv. As an adult, I am still a fan of the Dodgers, with the Tribe number one on my list. My question: out of all the groups out there trying to buy the Dodgers, who do you think would be able to bring back the history and enjoyment to L.A.??
Thanks in advance. Larry
A: The last question of course goes to our #1 fan. Great question as always. For the time being, the names that are getting the most press are those of Orel Hershiser and Steve Garvey. The Hershiser/Garvey group is making the loudest bid for the Dodgers, at approximately $1 billion. But in the background, word is that former owner Peter O’Malley and former GM Fred Claire are also putting together their bids. For excitement and name recognition, you have to give it to Hershiser/Garvey. But at restoring the franchise back to former glory, I think it is time to bring back O’Malley. For tradition and building winning ball clubs, there were few finer than O’Malley. I still see that other bidders will come into the process, including Mark Cuban. But Major League Baseball will look for stability and in the best interests of the Dodgers, in reviewing any agreements that Frank McCourt and a winning bidder reach. This one is far from owner, but if I had to pick the “best” group for the Dodgers, mine would be on Peter O’Malley.
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Jonathan Hacohen is the Lead Baseball Columnist & Editor for MLB reports: You can follow Jonathan on Twitter (@JHacohen)