Friday, November 19, 2004

You're Missin' a Great Game

I just finished reading Whitey Herzog's "You're Missin' a Great Game." A good book full of anecdotes and rants. Whitey describes some of his most memorable moments as a player, manager and GM and puts those experiences in the context of how to make baseball better.

Whitey lost a couple of heartbreaking World Series as manager of the Cardinals, and his bitterness from those losses still resonates in his writing.

After seeing the Royals come back to win the '85 Series after umpire Don Denkinger's bad call, Whitey now advocates limited instant replay in baseball.

But the White Rat's most off-the-wall idea is the product of his loss to the Minnesota Twins in the '87 World Series. Whitey believes that making teams go into ballparks like the Metrodome and Fenway is unfair. He doesn't think something as important as the World Series should be affected by varying ballparks. He felt it was extremely unfair to have to go play at the Metrodome in '87, and is bitter that his team lost every game in that ballpark. So his solution? Build a nuetral site park in Nashville. This ballpark will be used for the World Series. All seven games will be played there. Since there would be no travel days, teams would be forced to use their entire pitching staff, as opposed to using their top 2 or 3 pitchers over and over.

It's an interesting idea, but it will never fly. Besides, would Whitey have hatched this idea if he had been the manager of the Twins in '87?

Overall, a quick ready and a fun book. Whitey does have some good ideas for baseball (the nuetral site World Series isn't one of them). He advocates fixing the DH rule. Either have it or don't - don't have different rules for the two leagues. The book is a little dated, as some of his suggestions have already been implemented (like banishing NL and AL umpires and having them work both leagues). But I found the easy going, conversational tone of the book very enjoyable.

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