Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Letter to Bud Selig

Dear Mr. Selig,
I am aware that the state of Major League Baseball dictates a change of the current divisional layout.  The divisions have been unbalanced for years and need reshaping in order to increase the fairness in a way that maintains the integrity of the game.  While in certain occasions I consider myself a baseball purist, I have learned that change can be good for the game.  Balancing divisions and adding another team to the playoffs would increase fan interest, and give more teams a shot at postseason play.  However, there have been rumors that a solution to the unbalanced divisions would be to move the Houston Astros from the National League Central to the American League West, giving both divisions five teams a piece.  While I see that this is an easy and quick change that can be made, I feel that it would unfairly affect fans of the game whose loyalty could rest with multiple teams.

New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles all have two teams in each city (as I’m guessing you know) one American League and one National League.  This allows fans to effectively root for both of their home teams over 95% of the time (allowing for 6 interleague games a year against each other).  Everyone will have their one favorite team; for example: Cubs fans live and die on the north side, but will root for the White Sox as well, and Yankees fans will pick the Yankees over the Mets any day but still can go to Mets games and root for them.  They are what I like to call dual citizenship fans.  They belong to both the Cubs Nation and the White Sox Nation.  This is why putting teams like this in the same division would be a terrible idea, alienating fans who have cheered for both squads for years. 

Texas is a special place.  It is the biggest and best place in the world, and although the Rangers and Astros don’t play in the same city, because they are both in Texas they are loved by fans all across the second largest state in the country.  They might as well be in the same city.  Putting them in the same division would be disastrous to the Astros and Rangers dual citizenship fans.  Fans like me who lived in Houston until I graduated High School and currently live in Fort Worth.  I am a Rangers fan for all but six days a year when they are playing the Astros.  If the two were moved into the same division it would cause the Rangers to lose a great fan, rather than gain the interest of others.  I know I am only one man, but I know that there are many more like me who would be so hurt by the two Texas teams having to compete for the same division.  That is why I have devised a couple of alternate options for realignment. 

First of all I must preface the fact that both of these options assume that we will be moving to two 15 team leagues; thus giving everyone a rolling interleague schedule rather than the set aside weeks that are currently in place.   

Option 1   
Move the Milwaukee Brewers back to the American League, where they were prior to 1994.  The Brewers were moved to even out the leagues giving each league an even number allowing for a better interleague schedule.  I wouldn’t call the Brewers initial move an unsuccessful experiment, thoughts have changed over the past 15+ years and we have found that the idea of two 15 team leagues is not as bad an idea as initially thought.  The Brewers have been in the National League for the shortest amount of time (other than the expansion Diamondbacks of course) and would easily move back to the American League.  I would then place the Brewers in the American League Central where they would geographically fit in with the White Sox, Twins, Tigers, and Indians.  I would then move the Royals to the American League West giving the Rangers a division rival that is closer than Anaheim.  This would even out both leagues and I believe improve both divisions.  It would be a simple quick move that would cause a minimal amount of confusion for everyday fans. 

Option 2       
Move the Arizona Diamondbacks to the American League West and move the Astros to the National League West.  Doing so would still give the Rangers a closer division rival than the Angels, as well as even up the leagues and divisions.  Although the Astros aren’t the best geographic fit for the West division, the travel plans haven’t affected the Rangers too much since they were put in the American League West years ago.  It would have to be the Astros that moved from the Central because the Cubs and Cardinals have to stay in the same division in order to maintain the rivalry they have developed over the years.  Also, the Pirates, Brewers, and Reds could not travel that kind of distance for every division game.  Arizona has not developed any major rivalry inside their division, and this would give Texas fans the ability to still root for both their teams. 

These two options would even up the leagues, what you do with both leagues after that is another story.  Mike Greenberg of Mike and Mike In the Morning (which I know you watch) has been trying to sell his plan of two 15 team leagues, allowing the top six teams into the playoffs.  Every team would play a balanced schedule, playing each team in the opposite league three times a piece, giving them roughly 8 games apiece against the teams in their own league.  I love the idea of evening up the schedules, giving teams like Baltimore and Toronto more of a chance, and I think overall this plan is a very good one.  The only flaw I see in the plan (and as Bob Costas said on Mike and Mike In the Morning, every plan will inevitably have flaws) is that there is a possibility of good teams playing meaningless games in September.  The one thing I hate about the NBA is the fact that teams like the Lakers, the Heat, and the Celtics, who are going to make the playoffs regardless, play games that mean nothing toward the end of the season.  In February the Lakers can lose three or four in a row with little to no consequences because they have clinched a playoff spot weeks before the playoffs begin.  I fear that this will happen to the top tier teams every year, clinching playoff spots with three or more weeks to play in the regular season.  I personally like the current division rivalries, but agree that something has to change for teams like the Orioles who have to play the Yankees and Red Sox 18 or 19 times a year and are vying for the same Wild Card spot as any other team not in the American League East that only has to play those two teams a handful of times.  What would be wrong with keeping the divisions, but lowering the number of games played within the divisions?  If we kept Greeny’s idea of playing each team in the other league three times a piece, then each team played the teams in their division 12 times; it would leave 69 games to be divided up amongst the other 10 teams in their respective league.  I think this would help give more teams a chance while maintaining division rivalries. 

I know that you have a very difficult job, and in the end will do whatever is best for Major League Baseball, I just hope that my ideas could give you a different perspective on things.  Losing one of my teams would be devastating, especially since for me the team that I would lose would be from the area I currently live in.  Change is needed, but I think that there are avenues of change that can affect a smaller number of people and still bring fans to this great game.  


John Briese.           

Saturday, May 21, 2011


In a time when Football, the sport that has indisputably become the most popular in our country, is in such turmoil; I take a chance to look at our former National Pastime, the great sport that is Baseball.  It is a sport that has been handed down to us from our Fathers, Grandfathers, Uncles, and brothers, and a sport that we will undoubtedly hand down to children of our own.  It is the mythical creature that was Babe Ruth, the ferocious hated bastard that was Ty Cobb, and Lou Gehrig, quite possibly the greatest man to ever live.  It helps shape our lives and bond us together like nothing else.  As it becomes more difficult in the impatient world we live in for people to enjoy a game that possesses more time standing and waiting then moving action, those of us who have loved it all along just gaze and wonder how someone couldn’t love such a magnificent and wonderful sport. 
My Dad introduced me to baseball probably while I was still in the womb.  I still remember being six years old and watching Kirk Gibson’s home run in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series with him at my Grandma and Grandpa’s house.  I remember being so happy to see the joy on his face in excitement for the Dodgers, the team he had loved when he was younger.  Years later I got to see that same joy when Brad Lidge struck out the last batter of game 4 of the 2004 NLCS at home in Houston.  I had a few hundred dollars left from my student loan refund check that I was supposed to spend on my rent that October, but instead went on EBay and bought two tickets for $150 apiece.  Best money I’ve ever spent.  The experience we had at the ballpark that day, and seeing his face after that last strikeout was worth any price (even though two weeks later I was back on EBay selling my Scotty Cameron putter to avoid eviction).  We’ve had countless other memories that stack up to that one like being at Fenway the weekend Ted Williams passed away, or at Wrigley for my first rain delay ever at the age of 21 (the Astrodome didn’t allow for many rain delays).  The Chicago fans must have thought that I was nuts, not only because I was sporting an Astros hat and talking about how great it was that they were in first place at the time during a Cubs/Cardinals game, but also because I threw up my hands in excitement the second the downpour started.  I felt like Andy Dufresne in The Shawshank Redemption, although I probably just looked like an idiot standing in the rain.  

These memories and countless more all revolve around baseball.  Whether I was six years old hitting the ball off of a tee or 29 and taking my wife to the ballpark, baseball has always been there.  It was there in the afternoons when I came home from school to turn on WGN and watch Harry Caray, and it’s there now when I drive home to Houston and listen to Milo Hamilton, making me feel like I’m 10 years old again.  Memories throughout my life have been connected by baseball whether it was actually involved or not.  Last year while playing a baseball trivia game on Father’s Day weekend with my Dad I laughed at the fact that every question he answered had a story with it.  “Well I remember that summer because I had just begun coaching your Uncle Ron’s team, man we had a kid on that team named Danny, you should have seen him…” We would eventually cut in and say “DAD, what’s the answer?”, and he would reply “oh, Vida Blue”.  I’ve realized though that not only do I possess his uncanny ability to remember obscure baseball references, but I also have a story with almost every question.  My wife will ask me something and get a response like “that October was crazy, Game 7 of the World Series and Josh Beckett was pitching for the Marlins; I was in a bar in San Antonio wearing my ‘Yankees Suck’ T-shirt I bought outside Fenway and was getting eyeballed by a guy in a Derek Jeter jersey that was twice my size.  It was cool though, by the end of the game even though the Yankees lost; him and I played a couple of games of pool together and had a good time”.  My wife will reply with an “OK Chuck (my Dad’s name) but you never answered my question”.  When I try to think of something in the past, my immediate response is to think of who was in the World Series that year, and I can tell you exactly where I was and what I was doing at the time.  It has connected the pieces of my life thus far, and will continue to do so until I’m gone. I know I can count on it year in and year out to fill my life with joy and sometimes frustration (well a lot more than sometimes with the current Astros) and that no matter what I do it will always be there for me.   I don’t know where I will be 10, 20, or 30 years from now; the only thing I know is that I will have my wife, my thinning hair, and baseball.  

image provided by

Friday, May 20, 2011

Guess Who Is Back?

So, I came on to this site today after about a month long blog hiatus and it was almost like I could hear crickets chirping.  Did everyone else take a blog hiatus or something? Did I miss something? Haha. It's okay though because I'm here to save you all. No need to thank me. :)

I decided to take a blog hiatus for personal reasons. You can read about it more on my blog, The Undeveloped Story. I just needed some time to clear my head and get back my focus for writing. I'm still working on it but I'll get there. 

What has been going on this past month? Let's see, I went back to therapy (not ashamed of that at all. Some people just can't cope with things as easily as others). Also, the weather here in southern Missouri decided to go  crazy and flood everything. It rained almost every day for two weeks. I live on a dirt road (yay for the country life... *shakes head*), so it tends to become a mess when it rains just a little bit. Add in a lot of rain and it gets flooded. There is still a mini stream flowing across it that you have to be careful driving through.  It's not cool.

What else.. I stopped watching American Idol. I just couldn't take this season anymore. It was starting to annoy me and when James Durbin got voted off last week, it was the last straw. We all know Scotty is going to win anyways (no thanks to those teenage girls, you know).  It's okay. It frees up two hours of television time haha.

I'm going to get to work on the zombie serial story very soon. I think you can expect another installment next Friday. I hope. We'll see how it goes.

Although... if the world supposedly does end tomorrow.. well.. I guess it won't matter haha. But don't get me started on that. That crackhead old geezer doesn't know what he's talking about. He predicted the world would end back in the 90's and it didn't..obviously. And he used mathematical equations to "figure it out." Please. If there was one thing I learned in school, it was you can't trust math. Just saying. So everyone should just chill out. Nobody can predict the end of the world. It's in the Bible and everything. :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Glee! What Happened? Where did it all go wrong?

I’ve been a Glee fan since day one (yeah I said it!).  Before the band wagon picked up millions and millions of fans. Back when they only showed one episode and took a hiatus months. I waited patiently for the show to return as a full on series. But, what the heck happened?

The show went from being based around a bunch of high school misfits who looked for acceptance through their Glee club to a full on high school musical catastrophe! I know that most people categorized it as a high school musical show from the jump, but Glee was not that in the beginning. Now, you can find the cast walking down a hallway and breaking out into a full on performance where back up singers and a band just magically appear, booty (BTW this was something the writers and creator of the show said it would not happen. Lies!).

I think there are a three things that are truly throwing the show into a quick “canceled out of no where” status.

1. Stop making every episode about a musical guest. It’s cool to throw in a couple guest stars here and there, but Jeez stop making the whole show about them. Go back to the basics and base the story lines on the cast. Make it about them, the misfits.

2. Every episode does not have to be based on life altering message. I’m over the whole gay and lesbian act every week. Okay we get it gay kids are bullied, but Jeez can you please bring another topic to the table. Can we get an episode that’s just entertaining? An episode where I don’t have to think about teen pregnancy, poverty, or homosexuality? Just one. One that I can walk away from and just remember how great the songs were.

3. The writing is getting ridiculous. Take last night’s episode for example….really, you have Kurt (who was voted prom queen, wow) telling Karosfky to "come out" in a crowded gym at prom? Really? Also, you have Sue pulling teeth out of students. Really? Then you have Finn and Jessie in a shoving match that lasted like 20 mins, who fights like that? Lastly, Rachel gets slapped by Quinn and she’s flattered by it. Really? Come on, give me a break. I understand it’s not real, but Jeez it’s a bit ridiculous.

Any who, that’s my take on Glee.

Before I go I do have to mention one thing………….Adele music should not be sang by anyone other than Adele. Food for thought.

Chub Out.

Toby Keith, Great Song Check it out!

Was bumping this in the morning, so I thought I would share it with everyone.

Toby Keith; Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue

Chub Out!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Funny ASS Commercial! Tums Corndog!

Okay I don't even know where to begin!  Am I just a sick individual? lol

Thursday, May 5, 2011

American Idol, I'm still watching it.

Although AI has definitely reached the point of I am still watching.

I still think the contestants are pretty darn talented and I enjoy watching them perform, but after a while there's only so much of anyone I can take.

They should really just cut down the show to 1 hour instead of 2.

I'm looking forward to the end.....I'm calling it right now.......James Durbin!

Tonight...........Jacob says goodbye! 

Chub Out.

Real World! What the Crap is wrong with these people!

Not sure if it's just me, but does anyone else think that MTV pick the ronchiest people ever for this season's Real World?

Maybe I'm just getting old and watching a bunch of 24 year old's making mistake after mistake is just not that appealing to me anymore.  I'm not sure. 

Let me break it down quick status for everyone.....
1.  LeRoy iwll have an STD before he leaves Vegas!
2.  Nany will realize she is better off being a lesbian.
3.  Naomi will be someone's baby mama.
4.  Mike is gay.
5.  Zito is Bi
6.  Heather, well can't quite call that one yet. lol.

Chub Out.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Pollution! In Los Angeles? No way!

I read an article today on Yahoo! (definitely one of their filler stories) today about the most polluted cities in the country.  Was I surprised that four out of the top five cities were in California?  NOPE.COM,

-FYI for those of you wondering Los Angeles was #2, and Bakersfield was #1.

Although the article was great to read as a filler story; I couldn't help myself from becoming annoyed by it.  Too often Yahoo! comes out with these "ranking articles" that truly do nothing but inform you of how screwed up a situation is. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

So they say he's dead. Bin Laden that is.

So what does it mean? I understand that it's truly a victory for the United States, actually a great moral victory, but what does it truley mean?

I personally am a bit scared as to the repercussions the death of such an individual will have. This is unlike any other death we, as a people, have experienced.

Really think about it......the only other hate empire that has been dealt a blow like this was Germany when Hitler committed suicide, but even that doesn't compare. Unlike Hitler, Bin had an underground organization lead by hatred, religion, and backed by an endless supply of money. In addition, Hitler's whole empire was actually brought down. Bin Landen was definitely the head of the snake, but in no way should anyone think he was also the body.

Terrorism is not going to stop. In fact, it saddens me to say this, but I think it will only get worse. Now, all these radicals have a true martyr. Now, they have someone they can vindicate. I definitely think that Bin Laden's death was a MUST! But, at what price?

Chub out!

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