Swinging Bunts: A week’s worth of news

Over the past week, I have spent a lot of time forgetting about how the 2006 season ended by re-living the 1987 season. In the meantime, a few things happened since the Twins season ended last Friday night.

The Twins picked up Torii Hunter’s option. This is not really news at all in that it came as very little surprise. The 2007 option is for Hunter to play for $12 million dollars. That is a high number for a defense first center fielder whose defensive skills showed rapid decline in 2006, but overall the option buys the team some time. One year to be exact.

The team would be foolish to throw a big money, long term deal at Hunter at this point in his career, and it is still possible that he may command that kind of money on the free agent market. The Twins have too many young players on the correct side of their prime that will be looking to get paid in the next couple of years.

Still, he is the best option in center field for 2007, and has showed in the past that he is motivated to hit by potential free agency, so over paying for one season is not the worst thing that could happen, particularly considering the lack of options in center field next season.

The World Series will start in Detroit on Saturday, and the A’s-Tigers series I was looking forward to ended before it really started. The Tigers are a baseball buzz-saw right now, and seemingly would beat any team put in front of them at the moment. It just goes to prove that “momentum”, or lack of it in the final week of the season, really means nothing when the post season starts (remember when this team was swept by Kansas City?)

Unfortunately, the Tigers have a week to wait for a National League opponent.

Bud Selig is speculating that there may be some changes made to the playoff format next season. Among the things he would like to see, a tougher road for the wild card winner. He also threw out the idea of returning the regular season to its pre-1961 length of 154 games, though he backed off that idea quickly in the ESPN.com article.

CW is all for playoff change, particularly if it involves the wild card teams (though CW would prefer a scenario in which the wild card team is eliminated). It is not clear that Mr. Selig would make the right changes, however, considering this quote:

“I can’t imagine, given the abuse I took, that anybody can imagine this sport without wild cards,” he said. “The only question I get now is, ‘Why aren’t there more?'”

CW is developing a proposal for playoff reform, which I will post in the coming weeks.

The White Sox sold the starting time of games in 2007 to 7-11. The convienence store chain has, in a shocker, chosen 7:11 as the new starting time for Chicago White Sox baseball. Perhaps 7-11 could buy the playoffs start times too, so FOX would be forced to start their pre-game show earlier, unless there is a chain somewhere called “no pre-game show, no Tim McCarver”; that would be my preference.

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