Archive for February 2013

Baseball Made Better

February 27, 2013

Spring Training is under way, and I wish it was already April. Baseball is currently very good, because the Giants are World Champions, and the Seattle Mariners will (probably) improve (hopefully) in 2013. But baseball could be better; I’ve spent many hours these past few years (okay, my whole life) imagining new ways to organize our National Pastime. The following proposal is serious. I really think MLB would be immeasurably better if it added two teams, and reorganized the AL and NL as follows:

American League

  • (West) Los Angeles Angels, Oakland (or Portland) Athletics, San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners
  • (Central) Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals, Minnesota Twins, Texas Rangers
  • (North) Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Toronto Blue Jays
  • (East) Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Miami Marlins, New York Yankees

National League

  • (West) Arizona D-backs, Colorado Rockies, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants
  • (Central) Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals
  • (South) Atlanta Braves, “Charlotte Hornets,” Houston Astros, Tampa Bay Rays
  • (East) “Montreal Expos,” New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Washington Nationals

The underlined teams have changed leagues; the ‘Stros have been rescued from the American League. Expansion teams are in quotes.

The schedule that makes the most sense, given the above, is as follows:

  • 18 games vs. divisional opponents
  • 6 games vs. other league opponents
  • 6 games vs. the four same placed teams from the opposite league from the previous year (i.e., all 1sts, all 2nds, etc.)
  • 6 games (in addition to the above inter-league games) vs. a paired rival from the other league, as follows:

Angels & Dodgers; Padres & Diamondbacks; Athletics & Giants; Mariners & Rockies; White Sox & Cubs; Royals & Cardinals; Twins & Brewers; Rangers & Astros; Indians & Reds; Tigers & Hornets; Pirates & Phillies; Blue Jays & Expos; Orioles & Nationals; Red Sox & Braves; Marlins & Rays; Yankees & Mets.

This totals 156 games (six less than the current 162 and two more than the 154 played until 1961), shaving a week off the regular season.

The playoffs should admit the four division winners and two wild cards (from any division) in each league. My first radical proposal: the six playoff teams in each league should play each other in a “round robin” format to determine the league champion. Each team would play three games against the others, with the higher seeded team hosting all games. Division champions would be seeded #1-#4 (based on overall record and, if tied, run differential) and wild cards #5-#6 (ditto). The “League Championship” would thus last 15 games, and if two or more teams were tied for the best record at its end, the World Series berth would go to the team with the better head-to-head record (in League Championship play only) and/or the better seed.

The World Series would pit the AL and NL Champions against each other, in the same best-of-seven format we’ve used for decades, but home field advantage would be given to the league with the better regular season inter-league record that year.

My second radical proposal is independent of the above league and playoff format.

1) All regular season games shall end: A) after 12 innings, or B) after the full inning (if necessary) being played 250 minutes after the first pitch, whichever is later. Regular season games may thus be tied, and “win percentage” (W/(W+L)) shall be used to rank teams. Post-season games must be played until there is a winner.

2) Both leagues shall use a modified DH rule: the starting pitcher must bat; when he is replaced, the starting pitcher’s spot in the line-up shall be occupied at the same time by a relief pitcher (who may not bat) and a designated hitter (who may not field), and both may be replaced independently of each other.

Play ball?


Another radical proposal …


Just in time for the Oscars

February 23, 2013

Seen today on the way home from coffee.
Related tangent: sure hope Riva pulls off the upset over Lawrence.

Social Study

February 10, 2013

I haven’t added a restroom entry in a while, but I was a bit inspired yesterday by the bathroom at Social Study. Both for the 80s Prince sensibility and the forward thinking employee BR policy…

Separated at birth?

February 8, 2013



“Giants to watch out for …”

Dear San Francisco restaurants

February 6, 2013

Suggested pricing structure:

cost of ingredients + desired profit = price per menu item

on the bill, itemize (as % or flat fee):

  • rent
  • kitchen equipment, etc.
  • labor
  • insurance
  • SF “mandates”
  • miscellaneous

plus tax = total amount


“We support Healthy SF and are proud to provide for the health care needs of all our employees.”

Where shall we eat tonight?

Where shall we eat tonight?

Please, Tennessee …

February 3, 2013

… let your legislators know you want to keep your children safe from bullies:

The Right would have us believe that this sort of legislation ensures that challenging social issues are addressed by parents rather than educators. It’s the same sort of flawed reasoning that has given us the catastrophic public health failure that is abstinence-only education.

In reality however, this bill only protects one class of people: school bullies. You see, if teachers saying anything “inconsistent with natural human reproduction” is prohibited, it becomes extremely challenging for educators to respond to the abuse of students who are, or are perceived to be LGBT. After all, if saying that there’s nothing wrong with being LGBT could cost a teacher their job, how can they come to the defense of a bullied LGBT kid?


Adults imagine the world. Youth can only understand it.