The Commish Online                                                                                
BLOG ARCHIVE:  02/01/07 - 02/28/07
Ron Santo, Gil Hodges, and others were once again left out of the Hall of Fame.  Do they even deserve any more chances? The Commish weighs in on this topic in the latest Hot Corner.

At least the Veterans Committee has a sense of humor.  Check out the name of this guy who was eligible for election in 2007.

Ever wonder if all those preseason player projections ever amount to anything?  The Commish wondered aloud and decided to test it himself.  Read the latest Fantasy Focus to find out about this year's experiment...

After watching Alfonso Soriano, Ted Lilly, Jason Marquis, and others get ridiculous amounts of cash from the Cubs, Carlos Zambrano wants his piece of the pie, and "Big Z," as he calls himself, thinks his piece is pretty dang big.  Chicago will look like fools if they don't pony up some Zito-like dollars for Zambrano after spending so much on mediocre talent (Soriano excluded).  Zambrano's comments can be found in this Chicago Tribune article.

A quick comparison:
Zambrano - age 25
64 - 42, 977 IP, 3.29 ERA, 146 GS, 865 K

Zito - at age 25 (currently 28)
61 - 29, 768 IP, 3.12 ERA, 154 GS, 611 K

The two Z's are very comparable in results despite having very different approaches.  Zambrano had some help pitching in the National League, but as the same time, he pitched for a worse team so wins were harder to come by, making it a wash.  In all, it doesn't seem crazy (a word often associated with Carlos) for Zambrano's agent to be seeking a deal similar to Zito.  Keep in mind Zambrano is under contract this year, and HE is the one making it public that he wants an extension done before the season starts or he will leave Chicago.  Zambrano and his agent know that the Cubs can no longer depend on the brittle Wood and Prior, so their leverage is about as good as it is going to get right now.

Here's yet another article on MLB's insistence on alienating the die-hard fans for a quick buck, this time from Ed Sherman of the Chicago Tribune.  I'm not sure how to combat this, but for starters, I guarantee you I won't pay a single dollar for a ticket to a game this year.

For those of you looking for more details on the potential deal with DirecTV, CBS Sportsline has a more informative article about the deal, the money involved, and what it means to the fan.

I haven't mentioned it yet, but the idea of it has been making me sick for weeks.  Major League Baseball has an exclusive deal in the works with DirecTV for its Extra Innings package.  It means a lot more money for MLB but at the risk of alienating several hundred thousand die hard fans in the process.

Satellite isn't a convenient option for me right now, so I'm stuck with cable, which means I won't be able to watch Jake Peavy's every pitch and Braves game not on TBS.  In short, I, like many other baseball bloggers, writers, and announcers, will simply be more reliant on the written word thanks to MLB's ability to make their product LESS available to the masses.  Idiots.

Sure, you can buy the package through (which I will likely do, albeit reluctantly), but how many people are willing to pop open the notebook PC to watch a game in poor, PC quality, when the alternative used to be watching it on the big screen from the couch?  This exclusive deal might not have been such a big deal 5 years down the road or so when video quality on average PCs reaches the same quality as television and is as easy to use.  Until then, I will be cursing the greed of MLB while I hypocritically buy their stupid online package.  Won't you join me?

Baseball and everything else in America takes a back seat to the Super Bowl tonight.  Here is The Commish's fearless forecast:

The Bears will win a high scoring affair 31-27. 

Fallacy #1: Indy can light up the scoreboard more than the Bears. 
Indy scored 427 points in the regular season.  Chicago?  Also 427!  Both teams scored less than 20 points only five times this season, so the totals are not padded by outlying individual games.

Fallacy #2: Chicago’s stats are inflated thanks to an easy schedule. 
Against playoff teams, Indy finished 4-1 in the regular season, outscoring the opposition 143-111 in those games while the Bears were 3-1, outscoring opponents 98-43 under the same scenarios.  Including playoff games, the Bears AND the Colts averaged 27.3 points per game vs. playoff teams this year.

Fallacy #3: Indy’s defense is markedly improved with the health of Bob Sanders.
In the seven games WITH Sanders, the Colts gave up 19 points per game.  Without Sanders, they surrendered 21 points per game.  Better?  Yes.  Worthy of changing offensive strategies?  Hardly.

Fallacy #4: The Bears defense is in a downward spiral, and the Colts can stop the run.
It’s true that the Colts had strong defensive games against KC and Baltimore, but then they showed an inability to stop any type of forward progress, allowing 34 points to New England.  In the regular season, they allowed 360 points, so if they WERE stopping the run, they weren’t stopping much else.  The Bears allowed over 100 points LESS than Indy during the season (255 points), and while there haven’t been too many dominating performances of late, the takeaways help negate the extra points allowed.
In all, Chicago’s defense is not nearly as feared as it was earlier in the season (with a healthy Harris, Brown, etc.), but the Colts are still more susceptible to giving up points.

Looking at every trend, and keeping in mind that the game will be played in Miami with likely pleasant conditions, I can’t see how this game could possibly be low scoring.  As for the outcome, among the offenses, defenses, and special teams, it appears the only weak link is Indy’s defense, so the Bears should come out on top in a high scoring affair.  Expect a game similar to the AFC Championship, but this time, Manning will have more difficulty with Chicago’s defense down the stretch than he did with New England.

For all users of fantasy services, they have updated their fantasy baseball site today.  If you are currently in a league, take a look at the changes today - it's not too early to start thinking baseball!