After Bud Selig Steps Down And I Become Commissioner…

You know what?  I don’t think I’m supposed to say anything about my taking over from Bud in January, 2015… But what the heck.  I trust you guys, and I know you won’t say anything to anybody… Let’s just keep this between us… our own little blogospherical secret.

Even though I’ve got 15 months before I take over, I’m starting to take notes of things to change.  I got one idea on Saturday when I saw highlights of that day’s Angels-Rangers game.

It’s easier to show you than to explain;  Here, take a look at this custom I made…
2013 TSR #669 - Elvis Andrus

You may ask “Why is Elvis Andrus attempting to slide past his teammate?” Because – despite the red helmet and the red jersey, Chris Iannetta is not his teammate, he’s on the Angels.  The Rangers were wearing red jerseys, red caps and white pants, and the Angels were wearing red jerseys, red caps and grey pants.  It’s perfectly obvious which team is which, right? Shaaaaaa, right.

Every other major sport has requirements about some sort of color contrast between teams, and I’m going to bring MLB in line with that.  The home team declares their uni choices before the beginning of a series, and the visiting team has to pick out clearly different uniforms.  I haven’t yet worked out the specific definition of “clearly different”, but I’ve got some time to hash that out.

…and as long as we’re talking about the Angels’ red jerseys – no more red numbers on a red jersey.  There has to be a minimum contrast between numbers and jerseys.  If I’m sitting in the upper deck, I need to be able to read the uni numers, otherwise what’s the point of having uniform numbers except for the Yankees to retire them?

I’ll be sharing  more plans for my Commissionership here in this blog, but if any of you have suggestions – and I know you do – leave me a comment, or write your own post about it and leave me a link.  I’d love to know what you’re thinking.

As long as I’m here, let’s take a look at a couple of more customs, shall we?  I’d like to have posted at least one custom for every team, so I’ll just throw out a couple of more here…

Hisashi Iwakuma put together a nice season, going 14-6, 2.66 with a .220 Batting Average Against and a 1.01 WHIP for the 71-90 Mariners. His ERA, BAA and WHIP were all among the top 10 in the Majors.
2013 TSR #761 - Hisashi Iwakuma

I stole the red/yellow/grey color combination from 1974 Topps Indians cards, and I have to say, I really like the way it looks. I’ll probably do something similar for my 2014 TSR customs (although not necessarily for the Indians).
2013 TSR #675 - Michael Bourn

No Bourn? No Problem.

2012-13 Hot Stove #13 - Michael BournAll-Star outfielder Michael Bourn was pursued by the Mets and other teams before signing a multi-year contract with the Indians. I don’t have a problem with the Mets missing on Bourn, but it took several attempts at writing why I’m OK with it without coming across as extremely pessimistic or bitter – I am a Mets fan, after all.

I agree that the Mets were wise to pursue Bourn if his price fell enough, but at $48 million over four years, I don’t think it fell enough, even if they successfully argued to keep their 1st round draft pick. Bourn may have made this team more palatable, but he wasn’t going to single-handedly make this team a contender and possibly not even competitive.  Also, at 30 years old the man is pretty much at his peak… which means that when the Mets do get competitive, he’ll be on the decline or be gone (although I hope that the Mets get competitive before Bourn’s contract is done).

At this stage in the rebuilding process, the Mets should instead be spending on organizational depth, their bullpen and their farm system. Yes, the outfield is a significant concern, but I’d rather see them pick up a couple of slightly-above-average outfielders from among the many guys who will become available as we get closer to opening day. With any luck, one of these March pickups will have a good first half and get traded at the deadline for a prospect or two.

Hopefully in a year or two the Mets will be in a position where it makes sense to pick up big names… but they’re not there yet.

OK, now that I’ve gotten that off  my chest, I have to confess that I thought the “photoshopping” of this custom would be easy… both teams have the same colors, so it’s just slapping an Indians logo over the Braves logo and BAM! Done.  Turned out to be a lot more tweaking and adjusting of Chief Wahoo than I expected, and I’m not 100% happy with it… But I wonder if I’m my own worst critic sometimes.