03.30.06

McAdams : Nixon Wrong To Blame Unbalanced Sked For Imbalanced Tavares

Posted in Baseball at 3:24 pm by

In addition to mocking the departed Tony Graffanino, the Providence Journal’s Sean McAdam takes issue with Trot Nixon’s recent complaints concerning how frequently divisional rivals face each other.

The commisioner’s crime? He installed the dastardly unbalanced schedule in 2000.

“This,” said Nixon, “is a prime example of why Bud Selig needs to take a look at teams playing each other 19 times.”

Sorry, but Julian Tavarez is fully capable of behaving foolishly against a team he hardly knows. In fact, he did so Monday.

The last time Tavarez pitched in the American League, the Devil Rays didn’t even exist. So there was no long-held animosity, no past incidents that contributed to his eruption Monday. Tavarez simply lost his cool — as he’s done frequently in his career — and, unprovoked, slugged Joey Gathright in the jaw.

Nixon is smart enough to know that the unbalanced schedule — in which Red Sox fans are treated to three visits to Fenway by the Yankees, rather than two by the Detroit Tigers — has been a boon for baseball.

The more times the Yankees play the Red Sox, or the Cardinals play the Cubs, or the Dodgers play the Giants, the better it is for the game and for the fans.

If hot-headed relievers can’t maintain their composure — in a spring training game, no less — that won’t change by going back to a balanced schedule. It’s too bad that Nixon felt the need to rationalize Tavarez’s irrational behavior.

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