Brownie Points: Bud should boot his beloved Brewers to AL - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Brownie Points: Bud should boot his beloved Brewers to AL

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Jerry Brown is a contributing columnist who appears every Sunday in the Tribune. Contact him at jbrown5548@aol.com

Posted: Monday, June 20, 2011 10:47 am

If Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig is so hell-bent on realignment to ensure each league has 15 teams, why are the Diamondbacks or Astros “the most likely teams” to move?

Why not look at a much more obvious path Bud? How about the Brewers?

Milwaukee was in the American League, until Selig shoe-horned them into the NL in 1997 to appease his old team and his hometown. That’s how we got into this whole 16-14 mess in the first place. That’s why the leagues are uneven. That’s why there is “a problem.”

Which division has too many (six) teams? Why, it’s the NL Central, right? The West has five teams, just as it’s supposed to. Houston doesn’t want to move to the American League – which makes sense, since they’ve been in the NL since 1962 for crying out loud. If the Brewers were in the AL Central, they would play Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit and Minnesota — all of them a stone’s throw from Wisconsin.

So here’s my proposal. The Brewers move back to the American League, where they were from 1970-96 — longer than the old Milwaukee Braves were in the National League (1953-65). Then the Kansas City Royals move to the AL West. Kansas City isn’t a West city, you say? The Chiefs are in the AFC West in football. And the Royals played in the AL West for decades before the realignment in 1997.

It’s such a simple plan. Wonder why it hasn’t been brought up? Whaddya think, Bud?

Quick hitters

• From LeBron, to the “LaBrongo” and the Canucks, to JR Hildebrand’s crash on the final lap of the Indy 500, this has been a real run of chokers in sports. Even the Kentucky Derby (Animal Kingdom) and Preakness (Shackleford) winners spit the bit and finished out of the money in the Belmont.

There is a lesson to be learned here. The victory lap comes AFTER the race. Not the day after free agency in South Beach, not with a 3-2 lead in the Stanley Cup Finals and not with a lap to go at the Brickyard.

LeBron if you want Michael Jordan’s throne, you have to take it. No one is going to just give it to you. I know that’s a foreign idea in this age of entitlement. Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, and LeBron had his games televised by ESPN. He’s not prepared for the adversity. Once he is, we’ll have the discussion again.

• It was hilarious to see Amare Stoudemire waxing poetic about the Suns and how they might have won it all had they just had an opportunity to stay together for one more year. Seems like life with Carmelo Anthony — and probably a new coach within a year — might not be a picnic.

Hey STAT, that ball was in YOUR court. There was a contract offer on the table with huge money and a chance to chase a title for several more years — if you stayed healthy. But you took the sure thing, the guaranteed money, and the bright lights on the other side of the fence. Seems like no one got what they wanted.

• The Giants have to feel good about this weekend. Winning two of three at Chase without pitching Tim Lincecum has to boost their confidence.

The D-Backs now know what is required to compete — another stick, preferably at third base so Ryan Roberts can bolster the bench and address another weakness. Next comes an arm in the bullpen and another starter to cut down the huge gap in the team’s rotation.

We know the money is there. We know what the needs are. If management wants more than 24,000 people to show up for a “showdown” series, it’s their move.

• The Sun Devils probably went as far as their talent could take them this year, but that doesn’t excuse the worst umpiring I’ve seen in a three-game series in a long time in the Austin Super Regional.

We’re not talking about bang-bang plays or fair/foul stuff. When balks and interference plays arise from thin air, and calls are reversed by intimidation, it’s a black eye for the sport. Even the ESPN announcers, in between bombarding us with plugs for the new Longhorn Network, couldn’t ignore such a pathetic display by a group that should be ashamed of themselves.

After the series, I heard a lot of blame falling at the feet of ASU coach Tim Esmay — that he didn’t throw a tantrum or get kicked out of the deciding game or do something to ignite his team.

Esmay did just want he should have done — the only smart thing to do — by keeping his cool in an untenable situation and staying in the game. Those who think the Devils need a more experienced or more established man in the dugout are as far out in left field as those umpires.

• Jerry Brown is a contributing columnist who appears every Sunday in the Tribune. Contact him at jbrown5548@aol.com

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