20 Questions by Bob Ryan

20 questions…it was a popular board game at one time…..let’s adapt it to the Baseball World and have only 13 questions…good round number and lucky too ….in some cases I’ve thrown in some data after the question….just to provide you with more “food for thought”

  • Why don’t we have just a AL and NL Standings….drop all these silly 5 team divisional breakdowns…there would be the same excitement for the wild card….the best 3 teams in the league automatically make the playoffs with #4-5 being the wild card teams….another advantage is that a “balanced” schedule could be implemented…in the NL play each team could play 10 times which equals 140 games…..drop 2 games to cut schedule to 160 games that would make the union happy and add a negotiating chip for the league.. then you could play 20 games against the other league teams…. that makes the inter-league play being 4 games against 5 different teams….you’d see each AL team every 3 years… btw.. here’s the current “true” league standings..top line are the 3 teams guaranteed into the playoffs(read line left to right)…who in the old system…just happen to be the division champions! 2nd line is Wild Card contenders… 3rd/4th line are just finishing out the season and every player is worried about his status for next year..or he should be!

Actual AL Standings                    

Texas             92-64             Boston       92-64                Cleveland     90-65                        

Tor     86-69 Balt   85-71    Det     83-72 Sea 82-73   Hou   82-74       

NYY    79-76          Kansas City 79-77            CWS   74-81       LAA   69-87

Oak   67-88            Tamap Bay 65-90            Minn       56-100     


Actual NL Standings

Chi Cubs      99-56              Washington 91-64            LA Dodgers    90-66

NY Mets        83-73              SF Giants      82-74              StL Cardinals   81-74

Pitt   77-78               Miami   77-78          Colorado 73-83      Phil Phillies    70-86

Mil       70-86     San Diego 66-90   Cin Reds 65-90    Arizona 64-91 Atl     63-92


  • Why do rosters still expand to 40 players in September? Decades ago, the managers, GM could not see the up & coming talent easily so the Sept call-up provided them with an opportunity to see the “young blood…certainly not true any longer…they fly these kids up & down to the “bigs” for a weekend series sometimes….40 man rosters change the strategy of the game at the most crucial part of the season…why?
  • Why isn’t there protective netting down each stadium past the dugout or 3B whichever is further?
  • Why do batters get to wear batting gloves? Doesn’t that give them an advantage that they wouldn’t have normally? Do they need that advantage…should pitchers have a similar advantage…is it really that much different than modifying the bat?..and….we would eliminate the perpetual stepping out of the batters box to tighten his batting gloves.
  • Is there a maximum size to a baseball glove? Some of these guys look like they have gloves that are 2 ft long J
  • Why aren’t relief pitchers “carted in” to save time? Heck…you could drink an entire beverage while Lee Smith walked in from the bullpen.
  • Why doesn’t the MLB have “stars of the game” like hockey? Let the local sports writer pick them…have them take a bow to the fans & exit..simple.
  • Why doesn’t the appeal begin when the MGR stands on the dugout steps…he’s halting the play of the game.
  • Why is there a trading deadline? Just make the post-season roster submitted by Sept 1 (list any 25 of your 40 players listed on your top rosters)
  • Why can’t this appeal process be reduced….how about 1 appeal thru innings 1-6 and 2 possible appeals innings 7-9…it begins when you get on the top step and if you are wrong, you lose one of your next appeals…if it’s your last appeal…it carries over to the next game. I’m really tired of watching umpires holding headsets to their ears…not my idea of action.
  • Why can’t there be a time limit for the appeal…if a call can’t be reversed in 1 minute…the call remains the same…move the game on…
  • Why doesn’t the scorekeeping be done by the league….it would add consistency to the rulings across the league…it seems to me that local “scorekeepers” are sometimes blinded by their own prejudices about their favorites…let the NY boys put down their appeals time and make quick judgments on errors, hits, wild pitches, passed balls, etc. It wouldn’t be every play…only those judgmental decisions.
  • Why can’t the local fan at the game be primary consideration? The lengthy commercial time between innings, the repeated stops of action due to the appeal or possible appeals, pitching changes, tightening gloves….it seems to me that the fans at home are the primarily beneficiary of all these changes…not the guy who has laid down some dough to get into the game.

Football Fly-bys…

….OK…now coaches are fired after week 4 (e.g. Les Miles, Mike Jones @ Lincoln U)….if he was that bad, why did the AD keep him last off season. The Coach hasn’t changed….the pressure of fans & boosters have driven the AD to make the move.

…Carson Wentz (#2 overall pick of NFL draft) is showing signs to being a very capable QB as he’s led the surprising Eagles to a quick start..despite coming from a very small school (N.Dakota State)….some other stars have done the same…Terry Bradshaw was from Louisiana Tech…he seemed to do OK J

…Really Mizzou? Scheduling a team from a school of 3400 kids that competes in the Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference and was 1-10 last year…were we that desperate for a win? Scorching them 79-0 doesn’t make you look good..at least to me…Then….Coach Odum claiming he didn’t know what to do….clearly you had watched the tapes and knew that your receivers would “eat up” the Hornets corner backs each and EVERY time…why not work on something that you aren’t good at offensively? Or play your 4th string in the 1st half…do these stats really mean anything? Why this type of win is used to help a team reach a bowl is beyond me….ya know…you must have a 6 wins to go to a bowl..to me it should be 6 wins against D-1 schools…not these poor cupcakes who are sending out their football team into the Colisseum to be slaughtered so that this small school can have a “big” payday…by their standards.

…What a comeback by Tennessee….I must confess…I was surfing through the wide selection of NCAA games on Saturday…during my instant fly-through, I saw Florida go up 21-0….I thought it was over so moved on to yet another game only to read that the Vols won 38-28…wow…outscoring them 38-7 after that miserable beginning…Tenn is now 4-0..grossly overlooked due to their 2015 record of 9-4…look at Tennessee’s 4 losses of last year…to Oklahoma in OT, one point loss to Florida,4 point loss to Arkansas and a 5 point loss to Bama..keep this team on your radar!


MLBits…..surprising stats….

….the top 3 pitchers in NL strikeouts are no surprise-Scherzer, Fernandez (how tragic was his death?), Bumgarner but #4 is Robbie Ray (Az)…I wouldn’t have never guessed that one

…whose 6th in NL slugging % behind (#1 thur #5) Murphy-Wash, LaMahieu-Col, Goldschmidt-Az, Freeman-Atl,Bryant-Chi…it’s Charlie Blackmon-Colorado…he is their lead-off man! Btw…he is arbitration eligible this year….I’m sure that he’s excited about that opportunity

…..the Cubs have 4 of the 10 batters in on-base % for 2016

…who leads the LA Dodgers in wins this year?….nope…not Clayton Kershaw…its Kenta Maeda with 16 wins, 171 strikeouts (also more than Kershaw…who..btw has missed about 10 starts this year), an ERA of 3.20, whip of 1.09.

…Johnny Cueto has 5 while Madison Bumgarner has 4 complete games…the Cards staff has 2 CG this year (Wainwright & Garcia)

….100% of gratitude to you for making it to the bottom


Your thoughts are always welcome….put them right here on the Prepcasts site or send me an email…Thanks!






  1. Take away interleaved play, make ALL pitchers hit and go back to rotating WS home teams. Yes play real real baseball. Do all that and I’ll make you “comish!” Btw if someone wants to wear gloves, make them make them while in the bbox.

  2. As always, great points. Your list of “why’s” about the MLB had me cracking up, but all completely valid points…especially the appeal nonsense! To your point about Mizzou, I couldn’t agree more. That was ridiculous, at least Pinkel had the sense to shut it down if a lead was too big against a school like that. I see zero benefit in playing a team like Delaware State, stroking your ego and making any play you wish, one week before LSU. Ludicrous. Love the writeup!

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