Beltran's post-season credentials are a product of his strong play, but also of the era in which he played. When baseball moved to the expanded playoff system following the 1993 season, it pro-actively sought to change how its past is viewed.
Part of the fun of the game is watching a manager argue with an umpire who he feels made a bad call. It's exciting to see a manager thrown out of a ball game. It's one of the things that gets fans "up" in a game. With Instant Replay it becomes a much calmer, less exciting game.
Expanding the size of the All-Star Game roster, using a designated hitter and tinkering with how the roster is selected are all ways Major League Baseball has tried to ensure that the All-Star Game remains interesting for fans. These innovations have not achieved that goal.
It didn't take long for someone to bring up his name as soon as Pablo Sandoval slammed his third home run in the first game of the World Series. Reggie Jackson. And it didn't take long for it to trigger the biggest regret of my life.
Names matter. Whenever we hear one, we draw a wide range of assumptions about the individual person (or item) in question. Just ask the fish merchant whose stroke of naming genius turned the undesirable Patagonian toothfish into the haute cuisine Chilean sea bass.
Forget steroids. Forget Frank McCourt's mismanagement of the Dodgers. The biggest scandal in baseball at the moment is the Baseball Hall of Fame's failure -- for the fourth time -- to induct Marvin Miller, who freed players from indentured servitude.
This year's Preakness mascot is Kegasus, half man, half horse. The whole idea is to draw "party animals." Let's see, music, lots of beer and a bikini contest. And you wonder why ticket sales are up 17%?
A ferocious ball club owner, a city on the brink of financial collapse, a blackout... that was the summer of my youth. And like any tough-as nails dyed-in-the-wool New Yorker, if I could do it all over again, I would. I swear I would.