Thoughts of The Day 

Polls of the Day 8/16/14

Thoughts of the Day is back with a little twist, Polls of the Day! I’m offering up my opinions on the ESPN SportsNation Polls and comparing them to what the rest of the country thinks. Plenty of topics, plenty of debate, it’s time for the polls!

  • Q: How would you describe Bud Selig’s legacy as MLB commissioner?
  • Choices: More good than bad, more bad than good, or an equal mix
  • My vote: In the end Selig’s legacy is more good than bad. While the steroid era and the 1994 strike will always be black clouds over the game, baseball’s attendance and financial standing has never been better than it was under his watch. Expansion, instant replay and the improved playoff system (with the addition of wild cards, which greatly helped league parity) are just a couple of his greatest accomplishments. Selig will always be remembered for good and bad reasons, but overall he brought about more good to the game than bad. Fans either love him or hate him; there’s not much in-between.
  • SportsNation says: 37% say more good than bad, 33% say more bad than good, 30% say equal mix.
  • Q: Which of these is the biggest issue facing MLB under new commissioner Rob Manfred?
  • Choices: Game length, future of the Rays and A’s, instant replay improvement/expansion, or policing of PED’s
  • My vote: Game length, and it’s not even close. While the Rays and A’s need new ballparks, there is no way Manfred should be making that his top priority. Instant replay needs tinkering, but the fixes are pretty simple. Performance-enhancers are being policed just fine lately, as evidenced by the pitching domination we are seeing from Kershaw and co. The games, however, are just too gosh darn long. Even major leaguers like Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon are saying they don’t watch the games on TV because of how boring they are becoming. To restore the interest of the younger demographics it has already lost, Manfred and MLB leaders have to figure out a solution to the drudgery. Some of the ideas I have heard (pitch timers, regulating the amount of visits to the mound, regulating the amount of times a batter can step out of the batter’s box) are valid suggestions. Now it’s time for baseball to take action. Cutting game times down is Manfred’s most pressing issue.
  • SportsNation says: 34% say game length, 34% say policing PED’s, 18% say instant replay, 14% say Rays/A’s.
  • Q: Which sport will be bigger in America in 10 years?
  • Choices: Baseball or soccer
  • My vote: It’ll still be baseball. I acknowledge that soccer’s popularity in the States is rising and baseball’s is sinking, but baseball would have to go on a complete nosedive to drop lower than soccer. They would have to completely alienate their fans. When the World Cup is on everybody watches, but you’re telling me that in 2024 more fans will be watching the MLS or English Premier League than Major League Baseball? To suggest that would be ludicrous. Baseball will still be more popular ten years from now.
  • SportsNation says: 63% say baseball, 37% say soccer.
  • Q: Which team will finish with the best regular-season record?
  • Choices: Bulls, Cavaliers, Spurs, Thunder, or another team
  • My vote: Cavs. The keyword here is regular season record. I’m not sold on Cleveland as NBA Champion yet, especially if they were to face the Spurs, but in the regular season they could very well win 60-65 games. We know how much stock Spurs coach Gregg Popovich puts in regular season play (very little), and we know the Bulls and Thunder are not as good on paper as the Cavs. Therefore, Cleveland will be the best team in the 2014-15 regular season.
  • SportsNation says: 37% say Spurs, 29% say Cavs, 16% say Thunder, 9% say Bulls, 9% say another team.
  • Q: Will Ray Rice ever rehabilitate his image?
  • Choices: Yes or No
  • My vote: No. Rice took a step in the right direction with what seemed to be a very sincere and heartfelt apology at the start of training camp, but he will never be as beloved as he was before the domestic violence incident. He lost a lot of fans across the league when the video of him dragging his wife out of the elevator went viral, and most people will justifiably never be able to shake that image from their memory. He will be remembered from now on as a man who abused his wife, and he will never be able to fully repair that.
  • SportsNation says: 56% say no, 44% say yes.
  • Q: What type of team will Notre Dame be in 2014?
  • Choices: Playoff qualifier, Top 10, Top 15, Top 25, or not Top 25
  • My vote: Top 25. This question comes off the heels of Notre Dame dismissing four players who are under investigation for academic fraud. Two of those players are reportedly starters, DarVaris Daniels and KeiVarae Russell. Losing Daniels and Russell would be a big blow to ND’s title hopes. To me, they were only a Top 15 team to begin with, but now they’re in the 20-25 range. Everett Golson’s return makes the Irish a contender, but with the hardest schedule and a now-uncertain depth chart, Brian Kelly’s team is going to have to wait a couple years before they’re a playoff qualifier.
  • SportsNation says: 39% say Top 25, 24% say not Top 25, 18% say Top 15, 12% say Top 10 and 7% say playoff qualifier. 
  • Q: Would you be ok with a player from your favorite team playing for Team USA?
  • Choices: Yes or No
  • My vote: Yes. I try to stay as objective as possible, but I’ve always been a big Boston Celtics fan. If Rajon Rondo wanted to put on the red, white and blue and represent our country I would support him 100%. Injuries like the one Paul George suffered can happen on any court at any time, and the players who aren’t playing international ball this summer are still training for the upcoming season. They’re still playing at local gyms, schools and parks. If one of them tore his ACL, would fans say they don’t want their favorite players playing at all? That’s not an option. If a player wants to play for America, basketball fans should support him regardless of the inherent risks of being an athlete.
  • SportsNation says: 85% say yes, 15% say no.

Agree? Disagree? Drop a comment or keep the conversation going on Twitter @chuckiemaggio

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