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'Junk' Mail, Mr. November, Grab Ass Gone Wrong!

This week, Kevin Ray touches on Bud Selig's antiquated rule of Major League Baseball, the NBA's use (and abuse) of its refereeing, and Brett Favre's man parts. But not literally.

So let me get this straight. You play a 162-game regular season schedule and you might still need a one-game playoff to determine a team's postseason fate? Am I the only one that thinks it's time for Major League Baseball to do some renovating?

Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of the game. I grew up watching and attending a lot of KC Royals games as a kid. That was back when they actually fielded a team and were a perennial threat in the AL.

I know baseball purists will be casting stones at their computers when they read this, but if baseball is to recapture the mass of days gone by, I think it's time for a shock to the system. No sport is more hung up on stats and records than the MLB. But ask yourself, is it really necessary to play 162 games after you've played a spring training schedule of 15 to 18 games as part of a month-long training camp?

Baseball is a sport whose players are often referred to by fans as "the boys of summer." But it's a sport that starts in late February and will have World Series games being played in November! Reggie Jackson never thought when he was getting a copyright on "Mr. October" that he'd have to grab "Mr. November," as well. World Series games in November ... really? In 2001, when the Diamondbacks and Yankees played in that classic seven-game series, it was acceptable because of the fallout of 9-11, but this is just because MLB wants it that way.

If you're paying your commissioner the astronomical figure that King Bud Selig is pulling down (just shy of $20 million), wouldn't you expect your leader to be a forward-thinking maverick? Instead, you've got a commissioner who allows home field advantage for the Fall Classic to be determined by the winner of the midseason flopapolooza, aka the All-Star Game.

This is the best that you can get from your leaders in the front office of the MLB?

When the Fall Classic turns into the big freeze this year, will that be enough for the leaders of this sport to look into change?

With cities like Philadelphia, NY and Minneapolis part of the postseason party, there's a very real chance that the weather will be making the headlines and not the dazzling pitching or brilliant defense. If the Phils make it back to the World Series, will Roy Halliday have the same velocity on his pitches if it's 28 degrees and it's sleeting in the city of brotherly love? 

You can't control mother nature, but by pushing the Fall Classic later and later, you're running the risk of weather being a bigger story than the game and that's where you've failed the players and fans. Just like the big auto dealers and some of Wall Street, it's time for major league baseball to take a hard look at itself.

Cut your spring training to 13 games, max. It's the least physically grueling sport yet you have a full month of practices and games. Shouldn't most players at this level know when to hit the cut-off man? Your additional camp time can be spent with the guys who will be sent to Triple-A and other minor league affiliates. How many actual innings do your stars play anyway?

Trim your regular season schedule to 142 games. More than enough games and you add some relevance to games in July and August.

Finally, end your postseason by no later than the third week of October. You're competing against the NFL, college football and the start of the NBA and NHL seasons, Bud, and you're not going to win that battle. For almost 20 million a year, it's time for the commish to drag his sport into the 21st century.

Just a little advice and it didn't even cost you 20 mill!

David Stern, commissioner of the NBA, said recently that this has a chance to be the most exciting season ever. Well, somebody better tell David to get a handle on his referees.

League officials were told to start cracking down on whining by players and start handing out technical fouls. Apparently, that includes when players jokingly slap each other on the ass. The Suns' Grant Hill and Reggie Evans were ejected from a game earlier this week in Toronto after a foul was called and Hill and Evans each gave the other a hard slap on the ass. Nothing malicious, just funny, playful moves by each player (veterans, mind you) that resulted in each being ejected.

Billy Kennedy, who I think is one of the league's better officials, made the call and tossed the pair. This was in preseason now, folks! Officials have rubbed fans the wrong way in recent years and if this is any indication, fans who are paying top dollar to see the best players aren't going to be thrilled if a simple and non-threatening slap on the ass gets their stars tossed.

Officials are always going to be part of the game, but they need to be reminded that they aren't the reason fans show up. Get a handle on this in preseason or you'll be dealing with some very unhappy customers come late October.

Technology is a beautiful thing, isn't it? Writing, filing, uploading, downloading at the speed of light. From your desktop to your laptop and the must-have smart phone.

Apparently, though, there needs to be some lessons on what is okay to upload and launch into the World Wide Webdom. We've all heard of sexting. The sending and receiving of provocative and sexually explicit messages via text. In some cases, this includes not being satisfied with just words, but attaching a picture, as well.

Reports surfaced in the last 24 hours that the good ole boy Brett Favre is not only able to deliver strikes through the air, but he's also adept at using his magic hands and fingers to deliver other things. Favre is said to have left voice messages for a Jets employee (sideline reporter) while he was with the Jets in 2008. Along with the voice messages, Favre reportedly "sexted' a picture of his "joy stick" (insert jokes here). As of right now, none of the major outlets are touching this story (pardon the pun).

We're reminded of the Greg Oden story from a short while back when the big fella took nude pics and sent them on his phone (I've not subjected myself to these and wouldn't recommend it).

I can't quite figure out the fascination with taking nude photos of yourself, much less of a specific body part, and sending it to someone as a way of trying to get their attention. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for self-expression, but  while you may be enamored with your man biz, not everyone may share that opinion. Kind of gives new meaning to "junk" mail.  

Who knows where this story will go, but all I know is the only ball I wanna see Favre handling is leather pigskin.