Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Why didn't I think of that?

For the 1996 model year, Chevrolet introduced the world to the third door on their extended cab trucks. When I first saw it, I thought it was so simple and yet so genius. My second thought was 'why didn't I think of that?'

I had the same thought yesterday when I heard about the Roger Federer/Rafael Nadal match on a half-grass, half-clay tennis court. This is going to be a great event. One dominates grass, the other clay. On this specially created, $1.63 million court, we'll finally get a fair and balanced compromise between the two best players in the game.

In fact, this reminds me of the sprint that Michael Johnson and Donovan Bailey ran in 1997. Johnson was a 200m specialist, while Bailey was the 100m record holder, so they split the difference and ran 150m. Hopefully, the tennis match will have a better ending: Johnson pulled up lame during the race. (Or did he? Conspiracy theory, anyone?) If either tennis player happens to be down in the third set and suddenly clutches his quad, you know where he got the idea.

So what other level-the-playing-field type sports compromises can we rig? How about Dale Earnhardt Jr and Danica Patrick racing standardized, identical cars? And while we're at it, why not make it a little common man and have them drive Honda Civics? Or maybe have Tiger Woods compete in a golf tournament with nothing longer than a 3-iron.

Or how about this for a wacky idea: have all major league baseball teams compete with equal payrolls. Crazy, I know.

What dream sports exhibitions can you think of that would make me say yet again 'why didn't I think of that?'


Kevin Hayward said...

Chris, that tennis match sounds far too gimmicky for my taste. But what the heck; how about handicapping MLB based on payroll? Not exactly sure how that would play out, but in such a scenario the Royals could win 75 games and be tied for first with the Yankees. Or something like that.

Chris said...

Nadal wins in a third set tie-breaker, 7-5, 4-6, 7-6(10).

Chris said...

Any special exhibition like this is going to be gimmicky, especially one that tries to find a common ground between two specialists. I'm cool with it.

On to baseball. As I suggested in the article, I would love to see a cap in baseball. But as for your suggestion, maybe you could divide payroll (in millions) by wins to get a cost per win index. For example, the 2006 AL East, since that is where the greatest payroll disrepancy relies:
Team--W----$---$/W Index

Kevin Hayward said...

So what do you do with the $/win index? The fact that the D-Rays have a low index doesn't take away from the fact that they were a CRAPPY team last year.

Chris said...

Nothing much, other than realize how little the Yanks are getting out of their bloated payroll these days, which is reason enough for celebration for me.

Which is why I would love to see a salary cap (and floor) in baseball. I threw that out on, though, and got the communist tag thrown at me, from a Devil Rays fan no less.