I fear the “change baseball for me” crowd is winning…
We’ve heard new MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred talk about being open to ideas of a shortened season, but he’s a new Commissioner…he’s probably just saying he’s open to everything (See: Rose, Pete).
What really scares me is when a true baseball purist, a baseball journalist extraordinaire, somebody like Ken Rosenthal, begins to buy into this.
Last week, Rosenthal wrote about an idea to SPLIT THE SEASON!
My head is spinning…I just can’t take it anymore….they’re winning.
The people who won’t watch baseball whether the season is 200, 150 or 85 games are going to get what they want if this nonsense continues.
SO…as I did on my baseball show (Bases Loaded- Monday’s at 7pm on 740 The Game), I will now give you a list of what can be done to “fix” or improve Major League Baseball WITHOUT altering the season what-so-ever.
o Hold umpires accountable.
§ Demotion threat just like the players have…get calls wrong a lot, you get sent down to the minors.
· Don’t enforce rules (pace of play for example)…you get sent down to the minors.
It doesn’t make sense to me that a player batting .125 ends up back in AAA but an umpire who blows calls constantly, or has a moving strike zone never has to answer for his poor performance.
o DH in National League.
How many times do I have to say it…less games won’t make Mike Bianchi watch a baseball game in May…it just wont. But more exciting baseball might, and nothing is less exciting than a pitcher not even trying to hit the ball.
o Get rid of the antiquated unwritten rules.
Not even purists really like these much. It makes the game “unhip” to the younger demographic and it pushes away all fringe fans.
o Allow pitchers to use approved substances for grip.
§ There must be a specific list of things that are for grip and not to aid break. So rosin, not bullfrog. Tacky not slick.
This gets rid of the drama, and can give the league the right to hand out harsher penalties on those who don’t follow the rules…appeasing both the “cheaters are cheaters” crowd and the crowd based in reality.
o Improve the replay system.
In tennis there is a system to challenge in and out within seconds. Why can’t Major Leauge Baseball do this for fair/foul and home runs? This technology could drastically decrease time needed on reviews. Only long reviews needed for safe/out calls.
Now I don’t expect you all to agree or like every one of these ideas. To be honest, I think baseball is fine as it is.
Record profits, increasing attendance, massive TV deals and players making upwards of $24 million a year…seems pretty healthy to me.
All I ask is that you give these changes a shot first. Don’t jump to alter season mode right off the bat, because that does absolutely nothing to change the day to day game that somebody like Mike Bianchi has zero interest in watching.
I promise you this, if Major League Baseball had a 100 game…heck, a 75 game season instead of 162…Bianchi would still not be watching games on Opening Day the way they are played today.
So would shortening the season really help at all?
No. It wouldn’t.