No, I’ll never be commissioner. I don’t have the requisite skillset.
Specifically, the ability to prioritize the financial well-being of billionaires over all else while lying to the public about how said billionaires are struggling financially is not an ability I’ll ever have.
That said, there’s still no live MLB to watch, so matters such as these – how we can make the great game even better – come to the forefront. So I’ll never be the head honcho, big cheese, but if I were here’s what I’d do, in no particular order:
Institute European style relegation.
If you aren’t familiar with the other football in Europe, each season the three teams with the worst records are relegated to the top minor league. The three teams with the best record in the top Minor League get promoted to the show. Can’t hang with the big boys? No problem, we’ll find someone who can. This rule is to protect the interest – wait for it – of THE FANS. Fans in all sports and in all countries allocate a LOT of time, energy, resources, and money to their local teams (whether they like it or not if they’re tax-payers). The relegation rule forces a team to put a representative product on the field for the fans to see and root for as a return on the fans’ investment. If the owner is unable or unwilling to do so, then he or she isn’t going to reap the profits generated by playing against the teams that want to compete and win. Hey Orioles, Tigers, and Marlins (Insert Kool and the Gang music) “Rellll- uh-gay-shun time, come on!”
Lose the Infield Fly Rule
This is a bizarre rule. It literally stops the action of what would be a play requiring quick strategical decisions, high skill level, and high-speed movement and exchanges all of that for – the umpires telling everyone to stop what they’re doing. Makes no sense – buh bye, infield fly.
Foul Ball Limit
Foul ball after foul ball after foul ball brings the game to a screeching halt. Once a batter has two strikes, he’s allowed one foul ball – after that, any foul ball is strike three. You want to see batters shorten their swings and just try to put the ball in play with two strikes? Mission accomplished.
Shrink the Strike Zone.
The strike zone was invented to force pitchers to throw hittable pitches to make it easier for batters to put the ball in play which increased the amount of action. It’s deteriorated over time to become a way for pitchers to throw pitches that can’t possibly be hit, forcing hitters to NOT swing. Seriously – why would one swing at a Dellin Betances curveball on the down and outside corner? You can’t hit it. You’re better off not swinging and hoping the ump blows the call. But if the zone is smaller, unhittable pitches become balls, as it was intended. When pitches become more hittable, batters are more likely to swing and make contact and we’re more likely to see more action.
Announcers who complain? You’re fired.
Announcers calling the game get the same respect afforded to batters: Three strikes and you’re out. Over the course of the broadcast, if you complain about the pace of play, length of games, or about how the game used to be better more than twice, you’re done. We’ll find someone who likes baseball to do your job.
Universal DH. No rational human being enjoys watching pitchers make asses of themselves in the batter’s box. And by the power of Melido Perez’s rusty gate swing, you will NOT come at me with “…but, but…strategy!” Stop. The decision regarding what to do when the pitcher is due up is beyond obvious and made for the manager 99.9% of the time. “Gee Bob, there’s a runner on first with no outs and the pitcher is up – whatever do you think is going to happen next?!?” (Insert finger in throat.) And no, the double switch is not some form of theoretical mathematics – if you think using it is some kind of high-level thinking, you’re cognitive skills are the issue, not the DH.
Damn, I love baseball. But it would be even greater if I called the shots, don’t you think?
Did I miss anything? Let me know.
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