Those of you who follow me on social media or read my blog regularly know that I’m a big fan of the Chinese Professional Baseball League and the Korean Baseball Organization. Although to be fair, I don’t watch too much KBO because the ESPN broadcasts are beyond amateurish and awful.
Seriously, what’s not to like about the CPBL? Professional baseball first thing in the morning as you have your coffee then you have the rest of the day to do what you need to do.
And although I know MLB will never switch to early morning start times, the CPBL has shown me several ways in which stateside baseball can be improved. Some of which I’ve mentioned in passing before, such as…
DJs. MLB needs Dee-Jays. Why? Because customized music with personal fan interaction is better than randomized music blared at eardrum splitting volumes during stoppages of play.
Mascots. The San Diego Chicken, the Phillie Phanatic, the Durham Bull (and the old guy in Bull Durham who played a clown in a baseball uniform) – people LOVE that sh!t! We need more of it in MLB. The UniLions in the CPBL have a mascot that’s a severed fish head, complete with exposed meat and spine on the back of the costume. Not sure MLB has to go that far, but come on, let’s get creative MLB marketing department!
Cheerleaders. The cheerleaders in the CPBL do a way better job of getting the fans involved during the game than Bald Vinny at Yankee games, or his equivalents in other stadia. When the home team is trailing and has a rally going, the stadium gets LOUD as the cheerleaders lead the fans with cheers, chants, and general tomfoolery (and the games are still operating under full capacity from an attendance perspective). And needless to say, the aesthetics of the stadium are improved in a manner the Bald Vinnys of the world cannot pull off.
And here’s one that I’m just getting on board with and admitting for the firs time:
Pitch Clocks. MLB needs pitch clocks. I’ve always noticed when watching old MLB games, how much less time there used to be in between pitches and how much faster-paced the game was – there’s more baseball in the baseball game when there aren’t 30 seconds between every pitch. But I’d always been skeptical about pitch clocks because part of the onus falls on the batter. Quite often, the batter not getting into the box is the issue, not the pitcher.
Ah, but we have a solution: When the pitcher has the ball the home plate ump (or a designated off-field official) starts a timer. If the batter isn’t in the box and ready to hit within 12 seconds, it’s an automatic called strike. Once the batter is in the box, the second base umpire (or a designated off-field official) starts a timer on the pitcher. If the pitcher is not in his windup within 12 seconds, it’s an automatic called ball.
Problem solved, crisis averted. (Side note: The CPBL does not use a clock and it shows. The KBO does use a clock but it’s implemented in a slightly different manner than my suggestion, I believe. I say “I believe” because the ESPN crew is too busy conducting Zoom meetings on a split-screen to get into the baseball action on the field.)
Mr. Manfred, I know you’re busy protecting the piggy banks of billionaires and commissioning your spokespeople disguised as objective journalists to “both sides” everything, but if you could get to work on the above bullet points, we sure would appreciate it.
Did I miss anything? Let me know.
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