Blogger Neil Cohen wrote on The Dot the other day the ten things he thought Major League Baseball should change about the game right now. Most of his ideas are sound. One’s blasphemy.
1. Wild card teams should play two out of three
Yes. A hundred and sixty-two games coming down to just one is cruel and unusual. Cohen suggests the regular season be cut back by two games to keep the overall season the same length. I don’t much like that idea since only four teams make the Wild Card spots and cutting two games from the schedule is really cutting something like 48 games that would have otherwise been played over two days across both leagues.
2. Enough with the beards.
Totally. Enough said.
3. The NL should adopt the DH
Oh hell no. I won’t go into all the Totally Obvious Reasons baseball is a superior game with all the players actually playing the way the New York Knickerbockers meant for them to play, but for NL purists (hello) the DH is an abomination from them depths of hell. We may as well let pro players hit with metal bats.
How about this idea: Teach pitchers to hit.
4. Kill the blackout
I don’t disagree with this, either, but dude assumes there’s some kind of logic behind how games get aired where. Plus, he could solve his issue by getting MLB.tv. It’s the best thing on the damned planet. Worth every centavo.
5. No more smokeless tobacco
6. PED scarlet letter
If a player gets caught using PEDs, upon return from suspension, the player has to wear a red uniform all of the time.
Yes. Plus, if they get caught a second time, they’re banned from the game for life and all their records evaporate. Like they never existed. That’d fix the issue pretty quick.
7. Stop counting pitches
Back in the day, guys would pitch full games on consecutive days for years. I know, the game’s changed. Really? Or is it that these guys cost too much money to use them as much as they were used in the old days?
8. Change how managers bullpens something something
Whatever. Let them dance their dance. This one sounds it comes from a guy who thinks the DH is a good idea.
9. Get the cameras off the fans
Yeah, I’d rather see how the guys in the bullpen are reacting to the game than some random dude in section 325. While we’re at it, can we establish some kind of minimum acceptable dress code for those people lucky enough to score those seats right behind the batter? And throw them out of the stadium if they wave into the TV camera while on their cell phone. “Hey, can you see me!?” Yes. You look like an idiot.
10. Stop whining about how long the games take
Amen. During the winter, I crave baseball and its timeless, easygoing cadence. I savor every second and resent travel days and the All-Star Break and the NFL for playing over the baseball season. Plus the months of November though February.
That’s Cohen’s list. I got one more.
11. Let the computers call balls and strikes
Heresy, I know, but I’m tired of watching good batters go down looking because the ump called a crap pitch as a strike (only to “give one back” later by calling a wickedly placed pitch a ball). We have the technology. There’s no reason to leave this up to the arbitrary verities of fallible humans anymore. In what other game are we asked to accept the blatantly wrong calls of the officiants over and over again during the course of a game? It’s madness. This would be better for batters and pitchers and fans. It would be fair.
I know, in the greater scheme of things, these calls work themselves out, but at any moment a rally can be killed or wrongly born because an ump screwed up. We’ve already got the camel’s nose under the tent flap with instant replay review. Let’s finish the job and let HAL call the pitches.