Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bang the Drum Slowly: An Attempt to Revive a Flat-lined Baseball

For those who know me well, know how much I love the game of baseball.  You also know how frustrated I have become with this game.  With these two acknowledgements, I give you 11 ways to improve Major League Baseball.

1)  Cut salaries by 90%.  I know, I'm crazy.  But just listen.  Let's say instead of Albert Pujols' $30 million contract that he will sign at the end of this year was only for $3 million.  All of sudden, tickets, beer, soda, cable television, baseball cards etc., etc., are all 90% cheaper.  Okay, so I've said this before in my first blog.  I still believe it could be done.  $3 million is still a lot of money. 

2)  Give the seats back to the fans and get the corporations out.  When corporations buy these seats, do the employees get to use them.  Hardly! Over paid CEO's use them to snag their next big deal.  Get them out and let fans watch the game.

3)  Move all teams back to the U.S.  Here are some tax dollars that one lucky city could use.  After looking at the map of the U.S., I say move the Blue Jays to either New Orleans or Las Vegas. Which leads me to next point.

4)  Realign the leagues.  How does this division sound:  The Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, Orioles, Phillies, Pirates and Nationals?  This would definitely bring some heated passion to the game.  There are geographical difficulties in getting the divisions divided equally, but we could make it work.

Those are the major changes.  The rest are simple changes that could be done today.

5)  Get rid of the designated hitter.  The game is to be played by 9 players against 9 players.  The DH was put in to score more runs.  But baseball isn't about that.  More scoring doesn't mean it will be more exciting.  Take for example soccer.  Millions of fans wait for one goal to go crazy.

6)  Instate a pitch clock.  College baseball has this and games are around 2 hours long.  We don't need 2 minutes between pitches just so 10 guys can scratch themselves. Give them 20 seconds.

7)  All fields should meet certain minimum dimensions.  Stop creating these launching pads and make player earn their homeruns.  However, I like "The Green Monster" in Fenway.  Baseball was created to play anywhere.  Whatever was in your area you incorporated in your game.  Whether it be a giant Oak tree or a big green wall, you played around it.

8)  No more AstroTurf.  Enough players have ruined their knees playing on this crap.

9)  Raise the pitcher's mound back to where it was before Bob Gibson.  If pitchers had an advantage tough, become better hitters.

10)  Give more fan access to the players.  Fans should be able to get autographs of their favorite players without paying $175.  ( Yes, I'm talking about you Albert.)

11)  Forgive the past.  If baseball is to survive we must forgive the past.  From the 1919 "Black Sox", to Pete Rose, to the drug addicts of the 1980's, to the PED user's it is time to forgive them all. 

I love this game.  In my younger years, I knew almost all of the players and what teams they were on or had played for.  I've lost that, just as baseball has lost being "America's Pastime."  It's is time for baseball to take back it crown.  But it won't.  "Why?" you may ask.  Because of good old-fashion American GREED.  That is the reason that none of the above will happen.

This was what was on my mind today.

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