I have some friends who are avid baseball fans but for the life of me I can’t understand why. Baseball is flat-out boring. The games are too long, the season is too long, and there is far too little action. So the following list is my proposal to the proverbial “they” who should spend their time making this sport not such a bore.
Change 1: Make the season 1/2 its current length.
For each MLB team a regular season lasts 162 games that span about 7 months. That’s over 1/2 the year JUST for baseball! In contrast, the NFL (football), NHL (hockey), NBA (basketball) combined only play 180 games. The NFL only has a whopping 16 games to their regular season! Less is more people.
Change 2: Make each game only 7 innings.
9 is just too many. The 7th inning stretch should be the 7th inning lets-change-the-channel / go home time. A well paced game with no rain delays, injuries, etc. will last on average 3 hours. The longest game in MLB history (between the Sox and Brewers in 1984) was 25 innings and about 8 hours long. The longest game in recorded history went 33 innings and had to be interrupted (at 4am) and finished on a later date. The shortest game in history was still 51 min long! So let’s just cut the innings down to 7 so a game doesn’t require such a time commitment!
Change 3: Every batter only gets 5 pitches
I get so sick of the waiting around for something to happen and the millions of foul balls. You get 5 tries buddy. That’s it. You better do something.
Change 4: Pitchers have to throw strikes.
After that last change you are probably thinking, “hey you could just pitch really poorly and the guy would run out of tries! That’s not fair!” That is true. So how about this. If you don’t maintain a 70% strike percentage after 3 batters, you are out of the game! Wow with all those good strikes being thrown there will probably be more hits and home runs and stuff…hey now that might be interesting
Change 5: You are only allowed 2 pitchers per game.
Nope, you won’t be able to just recycle all your pitchers and get around change #4. You get two pitchers from your roster per game. After that, you must have fielders pitch and you can’t replace them in the field. Have a bad pitching day and you’ll be down to 6 or 7 people on the field. So you better fall in line.
Change 6: Pay everyone the same amount. Team salary cap issued.
I’m so sick of the all-star status and treatment. It makes players just look like big babies. If you pay them all the same, then the only ones playing will be the ones that actually like to play.
Change 7: Play in bad weather.
Seriously, are you athletes or not? Stop being such big sissies and play in the rain. There should be no such thing as rain delay.
Change 8: Coaches aren’t allowed to wear a player’s uniform.
This isn’t really a huge issue, I just find it kind of funny that the coaches don’t do more to distinguish themselves from the players (other than beer bellies and white hair). Basketball coaches often wear a full suit. Football coaches are a little less classy but they have nice polos I guess. But baseball coaches…
Change 9: If you intentionally try to injure another player you are kicked out forever.
This change should be widespread in professional sports. I don’t mind contact and aggressiveness, but it needs to be channeled in the right way. Considering baseball is a non-contact sport I get really put off by these athletes who use cheap tactics rather than just accept defeat. Jocks gotta grow up sometime.
Change 10: A pitcher is only allowed to try picking someone off 3 times per game.
I don’t watch a lot of baseball games, but I’ve never seen one of these things successfully get someone. I realize the purpose is to just keep them from leading off so much, but it gets real old real fast.
Change 11: You can only attempt 3 stolen bases per game.
Change 12: No more unnecessarily replacing baseballs.
If the ball hits the dirt you don’t replace it. You play with a ball until it is lost to a foul or home run. Have you ever noticed this ridiculous exchange? Can’t we (Americans) do anything without copious amounts of waste? I think the average baseball must last about 5 pitches. If you let the ball get all grimy and nasty (like they were in when I played little league) I think it would add to the character and charm of baseball that the major leagues have all but sterilized. It’s time to get dirty!
Change 13: Skip the pitcher in the batting order.
It’s such a bummer when a pitcher gets up to bat. Rarely does anything happen other than an easy out. When I was a kid, the most athletic kid usually pitched AND could hit the ball a country mile. I never understood why most pitchers in MLB are so awkward at the plate. It’s kind of fun like the first episodes of American Idol are fun (watching amateurs croak out a B. Spears tune)…a pitcher could hold the bat backwards and nobody would really care since they don’t expect anything.
Change 14: If a player hits a fair home run and the crowd throws the ball back he can still be tagged out.
The jacked up steroid users that can only manage a brisk trot need more pressure to do something. Also this would be hilarious! There would be a HUGE home field advantage but I like the idea of more fan participation.
Change 15: One-game playoff decisions.
Seriously, you’ve had 81 tries already. Let’s wrap this thing up.
And there you have it. I’m all about baseball if it’s a little zanier and the games (and season) move a little quicker. Actually I still probably wouldn’t watch it, but at least I wouldn’t have to endure it’s plague upon social networking for such a long period.