This is my latest baseball rant brought on by the latest from Major League Baseball.
MLB announced experimental rules changes to help speed up the game.
They will be tried out in the Arizona Fall League.
First of all, there is no clock in baseball, and that is one of its attractions.
A player does not have to beat the clock as in a last-second shot in a tied basketball game. But, I dare say that a batter facing a closer in the last of the ninth with two out, game tied, has all of that drama and suspense. In my opinion, more, since the batter gets up to three strikes or four balls.
Without a doubt there is much wasted time in Major League games. But having a clock and timing certain actions is absurd. A clock will not affect umpire decisions, good calls or bad calls. MLB has already given umpires the manager play challanges and video review process. I have accepted that, but still do not agree with the whole thing. Will umpires now have to deal with challanges that a pitcher took too long to pitch the ball, or did the batter get into the batter’s box soon enough?
Here are the basic proposals:
1) The batter must keep at least one foot in the batter’s box between pitches.
Of course, there are numerous exceptions, like on a wild pitch, foul ball, passed ball, umpire takes a bounced ball in the groin, etc.
Nonsense. Can they list all possible exceptions like if the batter gets dirt in his eye, or needs to adjust his body armor? The rule sounds good, because players do not really need to adjust their batting gloves after every pitch.
How about making the rule that batters cannot wear gloves? Babe Ruth didn’t wear them. That would be ridiculous. Yes, and so is the proposal.
My basic opposition to this rule is the same for all of the proposals, and many that have been already adopted. Baseball was a perfect, ingeniously constructed game. Lifestyle changes and technology have influenced changes that reduce the human element. The greatest unwritten rule has been greatly compromised.
The umpire(s) are to have total control of the game. Period.
Umps have not, and will not, get every call correct.
Frustrating and disastrous sometimes?
Yes. That’s the game of baseball. Ted Williams, Ty Cobb, and Cy Young lived with it.
2) The manager can give a signal for an intentional walk to eliminate four meaningless pitches.
Okay with me as long as the pitcher (manager) has the option to throw the four pitches if he wants. I’ve seen managers change their mind, and seen batters swing at “meaningless” pitches.
3) 20 Second Clock. OMG!
This stupidity would give the pitcher 20 seconds to be “ready to deliver the ball.”
If he is not “set” to throw it, the umpire calls a ball.
If the batter is not in the box, it is called a strike.
Jeez, Selig, there cannot be a ball or strike called if no baseball was thrown.
4) Limits to be set on time-outs and the time taken between innings.
The ump handles visits to the mound by the manager or pitching coach pretty well now. Sometimes catchers visit the mound too often. Fix that.
Time between innings is too long. I blame TV for that. There are more minutes of commercials per hour in all shows, not only sports. Money.
We can’t fix that because: money.
There are some rules changes that could help speed up the game. However, if we just follow that unwritten one, The umpire(s) are to have total control of the game, we’d be okay.
The ump tells the pitcher, “Throw the damn ball,” if he dilly-dallys too much.
He tells the batter,”Get in the damn box.”
He tells the manager, “Get off the field.”
He warns them. They keep it up. He throws them out of the game.
He says, “Play ball,” without waiting for a signal from a TV producer.
MLB does away with replay video.
Maybe the pitcher doesn’t need a new ball because one touched the dirt.
Much of the complaining that a baseball game is boring, too slow, or takes too long comes from folks who do not understand the intricacies of it.
Real fans do not simply wait for a spectacular catch or a home run.
Almost every pitch can change the game situation. Real fans, on every pitch, put themselves into the situation, looking at things like defensive alignment or shifts at every position. Which pitch (fastball, curve, etc.) should the batter expect, which should the pitcher throw, with each ball-strike count? The guy on first base, should he try to steal? When? Lefty-righty match-ups. Late game strategy. Pinch hitter? Who? A guy that gets on base, or a slugger? Did he throw to the right base? Hit the cut-off man? He should have hit to the right side. Etc. Etc.
Endless situations to foresee, think about, witness, and second guess.
Mr. Commissioner, please do not continue to ruin this beautiful game for real enthusiasts by catering to some who really do not care very much about it, or whose only interest is to make more profits from it.
And, Mr. Selig, before you go, please put Pete Rose in the Hall of Fame.
I know. He is an idiot and gambling is one of his problems.
He was also one of the elite players, one of the best ever, one who fans, not only from Cincinnati, paid to see.