Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Satan, Here Are Those Details You Ordered.

The eagle eyes of our own Carl J. Weitz picked up the next plan MLB has for making our world just thaaaaat much stupider.  I'm referring, of course, to the news that the owners, having been rejected in their last evil plan to put advertising patches on the uniforms, managed to get across the rule change—supposedly just for this mini-season—for now!—in which teams will start every extra inning with a man on second base.

So that's it.  Out of all the things that need to change, and that fans don't like about the current game, that's what they came up with it.  A runner to start the inning.

You know, it's not that big a thing in and of itself.  Oh, it's highly stupid, mind you.  It ignores the fact that extra-inning games really have very little to do with the deadening length of ballgames today.

There has not been some sudden spate of extra-inning games.  No strange inability to score runs in those games.  All the data showed that when they first brought up this inane idea, a few years ago.

But hey:  since when are we a country that takes facts and information seriously?  Especially when it comes to making informed decisions?

No, what's most gut-wrenching about this is how much it shows, once again, that the Lords of Baseball don't particularly like the game that they spend so much time casually kicking.  That they don't even get the essence of how it works, or what its appeal is.

As our Mr. Weitz says, sure, why not a designated pinch-runner, maybe an Olympic sprinter, waiting to tear around the bases at first base?!  Why not pitching machines to throw every pitch—a huge payroll savings right there!

Why not just computer simulations of every game, which can be customized to each fan?  'Hey, the Padres win the World Series again!'

Why bother with any of it?

The best thing for baseball right now would be for it to end in its current shape.  If everybody who controls it is so damned bored with it, why not break it up?  Go back to the deadball era—all games an hour-and-a-half, tops, constant stealing, the ball is never replaced, and you can do anything to it you want!

Why not go back to those old, dangling, evolutionary limbs?  How about the Massachusetts Game?  You retire runners by hitting them with a rubber ball!

Why not?  Or better yet, why not just break up MLB?

The best thing that could happen to baseball right now would be three years of irreconcilable differences between players and owners, and a total end to the majors as we know them.

Then we could all decide how we want to rebuild the great game.



Publius said...

Don't mind the extra innings runner. But changes in a lot of areas are required. After this debacle and looking armageddon, the default should now be "try it, see what happens". An era of experimentation should commence. In that spirit here's a rule proposal: A batter who strikes out is ineligible to come to the plate in his next at bat. Each team has a designated pinch hitter or two (selected by the opposing team's manager) who will hit for those who struck out in their previous at bat. The offending player will stay in the field, and run the bases if the designated ph reaches, but will lose his next plate appearance for every K. Not sure if a I in last PA of game should roll over to next game. Don't think so. Goal...disincentivize swinging for the fences every time up. Downside...May put power pitching at that much more of a premium.

Publius said...

Another one: pitch clock should be shortened and ruthlessly enforced. 15 seconds from time catcher catches pitch to next delivery unless formal time is called. Pitcher rates one time out per 3 batters. Failure to deliver pitch within 15 seconds results in not a ball, but a bases on balls. Let's get on with it, fellas. Batter rates one time out request per AB. If he steps out of box otherwise, strike. Let's go. Move it along.

Carl J. Weitz said...

Thanks for the mention, Horace. As for me, I'm going to hire Dr Emu to put a curse on all of the the team owners, Manfred and everyone on their executive committee. A large undertaking, sure. But these times call for drastic measures.

JM said...

Dr Emu watched the final season of "Brockmire." He knows how this ends, and it ain't pretty.

Publius, some interesting ideas there. Has anyone in the MLB executive suite noticed that when there were fewer commercials between innings, the games tended to be much shorter?


Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...

There are 9 innings in a game. Why not start each one with 2 outs, 3 men on base, and a 3-and-2 count on the batter who comes to the plate?

That's maybe 2 pitches in any given inning.

Games would probably be shorter. You could play 3 in a day. Get the 60-game season over in 3 weeks!!!

We wouldn't have to be troubled with all of that time-consuming hitting. Batters who don't come to the plate won't be stepping out, adjusting their jock, looking for signs, and waiting for someone to bang a trash can lid.

It's possible there would only be 18 pitches in a game, total. Or thereabouts. This would conserve the need to have more arms in the bullpen. They could cut rosters down to 18 or 20. Wouldn't this save money for the owners, too?

What if the game ends up tied, 0-0? Give the home team a run, automatically. Let the visitors come up one more time, bases loaded, 3-2 count on the batter, with 2 outs.

One more pitch, and the game could be over.

An added benefit: This would maximize the amount of time available for commercials.

Alphonso said...

My idea was better: Each batter only sees one pitch (unless he fouls it out off).

One ball is a walk.

One swing and miss is a strike out.

Then we won't have to shorten the game in the 10th. By the way, the guy they put on second should be the manager.

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HoraceClarke66 said...

Joe FOB, Alphonso: pure genius!

And to further maximize commercial potential, each runner who starts the inning on each base, should have to wear one of those big placards people use to advertise greasy spoons and dollar stores.

Anonymous said...

I can't even believe that they're doing the runner on second thing for extra innings. What a joke! Why not just load the bases, why only one runner to start the 10th? This is not real baseball. I have an idea: let's make it basebrawl. Batters can charge the mound any time. If he knocks out the pitcher, his team gets two points. (Queensbury rules apply. No kicking or biting or eye gouging. All punches must be above the belt. But wrestling is allowed, along with wrestling moves like the superflex, the Samoan drop, and the pile driver.) One point for a three count pin. The home plate umpire will pound the grass for the three count. If the pitcher knocks out the batter, then the batter is out. Also, when stealing a base, you literally rip the base out of the ground and run to your own dugout. If you make it, it's three points. The other fielders can defend by trying to knock you out. Only punching is allowed for that, no wrestling. If they knock you out, then you're out.

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