COOPERSTOWN, NY – We recently had the privilege of *soiling the crust of Abner Doubleday Field. Our event-filled return trip included a broken-down Dodge Charger, one of the best pints of Guinness we’ve ever had at a Stack’s Motel in Cairo, NY, too much male bonding in bumper-to-bumper NY State Thruway traffic and more sports talk radio than we could stomach. Literally. Or is it figuratively? Anyway, much of it was coincidentally fixated on one topic: Fixing Baseball.
Some fill-in nitwit on ESPN Radio wanted to take on the task by:
-Shot Clocking the batter’s box and pitcher’s mound, allotting a certain amount of time between pitches.
-Do away with breaks between innings.
-Make the DH universal in both leagues to keep from wasting time strategizing about pitchers hitting or not.
-Limit pitching changes.
With great restraint, and a lack of cell phone battery life, we resisted calling in to righteously refute all of the above. Heck, we still play hardball and quite frankly, we love it. Further, we couldn’t disagree more with the above nonsense.
-If you were to put a shot clock on batters and pitchers, who gets what? Who counts – the umpires? Or is there some new official introduced? When there’s a violation, is there a timeout out to prosecute? If so, that adds time to the game.
-Breaks between innings have been there since the game was invented. The caller that sprung this idea on said nitwit said, “They don’t need practice between innings.” Note to caller and nitwit: They aren’t practicing. They are loosening back up after sitting on the bench. Pitchers get 8 warm-up pitches between innings. Short Matt still pitches and always begs for a 9th. Why? Because his arm is stiffer than Mitch McConnel’s at a Women’s Rights Convention. With the slew of arm injuries, this is just an absurd consideration. The nitwit agreed with the caller. Shocking.
-The DH is an affront on mankind. It’s worse for us than the non-biodegradable plastic that is forming islands in our oceans. It’s worse than Charlize Theron frogging around with Sean Penn. It’s what diving is to soccer… We will dress as Mr. Met and fire shoes at the Commissioner who allows the DH in the Senior Circuit. End. Of. Story.
-Limiting pitching changes is the idea of fan that that has watched the Yankees and Red Sox numb their brain over last with 4 1/2 hour marathons over the last 5 years. Instead of limiting a necessary and integral part of the game, how about limiting the times this watered-down and over-hyped rivalry gets forced down our throats every season?
Now for the fix.
You want more from the game. We say Commissioner Manfred should sacrifice a ball. Make three balls a walk… More offense, pitch counts would go down (yes, down) and batters would know they have less to be finicky about. And go back to the intended strike zone of top of the letters to the bottom of the knee joint. That’s it. Other than that and weeding out the cheaters, for all its flaws, baseball is still damned good. Don’t fix something that ain’t broke.
Someone that’s fixed and broke, Cheesy Bruin, tomorrow.