DENVER, CO – As I was scanning the interwebs, trying to get a handle on the situation my Cardinals are in for the upcoming season, I was flabbergasted by a headline that I never thought I would live to see:
The world is assuming that the DH will be in the National League. This is the saddest sports-related headline I think I have ever read. Rob Manfred and his evil empire of executives are trying to ruin America’s past time. Although the prognosis looks bleak I think there is a way to save the game: Make me the new manager of the Metropolitans.
If I were the next Manager of the Mets I would implement the following policies in order to make the game substantially more interesting, whilst simultaneously returning the game to it’s roots. Hopefully other franchises would take notice and implement similar provisions in order to grow the game.
First… and most obviously, the pitcher will hit – regardless of the DH being in the National League. The constant war against lengthy game times purported by Robert D. Manfred Jr.’s evil empire flies in the face of taking the bat out of the hurlers hands. Why take 3-5 easy outs per side in a game and make them harder?
Second: Starting pitchers will play right field on their second off day. This will juice the number of easy outs to five to ten outs per game on the Mets side. This will ensure that all the Short Matts get’s home in time to walk their dogs.
Third: The ground rules for Citi Field will be returned to dead ball standards. For example; a ground rule double will be counted as a home run. The fence will be replaced with a picket fence. If the ball rolls through the fence runners can advance. The home run apple will be placed in play in centerfield, similar to the flagpole in Houston. If the apple is struck in the air or on the ground it will be considered a home run.
Umpires: The umpires will be chosen from the crowd prior to the first pitch and will be given a chair to sit in behind home plate. This is how it was done in the dead ball era and I don’t see why it wouldn’t work today. Furthermore there will be no video replay. The spirit of the game will be restored by the adage “if the ball beats the runner they are out.”
Pitch Clock: If MLB forces a pitch clock it will be an analog scoreboard style count down wherein an aforementioned crowd member/umpire will be responsible for changing the numbers at their own pace. If the opposing pitcher gets ten seconds and the home town pitcher gets five minutes, so be it.
Doctoring the ball: All pitchers will be provided with Vaseline, pine tar and a nail file at the mound. Instead of making doctoring illegal it will be legal and regulated. The chief inspector of all things doctoring will be Short Matt. He has more experience doctoring balls for the Harlem Shaskys than any other player alive today. (CLICK THIS for a great Gaylord Perry story).
While these provisions may sound ludicrous they are in no way near the level of insanity that is the DH. Baseball aside Georgia covers tomorrow and Iowa beats Michigan.