CAN BASEBALL TODAY HELP ITSELF?
The July 13 issue of USA Today had an article by Mel Antonen titled,”MLB should step up to the plate and make ten changes. Dramatic moves would go a long way towards fixing what is wrong with the game.”
He lists these changes: 1. Shorten the season to 154 games, 2. Eliminate four teams, 3. Have ten-team lineups, 4. Lower ticket prices, 5. Play only day-games on Saturday. 6. Have a longer All-Star break, 7. Change the All-Star format, 8. Start play-off games earlier, 9. Have a board of directors, 10. Open the gates earlier.
Many people have ideas, including myself, on how baseball can improve itself. Many don’t make any sense or aren’t practical or go against modern trends.
Shorten the season to 154 games…Yes, it is true that the baseball season is too long, but MLB isn’t going to take away revenue. They don’t care that the World Series is played in the last week of October.
Eliminate four teams…This was written when contraction was discussed or cussed but no way the players association is going to vote on something that will eliminate 100 dues paying player jobs.
Have 10-man lineups…The author wants both DH and pitchers to bat. DH should be eliminated altogether. DH’ers are part-time players and sooner or later the Hall of Fame is going to have to address placing part-time players in as members of the Hall of Fame.
Lower ticket prices…This is another unreasonable idea. With salaries going up and up and besides, baseball has no sense of economics.
Play only day games on Saturdays…How about Sundays and the World Series. Give the weekends back to the families. No possible way.
Have a longer All Star break…I get the idea the author is feeling sorry for the All-Star players and their active 3 days. This is only about 50 players and remember years ago it was an honor to be voted or selected on the All-Star Team.
Change the All-Star format…The author doesn’t always want it NL vs. AL. Possible USA Team or a foreign team involved. I thought baseball was America’s game.
Start play-off games earlier. The TV money just isn’t going to let this happen and it may not be possible with teams playing in four time zones.
Have a board of directors. The author believes a congress-type set up here with all 12 members having different ideas is the way to accomplish something quickly. Our congress is a good example of that structure.
Open gates earlier. This makes sense, as I once took a bus trip to the Chicago Cubs and the McDonalds next to the ballpark was packed for about one and a half hours until the gates opened.
As you read Mr. Antonen’s ideas to save baseball you get the idea there is no hope. Why didn’t he mention, Speed up the game, lower salaries, and come down hard on people that ruin the image of the game. My ideas aren’t too practical and maybe I’m just as dumb as those suggesting that baseball needs many changes. However it is my opinion that baseball will survive as it has survived many obstacles in the past. As long as boys dream about playing major league baseball and there are still many good history stories about baseball, it will survive.
And that’s the way I see it.