Who said that baseball is a boring sport? Well, the answer to that will probably come from millennials. What people fail to realize is that baseball is not a sport, it is a game; a beautiful one at that. Game five of the 2017 World Series started at seven o’clock at night and has crept into the early hours of the next morning. As of right now, I am writing this article in the ninth inning as the game is tied 12-12. During this time there was an NFL game that ended at 10:30, which also started at 7:30. Moreover, Major League Baseball games take forever and it is a fading in popularity amongst my generation. It breaks my heart.
Of the four major North American sports, baseball is the most sacred, having the fewest changes and developments to the rules since its inception. Arriving at the ballpark is like going to a romanticized picnic opera, so here are a few tweaks that we can fantasize about to change the game in order to get people more interested in the cosmic beautiful wonders of baseball.
First things first, there are too many foul balls that occur. A foul ball extends every at-bat, further increasing the length of the game. How cool would it be if the MLB would make the foul lines wider? There would be more base hits and excitement in the game and there would be a lot more scoring as well.
With wider foul lines, let’s make foul balls on two strikes a third strike so it makes it easier to obtain three outs. This will also speed up the game, adding a different type of intensity.
Changing lanes, everybody loves an infield base hit and a stolen base! What if the MLB also shortened the basepaths by five to ten feet. Imagine the base stealing threats and the increase in infield hits. This rule change would increase the number of five-tool players in every lineup. You know, the exciting spark plug players and this would eliminate players like the slow power hitting first and third basemen or the defensive catcher. Every position player would turn into five-tool players who hit for average and steal bases. Bunting would be even more important in the game, especially if the foul lines are wider because it would be easier to get bunts down to be in play. The downside to this would be a lack of home run production. Americans do love the longball. But with this the game would change, turning it into a back and forth ping pong match because of the constant baserunners making an impact.
Moving on, football has its play clock and baseball needs one as well. This rule change actually needs to happen because if a 10 to 15-second play clock was implemented then the pace of the game would go by efficiently. If a pitcher cannot start his windup by the time the clock hits zero then the batter will be rewarded with a ball added to his count. This is the only rule that really needs to be implemented the most.
Last, managers should be rewarded only three pitching changes a game. Major league baseball is notorious for having several pitching changes during a game, bringing in specialists, setup men and closers. This takes a lot of time that is unnecessary.
Also, the managers can only take one timeout per game instead of unlimited timeouts. Football, hockey, and basketball all have a certain set of timeouts. So, why shouldn’t baseball?
In the middle of the fifth inning, both managers of opposing teams should also have a 30-second wrestling match. The victor will obtain one run for their team. Just kidding. I wanted to just keep your attention. In all seriousness, there should be no extra innings. Instead, we should have a home run derby between each team’s selected slugger. Picture two gladiators facing head to head getting ten pitches to hit as many home runs to win the game in a do or die deciding derby.
Last, if there are more runners, scoring, stolen bases, a faster pitching pace and fewer disruptions by managers, then the game’s complexion will change drastically. These changes could graciously appeal to new audiences who use to find baseball too slow or boring because the intensity level will increase and the drama would ensue.
As of now, it is 12:39 and I started writing this article in the bottom of the ninth inning. This World Series game was over five hours long ending just now as the Astros just won in the bottom of the tenth. In just a 35 minute span between that time and now, I cranked out an 800-word article that would hypothetically change the substance of the game forever, prolonging the interest of America’s Past Time. In conclusion, baseball needs to make major changes in order to appeal to the new generation in order to keep the American tradition growing proud and strong. Whether you agree with my fantasy of changing the game this way or not, something needs to change otherwise baseball will be a sport of yesteryear.
Remember, “The Zos Knows”.
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