Major League Baseball is going to try putting a runner on second base to start extra innings, testing it out in the lower levels of the minors. They are also interested in speeding up intentional walks, rather than making a pitcher throw four balls, decreasing that all-important pitch count. ESPN’s Karl Ravech went so far as to say that the game should be shortened to seven…yes, SEVEN innings! Get him off the air…and get these idiotic changes away from my game!
The issue that I have with all of this nonsense is that MLB is making changes to make games shorter, trying to get people who aren’t interested in the game to pay more attention to it. In a culture that thrives on instant results, a game that requires 27 outs is just too much for these space cadets who can’t focus for more than 30 seconds before needing to post a picture of their latest meal, a picture of themselves, or some other self-indulging, self-centered stupidity.
Maybe those folks shouldn’t dictate the future of a game that is loved by so many the way it is. It isn’t like football, which takes three hours or more for all of their games, is losing viewers. Instead of seeking out fans who don’t like the pace of the game, why not find better ways to allow the game to be more affordable for fans? Why not find ways to incorporate the game into the lives of youths, providing equipment to young people and building the game in more than just the inner-cities and third-world countries? The game is growing everywhere but the United States. Get kids in the stadium with their families for less than $250 for a family of four and, perhaps, you wouldn’t need to seek out people who don’t have the attention span for the game.
Baseball is a game. It has been the same game forever. If someone wants to make a change, allow Vince McMahan to come out with XLB and watch it crumble like the XFL did. Keep the changes away from baseball, and quit trying to cater to the people who aren’t fans! It would be like the NFL trying to get men who enjoy antique shopping on Sundays to give up their favorite way of spending a weekend to watch men collide in a cloud of dust. It doesn’t need to happen.
27 outs. 9 innings. 25-man rosters. Best record gets home-field advantage. Keep it simple. Keep it the same.