What's Good For Baseball

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

What’s good for baseball

By William Robinson

                I like to talk about what’s good for baseball all the time. The funny thing about that is that there are so many different opinions about this that I’m sure that mine isn’t the only one and honestly may not be in the majority but I’m going to do a blog here today discussing things that I think need to change in the game to make it more popular for the masses.

1.       People do not come to the park to watch umpires. I’m sorry guys but Leslie Nielson isn’t walking through that door as a home plate umpire and nobody and I mean nobody is here to watch an umpire. What people are there for is to watch good hitters hit and good pitchers pitch. So when I hear stories about home plate umpires picking fights with players (I’m looking at you Joe West) it makes me want to do away with home plate umpires in general. And why not? We don’t need them. The day and age of the computer is upon us and it would be very easy to have a computer call balls and strikes going forward. The computer would always keep the same strike zone and would never make mistakes and there would never be any more arguing about balls and strikes. A strike in Cincinnati would be a strike in Seattle and so on and so forth. This would allow batters to get used to a uniform strike zone and would lead to an increase in run scoring across the league. This would also take away from useless bickering between players and umpires and would get rid of ejections for the most part keeping players in the game and on the field where the fan has paid to watch them. Now I know that this is a new thing and is going to be met with heavy resistance but all good changes are. Take integration for example, that was met with heavy resistance and it lead to a golden age of baseball.
2.       Speaking of integration, I’m thrilled that we have a Jackie Robinson day in baseball but we also need to have a day set aside to celebrate the man that made it all happen. MLB needs to have a day each year set aside to celebrate Branch Rickey and also another day set aside to celebrate Roberto Clemente. Branch Rickey saved MLB by creating the minor league system and by integrating baseball to not only black players but to latino players as well. This lead to the golden age of the 50’s and 60’s and led to MLB being more popular than ever. It also in a way lead to the end of segregation in this country by giving our nation a great example to look to. It’s only right that we celebrate these other heroes as well.
3.       Speaking of segregation we need to think about women’s rights a little bit too. The All American Professional Girls Baseball League ended in 1954 partly because of a law passed by congress that made all other professional baseball leagues illegal. This must be overturned and we must be promoting baseball for young girls. There is no reason why girls should be playing softball! That is pure sexism and is completely ridiculous! I’m not saying that the girls have to play against the boys but dang it they can play in a girls baseball league on their own and eventually I’d love to see a professional women’s baseball league as well. My young daughters need to see women playing baseball and not relegated to a side role playing softball.
4.       We need to get rid of the “code”. Yeah we’ve heard all about this unspoken code of baseball players. Don’t’ flip your bat, don’t show anyone else up, don’t look at the pitcher as you run around the bases after a home run, take care of your batters by hitting players with pitchers on the other teams. Good god baseball players grow up and grow some tougher skin. I’m sorry but players showing emotion is a good thing, it makes them more human and a lot more likeable in the first place. I want to see my players getting as excited as I am when they hit a home run. I want to see them celebrate and have fun. I want baseball to be fun and not boring and guess what so do my kids. There’s a reason why Bryce Harper is the most popular player in the game. It’s because he shows his emotions and has fun playing baseball. I mean Mike Trout is better than him, but he’s a boring as a stone and is on the West Coast so he’ll never be as popular. So let’s get rid of this stupid code and let’s start having fun!

Well I think that’s a good place to start. Let’s get that conversation going!


David Washburn said...

I totally agree with the idea of celebrating Branch Rickey and Clemente. I also agree about women's professional baseball. I mean they got wnba and lingerie football. What's the problem with baseball?

I am also a huge fan of watching players who are having fun. Harper is pretty much the spokesperson nowadays. People like Yordano Ventura, Marcus Stroman, Jose Batista, Brandon Phillips. Etc...

Last year Joey Votto was ejected from a game for uncharacteristically arguing balls and strikes and I was so happy to see him explode. I love watching a pitcher get a clutch K and take a large fist pumping stride off of the mound. It's acceptable to celebrate a division clinch or walk off hit but not to celebrate taking a lead in the fourth inning?

As for the computer strike zone and eliminating the ump... I kinda agree. I think umpires wanna be part of the game sometimes but in theory it would be nice to just have computers calling balls and strikes bit what about plays at home?

Danny Morrison said...

I agree with the point about no one comes to watch the umpires. There are a couple in the league that don't seem to understand this. However, I would hate to see computers calling the games. I love the human element. Baseball is a human game. If we want everything to be perfect, we might as well have computerized players as well. I am not even a big advocate of replay. I would love to see it dialed back several notches. I used to be completely against it but the botched call that negated the perfect game softened me a little. I wish it could only be used for "big time" situations such as the aforementioned perfect game that wasn't and post season. Yes I realize there is no practical way to select those big time times.

I wouldn't mind seeing a women's professional baseball league. It could be fun. I don't know how big it would become tho. Women's softball being taken out of the Olympics was a travesty as well. It was one of my favorite Olympic sports. I can't wait until it is brought back.

I'm going to show my age again, but I think the "code" or unwritten rules are good for the game. In an era when the code was much bigger than it is now, the emotion showed by the players was high and they were having a lot of fun. I do not endorse trying to hurt another player. But I do support the players policing themselves.

William Robinson said...

Well maybe keep an umpire at home for plays at the plate only kind of like other bases.

William Robinson said...

Well if Bautista gets seriously hurt by the hit pitch do you have that same opinion?

Danny Morrison said...

I have no problem with a pitcher coming in on a batter (not just these situations). A "purpose" pitch should always be in the mid section tho, never up high; and never with the intent to injur the batter. The purpose can also be conveyed without actually hitting the batter.
Also, enforcing the code does not have to be just a game of beanball or retaliation. To me, the most important policing is done by a player's own teammates within the clubhouse.

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