How To Improve Baseball

In a previous post, I offered a few ideas for Bud Selig’s advisory committee, which is meeting in January to discuss ways to improve the sport. Tonight one of our regular commenters, John (aka carrollj27), served up a few ideas of his own. I thought they were so sensible they deserved the spotlight.
spotlight.jpg
Here they are:

* No weird off days during the playoffs – my own suggestion is that we

go back to 2-3-2 for 7 game series and 2-2-1 for 5 game series, with

the off days being where the dashes appear.

* No charge for MLB.TV since it never works right anyway – AMEN!!!!  I

actually am on the road a lot – to the West Coast in fact – for

business and if I don’t pay for FOX at home, why the heck should I need

to pay to watch the Yanks on FOX on my computer???  If they’re on YES,

lemme log in and verify that I am a subscriber…

* No red caps on Yankees – not on Memorial Day, July 4th or any other

day.  OMG YES!!!!!  Do we put blue caps on the Concinnati Reds?  I

THINK NOT!  Case closed…

* Fox/TBS required to broadcast pre-game ceremonies during playoffs. 

Absolutely.  Since I was 7 yrs old this is still one of the best parts!

Come on people, get with it!!!!

*Have at least one and optimally two World Series games during the day

again. These should be weekend games as I understand that it wouldn’t

make financial sense during the week.  However, it bugs the heck outta

me that today’s 10 year olds can never see the end of an epic (or most

any other) WS game…we are turning the next gen of fans into “casual

fans”…

*Re: instant replay – starting with ALL postseason games, have an extra

ump in the booth who can look at replays that we all see and buzz down

to the crew chief when he needs to converse with the crew/overturn a

call.  Doesnt have to take long.  For the atrocious calls we saw this

past postseason, most of us laypeople could figure out within 2-3

minutes what went wrong.  A pro ump wouldnt need even that long. 

Ultimately expand to reg season games as well. Would be a great job

for recently retired umps…

*Have a 15-20-25 (whatever the right time is) second clock between

pitches.  Exceeding it would be a balk.  the amt of time between

pitches is ridiculous.

*Go back to just home and away uniforms.  If you wanna have a different

BP jersey that’s fine. However, it bothers me when I turn on the TV

and cant figure out who I’m watching fairly immediately.  I understand

that SOME people buy those obscure fifth jerseys that look like an

undeveloped negative of the real uniform…but again I think that for

short-term gain we are losing some basic identification with our teams.

If I were a Met fan, I’d expect to be able to describe what their

uniforms look like…I defy any Met fan to do so today for all

combinations.

*Somehow, some way, reduce ticket prices!!!!!  Esp in today’s economy,

we are pricing tomorrow’s fans out of the game.  Sure, the “suits” go

to games on the company dime, but half of em arent paying attention

anyway.  And the notion that I’m gonna pay a grand to see a Yankee reg

season game, even if I am sitting in a recliner 20 ft from the field,

being waited on, being fed grapes and having my feet massaged between

innings and God knows what other “amenities”, it’s just not worth it.

I’d love to hear reactions to John’s ideas – especially the suggestion about day games. Even though they’d start at 10 o’clock in the morning here on the East Coast, I’d still be in favor of them. It’s ridiculous that kids have to stay up past midnight to watch America’s pastime.



american_flag_with_baseball-jpg.jpg

Apropos of nothing, has anyone seen “The Hangover?” My husband and I rented the DVD last night and thought it was really dumb…and boring….and long. The tiger part was sort of funny, but that was about it. What a waste of time. We should have watched the DVD of the 2009 World Series.
P.S. To all those in the path of the snowstorm, stay warm and be safe!

25 Comments

I’d personally LOVE the idea of day playoff games on weekends. This way I won’t have to worry about leaving the Stadium late with school the next morning. Whoever thought of the (unnecessary) extra off-days should be fired, too

You didn’t like “The Hangover” though? Didn’t even find it “stupid funny”? That was the movie of the summer!

I like the point about World Series games being played during the day on weekends. The night games during the week absolutely does promote the “casual fan.” Well put, John.

Now Jane, The Hangover was one of the funniest movies ever. However, maybe it only appeals to teenagers.

Those are some very good suggestions, and ones that would work out well. I’d like to see more ‘real’ double-headers on weekends. This would shorten the season and make it more affordable for fans who have to travel. I think it’s petty for a team to play a game, kick everyone out, then let them back in with a new ticket to see the next one. The team would make a good portion of that money back in concessions.
Mike
http://burrilltalksbaseball.mlblogs.com

Amen. I watched Don Larson’s perfect game and noticed the pitchers rarely left the rubber and the batters almost never left the box and the next pitch was quickly delivered. I cannot believe a nine inning game nowadays sometimes takes almost four hour to play.

I’d love to see some afternoon WS games, but that—along with many of the suggestions—-have more to do with marketing/money and aren’t going to change anytime soon.
http://www.paullebowitz.com/
http://princeofny.blogspot.com/

“Ohhh [sing along with Deano & me]…
The weather outside is frightful
But the blog is so delightful
That since we’ve NO PLACE to go
Blog some mo’, blog some mo’, blog some mo’…”
As we sit, watching the snow climb to RECORD December levels in D.C. (12 inches? 15? 18?), and my first posting blew up again on this !@#$%^&!! computer, let me now try to squeeze in some beisbol…
Great suggestions…really really wanna see some day games again, and sticking to the 2-3-2 no in-between days off format…teams with thin rotations (or ONE hot powere pitcher) get an extra and undeserved break the way it is now, and even if it means the Yanks have to get a true 4th starter…well…they’d better! Having an extra ump in the booth is also a great idea…just keep the delays SHORT. Lord knows I’m sick of the 5th jerseys, too…in some games, a team with navy jerseys is playing a team with black jerseys, and I can’t even tell WHICH TEAM IS WHICH. It looks like those ancient NFL films in B&W when you couldn’t tell either…leave the green jerseys and red hats to…well, you know what I think already about all that!!

These are all great points. I’d also like to have the network broadcasting the playoffs and Series be required to show the post game celebrations. I do NOT want to hear their stupid talking heads – I want to watch my guys have a blast.
Melissa

This John fully agrees with that John.
Storm is on our doorstep. Our forcast is calling for 10 to 20 inches or more of snow, temps in the low 20’s and winds 30 to 40 mph. Just another day in the paradise called New England. As one of the songs of the season says “I’ve got my love to keep me warm”, I’ve got my plane, hotel and game tickets to spring training to nuzzle up with! It may be white around here soon but at least our ground doesn’t shake!

I’m so in favor of the day games on weekends, thesmoov1. And I expected to like “The Hangover,” I really did. I was in the mood for mindless entertainment but I thought it was really slow with too much standing around talking. The action should have been fast and furious!

The funniest movie ever, Lenny? Really? I love a good comedy and I have the mentality of a teenage boy (sort of), but “The Hangover” was so predictable. I need a few surprises! Didn’t you know ahead of time that the dentist would end up with the stripper, not the mean girlfriend, and that the car would get wrecked, etc etc.?

Mike, I remember “real doubleheaders.” They were the best. I used to go to the “twi-night” ones at Yankee Stadium. I agree that people should be able to pay to see a twin bill, not just one game.

I thought the exact same thing when I watched Larsen’s perfect game the night that MLB Network launched, acarnivale. I remember saying to my husband, “Look how fast this game is going. The batters haven’t stepped out of the box once.” The whole ritual with adjusting the gloves and calling for time has become ridiculous and slows the game down, as does the pitcher shaking off signs and walking around the mound.

It’s true that ratings for the World Series were up, Paul, so baseball is probably clinging to the notion that prime time is the only way to go. But if they’d only try an afternoon game on a weekend, they might see more viewers than they expected.

Glad to see you’ve got electricity in the DC area, Dave. With all that snow I was worried that people might have lost theirs. And it’s supposed to keep snowing all day? Brrrrr. Stay warm.

Good point, Melissa. We should add that to the list: that we want the post-game celebrations televised too. We don’t need more analysis. We need to see the players enjoying the results of their hard work – and interviews. Lots of interviews.

John, just reading that forecast made me cold and reminded me why I don’t live in the Northeast anymore. I’m glad you’re dreaming of your spring training trip and I hope it keeps you warm and distracted! No, the ground doesn’t shake where you are, but today in California it’s in the low 70s with bright sun. Not too shabby for mid-December.

“Ohhh [I’m getting a buzz with Deano]…
It doesn’t show signs of stopping
And there AIN’T NO WAY we’re shopping
The heat is turned way down low
Blog some mo’, blog some mo’, blog some mo’…”
Actually, Santa gave me a strange ‘n’ wonderful Xmas gift today. My Dear Wife went down to Bethesda to be with her mother (recovering from 2 knee replacements), and the Wild Child is still sleeping it off this morning…so it’s Just Me & the Ol’ Dog…and with all the snow, that goes for Sunday too!! We do love our wives, but it’s nice to take our time with the daily/hourly chorefest (she’s already called twice to add ‘one more thing’), and explore the lost treasures of the freezer…
Now, back to beisbol…Jane, we just gotta get you on that advisory board as The Voice Of The Fan, and The She-Fan to boot! With your input, we can get ticket prices dropped, and show all that great pre-game stuff too…even the Yankee-hatin’ talking heads would go for that…!

Dave, sometimes it’s cool when it snows and there’s nothing to do but enjoy your semi-solitude. As long as the heat works, it’s all good. Hopefully, there’s more than a chicken leg in your freezer. If you’d like to write a letter to Bud Selig’s office suggesting he put a fan (or She-Fan) on the committee, I’m ready to serve!

Jane, I totally agree with all John’s suggestions. Why do they think day games are not feasible? People watch other sports during the day. If I want to watch a game, I’ll watch it no matter what time it’s on, but it would have been nice for my 11-year-old to get to see more of the Phils’ in the WS the past two years other than the first inning or two. And it would be nice not to be getting whiplash from the head bobs during the later innings!
It is snowing here – blech! Not too much yet, but I think the heavier stuff is supposed to come this afternoon. I’m dreaming of palm trees (everything’s better with them, in my opinion), and dreaming of ST, which we WILL be going to! Yay! March 11-18!
Sue
Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts

Excellent point, Sue. If football games can be played during the day on weekends with great TV ratings, why not baseball? And I relate to the head bobs. LOL. So you’re going to spring training 3/11-18? I think the Yankees come to Clearwater on one of those dates. Maybe we can coordinate.

Thanks everyone – great comments all! I do also yearn for real doubleheaders again!!! However, clearly Paul hit it on the head – it IS all about the marketing and $$$.

Final point re the Larsen game – for those who havent seen it yet, or TIVO’ed it – watch it with the volume turned WAY UP and you will get a special treat – a very young Bob Sheppard plying his craft! In those days they only announced batters the first time through each team’s batting order – for each player’s subsequent at-bats, silence. However, for the first three innings or so of that game, you can hear it clearly – same style too – Number/Name/Position/Number. Again, a real treat.

Jane – a big THANK YOU for featuring these today – a very unexpected surprise for me!!! YOU ARE THE BEST! Now all the rest of us need to do is to get you named to the Selig committee. Speaking of whom (and looking back at the picture you inserted in that post), it’s good to see that the Commish prays before meals…or would that have been a Congressional Hearing…???

Thanks for the heads up about Bob Sheppard, John. I’ll make sure to listen for his dulcet tones the next time they air the game. The Commish did look “prayerful” in that pic, didn’t he? I’m guessing it was during the hearing. He was asking for divine intervention so he wouldn’t have to hear the word “steroids” one more time.

Jane,
You know I have more answers than questions sometimes to “fix” baseball, and not the “1919” kind.
But these idea have a huge amount of merit, which means they will be popped into the shredder if they made it to the MLB offices in NYC.
Love the idea of day time playoff games that start before 4 PM, but then the west coast would have baseball for breakfast………..Hmm, there is a baseball promotion in there.
Also, with Selig starting to “prepare” for his life after baseball ( can we speed it up), let remember that there is a new MLBPA contract coming up within the next two years.
They could actually use these types of ideas to brighten the game ” officially”.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

I agree with a lot of John’s ideas – especially earlier games. It’d be nice for a WS game to start before midnight – GMT of course.

I think the biggest change I’d like to see is better promotion of the sport internationally, including not sabotaging the effort with such cr*p coverage on MLB.tv. No pre or post game for me – just MLBAM and their BS excuses. Boring. Less talk (and lies), more baseball.

I wouldn’t mind at all if the weekend playoff games started at 10 am here on the west coast, Renegade. I’m used to “breakfast and baseball,” just like “breakfast at Wimbledon. So I’d be totally in favor of that. So you think these ideas would end up in the shredder? Sigh.

So you’d like more promotion of the sport internationally, anjakj? Sounds like a good idea to me. Why shouldn’t countries around the world get to watch the best the game has to offer?

So you’d like more promotion of the sport internationally, anjakj? Sounds like a good idea to me. Why shouldn’t countries around the world get to watch the best the game has to offer?

Exactly. It’s just that how it is presented at the moment on MLB.tv – the only way for a lot of people outside the US to watch – hacked up coverage that I’m actually embarrassed to use to introduce friends and family to the sport.

It makes me appreciate the fact that my mother has ESPN America – so at least I can watch the occasional Yankees game without the beginning and end being cut off each inning.

Jane,
I biggest problem with the MLB system is that unless an idea comes from within, it is disregarded as hearsay.
We can write all we want about changes, but if the GM or MLB owners do not sound off on the same concerns, it goes in one ear and out the other. Almost like white noise.
But that is true in business, which we sometimes forget baseball truly is.
Reality sucks sometimes because we want to believe that our favorite sport is democratic, but in reality it is more of a “good ol’ Boys club”.

Rays Renegade

http;//raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Where are you located, anjakj? Very glad your mother has ESPN in any case so you can see a few games from beginning to end. How frustrating!

I know what you’re saying, Renegade. I interviewed with the Commissioner’s Office years ago (I think it’s in my book) and it was such an old boy’s network. And yes, it’s a business. But I honestly think it makes good business sense to offer some day games, just like football does.

Real double headers – check
Afternoon playoff games (4pm EST) – check
time constaint between pitches – check
5th umpire for replays – check
lower ticket prices – (good luck with that) – check

NOW WERE TALKING!!!!!!!!

I’m a little disappointed that my spanking machine for the losers idea isn’t catching on. LOL

~Mike
http://evilempire.mlblogs.com

If I’m on the advisory committee, Mike, I’m not mentioning the spanking machine. I might suggest that players go without food and water if they make an error, but no corporal punishment.

No one mentioned the worst problem of baseball–scheduling. What genius decides that teams see each other three weeks in a row and then never again in the season?
The unbalanced schedule has introduced utter boredom into the game. Teams that used to have great rivalries now see each other only on a home and home twice in a season while the so-called divisional rivals, which are totally arbitrary, not real, see each other week after week after week. People in Cleveland want to have more than 6 games with the Yankees and Red Sox, for instance, not 19 games with Detroit or the White Sox. Do the powers that be really think people will buy season tickets to see the same two teams play over and over and over? Go back to the scheduling that allowed all the teams to meet all the others in a much more even manner. They used to do it and they could again. Get rid of inter-league play, spread team match-ups more evenly over the whole season, and go back to balanced scheduling.

Scheduling is a definite problem, fratusdj. I agree with you. While I do enjoy the division rivalries in the AL East, it would be fun to see more of the teams I don’t often see. On the other hand, that would mean longer road trips and more travel days, so the teams themselves might be reluctant to adjust the schedules. As for inter-league play, I’m not in favor of it. It feels artificial to me. The games are more like exhibition series. But they bring in profits so they’re probably here to stay.

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