Well it’s been a while since my last post. I guess I’ve had the dreaded “WRITERS BLOCK” ! But this is a blog I’ve been thinking about for a while and with the recent developments in the game of baseball I figure it’s time.
Baseball is being killed. But the problem is not what the commissioner and MLB would like you to think. It has nothing to do with “Pace Of Play”. There are many factors at play here. Here are just a few of them.
1. GREED !!!!!
That’s right. Both the players and the owners are making way too much money. In the last 2 weeks players have signed deals worth 260 MILLION dollars for 8 years, 300 MILLION dollars for 10 years and most recently 330 MILLION dollars for 13 years. Yet players are complaining about how long it took to get these mega deals. There have even been threats of a strike ( and it’s probably going to happen in the next few years ).
At the same time owners are complaining that attendance has gone down every year for the past few years. BUT at the same time REVENUES have gone UP every year. So this means that the owners are not hurting.
But what all this means is that the salary structure in baseball is beginning to mimic the country’s economy. The top 1% are making all the money while the rest of the players are suffering. AND the price of going to see a game is going UP AND UP AND UP !!! When I was a kid my family didn’t have a lot of money but I still managed to go to a few games a year with my friends. Now I’m single and have a good paying job but can hardly afford to go to even one game a year ! AND THAT’S THE PROBLEM !!!!
People can’t afford to go to games while at the same time we don’t feel sorry for the overpaid players. IT’S A MESS !!!
2. Then there is “Public Enemy #1”. COMMISSIONER ROB MANFRED !!!!
This man has done more to hurt the game of baseball than any of his predecessors. He keeps changing the rules. First he brought Video Replay into the game. Not only does this slow down the game but they still get the calls wrong about 80% of the time.
Next he stopped players from running into catchers at the plate. Not a bad idea if you are worried about catchers getting hurt but no one really understands the rule and if you don’t want to risk getting hurt then don’t become a catcher or accept the ridiculous amount of money you are being paid to play a GAME !!!!
Then he changed the slide rule at second base, again supposedly to keep players from getting injured. But once again no one understands the rule and they end up going to replay AGAIN to see if the player did indeed slide correctly.
Then he changed the intentional walk rule. He changed the rule from throwing 4 pitches to just holding up 4 fingers to signal the intentional walk. This maybe saves 30 seconds in an average game. It takes away the possibility of a wild pitch or a player trying to hit one of the pitches. It used to happen !!! This is a STUPID change !!!
Now he wants to bring in a pitch clock, do away with defensive shifts, move the pitchers mound back and even go to ROBOT UMPIRES to call balls and strikes !!!! The pitch clock is a bad idea. One of the things that has always separated baseball from other sports is THERE IS NO CLOCK !!! And most of the players are against the pitch clock. Defensive shifts have been a part of the game FOREVER !!!! Tell the players to learn to hit the ball to the opposite field !!!! And the mound does not need to be moved. It’s been where it is since the beginning of the game. The players will adjust to the 100 mile an hour fastballs. They always adjust !!! And last but certainly not least…ROBOT UMPIRES ???? This is the worst idea yet. He’s taking the human element out of the game. Different umpires have always had different strike zones. The players know this and have adjusted to them. IT’S PART OF THE GAME !!! All of these technological changes in the game have made it long and BORING !!! I miss ARGUMENTS !!!
But the biggest problem with the new commissioner is that he doesn’t care about the real fans like myself. He thinks that we love the game so much that we will probably continue to watch and go to games no matter what he does. But he’s wrong! And all he really cares about is bringing in new fans with all of his changes. WELL HOW IS THAT WORKING OUT ??? NOT SO GOOD !!! The more he has changed the game the more attendance and viewership have declined. HIS CHANGES ARE HURTING NOT HELPING THE GAME !!!!!
3. All the new “STATS” !!!
I’m talking about things like WAR (wins above replacement), Exit Velocity, Launch Angle. All the so called “Analytics”. WAR isn’t really even a stat. It’s a formula that is supposed to tell you how good a player is in comparison to an “AVERAGE” (made up) player at his position. This stat is so stupid that even the three companies that rate players don’t agree on the formula !!! There is no magic formula to rate players. You need to watch, observe, SCOUT the players. According to WAR Wade Boggs and Chipper Jones were better players than Joe DiMaggio,. Alex Rodriguez was better than Mickey Mantle. IT’S A JOKE !!!!
And then there are stupid numbers like exit velocity and launch angle. Just say he hit the ball hard or high !!!! These two numbers are the result of MLB being infatuated with the home run. It’s all about offense !!!! The problem here is that due to everyone having an uppercut swing, the stadiums being smaller and the live ball that baseball introduced but denied doing a few years ago is that EVERYBODY IS HITTING HOME RUNS NOW. The home run is becoming commonplace. It’s lost it’s luster. Even little guys like Jose Altuve are hitting check swing, opposite field home runs. I’ve even seen guys hit broken bat home runs. And it has become acceptable to strike out !!! If you can hit 25 home runs a year it’s okay to strike out 150 times. THIS IS STUPID !!!! It’s all about the long ball. I don’t get excited about the home run any more. I could probably hit a home run in some of the small parks they have today !!!! And no one bunts, hit and runs or steals bases anymore. Everyone strikes out, or hits home runs. They are too worried about offense. That’s why they want to do away with defensive shifts and want to move the mound back. Where will it stop? Why don’t they just make it a rule that the pitchers have to just throw batting practice fastballs !!! Or have multiple fences at 375, 400, 425 and 450 feet. Hit it over the first fence and score 1X the amount of runs. Over the second fence score 2X the amount and so on! There. Instant offence. NO !!!! STOP IT !!!!! LEAVE THE GAME ALONE !!!!
4. Technology !
As I mentioned before they have brought in replay and they want to have robot umpires. They say that the game has to evolve with the times. We have the technology so we should use it. BULLSHIT !!! Just because we have a certain technology doesn’t mean we have to use it. We have the technology to clone people that doesn’t mean we should be doing it. The game thrived for over 100 years without these gimmicks and it will be better off without them. All the new technological gimmicks are making it seam more like a video game than a sport. That’s the wrong way to go. It can’t compete with your kids video games. If it is too much like a video game kids would rather play their game than watch a real game. Stop taking the human factor out of the game. That’s it’s strong point !!!
The game is fine. Stop trying to fix it by changing the rules. If you are worried about attendance numbers declining then make games affordable enough for the average person to go to a game. So that a family can enjoy a game without it costing a week’s paycheck. Don’t start World Series games so late that kids can’t stay up to watch them. And invest money into inner city fields. Have youth tournaments. Even stick ball tournaments. Get kids interested in the game that way. The game as it was 10, 25, 50 years ago was fine. It’s survived ups and downs for over 100 years. But messing with it because of GREED is not the answer.
There! That’s it! I hope it’s not too late to save the game. But I’m afraid that if the current commissioner has his way THE GAME IS DOOMED !!!
As always, that’s my opinion, the only one that matters.
Please feel free to leave a comment !!!!!