June 3, 2018

It is real, not a video game

I was watching the Cubs vs. the Mets last night while the wife did whatever she does on her iPad. The announcers were droning away in that obnoxious way the national telecast guys do (this one was on Fox). John Smoltz mentioned recent discussions for rule changes in baseball and he was for most of them. I think those he mentioned would make the game unrecognizable and pointless. In fact, some of these proposals make the odious designated hitter rule look like a good idea. And yes, I know it is only a matter of time before the DH becomes standard in both leagues. Spit.

Smoltz is all for the girls softball rule where you put runners on base to start extra innings. He see no point in long extra inning games. Except maybe the fans enjoy them. Me, I think it is great when managers back themselves in a corner, using up pitchers. I like to see the backup catcher take the mound. Besides, baseball managers and front office types are always reminding fans that it is a long season and one or two games can be meaningless. Unless they lose one extra inning game because they used a pitcher to pitch to two batters back in the seventh. I ain't buying it. John Smoltz was a great pitcher but he has no idea what a fan thinks, clearly. His position is all from a player point of view. We don't like playing 12 or 14 innings, whah. 

Can you imagine Game 7 of the 2016 Cubs/Indians World Series with the "put free runners on base" notion? There would be no drama, no tension, no sport. Indians fans might joke at they would have liked to see a batter with a better average than .160 or so take the final at-bat, but that is how the game is played. It is sport, not a video game where you get to have your favorite player bat all of the time.

Worse was the idea of letting teams hit any batter if they are behind in the ninth or in extra inning games, regardless of the batting order. Jeez, why not just have a super DH that does all of the batting all of the time? Just think what Ruth or Hank or Mantle could have done had they batted 27 times each game. Ted Williams, Ty Cobb or Pete Rose would have each had millions of hits.

Disgusted, I finally went to bed and listened to the regular Cubs radio broadcasters describe a glorious 14 inning game, filling the downtime with stats, anecdotes, and nonsense as baseball should be presented. The game followed the rules pretty much as first encoded almost a century and a half ago. There was no rule change that would have made the game more enjoyable. It was perfect as played.

Either you enjoy baseball or you don't. Changing the rules will not make a non-fan suddenly start watching. It might drive away those who love the game though.


Linda said...

My friend is horrified at all the suggested rule changes. He likes baseball and thinks it would ruind the game.

Ed Bonderenka said...


Joe said...

Back when I did civil war reenacting I played some rounders and some games under old baseball rules.

Ed Bonderenka said...


Anonymous said...

The only new rule I would favor is the time between pitches..

Joe said...

I could live with a pitch clock, but random batting orders changes the fundamental nature of the game

Jean said...

Those rule changes suck.
If they cut back on commercials the games would go faster.
But then, if it's a good game, time flies.

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