If I were the Commissioner of BaseballNovember 6, 2008
Hey Folks. Welcome back. I took a few days off as like everyone else I’ve been glued to the TV watching election coverage. Among other things, it got me thinking about policy which actually gave me the idea for this post. I’m not talking about US policies, but baseball policies. While I have great love for the game of baseball if I where to be elected commissioner, there are a few things that I would definitely set out to change immediately.
1. DH Rule rule has got to go.
- With all due respect to the David Ortiz’s of the world, baseball was meant to be played with 9 players. Not 9 1/2.
- DH rule creates an unfair advantage for American League teams in the World Series and in inner-league play. The DH on an AL team is normally a key guy that bats somewhere in the 3-5 range in their lineup. At best on an NL team, the DH will be the 4th or 5th outfielder and does not provide the offense that an AL DH provides. NL teams don’t build for that.
- Is there any other sport out there that has a difference in a fundamental rule between two conferences? Football? Basketball? So why Baseball?
- When the game is played without a DH there is a lot more strategy involved. There is a game within the game and the managers actually have to manage.
2. Playoffs are too long.
- This year the playoffs took 27 days to complete 3 rounds. Far too long. I like the format the way it is, but we have to stop having so many days off between games and series.
- Baseball is a summer sport, we should not be playing games at the end of October.
- My Recommendation: No days off in between games in the first round. Two days off in between games in the Championship Series and World Series (after game 2 and game 5). One day off in between series and throw in the flexibility of moving series up if both teams have completed their previous series. This would mean the max the playoffs will take is 25 days IF all series went the max.
3. Managers Wearing Uniforms. I don’t understand why managers or coaching staffs wear uniforms.
- Think about it, is there any reason why Joe Torre needs to put the uniform on every day?
- MLB is the only major sport where the coaches actually wear uniforms. Basketball? Football? Hockey? Can you imagine Phil Jackson at his age walking out onto the court in warm-ups? Or Bill Bellecheck tightening the chin strap on his helmet?
- Recommendation: I’m not saying suits, but let’s get these guys out of uniforms and into something a bit more authoritative and sporty.