Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What’s Happening to Baseball?

So it seems like the sport I love is getting more and more out of wack. All you have to do is look at Game 5 of the World Series in Philadelphia.

With a torrential downpour and temperatures in the low 40’s, baseball played on with everyone assuming that if one team was winning when the game was official, that team would win should the field become unplayable.

After all, those are the rules. Apparently nobody was aware of a little secret meeting headed by commissioner Bud Selig with him coming up with an on the spot rule change in which the game would be suspended, regardless of the score, should conditions deteriorate too much.

Luckily the Rays were able to tie the game in the sixth inning allowing the game to be suspended with a 2-2 tie, makes more since.

However, back to my original point. What is happening in baseball? Has the almighty dollar just flat out destroyed the national pastime? Playoff games are starting at 8:30 on the east coast, not ending until one and two in the morning. There was the All-Star game fiasco a few years back leading to the American League having all-time home field advantage in the World Series, at least it seems that way. Now on the spot rule changes?

Don’t even get me started on the umpire fiasco. The fact MLB does not use veteran umpires, or umpires that have more experience, is beyond me. However, fans of either team that are the victim of a bad call won’t get any sympathy from me. Just look to 1985 and Don Denkinger. That still hurts.

There are a host of other things that just don’t make since, which makes me think the powers that be need to take a step back and look at the product that was once so successful, and earned the title of “That National Pastime.”

First thing I would propose, is bring back the Sunday double-headers. Back in the golden age of baseball, Sunday double-headers were the highlight of the week. Fans would plan out their summers based around spending a day at the ball park watching baseball. This would shorten the season and prevent the World Series ending in November when it is cold out and the weather is miserable. How many teams actually play in domes or are in geographical locations where weather won’t be a factor? It’s not the majority.

I understand how the season is an endurance test and the World Series is a culmination of all the hard work put in during the regular season, but the playoffs should not wrap up at the end of October, it should be the beginning of October.

Baseball should double up games on Sunday to shorten the season. Finish up the year by October 15.

What’s wrong with playing a World Series game on a Sunday or Saturday afternoon? Is the ad revenue so incredibly higher for a spot that airs at midnight on the east coast, opposed to three in the afternoon? It’s afternoon baseball, played without the use of artificial light, just the way God intended it to be.

If you are going to play all of them at night, mix it up for a few of them, start one or two at 6:00 p.m. or 7:00 p.m. Fans out west can still see the majority of the game, especially if it’s on a weekend.

I love baseball; I can still sit down and watch any game from beginning to end. However, when the integrity of the game is compromised, that’s when I start to lose interest. Seeing all kinds of standing water on the field in Game 6 and the weather getting worse was just another example of how the integrity was compromised. It’s no wonder why sports like Mixed Martial Arts and NASCAR are beating MLB ratings.

There are no hidden rule changes, they are played during times when people will watch and they don’t last five or six hours and end at two in the morning.

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