Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Keep CounterPunch ad free. Support our annual fund drive today!

7 Things Major League Baseball Needs To Do


Let’s be clear. We’re not stubborn or deluded or cantankerous enough to waste time ranting against the obvious culprits—e.g., the designated hitter rule, double-knit uniforms (as opposed to flannel), inter-league play, and doing away with Sunday double-headers.

While those phenomena were stupid and venal changes, they’ve been around too long and have been embraced by too many loyal fans to be changed at this late date. The jury has spoken. The verdict is in. The die is cast. On the other hand, if aluminum bats are ever introduced to Major League baseball, I will not stop writing my congressman until my fingers are bloody.

Here are seven changes baseball should consider adopting. None of them are earth-shattering or of profound importance. They won’t alter or improve the game significantly. What they will do is give Major League baseball more credibility and make the game more “enjoyable.”

1. Jewelry must be banned. Gold necklaces have no place on a baseball diamond. How professional baseball players first decided to deck themselves out in women’s finery remains a mystery. In any event, it must be prohibited.

2. Players need to choke up on the bat. Granted, power hitters get paid more than slap-hitters, but not everyone was put on earth to hit homeruns. At the very least, choking-up will result in striking-out less and putting the ball in play more, which, as any baseball fan will tell you, is definitely good. If Tony Gwynn, Rod Carew and Ishiro Suzuki taught us anything, it’s that it’s all about bat control.

3. Practice bunting. No it’s not glamorous, and no, it probably won’t add dollars to your contract, but bunting does help your team win—and that should be reward enough. Because bunting is an integral part of the game, it should be practiced regularly. Some players are so awkward at the plate, they look like my grandma trying to bunt, and that son of a bitch is 88 years old. It’s embarrassing.

4. Teams shouldn’t award foul balls to spectators, as if it were some sort of sports emporium rather than a ballpark. Nearly every time a foul ball is hit down the line, the ball boy or ball girl snatches it up and hands it to someone sitting near the rail. These ain’t kewpie dolls, folks. These aren’t prizes to be handed out by some transient shill at a neighborhood carnival. These are regulation baseballs. They’re equipment. They’re being actively used in a professional ball game. By rights, they don’t become souvenirs until they land in the stands.

5. Don’t take a ball out of play just because it hit the dirt. It’s so tiresome to see catchers hand the ball to the ump every time a pitcher short-arms one. Really? Has the game become so antiseptic that these men can’t play with a ball that momentarily touched the ground? And please don’t say a ball that touches dirt gives the pitcher an advantage. If that were true, the ump would call for the ball whenever a throw short-hopped the first baseman.

6. For televised games, put the camera directly behind home plate for part of the time. It’s a great angle from which to watch the action. We’re not suggesting eliminating the centerfield camera, only to mix it up a bit and allow us to watch the game from a different vantage point. It’s amazing what a change it makes.

7. Encourage players not to congratulate each other for simply doing their job. A batter who moves a runner from second to third on a ground-out gets greeted in the dugout as if he just hit a homerun in the World Series. It’s High-Five City. Players are supposed to be able to move runners over; it’s part of being a professional hitter. All that an exaggerated response to a fielder’s choice does is cheapen the game.

David Macaray, an LA playwright and author (“It’s Never Been Easy:  Essays on Modern Labor” 2nd edition), was a former union rep.

David Macaray is a playwright and author. His newest book is “Nightshift: 270 Factory Stories.” He can be reached at

More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine


Weekend Edition
October 21, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Wight
Hillary Clinton and the Brutal Murder of Gaddafi
Diana Johnstone
Hillary Clinton’s Strategic Ambition in a Nutshell
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Trump’s Naked and Hillary’s Dead
John W. Whitehead
American Psycho: Sex, Lies and Politics Add Up to a Terrifying Election Season
Stephen Cooper
Hell on Earth in Alabama: Inside Holman Prison
Patrick Cockburn
13 Years of War: Mosul’s Frightening and Uncertain Future
Rob Urie
Name the Dangerous Candidate
Pepe Escobar
The Aleppo / Mosul Riddle
David Rosen
The War on Drugs is a Racket
Sami Siegelbaum
Once More, the Value of the Humanities
Cathy Breen
“Today Is One of the Heaviest Days of My Life”
Neve Gordon
Israel’s Boycott Hypocrisy
Mark Hand
Of Pipelines and Protest Pens: When the Press Loses Its Shield
Victor Wallis
On the Stealing of U.S. Elections
Michael Hudson
The Return of the Repressed Critique of Rentiers: Veblen in the 21st century Rentier Capitalism
Brian Cloughley
Drumbeats of Anti-Russia Confrontation From Washington to London
Howard Lisnoff
Still Licking Our Wounds and Hoping for Change
Brian Gruber
Iraq: There Is No State
Peter Lee
Trump: We Wish the Problem Was Fascism
Stanley L. Cohen
Equality and Justice for All, It Seems, But Palestinians
Steve Early
In Bay Area Refinery Town: Berniecrats & Clintonites Clash Over Rent Control
Kristine Mattis
All Solutions are Inadequate: Why It Doesn’t Matter If Politicians Mention Climate Change
Peter Linebaugh
Ron Suny and the Marxist Commune: a Note
Andre Vltchek
Sudan, Africa and the Mosaic of Horrors
Keith Binkly
The Russians Have Been Hacking Us For Years, Why Is It a Crisis Now?
Jonathan Cook
Adam Curtis: Another Manager of Perceptions
Ted Dace
The Fall
Sheldon Richman
Come and See the Anarchy Inherent in the System
Susana Hurlich
Hurricane Matthew: an Overview of the Damages in Cuba
Dave Lindorff
Screwing With and Screwing the Elderly and Disabled
Chandra Muzaffar
Cuba: Rejecting Sanctions, Sending a Message
Dennis Kucinich
War or Peace?
Joseph Natoli
Seething Anger in the Post-2016 Election Season
Jack Rasmus
Behind The 3rd US Presidential Debate—What’s Coming in 2017
Ron Jacobs
A Theory of Despair?
Gilbert Mercier
Globalist Clinton: Clear and Present Danger to World Peace
James A Haught
Many Struggles Won Religious Freedom
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Dear Fellow Gen Xers: Let’s Step Aside for the Millennials
Uri Avnery
The Peres Funeral Ruckus
Tom Clifford
Duterte’s Gambit: the Philippines’s Pivot to China
Reyes Mata III
Scaling Camelot’s Walls: an Essay Regarding Donald Trump
Raouf Halaby
Away from the Fray: From Election Frenzy to an Interlude in Paradise
James McEnteer
Art of the Feel
David Yearsley
Trump and Hitchcock in the Age of Conspiracies
Charles R. Larson
Review: Sjón’s “Moonstone: the Boy Who Never Was”