FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

7 Things Major League Baseball Needs To Do

by DAVID MACARAY

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.  Dmacaray@earthlink.net

More articles by:

David Macaray is a playwright and author. His newest book is How To Win Friends and Avoid Sacred Cows.  He can be reached at dmacaray@gmail.com

November 20, 2017
T.J. Coles
Doomsday Scenarios: the UK’s Hair-Raising Admissions About the Prospect of Nuclear War and Accident
Peter Linebaugh
On the 800th Anniversary of the Charter of the Forest
Patrick Bond
Zimbabwe Witnessing an Elite Transition as Economic Meltdown Looms
Sheldon Richman
Assertions, Facts and CNN
Ben Debney
Plebiscites: Why Stop at One?
LV Filson
Yemen’s Collective Starvation: Where Money Can’t Buy Food, Water or Medicine
Thomas Knapp
Impeachment Theater, 2017 Edition
Binoy Kampmark
Trump in Asia
Curtis FJ Doebbler
COP23: Truth Without Consequences?
Louisa Willcox
Obesity in Bears: Vital and Beautiful
Deborah James
E-Commerce and the WTO
Ann Garrison
Burundi Defies the Imperial Criminal Court: an Interview with John Philpot
Robert Koehler
Trapped in ‘a Man’s World’
Stephen Cooper
Wiping the Stain of Capital Punishment Clean
Weekend Edition
November 17, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Thank an Anti-War Veteran
Andrew Levine
What’s Wrong With Bible Thumpers Nowadays?
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
The CIA’s House of Horrors: the Abominable Dr. Gottlieb
Wendy Wolfson – Ken Levy
Why We Need to Take Animal Cruelty Much More Seriously
Mike Whitney
Brennan and Clapper: Elder Statesmen or Serial Fabricators?
David Rosen
Of Sex Abusers and Sex Offenders
Ryan LaMothe
A Christian Nation?
Dave Lindorff
Trump’s Finger on the Button: Why No President Should Have the Authority to Launch Nuclear Weapons
W. T. Whitney
A Bizarre US Pretext for Military Intrusion in South America
Deepak Tripathi
Sex, Lies and Incompetence: Britain’s Ruling Establishment in Crisis 
Howard Lisnoff
Who You’re Likely to Meet (and Not Meet) on a College Campus Today
Roy Morrison
Trump’s Excellent Asian Adventure
John W. Whitehead
Financial Tyranny
Ted Rall
How Society Makes Victimhood a No-Win Proposition
Jim Goodman
Stop Pretending the Estate Tax has Anything to do With Family Farmers
Thomas Klikauer
The Populism of Germany’s New Nazis
Murray Dobbin
Is Trudeau Ready for a Middle East war?
Jeiddy Martínez Armas
Firearm Democracy
Jill Richardson
Washington’s War on Poor Grad Students
Ralph Nader
The Rule of Power Over the Rule of Law
Justin O'Hagan
Capitalism Equals Peace?
Matthew Stevenson
Into Africa: From the Red Sea to Nairobi
Geoff Dutton
The Company We Sadly Keep
Evan Jones
The Censorship of Jacques Sapir, French Dissident
Linn Washington Jr.
Meek Moment Triggers Demands for Justice Reform
Gerry Brown
TPP, Indo Pacific, QUAD: What’s Next to Contain China’s Rise?
Robert Fisk
The Exile of Saad Hariri
Romana Rubeo - Ramzy Baroud
Anti-BDS Laws and Pro-Israeli Parliament: Zionist Hasbara is Winning in Italy
Robert J. Burrowes
Why are Police in the USA so Terrified?
Chuck Collins
Stop Talking About ‘Winners and Losers’ From Corporate Tax Cuts
Ron Jacobs
Private Property Does Not Equal Freedom
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail