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Saturday, June 26, 2010

10 changes I'd make to Major League Baseball

As a lifelong Detroit Tiger and baseball fan, I have some humble advice for the league:

1. Allow Pete Rose into the Hall of Fame. He's the MLB leader in total hits, and all those hits were obtained before he did something stupid. He should be in unanimously.

2. Allow instant replay. Each manager should get three opportunities each game to question a call, including balls and strikes. And the review should be automatic in the 9th inning or later.

3. Get rid of the designated hitter (DH). I think the game would be more interesting, and probably even more fun for the players and managers, if pitchers were allowed to hit.

4. Shorten the season by 20 games and start the post season earlier so the World Series can be played the first week of October when the weather is still nice.

5. Get rid of inter-league play as it currently stands. The way which teams are chosen to play each year creates too much imbalance. Inter-league play is no longer exciting and must be eliminated. Besides, accomplishing this will help balance the divisions.

6. Balance the divisions. Five teams in the National League Central have to vie for one a playoff spot, and only four in the American League West. The Angels get to the playoffs every year by beating 3 easy teams. This is not fair. CBSSports, in this post, has a good idea to balance the divisions:

There would be four 15 league divisions, and each team plays each team at least once. If MLB wanted, it could always have at least one inter-league series going on. As noted:

"14 of the AL teams would face each other, 14 of the NL teams would face each other, and then one AL team and one NL team would face off in the one inter league series.... That way, every team is playing two series every week, and every team has an equal chance at the playoffs."

Of course this would mean one National League team would have to move to the American League, and I think the easy favorite would be Milwaukee which already jumped leagues for no apparent reason twice. Although there could be some sort of lottery or something to decide which team has to switch leagues.

7. Fix the voting system for the All Star Game. I think voting should be done 70% by the fans, and 30% by sports reporters, players, managers and baseball administrators. This would assure only the best players get to the game, and not some old washed up superstar.

8. Change the rule that says one player from each team has to be on the All Star Game. Only the best should make it to the All Star Game.

9. The rule that the winner of the All Star Game game gets home field advantage in the World Series should end too. This game should be for fun only.

10. The team with the best record should get home field advantage in the playoffs. This can be done because you don't have to worry about one team having the best record because it has only easy teams in its division: the divisions will be balanced.


TOTWTYTR said...

1) Pete Rose violated the rules and then lied about it. The cover up is always worse than the crime.

2) Instant replay is terrible and should be removed from all of the other pro sports. It delays games and leads to endless second guessing by people who know nothing.

3) The DH makes the AL different from the NL. Without it, there is no reason for Interleague play.

4) Yeah. Baseball into November is as bad as Hockey into May. Or is it June. Or basketball into June.

5) I like inter league play. Although I'd reverse the rules so that they play by the visiting teams rules. That way when the Dodgers come to Boston, I see NL rules, not the same AL rules I see the rest of the year.

6) I can't really disagree. What's worse is that the AL Wild Card is almost always going to come from the AL East. This year two of the three best teams in the AL will go to the play offs and the third best team in the majors will go home.

7, 8, 9) The reason they changed the rule was to make the All Star Game mean something. Otherwise, it's just batting practice with a full infield and outfield. They could get rid of it entirely as far as I'm concerned.

10) That works at every other level of the play offs, so why not in the World Series. Again, you could get rid of the All Star Game all together since it's essentially meaningless.

Rick Frea said...

I agree with what you say about Pete Rose, yet his crime was after his playing days were already over.