Aug 14, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Newly elected commissioner of baseball Rob Manfred speaks at a press conference after being elected by team owners to be the next commissioner of Major League Baseball. At left is MLB commissioner Bud Selig. Mandatory Credit: H.Darr Beiser-USA TODAY Sports

Some things Rob Manfred should look into changing, to improve baseball

Rob Manfred was elected as the commissioner of baseball yesterday, and he has some work to do. With baseball seemingly becoming less, and less popular, there are some changes to be made, to make the beautiful sport, that little bit more beautiful. While baseball is hardly crippled, there are some minor, imperfections, lets say. Here is my take on how Manfred can restore baseball, to its former greatness.

Speeding up the game:

The game is becoming dreadfully long. Sometimes, as has happened several times this season, a game has lasted 19-innings, and just over six and a half hours. Not one person would have watched the game from start to finish. Long, long, long games are killing baseball. So, what is my bright idea? Adopt a rule which is used in many international leagues. If the game goes to the tenth, each team can put a runner, of their choice, on second base. Manfred can work out the actual details of the rule, I’m just making suggestions. Not only will it dramatically speed the game up, it makes it kind-of interesting, too. Extra innings will have a new lease of life, which has been a long time coming.

Also, over the first nine innings, the game needs sped up. Games that go over three hours, should be no-more. Manfred needs to put a foot down, and stop the stupid little things, which prolong games. Stepping off, stepping out of the box, taking too long in-between pitches and pitching changes, all slow down the game unnecessary amounts. All bullpen pitchers, should exit like Phil Coke. Enough said.

Trading actual draft picks, and moving the draft into the offseason:

In NFL and NBA, the draft is a highly anticipated, and highly coveted event in the sporting calendar. In MLB? Quite the opposite. Given that even first round picks take several years to reach the big leagues, and that the draft takes place at the same time as games, the importance is significantly reduced. While baseball players will always take a little longer to become major league ready, there are a number of moves Manfred and baseball can take to improve the draft.

First, move the draft to the offseason. If it doesn’t collide with any games, fans will watch. I speak on behalf of all baseball fans, when I say, I feel empty without baseball during the offseason. If the draft was moved into the offseason, people would watch – we have nothing better do, after all.  But, most importantly: Make all draft picks tradeable. Currently, only competitive balance lottery picks can be traded, but, the draft would really become important when top picks are being shopped.

Bryce Harper-esque, rubbing of logos should be encouraged:

Bryce Harper made more enemies this week, when he discreetly, and ‘accidently,’ rubbed the Atlanta Braves logo when going up for his AB, several times. This should be encouraged. David Ortiz and David Price should be matched up as much as possible. Carlos Gomez like, home-run-trots are brilliant. I mean, I love the original unwritten rules, things like throwing behind a batter, not stealing bases with a large lead, but lets add to them. Baseball should be known for its subtle, yet amazing ways of rubbing in victory, and compensating for defeat. Heros and villians like Harper are the way forward. Seriously.

There is nothing that gets the fans going better, than chest-pumping, home-run-trotting and dirt kicking players getting into the game. Benches clearing, managers shouting at umpires, Manny Machado letting go of bats, amazing. With a serious amount of interleague play, we need to create rivalries. We need to get the fans in the game. Let’s do it.

Clarification of rules:

This is a serious point, who would’ve thought? The home-plate-collision rule needs fixed, big time. The rule is extremely vague, and unclear, which, naturally, has led to much anger in games; epitomized by Robin Ventura kicking dirt, beautiful. The rule is brilliant when it goes for your team, and hateful when it goes against. Currently, it ultimately comes down to the umpires view on the incident, and every umpire has a different view. Fix it Manfred, please.

The replay review has been an undeniable success. But, like everything, there are some minor flaws with it, which need to be fixed. My major concern regarding replay; is time. Occasionally, the calls are difficult and consequently take some time, too much time, some may argue. I, therefore, advocate a time limit on reviews – if the call can’t be overturned within a certain time, let’s move on.

So, there you have it; how Rob Manfred can improve the game. Make baseball the best sport in the world again. With a couple of minor tweaks, some more important than others, baseball can reign supreme once more. Baseball is beautiful. Let’s enhance it.

 

 

Tags: Rob Manfred

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