Two solid hits needed

I read the article below in Forbes magazine today, and although I disagree with Steve that the baseball universe is aligned properly since the Yankees won the Series (we Cards fans would say that about the Cards, of course), the rest of the article is right on. 

Link

Two Solid Hits Needed

Steve Forbes

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The baseball universe is properly aligned again, with the Yankees’
World Series victory. Now the national pastime’s pooh-bahs should focus
on two issues.

Length of the season. Having the playoffs run into late
October and early November is a formula for unnecessary player
injuries–with cold weather and rain and possibly even snow. Television
attracts maximum audiences during evening games, so Major League
Baseball (MLB) has given afternoon games short shrift. If MLB can’t
shed its postseason afternoon-game phobia, then it should bring back
during the regular season something once commonplace and now virtually
extinct: the doubleheader. These don’t have to be held in the same way
they were in the old days, when one ticket allowed you to watch
back-to-back games on a Sunday afternoon. Instead, there’d be one game
for one crowd at noon or 1 p.m. and a second for an evening crowd at 7
or 8 p.m. Then the playoffs and World Series could end before we need
to bring out our snow boots and skis. And the possibility of serious
weather-related injury would be minimized.

Instant replays. MLB uses them now for home runs hit near
the foul line. No one wants to do that with strikes and balls. But
there have been a number of questionable calls on base running–when it
wasn’t immediately clear if a player actually tagged the bag or if a
runner was tagged or not. One suggestion that wouldn’t disrupt the flow
of the game: Each team could request one replay per game. There would
be no need for the umps to leave the field to review a particular call;
they could view it on a handheld device or on a nearby display screen
and make a decision within seconds. During postseason games teams
should be able to question two or three calls, since the stakes are
much higher and the pressure far more intense. Again, this wouldn’t
disrupt the flow of games anymore than do television-mandated timeouts
between innings for commercials.

Instant replays. MLB uses them now for home runs hit near
the foul line. No one wants to do that with strikes and balls. But
there have been a number of questionable calls on base running–when it
wasn’t immediately clear if a player actually tagged the bag or if a
runner was tagged or not. One suggestion that wouldn’t disrupt the flow
of the game: Each team could request one replay per game. There would
be no need for the umps to leave the field to review a particular call;
they could view it on a handheld device or on a nearby display screen
and make a decision within seconds. During postseason games teams
should be able to question two or three calls, since the stakes are
much higher and the pressure far more intense. Again, this wouldn’t
disrupt the flow of games anymore than do television-mandated timeouts
between innings for commercials.

Both changes would help the game and ultimately be good for MLB.

=========================================================
This season ran long because of the World Baseball Classic.  Do we really need the World Baseball Classic?  If memory serves me (and it’s late), I think that baseball got dropped from the Olympics, but the Olympics would be the best place for a world baseball competition.

Watching the World Series in November is very, very strange to me.  If Reggie Jackson were playing now, would he be called Mr. November instead of Mr. October? If one (or both) of the World Series teams were from Canada or the northern regions of the U.S.,  we would be worried about snow for the World Series.

As for Steve’s second point, the technology is certainly available today for umps to review plays with a hand held device or even a netbook.  I think there are too many commercials in baseball games today.  When my hubby watches a game, he’ll switch to another channel during the commercials.  I have to remind him to switch back to the game!

Looking forward to seeing who the NL Cy Young award tomorrow!  Hey MLB, let’s keep both Cy Young winners in Missouri, the Show Me State, OK?  See you soon!

Diane

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