Everybody's thought about what they would change in baseball if they had the power. Well today, I'm being selfish and giving myself the power to do so. Assuming nobody had any power to stop me from doing anything I wanted, and all these rules would be implemented immediately, this is how my day would go.
As I get to my new office around 7 AM (wouldn't want to be late for my only day on the job, would I) the first thing I would do is one of the most important. I would abolish the Designated Hitter from the A.L.
This couldn't be done right away, however, so a five-year plan sounds best. This would give all teams the ability to plan for not having a DH. I have had enough with these one-dimensional players becoming stars in the A.L. and all those guys hanging on an extra year or two even though they can't play the field anymore.
Baseball should be an all-around sport and not only does this force hitters to learn how to play the field but it forced pitchers to become decent hitters, or at least make them learn how to bunt.
While I'm at it, no pitchers may run the bases in a jacket. Everyone needs to be wearing the same uniform on the outside, they may have a jacket inside their jersey but not on the outside.
Next I would raise the pitchers mound back to 15 inches. Games that end 10-9 may be flashier, but I want to see these games get back to the way they were. Plus, this would probably enable pitchers to pitch more than the five or six inning start and we would start seeing those complete game numbers rise back to adequate rates.
To make up for this on the offensive side, outfield fences would need to be a minimum 400 feet to all fields. No more of this 320 foot home runs down the line. Speed would once again rule the day, as you would need people to track down those fly balls to the wall and to take that extra base on what would be a single now-a-days.
At this point of the day, I think I'm ready for a lunch break. It's only around 11, but hey, I ate breakfast early to get here by seven!!
Now that I'm refreshed and ready to go, it's time to start on the All-Star Game. No longer would it decide home-field advantage in the World Series. It would go back to what it really is, an exhibition game. Home-field would be go to the team with the best interleague record. In a tie, it goes to their overall record.
Also, the Home-Run Derby winner will be the one with the most home runs total. Josh Hamilton will no longer be denied what he deserves!
Next thing up will be mandatory doubleheaders during the season. One game ends and the next one stars. None of those day-night games. Each team would also have a minimum number of day games during the season. No more games where you have to stay up until 1 AM to watch the game. Also, the season ends in September. October is for playoff baseball only!
Already I've accomplished a lot, but I'm not done yet. Players would hold 20 minute autograph sessions once a week. Fans pay a ton to see you guys play, so giving back 20 minutes of your time a week for them would be mandatory.
While I'm on prices, bleacher ticket prices may not exceed $2. Teams could set whatever they want for the other tickets, but bleacher tickets would be game-only sales and for $2.
The wave would be banned from all baseball games unless one team is winning by at least 10 runs. Believe it or not, some people are there to watch baseball and the wave distracts everyone from the game for at least a full inning.
As my day winds down, my attention would turn to pitcher warnings. If a player gets hit, his team has every right to pitch high and tight next time around. And if another player gets hit in return, so-be-it.
Of course, I'm not suggesting a team should deliberately hit a guy, but pushing a a guy off the plate and sending a message is apart of the game and should be allowed.
With five o'clock rolling around and time for me to hand the keys back over to Bud Selig, I have three things left on my agenda. First, no corporate stadium names. That means no Citi Field, no more mistakes like Enron Field. And we wouldn't have to worry about Wrigley changing it's name anytime soon.
Next, I would call every owner that complains about no salary cap and yell at them. Everyone has a right to over-pay for a player, it doesn't guarantee the team anything. Plus, baseball is just getting it right with revenue-sharing. Your team will benefit in the end from the another's high payroll so stop complaining.
Last, but not least, I would place a call over to the Hall-of-Fame. This isn't really in my jurisdiction, but hopefully I could get them to get rid of the Veterans Committee. A player has 15 years to get in and that's it.
How can a player get passed over for 15 years and still be considered among the greatest of all-time is beyond me. If there's a legitimate doubt about whether a player belongs in the Hall-of-Fame then he doesn't get in. Simple as that.
Well, they're you have it. Baseball would be better off and I would have the pleasure of being the one to fix it. Let me know what you would have done differently!